Food + Wine

Anyone have a good recipe for relaxation?

This is how crazy I am. I have to write out a timeline for my day off. I literally need a schedule in order to allow myself to just sit, to not create chores to do, to not exercise, to not cook something.  I have a severe problem with relaxing. And yet, it’s the number one fantasy of mine- Relaxation. I dream of days that I get to stay in bed all day.  It’s all I ever want on Mothers Day or my birthday. But I can’t ever fulfill it!! I get through maybe an hour and then I’m up. My husband laughs at me constantly. He hears how I complain about working too hard or not getting a break and then once I do, I just end up working instead. I guess the plus side of all this is that I get a lot of stuff done. And that’s a good thing, right?

Today I’m a little sick, I have a pulled calf muscle from a new workout I started over the weekend, I haven’t been sleeping very well and I’ve kind of been going nonstop for weeks so the thought entered my head first thing this morning that I could maybe take the day off. I woke up after having my first good night’s sleep in days (was in bed early- didn’t even make it through the first quarter of the Oscars last night), it was one of those mornings where you just want to stay in bed and let it not end. I snuggled in bed with my almost 3 year old daughter (also stuffy) and just didn’t want to start the day. But once I got out of bed to walk, I realized I was limping…and my nose was incredibly stuffy, throat scratchy…
But I always go to the gym first thing!

But Mondays are my athletic conditioning class day!

But my new running shoes are coming today!
But, but, but… I don’t know how to take a day off!
(But I really really kinda want one today.)  Is that horrible? Why do I feel so guilty when I’m sitting down? There’s really something wrong with me. I asked my husband to give me a list of reasons why it’s a good idea for me to rest today.  Like I needed convincing.  How insane is that?!  You know how some people need convincing and motivation to get up and go workout or do something active? Well I need convincing and a list of really good reasons to NOT to those things. So he gave them to me. And I almost believed him. So he promised to be my sponsor today, knowing that once he left for the office, I would hop up and create things to do. 
Before he left he said to me, 
“There’s nothing for you to do today.  You have nothing to cook.  The house is clean. You’re injured. You’re sick. Your body deserves and needs rest. Just do it.  It’s fine. It’s good. Just do it.”
(Oooh, look! It’s raining!  I got this.)
7:45 a.m.  Prep dinner.  Make daughter’s lunch.  Cook husband’s lunch
8:00 a.m. Take supplements
8:30 a.m.  Eat oatmeal
8:45 a.m.  Wash clothes.  Bake bread for the week
9:00 a.m.  Make daughter smoothie, watch Oscars 
9:05 a.m.  Try to enjoy Oscars
10:00 a.m.  Empty dishwasher. Dress daughter as princess. 
10:30 a.m.  Color with princess daughter. Feed princess daughter lunch
11:00 a.m.  More stuffy snuggle time with princess daughter 
11:30 a.m.  Nap time for daughter. Nap time for mommy? (don’t push it, mommy)
12:00 p.m.  Give up on napping.  Fold clothes instead.  Eat lunch
12:30 p.m.  Watch something meaningless on TV.  Maybe those Kardashian people have something meaningless to say
2:30 p.m.  Snack time
2:45 p.m.  Pick up son from school
3:15 p.m.  After-school fun snack for kids…make granola for yogurt-fresh strawberry parfaits? 
4:30 p.m.  Bath time for all.  PJ Cartoon time
5:30 p.m.  Husband returns from work. Dinner time. He is now in charge of schedule. 
*Easy, Healthy and Delicious Granola (in the microwave!)
(previously posted years ago but adapted to be healthier today:
In a large, microwave-safe bowl (glass is preferred), mix the following:
1/4 cup of honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp kosher salt + good pinch
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Microwave this on high for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, or until boiling. 
Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the following:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes (natural, unsweetened is preferred)
3/4 cup chopped, raw walnuts, pecans, cashews or almonds 
good splash of vanilla extract
Place this back in the microwave and cook for 4 minutes, stirring twice throughout. 
Remove again and stir in the following:
1 cup total of your choice of the following dried fruit (a mixture of some or all of one kind) –
dried cranberries (I prefer the natural, apple juice-sweetened kind found in most health food stores), dried and minced apricots, and/or golden raisins 
-2 TB unsalted butter (optional..omit if you want it healthier/vegan, but it really isn’t a lot and adds a tremendous amount of rich backbone to the granola)
Stir well, melt the butter and then spread evenly onto a foil or parchment lined large cookie sheet
Allow this to cool at room temperature for about 2 hours so it becomes crisp. 
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for several weeks.
Serve with yogurt and fresh fruit, cold with milk as cereal or on its own for a snack.
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