Sunday, January 8, 2012

Think Outside the Box

Are you thinking outside the box in 2012? Now, that can refer to a lot of things, but I think my readers will know where I am going with this. "Outside the box" meaning - boxed foods. No boxed rice, no boxed pasta, no boxed crackers, etc., etc., etc. I feel too often we think we HAVE to HAVE starchy potatoes, starchy and refined WHITE rice (brown whole grain is different), or gluten compounded pasta in every meal. I know this has been the train of thought for my family for a long, long time.
This is one of our "VITALITY 2012" goals that my husban and I discussed - to think outside the box. To realize that dinner does not need to revolve around potatoes, rice or pasta. Or any grain as far as that goes. Look at the revolution going on in our pan above...notice that it contains 90% vegetables and about 10% chicken. The green is fresh asparagus, we have orange bell pepper (so pretty!!), button mushrooms, chopped onion, minced fresh garlic (NOT powder), and bite sized pieces of chicken that were sauteed in EVOO with turmeric, garlic and onion. The turmeric is what gives the chicken a yellow cast and wonderful flavor, as well, it was left from Friday evenings meal of chicken vegetable soup, and also left from Saturday evenings meal of spinach salad with chicken. There is not much chicken left by the third meal (originally started with one package of 4 boneless chicken breast - from which three meals came for four people! Tonights meal was made lickety-split, in less than 30 minutes!

Last night I realized I have not scrapbooked one bit of my journey as a health and wellness consultant with the company I work for eves and weekends. My goodness - I need to do that as I am a changed person, and the entire ride thus far has been an amazing journey... not only to wellness and weight-loss, but self-growth, self-education, and someday I will be driving a white Mercedes! What a shame it would be not to have any record of my journey.

On Friday I received an e-mail from Stian, the founder's son, about a product proposal I had mailed along with my before and after photos. Anyone could have e-mailed me, but the fact that he took the time really speaks for the type of company I am working for, and one day hope to be solely working for. It was then that I realized I need to print that letter and put it in an album. One day, if they make my suggested product, I can say, "that was my idea and it could change the world!"

So today I actually spent most of my afternoon at the Scrapbook Superstore, saying hello to my friends Jo and Kate, and had a chance to visit with my former employer/store owner as well. Jo did not know who I was when she first saw me. I get a lot of that...and of course, I love it! (LOL)

I did not have a watch on, and became totally absorbed in stocking up on some things before I could no longer buy scrapbooking supplies locally. I realize I still love, love BoBunny best! I had left my watch at home, and my phone charging in the car. Not only had I spent 2 hrs. more in the store than planned, I had missed taking my daughter to girl scouts. My husband had tried to reach me, but could not. Ooops!

Ah well...I am set to preserve the memories of the journey I am on. My daughter forgave me.

Today I am celebrating a pretty successful weight loss for my first week of the new year. Even though I did not officially start the 30 Days to Feeling Fit Detox program until January 3, or should I say the 4th without cheating, I managed to lose 6.9 lbs. Today is January 8 mind you, woo hoo! After worship this morning I totally rewarded myself with a mocha latte made with almond milk at my favorite coffeehouse. No, caffeine and sugar are not allowed to detox, but I am not an "addicted to caffeine" person as I have been a water drinker see my teenage son was a wee one. My liver will forgive me and after passing up two of my three favorite flavors of Culver's frozen custard in the past 64 hours - I deserved a reward! (LOL)

Back to thinking outside the box....keep your crisper drawer in the frig stocked with colorful vegetables. Cook up a whole lot of chicken breasts at once - yesterday I put organic stock, onions, garlic and spices in the crock pot and cooked up 2 large packages of chicken breasts. Cutting them into bite sized pieces, some will be frozen and some will be available to go on our lunch salads, more dinner meals - making preparation pretty darn quick. When I got out of the scrapbook store I called home, asked my husband to cut up the vegis, which he had almost done when I got home. I added extra virgin olive oil and turmeric to a large saute/fry pan - and cooked up my vegetables. Remember, turmeric prevents your olive oil from forming free-radicals when it is heated, and the Penzey's turmeric label states it contains an impressive 5% curcumin, which is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants and high on the list of recommended foods for cancer patients. In addition, I used Penzey's "Mural of Flavor" combination of spices for extra zest and flavor. Sauteeting onions and garlic first, the asparagus was added, pushed to the side, then the peppers were sauteed with mushrooms added last. The chicken, already pre-cooked, was added last to heat through. This colorful dish was a delight for our tastebuds, and filled our plate with a huge portion of vegetables in comparison to 5-7 bites of chicken per person. It was very satisfying, and best of all - both our 14 yr old and 9 yr old gave it a thumbs up, with the youngest giving her mushrooms to her dad. (LOL)

My challenge to you is to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX - and at least twice a week omit the side dish of potato, rice or pasta, that we as Americans are so accustomed to. The more color you have on your plate (and I am not talking M&Ms!) the healthier you will be.

To your health in 2012! Vitality 2012 Community Classes begin January 15 at Crossroads Coffeehouse in Cross Plains from 3-5 p.m. Reserve your seat by sending me an email. Everyone is welcome. There is no fee to join this group. Together we will encourage one another, share ideas and recipes, and learn more about living healthier in 2012.

Colorfully eating,

Rita S.

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