Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My Everyday Life [Week 13]

Not to be a total Debbie Downer, but last week was one of the worst weeks I've had in a long time. 

I took off of work on Monday. After a morning appointment, I cleaned and organized. I tackled the front hallway closet first. 
After getting new tires on my car, I went grocery shopping. Have you ever grocery shopped when you had no appetite whatsoever? That was me last Monday. I also hadn't felt like eating lunch that day. By 9 p.m. that night, I was nauseous and knew it was something nasty that hit me.

I was super sick Monday night and up most of the time. I called in sick to work on Tuesday and Craig stayed home to take care of me. I needed someone to run and get me electrolyte drinks! Unfortunately, I couldn't even drink much and just stayed in bed nearly the whole day sleeping. This was my view. I did go to urgent care and the doc agreed it could have been the norovirus. 

I remained out of work for another two days. We got a lovely snowstorm mid-week! Here was our eerie backyard view. 
It really was a dull week when a turkey being in your backyard is the highlight of your Saturday! 
I don't want to jinx anything by sharing this, but we accepted an offer on our old house on Saturday night. Most of Saturday was spent catching up around stuff around the house and then researching our options for the home sale. After a couple of conversations with our realtor and lots of random notes below, we caved. I just hope inspection goes ok. 
Craig researching. I really wish there were classes on selling and buying a house. My brain hurt, especially since I barely ate anything the entire week and then I was expected to crunch numbers and make a big decision.
That was my really crappy week! Boy am I glad that is over!

Monday, March 21, 2016

My Everyday Life [Week 12]

Scenes from last Saturday, which included walking along the Fox River in Frame Park for the first time. 
It was a nice loop to take and we enjoyed checking out a new park.
Late 19th century buildings in downtown Waukesha.

We ended our time downtown at The Steaming Cup

Green whipped cream for St. Patty's Day.
We tried something new by eating lunch at a Hindu temple late Sunday afternoon. It was delicious and we can't wait to return! My favorite was the spicy Aloo Gobi.
The highlight of my week was Monday evening. I saw Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his wife Ann speak at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Their messages about how a plant based whole foods diet can prevent and reverse heart disease were so inspiring and positive! I was truly geeking out and enjoyed being among people who share my passion for health.

Not only was the talk free, but it included a wonderful dinner provided by Cafe Manna, Alem Ethiopian Village, Beans & Barley, Whole Foods and Garden of Eden Kingdom Living. 
Below is the slide Esselstyn showed regarding what foods to avoid if you have heart disease. 
Ann spoke about the nutrition side of things and was so excited to discuss eating plants! Her enthusiasm was contagious. I am so glad I attended this free lecture and grateful to the Medical College of Wisconsin and its Institute for Health & Society for hosting the Esselstyns. 
A pretty sky with our plants in the office. 
We received a lot of yummy fruits and veggies from Door to Door Organics this week.
I needed to read a lighter fiction book, so I moved onto Sarah Jio's Goodnight June and put aside some of the other nonfiction books I've been reading. The main character is a bit like me too. 
Shiva sat on our fireplace hearth so oddly on Saturday night. He always sits like he's at a bar waiting for a drink.
Pema yelling at me before I left the house Sunday morning. 

Tanzi and Shiva are always sun buddies together. They constantly fight for the best spot near the glass door. 

Sunday brunch with the girls at First Watch in Brookfield. I highly recommend it. I had fresh fruit crepes with a lemon poppyseed muffin and granola. Can't wait to eat the leftovers for breakfast Monday morning. 

I went to Fleet Feet in Brookfield to use a $75 gift card I had from when I worked at the gym. Unfortunately, I was pretty darn disappointed when the cashiers told me I only could use $37.50 of the card. I guess you could say it was my fault because I waited a year and a half to use it, but I hadn't found anything I needed and kept waiting until I did. It's a long story, but basically, I was also punished for my gym handing out the cards to employees when they apparently weren't supposed to be. What a a disappointing customer service experience and I had to share it here, because why not? 

I wanted to get these two tops, including the cute Lucy one on the left, but I had to leave that one at the store because of the unexpected lower balance. 
I ended up with the run t-shirt, Nuun (it will be my first time trying that product) and my favorite balega socks. I used to work at a running store when I was in grad school and the owners loved balega socks. I hadn't purchased a new pair in about 10 years and forgot how much I missed them! 
Hope you have a great week! I'm off today and have two appointments, including getting brand new tires on my car. Days off always involve so many errands and little relaxation. I am hoping I get some R&R on my Good Friday off and Easter weekend.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Zymbiotics: a Milwaukee based fermented foods producer

I'm diving into the world of fermentation today, which is totally a trending topic right now! I see it popping up in the news almost daily. This article from the past week boasts how fermented foods are great for building immunity, beneficial to heart health, brain health and more.

When I was feeling ill with IBD symptoms this winter, I did a little research and decided it would be beneficial to add more fermented foods to my diet. I believe they are helping my digestion! According to the UCer website I regularly consult, "In reference to Colitis: Certain strains of bacteria that result from fermentation inhibit the growth of some harmful bacteria and are known to possess potential therapeutic anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help to strengthen and re-balance the gastrointestinal tract (sometimes referred to as the GI, which is made up of the stomach and intestines)."

