So, today was long and busy…
Tomorrow will be long and busy…
I ate lots of food and probably didn’t sleep enough.
I got rid of even more books, some of which I really liked. But I’m in the very long process of decluttering. It happens in stages, sometimes getting rid of large amounts of things and sometimes just a small handful. Either way, it feels good to get rid of things I really just don’t need to keep.
And the best part of the day has to be seeing the dog. She’s such a funny old lady.
It’s late and I can’t think of a topic to write about. I just barely remembered that I still had to post. So today you get basic. Super basic.
I’m really looking forward to fall.
I’ve been so productive today! I did this on purpose because I have social plans that will not leave me time to be productive this evening or tomorrow. I actually forced myself to get up before 9 today to have a good chunk of time to get work done.
After that, I made myself a tasty and easy lunch that, of course, is healthy too! And pretty.
It was ridiculously easy to make. I put all the food in a little aluminum foil pouch, covered in olive oil, with Herbs de Provence sprinkled on the salmon. Using the cooking instructions from the salmon’s packaging, I cooked it for a while at 425.
I wasn’t paying close attention to the timing. I might have taken it out some than they instruct, or left it a little longer. I really don’t know. In any case, it was all cooked perfectly!
The asparagus was perfectly tender and slightly roast-y. The salmon was just right, fully cooked but still most and such a nice pink that I almost took ANOTHER picture. I didn’t though…
So, a healthy meal that takes very little preparation, not much time, and is pretty filling? Yes, I’d definitely make this again. Other vegetables can be subbed in too, but you have to make sure it’s not something that takes longer than the fish to cook to the desired level.
If you were going to do something like this, what vegetables would you use? What would you eat for a side? Would you never, ever eat this because your taste buds are broken? Discuss.
Today I paid a sad amount of money for a yogurt parfait (possibly the most overpriced prepared item at any store…) and a kind bar for breakfast. I had put off getting groceries so I didn’t really have much around to eat. I wanted something simple, but the best quality egg sandwich around here is also a little bit too expensive for my preferences. It’s a bit of a regret but it tasted fine, and it’s done now.
I made up for it afterward by getting lunch and dinner for free. I had a “buy ten sandwiches get one free” punch card that I’d filled up. Ok, actually I think it’s twelve, and since I kept forgetting to get it punched, I probably bought around twice as many to get the free one. However, it was no money paid today. I left a small tip and that’s it.
For dinner, since there is a Panera near the grocery store, I decided to use some of a gift card I have and I got a salad and, probably negating the health of the salad, a chai latte. At least the crazy air conditioning habits of every single business out there allow me to drink a hot beverage in the summer without dying.
Both lunch and dinner were good, but not great. I didn’t order my very favorite sandwich because I was in the mood for a different kind today. The sandwich I chose was quite satisfying, but not as delicious as either of the two I tend to buy for myself. As for dinner, I liked the chai more than the salad, and to be honest I wasn’t too hungry so I probably could have just stuck with the chai… trying to get some more nutrients for dinner and all that.
Groceries were a whole different story this week. I am currently dog-sitting (for a very cute beagle with some weird habits, as I am certain all pets have), and the house is in the middle of a huge kitchen renovation. This means that there IS no kitchen. Instead, there are pieces of a kitchen here, there, out on the porch. Literally, the toaster oven is out there. I haven’t used it yet… going outside to cook seems strange to me.
So, my grocery goals today were: cheap, healthy, and no cooking necessary. What does a grocery haul look like when you know you won’t be able to cook? Pretty simple. Prepared chicken (the grilled chicken strips from Trader Joe’s. Probably every grocery store you go to, unless it’s a tiny, specialty store of some kind, will have a variety of prepared chicken), baby spinach, avocado to use with some of the things that are already around for salads and wraps, and a few bananas and greek yogurts for breakfast. I can eat the same few things on repeat for the next several days… but then I’m going to need something different. Still trying to keep it healthy, but my taste buds could use a thrill.
I really need to figure out some healthier foods for that need to treat yo self.
