April 2-first week?

I kept procrastinating…didn’t feel like uploading pics, then was busy, then was VERY tired…then having tons of fun…I attempt to catch up…

April 2… Weather was less than pleasant this morning and kind of threw off my day.
Nothing special food wise…
Breakfast: bowl of red curry veggies, 2 pieces of bacon
Lunch: big bowl of brussels/broccoli salad, bowl of curry
Dinner: ugh, I’ve forgotten. I really need to type it up after every meal or take a pic.
RUN: 1mi, 9:34.

April 3: early morning into Denver. I forgot to eat breakfast and used the last of my coffee. I was so worried about getting my stuff together, making bone broth for my travel mug, and getting out the door…I was very ‘off’. I even took salad out of the fridge and left it on the counter. Sigh.
image“lunch”: stopped at Mmmm…Paleo for a coffee. Saw they had several Whole30 compliant options and picked up a meat stuff, bacon wrapped date. DELICIOUS. I never would have thought of this. Cheese stuffed, almond stuffed, bacon wrapped…yes. Meat? Never crossed my mind. It was great to have a safe option while I was out all day, since I failed to prepare. If you’re in Denver, I recommend stopping in!

turkey enchilada stuffed date wrapped in bacon...

turkey enchilada stuffed date wrapped in bacon…

imageDinner: RAVENOUS when I got home. Well, not ‘ravenous’, but I was crashing hard.
Big piece of salmon and salad. Sauteed that sucker in bacon grease and coconut oil and it was so good. Wish I had bought more. Oh well.
imageRUN: 7p, after dinner settled. I was so tired and hadn’t eaten enough, but I did it. Why bother to change out of your fuzzy house socks? No need!
1mi: 10:27

High fashion running

High fashion running

April 4: CF in the morning, then errands and dog park. Didn’t eat enough–again. Sigh.
We tried Skirted Heifer and it was great! What a good option after CF.
(grass fed beef, egg, jalapenos, avocado, etc)
imageRUN: 1mi: 10:51, even after a hard CF workout and being out all day!

April 5: BUSY FUN DAY!! <3
Garden of the Gods, then the dog park, then after a very quick stop at home to drop off the dogs and grab some veggies for me, we went to Pikes Peak. It was 2p-ish and getting late, but we could see the weather up there was so clear that we took advantage of it.
EXHAUSTING day.
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avocado, red pepper in lettuce. Gourmet, right?  (not shown: brisket)

avocado, red pepper in lettuce. Gourmet, right?
(not shown: brisket)

K's first time up Pikes!

K’s first time up Pikes!

April 6: Today wasn’t great. I was really feeling my dehydration and under nutrition from the weekend. It really caught up to me. I felt really horrible all day. Still ate great though!

smoked chicken leg

smoked chicken leg

April 7: My appetite is really suppressed….not getting hungry until lunchtime.
B/L: BIG bowl of roasted veggies and a chicken leg.
red curry, 1/4 sweet potato
Dinner: broccoli brussels salad
imageI went to an REI Outdoors class: How to Hike 14ers. GREAT teacher (72 years young, climbed all CO’s 14ers TWICE, Denali, Kilamanjaro, Leadville & Hardrock 100, etc etc etc)
However, a Boy Scout Troop was there as part of their plan to hike Pikes in June. Well, these ‘boys’ were probably 13-14ish years old. They were more interested in texting and talking to each other than listening. I was LIVID. The instructor wasn’t a loud talker and didn’t have a mic (which was fine), but I couldn’t hear over their conversations. What made it worse was their leader didn’t make them shut up! I wanted to walk out so badly, but K said I really needed to go to the class as it did provide great tips and insight. Really ruined what should have been a great evening. Effing uncontrolled kids.

Guess I need more coffee. Now I’m in a bad mood thinking about last night!

In summary (if you’ve bothered to read this far):
Whole30 is going great! Haven’t felt the carb withdrawl, anger, ‘flu’, etc that I was expecting! GREAT news. Guess I wasn’t as far off the deep end as I thought (despite what my too-small clothes and scale says). And, we’re having tons of fun!

On a good note, here is a pic of the eclipse from near my house!

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Where I try to establish normalcy

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Entrance to the dog park. This place is HUGE.

