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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Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowl

If I had to pick a cold favorite thing to eat, this would be it. I can literally taste it right now as I look at the picture. The green smoothie, my own granola, and topped with some fruit. Triple yum. Sometimes I throw on a small handful of mini chocolate chips too, because chocolate… 

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Bean Dip with Creamy Cilantro Sauce {Vegan}

Bean Dip with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

When I create, I’m fulfilled. When I experiment, whether or not I fail, I’m fulfilled. When I inspire others to create, I’m fulfilled. It’s not always about the outcome and as the quote on my mantle says, “happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” (from Margaret Lee Runbeck) My… 

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Taco Tornadoes {Vegan}

Taco Tornados

We’ve been on holiday this week. A spring break holiday. We decided to kick it off with a lovely celebration of lice. Yes, lice. It’s Monday morning, I’m snuggling with my 7-year-old, then remembered he’d really been itching his head. So that, along with a classroom outbreak, got me out of bed rather quickly. After… 

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Chocolate Bark with Apricots

chocolate bark with apricots

I just had my favorite moment of the whole day. I was tucking in my sweet 2 year old. (“Right now I’m two, but on my birthday I’ll be three,” I’m constantly informed.) He wrapped his little arm around my neck and held on, wanting me to stay with him. I love age two. I… 

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Chickpea Salad with Dill, Celery, & Sunflower Seeds

Chickpea Salad with Dill & Sunflower Seeds

  I’ve learned a couple things the past couple weeks. Okay, maybe month: If you feel like you are in a good life rhythm, don’t buy a dog. If you do adopt a dog, be willing to say it’s too much. It’s okay to cry, even if the kids don’t, when you give the dog… 

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Healthy Fast Food

Fast 3 ingredient Salad - Carrot Bowl

Sometimes it’s about keeping it simple. I love to experiment with new recipes, sometimes taking several hours happily being busy in the kitchen. I enjoy having my kids cook with me, which always brings a little bit more mess, but also more positive vibes. Their voices surrounding me make me feel important and loved. Today… 

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