Thursday, October 25, 2012
For "funsies" I made some tortellini to put in a delicious soup for dinner the other night.
I used round wonton wrappers and stuffed it with part-skim ricotta that I added some fresh chopped parsley and romano cheese to. I sealed the tortellini with a beaten egg.
In no time at all, I had about 35 tortellini, stuffed and folded and ready for soup.
The soup itself was loaded with veggies. I used a zucchini, onion, garlic, carrot, green beans, kale, and spinach. I stuck in a large can of crushed tomatoes (no salt added!) and seasoned the whole deal with a pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian herb seasoning blend. I cooked the tortellini right in the soup. I accompanied it with a chunk of whole wheat baguette that I toasted with a bit of butter, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese (finished with a sprinkle of parsley) and sprinkled some romano cheese over the hot soup.
It was delicious and the leftovers made a perfect lunch at practicum today!
Friday, October 19, 2012
I think mental health is a very important part of any health journey. I don't want to use this blog as a place to b**** about everything. This is Spark after all and I usually like to use this as a place to work through my exercising and eating habits. But, mental health- including stress- is so tied in to the health habits of people (good or bad), sometimes it makes sense to find an outlet to lay out thoughts and feelings in order to analyze these habits. And that's what I'll be doing today.
Once again, it all comes back to roommate issues. This time, oddly, it isn't much about He-'mate. Nothing has changed with him, and it won't in 2.5 months, so nothing new there. I will say he needs a serious lesson on how to clean. He doesn't seem to know what "thorough" and "effort" mean.
But, this is about She-'mate. She has been "sick" pretty much since July. I'm not sure what the problem is with her. It started out as dizziness and has only seemed to grow from there, most recently a pain in her side in the general vicinity of her kidneys. She's seen specialists and been to the ER twice. She's been on all kinds of crazy meds. Nothing seems to be helping. I can't fault her for any of this to a point.
See, with her illness(es) sticking around for so long and symptoms that wax and wane so often, I've been picking up the slack for her with regards to the house chores and grocery shopping, etc. Of course I would expect anyone to do the same for me, but this has been going on for some time now. Since we instituted our new chore system, she hasn't actually been able to do any of her chores. So, He-'mate and I are splitting her chores between us. As I've previously said, He-'mate doesn't do so great at this stuff to begin with, so I end up picking up the slack on his end, too!
And I've had to do the grocery shopping myself. She doesn't cook and what she does cook is absolute junk. Chicken nuggets and french fries and hot dogs (she always eats 3-4 hotdogs at a time) with chips. She wants to eat healthier, I want her to eat healthier, AND its easier for me to cook for more than 1 person so I like cooking for the two of us, so we decided to split groceries and I'll cook. Well, I always end up forking out more money for groceries than she does, even though we both eat them. When someone has to make a quick run to the store for a missing ingredient or two for dinner, it is always me that has to go get them and me that pays for them. This last time I went grocery shopping, she was going to pay me back for the groceries on her list. But, I went ahead and got ingredients for a few dinners. She also used half my lunch meat that night. She only wanted to pay me for what was on her list, regardless of what else I bought to cook for the both of us. My grocery budget per month is dismal- usually around $120 or less. So, since this has happened on more than 1 occasion just this month alone, I'm totally broke. I don't even have money for the bus to get to practicum for the remainder of this month. I have one more bill due on Monday and I have no money to pay it. I'm totally broke and there's how long left of this month? Seriously...
I know that I should probably break my arrangement with her and each of us just fend for ourselves. I can't afford to feed two people. Plus, its only for another 2.5 months. I'm just not really sure how to broach the subject. I don't know how to talk about this without sounding like a total jerk. If you all have any ideas, please send them my way. I know a huge part of it has to do with me needing to assert myself. That's something I'm not good at doing, particularly when it comes to people like my friends and family. But, I can't do this for 2 more months and I certainly can't do it forever.
