Thursday, January 29, 2009

Feeling the pressure (1/29/09)

So, school has been good this quarter so far. I am taking General Psychology and Biology 100 (love bio!). It's been tough, but good. But, when is college ever really easy? It has never been easy for me, always a challenge, and always a struggle, but in the past 3 years that I have been in college I have learned to adapt, manage my time, and prioritize my projects. I love school, and I love learning. Well, yesterday everything from both of my classes seemed to start piling up and it hit me..."Wholy crap! I am so overwhelmed right now!" As I sit at the dining room table (which has been converted to my study area, in which I spend at least 4 hours every day that I am not working), I looked at my student planner and realized that mid-terms are coming up next week. Okay, so I am used to studying for exams and mid-terms, no big deal. But here is the part that about sent me into a panic attack....I have two projects due by next week, a chapter to read for this week, and 4 chapters to go over for the mid-term on Tuesday for biology...and I have some videos to watch, two homework assignments to work on, and 4 chapters to study for the mid-term on Wednesday for psychology! What the hell, what is up with all of this busy work being assigned a week before the mid-term? I mean, I understand that college isn't easy and our professors want to challenge us, I get that. But, how can you study and focus when you have three projects to work on at one time!? It's Friday and I still have all of this to do. So, I have plenty of time to get it done and I have a time line planned out, but there is only so much I can do in a day before my brain shuts down. I feel like I go through this every quarter, but these classes have more busy work than I am used to, thank god I only took these two classes. I study for at least 4 hours a day and that isn't really enough, but by the time I am done my brain is toast. So, today is Thursday and I start my three day work week at Trader Joe's tomorrow night. I did have a client to train tonight but he had to cancel and I am actually thankful for that, it gives me an hour and a half more to study and I don't have to worry about getting dressed and heading into the gym tonight, which means I can break up my study sessions a little more. So, when I get out of school today, I will head out for my long run, which is 8 miles right now, come home and shower, and then hit to books until I can't see strait anymore. I am definitely feeling the pressure right now, and I hope that I am able to focus and slow my mind down so that I can retain all of the information that I am studying. I know, I know, boo-hoo...I'm whining and complaining and sound like a big baby, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to bust my ass and get all of this stuff done. I just hope I get a good grade on my mid-terms and in my classes at the end of the quarter. I just needed to vent, I feel better now. So, off to school I go. WooHoo!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My dinner tonight and sulfite free organic wine! (1/27/09 pm)

As stated this morning, I made my awesome chicken vegetable soup for dinner tonight! It turned out great.  Before I made dinner, Tim and I went to Trader Joes to get some wine that I have wanted to try for a while.  I really like wine, but when I drink it, I always get really bad headaches.  Someone that I work with at TJ's suggested that I try some sulfite free organic wine to help with the headaches.  The sulfites are a food preservative and have been known to cause headaches on some rare cases, and considering that I am sensitive to almost everything, I thought I would give it a try.  Well, even if I do get a headache from this wine it was well worth it because this stuff is amazing!  There is such a difference in the taste in wine that does not contain sulfites.  It has a suttle oak and woodsy taste with a hint of vanilla, it's just wonderful.  I really like it, and being that I am not a "wine person", it's pretty hard to find a wine that I am in love with.  Just in case you are interested in trying it out, here is the website for the guys that make it  The wine makers are just two guys out of a small town in California, and the name of the winery is Orleans Hill Winery.  

Okay, enough with the wine stuff..let's get on with dinner.
Dinner was my usual chicken and veggie soup, but this one was different and I think it's going to taste amazing.  Contents are: organic chicken stock, chicken breast cut up into small pieces, carrots, celery, garlic, onions, cubed sweet potato, broccoli, roasted corn and 21 spice seasoning (all of this is from Trader Joe's of course).  This pot lasts me all week, and every night when I dish it up, I add some cayanne and black pepper to give it a little more heat, it's soooo good, and is so comforting this time of year.
Check out the pics...

Getting everyting together...

Cutting up the veggies...

I sautee the garlic, onions, carrots, celery and sweet potatoes (which haven't been added yet) for about 10-15 minutes before I add the chicken and stock...

Stiring up the pot and getting ready to let it simmer for about 60 minutes...

