Monday, 15 June 2009


...we're moving to wordpress. Come along, bring beer and I'll provide lame entertainment.

Please UPDATE YOUR BLOGROLLS (readers, bookmarks, etc):

See you there!

Wait! Let Me Explain...

Oy vey, is it just me or are weekends too short?

One of my biggest fears is being misunderstood- or rather, being judged unfairly without having a chance to explain myself properly. I don't know why this is such a big deal for me- one part of me says, "who CARES what people are thinking?" but the other part really does care. A lot. Everything I do, I feel a need to explain in detail, to rationalise, to justify. Part of this is justifying things to myself- I judge myself more harshly than possibly anyone else judges me. I have been finding more and more that I am second-guessing every choice I make, trying to find a reason behind it (why am I picking tuna for lunch? why did I eat an apple and not a banana? why did I buy that brand of toothpaste?) Everything needs to have a valid reason and method to it. It's not enough for me to just say, "I put granola in my yogurt because I wanted to"- I feel like I need to approach it scientifically and explain it further ("I needed some carbs/fat/extra calories to make up for a lighter dinner/blahblah"). When did it get so complicated? Why is it not just enough to go with the flow and do what *I* want without fear that I'll have stones thrown at me?!

I started writing this thinking more about my fear of being judged by other people- though the more I think about it and the more I write, I think that my biggest fear is the criticism I dole out to myself. The guilt, the risk that something might go wrong, the relentless pursuit of my elusive dream of 'perfection'.

"It is easy to protect the body from poisoned arrows, but impossible to shield the body from the poisoned darts that originate within itself"

I need to work on chilling the heck out fostering a more compassionate attitude towards myself. To find a balance between caring what others think of me, but also accepting that their opinions and judgements are based on their own ideas and opinions and not necessarily factual. And most importantly, to ease up on myself. I keep talking about this but it's an ongoing struggle to let go of the idea that I need to be a certain way/do things perfectly for fear of what might happen if I loosen the reigns, and trust that I am 'okay' just as I am...

"Sometimes the only means of transport available is a leap of faith"

In other news:

I am 95% sure that I am going to be moving over to Wordpress. I've set up a blog and am ironing out the kinks and trying to figure it out- it's not as user-friendly as Blogspot, but I think the change will be worth it. Has anyone who has made the transfer found 1) a way to set up my blogroll to either be in order of most recently updated like this blog, or 2) is there any way I can automatically redirect people who go to old site to new one?


For breakfast I made 'Sunshine Cheesecake' again in an attempt to combat the grey sky I woke up to.

Just as good the second time around (that's what she said!) I feel like this tastes too dessert-like to be a 'healthy' breakfast.

There was a Clif bar consumed...

Maple nut- hands down, my all-time favourite flavour. I love anything maple flavoured. When I was growing up, we only ever had real maple syrup if we had pancakes- it wasn't until I was in New York when I was 22 that I was introduced to 'pancake syrup'. What IS that stuff? Is it supposed to taste like maple syrup? I like it (hello, sweet and sog-inducing?) Real maple. All the way.

Aaaaaand, a fiesta salad (soon to be followed by a siesta- I got up at 4am!)

Tuna, kidney beans, rice and a rather generous scoop of salsa on a bed of sprouts and spinach.

Question: what do you like on pancakes/waffles? Maple syrup? Pancake syrup? Jam? Yogurt? Fruit? It's rare that I eat them, but when I do, I'd take real maple if I had the choice. Though when I was in France, the crepes with banana and nutella were amazing!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Rocking It Out In The School Of Life

Things I Have Learnt This Week

  • houses do not clean themselves
  • if an electrical appliance looks like a safety hazard, it probably should not be used
  • some things are better left unsaid
  • Amy’s Kitchen make delicious meals but they are designed to be ugly enough that nobody would pass them off as their own cooking
  • sometimes the person you expect to kick you when you are down is the one who helps you back up
  • being true to myself is more important to me than compromising who I am to fit in
  • I can’t control what anyone else does or says, just how I respond to them
  • all it takes is one person to say, “I believe in you” to make everything feel okay again
  • crack wraps were the missing piece in my self-devised tailor-made food pyramid
  • I worry too much about what people think
  • I don’t say “I love you” enough to the people I would want to hear it
  • everyone needs a little cheerleading squad in their lives, but it’s also a good idea to have your own pom-poms ready
  • the only way to overcome a fear is to face it head on
  • words have a tendency to get lost in translation and can hurt like hell when they do
  • if I get up at 4;30am and go back to bed after breakfast, it’s very likely that I will be half-asleep all day
  • everyone makes mistakes sometimes
  • living in the ‘real world’ requires a lot of compromising, a lot of patience and a lot of compassion
  • I have a very limited vocabulary when it comes to describing good food. My words of choice are: delicious, great, amazing, fabulous (note to self: bookmark a thesaurus)
  • using a list format for posts is awesome when I am feeling lazy makes it easier to formulate my thoughts


I woke up with a Hugh Jass mug of coffee bowl of purple goodness.

