My 2013 in review, or, I have sucked at blogging this year

As anyone who has WordPress blog knows, this is the time of year we look back at our blogging activity. All I can do is apologize for being absent! Everyday Life has been very full and time flies by. I guess I’ve been trying to simplify my day-to-day and thinking about what to post has definitely fallen by the wayside — though I do still read blogs and I’m always on the lookout for healthy recipes.

I think it is so easy to get caught up in our digital society; maybe part of my absence has also been necessary for my mental health and the quieting of my inner world. I can make myself nuts with all the things I want to do; sometimes I need to slow down and just concentrate on what I have to do.

So I’m here. Not promising much… But I just wanted to check in and say hello and Happy New Year!

 

Click here to see the complete report.

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Currently: June 5

Chicken Nuggets and Elmo:

I’m still here! I posted this today on my other blog, Chicken Nuggets and Elmo. I’m short on time of late but not on my desire to stay connected. I hope to be posting on my CSA shares when they start next week and on my garden as it grows. Good night =)

Originally posted on chicken nuggets and elmo:

— I started to write this post twice before but didn’t have time to finish it. Yes, seriously, it’s been like 2.5 months since I’ve written anything here or on Clean. Green. Eat. Repeat. Oh well.

— My husband has been working Saturday thru Wednesday for the last 8 weeks or so… so weekends have been busy busy busy… and we’ve started to not nap regularly on the weekends… which kind of sucks. I miss my naps.

Not such a regular occurrence anymore. Sad face.

Not such a regular occurrence anymore. Sad face.

— The Jersey Shore is coming back from Hurricane Sandy … we’ve taken a few trips down to Jenkensen’s in Point Pleasant and to Seven President’s park in Long Branch. I can’t wait to take a “beach day” with my girlfriends this summer…

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— The garden is in! This year I ordered non-GMO seeds online (I’ve been such a freak about GMOs in the…

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Hurricanes are bad for your sugar intake

Hurricanes are bad for your sugar intake

I have been hearing from a lot of my friends that they’ve been eating like CRAP all week. Some people have had to rely on non-perishable food due to Hurricane Sandy (I live in Central NJ), and many people still don’t have power today, a full week after the storm hit.

We didn’t lose power, so I can’t blame my eating on the storm. For the most part I have managed to stay away from the Halloween candy I have yet to give out (they’ve postponed trick or treating in my town until they can finish cleaning up downed trees and power lines). But I have not been eating well, and I have not been eating enough green things. Or vegetable things.

I did, however, make a root vegetable soup on Monday the 29th, in my “I have to do something” panic before the storm hit that night (sort of a variation on this one, which I’ve made before).

soup preppin

The aftermath of the storm has been so bad that they cancelled my CSA pickup this past Thursday. Hopefully those shares were donated and didn’t go to waste, but I’m not sure.

My gym has also been closed for the last week… which also is no excuse for my lack of exercise over the last week.

I’ve just been really off lately. In a rut. And now that we just turned the clocks back there’s more darkness. I love this time of year for so many reasons but the lack of daylight is not one of them!

Hopefully things will get back to normal soon with power and gas… and hopefully I can get myself in a better frame of mind.

I think I am going to try to go without sugar for a few days too… and do another 3-day detox. I had tried to start one the week before the storm and I had to stop after less than one day because I had such an incredibly bad headache (which I think must have been me detoxing from sugar/caffeine).

Homemade deodorant?

Homemade deodorant?

I sweat. A lot. Sorry, TMI.

While I usually never wear more make up than some lip gloss and sometimes mascara, I do use a heavy-duty deodorant/anti-perspirant every day. And like Lexie, I am concerned about the chemicals in the products I use. But I don’t want to smell like B.O. I’ve tried “natural” deodorants before and they don’t quite keep me, um, fresh.

So I saw this and I’m intrigued. I need to find the time to make this and try this soon! Thank you Lexie’s Kitchen for this post!

