It's been about two months since my last post and WOW a lot has happened. I truly apologize to my readers for the lack of new food recipes and posts. There was however magic in the kitchen. There just wasn't any time to sit and write the posts. However, Snowstorm Nemo has given me that time.
Here is an update on my life. I cooked an amazing gluten free Christmas dinner. I made gluten free stuffed rolled pork loin, roasted winter vegetable vegetarian jambalaya and carrot soufflé. (My brother in law is allergic to gluten, dairy and eggs) Everything that I had made, he was able to eat, except the carrot soufflé. That was a request made by his wife, my sister. (Recipes will be posted shortly). During Christmas break, there was a lot of family illness and a death. A lot of family time, I'm ok with that. I have the type of the family that is always there for each other. This was a time where we needed each other. I also got to close a major chapter in my life. My ex boyfriend officially picked up the rest of his things in the middle of the month. That was a relief. I also got a full time job. It is a temporary project which ends by the end of the year. It will give me extra money to get some things done such as getting my clinical license. I am still working as a therapist at my other job. SO what does this mean, well, it means I'm working 12-14 hour days for 5 days a week. I'm working a bit on Saturday too. I started at the beginning of January. Hence why I've been a bit MIA for the past month and half. This does entail tons of menu planning, stress management, time management and planning ahead. After all, anyone that knows me, knows I'm all about taking care of myself. So before I started this job, I planned. I planned out "me" time. What are the things I consider necessary for my sanity? Well it includes eating healthy, exercise and downtime. I had done a cleanse that was a two week meal plan supported by two nutritionists as a kick start. Honestly, it was great, I'm glad I signed up for it. It was gluten free, dairy free and nut free. This meant I was drinking almond milk and coconut milk. It wasn't bad for me as I usually eat clean anyway. What I did find out after the two week cleanse, I am officially gluten intolerant. I can not handle it even in small amounts. Boo. :( However, my health has never been better. I've never looked or felt better. However, I'll get to that later on.
I usually hate to plan ahead but honestly, if I didn't plan, I'd be very stressed and frazzled. A stressed and frazzled Suzanne, does not make for a happy person. While I do have a lot of balls up in the air, I am making sure there aren't too many in the air either. I've set several goals for myself this year. I'm not quite ready to share them with the public yet. I need to refine them a bit. However, I am determined to achieve them. This requires a lot of time management and stress management, the two critical skills needed at a time like this.
I'll start with stress management because it's something that I really work with in my practice. It is something I strongly believe that more people need to focus on this aspect in their life. Several things that are in my box are surfing of course, cooking, workouts, reading, baths, playing with my mom's puppies, arts and crafts, writing, naps and just pure doing nothing. There's more that I want to get into but these are just a handful of things that truly bring me to my zen place. However with my time, I don't have enough time to do all of that on a regular basis. I do however make sure I do something at least for a half hour to an hour daily for myself. With my schedule, on a daily basis, I have been exercising and reading. On the weekends, I catch up on my TV shows, I play with the puppies, arts and crafts and my spa day. I also spend a whole day cooking my meals for the week.
This is where time management comes in. Working 12-14 hour days is killer. However, I do not like to just work all day, where does the "me" time come in then? Since my job is outdoors during the day, I do my workouts at night when I come home. It actually is pretty good because I listen to music and just wind down. This is helpful because my second job is only five minutes away from my house. I NEED that wind down time. I also take showers at night so my hair isn't cold and wet for those cold days outdoors. Honestly, during the week, this is the only thing I really get to do for myself. Well that, and take a nap during lunch. Yes, you read that correctly. I have a blanket and pillow in my car. I go in, take off my hearing aid and implant and just turn off the world for an hour. It's nice to be deaf sometimes. :)
My weekends however are another story. Saturday is reserved for work and errands. I do all my menu planning, grocery shopping, laundry and what not. Anything that requires me to leave the house, I do. Sunday, I bulk cook for the week. This REALLY frees up my time for the week. I can just grab and go. I'm not stressed about meals, ending up with something that's not good for me, or spending money I don't want to. Plus, I get to ensure I'm eating all gluten free, clean eating food. :) What more can this gal want? I also clean my apartment, do my bills and anything around the house that day that I want and need to do. Sunday is my pamper day. :) I also don't get out of my pajamas and into my car at all that day. That my friend, is my downtime day.
I do have a list of things to accomplish during the week which does help me stay on task. Lists are your friend during busy times like this. Grocery lists, to do lists, menu planning, goals, work out plans. Thank god I got a new computer for Christmas! Thanks Mom! Anyway I hope this leaves you with some ideas and suggestions for time management. I also hope this stresses the importance of planning ahead. I will be doing a menu planning post within the next few weeks. Any questions or suggestions, leave them on here or on the facebook page.
P.S Spring and summer needs to come so I can get my butt out there surfing and do the ultimate stress reliever for me. Ah. :)