all the good things – check

  • having a deep sleep for around 6 hours – check
  • getting up early and going to office early – check
  • working on a lagging project – check

this has been one of these projects that keep lagging because there are other, more important things to do. Since I am rather satisfied when things are completed, this project has been bugging me. I still have lots to do but I believe I have made a good progress today. I will keep working on it this weekend 🙂

  • eating two apples today – check

I keep apples in the office. They are great snacks and make me feel good instantly. I am lucky! 🙂

  • talking with a colleague and having some laughter – check

it felt great to have time to chat without being rushed by work and also to have good feelings by laughing 🙂 I feel positive 🙂

  • walking back from office to home – check, check, check!

I walked twice this week. Honestly my legs are feeling the need to walk. It was an easy and wonderfully relaxing walk, for which I am grateful

  • grocery shopping – check

I have not had a regular grocery shopping in the last 3-4 weeks. I was happy to go through the produce and shelves. I was craving for some chicken soup and bought a whole chicken, even though it was not on sale. This felt good – I am not ignoring my health and body after all

  • having the night to myself – check

It always feels great to be able to take such mini-breaks without thinking too much. This weekend is a long-weekend, meaning I have 3 days off. My plan is to be working and studying, and getting back on track with my work obligations. I am looking forward to this 🙂

  • having a frugal day – check

I took the cab in the morning, but other than this, my day was quite frugal. I even resisted the temptation to go to thrift stores, even though one of them was having a sale 🙂 Did I mention that I am on shopping ban till the holidays and I aim to limit my grocery expenses to 40 bucks a week. This is not a realistic budget but at least it keeps me on track

 

 

 

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when body is happy, mind is happy too

It has been a fine day.

I woke up thinking that if my body is happy, my mood is happy too.

I am saying this because I am actually very lazy in the mornings and while I need to use the washroom, say in the middle of the night, I keep staying in the bed, cannot easily sleep as a result because my body feels uncomfortable. Ouch..

So this morning around 5am, I did what I was supposed to do and went back to bed and had a great resting sleep.

Tell me about it 🙂

I believe that my thoughts help determine my mood, but noticing that when my body feels good, my mind feels good too was a great revelation. I am almost 50 but hey wisdom waits for the right time to come I guess…

I could relate this to two other activities; walking in the morning makes me feel great the whole day and if I force myself to smile then I feel instantly good too. Go figure!

Ladies and gents; do you have such interesting body-mood connections yourself?

Tell us in the comment section so that we all can learn from each other.

totally random thoughts

I do not even know what I am going to write, but, hey – I have a need to write 🙂

It has been a day full of ups and kind of downs at work, but we pulled it out. The end result is okay and another work-related crisis is over. We all grew out of this experience and next time we can do better. No hurt feelings and we will continue stronger than before. This story has ended well and I am pleased with this.

I used to be a perfectionist, and I still am time to time, but nowadays I realize that I am taking it just a little bit easier. Doing the best that can be done under the circumstances is what I focus on, rather than feeling the fear or anxiety of the consequences or the self-blame ignited by the thoughts of why I failed to prevent the issues at the first place. I am just a human and as long as no harm is done, I choose to feel calm. I wish to continue to have this positive attitude in my future. All the time.

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I rather have had a short walk in the nearby hiking area this morning, but it was more than what I needed at that time. Seeing the nature around me makes me feel calmer. I have a tendency to particularly admire trees. They never fail me and always give me a sense of peace and deep, nourishing love that is oddly joyful. I have touched to the barks of a couple of young trees and I could almost sense their magnificent being. I really believe touching them is felt by them. Do they ever get bored of humans like me? 🙂 I wonder now.

Peace Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Since trees are immobilized and live so long, I am curious how they spend their days. They must be feeling the soil through their roots. There may be bugs and microorganisms that munch on their roots. Maybe they form symbiotic lives together 🙂 How do a tree next to another one behave? Do they cross their paths ever? The wind, rain, and snow should all be constant in their lives. The frequent change in these could be keeping the trees engaged and entertained. Sun possibly has a huge role in their lives, warming them. Birds would be resting on their branches and eating their fruits. Do they talk to each other? How does the song of a bird and noise of a critter, bee, mosquito, or a nearby animal make the trees feel, I wonder. Were the trees that I touched today and in the past ever wondered why I was fascinated by them so much and was drawn to them?

I may be silly in thinking and blogging these, but this writing experience tells me that there are limitless number of new experiences I may have in this life.

This is incredibly exciting!

Go claim yours now 🙂

Forest GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/forest-water-Qgfz2N36MgUBG;https://giphy.com/gifs/love-lovely-wzCzwBB2C8poI

 

it has been a fine day

This was a regular day with no particular ups and downs and that is exactly why it was a fine day 🙂

I am grateful for:

  • sleeping well and waking up felling rested
  • having a simple but filling breakfast
  • enjoying my coffee
  • cleaning my home and letting fresh air get in thru open windows whole day
  • speaking to my family and seeing that they are fine, too
  • walking to a nearby store and purchasing milk and other essential items, not forgetting also awarding myself with a bar of chocolate
  • watering my plants and loving each one of them – I hope they feel it 🙂
  • preparing a lovely dough for the baking adventure tomorrow
  • enjoying a tall glass of milk with a type of biscuit that reminds me my childhood
  • working for a couple of hours and feeling good about it
  • resting on the couch, watching TV, browsing internet, and journaling and feeling good

 

And I appreciate myself for:

  • keeping up with my Saturday house chores no matter what
  • walking and stretching that both help alleviate my low back pain
  • being generally thoughtful but reminding frequently to let go off the thoughts and worries, and focusing on the positive
  • for finding joy, excitement, and happiness in looking at, caring, and thinking about my plants, particularly my succulents 🙂

Have a great Saturday night friends! 🙂

Good Morning Love GIF by Feliks Tomasz Konczakowski - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/love-endless-beauty-l4pSW4HgH9Ug9kIk8

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and getting up early – check

a good quality of sleep is something awesome, friends. It makes you refreshed, rested, and positive. Have I mentioned my doctor recommended using melatonin to help sleep? I took it only once; it upset my stomach and it felt strange. I am considering taking half of the supplements, but I will see how this will go first – maybe the better weather and sunny days will help. 

  • working at home on a report review and almost finishing it – check

this feels good. I have been working on it for the last three days. A kind of complicated file and reviewing it was hard, but I am almost there. I do this review for an external organization of which I am a member. There are a number of points that I do not have the expertise to evaluate. I note them clearly and make them know. I have come up with this idea a while ago while reviewing another file. I do not want to be responsible for shortsightedness if the file turns out to be problematic in the future. Feeling good to protect myself 🙂

  • deciding to go to office even though it is a public holiday today (Victoria day) – check

I thought it was the best opportunity to do some work at the office while there were not many people around. I am glad I have! There were a few people like me who worked today but it was such a quiet and peaceful environment that I felt like I have done 3 days worth of work in a couple of hours. I am pleased 🙂

  • walking to and from the office today – check!

this is the first time in a while that I have walked to office! I not only saved money (total around 20 bucks today), but also found a chance to exercise my body and calm my mind 🙂

  • eating better with lots of fruits and healthy food – check
  • feeling calmer and hopeful – check

this is very important for me. I have been having down moments and anxiety lately – today has been really good in this regard 🙂

  • realizing that my health-related expenses are increasing and I must make efforts to minimize my unnecessary expenses – check

This is not particularly a good news, but I would like to see it as such. It reminded me a few years back when I did not have much money left from my pay cheque (immediately after buying my house). It was a very hard feeling but I had decided to cut significant expenses to turn things around. I have not been fugal in the last 11 months, which shows in my chequing account. I have continuous physiotherapy (for my lower back) and now counseling sessions to start.. These are expensive services.

While I recognize their importance and benefits to me, I also recognize the fact that I may not be able to finance all of them while also taking the cab twice a day, eating junk food every day, and shopping without thinking much… It is time that I bone cut my all unnecessary expenses, friends. Every penny counts – I know this. I may not be able to get back all the money I wasted, but I may as well stop wasting more.

Good thing is that one of my recurring expense, my hair treatments as part of my saga to transition to gray hair is about to come to an end. I have one appointment next week and maybe yet another one in summer left to complete the transition (I hope). My hair looks a lot better than what I thought it would be, but it is time that I take a break from expensive toner treatments and see whether I can keep my hair myself. We will see how this will go ahead 🙂 Gray hair is a sensitive matter!! 🙂

  • removing a social from my calendar – check

under different conditions I would be happy to attend, but I am so booked that I do not wish to spend time on other peoples’ functions anymore. This was a surprising turn for me. Am I getting selfish? No. Am I prioritizing myself? Yes. I needed this.

I also did not want to spend money on this function. I thought I would rather spend this money on myself and this felt good. I am taking care of myself 🙂

  • deciding that I did not have to attend all work-related functions or meetings – check

there are at least 4 functions I was invited to in a couple of weeks. These are functions that will acknowledge my team members’ success and achievements. While they are incredibly honoring moments, I will be wasting around 10 hours collectively. I can rather use this time for myself. I can go to physiotherapy, for example. Since each session costs me around 2.5 hours, I was only able to have sessions every other week. can you imagine? i cannot even make it to my physiotherapy because I am so crunched of time…

I kind of found that sad.

It is the right decision. I can use my time to care for myself. I am sure my team members will understand.

  • thinking that whatever has been happening in my professional life, they are not more important than my personal well-being – check!!!

Priceless.

 

 

all the good things – check

  • deciding to feel good as nothing much in our daily/work life matters that much – check

I have had a kind of relaxing but also somehow nerve-pitching week. All work related issues of course. On the other hand, weather has been incredibly nice and Spring is really here. I have been feeling awesome about this – there is a real feeling of “hope” and “new beginnings” induced by the arrival of Spring. Should I be wasting these great feelings with focusing on shitty things and behaviors?

No.

Right. 🙂

  • walking to the office in the morning – check

I have been walking in the last few days from home to office in the mornings. This feels great really 🙂 Last year was the first time I had made it a routine activity to walk in the mornings (weather permitting). It makes me feel calmer, energetic, happier, and healthier 🙂

  • working without much of stress and taking care of a tricky document – check

I knew that it was gonna be tough but I also told myself repeatedly that I would do overcome this too. The last year has been particularly very challenging in terms of work, stress, agitation, changing myself and my work attitude, growing my gray hair (I did not update you on this, did I? Man, I have gray hair alright – looks better somedays than the others, but I am still resisting the idea of dyeing it 🙂 ), and undertaking new professional roles. One of the benefits of it has been to go through really tough time and tough decisions, so no new challenge is a big deal (at least so far) – great! 🙂

  • taking my time to enjoy the plants on my floor – check

it has been a pleasure really, looking at all the beautiful plants and flowers that have been around me for so long but have never been cherished or recognized by myself. I feel awesome now that I know each one of them. Plants are amazing, friends. There are so many different types of them, they do survive with little help, and they make one feel great emotions and joy…. Go hug a plant 🙂

  • walking to a nearby store and buying groceries – check

there have been many food that I needed and were on sale this week – I feel lucky 🙂 I want to get some succulents nowadays. There were some aleo vera that were on sale in this store, but I did not want to buy them this time. There is a store 30 min away on foot that I can go check sometime to see whether they carry succulents. Even reading about the succulent made me feel excited and happy yesterday 🙂

  • drinking fresh kefir – check
  • eating good home-made food – check
  • making a conscious effort to not dwell on negativity – check
  • enjoying a comedy show – check
  • having a simple life with minimal expenses today – check, check, check! 🙂

Daisy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/flowers-TFA5yuQIIoVUc

all the good things – check

  • not spending on anything, other than the bus token – check
  • eating home-made meal from freezer (thawed overnight) – check
  • walking in the afternoon from office to home – check
  • working till late and taking care of some minor work – check
  • taking “me” time and watching a favorite show – check
  • eating apples at the office and yogurt at home – check
  • being happy for someone dear to my heart, who is having a happy day – check
  • being proud and excited of these – check

Feliks Tomasz Konczakowski GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/dance-dancing-flower-l1J9xjttRT0SmU3HG

 

 

joy journal – Jan 29, 2018

It has been a good day.

1. I am grateful for sleeping late but waking up early. I woke up with things to do in my mind, which was overwhelming. Yesterday night I decided not to resist to this idea – after all if I resist something, the annoyance increases. I will see how well this will progress in the coming days.

2. I am grateful for taking the bus – my hero! Right on time 🙂

3. I am grateful for working with a team member of mine the whole day; we are finalizing a project of 3.5 years and she has done an amazing job. Understandably we are very excited about this. We will continue on Wednesday again, but what we have done today was a wonderful work 🙂

4. I am grateful for treating my team member to tea/coffee and snacks. These absolutely help us to have a more cozy work environment and provide some comfort while doing a serious job.

5. I am grateful for walking back to my home this evening; a first in a while. I am coming back to my routine slowly… I feel accomplished with each of these small steps; re; taking he bus, walking, not taking the cab, eating better, etc. Yay! 🙂

6. I m grateful for working at home in the evening of another report due next week. I am kind of late but have moved it very well. While walking to home I was thinking that I did not know how to fix it, but as soon as I sit in front of the computer and opened the document, it just moved on.

7. I am grateful for working at the office till 6pm, not coming home early to work, and hence stress myself further at home. Not leaving the office early to come home to work is one of these small steps that makes me feel good and makes me feel like I am back to my routine.

8. I am grateful for eating a large potato salad filled with green beauties. Very healthy and it was yummy 🙂

9. I am grateful for turning my email off while we worked at the office today. This is my second or third time doing this. I did not even missed it. What a distraction it seems… I am very proud of myself for doing this change as well.

There are a number of changes I have implemented lately and I will be happy to state them here again:

  • turning off the email while working on important things
  • leaving my “perfectionists attitude” on un-critical tasks
  • saying “no” more often 
  • motivating my team more
  • eating better and healthier
  • treating myself with weekly chocolates and little pastries time to time
  • making an effort to work at the office, rather than at home
  • supporting myself during these stressful times and showing compassion
  • making an effort with positive affirmations
  • making an effort to stop resisting the thoughts that annoy me
  • taking the bus or walking, and protesting the cab company
  • making Fridays “eat fish/meat” day – this has been going on for the last three weeks and I noticed that I feel good about this. Whether it is fish or red meat (which I rarely eat) – I am not sure. In all cases I eat a large green salad, which I suspect is helping a lot too
  • believing that I have time, which reduces my stress, even though that usually means working at nights at home
  • understanding myself, my needs, my priorities, and hurdles – particularly my own criticism towards myself and my work
  • realizing that my daily home routine is important and without it I feel over-whelmed, stressed, and somehow absent…. It is important to spend time without thinking about work and making my mind work on rather other things to give it a break

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  • I appreciate myself for making an effort to feel good
  • I appreciate myself for eating better, pampering myself, and caring for myself
  • I appreciate myself for keeping calm and focused today
  • I appreciate myself for changing and improving my quality of life, especially at work
  • I appreciate myself for taking time to write these, which help materialize them

 

 

joy journal – Dec 14, 2017

I have had interesting times lately. I was tired, stressed, and almost exhausted. But then things moved, issues understood, and most importantly I realized my own stamina and the importance of small things in life that attract my attention and give me joy 🙂

1. I am grateful for walking this morning to the office. I missed the bus literally by 30 sec and thought I would just walk. It was windy and chilly, but walking gave me a chance to clear my mind and feel good about life as a whole.

2. I am grateful for going thru the meetings without losing my cool and already thinned nerves.

3. I am grateful for shopping this evening and purchasing frozen berries 🙂 I will be making marmalade with them. I want to do this this weekend but I want to also wait for the canning kit I ordered so that I an start using the kit and water can the jars. I will see how I feel this weekend.

4. I am grateful for walking in the afternoon without difficulty. It feels good to return back to my regular walking routine. It is healthy, free, and quite an accomplishment for a lazy person like myself 🙂

5. I am grateful for tomorrow being Friday! Three more meetings to go through and then the weekend will be here 🙂 I plan to slow down next weekend, only finish the ends and bits and welcome the free time after that.

6. I am grateful for the fresh produce I bought today. I want to cook a couple of dishes this weekend so that I can eat better in the coming days.

7. I am grateful for the frozen meals I have eaten yesterday and today. I had a beautiful soup yesterday and a bean meal today; I had cooked and frozen them sometime ago. It is such a great pleasure to be able to eat home-made food when I am busy.

8. I am grateful for all the socks and clothes that keep my body warm and sound during the cold temperatures.

9. I am grateful for having money at the chequing account that enables me to afford what I need.

10. I am grateful for trusting life and take it as it is sometime.

11. I am grateful for liking to try new hobbies, like jamming and canning, and sharing the food with friends and neighbours.

12. I am grateful for having the night to myself – no distraction and all peace 🙂

13. I am grateful for the internet, my computer, and TV that make my life enjoyable and time passing fast.

14. I am grateful for the three little jars that one of my colleagues gave me. They are cute and cute and cute 🙂 It is one of these little things in life that makes me joyful and excited 🙂

15. I am grateful for being healthy and safe.

16. I m grateful that my family is doing well and they are healthy and safe too.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate the fact that I am generous with my team members and friends
  2. I appreciate the fact that I decided to prioritize my financial needs this year
  3. I appreciate the fact that I have become more self-sustaining with my new canning interest
  4. I appreciate the fact that I walked today twice
  5. I appreciate the fact that I keep my sanity despite what have happened at the work-place lately; re; pressure of keeping our positions, increasing our work load, and demoralizing atmosphere
  6. I appreciate the fact that I decided to undertake less of others’ work in the coming years and prioritize my own time for my own work

 

 

 

Saturday noon musings

The beautiful day of Saturday has arrived 🙂

I have been to a short trip yesterday for work and it has gone well. I made new connections, made a great presentation, got people interested in what I was to say, and enjoyed a number of meals and long walks in a city that was surrounded by water. Island cities can be really magnificent.

Beach GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I was very tired physically prior to this trip but I returned back replenished. My mind particularly. This change has been great to my fried nerves. Hence, I woke up feeling better and with a shoother mind. Things look a lot positive and lovely now 🙂 The lesson learnt is to take breaks if we can and focus our minds to different things on the face of adversary. I know this very well theoretically; I am a difficult learner, but I hope one day practice will make it perfect 🙂

Practice GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Now I have a lovely day in front of me with no activity scheduled. I need to go shop a little bit, which would mean walking. I have neglected walking lately because of the pressing deadlines, but I will take this opportunity today to re-gain my love for walking. I am kind of reluctant right now, but I know I will find it great once I start, so as soon as I finish this post I will put on my walking shoes, grab my shopping tote, take myself out to street. I am sure the crisp air will make me delighted.

Walking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Happy Animation GIF by Chris Timmons - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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I want to go back to my regular self

It is not good to work under stress and undertake too much.

It is not good to eat junk.

It is not good to drink so much soft drink per day.

It is not good to spend money on cab while I can take the bus or walk.

It is not good to feel like nothing I work on moving while they actually do.

I want to be fine again, like prior to 5 weeks ago when I was walking, eating healthy, visiting thrift stores, saving money, and feeling great about myself.

I really do.

I think it is time that I take a couple of days really off and slowly start doing what I used to enjoy; thrift stores will be a good start. Hopefully sometime soon.

Sunday morning musings

This Sunday morning too I am plain lazy on purpose and focused on lovely activities.

For example, my usual and long (3-4 cups long) rendezvous with coffee is going well and very enjoyable.

Coffee GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I have already walked around my small yard with my coffee mug in my hand to see how the seeds and flowers were coming out after the long rain yesterday (and they are all good).

I have had a light breakfast with the beet sourdough loaf I had baked last week and strained yogurt, which makes me feel quite light (not bloated).

Weather is great outside, warm and inviting and there is sunlight everywhere which opens my spirit and joy box.

And I am listening to some songs that I have not for years, which makes me nostalgic and wanting to do more of enjoyable things today and the days to come.

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I have little plans shaped for today. I think I will talk to my family first thing first and then go out for a walk and to buy some sewing stuff. I am really excited about this opportunity – hopefully what I need are all available in the stores that are open today (not too many choices, but we will see). As usual, I will bake my weekly sourdough loaf (with kefir – the first ever trial of mine – we all will see how that will turn out tonite). I will also cook a nice dish with minced beef and eggplant. It is great that summer is here and reminded me about this dish. I am guilty of not cooking great recipes that take time and require care, but yield the best taste ever. This one I am really looking forward to.

Cooking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Now let’s go find something to do that comes spontaneously and makes me feel like on top of the world! 🙂

Nature GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/coffee-xajAOXg73jylG;https://giphy.com/gifs/walk-tightrope-gibbon-XvsozaG1qrISk;https://giphy.com/gifs/asian-women-kimiko-glenn-asianwomen-3o6ZsXzPwGpNiw5h1C

 

random thoughts

This week has been going non-stop at work and I am very pleased with this.

In the last few months the work has been going well – albeit slow sometime. I am feeling like I have geared it up a bit, things are moving faster (although not as fast as I would hope), and I am feeling satisfied and happy as a result of these 🙂

This week we are having a summer time. I tell ya – it is warm during the day, even too hot at nights for our Canadian bodies (like, 23C hot?!!), I am wearing no winter coat or trench coat, and everywhere is green and flowery. Beautiful!

Hot GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I feel like I am missing a huge opportunity every minute I spend inside the office. After all, we are at around the end of June and my goodness we have only 5-6 weeks of summer. I am so conflicted – should I keep working during the summer or take 1-2 weeks off to enjoy it without work? Argh… I really want to do both. Perhaps the best solution is to make sure I walk out during the noon and work during the rest of the day. Since I get up and go to office early, walking during the noon should not affect my work.

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I think some of the seeds I planted in the yard are coming to life! This is so exciting for me – I hope they are not weed but real flowers and plants! I got lazy and did not water them this evening upon returning from office. But later I realized how unfair that was to my little seeds and threw myself and my pitcher out to yard. It felt good to do this for these lovely life forms 🙂

Flower GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Overall, I am excited about summer, the seeds that seem to be germinating in the yard, and my work performance. I will meet with an ex-team member of mine tomorrow afternoon and I plan to play with her 1-year old son and totally enjoy my time 🙂

Life is good, my friends.

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Sunday morning musings

Happy Sunday everyone 🙂 Wherever you are, I hope you are having a great day, joy, hope, safety, and anything else your heart may desire.

Happy father`s day too! Those fathers who have been great to their kids and families – you should be proud of yourself. Hope you are having a great day too.

I am having a rather quiet Sunday.

When compared to yesterday this is an excellent change I must say. So how was my Saturday? First of all, I prepared my first sourdough with beet and we shall see how that will develop this afternoon when I bake it (proving now). I also did quite a bit of shopping yesterday: as usual I went to a store 10 min away to purchase milk. And then to another one 25 min away (on foot) to purchase yogurt that was on sale; I consume them quite frequently so I was happy to get them yesterday. Also, weather was so nice (around 20C, which is Summer! for us here) that walking and being outside felt like I was on vacation somewhere exotic or something 🙂

Sunny GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Then, as if all these walking was not enough, I decided to walk (~1 hour each way) to a shopping mall, having a hair cut along the way and checking two thrift stores for pitchers. Well, at the end I did not find anything I really needed, so I also checked a department store. I found a pitcher but honestly it did not give me any joy, so I decided to leave it there (even thought it was affordable and do the job). I am glad I have done this because I checked another nearby store and guess what? I found the loveliest pitcher just like I wanted: affordable (and on sale), large enough to take all the kefir I produce (around 3 liters – I plan to collect a couple of days’ produce and store in the fridge), with a large neck/lid (so that cleaning inside is easy – kefir usually leaves it fat marks on glass quite easily), and the lid is adjustable so that you can tighten it up or loose as you wish (which is critical while dealing with kefir, because grains produce gas which needs to escape the container otherwise it can explode)! How happy I was with that purchase? Very 🙂 That is a great feeling.

