Monday, April 23, 2012


For weeks I have been hearing a different sounding bird outside our office window late in the day. I thought it might be a hawk, but I wasn't positive. Yesterday I was outside taking sheets off the line and I saw what I thought was a white hawk with gray patches on its wings. Well, today I heard it again, so I grabbed a camera and headed outside. Low and behold, there were TWO white hawks in one of our aspen trees! They flew off one by one, but I could see one in a neighbor's tree, so I took a walk ... So glad I did because I was able to get these photos! I'll be keeping tabs on them now that I know what they sound like!

Added April 25, 2012 ... 
I have since discovered that these are White-Tailed Kites! Still in the hawk family, but a bit more compact. They love to eat mice and voles ... Who knew?!
More photos to follow!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

NUTRITION: Benefits of Eating Ginger

Here's another post from Walk with Walgreen's regarding one of my most favorite spices ... Ginger!

Did you know that ginger is not only a delicious addition to foods and desserts, but it's also great for your health? One of the most useful benefits of ginger is its ability to help soothe muscle aches and pains, a great thing when you are sore from a good, long walk! Daily consumption of ginger is great for those who regularly exercise, and many weightlifters rely on it to help with recovery after intense physical activity. 

The potent anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger have been known to help those who suffer from arthritis to manage their pain levels. Recent studies point to ginger as a possible inhibitor of cancer cells, while its germ-fighting qualities can help to stave off infections and lessen the severity of colds & flus.

Ginger is so packed with these health-promoting substances that you don't even have to use very much of it reap the benefits. For nausea or tummy troubles, you can make ginger tea by steeping a few slices of fresh ginger in hot water.  If the taste is too spicy, you can sweeten it up with a bit of honey. Alternately, a soothing ginger lemonade is delicious any time! Just add some freshly grated ginger to a mixture of ice water, lemon juice and your preferred sweetener. Arthritis patients have found relief by regularly consuming small amounts of ginger in cooked foods, such as sliced up with some mixed vegetables and made into a stir-fry dish. The more ginger you eat, the more noticeable the results will be.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

PHOTOGRAPHY: New Images Added

Please feel free to  check out my photos under Photography. I still have a lot to go through and add, so please check back often.
Happy viewing!

Friday, April 20, 2012

RECIPE: Lemon Bar Cake (Not Paleo)

Okay, so we are hosting a gathering of divers in July, so I'm trying out recipes well in advance. I know, I know ... Just a wee bit ahead of myself, aren't I? Well, I'm like that! I've already made several decisions and we haven't even decided on the date yet! I LOVE to entertain, and I'm told I throw a helluva party, so we shall see! Either way, I'll be blogging as I try recipes. I'm all about simple, flavorful, WOW recipes!
So, my first attempt is for a quick and easy dessert. Granted, it's not Paleo, but I figured one or two dishes to satiate sugar cravings might not be such a bad idea. Well, it just doesn't get any easier that this recipe, I assure you! After all, how can you top TWO ingredients???
1 Box Angel Food Cake Mix
1 can Lemon Pie Filling (15 ounce)
Powdered Sugar for dusting
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter a 9X13 pan.
3. Mix angel food cake mix and lemon pie filling together, but don't over-mix them.
4. Pour batter into pan, spreading evenly, then bake for 20 - 30 minutes depending on your oven. 25 minutes was perfect in my oven.
5. Let cool completely. If you'd like, sprinkle a little powdered sugar on it while it's cooling. 
6. Cut. Serve. Enjoy!


I noticed an advertisement for Paleo Pax on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I'd give it a try. For a set amount you get a shipment each month with new products enclosed. The price ranges from $20.00 per month when purchasing by the month or less, if you agree to monthly deliveries for extended periods of time.
My first box arrived today. It was the smallest USPS box which is suitable for paperback books, DVDs, and VHS tapes. There were five samples inside, along with cards describing the products.
I have only tried one item so far, but I will list them all now and edit this entry as I try each one. I'm going to give you my honest opinion of each item.
The first one I tried was the Primal Pacs Sample. (See below)
The package is marked "Beef" and is said to contain dried fruit, raw nuts, grass fed jerky, no preservatives, no dairy, no grains, and no gluten. A normal serving is one package, but contents of this package was clearly a sample sized serving, so the nutritional information would not be correct for the sample.
440 calories
26 grams protein
37 grams fat
14 grams carbs
110 grams net weight
This sample was extremely flavorful and left my mouth watering for more. I'd definitely eat this again! I tasted beef, mangoes, cranberries and macadamia nuts seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper, along with their "Other secret spices" ... Nice job, guys!

The other items included were:
Mrs. May's Naturals "Mango"
Willamette Valley Fruit Snack Bar "Marionberry"
Paleo Treats Rations for the Driven "Cookie Mac Attack!"
Green Tara Spirulina Crunchies

Stay tuned to find out what I think of these!

