Where did MOTIVATION go?

April 21, 2013

I am going to be honest and say, yet again, I’ve fallen off the wagon of Eat To Live.  When I have a bad day or don’t have time to cook and exercise, I feel like I just fall apart.  I try not to reward myself with foods anymore, but it’s so hard to break those habits.  I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and remember if I really want to help myself, I need to stay fit and healthy.

Being a first year teacher, I find that I am tired A LOT of the time.  Even on weeknights, I tend to go to bed before 10pm.  And because of my 40 minute commute (and my unchangeable knack for needing to be extra early), I do not have times to exercise in the mornings (that is my preferable time for it).  And then after being on my feet all day, by the time I hit the car for my 40 minute drive home, I become relaxed and realize my exhaustion.  I lose my motivation to workout.  I’ve since gone to my networking sites looking for a buddy.  I’ve had a couple responses, so we’ll see if we can get some kind of a schedule worked out.

As far as cooking goes, it’s hard to plan ahead and cook for a week in advance.  What if I don’t feel like eating the meal I planned for Tuesday?  I’ve got somewhat of an indecisive personality at times and don’t like feeling tied down to things which can make my lifestyle change possibly the most difficult thing I’ve had to do yet.  I know I just need to break through my stubbornness and push myself to succeed.

We recently had a staff meeting on personality types.  My personality type is “Perfect Melancholy.”  And oh man, was it spot on…

“They love order, schedules, charts and plan in great detail!  They avoid attention, dislike opposition.  The Perfect Melancholy seeks an ideal mate, is a deep thinker, and a faithful friend!  Often they are insecure socially and tend to live vicariously through others (friends or their children).  Because they like things perfect, they will procrastinate until they can complete a project perfectly.  They are known to control situations and people by their moodiness.” – Pamela Stephens

We also talked in our staff meeting about how it takes 5 positives to correct 1 negative.  I had a day this past week that started out rotten, expecially since I spilled my green smoothie all over the kitchen cabinets, floor, and my clothes.  I had a huge mess to clean up, no breakfast, and had to change out of the outfit that I was looking forward to wearing.  And not only that, but now I was going to be running late (not actually late because I always run way ahead, but I would be running late for my personal schedule).  I tried to not get upset over it and think positively.  You know that sensation of one thing going wrong and then everything else goes wrong?  Well, later that day at school, I started typing up a word document.  I left it up on my computer, but had not saved it.  After teaching two classes, I went back to it and Microsoft word had frozen.  I was not going to be able to save my document (and it didn’t have a recovery, either).  I was waiting for the next thing to go wrong, when a 3rd grader came into my room with a birthday treat.  She had just turned 9.  I smiled big and gave her a birthday hug…

Cupcake

…and then I ate this delicious cupcake.  I felt my day was turning around.  And it’s moments like these that I need to remember that I don’t need food to make me happy.

Enough about all of this negative, “I can’t do this” nonsense.  I do have a few positives to share.

Days till summer

 

I did cook a delicious spaghetti recipe this week:

SNEAKY SPAGHETTI – by Ashley Green

sneaky spaghetti

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked lentils (I used canned lentils to save time, but you can also cook your own lentils)

2 cups spinach

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1 cup of peas

1 package of spaghetti noodles

Directions:

Blend the lentils, spinach and spaghetti sauce in a blender until smooth.  Heat the sauce in a medium sized sauce pan on medium high heat until heated through.  Combine the sauce with cooked spaghetti and toss in the peas.  Eat and enjoy!

It’s as easy as that and you get some good greens and protein in your dinner!  I am not a big fan of spinach, so it’s a great way for me to get my dark greens in.  Tyler loved this recipe, too!  I don’t often eat peas anymore, as they are a starchy vegetable, but I absolutely loved them!  I highly recommend this recipe.  It’s a great new twist on pasta.