Dance GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

When I reached back home it was already past 7 pm and my legs were just aching. I think I walked around 3 hours yesterday. I know I could stretch and relieve some of the muscle tension in my legs yesterday but I was too lazy to do this and rather I slept over it and now I am feeling much better. 

So, what are my plans for today? I am taking it light today. I have an interesting sourdough loaf to bake, family to talk to, some laundry to do, and some work to seriously think about. I can also work on the yard and clean the weed up.

And, I can always enjoy my coffee and reading 🙂

Books GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Have a great Sunday friends 🙂

 

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joy journal – June 14, 2017

Lots of great things are happening, which deserve to be acknowledged and thanked for 🙂

1. I am grateful for a good sleep yesterday and waking up early.

2. I am grateful for walking in the morning to office. I am usually very absent minded during these walks and I hardly notice what I am up to, but that is not a problem – I feel relaxed as a result of these walks. I also know how useful walking for my bones, muscles, heart, vascular system, skin, and mind – so one activity in the morning does give these many benefits is amazing. I always feel excited and happy about walking in the morning throughout the day! 🙂

3. I am grateful for getting up early. I noticed that if I get up early, I am more inclined to walk. It is, I guess, because if I am late, I feel stressed and want to go to office as early as possible. So a reason to take the cab rather than walk. Being in the office early also gives me a chance to relax and start working early in the day. That means before noon I take care of quite a bit of work, which makes me feel efficient and I am not as stressed as I otherwise would. So, getting up early works very well for me 🙂

4. I am grateful for having a chat with a friend/colleague of mine where we both were frustrated with the toxic workplace environment and finally had realized that we were better than what we thought we were because surviving and striving in such an environment was not easy and not for everyone, but we were doing it. We should stop listening to others and go ahead with our work and plans to success. I also mentioned during this talk that how good I felt about my life, my daily routine, and everything else, except the toxicity of the work place and the feeling of “I am not god enough” that taxes my self-confidence. It felt awesome to be able to feel and say good about my life 🙂

5. I am grateful for walking in the nearby forest with two of my colleagues in the afternoon. It was refreshing and energizing – we all enjoyed it 🙂

6. I am grateful for my kefir grains! have I mentioned that for the first time since I have had the grains (the last 4-5 weeks) I had the milk fermented in 12 hours? I checked it this morning, as my usual habit and curiosity, and there it was! all thick and curdy! It was so exciting! I fed it this evening and cannot wait till tomorrow morning to check it out! I have so many plans; I would like to buy new and bigger jugs to preserve my kefir. I also would like to try kefir spread and cheese sometime. And tonite I also thought about fermenting my own yogurt! I had tried it last year and I was not successful, but I would like to give it a try again. Very exciting!

7. I m grateful for eating relatively healthy today. 

8. I am grateful for today being a no expense day 🙂

9. I am grateful for tomorrow being Thursday,which is usually my grocery shopping day! I really need to buy fresh produce and shopping makes me feel good. So, happy Thursday everyone! 🙂

10. I am grateful for relaxing the entire evening and night and enjoying my time by reading, writing, and watching movies 🙂

11. I am grateful for the rain that we have had for a short time today. Thanks to it, I did not have to water the seeds in the yard. So far I was not able to see any seed germinate (some of them were planted 10 days ago), which is discouraging. But at least, i think I have 6 potato plants! Yuppiiii!! 🙂 Something other than a sturdy stalk of mint, weed, and grass grew in my yard! 🙂

12. I am grateful for the work I have done today and moving things.

13. I am grateful for brewing my own coffee and enjoying it a lot today.

14. I am grateful for the weekend to come and all the shopping I can do then!

Have a great night everyone 🙂 

 

joy journal – June 12, 2017

It has been a while that I wrote down my gratitude for many things, people, and experiences in my daily life that makes me feel lucky, happy, optimistic, or better about myself and my life. 

Here is today’s list:

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and dreaming. My recent dreams are not violent but somehow leave me feel heavy-minded, confused, and annoyed. I know I dream to work on some issues. I just wished I did not remember them – at least for some time 🙂

2. I am grateful for the cab ride and then resenting it the whole day. I took the cab because I wanted to feel good about myself (after the annoying dream in the morning). But by taking the cab, I not only lose 10-11 bucks but also all the benefits of walking, the most important of which is the “feel good” feeling that lasts the whole day. I need that free and ultra-positive feeling more than many things in life – so let’s get back to walking starting tomorrow morning. please 🙂

3. I am grateful for having a stress-free day at the office and doing some work. I was not as efficient as I wished but it went well.

4. I am grateful for walking at noon in the nearby forest. How lucky I am to have a work-place close to a large forest with little rivers and ponds…. what a blessing it was to just sit next to a pond and listen to the voice of the waves and looking at the blue sky.. it was there where I realized that my life was working out just fine for me; I have had a house, a job, a daily routine, a budget, and everything else I may need. I was healthy and still considered young. I did not have a huge problem that had no solution. I was mentally clearer and my psychology was stronger than before. My life was working just fine – it was the job situation that was kind of problematic. But, is it not great that at least an important part of my life was simple, easy, and comfortable? I realized that at least for that moment I was actually “happy with my life” – what a HUGE blessing!

5. I am grateful for being excited about my yard. Yesterday and today I was just thinking what a progress I have had and how beautiful my yard would be looking in two years. I have plans and I hope that I can do these slowly and one by one. It already looks a lot better than last year 🙂

6. I am grateful for my kefir 🙂 I ferment it for two days now, which makes it thick. But I miss the slightly carbonated and sour taste of it that I have had at the beginning (24 hours ferment). I really would like to see the grains get bigger so that they can start fermenting faster. This would help me get a large volume (around 3-4 cups) of kefir daily. Oh, well… Those days will come!

7. I am grateful for the food I have had today at the office and then at home. I have eaten some cheese, which I think makes me gain weight, but I had that huge appetite this evening and I felt compelled to eat it…. Luckily I have a couple of hundred grams of it left. I promise to myself not to but another one for some time.

8. I am grateful for having the evening and night to myself and enjoying it by watching movies, writing, reading, and contemplating.

9. I am grateful for changing my purses and now using a lovely one that I had bought from Rome a few years back 🙂 It is a beauty!

10. I am grateful for improving the cover letter I am preparing for the job opportunity I am interested in. I am taking my time with that application. The deadline is in 2-3 weeks and I honestly think about making the application the last day or something. I do not know why, but those applications that are submitted to me later (but not right away) are usually the better than the first applications. I think maybe it gives the impression of rushing by the applicant, which may mean either desperation or carelessness while preparing the application. So, I am taking my time. While I am interested in this job, I am not 100% sure of me being able to take it. Unless it offers me an excellent package of course and unless my trainees are okay with me leaving. This makes me feel conflicted about it. But, I must remind myself that I am appliying to this job to understand my needs and wishes better and to gain some kind of confidence. So, for now everything is going well and I have no reason to feel confusion or conflict.

11. I am grateful for having walking shoes that make walking/hiking a comfortable and enjoyable activity.

12. I am grateful for all the food I have in my fridge, freezer, and pantry 🙂

13. I am grateful for my hand and face moisturizers 🙂

14. I am grateful for my computer and internet connection that make blogging experience possible.

15. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these down.

Sunday afternoon musings

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It has been a good day; I have planted a number of seeds and I hope that at least one or two of them will germinate and grow! Please! 🙂

Since my arm is still acting, I take it really easy with the yard. I still have some digging to do, but I guess it will be spread over the summer. I think the main problem is resolved, or almost resolved (which was an uneven surface at the back). I bought some flower seeds today and together with my mom’s seeds I have planted them in the yard. I also planted mint, basil, and parsley seeds today. It was fun to give them water this afternoon, thinking that water will help these little seeds start their lives.

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Did I mention that my potatoes indeed potated!!? Ahem – yes! I think I have 3-4 potato plants growing in the yard 🙂 Also two onions and 6-7 garlic sprung. These are so exciting for me 🙂  I read somewhere that the best time to plant the garlic is fall. I will do that this year. I also would like to plant tulips and other bulb flowers. Next year I hope to have a much decent looking and pretty yard. What an excitement 🙂

Other exciting activities of the day included baking sourdough bread, walking around 1 hour to a shopping mall, and shopping some canned food and other needs. I had not done this kind of shopping in the last 8 weeks or so, so it was the right time. And I was lucky and could catch the bus right on time on the way back, which is always pleasing (who wants to wait 30-40 min for the bus? No one 🙂

I have been eating better lately, which always pleases me. I can see that it has an effect on my scale so I would love to keep eating better (e.g. no peanut or peanut butter, or refined carbs like pasta). i do not know why I feel the need to share this info here – I guess it is just a mental note – so bear with me!

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Have a great Sunday evening and night everyone! 🙂

 

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a brief snap shot of the day

  • got up at around 8 am
  • felt kind of tired and un-enthusiastic
  • had an untasty breakfast and my coffee was cold. Can you imagine? My COFFEE WAS COLD!!! WHAT IS UP WITH TODAY?!!!!
  • cleaned the house – it lasted longer than regular. Only because of my lack of enthusiasm
  • spoke with sister and mom
  • did the laundry
  • fed my sourdough starter
  • digged up a portion of the yard; it started to look  lot better. I need two more days of work and then it will be fine. I will also plant seeds now that I have a piece of the yard without the grass 🙂
  • ate beans and it was lovely
  • walked to a store and picked milk, egg, soft drinks, and chocolate – ate the chocolate on the way home :)))
  • got bored at home so decided to walk 
  • ended up at the shopping mall
  • purchased freezer bags and parchment paper
  • walked back – it was raining lightly
  • enjoyed walking and getting the fresh air
  • now resting finally 🙂

I have a busy day tomorrow too. I want to shape and prove my sourdough loaf; work on the yard; speak with family; purchase a couple items for the dinner tomorrow; cook for the dinner; bake the sourdough; host my friends and enjoy the rest of the evening 🙂

Kind of feeling like a super girl nowadays 🙂

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random thoughts

I keep waking up early and going to office by 8 am. Our administrative person at the office has joked today by asking whether I slept at the office 🙂 She said that I was there when she left yesterday and I was there this morning when she arrived 🙂 I told her that I think I am getting old – they say we sleep less as we age 🙂 (is that true, by the way??)

I also keep walking to the office, even though I find that my mind is quite occupied while walking. It is usually very quiet in the morning and there is not much of a traffic. I think I am really lucky to live so close to my work place. 

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It was a very busy day at the office today. I was drained in the evening but I was also happy that things moved well today. Tomorrow I have a busy schedule, and possibly Thursday too. If I remember correctly I have a free schedule on Friday, which is awesome. I for some reason thought that I have had the next Monday off (the Victoria day). It turned out I was wrong. Nope – I gotta work that day. Argh… I was so looking forward to working in the yard this long weekend.. Everybody does… It is the Victoria Day! It is the beginning of Spring and gardening!

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I will have two friends, a couple, over for a dinner on Sunday. I have a list of food to purchase and cook on Sunday. It is gonna be fun and lovely. Having the dinner on Sunday rather than Saturday was a good idea as it will be give me ample time to shop, clean the house, and cook without rushing. This will reduce my cooking stress :))))) I am budgeting 100 bucks for this dinner (including the drinks). I am positive that it will work out just fine. Thank goodness that these people are incredibly lovely and down to earth people. So it will not be a problem to feed them without having too much of fancy stuff on the table. Such people are always welcome in my home.

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I feel like my kefir grains are getting bigger. I will take pictures tomorrow, and then again at the weekend, to document the development in grains. I note that the milk is only lightly fermented in 24 hours even though the soury-kefir-y taste is recognizable at the end of this time period. I wonder whether the taste will get stronger over time. Maybe I need to use a larger container and more milk to ferment… Anyways; my grains are still young. I am sure I will know more about them in the future. For now, I am excited to be arriving home every day, and checking, drinking, and replacing my kefir 🙂

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This is it for now, friends. I hope you have had a great Tuesday and are having a wonderful evening!

 

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joy journal – May 15, 2017

1. I had a pleasant night and an easy morning, for which I am grateful. I decided last week or so that it feels great to notice and note when I have a comfy and relaxing evening & night at home. The same holds true for the easy morning. Easy mornings are those when I get up when I want to get up and those that I do not stress myself by having negative thoughts going in my mind.

2. I m grateful for the bright day outside and the sunlight that make me feel energetic, optimistic, and hopeful! Spring indeed is awesome, my friends. One of the best remedy for feeling down and the seasonal effective disorder (SAD) that I probably have.

3. I am grateful for walking to office this morning. I do not notice anymore that I am walking. I just walk and often am thoughtful while walking. This may not be the best practice, but at least I am not counting the steps or the distance and wonder when i will reach the office. I just do it, it is relaxing, and becoming a second nature for my mornings 🙂 When I think about 2-3 years ago how lethargic and tired I was and all I could do was to take the cab to the office, I feel nothing but lucky, excited, proud, and happy for being capable of walking in the mornings 🙂

4. I am grateful for walking with my new assistant effectively. She just joined my unit but is very positive and intelligent person, so I am really excited to be training and working with her.

5. I am grateful for my mid-morning walk. I just put on my boots, my toque, and my jacket and walked out in the forest next to our building. The air is fresher and cooler, and it is so peaceful over there. I had felt very optimistic when I had done this last time, and this time was no exception. I am happy that regardless of the issues at work, I still seem to like my life and sometimes take my mind away from the issues and focus on the present and enjoy what it may present to me. 

6. I am grateful for inviting a couple of my friends for a dinner this weekend. We have the long weekend this week (Victoria day) in Canada. I hope to cook some great dishes and host my friends with confidence 🙂

7. I am grateful for eating healthy today; I have eaten eggs in the morning, fruits (apple, orange), chicken, and raw veggies/salad in the rest of the day. It feels great to eat healthy food, even though my scale this morning showed that I had gained weight this weekend 🙂 It must be the carbs and desserts I had. Argh! 🙂

8. I am grateful for my kefir grains 🙂 I had fed them yesterday with 1% milk and I was not sure whether they would strive in it. The majority of the sites on the net mention that the higher the fat content of the milk is, denser the kefir gets. I had some density this afternoon, which was good to see. However, not sure whether I should have expected more, so I will monitor this for a week or so and if it does get worse, maybe I will try the 2% milk.

9. I am grateful for feeling lucky for having been given the kefir grains 🙂 I believe that they are healthy and by caring for them and drinking them in the evenings, I am doing something great for my body. This is a very positive feeling. Many years ago when I was in Toronto, I was big on healthy life-style; each healthy food I purchased, every tea I drank, every walking and cardio exercise I did would make me feel great (and approving) about myself 🙂 Sometimes I miss those times; like checking the health and organic stores; finding those really rare but healthy products, and being grateful for being able to afford them… 🙂

10. I am grateful for being healthy and free of acute or chronic diseases.

11. I am grateful for taking the stairs (2 stories) up today 🙂

12. I am grateful for having the evening and the night to myself and my ability and opportunity to relax.

13. I am grateful for today being a #noexpense day.

14. I am grateful for my hand creams that keep my hands moisturized and give me healthy-looking skin.

15. I am grateful for flossing and loving my floss!!

16. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note this here today.

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What am I thanking myself for today?

  1. I like the fact that I make an effort to be healthy by walking and eating better
  2. I like the fact that I like to work and find satisfaction in it
  3. I like the fact that I have the time, interest, and patience to have fermented food (i.e. sourdough bread) and drink (i.e. kefir) at home
  4. I like the fact that I enjoy walking in nature
  5. I like the fact that I dream and my dreams are helping me to solve problems, even though sometime they are annoying or scary

cemetery visit

There is a nice cemetery somewhere like 20 min away from home. I used to walk to visit it time to time before I moved to my current home – my then-flat was very close.

It is a perfect reflection of life; there is a combination of old and young tombstones; big and little ones; single and family ones.. There is nothing nice about death, but there is such a nice feeling of knowing that it is peaceful there. And that we are still alive and have a chance to make the best out of our lives. However miserable our lives may look, we still have it and all the opportunities it can offer us.

I used to be scared of cemeteries when I was younger. After all we always visited the graves of our loved ones; family mostly, and there are so many horror stories/movies we grew up with. I visited my dad’s grave last year; I was not scared but I was immensely saddened….  His name was on a tomb. So saddening… But it was peaceful, too. He lies in a beautiful grave yard, under the branches and leaves of beautiful trees, and away from the hassle, chaos, and noise of city centre. I still remember the voice of the trees; the soothing noise their leaves make when the wind goes through them…. Trees are so magical and there is nothing more soothing than having them at cemeteries.

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When I woke up this morning, I was excited to see the bright day out and decided to walk. I bought myself a nice cup of coffee and bagels at a cafe and then I walked to that cemetery. It changed a little bit since I have been there last time. There is now a couple of sections for the ashes. There are more seating space. I sat on one of them today for a few minutes. I asked “how do I make the best out of my life?”.

I did not have an immediate answer (from my subconsciousness, certainly not from the souls lying in the cemetery – I am not superstitious). But I sure am reminded about all the opportunities I have at life. My life.

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joy journal – May 6, 2017

1. I am grateful for sleeping in today. I woke up at around 7 am again but decided to sleep some more. It was past 9.30 am that I finally got up. It made my day short but I appreciated having a lazy and cozy morning.

2. I am grateful for the breakfast I have had at home. It was healthy and filling. And, coffee was awesome! (as usual 🙂 )

3. I am grateful for wanting to walk and walking to a shopping mall. I walked around 2 hours today. Weather was awesome and I felt quite light. Walking was easy and very enjoyable. I have done very well for my health by walking 🙂

4. I am grateful for going around the thrift stores. I found nothing to buy but i am getting used to this. It is still quite exciting to check the items and hope that one or two will turn out to be mine. In the future. Eventually 🙂

5. I am grateful for my back pack. It is such a sturdy and useful thing. I always grab it whenever I go for shopping. It takes up a lot of things and make carrying items easy.

6. I am grateful for talking to my family; sister, mom, and brother today 🙂 My brother is visiting my sister and mom and it was a fun and delightful talk today.

7. I am grateful for all the healthy food I have consumed today and the milk I have drunk. All of them are helping my body keeping healthy and strong. 

8. I am grateful for enjoying the bright day with blue skies. 

9. I am grateful for the things I bought today; milk which is good for my bones; eggs which are awesome, tasty, and packed with nutrients; coffee that will last for 3-4 months; and the chocolate that felt like from heaven 🙂

10. I am grateful for taking a rest and relaxing into my Saturday night. I need to spend time alone so that I can fully relax. It is strange that when I spend time with others in the evenings, I feel like I miss something…. It is awesome to be spending time with myself 🙂

11. I am grateful for the moisturizers I have! They make my skin feel better. And they smell so good too! 🙂

12. I am grateful for dreaming yesterday. I have a new recurrent theme in my dreams. Wonder what it signifies… Life is so mysterious sometime 🙂

13. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these beautiful things, people, and experiences.

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What do I appreciate myself for today?

1. I thank myself for pampering myself with sleeping in and treating myself with chocolate! 🙂

2. I thank myself for walking and enjoying it. I now consider myself a regular walker.

3. I thank myself for making a continuous effort to eat healthy and drink milk.

4. I thank myself for being frugal and not buying things just because they are on sale or pretty.

5. I thank myself for having a routine and not getting bored of it all the time.

6. I thank myself for enjoying the Kung Fu Panda! Have you seen that animation movie series? please do!

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joy journal – May 2, 2017

1. I am grateful that I dreamt yesterday night. I cannot remember what it was but I believe that dreams are a way of my subconscious mind working and expressing itself. It is supposed to be healthy, so all is good 🙂

2. I am grateful I woke up early and I was okay with it. Friends; I keep getting up before 8 am and that feels really weird. I mean, when I was young nobody could make me get up before 9 am, and now I am up at 7 am?? What is up with that? 🙂 And what is next – will I get up at 6 am, brew my coffee in dark, have breakfast, and then leave home for work? This… has…never..happened… Never! Cannot happen… Can it? 

3. I am grateful that weather was nice and I was energetic so I walked to office in the morning 🙂 It was a relaxing walk, as usual. There is something very satisfying about starting the day with something as nice and beneficial as walking; I keep telling myself it is healthy; good for my bones, muscles, cardiovascular system, my mind, and emotions. In addition, by not taking the cab or the bus, I demonstrate self-sufficiency 🙂 These are all great things, right? 🙂

4. I am grateful for brewing my coffee at the office. I could not achieve my Spring plans of reducing the amount of coffee I drink yet. In contrast, it looks like I developed a tendency to drink more…. Argh…. At least though, I am drinking also tea (the original idea was to replace a part of coffee with tea…). Perhaps soon I can cut coffee… Who knows?

5. I am grateful for working between 3 different meetings today. I was actually overwhelmed by the amount of work I must do – so at the afternoon I was rather lost and not focused. But between 4-5 pm, I have worked quite efficiently. This feels good.

6. I am grateful for organizing for a social with my current team and past members 🙂 I am really looking forward to this lunch next week, which excites me. One of my favorite past team members emailed me and gave me some great news about her career. I am so proud of them. All of them were great and brilliant people. I hope they will always have great jobs and be surrounded by awesome people.

7. I am grateful for eating healthy this evening. Have you tried cabbage salad? Since I am  a lazy person it fits me well; basically I shred cabbage and season it with olive oil and salt. Voila – it is ready! 🙂

8. I am grateful for my clothes, shoes, and boots that keep me warm and make my life easier.

9. I am grateful for having internet connection, a great computer, and this blog-space that make it possible for me to explore, read, learn, interact, and write 🙂

10. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

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What do I appreciate myself for today?:

I appreciate myself for not reacting negatively to getting up early in the morning

I appreciate myself for making a consistent attempt to eat healthy

I appreciate myself for collecting the garbage in the yard 

I appreciate myself for walking and not spending a dime today

I appreciate myself for being kind to myself today

 

on being self-sustaining

Since I started baking my own bread last year, I have been feeling more “able“. 

Bread has always been my favorite food. Strange enough after I started baking my own loaves, the amount of bread I consumed has reduced. How strange… I wonder whether it being a natural product with no additives or chemicals has anything to do with this? Anyways, I am proud of the fact that within the last one year I did not buy any store-made bread; I only consumed my own, mostly the precious sourdough loaves. Talking about the joy of baking and the happiness coming out of it 🙂

Anyways, when I bought my sewing machine last November, I thought it was an additional step towards being resourceful and a self-sustaining life-style. I was planning to sew my own blouses, which I have failed so far, but one day I will do this. This and others, like sewing quilt, doing repairs (which I have), and sewing cloths/placemats to be used around the house (which I have, too) will keep me feel independent and able. It feels good indeed.

We may not realize but there are so many ways that even someone like me, who does not like  house chores, demonstrates the ability to self-sustain. Consider cooking at home and feeding ourselves, cleaning our own houses, taking care of the yard (boy, thinking about cutting the grass… argh… one thing that I really dislike, but keep doing anyhow), dyeing our own hair to name a few. I feel so again when I walk to or from the office, or to the shopping malls, instead of taking the bus or the cab.  By walking I freely transport myself and relax at the same time. Do you not think that we in fact all are, to some degree, independent of others/stores/services and rather are self-sustaining?

