Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dreary Monday = Day to Relax and Regenerate

For some reason neither Dan nor I slept well Sunday night. We decided it was best to sleep in rather than head early to the gym. Instead I would exercise at home and Dan would exercise before leaving work.

For breakfast Monday morning Dan had oatmeal (finally made with soy milk), frozen wild blueberries, cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground flaxseeds, a pinch of stevia and walnuts. When I asked Dan what he thought of the oatmeal with the soy milk he said “it was different but neither better nor worse” compared to the oatmeal made with water.

Since I had breakfast after exercising I decided to make myself savory oatmeal that contained: oats, water, nutritional yeast, cumin, chopped broccoli, ground flaxseed, salsa and raw pumpkin seeds. This really is one of my favorite breakfasts. I should make it for myself more often.

After breakfast I decided to treat myself with a book. It was nice to spend some time relaxing and doing something just for me. I think that most of us spend too much time rushing from place to place or task to task that we don’t take time to do things for ourselves. I am trying to work on being more kind to myself. I think that will help me to be more at peace with life in general. I will let you know how that seems to work out for me. ;-)

For lunch I had the remainder of the Moroccan chickpea stew from the weekend over brown rice.

Once I finished with lunch I decided to pressure cook a pot of pinto beans. I combined 1 pound dried pinto beans, 9 cups water, 2 bay leaves, and 4 garlic cloves. Once the pressure cooker reached high pressure I cooked the beans for 19 minutes. Then I let the cooker pressure reduce naturally. This amount of time resulted in beans that were tender but still held their shape.

I decided to make pinto beans to mix things up a little. Typically I make garbanzo beans or white beans but I like to change up the beans we eat since they all contain a different mix of micronutrients.

I went back to my book after lunch and spent the afternoon sipping tea and reading. Since I usually spend my Monday crossing things off my to-do list I thoroughly enjoyed taking a break. It was so nice in fact that it made me wonder why I don’t do things like this more often.

My afternoon snack was a tangerine and Brazil Nuts (for selenium).

Dinner was a very simple meal of brown rice, pinto beans and salsa. Nothing exotic just fast food from the refrigerator that is filling and healthy. It is funny the longer I eat a clean healthy diet the less I crave fancy food. That is still so odd to me since it is counter to everything I thought I knew about myself. It is as though my body only wants to be nourished. Has anything similar happened to any of you or is it just me?

When Dan came home he had a bowl of brown rice, pinto beans and mushroom ragu. Since he worked late the snow and freezing rain had started and the roads were getting slick. Thankfully he made it home without incident.

New Kitchen Toy:

I ordered this interesting oven from Tuesday Morning that uses halogen, infrared and convection to “bake”. I have been considering one of these for a couple of years and at $75 I thought why not. I don’t know anyone that has one but it looked like something I wanted to try out. I am most interested in being about to bake without turning on the oven.

When we replaced our stove about 5 years ago we did so with a gas model like the prior one. I have always preferred the heat control of a gas stove top. Then when I put VOC detectors in the house I realized that every time I used the gas oven the detectors would tell me to open the windows. Great! *rolls eyes* It never occurred to me that using the oven could be that dangerous. Now I use the oven less often just to be safe. Thankfully using the gas cook top doesn’t cause the same high level on the VOC detectors. Did any of you ever give this a thought? I know I didn’t until I bought the detectors.

I will be using this new toy as soon as it arrives and will let you know what I think. If it gives the same result as an oven in less time I will consider the purchase a success. *fingers crossed*

Happy Thoughts:

Monday was a good day for me. Here are my happy thoughts:

• It was great to spend Monday in relaxing mode. The weather was grey and dreary making it perfect day to be kind to myself. I had 5 different types of white and green tea while I read a nutrition book. Seriously this must be what heaven is like. It was great to spend the day relaxing since that was what my body seemed to want. I think we should all take more time for ourselves.

• I am very grateful to have my husband and fur children and the time to take care of them. Not everyone is as happily married as I am or has the ability to be a “stay at home cat mommy” (as Dan refers to me). I realize that I am very fortunate in that regard. Other than cancer my life really couldn’t be much better. However if it weren’t for the cancer I don’t know that I would be as grateful for everything that I have. It is shame that most of us don’t appreciate what we have until we are at risk of losing it.

• My GI system has returned to normal after the heavy meal on Saturday. I have to say I prefer how I feel after I eat my food. ;-)

• I am relearning to love my pressure cooker. I think I may use it to make dinner tonight. Having meals ready in a flash can be addictive.

• While I didn’t like it that Dan worked extremely late I was glad he made it home safely since the weather wasn’t very nice when he headed home.

