Saturday, January 5, 2013

Food for thought

Have you ever felt as though food is your best friend and your worst enemy? How can a person manage to be thin when there is so much good food out there in the world? Pasta, hamburgers, pizza, cookies, cakes, candies, potatoes, the list are endless and restaurants are always coming up with new ways to keep us in their take out lines after work.

From experience, I know how easy it is to fall in a deeply imbedded food trap. I used to go to work where I would snack all day on various foods that were easily obtained from the kitchen. One cook had a crush on me and was always making me treats. After that I would then go home to more fast food or the freezer section of my grocery store. There have been times that I know my body was screaming for more nutrition. I was ignoring the screams. What are the screams, you wonder? I will explain… (Please forgive the gross-out factor): excessive flatulence, dehydration, dark urine, fatigue (low-energy), indigestion, heart burn, the list goes on and on. These are simply the symptoms!

Eating poorly for a good portion of your life can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, weak immune system, this list also goes on. These food issues are not unique to people with excess weight. Chances are, you know several people who are of moderate weight that eat horribly. I know I do! These people can be very frustrating to be around especially when their body does not seem to show signs of their bad habits! Truth be known, that these habits will probably creep up on them later on in life.

There have been points (currently and recently) in my life that I have had an over saturated palette. In order to taste good to me, my food needed to be drowning in grease, saturated in butter, rolled in sugar and heavily sprinkled with salt. I was suffering from the “but, it tastes good” syndrome which is one I am still trying to overcome. Eating well does not have to be a painful experience. You just have to be willing to put in the time and find recipes that taste good and are also good for you.

One of my 101 goals is to eat at home more often. This is due to many reasons. First and foremost it is healthier. You can control the portions and what goes into your food. Not only do I want to lose weight but I would like to eat cleaner. By this I mean use butter and not margarine, don’t use artificial sweeteners, etc. The more I hear about chemicals that are being put into our foods the more it scares me.

The second reason cooking at home is less expensive. Right now I really have to watch my money being unemployed. But even after I line up a job I am still going to have to watch my dollars (and make them stretch as far as possible.). I don’t know how much I will make (that depends on what firm hires me, or if I am in the public sector like a public defender or a prosecutor). Regardless of how much money I am bringing in, I have large student loans looming over my head. I would like to pay off my student loans as soon as possible and buy a home. (A girl has to save money where she can!)

As I try recipes I will post them and whether they are a success or a failure. I will give a few disclaimers. My food NEVER looks like the picture. Might taste awesome but doesn’t look as pretty. Another thing is I absolutely hate mushrooms so I will not be trying recipes that involve mushrooms. If the recipe does they will be judiciously left out or substituted for something that is not nasty.

If anyone has recipes they think are awesome feel free to share them with me. I am always open to suggestions. It might be awhile before I can really start testing recipes. It is hard to do things like that while living with my family. Fathead does not have an adventurous palate. Lol

Thursday, January 3, 2013

OMG a bear!

Yesterday I volunteered at Legal aid. I spent the whole dya helping organize files and writing closing letters to clients. The office is feeling the crunch at the end of the year to get files closed.  I wish I could get some money for it but I am so grateful to have the opportunity to keep practicing law even though I am not working right now. It helps keep my resume fresh and gain more experience. 

Honestly, I thought I would have a job by now but I do not despair. I know that if I keep at it I will find a job. Lord knows I have gone on a lot of interviews. One thing I know for certain is my lack of experience is working against me. Legal Aid will help me rectify this.

I am keeping my eyes on the future. Things are tough for me right now but I know I am tougher and will get through this. Soon I will be able to share with you that I have found a good job and am moving into my own place again.

In other news, my brother met with the neurosurgeon today for his surgery consultation.
Since I have 3 brothers I will call this one Fathead (a childhood nickname for him lol). Fathead has had a back disease since we were kids called Scheurmann’s disease. Here is a link telling more about it. He used to have to wear a back brace and do physical therapy, amongst other things. About a month ago Fathead woke up with severe back pain. After a fun adventure at the Emergency Room, CAT scan and other tests the Doctor diagnosed him with three bulging discs in his spine. One of the discs is pressing on his sciatic nerve which is making one of his legs go numb. Needless to say he has not been walking around much. The E.R. doctor recommended surgery, as did the doctor giving a second opinion. So he made an appointment with the neurosurgeon. Regrettably he was not able to get in until after the holidays.

The appointment didn't go as Fathead hope. (Meaning he was not rushed directly to surgery) The surgeon prescribed him an anti-inflammatory, We are going to wait fir ut to build up in his system and see how it affects the problem. Right now Denton is being a little ray of sunshine, reminiscent of a bear in pain.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals for the years to come

Happy New Years! I hope you all had a really fun time last night! I stayed in, watched movies and played with my dog. I have to say I find myself addicted to a new show Once Upon a Time. I discovered it last week. So of course now I must catch up on all the episodes. lol

So, it’s the first day of January and I know some of us are evaluating and making new goals for this year. Calling them resolutions or goals or achievements doesn't really matter.

My list is long and ambitious for me, but I'd rather try than not try anything at all. I've started working slowly on everything today and it feels good to have a clearer pathway. And for the negative people out there, yes I have made resolutions and kept them. Like quitting smoking. So although this an ambitious list I will do my level best to accomplish everything on it. If I don't it won't be for lack of trying.

I would like to weigh myself to have a starting weight this year but we have no scale here so I will have to do it later. I am sure I am up from a lot of holiday eating with little exercise. I will measure myself so I have a basis to start from.I will post the measurements in tomorrow's blog.

Writing the goals list has got me thinking about my own habits and how staying with my brother has made me have to make adjustments. Although I love spending time with my family and I appreciate that they have supported me when I need it, I am looking forward to having my own place again so I can try to get back my healthier habits. When you have good habits like that, overeating no longer becomes an option, and eating bad foods only makes you feel worse. I am being honest when I say I felt better when I was exercising regularly
. I am going to get back to that place.

So inspired by my friend Dr. Juris, I decided to do the 101 in 1001 days challenge.

I've decided to start today with the new year (01/01/2013), and it will end on September 17, 2015 (09/28/2015). (Glad I have time for some of these goals.)

As I complete them, I'll cross them out, and hyperlink to any blog entries I may have composed about particular goals I accomplished. I am going to do my best to finish these goals. 

For convenience and ease of grouping, I put them in specific categories. 

Professional Goals
1)            Transfer Bar License to Washington
2)            Take a case to trial
3)            Land a great job
4)            Complete necessary CLE for Missouri
5)            Win a difficult case
6)               Become accomplished enough in my career that I feel comfortable speaking to undergrad  students about it
7)            Speak to undergrads about career options with respect to my experiences
8)            Write a legal article and submit it for publishing
9)      Become active P.A.D. alumna
10)    Don’t spend more than you earn

Personal Goals 
11)         Buy a house
12)        Pay off my student loans
13)        Start a savings account
14)        Watch less tv
15)    Start trying recipes and things I have pinned on Pintrest
16)        Build or refinish a piece of furniture
17)        Build a budget and stick to it
18)        Do one thing I have always said I would NEVER do
19)        Reconnect with old friends
20)    Get another dog
21)    Repair Flute
22)    Get better car but own it outright
23)     After weight loss- buy new wardrobe
24)    Eat more often and better
25)    Make time for friends and family

26)        Donate 100 hours of pro bono time
27)        Participate in a 5K
28)        Discover a healthy activity I love doing
29)        Don’t cuss for an entire day
30)        Read ten classic novels
31)        Develop a nighttime skin/winding down routine and stick to it for two weeks
32)        Watch five classic movies
33)        Complete one, real, honest-to-God pull up
34)        Take a spin class
35)    Floss everyday
36)    Lose 150 lbs.
37)    Get new glasses
38)    Brush up on my etiquette and manners
39)     Learn to knit, crochet and sew

40)        Write someone a thank you note for influencing me in a positive way
41)        Knit a scarf to donate
42)       Buy someone a gift just because I can
43)        Give blood
44)        Plant a tree and a garden
45)        Send care packages to soldiers over seas
46)        Sponsor a family during the holidays

Educational Endeavors 

47)    Educate myself about the stock market and investments
48)    Revisit learning another language
49)       Visit a museum
50)        Visit the Smithsonian
51)        Go to an orchestra performance
52)        Go to a ballet performance

Artistic Endeavors 

53)        Complete an artistic project to hang in the house
54)    Participate in another play/musical
55)        Watch a Broadway play
56)        Sew something that I’m not embarrassed of
57)        Visit the opera
58)        Practice the flute everyday
59)        Watch a stand up show/routine
60)        Work on photography skills
61)        Join local community band


62)        Make homemade bread
63)        Make a homemade cheesecake
64)     Discover my signature dish
65)    Take a cooking class
66)       Make Christmas cookies and candies to give as gifts
67)        Plan and execute an elaborate dinner, complete with tapered candles and music
68)        Build a menu and eat at home 90% of the time


69)    Do the dishes every night for an entire week        
70)        Drink the requisite eight glasses of water every day for an entire week
71)        Workout regularly
72)        Go to bed by 11:00 every day for an entire week
73)        Get up at 6:00 every morning for an entire week in order to work out
74)    Keep a regular schedule for chores
75)        Organize my life

Travel Plans 

76)        Travel to NYC      
77)     Go to New Orleans for Mardi gras
78)        Go to Disney land and eat in the restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride
79)        Go to Disney World
80)        Travel abroad
81)        Go camping
82)    Visit the Grand Canyon
83)        Visit somewhere with crystal clear waters and snorkel

Electronic Age

84)        Digitally store and sort all of my old photos online
85)     Create photo albums of all my precious moments
86)    Finish photo editing photos for important moments (graduation, vacations, swearing ins)
87)        Organize all of my files and documents
88)        Get larger IPod and create playlists for all occasions

Just because I can.... 

89)        Get my concealed carry
90)        Roast marshmallows around a campfire
91)        Decorate a gingerbread house
92)        Take a dance class
93)        Buy myself a piece of jewelry
94)        Buy a hammock and lay in it
95)        Frame and mat my diplomas
96)        Have a day at the spa

Online Presence 

97)  Write a blog entry once every day for a week
98)     Redesign my blog

Grown Up Stuff 

99)       Host Thanksgiving and Christmas 
100)     Throw a dinner/themed party 
101)    Discover and add three new vegetables to my diet