Getting a Sweat During Your Getaway

April 30, 2010 at 11:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

See this?

And this?

THIS is how I’m fitting in a workout while I’m on my vacation.  Allow me to explain…

Coming off of the half marathon, I went from exercising four or five days a week, sticking to a rigorous schedule to going on vacation and basically letting workouts take a back seat.

Well, kind of.

I decided not to sweat it (haha, get it?) if I didn’t workout as much on vacation as I do in regular life.  It’s not realistic to think I can take that kind of time when I’d rather be sleeping in, enjoying the sights and spending time with my husband and our friends.

So in preparation of this vacation, I did a little extra thinking about what my expectations were for exercise and how I could maintain those.

I decided if I worked out two or three times this week, I’d be happy.  That was enough to keep me moving and keep me from falling to a lethargic landfill.  How could I be guaranteed to workout two or three times?

Well, I knew I was taking my laptop, which has a DVD player.  Coincidentally, the condo we’re staying in has a DVD player, too, but I didn’t really feel like doing yogAHHH out in grand central station.  No one needs to be graced with my downward dog pose in the morning.

I planned to do yogAHH at least one morning and run at least another morning.  Taking your running togs along with you is a great motivation to get your rear in gear.  Those running shoes stared up at me for the first three mornings of the vacation until finally, I laced them up and hit it for about 3 miles.

(Note: I am both wearing sunscreen AND sweating like a pig in the Florida humidity.  Oink Oink).  Running in an unfamiliar place can be awesome and adventurous or uncertain and scary.  Make sure you are at least vaguely familiar with where you are before you set out, be aware or your surroundings while you jog (as opposed to zoning out to your tunes) and run with a buddy if possible.  (I dragged Sam along. ;))

If you don’t want to lug a laptop or feel uncomfortable running in a new place, try and print off a sheet of poses from a website, or dance to the radio for 20 minutes.  Move your groove thang and get a little sweat going.

It felt awesome to start my day with that run and then I didn’t worry about fitting it in another time.  Don’t neglect your exercise just because you’re on vacation.  If you’re traveling with other people, they’ll understand.  It clears your head and a vacation run could be one of the best runs you haven’t taken yet because you’re in such a good place mentally.  Think about it!  You’re happy, you’re relaxed, and you’re willing to do things.  This is the time to run if ever I’ve seen one!

I hope you have an opportunity to get a sweat session in on your next getaway! 🙂

Selective Special Splurging

April 29, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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One thing I love to do on vacation or while traveling is try out the local offerings.  I would rather eat off the beaten path to find food that has a little more zing and culture than stick to a chain I know has the same food in all bajillion locations.

When we stopped by Jaxon’s Ice Cream Parlor…

With a line this l…o….n….g….

I knew it was time to splurge a little.  Obviously, this place had the goods. 😉

I’m not one to turn down sweets or say “no thank you” just because I can’t get the fat-free freaky version of it.  Far from it!  It’s not the fat or calorie content of goods like this that scares me – it’s the fact that sometimes on vacation, everything is a “special treat” and every time a “special occasion”.  You can get into real trouble reasoning like that with yourself.  I don’t believe in depriving yourself, but I also don’t believe in making everything a “gold star” kind of adventure.

When you’re choosing to splurge – be selective, make it special.  Be tough with yourself – is this really a treat or are you just labeling it that so you can have what you want?  You know yourself best, you know when you really want something or you’re just trying to be sneaky and have your stomach pull a fast one on your brain.  Often with eating, you can be your own worst enemy.  I’m not saying DON’T have a treat or count something as a special occasion – I’m saying make sure that’s actually the case.

Up until our little trip to Jaxon’s, I had been making smart, reasonable choices.  I stuck to my all-natural eating, I was substituting to make menu offerings healthier and I was digging into the snack bag when I was too hungry to think straight so I didn’t veer off the path into Sugarland.  It was going well.:)

That huge line gave me plenty of time to think about how to handle my ice cream.  I decided, based on my reasonable previous behavior, that I was going to order what I wanted, eat how much I wanted and stop when I felt full.

