Singing the Winter Blues

Warning: It’s long and it’s kind of ranty. Skip the picture-less text at the beginning and end for the more fun and vibrant food-related stuff.

First off, I apologize for the absence going on here. Being busy isn’t the best of excuses as I’m sure I could have managed to fit an entry in during all my reading, note taking etc but I’ve been really trying to catch up and eliminate a good chunk of the readings that I have needed to get done, so I’ve been focusing a lot on that over the past several days.

I also haven’t been in the best state lately. I think winter affects me pretty strongly as I’ve had troubles with this time of year for the past couple years now. The cold, the dark, the lonely… I just find it all too much and too long and I’ve been feeling like one big ball of emotions flying through the air, slamming into the ground, bouncing back up, only once again to fall back down. Plus the stress of school only serves to add to the emotional hoopla.

I know that it’s just the time of year and I need to keep reminding myself of that, but it’s hard sometimes. I’m tired of being forced into hibernation because it’s too bitterly cold to leave the house, because I have too much work to do, because I have no other options. I’m just tired of the right now.

That being said though, at least my mood isn’t consistently down. As I said, I do have my ups. Today the sun is shining. It helps, it really does.

And on that note, time for a recap of the last several days:

Thursday

Breakfast: Cottage Cheese Oats – oats, 1% cottage cheese, banana and a sprinkling of brown sugar. I don’t usually add brown sugar but the banana wasn’t quite as ripe as I normally have them so it needed a pinch more of sweetness, which the brown sugar contributed perfectly.

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Lunch: Spinach and Red pepper with tuna on top and on half an english muffin. The tune was mixed with fat free mayo, fat free sour cream and dijonnaise, my regular tuna combo.

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Then of course I had to have some zucchini bread along with a cup of coffee.

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Dinner: I made some soup! Butternut squash soup (out of a carton) with more squash and spinach pureed into it. Along with a side of raw veggies and squash with salsa and a splash of maple balsamic dressing.

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Gotta love bright green soup.

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Friday

Breakfast: Weetabix mixed with pumpkin and vanilla yogurt, frozen banana slices and cinnamon, and topped with some Fiber One Honey Clusters.

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Lunch: Very greeny salad topped with honey mustard and a veggie egg white scramble.

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Dinner: Sliver of frozen pizza, tuna sushi (the grocery store delicacy variety) stuffed with wasabi and pickled ginga! and a large salad.

I was going to have a veggie burger but I had already snacked on quite a few pieces of sushi when we got home from our grocery store trip just before dinner, so I kind of killed my appetie.

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And then we bought this amazing yogurt. It’s basically the only greek-style yogurt I’ve come across in Canada. They have many flavours. I wanted just the plain variety but there was none in stock and this is the first time I’ve seen this yogurt on sale so I HAD to grab it. I had never tried it before but it’s darn expensive (not to mention insanely high in calories, fat etc) so it won’t be a regular thing. I have, however, wanted to try it for ages so getting it on sale is the ideal time for that.

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All you need is a spoonful. This stuff is like pure thick, sweet whipping cream. It’s insanity.

Saturday

Breakfast: Oat bran with pumpkin, gingerbread syrup and banana slices. I seriously think I love oat bran more and more with each bowl I eat.

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Lunch: I had lunch at work. I brought a random and pretty messy looking salad with cottage cheese and the one last piece of grocery store tuna sushi.

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I also had to pick up pizza for the rest of the people at work and it was ordered from a grocery store. I had never had to pick up the pizza from this particular grocery store before so it was my first time in there. WOW. I misjudged it from the outside because it seriously didn’t look like anything special but inside was awesome! I didn’t really have the chance to look around at all so all I got to look at was the very first things at the entrance, but luckily that included a hummus/dip section. I find this Cilantro Raita yogurt dip which sounded pretty darn good so I had to buy it.

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The grocery store also had a sorbet bar. Excuse me? I’ve never seen a grocery store with a sorbet bar before! I seriously wanted to get some, more out of the novelty of it than anything. I didn’t.

Instead my sweet ending to lunch was some zucchini bread scraps. Not pretty, but pretty tasty.

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Dinner: Saturday night was our annual work dinner. You know how work places usually have a holiday dinner? Yeah, we do that at the end of January. It works out better that way. By this time you’re not sick of all of the big meals anymore so it’s much more appreciated ;)

Every year we go to the Olde School Restaurant. I was starving by the time we got to there. We started off with appetizers of bruschetta and garlic bread. I had one piece of bruschetta and one piece of cheesy garlic bread. The bruschetta was topped with amazing feta and was the best bruschetta I’ve ever tried. I didn’t whip out the camera for those though.

Then the table was provided with a standard bread basket. I had two small pieces because I was still starving. This was the only part of the meal that was kind of blah. I’m just not impressed with their bread. But hunger won out there.

