Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Healthy Freelancer’s Recipe: Harvest Salad

Last time I introduced you to my shrimp scampi salad, a delicious meal that packs a great nutritional punch. Today I want to share my recipe for harvest salad. It’s another delicious way to add a nutritional boost. Who couldn’t use more vitamins, right?

The vegetables can be switched out according to what is being harvested at the time the salad is made, and cheese is okay if your diet allows for it.

I like to make a big bowl of this salad to keep in the refrigerator for a few days. I’ll eat it for all of my lunches and dinners over that few day period, making it a great meal for when I know I’ll be writing a lot.

Enjoy!

Shannon




Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Healthy Freelancer’s Recipe: Shrimp Scampi Salad

This is one of the recipes I make when I know I’m going to be writing a lot, and not breaking much, especially during the warmer months. Other than the time it takes to make the shrimp scampi, it doesn’t take too terribly long to put this salad together. Feel free to switch up the vegetables. Cheese is optional depending on your needs.

You can use leftover shrimp scampi for a small salad, or make a pan of the shrimp so you’ll have enough for a couple of days worth of meals.

shrimp scampi salad

I like to make enough for four meals. Lunch the day I make it, before I start a longer writing project. Then I put three meals in the refrigerator, so I only need to take a couple of minutes to get each meal ready when I want.

The shrimp scampi salad packs a good nutritional punch when you know you’ll be short on time but you still want healthy meals.

Enjoy!

Shannon




Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Healthy Freelancer’s Recipe: Berry Parfaits

Not only are these delicious parfaits good for patriotic celebrations, they are good year-round. Refreshing and healthy, these are great make-ahead snacks and desserts. Keep a jar of the cream in the refrigerator, for easy access, and small bowls of the berries next to the cream. It only takes a moment to add a dollop of cream to the fruit.

Try this berry parfait, and you might also like watermelon and blueberries with coconut cream and strawberry cream surprise.

If you like to work remotely, maybe at the beach or the park, you can pack any of these with a meal.

Shannon




Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2016. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Sit or Stand? Or Both?

I’m sure you’ve read the reports indicating how bad it is for you to sit at a desk all day.  Writer’s are guilty of this, for sure. I have a desk job at the inn where I work, plus I write, sometimes for hours a day. How about you? How much sit-down time are you clocking in a day? Include in this count time spent in vehicles, watching television, and eating meals, and you can see how all that time sitting is adding up each day. It’s too much for many people.

This much sit-down time is not really good for you

Being this sedentary on a near daily basis causes health problems. I’ve read that all this sitting can cause a variety of problems including weight gain, and muscle problems in the legs. Heart disease is another problem that someone who sits a lot might encounter. And do not forget that too much sitting can cause posture problems, take years off your life, and cause other health problems. It can be scary thinking about these things, but we need to.

Standing too much is not good for you

If you can’t sit all day then standing at the desk would be a better option, right?

Not necessarily. Standing too much can also cause problems from what I’ve been reading, the least of which being sore feet! You may also notice varicose veins on your legs, and all the standing will exhaust your body. I’ve also read it can compress the spine and cause cardiovascular problems when people stand all the time at at desk. These are pretty scary things as well.

My experiences sitting and standing at a desk

I work 40 hours a week at a desk job at an inn. I am up and down quite a bit some days, not so much on other days, depending on how busy we are. I also write. A lot. Which means I can sit for hours more a day. I say can, but I don’t really mean that.

You see, years ago I hurt my back and shoulder doing a much more active job as a housekeeper. I still have back and shoulder problems to this day, and will for the rest of my life.

I cannot sit or stand for long periods of time, so I have switch it up often. I also have to move my body, because just sitting and standing at intervals hurts a great deal. So I’m always up and down, and doing mini workouts throughout the day.

