Menu Plan Monday: when things don’t go as planned!

I started doing Menu Plan Monday (MPM) again last week in an effort to get myself cooking regularly again. I ended up making a few new dishes (Vietnamese Shrimp Salad, Summer Rolls).

I realized though that I can’t decide on Sunday what I’m going to eat on Wednesday or Thursday or even the very next day (Monday). I usually don’t know what I want until 10 seconds before it’s time to eat… Unless I plan a salad, because I’m always in the mood for a salad.

Last week I made 2 noodle dishes that were really yummy (will post soon). I brought them for lunch, but I don’t like having noodles for lunch. I like having a salad from downstairs, or oatmeal, or some other weird Maggie food that probably smells funny.

Anyhow, I did find a new breakfast favorite. I have been eating eggs cooked in butter again after listening to these podcasts (Dishing Up Nutrition). Along with my eggs I have veggies – cabbage sauteed in some butter is simple and delicious. I tried a few other veggies but none were as good as the cabbage and butter.

Source.

I told my dad he should try eggs with butter for breakfast and he looked at me like I was nuts. But I really do believe that healthy fats are so important and my skin is agreeing with me. So are my energy levels and my mood.

I won’t be doing an MPM this week, but I will be eating my usuals – lots of eggs and veggies for breakfast; salads, sushis, oatmeals , and whatever else I want for lunch; and probably salads and veggieful meals like these ones for dinner. I also plan on lots of Whole Foods hot/cold bars for lunches and dinners (which happened a lot this past week).

I had a really great weekend in New Jersey (we got back last night) and I do have a few pictures and adventures to share, but I want to go enjoy the last moments of the weekend so I’m going to save that for later. I have also been walking with my new iPod (built in pedometer) while listening to those podcasts I mentioned earlier, and I still love the step count way more than measuring my walks in miles. I like walking and steps are a great way to measure my walks.

One more thing I want to mention is yoga – I haven’t talked about yoga recently because I haven’t really been doing it, but I have snuck in a few 20-minute yogadownload sessions and they have been great. I want to start doing these a few times a week. Just have to get in the habit of doing them after work or after dinner.

What are your favorite standard eats?

What Makes You Happy?

Just stopping in. Here are some things that make me happy:

This was me in Islamorada at age 6 months (ish). My parents went down to Key West on vacation and I’m pretty sure I loved it. We drove through Bobby’s hometown so we like to say that maybe we caught a glimpse of each other when we were babies.

Jamba Juice oatmeal:

They make the most perfectly cooked bowl of steel cut oats I’ve ever had. I was getting their $1 Wednesday breakfasts, but starting this week it went up to $2. Still a steal!

And I can’t forget salad

This is from Chickpea, a cute little mediterranean place by my office. Their motto is: “always baked. never fried.” The layout is similar to Chipotle – you pick between a pita, a salad, a platter, or a hummus plate. I got the salad, topped it with original hummus, falafel (spinach flavor), my choice of 4 veggies (pickles, cabbage, black olives, and a cucumber/tomato mix), and tahini dressing. Yum!

Chickpea is located on 6th ave around West 23rd Street I believe. They do have other locations.

I’m out. What makes you happy?

The Great Fat Animal Experiment

Nope, I’m not talking about these lazy boys (cats… or as we call them: fats).

I’m talking about some new dietary things I’ve been trying. The changes involve fat and animals. Like steel-cut oats cooked in water and almond milk, then topped with organic butter and maple syrup:

I take food to work in these containers. Here is another, better picture of steel cut oats from the other day (this is after the butter had been stirred in).

I cooked (makes ~3 servings):

  • 4.5 cups of water and almond milk (I did half and half)
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats (the “serving size” is 1/4 cup)
  • few dashes of salt
  • cinnamon optional
  • …in my rice cooker.

Just be careful as it cooks – unless you have a very large rice cooker it will overflow. What I like to do is let it start to boil (on the “cook” button), and then turn it to “warm” and let it sit overnight. In the morning you have creamy, chewy, luscious steel-cut oats. They’re just as good as Jamba Juice‘s.