Another key to splurging is knowing you don’t have to push yourself just because it’s a splurge.  “Ugh, I’m so full, but it’s so good.”  Guess what?  That extra 8 bites that sends you into a food coma isn’t going to taste as good when you have to chase it with the pink stuff because your belly is in shock.  It’s worth it to splurge, it’s not worth it to hurt.  Listen to your body, especially on vacation!

In the end, I ordered a quarter of a pound (yowzas!) of Rocky Road.  I probably only ate half.  It was still incredible ice cream, it was still an incredible treat and I didn’t feel like I needed my stomach pumped when I was done because I wasn’t scraping the bottom of the bowl.

Just thought I’d show you how I was keepin’ it real with my choices on vacation, making sure I’m selective with my special splurging.  Okay, back to the beach!

Finding the Fitness in Florida

April 28, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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There was just one thing I knew I wanted to do on this vacation, it was take a bike tour of Miami.

Not long after settling the details of our trip to Florida, I spotted a blurb in my Self magazine about the bike rental company, Bike and Roll. The company rents a variety of bikes, as well as scooters and Segways. You can chose between a guided tour or a self-guided tour. I checked out their website and was stoked when I saw they had a rental location in Miami. The prices were pretty reasonable, and the more I thought it over, the more appealing a bike tour seemed!

Think about it – it’s a great way to explore the city, they provide you with maps and a helmet and you can go wherever you want. Bonus: you’re exercising and you’re too busy enjoying yourself to know it.

Ka-ching!

I would much rather do a little extra searching for the fitness in Florida and hide it in activities like a long stroll on the boardwalk or a bike ride for a couple of hours, taking in the beautiful sights, than give up and say there is no fitness in Florida.

Poppycock. There’s plenty to be found and even more to share.

The bike excursion not only offered us the chance to get active, but we were able to take in some sights and take some great pictures.

There was little white-knuckling when we made our way through the more traffic-y parts and a little bit of nervous laughter when some of us realized how long it had been since seated astride a two-wheeler, but overall, everyone agreed it was a fun time. The biking was something we may not have done otherwise. So, thank you, Self magazine.

The interwebs can be your best friend when you’re searching out activities in a new place. See if your destination city has a Bike and Roll, look for local walking trails or maybe (if you’re aqua-adventurous) even a canoe or rowboat rental place.

Don’t let that voice in the back of your head tell you you can’t do stuff like that – you’re on vacation, anything is possible! ESPECIALLY finding the fitness in Florida. 🙂

Feeding Your Face on the Road

April 26, 2010 at 11:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

While I’m busy trying to figure out how to fit this in my carry-on…

Here are some of my “It’s Vacation, Not Throw Va-Caution to the Wind” thoughts.

Traveling can be stressful, exhausting and can alter your otherwise normal ability to make smart choices when it comes to feeding your face.

How many of us have been there? The hectic, rush-rush pace forces you to choose between the lesser of two evils…will it be a mega-burger or a two-ton-taco you inhale in your hunger-induced insanity while waiting in an excessively long line at the airport’s Terminal Temper Tantrum.

On top of this emotionally-charged situation, I don’t actually know anyone who likes airport food. If I’m going to drop dollahs like that, you better believe it should be something awesome. I don’t know anyone who has ever suggested going to the airport for dinner. 😉

When traveling, I try and play it safe with feeding my face, and here’s how I tackle the problem head-on.

Search for healthy alternatives.

If you do this anyway in every day life, finding a healthier alternative is going to come second nature for you. For example, on our way to drop the monsters off at my in-laws, dinner time rapidly approached. Each exit offered a bevy of fast food fixes, but that’s not my thang. We chose to eat at a Subway and I got a Veggie Delite sub. It did the trick and it didn’t leave me feeling bloated and irritated at myself for getting freaky food I wouldn’t otherwise eat. It isn’t always easy to find a healthier alternative, which leads me to my next point.

Menus are just suggestions.

