Workday Excursion Wednesday!

What do I do at work? Besides work – I think about my next vacation, short daytrips or even places to explore on my lunch break. I’m just one of those people who must get out of Dodge on a regular basis for my own sanity. This urge doesn’t stop once I am sitting behind a desk (I try not to sit behind a desk that often for work, but for now…).

So, I think of little things to do during my lunch hour. You will never catch me eating my lunch at my desk – mouse in one hand, fork in the other – NEVER! I value my “me time”! If I didn’t use this time to explore and wander, I would end up sad, bitter, angry, hating and resenting myself, everything and everybody. Dramatic? Yes. But, it’s true. It’s important to know yourself and what makes you happy. #SelfCare, HELLO!

It doesn’t have to be a lunch hour hike, where you get all sweaty and need a shower afterwards. It can be a short stroll in the park, visiting a local shop or even eating lunch at a new and different place. I have to do something.

I moved to Westchester County nearly a year ago. So, YAY! To me, this means “New places to explore every day!”. I just use my favorite apps – Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Maps – to do some research, and then I’m off…

To use alongside the apps, I purchased an amazing book: Walkable Westchester

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Yellow tabs = Weekday Pink Tabs = Weekends

The book is broken down into sections from tiny walks and parks to long weekend hiking trips! It’s such a great resource. I have used it for a couple of adventures, and, as you can see by the tabs, more are coming soon!

I decided to turn this into a weekly bloggy thing. I will share what I have done during my lunch hours each Wednesday. I call it “Workday Excursion Wednesday”! Yay!

I have gone a few places so far, so I will share a few standouts to catch you guys up!

First up: Kensico Dam – Valhalla, NY

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The Dam in winter!

I actually went here on an unseasonably warm day in February, so I need an update with foliage (if it ever stops raining, I will!)…

Next: Carroll’s Park – Valhalla, NY

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I had lunch here on National Picnic Day! I just bought a salad from the salad bar at a nearby grocery store, sat at a table and enjoyed the duck pond…

Went shopping: The Twisted Branch – Valhalla, NY

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Little oil and vinegar kegs! For tasting!

This is my favorite small shop in Valhalla! The Twisted Branch! I had to go in because I saw on Yelp that they had an olive oil and vinegar tasting bar, and I’m all for a good tasting. I ended up trying pretty much everything, and bought a bunch of different flavors! I am such a fan, and so is my (former restaurant chef, current home chef) boyfriend! If you bring in your empty bottle, you can get a refill for 15% off!

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I teamed up with The Twisted Branch for a giveaway on the DaytoDayDweeb Insta account @DaytoDayDweeb ! It’s for these two delicious products! US Only. Contest ends 8/24/18 at 8am!

A little drive: Chappaqua Pocket Park – Chappaqua, NY

This lovely miniature park is a short drive away.  I love everything to do with flowers, so I like to visit every garden I possibly can, big or small.

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Easy stuff: Around my office building

Some days I can’t go that far :-(, but I still must go! When this happens (rarely), I just take a walk around the office building. There are several seating areas and fountains, which makes it a pleasant experience and can (briefly) take you away…

A few tips:

  • Time your trip – It’s important that you time these visits properly so that you’ll have time to enjoy your trip and time to get there and back within a lunch hour. Use the Google Maps app for current traffic info. Also, if you are actually planning a more active excursion, schedule some clean-up time before you hit the office!
  • Use your apps – Some good apps, as I’ve mentioned are Yelp and TripAdvisor. They will find the awesome things available in your area. Don’t forget Groupon for local lunch deals!
  • DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! – I’d never been to an oil tasting shop until I found The Twisted Branch, and now I love it! Whatever odd or new thing is available, just give it a try. You might actually like it!

So, do a little research! Make the workweek fun!

Also, if you are also located in the Westchester, NY area, give me some ideas! Where do you guys go to get away?

Women’s Wellness Wednesday

Why tiptoe around it? This blog is about your period. Premenstrual syndrome, PMS, to be more specific. I put together a list of supplements you can take to help quell whatever symptoms you may have. I notice, now that I am closer to 40 than I am 30, I seem to get ALL OF THE SYMPTOMS. I never had bloating, now I’m a pufferfish. I never had mood swings, now I’m Sybil for a week. It’s pretty new and strange to me, but I am working on getting a handle on it. Some of the stuff I’ve found works great. Here are all the supplements, tools, tips and tricks I use for “That Time of the Month”. Hopefully, it’ll also help any struggling ladies out there!

Okay. Let’s start with the supplements…

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I got this at Vitacost!

