The conference went pretty well, and, of course, since it was in Lawrence, I got to eat all kinds of awesome things: Falafel salad and baklava at Mad Greek, Phad Sea Eaw at Zen Zero, and ice cream at a real Ben and Jerry’s!
Yesterday I had a weird fatigue flare-up, which hit me on my walk home from the mall, where I did such strenuous things as: returning pants and avoiding all shopping opportunities because I just spent an insane amount of money on a pair of boots. At some point on my 3-block walk home, though, I was just totally exhausted and had to find a place to sit down. Weird, right? I spent the rest of the day in bed, getting up only to help with dinner. Matt made double-cheese grilled cheese sandwiches, and I decided to throw together some soup on the side, because it just felt right.
Swiss and Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese
Let's call this "half-grain soup"
The grilled cheese was delicious, of course, and the soup was good, too. Here’s what I did:
- Brought 4 cups of broth to a boil (I used chicken, but whatever would work)
- Added about 1/3 cup quick cooking barley (the whole grain) and cooked for two minutes
- Added about 1/3 cup Farfalline (orzo or any other small, quick cooking pasta would work – this was the non-whole grain, hence the “half-grain soup.” GET IT??)
- Simmered over medium for about two minutes
- Added 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach to the mixture and brought back to a boil
- Simmered over medium for about seven or eight minutes
- Added salt and pepper and some crushed red pepper
- Ate it (it makes 4 servings as a side, probably 2 as a whole meal)
See? Simple. And good. It would be more of a meal with more stuff in it. Like a protein, maybe an egg? And a little cheese on top would have been great, but I decided to cut myself off with the double cheese sandwich. Restraint: apparently it’s a virtue.
Tonight I tried something new: stuffed acorn squash.
This was a big hit – we both really liked it. Here’s what I did for the squash:
- Preheated oven to 375 degrees
- Sliced (read: had Matt slice, because I am clumsy with large cutting tools) a medium acorn squash in half and scooped out the seeds
- Put squash halves, skin side down, in a baking dish with a little water, and baked for about 40 minutes, until the skin was soft enough to pierce
For the filling, I just cooked some bulgur, added a can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed), grilled a turkey sausage and added chunks of that, threw in some chili power, garlic, and cayenne, and called it done. When the squash was cooked through, I stuffed the halves with filling and sprinkled on some cheese, then broiled for about 4 minutes, until the cheese was melted.
On the side, we had some multi-grain french bread and amazingly good fresh brussels sprouts from the last farmer’s market of the season, roasted at 375 for about 30 minutes.
Since I was out of commission yesterday, today was super busy and I seem to have totally worn myself out. I’m going to see my rheumatologist in a month, and I’m hoping he’ll have some kind of miraculous answer for why I am So. Exhausted. All. The. Time. I know that, at least lately, I haven’t been making the healthiest choices, and that does play a role, but this time the tired came first. A big thing for me in the next month is basically going to be motivating myself to exercise through the fatigue. Last week, I only managed one day of cardio (unless you count a 3 mile round trip walk to and from dinner, which I probably would have if I hadn’t eaten 486 tater tots at said dinner), and this week I’m aiming to get back to my usual 4-5, though my week is packed full of work things and my run at the gym today was incredibly hard. It was really easy to slack off when the only consequence was that my pants didn’t really fit right. But yesterday’s flare-up was really alarming to me, and it forced me to refocus on the fact that, while I can’t control whether my body is healthy, I can control whether the way I treat it is. And so, my goals this week are: more exercise (even if it’s light), less sugar, more sleep, and more water (I read recently that dehydration is the #1 cause of daytime fatigue, and we all know that I believe anything I read).
And I’ll be getting on that just as soon as I eat a giant frosted Halloween cookie. I may even have some water on the side.