May 22, 2013
May 22, 2013
May 14, 2013
That is, basically my whole life could be included in my love list. I’ll try to contain my enthusiasm.
1. My new sewing machine.
Turns out you need a lot more than just a sewing machine to sew stuff. I only have the basics, but I’ve been practicing!
I bought a yard of this fabric just to practice stitching and making small pouches and such. I still don’t have decent fabric scissors or a measuring board, so everything I make is a little extra janky and lopsided. It’s charming though.
Today, I made this janky lopsided bow.
You’ll have to forgive the cornstarch sprinkled all over the table. I have many projects in the works.
2. Making sushi.
Mmm. Cucumber avocado rolls.
3. My thermos that keeps smoothies chilly for many hours.
I make these babies at 4 in the morning on days that I work, and they still taste like they were just blended at 8:30.
4. Not renewing library books.
I have a glorious amount of reading time these days. I love that I picked up 6 books from the library two weeks ago, and I only have 2 remaining. I probably will end up renewing one or both of them, but only because I’ll be out of town when they’re due.
So far this month, I’ve read Gone, Mr. Peanut, Case Histories, and Sweet Tooth. I’m starting Mr. Fox today, and I’ll probably take Hanging Hill with me to read on my flights.
With this guy.
On Sunday we hiked about 6.5 miles around Los Penasquitos Canyon. It was hot, but lovely.
6. Upcoming trip to Milwaukee!
E is graduating at the end of this week, and I’m so excited that I’ll be able to be there. I can’t wait for some family time (and girl time!).
So that’s my list for today. What’s on your love list these days?
May 6, 2013
I have a lot of avocados right now. Would you like to know how many? 44. I just counted.
These babies are ripening fast, so I’ve been working hard to find ways to use them aside from making TONS of guacamole.
Here’s how I’m planning to use my 40+ avocados:
2. 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta (in my case, I’ll have the sauce on some vegetables and a bit of brown rice or quinoa)
3. Guacamole Enchiladas (for G) (And yes, this one is kind of guacamole)
9. Sweet Potato and Avocado Empanadas (won’t be making these anytime soon, but they look so good!)
What’s your favorite way to use avocados? Any recipes I should try?
May 4, 2013
From the state of our living room, it looks more like the opposite of progress has taken place since last week.
That’s because we’ve FINALLY moved the last of our stuff last night, and we’re completely out of the old place! Obviously, we need to find homes for a few more items.
We’ve made only a few small improvements since last week.
We now have pictures in the bedroom.
And I have a pretty functional desk/workspace!
Greg mounted a power strip underneath and ran all of my cords under the edges of the table. It helps so much to keep the space looking a bit neater.
He set up a nice little gadget charging space, and everything is always in the same place, easily accessible and easy to find.
My favorite thing about my work area is this wonderful little Ikea find.
It’s great to be able to get the stuff I’m not using off my desk and still have it nearby. Plus, I love the color and it looks really cute in the room.
I also picked up a small lamp at Ikea and mounted a magnetic dry erase board.
That’s pretty much it for this week!
May 2, 2013
I’m a beverage person. I like to drink stuff. I have at least one beverage going all day (often two at a time, one hot, one cold, one fizzy, one not, etc.). At restaurants, servers can expect to fill my water glass at least 3 times during a meal. And I get the tiniest bit cranky if they aren’t prompt with those water refills. Coffee dates, margaritas (with extra salty chips), giant 32 oz Diet Pepsis at Target, these are a few of my favorite things.
These particular favorite things are on hold right now. And I’m not crazy about it. In fact, I’m really surprised that changing my beverage habits has been a bit harder than changing my food habits. Sure, there was one time when Greg was eating a grilled cheese and I felt like crying, but overall, it’s the coffee, soda, and alcohol that I really miss.
When it comes to soda, I miss my rituals. I used to be completely and totally addicted to diet soda. I quit cold turkey for almost a year, and then started again when I went back to school and got a boring job with constant access to free soft drinks. I had cut back quite a bit when I started this elimination diet, but I sincerely miss my post-lunch soda and my giant soft drink after my weekly-ish Target trip.
I’ve never been a huge coffee or alcohol drinker, but I miss these things nonetheless. Coffee and alcohol are social beverages, and it’s surprisingly isolating not to take part. Ordering water or herbal tea while Greg orders a beer on a Friday night? Meh.
La croix is really no substitute for Diet Pepsi, and I think we can all agree that there’s just no way to make a delicious sugar-free, alcohol-free margarita (or corn-free corn chips), but at least I’ve found an acceptable substitute for coffee. Herbal tea lattes are my new drink of choice.
Unfortunately, there are very few coffee shops that carry unsweetened coconut or almond milk (my only milk options at the moment). Luckily, the Whole Foods coffee shop carries both, so it has become my new favorite place.
