Encouraging Words

Thank you all for your kind words yesterday. Some days, I feel so strong and confident and others, not so much. When I woke up yesterday, I didn’t realize I was so emotional about the day before until I started writing. Once I started to write, it all just came tumbling out. It was so good for me to release it and it felt even better to read your comments. Some of you brought me to tears with your compassion and understanding. I always feel so misunderstood and it is so comforting to know that there are people in the world that get it.

My writing put me in a big rush to get to yoga on time. Instead of eating an early breakfast, I ate a quick banana and an almond coconut KIND bar. I was in such a hurry that I didn’t take a picture. Luckily, I still got to yoga in time to set up my mat and visit the ladies room 🙂 When I got there, I was very happy to see Linda, probably my favorite yoga teacher thus far. Linda teaches vinyasa and she really knows how to build internal heat and get out all of the kinks. Linda’s class is the kind of class where you just hate her for it but once it is all over, the love starts pouring out.  When the class ended, she told us that she will not be teaching the Saturday AM class again until January and for this, I am very upset. We talked to her about the sub from last week and she thinks that we should tell her that we prefer the vinyasa style so hopefully it will all work out.

I came home after yoga and made the dear husband and I a nice breakfast. For some reason, I was really in the mood to cook. So, instead of worrying about the things we wanted to get done, I cooked. I made spinach polenta topped with egg, salsa and goat cheese. First I sauteed onions and garlic in a little ghee (clarified butter) and then added in diced ham. Once the ham was nicely browned, I added milk and then the corn meal. Once the polenta was thick and creamy, I added in frozen chopped spinach and a dash of nutmeg. This breakfast was rich, hearty and satisfying!

After our late breakfast, we headed out for a day of shopping. The cold snuck up on us here in VA and my sweater and long sleeve inventory was really lacking. While we were out, I grabbed a chai green tea latte from Starbucks. With a Starbucks in tow, we hit up the Halloween section at Target and then headed out for a bite to eat. We went to Noodles & Company which I am guessing is a chain but the one we went to is the only one in the Metro Richmond area. It was our first time there and we both really liked it. It seemed to be the perfect place for when you want to go out but everyone isn’t in the mood for the same things. I got pad thai with tofu and added a little rooster sauce to it. I ate about 1/3 of the noodles and didn’t eat the tofu, it was soft and mushy, not my kind of tofu.

After eating, we headed to the grocery store to stock up for the week and then headed home. Once home, I made us a big pot of popcorn because we were both mildly hungry.

About halfway through, I realized that I was really hungry and went for a piece of fried chicken we had picked up from the grocery store. I didn’t eat the skin but the chicken was still good. Just the piece of chicken did the trick so I didn’t eat anything with it.

We watched a couple episodes of the Suze Orman show and then hit the hay. I was really looking forward to the extra hour of sleep!

Thought Provoker: Is there a form of exercise that you have a love hate relationship with?

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Finding a Light

Yesterday, I had the same ole same ole for breakfast. A bowl of shredded wheat n bran topped with banana, walnuts, milk and cinnamon. But this time, I didn’t forget the picture 🙂

I was in such a hurry at home that I didn’t really have time to pack much for work so I depended on the staff lunch to get me through the morning and early afternoon. It was not the healthiest of choices, it rarely is, but I went for it anyway. I had a small fried chicken thigh and a serving of mac n cheese with peas. It was pretty good, I really tried figuring out what they coated the chicken in to give it such a crispy texture but couldn’t figure it out. I also forgot to ask chef 😦

While I ate my lunch, I took some advice from a book that Sally recommended and decided to look into online writing workshops. I found one that I like and I plan to sign up for it. It is a 28 week course that explains a number of aspects of getting started as a writer. I am looking forward to the course and feel like this is my light at the end of the tunnel. If I can at least get started with working towards a writing career then maybe the day to day will not be so bad.

In the late afternoon, I had a greek yogurt with agave and NUTrition nuts. It was realy tasty but for some reason, it did not hold me over very long.

Once I got home from work, I got started on dinner right away. I made roasted brussel sprouts and a kicked up version of Bobby’s Goulash. You may remember that the first time I made it that I thought it was a bit bland and that the bay leaf was a bit over powering. This time, i took a couple of portions out of the freezer and added a little chili powder and garlic powder. I put it into a casserole dish and topped it with a mexican cheese blend and goat cheese. I baked it in the oven for about a half hour and then broiled it for a moment to brown the cheese. I liked this version a little better but the bay leaf was still strong.

