eating healthy

Introduction To Juicing

Posted on Updated on

Okay, I’m sure by this point, you know all about juicing, right? I mean it’s everywhere, and just about everyone has done it. But in case you haven’t known if you should jump in, I have a few notes and introductory how-to’s to get you started. Read the rest of this entry »

Just Dill With It, Okay?

Posted on Updated on

Processed with Rookie

Man, I just love dill. When I worked at a wedding venue I had the pleasure of assisting in some of the catering preparation and we made these delightful cucumber canapes, which featured an absolutely insane dill spread. It was there that my love for dill was birthed and I have never looked back. It’s such an underrated herb; with such a light taste that can accent or star as the main seasoning. It leaves your mouth tasting fresh and your stomach feeling like whatever you just ate must have been healthy for you. What a hidden gem. One of my staples in cooking, no matter the occasion, or time of the day, it is always appropriate to dash (or splash) some dill on, making every main entree a starlet, in the limelight of glory, just waiting to be devoured.

Well I’ve been wondering lately, is it really the dill that I love so much, or is it perhaps that I have found something I like and am using it in excess in hopes of everything will be just as good as those canapes. I have known myself to do this at times. To find something that I love so much, and then ruthlessly push myself into perfectionism trying to make all of my 7 or so years of cooking (or learning to cook) add up to my teacher’s more than twenty. It’s so challenging sometimes to see the end result, to know what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it feels like, and yet not have the experience to make that ideal thing belong to me.

It’s like how you can go have a lunch (or go to a marriage conference) with an older couple who have years and years of experiences, memories, doing it right and wrong, and ultimately who have put time and patience into their relationship, and now are seeing the fruit of that. They have a great relationship. And you go home, and have to deal with still having crap in your own relationship and life. Hearing women talk about how they’ve dealt with some really difficult challenges, and how they came out the other side victorious, and really wanting to do the same thing, but just not bring at that place yet… well that can just really suck.

Phil and I had the same sort of thing happen to us. We heard all of this information of how to work through your problems, how wonderful it was to be in a marriage with a man who loves you and a woman who loves you, and basically seeing the “light” (so to speak) at the end of the tunnel of what an amazing marriage could look like – and then we came back to reality, and honest to God tried to apply everything that we had learned and really wanted to work through in a mature, loving, patient and kind manner.

Well THAT sure didn’t work.

We still had the exact same problems, if not a few more stirred up. And we went through an entire week of bickering at each other, pushing out every kind of negativity you probably could imagine, and ultimately being just so confused that it was happening, because we really thought we were going to do so good. And I suppose it wasn’t that we were doing bad, but gathering all of that stuff together and trying to make six months into twenty years in a day just does not happen. And that is so frustrating. Why can I just not be perfect, already?! Why is that I know that I’m just word vomiting all over him, and I know it’s wrong and I know what I’m supposed to be doing but I can just not seem to get a handle on myself.

After a long week of feeling distant from each other, seriously irritated with each other, and more short tempered than we had ever been, we decided to go for a drive. He just picked a direction and drove, and it was on a long road going to nowhere we came to peace with each other and the fact that we just are, where we are. And trying to get anywhere that fast wasn’t going to work for either of us. Really it’s trying to cheat the system. It’s wanting to get to the end without doing half of the work.

So we looked at each other, forgave one another (and ourselves) and released each other to just take our time in getting to twenty years. And since then, our home has been at peace. Dealing with it doesn’t always necessarily mean taking all of your issues and shoving them down each others throats (okay, it never means that), but sometimes it means accepting life for what it is, imperfect and sometimes a little rocky. Sometimes I mix weird things with dill that don’t taste good, and the only thing I can do afterwards is suck up my pride, let go of the expectation that I set on myself to be perfect at everything, and live life a little better. Turns out, it’s much better.

