What a way to start a morning. I got a little carried away making my green monster this morning and had to get a second glass. I think I might have gone a little bit overboard with the strawberries too.  In it are

  • 3 kale leaves
  • 1.5 cups of almond milk
  • 10 strawberries
  • a banana
  • tofu

Yummmmm… So now I’m sitting here, chilling, and finishing the second glass before I have to make a run to the school. One of the other 5th grade teachers called me yesterday and asked if we could meet today to plan some stuff for next year. I think we’re going to be doing some curriculum mapping and digging into our new science textbooks to see what all of the resources and ideas are.

I’m also a bit bummed out because I am not sure whether I’ll be able to get in a workout today. I thought about doing it this morning, but I think I would have been too pressed for time to do a good one. I’m not sure how long I’ll be at the school, so I may or may not have time before Nate gets home. Worst case scenario, I’ll get on the treadmill tonight before bedtime, which I hate to do. After working out, I always have trouble winding down, so it’ll probably take me a while to get to sleep.

I have a long day, so I better get moving. Off to make some bird bread now.


I am scared to death about tonight’s dinner. More on that in just a second.

As the title says, I have been spending the morning in the kitchen. I got up pretty early this morning, of my own accord, but that was probably because I was in bed by 8:30 last night. Nate had to be at work at 4:00 this morning, so we when he went to bed, I just went with him. I was pretty exhausted myself, apparently, because I didn’t wake up until 6:15 this morning! Holy cow!

Upon getting up, I promptly started on a green smoothie for breakfast, but this morning’s smoothie looks almost brown. Usually I stick to my familiar peanut butter/banana smoothie because I know 2 things about it: 1) it tastes good, and 2) it keeps me full until lunch time. Since it’s a Saturday, though, I figured that if I didn’t stay full, no biggie, I’ll just have a bowl of cereal for a snack. Usually, being a teacher, I don’t have the luxury of a mid morning snack. So staying full is usually a big deal.

I also knew that I have been looking at a bag of frozen organic strawberries in the freezer for a couple of weeks now, debating with myself over what to use them for. At first, I was wanting to make a vegetarian version of a strawberry pie, which Nate loves. This morning, though, it sounded great in a smoothie. Sorry Nate.

Picture 123

I love the fun glass. This ended up to be a strawberry banana spinach smoothie for 310 calories. It also happens to be quite delicious.

  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 10 frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 banana
  • vanilla almond breeze

I also got a head start on tonight’s dinner. It is inspired by a soup that was served at my school a couple of years ago. Our cafeteria had a different manager then, and we actually had real food back then most days. Our current lunches are mostly pre-packaged, and all fat laden. At any rate, back then, they served once or twice a month the most amazing chicken tortilla soup. At the time, I ate some chicken, so I tried it a couple of times, and I have really been having a craving for it lately. Since I don’t have their recipe, I have done some digging around to try to figure out what to put in. This is a first try, but I think I’ll probably be able to do better after a few more tries.

Picture 127

What I have tried today is incredibly simple. All that is in there is the following:

  • morningstar chik’n strips
  • black beans
  • corn
  • diced tomatoes (canned)
  • vegetable broth (I used 2 cans)
  • taco seasoning

Right now, I have used some packaged taco seasoning because I don’t really know what to use to get the flavor otherwise. I’m sure I could find it somewhere if I looked, but I really don’t know what I’m doing, so I thought I should start easy, and work my way up. I really don’t know how to cook, and I have rarely cooked for Nate, so I’m a nervous wreck about screwing this up. On top of that, I’m kinda adapting a recipe I found online because I don’t like the looks of it. We have the kind of relationship where he will be completely honest about what he thinks, which is good, because it means that usually we both know what mistakes we’re making so that we can fix them, but in this case, it makes me a nervous wreck because if he doesn’t like it, I think I’d rather not know. I already know I don’t know how to cook- I don’t need it confirmed!

Anyway, I’ve been telling him all week long that I wanted to make this soup, and he’s asked me about it every night, so now seems like the time to do it. I was thinking that if I started this morning, and it’s a disaster, I have time to fix my mistakes. And if it turns out ok, then I can reheat it tonight, because soup reheats well anyway.

The more I’m thinking about this, the more I’m worrying. Not good.

Last night, I went to bed very late, but I figured it was no big deal, since it was Saturday, so I could sleep in. Guess again.

6:00 this morning, I hear BEEP BEEP BEEP… BEEP BEEP BEEP… Guess what I forgot to do last night. Oh well, I figured. I’ll just shoot Nate a quick text to tell him that I love him and to have a good day, and then I’ll go back to sleep. Of course, in the real world, it never happens that way.

So now, here it is, 8:40, and I’m still exhausted, hungry, and dreading going to the gym because I don’t feel like I have the energy to sit up straight, even. And to top it, my darling eclectus keeps barking at me. Yep… my parrot is going through a bit of an identity crisis, and seems to think he’s a dog all of a sudden, so anytime I come near the cage, he barks. Which would be amusing, if he didn’t follow it up with growling and biting. Clearly, it’s hormonal season for Mr. Mango.

