Friday, January 1, 2010
A new YEAR, A new RESOLUTION, A new BEGINNING
I'm still working on this list for 2010 but here's what I have so far. Hmmm, looks like a lot of FOOD projects...I wonder why that is?
* Eat more organic and clean food
* Eat more local and US foods
* Take my lunch more when I work & eat less fast food
* Drink NO soda, at all, anymore
* Do more long term meal planning
* Lose 20 pounds...again.
* Buy more things Made in the USA when we have to make new purchases
* Pray daily
* Do more bible studies
* Finish the Old Testament (I only have 4 or 5 little books left)
* Read ALL the book club books this year.
* Learn to play my guitar
* Have a kick ass garden
* Finish the last 12 mile section of the OHT
* Have more PEACE and QUIET in 2010
* Eat more organic and clean food = I have a pretty good start on this one. I've tried to replace most of the prepackaged foods with homemade versions but sometimes it's still hard to make it all happen. For example, NY Eve last night we had Velveeta and Rotel, Little Smokies with Bronco Bob's Raspberry Chipolte sauce and Betty Crocker Brownies ...ain't nothing CLEAN about that my friend. Some meals are diamonds, some meals are rocks.
My first choice is organic, but sometimes when I'm at the grocery store or Walmart they just don't have an organic option. So when that happens, I chose the next best thing I can and ferret out... no high fructose corn syrup, fewest ingredients, stuff I can pronounce and have some sort of idea that it is actually a recognizable FOOD product. My weakness for which I still haven't replaced is Pop Tarts and Betty Crocker brownies... I'm not saying I'm Super Man or even Super Woman, but if I were, they would be my kryptonite.
My new food cult leader is Michael Pollan... he professes "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants". I like the simplicity of it. Now I just have to work on LIKING more plants. I did Google the recipe for Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup which has KALE in it that I usually pick out. I made it from scratch last week and it was a big hit with everyone. I didn't even pick out the kale but ate the whole thing. Baby steps.
* Eat more local and US foods = I have really been trying to pay attention to where food is from this past year and want to do even more of it this year. Of course when you eat out, all bets are pretty much off. Panera at least has some organic choices and proclaims to have hormone and antibiotic free chicken. I like that. I even ordered a SALAD last week, which was WAY intimidating and stressful. Stupid I know but seriously I had NEVER actually eaten a bowl of salad until THIS YEAR. Yeah, I'm 41. I got out of line twice while I was trying to decide which one to order because I'm so picky. I do NOT like ice burg lettuce, can't eat onions and ONLY like regular balsamic vinaigrette. Let me tell you something you already know, people like to pile on all sorts of weird things onto salad. I finally picked the Fuji Apple Chicken Tossed Salad with All-natural citrus-herb chicken, mixed field greens, romaine lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, NO red onions, pecans, Gorgonzola, apple chips & regular balsamic vinaigrette along with a bowl of their YUMMY tomato soup. I ate all but the big chunky pieces at the bottom. I hate those thick chunky pieces of lettuce too. I was feeling pretty self-rightously happy about my meal choice THAT day. Now only 365 x 3 more to go in this new year.
It's amazing when you start really looking at the labels on your food and start noticing where it all comes from. Of the various canned salmon on the shelf at Walmart, only one, their generic brand was caught and packed in Alaska, the rest was from Thailand. Now Alaska isn't very local, but it's at least in the US AND under US restrictions for food safety. I'll put my bets on the US over Thailand any day. Even though we seem to have recall after recall even here.
I can barely stand to buy and cook hamburger meat from Walmart or the grocery store anymore. I've been buying it from the Rockin H in Norwood. Local raised, grass fed, all natural beef. I trust those guys a lot more than the feed lots mega "farms" in Kansas. So see, sometimes even Made in the USA isn't enough, the more LOCAL, the better. Still you have to be careful because if you visit a few farms you'll quickly see that all farms are not equal as far as cleanliness and consistency.
* Take my lunch more when I work & eat less fast food = I really do want us all to eat less fast food. We, as a family, like eating out. Before Bryon and I moved here to the Big Cedars, we ate out 3 or four times a weekend in Springfield. Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday lunch sometimes, Saturday night, Sunday morning. Since moving to the nether regions, eating out on the weekend is much less convenient and we just don't want to trek back to town for it after spending most of the week in Springfield for Bryon or across five counties for me. Bryon eats every day at the hospital and they actually have some pretty good food choice for him. I eat out most days for lunch. Grace eats at school. I have ALWAYS been one to be thinking about my next meal even as I'm eating the current one. Bryon is more fly by the seat of his pants usually. Grace seems to have adopted my eating strategies for planning ahead.
I cook something at home almost every week night or we eat leftovers unless one of us has a meeting to attend or we have to be away from home for some reason. We eat as a family at the kitchen table together nearly every night. I like that.
We do have a weakness for Freda's cafe in Marshfield where we frequent most Saturday mornings and many Sunday's for lunch after church. Not only do we love Freda and our little small town cafe and want to support her but we just like eating there. I don't plan to give that up anytime soon :)
I can do better about taking my lunch with leftovers though. It will save calories, money and give me some healthier choices to help make that other resolution of losing 20 pounds again more possible.
* Drink NO soda, at all, anymore = seriously, I don't drink very much soda anymore but my goal this year is to drink NONE. I tried to get Bryon and Grace to do this but Bryon only drinks one a day and doesn't want to give it up. He suggested I give up tea if he had to give up soda, but tea isn't bad for me and I didn't like the trade. Grace doesn't drink much soda either, but that girl likes her Bug Juice. She pretty much only gets it on vacation, trips to Hannah's with Grandpa or Daddy and occasionally when we have fast food. Hopefully by eating even less fast food, that will also mean less crappy drinks.
