Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the world who feels like this and that's why I'm going to put it out there:
I'm sick.
And it's all in my head.

I have an anxiety disorder that makes me feels crazy. I *know* when I'm feeling overwhelmed by driving or that my life is all wrong that it's not true, just my brain playing tricks on me, but unlike a normal person it doesn't make it any less real.

Yes, I'm in therapy.
Yes, I am probably going to have to take meds for the rest of my life to keep that constant feeling like I'm about to turn a corner and DIE at bay.

I'll be fine on a med for more than a year and then I'll get hit by a bicycle (long story) and the next thing I know, I'm completely bat-shit crazy again. My doctor will raise th dose and I'll feel sick, nervous, have muscle pain, weakness, sleeplessness, nausea.... and still be anxious.

This is something I'm going to have to deal with my whole life. Sometimes I just want to throw a temper-tantrum and complain about how unfair it is (which I guess I'm doing right now). Mostly, I want it to be my secret because no one else seems to have this problem. I don't really want people to see me like I see myself: broken, flawed, not in control, unstable, unhealthy (mind and body, right now I'm convinced I'm F A T , at 133lbs).... I can only see the negative parts of my life. I'm mad at my dad. I'm mad at me. I want a dog. Nothing I've done is good enough or will ever do will ever be good enough.

My goal is to live a healthy life with work/life balance, healthy relationships, financial health while maintaining my physical health by putting good things into my body and giving it the exercise and rest it needs to keep it and my mind functions the best they can. These are my goals and most the time I feel like I do a pretty good job working on them. I need to give myself a break and get me to a doctor to fix my meds because I feel like CRAP.

And I'm so nauseous.
There's nothing worse than being sick to your stomach, feeling fat and wanting to eat about 4 avocados worth of guacamole and wash it down with a bottle of white wine. Wine+ Guac is not going to help me get closer to my goals of a healthy mind and body.


All things spring!

Oh yes. And there's some of this:

And a whole week of this:

I'm in love with spring! I haven't had a problem getting my fruit in lately because I've been having a smoothie almost daily. I'm a huge smoothie freak and the second the weather warms up enough, I whip out the smoothie gear.

All that turns into this:

Yum. So along with the awesome weather, I've been feeling a huge push to plant things and clean my home. Does anyone else get that? Like as soon as you can sleep with the windows open at night, you want to be able to wake up to the sun streaming in the windows without highlighting that pile of clean laundry you've been meaning to fold for a week? So along with cleaning my house and patio, I've also decided to clean my fridge. It's like I have all these odds and ends of things that I need to use up so I pulled them all out, set them on the counter and thought, "hmmm, what can I do with 6 different kinds of cheese?" Which lead to one of my greatest culinary creations ever: macaroni and cheese- all grown up.

I don't really ever follow recipes (probably why I am more of a cook than a baker). So here is the recipe for my awesome creation:
-Maybe about 1/3 of a bag of whole wheat pasta, cooked about 1/2 the length of time the bag calls for and then drained and set aside.
-I make a rue by tossing about 1/4 cup of flour in a food processor with 1/2 cup milk and blending completely, then I mix that into the pot with the rest of the milk (I used about 2 cups I think? Just the rest of the carton.) Then I cook it on low, whisking regularly until it cooks and becomes nice and think.
-then I stirred in about 3 cups of assorted shredded cheese. I think there was: parmesan, asiago, precorino romano, feta, and mozzarella, but it's hard to tell because they were all in tupperware and had lost their labels. I just kinda smelled and guessed. : )
-Stir in the macaroni and pour into a greased baking dish. Either stick it in th fridge, freeze or pop in the oven at 375 until the center is bubbley.

I ate mine with a side salad. : )

Update on the 5K training:

I've been doing shorter runs that are about 2-2.5 miles to get into the habit of running. With less than a month left until my first race, I decided to time myself running the full distance to see how much I've improved. This run was really exciting because it was the first one where I didn't need to walk at all and I finished in 34 mins! The first time I ran/walked it, it took me 47 mins and my goal was to improve my time by 10 mins by the time of the race, so it looks like I should meet my goal! I think I may have hurt my shin on that run though, so I'm going to stay off of it for a couple days and let it heal. I also have a ballet final coming up and I don't want to over-work myself, get hurt and not be able to work out for a while.

And I'll leave you with one last parting image.

Happy spring everyone!


24 hour bean soup

Ok, I love beans. I really, really do. I love how versitle they are, I love that they have so much protein and fiber. I like how they can easily slip from one cuisine to another without batting an eye. The only thing I don’t love is the cook time. I hate to admit it, but I use canned beans. A lot. I can handle cooking my own lentils, but they are like the kiddie pool when it comes to beans. But I decided to branch out and try cooking my own beans. You know, from those ones that kinda look like sea stones and come in big bins at whole foods. What really convinced me is when I was reading an awesome blog, , and the author, Heidi, said switching from canned to dried beans is “like going from driving a Hyundai to a BMW.” Ok, I’m sold. Plus, I was hating the amount of salt in canned beans anyway.

So I picked up a pound of a nice 16 bean blend and decided soup was in order. The weatherman predicted rain and nothing goes with rain quite like soup. I carefully read the instructions on the side of the bag on how to cook beans and dutifully followed them. The afternoon before I wanted to cook them, I started soaking them in some water. I was already starting to cook for dinner that night and figured that the extra few soaking hours wouldn't hurt. I went about making a light dinner and enjoying my last day of sun before the rain started.

