Saturday, September 10, 2016

Adventures in Food Prep

Every so often, I actually feel motivated to prepare interesting, tasty, foods. During the last few weeks, I've been in this mood. The rest of the time, I just want to grab something quick to eat. If I don't write down the tasty things I created while 'in the mood', I soon forget what they were--and end up starting from scratch figuring out what to eat all over again. Also, standing in one place is hard for me so anything that requires extra standing doesn't usually get prepared.

Keep in mind, I generally eat solo so all the recipes here are for single servings. I avoid dairy products, wheat, pasta, white rice, white potatoes, and red meat (except on rare occasions.) Also, I realized I wasn't eating enough calories or protein so I began tracking what I eat, how many calories / grams of protein I was consuming, and figuring out how to incorporate more calories into my day. By lowering the dose of Mirtazapine (see previous post), increasing my calorie intake, and exercising a little more, I dropped the 4 of the 10 pounds I wanted to lose! Yay! (The Chinese Medicinal Tea which balances hormones may be helping, too.)


  1. WearEver small frying pan (I have a large one, too, which rarely gets used.)
  2. Small pot for boiling water & making a small batch of soup.
  3. Large pot (for boiling eggs.) 
  4. Hamilton Beach Bullet (blender)
  5. Aroma Digital Rice Cooker (the white rice setting is perfect for Quick Cook Quinoa.) 
  6. Black & Decker Food Chopper 
  7. Black & Decker Toaster Oven. (My large oven is never turned on & I only use the microwave to heat leftovers if I don't want to eat it straight out of refrigerator.)
  8. Disposable paper bowls, plates, and plastic cups because I don't like to stand and wash dishes.

Protein: Quinoa, Almond Butter, Eggs, canned Wild Caught Salmon, Herring, Hormell Natural Choice Sliced Turkey, Vega Protein & Greens-Vanilla (20 g protein per serving), Harmony House dehydrated black beans and lentils, Canned black beans, Black-Eyed Peas (frozen), Amy's Lentil Soup, Italian White Kidney Beans (Cannelloni), Raw Nuts & seeds (Almond slivers, Cashews, Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, & other fresh nuts--I make my own trail mix or eat separately), Hemp Hearts, Chia Seeds. Path of Life Frozen Garbanzo & Lentils.

Grains & non grains: Food for Life Ezekiel Sprouted Grain bread (4 g protein per slice--keep in freezer), Quick Cook Oatmeal, Quick Cook Quinoa (which is really a seed--12 g protein), Almond Flour, fully cooked Brown Rice, Gluten Free Cheerios.

Dairy/Non-Dairy: Grass Fed Butter, Pacific Hemp Milk (Vanilla or Chocolate), Organic Cheese sticks.

Veggies: Canned peas, carrots, & spinach, head of cabbage & carrots or bag of premade cole slaw, small cucumbers (the ones you can eat like a piece of fruit), grape tomatoes, mushrooms, Harmony House dehydrated Veg. Soup, HHd Spinach, HHd Sweet Potato, Dehydrated onion. Sometimes I buy pre-cut / washed sweet potato & squash (Walmart) -- I  buy HHd food on Amazon.

Fruits: Dried figs, raisins, Fuji apples, Kiwi, apple sauce, frozen Tart Cherries, Frozen Strawberries, Avocado (Wholly Guacamole individual packets--Avocado is really a fruit!). Since fruit is generally high in sugar, I only eat small amounts & generally avoid the ones that spoil quickly.

Salad dressing: Make your own--1 part each of Balsamic Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Avocado oil flavored with honey to taste.

Condiments/Add-ins: the above salad dressing, Olive oil (for cooking), French's Brown Spicy Mustard, Organic Mayo with Olive Oil, Claussen pickles (my favorite), black olives, Sea Weed (HEB), HEB Basil Pesto, Crystallized Ginger, Honey, Molasses, unsweetened Cocoa powder, Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute, Dark Chocolate chips.

