Saturday, September 7, 2013

How I Eat, How I Work, How I Start Over

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
So here I am at the beginning of my last year of Biomedical Visualization.  It really hasn't been that long since I started, but boy of boy, I feel a lot different than I did a year ago.  Brand new to Chicago, unaware of the effort anatomy would take, naive to what the challenges this graduate program would bring.  Now I'm much more aware what is difficult for me here.  Here being both living in Chicago and in the Biomedical Visualization program.  This year is the first year that I don't have the comfort of knowing that I'll be in school again in a year.  I actually have to work!  In the "real world!"

So going into this semester, I am armed with a different philosophy.  One of the changes that I've made to better conquer year 2 is cooking differently.  I was very repetitive last spring, which was effective then but in the summer I just ended up snacking a lot and not making meals.  To change it up I purchased a meal plan from Happy Herbivore .  I have one of her cookbooks, she's a vegan food blogger who has built a brand from her blog.  I've put up a ton of photos of all the food I made.  It definitely lasted me longer than a week and I got to have a bunch of different meals instead of the same thing 5 days in a row.

Making Southwestern Burger Patties
I got a "new" blender from my grandma.  She had a blender in here basement that I assumed was used since it had been in her basement for awhile.  Turns out it was a brand new blender, packaged in the box but had sat around for awhile.  It works great!  I'm excited to try new green smoothies.  Getting some spinach in disguise to start the morning is innately fun to me.

None of the food was particularly complicated to make but it allowed me an easy way to try new things.  The two things I didn't particularly care for were the Spinach & Orange Salad and the Avocado Yogurt Dip.  I do not like raw red onion, and to people who can eat it, wow.  It is way to strong.  In the salad all I could taste was red onion.  Yuck.  Luckily, I've got a lot of salad making experience and don't really need a specific recipe.  The Avocado Yogurt Dip didn't feel like a lunch to me and the spices in the dip just didn't appeal to me.  It was the one thing that I did throw out, though I was able to eat half.

Everything else was very good.  My very favorite was the Southwestern Burger.  It was delicious and filling.  I'm sure there are still some beef burgers in my future, but the bean patty didn't feel lacking.  I'd say it actually had more flavor than a beef patty so needed less toppings.

Spicy Peanut Noodles
 I've purchased another week's meal plan and am excited to try more new recipes.  After that I am going to work on creating my own meal plans from cookbooks I have.  The meal plans have helped me better gauge what kind of produce I can get through in a week or two without going bad.  I'm pleasantly surprised how much variety a single person can have and not be wasteful.

Spinach & Orange Salad
It's not just my food habits I've begun adjusting.  I'm beginning to change how I manage my time and how I get my schoolwork done.  I've had issues in the past with keeping a balance of work life versus personal life.  During the school semester it feels like all my energy should be put into school and whenever I'm not working on school I'm failing.  Obviously, this does not work if you want to stay a sane person.  I'm trying to set up this semester like a "normal" job, where I work a 40 hour week and everything else is considered overtime.  When I come home after a work day I can let myself relax without feeling guilty.  So far it's working well, though I need to build up some endurance.

I still need to decide what I'm going to do with my weekends.  I want to avoid going into the BVIS computer lab because I spend so much time there already.  But how much schoolwork, if any, should I do or feel compelled to do?  I've got some time to figure it out, particularly this weekend, ha.  I will put some contemplation in and let you all know how it goes.

Assembled Southwestern Burger

Breakfast Potato Rancheros

Peach Cobbler Oatmeal

Avocado-Yogurt Dip

Brand New Retro Blender from Grandma!

Blended Applejack Smoothie

Vegetarian Delight

Apple Crisp Muffins

Breakfast Banana Split

Bombay Breakfast
Black Beans & Sweet Potato

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