Change

Isn’t it funny how sometimes change can just sneaks up on you?

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Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times when one follows all the steps, making a clear, conscience decision to make a change: (1) This is the change I want in myself (2) This is what I have to do (3) This is what I’m doing.

But most of the time it’s more sneaky. Like you’re going about your life thinking you’re doing everything the same and then you look back and think: “Man, how often did I used to eat out?” or “What did I used to have against smoothies?” or “Wow, I really used to be a to-the-T calorie-counter” or “How could there have possible been a time when I was worried about eating too many nuts/too much nut butter?” (HA!)

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I think the brain has some sort of bias for the belief that we are always the same. Though this makes sense because how else would we integrate everything? ANYWAYS! enough with the philosophical introspective stuff. Basically I just want to talk about what has changed in my life since I fell off the face of the Earth  started interning.

Basically, I’ve aged 10 years.

Ok, maybe I haven’t aged 10 years, but I seriously am so much more buckled down. I have a system for living. This includes a formula for meal planning, food preparation, exercise, free time activities, and clothing selection during the work week. It takes many day-to-day choices out of life, which in my book is MARVELOUS.

Take away tips:

1. Take 15 minutes on Sunday and pick your outfits for the week. Seriously. Especially if you’re like me and pack your outfit with you to the gym in the morning so that you can get ready there before heading to work. Those 15 minutes will unload 15 pounds from your shoulders in accumulated stress throughout the work week.

2. Take the guesswork out of meal planning – create your own formula for the week in meals. Mine looks like this:

Thursday/Friday: Meal planning online whilst at work (it’s OK to multitask, right?)

Friday/Saturday: Grocery shopping/farmers’ marketing (always 2 fruits x7 servings for the week, yogurt, and what I need for snacks and the meals planned)

Saturday/Sunday food prep: 3 voluminous-oatmeals-in-a-jar, 1 Salad Conglomerate (serves 5 lunches for the week), 1 Other food creation (Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Veggie Chili, Curry-roasted veggies + tofu, etc.) that serves 4-6 dinners

Wednesday: 2 voluminous-oatmeals-in-a-jar

Optional: 1 more meals Wednesday/Thursday

3. If it’s vegan you can probably eat something past the “4 day fridge life expectancy”

Hence why I’ve been making two meals that last all week for the past month or so. I’ve pretty much switched to vegan for the majority of my home meal preparation. Soy milk in my oatmeal and delicious replacements for cheese – Nacho cheeze sauce makes an excellent topping for enchilada casserole by-the-by. Actually, the only animal products I buy (at the moment) are yogurt and the honey that’s laced into my Kashi Go Lean cereal.

4. Create a workout routine that’s a no brainer.

For me that means take exercise classes every weekday and leave the “What workout should I do today?” for the weekend. I’m fortunate enough to be able to create a well-balanced, continuously challenging workout from the classes offered at my gym

(My Plan: M- Cycle, Tu- Cardio Strength, W- Cycle, Th- Yoga, Fr- Boot Camp, Sa/Su- mix strength & cardio or rest)

5. Strive to only spend time on the things you want to be doing.

That means planning fun activities for the weekend ahead of time, making plans to see your good friends, and deciding what you want to use your free time to do during the week.

6. But at the same time try not to worry so much if things aren’t exactly how you want them to be. 

I would be a dirty liar if I said that I’ve mastered this. Sometimes it’s easy to let myself get bogged down with feeling like I wish things were different than they are right now- especially when I was interning and had no time. But in the end, it just makes things worse to dwell on it, so I continuously strive to try not to focus on what how I wish things would be unless I have the capability of making them that way right now.

Well…

That pretty much sums up my changes and learnings.

How have you changed lately?

What have you learned?

Things to look forward to on eatmybeets:
– Hot sauce creation “sriracha”-style
– Sprouts!
– Fermentation? <–that’s a maybe

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And it begins

Ah, life. Busy, busy, busy. So I’m going to make this ever-so-brief.

I promise that after I get a handle on things, I’ll post my super-awesome Mexican-Style Spaghetti Squash Casserole (in honor of Columbus day, as an afterthought… but not on Columbus day…speaking of which how do you feel about the whole “Columbus Day” thing?) that I came up with yesterday.

