It’s looking a little green around here…

Our garden is abundant. We have a regular influx of Kale and Zucchini…oh, so much kale! Carrots, onions and other yummy veggies have appeared as well. We have, without question though, been eating a lot of greens lately!

Yesterday morning, A. and I had the mother of all breakfast burritos:  

It was filling and super nutritious, containing:

  • 1 tortilla
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • about 3/4 cup kale and 1/4 yellow peppers  sautéed together
  • 1 oz light marble cheddar cheese
  • Salsa on the side!

Shockingly, Little Man actually ate it – he loved it :) Although he “loves” everything these days…and….everything is his “Favourite”!

We kept it green the rest of the day, with this amazing zucchini ricotta cheesecake for dinner from 101 Cookbooks. This is, hands down, my #1 Zucchini recipe. I could eat this for every meal, every day for weeks I’m sure. Okay, that might be a *bit* of an exaggeration. But, it is fabulous.

I also made a tasty, and wonderfully light zucchini spread to munch on with rice crackers. My mother in law made this, and I loved it, so I looked up the recipe. I used this recipe, but, added in a bit of Kale, and Dill in place of the parsley (I didn’t have parsley, but don’t really like it anyways). I think basil would also substitute well!

IMG_4987

I’ve been feeling under the weather all week, which lead to much less than stellar results on the healthy living side of things. Not surprisingly, eating junk and not exercising actually makes you feel worse when you are already down, tired, and aching all over. So, my focus the next few days is going to be to try to get enough sleep, remove myself from the T.V./living room in the evenings when I’m getting tired (I plan to do something quiet/relaxing upstairs instead), and try to get at least a little bit of exercise every couple of days.

Today, I’ll get plenty of exercise, as D. and I are starting the process of redecorating our bedroom! We’re just painting today, but I can’t wait to see the colour transformation. Little man is going to his best buddy’s place for the day, so we’ll be able to focus and get most if not all of it done in a day. Most of the taping is done already, so we’ll be able to jump right in with the sanding I think!

Before and after pictures to come…

Weekly roundup!

This week is winding to a close…here are some highlights:

1) I had the pleasure of celebrating the upcoming birth of a new member of the chick-family. One of my group of girlfriends I’ve had since…ummm…let’s not get to specific here…is expecting, and we can’t wait to meet this new little bundle. We celebrated with a shower in the “party room” at my complex. This is the first time I’ve held any kind of event there, and it was a learning experience. The space was great, and everything went well, except I forgot EVERYTHING at home. This is surprising, given that I filled my car to the brim to drive stuff over there before the party! Here is an abridged list of what I forgot:

  • Coffee filters
  • Coffee
  • The game board for our only shower game
  • Pens
  • Forks to eat the cake
  • A knife to cut the cake (!!)
  • Something to serve the punch with
  • And much more

The lesson: Plan REALLY well if you are going to hold an event somewhere other than your home.

2) Kale. Chard. Zucchini. So much green. I need to get cooking/baking before this abundance goes bad! D.’s garden has really produced a TON of stuff this year! He came home with 5 huge kale plants (we’ve already harvested multiple times from them, so he decided to pull them). This is the kale from ONE of those plants:

 Anyone need some kale? What are your favourite kale/chard/zucchini recipes?

3) This week has, so far, been a good one for healthy habits:

  • I’ve been to yoga twice, and will go again today. Feeling strong.
  • I’ve gotten outside for a couple of walks.
  • I’ve been getting 6.5-7 hours of sleep most nights. This has been hard to build in. I know it may still sound like it’s not enough, but this is a big improvement from my often typical 4-5 hours.
  • I’ve been tracking my food most of the time.
  • We’ve had three awesome Cooksmarts meals this week. I love this service. I can’t say enough good things about it! I didn’t, unfortunately, prep food on the weekend, so the meals took a bit longer to cook. This made things a bit hectic.

Today is my day at home with A.. I think we are (shh…don’t tell him) going to take a bus ride today. Every since he had a SHORT ride on a hotel shuttle a few weeks ago, he’s been asking every couple of days about going on a bus ride. I have a free bus pass from school now, so I thought, ‘why not?’.We’ll combine some play time and a couple of errands with the ride. Wish me luck! I’ll be hunkering down during nap time to get some work done!

This weekend will be action-packed, as most of our summer weekends are. I’m stoked about going to an 8am outdoor yoga class offered as a part of the annual Sea Festival. My favourite yoga teacher is leading the class, and it will be beautiful weather. A. and I are then spending the day with a dear friend while D. goes diving, and Sunday will bring Church and the baptism of a very special little man, probably followed by some sea festival fun in the evening. Shockingly, we don’t yet have anything planned for Monday. It will be nice to have a slower day, hanging out as a family.