Last weekend, I went to the opening day at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market.  It was a beautiful, yet chilly, day for the market.  Afterwards, I went to Homer’s coffeehouse and got myself a Chai Tea Latte with almond milk.  I was so excited to find out they had almond milk!  A snack near the register caught my eye.

rawxies

I decided to try it, as it sounded tasty.  And it definitely was.  It’s locally made, too.

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I went back to the Farmer’s Market yesterday (still was too chilly for April 20th) and got some fresh lettuce, a peanut butter cookie made with fresh peanut butter, whole wheat flour, and flax, and some spinach fettuccine.  We usually grocery shop on Wednesdays, but we may have to move it to Saturdays so I can get my produce from the market.

Tyler and I are definitely ready for the warm weather, as our new patio furniture was delivered this past week.

patio furniture

Tyler put together the table (MAN, it’s heavy!) and I pretty much unwrapped all the chairs.  We are excited to use it, however, it really needs to be warmer out.

Well, that’s all for now!  Hopefully I’ll have better news next time regarding my exercising and eating habits.

 

Eat to Live – Week 1

March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!  This weekend has been one of the best in a long time.  I am usually that person who has things planned out all weekend and is constantly worrying about what I should be doing for next week, or next month, or next year.  But this weekend, for once, I just relaxed and didn’t worry about a thing.  Tyler and I spent a lot of time hanging out together at home, I got to see some wonderful friends, and I spent some quality time with my family.

I stuck to my menu plan for the most part this week, but once the weekend hit, I sort of lost track of the things I was eating and let myself go a little.  Normally I would be very disappointed in myself, but it was a weekend for celebrating.  My birthday was on Friday, so my mom and I baked a 3 layer vegan birthday cake.

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I have never made a layer cake before and my mom said she usually doesn’t have success with them, but it came out great and tasted good!

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I shared my cake with some friends who came over for a movie night.  My friend Amber made me the most amazing blondies with a peanut butter frosting.  They were so good!!  Thank you, Amber!

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As Spring tried to show itself this weekend, we had a cookout with my family in celebration of my birthday.  I got some wonderful birthday gifts!  The one below is from my amazing parents.  They know me so well. 🙂

bdaygift1

The cookout was a great success and I got to try some Tofurkey beer brats!  With a family from Wisconsin, ya gotta know that brats are one of the best things ever.  ;)  And the Tofurkey brats were a great substitute.

We ended our Saturday evening with Easter egg coloring…

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This is me trying to be creative in announcing our date we have set. 🙂

Easter has been a wonderful day of family and great food (not necessarily what I should be eating, but still good).  I feel so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.  I hope you had a great weekend, as well!

Eat to Live – Take 2

March 25, 2013

I still can’t seem to get a handle on this blogging thing.  :P  I become so busy and exhausted that I don’t take the time to jump onto my blog.  I will try to get on more than once every 6 months. 🙂

As you are probably wondering how my eating to live is going, I must confess I did not succeed with the 6-week program.  But I’m not making a big deal about it.  Eating to live is a very different life style than what I’m used to and it’s not something I’m going to be able to jump into.  The good news is that I’ve gone almost completely vegetarian (I have the occasional egg, but try to make sure it’s “cage free”).  That was something I had tried to do in the past and failed many times.  But it’s now been at least 3 months since I have had any sort of meat other than eggs.  The next hardest thing to give up is going to be the delicious sweets that show up to my desk when there is a birthday. 🙂

I love my job.  I was just talking with my fiance the other day about how I have the best job (I was on Spring Break.  :P).  I love working with kids, I love learning new things, and the breaks we get are wonderful!  I am just finishing up my Spring Break and I can’t tell you  how many things I got done at home that were waiting to be done!  It’s been almost a year that Tyler and I have lived here and I am still unpacking and going through things that need to be sorted.  Not to mention all of the laundry I got done on my first weekday of Spring Break.  And I never thought I would be able to say this (not that I want to be saying this), but today was supposed to be our first day back and school and it’s a SNOW DAY!  So, because of this unexpected snow day in Spring, I am able to catch up on my blog. 😛