Monday night (after I posted the last blog entry) I was so motivated! I was going to do the Incline the next day! I was going to shop for the Whole30 I want to start tomorrow! Debating a month-long run streak (1mi minimum)…ALL THE THINGS! Then, *someone* (not me) left the bedroom door open and the dogs got restless and I was up many times with them coming and going. Then one dog was upset and kept nudging my arm, his pathetic head on the side of the bed, wanting me to let him up. Why was he upset and needy? Because the other dog was in HIS bed. Nevermind that we have no less than 4 dog beds and several dog blankets. ANYWAY…no Incline today. Maybe I’ll try a 1mi jog.

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Guard dog

March 31: 30min walk in dog park. Stayed for at least an hour and read a book. This place is HUGE! Real trails for walking and/or running. Hills. A big stream with rocks going the length of one side. The dogs (and I) love it.

April 1: HERE WE GO! Walk in dog park.
Breakfast: 2 chicken drumsticks roasted w/Paleo Powder. Curry roasted cauliflower. Lunch: red curry (as I work on this post), roasted carrots, lots of hot tea

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Lunch2?: big bowl of broth, ‘ramen’ style, sweet potato noodles, veggies + herbs
Dinner: broccoli & brussels salad (delicious!) Note: I didn’t use any dried fruit, and didn’t have an orange either. Used 5tbsp of olive oil and extra lemon. Oh, and more bacon since this was my only dinner dish… Either this salad is that good, or brussels are growing on me. I think it’s a little of both!
imageI almost made a huge mistake, on day 1. I put honey in my tea travel mug to take to the dog park. Thankfully, I left it in the car. I’m glad I hadn’t even had any! I’ve been using it all week to help ward off any allergies in my new environment. Whew. Close call. Side note: the Yeti travel mug is AWESOME. It stays hot for HOURS. Sometimes too hot and I have to leave the lid off to let it cool off. But, seriously, keeps temperature all day.

Run: 1mi. 10:14 pace.¬†Starting at ZERO. Moderately hard pace, several hills. I had to walk a steep hill to catch my breath (didn’t bring my inhaler).

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Shitty phone pic does this view no justice. Storm rolling in over Pikes Peak, taken at the start of my 1mi run. Beat the storm!

I think I’ll end this post there. If I wasn’t clear, I’m doing another Whole30 AND a 30 day run streak: 1mi minimum. It’s not my plan, or intention, to run a huge amount of miles. Rather, get used to 1. working out every day, 2. get my lungs used to this altitude, and 3. try to get a *little* fitness during this acclimation time and Whole30.
I’ve races to do! And SOON!

Colorado first “real” week: This and That. And a killer climb.

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Visitor Welcome Center

I’m getting settled in our new home. I love, Love, LOVE it here. Sure, it’s not the big city, but it’s big enough and has everything we need. All the creature comforts: decent restaurants (even Thai and Vietnamese!), Whole Foods, REI, farmers markets, breweries, meat markets, you know, all the things yuppie/hipsters/people without kids need. My mantra all week was, “I can’t believe I live here!”
“Look at the mountains!”
“It’s so pretty, I can’t believe I live here!”
And on, and on, and on…

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The view in The Springs!

I have been here a week and have adjusted well, I think. Way better than when I was here looking for a place to live at the beginning of the month. I only had a headache for one day and I only had one morning where I woke up super-early. Otherwise, I’m sleeping to or past 6am. AWESOME.

Saturday I did my first “real” workout. I’d been here less than a week and K strongly advised against it. He wanted to go to Garden of the Gods for an easy jog/walk on their trails. But, when I found out a friend’s boyfriend was going to the Manitou Incline…I couldn’t resist. I knew it would be bad. Nothing about this was a good idea. I negotiated and told him that I’d only make it to the Bailout point (about 3/4 of the way up, where it crosses a trail). <– Check out that video!! I would go as slow as I needed to to make it safely there. I brought my inhaler and we agreed on that plan. He mostly waited for me, would climb ahead, then wait…I’d catch up and he’d ask if I was ok, then he’d go on and repeat. And repeat. Made it to the Bailout and only used my inhaler once. Felt ok since I was going slooooooow. I knew if I felt ok that I’d never quit at the Bailout. He was going to keep going, so of course I did too. And…I made it! Haha.

