Snow day!

My morning started off with a yummy bowl of oatmeal today…

IMG_1364I made this morning’s oats with a little coconut oil, added a half of banana, some chia seeds and hemp seeds for a topping, and mixed in a little maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.  I always top it off with a spec of almond milk to make it all a little creamier.  I LOVE oatmeal; it’s one of my favorite breakfasts and there are so many ways to crank it up a couple notches from straight up plain oatmeal!  Do you have some favorite toppings?

I guess most everyone has probably heard about the big ole blizzard of a storm that we’re getting slammed with here in Boston.  It’s been a bit of a whammy so far, but thankfully both my husband and I were able to work from home, and we’re cozy inside with lots of good eats and drinks on hand.

My office today looks like this:

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This scene is a far reach from the office/clinic environment I usually work in, but I’m definitely not complaining!  We cancelled all of our patients for today, other than the ones that were scheduled for surgeries.  Thankfully we were able to do this to save them from having to make the trek in, and us too! All that’s left to really do today is be available for phone calls.  So patients are still able to call in should they need anything, and all the nurses are working from home and checking our messages throughout the day.  So far it hasn’t been too bad at all, giving us the chance to make a few trips outside to shovel, and to watch the never ending news coverage on The! Blizzard! of 2015! #omg!

Speaking of shoveling, I read this article on Huffington Post today, about how to get “an actual workout” while shoveling snow.  Um, because just shoveling itself isn’t enough of an actual workout, right?  I actually did keep an eye on how long we’ve been out there today digging out. Did you know that on average, a 155 lb person burns about 230 calories per half hour shoveling?  Add in some squats and shovel lunges like this article suggests, and holy hell, your neighbors will think you’re a nut job, you’ll burn some serious calories!

Shoveling actually is a pretty killer workout, squats and lunges aside.  I was thinking last night when I knew I’d have a day off today that I’d have time to do a good workout at home, but turns out I opted out of that for a few rounds of shoveling instead.  Already, we’ve been out there an hour and a half, and it’s still coming down…

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Thankfully this stuff is pretty light and fluffy, but it’s so windy out that it’s blowing all around, and it’s hard to gauge how much we’ve really got going on out there!  Seems like close to eighteen inches maybe?, with snow piles up to about four feet!

I love/hate how whenever there’s a big storm like this, it’s ALL that anyone talks about, the only thing on TV, the news people having a field day with it all!  It makes you wonder what they’re doing when there isn’t any snow?  And not for nothing, but this news coverage cut into a little Farmer Chris Bachelor watching last night, and ain’t nobody got time for that!

Well, that’s about it going on here today.  A pretty quiet day all things considered.

Oh yeah!  One more thing!  I want to share about this really yummy soup I made for dinner last night that we’re enjoying leftovers of today.  I highly recommend this one, from one of my favorite sites, Skinnytaste.  This is one of my go-to sites for quick and easy and really healthy and damn yummy meals and appetizers, and even desserts!  I bought her cookbook right before Christmas and gave my mom a copy as well. There’s SO many great recipes both on her site and in her book; you should definitely check it out!

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Lasagna Soup

I hope that you’re enjoying your day today!  Are you snowed in?  Enjoying some calmer weather? What are some of your favorite thinks to do when it’s blizzarding outside?

I think I’ll go make some cookies… afterall… the shovel lunges, the calorie burn… it is all about balance here right?

Currently…

Taking a page from this lady’s book, I’m going to do a little post on what’s currently on my plate right now.

Reading:  I’m currently “reading” The Vacationers by Emma Straub, and by “reading” I mean listening to- in the car, book on CD, from the library, to and from work.  A coworker had given me a copy, the real book copy, a couple months ago, and I never got around to reading it.  After devouring the Serial podcast (I was so engrossed, much like everyone else), I needed something else to listen to on my way to work with my new, longer commute from our new home.  I’m enjoying The Vacationers.  It’s a light and easy read… er, easy listen?  On my nightstand I have The Orphan Train ready to go, which I’m excited to delve into soon!

Loving:  Getting settled in our new house!  It’s so, so nice to have more space, to have a place to really actually call our own, and to do with it exactly what we want.  I’m loving Pinterest-ing the hell out of ideas for room decor, paint colors, etc.  We’re really loving just hanging at home these past three weeks (today marks three weeks of home ownership).  I’m excited to come home after work and hunker down in a place that’s all ours.

Thinking:  About recipes, and more decorating, and about what races I might like to run coming up.  I’m also thinking about my job, and if this is where I can picture myself long term, or not.  And I’m thinking about how fast time truly does go by.

