Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don't Play With Your Food!

Who remembers growing up and hearing an adult telling you NOT to play with your food? I do! Well now that I am an adult, I can do what I want :-)

I have always enjoyed finger foods. Pizza, chicken nuggets, chicken wings, chips, nuts, carrots and dip. The list goes on and on.

The truth is, most of the time, life is busy. I work full time and don't have a lot of time to cook a nice meal when I get home. So my husband and I try to eat as well as possible but that has results in things that cook quickly and get wrapped up. Something we have been eating often are those faux chicken nuggets from Morning Star in a wheat wrap with some salsa, lettuce, shredded cheese and anything else are in the mood for. Or it might be soup made with a couple cans of beans, can of diced tomatoes, low sodium vegetable broth and chicken sausage. Sometimes, we made grilled tuna melts on wheat english muffins. Simple and not too bad but it's getting pretty boring.

I recently hired myself a health coach. I have a couple of goals: create a new attitude towards exercise so that I am active most of the time and learn about new foods (or get reacquainted with old foods) and want to choose healthier foods more often.

She has given me some recipes that incorporate more greens into meals. I learned about kale! The couple of recipes I have tried were easy and they tasted good. In preparing kale, I need to pull the leaves off the stem and tear them into smaller pieces. I didn't think that touching food like this as I prepared it would be so much fun! I really am getting 'involved' in preparing dishes.

Next we moved onto grains. Guess what? The brown rice in the microwave bag that is ready in 90 seconds doesn't count! Yes, it's better than the flavored ones which are loaded with sodium but it's not as good as real rice that has to be soaked and cooked. The thing with making recipes with grains is going for the ingredients that are close to the source. I started with wheat berries. First, I had to learn what wheat berries were! I am glad my coach showed me the wheat berries before and after cooking. It took some planning but is something I think I can do from time to time. I soaked them overnight. Then the next morning I cooked them on the stove for 50 minutes. This is a far cry from the way we prepared foods before! After they cooled off, later in the afternoon, I made a very nice and easy wheat berry waldorf salad!

I have to say that I am having fun learning about new ingredients and learning what is healthier. I will make it to a whole foods store in the near future. I know myself and need to be introduced slowly to new things. With so many choices, I get overwhelmed easily. So I get very specific with an ingredient and one or two recipes and give it a try over a couple of weeks. I don't have to do everything all at once. I know my new habits will last longer if I am introduced to them slowly.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Upcoming Adventure

It's hard to begin to describe what I am going through. I am being transformed by this new experience. If you told me 10 years ago that I would be traveling to another country I never would have believed you. Even a year ago, I wouldn't have believed you.

Well, I have the opportunity to travel to Sofia, Bulgaria in June!! This is for my corporate job. I have trained a group of people to do lots of things. The purpose of me being in Sofia is to be with them on "day 1" and ensure everything goes well. A few days before, we'll go over some last minute things. After that, I'll make sure they are doing everything correctly. I have done the training a few times before with other companies but from the comfort of my own desk. It's the travel thing that is totally new to me.

I have only traveled within the US and even then, I haven't gone very far or gone very often. I didn't really have the interest. But at this time in my life, I am being handed many things that are new to me! I have been doing a lot of self work and I feel like I am ready to accept these opportunities.

I have accomplished a few things up to this point. I have accepted this opportunity (after crying and stressing and wondering why) and am really excited about it. I have also applied for a passport. I have met the folks from the company and they are impressive. This is their specialty and they do it well.

Stay tuned for more posts here related to my growth in this area of my life and what I learn when I am in Bulgaria. I know I will be with good coworkers who I trust and with my God while I am traveling to and from. I will not be alone while I am seeing other areas of this world that God has created. My eyes, heart and mind are open.