Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Year, New You... Blah Blah Blah..

Are you tired of hearing NEW YEAR, NEW YOU yet?   

It's only January 8, 2017 and I am already tired of hearing it on every TV channel I turn on the TV and walk by a Newsstand and you will see it on every cover.  I admit that I was guilty of perpetuating this in the past in blog posts and I even wrote said article for B Magazine a free Beauty magazine that was available in TTC stations many years ago.   It's about this time when people are already starting to get tired of going to the gym and they start dropping off.

It's kind of stating the obvious that we all want spectacular lives all the time but is it realistic?

After a couple of months of celebrating with food at Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas dinners or even Hannukah food traditions and then add all those work events and other family and friend get togethers and Potluck's that all revolved around eating massive quantities of mostly high fat, sugar and salty foods.  How many of you are feeling snug in your clothes now?  Yes I bet a whole bunch of you unless you have a crazy workout routine everyday if you had the time.

But as soon as the Calendar turns to January 1st, you are expected to put down that fork and pick up dumbbells instead and hit the gym hard and get in the best shape of your life instantly because last years version of you wasn't good enough.  You have to be a smarter, fitter, younger version of yourself and you also have to have more money to be seen as acceptable in the North American Society.

Would you tell the 2 year old pictured above that her 1st year of life wasn't good enough and now that she is 2 she needs to become a NEW person and be better and look better and do better.   Well of course not, so why are we so hard on each other and ourselves as we become adults?

I don't know about you but I try and be a better person everyday and it's a struggle.  I have my own high expectations of what I thought my life would be like but it turned out to be very different than what I pictured in my head when I was a teenager.  I am hard enough on myself that I didn't achieve my goals and I don't particularly appreciate the constant media messages that I am a failure because I don't have the perfect body, family, friends, home, job.    If everyone had all of those things there wouldn't be any homeless people on the streets.  It's just not real.  Nobody can have it ALL.. something gets sacrificed somewhere.  

Every year I say to myself that I want to be fitter and healthier because every year when I am at TIFF I feel the effect of me being out of shape when I have to run up the stairs at Roy Thompson Hall. But every year I seem to gain more weight and have a bit less energy.  Well I know better but I also have a highly stressful life trying to find work and keeping up with my blog with not a whole lot of help.  Age is creeping up with me and after a couple of falls this past couple of years and not always eating clean while going to all the food events it takes a bit of a toll and I really feel it at the end of the year when I stay home more and hibernate.

My goal this year is to try and up my cleaner, healthier food quotient.  I started my week off at work with Green Tea and a fruit and nut oatmeal and I always have a bottle of water with me to stay hydrated.  The Builder's bar is to carry with me when I am starving at work or out and about so that I have something to grab quickly.

In the winter because there are less festivals and events to go to I go back into my kitchen a lot more.  I go back to what I did way before blogging started and that is making more things like Chili, Sheppards Pie, Stews, and roasted vegetables.

I used to do a thing called veggie Sundays when I was at home with my Mom and brother.  Sundays were always a day when nothing much was happening and I would watch cooking shows on TV or get bored so I would go into the kitchen and start to cook something and then would end up cooking a whole bunch of vegetables because I was trying to use things before they spoiled or I would start to prep a vegetable and then have some left to make something else.  One thing usually turned into 3 or 4 things at least.  Even though yesterday was Saturday I did that again and made Baba Ganoush, Roasted Red Peppers in Garlic Oil, a Vegetable stock and a roasted tomato jam.  Now I have things in the fridge to make or eat quickly.

I need to get back into this habit of doing prep at least 1 morning or day on the weekend to have things ready to eat quickly during the week.   More Batch cooking for less time in the kitchen and also less cleaning up time.    Cook once eat twice or more.

Here is my 1st TIP to start your new Year Batch cooking. Make this recipe if you have these things:

Fridge Clean Stock

1 medium onion cut in quarters
1/2 of a leek, use the green parts that normally get discarded
1 to 2  carrot roughly chopped in a couple of pieces
2 Bay leaves
2 Tbsp of fresh parsley
2 to 3 celery sticks.  Use the interior or ends that you would throw out.
1 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tbsp salt - add more at the end if needed

Optional:  add garlic, parsnips, ginger or other things that will add flavour or you might want to use up.

Fill a stock pot half way with water and add the vegetables.

Bring water to a boil and then turn down to a simmer on medium low heat.  Cook for at least an hour or more or until all the vegetables have lost their color and are falling apart soft.

Pull out the vegetables and you could either blend them into the soup or discard for a clear stock.

Put the stock into plastic or glass containers and let cool and then put into the fridge.  You can freeze the stock in plastic containers or even in ice cube trays for instant stock to add to stir fry's etc.

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