I have spent sometime reading posts about homesteading this evening. I have no practical interest in homesteading myself as a single and middle aged city girl, but I sure enjoy reading about the daily lives of the homesteaders, their farming adventures, issues, and relationships with nature. My current life and level of sustainability is no-where near the homesteaders’ life, but I am doing way better than many people living in a mid-size city. I guess even though I do not realize it well, I happen to have a kind of simple, affordable, and sustainable life that I must be excited about 🙂

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walking, gardening, and good night sleep

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I am beat!! 🙂 I walked and went around on foot for 4 hours yesterday evening. When I returned home, my feet and legs were aching and they kept doing so the rest of the day. Thank goodness, in the morning everything was back to normal 🙂

I wondered whether it was like this when I was young. I could not remember for sure. I know I would be tired sometime, but it would be because of working/walking/standing whole day? I had so much energy when I was young that I would not be surprised with this.

Anyways, the physical exercise and activity continued today too. I decided that it was the right time to fix the yard. The back of my yard has uneven surface, which bothers me. I tried to level it a little bit in the past, but there is still so much to do. So I decided today was a good time to have this as a project.

Boy… Ok… Long story short; I probably will have to work on that part of the yard 3-4 more weekends. I could continue after 1 hour of digging, carrying soil around, collecting glass and plastic pieces (previous owners did not do a great job with keeping that yard healthy), but at that point my back was aching from forward folds and all the stuff carried around, so I decided to stop for today. 

The work I have done today is not a huge one, but it is a good start. I think by taking it easy I will be able to handle this without taxing my body and mind. I am really looking forward to finishing it and planting seeds and flowers around. And I am glad that I did not wait till end of May when we usually start working in the gardens 🙂 I feel like I am on time, even early to work on the yard, so I feel relax rather than stressed about it.

One other plan of mine is to have mulch and place it around the trees. There is also a part of the yard that I want to cover with it; this section has currently small rocks/stones to cover it and every year more and more wild plants grow in it. I hope that by mulch I can make it look a little bit better and also help get rid of unwanted plants. Good plan 🙂

It is great to have projects and work on them, and it is great to be out there with nature. I am also happy about the physical exercise I have got. I am sure I am looking at a sound sleep tonite and many weekends to come ! 🙂

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on thrift stores, spring, and gardening

I continue to be excited after the thrift store treasure I hunted yesterday 🙂

I keep thinking; is it becoming more of a normal for me to shop at thrift stores? 

There are two thrift/donation stores at walking distance that I seem to visit frequently only lately. I am not comfortable with the idea of buying shoes, undies, trousers/shorts, sleep wear, or any other personal items (like towels or bed linens),  but shirts, blouses, jackets, sewing notions/fabrics, and books are okay.

I still seem to be reluctant “to be seen shopping at these stores” (talking about social pressure that I need to deal with in my own mind…) and to buy things that will give me an urge of “cleaning intensely’ before use. No offense meant to anyone with the latter point – I know it is just a personal thing; realistically any of the items at this stores can be cleaned and used, and I have not heard of a case that a serious harm occurred because of an item purchased from a thrift store. In contrast, in terms of limiting waste, recycling, reusing, and protecting not only the natural resources but also the unfortunate and poor, I am clear that it is the most responsible thing to do. Also, the variety is much better than any store we have around here and prices are very, very reasonable. I have not passed that “cleaning” stuff just yet. Anyways.

I was thinking; then why did I not do that before and shop at thrift stores?  

I have no answer to that, other than the fact that I think it just fits my current budget and life-style much better than before and I do see an additional personal benefit in terms of the excitement of browsing the stores (there is always something new), finding something that I can really like (and I mean that – the three blouses I purchased lately are incredibly exciting for me to have and wear), and the ability to purchase them without breaking my current lean spending plans (three blouses cost me 13 bucks so far….).

When was the last time I was so excited about something that cost me so little?

You got it.

——————————

It is a kind of gray and rainy day. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a short walk in the morning. The winter has been hard on us but nature is awakening with trees getting greener and the air feeling a little bit more fresh, more Springy… I am really excited about walking becoming so easy and second nature to me. 

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I want to do better with my yard this Spring. I would love to have a herb garden and some nice flowers. We will see how it goes, but today I am proud to say that I planted 6 potato which had sprouted in my kitchen. My mom advised me to cut them in 2 or 4 and plant in the yard 5-10 cm below the surface. I have done this and i hope that I will see them grow into more potatoes 🙂 I have also planted the roots of fresh mint that I had purchased this week. I really would love them to survive and thrive – so far I was only able to grow mint and peas in the last 3 years…..

Let’s cross the fingers my friends 🙂

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thrift store treasures

 I have not written in a while, have I? I feel like I must write, write, write 🙂

A couple of things;

1) I continue to get up at around 7 am… Never in my life have I done this consistently. and with no good reason, like a flight or something.

Is it the end of winter? Daylight? Or plain old age?

Huh… My friends, they say as we age we need less sleep. I guess I am experiencing this. It is a fact! 🙂

2) I made an effort to take the bus this week, rather than the cab. It is working. I still do not feel like walking because of low morale, but I will re-start this sometime in the future. It is gonna feel great – I know it 🙂

3) I have walked two hours again today to a shopping mall. This is, I believe, the 3rd Saturday straight that I have done this. I checked two thrift stores and found myself a nice blouse – just for 4 bucks 🙂 this is the 3rd blouse I have got in the last three weeks from thrift stores that excites me like this 🙂 It is a beautiful thing and I love it 🙂 I tried around 15 other blouses – one of them was really awesome! I wish it was a little bit larger 🙂 Oh, well. next time 🙂

IMG_0848

I found it very interesting today that I am getting more and more comfortable with the idea of buying clothes from thrift stores. I previously had bought books, sewing notions/fabric, purses, a jacket or two, and one or two shirts over many years. What can I say? Sometimes I can find really amazing stuff and they are very affordable. I also help others by shopping at these stores, I would like to think. So I should feel okay. But, see there is something still bothering me about shopping there. I guess I am worried about people recognizing me and then talking behind me. After all I am not poor, and I can afford new clothes, and I would not like to be called “cheap”. But I must admit it is so much fun to go around the thrift stores, look at all the interesting stuff (they have more diverse items than regular store, don’t they?), and find a lovely piece that I can love and use 🙂 

On a separate note, walking was very easy and fun today. I am really grateful for doing this. It is an healthy activity and it makes me realize how fine my body and stamina is. Especially when I compare this ability to before when I had low energy for years and would not want to walk even 5 minutes… To be able to do this now feels awesome 🙂

joy journal – April 17, 2017

I am not writing to feel joyful today.

I am writing today because the best way to heal or to keep the hope is to be grateful.

——————————-

1. I am grateful for waking up early. At around 7 am to be exact. My friends – it is such an unusual thing for me to get up so early. It was a grayish and kinda chilly morning. but nevertheless i got up and prepared myself for the day.

2. I am grateful for catching up the bus. I thought I could walk but as soon as I stepped out I realized how cold it was so i changed into my winter coat and then walked to the stop. It arrived in a minute so I did not even have to wait. What a nice and easy encounter with the bus 🙂

3. I am grateful for changing the fruits this week and eating banana and oranges at the office, rather than the usual choice of apples. I love all fruits particularly apple, but I appreciate giving apple a rest for a while….

4. I am grateful for working really nice and easy. Things are moving well as I have solved some road blocks last week. It is very satisfying to be working like this.

5. I am grateful for taking time to look out of the window several times today; I have looked at the sky, the tall trees, and 4-5 birds across from my building that were either eating something on the ground or were fighting. I thought for a second or two that their lives were harder than mine. What a self-centered life we usually have. I thought that there was a big life and then within it was our live; something that we draw the boundaries around and live intentionally and intimately in. It is our portion of life that we design or protect as much as we can. It can be expanded if external forces/other people allow us to or it can be smaller if we are restricted. But no one or nothing can take our lives away from us, except death. Until then however little or big it can be, we must realize our ownership of life and hopefully make the best out of it. We can do this. Right?

6. I am grateful for having an ex-trainee of mine visiting me! This is always exciting and this is the second time a trainee of mine has visited me this month. This is so nice of them to spare their time and pay a visit. I was very happy and speechless for a minute or two and then we had a little chat and it was great to learn that he was happy and doing really well where he is now (he lives in Norway now, so far away!). May they all be happy and healthy.

7. I am grateful for being kind to myself today. I am taking it easy with myself and I hope that I will keep doing this in the future. I will not let anyone to restrict my opportunity of happiness. I will not let anyone to dictate me how to feel. Whatever the conditions are, I will find a spot or two in my life that will give me a sense of control, serenity, peace, and hope. I will not give up. Neither for myself nor for my family.

8. I am grateful for walking back home from office in the evening. It was a refreshing walk and walking up hill is always challenging and thus quite satisfying once done. I will focus on walking a little bit faster just to challenge myself a little bit further. I think my cardiovascular system would appreciate this 🙂

9. I am grateful for not bothering to cook and eating simple stuff; basically yogurt and my beautiful sourdough loaf that I baked yesterday. what a chewy and tasty bread it is – I am lucky 🙂

10. I am grateful for having the evening to myself. The nights, their quietness, and darkness pacify me….

11. I am grateful for my home, furniture, clothes, shoes, and everything else I have in my house that make my life safe, sounds, warm, and convenient. 

12. I am grateful for my computer and internet connection that allow me to express myself through my blog, read and learn others’ experiences, and interact with others:)

13. I am grateful for taking my time to remember, cherish, and note the things, people, and experiences that made a positive difference in my life today.

joy journal, April 16, 2017

It is a sad day because of something I cared most about crumbled for good today. 

In any ways, a living organism finds a way to entertain its survival instinct. In anyways, it finds ways to survive.

So here is my way for today.

————————————-

1. I am grateful for getting up early and having a long day in front of me. It is a challenge to fill a long day with activities. But it is also an opportunity to do things without rushing.

2. I am grateful for the coffee I have brewed at home. It is such an affordable and enjoyable activity.

3. I am grateful for enjoying my morning walk. It was chilly but a bright day and the walk was quiet and lovely. Looking at the houses on the street and assessing their characters is always an interesting activity. A good scenery makes a good difference.

4. I am grateful for not buying peanut butter today! Boy, I love this butter! The trouble is when I buy it, the entire 1 kg bottle is finished in 2-3 days. It is insane! So many calories.. It is not good when I am trying to lose weight. It has been a struggle to not buy it today, but I know that it was the right decision. I congratulate myself 🙂

5. I am grateful for drinking two tall glasses of milk. I have no warm relation with milk really.. Other than the fact that I am making an effort to drink it so that I can get some calcium and vitamin D. That is all. So when I drink not one but two glasses, naturally I feel great about it 🙂

6. I am grateful for the bean dish I cooked today. Friends, I learnt how to best cook beans easily (thanks mom). I am excited about the fact that I am consuming much less of canned bean. Feels awesome.

7. I am grateful for the two sourdough loaves I have baked today. I have had a great dough in the morning. Shaping and baking them was fun – the oven spring was nice and easy and the crumbs are much better than I had expected. what a great sourdough starter I do have! Come to think about it, in two weeks it will be a year that I started baking bread… what an exciting, satisfying, and healthy adventure it has been 🙂

8. I am grateful for speaking with my family and their well being. May they always be happy and healthy.

9. I am grateful for drinking water. I enjoy drinking water especially if it is kind of cool. what a refreshing drink.

10. I am grateful for eating tomato and cheese for breakfast. I am eating tomato quite frequently lately. I have never been a fan of this fruit (I think it is considered a fruit), but it makes a good breakfast material with a dash of olive oil. very tasty indeed 🙂

11. I am grateful for having the evening to myself. It is quiet and I can do whatever I want to do.

12. I am grateful for the movies I am watching and the songs I had listened to earlier. what would I do without the background noise at home? I am lucky to have my TV.

13. I am grateful for shopping my night cream today. It is kind of pricey and i am about to run out of my last bottle. So finding it on sale was an unexpected excitement for today.  

14. I am grateful for thinking and reading about how to be happy. How do we get happy? What is happiness? How do we make ourselves happy? One person was saying on a website that she was happy when she spends time with her husband, son, friends, and while driving. My goodness – I have none of these (no hubby, kids, or car – friends are on the other side of the world so I cannot spend time with them). Joke aside; what is happiness really? How do I make myself happy? How do I become happy with my life? With life? there are so many issues at life and I am so “incomplete” in some ways (being away from my family is the most important reason for that). They say we are responsible for our own happiness. Boy, is it really? Happiness, to me, is not a choice but may be a consequence of choices. Why do we need to choose? because we believe that one option is better than the rest and we take that option. It solves a problem maybe, maybe not, and then time passes and now we are somewhere in our lives where that choice does not matter anymore, yet the conditions are such that we are not, we cannot be happy.  Or may be we can be happy, but we think it is dependent on something that we do not have at that time. I do not know what happiness is but I know what makes me feel good. Perhaps that is what I should be focusing on – to feel good.

15. I am grateful that walking and doing weight exercises make me feel good about myself. 

16. I am grateful for writing these here.

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What am I appreciative of myself today?

I thank myself for being a resilient person – I may be sick, I may be down, I may fail, but I will always rise back on my feet.

I thank myself for making an effort to eat healthy and have a healthy life-style

I thank myself for making an effort to continuously save and for having a frugal life

I thank myself for loving my family

I thank my body for being healthy

I thank myself for being resourceful

I thank myself for not giving up on hope

I thank myself for still keeping going….

having energy and new projects feel fine

It has been a fine day today. I am kind of bored and anxious about something I care a lot, but other than that, it has been going well.

Today I got up around 9 am, had a light breakfast at home, and then walked all the way to one of the shopping mall’s area. There are a number of dollar and thrift stores in that region, which I really love to visit. I did not buy anything today, but it was so much fun to go around the shelves, look at items that are usually unique, browse the books, and checking the sewing items/notions.

I then walked back home. I estimate that I walked around 2 hours today. I think this is awesome 🙂  I feel strong, powerful, able, healthy, and lighter 🙂 Thanks to all vitamin D and iron supplements that I was prescribed two years ago.. What a difference they have made in my energy levels. 

———————————————–

My interest to consume the food hoarded in the freezer and pantry is going strong. I have consumed quite a bit of the “old” items and have replaced some of them back with fresh ones (like minced beef, chicken, pasta, and legumes). I still have a number of food that I have not touched in the last year or so, including some frozen veggies, wild rice, bulghur, and dried veggies. So I would like to prioritize their consumption in the coming weeks. That is my mental note for today.

My interest in designing new projects continues. Now that I have had all bunch of different projects implemented in my life (decluttering, budgeting, saving money, being frugal, using coupons and discounts, shopping bans, baking bread, taking the bus or walking to go to work, etc.), I am naturally looking for new ones. It excites me, learning about this kind of things, planning, putting an effort to implement them, monitoring my progress, and then improving it if I am still interested in (remember the #superduperleanspendingmonth that I left in two weeks or so because it did not work out for me? 🙂 it is okay every once a while). 

I now am interested in reducing my waste. I have checked a couple of sites and it sounds like I have a lot of extra waste at my hand: I still use paper towel when needed (for cleaning the bathroom for example), wet-disposable clothes for cleaning the sinks and the floor, facial tissue/napkin after meals. I do not compost, though I do recycle paper and other items accepted by our city. I donate what I do not need/use anymore and shop from thrift or second-hand stores as appropriate. I re-use the plastic/nylon shopping bags as garbage liners. I reduced my food waste quite a bit by shopping small amounts (store is 5 min away from me – so it is easy to stop by more than once a week). But I still have waste (1 large garbage bag/week – not too much but it can be less).

So what do I do about it?

I think I should keep reading and continue to be inspired by others’ experience. I will also have a careful look at what my waste and garbage includes. I really want to compost but I will have to see whether I can do this inside the house (no worms or anything) – if I want it to be a continuous activity I must find the most practical way to do so even during our harsh winter.

So these are my new plans 🙂

Shoot a comment if you have ideas to help me reduce my waste/garbage!

random thoughts

I always found March-May kind of tricky; they feel like spring but then they are not. As you can guess, yes we are expecting another snow storm tonite. I am sure it is not going to be a snow day, but boy, do I really want the freedom to walk without thinking about the snow banks or ice? Well, looks like I will wait for sometime for that.

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Nevertheless, I walked this morning and it was a pleasant walk. I had my dental cleaning appointment, which went well. Only that I have been cranky lately and that meant I was not complying with everything. For example, my dental hygienist suggested that I have an additional X-ray, which I refused. She might have had a good reason, but I am not getting an X-ray unless it is absolutely necessary or recommended by a dentist. I am proud of myself for saying NO, which is easier when I am not in the mood. Also, it helped that the hygienist made me extra annoyed by asking all bunch of personal questions, spending time like this, and making me pay for an extra time. Next time, I am making clear that I am keeping the time to make sure I will not be charged more than the required, especially while also being subject to a ridiculous conversation. So, that was how I started my day….

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Anyways; after that it was better. First, I felt hungry and bought some muffins/baked goods and ate them with great appetite and enjoyment 🙂 Since I usually do not have breakfast, this was a nice change that I appreciated very much – I can do this more often 🙂

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The rest of the day was not eventful, for which I am grateful. I walked back home and prepared myself a healthy meal. I still have 10 pounds to shed (that I gained lately), which bothers me. Yesterday, for example I was miserable thinking about it…. Yet, I want to feel positive, rather than negative, and believe in myself that I will take the necessary steps to start removing extra fat from my body… This evenings’ meal was a good example of healthy meal (cracked wheat salad with lots of onion, tomato, celery, pepper, and parsley 🙂
Hope I will keep this determination up 🙂

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it is not that bad

While I have bragged about how boring my life is, this morning I came to the realization that in the last one years or so, I have changed my life in a much better way.

First of; I started baking my own bread – they may not be the best, but they are getting better each time. More importantly, baking gives excitement to my daily life. Every Sunday I am eager to see how my dough and the loaf will turn out like! It is also healthy (I believe – it must be way better than the store-made bread). What a wonderful, healthy, and easy way to have a recurrent type of excitement 🙂

Second of; I eat better – that is for sure. I eat more raw veggies, which agree with my body. I have also lost some weight (even though I gained some of it back lately I am positive that I can do it again).

Third of; I walk more. I walked in the morning not only during summer, but also in winter (for the first time this winter) from home to office! For someone like me who was chronically tired, stressed, and impatient, this is quite an achievement.

Fourth; I have more energy – thanks to my iron and vitamin D supplements. This makes me feel better about myself and it is incredibly satisfying.

Fifth of; I am saving more than the last few years, so I am in much better shape financially.

Funny thing is that I have come up with these out of blue while walking  this morning 🙂

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These being said, it is only normal to fix some issues and then move on with identifying and aiming to fix new issues. In this logic, it is almost impossible to be without any issue.

Fine.

So I must be okay with having  a number of things that bother me now; 

I need a more social life; I do not know what that is gonna be but whether I join a hobby class or start hosting more frequently at home, I have got to come up with something.

I need variety – doing the same things and seeing the same faces/places are dead boring. I have every single right to be bored, considering the circumstances. I believe a new social hobby would enrich my daily life a little bit. Also, traveling is an opportunity to break it, but how frequently one can go away?

I need to stop believing that I am old. I am not old – older, yes, but not old. I still have a life!

🙂

A day

I keep getting up early.

I was up at around 8 am this morning. When I wake up that early, the day is so long that I can do everything in it. Like today; I got breakfast, cleaned my home, did laundry, talked to my family, walked to my office, worked like 4 hours, walked back home, cooked meal, and prepared my sourdough for tomorrow. Now, I am chilling.

Wohoo! 🙂  This is a lot of things to do in a day without getting bored or stressed. Yep – I did it. I did all of these without getting bored or without getting stressed 🙂 What a blessing.

Everything was nice and easy today. Cleaning was easy. There was only two loads of laundry. It was too much windy but I walked 30 min to office and then back to home and enjoyed every minute of it anyhow; the work I have done at the office was great – I did not stress myself at all. I just worked without any pressure and I did really good. 

Overall, I could not be happier and excited about getting up early, finding a long day ahead of me, and being stress-free! 🙂

Hey, maybe I will do that again tomorrow 🙂

Tomorrow is my bread baking day. Every loaf is an excitement – after all, there can not be another copy of a loaf. Each one is individual. They cannot be replicated 100% – no matter how hard we try. That is why each Sunday I have excitement guaranteed – “how will this loaf turn out?” What an exciting question! How nice to have this excitement every week.

I am so lucky.

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random thoughts

I cannot believe we have reached to the end of February!

This year has been passing quite fast. It is hard for me to believe that it has been two months since the holidays when I had 2 weeks off.. Wow! Two months…. It feels like yesterday!

The nice thing is that the three months of our winter has passed. The Spring will be here in May – that feels good 🙂

We will also have the daylight saving times reversed sometime in March – that means we are looking for lighter and brighter days ahead. That also feels good 🙂

This winter has been harsh here in Canada, my friends. We have had a lot of snow days 🙂 It has also been interesting: for the first time in my life here (around 8-9 years), I have walked in the morning to the office from home in winter. I think I have done that in January first and, now, whenever I can, I am aiming to do so (like today)…

What a sense of freedom it gives me and what a great way to relax my mind and work my body. I am awed that I am not afraid of ice or falling this winter (which was the reason that stopped me from walking in winter at the first place).. Change is always possible I guess….

That experience also tells me to question our assumptions and decisions, even though they are comfortable. Perhaps they can be re-assessed and reversed, and the new normal would turn out to be exciting as my winter walking adventure 🙂

Nowadays I particularly feel like walking. I blame partly boredom and partly the fact that I get up early, and as such, end up with having lots of time at my hand 🙂 I walked last Saturday and Sunday around 2 hours each day. And I am planning to walk similarly this weekend. I hope I can make this. My plan is to walk to the shopping mall on Saturday, just to grab a couple of tubes of yogurt 🙂 Let’s see whether the weather will be permissive (if it is raining or heavily snowing, I will not certainly do this 🙂 ) 

Since I walked this morning and did not take the bus, today was also a day that I spent nothing! 🙂

Is that not awesome 🙂

I never thought that that would be possible, but now I can see that I was not thinking careful enough – it certainly is possible. Anyone can do this “no spending days”. Give it a try, my friends, and let us know how you feel. It certainly feels weird and sweet at the same time 🙂 🙂 

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joy journal, Nov 5, 2016

I meant to have a great weekend and so far it has been going well 🙂

1. I am grateful for the refreshing and easy sleep. For someone who has had sleeping problem in the past, it is such a wonderful thing to be able to get sleepy, fall asleep at night, and wake up rested and feeling well.

2. I am grateful for the coffee I treated myself with in the morning 🙂 One cup of coffee can sure make me feel pampered and energized 🙂

3. I am grateful for the bagel-like pastry I baked last week, freezing them during the week, thawing over-night, and then eating it this morning with my coffee 🙂 I decided that this was a great practice – I know what I am eating and I enjoy trying new recipes. So I decided to make a batch of bagels tomorrow (my first trial – so wish me luck 🙂 ) to consume at the weekends together with my morning coffee.