All meals come with a soup or salad, so I got the soup. It was some kind of creamy chicken and rice. Very good and most especially so since I was starving and freezing. This fixed two problems in one, at least temporarily.

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My brother got the french onion soup. I had one (very tongue-scalding) bite. Check out that bubbly cheese.

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Onto the Main Course: I ordered the Grilled Lemon Chicken Breast with Greek Salad. I got the same thing last year but I just had to get it again because it was so good. I ate nearly everything on my plate. I honestly think my favourite part of the meal though was the giant chunk of feta cheese on the salad. A good quality feta cheese is definitely one of my favourite foods and this was definitely one of the best feta cheese varieties I’ve ever tried.

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Post dinner was of course the desserts. I didn’t order anything myself but I had a bite of my dad’s Black forest Cake. This thing was massive, the picture does not do it justice. I also ate his fruit (I work for my dad if you’re wondering why I’m mentioning family members as part of my work dinner ;) ), as well as one small piece of baklava and a bite of vanilla crepe. See, I didn’t even need to order my own dessert.

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I was comfortably full but not stuffed after this meal, which was nice. I hate being full to the point of it debilitation.

That being said, at home a couple hours later I dug into a bag of chocolate chips and had a white chocolate wonderful pb stuffed date. I couldn’t even begin to try to explain that one.

Sunday

Breakfast: I had the hardest time deciding what the heck I wanted to eat. I eventually went with a bowl of berry yogurt with banana, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I also stirred in some Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls and Fiber One but I had to get a picture without the cereal first, just because it’s so much prettier that way.

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Then I studied. And read. And took notes. Studied. Studied. Studied. What an exciting Sunday.

Lunch: A whole wheat wrap spread with edamame hummus and cilantro raita and stuffed with mushrooms and spinach pan fried with balsamic vinegar.

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I was still kind of hungry after this though, so about an hour later I had some pumpkin mixed with cinnamon, unsweetened Almond Breeze and vanilla soy protein powder, all heated in the microwave. Delicious and hit the spot.

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Dinner: We had spaghetti and meatballs, but I guess it’s technically not spaghetti since, well, spaghetti pasta was not used. But you get the idea. I had mine (mixture of whole wheat and regular pasta) on top of a bed of wilted spinach, along with a total of probably two small meatballs after picking at them, and tiny mound of cottage cheese and a small piece of bread with homemade sun dried tomato hummus. I ate quite a bit more pasta plain and straight from the pot. I tend to do that with pasta. Which is why I don’t like pasta. Stupid pasta. Stupid winter and carb cravings.

Okay, I’ll admit it, I actually love pasta. I think that’s pretty obvious.

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Then some more non-wilted spinach with an oil and vinegar/balsamic/honey mustard dressing and raisins.

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And for the first time in quite a long while… Iced Coffee. I missed it so much and for once I wasn’t completely freezing last night so I was able to make myself one. Usually I’m just too darn cold to even think about drinking an iced coffee.

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Workout: I squeezed a 45 minute 5 mile treadmill run in yesterday, as well as about 10 minutes of various arm exercises with 10 lb weights.

It was a good workout, but I’ve been slacking a bit on my workout frequency lately, and most especially on my strength training. School work is playing a large part in that, as is my mood roller coaster and lack of motivation. I’m always too darn cold to want to get into workout clothes and go down into the cold, dark basement to exercise. I do it anyway, but it’s hard sometimes to make myself.

I really really don’t like winter.

I’ve also been slacking on my eating a bit. As in not paying as close attention as I should be to snacking habits and sweet indulgences (you may not see them here in the pictures but they exist, true me). Winter, cold, stress and bumminess make me crave sweets. And bumminess makes me not care if I eat them.

Which is why we made brownies last night and I ate some even when I no longer really even wanted them.

I’m sorry this is so blah and ranty and complaining. I promise it’ll get better. I’m actually in not too bad of a mood today, most especially compared to yesterday when I was completely miserable. I just need to get out of this winter funk. I’m working on it.

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22 thoughts on “Singing the Winter Blues

  1. Beautiful eats!

    Sorry the weather/season is gettin’ ya down, I absolutely DESPISE bitterly cold weather too…I need springtime! Hope you start hittin’ an “up slope”!! :)

  2. Your work dinner looks absolutely amazing!

    I definitely feel the same as you about the weather. It definitely gets me down and in turn, I eat more. It’ll get better soon!

  3. I’ve seen the Liberte Mediterranean yogurt, and haven’t got around to trying it, I think because of the nutritionals. Good to know that it’s tasty though – maybe one day I’ll break down and pick up a container.

    And try not to get too down, winter will be over soon enough.

