Getting Out of This Funk- Update.

I think it is time to update my get-out-this-funk status. ¬†I have been working hard at my checking off everything on my list, and feeling much better ūüôā ¬† No more letting these winter blues bring me down!

– Clean the house, top to bottom. A cluttered and messy living space makes for a restless and overwhelmed mind. And a clean and tidy living space makes for a more calm mind, or so I have found for me. DONE!

– Catch up on laundry. IN PROGRESS! (I never have enough quarters….)

– Schedule a day that works for both the Artist and I to prepare our taxes. MAILING OUR FINAL PAPERS ON MONDAY!

– Apply for an external scholarship. IN PROGRESS!

РGo to the Soulard Farmer’s Market. To stock up on fresh and healthy foods, support local farmers, and get some fresh air and out and about in the community. I like to eat local and organically as often as I can. NOT YET, BUT MAYBE TOMORROW!

РDo some yoga. I enjoy kripalu yoga. I find it is relaxing, stress relieving, and is really beneficial for my body’s needs. NOT YET

– Work with the Artist on fixing up the chairs from Goodwill. DONE! (refer to previous post)

– Stock up on lots of healthy foods to fill my body with nutrients, and to entice me to cook lots of home cooked meals, and healthified baked goods. DONE! (Still some items I would like to get, but still bargain hunting for a good price!)

My favourite salad.

My favourite salad.

Pork and veggie kabobs.

Pork and veggie kabobs.

Home made Mongolian Grill style stirfry.  AMAZING!

Home made Mongolian Grill style stirfry. AMAZING!

Chocolate peanut butter cups, healthified.

Chocolate peanut butter cups, healthified.

The middle is organic, natural, unsalted PB with some vanilla protein powder to help flavour it and thicken it up a bit.  The chocolate is organic unrefined coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey and pure maple syrup to taste.  The flavours of those don't come through, they just sweeten.

The middle is organic, natural, unsalted PB with some vanilla protein powder to help flavour it and thicken it up a bit. The chocolate is organic unrefined coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey and pure maple syrup to taste. The flavours of those don’t come through, they just sweeten.

– Switch up my exercise routine to include heavier lifting and more cardio. LIFTING HEAVIER ūüėÄ FOR MY VERY FIRST TIME EVER IN MY LIFE, I GRABBED WEIGHTS ON THE BOTTOM FREE WEIGHT RACK! STILL TRYING TO WORK IN MORE CARDIO.

– Clean out and organize the fridge, freezer, and pantry. DONE!

– Find good homes for clothing and other items that I no longer need, and that are contributing to the clutter. NOT YET

– Do a little thrifting. I could some some non-winter shoes that are more fancy then every day wear. DONE! (refer to previous post, although you can never do enough thrifting lol!)

– Pick up my knitting. WORKING ON SOME LEG WARMERS!

– Finish my current novel. IN PROGRESS!

– Watch some good movies. YES ūüôā Among others, I recently saw Gravity. ¬†It was amazing, but really scary. ¬†Space really freaks me out. ¬†It is like my worst nightmare, being lost in space. ¬†Or bring lost at sea on a rubber dingy, with no land in sight. ¬†The vastness of the ocean also freaks me right out. ¬†I could never go into space, or go scuba diving. ¬†I don’t even like doing for deep sea swims in a lake or something where the bottom is waaaaay down there. ¬†I’m not sure what it is, but it is so scary to me. ¬†Way more scary then horror movies with fictional monsters or villains.

On a happier note, I listened to an interesting story on NPR recently.  The Artist and I were in the car, arriving at home, but ran into the house as fast as we could to turn on the radio to continue listening.  It was about a man who was several months behind in his rent and had to go before a judge, and was facing eviction.  He was given 15 days to come up with the money his owed, and had no idea how he was going to do it.  He entered a rap contest and the grand prize was exactly the amount he owed.  He was struggling to make a living, trying to follow his dreams.  In the end, he and another contestant were tied for the win, and he was able to pay off his rent debt.  Shortly thereafter, having been seen at the contest, his career took off and he was going off on tour.  He said that if this is what it took for him to make it, then it was all worth it.