4. I am grateful for walking to a store 10-15 min away and purchasing the hair dye I would need soon. Using the coupons, both store’s and manufacturer’s, made it a great deal and an excited occasion for me 🙂

5. I am grateful for meeting with a friend of mine and visiting a shopping mall. We spent around 4 hours there, going around the stores, checking clothes and other items, chatting, and drinking coffee. It was a fine day 🙂

6. I am grateful for the left-over piece of cotton I found at a fabric store today. It costed me $2.30 for 1 meter of fabric. I have some cotton cloths that I us during baking (e.g. to rest or the shape the dough on), but I wanted to have extra ones so that I would not feel rushed to wash them every day. The today’s piece was enough for 4 pieces of cloths 🙂

7. I am grateful for the little battery-operated sewing machine my sister and my mom had bought me a year ago! It is like a kid’s toy but sure does the work! I used it for the first time today to sew around the cloths 🙂 I am not done sewing the baking cloths yet, but it was such a joy to be able to operate this little magical tool and fix my baking cloths 🙂

8. I am grateful for not spending on anything unnecessary today.

9. I am grateful for the meal I have had cooked yesterday, which made my dinner easy today.

10. I am grateful for the sourdough I am rising tonite. I am trying something new and I hope to bake something interesting tomorrow. We will see how that goes 🙂 exciting!

11. I am grateful for doing the laundry today; it is sometimes a chore that I dread a lot…. I am glad that I do not have to think about it for another week 🙂

12. I am grateful for the beautiful day today 🙂 it was warm and shinny and felt like early spring.

13. I am grateful for my plan to shop tomorrow at another mall. I am hoping that the weather will be nice (though the forecast says that it sill be chilly) so that I can walk to the mall. It will take around 30-40 min to do so, but I really am looking forward to this opportunity 🙂

14. I am grateful for having the night to myself.

15. I am grateful for the push ups (today’s set consisted of 30! Wohooo 🙂 ) and the other light weight lifting and lower back stretching exercises 🙂 I am getting stronger and that makes me feel a lot better about myself. This is a great feeling that I had missed for some time. I am very, very grateful for this feeling.

16. I am grateful for not getting bad news today.

17. I am grateful for my back being pain-free. I can turn around without too much of a problem and it does not bother me at all.

18. I am grateful for not getting crazy about gaining 2 pounds the last week. Okay… Okay… Maybe I am… I was losing weight and it was feeling great and then I stopped and then even put on two pounds back. I have not really eaten too much or too different this week, so I am not sure about the cause of this weight gain. I am still conscious about my eating and making really good choices. Sometimes it is what it is I guess. I hope that the next week things will turn alright.

19. I m grateful for the McIntosh apples I have got Thursday. They are my favorites and I had not had them for months 🙂 The sour/sweet and juicy texture of this apple is distinctive. I have been eating two of them per day since I have got them. I hope to buy another bag hopefully tomorrow 🙂

20. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, house, job, salary, benefits, furniture, clothes, shoes, and everything else I have at home and in life that makes my life safe, comfortable, and easy.

21. I am grateful for being grateful and taking time to note these 🙂

joy journal – Oct 25, 2016

I have been feeling great lately and that reflects on my joy levels. I know this is life and there are ups and downs, so this up will be likely followed by a down period. Yet, I am determined to enjoy and be grateful for every minute of this period, rather than anticipating a down period following it. Writing solidifies and makes my mind know deep down (and hopefully remember in the future) what a lovely time I have had. So, here I go 🙂

1. I am grateful for the refreshing sleep. I have not dreamed this time, but I woke up feeling good, which is quite rare for me. I often times wake up with thoughts and stress of things to do during the day ahead, but not this time. This time I was just joyful; free and optimistic.

2. I am grateful for the nice Fall weather that makes it enjoyable to walk 🙂 The Fall scenery is so beautiful to look at – I am in love with it this year.

3. I am grateful for the relaxed and happier mood I have after walking. Being in the office, doing work, but not getting stressed or down because of work is a true blessing. Today I worked easy and effective without getting crazy stressed. How about that? I wish my every day was something like this.

4. I am grateful for not leaving my office early and keeping working at the office in the afternoon. It has been sometime I have done that and I must say it is beautiful. I also enjoy working at home, but I think it is time that I spent more time in my office – it is comfy, lovely, and there are nice people around. It also helps me to limit the work I do at home and this way my home once again becomes a place for relaxation.

5. I am grateful for brewing my own coffee at my office and having the means to do so. How lucky I am to be able to do this?

6. I am grateful for walking at the evening and sweating a little bit. It is a little bit windy but still warm for late October. I love the peaceful feeling coming out of walking and sweating.

7. I am grateful for doing my lower-back stretches and also adding some push ups, tricep and bicep exercises (with dumbbells) as well as forward lunges. It has been some time that I tried push ups and I was happy to see that it did not kill me right away 🙂 I hope to continue to do these light exercises almost everyday.

8. I am grateful for drinking milk and getting my calcium and vit D supplements. My blood tests show that they are helping me increase the calcium and Vit D levels in my system, which is awesome 🙂

9. I am grateful for the raw veggies, beans, and eggs I have consumed today; they are healthy, simple, and lovely food; I am blessed with having them at my home. oh, and it is the first carb-less day in a while 🙂

10. I am grateful for yet another no-spending day 🙂 is that not awesome? 🙂 It is awesome! I feel lucky and very abundant. A miraculous feeling indeed 🙂

11. I am grateful for good memories and laughs that put a smile on my face whenever I remember them. There are so many good people I should thank for these – may they always find life easy and lovely.

12. I am grateful for relaxing the entire evening at home – I am free of stress, concerns, or negative feelings.

13. I am grateful for the song I have been listening in the last few weeks. I have an habit of focusing on one lovely item and listen/watch it over and over until its effect on me disappears, which leads me to find something new. I am still hooked with this song and am enjoying the feelings its music creates in me. The lyrics is depressing, but there is something captivating about the tune and the voice of the singer.

14. I am grateful for all the food, furniture, clothes, shoes/boots, accessories, appliances and anything else at my possession in my home; they make my life easy, complete, and enjoyable. I am so lucky to have found and purchased them.

15. I am grateful for my blog that allows me to express my joy as well as sorrow. Life, as it is. Life, as I experience it. Life, as I interpret it….

16. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

random thoughts

I am writing just because and I have no idea how this post will develop. We shall see.

It has been a miserable day today, with light rain and gray sky. Do you not love it? 🙂 🙂

The only positive coming out of this colorless day is to be able to notice the trees changing colours; all the red, brown, and yellow leaves… Either on the trees or on the ground. I walked by a house with a yard full of fallen leaves. It was so beautiful… What a contrast these colours make with the sky around us and what a blessing to notice them.

Despite the depressing weather, I walked both in the morning and the afternoon. I even saw a colleague of mine biking. How great is that we are making an effort to keep healthy (and frugal)?

My aim of 2 carb-less days per week did not solidify yet. Yesterday I had a bagel in the morning and today I had half a slice of bread with dinner. Both felt very good  and tasty 🙂 Yet, I will continue to make an effort to curb the refined carbs. I am doing good otherwise, eating raw veggies and protein. I hope to continue like this as there is a noticeable difference.

While it is a busy time of the year, yesterday I thought about the holiday time-off. We have two more months to go but still thinking about it makes me excited. We have something like 2 weeks off that I really love. My plans are the usual: taking a rest, minimal work, deep cleaning, airing, and decluttering the house, and shopping. I would love to take advantage of the sales.

I also would like to read books this time. Last year I had bought the “A Game of Thrones” series and was very excited about reading the books until I got stuck at the 2nd book. That one is so boring, my goodness, I need extra motivation to go thru it. I was told that many readers feel the same way about this book, yet once it is done, the rest was as captivating as the 1st book. I believe in this… I will read these books 🙂

As usual, I will also socialize during the holidays and will find time to spend time with my friends. Not sure whether I would host at my home, but I sure will be attending others’ functions.

Holiday season also means the season of gift. I am lucky that gifting for me is not extensive, but I buy gifts for two friends and my good neighbours. The entire year (I cannot believe that time passes this quickly) I was looking for nice gifts, yet I was not successful in getting any yet. I have a couple of ideas and I hope the month of November will give me a lot of options to choose from.

On a separate note, I seem to have got cold. It is Murphy’s Law again; I have a talk tomorrow. I hope to feel better till then 🙂

Until next time, stay safe and positive 🙂

 

Joy journal, Sept 19, 2016

1. I am grateful that I survived this Monday too!!! Are you too feeling the joy  coming out of this? I hope so 🙂

2. I am grateful for walking in the morning, although I was feeling tired and it was somehow cold. It was a quiet morning with a serene scenery and walking for sure makes it even better (by moving and relaxing the body). It is good for my bones, for my muscles, for my blood circulation, and for my mind -what else can provide all of these but walking? 🙂

3. I am grateful for my coffee! I brew my coffee at the office and drink quiet a bit of it. Only that today around noon, right before a meeting, my stomach got upset. Luckily a colleague of mine had salty crackers and shared them with me. I felt much better after that.

4. I am grateful for my colleague who shared their crackers with me 🙂

5. I am grateful for working really intense but nevertheless productively. I cannot believe that just yesterday I was relaxing at home, without doing anything particular. It is amazing how well we adapt to work conditions and its pressure.

6. I am grateful for walking back to home in the afternoon. I must state, however, it was too cold.. Time to get the scarfs and gloves out.

7. I am grateful for the soup I have had at home that was the greatest medication after the cold walk. It was a simple soup prepared with chicken stock, potato, and lost of lemon juice. Sure to heal and warm you up 🙂

8. I am grateful for working up late today and finishing some important documents. I have been incredibly busy last week and will be quite busy the next two weeks too. I will give my best. The best thing; I have a business trip to Europe for a couple of days after that, which will give me time to relax. I am so looking forward to it 🙂

9. I am grateful for my standing desk at the office. In the last few weeks I always worked standing up. My back feels overall better; I believe the standing desk, walking and stretching everyday helps. I am not naive enough to think that I can stop here and go back to my previous unhealthy and un-ergonomics life, but at least I know that with little changes, I can make a positive change in my life. That is priceless 🙂

10. I am grateful for my blanket that keeps me warm tonite 🙂

11. I am grateful for my family being safe and sound. That reminded me a sad occasion of a close friend of mine. She was in love with someone else, who finally decided to marry another person. That guy was killed recently in a freak robbery attempt while on honeymoon….. How sad is this? Anyways… this is supposed to be a joyful entry – so back to gratefulness…

12. I am grateful for having a house, furniture, clothes/shoes, and heating system, all of which make this cold night manageable.

13. I am grateful for my books, internet connection, computer, notepads, and pens that make my life exciting 🙂

14. I am grateful for the TV series I have been watching this evening.

15. I am grateful for all the opportunities out there that wait for me and for everyone else. May we all recognize them as they cross roads with our lives.

16. I am grateful for being grateful and writing my joy journal tonite 🙂

joy journal – September 2, 2016

I have had a kind of disappointing day. That means, I particularly need to write to my joy journal! 🙂

1. I am grateful for walking in the morning to the office. In the past two weeks that is what I have been doing and it feels good. It helps clear my mind and is quite useful for my health.

2. I am grateful for having a relaxing day at the office till a meeting at 2 pm. A 1.5 hours long meeting in the afternoon, on a friday, and right before a long weekend is not a great idea… Considering that I am particularly edgy when I am forced to sit longer than an hour and that it was a very boring presentation mostly, I am very disappointed and somehow edgy… BUT I am ready to leave this behind and enjoy the first night of the long weekend! 🙂

3. I am grateful that it is the first long weekend of the Fall. I am very fond of long weekends – they give a chance to relax and do stuff that I could not otherwise find time to do. For example, I plan to do some deep cleaning this weekend, shop, clean the house, do laundry, cook breads, and take care of the yard all at the same time 🙂 Boy; these are all too much, especially since I also need time to relax. Thus, this three day long weekend excites me 🙂

4. I am grateful for doing the grocery in the evening. I have bought fresh produce which excites me. I hope to cook tasty meals this week 🙂

5. I am grateful for walking back to home from office. I have had a chance to help clear my mind after the disapointing afternoon meeting and relax a little bit.

6. I am grateful for my back feeling a little bit better. I have been doing my stretching exercises in the last while and they seem to have helped. In today’s session, I did not hear the “crack” that my back usually yells when I do one particular exercise. It makes me sad each time, as it tells me that there is some type of friction or calcification at my spine. I did not have this problem prior to winter when I have had two episodes of bad back issues. I want it to be gone. I am too young to have such a problem! 🙂

7. I am grateful for chilling at home all by myself. I still long for a cat to be around, but honestly I am not in the mood to be woken up by someone in the morning. Day by day, I am getting more objective about my own needs and how incompatible it is to have a dependent thing around me. Bitter but healthy truth. This being said, I also would like to foster cats for short time, possibly starting mid October or so.

8. I am grateful for the sourdough I have been struggling to form this afternoon. I have got a lovely levain today (started it yesterday), yet the dough is not a great one; it is fragmenting, too sticky one minute and top-dried up the next moment. Honestly I had given up after 3 stretch and fold attempts, and just stuck it up in the fridge, hoping that maybe in the morning I would have a dough which is workable. I just checked it out and it is actually coming along. So I gave it a quick kneading, felt how smooth it was, got excited, and left it to rise in the fridge. I hope tomorrow I will be able to share the pics of a nice sourdough loaf 🙂

9. I am grateful for the music I am listening to right now. I discovered it a couple of days ago and I am hooked. It is relaxing, meditative if you will, and very soft and gentle for the ear. I feel like my frustration accumulated today is melting slowly but steadily…

10. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

 

 

 

 

joy journal – August 14, 2016

I have lots to be grateful for 🙂

1. I am grateful for the funny movie I have watched yesterday night. I was up till 1.30 am and as a result woke up a little bit tired this morning. However, this movie made me laugh a lot and sometimes very aloud! What a rare treat 🙂

2. I am grateful for the coffee and bagel I have had this morning. My mind was full of thoughts so I did not even remember going to the cafe or eating the bagel, but hey, at least I provided breakfast for myself (I usually do not eat breakfast) 🙂

3. I am grateful for walking to a store 15 minutes away. They did refund me for the passport photo they took, which turned out to be too light in colour and as such, unacceptable for the passport office. No questions were asked. I had no receipt (only their stamp and date at the back of one of the photos) and a form from the passport office stating the reason for not accepting the photo. I was prepared to make a complaint, yet rather I was welcome with a rapid refund. How great is that? 🙂

4. I am grateful for speaking with my family and knowing that they are well and sound.

5. I am grateful for baking my best bread so far 🙂 I have eaten more than half of one of the loafs (it was a small loaf, so no need to get alarmed 🙂 )

6. I am grateful for my sourdough starter that excites me. Today is the 6th day and I must say I was getting tired of taking its picture; analyzing its rise, smell, and texture, and taking notes; and feeding it everyday. It is great that as of this evening, it is placed in the fridge and will be handled only once a week to feed or to use in a sourdough loaf 🙂

7. I am grateful for today not being too hot.

8. I am grateful for eating veggies today.

9. I am grateful for having the night to myself. it is peaceful and just the right temperature. I can read or write whatever I want. It is also a great time for reflection. I have always been a night-owl 🙂

10. I am grateful for my pens and my papers/notebooks that allow me to write, list, or plan things. Very exciting activity 🙂

11. I am grateful for computer and internet connection that make learning, reading, and blogging easy and possible.

12. I am grateful for my floss! I love my floss ( a tri-liner). Am I the only person who loves their floss?? 🙂

13. I am grateful for everything I have at home; my furniture, my appliances, my kitchen items, my shoes and clothes, my books and notebooks, pens and pencils, plants and food. They make my life easy, and me safe, full, warm, and content.

14. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note it here.

15. I am grateful for everyone here who commented on my posts lately, re; adopting a cat. You guys took time to read and respond and gave me many useful ideas. I felt supported and cared, and you may know well that this is a very good feeling, especially when it is needed. So, my friends; may your lives fill with happiness and peace and may your hearts find whatever good things/people/experiences you are longing for.

Thank you all.

weekly budget check

I am almost back to my regular budget after my vacation two weeks ago.

Last week has been good, yet I am aware that I made extra expenses that did not enrich my life. They could have been avoided, but I preferred not to. My choice. Like any other choice in life, I am responsible for it and since the effects are not detrimental, I am also okay with it 🙂

Anyways, here is last week’s account:

expenses within the weekly allowance (grocery, breakfast/coffee etc): $108

savings from expenses that I was tempted to but did not: $204

weekly fun funds savings: $120 (my total weekly allowance) – $108 (this week’s total expense): $12

fun funds spending: $165 (these are the expenses I regret…But hey; fun funds are here to help me have this flexibility in my spending. I had fun making these expenses, so even though I may not feel the same excitement right now, I am sure at that time it was the right decision)

total fun funds accumulated so far/left: $18

Other expenses (such as cleaning and personal care products as well as clothes): $188


Overall, I am pleased with keeping up with the weekly budget; comparing prices at different stores or following the sales and shopping at thrifty stores (for clothes) to increase my savings; walking or taking the bus rather than taking the cab and saving a significant amount of money every week; cooking and baking at home rather than dining out (except weekend breakfast). This week has been a little bit expensive, but this does happen time to time, so all is well 🙂

joy journal – July 26, 2016

Been a while… There are many things to note yet I will keep it to the things/experiences/people that have been giving me excitement, hope, and happiness lately.

1. I am grateful for the day. It has been just the right temperature; neither hot nor cool, with a little breeze and lots of sunshine. A perfect summer day :).

2. I am grateful for getting up earlier than usual and not getting crazy about hastily leaving the home a soon as I wake and dress up. I spent around 30 min at home in the morning, browsing the internet while waiting for the next bus at 8.30 am. It is awesome to note this (waiting for something/someone makes me crazy usually. waiting for the bus, which is scheduled for every 30 min used to make me extra crazy. But I seem to have tamed… at least for now… is that not awesome?)

3. I am grateful for taking the bus and arriving the office earlier than usual. I have had a peaceful morning when I brewed my coffee and enjoyed it, worked productively, and felt overall good about work and life.

4. I am grateful for walking back to home in the afternoon and taking care of some emails and other paperwork after that. Working at home is usually a very relaxing practice for me. I am so lucky to have a job that gives me such a flexibility.

5. I am grateful for watching TV this afternoon. After my back problem that occurred early in the new year, I had hardly spent time in my living room, or sat on the couch and watched the TV. Couch is not good for my back so it was not long before I moved up to the bedroom again, but nevertheless this change was very welcome 🙂

6. I am grateful for cooking a healthy meal for myself today. I tried a new recipe that I have got from a neighbor while I was on vacation. Pretty tasty stuff made with cracked wheat (bulghur). Hope to post the recipe one day.

7. I am grateful for the open windows and the fresh air filling my home. What a luxury it is! (old man winter does not let that to happen very frequently.)

8. I am grateful for my new throw, couch covers, shirts, and socks; tea, spices, seeds to be used during baking (nigella, sesame, poppy seeds etc.), corn flour, rice, hard salt to be consumed;  decorative artwork that my sister has given me as gifts; the bowl that I had picked up from my dad’s house as a memorial; the walking shoes and the winter boots that will last like for ever. It feels great to remove any hesitation about having/finding comfy shoes and winter boots- I feel blessed to have found and purchased them 🙂

9. I am grateful for my laptop and the internet connection that make it possible to write, read, and learn 🙂

10. I am grateful for not gaining weight lately. Hope to drop more of those resistant fat particles 🙂

11. I am grateful for having food in my fridge, freezer, and the pantry. what a blessing to know that I have more than I can consume and I am abundant.

12. I am grateful for my friends here whom I have called or seen yesterday. It is so relaxing to know that I am surrounded with good and kind people. This is particularly important for me to realize, as I have just come back from a family visit. i do not feel lonely and I feel like I have a life here 🙂

13. I am grateful for the hand moisturizer that makes the wonders all the time. My hands are prone to get dry yet this moisturizer is just right and it smells awesome. I am lucky to have found it 🙂

14. I am grateful for my plans to shop this weekend. Shopping is always a delight (if done responsibly, of course) 🙂

15. I am grateful for my back feeling good and being pain-free in the last month or so.

16. I am grateful for getting sleepy now. I may have some kind of jet-lag, which is okay… if you have ever experienced difficulty falling asleep, you will know why I am excited about getting sleepy. Long live the jet lag! 🙂

17. I am grateful for being safe and sound.

18. I am grateful for my family; we may be a hard ball together but we sure love and care each other. I am extra grateful that they are fine, healthy, and safe, too.

19. I am grateful for being grateful and being excited to have written this post.

🙂

joy journal – June 6, 2016

1.  I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up for a new day 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus and getting excited about it 🙂

3. I am grateful for my coffee and my office that makes brewing my own coffee easy 🙂

4. I am grateful for my glass water jar that makes drinking water a delight. Water remains cool and fresh – way better than the plastic bottle I used to store my water. I am very happy about this progress 🙂

5. I am grateful for working with a strong focus in the morning and submitting two important documents this afternoon. I am very relieved 🙂

6. I am grateful for walking to home from the office and continuing to work at home.

7. I am grateful for having no mice activity in the last few days. I hope it will never return back!!

8. I am grateful for deciding to pick and dry the flowers from my yard this weekend. Next year, I will bring dried lilacs from my yard (in a picture frame) to my mom as a gift – I think she would like this 🙂

9. I am grateful for cooking a healthy meal and eating with love 🙂

10. I am grateful for the food in my fridge and freezer that nourishes and feeds me 🙂

11. I am grateful for having a lovely chat with my neighbour.

12. I am grateful for reading bread recipes and getting excited about making a new loaf this weekend. I plan to prepare the initial dough on friday and leave the dough in the fridge over night. The next day I will rise, proof, and bake it. I am aiming for a high-hydration bread (80-85%) – let’s see how this adventure will develop 🙂

13. I am grateful for being relax and peaceful today. Since I am taking care of important stuff prior to my vacation, I am feeling more confident that till then I will finish all I aim for. This is a great feeling 🙂

14. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

15. I am grateful for being a couple of pounds than last month. I hope this is a permanent fat loss, but not transient water loss 🙂

16. I am grateful for my facial moisturizer that nourishes my face and skin 🙂

17. I am grateful for being grateful and taking time to reflect on these beautiful things 🙂

 

joy journal – May 31, 2016

1. I am grateful for getting up this morning. I was tired and got stressed right away about work, but at least I have had a restful night.

2. I am grateful for catching up the bus. It was kinda late but so was I 🙂 so it worked out just fine this morning 🙂

3. I am grateful for my coffee and the new water jar I have. It is such a beauty 🙂 one of these types where it actually looks like a glass jar with a handle. It is not only fun to have around but is also very healthy. I used to drink from an old plastic water bottle… Pew – glad that it is gone!

4. I am grateful for working two hours with quite an intense focus on a document. It drained me but at least it is taken care of 🙂

5. I am grateful for leaving my office for home to keep working at home without distraction. I was tired yet still walked. My work at home went well too but after a while I decided to stop and take a break. I am almost exhausted and this is not a good feeling. I need my energy and mental clarity and focus to finish my stuff in the coming two weeks.

6. I am grateful for eating relatively healthy today.

7. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

8. I am grateful for relaxing the whole evening by watching a TV series and reflecting on the positive things in my life. It helps me to feel better and like everyone else I deserve to feel good 🙂

9. I am grateful for the quiet environment and neighborhood, which makes it easier to take a rest and relax.

10. I am grateful for not using my reading glasses. They tire my eyes quiet a bit )or by reading all the time, I tire my eyes myself…). I need the glasses at the office but at home, I usually can manage without them. This is good and helps with relaxing of my eyes.

