It’s 7 pm on day two and I am really tired. My muscles are sore. I had a lot to do today with my writing and then running my kids around. However, I still stuck to my schedule. Even though I wanted to plop on the couch after walking in the door, I didn’t. I finished my third workout instead. I am really proud of myself but know it’s only day two. 157 more days to go. I can do it. I know I can. Tomorrow, I will post the workout dvds I am using with links to buy them, in case anybody out there wants to join me in my quest. I am also going to write the recipe for my homemade salad dressing I have been using because it is really good. I will have the best night of sleep tonight…that I know for certain.
Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’
Okay, I have been talking about changing my lifestyle. Maybe I’d take a daily walk (which hasn’t happened), maybe I would eat lighter meals (a little less cheese and butter), and maybe I would drink less wine. Well, I haven’t changed much since January 1st. Now, I have some really good incentive. Yesterday, I learned that my relatives in England (my in-laws) are coming out here this summer to visit. So, I thought to myself, it would be great to have this new lifestyle I so desperately wish to adopt in full force by the time they arrive. Maybe I can knock off those extra pounds by then?
Well, I am pretty sure they won’t be here until after the fourth of July because school in England doesn’t end until late in July. The 4th sounds like a good goal to be completely emerged into my new lifestyle and looking great. Who knows? Maybe I will be comfortable in a bikini? At this point, I’d settle for feeling great in shorts. The other day, I realized I have gained 25 pounds since I met my husband. I think I can get back close to the shape I was in thirteen years ago with a little effort.
It seems like a long time until the 4th. It is exactly 159 days away. Starting today, I will eat a healthy breakfast and practice one hour of yoga in the morning. Then, I have a 20 minute core workout routine on DVD which I will do in the afternoon (before or after my salad for lunch). Finally, in the evening, I will walk or follow my cardio DVD I have.
The walk has been out of the question with blizzard-like weather. Although, I have seen my neighbor walking. Man, she has stamina. I also saw her cross country skiing the other day. But, she did not look like she was having any fun at all. I don’t understand cross country skiing.
I am going to have whatever I want for dinner because I don’t want to skimp on dinner or my food articles. I am going to try to limit myself to one glass of wine per night (on week nights) and two or three (weekends). I have noticed that any more than one glass on the week nights makes that 6:00 am alarm seem way too early.
This is day one of one hundred fifty nine days to a complete healthy overhaul. I ate scrambled eggs on toast (CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE), practiced yoga, ate a salad for lunch, did the core DVD, and now I am making a quiche (mushroom and onion) for dinner with a salad on the side. I still have to do the walk or cardio DVD before bed. I will do it! Here is a picture of how I look today. I am very embarrassed to do this; but, I want to see the results. I figured if anyone out there is going to follow along with my progress, you’d be interested in the results too. I will update it as we go. Wish me luck and join me if you want to.
I completed half of my yoga dvd today and walked. Okay, so I walked to the mailbox. But, I have a long driveway. It’s a start. I decided there are two requirements to my beginning a half an hour walking regimen. First, I need to get out of these glasses and into contacts because the blinding sunlight is killing me when it bounces off of the snow covered earth. I will need to wear sunglasses. Second, it should be above zero degrees. It looks nice out the window, but once I emerged into the arctic chill, I realize it could be dangerous to my life. So, I am buying contacts this week and hoping the temperature rises. In the meantime, I will keep up with the yoga. Tomorrow…the whole dvd.
Here is my article for the New Ulm Journal:
“Pot roast and resolutions”
The end of the holiday season can be a bit anticlimactic. We spend months buying gifts, writing cards, attending and planning parties. Relatives visit, you visit friends, the house is decorated, and the streets are illuminated with snowflakes and red and green lights. You may have spent time compiling a list of resolutions which you may or may not keep. It all leads up to that fateful stroke of the clock and the dropping of the ball and…bam: a few kisses and hugs, a few, “happy new year!” shouted out to your loved ones and it’s over. The year has ended. A new year has begun. But, then, the next day or the day after that, it all just feels the same. We shuffle back into work or school. We comfortably relax into our routines.
