The gloomy weather continues today as a storm front passes over with 55+ MPH winds making a mess of my backyard. I thought simply leaving the patio umbrella down last night would be fine, but the wind managed to open it and drag it and the table across the backyard and into the planter beds. It was super fun battling cold, sideways rain this morning to detach and store the umbrella before it caused further damage. Not something I recommend after doing your hair and makeup for work. Anyway, tons of rain, wind and cold today, and a bad hair day for me :-( Stressful start to the day and stress has been something I struggle with regularly and have gotten a lot better at maintaining in recent years with diet and exercise, but old habits have been creeping up again with job worries, financial worries and stupid little stuff the last few weeks. Being a little under the weather with sinus issues has not helped. Stress has many negative affects for me from skin issues, sleep issues and general crankiness – not good. One of my hopes in moving more into a raw vegan diet is better stress management as I’ve read countless times a diet high in fattier fried foods and red meat can increase the negative health effects of stress. Many stress management diets recommend foods similar to a raw diet, fresh produce and nuts. For me, managing stress mentally is a challenge too, I tend to get too much running in the background and find it challenging to clear my mind and breath deeply … hmm, maybe I can set up a calendar reminder for that :-P But, controlling stress is really something I’m focusing on this week and spending in the kitchen and working out are great ways to do so.
I’ve also been thinking about and drooling over getting a Vita-Mix more as I use my current blender daily at this point. The broccoli soup I did last night was not that smooth despite leaving it on puree for awhile and I’ve read so many Vita-Mix fans rave about the smoothness and texture of smoothies and soups. I may head back to Costco this weekend to see if the 5200 demonstration and special is still going on. I wish it came in more colors though, like stainless steel. Let’s face it, as useful and powerful as the 5200 is, it’s also ugly, much more so than my current KitchenAid. I guess that’s something that shouldn’t matter, but this is something that will be sitting on the kitchen counter pretty much all the time and a boxy, white 5200 just does not fit the look – I’d have to get black :-) I had a little fun with my blender tonight free-handing a tomato sauce by tossing a bunch of ingredients in including a red bell pepper, 3 medium tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and pepper and it came out great.