Month: August 2015

Almost There

I LOVE ice cream. It’s my favorite thing. I often will text Jay – “will you prove your love to me by bringing home ice cream?” Yes, I know it’s manipulative, but sometimes I’m desperate.

This love for ice cream has always resulted for me in the “American 10”. Not to be confused with the freshmen 15, these 10 lbs happens to people who live overseas and come to America for a short amount of time and stock their freezer full of Breyers. (Please tell me I’m not alone). Well, since I’m now living in America for the foreseeable future, this freezer full of ice cream was just not working for me. So…I’ve started running again.

I’ve had seasons of running a lot, but the last 5 years have not been one of those seasons. Running is just not fun when you have to wear long pants, long sleeves and men yell and honk at you as you pass. I did run some, but not like in the past.

Now that I can leave my house in shorts and a tank top and run a beautiful path around a lake, it is a much more enjoyable form of keeping off my ice cream pounds. But as I’ve started running again, I’ve realized I’m not a very good finisher. I can will myself to keep going, keep running, maybe even try and go a little faster on some days, but as soon as I see my finish line, it’s as if my body starts breaking down. EVERYTHING starts hurting, my iron-strong willpower begins to wane, and my encouraging self-talk turns to a nemo-esque song about “just keep swimming”. It’s not pretty.

So as I was talking with a friend yesterday, I realized that my running finish line reality is playing out almost the same way as my almostdonewithsummer finish line reality. It was nice talking to her, because I really thought I was the only one.

For instance, the mom, that can usually make it through the morning without losing it, is now found putting herself in timeout at 6:05 AM when the kids have only been up for 10 minutes. Or the mom that usually has some good, healthy, helpful self-talk is now found texting her friends for a life-line of sanity. Not that I am any of these moms, of course (Ahem..), but I realized it’s because we can SEE the finish line! We’re almost done. School starts any day now, and our will-power is tired. My daughter actually said to me the other day, “I can’t wait to go to school so I can actually DO something. It’s boring at home!” I hear ya, sister. It is boring. Your mom cannot think of one more creative activity. (Hence the reason I was not a teacher, and teachers are HEROS!!!)

So…Do whatever you gotta go. Finish Running Strong. Maybe grab a friend to finish with. It’s always better when you can finish your run chatting about nonsense, instead of thinking about how you want to give up. Life is always better done together.

Or just go eat ice cream. That makes a lot of things better too.


August Meal Plan


Meal Planning. My coping mechanism, my sanity saver, and my creative outlet. I was basically speechless when I stumbled upon the cookbook aisle in the library. I could have stood there forever (but then I’m sure my kids would have pulled all the books off the shelves and we would not have been allowed back). I love the challenge of a new month and not eating the same meal twice.

We are finally getting settled here in Scottsdale. It has taken me awhile to get used to shopping and cooking in America. I get pretty overwhelmed in the grocery store, and I miss my donkey cart vegetables and my banana guy. But I’m learning the stores around here and what works for our family. I wouldn’t consider myself an organized person per se, but when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping, I must have a plan. So in this new season, we have come up with our budget and I have figured out where I’m going to shop and that is most of the battle.

So here are the logistics of my meal planning. We have a $400/month budget. This is month #1 of this budget, so I’ll let you know how it goes. I shop at Costco, Sprouts (an amazing farmer’s market grocery store out here), and the farmer’s market. We are still eating mostly vegetarian, but throw in some meat meals here and there. We eat homemade granola or eggs for breakfast. Leftovers, pb&j, or grilled cheese for lunch. The meals listed are our dinners. Oh and Sunday is ALWAYS pizza night! 🙂 Any other logistical questions, Just ask!

So here is my meal plan, I hope it’s helpful to you!

  • Stuffed Peppers/Squash
  • Mushroom/Kale Lasagna
  • Tostadas/Rice
  • Breakfast for Dinner (Scrambled eggs, potatoes, fruit)
  • Enchiladas (a little chicken and a lot of beans)/rice
  • Spanish Tortilla/Broccoli
  • Spaghetti/Meatballs/Salad
  • Spicy Thai Noodles
  • Mushroom Risotto/Salad
  • Penne w/ Arugula Almond Pesto/Salad
  • Stuffed Shells/Salad
  • Falafels/Pitas/Quinoa Salad
  • Kale/Pepper Frittata
  • Tacos/Rice
  • Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • Rolled Eggplant Parmesan & Sausage Marinara
  • Veggie Fried Rice
  • Creamy Mushroom Pasta/Salad
  • Asian Quinoa Meatballs/Rice
  • Chicken Fajita Salad
  • Rainbow Veggie Pad Thai
  • Salad w/ Ricotta Cheese/Bread
  • Breakfast Burritos
  • Tagliatelle w/ Mashed Peas
  • Oven Braised Mexican Beef