Anna’s Crispy Baked Dill Drumsticks

However Many Drumsticks You Want
Whatever Herbs You Want
Some Oil
Some Salt (I Used Garlic Salt)

So you preheat the oven to 425 degrees (Fahrenheit) and try to separate the chicken skin from the meat
and stuff your herbs in there. I used fresh basil, thyme, and of course dill. Bake it for like 22 minutes and turn them over,
and bake for another 25 minutes or so.

Anna’s Homemade Chips

I Used 4 Medium Red Potatoes and 1 Sweet Potato
Some Oil
Some Coarse Sea Salt
Some Dried Dill
Some Garlic Salt
Just A Little Cayenne Pepper

These can be baked at the same time and temperature as the drumsticks.I sliced them thinly,
and put them on oiled foil, in a single layer with no overlaps. I turned them over when the first timer
for the chicken went off. But they came out a little before the second timer, it just really depends
on how you like your chips. I put them in a bowl lined in paper towels and added the salt, cayenne, and dill just gradually,
and gave them a nice shake to evenly coat them. But you can add whatever you like.

Oh My Grainess, What A Surprise

Posted on

Image

Oatmeal. Can you say, a horrendous pile of mush that to this day haunts my childhood and puts a damper on all of the good things of life. Despite my beautiful mother’s best efforts, this was despised… because let’s face it. Cream of wheat was just better. It wasn’t oatmeal’s fault that it gets stuck in your throat and makes you feel like your trying to suck on your food and chew it at the same time. It was just terrible. 

However I have very recently discovered a new love for this healthy, appetite-curving, bowl of possibilities. And to be quite honest I do have to choke down some milk in-between bites of flax seeds and quinoa. But I am desperately trying to make my beer and pizza-loving-body back into a green pepper and cherry tomato digesting machine. Life is harder when you don’t have Mom’s garden constantly pumping out delicious, sun-warmed vegetables that taste like God kissed them all individually. I finally understand what being an adult means, and my diet has suffered greatly for it. 

I have always been something of a sucker for being inspired and inspiring in return. Oh my goodness give me any sort of romantic montage, any story of a man loving a woman, tango dancing and the passion required to do so, any movie including sisters loving each other, dad’s coming home, babies being born, people realizing the beauty in life, army families, patriotism for America, songs about people coming together, bonding with girls in public bathrooms because of our mutual hair issues…. I’m just such a sap for that stuff. I weep at the idea of Jesus being in love with me, and when Phil brings me home chocolate milk that has no additives or high fructose corn syrup. 

So how do you turn such a bland and sticky monster of a cereal into something life-altering and motivating. 

You don’t. You embrace the gross and take it for what it is. Something that is good for you. And part of doing things that are good for you is accepting that they might not always taste good, but the result of them will be much better. It might not be the thing that sparks my taste buds and makes my mouth feel like it’s in flavor town but, my legs will appreciate those oats a lot more than any number of beers. 

I know sometimes admitting I’m wrong, or I did something wrong, or apologizing for things that I don’t think are wrong but that hurt someone else, well that feels like someone is asking me to eat a bowl of bark and like it. I can feel every single issue I struggle with rear up and get just infuriated. And it tastes like you took the leftover bark and made a milkshake with sap. And I have to drink it with a smile.

But! Like an hour after that’s all over (okay not a whole hour), I am so glad that I did apologize. Because even if I didn’t do anything wrong. Just the fact that our relationship is growing and we’re becoming more attune to one another and the things we both struggle with, is well worth it.  

So the grain. The oats. The mess. It’s completely worth it to know that I am taking care of myself and my body. 

(Well that’s what I’m telling myself anyway)

 

Anna’s Bowl of Oatmeal 

– I never measure anything so just eyeball as you will –

A Cup of Oats
A Few Tablespoons of Flax Seeds
A Few Tablespoons of Red Quinoa
A Few Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
A Couple Spoons of Greek Yogurt
Some Fruit

I cooked the oatmeal with flax seeds, and quinoa first.
I just put enough water to soak all the oats and let it heat up.
It all depends on how you like your oatmeal really. 
After the oats are soft I added the sugar, yogurt and fruit.
And then I ate it. 
And it wasn’t half bad.