Friday Fun Day

This week has been the worst [health] food wise, I didn’t do any planning so my meals were all spur of the moment. I normally go into the week with a meal plan and food shop for everything I need. I think that being spontaneous can be fun when it comes to food but I think I thrive on having a plan. I’m hoping to get back on the planning wagon this weekend which will result in cleaner eating.  Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed every bite of sushi and the foods you are about to see but I’m ready to move back towards moderation.

And with all that said, I’ll forge ahead with yesterday. I was running late so I had breakfast at work. I had The Chef make me a couple of scrambled eggs with cheese and fruit on the side.

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I had a multi grain sandwich thin so when I got back to my office I made a little sandwich.

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My wallet couldn’t afford sushi one more time, so I had staff lunch. Yesterday’s selection was vegetable pizza

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and salad.

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I had two slices of the pizza, probably equal in size to one normal piece. It was good but it was pretty spicy since it was loaded with jalapenos. It kept me full all afternoon and even held me through the event I was so excited about. I got to meet Brandi for the first time. We met via weightwatchers online and have remained friends even though I am no longer a weight watcher. In that time, we have had a couple of missed opportunities to meet and yesterday was finally our day. I also got to meet her husband, Nick.

We met at starbuck’s where we both got a passion fruit tea. This tea was really good! It caffeine free, sugar free and artificial sweetener free and it is tasty to boot!

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We shared nice easy conversation and she gave me this gorgeous box of truffles. I didn’t indulge till later 😉

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They were only breezing through town so we couldn’t share a whole foody love meal but we still had fun. We already have plans to meet again for a hiking trip in the spring, I can’t wait!

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After my fun filled afternoon, I was hungry. I still had an errand to run for The Pro so by the time I got back to my side of the world, it was dinner time. I called the dear husband and asked what he wanted to do. We agreed to meet at the Italian hole close to our house. I started with a house salad

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and a breadstick.

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For the main course, I had seafood linguine. The sauce on the linguine was perfect, sometimes, they are too heavy and oil but this was light and brothy.

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After dinner, we came home and caught up on the DVR. We shared this little gem that Brandi had given us. It had a mild orange and rich dark chocolate flavor that was very pleasant. It was also hot! I mean, hot! It was kind of surprising, actually!

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Another reminder to sign up for my country bob’s giveaway! All you have to do is comment on that post, link back to the contest and you are all set. If you don’t have a blog, comment and send me an email confirming that you don’t have a blog. I will also be including a very special surprise so be sure to sign up! The contest ends Tuesday, good luck!

Question: Do you thrive on food plans or flying by the seat of your pants? Do you spend alot of time planning your meals and shopping?

My Very First Giveaway Contest!!

Ouch. Yesterday, I woke up very sore from all of the exercise I did on Sunday and I knew that practicing more yoga or running wouldn’t be a good idea for my hamstrings. Instead, I made some coffee, got ready and made my way into work. Once I arrived, I had a bowl of greek yogurt topped with mixed berries and Trader Joe’s High Fiber cereal. It was good, but I think I prefer more granola type cereal with yogurt. I’ll keep playing around with this mix as I plan to start eating more yogurt at breakfast time.

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The Pro was in charge of picking up lunch so I had an orange to curb my hunger until he arrived.

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When he did return, he had picked up Panera. This week’s selection was the Mediterranean veggie sandwich. I wasn’t feeling soup or salad so I just got the sandwich instead of the usual pick two. I also got a fruit cup on the side but the sandwich was plenty so I put it in the fridge for later.

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Work went by quickly and before I knew it, it was time to go home. I was feeling a little hungry when I got there so I had a bowl of grapes to tide me over until dinner.

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I was so excited to make dinner because I was going to use Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce. Al, was kind enough to send me some and after a little taste of it, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. BBQ Tofu Pizza! For the pizza, I used a premade whole wheat crust, topped it with a nice layer of Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce. Then, I added cheese, caramelized onions and crispy baked tofu.

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The sauce was delicious and since it’s ingredients are all natural (no HFCS), I will used this sauce instead of my beloved Sweet Baby Ray’s. The sauce is a little spicy and midly sweet. The dear husband said “mmmmm….the sauce is good” and you all know the dear husband by now, he isn’t into food and rarely comments about the taste of anything.

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Here is what the Country Bob’s Website has to say:

Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce is in a class by itself. It is more than a steak sauce, because of its unique flavor and the variety of uses. You can grill, cook, and marinate with it, or put it in your soups, stews, baked beans, and your other favorite dishes. Experience the Taste!