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Not dying.

I was one of the last to finish in our group, but I have to say I felt pretty great. Yes it was really hard, but I really took it easy since I didn’t know how my lungs and head would feel. So at the top we waited for almost 45min for the last guy in our group, took pictures, people watched….people do this in jeans and cowboy boots and flip flops….insane! Very much a mix of locals, people really training (like us), tourists, and families just on a stroll….a 1mile very uphill steep stairclimb stroll. Crazy.

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Group photo…Pikes Peak in the background.

The way down the Incline is a 4 mile jaunt down the Barr Trail. This trail goes all the way up to Pikes Peak. It was very groomed (and crowded), but it’s steep enough for an awesome run down. Walking is fine too, but we let it carry us and I ran the whole way down. SUCCESS! Sure, it was high (6500-8500 feet), but I felt great. I’m very pleased that I handled the whole day better than I thought. I’m on the upswing and it’ll only get better!

Sunday I went to the Denver Botanical Garden for the Cactus & Succulent sale with Bridget. It was a really nice break from unpacking and living in amongst boxes. I’m totally into these little plants right now and love that there are so many neat things to do here!

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My new project. Any succulent/cacti ideas?! Yes, that’s a desert alligator.

Back to the climb…since I felt like I handled the climb well, I told K Saturday night, “I think I’ll go back and do the Incline 2 more times this week!” *PAUSE* “Well, maybe I should see if I can walk tomorrow.”
Today is Monday and while I am pretty sore, it’s tolerable. Mostly my hips and lower back (bad form!). I’m really glad my quads and calves don’t have any feelings of soreness. I will probably wait until Tuesday-Thursday to go back. No need to push it.

I’m planning on trying out our CrossFit gym this week, and hopefully do the Incline at least once. Otherwise, I’ve been walking in our neighborhood and doing small active things without pushing too hard. Can’t wait to be 100% acclimated!

Even Whole Foods sells a version of “Bulletproof” coffee! So do the local cafes.
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Now, hopefully back to a regular blog schedule…

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Into the light!

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 8.30.30 AM
Pikes sunrise

…I see the light! In a good way. I haven’t had time to blog (isn’t that always the excuse?). Or I should say, “my life has been so crazy and stressful and changing, I had to set anything that wasn’t essential, aside.” So, blogging was one of those things.

What has happened since the last time I blogged? Gosh, when was that? Let me check…Jan 28. Bwahahahahahaha! Well, exactly a month after that blog, I was standing on a street in Colorado with full list of rental houses to check out. How did I get there?

Well, the last blog I wrote I as close to having peace and I could see the light. My husband had one offer in Virginia (at Quantico, DoD). An excellent job and offer, doing what he has studied and trained to do. An area we know well, were comfortable with, but not ideal (expensive, too far from the mountains/active lifestyle, but we’d make it work). He was thrilled about it…until Jan. when he progressed though the interview process with an opportunity in Colorado. We just didn’t think it would ever work out. Over 150 applicants, not gov’t related (what he had been focusing on), and when it seemed like he was a top contender, we didn’t think the offer would come close to the VA offer. Well, it did. And then some. The benefits were better, more stable work hours (not at the mercy of when units want to train), and COLORADO. All along I’ve told him that I would move wherever his job took him (within reason NEVER THE MIDWEST, my opinion did matter), as we moved to the New Orleans area for me. So, it’s his turn. I told him we could be happy at either location, but I have no shame in saying now that I pushed for CO. It’s more “us”. Way more us.

So, a week after he got an offer, he left Lake Placid, went to Ohio, came back to Nola. Less than a week after that we were on the road to CO.

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Cadillac Ranch. Finest TX has to offer.

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Found an old friend on our first day!

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Girl Scouts at the library. He couldn’t resist.

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Hotel takeout and House of Cards binge watching

I spent his first week of working desperately searching for a place to live…the rental market is insanely competitive! For instance, we found a charming little house and looked at it at 9:15am one morning. When we arrived, another couple was there (9am showing). We left that house to STAND IN LINE for an open house (for a rental!). Interviewed with the landlord. Put in application. Left there and went to the library and put in an application for first house. The next day we got a call that the 9am couple put in an application LESS THAN AN HOUR before us and they were approved. I did another interview with house 2, and we were one of the “top 3,” but didn’t get it. WTF.
Some highlights of our stressful week:

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Cozy mountain house: not bad for our first local dinner with friends.

