Rough Night+Chocolate

Today’s Happy Note: Pandora.  Customizable music stations?  No CDs or MP3s or iPods?  I can listen to whatever I want when I’m studying?  Me likes.

Marathon Training: Yoga class today followed by an easy 4-miler, with 6×100 meter strides in the last mile. Yoga was slow but nice; I definitely felt my legs and hips opening and stretching.  The run was slooooowww.  This is a pattern, following speedwork or long runs, that I have just come to accept.  Meh.

Tonight was rough. Rough.  It started when I decided not to go to my last class.  Then I felt guilty.  Then the guilt was compounded by stress because my INR is too low.  Then there was a laundry fiasco.  Then I was so hangry I almost ate my ears off.  Then the printer wasn’t working properly.  And now my whole left forearm itches.

Blech blech blech.

I’m drowning my sorrows in hulu, some frozen yogurt, and, per my mom’s advice, maybe a bit of meditation.

There is school work to be done.  And it ain’t happenin’ tonight.

So I’m settling into my bed, with my crossword puzzle and some tea.

After blogging, of course. 🙂

Leftover stir-fry topped with avocado.  This stir-fry consisted of sweet potato, onion, broccoli, EVOO, salt and pepper, ginger, tofu, and peanut sauce.  This is one of my fave stir-fry combos ever.

Do you have any fave stir-fry combos?

I reappropriated my leftovers into dinner too!  I wanted to make something else but was too hungry to wait.  Do you ever feel to hungry to cook?  this time, I put the stir-fry into a cup of TJ’s carrot ginger soup with two big handfuls of spinach and ate it stew-style!  Also very successful.

Sometimes I get fro yo and then bring it home and add my own toppings.  Shhhh, don’t tell.  You can’t even see the yogurt under my mess of toppings!  It was half mango/half plain topped with dark chocolate, coconut, and TJ’s cat cookies.

Other food highlights of late:

Chocolate.

Chocolate.

More chocolate.

USB may or may not have given me not one but two boxes of chocolates last weekend.  Did I mention that he wrote me a poem tonight?

Um, yeah.

He’s a keeper, I’m pretty sure.

Goodnight friends! Hopefully when I see you tomorrow I’ll be less stressed!  And happy almost-end-the-week!

Day 2: Adjusting

Today’s Happy Note: I had an interesting class this evening!  Score.  So far I have felt mostly sleepy and bored in school, but I think it’s just my body/mind transitioning back into student mode.  The one this evening was called Narrative and Human Rights.  Cool, no?

I only had two classes today.  I have three, normally, but Iyengar Yoga doesn’t start until next week.  I’m pretty excited about it!  Confession: I feel asleep about eight times in my seminar this morning.  It’s the same slightly crazy prof I wrote about yesterday.  I have the pleasure of having him for two classes.  Happy happy joy joy.  He seems interesting though, and most definitely knowledgeable.  The problem is that he is so knowledgeable that he spends the entire class talking about the background to the background of the history of the material he’s teaching.  That doesn’t even make sense but I swear that’s what he does.

Harumph.

Marathon Training: Wednesday’s are usually an “easy” day on my plan.  Today consisted of four sloooooowwwww miles with 6×100 meter strides in the last mile.  I took advantage of my very open day to squeeze in 40 minutes of weights at the gym too (arms/abs).  I always forget how much I walk during school days.  I probably did about 3 miles walking today as well.

Eats:

Gloppy-looking 1/3 cup of oats with a fresh peach and an invisible scoop of sunbutter (~2 tablespoons).

Snacky day (also had another spoonful pb).

Lunch!  Don’t let this innocent looking smoothie fool you; it has four servings of produce!  Frozen berries, half a banana, spinach, and cucumber slices (plus almond milk and vanilla protein powder).  I really liked it, but it needed ice.  This is one of the great dilemmas of my life: my mini fridge freezer is too small for an ice tray. I need ice in my life.  I crave it — I chew on it (I know it’s a terrible habit) and think it makes smoothies infinitely better.  I can easily go through a whole tray in one smoothie.

So now my life (and my smoothies) are iceless.  I don’t know what to do.  Help!  Anyone have any ice-making solutions?

I did indeed bring my own nut butter to The Lite Choice (in my defense, I only had the AB in my bag because I was on my way back from WF).

Stir fry leftovers (shrimp, rainbow chard, yellow squash, broccoli,  yellow pepper, coconut, peanut dressing) with brown rice for dinners.  Just had some hot cocoa to end the day, with a little dark chocolate melted in (my favorite way to eat it).