I always find myself most productive on Sundays.  I’ve had enough time to relax and realize the reality of my life and getting back to it.  It always seems to be on a Sunday that I make new goals and life changes for myself (or plan to for the coming Monday).  Well, yesterday I took it upon myself to get myself back into a routine.  I am pretty sure I do best a meeting my goals when I’m in a daily routine.  I created a 3-week meal plan for myself (working on it up to 6 weeks), mostly trying to follow Eat to Live.  I printed out a copy to carry around with myself so that if I end up snacking or changing something about a meal, I can write it in.  At the times that I have succeeded, I always wish I knew what it was I was eating and doing that helped me to succeed.  So hopefully keeping complete track of my eating routines will help me.  Now, when I was telling Tyler and this plan last night, he begins to ask me if he shouldn’t let me cheat.  Aw, my fiance knows me so well.  He knows how stubborn I can be.  I told him to just be supportive and that it would probably be best if he didn’t try to correct anything I end up doing, as I know how I can get angry at him for saying something, which is usually because I know he’s right and I become mad at myself for it.  Ah…to be a woman.  ;)  Other routines I am going to try to build with this is to create a time in the evening that I will get ready for bed and read before I go to sleep.  I have never been a big reader, but have recently gotten into the Harry Potter books, as well as Kathy Reichs’s books (after “Bones” became my favorite TV show).

Tyler and I as Booth and Bones for Halloween, 2011

Tyler and I as Booth and Bones for Halloween, 2011

I have hopes to read 2 books in the next 6 weeks (I often read ONE book over the course of a couple years).  I also plan to go to the gym at least 6 times a week.  I have not been going to Title Boxing recently, 1. because they changed owners and got rid of one of my favorite trainers, 2. because I’ve been focusing more on cardio and have taken to running about 2.5 miles each time I go.  Also, when I go to the gym, I can often get my mom and/or my sister to join me.  :D  I am one of those people who needs that motivation from others.

Here is a look at my meal plan for my first couple of weeks (NOTE:  Some of the dinners are what we already have as leftovers, otherwise I’d choose meals with less carbs.  Also, my 28th birthday is on the first Friday, so I will probably splurge on dinner that evening):

Week 1:

Monday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Roasted Curry Cauliflower, apple

Tuesday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Black bean soup, apple

Wednesday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Indian Chole (carb – rice), orange

Thursday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Chili, apple

Friday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner –  ??  Birthday Dinner

Saturday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Soy “brat”, grilled veggies, vegan birthday cake

Sunday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Mac & Cheese w/ broccoli (carb – wheat pasta), apple

Week 2:

Monday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Zucchini Pasta w/ Bolognese, apple

Tuesday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Roasted Curry Cauliflower

Wednesday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Chili, apple

Thursday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Indian Chole or White bean and garlic soup, apple

Friday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Mac & Cheese w/ broccoli (carb – wheat pasta), apple

Saturday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Chickpea Burgers w/ roasted veggies, orange

Sunday:

Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie

Lunch – Salad w/ nuts & seeds, piece of fruit

Dinner – Black bean Crockpot soup, fruit

The good thing is that I sort of know where my downfalls are.  When school is in session, I am usually pretty good about having my morning smoothie and my salad and fruit for lunch.  My downfalls are usually if there is a lunch brought into work, if there is a student birthday, or snacking at home after dinner (usually because I sit in front of the TV all evening).  I am hoping that going to the gym after work, then coming home and cooking dinner will get rid of my evening snacking.  I am also going to try and watch less TV.  My other downfalls are the weekends.  I’m usually a creature of habit and get up around 7am, the latest, on the weekends.  If I eat at an usual time, however, it throws me completely out of whack and I end up skipping my salad and going straight for starchy foods.  So long as I keep myself in routine even on the weekends (at least for the next 6 weeks), I think I should be okay.  The other thing that sometimes happens on the weekends is going out to breakfast with the family.  My family is a HUGE breakfast family.  It was the thing when we visited relatives out of town that we all always went to breakfast together.  So long story short – I LOVE BREAKFAST FOOD!  Ways that I have avoided this issue in the past couple of months is that I would eat before we would go out (especially when I knew there was nothing healthy I could eat at that particular restaurant).  So I feel I am pretty organized and hopeful and I will try to post weekly about how it is going.

