Got my mind on my mind

2015-04-26 19.01.16

“We are all, as Byron put it, differently organized. We each move within the restraints of our temperament and live up only partially to its possibilities.” – Kay Redfield Jamison

I suffer from what I like to call an unquiet mind. Which is also, coincidentally, the title of the book from which the quote above is taken.

It is an affliction that renders me unable to:

  • interact with people without assessing their (and my) ulterior motives
  • make a decision without obsessing about the effect about my future (this includes whether or not I eat a chocolate-almond croissant for breakfast)
  • watch any movie without analyzing why and who it was made for (as as result I can never actually tell you if a movie was “good or not” because IT’S ALL RELATIVE)
  • exist in this moment – here and now

So everyday, I go round and round and round. Interaction after interaction, moment after moment, is felt, processed, and imprinted.

There are times when this feeling of living inside my head is all-consuming and there are times when it’s closer to the surface, manageable, even.

This past month I spent a lot of time living in my head. My loved ones, tolerated this, because see: Love.

When I surfaced from this period of self-absorption and indulgence and sent the, “I’ve sorry I’ve been a douchebag,” message to my closest friends, I realized that everyone around me was also dealing with their own restlessness and disquiet. Their own demons.

And it hit me that sometimes the key to finding peace might not come from within. I think it might lie in realizing that you are not alone and also that someone else might need you.

That simple act of empathy and then if you can find it within yourself, grace and kindness, might free you.

And if that doesn’t work there’s always chocolate.

Weekend Meal Prep YOUCANDO

Prepping for prep
Prepping for prep

Every weekend I set aside about two to three hours, to plan how I’m going to take over the world.

No seriously, because the only way that I can take over the world is if I eat well-balanced, nutritious food that will then give me enough energy to take over the world. Right?

But more seriously this is my post about meal prepping on weekends. I got into meal prepping for two simple reasons 1) Shutterbean and 2) IHAVENOTIME.

Let me explain.

1) Shutterbean is this fantastic blog written by Tracy who cooks these wonderfully healthy and varied meals not just for her blog, but also for her family (her husband and son). And she achieves this by being organized and prepping the ingredients and pre-cooking certain items on the weekend. Check out her awe/jealousy-inspiring meal prep grams here, here and here.

2) IHAVENOTIME. I know, I have a choice in life, I can stop saying I’m so busy and sit down and smell the roses… but guess what? I don’t want to do that. I want to run and go to yoga and hang out with my friends and go to work and read and do my laundry and read a book and get 8 hours of sleep AND eat somewhat healthily. SO. That means being a little organized and getting some stuff prepped over the weekend.

I don’t prep like Tracy, since I don’t have a family, but what I do is that I have a simple rule. I try not to eat more than one meal out a day, so if I’m eating dinner out I’ll pack a lunch for work, if not I’ll eat the dinner for the week.

I hard-boil 5 eggs for breakfast and make either a muesli or granola every two weeks which I enjoy with greek yogurt. That is my breakfast all week – minus the one day I get my chocolate almond croissant from Tiong Bahru Bakery.

I prep a salad for the week by buying spinach leaves or romaine (they keep fresh for about three days), grill vegetables (usually a combo of carrots, beets, peppers, etc), grill chicken, make a salad dressing (loving this one right now) and cook 1/2 cup of dried quinoa (about 5 meals worth for me). That lasts me for about five meals and mid-week I usually re-do the whole process.

This takes me about 2 to 3 hours, with plenty of time in between to dance around my apartment or do more laundry.

Totally doable right? And I’m not advocating an oat and salad filled existence.

Make whatever the hell you want.

Mel, my apartment mate, preps awesome tofu-veggie pasta salads every weekend.

Another good friend puts together protein and fish and fruit every night for her BYOL.

Just think about eating and living intentionally. Because – it’s kind of awesome.

Peanut Butter Soba Salad with Chicken

All DA goodness
All DA goodness
It seems like everyone I meet is on the salad bandwagon.

What did you make for dinner Preetha?

Oh I threw together a selection of greens, smoked mackerel and topped it with chili flakes.

Random person I just met – what did you have for dinner last night?

Oh I pan-fried some salmon and had it with a salad leaves and pumpkin leaves with a cranberry dressing.

The hell?

When did we all turn into this health conscious zombies?

To be honest I think I’m just saying this because I’m not the special one anymore.

I mean last year, I was feeling like this smug asshole, who was all – I’m clearly the one who has her life figured out because I eat quinoa and protein and healthy oils and #eatsocleansodamnclean.

Then I visited Preetha in the UK and realized, girlfriend has been doing the same all day errday, and doesn’t make a big deal out of it.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, everybody is basically eating healthy. We should all be patting ourselves on the back. And if you don’t here’s my bid to convince you to do so.

Naked salad! Oh no!
Naked salad! Oh no!

The issue with eating healthy or not eating healthy, it seems, is that people perceive that it takes a decent amount of effort.

And that is true, buying your dinner is an infinitely easier exercise than figuring out what you want to cook, shopping for the ingredients, cutting/cleaning/preparing the components and then eating. I mean where does one get the time? I’ll tell you when, it’s that time you’re spending watching another show you don’t need to watch, having a drink you don’t need to have or just following everysingleGODDAMNLINKONFACEBOOKYOUCANSEE.

Excuse me while I get off my high horse. The thing is, when you make food that is good for you and that tastes good, you automatically feel, well, good. This is evidenced by the crazy amount of energy I have, the fact that my skin is clearer when I eat like this (adult-acne sufferers rejoice!) and that I can push harder at work and exercise.

So a week ago, I made this Peanut Butter Soba Salad with Chicken and ate it for dinners. I ate it for lunches when I knew I would be eating out.

