Good morning! I hope your week is starting out well. Did you watch the superbowl? Who were you rooting for? I watched bits and pieces – my favorite part was of course the halftime show. Beyonce nailed it. I have been a Destiny’s Child fan for years and I really hope they do a tour this year – I’ve never seen them live but would love to. I think my favorite tweet of the night was from Star Jones:
Bobby and I made a delicious superbowl dinner (actually – mostly Bobby! This man can cook nowadays). I will certainly post recipes and pictures soon, but here is the menu (everything is from scratch):
Healthy Superbowl Menu
- Homemade tempura shrimp with homemade dipping sauce
- Shrimp cocktail & homemade cocktail sauce (just horseradish + ketchup + lemon juice)
- White rice (Japanese short grain sushi rice – our fave). The trick is to rinse the rice before popping it into the rice cooker. Rinse it until the water isn’t cloudy.
- Cobb salad with homemade dijon dressing
- Fresh guacamole with veggies & chips for dipping
- Blueberries for dessert
- Decaf coffee for a post-midnight snack (we are kind of night owls – I’m trying to get to bed earlier though)
I realized this weekend that I am finally starting to settle into a routine again. I was so busy these last few months:
- Traveled to Japan (12 days – for fun)
- Went to 2 weddings
- Traveled to India (8-9 days – for work)
- More renovations
- Traveled to Miami (5-6 days – visiting family)
- (and general holiday + new year madness)
- Still renovations
- A friend’s baby shower
- … is that it? I think so.
I think that’s about it – all I know is that from late August until last week I didn’t really have a completely free weekend. This weekend was the superbowl, but it was very low key. We just had a friend over for the game & dinner, and my brother and his girlfriend + another friend came by late last night to stay at our place (they go to school north of NYC and had to be in the city for something today).
I know I am chatty today but I also wanted to share a few articles I enjoyed lately:
Monday Link Love
- Where do you put the smiley with it’s in parentheses? (Smileys and other emoticons within parentheses.) I never know so I was googling. This gives some ideas. I never want to put a smiley (and then end parentheses like so: ).
- The next supermodel: An Economist article about learning lessons from the Nordic countries. “Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland [...] all cluster at the top of league tables of everything from economic competitiveness to social health to happiness.” No one is perfect (ex: their tax model encourages entrepreneurs to move abroad) but they do have a really interesting mix of privatized and public benefits in everything from education to healthcare. Lots to learn.
- How to keep your front-loading washer smelling so fresh & so clean: I just got a front-loading washer so this was particularly helpful for me. The trick is to leave the door open so it can dry properly after each wash, and to wipe out the rubber gasket around the door. The reason these washer can start smelling funky is due to water that doesn’t evaporate and instead starts to mildew.
Plans for this week: I want to go to yoga 4x (1x in the morning). Need to get highlights done (after work or Saturday – found a new place I want to try). Cook in 3x. Bring lunch 2x. Go to Ikea to return a shelf and get the right one instead (tonight with my brother and his car). Go to hot yoga with my coworker one night this week. Go to Bobby’s band’s concert on Friday night.
Packed week. What are your plans?
Another Monday down and only four days to go until the weekend! Unlike many of my lucky family members and friends, my office did not have off for MLK day. I don’t usually count down the days in the work week, but work has been so busy and hectic lately – I really hope it calms down soon. I also have (another) dentist appointment tomorrow morning which I will be happy to be done with. I’m getting some work done that I have been putting off for too long It’s all good though and I will be done in a few more weeks.
I have found some interesting links lately that I wanted to share:
Monday Link Love
- The Nitrate & Nitrite Myth: Another Reason not to Fear Bacon: This article “debunks” the idea that nitrates and nitrites can cause serious health problems (cancer, heart disease). Honestly – I want to believe it; I just don’t know if I can. Apparently nitrates and nitrites are found in much higher amounts in natural foods like celery and even in our own saliva than they are in hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats. Even if they are – aren’t they different? Wouldn’t our bodies treat “natural” (whatever that means) nitrates/nitrites differently than artificial ones? I have no idea. I’m not a food scientist but I would really like to know the truth behind processed meats. (Because I love bacon. Who doesn’t?)
- Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Eating: Just some goods tips for leading a happy, healthy life. I especially like #5 – Unleash Your Creativity and Do Something You Love Every Single Day.
- Homemade Lotion Recipe: I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like it really couldn’t be simpler.
- Slow-Cooker Squash Stew: Butternut squash, chard, and parmesan? Count me in.
- 7 Ways You Might Be Inadvertently Sabotaging a Good Night’s Sleep: I may not always agree with him, but Mark Sisson just about always has an intelligent, well-thought-out response to just about every question or problem anyone could possibly have. In this case I do agree with him. The article is from November but particularly applicable now that I’m trying to sleep earlier. He makes good points – 1) are you getting natural light during the day? 2) are you eating too late? 6) do you have a nighttime ritual? and 7) are you simply staying up too late? –> These 4 all right true for me.