I also make my own tea lattes at home. They aren’t foamy, but they’re still quite lovely!
So far, I’ve found 3 herbal teas that make wonderful tea lattes:
and Baked Cinnamon Apple.
To assemble the latte, brew an extra strong half-mug of tea.
Meanwhile, heat some unsweetened vanilla almond milk on the stove. Remove teabag, add warm almond milk, and mix in 3-4 drops of stevia extract, if desired.
A sprinkle of cinnamon never hurts either!
Iced tea lattes work, too. Of course, in this case, you can skip heating the almond milk, but I would recommend brewing extra, extra strong tea (maybe even use two bags), since the ice will dilute it a bit.
What’s your drink of choice these days? Are you ok with drinking water all day, or do you like to switch it up?
May 1, 2013
As many of you probably know, there’s a little thing in the food/healthy living blog world called What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW). Pretty self explanatory. Here’s what I ate today, and some of what I didn’t eat.
Post-run: Best breakfast ever!
I love this smoothie so much that I’ve actually calculated if I could meet my nutritional needs drinking it for 3 meals a day with vegetables as between meal snacks. It would be a bit on the low side calorie wise, but I probably could. Today I added chia seeds to my favorite raspberry/blueberry smoothie, and I am never going back.
Snack before work:
Plus a few pumpkin seeds.
Lunch: cucumber, carrots, celery, almond butter, and boiled eggs.
I ate one whole egg and just the white of the other. This is the perfect meal on the go, and it’s definitely becoming my go-to for work lunches. Although I might just start doubling up on smoothies…
Afternoon snack: Walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
I’ve been eating pumpkin seeds every day because they’re delicious (most importantly), and they’re also high in protein as far as seeds and nuts go.
When I got home, it was time to bust out this beauty.
I can’t eat baked goods. Period. But Catherine has been so awesome about stocking my kitchen with loads of eggs and avocados from her little farm, and I really want to take her some chocolate chip hazelnut cookies tomorrow.
It was incredibly hard not to even taste what I was baking, but I just kept telling myself (kindly and gently) that these cookies are just not for me today.
But seriously, I am a freaking saint. Not one granule of sugar went into my mouth.
Ok, I’m not a complete saint, because I had a secret weapon (aside from pure badass self-control). (And really, I’m done congratulating myself now.)
Nutritionist approved (a couple times weekly) 70% dark chocolate.
Dinner: salad, steamed broccoli, fried egg + egg white, slice of brown rice bread with almond butter.
I have to work early tomorrow, so I’ll probably be skipping my evening snack and hitting the hay shortly!
What was the best thing you ate today? Have you ever baked something without trying any at all? That was a totally new experience for me!
April 30, 2013
Hi, folks! Can you believe that today is the last day of April?
I know I say it every month, but April really flew by! It was an especially busy month for us, so I only managed to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and the first 3 books of The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. I’ve read most of The Sandman, but it’s been close to 10 years (am I that old already?), so I’m enjoying another read through.
Reading Gone Girl made me want to read more thriller/mystery novels, and this list that my mother-in-law sent me has therefore become my May reading list.
Yesterday, I went on a little outing to the library that’s just a few blocks from our new house. I didn’t find any of the books listen above (it’s an incredibly tiny library!), but I did put holds on several. I did find a different novel by Mo Hayder called Gone. I started that yesterday, and about 130 pages in, I’m not as hooked as I was 130 pages into Gone Girl, but I’m still enjoying it quite a bit.
I probably won’t get to all of the books on my reading list this month, but I love the feeling of having more than enough good books lined up to read.
What’s on your reading list for May?
April 29, 2013
In a recent post, I mentioned a long list of foods that I’ll be avoiding for at least the next month. Based on the advice of my nutritionist, I’ve cut out soy, gluten and most grains, dairy, beans, sugar, sugar alcohols, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and peanuts. Everyone’s reaction to these restrictions (including my own, initially) is shock/ a WTF moment followed by wondering what the hell I can eat . It’s really not bad, though. In fact, I’ve been enjoying delicious meals and snacks and feel incredibly satisfied pretty much all the time.
As soon as I wake up, I take 1 L-Theanine tablet, usually with about 12 ounces of water.
I’m required to use my VegaPro protein powder once a day (since my only other big protein source is eggs), and I find that the best way to do so is in a smoothie.
So far, I’ve had a smoothie for breakfast every day (along with my breakfast time supplements).
The first time I had this smoothie, I thought it was palatable, but not delicious. Now, I find it so satisfying and so delicious that I crave it. Here’s my recipe:
- 140 g frozen berries (I use a combination of strawberries, raspberries, and/or blueberries)
- 24 g almond butter
- 20 g VegaPro
- 8 drops stevia extract
- 1.5 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
My morning supplements are as follows: 1 folate, 1 B12, 2 vitamin D, and 1 Coenzyme Q10.
