it's been a while, it's been nutty

by caroline huffstetler

life's been a little nutty. 

nutty life moved kitchens.  we're now sharing space with our friends at MOJO cold brew in beverly, ma.   they make the most delicious cold brew & they're the most awesome people!

and I personally moved homes (and states).  nutty life HQ is split between massachusetts and vermont, two of my favorite states in the US. 

we also welcomed a new member to the nutty life family, erin olejnik, a fellow boston college graduate.  erin and i will be writing blog posts every week.  and we want to write about things that you want to hear about / learn about.  please tell us if you want recipes, life lessons, or have specific questions below.  we're kicking off today with a delicious recipe for strawberry vanilla frosting!

i also turned 30 & i know now more than ever that age is just a number.  i still get asked if i'm in high school (staying young thanks to all the cashew milk i've been drinking).  and in honor of my 30th birthday, i want to share 30 of my life lessons thus far.

  1. time flies.  i still feel (and some even say look) like i'm 16.  i remember high school as if it was yesterday.  the older i get, the faster the years pass.  and that scares the cr*p out of me! they say time flies when you're having fun, so i must just be having more fun each year?!
  2. life is short.  you never know when your time will come.  i've lost people i love & i've seen friends and family lose people they love.  some people leave this world way too young.  and some are luckier & live a long and fulfilled life.  i personally came close to a sudden death.  that moment taught me that life is too short to be doing something you hate in life.  it drove me to start nutty life & i am forever grateful for the experience, despite the months of panic attacks.
  3. stop stressing about looks.  i used to be obsessive about looking "perfect".  in my mind, i never got there.  i used to hide behind a mask of "being healthy".  in reality, i was far from it.  i would not touch anything with processed sugar because i didn't want to gain a pound and wanted to keep looking "perfect".  i walked around with constant anxiety.  now i follow the 90/10 rule.  i eat healthy 90 percent of the time & indulge 10% of the time.  i try not to eat processed sugar, but if i do, WHATEVER! stop stressing over the way you look.  you'll feel and look a lot better when you let yourself indulge every once in a while.
  4. exercise is not a chore.  if you don't like the exercise you are doing, stop doing it.  make it something fun that you enjoy! i used to go to the gym in college and spend a miserable hour on the elliptical listening to music.  all so i could look "perfect."  WOOF.  i wish i could tell my 20-year-old self to go for a hike and enjoy nature a little more.
  5. get outside. enjoy nature! go for a hike! smell the fresh air.
  6. healthy is a way of life.  i feel most alive when i eat healthy and exercise.  now, i'm healthy for the mental clarity it gives me, not for the way it makes me look.  
  7. eat simply.  we need more fruits and veggies in our lives.  vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters all need to eat more fruits and veggies from the earth.  there's too much processed food in our world. 
  8. counting calories is silly.  real food has real ingredients, fat, and calories.  listen to your body to know when it's full.  don't count calories to tell when it's full! real food will tell your body when it's full.  processed food will trick your body into thinking it isn't full.
  9. texting is the worst.  i used to get mad when people wouldn't text me back.  now i'm that person.  i hate texting.  i'd rather email or talk over the phone.  i currently have 29 unread text messages.  if i don't respond to you, i don't hate you.  i just hate texting.  call me! :)
  10. go to bed by 10pm going to bed early is cool.
  11. wake up by 6am.  waking up early is cool.
  12. listen to your body.  if you need a day to sleep in, do it! if you've been eating a bunch of crud and your body feels terrible, eat lots of veggies for the next week.  if you're burnt out, skip your exercise and skip going out.  give yourself some r&r. 
  13. smile.  stop walking around looking like you want to punch someone.  smile.  and don't think it's weird if someone smiles at you.  be friendly, people!
  14. say hello.  go beyond a smile & say hi.  some people will think you're a weirdo but most people will appreciate the friendliness.  and you'll feel better after the human connection too.
  15. be nice.  treat others better than you want to be treated.  give people a break sometimes.  you never know what they're going through.
  16. be nice but not too nice.  i tend to give people too many second and third and fourth chances.  i've now learned that once someone shows you who they are one-two-three times, that's who they are.  do yourself a favor and move on.  you will get over the friendship or relationship.  and you will be fine.
  17. let it go.  don't waste your precious energy clinging on to what was or what could have been.  let go of that old relationship.  don't waste your time replaying the mean things people have said or done.  let it go.  this lesson is definitely the hardest for me & something i actively work on every day.
  18. focus on the positive.  it's easy to remember the things that have hurt you deeply.  but try to focus on the positive things in your life.  i'm not saying to ignore the bad.  but don't let yourself get down in the dumps over the bad when there's so much good in your life.
  19. learn to say no.  learn your boundaries & say no to the things that fall outside of those boundaries.  saying no gets you closer to your yes.
  20. laugh at yourself.  if you do or say something dumb, laugh at yourself.  being so serious all the time is boring.
  21. simplify.  the more stuff i get rid of, the lighter i feel.  get rid of everything you don't use or need.  if you haven't used it in a year, it's not worth holding on to for using "some day". 
  22. take care of yourself first.  i used to think it was selfish to go to the gym and take care of yourself if there was something else that needed attention.  as i get older, i realize this time to yourself is vital so you can be there for others.  it's okay to be "selfish" sometimes.
  23. be your best self.  i am far from perfect but each day i strive to be my best self.  i set daily goals, both personal and business related.  and i try my best to reach those goals.  
  24. find your purpose.  spend every day exploring and figuring out your passions.  once you find them, share them with the world.  nutty life embodies everything i want to share with the world.  i want people to know that healthy food tastes good.  and that food should have simple and pure ingredients.  
  25. be authentic.  people can tell if there's passion and authenticity behind what you do.  you'll be more successful with authenticity.
  26. go with the flow.  if something isn't working, don't force it.  if something is working, go for it.  learn to listen to yourself, your gut, and the energy around you.
  27. travel.  if you have the time and money, travel.  even if you don't, travel.  see new places.  visit friends.  visit family.  explore the world.
  28. be grateful.  be grateful for everything in life that comes your way -- the good, the bad, and the ugly.  
  29. cherish your family.  your family can be blood relatives or a family of friends.  whatever your situation, cherish that special group of people that makes up your family.  these close bonds are so important in life.
  30. love.  love yourself & love those around you.  share your love with the world.  we need it.