2017 Resolutions

It’s almost that time of year again.  A time of reflection and a time of new beginning.  A new slate, a new piece of fresh, clean, crisp, bright white paper to start writing on using your best pen and best handwriting.  Can you smell the freshness of it?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the changes I’d like to implement in my life for 2017 and my thoughts keep leaning toward peace, forgiveness, pleasure and beauty.

Those thoughts leave me interested in learning to let go of everything that I have no control over.   And, if I really break that down further I have to ask myself, what do I really have control over?   Nothing.

So in realizing that in truth, I have control over nothing, except for my actions or perhaps my reactions, this is what I’ve come up with.

2017 RESOLUTIONS

#1  PEACE AND FORGIVENESS

Letting go of………

  • the hurt feelings
  • the regrets
  • the wish I had done this or that back then
  • the I wasn’t treated right
  • the I wish I hadn’t done that
  • the I did the best I could
  • the I’m not good enough

#2  PLEASURE  

There is a reason the days of the past are called the “good old days” and I’m sure that I’ve never seen “I wish I had worked one more day” engraved on a headstone.

For a long time now I’ve been trying to be uber conservative and frugal and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, until it becomes extreme and you realize that your happiness isn’t being considered in that frugal conservative process.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to start spending money willy nilly or not continue to make mindful frugal decisions.  As a matter of fact I intend to become even more detailed in tracking our finances and expenses because retirement is a year closer and we need to be ready.

What I’m saying is I want to find a balance.  I’m not going to quickly pass on the fun, the events or opportunities for pleasure simply because I don’t want to spend the money.  I’m not going to make money the ultimate reason for doing or not doing….

#3  BEAUTY

  • I’m going to plant the flowers even though we can’t eat them
  • I’m going to buy the great pair of shoes because I just love them
  • I’m going to buy the red lipstick
  • I’m going to get my hair done
  • I’m going to do my Yoga
  • I’m going to wear out those new exercise shoes
  • I’m going to eat the chocolate cake and the ice cream
  • I’m going to dress myself in my style, not just for my comfort
  • I’m going to give thought to my wants to understand why I want…..

While I was succesful in 2016 with quitting smoking and quitting a 20 year use of Prilosec, which I am extremely happy about.  2016 was still a bit of a crappy year.  I’m not going to whine about it, because nobody likes a whiner.  I’m just going to say that I had a lot of illness and injury and even battled with a bit of depression.  With all of that, I lost sight of what is most important to me.

I am loved by the most amazing Man and I am completely head over heals in love with him.  He is the love of my life and all he wants is for me to be happy.   It took us a long time to find each other and I don’t intend to waste one more single minute on anything less important and EVERYTHING is less important than my husband.

What about you, do you have any resolutions you want to share.  I’d love to hear about them.

Lori

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Homemade Chicken Stock

You really should be making your own chicken stock.  It’s one of the easiest things in the world to do and it is 1,000,000,000,000 times better than anything you can buy at the store.

This is what I did on Saturday and Sunday.

I started with chicken bones I had been saving in my freezer along with some onion, celery and carrot scraps then I let this pot low simmer on the stove for 29 hours.  I added extra water to in once.

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This is why I love to make my bone broths in the cooler months, because I can cook it on my wood stove and not have my kitchen stove on for 24 hours.

While my stock was cooking away, I got busy using my electric pressure cooker doing 1 whole chicken at a time from the freezer.  I cooked the 3 laying hens that the Z Man and I harvested from our flock earlier this summer and I cooked 3 of my Polyface Farm roaster chickens.  I pressure cooked them for 20 minutes each then let them cool and picked the meat from them and put the bones in the stock pot.

After all the chickens were cooked and the meat was in the jars, I  filled the jars with chicken stock from my stock pot.  Then 7 quarts of chicken meat went into my pressure canner at 10 lbs of pressure for 90 minutes.  The chicken stock, 25 minutes and 10lbs of pressure for quart jars.

In total I ended up with 7 quarts of canned chicken and 18 quarts of chicken stock.

The canned chicken will be great in chicken and dumplings, chicken pot pie, chicken soups, buffalo chicken dip….  A great easy quick meal no matter what recipe I use.

This is good for you food at it’s best.  There are many healing properties in homemade bone broth.

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I mean, just look at that beautiful golden rich stock.  Mmmmmmm, I can’t wait for some mashed potatoes and gravy!

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Canning is not difficult and it’s not dangerous if you follow the basic safety practices.  Yes it takes time and it takes work, but it’s something that I find pleasure in doing.

Even if you don’t have a pressure caner, you can very easily make this stock and freeze it in individual containers and it would still be just as lovely.