Weighting Around

Weighting Around

I’m sitting here thinking: there’s so much I want to post about… and stuff keeps happening! I’ve been so busy. I’m frustrated that I haven’t had the time to sit down and write a few words and post a few photos. Anywho… recently:

  • I participated in the May 5th EIF Revlon Run/Walk in NYC
  • my husband and I have been watching “The Weight of the Nation” on HBO and we’ve both been re-energized to get this weight off
  • I finally “finished” the garden (well… just about)
  • I made a decision about eating meat vs. not — at least for now

EIF Revlon Run/Walk

I’m so glad I participated in an event where so many thousands of people came out to support loved ones with cancer…I really had a great day. But it was no way as physically taxing as I thought it would be! With all the people there, it wasn’t like I could speed walk — besides, I was walking and talking with cousins and my brother along the way. I will say that the walk back to my car (about 30 city blocks) in 35 minutes was much more of a workout.

Before the start of the walk, in Times Square

My team, Deirdre’s Darlings, is wearing the green shirts

Turning onto Central Park South from 7th Avenue

Team photo at the finish line — I’m on the right in the white shirt.

The Weight of the Nation

I have, in the last 15 or so years when my weight has been up and down, really only thought about the health effects of obesity in passing. Diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure… these things have never seemed to be tangible to me. But simply — this series on HBO has made me see things in a different way. I’m only halfway through viewing the 4-part series, but it’s really making me think about healthy food choices vs. unhealthy food choices in a whole new way. It really hit my husband too, and we’ve both resolved to help each other stay on track.

Garden!

It took me about 4 hours on two previous Sundays and over 4 hours this past Sunday — but I finally have my little garden in the ground. The only thing I have left to do is finish the fence to keep the bunnies and hopefully squirrels away. Why did it take me so long? We had a creeping vine removed from the side of the shed where the garden is, and all throughout the ground where I had pictured my garden was a horrible network of roots. One really wonderful aspect of all that work? It was a great workout.

the (almost) finished garden…from the top: one row of cukes, one row of peppers, then 4 rows of tomatoes

I spent hours and hours pulling this stuff out of the ground

Parsley will stay in a pot… It’s coming along pretty well

Lettuce? maybe!

I was so tired at the end of the day that I decided not to go for planting carrots or peas or lettuce. The garden is smaller than I had envisioned it, but I could not stand the prospect of pulling out one more root. On a whim I decided to put lettuce in this pot. I just threw a bunch of seeds in. I think they’re coming up. If it gets bigger I guess I’ll have to make the plot bigger so I can transplant them! Crap.

my “helper”

To Eat or Not to Eat… Meat

In my quest for recipes and health information and inspiration, I have been trying to figure out if I wanted to stay vegetarian after Lent. I’ve also talked a lot with my trainer about the pluses and minuses of animal-based protein…and, after many hands-on attempts to get a healthy low-carb (or no carb) dinner for myself + something for my daughter (and hubby if he is home) on the table in a half hour… I have decided that, at least for now, I am going to continue eating meat. But not everyday, and not a lot of red meat.

I think part of my problem lately is information overload. I’m certainly going to try to make the best choices I can make for myself and my family…and I’m definitely going to take into consideration some of the things I’ve read lately about the food supply. And I’m going to keep reading. I don’t want to feel like I am giving up on all this… but part of the reason is that I married a “meat & potatoes” kind of guy who basically likes to eat 5 different things, and 4 of them are meat. I can’t make 3 things for dinner every night. It’s maddening. Ahhhh marriage! But that’s just what it is… and I’m not blaming him… that’s who he is (and I picked him!).

Anyway… that’s it for this most recent update on my life and times =) Good night… and hopefully I’ll see you soon(er than 2-3 weeks).

Life. Home. Garden. Gym. Cheesecake.

Life. Home. Garden. Gym. Cheesecake.

Life has been busy with work and home responsibilities. I had taken off April 5th to do some major cleaning/purging around the house, but that didn’t happen, because I wound up having to work. I had a huge project I had to finish up… and because I didn’t finish on the 5th I also had to work on the 6th, which was an official “my-office-is-closed-and-I-should-not-be-working” day.

So… instead of having a 4-day weekend two weeks ago… I am having one this weekend. But my husband is working Saturday and Sunday… so I am on full time Mommy duty all weekend.