After dinner, I decided to do a little baking. I had been wanting cookies all day so I decided to make oatmeal bars. I used Tina’s recipe as a base and came up with this lovely treat:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup white wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until combined very well. Spread the batter into a greased 8 x 8 baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until light golden brown. 

I’ve decided to make one small change to the blog. Instead of a question of the day, I am going to have the “Thought Provoker of the Day”. The reason for this is that sometimes my QOTD is taken as a request for advice when in most cases it is not. I started the QOTD as a way to get the conversation rolling and to help me learn about others relationship with food and exercise. My goal is to one day write a book to help people with intuitive eating so this has been a form of research for me. I appreciate everyones input but long rants of unsolicited advice isn’t what I’m going for. I hope you all will understand.

Only Hungry for Chocolate

I started another day with fast oats except this time, I didn’t use so much banana. I used 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk and a dash of salt. I cooked it for 2 minutes, stirred and cooked for 2 more minutes. Once it was done, I topped with half a small banana, a smidge more milk and an almond butter spoon. I like it much better this way and what I like most is that I can multi task while it cooks and pack all of my mini meal supplies.

Work was slow and steady. For some reason, I didn’t get hungry for my second meal of the day until almost 11. I had a leftover spinach and feta chicken sausage

and a little roasted butternut squash. I ate it all cold but think next time I will heat it up a bit.

T had to run errands so she offered to pick up sushi. I got a shrimp tempura roll with brown rice and a veggie roll. I only ate about half of both as I still wasn’t all that hungry, so look for a repeat of this tomorrow!

A little after lunch, I had a raging sweet tooth and decided to have a little square of chocolate. It did the trick for the time being. Just before go time, I had some greek yogurt with granola and agave. I promise there is some yogurt and agave under that pile of granola!

I was still craving chocolate so I ended up eating what was left of my chocolate stash, not quite half a ritter bar. It made me feel sick, I felt like a kid at halloween. When I left work, I really felt like I was going to be sick but I made it to therapy without having to pull over.

I guess my therapy was coming back to me because my therapist saw that I was there very early and went ahead and called me back. I guess that makes up for her being very late last week. This time, the water works started right away. I had been having a real tough week and even though I was pinpointing some issues, I wasn’t kicking the depression or the anxiety. She really pulled some answers out of me and I realized that I have been harboring something that I haven’t really talked about.

On Saturday, I was verbally assaulted by a crazy drunk driver. It really scared me at the time and still today I have some pretty creeped out thoughts about it. It has really triggered my anxiety and depression. My therapist wants me to focus this week on “coming down” from my anxious episodes by doing things that make me feel better, namely exercise. She also suggested medication since this time of year is always tough for me because of the lack of sunshine and the anniversary of my brothers death.  I am thinking over the medication idea but will try to exercise more to see if it breaks my gray cloud.

Once home from therapy, the dear husband had lovingly prepared a frozen pizza for us. It was the Archers Farms brand with goat cheese, tomato and spinach. I wasn’t very hungry so I didn’t eat very much of it.

After dinner, we watched Oprah on the DVR. By the time that was over my stomach actually growled, I think for the first time all day. I had a bowl of hazelnut biscotti cereal with milk and then called it a night.

QOTD: Do you eat just before bed if you are actually hungry? I have never really been a believer that you shouldn’t eat before bed, I was always in the calories in calories out camp.

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?

Was it really Tuesday?

I think I must be making some sort of record in my personal “what time I woke up”book because I woke up on time again yesterday! I’m getting better at this, I guess being depressed was impacting my life much more than I realized. Now that I am feeling better, all sorts of things are looking up!

For breakfast, I had a bowl of live active cereal topped with a banana, walnuts and hemp milk. For the past couple of days, I have been using the hemp milk and wondering why I didn’t like it much this go round. I think this time I bought vanilla which seems to make a big difference. Next time, I will make sure to buy the plain.

For lunch at work, I ate the staff lunch…er…attempted to eat the staff lunch. It was some sort of veggies, shrimp and rice with a cucumber salad. I ate the cucumber salad but the other stuff was just plain gross.

