Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A few little ways to help calm yourself down when you become overwhelmed.

Life today is too bloody busy. It seems as though the whole world took on this intensively rapid pace that humans as a species are not suited to handle. While many of us can thrive in this climate, I suspect these sudden bursts of hyper-productiveness are doomed to be short lived. We place the expectation on ourselves and others that we are unstoppable and never tiring. I don't remember life being this way as a kid. Perhaps I am just remembering the world through kid glasses but the lack of cell phones and internet definitely prevented life from moving at this speed. So what to do when our plates get too overloaded? I have a few little methods that work some of the time.

1. I write a list of everything I need to do that day and everything I have already done. I put it all together on one page, then cross off everything I have already done. It is a nice reminder that I've already done a bunch of stuff and should go easy on myself.


Monday, December 8, 2014

I am done with the Illusion of Perfection

To the outside world, my life is pretty perfect. I have a beautiful 3 year old boy who is as smart as a tack. I am in a very demanding program at school and by all objective measures I am excelling. I am married to a really great man with a successful career. If you come to my house you will find it neat, tidy, clean and organized. Food and drinks are never simple, rather they are part of the show I put on for the world. It is assumed I eat well, live a healthy lifestyle and am thus thin. I have everything under perfect control...

...except that it's all a lie. I don't have it all under perfect control. I don't have anything under any control. If you dropped in unexpectedly you would find that my house is the furthest thing from clean. It's cluttered and nothing resembling organized at all. There are dirty dishes on the counter right now, the living room is scattered with toys, I have not put the laundry away in a few weeks. I can't remember the last time I cleaned the bathroom. While my grades may be high, that is far from a good measure of success. I write exams so frequently I have developed an anxiety disorder and have to defer exams regularly to prevent myself from losing a pathological amount of weight or falling into a deep state of sympathetic overload that I can't pull myself out of. Thin, yes, but because of a gene and excessive stress, not in a way anyone should hope to be.

We pretend though, that seems to be the acceptable thing to do. But why? Why pretend to be perfect? Doesn't that just perpetuate this myth that we are all to have perfect families and perfect careers and anything less means we are failing? Were did this even come form. It feels so wrong. If pretending to be perfect makes others feel they have to live up to the unrealistic example you have set, it's damaging to society. So for societies sake, I am abandoning the illusion of perfection. As of right now. I am also no longer treating it as a goal as I have more attainable goals to work towards.

It feels like there is a pressure on our generation as a whole to have it all figured out by now. This may in part come from the constant stream of criticism our generation is receiving in the media. But it's crap. We are not all "lazy" and unemployed and living in our parents basements. And given the socioeconomic climate, I really wouldn't judge those who are living with their parents. It makes smart economic sense given the overvalued real estate market. But I digress, I am changing up this blog a bit. I have not been posting as I have nothing perfect to post. Perfection takes time that I don't have. But I have plenty of real things to post so that is what I will do. But for now I have to go study for my stupid exams. :(


Monday, July 14, 2014

Three Batches of Stuffed Pasta Shells. High Protein, Low Fat and Good for Picky Kids

About a month ago I tried this great lasagna recipe that had this tofu based ricotta that was a real hit with my son and husband. I hate working with lasagna noodles because they break and I seem to waste them. So this time I opted for shells. Shells still break but in fewer numbers I find and I can often piece them back together. My picky little eater ate has whole plate then came after mine so this was win. I cooked the whole box of shells, took two pots, then stuffed 'em and topped 'em with sauce. I split them between three pans but if you have a larger or more hungry family your may want to split them between two. It depends how many shells survive I guess. I ended up with 35 shells in the end, then we ate one pan worth and froze two. And I served it with garlic toast.



Recipe

Ricotta Mix
-block of frozen spinach, thawed with water squeezed out
-one package of firm tofu
-one package of soft tofu
-1 TB sugar
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-2 TB lemon juice
-1 tsp basil
-2 tsp salt

-One package of Pasta shells, large
-One Jar of Pasta sauce

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Shawarma Style Roasted Veggies on Rice

Schools done for the summer! So I am right back to doing what I love; cooking, baking, experimenting and homeschooling my little munchkin. All of which is going great. With regards to experimenting, I really like this one dish at a Greek restaurant so this is my attempt to copy the idea of it. I am not going to the trouble of putting the vegetables on skewers like they do. I want something easy that can be thrown together.


How to make it:
1. In an oven safe baking dish, mix together ...
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp tomato sauce
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
a pinch of ginger
a pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp olive oil

2. Chop up a bunch of veggies in big chunks, add them to the dish and mix until coated. I used the following veggies but I am sure any mix would do fine providing you cook denser veggies a little longer. 
2 shallots
1 zucchini
1 bell pepper
A handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup of cauliflower
1/2 cup broccoli
2 big mushrooms
3. Let the veggies marinate for a few hours if you like or just mix them well and pop them in the oven, preheated to 400 F for 30-45 minutes. This goes well with brown rice. 

Making Brown Rice
Brown rice can be tricky but this method works well. Add 2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water to a pot with a tbsp of oil. Bring water to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and add a lid. Simmer for 20 minutes then turn off the heat and let the rice sit undistributed for 20-30 minutes. Then it is ready. Makes 2-3 meals worth for us (us being 2 adults and a toddler). Also you can half the recipe and it still works out fine. 

Finished Product: