Welcome to August. Can you believe summer is more than half over?
We still haven’t been that hot here in San Diego. We had one warm week but that’s been it. I have to say I’m enjoying the cooler summer. It makes it nice to go to parks and play with kids without the nagging heat.
But back to food…
I’ve been looking to try different snacks lately. I made some zucchini muffins the kids seemed to like (recipe forthcoming). And I tried roasting garbanzo beans from this recipe on Family Fresh Cooking. I went the sweet route and topped them with syrup and they still tasted bland.
But I’m very intrigued with the idea behind this recipe. What’s better than kids snacking on crunchy beans? I’m going to try more savory seasonings next time and have it cook longer to make it really crisp. Does anyone make this at home? If so, I’d love to hear from you.
Because we are somewhat cool over here, I’m going to make a Black Bean Chili for Wednesday long slow cook day. I’m also going to try Mexican Lasagna for the first time. And Tuesday it’s Chicken Parm in the slow cooker. This recipe is tasty and beyond easy. All in all, a good food week.
For more weekly meal plans see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking this week?
Monday: Mexican Lasagna with guacamole from the 6 O’Clock Scramble Newsletter
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan with bread, spinach salad and fruit.
Wednesday: Black Bean Chili made with pork tenderloin (Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook), bread, carrots and green salad.
Thursday: potlock/use leftovers
Friday: Grilled Salmon with Avacado Dip, mac and cheese and sautéed mixed veggies
Challenges – it’s me this time!
A couple of weeks ago I fell into a bad cycle. I noticed that I was exercising less, falling extra short on sleep (I’m never 100% well rested) and eating more than usual. Basically I was feeling stressed with all that I had on my plate — blog, work, buying a condo, taking care of kids and trying to stay up with friends.
An article I read on Simple Mom reminded me of something I know but often forget — I was choosing to feel stressed out.
It’s easy to feel like a victim to stress with the million things parents have to do. But the truth is the situations don’t automatically cause stress — it’s how we perceive the circumstances around us that produce the stress.
I’ll never forget when my old boss told me, as I was upset in her office, that I chose to feel that way. At the time I thought she was crazy but now I hate to say she was right.
So once I caught on to what I was doing, sat back, looked at the situation objectively, and asked myself some questions.
What is the worst thing that can happen if I don’t get everything done? Does being stressed help me in any way? What things can I do to help me get through this overwhelming period? Doesn’t exercise and sleep make more productive and happy? Is there anything I can cut back on? Can I organize my time better?
So last week I got up early to run, did my 20-minute yoga tape before writing at night, went to sleep earlier and got up early to work on stuff. And I have to say, it was a much better week.
News – don’t sit for long
There have been news reports about the downside of sitting for long periods. According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, those who sit more hours in a day (>6 hours) are at higher risk for obesity and dying early than those who sit less (<3 hours). And the time spent sitting was an independent factor regardless of daily activity levels.
That means getting your hour of exercise in doesn’t make up for sitting all day.
This isn’t meant to be another guilty twist on getting enough exercise. Instead, it demonstrates an important point — the human body was designed for movement. Yet we are all faced with a modern lifestyle that encourages more sedentary behaviors.
We also live in a society that places more importance on getting structured exercise, like spending an hour at the gym, than being naturally active every day.
But making your days filled with activity is very doable. Take breaks at work to walk down the hall and talk to a friend. Be more playful with your kids. Walk instead of driving whenever you can.
Studies show that people who get more of this natural type of activity in their day, something health experts call Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), may burn up to 350 additional calories daily. That adds up.
Of course there are additional benefits to getting more intense physical activity in terms of health, strength and how one feels. We just can’t forget the power of moving more every day. We have those legs for a reason.
Okay, I’ve been sitting to long. Time to go wrestle with my kids. Have a great week!