Don’t Do Everything at Once – Just Do the Next Thing

New Year’s is rolling around, which means both looking back at the year that passed and making plans for the year to come.  And those resolutions…yikes!  We all want to eat more healthy food and less junk, exercise more…or just exercise at all, become more organized, improve time management…and the list goes on and on.  And for some, those resolutions will be completely shot by the end of the first week.  Why?

It is simple.  Too much too fast is too overwhelming.  If you want to succeed, you just need to do the next thing.

It was one of the best pieces of advice I received when I started Crossfit.  I wanted to be stronger, eat cleaner, and be a competitor within the next six weeks.  A little unrealistic?  Absolutely.  And those who were wiser said to me not to try to do everything at once because I would get freaked out and overwhelmed.  They were absolutely right.

I simply needed to do the next thing.  Become very consistent with training. THEN stay hydrated.  THEN begin to eliminate grains from my diet by changing one meal at a time.  None of this happens overnight.  As I worked, I had to focus on doing the next thing.  One good decision led to another.  And all of the good decisions I made were never to be negated by one or two bad ones.  This allowed me to be human.  I love that; I am allowed to be imperfect.

So if you are looking to make changes in your life, determine a realistic goal.  The heavy emphasis here is on realistic.  You will not lose 20 pounds in the next month, or clean the clutter out of your entire house and have everything properly filed in the next two weeks.  Be honest with yourself.  Then, break this down into a series of achievable steps.  If you want to become more organized with your time, start with something simple – perhaps finding an app that you will use and using it for a few days.  Then add from there.  Doing the next thing will help you build up to achieving your goal.

Do not doom yourself with a list of resolutions that serve no purpose than to overwhelm you and make you feel as if you have in some way failed.  No good can come from that.  Choose ONE realistic thing to do at a time, do it well, and then add the next thing.  You CAN succeed with that.

Just do the next thing.  Nothing more.

Advertisements

Bacon and Egg Cups

Still have company for the holidays?  This is a quick and easy breakfast that you can tailor to the number of guests that you have.

Here is what you need:

Eggs or egg substitute

Bacon (regular or turkey)

A muffin pan

Cut your bacon into four pieces and line the cups of the muffin pan with the bacon.  Crack one egg into each bacon lined muffin cup, or fill a little over halfway full with the egg substitute.  Bake at 375 for roughly 20 minutes.  If you like your eggs a little more done, as I do, you may need to leave them in a bit longer.

Scoop the bacon and egg cup out of the muffin pan.  This should be pretty easy because of the bacon.

Serve with fruit.  Enjoy!

You can also make these ahead of time and reheat them in the microwave.

Waiting for the Perfect Moment? Don’t!

bob

Let me introduce you to Bob.  His full name is Bob T. Cat, and this is what he does a good portion of the morning.  He sits in the window sill, watches, and waits.  He’s waiting for that perfect moment to come along when he can finally pounce on the squirrel that taunts him from the palm tree outside.  He’s been doing this for years.  His ears will go back, his tail will twitch, he will crouch in the pouncing position, and then do absolutely nothing.  Why?

The perfect moment does not exist.

There.

I said it.

You may be thinking, “That’s not it at all.  Obviously, he does not pounce because the window is in his way.”  Partially, that may be true.  But I’ve seen this maneuver from him in other situations – get ready, get set, and….walk away.  Hmmmm….

We are not all that different from Bob T. Cat.  We spend so much time thinking “when I get a promotion/graduate/lose 40 pounds/color my hair/get a better car…” or any other event or acquisition that you can use to fill in this blank, that will be the perfect moment. Then we can make our move.   However, we never actually DO anything in the interim.  We are waiting for that magical moment to make the birds sing and make our lives oh so much better.

Sorry, kids.  It ain’t gonna happen for you.

Why?  Because the perfect moment does not exist.

There will be moments, but never the perfect one.  We just need to take our moment and DO something.  Anything that will move you in a positive direction.  We can’t just sit back and wait for the moment to come to us; we have to go out and get it.

So today, take your moment, and take a single step in a positive direction.  Or take several steps, or a giant leap if that is what you need to do.  I’m not saying to do anything drastic like quitting your job, selling your belongings, and moving to the South Pole.  What I am saying is if indeed you want something better, if you want to make positive changes, then do something about that, and do something about that today.  Don’t wait for the “when I’s” to happen, because they may not.  And then what will you do?

One step.  That is all.

Because the courage is not in finishing the race, but taking the first step.

Right here.  Right now.  In this moment.

