There was an error in this gadget

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cocopeacans

Today, I'm thankful....


...for this new snack I invented today.


(Yeah, it's blurry, I was kind of in a hurry to eat it!)  A couple of weeks ago, I very wisely decided not to keep anything sugary in the house so when I had a sugar craving earlier this evening, I searched my cupboards in desperation and grabbed three items:  peanut butter, coconut, and pecans.  I took a pecan, swooped it through the peanut butter, then dipped it in the coconut.  It did the trick and saved me from a mad run to the grocery store for sugar cookies.  Bonus:  all three ingredients are healthy and good for you.  Zippadee doo!


What should I call them?  Cocopeacans?  Albino Turtles?  





Sunday, November 14, 2010

Helpful Kitchen Tip of the Day



Today, I'm thankful...
...that for whatever reason, magical or otherwise, running your fingers across a stainless steel surface under running water gets rid of garlic and onion smells.  


This is a trick I learned recently from another blog that I read.  I got my first "real" job when I was 16 at Little Caesars.  If only I had known that trick then.  Oh, the onions I sliced.  Hundreds of them.  Oh, the way my hands always smelled.  (Maybe that's why I always had difficulty hanging on to a boyfriend!)




November
Mini-Goal - Week
Major-Goal - Month


Floss my Teeth
 Meditation/Visualization Exercises
November 8
Done
Done – “Focusing & Performing your Best”
November 9
Done
Done – “Healing & Recovering Quickly”
November 10
Done
-
November 11
Done
-
November 12
Done
-
November 13
Done
Done – “Affirmations”
November  14
Done
Done – “Breathing”

It's the end of week 2 and November goals are sailing smoothly.  I missed a few meditation days, but I'm okay with that.  Since my new expectation is to complete the action more days than not, I'm still on target.  I'm very happy about flossing every day and feel like it's back in my routine as a daily habit.  (I had gotten out of the habit.)  Next week's mini-goal is to exercise every day.  That *definitely* needs to become a habit again.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Home as Sanctuary

I finally did it.  I overcame the fear that I would once again mangle the threading on my poor sewing machine and made a super simple curtain that goes great with my new wall art.  (Basically, just a rectangle of cloth hemmed on all four sides. ;)





Before:


After:

Today, I am thankful for...

...the whole picture.  My little apartment is slowly coming together, piece by piece.  A home should be a sanctuary, a place where you like to be, that makes you feel good and restores you.  If you don't feel good or comfortable in your home, then something might need changing.  Do you need to declutter, redecorate?  


I once read that if something in your home doesn't bring you joy as it did in the past, then get rid of it.  Your home should be filled with things that bring you joy.  If that souvenir you've had on that shelf for years is just collecting dust and doesn't make you smile anymore... recycle it.  This is a good rule of thumb to follow to make sure your home is always a place where you want to be.

Friday, November 12, 2010

French Toast Baked Tofu - Vegan MoFo Recipe #3

Today, I'm thankful for...


...French Toast Baked Tofu.  I got the recipe from Tina's Carrots 'n Cake blog and made it today.  If you want to see pretty pictures of all the steps, visit her blog.  Warning:  You need a *LOT* of prep time for this.  I had intended for this to be my breakfast, but it turned out to be lunch instead.  Guess I should read through the recipes first before deciding when to make them.  


The ingredients:
a package of extra firm tofu
a cup of vanilla soy milk
1-1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)

(in lieu of the 3 spices...I used 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice)

Press water from tofu for about an hour.  (HUH?  I had to google "press water from tofu for an hour" to figure out how to do this.  If you need to learn like I did, click here.  I used a 5-pound weight.)

Then, cut it into cubes and marinate in a mixture of soy milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg for two hours.  Yep.  Two hours.

When half your day is gone and the tofu is done marinating, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, spoon the cubes out with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl with the coconut and brown sugar.  Toss to coat.  Bake for 15 minutes, then stir, and bake for 15 minutes more.

After it cooled off a bit, I ate it as is.  It was super yummy - the perfect amount of sweetness and the tofu cubes actually did resemble bread a bit.  You could dress it up a little with maple syrup or fruit toppings or something else yummy.

If you make it, I hope you like it.  Let me know...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Today, I am thankful...


...that my dad survived his two tours of Vietnam and was therefore able to reunite with my mom and make our family.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weighs and Measures

A friend gave me some great advice regarding my goals.  It's something I already knew, but had forgotten, and am grateful for the reminder.  This thing of setting a goal to do something every single day is expecting perfection from myself.  And we're not perfect.  I'm not even close.  Plus, life happens and sometimes you just can't get to that goal on a particular day.  


