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Taking a Spin, Planning a Meal, and Spraying Bitter Stuff

“If we face our unpleasant feelings with care, affection, and nonviolence, we can transform them into the kind of energy that is healthy and has the capacity to nourish us. By the work of mindful observation, our unpleasant feelings can illuminate so much for us, offering us insight and understanding into ourselves and society.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Warning: Long post ahead! 

I have a lot to say this go ’round! This week was a good week for me and I am starting to pinpoint the places where I most need improvement. I am still figuring out what works for me and I think I will be doing that important work for a while yet. But, as I am constantly reminding myself, this is a JOURNEY. Maybe one of the most important ones I will ever take and I don’t think it will ever end (at least I hope not!). 

Like many folks, I make those not so great food decisions when I am unprepared for the day. I myself do not have a desk job. I work with children and I work in the garden and as such, I don’t sit down….like, at all. I just don’t sit. I am constantly moving about, running after children, hauling dirt around, going to a fitness class. So, I know that I am in need of a lot of energy boosting foods throughout the day. However, I don’t always have those things on hand. It is not possible for me to leave my classroom and drive somewhere to pick up food and our cafe is…how do I say this…not for me. So, if I forget lunch one day, my choices are basically nil. 

This week I have decided to get organized on the food front. I spent my Saturday night going through foodgawker.com (best site!) searching for recipes using what I have in my pantry. Then, I made myself a meal plan that I am going to do my best to stick to. For breakfast I am going to have pumpkin oatmeal with a hard boiled egg and coffee everyday this week. I think by already knowing and having ready the first meal of the day, I’m setting myself up for success. Plus, it’s a grab and go when I have an early class. Here are a few links to other things I am making this week:

black bean & wheatberry chili: http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2012/12/03/black-bean-wheatberry-chili/#.Um23nUizKph

quinoa with acorn squash, apples, and red pepper: http://www.balticmaid.com/2013/01/quinoa-with-acorn-squash-apple-and-red-bell-peppers/

spaghetti squash tacos: http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2013/01/spaghetti-squash-tacos/

The tacos are for dinner this week but the others are lunch items. They’re all vegan and high protein so they will keep me full and satisfied throughout the day. I am hoping this more organized approach will help me out a lot and take some of the guesswork out of being in the kitchen. As much as I like to lollygag in there, it’s good to have a dose of organization when cooking for the week. Will keep you posted on the progress here!

Also on the food front, I had my check in with Lindsey on Thursday and shared that I have a portion control problem. I enjoy the act of eating so much that, especially when pasta is involved, I cannot stop at the appropriate time. Any notion of what makes a portion of pasta goes out the window and I am an insatiable carbo-loading beast. I love the stuff. She suggested that I adopt the mantra “One Scoop”, meaning that whatever is out there, unless it’s fruits and veggies, one scoop goes on the plate and that is the end of it. I am going to give that a serious go. She also suggested that I start using bitters before my meal to kickstart my digestion which in turn will make me full more quickly. They sell it at Ellwood’s in a little spray bottle for about $8. There are a few flavors, all of which are (you guessed it!) BITTER. BIIIIIIITTTTTEEEEERRRRR. I got the maple one, the most un-bitter of the bitters on the shelf and it is still…you get it. But, apparently that bitterness signals our digestive juices to start up! So, now I am trying to spray a few sprays about 10 minutes before I start eating. This gives my digestive system enough time to get going. Here is a video about the bitters and how they work from the people that make them!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAZSvzN_svI&feature=player_embedded

Lastly, I got out of my comfort zone this morning thanks in part to fellow challenger Sarah. She posted on our facebook group that she was looking for a spin class buddy this morning at 9. I had yet to try spinning as I am firmly in my yoga bubble. But, I can’t pass up a new opportunity even if I’m hesitant so I said I would go! Plus, these classes regularly are $18 a pop and we get 13 FREE classes. I am always reminding myself how incredible this all is. So, I got those crazy bike shoes on and hopped on that bike. Turns out my resistance wasn’t where it should have been because it was way too low. When I tried to do the push ups and whatnot I thought my knees were going to fly out and I had very little control. My upper and lower body were not on speaking terms apparently and I felt very uncoordinated. But, I was in the front row and I did something I don’t normally do. I watched myself biking in the mirror and looked at myself and in my head I told myself over and over “you are strong, keep going”. And, not to sound corny, but that moment was really powerful to me. It almost felt like a confrontation with the naysayer in me. For that reason, I am excited to learn more about spin and get back on the bike. I’m doing so on Tuesday!

So goals for this week to sum every long winded bit of this post up:

1- stick to my meal plan as much as possible

2- continue being consistent with my food journaling

3- remember to spray those bitters!

and a bonus: be fully present in my fitness classes this week

Going to go uncramp my hands now. Have a great week!
Amanda

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