Friday, April 12, 2013

Comfort

com·fort

[kuhm-fert] Show IPA
verb (used with object)
1.
to soothe, console, or reassure; bring cheer to: They tried to comfort her after her loss.
2.
to make physically comfortable
Comfort is a profound part of our well-being. Essentially, I spend about 40 hours a week helping people to reach "comfort". Somtime's they are unconscious and unresponsive, and so we use medications to prevent anxiety (because we even feel discomfort in the deepest of comas). There are days where I could give all the medications, pillows, hot tea, and hot-packs...and they won't feel "comfortable" because their state of discomfort is emotional or a mental illness. 

When we complain or are unhappy with current conditions , it is usually due to a lack of comfort. "Too cold". "Smoldering hot". "Tired". "Anxious". "Hungry". "Stuffed". "Lonely". "Overwhelmed". "Helpless". "Lost". 

I have to admit I live quite the "comfortable" life. 
#1 - I am healthy. I breath without difficulty. I walk without pain. These gifts we take for granted, but they are incredible blessings
#2 - I am blessed with family. I have a loving husband, parents, siblings, in-laws, relatives -- who love and care about me.
#3 - I love my home, my neighborhood, my back yard, my warm comfortable bed, my community, my friends, my support network, my job, my coworkers who are seriously like family to me.
 Now to lighten things up - I will touch on enhancing comfort. We all have our days.(Right?!?!) At least I think we do. I know I have my "days".  Those days where maybe you just feel "off", maybe a little fragile. Don't say anything harsh to me on those days, for you will see this lady cry. All the exercise and fresh air in the world couldn't burn this feeling off. I know I'm blessed beyond words. But, maybe I'm feeling a little "down-in-the-dumps".

How do you conquer these days? Do you have a network of people you can just "go to" to cheer you up? Do you have hobbies that uplift you? My remedy today was a fresh air., laughter, and peace. I went for a run and a long bike ride (I'm triathlon training, so I have to double up on the sports). I had lunch with a friend. And I got my quiet time. 

I took a trip to the grocery store, and said, "I'm going to buy some comfort food for this quiet evening int." In my mind, I expected to walk out of the store with oreo cookies and a 6-pack of IPA (Indian Pale Ale beer). I didn't think about lists or calories. I got what looked good. And here is what I walked out with.

-Good coffee beans to get me going for work tomorrow morning (Sumatra..mmmm...dark)
-A bottle of Savignon Blanc
-Artichoke hearts
-Pickled Beets

In reality, I'm envious of my friends who are spending their evenings on dates with their significant others. However, I'm making the best out of it! I will enjoy a chilled glass of Sav Blanc, and those pickled beets are going to go damn good with my basil (fresh from my herb garden) and mozzy cheese...drizzled with balsalmic vinegar. A good book and some insense.....and I will reach "comfort". 

What brings you comfort?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Greek to me!

My initial disclaimer is that if the following information I'm about to post about is old news to you -- sorry. It's new news to me! And I'm pretty excited about it.

Greek Yogurt. (G.Y.)

Lately with all this triathlon training - I have been putting many hours in the pool, bike, and running trails. Weight training and foam rolling in between. Although most of it is fun for me (especially the run, bike swim). Heck, swimming doesn't even feel like a workout to me since it's so fun and natural to me to swim (I've always been a fish). This high activity level cannot be achieved with out proper fuel!

Hmmm..."Fuel".... Isn't that how Lance Armstrong was such an awesome athlete? Success = fuel = supplements = Blood doping........

No. I don't even dabble in taking protein - I haven't found any protein that doesn't make my stomach feel queasy. The closest thing to a supplement I take is my B Complex vitamins and Calcium & Magnesium.

But by fuel, I mean proper calories to give me the energy to keep going (and going and going and going). Especially since there are days where I run 7 miles and then head to work for a 12 hour shift on my feet! I now will look at one of those mini-snickers bars in the "naughty drawer" at work, and say to myself, "Okay, I'm hungry -- but will this sustain me?" The answer is usually no.(Sometimes I cave and eat the chocolate, though. Candy = Abby's weakness)

So I've found a few tricks. One of the biggest tricks that I've come by - hence the whole subject line of this post is my non-fat, plain greek yogurt! I have found many things to add it to -- which gives an extra kick of protein. It's awesome! Also, if you want to make something creamy - greek yogurt (G.Y.) will do that for you as well.

Here it goes:
  1. The no-brainer - I eat it plain as yogurt for breakfast in the morning. I add 1/2 a banana, some berries, sprinkle some chia seeds, and oats on top. Delicious and fresh!
  2. Want to cool down your oatmeal? Is your oatmeal too dry? Add 2 spoonfuls G.Y. and stir.
  3. Vinegar just not doing it for your salad at lunch time? 2 Tbsp balsalmic vinegar, 1 tsp e.v.o.o., 1 Tbsp G.Y. - whisk away and enjoy! Creamy, vinegary, delicious. (This can be done also if you're making creamy coleslaw and you don't want to use mayonaise)
  4. Another salad - chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, apple cider vinegar + G.Y. + S & P, let sit over night - holy yum!
  5. Chicken Tortilla Soup or Chili need a little sour cream? Add a few spoonfuls of G.Y. - gives it the creaminess, you will not be able to tell it's yogurt! Same for making creamy enchiladas!
(I will say that some people have complained that the consistency just doesn't seem right sometimes. The non-fat and lower fat will not have the best consistency, so the full fat G.Y. may be appropriate in certain instances!)

Yogurt is so good for you with the probiotics, calcium, etc. How do you eat your yogurt? I also like yogurt  in the frozen manner, chocolate espresso flavored, with strawberries and oreos sprinkled on top. ;)