I feel like this is a good, healthy intake for a day of moderate exercise.  I can never tell if I am eating too little, enough, or enough. Eating is a funny thing because every body is different. I am proud of myself, though, for trying to figure out what works for me.  I feel pretty good right now, like I had enough but not too much.  I don’t want to fall into the comparison trap, so I try to think of my eating only in terms of myself — also, I need to remember that most of my friends and peers are not training for a marathon and running 40-50 miles a week right now.  So when I’m with friends and they don’t snack after dinner (or after lunch, or after breakfast, or after snack, or…), I need to not freak out and think I’m being weird or overeating.  I just need to remember to listen to my body.  It gets easier everyday that I do it. 🙂

I hope you all had splendid, happy Wednesdays!

FYI, L has been on vacation so I’ll be at therapy on Friday this week.  Thereafter I *think* I’ll be switching to Thursdays for the rest of the semester.

Goodnight friends!

Eating Things In Jars

Today’s Happy Note: Lots of time talking with an awesome friend tonight. 🙂  Sometimes that is exactly what you need!

Looooonnnngggggg day.  Started at 8:00 AM and ended at 10:00 pm.  In and out of the apartment, at the store, at the office, on the phone, frantically emailing, on the bus, to another store, picking up bagels, on the computer, entering data into spreadsheets, organizing last day of classes for second job, crazy, crazy, crazy.

Mental Health Note: I practically didn’t have time to breathe.  But I have learned something really valuable about myself in the last year or so: when I have days or moments like this, frantically, overwhelmingly busy, I tend to wind up sad, anxious,  and depressed.  I tend to get riled up and never get un-riled.  So I like to plan out something nice for myself in advance!  okay, so I didn’t really plan today.  But  it worked out, because I got to spend some quality time with two great friends.   Talking and giggling and wondering and smiling and just knowing each other.  I love that.

No time for a workout today!  I thought about getting up at 6 to run but I wasn’t in bed until 2.  I slept in until 8 instead, which was definitely the better choice.  I was on my feet all day though; definitely walked several miles.  And lugged around several pounds of juice and bagels all over the city.  This is what my job entails.

I made a most excellent food discovery today!  You all know I love my OIAJ.  Well, introducing…

Stir Fry In A Jar!

Last night I wanted something easy to make and portable to take.  I had an almost-empty Mighty Maple pb jar in the fridge.  The cogs in my head started moving…I love maple and peanuts in a stir fry.  I had everything I needed on hand: tofu, salt, EVOO, lemon pepper, green bell pepper, carrots and rice.  I sauteed everything together and steamed the rice then combined.

Holy moly this was wonderful!  Like, maybe life-changing-wonderful.

I would do this with regular PB or perhaps even AB as well.  I want to try it with pad thai next.  Yum yum yum, nom nom nom.

Also eaten in a jar: dessert.

A bit of coconut gelato and various chocolate pieces.

I shall have to experiment with eating more things in jars!  Ideas?  Thoughts?  Do you like food in jars?

Goodnight friends.  Happy Friday!

Therapy Tuesday

Today’s Happy Note: I have discovered that I can safely eat dark chocolate.  My life is so much better now. 🙂

Some thoughts:

  1. I have purchased an LSAT study guide.  I am officially going to apply to law school in the fall.  This is very scary. If I am in law school — no, if I am even applying to law school — I must be an adult.  A real live adult.  Weird.
  2. I miss running.  I’m going to have to do some yoga or else I will go crazy.
  3. Books are good.  Books are my friend.  Books never let me down.  Sometimes people let me down.
  4. My parents are the best parents in the world.  Trust me.  My mama calls me Bunny Rabbit and my papa calls em Cupcake.
  5. Summer and I are not friends.  As I was explaining to a real friend the other day, summer just makes me wilt.  I honestly get exhausted, tired, cranky, overheated…I hate it after about five minutes.  I hate walking the ten minute walk to work and arriving with my face covered in sweat.  I should not have to be mopping my brow at 9 in the morning.  This is why my family lives in Canada and Michigan (although summers there are rather hot as well).  I am moving to Norway.  And becoming a reindeer herder.  When I grow up.
  6. I need to bake.  ASAP.
  7. I am graduating from college in less than a year.  I still feel like a baby.  I’m pretty sure most of my relatives think I’m about five.
  8. I have eaten non-bread foods today!  Not much, just a bit here and there: frozen berries, frozen coconut bar, a bit of oatmeal, a few peanuts.  Just to break up the monotony a bit and get some energy into my system.  I am craving veggies, meat, and healthy fats like nobody’s business.
  9. The first meal I make after this wretched infection is gone might have to be Averie’s rice paper wraps with tofu, avocado, zucchini, and peanut sauce.
  10. Yes I am planning ahead for what I will eat when I’m all better.  Also on the list: Mediterranean pasta salad, spaghetti with meatballs, hummus and cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, fish, shrimp salad.  Greens with EVOO. Real food.  And lots and lots of protein.