Move your body

Even if you don’t have back and shoulder problems, it’s best to move your body throughout the day. In my reading, I’ve come across indications that sitting is the way to go, with at least ten minutes of standing per hour. (I switch it up more often than this, and add movement.) What can you do each hour to move your body? Here are the things I do:

  • Stand at least three times an hour for about five minutes. When at work, I actually stand more than this for part of my shift.
  • Do a chore here and there. I live in a room, so I don’t have too many chores. I have at least a few things I can do each day though, and will split them up to do during my breaks from writing. When at work, I will water the plant and straighten the stuff on stands at some point. I’ll also do other things such as take out the trash, dust, check the halls and the parking lot, and even make coffees and restock the coffee cart.
  • When we are not busy at work I’ll find extra ways to help guests, that get me up from the desk.
  • At home and at work, I get up from the desk and sit elsewhere, in a different position, to eat my lunch or dinner.
  • At work, I get up and stretch every hour or so. Little exercises that take just a moment or two here and there.
  • At home I start my day with a little yoga. On my days off from the inn I walk. And I have mini workouts that I do throughout the day.
  • Three days a week I walk to the bus stop to catch the bus into Bangor where I work. This is a shorter walk than the ones I take on my days off.

I’m trying to live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight, so sitting or standing all the time will not work for me. Sadly, even with all the movement by back – and often my shoulder – can hurt pretty bad by the end of the day. I also try to have good posture while sitting, but that hurts me as well if I do it too long. (Though I do suggest good posture for the most part, I can imagine that even people without back problems may have trouble with it.)

Remember: Exercise is so important!

How do you move at work? Do you sit a lot? Stand more than you should? How do you combat health issues if you do sit or stand a lot?

Shannon L. Buck

 




Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright May 14, 2014.

Healthy Freelancer’s Recipe: Simple Smoothie

I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling the greatest after the holidays. I need to get back to my healthy eating strategy, so I’ve been working on that this week.

Each day I’ve been making a smoothie to boost my nutrition intake. This is the simple starter recipe I’m using:

Ingredients

  • almond milk
  • 1 small banana
  • a handful of spinach
  • 1 egg
  1. Put ingredients in a blender.
  2. Cover and blend everything well, adding ice if desired.

To this, I might add some other goodies, such as a few slices of cucumber or carrot, frozen berries, or a peach and Romaine lettuce.

It’s all about keeping it clean and healthy.

Looking for other smoothie recipes?

  • Banana-Blueberry Smoothie (If you eat dairy.)
  • Pineapple-Spinach Smoothie
  • This and That Smoothie (Use what you have on hand.)

Smoothies are quick and easy to make. When the blender has been emptied, put a squirt of dish detergent in it with some water, cover and give it a whirl, and then wash the container and the cover. Easy-peasy.

Join me in getting back on track nutrition-wise.

Shannon L. Buck




Why Taking A Break Never Fails

I might go all day, forgetting to eat and exercise. Forgetting to relax. Other times, I work so many days in a row, that, even though I’m breaking for meals and walks, I never feel rested. On these days, I’m generally working from the time I get up until late at night.

Why Taking a Break Never Fails by Shannon L. Buck  http://livethefreelancelife.comOur brains need a break from mental work, just as our bodies need a break from physical work. When we are exhausted from mental or physical work, our bodies let us know. We start making silly mistakes, getting cranky, and feeling overwhelmed.

No one wants those types of things to happen, so It’s best to give ourselves a break.

Go to your calendar. See what is open. Take the time now to schedule some downtime. And don’t let yourself feel guilty about it. Here are some ideas on how to begin scheduling much needed breaks:

  1. Set up easy mornings: Sleep in a little, wake up slowly. Do a few yoga moves, meditate, then shower and sip tea while eating a healthy breakfast.
  2. Spend at least 15 minutes after lunch journaling.
  3. Take a little time during your walk to sit by the river and think about something other than work.
  4. Schedule an entire afternoon off to hang with your bestest. Get your hair cut, go out to lunch. Enjoy some girl time.
  5. Schedule at least two days off each week. Three when you can swing it.
  6. Schedule holiday time off. If you have a career where taking the entire month of December off is a possibility, do it. Why not?
  7. Schedule three long weekends. One for yourself, one for a family vacation, and one for you and hubby.

Taking a break never fails because it rejuvenates you, helping with the flow of ideas and preventing silly mess-ups. Breaks will also give your mind and body a chance to relax, and are also keys to living a healthier lifestyle.

Only you know what will work best for you, and what you need. Take the time now to figure out what that is, and things will go more smoothly from here on out.

