As my school semester gets more complicated, the time I get to spend on things that are not (1) Work; (2) School; or (3) Family/Home has gotten shorter and shorter. Throw into that mix the puppy, all my training goals, and trying to find time to finish our taxes and you get the image of a woman at her wits end.
That’s not really true of course. The truth is, although I have not had a chance to sit down and blog daily lately, I am still on an amazing journey of gratitude and thanksgiving. Its the little things, after all, that make living into a life.
Here is a little thing, I finally got my Keurig coffee maker! I have been wanting one of these for about 5 years now, and I found this little read one on sale at Kohls for $80 (with my coupon). I spent three days playing with it, before I realized I was wasting K-cups and if I wanted that much coffee I should just make a pot. Before you ask, yes I got the red one, and it looks perfect in my kitchen!
Another little thing, I spent about 3 hours on Friday working on my Irish Music playlist. You have no idea how much happiness I get from listening to the Irish fiddle and the lilting brogue of Makem and Clancy. Spending an hour dancing around my living room like the “Lord of the Dance’s” accident-prone cousin just makes me happy and it entertains the cat. (At least until I stepped on her tail in a frantic bout of Irish Jig-ing.) I ended up with a nice mix of Irish folk, punk, and metal, and I felt ready to show my Irish pride.
Saturday was I dragged my friend Mechem to Cantina CrossFit and watched her face go from fear to disbelief to sheer joy as she had her first go at CrossFit training. I watched her eyes light up that moment that she realized she could do so much more than she thought she could. It makes me happy to see someone else fall in love with this sport. She will definitely be back.
And after CrossFit, I got to grab a beer with my friends, have some coffee with my Auntie, and spend the afternoon with Ed as he looked for the perfect RV with which to live his camping, hunting, and fishing dreams. We had a little lunch and even treated ourselves to dessert from the Flying Star. (Try the Naranja!)
It was nice to wake up on Sunday and have a little quiet with my coffee. (My awesome Keurig K-cup coffee! Woo hoo!) As a special treat, I made “Gringo” breakfast for King Edward and myself. Fresh eggs from my friend Alyssa’s chickens, potatoes O’Brien (it is St. Patty’s day) turkey sausage and 9-grain toast. No chile anywhere. No tortillas. Strictly East Coast style. And I even gave the King the last of the O.J.
I got a lot of homework done, got a lot of puppy cuddles with both the dogs, and even made it to hot yoga with my girl Carley and her fiancee Jerome. Not bad for a rest day!
This week, I have been busy at work, busy with school, busy with home, and busy moving my butt. I started a new fitness challenge with my friend Rebekah, and I know that what I get from my training at CrossFit will really give me a plus. I still manage to find some serenity inside my hoop, at least once a week. And I am enjoying getting back outside to walk during my work day.
The King and I celebrated not feeling like cooking with a trip to the Samurai Grill. And last night we cheered on the Lobos in their March Madness appearance against Harvard, at BWW. They lost, but they had a great season. And it was definitely a win for me. I got to spend time with some of my favorite people on this Earth.
So there you have it. A wide assortment of little things. Nothing fancy, nothing over-the-top. Little things that make the big impact of bringing me happiness, making me smile, and reminding me that a life is more than the time you spend living. Life is about recognizing the joy that living brings you.
Love hoops and happiness everyone!
I love my Friday’s off! Even if I do a lot of chores or homework, I get to do them on my time, from my couch, and with my puppies sitting beside me. That is always a good day.
So this Friday I spent a little bit of time with my Psychology book, learning all about research methods and double blind studies. Then off to Cloud 9 for some much needed hot yoga with my girl Carley. Then back to the books to swim through a seemingly endless sea of homework, reading, and quizzes.
I love school. I love it, I love it, I love it. No… really I do.
But a Friday off is a gift, and one I definitely appreciate. I didn’t always have them with this frequency. I have been playing lots of catch up and working on blogs, laundry and getting the crock pot ready for dinner. I am starting to think this thankfulness project may be a bit more than I expected. But I am happy to say I find a new thing everyday that makes me remember how blessed I truly am.
I guess one of the things that I often forget to be grateful for are the little pleasures that I get to take advantage of every day. Every day I wake up to a house that is warm and lit. I have clothes that fit (sort of) and food to eat. We tend to forget about the little everyday gifts of our modern life.
Tell me what you are most grateful for today. What moment did you have that made you realize how lucky you are to be you and to have your life?
Today I got to give my speech. I am here to write about it, so obviously it didn’t kill me. It was actually kind of fun! The Biggest Loser Kickoff audience was pretty full, in fact, it was a lot more crowded than I had anticipated. But they were really receptive, and the program trainers did a great job with the whole presentation. The picture of me and Rebekah that they put on the GINORMOUS screen behind us was a little disturbing. I mean, how big a picture of your own face should you have to look at?
Miss Rebekah did AWESOME in her speech. I was so proud of her. She had the audience pretty much in the palm of her hand the whole time, laughing with her, and somber with her… She did great! I didn’t do to bad either. Although I am not sure if I pulled off the whole, inspiring, funny, emotionally touching, motivational speech I was aiming for, but I didn’t pass out and no one threw anything at me. Always a good thing.
Now that I have that behind me, I can focus my manic personality on other things, like school work, my very dusty house, my unruly pets, the usual.
So after my speech today, I went back to the office and prepped for tomorrow’s busy day, went home and worked on two hours of homework. I took a quiz online, and signed in to the research program site for my Psychology class. Then I made a huge salad for dinner. When did I get so motivated to get stuff done?
