What I’ve Been Reading….

Some posts I have enjoyed recently….

Helpful, honest and/or informative posts:

Sweet Tater: On Binge Eating – in this post, Katie lays down the facts about binge eating in such a clear and informative way and discusses how she personally deals with the issue. I love how blunt, honest, and hilarious she is in general (I always look forward to reading her posts), and I personally loved how she delved into this topic in such a relatable, open way.  Check it out if you haven’t already!

For the Love of Kale: Dissassociating my Veganism from my Eating Disorder: I have mentioned Heather/her blog on here a few times already, but I must say, her blog is one of my new favorites. I love when blogs are authentic and real and when you can tell that the person behind the page really has a passion for what they are writing about. Heather’s blog is just that, and I love the positive energy she exudes through her writing. She also  talks about topics in such a well-rounded and helpful way.  

Une Vie Saine: Lately: I have been reading Gabriela’s blog for quite a while now, and I have loved watching it evolve. I think our 20’s can be such a confusing time, and I appreciate how Gabriela has let her blog evolve with her life and how she is so open and real about her feelings.  I love how brutally honest she is in this post. It was very refreshing to read.   

You can’t fake authenticity and passion, and I love finding blogs (and posts) that are honest and real (these are the blogs  that keep me coming back for more!). It is not easy to whip out informative/thought-provoking/well-written content on a consistent basis, so I have huge respect for people who are able to write openly and honestly about their thoughts/experiences/feelings. Check out these blogs!

On the food/recipe front:

Accidentially Delish: Chocolate Banana Hummus – I have no words. This is such a good idea! I need to buy some chickpeas stat.

Healthy Happy Life: Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers –  I heard that these are delicious and I reallllly want to make them.

Gluten Free Goddess: Kale Salad with Quinoa, Tangerines and Roasted Almonds – I am always on the lookout for new uses for kale and this one seems right up my alley…

Recipe Success

Peanut Butter Fingers: Savory Salmon Oatmeal Hash – I made this for dinner the other week and LOVED it! While I have made savory oats before, this was a new spin on the concept. You couldn’t even tell that oatmeal was used as the grain! This was really easy to make and was sooooo delicious. I basically stuck to Julie’s recipe only making the following modifications:

  • I replaced the cauliflower with asparagus and broccoli 
  • I seasoned my oatmeal hash with some dijon mustard and pepper (that I mixed in at the end of cooking) and topped my bowl off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice  (instead of seasoning with dill)

Any posts you have loved recently?

Any recipes you want to make/have made and want to share?

….feel free to link!

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It’s all about the balance

When it comes to health, I am all about balance. While it is important to eat your greens and fruit and whole grains on a daily basis, it is also important to eat ice cream and chocolate and enjoy some beer and wine from time to time. While it is important to incorporate exercise/daily movement into your life, it is OK to sometimes qualify bar hopping towards your quota or take the day off when you’re just not feeling it.

As long as you are fueling with the good stuff for the majority of the time and treating your body well on a daily basis, there is no reason not to throw caution to the wind and enjoy the HUGE margarita and/or ice cream when you want to. It’s all about having equal love for both the spinach and the mint chocolate chip….

I bring this up because this weekend definitely qualified as a more indulgent weekend for me. I participated in some fun St Patty’s activities on East Carson street ( a street in Pittsburgh that is lined with way too many bars to count), and I thought it could be fun to highlight how I balanced my day/weekend with both healthy eats and some more indulgent treats as well…..anyone else take part in some fun St Patrick’s day festivities?

My weekend included:

Drinks

my fair share of  green drinks

some on the “healthier” end of the spectrum…..

and some with the addition of some tequila… 

Big Azz kiwi margarita at Mad Mex

Green margaritas at Margaritaville!

Food

I balanced out some delicious eats

Lunch at Whole Foods on Saturday before the festivities began....

Breakfast on Sunday was a group effort: fruit bought and chopped by Jon and arranged by yours truly

with some delicious treats….