Oats, blueberries, Fage and a twist on Emily's PBU (I used almond butter, which I guess makes it 'ABU'?). Emily- you are a GENIUS! According to an online thesaurus, I can describe this as appealing, delectable, delicious, delish, divine, flavorsome, heavenly, inviting, luscious, mouthwatering, palatable, saporous (eh?!), scrumptious, tantalizing, tasty or yummy. I’m going to go with all of them. Yes, it was that good.

Why do they not make more nut butter flavoured things? There is no shortage of bars/cookies/cereals, but why not yogurt, milk, etc? I know we make our own combinations, but there are so many different flavours of yogurts out there but no nut butter ones. I'd pick that over 'lemon chiffon' anyday. (Stonyfield? Yoplait? You reading this?) Or peanut butter hot chocolate? I might need to order some PB2...

Lunch also included (but was NOT limited to) something which could be described the same way as my breakfast, but I won’t write out the whole list again hit “ctrl + p” again.

As much as I love mushrooms and spinach, I really just wanted the hummus. Think I could make a hummus smoothie? Just blend this all up and call it a Chick(pea) Monsteress?

The rest of my food over the last 24 hours has been rather dull in comparison, so I won’t bore you. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before so don’t lose sleep over it… ;)

Question: Live Writer is still not working for me. I can write/format but then can't transfer my post to Blogspot. Does anyone use Live Writer with a blogspot blog? TiPz needed!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, 13 June 2009


Someone once told me that if somebody annoys you, it’s because you see parts of yourself reflected in them. I definitely agree with this. Lately I’ve been finding it harder and harder to keep in touch with a lot of my friends because I know they are going through a hard time and as selfish as this might sound, it’s not something that I can handle right now ('survival mechanism'?). I’ve stopped talking so much on my blog the last couple of weeks about the day-to-day ups and downs and I’m finding it really useful to write through the eyes I am trying to see through rather than through the dark sunglasses I often wear. I got bored of my own thoughts and bored of writing them down. It wasn’t changing anything. The changes in my own state of being have only taken place when I have shifted the focus from ‘what’s wrong' to ‘how to create the life I want to live’. I think there is a lot to be said for our visions/perceptions creating our worlds- there is definitely times where it is important to address current issues/difficulties, but I’m not willing to do that right now. I want to be around positive people. I am very easily influenced by what goes on around me and I attribute my progress lately to surrounding myself by people I look up to. I don’t want to be surrounded by people who tell me I won’t/can’t cope. We all need cheerleaders at times in our lives, and at this point, I need people around me who believe in me, who will push me that extra mile and who will shine a light when my own candle burns out.

It’s only natural to have a bunch of different people in our lives who all bring out different qualities in us- some of my friends and I get together and do the craziest random things and have days filled with laughter and bizarre shenanigans. Other friends and I sit huddled over coffee in Starbucks having serious discussions and debates. I enjoy BOTH, but at the moment I am finding that I am drawn more and more away from the ‘serious’ aspect and just…want to have some fun. Partly because of what’s going on for me right now and just a need to switch off, have a good time and remember the fun side of life. But partly because I want to ignore and deny the struggles I AM having and as long as I am not laughing/joking around, it all seems too real. I’d rather just ignore it.

I think my biggest ‘personal cheerleader’ is my dad. I grew up with him telling me constantly that I could do WHATEVER I put my mind to. It makes such a huge difference to have that knowledge that despite whatever crap is going on, there is someone out there who believes that you’ll make it through somehow.

Who are your personal cheerleaders?

I wasn’t going to post much today but deleted my draft and what do you know? A long rambling babble came out!

Before I forget, I need to mention Janetha for her comment yesterday about the pickle:

“daaang that thing is huge! I wonder how you got your mouth around it?”

I am just playing around this afternoon pretending I know what I am doing with the Live Writer I downloaded yesterday. If this post actually makes it onto my blog, that means I have figured it out *pats self on back* (gotta give yourself some props sometimes! ) So far, am liking it- thanks Alice!


Bran flakes, mashed banana and Fage twin pot- I am going to call this 'Sunshine Cheesecake' from now on.

Since yesterday’s breakfast, I have had crazy cravings for coconut. I LOVE the flavour of coconut but hate having the pieces stuck in my teeth for weeks until I brush them. Though it does make for an easily accessible snack later on...

For anyone in the UK, the Pureprotein bars often raved about on blogs are now available in Holland and Barrett. YEAH! Though I do love the white chocolate coconutty taste of this bar…

I went for a long walk this morning to do a few things (read: stock up on hummus and falafel) and also went to my mom’s house and now have FULL custody of my George Foreman grill. Which could only mean one thing…

Red pepper hummus and cheddar cheese. There are no words. For anyone yet to jump on the ‘crack wrap’ bandwagon, please do…your life will change forever. Unless you don’t like hummus. In which case you are crazy should dip it in ketchup.

