Like Knives

OK this isn’t about a City & Colour song but actually about knives. I’m in the market! Right now, I’ve been using my sister’s knives:

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Good knives. Henckel. But now that I’m buying my own knives, I feel compelled to purchase some really good knives. So I’ve done some research, and it appears that Global and MAC come out on top. So I’m here asking for advice. Which of these options would you purchase? (And what kind of knives do you use?)

(1) MAC Original Series 4 Knife set (Carving, Utility, Fillet, & Paring)

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(2) A slightly cheaper Global set (Chefs & Paring)
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(3) Purchase really nice individual knives (retails at $20 cheaper than the above Global set and $60 cheaper than the above MAC set)
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PLEASE ADVISE ME!! 🙂 
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Star Trek

Is it just me or is life going by like this ^^ lately?

A non-stop schedule mixed with the whole getting older factor makes me feel like time is just zooming by. How did I get to be 24? How long have I been interning? What happened to May, didn’t that just begin?

During the week, it almost feels as if I’m standing still and everything is moving around me so fast that I can barely keep track. But then I get to the weekend and it’s just a beautiful paradise of relaxation and socialization.

I find myself escaping into books lately, which has been just marvelous. At the moment I’m reading this little number:

Just a great all-absorbing-lose-yourself read. With vampires.Why are vampires so alluring???

How’s time going for you?

Are you as allured by put-your-brain-on-the-night-stand books as I am?

Since you’ve (I’ve) been gone

I’m stronger, right?

So… where to begin… Hi! I’m Megan. I know it’s been a while, but I promise, we do know each other. I’m that blogger who used to post 1-2 times/week and who you may or may not have enjoyed hearing from and then .:poof:. disappeared for… 3 months. But today I am back. And I’ve brought along some food updates:

Ribollita – 101 Cookbooks

Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots and Tofu

Crunchy Lentil Salad (with added veggies and olive oil and stevia instead of honey and no dried fruit)

Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad (with sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts0

Roasted Cauliflower and Cabbage with Curry powder (made this almost every week as a side)

Garbanzo Bean & Raw Veggie Salad with Homemade Parsley Pesto

Roasted Vegetables & Tempeh with Asian Sauce and Barley

I ate well.

As you will remember, I have been cooking all of my food on the weekend for the week. It’s worked out superbly.

My Spring semester has ended (yay!) but my internship carries on. But at least now I have two weekdays that I have nothing going on. As a side note, I just payed my Summer tuition to the school for my internship. Isn’t that lovely- paying to be used as free labor? But I suppose I’ll be getting credits and a degree at some point.

As another side note- I recently celebrated my birthday (24)! I had a little get together, and I think this accurately represents how it went:

On that note.

As a side note: I accidentally saved this post as a draft about two weeks ago thinking I was publishing it. Oh me.

My goal in life

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Here it is. Pretty simple: to get to be an old, healthy, happy woman.

Here’s a little something-something that I got from a mailing list I’m on featuring…

 7 Ways to Become Healthier Today

By Valerie Frankel, Health.com

Health.com

Easy lifestyle alterations

Think it’s time to make some healthy lifestyle adjustments? Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, is right behind you. Buettner is crossing Iowa in a bus, attempting to change American towns into healthier places. “More than 40% of Americans smoked in the ’60s, and only 20% do now,” he points out. “We can turn around our diet and lifestyle, too.”   

One thing we Americans have going for us:  We are always up for a challenge. So try these healthful ideas inspired by healthy women around the world. 

Take 20% Off

Blue zones—like areas in Italy, Japan, Greece, California, and Costa Rica where the people have traditionally stayed active to age 100 or older—are some of the healthiest in the world. “In every Blue Zone, they eat less than we do, by at least 20%,” Buettner says.   

One trick for slashing portions: “Instead of putting big platters of food at the center of the table, fill each plate at the counter,” Buettner says.   

Pile on the plants

Not only are plant-based diets rich in antioxidants and other good-for-you nutrients, they’re also better for your waistline. “A plate of food in Okinawa has one-fifth the calorie density of a typical American meal,” Buettner says. “You can chow down for a fraction of the calories.”  

Buettner suggests thinking of meat as a condiment rather than the main event, and subbing in more beans, legumes, and nuts.  

Love the foods that love you back

A diet of berries and elk or tofu and sea vegetables might seem utterly foreign—but taste buds can be retrained. “Americans love fat, salt, and sugar because that’s what we’re used to,” says David L. Katz, MD, founding director of the Yale Prevention Research Center. “But studies show that if you eat more wholesome foods, you can learn to prefer them.” 

An easy way to start:  Search for stealth sugar, which Dr. Katz says is found in many packaged foods. “Once you get rid of that hidden sugar, you’ll start to prefer less-sweet foods,” he notes.  

Sit down—and slow down

It might be too much to cook every meal. But we can sit at a table to eat our takeout instead of scarfing it down in the car. Savor each bite as the French do; stretch your meals out for 20 whole minutes. You’ll end up eating less and enjoying more.  

“The longest-living people don’t think of exercise as a chore,” Buettner says. Instead, little bits of movement are a constant part of their everyday lives. Make like a French woman and take a short walk after dinner.  

Shovel your own snow instead of paying the kid next door; make extra trips carrying laundry up and down the stairs.   

Get out

Every Blue Zone is known for its strong social and family bonds. Besides spending quality time at home with family, surround yourself with healthy-living friends—good health habits are contagious, research shows.  

Be sure to get involved in your community, too, whether it’s at church, a gardening group, or a volunteer organization. These connections can add years to your life, Buettner says.  

