Friday, July 22, 2016

One week down, a few thousand to go...

So, I've completed 6 days of swimming and 6 days of keeping a food log. I've also downloaded a vegan meal planner that is pretty easy to follow. For me, this is long past worrying about my weight - its about taking care of myself. I feel so good after I swim and I love being immersed in the water with no one talking to me and no one around me swearing or fighting or asking me for money or a ride. Truly, the best part of my day is in the pool. That may sound pathetic, but with 5 emotionally dysregulated teens in the house, a few of my grown up kids struggling, and a summer that is waayy too long, you can imagine how important it is for me to do some self - care. 

Swimming and healthy eating also make me feel as if I have some control over something in my life. I'm not much of a control person, but it's taken me years and years of Hazardous Parenting to realize that I had to take control of my self-care. I don't think I was a martyr all the years I neglected myself - I didn't feel like I was sacrificing "me" for my kids. Its just that I let it all sort of slip away in the stress and unpredictability that is part of having a large family of chronic conflict kids. I got lost in there, and although I don't like to assign blame, I have to acknowledge that this was own fault. 

I'm sorry that I let that happen because I believe I could have been a better parent if I'd taken better care of myself. I know that if I knew then what I know now about stress management and self - care that there are events and episodes and relationships that I could have handled so much better. 

I'm not dwelling in regret here, I'm only reflecting on what I could have done differently and what I have learned from that. So, another week awaits and I expect it to be filled with things that are odd, unpredictable, loud, sad, and a bit of happy. I also expect it to be filled with my continued self-care. 

Hey, take care of yourselves. 

I swim early in the morning on my way to the office so I am always looking for an easy *eat at my desk* breakfast and this is a great one. 

 Recipe by Madhuram's Eggless Cooking at http://www.egglesscooking.com/vegan­blueberry­muffins­2



Vegan Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Prep time: 15 Mins 
Cook time: 20 Mins 
Yields: 10 muffins 

INGREDIENTS 

1/4 cup Ground Flaxseed 
1 and 3/4 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour 
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda 
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon Salt 
1 cup Almond Milk 
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar 
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil 1/2 cup Maple Syrup 
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons Orange Zest 
1 and 1/2 cups Blueberries (fresh or frozen) 

INSTRUCTIONS 
 Preheat oven to 375F/190C for 15 minutes. 
1. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and grease it well with non stick cooking spray.
 2. Mix together the almond milk and vinegar; set aside. 
3. In a large bowl combine together the ground flax seed, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
 4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, oil, milk mixture, vanilla extract and orange zest. 
5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until just moistened. Fold in blueberries. 
6. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups; about 3 tablespoons in each. Sprinkle the tops with sugar. 
7. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean which is about 15­ to 20 minutes. . 
8. Transfer the tin to a cooling rack and leave it there for 5 minutes. Then remove the muffins out of the tin and let it cool completely. 

Chef's notes:
1. If you are not able to find whole wheat pastry flour, then you can use 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 3/4th cup of all purpose flour as mentioned in the original recipe. 
2. If using frozen blueberries, do no thaw it because it will bleed. 
3. You could use any non dairy milk instead of almond milk. 
4. If you are a spice fan you can use up to a teaspoon of cinnamon.