Today’s Happy Note: My day involved plenty of chocolate. Always a good thing.
Mental Health Note: Transitions, of any sort, are always stressful and tricky for me. At this point in my life, I have come to accept that, and instead of trying to pretend that the stress isn’t there (and thereby making it much, much worse), I just acknowledge it and do my best to soothe myself. I find moving around — which, unfortunately, happens a lot in college — not just physically exhausting, but emotionally draining as well. I get attached to places. I go back and forth between NYC and Michigan (and sometimes Canada) quite frequently. I am in NYC right now, but have to move back into my dorm. I’m also making a shift from full-time worker to full-time student and part-time worker. My life patterns are not all that different during the school year, which helps to ease my mind. I know that I will still eat oats with nut butter or smoothies for breakfast. I know that I will find some time in the day to squeeze my run in and that I will make time for friends and life outside of school.
All this is to say that the stress is creeping up on me already — I can see and feel it. It sort of drapes its way around me and sits on my heart and body like a heavy scarf. I move into my dorm room on Saturday and start classes Tuesday. I have been mentally preparing myself. One thing I find very helpful is finding room for extra sleep during my day/night. Stress often leaves me sleepy-tired, and if I can either sleep 9 hours at night or 7-8 hours at night with a nap in the late afternoon, I am much happier and calmer. Other things that help include lots of self-care (doing stuff like painting my nails, getting a massage, strolling in the park and looking at the flowers, etc.), reaching out to people I love, and eating delicious but clean foods.
How do you deal with life transitions — physically or emotionally or occupationally? How do you relieve the stress/anxiety/tension? I love consistency, but I understand that, for the next few years, my life will not necessarily be straightforward. I am learning how to find the excitement in this.
I got my run in this evening! It was way too hot at the beginning, but eventually cooled down with a nice breeze. I did ten miles and actually felt really great during it. I held about a 10 minute per mile pace, but was probably around 9:30 at some points. I feel like I may finally be back up to pre-hospital strength! Yay! I also lifted weights for a quick 30 minutes.
Long run eats:
I’m not showing everything because I think it’s boring. But I have done a good job keeping track. And I don’t have a picture since I only just made it, but I am currently eating a delicious chocolate banana smoothie with TJ’s dark chocolate in a nut butter jar. Nut butter jars make everything better. Seriously, I would be so thrilled if I got my Christmas and birthday presents in (clean) nut butter jars from now on. It would be so cute! I’m pretty sure my relatives already think I’m a weird foodie though, so I probably will go ahead and *not* make that request…
Lunch was kinda epic: steamed carrots/yellow squash, green grapes/cherry mix, and a turkey/cheddar/avocado wrap on a TJ’s multigrain tortilla. I have a lunchtime sandwich fear, for some odd reason. But on longer run days, I find it helpful to have a sandwich for the extra carbs/calories. It works out perfectly fine because, when eating more earlier in the day, I eat less in the evenings.
Awesome new snack! TJ’s (do you see a TJ’s them here? Hmmmm….) peanut butter crunchy granola bar. This was a tad sweet but definitely tasty.
Dinner involved more meat — apple chicken sausage, in honor of my sister (it’s one of her favorite foods, but I also really like it as well) with a GIANT salad of romaine, peppers, avocado, and TJ’s peanut vinaigrette (LOVE). I had okra fries a la Meghann on the side. They were actually really good. When I cut up veggies like carrots, squash, or, in this case, okra, into fry form and bake them, I am not intending them as a fry replacement. I just like roasted veggies. But these were actually legitimately fry-like! I coated them in salt, pepper, and EVOO and baked at 400 for about 30-ish (maybe 40?) minutes. Okra=my new friend. Oh, and if you are wondering why it’s dark in the above photo that’s because it’s purple okra! I love veggies in fun colors.
Hello, okra. You can come over for dinner anytime you want. Have you had okra? Do you like it?
I don’t eat a lot of meat. But I think it can be a very healthy part of a diet and I will probably never go vegetarian. I do believe in ethical, moderate meat consumption. I get as much of it as I can from the farmer’s market or other local, natural, and/or organic sources. I just realized, while posting, that I had meat twice today! Turkey at lunch and chicken sausage at dinner. And you know what? I feel great. The protein and fat really work wonders for me.
I like all kinds of protein sources. My favorites: salmon, shrimp, steak, turkey, tofu, lentils, black beans, tempeh, whole grains, greek yogurt, veggie burgers, cottage cheese, nut butters, and certain protein powders.
Your fave protein sources?
Bedtime for this stressed chica. Goodnight friends! 🙂