Running a paleo restaurant.. a few confessions

It’s been an amazing journey. Where do I even start? What do you want to know? Here’s a few confessions from my end about how things are going.

The things I love: 

1. Our employees. They are absolutely awesome. I could not be luckier and happier with the team we have.  I never thought we would have such an amazing team who works together so well. They are goofy but also hard working. They learn every day. They take  so much initiative. They change things all the time. They are quickly becoming world class chefs, cooks and servers. They support each other and enjoy each other’s company.

2. Our customers.  They are just about the nicest, most enthusiastic, and most amazing people in Boulder. They warm my heart. And so do their kids. It’s so cool to see a kid get excited about a grain-free waffle because they had never had one in their life. And the stories  that they share are unbelievable. There’s a gal who comes for her waffle every morning. She used to go to get her Bakti Chai next door to Vic’s, so we ordered some Bakti chai just for her. Then there is the couple who comes virtually every other day. I love them. Then there is Wendy who comes daily for her kale seaweed salad. And there”s the gentleman with headphones who always orders the ice cream sandwich after his meal. 7 weeks in, we have lots of regulars.

3. Our food. It’s amazing. Every time I order something, it tastes like the most amazing thing I’ve ever had. I love our flavors. Warning: if you love bland stuff, you may not love our restaurant. Some has to do with the quality of protein and veggies we are getting – they are all fresh, organic, currently there’s a lot of local stuff that tastes amazing. And the spices! – I can’t rave enough about the Savory Spice Shop. I go there every now and then and get recommendations from Dan, the owner on the latest spice combinations he’s come up with and I usually love anything that he recommends.

4. The job. I get to walk around all day, talk to our customers, wash dishes, walk around all day instead of sitting at my computer.

The things that have been difficult 

1. Hiring. Finding the right people is perhaps the most difficult task. Figuring out who is going to be a great fit and what their intentions are is incredibly difficult. It requires experience in reading people that I don’t have yet.

2. The ups and downs. They are constant. And we have no idea if we will make it or not. We’ve been open for two months, one day we will be super busy and one day we will be super slow. We continually improve our dishes and flavor profiles, but we really have no idea what’s going to happen. Are we going to make it? I have no idea.

3. The long nights washing dishes. I would do anything to help my team when they are tired after a busy night shift. I will be there till 1 am washing dishes and scrubbing the floors. But even I sometimes go a little too far and hit a wall and get so tired I literally fall into a coma the minute I lay down to sleep.

I’m excited about what’s coming. I hope we make it, but if we don’t, this will always be the happiest time in my life.

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4 steps to better day planning and less stress

We spend a lot of time talking about nutrition, exercise, and almost never enough about what is most important to our health and happiness – a lifestyle free of stress.

I should know. I’m starting a restaurant, which is what I would consider the most stressful profession where multitasking is inevitable. On a typical day I’m pulled out of bed by an early call from my architect, followed by responding to urgent email from one of the government agencies asking me for proof of something, taking a call from a lender, then sending an e-mail to my landlord wanting a proof of insurance, and it goes on and on. Somehow in this initial morning hour of reacting to multiple people, often at once, I manage to get showered and dressed, eat a couple boiled eggs and down a cup or two of coffee or green tea (depending how serious I am at that point about paleo).

Nope, this is not a good way to manage stress. You know it, and I know it. And unless we actively manage what happens in our day, other people will manage our day for us, and we both will go to bed stressed out, without any time for the things that really matter – - – playing, spending time with friends and spouse, exercising, reading (or listening to) books, meeting with mentors, volunteering in the community, going to social events, or anything else. I don’t know about you, but if I’m not careful I could spend all day just putting out fires, and get so stressed out that all the paleo in the world won’t be enough to help me.

And when I die, what’s going to be on my tombstone?

She was really organized and responsive to other people’s urgencies.

She was pretty good at putting out fires.

She was a good corporate employee who spent a lot of hours at the office. (This one is obsolete, my corporate job ended last week – hurray! But it was close.)

 

How about this one?

She was a good wife, sister, daughter,  friend, community leader, mentor, (even mom – nope, no children yet, and I need to manage my time/stress better if I want to start!)