 

So now for the contest!! I am giving away one bottle of this fabulous sauce. All you have to do is leave a comment and link back to *this post*, be sure to email me when you have posted the link.  If you don’t have a blog, leave a comment on *this post* and email me to let me know that you do not have a blog. I will send the winner this bottle of sauce *plus* a little surprise that you will have to wait to see!! The contest ends next Tuesday (2/17) at midnight!!

After our fabulous pizza, I had a few chocolate covered almonds to cure my sweet tooth.

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By that time, it was bedtime and I hit the hay. I had a little trouble getting to sleep, I think I was so excited about winning a goodie from Meghann’s Bake Sale!

Also, be sure to check out my newest pages. I have done a little blog housekeeping and have added a couple more pages for your reading pleasure: Writing, and Beading, Yoga and an updated blogroll.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Walk, Pump Iron

Yesterday was a glorious day.  To fuel me up for the day ahead, I had a piece of leftover crabcake quiche with a rooster sauce drizzle. I think the quiche was even better leftover!! This recipe is going in the blue jar, for sure. The blue jar is a little jar that the dear husband and I write our favorite meals on little slips of paper and when we are stuck for what to make, we pull something out of the jar.

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Breakfast was followed by a quick clean up because I was having my ever anticipated private yoga lesson with Candy. Candy is one of my all time favorite yoga teachers and I was so excited to have her at my home to teach me. She arrived around 10 and we started by just talking about what it is that I am looking for in an at home yoga practice. My ultimate goal was to have an at home practice that doesn’t require the use of an audio or dvd class. I believe that this is when the real yoga happens. When we can explore our minds and go where our body takes us rather than where a teacher takes us. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my Saturday AM class for the world but a consistent, mind, body and soul searching home practice is what I really crave.

We talked for a short while and then made our way to my back deck. It was a gorgeous 72* degrees and we couldn’t resist it. We swept away the acorns and pine needles and laid our mats down for a glorious 2 hours of yoga in the sun. We broke down sun salutation and explored each pose as an individual and as a flow. She taught me about creating new sun salutations and how to piece together pracitices that will give me what I need at the time. She encouraged me to explore poses rather than focus on getting them “right”. She taught me how to focus on the right muscles for making jumping and lunging more graceful. We worked on crow, wheel and shoulder stand, some of my favorite poses.

I learned so much about yoga, more than I have ever learned in one space of time before. Once we rolled up our mats, I felt empowered about what my body can do and encouraged to spend time with my mat and my mat alone. I feel ready to take my yoga practice to the next level and really explore who I am through yoga. This private lesson changed my yoga practice and I can’t wait to explore it through my own eyes.

Once Candy left, I was starving. All of the sun salutations, down dogs and warriors made my appetite ready for food. I had a long drawn out lunch planned but at that point, my stomach didn’t want to wait. I looked around in the kitchen and came up with an ultra fast lunch. I sauteed Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Italian Sausages in olive oil and then topped them off with marinara sauce. Once the sauce was warm, I served it with leftover brown rice and parmesan shavings.

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Though I felt really hungry, I was only able to finish about half of what I served myself. I think I was actually hyper aware of my hunger signals which is a good thing. I did, however, save room for a few chocolate covered almonds.

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After lunch, the dear husband and I got the laundry started and then headed out for a 4 mile trek. It was such a beautiful day, we both just wanted to be in the sun. Once we returned home, we did the Get Ripped dvd. We only did the upper body tracks because my lower body was already sore from all of the yoga and the long, hilly walk. It took us about an hour and once we were done, my appetite was in full force again.

I had a small bowl of greek yogurt with mixed fruit and creamed honey. Yum. Yum. Yum.

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We spent the remainder of the day finishing up laundry, catching up on the DVR and reading. I was completely wiped out so we made frozen pizza for dinner. This time, we chose the Mediterranean veggie

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and I made sauteed spinach for the side.

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For dinner dessert, we split a Reese’s egg. I could have eaten the whole thing but I wanted to play nice and share 🙂

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Don’t forget to visit Meghann’s blog today at 11:00am. She is hosting the bloggers bake sale where my Best Fudge Brownies, along with many other blogger goodies, will be for sale. Meghannis training to run the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon in an effort to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. So get on over there and buy something delicious for a super cause!

Fews Words, Lots O’ Pictures

First, I want to give a shout out to a very special person in blogland, Lee, at For the Love of Peanut Butter! She is hosting a secret cupid blogger valentines day gift exchange. Be sure to pop on over there and sign up for the exchange, the deadline is TODAY!!!