As soon as I read that, I felt a weight lifted.  How could I have forgotten that?  I'm setting a new expectation.  I will complete the goals more days than not.  A simple majority.  The whole idea is to make little improvements in my life, and I certainly don't need to do something every single day in order to do that.  Going from meditating 0 days during a month to meditating 20 days during a month, for example, is an improvement.  


I don't have to hit all 30 days in order to be successful.  I'm still going to aim for 100%, there's nothing wrong with that.  But when perfection doesn't happen, I won't feel like I failed.


Thanks, Mitch!


With that said, November Goals Status:

Mini-Goal
Meditate/Visualize

Walk at Lunch

November 1
Done – Bridge/Gilman Route
Done – “Opening the Energy Centers”
November 2
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Affirmations”
November 3
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Meditation Journey”
November 4
Done – Buildings Tour
Done – “Meditation Journey”
November 5
Done – Bridge/Gilman Route
Done – “Breathing/Meeting with Advisor”
November 6
n/a  - Saturday
Done – “Energizing your Mind & Body”
November 7
n/a - Sunday
Done – “Creating Confidence & Motivation”

Floss my Teeth

November 8
Done
Done – “Focusing & Performing your Best”
November 9
Done
Done – “Healing & Recovering Quickly”
November 10




Today, Yesterday, I was thankful for...
...these cool measuring glasses.  They're so easy to use and I love them.  I use them for every recipe.  You can measure any increment you need in any form... cups, ounces, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Clouds

Yesterday, this was the view from my walk to the car (that's the building where I work).  The clouds and the color of the sky gave quite a show.  This was my moment of gratitude for yesterday.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orange-Scented Quinoa & a little Skype on the Side

It's Sunday and as promised, I made Orange-Scented Quinoa in honor of Vegan MoFo.  Dee-lish!
I resisted the very strong temptation to drink this!

This is another recipe that's really easy to throw together and you can modify it in endless ways to suit your taste.  I got it from one of my favorite food magazines, Clean Eating.  The ingredients:
1-3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup dried cranberries (soaked in hot water for 5 minutes)
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cook the quinoa in vegetable broth with salt and orange juice.  Then just toss everything together & eat.  Tada!  That's it.  

So easy.

I really need to figure out a better organization system for this mess.

Today, I'm thankful for...

...Skype.  This is a picture of my Uncle Terry, my mom's twin brother (not the cute blonde kid, the old man ;).  I cropped this picture from this one:
I think I'm related to all these people, but I've never met any of them in person.  My mom was from Australia where my dad met her, proceeded to court her, and then whisked her romantically away to live in the far-off land of America.  I've never been to Australia, but I've kept in touch here and there with some of my mom's family over the years .  I bow down to Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook for making it possible to connect with my Australian family in a way that wasn't possible before.  Tonight, I went a step further and video chatted with my Uncle Terry via Skype for the very first time.  It was pretty incredible.


November Goals Status Update:


Mini-Goal
Meditate/Visualize

Walk at Lunch

November 1
Done – Bridge/Gilman Route
Done – “Opening the Energy Centers”
November 2
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Affirmations”
November 3
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Meditation Journey”
November 4
Done – Buildings Tour
Done – “Meditation Journey”
November 5
Done – Bridge/Gilman Route
Done – “Breathing/Meeting with Advisor”
November 6
n/a  - Saturday
Done – “Energizing your Mind & Body”
November 7
n/a - Sunday
Done – “Creating Confidence & Motivation”




Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bean Dip and Wall Art

Just look at all those good, healthy ingredients.  Mmmmmmmm.

Tonight, as promised, I made one of my favorite standy-bys which qualifies as vegan -   White Bean Dip with Pita Chips.  I got the recipe from the Food Network's web site, but of course, modified it to my taste.  It's super quick & easy to make.  All you do is throw these things in a food processor & pulse until smooth:

can of white beans (rinsed & drained)
some garlic
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup Italian-style parsley

before
after

Tasty Magic

You can buy pita chips to go with it, or, if you're like me and enjoy being the maker of your food, you can bake your own.  Just cut as many pita breads as you want into any size, shape you want, put them into a big bowl & drizzle with olive oil; add salt, pepper and whatever other seasoning you like and mix it all around until the pita breads are good and covered with everything.  Bake at 400 degrees until desired crispness... about 8-12 minutes.


Eat together.


Today, I'm thankful for...

...Wall Art.  After living here for about 4 years, I finally found the perfect wall art to hang above my couch.  Yay!!!  I want to hang them up right now, but I don't want to give the nice old lady next door a heart attack from the noise.  She might be in bed already.  I'll have to wait until tomorrow.  Here's a close-up:

I LOVE it!

