Even with great reflection I cannot put my finger on when the darkness became normalized. I have been sitting in the dark, and enjoying the moments of light.
To say the past year has been challenging really doesn't totally capture it. I am trying to let go of the all consuming sadness and focus on hope for the future but it is a slow moving transition let me tell you, and some days are much better than others. I try to focus on the gratitude I have for the people, things, and privilege in my life. This is something I work at every day, and hope that in time it will become a more natural default. Kind of like when you learn how to drive a standard car and at first you are so aware of when and how you are shifting gears, but then one day it just becomes natural and you don't even realize it.
I had a couple of moments ths week with birds. Earlier in the week it was this eagle. I got about 20-25 feet away from this beauty and it was awesome!
I was filling up the hummingbird feeder this afternoon while it was snowing and had a visit from little back yard friend. I think this hummingbird is very happy we have been providing food over the winter.
Speaking of food.... It has been over a month since I reintroduced wheat and dairy back into my diet. I am still being very mindful of how much I am consuming, and still no pain. Yahoo! I would say this means I am doing a good job of reintroducing and not overdoing it. So I will keep it up:)
The food I missed the most while on my wheat free dairy restrictions was Mexican inspired food. I love tortillas and have found the rice ones just don't cut it! I got some tomato basil wraps form the store and we had burritos. I sauteed 1/2 of an onion and added a generous portion of cremini mushrooms, then added ground chicken. Once cooked through I added taco seasoning and some water.
I make a batch of taco seasoning and keep it in the pantry. I mix: 6 Tbsp chili powder, 4 tsp cumin, 3 tsp paprika, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper. I cannot remember where I found this recipe, but I am very happy with it & often make a double batch when we are eating Mexican inspired fare more often.
I laid out the ingredients including romaine lettuce, chopped tomato, grated aged white cheddar, cashew cream (which we happen to prefer over sour cream), guacamole, and salsa.
DIY burrito! I worked in the food service industry as a teen so I like to tease my sweetie who can't roll a wrap without everything falling out to save his life!
The other thing I really missed is quesadillas. I like these which are a spin on the smashed blackbean and yam quesadillas from the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. I steam chunks of yam & when cooked through mash them and mix in chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper. Then I spread it out with a fork on half of the tortilla wrap.
I add a layer of my black bean & corn salsa, which is equal parts blackbeans & corn, lime juice, cilantro, salt & pepper. I often add red onion as well if I have it on hand.
Then a light layer of cheese, just enough to help it stick to the tortilla.
Fold over the other half of the tortilla wrap and place in a hot frying pan. Keep your eye on it & when it has browned flip it over.
Cut into 3-4 segments and enjoy! We serve cashew cream, guacamole, and salsa on the side.
For the first couple of days of lunches I made quinoa bowls. I started with a layer of cooked quinoa. I cut up the yam at the same time I prepared the yam for the quesadillas, but instead of steaming them these were tossed in olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees until tender. I used the left over black bean & corn salsa, put a handful of tomatoes in my sweeties and a serving of pulled pork in barbecue sauce. I had cooked the pulled pork in the slow cooker during the day. The lime is to squeeze on just before eating, along with sliced avocado, green onion, and fresh cilantro which I put in a separate container. I will make this again for sure!
One of our plans for the new year is to get back to having a smoothie once a day. This week I made the same smoothie every day because it's pretty tasty! 2 handfuls of spinach, half a handful of cilantro, half a frozen banana, 8 chunks of frozen pineapple, 1 carrot, a chunk of fresh ginger, a splash of pineapple juice or mango juice, some orange juice, and a little water. I often make my lunches and smoothies the night before because getting out the door in the morning is always a struggle when you are not a morning person.
Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. ~Martin Luther King Jr