I need my practicum to be done with (but it won't be until mid-December) so I can start working already. I was going to get some menial job until then at Jack-in-the-Box by my house, but it closed down. I still need to get some advertising out about my cooking classes, notary, and seamstress things. I think I'll start on that after I get done with this blog.
So, needless to say, all this stress is taking it's toll. I'm pretty sure it led to me getting this wicked cold. I have this nasty post-nasal drip that I keep choking on. Sorry, I know that's really REALLY gross. And some sinus congestion. My head is POUNDING. It hasn't stopped hurting. My face feels like it's cracking open. And, of course, I'm totally exhausted/fatigued. Luckily, I still have an appetite.
Not-so-luckily, I am not eating the greatest. Of course, I'm sick, so that's somewhat understandable, but still. The time you should be eating the healthiest to get back to being healthy, is the time I'm not doing so great. Yesterday I had leftover gyro meat and pita bread for lunch. For dinner I had a bowl of egg noodles with some butter on them. For a snack I had a metric f***ton of watermelon. That watermelon was damn good, too! Today, I've had a bowl of oatmeal with a bit of brown sugar and real maple syrup. An hour later, I was starving again. At least that was pretty healthy. For a snack, I had an apple with a big chunk of triple-sharp cheddar (aged 4 years). That cheese was amazing. For dinner, I've had a half sandwich- pastrami, pickles, mustard, smoked gouda, and whole grain bread... that I slathered in butter and grilled. I'm also having another snack of watermelon. Who knows what else I'll be eating later. Normally I'm pretty healthy with my food. Always having some sort of veggie with lunch and dinner, some sort of fruit with every lunch, whole grains only, etc... This stress has me turning to more junk. Things with butter, white breads, chips, cookies. Not cool. The problem is letting the stress take over so I eat this way. I hope by typing this out, I've identified a recent trigger and can work on it or fix it. Probably not today to be perfectly honest, but I don't like eating this way. It makes me feel like crap when I am healthy, so I can tell you it's making me feel REALLY crappy now that I've got a cold.
Since I'm sick right now, of course I wouldn't be exercising. Not with the intense pain in my head anyway. I do want to get to exercising again, but with She-'mate constantly home (she's missing- or ditching- A LOT of school) I can't get into the living room to use the Roku (I get YouTube on it and therefore a lot of workout videos at the ready) or the Wii which I do Just Dance for cardio. Normally. Before I got sick I was feeling really well and wanted to get into an exercise routine. With the heat outside zapping the rest of my energy, I knew outdoor workouts wouldn't be for me for a bit. Plus, I get shin splints, so I can't really walk on the sidewalks for too long. So, I'm still working on a solution to that. Any suggestions ya'll have for that one, too, would be great.
I really am sorry if my blogs lately have been very whiny or b****y or they seem so negative. I'm usually not this type of person. I consider myself pretty positive and upbeat most of the time. I'm just in a really crappy situation that I have to tolerate, at best, for the next few months. I try not to take it out on people or dump it all on anyone. I just don't really have anyone to talk to about it, so that's why I write it down. I know others here have offered to listen, but I don't want to constantly be a negative friend. If that makes sense.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
I had 3lbs of figs from my granny's tree. I couldn't think of anything to do with them except stuff them with blue cheese, wrap them with prosciutto, bake them, and then drizzle them with a bit of honey. Unfortunately, I only had figs and honey. So, I made jam.
Just FYI: 3lbs of figs makes A LOT of jam. Mine yielded just a bit more than a quart. Yikes!
So I made homemade fig newtons. WIN!
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I've always noticed among my Spark Friends (and others, for that matter) that their blog posts or status updates regarding their journey setbacks always sound something like this:
"I blew it yesterday!"
"I'm starting over!"
"I'm trying this again!"
When I first started on Spark in 2008 and for those first few years of being on here, I would feel the same way. "I'm starting this journey over." It hasn't been until this year or so that I've completely changed my mindset on this. And *truly* believe in the way I think.
