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What a difference a week makes!

February 23rd, 2021

Photo courtesy of The Phoenix Kansas City

Last week I was dealing with the cold weather and praying my water pipes did not freeze while the power was out. This week looks completely different as it is currently 63 degrees and nothing but sunshine as I finish my blog. Gotta love Kansas weather! I mentioned making chili in last week’s blog and have had several requests for the recipe so here it is:

“Small” batch of chili

1 pound of lean ground beef

1 large yellow onion

½ container of fresh salsa (Pico)

2 cans dark red kidney beans

3 cans Rotel

I begin by heating avocado oil in cast iron skillet (medium heat) and add chopped onion. I use avocado oil because of its health benefits, and it has a lower smoke point than olive oil. Once onions are translucent, I add my lean ground beef (thawed or frozen). I season my ground beef with Mrs. Dash and chili powder. While my ground beef is cooking, I combine half the container of fresh salsa (I believe it is 16-ounce container) and 3 cans of Rotel in a large soup pot over lower medium heat. Next, I rinse the beans with cold water in a colander and add those to the soup pot. When the ground beef is completely browned, I drain any grease off, add it to my soup pot and stir mixture to combine. I bring the chili to a low simmer and let cook for 2-4 hours. You can add extra peppers or spices if you prefer more heat, but I always recommend tasting before adding more seasonings.

I do not consider myself a chef by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy cooking for family and friends. Since cooking brings me joy, this is part of my self-care plan. It is easy to “level up” self-care by finding healthier recipes and meal prepping. You will decrease your stress level and make mealtime during the week easier as well! There are several meal-plans and ideas to help you with shopping and prepping. Rachel Ray used to have a cooking show where she would prepare all meals for the week in an afternoon, building on each recipe, with the previous one, as the week progressed. Pinterest is a great resource to use to help build your weekly meals.

I have loved the feedback so far about my blog! Keep the comments and questions coming, as the interaction helps keep me on topic and ensures that I am giving you content that interests y’all! I thrive on the challenge of finding resources and answers/suggestions.

Last week, as part of my self-care plan, I had a massage scheduled. My favorite day of the week is always massage day! Massage day is only elevated when it falls on a Tuesday, which means tacos and tequila with friends. I am continuing my journaling practice to stay focused on my goals and looking for the positive moments, both big and small. I am enjoying the physical and mental challenges of my Pilates classes and honestly looking forward to pushing myself each week. On Friday, I met friends to enjoy live music at a local bar and it was amazing! Music touches me deep in my soul. There is just something very special about a talented vocalist sharing their gift with passion in their eyes. I was surprised on Saturday when my Grandma called to invite me to lunch. She was in the metro area with my cousin and aunt. I had not seen them in person for over a year! Seeing them made my heart happy and the connection with loved ones is an important part of my personal self-care routine. I crave true connection with those that care about me and me about them. To celebrate national margarita day, I met friends at a nearby Mexican restaurant to enjoy margaritas, cheese dip, fajitas, and more live music. When it comes to food, I believe in moderation. I enjoy food, usually the food that is not on the healthy side of the scale, so I try to balance it out increasing my vegetable intake on those days. The idea of depravation dieting does not work well for me personally.

I have some big projects planned for the next few weeks and can’t wait to share with you later. This blog is something very new for me and it is a fluid, forgiving process. I will be sharing a recipe monthly, as well as my self-care journey/routine and anything else that stands out to me or is requested on a weekly basis. I will be posting new blog entries on Tuesdays moving forward because Mondays tend to be crazy for me.

Enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather this week! I challenge you to begin one new self-care routine and let me know how it changes your week.

~ Lacey

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