Yes – we could all improve the way we handle stress and allocate our time.

This post is not meant to stress you out even more about whatever is getting neglected in your life, such as talking to your in-laws, volunteering, or building your rocket ship. This post is instead meant to help you take a step back, and look at how you are spending your time.

And maybe stop working so much, and justify spending more time with friends, playing outside on the trails or with your bike.

So where do we start? Simple.

Step 1. Identify your roles and what’s important to you.

You want to be a good mom/dad? Aunt? Friend? Coach? Boss? Coworker? Entrepreneur? Writer? Racecar driver?
Whatever the top 5 or 6 are, write them down in the order of importance.

If you want your tombstone to say ‘she was the most successful entrepreneur in Colorado’, then you are probably going to have to spend more than 1/2 hour a day learning those entrepreneurial skills. If you want it to say that you were the most attentive parent who listened to their kids a lot, then you better spend a bit of time each day doing it.

Step 2. Growth and learning equals happiness.

That’s right. Not a nice house, expensive car, not even an annual bonus. Growing and learning new things is what makes us happy. Whether that’s learning to salsa, training to deadlift 200 lbs, learning to be a good mentor, studying restaurant management books, reading Chris Kresser’s newest paleo book (The Personal Paleo Code – love love love love it). You just have to keep working on yourself, even if you don’t feel like it. So set aside some time for it, it’s an investment in yourself that will pay off in spades.

Step 3. Make your 24 hour pie.

Now that you have identified the roles you want to play and the importance of investing time into growth, let’s figure out how you implement it. Make your 24 hour pie.

So here goes my pie. For those of you who have kids, feel free to chime in. I’d love to know what a day of an ambitious parent looks like.

pie

Step 4. Follow the pie every day.

That means every day you have to take 5 minutes to plan before you start your day. And you will need a planner for that.

Low tech or high tech?

You can certainly go as high tech as you like. But I do prefer low tech planner. Something about actually writing things down instead of using Evernote, or any online calendar makes it stick better.

Besides, when planning, you won’t be distracted by your email or Facebook.  I recently printed a pretty great planner at goodlifeplanner.com, which has everything that I need. But by all means, do whatever works for you.

This means when it’s time to have fun, you won’t let anything else get in the way. When it’s time to exercise, you won’t use ‘lack of time’ as an excuse. With this intentional plan, you can throw yourself into what you do without the nagging fear that you are missing out on doing something important – this is your life, to own and live in the moment.

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Help us launch Boulder’s first 100% Paleo Restaurant: Blooming Beets!

Paleo friends – it’s up! Our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is up and running! We have raised $2565 in the first 3 days. We have a long way to go to open, and we can’t do this without you.

Watch video here

 

paleo restaurant Blooming Beets Kitchen

paleo restaurant Blooming Beets Kitchen

Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?

Here’s your chance to help something amazing happen. Put your money where your mouth isand support the launch of the most amazing restaurant you can imagine.

Check out our Indiegogo. 

Even better – contribute to our crowdfunding campaign and get some sweet limited time goodies like hip Blooming Beets swag and pre-paid meals.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-launch-a-boulder-paleo-restaurant-blooming-beets-kitchen/x/5068849

 

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The Two Ingredient Paleo Mini Pancake

paleo pancakes

paleo pancakes

I found this recipe on the facebook page post of a fitness model Ashley Horner. 2 ingredients – 1 banana and 2 eggs. That’s it. I was intrigued as I’ve been battling the perfect pancakes for quite some times.

Off topic but if you were wondering – yes, I have a fetish for checking out fitness models. I think we, women, do it more than we care to admit. I love admiring other women and the inspiration that comes from it. Ultimately any true motivation has to come from within, but looking at someone this fit points the brain in the right direction.

Back to the pancakes – you have to try them. Or wait for Blooming Beets Kitchen, the first Boulder paleo restaurant, to open, I’ll make them for you.

Let’s cook them up!

