Breakfast for lunch, Junk Food for dinner

I slept in until a little past 7 yesterday, I would have slept longer but I had to get to yoga. I drank my cafe au lait while eating breakfast. In the bowl was Barbara’s shredded spoonfuls, ground flax seed, dried blueberries and milk.

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After breakfast, I headed to yoga class. The class had, yet again, another new teacher who had suffered from some miscommunication. She thought the class was supposed to be a gentle hatha flow class for beginners. We didn’t even come to standing until about 45 minutes into it. At that point in the class, she said “we are going to come into Warrior I” and immediately, we came into warrior I. She looked up and said “oh, you are already there” because she was expecting to have to teach us the pose. A few moments later, she seemed very confused about what was going on and said something about us being more than beginners so I finally spoke up. I told her that the class was normally a vinyasa I and II class. She looked like a deer in headlights and said, “so this class has been way too easy” and we all agreed that it had. Then she said she wish she had known because she normally teaches vinyasa and was having a hard time teaching a gentle class. We finished out the class with a few sun salutations but by then, time was up.

After class, we all sat around and had a long discussion about the class. It was a complicated discussion that I’m still not even really sure what happened.  In the end,  I’m not sure if it is the studio for me anymore. With all of the teacher changes and style changes and level changes, I’m just not sure I can keep paying the high price. I like vinyasa and feel that, for the money, I should get what I pay for.  Confusion like this has happened many times over the past couple of months and it only leaves me frustrated. I have been told that maybe these gentle class come by to teach me something but they only teach me that gentle yoga is not my thing. I just sit, lay or whatever in the poses and feel frustration. I like vinyasa because it doesn’t give my mind time to wander; it is very much a moving meditation for me. I do yoga to ease my anxiety and depression and those gentle classes just make it worse.

I have found another studio in the area that is a few minutes further away, but they have a vinyasa class on Saturday mornings. Once my session is up at my current studio, I may give it a try.  I wish I had another r option but at this point, I don’t feel like I do. I have talked to Laura, the studio owner, about the problem but it isn’t being resolved. It actually makes me really sad because it really feels like home to me. It is the only studio I have ever practiced in so I feel emotionally tied to it. Yoga changed my life so walking away from the place that made that happen is hard.

After yoga, I came home and caught up on my blog reading and then made lunch. I saw lots of omelets in blogland and thought that would be the perfect way to use up some things in the fridge. I made a mish mosh fritata with shrimp, corn, black beans, onions, broccoli, light cream cheese and mozzarella.

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On the side, we had toasted english muffins with an olive oil drizzle. This was a eggs-ellent lunch 🙂

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With a full belly, I made a menu plan and shopping list for the week and then we headed out for errands. While out, I had a venti caramel latte to help keep me warm. It was very frigid outside! Once we got home, it was almost 5pm and we knew we wanted to get in a good workout. We met upstairs and he rode the recumbent bike and I did a run on the treadmill. I am very proud of this run because it was the longest I have ran in a couple of years. I walked for 5 minutes, ran for 26 minutes and then did a 4 minute cool down. It was awesome.

When I met the dear husband, I was an avid runner. I typically ran about 5 miles a day and it was just part of who I was. Once I moved into my current neighborhood the running stopped. The hills here are insane, more like mountains and the adjustment made havoc on my hips. It was just too painful to run anymore. Now that I have yoga in my life, the running doesn’t seem to bother my hips the way it did back then. Of course, I haven’t run outside yet so we will see when spring comes. Even if I have to run on the treadmill forever, I am glad that running is back in my life.

Once we were fresh and clean from our workout, I made us some junk food for dinner. I made a batch of morning star farms buffalo “wings”

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a pan of sweet potato fries

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with carrot sticks

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and blue cheese dressing for dipping.

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What a fun dinner this was. Even my carnivore husband thought that the “wings” we good and the sweet potato fries were killer! It was all pretty spicy so we wanted something sweet to balance it all out. Since it was so cold, I really wanted something warm. I made rice pudding with pecans and topped it off with chocolate chips.

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It was a warm and comforting dessert. I made it from a box with the exception of the nuts and chocolate but I will be seeking out a recipe for homemade. I want to have this treat again!

Have you ever felt so frustrated with something you love so much? What have you done to resolve it?

