Friend Therapy

Yesterday was a really busy day but awesome! I started out pretty early for a Saturday with a bowl of oatmeal. I made it in the microwave with 1/2 rolled oats, 1 cup milk, a pinch of salt, flax seed, cinnamon, nutmeg and a banana. Once it was done, I topped it off with a big glob of almond butter. I made such a big bowl because I needed it to get me through a few hours. I wasn’t able to finish all of it as I guess my stomach has gotten used to smaller meals.

A couple of hours later, I went to my yoga class at Journey Home Yoga. The class was a hatha flow class taught by Laura. She focused on sun salutations and back bends, my favorite! We went through many many rounds of sun salutation and then did a number of back bends including cobra pose and sphinx. The end of the class was a little core work and twists followed by guided breath work. I think the breath work will come in handy when I need a few moments of calm in my work day as it was very soothing and relaxing.

After yoga, I met my friend Sarah at Starbucks for a light meal and a latte. I asked for the veggie piadini and a vanilla latte but once we got outside, I realized they gave me the one with sausage and cheese. I decided to eat it anyway because I was hungry and the line was all the way to the door. It was still delicious and I highly recommend these to anyone looking for a quick light meal on the go. Despite my order being wrong, it was a pleasant trip because the nice man behind the counter told me that I had “such a sweet face”. That really brightened my day!

After Starbucks we headed out to the west end to meet our friend Tanya at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. The first stop was TJ’s to stock up on cereal and yogurt among other delightful goodies like lacey cookies and cashew macadamia nut butter! Next up was Whole Foods for produce and hummus. I was looking for the lemon hummus I see all over blogland but they said they didn’t make it in that store. I settled on a small container of basil hummus instead, lets hope it is fabulous. On the way out, we all got a little of the homemade gelato. I got a small with butter pecan and chocolate. It was so delicious and I ate it with a baby spoon to make it last much longer!

Once back to my side of the world, Sarah and I parted ways and I headed home. The dear husband and I went to our favorite place, Target, to pick up a few facial products for my new out of control skin. I’m having such problems lately with oil and acne. My mom tells me that she had the same problem in her 30’s so I am looking for a way to get through it. After Target, we headed to the drug store to pick up my prescriptions only to find that one of them is no longer covered by my insurance. Well, it is covered but my co pay was $120! Are they kidding me? The pharmacist recommended something over the counter to tide me over until I can talk to my insurance/doctor. I think the state of health care in the country is awful!

Once we were home from our errands, I hit the treadmill for 35 minutes. I had planned to do an hour but my friends, Jamie and Courtney, were coming through Richmond with their friend Megan and we had plans for dinner. She was running a bit earlier than I expected so I hopped off the treadmill to be sure I made it with plenty of time. The funny thing about being on the treadmill is that I discovered that I like walking at a little higher speed than I have been. It seemed that I liked it to be more challenging and I really enjoyed it much more. Maybe over time, I can slowly increase my speed to the point of running again. That would be great!

I met Jamie and friends at the Cracker Barrel for dinner. We were all really hungry at this point as they had been at Busch Gardens all day and I hadn’t had anything since the gelato 5 hours before. I started with half a biscuit and half a corn bread. The biscuit was great and the corn bread was OK, I prefer sweeter corn bread. For dinner, I ordered chicken n dumplings with turnip green, green beans and stewed apples. I ate mainly the veggies because I hadn’t really had any veggies all day long. The dumplings were good but the chicken was insanely dry so I only had a few bites of that.

Once they headed back to NC, I headed home. I had barely seen the dear husband all day so it was nice to cozy up with him on the couch before finally heading to bed.

Though Provoker: Do you think that spending time with friends is an important part of keeping you happy? I love being social as long as I really know everyone around though being around a bunch of strangers makes me shy and withdrawn. I think that having friend time is really important to my overall well being.

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Fast Oats!

I started the day yesterday with a bowl of oats, depsite running late. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it in a while but instead of the long process of using the stovetop, I used the microwave. No babysitting, to constant checking, I just popped in it, stirred it once and five minutes later I had a bowl of creamy oats. I used 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk, a mashed banana and a pinch of salt. I topped it with a heaping spoon of almond butter. Pretty good for a fast breakfast but I do have to say that a whole banana is such a small portion was too banana-y.

Work started out crazy but ended up being a quiet pleasant day. For my mid morning meal, I had chicken salad in half of a whole wheat pita. I made a whole lot of the chicken salad so plan to see it a few more times this week. For lunch I had a warm bowl of 17 been soup topped with parmesan cheese and a side of grapes. I just love how soup gets better after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days.

