Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lists to Help Me Get on Track...

The Giant Salad.

Not the most appetizing photo, I know. I could have taken a shot of this when the salad was freshly made and looking quite pretty in the bowl, but I was in the middle of eating it when I thought about snapping a picture. The salad bowl I'm eating from is actually a mixing bowl. Like I said, it's a giant salad. When we were both living at home, Lissy and I ate really big salads every day for lunch (we actually bought special, extra-large bowls just to hold them), and this was our standard one-- greens, grated carrots, sliced cherry tomatoes (or, when in season, heirloom market tomatoes), thinly sliced Fuji apple pieces, dried cranberries (or raisins), chopped crispy pecans (or walnuts). I always toss it with whatever leftover vinaigrette is in the bottle, or I make it fresh. This is all organic.

I'm living by a check-list today. I prefer to live a life of "filling in" the spaces of my days in a pleasant, puttery manner rather than "checking off" items on a to-do list, but sometimes I need to tighten ship. (Like right now.) Occasionally, I need to put more specific structure and order to my days to regain good habits. (Like right now.)

A life of puttering and casual leisure only works when one is disciplined, and, right now, I'd say-- besides my fairly steady, nice morning routine-- my daily routine is going very much according to wildly random whim. That's okay, too, sometimes. I'm all for spontaneity and fun, except that I've been letting some things go that really need doing, and until I'm taking better care of business that needs to be done, I'll be working from a check-list.

Not too much, though. :-) I have to be careful because to-do lists kind of overstimulate me. They get me a bit wound up and wired, driving me forward and taking my eyes off what is right in front of me. Off of what I'm doing now and onto conquering that list! (And I do mean conquer.) It's hard for me to settle down and make the process of what I'm doing nice or beneficial when I'm under, what feels like to me, the tyranny of a to-do list, but I shall work on that, too. I'll add it to the list!

Wherever we are, at home or away, we're making a life. There is good work to do, routines to make and keep, people and things to care for. I like my days to be enjoyed and flexible but not squandered. Work should not be too much, and I don't want to be driven (I don't see this becoming much of a problem), but work is also good (for many reasons), and it can be enjoyed. And sometimes checklists are beneficial...

I'll post just one thing from today's to-do checklist:

Eat well.

I'm eating a lot more "raw" or "living" foods again. I do eat some cooked foods, but I like the way I feel when I eat a lot of living foods. I actually made an eating checklist for the day in addition to the regular to-do list just because I want to re-focus intently on eating well. I'll make a planned-in-advance list like this each day for awhile until a few bad habits I've picked up (like eating too many Salt and Pepper Kettle chips) are gone and better habits rule.

So, here's what I ate today:

1. Morning coffee. Stumptown Sumatra brewed in the French press, of course.

2. Sprouted grain toast with Nourishing Traditions homemade peanut butter. Eaten while I drank the coffee.

3. An all fruit smoothie made with a banana, a big handful of frozen strawberries, and the fresh-squeezed juice of one orange.

4. A giant salad. (The one in the photo.)

5. Fresh-juiced orange juice. In the Breville juicer, one orange, all by itself, comes out all frothy and delicious like an orange julius.

6. Leftover coconut rice with a little bit of chicken and peanut sauce. Leftover baby bok choy, too. Tossed together and reheated.

7. Roasted baby carrots (tossed with cumin, olive oil, and sea salt) from a farmers' market in Eugene. These were actually pulled from the ground just before market.

8. Green lemonade. Made with romaine, kale, a Fuji apple, and lemon.

9. Dark chocolate Coconut Bliss ice cream sprinkled with cacao nibs.

I also had a few small pieces of Green & Black's dark chocolate swiped through my homemade peanut butter spread. And I could not resist just the tiniest piece of fudge swirled with peanut butter that the hostess of our church mentoring group made for the meeting tonight. I think it's only polite to eat what she worked so hard to prepare for us, don't you?