Monthly Archives: October 2012

How do you find balance?

The past few weeks have been at best, stressful.  Long hours at work, working on my thesis and crazy long assignments for school!  Not to mention I’ve been having health problems again, I’m pretty sure its an ulcer so I have to go back to the doctor this week.

I’m exhausted all the time.  I have 4 days off a month which I spend cleaning, organizing, and working on homework if I have the energy.  If I don’t, I zone out on the couch watching TV for hours because sometimes my brain just needs to be off.  I’ve also been going out more, which results in me spending too much money, eating too much bad food and drinking which DOES NOT help the ulcer situation! And then the next day I’m hungover and worthless.  Then I get anxiety about how I’m wasting my day off and  I have so much stuff I need to be doing!

Which leads me to my question: How do you find balance?

Gymnast feet on beam.

Gymnast feet on beam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems like there are a lot of healthy happy people out there who have even more going on than me.  Moms who work full time and still have time for yoga and jogging and cooking healthy delicious meals. Girls who work the same job as me, are in the same school program and have time to go out at night while still being skinny and beautiful. People like that.  How do they do that?  I feel drained from the moment I wake up until when I creep into bed at night.  I miss my regular workout routine but don’t know how to squeeze it in. And now I’m at the point where, if I do have time, I just don’t want to work out 😦  I need to find a way to fit everything I want in my life and prioritize.  If on my own, my priorities would be cooking healthy meals and exercising regularly.  With work and school though, my priorities have to be finishing my schoolwork and making it to work.  (I can’t even have a sick day which has been pretty miserable).  I know I shouldn’t complain and I should just find ways to alter my behavior.  But I really don’t see how, if I work from 8-6 every day, then come home and do 3 hours of homework, I can fit a workout and cooking healthy dinner in my life. I’m losing it! How do I fit it all in?

If anyone has any helpful resources, tips or words of advice I’d love to hear it.  How do you balance your life between things you have to do and things you want to do?

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Filed under Healthy Living, weight loss

Miso Mushroom Butternut Soup

Sometimes I eat things that are not butternut soup. Most times, actually. I guess it’s just butternut madness time and I’m always sick so I always want soup. Also, it’s still 85 degrees here in October! So who doesn’t want a bowl of hot liquid for dinner?
This soup is so umami. I love it’s earthy hearty flavors that are paired so nicely with the sweetness of the squash. It is missing a little something, though.  I wish that I had onions and garlic to add to the mix to just kick up the flavor a bit.  Still, it’s a filling, healthy and quick dinner that will make you smile! It probably tastes better when it’s cold outside, but I wouldn’t know.

Like most things I make, especially soups, I didn’t actually measure anything I put in.  I just dumped it in a pot and let it boil.  I put in approximate measurements to the recipe so you have a clue where to begin, but keep in mind I made a GIANT batch!

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Miso Mushroom Butternut Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 box low sodium broth (I used trader joe’s vegetable but I think chicken might be better in the future)
  • 5 cups water
  • 10 large baby bella mushrooms, sliced into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 cup frozen kale
  • 1 small butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • Garlic Powder and Old Bay seasoning to taste (or fresh garlic if you have it!)
  • 1/4 cup miso paste (I used low sodium red miso)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

Mix ingredients except for green onions in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil for 30 minutes, until mushrooms and squash are tender.  Put green onions into the mix at the end and continue to cook for another few minutes.  Serve piping hot as an appetizer or meatless main course!

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Filed under Healthy Living, Main Courses, Recipes, Vegetables

Curried Butternut Soup

Oh Butternuts!

I LOVE butternut squash, which is good, because other than zucchini, those are the only things that actually grew in my garden through the abominable heat wave of 2012 (aka summer in L.A.).