Or how about this guy…

Veggies cooked in 1-2 tablespoons of organic butter, topped with whipped full-fat cream cheese. I actually didn’t have this yet because my boss bought us lunch today (snow day!) – so I saved it in the fridge for tomorrow.

What are your thoughts on diet and healing? Do you think that food can really have that much of an impact on your well-being?

Long Walk in the Park

Today was an interesting day. I woke up early-ish (for a weekend) and I had the urge to finish painting my bathroom… so I took my vitamins, had some chocolate, made some tea, and got to work.

One and a half hours later I stepped down off of the kitchen stool and surveyed my work. It looks good. I assembled a bathroom shelf thing that has been waiting to be put up (waiting for me to finish the painting) and actually managed to screw it into the wall. It is not the fanciest of shelves, but it’s clean and simple and it does what I need it to do.

At this point I was pretty hungry, so I woke Bobby up and we ordered big salads from downstairs (Metro Cafe). Our salads always end up being complete opposites – but both are (I think) delicious (Bobby does not like my salads – too kitchen-sink-y). Metro is having a deal this month – unlimited topping salads for $6 if you order online.

After an hour or so of doing nothing, I got bored. I got out of the house and went for a walk. It was terribly cold today, but the walk was just what I needed. I walked across Central Park South, up to 72nd Street, then back across The Park. I mapped it and it was about 3.2 miles.

Today happened to be the Winter Jam at The Park, which meant that there was music, a snowboarding show, and some free samples. I picked up a bag of apple slices and a lollipop (both given to Bobby) and I bought 4 Fuji apples ($1.50/pound) for myself. The apples are gone.

We ordered Hawaiian for dinner and I supplemented with a big bowl of oat bran and oatmeal mixed together. I cooked it in almond milk and it was so creamy. Topped with maple syrup and more almond milk.

And I’ve been snacking on a bunch of fruit as well. And this kombucha tea (it was on sale for $2):

What are you working on? Any home renovations?

Let Your Voice Lead

Let Your Voice Lead was the title of the intenSati writing workshop I attended today (@ Equinox). Bobby actually joined me; I was really happy he came.  The workshop was 2 hours and it consisted of an intenSati class (1 hour) and then a writing workshop about personalizing the intenSati affirmations (also 1 hour). It was led by Lindsay, who I’ve mentioned before.

The class was great, of course. The affirmations were:

  • I am powerful
  • I am inspired
  • I am confident
  • I have desire
  • I am ready to write
  • I am willing to write
  • I am able to write
  • I am writing RIGHT NOW
  • I am free to succeed
  • I let my voice lead
  • I intend to open my heart and grow; with courage and discipline I write what I know

Because we got there late I actually wasn’t that sweaty by the end but Bobby was sweating buckets. He thought it was pretty fun.

Then we did some writing exercises based on the affirmations. We did 7 minutes per exercise, and they were…

  1. Write a story about desire. (I wrote about figuring out what I desire – happiness. Oddly enough, so did Bobby.)
  2. Remember a time in your childhood when you felt confident. Be very detailed. (I had a lot of trouble remembering a confident time. I think I spent 5 minutes thinking and 2 minutes writing.)
  3. Write about the affirmation, “I am free to succeed.” (I wrote again about happiness and doing things just for ME.)
  4. Let your voice lead.” Write a conversation that you have in your head with yourself (generally these are the conversations with the “devil on your shoulder”). (I wrote about body image. I may post this conversation sometime because Bobby thought the ending was funny.)
  5. Write about how you can save your own life/make your life better. (This was pretty easy – we all have goals!)

My favorite fuel of the day was this huge bowl of oatmeal and maple syrup and almond milk. I always put salt in my oatmeal (think I’ve mentioned that before).

jan 30 2010 005

It was a whole cup of dry oatmeal and it could barely fit in the bowl. I am so glad that oatmeal is back in my life. I went for over a month without it for some reason.

This picture looks weird because I always let my oatmeal sit for about an hour before I eat it so that it gets nice and thick. This time I put in the milk before I let it sit so the milk got weird looking. If I don’t have time to let it sit, I will put it in the freezer.

Are you a writer? Does writing help you? Do you wish you wrote more? How did you get into it?