Today

Today I want to look like a school teacher from the 70’s.

Today I want to look a little Stepford.

Today I want to look like I go to a private school.

Today I want to look like an airline hostess from the 60’s.

Today I want to look soft and like someone you can trust.

Today I want to look like I’m 12.

Today I want to look like my grandpa.

Today I want to look sporty and athletic.

Today I want to look business professional.

Today I want to look like I’m with the band. 

Today I want to look like Katy Perry.

Today I want to look like I’m an experienced woodsman.

Today I want to look fresh like a peach.

Today I want to look like a librarian.

Today I want to look like I’m relaxed.

Today I want to look androgynous.

Today I want to look like a Spice Girl.

Today I want to look like I’m on Battlestar Galactica. 

Today I want to look taller.

Today I look like Bob Ross. 

Today I want to look like I give a damn.

Today I want to look as tired as I feel. 

Today I want to look like Peg Bundy.

Today I want to look a little nerdy.

Today I want to look easy and breezy.

Today I want to look effortless. 

Today I want to look like I tried.

Today I want to look like I’m engaged and listening.

Today I want to look like a mermaid.

Today I want to look like I’m up to no good.

Today I want to look like I matter.

Today I want to look like I’m in high school in the 80’s.

Today I want to look like I’m going golfing in Florida.

Today I want to look like a Golden Girl.

Today I look like Dolores Umbridge.

Today I want to look like a beatnik.

Today I want to look like I ate the patriarchy for breakfast.

Meal Planning – BORING BUT USEFUL

Meal planning is a pain in the ass, but so is thinking about what you’re going to eat and having to stop at the grocery store on a daily basis. Especially at the end of your work day when traffic sucks, you’re tired, it’s raining, and Netflix is calling your name.

I hate grocery shopping. It definitely has everything to do with Superstore and its blindingly bright lights and the people that shop with all 15 of their children and don’t follow any kind of shopping cart etiquette, but I do like Superstore’s prices and selection, so I keep going there. And they have clothes.

I digress. Where was I? Ah right. Meal planning. I spend an hour or so once a week looking at recipes/deciding what I’m going to eat. I made this template to make sure that I’ve got all my meals covered. It’s easy to forget to plan for.

doc004Why do I do this? It saves time, it saves money, it ensures we eat a balanced diet, and we waste significantly less food because we only buy what we need.

Monday to Friday, our breakfasts stay the same, as do our lunches. I usually batch cook something on Sunday or Monday night and we take it for lunch the whole week. For snacks we take the same thing every day- cut veggies, two pieces of fruit, and 1/4 cup of some kind of nut snack mix.

I try not to cook every night and I achieve this by making recipes that will serve 4. I know how much we eat, and I’m not afraid to bulk things up with extra vegetables or a side of rice or quinoa. Not having to cook every night frees me up to do other things, or nothing at all. Unfortunately/fortunately eating fast food isn’t an option for me, but at least I know there is something ready to be heated up quickly when I get home.

I’m a little behind this week because I was lazy on the weekend and I was at a secret CBC taping of Mother Mother’s new album last night. Am I allowed to talk about it now? It was amazing, they’re new album is fucking amazing. I cannot wait. Please don’t watch the CBC videos when they come out, I am horribly worried about my awkward dancing. ANYWAY, Instead of batch cooking, I’m going to have to go grocery shopping on my lunch break today and cook each night and take leftovers for lunch. It’s not ideal, so the meal plan is really simple. I already have some of the ingredients in my fridge and pantry which is why they’re not reflected on my grocery list.

Recipes for this week*:

Red Thai curry http://cookieandkate.com/2015/thai-red-curry-recipe/

Served with pan fried prawns and brown rice

Silky cauliflower soup https://smittenkitchen.com/2006/09/the-fragile-cooking-ego/

served with toast

Tofu curry and mustard greens from the Afro Vegan cook book or http://www.foodrepublic.com/recipes/from-the-kitchen-of-the-afro-vegan-tofu-curry-with-mustard-greens-recipe/ served with quinoa or brown rice

Macaroni and cheese http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/01/3-ingredient-stovetop-mac-and-cheese-recipe.html serve with steamed broccoli OR I’ll add frozen peas and tuna

Sour cream and peach pancakes from the Smitten Kitchen cook book, or sour cream pancakes https://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/edna-maes-sour-cream-pancakes/ which I’ll serve with bacon or breakfast sausages, whichever is better priced when I go grocery shopping

There you have it. This is how I stay sane and eat well without breaking the bank. It’s a lot of effort, but it’s worth it. If you’d like a copy of my meal planning template, shoot me an email at stopdropandro @ gmail dot com and I’d be more than happy to share it with you.

