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Dancezwithkittehz back to the basics pt eleventy bazillion


dancezwithkittehz

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I was dealing with some anxiety issues over this last challenge soooo it's time to go back to basics and reset on some habits that will hopefully help me deal with anxiety and stress! Also I want to build on my water goal from last round! Wheeeeeeee.

 

GOAL 1- Sun time:

 Since with COVID I am a weird hermit and don't get enough sun time I want to try to use my daylight lamp or get some time in the sun at least 5 days a week (7 days is even better but 5 is good!) Maybe I also should add vitamin D supplements? I'll think about it. If I start doing my protein shakes with milk again that will help for that too.  My mood definitely sucks when I don't get enough sunlight so hoping this helps!

 

Goal 2 -  Drink more water, part deux

For this round I am going to continue with my goal of at least 64oz a day, adding in an additional sub part of this to refill my water every time I get up to go to the bathroom. The days when I struggle to hit my water goal are because I am too lazy to get my ass up and refill my water bottle. If the water is there I will drink it, so my goal here is make sure there is always a container of water there. Side note: I need to get a good refillable water bottle so suggestions appreciated. I was using my water cup with a straw but the straw get dirty and gross so easily and adds the need for me to take my "upstairs water cup" all the way down the stairs and I often get to where rather than do that I just don't refill my water ever...yeah. Not useful I know.

 

Goal 3 - Relax the brain - aka daily cooking and cleaning

Cooking, especially chopping, and cleaning stuff both really help calm my anxiety when it's an issue. I don't know exactly why but hey if it works it works. I play to make sure I either cook, or clean a bit every day. Added bonus is this can get me back to some sprucing my personal space which always improves my mood (❤️ organization even if I'm REALLY good at causing chaos and a disorganized space.)

 

 

 

I am still brainstorming on a Goal 4. I'm considering adding in daily cardio (just a bit, doesn't have to be a lot) to see how that helps with my mood. I really wish I had a really pretty semi nature walk I could pop out and do with no needing to drive anywhere like I had when I was working in office (bonus of working at a really pretty campus) but I do not have that from home. I also kind of hate walking around the neighborhood because sidewalks aren't that wide and I don't want to get super close to people to pass because of COVID etc soooo yeah. I'm thinking things like jump rope, mountain climbers, burpees (UGH UGH UGH) are all some options. I will try to think of more good, easy at home cardio.

 

I also want to try to get more pictures of dance and aerial and workout shenanigans since I am bad at ever taking pictures of things and considering how much I LOVE looking at instagram dance and aerial and workout people so it is dumb to not be making some of my own. This could be a goal idea for Goal 4 as well. I'm also thinking about changing my insta handle since you can actually edit that fairly easily and I don't like it being the same name as I am on here. Ponder ponder. Anywho!

 

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5 hours ago, dancezwithkittehz said:

My mood definitely sucks when I don't get enough sunlight so hoping this helps!

 

In my few years out here, I am convinced west coast people are part plant.

 

5 hours ago, dancezwithkittehz said:

I'm thinking things like jump rope, mountain climbers, burpees (UGH UGH UGH) are all some options. I will try to think of more good, easy at home cardio.

 

I shall be silently cheering you on during your burpees.

 

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4 hours ago, bigm141414 said:

In my few years out here, I am convinced west coast people are part plant.

 

You didn't get the usual plant genome-splicing at birth?

 

Without the East Coast's heat waves, hurricanes, swimming-pool humidity or ice storms, there's nothing to distract us from the seasonal lack of sunlight. Nothing, that is, except all that Napa Valley wine.

 

I am supposedly following in West Coast solidarity for the sun, but we both know I'm really here to read about you chopping foodstuffs.

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On 9/11/2020 at 3:13 PM, dancezwithkittehz said:

GOAL 1- Sun time:

 Since with COVID I am a weird hermit and don't get enough sun time I want to try to use my daylight lamp or get some time in the sun at least 5 days a week (7 days is even better but 5 is good!) Maybe I also should add vitamin D supplements? I'll think about it. If I start doing my protein shakes with milk again that will help for that too.  My mood definitely sucks when I don't get enough sunlight so hoping this helps!

 

I hear you on this one.. my mood's been a little off lately and I think the earlier sunset and cardio in the dark is contributing. It seems silly to do sun lamp when there's still sun outside, buuuuuuuuuut if the body ain't going outside, the sun doesn't do much for us. As for cardio, I take it you're not really comfy doing so with a mask, or popping onto the street when you run across someone else on the sidewalk? Our area is fairly quiet, so I just hop the curb when someone else is coming.  