Seabreeze Organic Farm Farm Visit - San Diego Local Farm Fans (San Diego, CA) - Meetup

Seabreeze Organic Farm Farm Visit - San Diego Local Farm Fans (San Diego, CA) - Meetup

I just signed up for this. Looking forward to it and I'll definitely write all about it here.

Small Victories

Friday was tough.  My motivation to do anything always seems to be the lowest on Fridays.  I almost rationalized my way out of the lunch walk & didn't do the meditation until about 9:00 last night, and truth be told, I think I slept most of the way through it.  ;)  But I did manage to actually do both, so I'm still at 100% for November.  That makes me happy.



I have to confess something here.  People who know me well know that I'm always setting goals, I always have these grand plans of change, and I usually stick with them for a while, but inevitably, I always seem to quit.  It's one of my biggest flaws & ranks up there in the top three that I dislike about myself.  


I try to cut the negative self-talk, I try to avoid thinking of myself as weak-willed or a quitter, but after repeating this behavior over and over, it's sometimes hard to resist feeling that way.  So, any little victory is enormous to me.  I purposely set my November goals pretty low on the difficulty scale.  I'm hoping that by starting small, I can build a foundation of successfully achieving goals that will help me when I get to the big ones:






Friday, I was thankful for...  


Mini-Goal
Meditate/Visualize

Walk at Lunch

November 1
Done – Bridge/Gilman Route
Done – “Opening the Energy Centers”
November 2
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Affirmations”
November 3
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Meditation Journey”
November 4
Done – Buildings Tour
Done – “Meditation Journey”
November 5
Done – Bridge/Gilman Route
Done – “Breathing/Meeting with Advisor”
November 6



...acting in my best interest even though I didn't want to.  Plus, it was finally "cool" enough to walk outside again (83 degrees).  


Vegan MoFo'ing for the Weekend
This weekend, in honor of Vegan MoFo, I'm going to make and share two of my favorite vegan recipes:  White Bean Deap with Pita Chips and Orange-Scented Quinoa.  Yum!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Campus Tour?

Another 90+ degree day led to another building tour at lunch.  This time I walked up, down, and through two other buildings next to mine; the 5-story Basic Sciences Building and the 4-story Leichtag Building.  This might be an interesting way to get to know my campus better!  Pick a different building every day.  If the weather stays as hot as it is, I will accomplish this ad hoc goal, no sweat (pun intended).

November Goals Update:


Mini-Goal
Meditate/Visualize

Walk at Lunch

November 1
Done – Bridge/Gilman Route
Done – “Opening the Energy Centers”
November 2
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Affirmations”
November 3
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Meditation Journey”
November 4
Done – Buildings Tour
Done – “Meditation Journey”
November 5




Today I'm thankful for...


...my morning walks to the office.

I park off-campus about 3/4 of a mile away and walk the rest of the way.  Why?  I could lie and say it's purely for the exercise, aren't I so good?  But the truth is, it's because I'm cheap.  On-campus parking permits are around $80 per month.  Per month!!  That's almost $1000 a year!!!  That's insane, I tell you, insane!  I refuse to pay that much when I can park for free just a little further away and get a great morning (and afternoon) walk in the process.  These walks have turned out to be a wonderful way to gear up for the day.  I think about what's on my calendar, what order I'm going to do things, etc.  By the time I get to my office, I'm ready to go!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Done, done, and done!

November goals are good.



Mini-Goal
Meditate/Visualize

Walk at Lunch

November 1
Done – Bridge/Gilman Route
Done – “Opening the Energy Centers”
November 2
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Affirmations”
November 3
Done – Inside Stairs
Done – “Meditation Journey”
November 4



It's amazing how much more motivated I am to walk at lunch now, knowing that I want to check it off as "done" later.  I've been trying to get myself to do this for a couple of months, but every day I talked myself out of it and just stayed at my desk catching up on all my Facebook Scrabble games.  Yesterday and today I walked a snaky loop up, down and through four floors of my building.  Inside.  Because it was %#&! 95 degrees outside today.  Huh?  November?


The meditations/visualizations are a struggle to get through.  I know that with practice, I'll feel more comfortable with them, but right now it's very difficult to stay focused and the time seems to take forever.  I'm quite the fidgety gal and not moving for even just 15 minutes at a time is outside of my comfort zone.  I'm hoping that with practice, I can learn to relax more and not be so restless.

Today, I'm thankful for...
Fruit!  (Which happens to be vegan.  ;)  All of this from my CSA, Be Wise Ranch, on Monday -  persimmons, pears, plums, apples.  I brought a big bowl into work and filled it with fruit, it's just above my desk.  So when I'm feeling like something sweet, I just reach overhead (prepping for January 1!).