I ate breakfast at home again yesterday because I went in late due to ice on the roads. I had a bowl of fiber one shredded wheat and quaker oat squares topped with dried blueberries, ground flax seed and milk. This is becoming my new favorite stand by breakfast. *Edited to add* There is no picture because it is on my other computer 😦

For some reason at lunch time, I was craving my afternoon snack so I went with it. I had greek yogurt topped with mixed berries. I added a few mixed nuts after the photo was taken.

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To be sure to get in my veg for the day, I had the chef make me a really big salad with oil and vinegar.

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I also had some sauteed spinach that was out for staff lunch.

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By mid afternoon, I was hungry again so I had a big ole orange to hold me over.

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The dear husband was kind enough to make his specialty for dinner since I worked two hours later than normal. Frozen Pizza :)!! This time we had the mediteranian vegetable, so good!

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After dinner, I had the last of my mini toblerones from Christmas time. I will miss these little guys.

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I was really stressed out because of work so after dinner we just talked and watched tv. Hopefully, I can get completely caught up today so that I can leave the stress behind. I’m sure part of it is because I haven’t exercised since Sunday due to being sick. I’m totally looking forward to sweating out some agression in yoga tomorrow!!

Beware: Long Post Ahead with TWO recipes!

Thanks for being patient with me yesterday, we had a really busy day and I knew I wouldn’t give Friday justice if I wrote about it yesterday.

Friday was a nice day, it started out with a cafe au lait on my way to work and then a breakfast wrap once I got there. I asked The Chef for something different that the egg sandwiches I had been eating and he came up with a great wrap. Inside the wrap was scrambled eggs, potatoes, green peppers and onions. There was also something really spicy inside but I couldn’t figure out what it was, maybe jalapenos. No matter what the spicy element was, it was delicious!

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For lunch, I had staff lunch again since it was vegetarian pizza. The pizza was topped with every veggie in the rainbow and I had a small salad on the side.

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Around 3, my stomach was rumbling again so I had a the coconut cream pie larabar. OMG. I loved this bar, I haven’t been a fan of coconut until recently and this little bar really packs a coconut punch. I really enjoyed it and plan to add it to normal bar rotation 🙂

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Last weekend, I  made a bag of dried butter beans and I knew I wanted to try my hand at making butter bean burgers. I googled it and low and behold I found my friend Jessy’s blog.  Jessy’s recipe is vegan and I didn’t have nutritional yeast on hand so I made some modifications. Here’s how it went:

Butter Bean Burgers

Makes 6 burgers

3 cups cooked butter beans (if using canned, should be about 2 cans drained and very well rinsed)

1 diced onion

1 diced red pepper

1 tbsp crushed garlic

olive oil for sauteing

2 tbsp minced jarred jalepenos

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 egg

garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper (all to taste)

In a medium saute pan on medium heat, saute onions and red pepper in olive oil until the onions are translucent and then set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, mash the beans with a potato masher until most of the beans are completely mashed, you do want to leave a few whole beans for texture. Add in the remaining ingredients and combine well with a wooden spoon. Form the mixture into six patties.

Once the patties are formed, you have a couple of choices. You can freeze them for later use or you can cook them right away. When you are ready to cook them, heat a little olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or regular if you don’t have cast iron) on medium low heat and cook the patties about 4 minutes on each side. If you cook them from frozen, it may take a little longer. You can also bake them in the oven for about 16-18 minutes at 350* if you prefer and oilless method.

The butter bean burgers were fabulous! I served them on Sandwich things with jack cheese, ketchup and mustard.

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On the side we had sweet potato fries, mmmm.

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For dessert, I had a TINY amount of Turtle Mountain coconut milk vanilla ice creamwith a nutella spoon. I would have had a larger portion but it was all we had left 😦 Let me tell you, people, this is GOOD stuff. I love it love it love it! If you don’t like coconut, you probably will not like it but if you do, you are in for a real treat.

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After dessert, off to bed I went. We had to wake up early to make it to yoga on time. Once we were up, I had a cafe au lait and a bowl of cereal. I had a mixture of Fiber One Shredded Wheats, Quaker Oatmeal Squares, ground flax seed and dried blueberries all topped with milk. This was a great bowl of cereal, since I had been in a rush all week, I was missing my morning bowl of cereal! I ended up not finishing the whole bowl but the dear husband was there to polish it off 🙂

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After last week’s yoga debacle, I received an email from the studio owner letting me know she was sorry for what happened and wanted to assure me that the class IS a vinyasa I and II class. She is also giving me a free class sometime soon, which is always good. I feel so much better now that I heard from her, I really didn’t want to leave my yoga home. 