First Rita's of the season! Gelati with iced coffee cream ice and vanilla custard

There was also some unpictured  pizza, buffalo potato chips and caramel popcorn consumed throughout the weekend as  well…..

Exercise

  • BodyAttack on Saturday morning
  • Bar hopping/walking on Saturday afternoon
  • Plenty of laziness of Sunday….

So it basically was a great weekend, and I wish I could rewind and do it again…. Why must it be Monday morning right now?

He loves me, I swear

How was your weekend/St Patrick’s day?

How do you incorporate balance in your life?

 

Best Thing I Packed this Week: BBQ Lentil Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

Hi guys, happy Friday!

I have some more delicious meals to share with you all… I was on a roll this week with making delicious and healthy lunches. 

Best meals I packed this week:

In case you missed them, here are some of my past weeks of “Best thing I packed:”

Veggie-Packed Tofu salad with  Poppyseed Dressing

I ate this for lunch on Thursday, and it was especially delicious. I basically tried to add as much color/texture as possible to my Tupperware container by packing as many fresh veggies as I could into my salad.

Since veggies alone would keep me full for about 20 minutes, I added in some tofu and whole grain rotini pasta for some protein and whole grains (and staying power). 

I used a new to me dressing (Drews Poppyseed dressing) on top, and I loved it. I feel like I am always talking about this brand of dressing, but I have yet to try a variety I don’t like. I guess I am a big fan….

This salad was so filling, and I loved all the different components. My favorite salads always tend to be the ones with a lot of different ingredients thrown in so my taste buds never get bored… I also love including cold pasta in salads. It always soaks up the dressing and is so good (try it!). This particular salad contained:

  • kale
  • cucumber
  • radish
  • carrots
  • beets
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 block tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • whole grain rotini pasta (1/2 cup)

Dressing: Drews Poppyseed dressing

BBQ Lentil Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

This was another delicious lunch combo I concocted this week. It contained:

  • chopped collard greens
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • spicy roasted sweet potatoes
  • brown lentils (about 1/2 cup)… I made them over the weekend using the method I talked about here

Dressing: BBQ sauce

I loved the mix of the BBQ sauce (I love using condiments as dressing!) with the collard greens and the lentils. The spicy sweet potatoes were also a fun addition. I made the sweet potatoes over the weekend by roasting 2 cubed potatoes in a mixture of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder for about 40 minutes (flipping halfway through) in a 400 degree oven. I made them for dinner on Sunday, but the leftovers served as a great salad topper.

Again, this was so filling (probably because of the lentils and potatoes) and so satisfying.  My taste buds were very happy. I have been loving BBQ/spicy foods these days.  

I hope everyone has a great day and eats some delicious food!

 What is the best thing you packed/ate this week? (I love hearing about your delicious creations/meals!)

Scenes from the weekend + a fun snack idea

Hi! How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

I didn’t do anything super exciting and was rather low key, but it was exactly what I needed. I basically just ran errands and got some work done, but I really enjoyed myself. Sometimes its nice to just recharge. Some  of my more notable moments of the weekend….

I ate a delicious lunch at Whole Foods

I had to work Saturday morning so I rewarded myself when I was finished with with a delicious Whole Foods lunch…. I especially enjoyed the vegetarian Waldorf salad made with kale on the bottom right corner…. (I am pretty mad at myself for not looking how they made it…). Anyone know whats in it?

I ran 5 miles at the gym on Saturday!

Even though I have been running for over 2 years now, and have completed multiple races, I still get excited every time I run more than 2 miles…. maybe its my former nonathletic/uncoordinated adolescent self congratulating me? I was pretty pleased with myself for 1. getting to the gym on a Saturday afternoon and 2. running more than 3 miles (my original plan)

I tried a new-to-me beer

I went to Jon‘s friends house last night and enjoyed a couple of beers (including the Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale that I previously wrote about!).  The Old Brown Dog Ale tasted exactly how Runner’s World described it and was deliciously malty/caramel-y. I also had a Flying Dog  In Heat Wheat Hefeweizen that was pretty good.

I saw the biggest yam I have ever seen….

This is random, but I saw this at the store today and felt the need to share. It was HUGE!