MCT Oil – “Fuel Your Brain” – Am I the only one who gets a little “fuzzy” around this time? Do you guys also get clumsy with a major case of the dropsies? Well MCT oil may help with this! I add a little to my smoothies in the morning and it adds some nice richness to an otherwise watery smoothie.

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The jury is out on this one…

Evening Primrose Oil – “The Old Standby” – This has been touted as the PMS supplement for years. However, recently studies have shown that, well, they don’t do too much. But, why change what has helped so many for decades? Even if it’s a mind over matter thing, well, I believe in the power of positive thinking…

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Works! But use caution (please)…

Black Cohosh – “Hormone Control” – I know, I know. This supplement is usually recommended for women who are going through menopause. Well, guess what? The symptoms of menopause and PMS are very similar. Similar enough to use the same supplement that is known to: regulate mood, reduce inflammation (so you don’t have to pop the NSAIDs) and promotes healthy skin (this is important around that time)!

***Yes, there are side effects and warning about long term use of Black Cohosh. I make sure that I only take it the week before my period starts. Consult a doctor before taking this supplement.***

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So many ways to take magnesium! Good Day Chocolate is at Whole Foods!

Magnesium – “Keep Calm” – Magnesium is my FAVORITE supplement! I don’t know if it is another “mind over matter” supplement, but after I have a fizzy Natural Calm drink I feel so good! There are lots more benefits to magnesium, some are listed in another one of my blogs. The most important benefit when it comes to premenstrual health is the calming properties. Marketers and supplement makers are on to this and they are putting it in everything – from powders to candy! That makes it easier to find a magnesium supplement that you’ll like. Since it’s calming, sometimes it’s exactly what you need.

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Fish Oil has so many benefits!

Fish Oil – “Control the Swole” – Fish oil has lots of health benefits, and most are related to cardiovascular health (Omega-3 fatty acids, etc.). I’ve recently read where it’s effective in preventing bloating, so… Little tidbit: It’s important to use a good fish oil supplement. When I say good I mean one that does not cause “fish burps”. Yeah. That’s not pleasant. Usually the supplement will even say “Does not cause fish burps” because it’s that big of an issue. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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I am new to this one. My boyfriend introduced me!

Ashwaganda – “Stabilize Your Mood” – I wish I could think of a better headline for this but, this is fine. This supplement is known for its calming effect, something that is necessary when you have period related mood swings.

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This brand has more than just melatonin…

Melatonin – “Get Some Sleep” – So, this is a problem for me around that time. Usually a week before my period starts, I sometimes I stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning. That’s even if I have work the next day. Melatonin really helps with that. I like to take two of these gummies – the full dosage – around that time.

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My bag is not in good shape!

Maca Powder – “The Wonder Supplement” – I call this a “wonder” because it’s helps with every women’s health issue you can think of! Got a hormone imbalance? Maca powder! Fertility issues? Maca powder! Seriously, this stuff is great. What’s not so great is the taste. The word “earthy” comes to mind. Earthy. As in eating dirt. Yeah, blend it with something with a strong taste to mask it. I add it to smoothies, but most recently I added some to my muffins. With the major flavors being cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, they taste great!

Here is a product that helps me make it through this time, especially at work:

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This is a lifesaver if you have bad cramps and have to go to work!

Thermacare Heatwraps – “Kill Those Cramps!” I remember using these years ago, but I had no idea they still made them! I was so happy when I found them at the FSA Store (side note: if you have an FSA, use those dollars! If you aren’t sure how to spend it, the FSA Store is incredible!)! These heatwraps have adhesive strips so they can be securely placed on the inside of your panties for a warm, pain killing effect on cramps. That’s what you need sometimes to help release the cramps, warmth. I recommend wearing larger panties with these, for effectiveness and for comfort’s sake. I didn’t think I would end this blog with a panty tip.

Doing what works best for you health-wise takes research and a little trial and error. To be better prepared for “that time” you can use some of my tips, do some of your own research and consult your physician if you have existing health issues. Stay healthy, ladies!

 

Making the Most of Every Day…

This is just a quick post…

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This is a nice little park next to my job…

 

quick Yay! I have a tagline! I thought of it while I was in the park during lunch today. Yes. The park, during my lunch break. Today (4/23/18) is National Picnic Day after all. So why not? That’s a question I ask a lot now that I think about it – Why Not?

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My picnic lunch – in case you were wondering!

Why not leave the office during your lunch break?

Why not take a walk outside during the day?

Why not appreciate the spring perennials (while they’re still around)?

 

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I’m referring to the daffodils in the distance!

It’s so important to take advantage of these little moments in life. Enjoy yourself!

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First perennial spotting of the year! In my own front yard!
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More, near the train station of all places!
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The latest blooms near my house…

I’m obviously a crazy flower lady!

What do you do to enjoy your day-to-day life?

