Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lazy, Amaze-y Quiche

Woke up like dis- still looks pretty after a night in the fridge
This recipe was born of a pathetically stocked refrigerator, a dash of boredom and some serious TGIF. Inspired by my friend's article on simplification, I loved the idea of doing some Friday cooking in order to save precious weekend time.

Quiche is a good go-to to have in the fridge because it’s high in protein, easy to make and to store. Daytime sustenance for breakfast or lunch. Good stuff.

I had puff pastry in the freezer but was out of milk- odd. I thought I’d give Greek yogurt a try to replace the milk in my egg mixture and it was this random ingredient which made all the difference! I will never use milk in a quiche again (unless I'm out of yogurt).

Usually I get fancy with my quiches and sauté onions, garlic and other veggies but on this time I took laziness to another level- it was Friday and I was OVER IT after having the flu all week. 

So first things first- I took my pastry out of the freezer to thaw. I had just enough for my square pan so after poking a few holes in it, I baked it in the oven at 200C (400F) for about 15- 20 minutes. Make sure it looks slightly golden because it will cook a bit more with the egg mixture.

Next- a dozen eggs, and two big spoonfulls of full-fat, Greek yogurt (probably about 3/4 of a cup or so). Whisk together until creamy and until the lumps disappear. A dash of white pepper and salt and done egg mixture.

To add a little nutrition I simply chopped up some raw spinach (I used organic stuff from my veggie box) into the pastry once it’s cooled a bit. If you wanna go the extra mile, add some fresh herbs. I have an herb garden literally outside my kitchen door so this time I grabbed a bit of basil to chuck in (last time I made no such effort). 

Now we cannot neglect the cheese, this is a quiche after-all. Use big chunks of feta (or any cheese) and place on top of the spinach. I made sure to stick some in each corner. Don’t worry if little feta ice-bergs poke out of the egg batter once you pour it- that’s the good stuff.

Next- evenly pour egg mixture into the pan, filling in all the nooks and crannies.

Now comes the most difficult part- timing. I've found that lower and longer works best- as in lower temperature for longer time.  This one took about and hour at 150C (300F). Test it by poking a knife into the center- much like a cake if the knife comes out clean it's done AAAAND DONE. Snackalicious.

Lazy, Amaze-y Quiche Ingredients

  • 1 Dozen Eggs
  • 3/4-1 Cup Plain Greek Yoghurt
  • A Big Bunch Chopped Spinach
  • A Handful Fresh Herbs (Optional)
  • As Much As You Like Feta Cheese (or any substitute)
  • Dash Salt & Pepper
  • Frozen Shortcrust Pastry (Optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Line a square pan with pastry and poke holes in it. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Otherwise, simply grease the pan.
  2. Whisk together eggs, yogurt and salt & pepper
  3. Allow pastry to cool then add spinach and herbs.
  4. Chuck in some cheese.
  5. Pour egg mixture evenly over the spinach.
  6. Bake in the oven for about an hour at a low temperature (150C/ 300F).

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday…Public Holiday Blues #mindbodyweek

I grew up in sports-obsessed Buffalo, New York so I understand what it’s like for a town to go into shut-down-mode for a football. Australia wins because today is a public holiday dedicated entirely to tomorrows Footy (Australian rules football) Grand Finale. #theirsuperbowl

Last night really felt like a Friday but you didn’t find me celebrating with Chardonnay in hand. Nope. I did my best to stick to my healthy guns. I did have a teeny-tiny slip up when I made some microwave nachos at 9:30PM. I was CRAVING salt and still hungry after dinner (Green curry over cauliflower rice) and I caved. Simple as that. A few tortilla chips with cheese- nuked, then topped with fresh tomato, avocado, homemade hummus and Greek Yoghurt (could be worse). They tasted amazing in case you’re wondering.

Then this morning I overslept for pump class. And it put me in an odd mood. I felt kind of emotional but for no apparent reason (surely it can’t be the nachos…can it?)

Lucky for me, my supportive husband suggested I head to the gym anyway. Everything in me resisted but I went. And it did make me feel slightly better. Sometimes I think it’s easier to stick to my goals when I’m in a routine. Geez I sound almost ungrateful for a long weekend- when that’s definitely not the case.

Could be homesickness creeping in- who knows? It’s one thing to have a reason to feel flat but to have no reason- that irritates me. I do feel pretty great physically after a week of working on my fitness. My fave Mommy-sweatpants are feeling loose around my middle (maybe they just need a wash) but I swear, the bloat I had been carrying around is gone.

One thing I recognized is that it’s so easy for me to ignore the small, unhealthy choices I make in a given day. A diet coke here, a few chocolates there, some salty chips….It really does add up. I’ve said it before- I’m not a diet person. I don’t believe in diets and I don’t think they work. However I do believe in making lifestyle changes. I just need to pay more attention to my undercover snacking.

The lesson I’m taking away from this week is this: Be conscientious of the little choices- they add up. And scheduling work outs with my gym buddy or with child care makes it more likely that I’ll show up. It’s not enough to rely on motivation alone sometimes.

