And So It Begins

May 19, 2008

Two months of night school chemistry start tonight 😥 I’m taking the course at the local community college (well, it’s not that local because it’s about a 25 minute drive uptown from my house!) I’ve got three weeks of 6-9 p.m. chemistry followed by my 5 weeks of 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. nutrition + chemistry. Yikes! Luckily it’s all only Monday thru Thursday. I’ve got some ideas on how I’m going to manage the schedule, but I’m really going to have to see what it’s like before I settle in. Even getting 3 meals a day is going to be tough! Much less exercise, studying + coursework and blogging – but I’ll make it happen!

Marriage Time

Since the husband works until 6, we won’t be seeing much of each other during the week. We decided that we need to make good use of the morning hours to spend some time together, so we’re going to nix morning workouts for the next 3 weeks to have breakfast together and then walk to the lightrail. That’ll give us a good hour to catch up. Then I’ll go to the gym mid-day and he will after work when I’m in class. Once my all-day classes start, we’ll just have to see each other when we can!

Dinner Dining

I also have been debating between packing my dinners verses cooking a dinner at 4:30 and planning a snack to have during class. While mentally, I really dislike eating early dinners, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to eat in class, it would make for difficult blog photos, and cooking is always more appealing than packing a meal, so I think the latter makes the most sense. Since I have a good drive to class, I’ll have to start cooking at 4:00 to eat at 4:30. That’s quite early. But it seems to be the most practical option. So I’m going to start having a little lighter lunch to be hungrier by 4:30 and having my “afternoon snack” around 7 or 8. But again, when the all-day classes start, everything will have to be packed or eaten out!


SO for breakfast today, I made Strawberry Banana Oats with flax, wheatberries, skim, and almond butter.




With coffee –


Then we walked to the lightrail! I took a Redbook and did about 50 minutes of walking total. We’ve got a very pretty day out there!

I’m going to enjoy my last few hours of mindless summer before I head to the gym for some weight lifting and get crankin’ for chemistry. I’m nervous since I’ve never been to this campus before!

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 claire May 19, 2008 at 7:59 am

Kath, you are so organised!


2 DaisyMay May 19, 2008 at 8:05 am

just curious why you brought the redbook to walk the trail if you were doing it to spend quality time with the husband?

Side note – did anyone see the winner of the next top model and how she is “plus sized” aka a size 8-10 at 5’10. That is crazy to me


3 Korin May 19, 2008 at 8:09 am


Well, for a model, that is a plus size, technically. This is why not everyone can be a model. I go back and forth with this because it does send a message about body image in magazines, ads, etc. But models are to be the size they are for a purpose, so that the designers’ fashions are draped over the body in a certain way. So while Whitney may not be “plus-sized” in non-model, real life, she is in the plus category as far as modeling.

I just have to say Kath, you might be the most analytical person in the world. I thought I was pretty extreme about thinking things to death but dang, girl. Well, whatever works :)


4 Suzanne May 19, 2008 at 8:16 am

Aw, Kath – it sounds like a grueling 2 months, but it’ll be fine! You already have the ‘I’ll make the best of it’ attitude – so you’re already off to a great start. And it sounds like you have everything planned out. I love how you have the ‘marriage time’ planned – that takes top priority! And it sounds like you and the husband worked out a very efficient plan.

And all of us readers will be here for you. We know you take a lot of time/care to maintain this blog – and we will always be here to support you. We’ll expect late posts and delays, different than normal meals, varying schedules, etc. – it’s only normal!

Have a great day! :)


5 Sara May 19, 2008 at 8:18 am

Kath I know you’ll find some creative ways to fit in exercise! =)

DaisyMay: Yes, Whitney won America’s Next Top Model…I was so excited! I’m happy that someone won that wasn’t underweight. I don’t think they should call her a “plus size model” but why does it matter what they call her? What’s important is that she is representing a healthy weight/body image. I love that she was confident on the show even though some of the girls said things about her eating and one girl even called her fat. It did not seem to bother her. I hope she is very successful!


6 Kath May 19, 2008 at 8:22 am

DaisyMay ,
Of course the magazine was for the walk home!! The walk to the lightrail was about 25 minutes, then I read for the walk back and around the block.

Korin ,
I probably wouldn’t be quite so analytical except I want you all to know how I’m going to deal with all these crazy scheduling issues.

