Monday, December 21, 2009
For me, the holidays are already winding down. Hannukah is over. We have no more holiday parties to go to that I know of. We saw my parents for the last time before they head out to CA for the winter yesterday. So now I can sit back and relax (sort of).
I know, however, that for most of my spark buddies, their holidays are just revving up into high gear. So I tried to squander what seems to be left of my brain cells on how I could help y'all. I was reading my library book on mindful knitting this morning, and one part really caused me to sit back and think.
She was writing about your morning cup of coffee (or, in my case, tea). And how it tastes soooo good because we're really mindful and present. Our day hasn't begun to spiral down into chores, errands, and not-so-positive surprises.
I'm not sure I completely agree with this -- I think some of the comfort comes from just holding that warm mug in your hands. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is drink some water. Cold water. I'm definitely not cradling that baby in my hands, even though it tastes good after no water for 12 hours or so. There's just something about the warmth seeping into your hands, even in the summer.
But it does beg the question of why that first cup tastes so good, but subsequent cups often go unnoticed? Well, that is our clue -- they're going unnoticed. We're not mindful. We're not really present. There's no reason the third cup can't be every bit as soothing as the first, if we really take the time to savor it, instead of beating ourselves up for all the things we haven't done yet, and worrying about just how we will cram in all the things we have yet to do.
Every time you feel rushed today, please think of me and just stop. Take at least 5 deep breaths. Concentrate on the task at hand, and only the task at hand. We like to think we multitask, but the truth is no one is really good at multitasking. This isn't easy, I know, but with practice, you'll find yourself doing it more and more.
If nothing else, I want you to take 5 deep breaths before putting food in your mouth today. That's my present to you. You CAN do it, no matter how frazzled you're feeling. And let me know if you do, and if it makes a difference!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Since people seem to enjoy reading about other people's kitchen disasters, I thought I'd share last night's! Usually such an event would be filled with expletives, but it was just so unexpected that all I could do was stand with my mouth hanging open in awe!
I made my raw soup & salad for lunch yesterday. Good thing I didn't tackle it the day before, took almost an hour of prep time! But it kept me full for hours, and yes, it WAS tasty. Altho not sure how you could go 100% raw in the winter without a dehydrator, which I might get someday if I get really serious, but am not planning on anytime soon.
Dinner was turkey burgers plus latkes (finally, per my friend feed, considering it was the last night of Hannukah). I'd had the food and plans of making latkes all week long, but not the energy. Last night I had the energy, too -- they're not really complicated, it just takes time because you can only fry up 4 at a time (and no, I don't deep fry them).
So after standing at a hot stove for about half an hour, I was actually hot. I decided that it was time to try the instant banana ice cream that has been floating around the blogosphere since this summer. You freeze a banana, and give it a whirl in the food processor. I bet you can already see where this is going.
I didn't want to use my Vitamix -- it has problems when you're just doing a little bit of food. So I used my mini Cuisinart food processor. Put in the frozen banana chunks, turned it on, and BOOM! Apparently I broke the blade, which busted right through the container. Frozen banana chunks on the floor, part of the blade and container there too. I had no inkling you couldn't put frozen food in there. Glad I didn't try it with my big food processor (which I've had for 25 years -- buy quality & it usually lasts).
Even Chester was so surprised that he didn't touch the banana (one of his faves) until I told him to. I love and use my little Cuisinart so much that I do have an extra bowl. Now I'll have to order another one. Or hope that Magic Bullet is still at Marshalls. Maybe it's another sign.
But I have no intention of venturing anywhere near a store this weekend. It will have to wait til Monday. If we don't get a blizzard today, tomorrow we're going down to see my parents before they take off for CA for the winter. We're actually not supposed to get much, if anything, but they might get almost a foot of snow. So we'll see.
Oh, and the banana "ice cream" really is that good. It really hit the spot. I was surprised, frankly. And yes, ended up doing it in the Vitamix anyway.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I read this interesting blog post this morning -- www.choosingraw.com/january-cleanse-
eward-of-spark-wellness/ -- and what really caught my eye was the line about "the most common reason for sweet cravings is a lack of sweetness in your lifeódefined broadly, that can cover everything from a romantic connection to friendship to an adequate support system in you life".
I have y'all, but in RL, I don't have much of a support system right now. I actually didn't have much of one in TX, either, but I had more of one there than I do here. I haven't really been looking for one, either.
This all might sound too new-agey for a lot of you. It resonates with me. And if you've followed my blog for a while, you know that I have a major sweet tooth. It is, at the very least, food for thought.
BTW, how do you know when a food plan is right for YOU? For me, it has to make sense. Raw food, which as you know I'm dabbling with right now, doesn't completely make sense to me -- it almost completely cuts out whole grains, especially when you don't have a dehydrator, and I'm not down with anything that cuts out whole food groups. But it does help you get in lots & lots of fruits & veggies, and that can't be bad.
I tend to take a little bit from this, a little bit from that. I dabbled in macrobiotics for a short time. I've dabbled a lot with both vegetarian and vegan food. There's the flat belly diet, which actually got me used to the idea that I could eat more of the good fats and not gain weight, which opened the door to more raw foods.
I also know that I'm still procrastinating with stuff in my life. I keep tackling it, but it seems like there's always more stuff I'm procrastinating with!
