The work day was coming to an end. I was at my home office working on an article, and any moment I expected to hear my husband put his key in the lock and walk through the front door.
I adore this time of day.
I used to dread it, but I’m in a honeymoon phase. Dinnertime is almost here and I’m so in love with cooking.
Oh, sure, I’m thrilled to see my husband too. I enjoy hugging him and kissing him and sitting down together to talk about our days. But not that long ago, early evenings felt a little burdensome. Inevitably one of us would look at each other and ask: “So what are we going to do for dinner?”
Ugh! What a dilemma. We were usually at a loss because our cupboards were bare and besides, we were sick of the two recipes that we rotated through night after night after night after night.
Ever since we committed to making fresh, wholesome meals from scratch (or mostly scratch), our evenings have changed drastically. Our kitchen, for the first time ever, is abundant. We have fresh fruits and muffins, ingredients for homemade pizza, and spinach lasagna ready to reheat. We have a refrigerator full of red lettuce, apples, cherries, and tomatoes. Also we have a huge bowl of salsa because I’ve been on a salsa kick. (Basically, for the salsa I use the recipe from this book, combining corn, tomato, onion, pepper, carrots, black beans, parsley, garlic powder, and paprika. Then I add a little lemon juice, raw honey, and Dijon mustard for the dressing. I use it on everything – on top of mixed greens for a nice salad, as a topping to a veggie sandwich, on top of brown rice, as a dip for baked tortilla chips, etc.).
This week I’m experimenting with a variety of homemade salad dressings. When it comes to salad dressing though, my forever favorite is simply balsamic vinegar on top of baby spinach. I usually throw in pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and sautéed shitake mushrooms. The original recipe (which I copied from a menu in a restaurant whose name is slipping my mind) also called for bow tie pasta (I use tri-colored).
Tonight for dinner we’re having taco salad, and I’m going to mash up some avocados to make guacamole as a veggie dip. I’m excited about this.
People! How come no one ever told me cooking can be so fun?
It’s not often I’m in a yoga class where the teacher gives a reading during closing. But those rare times when that has been the case — well, I’ve adored it. I love words. Language. Poetry. Here’s the quote my yoga teacher read the other day:
Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth
you owe me.
Look what happens to a love
like that – it lights the whole sky.
The other day, I was in a “blah” mood due to my seasonal affective disorder (self-diagnosed). To snap out of it, I came up with a list of ten activities that are fun. Not just enjoyable, but playful and lively. The kind of activities that make me happy, happy, happy.
10 Fun Activities
1. Rollerblading (I can’t help but grin like a fool whem I blade – I absolutely love it more than just about anything)
2. Dinner out with my husband
4. Downhill Skiing
5. Watching a good romantic comedy
7. Jumping on a trampoline
8. Throwing a Frisbee with my dog (she can leap in the air and catch it)
9. Riding rapids in a river
10. Snorkeling around coral reefs
Reviewing my list, it dawned on my how many were linked to physical activity – things that get my blood flowing. (Yoga isn’t on there because while I do enjoy it – love it, actually – I think of it as more of a calming practice.) I don’t know where the trampoline came from – that one just popped into my head. Well, I’m so getting a mini tramp for my bedroom. When it’s cold and windy and rainy I’ll get some physical exercise and make myself laugh while I’m at it.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
So, I’m off to see a naturopath. I’m still trying to figure out the fertility thing, and I’d like to learn more about this healing method of treatment. Diet is the first thing a naturopath evaluates (I think) – so it should be interesting to hear what she thinks of my eating habits. My no coffee, no alcohol, and increased intake of fruits and vegetables seems to be going okay (sure, there’s hiccups along the way, but not too many). But the no sugar plan? That’s tough. I’m off it, then back on it. Off. On. Off. On. OffOnOffOnOffOnOffOn. Lately, in order to satisfy my cravings, I’ve been snacking on a little sweet treat in the late afternoons (mostly chocolate). Sugar depresses the immune system drastically. And after reading up on the potential harm sugar can do to my body (feed cancer cells, contribute to autoimmune diseases, weaken eyesight, and so on) I actually felt fear rising inside me. But while fear can be a strong motivator, what really moves me into action is knowing how healthy and healed and clean I’ll be and feel when I eliminate sugar from my diet. I already know the next step. Instead of satisfying my craving with candy, I should switch to treats that have been sweetened with natural sugars, like maple syrup and raw honey. Okay . . . back to the kitchen to experiment with more recipes.