Therapy Tuesday (lots of thoughts today — bear with me friends!)

This was my first session — and pretty much my first significant interaction with another person — since my illness/hospital visit.  I started by telling L all about that.  She was very responsive and sweet and acknowledged my thoughts and fears.  I wanted to talk more about the experience but I couldn’t really get beyond “I was scared.”   I did talk about how loving and helpful and supportive my mom and dad were.  That was really important to me these past few days.  I didn’t realize this at the time, but I didn’t want today to turn into a look at my relationship with my parents.  What I wanted — and needed — was a very gentle session in which L just sort of metaphorically held my hand.  All weekend, that’s what I wanted: for someone to hold my hand.  That was what I needed today and, unfortunately, I didn’t consciously realize that.  L was by no means mean, but today was absolutely a tough session.  Once I broke down I never really resurfaced.

One thing I did enjoy about today was that L focused on our relationship sometimes — the “here and now” or “in-between” of psychotherapy.  It was refreshing and a bit fun to think about how she was making me feel in the moment or how we were perceiving one another.  Mostly, I felt a lot of confusion-frustration towards L.  Which I told her about.  I felt like this because it seemed like we just kept miscommunicating.  I often feel like she is criticizing people I tell her about (for example, my family members).  But when I told her this, she made it clear that she is just trying to figure out the situation — not to judge anybody, especially people she doesn’t know,

Specifically, we talked today a lot about how people in my family deal with emotions.  This was interesting, if not frustrating.  My mother is emotional and compassionate to a degree that affects her personal and professional life.  My father has always been much more objective and rational, but he has always kept his emotions locked inside; he isn’t really managing his feelings either.  We talked about my impressions of these examples and how they affect me.  For some reason it made me really angry when she brought this up.  After a while I figured out why: I don’t care.  Or at least in the moment I don’t care.  I told L this and told her that it upsets me to not care.  But for some reason in her presence I just get frustrated when we talk about serious things and I respond by not caring. When I told her about my not caring issue she said (albeit gently) something along the lines of, “well, we have to figure out why.”  This further frustrated me: when she says this kind of thing, it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong.  Like I’m no good at therapy.  Like I’m not getting better.  I have really struggled a lot with feeling like I’m not “improved” lately.  I know I mentioned a few weeks ago that maybe it isn’t about consciously improving, maybe it’s just about relating to L, sharing my experiences, telling my stories and seeing how things fit together.  I honestly don’t know.

We spent a lot more time talking about how I feel “stuck” and “not ready.”  I’m not sure where this phrase came from, but it caught on pretty quickly: I feel like I’m not ready.  For new friendships, meeting men, getting out more, being member of the “real world.”  I guess I feel more ready than I did nine months ago.  But when I get upset during therapy, in the moment, I panic. I panic so hard and I only just realized this.  My  biggest issue with feeling unready — besides the panic — is that I feel like being stuck makes me destined to live in misery until we fix things, which might not happen for years.  Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of misery already.

Mostly, I just want this feeling of stasis to go away.  First of all, I know it’s not true.  Secondly, it’s really damaging and hurtful to me.  I pointed this out to L and she reminded me that she isn’t hurting me: this is a story I’m telling myself. Speaking of stories I tell myself:

I also spent time today talking about how much I miss the very intimate, powerful friendship I had with my writer-friends.  It was a set of very rare relationships and circumstances that I feel like will never happen again.  Why do I feel this way?  Because good things don’t happen to me.  I don’t have friendships like that.  People don’t love me that way.  At least, this is what I tell myself.  I have loved my three years of college tremendously and I have many dear friends, but haven’t experienced that same wonderful relationship.  Yet.  L politely pointed out that I do not have a crystal ball.  I will have friendships like this again in the future.  This is another story I tell myself.  It is simply not true.

Why am I so negative?  How can I try so hard to believe in myself but still feel like such a failure?

