Healthy Stuff

Our latest thing

Since my resolution to enter my 30s on a healthy note last year, I’ve been on a nice, consistent start and stop progression. By that I mean, I exercise consistently for a few weeks, then take a lazy week off. Or eat like a rabbit one week and then consume half a box of Girl Scout cookies after an otherwise healthy dinner. So, I’m happy to have started (again) participating in a food co-op that not only helps us integrate more healthy options into our diet but also saves us money on groceries.

I’m all about the fits and starts. Last summer, a friend mentioned Bountiful Baskets on her blog, describing it as a great way to get a lot of high-quality produce for not much money. Sign me up! So, I did that for a few months last fall. But then I got tired of not purchasing whatever I wanted (mostly Brussels sprouts and honeycrisp apples) and being stuck with whatever the co-op’s organizers decided we all needed to eat for the week. So, I quit and started traditional grocery shopping again. Well, our food bill went back up, and we ate the same food consistently, on sale or not. I just don’t have the discipline to purchase based on what’s on sale each week and plan our meals around that (yes, I plan and cook most of our meals, and I feel quite liberated doing so).

At Christmas, I was talking food and cooking with Brandon’s Aunt Pamela. Both of us LOVE to cook and enjoy trying and experimenting with different foods. She and Uncle Ken live in Lubbock and have struggled to find a decent selection of organic foods. Last summer, I told her about Bountiful Baskets because they offer an organic option for a little bit more of a contribution. By Christmas, though, I had quit participating. Pamela still really loved it, so I was inspired to get started again.

We’ve been participating again for a few weeks now, and we LOVE it once again. Now that we’ve done the co-op thing and then gone back to traditional grocery buying, Brandon and I agree that we eat better and cheaper by participating in the co-op. I can’t stand seeing produce go to waste, so we eat all we get in our baskets. It saves us from spending so much on eating out. We look forward to trying new things. And I am adding so many fun and interesting new recipes to my repertoire!

I generally order a basket every two weeks. Here’s what I got this week:

5 apples
8 small oranges (Cuties)
1 pineapple
8 bananas
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 leeks
1 5 lb sack of potatoes
1 bunch broccoli
1 head iceberg lettuce
3 green bell peppers
1 avocado

Last night, I made potato leek soup, salad and French bread. For the salad, I had greens and leftover blood oranges from a previous basket. I sliced up the oranges and threw them in with the baby greens and some herbed feta cheese. The potato leek soup was totally new to me, but because I know leeks have a gentle onion flavor, I figured we would enjoy it. It was easy to make and very forgiving. We agreed it was just as good as traditional baked potato soup (not to mention healthier since I put bacon grease in my baked potato soup). The bread, I am sorry to say, was an epic fail. I misread the instructions and added the flour too early. So, it ended up a little flat and dense. Better luck next time, I guess. At least Brandon said he enjoyed it!

Disclaimer: This is a totally random post. I’m trying to get back into the practice of writing and blogging. I’m a little rusty, so for the foreseeable future, I’m just going to blog about whatever strikes my fancy.

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Valentine’s Day is for the birds

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, which means today is the day I need to apologize to my husband for being so ridiculous as to have expectations but not to share them. Most women do that. I don’t know why we do this thing, but it’s dumb. And I could stand to change it.

Yesterday afternoon at work, a friend told me her boyfriend had the audacity to ask if she wanted to do something, anything for Valentine’s Day. I work in an office with a 4:1 ratio of women to men. The men around here know from working in a female-dominated office that Valentine’s Day is very much A Thing. One male colleague makes it a point to arrive early every Valentine’s Day with several bunches of grocery storeflowers. He washes out dozens of soft drink cans and water bottles from the recycle bin. Then he cuts down all the flowers into small bunches. Every woman in the office receives flowers on her desk from Tim when she arrives at work. Yesterday morning when I got to my desk, a Diet Coke can containing four white miniature carnations was waiting for me.

This morning, Feb. 15, I’m struck that I probably showed more appreciation for the carnations in the recycled soda can than I did for the thoughtful (albeit practical) gift my husband purchased knowing how much I love to ride my bike–two pairs of new bike shorts which he found on super clearance at REI and which he himself would have loved to receive. But me, well. I’m me. Which means my first instinct for a gift-giving occasion is, “Oh, yay! Brandon is going to give me something totally unnecessary that I would not be comfortable buying for myself! And I don’t have to feel guilty!” Except, if he had purchased something unnecessary, pretty and impractical, I would most certainly have felt guilty and possibly returned the item after making an executive decision that we could not afford it. And since he went the practical route, I felt typically stupid and annoyed myself with thoughts that after four Valentine’s Day celebrations, he still chooses the practical route, though I am always a little disappointed that he goes that direction.

The unexpected is always most appreciated. It’s the expected that typically falls short. So I suppose the lesson here is that either way, practical or otherwise, I would have been a little deflated no matter what gift I received. And that is a problem not with him but with me and my heart.

I loved the flowers…lavender tulips he arranged in a vase we received as a wedding gift, which I greatly prefer to the typical red rose bouquet most identifiable as a Valentine’s Day floral choice. And he thoughtfully purchased a kitchen item I’ve been requesting since my birthday last summer as a little bonus gift. And I think I will enjoy having a new pair of cycling shorts. What I really need to do is address the fact that I’ve fallen prey to a lie that says only certain types of gifts are acceptable or romantic. But the truth is, bike shorts are romantic because they represent us and our relationship and the things we enjoy together. It would have been really dumb for him to give me the typical crap that corporations are throwing at us every year. What would I have done with a spa day or jewelry anyway?