Saturday, November 25, 2017

Chocolate the wonder food...

Chocolate!  I love chocolate.  My family loves chocolate.  Chocolate is my go to food when I need a pick me up, nourishing, TLC, a satisfying treat, a warm cup of love.... plus chocolate is so good for you.  It has massive antioxidants and it is even skin nourishing.  It's a wonder food!

I eat or drink chocolate most everyday.  In the winter, holiday months nothing soothes the soul better than a big old mug of hot chocolate.... If you are reading this blog, we are probably kindred spirits

What I'm about to share with you may feel disturbing... but I must share.  The other day, my hubby returned from our naturopath with a suggested strategy for food intolerance. I read it and paused....

Consider the foods you love or crave as well as those foods you frequently eat, especially foods that you eat as a pick-me up when you are low in energy or out of sorts..."   hummmmmm  heavy sigh 
It took me a couple days of pondering before I decided.  For the season between Thanksgiving and Epiphany day (January 6th), I'm giving up my beloved chocolate as an experiment.   How will I feel during the darkest months, the holidays, the season of desert abundance, of friends and family giving you baskets and trays of chocolate, the season of snuggling under a big blanket, drinking hot chocolate and reading a book???  WOW 

While emptying my big mugs from our dishwashing, this morning, I realized hot cocoa is chocolate!  Oh dear- did I really think this through??  Yes Denise, a deal is a deal!
 I quickly texted my sister- who totally gets the challenge of no chocolate- she immediately replied with three options to hot chocolate- bless you Tara!  My hubby offered two more- thank you Dallas. whew!
When you let go and try new paths your creativity flows, you get out of your habits and life becomes more interesting.  When your "go to plan" is not longer available, you pop out of your rut and create a new trails.  Chocolate is a little rut- Ok maybe a big rut. Shifting your life with simple changes can bring big beautiful blessings.  

If you have a go to food or drink, consider putting it on hold during the holiday season.  Experiment, see how you feel, travel new roads with food.  You don't have to do it forever- just play.

   Please share your discoveries with us in the comments below- thanks!

            Happy holidays, to you all.  May the season of gratitude blend beautifully throughout the season.


This is the link a great foodie site my sister sent as options to my hot cocoa drought .   Great foodie site!  Thanks Tara - my brain is feeling healthier by the minute...


Monday, November 13, 2017

5 Tried, Tested and Wholeheartedly Approved Ways to Simplify Your Thanksgiving

A gift of celebrating Thanksgiving early is I get to share post Turkey day epiphanies before your Thanksgiving. I hold a local family party the 2nd Sat of November.  I’m not sure why I had so many epiphanies this thanksgiving, but they were popping up everywhere!

   Here are 5 tried, tested and wholeheartedly approved
 ways to simplify your thanksgiving...

1.  Pre Cook your Turkey the day before, debone and then put the meat in oven friendly containers  (debone the turkey while the bird is still warm.)  This step reduces three stressors:  Timing your turkey to be done perfectly and on time, the pressure of carving your turkey and then deboning your turkey when you are done eating. Another option would be to go vegetarian for a shift.

2.   Create a Thanksgiving potluck.  Everyone gets to be part of the celebration, sharing traditions and discoveries.  Plus, you get to try and eat new foods with no effort!

3.  Let go of time sensitive dishes, you know the ones: Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy.  This year I didn't make mashed potatoes or gravy and our turkey was already cooked and deboned!  I realized how much stress it was trying to be a hostess while  finishing up last minute dishes.  I was way more relaxed and got to visit more.

4.  Make dishes you will love as leftovers.  Food that will give you energy and not wear you down.  Food that you will actually eat.  I know this seems obvious but it will keep you healthier with no food waste!  I like simple, colorful, veggie strong dishes.

5.  Make time for your TLC in the am.  Before my house filled up, I went for a run/walk.  Even with all my simplification I was still feeling a bit anxious.  Let's be real, I don't usually have 20 people for lunch.  As I ran, my stress lightened and lessened.  When I got lighter, I remembered gratitude.  I then spent the rest of my run being thankful for my family, for their willingness to give up a Saturday and travel to celebrate with us all.  I returned home grateful, refreshed and ready for the day.

And there you have it... 5 tried, tested and wholeheartedly approved ways to simplify your Thanksgiving.

     May you and yours travel lightly, be lovingly received and well nourished.

The Power of Decluttering your Food Before the Holidays

Evolve your Holidays...with a little decluttering.  Our family celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Sat of November.  Since I have already run through turkey day, I thought I would share the epiphanies I received along the way.

 Declutter and clean out your food first
     Normally I plan on cleaning out my pantry in January.  Smart right?  Always nice to start the new year all clean and happy....hmmm.  In the real world, I'm not energized to clean out my pantry in Jan. But highly motivated before company arrives.   This year I did an early declutter and cleaning before turkey day and it felt amazing.  If I do say so myself, that was a brilliant move!  

    Go for the busy spaces - you know, the ones you are forever adding to and removing from, are hotspots for clutter, disorganization and the occasional dust bunny.  Hello pantry, freezer and refrigerator!!!

4 epiphanies of early food decluttering...

       1.  It doesn't really take as long as you think it's going to.  The time and energy spent thinking about the task is what wears you out.

      2.  Cleaning out your food brings insight- be honest.  Are you really going to make homemade turkey broth from the turkey carcass?    Or are you going to do what I did... end up composting a one-year old frost bit turkey carcass from last year's Thanksgiving?  Saturday, I gave away the carcass to someone who will use it.  This year I also gave myself permission to do one less thing.

     3.  The boost of energy you will gain from having these spaces refreshed and clean will more than offset the time and energy needed.  Walking into a clean pantry makes me surprisingly happy.  All my little teas and spices looking bright, orderly and happily waiting to be used.  Happy is the opposite of stressed!

    4.  I was highly motivated to clean out my pantry before 20 people arrived.  I use this energy to propel me forward!  Knowing company is coming equals pure gold when it comes to housework.  A wee bit of fear of embarrassment is a powerful energizer. Honestly, I doubt if anyone in my family really cares much about my pantry.  But I feel better.  I'm more relaxed, less stressed and there will be less waste. 

The holidays bring stress…. decluttering reduces stress… less stress... happier holidays and a clear vision.  You deserve this!!  Happy holiday clean out to everyone.

Bonus idea... Store your herbs in the window.  When you get your herbs home, cut off about 1 inch and stick in a little jar of fresh water.  Keep your water fresh and you will have fresh herbs for food and decoration!  This tip comes from Nancy L!!!  ;-)