You know it, I know it, everyone knows it, avocados are the thing right now. I live in California so to us, they’ve always been the thing, but apparently the rest of the world has caught on (thank you Keto craze!) and have made the avocado prices soar, uh I mean, have made avocados crazy popular. Especially in toast form. Which, I will admit to not quite “getting” at first. I mean, I love toast, don’t get me wrong, but I like it with excellent butter and some first rate jam. amirite? I used to really enjoy my avocado on burgers and the like, but then I started the FASTer Way to Fat Loss* and had to go gluten free for a bit all while radically increasing my avocado intake and, well, suddenly avocado toast didn’t seem so unappealing. Except, gluten free = no actual toast.
Enter the magical potato waffle. Take some hash brown potatoes, mix in some egg white and a couple spices and poof, you have a delectable toast variation to do your avocado justice. Doing the FASTer Way to Fat Loss or tracking your Macros? This is a great source of good carbs, healthy fats, and protein. Perfect for both regular and low macro days.
(Welcome to the first It’s My Life… recipe. If you’re new here, be sure to subscribe so you never miss a recipe or post. If you’re a regular, I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy the new developments around these parts! Got recipes you’d like me to share? Leave a comment below or message me. And please, do me a solid and click that “Pin” button below!
Hope today is delicious and wonderful in every way.
*Please note: this FASTer Way to Fat Loss link is an affiliate link. If you click it and decide to sign up for the program, I will receive compensation. If you click through and decide to sign up for the program, please let me know. I’d be thrilled to help you in any way I can!
Hashbrown Potato Waffle Avocado Toast
These hash brown potato waffles are ready in just minutes and make the perfect base for some tasty gluten free avocado toast.
Plug in your waffle iron and turn it to the highest setting. Allow it to warm up while you prepare your potatoes.
If using frozen hash brown potatoes, defrost using the microwave in short bursts. If using regular potatoes grate and wrap in a clean dish-cloth to wring out as much water as possible. Don't be afraid to squeeze hard!
Crack one of the eggs over the potatoes, letting about half the egg white pour over them. Put the rest of the egg in another bowl.
Add finely chopped green onion, dash of salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and TJ's Everyday Seasoning and any other spices that appeal to you. Mix well.
Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and spread the potato mixture out on the bottom of the waffle iron. NOTE: The potatoes will NOT spread like regular waffle batter would. You MUST spread it out. Cook for 8-10 minutes until crispy. The waffle iron WILL steam. This is totally normal.
While the waffle iron is doing its thing, place the bacon on a cold skillet and turn the heat to medium, high. When the bacon is about half cooked, push it to the side and add the eggs to the skillet.
Remove the potato waffle from the iron and top with avocado, bacon and eggs. Enjoy this amazing treat. Repeat tomorrow and every lunch hereafter.
The other day I came across a Facebook post meme that said “Life is hard? Compared to what?” and I’ve been mulling that over ever since.
Because life is hard. No one will contest that. Life is relentless. Which, I guess is a good thing? Maybe? In some ways?
But also, utterly exhausting. You get up and a million little details instantly demand your attention. Mental notes start crowding your brain before you even have a chance to open your eyes.
I should remember to wash the sheets today.
Where did those curtains I meant to put up end up getting put away.
The cat’s breath stinks. I should brush his teeth more often.
Did I remember to buy milk for the teen who literally won’t eat anything and gets the bulk of her nutrition from it? I should really figure out other acceptable foods.
Then you get up and your brain keeps trucking along, racking up a to do list that will never ever get done. And then the outside world starts to weigh in.
Toothpaste is almost empty.
Bathroom could really use a good scrub.
It’s raining. Again. Grraaaaaaa.
And then the family chimes in. Questions ranging from the asinine to the life changing. All being fired at you as you’re still trying to sort through the crap your brain is vomiting.
Exhausting and that’s before any of the really challenging stuff starts to take a toll.
In the last year we decided (on a whim) to sell our house where we had lived for 6 years and move to the beach. In four days we had packed up our lives and moved out of our home. We settled temporarily in my in-laws’ vacation home and waited more or less patiently for our home to sell so we could buy our next forever home and start the arduous task of getting settled. Just for funzies, we also decided to homeschool our children for at least a year so, theoretically, we could travel.
To say that this has all been a Big F*ing Deal for everyone in our family is putting it lightly. This move literally rocked our collective worlds. We took our kids out of the only community they’ve ever known and turned their lives completely upside down.
Do I regret it?
Not in the least. We love our new home (only took 3 months for our house to sell and another month until we could move into the house we finally found). We adore our new town. The kids have taken to homeschooling like ducks to water.
But I am Ex.Haus.Ted. Mentally and physically. And not just because of the move. Also, because while all of this has been happening, my mother has been steadily losing more and more of herself to dementia and more and more of her body to metastatic breast cancer. (Yes, for those following along at home, I went from dealing with my father being terminally ill to my mother being terminally ill and on the other side of the world.)
All that to say, there’s always a lot going on in my head.
And where does that leave me? Other than making mental lists about what to get at the store? It leaves me hungering for more. Something more than the endless mental litany. Something greater than the endless grief and stress.
I keep trying to launch new things, explore new avenues, but the mental drain makes it feel like I’m walking uphill through sludge.
Life, man. It’s just hard.
But life is also amazing and rewarding. And I’ve decided to challenge myself to embrace the journey instead of waiting for things to get easier. Because we all know now that they won’t. Another situation will come replace the current one as soon as it is resolved. Waiting hasn’t gotten me anywhere, so I might as well get a move on despite it all.