* Do more long term meal planning = this is still an ongoing mission. I do so much "planning" in my job, it's hard to want to keep up that level of preparation at home. Of course, being the TYPE A that I am, it's also hard not to.
* Lose 20 pounds...again = I've GOT to do this. I CAN do this. I hope with the changes above, losing weight will be easier.
* Buy more things Made in the USA when we have to make new purchases = this is harder than you think. Start looking at the country of origin on your foods and products. Nearly EVERYTHING at Walmart will say Made in China which is code for Will Break Soon by the way. Lots of our food comes from China, Thailand, Mexico and Indonesia too. You'll be surprised once you start looking.
* Pray daily = seems easy but it's hard to remember. I made a little post it note and put onto the dash of my car. When I was having a rough year at work after Grace was born, I prayed every morning in the quiet of the car on the way to work. It really made a tangible and visible difference in my day and helped turn things around for me. Even though things are going well now, it never hurts to have the most powerful entity in the Universe on your side. Thanks God.
* Do more bible studies = I'd like to do more of this. Our church has a women's group who have started some ongoing bible studies. It's just hard to fit it into the schedule. I can do them on my own, but have to muster up the discipline to make it happen. Surely I can complete at least ONE this year.
* Finish the Old Testament (I only have 4 or 5 little books left) =two years ago my resolution was to read through the entire bible. I made it to the last few books of the Old Testament only and then got side tracked with book club books and tired of the project. Let me tell you, the Old Testament is surprisingly VIOLENT. Not that I mind, I mean I read 27 VAMPIRE books this year. But it's THE BIBLE. People sending the heads of the enemies to others, lots of smoting and smiting etc. I'm glad I've read it even though I don't remember many details. When I'm reading other things it's surprising how many biblical references there are in ALL literature and everyday sayings. I just think it's good to have it in your heart and mind. You never know when you might need it and when something will pop back into your forgetful brain.
* Read ALL the book club books this year = last year was a tough year (the tenth!) for our book club. Many of us were experiencing some book club apathy and several of the books were less than discussion worthy. Some months only ONE of us (there are 8-12 regulars in the club) even READ the book. We had a come to Jesus meeting in November and I think we are ready (at least I am) to recommit to the book club. Our first book is The Red Tent which I started yesterday for our January 20 meeting. I've already been procrastinating because of it's churchy content (which of course probably seems ridiculous in light of the last few resolutions) but there you go. I fear it will be slow and painful but I'm going to read it... every word... so I'll have SOMETHING to contribute to the meeting. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to kill two birds with one stone, read the book club book AND a bible study all in one.
* Learn to play my guitar = I took Grace up to the music store in Marshfield this week and bought her a REAL guitar. She picked blue. I dusted off my Taylor Big Baby and we spent a few minutes plucking on some guitar strings at home in preparation for our first real guitar lesson together next Sat. Jan. 9. Grace had to practice on the little Walmart guitar she got for her birthday last year. It's so crappy it won't hold tune. She already has a little blister and was complaining but she also said she wanted to learn to play ALL the instruments. I told her we were starting with the guitar and THEN she could learn something else. I'll be steering her clear of the drums however.
* Have a kick ass garden = I STILL don't have my 2010 Baker Seed catalog and I'm feeling a little pissy about it. I'm going to try to resist buying seeds except for the things the must be grown by seed until we have a suitable greenhouse someday. Last year's seed starting turned into a real fiasco and I ended up buying plants at the May festival and sale at Bakers for EVERYTHING I had tried and failed to start from seed anyway. Lesson learned. Now I just have to remember that as my willpower wanes and the days get warmer and sunnier.
Go if you can, it's great! Baker's Seed Spring Planting Festival 10th Annual Spring Garden Event Sunday and Monday, May 2 & 3, (Sunday & Monday) 2010 – 10am – 7pm http://rareseeds.com/bakersville/festivals/spring-planting-festival/
Jere had to help push my car out of the mud last year. Sorry about covering you with muddy gumbo Jere and THANKS!
I want us to only grow heirloom foods this year. Do you hear that Bryon? I even have a couple of plans for the squash bugs. Darrel, if you are reading this, NEEM PY. Les in Strafford says that's the magic solution. I also read in this month's Organic Gardening letters that planting a couple of onions by each plant and cutting up onion tops and sprinkling on and around each plant will keep the dang pests at bay. It's worth a try because those squash bugs are the bane of my existence!
* Finish the last 12 mile section of the OHT = I really want to do this in 2010. I have all the info for shuttling and everything. I just need to get my hiking mojo and confidence back and do it. I'm thinking of trying to do it all in one day and alone. I think I can if I start working up to it now. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...
* Have more PEACE and QUIET in 2010 = I forget sometimes how much NOISE there there is in my life. Most of it is my own fault. I leave that damn television on way too much. When I'm deep into the tv season and every show in the series I watch are new, it's hard for me to turn it off. I find I leave it on even when I'm not in the room for the NOISE. What is up with that? I don't know why I do that. It makes me scatter brained and keeps me from being able to concentrate on the task at hand. Last year I went 40 days without watching it in the summer time. When I turn it off, time goes slower. I think I need that. It's just hard to get used to it.
I drive around most days in my car without the radio on. I listen NPR in the morning and evening but nothing during the day. Man, I have some GREAT ideas and come up with all sorts of plans in my brain during those quiet times. Now I just need to translate all of that to action and turn off the noise.
Here's a toast to a new year, new resolutions and new beginnings. Salute!