For longer than I could say, I haven’t been cooking much. So the fact that I made something quite delicious for dinner this evening feels like an achievement.
And it tasted better than it looked! I used Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta, which has vegetables in it as well as the usual grains. I made a tasty but not particularly noteworthy tomato sauce. I put a little more balsamic vinegar in it than I should have for that amount of sauce. The red pepper flakes gave it a nice kick.
The chicken was cooked simply, coated in breadcrumbs and then pan fried in oil. I bought chicken thighs this time because it was a better deal. I prefer breast meat in general, but this was pretty good. The golden-brown rule: the thinner the piece of meat, the easier it will be to cook. The result was cooked perfectly with a delicious crunch.
To drink, I had some of this Italian margarita (premade) that I found the other day. I have to admit it’s not my favorite, but I’ve discovered that the flavor goes very nicely with ginger beer, so I mixed some in.
That’s it for now. I know it isn’t too exciting to read, but when you’re trying to build up certain habits, a moment of victory feels like it’s worth documenting. Tomorrow I’ll be eating the leftovers, probably with some sauteed asparagus.
I successfully completed one week straight of blaugust posts. That bodes well because most of them were done even though I didn’t feel like I had anything I particularly WANTED to blog about. Of course, I’m not saying one should force oneself to blog, but since I haven’t been writing at all for so long, it will take a little time and effort to get back into the habit.
The trouble I have is when I don’t have a topic in mind, I can’t really pull from my everyday life because my life in general is either really boring, or involves things I don’t want to write about for a number of reasons. (Or something that is better suited to a planned post as opposed to one that I write in the moment.) Yesterday, trying to figure out what to say, I went and looked at a bunch of writing prompts until an idea sparked. It sounds lame, probably, but sometimes it takes a little something extra to connect to your creative bone. Did you know creativity comes from a specific bone?
No it doesn’t. I’m lying.
The point is, there seems to be a good chance that the rest of my blaugust posts will mostly be quite boring. Half of them may end up being about blogging and the process of trying to return to regular writing (even extremely mediocre writing), which basically turns this into a meta-blog and who would even care to read that?
There’s a reason I actually began to write about food in the first place. It’s twofold: 1. I love food, 2. everybody eats. Food (along with other basic human needs) is probably the only thing that connects everyone on the planet. And I find that interesting.
I’m only writing this right now to avoid the utter failure of missing the first day of a self-imposed blogging challenge.
The last writing challenge I did was the 365k365day challenge (which I detailed to some degree on my writing blog). I think it was in 2014. I was very excited about it to begin with, but lost steam all too quickly and beyond April of that year, barely wrote 1,000 words. My failure in that challenge coincided with my overall writing hiatus. Perhaps it even caused it. I don’t know–I don’t think I’ll ever know.
I was going to do editing work when I got home from the retail work, but after my short dinner break and a bit of poking things on the internet, I took a little time to watch an episode or two on Netflix. Now it’s 10:30 and I still intend to do the work… Read the rest of this entry
Apparently, making a “list” of qualities of your ideal man is a thing people do. I haven’t ever done it, and I’ve never had a discussion relating to it with anyone in real life, so maybe it only happens in romantic comedies. In any case, I had the idea to make a similar list but instead of pertaining to a significant other, it’s about my ideal neighborhood. Here we go:
- There’s a reasonable greenery to pavement ratio. Nice trees and stuff. On a related note, the sidewalk is NOT strewn with trash.
- I live at least a few blocks away from any schools (there is an elementary school right next door to me right now, which is a lot more annoying than it sounds).
- Within a five minute walk there is a place where I can get really good coffee–both brewed coffee and lattes–and a delicious and reasonably priced breakfast sandwich. Also reasonably near is great pizza, sandwiches, burritos, and a nice but relatively inexpensive bar.
- My close friends live near me. Now, I realize it isn’t the case for most people after college, but we are talking ideal here.
- The sidewalks are consistently wide enough for two people to pass and adequately shoveled in the winter.
- There is a good bookstore, with the kind of seating available that makes you want to hang around.
