Chocolate-Covered Strawberries and Help Wanted

I had a fun new salmon recipe planned out for you, but as the recipe involves slightly under cooking the fish, Peter and I decided to freeze it for a few days to practice good food safety. (Why is it that I’m always promising you fish dishes??) So, stay tuned until Friday for the salmon showcase!

In the meantime, a few food pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Chobani with banana, Barbara’s Squares, Crofter’s raspberry conserves, and Saratoga PB.

Can’t forget the chocolate chips!

(If you guys ever get sick of the breakfast pics, let me know. I tend to ogle my own breakfast pictures so much that I forget they’re pretty repetitive. I hope that didn’t sound dirty?)

Not a food picture, but anyway … a few of the girls in the dietetics program and I gave a presentation on hypertension and the DASH diet today.

Remember that two-pound tub of strawberries from a few days ago?Β  I ran out of those deliciously cheap gems a few days ago, but when I arrived home from school today:

Guys, take note: if you bring home six pounds of your wife’s/girlfriend’s/significant other’s current food obsession, she will adore you from your scruffy head to the tips of your worn-out sneakers.

A new snack was in order: chocolate-covered strawberries, of course! However, this version is protein-packed and takes less time to prepare than the time between Joe Biden’s swears.

Fresh strawberries dipped in Chillin’ Chocolate (the best chocolate peanut butter – low in sugar, too!). What could be better??


Now, I have a confession for you all …

I am a bad sleeper.

I wish I could nod off at a whim like Maddles here …

… but instead I’m up at odd hours in which no person should be awake. I average about 5 – 6 hours of sleep a night. I know that sounds like a lot, but for someone like me who does best with at least 7 hours of sleep a night, this slow drain really eats at me. I can usually make up for it with a great night’s sleep every so often, but I haven’t had one of those in a while … it drives me a little nuts that I’m doing everything I can for a healthy body by eating right and exercising, but losing sleep is negating that lifestyle.

I’m not sure what the problem is, exactly. A routine of early morning waking? Worrying? Too many weird foods?? (At least they won’t kill me, right, Dave? πŸ™‚ ) I’ve tried a few different sleeping pills with very little success. My guess is that I have an overactive mind at inconvenient times.Β  I tend to fall asleep fairly easily, but wake up way, WAY too early.

So, for my Help Wanted section … please share with me your tips for a good night’s sleep. I’ll gather them together into a tab at the top of this page so that everyone can benefit from my readers’ infinite wisdom πŸ™‚ Of course, I’ll try some of your suggestions, too.

That’s it! I’ll see you all on Friday for a yummy new salmon recipe. Until then, have a great week! πŸ™‚


  1. I’m sorry, I’m no help at all with the sleeping stuff…I’m an amazing sleeper, always have been, and I have no idea why or what I’m doing right!

    Looking forward to the salmon recipe!

  2. I’m a really good sleeper and rarely have any trouble going to sleep. I don’t know if it’s natural or it’s because of how I approach sleeping. For one thing, we do not use our bedroom for anything other than sleep and the hanky panky (hanky panky? what am I 13?)… no TV, no laptop, no radio even. Also, I keep it really cool in there and always have a fan going. I splurged on higher threadcount sheets to make sure I’m super comfortable. When decorating our bedroom I went with a “spa feel” and painted it light blue and only included soothing colors. Also, I have bedtime routine down – brush my teeth of course, but I also have some lavendar oil that I keep in my bathroom and I usually rub a little of that behind my ears, around my neck, hands and the smell of it is just so lovely and calming. I hope this helps! πŸ™‚

  3. Hey Jessie!

    Whenever I can’t sleep (which is fairly often too) I have a cup of camomile tea with honey. It’s yummy, eases your mind and makes your eyes nice and heavy! Another idea is to read a book right before bed. No, not Krause! A book for pleasure reading…that is unless Krause soothes you :).

    And of course, a little red wine at night is nice and relaxing. All in moderation right!?

    Hope this helps!

  4. I sleep really well when I exercise (but not too close to bedtime). Especially when I do yoga. I think it’s something about the savasana that calms me down for the rest of the day.

  5. Hmm…having trouble with sleeping is a toughie! I’m with ya, though…if I don’t get 7-8 (preferably 8-9) hours of sleep, I feel like a waste of life :/

    Is your room completely dark at night? I’ve heard that that makes a difference. And maybe try something calming right before you go to bed, like read a book, or at least take 30 minutes to “unplug” from the computer/tv/etc. I know you said you don’t have trouble *falling* asleep, but maybe that would help you to get a more sound sleep…?