Frustrated:  I know there was something just the other day that I was complaining about, but I can’t remember it now as hard as I’m trying.  I guess it couldn’t have been that big of a deal then?

Feeling:  Like I’m glad that I have a space like this to write about my daily life, my struggles sometimes, and the fact that I’ve already connected with so many cool people through this venue.  I’m also feeling like I really need to continue to focus on the theme of this blog: balance– it’s something that sometimes challenges me in my everyday life.  Too much of a good thing, not enough of something else, all or nothing thinking, etc.

Anticipating:  Some warmer weather, or really, some more sunlight.  I don’t totally mind the cold; it’s not my favorite, but I’m getting by.  Just this past weekend I had a really awesome twelve mile run in the bitter cold seven degree weather, and believe it or not, I actually kind of enjoyed it!  I joined a running club after being inspired by this gal to do so, and being a part of a group like that was what motivated me to get out there that day and accomplish that run in such cold temps.  What I’m really looking forward to though is some more sunlight, and longer days. The sun rising earlier so that I can get some running in before work, and setting later so it’s not pitch dark when I’m heading home!

Watching:  Do you watch The Taste?  The finale is this week so it’s a little late to jump on board, but I love Anthony Bourdain we love this show, and tune in every week.  I’m also pretty into Chopped (I guess there’s a cooking show theme here), and can’t wait for Grey’s (I think I’m one of the five people in the world who still watch!), How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal to come back on.  I just binge watched Scandal over the past month or so- started from the beginning, and I’m hooked!  Does anyone else watch any of these?  And, lest I forget to mention the big one, The Bachelor.  Yup, I tune in to farmer Chris, even though this season really isn’t doing anything for me, I’m still watching.

Sad:  I don’t really have the sads about anything right now, I’m fortunate to say.  Though, I am sad for other people’s sadness- friends who are going through a hard time, patients who are struggling with their health, and just people in general who are fighting a battle of their own.

Working:  I started a new eight week workout program that I’m adding into my current routine of HIIT training, strength training, and running.  I’m working on unpacking and getting organized in our new place.  Working on being kind to myself and continually working on striving for balance.

Grateful:  For a warm house, for my friends and family and their excitement for our recent move, for the love and support and help they all have given us.  I’m grateful for my health, and the health of my loved ones.  I’m grateful for a nice glass of red wine after a long week.

Listening:  To the book on CD I mentioned, to not much music except while working out, and to my cat purring next to me right now.

Wishing:  That work wasn’t so chaotic right now.  There’s been a lot going on with people out for health reasons and this or that, and it’s kind of taking a toll on everyone.

How about you?  Join in and share some of the things you’re anticipating, loving, reading, or watching lately.

In the morning…

One of my favorite breakfasts to make, especially over the weekend when I have a little more time, is oatmeal!  Usually during the week I will make a smoothie with water or almond milk, some frozen banana and berries, spinach, and protein powder.  Since it’s been so freaking freezing lately, these mornings it’s been a little tougher than normal to get down a cold smoothie!

Another go-to staple for me has always been oatmeal.  Since my husband and I moved (into our first home!- more on that soon!), my commute has increased significantly (hello recent addiction to Serial), and I have to leave a lot earlier for work in the morning.  So, I’ve been trying to think of ideas of breakfasts that I can take on the go.  Last week I made a mug of oatmeal to bring with me in the car.  That multitasking endeavor can be classified as a big fat fail, needless to say!

Tonight I made a batch of baked oatmeal muffins, a snack that will be easy to bring with me on the go, something I can heat up right before I go, or eat as-is.

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These are yummy and filling, and make your kitchen smell delicious!  They have no added sugar (or don’t have to- you’ll see I added a little maple syrup) and are low-fat and healthy little nuggets that you can make ahead of time, and even freeze to use throughout the week.

Here’s what I did…

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of vanilla almond milk (you could use regular milk, soy milk, you pick!)
  • 2 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup (or honey, or light agave)- add more or less depending on how sweet you like it

Toppings (or fillings!):

For my muffins, I decided to mostly focus on fillings rather than toppings.  I was trying to make them as easy as possible to transport, so I went for things inside the muffins instead of on top.

There’s so many different toppings or fillings you could choose to add!  Raisins, dried fruit, chocolate chips, walnuts or almonds, more banana, coconut, Nutella, hazelnut spread, protein powder… the options are endless!