I’ll get some things done, but that fire in my belly that I felt on the 4th and 5th for everything I had to do around the house? So Gone.

Things I will do:

1. Continue on getting my garden together. This is taking a lot longer than I’d thought. I remember seeing this post by To Be Frank and thinking, ok, we’re talking an afternoon. A few hours. Let me tell you… um, it’s taking a bit longer than that. This past Sunday, I started. I spent time going to the local hardware/garden store and getting a few supplies and tools… and then I had to take a hacksaw and cut two 6-foot long wooden garden stakes in half. So that was some additional “unbudgeted” time… oh, and also? I didn’t consider that taking a pitchforky thing and digging up a strip of grassy earth that is 10 foot by about 1 foot would be so 1. fricken HARD or 2. take so effin LONG. (Note: the actual garden will be about 3 x 10 but only about 1 x 10 is grassy… the rest is a former, uh “wild” flower bed.)

These bitches are so going in the ground this weekend (or at least a flower pot outside if I can't get the dern garden done)

2. Exercise. But that takes me to my next, ahem, random fact: today was the first day in about 2 weeks I was able to get to the gym. And it sucked because it’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve been to the gym. I haven’t been able to get there because of my work or my husband’s, plain and simple… but because I am off, and because my trainer guilted me into it, I committed to go and work out with said trainer tomorrow and Friday. So I won’t be able to walk at all this weekend! (Me: OH shut up and stop whining. Me: OK *hangs head*).

I had seen this post by Fork & Beans back on the 6th of April… so I guess now is as good a time as any to say that I am going to take the official Fork and Beans “Take a Hike Challenge!” I’m committing to some form of physical activity, whether it be gardening, gym exercise, cleaning, running in the park with Chloe…”30 minutes every day for the next 30 days”. Let’s see how this pans out…

3. Food. Hmm. Hasn’t been so good. Nothing to be super proud of and writing home about. Have I been eating processed food? Some. Have I been eating sugar? Yes. Have I eaten meat since Lent ended on Easter? Yes. Did you see the title of this post? Yes…

In other news:

1. Inspiring in so many ways: I just found this blog. Read her story. Totally wow.

2. I have committed to doing the EIF Revlon Run/Walk on May 5 in NYC. My cousin was recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and I am walking for her. She is 44, a mother of 3 and just had a double mastectomy… and while she will need chemo she just found out her cancer was contained in the one lymph node and she will not need radiation treatments — which is wonderful news =)

3. There is probably more news to share, but not now. I have to go to bed so that I may wake up refreshed to start my 2 days of SO MANY THINGS.

Good night.

The latest, including a sprained ankle and no meat

The latest, including a sprained ankle and no meat

So much has gone on in the last few weeks, but briefly:

Food Activism: I’ve always wondered why so many kids have food allergies today… but now I am starting to understand why. Yesterday I posted a video about Robyn O’Brien. She is a “food activist” committed to cleaning up our food supply. This whole issue frightens and enrages me! To think that the public’s health is less important than the bottom line for many of the companies that make the foods that we regularly buy and eat every day… I’m just disgusted. So when a friend forwarded this link for a petition I just had to sign it. It’s from an organization called “Just Label It!”. Their goal: make labeling of genetically engineered foods the law. Right now it isn’t, so you and I have no idea if the food we buy has been GE or contains GM ingredients. (Here’s 10 reasons to avoid GMOs, aka, genetically modified organisms.)

In looking for some more information on Just Label It! I also stumbled upon this blog: Food, Facts and Fads. The blogger is a scientist who covers a range of food-related topics, including the safety of our food supply. Pretty interesting!

2-22 Workout: When I walked in for my workout, my trainer gave me a challenge. The long and short of it: she had just won a bet by performing a rigorous workout in 10 minutes. I was only able to do a fraction of the workout in about 45 minutes… and I could barely do some of the exercises. I’m not good at push ups, especially ones on that half ball thingy. I think my trainer is in way better shape than me.

