Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Day of Planning!

Wednesday was crazy busy at our house. Today was one of those days where I have no idea how ever managed to get all these things done when I had a career which kept me at the office 12 hours a day. But then again I do realize that I didn’t do the same things at home back then so I guess that is at least part of the answer. ;-) Sometimes I forget how much my life has changed. Silly me. LOL

I spent a many hours working on the list of daily topics that I am going to cover during January as part of my “31 Days to Better Health”. The order my change a little but I think the topics themselves are fairly well set now. I also wrote the first two posts which made me feel like I have this a little more under control. Given that the posts are going to ask you to think about a number of things and do a little homework you may want to have a binder or notebook handy to keep your answers in one place for future reference. My goal is for the posts in the month of January to have all of us, including me, do some deep soul searching and set up systems to help all of us stay on the right path. Depending on the feedback I get this may become a regularly weekly feature on the blog. Please let me know what you think of the topics/ideas either by commenting on the specific posts or sending me an email if you are more comfortable with that.

The first day of January will be devoted to defining success, identifying what is holding you back, and choosing one task you will commit to for the day. It sounds easy but if you really take your take your time with the questions you might be surprised at what comes up, I know I was since I have already done this to show you exactly how to do the exercises.

My breakfast was a bowl of leftover split pea soup topped with mushrooms and roasted peppers while I read the Wall Street Journal. There are some interesting articles in the personal journal section of the paper. I don’t generally have time to read the paper from cover to cover. However I do like to scan the personal journal for articles on health and nutrition. Are you starting to see how obsessed I am? ;-) BTW the mushrooms were added to this for extra nutrition. Since mushrooms boost the immune system I try to add them to at least one meal each day.

While I was took a cleaning break I spend a little time shopping on Amazon. Darn it is convenient to buy things online, a little too convenient if you know what I mean. I ordered a textbook on public health but I never get enough of this stuff. Something tells me none of you will be surprised if one day I tell you I am going back to school to get my graduate degree in public health. No I haven’t made that commitment yet. At the moment that feels like it is too much of a time commitment. But you never know when or if I might change my mind.

This is a frequent site at our house. This is Massimo (Masi) who likes to burrow under the blankets and leave only his head peaking out. What a smart boy my little angel is. As you may be able to tell from the look on his face I woke him up taking his picture.

Lunch for me was leftover cauliflower and quinoa with mushroom sauce and truffles. I didn’t have good light for a photograph so I am recycling the one from dinner. ;-)

Dinner was a 15 minute bowl of spicy miso soup with tofu, soba noodles, and Chinese broccoli topped with sesame seeds. I love meals like this because they are not only fast and filling but healthy. I made this spicy using chili garlic sauce because I we both really enjoy heat but you could leave that out. The Chinese broccoli was added after the noodles were finished and this was done to keep the most nutrition in the greens. I also added fresh garlic and ginger to the broth so it had lots of flavor. When you are buying soba noodles (really any Asian ingredients) be sure to check the label for sodium. I have seen soda noodles that range from 15mg of sodium per serving to 1300mg.

There was also roasted seaweed and Brazil nuts which we eat everyday for the iodine and selenium. Of course there were also numerous mugs of green and white tea with grapefruit juice and cinnamon. In the past I tried to make certain that we reached 6 cups of green or white tea per day and now we are aiming for 10 cups after more research. Since that is a lot of tea to make it easier to reach I have been brewing double strength tea which increases the EGCG with half the amount of liquid and that seems to be working well.

Here is the baby of our family, Nicco (aka Binky Boy). He loves to pose for photographs in case you didn’t notice. This is daddy’s little boy. He waits at the door for his father to come home from work.   As you probably noticed I am a proud cat mother.  :-)

Do You Ever Overreact?

In the past, when I was a definite type-A personality, I tended to overreact. In fact it was a little worse than that since I was so busy viewing the world through my filter I reacted to things that weren’t even there. Let me explain so you know what I mean. For example someone at work might comment that they didn’t receive their budget package and my reaction was they had implied that we didn’t send it. Now they didn’t say that we didn’t send it only they didn’t receive it. But I took it personally instead of hearing what the person was actually saying.

Have you ever done that in your life, react to something you thought someone said rather than what they actually said? I have noticed that it seems to happen more when people are stressed out. Now that I am more of a go-with-the flow girl I am much more able to listen and take in what people are attempting to communicate. When I find myself getting defensive I immediately take a step back to make certain that I am not “making things up” based on my filter. More often than not I am, and allowing myself to take a deep breath before I say anything really goes a long way in my communications with other.