Grown-up melted cheese

Left-over party food cheese toasts:

  • Toast 2 thin slices of sourdough bread
  • Smear with left-over roasted garlic
  • Slice up left over basil and sprinkle it over top
  • Lightly cover the toasts with whatever left over cheese you have
  • Broil on high until the cheese JUST melts.

YUM.

Caprese-ish Egg bowl

IMG_4893In an effort to up the protein and reduce the carbs/bread I’m eating, I’ve really gotten in to egg bowls for breakfast. Typically, these involve two scrambled eggs, veggies and a bit of cheese (maybe some beans, salsa, or avocado too). Yesterday, we had tomatoes, basil and feta hanging out in the fridge, and I thought a caprese-ish egg bowl sounded delish, and it was! I’m glad I used feta instead of the typical mozzarella because the saltiness was perfect with the eggs.

This bowl included: 2 eggs scrambled with a bit of butter, 4-5 plum tomatoes, chopped and sautéed, fresh basil, 1 oz feta cheese. Simple, but so yummy!

Banana Oats are Back!

  
I haven’t made Kath’s yummy Banana oats for ages! Little man and I had these for breakfast. Today’s variation included:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 a banana, mashed in part way through cooking
  • Cinnamon and vanilla
  • Topped with blueberries, and a tsp of peanut butter.

I forgot how much I love banana oats! They were a hit with Little Man too- he ate as much as me, and every bite was followed by “mmmmmm”. 

Coming Home

Well, after much thought, I decided to merge the newer blog with this older one and continue posting here. I spent some time looking back through the posts here recently and really felt a pull to return here. Okay, to be honest, there was also the little issue of my misspelling the blog address for my newer blog…and not being able to find a new one that would work (‘finding room to breath” – seriously!). Thankfully, after months of google indexing being turned off, this blog no longer comes up when my name is searched. Phew!

In part, I wanted to return here because I would like to return, a little bit, to the “space” I was in when I was posting regularly here. I was finding a bit of balance, I was finding time to exercise, I was cooking healthy, nourishing, real food, and I had a much more positive outlook on life. Specifically, I was much more thankful for where I was at, what I had and the people around me.

There’s has been a lot of discussion about the problems with presenting only your “best self”in social media and/or online; in some ways it can be problematic, because it creates this pressure to live up to each other’s “perfect” lives. I think it is important be a bit more real in what we present. I also think, however, that there is value in having a place where you share publicly the good things in your life, the important things. It may just be me, but I think having a place to do this shifts my focus from the hard things, the stressful things, the franticness of life to the things I am thankful for, to the important things. It allows me to take a moment to observe the good things in my life.

This may be more important for people like me, who struggle to stay in the present. Somehow, recording the present helps me to remain there a bit more of the time.

I look forward to posting more regularly here, and sharing a couple of new adventures with you!

Regrouping

It has been quite a week or two since I last posted!! We made a quick trip up to my parents house, and A. had a wonderful time with his “nama” and “papa.” D. and I snuck away for a night to a fancy hotel, and had a lovely leisurely, 24 hours away. In the week following our return home, things were crazy busy, we hadn’t meal-planned (or, until Wednesday at 9pm, even bought groceries) and we had a full weekend of family events, as well as the horror of my computer crashing on Friday to contend with this weekend. Thank goodness I have a Mac, and the Apple Geniuses were able to get me up and running overnight again (at no cost to me!).

It. All. Fell. Apart. Mostly. One week without a plan has shown us just how important the meal planning is both for our finances, and our health. Yikes. It’s shocking how little real food one can eat while spending the entire grocery budget for a 2 week period in one week.

Highlights of this past week:

  • Watching A. explore and play with his family, on both sides. At my parents he spent lots of time in the back yard “digging” and went to the wildlife park (there was a TRAIN!). At D.’s parents this weekend he had so much fun playing with his cousins and he love love LOVED the Easter egg hunt at Grandma’s!
  • Going for a long walk on Friday. I had a rough day and needed to decompress, and really needed some exercise. I went for about an hour long walk. It was great – real physical exertion really does help decrease stress/anxiety symptoms.

Lowlights:

  • Realizing how out of shape and prone to pain my body is. I really felt the hour long walk. It was a little hard thinking that only a couple of years ago I used to be able to run for a hour, rather than walk.
  • Eating too much processed food, not enough veggies and fruit, and generally not making great choices.

I’m starting the week feeling behind again because I had dental work yesterday that knocked me out and meant our weekly food preparations weren’t completed. This week will be simple. I’m going to make one meal and one big pot of lentil soup (both from Cooksmarts) to take us through most of the remaining week. The plan is to get the soup made this morning after I drop A. at daycare so it’s ready to go for the rest of the week.

This week will be tricky exercise wise too. To ensure it happens, I plan to look at my calendar and schedule it in!