If you’re actually sitting down to eat at a restaurant, scan the menu like it’s a suggestion, not a death sentence. We all know you can ask for something without mushrooms or hold the cheese, but did you know you can re-arrange their offerings completely? If you see something in one dish on the menu and want to add it to yours or modify your dish to make it healthier – do it! If you see feta cheese in a salad, but you want it in your omelet instead of cheddar, ask for it. What are they going to say? “No, please leave our establishment and take your quest for good health with you.” I think not. They want your money, you have money, it should be easy enough to work out ;). Often, you can find a “healthy selections” section on a menu. This was the case with our breakfast on the first day – I saw what I wanted in there and I added a little of this and a little of that. They were understanding and it was worth whatever the substitution fee was. Which is more important – hanging on to $2 or living with your guilty conscience when you get back from your getaway? I say take my $2.

Since seeking out healthier alternatives and making a meal out of a menu takes a little extra time, maybe some extra leg work and probably extra brain power, my final tip is the most important:

Don’t wait for hunger to come to you.

When we first were married, Sam and I used to use the “HALT” method. If one of us was Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, we “halted” whatever was going on, fixed the problem and then were happier, better spouses. What’s the point here? The point is NO ONE is at their best when they are hungry. When your stomach is gnawing at you, it is easier to give in to poor choices and take whatever is offered because there is just no time before you become nuclear and blow up. Don’t let this happen. Hunger is ugly.

For our trip, I made a baggie of healthy quick fixes – some Larabars for me, Clif bars for Sam, trail mixes, nut clusters, etc. It’s a big bag. It’s a long trip. 😉 These are always going to be accessible to us so we are never in the position of being so hungry we’ll just eat whatever. I don’t eat whatever at home, I won’t do it on the road. Eating half a bar or some nuts calms your stomach, which in turn, calms your mind, which in turn allows you to make a good choice instead of a bad choice with high cholesterol. It’s a simple fix, but I can already tell it’s going to come in handy.

So there you go – it’s not rocket science, really. I’m sure you read this and thought, “um, I think I knew all of that.” I know you did, smarty pants. The point is I wanted to SHOW you I’m actually doing it on this trip. It’s super easy to talk the healthy talk, but when it comes to walking the healthy walk, some of us end up walking right up to McDon’tlds. I want to keep my life healthy even when I’m taking a vacation from life. 🙂

How do you handle eating on the road? Do you use travel as an excuse to eat food you wouldn’t normally?

Switching It Up

April 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hello, lovelies!  I know I justjust posted, but I needed to publish this before I hit the open road towards freedom, vacation and friends! 🙂

We’ll be switching things up a little while I’m on vacation since internet may be spotty and I can’t be sure I can adhere to a regular blogging schedule.  So, look for more topical posts and less daily entry-style writing.

This change is especially appropriate, the way I see it.  Vacation often means things get a little topsy-turvy with your life.  It can affect your eating, your exercise and your self-control. (you think the “special occasion” slippery slope is tough at home, it’s practically greased in Crisco on vacation) In honor of this switcheroo, I’m going to post a series of “It’s Vacation, Not Throw Va-caution to the wind entries focusing on keeping yourself on track and sane while enjoying a break from reality.

Look for my thoughts on:

🙂 Feeding Your Face On the Road

🙂 Finding the Fitness in Florida

🙂 Getting a Good Sweat During Your Getaway

🙂 Selective Special Splurging

Now, give me a hug.  I’ll miss you ;).

Sense of Relief

April 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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*Whew*  My exam is over.  So glad that’s off my shoulders, now I can focus on getting packed up for vacation and enjoying a week of fun, friends and sun. 🙂  But let’s back up a little…

Last night, I became an NFL widow.  Sam watched the draft with friends, so I was on my own for dinner.  In need of something speedy, I looked in the fridge and saw leftover black beans, produce that needed consuming before we leave and eggs — the easiest food on the planet.

Boom!  A Southwest Omelet.

In this bad boy:

🙂 Green Peppers

🙂 Tomato

🙂 “Mexican” style cheese

🙂 Black beans

and and avocado on top…

I made up some “home fries” out of red potatoes for the side.  So delicious.  I was going to add onion, but when I pulled the onion bag down from the top of the fridge, I realized the onion had decided against being eaten in favor of starting a family.  Stay at home onion?

