Wednesday, July 6, 2011

TWD: Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Mini Muffins

I feel as if my life is constantly in flux. Continual re-evaluations of life, of school, of research, of friendships. Not that it's a bad thing - we're currently doing a pretty significant re-evaluation of a rather long-held assumption of mine, which (unfortunately for you) hasn't yet finished and probably won't be until this fall. When a decision is made, I'll be sure to mention it. I am a chronic over-sharer, you know! In the meantime, the little things are being thought through again as well. Since moving to North Carolina, I've completely changed up my eating habits, my use of free time, and my workout schedule. (Okay, I guess those aren't really little things, huh?) It's been pretty freeing, actually. Instead of a very regimented daily schedule, planned out to the minute, I wake up when my body makes me and go onto campus when I feel like it. Now, that does mean that I tend to wake up around 5:45a and get onto campus by 7a, but by not forcing myself to get up that early, I'm quite a bit happier rather than incredibly groggy for the first hour or so that I'm awake. There's something to be said for listening to your body, although I generally stop listening to it if it says that it would rather have ice cream five times a day rather than go on a run. Sometimes, my body is stupid.

As for my exercise habits, I went from doing 1-2 hours of intense cardio a day, 5-6 times a week just a year ago to something, well, quite a bit less. Not that I'm not active for a large portion of the day, it's just that it tends to involve walking everywhere I possibly can rather than going to a fitness class at the gym. It turns out that if I'm tired, it's difficult to motivate and go on a run, but not so difficult to get off my ass and walk around for an hour. Same amount of exercise, just a bit more low-key.

And the eating? Well, it changed quite a bit too. Thanks to J, I'm eating way more protein than I used to, which has had one side benefit of a bit more muscle development than I had pre-NC. And one of the ways that I get exercise has been to mosey into the local co-op market on those mornings that I don't have to be on campus at 7a and have coffee and a croissant. It takes me nearly an hour to eat my croissant, since I obsessively separate each layer and slowly unspiral the flaky, yeasty, buttery deliciousness that is a freshly baked croissant. I catch up on blogs, respond to emails, and generally get a nice start to the day. And that's pretty indicative of my eating habits now. Where once I used to mechanically eat nearly the exact same thing, day in and day out, I've begun enjoying my food a bit more. I experiment with dinners more frequently and try to be more present when eating so that I appreciate my food a bit more fully. For some reason, it makes me stay fuller longer, and the times when I'm hungry just one short hour after eating a meal have gone down significantly.

And these ramblings just seemed to make sense, given that Bridget chose this week's TWD recipe. She and I have had a few conversations on the subject, and both of us have talked on our blogs about the constant struggle for balance. Thanks to her, I know I'm not the only one who struggles with that balance, who constantly re-evaluates habits in order to be healthier and happier. And thanks to her, I've been eating chocolate muffins for breakfast for the past few days. What more can you ask for in a friend you wouldn't have met except for the internet?

Last Week: Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Cookies
Next Week: Cream Scones (my go-to scone recipe for the past four years) 


Bridget said...

As I'm reading about how much less regimented you are now, I'm thinking about my own life - in which I eat the same thing every day at work and really the only moving around I do is an hour or so of intense exercise in the evening. Which is...okay, for now, I guess. I suppose that's a desk job for you. As many challenges as grad school encompasses, I'm glad you're getting to enjoy that freedom in routine that's one of the main advantages.

Jen said...

This is the best timing. I struggle with balance, and sometimes I have to force myself to not be so regimented all. the. time. So the other day I made some banana bread for breakfast, and I put chocolate chips in it because, you know, I can and I like it that way! Hooray!

dani said...

yay for enjoying life in a new way :) change is what keeps life interesting and if it helps u enjoy food even more, well then, thats just about the best bonus there could be :)

TeaLady said...

Life is so much more enjoyable when we listen to what we want rather than completely what we need. Since retiring I have found it rather uplifting to do what I like when I like (kinda sorta). Congrats on a new lease on life. Give J a pat on the back for that one, part of it anyway.

Muffins look perfect.

sarah (SHU) said...

awesome post caitlin!! and if you ever feel like walking around durham, let me know!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I agree: virtual friend should always support chocolate-eating habits! And encourage balance too, that's a bonus!