I like the idea of coming up with resolutions but feel it may be a mistake to do it on January 1st. I think resolutions should be made whenever you feel something lacking in your life. This can be any day of the year. When I plan to make a resolution on the 1st, I announce my resolution, maybe tell friends and write it down. It’s not a terrible idea. It’s just that if I don’t do it on the 1st of the year, day one, I feel like a failure. I’m usually tired on the first: I might be hung over. So, that new yoga or aerobic routine isn’t going to happen that very day. It doesn’t seem to be as exciting beginning on the fourth or the fifth. Before I know it, it’s February. Usually, the whole idea just fades away.
Instead, I try to treat every day as an opportunity to begin anew: start working on that novel, earn more money, cook more homemade meals, exercise more, spend more quality time with my spouse and children, or have more fun with my friends. Your list may be different. However, I have found that most lists are pretty similar because people generally want to be healthy, to be in love and to be loved, to be surrounded by friends and family and to be financially wealthy.
When the holidays end, things may get a little quiet. Many people might miss the hustle and bustle, the visitors and the visits, the holiday performances and church services, and the camaraderie which comes with the season. I am here to say that this spirit of togetherness does not have to end with the passing of the holidays. Why not keep it going?
You can continue the spirit of togetherness in your own home. You can create a club: writing, reading, cooking, painting, music, singing, walking, taking pictures…the possibilities are endless. You can take a class in something you are interested in. Here’s a shameless plug for myself, but you can sign up for my weekly cooking class through community education which begins on January 14th. If people sign up, we will be cooking a meal and then eating it together. I’d like to create a sort of weekly dinner party. It’s a great way to meet new people who have similar interests; mine, in this case, is eating good food with good people.
Another idea is to begin a tradition of having a Sunday lunch at your place. You can invite friends and family to come over on Sunday. Making a pot roast for a Sunday lunch is easy, affordable, and delicious. You prepare it a bit in the morning and go about your daily business. Just before you are ready to serve the food, you do a few more magic tricks and it’s finished. If lots of people arrive, there will be plenty of food. If few people attend, you will love having the leftovers. Whatever resolution or goal you decide you would like to keep, begin it today, or tomorrow, or the next day. Treat each day as an opportunity to make things happen: give more, smile more, and love more. You can watch a video of me and Claud making this pot roast at the end of this post.
Beef Pot Roast:
4 lb. sirloin tip
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 C. red wine
3 C. beef stock
1 Tbsp. rosemary
8 medium potatoes, chopped thickly
2 carrots, chopped thickly
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 C. mushrooms, sliced
1/3 C. butter
˝ C. flour
Dry the sirloin tip with paper towels. Cover it on all sides with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Heat the remaining olive oil in a stock pot. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the beef. Brown the beef on all sides. This will take about five minutes per side. Remove the meat.
Add the onions and garlic. Cook them until the onions become transparent. Deglaze the pot with the red wine. Scrape all of the browning remnants from the bottom of the pot into the wine, garlic and onions. Add the meat back to the pot. Pour in the stock. You want the liquid to rise half way up the beef. If you need more liquid, add stock, red wine or water. Sprinkle in some rosemary. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer for an hour and a half.
Add the potatoes and carrots. Cook for thirty minutes. Add the celery and mushrooms and cook ten minutes more. Remove the meat and vegetables from the pot.
In another pan, melt the butter and mix in the flour to create a roux. Slowly whisk in the remaining liquid from coking the beef and vegetables. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Pour the vegetables into the gravy. Slice the beef and layer it on top of the gravy with veggies. Enjoy!
Okay, I have had enough of chicken. I can’t believe how many chicken recipes I have been cooking. That’s what happens when you don’t have much money. You eat a lot of chicken. It’s cheap. Plus, when you buy the whole chicken, it turns into quite a lot of food and then some stock. I’m loving having stock all of the time in the freezer. It makes everything taste better.
Next weeks article is going to be about a Sunday roast. Beef sounds good. I have already made it and it is delicious. I just got a recipe from my friend, Jules for Yorkshire pudding. She is from Wales. I was talking to her on the phone about making a roast and she said, “do you have any pastry to go with it?” I completely forgot about Yorkshire pudding. Why do they call it Yorkshire Pudding? I will have to look that up. It’s not pudding in the U.S. sense or in the U.K. sense of the word. So, I am confused.
No, I still haven’t taken a walk. How long has it been since I decided? Weeks, I think. We did have an incredible snow storm and now it is below zero degrees. So, I can’t imagine walking in those conditions. Right? It makes sense to start on the first. That is when resolutions should be started. Well, that is my story and I am sticking to it. Anyway, I am almost finished with my list of 2010 goals. So far: publish book, lose 20 pounds, successfully teach my cooking class, and stop being so broke. That’s a good start. I have more to add though.
