What’s for Dinner? No, Seriously…

There’s a special place in my heart for food; especially, as my efforts to lose my post-pregnancy weight can attest, for sweet foods. Really, though, I’m only picky about quality. Because of that and the number of children I sired, I make almost all of my own meals.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Mmmmmmm.

After reading about Joanne’s making pancakes last week, I started thinking about what everyone makes for her/his meals. Another blogger I follow, Carol, prepares everything from homemade mustard to mincemeat pies. Gary, over in Great Britain somewhere, often laments the states of his cakes. Kat is a whiz at ratio baking. And, John the whimsical poet really likes bananas

Where am I going with this? To the kitchen, of course! Let’s say that it’s time to start the oven for dinner. Looks like I’m making tuna on toast tonight, a budget-friendly concoction of a white tuna sauce with peas served over broken-up bits of toasted bread. The rest of next week will be pizza, broccoli cheese soup, baked chicken with mashed potatoes and rolls, cottage pie, tempura vegetables over rice, hash browns and eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, chicken à la king…. This means I’m currently organized enough to have a meal plan, and that I’m an American of mostly-British descent.

I have go-to meals and favorites. Further, I have a full kitchen, seasonings and spices, food storage, and a stocked fridge. I know what to do with a whisk.

But, what about you? What are you planning tonight? Tomorrow? Next week? What are some of your favorite foods to make or have made? Have you all the latest appliances and gadgets? What about that whisk?

Photo by Katerina Holmes on Pexels.com

Hungry stomachs want to know…

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Here’s about what I wrote/posted for the past week:

Wednesday, February 10: Re-blogged Gregory Joel‘s excellent observations of humanity.

Sunday, February 14: “Wherein Lies the Crime?” in response to Deb’s 42 Words prompt.

Monday, February 15: Shared a quote by Barack Obama.

Tuesday, February 16: Reminded you about Sue Vincent’s Fundraiser Writing Contest. The deadline is tomorrow so PLEASE ENTER!!!!!

I’ve given up on it, but there’s some old stuff on my motherhood site as well. There are even recipes for quick and easy dinners!

Also, I will be joining the illustrious, intelligent, immortal crew over at Carrot Ranch soon. The plan is to host a monthly poetry-writing prompt.

©2021 Chelsea Owens

What’s Your Favorite Holiday? Why?

Since I was a younger, smaller, Chelsea, I’ve loved autumn and winter. Perhaps this is why my favorite holidays have always been the autumn and winter varieties: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

In truth, my affinity for the first and last were likely tied to what I received at each.

Still, that love has persisted into adulthood. When the air outside turns cold enough to nip, a piece inside me stirs awake. I’m a reverse-hibernation animal, stretching and standing -even jumping!- when the first snowflakes fall. I associate the drop in temperature with coloring leaves, jack o’lanterns, and the excitement of trick-or-treating.

Once October passes, my memories turn to the distinct taste of a turkey meal and a thousand side dishes. I remember pies as well: pumpkin, pecan, apple, cherry, banana cream. I love them all! As we gather up the Halloween decorations and prepare to host family, I also look forward to all the loved ones I will talk to and spend time with.

Then, of course, comes Christmas. I hate the commercialism of Christmas, beginning with the first trees the stores put up in July and ending with the children’s over-hypered aftermath late Christmas morning. The spirit and feeling of the holiday, however, are what I love the most. Every year, I try to do something to bring happiness in service -the true meaning of Christmas.

Besides its spirit, I also love seeing everyone think of everyone else. My neighbors give each other presents. Most businesses decorate their fronts. We have tradition, and love, and even more time with family.

Today, Mother Nature finally accepted that it’s October. Wind and chill forewarned of her incoming wrath, followed by a severe temperature drop and even a little snow. I stood in the flurry, barefoot and smiling, as the tiny white particles swirled around me in our porch lights.

Autumn is here. Winter is coming. I’m so excited for what they will bring!

Are you? Is your favorite holiday one of mine, or do you prefer another? What do you love best about your favorite holiday?

thanksgiving-3719247_1920

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Here’s what I wrote this last while:
Wednesday, October 2: Wrote “Have We a Core Personality?

Thursday, October 3: Nothing.

Friday, October 4: Distracted everyone with some funny onesies for babies.

Also, announced the winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to The Abject Muse! Again!

Saturday, October 5: Introduced the 46th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a spell, a witch’s brew, an incantation, etc. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, October 6: Shared Carrot Ranch‘s Rodeo contest. Charli will be posting a new contest each week, so enter one of them!

Monday, October 7: An inspirational quote by C.S. Lewis.

Tuesday, October 8: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Seven.” Next week will be the final, final, final, final post for Wil.

Wednesday, October 9: Today.

I also posted all last week at my motherhood site. I wrote “How Do You Dinner?,” “No Kids Allowed: The Death of the Family,” and “The Toilet Seat, a poem.”

 

Photo Credit: Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Cure for Depression: Eat Healthy

Good morning/afternoon/evening/midnight/snacktime everyone! I am ready to very professionally talk to you about one of my favorite subjects: food.

Fruit smoothies in glasses topped with pieces of fruit and marigold flowers

I just spent ten luxurious minutes searching for food pictures, and now I’m hungry. There are so many pictures of food! WHY are there so many?

