Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Grounding Benefits of Food Prep

I really felt like staying on the couch this afternoon. It was raining, and I was mesmerized by watching the play-by-play of Hurricane Irene's path on TV.

Mentally, physically and emotionally I was on a low "frequency" ~ the food equivalent of which would be a combination of sugar (or carbs), fat and salt. Slide a dish of Ruffles potato chips my way and my best resolve would be finished!

That's exactly why I don't keep them in the house!

I'm on a frugal path these days, so I thought about the station-wagon sized zucchini that had lazed too long in the sun in our backyard garden, and a bowl of ripe tomatoes in the fridge. Fortunately for me, I had to get up off the couch to do some prep work if I wanted something good for dinner.

Refusing to dwell on the approach this month of my 65th birthday, I instead focused on slicing up the zucchini for grilling. I combined some olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, basil, and some cayenne pepper in a bowl, and then basted both sides of the slices.(No recipe, mind you ~ just combining a few things I thought might work well together!) I placed them on the grill, along with some onion slices, and continued to baste them until they were tender.

Meanwhile, I sliced the tomatoes as a side dish, and heated up some left-over linguini, as well.

As I did this, I had time to once again be mindful that I'm so fortunate to be healthy and active at this age, and that it takes so little ~ really ~ to nourish me. When I finished eating, I realized I was satisfied. I didn't crave anything else. I was reminded that this is how I feel when I eat what my body needs.

I had a different frame of mind ~  on a "frequency" that didn't resonate with potato chips, or TV.

That's the challenge of the practice of eating mindfully ~ every single day!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Money & Food ~ It's All Energy!

I found after tallying up trips to the store and restaurant items on my bank statement that I was spending a lot more than I thought in that area. Nothing provides more clarity than journal entries or bank statements!

It occurred to me that we can "nickel and dime" our way into the red, just as, bite by bite, we can loose awareness of what we're eating. My resolve was to change that pattern, so on my way home from work I purposely avoided a stop at the supermarket. I knew by walking in for one item, I'd come out with three or four more.

In my car, I already had a Japanese eggplant, an onion and a zucchini that I had picked out of a box of veggies harvested from a co-worker's garden. I had stir-fried some veggies the night before and spooned them over rice, so tonight I'd do the same thing but use linguini, instead of the rice. Here's what I love about this: to the diced vegetables, I added a can of diced tomatoes (Italian seasonings included) from my pantry and a few black olives and mushrooms from the fridge, cooked them for a few minutes, and then spooned it all over a bit of the pasta. A dash of Parmesan cheese and it was perfect!

I'm careful to save "a bit of this" and "a handful of that" in the fridge rather than tossing them down the garbage disposal for just these kinds of preps.

Turns out it didn't take much time, energy or money to make that meal!

That translates into money in the bank, not to mention the huge health advantages of eating simply!