progress

Lots of progress this week on last week’s goals. I didn’t expect to get everything done, but I managed to accomplish quite a bit and overall, it feels good.

I finally got the stuff off the freezer so I could rearrange things. Ultimately, I decided to pile up all the ancient stuff in one area. I’ve read that your freezer works better if it’s relatively full and I’m not going to be filling it just for me, so I guess the old stuff helps hold the cold. This week, I made Lemon Chicken Soup, spaghetti sauce, chili, and Jambalya. I also made caramelized onion, apple and bacon single serving tarts and froze three of them. Lucky thing, too, it was so good I would have eaten all of them if I hadn’t made some to freeze. I did not, however, record how much of what I put in so I will make it again before I write up a recipe. Oh, I also roasted a chicken and made some rustic chicken and noodles. And chicken fajitas. And oh were they good. I chopped up a bunch of peppers and have plenty for future cooking. My kitchen freezer is no longer bursting at the seams and the big freezer is filling up nicely with lunches and meals ready to cook. I still have stuff to make – which was not really the plan. I was supposed to be doing this a little at a time, not going on a crazy cooking binge.

I moved the little table out to the living room so I can sit comfortably and eat dinner away from the computer. I’ve been reading When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies while I eat. It’s interesting, I found that when I “read” it before, I skimmed through particularly the first chapters looking for the how-to part, wanting easy answers without really reading and thinking about the rest. There are things I agree with, things I don’t, and I surely see myself in the “yeah, but…” category when it talks about not dieting and learning to eat on demand. The focus is not on weight loss and my main concerns are that I really need to lose weight for health reasons. On the other hand, diets don’t work. I lose weight, I gain it back. So why not do something different? I think I have a leg up on the process since I’ve been working all summer and fall on eating real food and not punishing myself with those weird little frozen diet meals. Overall, cooking for myself is far healthier and better balanced. And more filling. I’m eating less after dinner – though I still have issues eating in the middle of the night when I’m not sleeping. At any rate, what I’ve been reading and thinking deserves it’s own post and I hope to do that later this week.

I’ve made progress on getting the chores done in my part of the house. The bathroom is ready, again, for the plumber and at least the plumber is scheduled – for next week. More cleaning to come since the cats are really good at throwing litter around, but I’d need to do that anyway. I’m waiting for a callback from the handyman. If I don’t hear from him by tomorrow I will start making other calls to get outside stuff done. Landscaper has disappeared again. There’s still inside stuff to do. Housekeeping is never ending despite my irrational belief that it should be done once and stay done. More kitchen clean up today – but I have rolls/sandwiches to make first. And if I have time, stuffed shells to make and freeze. Onions to caramelize. Tart crusts to make. Oh, and chicken enchiladas to make and freeze. Once I get all that done, my refrigerator will be much more empty and my freezer much more full. Then Thanksgiving will be here.

Lots of cooking focus. Too much? I don’t know but I like the idea of having lots of options ready to re-heat or throw in the oven or fry pan when I’m ready. In the future, however, I do want to do this more reasonably. Make enough to freeze some whenever I cook – or to freeze time consuming ingredients like peppers. The easier it is to have a healthy meal, the more likely I will eat better. A little at a time is much better than all day cooking sessions.

This week, I have my on-going goals, family night at the nursing home on Thursday, my annual doctor’s appointment on Friday, and finishing up the cooking projects for which I already have the ingredients. Next week is Thanksgiving but it’s only me. I’m keeping things simple and will likely have some freezer meals come out of that, too. Maybe I’ll take Dad lunch or some dessert or something. Oh, and the plumber on Tuesday. Flea markets will have to wait until the following week most likely.

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10 thoughts on “progress”

  1. I like to cook, but don’t do it often. Usually we eat easy meals like salads with rotisserie chicken– or I make a soup or stew that we eat for a few days. I find that the less I’m around food, the less of it I eat. Out of sight, out of mouth– so to speak.

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    1. Sometimes I cook the big batch of soup or stew or chili and eat it for days – but that is not always a great plan for me. I don’t know how this freezing binge will end up working out – at the moment, I hate to eat what I’ve frozen because I’m getting such a kick out of it just being there. But at least when I cook for myself, I eat more vegetables and a better balance of protein and carbohydrates.

