The Great Life Revolution of 2014

Most people like to make a list of their New Year’s Resolutions around, well, New Year… or at the very latest mid-January if they forgot to do it earlier. By then it’s usually accompanied by the slightly paralytic feeling that they may have missed their “starting slot” and therefore their changes won’t be as effective or won’t even work at all. It’s a convenient excuse not to even try. I know it is, because I’ve been guilty of it myself year after year. Or if I remember to write my resolutions at all, the drive to follow through usually peters out by February… same old, same old. *yawn*

It is now the end of July 2014. As I mentioned before, I am in the process of implementing (or at least experimenting with) several major changes in my life. Are any of them similar to the items on the list I probably wrote (and forgot about) back in January? Sure. I know which things I want to improve on, although I’ve since discovered several more. Did I make a list and try to tackle them all at once? Of course not. But now that the changes are happening, perhaps I will make a list, if only to clarify things a little in my own mind. Here goes:

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How I Learnt to Love Running (And You Can Too!)

If you’d told me fifteen years ago that I would one day take up running as a hobby, I would probably have burst into tears and kicked you in the shin, horrified at the fact that you would even dare suggest such an abomination.

If you’d told me even two years ago, I would have given you a “that’s adorable” smile and then proceeded to tell you exactly why not in a rational, adult manner with rational, adult arguments.

Six months ago, I would have made some whingeing noise in the back of my throat and shifted from foot to foot, repeating a few of those same arguments (the ones that sounded so solid before, except they weren’t) while trying not to look you in the eye.

And then two and a half months ago, I did it.

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Weekly Recipe: Salmon Filets with Pecan Nut Crust

After the hearty Mexican-style bake of last week, it’s time we introduced a little healthy eating to this blog. I’ve been following the wise advice of a nutritionist since mid February of this year, learning to adapt certain recipes to suit a healthier eating regimen (I dislike the word “diet” in this context, as it is a permanent change I am making – although as with the Mexican dish, I sometimes veer from it a bit too). This week’s dish is a light and easy meal to prepare either for yourself and your family or when you have guests. Although the crust may get a bit soggy if you keep some for the next day, it’s still a tasty lunch to take to the office if you don’t mind the change in texture.

For this recipe, I decided to replace the original four spoonfulls of mayonnaise with one spoonfull of mayonnaise (for the taste and texture) and three spoonfulls of low-fat yoghurt (or fromage frais if you can get some). It is a great recipe if you’re trying to follow a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

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Weekly Recipe: Mexican-Style Chicken, Chorizo and Pepper Nacho Bake

Fact: Mexican food is a delicious thing (or a series of delicious things flung together, to be more accurate). Fajita (or enchilada, or burrito, or taco) kits are readily available in most supermarkets, with easy-to-follow instructions. It’s up to you to add whatever ingredients you like to make those stuffed tortilla wraps even more mouth-watering.

So why do people go to Mexican restaurants? Is it in the hopes of seeing something different on the menu? Or because it might taste better, despite our best efforts at home?

It’s time to gain a little confidence in your own cooking skills, ladies and gentlemen. With a few simple ingredients, it’s very easy to turn your favourite flavours into a dish so “you” that you’ll never feel the need to settle for a mediocre fast-food burrito ever again. The beauty of the country-inspired invention test is that you’re not bound by any rules. You can put exactly what you want into your concoction and no one can criticize you for it, or say it’s not authentic, because that particular dish didn’t exist before you made it and therefore you have full parental authority over it. All you have to do is label it “Mexican-Style”, as I have here, and you can get away with pretty much anything.

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3 Good Reasons to Eat In Tonight (Introducing the Weekly Recipe)

One aspect of this blog I’m keen to develop is a collection of Weekly Recipes.I love cooking and eating and all things food, and I want to share that passion with you. But first, I felt that my current frame of mind regarding the production and consumption of food needed some explaining. So here goes.

As part of the Great Life Revolution of 2014 (more on that here), hubby and I have decided to treat ourselves to some aggressive saving (“treat yourselves?” you might ask, to which I would reply “yes, because after all we’ll only end up richer in the long run”). Among other things, this means cutting down on eating out. Eating out is one of my favourite things (the same goes for my husband) and so this is one of the aspects of our new frugal living that I thought I’d have a hard time coping with. Actually, it’s not so bad, although both of us admitted the other day that we really crave sushi.

The reason why I haven’t yet thrown down the proverbial dishcloth and enforced an outing to the nearest dining establishment (whether it’s any good or not is often irrelevant on those kinds of I-can’t-be-bothered-to-cook outings) is that I have steadily come to the following conclusions about making food and eating out:

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Walk Your Thoughts

So today, I decided to walk my thoughts.

“Your what?” you ask in slight puzzlement.

My thoughts (… exactly!).

Why not? After all, people walk dogs and sometimes even cats (and if you have any tips on that, I’d love to hear them) all the time. Every pet reaches a stage in the day (usually several times a day) when they want some form of attention from you. A dog might whine and paw at you until you get off your bum and put on your shoes. I can’t speak for other cats, but my cat will choose one of the following options when trying to get my attention:

a) walk over my laptop, causing some minor technological meltdown,

b) bite the softest, most painful part of my body that’s close enough for him to reach without requiring too much effort

c) pulling down as many notebooks, papers, photographs and magazines as he can from the pile on the shelf next to my desk, with evident glee.

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