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Fresh Start

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Photo Credit: David Ammerman

It’s the songs of birds in the large tree outside that stir me awake in this early hour and beckon me out of bed. The sun just beginning its ascent brings promise of a fresh start; a chance to begin again. It will later direct our paths as it gives light to the darkness and will thaw the thin layer of frost blanketing the earth.

As the coffee begins to brew, I peer through the kitchen widow. The greenhouse sparkles with a million crystals of ice shimmering in the slowly rising sun. Tucked inside all my delicate plants are happy and content; saved from the damaging frost by the shelter literally built by love.

It is the beginning of a new day.

Seize the opportunity to drink in all that is wonderful and good, and against all that may stand in your way, make this an incredible week.

H

Food Prep

Food prep can mean a lot of different things. Preparing meals for the freezer, assembling complete meals to be warmed during the week, or getting a head start on week night cooking by having ingredients prepped and ready to go.

I’m not always short on time during the week but I’m often lacking in energy and motivation at the end of a work day, and something that I generally enjoy <cooking> can feel more like a chore. I work really hard to stay on a budget, which includes the purchase of groceries as well as money spent on entertainment (i.e. eating out), and I also try to eat relatively well.

There are three reasons the wheels fall off an otherwise perfect meal plan for the week:
1) not having the ingredients on hand, requiring another trip to the store (because that is unlikely to happen, I’d rather order a pizza at that point)
2) forgetting to thaw frozen items from the freezer (again with the pizza order)
3) failing to have prep work done on the front end (you guessed it, pizza!)

So, in an effort to keep us on track with both our budget and healthy eating, I spend time planning meals for the week ahead, doing all my grocery shopping in one swoop, and prepping ingredients on the weekend. In the event that these things aren’t possible over the weekend I try to have a number of options I can pull from the freezer and warm in the oven through the week. Failure to do so often means eating out and I don’t know about you, but it’s nearly impossible for me to make the healthy choice when eating out. Add to that, eating out adds up fast!!

This weekend will be no exception and I’ll be busy washing and chopping fruits and veggies after a trip to the store and pulling items from the freezer.

A bit of what is on deck for the upcoming week are a few recipes I’ve shared with you previously:
Roasted Parmesan Asparagus as a side dish to Grilled Chicken:
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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon as a side dish to Pork Chops:
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My favorite smoothie for a quick grab breakfast:
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And, assembly of several of these salads, using this shredded chicken pulled from the freezer, for lunches through the week:
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What other tips do you use to keep yourself on track with both eating well and staying on budget where food is concerned? I’d love to hear your suggestions below in the comments section!

Wishing you a fun and safe weekend!
H

Spring 2017

Flowers

Spring is quite possibly my favorite time of the year. While I don’t appreciate the finicky weather that Colorado brings our way in the Spring (seriously, the forecast for today is sunny and eighty degrees and by Friday we are in the path of snow!), I do so love watching everything come back to life.

It renews my energy. It beckons me outdoors. The labors of love that leave me with sore muscles, perhaps the first sunburn of the season, and eventually evidence of the fruits of this labor when our kitchen is filled with delicious veggies from the garden and vases of freshly cut flowers begin to pop up all over the house.

Friends, it has been quite some time since a new post has hit my blog. Seems I write this same sort of post periodically – after I’ve gone MIA in the blog world. Here’s the ugly truth about why: allocation of too much time to things that don’t really matter. It’s a tough pill to swallow when one sits back and realizes that the best of them, both time and energy, has been given to an obligation; leaving little to nothing left over for the things that truly fuel their soul. When you fall into a rut with life…work, eat, sleep, repeat.

If you find yourself in this same situation, I encourage you to allow the newness of Spring to help you turn that around. Set better boundaries. Save some of what’s your best for whatever energizes your life and fuels your soul. I know I’m going to….

Hope to see you back here at the blog in the days that come as I share what’s going on in the garden and the kitchen, tidbits about my favorite things and stuff that blows my hair back with inspiration.

-H