Suzanne ,
Thanks for the support! It’s going to be crazy – I just hope you guys don’t get bored of sandwiches and packed meals with ugly photos! I’m going to have to be creative on the weekends.



7 Sidi May 19, 2008 at 8:23 am

Oups, your next two months are like my last year in college when I also had a full-time job and taking driving classes. I was eating and walking in the same time running from a place to another. Take care of you!


8 beth May 19, 2008 at 8:32 am

50 minutes of walking sounds like a good amount of exercise to me on a daily basis. Unless you are just going to be doing some weights or stretching, why would you need to do more cardio at the gym? That seems like a lot of working out to me. Maybe if you wanted a little more intense cardio, I might think a day or 2 extra at the gym for cardio would be ok, but it seems like you are talking about going to the gym everyday. Maybe I am misunderstanding a bit, but that seems a bit extreme to me.


9 Becca May 19, 2008 at 8:36 am

Best of luck with this new schedule Kath! It’ll be over before you know it!


10 hk May 19, 2008 at 8:36 am

Sounds like a good plan! If there’s anyone who can hack it, it’s you!! NO worries about boring “to-go” meals, I am looking forward to getting even more fun, creative ideas that are packable AND tasty! Have a great first day :)


11 RhodeyGirl May 19, 2008 at 8:40 am

Morning Kath-

I used to work from 4:45-11:30 PM and I was puzzled about the meal thing too.. I ended up eating a small lunch, a pretty big meal at 4 pm, and then at 11:30 I would eat another substantial snack (since I didn’t get break time). It was really good having that extra snack late even though it felt wrong since I would be so hungry!

Also, when I had night school in college I used to make snacks to bring during class without crunching or having to shove it down during break.. some snacks I loved were:
-smoothies.. i would make one around 4 and drink it by 7, if it is heavy on the ice it should still taste good. about 150 g of fruit total, plus water and ice. Low cal but filled up my tummy until after class
-banana bread type things.. I make a homemade banana bread with random fruit in it (like blueberries and strawberries). It is moist and nice and does not make big crunch sounds therefore does not interrupt class! (they have recipes that do not call for butter)
-yogurt parfaits.. 1 container, a very satisfying snack. I used to layer plain yogurt, a little granola (like 20 g?), and berries. If you are afraid of sogginess then just put the granola on top of the fruit and it won’t get too soggy.

Hope this helps!


12 mel May 19, 2008 at 8:42 am

50 mins of walking would be two days of cardio for me! haha! Maybe I’m just lazy but my cardio is usually 20-30 mins about 5 days a week! how much is too much cardio and how much is enough?


13 Cara May 19, 2008 at 8:44 am

Good luck with the new schedule. Looks like you have a good plan so far 😉


14 Jessica May 19, 2008 at 8:46 am

I just found your blog last week, but I am thoroughly enjoying it! I went to EarthFare yesterday and purchased wheat berries – I can’t wait to start implementing them into our recipes and diets. I love nutrition too, I look forward to blogging more with you in the future! I hope you check out my blog too:
I’ve lived in NC for 1 1/2 now, Charlotte is on my list of cities that I need to visit soon :o)


15 Nicole May 19, 2008 at 8:48 am

Morning, Kath!! I am just like you in terms of organizing and planning because my schedule is loopy too! This morning I found myself stressing about how I’m going to workout at the END of the summer when the campus gyms close for 2 weeks….since it only reaches 329878 degrees here (which, by the way, is a liiiiittle hot for running!) Extreme planning/stressing, I know. When I get like that, though, I just ask myself “Did you manage today, and do you have a plan for tomorrow?” If the answers are ‘yes’ then I feel more at peace. One day at a time, one plan at a time. I’m having to learn to be more flexible, creative, and open-minded (especially about how I get my workouts in) but that kind of day-to-day mentality scares me! After all, there is so much emphasis on planning and preparation for maintaining weight and optimum health. UGH! It can be pretty frustrating, and while you’re in a little tougher situation than I am, I still sympathize with you! I look forward to seeing how your summer plays out…you’ll be fine :)


16 Romina May 19, 2008 at 8:51 am

I find eating an early lunch is irritating, but if you make it light and have a snack in class, it’s probably a great option. Dinner is best enjoyed when you can concentrate on your food.

Good luck with your course!


