Aging Youthful Comfort Food: Beef Stew

Winter is fast approaching in Fairbanks and with the colder temperatures comes the desire for comfort food for this Minnesota transplant. Being a Minnesota girl, many a meal in my house growing up included Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup and a packet of Lipton Onion Soup mix. Throw in your favorite meat, add a few cut up carrots and potatoes and viola! you had a meal! Mom would make it really easy by throwing it all in a crock pot on low all day so dinner was ready when she got home from work.

Most Comfort Food Isn’t The Healthiest

Once I started my clean eating journey, comfort food that included most canned and packaged soups went by the wayside as most have many artificial ingredients I try to steer clear of. Earlier this week I did a Google search for a “clean stew recipe” and somehow came across this Paleo Hunter Stew from Paleo Grubs 100 Best Paleo Diet Recipes. I just HAD to click on the full recipe when it mentioned blueberries. YES, BLUEBERRIES in beef stew! I know right…who woulda thunk?

Comfort Food Paleo Hunter Stew

I’m going to give this a try this weekend and I’ll report back as to whether this really was comfort food after The Aging Youthful  Dude and I do a taste test. I’m keeping an open mind. I really am.

Comfort Food: Paleo Hunter Stew from Strange Kitty Cooks


  • 2lbs cubed beef
  • 2handfuls fresh blueberries
  • 2C baby carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Butter
  • Coconut oil for frying
  • Salt/pepper/oregano/garlic powder
  • 1 large onion, sliced in semicircles
  • Optional: Red wine and Worcestershire sauce

Click here for the full recipe

What recipes would you like to see featured here? Comfort food, quick meals, food prep, one pot meals? Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!


Gratitude Practice: A Beginner’s Guide To Getting Started

Have you heard others talk about practicing gratitude and don’t know where to start or do you feel like you have nothing to be grateful for because nothing seems to be going your way? I’m here to help you get started and give you a tool to realize there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for!

Gratitude Journal

How To Start a Gratitude Practice

Getting started is extremely simple; grab a pen and paper and write “I am so happy and grateful for” followed by something you ARE grateful for. When I first started, I bought a basic 99 cent spiral notebook and started writing one or two things a day. In the beginning I felt like it always had to be something big: perfect relationship with Mark, perfect health, world peace, etc. There were days I struggled to find something to write down, then I realized the little things were just as important; hot coffee in my favorite mug on a chilly morning, my dog or cat snuggled at my feet, or a quick hug from my honey, etc.

The More You Practice Gratitude, The Easier it Becomes

Just like starting anything new, it may seem hard at first, but it gets easier as time goes along. The more we are grateful for, the more we will have to BE grateful for. The following is a quote I heard at the first training event I went to for Isagenix and it changed my life: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at…change”. Let that sink in for a moment. A situation in our life might seem hopeless but if we can find a sliver of good, a silver lining, it can become hopeful. Again, it doesn’t have to be anything huge, just something.

One Step at a Time

Once you become consistent in your daily practice, take it up a notch by writing down things that you would LIKE to be grateful as well as the ones you already are. I always start by writing five or six things I am currently grateful for and follow it starting the next session with “I am so happy and grateful NOW THAT”…followed by a few things I’d like manifested into my life.

Be Consistent and Patient

Will more things to be grateful for show immediately in your life? Maybe, maybe not. One thing I have learned is to be consistent especially when things ARE going good. In the past I would write in my journal one day followed by a week off. Write a day or two, take two weeks off. As a result my results were, you guessed it, inconsistent. I would have times where I was consistent for weeks or months at a time and once things I had been asking for started to manifest, I’d get lazy and quit writing in my journal. As a result, you guessed it again, things would quit manifesting.

This year I made a goal to write in my journal every day and I am proud to say have only missed two or three days. The end of September is near and while everything I’ve asked for hasn’t manifested (yet) and I’m learning to be patient. On another hand, many things have come into my life! Will I stop asking for things I desire, no. I love setting my alarm for oh-dark-thirty (some mornings that means 4:00 am) so I’m not rushed in my writing and can enjoy a cup of coffee before getting ready for the day. If you are just getting started, don’t worry about getting up before the crack of dawn, just get started. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll have more to be grateful for.

