Tales From A Hungry Life

August 6, 2016

This is My Idea of a Good Morning

by Maria Schulz

Everybody starts their day in a different way. Over at The Daily Post, they challenged bloggers to take a photo that says “morning” to us. Here’s one of mine.


The nearby pizzeria gets their morning delivery of Italian bread from the local bakery. You can smell the fresh bread from blocks away. There’s a coffee shop next door that’s another hot spot for the neighborhood. Freshly roasted coffee and egg sandwiches make it a delight to pass by.

My dog knows she’ll encounter some amazing smells in the morning, so she moves as fast as she can towards the stores. She is getting older now, so I know it’s a great day when she can walk all the way towards the sights, sounds, and people she’s always enjoyed seeing.

img_0010-1It’s a very good morning indeed!

Recipe: Eggs, Herbs, & Tomato Omelette


Make the morning even better with fresh organic eggs plus tomatoes and herbs picked fresh from the garden.

Ingredients

2 Eggs

1 tomato, chopped

Italian Parsley leaves, chopped

Basil leaves, chopped

Sage, chopped

Oregano

Thyme

2 tablespoons Olive oil (or Pam)

Cheese (Cheddar,mozzerella, or goat cheese, optional)

Spray Pam or add Olive Oil to heated pan. Beat the eggs and add them to the hot pan. When the eggs have begun to firm up, add the tomatoes, herbs, and cheese. After about two minutes, flip it and brown the other side. You can eat this as is or add it to a low carb wrap. You can also add broccoli or spinach if you like.

To read about how other bloggers spend their mornings (and see their photos), check out Morning at the Daily Post. Enjoy!

So, what’s your favorite way to spend the morning? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks, and have a great day.

 

January 13, 2016

Unresolved

by Maria Schulz

New-Year-Resolutions

Happy New Year! Yes, it’s probably getting a little late to wish everyone this, but I’m just wrapping my head around the fact that it’s 2016. That number looks SO WEIRD to me. I remember being a kid and thinking that the year 2000 was so far away. Now, the year 2000 seems far away again, but only because it’s in my rearview mirror. Remember the hysteria caused by Y2K? Good times.

This being January, it’s time to consider how we want to reframe our future, as opposed to letting it all hang out come December holiday time. Yes folks, it’s time to talk about resolutions.

Wait…don’t run away. It’s not that bad! Here are the usual suspects when it comes to the most popular resolutions on people’s lists:

lists

It’s go time

  1. Lose weight
  2. Eat right
  3. Go to the gym
  4. Spend more time with family
  5. Cut down on stress
  6. Learn something new
  7. Volunteer
  8. Cut back on alcohol
  9. Stop smoking
  10. Travel and see the world

Some of these are easy for me. Spending time with family and traveling anywhere comes as naturally to me as breathing, and smoking was never my vice. I love learning new things (or at least trying), I’m always happy to volunteer, and I don’t really like the taste of alcohol. Plus, who doesn’t want to cut down on stress?

augustus gloop

But…it’s the gym/weight/eating thing that gets me. I know I should go to the gym, but there are days I just feel like putting on a snuggly and going to sleep. Of course, they frown on that at work, so I am conscious far more often than I’d like. By the time I get home from work, I don’t want to go back out again. What I would like to do is eat chocolate chip cookie dough while laying on the couch and binge-watching stand-up comedy routines, Jeopardy!, and The Office re-runs.

Jabba_the_Hutt

I’ll just lay here

However, since I don’t want to look like Jabba the Hut by 2017, I will not lay around until they have to cut a wall down from my house in order to get me out. I’ve been looking up inspirational quotes to keep me motivated. Here are some of them:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” –Ghandi

“Dreams don’t work unless you do.”—Anonymous

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”—Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

elizabeth-taylor

You tell ’em, Liz

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and get yourself together.”—Liz Taylor

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”—Henry David Thoreau

“Do one thing that scares you every day.”—Eleanor Roosevelt

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” –Colin Powell

ralph-waldo-emerson quote

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”—Eleanor Roosevelt

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow.”—Albert Einstein

albert-einstein

Here are some of my own quotes:

“I hate change almost as much as change hates me.”