Take it easy

Even the world’s healthiest people get stressed out sometimes. What they all have, Buettner says, are daily strategies to shed stress. Meditate, go for a run, make a dinner date with your best friend—and don’t worry about your inability to be a French woman or a Greek farmer. 

It’s OK to enjoy the occasional cheeseburger. What matters is a cumulative lifestyle pattern of enjoying healthful food, staying connected to others, and keeping yourself moving.]

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What I’m working on:

1. Slow down. Sometimes I really scarf down my food. I’m going to make a concerted effort to really enjoy my food.

2. Get out – OK, so I already do this. But I definitely want to continue it- I know that spending quality time with friends and family makes my life happier.

3. Take it easy – Definitely trying to ease up on stress and live in such a way as to build in relaxation time. (i.e., going home for lunch, reading before bed)

What are you working on to make your life happier and healthier?

Healthy on the go(-go)

So, as you will have noticed from my frequent discussion of how free-time-as-I-know-it ends in January, free-time-as-I-know-it-ends-next-week. Check the schedule:

M- Work 8am – 5pm ; Internship 5pm – 9pm
Tu- ”     ”
W- Work 8am – 5pm ; Class 7pm-940ishpm
Th- ”     ”
F- Work 8am – 5pm ; Internship 5pm – 930pm

This means several things:
– Little to no cooking time during the week
– Extremely limited free time
– perpetual go-go-ness

But fear not! I have formed a plan to lead a happy, healthy life even while enduring such a schedule. It takes some preparation, but it’s totally worth it. Here is how I am making time for health and happiness  in a day-by-day schedule:

Saturday:


1. Plan 3 complete meals (~4 servings each). This is my rough plan: 1 stew-type-meal, 1 fish-inclusive-meal, 1 soy-based-meal+lots-o-veggies
2. Make a grocery list and do the shopping. (Only time for one trip a week!)
3. Use the rest of the day for fun or schoolwork (depending on what’s in the cards).

Sunday:
1. Prepare the 3 meals
2. Prepare breakfasts for 3 days **
3. Prepare gym bag for tomorrow morning**
** To save on time, I’ve started going to a YMCA within walking distance from my work and showering at the gym. This allows me to wake up about 20 minutes later and get to work early most days (cutting out the stress of running late). To do this, it is necessary to bring breakfast with me, which presents the dilemma: HOW WILL I SURVIVE WITHOUT MY BOWL OF HOT-DELICIOUS-OATMEAL?!?
solution: Overnight Oats in a Jar (cooked-style)
I took this one from Katie. Basically, I prepare my oats (1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup oat bran per serving) with 1.5 cups liquid per serving (.5 cup of that being milk)on the stove like normal. If I’m adding flax or chia, I add it while cooking. After simmering for about 5 minutes, I take the pot off the burner and cover.

1 serving of oats (but I usually make 2-3 at a time)

Meanwhile, I prepare my jars (emptied from old nut butters) by putting whatever mix-ins I like on the bottom.

The Mixin's

Then, I simply pour the oats into the jar and let the oats cool for a while uncovered. When cooled somewhat, I twist on the lid and keep them in the fridge until I take them to work.

with pumpkin, flaxseed meal, and almond butter

To eat: Heat for 40 seconds in microwave. Mix it all up. Heat for an additional 1 minute. Enjoy!

Monday-Friday:
1. Wake up at 5:10am. Make 3 cups coffee. Pack gym bag with oatmeal. Eat protein ball and coffee at home or on the way to the gym.
2. Attend 6am class at the YMCA-near-work. Shower, dress, primp, walk to work.
3. Arrive at work, heat oatmeal, settle in for the day.
4. Go home for lunch! (this is key to my happiness) Enjoy a delicious meal that I’ve already prepped. Pack dinner if interning that evening. Do an enjoyable, just-for-fun activity for the rest of the hour. (vital to happiness once again!)
5. Return to work feeling refreshed. Do-it-to-it at the internship or come home for dinner and then do-it-to-it in class. (Make two more oatmeal breakfasts in the break between work and class on Wednesdays)
6. Head home, pack new clothes for tomorrow. Sleep by 10 PM (I hope).

To make things simpler, I’m pretty much sticking to the same workout schedule every week:
Su – rest
M – Cycle (45 min)
Tu – Strength Circuit 60 min Class (circuits of high-intensity cardio and weight training)
W – Cycle (45 min)
Th – Hatha Yoga (60 min)
F – Boot Camp (45/60min depending on instructor)
Sa – My Circuit Strength Training

I’m confident that I will concur this semester without too much pain. Wish me luck.

What’s your schedule like?

How do you stay healthy (and sane) on the go(-go)?

A Belated Blogger Pen Pal Post

Hey you, long time no talk. Probably because I’ve been slowly but surely falling off of the blog-face due to holidays + enjoying-life-before-I-have-no-free-time-next-semester. As a result, I’ve not posted the awesome goodies I got from my blog pen pal, Lauren over at the spiced plate. So, without further ado, I bring you…

December Foodie Pen Pal Goodies:

Mom always told me to read the card first, especially when it's this beautiful 😉

 Simple ingredients, lightly sweetened, and delicious.

Om nom nom nom –> A yellow musard with oompf. So far I’ve enjoyed this in a leftover-christmas-turkey sandwich.

look deep into my jar

I can’t wait to cook these up in the crock pot!

Once again, if you’re interested in participating for next month (January), please send an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com by January 4th and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)

Alright, I’ve got to go make my protein balls for the week!