I recently began a new habit that has changed my life quite a bit. I am enjoying a smoothie every morning. It’s not about just drinking the smoothie; but changing several habits that were revealed by the smoothie idea.
Recently. I enjoyed a day of cooking with my daughter Maggie in order to fill her freezer before her baby was born. It was an all-day event that was rewarding and VERY exhausting for both of us. She is enjoying the luxury of having pre-made meals now that her life revolves around a tiny human. I, on the other hand, have developed some great habits the were born out of the experience.
One of the things that we prepared for Maggie’s freezer was smoothie bags. In a small zip lock, she placed a cup of frozen fruit and a cup of yogurt. She planned to add juice and blend just before serving. The idea intrigued me enough that I stopped on the way home and purchased the fruit, yogurt and juice. I had no idea that this little project would change my life in so many ways.
The first thing that came to mind was the simple convenience of having something prepared that wouldn’t require much effort on my part. (You have my permission to laugh.) Especially in the morning, I have a hard time getting started. I also knew that this was a healthy thing to do!
Juice is not usually on my menu because it normally has a fair amount of added sugar and none of the natural fiber that comes from whole fruit. Therefore, juice is not on the frequent list in a diabetic diet. I like juice! Here is a way that I can enjoy the flavor of juice without ingesting a large volume of the tasty liquid. I chose a juice made from veggies and fruit that came in a “diet” formula. Also, there is the benefit of a little dairy protein in the yogurt. Super!
At first, I made the little bags ahead of time. Then, I decided to just make them fresh every morning and save the cost of the baggies. I had only enough ingredients in each bag for my smoothie with just a little left over for Randy to taste. He seemed to enjoy the sample, so I increased the recipe for both of us to share. “Thank you” causes a fantastic feeling when it is said with gusto! That helps start my day off with a smile! I found that when I went to retrieve the smoothie ingredients, it caused me to pause and think about what I would prepare for dinner, later. Problem solved!
Since the big cooking day, I have been preparing double and triple recipes at dinner and freezing the extra meals. I cannot afford to do a big cooking day like I did with Maggie. I also do not have the stamina to do it by myself. My daughter-in-law, Cassie was the first one to introduce our family to freezer cooking; and she is totally exhausted after her big cooking day. She uses a website based program called Once a Month Mom. Her planning ahead, couponing and careful shopping have saved her family a LOT of money! She has modified the plan a little to fit their needs, but it has made a big difference in the amount of time she gets to actually spend with Chris and Carter.
One of Chris’s favorite things Cassie does in her plan is a breakfast burrito. They thaw and reheat easily in the microwave. I tried my hand at this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the burritos. I made 20 of them in less than an hour. We really like being able to have a complete meal without having to clean the kitchen, afterward. My kids are just filled with fabulous ideas!
Now, it is easy to throw those pre-filled ziplocks into the crockpot, or call home before I leave work and have Randy preheat the oven and toss in a casserole. Having chosen healthy recipes makes the whole thing better for us than stopping for fast food on the way home. Just this morning, I laid out a chicken pie to thaw. When I prepared the pies, I wrote the directions for reheating on the foil wrapper with a sharpie. No questions! I will be looking forward to the warm deliciousness all day!
Organization is NOT my strong point. (You may laugh again.) This little effort to start my day in a better way has spilled over into another idea. A Pinterest inspired project has happened. I have no idea if I will be able to keep this up, but I have created a cleaning task schedule that is supposed to help me keep my house clean in just minutes a day. At first, while my house is pretty much a disaster, it will take a bit longer. But, yesterday morning, I cleaned my bathroom from top to bottom. Now, every Monday, I will need to do a fifteen minute cleaning and keep it nice. Next Monday, I will deep clean another bathroom and “freshen” the one I did yesterday. Every day has a chore except for Sunday. I really do hope I can keep this up!
If I can stick with this plan, I will have more guilt-free time to knit! My knitting/music room is almost complete. This little renovation has taken more than 4 months, but I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. I will not hesitate to start another room if the cleaning project helps me do what it is supposed to do by freeing up more time without having to feel guilty about dust bunnies and dirt monsters!
Thank you Cassie, Maggie and the almighty smoothie!