Should YOU Workout?

Of course you should workout. We all should. Especially writers. Why? Because our job is like an office job – we sit while we work. Unless you can write standing up, in which case virtual *high-five*!!! But if you are anything like me, when your deadline starts creeping up on you it seems your butt begins to mold into the shape of your office chair. Expanding my derriere is not something I want to see happen, so I make sure to stay active when I’m not writing…as best as I can.

I have kids so that right there helps. I just started jogging with my eight year old and my three-year old never sits still. But simply moving around the house is not enough to compete with the hours I simply SIT at the computer. I do Beachbody workouts and if you’ve done them, you get it…they are NO joke. Lately though I’ve had a harder time squeezing in my workouts – again – deadlines looming. So what I do is put my workout clothes on first thing in the morning – tennis shoes and all. This week I vowed to do my workout before hitting the computer. Today I made that happen. There’s five more workout days in this week (I wouldn’t mind some positive vibes to get me through the week!). If you get up and prepare for the kind of day you want to have, it’s much easier to get in the time you need for a workout, no matter what you are doing. Walking/running/jogging or biking/treadmill/elliptical or yoga/cardio/stretching, etc…it really doesn’t matter WHAT you do as long as you DO something…consistently.

Writing is a great way to cleanse your mind but don’t forget about the rest of you – do something for your BODY every day too. If you do, then ten years from now when you’ve made it rich with those books that you are writing today, you’ll be thankful that your bum still fits in your office chair.

Happy sweating everyone!

Tofu Bacon for Meatless Monday!

 

It’s Meatless Monday again! Well, it’s Meatless Day for me every day but on Monday I always stand in front of the fridge and go ‘Hmmm…what will I make for dinner tonight?’ I had two blocks of tofu waiting to be used and I remembered that recently a friend brought Vegan sandwiches over with bacon-flavored tofu slices inside. Ummm…it was delish! The last time I went to the store I bought two small bottles of liquid smoke…since this was what my friend said caused the ‘bacon’ flavoring.

Now I was never a huge bacon fan when I ate meat but I am interested in ANYTHING that makes tofu taste less like, well…tofu. If you know how to cook it, tofu can be delicious. Tonight I found a new favorite recipe that both my kids also loved. But I should stop here and say I have learned that liquid smoke has some controversy surrounding its ingredients. It is liquid smoke after-all…so for this reason we won’t be using it in every dish.

Anyway – this is what I did for dinner tonight. Fajita’s was on the menu. Normally this means lots of sliced up veggies tossed in a tortilla with hummus or cheese. Tonight was different. I thinly sliced a block of tofu, patted it dry and marinated it in some liquid smoke. Then I cooked it till it was browned nicely on both sides. Actually, in all honesty I cooked it till it was tough on both sides…perhaps I was getting too excited about the idea of ‘bacon’ flavored food. Once it was done turning a lovely dark brown color, I added it with cooked bell peppers and onions, a little cheese and sour cream and plopped it all onto a tortilla. The kidlets loved the tofu, I loved the tofu. And even the cat, who scored a piece off the table before being busted and banned to the garage for the remainder of dinner also loved the tofu.

Our fajita’s had a nice twist tonight, something different and worth trying in other recipes, for sure! YAY for new recipes on Meatless Monday!

Happy Eating!

The Notebook

 

No, I’m not talking about the movie. I’ll allow a few seconds for your disappointment to wear off. Ready? Okay, let’s move on…

‘The Notebook’ is what I call my writing journal. But I don’t like to refer to it as a ‘journal’. That word sounds too organized for what my notebook actually is. I can’t say ‘collection’ either, though that is much more accurate, since my notebook surely is a collection – of sorts, but it’s not just a collection. It’s where I jot down my writing ideas, which come from my crazy dreams 99% of the time. It’s usually next to the bed so I can roll over half-conscious and badly spell out what I can remember of the torment my brain just put me through. It doesn’t stay in the bedroom all the time though. It travels. When I know I’ll be sitting in the car for an hour during my daughter’s Tumbling class, I usually take The Notebook with me. You know, for company and light reading. I also try to jam it in my purse when I go somewhere alone like the beach, but I almost always end up ignoring it…since a spiral-wrapped block of papers is way less inspiring than the Pacific Ocean.