    …By the way, the immense amount of strawberries you’ve been posting over the past few days is seriously making my mouth water! *writes strawberries down on grocery list* πŸ˜›

  6. oh man i wish i could help u with sleep! i dnt get nearly enough being in college. do you do anything mentally exhausting before sleep? do you wind down? a hot bath helps me.
    GREAT eats tho!

  7. Hii Jessie! yumm that chillin chocolate looks delish! to help me get into “sleep mode” i try to have some kind of routine that i do every night before bed to let my body know it’s time to relax–it can be anything from reading a light book/magazine, drinking a cup of sleepytime tea, or shutting off the lights and doing a light meditation with my ipod! hope this helps!

  8. Aaw what a sweetie of Peter to get you those strawberries. I’m sorry, I don’t have much advice for you with the sleeping as I’m a really bad sleeper myself. But Gary is just the opposite of me. He’ll say goodnight and no kidding, literally within 10 seconds he’s asleep. He tried to help me a couple times but nothing really worked for me. I still take half an hour to an hour to get to sleep and still wake up 2 or 3 times a night. Here are some things he suggested that I try:

    Sleep in total darkness and silence.
    Take a nice hot bath or shower before bed.
    Read a book to try to clear your mind.
    Make sure the room is not too cold or too hot.
    Try not to eat dinner too late.
    Just think about what you would like to dream about tonight.

    Hope those help you cause they didn’t help me much. But I did like the last suggestion cause sometimes I tend to think too much and worry too much. Have a great Thursday Jessie!

  9. Yum, I’m almost out of my 2 lbs of strawberries too and I just went shopping! hehe

    I’m a bad sleeper too, I wake up randomly and stay awake for awhile. Make sure the temperature is ok in the room and that the air is how you like it. Sometimes I like a fan on me. Johnny swears by TRYING to stay awake! haha At first I didn’t believe him, but it makes sense. Everytime you’re little and you try to stay up until midnight you fall asleep. Or when your alarm goes off in the morning and you TRY to make yourself get up, but you just fall asleep before the next snooze. Also, if you have an iPod touch or an iPhone get the crosswords app! We d/l it once for some small amount <$5 and then you can d/l unlimited for free. I always do them before bed and even if I fall asleep while doing them it shuts off by itself! Oh and I highly HIGHLY recommend the Temperpedic! It is literally heaven!

  10. it’s weird – i’ve been having some sleep issues the last few days too. i think it’s my period!

  11. Where on Earth do you buy massive bottles of Goddess??? I MUST know πŸ™‚ (Yes, I’m that obsessed!)

    For good sleep, I write down everything I need to do the night before so that it’s “out of my mind and on paper” and I don’t need to run a list while lying in bed. I also nix caffeine after 1pm and read before bed. Reading def helps me the most.

  12. I’m sorry you have such trouble sleeping and no, 4 to 5 hours a night is not a lot, for anyone. Many people survive on that but it isn’t healthy. Sleep is so important and I hate it when I can’t get to sleep.

    Cutting caffeine out completely will really help, it did me. Also practicing yoga or some form of meditation in order to relax my mind is always good. And reading is a for sure almost every time. I have also heard that not watching tv or using a computer for an hour before bed can help.

  13. Those are a lot of strawberries! But you gotta eat what you love. And strawberries are SO good right now!

    I wish I could help more with the sleeping. I know how draining it can be to not get enough and I need at least 7 hours too so I feel your pain on only getting 5-6. I usually try to get off the computer or anything that wires me at least an hour before bed and then stick with a book or just relaxing with Peter. I also make sure to eat enough during the day so I don’t wake up hungry (not saying that’s your issue its just something I realized before for me).

  14. Hey Jessie! lucky strawberry girl!!! that is sooo sweet, pounds of strawberries , you just can never have enough of this nutritious treat πŸ˜€ the dip looks really good – I like it!!!

    speaking of sleep, maybe I was born in the year of boar, I seldom have trouble sleeping…. hehe. but anyway, I try to go to bed and stop talking on the phone after 10 or 10:30pm. I heard that could quite you down and get into the sleeping mode. reading leisure mag also helps πŸ˜€

  15. HEY

    Ok Sleep Tips:

    the only thing that has ever worked for me when im worried about getting a good night’s sleep is to

    A. clean something for 30 min before bed. so organize your desk, get rid of old clothes, sort through paper stacks, etc. it really works. and its not cuz cleaning is tiring, its cuz it exhausts ur focus centres… similar to studying..

    B. Read a magazine. My mom told me this one and she reads every night for 20 min before bed, and then shes out like a light.