This week’s class made up for last week’s, that is for sure! We started out with the breath of fire and continued to build heat from there. We did lots of sun salutations (yay!), a gorgeous standing flow that included warrior I, warrior II, triangle, side angle, moon warrior, standing splits into PIGEON!! Oh my, was it ever great. After the standing flow, we worked on arm balances and then she challenged us to give wheel a try. We warmed up with bridge and then gave it a go. I had only every tried wheel pose once before on a yogadownload and I couldn’t get myself up. This time, I could get up but I could not get my head off the floor. Rest assured, I will keep at it until I get it. We ended the class with shoulder stand. I noted during class that shoulder stand had just become a normal pose for me. Six months ago, I could not get myself into it. It is amazing what the body can do with practice!

After the powerful yoga class, I was ready to face the day. Even the dear husband, who normally prefers hatha, said he felt great and more awake after the class. This was unusual for him because he normally doesn’t “get” the mental affects (or should it be effects?) of yoga, he does yoga purely for the stretch. We were both on cloud nine as we went about our errands.

Once we were home, we had a quick lunch. I made Boca Spicy “chicken” patties on whole wheat english muffins with blue cheese dressing.

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On the side we had steamed green and yellow beans with “carrot balls”  tossed in olive oil, sea salt and garlic.

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And for an extra spicy kick, a hot and spicy pickle. I actually could not finish the pickle because it was just TOO spicy.

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For lunch dessert, I had two cherry cordial kisses. So good!

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After lunch, we cleaned the whole house, with the exception of the office. The only time the house gets cleaned these days is when we are having company 🙂 While we were scrubbing, I made caramel lattes to get us through.

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Once we were finished, I had a little food prep to take care of followed by girly maintenance. Our friends, Becky, Cris along with their two small children, Kristen and Reagan, arrived at six on the dot and we started dinner. I planned an easy dinner because I knew we would be busy, and since I am working to find balance in my life, easy was the way to go. I made baked salmon that I marinaded in fat free balsamic dressing

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And what I am calling cauliflower bake. The first time I had this, my friend Sarah made it and both the dear husband and I fell in love with it. After consulting with Sarah, I figured out how to make my own version.

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Cauliflower Bake

16 oz of cauliflower florets, I used frozen

1 package (8 wedges)  light laughing cow cheese

1/2 tbsp crushed garlic

1 tbsp minced onion

1 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 cup water

cooking spray, I use a misto with olive oil in it

Pre heat the oven to 350* and prepare a baking dish with cooking spray. In an large skillet, saute the cauliflower in 1 tbsp olive oil until it caramelizes slightly. Season with salt and pepper and then add water to the pan and cover. Cook until the cauliflower is completely cooked through, you can test it by mashing it with a fork, if it turns to mush, it is ready. Drain the cooked cauliflower and place into a mixing bowl. Add in the garlic, onion, cheese and salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until almost smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, a little salt and pepper and the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix well until you have a fine crumb mix, you may need to adjust the ratio depending on how dry your crumbs are.

Add the cauliflower mix to the prepared baking dish into a smooth layer. Top with the breadcrumb mixture and bake for about 15 or 20 minutes until the crumbs are golden brown.

We also had some kale the escaped the camera because it steamed up my lens and I was too impatient for it to cool down. The cauliflower seemed to be the star of the evening, well, if you exclude the wine.

During the evening, we drank wine

Our friend Cris opening a bottle of local wine

Our friend Cris opening a bottle of local wine

and nibbled on an impromptu cheese tray.

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It was a lovely night with friends and we can’t wait to do it again soon.

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Happy Monday, Bloggies!!

My weekend was exhausting, I think I was a little over ambitious about the things I wanted to get done. I woke up yesterday and enjoyed a cafe au lait while blogging/blog reading and then when the dear husband woke up, I made breakfast. We had a repeat of last Sunday, I made poached eggs in the microwave and put them on top of english muffins and a little cheese. This was the last of our english muffin stock so I will miss this breakfast!

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After breakfast, I got started on my really long to do list, I had a lot of food prep to do for the week including cooking beans, chopping veggies, making chili, draining tofu, making sauces, the list seemed endless. In addition to all of the food prep, we had laundry and other preparations for the week ahead. Once I had all of the food prep done, we went upstairs for a quick workout before lunch. I did a 30 minute walk run with incline interval workout on the treadmill while the dear husband rode the recumbent bike.

