Feeling oh so crappy

14 Jul

Things haven’t been so good for me lately. I feel as though I am spiralling down once again into a depression. Not the best place to be. Nothing seems to be right or good enough. My self-talk has been so negative lately….I treat my enemies better! When I see myself in the mirror or look down at my body, I am so disgusted with myself. My energy is really low, it takes a lot for me to smile and I am having more bad days than good. I think a lot of it has to do with my self-esteem and my self-confidence. It is definitely different than my post-partum depression. These are feelings you are supposed to deal with in your 20′s not your 30′s! Pathetic I tell you! I need a major intervention or else I will reach the point where only medication will help. And I don’t want to go there again. I have few a ideas how to stop it and think I need to set myself some goals.

Now that my eating habits are under control and I feel in control at home, perhaps it is time to incorporate a little bit of physical activity. Exercise helps in a multitude if ways!
1) exercise helps to lift your mood because it releases endorphins.
2) exercise increases your energy level.
3) exercise makes the body fit!

In the past, I have setup up unrealistic goals and piled way too much on my plate. What happens? I get completely discouraged because it’s just too much! I am NOT making that mistake again! No way! Only baby steps from now on. I think setting a goal of 4x/ week sounds reasonable. But I need to look realistically at my schedule and make sure it’s doable.

Quick, quick… not much time!

14 Jul

Ok, so I don’t have a lot of time. I am training someone to replace me at work and I am spending my free time trying to finish up my Nutritional Symptomatology course (hopefully get it mailed out tomorrow and start my new course;  Anatomy)….I gotta make this quick!

 On Monday, I continued with my gluten-free trend. For breakfast I had 2 Mesa-Sunrise waffles with greek yogurt and sliced banana.

 

Snacks consisted of fruit, almonds and flourless peanut butter cookies. Oh, and I might have munched on some dark chocolate. I made grilled sausages with polenta and sautéed swiss chard for dinner. It was delicious!

Dessert was a beautiful bowl of cherries. Sorry, no pics!

Tuesday, I changed things up and made a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, paired with 2 scrambled eggs. My morning snack was cottage cheese and a pear and my afternoon snack was a couple of flourless peanut butter cookies with a tall skinny vanilla latte. I knew I had a big night, so I figured a little bit of caffeine will help. Dinner was a big treat. We headed over to my parent’s house where my mother had made a feast! I had barbequed shrimp, potato salad, ribs, green salad and grilled veggies. All gluten-free and excellent!

 This morning, I made myself 2 Mesa Sunrise waffles with greek yogurt, but instead of a banana, I thawed some blueberries! It paired together very nicely.

My morning snack was a green apple with Apple Cinnamon peanut butter.

As I am writing this, I am munching on a gigantic salad with tuna. I hope it will keep me full for at least a couple of hours! After reviewing how much I eat in a day, I decided I need to cut down a little.  I think that sometimes I eat out of boredom and that this might be the source of my weight gain. Time to crack down and use my will power! For dinner, I haven’t planned much. I musty admit, I am running out of ideas for my gluten-free “Italian” week. This morning I pulled some pork loin chops out of the freezer.  I am trying to think of something I can do with it that has an Italian vibe. I could pair the chops with a delicious risotto, but I am not sure I will have the time. I’ll keep thinking…

Gluten-free update

Ever since returning to gluten-free eating on monday, I feel much less bloated. I have to attempt some glutinous food soon, but I am really preparing myself for the worse. I am going to wait a few more days before trying again.

Oh, by the way. The hubby and I finally booked our romantic weekend getaway. We are heading to New York City! I can’t wait! Only 2 1/2 weeks away.

“gluten-free” results

12 Jul

What a weekend! I have lots to write about so I better get started!

Friday evening we headed to my parents-in-law’s house for dinner. We had delicious roasted chicken with potatoes, green beans and salad. For some reason, whenever I eat at their house, my stomach is a bottomless pit! I can just eat and eat and eat! After dinner, I played LEGO with my son. A perfect Friday evening J

 Saturday morning we went to COSTCO to stock up on some essentials like maple syrup, yogurt and cottage cheese. My husband had already made a run to the local ethnic grocer to pick up fruits, veggies and nuts; so that was already covered. 

After shopping, we went out for lunch with my extended family and my 92 year-old grandmother.  The company was good but the food wasn’t L Lunch had to end early because my son was getting cranky. Time for a nap! 

We went home and enjoyed relaxing on a Saturday afternoon, guilt free! Once my son woke up from his nap, we headed out for a long walk in the woods. Despite the heat, under the canopy of the trees, the air was fresh. It felt really nice to be active again. It has been so long, too long. We used our Chariot bike trailer/jogging stroller to push my son, it made it really easy to go over the roots and rocks! What a great way to end the day! Afterwards, we headed home to prepare for a feast, an Italian feast! 