I ate a delicious snack

I just ate this, and since it was pretty good, I felt the need to share. I always love having something sweet at night, and I like to try to think of healthier alternatives to enjoy when I am not in the mood to eat something super indulgent.

I was in the mood for something warm/comforting, but I also wanted an apple. To satisfy both moods I made some cinnamon pumpkin peanut butter dip that I could dip some apple slices into. To make the dip I combined:

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin (approx)
  • 1 tsp  peanut butter (approx)

I heated the mixture in the microwave for 15 seconds than stirred in some cinnamon.

This was such a fun snack, and I loved dipping the cold/crisp apples slices into the warm  peanut butter and pumpkin combo. YUM!

What the highlight/best part of your weekend?

Best thing I packed this week (February 17, 2012)

Hi everyone, Happy Friday!

I am pretty excited because I have the day off of work today! I still have chem lecture + lab from 5-10 tonight, but I refuse to let that dampen my day. It’s so nice to have the morning/afternoon free! What should I do with myself? I’m not used to this freedom…..

Anyway, moving on…. Since it is Friday, I have another installment of “the best thing I packed this week.” I hope you guys are fans of eggs because my favorite meals revolved around them this week. For some reason I was craving egg salad last weekend (which is odd because I rarely crave eggs), so I decided to do something about it. I buckled down, decided to be my domestic self, and I made some hard-boiled eggs (I had no idea what I was doing and had to look up directions... it ended up being really easy, by the way).

Me and eggs have a weird relationship. I either love them or hate them (and there is no in between). I was definitely on the “love” side of the spectrum this week so I just went with it and had some egg-inspired meals….

The best thing I packed this week: Hard-boiled egg edition:

Best Lunch: “Cobb”-esque Salad

For lunch on Monday, I made myself a “Cobb-esque” salad (I am calling it that since it contained no bacon, chicken, or tomatoes like a typical cobb salad, but did have the egg and cheese components…). My salad contained:

  • romaine lettuce
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • celery
  • mushrooms
  • snap peas
  • a slice of cheddar cheese (cut into squares)
  • 1 chopped hard-boiled egg
  • Dressing: homemade honey mustard dressing made with apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper

I loved all the different textures and tastes in this salad and the cheddar cheese was a fun addition (I have a similar relationship with cheese as I do with eggs…. love it or hate it). I guess I am in a dairy loving mood this week?

I think I was inspired to make this after seeing a Cobb salad on Pinterest the other week… I have been loving getting food inspiration from the site (side note…. I really want to try to make these apple pies in an apple…).

Best Dinner: Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich

Keeping with the egg theme, my favorite pre-class packed dinner this week was a egg salad wrap that I had on Wednesday night. I made the egg salad by combining (enough for 2 sandwiches):

  • 3 eggs (chopped)
  • 1-2 tbsp greek yogurt (I just eyeballed this)
  • a squirt of dijon mustard (maybe 2 tsp?)
  • pepper
  • a sprinkle of paprika

I made my wrap by combining half the egg salad mixture with some romaine lettuce.

This ended up being so good and definitely satisfied my egg salad craving. Not only was it a protein packed wrap with the addition of both eggs and greek yogurt, it was also a bit healthier than the standard mayo-heavy egg salad you would find in most deli’s or supermarkets.

I was a little nervous to use greek yogurt  as a mayo replacement (I usually use it as a sour cream replacement), but it turned out really well! This tasted  spot on to the mayo-heavy egg salad I remember eating as a child, only this version was so much less dense and calorie heavy! I know some people are against using greek yogurt as a substitute for other condiments, but I am a big fan. It’s just so versatile.

Other notable meals/snacks of the week:

Tofu sandwich with Trader Joe's Lentil Masala dip, cucumber and spinach

Snack of cottage cheese and pumpkin topped with craisins, raisins and a sprinkle of cinnamon and raw oats

 What was the best thing you packed this week?

Have a great weekend!

