Saturday, September 22, 2012

That overwhelming feeling

Lately, I've been feeling overwhelmed. I'm not sure why, but when it happens, it takes a toll on my body. Today I'm feeling under the weather. Something similar happened back in June when I was under some stress as well.

This time however, I feel like my 'stress' is more self-inflicted. I don't need to feel stressed, but I am. Here's why (I think):

  • I've been fighting allergies for a while now. Despite my previous attempts to quell them, they are still sometimes there, it's getting really tiring. I'm now waiting to get in to see an allergist. However, my family doctor's 'favourite allergist' also happens to be the busiest one in town, she tells me. Great. I get to wait months. In the mean time, I'm loading up with lots of natural sources of antihistamines, including quercetin and vitamin C and hope that it quells the symptoms somewhat.

  • School is back in session and despite my greatest efforts, I feel behind already. I know I'm really not, but I feel like I should be further ahead in my readings. 

  • Weekends are too short. To get everything I want to do done has become an impossibility. Before I know it, it's always Sunday night. This weekend I've made a list of what I'd like to accomplish, but now I don't know where to start! 

I know I need order to stay stress-free. I feel my life is lacking some of that order right now and I find it hard to deal with. Or maybe I just need to find an organization project, because often that does the trick.

But I can't just sit here and write about how stressed I'm feeling without doing something about it. So, let's just git'er done! I know if I can get through most of my list I'll feel a lot better. I'm also taking on another challenge starting Monday. The ever fabulous Fab Detox, put on by the very lovely Meghan Telpner. The last time I took part in this detox, I felt the best I have in a while. I'm hoping to get similiar results this time around, but preparation is going to be key! I need to get my kitchen in order! My very top priority for Sunday -- groceries and meal prep! That's how to eat well and stay sane -- it's all about preparation. And I can do it.

So let's forget about feeling sorry for ourselves and get our bums moving -- because it's going to be great. Better if my nose would stop running... but conquering the list, will conquer the stress, and hopefully conquer the nasal leakage!

I feel better already.

Speaking of feeling better, my family was blessed with a beautiful addition this week. Evan William Perry entered the world at 9:30 p.m. in Edmonton on Sunday evening. He's a doll. I love him and I've not yet met him. His cute as a button face now occupies the home screen on my phone. And whenever I feel I need to smile, I reach for my phone and I look at his most perfect face: his bright blue eyes (who I see a lot of my brother and dad in), his little smirk, his wee ears and his hand in a fist looking ready for a punch and I can't help but smile. True love, I tell you, true love.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I'm back... summer recap and a recipe!

Well hello there... it's been a while. Apparently I decided to take the summer off from blogging. Oops. Let's recap:

The first two weeks July were spent at my favourite place in the world... my real home on Prince Edward Island. The weather was spectacular and we had great fun with my family (immediate and extended) and friends. Lots of time at the cottage, beach walks, seafood, bonfires, wine -- everything needed to recharge the batteries after a couple of very busy months!

Arrived in time for Canada Day fireworks in Summerside!
Just waiting for it to get dark.

My mom and I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law.
This was one of my contributions for it.

Oh Charlottetown, you're so quaint and lovely.

Ah wine, I love thee.

Cottage life demands bonfires. Every. Night.

Love North Cape! Colours are always spectacular.
The tide was coming in on the reef.

The next couple weeks, I can't really remember what we did, but lots of taking in the sunshine here in Ottawa. Which finally lead to early August, when my other half had a pretty serious surgery -- a total knee replacement. That unfortunately put a bit of a damper on plans for August as we were mostly house bound. However, I still felt like I had a good restful summer despite being the sole cook and cleaner, not to mention ice getter, pill pusher, and all-round "fetcher" of too many things to count. On the one hand, having this surgery so young is a bit of an anomaly, on the other hand, I think his recovery might be going better than the norm. Blessings!

Since I've left you for so long, I've got a treat to share with you! There is a serious abundance of zucchini at my house, and I didn't even grow any in my little garden. Between our produce deliveries and my farmers' market outings, I've got a fridge full! And I don't really care for sauteed or roasted zucchini! So what to do? Make lots and lots of raw zucchini noodles! And baked goods. Yummy baked goods. I give you my gluten-free and vegan zucchini muffins!

Zucchini Muffins
Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free
Yields 12 muffins
Adapted from Florida Coastal Cooking

2 chia eggs (2 tbsp chia seeds + 6 tbsp water)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 c maple syrup
1 cup shredded zucchini (tightly packed)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix the chia eggs and set aside for about 5 minutes. Mix the coconut oil, maple syrup, zucchini and vanilla in a medium bowl; add chia eggs once set. Stir in cinnamon, flours, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; mix until wet and ingredients are just combined.

2. Spoon batter into muffin tins lined with liners, or oiled with a bit of coconut oil. Bake for 18 minutes or until browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy the bounty of the season!