Some of you might have noticed that I haven’t blogged much here in the last year. It’s true, I’ve been busy writing here and here instead. But I’m coming back.
Full disclosure: things are going to be a little different around here. I think I’m mostly done writing posts about myself and my thoughts on life. Instead, I’m going to be posting recipes and Essential Oil DIY posts. If that’s not your thing, I totally get it. Feel free to unsubscribe. No feelings hurt. But if you like good food, stick around, it’s about to get tasty all up in here.
The new home that took 4 months to find.
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That’s when I first bought an essential oil. Considering the fact that the lice thing happened 5 years ago, I think I should get some serious kudos for resisting the lure until now.
Because, yes, I’m done resisting. As I said earlier, it all started with a book club meeting that was held at a friend’s house. When I walked in, book in hand, a full day’s stress and worries resting on my shoulders, a delightful smell greeted me. Five minutes later I realized that I was completely relaxed. I turned to my friend and raised a questioning eyebrow. She gestured to the diffuser quietly working on the kitchen counter.
It wasn’t until the next time we met at her house for another book club event that I finally started asking questions about what she was diffusing. With a bit of a glimmer in her eye, she told me and invited me to take a couple samples home. The samples wooed me. I spent much of my winter break researching essential oils, Young Living, and everything related to it.
You see, I’ve spent years thinking that essential oils are all about the smells and the act of believing in them. Basically, thinking that if you believe something enough, it’ll work to a certain extent. I’m not too proud to admit that I affectionately, possibly a little condescendingly, rolled my eyes at the friends who were all in.
But one of the samples that my friend sent me home with was Thieves, the Young Living blend designed to help keep the user healthy. C, my oldest, lives in fear of getting sick and was starting to ask for hand sanitizer to take to school with her. That’s a road I really didn’t want to go down, but I figured it couldn’t hurt for her to take a little Thieves to school.
Long story short, her sister and I caught a nasty bug flying to Chicago for Christmas. She, didn’t even get a sniffle. So I dove in.
And now I’m all in.
I’m loving learning about the different oils and their various properties. It’s fun to research healthy alternatives to things we currently use. I’m using Frankincense to try to reduce some nasty scars that are the result of a surgery I had a couple years ago. I’m diffusing some Stress Away at night to help M and I sleep better. I’m using Lemon to make the house smell fresh and clean and to boost my motivation in the morning. And, of course, I’m diffusing Thieves to keep this house as germ free as possible.
Oh, and clearly, I’m all over the business aspect of this. Because, have you met me? I love starting new businesses, especially when it’s about something I find fascinating and it gives me the opportunity to learn. And I’m SO getting a kick out all of the people who are reaching out to me via messenger or text to ask if I can recommend an oil or a blend for this or that.
Two years ago, still reeling from my father’s death and trying to put my life back together, I opted to give myself a break from choosing a single word to strive for during the year. That break stretched into the next year without me even noticing.
This year my word came to me as I was flying home from visiting my terminally ill mother. The trip to and from her house is pretty much endless. First you have to get to the airport. Then you take a first flight to somewhere in Europe. (My personal preference is to fly into Iceland. Because WOW is incredibly affordable.) Then you take a second flight to Paris. There you rent a car and drive the 2.5/3 hours to my mother’s house in the middle of nowhere France. It takes about a day and a half to go from door to door. The trip back is even worse because, thanks to the 9 hour time difference, you cram the whole trip into one simply endless day.
In short, all of that traveling leaves ample time for some deep, deep reflection. And watching a LOT of movies. Like a lot. Do you know how many movies you can watch in a 9 hour flight? It’s a lot.
So there I was, on my way home after spending a very peaceful five days with my mother and her husband, trying to pinpoint what had made that trip so much more pleasant than the last two I had taken to visit them. The location was the same. Her health was no better than it had been the last time I’d been to visit. If anything, it was way worse. Her mental decline over the last 6 months has been devastating, to say the least. I had no sisters or husband or kids to help buffer and distract from the illness that is rapidly stealing my mother away. And yet, I was flying home feeling oddly at peace.
In between movies, I came to a startling conclusion.
The difference? Intent.
I headed to France with the sole intent to spend a few quality moments with my mother. I didn’t go with the hope of fixing anything, or having a wonderful week, or even having deep meaningful conversations with anyone. Instead, I went with a totally open heart, intent on noticing the little good moments amongst the big sad scary stuff.
And I was rewarded. My mother and I spent long afternoons in the car, driving around neighboring towns. Her speech is confused and usually makes little to no sense, but I followed her instructions without worrying about the destination. Each day I was rewarded. One day she navigated me to a butcher. Another to a grocery store. The last to a yarn store because she had noticed me knitting the night before. We had a couple laughs and just enjoyed being together.
I didn’t try to hold on to the moments or control them. I just let myself enjoy them as had been my intent upon arrival.
As the miles between my mother and I stretched further and further apart, I thought about how I can’t actually control anything in my life. I can’t control other people’s health, my daughter’s anxiety, what jobs I get offered, or how my life generally flows. What I can control is the intention that I bring into situations.
I can be intentional about the jobs and invitations I accept or reject. I can be intentional about doing things that make me happy. And I can be intentional about how go into challenging situations.
For years I’ve needed to just go with the flow and let the river of life take me where it wanted to meander. I’m excited to see how bringing a little intent to the mix changes things for me this year.
Did you get everything you wanted this holiday season?