Keto Party Food!

***Interesting Pre-Note: I wrote this before I knew the outcome! The tense may jump around a bit…***

Every time I start a “lifestyle change” a food related event pops up. It could be something big like a relative’s birthday, or a major holiday. Sometimes it’s just a small thing, like an office recognition dinner or “The Big Game”. Well, last week’s celebration could be considered “The Big Game”. Let me just get it out, quickly…It’s WrestleMania. There, I said it.

I was not one of those people who grew up watching wresting. I knew about Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage (“Snap into a Slim Jim!”) because their fame surpassed the ring, but that was pretty much it. When I got older, my sister and my cousin would talk about “Raw” and they had crushes on Triple H and The Rock (I did take a peek at him back then…), but I still wasn’t into it.

Related(-ish) side story: When I was 21, 22, I went to a local bar with my friend and this guy kept cornering me. Not in a stalky way, he was just keeping all the other guys away from me by being in my face. I knew him from around town, but I wasn’t interested. He wasn’t terrible, he just wasn’t my “type”. My friend agreed – “He wouldn’t be so bad, especially if he wasn’t wearing an ‘NWO 4-Eva’ shirt!” Yeah, I think that was it. Yuck. My 9-year-old sister is into those shows! So when I thought of wrestling, I thought of that…

Fast forward about 17, 18 years. I meet a great guy, fall in love and move in with him and his dog (it happened that quickly too). I’m under the impression that things are great and then one day he says “Do you want to watch wrestling with me? I record it and fast forward through most of it.” Mmm hmmm. “There is the flaw!”, I thought. Well, I’m willing to try anything so, “Yeah! Why not?” I watched and it wasn’t that bad. What helped was that my boyfriend explained what was going on and gave me some technical and background information throughout. He’s not just a mindless fanboy about it, he understands the business. He also made it really funny, which helps a lot!

Needless to say, we’ve been watching Raw and Smackdown every week since I moved in. It’s a plan we make now, since he DVRs it. I have a couple of favorites (Elias, Matt Hardy and Braun Strowman bits are ridiculous/hilarious, Naomi is an impressive acrobat and yay Nia Jaxx, just because, I get it!).

SO NOW: Wrestlemania!

My boyfriend picked up his snacks – tortilla chips, seven-layer dip, things like that. But what can I have? I am on a low carb-keto life change right now! Why is this happening?! Well, I thought of somethings I could have, and maybe I’ll share them with him. Here are the recipes, for you!

I’ll start with the easy stuff – Cheese Crisps! I’m craving flavorful cheese, so these are perfect!

Cheese Crisps
I love silicone baking sheets!

 

I put Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning on the three white cheddar mounds for a little kick, Italian seasoning on the three Italian blend cheese mounds (obviously) and Trader Joe’s Seasoning Salt on the three mild cheddar mounds because I haven’t used it yet and I want to know how it tastes (sometimes it’s that simple!)…

Cheese Flavors
There they are – the cheeses with the matching spices!

 

Put them in a 375 degree oven for, well, until they melt, and then take them out and let them cool into crisps! Easy stuff!

Cheese Crisps Done
Cheese Chips are (almost) done! I put them in the freezer for five minutes to help them crisp up faster!

 

Another simple recipe: Egg Salad and Bacon Chips!

I make the easiest egg salad. It’s especially easy now since we have the “Egglettes”. No peeling! Yay!

Eggs
Hard boiled eggs cooked in Egglettes!

 

I am making a 4-egg salad (because Egglettes comes in a pack of four and this is just for me and the BF), so I’ll add:

  • Mayo
  • Dijon Mustard
  • 21 Seasoning Salute

 

Egg Salad
Maille is the best Dijon mustard ever!

 

That’s it. I don’t like crunchy stuff in my egg salad (NO onions, blech) so this is a really easy recipe. Everyone is so into the Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s now, but 21 Seasoning Salute is amazing with eggs. I still love it!

The bacon chips are so easy, I’m not going to even type out what I did because it’ll offend you. I will say that I use Morningstar Farms “Facon” because it is slightly better for you and, as a bonus, it’s more chip-like than real bacon.

Egg Salad with Facon
Egg Salad with “Bacon” Chips

 

Here comes a recipe with more steps: Loaded Zucchini Skins

I found this recipe on Pinterest but I changed it up a bit to make it more stuffed with goodness, more like Zucchini Boats with loaded potato fixins.

I halve a coupla large zucchinis and remove the zucchini guts (sorry, what’s another word for that? I can’t think right now…).