I find that when I allow myself a few extra second to respond to people improves not only my response but the reaction of the people that I am speaking with. In this fast paced world that we live in it is very easy to misunderstand what people are trying to say. I hope this makes a little sense and that you will give it a try. It has made a big difference in my life and will be explaining it more next month so that those of you who also have this happen can learn to see when you do it too.  Life is much more pleasant for me with this issue behind me.

Happy thoughts:

• The week is absolutely flying by; I can hardly believe it is almost the weekend. I am not complaining mind you since weekends are my favorite time of the week. There is nothing better in my mind that spending time with my sweetie. :-)

• I ordered a DVD on meditation from the Great Courses last night. I have been trying to work more meditation into our day so this seemed like a good idea. Once I have had a chance to watch all of it I will let you know if I think it is worth buying.

• The second give-away item that we ordered for the blog arrived yesterday. *woo hoo* I opted to buy these items rather that to give-away things that people are always trying to send me. For a brief time I considered give-away the free items but they are generally not something that I believe in or would use myself so I didn’t want give anyone bad information. At least you know that since my give-aways are things that I purchased that they are items that I truly believe are worthy, like Dr. Barnard’s book “21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart” which was my first give-away.

• Speaking of Dr. Barnard, I am kicking around the idea of becoming a PCRM certified “Food For Life Instructor”. If any of you have done that program and have any information to share I would love to hear from you either in a comment here or send me an email at

• Thursday we spent the morning at the hospital. *woo hoo* Sorry I couldn’t help but be a little sarcastic. Our beloved medical oncologist is retiring so we are interviewing new doctors and today we found him. It is not as easy to find a doctor that you feel comfortable with whom also knows his stuff and doesn’t make you feel rushed. It is good to have this item crossed off our to-do list. Not to mention since Dan and I went to the appointment together which meant more time with my sweetie and you know I love that.

• This morning I was happy that I uncharacteristically dressed for the cold weather. Since it was 33 degree this morning my sweater, full-length coat, boots and gloves were enough to keep my toasty warm. Typically I run out of the house underdressed and then get cold, but not today. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? LOL

• This afternoon I am enjoying the cloudy grey skies and snow flurries which make that the white lights on the Christmas tree look that much nicer. Being a Midwest girl I love the first snowfall of the season even it is only flurries. I have been sitting in my bay window sipping tea and watching the snow fall. Not a bad Thursday afternoon if you ask me. Though I will need to get back to my to-do soon since those tasks of mine aren’t going to complete themselves. Darn it. ;-)

• My sweetie won’t be working as late as usual today because he is getting a ride home with one of the guys since we took one car to Hopkins and I dropped him off at his office on my way home. It will be very nice to have Dan home earlier than normal today. *happy dance*

• My revised and healthier pizza almonds turned out pretty good. I am very happy with the added crunch to the exterior that the flaxseeds added as well as the omega-3 fatty acids. Now I just need to perfect the seasonings. I am anxious to hear Dan’s thoughts on this new batch. I love playing around in the kitchen, in case you hadn’t noticed. LOL

Signing out:

Guess who hasn’t planned dinner yet? Yep, nothing like waiting until the last minute. I really need to give dinner at least a little thought so that we aren’t eating late tonight. Talk with you again tomorrow. I hope the week is flying by for you like it is for me.


  1. I have been talking a lot at work about my January vegan challenge and that the book I won from you helped morph it from dairy free to full on vegan. Lots of great info in there and good recipes! A girl at work is going to try to go vegan as her New Year's resolution and we will be exchanging recipes and encouragement :) Hopefully she will check out your blog as well. You always have great ideas, nutrition articles and are very positive and encouraging instead of preachy. Just want to let you know how much I appreciate it :)

  2. Alissa,

    Awww, you just made my day. I am so excited that the book had such an impact on your life and now the lives of people around you. Great job paying it forward. :-) Please let your work friend know that I am happy to help her any way that I can.

    thank you again for making my day,

  3. I hope you enjoy the public health book! I have quite a few old public health/public health nutrition text books you are welcome to if you like...


  4. Hi there Courtney!

    What a thoughtful gesture but I couldn't possibly you really should keep those books. However I would love to know if there were any favorite books or authors that you would recommend. I am almost finished with the book I purchased. I need to slow down on my reading before my house collapses under the weight of too many books and bookcases. LOL

    talk with you soon I hope,


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