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When there isn’t room in the freezer, apparently the porch is an acceptable option.

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Cute!

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Pickle bar?! Be still my heart.

We can pickle that!

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Neighborhood view.

On my last scheduled day there, I had all but given up and accepted the fact that we’d rent an apt for 3-6mo and buy a house. We had originally planned to live there for a year, then buy next spring/summer. I was leaving worried, not knowing when I’d be back. See, I didn’t want to move all our things and the children dogs until I knew we had a place to live!
I looked at the house, had a long interview with the landlord hanging out by the wood burning stove in the living room…paid her all the money, and immediately drove back to Denver since my flight was the next morning. Stopped at Whole Foods, rudely texted Bridget asking to celebrate that evening on no notice, picked up some fun things, picked up K from his conference, and went to her house. Oh, did I mention how awesome it is to have people I know that I can text and see within a couple hours?! FRIENDS! I’ve missed them!
In the end, everything worked out. I found something and I think it’s going to be great. It’s an old cottage (100 years) last remodeled in the 70’s-80’s. Haha. But the neighborhood seems great and our landlord is the bomb. Super cool and laid back, big time cyclist. She didn’t flinch when I said the 3rd bedroom would be the “bike room”. She replied “oh, any bike person is good in my book!” (I’m not the bike person, he is) We got along great and we both think we’re a ‘good fit’ and she felt that was important.

Some points I sent out in an email to my family (with some edits for privacy):

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IVYWILD. How will I not walk here every day for coffee? First world probs.

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The rest of the house may be outdated, but the working stove sealed the deal.

“We’re in the revitalizing Ivywild neighborhood. Ivywild is a huge, old school.¬† They have: a coffee shop, a bakery, a charcuterie, a farmers market, a bike shop (K is excited about that) and a brewery…all in the school. The old gym of the school is still used as a gym with workouts and movie nights.
The house is about 15min from Pikes Peak. That’s just one of the many hiking areas. So many mountains and trails are close and all the ski resorts are about 2 hours (with lesser known ones closer).

It’s less than 10min (about 7, parking to parking) to Garden of the Gods, a huge free park with 15miles of trails for walking and hiking. Great rock formations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_the_Gods

2.8 miles from 7 Falls, a waterfall park. It has some trails, but has tons of stairs to climb to the top of the falls.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33364-d276141-Reviews-Seven_Falls-Colorado_Springs_El_Paso_County_Colorado.html

Finally, Red Rocks is a park and amphitheater. It’s 4mi west near the Gods and Pikes peak. It’s open for hiking, climbing rocks, running in the amphitheater, when there aren’t concerts. Also free. ”

What I found out while browsing the web at the airport* to fly back to Nola, was that the best CrossFit & Weightlifting Club gym in the city is really close. REALLY close. Walkable, ride-able, maybe 5min in the car depending on stop lights? CLOSE.
* I do not recommend Googling something that has the potential to be VERY EXCITING, or you may end up not stepping on the airport escalator correctly, and falling down. In front of many people. I was that person.

SUCH a far cry from our life the past 2.5 years. Our gym was an hour away. Great restaurants and farmers markets and Whole Foods was 45min-1hr. All this stuff…just about walking distance now…AND running, riding or a short car ride to all the outdoor activities that were our priority (why we wanted to live on the West Side of town).

There you have it! We are THRILLED. I think I’ve found my place. And already, some people. (I’ve missed having friends close!) Or, at least my state. I’ve loved CO since I was a kid. I told K that he will have to drag me out, kicking and screaming. I’m ready to settle. I told him that I really don’t think I’ll want to leave CO, unless it was another western state like UT. Maybe.

imageNow, I’m back in the Dirrrty South, packing up our house. We’re I’m doing a POD move. Expensive, but we don’t have enough household goods to justify a moving company 18-wheeler (and more expensive), and a U-Haul is ridiculous, not reliable, and takes forever. Not to mention, I’m probably driving back to CO alone, and I wasn’t driving a U-Haul across TX and pull the car on a trailer. So stressful. Anyway, so far I’m a fan of the POD situation.

