PALEO GIRL

20140613-093024-34224680.jpgYou know You know what I love about vacations? You get to read a book with morning coffee. You can get your fingernails painted crazy colors with sparkles on top. And you use pool towels as tablecloths. But back to the book. Primal Blueprint Publishing recently sent me a copy of Paleo Girl to review. This vacation actually provided me the time to read it. And I loved it! If you’ve ever read The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, this book is like it’s younger sister. Mark created Grok. He’s the caveman in his book. Grokette is Leslie Klenke’s cave girl in Paleo Girl. While so many Paleo books I read are just cookbooks, Paleo Girl is a lifestyle book. It talks about exercise, puberty, sleep, playing and also provides a few recipes. It’s written very conversationally; your teenage daughter would even relate. Definitely a good book if you are contemplating starting a Paleo lifestyle but you’re not quite sure how to do that. This is a good and fun manual. It’s also a quick reference guide for things like workouts. Can’t remember the Paleo fitness essentials? Turn to page 58 for a refresher course that’s full of helpful pictures. But what caught my attention was the skin products. I’ve never tried Paleo skin products but I’m going to now. Want to join me? Let’s do it! I’m going to try the Coconut Milk All-Over Wash (page 240). Leslie says to combine 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2/3 cup Castile soap, 1 tsp preferred oil like vitamin E, olive, almond, coconut (I’m going to use olive, just because I already have it) and you can add 5 drops of an essential oil for fragrance. I’m skipping that. She says to shake your bottle of body wash before each use. The second thing I’m going to try is to use coconut oil as a moisturizer. That’s it. Just coconut oil. I’ll use this at night since I have to have a moisturizer with sunscreen in it for daytime. Soooo let’s all get our stuff this week and start using it on Sunday the 22nd. I’ll remind you on Facebook so be sure you are following me at www.facebook.com/ktvnwendydamonte  And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Paleo Girl by Leslie Klenke.  Go to this website for some pretty cool deals!! http://www.marksdailyapple.com/paleo-girl-book/#axzz34rAatzf0

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WHAT ALL MOMS REALLY WANT FOR MOTHER’S DAY

When my mom was alive, here’s how our Mother’s Day always went.  After a lovely home cooked brunch, we would go see a movie, grab a glass of wine afterwards, and meet our family at dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.  No presents.  No flowers.  Just time.  Time spent with one of my favorite people on the planet.  Munching on popcorn and hot tamales in the theatre.  Giving our best Siskel and Ebert review of the movie over a glass of Rombauer chardonnay.  Happily eating out because we didn’t have to cook… or clean!  It was always a day I looked forward to.  Not for the “thing” I might get.  But because of the intangible gift of time. When you lose THAT gift, you truly realize how precious it is.  So now that I’m a mom, time is all I want with my kids.  I wake them up early sometimes, just because I missed them overnight.  I sometimes deny their request for sleepovers simply  because I want them staying with me. I look forward to Darrin being out of town because the kids and I know this means we all sleep together in my big bed like a pile of puppies.  So like all of you moms reading this, I’m sure your request for Mother’s Day is the same as mine;  TIME.  NBA MVP Kevin Durant probably said it best:

MY ZOO JUST GOT BIGGER

I live in a zoo.  I guess ranch is more accurate, but it feels like a zoo.  Like a crazy zoo.  Like I’m the zoo keeper of a family of orangutans.  I can’t get control.  And it gets worse every year.  Allow me to explain.  We have a dog… who sneezed right as I snapped this picture.

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two cats… we inherited from my mom.

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a hamster… that was an 9 year old little girl’s birthday present.

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thousands of cows… which constantly need to be fed.  Literally, they eat before we do.

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Two 4-H pigs named Jerry and Henry.

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and now this.

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5 kittens and a mamma cat… that are incredibly difficult to take pictures of.

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See, my over-achieving daughter decided she wanted to foster kittens from the Nevada Humane Society.  She went to her first introduction get-together and while she was there, I was busily preparing for the 6:30 newscast. I got a call at about 6:22.  Here’s how the conversation went.  “Mom, they have 6 cats I can bring home tonight.”  “What?  I’m reading scripts and putting on mascara and trying to talk to you.  You said they have hats for you?” “No cats.” “Well ok, fine, I’m sure we can find people to hand out these hats to.  Bring them home.  No problem.”  “Um, ok mom, I’m doing it.  I’m bring home the cats.”  “Ya ya, sure, ok sweetie, love you, my mascara is going all over my face because I’m holding the phone with my cheek.  Love you see you tonight.”

DAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMIIIIIIIIIIITTTTT!  Not one hat did she bring home!  But instead 6 CATS!  So our zoo now has 5 two week old kittens and their mamma.  We are fostering them until they weigh 2 pounds.  Ok, these babies weigh 12 OUNCES!  We will have them for weeks!  This is a perfect lesson for me to stop multi-tasking.  Next thing I know, Eva will be calling me asking for the “keys” and I’ll say “no problem” thinking she wants “peas” for dinner!