*everything I cook is gluten free. All pastas, flours, breads, and crackers are traded out for their gluten free counterparts.

Gratitude Practice

The last six months have been rough… that’s a gross understatement, but we mustn’t dwell… no, not today…

…but back in February I spent some time in the ER with severe abdominal pains, and was told that it’s probably appendicitis, and then they couldn’t find my appendix during the ultrasound to verify and my symptoms weren’t severe enough to perform a CT scan. However, they did find e-coli so they treated that and sent me home, but it’s still probably appendicitis. They didn’t give me any fun drugs (JERKS) because they want me to suffer be able to feel if something changes. I mean, COME ON! Would I really not be able to feel it? I basically laid on the couch for five days with a heating pad and avoided all pants that didn’t come with a drawstring.

But here I am, a month later, going through the same thing. Again. And I’m feeling kind of bummed, to be honest. I CAN’T WEAR PANTS, MY FRIENDS. As it is, my tights are rolled somewhere around my bum and I’m hoping that it doesn’t look stupid under my dress. Even if it does, there’s not much I can do about it because technically it’s still winter and I need to wear something on my legs for warmth. And whatever cleavage I had disappeared last week, so I don’t even need to wear a bra anymore. *cries*

So for the moment, I’m going to write about the things I am grateful for, and not in a sarcastic way, either. So here it goes:

I’m grateful for the weirdness of cats. They’re all little lions that think they own the world. They do own the world, the internet is proof.

I’m grateful for my family. I’m blessed with loving parents and a wonderful sister, and a husband who accepts all of us as we are and loves us just the same.

I’m grateful for the budding cherry blossoms and the flowers and the birds that sing in the trees.

I’m grateful for longer days and brighter afternoons.

I’m grateful for morning coffee, and that the last time I bought my favourite coffee it was on sale so I bought 7 lbs without flinching.

I’m grateful for potatoes and their ability to be turned into stamps.You were once a tuber and now you are a craft item. That’s magic, right there.

I’m grateful for hot baths and lavender soap.

I’m grateful for music and the way it transports me to a different time and place with each song.

I’m grateful for Rex Manning Day and that I have friends who willingly celebrate it.

I’m grateful for trying new things like reflexology and it not being what I thought it was at all.

I’m grateful for recipes and the pleasure that comes from cooking my own food.

I’m grateful for weird, offbeat movies.

I’m grateful for the ability to style almost any item of clothing, and the feeling of accomplishment when I pick up something particularly hideous and turn into a great outfit. It pisses my sister off, but I know this is a skill that she’ll master in her own time.

I’m grateful for spicy tuna rolls. Of course I am.

I’m grateful for the stars and the planets, and the galaxies far, far away.

I’m grateful for sundresses and floppy hats and sunglasses.

I’m grateful for bees. I’m not grateful for hornets and wasps, they are assholes. Sorry for being negative there, but it needed to be said.

I’m grateful for online booking forms.

I’m grateful for phone calls and random I love you’s/I miss you’s from friends.

I’m grateful for postcards and letters.

I’m grateful for playlists and mixed CDs and those old mixed tapes that I swear I’m going to listen to again one day.

I’m grateful for slipper boots and thick socks and onesies.

I’m grateful for Jeopardy and The Price is Right.

I’m grateful that I’ve managed to keep several plants alive and grow a successful vegetable garden twice.

I’m grateful for the ability to make friends everywhere I go, even if it’s a cat.

I’m grateful for puns and that I laugh at my own jokes.

I’m grateful for karaoke and singalongs.

I’m grateful for all the feminists, we’re changing the world and making it a better, safer, and fairer place every day for everyone.

I’m grateful for the wonderfully strange articles that my friends send me like sushi burritos, clips of cephalopods, and everything space related.

I’m grateful for hot chocolate.

I’m grateful for my beautiful book nook and the fluffy white blanket that lives in it.

I’m grateful for forgotten bags of candy that I find in my purse from time to time.

I’m grateful for the space heater under my desk.

And yeah. Things will get better, I’m sure of it. They always do. Leaving you with one of my favourites, Lovers’ Carvings

Much love and thanks for reading,

Rochele xo

 

Today is a perfect day to start working on my fitness goals. Again.