I left work early for an appointment and when I got home, I had a delicious mini meal. I mixed greek yogurt with lemon curd and topped it with granola. It was like lemon pie!

After my “lemon pie”, I read a little and then headed out for a walk. I did one loop around the neighborhood in 30 minutes! It normally takes the dear husband and I about 45, clearly, we walk at a much slower pace when we are together. Once home, I started on dinner. I didn’t really have a plan except that I wanted to use the chicken, spinach and feta sausages from TJ’s that I had taken out of the freezer. From there, a great meal ensued. I sliced the sausages in olive oil, once they were browned, I tossed in a jar of drained artichoke hearts and a can of diced tomatoes. To thicken it up a bit, I sprinkled in some parmesan cheese then added in a little dried basil. I served this impromtu sauce on top of whole wheat pasta and topped the whole thing off with goat cheese. Delightful!

After dinner, we watched some television and read for a bit. I went to bed early as I was feeling super tired.

QOTD: How many hours of sleep do you get per night? How many hours do you feel best?

5 Months of Wedded Bliss

I woke up pretty early yesterday and spent some time in the blog-o-sphere before making breakfast. Once I was ready to eat, I made a wheat bagel toasted with smart balance and topped with almond butter and frog jam. On the side, I had a nice bowl of watermelon. It was a nice breakfast and fueled me up for the day ahead.

After breakfast, I spent a couple of hours deep cleaning the bathrooms and the kitchen. By the time I finished, the dear husband was back from his long run so the morning timing worked out perfectly. We were heading out to run some errands and my stomach was starting to growl so I ate a banana.

We did a couple of our errands and then stopped for lunch. We ate at Spinnaker’s which is a local family owned place with a nice variety of food. They are famous for their flower pot bread so we started with that.

For lunch, I ordered the grilled chicken panini and fries. The panini had grilled chicken, spinach, mozzarella (!!), red onions and honey dijon mustard. It was so good! I ate most of the panini and a couple of the fries. For some reason, the fries were not appealing to me at all which is probably a good thing.

After lunch, we went to Barnes and Noble to look around and to get a starbucks. I got a soy caramel latte to see how it would compete with my favorite vanilla latte. It was good, but I think I like the vanilla better.

Once we were all buzzed up, we headed home to relax for the rest of the afternoon. Around 5:30, I decided to do my 15 minute clean up before dinner instead of after. I vacuumed the downstairs and decluttered a little bit. This 15 minute thing really is doing so much for our house. I have been thinking of all of the things that I can accomplish in 15 minutes and plan to make a list soon. One of the things that has really been helping me is that I am keeping in mind that I am not trying to achieve perfection just clean and tidy.

We were both feeling uninspired for dinner. I wanted to do something nice since it was our 5 month wedding anniversary and our 25 months since we met anniversary. We had pretty much decided on just going to the italian place just a mile or two away when I read this post on Jenna’s blog. They were headed to the Bonefish Grill and that sounded perfect. We hopped in the car and made it there around 6:45.

For appitizer, we started with the bang bang shrimp. I  had heard awesome things about it and it had been on my mind to try it for a really long time. It greatly exceeded my expectations! I had a light breading and then it was tossed in a creamy spicy sauce that reminded us both of the spicy mayo they use on sushi. We gobbled it down!

Then came the wonderful bread with the lovely olive oil and pesto which I could probably make a meal out of.

And then there was soup, a nice corn crab chowder that I will be trying to duplicate at home come fall.

For dinner, I ordered the pistachio crusted rainbow trout with garlic whipped potatoes and veggies. As you can imagine, by this time, I wasn’t really hungry anymore so I only had a few bites and we boxed up the rest.

When we made it home, we were both really tired so we climbed into bed with our books and called it a night.

QOTD: I have decided that I am going to start the Couch To 5K running program which requires one to run three times per week which I think I can manage. When I ran before, I ran 5 days a week and would love to be back there again. How many days per week do you run?

Frustrating Friday

As per usual, I woke up late but I was still able to cook a nice bowl of oats for breakfast. I used some 7 grain cereal cooked with hemp milk, a dash of sea salt and a mashed banana. Once it was finished cooking, I stirred in a well beaten egg and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I mixed in some ground flax seed and topped it all off with some blueberries. It was a hearty and filling breakfast to start my day off right.

I got to work and it was a nutso house. Everyone seemed to be having problems with their computers and getting those things resolved was not on my original agenda. Unfortunately, Friday is a big deadline day for me so I was really stressed out. When I looked at the clock and realized I had almost missed staff lunch, I was relieved to be able to take a break. I went downstairs to check out the pickings. It was roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and roasted green beans. Comfort food just when I needed it though I had to work and eat and work and eat. It took me about an hour to finish it. TGIF!

