morning routine

How to poach eggs

poached eggs on toast I love poached eggs. For a long time the only time I’d get them was as a special treat at a brunch restaurant (full disclosure – with hollandaise sauce as part of Eggs Benedict!) – frankly, I was scared of trying to make them at home. Something about the boiling water and getting the eggs just right (cooked whites, yolks runny) had me thinking this was harder than quantum physics.

Then a friend posted a picture of her poached egg breakfast. And I thought about the health benefits of eggs (too numerous to count) and the fact that if I figured out how to poach them, I could eat them with no added fat for the pan.

So I figured it out. There might be more niceties – people tell me adding vinegar to the pan will help with the setting of the white, or swirling the water into a whirlpool will make the egg a pretty shape – but the basics are pretty basic. Get a hold of fresh-from-the-farm eggs, find a good skillet, and experiment with the timing so you get it perfect for you! Check out this Tasty Thursday video for a tutorial . . . 

POACHED EGGS – technique. (ingredients? Eggs and water. Or salsa or spaghetti sauce. But we’ll stick with water here.)

  • Fill a small non-stick skillet about an inch deep with water and bring to a good simmer.
  • Carefully crack eggs into a bowl, working to not break the yolk.
  • Slip the eggs into the simmering water. Cook until the white is just set and the yolk is still runny, maybe about 3 minutes (? I have never timed it.) The yolk will have a thin film over it, and the whites will white through, not opaque – you can also slip a spatula underneath and lift the egg up as a unit.
  • CAREFULLY pour the water out of the pan. I use a slotted spoon to hold the eggs in place, then to kind of slip the eggs (one at a time) out of the pan – this way most of the excess water drains away.
  • Amazing served on fresh homemade ww toast – no butter needed at all. Yum.

 

Sleep!

Image

(even the dog likes her bed to be just so.)

 

It’s quarter after seven on a Wednesday morning, and nobody else in the house is up. Heck, the sun isn’t even up yet fully (sounds like me before coffee.)

Lately I’ve been pondering the sleep issue. I love my morning routine of getting up early and starting my day with a good solid sweat, but that’s predicated on a decent night’s sleep. When we were sailing, when my body had a chance to get into a preferred rhythm of sleep and wake, it became apparent that I work best on about 9 hours of sleep. That’s the amount that leaves me rested and alert, the amount where I wake up on my own, no alarm required. That was doable when we were sailing, when “cruiser’s midnight” is 9 pm and a late night has people apologizing for being up at 9:30.

Less so now, when homework and tv show finales (nice priorities, right?) are scheduled to run late. Heck, the live finals of The Voice didn’t even start last night until 9, and it was a 2 hour show. (I didn’t make it. My daughter left me a note on my dresser telling me who won.)

These days too, our older beagle, the 15+ year old, has odd nighttime habits. She may be getting senile. She wakes up at about 2 to go outside, comes back in, and about 10 minutes later is barking at the door to go out again. Sleepus interruptus, as conducive to rest as the other kind is to preventing pregnancy.

Top this all off by the fact that I threw my back out (in the shower) the other day.

It’s been hard to wake up at 5:30 to exercise. So hard that it hasn’t happened. Oh, my sweat has happened (all except for Monday, when I did my back in) just later than usual, which has its own effect on my day.

My kids too have had a harder time waking up. Is this the solstice approaching? Vacation approaching? (2 more sleeps until no alarms needed for 2 whole weeks!!!) Homework or The Voice or ipods or tests or late night ice cream?

Whatever, I am also looking forward to a break from the alarm-clock routine. My natural rhythm and preference is to wake up earlier than the rest of my family, for some quiet me time before the day really gets rolling.

It’ll be nice when that can be when the sun is up already.

Progress

Image

6:21 am and my workout is done. Sleep was better last night – our 15 year old dog has nighttime habits that rival the kids when they were newborns, which is fine on the one hand (love that she’s still aroud) and not on the other (I am now 12 years older than the last time I had a newborn!) – but that alarm still comes early.

No matter. I got up, popped in the DVD, and got my sweat on.

Feeling good right now. The stuff I’m reading and listening to is whirring my brain in all kinds of good ways, and the work I am doing feels solid and purposeful. I’m learning to chunk bits at a time, to not be overwhelmed by all that there is to do. One or two things on my list a day will move me forward far faster than paralysis and fear of swallowing the whole thing at once.

Being a badass is a work in progress. Today, I’m moving forward with it!

Listening to your body

This might be a cop out. I’ll fully admit that right here, but my firm belief is that if I were to call it a cop out, it would be because of some “expectation” by “society.”

I’m on day 2 of no morning workout. Me, of the wake-up-early-and-sweat-to-start-my-day variety, admitting online that for the second day in a row, the cozy sheets and horizontal position have won.

No alarm going off and snooze button hitting. I’ve decided the night before, in both cases, that what I need is sleep. My brain feels like it’s on overload, and when my head hits the pillow at more like 11 or 12 than 9:30, well, let’s just say I need more sleep than that.

The thing is, our bodies are complex organisms. How “healthy” we are depends on far more than how much we can bench press. It’s water intake, and what we eat (and how much.) It’s how much we exercise, to a point. It’s our friends, and our hygiene, and our mental acuity. It’s the stuff we put into our brains as well as our mouths.

And it’s sleep. You want small things to make a difference in your weight, in how you feel about yourself? Start with getting more sleep and drinking more water.

Badass me, rolling out of bed at 6:30 and straight to a shower. I needed it today, no apologies.

 

Besides, I have to be up late for a couple of nights – Julian is in his first high school production!

 

Saying NO

I’m working on saying “no.” No to things I feel guilty about not doing. No to things someone else wants me to do but aren’t high on my priority list. No when I look at my schedule and realize I can’t, actually, get something done I thought I could – and I never really wanted to do it in the first place.

Saying NO to those kinds of things means I can say YES to others, of course – it’s not like I wind up with endless amounts of free time.

This morning, though, I had to say yes when I really really wanted to say no. The person asking wasn’t a person – it was our dog. I was in the middle of my workout and she wanted to go out. And in. And out again. And in.

Three times in twenty minutes.

It’s not like I could say NO to her anyway – if I said no, then someone else would have been woken up by her barking to come let her out.

So maybe I’ll frame it that I said YES to their sleeping, while I said YES to her request.

I still got my sweat in, just maybe not as non-stop as I’d have liked.

Still badass.