And grow they did.  I currently have 5 squash I already harvested, ranging from 1-3 lbs. I have at least 4 more in the garden that are becoming gargantuan as we speak! And I couldn’t be happier about it. But check back in with me in the winter.  It’s been too god awful hot to even think of roasting a squash, much less boiling a soup.  But I’ve been weirdly sick for a while now, and all I want to eat is CURRY and KIM CHI.  Sometimes together.  Usually not.  Are you judging me?

I’ve been a little intimidated by the pounds of squash just staring at me, waiting to be peeled, chopped, scooped and roasted.  So much work! So much responsibility!  Luckily I found this website with easy steps for peeling and cutting the squash, and it made my life so much easier! So, I’m about to embark on Butternut Madness 2012.  Usually I do Pumpkin Madness by picking up a few pumpkins, roasting and pureeing them, and then making as much deliciousness as I can!  I think this year, I’ll skip the pumpkin madness and stick with my butternuts.  A girl can only roast so much squash.

This recipe is adapted from an old family holiday favorite, from Gourmet magazine.  By “adapted” I mean, I’m lazy and don’t have leeks.  The original is to die for, so I suggest trying that one also!

This soup is hearty enough to fill you up, but low in fat and healthy too!  It’s perfect for a cool autumn day for lunch, or serve with salad and a crusty baguette for dinner.  I have a feeling it would be fabulous with a little goat cheese crumbled on top, too! But that’s for you to decide.

Curried Butternut Soup

  • Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cubed
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and Fresh Ground pepper, to taste

          

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Sautee onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add curry powder and cinnamon and continue to cook for another 2 minutes
  3. Add chicken broth (make sure all the veggies are covered, if not add some more) and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, until squash is tender and easy to smash.
  4. Transfer soup to a blender (or use a hand blender if you have one! Less dishes!) and blend until smooth.  Return soup to pot and season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika to taste.  I added more curry powder and cinnamon too!

So that’s the start of Butternut Madness! Any recipe suggestions? Here’s what I have planned so far:  Butternut Lasagna (this WILL happen!),  butternut pasta sauce, and butternut mac and cheese.  Hmm…any non-pasta suggestions?  Send me a link!

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Filed under Recipes, Vegetables

Chocolate Chia Raspberry Pudding

Oh, hey guys.

I have been totally MIA for well, a while now!  Mostly because I have been sick, and school and work are kicking my booty to next tuesday!  These are also excuses I’ve been using to not exercise, unfortunately.  Along with me being sick has come the inevitable slide away from my healthy eating.  I don’t know, something in me just craves salty, spicy cheesy things when I’m sick!  And curry.  Not to mention it’s 100 DEGREES outside in OCTOBER! Which is not the greatest feeling when you are sick and stuffy and sweaty all at once, gross.

Nonetheless, I wanted to make a quick, healthy recipe to post to make me feel like I still have a reason to have a blog.  I was craving CHOCOLATE a lot lately, so of course I had to find a way to work this in to my (trying) to eat healthy goals.  I love this Chia Pudding recipe from Skinnytaste, but it doesn’t fit the chocolate bill.
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So I made my own!  And it’s amazing! Chocolatey and coconuty and all those things a good pudding should be.

Afraid of Chia pudding? Don’t be! Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein and Omega-3s, and super good for you!  Yes, if you leave them on a clay head they will sprout some “hair”.  But when mixed into smoothies, coconut water or pudding they are a nutritious addition that I love!  I thought it was weird too, but I’m so into it now, I could be obsessed.

Also, the batteries in my camera died so you will have to do with my hipster cell phone photos.  But believe me, it tastes even better than it looks!
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Chocolate Chia Raspberry Pudding

Makes 4 1 cup servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Trader Joe’s 100% cacao powder)
  • 3 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • drizzle of Agave or Honey, to taste

Put almond milk, coconut milk, agave or honey and cocoa powder in the blender and mix until smooth.  Mix the rest of ingredients and milk mixture in a covered bowl or tupperware, and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.  Enjoy! Top with more fresh raspberries, walnuts, or with frozen bananas!
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Filed under desserts, Healthy Living, Recipes