Zucchini

I put the hollow zucchini halves in the air fryer for about 7 minutes. I do this because I want to kinda dry them out so they’re more like potato skins. (*Hint* After they were done my boyfriend suggested that I drizzle some olive oil on them before putting them in the airfryer, and putting them in for 10 minutes. Will do next time!). I have no pics of this step for some reason! Well…

I heat my protein crumbles and zucchini guts through and add some of this Sriracha salsa that I love.

Crumbles
I had to add some spicy!

 

I stuff the zucchini halves with the crumble mixture and add shredded cheese on top.

Zucchini Stuffed
Covered and smothered!

 

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the cheese melts about 5-7 minutes

Top with sour cream, “facon” crumbles and chives for authenticity!

Zucchini Done
Artistic shot (my boyfriend took it)!

 

Recipe with the most steps: Spinach Balls

Here’s what I used:

  • Fresh Spinach (two bags)
  • 1/2 Cup of Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar
Spinach Ball Ingredients
Two bags of spinach only yielded this much!

 

I had to add something green today, since none of this really has any nutritional value (Let’s be real, it’s awesome, low-carb and keto, but it’s still junk. It’s a party!)

I started by making a little almond meal using a small bag of blanched almonds. I am using these in place of the breadcrumbs that were required in the original recipe.

Then I cook the spinach down in scallion olive oil. Shout out to The Twisted Branch for making my new favorite olive oil – scallion olive oil – YUM!

Scallion Olive Oil
Best local find! Shop local!

 

I whisk the egg and then add the spinach, almond meal and the cheeses. I also sprinkle in garlic powder for some flavor.

I put this in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour so the balls will be easy to form.

I form the balls using an ice cream scoop and put on my silicone baking sheet (a HUGE lifesaver), place in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Spinach Balls
Big ole’ spinach balls…

 

Since I made such huge balls, they flattened down into spinach patties and they were excellent! I can see making these for a meal prep…

Spinach Patties
They baked like cookies!

 

Yum!

So that’s all for the food I pre-planned to cook today. My boyfriend suggested that I make my “famous” onion dip, which is actually a supremely keto recipe.

Onion Dip
This is pre-bake (and sideways)!

 

I already made this and posted it on Instagram, so you can find the recipe as a highlight on my Instagram account!

That’s all! Done! I know I’m having some of that seven-layer dip though (with the cheese crisps!) and we are set!

Whole Party
I added yellow plates and the book for “tablescaping” purposes! Ha!

 

So, these appetizers can be used for any occasion where you might be concerned about a high carb menu. I knew my boyfriend was going to have some stuff that I couldn’t have so this was perfect!

(Booooo! At the actual outcome of WrestleMania) Now, let’s hope that Roman Reigns beats Brock Lesnar! (Yes, I realize that I just said that…)

Enjoy!

An Autumn Meal – Part 1

I know, it’s been a long time since I have posted on “The Dweeb” (that’s what all the cool people are calling it), but it’s been for good reason. Reasons I can’t get into right now, but I will soon. Well, by the end of the year, at least. So, anyway…
I noticed that I’ve been making up a lot of my recipes, so I decided to look in one of the millions (slight exaggeration) of cookbooks I own to make a new and delicious meal. This week I looked to my Orange County Bounty cookbook, which was gifted to me from my friend Marian.
OC Bounty
Yes, I am one of those “tabbers”!
I like this cookbook because the recipes are organized by season and the recipes revolve around the fresh local produce of that season. In the Fall section, and I found this great recipe for Stuffed Swiss Chard.
OC Bounty Open
Redactions for copyright reasons!
I have most of the ingredients already, yet it’s something different from my usual fare. I made a special effort to leave the recipe as it is and not change it around too-too much. Changes: from rice to quinoa – it’s always good to add a healthy protein and I only made enough for one serving (4 leaves for me!).
Here are the ingredients:
Mise En Place
I only mise en place for the camera (stuntin’)…Walnuts, celery, onion, cottage cheese, feta cheese, quinoa and an egg to act as a binder.
So I mixed it all up used it as stuffing in my rolled Swiss chard leaves…
Season Water
Season every layer!

After you roll the leaves you fill your baking dish halfway, with water. I decided to add some 21 Seasoning Salute to the water. If I had broth on hand, I’d probably use that for even more flavor.