And why not get extra goodness out of that roasted chicken by using the bones for stock.  That’s a great way to stretch a dollar.

Till next time,

Lori

Clean Food, Is It?

Choosing a clean food diet is a personal choice.  It is a choice that I made to help with my digestive issues, and I’m 100% sure that it has helped me stop the Prilosec.

The Z Man and I are not 100% clean food people, we are probably more around the 75% range.  But it is a conscious effort for us because we want to know what we are putting in our bodies.  Still there are times we backslide a bit.  We are human.  But honestly when we do eat something out of the norm for us, more often than not we immediately regret it and wish we hadn’t.

Sometimes even the healthy choices can be deceiving.  For example during the busy summer months when I was working 6 days a week I would sometimes swing by the grocery store for a bag salad to have for my lunch.

  1. An entire bag salad complete with croutons, dressings, fruit, nuts (you get the idea) is $3.00 whereas a salad from a restaurant would run around $7.00
  2. Choosing a salad for lunch IS a healthier choice than restaurant food and most certainly healthier than any drive thru food.
  3. A bag salad is quick and easy, just dump in a bowl and eat which is very convenient.

Take a look at these pictures of what actually comes in a bag (caesar) salad.

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bag-salad

Take another look at the ingredient list for this bag salad in the second picture.  YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Granted that the unwanted ingredients are mostly in the dressing and croutons, but even the cheese has unwanted, unclean ingredients.

That is why I make my own dressing.

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A simple but great basic salad dressing is:

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake to blend.  Done!

Then you don’t have all those unnecessary and unwanted ingredients in your salad, and you are eating clean.

The basics of a clean food diet for us is

  • Five or less ingredients on the label.
  • No unpronounceable ingredients.  If I can’t say it and don’t know what it is then I don’t want to eat it.
  • Natural sugars such as raw honey and pure maple syrup.
  • Cook real food – think of it as what your grandmother or great grandmother cooked and put on the table.
  • Cook your own food so you know what’s in it even if you have to do weekly or bi weekly meal prepping.
  • Read ingredient labels, read all ingredient labels even on the simple items.  Trust me, you’ll be surprised!
  • No meals received through a drive through window.

Like I said earlier, eating clean is a personal choice and one I’m glad I’ve made for me and the Z Man.

And if you decide to try it, then I hope these few tips will help you get started.  Just remember, it’s not about being perfect it’s just about being comfortable with your choices.

Till next time,

Lori

 

 

Smoother Times Ahead

In a continued effort to heal my digestive system and my leaky gut from years of taking proton pump inhibitors (prilosec), I’ve decided to add smoothies into my diet.

This is the thing, I’ve tried smoothies in the past and did not like them.  It was a texture issue for me.  My blender was not strong enough to blend the smoothie well and drinking a drink that has small chunks of kale and spinach is not pleasing at all.

So, I bit the bullet and bought myself this….  I bought it at Walmart for $89.00

 

I am so pleased with this blender.  In a matter of seconds it completely blends all the ingredients perfectly.  Now I can actually enjoy smoothies instead of trying to choke them down because they are good for me.

I went ahead and did some smoothie prep for the week…  right now I’m putting a baby kale and spinach mix, a frozen mix of cherries, strawberries, blueberries and grapes, banana, ground flax seed, turmeric, L Glutamine, protein bone broth and I’m using raw milk for my liquid.  The banana adds a nice sweetness to the smoothie, but a squeeze of honey helps too.

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I did cook some pumpkin from the garden in the pressure cooker that I will freeze in ice cube trays so I can add those to my smoothies too.  I’m thinking something like a pumpkin pie flavor using pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, my homemade yogurt and some honey or pure maple syrup, and of course the greens, ground flax, ground turmeric and L Glutamine.

I had some coupons that were set to expire this week so off to the grocery store I went.  I kept my side blinders on and stuck to my list.  I spent $33.43 and here is what I bought.

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I also stopped to pick up some avocados that are on sale right now and some cucumber and tomatoes for my jar salads.  I spent $19.91

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I’ve got to accept the fact that my digestive system requires somewhat of a special diet of fresh and organic as much as possible, good fats, very limited amounts of wheat and smaller meal portions with 5 – 6 small meals a day instead of 3 larger meals.  Because of this it’s very important for me to plan and prep healthy meals and snacks.

It’s also important for me to track my spending to keep it in check.   My total for this week is $53.34 and I’m well stocked up so I’m not planning any additional spending this week.

And by the way, have you notice the cost of nuts, especially almonds.  Crazy expensive!  Which is why you don’t see any in my grocery pictures.  😉

Do you have any smoothie suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Till next time,

Lori