19 September 2014

Eat Like a Parisienne Work Out Like an American Part IV - The END! A Flashback Series with Updates.

POST SCRIPT - This is the final installment of my flashback posts for this series.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I hope you find yourself enjoying food more and motivated to stay (or get) fit and healthy.    This post contains affiliate links.  At the bottom I have image links of all my secret weapons that I have mentioned throughout this series.


It was never my intention to drag this series out...
but life does go on and mine has been very busy.

Not feeling my best the last couple weeks... and for our big sale I made and boxed over 600 macarons.
Today I don't care if I ever see another one again!

Been working out?
Been eating well?


Thank goodness it's Monday (oops, now Wednesday) - I love new beginnings.

Now we all have our own story to tell...
the reasons we do or do not work out.
The excuses, contrived or legitimate.

But since we don't live like our great grandparents, since we have a more leisurely life than any generation before us we've got to keep moving.

Here's my over-worded workout bio...
 I mentioned before I have worked out for the last eighteen years.  In high school I was so out of shape (even as a cheerleader!) I couldn't run a mile without my lungs feeling like they were on fire!  But soon after graduating I realized things were going to go downhill fast if I didn't stay in shape so I began doing step aerobics (which I LOVED!) and using small weights to tone my arms.  Soon after getting married I continued with my steppin' at the local women's gym and added weight machines.  I never got "buff" or anything but was able to maintain my weight pretty well.  Then a few years later I REALLY got into it thanks to some very fit friends -  I began running and soon got addicted.  Within 4 months I was up to 4 miles a day and with no kids and only a part time job I added roller blading and swimming to my routine.  Crazy!  I would run to the pool, swim a mile and then run home.  Then I got a "Total Gym" - you know, the old Chuck Norris/Christy Brinkely infomercial from days gone by.  Now that thing ROCKS!  It's fun and within five months I had serious biceps, tri's, strong abs and legs... it was awesome.  My work out schedule was decedent and self absorbed - I was working out two hours a day between the running, swimming and weights.   
Enter baby #1:
I worked out thru month seven with my first pregnancy (as sick as I was) and still packed on 42 pounds.  Six weeks after he was born I threw him in the stroller and we were off!  The weight MELTED off - I remember looking down in the shower at the newly emerging bones of my feet thinking, "Damn!  Those are sexy feet!"  
Baby #2
With baby number two I had gained some of that weight back (about 8 pounds) and was the heaviest I had ever been not pregnant so again, the minute she was six weeks old I threw together a playlist of pumping music, grabbed my old step from the basement  and did step aerobics in my bedroom while Aidan rode his plastic train up and down the hallway.  I can still remember my baby blubber belly in the mirror (you know how it's all squishy and weird after you give birth?!) hanging over my low cut shorts thinking - this is it.  It's never going away.  But that was February and by August I had lost fifty pounds and felt great.  I never gave up and often in the afternoon, once the weather was warm I would throw them in the stroller and hit the only hill in our area... I would chug up that hill and back down, ten times in a row, squeezing my a$$ the entire time, holding that belly in... believing it was going to make a difference.  Working out with two kids was worlds away from those days where I would run to the pool, swim and run home... When baby girl would cry I would do my step routine holding her (and you remember what a giant chunk she was - that was no easy feat!).  I never gave up.
Baby #3 
With baby number three I again gained a good amount, only 38 that time but instead of three months - it took seven to shed... yikes... I was getting older.  This was hard!  My wonderful mornings of walking were over - My oldest was too young to ride a bike and I didn't have a triple stroller - So I went back to step aerobics - one day I would do my routine with arms weights (small dumbbells) and the next day I would focus on the tush and legs.  I missed running so much but it was pretty clear after baby number one that aside from some sort of "pelvic floor miracle" it'd be better for me to keep up my long strides power walks and other forms of exercise.  I do miss pounding the pavement and envy my running girlfriends... I really would like to do a small triathlon someday... hopefully I can pick running up again...
With this last baby I gained the most ever - 50 pounds.  He is now 8 months old and I have only lost 48 of the pounds for my heart hasn't been in it the entire time.  But I am on a streak now with the great weather - it's time for baby showers, weddings, band in the park night... I can't hide in gardening clothes all summer!
My workout of choice thanks to my cousin who inspired me a couple years ago is Turbo Jam.  (Here).  In a word - I'm addicted.  I've been doing it super faithfully since January and you've got to know - it works.  My figure is really changing and it makes all the work worth it.  These days I don't have time to lift weights, do ab work AND cardio but with Turbo I get all three.  My favorite DVD is Cardio Party III.  The music ROCKS which is VERY important to me.  I've about maxed it out though, now using leg and arm weights and adjusting the routine to accommodate my super strong heart and lungs.  I am ready to upgrade to Turbo FIRE! 