Sprained Ankle: Um, yeah. I didn’t sprain my ankle during a workout…I did it the next day, as I was leaving the house for work in the morning with my daughter in my arms.  That’s another story in itself, but you can read it about it here if you like. I finally made an appointment to see my orthopedist tomorrow. It’s been hurting for the last 12 hours or so… I’m hoping it’s just the wet weather we’re having today that’s causing it … and not something worse!

This is what it looked like Sunday, Feb. 26.

Food update: No Meat and No Sugar: Since I’ve started eating a vegetarian diet for Lent, I don’t miss meat at all. I think some of the Robyn O’Brien stuff I’ve read in the last two days is sort of helping with that. But I’m kind of enjoying finding healthy no-meat recipes and meal ideas. And while I have been eating natural sugars for the most part (found in fruits, etc.), a few not-so-natural sugars have found their way into my mouth. I had some ranch dressing at a restaurant yesterday… so I’m sure there was some in there. And after I ordered my Iced Soy Vanilla Latte at Starbucks I realized that there was sugar in the vanilla, DUH. But I have to tell you… I have just been craving dessert. So I found this recipe and I am going to make it tonight: Peanut Butter No-Bake Cheesecake. It looks amazing and I am hoping it will satisfy my hankering for… something. Just another note… while at my local health food store today I picked up one of these: a California Suncake in Chocolate Orange. A yummy vegan treat… and it DID satisfy my something craving.

Smoothies Galore: I have been making smoothies pretty regularly since I did my 3-day detox. This morning’s contained:

  • 1 scoop NST protein powder (chocolate) (This is Bally’s Health Club’s brand. It’s whey-based.)
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 8-10 cherries, frozen
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries (appox.)
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds

so YUM

Lentil Soup: I used this SoupAddict recipe to help me put together a vegetarian version with what I had in the house. What I did have was more carrots, no celery, no mushrooms… and tomato paste instead of sauce (with 4 cups of vegetable broth and 3 cups of water), no fish sauce and no potatoes. It was still good, still filling… and delicious with a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Spreading the Liebster Blog Award Love Around

Spreading the Liebster Blog Award Love Around

So I was just nominated for this by I Used to be Fat(ter). GTFO. Thanks!

The origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat murky. I’ve done some searching around but can’t find much via Google except other LBA posts from other bloggers. But, unlike the Versatile Blogger Award, this credential aims to recognize younger blogs or blogs with less than 200 followers (and both of mine definitely fall into that category!).
The general consensus is that it originated in Germany, as liebster means favorite or dearest. Upon accepting the award the recipient must then pass it on to five more blogs of note. Here are the rules:
1- Choose FIVE up and coming blogs to award the Liebster to. Blogs must have less than 200 followers.
2- Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3- Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites.
Here are my food/healthy lifestyle picks — and congrats to these winners…I will let them know tonight!
DelishWorld (one of my new fave blogs. Holla! I’m not sure if there are less than 200 followers… I looked around… but oh well!)
I like hitting the snooze button.

I like hitting the snooze button.

Just 2 more weeks, please!!

And not just when it comes to getting up in the morning. I think I hit it on writing my second post… and on getting serious with eating better.

I guess you could say I had a bit of a food… relapse? a last hurrah? Something like that. I will say over the 10 days or so I’ve been half good. But that means I’ve also been half bad. I ate puffy cheese doodles. I drank some Diet Pepsi. And instead of eating a salad yesterday for lunch I ate a mini pizza. I rationalized that it wasn’t all bad because I ordered one with broccoli… and then they forgot the broccoli.

Some of the good things I did do included making a healthy dinner this past Monday: Turkey sausage, kale and brown rice. I  browned the sausage, cooked the rice according to the directions on the package, and then I simmered the washed kale in some water and seasoned it with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg. After I finished cooking the sausage I used the same pan to sauté an onion and some garlic, which I then added to the kale.

It was seriously yummy.

so good for you it's ridiculous

Kale is so good for you, and this was easy and quick to make. I forget things like this during the week if I don’t plan ahead.  I have the last of the leftovers for my lunch today — so now I can’t buckle and order something unhealthy come 1pm. I think during my lunch break I will look for some healthy recipes to make over the weekend.

Stay tuned….