Fall Fun List – A New Recipe

I tried a new recipe a couple weeks ago. A little background before the big reveal. This is a quick update on the Fall Fun List.

I have been inspired by the current season of the Great British Baking Show (except for Mexican Week – what a dumpster fire that was) to return to the kitchen. But only for baking a very specific recipe: Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread by Averie Cooks. I used to make this all the time. I gave it away as gifts and even the kids liked it (they were grade schoolers at the time). Then we moved to a new house and I could NOT get the settings right on the new oven.

The more Bixby tried to help me, the more pissed off I got. So I just quit making it.

Weirdly, that did not help me dial in the settings AT ALL.

Earlier this fall I returned to the kitchen, mastered the settings. Hint: Glass dishes bake veeeeery differently than metal.

Then came the Fall Fun List and trying a new fallish recipe seemed like a good idea. The contender that I put up against the champion sweet potato bread was Chocolate Pumpkin Bread from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Gorgeous bread is a photo from Two Peas and Their Pod website, not the actual loaf I made (but thanks for the confidence in my baking).

While the recipe itself was fine, it was more chocolatey than pumkiny. On the surface that is a win, but the intent was a fallish recipe. Since the pumpkin did not come through, it did not really hit the mark.

But overall, I am glad I tried it. And I am glad to have my trusty standby Sweet Potato Bread back in the mix.

What about you? Do you have any favorite fallish recipes?

By |2022-11-01T08:24:52-04:00November 8th, 2022|Habit Change|0 Comments

Eating Sustainably

On the surface eating sustainably could be viewed as for the environment only, but what about your personal environment – your health, home and happiness? 

On the podcast we talked about eating sustainably in a traditional sense – supporting local agencies and those with humane practices. I encourage you to listen to that episode here. I have had additional thoughts since we recorded about what sustainable eating means for each dimension of Sustainable Productivity (SusPro). That is what I want to explore more with you today. 

Click on the photo to go to the podcast episode page.

Health and Fitness: Nutrition

Nutrition is a component of the Health and Fitness SusPro dimension. The quality of nutrition has a direct impact on your health. It is probably the most intuitive connection to eating sustainably. 

Maybe you choose to eat meat – or not. Maybe you are gluten intolerant – or not. Regardless of what healthy eating means to you, the common theme is to make changes that are sustainable. As you make small adjustments to your nutrition, ask yourself the SusPro questions:

1. Am I getting the outcome I want?

2. Can I continue to do this lifelong if I want to?

If you eliminate a food group because you are trying to be healthy, but don’t have enough energy to be physically active are you really getting the outcome you want?

If you restrict calories thinking it is healthy, but you are hungry and irritated all the time is this something you can continue to do lifelong?

Eating sustainably is as much about habits as the food itself.

Mental Well-being: Relationships

Relationships are a component of the Mental Well-being SusPro dimension. Since food tends to be a natural gathering point, eating sustainably can have a direct impact here. What if you incorporate the idea of eating sustainably into your relationships?

Case Study 1.

Eating sustainably means making adjustments for the season of life you are in. Maybe fall means an especially busy couple months for your family. In order to eat healthy in a way that sustains your sanity, this fall means brown bags in the van or picnics at the ball field with your people. Instead of eating in shifts around games and practices, what if you gathered for 15 minutes in a park in between everyone’s destination to eat a cooler dinner. Young kids especially might be delighted by an al fresco dinner party.

Case study 2.

It is not too early to think about eating sustainably over the holidays. My husband’s family has a few football coaches in it. In order to give them (and their families) some breathing room these holidays, we are moving our gathering to January or February. What is important is gathering in a low stress time to eat together. One of the things I cherish most about these folks is that they are flexible and know what is important to them. I know so many families who implode if Christmas is not celebrated on December 25. Not my in laws. Sustainable relationships are gathering at a time when we can be focused on each other, not on the clock and having to rush off to the next thing.

Case study 3.

What if eating sustainably encompassed experiences with those you are in relationship with? My teenage niece had a slumber part this summer where they made pasta from scratch for their dinner. The idea of pulling these teens away from phones to interact with each other in the kitchen is what eating sustainably means to me. Then bonus when my niece went to visit my dad and she discovered Papa had a Kitchen Aid mixer too! I cried when my sister sent pictures of Sydney cooking for her grandpa. I am sure it is a core memory for him too.

