Blog Awards and Side Effects

First off, I want to thank Foodie and Olga for giving me a blog award, that was so kind of both you! It always makes me feel good when people appreciate my blog. I often struggle to write what I really feel in fear of what my readers will think but you guys always honor me with your support. So, instead of picking 5 more blogs, I would just like to give a shout out to all my commenters and lurkers and let you all know that I think each and everyone of you deserve and award for being so supportive of me and my sporadic craziness.

Now, onto yesterday. I have to be upfront and honest when I say that the last few days have been a real struggle for me. The medication I am on for my most recent sinus infection along with being back on weight watchers is throwing me for a loop. I’m suffering a number of side effects from the medication including insomnia, fatigue, mild depression, extreme thirst and weird skin stuff. My doc says it is all normal and that I need to just keep chugging along with it. I have one more week of it to go and I’m not excited about my state of mind when it is over. On top of that, I am struggling every day to stay on track with weight watchers, it seems by the end of the day, I just want to give up. I’m not sure if this is part of the medicine side effects or if this is just how I roll.

I haven’t been straying from my plan or “blowing it” but the thoughts are there. This really scares me because I feel so certain that this time will be different. I want to change so much about the way that I think about food and my relationship with my body. I know that I will stumble and sometimes I might even fall but knowing to just keep going anyway is the hard part. I hope that all of these feeling of distress are just symptoms of this medication but I fear so much that I just don’t have what it takes. 😦

And, with all of that, this is how yesterday went. The alarm went off at 4:30, I said nope and went back to sleep. I finally got up and made it to work with a few minutes to spare. On my way, I had a chocolate cafe au lait to tide me over. Once there and settled, I had shredded wheat with cinnamon and milk along with a hard boiled egg. This was a very satisfying breakfast.

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In fact, it kept me going until 12:30! My normal lunch time is 11 so this was something. I wonder if it has to do with the egg versus the almonds?? Anyway, for lunch I heated up a bowl of 16 bean soup which tastes better every time I eat it.

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The soup was rather spicy so I had a package of figamagigs for dessert. Mmmm…boy, I really love these things. It is a REALLY good thing they come in tiny packages.

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Because lunch was so late, I wasn’t hungry enough for a snack so I just had dinner. I made a chicken pot pie with a polenta crust. This was my first time making it with a polenta crust and I have to say I really liked it. I want to play around with the filling part of the recipe that I used but I can tell that this will be a winter and fall favorite at my house.

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I had a bowl of cocoa pebbles for dessert. I didn’t photograph it because you guys have seen it for so many days now, I figured you get the picture 🙂 I headed to bed early in hopes of getting a better night sleep which did not happen, by the way. Boo on meds.

Thought Provoker: What is your motto for staying on track with healthy eating and exercise?

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?

In Balance

I had breakfast at work again yesterday, I think I am driving my co workers crazy with the smell of apples and cinnamon in the morning. I had barley with apples and almonds topped with cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of ground ginger. This time, I didn’t top it with any sort of dairy and actually enjoyed it much more.

A couple of hours later, I had a wonderful snack! I had a few kashi crackers with basil hummus and a pear. The pear looked terribly beat up on the outside but was just perfect on the inside.

My snack really held me over for a long time, so much so that I forgot to eat lunch! When I realized I hadn’t eaten in a few hours, I had a pretty hefty snack. I topped greek yogurt with frozen cherries, pumpkin seed granola and agave. This was very filling and satisfying and held me over for another 5 hours!

After work, I had an appointment with my therapist. It had been a couple of weeks because she had a death in her family. I was excited to see her because I wanted to tell her of all of the changes I have been making. Light therapy, yoga and working to balance my dosha have really made some drastic changes for me. I guess I am not the only one that feels that way because my therapist told me that she thinks that as long as I can keep up with these things, I won’t need medication! She feels strongly that I have what it takes to pull myself out of this and hopefully what it takes to stay out of it.

The one change I haven’t made is consistent exercise which is recommended for me for a bazillion reasons including my therapist and my dosha. So, I’m going to really try and make some hard effort to really get in my 30 minutes a day. Being a kapha, I have a tendency to be a couch potato (who me?) so this will take some real effort on my part but I feel determined to find it somewhere.