11. I am grateful for water! what an energizing and rejuvenating drink! 🙂

12. I am grateful for being calm and having confidence that I will do my best in the coming weeks and will finish things as much as possible. even though I cannot finish everything,  I will be fine with this, knowing that I really worked hard to finish my work 🙂

13. I am grateful for being invited to review a document for a national organization. That is a sign of my national recognition as an expert and I find pride and excitement in this 🙂 I also deferred the deadline for my report a month or so, so that in case I cannot finish it prior to my vacation, I will be able to submit my record after I come back from my vacation.

14. I am grateful for declining to review another report I was invited to review. This time it was an international organization that I had helped in the past. It felt good not to spend time on this task, even though the recognition felt really good. Ironically, my work has more international recognition than a national one. Thus I get more excited when I am invited by a national organization than when I get excited by an invitation from an international one. Weird… I guess we all crave for attention from somewhere we do not get it 🙂

15. I am grateful for my floss 🙂 it works all the time and tells me how my gums are doing. In the last few weeks, my gums have been really healthy (they did not bleed while flossing). I am so happy about this 🙂

16. I am grateful for my job that has flexible hours. It would be better if I had stayed in my office as people talk and to them me not being in the office would mean not working. Only a bunch of people who feel like me and prefer the undistractive home environment to work can understand this. Luckily, I have many people like this around and it feels good to have this support and flexibility.

17. I am grateful for my salary and benefits that make my life affordable and somehow secured.

18. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, useful websites, and the blogs that I keep reading and learning from 🙂

19. I am grateful for being content and grateful, and having the energy and time to write my joy journal 🙂

joy journal – May 27, 2016

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up in a relatively good mood – priceless 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus and being happy about it.

3. I am grateful for my office coffee! I cannot get tired of this. i am so lucky that I have an office for myself and I am accountable to only myself… That is great to note this as I have not particularly noticed it before… Coffee makes my mind work well I guess 🙂

4. I am grateful for having a long but nevertheless useful meeting.

5. I am grateful for walking back to home right after the meeting. It was kind of chilly but that is alright. Better days will come!

6. I am grateful for checking my home and finding no pest activity during the day. I feel good about this but I am not naive enough to  think that it is over yet. nevertheless, this is a peace of mind for today.

7. I am grateful for the cat next door that shows up in my yard time to time. I wish she could visit my home too so that the pest would have an extra motivation to leave my premises! 🙂

8. I am grateful for the misty weather today, which allowed me not to water my seeds in the yard.

9. I am grateful for not eating too much today. My appetite is not there in the last few days. I am feeling great about this, though I should make sure I eat healthy stuff. I noticed that I do not eat fruits as much as I would like. Gotta solve this problem this week 🙂

10. I am grateful for the fish I have baked this evening and it is being affordable and quite tasty.

11. I am grateful for the relaxing atmosphere of my home. I have everything I need and want (except the pests! 🙂 ).

12. I am grateful for the comfy bed I have that allows me to both relax and sleep on.

13. I am grateful for making new plans for my saving. As soon as I come back from my vacation, I will do some adjustments to further save and use my own hard-earned dollars. I deserve this.

14. I am grateful for my computer and internet connection that makes my life easy and enjoyable.

15. I am grateful for my job that allows me to have a comfortable and safe life.

16. I am grateful for all the savings I have made since the last one year. At the beginning of June, it will be a year that I started budgeting in a serious manner According to my records, in the last one year I have saved roughly 7K…… That is an amazing amount of money that I would have otherwise thrown away. I am proud of myself 🙂

17. I am grateful for being alive, healthy, safe, and sound.

18. I am grateful for my back feeling better and not needing exercises. being pain-free is an amazing feeling 🙂

19. I am grateful for being grateful and taking time to write my joy journal.

joy journal – May 26, 2016

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up feeling well.

2. I am grateful for catching up the bus. I did not have to wait for it long this morning 🙂

3. I am grateful for forming a new potential collaboration and initiating an exciting proposal. We hope to be able to conduct this project as we have the expertise and the idea is interesting. While we are also cautious about the difficulties and the need for funds, nevertheless, since the interest is there, we will look for the opportunities and hopefully jump over the hurdles. let’s cross the fingers 🙂

4. I am grateful for realizing that there is a tension between a team member of mine and I. This needs to be fixed by me sometime soon. Work is stressful, pressuring, and difficult and we have had extensive discussions and meticulous job. Along the way we also accumulated pressure and tension, which we need to either cool down and vent it out. I will see how that will be fixed. One good opportunity is my coming vacation, which will help us not interact for a while. That can help reduce the tension and heal the emotions associated with it.

5. I am grateful for calling the pest control company today. I am very pleased with this, as I have an habit of delaying this kind of calls during the work hours. This time I was prompt and the company was, too. One gentleman came to my place this afternoon and placed baits around the kitchen area. We have identified activity around certain places and it looks like a new and not an extensive infestation. Also, it was great to know that it was mice, not rats 🙂

6. I am grateful for working at home in the evening and then walking to an appointment. That means I have walked around 1 hour total today 🙂

7. I am grateful for correcting the cashier that she charged me less than what she was supposed to do. I am glad that I have done the right thing.

8. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

9. I am grateful for bumping into a couple of my friends while walking this evening. It was nice to chat with them and it was nice that they gave me a ride back home 🙂

10. I am grateful for working at home till late night. My mind is active and this is usually a good thing for work but an annoying thing for my mood. I better relax now and cool down. Once upon a time my mind was working hyper all the time and my sleep was disturbed for an extended period of time (like a year). It is not fun. But I am glad this has not repeated since then, other than occasionally.

11. I am grateful that tomorrow is Friday. I have a meeting to attend at noon but other than that my schedule is pretty empty.

12. I am grateful for this weekend when I plan to shop for flowers for my yard, clean it up further, and cut the grasses. I hope it is not gonna rain this weekend so that I can do all of these.

13. I am grateful for my home that provides me with a safe shelter, my furniture, appliances, TV, computer, internet connection, cable, clothes, shoes, kitchen items, and all bunch of all other things that make my life comfortable 🙂

14. I am grateful for being writing to this journal and remembering all the things, people, and experiences that I can be grateful for 🙂

joy journal – May 25, 2016

1. I am grateful for waking up feeling alright 🙂 This is a rare occasion and I fully appreciated it. I am so very grateful for this feeling 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning. Weather was awesome and i went to work by wearing a jacket rather than winter coats! 🙂 is that not great?

3. I am grateful for working well. I was distracted by a couple of meetings here and there, but all worked out well. One of my team members and I are working on a challenging project. he moved it quite a bit but then like any other things that are done for the first time, we needed to in detail check our approach, methods, and the assumptions/limitations. It is no fun and both my team member and I were quite annoyed but also somehow excited. Once this “confidence building” phase is over, then we will be able to move really fast. I must explain this to my team member better as he is frustrated that we are still not clear about our approach. Fortunately (!), this is a necessary part of the process and we will be done with this phase soon. It is good to have experiences! 🙂

4. I am grateful for my coffee – what a blessing to be able to have an office that allows me to brew coffee whenever I wish 🙂

5. I am grateful for walking back to home early afternoon and continuing to work at home.

6. I am grateful for seeing the nice flower that bloomed in my yard today 🙂

7. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours while I spent time in my yard.

8. I am grateful for my back feeling better and being pain free.

9. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

10. I am grateful for spending the evening and the night relaxing and also reading and writing about my work plans – things are getting clear as I continue to reflect on them. And as they get clear, I also realize how much we have progressed in our projects – that is a great feeling, very satisfying and encouraging. I also realize that I am in a better shape than I thought I was 🙂 talking about self-confidence!

11. I am grateful for being excited about a report at my hand, which I plan to finish in the coming two weeks or so. I really would like to end it before I leave for my vacation so that once I am back, I can focus on new stuff. Finishing things and having its satisfaction are awesome, so are starting new things and experiencing their excitement 🙂

12. I am grateful for it raining today – I did not have to water my seeds 🙂

13. I am grateful for tomorrow being one more day close to the weekend, when I am planning to shop for my yard 🙂

14. I am grateful for the water that quenches my thirst, the food that I can afford and nourishes my body, and my home that provides me a safe shelter.

15. I am grateful for being grateful and finding the opportunity and time to write my joy journal today 🙂

random thoughts

It was another high-effort day where many things were taken care of.

I cannot complain as long as things are moving. They are; I am just in the constant rush and stressed as a result. My neck is tight and I am longing for some kind of relaxation. While I am watching a TV series right now, I realize that my mind is busy and chatty. The best way to relieve this is to write about it. So here I am 🙂

When I make a conscious decision to leave things behind and enjoy the moment (just like right now) it miraculously works. I can start thinking about the work tomorrow. But right now is mine. Let me be in the moment….

This last sentence made me remember my yoga/stretching classes. How lovely, relaxing, and joyful they were. It is so unfortunate that they were not good to my back, or I could not know how to protect my back. The joy I have got out of these classes will always be cherished. At least I know that there are things in life that made me feel good.

I walked this morning too. The route from home to office does not look too long anymore. I am so grateful for my elevated energy levels – thanks to them I am feeling energetic and can walk without complaining or feeling strained. I feel like I have got my youth back 🙂 And that feels pretty amazing!

Today was a little bit chilly than yesterday, but the sky was blue and clear and I am certain that the spring is here 🙂 There is something magical about Spring; it is the time of renewal, hope, energy, nature, and joy….. I would love to plant plants in my yard but I am not sure whether I can find time to do so before my vacation this summer. It would be great if I had committed to it – my lilacs will blossom soon and the grass will shoot up, too. I must confess I am not looking forward to cutting the grass. It takes time and tires my arms quite a bit. Its scent also makes my stomach turn a little bit. too. But it at least give me a chance to be outside with nature and feeling “talked to and understood” by my trees.

We have a social at the work place this friday and I was wondering whether I could bake something for it (rather than buying). I found a couple of “tea biscuit” recipes that I thought were just perfect; it looks easy and simple to make the biscuits. I would like to try them on thursday night. Let’s hope I will be successful 🙂

 

 

random thoughts

It was a go-go kind of day, with many things happening at work and taken care of with a rush that still makes me dizzy. But at least it is over for today, so I can set this feeling aside.

After my baguette fiasco yesterday I have had that constant feeling of making a bread. It is as if if I can make one, then I will have confidence and can try and achieve baking beautiful loafs. I even considered it for tonite, but decided not to – I will wait for the weekend. more excitement this way 🙂

In terms of my budget, I have done really well so far this week, which is very pleasing. I did not have to buy too much of grocery and I catched up some sales. I also used the points of a loyalty card this past week, which reduced my grocery bill. I believe every month, I can get some cash back (to be used in grocery shopping) using the loyalty card. It can be a small amount but sure makes a difference in my finances and life. While I still have 3 more days to go before my weekly budget ends, I am hopeful that I will be able to keep up my expenses low this week.

This is good because I have a couple of socials to attend and some social expenses to cover in the coming weeks. While they will cost me some money, I am also excited to be a part of them. So all will be fine.

I have a family vacation coming up and I wanted to save quite a bit prior to it. I may not have saved as much as I wished, but I guess what I have is good enough to cover for expenses in a comfortable way. The family vacation also means that I will be away from the work. This can explain the rush and stress I have been having lately. I would like to start the vacation without thinking too much about the work. So things are better taken care of until then.

On the positive side, I walked this morning from home to the office. We have had an exceptional day today, with really warm Spring temperatures. It is kind of ironic that I had to spend such a beautiful day inside my office. But hey, at least I have seen it and got excited about Spring 🙂 So walking in the morning and then in the afternoon were very delightful. I hope to do the same tomorrow. Hopefully there will be no rain tomorrow 🙂

My back has been feeling good in the last two days. Last week, I have had back pains and I was worried. So I decided to give my back a rest and did not do my exercises since friday. Surprisingly that seems to be working so far 🙂 I did a little bit arm work with dumbbells – I like the feeling and the obvious tone improvement in my arm muscles. This is pretty much becoming a regular exercise for me. the trick is to do light work without straining myself a lot or taking too long of a time; then I have the motivation to keep going. Little bit of it is better than none of it 🙂

I was thinking today why and how the gym culture has evolved. Is it because we became too dependent on technology and cars etc. and forgotten to work our body in a natural way? Or did we get obsessed with how we look? Maybe we become more competitive and feeling the need to shape our body and feel good about ourselves?  maybe it is what everybody else is doing so we feel the pressure to do attend a gym… Is it not ironic that we have walking bands in the gyms, countless of them, while we can walk during the day? Have you ever gone to gym with cars?

Those who live in unsafe areas and totally dependent on driving their cars to go around can disregard this last question. Many of my friends in the US have had this one reason for not walking on the streets. It is amazing and sometime quite sad how our living environment can shape our lives, life styles, and needs.

I will finish my random thougths post today by noting the Fort McMurray wildfire that is affecting Alberta and close communities. It is a disaster that I cannot even comprehend; sending my best wishes to fellow Canadians living in that area.

random thoughts

Today I had meetings over meetings, made important decisions, and completely got drained energy-wise. I will work tomorrow too at the office with a team member of mine, and it looks like for the next 4 weeks or so I will have hardly any time to take it easy.

But that is okay because 5-6 weeks later I will be visiting my family. Vacation and family time!

I am just stressed  a little bit but I know I can handle this. I have gone thru similar pressing times at work. Even though it does strain me, eventually the outcome of hardwork is good and desirable. I know I will be okay. I just need to spend my time more wisely and give myself “awards” that will excite me.

So this is what exactly I have done today and bought myself a can of traditional active yeast 🙂 You know my love for yeast, right? The other day I had also got additional flour (I already had whole wheat flour, now I would like to try all purpose flour for a softer type of bread) and now I am ready to roll 🙂

I would like to try a lovely loaf on Sunday. I plan to rise it really well this time. So I will start the dough in the morning and will give it enough time to rise. I have been reading a lot and I have got many tips. One thing I cannot be sure about is whether I will have a plain loaf or a veggie bread, like zucchini bread. I will decide it at that time I guess. Nevertheless, I am excited!

It has been raining today a lot, so I took the bus in the morning. I am glad that I decided to do so, rather than taking the cab. I am very content about this shift in my thinking; previously nothing would stop me from taking the cab in the morning, especially if the weather was annoying. My mind-set at that time was “I deserve this” and “I better go to office as soon as possible to start taking care of work” and “I am really not in the mood and I have little energy; so taking the cab is the greatest convenience for me right now“, and “it is so annoying to wait 5 or 10 minutes for the bus“.

As we all know, these thoughts are feelings of mine are now mostly gone. I, more than 90% of the time, take the bus or walk to the office in the morning. I am not annoyed by waiting for the bus. I enjoy taking the bus (or walking). I enjoy using the cab fare rather on more meaningful things, such as strengthening my bank account or investing for my retirement.

There are a number of factors that has helped me with this mental transition. First, my determination to control my finances better. Second, the iron supplementation that increased my energy levels. And third, waking up a little bit earlier, which makes me feel like I am not late and it is okay to spend extra time to take the bus.

Little things can make huge difference. I feel lucky for being able to have these factors in my life.

Cheers everyone 🙂

 

weekly budget check

A good week in terms of saving from my weekly allowance, though I have had extra expenses:

Weekly allowance spending (transportation, grocery, breakfasts, eating out etc.): $71

Fun funds collected this week: $120 – $71 = $49

Fun funds left/accumulated so far: $174 (yay!)

Extra expenses: $105; this money was spent to dine out with a good friend and for the cab fare to pick up a gift for someone, who well deserved it. I am aware that it is a significant amount of money, but believe me when I said the enjoyment of these activities is worth the every dollar. One of those times when I sincerely think that “money is not everything”.

Fun funds expenses: $0

Savings from would-be-expenses (expenses I was tempted to do but did not do, or the discounts I used): $171.5

Overall, I remain highly satisfied with my budget and spending habits.

A couple of things are worth noting;

Walking in the morning rather than taking the bus has highly positive effects on me. I am glad the weather is permissive. This morning I had to go to a meeting away from my office and I directly walked there from home. It is a longer route, maybe around 35 min on foot. And after the meeting, I walked to my office, too. This last part is around 20 min. My mood was pretty good during the rest of the day, which makes me excited about walking (I believe a somehow long walk that warms my body and makes me sweat a little bit is also long enough to improve my brain chemistry). Additionally, I felt very proud of myself for not being lazy and taking the cab. Considering the additional $20 saved by just walking these distances makes me even more proud of myself.

random thoughts

Another beautiful day 🙂 I hope everyone else is also having a similar experience.

In contrast to yesterday, I woke up with some anger in my mind. It is not fun; I should be able to manage my thoughts better. After all, my feelings are pretty much created by my thoughts. I was remembering some annoying moments from yesterday and that somehow cost me positive feelings in the morning.

The nice thing was that I decided to walk to the office again and it was a more or less pleasant walk. I noticed that if my mind works on negative thoughts, then through the end of the walk I get tired or constrained, rather than feeling relaxed. Something for me to think about.

On the positive side, my excitement over the yeast and bread baking continuing 🙂  It is to me quite amazing that such a small organism can do all of these (for example, producing carbon dioxide that expands/rises the dough and helps form the “holes” in the bread; forming gluten; and producing chemicals/nutrients that give flavor to the bread). I am interested in starting my own sourdough starter, but I guess this will have to wait till later. I am planning to purchase flour tomorrow and some seeds/nuts for my next bread. I hope my interest and excitement over making my own bread will continue.

Have a great Wednesday night everyone!

🙂

random thoughts

There is not much to say, except that:

1. I wanted to walk in the morning

2. I walked from home to office in the morning

3. It was an easy and enjoyable walk, which made me excited

4. My body got warm as a result of walking and sweated a little bit (for some reason I like sweating by physical activity – I guess it tells me I worked my body a little bit more than regular. No worries – I did not stink)

5. I felt happy, relaxed, and excited during the morning (which is priceless, you know well)

6. I worked well with my team members; I am not able to finish the document I was supposed to this week, but hey, I will take it as it is

7. I walked in the evening to home from office, despite a thin rain (great that I did not chicken out and decide to take the bus/cab rather than walking)

8. I have had a healthy dinner, with salad and oven-cooked chicken

9. I want to walk tomorrow morning, too, weather permitting

10. Overall, I feel excited and happy about my energy levels in the morning, and being able to do this useful exercise for my body and my mind.

🙂

 

 

joy journal – May 2, 2016

Time to remember and acknowledge all the great things that made me excited, happy, and grateful 🙂

1. I am grateful for the good night sleep.

2. I am grateful for deciding to walk in the morning. It is always fascinating to see that I have energy in the mornings. I have suffered from low energy for many years. Since last Fall, this has changed as my doctor put me on iron and vitamin D supplements. Did the wonders for me. This has been long waited for and by all means well deserved. I am very happy and excited about this.

3. I am grateful for the nice weather today. I substituted my winter coat with a trench coat today. Overall, the weekly daytime temperature forecast are not bad. I love Spring 🙂

4. I am grateful for the coffee I brewed in the office. It is always a delight to be able to have coffee whenever I want.

5. I am grateful for the productive work today. Feeling this satisfaction is really great.

6. I am grateful for getting invited to a professional event today. This kind of invitations are a sign of recognition. Feeling humbled and also excited 🙂

7. I am grateful for walking back home from the office and enjoying my walk. I wanted to walk longer and sweat a little bit; I must come up with a longer route to walk.

8. I am grateful for doing my back exercises and also working my arms and triceps.

9. I am grateful for binge-watching a TV series.

10. I am grateful for not eating too much for dinner. I think I munched too much at the office and that is why I did not feel like eating a lot tonite. That is good as I have eaten quite unhealthy at the weekend and gained some pounds right away. I want them gone.

11. I am grateful for drinking a tall glass of milk this evening. I have drunk yesterday too, which is awesome. Milk is the one where I have got my calcium and vit D, in addition to supplements. I know that it is helping my body, my bones, and my energy levels. I am very grateful for those animals who produced it, the farmers who gathered it, the trucks that transported it, and the store that sold it to me.

12. I am grateful for not using my eye glasses this evening. I have had a habit of putting them on while I work, browse internet, read books, write stuff, or watch TV. It is tiring for my eyes. I should not be using the glasses all the time; this is what my eye doctor had recommended, too.

13. I am grateful for corresponding with a previous mentor of mine. He is a very successful person, but is hit hard with multiple medical problems. He is still young but I keep hope that he will recover soon. Another mentor of mine died quite young unexpectedly, which always makes me nervous. I am approaching that age, too…. I wonder whether our line of work has a higher stress levels and thus makes us prone to sickness? I wish to live long and happy and healthy. Remembering the passing of one and the multiple sickness of the other reminded me again to relax and not to take this work so serious. There is life outside the work. There is life everywhere. I just need to claim my own portion full of opportunities, enjoyment, love, and relaxation.

14. I am grateful for being safe and sound.

15. I am grateful for being grateful.

random thougths

I decided to walk to office this morning. While it was cut short as one of my colleagues saw me walking and gave me a ride, I was amazed to see that walking was coming easy for me and I was enjoying it. I was almost sad the entire day that I did not complete my walk, but this tells me how much inner motivation I have for walking in the mornings. I love this.

With my decision to bake my own bread yesterday and  with my decision to walk this morning, I felt like I am becoming more `normal`, going back to my natural life style. I also felt an urge to spend more time outdoors, with nature. I cannot wait for Spring to come, which will led me use my backyard and do some light gardening.

Am I returning back to my origin as a human, a part of nature? Have I got too engulfed in technology and work-related activities so that I forgot what it was? Have I got too dependent on store-made stuff, even bread, that I could not even think about baking it myself? When did I become so dependent on others manufacturing+marketing while our moms did their own pickles (well, I learnt how to make pickles this year from mom, so I am good for this one), dried fruits and veggies, canned their food?

I feel like I had lost my connection with a more natural, less industrialized life-style. And I feel like I want to walk more, keep a simple life, cook and bake more, and be happy with the outdoors just to re-connect again.

I know it is not possible right now, but I really would like to live in a farm and homestead. And grow my own food and be with the nature.

Man, who knew that baking one loaf of bread would make all these positive realizations possible?

eggs, frugality, and walking

I am not an extreme frugal, but those who follow me know that I have been on budget (since last June), significantly eliminated unnecessary expenses (such as the annual fee for the credit card – one time opportunity but hey I have saved more than $100, or by changing the cable package – monthly savings are around $25, or by taking the bus rather than taking the cab to work – weekly savings around $40). I also started to freeze food and implemented a “no food waste” strategy. All has been working wonderful so far 🙂

I am not good with coupons (not that there is anything wrong with them – I just do not have time or interest to look for the coupons of items I regularly consume/use). I price-check and shop for items usually when they are on sale. I check the weekly flyers of three stores in close proximity to my home. One store is five minutes away; another one is 10 min away, and the third one is 15 min away.

After yesterday’s baking a bread saga :), I realized I was running out of eggs. I love eggs! They make easy meals (hard-boiled or poached) and can be used in many different dishes (I will post the recipe for an egg-onion-parsley-pasta sometime) and an absolute ingredient for baking. Anyways, so yesterday I checked the flyers and I identified that eggs were on sale at Shoppers. I walked there this morning (a total of 20 min of walking both ways; talking about the health benefits of being frugal), bought two dozens of eggs, and happily come back home.

I do not know how much I saved by this activity but to tell you the truth I do not think it is a lot (many be a couple of dollars), but I am more awed by the positive feelings associated with this; I walked and energized my body; it felt awesome, somehow meditative, to be walking and watching the rhythms of my legs as they walked 🙂 I got exposed to sunshine and got some Vitamin D I need :); and overall I felt satisfied by finding eggs to purchase (they run out of it pretty easily – past experience).