I’ll be back in CO soon, once the POD is picked up and I finalize my travel plans (can’t drive across TX and not see friends and sightsee!). I should be settled in the new house well before April 1, which has been my mental “life will be different and settled by then” date that I gave myself in Dec. So, it’s been a long several months, but totally happy with the way it’s all worked out.

Don’t expect another update for several weeks. I’ll just be realistic about that this time.

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Shouldn’t have gone to REI on our first day, and 3rd day, and 4th day…

Days 8-11

Getting close to having peace! I see the light at the end of the tunnel with our uncertainty and I’m so, so happy about it. There are still several ways things can go, and I prefer one way over another, but I’ve made peace with whatever happens. Hopefully just another 2 weeks of this juggling act. I was sleeping so well the last week, but last night I was back to tossing and turning and thinking “what if”. I’m mostly excited and just anxious. Need to turn it “off” at night until decisions are made. Easier said than done.

Day 8: Kettlebell: swings, snatch, squats (10min)

Day 9: some HIIT
Rounds: 5
60 battlerope (30 reps per arm)
10 KB snatch (5 each arm)
5 goblet squat
Extra: sledgehammering the tire, sideways

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Warm enough for shorts, but my feet were cold.

Day 10:
Tabata airdyne (4min), + 2min warmup, 1min cooldown.
Then, 5min AMRAP
10 T2B
15 pushups
5 jumping squats
2 3/4 rounds. My T2B sucks and the rusted pullup bar really hurt my hands.

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Unattractive, I know. You’re welcome.

imageDay 11 (Jan 29): Pre-log: 2 sets of stairs at the big building. 20 minutes. Maybe more at home later.
I’m taking my computer into to be serviced, again. Apparently them replacing most of the major components didn’t fix the issue. So, going to run the stairs after I drop it off. Won’t get it back until next week.

Until then…

I am loving this Beyonce cover for the Fifty Shades movie. (I did not read the book and will not see the movie, but it’s so good on the trailer so I downloaded it)
Also on repeat: Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars Uptown Funk and Hozier Take Me to Church. That video though, I cannot link it. I don’t know if I love it as much anymore after seeing the video, because now the song just might make me sad. Heartbreaking, but relevant.

I made eggs and bacon for dinner two nights ago. I got up to get pepper and when I came back, this was left on my plate. The dogs are thieves.

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At least they left me one piece of bacon.

 

Days 4-7.

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Top of the parking garage. Nice view before the shit I’m about to write.

Day 4 (Jan 22): Today sucked. Bad. On top of super-stressful and upsetting news in the morning, I took my dogs to the dog park in the afternoon to relax, and to walk. Well, my little guy, Ory, got ATTACKED by a big dog. Trying to kill him. I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t recall a time in my life I’ve actually FREAKED out, yelling, crying, and I couldn’t do anything to stop it….so upsetting and I’ve never felt so helpless. As I cried in my car-before driving home and after the asshole LEFT the park after yelling at me for not ‘helping’ getting his vicious dog off mine (which, btw, he put his hands INTO his dogs mouth to try to release his jaw…and got punctured)…anyway, he left without checking on my dog, me, or giving me his info to pay for the vet bill…I kept thinking to myself, “what is wrong with you, you held guys who had been blown up in Iraq and were strong as a rock, yet you completely LOSE YOUR SHIT in the dog park?” It was one of the most horrific experiences ever.
Absolutely shitty day and I made the decision to (safely) drive home and have some hard cider.
Walk: 20 min.

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One of his punctures. :(

Day 5 (Jan 23): Gosh. I am writing this 2 days later and I cannot remember what I did. I spent the day trying to recover from the day before…UGH. I need to blog every day. Maybe it’ll come back to me…
Treadmill: 40minutes! YES! I blogged and walked on the treadmill. Whew.

Day 6 (Jan 24): 40 min ‘hill’ training. 2 rounds of the stairs, and 2 rounds of the parking garages at the tallest building in the city (not that tall). It’s the only way to get this kind of cross-training since we live at sea level with no hills.
Felt it in my calves!

