Tag Archives: Berries

What’s in the bag?

Have I mentioned that I have been sick for the past week?

I seem to have some sort of cold, and every day I have a different exhausting symptom. Last week I took two sick days off work, and this morning I came into work late because I woke up with this nasty mucus on top of being completely wiped out. My supervisor asked me at work if I needed to go home, but I said I was functional, plus I have a lot of work to finish before leaving for Europe…. NEXT WEEK!

Going to work later this morning did allow me to get my “lunchbox” compiled in some sort of conscious manner.


On the menu:

Black beans (canned, unsalted) and roasted sweet potatoes, sprinkled with kosher salt, cinnamon, and red curry powder (YUM!)


I roasted the potatoes after spraying it with this new product I found at Walmart the other day:


I know, it’s basically fancy Pam, but unlike Pam, it has NO PROPELLANTS and NO CHEMICALS, which I’ve come to be able to detect in my food. Even though I have a reuseable spritz bottle that I normally fill with oil, it only works correctly some of the time, so I figured I’d give this a good try.



To go with my beans and sweet potatoes, I sauteed the rest of my organic swiss chard in some bacon fat reside from breakfast and some honey balsamic vinegar. Yum!


For a snack, I also packed plain, Greek, nonfat yogurt with blackberries, pomegranate arils, and a drizzle of raw honey. This is that Straus brand yogurt I picked up at Sun Harvest a few weekends back. I have to be honest and say that it’s not my favorite. It’s too tangy for my taste. Like, almost sour. So far I think Stonyfield may still be my favorite, though Athenos is also good. I won’t even talk about Siggi’s because of the price tag….. ohgoodheavens….



Also tossed in a banana and an orange. And I must say, just moments after I packed all this in my bag, I realized I was hungry and pulled out the banana and ate it.


And some organic 70% dark chocolate, for good measure. Winking smile



30 Day Challenge
Day 6: Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality (obviously I don’t consider these consecutive 30 days!)

My sign is virgo.

I don’t care about this whole idea that the zodiacs “changed.”

I don’t care enough about astrology to give it much thought.

But for the sake of the challenge, I looked up what “virgo” is supposed to mean.

With an acute attention to detail, the Virgo is the sign in the zodiac most dedicated to serving. Their deep sense of the humane leads them to caregiving like no other, while their methodical approach to life ensures that nothing is missed. The Virgo is often gentle and delicate, preferring to step back and analyze before moving ahead

Practical, loyal, hardworking, analytical, kind.

Worry, shyness, overly critical of self and others, all work and no play.

Charismatic marks:
A certain, reserved manner marks the classic Virgo. Virgos are generally medium to slight in build.

Cleanliness, animals, healthy foods, books, nature.

Taking center stage, rudeness, asking for help.

Best environment:
Virgo is most at home in the company of animals and close to nature. Virgo likes power and enjoys being the sidekick or indispensable assistant

I would say that the first paragraph is more or less like me. I’m very detail oriented, and I enjoy serving others. I do often think before I act.

As for the strengths, I would say they are all pretty descriptive of me, that is if you keep a loose interpretation of the term “hardworking.” Winking smile

As for weaknesses, I can be pretty critical at times, but at other times I’m not critical at all, so I’d say that’s 50/50. However, the all work and no play idea is definitely NOT an idea I subscribe to! I am pretty shy, though. I used to be more worrisome than I am now…

Charismatic marks? Reserved manner? I ‘m reserved (ie. quiet, keep to myself, etc.) around those with whom I am not close. I’m very NOT reserved (ie. LOUD, OPEN, and sometimes OBNOXIOUS) around those with whom I am close. I have no idea what this medium-to-slight-in-build thing is supposed to mean. I have a large body frame…

Likes? I like cleanliness, I do. I don’t typically live clean, though. Hah! Animals, healthy foods, books, nature, YES!

Dislikes? All true.

The best environment thing is pretty accurate, though I don’t feel the need to be close to animals.


Meh, so I guess they are pretty accurate, at least in this special case. I don’t believe it has anything to do with astrology being reliable. I think it’s just because all these attributes are fairly general and are applicable enough to a great number of people. I’m also a first-born, so that may be part of it.




What did you eat for lunch today?

What would your ideal packed lunch contain?