Question: are there any foods you love the taste of but avoid because of the texture? For me it would be avocado and coconut. Avocado is mushy in a BAD way (mushy cereal = a good mushy) and coconut just gets stuck in my teeth. Love the taste, but can’t get past the textures.

Okay...the upload from Live Writer didn't work so I had to copy/paste and upload pictures again directly onto Blogspot. It said the server forbid it? Anyone able to help me out with this?

Friday, 12 June 2009

The Day After The Night Before

1 bus fare = £2.00
1 burger = £6.00
1 night with good company and great conversation = priceless

Thank you for the support yesterday- I had SUCH a good time last night! Alice was so sweet and it was great to meet another blogger. We talked about all kinds of stuff- including Windows Live Writer and the "blogspot V wordpress" debate, as well as lots of pictures. I am pretty sure that the people around us though we were complete dorks very interesting people. Haha!

We met as planned at the restaurant and sat down- once Alice told me that she was disappointed they didn't offer her favourite item, we wandered off to Wannaburger. It was so much fun- it was like a New York diner and we sat in a booth drinking soda, chatting and waiting for our food.

I started with a PICKLE! I've never seen these on a menu in the UK and *had* to order one.

(anyone want to throw in a "that's what she said" worthy comment here?)

Next up: BURGER!

Grilled chicken, tomato relish, salad and pineapple on a bun. I LOVE grilled chicken- not because it's "safe", just because it's delicious when cooked properly and this place grilled it to perfection. So good. Messy, but fabulous (and pretty too, right?!)

I was worried we wouldn't have anything to talk about, but the complete opposite happened- I to have a tendency to babble occasionally (no s***, Sherlock!) so I hope I didn't intimidate Alice with my ramblings...hehe.

When the check came, I got my chocolate fix after all.

Peanut M & M's which we shared before heading off into the rain and walking home. We actually live really near each other so hopefully will meet again soon!

I woke up this morning in SUCH a good mood. Glorious sunshine streaming through my windows (at 5am- it gets light SO early here and stays light until after 11pm! Love it!)

Breakfast was heavenly...

Oats cooked in water, swirled with frozen blueberries, fromage frais and topped with a chunk of crumbled coconut bar.

I went to the only store in Edinburgh that stocks pumpkin and the guy there asked me why I come so often JUST for pumpkin. I mentioned some of the things I make and he has asked me to write them down to be included in their new cookbook! How cool?! The book is in the process of being compiled and all the recipes are based around canned/jarred products they sell.

Lunch included this amazing wrap.

Red pepper hummus, paprika, alfalfa + radish sprouts, tomato, mushrooms and spinach. Mmmmmm...

Random story- when I was in the store yesterday buying some things (hummus, mushrooms, spinach, soy milk) a guy came up to me and started asking if I actually ate this kind of stuff. I said "yes" and he started rifling through my basket! Then he started asking me if I voted (um, no... I can't vote in this country) before calling me a "damn hippy" and wandering off. Some strange people out there!

Well, I do believe that this is the closest I have ever come to doing a 'proper' food post (ie, without too much of my inane ramblings!)

Question: when was the last time you ate at a restaurant and what did you get?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Rising To The Challenge!

After I left treatment in New York and was living in the city, I ate out several times a week. My schedule was hectic between a day program, work and school and it was just impractical to go home and eat all my meals- I was busy and I loved it. Despite my ups and downs since then (2007) my visits to restaurants got far less frequent, but I still did it. Gradually it dwindled down to a very small handful of restaurants that I felt 'comfortable' eating in. Not because they offered particular foods, but I knew what to expect, what things looked like and could reassure myself by remembering that I had eaten there several times before.

It's been 7 months since I last ate in a restaurant. 7 months since I've eaten a meal that wasn't completely prepared by myself, calculated to the exact calorie. Tonight I am meeting up with another Edinburgh blogger for dinner and I am REALLY excited. Usually I need weeks to plan for this so it's all been a kind of 'last minute' thing (to me!). I haven't spent hours agonising over the menu or worrying- I have surprised myself by quite how calm I am about it. It's hard for me to even eat something different at home, never mind go out and hand over control to a chef I've never met. I am anxious- there are a lot of challenges for me this evening. Going out and breaking out of my routine is one, unknown food is a second, meeting someone new is a third. I haven't even contemplated the idea of cancelling- again, NOT like me (I can be such a flake in situations like this!)

I guess the difference is that I am excited to face something new and something different, rather than focusing on what could go wrong or the fear aspect. Sometimes just tilting your head a little and looking at a situation from a slightly different angle is all it takes to shed a whole new light on something...

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
- Mother Teresa

My meals so far today have been ugly, but delicious!