Staying sane on busy days

Good morning. How are you doing today?

breakfast - greek yogurt, quinoa, banana, strawberries, pb

So yesterday was a long day. I have decided that  Wednesdays are definitely the toughest day of the week for me to get through. Between  8 hours of work + 90 minutes of Bio lecture + 2 (or more) hours of Bio lab, I always feel exhausted by the end of the day. While I usually try to make the best of it and not complain (I know we all have busy days), I have found that some weeks/days are just easier than others. Yesterday was one of the more rough days.

Anyway, instead of going over why I was it was hard day or why I didn’t have as much energy, etc., I’d rather move forward and discuss strategy. I have realized that I employ a few tactics every week to keep my spirits up. Since I am not one to dwell on a negative mood for long and am a  firm believer that the little things in life are what make you the happiest, I guess it comes to no surprise that I’d try to make the most of my more stressful days. Why be happy tomorrow or “when I have accomplished _____” when you can be happy right now (even at times when you are learning about entropy and enzymes)? Life if happening everyday so why not enjoy it (even if it’s the little moments….)?

So on that note, I thought I’d share some things that I do to attempt to stay positive/remain optimistic when days are long or stressful or feel never-ending  (and then maybe you can share some of your strategies? I’m always looking for new tips…):

I pack/plan to eat “fun food” and/or make eating an “event”

This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but food makes me really happy. I love looking forward to a meal and love to plan fun (and healthy(!)) meals for myself on days when I am stressed or busy or blah. A good meal just lifts my spirits (and keeps me well fueled!). I legitimately get excited to dig into my packed dinners before class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Even on super busy days when I rely on granola bars and trail mix to keep my energy up, I try to take the time to just slow down and enjoy them. Food doesn’t need to be fancy to be special. Meals (for me at least) not only serve as good “fuel” but always create a time/space where I can tell myself to just STOP and enjoy the moment. I love how food has the power to create such a space. You have to eat at least 3 times a day, so why not use the time to enjoy yourself?

I believe that food should always be “fun” and should never be an afterthought. It’s important! Even a snack of a granola bar or a dinner of a pb&j can be exciting if you focus on it.

Use my commute time as “me” time

It can be really hard to travel to school from work and come home at the end of the day feeling like I haven’t stopped moving for 14+ hours. I am the type of person that needs time to myself to just relax. I usually do this by running or at night by just unwinding, but my current schedule doesn’t allow as much time for this (I need to sleep too!).

I have found that my car ride to and from school is a great time for me to unwind and just relax. My activities range from belting out songs (I am really liking Kelly Clarkson’s new song for this… is that embarrassing?) to pondering life, to completely zoning out (while watching the road, of course). Whatever the activity though, I realize that these rides are definitely beneficial to let me just be.

Repeat positive mantras and try to learn fun facts

When all else fails and I feel super exhausted or would rather do anything than go to class or measure 2 mL of water into 15 different beakers during lab, I either repeat positive mantras in my head or try to extract fun facts from class to keep myself motivated. Basic biology can be much more fun when you are trying to learn something new and exciting at every moment.

I find myself doing this at work too when things are especially slow or stressful. It’s never to late to learn something new (I got to learn all about assessment of nonverbal children with autism yesterday….). I had a professor once that always said, “It’s not for school but for life we learn…” so maybe that’s where I learned this little tactic?

My go-to mantras:

  • “This will be worth it….. This will be worth it”
  • “You can do this. You are smart. You are going to be someone someday”
  • If you focus on the moment/be present… time will go faster (and you actually may gain something from this)… which is usually always true

Fun Facts:

  • Penicillin was discovered by accident
  • It is NOT fun to make “onion water” (not a fun fact but is the truth)….yesterday was more of a positive mantra day than a learn fun facts kind of day

So these are just a few things that I try to keep in mind when stressed/busy.  Even when days are hard and life is overwhelming, I like to think there is something I can do to change it (or at least make it a bit more enjoyable).

How do you stay sane when life is crazy? Do you have any suggestions/tips? I’d love to hear some!

Have a great day everyone!

WIAW #4 (February 15, 2012)

Hi there, Happy Wednesday! One day closer to weekend….

