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let's talk about food

8 Feb

Thanks so much for all the sweet well wishes for the husband’s first day on the new job. Ya’ll are so sweet.  I texted him mid-day to see how it was going and he texted back “it’s going really well.  A great company to work for…and so much to learn!”  Today and tomorrow are basically just orientation days, and then Wednesday will be his first day in the office.  That is, unless the predicted 6-10 inches of snow keeps him home (fingers crossed:).  Anyway, I’ve always been so thankful that he has a job he loves, and I feel that way even more now.  Every time I ask him about how he’s feeling regarding the change, he just starts talking about how great he feels about this company and the difference they’re making in people’s lives.  Yay.

Now let’s just see if I can get a job as well!

I started off yesterday morning with a serious craving for yogurt and raw oatmeal.

1/3 cup raw oats, whole soy yogurt, chia seeds, dried cranberries and cinnamon

Totally hit the spot.  Sometimes I feel myself getting tired of foods that I’ve been eating a lot of, and all it takes is scrolling back through my blog a little bit to find inspiration.  I can almost always find a basic meal that I haven’t had in awhile to bring back all fresh and new!  This oldie was definitely a highlight to start the day.

Other highlights for the day included but were not limited to the following:

  • painting my nails mint green

  • spending a little extra time with God this morning

  • making my green smoothie with a scoop of natural peanut butter and chocolate almond milk for lunch

  • having a really great conversation with my mom on the phone this afternoon

  • eating yet another leftover cinnamon roll for a snack this afternoon (I know).  One a day does = moderation.  It does!

I have had two tasty meals in my head all day today, but I’ve been on kind of a weird schedule (hence the green smoothie for lunch), so I haven’t been able to make either one of them.  One is the veggie chili I made for the husband’s work party a couple of months ago, and the other is a really simple lunch idea that I just can’t get out of my mind.  I’m thinking I’ll be enjoying it for lunch today, and if so then I’ll share it later on!  As far as the chili goes, I think it’ll be the perfect meal for Wednesday when we’re all snowed in again.  mmmm.

The last part of this post has been pretty much all about food, ha!  Food is where it’s at, though.  Even Mr. Squirrel agrees.

He sits right outside our kitchen window almost every morning, munching on all kinds of nuts and seeds.  Gives me a hankering for nuts and seeds myself, just watching him.

But really food is such a big part of life, you know?  We need it for fuel and nourishment…but it also affects us in psychological ways. We celebrate with it.  We comfort with it during times of loss.  We have memories attached to it.

I’m not encouraging emotional eating in the sense of eating to hide or cover up emotions, but we’d be crazy to say that food isn’t tied to something besides a physical need.

I’ve never really talked about this on the blog before, but in the past I’ve had issues with emotional eating, and it wasn’t in a positive way.  Sometimes, whether I’d be feeling stressed, sad or just plain tired, I would go straight to the pantry and just eat mindlessly.  And then when I would finish, I’d feel guilty and even more stressed, not to mention physically kind of sick.  I remember at times feeling like I’d never be able to break the cycle.  I ate healthy enough all the rest of the time and exercised enough that I never really put on any visible weight, but the emotional weight it was adding on was not a good thing.  It was a bad habit…and I needed to break it.

It has been a long time since this last happened.  I still get carried away with the chips and salsa occasionally (okay, often;), but it’s not the same kind of destructive behavior.  It’s no longer me trying to cover up an emotion…it’s more just about liking blue corn tortilla chips a little too much. ha.  I think the point that I really was able to gain control of what I was doing was when I recognized the true issue behind the behavior.  After a lot of prayer and internal processing, I realized that I was eating at these times in an effort to relieve the negative emotions I was feeling inside.  Food was a way to cover those emotions up by doing something that felt good right at that moment.

Besides identifying the root of the problem, another thing that helped a LOT was realizing that just because I disappointed myself by doing this didn’t mean that I should punish myself afterwards.  When I treated my body that way I needed to do something really nice for my body in turn…rather than beating myself up about it.  So, I started going for a long, slow walk,  taking a bubble bath, or just cuddling with Olive for a bit.   I also spent some time identifying the specific reasons why I would eat, and then made an alternative plan for each negative emotion, such as laying down for a twenty minute nap, getting into downward dog and holding it for 20-30 seconds or spending some time in prayer. Basically, I was ready to tackle the problem itself, whatever problem it was, rather than trying to put a band-aide over it.