17 Caitlin May 19, 2008 at 8:57 am

Hey Kath, first off I wanted to let you know how much I love your blog! I can’t even imagine how much time you put into this! I can really relate to your nervousness about a new campus, I’m 18 and going to college next year. So I wanted to wich you the best of luck! Also, I think all of your plates, bowls, spoons, etc. are so cute!

Here are a couple websites that I love to order things off of(I got my mother’s day presents from uncommon goods.)

Again good luck tonight and I hope you figure out your eating/ husband schedule.


18 Katie May 19, 2008 at 8:57 am

I hate when my husband and I are on differernt schedules. It makes me sad. But that is VERY smart of you to realize that early and carve out time for each other. Strawberry banana breakfasts don’t hurt either. Yum! :)


19 Rahel May 19, 2008 at 8:59 am

Hi Kath,

I once did the Monday thru Thursday 8 Am to 9 PM too! My Thursdays had classes all day with only an hour break, while the other 3 days weren’t much better. Some advice?

When you can, try to take a short walk to clear your head. I found it really helped me especially when it’s so nice outside.

Whenever you get overwhelmed or discouraged, just remember your long term goal and that this schedule is temporary!

Oh and by the way you will definitely appreciate the weekends in a whole new way!

Good luck!


20 melissa May 19, 2008 at 8:59 am

I think Kath’s thinking ahead and planning/strategizing is inspiring. I really don’t think it’s over thinking things. When you have a ton of things to do and you want to be sure you have enough time in the day to accomplish them, you have to plan ahead.
Especially with meals and working out, I find that if I don’t plan them out, it’s so easy to just grab whatever when mealtime rolls around, or just forgo the workout.
Whenever I take the time to plan a schedule, I get so much more accomplished, because it gives me focus. Also I end up saving more money because I don’t resort to take out food!


21 Maran May 19, 2008 at 9:03 am

Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!! And I may have to have you and the husband teach me about the lightrail. For some reason it is so intimidating to me but I need to start taking it to work since gas is getting ridiculous. PS do you ever get scared walking up our street? Past Sharon Lakes and I’m like “oh hell no”.


22 Vicky May 19, 2008 at 9:12 am

Hey Kath! Yummy looking oatmeal… and I also am analytical in that way. =) Good luck with your summer classes! Funny thing, we exchanged emails a few months back about how I am also studying for my DPD/MS… summer school starts for me as well today! 5-10pm, yikes!


23 Tina May 19, 2008 at 9:34 am

Booo chemistry! At least you’re getting it over in the quick, painful way! I’d much rather that than the long, never-ending way.


24 Janie May 19, 2008 at 9:34 am

I just wanted to tell you that I am super excited to see your meal ideas for this new wacky schedule. It is very similar to my schedule because I work 7-4, but also have a very active catering schedule several times a week and I still haven’t really figured out how to eat. I end up eating fast food a lot of the time and that’s not good for me, or my wallet. Keep up the good work Kath, you are an inspiration:)


25 JennC May 19, 2008 at 9:38 am

question for anyone.. i want to make stuffed shells tonight for like a bake… BUT do I boil the shells first, stuff them, then put them in the oven? thanks!


26 Amalia May 19, 2008 at 9:41 am

Just wanted to share this “apple pie oatmeal” recipe I concocted this weekend:
1 small apple, diced
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c milk (I used almond, but any kind will do!)
1/2 c water
1/2 t cinnamon
dash nutmeg

Top with walnuts and a little brown sugar – yum!


27 Ruby Red Vegan May 19, 2008 at 9:50 am

It must be so annoying to have to rearrange your schedule for summer school! Oh well, at least you have a plan all worked out. And I really want to try strawberry-banana oatmeal. So strawberries really don’t taste odd when they’re warm? :)


28 beth May 19, 2008 at 9:55 am

Jenn C,
Yes, boil the noodles firs. Let them cool a little, then stuff them. Happy baking!


29 VeggieGirl May 19, 2008 at 9:57 am

Sounds like you’re definitely going to be extra-busy; but your plan to take on your new schedule (especially with night school chemistry) sounds fabulous – good luck to you, and enjoy what’s left of your “mindless summer” time!! :0)


30 Betsy May 19, 2008 at 9:57 am

what a schedule!!! and sounds like one that requires extra planning…i would probably be doing the exact same thing. good luck!


