Thursday, May 02, 2013
Today was EXACTLY what I needed to start recharging myself!
Standard recipes are so hard - especially the way I cook! Which is add a dash of this and mix until it looks right, then cook it until it smells right....well, I'm not quite that bad, but you get my drift! So instead of just the recipes, here is a mini-photo-journal chronicling my food experiments (cooking AND gardening)!
I started off by soaking beans and marinading mushrooms! One of my recipes - a favorite for tomorrow's potluck at the cooperative - is a raw walnut and mushroom stuffing: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
The mushrooms need to marinade overnight, so I turned my attention to a mock chicken salad, made with tempeh: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
Pictured here, 1 serving served in a pita pocket - aka my lunch!
Then I cooked the beans. I had rehydrated/sprouted black beans and garbanzo beans today. I started with the garbanzo beans, and made a roasted red pepper hummus: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
Then I made black bean burgers - this is an adaptation of the recipe I created for the community garden party last summer, and is still a summertime favorite for me! For more of a "meaty" taste, substitute peppers with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme - also a delicious version, I just didn't use it this time!
After I finished cooking and stocking the fridge with healthy, homemade food, I headed to my community garden plot. I hadn't been in more than 3 weeks, thanks to my crazy schedule - and in that time, it has frozen, hailed, stormed, flooded - so my hopes weren't high for any of my first plantings to still be alive. But I needed to till the rest of the plot (I had only tilled one row), get in my tomato and pepper seedlings, and plant more lettuce, swiss chard, radishes, and arugula.
I was very pleasantly surprised to find several greens had actually sprouted - they're still tiny, but they lived! Check out what I accomplished in the two hours I spent at the garden today!
My new seedlings!
The greens that sprouted despite the crazy IN weather!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
April is the worst month of the year for me - and the best, all at the same time!
I work for an environmental non-profit, so I attend a lot of river clean-ups, water monitoring trainings and outings, Earth Day events - etc. So it's great, in that I'm active and outdoors, I'm seeing a lot of familiar faces and meeting a lot of new people, visiting a lot of different state parks and other venues...
But it's bad in that my routine goes wrong every time! I'll work until 8 or 9 at night, then have to be on the road at 4 the next morning. And I usually work Saturdays and Sundays all through the month, so I don't have a lot of time for grocery shopping and food prep.
Over the years, I've gotten better about freezing foods in advance, so that I have home-made "TV dinners" ready to go. But every year, I have to fight to avoid the drive-thrus, make myself work out...and towards the end of the month, I really petered out!
I haven't worked out (aside from carrying supplies and walking) in almost two weeks. I've eaten a lot more sodium and sugar than usual, since I've been supplementing my homemade food with convenience food and (despite my best efforts) takeout and delivery.
I'm worn out, and so happy that I have a 4 1/2 day weekend coming up! I never like how I feel at the end of a busy month. I feel bloated, and tired, and grouchy, and it's a fight to get myself back on track and start washing all of that gunk out of my system!
And I always feel bad because I've neglected my friends. My friends here at home, and my Sparkfriends! I barely kept up with the 5% challenge this year - and there were a lot of days when I didn't post any points for my team. Towards the end of the challenge, I regained a couple of pounds, and that probably also reflected badly. And I haven't been good about staying in touch - and I've missed the community and the interaction!
I'm scaling back my goals in light of April set-backs.
First and foremost, I am going to find balance. I'm going to balance my personal and professional lives. I'm going to balance healthy goals with an active lifestyle (active as in physically fit, and as in actually seeing my friends and engaging in the community again!)
I'm going to focus on home cooking everything, and only allowing myself one meal out with friends a week. Everything else needs to be healthy and homemade!
I'm going to focus on (finally!) starting P90X, and working back up to a 5K - seeing as how I haven't run in a month, I want to ease back in! Start off slow - build up the P90X strength training exercises until I can do the whole workout with good form. Supplement with Zumba and running and bootcamps until I'm back in shape and can safely do the harder P90X cardio routines. I remember plyometrics - and I'm not ready for it now!
We all do the best we can with what we've got. I could have done better in April. I could have done more to stay active, or to stay away from unhealthy foods. But life happens - it's done and over with now - and I'm ready to take a deep breath, put aside everything that happened last month, and move forward with my goals!
Happy May, everyone!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
I have to preface this blog: I've only ever had dogs!
Dogs are easy. They're eager to please, and having had labs and lab mixes my whole life, they always liked water.
So I don't always know what to do with Miss Kitty, because cats are harder to understand. Which is why, when I mentioned that Miss Kitty was shedding and a little stinky, and a very sadistic friend told me I should just give her a bath, I didn't realize that I was being played!