“Why don’t you stop whining and just shut up.”

“Dreams are like the popular kids in middle school who smiled at you but never let you sit at their table during lunch period.”

“What the hell am I doing on the ocean trying to sail during a fx!c@ng storm!!!”

Funny-new-years-resolutions-calvin-and-hobbs

“Where’s my resolution list from 2000? I can probably use the same one.”

“Forget about yesterday…you’re living in the past, man.”

“Did they take The Office off channel 5? I got scared there for a minute.”

“When did sarcasm go out of style?”

“You are right. I should stop laughing at you.”

“Resolutions are for those of us who aren’t perfect. Good luck with yours.”

Recipe:

salmon swimming upstream

Keep swimming

Poached Salmon with Champagne Sauce

I liked this recipe because it looks easy, and Food Network included it for New Year’s  because they said: “swimming ahead and never looking back, fish symbolize hope.”

So, what are your resolutions? What’s your favorite inspiring quote? What are your own personal words to live by? Please leave a comment. Thanks, and Happy New Year.

June 3, 2015

I Like My Bicycle

by Maria Schulz

 

I like my bicycle

I like my bicycle

Remember the freedom and fun you had when you were a kid and you rode your bicycle?

I learned how to ride when I was three years old. My brothers (mostly worldly-wise and a few years older than me) decided it was time to teach me. So, they put me on top of the only bike we owned, which was clearly too big for me, and pushed me down the little hill that led to the alley behind our house.

I managed to stay upright by the grace of God (Yes! A miracle!), but began to panic as I reached the end of the alleyway. There was my brother Tony, waiting to catch me…but since I didn’t know how to use the brakes, I sailed right past him. One big crash and lots of tears later, I was officially a bike rider. My brothers congratulated me and I suddenly felt a whole lot better.

Still worth it

Still worth it

However, since there were only a couple of bikes in our family (there were a lot of us and no money), we had to share. So my actual bike-riding days were few and far between. As the 6th of 7 children, it was rarely, if ever, my turn.

I borrowed and begged as often as I could, and eventually, another miracle befell me. My friend’s mom felt sorry for me and gave me an old blue bike of theirs. I loved it! I rode it everywhere! I didn’t even mind that it was really meant for someone twice my age and three times my size. I could barely reach the pedals, but who cared? It was mine! How lucky was I?

My brother, Joey, eventually talked me into giving the bike to him for his paper route. In return, he wrangled a pretty lavender bike, with a banana seat with multicolored daisies on top, from one of his paper route customers. He put on a matching basket (I loved those multicolored daisies) and it was official. I had a bike of my own that I could actually ride without crashing, and it was pretty. I didn’t have to share it with my brothers because what boy wanted to ride a pretty bicycle? Life was good.

bowling

I rode that bike everywhere. Off we went to CYO bowling on Wednesdays; to sleepovers on Friday nights; to babysitting gigs; to King’s Deli on Bell Blvd. or C-Town on 48th Avenue. But I think my favorite place of all was my neighbor’s house.

Mrs. Murray was about the same age as my grandmothers, but you probably couldn’t find someone less like my family if you tried. She was a former Midwesterner who grew up on a farm. She didn’t have an Italian, Puerto Rican, or New York accent, was tall, and had beautiful white hair and piercing blue eyes. Her skin was almost translucent. She was like milk, whereas my grandmothers were more like chocolate milk. Both good for you, but definitely different.

 

Milk and cookies go great together

Milk and cookies go great together

I would ride my bike to her house most days of the week in the summer, stopping by for “just a minute.” Two hours later, when I was finishing up my lemonade and ladyfingers, we’d say goodbye and off I’d go again, racing away on my little purple bike.

I think I can ride today

I think I can ride today

The seasons didn’t stop me. Whether it was 100 degrees or 1 degree, I was out there riding. Mrs. Murray used to wave to me from her window as I dashed by, and told me later that she was laughing whenever she saw “that little parka-hooded speed demon whizzing by.”