Maybe I even got a little sick of it. But it tasted good, was healthier than other stuff I could eat and I prepped it on the weekend so it took minimal time on weekdays.

Think about it, food is your fuel – don’t you want to upgrade to premium?

Next week I promise to explain HOW I prep the food.

Working on Weekends

I don't got time to WORK over the weekend!
I don’t got time to WORK over the weekend!
I’ve got this friend, Gina, who loves her work. She loves what she does and sometimes works on weekends.

I’m guessing she does this because:
A) She has stuff she can’t get done during the week.
B) She works in theater related stuff so performances are sometimes on weekends = no choice.
C) See the first paragraph above.

I do NOT work on weekends. I really don’t like to do it and it makes me feel like I’m giving up my precious free time.

This is not because I hate my work. I love the work I do. I don’t know it has to do a bit with how I like to really switch off on weekends on go into this whole other WEEKENDDINI mode.

But lately I’ve been feeling that when I get back to work on Monday I’m disoriented, unprepared and just not ready for the week – both in terms of being organized and just being mentally there.

So two weekends ago I came home with two work tasks. The first was to transcribe an interview and the second was to finish a draft of the press release.

First one got done – second one DID not.

Last weekend, I had all these good intentions, I had been working on a press release that was just not there and I HAD to finish it.

But when the weekend came, I just didn’t want to do it.

I knew I could get it done at work.

Then I thought, maybe I’m approaching it the wrong way.

Maybe instead of doing work over the weekend, I could prepare myself for the work-week ahead.

Whatever was bothering me the week before or that I had difficulties with, I could address it.

I decided to try keeping 3 mantras or resolutions in mind for the week ahead. So that I could have a bit of a guide for the next week.

For example they could be:
1. Proofread everything by reading it out loud
2. Give 100% at work
3. Smile more at people in the hallways

WHATEVER.

And so, I had my 3 mantra-lutions, not the ones above because mine are personal, and I found the week better. Monday didn’t seem so blue and I was more able to deal better, with everything that came my way.

I’m hoping this is the start of something positive but man, maybe that’s really all the work I need to do over a weekend.

Where do you see yourself in 30 years?

SELFIE! For all of YOU!
SELFIE! For all of YOU!

Three years ago I had a Professor, who asked me and my class to do an exercise that would not only help us outline our goals for the future but would also make us accountable for what we did everyday.

It went something likes this, write down the answers to the following:

Where you see yourself in 30 years…
Where you see yourself in 20 years…
Where you see yourself in 10 years…
Where you see yourself in 5 years…
Where you see yourself in 1 year…
Where you see yourself in 6 months…
Where you see yourself in 1 month…

Now what are you doing today, to make that happen?

Now, I should just leave you with that so that it’s all impactful and stuff BUT I want to explain why this is important to me now.

After a number of years of soul searching (I’m talking professionally), I’m finally in an industry and area that I both believe in and am interested in. This makes me feel happy and fulfilled. Still there is always the possibility of becoming the employee who does the bare minimum so that they aren’t fired.

In order to get around that, I thought maybe it was a good idea to figure out where I wanted to be in 30 years and it made me realize that shit – if I wanted to be that in 30 years, in 20 years I had to be that and that and that AND THAT means by a year I better get that promo-oh-my-god-im-hyperventilating.

But honestly, what the exercise above does it it forces you to think.

If in 30 years I want to be a CEO of a corporation, then in 20 years I better at least be a VP and in 10 years I should be a senior manager and in 5 years maybe I should be an assistant manager and in 1 year I should be a senior executive, which means that TODAY, instead of spending 80% of the day on Facebook I should maybe actually reply to all the e-mails that need my attention and maybe I should get started on that report.

The exercise above helps you visualize your future and makes you more accountable for your day-to-day actions and makes you appreciate how they eventually lead you to where you want to be. This hopefully will help to mitigate the whole aimless fulfillment of tasks. Hell, it might even make you feel more fulfilled and productive at work – which you should be, especially since we basically spend 1/2 of our waking hours, if not more, at work.

So, instead of just scraping by – maybe it’s time to take your destiny into your own hands.

READ THIS: VOLUME 17

Pretty picture I took at Gardens by the Bay - which I may have already used on Instagram
Pretty picture I took at Gardens by the Bay – which I may have already used on Instagram

Guys – I can’t do my Salad Monday post today because I’m busy with some ultra secret plans.

BUT I did come across some truly fun reads to kickstart not only your work week but the new year. Oh yeahhh Happy New Year cool kids – may 2015 be awesomer than the last and may you be kind to everyone around you!

Great fashion and generally closet advice/rules for the new year here. Definitely going to be following it. Also goes hand in hand with my don’t-spend-money-coz-you-don’t-have-much-of-it resolution.

Another thing to be mindful of next year is that chatting online while at work is definitely bad for you and NO you are not good at multitasking because multitasking isn’t actually a real thing.

Also GREAT food habits to incorporate into your life.

So, I’m not sharing salad with you but I definitely want to eat one. This one, specifically.

READ THIS: VOLUME 16

Guys.

It’s the end of the year. I can barely function. So. I’m just gonna ask you to read this.

Wowza.

Came across Viva Luxury’s AMAZING Christmas party outfit post. Some thoughts: I would like  to A. Look like her. B. Have a fancy enough event to wear that dress to. C. Be able to afford that dress.

So this is how much a bungalow costs in Singapore. DAYAMN.

Can someone make these eggnog cinnamon rolls with rum icing for me this Christmas? Please?

Pretty impressive beauty routine that makes me want ALLTHEMAKE-UP.

‘Back of the Package’ recipes – I’ve been making the Quaker oatmeal cookie one to RAVE reviews for years.