The next morning I woke up to some cloudy, cold skies, but no rain yet. I started some coffee and checked on my beans while I waited for it to brew. They looked about the same, except the skins had peeled off of some and were floating around the (now dirty gray) water like dead fish. I drained and rinsed the beans again and decided to let them soak for the rest of the morning.

By lunch, it was definitely raining. And I was ready to start making soup for dinner. The instructions on the side of the bean bag said that they would only need to simmer for an hour or two but I decided to start early. Most beans hold up pretty well even if you cook them for a long time and soup usually gets better the longer you cook it. So I added about a liter of water to the pot and turned the stove top on high to get things warmed up. I rinsed and chopped a leek and a few ribs of celery and used the food processor to dice up about 4 cloves of garlic for me. It all went into the pot along with a jar of organic home-grown canned tomatoes that Kevin and I snuck across the border on out last trip to Oregon. I swear you can almost feel the sunshine when you open a jar of tomatoes that tasty. I also added a good teaspoon of italian seasonings to the pot. Then I turned the pot down to a low simmer, put the lid on and went about my business for the next few hours. I'd check on it every once in a while to make sure nothing was sticking to the bottom of the pot. Around 4 pm after the soup had been cooking in this manner for almost 5 hours, I went to give it a taste to see how things were coming along.

Umm, crunchy? The beans had not cooked *at all*. Seriously, what gives? They've already been cooking for twice as long as the bag said they need to and I soaked them for at least 12 hours before that! So I turned the heat up a little, put the lid back on and thought to myself "Well, at least I started them early so they still have time to cook before dinner."

5 o'clock, 6 o'clock, 7 o'clock... slowly they are softening but still they are a little grainy in the middle of the bean. I make a heaping salad and a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. My BF is still holding out for the soup.

At 8 we start eating it. It was *really* good and *most* of the beans were cooked. Some where still a little crunchy but my sweet boyfriend said that they were just "adding texture" to the soup. I actually can't wait to try this recipe again, I just need to start it a week ahead of time so that I can finish it properly.

There is an amazing grocery store, , in my area that I am going to check out for better beans. I have a hunch that maybe my beans were too old? Lunardis is kinda a mom and pop version of Whole foods, so I'm going to check for the beans there first. I just like the atmosphere better. It's more of a casual luxury rather than in-your-face. I just get the feeling like if whole foods were a person, I wouldn't like them because they are trying to hard. I just want to say, relax! You're too uptight! Where as Lunardis and I would fall into an easy friendship. : )


Yoga, ballet.... runner?

I signed up for a 5K! I'm super excited. It's called the "Strawberry Hill 5K" and will be held in Golden Gate park in SF in about 6 weeks! I've been playing around with the idea of running a race but I couldn't bring myself to sign up for any because of all my doubts. Well, it's time to conquer my fear and try something new. Plus, my meds are making me gain weight despite working out 4+ hours a week and eating around 1500 cals a day. (boo.) So I figured if I added running, maybe I could slow the weight gain a little.

MMMM- I am completely addicted to this breakfast:

I actually started eating it before I could remember to take a picture! I just get really excited when it comes out of the toaster. It is a piece of Milton's whole grain plus bread with 1 T chunky, unsalted, unsweetened PB and a cup of unsweetened almond milk (!!!). I just tried almond milk for the first time last week and I am completely hooked! Unlike soy milk that took me a while to learn to like, I instantly liked almond milk. Plus, the flavor of the almond milk perfectly compliments the toast/PB. YUM. Best. Breakfast. Ever.

Then I went for my first practice 5K run.

TADA! I read a bunch of articles on how to train for a race and I think the way I'm going to approach it is to map out the distance (luckily we have really nice canals running through the area with trails along side them) and then I jogged/walked to kinda get a sense of my starting fitness and time. Over the next few weeks I'll run it 3-4 times a week and reduce the ratio of walking to running and improve my time. I haven't ran more then a mile in almost 7 years. So today is the start of a new era. One in which I run regularly. : )

I did the whole thing in 47 mins. : ( Ok, not what I had hoped for, but I didn't want to push too hard and get hurt the first time. My goal is to improve my time by 7 mins in the next 6 weeks and finish the race in less than 40 mins. There was another first today- my first blister! Maybe I need new shoes? I have some expensive running socks that I used today so I'm not sure if if that's the problem. I'll have to google and try new things to prevent further foot pain.

After my run, I stretched and took a quick shower and about halfway into my shower I was hit with the hungry monster! I'm not even kidding! I was so hungry I practically ate my arm off! So I toweled off and quickly threw these together for a snack:

I didn't even sit down to eat them! Just stood in the kitchen with dripping wet hair. : ) Each wrap is made of a whole wheat tortilla, 1 T hummus, 1/2 oz goat cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cucumber and a couple slices of deli turkey. They are pretty easy for me to make because I keep lettuce, onion and cucumber pre-chopped in the fridge. Each one of these wraps work out to about 100 cals because I use "carb smart" tortillas. They are low in calories and high in fiber- each tortilla has 50 cals and 7 g of fiber. Then I was still hungry so I had a meatless corndog (about 160 cals).

I made a cup of tea to carry around with me while I run around doing some errands, cleaning the house and making diner before yoga tonight.