Before I go, I will leave you with some photos from this winter. 🙂

I got engaged!!

I got engaged!!

My dad wasn't fast enough, so had him get down on his knee again.  :)

My dad wasn’t fast enough, so had him get down on his knee again.🙂

The happy couple.

The happy couple.

Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake - and the most expensive dessert we have ever made.

Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake – and the most expensive dessert we have ever made.

Beautiful 12 inches of snow

Beautiful 12 inches of snow

...and the driveway that made me hate snow and winter altogether...

…and the driveway that made me hate snow and winter altogether…

St. Patty’s Day!  We cooked brunch at our townhouse.  We had real meat and eggs for most guests, and fake meat and eggs for myself and my brother’s girlfriend (who is vegetarian).

I was definitely festive!!

I was definitely festive!!

We made our own green beer.

We made our own green beer.

Tyler and I being festive.

Tyler and I being festive.

Karma and I.

Karma and I.

Homemade biscuits!!

Homemade biscuits!!

Look!  My fiance can cook too!  Who would have known...I love this man.

Look! My fiance can cook too! Who would have known…I love this man.

The man and woman of the house.

The man and woman of the house.

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

Time to relax...

Time to relax…

Well, I am now finishing up Week 5 on Dr. Fuhrman’s 6-week program and it has not been a pretty sight.  The good news is, I am pretty sure I eat better now than I have in the past.  I have gone almost completely vegetarian (with a slip up here and there) and I eat a lot more fruits and vegetables than I used to.  However, I started to slide off of the program toward the end of week 2.  I try to motivate myself by reading success stories on Dr. Fuhrman’s blog and also by going back and reading parts of the book.  The biggest problem I ran into, though, was not planning meals in advance.  I do have a busy schedule being a first year teacher, so my day starts at 5:30am (when I wake up) and I don’t get home from school until around 4:30pm.  At that time, I’m exhausted, especially after a 30-40 minute drive home.  I try to motivate myself to go exercise right away, but when I eat lunch at 11:30am, I’m pretty much ready to eat dinner when I get home since I do not snack.  If I do not have a dinner meal planned, it’s not a pretty sight.  I find myself eating snacks or throwing random things together and calling it a meal when it doesn’t meet my nutritional needs.  If I do have a meal planned, I usually decide to use the time when I get home to start cooking right away.  I am not the quickest cooker, so it usually takes about an hour to prepare a meal.  After eating, I usually have a large amount of dishes to do.  Then I have to make the decision of going to exercise.  If I do go exercise, then I would have to come home, shower, and go to bed so that I can get enough rest before getting up again at 5:30am.  I have been struggling with planning out a good schedule for my life.  There are always things that come up, too.  Holidays, birthdays, get-togethers.  I really enjoy socializing, so I tend to break my schedule for such events.

On top of those issues, I ran into some new road blocks in my life.  Apparently being a teacher is the best job (or worst) if you have a sweet tooth.  It is always a child’s birthday (with cupcakes and all!) and there is always something to celebrate with desserts, snacks, and delicious-tasting foods.  I do not like wasting food and I will take a free meal when I can get one (bills since I moved have been a bit of a struggle for me).  I will have my good days when I can resist the temptations, but if I am tired, low on energy, and really hungry, I will cave.