I decided that I needed a side…and it had to fit in with the fall theme…AND it had to use my new crinkle cutting tool. So butternut squash it is! I was inspired by Instagram to make the squash fries…
Crinkle Cuts
Yay! Crinkle cutting tool! I saved the bulb-y part for soup…
I tossed the fries in a baggie with some olive oil, pink Himalayan salt and garlic powder…
Fry Prep
Fry prep!
I put both in the convection oven (it’s still too warm to use the regular oven!) at the same time, but the squash fries took slightly longer (and they would not have if they were in one, single layer)…
Ready for Oven
These colors make me happy!
After about 35 minutes the chard was done and 45 minutes, the fries were done…
Chard and Squash
Healthy and delicious! Yay!
This is such a colorful meal! It makes me so happy just looking at it, and I’m ecstatic tasting it (that’s why I’m a dweeb)!
I am enjoying this meal with an awesome seasonal beer from Harpoon Brewery (Boston, MA).
Seasonal Beer
Yum!
I actually haven’t had beer in a few months (since a wedding) so this was really good and refreshing.
So, make this! It’s easy! Oh…what? Dessert you say? Well, okay then…
How could I make a fall meal, this beautiful, without dessert? I couldn’t!
Since October is National Apple Month: Hasselback Apples!
People are hasselbacking everything these days, so I thought “why not apples?” I thought I was being innovative until I looked it up on Pinterest. Yeah, other people have thought of this as well! So, here’s my take on it…
Hasselback Prep
Preppin’ like crazy today!
It is a pretty standard “crumble” recipe, on top of a half sliced apple. I used Cinnamon Oat Kodiak Cakes mix instead of regular flour and/or oats. That adds protein and lots of flavor. I used coconut oil instead of butter to form the crumble, just because I bought a new jar.
Golden Delicious apples are my favorite, so I used them of course!
Pour on the cinnamon blend (try to get in between the cuts, I actually let it cook for about 15 minutes and then when back in to put more of the mix inside the cuts) and cook for about 30-40 minutes. I covered my pan with another pan of the same size and added cinnamon water to the bottom of the pan so it would steam them a bit…
Hasselback Apple
NOM!
I topped it with some amazing Halo Top just for some extra autumn-ness!
Halo Top
Oatmeal Cookie, for more cinnamon and oatness!
So, now, enjoy! Make a day of this deliciousness!
I’ll be back next week with a fall recipe from another cookbook (that had been wasting away on the shelf!)…

Feel-Better Friday – Migraine Edition

I have been suffering from migraines since I was about 3 years old. I remember that first one like it was yesterday: I was at the doctor’s office with my mom, who was there for a well woman visit after having my brother (that’s how I know I was 3). The office was packed, and it was so.very.hot. I remember that hot, uncomfortable feeling so well because I have the same symptoms now. I felt sweaty and bloated – like my clothes were getting tighter and tighter, the lights in the office felt like they were pointing directly into my eyes, I could barely hold my head up or walk, almost like I was a drunken 3 year old, and I felt like I was going to toss my cookies. And I did. Right in the waiting room. The nurse gave me one of those teal, kidney shaped hospital-y bowls to vomit into.

Lovely story, I know. I actually went for YEARS having these headache/vomit combos. I started out having memorable ones at least twice a year and then, in my teen years, it was bi-monthly and as I got into my twenties, I started having them once a month. But, what were “these” headaches?

When I was younger, I just thought that I was a nervous person. When I was in elementary school, I would get them when I would stress out about something. Not real stress, things like “Am I going to get a part in the play?”, “Is Tanya still mad about what happened on the playground?”. I also noticed that I would get them when the seasons changed. When back-to-school time rolled around, I was always feeling like my new clothes were tightening up and that I was hot. I thought it was because of the weather AND the anticipation of the new school year (I was on to something). I was a “Nervous Nellie”, so what? Then, as a teen, I thought it was because I was hungry and tired. I was always on some weird diet when I was a teenager (Bagel and V8 Juice diet – blech), so I thought I just had low blood sugar. I used to stay up really late in high school too, so it was just a headache from being tired. Or, if it was weather related, I was having a sinus headache. When I’d eat something, I’d feel slightly better, even though I still had to lie down (another clue). Then, in my twenties, I started having them once a month. It was usually before my period, so I thought “PMS symptom”.

So, I made all of these diagnoses on myself. I was a nervous person, who had motion sickness, heat-and-sleep related sinus headaches, low blood sugar and PMS. On a regular basis. Same feeling, same symptoms. I just lived with it for years. At times, I couldn’t see or I had vertigo along with the headache. That was just a bad headache from not wearing my glasses. “Gotta wear those more…” I thought.

Then one day, when I turned 24, I got a job as a secretary at a high-stress, state run mental health clinic. One of the program coordinators had a particularly crazy meeting. She popped into the “clerical pool”, looking sweaty, worn out like she was about to vomit, when only about an hour prior she was dressed very well, make-up applied. This was a look I was all too familiar with.  She said breathlessly, “I need to take an Imitrex, I am having migraine!”.

DING-DING-DING!!!

