Random Ramblings

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I thought I’d take a minute to jot down all of the things I’ve had on my mind lately. Well, not ALL the things or you’d be reading a whole lot of crazy…. ūüôā

 

A few weeks ago we had a Relief Society enrichment night on inner beauty. A better title might be “How to be alright with how you look and how your life is.” Not hating something about yourself when you look in the mirror, not hating the number you see on the scale every time you look at it, stretch marks, not hating how your house looks when someone stops by- all of those things that we do if things aren’t perfect. First of all, it was nice to see that everyone does that (I’m not some lone freak who has those self-depricating moments). But the best part of the night was realizing that I love all of my friends despite the fact that they’re not models or swimsuit season ready and their kids make messes (thank goodness!)- and I love them all!!- and I can love myself the same way. And by saying this, this is not some kind of admission that I wallow in self-pity or think I’m some low level of ugly. I’m nice to myself, and if my number on the scale is higher than I’d like, I give myself a pep-talk- “You’ve just had two babies. The weight always comes off eventually. Keep working on it.” Still, it’s on my mind more than I’d like. Part of the challenge was to not step on the scale for 10 days. It was the best 10 days ever! It was so liberating! I loved every moment! Still, I also learned that the number on the scale is a good motivator for me to make good food choices- so I’m back to checking in- but I think it is healthy to take periodic vacations from the scale.

 

On Sunday I had a fun moment with Cayden on the back porch. We saw a bird searching for worms (which is fun already) but then we saw this mommy bird fly up and feed her baby and then hunt for more worms. She did this several times and Cayden and I just sat together and watched. It was one of those golden moments, sun starting to set, quiet moments. Monday after school Ashlyn found a dead baby bird below the nest. I was so sad. I put on gloves and picked it up. It was such a perfect baby. It didn’t have feathers yet so you could see it’s perfect, tiny veins. It was so fragile and tiny. I carried it to the garbage can and stood there for a few minutes. It seemed so sad to throw this baby away. We’d just weeded so I nestled it in with the grasses in our garbage can and it seemed like a soft way to go. I could not stop thinking about this baby. Every time I threw away garbage I would put it anywhere else except for the grasses. Tuesday night I had everyone in bed, Matt was in meetings, Cayden was getting a drink before going to bed and I had him grab his shoes so we could take a walk around the block together. We snuck out the back door so we wouldn’t disturb any curious children and started walking. As we walked we started to talk- the only rule was that you couldn’t talk about books or electonic games (there is a reason for that rule)- and I found myself talking about that little baby bird. I needed closure and Cayden was kind of joking but serious too- we needed to bury that little baby. So in the dusk of the night I dug a hole, carried that little baby over and buried it. It was like a burden had been lifted. I felt so much joy! I know it seems silly, or like over-kill, but any mommy would want that for her baby.

 

I’ve been reading this pamphlet/BOOK that Matt got for work about healthy eating. First of all, it’s taught me so much! Second of all, it’s daunting to make changes. Things to get rid of or limit: The 3 Great White Hazards- White bread, White sugar, White potatoes. That’s almost everything we eat! Okay, so I’m all about moderation- I don’t think I can really completely eliminate these things (and the book is not asking me to)- but it’s been really nice to educate myself about good food choices. I’ve made fruits and vegetables more¬†accessible¬†for snacking, we had wheat tortillas and not one child complained (surprising!). It’s been fun to start to make changes. The challenge? Adding beans. I didn’t grow up with a lot of beans in dinners. This is going to be a challenge I want to tackle. Still, I have found this great recipe from Our Best Bites that I’ve made several times and really, really love. It’s so good! I love it even more than refried beans. We’ve had it with the recipe Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa. That was a great dinner, but I’ve made the bean part several times. The seasonings are just so good! Give it a try! I would love to hear any recommendations on more way to add beans into your diet.

Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa
Adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2012 

1 cup chopped peeled Granny Smith apple

1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion, divided
2 limes
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoons coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 13.5 ounce can chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked brown or white rice
1 rotisserie chicken, or 4 grilled chicken breasts
4-6 lime wedges

Combine apple, cilantro, 2 tablespoons onion, and the juice from half a lime.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and black pepper.  Set aside.

Combine remaining onion, bell pepper, and oil in a large skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until completely softened, 6-7 minutes.  Add garlic and next 3 ingredients; stir constantly for 2 minutes.  Stir in broth and beans; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; simmer briskly, mashing some of hte beans with the back of a spoon and stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 8-10 minutes (or longer if needed).  Season with salt and pepper to taste and a big squeeze of lime juice.  Divide rice and beans among plates.  Top with some chicken and apple salsa.  Garnish with additional cilantro and lime wedges.  Serves 4-6.

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2 responses »

  1. My canary died this month…really hard when that happens. I have no idea what happened although I noticed it was sleeping several times during daytime the previous two days. I asked Mike to take it out of its cage….and I wanted to bury it but he said it was amid the garbage can and he wouldn’t go through it (in a plastic bag separately, but no way)…I was relieved when the garbage can was emptied because then I couldn’t do anything about it….but I, too, wanted to bury that beautiful little bird
    I would love to read the booklet that has been motivating you about nutrition. I, too, have a great need to change how I eat. The numbers on the scale keep going up, my health is struggling, therefore I need to do all I can to make things better. Doing it and thinking it don’t seem to go together. I try many bean ideas because I have so many pounds of beans in storage. I appreciate the new recipe. I’ ve tried several bean recipes….they fill the whole crock pot….and there are only two of us….and eventually it’s not worth the freezer space they take.
    Your blogging is so wonderful!
    PS…..I got your b’day present recently, just to get you curious. ūüôā Love ya, M

  2. Great thoughts on the scale. I agree with the moderation in all things – even when it comes to stepping on the scale. We had baby birds in the backyard when I had Elle last year and it was hard to see babies die- especially at that time so I totally understand! I will have to try that recipe!

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