At the end of today L asked me how I was feeling and I just told her “frustrated.”  Terribly, terribly frustrated.  I am not sure why, but she asked me where — physically — I was feeling this.  It was totally in my hands.  They were tense, anxious, zipping around.  I was trying desperately to show her my frustration in the way I moved my hands.  I meant to ask her why she asked me this but I didn’t.  I think the way we physically feel things is important, but at that point, this didn’t feel the most relevant.

So today was strange.  Very strange indeed.  There were good moments and bad moments.  A lot of frustration.  Not a failure of a session by any means; but confusing.  L simultaneously tells me that I am different now, that I deal with things differently, I cope better.  But also that we need to “fix things” or “improve.”  She doesn’t explicitly say this but that is the sense I get and the sense means everything.  So there is a sort of double message, which I hate.   I hate hate hate feeling like this.

There are, however, good things I took away today as well: it is nice to have someone who unconditionally loves you.  Of course my family members do, but things are different with L.  Looking at our relationship has been enlightening and enjoyable.  It is imperfect, but I also deeply adore her.  It is natural for people to become attached to their therapists (sometimes people fall in love with them; it’s called transference).  I try to be wary of this and to see L as a normal person.  Ultimately, I think she simply cares deeply about me and wants to help me help myself in any way I can.  In the end, I know this and have faith in this, so even frustrating sessions like today don’t destroy me.

Sorry for the monster post!  Sometimes I just have so much in my head  and if I don’t get it out it becomes tremendously stressful!

Anti-Anxiety Plan of Attack!

Today’s Happy Note: Reading in the park.

Mental Health Note: I was so wound up when I left work today that I could barely walk in a straight line.  I have no idea where this came from.  I guess part of depression is feeling inexplicably sad, lonely, or confused.  That might be it.  It was a pretty straightforward day at the office.  Very routine.  Normally the routine soothes me, but today it just unsettled me.  Maybe because I couldn’t stop thinking about all the other things I had to do.  On my way home, I devised an anti-anxiety plan of attack!

  • Take a few moments to myself to walk through the park, look at the trees, breathe, and read.  I rarely leave the house without a book, and today was no exception.   I had “The Gift of Therapy” by Irvin Yalom with me.  Yet another book borrowed from L.  I am devouring it.  It is most wonderful and calming.  Not in a creepy way, but it reminds me of L, which reminds me to stay calm; that someone nearby loves and appreciates me unconditionally is an instantly comforting thought.
  • Make a list of specific things bothering me and plan out howto deal with each thing (i.e., just do it, shelve it for later, ignore it, etc.).
  • Don’t worry about a workout.  I like to take one weekday rest day each week and I purposely don’t plan it ahead of time precisely because of days like this.  The idea of traveling to the gym or the gymnastics center or the yoga studio or dripping with sweat in the 90 degree heat was unappealing.  I work out enough that responding to a day of stress by not working out actually makes sense.  I did do about three miles of walking.
  • Take extra time to write in my journal.
  • Don’t stuff my face, but do have exactly what I want for dinner…

Which leads me to these masterpieces:

I was craving frozen fruit all afternoon/evening!  The first bowl has frozen cherries with one spoonful AB and one spoonful PB.  The second one is Talenti coconut gelato topped with dark chocolate, frozen berries, unsweetened shredded coconut, and a few mixed nuts.

Coconut, berries, nuts: I could have done way worse.  Definitely plenty of sugar.  But oh so tasty.  Sometimes food needs to serve both a physical, nourishing purpose and an emotional, satisfying purpose.  I think I successfully accomplished both here! 🙂

Don’t worry, other eats of the day involved veggies and protein!  Like lunch:

Giant tuna mess with hummus, herbs, snap peas (nom nom nom!) and peppers.

Off to do work and clean my room!  Neither of which I especially want to do.  Sigh…

What do you do when you are inexplicable feeling down?

Favorite frozen fruit?

Yoga, Summer Foods, New Friends!

Today’s Happy Note: Weekly Trader Joe’s visit. 🙂  I always find new fun treats at TJ’s.  It’s my favorite.  Bonus: super cute checkout boy who randomly grew up in a small town near the small town where I grew up!

No post yesterday because  of emergency work business.  Gah.  One of the downsides of having two jobs means that I’m kind of always “on call.”  If it’s not emails from patrons at my office, it’s phone calls with students from the other job or paperwork or photocopies.  I had a lot of trouble getting up early to workout this week.  I feel like maybe it was a hormonal thing — normally I can drag myself out of bed around 7 but this week I even slept through my alarm a few times, or turned it off altogether.  This rarely happens.  My guess is hormones or stress.  I have had plenty of me time so I know that can’t be the issue…

Workouts!  Yesterday I did a 4 mile walk, 10 minutes with my new kettleball, and 20 minutes yoga in the park.  Today about 2 miles walking and an hour yoga class with my favorite teacher.