Pumpkin Puppy Treats

It was dreary Saturday, so we were using the day to bake and do some cooking.  My 15 year old was in charge of a few projects, one of which was trying a new dog treat recipe.  He had leftover wheat flour from a school project, and we were trying to use the rest of that.  No problem, right?

“Mom, come look at this.  I don’t think this is right,” my son calls from the kitchen.

What he had looked like a bowl of orange-ish sand.  I looked at the other counter, and there it was – coconut flour.  He had used coconut flour instead of trying to use up the wheat flour. It is habit, since we rarely ever have wheat flour in our house.

Whoops!

There was no sense in letting it all go to waste.  Go to Plan B.

Plan B was to add additional eggs, more pumpkin, and a banana…and it worked.  So here is the recipe we developed accidentally…

You will need:

1 ½ cups coconut flour

6 eggs

I can of pumpkin puree

1 really ripe banana (have a second one on hand, just in case)

Mix all of the wet ingredients together.  Then add to the coconut flour.  Mix thoroughly.  Add another banana if the mixture is not moist enough.

Scoop out the dough about a tablespoon at a time and flatten in your hand (I am not fancy and am not rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters, but you may if you wish).  Then place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  You can put these pretty close together since they do not spread.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-43 minutes.  Treats will get crispy as they cool.

Leftovers? Make Some Broth!

So you have leftovers from the holiday feasting, especially those turkey bones, or maybe even some chicken bones.  So why not make some broth?  It is easy, especially when you make it in the crock pot.

Take your leftover bones and add them to your crock pot, along with roughly chopped celery, carrots, and onions.  You can add those little bits and pieces of veggies you have left over for additional flavor, it you would like.  Celery leaves also work very well for a salty flavor without the salt.  Add about five quarts of water.  Put a lid on the crock pot, set on high, and go away for about ten to twelve hours.  Then, turn the setting to low, and let simmer another twelve hours.  Let cool and strain, and then you have options:

  1.  You can use Mason jars and can the broth.  Follow the directions for your pressure canner.  This is helpful if you do not have a ton of freezer space.
  2. You can freeze the broth in the increments that you are most likely to use.  I have used both Ziplock bags and plastic containers for this, and both work equally as well.

I love having this broth on hand for quick soups or whatever else I am making that calls for it.

Not a meat eater?  Just delete the bones and add more veggies!!  Makes great veggie broth as a base for soups or whatever else you need.

Enjoy!

Handle Your Holiday Leftovers

Leftovers…they have taken over your refrigerator.  And you need to start sorting all of that out and making sure that it does not go to waste.  So what do you do?

  1.  Freeze the meat in dinner or single portion sizes.
  2. If you have a ham bone, freeze that as well.  It would be great to flavor beans at a later date.
  3. Save the turkey bones to make turkey broth later.  You can do the same thing with beef bones.  I freeze mine and then make broth when I have more time.
  4. Make turkey or ham salad for sandwiches.  Simply dice your protein, add Greek yogurt or sour cream or mayo, and then add pickles or cranberries or any combination of ingredients that you like.
  5. Leftover beef can be served on tortillas or in lettuce wraps.
  6. Use leftover raw veggies and leftover protein for a stir fry.
  7. Make soup out of the remaining veggies.   Serve with leftover bread and/or salad.
  8. Make a frittata with some of the leftovers.  Add veggies, and maybe a bit of the stuffing or ham or turkey or all of them, to a skillet.  Sauté the veggies in your fat of choice just to warm them a bit, and then add egg whites or several beaten eggs.  Add cheese if you would like, and then cook the eggs until they begin to set (just leave them there – don’t stir).  Put skillet in broiler to finish cooking.  Cool for a few minutes and then slice and serve with the leftover salad.
  9. Make a hash.  Dice some of the leftover meat.  Add that and some potatoes to the skillet.  Add additional veggies.  Cook until potatoes are lightly brown.  Serve with the leftover salad.
  10. Have a leftover potluck with your neighbors.  Make this as informal as you can; maybe watch football or play games.  This works well with leftover desserts.
  11. Make open face sandwiches using the leftover bread.
  12. Cornbread does freeze well, so you can save that for later.
  13. Pack leftovers in divided containers so that you can take them to work for lunches.
  14. Take it to work or to an appropriate gathering and share it.

Be realistic.  If you are not going to be able to consume the leftovers in a reasonable amount of time, you may have to throw some things out.  I hate to waste, too, but there does come a point in time where it is just no longer safe.