Source: Disney Tumblr

Environmental Surroundings: Physical Clutter

Physical clutter is a component of the Environmental Surroundings SusPro dimension and certainly impacts eating sustainably. Although this has changed over the years, for us it has to do with how we meal plan – we are working on doing a better job at eating what we have. Setting up our physical space to support this is important. Here are a few ways we reduce our physical clutter to support eating sustainably.

1. Clear expired pantry food a couple times each year. I am always stunned to find out spices and hot sauce expire, but they do. Before I met Bixby I thought I was a bad cook. Turns out my spices expired in the 1990s. 

2. Pare down appliances. My husband does the cooking and is the gatekeeper to what tools come into his kitchen. He has a rule to not clutter the kitchen with one trick ponies. Garlic press can only press garlic. He has wicked knife skills so it takes less time for him to dice garlic than it does for me to clean the garlic press so out it went. 

3. Make things easier to find. We moved seldom used tools to a separate space. There is no need to move the cake decorating tools out of the way every time we need the pasta pot or immersion blender. The once or twice a year we need to decorate a cake, we can pull that box down from the higher shelf. 

Sustainable You Questions

1. Can you identify what eating sustainably means to you today, in this season of life?

2. How can you get more of that or reduce the barrier to getting more?

If you like what you read, you might like what you hear. Subscribe to the Conscious Contact podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you find your podcasts. 

By |2022-09-13T13:42:51-04:00September 20th, 2022|Sustainable Productivity|0 Comments

Quick Breakfast Recipe to Change Your Mornings

This quick breakfast recipe will change your mornings. Now, I am no chef so this is not going to be complicated. It is the productivity coach version of a perfect recipe.

Breakfast literally “breaks” the “fast” of not eating while you were asleep. The first meal of the morning replenishes your body’s supply of glucose, which in turn boosts your energy level and alertness.

You know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your mothers told you. Health teachers told you in school. Every magazine article on health told you. Yet it is often skipped in favor of coffee or extra sleep.

There are very few things I will insist a client include in her morning routine, but breakfast is one of them. I get some pushback, but this recipe contradicts each of the arguments against breakfast. I will give you an example of a challenge in each of the pillars of Sustainable Productivity – Health & Fitness, Mental Well-being, and Physical Environment.

Health & Fitness

Argument: I don’t have the ingredients.

No big deal – just dice whatever veggies you do have. Just a couple handfuls. No veggies? Toss in a few herbs. Doesn’t really even matter what – oregano, dill, garlic, even rosemary. Just a pinch of each.

I think cheese makes everything better so I always top off each cup with cheese. You can leave it off if you are lactose intolerant or not a cheese fan. I recently made these and did not have shredded cheddar cheese so I just tore apart pieces of sliced Colby. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It did not look pretty before it went into the oven, but it sure came out delicious!

Mental Well-being

Argument: I don’t have time to cook in the morning.

I have a solution for you. Knock out a batch of this quick breakfast recipe on Sunday, and you have 2 egg bites ready for every day of the work week (plus 2 for the freezer for another week). If you add breakfast meat you will get even more egg bites out of each batch. Last weekend the grocery store had Boston butt on sale so Bixby got one and made chorizo. After mixing in a bit of chorizo, I had 20 egg bites instead of the usual 12. More for the freezer for a future week when I don’t even have 20 minutes to make a batch of bites.

Physical Environment

Argument: I am not hungry in the morning.

Brilliant! These puppies will travel wherever you go. They are good cold if you don’t have a way to heat them up once you get to your destination. The flexibility of this breakfast will be good for wherever you are – home, the car, the office, or school!

There is no excuse for skipping breakfast. This quick recipe can change your mornings with just a short amount of prep. Here are the bones of the recipe. Mix it up and make it your own!

Quick and Easy Egg Bites

12 eggs

1/2 cup milk

vegetables

cheese

crumbled breakfast meat

Mix together and cook in muffin pan (don’t use wrappers) for 20-25 minutes on 375 degrees.

By |2020-09-13T17:19:09-04:00September 15th, 2020|Health & Fitness|0 Comments

Title

Go to Top