Breakfast, after boiling water on the hob to make coffee (I feel like I am camping- need a new kettle!)

Pumpkin, fromage frais, honey nut shreddies and peanut butter. Honey and peanut butter are such a perfect pair :)

Snack involved no chocolate!

Fage with muesli. I am so obsessed with yogurt at the moment- it's so versatile and delicious. I don't like it by itself, but mixed with fruit/cereal is such a great snack.

Lunch was inspired by a conversation about pot-lucks and pasta salad with Janetha...

Tuna pasta salad on a mound of spinach- and yes, that would be ketchup hiding under there... I tried to hide it, but my camera was NOT playing along. *sigh*

2 questions for today!

  1. what is your favourite thing to pair with peanut butter?
  2. what is your favourite thing to mix into yoghurt?

Hope everyone's Thursday is going well- will be recapping tonight's shenanigans tomorrow! Wish me luck! (Alice might need some luck too for putting up with me...hehe)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Do It In Style!

Sometimes it takes me several hours to put a post together. I have a lot of days where nothing I write seems to make sense and I can't put my thoughts into any kind of coherent sentence. Finally, I click the 'publish' button only to come back and edit, time after time after time. I see flaws in my writing- spelling, grammar, punctuation. I worry about who is reading and what they will think of me or how they will interpret what I have written.

I worry about which 'niche' my blog falls into or where it fits into 'blogosphere'. I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't HAVE to fit into any particular niche- if somebody asked me what my blog was about, I wouldn't have an answer. It's about me- sleeping, eating and everything that goes on inbetween. Thoughts, actions, ideas... There isn't a 'right' or 'wrong' way for a blog to take shape- that's what makes them so special and unique. I could spend my whole life trying desperately to fit in to any one particular crowd, or I could step into an empty space and claim it as my own.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how people see me or what they think or me. My mistakes are amplified in my head to be huge disasters, when really...people, for the most part, have their own stuff going on that is far more important than if somebody has used the same word twice in one sentence. Yet still, I panic. Egocentric? Neurotic? Perfectionist? Likely a combination of all three. I don't know what would happen if I stopped caring so much- what thoughts would fill that space. Whether I would go back to fretting over food and calories, or whether the time and energy would be channelled towards something productive. Whenever I drag my thoughts away from the 'obsession of the day', another one seems to creep in which is equally problematic.

I remember when I was much younger and waiting to be called up for my turn in a music competition. I was crying because I was so convinced that I was going to mess up and make a fool of myself. My music teacher kneeled down, looked me in the eye and said, "go out there and give it ALL you've got- go right ahead and make mistakes...but do it with confidence, do it like you mean it and nobody is likely to pick up on it". I did go out there, I did make mistakes, but I kept on playing. Rocking it out (well, as much 'rocking' as you can do playing traditional Scottish music on a harp) and I came home with a gold medal.

Moral of today's ramblings: go out into the world and give it all you've got. Mistakes aren't what make you different from everybody else- they are what make you exactly LIKE everyone else. Nobody is perfect, despite how they may appear on the surface. So screw-up, pick yourself up and start all over again. Just make sure you give it your best shot and if you fall flat on your face, at least pretend that you meant to do it that way. A little self-confidence goes a long way when it comes to "faking it till you make it".

Speaking of 'going out with a bang', my KETTLE EXPLODED last night. I turned it on to make a cup of tea, and there were sparks, weird noises and a huge 'BOOM', before all the power went out in my apartment. What did I do first? What ANY blogger would do- grabbed a camera...haha.

You know you are addicted to blogging when... ;)


Some food highlights from today, after I fixed the power last night. Just call me the 'DIY Diva'.

I woke up at 6am which is LATE for me.

Pumpkin banana oatmeal topped with peanut butter. Eaten cold.

Are there things you eat cold that most people would eat hot (or vice versa)? All of my food is eaten cold- I cook most of my things the day before and leave it in the fridge. I always LOVED eating cold leftovers when I was younger, so now I just skip straight over the 'first time' and go straight for the 'leftover' aspect!

Chocolate fix...

Glenny's brownie spread with white chocolate peanut butter. Yes, it was as good as it looked :) I never ate peanut butter until I started reading blogs (and never considered myself to be a fan of chocolate- but reading back some recent posts would indicate otherwise!) Ha...

What foods have you started eating more of since reading blogs? My main ones would be peanut butter, hummus and oatmeal. None of which I ever disliked or purposely avoided- I just never really thought of them as appealing/interesting. Now I can't imagine life without them!

Post-therapy (real psychotherapy, chocolate therapy is a given these days!) I made a curried chicken salad and spinach wrap. I love the dried apricots and raisins in this...though I love dried fruit in anything!

Still on the lookout for a vegetarian chicken salad recipe- anyone got one they recommend? (Elise?!.)

Thanks for the menu suggestions for tomorrow- I am really looking forward to it! Wish you could all come!

