Monday, September 13, 2010
Baked salmon with balsamic glaze:
Bake salmon at 350 until tender.
While the salmon is cooking peel and quarter a beet to boil, put it in the pot to boil, and make the glaze.
Easy and delicious. Gently simmer a cup of balsamic vinegar, stirring occasionally, until it thickens enough to drizzle over the fish.
After steaming add a teeny tiny bit of butter, a little salt, and a squirt of fresh lemon juice
Beet and Feta salad:
thinly sliced carrots
chopped red onion
low fat feta
a sprinkling of sun flower seeds
Salt to taste
Monday, September 13, 2010
A few of my Spark Friends wanted recipes after I posted about making breakfasts and lunches for the week on Sunday. I'll try, but I don't use recipes.
I made buckwheat waffles to freeze for quick and easy breakfasts. I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat Pancake and Waffle Mix. I did not add the sweetener - I use maple syrup or jam on them, so I don't put sweetener in them.
Add to the mix 2 T. wheat germ, 2 T. hemp seed, and 2 T. ground flax seeds to the amount of mix that makes 4 waffles.
I made them up and froze them for use during the week.
I also boiled 5 eggs to use as my after workout protein part of breakfast.
For lunches, I made up lentil dal with brown Basmati rice, and spaghetti with pesto sauce.
Cook 1 cup of lentils in water with 2 chopped carrots. Saute 3 cloves of garlic and half an onion, adding hot curry powder as they brown. Add the onion/garlic mix to the lentils and cook until soft. You can leave the lentils whole, or mash them.
When the lentils were done, I added a cup of fresh spinach, not exactly traditional, but it added some leafy greens to my lunch.
While the lentils are cooking, cook the brown basmati according to directions on the package.
Serve the lentils with the rice. I put the rice in my freezer container, then add the dal on top, and freeze individual lunch size servings.
The other lunch I made up, which was also our dinner was whole wheat spaghetti with pesto sauce.
I am a 'flexitarian' I don't eat much meat, but I do eat some. If you are a vegetarian, your will want to substitute the hamburger in the spaghetti sauce.
Put the water on to boil.
Saute 2 cloves of garlic, and the other half of the onion from the dal. Add 1/2 cup chopped portabella mushrooms, then 1/4 pound Laura's Lean Hamburger (or hamburger substitute or tempeh as an alternative protein source) and saute until the protein is cooked through.
Meanwhile, when the water is boiling add enough spaghetti for 4 servings and cook until the desired texture.
Add pesto sauce at the last minute to the vegetables and protein mix.
I freeze this in the same way as the dal and rice. Spaghetti on the bottom, sauce, then fresh parmesan cheese on top.
Salad on the side:
2T black beans
chopped red onion
Dressing (1 serving):
1/2 T Extra Virgin olive oil
1/2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
I like my salads fresh so I make them the day I'm going to eat them - no make-aheads here.
If you decide to make any of these, let us know how you like them and any changes you make so we can try your take on them, too.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Most of my friends here on Spark know me as a brave person. And I am. Mostly. I do have a phobia that has in many ways limited my life. Since it is based on actual events in my life, rather than imagined dangers, it is actually PTSD. This means that things relating to my PTSD bypass my intellectual thoughts and go straight to my amygdala and create an automatic fight or flight adrenaline response.
I have a phobia of flying. I have had 2 very bad experiences on airplanes, one with a flight that injured flight attendants and passengers - where? Over the Bermuda Triangle of all places! To add to the frightening part of the experience, it was the midnight special and I was the only English speaking person on the flight. Everyone was holding tight to their Rosaries, and praying as food trays and luggage went flying, people threw up or screamed, and the oxygen masks popped out. We were able to safely land in San Juan, shaken, with cuts and bruises, but safe.
My second experience was on a flight where the plane kept losing engines, one over Texas, one over another state - I don't remember which one, then one over Washington, DC. The pilot announced that we may have to make an emergency landing before NY, but we managed to limp in on one engine. As we reached the Verrazano Bridge the pilot came on saying that if we looked below us, we could see the Verrazano Bridge. I thought he was going to say, "Look now because it's the last thing you'll ever see." Of course, that isn't what he said, but he told us that the runway would be lined with emergency vehicles and we needed to assume crash position. Sure enough, the runway was lined; ambulance, fire engine, ambulance, fire engine all down the runway, and sure enough, we skidded and bumped our way down the runway. This time, shaken, uninjured, and safe.