And when De-Trash the Wabash was canceled, I figured that this was my chance to get Miss Kitty all clean and smelling sweet, steam clean the carpets, and mop the floor. You know, all part of spring cleaning...
That's right, Sparkfriends. Today I gave Miss Kitty a bath.
She was upset when I first got her fur a little wet, but she didn't mind the shampoo. I think she liked the attention at first. But then it was time to rinse the soap out of her fur. And that was when the carnage began.
I tried to get her back in the kitchen sink, and she yowled. She scratched at me, and when I didn't let go she grabbed the ceramic jar of cooking utensils - which, kudos to Miss Kitty for her innovation - and dragged it into the sink with her.
It created a huge mess, broke the ceramic jar, but it was FUNNY! And while I was laughing my A$$ off, she escaped and ran under my bed.
Side note: last night, as in LITERALLY last night, I bought a new bedspread and bed skirt.
While I was laughing, the soap-covered, shedding, wet cat climbed under my bed, leaving clumps of soapy wet cat fur on my BRAND NEW bed skirt, and refused to come out. I had to take the mattress and box spring off the frame to get her out.
I managed to get her out and locked us both in the bathroom, and the second I turned on the shower - figuring it would be the fastest way to get the soap off her - she started flipping out. She yowled, and scratched and clawed, and attacked my feet and bit me when I picked her up and put her in the shower...and when she jumped out, and I had to pick her up and put her back in the shower, it started all over again.
Five times in a row before I finally got in the shower with her.
And then she scratched up my neck trying to get away while I stood there, fully clothed, and tried to rinse the soap out of her fur.
Once I wrapped her in a towel, she was happy-ish again - still didn't want to get near the sinks and shower, but glad to be getting dry. And now she's laying near me and grooming herself, so I don't think it did any lasting damage to her kitty ego or anything.
I'm not quite so unscathed. For those with dogs - NEVER give the cat a bath!!
Sunday, April 14, 2013
The food cooperative scheduled a planning meeting, for new and old board members, and a lot of issues came up in the discussion.
Chief among them - the fact that this one problem board member has been attacking other board members, undermining the work of the committees, etc.
And our celebrity keynote had made a lot of recommendations. Most which went against the things our problem board member has been saying and doing.
The bottom line: he resigned. He threw a huge temper tantrum, blamed all of us for his decision (and me in particular) - but he resigned.
Definitely feeling a lot of relief right now!!
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Ahhh, it's such a relief to make it through a big event and have everything go well!
The food cooperative had our annual member meeting yesterday, and I was designated "the facilitator."
And given the fact that one of the board members hates me, and does his absolute best to undermine everything I do....given the in-fighting and personality conflicts on the board....the fact that most of the membership hates our volunteer GM and they frequently get heated and personal when it comes to "discussions" with him....and our celebrity keynote?
I've been on tenderhooks all week, trying to figure out the likely topics of discussion, sources of arguments and contention, and the danger areas that might lead to a repeat of our infamous board meeting where two board members actually stood up and shouted at each other, banging fists on tables and swearing up a storm, for 15 minutes before we calmed them down.
Clearly I survived it! But it has been a stressful couple of weeks!
A couple of fights almost broke out, but I quenched them fast. Overall, everyone was really happy with the way the discussion went, and we have four new board members who will be great for the cooperative! And we drew a big crowd...for our cooperative, at least.
Did I stick to my resolution to avoid alcohol? No, I'm really ashamed to say I didn't. But then I got pretty sick last night, so I figure karma has had her retribution - and the desire to drink more is not there at all, and probably won't be for a long time.
I managed to avoid the camera for all but this one picture - and you can probably see how hard I'm gritting my teeth as I try to keep our membership discussion under control!
I feel like I just made it through a massive psychological marathon full of land mines, and it definitely feels GREAT! Though I am finally noticing how tight my neck and shoulders are, from all the stress, so I'll definitely have to focus on yoga and stretching for the next couple of weeks to loosen those knots.
Volunteering shouldn't feel like this. I know that, and it's a big part of why I've wanted to leave the board for the last few months. I don't know if the new board members will be able to improve the situation as much - or as fast - as I need them to for me to feel comfortable and happy to serve the cooperative.
But I believe in the cause, and honestly, no one else was really stepping up. Maybe I'm crazy, but I didn't feel like I could leave the board until certain issues were resolved. Whether I serve out my remaining year as a board member, or whether I do decide in a few months that I am not needed and I resign, we're in a better place now than we were a few months ago when this whole thing really started!
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