While  I studied, I baked up some goodies — oatmeal raisin cookies!  They’re a “thank you” for some special peeps who will be caring for our monsters while we’re gone.  It’s the least I could do, the monsters can be adorable, but a handful.

Yuuuum.  I made plain ol’ oatmeal raisin for the lucky recipients and set aside a few more for Sam and myself.  To that batch, I added a small handful of dark chocolate chips.  Try adding the dark chocolate chips to your cookies.  We all know dark chocolate is better for you and when baked into a cookie, you can’t really tell the difference in taste.

I had all these great plans to get up this morning and do yogAHHH before my exam.  I thought it would calm my mind and be a good way to squeeze in some exercise before the day started.  I stayed up too late studying and ended up just stumbling into the kitchen in time to slug back the coffee and make oats in a jar.

Into the empty Trader Joe’s Crunchy Natural PB jar went Trader Joe’s Steel Cut Quick Cook Oats.

I forgot to photograph lunch, but I know you’re smart enough to mentally picture a PB&J on whole wheat, apple slices and carrot sticks.  If it seems like a light lunch, it’s because it was.  I came home after my midterm and ate two oatmeal raisin cookies and the last slice of Sam-nana bread.  Yup, it was just that good of a test. 😦 Have I mentioned I am definitely an emotional eater?  It’s usually something I try and control by taking a deep breath, walking away from the kitchen/food and asking myself why I feel like I need to eat (emotions vs. hunger).  Today, though, I didn’t stand a chance.  I consider it a victory I stopped at just two cookies.  Sometimes, all you can do is recognize the behavior and stop it as soon as you can if you can’t stop it before you started.

*sigh* Back to the grind.  “See” you later!

Are you an emotional eater?  How do you handle it?

Like Alice in the Rabbit Hole…

April 22, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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…I fell into my Spanish book and couldn’t find my way out last night to blog.  I know, I was sad, too.  I’d rather be blogging than cramming my brain full of Spanish phonetics.  Trust me.

Dinner was especially tasty last night, so I thought I’d share the goods with you:

I saw Jamie Oliver’s Pork Kabob recipe a while ago and thought it looked tasty.  Last night, I adapted it, because we had most of the ingredients on hand, just not the other kabob elements.  Instead, I made butterfly pork chops.

“Thanks for the Idea, Jamie” Pork Chops:

🙂 2 butterfly cut pork chops

🙂 1 Tbsp. honey, plus drizzle for garnish

🙂 1 Tbsp. EVOO

🙂 1 Tbsp lemon juice

🙂 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

🙂 1/2 tsp. rosemary (I used dried, you could use real, just adjust the amount)

Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat countertop grill (I used our Foreman).  In a small bowl, combine honey, EVOO and lemon juice.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl, combine rosemary, cumin, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Take pork chop, coat both sides with honey/EVOO/lemon mixture (I used a bbq brush for this).  Sprinkle with rosemary/cumin mixture.  Pat herb mixture to make sure it’s stuck on pork.  Repeat on other side.  Add pork to grill, grill until done (I think mine took about 10 minutes).

Drizzle with honey before serving.  Enjoy!

So simple, yet really tasty.  I served it with smashed cauliflower (a great mashed potato poser) and a mixed berry cup.  Yuuuum.

After dinner, I joined in on a “conference call” with our friends Joe and Kathy.  We’re all going to Miami together (Joe’s parents own a condo down there — score!) and I am SO excited.  It’s rare to find friends you can travel with, these two are keepers and Sam and I feel so lucky to have them as friends.  Hi, Kathy!

All our talk about the trip made it even harder for me to buckle down and study.  I know it seems like I’ve been studying a lot, but I am a classic over-achiever/perfectionist.  No, really? This class is pretty tough and I really like the professor, so I feel this need to do well both for myself and also for the prof.  Some kind of weird “pleasing authority complex” I’m sure.  Seems silly, but it’s how I am.  I always figure better to over-prepare for the first test and then cool it on the second than bomb the first and worry about the second.

I had a little “study power” help last night:

Ice cream is always better in a mug.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it insulates it better and keeps it colder and less melty?  I ate about a half a cup of all-natural butter pecan (Walmart brand).  Yup, all natural, regular fat, and oh-so-good.