About mid afternoon, I was looking for a pick me up and some chocolate was just the ticket. I broke off a few squares of some endangered species dark chocolate with hazelnut toffee. It really hit the spot though I couldn’t really taste the hazelnut flavor at all.

I ended up working late so the dear husband was in charge of dinner. He made us salads with lettuce, tomato, cukes, grapes, sea salt, oil and vinegar along with and Amy’s Organic frozen roasted veggie cheese-less pizza. It was ready as soon as I walked in the door so we ate right away. The pizza is so darn good! If I am happy about eating less dairy for any reason at all, discovering this pizza is it!

After dinner, I caught up on my google reader which collected 29 posts since this morning and then I settled in with my book. I decided to skip the 15 minute clean up because I am doing deep cleaning today and the house is really tidy looking already. Around 7:30, we decided to rent a movie on demand and we ende up watching “The Other Bolyn Girl”. It was pretty interesting with lots of plot twists and the costumes were beautiful. By movies end, my stomach was growling and for some reason it was telling me almond butter and jam. So, I made an almond butter and cherry jam on whole wheat sandwich. After the sandwich, it was bed time for sure.

QOTD: How do you deal with stress while you are at work and can’t get away? Lately, I seem to be hitting the chocolate :-/

Last Day of Vacation

I woke up around 7:30 and started my last day of vacation with a bowl of 7 grain cereal. I cooked it in vanilla hemp milk, a mashed banana, some sea salt and just before turning off the stove, I mixed in a well beaten egg. I topped it with some “on their last leg” blueberries and a spoonfull of almond butter. This bowl of hot cereal was excellent. It was rich and creamy and really filled me up and kept me going for most of the morning.

After breakfast, I started on my quest for a clean house. Something that hasn’t really happened since I moved into a much larger house with my dear husband. As I have mentioned before, I am a perfectionist and this has led to me never starting any thing when it comes to house work. So, slowly but surely, I have been getting the house in order as a starting point for my new plan of action. I plan to do the nitty gritty cleaning on Saturday while the dear husband does his marathon training and then also commit to 15 minutes per day of de-cluttering. Yesterday, I was able to achieve a nice starting point.

I took a break around 1 and made lunch. I used some leftover roasted chicken to make a sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato and honey mustard. On the side I had more of the watermelon from Monday. The sandwich wasn’t spectacular by any stretch of the imagination but it did the trick and fueled me for the rest of my cleaning.

A little after lunch, I decided to have some of the cherry almond chocolate bar that I had on my mind for a couple of days. I ate about a 1/3 of the bar and had to really stop myself from eating the rest. It was so so good right up there with the cranberry chocolate bar from a couple days ago. Luckily, this cherry almond bar is more readily available so I can have it whenever I want!

After the cleaning was done, I made some dinner just in time for the dear husband arrival from work. I had planned to make tofu stir fry and in the midst of baking the tofu, I decided to just use up the rest of the roasted chicken and save the tofu for snacking and a meal later in the week. I loaded the stir fry with lots of mixed veggies and made a sauce with some general tsao’s sauce, chili sauce and honey. I served the stir fry on top of some brown rice I heated up from the freezer. Once we started to eat it, it seemed a little bland so I gave it a good glug of soy sauce and that was just what it needed.

After dinner, I spent 15 minutes cleaning and organizing my bedrooms drawers and then settled in with my book. It had been a nice and productive last day of vacation, I am counting the days until the next one!

QOTD: Are you a clean freak or a messy slob? I seem to be both, I can’t seem to find any middle ground which is what I am really trying to work on.

A Long Week Comes to an End

Finally, it was Friday. This week was filled with ups and down but I made it! I woke up in the morning with my eye on the goal: Make it to 4pm. I started the day with my typical breakfast of oats, wheatberries, bulgur and ground flax seed topped with a nectarine and almond butter. I was feeling extra hungry so I added a little extra of the almond butter. It always surprised me that the nectarine and the almond butter go together but they really do.

breakfast

breakfast

Once I got to work, I had a ton to do before T got there. It was “statement” day which means we have to send out our 500 member statements. And this operation, my friends, it totally manual. It takes a better part of the day even with two people doing it. Needless to say, it is one of my least favorite tasks. By lunch, they were off to print, which I thought was perfect timing. It was stir fry day, yay! The stir fry had little pieces of beef, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, peppers and onions. It was served with white rice, which I took a little of. I had planned to bring one of those brown rice cups from home but in my mad dash to leave I forgot. I topped my stir fry with a little rooster sauce to give it a kick and it was great.