The lights came on in a major way! So I looked it up “migraine symptoms” and it listed EVERYTHING I’d ever experienced. It even mentioned a little thing that I noticed, and thought that I was the only one who experienced it, excessive yawning! I thought I was the only one who could not stop yawning when I was about to have a head attack! It was a real revelation for me! I had no idea what was wrong, just an oddball headache sufferer and frequent vomiter (sorry to get graphic, but that’s how I migraine). It has a name – Migraine.

I went to the doctor and it was confirmed. I had a CT scan and nothing was there (rimshot!). She asked me if I wanted a prescription for it. I said, believe it or not, “No.” I had done my research and all of the prescription drugs offered for migraines had side effects worse than the migraine itself.

So, I opted to go for the “take some Advil and lie down in a dark room” route. I’ve been doing that ever since. And, while it doesn’t help prevent migraines altogether (I wish!), it helps ease the pain when I am going through the attack stage, and if I recognize the signs early enough, during prodrome.

I do try to catch my symptoms early, especially before going away or to work. But, sometimes they come on suddenly. This is why I carry The Migraine Kit!

Migraine Care Kit

As you can see, it has some OTC meds, some natural stuff, some clean up tools (migraines can get messy). Like…

  • Be Koool Soft Gel Sheets – They are for kids? So what! When your head is pounding and you cannot get cool any other way (if it’s brutally hot and humid, or you are on public transportation), this little sheet works. Put it wherever it feels good to your head. I say that because sometimes having something directly in the middle of your forehead feels like death (if you suffer from migraines, you know what I mean).
  • Natural Inhaler – Okay, this is one of those things that will work sometimes and will aggravate your headache other times. It depends on if smell is your trigger or not. Sometimes it is a trigger for me. For example, I was on a bus and a woman with heavy, musky perfume sat down beside me when there were several seats available. I actually had to ask her to move, which didn’t seem nice and I didn’t tell her why, BUT it would have been much worse for her (and me) if she didn’t move. Anyway, this inhaler has a menthol-eucalyptus smell that I really only like when I am having a migraine. Something about it is soothing, and it makes me feel cooler. If you can’t find a eucalyptus inhaler, just put some Vicks Vaporub on a tissue and put that into a baggie. You can sniff the baggie (some of this migraine stuff has to be done in private!)…
Migraine Care Kit - Inside
Before I put in the Be Koool…
  • Benadryl – This really works for me when I think that I’ll probably have a motion sickness related migraine (if it’s humid out and I didn’t get enough sleep before a train or plane ride). I know that most people think of Benadryl only as an allergy med (or sleeping pill), but it is great for migraines. I always make sure that I take two Benadryl before I get on a plane!
  • Advil LiquiGels – Ibuprofen is my preferred OTC migraine drug. I think that the liquigels work faster. It’s probably a mind over matter thing, but still.
  • Mouthwash, Tissues and Wipes – Necessary cleaning materials. I also make sure that I have paper towels and extra plastic bags in my car. I shouldn’t have to explain why.
Migraine Care Kit - Closed
This is just a 47 cent pencil case from Walmart!

I have two kits. I keep one in the backpack I carry all of the time and one in my car. If I change purses, I put the kit in the purse.

It seems like nothing, but this is important stuff. I have been stuck without things to help me over the years and it’s been pretty terrible. Any little thing that you can do to help yourself, DO IT.

This is what works for me, what it in your “Migraine Emergency Kit”?

 

 

Burmese Tofu!

I don’t really remember how I got obsessed with making Burmese tofu. I think I was reading about how terrible soy is for women (especially if you have hormonal dysfunctions like I, and so many women, do), and I was looking around for a substitute (probably, sounds like me). I do remember this was several months ago. I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while now. I had the bag of chickpea flour, just waiting in the wings. When I started making mug cakes and waffles with the flour I knew I had to use it for what I originally bought it for (because I would end up making 101 chickpea mug cakes and no tofu). So, here’s how I started…

Ingredients
First time using pano on my phone and it’s for food!

The ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Flour
  • 3 Cups of water
  • Several shakes of turmeric
  • Two shakes of crushed red pepper
  • As much garlic as you can stand in your cooking (I can stand a lot!)
  • About four grinds of Himalayan Pink Salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper

As you can see, I’m really precise (heh). The most important thing is the flour and the water – you can season this however you like. Some people use broth or stock in place of water and, hey, if I had some I’d probably use that too. So, you boil two cups of the water and, in the meantime and in a separate bowl:

  • Blend the flour, and the spices, with the remaining cup of water.

Once the two cups of water have reached a rolling boil, add the flour/spice/water mixture. It’ll look like this:

Mixed Tofu
Glossy…

So, you have to whisk-whisk-whisk away to get rid of any lumps and until the mixture looks glossy (like it goes in the picture). You are now ready to pour the mixture into your prepared pan. To get your pan ready, line it with parchment paper. I used an 8×8 Pyrex pan.

