Par’s Picks – 17

Happy weekend!

I hope you’re ready for some good reads because I have lots to share.  Let’s get right to it!

HEALTH:

The Disturbing Side Effect of Drinking One Soda a Day

The Tools You Need to Make Healthy Eating a Snap

Amanda Bynes, Robin Williams, and the Spectacle of Mental Illness – THIS!

Why You Should Quit The Scale, Today

3 Healthy Eating Myths I used to Believe – Took the words right out of my mouth!

WORKOUTS:

One-Minute Ab Workout For a Killer Core

Melt Fat and Build Muscle: Printable Workout With Weights  – Did this workout yesterday morning and am definitely feeling it today!

Strength Training Moves For A Full-Body Makeover

FOOD:

Flourless Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies – Making SOON!

Grain-Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies – Making SOON!

11 Powerful Netflix Documentaries That Will Change How You Think About Food – Need to make my way through this list.

LIFE:

Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Buy Experiences, Not Things

Love People, Not Pleasure

There’s More to Life Than Being Happy

7 Habits of Natural Leaders

18 Great Reminders When You’re Having a Bad Day

What If You’d Never Met?

Your Life is Too Valuable to Live Like Everyone Else

5 Habits Of Highly Fulfilled People

I implore you: Do not dumb down. – MUST READ!

INSPIRATIONAL:

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8 [More] Awesome Trader Joe’s Products

My love for Trader Joe’s is still going strong. So strong in fact that I wake up at 7:30 am on either Saturday or Sunday to grocery shop there. While the getting up early part is not fun at all, the ample parking, clear aisles, and stocked shelves are enough to keep me going.

A few months ago I wrote a post about 10 awesome Trader Joe’s products. Looking back, those are some of the more basic things I purchase on a weekly basis. Since then, I’ve expanded my list of awesome products. Things that are too good not to share!

8 [More] Awesome Trader Joe’s Products

1. Fig spread. This is now one of Vishnu’s favorite condiments. He loves it in his turkey and Muenster cheese sandwiches, and I love it in my egg and cheese sandwiches. This sweet spread pairs so well with savory ingredients.

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2. Coconut oil spray. LOVE this stuff. While I still like to use an olive oil spray for more savory dishes, this coconut one is perfect for baked goods.

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3. Masala burgers. These burgers deserve a post of their own. They taste like samosa filling and are the perfect substitute for patties in Ragda Patties.

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4. 21 Seasoning Salute. This is another recent purchase that we’ve come to love. It includes traditional spices like garlic, black pepper, onion, etc., as well as things like carrot, orange peel, and tomato granules. I’ve used it in both a stir-fry dish and a vegetarian chili.

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5. Organic Brown Rice and Quinoa Pasta.  While we still love the Brown Rice pasta I mentioned in my previous post, the texture of this pasta is better.  And again, even Vishnu loves it, so you know it has to be good!

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6. Light Champagne Vinaigrette Salad Dressing.  I prefer homemade salad dressings, but on the days I don’t want balsamic, this dressing is perfect.  It has a slight tang that goes nicely with raw/roasted veggies and tofu.

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7. Organic Stone Ground Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.  These chips are amazing!  They have a rich, nutty taste and the perfect amount of salt.  LOVE!

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8. Corn & Wheat Tortillas.  My mom found similar tortillas at their local Sprouts and raved about how much she and my dad loved the flavor.  These obviously aren’t the same as the ones she bought, but we too love the corn and wheat combination.  They don’t fall apart like corn tortillas and don’t have a doughy texture like flour/wheat tortillas…essentially, this is the perfect tortilla!

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What are some of your favorite grocery store buys (Trader Joe’s or not)?

“Co-owning” a Calendar With Your Spouse

I recently discovered [for myself] the magical [free] tool that is Google Calendar.  You guys!  I freaking love it.  In fact, I’m a little obsessed at the moment, especially with color coding everything.

So the back story (because there always is one!) goes a little something like this.  When I first got my iPhone over two years ago, Vishnu convinced me to download and use the Gmail app.  And at the time, it was all the rage.  So for the past two years I was solely using that.  And don’t get me wrong, it’s a great app.  But it doesn’t have a calendar feature.  Even that wasn’t an issue because I used my work Outlook calendar as my personal calendar as well.

Then earlier this month it dawned on me – I wanted to share a calendar with Vishnu so that we could map out his shifts at the hospital as well as his upcoming interviews and all of our upcoming travel.  And I couldn’t do that with my Outlook calendar.  I turned to my trusty friend Google for a solution.  And of course, Google told me about it’s very own tool!

I got really excited and started reading guides on how to to ensure your Google calendar syncs with the calendar on your phone.  After deleting the Gmail app and tinkering with a few different settings, it worked!  Everything was showing up just as I wanted on my phone.

The next step was to invite Vishnu to “co-own” this calendar with me.  And because I couldn’t contain my excitement, I shared it with him that very day.  I also named our calendar “ParVish.”  Creativity is my middle name…what can I say!?

When we saw each other later that night, I told him all about what I had done.  Let’s just say he wasn’t as excited about this discovery as I was.  NBD because I was excited enough for the two of us.  In fact, when he mentioned something about one of his interviews, I told him to put it on the ParVish calendar.  This wasn’t enough to generate action…just a head shake.

Well, this past Saturday Vishnu experienced the beauty of having a joint Google calendar with his wife.  He was on his laptop, when all of a sudden he turns to me with a confused look on his face.

Vishnu: Why did I just get an alert about this volunteer event that starts in 30 minutes?
Me: Oh that’s my thing.  You’re seeing it because of our joint calendar!  Cool, huh?
Vishnu: I don’t really want to see all of your things.  Is there a filter?
Me: Absolutely not!  That’s the whole point.  Just ignore it if it doesn’t apply to you!
Vishnu: Well, at least put all my stuff in one color, so I know what’s for me and what’s for you.
Me:  Ok, will do.

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Fast forward to earlier this week…

Me: Oh, just FYI…I color coded our calendar so that all of your stuff is in bright red!
Vishnu: Bright red?  Red signifies danger.
Me: [Silence]

I can’t win.  But at least he’s kind of on board with the idea!