With only a few bites of the main course, I was hungry within an hour. My work pantry came to the rescue! I had a few kashi crackers and a teaspoon or five two of white chocolate dreams PB. This did the trick, it even got me through dinner without a snack!

For dinner, I was feeling inspired by the leftover chicken in my fridge. I made quesadilas with a “what I have on hand plus a quick trip to the grocery store” twist.  I used whole wheat tortillas and topped them with shredded chicken, crispy bacon, caramalized balsamic onions, mozzarella cheese, goat cheese and fresh spinach.

On the side, I served local apple butter for dipping. Oh so good!

For dessert, I had some of the choclate and hazelnut bar that the dear husband brought home to me. I hadn’t had any milk chocolate in a while so this seemed surprisingly sweet. I enjoyed it, none the less 🙂

QOTD: For some reason, my vegetable desire in really low right now, I normally get plenty but lately, they just don’t appeal to me. I think my main problem is that I have had enough of salads. How do I get my veggie mojo back?

A Late Start

Yesterday, the alarm went off at 5 and I rolled over and turned it off. I normally hit snooze but it just didn’t happen that way. I ended up waking up at 6:45 put me really late for work. I made a quick breakfast with kashi autumn wheat, walnuts, a very ripe banana and hazelnut milk. I really enjoyed the hazelnut milk with the autumn wheat since the cereal is sweet but the milk isn’t.

I made it to work about 45 minutes late and things were already chaotic. Before heading out for my errands, I had an okios blueberry yogurt. I really liked it though the greek yogurt flavor and texture didn’t really stand out. It really tasted like a regular already fruited yogurt. I think in the future, I will stick to plain greek yogurt and add my own toppings.

For lunch, I picked up sushi. I had a kryptonite roll and an order of edamame. It was super tasty and really reminded me of the first time I had that roll. It was like it was a new experience all over again, now that is good sushi 🙂

I had to leave early for a doctor appointment so my short afternoon was spent cramming all my work in. I went to see the doc about my shoulder which I have had problems with for a couple of years now. I also took him some lab work results from when the dear husband and I had exams for life insurance policies. For my shoulder, he gave me another shot in the muscle and ordered me to do more yoga. I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t gotten so lax with the yoga, I wouldn’t had to go back to see him about it. As far as the lab work, he was concerned about some of my protein and sugar levels so I had to give more blood. I won’t get the results from his testing for at least 24 hours. Until then, I have to hang tough and hope that everything turns out normal.

When I got home, I did a 40 minute power yoga “calming energy” flow. It was a little too slow for my taste but given my time at the doc and my nervousness about the testing, it was exactly what I needed to calm my nerves. After yoga, I made some dinner. Taking my inspiration from Kath, I made chicken topped with goat cheese on salad. For the salad, I used mixed greens, yellow cherry tomatoes, cukes, black grapes, pistachios all topped with oil and vinegar. It was a delightful salad but I think I should have used more goat cheese.

After dinner, I spent a little time in blog land and then had some dessert. I don’t know what I will do when I run out of these delightful Farmer’s market treats. We shared the pecan tart, it was very very good. Sorry for the lack of picture but I couldn’t get it to turn out. After the treat, I called it a night.

QOTD: How do you take your mind off of stressful news regarding your health or someone you care abouts health?

Two Lattes, Two Cookies

Wouldn’t it be ironic if I woke up at 5:15 naturally on a Saturday when I struggle to do it during the work week? Well, that is what happened yesterday. At 5:15, my eyes flew open and I was ready for the day.  I had a pre-workout snack, which is a new thing for me (the working out and the pre workout snack). I had a small glass of low fat chocolate milk before I hopped on the treadmill. I think it really helped me stay more alert during the workout and I felt great afterwards. So, thanks to Jenna for inspiring me to have one. I did a 32 minute (one sex and the city episode) walk/run on the treadmill. I keep toying with the idea of running again and so I gave it a go. I am very much out of shape so I walked 3 minutes and ran 2 for most of the workout. I did just walk for the last 8 minutes or so. The workout was great and it felt good knowing that it was over and done with for the day.