I no longer feel that any setback is a major event that prevents me from just picking back up where I left off. I feel like even when I'm not doing anything like exercising or eating healthy, I'm still moving forward on this journey- it's never stopped. Its hard to describe in words. And I feel like its a victory!
Its so discouraging to feel like you've failed and have to start over. So, don't start over. Just keep going. I had a super "I totally blew it" lunch yesterday. I went to a restaurant in Fashion Valley Mall called Stacked. Its a burger, pizza, salad, and mac 'n' cheese joint. You can customize each completely and you order off an iPad (and pay on the iPad, too! Woo! No more waiting for a slow waiter/ress to bring you a check!) I ordered the mac 'n' cheese and created it with bacon, ground beef, green onion, and parmesan breadcrumbs on top. I had a small side of french fries (I actually wanted salad, but they don't let you customize the small side salad and there were a few things I didn't want on it) and I ordered a 'toasted marshmallow milkshake'. I ate half my mac 'n' cheese (took the rest home and ate it for dinner) and ate all my milkshake and most of my fries.
Did I "blow it" as far as diet goes? Yeah, I guess so. Do I feel like I blew it? No, I don't. I had a fun food day of indulgence. Just like it fit right in to the rest. I don't get to eat out very often, so it was just a nice little thing to do to break the monotony. 95% of the time, I eat homecooked, healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I eat salad or veggies with every dinner I cook. I eat fruit with my lunch. I only eat whole grains and my breakfasts always end up being lacto-ovo-vegetarian. So, is one day of unhealthy eating a reason to "start over" or feel defeated on this journey? Hell no! I ate it and moved on pretty much immediately.
I haven't gotten any continuous "real" exercise since my surgery at the very end of May. I am still active, doing fun Spark Rallies (like standup paddleboarding or hiking) and I'm always walking everywhere to run errands, get to school, get to practicum, etc. I'm on my feet for 6 hours at a time at practicum. Do I feel like when I get back to an exercise routine that I'll be "starting over" with that? Nope. I'm just picking up where I left off, like I never skipped anything. Like the last few months have never happened. I'm just continuing on the journey that I've already been on.
I wish my Spark friends that struggle with "blowing it" or "starting over" would re-set their thinking. Its so defeating and discouraging to think that way. But, we're all human beings. Perfection is not expected nor should it be desired. We're all flawed, we all have other needs, and sometimes life throws you a bit of a curveball. Learn from your journey to make better decisions when it happens, but never feel like you failed at it. You didn't fail at all. You were breathing normally, you got the hiccups, held your breath so they'd go away, and then went about breathing normally when they disappeared. No big whoop.
That's not to say you shouldn't let it be an excuse to constantly "blow it". I had 1 milkshake this week, and it was just a hiccup, so I can have another one later this week 'cuz that'll be another hiccup, too! No... no, no, no. You still have to remember all the things that will lead you to successfully get to your goal. Calories in vs. calories out (that milkshake WILL mean more time on the treadmill!), healthy eating involving mostly plant-based foods (after all, animal products like meat, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, milk, etc. have saturated fats and cholesterol- not so heart-healthy), and exercise will burn that fat off your body faster than anything else you could do! Don't forget the non-weight related health benefits of eating right and exercising either. They should be just as important to you as a number on the scale. And you might not be at "that point" yet on your journey, but I think you'll figure that out along the way.
I had the pleasure of going to a SparkChart SparkRally with 8 or so San Diego Spark Team Members on Sunday. I'm so grateful I got to go. I got hear many stories of successes, tips for overcoming trials, meet people for the first time in person and meet brand-new people, as well as see old friends, and I got to actually be aware in a more personal way that there are other people working towards goals and better health. It was wonderful! If your town has a team, encourage them to rally and do events, even if it's meeting at a coffee shop for a talk. It's worth it.
Photo Courtesy of Jocelyn (aka WolfKitty)
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