More thoughts on Simplified eating

img_0165 My home made bread.

Simple Foods

I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about what it is I’m trying to do with Simple Eating. So far I’ve come up with

  • Eating the same foods for meals simplifies meal time and allows me to have what I need on hand. For instance, breakfast. We have chickens, therefore lots of eggs. My go to breakfast is: 1 egg either fried or scrambled and since I make my own bread, a slice of toast. I also make my own granola, granola with yogurt is a go to. I was making my own yogurt but then buying the organic at Costco for 6.49 seemed like a  no-brainer. Making yogurt is pretty easy  to make so that maybe something to try.
  • so, decide what breakfast works for you and that you have ingredients available. Perhaps you do smoothies. Then be sure that’s what you do almost daily and it simplifies the process.
    image

    Our girls lay pretty colored eggs!

    Having what you need on hand makes the difference in a stressful morning or a calm one.

    Bulk buying

  • Buying in bulk such as black beans, pintos, rice, cheese, coffee, meat, butter, let’s me put meals together easily. If you don’t want to make your own beans, buying the organic cans at Costco is a great option too. I keep canned beans as well since once in awhile it’s nice to open black beans and then just cook up some rice.

       Right equipment

  • Having the right kitchen equipment makes some of this easier. A crockpot is essential. You can throw together chicken, veggies, sauce and then 6 hours later it’s done. I do all my beans in the crockpot. I put in @ 2 cups of beans, rinse, and then cook on high for 7-8 hours. The last hour I add garlic cloves and salt. Next is a rice maker.  This is a must if you eat rice once a week. I use to make rice using the Tassajara recipe book. It was fun until you forgot about it and it burnt. With a rice maker, it is fool proof.

 

        Menus

  • Having a menu is essential even if it is just variations of what you do every week.  such as Taco Tuesday can be tacos, but also bean and rice bowls or pizza night might be homemade but once in awhile it’s take- out. So plan for the week wth your menu.
  • Have a theme for each night for dinner ie; the taco Tuesday etc.
  • cook once and then use leftovers. I try and do roast chicken once a week or week and a half. Then I make up menus based on leftovers. Chicken tacos, chicken soup in the winter, chicken salad.

Planning ahead to shop also allows you to figure out what you need and if you buy what in season that makes meal planning easier too.

I think also, simple food eating has a lot to do with what season you are in your life too. Do you have young kids, retired, teenagers? That will certainly make a difference in how you try and simplify meal planning.

 

Simple Eating

In this journey of minimalism, I’ve wanted to expand past the decluttering and streamlining things to food as well. Not so much decluttering that area but eating simpler and eating the same foods weekly to simplify menus etc. We do eat pretty simple but for some reason, I want to even more.

I’ve always bought bulk foods, rice, beans, etc since the 1970’s. Even soaps, detergents, canned goods etc because it’s easier for me and simpler to buy bulk and then not have to think about those things for 6 months. Back in the 1970’s we’d go out to a place called Mother Truckers by Ananda. Mother Truckers is still there and does a brisk business. Ananda is still there although many changes have occurred. It’s still a spiritual community based on Yogananda Paramahansa’s teachings. Anyway, we’d go out there, which was about a 2-hour drive for us, and get bulk shampoo, honey, etc.

Now co-ops are everywhere or Whole Foods and you can great bulk items.  I can even get Lundberg organic brown rice at Costco in a 12 lb bag. I can get a 10lb bag of sugar and there’s honey in large jars. I don’t use as much honey anymore so we just get a smaller jar.

I still get 10 lb bags of rice and beans and store in glass jars.  I use to buy the 25 lb bags but that was more than we’d use in a reasonable amount to time. I even have some of my original gallon jars I had from the 70’s. I use to go around to the restaurants and ask for their old pickle jars, mayonnaise because you couldn’t really buy the gallon jars anywhere.

I use a weekly menu that’s simplified to some extent but I’d like it to be more so. Maybe as I get older or further in this minimalist journey, I just don’t want to think about things like what extravagant meal do I want to cook. I want my food choices to be simple.

I like wearing the same clothes and keep my colors to black, white, gray and occasionally deep purple or navy blue.  So with food, I want to have fewer choices so I don’t have to think about it.