Duh. Food is life.

That, and it’s delicious. During one of my no-sugar diets, I sagely told a friend, “I’ve decided the problem with chocolate is that it tastes good.” I hope I come up with better quotes when I’m not dieting.

So…. why bother monitoring what we stuff in our faces? This is one of those answers that we all know, like how we ought to be getting outside more, or exercising. We know that eating well is better for our health.

Anyone with food issues like me also knows that an entire bag of Snicker’s ‘fun’ size is really appealing at depressive moments. As appetizing as a picture of odd fruits with flowers (why flowers?) is, I’m apt to choose something meatier and fattier and baddier.

Oooh yeah. People don’t believe me when I tell them I like meat and have issues in general, because I periodically diet and usually exercise. And if random good behavior keeps me looking passable, then you have my personal assurances that such a plan will work for you.

First, let’s list why eating well is such a great idea:

  1. Vitamins, minerals, nutrients, madeupwordients are ESSENTIAL for complex creatures such as us. They’re our fuel.
  2. Eating the right things really helps to not get sick often.
  3. A balanced diet definitely helps with mental illness. Seriously, Google found me so much proof -like on a Harvard Health blog.

Hmmm… I probably should have put #3 first. I blame not eating breakfast yet.

“Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood” (Harvard Health Blog).

Oops. I’m just gonna hide this bag of …Snicker’s. *crinkle* *crinkle* Hey, look at this beautiful picture of a salad!

Right-o. We know that good food is good. Most of us know that, from our childhood years of basic nutrition education. If not -hey! I taught you something new!

The tricky part is application. Take one little tiny baby step with me here:

You don’t have to starve yourself and only eat rabbit food.

In fact, if weight loss alone is your goal, you can eat only McDonald’s and still shed pounds. McDonald’s, even the salad, is NOT healthy; just so’s you know. Processed foods tend to not be. And, you have to put up with only Mickey D’s for six months which would be hell for me.

I likes my variety, and you can too!

Rambling point: Small Step #1 is to eat less* overall. You can feed your OCD tendencies if you have them and write down how many calories if you wish. Use a website or app to estimate what your daily calorie burn is, then eat less of that each day. Eat a little less; we’re not encouraging any anorexia here.

*Eating less than what you burn leads to weight loss. Ignore this advice if you are already at a good weight. In that case, eat close to what you burn in order to maintain.

Small Step 2 is when you eat. Your body will burn calories or hang onto them differently at different times of day and different times of year. Generally, avoid eating after 8:00 p.m. and/or two hours before sleeping. Eating later not only helps the food stick around, it makes you less comfortable and more depressed.

On the same page, make sure you are stuffing your face at regular mealtimes. I also need to eat between meals, like a hobbit. I keep the calorie count low (see Step 1), but don’t starve.

Step 3 is what you eat. If you consider lettuce a food fit for hopping creatures, that’s totally cool. I especially understand if you only ever eat iceberg lettuce; that crap is just water. Get yourself the more green and leafy varieties like Romaine, wrap your protein in it, and salt and pepper the thing.

Everyone has some foods he/she likes that he/she knows are healthy. If not, buy some of your friend’s favorites and sneakily eat them in your closet. I won’t tell. At the end of such an experiment, you will have a few that you can stomach.

Use the old internet for searches like “low-calorie recipes,” “healthy snacks,” and “edible and appetizing ways to prepare kale.” -Okay, that last one was a joke.

I recommend AGAINST anal counting of minerals and vitamins and whatnot because it’s a very tricky process that is probably not entirely accurate. Fresh foods have a different value than ones that have been canned, dried, frozen, or covered in chocolate to actually make them taste good.

The advice I follow myself is to lower sugars and white flours and rices, keep the calories low, and include a treat in that count. If you’re following my earlier advice to exercise, you’ll need the extra calories.

A good Step 4 is to cut out stimulants and booze. Ya know, like coffee and alcohol. I think this is a great step, but I don’t touch the stuff myself and therefore wouldn’t presume to lecture you on how to do so. There are plenty of internet and local areas to help, however. (Like, the addiction national helpline, if it’s that serious: 1-800-662-HELP [4357].)

You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, but I thought the same thing when my paid friend told me she hadn’t consumed sugar since 2003. She still has valid ideas in many other categories, so I’ll probably keep seeing her.

As a final note, I don’t even have to be an expert to mention a vital consumable related to eating well: drinking well. As a human, you need water.

Water is life, more so than food even.

I live in a desert environment, and even I skimp on the “recommended amount.” That’s because I don’t like using the bathroom all day. I’ve been told that regular, consistent drinking of water should make that problem disappear.

Wherever you live, make sure you drink water. It improves skin, helps organ function, helps singers sound better, and keeps you from dying.

So, class, let’s get started today. Keep your diet tasty, consistent, and manageable. Drink your water. These simple steps will help you be better able to fight those depressive tendencies.

This has been a part of our Cure for Depression series. Tune in next time, and we’ll talk about joy.

 

Photo Credits:
Brooke Lark
Haseeb Jamil
Vitchakorn Koonyosying
Lacey Williams
Yasuo Takeuchi

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.