The Importance of Taking Stock

Nowadays, I steer clear of the scale. For me, it is almost always a morose exercise. Sure it can be exhilarating but I haven't felt this "high" in quite some time.  Nowadays, I feel relief but that's not the emotion I am going for. Friends of my parents are telling me I have never looked better. Do they see something I don't? Perhaps its my gleaming personality. Even when I am rocking and rolling and hearing compliments galore, I don't like standing on the scale. An ugly number can screw up my day. It is really terrible. A great number can make it. No rocket science there. I saw a playful line in my new copy of Bon Appetit that reads: You Can Diet When You're Asleep. What a lovely notion. Do pick up this month's copy as its stock full of brilliant dishes including pie crusts, pesto with collards and peanuts, desserts calling for berries galore, elegant cocktails, pork tenderloin numbers and the prized recipe for the magnificent fried chicken at Leon's Oyster Shop in the Holy City. It is my hope that we grab lunch there on our way home from Pawley's Island next week. I am also totally making a refreshing salad comprised of watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, basil from the garden, red onion, goat cheese and red wine vinegar. Boom! This months copy also speaks to the comeback of ice cream parlors. There is a God. Growing up in Dallas, once in a blue moon we would go for sundaes at Swenson's. We Breyer's were also no stranger to ice cream in the freezer and my Mom hooked us up with the toppings. Note, rice krispies, fudge and ice cream of your choosing are like three peas in a pod. 

My mother says one should always judge weight loss progress on how clothes fit and to toss out the scale. She also says perhaps one ought come to terms with their appearance and stop being so hard on themselves. Lovely pearls but I like numbers. I keep a daily diary. Every December, I log into Amazon and buy one of the deluxe engagement calendars to capture the year ahead. They are themed so you can opt for a city or an artist. I've done a slew including London, Paris, Van Gogh, Matisse, Edward Hopper and this 2015 brings New York City. I started keeping a diary upon joining the real world in 2002 and I have kept all of them. They serve as documentation of my most treasured memories. In them goes work meetings, hair appointments, trips to museums, concerts, celebrity sightings, remarkable meals, birthdays, ticket and movie stubs, songs, trips, vacations, bank deposits, friends who visited, showers, weddings, milestones, phrases, jokes, important words, pivotal reminders and the likes. If I find a cool saying or phrase in a magazine or newspaper, I cut it out, grab some tape and into the diary it goes. From time to time, I like to go through these books and revisit what was happening when. It is enjoyable to see what was trending in my life once upon a time. No secret that I like to reminisce. Actually, I love to reminisce. I am very nostalgic.

I also track my daily exercise and when I feel like it, weight. This means that obsessive Elizabeth can look at a photograph of myself, refer to the date, investigate in one of my many diaries and nine times out of ten, my weight is noted.  Documenting developments (or lack thereof) has worked for me in the past and if it's not broke, don't fix it. I am currently sitting on a number that is only okay but I am exercising religiously and my clothes sort of fit so I will call this a work in progress. The truth of the matter is that I love life. I relish in cooking, traveling, gallivanting, eating and drinking. Being with friends and family is my jam. My willpower is not spectacular and yours truly is not one to deny myself of anything in the food department. I think I inherited this trait from my father though both my siblings mildly employ it too. My sweet mother is the only normal one in the family. Now that summer is upon us and the beer gardens as well as back patios are in full swing, we are having a hi ho time. I look on Instagram circa five o'clock and my peers around the world are enjoying Greyhounds, Pims, Dark and Stormies as well as champagne. We should too I tell Matthew credulously! Carpe diem and these are the days, right? In my time off, I have taken inventory of my life and prioritized what is important. Some things that were prized to me six months ago aren't so much any more. I now appreciate that life is short. In the grand scheme of things, we aren't here forever. Within reason, make things happen. If you want to travel, go. If you have to eat in that restaurant, do. Thinking about a career change? Why not explore it. Live every day to the fullest and do what makes you happy. Make memories. My father says that we are forever together with our memories. And so if this means a midweek trip to a local haunt for a drink when you should be on the wagon or french fries on a Thursday, as the French cheer, c'est la vie.

Life and livery aside, on goes the week of soups. With it being so bloody hot out, soups are marvelous. They serve as a prime opportunity to throw whatever you have in the fridge into the pot. Now is the time to toss in your extra greens, squeeze those ripening lemons, chop your random vegetables, use up lonely cans of beans sitting idle on the shelf and the likes. From a bowl of soup, you get what you need and don't leave the table too stuffed. The below is a variation of a soup I made a few weeks ago but I like this version all the same. The addition of spinach, beans and honey are key. In short, it is outstanding. Fresh, full of flavor, delightful hot or cold (I prefer it hot but Matthew samples after work when its cold). It is also very filling. After one bowl, I am deliciously satiated. Praise the stars above for that. We can also add monstrous appetite to my list of competencies. Anyway, one pot of this stuff will see you a very long ways. 

In closing, remember not to be so hard on yourself. Be kind to you. If you love someone or are thinking of them, tell them. I can 100% guarantee that you will make their day. If you want to treat yourself to something within reason, do. Find something you are passionate about and go for it. Smile at a stranger. Keep a diary. Pet a dog. Wave at your neighbors. Touch your partner's hand and let them know that they're important. Stop dillydallying and seize the day already because life is short and not a one of us knows what awaits around the corner.

Roasted Acorn Squash, Spinach and Chick Pea Soup

You Need

1 acorn squash

2 TBS coconut oil
1 white onion 
2 garlic cloves
3 inch knob of ginger - peeled 

1 can of chick peas - rinsed
4 cups of spinach
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt - I like David's

1 TBS honey
4 cups of organic, low sodium chicken stock

How To Do

1. Take your acorn squash and put it in the oven for an hour at 450 degrees. No need to cut it, in it goes. Once it is finished roasting, remove, let it cool, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Now scoop out the squash and put in a separate bowl. With acorn squash, you can eat the skin if you want to nibble as you work.

2. In a pot, heat the coconut oil on medium low heat. Now add your white onion, garlic and ginger. Let this cook for approximately 15 minutes. Stir it every once in a while so as to ensure that it does not burn. 

3. Now you can add your ground spices and kosher salt. Give a big stir.

4. In go the squash and broth. Bring to a boil and lower to simmer for 25 minutes. Add the spinach and stir. This should be ready in about five.

5. Once this is done, you want to puree the soup either in a blender or with a immersion hand blender. I like my soup with chunks and so I only puree a bit but your call. Now add the chick peas to the mix and put back on the stove for another five minutes. You can garnish however you please or serve with crackers or chips though I find this soup dynamite on its own. 

No comments:

Post a Comment