Beverages: Chinese herbal tea* (medicinal) plain or with a spoon of honey, Apple Cider Vinegar with honey & hot water (for cold, allergies, or sore throat), water with minerals by Organa, Primal Force Super Greens in water (however, I like it better in apple sauce or added to smoothies), 1 tsp cocoa powder with 2 tsp molasses in hot water & just enough milk to cool it for drinking. Bottled water always in the car.

Supplements/Extra Nutrition: Vega Protein & Greens-Vanilla ($24.95 Walmart), Organa minerals ($19.99 including shpg at, Primal Force Super Greens ($34.95 auto ship), Alive 55+ for Women (Walmart), Generic Magnesium 250 mg twice a day, Standard Process Manganese (from chiropractor), B12 (dissolve under tongue), Caltrate with 600 D3--Chewable (when I don't drink enough milk), Epsom Salt (mix equal parts salt & water in a spray bottle to rub into muscles--Epsom Salt is actually Magnesium!)

ADVANCED PREP: (This is mainly the only foods I prep. Everything else doesn't require it.)
  1. For 1 serving, hydrate 1/4 cup of Harmony House dehydrated veggies in the refrigerator until you're ready for it. (You'll make an omelet with it later.)
  2. For 1 serving, hydrate 1/4 cup of HHd Sweet Potato (eat instead of pudding for a snack).
  3. Cook 1 cup of Quinoa in the rice cooker using the measuring cup that came with it. Store in a container in the refrigerator.
  4. Cole slaw: Cut the cabbage & carrots into small chunks to chop up with the food chopper. This will take up multiple containers but cabbage lasts in the refrigerator for a long time (weeks) and doesn't even turn brown! Or you can cheat and buy cole slaw precut / washed in a bag.
  5. Boil 4-6 eggs.

Breakfasts: (after drinking 8 oz of water with a small cap of Organa minerals) If you are not dairy intolerant like I am, you can incorporate yogurt into these meals.
  1. 1/4 c. uncooked quick oats, 1 tbsp each of Chia seeds & Hemp Hearts, a hand full of raisins. Add boiling water and wait 2 minutes. Add milk. With the rest of the hot water, make your tea.*
  2. 1/2 c. precooked Quinoa (you've made a bunch of it in the Rice Cooker), add a rounded tablespoon of sunflower seeds, a hand full of raisins, and milk. Prepare tea.*
  3. 1 slice Ezekiel toast with almond butter or 2 slices with butter, plus tea.*
Meals on the run:
  1. Walnuts, cashews, 2 figs, and a container of cheerios
  2. Piece of bread with cut up apple and a cheese stick.
  3. Other on the run grabs: Snap peas.
  4. If you are drinking Chinese Medicinal Tea like I do, be sure to take some with you!
Snacks or mini meals (when you are craving for something sweet):
  1. 1 slice Ezekiel bread toasted, almond butter, 9 dark chocolate chips laid out evenly, plus tea.* (The chips will begin to melt on the warm toast.)
  2. Midnight snack when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep because I'm too hungry: a bowl of Cheerios with sunflower seeds & milk. 
  3. Quinoa, walnuts, & choc chips with milk
Lunches/Dinners (Interchangeable): I usually have super greens in apple sauce with my mid-day meal or mix the greens into a protein smoothie. The following can be used for either lunch or dinner.
  1. An omelet style egg laid out on a piece of Ezekiel bread after you've spread basil pesto on it, 1 little cucumber and/or grape tomatoes.
  2. Crack an egg into the container of hydrated HH veggies you previously prepared, mix thoroughly, and cook in the pan, stirring it up as it solidifies. 
  3. Boiled egg, cucumber, tomato, Ezekiel toast.
  4. Cole slaw (chopped up cabbage) with cashews & salad dressing. In another bowl mix Italian white kidney beans with mustard & olives. Still hungry? Add a piece of Ezekiel bread!
  5. 2 slices of Ezekiel toast with a Wholly Guacamole packet (covers both pieces) plus cherry tomatoes and/or a cucumber.
  6. A slice of Ezekiel with 2-3 slices Hormell turkey over a spread of basil pesto or mayo (on the bread) plus cherry tomatoes or a cucumber.
  7. Herring, Ezekiel bread spread with basil pesto, cole slaw.
  8. Splurge: get a to-go plate from a Chinese buffet. I usually load it up with shrimp, salmon, and maybe beef with mushrooms (one of the rare times I eat red meat). Split it up into 3 meals, and add other ingredients you have in stock. 
  9. Canned peas, olives, grape tomato, slivered almonds, a tbsp hemp hearts, salad dressing.
  10. Pre-cooked brown rice with canned black beans. Add salad dressing or mustard for flavor or a can of Amy's soup.
  11. Eat Wild Caught Salmon right out of the can and have a little cucumber, tomato, or cole slaw with it.
  12. Make soup! Mix into water HHd anything. Add leftover Salmon. Flavor with TJ's 21 Seasoning Salute.
  13. Splurge: Taco Bell Vegetarian Cantina Bowl--no sour cream.
  14. Ready-to-eat: Path of Life Frozen Garbanzo & Lentils. Thaw a serving out and mix with cooked Quinoa.
After a Workout:
  1. 1 cup frozen tart cherries pureed in the Bullet. Add water to 10-12 oz. mark. Turn on for about a minute. Add one serving of Vanilla Vega Protein. Yummy! Add'l ingredients: Greens Powder & slivered almonds.
  2. 1 cup of chocolate milk with one serving of protein in a shaker container.
This concludes the summary of my current nutrition plan. I hope it is helpful to those of you who live alone and are challenged with trying to figure out what to eat especially when you are in the midst of a pain flare-up and brain fog. If you have any questions about my meal plan, be sure to ask!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Confidence, Low Self-Worth, and DISC