Such a troublemaker

Such a troublemaker

My only kryptonite, bike wise, was snow. Even ice only kind of slowed me down, but then again, my brakes never really worked. The result was that ice didn’t scare me the way it should’ve.

Let's go bike riding next

Let’s go bike riding next

My love affair with my bike continued even after I had kids. I loved riding through the streets with my girls, racing to the park. We would reach our destination, then stop for a bit to swing, slide, and climb, until…it was time to jump back on the bikes and race off to the next park, wherever that might be. We would crash, and bleed, and cry a little (that was mostly me), but a little bandage and a kiss later, and we were off to new adventures.

Still worth it

Still worth it

I didn’t pay much attention to the toll that all that racing, sliding, crashing, and falling was having on me until my body started to rebel. “Enough” it seemed to say. It blamed my bike for everything. Soon, my bicycle and I fell out of love. I saw my orthopedist more and rode my bicycle less.

Are you a vampire?

Are you a vampire?

Suddenly, I abandoned my beloved bicycle for the other forms of exercise. The elliptical sang its siren song, and I was entranced…for a while. Don’t get me wrong. The elliptical (let’s call him Edward, as in Cullen…you know, the vampire?) was quite a looker. Big, impressive, and physically beautiful to behold, Edward offered his own particular charms to creaky old me.

Not the gym again

Not the gym again

But the magic didn’t last. I began to feel restless with Edward. My relationship with him felt static. We were going nowhere! It was always the same: the hum of the motor, the harsh, bright lights, the constant flow of sweaty people around us, the Kardashians on the TV mounted overhead. It wasn’t him, it was me. I needed more.

Together again

Together again

So, I wiped the cobwebs off my bicycle and we went out together again. We started slowly, because we hadn’t been together in such a long time. I didn’t know if I could trust my bike not to hurt me. But almost immediately, it was just like old times. The sun warmed me from my head to my toes, the birds sang in unison, and there was not a Kardashian in sight. My bike and I are an item again.

As I rode around my neighborhood and raced my husband down leafy local trails, the strains of an old Etta James song rang in my head. “At last…my love has come along. My lonely days are over. And life is like a song.”

At last

At last

Sun-kissed skin, windswept hair, legs that feel strong and steady, and hands held triumphantly off the handlebars. This is true love. If only Mrs. Murray could see me now.

Mrs. Murray never charged...and she even threw in cookies

Mrs. Murray never charged…and she even threw in cookies

Recipes:

Lemonade

Ladyfingers

It’s been a long time since I sat in Mrs. Murray’s sun-dappled breakfast room or on her neat, flower-decked patio, sipping lemonade and chomping on ladyfingers. It was the perfect ending to a long day of zipping around the ‘hood on my bicycle. Lemonade and ladyfingers always take me right back to that perfect place.

So, what’s the one thing you used to do that you’d like to do again? Do you love your bike? Which treat is your post workout favorite? Please leave a comment below and let us all know. Thanks!

May 27, 2015

The Joys of Exercising

Filed under: exercise,famiy,Food,fun,Humor,laughter,recipes — talesfromahungrylife @ 7:01 am
Tags: , , , ,

Recently, I read an article about a research project that followed two groups of mice: a young group and an old group. Both were tracked 24/7 to see what their activity levels were, when they were busiest, the state of their awake/sleep times, and what impact it had on their health. The young mice were busy throughout the day and slept soundly at night. The old mice were less busy throughout the day and slept less at night.

etsy.com mouse on wheel

Available at etsy.com

However, after the researchers put wheels into their cages, both sets of mice became more active. They exercised more, ate less, and both became much healthier. Life was looking up for everyone—until those rotten scientists removed their wheels. So what happened? The mice started laying on their couches, watching The Big Bang Theory marathons, and eating tons of White Castle.

Binge-worthy

Binge-worthy

No, wait…that was me. Anyway, if you want to read the article, click here.

There are times when getting up and exercising on my own personal wheel is something of a chore. I work at a desk job, so my daily movement can be limited. I got a fitness band to help gently remind me when to get up and move so that I don’t resemble Jabba the Hutt by the time I’m ready for retirement.

