The past few nights I have woken with a start sometime around 3.00 am. I count sheep and focus on my breathing in hopes of returning to Neverland. I love sleeping because each and every night I have the most spectacular dreams. In fact, at times I am disappointed to wake up. It's true, my dreams are that great. So in the middle of last night I embarked upon my routine and nada. Commonly when I am unable to return to sleep, the hamster upstairs begins to race. I should keep a note pad next to my bed to capture what all is going on. When I do finally fall back asleep, dusk is usually peeking through the blinds and we are within a few minutes of Matthew's alarm going off. Murphy's Law always presides. 

I shouldn't be sleeping poorly because I have been off the booze, salt, sugar and dairy since Sunday. I am practicing hot yoga most mornings and taking long walks in the Carolina heat after 5.00 PM. After my walk, I supervise Matthew doing yard work and sometimes water my herbs. Regardless of why I am up at sparrow's fart and twiddling my thumbs in bed, interrupted sleep makes for a long day. Touch wood I like coffee. In fact correction, I love my coffee. There is no greater pleasure than waking up and batting a thousand until my cup of Joe. For me this involves pulling coconut oil followed by brushing my teeth, making the bed, throwing any random clothes in the hamper and then cranking up the Keurig. Perhaps I am drinking too much coffee, which accounts for the eyes wide awake scenario. Alas, there is too much to be learned in the world to give it greater thought.

Matthew's was keen as a lark to watch the ESPY's last night. Me? Not so much. After I made dinner I was pooped. Shocker as I had been up since 3.00. The first time I had ever heard of the awards program was when Matthew and I first started dating. He wanted to show me something on the tele. What followed was the 1993 Espy Award speech given by the great Jimmy V upon accepting the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. If you have not seen this remarkable speech, click here and watch. It is incredible. At the time of giving this speech, Jimmy V was fighting terminal cancer and gave his testimony about how to live. His words "don't give up…don't ever give up" still resonate today. I am especially fond of how he interrupted his speech when music was played cuing him to get off the stage with a simple hand gesture and an animated with "fanable". In conferring with a Sicilian family friend recently, I learned that in Italian this means "va a Napoli". In other and softer words for the sake of my blog (at Matthew's plea I try not to curse), go fly a kite. He did ultimately get off the stage, with help from his closest friends. Sadly, Jimmy passed within two months of speaking at the ESPY's. If you want to help in the fight against cancer, you can donate to the V Foundation here.

The show last night was very entertaining. I sat on the couch armed with a magazine and my iPhone just in case but I didn't refer to either. Joel McHale's opening act (sans bucking in with Victor Espinoza on his back) was outstanding. He was barbarous in his jest. We regularly pressed pause for Matthew to point out athletes and explain scenarios to me. I must admit, the world of sports - soccer and tennis aside - is not my forte. I spent my morning googling how to use a kettle bell for crying out loud. I am shocked by Alex Rodriguez comeback especially after the whole steroids debacle but what do I know. Derek Jeter on the other hand, now there is a real athlete who deserved stage time. Ken Jeong is always brilliant. I loved the shout out to Jon Snow, who I happened to sit next to at Vic's while celebrating my father's birthday this past May 31 in Manhattan. FYI ladies (and some gents) he was donning a man bun and is even more dapper in person than he is wrapped in fur armed with a sword. My lovely mother suggested I go introduce myself when he took a cigarette break. I didn't. No regrets. Bonjour.

LeBron cut a mean figure in that velvet jacket, didn't he? Peyton's little girl looked utterly miserable at the show. Poor thing. Never mind being shy, I wonder if he brought her as his date because of Stephen Curry's adorable daughter making her debut at post-game press conferences. Again, what do I know. Devon Stills acceptance of the Jimmy V Perseverance award was incredibly moving. To see this massive football player tell the story of his daughter Leah's battle with cancer. The footage of him shaving his little girl's head, their jubilant fist pumps and her reminding him that when they arrived at the hospital he was to give her a manicure. I also liked her telling her father that she wanted a pony, a real pony. Technically she wanted a unicorn and why not. The sky is the limit. It was a testimonial to a father's purest love. 