After our cardio, I made lunch. I made baked tofu BBQ sandwiches; a favorite combo in our house. I normally do this on pizza crust but with my new obsession with sandwich thins, I thought we would give that a try. I drained the tofu, the coated it in olive oil, salt, garlic powder and onion powder and finally baked it for about 40 minutes. While it was baking, I caramelized some onions with balsamic vinegar. Once I had all the part made,  I assembled the sandwiches. On the sandwich thin, I layered the baked tofu, jack cheese, BBQ sauce and the onions. What a great combo, next time, I will add some pickles.

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On the side, we had orange quarters from an orange that I removed the skin from in my food prep.

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I also made us caramel lattes but ended up giving mine to the dear husband.

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Once lunch was done, we rushed off the meet my friend Becky at the gym for Body Pump. It was an awesome class and I can already tell that I am getting stronger. Once we were finished pumping iron, we split this protein bar on the ride home. We both really enjoyed the flavor, I think I commented at least twice that it was like a candy bar. It did not have that protein bar texture that neither of us like so these will go on our next shopping list for sure.

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Once home, we had to finish up the laundry and shower. Finally, we were *basically* done and sat down for an easy peasy dinner. I had a more elaborate dinner planned but I was just too tired to make it happen. We had buffalo mozzarella pizza topped with fresh basil

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with steamed artichoke hearts on the side. I topped the artichoke hearts with garlic, olive oil, sea salt and parmesan cheese. This dinner was really good, especially given that it was so easy.

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For dessert, we had warm chocolate pudding the escaped the camera. At that point, I was so tired, I wanted to cry. Needless to say, shortly after, I was in dreamland.

What do you do to relax when the time that is supposed to be your down time is too busy?

The Log and The Shore

Yesterday was a really long day. I started out with a cafe au lait on my way to work and then had a bowl of cereal once I got settled in. In my bowl was shredded wheat, cinnamon, ground flax seed and milk.

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The day was really hectic and I felt as if I would never get it all done. I took a break for lunch around 11; I had the chef make me a small spinach salad to get in some good green veg

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and then I had my 4 second flat lunch. I packed leftover brown rice topped with a black bean and corn mixture from the freezer. I added in a little Cajun spice and olive oil and lunch was born. When I heated it up, it smelled like a Mexican restaurant. Sadly, it didn’t taste as good as it smelled but it got the job done.

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Around 2:30, I was hungry again so I had greek yogurt topped with thawed mixed berries and a few mixed nuts.

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I finally finished the huge pile of work that had been daunting me all day and then headed home. Once home, I did a half hour walk run interval program on the treadmill while watching Sex and the City. It was the episode where Mr. Big is leaving NY to live Napa. That episode always makes me sad, like Charlotte, I always rooted for Mr. Big. But I digress.

After the treadmill, I popped a frozen pizza in the oven and took a quick shower. Once I was fresh and clean, the dear husband and I had a very fast dinner. The pizza was the Buffalo Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato made my Archer’s Farms, our favorite brand of frozen pizza.

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On the side, we had steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil and a sea salt sprinkle.

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I had to rush, rush, rush to eat dinner because I had to be at group therapy by 6. I arrived at group just in time for the opening music. I joined this group last week at the recommendation of my regular therapist. The group focuses on eating disorders using the book Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Anita Johnston. The books uses fairy tales, myths and metaphors to aid in recovery from ED.

The group runs 15 weeks and last night was session 2 which focused on chapter 3. This chapter really spoke to me and I am still working through all of the ways that it hits home. The part that touches me so much is the story of  The Log . The summarize, the log represents ED, the shore represents a healthy, happy life and the rough waters represents all of the reason why we cling to our ED. We learned that we have to appreciate our ED for getting us through times that we may not have been able to cope with otherwise. Each time we return to our log, we have to realize that there is still something we need to learn.

Now, I don’t know about you but I have never appreciated my ED. For me, it has been a curse, a force to be reckoned with. But now, what I can see is that my ED helped me cope with times that were too overwhelming for me to handle. I never developed the coping skills I needed in order to survive without ED. I remember being a young teenager, hiding in my room with cake frosting. In my solitude of cake frosting, I was safe from the things that happened outside of those doors. I was child that only felt safe when I could stuff “it all” down and I am not a bad person for wanting to feel safe.

Now, in order to recover from compulsive/binge eating, I have to learn new coping skills. I learned in group that each time I reach for my ED during hard times, it means that I still have yet to learn everything I need to know to get to the shore. Ironically enough, once I got home, I wanted to binge. I wanted something chocolate and something crunchy.  I ate a few varieties of chocolates before realizing I was about to be out of control. So, I grabbed onto my log and made popcorn. The popcorn felt safe.

Thought Provoker: What do you think or feel about the log, the rough waters and the shore?