Eating out has not been as big of a struggle for me.  I generally tend to eat healthfully when I eat out anyway (except our weekly trips to Old Chicago – pizza is my downfall).  In fact, Tyler and I took a brief weekend trip to Boulder, Colorado this past weekend and I was able to find a restaurant that was friendly to my new ways of eating!  It is called Julia’s Kitchen.  The menu was a little foreign to Tyler, so he did not plan to eat anything when we went there.  I loved what I read about it and we ate there on our last morning in Colorado.  The restaurant was not placed well, in my opinion, as it was squeezed between buildings and a little difficult to notice.  However, this quaint little restaurant was just what I needed to remind myself of how delicious healthy foods can be.  I was overwhelmed with their menu selections.  I wanted to try one of everything!  I decided on their sprouted buckwheat and millet crepes with banana freeze filling, topped with a fruit sauce.

To drink I ordered a Chai latte with sprouted almond milk and lightly sweetened with dates.

To snack on while I was waiting for my food, I had a sweet, raw almond and seed treat.  I don’t remember exactly what it was called, but I think it may have been called an “Almond Adoba.”  It was rather tasty!  Actually, EVERYTHING was tasty!  I immediately wished we had a cafe like this in Kansas City!  Tyler even tried a raw carrot cake muffin.   He said it was really good, especially for being raw.  I tried a bite of it.  It was so warm and fluffy!  There didn’t seem to be much business going in and out of this little place, but I would probably visit there every weekend if we had one in Kansas City.

I love where I live and I have noticed we are beginning to get more raw and vegan restaurants in our city, but I wish there was one here like Julia’s Kitchen.  The one cafe that I really enjoy in Kansas City is Mud Pie.  They come the closest to what I really like.  I am so big on breakfast that I would prefer we had more cafes that catered to raw and vegan appetites.

As I have fallen off the “wagon” more than one time in the past 5 weeks, I still intend to continue to try and eat healthfully and hopefully work myself into a good schedule where I get plenty of exercise weekly.  I had intended to keep posting weekly about my adventures with eating to live, but with my busy schedule, I only get to post when I have the time.  I will try to post some of the recipes of meals that I have been successful with.  You can also check out my good friend, Amber Shea Crawley’s blog to hear about how we have been able to work with each other and support one another.

Happy Fall!

New Beginnings

September 30, 2012

There are several things that are new for me this year…

I graduated college.

I moved into a duplex with my wonderful man, Tyler.

I started my career.

So many wonderful responsibilities…and yet there are days that I find myself unhappy with where I am.  I finally narrowed it down to my health.  I have always tried to stay healthy.  I belong to a great gym and have taken on Title Boxing.  However, in the midst of all the wonderful new beginnings, I lost sight of the importance of my personal health.  I know that heart disease and diabetes are hereditary and I’ve always tried to keep on top of my own health because of it.  But lately, I’ve slipped away from healthy eating and regular exercise.

I started to get back into a routine of exercise with some of my coworkers through a class provided through my employer.  This happens to work very well for me because I can head to the class across the street right after work instead of driving 40 minutes to get home, change, then head to the gym (on top of cooking dinner and showering in the evening).  But this didn’t seem to be enough to help me.  I still found myself fitting uncomfortably in my clothes and not in the position to purchase a new (comfortable) wardrobe.  I knew I needed to start eating better, but what I really needed was a support system.

After contacting my good friend, Amber (http://almostveganchef.com/), she informed me that we could help each other follow Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s “nutritarian” eating plan.  It was not long after that when I purchased his book and started reading it.

A week and a half later, I’m almost finished with the book and ready to start eating to live.  I have been astounded by what I have learned about what food contains and how many foods can lead to cancer.  I often found myself worrying more about those I love and wishing I could encourage them to read the book as well.  I am hoping that not only will I be uplifted by this wonderful new way of life, but that those whom I love will see the effects and want to start eating to live as well.