Who would know that such a small financial savings would create such, multiple and positive, feelings?

joy journal – April 30, 2016

🙂

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up not too late. This always make me feel more energetic and more hopeful about the day. There is so much to do when you have time in a day 🙂

2. I am grateful for my regular coffee and bagel breakfast.

3. I am grateful that I have not bought many tasty-looking sweets at the cafe; man, some of the sweets are so irresistible. Like nutella-filled pastry. Which genius came up with this idea? I am sure it sells a lot 🙂

4. I am grateful that I cleaned my home. I also opened the windows almost everywhere and let the fresh air get in. I believe since December I had not aerated a couple of rooms. I am sure that is the best and now that the weather is warm, I can do this all the time.

5. I am grateful that I fixed a couple of fences that went loose because of high winds in winter. I am getting handy, which is not bad at all 🙂

6. I am grateful for doing the laundry. I am extra thankful for the machines for doing that for me 🙂 Technology is awesome!

7. I am grateful for having a healthy lunch today.

8. I am grateful or cooking and enjoying cauliflower for lunch. This veggie is not one of my favorites and the only two ways I consume it a) salad (after boiling it, mix it with whatever you would like to, season with chili or cayanne pepper and voila!), or b) the “lazy” cauliflower meal 🙂 I tried the lazy one today. In addition to knowing it it has been a healthy meal, I am also feeling great about not wasting the cauliflower (thank goodness, it had not gone bad) 🙂

9. I am grateful for wanting to walk before the lunch. I walked around 20 min in the neighbourhood, which felt good. I did not take my purse with me, which means walking was extra easy. Ladies; what is it about us and big purses that contain so many stuff? Mine is so heavy (despite cleaning it last week or so) and leaving it behind was an awesome decision 🙂

10. I am grateful for watching TV and not working on documents or something. Every one needs a change every once a while.

11. I am grateful for trying my first bread today! Yep, you have heard right – I am baking my first ever bread! How exciting is that. It looks good for now and I hope it will taste awesome too. I need 20 more minutes and then will take it off the oven. I hope to document my recipe at a later post 🙂

12. I am grateful for buying dry yeast a couple of weeks earlier. I was supposed to try some kind of pastry for someone, which I had at that time. My first impression was: how come such a small, once-celled organism can make all these bubbles and changes in the dry yeast-sugar-warm water mix in such a short time! The smell is not offensive but distinctive, and I am awed by what this small organisms can do. I tried my second yeast-fest today with my bread. Let’s see how it will turn out.

13. I am grateful for the warm and bright day.

14. I am grateful for having the day to myself.

15. I am grateful for my home, street, neighbourhood, TV, computer, internet connection, cable, and phone line that makes my life safe and comfortable.

16. I am grateful or being grateful.

random thoughs

Yesterday I missed the bus again. If only I had 30 more seconds, I could catch it! Alas… I decided to walk to the office and to my surprise it was not difficult and I did not complain about walking!

It was a great idea to remove the extra items from my purse on Sunday. Together with switching to walking shoes (from heavy winter boots), it felt very easy to walk. This feeling has contributed largely to my non-complaining mood 🙂

I walked this morning, too.

So, together with my afternoon walks, this means I am physically active around 1 hour each day – this is fantastic!

I hope to continue like this; only that we expect some rain tonite and tomorrow. I will see how it goes.

It was a quiet and an easy day today; the only stressful thing was a three hours meeting in the afternoon. We assessed a project together with two other colleagues of mine. I am very happy with the professional and smooth discussions we have had. One of the colleagues and I have had frictions in the past, the recent one was last week, which kind of stressed me. But we all behaved and the meeting went without an adverse event or comment, which is very pleasing.

I continue to eat better. Yesterday I have had salad and fish for dinner and today a hearty potato salad. I feel better when I eat veggies. I decided to buy apples and other fruits this week; crunchy and raw food is good for me. Now that I also walk in the morning, together with a better diet, I hope to lose one or two pounds here or there.

I have completed a number of lagging tasks lately and now moving towards new work. I need to come up with new ideas; honestly I feel stuck but I know myself; when I relax and trust myself, then I can come up with great ideas. I have been trying to think in the last few days and I have taken some new steps to initiate a few ideas I have been thinking about. This is good as once I start making connections or talk about new projects, the rest usually follows. This is too pleasing. Nevertheless, I am not done yet and would like to come up with better, bigger ideas.

When I started my job here years ago, I was almost burnt out. I was tired and also everything was new to me. I also was recovering from a serious issue. I was scared that I could not perform and deliver. But to my surprise I have. I took chances and risks and I delivered. It was hard though, usually meaning me working around 14 hours a day. In the few last year, I have been slowing down; working less and paying more attention to my life, which is also great. But this also meant that I am delayed a little bit. I also feel inefficient or unsuccessful. This is silly I know but I also know that I can do much better. I guess I am in a phase that I am motivated to start working really hard again. And hard work I will get.

Anyways, life is good and full of opportunities. Let’s go get them! 🙂

random thoughts

A beautiful half-Spring day 🙂

Half, because it was still requiring me to wear my hat, scarf, and gloves, but not my winter coat or boots. Yay!

I have had a good time having my breakfast and then working at home for some time. Since the weather was so nice, I decided to go treat myself with another cup of coffee. While I was there, I also got myself a nice piece of sweets. My first treats in quite some time – I am glad I have done this! 🙂

I then decided to check a nearby arts market and bought a nice photo depicting a couple of old but colourful wooden doors. The colours reminded me Spring and I must have had it. I am glad I did give myself this particular treat, too 🙂

With the newly found joy, I walked around. There are really nice houses in my neighbourhood, some of which are quite old. Their unique characters always attract my attention. It was great to enjoy my walk, too 🙂

I decided that lightness I experienced was amazing and making my walk easier. So, after I came home, I removed the extra items from my purse. Now it is lighter, not like 10 pounds 🙂

After that I continued to work, and talked to a few people on the phone. It was fun, too 🙂

My appetite is good today. I am actually craving for sweets but I am determined to not go buy a big box of cake. I am not sure what will curb my appetite, but I am glad that I have had a green salad and a noddle soup prepared by beef-bone-stock; I feel like taking care of my body better today 🙂

I have the entire night to myself and that feels good, too 🙂

breaking the routine – April 16, 2016

This morning, I surprised myself by, instead of going to the same cafe for the same breakfast, going to another cafe 20 min away on foot. I think my mind was busy with thoughts and my feet just started walking towards another direction. When I noticed that I smiled and took this opportunity to visit a cafe I have not been to for some time.

Breakfast (consisting of my regular coffee and bagel combo) was not the best, but I appreciated the change of place. From there, I visited the bookstore and immediately liked and purchased a book about abundance. I then sat at another cafe next to the bookstore, ordered myself a cup of nice coffee, and started reading my book.

After, I decided to visit a local store or two to buy some food. I am particularly excited about the beef bones that I bought and that make awesome soup base/stock! Cannot wait to consume them.

It was a great morning and a great change of routine for me. Nothing feels better when you break the routine, stop doing the same things and visiting the same places.

It was long overdue for me and I was feeling the weight of the boredom lately. I am glad my feet drove me to another direction this morning and I am glad the weather was nice and I had a thin french-coat on me rather than the winter coat, which made walking not only easy but also pleasurable.

have a great Saturday everyone! 🙂

random thoughts

I made a conscious effort to feel good today and I believe it has worked 🙂

I have been really on the edge lately and I got tired of the mental wrestling I have had. So I decided I have done what I could do best; life was too short; and I deserved to feel good. It was time to let go.

This was mostly motivated by the fact that I seem to divide my day as “time spent at work” and “time spent at home”. Home time is focused on relaxation and enjoying my life and work time is for work, which is usually pleasurable but also stresses me. For example, I started to dread emails I have got. Or, the issues my team members are facing that require my involvement to solve. And at home, I usually have a great time reading, writing, or watching TV series; they help me relax.

I decided this division was not healthy and I could feel good at work, too.

I took it easy today and also decided to ask for help with issues that I spend too much time to resolve. That lifted quite a weight off my shoulder. I also worked very productively – Mondays if lack meetings prove to be the most productive day of the week for me.

Anyways, I had an appointment with my bank so I left office early and I walked around 1 hour to my appointment. The weather was warm, the sun was noticeable, and I sweated a lot 🙂 This is also because I still have my scarf, gloves, winter coat, and hat on me. I guess it is time that I switch to a lighter outdoor clothes.

Now that my bank arrangements are done, my next step will be preparing a will and having an estate plan. Since my dad died, I am very aware of my own mortality and I do not wish my family to face hardship in case I die here away from them. I gotta find a reliable trust company and start the process. It may take some time but I will do that. I should do that.

random thoughts

It is a bright day, albeit with a chilly temperature. Is Spring finally coming, or is it the effect of the daylight saving  adjustment done a week ago? I know our winter is not over yet, but I always welcome open sky and sunlight that have positive effects on me.

For some reason, I missed the bus this morning- it just drove through the street right before I could catch it. This is the first time that I missed it so close. While I was pissed a little bit and suspicious that the clock in my bedroom must have been slow, it now looks like the clock is just fine and it is a mystery what happened in the morning that caused me to lose time and miss the bus.

Seeing the bus gone and all, I started walking to work this morning. It was chilly, the route is boring to look at, yet I walked. It has had a therapeutic effect of course; each time I walk and arrive my office with a little sweat, I feel so good till late afternoon. The hard job of wishing to walk in the morning and getting bored while looking at the boring scenery is something, and then feeling accomplished and good about myself after walking is something else. What a dilemma.

I now try to convince myself to try walking every morning as long as the weather is permissive. It makes me feel good; it is good for my physical health; it is good for my bones, muscles, lungs, heart, and circulatory system as well as my legs; it is good for my mental health; it makes me feel like I accomplish something important; it makes me feel like I am taking more control of my health and life-style; and it makes me feel proud as together with my afternoon walk, a total of 1 hour of walk/ workday is in fact amazing.

It also gives me freedom. Freedom to wake up anytime I want. The bus operates every 30 min so I need to arrange my morning according to its schedule. but now, I can get up anytime and start walking. No more waiting for the bus….

How about that?

Is it not awesome that we can find so many positives of a simple activity like walking?

I hope you too have many, many things in your daily life that make you feel happy, excited, accomplished, and grateful.

 

 

joy journal, March 14, 2016

It has been a while that I have posted this journal… I am not particularly in a “joyful” mood, but then is this not the entire point of the joy journal?

1. I am grateful for the book that I have been reading, which had a chapter about “gratitude”. This has reminded and prompted me to write this post. Hoping to find many things to list now, even though I am still down after the recent death of my dad..

2. I am grateful for remembering my dad with affection and love. I am so sorry that he passed away but there is nothing much I can do about this. I rather make it a priority to remember him, cherish his memory, and make sure that he is remembered by others.

3. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up on time this morning. Looks like I was not affected by the daylight saving adjustments done yesterday. I was not late and not sleepy or cranky; surprisingly well done.

4. I am grateful for deciding to take the bus even though it was snowing nice and easy. The bus was late but this did not defer me from waiting for it. I almost decided to return to home to check my emails to see whether my work place was closed because of the snow (visibility was really poor), but I waited anyhow and the bus showed up. All is well.

5. I am grateful for the coffee one of my friends and colleagues bought me this morning. It was delicious and a nice change from my usual coffee. This did not mean that I did not brew my coffee; I have and it was great to have it 🙂

6. I am grateful for working with a team member before noon and submitting two reports for review. It always feel good when things are done. Now we are waiting for feedback, which is fine. Feeling satisfied about work.

7. I am grateful for wanting to work today and taking care of many stuff. It has been a really fruitful day and before I realized, it was past 5pm. Lovely! I love it when I lose myself in work.

8. I am grateful for walking back home from the office, despite the snow on the road. It is difficult and takes more time to walk on snow, but I keep telling myself it is a great exercise.

9. I am grateful for taking it easy this evening. I have eaten lightly today. I do not have appetite nowadays, which is very unusual. yesterday I had felt like maybe I was getting down with a bug or something and lots of lemon juice and hot soup were my medicine. I am feeling better today but the appetite is still nowhere to be found. That is okay. I continue to have soup with lemon juice, which I believe is good for my immune system.

10. I am grateful for all the food I have in my fridge, freezer, and the pantry. I am feeling abundant and very grateful for their presence.

11. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, books, notebooks, and pens that make my life easy and enjoyable. These are probably my most important material possessions, other than the pictures and gifts from loved ones.

12. I am grateful for one of my bosses giving me a hug today and asking how I was doing. This was the first time she has seen me since my father passed away and I really like her sensitivity and kindness. It is good to have kind and nice people around us, especially when we are most vulnerable and sad.

13. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these. I am feeling better than 10 min ago, thanks to remembering and finding all these things (and more) that I have experienced today.

 

breaking the routine

Taking advantage of the fact that I have got up at 8 am and I had 2 hour before my appointment in the morning, I decided to go get coffee and bagel at a nearby cafe.

I took my time savoring each bit and after that I even walked 30 min to my appointment. There was no slush on the roads, little ice here and there. So walking was not a problem.

Come to think about it, I may as well walk to office every morning (as long as it does not rain or snow). And, if i get up early like today, I may first have my breakfast at the cafe and then walk to my office. That (that is, having breakfast during the work days) would be so unusual of me, but  guess I would like it.

I feel good about this.

today’s grief journal

I am overall feeling better; there has been only one case of tears bursting and that occurred while I was walking.

Walking became an integral part of my life since my dad died 10 days ago. I just leave the home and let my feet find the path. I do find peace and serenity in it. It also helps me get tired and sleep better at night.

The first few days it was because walking gave me the chance to silently weep. I cried aloud sometime at home when the sadness took over my every cell, my every thought…. Walking on the other hand does not permit this; all I can do is to let the tears go down silently. I am not sure whether I prefer this kind of emotional bursts than loud ones, or because walking somehow makes me more grounded and thus less aloud….

I remember one day I just wanted to walk to get a glimpse of life and death. Death after all is something we mostly ignore…. Some of the trees have been here longer than any of us, yet some of them were shedding barks or leaves…. I found looking at trees and seeing these giving me some sense of life and death. I also saw kids walking with their parents and giggling. This told me that there is renewal in human life. After all, if we had not died, then what would be the reason of having kids? Kids are awesome. I also noticed houses; some new, some needing repairs, some being renovated. The truth behind all of these was beginning and end were continuous in life, somehow putting human life and loss of loved ones in a logical frame. Accepting death as a part of life is brutal at first, but it certainly is healing.

My energy levels are getting better; I walked 40 min in the morning and then 1 hour at noon to a shopping mall. This is the second time I have walked there in my life; first, many years ago out of curiosity, and second, today just because. One hour of walk is quite unusual for me (too long for a lazy and busy person like my usual self…), but I made it. It was during this walk that I cried; I keep thinking how much I have loved my dad and I would have never chosen another one instead of him. And how better we could all have treated each other while he was alive….This regret is hard to swallow…. As my mom said “it would be nice that we never treated one other with an attitude or an unkind way, or never said things that would hurt the other person, but life is not like this.

That is certainly true. It does not mean that let’s go ahead and hurt people’s feelings; no. But I recognize that we all have our moments, our rights and wrongs, our list of things that are acceptable or not acceptable, our own struggles, and our significant differences. And our reactions as a result.

What my mom said has made sense to me and is easing my guilt caused by disappointing or frustrating my dad, and by not being with him as much as I should have been.

I owe my mom big time for helping me to ease this guilt by being sensible…..

random thoughts

Another beautiful day 🙂

It is a little bit crispy when compared to yesterday but there is no snow around and walking and being outside is quite a pleasant experience.

I have got breakfast at a cafe and then walked around the streets. One of the streets is where I used to live prior to buying my own house. I had forgotten what a beautiful street it was. The majority of the houses on that street are quite old and they preserve their character. I love this – I love old neighborhoods and the efforts to keep them as they are. Some of the houses, however, were not managed well and seemed in immediate need of renovation. It breaks my heart to see them like this. After all, what we have is a part of our heritage and it is our duty to preserve it for the next generations – let’s hope they will appreciate these as much as we (or some of us) do.

It is also a quiet street and I made a mental note to walk more there. Since it was a pleasure to be in the neighborhood, I stopped by at another cafe I used to frequently go when I lived in that neighborhood. This must the first time I have been to two different cafe at the same morning 🙂 I liked this change and breaking my routine for no reason and with no plan.

It is great to be spontaneous 🙂

 

 

 

today’s bits

After the large amount of snow dumped yesterday, today was quite. Only that now it is chilly and we have ice everywhere. While I did good not risking slipping on ice in the morning (by taking the cab rather than walking and taking the bus), I could not show the same intelligence(!) on the way back home.

I did not slip or fall but, man, it was close. For the first time this evening I was sorry that I walked. Lessons learnt.

Other than this stressful walk, the day was peaceful. I worked full hours. I also requested an ergonomics assessment for my office and made contacts to get my standing desk. My feeling is that it will take some time, which pisses me off. Funny thing is that even my chair at the office (which is ergonomics by the way) is not supportive of my back. Even when I put a pillow to support my lower back. That makes me sad and angry at the same time. My chair at home is way more supportive. I noticed that the difference is mostly because the chair at the office is wider and I do not, I cannot, fully contact its back with my own back. This gotta change.

On a separate note, some of you may remember that last weekend I was planning to start eating better (this time I am trying to eat more protein at each meal). Well I kind of did and now I am 7 pounds heavier… I am frustrated… A similar thing had happened last fall. I really do not like this.

Well, enough venting for today 🙂

today’s bits

We ended up having 20-30 cms of snow overnight. While the street was very quiet in the morning and the cars were remaining where they were, to my surprise it was not a snow day, and off to work I went 🙂

It was a good day, full of nice coffee, conversations, productive meeting, and some work done. I left the office afternoon for an off-site meeting and I managed to walk in the streets. I could not help bu notice the snow banks along the streets. The height of the snow banks time to time gets quite high and I keep wonder why the city does not try to find a way to remove the banks… For us, it is a regular sight in winter; they are white and fluffy at the beginning and after a while get harder and turn their colour to gray… Stuck with all the dirt they can get in the streets – this is when it becomes a particularly annoying sight.

My prediction is that these snow banks will remain until the end of march, refreshed by new snow that we expect in the coming weeks. Unless we are hit by extensive rain of course.

Nevertheless, it is good that we passed mid January now. While our winter well spreads across April and sometime May as well, I know over time its effects will lessen. In April we should get more sunlight and in May the nature starts to bloom…. what an exciting feeling it is to see that – cannot wait 🙂

I am re-starting my yoga classes this evening; I hope to relax both my mind and my body. Especially my back, which has been aching in the last one week. I will take it easy for a couple of sessions and after that I hope to have a stronger feeling back. I am looking forward to that. I am also supposed to start physiotherapy sometime; it should also help me to prevent further damage to my lower back.

One thing I have not developed a solution for is the way I sit at home. Since I love to sit on my couch, I hardly have a straight posture. I may want to move on the recliner again, which has a stronger support for my back and shoulders. Without this kind of improvements, I cannot expect to help my own back by attending yoga or physiotherapy sessions. That would be silly really. So I better start being wise about my posture and give it a priority.

That is what it is so far. I wish everyone a great, relaxing, and lovely evening and night 🙂

random thoughts

What a beautiful Sunday; it is warm and relaxing, and the snow melted.

One thing about intensely working for a period of time (like my last 2-3 weeks) is that once you realize you have a whole day in front of you, you do not know what to do. There is no document to review, no correspondences to make, no work-related issues to figure out. All of a sudden, you end up with this one full day that you need to fill in. So what do you do?

That is an intriguing question for me as I seem to forget what I used to do when I had less work load. It prompts me to find out again.

Like today, I was not sure how to spend the day, so by taking advantage of the good weather, I decided to walk. I was not sure I would go at the beginning, but I ended up in one of my favorite streets. The houses on both sides are nice to look at, and although there is quite a bit of traffic and traffic lights for that matter, it is a relatively quiet area. I walked up till a Shoppers and lazily went around the shelves. I did not want to buy anything, which is interesting. I remembered years ago, shopping at that store was one of my most fun pass-time activities; I would mostly buy nice smelling candles or health products that would make me fell good.

This need or feeling now seems to have gone. I attribute it to my frugal life I have embraced in the last 6 months.

I, however, bought four boxes of facial tissue; they were on sale and honestly the best price I have seen in the last couple of years. My decision to buy them made me happy and excited.

Tomorrow a new week is starting. Considering the nice weather, I am planning to walk to the office tomorrow morning. If I can make it multiple times this week, I will be very happy.

have a great Sunday evening everyone.

ending healthy – life style journal

I have not posted my healthy – life style journal yesterday.

The fact that I am tired of not doing as good as I wish to do. Plus, in the last 3 months while I have eaten better, I did not lose much of a weight. So noting what I have eaten or how much walking I have done per day does not satisfy me anymore.

I am ending it for now. I may start later sometime should I see a benefit in it.

Thank you all of those who commented and supported me through this journey. You guys helped me keep going 🙂

Amazingly, I feel free, too.

Interesting….

Free from drafting it everyday, picking up multiple tags and categories, cluttering my blog with these daily posts…

I have more interesting stuff to write about.

Now, I will go enjoy my newly found freedom.

healthy life – style journal, Dec 2, 2015

Well, at least I managed to snack better at noon and to cook for myself for dinner today 🙂

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar; many cups of it

noon: 1 can of fish, 1 hard boiled egg

dinner: green lentil meal with 3 slices of bread. I also ate many small and toasted breads commercially available. they are crunchy and great with soup, but I also love eating them as they are. This product will be a challenge to manage…

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: 5 min (yay!)

healthy life – style journal, Dec 1, 2015

By working long hours at the office, coupled with the snow on the roads cost me not walking today at all, but that is okay. I knew once the snow started, my walking would be limited. I should make plans as to how to otherwise exercise now..

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: two cans of fish

dinner: 2 hard boiled egg, large salad, and 4 slices of whole wheat bread. Since I came home late in the evening, I did not cook anything tonite…

late-night snack (added later): 8 small toasted bread

exercise: none

supplements: vit D and calcium after dinner; missed taking the iron today; hoping to take it before the bed time.

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 30, 2015

It is the end of November already…

I have been eating better and healthier in the last 3 months, with little weight loss. Quite a failure if you ask me. Quite frankly, this resistance to weight loss is puzzling me but I continue to appreciate (generally) better food and healthier life – style that I have since September.

I have not noted this journal yesterday. For those who are curious is it is that because I ate almost completely unhealthy yesterday. 2 bagels in the morning with coffee, sesame crackers and salty trail mix in the afternoon, a big green salad (the best meal yesterday) and some other unhealthy food in good quantity that I cannot even remember now (or, maybe I do not wish to…).

Anyways, here is today’s count:

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: coffee with cream and sugar, 1 can of fish

dinner (planned): boiled carrots with 6 pieces of fish with lemon juice

late-night snack (to be added later):

supplements: iron at the evening, vit D and calcium after the dinner (planned)

exercise: 30 min of walk in the afternoon

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 28, 2015

Well, one of these days again where I have indulged into food.

On the positive side, I walked for 30 min in the morning – that feels good 🙂

breakfast: coffee with cream and sugar, one bagel toasted with butter

late lunch: beef and potato meal, 3 slices of bread. 1 banana

dinner: cucumber and cheese, which was very refreshing. Then fried cheese and two eggs as a treat, together with 3 slices of bread. I have over-done this one, but it was so yummy. Nevertheless I am noting my resentment and hoping this high-calorie and fatty meal will not show up on my diet for a long time.