Shannon L. Buck




What does the New Year Symbolize?

Photography by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015I scheduled this article for earlier in the month, but I wanted to think about the subject a bit more before writing. To think about what this year really means for me, and what it might mean for others.

You learn things over time. Like, what is truly important to you. Like, you need a break sometimes. Like, your own projects are as important as the work you do for others.

After time spent thinking about how things went last year, and then rethinking my long-term goals, I finally decided on some goals for this year, my word of the year (courage), and some ways I might reward myself when I meet certain goals.

And then I realized what this year means for me. What it symbolizes?

It symbolizes a time to finish up old projects.

This is the year to start publishing the fiction I’ve been writing in earnest. I don’t hold out any real hope of publishing every single story this year, but I can start knocking some of them off my list. I’ve already begun publishing the #CampSeries, putting out Rascal, A Trip to the Outhouse, and Auntie’s Boyfriend on Amazon.com. Besides publishing, I set myself up on Goodreads.com, updated my Authorsden.com profile, and did a number of things to promote these stories. It has been a busy January for sure! But in such a good way.

Thankfully, the editing was done (for the most part) last year for these stories. This meant I was able to get everything out quickly.

The fourth and final story in the series mentioned above, Hidden Camp, will be published in just a couple of days. Then I’ll work in more promotional time.

I have things I’ve written in the past that I’m planning to re-edit and updates this year. Somewhat of a large undertaking, for sure, but the effort put forth will be worth it in the end.

Then there is the eBook I’ve been working on for this blog. A Long time coming, it is completely edited and ready for publishing and will be available a few days after Hidden Camp. I’m so excited to share Organizing Your Space and Stuff with you. A culmination of articles I’ll be taking off the blog, but still wanted you to enjoy. With lots of added content:

  • Edits for easier flow.
  • An update on each article.
  • Action steps for each article.
  • A bonus section with three projects for you to enjoy.

It symbolizes a time to start some new projects. Try new things.

And this year I’m ready. I have some epic articles planned, with worksheets for you to use when making plans for different things. I’ll start posting them soon.

And, I’m starting a series of eGuides for you. I don’t expect to finish all the eGuides this year, but I want to start getting them out to you. Most likely during the second half of the year. There will be more epic articles for the blog, that will give you a taste for what is in each eGuide. I’ll keep you updated on these as the year progresses.

I also have some new ideas for stories I’ll be writing this year. Will they be published? I’m not sure, but I have the ones I’m editing that will be.

For my personal projects, I think that is a huge amount of stuff. And I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. I have some rewards planned for myself, after achieving certain goals.

It is a time for caring for me.

Along with those rewards I’ll be giving myself for all the hard work, I’ll also be doing other things for me. A have already scheduled a few personal retreats for myself throughout the year. There will also be a fair amount of pampering going on. At least three mornings a week I have a routine that aids me in my self-care efforts.

My Routine for those Three Days

  • Wake up naturally. No alarm clocks! Stay in bed a few minutes, thinking about the day ahead. No stressful thoughts! Only positive ones.
  • Make my bed, get my water ready for my workout, grab the yoga mat, and put on my workout clothes.
  • Stretch. Yoga. Other exercises.
  • Relax. Journal. Have tea.
  • Read, and have another cup of tea.

Then I begin my day.

Another thing I’ve been allowing myself to do once or twice a week is to work at the cafe up the road. I pack up what I want to work on for a couple of hours, and head out, sitting at a table or at the booth near the window. I have a couple of mint tea’s (nothing added) and maybe an oatmeal while I’m there. I find that I can concentrate better with the talk from the other patrons and the sounds of the machines. Even when at home, I concentrate better when writing with the television on for background noise.

I also walk at least two times a week, and I try to eat a mostly Paleo diet. So my body, my health, is taking priority this year.

What does this year symbolize for you? Are you making big changes? Small ones? Professional? Personal? We need to take care of our personal needs and wishes if we want to be truly successful. Please comment below or email me personally at shannonlbuck@gmail.com with what you are doing and why. I always read and answer, and enjoy hearing from those who do.