My thoughts this week have been centered on the feeling of self-confidence vs. its opposite, backsliding into my childhood memories when I felt bad about not being good enough for anything, not even for love. I’ve made great strides in maturity, yet this subject is sometimes still a challenge for me. Perhaps some or many of you can relate.

About two weeks ago, someone in one of several organizations I volunteer for called me to reprimanded me about something I wrote in a report. He said, "I told you.... " and he went on and on until his phone decided to run out of battery juice. I was triggered.

When you have developed a pattern of:
  1. All or Nothing Thinking
  2. Overgeneralization
  3. Mental Filter
  4. Discounting the Positives
  5. Jumping to Conclusions
  6. Magnification or Minimization
  7. Emotional Reasoning
  8. Should Statements
  9. Labeling
  10. Personalization and Blame
…you make everything you’ve done wrong, instead of the one tiny detail.

You can find the 10 Forms of Twisted Thinking here:

Then yesterday, after I realized I sent an email that maybe I shouldn’t have sent (wish you can unsend these), I heard and felt like I was being reprimanded all over again—only this time I did it to myself. I even began to cross-examine myself, wondering if I had crossed the line I was asked not to cross. I felt like a scared little child fearful of being caught stealing the candy.

I began to PMS—have a Post-Menopausal Mood Swing. 

I used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique aka Tapping) to process the onslaught of negativity. It really helped, I calmed down, and I started to write this blog post to sort through my thoughts.

I've been a rather colorful balloon which can pop at the prick of a pin. Balloons are pretty and when filled with helium, they will float away up into the atmosphere. I could let emotional surges float away like a balloon, but why must I be a balloon at all? I would rather be a strong rubber ball so I can bounce out of the way when a verbal assault comes on and bounce back into my strong confident self. I can be a ball that cannot be popped with a pin. Can't I?

First, I had to practice AWARENESS and understand what was happening.

I asked myself, “What kinds of situations were the pins that were popping my balloon?" I wrote them down.
  1. I allowed another person to affect my self-confidence when they reprimanded me. (See DISC below.)
  2. I volunteer to do more than what I really want to do and haven’t made time for writing and music which leads to resentment. (I still need to learn how to say no.)
  3. I still feel challenged and overwhelmed during flare-ups of Fibromyalgia pain. (At least now I know about Twisted Thinking.)
How do I react to this mood swing? I conclude I am all wrong, no one appreciates me, and I'm unlovable.