(Update 2014: I have since had baby #5.  Gained 50 lbs.  It took 51 weeks to get rid of it.  I used T.F. again as my workouts with the occasional, and I mean occasional run.)

Working out works.
Dieting sucks - I don't recommend it.
But if you simply enjoy food without stuffing your face and keep working out your  figure is going to improve.
It has to.
Just keep going.

When you are working out,
suck in your abs,
stand up straight,
squeeze your tush,
be strong,
be conscious of what body part you are working on - no spaghetti body!

When you are done, reward yourself with a big glass of water and sit down to plan your next meal... dreaming of flavors, herbs, textures...

(Now watch this while I wrap this whole series up in a tidy little package) 

You'll miss days here and there...
which is why you have to eat like a Parisienne....
and then you'll get a burrito craving...
which is why you have to work out like an American....

You get it.

Stay strong, stay healthy and truly enjoy food.
Parisienne Farmgirl 


ALl images unless stamped ParisienneFarmgirl,  Google & Amazon

16 September 2014

doTerra Tuesdays -- Using Essential Oils for Pain & Inflammation

OK, this will be short.  I promise.

The other day I was working out.  Turbo Fire.  On the way down to the floor for a "burpee" (a sort of push up-jump-thing) my weighted hand glove came undone.  It totally distracted me and I came down to the floor awkwardly.  I was mad because it was a "fire drill" (sixty seconds of intense anaerobic cardio) and I was trying to rock it.

Hours later, my hand began to ache.  Furiously.  Like sprain meets sharp knife.  At ten in the evening hubby and I were on the couch visiting and I was in tears it hurt so bad.  I could not figure out how to hold my hand, I could not get comfortable.  "I'm going to bed",  I snarled.  Hubby wanted me to take Advil but I am TRYING to give my liver a bit of a break in efforts to correct my thyroid.  On my way upstairs I grabbed my essential oils book (here) to check for what I could do for inflammation.

I put two drops of Frankincense and two drops of Lavender on either side of my hand and went to bed.  Favoring my hand and hoping I could fall asleep.

At midnight I woke up to pee.


It's not that I am skeptical.  
I'm not. 
I just am leery of claiming that these oils are the be all end all.  But darned if they aren't turning out to be just that.  I am so impressed with this company and more impressed of the results I am experiencing and I want them for you too.

That's all.
I am truly blessed to have added these oils to the way I care for myself and my family.
I'd be happy to answer any questions...


Parisienne Farmgirl

11 September 2014

Eat Like a Parisienne Workout Like an American Part V -- A Flashback Series

Flashback post... One more coming in this Flashback Series!

Work out Like an American.

Une Americaine.

I'll catch you up real quick, if you are just joining us you should start at the beginning of this series... but the basic premise is that the Parisienne's eat very well and moderately but no matter how hard we try, we are not (alas) Parisienne's.  Good Lord, those poor souls don't have MEXICAN food at their fingertips like we do.... and we love us some Mexican food... which is why we have to work out like Americans.

You gotta work out.

What I do want to do is digress for a moment... cause weight can be a touchy subject.
What I want to make clear is that I'm not saying that everyone should look the same, that everyone should strive for some perfect figure and be miserable if they don't have it.

I hate that.
That is totally NOT my style.

You gotta stand up straight, chin high, straighten your shoulders and be who you are.
Don't apologize for yourself... especially with your posture.  If you want to loose weight - fine.
Do it.
If you don't - that's cool.
Our focus should be HEALTH not some ridiculous
standard set by a fourteen-year-old supermodel.

Though I have never been skinny and probably will never even be "thin" I do hate to carry extra weight.  It just makes things too difficult.  Getting dressed is a pain and I can't express myself with clothing the way I want to.  When the weight is gone I find that I am not trying to hide flaws, cram myself in Spanx...
It's so much for effortless to throw on a sheath and go.

Staying strong and healthy will only benefit us as we get older.
We are talking quality of life here.  Who wants to be 72 with a counter top full of high blood pressure meds and knees that can't make it up the stairs anymore???
Not I said the cat.
We can maintain a more youthful appearance by keeping up with our muscles... they give our bones something to lay on!