Spread Tofu
Smooth it better than I did! I should’ve used a bigger pan…

Smooth it out in your pan, using a spoon or a spatula.

Then, once it’s spread out in the pan, let it sit until it gets room temperature (so condensation doesn’t form when you put it in the fridge). Which brings us to the next step: put it in the fridge! I let it sit out for about an hour and put it in the fridge for about three hours and I got this:

Refrigerated Tofu

After it firms up in the fridge, you can cut up your tofu in any shape you want for your dishes. I cut mine two ways – in triangles and small rhombuses (yup, I said “rhombuses” – wait, is it “rhombuses” or “rhombi”?).

Stir Fry Pieces
Rhombuses (rhombi), for stir-fry…

Here I am frying the triangles in some olive oil:

Golden Brown
Try not to use too much oil – these are like little sponges…

They are SUPER YUMMY! Take a look at this:

Cooked
Golden brown and delicious!

Crisp on the outside, a little soft on the inside. Seasoned perfectly (if I do say so myself)!

So, I made some meals with it:

Meals

I will most definitely share my stir-fry on Instagram!

So this was an easy, delicious recipe. A success! I can add this one to my repertoire, change it up a bit, make different sides. A great soy substitute!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Sunday Meal Prep: Feeling Productive…

As the title says, yes, today was a very productive day. I did everything that was on my to-do list and even a little more. One of the most important things I did today was prepare my dinners for the week. Yes – meal prepping is key to making life a little easier.

Seriously. One of my favorite meal preppers, WorkWeekLunch, mentioned a few weeks ago that we have so many decisions to make during the day, having our food already prepared eliminates the need to make even more decisions. It’s true. Think about it…I know that if I am at work, and I haven’t made my meals yet, I will wonder “What do I have? What can I make?”. Sometimes the answer is “go get pizza” – which is not good, because I can tend to overdo things (know yourself!)…

So, I have been meal prepping for a fairly long time. A couple of years, at least. When you see the pictures I post of older preps you’ll see that I haven’t always made the cleanest, healthiest choices. Oh well. That’s what I felt like eating at the time and those were times when I was in full-on maintenance mode, when I was comfortable making a little dip into the world of carbs and sugars after dieting for a while. Here are some of my preps, I added an Instagram link for the food listing. I actually have a lot more preps on Instagram, but you really have to scroll down and it was pre-iPhone…

Meal Prep 6
I had just gone to Trader Joe’s
Meal Prep 3
Not too bad
Meal Prep 2
Buffet Style! 
Meal Prep 4
I jacked all of the recipes from Mind Over Munch in this one
Meal Prep 5
A soup and overnight oats phase
Meal Prep
Another buffet style prep! This one looks really appealing right now! 

Below are some recent ones. Since I work from home most of the week, I don’t have to prep all of my meals, just dinner on the days that I actually do have to go into the office.

Meal Prep Recent
Those are not potatoes – it is pureed cauliflower with a little bit of ricotta!
Meal Prep Recent 2
I am in love with frozen meatballs, obviously…

Here is the prep from today. I have a busy week, filled with some exciting stuff! Yay!

Meal Prep Recent - Today
Vegetarian Meal Prep

I added a little something extra to it already. There is not enough red or orange for my taste, so I added some Tomato and Onion Salad

I started by cutting the farmers market tomatoes my grandma gave me today. Seriously, grandmas are the best with the food gifting! I also cut up a little red onion, for flavor…

Tomato & Onion
I decided to do this when it got dark out (bad lighting)…

I seasoned the sliced tomatoes with garlic powder and 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s…

Tomatoes 3
Wax paper on my cutting board, I have been doing this forever. It really helps with clean up!

Then I added a little apple cider vinegar, olive oil and more 21 seasoning salute to the jar, then added the seasoned tomatoes and I shook it up!

Tomatoes 2
Extras for me! (Chef’s treat!)

I didn’t measure, I just wanted enough to coat the tomatoes when I shook the jar!

That should be great for Monday and Tuesday! I’ll have to think of another red or orange for Wednesday and Thursday…

Easy stuff. A little preparation on Sunday, helps you through the entire week!

Enjoy!

 

 

Happy #NationalRelaxationDay!

Honestly, I had no idea it was National Relaxation Day until I saw all the hashtags popping up on Instagram this morning. What a great day for it too…It’s raining where I live (Hudson Valley, NY)…I have to go into the office tomorrow…It’s Tuesday…

I don’t know! This holiday should be every single day. Or, every night at least.

