Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Melange

So, not much happening today. Work is... work. Just on lunch and counting down until I'm out the door at 4:15pm!!

Got a lot of fun stuff going this week. Tomorrow, I'm going to happy hour and shopping with a few friends. Wednesday, we have a surprise lunch for our coworker who's moving to Puerto Rico (lucky duck!) and I'll be taking the same coworker out to lunch the next day. On Friday I have to be at a work event, plus another (!) happy hour wishing farewell to a coworker who got an awesome new job. And then on Saturday, there is the Zombie Walk (which I unfortunately probably will not be able to go to) and a birthday picnic for a very special little three-year-old. Add to that a 40 hour work week (including big looming deadlines) and a crapload of errands to run (oh and that apartment I need to clean) and it's going to be a busy week!

I'm still sticking with my small changes that I mentioned a couple posts back. Getting out every night to walk/jog and then trying to come back and eat a decent dinner is a little trying. Especially when cupcakes are cheaper and faster... Just sayin'.  But it's actually not a bad thing as I seem to have more energy. I'm not seeing the "less stressed" benefit that some people talk about, but maybe that'll come some time down the road. As it is, I'm telling myself that I have to commit to this until June 18th. That will be about 13 weeks from my start date and I'm hoping once I can look back that I'll see improvement.

Hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Nonna Antonetta's Rice Pudding

One thing I love about spending time with my grandparents is the wealth of heritage that comes with them. Today over dinner we got to talking about family recipes that have been passed down for generations. One that got the most mention and the most praise was my great-grandmother's rice pudding. I, personally, think I make a pretty mean rice pudding, but as this one is a family recipe, I may have to give it a try.

Nonna's Rice Pudding

1 pound of rice
1 c. sugar
1 1/12 c. milk
salt to taste
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. baking powder
8 eggs
2 T. oil
2 T. Crisco
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat over to 400F degrees. Rinse rice before coking. Boil rice in 8 cups of water and boil until all water is absorbed. In bowl, combine all ingredients except for rice. Fold in rice. Pour into greased baking dish. Cook in oven for 30 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 300F degrees and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

UPDATE: Many thanks to Natalie, who gave this recipe a try! It looks like it turned out beautifully!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Time for a Change

So, I wasn't going to post anything on here as I didn't want to jinx myself, but...

I've gradually started making some lifestyle changes and so far they seem to be helping. Nothing drastic right now as I know that if I try to go whole hog into something I will never make it. My goal is to make it through 12 weeks (through two already) making small, but consistent changes at a slow pace and giving myself a chance to adjust.

What I've done so far:

1) Exercise five nights a week. This is either a two mile walk (not as far as I thought it would be!), an hour of cardio, or some combination of the two. I'm not going for exhausting, fat-melting exercise, but more focused on trying to develop a habit. So far, it's working. I'm enjoying my time set aside from the rest of my day to just disconnect and go.

2) Change my work schedule. This is something I've been meaning to do for a while. I, fortunately, have the luxury of changing my schedule to fit my life for the most part. As of this week, I've switched to 7:30am-4:30pm. It may not sound like that much, but getting out that extra half hour or hour earlier feels like I get an extra half day. It also means I have time to find a decent dinner, exercise, and still get stuff done after I get home.

3) Cutting down on the processed crap. This has been a few weeks in the making as I've been slowly weaning myself off of processed foods. This includes the bagels I always bought at the cafe in my office for breakfast, and grabbing fast food for lunch and/or dinner.  I've also cut down on dairy, wheat, and (most of all) sugar. Even when it comes to snacking, I've cut out the majority of my sugary snacks and switched to savory.

4) Try to eat dinner earlier. This one is the toughest for me. I am so used to eating dinner after 9pm that I get hung up on it. I'm trying to be more proactive about it, keeping things on hand that are easy and healthy to make or something that I can drop in the crockpot in the morning and come home to a cooked meal.

Again I don't normally advertise this type of stuff, but I guess I'm looking for accountability. So far, I've had a couple people ask if I've lost weight (which, I haven't, but here's hoping) or ask if I've changed something. I'm not really doing it for the weight loss (though that would be a nice plus), but more just trying to improve my overall wellness.

Well, Happy Monday to you all! Here's hoping the workweek goes quickly and that time stands still over the weekend.