One of the reasons why I don’t make actual New Year’s resolutions is because I know full well that my expectations tend to be way too high.
Thank goodness I didn’t plan to “workout every day” this year since I have been basically sick since we returned from France and working out after a full day at school is the last thing I feel like doing.
On the other hand, I *could* have planned to a “dry January” since I have had the total of ONE glass of wine since we returned from France. Not planned, though. I just haven’t felt like it.
This year, I’ve felt like taking better care of myself. Like taking a nap after school. Like reading a book for an afternoon instead of cooking/ photographing/ writing/ working. Like watching a whole television series in a week, just because I wanted to (even though I had many other things to do).
Yes, 2015 is going to be the year of slowing down. And being kind to myself.
I’m also seeking a little clarity. Last year just seemed to zip by (I know, the older I get the faster time will go!) and much of our time was taken up with Buying A House In France”. That gets All Capitalised because it’s, like, a “thing”. An entity all on its own. If you’ve ever spent any time looking for a house, you’ll know that it can turn into a full time job. Well try looking for a house from a different country. I’m not complaining, we totally knew what we were getting into, but it was certainly a lot of work. And as we sit down this weekend and finish writing up a series of documents with scintillating information in them like what type of taps we’d like in the bathroom (!), the work continues. Once the physical work is completed, then there’s the whole Running A Vacation Rental Business to contemplate. Another “thing”. But one I am seriously excited about. But yes, another thing on my plate, so to speak. And with a few new writing gigs on the horizon (hopefully) and my continued work as a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador, it’s still going to be a busy year (hopefully doing less, and being able to focus my attention on fewer projects a little better).
What this means, of course, is that slowing down a little and taking good care of myself (and Neil) is even more important. So you’d think I would be out there loudly proclaiming that I’m only going to EAT HEALTHY etc… Nope. Even though I am a determined Taurus, I know myself well enough that I cope better with setting small challenges for myself – ok, maybe a lot of them but still, small – do-able, attainable. Because otherwise what’s the point? Absolutes and extremes don’t work for me.
Just as I believe that food education is a slow process that’s more about the journey than the actual destination, I also believe in the power of small changes, often, in our everyday lives.
Which is why I was very excited to see that one of this month’s Food Revolution Ambassador Monthly Challenges was to Download the YOU-app. Jamie Oliver has been working on this cool new app which focuses on four areas – food, mind, move, love – and is all about completing one micro action each day to help you live a happier, healthier life. For me, it’s kind of like Instagram, with intent. I find the daily reminders are a great way to be more mindful in all areas of my life, not just food, and each “action” is so do-able and achieve-able, that it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I’m really enjoying it and seeing how others interpret the daily prompt is really interesting (and gives you loads of ideas!).
So head on over and download the app today (Android version coming soon). I’m @eatlivtravwrite over there too!
Ok, so about that eating healthy. It doesn’t have to mean boring. Since we’ve been back, I’ve been trying to incorporate a lot of whole grains, vegetables and fruits into our meals. Sure, it takes a little bit of forward planning (just like packing a healthier lunch) but once you do a little bit of planning, you’ll realise how how very valuable that can be. Thanks to my planning this weekend, I have both veggie and beef chili in the fridge, roasted pork tenderloin, grilled fish (for Neil) and a whole bunch of greens, veggies and grains ready to bring to work so I can build a healthier salad at lunch. Knowing that we have lunches and dinners covered makes for a less stressful week, for sure!
Need some inspiration? Check out Jamie Oliver’s Healthy Meals inspiration. A lot of great meals there, like this sweet potato chili,which is a staple in our house…
(this version via my Cooking Basics boys!)