31 JennC May 19, 2008 at 9:58 am

any good recipe recommendations for stuffed shells? i have ground sirloin, onion, garlic powder, mozz. cheese, tomaoto paste and diced tomatoes? 😀


32 Katers May 19, 2008 at 10:07 am

Kath, you’re so inspirational! You make me feel like I can handle anything!


33 Korin May 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

I understand the analyzing for the sake of the blog. And I sympathize because I tend to over-think eveerything as well.

But, I see it as kind of a weakness of mine. I wish (as does my boyf and friends and family) that I could have just a little spontanaiety in my life. That when someone suggested saying “let’s forget what we were gonna do and do something else” I didn’t immediatley get mad than my “plans” were scrapped. I’m working on it, though. :)


34 working May 19, 2008 at 10:24 am

That’s good that you and your husband are going to catch up in the mornings. When my husband is on night call, we never see each other and it makes things hard!


35 Tara May 19, 2008 at 10:24 am


Thanks for squeezing the blog into your hectic schedule!!!!


36 KC May 19, 2008 at 10:36 am

To have your schedule for the next three weeks would be heaven for me. Three hours of class per day, plus ALL DAY to get the other things done, PLUS three-day weekends – wow. The following five weeks sound much busier, but still got those three-day weekens that I would kill for. Kath, I hope you realize how lucky you are to be able to be a full-time student!


37 lisam May 19, 2008 at 10:37 am

Hey Kath!
I am taking night school chemistry this summer too! 6-9 mon.-thurs….I am also trying to figure out how I am going to handle dinner, I’m sure I will be stealing ideas from you! I am still finishing my spring quarter and then my summer class starts mid-june, so hopefully I will already have picked up some tricks!


38 Kelly T May 19, 2008 at 10:57 am

You’ll get used to the schedule shift.

Re Hubby: my BF used to work nights and I worked 10 hour days, so we didnt see eachother much, but when we did it was that much more special, even if we were just zonked out in front of the TV

Re Food: i was nervous when i started my 5 am gig as a trainer, but you’ll even out eventually. However I live off of portable foods and dont cook much, so it’ll probably be a bit more of a strain on you.

And you work out fine, not too muvh and not too little. Trust me, Im an expert 😉


39 natalie May 19, 2008 at 11:05 am

Kath you are so inspiring! I love how you make it a
priority to be able to spend time with Matt everyday :)


40 Heather May 19, 2008 at 11:09 am

Sounds like you’re going to have a busy couple of months, but look how you’ve already planned ahead so well! You can handle it :)

Good luck with classes. Love the new pic!


41 Susan May 19, 2008 at 11:10 am

Kath good luck with classes tonight! Like always, I am sure you will be the top of the class :)

Two questions, in a salad you made based on Robin Miller’s recipe you deseeded the tomato. What is the purpose of doing that?

Also, a while back you mentioned the owner from Cupps (sp?) sending you the black bean hummus recipe. It looked delicious and was wondering if you got it if you could share it with all of us. thanks!


42 Kelly May 19, 2008 at 11:17 am

Kath when you grill veggies do you put anything on the veggies like a dressing before grilling?


43 Kelly May 19, 2008 at 11:24 am

Sorry one other question to ask (I know you are so busy!), but do you buy your lettuce bagged? For the spinach it looks like you do and you usually say “lettuce mix”. Bagged seems so much more convenient.


44 RhodeyGirl May 19, 2008 at 11:31 am

kelly t- i hope you read this! i can’t get to your site anymore i lost it or something.. please give me the link!


45 Kelly T May 19, 2008 at 11:37 am

its on Kath’s blogroll, too.


46 yaz May 19, 2008 at 11:46 am

Hey Kath, i just read your response to my post last night. :( I hope you didn’t take it as a criticism, I was just “trying” to say that i am looking forwards to seeing what you come up for dinner with the groceries you purchased.

Anyways, good luck on your first day of school!


47 Kath May 19, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Thanks for all the great tips on strange eating schedules!! Keep ’em coming!! Does anyone have any good salad (as in pasta salad or tuna salad not lettuce with dressing salad) recipes that you think would keep well from Sunday to Wednesday?

Welcome to KERF!! Your blog looks good – especially the Parsley Walnut Pasta!

Caitlin ,
Thanks for the links! I should probably not be buying anything new for now…but I saw tons of cute stuff!!

