Dynamo: Kalina

Dynamo: Kalina

The Back Story

Kalina and I use to stay up late making armpit farts with straws. Although technically she’s my aunt, there’s only 2 years between us and I love the memory of her teaching me to dance to “Walk like an Egyptian.” She’s one of those people that builds up others. We all want friends that we feel safe with, that have our backs, that love us without feeling like they have to make excuses for us, and that look for the good, even when they might see the bad. Kalina is one of those people.

Maybe it’s Kalina’s story that has made her this way. Maybe it’s her world traveling. Maybe it’s her running. Maybe it’s just her gift to all of us and we’re being left better because of it. I’m so inspired by her and this Dynamo spotlight is revealing, raw, and witty all at the same time. She’s passionate about people.

Kalina’s story is part of Dynamo, a series of posts dedicated to showing real people, real power-houses, who inspire me and the people around them in their healthy living. They might not always think they do, but I believe that we each influence others more than we realize or recognize. That inspiration is empowering for others and themselves. I believe in the good of every person and I believe that this, other Dynamo stories, and stories to follow can change our outlook, our dedication, and our perception of the people around us. Up next in the Dynamo community, I introduce Dynamo: Kalina.

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Dynamo: Kalina

What is something you love about yourself?

I am so glad I was born with a sense of independence and adventure. Even from a young age, I printed out pictures of far-away cities where I wanted to live someday. At age 10 I read the now famed Hot Zone by Richard Preston and decided I wanted to work in a high-risk lab or studying Ebola in the tropics. Before then, I was convinced I would be an astronaut (and heartbroken when I learned astronauts had to have 20/20 vision – an innate quality I have never possessed). When I see trails, I want to run down them at full speed. When I hear about dangerous or challenging cities and countries, I want to explore them or work there. I am not afraid of being alone in the world, and I’m not afraid of being surrounded by total strangers. I always wonder what’s around the next curve and will usually put forth the effort to find out. As you can imagine, this has made some runs a bit longer than intended. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more and more moments when I feel absolute satisfaction with who I am and where I am in the world – and I’m always grateful for the qualities in me that have brought me here. I’m no dare devil, but there’s such value in being unafraid. My mother might disagree.

I have never been satisfied with the status quo – which is why I think running is such a great sport for me. You can always improve. Run another race, run faster, have more fun, run in a new city. There’s always another bend in the road, and for me, that’s the most exciting part…. 

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How to Make Almond Butter

How to Make Almond Butter

It’s the end of the week, so I guess it’s an appropriate time to make a food confession. I’ve already eaten way to many blueberry scones (that I was experimenting with yesterday, you’re going to love them) as well as some eggplant salsa dip. Top that off with putting pomegranate seeds on everything this week and I guess food confessions is really what a food blog is all about. Welcome to my world. I feel really blessed that I get to live somewhere that allows me to experiment with fruits and veggies like this.

For the real food confession…almond butter…. 

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5 Steps to Build a Home Gym You Love

How to Build a Home Gym You Love

1. Evaluate if a home gym is right for you.

::: It might be your thing to go to a public gym. There can be a lot of positive energy there and I get that. It’s fun working out with a group of people in classes and seeing others work hard can be inspiring. It might be the thing that gets you going and out of the house. If you say yes to all of these, a public gym might be a good fit for you.

:::But if you’re looking for something conveniently closer to home, you’re self motivated, and you are looking at long term price/hours spent, then a home gym could work for you too. Know that you aren’t going to have group classes, pool perks, or potential childcare. You will have flexibility, a constant visual reminder, and a literal incorporation of fitness in your daily lives…. 

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Healthy Chowder

Healthy Chowder - Dairy Free, Clams Optional

I feel so inspired. I feel like we have a great opportunity to choose who supports us and who we reach out to. We have a choice to be lifted by the words, actions, art, service, and lives of so many around us. There are always surprise people that say kind things and reach out… 

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Dynamo: Shengzhen

Dynamo: Shengzhen - Talking about Tai Chi

THE BACK STORY: Chinese Grandmas practicing Tai Chi has been an intriguing thing for me for quite some time. Since a neighbor had her baby, her mother has been here helping out and gracing our street with her Tai Chi. I love to know my neighbors, we have a great neighborhood and I feel comfortable with… 

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Build Your Own Wild Rice Salad

Wild Rice Salad

Things are changing around here, I can feel it. I’m paying more attention to the things I say yes to, knowing that when I say yes, I say no to something else. (Thanks to my friend Kristin for teaching me that.) I’m listening to my heart and filling my day with the things that fill… 

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Lettuce Turnip the Beet

Lettuce Turnip the Beet

This was one of those awesome times that I accidentally had the perfect shirt find. Don’t you love those?! This shirt is the perfect combo of fun, food, and a little sass. I love that my little guy knows what it says and tells lots of people whenever he wears it. Every time, people think it’s… 

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Dynamo: Sierra

Dynamo: Sierra

THE BACK STORY: I have friends who have secrets. They look all regular yet their hidden skills, when known, add so much depth and personality to them. It’s one of my favorite things to get to know these types of inner workings. We are layered beings, where the longer we mesh and the longer we… 

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Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte Bars

Cherry Chocolate Chip Bars

After running the Oregon Half Marathon two weeks ago, the watermelon at the end of the race tasted amazing. On top of that, they had a table full of snack-sized lara bars for everyone to take at will. I had several that I’d never tried before including: Sticky Bun and Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte Bars…. 

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