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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Running Mantras

running bridge

Running is hard work. But there’s something about getting up early before the day gets going that makes me really happy. It’s one of my favorite things to run when the birds are singing. When I wake up and they’ve long since started their conversations, I feel like I get to be a part of… 

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Fruit Flag

Fruit Flag

Independence has meant different things through my life. If my kids glean one thing from me, I hope it’s how to be independently strong, confident, and kind. I loved cooking in the kitchen by myself when I was younger. It made me feel knowledgable – little did I know that you don’t cook fish chopped up… 

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Coconut Strawberry Ice Cream \\ Vegan

Coconut Strawberry Banana Ice Cream - Vegan - via carrotbowl

I remember making ice cream in a wooden mixer that stood on the ground when I was a kid. It used rock salt packed around the mixer machine to help freeze the cream and took forever. It was so intriguing as a kid that we could actually make ice cream, however, it took so long… 

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Simple Salsa with Tomatillos

Simple Salsa

Homemade salsa is one of the things I crave. After I make it, I wonder why I didn’t make it sooner. Especially since it’s gone within two day of making it. This is a super simple salsa that will win you major crowd points and you’ll want to find excuses to put it on anything… 

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How to Make Healthier Pizza

Healthier Pizza

Pizza is not a common thing around our house, but sometimes it shows up. And although this looks dowsed in cheese, it’s not. This is how to make a healthier pizza. The cheese is only sprinkled on the very top – think of cheese as a spice rather than a main food. That will help… 

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Simple Hummus

Simple Hummus

I want to introduce you to one of my favorite things. Meet hummus. It wins the contest for one of the easiest and quickest things to make. With the end of school, this is a great quick snack that you can make all through summer with your kiddos. It’s a simple one for them to get involved in… 

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