Refocusing

A crazy week, followed by a weekend away and lots of stress resulted in losing focus. I’m trying to learn to just keep refocusing. I’m really feeling the “work” involved in trying to change habits, the way I respond to stress, and the way I think about my time. It’s Tuesday, it feels like the week is a wash already. But, it’s only Tuesday. So, here is my focus for the remainder of the week:

– Eat regularly throughout the day (not getting super hungry), eat the right foods.
– Walk, yoga or something at least 3 days during the rest of the week. My plan right now is: tomorrow: yoga at home after A. is in bed, Friday: Hot yoga at 6pm, Saturday: Walk, Sunday: Walk.

A win!

Today was a hard, tiring, stressy day. One of those days where I normally go into ‘stress about all the things and do not do anything else’ mode. I am feeling proud at the end of the day because I. didn’t. Okay, well, maybe I did stress about all the things, but I did do other things. I got as much done while working at home as I could. I had to go to a client appointment and was feeling so wound up and unfocused. So, I took a moment, just a moment to ‘set my intention’ for that appointment. I thought about what was most important to see and do and watch for while there. I left everything else at the door. It really worked. After that appointment I picked Little Man up, and when I found myself thinking “I don’t have time to be making dinner, I have xyz to do and the world will end if I don’t do it RIGHT. NOW.”, I stopped, and reminded myself that cooking a healthy meal for my family, and nourishing my post-dental work, almost sick body (not to mention those of my husband who’d been working hard at the garden and my Little Man’s) with that meal was a good thing. An important thing. And I once again set my intention. I focused on the time with my son, and on preparing a wonderful meal (thank you again Cooksmarts!). Once that was done, hubby took over with A. and I – wait for it – went for an hour long WALK and then did a short 15min yoga video. Now, to be fair, i wasn’t all zen- I pretty much complained and vented to my mother on the phone the entire time I walked. Hey, I’m a work in progress. When this was done, I returned to stress mode, and got as much as my brain would focus on done. Tomorrow will be another day, and I will do the best I can.

By the way- the world didn’t end. FYI. Shocking.

And sorry. I’m a bit obsessed with “setting your intention” thing at the moment.

Tumultuous week!

This week was not a great one for sticking to my goals…I had an extra day at home with Little Man, which was fun, but resulted in having to fit all my work into three days. This was compounded by an impending sedation dentistry appointment (planned 4-5 hours, putting me out for at least all of Monday, possibly today as well). I felt I had to get everything done before this appointment because we’re also going out of town this weekend.

Of course, this is the perfect time for a journal to return a decision on an article, meaning I have to scramble to get revisions/edits complete before leaving for the weekend. Anyhoo, that’s enough whining….

The biggest challenge this past week was eating too much in the evenings, and watching T.V. while I eat. Mindless eating!!

I did manage this week to:

  • Get out for at least a couple of walks
  • Go to 2 yoga classes (SO great)
  • Make our cooksmarts meals during the week, and  prep some food for the upcoming week over the weekend.
  • Continue to minimize eating out. I am really happy about this one!

This week will be a challenge, as today I’m still recovering from the dental work, have school tomorrow, then Thursday after D. gets off work we’ll be heading to my parents for the weekend. Here are my goals though:

  1. No eating while watching T.V. while I’m home still.
  2. Walk or yoga (class or at home) every day Tues-Thurs
  3. Get out for at least one walk with my dad on the weekend (listen up Dad!).
  4. Get to at least one yoga class on the weekend.

We have a “Romance package” gift card for a nice hotel in my parent’s town, and I’m super excited that we get to use it this weekend. It includes, wonderfully both free classes at a yoga studio, and free entry to the YMCA. We’re only staying overnight, so we likely won’t make use of both, but even getting to a yoga class would be great. We really need a night away, so I’m very thankful mom and dad can watch A. overnight for us!

I am thankful for:

  • My favourite yoga teacher at my studio, she pushes me just enough but not too much. Her classes are so good for me! Not to mention she tucks me in so my toes are covered during Savasana.
  • Good times with family and friends. We had a wonderful Pozole dinner with friends and got to watch our nephew’s hockey game last night!
  • My dentist. I know. WHO is thankful for their dentist. I am. I needed a LOT of work done because I avoided it for so long, and my dentist’s office was amazing. Sedation dentistry is a lifesaver for me, and my dentist is so skilled at actually freezing me so that I don’t feel anything (during sedation you are drowsy but still aware and conscious). Also, she realized after getting started on a tooth that was supposed to require a root canal that it wasn’t needed, and decided not to do it. This saved us about $1000! So, even though it was approved and she could have easily gone ahead with it, she opted to just fix the existing crown instead.

Okay, I can’t believe my longest “thankful for” note is about my dentist. For anyone who has major fear around dental procedures though, a positive experience is gold!