First Day of Fall

September 23, 2012

(Written yesterday – Saturday)

Happy first day of Fall!!  It was a brisk, sunny morning at the Farmer’s Market in Overland Park.  But it was oh, so beautiful.  My mother, my sister, her husband and I all made the short trip to downtown OP.  My good friend, Kendra, also made a trip to Farmer’s Market.  It had been few weeks since I had seen her, so it was great that we could meet up.  I was in search for some of the amazing small Empire apples I had picked up last week.  The same lady was not there, but someone else had the same wonderful Empire apples.

Kendra helped me to notice that the same person was also selling aloe plants.  Before Tyler and I moved into our duplex, we joked about how someone should bring us an aloe plant for a housewarming gift (I tend to hurt myself in the kitchen every once in a while).  Well, we’ve been living together for about 5 months and we still don’t have an aloe plant (and I’ve burned myself once already).  So I picked one up.  In fact, my sister and my mom also bought one!

Thanks Kendra!! 🙂

On the way out of Farmer’s Market, I stopped by the loose leaf tea tent.  I asked if they had any chai, and they didn’t, but when I asked what she recommended, she told me what her favorite was for cold and hot.  She told me I had to smell the coconut cacao (her favorite for hot).  It was so fabulous, I told her I definitely wanted some! (pictured w/ apples and aloe)

After the Farmer’s Market, we stopped into Clock Tower Bakery and Cafe.  I had the most delicious pumpkin muffin, my mom had a sugar muffin, and my sister and Nathan shared a breakfast pizza.  Their pizza looked and smelled AMAZING (…minus the ham)!!  My sister let me try a piece with no ham.  It was too good!  They allowed me to have a pizza (of which I picked off all the ham).  Man, do I love cheese.  Needless to say, I enjoyed the morning.

I am looking forward to getting back to my blog.  I’ve started reading “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. (as referred by my friend Amber Shea Crawley) and I hope to beginning eating to live, come October.  I’ve already noticed a decrease in my appetite (which I’m not sure is because of my subconscious or because of the vegetable increase in my eating habits).

Lastly, my latest project is knitting a scarf:

And Dharma thinks she can help me…adorable. 🙂

This week when I meet with my ladies, we will be working on a group project of leg warmers!

 

Today’s (Sunday) adventure:

 

Homemade cheese pizza

It was a lot of work…it was AMAZINGLY delicious…and it broke my pizza stone on it’s first use…but I do have a 3-year warranty on it, so hopefully it will be replaced.

Stay tuned…

I survived my first week of student teaching!!  And it went well!!  Granted, it was only 3 days…  :)  I am still pretty anxious, but if I know exactly what I plan to do and talk about each day, then I feel better.  I know that sounds strange…I should ALWAYS know what I’m planning on doing each day, but in a classroom where the teacher already has set procedures, it takes some time to get used to how things are set up.  One of the most important things I need to remember is that I should think as if it is my classroom and I am the only teacher.  “What do I expect from my students?”  “What do I want my students to learn today?”

Day 1:  We had in-service, so I was able to meet all the other high school and middle school music teachers in the KCK district.  We talked a lot about writing and how we can help our students with their writing skills.  Before we went to lunch at a Chinese Buffet, I ran into two of my friends from UMKC who are teaching in the KCK district now!  They are both elementary teachers, so they were in a separate room than we were for in-service, but I ran into them in the hallway as I was leaving.  It was such a wonderful surprise!  We spent the rest of the day at Sumner Academy planning for the first couple of days of classes.

Day 2:  We were team-teaching most of the day, which I thought worked out very well.  It felt a little rocky for me at first, but I felt successful and I was excited to hear the students vocalize for the first time.  :)  We are going to have GREAT singers in the choirs this semester.

Day 3:  The third day went even better!  I started to become more comfortable and since the first two days were block days, we taught the same lessons.  It was a great wrap-up to the first week.

I had a pretty busy week.  I also purchased a new phone this week!  It was incredibly exciting!  I got the Samsung Galaxy Glide.

