Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fresh Habits

Since the start of 2010 I have been working on building some new habits. Some are for my own sanity (figuring out a filing system for bills and important papers that works for me) and others are for the good of our family... and my own sanity. I suppose it really is all about me.

One of my new habits that I have actually kept up with is making a weekly dinner menu. I go shopping once a week. Before I leave, I have all the dinners for the coming week figured out, written down, and posted on our calendar. I make my lists, one for Target, one for Trader Joe's and that is that. I cook with whole foods, mostly fresh fruits and veg (some frozen). Nothing irritates me more than letting fresh food go bad and having to toss it out. It irritates me because I could have prevented it and I didn't. It makes me feel a bit like a failure. Dumb I know, but true nonetheless. Anyhoo, the last two weeks I have been working really hard to make a new habit. This one involves spending about an hour each week, when I get home from grocery shopping, prepping my food so that it doesn't spoil. For me that means, frying the older apples (with a little butter and pumpkin pie spice) to make room for the fresh ones, steaming the broccoli while it is super fresh, and cutting up celery and carrot sticks. I store all these things in the fridge and then when I feel like having some broccoli, I just pull out the container and grab a stalk or two. This is in no way an original idea. Women I know have been doing this sort of thing for years (shout out to my mom). What is new is that I finally allowed myself to come to grips with the fact that I have been too lazy to do this before. I always talked myself out of just going ahead and prepping my fresh produce. Who knows why.. I was always too tired or too busy or just plain didn't feel up to it. I don't want to be lazy! Time to work on creating a new habit. After all, my reality is that it really doesn't take that much time and I am so much happier during the week because of it.

As insane as it sounds, I have always craved fresh fruit and veggies. I am that girl that eats way too much cauliflower at the crudite platter. What is even more insane is that I would have celery in the fridge, want to eat a stalk so bad.. and just refuse to pull it out! So now that it is all sliced and keeping fresh in some cool water I have eaten it every day this week. I can't get enough. Such a nerd I know but the more you eat this stuff, fresh foods, I swear you start to crave it. I am proud to say that this week I saved 8 apples from being tossed (the girls love them cooked with the spices) and a gigantic and beautiful container of strawberries that my precious mother brought us on Sunday. I was sort of hoarding the strawberries until I pulled them out today and noticed they were starting to head south. So I spent about 15 minutes slicing them all, let them macerate in a little sugar and now they will keep for a few more days. Just long enough for us to enjoy them over oatmeal in the morning.

Cooking has become my new therapy and I feel really dorky that I get so excited about seeing neatly packaged fresh food in my fridge but it just makes me so happy. I feel so decadent, so prepared, so on top of things. So here's to two weeks of a fresh new habit. I think they say it takes doing something 7 times in a row to create a habit. Two down, five to go.


Wendy's World said...

So...I have had this goal for waaay longer than you (and without twin toddlers) and you are making better progress than me. So, I say for you "way to go". Not nerdy at all, just smart and motivated (and not lazy). Those strawberries looked good too, can't wait til the local farms around here open, which should be any day now.

Cecilia said...

Your apples sound interesting...care to post a recipe? ;)

SMS said...

Hi Cecilia! It's super duper easy. I used to do this with peeled apples but now that the girls have more teeth they like the skin on but either way all you do is slice up your desired amount of apples. Put them in a pan with a little butter over medium heat and cook stirring occasionally until they are as tender as you would like them. I also had the juice from a half a lemon about half way through the cooking process and whatever spice I want. Trader Joes sells this yummy pumpkin pie spice that is good on apples too but I used to use just plain cinnamon. That is the beauty of this .. you can add whatever sounds good to you and your adorable girlies :) Hope they like them!

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