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the morning

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

 

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 27, 2015

A beautiful day where I surprised myself by walking longer than usual 🙂

It is nice that sometimes I have meetings first thing in the morning; if the venue is close to my home, I directly walk there. That is what I have done today (30 min). Then I walked back home, worked a little bit and then needed to go back to office to sign a document. From home to office and then back, I walked another 1 hour today 🙂

breakfast: coffee with cream and sugar, 1 tea biscuit

lunch: 1 banana

dinner: beef and potato meal, 4 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: 5 min in the evening

healthy life – style journal, Nov 26, 2015

Well, not too much of a progress today. Lots of coffee and cafeteria food enjoyed with colleagues. I am okay with that.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and sugar

lunch: coffee with creamer and brown sugar, beef and cheese sandwich

late-afternoon snack: another coffee and 1 tea biscuit

dinner: green salad and 6 pieces of breaded fish pieces (frozen, cooked in oven) with lemon juice. This is my all time favorite dinner.

late night snack (added later): 2 hard boiled egg, a small can of black beans with olive oil

exercise: 10 min in the morning.

supplements: iron at noon, calcium and VitD taken later tonight

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 25, 2015

Another day; great in terms of the healthy food I consume. My irregular eating habit still continues, though.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 1 hard-boiled egg

dinner: green lentil and veggie meal (yummy!); two bowls; mango-berry juice

late night snack (added later):  another bowl of the lentil meal, 50 grms of cheese

exercise: 10 min walking in the morning, 30 min walking in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium to be taken later tonite

healthy – life style journal, Nov 24, 2015

a great day 🙂 I am loving it so far.

breakfast: 1 coffee with creamer and brown sugar. I had my breakfast with me but forgotten to eat it in the morning.

lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: I prepared an interesting meal; I first cooked minced beef in tomato sauce and topped with cut green onion. Also I cooked instant oats with turmeric in a pot. Then in a bowl I mixed both of them. Delicious and filling meal. Very interesting, too 🙂

late-night snack (added later): another bowl of the meal above, mango-berry juice

exercise: the highlight of the day; walked 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon. Yahoo :))

supplements: iron at noon, no vit D and calcium supplement yet.

stretching(updated later): 5 min of stretching, mostly to relive my back pain

healthy life – style journal, Nov 23, 2015

Well… well… well.. for some reason I run out of appetite again 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 1 hard boiled egg, tea

dinner: 1 bowl of red lentil soup (this has been the 4th night I have had this soup – I am grateful for food, but I guess I will just freeze the remaining portion for later consumption. I also learnt that I should use less lentil than before to do this soup in the right amount..), 3 slices of bread, 30 grms of cheese

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 10 min walking in the morning, 30 min walking in the afternoon

supplements: iron after the dinner, no calcium or vit D supplement today

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 20, 2015

Almost forgotten to write this one post 🙂

Well, some good choices made today. Overall, not a bad day at all 🙂

breakfast: food forgotten at home as usual; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 1 pear

dinner: 2 bowls of red lentil, onion, carrot, and turmeric soup with 5 slices of whole wheat bread, raw leek, 1 hard-boiled egg.

I am lucky that I have a blender that made this soup possible. Do you know what else I am planning? To have bean (after boiling slightly; not necessarily to much) and veggie patties using the blender. Any food, even scratch food, can be mixed and consumed this way. technology is awesome. I have so much dry food in my pantry that have been waiting to be consumed; I finally found a way to eat them and I am excited about this 🙂

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walking in the morning and then 30 min in the afternoon. Yahoo!! felt good at both times. I even took a longer path this afternoon. I am in love with myself for the walkings today 🙂

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, calcium and vit D (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none

the mental judo

I am perhaps famous with my “mental judo fights”, where I keep thinking, paining, putting and effort, and struggling about the same issue over and over.

It is not fun; fighting with your own thoughts or choices. Wanting something, trying, putting an effort, and then not being able to continue, be effective, or achieve. Having frustration and lack of confidence as a result. Feeling bad about yourself.

The struggle is usually a habit that I need to change for the better. Take my healthy eating and losing weight saga, for example.

Weight: For my entire life, I struggled with my weight. It is true that in the last 6-7 years, I have gained a lot of weight; 35 pounds to be exact. There are reasons that I can count for this; lack of physical exercise, lack of time, stress, and eating usually unhealthy food or snacks among the top ones.

Walking: When it is combined with the rainy/snowy weather, walking becomes a challenge. I am more comfortable walking in the afternoon than in the morning. When I walk in the morning, it is always a great feeling. But my challenge is to start walking – taking my feet out of the house. When I start it, I enjoy it. When I can walk it, I enjoy it. My day at the office starts better and I feel proud of myself. That is when it is not raining or snowing of course. So I accept the fact that during winter and the majority of the spring, I may not walk in the mornings. Ok.

Gym: Walking is of course not the only exercise I can get. I have gyms at my work place. One of them is quite suitable for me as it is pay per visit and quite an affordable one. I was planning to start it late September; alas 2 months have elapsed and I still did not start it. What am I (not) doing?

Weight loss: In terms of weight loss, I thought by limiting the carbs (which is also good for lowering my blood sugar levels) and by eating better food, like raw veggies, salads, and fruits like apples and pears, I would lose my extra weight….. I thought so because in the past I was able to lose weight. It turns out that is not the case anymore – I have been on a healthy eating journey since September. While I have lost 8 pounds till early October, after that I simply gained them back. It is not working. To lose my weight, I must try another way….

Having these two items, exercising and losing weight, on my “to-d0-list” has been tiring.

It has been years………

I WANT to achieve these.

But there is always something more important to take care or channelize my energy into. There is work, there are issues in life, at work…. There is always A LOT for me to handle. Whether or not they are excuses, I do not know.

What I know is that today I have been thinking; how would I feel if they were gone from my list?

Healthier? Yes

More accomplished? Yes

Freer? Absolutely Yes! 

I today imagined how my mind would be freed of these concerns, attempts, struggles, and issues.

I imagined how energizing this would have been.

I am not naive enough to think that my mind would not fill up with new mental judo activities. And that is okay; at least they would be new, not stagnated ones like these two issues.

Wish me luck as I start planning and implementing new strategies to tackle my weight loss and exercise goals.

 

 

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 19, 2015

So-so day..

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar. Lots of coffee..

lunch: one can of fish, coffee

dinner: yogurt with cucumber and olive oil dip, raw leek with 6 slices of whole wheat bread

late night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron (prescribed) in the afternoon, vit D and calcium later at night.

stretching: 10 min in the evening

 

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 18, 2015

After eating all the great(!) left overs from the dinner at the weekend and ranting about my inability to keep up with healthy eating habit, I am glad to say that I am returning back to eating better today.

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: beefy eggplant meal with 2 slices of whole wheat bread

dinner: pasta with yogurt and cucumber; 2 apples

late-night snack (added later): 30 grms of cheese, 5 table spoon of honey. For some reason, I am craving for sweets. I must say it is likley because of the high carb eating lately. got ta get back to limited carb eating..

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon; calcium and Vit D after dinner

stretching: 5 min! Yay! I did stretch today. Listening to relaxing music and relaxing my muscles, even for a short time like 5 min, felt awesome 🙂 I am glad I have kept this category in my posts so far; it helps me to remember this one activity

healthy life – style journal, Nov 17, 2015

I am in a state of self-pampering and lifting off the imposed restrictions nowadays. This directly reflects on my diet and behavior – I do not care of eating better or not eating fatty food at all. I do not.

I am rebelling.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: two cans of fish

late-lunch: 3 slices of whole wheat bread and beefy eggplant meal

dinner: 3 slices of whole wheat bread and beefy eggplant meal; chocolate

late-night snack (added later): yogurt, cucumber, and olive oil dip with whole wheat bread

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 16, 2015

A regular work day with missed breakfasts and lunch… Oh, well.. You know my eating habits. One day, my friends, one day, I hope to convert them for a better and healthier type.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 20 grms of train mix (I am lucky to find this; otherwise I had nothing to eat)

breakfast: 1/2 cucumber, 2 bowls of red lentil soup, 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (added later): bread, walnuts, chocolate

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron (none yet: i forgot to take it today too), vitamin D and calcium (after the dinner)

stretching: none

 

healthy life style journal – Nov 14, 2015

I had friends over for dinner; that meant cooking a lot during the day. Also eating and enjoying it with great company 🙂

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: 30 grms of cheese, 1/2 slice of bread

dinner: lettuce salad with avocado and olive oil; red lentil soup, pasta with cheese, a slice of pumpkin pie, and ice cream

late nigh snack: none

exercise; 5 min walking in the morning

stretching: none

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon; no opportunity to take the vit D and calcium supplement today

healthy life – style journal, Nov 13, 2015

Not a bad day.

breakfast: breakfast forgotten at home again; coffee with creamer and brown sugar only

lunch: none (I was working; what an excuse…)

dinner: carrot, onion, and meatball meal with a dash of black bean sauce and 3 slices of whole wheat bread. Later for some reason I craved for raw leek, which was yummy 🙂

There is something nice about the raw food that my body likes. Any ideas what it is? I am curious…..

late night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the morning and in the afternoon 🙂 well done; very relaxing activity. My mental clarity increases as I walk. It also relaxes me. The weather is just perfect; not too cold, not too dump. I wonder how long I will be able to have the pleasure of walking.

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, calcium and Vit D (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 12, 2015

My disinterest in food continues.

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg (yay for not forgetting it), coffee with creamer and brown sugar. Lots of it.

lunch: 50 grms of trail mix

dinner: 1 tomato, 1/2 large cucumber, 100 grms of cheese, 1 avocado, 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late night snack (added later): 2 glasses of milk, 1 apple, 2 slices of bread

exercise: the highlight of the day! walked 30 min in the morning and then another 30 min in the afternoon 🙂 Yay!! 🙂

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 11, 2015

Another day with irregular eating; both eating carbs and then not.

I am not as careful about carbs as at the start of this journey; I keep telling myself it is because I am not afraid of carbs anymore, I tend to eat other healthy food almost everyday, and even though I slip back to carbs, I keep bringing myself back to the protein and raw veggie side.

I also must add that my weight does not change much. If I really want to lose weight, I will have to do something more drastic in the coming days/weeks.

I once had tried eating small meals 6 times a day; it does work, dear friend, yet I really have no time to implement it. I can hardly remember taking my breakfast (which is usually 1 hard-boiled egg); how am I supposed to remember to pack with me not only this but also lunch and snacks?

Every single day, I must add.

I may be a hopeless lazy person. Or someone who does not really care.

Why can I not care about my weight loss? I am over-weight (obese I guess, based on BMI scales). I have near border blood sugar levels that keep scaring me time to time, I am getting older and as such my metabolic rate is getting lower (i.e. I am likely to gain more weight with the same amount of calorie consumption).

I kinda think it is because there are so many things in life that I must face and work on, I choose the ones that are either manageable or at the top of the priority list.

If my weight loss is not on the top of the priority list, for very good health reasons, then that means I am doing something really wrong.

My health should be on top of my priority list. This healthy life journey should be on top of my priority list….

breakfast: 2 bagels with butter, 1 cup of cream with brown sugar and cream. I met with my friends at this beautiful Remembrance Day holiday. This was my breakfast at that meeting.

lunch: none (I was working at home)

dinner: half green cabbage half lettuce salad with olive oil; 6 pieces of oven-baked frozen and battered fish pieces.

I forced myself to eat these fish; after 1 piece I was done. You may think I am over-eating, but no. The total calories I consume for today is not at the healthy level. That is why I ate the other pieces.

My lack of appetite is continuing to worry me. I usually would have a big appetite in the evenings. Not anymore. Together with my iron deficiency, I am scared that this points to a sickness…

late-night snacks (to be added later):

exercise: 15 min walk in the morning to the cafe I met with my friends.

supplements: iron ([prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium (recommended) after dinner. these, at least, I am consistent with.

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 10, 2015

well, not a bad day 🙂 thank you all that supported me yesterday.

I can do this!! 🙂

breakfast: got my breakfast (1 hard-boiled egg) with me (good job!) before I left home, but forgotten to eat it at the office :)))) Coffee with brown sugar and creamer as usual (I never forget this one, do I?) 🙂

lunch: I was busy with work, so only another coffee with cream and sugar

dinner: pasta (left over from yesterday). I was very conscious about it being solely carbs (which is not good for my weight loss aim). So I decided I would eat something healthy after that. That is how I ended up eating 2 bunches of broccoli, raw, with a garlicky yogurt  as a dip. Yum 🙂

late night snack (added later): 2 small glasses of milk, 1 hard boiled egg, 3 slices of whole wheat bread

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron (prescribed) late afternoon, calcium and Vit D (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none (would be appreciated if I started this again)

healthy life – style journal, Nov 9, 2015

Like the idea of dieting and the (same) types of food I consume, I am getting bored of writing this journal…

Pew.. I did not feel as bad as I thought it would 🙂

It is okay, dear reader; occasional ranting is a feature of mine – nothing serious 🙂

Here is today’s account:

breakfast: remembered to take my breakfast with me! Yay! It was 1 hard-boiled egg. Of course, with it I have got coffee with creamer and brown sugar.

late-lunch: 1 cup of chicken-vegetable soup

dinner: carbs. carbs. carbs.. Well, I am not afraid of carbs anymore, but it would be nice if I had not eaten them too much, like before. Pasta was the dinner today, together with lettuce salad with olive oil dressing. Yummy.

late night snack (added later): lazy bean salad; mix a can of beans with a small onion and add a dash of oregano, salt, and olive oil. Vola! 🙂 (no milk tonite – does not look like a fit with the bean salad)

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning and 30 min walk in the afternoon.

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium (recomended by my doctor) after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 8, 2015

there has been changes in my body, which incidentally overlapped with the time I started to eat less carbs and more protein.

As a person good with observations and patterns, I could not help but think whether the carbs were not so bad after all; perhaps they help and are required for certain body functions?

Perhaps I have not done well by limiting carbs that much; but I can tell you this; the amount of carbs I was eating was above normal limits too.

So even though I have had this conflict in my mind, I will keep limiting the carbs and continue to eat better. I just will not get crazy about occasionally eating carbs.

Today’s diet reflected this.

late breakfast: 2 bagels with butter, coffee with cream and brown sugar. I ordered two bagels to test myself; nope, they are not as tasty as before so I am glad I have done that. the way they are toasted has not been great lately and that strengthens my choice of not eating bagels anymore. The coffee is not tasty either; I never liked this cafe’s coffee – so why do I keep drinking it? the answer is that it is in my favorite cafe. The cafe is my favorite because of its bagels and its staff, not the coffee. I decided to change the cafe from now on; it will also help me with seeing different places and having different experiences. A great step towards breaking a habit and the routine in my life. Exciting! 🙂

late lunch: 2 bowls of vegetable chicken soup

dinner: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 tomato, and half a large cucumber with 2 slices of bread. I was too lazy to cook and I wanted to eat raw veggies. I am glad I ate the tomato even though it is not one of my favorite veggies. It was from the last week and I am glad I have eaten it before it started to go bad. Cucumber, as always, was a delight to eat.

late-night snack (added later):  1.5 glass of milk; 10 rice  cakes with caramel. Totally too much. Yet felt good. Like when you are at school and they tell you not to eat during the class. Or laugh. Or talk to our peers. And something prompts you to do it anyhow and miraculously you do not get caught. I am not sure whey I am rebelling against healthy eating (am I bored?), but mentally I am feeling good.

exercise: 10 min in the morning

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon; vit D and calcium (recommended by my doctor) after dinner

stretching: none yet

healthy life – style journal, Nov 7, 2015

Interesting day..

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

late-lunch: vegetable soup in chicken stock

dinner: hah! here is the fun part. 1 can of corn and 6 chocolate chip cookies. I was at a store and could not resist buying and then eating the chips. What prompted me to eat them I have no idea. I guess it is one of those days when I find some freedom in my choices. As a matter of fact, with my budget as well I am a little bit relax nowadays. I guess I will wait and see how this episode will develop.

late-night snack (added later): 300 grms of yogurt and 4 slices of bread; 5 more cookies

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning and another 10 min in the evening

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 6, 2015

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: two cans of fish

dinner: breaded flaky fish pieces (4 of them – it is delicious; how do they do it? this was a frozen meal and certainly yummy 🙂 ), a big red cabbage and celery salad with olive oil and lemon juice; This salad was the healthiest thing I have eaten this week. The raw veggies; especially those that are hard to digest (such as red cabbage, lo bok, cucumber) are good for my body. I know it as I feel it.

late-night snack (added later): 5 slices of whole wheat bread and 350 grms of yogurt. I craved for yogurt tonite – it happens time to time. I did not want to eat that much bread but then as long as it helped me to eat yogurt I did not mind (maybe I should have?)

exercise; 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon (prescribed) and vitD and calcium after dinner (recommended to me by my doctor)

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 5, 2015

Not bad today 🙂

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar; 2 whole wheat bagels toasted with margarine

lunch: no food; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: I turned the left over crack-wheat salad into another meal; basically I had one large onion sauteed in olive oil; added a little bit of hot sauce, 3 eggs, and celery stick together with the left-over salad and cooked for 3-4 minutes. It turned out to be tasty 🙂

late-night snack (added later): 1 big apple (yummy 🙂 ) and a tall glass of skim milk

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning, 30 min in the evening

supplements: iron at noon, vitamin D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 4, 2015

It is a good day in terms of eating healthy food; I still need to implement strategies that will help me eat more in the mornings and at noon.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 100 grms of trail mix, coffee with creamer and sugar

dinner: cracked wheat salad with tomato, pepper, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice. This is an easy and nutritious salad that is also filling. I have a large bowl, which I am working on time to time.

late-night snack (added later): one hard boiled egg to eat something enjoyable, which I had hoped would bring back my appetite (I love eggs); later 1 apple and a tall glass of skim milk 🙂

I am not sure why I do not have appetite. I usually would have a great love for food, especially at the evenings and nights. It is good at one hand as by not eating too much at nights, I am doing a favor to my body. On the hand hand, the low counts of calories I have been getting in the last one week or so means I am involuntarily slowing my metabolism. Hope to resolve this soon.

exercise: 30 min walking in the evening

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon and vitamin D and calcium tablet (recommended by my doctor) after the dinner.

stretching: none today (I better re-start this – it is so enjoyable..)

random thoughts

I have been quite relax lately about my budget; yesterday and this morning I have taken the cab to the office (rather than walking or taking the bus).

The reasons were the followings: yesterday it was raining so I decided against walking; and today only because I felt like I needed to pamper myself and it was better to be at the office right away, as there were many things that I would like to work on.

There was a mental judo, of course; I was beating myself for getting relax with money, but then something inside me said “You only do what you think is best for you. Tomorrow is another day. Do not take this as a complete failure“.

How awesome to be able to say this and even more than that, to be able to hear them among all the chatter that goes in my mind 🙂

I remind myself that every once a while, things will not go ahead as I planned or wanted them to be. Every once a while there will be other things more important than my cab fare. I know that I can start taking the bus tomorrow, if I do not feel like walking at all. And I can go to bed early to make sure I will arrive my office early, too, so that I will not feel the push in the mornings.

Even though I do not make it tomorrow, I will try it later again.

I will be gentle on myself. That is my promise; why to break my own heart?

Be gentle to yourself.

healthy life – style journal, Nov 3, 2015

breakfast: forgotten to pick my breakfast from home; 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar. As usual, I am not feeling hungry in the mornings. I must do something new to encourage myself to have breakfast..

lunch: 1 can of fish, 50 grms of trail mix, coffee with creamer and brown sugar. I must say I have been reducing my sugar intake in the last while. That is good news 🙂

dinner: 1 pear, 3 eggs fried with 50 grms of cheese in olive oil, 3 slices of bread. The fact that I do not cook nowadays is working against me… Fried eggs help me to gain weight. Making a mental note again to start cooking at home.

late night snack (added later): 1 apple, 3 slices of whole wheat bread, 300 grms of yogurt sprinkled with a generous amount of olive oil and dried mint. This yogurt is a very refreshing dip – give it a try if you like the taste of dry mint with yogurt.

exercise: 30 min walk in the morning; climbing up 4 stories of stairs. Ok – when I arrived at my building this morning, the elevators were not working – so here is my extra exercise for the day! 🙂

supplements: iron at noon (prescription), vitamin D and calcium table after the dinner (recommendation by my doctor). I decided to note the prescription and recommendation to this list, as I do not want anyone else to get inspired and take these supplements without their doctor’s recommendation. Please have your doctor’s opinion before taking supplements.

stretching: none so far….

joy journal, Nov 2, 2015

joy 🙂

hope 🙂

good developments 🙂

joy 🙂

Life is full of ups and downs. I repeat again that not everything is all bright and shinny in my life. But I try to keep my head up off the water by focusing on the positive side. There are somethings that I will have to accept as they are, somethings that I can help change, and somethings that I can hope for.

Thank yo for joining me in this journey to focus on the positive, not the negative, so that I can have a stronger mind to deal with issues.

1. I am grateful for waking up on time and going to the office early (around 9 am). It allowed me to relax with my coffee and taking care of some work prior to a two-hours presentation. No rush, no stress. Allowing myself ample time helps me to prevent stress 🙂

2. I am grateful for my presentation going well, even though it is a 2 hour presentation. We have time to time such long presentations as educational sessions. I have been preparing for it for quite sometime and I am pleased to see that this paid off. The presentation went well, I have got good questions at the end, and eventually the message was transmitted effectively. Good job! 🙂

3. I am grateful for the positive feedback I have got after the presentation. It is more or less a formal assessment about the effectiveness of my speech. The feedback was also sent to my boss, which is great. I feel so excited and motivated 🙂

4. I am grateful for the work I have done today! I have been away from the office for 10 days or so because of my trips. I have been feeling the need to go back and finish tasks. I have started it today, which I am sure will continue for some more time. Till mid december, when I will slow down right before the holiday season, I am planning  to take care of a couple of important stuff in addition to daily tasks. I cannot wait 🙂

5. I am grateful for talking to my team members and expediting their work, too. One of the team members is about to leave and we are trying to make sure this transition is good for him as well as for us. We are progressing very well.

6. I am grateful for making appointments with my team members individually so that we can focus on their tasks and needs. Appointments make me focus my time on specific topics or specific tasks. I am happy to do this.

7. I am grateful for the coffee I have got today; light and creamy 🙂

8. I am grateful for the minor house repair being done today! Cannot believe it has been finally done. It makes me feel so relieved, so excited! There has been moments that I had felt pretty sour about the job. Having negative feelings is not nice. Now, I stand reminded that eventually things happen 🙂

9. I am grateful for the yogurt, mint, and olive oil I have eaten for dinner – I know they are all nourishing and healthy stuff that are useful for my body.

10. I am grateful for looking outside of my office window and enjoying the scenery. The trees are changing their colors – what a beautiful scenery!

11. I am grateful for remembering to smile today. One of my coworkers said I was looking stressed this morning. I was actually just neutral 🙂 I told him that this was the regular expression in my face; unless I smile, lots of people think that I am stressed :)) By smiling more often, I expect to feel better and radiate more positive energy to the people around me.

12. I am grateful for walking in the afternoon back from office to home 🙂

13. I am grateful for my warm house, my couch and blanket. They make me feel pampered and safe.

14. I am grateful for my TV and the cable with streaming service. I can choose among many series and movies to watch and there is a huge excitement coming out of this.

