a few simple moments with a side of eggs.

Once again, time has gotten a hold of me.

I twist and I turn and I try to pull free, but somehow it becomes 3 o’clock and I’m just eating lunch.  It becomes 6 o’clock and I realize that I’m eating spaghetti squash for the second night in a row.  And, somehow, it becomes 8 o’clock and I once again realize that I’m fighting a losing battle.  A losing battle that has really already been lost.

Time.  Where do you go?

I’ve learned over the years that I can’t control time.  As a little girl, I could never make Christmas morning come any faster no matter how hard I wished for it.  As a freshman in college, I could never make time go backwards for just “a little more time to study.”  And now, as I sit here in my fuzzy socks, drinking tea, and blogging I realize: Sarah, you can’t control time.

But..BUT!

There is always a “but”.  But, I can control what I do with my time.

Even on the busiest days, I need to remind myself what “slow” feels like.  What it means to feel the wind on my face.  Or a water droplet splattering against my cheek.  The sound of a mallard duck flying overhead.  Even the sound of my footsteps on the ground.  Just a few things.  A few things to settle me down and realize that I’m okay.  That despite how busy life feels, the slow things in life continue on as well.

Sigh.  This is so satisfying.

Eggs, spinach and quinoa are satisfying too (yes, together!)  Maybe it’s the fact that I finally broke away from the repetitive nature of my spaghetti squash.  Or maybe it’s because the meal felt so out of the ordinary and totally random.  A splash of surprise for an otherwise normal, busy day.

Yes.  It satisfied every tastebud. 😀

QUESTION: What are some of your favorite “simple” moments that you see or experience on a day to day basis?  If you’re not really sure, I recommend trying to seek them out tomorrow!  You’ll be surprised with what you notice. 😀

Define Yourself.

I think—knock on wood—that I am officially on the upswing.  My sore throat is gone.  My energy levels are (above) normal.  And my appetite…well…it never really left. 😉

My hope is that by tomorrow, I’ll be feeling 100% better.  100% me!! Back in the kitchen with a whisk and a hearty appetite for life and cooking.  In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you, one of my most favorite mantras…

“Define Yourself”

I roll this simple little statement over and over in my head when I’m out on a run.  Especially the tough ones.  When the steep hill feels too long.  Too impossible.  Too steep.

Sarah?  Define yourself.

And it’s not just running that this mantra applies to.  In fact, if I didn’t believe so much in “running to slow things down,” this may very well have been my blog title.

This morning, I found myself knee deep in stress.  Yes.  Stress.  That delightful word that happens to each and every one of us at one point or another.

You know.  Those times when you feel like your chest is one big knot and your mind is running a million miles a minute, and you just want it all to stop, stop, stop.  This morning, that was me.  And I vented.  In every single sense of the word, I vented: So much to do!  So little time!  No time to breathe!  Ten hour work days!  Too little sleep!

Yes.  I vented and vented and then vented some more.  I vented my heart out to my poor mom who listened and nodded and then sent me off to work with a kiss, a smile, and an “I’ll pray for you.” (Thank God for Moms)  I felt like one big stress ball, ready to break into tears at any given moment.

It’s easy, during those stressful moments, to feel like nobody on the planet knows what it’s like to feel your level of stress.  If only they understood!  But the truth is that we all have stress.  Each and every one of us.  The only difference is that some of us know how to handle it better than others.

We have the option of letting stress control our lives.  OR, we can take control of the stress.

The busy weeks that never end.  The people that make us feel like pulling our hair from our head.  The car that is driving impossibly slow on the highway.  We certainly can’t always control the situation.  But we CAN control our attitude.

I lightened up.  I breathed.  I sipped a cup of tea on route to work.  And then I smiled because life goes on and tomorrow is Friday and to do my best is all that I can do.

“Define yourself.”

Question: How do you handle stress?

the return of the boxed lunch

Vacation sure was nice while it lasted. 

Honestly—aside from writing an abstract on hypertension—I didn’t accomplish a whole lot during vacation, and that is just fine by me.  My brain feels well rested.  Ready to think and be used once again.

That being said, the first day back always feels a little rough.  Especially since I was starting my clinical rotation at the hospital for the first time today.  Obviously, I needed a fun lunch to feel excited about.  Something to  make getting up at 5:00am just a little bit easier. 😉

Last night, I made chef salads for the family and topped each one off with a few scoops of roasted veggies that had been drizzled and deeply caramelized with a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Sweet onions, peppers, carrots, and baby portobello mushrooms. 

I forgot how much I love this simple flavor combination.