Monday, April 16, 2012

NUTRITION: Quest Protein Bars

I keep noticing advertisements for  Quest Protein Bars  popping up on my blog, so I decided to check them out. I discovered that there is a Vitamin Shoppe in our town that carries them, but they are so popular they seem to always be backordered! So, I asked the to put my name on the list and please call me when they get some in. As I expected, while we were sitting in the airport waiting to board the plane to Switzerland, they called! So, I told them where I was and that I'd be stopping in when we returned. I expected they's be out of stock again, but luckily there were a couple left, so I grabbed them! I got Cinnamon Roll and Chocolate Brownie. They are both VERY good!

Here's a link to their website: Quest Protein Bar

I have only had one Cinnamon Roll and a few bites of a Chocolate Brownie bar, but I am totally hooked! I cannot wait to buy some of the other flavors and give them a try, too! I'll be keeping one or two in my purse, and always taking them on trips for those times when it's hard to find a healthy Paleo snack!

Below you will find their current flavors and nutritional information.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

NUTRITION: Benefits of Olives

I am a big fan of olives ... Green olives, black olives, kalamata olives, olive oil ... I love them all. Here is an article I am reprinting from

Green or ripe, olives are a delightful little fruit that was once considered sacred. The Greeks considered it a symbol of goodness and nobility. Even today the branches of the olive tree are a symbol of peace. Although the tree was first grown around the Mediterranean, it is now cultivated in subtropical areas in the United States, Latin America, and the Mediterranean.

Health Benefits: The juice of the olive, otherwise known as olive oil, is a delicious source of antioxidants. This oil is monounsaturated, and it has a positive effect on the cholesterol level in our blood streams. Monounsaturated fats are not considered “essential”, but they should be an important part of our diets. These oils act to keep cholesterol from sticking to our artery walls. Not only that, but they help to control blood sugar, a big plus in a controlled carbohydrate diet. After all, when the blood sugar is under control, so is the insulin. And, insulin is a huge factor in our bodies’ storing food as fat.

Olives contain substances that are believed to help us to ward off cancer, polyphenols. Polyphenols give the olive its taste and aroma. One of the polyphenols found in olives is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory.

Choosing olive oil: When you’re shopping for olive oil, always purchase oil that has been cold-pressed. The label could also say “expeller-pressed.” Heat processing destroys the better properties of oil. Extra-virgin olive oil is probably the healthiest. It is the “first pressed” and has a lovely flavor. Extra-virgin is the lowest in acidity and is the purest. Virgin oil also has a nice taste, but the acidity is higher than in extra-virgin oil. “Normal” olive oil is not as pure and has been refined, a process which can remove the benefits of the extra-virgin oils. Olive oil is stable and does not turn rancid as easily as seed oils, but it is best not to buy it in huge quantities. Try to purchase no more than can be used in a month.

Not all olive oils taste the same. The quality and the flavor vary widely from one grower to another. It is much like wine in this respect. The climate, weather, and soil can affect the oils. Some are spicy, some nutty, and others are very mild. The color also can vary from yellow to green. This color variation has to do with the time of harvest rather than the quality of the oil. Olives can be stored for up to two years unopened. After opening, olives in brine can be refrigerated for several weeks in a non-metal container. Dry-cured olives can be kept safely for a very long time in the refrigerator.

Olive oil is easy to digest. Because it is monounsaturated, your body can handle it with ease. Enjoy it on vegetables or whole-grain bread. It’s also nice for saute-ing, but be sure not to heat it to the point of smoking. Use the lowest heat possible to produce the results you want.


Mission Olives – also known as the common black olive. They get their color and flavor from lye curing and oxygenation.

Spanish Olives – often stuffed with foods such as pimentos, almonds, and onions. These olives are picked young, soaked in lye, then fermented in a brine solution for six to twelve months. Then, they are packed in a weak brine when bottled.

Kalamata Olives – also known as Greek olives, one of the more popular ripe olives which are imported to the U.S.

Nicoise Olives – French olives, also a ripe olive imported to the U.S.

Both kalamata and nicoise olives can be cured in a variety of ways, either in bulk, bottled or canned. These can also be found dry-cured, a process of drying them by packing the olives in salt. Normally, they are then rubbed with olive oil and often packed with herbs. Olives cured in this manner have an intense flavor and are delightful for snacking, as well as for imparting a lovely flavor to your recipes.

EXERCISE: Walking? Wear a Pedometer!

Again, I am reprinting this from Walk with Walgreens. 

Omron® The Partner You Can Count On

You’d be surprised by how many steps you already take each day; a few hundred walking to the bus, another couple hundred going down the block for lunch, and with an Omron Pedometer you’ll know just how many steps you’re taking and begin looking for ways to see that number get bigger every day.

A Few Steps Toward a Healthier Life

Walking is a great way to stay healthy. In fact, walking 10,000 steps a day is widely recommended by health and fitness professionals, and when you track your steps with a pedometer, like the Omron HJ-112, studies show you’re likely to increase your total number of steps a day by 2,000 or 1 miles*

Getting Started

Warm Up First:
before your walk, stretch (arm circles, hip circles, and leg lifts to get your blood flowing and reduce the risk of injury.

Use a Pedometer:
You can count on Omron pedometers to accurately track your daily routine and help you reach your recommended 10,000 daily steps.