Some happy news to report, and I don’t know how I neglected to mention this last night… Yesterday, I comfortably into jeans that were one size smaller than I’ve been wearing. This was an old pair that I hadn’t worn in a while, because they didn’t fit anymore. Yesterday morning, I figured I’d give them a try, and they fit! I’m so happy!!!

That kinda adds a little extra happy to this morning’s green smoothie.


And now, I guess it’s time to get off of this computer and do something productive with my day, even though when I look out the window, all I want to do is go back to sleep. Just 30 minutes on the elliptical… That’s my goal…Then I can come home, shower, and take a nap, if I still feel like it.

Gotta keep telling myself that.

This will be a really quick, pictureless post because my poor, exhausted hubby is wanting me to go on to bed, but I have a couple of things I need to put down somewhere first.

Breakfast smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup almond breeze
  • spinach
  • kale
  • 1.5 tbsp peanut butter



  • whole wheat tortilla
  • hummus
  • meatless chicken
  • spinach
  • tomato
  • 5 mushroom slices

and some baby carrots and hummus with that.


Clif chocolate brownie z bar


Some sort of healthy choice frozen dinner. It was adequate. 270 calories, not too untasty… all in all, it is what it is.

Also, I went back to the gym tonight, so here’s the rundown:

Time: 30 on the elliptical, 7 on the treadmill

Calories burnt: I’m not entirely sure, since I forgot to turn on the heart rate monitor before I started. Smart, eh. I think it was somewhere around 400, going by what it showed at the end. Not too shabby

Post workout snack: a banana and peanut butter

And on that note, I’m off to bed!

I had been slowly making changes over the past couple of months, but had been so gradual that it was almost unnoticable. About 2 weeks ago, something snapped- in truth, probably in very large part as a direct result of some blog reading I’ve done lately. I have completely overhauled my eating habits for the better this past couple of weeks, and I have really been feeling the effects of those changes the past few days. I have had morning duty this week, so I have been at work an hour earlier every day this week, but have also had all of the same responsibilities after school- leadership team, parent conferences, a meeting with the superintendent, etc. I have also had work due for my masters classes, not to mention missing sleeping in any this weekend, since I had to be in class from 8-5 both days. In short, I should be worn down to a nub. But I’m not. I’m a little bit stressed- I have a to-do list that’s a mile long, but I have energy! And another very pleasant side effect- NO sugar cravings!

I don’t know whether to attribute it to one specific thing or the overall change, but here’s the rundown. Every day has been pretty similar, and today is the first time I’ve deviated much.



I tried out a new peanut butter today… I’m not a fan. I tasted it last night on a cracker, just to see how it was, and it’s great on there, but in my smoothies, I guess I need the sugar to balance out the kale. Anyway, I couldn’t finish my smoothie this morning- there was just too much of it. I drank most of it though.

  • 3 small kale leaves
  • a large handful of spinach leaves
  • a medium banana
  • 1 cup almond breeze
  • 1 spoonful of peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp flax seed

Lunch was a little bit different today. I’ve been sandwich crazy lately- I’ve really craved them, for some reason. Last night at the store, I had bought everything to make some burritos tonight, so I decided to have a wrap for lunch, along with some baby carrots and hummus.

picture-118Some of the ingredients… The meatless chicken was frozen (whoops- I forgot to take it out last night) so I had to defrost it in the microwave. This is what I did while I waited.

  • tortilla
  • 1 tbsp of hummus
  • spinach
  • tomato slice
  • 2 meatless chicken slices

picture-119In its little tupperware container. Yay for going green!!

And here is my lunch just before it went into the walmart bag. It wouldn’t fit in my lunchbox today.


The banana was an after school snack. The larabar was for my drive home.

I’ve started getting some comments on my lunches lately, particularly since our school lunches are less than ideal. Today’s school lunch (which I would love to have taken a picture of) was cheesy bean burritos OR a breaded chicken sandwich, seasoned rice, buttery baby carrots, oily green beans, 1/2 an orange or apple, and salad. I feel the need to mention how buttery/oily the foods were because otherwise, the choices sound much better than they truly were.

Dinner tonight was 2 tasty soft taco/burrito wrap things. I’m not really sure what to call them. They’re taco ingredients in a burrito form. It was so tasty and I was so hungry that I just inhaled it, so there is no picture. Basically, I used a touch of beans, seasoned morningstar crumbles, tortilla, lettuce, and tomato.

I also realized this afternoon that I have not had much dairy at all this week. Last night, I was getting hungry, but it was too late to eat much, so I had a small bowl of cereal, but I think that was the first milk I’ve had in a couple of weeks, and to the best of my recollection, I’ve not had any cheese either. I’ve not missed them, but at the same time, I didn’t even realize that I was cutting them out. It was totally unintentional.

Lastly, I have requested a change of grade level at work for next year. I absolutely love my second graders, and I’m on a really good team, but I have been wanting a change for a while. I miss deeper content, and I have thought about going back to get certified for middle grades math and science, but I’ve decided to ask for a 5th grade position next year. As much as I love my 2nd graders, I am ready for something else. There are no guarantees about whether I’ll get it or not, but I would really love to.