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An All Day Affair

I slept in big time yesterday, I didn’t wake up until 6:30!! I had a quick breakfast before going to my 8:30 yoga class. It was kind of a weird combo but I couldn’t really decide what I wanted. I had a bowl of shredded wheat topped with milk, pumpkin seeds and chopped dried figs. This was the first time I have ever eaten a dried fig except in the newton variety 🙂 Though I think I would prefer to eat them as a stand alone snack instead of in cereal, I really liked them! I also tried to pay attention for the sigh and a funny thing happened. About half way into the small bowl, I sighed so I stopped eating. A couple of minutes later, my stomach was growling so I finished off the bowl and then let out a larger sigh.

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 I googled “the sigh” immediately and found some interesting information on a message board. One messager said that for them, the first sigh is more of warning that it is almost time to finish and that sometimes there is even and second or third sigh. How complex is this sighing? Wow, I guess the important thing is to REALLY listen to your body. So, I set out on the rest of my day with the intention to listen for the sigh but to also keep in mind that my stomach will have something to say as well.

After my sigh research, I headed to yoga and found that the teacher would be Candy and that the class was full of beginners. The regular girl and I were out numbered! As the class began, I new that it wasn’t going to be what I was in for so I set my intention to practice patience. This worked well to keep my frustration level down and I was really able to focus on my breath as I held the poses. After class, I felt the need to discuss my options with the teacher. So, after everyone left, I asked her if she could talk and I expressed my concern that the class had turned into a beginners class. She was so open and understanding and I immediately felt that she got me. We ended up talking for 45 minutes and I eventually came to the conclusion that I will be dropping that class. She also decided that she would talk to Laura about maybe adding an intermediate/advanced class to the Saturday morning routine. I would love it if that happened but in the meantime, yesterday will be my last Saturday AM class for a while.

Candy did, however, tell me about lots of vinyasa and ashtanga classes she will be teaching around the Richmond area and gave me her card so that we can email and discuss further. I’m so nervous to try other studios but I feel very comfortable with her and really do think that with the right style of class, I would love her as my yoga teacher. I will also be going to the Monday night vinyasa class taught my Sonja at Laura’s studio. Sonja is somewhat of a yoga tyrant but I love her. She challenges me to no end and is the first teacher that I ever did shoulder stand with so I will always have a special place for her in my heart 🙂

By the time I got home, it was almost lunch time and the dear husband and I had a big day planned. We needed to by a new stove/oven because our current one is shot. This was an adventure that I was really excited about. I have never bought a new oven before so I was excited to see all of the wonderful cooking options I had! But first, we needed lunch. We stopped at Panera and grabbed a fabulous lunch. I ordered the tomato and mozzarella sandwich and tomato soup with no croutons. This time, when I sighed, my stomach agreed and I stopped eating. I noted that all afternoon, my stomach felt very content.

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After lunch, we went to Sears for our stove shopping pleasure. We finally found what I think will be a great one as it has all sorts of bells and whistles. The most important one is that it is a convection oven and a regular oven, how cool is that? It also has a turbo boil burner, a warming burner and a warming drawer. I can’t wait until it is delivered. I shall bake immediately!

It was still pretty early in the afternoon so we decided to hit up Target for for kitty supplies and somehow, that led to a Costco trip. The Costco trip included some food samples, so many that I didn’t actually keep track. The cool part was that by the time we were there, my stomach was starting to talk so I didn’t feel guilty about eating samples when I wasn’t hungry. I was still even a little hungry when we left so I ate the apple that came with my lunch at Panera.

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Costco led us on a hunt for mason jars which we ended up driving all over looking for and still didn’t find. By the time we gave up our search, it was dinner time and we were in the BIL and SIL’s neck of the woods so we called them to see if they wanted to meet for dinner.  We met them at a little Italian place that has been voted the best according to one of the local tv stations. I didn’t take any pictures because for some reason, the dear husband’s family just doesn’t strike me as the type to understand why one would photograph their food. I ordered lasagna which came with a house salad and bread. All of which was pretty average fare, nothing to write home about, really. I think I like our local place much better.

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Afterwards, we all wanted dessert so we headed to a local dessert shop to find out what they had. The place is called the Desserterie and has lots to offer. I decided to go for the gelato because they had chocolate hazelnut! It tasted like frozen nutella, seriously. I got mine mixed with a little regular chocolate. Sorry for the blurry pic but as I was trying to be quick while the BIL and SIL were still in line paying. While I was snapping the photo, a little girl pointed and said “why is that girl taking a picture of her ice cream” so I just put the camera away and hoped for the best. I assure it was fabulous and this place will be on the list of my favorite places.

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Yesterday didn’t end up like we planned, we didn’t get home until after 9pm and we were both wiped out! It was a long but productive day.

