Metaphorical goodbye, Summer. Labor Day is quite possibly the cruelest of holidays for school-aged people. It’s a day off, but you know what comes after it. For someone who *horn toot* did well in school, I really hated it. School caused so much stress and anxiety for me. I gave myself a freaking ulcer when I was 15! Is there anything worse than learning math and science? I know how that sounds, but my brain can not handle those subjects. According to Lady Gaga, I was born that way. Anyway…if I could go back in time and teach myself some stress relieving tactics and some ways to deal with anxiety, perhaps the thought of Pre-Cal wouldn’t induce black outs and heart palpitations. If you find yourself stressed, or perhaps your children are struggling to make the back to school transition, try some of these easy stress relievers. While some may sound cheesy, shut up.
- Take a walk (alone or with the fam) to remove yourself from the situation and get some fresh air.
- Get in the kitchen. Make something you normally wouldn’t. Treat yourself.
- Do something you enjoy. Watch a favorite show or movie, read for a bit, have a cocktail, exercise…
- Deep breathing. This can actually work, and will lower your blood pressure. Close your eyes, and breathe in and out slowly for a few minutes.
- Talk/write out the issue. Chances are you may be blowing things up a bit. If you get to the root of your problem, your solution might become more clear.
- Be creative. Whether you dabble in a DIY project; writing; or playing an instrument, getting the creative juices flowing can be very therapeutic.
- Be present. How many times have you freaked thinking about all of the things that you have to do tomorrow, in a week, in a month? Take everything a step at a time. Make a list. It really helps.
- Ask for help. If you’re overwhelmed because you’ve spread yourself too thin, ask family and friends for help. That’s the beauty of people who love you….you’re not putting them out. But, just don’t get crazy with the favors.
As a person who lives a normal life and who graduated high school 16 years ago, I can honestly say that I have never used the FOIL method; had to solve for X; used a microscope to see an Endoplasmic Reticulum (I just always liked those words, so that’s all I remember from Bio); or balanced a chemical equation. So. Take that, ridiculous standards.
Monday: Burger Bar- Happy Labor Day! Bust out that grill.
Tuesday: Roasted Cauliflower Tacos– Vegan and gluten free. I plan to marinate the cauliflower in the milk mixture to really let the flavors get in there. You could also use the marinade mixture for shrimp or chicken.
Wednesday: Coconut Milk Chicken with Jalapeño Mango Chutney– Gluten free. You could use store-bought chutney, but it will more than likely be loaded with HFCS and other sugars. Just make it. I plan to use frozen mango, because that’s what I have on hand. I’ll just let it thaw first. Serve this chicken with rice or quinoa and a vegetable side.
Thursday: Brazilian Bowls– Vegetarian and gluten free…can be vegan if you use a dairy free “sour cream.” I love this recipe. I always serve this over plain rice instead of the rice the recipe provides.
***Soak 1cup of cashews for tomorrow’s dinner!***
Friday: Magic Mushroom Sauce and pasta- Vegan and gluten free. This sauce will come together so quickly. Serve over pasta for a creamy, satisfying meal.
Saturday: Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad and your choice of protein- Gluten free; salad can be made vegan if you use non dairy, “feta.” If you use jarred chickpeas and pre-shredded carrots, this will take 5 minutes to make. Don’t like/have pistachios? Use cashews, almonds, or pumpkin seeds. This salad will taste great paired with a white fish seasoned with Ral el Hanout.
Sunday: Crabby Snacks and Homemades- From now until the end of football season, this is what you’ll see as the meal de jour for Sundays. Crabby Snacks and Homemades comes from Silver Linings Playbook, which is one of my favorite movies. The main character’s mom makes this every game day. To me, this is going to be comfort food. This is an opportunity to bust out the seasonal/family recipes, get in the kitchen as a family, and enjoy the last of the weekend.