I heard once that for every pound we are overweight our heart has to pump like two extra miles of blood.  Could that be true?  Yikes!

I believe our bodies were made to work.
Made to be strong.
Our great-grandparents worked so much harder than we do.
They didn't spend hours commuting, watching T.V. or blogging!  
They contributed TO LIFE. 
They did not consume it.
They ate hearty foods and yet remained rather small.  Whenever I visit the Vintage Clothing Show I am astonished at how SMALL the turn of the century dresses are.   True, their bodies were conformed to corsets and possibly slightly malnourished for lack of dietary variety but overall they were very small.  Our lives are very sedentary as compared with our ancestors (and compared with our Parisienne sisters who walk just about everywhere) and many of us have a lifetime of meat and dairy consumption that has been pumped full of growth hormones.
But like I have said, we are products of our environment - we have to work out.

Working out not only creates muscle but it helps us manage our stress.  Speaking of our grandparents... I also heard the other day, that you and I experience the same amount of stress in sixty days that our grandparents experienced in 60-70 years OF LIFE!
That is positively frightening.  No wonder so many of us carry around that,
"Is life really supposed to be like this?" feeling.

Working out does wonders.
If you began (power) walking 45 minutes a day, every day did you know that without changing another thing you will most likely be 15 pounds thinner a year from now?

My work out journey has been full of variety.
I have been working out for eighteen years (my biggest gaps being 5 months during pregnancies) and I have had to change many things along the way to accommodate my life.  I've worked out for two hours a day some years and twenty minutes a day others... Alone pounding the pavement and alone with my thoughts or holding a baby who began to cry in the middle of my step routine.
There are no excuses that can not be creatively  "gotten around".
So, are you ready?  Are you ready to learn to love to work out?  Are you ready to get addicted to that endorphin rush?  Ready to breath that fresh air, or feel that pumping bass of the music pushing you on to continue?

The bottom line is you matter NOW.
Don't believe some sick lie that you will matter once you look a certain way.
 That is a lie from the pits of hell, encouraged by our celebrity and youth obsessed culture.  
Feeling like crap right now?  
Is your hair washed?
Are you sitting up straight?
Got your lip gloss on?
Have you breathed any fresh air today?
You matter now.
Why not begin to take care of your body?  
It's time to sweat!

Let's pick this up in a day or so!

10 September 2014

doTerra Tuesdays - Personal (Thyroid) Health Update

OK, so it's Thursday.  

I'm gonna try to keep it short.
Cause I'm pumped.
So I'll ramble on I know.

Got the call from Mr. Endocronologist-pants today.  (That's a thing with the kids and I.  We add "pants" to everyone's name.  It makes us laugh).


I'm not dying of thyroid cancer!  
I'm being funny of course, but then again...  The drama the ultrasound tech was laying on me had me in fits all weekend as I waited for the results.  She kept saying "it" as she was taking her fancy (pants) pictures.  Trying to get "it" (this black mass on the screen) from this angle and trying to get "it" from that angle.  Her and the other tech studied "it" and referred to "it" so hard core I thought I needed to go home and re-vamp my will!

What the bleep is IT?  
I am laying there thinking.

Then to top it off she says, as I am walking out the door, If you are really anxious you could call the doctor instead of waiting for them to call you.

Forget bedside manner.
How about bedside horror?

So, of course, I stalked them today until the doctor actually called me to say I have a 2mm cyst on my thyroid.  Too small to do anything with (I am assuming he means biopsy) and that I should check in with him in 3 months.

In between now and then I'm gonna natural medicine those
 2 mm's to kingdom come!!!

So, I am a happy camper.
One stresser off the list, sort of, for now.

Tomorrow I meet with a neurologist and I'll update accordingly.

But this post is about Essential Oils right?

Look, I am a born sales-girl at heart so I know I can come off like a Mac truck on a freeway.  You'll have to get over it - some things, like Jesus, are too good not to share! 

I've been taking these/using these oils faithfully for about two and a half weeks.  Maybe more like three.  And I haven't felt better in the last couple of years.

Here's what I am experiencing...

No doom and gloom feeling. 

No depression.  (I've really been struggling with this on and off the last couple years.)

WAY less hair loss.  (I have ALL WHITE floors and dark brown hair, so I know what's up.)

I am sleeping a bit better.  No perfectly, but better.  (I was waking up and not being able to fall back asleep.)

No grabbing, choking feeling around my neck (from swollen thyroid).

I've even lost 2 pounds ON ACCIDENT.  For the first time in my life.  ON ACCIDENT!  Could my thyroid be regulating itself better???