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Day 1 was a pretty good kick off!  I usually lag on getting started on things on Sunday but I was all overchiever-y this time. I made myself daylight lamp a bit before going down for coffee and to bingewatch stuff (my usual weekend hobby), and I made not one but TWO cooking things, and did dishes and some laundry. I got lazy with my water tracking but heyyy all in all not bad.

 

For cooking I was apparently on a bit of a cream sauce kick when I was planning my groceries. I made biscuits and gravy (nom) as well as a mushroom cream sauce for some pasta. The first was super nom as usual and the second was slightly fancier super nom BUT I can think of a way to improve it. The mushrooms seemed to really soak up the vinegar I added to try and cut the heavy-ness and did not taste as mushroomy as I would have liked. Like...the sauce itself tasted pretty mushroomy but not so much the mushrooms. Weird but hey lesson learned. I think next time I should pull the mushrooms after I cook them down to where I wanted them to be, then add my garlic into the mushroomy flavored butter/oil and then add all of my liquids for reducing and re-add the mushrooms in at the end when I added the heavy cream and grated parmesan.

 

I also didn't run into one of the issues I sometimes do where the parmesan becomes a weird cheese blob but doesn't really incorporate into the sauce and I'm not sure why it worked this time and not in past times but heyyyy not complaining. (I did grate it super fine with my microplane so maybe that helped?) Also fresh parsley would have been a nice touch but I forgot to get it and meh whatever I always have dry around in the spice cabinet o' doom anyway.

 

I was going to try to link what recipe I used for the mushroom cream sauce but I realize I looked at like 6 recipes and didn't follow anything strictly or measure. I think this one is close but like...add way more wine and reduce for longer because reduced sauces are magic and I used cremini instead of a combination of white and shiitake.

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/234667/chef-johns-creamy-mushroom-pasta/

 

 

Side note and un-directly challenge related, but I also ordered some coffee from Bones Coffee last week to switch things up with interesting flavored coffee because they have been lingering in my targeted adds for FOREVER and I was low on coffee and inspired. So far I have tried the From Dusk Till Donuts (glazed jelly donut flavor) and Highland Grog (butterscotch and caramel) and they are both delicious! I also got a sampler pack of 5 smaller bags but I haven't tried any of those yet. I'll report back! I am not a big sugar in my coffee person, but more of a drown my coffee in half n half to cut down the acid (plus dairy has natural sweetness) person. The From Dusk Till Donuts is tasty with just the half n half and weirdly manages to suggest the sweetness of donuts without actually being sweet. I haven't had a chance to try Highland Grog with just half n half yet since I ran out and had to steal some sugar free vanilla creamer to tide me over, but it was still good but I am looking forward to tasting it properly with just the half n half and no added too-sweetness from creamer.

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22 hours ago, sylph said:

I use a Blender Bottle for most of my beverage needs. Large-ish, easy to clean and I'm pretty sure I got mine free somewhere along the line.

 

It's never occurred to me to use my blender bottle for anything but protein shakes. Hmm. I think mine always has a slight milk funk leftover to it since I do my protein shakes with milk + whey isolate.

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18 hours ago, dancezwithkittehz said:

 

It's never occurred to me to use my blender bottle for anything but protein shakes. Hmm. I think mine always has a slight milk funk leftover to it since I do my protein shakes with milk + whey isolate.

Ew. That would not go well with water.

 

Maybe get a second one in a different color (unless you come up with a better solution for you, obvs)?

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2 hours ago, sylph said:

Ew. That would not go well with water.

 

Maybe get a second one in a different color (unless you come up with a better solution for you, obvs)?

 

Yeah. I am thinking I might just get a refillable bottle of the really boring twist off top type and use it for only water. I still am sad I accidentally left my super cool metal water bottle with a panda with a boom box on it in a dance studio like 10 years ago and it wasn't there when I checked later. 😂 Maybe I need to try to find an equally silly picture one. Haha.

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On 9/14/2020 at 3:19 PM, dancezwithkittehz said:

The mushrooms seemed to really soak up the vinegar I added to try and cut the heavy-ness and did not taste as mushroomy as I would have liked. Like...the sauce itself tasted pretty mushroomy but not so much the mushrooms...

 

...add way more wine and reduce for longer because reduced sauces are magic


Whenever wine and cream are in the same sauce, I would tend to use the wine itself as the main source of acid. So I like your idea of just adding more wine, and I’d probably do that over adding vinegar right to the mushrooms. (If any extra acid seems needed when you’re tasting at the very end, after the whole sauce is built, maybe a dash of vinegar or lime juice at that point.) Maybe that will keep the mushrooms themselves from tasting too vinegary. Extra wine also brings a little more sweetness to the mushrooms, which is always a good thing...