I absolutely LOVE it!  I cannot stop playing with it.

‘Tis the time to make New Year’s resolutions…well, you could say I make resolutions, but they are more like “new beginnings.”  I love fresh starts, so I have many wonderful plans and goals for the year.  A couple years ago I did a wonderful job at changing my eating habits and exercise regiment.  Well, I fell out of that at some point in time and I would like to get back to it.  …I cannot say I’ve been doing well.  I think it’s going to take me a little more time to transition my eating and exercising habits than I expected, but I know I can do it.

I did have an interesting first time at a restaurant called Grinders, downtown.  They are known for their Philly sandwiches and were featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Well, since I am trying to eat better, I steered clear of the Philly, burgers, and fried food.  I decided to do the lunch special of half salad, half curried chicken sandwich…or at least I thought I read sandwich.  It actually said curried chicken “salad.”  So how does that change it completely for me?  It’s made with mayonnaise…and I dislike mayonnaise VERY much.  However, the spinach salad was amazing!

(Did I mention that I sat on the patio in January to eat this lunch?!  It was beautiful out!)

I was a “good girl,” though, and at least tried the sandwich.  It was as bad as I had expected, but I still didn’t care for it.  Next time…I should try a Philly.

As for my workout regiment?  I’ve  got a good start with 3 days at the gym this week and I’ve started using my old spreadsheet that I made a couple years ago.  I’ve also started using my Blender bottle that I got myself for Christmas.  :)  My favorite protein shake I have made so far is 1 cup of almond (or soy) milk, 1 tablespoon of vegetable protein powder, and a couple squeezes of raw agave nectar.

I couldn’t get a picture of it quickly enough before I drank it all.  :D  Opps!

This week is off to a slow, but great start and I’m excited to see how things continue. 🙂

Hello, 2012

January 2, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I realize that I have been MIA for almost a year!  Things have been crazy and I’ve just been trying to keep up.  :)  The past year in a nutshell?  I’m not sure I can do that…but I can try!

ACDA Convention in Chicago, IL

The Packers won the Superbowl!!

Tyler’s nephew, Loki McClintock, was born!

I opened my first voice studio…

Tyler and I had our yearly trip to Denver…

(Pesto chicken pizza)

(Cactus burrito)(Rosemary roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables)(Dried fruit)

…and our yearly trip to Wisconsin…

I also took an Orff Level 1 course for teaching.  It was a wonderful two weeks and I met some great friends.

I began Title Boxing, this summer.  It is so much fun!  Here is my Title Boxing attitude…

And lets not forget about the many amazing cookouts by the poolside!!

Once the school semester began, I was pretty tied up finishing my last semester of course work.

Of course, there is always a break for Halloween!  (Tyler and I were salsa dancers at my sister’s yearly Halloween party.)  I baked ghost white chocolate and oreo truffles, as well as bleeding pumpkin muffins with cinnamon glaze.

And I had my Senior Voice Recital.  (Cupcakes made by Hazel Brown.)

Goodbye 2011, and hello to 2012!

Things to look forward to:

Student teaching

Meal Planning Sundays

Graduation

Moving

Job Searching

It’s Farmer’s Market season!  I’m so happy!  My sister and I love going to the Farmer’s Market together.  We usually sacrifice a Saturday morning at the gym to hit the market.  :)  Her favorite is the Lawrence Farmer’s Market, but we decided to check out something a little closer to home this time.  We went to the Farmer’s Market in downtown Overland Park.

It was definitely a chilly morning.  One of those mornings where you are ready for summer, but it’s not here yet…ugh.  None-the-less, we had a great time!  I was offered a cup of coffee from the Great Day Cafe tent.  Some of the best coffee, in my opinion.  And I got a huge cup for only $2!  We meandered around.  We first bought some fresh bread – I got Rosemary and Olive Oil.  Then we stopped by Pappardelle’s tent and bought some pasta.  I bought Garlic Chive shell pasta and Whole Wheat Fettuccine.  Is your mouth watering yet?  ;)  My sister also picked up some very green lettuce, which she split with me.