For mine, I made a few of each with:

  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of homemade blueberry jam (this is one of my most favorite peanut butters)
  • A handful of strawberries
  • A handful of blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and fill muffin tins with cupcake liners- spray the liners with cooking spray or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients- banana, egg, applesauce, vanilla, & almond milk.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix up the dry ingredients oats, cinnamon, baking powder, chia seeds, & salt
  4. Toss the dry ingredients into the wet, stir until well mixed.  Add in your maple syrup (or sweetener of choice).
  5. Pour about one tablespoon of the yummy batter into each muffin liner, add whatever fillings you’re feeling at the moment, and then fill the rest of the liner with batter.
  6. You could add a little extra toppings onto each muffin at this point.  I skipped this step but here is where you’d do it.
  7. If you’re feeling sassy, you could sprinkle each muffin with a little turbinado sugar for a little crunch and some more sweetness.  I also omitted this step as I was trying to keep the sugar on the lower side.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes, until your kitchen smells like heaven and a toothpick comes out clean (except on the peanut butter ones- those will come out gooey and you might end up tooth picking more than once, just to sample some more peanut butter…).

Dig in!  These are clean and healthy, low in sugar, fat, and calories.  I don’t know the exact nutritional info, but I would guess, depending on your fillings and toppings, that these would run about 150-200 calories each.

What’s one of your go-to’s for a healthy breakfast?  How about when you need to grab something on the go?

 

2015 Non Resolutions

Well, the whirlwind of the holidays have come and gone, and here we are in the first full week of 2015. Happy New Year!

Is it freezing where you are?  I don’t just mean 32 degrees freezing, how about -7 degrees bitter cold? Yikes. I started off January with the intention to run every day this month.  I did this from the first through the fourth, but come this week, temperatures have been crazy cold, so the outdoor running has been… not to much.  I could go to the gym and run on the treadmill, but I’d lose my sanity pretty quick doing that; I hate treadmill running for much more than three miles at a time.  It is supposed to “warm up” this weekend (actually get to 32 degrees) so I plan to get back outside for some more brisk runs.

Speaking of intentions and goals and reflecting on the year ahead, have you made any New Year’s Resolutions?  I don’t know about you, but I often find that with resolutions comes a lot of pressure.  Don’t get me wrong, I think setting goals and putting intentions out there is a good thing, but “New Year’s Resolutions” to me, has always felt sort of corny and forced.  You look back on the past year, and you make this big, grand list of things that you plan to do better at in the upcoming year.  You resolve to “lose weight” or “begin eating healthy.”  It’s a lot of pressure I think, and frankly I’m all about going easy on ourselves and taking the pressure off as we start a new year.

So, the Non-Resolution.  For the past seven years now, I have made a list at the beginning of each year of things that I resolve not to do.  I find this a bit easier and for me it makes a little more sense.  Instead of focusing on all of the things that you want to do, or change, or be better at this year, I encourage you to join me in making a small list of non-resolutions– things you would like to stop or avoid, or do less of in 2015.

In 2015 I resolve not to:

  • Say yes when I really mean no, or maybe.  This one has been on my list more than once, and it’s something I struggle with on the regular.  By saying yes to something that I’m lukewarm about, just to satisfy someone else, what I’m essentially doing is saying no- that what I want doesn’t really matter, or isn’t too important.  I’m going to try to be better at this.
  • I resolve not to be so hard on myself.  I need to really remember to treat myself like I would a dear friend.  Make my self talk a little kinder, not be s0 judgey about myself the same way I wouldn’t judge a good friend for their choices.
  • Interrupt as much.  I hate when people interrupt; it’s a huge pet peeve of mine.  But you know that saying, the one where you dislike traits in others that you can recognize in yourself.  Yeah.  I know I interrupt too.  My husband and I sometimes argue about interrupting- I give him a hard time for interrupting but then I do it right back to him.  I really want to work on this.
  • I resolve to not worry so much.  Every single year this makes my list.  I’d say that I’ve gotten better at this one, but worry is kind of built into my genes, and I just sort of carry it with me wherever I go.  I try not to dwell on things too much, really do try to focus on living in the moment, not worrying about the “what-ifs” of life.  I know this is something I need to keep working on.  I’ll never be perfect at it and I think to some degree, a little worry is a good thing.  One quote I really love by Michael J. Fox says, “If you get caught up in the worst case scenario and it doesn’t happen, you’ve wasted your time. And if you are caught up in the worst case scenario and it does happen, you’ve lived it twice.” Michael, you nailed it.
  • Text while I’m driving.  Yeah, seriously.
  • Go a week without running.  Running makes me happy.  I love running.  I do all sorts of other exercise, but running you can do anywhere, mostly any time.  I may not be able to run every single day of January, but I can at least run once a week the whole year through, because it makes me feel good, and it’s fun to run.
  • Lastly, in 2015, I resolve to not not live authentically. I will try my best to be true to myself and to be self aware.  I will focus on living in the moment, being genuine, and being kind to myself and others.

What do you resolve not to do in 2015?