We’d love to hear from you! Comment below or head on over to our Aging Youthful Facebook page and share what you are grateful for.

5 Steps to Remove Drama From Your Life

Don’t get me wrong, I love drama, as long as it’s in a movie I’m watching. In my personal life, I try to stay as far away from it I can. A few months back I created the graphic below in response to all the people on Facebook posting a LOT of drama on Facebook.

If drama follows you, maybe it's not following you after all. ~Mary Black I used to feel like drama was following me and guess what? I used to be one of the people saying to myself things like “why does this keep happening to me”, “there always seems to be a black cloud over my head”, and many other similar sentences. I can tell you, I was not always a lot of fun to be around; I was miserable and tired of things “happening” TO me.  I don’t remember the exact date, but I remember the day I told Mark, “I’m done with the pity party, I’m going to be grateful for what I have, I’m no longer focusing on what I don’t”. What do you think happened? You guessed it! Drama quit “following me”. While making that one decision was a pivotal point in my life, drama is all around in the world and keeping drama out of my life is a daily practice. Below are five steps I take to help keep drama out of my life.


Do you know what CNN stands for? Constantly Negative News. ABC; Always Broadcasting Crap. The easiest way to follow this step? Turn off the TV. Yes, turn it off. Stop watching the news, reality shows, docu-dramas, etc. If you can’t completely shut off the TV, limit the shows you watch to a couple favorites a week. We went 12 years without local TV or cable and we didn’t miss it. Mark and I have TV again, and wow, there is a LOT of created drama in the news, they make drama out of nothing and don’t even get me started on the reality shows.

5 Steps to Remove Drama From Your Life


Who are you following on social media? Just like TV, you have the power to turn off the drama posted, tweeted, snapped, Instagramed, etc. When the drama is coming from people I follow, I quit following and/or unfriend them. What to do if the drama queens or kings are family and they would create even MORE drama if you unfriended them? Unfollow them. Another way to have less drama in your newsfeed; quit liking, commenting and sharing controversial posts. It is really that simple. I have been criticized for doing the above, but I am unapologetic about what is in MY newsfeed and it has cut down on the drama even more than shutting off the TV.


Are you standing around the water cooler at work listening to or spreading gossip about another co-worker, complaining about your boss or bitching about _____________(fill in the blank). One word of advice: STOP. All the above does is create negative energy, aka DRAMA, and once again you have the power to walk away. If it is the thing to do it and makes you FEEL like you fit in with your co-workers, it’s time to look for a new position, job or place to work. My advice, walk away,  and head back to your desk and work. The result may be your co-workers start gossiping about you (guess what, if they were gossiping about another co-worker in his/her absence, they are already doing it in your absence). Unless you have a boss that encourages gossip, he or she will take notice of you working while the rest of the office is standing around the water cooler, and you might just get a promotion.


I guess this tip could almost fit in with #3, but I’ll gearing this toward your personal life. Late personal development guru Jim Rohn stated “you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with”. Let that sink in for a couple of moments. Are the people you hang out with loaded with drama? Over the last few years as I’ve tried to remove as much drama as possible, I’ve had to “bless and release” a fair share of people in many areas of my life. Some were people I followed on Facebook, others were friends and even some family. While I can’t completely shut out family members, I can choose to spend less time with them. A couple of years ago I had to let go of a couple of friends who live out of state. I first started by unfollowing them on social media, but it wasn’t enough as they could still see my posts. I finally decided to make what seems like harsh decision;  I unfriended them as I would get a pit in my stomach every time I received a notification they had commented on one of my posts.  By unfriending the offenders, I no longer cringe when I click on my notifications and enjoy an uplifting scroll through Facebook and my other social media channels.

Stop Creating Drama

Lastly and most importantly, Stop CREATING Drama

The best way to remove drama in your life is practice patience, empathy and understanding of others and in turn it stops creating it. Do you realize you are creating drama when a driver cuts you off and you get all worked up and you create a story of how much that person is a jerk, flipping them off, honking, etc. when in reality he may not have seen you? Do you get impatient with a cashier or the person ahead of you while waiting in line at the store and being a jerk when you check out? If you do, STOP. All you are doing is creating drama where there doesn’t have to be. You can also stop creating drama using all the steps above, when you choose to not participate.