I was thrilled to see the US Women's Soccer team dressed to the nines. What a powerful group of ladies! I am also happy that the Lauren Hill tribute was included; recognition of this  brave young woman. Her parents must have been very proud. Ronda Rousey is the real deal and she didn't mince her words in stating, "I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once." I usually reserve my opinions for behind closed doors but Floyd Mayweather is not high on my totem pole. Despicable really. I can say more but I don't like to curse in writing so will bite my tongue. He is a serial woman batterer. I don't care about his athletic prowess. His last match against Pacquaio was an utter wash. People paid buckos to see it, which I don't understand. In supporting this fight, we somehow turned a blind eye to his abominable behavior. How do we as a society let this happen? 

Last but certainly not least: Kaitlyn Jenner's emotional and powerful acceptance of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. From Olympic athlete to Vanity Fair cover girl to ESPY award winner and now activist. Initially, I will say that I was a bit unapproving of her being the award recipient. I had my reasons but I don't hold them any longer. I was shocked to learn that 41% of transgender individuals attempt suicide at some stage of their lives. In which era are we living? After the outstanding tribute film as well as her speech, I am fully on board with her recognition. She accepted this award not as a courageous individual but rather on behalf of the transgender community. This award is not only hers but theirs as well. I very much liked her nod to Diane Sawyer as well as all her children. Nevermind I have my opinions about those girls on the television program but that's another story for another day. I respect her using this platform to further "promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are." What an important message that we can all learn and in turn benefit from. #acceptance Use this hashtag and spread the message please.

I fell asleep before the awards show closed. Win some, lose some. I enjoyed the 2015 ESPY Awards and look forward to next year's fete. I am besotted with our vegetable spiralizer. It sounds utterly ridiculous but we have such fun making zoodles together. In fact, just the other night Matthew told me how he so enjoys doing this the two of us. Carry on we shall. Some may scoff but I think zucchini noodles make a fine substitute for pasta. Obviously healthier and the texture is on point. The key is to dress your vegetable noodles with a killer sauce. It's quite possible I might have been Italian in a former life. I'm sure spending a semester abroad in Italy helped. We are all about bolognese sauce in our household. With meat and also without it. You can use ground beef, turkey or the leaner variety and my favorite, bison. If you don't want meat then go banana with vegetables. The below sauce is rich and full of flavor. Thanks to our zucchini noodles, I didn't feel like a complete animal downing more than one bowl. You shouldn't either.

Bison, Kale and Mushroom Bolognese


1 yellow onion - in the Cuisinart
3 cloves of garlic - in the Cuisinart
4 carrots - in the Cuisinart
1 punet of crimini mushrooms - chopped
1 head of kale - in the Cuisinart
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
12 oz ground bison
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 TBS fennel seeds
1 TBS white pepper
1 TBS honey
1 TBS tomato paste
Pinch of salt
Handful of fresh basil
28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes - spend a bit more money and buy the real thing
*4 zucchini for spiralizing and fresh Pecorino cheese to shave on top

Fasten Your Seatbelt

1. In a Cuisinart, chop (pulse) your onion and garlic. Set aside. Now pulse your carrots. Set aside. Lastly pulse your kale. You will have to do this in batches. Set aside.

2. Add 2 TBS olive oil to your Dutch oven or pot on medium high heat. Add your onion and garlic, a pinch or two of salt, some fresh cracked pepper. Let this change to a golden hue in around five to seven minutes.

3. Now you want to brown your meat. This should take another seven to ten minutes. At this time you want to throw in your cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds and white pepper. Give everything a generous stir.

4. Now add the carrots, mushrooms and tomato paste. Continue to stir until the mushrooms cook down.

5. Now throw in the can of tomatoes, basil and honey. Give a big stir. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer for 30 minutes. (You can go longer if you have the time.)

5. After 30 minutes, add your kale and stir until wilted, approximately 5 minutes. Season to taste.

6. Serve with pasta of your choice and some freshly grated cheese. If you do not have a spiralizer, we also like the Explore Asian organic soy bean spaghetti. It is gluten free, low carb and high in protein as well as fiber. You can find this at Harris Teeter (usually on sale), Earth Fare or Whole Foods. Amazon also sells a red lentil pasta that is quite dynamite

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