Have a fabulous hump-day everyone!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Stepping Outside Of The 'Recovery Bubble'

Thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts on yesterday's post. I love hearing everyone's different opinions so don't apologise for lengthy comments- the more you guys say, the more I think and learn so keep your ideas coming!

Just to clarify after a couple of comments/emails, my post wasn't necessarily about the job/issue of being 'green' itself, but more an example of a tendency *I* have to 'go for gold' at any cost, often losing myself along the way. One one hand, you've got to do what you've got to do in order to pay rent, etc, and that often does mean compromising on principles/values especially when you are new at a company and haven't worked your way up to a level where you have the safety and security of putting your foot down.

I've been trying to keep my posts broader than just eating disorders and this is likely to be rambly/boring, so feel free to scroll down to the food discussion while I attempt to organise my thoughts!

I was thinking about yesterday's post and the whole difficulty in finding a balance between 'staying true to yourself' versus what is actually practical in the real world. I've spent a lot of time in intensive treatment, having it ingrained into my brain the important aspects of recovery: to honour your feelings, to eat intuitively, to be true to your inner self, etc. I agree with ALL of this. In theory. But the real world isn't based around that- sitting with feelings and accepting them is all great but at some point, there comes a time when I need to act "as if" in order to get through the day. I don't have therapists around me 24/7 to support me- I have a job to go to, bills to pay. Living outside of hospital demands a level of functioning that I don't think treatment ever really taught me. Granted, it's not something you can learn in a group therapy session- you learn by DOING which is what I am doing now, I guess?

Other aspects of recovery come into this category too of "stuff people tell me is 'normal' but isn't easy to apply in the real world". Intuitive eating is something that I am striving for, but again- NOT always practical. When I am working, I need to eat when I am given a lunch break because the other option is to just...not eat. This kind of goes against the whole concept of intuitive eating, but is very much in-line with how 'life' operates. I might have packed a turkey sandwich, but if my body is asking for a veggie burger? Eh. Nothing I can do about that.

Kind of reminds me of high school. I was in the top French class when I was 12 and did well in the classroom. When I actually went to France, it was a whole different story. Being able to ask for directions to 'La Discothèque' got me good marks on my pop quiz, but wasn't really what I needed in order to survive several weeks in France! Nothing wrong with discos (!), but learning how to ask for a first-aid kit or directions to a bank might have been more useful.

I guess my issue right now is finding a balance between the tools/skills needed for recovery, versus what is actually realistic for how the world operates. I think it comes down to having the ability and strength to be able to hold onto the basics of staying healthy, whilst also allowing for flexibility and acceptance of change- seeing it as an opportunity to grow, rather than a huge obstacle that blocks your every movement.

sometimes being in control means just accepting a lack of control over situations


More interesting stuff, yes?

All day yesterday, I was craving peas. I don't even LIKE peas very much- they remind me of school lunches, served luke warm having been boiled to the point where they were nothing but a gloopy green mush on my plate. I didn't make gloopy mush.

Broccoli and pea crustless quiche, vegetarian baked beans (British baked beans are completely different from American ones) with roasted mushrooms, onions and steamed spinach.

What is the difference between a crustless quiche and a frittata? I thought the whole point of a 'quiche' was the crust itself?

I decided not to order muesli online because I had an insomnia induced online shopping spree and now have mounds of wraps and bars taking over my kitchen I wanted to try something a little different.

This is a regular muesli mix (oats, dried fruit) but with bran twigs in it and a higher percentage of fruit.

Muesli is ugly, no doubt about it. It was delicious though! It's hard to tell from the picture, but there was a LOT of dried apricots in this which I loved and it was much sweeter than my other muesli (which has dried berries and more of a 'tang'). This one was cheaper AND better tasting. Plus much easier for me to get.


Peanut butter fix came later on.

PB pretzel MOJO bar = *love* I think this is now one of my favourite bars- probably a good thing since I now have a whole case. I wonder if I can make sculptures out of them to at least make the pictures a little more interesting?

In other news: I am having dinner with another Edinburgh blogger on Thursday (YAY!) What would you get from this menu?

Monday, 8 June 2009

You Say, "JUMP", I Ask, "How High?"

Thank you for your advice on yesterday's post- I did go to high school in this city so do know a few people that I keep in touch with on Facebook. I sent out a few messages last night to see if anyone would be up for coffee- it's really weird when I still think of these people as 12 years old (when I left school) and seeing their photos of the weddings and babies!

I was flicking through my daily planner from last summer after reading Olga's post about her new job. This time last year, I was working as a temp in New York in between interviewing for permanent jobs. Between interviews, I did various things- mostly reception work but the jobs varied a LOT between one company and another, and I never really knew exactly what lay in store for me when the agency gave me the company name/address/time to show up. Some of the jobs were pretty cool, some were fun, some were boring beyond belief, but none lasted more than a couple of weeks max so it wasn't a big deal if I hated it.

