Friday, August 17, 2012

The mama club

I keep trying to blog about things I think I should be writing about, like what I've been up to for the past few months - what I've been cooking, wearing, where I've been traveling etc. But none of that has been motivation enough to write lately.

Suddenly yesterday I had an epiphany - why not just write what's on my mind? I know that sounds silly and obvious, but it was a freeing realization to just write what I've been thinking about lately.

So, what is on my mind? Incidentally, the topic of babies. I was talking to E the other night about how we have gotten together with couple friends (new and old) a lot more frequently lately, but that I have been the only imbibing female amongst every couple we've spent time with this summer. Between friends who are TTC, expecting, and lactating, I'm feeling a little bit out of the club.

E and I are in the stage of starting to talk about growing our family in a more real sense, with a real timeline (involving years); still, we're not quite ready. But there is something about all my friends having babies that still makes me feel a little left out. I mean, my mom friends are impressed by my knowledge of the physical effects of pregnancy, birth and post-partum, (this is primarily because I have been reading too much OMG Mom), but it is also evident I'm not able to relate to what has changed for them emotionally and turned their entire lives around and upside down.

Maybe this goes without saying, but I really want to stay friends with all these ladies as they become mamas. I think I'm just having a hard time adjusting to their new normal and figuring out how to maintain a relationship that includes my time and love for their babies, but also adult time to talk about non-baby things. It feels a little awkward, like the start of a new friendship.
 Do I suggest we go out baby-free? Do I offer to come over and help them around the house?
How do I talk about my day-to-day work and married life with them, when it doesn't seem nearly as significant as creating and nurturing a human life?

I know a lot of my friends are on the other side of this and maybe struggling as well to maintain healthy friendships with single or childless friends. So please weigh in - I would love to hear what ladies on both sides feel about this!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fast, healthy and affordable lunches

Ok, so I know that post title might sound too good to be true. I've spent years of my life stressing out at 7:25am trying to throw something together for lunch that day. You know, that perennial problem of a full refrigerator, but nothing to eat.

I'm not saying I'm super [lunch] girl, here to save you, but I have picked up a few tips and ideas - mostly from people more awesome than me - to share. Hopefully this will inspire you to plan your breakfasts, snacks and lunches (and dinners) better for minimal stress, and maximum health!

love my Built NY lunch bag!*

Since I started tracking my calorie intake and exercise on MyFitnessPal, I can tell I've been somewhat more intentional about what I eat. But I still haven't lost more than a pound, and I frequently find myself getting stuck on days when coworkers bring in cookies, cake and bagels, because I haven't brought enough food to work to resist indulging. I realized that I conveniently forgot to record a lot of these little indulgences, which is why I ended up continually under my calorie count on paper, but in real life haven't seen the evidence.

So it is time to kick my booty into gear. Now my goal is 200-250 calorie mini-meals 5 or 6 times a day. This is surprisingly less difficult than I thought it would be. Here is an online journal of what I have bought and eaten during the day over a week's-ish time. (what's bolded are my favorites)

Grocery Store
eggs $4
bagged salad $2
fresh fruit (whatever is on sale) $5
Bolthouse greek yogurt ranch dressing $3 (45 calories for 2 tbsp, AND protein!)
shredded rotisserie chicken, or pre-grilled chicken breasts $6
roasted almonds $4 (I love the sea salt and vinegar flavor)
dark chocolate $3 (Trader Joe's has great options for dark chocolate covered-just about anything you can think of. currently eating dark chocolate covered pretzel thins)
hummus $3

Costco (bulk)
Crudites $10 (lasts two people for 1 week of  daily snacks)
Organic apple packs $7
Frozen mixed fruit $5
Kashi: Go Lean Crunch $5
Greek Yogurt $7
Pico de gallo $4

Pulled from my pantry
whole wheat bread
almond butter or natural peanut butter
chocolate syrup
Tortilla chips


Breakfast: greek yogurt, honey, Kashi go lean crunch, 203 calories
Mid-morning snack: 1/3 c of roast almonds with dark chocolate m&ms, 215 calories
Lunch: 1/3 bagged salad, 1/2 c. chicken, yogurt ranch dressing, 180 calories
Afternoon snack: Rainier cherries, cookie, 150 calories

Loving Rainer cherries. And the fact that I can still knot the stem with my tongue in 10 seconds flat. #uselesstalents #sorryyoudidntwanttoknowthat