Our weekly menu looks like this

Sunday- BBQ or roast something ( need to refine this)

Monday- pasta something ( this can be mac and cheese,or lemon spaghetti, or ?

Tuesday- Taco Tuesday ( really anything Mexican)

Wednesday- Sorta whatever day ( this is the one I need to work on)

Thursday- crockpot something,  usually pinto beans or black beans Then we add tortillas, avocado, salsa,. If its soup in the winter fall, bread along side.

Friday- homemade pizza

Saturday- This turned into sammie Saturday. A simple sandwich of some sort.

I want to work on what foods we’re eating. We like and eat a lot of beans and then I usually use the rice cooker to make organic long grain rice for the week.

Some chicken, tofu, a little beef and a little fish (not too often).

Breakfast is always eggs/toast or bagel/yogurt/fruit

Lunch is a salad or leftovers or 1/2 sandwich

I just don’t want to cook extra fancy stuff too much anymore. I do love cooking and trying new recipes, but I still want a base to work from.

Getting ready for camping

We are packing up most stuff today in the tent trailer and then tomorrow we’ll pack the Santa Fe. We have really learned how to minimalize our camping food, equipment etc.

For instance, we use to pack everything under the sun including all our food. Now we just do basics like cream, butter, eggs(our own). Then as we plan a meal, I’ll go to the market. In Capitola, where were camping, a Nob Hill is maybe 3 miles away. So if we’re going to do grilled chicken, I go get it plus whatever else. It really makes it easier. Now if we were boondocking somewhere remote this, of course, wouldn’t work. But we don’t tent trailer that way. If and when we get a hard body, I would definitely do some different style camping. Or when we go up the coast to Bodega Bay to camp, there are no stores nearby. There is a tiny market but it’s more for travelers. At Bodega Bay we do pack a lot more.

I do plan out our dinners and this time we’re using the Lodge every night. I have one night not planned and we may do something else. So far here’s the menu:

  • Lodge dutch oven mac and cheese and a salad
  • Lodge dutch oven pizza( we did this at Tahoe last year and it was great)
  • Lodge dutch oven chili and cornbread vegetarian( I might cook up a small amount of beef but I’ll wait and see how we feel)
  • Lodge breakfast casserole
  • Lodge  lasagna( this is the fall back meal if I want to cook a 4th night)
  • Lodge double stuffed baked potatoes is a possibility too.

I usually buy packaged salad and that is a side.

I’m off to the gym this morning and then to Grocery Outlet for a few things. If you get a chance go read this blog frugaltexasgal

It’s pretty darn good.

 

 

Simple Sunday

Well, I took my 16mg of dex yesterday afternoon instead of at bed. I want to see how that works. 16mg is definitely way better. My face is not beet red and I feel ok, just a little unfocused. I try not to drive on dex days as my attention is less than usual. So, if my m protein musts keeps hovering @.3 or so, I’ll stay with 16mg.

im doing a little Flylady today. And going out to the barn to retrieve those Star Trek figures.  I also have some vintage lunch boxes I might sell. I gave a lot to the thrift store in the massive decluttering I did last summer. But, there are a few I can still get rid of. What good are they in a bin? I’m not into displaying like I was when I started collecting so it’s a matter of parting with more stuff. 

Just keep walking project update… We’re on day 397, so this week we cross the 400 day line. Cool! My husband got the fit bit,since he’s doing another walking challenge for work. So yesterday he did over 7 miles…. Most of this is zipping sound the yard, weed eating, mowing etc. The guys the energizer bunny. 

Menus are done for the week:

salmon with rice salad

 burgers on the grill

egg salad sammies

 grilled chicken and cucumber salad( cucs are from our garden)

nachos

Maybe a homemade pizza night

TBD ?

Monday updates!

We are officially in year two of the JKWP. Today is day 370! We’re just going to add days instead of going back to day 1. I think I like seeing the bigger day, it feels like an accomplishment. Walking has done so much for me:

my cholesterol dropped almost 40 points

lost 15 lbs, ( wish it was more) as I know I’ve plateaued

my legs and back are stronger

and it’s just great to move. I still can’t do a 5 k but heck that’s ok.