Well, I am off now to make Yorkshire puddings and to learn how the name came into being.
Okay, I am still giving my resolutions a lot of thought. I think I will cut down on the cheese and wine. Why not? I am so confused. By the first of the year, I will have a carefully drawn out plan.
Yesterday, while I wrote my post, my children were asking me to make cookies with them. I told them they could get started, “just follow the directions on the package.” I went down stairs to see how it was going. I tasted the chocolate chip cookie dough, which I love to eat raw. It was crunchy and didn’t taste right. I took another bite and another. Something was wrong. I asked Daphne, “how much sugar is in here?” She responded matter of factly, “three cups.” I am not an expert baker, but that sounded like a lot. I pulled out the chocolate chip package and read the recipe. It read 3/4 C. sugar, “Daph, it says 3/4 C. not 3 Cups.” I was a little irritated because I thought a ten and eleven year old should be able to follow directions. Oh well. We threw that dough out. It was gross.
This morning, the kids wanted to open one gift. I made the mistake of telling them they might be able to open one gift on Christmas Eve. The key word was “might” but “might” to them means absolutely yes. So, all morning, from the wee hours, they kept creeping into our room waking us up.
Finally, I said, “fine, if you make us some scrambled eggs and toast, we will come out and watch you open one gift each.” Yes, it was bribery; but, they were happy to oblige. I said, “I like wheat toast and daddy likes white.” They both shouted, “okay!” as they ran to the kitchen. They returned about ten minutes later with one plate carrying scrambled eggs and two pieces of wheat toast. Daph said, “do you want a fork and everything?” I said, “where’s dads?” She said, “oh” and looked confused. I told her I would take that fork. Dad went hungry. Not because I didn’t share. He just didn’t really want any.
I am really getting concerned that my kids can’t follow directions. What’s going on here? Is this normal? Who cares? It was lovely that they even tried to make us breakfast in bed. They are amazingly wonderful children.
Anyway, it’s Christmas Eve and we are snowed in. I love being snowed in. I love not being able to go anywhere.
I am so happy we are going to make a roast tonight with potatoes and vegetables. I love roasts because they remind me of life in England and Claud’s family. It’s just the four of us here this Christmas. All of Claud’s family is at Hopgrass in England and all of mine are in Los Angeles. It seems a little lonely just to have the four of us but it’s also very lucky to have a quiet peaceful Christmas with the people I love so much. Happy Christmas Eve to everyone…if anyone is reading. My next post will be my food column article about Love Stew.
Okay, it’s been several days now and still…no walk. I have completely stopped with the yoga as well. Way to get an idea and then totally not do it…at all. I have cooked several dishes which are ready to write about. My article this week is going to be Love Stew. This is a Thai style chicken dish cooked with curry and coconut milk. So, I have been eating Love Stew all week, for almost every meal. I really don’t mind because it is so delicious. Each day it gets a little spicier. Daphne won’t eat it because she is a vegetarian and Jack won’t eat it because he thinks it’s gross. It’s not a cheese burger and that is enough to make it gross for Jack.
Yesterday, I finally went Christmas shopping. Yes, on December 22nd. I had to get out there and finish…well, begin and finish…before the snow hits today. We are supposedly in for at least twelve inches. I am very happy about the timing of this storm because we have no place to be. We will just stay in, cook, eat, watch movies, and play games. Sounds great.
Okay, about these resolutions. I have been giving this a lot of thought. I would like to get in better shape and stop gaining any more pounds. Ideally, I should shed about twenty pounds. Its a cliche…lose weight as a resolution. I guess I am not alone out there. I already know I won’t be cutting out cheese, butter, wine, or anything else delicious. Instead, I will walk and practice yoga. I just have to actually do it. I will. Now that it is so close to the new year, I will begin in the new year. Unless, I get some crazy energy burst and decide to just get out in the snow and walk. No, this is not procrastination. Waiting until the new year is just very logical at this point. Not really, I am being very lazy and want to give myself a few more days, maybe even a week, of sheer laziness. This way, if I do any exercise betweeen now and then, it will be so impressive. Who knows, it could happen. Maybe I should stop drinking quite so much wine too. Everything in moderation, right? We’ll see.
Well, I have to make a Love Stew movie, article and snap shots. So, I should get to it. Happy Holidays.