Thought Provoker: I found it interesting that “the sigh” was new to so many of my readers. Did you listen for it? What are you finding about your sigh?

Yoga and a Recipe

I woke up with a major food hangover yesterday, I didn’t want to get out of bed for anything. I had an 8:30 am yoga class so I got up anyway and made breakfast. I made 2 eggs n baskets with local nine grain bread and earth balance. I didn’t have anything on the side because I actually wasn’t hungry but I knew I needed to eat because I wouldn’t be out of yoga until late morning.

This weeks hatha flow yoga class was taught by Candy, a teacher I had never practiced with before. When I first saw Candy, my first thought was relief. She was overweight! I can’t tell you how many super thin yoga teachers there are in this world so to see one that I would consider to be like me, I was excited. For a couple of reasons, really. My big dream is to be a writer while teaching yoga “on the side”. She eased my mind that not all yoga teachers have to be thin.  And secondly, I knew my ego would not come in to play because I would not be constantly comparing how thin the teacher is to how overweight I am.  It was a wonderful feeling.

After class, I had a private lesson with Laura, the owner of the studio. If I have a mentor in this world, I do believe it is Laura. She compels me to want to live a yogic life and be my own best person. From the moment I met her, I felt a connection with her that makes me feel like she has been a cherished friend my whole life. Needless to say, I always enjoy my private lessons with her. This lesson was about a yogic approach to my anxiety, depression and seasonal affective disorder. I could write an entire article on all of the things that I learned but the biggest thing that I learned is that my body needs two different things depending on whether I am anxious or depressed. The two are so closely tied in my mind that I had just assumed the opposite. She taught me some “real world” techniques for when busting into warrior II just isn’t appropriate as well as the proper asanas and flows for when it is.  The whole session helped me understand why I enjoy the poses and the flows that I do with some real legit yoga wisdom to back it up.

In addition to the yogic techniques, we also explored a little more into ayureveda. We talked about my being a kapha and some of the foods that will help keep me balanced. From, that I have decided that I would like to educate myself more of these principles and probably make some changes to my diet accordingly. Laura urged me to take a real world approach and to avoid any extremist ideas which I find to be the most rational and intuitive. 

Once I was home from expanding my yogic horizons, it was lunch time. I was pretty hungry and wasn’t up for much involved cooking so leftovers and frozen veggies came to my rescue. I had a mango sausage with whole wheat couscous and steamed green beans with almond. The couscous and green beans didn’t really do it for me so I ended up only have a few bites.

After lunch, we headed to Barnes and Noble to look for books about ayureveda. That idea turned out to be a dud but we did get a latte while we were there 🙂 I got a toasted marshmallow mocha and a pretzel because I was still hungry from lunch. The pretzel was revolting, really, so I only had the one bite. It looks much better than it tasted.

Once we were home from B & N and the rest of our errands, I started on a pot of chowder right away. My friend was coming over for dinner and I knew it would be a really long cooking process. I had seen a couple of recipes for edamame chowder and with those, here is what I came up with.

Roasted Edamame Chowder

4 cups shelled edamame

3 tbsp olive oil

salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder to taste

3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces

1 large onion, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed with salt

1 lb of small red potatoes, sliced into half moons

2 cups frozen corn

4 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed

1 cup half and half

Cheddar cheese for topping

Instructions:

Pre heat oven to 400*. Coat the edamame the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder and toss to combine. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes stirring often to ensure even roasting. Once roasted, turn off the oven but the leave the edamame inside.

Meanwhile, cook bacon on medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan as set aside of paper towels. Remove as little or as much of the bacon grease as you would like but be sure to add a little olive oil if you remove all of it. Sautee the onions in the bacon grease (or olive oil) until they are translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the crushed garlic and sautee for another minute. Add the potatoes and corn and sautee for 5 minutes. Add in the chicken broth and increase the heat to med high. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce head to med and let simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Remove half of the soup mixture and add to the blender and puree until smooth. Once smooth, add back to the cooking pot along with the roasted edamame. Stir well to combine and taste for salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. After simmering, stir in the half and half and let stand for about 5 minutes. Top with crumbled bacon and cheese.

The chowder turned out great, I served it along side whole wheat yeast rolls and everyone was happy. The soup was rich and creamy and just what we needed on a cold rainy night! For dessert, I had a small bowl of local butter pecan ice cream, it was so good but it made me really cold. I think it is ALMOST time to retire ice cream for the season.