This morning, I sipped my coffee with organic half and half and agave and split a Green Monster with Sam (a mini monster if you will) while I prepped breakfast.

French toast!  I threw in about a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to the egg mixture to add some fatty acids.  Go fatty acids, go!

Note: I stuck about a cup of strawberries in the microwave, intending just to warm and soften them.  I set the nuker for 3 minutes instead of 30 seconds and they explode at the 1:30 mark.  Lesson learned: when life explodes your strawberries, make strawberry syrup. 🙂

I managed to get a lot done this morning, most importantly, another 3 mile run.  GLORIOUS.  Yesterday, I realized the twinge in my calf was mostly gone *sigh of relief* and my IT band isn’t bothering me anymore, so I was really looking forward to this run.  It did not disappoint.  Not only did it feel great, but I managed to run it faster than on Tuesday AND achieved negative splits (when your pace gets faster instead of slower during the run).  YAY!  It’s the little things.  Thank you, legs.  Love you.  Mean it.

Lunch was an outside event, as I took my books and used solar power to memorize linguistics.  Yay, linguistics *sarcasm*.

An almond butter and strawberry jam wrap on a Fit&Active wrap, red grapes, strawberries, tortilla chips and salsa.  Look at that oozey goodness.

Want your wrap to NOT ooze?  Try spreading a thin layer of nut butter along the perimeter, fold the edges in and THEN roll it.  The fold holds in the jelly/jam and the nut butter acts like glue (now that’s glue I’d be eating in Pre-K arts and crafts!).

Speaking of which…

Did you eat glue as a kid?  What weird, non-food item did you munch as a kid?  C’mon, I know you ate something.

I ate a dandelion once on a field trip on a dare.  I know nowadays, people actually eat dandelion greens in salads and such, but I ate the yellow flower.  Maybe I was just ahead of my healthful time? 😉

Second Breakfast

April 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I feel like I have been awake for eleventy billion hours.  I know that’s not the case, it’s only because I have had laser-precision focus on all the tasks I’ve finished (thanks to my list).

I got up bright and early at 6 (I know this may not be early for other people, but when you A) are not a morning person and B) don’t have to be at work until 11 this is early.  Way early).

I fueled up with a half slice of Sam-nana bread while waiting for Jillian Michael’s to stop yapping at the beginning of the 30 Day Shred DVD.

I get it, Jillian.  You’re TV’s toughest trainer, blah blah blah.  I can’t fast forward through this segment — the DVD says it’s prohibited.  I wish the DVD had an option like some websites where I can agree to the “terms and conditions” of the Shred.  Yes, I agree you’re TV’s toughest.  Yes, I agree you’re going to shred my arms and abs.  Yes, I agree you’re going to make me sweat like a man.  Yes, I agree, you’ll tone and sculpt my bod.

I agree.  Now, shut it and let’s get to work :).

After a pleasant *sarcasm* workout, I was ready for breakfast.  One thing was on my mind:

TOAD IN A HOLE!  I think it’s because yesterday, elsewhere in Blogland, someone was talking about favorite Disney movies.  No, I know, Toad in a Hole isn’t a Disney movie.  I just feel like it should be.

That toad…

Didn’t stand…

A chance.

Yum.

I skedaddled to a dentist appointment and then back to the casa for a serious study sesh for my Spanish exam on Friday.  Still nervous,  still worried, still clinging to my list for dear life.

I guess I should have made two Toads in the Holes, or maybe just put two Toads in One Hole (co-habitating Toads?), but either way, I was hungry when it was time to go in to work, so I took along a lovely co-pilot:

Green Monster Smoothie, please locate our coordinates.  Roger, that.

At this time, I’d like to give a shout out to the construction crews who placed big “Road Work” signs on either side of the street that goes from my neighborhood on to the main road, thus blocking all available views of oncoming traffic.  Thanks for providing the heart-pumping duck-and-dash across two busy lanes of traffic.  Woke me up WAY better than coffee.

