Welcoming November with Positivity + Cautious Optimism

November is here and I’m itching for some change.  Daylight savings ended this weekend and I wasted most of the extra hour thinking about time, and all of the things I daydream (usually when I’m fighting waking up in the morning) that I would do if I just had one extra hour to myself.  Usually those thoughts center around either getting up earlier to workout, or just sleeping later — something of a paradox really.

Even though the idea of actually gaining an hour has already burned off, I want to be more intentional about how I start my days off — not just through actual action, but also intention and approach.

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There’s something to choosing an intention for the day — a subtle focus and general goal for how to mentally approach the waking hours.  Life is way too fluid to be controlled, but there’s something pretty powerful about selecting the lens through which you view it and how it really does begin to shine through the other garbage that starts to pile on.  And maybe, just maybe, over time the garbage will decrease — either in reality, or perception.  At least that’s the goal.

One of the best parts of the day is when I get to check my personal email and the daily Truth Bomb’s from Danielle LaPorte — it’s such a guilty (or not so guilty, really) pleasure of mine….but I need to put the effort in to have my own.  My friends at Merch Colony are currently doing a daily gratitude challenge in preparation for Thanksgiving, so as I launch this new positive/daily intention, I’m going to err on the side of gratitude this month.  December can be focused on a little more positivity since I know I’ll need it once the temps dip below what is reasonable…in my opinion.

This morning, admittedly, I took about a 45 minute delay on being exceptionally positive as I got up to head to MADabolic Cville for the 6am class.  I’m not a super early person these days, so it’s always begrudgingly that I make the early morning classes.  The up-side is that once I’m in it, I love it.  After years of waking up way early for rowing I have a deep love/hate for pre-dawn movement, but my body is definitely conditioned to rise to the occasion, and by 7am I already feel accomplished, strong, and completely focused on the day ahead.

As I was making my (3rd) coffee of the morning (in the newly renovated kitchen that I will undoubtedly be sharing more about, and in, soon), I sunk deeper into an already positive mindset, with gratitude that I’m able to start of Monday so happily, so productively, and with such an amazing group of people.  Followed up by this view of the back yard and the water line of the Rivanna beyond the trees — and thus Monday began with gratitude and a warm mug of coffee in my hands.  Not too shabby.

fuel sweat grow: view from the kitchen window

On another positive note, I made my first full meal in the new kitchen this weekend, and it felt so great to have my favorite space back.

fuel sweat grow: fall squash and salad

fuel sweat grow: grilled pesto chicken

I’m really into late summer/fall style salads right now, and aside from the general add of some avocado, pesto chicken seemed like a solid path to cautiously embrace November.

So, I welcome you, November with positivity, a fully functioning kitchen, and the cautious optimism of someone with an extra hour to burn and anxious anticipation of the cold months I avoid all year.

Falling Back with Coffee + Home Cooking

Hello Monday.

Rise & SHine

Even with the bonus hour of sleep (which I took FULL advantage of), Monday came as abruptly as ever.      And with the lowest temperatures of the fall, which is really only going to contribute to my discontent.

I’m definitely a coffee-only morning person, and will consider food a few hours later once my body has had a chance to wake up.  This morning I was definitely on the slow and steady path, starting with iced coffee first thing, and followed up with a vegetable, steak, and egg scramble late-morning to keep me going.

By noon I was hungry for a little something more, and needing another kick in my veins, so I made my new favorite midday pick me up (aka: vitamixture):

vitamixture

I started hoarding collecting iced coffee tumblers from Whole Foods a few months ago, not only because proves economical for me ($4 refills!), but also because I don’t have the time or energy to coordinate a coffee run every morning.   Having their amazing iced Toddy mixture  just an arms length away, in my own fridge, feels like winning each and every morning.

So, with a tumbler in hand, and vitamix plugged in, I make my own version of a Frozen Monkey.

Here’s what you need (measurements are discretionary):

  • 1/2 c. Ice

  • 1/2 c. Coconut milk

  • 1 c. Iced Coffee

  • 1 frozen banana

  • 4 Strawberries

  • 1 tsp. raw cocoa powder

  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • (option to add in 1 tbsp almond butter)

Frozen Monkey

Today was a long day of work, and since I took class at MADabolic the last three days in a row, I decided upon a well deserved rest day.  I’ve been trying to be better, recently, about really enjoying my rest days and fully listening to my body when it needs a break.  So that’s what I did.

What does an afternoon of rest look like, you wonder?  It looks like this (and it feels awesome).

Fall Salad

Mixed greens, chopped walnuts, a honey crisp apple, and blueberries, made for a pretty awesome fall salad.  And since no salad is complete without some protein and side items, this particular meal was rounded out with a mixture of Sunday night’s leftovers: roasted chicken, and spaghetti squash sautéed with roasted cauliflower.

monday night dinner

Lets be honest, if it’s going to get dark before 6pm, the least you can do to cope is have a great meal ready and waiting.   And this one was exactly the right blend of not-too-heavy combined with the warm comfort that comes with cold weather food.

Welcome November, I was not looking forward to you, but so far, so good.