One of the (many) things that I love about roasting vegetables, is that any extras can be incorporated into the following day’s lunches and dinners.  Breakfast, even! 

And so, roasted vegetables became my very special lunch for today.  I reheated the veggies in the cafe’s microwave, scooped them onto a whole wheat wrap from home, and finished it all off with a salty bite of feta cheese.

(p.s. As much as I love roasted veggies, the feta definitely made this meal! )

The first day back can be terribly unsettling.

What time will I eat?  Will I have the time to eat?

Where do I go?  What was that persons’ name again?  And the worst: I think I’m lost.

 But…

Yes, I had time to eat.  I’ll learn peoples’ names eventually.  And it’s impossible to get completely lost, even in an unknown hospital, because there’s always somebody around to redirect me if I look worried enough…ha! 😉 

A fun group of snacks and a tasty lunch didn’t hurt either.

Snacks included:

  • Chocolate Chip Z-Bar
  • Apple
  • Almonds mixed with fancy raisins
  • Sliced papaya

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Roasted Veggie Wrap
Serves 1-2

Roasted veggies make for a fine lunch-to-go.  Make extra during the weekend to carry you through at least the beginning of the week.  For easy lunch options, you could easily mix the veggies with brown rice and baked tofu or chicken for a complete meal.  Or serve them alongside a piece of grilled fish.  Or simple eat as-is, with roasted garbanzo beans and a dollop of gaucamole.  

Or, roll the veggies into a whole wheat wrap and top with feta cheese. 

Whichever way you serve them, roasted veggies offer you a whole lot of nutrition and a whole lot of flavor.  Enjoy! 😀

  • Mixture of your favorite vegetables, sliced to desired thickness (the thicker pieces will require longer cooking time)
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • whole wheat wrap
  • feta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. On a rimmed cookie sheet, toss vegetables with oil, salt and pepper.  Place in preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Stir around.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked as desired (browning is recommended! 😀 ).
  3. Place on a whole wheat wrap, top with feta cheese and enjoy! 😀

Question: What do you do for work (or as a student)?  Do you enjoy it?

in the groove

And so it’s back to work I go.

Slowly but surely, I’m finding my morning groove. 

30 minutes for breakfast
30 minutes for working out/yoga
15 minutes for showering
15 minutes for getting dressed, throwing on a bit of makeup, and grabbing my coffee to go

Breakfast and working out are not to be messed with.  They do wonders for tuning my day to the right note. 😀   

“Un”overnight oats became my quickie breakfast of choice this morning.  With the nice addition of chia seeds and a scoop of almond butter.  Delicious.

Last night I threw together a random rice, veggie and tempeh concoction for today’s lunch.  It turned out quite yummy, although garlic would have made this stuff shine.  Unfortunetly, chewing gum is not allowed in the food service.  So, well, garlic was thrown out of the picture.  😉

  • 1 c. brown rice
  • 1/2 block of tempeh mixed with 2 tsp. lite soy sauce
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • pepper, cumin and cayenne to taste (ADD garlic if you can!! :mrgreen: )

Snacks: apple, orange slices and almonds

I’m close to finishing up the job descriptions.  I never realized how much work goes into doing these things until now.  Especially when the Union is involved.  Everything needs to be clearly marked and job oriented.  Otherwise, people get in trouble and things can get pretty ugly.  😉

On the non-business-related front, I’ve also been taking a peak at the monthly menus for the school.  They stay pretty similair month by month, with the occasional change in fruit options, lunch options, etc.  Apparently, chicken is the big selling point for the school.  Whether found as a breaded chicken patty or chicken nuggets, these things s-e-l-l.  I wonder what it would be like to introduce a completely new meal.  Healthified.  Delicious.  Kid-approved.  What would that take?  I would love to find out. 😀

Afternoon Snack: yogurt with flax, bananas and granola

Have you ever roasted a chickpea?

For dinner, I roasted 1/2 a cauliflower with some diced, fresh beets together at 425 degreesF, for 10 minutes.  I then added some salt, pepper and 1/2 c. chickpeas.  Ten more minutes and voila!  Bursting chickpeas that popped when you bit into them.  They grew tougher.  Meatier.  And I liked them.  A lot.  😀

The rest of my salad was kept pretty standard.  Olive oil with sea salt.  Bell peppers.  Avocado.  And a slice of deliciously chewy, whole grain bread.

Time. To. Relax.

First with a 4-mile walk.  And finished with some journaling and chocolate mint tea.  Mmmm….

Question: What was your favorite (healthy) meal to eat as a kid?  I’m looking for ideas. 😉