We were thinking of going to First Watch for breakfast, but I suggested we try the Great Day Cafe, which was right by the Farmer’s Market.  I am SO glad we did that!  I have a new favorite breakfast place.  :D  This very artsy cafe is right up my alley.  I even noticed that they have a hummus plate on their lunch menu.  You place your order at the register, pay, and they bring you your food.  Instead of taking our name or giving us a number, they gave us a wind-up toy!  It was so cute!

I had to take a picture of their cute table settings.  The little drummer dog was our wind-up toy.  They had a live flower at each table and look at those salt and pepper shakers!  Are they not adorable?!

I ordered granola with strawberries, bananas, and soymilk.  I don’t usually eat granola, but this was just wonderful!

I also ordered a side of potatoes.  They were cooked with peppers and onions.  mmMMM!!

I took Tyler to Great Day Cafe the following weekend.  We went later in the morning and there was an amazing musician playing – Great Day Greg –  who also co-owns the restaurant.  I watched him play the clarinet, saxophone, flute, piccolo, harmonica, and the soprano saxophone all in the same song!

I couldn’t wait to cook what I bought at Farmer’s Market.  I made Tyler and I a great pasta dinner.  It was really nice because it wasn’t a lot of work, like most meals I make. 😉

I found some adorable dishes.  It wasn’t a special occasion, but I thought they were cute. 🙂

I used olive oil with garlic salt and basil as a dipping sauce for bread.  I also had Pandora playing on my computer – my Fiona Apple station.

For our pasta, we used a garlic olive oil for a sauce.  It was so wonderful. 🙂

I was happy that I could make it feel like an Italian restaurant in my kitchen.

Broccoli-Edamame Soup

May 9, 2011

I found this amazing recipe in Vegetarian Times Magazine, thank you to my wonderful friend, Amber Shea.  The original recipe is made with jumbo goad cheese croutons, so my plan was to leave that out.  However…I just HAPPENED to have frozen my leftover Rosemary Olive Oil bread from the Farmer’s Market.  The bread helped make the meal.  :)  Great idea, on my part.

Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame

1/2 lb broccoli, trimmed, stems and florets chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

Bread of choice (not wheat)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion and nutmeg.  You can season it with salt and pepper, if you like.

The original recipe says to saute for 10 minutes, but since this is only half of the original recipe, saute until onions are soft.  Stir in 1/2 cup broth, scrapping the bottom of the pot to lift off any brown bits.

Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of broth, edamame, broccoli, and garlic.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and arrange bread of your choice on a baking sheet.  (I do not recommend wheat bread because it is too sweet for this meal.  A baguette, french bread, or a rosemary olive oil bread – which is really the best.)  Bake for 6 minutes, or until crunchy on both sides.  Remove from oven and set aside.

If you have a Cuisinart Smart Stick, that is really the way to blend this meal.  The original recipe suggests transferring batches of soup to a blender.  But I suggest you just buy a Cuisinart Smart Stick because you will find is SO handy.  This one in particular is actually my mother’s, so if she doesn’t end up giving it to me, I’m definitely going to have to purchase my own. 🙂

Blend until creamy and smooth.  Return pot to stove and warm over low heat.

Soup is served!!  I really enjoyed using my bread to dip in the soup.  It was delicious.  I only made half of the original recipe for Tyler and I and we STILL had PLENTY of leftovers!  I knew I was going to be cooking other meals during the week, so I went ahead and froze what was left.

*Note:  I defrosted the soup this evening and ate it for dinner.  I can tell you it is JUST as good as when it was fresh!  But that was also how I found out that wheat bread does not mix well with the recipe.  ;)  I hope you get a chance to try this meal!  It’s delicious.

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