I recently met with Jeff Ziebelman, a Milwaukee-area based food producer and owner of the business Zymbiotics to learn more about his naturally fermented products. The "zy" in Zymbiotics comes from "zymology" which is an applied science that studies the biochemical process of fermentation and its practical uses. Jeff is passionate about his products and when I tasted them, I could see why! I also love that he uses locally produced jars & lids to make his products and works with farmers to obtain his ingredients.

Jeff's current products include Zimchi, Zauerkraut, Vegan Kimchi, and Ginger Zarrots. He is working on releasing a fermented beets recipe soon.
I popped open the zaukekraut to add it to a recipe and had to snap a photo of the beautiful cabbage color!
I enjoyed the bright and flavorful zaukerkraut on a tempeh and avocado sourdough sandwich.
I'm so excited that Jeff's vegetarian friend urged him to create a vegan kimchi because I am not fond of fish sauce. (I shared the zimchi containing fish sauce with a colleague). I loved pairing an egg with the zimchi. I am sure it will also be great in a quinoa bowl or on top of a salad. The Zymbiotics website has a number of recipes to check out. 
I found Jeff's products at Good Harvest in Pewaukee, but Zymbiotics can be found in numerous Wisconsin locations like Woodman's, Clock Shadow Creamery, Beans & Barley, Health Hut, and more. The jars range from $6 to $8 each, depending on the product. If you live outside of Wisconsin, you'll be able to order his products online soon. 
There are endless uses for fermented foods, so if you haven't added them to your diet recently, what are you waiting for? The health benefits are numerous and if you're a local reader, it's wonderful to support your local producers like Jeff.

More about Jeff Ziebelman: BS UW Madison has refined the recipes and is working on maintaining the quality of our ferments as we scale up the process. He is talking with our customers, chefs, retail stores and restaurants to learn to craft the products to meet the needs and desires of our customers. Jeff’s background includes starting and running several companies, as well as extensive experience in sales and marketing. He looks forward to growing Zymbiotics, LLC and in helping to educate our customers to the health benefits of fermented foods.

Do you currently eat fermented foods? How do you like to enjoy them?

Disclosure: I was provided the four jars of Jeff's Zymbiotics products in exchange for this review. I was not compensated in any other way. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Stitch Fix Review March 2016

This month's Stitch Fix box was a bummer. I was pretty disappointed by a couple of things--the clothes were all darkly colored in nature (not what I wanted to see in dreary March I guess), the styles were boring and the fit of all of the clothes were off. My stylist randomly changed and I missed the one I had for my previous two boxes!
It looked promising when I took this photo, especially the printed top. I really want more printed shirts.
I kept these earrings. Not because I loved them or anything, but they were the best thing I received. They're Bay to Baubles brand and called Jacoba Statement drop earrings.
Market & Spruce Colibri Plaid Printed Tab-Sleeve Shirt: Returned. I'm just not into this whole plaid shirt trend. It reminds me too much of the 90's or lumberjacks.
41Hawthorn Moni Geo Print & Camisole Blouse: Returned. I think I've received this same style shirt about three or four times now and it never fits right where the sleeves hit my arms. I liked the print though.
See, the arm wants to flip up naturally!

Eclair Pip Crew Neck Blouse: Returned. This was on my Pinterest style page and I liked it on the woman who pinned it, but not on me.
I did think the detailing on it was unique and pretty though.
Just Black Adorra Skinny Jean: Returned. These didn't fit and I did not need another pair of jeans.
Way too long and just not an overall great fit. 
Want to try Stitch Fix? Please use my referral link and I'll earn $20!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My Everyday Life [Week 11]

I meant to post this on Sunday, but I've been crazy busy since then! Here's what last week looked like.

I started reading Bill Bryson's new book and am enjoying it. He's one of my favorite authors.
I'm a podcast hoarder and found another one to look forward to listening to! I'm also a Dan Harris fan! I like his honesty a lot.
 Snack time at work! This Cinnamon French Toast flavor was amazing!
 I have been enjoying adding PB Slim into my smoothies more often.
 Pretty sky on a walk at night with Craig.
Lots of walking outside last week with warmer temps.
My nephew inherited my sister-in-law's Fitbit and he's super competitive. Loved this text exchange with him. He kicked my butt all week.
 Another great book came in at the library! They always come in all at once and then I can never keep up.
 Look who I found in my grocery bags. Troublemaker.
 An afternoon treat of iced coffee and trail mix at work.
 I add tabasco sauce to everything. It livened up a kind of boring cous cous salad.
My friend Danielle was brainstorming fun winter activities we could do with her daughters a couple of months ago and one idea was rollerskating indoors! It took me back to my teenage years for sure. It was so much fun!
Me with Danielle's daughter, who is quite the character. She yelled at me for cutting off her head in the seflie. Well, sorry! Selfies are hard kid.
 Tanzi and his favorite ball. Can't believe this boy is turning 10 next week.