So the last couple weeks have been hard. Some of it was for fun, but still hard both mentally and physically. I been in San Francisco, Petaluma, Portland, and Fort Lauderdale. I have had a battle with a mysterious illness that had me peeing blood and completely exhausted. Jesse and I ran into yet another set of issues that have come up as our move in date gets closer and closer, and there was some family events occurring on the Liebman side of things. I put my foot into the middle of those family issues, as well as into my mouth at the same time. My uncle Chuck had a stroke and isn’t doing so well. Airman Leadership School is coming up and all of these things are interfering with my ability to get myself into super awesome physical shape to do 75 pushups in a minute and make grown men cry. I was house sitting. I did two honor guard funerals and have had only three normal workdays in the past three weeks. People got run over in Nice, Cops have been getting shot, Turkey almost had a coup, and the Republican National Convention is starting. That’s enough to make any normal person depressed.
Yeah, waaaa, waaaa, somebody call the waaa—bulance.
I think being sick throughout this whole thing was one of the hardest things for me. I am a big proponent of a good run fixing everything. When my ability to run and workout is compromised, or rendered completely miserable 100% of the time, so is my stress coping abilities. Going above and beyond at work also helps with my stress, but being exhausted meant I exerted all my effort to just not be a total sh—- bag. All I’ve wanted for the last two weeks has been to sleep… but sleep does nothing for my stress. Doing stuff makes me feel better. But if you cannot do anything, or act in any productive way, what does that leave you?
It leaves you with yourself and your thoughts. You can write, talk to friends and family, and eat. Eating in itself can be a stress relieving technique. In the case of ongoing stress, healthy eating habits should be maintained, but we can augment them. Put good in, get good out. As I have been grocery shopping, I’ve been paying special attention to the food I am purchasing and eating. Whenever my body and mind are feeling lacking I get a smoothie or a crazy juice concoction at the co-op. Blueberry smoothies are my favorite for extra antioxidants, spinach, wheat grass, garlic and ginger for the juice. I believe they call that particular combination the green hornet. In terms of baking, I wanted something a little decadent, but easy and with stress relieving quantities. My grandmother always sends me a very good and not overly processed brand of chocolate brownie mix. As women all over the world know, and scientists have confirmed, chocolate may lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones, catecholamines in very highly stressed people.
Instead of saying “Don’t Panic” the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy should have said “Take a deep breath and Eat Some Chocolate.”
Less well known as an aid for stress relief is ginger root. Not only good for upset stomachs, ginger contains the antioxidant gingerol which fights stress hormones. It also reduces pain caused from things like stress induced headaches, motion sickness, and women’s favorite time of the month. I know that that always stressed me out.
Therefore, I made these delicious ginger chocolate brownies. Using canned pumpkin instead of butter makes these healthy as well as delicious. Perhaps I can feel accomplished about something. Here’s hoping and wishing everyone health, happiness, and good food.
This Week in Updates: Pre-ALS school jitters
Watched Overfed and Undernourished on the plane. I highly recommend it. My ride to Fort Lauderdale consisted on a flight to Salt Lake, Atlanta, and finally Fort Lauderdale. On the way back I pretty much packed at 2am and then drove to the airport. Making sure to eat things other than brownies, lots of blueberries, strawberries, and produce to combat the fatigue of yet another travel week. And only one week to go until Airman Leadership School (ALS)! I feel very unprepared, at least physically. I had wanted to do so much training, and I’ve been fighting to just hold even. I took two days off last week, in a row, and today is another day off because I’m tired and the way the schedule just worked out for next week. Not having a motorcycle (still) means it is harder to coordinate my days off. I at least was able to figure out my ALS school budget. I don’t know what I will be cooking though or how things will work out blog wise starting the week after next. I won’t have an oven, or a very large fridge. What is the produce like out there I wonder? The produce here though is beautiful.
The Recipe: Butter free Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Three cups brownie mix
1/8 pound ginger roots
1/2 can pumpkin puree
Candied ginger (if desired)
Chop up and then puree the ginger root. Mix all ingredients together and follow the instructions on the brownie mix box. While brownies are still cooling, top with candied ginger. Enjoy!