And also time for another What I ate Wednesday!

This WIAW post documents everything I ate yesterday (2/14). I was going to show you Monday’s meals this week, but I figured my Valentine’s Day-inspired meals were a bit more exciting to share….

Breakfast: 6:15 AM

For breakfast yesterday, I decided to get in the Valentine’s day spirit by having a chocolate inspired breakfast (that I previously showed in yesterday’s post). I had a Fitnessista-inspired breakfast cookie made with the following:

  • 1/2  oats
  • 1 tbsp pb
  • 1 tbsp Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • splash soy milk
  • topped with 2 chopped strawberries + strawberry jelly

I LOVE breakfast cookies as a quick, delicious oatmeal alternative in the morning, but I go through phases where I forget about them.  I might need to start bringing them back into a normal rotation in the mornings. They are super easy to throw together the night before, and it’s so nice to have breakfast waiting for you in the morning. I especially enjoyed the chocolate addition in yesterday’s breakfast.

Snack: 9:45 am

I got a little hungry before a meeting I was scheduled to have at 10 am yesterday, so I snacked on a  little trail mix/cereal mixture that contained:

  • Kashi Honey Sunshine (about 1/2 c)
  • raisins + golden raisins
  • walnuts + almonds

Lunch: 12:15 pm

I usually eat lunch around 12, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from the front desk at work  saying that a package had been delivered to me:

My boyfriend, Jon, sent me flowers! I was so surprised (I have never had anything sent to me at work before)! I had no idea he was doing it… and am quite impressed with his sneakiness. He’s the best.

For lunch I had a tempeh, cheddar, spinach and jelly sandwich on a whole wheat sandwich thin (a combo I have been meaning to try out for a while!), with some carrot sticks, celery and snap peas on the side.

This particular sandwich  combo ended up being really good! I loved the sweet jelly mixed with the salty/savory tempeh and cheddar cheese. I love eating tempeh in sandwiches, and I am just loving the sweet/salty combo these days…. (side note, if you’ve never tried tempeh or need some new ideas check out Meghann’s post… she has a lot of great suggestions!). I also had  a Fugi apple with lunch as well.

Snack: 1:30 pm

My coworker, Amanda, was so sweet and baked/brought in some Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies for the office yesterday in order to celebrate Valentine’s Day . She found the recipe on Pinterest (we bound over our mutual love of the site), and I must say, these brownies were pretty delicious. It served as the perfect afternoon Valentine’s Day snack.

Dinner: 7:00 pm

we were extra classy and put our seltzer and pepsi in wine glasses....

Jon and I decided to made dinner together yesterday to “celebrate.” We made Sautéed Citrus Salmon with roasted potatoes (tossed with basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, thyme and garlic) and garlic green beans (we sautéed them with minced garlic, salt and pepper).

This meal ended up being pretty simple to make (fish-making always intimidates me a little and I don’t know why… it’s easy), and the salmon turned out so well. It was really good. I found the recipe on Pinterest (notice a theme here….), and I would highly recommend it.  The lemon peel and lemon juice added a really nice flavor to the fish and it had plenty of crispy edge pieces (my favorite part!). I am pretty sure this is one the best meals Jon and I have made together. It’s one of those meals you want to go back and eat again (or have dreams about eating… anyone else have this happen to them? I can’t be the only one that thinks about delicious food all.the.time.).

Dessert: 8:00 pm

For dessert we had some chocolate mousse that I made on Monday, topped with some whipped cream and strawberries. I can’t even describe to you how good this stuff is. I wish I could swim in it… I even debated having another glass full of it when I finished the glass above. It is so chocolatey and delicious. I am totally making this whenever I  have a dinner party (since I do that so often?…one day) or want to “impress” guests (it is so “fancy,” but so easy to make). Go make this. You won’t regret it.

Overall, I must say that I had a great day of eating yesterday.  Everything I ate was amazing…. I don’t think I could even choose what the best meal of the day was, I enjoyed them all.

What was the best thing you ate yesterday?