 

On 9/14/2020 at 3:19 PM, dancezwithkittehz said:

I also didn't run into one of the issues I sometimes do where the parmesan becomes a weird cheese blob but doesn't really incorporate into the sauce and I'm not sure why it worked this time and not in past times but heyyyy not complaining. (I did grate it super fine with my microplane so maybe that helped?)


Keeping the heat low once you’re ready to add Parmesan tends to help, but grating it finely with a microplane makes a big difference (I think bigger than the heat).

 

22 hours ago, dancezwithkittehz said:

 

It's never occurred to me to use my blender bottle for anything but protein shakes. Hmm. I think mine always has a slight milk funk leftover to it since I do my protein shakes with milk + whey isolate.


Oh man, I got so tired of that milk smell, I finally threw out the blender bottle and just tossed the wire ball into a pint mason jar.  I have to shake a little harder to keep a little powder from being trapped in the jar’s corners, but I love not having a smelly bottle. Not as convenient for drinking in the car though.

 

On the water bottle, I just picked up one of those overpriced metal Hydro Flasks from REI. They’re excellent quality, and they have a twist top — though they’re a little lacking in the pandas department.

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6 hours ago, PaulG said:


Whenever wine and cream are in the same sauce, I would tend to use the wine itself as the main source of acid. So I like your idea of just adding more wine, and I’d probably do that over adding vinegar right to the mushrooms. (If any extra acid seems needed when you’re tasting at the very end, after the whole sauce is built, maybe a dash of vinegar or lime juice at that point.) Maybe that will keep the mushrooms themselves from tasting too vinegary. Extra wine also brings a little more sweetness to the mushrooms, which is always a good thing...

 


Keeping the heat low once you’re ready to add Parmesan tends to help, but grating it finely with a microplane makes a big difference (I think bigger than the heat).

 

I think this is a good plan. I am also wondering if the sauce will lack mushroomy-ness if I do the wine reduction without the mushrooms in the pan and re-add them later. I'll probably just have to try it and see how it tastes. (I mean. A cream sauce is always delicious usually so even if the mushroom is concentrated in the actual mushrooms I don't think it should be too much of a problem!

 

 

6 hours ago, PaulG said:


Oh man, I got so tired of that milk smell, I finally threw out the blender bottle and just tossed the wire ball into a pint mason jar.  I have to shake a little harder to keep a little powder from being trapped in the jar’s corners, but I love not having a smelly bottle. Not as convenient for drinking in the car though.

 

I pretty much only use it for protein shakes for this reason. I'm not using it so much these days since I'm at home but in normal times I bring a protein shake in that and my coffee in my thermos thing and then I just chug the shake as fast as possible and try not to like, hang out and smell the milky funk bottle too much haha.

 

6 hours ago, PaulG said:

On the water bottle, I just picked up one of those overpriced metal Hydro Flasks from REI. They’re excellent quality, and they have a twist top — though they’re a little lacking in the pandas department.

 

I should probably just resign to getting a boring bottle or just a fun color or something but I want it covered in color AND cute things. WAAAAAAH. And uh, I may have spent like an hour searching around trying to find something suitably quirky today haha. There are also a lot of printed designs you can get on a kleen kanteen type bottle but all of them are prints on a base white bottle and...ugh SO BORING. I wonder if it's possible to custom paint one of these in a design I would find acceptable and that would still be waterproof/washable on the outside. Hmmmmmmmmm. Or maybe get a colored bottle of the color I want then custom paint/draw something fun on it. I need to look into this idea!

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So I have been super lagging in posting any updates this week because I am in a weird mood but to generally update, I am doing the things but keep forgetting to post about it. I have decided I want to try the daily cardio thing (and probably will also try to make more cool dance picture posts as well but not actually make it a challenge goal.) 

 

I have so far only done the daily cardio today but hey you have to start sometime. I did like 10 basic burpees before a long important training meeting where I had to present to all of our faculty advisors. I do think it helped me be more awake so win?

 

But also , OMG THAT WAS PAINFUL and was the longest presentation of my life lol. I am already in anxiety mode today and my section wasn't until the end and we were already running late so I was feeling very much in the OH GOD WHY AM I TALKING SO MUCH AAAAAAAAH WHYYYYYY TALK QUICKLY SINCE WE NEED TO BE DOOOONE but I hope no one else noticed. Also, in person meetings are SO MUCH BETTER because I can see people's faces as I talk to them and not be in a weird room of silent people on mute. Luckily I've known all these people for 6 years and I know they like me and they did ask questions and seem to be appreciative of the info sooooo time to go chill my damn self out. Lol.

