Food for thought: Friday roundup

Since coming back from Thanksgiving break, I’ve had a couple rough nights of sleep. The simplest tasks this morning felt like mountains…making coffee = my personal Everest at 6 am. I’m already prone to mis-measuring at that hour, and this morning’s brew felt like a calculus equation. I really never sleep great in my apartment, since my bedroom is the antithesis of an “ideal sleeping environment:” it’s too hot and bright, nothing like the cool, quiet “cave” you’re supposed to create for yourself. I’m workin’ on it. Curtains and a noise machine are definitely on the docket as soon as I find the time.

Honestly, though, the number one factor affecting my sleep this week has been stress. I went to sleep last night tossing and turning about the Greek class I didn’t have a chance to plan, and woke up early to make sure I was ready. We teach a half-day on Saturday mornings here (digest that one for a sec), so I’ve also got to find some time today so prep those classes. Fold in coaching right after school, formal seated lunches Monday-Friday, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for planning disaster.

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It’s gonna take more than “sleigh fuel” to power me through this day. Try “pure caffeine through a continuous-drip IV” fuel.

I never, ever drink two cups of coffee first thing in the morning, but with a full day of teaching and coaching ahead, I knew it was a matter of necessity. The good news is, there’s now only one class separating me from sweet, sweet Friday night respite. If I can survive, so too can you.

I will say– and I’m going to do a post on this next week– that starting my days with  a green smoothie has done WONDERS to counteract stress. Studies have shown pretty definitively that when you’re tired, you’re more prone to reach for crappy junk food. Somehow, I’ve managed to reach pretty exclusively for real food– apples, homemade granola bars and dark chocolate, celery & pb, chopped peppers & hummus– for just about every snack. It’s like I don’t want to ruin the amazing start to my morning with a bag of chips…and my energy levels are thanking me for it.

I’ve had a few really delicious meals the past couple nights, and thought I’d share. I’m thinking of making this a regular thing on Fridays…this way, if something looks tasty, you’d have plenty of time to plan making it for yourself.

And so…stuff that ruled this week:

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Starting my days with this trifecta: coffee, green smoothie, and lots of ice water. Tomorrow is *technically* the last day of my Grinchy Green Smoothie Challenge.

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My favorite quick vegetarian lunch: broccoli and egg scramble, made special with some Sundried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper dip.

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“Spaghetti” on a bed of baby spinach…with more red pepper dip, for good measure. Good post on how it’s done (and how to roast the seeds!) at C it Nutrionally.

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Baked sweet potato fries and BBQ baked tofu…both covered in chili powder for some kick. Made for me by Rich ❤

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My favorite dark chocolate and some Latin before class on Thursday afternoon…

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A repeat of a recent (delicious) lunch: french toast with vanilla extract, cinnamon, and half a tablespoon of chia seeds for good measure, drizzled with honey. Homemade granola combination of pumpkin seeds, chopped walnuts and dried cranberries tossed in cinnamon to top.

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Lots of crunchies (with pb & hummus) for snacking…

 

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…kale, kale, and more kale (sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper)…

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And a whole bell pepper, half an onion, about 1/2 cup of mushrooms, 1/2 cup black beans and a little leftover tofu, sauteed in olive oil and topped with salsa and avacado. Enjoyed with a corn muffin snagged from a potluck dinner we attended earlier in the week, and inspired by a post I saw by the Real Life RD.

Wishing you a stress-free weekend 🙂

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