Tomorrow I’ll round everything out with a Skype session with my homeopath. Talking to her is always therapeutic and hopefully after she prescribes me a remedy I’ll feel brand new.

I have to be honest when I say that I’m really looking forward to some Chardonnay tomorrow- sports are a great excuse for some day drinks. Happy Grand Finale everyone!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thursday…Outside, In #mindbodyweek

This morning I hosted Mums Group so you could say I exercised my social muscles (tee hee).

When the girls were here I almost successfully avoided all naughty treats except for two tiny little oat ball cookie thingies which were mildly healthy as far as cookies go. After they left I was craving diet coke in a big way but drank a glass of water instead #healthy choices.

I felt a little blah when I woke up today which is definitely better than the monster headache I had last night. I think it was a combo of sore muscles and detoxing.
I still couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for my exercise- I needed to try and work something in around Vin’s nap and my bang trim in the afternoon.

Welp, what I decided to do was make myself feel better from the outside. This week has been busy so I felt gross and in need of some maintenance. I took a bubble bath, shaved, plucked, removed old, chipped nail-polish and painted my nails. Then I got my bangs cut and basically felt like a fresher version of myself.

When Lavinia took her nap I did a meditation in the sun which made me feel more relaxed. 
Sometimes a little pampering can be incredibly beneficial to our health because it’s practicing self-care. We need to show ourselves a little love- often! Some things (like showering) as Moms know tend to get neglected in the hustle and bustle. Don’t forget to make time for the small things. Or if you do- do them all at once like I did.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday, Hump-day Happiness #mindbodyweek

Represent'n Buffalo- peace!

Doing a post per day makes these challenges busier for me, but also allows me to actively concentrate and analyze what I’m trying to achieve and how I'm feeling about it.

As a result I would recommend that if you take-on this challenge definitely keep a diary. Try not to feel self-conscious about it- only you have to read it. Throw it away afterward if you want to, just write things down. Putting your ideas, goals, and emotions down in black and white will not only allow you to see your progress it also gives you accountability- even if it's only to yourself (and who is more important really?)

Yesterday afternoon was a struggle. I felt really hungry before dinner and I wanted to grab the easiest thing- leftover candy from a kiddie party. I only crave crap like that when I cut down on sugar (want whatcha can't have much?) I had a dip in energy but after my lovely healthy dinner I felt better! Usually in the evenings I retreat into a mute blob on the couch but I found myself doing a few extra chores and getting ready for the next day. I even felt like having a conversation with my husband! Lucky him!
Check out the yummy baked fish parcel I made!
Today I had a dental appointment and somehow tricked myself into going to the gym beforehand (that accountability thing) by telling myself I could use the steam room afterward.  No time for steam but I now have an impressive three day in a row gym streak.
And another interesting thing happened. Since I had my daughter my periods have been far apart- like 30-31 days when I’m typically a 28-day-girl. I got my period today- right on time. Coincidence? I think not. It’s amazing what regular exercise and eating healthy can do for your body in just a FEW DAYS. My sinuses even feel better.

Make the decision to try this now. If I can do it with zero prep work and leaving my schedule the same you can too! All I have done is add a daily work out, clean eating (no processed foods), and writing about it to each day. It’s a little more time consuming but I actually have the energy to cope with it. And I’m in a better mood!

Happy Wednesday- we over the hump! x

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday: Om..Ouch #mindbodyweek

No pain, no gain
Confession: Last night I ate some dark chocolate chips and I will be using these to appease my hormones for the rest of the week…in moderation of course.

Last night I went to bed early and slept late- by the graciousness of my little daughter who slept till 9:00AM today. #highfive Sleep is essential for healing and health so we were off to a good start.

Oh hai again gym!

Went to the gym and took a ripping yoga class with a fantastic substitute instructor. He gave us all little head massages and placed scented bean bags on our eyes during final meditation. My legs were desperate for the stretching after yesterday’s pump class and it helped clear my head too.

When I walked into child-care to grab Lavinia she was learning to Salsa with the lovely Latin woman who runs it. She got her cute little exercise in for the day too. Rad.

We got home and had a healthy lunch (well, one of us did, Vin is on day two of a cereal-only diet). I went with a recipe given to me by a friend who works from home as a hairdresser. She eats super clean and usually has to squeeze in a quick, decent lunch between clients. I used to scarf this one down all the time during the newborn era.

Lunchtime Protein-Packed Veg Bowl

  • Steamed Veggies
  • Homemade Hummus
  • Tuna
  • Feta
  • Sriracha, optional (still working on those pesky sinuses)
This afternoon I felt a little dip in energy- maybe it’s just my body adjusting (in addition to those pesky hormones). I’m still trying to think of a menu for the rest of the week but I’m really struggling (over-thinking much?) I may just grab some meat, fish and veggies and just wing it, after all this is supposed to be about real food and simplicity. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Holy crap my muscles are sore!