Since I technically ate 2 breakfasts this morning, I made lunch a little lighter than usual.  Office watchers, remember how Kevin said he liked Pregnant Pam because they always ate together?  Well, not every meal, just second breakfast, first lunch, second lunch and first dinner.

Sometimes, I have days where I am just like Kevin…obviously, I am not like Pregnant Pam ;).

Lunch, consumed just moments ago:

Leftover Coconut Chicken Curry with Braeburn apple slices and carrot sticks.  Turns out, the Coconut Chicken Curry is better the next day.  Good to know.  However, I have no intention of staging a sleepover at Salaam anytime soon, so I’ll still be eating elsewhere.  I prefer food to taste good when I want to eat it — not after 24 hours incubation.

I was encouraged to eat any applicable meals with a spork, courtesy of Sam’s recent camping trip.  I was told it would change my life.  Oh, it did. 😉

Nah, it was just funny.

Off to rip through the rest of my day so I can keep studying and DOMINATE this upcoming exam.

What’s something you like to eat that’s better the second day?  Anything you make/order specifically so you’ll have leftovers?

Celebrate!

April 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Tonight’s dinner was especially special because….

It’s this big guy’s 24th birthday.  That’s my brother-in-law, Steve.  Steve is funny, loud, caring and spontaneous — time spent with him is always a good time.  That’s his friend, Steph, in the background.

We met the birthday boy, his girlfriend and their roommate for a birthday dinner at a local Silk Road Cuisine restaurant called Salaam.  Salaam specializes in cuisine from the Medittereanen, Middle East, Balkans, North Africa, Thailand, India and Pakistan.  Quite a collection and definitely something different to me!  I’ve been to Salaam twice before, but always played it safe.  Tonight, I wanted to try something new!

One of the best things about reading healthy living blogs is you can get an idea of what a food looks like or tastes like without having to do the tasting or cooking yourself.  Bueno!  Because of The Fitnessista‘s Indian Food love, I know a little bit more about Indian food.  Caitlin at the Healthy Tipping Point likes Thai food, so I’ve seen some on there.  It’s all eye-candy. 🙂

After some bread (sorry for the dark photo — mood lighting, I guess)…

And hummus…

I ended up ordering the Coconut Chicken Curry.  It was “mildly spiced and served with basmati rice, coriander chutney, toasted coconut, cucumber raita and warm bread”.

It was okay.

I wish I could say it was world-rocking, but the truth is, I felt like it was missing something.  Maybe I should have ordered one of the spicier dishes.  I felt the same way about the hummus.  My farmer’s market hummus is probably going to beat up the leftover Salaam hummus in the fridge tonight while no one is looking.

The atmosphere was nice and the wait staff was friendly, but overall, the experience didn’t leave me wanting more.  I think I’ll probably eat elsewhere in the future. We waited too long for just “meh” food.

I’m so glad I got my head wrapped around all that I have to accomplish between school, work, home and vacation.  Making my list earlier today really helped put me in a better, more centered mood AND I was able to come to dinner tonight to laugh, eat, celebrate and enjoy and NOT to mope and worry about everything I “have to do”.

Those lists are crucial to me, peeps.

Welp, I’m off to bed with a belly full of bread and a dream of spicier curry in my head.

Tell me something you’ve eaten lately that was outside your usual box…:)

Sam-nana Bread

April 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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I came home last night to this sight:

My first thought, “Sam’s in the kitchen.  Baking.  Awwww……some!”

That fabulous man had spotted some spotted bananas on the counter and declared it time to make Sam-nana bread.  Sam-nana bread is your basic banana bread, and I don’t know what he does to make it taste so good, but I never turn down the opportunity to have him whip up a loaf.

I do know he follow’s the Betty Crocker recipe for banana bread, which also, conveniently, is low fat and moderately low in calories.  Score!  Since I happen to know the baker pretty well, I also know he used all natural ingredients.  🙂

Since he had his hands busy, I got started on dinner:

A simple meal of grilled chicken marinaded with Caribbean jerk sauce with whole grain take-and-bake bread and a side salad of red/green leaf lettuce with blueberries, chopped walnuts, feta and Craisins.  I dressed the salad in EVOO and balsamic vinegar.  If you’re a little leery of adding fruit to a usually veggie salad, start out with fruits you know.  Strawberries, blueberries and mandarin oranges are all tasty and I think pair well with balsamic vinegar.  Don’t let hesitation keep you from an excellent flavor combo — what’s the worst that could happen?  You don’t like it and then you end up picking off the fruit?  Oh, boo hoo. 😉  Put your big person panties on and put fruit on your salad.