After therapy, I came home and made dinner for the dear husband and I. I made creamy polenta topped with black beans and salsa. I simmered the black beans in the salsa for about a half hour so that they really soaked up the flavors. Once it was all together, I topped it off with a little crumbled cheese. This was such a simple meal to throw together and it was fantastic!

After dinner, I had a little treat that the chef sent me home with. Brownies with peanut butter frosting! I only ate one of my little take home package but the dear husband polished off the rest without any problems 🙂

Thought Provoker: What elements of your lifestyle are key to your happiness?

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.

Monday Monday

Monday, Monday. Gotta love em. Somehow, someway, I woke up earlier than I *have* to and still ended up running really late. Normally, I can everything I need to get done in about 45 minutes and still get to work on time, it seemed to be taking double that! Though I work in an environement that being a few late doesn’t really matter, I was still stressed. The breakfast was pretty typical for me. I had half a serving of hot grain cereal that has wheatberries, oats and bulgur topped with the last of the blueberries, ground flax seed and  almond butter. I also had a glass of milk and some water to take my morning vitamins.
a hearty breakfast

a hearty breakfast

The drive to work was horrendous, it was raining monsoon style the whole time. My commute is 40 minutes each way, thats alotta monsoon.  Once I arrived, it was pretty normal. I work for one of the countries best golf clubs and on Monday’s the club is closed. It’s just my boss, aka The Pro, my supervisor, aka T, and myself. We all work like busy little bees on Mondays because when the club is open, things get really out of controll sometimes. You would think in a leisurely industry the work pace would be the same. I assure you it is not, at least during the season.
Lunch on Monday’s is always The Pro’s choice. He seems to have some sort of complex about that, he insists every Monday on buying lunch. T thinks that it is because during normal club hours the staff is provided with free lunch of which T nor I partake. It is generally really heavy man food. Cheeseburgers, pizza, white pasta with white creamy sauces. So, on Monday he insists on taking care of us. Most of the time, his choice leaves plenty of healthy options and luckily yesterday was one of those days. He chose Firebird’s Rocky Mountain Grill
The Pro also decided that today he would pick up the lunch since he was going out anyway. I ordered the Mixed green salad with wood fired salmon. It has spring mix, jicama, tomatoes and a cilantro lime vinegarette. It is so good, one of my favorite Monday lunches.  
i puffy heart jicama
i puffy heart jicama 

 

Our lunch delivery also included a grande soy latte from Starbucks. Another one of those things he does that no one understands but we all appreciate. It was all mighty tasty though I think I drank too much of the latte, I normally get a tall but I think The Pro just likes to say the word grande :).

soy latte

soy latte

After lunch, the rest of the work day flew by as they always do during the season. I left without knowing what was on the menu for dinner. After a long discussion with dear husband on the phone, I decided that I would just cook whatever struck my fancy once I arrived home. It was a yoga night so I knew it needed to be quick. Once home, I was inspired by a jar of portabella mushroom sauce we bought at a local farm stand. I made some creamy polenta with parmesan, topped it with the sauce, some soy mozzarella and some fresh basil from the deck garden.  I served it with a simple green salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was delightful, I think the basil made it.  

a quick weeknight meal

a quick weeknight meal

 

After dinner we watched Army Wives that was on the dvr and then headed off to yoga. Yoga class was great, the normal instructor was out and Sonja was there in her place. Sonja is the one who really gets you sweating. There is just something about her flows that you know you are getting an instense session. It is probably the sweat that is dripping all over the place. Though last night, she took it easy on us. There was a beginner in the class, only one yoga class ever and she had never even heard of vinyasa.  After yoga, we checked out Sonja’s new Smart Car and then headed home.

When I got home, I chatted with Monica about her teleclass tonight on cravings. I’m so excited for it, I hope to learn a lot about why I crave the things I do and how to battle those cravings. After our chat,  I caught up on blog reading, my secret hobby and then off to bed I went. 5:30 comes early, ya know!