Here is the finished product! I ate it with a few crackers, and it was amazing! The roasted corn really gave the soup a smokey flavor and everything all fell into place like it should have. Sooooo good as usual! What a great night this has been!

Oh, and here is Tim's dinner....gourmet pizza right out of the box and into the oven! :)

Getting back on my feet....literally (1/27/09 am)

Since winter quarter has started, my road miles (and sometimes treadmill, depending on the weather) have declined.  I also fell off the wagon, so to speak, and haven't been eating that well either.  Even though I am only taking two classes, all of the work is kicking my butt and I am finding myself becoming increasingly more tired day after day, which is really sucking the motivation to work out and go running right out of me.  Wierd, that is so not like me.  I love to work out, and even more, I love to run.  But, during the past few weeks, I have gone out for my usual runs and just thought the whole time...."I hate this, I want to go home, this sucks!".  Well, this week I am starting anew!  Better nutrition, back to my running, and even more important...I'm going to start lifting again.  My muscle tone is, well....non existant in my upper body.  Okay, yeah I know that's not physically possible, but it is really not what it used to be.  So, I am trying to find new ways to prioritize my homework and my workouts so that I can get them both in and feel good and have energy again.  Eating better will help too...hopefully my energy levels will go back up.
Yesterday (Monday), I went for my long(ish) run.  It was really nice.  I found a route that I can run by the house so that I don't have to actually drive somewhere to go running (which never really made sense to me).  We don't live in the most "runner friendly" area so this is a pretty big deal.  Anyways, I did 7 miles and it was great!  It was about 35* out, the sky was clear, and I had a view of Mt. Rainier on the second half of my run heading back to the house.  Great way to start the week.  My nutrition was good yesterday too...well besides the handful of hot tamales I ate last night.  Oops. 
It snowed last night (WTF), and I am supposed to go to Pt. Defiance for a 5 mile hill run with Claire, so we'll see if we still do that.  I don't usually run with other people, I'm am a solo runner for the most part, but it should be fun.  I am kind of a cold weather wimp, I love running in the 30ish degree's perfect for me, but anything colder and I am not really that comfortable.  If we don't go run outside, then **gulp** I'll go to the gym and run on the treadmill and lift some weights.  I hate the TM lately.  I know it's a great training tool, and it's what I started on, but is so boreing!  Oh well, I WILL get my workout in today and get my homework done!  I'm making my yummy chicken vegetable soup tonight for dinner too, will post a pic of that later.
This is a pic of me and Claire at our turkey trot last November. WooHoo!
Okay, enough of this blogging business, I gotta get to school.
Will report back later.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What I though was writers block, turned into a word vomit

I thought that I had nothing to say or report, but I think I was wrong.  There is a lot on my mind but I can't seem to put it into words.  I started this blog with the hope of being able to take some of the things that are on my mind and put them into words, and use that as a form of therapy.  I also want to use this blog to share my love for running, nutrition, and wellness with my friends and family.  I feel like I lack focus in my life, and am kind of all "over the place" with my thougts and feelings, and the things that I do.  I am really good at starting little projects with good intentions but get bored with them pretty quickly and move onto something new.  I can't sit still for more than about 30 minutes at a time and need constant stimulation, yet I am always feeling fatigued and tired.  I would really like to learn how to gain a little more focus.  Maybe writing this blog and trying to put in an entry every day at least will help me gain a little more discipline in my life.  Maybe by putting my thoughts, fears, and anxieties down on "paper" will help me to realize my faults and strengths and gain more discipline.  I never thought about writing a blog because it would be A) way too personal for me to share with people, and that scares me, or B) I wouldn't be able to commit to it, like I said, I have commitment issues with projects.  But, Tim (my husband) suggested that I start this blog so that I could put some of my words down and help others in the process.  I resisted at first in my traditional fashion and said "NO, I won't commit to this blog and will get tired of it in a few days", but because he knows me better than anyone, and knows that this will be good for me, I decided to start it.  So, there you go.  My very first blog entry.  DONE!  Now, I have to get ready for work.  Hope this didn't bore you to tears....not sure who "you" are or if anyone is actually reading this, but maybe someone will someday.