We decide to break my gluten-free fast tonight instead. We planned a meal of taglietelle with marinara and BBQ Cod smothered in pesto.

I bought some Trader Joe’s Pesto while visiting friends in Boston in April. It’s a shame that we don’t have one here in Montreal, they have some really great products! We got the pasta boiling, the sauce cooking and the fish grilling.

It was a beautiful meal. As I sat there enjoying my food, my mind was on gluten. How will I know? What am I supposed to feel? I decided to throw caution to the wind and just ENJOY my meal.

The next morning I woke up feeling fine. I decided to dine on a bagel with cream cheese. Well, the bagel was definitely not as good as I remembered! I ate the whole thing nonetheless. Well, about an hour later I began to feel nauseous and bloated. Is it psychosomatic? Not sure. I didn’t let it ruin my day so we headed to visit a train museum for the day.

Lots of fun was had! Sasha loved riding the old street car and miniature train. We stopped for lunch. I enjoyed ate a baguette sandwich with chicken, lettuce and mayo. Again, not as delicious and satisfying as I remembered! We continued our visit and left just when the heat was beginning to get to us!

I am not sure if it was the heat or the food, but I was wiped! My head was all foggy and I could barely keep my eyes open. Luckily it was a short ride home.

I got work making cookies as soon as we walked in the door. I made one of my favorites, Cape Cod Oatmeal! These never disappoint!  The only modification I made was no walnuts; my son doesn’t eat nuts yet. I munched on a few and savored every bite! Shortly afterwards, I was hit by another wave of nausea. Not pleasant! 

I decided that I should probably go back to gluten-free for a few days. I a not sure if what I am feeling is due to the gluten, but by refraining from it for a few more days and trying again might help. Everything I have read regarding gluten intolerance symptoms is very vague. I am also concerned that maybe it is a coincidence or that it is all in my head. I guess, time will tell!

 For dinner, it was quick and tasty. I wanted to stay within my Italian theme, so I made this. Hey, it may not be traditional Italian food…but who said Italians don’t BBQ? I paired it with some simple steamed baby potatoes and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.

After dinner, I even whipped up a batch of these flourless peanut butter cookies. A tasty gluten-free treat!

That’s it folks! Have a great day!

A happy “gluten-free” ending

8 Jul

Following my meal plan for the week, last night we had Tortilla Espanola scheduled. I was quite excited to tackle it. As soon as I got home, I went to the kitchen and got to work.

I chopped up the Spanish onion and pealed and sliced the potatoes. I threw them in the pan with lots of olive oil, just like Mario Batali suggests.

After the onions and potatoes had cooked for 15 mins or so, I added the eggs. I let that cook for 10 mins or so and then put it in the oven.

Voila! This is what the finished product looked like. Yummy!

I then had to flip it on to a plate. Woops! Looks like it didn’t quite work.

When I put it on the plate, I simply turned it over. No one will notice, right? Paired with a salad. A delish and light meal, perfect for this heat. And look at the potatoey layers, perfecto!

 

I really enjoyed Spanish week! The flavors were really nice. The brand of smoked paprika I bought was La Chinata and it was amazing! I was really smokey flavors and I can see using regularly in the future. 

Perhaps you noticed that yesterday (Thursday), I didn’t make my weekly meal plan. There is a method to my madness! The reason is….this week is my last week gluten-free! 

That’s right folks; it has almost been a full 4 weeks. And let me tell you, my husband is celebrating! I guess this week at the grocery store, I will “wing it”. I will buy my favorite foods (mostly fresh veggies, fruits and nuts!) I would really like to select a  theme for next week, I am thinking Italian

We are planning to celebrate on Sunday with a gluten-filled day. The plan is to enjoy a toasted bagel for breakfast, a sandwich (panini?) on a baguette for lunch and pasta for dinner. To “test” the effects of the gluten, I must then refrain from eating any again for another 12-24 hours. I am supposed to observe any effects. This can range anywhere from digestive difficulties, fatigue, headaches to difficulty concentrating. I am secretly worried that I will misinterpret something I am feeling to be a sign of gluten intolerance or the opposite, disregard something I feel. I want the past 4 weeks to be worth something and to be an accurate “test”.

I will certainly keep you guys posted!

 

A change is gonna come

8 Jul

There are some big changes coming. I got the news yesterday that I got a new job! That’s right, my hard work paid off. I will be working for a company that is located near my house, about a 5 minute drive! What could be better than that!? I am looking forward to starting fresh in a new company, having new challenges and responsibilities. There are some pros and cons to this new job….this is what I have come up with:

Pros Cons
   
Close to home Longer hours (8:30-5:30)
Gym on site, open 7 days/week! Less “me” time
More challenging Less time to surf the net & blog
Start of a new career, new work identity Miss my friends
English work environment Not downtown
Possibilities of advancement Taking a risk (what if I don’t like it?)
Make new friends  
Less temptation to shop during lunch  
Can run errands during lunch  
Can visit my son during lunch  
Can work out during lunch (hopefully)  
3 weeks vacation, plus 5 personal days  
I won’t be “bored”  
Less stressful travel (no running to catch the train)  
   
   

 

Clearly, it’s an easy decision to make. But why am I so hesitant? I have a few theories.

