Some may think it’s hard to be a “beginner” because if you’re a beginner you don’t know much and have limited, or even, no experience. However, I think being a beginner is a gift. It’s a gift because everything is possible in the beginning. It’s all new and even though that can be a bit scary, it is ripe with potential. That is why, when it comes to being a better cook, I am going to try to adopt a beginner’s mind…
A beginner’s mind implies openness and eagerness to get started. There are no preconceptions either way. No good or bad expectations and that grants some freedom, doesn’t it? When it comes to cooking, I am using this week off to experiment with menu planning. I’m cooking and prepping dinner ideas to see if they would be feasible when I’m back to work.
So far so good. I’m two for two. The cauliflower fried rice was great. Last night I prepared the White Chicken Chili was really great. You can see all the meals I prepare on the What’s for Dinner page. I’m also using my Paprika App and that has turned out to be a great tool. Paprika is a recipe manager and I really think it’s great. It organizes the recipes and creates shopping lists and helps to plan out meals.
I’m like many of you – I get home from work and I’m tired and hungry. The truth is, what I value gets done. I know that in order to maintain my weight loss I have to prioritize cooking really tasty food. I am the only one who can make that happen for me so I have to just get over the fact that this goal is going to take time and effort to accomplish.
So… what do you say? I say, “Mangia!” Let’s eat really delicious healthy food that’s good for us too. I think that’s one way that makes this lifestyle change permanent.
Getting myself together can be a real challenge. Sometimes, I just can’t get out of my own way because I overthink things. There are days when I just have to write a list for what needs to be accomplished. Today I want to:
Work on the book (I am writing a professional book for teachers).
Lesson planning for the week.
Pack up the rest of Christmas and put it away.
Clean the house.
Create a dinner menu for the week.
Go food shopping with a list.
Pay my bills.
Workout for 45 minutes.
Spend some quality time with my husband.
Prep for the week.
That is quite a list. It is a beautiful Sunday morning and I am very hopeful that I can make this happen today. I’ll let you know.
How’d I do?
So far… I’ve accomplished most of what I set out to do. I did not get to the gym but at least I walked the dog with my husband. Some quality time and activity rolled up in one. I prepped food for the week. My meals are packed for tomorrow. I paid my bills, and the Christmas decorations are packed away. The house is clean, and I did go food shopping. I have a little more planning to do before I go to sleep. Having clear intentions and organizing myself makes all the difference.
It has been a while since I stood snapping pictures, thinking about how lovely the world can be even if I am just standing in the Stop & Shop parking lot. There is no reason not to appreciate this, and the truth is beauty makes the journey so much better.
I am happy to say I went to spin this morning and I felt great. I love owning a part of my day before the demands of the workday begin. It’s not that I don’t love my job, I love teaching, but it’s amazing to have that small bit of time that is for me, and me alone.
I’m still thinking about willpower. I read that every time you have a stepwise plan for how to handle a challenge you are building your willpower muscle. So when the alarm goes off at 4:30 am I know I have to…
Turn off the alarm.
Swing my feet out from under the covers.
Get up, and go into the bathroom
If I follow those three steps I am on my way to spin class. That strengthens my willpower muscle. Another example, when I come home from work I…
Empty my lunchbox.
Put a new water bottle inside.
Get out the scale and containers.
If I do that, I’m on my way to pre-packing, pre-tracking my breakfast and lunch for the next day. This is just how it goes. It’s not so hard and it does get easier. So think about your willpower muscle. Think about your “why” these are two important parts to a successful journey. You can do this, and I can too.