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I am sure you did great. :D

 

 

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More on delicious things not directly challengy:

 

I tried the chocolate mint invaders coffee sample today from that Bones Coffee order and ZOMG need full size of this for sure. It's chocolate mint icecream flavored coffee and it might actually be my favorite so far. It really does have a creamy note to it and not just straight chocolate mint (which, chocolate mint is delicious itself too of course.) YUMMMMMM. And I was able to try this properly with just half n half and not gross sweet creamer.

 

Also, my mom really wanted Red Robin yesterday so I did a curbside order and to my ultimate sadness THEY DISCONTINUED THE A1 PEPPERCORN BURGER NOOOOOOOOO. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Literally the main reason I ever go to Red Robin (and yes I know it is a ridiculous calorie bomb. I eat only half at once and purely as an occasional special treat).  But, to try and remedy my sadness I think it is due time for me to try and replicate the A1 peppercorn sauce. I don't think it's just the straight A1 cracked peppercorn sauce you can buy since it was creamier than that,  but even if it is I think doing a creamy peppercorn sauce homemeade might be even better. I found a non-boozy peppercorn sauce recipe using worcestershire sauce so I think I may try that but sub in A1 instead of the worcestershire. TIME TO EXPERIMENT! Also, I have that leftover heavy whipping cream and I need to figure out something to do with it so this is perfect! I'm planning to do this recipe but instead of using leftover beef fond I'm going to use some vegetarian beef broth (I try to make delicious sauces vegetarian when possible so my brother can try them):

https://www.dontgobaconmyheart.co.uk/creamy-peppercorn-sauce/

 

Also uh, I ate too many french fries, half of a not nearly as tasty burger and they also now have freshly fried mini donuts so I think I am good on calories for like 2 days now. Lol. Treat yo' self! Also maybe I will both lift and bust out the aerial rig today since I should have lots of energy from the calorie surplus.

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Sooo I definitely failed at water yesterday both on refilling and in actually drinking. I left my water bottle by my bed and I didn’t bother to grab it to drink anything until the afternoon. WOOPS!

 

Today I was unsurprisingly a bit dehydrated so I’ve been drinking extra today to to try make up for it! 
 

In other news, I decided to cancel my NYT subscription since after the first month I had it I have gotten distracted by other things/ too stressed to do too much news reading and I’ve barely used it. Not worth paying for something I don’t use!

 

I also realized I’ve been spending way more on books lately especially with the insomnia and staying up in the middle of the night reading so I decided to get a Kindle unlimited subscription. You can try 2 months for $1 or one month for free and then pay full (9.99) so I decided to go with the $1 to try it for a few months and see if I read enough books to make it worth it. As long as I’m reading at least 2 books a month or so it will be worth it, which I read 3 books last week alone sooo yeah I think it probably will be worth it for me (assuming I can continue to find books I want to read which I do not foresee being an issue!)

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I managed to tweak my left knee a bit doing a totally boring and innocuous dance step on Friday (like seriously, I was just stepping out a chaine turn which is basically just stepping like a normal human and nothing crazy dancer ish. And it was after an hour of warming up even soooo?!)

 

Anyway, so I’ve been taking it super easy on exercise all weekend. Sadness! It feels a little better today than it did yesterday so pretty sure it will be fine soon and no lasting injury, but still annoying. It only really hurts if I bend the knee really tightly and then turn out the leg from the hip (so more or less the position you’d have the front leg in for pigeon for yoga.) Luckily that’s an easy position to avoid accidentally doing but I’m still avoiding any squatting or lunging or leg stuff in general until it stops hurting just in case.

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Boo to injuries, especially boring ones. Glad it' snot inhibiting you too much, though. What sort of books are you reading? I used to devour fantasy/ sci fi, but got tired of it since most are just variations on the same basic storyline. Haven't found anything really to get into yet. 

 

Red Robin is totally a calorie bomb but SO DELICIOUS. I can also only eat half a burger at once. :) 

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6 hours ago, Manarelle said:

 What sort of books are you reading? I used to devour fantasy/ sci fi, but got tired of it since most are just variations on the same basic storyline. Haven't found anything really to get into yet. 

