What’s the Plan?

It’s been a while since I posted anything about what I’ve been eating (or planning to eat) so I figured I’d give you all and update!

It really has been quite the transition from basically being a homemaker to working not only nearly full time, but also an unpredictable and odd schedule. I’ll be honest, it’s sucked. Some nights I get home at 9pm or later. Some days I leave the house at 6am. It’s kind of all over the place and I’ve really struggled to figure out not only what to eat, but how and when to eat. Mix in trying to get back into some sort of fitness routine and well…like I said before, you parents are amazing. Multitaskers to the MAX and I am so impressed.

That said, I’ve been really trying hard to eat at least 4 times a day. Breakfast, a shake, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast has generally been a couple of scrambled eggs with a piece of toast. I’ve experimented with having loaded oatmeal but it just doesn’t hold me like eggs do. Oh, and coffee. I love my coffee. I don’t feel like a zombie without it, but I really just love the smell, taste and the ritual of coffee.

Lunch has been a bit harder since on most days, I start work at 2pm. Often I’ll sip on my smoothie for a couple hours, then go to my lunch around 4pm. Different types of ‘loaded’ salads have been great. Romaine, edamame, almonds and cabbage with carrot-ginger-miso dressing. Spinach with feta, cranberries, almonds and chickpeas with a balsamic or orange vinaigrette. Kale with black beans, tomatoes, baked yams, corn and bbq tofu with a homemade tofu ranch. They are filling and have really worked!

But. I’m getting bored. What do you do for lunch?

Dinners are the hardest thing. I’m so used to cooking at night. I love it. I love the time spent making nutritious food but getting home after 8pm just…doesn’t work. So I’ve had to really be better about meal planning and preparing recipes that my husband can help with so that I don’t turn into a hypoglycemia-monster when I get home at 8:30pm.

SO! Without further rambling – here is the plan for this week:

What’s on your menu? Do you have any favorite fast-and-furious meals that you can toss together in an instant? 

Daily Prompt: Captive’s Choice

I feel like I’m barely here these days. I really want to be here. Seriously.

I loved November when I wrote almost every day. It felt good. It felt like I shared a lot and it wasn’t just all the moaning and whining that I tend to do. I felt like maybe people read and didn’t immediately roll their eyes with my drama.

Then I got a job and the holidays happened and I’m not sure I recovered. So I figured I’d give WordPress’ Daily Prompts a shot to see if I could get back into the swing of things.  What could it hurt?

Hah. Well. Today’s prompt is:

Daily Prompt: Captive’s Choice

You’ve been kidnapped and given a choice: would you rather be stranded on an island, dropped into an unknown forest, or locked in a strange building?

The answer to this is NEITHER. I would like NEITHER OF THESE THINGS PLEASE.

Really. What an awful prompt! Both of these situations are insanely anxiety causing for me. I really did try to give this a shot. I sat and tried to calm my inner hyperventilation response and think critically about which I’d prefer.

I mean, being dumped on an island might be kind of cool. There’d be beach and hopefully palm trees. (Unless it’s Long Island, then I just don’t really want to get dumped there.)  It might be warm and tropical and feel like a vacation at first. There might be coconuts and fruits or other fun things I could eat. Thing is? There might also be RESTLESS NATIVES that like heads on sticks. There could also be crazy new carnivorous animal species that would like to gnaw on my massive thigh. What if I got dehydrated or couldn’t start a fire, Survivor style? What if there was some sort of disease-carrying bug?

So, no remote island drop-off, please and thank you.

The second option – who the hell would ever want to be locked in some strange building? It’d be all cement-y and cold. It would probably smell like sweat, or paint, or dirt. For some reason I keep picturing myself in a never ending stairwell of fire doors that don’t open. (Perhaps that’s because I asked if there were stairs I could use at work and was told no – only exiting stairs with locking fire doors last week.)  There could be offices with mini-fridges in them which would be fun, but maybe not. If it’s anything like other offices I’ve been in, they get all gross and grimey and I probably wouldn’t want the food anyway.  Then I picture cubicles of death and a missing stapler a la Office Space.  Or maybe it’d be more like an episode of Burn Notice, when you’re locked in a building and there are people outside waiting to save you? That’d be way cooler. I mean, as long as Michael and Fiona were coming to rescue you anyway. Right? Like that’s ever happening.

So. No strange building. Nope.

Oh look, the prompt did get me to write about how awful it was.  Funny how that works. Either way, I’ll do my best to not get locked in any strange buildings or find myself on Gilligan’s Island anytime soon. It might be tough.

Would you have a preference if pressed? Stranded on an island or locked in a strange building? It’s CAPTIVE’S CHOICE!

ALSO – is there something you want to know about? A topic that I’m familiar with? How I do my hair? Who my ‘list’ is comprised of? Something about me? Please – tell me what to write about!

More than Chiropractic

Working as a chiropractic assistant, I deal with a lot of people in pain.  Often.

People in pain just aren’t themselves.   (Are you ever your best self when you’re sick or in pain?) They are often crabby, short tempered, angry and all sorts of other difficult emotions and sensations that make them sometimes, quite frankly, difficult to deal with.  There is really a great person underneath all that they’re experiencing.   If you have worked in a health field, you may know exactly what I am talking about.  If you’ve never worked in a health field where you deal with the sick, the pained or those who have lost hope, I’m not sure you can fully understand the energy it takes and what a special environment it is.

