Posted in Food, Menu Planning

A quick reflection on menu planning

In talking to a friend tonight I realised that,  not only had I not blogged in a while,  but I hadn’t planned a menu in a while either.  We’ve been experimenting, in my house,  with buying meat in bulk but buying produce daily. This has added up to an empty fridge,  frozen meat, and an increase in reliance on fast and processed foods. I think this is because our time always seems pressed during the week.  We’re rushing to work,  rushing to get Little Elfkin from day care,  rushing to get home to feed her, making sure to nourish her mind and her body with story time,  play time, bath time, and bed. Honestly,  by the time she conks out, I’m ready to pass out too! I’m cutting into my sleep time to make this menu and reflect: menu planning would be so much easier if you didn’t also have to make the grocery list, buy the ingredients, and actually cook. 

I’m going to try to find time for:

  • Swirly Crustless Quiche 
  • Pumpkin pancakes
  • Grain free porridge
  • Salmon
  • Mustard glazed chicken thighs
  • Zucchini pancakes
  • Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps
  • Sweet potato and apple soup
  • Sage roasted turkey legs
  • Spaghetti squash bolognese
  • Bacon wrapped smoky chicken
  • Sausage and pepper stew
  • Turkey meatballs and squash

Now,  this is a ton of food, so I will disclaim this: not all of it will be made,  but what is made will be eaten and not wasted. For me,  menu planning is mostly a suggestion,  not a concrete agreement. 

What’s on your menu? Do you have a go-to meal plan?

Posted in Fitness, Gaming

“National Respawn Day”

[EDITOR’S NOTE:  I found this blog post just hanging out in ‘draftland’ from December 2nd.  I’m sure I had more to say, but I’ve got a new post in mind, so please enjoy this snippet.]

I just had an email pop through from Nerd Fitness, and it is exactly what I needed to hear.  We cleaned out our refrigerator last night and threw away too much food that was allowed to spoil. It was better than we used to be, but not as good as we wanted, especially when groceries can be so expensive.

This morning, a Facebook friend posted that he’s gone a whole year and a half without a cheat meal. His goals are current than mine, but I think the dedication needs to be the same.
(Pic)

I was thinking about this when Respawn Day was delivered to my inbox:

” In video games, we die when facing a particularly tough bad guy or challenge, and so we respawn – coming back to life and rejoining the battle from just a short distance away.

When we hit a terrible shot in golf when playing amongst friends, we shake it off, make fun of ourselves, and use a ‘mulligan’ to hit another one.

But in life, when we try to get fit and struggle…we call ourselves losers and give up. We’re ashamed that we tried and failed.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve sometimes died in the first goomba in Mario. I’ve died so many times playing Guild Wars 2 that I know the respawn soundtrack as well as the environmental ones.. maybe even better.  It’s the same with weight loss–each time I go through it, I get a little better.

Posted in Food, Life + Living, New Food

Pretty groceries…

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We bought groceries at the Co-op again today.  The are a few of the convenience items that we can’t buy there (like Campbell’s soups and frozen dinners) but over all, I think we’re adjusting well!!

Aileen: I took a picture of cheese for you 😛

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Posted in Uncategorized

Healthy eating…$88/week

This week for $87.52 we got:

– 2 jars of fruit (in juice, not syrup)
– 6 pouches of Campbell’s soup to go (from what I could tell, no artificial ingredients)
– 64 oz apple juice
– Frozen cherries
– Frozen strawberries
– Talenti coconut gelato
– 1 lb ham
– his and hers deodorant and body wash
– 2 green bell pepper
– 2 sweet potatoes
– 2 lb red seedless grapes
– 2 English cucumbers
– 1/2 watermelon
– 6 oz vanilla yogurt

This week’s list doesn’t even account for any dinner foods.. We just bought fruits and veggies for breakfasts and snacks, ham and soups for lunches, and some hygiene products.