Since I didn’t know about this, I was too late to make an appointment to get a massage (bwah haha!) so I’ll have to settle for the next best thing: A relaxing magnesium mocktail…

This is what you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of Natural Calm
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • 2 Limes
  • Your favorite unsweetened sparking water

Magnesium has so many benefits – and most of us are lacking in this particular mineral. It helps with…

  • Digestive motility (I told you I’d mention this a lot, it’s important)
  • Calming & Sleeping – a natural sleep aid
  • Beauty – helps maintain collagen
  • Heart health – it’s up there with potassium and sodium, assisting in heartbeat and blood pressure regulation
  • Muscle soreness relief 
  • Migraine prevention (I’ll have an entire blog about this, soon)

So, back to the drink…

Stirring
Action shot!

Juice those limes and add the stevia packet. Stir to combine…

Fizzy

Add about 3/4 of the can of sparkling water. It’ll bubble up a lot, and it’ll bubble up even more once…

Bubbles

…you add the packet of Natural Calm! Stir gently and then add the rest of the seltzer…

Finished Product

NOM! YUM! My choice of sparkling water (Simply Balanced Tropical Cherry from Target) made this taste like a Cherry Lime Rickey, or that cherry lime drink from Sonic…

Okay, so now that we’ve had a drink, we can look at some relaxing pictures. I just added some relaxing words to these pictures I took in various places. Enjoy!

Breathe 2

Relax

Breathe.PNG

Enjoy

These Moments...

Yay!

Smoothie Supplements!

Smoothies are one of my favorite things. Seriously, I have been drinking them fairly regularly for years. I have gone though several blenders (blown out motors) and shaker cups (mold – from leaving them out in my car) over the years. I have tried several “diets” in my life, but the one thing that has remained constant is The Smoothie.

My smoothie taste has evolved over the years too. I went from just your basic fruit, ice and yogurt (delicious, but not that healthy) to pure fiber shakes (icky, but effective) to what I do now, which is a little bit of a blend of the two styles (accidental pun in there!).

Today, I’m not really going to show how I make my smoothies, talk about the protein powder I use (that deserves its own post) or give recipes. I’m just going to show some of the supplements I use to make my blends even more healthy.

Starting with my favorite, Hemp Seeds

SS - Hemp Hearts

I really like hemp seeds in my smoothies, for the health reasons I’ve listed above, but especially because of the last little thing I added there: they add such a nice, thick texture to smoothies. Use hemp hearts and cashew milk and you’ll feel like you are drinking a milkshake, seriously.

Another favorite – Chia Seeds

SS - Chia Seeds

I like chia seed for everything! I make chia eggs, chia pudding and even chia cheesecake pots. They gel up so nicely and add bulk and help bind food (all of which are reasons why they are great for digestive health).

While I rotate the use of all of the others, MSM is in every smoothie I make…

SS - MSM

MSM has no flavor. In fact, I used to just put a half-teaspoon in some juice in the morning and go. Now, it is in every smoothie. So many beauty related benefits, especially for hair, as it is supposed to help strengthen cells during the growth phase.

Here is a new favorite, Maca Powder

SS - Maca

I first found out about it when I was researching foods that would help in treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), something I am managing with weight regulation. Maca is great for helping regulate the hormones (if you know about PCOS you know how important that is) so, I ordered it immediately. And I love it! It tastes great – I am a fan of earthy tastes though, think about my beet post. It mixes so well with cocoa powder too. One of my favorite things to have mid-morning is a Hot Maca-Cocoa!

Here is an old favorite, something I’ve been using for a while: Flax Seed

SS - Flax

Flax seeds were one of the first things I heard about when I got into the “healthy food, health living” lifestyle, about 13 years ago. OMEGA-3s! That was all the rage back then. Heart health is still supremely important, but I don’t see too much out there about flax seeds anymore. Actually, no, I see them used a lot as an egg substitute in plant based diets. I am determined to bring them to the forefront again!

Now, something good AND tasty: Matcha Powder

SS - Matcha

I must admit, I originally bought this with lattes in mind. I knew about the benefits, but I really just wanted it hot and milky. However, a couple of weeks ago, I added it to a basic vanilla smoothie and WOW! It’s so good! Plus, a metabolism booster…and a mood booster…and an energy boost. So many benefits!

Last, but certainly not least, Spirulina!

SS - Spirulina

Yay! My new favorite thing! Not only does it have the benefits I’ve listed above, it’s great to use topically. The morning after I used it in a mask I looked in the mirror and thought “Either I got a good night’s sleep last night, or that mask helped my dark circles…” I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. I like to use spirulina in a fruity-slushy type of smoothie, goes better with the flavor.

These are the supplements I’m using right now, and I rotate some of them out and put others in. There will be updates when I do!