Exactly a year ago today, I was in the middle of a 3 day assignment at a fairly well known company. They had called in for a temp because the director had decided that the 14 years worth of files on their computer system should be printed off onto hard copies and filed in their library. It was not my position to question my role, but something about this didn't seem quite right. 14 years worth of information from a large worldwide organisation is a LOT of sheets of paper. I didn't mind the mundane aspect of "ctrl + p" (x 10000000000), but I didn't understand the logic behind it.

I am definitely not the most environmentally conscious of people. I recycle when I can, I use energy saving light bulbs and I reuse plastic bags- that's pretty much as far as I go on a day-to-day basis. But now and again I come up against something that just doesn't seem 'right' to me in an environmental sense.

Despite how uncomfortable it made me feel, I couldn't turn this job down. I needed the money, and I needed to maintain a good relationship with the temp agency. If I was in the same position now, I would do it again. I KNOW I talk a lot about staying true to *you* and keeping things in line with your own beliefs and morals, it's not always possible to transfer that to the 'real world'. Bills need paid, there are responsibilities, rules and regulations. I am not afraid of hard work or responsibilties- I like the challenges that being an adult brings (for the most part!) but when it comes to compromising who I am or what I believe in... I hate it. I want to be able to stand up for what I believe is right and risk being wrong. I want to speak out if I think something is cruel or unjust, I want tohave the confidence to say what I think and do what *I* think is the right thing to do...but the reality is, it's not always possible to DO that in real life. The temp assignment wasn't a HUGE deal- 3 day assignment, 3 days worth of wages. I did it and moved on to the next job. But it did make me think.

What are your thoughts on staying true to yourself versus compromising for the 'real world'?

As much as I want to say "NO", I don't think it's that straightforward. A lot of the jobs I was applying for were at advertising agencies, and when I was in studying advertising, we had some great discussions going about ethics/morals and how they might come into play (ie, if you were asked to be involved in a sexist/anti-something campaign). As passionate as I am about certain subjects, I don't know if there is ANYTHING I would put my dream job on the line for (especially in this economy) and I don't know if that's common sense of sheer stupidity.

Anyway. Enough rambling for a Monday!


Last night's dinner was provided by Amy's Kitchen. I still stand by my theory that they purposely make their meals as un-photogenic as possible so that nobody can pass them off as their own cooking!

Vegetable lasagne with roasted mushrooms and onions (LOVE) on a bed of spinach. Ugly, but oh-so good! I am so excited about the new range of Amy's meals due to hit the shelves here in July!

For breakfast this morning, I wanted to try a twist on "PBJ oats"...

In the mix: cooked oats, Fage cherry twin pot, blueberries and almond butter.

I don't know why I thought this would taste like "PBJ" considering that it contained neither peanut butter OR jelly (!) but it was still good.

Yesterday's bland lunch called for the return of my 'burrito bowl'- MORE than making up for my lack of condiments yesterday!

Tuna, kidney beans, rice and SALSA with spinach and sprouts (and yes, there was some ketchup underneath too...Ketchup Anonymous, anyone?)

Have a great Monday and go check out Jenny's amaaaaaazing giveaway! (or not...I kind of want to win this one :P )

Sunday, 7 June 2009

What's In A Piece Of Pie?

Sunday afternoon already?..

Hee hee... I love these cartoons.

I feel like I've posted a lot this week whilst avoiding talking much about what's been happening in my everyday life. You didn't miss much. I've been thinking a lot about what constitutes a 'balanced lifestyle'. When I did my life coaching certification course a few years ago, there was an entire module on what a balanced lifestyle is- my coursework was filled with pretty pie-charts that would compose a well-rounded life. I think that no two pie charts would ever be the same- some people need more of one aspect in their life and someone else has slightly different priorities.

The key 'pieces' of the pie were:
  • productivity (work, school, etc)
  • personal/health
  • social
  • leisure
  • relationships
Simple in theory, harder in practice. (Don't worry- not going to get all 'life coach-y on you guys...okay, maybe just for this post :P )


Productivity: I am working part-time right now, as well as various ongoing projects (ie, the article I wrote and follow-up)
Personal/Health: a work in progress- I am definitely making this a more significant part of my 'pie' right now and focusing on gaining both emotional and physical health because I think that without that as a solid foundation, none of the others can really grow.
Leisure: again, a work in progress. Blogging is fun for me, writing is fun and I LOVE taking my camera out around the city and taking random pictures. I am hoping that as the rest of my 'pie' balances out more evenly, I'll discover new things I enjoy doing and a new appreciation for leisure time.
Social/Relationships: I've clumped these together because right now, they are virtually non-existent and by far, the smallest piece in my pie. (I find it kind of amusing the I am talking about what my eating disorder has taken away from me by using a 'pie' as an example!)

