Weekly Food Prep

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I've been feeling very inspired by food lately. It's goes in fits and starts. Right now I'm on a roll. It's nothing fancy, it's really just more about the motivation and groove to get everything prepared for the week on the weekend.

This week's work menu looks like this:

Breakfast: 1 carton Greek yogurt and egg whites with mushroom/onion saute
Lunch: Texas caviar
Snack: Cucumber salad and 2 hardboiled eggs.

When it comes to work food, I need FAST. I have a 7yo and a little baby at home. Sundays are spent at church and grocery shopping, then food prep. In between all that are naps and crabby times. If the food isn't fast, it won't get made and I may just lose interest. I also tend to want clean food. I find that if I prep for the week, I eat so much cleaner than if I just wing it. This week, I was also able to incorporate some farmer's market finds as well as a few ingredients from my own backyard garden, which is always a plus.

Here are two quick informal recipes for my Texas caviar and cucumber salad:

Texas Caviar: Mix 1 can diced tomatoes (or dice your own) with 2 cans rinsed black beans, 1 can rinsed sweet corn and 1/2 small chopped onion. Serve with avocado over the top.  Add whatever spices you think sound good. I didn't add any, but cilantro, chili powder and Italian dressing are some good options. You might also like to eat this inside a whole wheat tortilla.

Cool Cumber Salad: You've seen this recipe before, I'm sure. Here's what I did: Mix 3 medium sliced cucumber with 1 large chopped tomato and 1/2 small chopped onion. Make a dressing with 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp olive oil and mix well with the salad.

I was able to prep all my food in an hour, including cleanup. My little girl was underfoot most of the time and I did a lot of stirring with her on my hip. I had multiple things going at one time. While I was prepping the salads, my onions and mushrooms were sauteing in a pan and my eggs were boiling. So doable, right?

Dinners are one trip to Noodles and Co (which just opened in my town!!!), a cookout, easy Parmesan chicken, a pork roast with veggies, a simple ground turkey/veggie skillet and leftovers.

What kinds of things do you like to prep for the week? Are you interested in seeing more of my weekly menus?

A Trip to the Trampoline Park

Monday, August 24, 2015

My little boy turned 7 at the end of July (what now?!?! Ha!). Instead of a party, we treated him to a special day at a new trampoline park with one of his good friends from school. I didn't even realize we had one of these parks in the area, but I'm sure glad we found it! I've been seeing trampoline parks on Pinterest and Instagram and thought how we'd love to try one, but we're always the last place to get these kinds of things.

The boys played for an hour while Hubster and I each enjoyed a half-hour while the other was taking care of Rayna. I'm so glad we did! We had tons of fun ourselves. And holy workout! I didn't realize how sweaty I would get! We jumped, we raced, we played games and we all played like kids.

Not only did the park have tons of trampolines, they also had trampoline basketball, trampoline dodgeball, a slackline and foam pits. They had a huge pillow thing you could jump into off a diving board. And they had a climbing wall for only $1 extra.

When I asked if he had a good birthday, Kayne replied: "A good birthday? I had an awesome birthday!"


 And After

After jumping, we treated the kiddos to pizza and treated Kayne to some of the best cupcakes in town. All in all, I'd say it was a successful celebration of our boys' birth. Love that kid!

**If you have a trampoline park near you, do give it a try!!! It's the most fun we've all had in awhile, and it's a really great workout!

A Drum Circle Experience

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

There's a little bit of hippie in me and every once in awhile it comes out in a free-spirited blend of essential oils, a backyard tepee, a flowy bohemian skirt, or a community drum circle.

This past week, Kayne and I participated in our local drum circle. He had experimented with drumming at the farmer's market and was willing to give the drum circle a try. Plus, I like to treat him to special one-on-one time when I can, and this was a great opportunity to do that. I've always thought he might enjoy something like this.

The drum circle was set up at a park in town instead of their normal headquarters in a nondescript storefront. The outdoor setting had a nice nature/community/open air element to it. Passersby would stop to watch and passing kids were handed maracas and other noise-makers to try.

I love what it says on their website: "Rhythm is universal. It is inside and all around us. From our heartbeat to the cycles of the seasons, it is more a matter of opening ourselves up to remembering and feeling than a music lesson...Using creativity we all possess we will make beautiful music 'in the moment.'"

Drum circles are really both a physical and emotional experience. I've been trying to incorporate more spiritual and mental fitness into my life, and I think drum circles encapsulate a whole bunch of wellness practices:

1. It's a community builder and great social activity. You're meeting people and you're all working together to build something pleasant. A drum circle is a very open group of people.
2. It's a practice in mindfulness. One of the frontline treatments for my anxiety-related issues is mindfulness. Meditation not only lowers your threshold for stress, but it also helps you live in the present and let worrisome thoughts pass on by. It may sound a bit new-agey, but it's really grounding. And it's really effective. It sounds too simple to be very effective, but it is profound!
3. It's creative.
4. It's physical and gets me out of my head, where I spend too much time ruminating and analyzing.
5. It's therapeutic. There are studies about the use of drum circles, and music in general, as an effective form of therapy.
6. The being outside part is also therapeutic.

Bottom line: I'm kinda hooked!

So now, when I'm at work, you might find me listening to drum circles on YouTube which sort of produces calm energy and helps with my concentration. It's like the musical rhythm gets me into a good work rhythm too. Ok, hippie moment over...