Friday, April 9, 2010

Mood Management: Asparagus, Books, and the Caprice of Clouds

Cooking adventures continue!

As a first-time spring Seattleite, I have to say...the weather here this month has been one capricious beast. (See how tutoring SAT vocab is rubbing off on me?) It will go from sunshine to stormy winds to full-on hail to sunshine again, interspersed with 45-second blasts of pouring rain throughout. Mostly, it's just been cool and overcast a lot, but filled with the confusing presence of blooming flowers and spring birds chirping. I don't know what to make of it. The general lack of sunshine, though, the past few weeks might be getting to me a little bit...or it might still just be my crazy hours. I've felt calmer lately in general, though. A little worn down, but mostly content. My foot's starting to show signs of healing, so that's a plus.

I'm working to keep up momentum in initiating positive change in my life, as much as possible...we'll see what direction the next few months take me, but I am simultaneously happy with where I am now and exhilarated by the possibilities for the future.

Some (temporary for now, for however long I need) commitments to myself I've made, as of yesterday:

- Read more. (Currently on my coffee table: Lorrie Moore's "Birds of America", which someone once recommended to me as the absolute best collection of short stories ever written. I can't even remember who gave me the recommendation, but I bought the book years ago and have let it sit on my shelf since. To its credit, I didn't give it away with the 70% of my books that didn't make it out to Seattle with me, just takes a lot to get me to read short stories. I generally find them horribly unsatisfying...I don't like the constant goodbyes with characters I'm just barely starting to get to know. But this collection really is ridiculously good. My writing might even get pushed back into a fiction kick for awhile because of it...
- Keep a more manageable work schedule; No more months without days off.
- Tea instead of coffee, indefinitely.
- No allowing running injuries to keep me from being active. Usually, if I can't run, I just give up on physical activity altogether; the all-or-nothing personality in me is too busy being upset about not being able to run. So I really haven't done much lately - but I went for a long, brutally windy bike ride yesterday, and did an intense Power Hour at the gym this morning, and OI VEY have I missed endorphins!
- No junk food, also indefinitely. This includes chips, cookies, candy, ice cream, French fries, sweet pastries, etc...

I've tried going halfway on that last one, but I'm still making far too many compromises. I've spent six years wishing I were a health nut, and I'm just tired of wishing, instead of being. I quit junk food for a 70-day period my senior year of high school, and it was a good thing for not just my body, but my moods and soul as well. So I'm giving it a try again. So far, so good. My meals yesterday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, cranberries, cinnamon and walnuts

Lunch: Rottini pasta with cherry tomatoes, peas and asparagus (CSA-share-food Alert!)

Snacky-poos: Apple, Carrots (CSA-share-food Alert!) with hummus

Dinner: Buckwheat pasta with mizuna (CSA-share-food Alert!), onions and walnuts

The sauce in progress.

Dessert: Vanilla yogurt with slivered almonds, fresh strawberries and agave nectar

Today so far, I had oatmeal again for breakfast, and for lunch, a banana/blueberry/strawberry smoothie and a ridiculously tasty salmon burger on a pita with fresh cucumber (CSA-share-food Alert!), tomato slices and tartar sauce. Yummy. Healthy food is awesome.

Feelin' good...

Music shoutout of the week: James Vincent McMorrow.

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