Salivate over this picture while I tell you about the super-hero woman who raised the fisherman who caught this beautiful beast. My good friend Melissa lives in Colorado and this is her son, an avid flyfisher.
While Melissa doesn’t fish herself, she is a longtime FFC reader. She is a yoga master, big-time skier, and has conquered some mountain climbing treks that make me dizzy just hearing about them. She is an athlete, mom, wife, chick friend, nutritionist, blogger and all-around angel.
Over a year and a half ago when I announced my intent to train and compete in the Water Safari, Melissa chimed in with what was one of her first comments on FFC. I was blathering on in this post about doing a low carb diet, which she immediately refuted, citing it as an unsound strategy for my training. Boom, I promoted her to the official Team Nutritionist.
That’s just how we get things done around here. Little did I know she would become my Health Consigliore for a year!
Having never met or spoken before I was fascinated to learn her credentials and agog at her willingness to help. Melissa has a very successful blog called Gluten Free For Good with fabulous pictures, recipes and resources about gluten free and healthy eating.
After a detailed phone consultation she sent me a packet that I completed and then she followed up with a detailed analysis about my nutritional action plan.
The first thing she did was start me on a cleanse which I decribed in a post called Dawn Of A New Whey on the Chicken Fried Therapy blog. It was a drastic change to my diet for sure. After the three week cleanse, Melissa stuck by me for over a year, introducing me to things like chia seeds, hemp protein powder, bison burgers, flaxseed crackers, organic chicken apple sausage, quinoa, millet, kale, coconut water, and goat yogurt.
(Note: do not travel to the Bahamas with chia seeds and hemp protein powder in unmarked ziploc bags. That was a dicey day in customs.)
I wouldn’t say I have gone gluten-free for goooooood, but I am infinitely more conscious about what I eat and drink. I have all but excluded traditional diet sodas, refined sugar, wheat and gluten. (Except the past month of wedding and holiday celebrations which has been unabashed gluttony.) And I am strangely addicted to my chia-spinach-fruit smoothies. All in all I have lost 16 pounds since Melissa put me on that original cleanse. Not a ton. But my whole way of eating has changed completely.
I live in the gluten-free section of the grocery. There are so many options now, the pasta I serve is gluten free and it is delicious! They are making more and more gluten free choices everyday. Although knowing Melissa she would want us to eat foods that exist naturally as gluten free. She’s a funny purist like that. And one of those who practices what she preaches. She is funny, sweet, realistic and positive. She is a true Rocky Mountain Rockstar in my book.
I’d like to create a line of flies dedicated to Melissa with patterns such as The Ch-ch-ch-chia Pet Parachute Adams, The Hemp Protein Power Streamer, The Goat Kefir Caddis, and the Organic Buzzball.
While Melissa doesn’t really endorse supplements (she believes you should accomplish everything with real food and fish oil) this grasshopper is flying without a master now and I have discovered Maca Powder. Your welcome, ladies.
Melissa is a genuine goddess badass. She would send these amazing care packages throughout the year of training, along with sweet cards and notes of inspiration:
Melissa was with me 100% of the way from the day I announced my goal to race, all the way to the wall in Seadrift and the finish line. I am eternally grateful for the lasting influence she has made on my life! And to show my appreciation I am going to quit my wedding-holiday-newyear-bowlgame-backslide and get back to a healthier Melissa-endorsed eating regime pronto.
Viva la Chia!!!
(this warranted another showing)