  4. aww im sorry you are feeling some seasonal blues. i can relate!! i hate being cold and i can’t get warm in my apt!! it makes you not want to do anything but eat and huddle in bed and just veg. trust me, it’s not YOU! it’s normal! it’s part of the human genetic make up- during the winter we want to eat & store fat, and keep our warmth, and maintain our energy and hibernate and sleep! i hate winter!! but spring is just around the corner!! can you believe it is almost FEBRUARY?! what the hell?!

    anyways, your eats look fab! lovin the sushi, z bread, and that bright green soup!!

    lets just keep chuggin through the school year! it will be warmer soooooooooon!!!

    mucho love Kristie!

  5. First of all – do not apologize!! Take time for yourself, do what you have to do, and then blog. Don’t get me wrong – I love hearing from you but take care of yourself first :)

    Sorry to hear you’re feeling blue. The winter can be tough on emotions and it’s so easy to get down and out because it’s so dreary. I’m hoping for some sunny skies for you, my dear!

    That yogurt sounds fabulous and I love the pear bowl! Your bro’s soup – mmmm cheeeeeeeeese ;)

  6. I hear ya on the winter. I get so bad that this year I actually went on antidepressants for the winter months!! Apparently it’s a fairly common thing… start in Oct, go till April. Anyway, it’s helping me a TON… none of the terrible SAD winter stuff anymore. Also, I’ve been taking 2000 U/D of Vitamin D3 tablets everyday… it’s supposed to help with winter moodiness too. I don’t know if it is having an effect cuz of my other medication, but they are really cheap and worth a shot!

    Also, I was wondering where you got your edamame hummus? I’m in Canada too so this is a product I might actually be able to find, unlike all the other stuff on blogs. Speaking of which, I highly recommend Liberte Moka, both in Mediterranean and in the regular old svelte (nonfat) brand. Sooo good. On sale at Metro right now.

  7. Hang in there! I get in the winter funk as well, but I’ve been taking Vitamin D this year, and I think it’s helping. It’s just so grey and cold out. You’re not the only one struggling with off eating either. My body wants so much more food during the winter months. Feed me – I’m cold!

    As far as your eats go, they all look good. Love the green soup and good feta…and look at all that cheese on the French Onion soup. Sorry it burnt your tongue. :(

    Cheer up – Spring will be here before we know it…and you can have your iced coffee everyday! I have a horrible iced coffee habit in the summer. I like to do go Dunkin Donuts because their large is like 32 ounces. Let’s just say I’m wired all summer long. :)

  8. I’m with you 100% on the weather! I feel all cranky and out of sorts, too! Enough, already! Maybe you need to do some Old Navy shopping? I know I’ve been thinking about it to cheer me up!!

    You did have some great eats over the past few days! :)

  9. Hang in there. Before you know it, the school semester will be over with and you won’t have to stress about school. This month has already flew by, and we’re approaching February already – so keep your chin up.

    And as always, tasty tasty eats. I really want to try some zucchini bread! And I think I need to get some of that Fiber 1 honey cluster cereal! =D

  10. Sorry you’re feeling down! I can get the same way during winter. The cold makes me feel depressed and want to hibernate until it goes away! Hopefully the rest of the season will fly by!

  11. No you go ahead and rant! I think everyone feels like that sometimes. You def take your time-kudos for a massive post though! At least you know how to eat healthy when you’re stressed. Just remember that all busy/stressful things eventually go away!

  12. ah honey, I’m so sorry about the mood not being as happy as you’d like it to be. Winter will be over with soon enough! Then everything will be fine and dandy after that! Keep your chin up babe! BLOGGER HUGS!!!!!

  13. aw perk up lovebug! Your eats look great to me, lots of healthy spinach, hummus, yogurt, pumpkin….choc chips, pb :D!!! I really hope you feel better, it’s a new week!!

  14. thats exactly how i feel lately… even though i post healthy eats sometimes through out the day i dont eat so healthy… booo

    thats what the winter will do to ya.. keep your head up… everything will be ok!

  15. I know exactly how you feel. I was just thinking the other day how I can’t wait for the warm weather. I need to be outside! I’m going nuts! I hate getting out of work and it’s already dark, makes me feel like there’s no time to do anything.
    And don’t feel bad about ranting, especially since so many others feel the same way!

  16. Oh dearest darling! Seasonal affective disorder is the real thing! I’m not saying you have it, but I’m sayin it’s so common. to struggle this time of year. I’m so sorry! That sounds like a struggle. Your eats look really good though. What does your dad do? Love the family business. :) I tried vanilla soy protein powder with pumpkin this morning and I FREAKIN’ WENT INSANE. It was so good girl. Thanks for the great idea, I’ll holler atcha tomorrow on the blizzle.
    P.S. I’m going to Toronto! Possible meet up in August!

  17. Kristie, I can completely relate to what you are going through right now, and I’m so sorry. I am in way over my head this quarter and am definitely the type of person who becomes less of herself when the cloudy, dreary winter days come. I hope for your sake that the sun shines as much as possible and that your workload will get a little lighter very soon!!

    In the meantime, your eats look fantastic. That zucchini bread you made sounds so amazing!

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