Isn’t the weather lovely today…. sigh.

On a brighter note, I did get out of class early this afternoon because of it. Of course, I have done none of the things I needed to with that time. On today’s to do list:

  • write lesson plans
  • create math centers
  • find a rug for the living room (I hate ours)
  • clean house
  • laundry

I’m sure I’ll get to at least 3 of those. I absolutely have to do laundry, write lesson plans, and make math centers in order to get through the day tomorrow, so I’ll have to motivate myself to do at least that much.

I have completely overhauled my eating this past few weeks, and I’m very surprised to find myself really enjoying the change. I have always been an all or none person, and it seems like leaving myself no room for crap, I’ve really delved wholeheartedly into much better eating patterns. That said, I have yet to reincorporate exercise. I had been very consistent about it for a while, but was starting to really slack at about the same time I had to get my wisdom tooth pulled. I haven’t made any attempt at working out since then- although, to be completely fair to myself, that was doctor’s orders for the first week, so I couldn’t officially start back until yesterday.

Still, I’m wondering if I should give it a few more days of eating like this before I start back to working out. I’m wondering if trying to take on the drastic change in both areas might be more than I can stick to, and might be part of what’s given me trouble before. I just don’t want to end up back on the slippery slope to giving up, and I’m not sure how to prevent it.

I’ve been tired today, but I think that has more to do with the weather than anything else. I’ll definitely sleep well tonight. I’ve also been pretty hungry, but at the same time, nothing sounds good. Here’s what I’ve ended up eating so far. I have no clue what I want to fix for dinner. Any suggestions?

This morning’s breakfast smoothie ingredients:


YUMMY as usual.

I had a midmorning snack of a banana

Then on the early drive home from class, I decided that my sandwich and baby carrots would be too hard to eat while driving, so instead, I had a larabar and some soymilk to hold me until I got home. One thing that I’m trying to work on is eating when I’m hungry but watching what and how much, instead of the regimented “breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner” schedule and trying to break it down into how many calories I’m going to allow myself for each meal.  I would probably do better to have smaller snacks to hold me until the next snack (or meal, whichever is more appropriate). So here is the 2nd snack:


A couple of hours later, it seemed like a good time for lunch, but rather than eat alone, I had a special guest for today’s lunch. Meet Rocky. He shared lunchtime with me today. I had a sandwich and salad, and he had some bird bread that I made last night.


You can put all kinds of different things in it, but last night, I used

  • 1 box jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 can veg-all
  • 1 egg

I also broke the eggshell up in it to give him a little bit of extra calcium.

img00110 img00111

Rocky loves his bird bread.


Oh yeah, and I ate too. Here’s my lunch:


First, the sandwich. Same as yesterday:

  • wheatberry bread (which I am running out of… guess I should add that to the to do list)
  • hummus
  • spinach
  • worthington meatless chicken
  • tomato slices

And the salad:picture-123

  • spinach
  • cucumber
  • tomato
  • olives
  • 3 spritzes of this stuff

And here it is altogether:


A little bit of motivation:

There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your own self.
~~Aldous Huxley

I am off to a great start this morning. Last night, I had to run to the store and get some starch for Nate on my way back from class. While I was there, I decided that since I’ve been packing my lunch every day and am planning to continue doing so very consistently, rather than continue using sandwich bags, which are just going into a landfill, I should invest in some containers for my lunch. Save the environment- RAH RAH! So in this morning’s pictures, my food will be sportin some new duds.

Anyway, I weighed myself this morning- down 3 lbs from a week ago, without counting calories and without being hungry! I am absolutely thrilled about this. I have not deprived myself. I have not had any real sweets cravings (usually my weakness) that I couldn’t fight. And, amazingly, it’s getting easier as the past couple of weeks have gone on to make better choices. A perfect example is today’s lunch.

Right… so now, on to today’s food.

This morning’s breakfast is another wonderful smoothie. These really are soooo filling, and very tasty. Here are the ingredients from this morning’s smoothie.

img00107From left to right:

  • spinach
  • peanut butter (about 2 tbsp)
  • banana
  • 2 small kale leaves
  • almond breeze (about 1 cup)

I forgot the ice cubes, so it’s not cold… well… maybe now. It’s been sitting in the freezer waiting for me to drink it. Also, a note about the peanut butter. I switched it on Nate just this week, but still bought the old kind just in case. I like that this one only has 4 ingredients, but still tastes AMAZING. Last night, I had to buy 2 more containers- apparently I’m not the only one that loves the stuff!

Lunch, all neatly packed. First the sandwich:


  • wheatberry bread
  • athenos original hummus
  • worthington meatless chicken
  • spinach
  • tomato slices

And lunch in its entirety:

  • img00106sandwich
  • apples
  • apple pie larabar
  • banana
  • baby carrots
  • hummus

YUMMMMMM! And on that note, I’m off to class. Working on my masters degree is getting a little bit old. Thank goodness I’ve only got a few more months- COME ON APRIL!!!