Friday, April 29, 2011

Thoughts From The Mat On My Birthday

First of all, I have to say that this was one of my better birthdays. Can't be sure as to why, but mentally, I am buzzing with contentment. (37 just feels better than 36).

Secondly, this little blog post is dedicated to Jenna. This is just in case she forgot a recent late evening conversation.

First some background, of which Jenna is already familiar. I am an amateur philosopher, always seeking and thinking to discover truths in life. Back in college, I came up with a life strategy I nicknamed the ISR Theory - the Individually Socially Responsible Theory. It was based on my discoveries at the time, which was something like this - you should do what makes you happy, it feels good to help others, it's each person's duty to be civic minded. I thought the key to life was to live a  life based on making yourself happy by doing for other individuals as well as the greater good. I still believe in this, and try to live my life this way, but my amateur outlook has been replaced by/updated with all sorts of experts and authors I've found/read that word all this much better and more eloquently than I can. This theory was very much based on present happiness.

Fast forward to now.

This past year, I learned a little trick that has helped me make better decisions, a mental "tweak" if you will. I started to do things not only to make myself happy, but more with the goal that I wanted to make my Future Self happy. Whether it be the choice not to have that extra glass of wine in the evening (that makes my future self happy even if doesn't make my present self happy) to preparing the coffee maker to go off with the alarm in the morning. This mindset has spilled over into all sorts of areas in my life, monetary decisions, work decisions, dietary and exercise decisions, and so on.

As the year went on, I've adjusted this. Not only do I strive to make my Future Self happy, I want to make my Future Self Proud. Oh yes.... Proud. This attitude has kicked things up a notch in a BIG way. What can I DO today (and in some cases, not do) to make the Valerie of tomorrow Proud?

Pretty powerful.
It rocks.
As does this song...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mustard Greens, Bok Choy, Mushrooms, Tofu & Shallots

All sauteed in a bit of tamari with garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger - incredible!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Island Life

Stumbled upon this book review for The Watery Part of the World by Michael Parker... the following paragraph really made me think about living on the Outer Banks...

"The dilemmas of Parker’s characters made me think often of a line from a Mary Oliver poem: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
In each character’s excuses, rationales and fears that made up their reasons for staying on the island there’s a hint of a bad relationship we can’t leave. A decision that keeps us stuck someplace. An old history we can’t break out of. A retreat that becomes a prison."

A retreat that becomes a prison??

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Herbed Polenta with Beans & Bok Choy

From this recipe, although I didn't make polenta from scratch, much less with a pressure cooker :) If I were to make this again, I would use the veg broth more to saute the veggies up front rather than adding it at the end. Other than that, dee-lish!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mustard & Turnip Greens - A New Favorite

Unexpectedly, I took notice of a bag of "triple washed mustard & turnip greens" at the ole Food Dog yesterday - they looked fresh and green and crisp and realizing I probably need to expand my repertoire further than my ongoing kale obsession, I decided to give them a try. I sauteed them in veg broth and a little bit of tamari, added some sage, garlic & nutritional yeast - phenomenal - a new staple - again, another vegetable(s) that I had been reluctant to try and now love.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thai-Spiced Tempeh and Green Beans

From this recipe - The glaze didn't work out for me, but it's still quite good.