The moral of story is, don’t give up on your dreams. ¬†Don’t settle for anything less then what you want. ¬†I think the reason why the Artist and I enjoyed this radio talk so much was because we are living this story. ¬†We are struggling, we are broke, but we keep on going. ¬†One step at a time, we are headed in the right direction. ¬†We figure out whatever obstacles are presented to us, and we become that much closer. ¬†Some think we are crazy to “choose” this struggle, that it is really worth it? ¬†The answer is yes. ¬†Without a doubt. ¬†We know what we want, and will stop at nothing. ¬†As the saying goes, “even the longest journey, begins with a single step”.

I know what I want in a home.  I know what I want in a career.  I know what I want in a family.  I am in an amazing marriage.  I am head over heels in love.  I will work hard to achieve my goals.  I will never give up.

Am most importantly, I am happy. ¬†And really, isn’t that all that matters?

 

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More of My Food.

Once again: I love eating good food.

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Homemade tomato sauce!

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Chocolate chip pancakes for my Artist.

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Half of my tomato sauce became spaghetti sauce.  Ground beef, green pepper, mushrooms, onions, and finely chopped carrots and celery.  For seasonings I used fresh pressed garlic (about 6 cloves), oregano, basil, salt, pepper, a bit of parsley, and a bit of red pepper flakes.  My secret to delicious spaghetti; put in loads of veggies.  Loads and loads so your sauce looks too thick and veggie over loaded.  Especially loads of mushrooms.  Put a lid in with a small vent and let it simmer, stirring occasionally.  Eventually, the veggies will release their juices, the big time juice releaser being the mushrooms, and the sauce now looks normal.  It starts out looking like veggies tossed in sauce, but ends up as sauce with some veggies in there.  And the flavours from the veggies juices and moisture makes for a more complex tasting sauce, but is still somehow tastes simple and fresh.  And I am not shy on the seasonings either, I like lots!

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Final product.

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My new favourite obsession: this salad. ¬†I can’t wait to try it with some chicken to have as an entree salad instead of just as a side. ¬†I toss together arugula, carrots, edamamme, green or red bell pepper, sometimes celery, whatever we have and whatever tickles my fancy at the time. ¬†I like a variety of veggies in a variety of colours. ¬†Then I add some black pepper and grated parmesan and toss. ¬†I then squeeze fresh lemon juice all over and toss. ¬†Finally, I toss about 3/4 spoonful of olive oil/vinegar/herb dressing, and enjoy. ¬†If I want something crunchy I use chow mein noodles or some nuts. ¬†For the salad dressing, we buy it sometimes, but did our research first. ¬†The only ingredients should be oil (olive, canola, or both), vinegar, and herbs like oregano or basil, and maybe some salt. ¬†Any other ingredients or weird oils do not fly with me. ¬†I am super picky with my salad dressings because I cannot stand my salad soaked in pure fat, carbs, and empty, useless calories, making my salad soggy. ¬†Making this dressing at home is also good. ¬†I love healthy, homemade dressing. ¬†I love, love, love this flavour combination. ¬†So yummy. ¬†I made one for the Artist and put it in the fridge to have with dinner when he came home, and forgot to eat it. ¬†I added tomatoes to his, and let him dress it himself, because he likes lots.

Me- Hey, you forgot the salad I made you.

Artist: Oh ya!  You can have it if you want.

Me- I already had mine.  And yours has tomato on it.

Artist- Ummm, I don’t know if you know this, but…you like tomatoes.

Me- Ya, but not on a salad.

Artist:  Just pick them off.

Me- The juices touched everything though.