Theory 1: I am afraid I will be unhappy.

Theory 2: It’s hard to leave something comfortable

Theory 3: I am afraid of hard work

Theory 4: I am worried about making a “bad” decision

Now let’s analyze each one.

Theory 1 is a plausible and justified concern. We all want to be happy. But, I should ask myself this: am I happy now? And the answer is no. I am not happy. I am bored, feel “stuck” with no possibilities of advancement, lack motivation and feel lazy. So, worse case scenario things don’t get better at the new job. Ultimately, my long term goal is to work as a Holistic Nutritionist and work in the field of health and fitness. This job is a stepping stone. As I described in this post, I am looking for a job that allows me to achieve some immediate and short term goals. Working for this new company fits within my criteria somewhat. I am not looking to be happy forever. I have a backup plan!

Theory 2 also makes sense. But, I think in order to grow and develop you need to be uncomfortable. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be called a “challenge”. Being challenged, progressing in your life and achieving your goals brings great rewards. Breaking free from your comfort zone and trying new things has the possibility to enrich your life.

Theory 3 is truly a pathetic theory and excuse. But, it may be true. I have waaaaay too much time on my hands and I have gotten really lazy at work. I am able to do my day at work doing the bare minimum. I work on average probably about 2 hours per day. Working a full 8 hours will feel like a lot at first. But I have to remind myself, this is normal. What I do now is abnormal! So it’s not fear, it’s laziness.

Theory 4 is justified. As I look back on my life, I often see only mistakes and bad decisions. Of course, this is ridiculous. Yes, I have made some bad decisions, like everyone, but I also have made some really good decisions. I like to remind myself that when in the heat of the moment, you make your decision based on the information you have at the time. You can’t predict the future. What I do wrong, is by thinking too far ahead and exaggerating the “benefits”. I downplay or disregard the negatives. Am I doing this now? I find that I often think that this decision will transform my life, I will finally be happy and that I will somehow be a better person. I believe that this way of thinking is actually harming me. Yes, making decisions can change your life, make you happier and perhaps even a better person. But it’s not the decision itself. It’s what you do after making this decision. It can get the ball rolling, be a motivator and inspiration. But, ultimately I have to learn to be happy no matter where I am working or how much money I make. Just because I am starting a new job, doesn’t mean I can drastically change my habits and the way I live, one week to the next. I can take this opportunity to begin creating new habits, but it won’t be instantaneous. It will take time and as I have said before, baby steps is what works best!

Feeling Hot

7 Jul

We are having a heat wave here in Montreal. Temperatures are averaging over 40 degrees Celsius (104 f) with the humidity.  It’s hot, really hot… Too hot to make homemade tortillas, but we did it anyway.

Last night, we followed the recipe on the bag of Maseca and they turned out really well. But without a tortilla press, we just can’t seem to get them thin enough. Time to start shopping for a tortilla press! Like last time, my husband pressed them using a cutting board and serving dish.

 

It did the trick, but it was a little time consuming. To cook them, we had 2 pans going. Now what should we pair with these fine tortillas? My delicious slow cooker pulled pork nonetheless!

Before leaving for work yesterday morning, I threw into my slow cooker:

1 3-4 lb pork shoulder
1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar (more if you like it sweet)
1 package dry onion soup mix

Turn on to low for 8 hrs.

When it came time to eat, I shredded the pork using 2 forks and let it soak up the sauce.

We paired the tortillas and pork with some refried beans (not homemade). The result? A south of the border meal, perfect for hot days like we are experiencing now.

My husband was in heaven and asked permission to pig out! What a silly question! It was a great meal and one I will definitely make again!

P.S. It’s also GLUTEN-FREE!

The sun is shining

5 Jul

Now that work is finished, I am heading off to my BBQ. I am looking forward to it! The sun is shining, it’s hot outside and I get to see my friends. What more could a girl ask for?

As promised, I am back for some random writing, in order to provide balance to my blog. Today’s topic is: how not doing any exercise has become normal for me. It is sad but true. Part of me so desperately wants to exercise regularly… I wish that I am the drive and the motivation to try to fit it in my schedule right now but, quite frankly, just thinking about it makes me anxious. This weekend, anxiety came back into life. It has been a stranger to me over the past year but this weekend it made a reappearance in my life. Not really what I need at this moment…but I will have no choice but to figure out how to deal with it. Maybe once I deal with the anxiety, making all those small changes in my life (like exercising regularly) won’t seem insurmountable.

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