I had such a good food day planned yesterday. Unfortunately, if you read yesterday's blog, you know that the actual shopping for the food (and gifts) derailed that plan. I had further plans to make a raw soup & salad for dinner -- not exactly difficult or rocket science -- but when it came down to it, I wasn't up for it. I ended up having a smoothie (the last of the last batch I'd made a few days ago), a protein bar, and some popcorn when DH came home (much earlier than I expected). Which is not a bad dinner, actually, the protein bar had greens in it and I'd already had a lot of fruits & veggies for the day.
And speaking of shopping, one thing I saw while there was the Magic Bullet Platinum Pro. They only had two. They weren't a great deal, but it wasn't a bad deal. The Magic Bullet is something I've been considering for months. I love my Vitamix, and am so glad I bought it back when I was still earning money, but sometimes it's really just overkill. I have a small Cuisinart mini-processor, which I also love, but it's not always up to the job.
As it turns out, the sweater I bought for DH was not only too large (I really didn't think he was a L, but he said he was), it had a hole in it, too, so I have to return it.
The other personal size blender I've been considering is the Tribest Personal Blender. Both get good reviews, altho once in a while someone says that they work good a time or two, then start leaking or whatever, but the majority of reviews on both are good. One of the things I like about the Tribest blender is that you can attach small mason jars to it -- I like the idea of using glass rather than plastic.
I'll probably be going back soon, so I need to make up my mind soon. Of course, if they're gone, then my mind is made up for me. But I do find it interesting that I specifically went looking for these products in Marshalls this time, and there they were.
Obviously, I haven't been having many deep thoughts about food and healthy eating and weight loss lately. Thoughts, but no big aha! moments. I'm seriously considering starting some Vitamin D supplements. I just can't seem to function well in this little daylight. I never could, but boy, I forgot what it feels like after so many years of living in TX!
How do you deal with all the craziness in your life right now and so little energy? Or how do you stay energized?
I did, btw, get in all my steps yesterday. It's why I didn't make a "real" dinner -- I chose exercise over food prep.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Funny, a spark buddy blogged just the other day about going too long without eating and the resultant crash.
Today was my WW meeting. I had a normal breakfast, and brought a snack and some water with me, as usual.Then I headed over to BJs. Then back almost to where I started to peruse Marshalls -- hoping to pick up a sweater for DH, which I did, and of course a couple for me, too. Darn Marshalls! I did at least have a $10 gift certificate.
Then over to Price Chopper to finish off my grocery shopping. More time consuming and costly with DH being off work next week. I left the house around 9:30 am; got back around 1:30 pm. Let the dogs out and stood around in the temps in the teens hoping for Lola to do something. Came back in, unpacked the perishables, and finally sat down to lunch at 2 pm, many, many hours after my breakfast at about 6 am -- but there was that small snack in between, thank goodness. And some water.
I had planned to actually make something for lunch, but obviously there just was no time. I also had a meal-sized protein bar with me, just in case, as I almost always do.
The biggest problem with these sorts of days is that you get over-hungry and then tend to eat the first thing you can grab. Luckily I had something ready for lunch at home that just took a couple of minutes, or who knows what I might have gotten into?
The other problem with this type of day is that I still need to get some ST in. I usually get it in before now, but again, there just wasn't time. And I was really disappointed to see that I only have about 6700 steps so far! I thought for sure I'd walked more than that. It sure FELT like I'd walked more than that.
DH is off to his other holiday party tonight. He manages to be away on the coldest day of the year so far. It's supposed to get into the 20s, but considering it's 3:30 pm now and we're still in the teens, I don't think so. And I've got to get the dogs out for another short walk. Unfortunately Lola had an accident in the house the other day for the first time since we moved. She came to us at 10 months with no housetraining whatsoever, and she does fine for months & months (8 in this case) and then out of the blue she'll have an accident. Which means I've got to be more vigilant about getting them out more often, which is very enticing with our current frigid temps.
I guess the moral of the story is to ALWAYS have some food with you. Always. So you don't end up making bad choices simply because you have no other choice.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
That's my husband's question. He will be home next week, and I asked him what he wants for lunches, as I'll probably be going shopping on Thursday. At first he pretty much ignored the question, but when I pushed (he just hates to plan anything, I swear), here's his list:
Mac & cheese
Summer sausage (oh wait, we got that at the holiday party, and he got a second one because his employee doesn't eat meat)
Soups (he likes clam chowder, and that the healthy varieties, either)
Do you see a pattern? Do you see ANY healthy food on that list?
So now it's up to me to try and find something he'll eat that's actually healthy. You can see what I'm up against!
Oh, and he had a going-away party for a coworker the other day, so he didn't eat the turkey burgers I made for dinner (I would've chosen something completely different for myself). Then he had leftovers at work yesterday, and when he told me what they were, they sure weren't healthy. Plus he has a holiday party tomorrow; I am not invited to this one. Which is kind of a relief, frankly, I'm planning to try a completely raw food day. Breakfast is the problem -- I really crave a warm breakfast at this time of year.
I have been working on this man's eating habits for 25 years, but you'd never know it! Any suggestions for fast, healthy foods that might appeal to this sort of eater?
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