Me liking tomatoes is a relatively new phenomenon. ¬†I have always like tomato sauce on pasta though. ¬†But now I like tomatoes in pasta, or brushetta, etc. ¬†I have never liked ketchup, but do like ketchup flavoured chips. ¬†But raw tomato, not dressed with anything, on a salad or sandwich? ¬†Forget it. ¬†I am also specific with how I like things proportioned. ¬†For example, I do not want handfuls of lettuce on a sandwich, just a sprinkle. ¬†I want a bit of everything with each bite, so the toppings need to be dispersed evenly, and I do not like condiments. ¬†Hummus, if the sandwich calls for it, and that is about it. ¬†And I don’t like certain foods touching each other. ¬†For example, meat juices on my plate touching my other foods, tomato sauce touching my veggies, or any type of sauce touching anything on my plate that it is not intended for. ¬†I hate getting served chicken wings at a restaurant and they are served ON TOP of my fries.

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The Artist had a long couple of days, so I made him an apple crisp.  Talked to my mom about how she winged it, and then, in turn, winged it myself.

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Made these homemade copycat Butterfingers. ¬†Healthy peanut butter and bran flakes in there- even with the chocolate chips they are not too sugary, and have a good amount of protein and fibre ūüôā

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My delicious lunch.  These pitas are crazy awesome!  Low in carbs, and about half of the carbs come form fibre!!!  A good source of protein too, 7-10g per pita depending on which variety you choose.

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I would normally add some baked chicken breast in there, but we didn’t have any to bake. ¬†So I grilled a bunch of red peppers, smeared my pita with a healthy, all natural, non-jarred basil pesto, and some low fat mozzarella. ¬†Then I grilled it. ¬†It is sort of my healthy take on a homemade, healthy quesadilla. ¬†Not fried, grilled, and with oil or coating, and low fat cheese. ¬†Grilled red pepper and basil pesto is one of my very favourite, all-time flavour combinations.

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The Artist is always saying he needs more protein to eat, especially for snacks. ¬†So I made him some meatballs. ¬†I don’t like meatballs- yuck. ¬†I only like beef if it is ground up in spaghetti. ¬†It is a flavour thing, I just have never liked it much. ¬†These meatballs are BBQ flavoured.

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And these ones are sweet n’ sour. ¬†I made this sauce from scratch ūüėÄ ¬†It was my first time, and they were a hit. ¬†I made the meatballs from scratch too.

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This picture is of the Artist enjoying his meatball snack. ¬†Yes he is eating them with a stick. ¬†Yes he is eating them in bed. ¬†How and where else? ūüėČ ¬†I love my Artist, he keeps me smiling and laughing, all day long.

Happiness is contagious.

Lifting Weights and Mid-day Crashes

The Artist and I hit the weights together yesterday. ¬†He is naturally really muscular and strong, and can lift quite a bit, and in order to get a good workout, he has to lift pretty heavy. ¬†Me on the other hand, I consider myself reasonably strong, and enjoy a challenge. ¬†I love it when I can increase the weight on something. ¬†But I do have the muscle definition the Artist has. ¬†So we are lifting together, and nearing the end. ¬†We are sweaty, exhausted, tired, and struggling to get a fresh breathe of air in the sticky, hot weight room. ¬†The air in there is so heavy, its gross. ¬†And earlier, I had bicycled to the Athletic Complex, it is a good distance with large hills, to attend day 2 of a self-defence course I am taking. ¬†Day 2 was a little bit of “lecture”, but mostly learning moves and practicing them, and practicing them with the instructors holding pillowy cushions while you punch. ¬†I have done kickboxing before, group fitness, drop in style, punching and kicking the air to music. ¬†This class was 3 hours but it was a slow pace as we were learning technique, but actually punching hard and having your punch have contact with something is down right exhausting. ¬†I was dozing on the Artist’s shoulder before we went to the gym. ¬†I can’t believe I even made it there let alone lifted weights.

So we are nearing the end of our workout, doing biceps.  I am quite sweaty, but the Artist is clearly sweating and is very uncomfortable.  I am deliriously exhausted and tired, and I get the giggles.  And I am a giggly person even when I am not tired.