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Concrete stairwell sucks.

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Time for the parking garage…

Day 7 (Jan 25): Treadmill walk: 20min.
Kettlebell swings: 50
My calves are sore from the stairs!

End of week 1 thoughts: I didn’t do enough “real” workouts. Day 6 kicked my butt, and there is nothing wrong with walking most days, but I can step it up this coming week. I’m ok with it, I need to ease back into the routine.

After my hard stair run, I treated myself to a strawberry cortado. It was delicious.

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Why did I wait so long? What I’m LOVING!!

I’ve had my eye on an InstantPot since the beginning of 2014. At that time they were $200+ on Amazon and my CrockPot was being unreliable. For someone that makes bone broth almost every week, this was not acceptable. I couldn’t justify the InstantPot at that price and I needed a new slow cooker as well (and the one I wanted was very expensive…I do love my kitchen toys).
(No one reads my blog, I am not paid, I do not get any money from talking about things I like or products, and get no credit for linking things to Amazon. I’m just making it easier for you to look at them.)

Fast forward to November and my CrockPot lid handle broke. InstantPot went on Cyber Monday Lightning Deal! I WAS SO EXCITED. Here’s my chance. I still felt like I didn’t “need” it since the CrockPot lid handle is only $6 to replace… but I could get it then and hold off on a new slow cooker since it’s having other issues too. This version of the IP has been out a while now, and the price has consistently been closer to $100, which is much more reasonable!

MIND. BLOWING.

I was so excited for it that I took it with me on my holiday travels. I hauled it in the car all over the country (it’s very sturdy, I didn’t worry about it breaking) and made so much pho and bone broth over the holidays.

You guys (like 4 of you reading this). It makes amazing broth so fast. FAST. With less than half the amount of bones than I used in the slow cooker. I usually follow NomNom Paleo’s recipe, or some version of.
Broth:
InstantPot: 1.5lbs bones: 30min-2hrs (depending on type and how much of a hurry you’re in)
Slow Cooker: 3-6lbs of bones: 24-36 hours.
The 1.5lbs (up to 2ish, I just throw them in) makes THREE batches of bone both that gels. THREE. And those 3 batches are all done in less than 6 hours (3 if you only do it for 30-60min at a time). The slow cooker takes over 24hrs to get it to extract all the nutrients and gel, and if I try to run it a second time, there’s a good chance it won’t gel.

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Delicious meat jello! ALL THE NUTRIENTS!

Soups: 10 minutes! I use the broth as a base and throw in raw veggies and meat, and it’s done in 10 minutes or less! I made an amazing chicken soup and it took 8 minutes.

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Broth: 30min. Soup: 10min. Perfect for a sick day/week.

I wanted the pressure cooker to learn to make pho (sweet potato noodles for the paleo version) since the traditional stove-top is very unreasonable (18+ hours!) and for bone broths. Hard to justify an appliance just for broth, yes? Well, I’ve made pho 4 times in the past month and I lost count how many batches of broth.

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Just the pho made the pot worth it.

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Last night I made a hatch chile stew and K said, “I really think you’ve already gotten your money’s worth out of that thing.” Pretty sure he’s right. I don’t know how, and why, I lived without it.
These don’t look great, but 1. it’s good and 2. these are going in the freezer.image

I didn’t feel like firing up the oven to roast some sweet potatoes, so I thought “I’ll try them in the IP while I chop veggies for my salad.” Well, 8 minutes later, perfectly soft sweet potatoes and no mess! Since 1/2c water goes in the bottom and the potatoes sit on the provided steam rack, there was no mess!
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Sounds insane and unbelievable, but it works and it’s safe.

Oh. And since it’s a 7-in-1 appliance, I don’t even need a slow cooker anymore. I’m throwing mine out and have no plans to replace it. Don’t be intimidated by all the buttons! If you can work a slow cooker, you can work this. Use the setting you need (I usually use “manual” and set the time) and that’s it! I can’t wait to try coconut milk yogurt!

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Hello, lover.

It really is everything people say it is. There are tons of recipes online and many bloggers post creative things they’re making (even canning vegetables!).

Workout! I wrote this while walking on the treadmill! Double-win.
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