I am definitely a sociable person. I LOVE spending time with people, hanging out with friends. Nothing makes me happier than just relaxing in Starbucks with a friend, laughing at random things, reminiscing about bizarre/funny memories we have. Since I came back to Scotland last year, I have been really isolated. Not intentionally, but it's not easy to meet people when you aren't in school and don't work (my job is pretty new). I think that the loneliness aspect of my day-to-day life is the biggest obstacle for me right now and definitely the next thing I really want to focus on changing. I talk a lot about missing New York- what I miss the most is my friends and who I am when I am around that. I live HERE now and I need to make more of an effort to bring the aspects of NY life into the life I currently have.
"Life Only Happens When You Show Up For It"

2 questions for today!

How have you guys met people when you've moved to a new area?
Any piece of your 'pie' that you would want to change?

Breakfast was nothing special but fabulous nonetheless. Bran flakes, Fage cherry twin pot and sliced banana. A.K.A. cheesecake!

Snack was the last remnants of my muesli (hence the dust!) mixed with Fage. Still undecided about ordering more muesli so going to check out what the health store sells tomorrow.

For lunch I wanted to see if I could have a meal without using any condiments (my pictures don't show it, but everything I eat has ketchup added after the photoshoot!). I made a sandwich with a chopped quorn fillet, laughing cow cheese and some chopped yellow pepper. Side dishes were also condiment free.

The verdict? DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME. Condiments should be a part of the food pyramid. Lesson learned.

What are your favourite condiments? Top of my list would be ketchup, closely followed by honey mustard and tzaztzki (not really a 'condiment' but I use it as one).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and if you like granola, CLICK HERE!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

When "Quitting" Is A Good Thing

  • when you realise that what you are doing has started to hurt more than help
  • when the passion has died and doesn't seem to be coming back
  • when it feels more compulsive than enjoyable
  • when it doesn't interest you anymore
  • when it starts to lose meaning and stops making sense
  • when it's taking up more energy and time than it warrants
  • when it starts to feel out of your own hands
  • when you realise it's taking you further and further from where you want to be going
  • when it's causing sleepless nights and restless days
  • when the "get up and go" up and went
  • when you face it with dread rather than hope
  • when you reach limits that aren't possible to break through
  • when no matter how hard you try, you realise there isn't anything more you can do
  • when your health and happiness becomes compromised
  • when it becomes a 24/7 obsession rather than a pleasant past time
  • when you worry more about what people are thinking rather than staying true to yourself
  • when holding on is more painful than letting go

This isn't related to anything in particular right now, just some thoughts/ideas that have been bouncing around my head- more so lately as 'life' has gotten busier and my priorities are being assessed (and reassessed!). I'm trying to prise things apart and figure out what is 1) important, 2) enjoyable and 3) what is taking up my attention/focus right now that is okay to let go of. I hate the idea of "quitting"- I like to think I can juggle a zillion things at once and somehow keep everything balanced in a nice pie-chart format. That's not working out very well so I am working on accepting that sometimes there are things that I need to just let go. My dad calls this a "strategical retreat"- cutting your losses and backing out whilst you can. I still see it as 'quitting' and prefer to stick with it and hope that things work out.

What are your thoughts on giving up/quitting if it's something that isn't working for you anymore? Do you find it easy to do?

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day , to make you like everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight."
- E. Cummings


The good stuff...

I made the BEST breakfast this morning, featuring this bar that Aisha sent me:

I cooked up some oats and swirled them together with plain fromage frais and frozen blueberries and crumbled a chunk of the bar on top.

The bar was amazing! Such a great oatmeal topping, especially with the blueberries and yogurt. Why have I waited so long to try the coconut and almond combinations I've seen on so many blogs?! (note to self: copy more bloggers- these guys have GREAT taste!) I am rapidly falling in love with the hot oat/cold yogurt bowls!

I've had this sitting in my fridge for ages and have been looking forward to trying it since it's so popular amongst bloggers.

I REALLY wanted to like it. Ccinnamon is one of my all-time favourite spices and I love the short ingredients list (if something has a list that I can read straight through without needing to stop for a break, I LIKE it), but the flavour was strange...spicy, sweet and not what I was expecting. Not a bad thing since I can't get these bars easily and am glad I don't need to add it to my list of stuff to stock up. I do find it weird how I can tolerate such high levels of artificial sweeteners, but I find Larabars INCREDIBLY sweet. Anyone else find this? Or am I just weird? Heh... Does anyone else keep their Lara bars in the fridge?

Hope everyone's weekend is off to a great start!

Friday, 5 June 2009

I Believe...