After so many weeks of implementing my new plan, it became a habit, and now I don’t even think about it.  I’m not saying it was an easy process, and I definitely had my fair share of set-backs, but in the end it was so worth it.  Every time I would fall back into the behavior, I would take time to really process through what I had really been feeling in the moment, work through that emotion (if it was anxiety over my job, I would take 30 minutes and problem solve or call my teacher friend and ask for advice).  And through the whole process, not only have I gained confidence in my ability to eat in a healthy way, but I’ve also become more confident in handling conflict and anxiety.

I don’t know if I’m the only one that has ever dealt with us, but somehow I doubt it.  Just the other day I was talking to the husband, and it suddenly hit me that I hadn’t eaten in this way in a long long time.  I realized that I’d totally forgotten what it was like and is totally out of character for me to do something like now.  I know there’s a possibility that I could fall back into the habit someday, but it feels good to know that making slow progress toward a healthier way of dealing with negative emotions has brought me to a place where I feel much more confident in my relationship with food. Isn’t that how it should be?

Anyway, these are just some thoughts I’d been pondering lately, and I thought I’d share them.  I used to think this issue was something I was ashamed of and wanted to hide.  I’m still not proud that I struggled with it, but I realize now that we all have battles such as this and the best way to overcome those struggles is to bring them out into the light.

What is something you’ve overcome through a lot of time and hard work?  How does it feel to be in a place where you feel confident and at peace in regard to that issue?  Or are you still working through something and trying to get to that place?

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friday photo fun

28 Jan

Happy Friday!

Am I the only one who feels like this week has seemed sort of long?  I’m so glad it’s Friday!

I’m off to teach PiYo this morning, and then I have a tutoring appointment right before lunch.  The rest of the day I’ll be just working around the house – Outbox, moving etc.

While this week has seemed long, it has been great as far as food is concerned. I’ve incorporated so many more juices and raw fruits and vegetables, and I feel great for it!  It’s cool the way your body starts to crave those things when you give it lots of them. I’ve been craving fresh juice and green smoothies so much this week.  The only downside is I’m going broke over produce.  But it’s so worth it.


I’ve also been eating a lot of salads, which is not usually my cup of tea in the winter months.  Almost every lunch this week has been a plate of fresh greens with lots of toppings.  The key is to make a really full, great salad with lots of textures and flavors.


I made a batch of tahini salad dressing that I found in Crazy Sexy Diet, and the creaminess has left me craving more after every meal.  It’s so basic – a mixture of 1 cup tahini, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 minced garlic clove. Whisk it all together, adding water until you reach the desired consistency.  I love simple ingredients that create a lot of bang!

I’ve switched my additions up a little bit each day, but it’s been some combination of tons of spring mix and spinach, pinto/black beans, chopped carrots, chopped bell pepper, onion, unsweetened dried cranberries, corn, diced avocado and chia seeds.  Perfect!  It has helped a lot for me to make a large batch of the dressing ahead of time and even pre-chop all the veggies (except the avocado)…then all I have to do is throw it together and it’s done!

I’m thinking I’ll probably top off the week by having another one for lunch…I really might turn into a big lettuce leaf.

Switching topics.

Remember last Friday when we talked about geese, and I told you all that I used to catch ducks when I was little?  Well my Grandma has come through with the evidence (thanks Grandma!!).

These showed up in my mailbox yesterday and gave me quite a laugh.

Photo 1: candice luring the duck to shore.

Photo 2/3: the catch.

is it just me or is that a very large duck?

I love side bangs, don’t you? I should totally rock those again.

Photo 4: HELP!!

thank you mom and Cristen, for being completely oblivious to the duck attack;)

Photo 5: Quote from my grandma – “This one has nothing to do with ducks.  Tom was a big cat.  Seems you’re trying to lift him.”

looks like it’s not going too well….for me or Tom…

There are many things that are funny to me in these photos, but one in particular is that in my quest to grow my hair out – the image in my head of what I want eventually is uncannily close to photos 1 and 2. ha!

Happy weekend ya’ll!

What is something funny or crazy that you did as a child? What are you most looking forward to this weekend?

happy weekend

21 Jan

What a crazy day it has been!

I had my usual appointments (PiYo and tutoring) this morning, and then our realtor called this afternoon because the people who are buying our house wanted to show it to some potential renters.  So, I had to make myself scarce for awhile.  I went to Hastings  to check out the new Kris Carr book, but they were completely sold out…good for her! But bad for me.

