Monday, June 12, 2017

Let’s Go on an Anti-Inflammation Journey

zucchini-muffin-anti-inflammation
So, last time I told you guys that I am dealing with chronic pain and wanted to start living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. According to all the research out there, inflammation causes a lot of health issues and many things we use and eat daily create an inflammatory response in the body (a “flight or fright” stress response). I made a few of the easier changes years ago that I have stuck with such as changing out most of my hair and beauty products, throwing out all my BPA plastic food storage containers, avoiding coffee, and limiting alcohol. While I have been able to sustain these changes, I haven’t been as strict as I would want to with the food I eat. It is seriously difficult to maintain a super-clean diet while working long hours. You will always opt for convenience – takeout and processed foods.

I have been hearing from my doctors and reading books and websites that eating an anti-inflammation diet and reducing stress is the way to go. [Disclaimer: What my doctors say is for me only and not for you to follow. I am not a doctor or any kind of health professional so anything written here is probably wrong and should not be taken as medical advice of any kind. I am just an out-of-work accountant trying to get healthy and talking about it here.]

OK, that’s great. I know it would help me improve my health, but how do I implement an anti-inflammation diet? I have so many questions about it. It also doesn't help that many of the resources online contradict each other. So, which one is right (or right for me)? 

“Eggs are bad because they are a common food allergen!” “Eggs are good because they are a source of inflammation-fighting omega-3s!” What?! Which is it??

Can you really have a smoothie for breakfast and stay full until lunch? 

What do I do if the other people I live with don’t want to eat this way? I am not cooking 2 dinners every day.

How do I do this without spending a whole day on Sunday meal-prepping? My back can’t handle standing there chopping veggies for 5 hours straight. 

Do I really need to try weird-to-me things like protein powder and kefir? What will they do to my digestive system? I am not in the mood for experiments. 

Again, so many questions. 
And so much resistance (from me). 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Hello, It’s Me Again!

Hello again! Sorry I stopped posting right in the middle of the home organization series.

It’s quite ironic – here I am trying to motivate you, my readers, to organize your kitchen and I lost my own motivation! I wasn’t feeling the topic anymore. I sustained an injury, which triggered an existing chronic injury and boom! I was in a ton of pain! Writing about organizing was the last thing I wanted to do. I physically couldn’t move stuff around and photograph it. Even without pictures, all I needed to do was to fine-tune the posts which were pretty much done. But, of course, I stubbornly wanted nothing to do with it!

I will post them eventually though, just for the sake of closure.

I haven’t cooked anything creative in a while since it’s easier to make basic staples when you are not feeling your best. My awesome husband helped me by food shopping and aided me in making our dinners while I was in pain. I was eventually able to do more things by myself again and I finally made something more involved for dinner last night – ground turkey kima with pasta.

Something I have been considering for a while is cooking with ingredients that decrease inflammation. I throw them in occasionally (like the turmeric roasted squash the other night). That’s what’s going on in my life right now, so I really want to write about it. As an accountant and not a health or nutrition professional, I will just be talking about what I'm trying for myself. It will help keep me accountable. Hopefully, you, my readers, will have some great tips for me, as well.

As for the CPA Exam, I want to re-take it, but it just changed again. I will wait to see what people think about it. I am not sure I'm ready for it. I have been trying to stay current with accounting changes by attending webinars, but am not ready for intensive studying. Not yet, anyway.

That’s it for now; I just wanted to post a quick update. I hope you have all been well! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Kitchen Organization Series – We Need to Declutter First!

Kitchen Organization Series

The first step to organizing your kitchen is to declutter. Decluttering consists of going through your possessions and getting rid of anything that is no longer useful or wanted. It makes sense to declutter before organizing; otherwise, you will waste your time trying to fit things into your kitchen you really don’t need at the expense of things you actually want to use more often.

Don't you find that the less items you own, the better you take care of those few items? This is because you take pride in them. I remember as a child, I would have only 2 pairs of shoes at a time (one pair of regular everyday tennis shoes and one pair of formal shoes for church and school assemblies). I took such extremely good care of this one pair of white tennis shoes, that my friends thought I always had new sneakers! In the same concept, I now have a few pans of each type that I love using and I hand wash them so they stay as good as new.

In her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo says to take EVERYTHING out to get the full shock of seeing all your stuff out at once. You will realize that you have too much stuff and you shouldn’t feel bad getting rid of it. If just the THOUGHT of ALL your kitchen stuff out frustrates and overwhelms you, here is my suggestion: Take everything out of the drawers and cabinets IN CATEGORIES!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Kitchen Organization Series - Introduction

kitchen-organization-cookbooks
When I started this blog years ago, we were newlyweds who hadn’t bought our first home yet. We lived in a rental apartment and the kitchen was small, with barely any cabinets and narrow counters. The toaster oven, coffee machine and George Foreman Grill (which we used regularly back then) took up the majority of the counter space. To make up for it, I had to use cutting boards over the sink and prepare cookies on the kitchen table. The cabinet situation wasn't any better - one cabinet was off-limits because it smelled so strongly of an unidentified pungent spice. Everything you put in there would absorb the smell, so our small appliance wedding gifts had to remain in unopened boxes in a storage closet. I couldn't wait until we bought a house so I could finally put them all out on the counters and use them.

And that is exactly what I did! In our first house, I unpacked everything and lined them them along the walls on the counters – all 50 cookbooks, blender, Magic Bullet, Kitchenaid mixer. Yup, all these guys were having a party on my counters and I enjoyed finally being able to use them. It was easy to access everything, but they made the kitchen look smaller despite the wider counters. 

As a result, when I had some free time, I would look for ways to store everything but in an accessible manner. I wanted to hide these small appliances, but didn't want to lug my mixer out of a cabinet every time I had to use it. I looked for ways to make my kitchen more efficient and organized. I read organization blogs and books, watched organization videos on YouTube, paged through magazines, and scrolled through Pinterest, looking for ideas and inspiration. The best general organizing advice I have ever read was to have a "home" where each item belongs and to put the item away in its "home" immediately after using it. The key to keeping this up over the long-term is to make sure that the item's "home" is easily accessible so you have no issue putting it away. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Bean Soup that Hits the Spot and My Review of Oprah’s New Cookbook!

tuscan-white-bean-soup
Happy New Year!

Sorry to disappear, but I had to take a little break. I was doing too many things at once, then I caught a cold and it all went downhill from there – you know how it goes.

Once the New Year started, I yearned to become productive once again and to get creative with my cooking; plus I missed writing and interacting with you guys J. First, we were busy with all the holiday celebrations, and then I got stuck in a rut of cooking the same old meals or getting takeout. 

It’s now time for a fresh start! I set my 2017 goals in my Bullet Journal and I need to get to them! 

New Year, New Recipes! 

And that means a New Cookbook! Yeah!