Lifestyle Goals, Not Resolutions

Our new year kicked off with a start–my partner got a call offering her a well-deserved position with a local city department, and it feels like the last two weeks have been a rush of preparation that comes with changes in employers: insurance, doctor approvals, filling out information, new schedules, and what some call the good stress of moving in the right direction. Add to that a move in my office to a new floor in the same building, and we’ve both been a little frantic since we returned to work on January 3rd.

The start of a new year is a great time to make changes, as many of our resolutions lead us to believe; however, the optimism that comes with January appearing on our calendars rarely survives through spring and often fades as we neglect to make time for the gym, cave into food cravings, and justify skipping a savings deposit in lieu of working toward funding an emergency fund. It’s so common that my partner and I joke that the third week of the new year is the best time to go to the gym because all of the newbies who committed to losing weight have discovered that rushing into weightlifting without preparation does little more than leave you sore and hating your muscles after two weeks of painful recovery days. That’s why we skip resolutions and focus on two ways to make our year beneficial.

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A Week’s Shopping

We returned from our trip a little over a week ago and, because we had purposefully done little shopping before we left town, we had to restock our kitchen. Aside from a few meats that held over well in the freezer, we needed most items, including vegetables, fruits, and snacks. We’ve tried to be more conscious of what foods we buy with the idea that we want to control what goes into our bodies. We also have to work on a budget, however, and we only allow ourselves to splurge occasionally and on certain items, primarily organic vegetables, leaner meats such as bison, preferably locally farmed, and specialty cheeses. The first two are for healthier eating to control the ingredients; the cheeses are simply because we both love cheese and often use it to add flavor, so it is a simple way to vary our ingredients.

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Farmers’ Market Finds

We had another successful trip to the farmers’ market this Saturday after several weeks without a visit. The season has led to a few missing fruits and veggies as well as the introduction of autumn crops. Our vegetable vendor has a lot of greens this week, hopefully alleviating our lettuce troubles at the local grocery store, as well as organic carrots, squash, and potatoes. The shift in offerings completes a change in the weather and color as fall settles in the gulf, and we’re excited to see what we can do in our meals with new options. Continue reading

The Healthier Choice: Potato Chips

We are foodies in many senses of the word. We love food: eating it, cooking it (most of the time), its smells, its flavors, creating our own dishes, trying new places. Most recently this shifted slightly when we started considering what went into our bodies by way of our food. We realized quickly that we were allowing some terrible ingredients into our systems, many of which we couldn’t pronounce and which were man-made. I’ve always heard the easiest way to determine what is good for you and what you don’t want going into your body is simply a matter of whether or not you can or pronounce it, and I’m getting closer to believing it after a single change we recently made. Continue reading

“Do you see anything wrong with my salad?”

Since we started eating healthier and lighter, we’ve also been considering where our vegetables and fruits originate. In addition to preferring meats that are pasture-raised with no antibiotics and eggs that are from free-range chickens, we’ve started incorporating organic veggies and fruits into our diet. Thus far we have liked the change; however, we are having issues with lettuce. Continue reading

Pasture-raised, free-range eggs

After a month of watching what we put into our bodies and being considerate of how our eating habits impact our environment, we recently made our first visit to our local farmers’ market and purchased farm-raised eggs.

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Beautifully imperfect eggs: I love that color!

I was a bit surprised when I opened the carton at first, as am accustomed to white eggs, as most Americans are, but the color was all the more intriguing. As I later read, the color of the shell and sometimes the yolk can give away if a hen was given antibiotics before laying the egg. I decided to give our new eggs their first test with scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning; there’s not much to hide their flavor, and its a simple, healthier breakfast than most counterparts. Our first impressions were good ones: the eggs were slightly larger, the taste was slightly more flavorful (not so eggy), and they cooked differently as well, giving us fluffier scrambled eggs. Continue reading

First Trip to the Farmers’ Market

As we start to consider not only how we live our lives but what we put into our bodies, it has become clear that some of the options sold in stores aren’t what we want to consume. Our preferred grocery store is HEB, which offers a lot of brands and varieties, but we never feel like the meat is the quality we want and we’ve been a little disappointed with the produce lately. That set us looking for alternatives. We have a Whole Foods in south Houston, but it’s almost an hour round trip with weekend traffic. Despite feeling like we have some of the best grocery options available, we felt like something was missing. Continue reading