I’m supposed to eat every 3 hours. On days that I work, I usually have two snacks between breakfast and lunch because I don’t get around to lunch until 3 or 3:30.
For work, I pack a little tray of snacks like this:
Snack 1: an ounce of pumpkin seeds. Snack 2: vegetables with almond butter.
Today, I had celery, almond butter, and a few strawberries from the farmers market as a morning snack.
Lunch was an Asian/Mexican fusion plate with my leftovers from Sipz last night (steamed veggies + about 2 tablespoons of cooked brown rice), extra steamed broccoli, 1/2 of a small avocado, and 2 egg whites with green salsa.
I also nibbled some almond butter for dessert.
Pretty much all day, I sip on water, la croix, and herbal tea with almond milk. Around 4 today, we went to hang out at Kensington Cafe and I ordered an herbal iced tea with stevia.
Afternoon snack: pumpkin seeds
Dinner: Sunshine burger, salad, avocado, pickles, roasted sweet potato and cauliflower, more egg whites with salsa.
God, I’m so deprived! This dinner was a bit higher in carbs than I should be eating, and I probably should have chosen sweet potato or veggie burger, not both. Oh well, I’m still learning. And still addicted to carbs.
As an evening snack, I had 3 strawberries and a small dollop of almond butter.
In case you can’t tell, almond butter is my new favorite food. I like to have a little fruit with my evening snack because it makes it feel more like a dessert.
On my way to bed, I grab 2 tryptophans and 2 theanines, and it’s lights out.
Not too horrible, right?
What do you think would be the hardest food for you to give up? For me so far, I think it’s cottage cheese. I’d also really like a latte with an oatmeal raisin cookie…
April 27, 2013
We’ve lived in our new place for a week now, and I have loved every moment of it.
Things are coming together really nicely, and we continue to enjoy setting up, making improvements, making it home.
Most notably, the sitting area in the living room is just about finished.
(you’ll have to excuse the kitchen clutter in the background.)
The workspace on the other side of the living room is probably the area that still needs the most work, but we’re getting there.
We added a shelf above the stove with jars to store whole spices.
Fashioned some neat bathroom art from some old postcards and Ikea frames.
I also set up this little side table as a kind of drink cart. I think it’s really cute, but I don’t think Greg is convinced. What do you think?
That’s pretty much it for now. Still a few more boxes to unpack and many more pictures to hang.
April 26, 2013
Last Thursday, I had an appointment with a nutritionist. My therapist has been recommending Dr. Diana Fatayerji since my very first session, and I decided it was finally time for me to arrange a meeting.
When I first started seeing my therapist in September, I thought that anxiety was the main thing keeping me from living my happiest life. As I started to learn ways to reduce feelings of anxiety, I realized that there were more obstacles that I still needed to face. My anxiety was more or less in check, but I was still feeling depressed, I wasn’t sleeping, I had headaches every afternoon along with constant, intense sugar and caffeine cravings, and generally feeling unwell. I also started to put on weight very rapidly with little change in diet and exercise, and although no one else seemed to notice (or was nice enough not to say that they did), I was feeling pretty bad about myself.
Dr. Diana analyzed my blood work and performed a number of tests to determine nutritional imbalances and deficiencies. She found that my body is, in short, in a state of stress. She prescribed a number of supplements, and I left with lists of my “good” foods and “bad” foods and customized meal ideas based on the foods I need to avoid. And oh man. I need to avoid a lot of foods.
Ready? For the next month or so until my next appointment, I’m off the following:
- Gluten (and most other grains, including oats and corn)
- Beans (except in very small and infrequent amounts)
- Sugar (including most fruit, honey, maple syrup, agave, etc.)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sugar alcohols
Honestly, it is not even close to as bad as I thought it would be.
Here’s what I can eat:
- VegaPro protein powder
- Many nuts and seeds
- Almond butter/Sunflower seed butter
- Lots of vegetables
- Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries (in small amounts)
- Apples (also in small amounts)
- Unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk
- Herbal tea
- Lemons and limes
- Brown rice and quinoa (in small amounts)
- Some condiments
- Olive and coconut oil
A bit over a week in, and I feel amazing. I’m sleeping well, I feel calm, clear-minded, and happy (unless I haven’t eaten ), I have no digestive discomfort at all, and excess weight is gradually coming off. I do miss some foods, especially cottage cheese and the occasional dessert, but I feel so good that it just doesn’t matter that much.
Coming soon: a post on what I now eat during a typical day.
Have you ever seen a nutritionist? What was your experience like?
Any big plans for the weekend?