But let’s get back to the whole dramatic “and it begins” thing: I started my new job today! (yay) Well, I had the first day of orientation, which was basically all HR stuff and no actual job-job stuff, but it’s all related, right? Plus I got out about 3 1/2 hours early. (Oh the joys of orientation + salary work)

And now for…

This Week in Workouts 10.2.11 – 10.8.11
Su – 45 minute elliptical (w/magazine. heaven.)
M – Circuit Strength Training
Tu – 4.63 mile run
W – Circuit Strength Training
Th – Hatha yoga (yay!!!)
F – 20 minute run (out of town, didn’t map it for mileage)
Sa – rest

Have any cool life news?

What are your workouts looking like lately?

One of those weeks.

You ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you can’t-quite-get-a-hold-on-what-you-have-to-do / what’s-going-on and then all-of-a-suddenit’s-the-weekend? That’s where I am this week. Switching to a job where I create my own hours is a big transition for me, but on top of that, there was a holiday at the beginning of the week and I had about half the caseload- so it left me a bit unsure of how my week should really be looking. I’m still unsure, but I’m just going to roll with it for the rest of the week and then hopefully be able to start fresh on Monday.

At this point you may be thinking: “what the heck is Megan talking about?” or “nice over-share, Megan.” But here’s a purple-green bell pepper:

crazy, right?

And here’s an old picture of an almost-empty peanut butter jar, perfect for OIAJ (oats-in-a-jar):

my motivation for eating more peanut butter.

And here’s me introducing the deliciousness that is Sunflower Seed Butter on Flourless Wheatberry Bread to my good (German) friend Xaver:

He loved it.

Alright, that’s it for now. No time to do my 5 Things Thur…Friday yet. But stay tuned, as I am planning on completing it once I complete my jobly duties.

 

A Superrifically Special Delivery

I want to start by saying: today was the best Monday ever. I know, I know, the statement is a bit overzealous if not short sighted, but please allow me to make my case.

1. I wore a new shirt.

pardon my flash

2. I watched the latest episode of True Blood

I am beyond addicted to this show. Why is it so good?!?!? I think that my feelings for this show border on the infatuation stage of love. (But real, human love wins out in the end always, I promise, really.)

3. I got a yummy, healthy dinner for free.

Courtesy of mah mumma. --> Romaine, cucumber, tomato, mushroom with sautéed chicken and onions in a lemon, olive oil, salt & pepper dressing with leftover brown rice mixed in.

4. I got fresh figs from my parents’ tree

Oh my, what's that sitting behind my bag of free, fresh figs?

5. I got a totally free, extra-special package in the mail!

So remember the other day, way back when, when I told you about the Coconut Butter, Protein Powder, and Liquid Stevia I bought from IHerb.com? Well, last week I got a super-exciting email from IHerb’s social media handler! She told me that she found my blog and wanted to send me free stuff to thank me for blogging about iherb!

And guess what I found waiting at my door when I got home wearing my new shirt, high off of watching the newest true blood, stomach full of free yumminess, and fresh figs in hand:

Yep, that’s my awesomely free package from iherb.

The Goods:

Garlic Gold Parmesan Nuggets:

In the mood for bacon? Try... garlic?

haha but seriously, I’m thinking that these will go good on stovetop popcorn. I tasted a few nuggets out of the shaker and they were quite garlic-parmesany.
Stats:

Simply Organic Citrus a’peel:

Ingredients/Stats:

sorry for the hard-to-read-ness

I’m looking forward to trying this baby on some fish.

Coconut Palm Sugar:

whaaat?

Never heard of this stuff until today, but a quick search tells me that it’s “subtly sweet like brown sugar but with a slight hint of caramel.” (Source) As far as health benefits go, it’s low on the glycemic index and high in mineral content. Read up more on the health benefits here.
Side by side with brown sugar:

I’m thinking that I will bake a fresh fig cake/cakes based on my fresh apple cake recipe using this sweetener.

Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix:

Nutritional Information:

Ingredients:

I’ll probably try and turn this into some sort of tomatoey or curry-ey (or both) stew.

I am so so so excited to try out my new products! And, as I mentioned before, you can get $5 off your first purchase at iherb.com if you use this link. Or just go to the site on your own (iherb.com) and enter my coupon code (EGA134). They give you free shipping for orders over $40! (And they’re quite reasonably priced if I do say so myself)

I will leave you with three photos:

These fun gems were excerpted from two videos that I found on my iphone. See, I found the iherb package at my door and didn’t feel like running inside for my camera, so I snapped a photo with my iphone. When I loaded my iphone’s data onto my iPhoto, I found two videos taken of me while at work. The blue-shirt day I half knew about –> the last photo is me turning my head to see one of the children I work with playing with my iphone. I had no idea about the pink shirt day. Wonder why I look perpetually annoyed at work? haha

Have any suggestions for what I should make with the goods?