I think this diet change us going to hit us in the wallet until we got used to it. *gulp*

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Posted in College, Fitness, Food, Life + Living

K.I.S.S. – Being Better at my Job

The last *real* resolution I have for the year is to be better at my job.  Now, that statement is not simple nor smart, so I’m just going to try to make it fit within those guidelines.  The two ways I know of to get better at my job are to:

1.  Arrive to work on time.

This is the “simple” part because all it takes on my part is to leave home on time with enough ‘cushion’ for traffic.  8:15 am is okay, if too early, 8:45 am is okay, if too late, and 8:30am – the ideal time to leave based on travel time – is a horrid pain in the ass as far as traffic is concerned.  Testing out the ideal times to leave last week left me harried and completely frazzled by the time I got to work if I left at 8:30 am.  It felt like there were a disproportionately greater amount of speeders, weavers, and distracted drivers compared to 15 minutes earlier or later. In fact, I was nearly run off the road twice last week by ragers who would rather speed up when they see my turn signal than to let me move over into the lane.   When we’re already going 60MPH (96 KPH) that’s a dangerous situation!! And much too early in the morning.. I would rather be late to work than to deal with that sort of mayhem. Which is what I have been doing.. which is why I’m here making a goal to be early instead.

2. Continue training/education

Since my employer provides tuition reimbursement for college courses, I am going to resume my college schedule after the wedding.  In the interim, I am an active member of Toastmasters and have set a goal to give 1 speech per month and to fulfill 3 alternate roles per month in Toastmasters from now until June.  By doing this, I will complete 4 training hours per month, checking the box on that requirement, but it will also keep me in the routine of extracurricular activities that require some thought and effort from home.

So, the Simple Goals: Show up on time; keep up in Toastmasters.

The Smart Goals (be on time):

S – Specific – Show up to work 5 days per week before the scheduled start time, ideally 8:45am.  This means leaving the house at 8:15am in order to avoid the road ragers and distracted drivers.

M – Measurable – My time card will reflect my efforts.

A – Attainable – If I can’t show up on time or early to work, I don’t deserve to keep my job @_@; This is definitely one of the most attainable goals for me.

R – Relevant – Being on time is paramount to my position because other people rely on me to be there.  Moseying in whenever I feel like it creates a window of almost 20 minutes where people could be waiting for my assistance.  It doesn’t look professional, nor is it courteous to my mates.

T – Time-bound – This one will be continuous, but I will provide a progress report weekly.

S – Specific – Perform 3 roles in Toastmasters, and complete 1 speech per month.

M – Measurable – check the box, did I do it or not?  The speech, at least, will be scored on a rubric and has the potential to mark progression of expertise in delivering speeches.

A – Attainable – Given that I have taken a break from school in order to focus on current life events, I think that it is entirely reasonable to do Toastmasters with some of my spare time.

R – Relevant – Toastmasters improves my functioning at work because it is improving my grammar and spelling, but it is also improving my active listening skills.  More often than not, I find myself being a passive listener and multi-tasking while people are explaining something to me.  Since joining Toastmasters, I have become a more attentive listener and started to provide co-workers my undivided attention.  This will make me ‘better at my job’ because it will improve interpersonal relationships and further reinforce the notion that I’m a professional.  This will be important, should I decide to apply for a more professional role.

T – Time-bound – This goal has a mid-marker in June.  I will be doing monthly updates on my experiences with Toastmasters.

————

So, we’re a week into January so far, and I had set some pretty normal goals previously of cooking dinner at home and working out regularly.  We’ve cooked dinner at home 5/6 days 🙂 The grocery bill this week was $145 and so if we can continue to eat the food we have at home, we can stand to save almost that much in the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that we buy from restaurants because it’s inconvenient not to.  I’ll continue to track this.

Work outs have not been completed the last three days, I have no excuse except that it’s not a switch you can flip.  It takes time to build new habits and to break down the old, but working out is still something that is important to me.  I will be checking out the community center after work today and I have a new pair of work out pants to sport if I decide to join up.

How are your new year’s resolutions going?  Did you forget about them yet?

Posted in Uncategorized

No Groceries, no good

I’m learning yet again that if I shirk my duties on the weekend, the following week ends up miserable.  I have yet to go grocery shopping for the week and so I am spending money every day (that I shouldn’t be) making up for that fact.  Why don’t I just swing by and grab the staple items, at the very least?!  I think I will do that tonight.  In the mean time, I have learned that Apple Fritters have 15 points plus.