Not having a great deal of food in the house paired with the fact that I’m trying to limit cow’s dairy can be lame sometimes.

Or inspire creativity.

Yesterday I packed a quick breakfast to eat at my desk.


Blackberries, blueberries, and pomegranate swimming in light coconut milk, with the last of my Uncle Sam cereal mixed in at the last minute. It looks grainy because it kinda was (my leftover bag of coconut milk had seen the microwave  a few too many times). Didn’t taste grainy, though, so I guess that’s all that matters. 😛

I stole an idea from Courtney in creating my lunch. The other day she tweeted about having a goat cheese, avocado, and red sweet pepper quesadilla, and I decided that was way more fun than a peanut butter sandwich.

I used some corn tortillas I had on hand and loaded them with goat cheese, avocado, half a red pepper I carefully haphazardly roasted over my gas range, grilled chicken, and spinach.

I have a problem with overloading my quesadillas. I always feel the need to increase my veggies.


Mmm. My photography needs serious work.

This was so good that I’m making this for lunch again tomorrow, only I’m putting it in a pita instead!!!

For dinner I ate some pan-fried chicken, steamed drowned-in-sea-water broccoli, and some roasted delicata squash I seasoned with rubbed sage and salt.


Yum. Frying anything is a rarity in my house!

But dark chocolate isn’t.




30 Day Challenge
Day 5: A time you thought about ending your own life

I mentioned in my previous 30 Day Challenge entry that I had a dark period in my life in early high school. During that particular year I had all the classic signs of depression: couldn’t sleep, couldn’t concentrate, was always tired, lost interest in things I usually loved, was involved in a codependent relationship with someone who was far worse off than I was, had a general dark and bitter outlook on the world, felt hopeless and misunderstood (ah, 13 year olds), was emotional and didn’t know how to express myself constructively. I don’t remember having much of an appetite, but I gained quite a bit of weight that year. But I was never suicidal. I never remotely believed that death was an answer to anything. Maybe it was my upbringing; maybe it was my faith; maybe it was my common sense, but suicide wasn’t an option.

(A blurry picture of my sister, Holly, and me during an end-of-semester program for my homeschool group back in December, 2002, right as my depression was setting in)

In a way I’m thankful for that year. I’m thankful in the “you know light because you’ve known darkness” way, but also because that experience made me a little more aware, a little more sensitive, a little less naïve about the world we live in. Something in me permanently changed as a result of that year. Peers who were dealing with issues much deeper and darker than I ever had were drawn to me, even though they knew nothing of my prior struggles and I wasn’t depressed when they met me. I became unspeakably approachable to them, in part because I was never part of the “in” crowd anyway, and that year helped me (even if I went overboard in expressing it at age 13) in being confident in my individuality. I tended to (and still often do) move against the mainstream. It was easy for me to empathize with the darkness I saw in others, but I was also grounded in reality and in my faith. I was a constant for many people who came in and out of my life. I was someone they could talk to without judgment. I was someone who could relate to what they were feeling, if only distantly. I was someone who would try to understand and care about them as a whole soul, a whole human being, instead of passing them off as “weird,” “messed up,” or a “punk kid.” I had friends dabble in Satanic worship, and I was there for them when they came out of it. I’ve had friends struggle with eating disorders, self-mutilation, promiscuity, self esteem issues, physical abuse, drugs, rape, prostitution, abortion, mental disorders, and yes, even attempted suicide. On one occasion, my friend Brandon had me to talk to a friend of his who was having self esteem issues. I became friends with this particular person, and a year later he told me that he was about to attempt suicide (for the third time) that night we first spoke, but something I said stopped him. It’s been seven years and he hasn’t attempted suicide since.    

I don’t say all this to toot my own horn or anything. I share this because even though I’ve never considered attempting suicide, I’ve known what it’s like to feel hopeless, alone, and misunderstood. I can clearly see what drives people to get involved in questionable activities and sometimes even attempt suicide. The people that deal with these issues usually look just like you and me. They look “normal.” They often blend in. We’re all human beings with souls and a purpose, and we all struggle. The difference is experience and how we deal with them. And we all need to open our minds and our hearts to those whose perspectives we might not understand. It just might save somebody’s life.


I could share many different songs that deal with this subject, but I’ll leave you with two of my favorites:




Have you ever been a hero to someone?
Who has been a hero to you?

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