stir fry

stir fry

After lunch, the folding and stuffing began. It took up most of the afternoon and by 3:30, I was hungry again. I had a kashi chocolate peanut crunch bar that I really enjoyed. I think it is a toss up between this one and the chocolate caramel one. Both are very tasty and make a nice quick snack.

crunchy

crunchy

Finally, after the statements were out the door and the other month end tasks were complete, I was on my way home. I had a long stressful week and I just wanted to go home and relax. We decided to have pizza for dinner so when I got home, I popped in an archers farm pepperoni extra thin crust pizza. The dear husband made some nice salads with tomatoes, cukes and mixed greens dressed with olive oil and vinegar. After I ate my first piece, I decided to wait 10 minutes to see if I really needed a second piece. By the time it passed, I was over pizza.

pizza

pizza

We decided to rent a movie on demand which is one of our favorite things to do on a Friday night. We rented Definitely Maybe and I made some famous popcorn. The movie was pretty good, I think. It was a little drawn out and kind of predictable but overall it was cute. After the movie, we settled into bed for some tv and off to sleep I went. Saturday was just around the corner.

famous popcorn

famous popcorn

Goodbye Callie

I tell you, sometimes I wonder why life throws so many curve balls all at one time. Yesterday was a really hard day emotionally. I started out with a heavy heart about how work would feel. I didn’t want to get out of bed and I wondered how many days in row I could call in sick without being fired. I did finally get up and get ready to go. For breakfast I had my typical, hot grain cereal with wheatberries, oats and bulgur topped with almond butter and a banana. One the side I had a glass of milk.

breakfast

breakfast

Once at work, the emotions really started flying. The Pro and I had a really long talk about Paul’s death and the unfortunate circumstances behind it. Though the club was closed, a few employees rambled in throughout the day to find out any updates about the arrangements for him. Once T got to work, the mood lightenend a bit as she is a laugher and her laugh is infectous. It was a nice change from the somber mood of the early morning.

Around 10:30, The Pro said he would go out to Firebird’s and pick up some lunch. Since I knew that meant it would be late before lunch arrived, I had a stoneyfield farms low fat strawberry yogurt. It really hit the spot and held me over until the lunch came.

this should hold me over

this should hold me over

I ordered the same thing I always order from Firebird’s, a grilled salmon salad. The salad has roasted pecans, tomatoes and jicama and it comes with a cilantro lime vinaigrette. It is so tasty and even without any whole grains, it is really filling. The Pro also “surprised” us with lattes so right after lunch I had most of a grande soy latte from Starbucks. I had a raging headache and that really helped ease it up some.

lunch

lunch

latte

latte

 

The afternoon flew by and before I knew it, it was time to go. By the time I left, I had an outrageous headache again and was really ready to be home. When I got home, I made spinach salads and whole wheat mini shells with turkey tomato sauce. I had the sauce in the freezer so this meal went together in less than 15 minutes.

quick dinner

quick dinner

After dinner, we went out to run some errands and came home to some disappointing news. There were signs all over the neighborhood indicating someone had lost a pregnant calico cat with a distinctive stripe down her nose. We knew right away that the missing cat was our Callie. We had adopted her just a week prior and at the time felt sure she was a stray. She did not have a collar and she hung around for months. Once we decided that she was a stray, we started feeding her and she, of course, started to hang around more. She was in our yard constantly and we didn’t want her to be homeless anymore. So, we took her to the vet and brought her in to join our other two precious kitties.

We called the number on the flyer and got a voicemail and left a message letting them know we had her. The whole evening was so sad. I made some popcorn hoping to find some comfort, I know food wasn’t the answer but I was so tired of crying.

comfort food?

comfort food?

Around 9:30, we went to bed only to be woken at 10:30 by the ringing phone. Dear husband answered, it was Callie’s “owner”. Within a few minutes, the doorbell rang. I answered the door because I wanted answers. I wanted to know why she was always so hungry and if they intended to give her an actual home. Sadly, the man was very confrontational and he had two dirty crying children with him. He approached me as if he wanted to fight a couple of times, I threatened to call the police but he wasn’t backing down. He and I clearly have different positions on proper animal care. He was aware that she was pregnant and that she didn’t have a collar. He also admitted that “everyone” in the neighborhood feeds her. They had gone on vacation and when they returned she was missing. In the end, I gave him the cat as he was threatening me and I was very scared, he was only feet from my face and I didn’t know what else to do.

Once Callie left, I was angry and sad. I am so worried about the fate of her and her little babies. I don’t know if I have any rights at all. Though I did tell him if she comes back, I do plan to take her in again. I cried alot and finally fell asleep around 2 am. I didn’t see her this morning, I hope she is OK.