Last night, I was so frustrated over a bunch of random stuff that is going on in my life that I actually got in the car, drove a mile to the store, and bought a pint of ice cream. I came home and ate it. It was good, but didn't fix anything. Ah well.
Do you ever let a piece of chocolate or a bag of chips ruin your *whole week*? I used to get in this circle where I'd be going along doing fine, eating right, etc etc and then BOOM I'd cave and have a piece of cake or whatever and then, because of that, I'd feel defeated and ruined and destroyed and hopeless and order a whole pizza, make a batch of cookies and drink a bottle of Coke. Why? Because OMG I ate a piece of cake and now since I am not perfect and ruined EVERYTHING I may as well just eat the world and start over again tomorrow. Or Monday. Or on the first of the month. Cause I gotta get this out of my system and since I had a piece of cake I may as well eat ALL the things I've been craving like lasagna and chips and fudge and Philly cheese steaks. Right? Right??? Somehow, we so easily forget that the cake was only 300 calories. It was not life and death and can't even make you gain a pound of fat. It's just a piece of cake and doesn't need to explode into a 5,000 calorie binge.
Today I'm just plugging along eating my healthy stuff. Not caught in a cycle of despair. Just mopping the floor, doing the laundry, biking, drinking my green tea, planning a veggie-rich healthy dinner. No reason to get in that nutty cycle anymore. See the cake... or the ice cream... for what it is, and move on. Let it go. No need to be perfect.
Last night I made a very simple chili for the family. I have several chili recipes, and they all have lots of ingredients and take a lot of work and taste great. But my kids sometimes whine about the vegetable chunks: one kid hates tomato chunks, another doesn't like it when I add celery, and they all hate zucchini in their chili. So last night I remembered how, 22 years ago as a newlywed, my first husband taught me to make chili. This was back before I had any idea how to cook, and was serving up steaming pots of Ramen to my hardworking farmer husband and my three stepchildren for dinner. Needless to say, he suggested I learn to cook something else. "How about a pot roast? Or some chili?" he suggested. "I don't know how to make that kind of thing!" I said. That's when he told me:
"Just go buy a big piece of meat and put some water and onion soup over it in the roaster pan and cook it a long time"
"Just cook some ground beef and add a can of beans and tomato sauce and chili powder and cook it awhile."
Okay. Simple is best, sometimes. (He also got me a cookbook for our very first Christmas together).
So last night I simplified my complicated chili recipes (but not quite as simple as my first attempt at chili) and did this:
Browned a pound of grass fed lean beef with half an onion (chopped), half a green pepper (chopped), and 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
Added a bunch of chili powder (maybe 3-4Tbsp) and about a teaspoon of cumin
At this point one kid came in and said "can you PLEASE not put in chunks of tomato??" I had already opened a can of diced fire roasted tomatoes, but I complied by tossing them in the blender before adding it to the chili. Then I added a can of pinto beans and a can of kidney beans (drained) and some salt and a squirt of ketchup and simmered for 20 minutes.
That's it! Super-fast chili, and to my surprise ALL my kids liked it. One even said "I don't usually like chili but this is really good!"
Not sure what I am making tonight, but I think a nice big salad with hard boiled eggs and avocado and bacon on it is in my future. A birthday cake is, too, next week, for one of my boys. I bet it will be chocolate, and I bet I will really enjoy my piece! I'll just bike twice that day.
Enjoy your Thursday!
Family Nature Hike And Picnic
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