Things I’ve learned this weekend…

1. Three  years can go by really fast….

My boyfriend, Jon, and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary yesterday. I honestly can’t  believe it has been that long…. I feel like we just met next to the keg in the basement of that lovely college apartment where neither of us knew anyone…

While our relationship has evolved quite a bit over the years, he still makes me laugh everyday, is always my #1 fan, and I love him now more than ever. I don’t know what I’d do without him.

I love you Jon! Happy 3 years!

2. I want to be Ina Garten

Yesterday afternoon, Sami (my sister) and I made and brought lunch over to our friend Erin’s house to have a lunch/homework “party” (Hi Erin and Erin!). From reading my blog(!) and seeing Sami’s lunches during breaks from class (Erin is in Sami’s grad program), she was interested in having a Dana/Sami-inspired salad. I, of course, was happy to bring over some healthy and delicious food for us to enjoy (since I do want to start a lunch-packing service), and packed us some Asian-themed salads.

Asian-themed salads with edamame, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, snap peas, teriakyi tofu, brown rice, sesame seeds....

I felt a lot like Ina Garten, since she always seems to be whipping up and packing food to-go for special occasions. I won’t lie, I am a big fan of hers, and I kind of liked channeling my inner Barefoot Contessa yesterday. I love packing lunches for myself and for others, and if it were possible for me to make a living traveling around and making people healthy/colorful/delicious lunches and snacks, I totally would do it.

I need Ina to come give me some tips….

3. Bulgur wheat is a delicious oatmeal alternative

1/4 c bulgur, 1/4 c oats, 1 c almond milk, 1/2 banana, big scoop pb

Yesterday morning, I tweaked my normal oatmeal/banana/peanut butter breakfast by replacing a 1/4 cup of my normal oatmeal serving with a 1/4 cup of some bulgur wheat (that I got in the bulk bins at Whole Foods).  I first read about this grain over at Carrots ‘n Cake, and it is a great grain to enjoy for breakfast (here is some info about it if you’re interested). It is a bit chewier than rolled oats, but I find that combining it with oats creates a great combination of texture. It is a great way to switch up breakfast and  incorporate fun, new, and healthy grains into your diet! I really enjoyed this breakfast yesterday. (Note to self: eat more bulgur for breakfast!)

I  hope you are having a great weekend!

Anything you have “learned this weekend?”

Any types of grains you like to enjoy for breakfast other than oatmeal? I have tried using barley and quinoa as alternative breakfast grains before, and I know Bethenny has a brown rice breakfast that I tried a few years ago…

Life Lessons from Temple Grandin

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see Temple Grandin speak.

Temple has her Ph.D.  in animal science,  is known as an expert in the cattle and livestock industry, is a professor at Colorado State University, and is a well-respected author. Temple Grandin also has autism.

A HBO movie was also recently made about her/her life (2010). They showed a clip during her presentation so it is definitely an accurate depiction...

It was SO COOL to hear  Dr. Grandin’s presentation (I work in autism research and my boss was able to get us admittance into the program). While  her discussion focused solely on autism (her experiences, how she views it, services she supports…), I found that many of her tips and experiences could be applicable to other situations as well.

Some of Temple’s statements that stuck out to me:

1. There are so many different types of thinkers/learners out there and it is ridiculous to think that everyone will learn the same way.

  • A person who thinks visually might not be able to do algebra very well (but will be able to design buildings flawlessly).
  • A person who thinks in a factual way will be able to list all the events of WWII without a problem, but most likely will not be able to draw very well or comprehend abstract principles.

We need to recognize these differences and realize that it is not that these individuals are less capable. They may just need to learn things in less “typical” ways.

2. If you need to learn a skill that you don’t want to or have trouble doing a specific task (e.g., engaging in social situations, talking in front of large groups of people, etc.), align that skill with a goal that you want to accomplish.

