January 2017: Reset

My word for the month is “reset.” No better time than a new year to get back to a previous state.
While a lot of people were calling 2016 “the worst,” it was mostly very good to me: I began the year with a Caribbean beach vacation, got engaged, got asked to be in my brother’s wedding and got married. I joined two book clubs that have connected me with great women reading powerful books, got accepted to volunteer at Louie’s rescue organization and figured out more who I am and what I want in life.

After a great long start, the finally two months brought events that put me in a funk: My candidate lost the presidential election, which shocked me, and after a great Thanksgiving with close family, we suddenly lost one of those people 15 days later. This person lived a full life staying true to himself and giving to other people and organizations. Both events put me in a funk and reminded me I need to look outward, build stronger relationships, give to others and stand for what I believe.

Reset my food, attitude and expectations

And, although I’ve been working out more regularly recently, I feel like my health has gone off track. So this week I’m going through three days of cleaner eating. I hesitate to call it a cleanse. My neighbor suggested it’s a reset, and I like that. It’s filled with detoxifying foods and cuts out coffee and alcohol. I’ve never done anything like this and have had daily coffee for 20 years, so stay tuned on how it goes. The easiest way to watch is to follow my Instagram stories at @KaleAndAle.

So I’ve decided this month will be about resetting–my system, my attitude, my actions. And that starts right away. As spoofed after the election on Saturday Night Live, I need to get out of the bubble. Only this wasn’t funny, since it hot so close to home and wasn’t a parody.

What actions or attributes are you focusing on in the new month or year?

Redefining Perfect

Woman place | Kale and Ale

Recently spotted at Mad Modern furniture. It took all my will not to buy it.

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist, but I do set a lot of personal goals for myself. I love to see growth and character building through new adventures and accomplishments. Yet I find myself constantly redefining what success means, and it feels it’s been tested a lot this year.

Some might read this post as an excuse for not tending to my blog as I would like. To me, this post is about the importance of personal health and discovering the healthy balance in life.

I know I can be pretty Type A and wound tight. I love marking things off a robust to-do list. Yet I’m reminding myself a little more forcefully and often that crossing things out on a slip of paper isn’t the end goal. Living in the moment is. And often that means that times when I want to finish a blog post, I leave my computer off and focus on friends, family and myself.

It helps that I have a strong support system, can more easily and often see my family, am working Monday to Friday during the day for the first job in my life. Not everything is perfect or how I would choose it to be, but that’s life. And I’m accepting it more every day.

Kitchen dry out | Kale and Ale

My kitchen last week. Only difference now is the loud, hot blowers and driers aren’t there. Neither is the kitchen sink (still).

All aspects of life have been busy this year, and something has to give. Even this past week or so (when my first unplanned house issue with plumbing and water damage has come up) I’ve been asking myself what is the bare minimum that needs to he done today, and the blog certainly doesn’t fit in there. This year has been busy at work and the summer doesn’t look to slow down.

People have said I handle pressure well. My many years as a front page designer for a daily paper that can have a lot of crazy stories has taught me that to meet deadlines and move forward, I can only work with what I have in the present time. Sometimes that’s bare minimum, and I have to figure out what that is. But stressing about it isn’t productive. I take one thing at a time, and can’t control the rest.

While I use this blog to better myself and express myself to others, it will be on the backburner this summer as I rediscover myself.

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Note: While I’m in a good place mentally, I need time to not be so stressed out and focus on the non-blog items in my life right now. However, if you yourself feel overwhelmed, sad or worse, please seek help. MentalHealth.gov is one resource.


2015 In Review: Fitness

2015 year in review: Fitness | Kale and Ale

This is the second in a series featuring highlights from 2015. Today I take a look at activities and trips I’ve enjoyed this year. Monday we discussed food and Friday looks at drinks I’ve had and made this year. Share your highlights of each topic in the comments below!


This spring I bought a used bike when my old bike (and I mean old–its the only bike I’ve had since middle school) was damaged beyond repair. This hybrid bike serves my needs and then some, taking me on nice summer bike rides and getting me to and from beer events nearby. I love living near bike paths and having another alternative to a car.


This year I took up hiking, in preparation for my summer trip to the Grand Canyon and Zion national parks! I have wanted to visit Zion for a while and go somewhere new, so when Aaron and I were looking for a trip we could fly direct from the Twin Cities and do something different, we decided to go to Vegas and visit the parks, making a big loop.

But first, we had to break in our hiking shoes, so this summer we went to state parks around the Twin Cities, hiking in the morning and stopping at a brewery or winery after. I hope to do more of this in the spring/summer of 2016, as it’s a great day trip and way to explore Minnesota. See write-ups of various day trips.

Back to Zion and Grand Canyon: the trip was amazing. There are no words, so I’ll leave a slideshow right here.

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I only ran one race this year-something I need to change in 2016. The race was fun and unique: a trail run using nature as its obstacle course. It coincided with Oktoberfest, so at the end runners were rewarded with, as you can guess, a beer! Read more about my adventure running the Timber Trek.

Timber Trek end | KaleAndAle.com

A muddy, wet and hay filled mess. It was fun.

As I said, I hope to partake in more races next year. I don’t have the group who runs events here like I do in South Florida, but I want to push myself at a fun event. I think I’m going to run a Spartan Race [note: affiliate link] in 2016, specifically probably the short event in Minnesota next June. Who’s with me!?!? Seriously! To prep, I plan to do some weight training this winter.

If you want to run with me in June or another race in 2016, Spartan Race is giving away a free event to one reader of Kale and Ale! And even if you don’t win the giveaway below, there are deals going on now.


Giveaway: Now closed

Spartan Race is giving one reader of Kale and Ale entry to a 2016 Spartan Race in the continental U.S., valued between $75 and $225, depending on the style and length of the race. The giveaway is good for open heats only, which is a non-confirmed start time.

You must be 18 or older to enter. The contest starts at midnight Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, and runs until the end of Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, Central U.S. time. Winner will be picked at random via Rafflecopter. Learn more about Spartan Races [affiliate link] including styles, location and what to expect.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A fresh start to 2014

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone is having a great day/year so far and starting it off on the right foot. I planned to start my day with a run, but the weather refused to cooperate, going between hard rain, drizzle and overcast breeziness looking like it could rain again all day.

Rainy day in the Sunshine State to start 2014.

Rainy day in the Sunshine State to start 2014.

Instead, I opted for a juice/smoothie (not quiet a smoothie but thicker than a juice) of frozen watermelon, cucumber, chia and flax seeds and water. It was really good. Other than that, I’ve been snacking on heirloom tomatoes from my CSA.

Heirloom tomatoes from my CSA.

Heirloom tomatoes from my CSA.

This whole holiday season has been a blur and felt the least like a holiday time of any of them, but I’m looking ahead to 2014. The past few years I have posted resolutions on my blog, but this year I will just need more time to think about them and figure out what direction I’m headed.

What are your healthy living resolutions this year?

Friday links

Been a busy week, but found a few interesting things. My CSA returns Tuesday, so I’ll be back to posting more recipes. And I’ve just been eating and drinking anything pumpkin I can find. What foodstuff have you been loving recently?

Food pinners to follow now on Pinterest

Tons of smoothie tips, recipes and help. If you are into smoothies (me!) or want to give them a try, this is a great link to check out.

Cute series on a blog I enjoy: the best (type of food) you will ever have.

Coffee drinkers by industry (media, no surprise, is on the list)

Autumn food alert! 25 ways to enjoy winter squash. Yum.

The right drink for every wellness situation

A Nutella food truck is coming! But the closes it will get to South Florida is hitting Orlando October 30 – November 3.