Today is a dex day, but since I’m down to 16 mg, it seems to be a whole lot easier. Since my my protein is down to .25 ( hurray! Happy dance!!!), I hope dropping the dex by 4 mg doesn’t affect it. I guess we’ll see. 

Worked Friday and Saturday, it was super slow. 

Went with my daughter and bought some shoes. I have very difficult feet, can’t wear any height in shoes and they must have a good arch. Usually I wear keens and they’re great, but I wanted something different for work. I found a pair of Born at famous footwear. I’ll have to see after wearing them to work. I’ll know wether my back goes out( usually it’s L 1).

yesterday was our towns Pioneer Day with parade and a big event in the park. We’ve skipped it now for a few years as it’s really geared to young families. But we walked down and bought a few things( very expense beer). It was nice. 

Today, I’m just tidying a little and working on menus. 

Menus so far

chile relleno casserole with crock pot pintos

pizza on the grill

greek salad

avacado stuffed with shrimp and tofu for the vegies.

bbq chicken

??

??

So that’s all and keep working the budget . I hope with this next check were finally back on track and there’s no extra stuff due.

$300 in AAA and Costco really added up or rather took a bite out of the money.

Sunday, spring forward…

Well, my body is awake and ready to walk, but it’s too dark. It’s 6:24 but my body thinks it’s 5:24 and should be getting ready to go walk. But, I’m I’m walking without B so, I just need to wait. It’s also  Dex Sunday so I’m probably feeling that too. 

So, I’ll wait till @6:50 and then go. Also my son and I are going to Costco to get some things. He (we) is getting a very expensive camera. we will pay half which will be his birthday and christmas present. ( yeah, I know and then what else?).

Today, it’s suppose to start raining and tomorrow. I’m bringing my van in to get and oil change and check the light that’s coming on. As if we don’t have enough money flying out of our savings and we will get hit with the enormous tax bill . So, we changed the deductions and we should be ok next year. 

I’ve been thinking about and working on a five year plan. Can we stay here.? Well, I don’t even know if I’ll be here in 5 years. The thing with myeloma is it will morph and can become more aggressive. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened to me . Anyway, we do need to get some plan to see how will we afford life. So…

We’ve had a good week of menus and today I’m making a turkey. Should be fun, I’ve never made one when it wasn’t thanksgiving, but following some other blogs like http://www.theprudenthomemaker.com, she recommended buying turkeys, ham etc, around the time they are on sale. So I did. The stockpiling idea is something we have always done with beans and rice, so now I’m adding other things and I like not having to think about do I need pintos when I have 20 lbs. 

We had nice BBQ burgers last night. but without B here getting the BBQ ready it took forever and finally I had my daughter do it. I’m just not good at those things. But the burgers were good(organic beef). 

Saturday stuff

Well, we dodged the bullet on the wind. But all areas around us including San Francisco got hit very hard with extreme high winds. We had some wind but not bad. So, I’m relieved. I saw on our local news that a huge ponderosa fell on a house and split it in two. Thankfully no one was home. So it can really happen. 

I’m pretty much ready for thanksgiving. Just need a few items and I’ll go early Sunday morning to get those . We have both turkey and a vegetarian option of nut and cheese loaf. It’s very yummy with veg gravy. I keep it very simple and have everything done by Wednesday, except the turkey.

I’m working on doing a months menu . I want to have rotating meals every six weeks. I’m trying to get what we eat regularly like, baked potato night, or soup night down and refine it a little more. Plus eat eat out of our freezer when I have stuff. 

I’m going to box up some dishes this weekend that we never use. They’re pretty ( desert rose which is Franciscan ware. ) it’s vintage and pretty but I’m into our white dishes so….. It’s taking up cabinet space , so I’m going to put it away and then decide what to do with it later. I’m thinking my daughter would like them but they may not be her style. 

Also, I want to get out the Christmas stuff. I’ll start decorating right after thanksgiving. I already have our menorah out for hanukkha . Remember, I’m not religious but I do love light candles and what things represent. No, I’ve never been Jewish, just like the candle lighting. Oh, and the donuts and latkes.

well, it’s off to work at the best little library ever.