Changes are coming

At the end of my last post, I mentioned that I’ve decided to bring some small changes to Healthy and Sane. Read on if you want more details :)

Obviously my career is pretty demanding and blogging is a time consuming hobby. The last few weeks I tried my hardest to keep up with both. I took charge of my diet and my exercise routine – I made both an important part of my life without underestimating the amount of time and dedication these require and the limitations I had to work with. I still took pictures of most of my food and I didn’t want to disappear from here, so I posted daily highlights in the hopes that once things slowed down, you’d still be here. I’m glad you stayed (I know I lost some readers, but that’s ok. Quality vs. quantity, right? ;) ). I handed in my work, I left for 4 days to Maine, and I was ready to do all of this all over again. But something was missing; something didn’t feel quite right. Work was going to get busy again – was this really the right way forward? On the car ride home, I was reading this magazine article about relieving stress every day. About ways to bring “vacation” to your every day life, not just on a pre-planned getaway. Ha!

This is a tough one for many of us. There seems to be not enough hours in the day for work and play. How do you balance the two? This is a complex subject (maybe material for another post?) but let me share my take away after a few hours of brainstorming. I need to work (duh), I need to find time to workout (to keep myself sane!) and the rest I’ll just have to be a little more flexible with. My passions remain unchanged. I love eating and cooking; I love learning, talking and writing about sustainable food; I love supporting the industry (that means voting with my money at farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants) and this blog is my platform for sharing these passions. BUT, there is not enough time to do all of these every day, the way I want them done. At times I’ve been feeling like I set myself up for failure with a mile-long to-do list. What if I just chose one of these to concentrate on every day? What if I lived my life a little more intuitively? So we finally get to the punch line here. I will no longer blog on a daily basis. I will continue to blog but it will not be in the same format. My goal is to have more “themed” posts vs. journal style ones. You will see highlights of my meals but not necessarily in the order I ate them. I hope that this will provide for better quality content (again, quality vs. quantity – that’s my moto) and give me the opportunity to get creative here in a different way. My goal is for this blog to continue being inspiring, informative and most importantly delicious. :grin: Don’t worry, I won’t hold out the juicy details of my life from you. Ha, here I go again, cracking myself up. The “juiciest” thing that happened today was…..um, I’ve got nothing. :shock:

I will leave you here with my favorite meal from today (yes, I still cook even when I don’t plan on taking pictures of every single bite!) – Ellie Krieger’s chicken with warm tomato-corn salad (recipe here). It was last week’s CEiMB recipe and it was amazing. I left out the scallions and cilantro but added some cayenne pepper which really added a nice warm spiciness to the dish (it wasn’t super hot, just warmed your throat a bit and brought all the ingredients together). Adam and I were practically licking the pan clean (it took a lot of will power not to split the 4 servings between the 2 of us and just call it dinner). I highly recommend it while sweet corn is in season!

So I hope this little change is cool with all of you. I feel good about it. I already have some ideas I hope to execute on soon. :cool:

And now a question for you – what would you want to see more of on Healthy and Sane. Why do you keep coming back here? Also if you have a blog, how do you balance work and blogging? Do you ever feel like some parts of your life suffer because you try to do everything at once?

A man meal, fancified

I decided to leave work after 5 hours yesterday. I feel like I can handle the rest of the workload without completely living in the office this weekend (although Sunday will surely be a longer day). Leaving just a little after 5 gave me enough time to make something a little more special. Dinner was basically a meal with several components that should have been featured earlier in the week. I bought the ingredients but ran out of time to put them together. So last night, when Adam heard that we had chicken sausage he asked if I could make a man meal. :shock:

My original plan was to finally make this week’s CEiMB recipe for panzanella with chicken sausage which was featured by Pantry Revisited (recipe here)… but something told me that didn’t qualify. In fact, Adam told me if I hesitated to answer whether this was a man meal or not, that meant that it wasn’t. I guess that’s true. :lol: I also purchased some fresh corn on the cob at the farmers market on Friday. Corn is best in the very first few days after being picked so that had to be featured for dinner. After a quick brainstorming session we had dinner which qualified as a man meal but also satisfied this girl. I love my man meals just a little fancier. ;)

Italian style chicken sausage on a whole wheat bun with tomato/cucumber/basil “relish” (based on Ellie’s panzanella salad)

Lemon-garlic glazed corn on the cob (recipe here)

This meal really came together. The salad added lots of freshness and the corn recipe was definitely a winner. I’ve never cooked corn on the cob on the skillet but now I’m a believer. It basically steamed with butter/EVOO/garlic + lemon mixture (I used a little less than the recipe called for) which infused it during the cooking process, and then it was finished with the reduced sauce. Lovely. Adam said this was the best corn on the cob he’s had at home (the one from Toro taking first place so far – I am going to attempt recreating that next time).

Working backwards… lunch

Hummus/smoked gouda/capers/ tomato and spicy mustard panini

This wasn’t just any old hummus – I made EDBV white bean hummus with thyme and fresh basil last Sunday (recipe here) and have been enjoying it in a variety of ways. This is a really fantastic dip – there is so much depth of flavor with dijon mustard, garlic, red wine vinegar and all the fresh herbs. I was in love from the first spoonful. :) I highly recommend it (don’t worry, it’s not too “herby”).

This panini was another great lunch. The combination of a very flavorful hummus with the creamy cheese, a little pickled flavor from the capers and the freshness of tomatoes was absolutely amazing. The hot mustard gave a kick right at the end. Yum!

A few hours later I made this instant blueberry oatmeal snack. I am actually not a fan of this particular oatmeal flavoring but topped with Barney Butter and fresh blueberries, this was quite satisfying. I got these blueberries at the farmers market on Friday – they are SO sweet. I’m so happy I got 2 containers because every time I pack some, a few jump into my mouth (and I have no problem with that at all. lol) :D

I also had one breakfast cookie before bootcamp in the morning (for visual, see previous post), an iced coffee with soy milk mid-day and at night- an apple, a serving of dry roasted almonds and some fudge when my sweet tooth hit (sorry, no picture – it was quite ugly so I didn’t bother). As previously mentioned, 3-2-1 is going really well. I feel stronger, lighter and overall a lot healthier. That’s a lot to accomplish in a week. :grin:

I’m off to work……story of my life. :D

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