Dessert was, of course, Sam-nana bread.  Soooo good.  I had a piece.  Or two. 🙂

This morning it was go-go-go because I had class bright and early, so an easy-peasy breakfast of Trader Joe’s High Fiber O’s with a handful of blueberries, fat free skim milk and (you guessed it) — a piece of Sam-nana bread.  Toasted.  Heaven.

I have to admit things are getting a little hectic in my life right about now.  I realize I pile a lot on my life plate (I work full time, I’m taking classes, I’m trying to be a good wife-y and dog mother, I’m blogging, running…), so sometimes, things get out of balance and catch up with me.  This imbalance = stress.  Mega stress.

Let me let you in on a little secret; lean close.  Closer.  Okay: when I am stressed and life is out of balance, it is usually the ones I love the most that are on the receiving end of this imbalance.  My stress will manifest in short tempers, irritability, dissatisfaction and a constant feeling of always being one step behind with so far to go.

This is unfair.  I know somewhere, Sam is nodding his head.  He’s usually the one who gets the worst of it.  I always think how horrible it is that we often let our guard so far down with the people we love the most, and then we end up acting the worst towards them.  Again, unfair.

I started to feel this imbalance coming today after class.  I have a midterm on Friday, a vacation to pack and prepare for and a whole week of work and life to get through sanely.  I felt this imbalance even more while on the phone with Sam.  I was moving my car to another parking lot when a student walked out in front of my vehicle without looking.  I hate that.  It happens all the time and usually I just grit my teeth, but today, I let out a tirade.  Sam laughed at first, but the longer I went on, the less funny it became.  Poor guy was on the receiving end of some very misplaced stress.  (Sam, not the student — the student needs to go back to kindergarten and learn to look both ways.)

Here’s how I’m going to try and head off stress and therefore, keep my life in balance and my outlook healthy and upbeat:

🙂 After posting this, I’m going to get all my nerves out.  The “to-dos” are what makes my stomach nervous and twisted, so I need to get them in order.  Lists are a big thing for me, so I’ll be making a slap-dash list of all the things that need to be done between now and when that fabulous flight takes off this weekend for vacay.  I’ll just jot them down as they come to me — I’ll essentially barf them onto paper.

🙂 I’ll prioritize. Taking what I’ve put to paper I will recognize what is absolutely essential and what can wait.  I’ll also determine what I can ask help with.  I have an incredible husband who is always telling me if I let him know how he can help, he will.  I need to actually do that more often.  I know I’m not the only one who does this in their marriage.

🙂 I’ll schedule.  Taking my priorities, I’ll block off my time (realistically) and put those “to-dos” in a spot where they will get “ta-done”.  Exercise MUST be on this list.  It is important, it does not take THAT much time and it provides a break from the go-go-go pace.  Don’t let exercise go by the wayside.  You’ll feel clearer and more focused during your busy time with it than you will without it.

I will also share this schedule with people who need to know.  My life is not solely my own — it is a shared life, so I can’t go barreling through a plan and a life that involves other people thinking I can stick to my little list without letting anyone in on what I need to do and when I need to do it.

Then I’ll take a deep breath and get going.

I realize this might sound a little Type A to some people, and that’s fine.  Honestly, I’m a little Type A. When you are going going going, sometimes you have to stop and ask if everything you’re going for is something that fulfills you.  If you’re designating time for something that does NOT fulfill you, it is just clogging up your time pipes and you’re going to get even more unbalanced and stressed.  Everything I do fulfills me and I don’t want to chuck anything, so I brainstorm, schedule and prioritize.

It helps.

No, please excuse me while I rip into my PB and Grape J sandwich…

And salad, applesauce and banana.

I’ve got important work to do.

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