Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back to School and a Recipe!

The leaves haven't started turning yet, but there is a definite chill in the air and the pumpkins are making their appearance at the markets.  Fall is commencing and one long lost fall memory has made it's return in my life...back to school!  I got through my first week of school with only a few hitches.  I stressed myself out a little, lost my appetite and went through a nasty 18 hour migraine.  Not a great start, but going through this week made me realize I need to adjust my work schedule. It may be just the first week and I know it's an adjustment, but the window I've given myself for study is very small.  I require 2.5 hours per night of study time, minimum. There's a lot of content to cover and I already have a test next week :)

However, I am loving classes.  The teachers are compelling, students are engaging and aside from the crazy schedule, it's been a great week and I look forward to learning more.

I've spent about 9 hour studying this weekend, so I thought I'd stop by here to give you an update and a recipe.  Robert and I did a cleaning through the fridge/freezer and pantry this weekend and I found a can of organic pureed pumpkin (not expired).  Feeling inspired with the upcoming fall season, I decided to make a batch of simple pumpkin muffins.

Pumpkin Muffins  *recipe adapted from Caveman Food

Preheat oven to 350.

1 1/2 cups almond flour
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin (I used canned, but fresh would also be awesome)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
3 Tbsp maple syrup (My husband's uncle makes his own.  It's incredible!)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each of nutmeg, cardamom, ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Shredded coconut as a garnish
  • Combine dry ingredients first and then add the wet.  Mixes fine with a fork, electric mixer not required
  • Spoon batter into 12 paper muffin cups and garnish with shredded coconut (unsweetened) 
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean
  • Enjoy!
These came out really super moist and I enjoyed mine with some butter (so good). 

*Non-Paleo husband approved!*

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Big Sigh of Relief

Yesterday was my last day of work and I can't even begin to describe how good I feel now that the biggest stressor in my life is done.  I had the biggest smile on my face leaving the office yesterday, I could hardly contain myself.  The weight had been lifted and the large dark cloud that had plagued me for years was now gone.  I'm still smiling as I type this.  It feels really good.

Of course, leaving is bittersweet.  I worked with some wonderful people and I'm going to miss the daily laughs.  I'll still be working in the same building, so I'm happy I'll still get to see them around.  I start training for a new part-time position next week and school is set to start on September 12th.  There will be some long days ahead with full time school and part time work, but I'm really excited for something new.

Since my last post in mid July, I've been finding ways to deal with my stress levels for my last few weeks of work.  I started supplementing with Natural Calm, a  magnesium supplement before I went to bed a few times per week.  I found this helped me to wind down a bit before bed, sometimes even making me feel slightly sedated.  I tried my best to avoid internet use before bed time, but this proved to be quite difficult (so many great blogs, articles and tweets to read).  This week in particular, I've notice I've been sleeping particularly soundly.  It's noted that I wake up in the same position that I fell asleep in.  Out like a light!

I've also been practicing an emotional release technique call The Sedona Method. I came across it as a recommendation for stress relief in, Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora T. Gedgaudas (a really incredible read, highly recommended).  The Sedona Method involves letting go of an unwanted negative feeling by asking yourself three questions:

A) Could you let it go?
B) Would you?
C) When?

It sounds kind of hokey and "new age" but I must admit, after a few weeks of practice, I noticed an incredible difference on my general outlook.  I'll give you an example.  I had a co-worker that really bothered me in a mostly indirect way.  We hardly spoke, but to hear the voice of this person speak nonsense really put me on edge.  It angered me so much that when I heard them, I would mutter obscenities to myself while I worked.  That's neither healthy or sane.  When I started The Sedona Method, I used this negative experience/reaction I had as one of my first "releases".  After a few cycles through the questions to myself, I realized that this person really didn't bother me after all and I was holding on to some negative feelings that I had created myself.  It was just a feeling.  The next time I heard this person's voice, it no longer bothered me.  I felt calm and peaceful.  I had actually let go of something that plagued me for years and it was so simple.

I've been regularly practicing and I would recommend this to anyone.  It really is a life changing program.

My period finally stopped after week 10, exactly 1 week after my last blog post.  Although I've been dealing with menstrual irregularities since my teens, that was certainly a record.  Once it stopped I got a referral from my family doctor for an ultrasound. Turns out, my not so  friendly cyst is back, a little bigger and just hanging out on my right ovary.  Good times :)  Two weeks after it stopped I had a "regular" period lasting 5 days.  I'm hoping that I can get back on track now with a regular cycle.  *fingers crossed*