I love what I do and wouldn’t trade helping people heal for anything in the world but, it is still a challenging environment at times. I’ve learned over the years that you just have to help people to the best of your ability and wait for their true personality to emerge once you’ve washed away their pain.

Today, we had a man who was in severe, acute pain. I would say distress. He could barely lie down or get on the table. Standing took him effort, held breath and visible struggle.  It broke my heart to see him that way as he fought his insurance company and radiology clinic on the phone, just to get help.  Although it was very busy, I did my best to tend to him as much as I could to make it easier for him.

I asked him many times, what else I could do for him. At one point, he asked if I could help him with his shoes since it hurt so much for him to bend down. I smiled as I tied his shoes and tried to joke around in an effort to make him more comfortable with the fact he just couldn’t do anything on his own.  When I asked him if he needed anything else, his response made me stop. It made me pause and put down my other work. It made me come around my desk and into the waiting room next to him.

“I could really use some moral support.”

I couldn’t help but smile and tell him that I really had been there. It was how I found chiropractic in the first place, when my roommate came home to find me on the floor, unable to get up.  I told him that it does get better even though it doesn’t feel like it.  I told him that he certainly was in the right place with the right people that could help him.  When he mentioned that I looked like I had full range of motion, I grinned and said, “Well Sir, I’ve been under chiropractic care since 2005 and it helps. It really does help.”

Later, he dropped something and sighed frustrated, maybe even dejectedly. Resigned.  He called my name and when I went to help, he apologized and said how helpless he felt. How awful it was to feel like he couldn’t do anything on his own.  I reassured him that this was what I was here for and I was happy to do it. Anything I could do, I was happy to do it.

It really was the truth. I loved helping him. I loved being able to at least get him to smile.  These little interactions with him warmed my heart for the rest of the day. It made me feel so good about where I worked. It made me think about all the people that we’re helping on a daily basis. It also made me realize that not all pain is just physical.  There is so much surrounding physical pain – emotional and mental trouble that comes along side it.  We need to be more cautious, more aware. More intuitive.  More loving.

This man returned to my office about a half an hour later, reaching over the counter to hand me the washroom key.  He had gotten all the way back to his hotel, taken off his jacket and realized he still had the key.  I laughed and shook my head, asking him why he came back all that way, in pain, just to bring us back the key.

He responded with, “It was the right thing to do.”

 

First Meals of 2014

Well, here we are in 2014 and we have no super futuristic meal replacement pills or Jetson like setups. Hrmpf. We do have Roombas which are  basically efficient cleaning robots, so that’s a start. I guess.

I’ve been eating like crap since I started working the late shift. I just don’t feel like cooking at 9pm. I realize many of you probably work longer hours and later shifts, but this is all new to me and I just haven’t gotten into the groove yet.  So. I vowed to myself that after the holidays, I’d buckle down and meal plan. I’d plan snacks and portable foods for me to take to work.  I’d plan some simple meals that can be whipped together in no time.  I’d plan meals that were healthy and would work with my fitness goals for the year. Less sugar. Less fat. More veg.

Well, today I did just that. I stayed in bed with a hot cup of coffee, several cookbooks and an iPad and went to town.

I’m pretty excited, I won’t lie.  I planned about ten meals to last over the next two weeks, (I leave a couple days for take out or alternate plans) and with what I had in the pantry and what my Dad gave me from his garden stash – I only spent about $130.  Maybe you’re a better budgeter, but for me, this is stellar!

Without further ado, here are a few of the recipes!

Rustic Tomato Rice & Kale Stew - Healthy. Happy. Life.  I just made this one tonight and honestly, it’s one of the best soups I’ve ever made. Hearty. Rich. Flavorful.  EASY. You should add this to  your menu plan for next week.

Potato Leek Soup (Vegan)Fettle Vegan.  I’m excited about this one too. My Dad gave me a whole bunch of leeks and potatoes from his harvest this year that need to get eaten up. What better way to showcase them, than a 5 ingredient soup?

BBQ Cauliflower Salad - Fork & Beans.  I’m hoping this will be hearty enough for a dinner salad since it has avocado and beans in it.  Maybe a hunk of crusty bread on the side?

Kung Pao TofuFettle Vegan.  I’ve tried a few kung pao recipes before, I’m hoping this one is a winner. I think I’ll add some toasted nuts to it for crunch and serve some broccoli on the side. Yum.

Chinese Tempeh SaladFork & Beans.  I’m SUPER stoked about this. I love tempeh and I love the asian style salads with crunchy chow mein noodles. I’ll probably bake my tortilla strips instead of frying them, but I will give the tempeh a toss in my cast iron for some texture.

Smokin’ Hoppin’ John - Serious Eats. I was supposed to make this for New Year’s Day but…fail whale. I was lazy, didn’t feel well and ordered New Year’s Day Pizza instead. It was yummy and I’m sure this recipe will be as well. I might toss in a little kale since I have MASSIVE bags from Whole Foods that I’ll need to use up.

The other meals I’m planning on don’t really have recipes, but just in case you find some inspiration in them I’ve included them.

-Veggie dogs, baked beans and toast
-Sundried tomato basil white bean burgers & salad
-Black bean quinoa bowls with homemade salsa and avocado
-Tempeh reubens & salad
-Chili stuffed baked sweet/regular potatoes & salad

What are you making this month? Are you changing your diet at all this year? 

Happy New Year, friends!