Thought Provoker: Do you make note of how certain foods make you feel? Do you have a tendency towards eating them anyway because they taste good even if they make you feel bad? My body does not like to be overloaded with sweets but my mind always wants to eat them. I try to only have a little but sometimes the sugar monster takes over.

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.

Takin’ it Easy

I woke up early yesterday in order to get in some breakfast before my yoga class, they say it is best to not have eaten for 2 hours before hand and I do my best to stick to that. I had a bowl of shredded wheat n bran with milk, walnuts and half a banana. I also ate a little more than I have been lately because I had some errand running to do after yoga and being hungry in three hours just wouldn’t work.

I signed up for a hatha flow yoga class on Saturday mornings since the dear husband agreed to do his marathon training on Saturdays from now on. The class starts at 8:30 and I was pretty excited to get back into the yoga studio. Practice at home and in a studio are such different experiences. Honestly, the biggest difference to me is my ego. When I practice at home, I, of course, don’t compare myself to others but at the studio, my mind often wonders to how I stack up. I do, however, enjoy practicing in a studio because I get to learn new things and I am reminded of proper alignment with a hands on approach rather than just words.

The class I took yesterday was with Laura, she is the owner of the studio and probably the most gentle of the teachers there. Her approach is soft and kind and her passion for yoga really shines. This class we focused on strengthening our core with a focus on the lower abdominal. I have a very weak core so it was just the class I needed. We went through many poses that you would never get somewhere else. In fact, plank and side plank never entered the 75 minute class. But today, I am sore from my shoulders all the way down to the top of my legs all the way around. Needless to say, it was a good class.

After a quick catch up session with Laura, I headed next door to Ukrop’s to do a little grocery shopping. I should have had a snack before I went in because I was really hungry by this time. But I guess the truth is, I came out of there with a good stock of foods that my body must have been craving without me realizing it. Thankfully, it wasn’t a bunch of “junk” food.

Once I arrived home, I made myself some lunch with my new loot. I made a sandwich on local 9 grain bread topped with sabra spicy (!!) hummus, havarty cheese, thin sliced pesto parmesan ham, romaine and local tomatoes. This sandwich was just what I wanted and before my trip to the store, I didn’t even know it!

After lunch, the dear husband and I hung out in our office until he fell asleep. I decided to take advantage of the quiet time by giving my bathroom a quick scrub. My cleaning habits have once again gone to the toilet, no pun intended, so it really needed it. By then, the dear husband was awake and we headed downstairs for some R & R. We watched LA Ink on the DVR and a little Food Network.

Around 2, I was hungry again so I had the sushi I picked up at Ukrop’s. It was called a crunchy roll and while eating it, I could not figure out why because there was nothing crunchy about it. Despite that, it was still delicious.

It was very spicy that left me with a killer sweet tooth so I turned to my vitamuffins. I ate one and it really hit the spot.

After this, I read for a while and ended up taking a really long nap. When I woke up, I made a quick dinner with the Blogger Secret Ingredient, Polenta! I made:

 Creamy Blue Corn Polenta with Meat Sauce

For the Polenta

2 cups milk

1/2 cup blue corn meal

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen chopped spinach

1 tsp dried basil

For the Sauce

1/2 lb ground meat ( I use bison)

1 1/4 cup marinara sauce

Parmesan Cheese for topping

Instructions

Brown meat on medium high heat to ensure it browns rather than steams. If the meat is very lean, add a little olive oil. Once the meat is brown, add the marinara sauce and let simmer.  In a separate pot, combine salt and milk over medium heat. While the milk heats up slowly whisk in the corn meal a tbsp at a time being sure to whisk well after each addition. Once all of the corn meal is incorporated, switch to a wooden spoon and stir often. Once it is thickened, add in the cheese and spinach and lower the heat to a simmer. If the polenta becomes too thick add a little water until it is the desired texture. At the very end, add in the basil. Serve the meat sauce on top of the polenta and top with paremsan cheese.  Yellow corn meal can be used in place of blue but the blue is very fun!

Polenta and sauce is one of my all time favorite comfort foods but for some reason, it wasn’t doing it for me. I had really been thinking about the cold stone ice cream I plan to get on my birthday (today) and I just wanted something sweet. I only took a few bites and gave the rest to the dear husband. I ended up eating another vita muffin and then called it a night. I had to rest up for my birthday festivities!

Caddie...Takin' It Easy

Caddie...Takin

QOTD: Do you like to grocery shop on a hungry stomach or a full stomach? I am actually finding that I buy more “real” food when I shop when I am hungry.