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Fitbit

fitbit3I recently tested a Fitbit for Renown Regional Medical Center here in Reno.  Did I like it?  Sort of.  Here’s the blog post I wrote for them on their best medicine blog.  Sorry, you’ll have to copy and paste it into your url.

http://bestmedicinenews.org/perspectives/wendy-damonte-tests-out-the-fitbit-and-learns-a-lot/

 

 

Bartending for Breast Cancer

Did you hear??  I’m going to be a celebrity bartender.  Ok, that sentence is just down right funny to me.  Because 1) I don’t consider myself a celebrity.  And 2) I don’t know how to bartend.  The last time I was a “bartender” my friend Amy and I snuck behind the bar at our college hang-out called The Wall and gave  beers away to friends.  That was 1993.  But when someone calls and asks me to help in the battle against breast cancer, I have a hard time saying no.  Joe Kelly and David Hughes made that call.  So, on March 22nd, please come out to Pinocchio’s on South Virginia Street in Reno between 5-8pm.  All your tips will be donated to the Moms on the Run organization.  Can’t make it?  You can also donate on the Moms on the Run website (http://www.momsontherun.info/) … but please put WENDY’S TEAM in the comment section otherwise we won’t get credit for your donation.  And we are up against other bartending teams… one of which made $21,000 in one night!!!!  Did I mention we have auction items??  Moms on the Run is a non-profit organization that raises funds to assist northern Nevada women with everyday living expenses while in treatment for breast and gynecological cancers. THANK YOU!!!!!!

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PALEO BREAD

Here’s my complaint about eating Paleo.  There’s no delivery system.  The gurus of “eating like our ancestors” want us to eat meat, veggies and healthy fats.  Fine with me!  But there’s no delivery system to get them into my mouth.  Yes, yes I know.  I can make a great salad and pile it high 20140221-114222.jpgwith veggies and spinach and lean meat.  But this girl can only do so many salads… and trust me, I do a lot of them.  I need BREAD to deliver my turkey to my tongue.  I need RICE to dump my sizzling stir fry onto.  I need CRACKERS to dip into almond butter.  And guess what?  Bread, rice and crackers aren’t Paleo.  Yes, there are companies making Paleo options.  Sorry, I’ve tried them.  I can’t swallow them…. literally.  Well the other day, a miracle happened.  I was making dinner and I had some left over frozen spinach.  I also had some parmesan cheese out on the counter.  I looked at the two and thought, hey, I bet I could combine them and make a delivery system.  So here’s what I did.  I put a bunch of squeezed and thawed out spinach in a bowl.  Next, I dumped a good amount of parmesan cheese in the bowl (by the way, I follow Mark Sisson and he says I can eat Parmesan… so heck ya I do!).  I mixed it together and flattened it out into the shape of two tortillas.  First, I tried pan-frying one with some olive oil.  That didn’t work.  I put the other one on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cooked it at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.  And that worked PERFECTLY!  It came out just like parmesan crisps only slightly softer.  Next up?  I put a dollop of guacamole on it, some chicken breast and then folded it up. OMG.  Honestly, this is the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time.  I would honestly eat this sandwich over anything offered at Subway.

 

TEDx Talk

On January 24th, 2014, I gave the talk of my life.  It was at TEDx University of Nevada.  The talk informs women about the dangers of dense breast tissue, and more importantly, what you can do if you have it.  40% of women have dense breast tissue and you have the right and the need to know this information.  Please watch my talk and pass it on to people you know and love.  Without grassroots movements like this, women will stay in the dark about this hidden danger.  Thank you for being a part of my mission to save women’s lives.  The video below my TEDx talk is my Mom’s Story.  Please watch that as well… maybe with a glass of wine!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQPLMWuTlWQ

 

 

DENSE BREAST TISSUE ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Whole Foods Chocolates

Whole Foods Chocolates

Valentine’s Day is a day for chocolate, champagne and red roses.  Right?  Yes, well sort of!  This year, I would like it to be the year you give your loved one the gift of knowledge.  Knowledge that could save a life.  Knowledge about the dangers of dense breast tissue.  On January 24th, I gave a TEDx talk at the University of Nevada.  It was one of the proudest moments of my life.  So for this Valentine’s Day, I’m asking you to watch my talk, send it on to those you love and help me spread the message about dense breast tissue.  I was part of a day of knowledge at Microsoft Licensing in Reno recently and because of that day 2 women discovered they had breast cancer even though their mammograms showed NOTHING.  Women need to know their density.  Learn more by watching my talk.  Ok, I’m not a total Valentine’s Day buzz killer.  So here’s the deal!  Whole Foods now has some amazing chocolates.  They come in flavors like milk chocolate with cinnamon hazelnut cream, dark chocolate with caramel  and vanilla buttercream and milk chocolate with rich caramel.  An entire box of goodness is just 10 dollars!  But you can win one for free!!  Just watch my video and then make a comment or email me about how cancer has affected you.  I will pick the comment that means the most to me ON MONDAY in time for Whole Foods to get you your box of chocolates by Valentine’s day.  Good luck!!  (in case you can’t see my tedx talk below, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQPLMWuTlWQ

SUPER FUNNY VIDEO

I’m going to take you into my bedroom last night.  Hey!  Watch your dirty mind!  Ok, last night I got home from a friend’s awesome birthday party and crashed into bed around 10:45.  That’s late for me.  And really late for a Wednesday night.  Anyway, I’m falling down that blissful black hole toward REM when suddenly my husband says, “Hey, you have to watch this.”  “No, I’m sleeping.  My arm just twitched which means I actually am asleep.  So I’m sleep talking right now.”  “No, seriously, Wendy.  You have to watch this.”  Here’s something you may not know about my husband.  When he gets something in his head, there’s no stopping him.  After 13 years of marriage, I now know this.  So I begrudgingly rolled over and stared into his way-too-bright iPad.  I started watching an old episode of Family Feud.  By the time the video was over, I was laughing so hard I was crying.  My pillow was soaked with laughing tears.  This is so funny I had to share it with you.  Of course, I couldn’t get back to sleep until after 1am so I suggest watching this with your morning coffee.  It will be a great way to start your day!  Enjoy!

 

HOLIDAY DEPRESSION

Pretend I’m laying on a couch and you are sitting beside me with a pencil and notepad in your hands.  Yes, this is therapy.  And I’m going to spill my guts all over you.  I’m doing this because you probably suffer with the same thing I do.  I know this because I’ve had lots of conversations lately with people all complaining about the same thing as me.  Holiday depression. Ok, depression might be too strong a word.  Rut might be a better choice for you.  But whatever you’re feeling, you’re not alone.  I’m in the trenches with you.

I feel fat.  Yes, Wendy Damonte feels fat.  But what’s worse, I feel unmotivated to change it.  I’m eating like crap.  I’m drinking more than I typically do.  And all of these factors feed off each other making each individual problem worse.  And at the end of the day, there’s me;  a mopey, fat, unhappy slug who can’t change things.

Now… here’s what I think happens.  The holidays hit… and in my house, that means October 8th.  That’s my daughter’s birthday.  Somehow, she parlays that one day into a two-week ordeal. Always fun, always with lots of friends, parties and typically, with my family, lots of wine.  So now, it’s mid October and Halloween shows up.  Again, lots of pizza because we’re out late getting costumes, adding to costumes, tweaking costumes, etc.  Well hello November!  Now this is where I should suck it up and be as healthy as possible for at least the first two weeks of the month.  But the bad, unhealthy, fast food rut has already grabbed hold of me.  A nightly glass or two of wine is killing my morning motivation to work out.  And Thanksgiving is just 24 days away, so why try??  And then December hits and any chance of getting back to a normal, healthy routine flies out the window like Santa up a chimney.  At this point, I’m way too busy to even fit in a 30 minute workout.  My daily diet consists of grazing on the food table at work (yes, we have a food table at work that overflows with cookies, fudge, cake, See’s Candy… pretty much you name it… during December) and then eating whatever I can quickly throw together for dinner… think frozen lasagna!  And now, it’s the new year and I can’t move!

If I were to put all this into a cycle for you it would look like this:

We get busy… we eat like crap because we’re too busy to cook… we drink more because there are more parties… we start to feel fat… we wake up slightly hung over and that zaps all motivation to work out… we become depressed (get in a rut)… and once you’re depressed (in a rut)… this cycle repeats over and over again.  And eventually, we get sick… which is what I did on January 6th… the very day I was determined to stop the cycle.

20140109-163835.jpgSo you know what I did??  I went on a walk anyway!  I was hacking and coughing and wheezing the entire hour I was in the hills.  But you know what?  I wasn’t going to allow  myself to make an excuse.  Any excuse.  Even one coming from my phlegm laden lungs.  I had to start somewhere.  So instead of a run, I walked.   Instead of going for 2 hours, I went for one.  And you know what happened?  My body felt worse, but my soul felt much better!  I finally had an endorphin or two flowing through my body.  And you know what happened next?  I had a salad for lunch… and it tasted great!  By the time I got off work that night, I was exhausted because I was still fighting a virus, but I didn’t feel like a bowl of  pasta and a fishbowl of wine.  I ate lightly and went to bed.  And guess what?  The next day I woke up headache free.  I had motivation to fit in another quick workout (which I did on my windtrainer bike inside my house).  I’m laughing more.  My mood is lighter.  My depression is easing… in fact, it’s disappearing.  And it’s only been four days!  I’m now back on track.  So what’s your excuse?  Early morning meeting?  Go for a 10 minute walk if that’s all you can fit in.  You’re sick?  Reread the start of this paragraph… I don’t want to hear it!  You’ve got young kids at home? Figure out quick at-home workouts you can do.   (One of my favorite websites is www.marksdailyapple  Search that website for quick workouts!)  You’re too fat and out of shape to start?  You’re never too fat or unhealthy to try to make a chance.  Drink one less soda a day.  Eat donuts only once a month instead of weekly.  You have a leg injury?  Swim.  See, you can throw any excuse my way and I’ll come up with a healthy option.  Start today.  It doesn’t have to  be huge.  It has to be one step.