- Vow to Get More Sleep in 2013: Another sleep article. Tips include 3) turn the heat down, 4) unplug (what I should be doing now!), 5) meditate, 6) do yoga (OK!), and 7) stop puttering! (That means no chores after 9pm, yes I am talking to you my fellow type A’s.)
And I also just wanted to share some other random things…
Monday List Love
- Currently enjoying a glass of red wine with frozen mango chunks (Trader Joe’s). It’s like a homemade chilled sangria. Delicious.
- Wanted to share this pic of dinner the other night. I was out of the city all day Saturday (went to my hometown in NJ for a friend’s baby shower) and when I got home, Bobby had prepared this beautiful meal! It’s a salad with hard boiled egg, bacon, onion, and homemade dressing. I had no idea he could cook – he totally outdid himself. He also made butternut squash ravioli (from TJ’s) with sauteed veggies and he cooked up a cheesy mushroom flatbread (also courtesy of TJ’s). The salad is served in a really beautiful dish from my mom.
- Bobby used this salad recipe for the dinner salad and dressing. It was supposed to be spinach but I prefer romaine as a salad base.
- I promise, I promise – I will have renovation pictures soon. We are still waiting on the countertops. (Damn you Home Depot! You are the slowest part of my whole renovation. Not impressed.)
That’s all I have… I’m off to do some reading and relax before I go to sleep (early). Hope your week is off to a good start.
Happy Monday! Only one more full week of work before Thanksgiving week. This week’s link love has a lot of potential Thanksgiving
Food & Recipes Round-Up
- Eating Bird Food’s Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up. In particular I like the look of the Vegan Walnut Loaf and Maple Roasted Brussels. There are also a few squash recipes in there and I think you all know how much I like squash.
- The Yummy Life’s Make-Ahead Cornbread Stuffing. Cornbread? Stuffing? I’m in! (Maybe you call stuffing dressing?) I will likely add extra broth if and when I make this because I like really really moist stuffing. I like it best when it’s cooked right inside the bird.
- J3nn’s Grain-Free Gluten-Free Bread Rolls. I’m not gluten or grain free but these still look delicious.
- My RDealistic Diet posted a simple recipe for Sausage and Cauliflower Spaghetti this week. Do you guys remember Self’s blog, “Eat Like Me” by an RD named Cristin? Well, Cristin is back with a new blog and this is it! I remember reading her blog years ago – over 4 years ago actually – and that is how I got hooked on healthy living blogs. She is one of my favorites. She puts just enough personality into her posts, and doesn’t bore us by telling us about all of the 1/8 scuffins that she eats like some other popular blogs do (that I no longer read, ha).
- Mark’s Daily Apple posted a really cool recipe for Raw Butternut Squash Slaw. I have so many butternuts from my CSA that I think I will have to make this!
- Lest you doubt my love for squash, here is a Healthy Butternut Squash Muffins recipe by Live and Love to Eat.
- I didn’t post about this when I should have, but Veronica recently hosted a bake sale to benefit a fellow blogger, Suzie of Two Dogs in the Kitchen, to help pay her medical bills. All of the baked goods at the sale looked awesome and most of them have links to the recipe, so here is the Baked Goods post. I am very interested in the Wookie Cookies.
I actually don’t have any non-recipe links this week, so that’s all! Hope you enjoy, and let me know if you try any of the recipes above.
In other news, I have been kicking butt on my November Goals. I’ve been to yoga every day for the last 5 days and I do plan on going tonight. I have flossed every night (woo hoo). I have tried new dishes at old restaurants and I’ve tried new restaurants too. I’m working on the “stay healthy” part – that is the toughest for me. And I am on my 2nd book. It’s How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America. I like to alternate between fiction and non-fiction. My last 2 books were fiction (New York: The Novel and Shanghai Girls). They were both amazing so I’d definitely recommend them. I have 2 more books lined up after this, one is fiction (Cloud Atlas) and another non-fiction health-related book that I can’t remember the name of.
This weekend was nice. Friday night we went out to Zebu. We slept in a bit on Saturday and then I met with 2 contractors. Went to yoga. Shopped a bit (had giftcards to use up) and ate a quick dinner at Panera. Saw Skyfall, the new Bond movie (awesome!). Sunday I went to yoga again. Made nice brunch at home (last time for a while…). Went on a 2 hour walk with a close friend. Went to Ikea with Bobby at night. Came home. It was busy but relaxing at the same time, somehow.
And I have more news – I think our kitchen and bath renovations are going to start this week (Wednesday!!!) and we’re hoping they will be finished by early December. Unfortunately this means I will not be able to cook any of the delicious recipes above, but hey – at the end of it I’m going to have my dream kitchen. You gotta compromise, eh? I got an amazing contractor and I’m so excited to see the final product. Here is an office that he did a year or two ago.
Source of pics, click to see more!
Have you ever done renovations?
I never have and I’m so excited (though not super excited at the prospect of having to shower at my yoga studio and living in my basement for 3 weeks).