What was the coolest thing you got in the mail recently?

This thing called life.

So, I’m a pretty happy person. Evidence:

See, I'm smiling.

{OK, I realize that smiling for a picture doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re happy, but let’s just go ahead and assume that I’m happy. You with me? Good.}

So I’m a happy person, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about life… and how much this “adult life” sort of sucks. How did the “normal full time work week” become 40 hours/week (45 if you get an unpaid lunch break)? Why is this the norm? Let’s say you want to live a healthy lifestyle by going to the gym for an hour/day, getting enough sleep, and cooking yourself fresh, wholesome food. How does it look in the 24 hour day that we enjoy on planet Earth? Let’s do the math:

8-9 hours at work

+ 30 minutes – 1 hour commute time

+ 1 hour gym

+ 1 1/2 hours showering/getting-ready-to-work

+ 1 1/2 hours food preparation

(I’m including packing a lunch and breakfast prep in this figure)

+ 30 minutes getting-ready-for-bed

+ 7-8 hours sleep                                             

= 20-22 1/2 hours of your day

So that’s 20 to 22 1/2 hours of your day that you’re devoting just to 1- go to work and 2- live a healthy life. As we all know, there are 24 hours in a day… so that only leaves you 1 1/2 to 4 hours to do whatever-the-F you want. And let’s be honest, some people spend longer on certain tasks listed above.

So how can you really live life in the 2-4 hours that you get to just do whatever you want?

only had to google search work comic to come up with this one.

I hate to be a kill-joy-debby-downer, but that’s where I’m at right now (in this half-hour), so here it is. I promise I won’t always be this bleak.

I guess this whole scenario is why people look forward to the weekends so much.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about these things a lot lately, and I especially got on this track of thinking tonight after seeing the new Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris.

It was a really good movie and basically it just made me feel like I wanted to do something creative with my life. Go abroad. Experience different places. Write a novel. Paint a picture. (OK, so I have no real talent for these things to my knowledge, but let’s pretend that if I practice enough, I can tap into my hidden talents)

But then when I look at what it takes to actually make enough money to support myself and have the type of healthy lifestyle that I want, this is what my life looks like:

WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK freetime freetime WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK

… plus 4.6 hours accumulated per pay period for paid time off (both sick and vacation).

It makes me take a good hard look at my life –both working and otherwise– and think: am I making the right choices? Am I doing what I want to be doing right now? So after some consideration of this subject, I decided that this is what I want out of life (in this stage):

1. Blog – I really like doing this whole blog thing. I think it provides me with a creative outlet of sorts.

2. Find a meaningful job (or find greater meaning in my current job)  – My job is in the field I want to be in, but I just don’t feel like I do much to help the kids that I work with. I went from working a job where I could see myself providing support and counsel to other people to a job where I feel like a babysitter who’s not really making a difference for the kids that I work with. My current job definitely has some perks, like I no longer have to work weekends or 12 hour shifts, and I don’t feel like I “can’t” take a day off without being a burden to my coworkers. But I find that I’m just not as fulfilled in it.

3. Adventure  – I want to do adventurous things! I want to travel abroad, but I realize that doing so may not come into fruition n this current stage in my life. So- I want to do more adventurous things that are feasible, like going on a trip to the beach or visiting other cool sites that are weekend-trip-able. I have some cool adventures coming up (like camping next weekend), so I feel certain that this will happen!

OK, so that’s pretty much it actually. Now that I write this down, I realize that I actually have quite a lot to be thankful for:

1. Awesome friends!

(Here's two of them)

2. An awesome boyfriend!

It's true love.

3. A supportive family

4. Umm… the fact that I actually HAVE a job right now and am able to support myself financially. 

5. iPhoto for making it easy to fake blemish-free skin on the interwebz

(OK, so I’m really thankful for far more things that I listed above, but I’m getting quite hungry.)

SO, if you’ve made it this far: thank you for listening to me go on about non-life threatening-middle class-“problems”. I feel silly now because there are people out there with actual-serious-life-problems, and I just had a fantastic weekend full of the first three things that I’m thankful for.

In conclusion:

What do you think about life in the working world?

What makes you happy/provides meaning for you in life?