After that flight, I stopped flying. That is, until my sister wanted to adopt a child in China as a single parent. I told her that if she wanted to adopt, I would go with her. I spent the better part of the waiting time, preparing myself. I watched planes come and go and stay in the sky. I found many ways to calm myself. And I got anxiety drugs from my doctor. In June, 2001, I flew to Detroit, Minneapolis, Anchorage, South Korea, Hong Kong, Beijing, Changsha, GuangZhou, Hong Kong, South Korea, Fairbanks, Minneapolis, Detroit, Dayton. I did it for the love of my sister, and I am very glad that I found a way to bolster my resolve and just do it in spite of my fears.
That fall was the 9/11 tragedy. This has set me back even farther.
Now my brother is very ill.
He spends his October vacation time on Martha's Vineyard and for years has wanted me to spend some time there with him. It is a terrible time for me to leave the class to a substitute and I have never taken up his invitation. This year, he really wants me to visit him there, he is afraid that we may never have the opportunity again, that he may not survive his cancer.
I could drive. But - I thought it would be very nice to have my sister join us too and she was very excited about the chance for all three of us to be together. I called my brother to let him know we would both be coming and he was ecstatic. We found flights that get us into Boston Logan only hours from each other, she from Alaska, me from Ohio. From there we can get the bus to the ferry, or rent a car to get to the ferry. It would be an 18 hour drive for me, or a two hour flight. I am choosing to fly so I will have more time with my brother.
I had to fight anxiety attacks even as I looked up possible flights and kept my sister on the phone as a life-line when I made my reservation. Believe me, I know many ways to control this - yoga breathing, meditation, making a point of living in the now, spending time enjoying the present and being aware that at no time can we predict the future, and I do all of that. But it does take up a lot of time and space and energy doing that - because this is coming from that sneaky reptilian brain instead of my smart, thinking brain.
My chiropractor says he has a method of helping people with PTSD. There are a lot of mysteries about chiropractic care that I don't understand that seem kooky, and work really well. So, I'm taking a shot at that, plus getting anxiety meds from my DO. Just for the flights.
This is the kind of plane I'll be on. It's pretty small - 35 seats, I think. But I WILL be on it!
I love this Bob Newhart episode:
Watch it and laugh! You will know what my new mantra is, and it's a good one!
And no scary plane stories, okay?
Saturday, September 11, 2010
My new Sleep Number bed arrived on Wednesday, so I have had the opportunity to sleep on it for 3 nights now. So far, it has been great! I still have a hard time falling asleep, because my mind doesn't want to shut off. One thing I have found that helps with that is downloading guided meditation podcasts on my iPod, and listening to one when I have settled into bed.
What the Sleep Number bed has been good for has been a few things, which are related. The reason I got it was because I had been waking up with searing pain in my hip every hour or so throughout the night, so my sleep pattern was entirely disrupted. Because I was in pain, I was also grinding my teeth at night, which in turn was causing jaw pain. Who knew the hip bone was connected to the jaw bone .
With a bed that adjusts to comfortably accommodate my hips and shoulders, in the three days I have been sleeping on it, I have not had hip pain and have slept very soundly through the night. Without the hip pain, I have not been grinding my teeth, so my jaw feels better as well. But best of all, is finally getting deep rest at night. What a difference! No wonder I'm singing you songs - I'm full of energy and joy.
Here is my new Sleep Number bed. Of course, you can't really tell.
We had them move my old king size bed into one of the guest rooms.
The antique bed was moved to the smaller guest room.
The paintings in all three bedrooms are my father's artwork.
So, today, on top of having slept well for an astonishing 3 nights in a row, and having a wonderful time pumping iron at the gym, and having made myself a leisurely day dedicated to playing music, I had another surprise. I slipped on a size 6 pair of jeans....
and they fit!
I don't even know why I had them in my closet... they haven't fit for 5 years.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Well, summer is drawing to a close and there is the smell of fall in the air. Our gardens are getting ready to be tucked in and our crops harvested, canned, pickled, or frozen. The seasons move in an out, each bringing its own special qualities.
It was a lovely day today. This morning we had blue, blue skies and this afternoon we got much needed rain. I had a great workout at the gym, took Stella for a walk, then spent the day having fun with my music.
To celebrate garden season, and just for fun, I made this little video. It was just shot on my little Nikon Coolpix which was set on my music stand, so it is at a funny angle and the quality isn't that great. Neither am I a polished performer; it's all about having fun.
So, this is for you. I hope you enjoy.
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