  • For example, if your dream is to be a software engineer at Google, you have to be able to communicate with others effectively and hold a conversation. You need to be able to:
  1. learn to talk to people ( in order to)
  2.  reach your career goal

 3. It is OK to cry!

  • Temple discussed that as a child, she didn’t understand how to express her emotions or how to change them. She said she used to take out her frustrations through aggression (she described throwing a book at a teacher) , but she later learned to replace her aggression with a different act: crying (since crying was more socially acceptable and didn’t cause any harm).
  • She said she still HATED high school, but learned how to effectively get through it.

4. Use your interests to expand your knowledge base

  • A lot of children on the autism spectrum tend to fixate on certain things or have specific interests (e.g., trains, cars, horses, history).
  • Instead of letting the child fixate and not move forward, Temple advised educators/parents to use those interests to  stretch the child’s mind…. If they like to draw horses, have them draw where they are riding to, what they are eating, etc. Have a child learn math by counting horses…

Temple brought up so many interesting points and really helped the audience understand how a person with autism may think or feel differently.

Even though this talk focused on the autism spectrum, I think many of Temple’s words and points are applicable to anyone. We all have struggles and are self-conscious about something. No one is perfect.

Some of  points I took away from the presentation (and those I felt could be generalizable):

  • Use your skills/interests to your advantage.  You have talents/thoughts/interests that are uniquely you…. USE THEM!

When Temple was asked whether she wished she could “take away” her autism, she replied, “No. I like the way I think, and I like the way I am. I think in a way that no one else can. I would never want to lose that.”

I LOVED this statement. I think we could all learn a little something from Dr. Grandin.

  • It’s OK to not be perfect at everything (but to realize that some skills are necessary to get you further in life)

Temple described how she learned to express emotions more effectively and learned to behave in a more social manner in order to get through school into the workforce (even though both of these skills so not come easily to her) .

I sometimes stress that I don’t like science enough to go into a science-related field, or that I am too introverted to work with people, but  I need to remind myself that it is OK to not be the best at everything.  Not every task will be enjoyable or come easy to me. It is OK to be a “work in progress” or work on tasks for a bigger purpose.

  • We are bound to get annoyed/frustrated/overwhelmed. We have a choice, however, on how we choose to react.

It is inevitable that this happens. We can’t be happy all the time. I think the power of choice is an important point to remember…

This presentation was so informative and inspiring. I loved how knowledgable Dr. Grandin was and how she was able to give the audience a perspective of autism that so few can do on such a large-scale. I feel really lucky that my job  gave me this opportunity. She inspired me to really use my “special skills” to my advantage…. I love listening to passionate/inspiring people.

Has anything inspired you recently?

Post-Run Beer?

I just came across an article posted on the Runner’s World website entitled, “7 Tasty Post-Run Beers.” While I usually don’t drink beer following a run (maybe I should start?), they did feature some delicious sounding beers that I have never heard of.

I know I have seen Tina and Theodora drink beer after long runs, and I did a 5k over the summer that had beer and champagne as one of the “water stations” (which was pretty fun), but since I tend to run only about 3-5 miles at a time, I think I will keep my beer drinking as a happy hour/weekend activity. If I did more long runs/training runs, I think I definitely would be a pro post-run beer drinker.  Any runners out there that are a fan of the post-run beer?

(The website also linked to another article that talks more in-depth about running and beer.. if  you’re interested.)

I have previously posted about my love of beer (and how I tend to classify it/order it), so I thought I’d list some of the featured types that I would like to try. Anyone ever heard of these?

(found through Runner’s World)

Harpoon Munich Dark

They describe this particular beer as balanced and not too heavy  with tastes of both coffee and molasses. It is made with dark grains that have similar antioxidants powers as red wine!

Stone Ruination IPA

This one is from Southern California and is described as one of the world’s hoppiest beers. I am a new hoppy beer lover, so I would love to try this out!

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog

They describe this beer as having a slightly sweet taste, thicker body, with tastes of  coffee,  cocoa and caramel. This microbrewery also supposedly sponsors a “Will Run for Beer” race series, which sounds pretty cool to me.

This is not a productive activity to be doing on a Tuesday afternoon.  Now I just want to go to Happy Hour, or maybe a long run…?

Anyone try a new beer recently and like to share? Any other post-run/workout activities you engage in?