Screw New Years Resolutions. Did you know that you can start again any day of the year that you want? I start and stop my fitness goals the way some people flip through channels on TV.  I don’t usually feel bad about this. I fall off the wagon, and I start again. I won an award for perseverance many years ago. I will persevere, and so should you. Just start again, and again, and again until it finally sticks.

Last year I was so motivated to look good in my bikinis for the summer. In February I was soft and squishy and underwhelmed with the way I looked in and out of my clothes. I was motivated to look and feel my best at 25 years old. I went to the gym, I started running, and I made long-term changes to my diet that are now just part of me. I was excited. I wasn’t perfect, but I wore my bikinis last summer and I wasn’t the worst looking girl at the beach or even on television. I mean, have you seen Snooki in a bikini?

But here I am, soft and squishy again. I feel miserable and horribly unmotivated to change anything. Getting back in to shape feels like a chore this time around, but I’m going to do it. Even if I have to treat it as a chore, it’s something that has to be done.

By now the crash dieters and NYE resolvers have abandoned the gym. I’ve started running again, albeit a lot more slowly than last year. And today I opened my nutrition and calorie counter and entered what I’ve consumed so far and what I intend to consume today. I’ll update it again before bed for true accuracy. Right now I have to fit dinner into 300 calories, so I may have to ditch one or two of those chocolate chip cookies that I intended for a snack so that I can have more of a meaningful dinner tonight. Except that today is National Pie Day and I have some blueberry pie in the freezer… pie for dinner? According to Every Day Health, a piece of blueberry pie comes in at 290 calories. Ten extra calories to work with, YESSSSSSS. Let’s just say I have to start somewhere and I won’t be eating pie for dinner very often.

To be clear, there is a calorie target that I attempt to reach/stay under on a daily basis. I tend to screen foods and stay away from foods that have a majority of calories from fat, lots of carbs from sugar, and anything with a lot of sodium. I don’t eat processed/pre-packaged/prepared foods anyway. I eat a lot of fruit and fresh vegetables and I aim for 18-25 grams of fibre per day. The average American diet allows for 1500-2000 calories a day and that number of calories is not meant to be for everyone. Don’t expect that you can consume that much. You can offset it with exercise, but not entirely. You will never be able to out-exercise a poor diet.

I don’t know how much I weigh. I would estimate that I am 125 lbs. Yes that is a normal, healthy weight for a female my age and height. I’m not in this to lose weight, I’m in this to be healthy and look good. You don’t have to lose weight to achieve those things, necessarily. In fact, muscle weighs more than fat so in the end I may end up gaining a few pounds. The point is to understand what kind of calories I am eating and to get the most nutrition to fuel my changing body while I run and go to the gym. I will go to the gym and step on a scale for accuracy, and I’ll take some measurements so that I can track my physical results. There will be no pictures of me in my underwear to make comparisons.

By the way, I need a female gym partner who is hopefully not too gorgeous and maybe a little out of shape. Eventually I’ll need a running partner, too, because my current running partner will be going on maternity leave in the summer. OH! I also got a bike for Christmas and I’d love to do some bike riding…. just not up hills. Okay, I’ll stop being lazy. We can ride on a slight incline.

PS- I went for a run today. I survived. My weekly schedule is planned as follows: Monday- run. Tuesday- go to the gym. Wednesday-run. Thursday go to the gym. Friday- run. Saturday-rest. Sunday-go to the gym and meal plan for the week. Everyday- track calorie and nutrition information.

Please just snow

I just want it to snow. A lot.

Before this year I hated snow, but mostly because I was pissed off that I had to drive in it. However, now that I am a transit user, I don’t really care what the weather brings. I’m on a hospital route so my street gets ploughed, and the bus takes two major roads and voila! I’m at the office.

There is something about snow that grounds me. It dampens the noise and life seems to slow down. I love that bleak, greyness of the harbour when it is snowing. My favourite thing is walking in snow by myself. It’s a good time to reflect.

Sometimes I need forced quiet time. I’m plugged in all the time and I find it so difficult to shut off and be 100% present. Maybe it’s why I like baking and sewing because it requires my undivided attention. I try to give all my attention when I’m with my friends, but I often fail to do the same for my family.

I just want to stop what I’m doing, go outside, and be centred for a little while. I want to watch the snow with absolutely no agenda and nowhere to be. I want winter.

Here is one of my favourite images Blue Pond and Snow from Hokkaido, Japan.  What I would give to be in a kayak, paddling while it snows? I can almost feel the sleet on my face and hands. Winter is solemn, and I’m feeling that way today.