Monday, October 4, 2010

Kat: Easy Like Sunday Morning

I think it's a fact at this point; we are all ridiculously busy on a daily
basis. I could go into how I just want to drop everything right now
and move to Coasta Rica a al Toby Flenderson, but I'll save you from that.

Many people get caught up in their crazy schedules and don't take the time to think about food;
especially breakfast first thing in the morning. I constantly hear my friends and co-workers
talk about how they don't have time for breakfast, or even ::gasp:: that eating it will make them fat.

I call their bluff.

Number one, it is proven that eating a good
breakfast (not just coffee and a handful of cereal) jump-starts your
metabolism, thus you actually burn more calories throughout the
day. Just think about it; you haven't eaten for about 8 hours at the
time you wake up. Your body is in famine mode and tries to
conserve energy by storing fat. If you don't eat in the mornings, you are
encouraging your body to store the fat you ate the day before!

Now, I think the key to a successful breakfast (eating and eating healthfully) is planning ahead. Here are my three favorite easy breakfasts.

1) Oatmeal. It's fast, easy, delicious, nutritious, and the topping
possibilities are endless!

My standard cooking formula:
1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. soy/rice milk
1/2 c. water
1/2 banana, thinly sliced

Bring water, milk, & banana to a simmer. Stir in oats. Simmer until grain is cooked to taste.

More about oats

2) Eggs are always a favorite, but in lieu of grabbing a greasy egg
(HFCS much??), I like to make a crust-less quiche on my day off and stash it in the fridge so that I can have a delicious & quick egg sandwich on the weekdays...and a serving
or two of vegetables without even thinking about it!

Eggs (2 x's the number of days you plan to eat the dish, I usually do 8 eggs = 4 breakfasts)
2 cups of greens (kale or spinach)
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
2 to 3 cups of veggies, chopped (I have used tomatoes, zucchini, squash, eggplant, bell peppers; basically whatever I have in the fridge!)

1. Saute garlic and onions in an oiled pan until onions are tender
2. Add all veggies except tomatoes, if you are using them. Saute until tender.
3. Add greens and saute until wilted
4. Add the tomatoes and saute for only 1 minute.
5. Pour mixture into an oiled baking dish.

6. Break eggs into a small bowl and wisk like you would for making scrambled eggs. Pour eggs slowly over the vegetables.

7. At this point, I would crumble some cooked bacon or cheese on top if I choose to use any.
8. Bake at 375* until eggs are browned on the top.
9. Let cook for 15 minutes, then cut into single servings and store in tupperware (in the fridge) for the week.

It's surprising how well the eggs keep! All you have to do is heat a serving in the oven for a couple of minutes while you're getting ready. Slap it on toast or an english muffin, and you're ready to go!

3) homemade granola:

I also make this ahead of time on my day off. During the week, I scoop half a cup of on some yogurt and eat!

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground flax seed
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canola oil
1 cup honey

1. Preheat oven to 325*
2. Combine oats, walnuts, seeds, coconut, flax, and pumpkin pie spice
3. In a small saucepan, combine honey and oil. heat on low and stir until thoroughly mixed
4. Pour oil mixture over oat mixture and stir until evenly combined
5. Spread onto two baking sheets and place in oven for 20/30 minutes....until browned
6. Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container

Jenna: Easy Like Sunday Morning

I've been doing a lot of thinking on a difficult subject, lately. Since coming back from my trip abroad, I've been questioning a lot of decisions in my life, looking at relationships, job responsibilities, my world in general and searching for the passion and excitement I used to have for the world around me. The truth is, the change of perspective, that traveling warranted me...the necessity of standing on my own two feet and experiencing a completely new environment, awakened a sense of adventure inside of me that had been snoozing for quite some time.

So how does this relate to this post, 'Easy Like Sunday Morning'? I've been taking a long look at some of the situations in my life and have come to realize that I have fallen into the trap of doing what's 'easy' for me, and not necessarily what is making me happy. As this applies to relationships...I've been in one. One that's constantly sending me back to the drawing board and questioning whether or not it's the right thing. I care about this guy, we have a history, and there's no doubt that we've shared a lot in the years that we've known each other and dated off and on. There's something incredibly comfortable and easy about being with someone you know and who knows you very, very well. Someone with whom you don't have to make conversation all the time...that you can just make dinner and watch a movie with and sleep next to at night.

I started asking myself why I was with him. What I got out of the relationship. Did we enjoy the same things? Were we genuinely interested in one another's lives? Did we deal with difficulties and challenges like adults that are committed to making a relationship work? Did we love each other, really, after all this time? I couldn't answer any of these questions the way I knew, deep down, I should be able to. Unfortunately, difficult questions just don't have easy answers.

No doubt, I've gotten lost in the ease of it all. And even though I haven't been happy exactly for awhile...I've been too scared of the great unknown, the inevitable pain that comes from ending a relationship, and the fear of missing him to do anything about it. But a few months of looking at the bigger picture has led me to a different place. I have way too much living to do to take the easy road right now. I will choose happiness over just getting by. And even though it's scary not to know what lies ahead, I know I'll sleep better at night knowing I got myself out of an lukewarm situation.

Don't get me wrong...endings are sad, no matter what the circumstances are. But I'm done doing what's easy. I'm ready to pay attention to what will bring me passion and joy. I figure I'll start with my love life...and then take it from there.