15. I am grateful for working at home this evening on an important document. We have been revising it for some time and I am very satisfied with its current revisions. After that, it will be ready to submit. yay! 🙂

16. I am grateful for the relaxing music I am listening right now. It is calming…

17. I am grateful for focusing on the positive.

18. I am grateful for being grateful and coming up with this list today! 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Nov 2, 2015

Another low appetite day, which worries me. If I am not wrong, low calorie intake is not good – eventually makes the body feel like on starvation mode, which later helps with gaining more weight upon returning to regular diet.

I am trying to eat as much as I can today.

breakfast: forgotten my meal; 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: no meal; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: 1 pear, 1 cup of left-over rice from yesterday, cucumber and yogurt sauce with olive oil. 3 slices of whole wheat bread

late night snack (added later): 1 tall glass of skim milk

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon (yay! walking is great and I have not been able to do so in the last 10 days or so; very grateful)

supplements: iron supplement at noon, calcium and vitamin D supplementation after dinner

stretching: not done this yet; hope to find time to do some light stretching tonite, while also listening to relaxing music 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Nov 1, 2015

it is surprising to notice that I have been keeping this journal for 2 months now.

Since I am eating and nourishing my body with better food and necessary supplementation, I am glad I have started this journey.

Today has been a good day in terms of good eating; cannot complain 🙂

breakfast: one bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: turmeric rice, cucumber and yogurt sauce with olive oil and dried mint

dinner: the same as the lunch

late-night snack (added later): 50 grms of trailer mix

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: iron at noon, vitamin D and calcium after the dinner

stretching: none today.

Hoping to walk and stretching tomorrow. Good that I have not forgotten my supplements so far 🙂 Rice is usually does not agree with my system, yet is a welcome change in my diet. Yogurt and cucumber are always awesome to eat and the addition of mint has given a fresh kick to the meal 🙂

healthy life – journal, Oct 31, 2015

late breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and sugar

lunch: 1 pear

dinner: soup, fish, salad, pasta, and bread. A generous amount of rice crackers and a little amount of fruit. I was invited for a dinner with great friends. I enjoyed being with them. the food was amazing 🙂 I feel bloated and like eaten too much 😦

exercise: 10 min in the morning

supplements: iron supplement at noon, bit D and calcium supplement at night

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Oct 30, 2015

Alright… I am back to my daily posts on my healthy life – style plan.

You all know that I did not keep up with it during my trips; reason? The reason was that I took my trips as a great way to remove any restrictions and obligations. To make them enjoyable. The end result was not great, certainly, now that I am at the same weight as I have started eating better 2 months ago 😦

Now that I got this off my chest, here is today’s account:

late breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

late lunch: 1 banana

dinner: one can of corn, 50 grms of trail mix

I do not have appetite today at all…. very surprising as I usually love to eat, especially at nights. Maybe my appetite will get better after this hour 🙂

late-night snack (added later): 1 banana, 1 tall glass of milk, and later; yogurt and 3 slices of whole wheat bread, 100 grms of trail mix

exercise: 10 min walk at noon

supplements: iron supplementation at noon, vit D and calcium tablet after dinner.

stretching: none for today

The life in the diary – XVII

Fiction

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May 11, 2013

It is one of those days that I feel cheerful for no reason.

I grabbed my jacket and left the house for a nice walk. The fresh air is so lovely; feeling it on my cheeks, on my skin. Time to time there is a little breeze that caresses me. The sky is open and blue and it is around 25 C. It is a perfect spring day 🙂

As usual, I walk with my hands in my pockets – for some reason, that makes me feel good. Very good. It automatically puts a smile on my face and lift my upper back up. No more sluggish walking. Confidently and cheerfully I start to walk.

The street is wide and long; I can see the road ahead crossing it and the shops at the far end. They have bright colors, these shops do. I know they are doing this on purpose to appeal clients. Well, they are doing a good job by getting my attention as well as by making me feel grateful for what I see. Not surprisingly, I am a good customer of one of these stores.

I enter the store. I love this store as there are so many items that I regularly love to check. I for sure forget everything by just focusing on their items. And their prices and variety options. I have got my most cherished CD in this store years ago. I loved it so much that I had also bought a copy for a cousin of mine. The personal grooming and cleaning products are my favorites; I love the lip-stick that I keep buying from this store, for example. It is a glossy cherry-brown; neither too red nor too brown. It lifts my spirit up while also preventing them from drying. I love my lip-stick…

I do not buy anything this time, knowing that I am rather on my way to a long and relaxing walk. I leave the store, turn right, and start to walk down the street towards downtown. My home is located right at the perimeter of downtown, so it is 10 minutes walk to it. I feel excited about this. I always loved being around people, around movement. There is some kind of energy that transfers right into me. Maybe I am an energy-Dracula (this idea makes me chuckle 🙂 )

I do not have a definite plan as to where to go. I am free to go wherever my feet carry me, free to stop wherever I wish. The freedom, the feeling of having no rush, is giving me serenity, a mental chill. Not the bad type. Like water distinguishing a fire. It cools down my nerves and makes me breathe just fine. Slowly. Steadily. Peacefully.

I see a little store and get in. This is the store whose coffee I like. The hazelnut coffee!… Smell is mesmerizing me…. I buy a large cup, pay the clerk, and get out to continue my walk. I am in love with the smell and the taste of my coffee. I smile for no reason and shrug my shoulders as if to say “I do not care about anything, anyone, or any memory right now; this moment is mine and mine only. And I am enjoying it“.

I look at another cafe on the right side. I come here time to time, not for the coffee but for the fresh pastry. During spring and summer months, it is a great pleasure to sit at a table outside while eating fluffy pastry. Watching people walking up and down the street and feeling the sun on my skin…

Come to think about it, I have so many things that I like about this city and about my life. Who is happier than me right now? Who can possibly be? I have a lovely drink at my hand, walking in a fine spring day. I feel happy. For no reason or little reasons. I am lucky to have all of these.

I stop at the lights to wait for our turn. I remember how I had once skid and fell in the middle of the road in a winter day. It was my first experience with the black ice; never saw the darn thing. People had offered to help me get on my feet. For such a big city, people are great; they have not forgotten to be considerate and helpful. I love these people. I love this city.

Finally it is green light and I walk in between 30-40 people towards the center of downtown. There is the organic store on my left I check time to time. Teas and spices are my interest. Especially one of the herbal teas; I cannot remember its name. It is odd but I affirm that I will remember it later. Better yet, I can go to store anytime and recognize it by its look. I have a good memory still yet.

I contemplate about visiting the book stores a couple of streets ahead. I have spent so much time in them, often to distract my paining mind that I do not want to get in there today. I shake my head and continue. I love books but I need not to remember my pain. Not today. Not now. Not for some time.

I glance at the tall building on the right side. I used to live in that building once. Whenever I am around, I look up to see my ex-flat on the 30th floor. The glass window in the living room was awesome, as it would show the downtown with no reservation whatsoever. I could see not only the buildings around, but the hot dog stands, the bus terminal, and a little bit of the harbor at a distance…. People were everywhere… The nights had the best view; the lights scattered around the dark blue sky and the brown sidewalks. Even in the middle of the night, this city was alive. Energetic. Awake. Listening. And with it, I would lie awake on my couch, listening, but mostly lethargic. Sometimes crying, sometimes thinking. But mostly peaceful and serene.

I loved that flat and my life in it. Come to think about it, I had hard times there too, but it is the best things, best and happiest memories I tend to remember. Making peace with my past seems to come to me naturally. Only after years of remembering all of course….

to be continued

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The life in the diary – XVII

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healthy life – style journal, Oct 20, 2015

I record my weight on Tuesdays; so here is the moment of truth 🙂

I am 202 pounds, 8 pounds less than when I started my healthy eating on Sept 1, 2015.

It is not a substantial loss, but a loss nevertheless. I can do nothing but being appreciative of this and hopeful that I will continue to lose the extra weight over time.

breakfast: forgotten my breakfast at home; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: one can of fish, coffee with cream and sugar, and 1 tea biscuit

late afternoon; 3 soft meatballs

dinner (added later): I do not have an appetite today, either but I will force myself to eat a little so that I do not consume less calories than my body needs to. I have eaten 3 slices of whole wheat bread and 50 grms of cheese. I have noticed that I have been eating these very frequently. I also remembered, through the conversations in the comment area, that I have not been eating enough veggies. Hence, I have also eaten a large cucumber. Life is good 🙂

late night snack (added later): 1 apple

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon (no walk in the morning today – it was raining so I took the cab)

stretching: 10 min in the afternoon while listening relaxing music 🙂 it was great!

supplements: iron supplement in the afternoon,  calcium and vitamin D supplement after the dinner.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 19, 2015

A beautiful day 🙂

I do not have appetite today, so I have not eaten much during the day yet. I have no idea I will have at dinner, either. I will take it easy and all will be fine.

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with brown sugar and creamer

lunch: did not have much time to eat; munched on peanuts

dinner (added later): 1 apple, 1 slice of whole wheat bread, and 50 grms of cheese so far.

late-night snack (added later): 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 avocado

exercise: did very well today 🙂 30 min in the morning and another 30 min in the evening. Yay! 🙂

supplements: iron supplementation at noon. I took my calcium and vit D supplementation after dinner (they are fat-soluable, so they should be taken with food).

stretching (new): stretched my back, neck, arms, and legs while listening to a relaxing music!. Good job 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Oct 18, 2015

Almost no exercise, but the food I consumed so far has been great 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, one cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. It is amazing that although I keep going to the same cafe, I have no difficulty not ordering bagels anymore. Yesterday the staff at the cafe had asked me whether I would also get bagels as usual 🙂 I said I was limiting carbs and he understood it. He even said “sorry, I did not mean to remind you them!!”. How nice of this young gentleman 🙂

lunch: soup with 3 slices of bread

dinner: soft meatball, leek, and carrot meal; I am in favor of not cooking veggies a lot and make them mushy. I think cooking breaks their fiber and fiber is what we all need. So I cooked first the meatballs and  then added carrot and the leek. I turned off the stove before the leek lost its crispy feel.

late-night snack (added later): 1 big apple (delicious 🙂 ) and 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: 10 min in the morning.

supplements: iron supplement before the lunch and calcium+VitD supplement after dinner.

My pharmacists told me that iron supplementation could cause constipation; one remedy is to take it with food/drinks that contain vitamin C, such as orange or apple juice. Apparently, vitamin C helps iron to be absorbed by the body. I thought I would share in case you also are recommended to take iron supplements.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 17, 2015

I am grateful for all the food I have in my pantry, fridge, and freezer.

I am trying to eat a little bit better today and also give my body a rest; I still have the cold but it is getting better. Soup and warm drinks are really good; so is water.

I felt discouraged this morning, as the total weight loss I have had in the last 6 weeks is only 5 pounds…. I had thought I would lose more. It is partly because of the trip I have had lately I guess (eating more and different food, and long flights), but I have two more trips to come, meaning I can expect a similar pattern…On the other hand, with this plan, I have more energy, I walk more, and I eat really well compared to before. I know I am doing much better in nourishing my body.

I hope to see more weight loss soon to at least have some more motivation to keep going. It is too much to think that I will have to cut out calories, eat different things, or exercise more should I not lose weight on this plan.

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

late-morning snack: 1 pear

late lunch: salad with tomato, cucumber, green pepper, onion, and olive oil. That was really healthy 🙂

dinner (planned): fish bits, frozen and cooked at oven.

late-night snack (added later): 1 large apple, 1 tall glass of milk, 350 grms of yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and a small spoon of honey – warming and lovely; give this a try 🙂

late-late-night snack (added later): 2 slices of whole heat bread and 50 grms cheese

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning. that is probably all for today, though I am contemplating about walking in the evening. I will see how it goes..

supplements: 1 iron supplement before lunch, 1 calcium and vitD supplement after salad

healthy life – style journal, Oct 16, 2015

Pretty relax day…

I started walking in the morning; I walked for 10 min or so then one of my good friends here gave me a ride. I could not possibly say “no, friend, I am going to walk“. I enjoy her company and we always have sincere and fun conversations. So it is well worth it 🙂

When we got to our building, I realized how hungry I was… Hmm.. So I went to the cafeteria for unhealthy food.

I know well why I do not have my breakfast at home; I gotta leave the house right away upon waking up. I know this is a peculiar habit, but this is what it has been and I have no interest to tackle it. However, I do not know why I do not pick up my breakfast with me before I leave home; that would be wonderful as I almost always have something healthy to grab. Sigh… 🙂

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream but no sugar (there was no brown sugar at the cafeteria so I thought “When I go back to the office, I can add brown sugar“). Of course I have forgotten that, too. So I drank the coffee without sugar 🙂 That is interesting as I never thought I would drink a coffee like this… But I guess what helped was the two carrot muffins I have bought and ate, together with the coffee.

I know… I know…. It is so not me. First, I do not actually have a sweet tooth (I am lucky). Second, muffins are not healthy at all (not nutrition-packed and full of sugar, which I am trying to limit to help my blood sugar levels).

lunch: 1 banana, 1 bowl of soup, 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 cup of tea, 2 small tacos with tofu.

late-afternoon snack: 1 pear

dinner: 1 bowl of soup, 2 slices of whole wheat. I do not think I am done yet. I will try to eat some raw veggies, such as cucumber or tomato, to get my body some nutritious food. Plus, for some reason raw veggies always help me lose weight.

late-night snack (added later): 1 big apple, tofu squares dashed with honey, 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning, 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron supplement at noon; 1 tables of calcium and VitD after the dinner.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 15, 2015

I keep eating the same things over and over. Are you not bored of the food I consume? 🙂

You should and I finally am. So from this week on, I will try to consume at least one other fruit in addition to apples and 2 veggies that I have not had in the last week.

That plan made me feel good 🙂

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup

late-afternoon snack: 1 banana (yep; something I have not eaten lately 🙂 )

dinner: 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup, 3 slices of whole wheat bread, lots of raw carrots. I bought carrots as part of the new plan of eating a variety of food. I am glad I have. The young carrots (thin and crispy ones) are excellent snacks; I also love them in salads (grated). Yum, yum, yum! 🙂

late-nigh snack (added later): 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup, 1.5 glass of milk

exercise: Walked a little bit longer today 🙂 30 min in the afternoon, followed by another 15 min walk, and then 45 min walk after that. (I try not to sum all up like 1.5 hours of walk. The reason for that there is a difference between a walk here and there and then a continuous walk; I believe a continuous walk would be the one that make me sweat most, but I keep hearing interval training is also great. Your choice 🙂 ).

calcium and VitD supplement: 1 tablet after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 14, 2015

I cannot believe it is mid-October 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

late morning snack: 50 grms of peanut

lunch: 2 cans of fish

dinner: cucumber. tomato, and onion salad with olive oil, 3 slices of whole wheat bread, chicken noodle soup with lots of lemon juice. I have got a cold; so the chicken soup is my best medication right now. I also feel like raw onion does help with it. So the dinner today is full of healing nutrients 🙂

late night snack (added later): 75 grms of cheese. I am not drinking milk tonite; at least I have got the calcium to be obtained from food (not supplement) by eating cheese, even though I did not have enough daily Vit D today.. oh well, tomorrow then 🙂

exercise: 1o min walk in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon. There was a function that I needed to attend in the morning somewhere close to my home – I managed to leave it before the coffee and pastry/muffin type of snacks are served (good job! 🙂 ) – a colleague of mine gave me a ride to office, which I appreciated very much. The muscle I pulled the other day has not healed yet so walking is a little bit challenging time to time.

supplements: 1 tablet of calcium and Vit D after the dinner

joy journal – Oct 13, 2015

joy 🙂 happiness 🙂 joy 🙂

there is so much to be grateful of; so little time to express all. Nevertheless, here is today’s joys:

1. I am grateful for having a good sleep and getting up refreshed and ready to take the day.

2. I am grateful for walking in the morning. It was a little bit chilly but walking warmed my body and it was a pleasant walk 🙂

3. I am grateful for my coffee; since I started my job here I brew my own coffee at the office. I love the morning routine of brewing the first thing in the morning, and later in the afternoon as I wish to have it. I believe I am saving a lot of money by doing that and I am very pleased with this 🙂

4. I am grateful for meeting with my team members; they have done well while I was away last week. My new team member seems to be doing good and another team member is supporting him at his work activities. I like the collegiality that my team members shows to each other.

5. I am grateful for the seminar we attended at noon. The topic is closely related to what I would like to develop. Seeing the cons and pros of other teams’ works is certainly beneficial for the design of my own project. I will see how mine will be finalized. I really hope it will be funded 🙂

6. I am grateful for the snacks at my office. When I do not have time to grab something to eat, they are the ones that i munched on.

7. I am grateful for having nice chats with two other employees at my department. It is good that we can be cozy and friendly with each other so that next time we need each other’s help, it will be easier to communicate.

8. I am grateful for the late-evening meeting we have had today. I am usually drained in the afternoons, but this one was interesting and charging.

9. I am grateful for walking in the evening back to home. When I reached home, it was past 6.30 pm. It was kind of late and I did not feel like cooking for dinner. It was good that I have had food prepared at the weekend; they helped me to have my dinner without too much of a hassle.

10. I am grateful for working on a presentation scheduled for next week. This was only requested last week. So time-wise I am constrained, as I have another presentation to prepare for a meeting two weeks from today. I was stressed this afternoon, but now I have half of the presentation ready, which is a relief.

11. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

12. I am grateful for the food I have in my fridge and freezer – they make me feel abundant.

13. I am grateful for yesterday being an off day; although today felt like a Monday, there is only three more days till the weekend. I plan to work during the weekend to catch up with tasks at work, but at least this is going to happen within the comfort of my house.

14. I am grateful for the milk I am drinking; it is a new addition to my diet after my doctor recommended vitamin D and calcium supplementation. I am happy to get these nutrients through food rather than supplement pills (though I need to take one pill a day, by drinking milk, I free myself from the second pill).

15. I am grateful for the pain medication I have had at home; I pulled a muscle at my back. these medications help control the pain and increase my mobility.

16. I am grateful for not taking the cab today and for not spending on anything (yay!). Come to think about it, since I started to walk in the mornings too (the last few weeks), I have had many “no expense” days (including no bus fare); how great is that? 🙂

17. I am grateful for being warm, safe, and sound in this chilly autumn day.

18. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Oct 13, 2015

Today is the day I record my weight: it is 205 pounds. Only 5 pounds less than the start on Sept 1, 2015.

It is going slow; I am not demotivated yet; I know that little by little it will go, maybe it will take longer than what I projected at the beginning, but I will continue to have a healthier diet and physical exercise; they help me nourish my body and exercise is vastly important for feeling good 🙂

breakfast: I have forgotten to take my breakfast with me; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 50 grms of peanuts; it was a day full of meetings and thus I could not find time to eat better.

late-afternoon: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: 3 hard-boiled eggs and cucumber salad with olive oil; 3 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (added later): 2 apples, 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon 🙂

supplements (calcium and Vit D): I forgot to have one during the day; I do not think I will have another tonite as I just took medication for my back pain. I should make sure to have milk tonite to get a little bit of calcium and VitD.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 12, 2015

What a great day – happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends and happy Columbus day to my American friends. I hope you all are having a great, relaxing and peaceful day full with sweet moments with family and friends.

I have so far done really well with my healthy life-style plan today. I walked for 50 min in the morning! I did not even take my purse with me; I just left with my key, focused on walking, the rhythm of my body as I walked, and the scenery. I kept pretty much a faster than average speed and I loved seeing how well my body handles it (i.e. without straining itself) and how it made me sweat. Sweating is good; for some reason I am feeling much better when my body works to this extent. I am very grateful for today being an off day, which allowed me to have this wonderful experience.

I know I can do this more often and I know that I do not feel tired as I used to time to time in the past. Starting to walk for leisure again is positively affecting me and I am very excited about this 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and sugar

lunch: green beans and beef meal (left-over from yesterday)

late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner: red cabbage and hard tofu cubes salad with olive oil

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple, tofu bits sprinkled with brown sugar, 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: 50 min walk in the morning 🙂

supplements: 1 calcium and Vit D tablet after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 6, 2015

Boy; a long day and I am hungry 🙂

breakfast; coffee with cream and sugar; 1 cheese and avocado sandwich (2 slices of bread and 1 mashed avocado) as well as egg salad sandwich with orange pepper

later; coffee with cream and sugar

lunch: spicy thai soup with one bagel (toasted and ligthly buttered), 450 ml milk

later; 1 apple

dinner: Caesar’s salad, tortilla chips with cheese, guacamole, salsa, and some other dips

second dinner: one small roll of bread, small salad, chicken, and brownie with tea

late-night snack (added later): trail mix, tea

exercise: walking 15 min

supplements: None – I believe milk and food I have had today had enough levels of calcium and Vit D

healthy life – style journal, Oct 5, 2015

I have little appetite today; great after a weekend of little indulgence 🙂

breakfast: forgotten food at home; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: coffee with cream and sugar; a can of fish

dinner: 6-7 fish bits cooked at oven (left over from yesterday); 1/2 hard boiled egg, 1 apple

late night – snack (added later): 1 apple, 2 hard-boiled eggs and two slices of whole wheat bread

exercise: yahoo 🙂 walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon (i am so loving the morning walks. Wish the weather will be permissive for a very long time so that I can keep doing this. Please. please. please. 🙂 )

supplements: 1 calcium and Vit D tablet after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 4, 2015

Almost no exercise today, but here and there I have eaten quite well 🙂

breakfast: a small piece of cheese, coffee with cream and brown sugar

late-morning snack: 1 pear

late lunch: green bean meal, 1 meatball, 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late-afternoon snack: around 50 grms of trail mix

dinner: oven-cooked breaded fish-bits; a large salad with 1 tomato, 1/2 head broccoli (raw), green onions; salad dressing: a little bit olive oil, garlic and yogurt. Give this a try; it is fresh and tasty. After enjoying raw broccoli and garlicky yogurt yesterday, I could not help; I had to have this combination again. I am glad I have – it was really nice 🙂

time to time I crave for garlic; I wish it was more frequent than this as the health benefits of garlic may be more than I thought . Some info on garlic here and here.

late-night snack (added later): around 150-200 grms of trail mix and sunflower seed mix. Ok – I have eaten too much of this…. I think the sweetness of the dried fruit helps me not eat other sweets (like dessert) and the crunchiness of the nuts/seeds is just an amazing feeling, but I better watch out for the calories in this mix.

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: calcium and vit D supplements; one after lunch and one after dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 3 2015

relatively good day 🙂

I think I have seen some weight loss on the scale this morning 🙂

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. You may remember my love for bagels; I left the home without thinking about having a healthier breakfast and thought, “ok, what the hey; let’s have a bagel”. I did and I did not even think that I missed the bagels 🙂

late lunch: green beans meal and meatballs; 1 slice of 12-grain bread, 1 English cucumber (too much? well, so be it; it was crunchy, juicy and just fantastic! I am glad I have had it)

late afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner (updated later): red cabbage salad, cheese sandwich with 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (added later): 1 pear, yogurt.

Later at night I craved for broccoli.

Can you imagine?

Have you ever craved for broccoli dear friends? I doubt it 🙂 but if you ever have, please drop a line to say so that I can know I am not the only one 🙂 Anyways, enough with this; just because I do not like broccoli does not mean you do not. Honestly, I loved eating raw broccoli dipped with garlicky yogurt. It was awesome 🙂

I am glad I craved for it and it was fresh and crunchy; I know it is also very healthy. I am grateful for it.

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: calcium and Vit D after the late lunch