Hubby kissed me the other day and I thought, Hey - maybe we better take this party upstairs.  Seriously.  That's a miracle.  I was thinking I should start a new blog called, "Sister Angela" if you know what I mean.  That or become a sales rep for FRIGID-aire.

And a more recent thing - I ordered a few new oils last week as I am making over our (empty) medicine cab little by little.  I ordered the big-mammer-jammer.... Frankincense.  Frankincense has all this brain power mo-jo (watch video here).  I've been rubbing it at the base of my neck, right on my spine since Thursday past and I have had only TWO LITTLE MINI-TWITCHES.  (See previous post).  I mean, this twitching was getting so bad I actually checked with hubby to see if he knew seizure protocol and I made him promise not to scare the kids if it ever happens around them. 

(I have twitched as many times as 25 violent jerks in a row). 

Granted, I have been taking EXCELLENT care of myself but come on... this is a big deal for me.

Hubby is seeing GREAT results too which I will expound on another time.  We each are feeling really, really good and it's really refreshing.

I hate this expression,
"An overall sense of well-being"
But that's exactly how I feel. 

Dare I say... Perky!

I'm gonna keep at it.  I'm gonna keep learning more.  I'm gonna keep answering your questions as best I can (if it takes me awhile be patient - I got a TON of emails the last time.)  

In the meantime - what's bugging you?  
Unsightly moles or skin tags?  

If you've ever stepped foot into a Walgreens for ANYTHING then Essential Oils are for you.
You name it and I'll bet there's an oil for that.

Happy Health.
Parisienne Farmgirl

PS - I know I am working with Amazon now but please if you are going to buy, buy them thru my doTerra store as I can not guarantee the integrity of the product if you buy through Amazon.  There are stories of people diluting the oils and re-sealing the product.  

Here's your link to shop.  Remember -- getting your products at wholesale is just like buying a membership to Costco!  But it's cheaper and when you renew you get a free Peppermint Oil!!

04 September 2014

How to Ferment Vegetables - Simply.

The long hot days of summer demand that we eat light and they inspire us to hold on to what we can from our gardens for when the warm weather fades and cooler temperatures are on the horizon.  

Canning vegetables is in itself a noble skill for any cook to attain but there is more to be done to store our vegetables than cooking out so much of the nutrition.  Now don't get me wrong...  I love the art of canning.  I covet those homestead blogs with thousands of canned goods lined up in their root cellar.  But sometimes I don't want to mess with boiling water, timers and the like.  The grabbers, the heat, the vinegar.  The kitchen gets SO nasty when your canning all day.  By the time I am done I am a hot mess!!!

SOMEday I want one of those wonderful summer kitchens.  Sigh.

Fermented food contains bacteria the promotes intestinal health.  Plain and simple.  In fact, fermented food is some of the healthiest food you can feed your family and it’s about as easy as planting a seed in the ground and watching it grow!  Just about any vegetable from your garden will do though you will attain the best results with vegetables like cabbage, zucchini, carrots, onions, cucumbers, beets and chard stalks.

I make these jars for my family and they go absolutely nuts for them!  In fact, I have to hold some back or else I can't even get a few bites for myself.


You will need:
Some veggies.  Shredded.  Cut.  Stalks.  You choose.
Some jars.
Some filtered water.
Some salt.

No really.

It's that easy.

Specifically you will need 11/2 tablespoons of salt (this is the kind I use for it's fabulous mineral content) to 4 cups of water.  This is just the ratio I use but keep in mind you won't fill a quart jar with four cups of water.  

Mix it up so the salt dissolves.  And do this in another container as you will first pack the veggies in the jar and then pour the water over the top.  You can add dill, peppercorns, etc and use sliced zucchini to cap off your veggies.  You want to leave about 1-1 1/2 inch head space.  Put the lids on but don't tighten them all the way.

The veggies will start to release their sugars thus creating gas.  You want the lids just twisted on but not tightened.  You don't want them to explode from pressure!  I'm kidding.  But maybe I'm not.  Leave them on your counter out of direct sunlight.  Over the next 12 hours you will see bubbling and all sorts of jazz... you may even hear sounds!  The next day give the lids a little opening, you will hear the gasses release.  Leave them on your counter for 4-7 days, releasing pressure as needed.  Then enjoy them and/or store them in the fridge for up to nine months.

This is an awesome book on the subject...

And it's from French farmers. Fancy that.  

