Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Cup Runneth Over

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.  Today is the day we set aside to remember what we are thankful for... a few hours before running up our credit card balances on getting a whole bunch of other stuff.  I will not be in that crowd, FYI, though my poor brother and boyfriend are stuck manning the walmart for the crazed black Friday/Gray Thursday crowds.  

This list is in no particular order.  Some things are little, something are big.  I'm thankful for all of them.  

1.  The saving grace of Jesus Christ who has set me free from sin and death
2.  My Family and my friends (who are like my family).  Also my wonderful boyfriend Travis who does things like send me flowers just to brighten my day and help me do my thanksgiving baking.  
3.  My job and my work family.  Through the craziest of days, the people that I work with are FANTASTIC and I am proud to be part of Seaford Middle School.  
4.  My mom.  It was not long ago that we didn't think she would be here now.  God has definitely shown his power and his grace in her life.  
5.  My home.  Living with my parents can be stressful at time but I am so grateful that I am able to have a wonderful home with people I love.  
6. The fourteen years we had with Fonzie.  Though it was terrible to lose him this past summer, having him for fourteen years was amazing.  He gave us ten times more than we ever gave him.  
7.  Coffee.  Yes, coffee deserves a separate mention because it is important to my life.  
8.  The food that I eat, the healthy and the not so much.  
9.  My church.  I cannot imagine life without my church family.  They have loved and supported me for my entire life.  
10.  My health.  I could stand to lose a few but overall I am healthy and happy. 
11.  My freedom.  There are many young men and women who are not with their families this thanksgiving.  Some are out in the heat of the dessert or the cold of the storm, fighting for my freedom. I am beyond thankful for them.  
12.  This beautiful earth.  From the flowers that come from the ground to the orange and golden leaves, it is beautiful.  

I have so much more that I could and should say but that would take forever.  For now, this list shall suffice as I am preparing to spend Thanksgiving surrounded by my amazing family.  

Love and Blessings always,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Planning to be Healthy

So I have noticed a pattern in myself. I get really busy during the week and find myself with free time coming in 20 minute bursts.  I've also gotten increasingly bad at getting out of bed in a timely fashion so a lot of things need to be accomplished before I go to bed or they won't get done.  Most specifically, I have to pick out my clothes and pack my lunch before I head to bed.  

The picking out of the clothes is usually pretty non-traumatic; it takes five minutes, if that, and I hang the outfit on the hooks on the back of my bedroom door.  Boom.  Planning lunch, unfortunately, is more time consuming.  More often than not, what is easy and what is quick takes precedent over what is delicious, healthy, and satisfying.  So what am I supposed to do to solve the issue?  

The best solution I have found is to pack all five days worth of lunches over the weekend.  It is, for whatever reason, much easier to find an hour of time on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon than it is to find 10-15 minutes each night during the week.  I stash the meals in the fridge and pull them out as I go.  This way, I am eating healthy, satisfying lunches each day.  

This week's meal plan: 


Breakfast:  Smoothie made with peaches, raspberries, almond milk, and kale. 

Lunch:  Tortellini salad (made with tomatoes, broccoli, and mozzarella), carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes with homemade hummus, fiber one lemon bar, and seltzer water with lime. 


Breakfast:  peach raspberry refrigerator oatmeal (this is made by pouring oats, yogurt, milk, and fruit into a container and refrigerating it over night.  In the morning, you grab it and go.)  

Lunch:  Cucumber and broccoli creamy pasta salad, vegetables with homemade hummus, apple slices with peanut butter yogurt dip, and seltzer with lime.  


Breakfast:  cranberry orange refrigerator oatmeal

Lunch:  Tortellini salad (made with tomatoes, broccoli, and mozzarella), vegetables with homemade hummus, apples with almond butter, and seltzer with lime.  


Breakfast: Smoothie.  Not sure what kind yet; I'll mix it up tomorrow probably and freeze it. 

Lunch:  Cucumber and broccoli creamy pasta salad, wheat thins and hummus, apple-peanut butter smoothie (with almond milk and chia seeds), and seltzer with lime.  


Breakfast: Probably yogurt and apple cinnamon oatmeal.  The refrigerator oatmeal really is only good for about 2 days (according to the recipe) and I don't want to push it.  If I have time I'll make something legit.  

Lunch:  The last of the cucumber and broccoli creamy pasta salad, campbell's soup to go, fiber one lemon bar, and seltzer with lime.  

For some people, this amount of planning is probably overkill.  I think the point for me is that I need to make my food decisions when I am of sound mind and not when I'm exhausted and packing my lunch is standing between me and getting to climb into bed.  Or when I'm having a bad day and chips and chocolate seem like perfectly rational things to include in my lunch bag.  

It's kind of funny, though, because one week in the past when I had made the effort to plan out and prepare my lunches, one of my fellow teachers commented on how good my lunch looked.  It wasn't anything overly complicated--I had summer sausage with colby jack cheese, veggies with hummus, and sliced watermelon--but when I made my lunch, I prepared it carefully and made a nice presentation.  Afterall, don't you prefer to eat food that also looks nice?  While my kale smoothies look like toxic sludge, I do my best to make everything else look appealing.  It isn't hard; it's not like I'm carving roses out of tomatoes, but it makes a difference to have my food put into nice individual containers (that I wash and re-use, I might add) rather than schlepping it into plastic bags or dumping it into a single container.  

Whether you are a lunch packer or buy your lunch every day, lunch is a blessed half an hour break in the school day that deserves delicious food to fuel you through the day.  This is just how I do it.  :)