Feel free to comment below on where you can practice more patience, empathy and understanding of others to have less drama in your life?

The Worst Parts About Aging and What You Can Do About It: Part II

I'm not ashamed to admit I use Just For Men

Aging Gracefully With (or Without) Hair

OK, I thought I’d expound on a couple of the topics about aging from my last post. First, let’s talk about this hair thing.  What the heck? Can you say “hair hair everywhere”, except where it’s supposed to be? The other day I pulled an inch long hair out of my nose!  GROSS!  A few years ago, I kept hearing funny noises in one ear. When I went to the doctor for a checkup, he found a hair growing out of my ear drum!  Yes, you read that right; out of my ear drum!  He plucked the hair, and all better.  Now at 55, I have hair growing out of my nose and my ears, and if I don’t keep it under “control”, my back looks like a bears, and I get a 5 o’clock shadow at like noon!

Mary gets to "manscape" my back tee heeI don’t like being a hairy mother, so I shave and trim. Yes, I “manscape”: I shave my arms, shoulders and chest, and if I don’t keep the hair on my back under control, it looks like a bear’s. Mary has started to trim my back, her favorite job (see photo. Editor’s note; second “favorite” job, keep reading).  I don’t care what anyone thinks, I think it looks better. And then, I think I am losing my hair at the top of my head and my hair line is starting to recede and I’m not the only one.  When we owned our gym back in Grand Marais, my eyes were opened to how much hair people lose. We would clean the bathrooms and showers sometimes twice a day, and there would be hair everywhere. Gross!!!

Hair Color Aging

This dude uses Just For Men Comb inAs we start getting older, there’s this grey/white stuff that starts to appear. I saw my first few grey hairs in my 20s, and every year there was more and more of the damn things! I quit growing my beard in the winter because it started coming in all white. One thing I have to say, I like Just For Men hair color and I like my look better now that I don’t have a ‘stache.  I shaved it off after one of our annual Isagenix conventions when I had some young guy ask if he could borrow my Tom Selleck mustache for an 80’s Party. Mary just might post a pic she found and shared on Facebook of me in our dog yard when I had LONG hair, a mullet, beard and mustache…a LOT of head hair. OK, enough about hair.

Gaining Muscle While Aging

As men get older it is harder to put on muscle. One of the reasons is after our 30’s, our bodies produce less testosterone. I would encourage all men in their 40’s to get their testosterone checked, it is as simple as getting a little blood drawn. If you don’t have the energy you once had, you’re losing your hair, you’re finding it harder to keep muscle, or things just ain’t what they use to be in the bedroom, get it checked.  I had mine checked and it was at like 275. Normal levels are 300 to 1200, so I was way low.  My doctor prescribed a testosterone shot once a week, and my level was up to 600 after a month. We are tweaking it a bit to get my levels up around 1000. Mary’s favorite job? Giving me a shot in the ass once a week (Editor’s note: I told you to “read on”).  There are gels and creams out there to use instead of the shot. I wanted the best bang for my buck,I did my research and found they are not as effective.

Yes, I take steroids. What I am doing, is called Testosterone replacement Therapy (TRT).  It is under doctor’s supervision, my vitals are checked often and it is very safe.  I will probably be getting a shot once a week for the rest of my life.  But wow, what a difference in the way I feel!

Sometimes You Need A Little Help

So guys, we are gonna have hair growing out of all kinds of places, disappearing from others and it’s ALL gonna be trying to turn white. You can see your hairdresser or pick up some Just For Men (editor’s note: get the comb in formula for a more natural look). To keep that youthful edge, be sure you are eating a healthy diet of whole foods, exercising including weight training, and you may have to visit or doctor about some TRT.

In Closing…

What causes a lot of this??  Well, I think the hair thing is just normal aging, although I could live without it growing out of my ears and nose. I believe the lower levels of testosterone (editor’s note; and other hormones such as thyroid) has a lot to do with the lack of nutrients in our food supply these days. That is food for thought for the next post from the Aging Youthful Dude. Cheers and keep movin’!