Maran ,
We’ve got reservations for 1pm :) I wouldn’t walk to the lightrail after dark, but it’s fine during the day. You have to start riding it! We can walk you there one morning if you want, but then you’ll have to walk home by yourself, so you might want to drive.

Ruby Red Vegan,
Cooked strawberries = almost strawberry pie.

KC ,
I do.

Susan ,
In my 25th year of life, I am just now able to tolerate raw tomatoes, but I still hate the seeds and pulp, so I get rid of them when I can.

I haven’t heard from Cupps, but I did email them. I doubt they will be responding by now :(

Kelly ,
Usually just cooking spray, salt and pepper on the veggies. Sometimes rub them in olive oil – like portabellos, which really soak up the olive flavor.

And yes, I use bagged baby spinach and lettuce mix a lot. We do buy heads of romaine and bibb on occasion, but there’s nothing more convenient than bagged salad.

No worries! I just wanted you to know we’re not always that minimalistic!



48 Carrie H May 19, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Kath —
A good salad that keeps well is a mexican mix of black beans, corn, tomato (fresh would be best but maybe canned would keep better), cilantro, etc … and I’d add onions myself … :0) And you could pack yourself a tortilla to eat alongside.
Carrie H


49 CourtneyS May 19, 2008 at 12:36 pm

KC, I don’t intend for this to sound mean, but being a full time student is NOT easy. A flexible schedule doesn’t mean an open schedule. I can’t tell you how many evenings, weekends, and holidays I spend working when the rest of my friends and families are relaxing. I’m just pointing this out because I think all too often, 9-5ers don’t take students seriously. Graduate school is not the same as undergrad – it’s your full time job (and often you work an actual job on top of it.) This is just my personal bone to pick because most people I know have no idea what I do or why I’m in school – they just know I’m in front of the computer a lot!

Kath, my summer schedule is a little nuts, too, and I’ve been packing a lot of snacks instead of actual meals – cottage cheese, Kashi crackers and bars, yogurt, bags of veggies and fruit, and simple sandwiches like PB&J. Then I make sure my next real meal is extra tasty so I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. Good luck!


50 Kath May 19, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Carrie H,
Good idea! I do think that would be a salad that would improve with time. Thanks.



51 Phoebe May 19, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Courtney S- I definitely agree. I am an undergraduate, but have been a full-time employee (summers, time off school), and my mom is a graduate school professor and advisor so I have a lot of evidence of how stressful it is to be a full time student! Looking at my mom’s students and the grad students I am friend with here it is really constant work like it’s a full time job, as you said often in addition to a “job” job and internships, dissertation writing, TAing, whatever. I agree that the student schedule is more “flexible” but it also means that a lot of the time whenever you are not actually in class you feel guilty about not working!
I felt that working was a lot LESS stressful than being a student because when I was not at work, I didn’t have any obligations to it. Of course, I worked somewhere where I didn’t have work to take home, but I liked the compartmentilization of time.


52 JE May 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Salad Idea

My mom makes what we call hot olive/chicken salad. It contists of Italian Giardineria which you can find in a jar at the store or make your own and chuncks of bioled or grilled chicken. We boil our chicken and let the chucks sit with the juices of the Giardineria overnight. It’s so delish and healthy! You can eat it alone or stuff it into a pita/roll, put it on top of pasta…Here’s some info of Giardineria. There are a ton of recipes online :)


53 Jessica May 19, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Thanks Kathe! Good luck to you this semester, you’ll get into your “groove” soon.

I absolutely love and rely on these two recipes that I make ahead and freeze for hectic days/nights. Bean Burritos and Black Bean Burgers, they are healthy items that I can grab and make within 10 minutes. It saves me from having to bake a frozen pizza or stop for take-out.


54 Jessica May 19, 2008 at 7:52 pm

One last thought as I’ve seen you love pumpkin and are looking for make-ahead pasta dishes. I think this would be great for cold leftovers if you made it vegetarian style.


55 Kath May 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm

JE + Jessica,
Thanks for the recipes!



56 working May 19, 2008 at 8:19 pm

I like to make chickpea salads. Take a couple of cans of chickpeas and toss with some olive oil, balsamic, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and maybe even some boiled potato. I generally add salt, pepper and garlic. If you’re into Indian or Pakistani food, you can add some chana masala. That’s what I do when I eat at home, but not so much when I take lunch out because then I get all kinds of comments about my food, ethnic heritage etc.


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