• Since we were up late last night we slept in again this morning. It is nice to be able to do when you feel it is necessary. Dan headed to work a little late this morning which also gave the road crews time to clear the overnight frozen precipitation.

• Tuesday was going to be our day to go to DC with “the kids” which we had to cancel due to the weather. We received snow and freezing rain overnight which caused all the schools to close around DC. It was sad to have to cancel but it was best to be safe. If nothing else we will get together for a day when they are both off for spring break. I am thankful to have good friends in my life to make plans with even if they get messed up periodically.

Signing out:

Our weather today is cold, wet, grey and generally not so nice. This morning our sidewalks were covered with a thin layer of snow covered with ice. Not the type of day where I want to go outside so I may have a repeat of Monday. That will give me time to finish the latest book so that I can get back to the nutrition textbook.

Given our weather I think I am in the mood for soup today. We haven’t had any soup in a few days and that is always good when it is cold and wet.

I hope your Tuesday has started off well. Talk to you again tomorrow.


  1. Super jealous of that new toy of yours! I am a kitchen gadget addict for sure. My kitchen is already full and I haven't even registered for my wedding yet ;) Looking forward to hearing how that one works for you, it may make its way onto my registry!

  2. Hi Ali,
    I'd love to try your mushroom pate but usually use fresh mushrooms. Do you know how much they puff up when they're rehydrated? Your recipe calls for 10 cups dried but do you have any estimate for raw shrooms? thanks!
    p.s. interesting note on the soy milk in oatmeal. Thanks!

  3. I know that bean dish isn't fancy, but it's seriously calling to me. Looks so tasty. Maybe it's the salsa ;-) We're having another gray day here too. I think everyone is needing some sunshine!

  4. That's a cool looking little oven that you ordered. I can't wait to see what you cook in it. :-)

  5. I know I can smell the "gas" with my burners and sometimes with my oven (I think I heard the smell is added) - but I never was concerned about actually using the oven. Wow! The things we do for convenience ... By the way, I made your baked falafel over the weekend (in the oven!). Still so good!

    I am glad to see the return of your happy thoughts, even with the cold, icy, grey, weather. I do think, though, that there are things in everyone's life that makes them appreciate what they have. Sometimes it happens differently for different people, but I agree it is typically an undesirable experience that eventually makes us most grateful.

  6. I am so glad you had such a nice relaxing Monday--that is great :-)

    Pinto beans in 19 minutes?! That is so fast! I wish I had a pressure cooker, lol...

    I don't know if you saw my other comment, but I really would be interested in knowing what nutrition textbook you are enjoying so much.


  7. Sarah,

    I have been wanting one of these types of ovens for a while and at $75 I had to order it. I will definitely let you know what I think. We both have the kitchen gadget gene. LOL


  8. Jill,

    The mushrooms do get larger but only by about 25% not a huge amount. If I was going to make this much with fresh mushrooms I would start with two pounds. I made a big batch because everyone loves it and I knew Dan wanted leftovers.


  9. Heather,

    I knew if anyone would understand the appeal of beans and rice it was you. ;-)

    I definitely need some sun but it is going to be another day before I get it. Tomorrow is supposed to be all rain. *ugh*

    talk to you later,

  10. Michelle,

    Thanks, I am looking forward to playing with it. Roasted veggies will probably be the first thing I try in it. ;-)


  11. Jessica,

    You are right the smell is added to the gas to alert you that there is a problem. I never worried about it either until I bought the VOC detectors. It seems like everthing is bad for us doesn't it?

    Yay for more falafel. I need to make more for my freezer too. Thanks for reminding me.

    It is sad that it takes something bad to remind most of us how great life is. I know I don't worry about silly things like I used to.


  12. Courtney,

    Monday and Tuesday were relaxing. I have had two really good days in a row. ;-)

    It took about 10 minutes for the cooker to come up to pressure, then they cook for 19 minutes, then about 10 minutes for the pressure to come down. But that is still less than usual especially when you factor in that they weren't soaked. Soaked beans cook for 1/2 the time.

    Sorry I forgot to answer the textbook question. It was the one I ordered some time back that you said you used in college only a different edition. I finally found time to read it. LOL

    talk to you later,

  13. Excellent that you got that convection oven sooo cheap! WOW!
    Sorry it took me so long to get over here. I am being a wimp and laying around.
    Is that prunes on your plate in your previous post? I love them if it was!!!
    I am eating lighter than usual, I am guessing it is partly the tooth and partly the weather, I ahve a hard time eating cool things when I am cold. Do you do the same?
    Thank you for finding out why our hands and feet are so cold. I thought I had lack of circulation.


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