I read a ton of fantasy and sci fi mostly haha. I could inhale tons of the same general genre and never tire as long as it's well written and or super amusing (there are totally bad books that are still entertaining haha.) I did read a historical fiction recently that I liked so I really should read other genres more often. I used to love like, literature literature but I can't be bothered to read anything super literary these days. Also I don't like things like George R. R. Martin which is just bad things happening to mostly unpleasant people. Like. WHY!? I do not care what happens to these assholes enough to trudge through thousands of pages haha. I tried. I really did. I re-read several other long series to clean my palate during the process of trying to read both of the first two song of ice and fire books. I gave up about 1/2 way through book 2 after my like third full Harry Potter series re-read (which now I'm going to also probably give up because JK Rowling turns out to be horrible but yeah.)  Lately I really focus on trying to find good women authors or at least male authors who write actually good female characters that are full fledged people with motivations and stuff. I've been devouring a bunch of Jeff Wheeler lately.

 

6 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Red Robin is totally a calorie bomb but SO DELICIOUS. I can also only eat half a burger at once. :) 

 

This reminds me I didn't get around to making that peppercorn sauce yet. TO DO! I was determined to be lazy this weekend!!!

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Lazy weekend laziness was a success! I did make myself clean every dish in the sink yesterday so I could plunge the sink to see if I could get the second sink to stop being full of gross water/food backed up from the garbage disposal and SUCCESS. I really really didn't want to have to call out a plumber since I don't really want to have a stranger at the house if I can avoid it. That is always an issue for us with that sink so I am hoping I can continue to avoid having plumbers out as often by using the sink plunger. Yay! I may have gotten a bit of gross food water on myself in the process but heyyyyy small sacrifice and I can just do an extra load of laundry. Small price to pay for how much I have been stressing about getting that done!

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1 hour ago, dancezwithkittehz said:

Also I don't like things like George R. R. Martin which is just bad things happening to mostly unpleasant people. Like. WHY!? I do not care what happens to these assholes enough to trudge through thousands of pages haha. I tried. I really did. I re-read several other long series to clean my palate during the process of trying to read both of the first two song of ice and fire books.

 

You gave it more of a shot than I did. I barely made it halfway through the first book several times before giving up. Life is full of horrible people and unpleasant things, why would I want my escapism to be that? 

 

1 hour ago, dancezwithkittehz said:

Small price to pay for how much I have been stressing about getting that done!

 

Woot, heck yes it is And now you don't have sink of dirty dishes to stress you out!

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I have really enjoyed the Brandon Sanderson stuff I have read.  I am not going to get started on the Stormlight Chronicles until he finishes them though.  Otherwise it will be like the Wheel of Time where I have to reread the whole series every time another book comes out.

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If you haven't read the NK Jemisin Broken Earth trilogy yet, you are MISSIN OUT. 

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16 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I have really enjoyed the Brandon Sanderson stuff I have read.  I am not going to get started on the Stormlight Chronicles until he finishes them though.  Otherwise it will be like the Wheel of Time where I have to reread the whole series every time another book comes out.

 

I have heard good things about Brandon Sanderson but haven't read any of his stuff. Any pointers on a good book to start off with for him?

 

4 hours ago, raptron said:

If you haven't read the NK Jemisin Broken Earth trilogy yet, you are MISSIN OUT. 

 

I have not and I will add this to my list now! :D

 

 

Vaguely reading related, but more in thinking about how I consume fiction lead me into a rabbit hole of thinking about how my brain processes different types of creative things and storytelling (aka if long rambles aren't your thing then maybe don't bother haha):

 

 I was just having a ponder about my preferred creative outlets and how I read things and I realized a kind of weird thing. I love reading, and I love visual storytelling, but I realize I process these two mediums in very different ways. With books I don't tend to spend much time actively picturing the people or the places, so I am rarely bothered by a film or tv adaptation if it doesn't "look like I pictured it" since I don't really do that. (Like, I'll notice if their casting choice or a place does not match with how it was described but I don't have this mental picture to fight with of characters and places etc that I'm strongly attached to.)  It's kind of weird because I am very into dance and movies and shows and visible representations of things but I process those very separately? Like the storytelling aspect is consistently important but the mediums are very separate in my brain. Also, when I am creating things I tend more towards things you can see and hear vs written word. Like, I can write rather well both creative things and nonfiction things, but that's not the thing I'm driven to create myself. Could change, I go through phases on what thing is calling to me at the moment so who knows.)  I am far more inclined to make clothes, make visual art, choreograph, and I think making music is going to become bigger for me now that I'm teaching myself the language to do that through guitar and doing more music theory and ear training and stuff. Which is interesting because once again I can perform singing very well but like, noodling around making up a song just from vocals is not something I have ever done, but I do find myself noodling around playing with different chords and how they sound together on my guitar. Brains are weird yo!

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