Friday, January 14, 2011
The Twin Ports northland continues to be a gorgeous winter wonderland today. I took some university students to the mall and along the way, enjoyed the wonderland.
Psalm 147:16 reads, “He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes.”
The theme of Psalm 147 is what gives God joy. Although God created everything, his greatest joy comes from our genuine worship and trust. (Author unknown)
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
This is the decorative grass outside the Yellowjacket Union.
This week has been extra special as I successfully fulfilled several challenges within the SparkPeople (Peeps, Teddy Bears, and Christians with 100 Pounds to Lose) Communities. Glad to see 2.2 more pounds gone this week . . . am just 1.8 lbs from my 10.2 weight loss for the nine-week challenge to lose 5.2% of my weight. [Actually I meant to do just 5% or 9.8 lbs; but I guess my math wasn’t working the day I logged my goal!] (smile, smile)
Praise God for the beauty of four seasons so that we may enjoy each and every day as it is presented to us.
Hope you’re enjoying a beautiful day!
Friday, January 14, 2011
When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD;
he brought me into a spacious place.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
I praise God for the miracle of life given us. I believe SparkPeople can very much be an active part of a Christian’s life. The web site is truly spacious and welcomes a wonderfully diverse group of people striving to improve their health . . . these mere mortals are awesome!
Keep making a difference!
Hug, hug --Evelyn
Thursday, January 13, 2011
SparkPeople is free! What a great joy it is that SparkPeople is not a monthly expenditure of cash. I strive to take responsibility to provide a unique commitment, dedication, and hard work in becoming a healthier individual. And in kind, I may even buy a book, product, or click on an ad that helps keep SparkPeople free. I get a delightful community of upbeat and enthusiastic people who all have similar goals. I also get a site that listens to many voices and makes changes accordingly. Welcome to the world of being empowered.
Speaking of bargains, this week I happened by a sale where lamb was under a dollar a pound! I just finished making PSDAHRI’s Rogan Josh (Lamb Curry) and it came out ever so yummy with a pleasant tickle of heat that remained on the lips. Can't say the same for the leg of lamb roast that I cooked up yesterday. While my hubby liked it, I found that the meat tasted a little gamier (a much better fit for curries). I'll eat the curry and he'll enjoy the roast.
My last great bargain for today is of the “priceless” variety. While I love to celebrate all four seasons, I took lots of pictures this week (some only mentally by traveling by car) while being in the snow. I spent much of the day with my Dad. We prayed together, broke bread together (lunch), played games together, and shopped for some of his necessities. At age 87, these are connections that are priceless.
Where did you find your joy today?
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
While I blogged Dec 30 that, “I successfully posted my first recipe today” – and – “That was a fun!” . . . I suspect that 2011 will have to go down as my “Year of Documenting Healthy Cooking.”
I've always loved putting my recipes and a photo in my personal paper cookbook. I’m the only crazy one who will go to a church potluck, progressive dinner, or dinner party and post the recipe near the dish so people know what they are or are not eating. This is as much a courtesy as it is a warning, as I am becoming known for cooking up relatively spicy dishes most typical Americans find too spicy or too hot. If I cut the red chili pepper in half, even my Indian and Nepali friends can enjoy.
Cooking for others seems to have become more challenging when you hear messages like, “I don’t eat high-fat . . . eggs . . . seeds . . . dairy . . . fried foods . . . grapefruit . . . pineapple . . . or messages like, “I'm a vegetarian, . . . gluten, lactose, or artificial sweetener intolerant . . . etc, etc, etc.” A friend of mine once said that “If I hear one more person say that can't eat this or that . . . I'm going to quit cooking!” I guess I can't blame her as we somehow have more food allergies than ever today. Eating has never been more easy today: Just about everything seems to be available.
I have only one caution -- that I pray will come across as constructive -- that triggers in me when I read some negative responses to recipes made: While most of the people who respond to making SparkPeople recipes in “kind” or with “constructive (helpful) criticism,” there are a few people who seem to get their dander up and express themselves a little too much (if only they had waited to post their response or listened to what they wrote as if it were a recipe they might have submitted themselves). Thank goodness these instances are relatively rare . . . either that, or I’ve learned how to ignore them more. SparkPeople is a place that allows us to that positive “spark” for each other. Do you really have to tell the creator of a recipe that it’s not something you would ever make? . . . then just leave the recipe and move on. If you’ve spent a good amount of time in the kitchen, you likely already know what spices tickle your “fancy” bone: if you don't like heat and see a full teaspoon of cayenne pepper, I would hope this would be a clue to consider starting a little lighter on this spice, taste, and adjust accordingly if you still desire this style of food until it meets your personal or cultural taste test.
While I am a bit too bashful yet – and yes, my husband says I lied on the Myers Briggs Test (hee, hee) -- to share my recipes on the World Wide Web (I've only shared one that I posted after following a beautiful friend from India), I now have four recipes in my Recipe Box: Kamla’s Dal, and my own Buttercup Squash, Fried Rice, and Chicken Vegetable Soup. I have an eggplant curry just waiting to be deciphered into SparkPeople format. I have lots of stock pots, slow cookers, and Dutch oven pans because I love cooking in bulk and fresh freezing for my very own style of “fast” food. (smile, smile)
Entering your own recipes, whether you “share” them or not, is a great way to add a whole new level of convenience to your nutrition tracker. This ultimately represents a whole lot less clutter in my nutrition tracker than “grouping” ingredients. I find food ”grouping” great when I make something often but have one or two changes that I make regularly. AND you get three SparkPoints for making the recipe, or another set of SparkPoints if you edit the recipe and remake . . . points that you can turn in for SparkGoodies to encourage yourself and others.
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)
Have you, or will you plan to key in one of your favorite recipes?
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday was pretty much my best ever “me” day. My Nepali friends prepared a special dinner in my honor. Having travelled just west of Nepal in northern India last summer, I wore one of my new chudidhar suits for this special occasion.
I’m learning a whole new concept about “me” time. I used to think it was just that special time doing those things I most enjoy without having to be at responsible for anything or anyone but the moment I’m in. I like to think that my reading, watching television, hiking, checking out the internet, and walking are all me-time activities. The Teddy Bear’s have implemented a few exceptions, in that our “me” time cannot be anything related to the computer/internet/exercise or chores.
While Anu steamed the Momo, we connected over a simple card game of 31 and Anu managed to do something I’ve never seen done in this game: She SKUNKED us all. Where three of us lost four hands each, Anu didn’t lose a single hand. Go girl!
Now we were ready to enjoy the featured food of the day: Nepali Momo with a very spicy hot dipping sauce. So yummy! Many cultures have their own version of Momo with variations, whether it be something like dim sum, potstickers, or Chinese dumplings. The spices, both in the Momo and sauce, seem to be what set each culture's Momo apart.
Now on to my ultimate “me” time . . . quality time spent at the same waterfalls that I have in my current profile photo. I invited my Nepali friends to join me. I’m hoping when they see the cool pictures, they’ll say “yes” the next time I invite them.
A special SparkPeople “Thank you” goes out to the organizers of the 5% Winter Community Challenge and Teddy Bear Team for their support in helping give me a new meaning this week to “me” time.
Whatever you do in your “me” time, take an opportunity to mix things up a bit – try something new – so you don’t get bored doing the same-ol’, same-ol’.
What type of “me” activities energize you?
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