Winter veggies

Oddly enough, we get some of our best veggies in the winter ~ 

Weekly veggiesFor the second winter in a row, we’re participating in a CSA (community supported agriculture). From a practical point of view, CSAs win out over traditional grocery stores: I get to order my food online, receive it door-front every Saturday and spend way less money than I would in the grocery store. (Our produce bill adds up to about $30 a week for the entire winter – January till end of March.) Plus, we are forced to plan a menu, which is automatically chock full of vitamins and minerals. It’s also fun to sample exotic (to us) veggies we didn’t know about before. Surely, you didn’t miss that terrifying looking growth front and center (romanesca). Just in case, here ya go again ~

RomanescaPart of the cruciferous family, romanesca is somewhere between broccoli and cauliflower, in everything from shape, to consistency, to color. We stir fried it last week with our winter broccoli. Not only was it deliciously sweet, but it also stood up well to being cooked. To try this week are rutabagas, which I plan to mash, similar to last winter’s since perfected mashed turnips. What veggies do you use during the cold months?


Spring sleeping

One of my most very favorite pastimes is sleep. I absolutely adore catching every second of shut-eye possible. Busy schedules and demanding jobs make getting enough of this activity more important than ever and my 5:30 a.m. daily wake up call requires it. I was amazed when retiring a half hour to hour earlier (10:30 rewound to 9:30) literally changed my mental state throughout each school day.

D and I go back and forth about this all the time. He’s a night owl and although I would not pick to rise as early as I must every day, I’m certainly a morning person. We’ve reached a mutual understanding that I require more sleep than he and no longer have little tiffs about me taking three to five naps per weekend, or him staying up later than I.

Recently,  my favorite kind of sleep has come in the form of ten to twenty minute power-ups in the late afternoon. Television volume goes down or off, the front door remains open to allow the peaceful bird chirping soundtrack of the springtime to provide background music and a throw or two provide warmth from the sometimes chilly breeze of late spring days. Some say napping is bad, but these little power-ups are nothing but pleasant, energizing and peaceful, friends. The one I just finished energized me enough to write this post and take Riley on a much needed w-a-l-k.

Finally, here are a couple of tips that have worked wonders on my often fitful and stressed school-year sleeps ~

Flow to Sleep exercises ~ when I do these exercises inspired by Chinese medicine as intended and go straight to bed right after, I almost never wake up during the night.

Skipping the wine ~ I love having a glass of red wine after a long day but have discovered, especially as the week comes to a close, I don’t sleep nearly as well with a glass or two in me. I’m still working on cutting that out 😉

Tea instead ~ A friend at work suggested rooibos tea, which is soothing to no end and probably a better nightcap during the week. I love all the Kusmi teas.

Night showers ~ some require them to wake up but I find the warmth is soothing and the perfect end to the day. Plus, the more minutes I can shave off my early morning routine, the better.

Being ready to go the night before ~ Mom, you were right. I always make sure my teacher bag is set, coffee ready to have the “on” button pushed and lunch made ready to grab out of the fridge. Knowing all those things are taken care of helps my crazy mind shut down easier when it’s time to sleep.

What do you to ensure peaceful nights?