Before I go on, there’s probably one thing you need to know about me. You know how some people laugh at inappropriate times – when they’re nervous or stressed or in an awkward situation? Well, I cry at inappropriate times. This is amplified when I’m tired or stressed out. Anyway, on to the story…
I’ve been really swamped at work lately. It was getting to the point where my desk was so cluttered it was nearly invisible. Yesterday I couldn’t handle it anymore. I felt like things were starting to encroach on me. It was making me really claustrophobic and stressed out. I went into my boss’ office to tell him if there was anything that he needed me to take care of right away to hand it directly to me because I was going to spend the day trying to get my desk in order. He asked me what was up, and I just lost it. Next thing I knew I was sitting in his office crying and letting it all out. He let me hang out and just chatted with me until I got myself collected enough to return to my desk without looking a hot mess. Just getting things out made me feel loads better, but I also spent the day reigning in the chaos of my desk. I pitched 4 months worth of old files we no longer needed. I never fully realized how incredibly cathartic I find throwing things away to be. (I think this is part of the reason I’ve had to buy all new clothes as I’ve lost weight. I never saved the too small stuff because I love getting rid of things!) By the end of the day I was much more relaxed!
Of course there were other co-worker related factors that were stressing me out, but because of the disaster that was my desk, I have having a very difficult time just letting those things go. It’s amazing how much stress our environment alone can cause us!
As a result of all the stress I’ve been feeling lately, I’ve also been slacking on the exercise front. I haven’t run at all since my race on Saturday. I have been keeping up with some strength training, and I did start, albeit a week late, the Whittle My Middle challenge. For the most part I’ve been seriously slacking though. Of course, I’m sure skipping my work-outs probably only added to my stress. It really is a vicious cycle isn’t it!? I skip my work-outs because I’m stressed, and I’m stressed because I skip my work-outs.
However, after yesterday, I’m feeling much less stressed, and I think I’m back in exercise mode. This morning I got up at 5:30 to do my Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I am not a morning exercise person at all, but I got up this morning and did it. I have plans to go out tonight, but I think I’m going to try and squeeze in a shorty 2 mile run.
Last night I made a really great dinner. I’m pretty proud of myself because I came up with it all on my own. I had two goals with this recipes: 1) Make it vegetarian because I’ve been trying to integrate more vegetarian meals into my repertoire; and 2) Use tofu. This is also the first time I’ve used/ made tofu. It could probably use a little tweaking, but I’m still new at the making-it-up-as-I-go-along game.
Tofu, Spinach, and Cheese Quinoa Stuffed Squash
1 medium acorn squash
½ c. quinoa
1 – 2 servings of extra firm tofu
2 c. baby spinach leaves
Swiss cheese – enough for ½ c. grated
1T. olive oil
Seasalt, to taste
Part I. To get started…
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Cut squash roughly in half. – I did more of a ¾ – ¼ split so I had one side deeper than the other. – and remove seeds and guts.
Place facedown on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes.
Part II. While squash is baking…
Prepare quinoa as directed.
Part III. While squash is baking and quinoa is cooking…
Cube tofu and grate cheese.
Combine tofu, cheese, and spinach leaves in a bowl (I chose to tear up my spinach leaves.) and toss with olive oil and seasalt.
Add quinoa to this mix once it is finished cooking.
Part IV. Once squash is done baking…
Remove squash from oven and stuff with the quinoa mixture.
Return squash to the oven for an additional 25 minutes, until squash is tender.
I only filled one side (the larger) of the squash with the quinoa mixture. I chopped up and apple, mixed it with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and stuff the smaller side of the squash with that mixture for dessert. The recipe does make enough filling to cut the squash evenly in half and fill both sides.
Review: Chris (my not super picky, but definitely a junk-foody boyfriend) really liked it except for the tofu part. He didn’t dig the tofu.. There are a couple things I would tweak for next time. First, I would probably bake the tofu a little while before mixing it in with the other ingredients. Second, I might use a stronger cheese. The Swiss tasted fine and it worked (since it was all I had in the house), but I think it could use a stronger flavor.
- 60 second plank
- 15 jackknifes with swiss ball
- 5 kneeling rollouts with ball (I have a REALLY hard time with these!)
- 30 second side plank on left; 30 second side plank on right
- 30 second plank with swiss ball