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs (or hard boiled made the night before), coffee with cream, 190 calories
Mid-morning snack: apple slices, 1 tbsp almond butter mixed with 1 tsp cookie butter, 225 calories
Lunch: Chips and pico de gallo, crudites with ranch dressing, 250 calories
Afternoon snack: 1/2 c. Kashi go lean crunch 96 calories

Apple Slices

Breakfast: 2 slices whole wheat toast with almond butter, 260 calories
Mid-morning snack: 1/2 c. greek yogurt with  1 tbsp chocolate syrup, 140 calories
Lunch: leftover pork tenderloin with mango salsa, coconut rice and asparagus 260 calories
Afternoon snack: crudites with hummus 110 calories


Breakfast: fruit smoothie (frozen fruit, greek yogurt, orange juice or milk, protein powder)
Mid-morning snack: Kashi Go Lean crunch, 96 calories
Lunch: grilled chicken on salad, fresh fruit 175 calories
Afternoon snack: chips and pico de gallo 160 calories


Breakfast: Special K with Red Berries, 2% milk, 219 calories
Mid-Morning Snack: apples slices with almond butter and honey, 253 calories
Lunch: leftover pollo asada with rice, pico de gallo and chips 300 calories
Afternoon Snack: crudites with ranch 80 calories

Total spent = $71

But almost all of these ingredients will last me for 2 weeks +. So it's about $35/week or $7 a day for breakfast, lunch and snacks.


Total time prepping = 1 minute each day

I love storing individual serving of Greek yogurt, fruit or veggies in these Weck glass jars* E got me for Christmas. I reuse the same bags to store chips, cherries, etc so I don't get tempted to eat more than one serving. I leave the bagged salad, roast chicken, dressing, almond butter, almonds and chocolate at work so I don't have to pack it every day.

Despite the fact that my lunch prep is quick now, it does take some time to plan, purchase groceries and get things together at the beginning of the week. But by figuring out what kinds of things I can eat and packaging them up the night before, I just grab two containers and/or bags of whatever food I've gotten ready, and stuff it in my lunch bag, and I'm off!

Obviously, the calorie count isn't going to apply to everyone - this is just what works best for me right now. But however much you eat, it is important to take time eating! Since your body doesn't register that your stomach is full for 20 minutes, I stretch out my lunch break to be eating for that full amount of time. If you have to eat fast, another trick is to eat as much as you know you should, and if you feel hungry, resist eating more for 30 minutes. If you're still feeling hungry then, you can find another light snack. But more often than not, you won't be!

*affiliate links

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The ultimate sacrifice

I have so many things to share and write about - baby showers thrown and attended (3), wedding events for my sister, travel, our crazy growing garden.

But for the past five days I've done little else but think about and pray for a woman I know from church who lost her husband in Afghanistan on Sunday.

It's strange: even though we know a lot of military families, I (ignorantly) thought things were basically over for the US military in the Middle East. I certainly didn't think about or realize US soldiers were still being attacked and still dying. So the news itself was completely shocking.

I have grieved the loss of people much dearer to me - family members and close friends, but the loss of Dan has come as such a huge blow to the church and community. E and I weren't close with Dan and his wife Rachel, but we had mutual friends at church and had attended a few game nights with them. In the past, I have been moved and saddened hearing about the loss of lives of our military members, but this was so close to home.

Dan was a sergeant in MARSOC (special ops in the Marines), and had already been in combat three times and was on his sixth deployment. He received a purple heart last summer in a combat that shattered his knee. Besides being a godly man who loved his family, I don't know how else to describe him except that he seemed way too bad ass to have anything happen to him. It's really hard to imagine one of the toughest strongest guys you can think of not making it.  But this isn't the movies, and the strong guy isn't coming home.

(taken from Facebook)

In part it feels disingenuous to be so torn up over his death, considering there are so many others suffering so much more deeply at this loss. But as Christians we mourn with those who mourn, and I can't help but dwell on the ugliness of death.
I'm just so thankful that death does not win in the end.

The very moment that believers die they are in paradise. Their battle is fought: their strife is over. They have passed through that gloomy valley we must one day tread; they have gone over that dark river we must one day cross. They have drunk that last bitter cup which sin has mingled for man: they have reached that place where sorrow and sighing are no more. Surely we should not wish them back again! We should not weep for them, but for ourselves.
-JC Ryle

Thank you for your service and sacrifice, Gunnery Sergeant Daniel J. Price.

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