I have not wanted to run much lately, probably because of the humidity.  I already sweat a lot (related to my PCOS) and intense humidity makes that even worse.  Hopefully I can maybe do a nice short run and swim tomorrow and I might have a surprise for you on Sunday!  You’ll have to wait and see. 🙂

Fun eats!

Yogurt and frozen fruit go so nicely together in summer.  I am loving frozen berries, cherries, and mango chunks.

Those are beans.  Not poop.

Cookie Friday a la Tina!  This had vanilla, macadamia, and coconut.  Twas very tasty, although I’m sort of feeling a little overloaded on carbs (I just had fruit and two bowls of cereal for dinner).  Sugar coma.  Meh.

Tomorrow I am going to have a spectacular adventure!  That might mean two adventures in one weekend if my Sunday Surprise Adventure turns out as well!  Wow.  That’s a lot of Adventuring.  Maybe I’ll meet my adventure soulmate.  Or just a new friend.  I think it’s really important to make and cultivate new friendships.  I can’t be close to every individual I meet, but a few new rewarding friendships never hurt anybody.

1.  What’s your favorite summer food? I am loving the frozen fruit, coconut, cold milk/yogurt, crunchy carrots, fresh spinach/other leafy greens, and sorbet!

2. Do you make new friends easily?  Do you have a lot of friends or just a few? I like to have a decent amount of friends but too many people at once will overwhelm me.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  What Adventures do you have planned?

Yogunancing and Stuffed Quesadillas

Today’s Happy Note: Running in the rain!  Dancing in the rain!  Thinking in the rain!

I had an awesome yogunancing workout today.  Yogunancing=yoga, running, dancing.  It ended up being an epic 6 hour adventure because I kept getting caught in the rain and waiting and then having to take the train and then waiting some more.  It was quite fun actually.  The adventure included a 90-minute vinyasa yoga class followed by a 9-ish mile run and a 30-minute dance/gymnastics sesh in the park.  I actually just remembered during my run/dance sesh that, two summers ago, I did adult gymnastics classes at Chelsea Piers. I am signing up again!  FYI to new readers (feel free to say hi!): I was a gymnast from when I was 4 until I was 14.  I sometimes miss it.  Tumbling is pure joy.  I’m starting this week and I’ll let you know how the classes go!  I need to find an outfit first though…

Other than that adventure, my day involved some food experimentation, some Real Housewives watching (why why why are they so mean to each other), reading, writing, and, currently, some Nat Geo Great White Shark show viewing.

Breakfast fail:

It actually was not a taste failure.  But please note that these were supposed to be pancakes.  Ummm, yeah.  That didn’t happen.  But it’s entirely my fault because I just threw tons of stuff into a bowl and hoped they would magically turn into pancakes.  The taste was spot on though!  Berries, flax meal, blueberry yogurt, pb.  So I would call them yummy piles of mush rather than pancakes.  But at least I tried!  It is Pancake Sunday after all.

Frozen mango chunks. They never fail me.  Unlike pancakes (see above).

Okay.  Dinner.  This was one of the easiest, yummiest dinners I’ve ever had.  Ten minutes from fridge to plate and bursting with nutrition and flavor.  I used  a TJ’s habanero lime tortilla (after seeing them at Gabriela’s blog!) to make a quesadilla of sorts.  I stuffed it with a serving of low fat refried pinto beans, gouda cheese, and TJ’s cilantro jalapeno hummus.  I can see myself eating this dinner every day for like…all of summer.

I slathered some guacamole on top and had carrots, cucumbers, red pepper, and pineapple on the side.  So gooey.  So warm.  So many flavors — spicy, dense, creamy, cheesy.

Eat this combo.  Now.

I had to follow it up with something else that felt tropical-ish.  Which meant coconut.

Round one: warm brownie topped with WF coconut dark chocolate, snowy shredded coconut, and a few chocolate-covered pretzels.

Round two: mixed a tbsp of crunchy pb, a few tbsps shredded coconut, and a splash of soy milk.  This made a delicious dip for more chocolate covered pretzels!

This was an awesome dessert dip.

It’s been such a busy weekend!  Time for me to wind down for the work week.  Lots to do tomorrow and all week, really.  Stay tuned for recaps of my gymnastics classes and a super awesome Adventure next Saturday!

What are you up to this week?

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