Tip: I’m making a conscious effort to keep a full water bottle near me at all times.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday: Improve Food Game #mindbodyweek

Monday- the first day of my week long challenge to pep-up my health. Have I set myself up for a successful week by taking it easy over the weekend? Of course not. There were birthday parties, drinks, lots of food and zero exercise.

The result- I felt fatigued, dry and squishy first thing. The upside is that I will have a stark contrast against how I felt today and how I hope to feel by the end of the week.

Even if my body was struggling, my head was in a positive space. I’m looking forward to tackling the goals set for myself.

Today I hit the gym with a friend from my Mums group. She recently joined and I can tell you, there is nothing like a gym buddy to help with motivation- or lack of cancellation! We took a weights class and I felt better for it. I'm planning on at least two other gym days this week to keep up the momentum.

The other big thing I wanted to take on today is a meal plan. I aim make healthy, whole, clean foods this week. My aim is to stay away from things in packages- even making my own condiments, dressings and sauces. It will be a challenge and I’ll spend a lot of time in the kitchen but I’m sure it will make a difference to my digestive system. So far today I'm not even close to achieving this. I ate decently and managed to avoid the leftover sweets from Lavinia’s birthday party but haven't had a chance to plan or shop. It’s late now so I’ll have to hit the supermarket tomorrow with a list. #foodgameweak

The other thing I’m struggling with today is congestion. It’s been lingering off and on for months which very unusual for me. Today it’s taken on an epic plug- it almost feels like I’m suffocating and I’ve tried everything I can think of without resorting to taking meds or nasal spray. It’s frustrating and I'm over it. 

Went to the gym and booked in for two other days this week.
Achieved a guest post deadline
Avoided sugar and junk (except for the little raw sugar in my coffee)

Work on:
Meal plan for the rest of the week
Get this congestion to clear up

Today didn’t go perfectly but I want to see how a challenge like #mindbodyweek can fit into real-life. No preparation involved, just one week, one health-related goal per day day and the accountability of a blog to stick to it (blog not required).

It's just the beginning.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Just Stay Happy…Damn It!

After my last therapy session I decided to take a break because I didn't feel like I getting much out of it anymore.

I felt like my therapist was basically trying to convince me: 'it's not that bad,' and to focus on the positive- which is fair enough. I do have a pretty amazing life yet sometimes the negativity takes over. Do I feel like I have first world problems- yes I do, which totally sucks.

But comparing myself to those who are worse-off only makes me feel guilty. When depression sneaks up it does not mean gratitude goes out the window, it just means I need to have a little pity party for one. Even if every single one of my wildest dreams comes true, even if I have one eye over my shoulder constantly-once in a while the gloom will catch up. That's just how depression rolls. #annoying

Sometimes it's easier than others to deal with the rough patches. Like this week- I felt really shitty on Monday and Tuesday but today, Friday, my spirits are back up.

I’m starting to (finally) accept that my system is more sensitive than I would like it to be. I’m missing a thyroid- oh yeah that. It was removed when I was a teenager so sometimes I forget I'm not like everyone else. What does this mean for me?  I need way more sleep than the average person, booze is not my friend and I need to maintain a stable blood sugar level. These things are difficult enough to maintain when you have a kid let alone if you have 'the wanderlust.' Let me explain.

There is this part of me that is never satisfied- I have an unhealthy addiction to life. I need things to be so fun/ incredible/ memorable/ emotional!!!! All the time. I don't like to sit still unless I am relaxing within the specific parameters which allow me to completely relax (dishes need to be done for one). I'm high maintenance when it comes to fun.

I drank lots of wine last Saturday night with my husband. We were having a date night in (I can't just have a Saturday night feel like every other night). And I paid for it. For days.

I know hangovers get worse as you get older but this was different. I knew it was affecting my mood negatively. The timing sucked because Tuesday was Lavinia’s second birthday. It also happened to be one of those days where nothing went to plan so by the time she went to bed I was crabby, exhausted and felt like I ruined her day.

Looking for any excuse for my feelings other than self-inflicted neglect, I checked my period diary app. When in doubt, blame hormones. Nope- still one week away from the red light. Then I remembered the last few months, the same thing happened. Exactly seven days out from Aunt Flo I had a serious dip in my mood and energy.

Funnily enough I could her my therapist saying to me, “Now what can you do to prevent this from happening again?” And I started work-shopping what I could do to take better care of my health around that time each month.

Hmmmm. Maybe I was projecting my frustration onto my therapist when I felt like she wasn’t giving me enough sympathy. Maybe it’s not sympathy I need but strategy. Dang it! The expert wins again!

I think it’s about time to dedicate another week to my mental and physical health like I did five months ago: Here's a recap. Back then I promised myself I would take one week each season (or quarter) and do one thing each day to improve my general health and wellbeing. Join me!!  Just use the hashtag #mindbodyweek and let’s get our shit together- together!

Last time I started on Monday and by Saturday I was up early, brimming with energy and feeling well. I want to capture that feeling again.

Monday morning- I'm hitting the gym and I might just make a therapy appointment. Wish me luck.