Shannon L. Buck




Healthy Freelancer’s Recipe: Turkey Soup for the Crock-Pot

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015With the colder weather, we tend to cook more time consuming and heartier meals. Using a crock-pot allows us to cook all day without standing over the stove and basting meat every hour or so. Simply throw the ingredients into the crock, cover, and slow cook all day. And you can make healthy meals in them that are simply delicious.

Turkey Soup in the Crock-Pot

29 ounces of turkey broth

1 pound leftover turkey, shredded

2 carrots, diced

2 medium potatoes, diced

1 large sweet potato, diced

1 cup frozen peas

1 tablespoon dried parsley, crushed

salt

pepper

water (optional)

  • Pour the turkey broth into the crock, and add the turkey, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potato.
  • If there is not enough liquid, add water to cover the ingredients in the crock.
  • Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours, or high 3 to 4 hours.
  • Thirty minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, uncover the crock and add the frozen peas parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the cover back on the crock and finish cooking.

You can use any vegetables and herbs you like, so experiment each time you make this.

Other soup recipes you may enjoy:

Making Soup with the Bestest: Missy’s Vegetable Soup

Harvest Soup

Feel free to share your favorite fruit water recipes in the comments, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com.

Enjoy the recipes!

Shannon L. Buck

 




Benefits Of Working Outside

Have I mentioned that I love taking my work outside? I do. I love being out in the fresh air. Unfortunately, I rent. My neighbors don’t stop to think that I may be too busy to hang out when they notice me out there typing away. So I cannot work outside at home.

I do, however, work at Aroma Joe’s (Nope! They are not paying me to write them into my article. Though it would be nice to have a month supply of mint tea…  lol) I stop in there some mornings, order my tea exactly the way I want it (Not so hot I can’t drink it right off), and sit out on their deck to work on a current project. This set up has worked well for me this summer, but we’ll see how it goes when college starts back up again.

The park is another place I like to work, and in small wooded areas where not many people roam on any given day. I like to be outside.

There are benefits to taking your work outside. For instance:

  • For me, it presents less stress. Being outside does not feel stuffy. There is a sense of freedom that melts away any stress I might be under.
  • Because I am under less stress, I’m getting more done.
  • Being more productive helps me to feel better about myself.
  • Breathing the fresh air helps to clear my mind.
  • Working outside can also ease depression, giving a boost in Serotonin.
  • When walking to my outdoor space, the exercise derived is good for my heart and aids in balancing out weight.
  • And, socializing along the way never hurts.

How about scheduling at least one morning or afternoon a week for taking your work outside. Bring along a snack or lunch, and enjoy the fresh air while getting things done.

Where do you go to work outside? Do you have a favorite place? Or a place you want to try? Let us know in the comments below, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I always reply.

Shannon L. Buck




Healthy Freelancer’s Recipe: Fruit Infused Water

It is important that we have enough energy each day to keep up with all we have to accomplish.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014Fruits add much needed nutrients to any diet. From Vitamin C to Potassium, you can’t go wrong if you have at least one a day. The Myriad of nutrients protect our bodies from some severe illnesses. Citrus fruits are just one group that are vital for good health.

Waters infused with fruit are a great way to get these nutrients into our bodies, and are refreshing when poured over ice in a tall glass. They are also easy to make.

I have a pitcher with an insert, but you don’t really need one. And I try to use organic products when possible.

Mixed Berry Water

raspberries

strawberries

blueberries

blackberries

ice cubes

water

  1. Rinse the berries and let them sit on a clean towel for a few minutes to dry.
  2. Place the ice cubes in the pitcher.
  3. Pour the berries into a bowl and mash them up just a little, so some of the natural juices escape the berries. Spoon this into the insert, or pour them directly into the pitcher. Attach the insert to the cover.
  4. Pour water into the pitcher until about 2/3 full.
  5. Place the insert into the pitcher carefully, and put the cover in place. If necessary, pour out some of the water so the pitcher does not overflow.
  6. Store in the refrigerator.

Other fruit infused water recipes you may enjoy:

Strawberry Water, for on the Go

Strawberry-Watermelon Water

Citrus Water

Lemon-Lime Water

Feel free to share your favorite fruit water recipes in the comments, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com.

Enjoy the recipes!

Shannon L. Buck