Is it the truth? Absolutely NOT! I used to think it was but now I know better.

What does my body do when it is stuck with a pin (words that hurt)? It tenses up, implodes, and complains of pain as well as fatigue.

Suddenly, I had a flashback of myself as a child swinging on a swing—back and forth—higher and higher—and when I went too high, the swing began to become unstable and would jump dangerously crazy. It was pretty scary! I would have to stop moving and allow the swing to slow down so I could come to a stop and get off.

Time to slow down and digest what just happened. Time to come to a stop and write.

Also, about a year ago, I participated in a workshop on DISC. We took a survey and were divided up into four groups depending on our ‘dominant’ personality. I knew many of the people who were in this workshop and had ‘issues’ with several of them. They all ended up in the same group – D. I was the only one in my group – S. Very interesting!

Is it a never-ending cycle or is there a point when I can learn to swing on a swing without going too high and going into sudden wobblyness?

Next, I started writing down all the situations I’ve experienced lately when I felt good about my accomplishments:
  1. Practiced positive thinking / gratitude and was suddenly moved into a newly remodeled apartment and abundance showed up in unexpected ways. I am learning to see the bills as just numbers on paper. After all, I keep reading that money isn’t even real.
  2. Completed a course and received a certificate—a course I was only able to take because I had a skill I could barter—a skill I taught myself how to do.
  3. Received 2 certificate of achievements in Toastmasters.
  4. Met a new person and knew all the right things to say (felt wise and intelligent).
  5. Completed several large projects—publishing new books and created new websites.
  6. Submitted articles / press releases to the local newspaper and they were all published.
  7. After months of wracking my brains to figure out something new—it suddenly clicked!
Mmmmm. This list is a LOT longer than the first list.

And how very interesting! The 2014-2015-2016 September posts are all related to the same thing! 

Life Cycle?

September 2014: “Contrast, Triggers, and Law of Allowing,” which you can read HERE.

September 2015: “Uncovering Cognitive Distortions” (you can read it HERE.)

September 2016: This one.

If you have a trusted partner, best friend, counselor, or psychologist you can process these situations with, it is certainly nice, but I’ve had to learn to do this for myself.

To continue, once a perfectionist, always a perfectionist? If you’re a perfectionist and someone tells you they don’t like something you did or said when you put a LOT of effort in getting the details correct, how do you react? How do you feel? What kind of thoughts go through your head?

What if this someone else is a D person who is dominant, direct, controlling, and bossy? I’ve known many! Thank goodness I found out about DISC.

What is DISC? I Googled it.

“DISC is a behavior assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which centers on four different behavioral traits, which today are called: dominance, influence, support, and caution.”

It just so happened that the new issue of Toastmasters Magazine came in the mail and I had opened it to read… and there before me was an article on DISC to remind me of what I was dealing with. In the magazine, the article suggests DISC can be helpful for both professional and personal communication, with a link to take the survey. Unlike the survey I did in the workshop last year, the online survey gave me a 22-page result.

D—Dominance: Direct, Impatient, Forceful

I—Influence: Animated, Spontaneous, Warm, Short Attention Span

S—Steadiness: Patient, Tolerant, Service Oriented

C—Conscientious: Orderly, Meticulous, Time Conscious

According to these reports, I am a High S who "likes others to be relaxed, agreeable, and cooperative, and to show appreciation."

This is definitely me!

I easily become upset when confronted with anyone who is the opposite, especially a D. I’m the one who wants everyone to get along. I’ve always been this way and I’ve always had a rough time growing up both at home and in school whenever there was conflict around me. I’m sure I was also empathetic, but I was definitely an S.

I always thought I was different and didn’t fit in anywhere. I am NOT different, I’m an S. It sure would have been nice if we had been taught DISC back in grade school! I can just see it now—instead of scholastic testing, DISC testing. Split the children up into four corners and teach them about the different personalities and how to get along.

Please feel free to write your comments below. Have you taken the DISC survey? What did you learn about yourself?