      At any rate, we’ll see how it goes. The plan is to make a pot of soup or stew or something similar weekly and freeze most of it instead of cooking until my hands and back hurt. Variety and less craziness. I hope.

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  2. I really want to eat at your house!! I love so much of what you cook. I don’t cook much. (and I know I should) It’s just so difficult to get motivated. I was delighted to read about all the progress and the left overs!!

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  3. It might not have been the plan, but hey! It’s gotta feel good to have that much put away and ready for you!! I need to restock my freezer. We’ve gone on a lazy binge and now I am down to frozen ingredients for things and no more frozen actual meals. It’s not so bad, but it was a bit of a wake-up call that nothing had gotten done in the last week & a half. :-/ It happens, I guess. I’m learning how to find a balance between getting things done to keep the house clean and people fed, and making sure I get time to do fun little things that I enjoy. Obviously, things were out of balance.

    I have a question for you — when you have a midnight snack, are you craving something specifically, or are you eating because you’re awake with nothing better to do? I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I need to bring a lunch and a snack to work with me, because lunch doesn’t hold me over till going home time. I used to just feel guilty for having chips/a candy bar/vending machine crap… but now I just plan on having that snack, and I can choose what it’s going to be ahead of time. It might still include a bag of chips some days, but at least I’m not paying vending machine prices for them. I guess my point is, I don’t think you need to beat yourself up about the midnight snacking. Could you try to meet yourself halfway and see how it feels just planning for the snack?

    At the very least, you can start referring to yourself as old fashioned. According to a BBC article, it used to be custom to get up at midnight for a snack and reflection or activity — http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783

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    1. It does feel good to have a lot prepped and ready. I could get away with no grocery shopping at all for a couple months now, I think, other than fresh stuff. I think the key for me to do this in a smart (not so crazy) way is to watch for sales – like my bunches of peppers – and buy and freeze them or prep them as meals.

      Interesting idea to plan for a 3am snack, if I’m awake. Lately, I’m likely to be awake. This week, I’m falling asleep early then waking up around midnight and am awake until 3 or 4 – and according to that article that might be more normal. It’s frustrating though because I really am tired. Not sure what I’d plan for a snack. I tend to want protein in the middle of the night, which is not so bad I guess. Weird that I can be starving in the middle of the night and can’t stand to face food whether I’ve eaten in the night or not, until around 11am.

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      1. If you do try planning for the snack, I hope it helps. Not shaming myself for having a snack at the end of the work day has made a huge difference for me. I’ve come to the realization that there’s no such thing as an “inappropriate” time to be hungry. No need to feel bad about it. I wonder if you might feel better rested if you are able to not feel frustrated with yourself for waking up at midnight?

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        1. I agree with the anti-shaming. I don’t mind, sort of, having a middle of the night snack if I’m actually hungry. The problem is when I’m eating because I’m bored or frustrated. It does seem possible that if I just accept being awake some that I will feel less frustrated. It would be kind of nice to use the time to get some stuff done – but I don’t want to wake myself up further, either.

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  4. Forgive me if I’ve suggested this before — I tell it to everyone who has sleep problems, although I don’t think many people actually take my advice. I have a small, cheap MP3 player that’s loaded up with lots of free iTunes podcasts. I choose topics I’m interested in. I plug the earphones in my ears when I turn off the lights. The sound of droning voices, no matter how interesting the subject, never fails to put me to sleep. And I awaken a lot during the night but the still-droning voices immediately put me back to sleep. For anyone sleeping alone, a tape/CD player would work of course.

    And on the subject of eating, I’ll share with you what a neighbor (a thin neighbor, who in the past had an eating disorder) once said to me about diets, and it makes SO much sense to me. She said dieting can be reduced to 2 words: portion control! I think she’s right. The goal isn’t to deny yourself any food you love to eat. The goal is simply to eat only small portions. I know, I know, easier said than done. But I think it’s a very common-sense idea about food and dieting.

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    1. Hey Pam. I agree with both your suggestions. I, too, use an mp3 player. Sometimes I want music, sometimes a podcast, sometimes an audio book. They help a lot unless pain is keeping me awake. Currently, I’m sleeping a couple hours at a time with a half hour to hour break to get the pain back under control.

      Portion control is indeed the key and I’m doing much better with that during the day and evening. I think I’d be within normal limits if I could eliminate late night eating. Still working on that.

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