Artist: (As he finishes a set) Do we still have triceps after this?

Me: Yep.

Artist: F@#k.

Me: (laughing) Next time we should bring a water bottle with some gatorade in it to drink while working out.

Artist: Next time, lets bring the camping chairs, so we can sit down.

Me: (laughing)

Artist: And a beer.  And a hotdog.

Me: (laughing embarrassingly hard)

Artist: (as he finishes another set) And a puke bucket.

Me: (laughing so hard there are tears)

Artist: (gasping for air) And an oxygen mask.

Me: (laughter is not uncontrollable)

We finish up and head home.  And in good timing because my muscles had had enough.  Anything further and fainting would have been a possibility haha!  The Artist makes a delicious protein shake, and we always find ourselves coming back to life with every gulp.

A bit later, I made the Artist a big sandwich. ¬†Ham, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, black pepper, mayo, mustard, and “sub sauce” on a ciabatta. ¬†There is no sub sauce here in Subways. ¬†Crazy, right? ¬†I don’t order it, but the Artist loves it, and it is like the most popular sauce. ¬†So he tries to make it at home, or buys an oil/vinegar/herbs salad dressing. ¬† He loved it. ¬†He said it as better then Subway, his mouth was tingling for another one. ¬†Heck yes. ¬†I make good, hearty sandwiches. ¬†Probably because I love sandwiches myself. ¬†But, the key here is that my sandwiches are hot. ¬†I guess I should say I love hot sandwiches. ¬†And I don’t like deli meat, I like regular meat that I cooked ahead of time. ¬†And I don’t like a normal loaf of bread, unless it is grilled cheese, I like french bread, ciabatta, baguette, buns, and it can be whole wheat, grainy, white, anything. ¬†I like “fancy” sandwiches, most importantly, hot ones. ¬†Or sometimes grilled like a panini. ¬†Mmmmm. ¬†If there wasn’t leftovers in the fridge I would be grilling one right now.

I don’t have any photos for this post, because I don’t bring a camera to the gym, and believe me, you wouldn’t want to see photos of that anyways, haha. ¬†So use your imaginations.

Today shall bring: a community BBQ down the street, some baking maybe? suggestions?, and resting to recharge the batteries for next week. ¬†Yesterday was crazy, and I was so tired I was dozing on the couch by 6pm. ¬†I attributed it to the days events causing physical exhaustion. ¬†But today, I crashed in the late afternoon and have felt very lethargic. ¬†Like I have brain fog, and feel like a zombie. ¬†But for no particular reason. ¬†I got plenty of sleep, it felt good to sleep in this morning, I had enough to eat and it was good, healthy foods, so I don’t know. ¬†Maybe I am fighting a cold, or coming down with something? ¬†Maybe I didn’t get enough water? ¬†Maybe I have low vitamin B12? ¬†But of course, the first thing that comes to mind is that my thyroid medication isn’t doing it’s job. ¬†If you read a previous post of mine:¬†https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/under-active-thyroid/ you will see why I worry. ¬†I just started a higher dosage of medication, so I worry when I get that mid-day crash of intense fatigue. ¬†However, trying to stay positive, these crashes have been happening less and less often. ¬†Even if my crazy day yesterday wasn’t caused by physical exertion, but by my thyroid, 2 days out of the week is a lots better then 7. ¬†And at least I wake up refreshed instead of exhausted. ¬†Hopefully the next while will be better, and the mid-day crashes get even less frequent. ¬†I would love to go to the doctor in December and have nice looking blood test results ūüôā ¬†Cross your fingers and think positive thoughts for me!

Nice thing I have done for the Artist: Make him a glorious-better-then-Subway sandwich, tell him how much I love his crazy long hair and beard, and how much it suits his personality.

Nice thing the Artist has done for me: Make me a protein shake when I am too weak to do so myself even though he is just as tired, helped me with dinner telling me it is always more fun when we cook together (awww!), and then served me.

Happiness is contagious.