- Clothing and shoe shops that are easy to get to. (Really good ones, that carry stuff I’d want to wear.)
- People take good care of their facades and front lawns. And they all have front lawns.
That’s all I’ve got for now. There are probably other things that would qualify as well. Near public transit, for instance–it’s important right now, but might not be sometime in the future…
We’ll just have to see what happens. Mostly, what I’m saying is that I’m going to want a great breakfast sandwich tomorrow, and I’m not sure where to get one.
For some reason, I am having a strong desire for pumpkin pie right now. Yes, pumpkin pie. Weird, right? Usually people start craving pumpkin in September, at the earliest (although these days Starbucks starts advertising the PSL in effing JULY).
I need it to be a very specific kind of pumpkin pie, though. Smooth, creamy, and sweet. The crust isn’t extremely important, but a good, buttery, slightly flaky one would be best.
You know how sometimes you know people who bake and they bake well, but they don’t necessarily make things the way you like them best? Yeah, so the last time I had pumpkin pie it wasn’t the kind I really like. It was good, but not satisfying to my particular taste buds…
Not a big deal. I’m sure later today I’ll be craving a burger or a lobster role or creme brulee.
I like to put a check mark on my wall calendar every day I work out. I had this idea when reading some blog post in which someone was talking about the “gold-star” system for marking when they had accomplished a certain thing. I can’t remember what that thing was, but I thought I would see if it helped me get back into the habit of working out. Early this month I looked at my calendar and saw the two checks next to each other on May 1 and 2, and I thought, hey, it would be cool to put a check mark up every day this month!
I don’t always do the same level of workout, but I’ve read that this is a good thing. You need to take breaks some days. Of course, it’s better to get your heart rate up and to work out for a little longer, but ten minutes is still better than nothing at all, if you just push yourself a little to make it a good ten minutes. I’m extending my definition of workout out a little bit to make it a little easier to get it done every day, so if I take a long walk one day I don’t need to do more, and if it’s late and I haven’t done it yet, a few minutes with some weights or a few yoga poses will do for that day. That doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off and just do a short, basic workout every single day…
It’s all part of my general awareness that I need to be more mindful of my health and habits. Healthy living is an ongoing journey. It’s not about losing five pounds to fit into skinnier jeans or looking “good” in a bikini. People can choose to lose weight strictly for vanity purposes if they want to. That’s not my aim. I would like to lose a bit of weight, but I don’t think I need to–at the same time, I don’t want to gain any more. I’m trying to focus on the health aspects because I know that is what is going to help me have a better quality of life when I’m older. Keeping active and feeding myself with good things is an investment in myself. I want to be a hot old lady.
Today’s dinner was made with those goals in mind, after a nice workout of yoga and weights. I defrosted a filet of salmon and dressed it with olive oil, chopped garlic, french sea salt, and some thyme and tarragon. Lemon would have been great on it, but I had no lemon.
As you might have guessed, this is not a recipe. It’s just a basic way of cooking fish, with herbs to make the flavor a little more interesting. One of the things I have mentioned before is that if you’re making something like this, seasonings and herbs should be to taste. Use the ones you like. put curry powder on it if you want. That’s the beauty of a simple thing like this.
As a side, I sauteed some kale in olive oil and more garlic (one clove for the whole meal, and there was still some left over! Seriously, it was huge), adding some roasted red peppers halfway through. Since those are already cooked, I could have mixed them in after the kale was done cooking, and if I ever do this again I think I will try it that way.
My favorite sort of food to cook is generally simple and easy to make, but kind of looks fancy. There’s a sense of indulgence and luxury, but it’s actually not fancy at all and usually doesn’t cost too much. I’d estimate that the ingredients for this dinner (not the full price for each thing, but the portion I used) come out to less than $3. It was tasty and healthy and natural. And satisfying in a way that admittedly delicious fried food rarely is, if ever. That’s another reason to eat healthy. Junk food satisfies a shallow craving, giving instant gratification. Natural, nutritious food satisfies on a deeper level, and over time will make me feel stronger and healthier.