Tonight we are going to a party with our Sunday School class.  It will probably be the last one that the husband and I go to (tear), so we’re planning on savoring every last minute.  Plus, I volunteered to bring cupcakes!  Exciting times:)

Sooooo, I’m off to bake…but first I wanted to wish you all a happy happy weekend!

Fun fact: when I was little I was known for catching ducks (by the way, I am aware that the above are in fact geese, not ducks).  I had a strategy and everything.  Get as close to the duck as possible.  Lay down a large piece of bread.  As soon as the duck starts in on the bread, snatch it up!  Sounds cruel, but I was only about 10 years old – a harmless little thing.  My duck catching days are over – now I am satisfied just capturing them from a distance.

What is something funny you were known for as a child?

olive

14 Jan

I have to say I do believe we have the funniest little dog there ever was.

Something you may not know about me is that I dreamed of having a Yorkshire Terrier from the first time I ever saw one.  I don’t know if it was their tiny size, their silky silver hair, the fact that they don’t shed or something else, but I was hooked.  I spent many years really truly believing that I would never have one because they’re a little bit costly, so I would just gaze at them from afar when I’d see one while trying to contain my envy.

So, you can imagine my disbelief and excitement when some friends of ours in Thailand asked us to dog sit their yorkie and a friend’s yorkie for a couple of weeks right before we were about to head back to the states.  What luck!

At the point that the husband and I decided we would return to the states instead of staying a second year in Thailand, we started talking about getting a dog.  We’re both dog lovers, and we felt that it was time for us to take on a little more responsibility, a third member of the family if you will.  During our long talks about what kind of dog we would get, we discussed all kinds of different breeds, and it didn’t take long for me to win the husband over to Yorkies as well.  With one stipulation that is.  I had to promise to never, ever, ever…..put a bow in its hair.

While I wasn’t happy about his aversion to bows, obviously it was an easy deal to make.  And so it was decided…a yorkie it would be.

Needless to say, going into our dog sitting days we were so excited because not only would we get to hang out with two yorkies, but we’d also get a taste of what it would be like to become yorkie parents.

Over those two weeks, we fell absolutely in love with Mocha and Lilly.

They were the sweetest, cutest dogs I’d ever met.  They’d follow anywhere we went in the house, and they always wanted to be as close to us as possible.  They were well behaved, they didn’t shed and again, they always wanted to be as close to us as possible.  How sweet is that?

I think we were back in Oklahoma for about a month at most before we started the search.

And then we found her.

She was the one that wanted to lay in the corner, liquid brown eyes staring, too shy to come over and play, but sweet as pie if you picked her up and cuddled her.  Her mom told us that she was holding out on selling her because she wanted to make sure she went to a home that would show her an abundant amount of love and attention.  She was special.

By the way – she doesn’t have glowing blue eyes. Our camera was a little rough at the time.

We were sold.

That same sweet little Olive did the funniest thing yesterday.  Like Mocha and Lilly, she never wants to leave our side when we’re at home.  But now she’s taken it to a whole new level.

I was working at the computer in our office when she trotted in from the living room and hopped up onto my lap.  Just like I always do I started scratching her back and rubbing her little ears.  And then without warning, she stood up, turned toward the computer and jumped up onto the computer desk.  It was the strangest thing she’s ever done.  I just sat there laughing at her, and within the next several minutes she went from this:

to this:

I may be like one of those parents who thinks everything their kid does is SO cute, but seriously?  Does it get cuter than this?

She spent about the next hour assuming all kinds of different positions on all different parts of the desk, dozing off and on as I worked away.

She has brought so much fun, happiness and love into our lives in the last two years…and I honestly can’t imagine our lives without her.

Are you a dog person?  If so, what kind of dog do you have?  Does he/she ever do something completely funny and out of character?  Let’s talk dogs!

Happy Friday:)

**Don’t forget to click over and enter my giveaway!  I’m dreaming up lots of crazy stuff to put in the secret package. muahaha.

deck the halls

3 Dec

Random fact on this lovely Friday: somebody found my blog by searching the phrase “chia seed in my eye.”

I kinda like that, lol:)  Not going to find any advice here, though!

