(160.6) Weekend Reads & Recs

Happy Friday! This week, I have written and edited so many words … and done so many interviews, that I’m just about ready to close my computer to go unwind with an episode of Unreal (see item one below) instead of a glass of wine. Yes, Dry July is still going strong and I’m still feeling pretty amazing. I’m looking forward to the sous vide cooking class I have scheduled with Dan for tomorrow and hopefully cleaning my house on Sunday. Until next week, I leave you with with a short list of reads and recommendations. If you have something to suggest to me, please tell me in the comments!

Unreal

This newish drama is not exactly The Wire but it’s really fun to watch. It’s a fictional version of The Bachelor  co-written and co-created by a woman who used to be a producer on that show.  Continue reading →

(161.8) Meal Plan Monday

In Philadelphia, it’s hot. There’s an excessive heat warning that’s been in effect since yesterday, with heat indexes over 100. I did some internet research to find out if statistically August is hotter than July in my corner of the world and thankfully it’s not. August is usually fractionally cooler than July. The summer completely craters my mood, sometimes so much so that not even laying off alcohol helps. But really it’s a good time to be not drinking because wine always makes me feel warmer. On the plus side, I have not one but two fun culinary classes booked for this week (one on fermenting vegetables, another on cooking sous vide). Also, I have a meal plan. Here it is: Continue reading →

(161.5) Dry July: Half Time

I’m really excited to report that I’m halfway done my personal “dry July” challenge. I promised myself I’d abstain from alcohol for an entire month and now I’m halfway through. I haven’t imbibed, though I have been strongly tempted, and I’m feeling proud of myself. At this point in the challenge, I wanted to go over the benefits and disadvantages I’m noticing so far:

Benefits:

Better Sleep

I’ve done this 31-days-no-booze thing before, most recently in January of last year. I knew what some of the benefits would be. Chiefly, sleep. It was a run of alcohol-induced insomnia that brought this on, and now, two weeks in, I’m feeling so much better rested. Sleep is a main ingredient for me in productivity, creativity, mood-regulation, and happiness. Without enough great quality sleep, I unravel a little at a time. So, far and away, this is the biggest and best benefit.

Continue reading →

(162.8) Meal Planless Tuesday

I know–I’ve been a bit absentee. I’m working on an exciting new project (I’ll tell you more soon) and I’ve been very busy with my usual work as well. It’s a good kind of busy but it has been taking me away from this blog a little bit.

I mentioned before how the arrival of my CSA box each Wednesday has been knocking me off my meal planning game. Two weeks ago, I was almost overwhelmed with all the produce I got. Last week, the box had much less in it, leaving me short on fresh vegetables. On Sunday, I didn’t know what to buy because I didn’t know what was coming. I stocked up on basics and bought a bag of romaine hearts–I needed something to base a salad on between now and Wednesday. Continue reading →

(164.5) Twenty Year Time Machine Edition

This is my seventh day without drinking! Go Dry July. And I am finding myself reflecting on so many things related to my relationship with alcohol. I’ve been remembering myself right before I started drinking–me at 18, during my first semester at college. I never drank in high school, partly because I did not have the opportunity but partly because I grew up with an alcoholic father and believed firmly that even one drink would lead to alcoholism and death. At NYU, I signed up for the “health awareness” floor because I didn’t really want to be around people drinking and doing drugs. I had had enough of that at home by that time. Continue reading →

(165.1) Meal Plan Monday

I’ve had a realization about meal planning. As long as I’m picking up a mystery box of vegetables every Wednesday, I am going to need a different strategy. Last week, by Thursday, there was an overwhelming amount of stuff in the fridge. I bought plenty of produce on my regular Sunday shopping trip, and then I got a ton of stuff in my box. I had all these ingredients for dishes I wanted to make, but then I ended up making different stuff to use CSA vegetables up.

New plan: I have to buy very little produce at the supermarket on Sunday. And I need to stock the freezer with basic, versatile meats like chicken thighs and ground beef and pork. Because otherwise I am going to end up wasting food–the number one thing I hate to do in the kitchen. So I’m afraid my meal plans for the rest of the summer are going to be pretty boring, like this one:  Continue reading →

(164.4) Weekend Reads & Recs

640px-SwissChard

“SwissChard” by Jonathunder – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Happy Friday. I’m pretty glad to be wrapping this week up–it’s been an exhausting one and I cannot wait to sleep in tomorrow morning. Even though I’m self-employed and could technically get up any time I want, I always wake up with Dan so we can have breakfast together and he has a “regular” job. So I look forward to those alarm-clock free Saturdays and Sundays just like everyone else. Here are some things I’ve been enjoying this week.   Continue reading →

(164.5) Random Thoughts and Updates

I hate to admit it, but my usual case of the summer blues has descended in full force. It happens every year. The long-lasting daylight interferes with my sleep, both the hot weather and being confined to the air conditioning make me miserable, the social media slideshow of everyone else’s summer fun makes me feel left out and weird, and I cannot keep the flies out of my row house. I always struggle emotionally this time of year, and it diminishes my creative spark–you know, the one that helps me come up with blog posts. So instead of skipping out on blogging again today, I thought I would round up some random thoughts and update you on some of my wellness projects. Continue reading →

(165.2) Meal Plan Monday

SkimmerSale

I had a very busy weekend! Saturday, I took my side project League Street Press on the road to Sea Isle City, NJ. My partner and friend Sam and I had a wonderful time hanging out near the ocean while selling our note cards. Most of our business is online, so we rarely get to meet our customers face to face. It was so much fun to see people react to the cards in person.

Yesterday was fathers’ day, which I all but forgot about. I ended up asking my dad if he would come over for dinner, which he did, and Dan and I made a very nice dinner: Chicken marsala with mashed root vegetables, salad, and lemon pound cake. In my efforts to remain Paleo-ish, I passed on the cake and sent leftovers home with my dad. I also packed food to take to the festival on Saturday so I would be less tempted by beachy eats like funnel cake and pizza. I’m definitely feeling better this Monday morning than I would have if I’d eaten those kind of things.  Continue reading →