The Comeback update #1

Seems fitting to start with a stroll down memory lane…

Hello from sunny Breckenridge, Colorado. It’s update time…

After returning home from New Zealand, I spent 2 months preparing for the North American winter ski season. With strategic planning, training, eating and mental preparation, I feel ready to take on the busiest competitive season I have ever had. (For example, I have 4 contests before Christmas, when in years past my first contest was mid January!)

Thanksgiving day I set out in the “Silver Bullet” (my Subaru Oakback) from my cozy home in Salt Lake City, Utah to chilly Boulder, Colorado. I was lucky enough to spend a fabulous “Friendsgiving” at the beautiful Katrina Siegfried’s home. I rolled up to her house right as dinner was being served. Katrina took on the challenge of baking a feast that stuck to my Whole30 dietary needs. In a nutshell, Whole30 eating cuts out grains, legumes, dairy and anything processed/refined. Basically I can eat meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. It was quite the treat to be able to eat everything at the table. Believe me, this NEVER happens!

I have been skiing in Summit County for 9 days, 4 of which have been in Copper Mountain’s halfpipe. With it being the first halfpipe open of the season, everyone and their brother is here. It is a wonderful, yet busy reunion of old friends and new faces.

Day 1, 2 and 3 at Copper had their ups and downs, falls and triumphs. But today provided my most profound lesson yet.

“When making a comeback, you must let go of what was, what could have been, and what should be… and focus on what is.” 

My friend Tori Beattie gave me some amazing advice. She suggested I treat each trick as if I am learning it for the first time. This really resonates with my current struggle… my frustration comes when I compare my current skiing to how I used to ski 4 years ago. My plan is to calm my mind and focus on the progress I am making. Rome was not built in a day, and I WILL ski to my potential once again.

BIG shout out to my friends, family and coach Luke Allen for all the positive vibes and advice this week.

Cheers to patience, dedication and strength of character!


The Comeback

I traveled to New Zealand and found old friends, new friends and family, many a muddy sheep, sunny days at SnowPark, powder days at Treble Cone, trials and tribulations and greatest of all… confidence in my health.

It has been a long journey back to health for me over the past 16 years. After 2 1/2 years of intensive treatment, lifestyle food and activity restrictions and both physical and emotional turmoil, I’m happy to report I’m back doing what I love most, SKIING! My trip to New Zealand this past month solidified my triumph over Lyme Disease. After placing 2nd in the North Face New Zealand Open on September 1st, any self doubts I had about returning to competitive halfpipe skiing have vanished. This event meant far more than any in my career. Below you can check out a quick edit of my run at the NZ Open, just click the “NZ Open 2012″ link.

NZ Open 2012

My trip began with a 12 hour flight, giving me plenty of time to reflect on the past few years of my life. How much had changed, and how much was still the same. I was surprised to find butterflies in my stomach as I boarded my flight at the Los Angeles International Airport. Excitement and yes, I was nervous! This was my first trip abroad in 2 years and my first competition back in even longer. I also found myself being nostalgic. I have the fondest memories of my previous trip to NZ in 2007. I met people that are to this day some of my closest friends and won the New Zealand Open halfpipe event. Now I can add my trip this summer to those fond memories. Having only 3 weeks in a halfpipe before my comeback event, I was able to put together a run that landed me in 2nd place. To top it all off, my adopted NZ family showed up to cheer me on with signs! Check it out along with other moments from my trip in the gallery below.

A huge thanks to my family and friends for always believing in me, the Toomey family for welcoming me into their home and going above and beyond as hosts, my boyfriend Reid for being a constant support at any hour of the day/night, Peter Legnavsky for connecting me to anything I needed in Wanaka, Freeskiing NZ for the event footage, Anna Segal for being an amazing friend and the most fun partner in crime, the memory of friend and fellow skier Sarah Burke for giving me inspiration in my moments of doubt, and last but certainly not least my amazing sponsors who made this trip possible ATOMIC and OAKLEY. Also, I want to thank everyone who sent support my way throughout my recovery from Lyme. There is one word that sums up my overall sentiment, gratitude!

Cheers and see you on the slopes this winter, whoohooo!

Homemade Enlightened Lemonade

It’s that time of the year again, SUMMER! Sunny days, activities, picnics, BBQing, friends and HOT weather… perfect conditions for a glass of ice cold lemonade!

When I think of lemonade, images of children selling Dixie cups of juice on the sidewalk flash through my mind. I took part in this all American activity as a youngster, posting up with my friends on the corner and hustling overpriced diluted lemonade. For many including myself, this was our first introduction into entrepreneurship. For something so rooted in our culture, it’s interesting to learn the origins of lemonade come from medieval Egypt. The first documentations of this “sugar water and lemon” drink are in the chronicles of a Persian poet and traveler named Nasir-i-Khusraw (10th century). Also, it is documented in the Cairo Geniza (records of the medieval Jewish community in Cairo from the 10th-13th centuries) that bottles of lemon juice, “qatarmizat,” with sugar were traded locally and also exported.

My motivation: I am committed to cutting out refined sugars from my diet. I choose to sweeten with raw agave nectar, which is a low glycemic sweetener made from the agave cactus. This too I work to use in moderation. It has been found in recent studies that high levels of sugar in a person’s diet can cause lower brain function… among other things. Most juice in the stores are pumped full of added sugars and flash pasteurized for our safety, leaving little to no health benefit. The manufacturing process kills vital enzymes and nutrients. Buying a juicer changed my life! Not only was I able to have delicious inexpensive juice, I could feel the nourishment it gave me. This recipe reflects my lifestyle. Fresh, healthy, and healing… that’s what I’m all about.

Moving right along, here is my “Enlightened Lemonade” recipe.

  • You need:
  • *2 large mason jars (with lids)
  • *1 handful of fresh mint leaves
  • *1 handful of fresh lemon balm leaves
  • *raw agave nectar
  • *2 lemons juiced

Step 1- Wash and place mint leave in one mason jar, wash and place lemon balm leaves in the other mason jar. Muddle leaves with the end of a wooden spoon or something to that effect.

Step 2- Fill both mason jars half full of drinking water, secure with lid and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

Step 3- Strain leaves out of both jars. You can do this by combining the water from one jar into the other, then clean out leaves and strain into newly emptied jar. Or using another container works too. The goal is to end up with the mint water and the lemon balm water in 1 jar.

Step 4- add lemon juice to taste. I suggest going slowly, little by little. Also add agave to taste. There are so many ways to serve lemonade… tart, sweet, tart and sweet, watered down, super concentrated, etc. Play around with it to find the perfect mix for you.

Step 5- Secure jar with lid and SHAKE! Add ice and drink up.

Why mint and lemon balm leaves you may ask? Both herbs provide calming, hydrating and nurishing qualities, along with healing essential oils that are released in the infusion process. Also, it makes for a fresh, raw, tea based lemonade beverage that’s both healthy and yummy.

I encourage you to play around with this recipe. Maybe add lime juice, maybe strawberry or ginger juice. You could infuse (soak) fresh basil leaves with the mint. The possibilities are endless.

Stay tuned for more Angeli inspired summer recipes to come.