  • that everything happens for a reason, even if that reason is only to teach us something
  • that putting all your eggs in one basket might seem practical but it's a big risk to take
  • that some risks are worth taking
  • that it's on the darkest nights that the stars shine most brightly
  • that actions speak louder than words
  • that you can wait forever for an apology that will never come
  • that time you enjoy is not wasted time
  • that 'sorry' is the hardest word to say
  • that every moment we have is a gift
  • that everyone is doing their best with the tools they have available to them
  • that sometimes you only find the answer when you stop looking
  • that people will die trying to use their bodies to say what their voices can't
  • that when you face the things you are most scared of, you find you had the courage all along
  • that when your mind throws up road blocks, you can drive straight through them
  • that some rules are meant to be broken
  • that everyone deserves to be loved
  • that a good night's sleep and a great breakfast gives you a great advantage for any challenges that come your way during the day
  • that everyone needs a little help sometimes
  • that sometimes the only available means of transportation is a leap of faith
  • that laughter is the best medicine
  • that time doesn't heal everything, but compassion and forgiveness can go a long way
  • that we have more power and strength than we realise
  • that everyone is special in their own way



I wanted to try the muesli that Aisha sent me in the 'blogger exchange' this morning.

With pumpkin and fromage frais...

The flavour kind of got lost in the pumpkin, but every now and again I got a little chunk of chocolate- winning start to my day!

There was some more chocolate needed later on.

I think this was a "Carbrite Raspberry Chocolate" bar (20g protein- woooo!) but will forever be known in my head as "Bizarre Bar". It was...weird. I LOVED the texture, but it had the strangest taste to it- anyone tried these? Maybe it had gone bad or didn't taste gross, it was just strange. Chalky and chewy (which I like) but just really sweet with a strange hint of what I assume is *supposed* to be raspberry.. These have no sugar and no artificial sweeteners so I have no idea what crazy chemicals ingredients I just ingested...

Lunch included my last sandwich thin- which means that 1) I have LOTS of room in my freezer now, and 2) next week WRAPS are back on the menu. You know how I roll!

Ham, tomato chutney, laughing cow cheese and pineapple. Love it.

Have a great weekend guys! Hope you all have some fun things planned!

Click for a summer giveaway!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

No Red Carpets!

It was really interesting to hear your thoughts and opinions on how the media portrays an image to strive for and the idea of a 'perfect' body.

It kind of got me thinking more about 'fame' and celebrity status on the whole. Aside from being scrutinised for any changes in weight that the media loves to highlight, I can't think of anything worse than having your entire life being put in the spotlight. I have never been famous, and maybe this is more a reflection on how *I* operate, but if I was to become a pop star (not going to happen!), I have this image of the passions that musicians have suddenly becoming something that belongs to everyone else. Record labels, contracts, managers, etc, start calling the shots and before they realise it, their dreams are suddenly everyone else's dreams rather than their own. A constant need to deliver what people WANT rather than where their heart lies. Some artists DO follow their own paths and accept that they will get dropped and their 5 minutes of fame will be over and are okay with that- others aren't able to do that (am guessing that I would fall into that category and change myself because what others think of me would take priority). I can certainly see why so many celebrities do end up turning to drugs/alcohol if that's the case- the pressures of constantly being in the spotlight would be hard enough, but the feeling of compromising who you are inside just to please other people seems a hundred times worse to me. Maybe I am WAY off here, but if I ever did shoot to stardom, I think that's where my downfall would be. Doing whatever it took to be accepted, to chase the dream of being a huge hit and losing sight of the original motive of writing/playing music (acting, dancing...whatever). Unless the dream/goal is fame itself and they like it...heh. Whatever floats your boat!

Would you ever want to be famous? As much as I like dancing around my bedroom pretending my hairbrush is a microphone, I can honestly say that I hope to NEVER step foot on a stage again. I'd love to be 'known' for doing something amazing/special, but I would hate to be in the position of being recognised everywhere I went or having to have every idea/movement approved by somebody else. Freedom over fame anyday!

Okay, enough of my ramblings for today!


Breakfast was my LAST portion of my beloved muesli- nowhere seems to be selling it anymore so I am debating whether or not to order some online (or just switch it up with something else). As much as I love it, I'd rather be eating stuff I can get easily/locally... Do you guys order food online? I get protein bars and wraps because they aren't sold in stores, but muesli is pretty readily available...this one is so good though!

Bran berry muesli with apple and Fage.

I have had zero energy today- I usually find that once I hit the streets, am full of energy and glad I went walking, but half-way through today's walk my body just was NOT cooperating. Hey, at least I tried... I'm not going to 'force' it if my body is clearly saying "NO". There are times to push and times to just accept that it's a 'rest day'.

Snacked on an old favourite...

Maple nut Clif bar- by FAR my favourite bar. I am so burned out on the pumpkin flavour!

Lunch included this:

Sandwich thin with laughing cow cheese, pesto, ham and mushrooms. Pesto is so good on sandwiches! I definitely prefer Quorn over meat, but since the store didn't have it and I consider myself an 'eatanythingatarian' I thought I should try it.

Just throwing my disclaimer in here after a couple emails I have received recently: everything pictured has been eaten, not everything eaten has been pictured.

The weekend is in SIGHT!