Ingredients – for 1 person batch

The two ingredient pancakes

  1. 1 banana
  2. 2 eggs

Optional: the 3 ingredient topping – inspired by Mark Sisson’s recipe in Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings and Toppings

  1. 7 medium strawberries
  2. 4 tbs of  melted pastured or grass fed butter
  3. optional sweetener: 1/3 banana or a 1/2 tbs of maple syrrup or honey

1. Mix the eggs and the banana in a blender

2. fry small pancakes (the smaller the easier it is to flip them) on a skillet preheated on low-medium with generous amount of coconut oil. Flip them when bronze and cook on the other side.

3. Prepare the topping: melt butter and mix with strawberries and sweetener in a blender. Pour over pancakes.

That’s it! It doesn’t get any more simple than this.

Enjoy!

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Want to avoid cancer? Detox your cleaning cabinet (and your bloodstream)

Recently I started a series on how to detoxify your personal hygiene and beauty products and included a couple good recipes for home-made toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioning treatment, and other products.

Today I’m focusing on the monster underneath your kitchen sink. Let’s face it, nobody wants nasty counter tops or dirty floors, but is it worth breathing in the chemicals found in most commercial cleaners? News flash: toxins are bad for you. Ok, you and I both already know we shouldn’t go around huffing laundry soap, but the health effects are actually much worse than I originally thought. Not only are indoor environments on average 2 – 5 times more toxic than the outdoors, but the toxins we rely on to keep things sparkly-fresh can actually cause cancer: “The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization have concluded that 80% of all cancers are attributed to environmental rather than genetic factors, including exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, many of which are found in household cleaning products.” (source)

 Alright, alright, I know you get it by now and I’m tired of hitting the horse.

Here’s the point: there’s a better way. Detoxifying your cleaning supply cabinet can be just as rewarding as cleaning up your diet and beauty products, and in fact it’s much easier, and carries no risk of a bad hair day. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. The recipes that I included here work just as well as the commercial goops, and the all-natural cleaning supplies you’ll learn to make are economical, easy to put together, and most importantly, don’t harm your health and the environment.

So let’s get down and dirty with our soap factory! 

We’ll start with 5 basic cleaning supplies. I collected recipes around the web and included links below.

  1. laundry detergent
  2. dishwasher soap
  3. manual dish soap
  4. all purpose spray cleaner
  5. Glass cleaner

Step 1: get your ingredients (I recommend you order it all at once on Amazon, but you can probably find them all at your local department store as well if you are lucky)

  1.  1x 20 Mule Team Borax
  2. 1x Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
  3. 1x Citric Acid
  4. 1x Kosher Salt
  5. 4x Fels Naptha bar
  6. 1x Vinegar
  7. 1x Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap
  8. Essential oils – variety pack (this seems to be a good deal)

Optional – you can use old containers you have at home: 

  1. 2x storage containers for dry powder
  2. 1x soap dispenser
  3. 2x spray bottle

Step 2: print out the chart, and cook it up all at once. Keep the chart at hand in the kitchen for when you run out!

(to print, click on the chart below, it will open in a new tab, then print using the landscape layout setting)

paleo cleaning supplies

paleo cleaning

 

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BeautyFlip series: Paleo Deep Conditioner

paleo conditioner

paleo conditioner

In my recent post on Paleo beauty products I outlined why I’m trying to remove all toxins from my life and substitute with natural ingredients.

Today I’m going to cover an all-natural alternative to a deep conditioner. Making your own conditioner can sound intimidating, after all nobody wants a bad hair day. But this conditioner actually works well, even for frizzy hair. The best part about this conditioner is that it is relatively cheap to make, and all natural (the ingredients list looks more like a fruit salad than a chemistry lab).

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BeautyFlip Series: Transition From Chemicals to All-natural Paleo Cosmetics

In avoiding cancer, going non-toxic with your hygiene and cosmetics is the logical next step after you have gone non-toxic and wholesome with your food. But many of us women find transitioning away from commercial beauty products a heck a lot harder than transitioning away from fast food. Why is that?

Insecurity.

We want to be beautiful. We want to smell nice. We want to feel clean. For the past 29 years I have watched commercials convince me that Pantene or Loreal were the only solutions to beautiful hair, I was going to stink horribly without Secret, my teeth would turn unflattering colors without Colgate.

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