Happy gut.
Happy family.
Happy you.

The fermented veggie trifecta. 
Bon appetit.
Parisienne Farmgirl.

                   This post is part of the Barn Hop!  Join in!!!!

02 September 2014

Style File #1 - Rockin' The Middle Finger.

It's happened upon flattered occasion that I receive the sweetest emails asking me to write about my personal style.  I've always been hesitant aside from the occasional post --like who am I to write on style?... but as I am on pins and needles waiting for my September Vogue I thought,  Hey, why not?  And so....

Enter - the Style Files.

My excuse to talk style tips, fashion and pretend to have a clue.

Sounds fun - right?

Now, Let's talk about the middle finger.
No, not about the bird.
The middle finger.
On my right hand specifically.

Navy blue dress with side wrap detail.  Turquoise necklace and bracelet with favorite bright colored ring.
Selected for our Door County portraits by Ping Photography.

I luuuuuuuuuuuuuv to wear rings on my middle finger.

Big rings.

Yeap - while I suppose my clothing style leans a bit more classic my accessories style leans a bit more dramatic and nothing says drama to me personally like a
Chunky ring.

At this point, it's almost a hang up for me.  If I am dressed to leave the house and don't have a middle finger ring I feel naked.  

Like walking around without earrings.... quelle horreur.

Those darn rings make me feel confident.  
Corny, I know.

SOMETIMES I wear the ring on my right ring finger.  If it is a more feminine ring, like my Diana knock off it looks much more elegant on a ring finger but my big chunky ones definitely go on my middle finger. 

I'm almost just as neurotic about a bracelet on my right hand too.  But I don't have as many of those.  Just a few.  And they rock.

Drama isn't about being tacky. 

I abhor tacky.  

It's about being bold and knowing what works for oneself. 

To keep things tailored stick to ONE ring per hand.  

Let's continue with that... and these are just my personal "style rules":

One earring per ear.   And if you think cheap shoes will ruin an outfit so will cheap looking earrings.  If you want to look like you care - even on your "worst Mom day" then keep earrings in your ears.  Simple studs will suffice and a nice zirconia will brighten your entire look.  If hubby hasn't bought you the real deal yet (insert wishful sigh) you can get affordable sterling silver zirconia at T.J. Maxx, Target, even Amazon like these:

I stress that you wear a REAL metal in your ears if you are going to wear them daily as cheap, fake, jewelry is LOADED with HIGHLY toxic cadmium and lead.

If you must wear a nose ring (and I've got two cousins who this totally works for) then a simple stud is chic... but let's not walk around looking like a bull if you know what I mean.  Just my little ol' opinion. 

Bracelets?  Oh goodness.  I'll stack as many as I can, again, most of the time only on one hand.  Sometimes just one bracelet, sometimes different sizes and thicknesses like that lovely cluttered Chanel look...  Pearls, beads, gold and more pearls.

I've had some of my rings forever.  I've received rings as gifts and found the rest of them here and there over the years.  My big green one was on clearance at T.J.'s for $3!!!  I love it but wear it sparingly lest the cheap metal wear off.  I had one in my hands up in Door County for $296.  It was gorgeous, silver with some opaque stone I'd never heard of but I opted for my olive buckets instead... but darned if I can't stop thinking about that ring!  

So on that note let's shop!  I did a little scouring on Amazon and found these ranging from $5 to about $85. 
THIS ONE IS MY FAV!  I WANT this one!!!

Big rings tend to be big on color.  Instead of matching my clothes and accessories I'll often chose a complimentary color instead.  

Here's how you I might pair mine up:

Navy clothing - green or pale pink accessories or sometimes coral

Khaki clothing - navy, green, coral or metal accessories

Mustard/yellow clothing - navy accessories

Green clothing - navy/sapphire accessories

Pink clothing - iridescent or cream accessories

Black clothing - pearls, vintage black beads and red shoes for fun

Neutral clothing - don't be afraid to add color to a neutral colored outfit.  Sure you can go with accessories that are metallic or made of something naturally woven but a splash of color is fun and confident like my favorite necklace here or this sheath with peacock green suede pumps.

Lame photos I know... clothing is impossible to shoot!   But I've decided this is what I'll be wearing for Thanksgiving this year.  Calvin Klein hounds tooth sheath (thank you clearance aisle at T.J. Maxx) and peacock green suede heals.  Aw-yeah. 

And then pajamas for dessert time of course!!!

So, what's part of your "signature look" when you leave the house? - middle finger rings are definitely part of mine!