  16. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having difficulty sleeping….and also sorry that I don’t have any advice because I’m a horrible sleeper!! Sometimes I dread going to bed because I know how difficult it’s going to be to fall asleep (an example of what NOT to do…it makes it worse, haha). And I go through phases where I have horrible insomnia for no apparent reason, except that I can’t get my stupid brain to shut off. πŸ™

    Thanks for this post though, because I’m really enjoying reading the comments!! What Kelsey said above about cleaning something is super interesting. I’ve never actually done that when I’m having trouble sleeping, but know it can be wear me out, so next time I’ll give it a try! Thanks!!

  17. Please feature that gordita of a chicken sandwich i sent you.

  18. Chocolate and stawberries go soooo well together. Yeah, chocolate and everything go well together, ok, mostly everything. I was just talking about the DASH diet, glad your presentation went well. Looks cute.

  19. Oh, I’m the opposite. I can never get enough sleep but once I lay my head on the pillow, I’m out. For me, 10 hours of sleep is idea. So ideas: make sure your room is dark and quiet. (I have a sound machine to muffle whatever it is my upstairs neighbor is doing at midnight.) Try stop using the computer an hour before bed. I’ve read that the light can stimulate signals in your brain that tell you to feel awake. Maybe try reading a book and winding down an hour before you’re ready to sleep. They say caffeine and exercise before bed can keep you up, but neither have an effect on me. Still, might be worth it to cut off caffeine at 6 p.m. and don’t exercise an hour or two before bed.

    Also, could you be going to bed before you’re tired? Even though I need a ton of sleep, I’m rarely tired before 11 p.m., regardless of the time I woke up. Maybe you’re a night owl too. OK, and finally here’s a huge tip: turn your clock around. I have really bad vision so I can’t see the clock from my bad. Sounds annoying (it was for the first 10 years), but really it prevents you from staring at the time and watching every minute pass that you’re not asleep. It helps your mind from not going crazy. Hope you get a good rest tonight!

  20. I try to stop the tv and computer about 30 minutes before I want to go to bed. Reading always helps me a bit. If I’m really struggling, I do what I call my “yoga breathing.” I lay on my back and focus on my breathing. I think of nothing except my breath moving through my body. It usually konks me out in a few minutes!

  21. I sometimes have a difficult time sleeping when I am worried or have a lot on my mind. Doing yoga (I like helps me sometimes. It is a nice wind down before bed. They have free downloads and some are just relaxation.
    Hope you get better rest!

  22. I try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every night. I also try and avoid eating a few hours before bed because that will gives me too much energy. Shutting off the TV and hour before bed helps too!
    Hope these help πŸ™‚

  23. I don’t have a lot of problems sleeping, every night as soon as my head touches the pillow I am out! My boyfriend finds it amazing, haha. Last I heard, in Oprah’s show a Dr. said that falling asleep so quickly is a sign of sleep deprivation, however, I never feel sleep deprived but who knows??

    When I am sick I do find it difficult to sleep and it is so frustrating, so going through that everyday has to be no bueno πŸ™ Maybe taking a hot bath before going to bed might help your muscles relax and make it easier to get a good night sleep.

  24. Like you I can fall asleep pretty easily but I get up SO early! It isn’t a habit I can break and honestly, it isn’t the worst problem to have. I don’t think everyone needs 8 hours of sleep. I find that I can function pretty well on 6-7 hours. And look at the bright side…if you have kids at some point you will be up at the crack of dawn just like they are! πŸ™‚

  25. thanks for stopping by and for a good night’s sleep…all you need to do is come over and spend 18 hrs a day with my 3 yr old and i promise you will be so tired at the end of the day that nothing will prevent you from sleeping πŸ™‚

    other than that, everything that’s alrready been suggested πŸ™‚

  26. Sorry about the sleeping woes πŸ™ I tend to wake-up periodically through the night, too, so whatever my tips might be they are clearly not working. I do try to not drink anything for several hours before bed. To pee or not to pee is at least one thing I have control over, and if I can keep from wakin up needing to go to the bathroom, that’s at least one less reason to wake up at all.

  27. I usually don’t get in bed until I am ready for sleep. I have found it’s pointless for me to even attempt to sleep if I am not sleepy, tossing and turning is no good. Sometimes if I get in bed and I can’t sleep, I get up go downstairs do a little reading and then try and go upstairs and sleep again.