I mentioned the other day that Jon and I decorated for Christmas on Sunday.  I love decorating for Christmas!  Last year during this time I hadn’t even started ChiaSeedMe yet.  I was kind of in a transition between blogs.  I had been writing at Brand New Sidewalk about random life happenings for about a year, but with the craziness also known as my first year of teaching, I just didn’t have the time or energy to put into it!

So, I started a tumbler, thinking it would be a good way to keep blogging, but with shorter, less-time consuming entries.  I really liked tumbler, and sometimes I think I’d like to keep blogging there (in addition to CSM), but so far it hasn’t happened.  My tumbler was geared a little more toward healthy living, but I really made the jump when I started ChiaSeedMe.

So in the spirit of decorating for Christmas here are some of last year’s decorations.

And this year.

Oops!  That’s not a decoration.  That would be my breakfast.  A random juicing of carrots, apple, a lime, small piece of ginger and a few handfuls of spinach (aka – everything that I could scavenge from my oh so empty fridge).  Plus half a leftover Cliff bar.

Let’s try this again.

And of course Christmas at our house wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for my Grandpa’s peanut brittle.  He spends hours making it every year, and it’s the best peanut brittle there ever was.

The husband and I will be spending the whole weekend Christmas shopping!  I’m so excited.

What are you most excited about this weekend?

Happy Friday!

hye-kyoung and jinsel

17 Nov

Hello!

Remember yesterday when I mentioned that I had something exciting to come home to on Sunday night?

Well, many of you know how much I adore the international students that I tutor.  Even on the saddest or most stressful of days, they keep me smiling.  I love our conversations about culture and things that they are dealing with as a foreigner in our country.  Having lived overseas for a year, I feel like I can identify with the struggles and joys that they experience on a day-to-day basis.  I could talk about this forever, but let’s get to the good stuff.

A couple of weeks ago one of my Korean students, HeyKyoung, and I decided that it would be fun for me to take some pictures of her and her 4 year-old daughter, Jinsel.  Now for every time that my adult students make me smile, times it by about 100 and you get the amount of times international children make me smile.  I’ve been so excited about this because it gives me a chance to document a moment in their life here in the states, and I think they will cherish that for years to come whether they live here or go back to Korea.  Also, it gives me a chance to practice taking pictures of people, which I don’t get to do very often!

So anyway, I wanted to share a few of the pictures because they are just so precious.

Little Jinsel was an absolute doll the entire time; I could not have asked for a happier, more fun little girl to photograph.

In Korean the word “emo” means “mom’s friend.”  Since Jinsel doesn’t know much English, HeyKyoung kept saying “emo, emo” whenever she wanted her to look at me or come to me….it was so so cute.  The next day when I met with HeyKyoung, she said that Jinsel woke up that morning asking when she was going to get her picture taken again and saying that she wanted to see emo.

Melted my heart:)

Speaking of pictures, this weekend there will be a lot of photo taking going on for the McCoy’s.  Remember that marathon that the husband and I were originally going to run, but then we decided to back down from it?  Well, since Jon created the branding for the race, we’ve been invited to attend some of the VIP events on Friday night, and we’re also going to be at the marathon bright and early Sunday morning to take pictures of Jon’s work (and probably some of the runners because I won’t be able to resist!). I’m really looking forward to being a spectator instead of a runner!  I think it’ll be fun, even though it will make me itch to start training.

Also, the family I used to nanny for has asked us to photograph their family on Saturday evening, so we’ll be fitting that in as well!  A full weekend it will be, but I’m so excited!  I know it’s a little early to be talking weekend plans already….forgive me.

from the past

10 Nov

hi!

today has been super busy as all wednesdays tend to be.  i did lots of yoga, lots of hanging out with international students, and I ate enchiladas made by the husband for dinner.  i’d say all in all that’s a pretty successful day.

but now it’s late…and I’m oh so tired.  so I’m going to head to the bed soon.  but first I just had to stop in and say hi.

hi!

And what do I do when my busy day has prevented me from taking any pics worth writing home about?

Leave you with (random) memories from the past.  I can always dig up pics from our days in Thailand that make me smile to no end.

one of my favorite students and I studying the Gospel

on the college campus we worked on

the campus parking lot

beautiful campus

getting relief from the heat with an afternoon nap

a bridge in Bangkok

on the subway in Bangkok – New Years 2008

i didn’t even know what a food blog was, but I was still taking pictures of myself eating carrots, ahem made of icing

the husband on a songtau right around Christmas

hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday. and as always, it’s all down hill from here!

g’night!