When I’m feeling particularly good about something I wrote down in a partial coma-state, I’ll take The Notebook to the computer and transfer my notes into a document. This is actually pretty entertaining. YOU try writing multiple pages in the dark with the first thing you grabbed (crayon, pen or eyeliner pencil – whatever works) while your eyes fight for proper forward alignment as quickly as you can because it’s fading fast – the dream won’t last in your memory for long. It’s not the spelling errors that make me laugh, it’s the fact that I usually don’t remember ANYTHING that I wrote when I read it the next day. Unless it’s a dream I’ve had several times before. Ask my husband. I’ve read him some stuff from The Notebook before; he knows it’s a funky collection. But I don’t care what OTHERS think of my collection. The Notebook is one of my most prized possessions and I’d probably die if I lost it. No joke. I love it so much in fact, that I have two. Yep, two. One for notes and now one for organizing my notes (pictured above in all it’s glory, sticky notes and all). Soon, I’ll need a third.

So, why am I sharing this with you? Because I was shocked recently to discover this isn’t something ALL writers do. And I don’t know why! I live a busy life…two young kids at home 24/7 that I homeschool and try to keep alive. Animals that act like…well – animals. A large house that never seems to be clean or presentable. Weeds in the front lawn that are blooming. Blooming. Family…friends…you know – life. All writer’s have a life outside of writing (you can gasp in shock…it’s okay) so how could anyone possibly know what to write about or organize their thoughts without their own notebook?! I haven’t been a bona-fide writer long enough to be able to dish out advice like dessert…but I can say this: If you don’t have a notebook – get one! Write all your ideas in it as you have them and take it with you when you know you’ll have down time! Leave it by the bed at night so when you wake up after having that nightmare or sexy dream and you don’t want to forget it – you have a place to immortalize it forever…in print! Yes, I’m yelling! Because you should do this! Especially if you are a relatively new writer with obligations that go further than just making sure you call your mom once a week!

And unless you want to spend hours, if not days, attempting to read your middle-of-the-night scribble…please, leave a pencil or two dozen in your nightstand. You will thank me for this later. Crayons melt. Eyeliner smears. Pens run out of ink. And lipstick – well, just don’t do this.

Happy Notebooking!

 

More Nuts Please!

Many people have scoffed at my Vegetarian diet under the incorrect assumption that I don’t get enough protein. This is simply not true! In fact, I get more than enough. But lately I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect plant-based protein to snack on while I write. I love carrots and hummus, but it’s a snack I always need a napkin for – and at least the full use of one whole hand. Hummus is not conducive to snacking while writing at my desk. I need a better snack. Something that is easy to pop into my mouth (don’t take this somewhere dirty…stay with me now) and what I keep coming back to over and over again as the perfect snack to fill me with energy (and antioxidants, vitamins and minerals galore) is nuts!

If you like the salted kind, be careful and be sure to read the serving size guidelines. Some salted peanuts could contain almost 200 mg of sodium in each serving. Yikes! I prefer nuts in their raw stage (again, stay with me here, I know we are talking about nuts, but you CAN do this). In fact, read the serving size guidelines for any kind of nut, since they are naturally high in fat and calories. Yes, they are the ‘good fat’ kind of snack but a serving size is less than a handful – not an entire bag or can!

Although this article from everydayhealth.com is a bit older, it breaks down a quick bio of nuts like the antioxidant-rich walnut, the brainpower-boosting cashew, and the heart-healthy macadamia. I’ve always known that nuts in moderation are great for you but now I really want to find the perfect little bowl to fill with the perfect nutty mixture to leave beside my laptop for when I’m writing and need not only that extra calorie brain-boost to help keep me awake and focused, but a snack that won’t drip or crumble around my work area. It’s not that I’m a messy eater, I mean, I am a woman so my cleavage occasionally catches some stragglers but if you’ve ever sat at the computer for more than two hours at a time struggling to write on an empty stomach, you know how something like a mess-free snack can make your writing experience so much better.

If you’ve made it this far without giggling each time you read the word ‘nuts’ – give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. If not, that’s okay…I giggled a bit myself.

So anyway, back on point! Perhaps you could consider nuts as a healthy and relatively ‘clean’ writing snack the next time you make a trip to the grocery store! If you have a nut allergy – well, I suggest the hummus. But with napkins, lots of them.

Happy Snacking!

Where I’d Rather Be

 

It’s so hot in my house today I can’t write. Literally can’t do it. I’m sweating just sitting still, which is wrong – on so many levels. So instead of being creative and talkative today, I’m leaving you only a picture of where I’d rather be. Let’s drool over it together, shall we?