    I hope you find something that works, just wait until you have kids, you’ll have no trouble falling asleep when you’re barely getting any at all πŸ˜‰

  28. I’m sorry yoe haven’t been sleeping well πŸ˜• Usually when I can’t sleep, it’s because my mind is too busy thinking, worrying about things, etc. What helps me is writing down all my thoughts/things I need to do on a piece of paper before I go to sleep so I know it will be there in the morning.

    p.s. I got your package today!! The note was super nice- thank you! πŸ˜€

  29. Hey there! I used to have sleeping problems also– everyone would tell me to quiet my mind but trying to do this just made it wander more! Yoga helped me sleep better and try melatonin (a natural sleeping aid)



  30. I am sleeping well in general, but as an overly anxious and stressed person sometimes I can’t fall asleep easily. If the problem is anxiety or stress then valerian supplements can help, they certainly help me, but everything everyone suggested are generally good ideas except alcohol, which helps you get to sleep but results in worse sleep quality. I hope you find what works best for you and stop stressing!!! πŸ˜‰

  31. Lately I haven’t been sleeping well either! I think it’s the light coming into my window, I think I’m going to have to get room-darkening blinds. Something that usually helps me is lowering the room temp when I sleep. I always love your breakfast pics!

  32. I can relate to having an overactive mind – that’s what keeps me up sometimes. My standard protocol now though has been to do 10-20 minutes of slow, relaxing yoga before bed. It focuses my mind and calms my body. Really, having any routine before bed helps because then your body is more prepared to sleep b/c it knows it’s coming.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog πŸ˜‰

  33. Hmmm, good question! I think it’s especially challenging when the sleeplessness is due to a busy mind/nervous energy. Some things that help me include fresh air (a walk after dinner, opening the window), cool temperature (I can’t sleep when it’s too warm), extreme darkness (don’t let the light in πŸ™‚ ), extreme quiet, and maybe doing something relaxing before bed. If I go on the computer or watch something “thrilling” before bed I find it much harder to sleep well. When I worked at Nutrition House, some customers gave positive feedback re: 5-HTP, some relaxing herbs, and homeopathic tablets (in capsule form) but results really vary from person to person and of course you want to be careful with what you put into your body. Homeopathy is very safe and often effective though. For example:

    But yes, relaxation and meditation and gentle music, etc. may be a more effective way to go rather than going for tablets πŸ™‚

  34. Aww I’m really sorry to hear about the sleeping troubles! I truly get where you’re coming from. I am a terrible sleeper. I, like you, can fall asleep quickly (usually within 10 minutes of my head hitting the pillow. But I wake up about 4 times per night for sometimes an extended period of time. This interrupted sleep continually leaves me sluggish. I’ve asked doctors my whole life if maybe I have a chronic fatigue of sorts, or if I have low grade narcolepsy and its affecting my nighttime sleep. I say this because during the day I could sleep at anytime in any place, any position. I could nap in the subway. I’m constantly low on energy and I feel that it really affects me.
    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for this comment to be all about me! Really I didn’t. I think that the times I sleep the worst, though, are when I’m preoccupied with something larger in my life. Is there anything that may be subtley giving you stress? I hope you can get some quality rest soon, I bet it’s making you feel low from being so consistently tired! I’m wishing you sweet peaceful, restful dreams!

  35. Overactive mind syndrome, I have it too!! And it does cause me to not fall asleep very easily. Also, the obvious, drinking caffeine too late is NOT good! And when I say too late, I’m talking passed 2 pm! I try to not eat too much before bed (as in late night snacks) and reading a book usually helps me. I also like to eat something with carbs because of the tryptophan, which makes you sleepy. Also working out late keeps me up because if gives me energy that I don’t need!!

    I hope you did well with the DASH diet presentation!! I bet it was great πŸ™‚

  36. what’s your caffeine intake like, even in the morning? After I stopped drinking coffee I realized I had never slept so well!

  37. Poor you – not sleeping is a killer. I need my 7 hours or I’m a bear. What works for me is no caffeine after 3, not too much wine at night (it may help me fall asleep but then I wake all night), a good workout in the day and reading in bed…if it happens to be a rather dull book I’m out in about 10 minutes!

  38. Tryptophan – the amino acid found in milk and turkey.

    That’s all that comes to mind in terms of making us physiologically sleepy…
    Hello, good excuse for milk and cookies before bed.

    Somehow, for me, all it takes is one look at my mounds and mounds of study material for my bacterial molecular genetics course and I’m out. Out like a trout.

    ALSO: Um, Barbs’ squares are awesome. They’re pretty much the same as Quaker’s Oat Squares (do they have those in the US?) but I always wonder which one came out first. Battle of the firsts. I like to think about random things like that.

  39. I have serious sleep issues also. I have no trouble falling asleep but I always wake up every few hours and then actually wake up to the point that I can’t fall back to sleep after 5/6 hours. Plus I can never sleep past eight. Even if I go to bed at 4. Which stinks. I’m excited to see the advice you get!

    Can’t wait for the salmon – my favorite fish!

  40. Hey Jessie! Just gave you a blogger award on my bloggie. Happy Friday!

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