Have you ever noticed that the busier you are, the more you get done? And the more you are getting done, the more people hand you stuff to do. I have been feeling really busy, super productive, and only marginally crazy over the last few months. I know that this is a direct result of my Biggest Loser success. Not the win, but the success at changing my environment with more healthy food and the daily exercise.
No, I am totally serious.
The more I exercise and eat healthy, the more energy I have. The more energy I have, the more I get done. The more I get done, the more people give me and the more I sign up to do, because I want to do more. I can do more.
Dang it! I should have put that in my speech!!!!
Today was a day to get things done, start new things, and reflect on how much my life has changed over the last year. My life has changed and almost all for the better. So today, I think I will just be grateful for the chance to recognize how lucky I am, and how many blessings I have.
(Although I am a little bugged I missed hoop class.)
Curds and Whey
So I am trying to like Greek yogurt. Why? I don’t really know, it just seems like the thing to do. My Aunt Pat has tried to get me to eat it as a way of removing high fructose corn syrup and other nasty evils from my diet. My friend Toni-Lei seems to like it and she is one of the most health-conscious people I know. I keep seeing those Chobani ads on TV and those people certainly seem protective of their Greek yogurt. I guess I should just give it a go.
So, I am strolling through my neighborhood Albertsons, and I head to the yogurt aisle, where my “Thick & Creamy” Yoplait is calling to me with a seductive voice, and I try to make a little sense of the new “Greek” yogurt phenomenon. There seem to be about 25 different brands of Greek yogurt in this store, and none of them are sporting a sign saying they are delicious, nutritious and don’t taste like a science experiment. That means I have to navigate these whey strained waters alone.
How’s your digestion?
As I am comparing the appeal of Oikos (which sounds like it should be a pork product for some reason) and Fage (which may have been a medieval torture device) I notice another woman in the aisle, with the same befuddled expression I know myself to be wearing. She looks at me and asks if I know the difference between probiotics and live active cultures. I am certain my blank, uncomprehending stare must have told her that I was an expert on the topic. “Not really” I said, “I think they are both good for the digestion.” A nutritionist, I am not. She informed me that her husband, Jeff, needs to regulate his digestion and she is looking for new things for him to eat. She wants to get him to try the Activia but she isn’t sure if he will eat it. Jeff seemed to like the Chobani with honey, but she thinks he was just saying that. She has decided it must be the live active cultures vs. probiotics that is the problem and needs to take something home that he will enjoy eating and will keep him regular at the same time.
Now, I am happy that Jeff has a loving wife to ferret out this information for him. I am glad to hear he possibly likes the Chobani (I put one in my cart to try) and I am sorry to hear about his digestive woes. I am just not sure I needed to know any of this before making my selection. Mrs. Jeff seems like she could talk about it all day.
After some polite, “Good Luck” and “Thanks for the suggestion”, etc. I ducked out of the aisle and wandered through the store. I wandered for about 10 minutes before I felt it was safe to return to my search for the worlds greatest Greek yogurt. Seeing that Mrs. Jeff has taken her active culture angst elsewhere I head back into the fray.
Some fifteen minutes pass as I compare labels. Fat content, carb content, and sugar content. Probiotics vs. live active culture (thanks Mrs. Jeff). Fruit on the bottom, fruit on the side, and plain. Calcium, protein, Vitamin D. I feel absolutely no savvier than when I started. My Yoplait is calling again, beckoning with its Key Lime Pie and Cherry Cobbler yumminess. I am beginning to feel like I did in 7th grade when I took an Algebra test I hadn’t studied for, so I compromised. I put in my cart four Yoplait, one four pack of Activia, and one each of the Chobani, Dannon, and Fage Greek yogurts. I defy anyone faced with the same situation to have done otherwise.
Well, the Yoplait was great and I did get the light version so it was fewer calories.
The Activia was okay, but a little runny for my taste. The Key Lime flavor was good, and the vanilla with a little Kashi thrown in made a great snack.
The Chobani with honey was the first Greek yogurt I tried. If you are new to Greek yogurt, don’t make this mistake. I can guarantee that Jeff lied to his wife on this one. The first spoonful was such a shock to my system that I actually looked at the container to see if I had picked up a tub of sour cream by mistake. It was so sour it made my jaws hurt. I offered some to my co-worker to try on her breakfast burrito. After adding about 1/3 cup of Kashi I was able to get it down, but it made me fearful to try the other brands.
The Fage with strawberry was actually good, once I incorporated all the fruit. I know that adds a lot of sugar to the process, but really people, what do you expect of me? Every hit of the plain yogurt left my eyes watering and my jaws cramping. The fact that the fruit was in a little side car on the yogurt cup was interesting, but made it harder to incorporate all of it into the yogurt. It took a little stirring to smooth out texture, but overall it was not bad.
Dannon blueberry was great, again after a vigorous stir to ensure there was no hint of plain white yogurt left in the cup. The flavor was sharper than regular yogurt, a little more acidic. The blueberry flavor was fairly fresh-tasting (for yogurt fruit), and the texture was smooth.
So, not a smashing success overall. I’ve asked my forum of facebookers for their advice and everyone but me seems to love this stuff. I have been told that the Oikos (remember, not pig product) is delicious and also got a rave review of the Greek God with honey. I guess I will just have to keep trying to find the one I like. I just hope Mrs. Jeff isn’t at the store when I go back…