Set Goals:
Begin slowly and work your way up. By setting goals you'll push yourself farther and achieve more. Try adding a half mile every other day to your daily steps, and then increase to a half mile daily.

Mix It Up:
Add variety to your routine by changing pace, walking up hill, or just changing your route.

Add Resistance:
Include some upper body exercises as you walk such as arm reaches or carrying water bottles in each hand to increase your calorie burn.

I bought the HJ-150 a couple of days ago ... at $19.99 at Walgreen's, how can you go wrong?

    The Pedometer With A Brain™
    Easy to UseWear on your hip to accurately track and measure your daily achievements. Advanced Technology with the Smart Sensor The Gosmart Hip Pedometer is more advanced than pedometers that use a pendulum design.  The Smart Sensor, the brain inside the GOsmart Hip Pedometer, knows exactly when you're taking a step.  It filters out non-walking movements so you know your step count is accurate.  Since it has no moving parts - there are no loud clicking sounds.
    The large screen displays:
    • Steps
    • 7-day memory
    • Clock
    It also automatically resets at midnight - so it's always ready to go for a walk
    • Pedometer
    • Battery installed
    • Instruction Manual
    This product contains a CR Type Coin Lithium Battery which contains Perchlorate Material - special handling may apply.
    Made in China
    Storage Conditions: -4°F min. - +140°F max.
    © 2008 Omron Healthcare, Inc.

NUTRITION: Are You Nuts About Nuts? You Should Be!

I am reposting this from  Walk with Walgreens ...
Many consider the mighty walnut to be more beneficial to your health than any other nut. According to Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, "A handful of walnuts contain almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut. But unfortunately, people don't eat a lot of them.” 
The quality antioxidants in Walnuts can protect the body from disease. Walnuts also provide the body with high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. And let’s not forget, they’re delicious! Drop some in your morning no-atmeal or yogurt, toss some in your salad, or bake some in a healthy fruit dessert. Walnuts make almost anything better.
nutsBased on the popularity of our post about walnuts, we wanted to continue the nutty discussion with Brazil nuts. Act like an Amazonian and grab a handful. They’re higher in calories than other nuts because of their fats, but they are also rich in vitamins, anti-oxidants, and minerals. A cup of brazil nuts can get you toward your daily recommended value of thiamin, vitamin e, calcium, magnesium, and selenium. 
Brazil nuts are also free from gluten, which makes them a popular ingredient in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas. And we can’t forget about brazil nut oil. It can be used in cooking as well, but also as massage oil, for aromatherapy, and even to make paints. 
We’ve already highlighted the health benefits of walnuts and Brazil nuts, so we thought we’d tackle almonds too. Almonds are like miracle nuts – they’re good for your entire body! They help with brain development, so kids should munch on a few every morning. Mono-saturated fat, protein and potassium contained in almonds are good for the heart.

Got dry skin? Put some almond oil on it. Almond milk is even added to some soaps to improve complexion. Almonds can also boost energy, help with weight loss, prevent constipation, and regulate blood pressure. You have every reason to grab a handful!

Friday, April 13, 2012

EXERCISE: Walk with Walgreens

I never used to watch Donald Trump's Apprentice shows, but Conrad had always been a fan, so I decided to give them a try a few years ago ... Now I'm hooked. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago the task was to create a presentation (including a box design) for Walgreens' new promotion: Walk with Walgreens. (They have teemed up with the  Magic Johnson Foundation  on this project.) The following day the boxes would appear on the shelves at Walgreen's, so I decided to go get a couple first thing that morning.
So, I trekked out to Walgreen's, handed over $6.00 for two boxes and away I went. Inside the boxes was a nifty Walgreen's drawstring backpack and an inexpensive pedometer. Once I got home I went online and registered. it takes maybe two minutes to fill everything out and check for the verification email. Super easy!
I immediately started wearing it an have racked up almost 100,000 steps in less than two weeks! Granted, several days were high-action days while touring Switzerland, but still, it's exercise! It's easy to log on every evening and add your steps, but I wasn't able to do that while we were gone. Luckily you can back-date entries, so I didn't lose any data.
I have since bought a more sophisticated pedometer that I put on every morning. It's a habit now, so it's pretty much second nature.

Anyone up for a challenge? Go to Walgreens' get a $3.00 box and join me! Add me as a friend ... I'm PaleoMermaid!

Here's a link to their website: Walk with Walgreens

Thursday, April 12, 2012

TRAVEL: Switzerland!

Conrad and I just returned from a fabulous trip to Switzerland. We were there from April 4 - 11, 2012.  mother lives there and celebrated her 90th birthday, so we booked flights and away we went! I am going to quickly weed through my photos and post them, so please bare with me. We ate traditional Swiss foods the entire time we were there, so don't be surprised if you see a few non-Paleo items. I have decided it's okay to vary my diet as long as I'm reasonable about it. Paleo is my lifestyle, but it IS okay to splurge once in a while. I have decided that I am going to add a category to my blog in honor of Conrad's heritage. Since he's at least 27 generation Swiss, it's the least I can do. =)

So ... Let me get to work digging through these 1600+ photos and I'll post them soon!