I like White Castle

I like White Castle

Throughout the day, my bracelet lights up and repeatedly flashes the message: GO MARIA! GO! If I don’t go, the bracelet continues to flash. I imagine it must be awful if you’re prone to seizures.

So what do I do? I go. I walk and walk, and then walk some more. Still, that damn bracelet keeps yelling at me. As I’m walking aimlessly around my tiny office, I occasionally can be heard saying, “WHAT THE XX!!# DO YOU WANT, BRACELET?” You can imagine how popular I am.

Today WE RUN!

Today WE RUN!

My bracelet reminds me of my 9th grade Physical Education teacher. Let’s call her Ms. Hell-Raiser. Ms. H-R had all the subtle, engaging charm of a Death Star storm trooper. She appeared to be carved out of marble but lacking the usual warmth of marble (yes, I realize that marble is cold), with calf muscles that may have been bigger than actual calves. Each beautiful morning would begin with orders like these:

“You lazy bums. I SAID MOVE!”

“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU LOSERS?”

and my personal favorite:

“If you idiots had to run for your lives from a hungry lion, you’d all be breakfast.”

He's probably about to eat breakfast

He’s probably about to eat breakfast

My classmates seemed able to respond to these kinds of motivational/cruel speeches by—remarkably—running faster. I, on the other hand, was okay with the idea of being eaten by a large predator. At least I would have gotten out of gym class.

So, of course, Hell-Raiser hated me.

When everyone else was done running around the track, I’d still be running at a pace that my teacher deemed glacial. This might be true, but for someone who would have rather been sitting in English class discussing how much she loved Leora in Arrowsmith or why To Kill a Mockingbird was the quintessential American classic, it was stitch-in-the-side, all-out, blazing fast, warp speed.

Also a great movie to sit and watch

Also a great movie to sit and watch

Hell-Raiser was incensed because she thought I ran slowly on purpose. Not so! While I often did enjoy seeing her purple face and infuriated grimace as I made my way around the mind-numbing circle known as the track, I could not actually go any faster. I am slow and plodding, just like every other member of my family, and probably a long line of ancestors before me. We are the people who perfected not being spotted by predators because we would either stand still (and not be detected) or hide behind a tree while everyone else darted away and the lion chased them down.

I like my bicycle

I like my bicycle

If there had been bicycles in gym class, I could’ve wowed Hell-Raiser with my superior racing skills and beaten her in any competition. Of course, I also would’ve ridden away, never to be seen again.

My high school gym experiences made me believe for a time that there are 2 kinds of people in the world:

  1. Those who love exercising, eating right, and weighing 20 lbs.
  2. Me

The trauma inflicted on my psyche has led me to do some serious soul searching. Yes, I know exercise is important, and I try to do it every single day. I use lots of motivational tools and tricks to keep me going. So, here is my list of things I tell myself to keep getting onto my “wheel” every single time.

8 Great Things About Exercise

  1. It doesn’t last forever
  2. It has been known to cause heart attacks—so there’s always a way out
  3. Sometimes, the really gung-ho athletes around you trip and fall, providing random and welcome sources of comedic relief
  4. When done properly, there’s only a small chance I might fall and break a limb
  5. The more calories you burn, the more White Castle you can eat later
  6. The Gym is obviously a place to suffer, which knocks off time in Hell…and those awkward reunions with your 9th grade Phys. Ed. teacher
  7. Exercising allows you to be morally superior to people who lay around watching The Big Bang Theory marathons and eating White Castle (you know, the same people you actually envy)
  8. It helps you become a master of pointless repetition, bringing some of us right back to our Catholic school years when we learned the Hustle

Recipes:

Top 28 Best Healthy Snacks

Yum

Yum

What is it about exercise that makes me so hungry? If the idea is to torch calories, why do I come home wanting to eat more? The list of recipes above offer 28 easy to make or easy to find treats that even I thought looked enjoyable.

So, Hungry Lifers…what’s your favorite form of exercise? Were you traumatized or inspired by your gym teachers? Which TV show/food do you binge on? Please leave a comment, and then get back on your wheels NOW. Thanks.