A new recipe for a new year (Happy 2013!)

Superfood_oatmeal

It’s January 1, 2013. I’m convinced this is the start of a great year. Not that 2012 was horrible or anything. There were plenty of highs in the past year, but I’m hoping to improve upon things that went both right and wrong in the past trip around the sun, because we should always be improving, no?

And for those of you here just for the food, know that the pic you see above — my improvement on good ol’ oatmeal — is at the bottom of this post. You can go there now (I won’t be offended) or you can wade through my brief recollection of 2012 and scan my goals for 2013. It’s up to you.

Yes, all and all 2012 was a fantastic year from me, mainly because my year was pretty much made in the very first month. In January 2012, I accepted a new job in marketing for a non-newspaper. For the first time in my adult life I’d be working outside the news industry, which was both terrifying and exciting.

Terrifying because, well, I’d always wanted to work at a newspaper and that’s what I’d spend my teens and twenties aspiring to. But no one told me that soon after I left college the newspaper industry would start folding on itself and become a shadow of what it was back when I was dreaming of being a part of it. But, after nearly nine years working full-time in the business I’d always wanted to have been a part of and after surviving my fifth rounds of layoffs, I was through. I wanted to make the decision to leave before the decision was made for me. I loved my job (and still miss it) but having a child to raise can make a girl a bit less selfish in her actions and I decided to apply for a job at a firm where my best friend has been since graduating college. She’s literally the only person I know who truly loves her day job and never complains about it and I figured her recommendation was as good as gold.

And it has been. I’m less stressed, more appreciated and, most importantly, completely secure in the fact that my job’s not going anywhere. That, in itself has improvement my quality of life immensely. What’s also great is that I’m able to still freelance, which feeds my writing itch and I’m extremely grateful for being able to do that.

The rest of 2012? It was great, too. The kiddo has grown into quite the little boy, the hubby has been invited to speak at conferences and is being recognized as the total Web badass that he is. I got to do a few really fun ultras (though not as many as last year) and ate some really good food (too little of which ended up on this blog … but I’ll get to that). I also met some writing goals, that I haven’t really discussed in this space. That’s mainly because I really do intend for this to be an eater’s blog, though it’s often veered into running. Thus, I don’t really talk about it, but I do write outside of food and fitness and have, for the past several years, been dabbling in writing mysteries and thrillers. This type of writing I’ve typically kept to myself (even among my friends) because for some reason it’s a tad bit embarrassing to be paid for one kind of writing (news/features) while really enjoying another kind (fiction) and not totally being to the point where I have an agent or a book deal. But there you go.

Okay, now, so The Unprocessed Live’s requisite goals for 2013:

1. Let go of the sweet stuff. If you follow this blog, you know I am loathe to use any sort of refined sweetener. For me, it’s pretty much dates, honey, maple syrup and maybe the odd bit of agave nectar. I don’t use white sugar and I’ve been really good at avoiding white flour in the past year. That said, I’d still like to be better about my sweet tooth. I’m one of those people who has to have something sweet every day and though that usually consists of some sort of maple- or date-based dessert or some good-quality dark chocolate, I feel like I could do better. As in: Not have something sweet every day. Eat more vegetables than fruits in a day (I tend to be waaaaay heavy on the fruit). Not always have to have a sweet component to my salads (I usually end up adding raisins, cranberries or pomegranate seeds to my salads). So, yes, cut down on the natural sugar and keep avoiding the white stuff as well. We’ll see how well I keep up on this. Sweets are my kryptonite.

2. Meal planning. I’ve said it before and I’m saying again: I really need to be better about meal planning. The problem I’ve run into in the past year is that we literally have something every Monday through Thursday night, either as a family or separately. And because I know this (duh), I should be able to plan for it much better than I do. I’m resolving to make a large-batch dinner (or 2) on Sunday night for us to eat for lunches and on our busy Monday nights. Then, I’d like to plan a Tuesday night meal for the hubby to prepare while I’m running that will be enough for us also to eat it Wednesday or Thursday for lunch or dinner on those days. I think just planning these two meals per week will help greatly in keeping our stress down while still getting good food on our table.

3. Don’t give in to the little monster. You’ve seen my kid all over this blog drinking this smoothie or that juice. Truth be told, he has a fabulous diet. He really, really does. But, too often, we give in to letting him eat things we know he likes just so he’ll eat. Usually, that food is good (fruit, peas, beans), but lately he’s been constantly trying to convince us to feed him out of the pantry. He wants crackers, cereal, popcorn. Things that I don’t typically buy, but end up in our house anyway because my husband likes them, and he’s a grown man and I don’t harp on him for how he eats (and he eats most of what I post anyway). This year I resolve to break the kiddo of the pantry cycle, no matter what it’s full of, and get him to stop thinking of that as where to look first for food. Editor’s Note: My hubby would like you to know that he eats really well. And I’d like to point out that I’m not picking on him and that I’m not perfect AT ALL.

4. More writing (both here and elsewhere). I must admit, it took me a little while to get the hang of writing freelance on top of a normal 8 to 5 job. And now that I have it down to a science, I’d not only like to blog more here in my personal space (I always do paid stuff first … hence fewer posts here), I’d also like to seek out other freelance opportunities in addition to the ones I have through my former publication. I know there are opportunities out there, I just haven’t found them. Which is fine. It would just be nice to spread my wings a bit and make new contacts. As I alluded to earlier, I’m also aiming to get a good chunk of free time where I can work on my fiction, because someday I’d like that to be a real job, too:)

5. Keep track of the good things. Over on Facebook a few weeks back, I saw a post that suggested keeping a jar and some stickie notes handy and writing down things daily or weekly (or whenever) that were good over the course of the year. That way, you remember all the good things (large and small) and the date, rather than honing in on the bad things you can’t seem to shake. I think this sounds like a great idea for making a girl feel prosperous in the new year, even if nothing huge happens over the next 365 days.

Okay, and that’s it for my 2013 newbie post: Five goals. I wish I could’ve c
ome up with 13, but, honestly, I feel like it’s a tad bit more efficient (and less overwhelming) to sum everything up into five goals.

Now, without further ado, a great recipe to start the new year: Superfood Oatmeal! This hearty breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) combines grains with antioxidant heavy fruits (not too sweet … remember my first goal) with good fat. It’ll fill you up and get your day off to a good start. Combine it with green juice or a green smoothie for a super-charged meal!

Superfood Oatmeal
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup mixed superfruits: goji berries, mulberries, golden berries
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
2 drops (NOT dropperfuls) NuNaturals liquid stevia, regular or orange
Cook oats on the stovetop (or in the microwave, if that’s how you roll) with water. Add in the seeds, berries and stevia and enjoy! Serves 1.

 

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