pre workout snack

pre workout snack

After a quick shower and some blogging, I made breakfast. I reheated some of my wheatberry, oat and bulgur concoction and topped it with a very ripe peach and some PB & Co. white chocolate wonderful. I guess the workout decreased my appetite because I wasn’t able to even come close to finishing my already small portion.  

breakfast

breakfast

Once breakfast was finished and the dear husband was back from his marathon training, we hit the road. The siding guys are still working on our house and the banging is unbearable so we didn’t want to stick around. Our first stop was Target for a Starbucks. From the moment we gave our order we knew this was going to be an interesting experience. There were gobs of people standing around waiting for their drinks and the line was out of control. After settling into a chair to wait, we saw why. The girl making the drinks was WAY overwhelmed and the dude taking the orders was new and had to keep interrupting her.  After about 15 minutes, we got our drinks. Mine was wrong. I was delivered a tall vanilla latte with an extra shot. Since I didn’t want to cause further chaos, I took the drink thinking that the extra shot wouldn’t make that much of a difference. I was wrong, it tasted like mud so I sat it in the cup holder and pouted.

latte # 1

latte # 1

We were headed to the area of town that I lived when dear husband and I met one another. It is about 45 minutes away from home so when we passed a little coffee shop on the way I was delighted. We pulled in and I was sure that this would make up for the bad Starbucks. I am not usually this high maintenance but it really was a bad drink. I ordered a small vanilla latte with skim milk. I got the latte to the car and it was way too sweet for me. This was turning out to be a bad latte day. Since I still had the mud sitting in the console, I decided to mix the two lattes together and it actually turned out really good. Too bad it cost me two stops and $10.

latte # 2

latte # 2

Once we got to my old stomping grounds, we did a little shopping and reminiscing. For lunch, we went to one our favorite places from when we were dating. Ginger Red which is an Asian Fusion place that has awesome food, a cool atmosphere and brown rice. 🙂 I started out with some hot jasmine tea and Thai lettuce wraps. The lettuce wraps were fantastic, they had a nice curry flavor that wasn’t too strong.

jasmine tea

jasmine tea

lettuce wraps

lettuce wraps

For lunch I ordered a Vietnamese summer roll and hunan shrimp with brown rice. The hunan shrimp came with a soup so I asked for hot and sour. The summer roll was excellent, the peanut sauce they serve it with is the best combo of sweet and sour.

summer roll

summer roll

The soup was pretty typical hot and sour soup and since I hadn’t really planned to eat soup, I only had a bite or two.

hot and sour soup

hot and sour soup

After soup, our entrees came. My Hunan Shrimp was perfectly cooked but the sauce was a bit milder than I had expected.  It was a lunch size portion and I still only finished about 1/3 of it.  I also had a bite or two of the dear husbands fried rice. For dessert, we split a fortunes cookie. Overall, our lunch was fantastic and brought back great memories from days gone by.

hunan shrimp with brown rice

hunan shrimp with brown rice

fortune cookie

fortune cookie

Lunch was followed by a trip to the local health food store. I really only needed some oats and some oat flour but we came across some local tofu (!!) that I had to have as well. We also bought some Ezekiel sprouted burger buns and a preserve toothbrush. While there, we had a sample of a vegan chocolate chip cookie made with tofu. It was pretty tasty, the texture was kinda of dry but they have been because they were siting out in the sample tray. It was my first time with a vegan baked good and overall, I wouldn’t have know it was vegan if the sign hadn’t said so.

vegan cookie

vegan cookie

After the health food store, we headed home to see if we had a message about my car. We had been waiting all day for a call and thought maybe they called our house instead of our cell. When we got home, there was no message so we gave them a call and they said that it still wasn’t ready. Finally, around 4:30 they called to say it was done. We headed out to pick it up and then we went to Lowe’s for new porch lights.

Once we got back home, we made a light dinner. Spinach and spring mix salad with cukes, dried cranberries, goat cheese and almond slices. I topped mine with a little garlic seasoned rice vinegar and had a whole wheat yeast roll on the side. It was a nice dinner and not too heavy after a long day of running around.

a light summer dinner

a light summer dinner

After dinner, I read a little of “When Food is Love” by Geneen Roth and finally headed off to bed. It had been a nice Saturday but I was really tired!

QOTD: Do you prefer to get your work out done in the morning or in the evening? Why?