Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Initiatives

I said the other day that I would write out some resolutions. But I prefer to call them initiatives. Why? Mainly because everyone calls them resolutions and I hate to be average. Also because the word "resolutions" makes me think of the usual stuff like lose weight and de-clutter, which usually lasts about a week and then are forgotten. I don't need to lose weight and I de-clutter all the time (it seems to be a never-ending process). But also because the word "initiative" just sounds important and somewhat inflexible and, most of all, self-driven.

So. The 2010 Initiatives

1. And this is the biggest: Go vegetarian until February 14. At least until then. I came up with that date because, for as long as I can remember, my mom has gotten rid of sugary-snacks on January 1. Why? To lose weight. I don't know how she actually did with that...I guess we should ask her. But she has always said "On January 1 we are all going on diets and there will be no more cookies and fudge and candy and all that around."
So I've been around "THE BIG ANNUAL FOOD CHANGE" a lot. And I do it myself still. I continue that tradition by purging the house of sugar on January 1. This year I figured if I was going to be doing that, I might as well give vegetarianism a go too.
I started thinking about it in early December. My yogabuddy Liz is a veggie and we love to cook together. We've played with our food, and I've enjoyed working on new vegetarian entrees that would pass muster with my guys. So I figured why not do it full-time for 6 weeks?
In a nutshell, I'm not going vegetarian because of the animals. Yes, I do feel badly about them and how we do terrible things to them in the name of mass food production. But I still see the value of meat...and firmly believe that God intended us to be omnivores. No, I'm going vegetarian to flex my culinary muscles. Can I keep it up even when there don't seem to a lot of quick choices in the house? Some days when I'm tired I like to just zap a pound of burger, boil up a pot of macaroni and toss it all together with some tomatoes. We'll see. (by the way, when I was thinking about doing this, I asked Mensa Boy if he wanted to think about it too. "No." He said. Didn't even pause)

2. No refined sugar until Valentine's Day. That goes back to #1, I know. But it's a little harder. Rather than just stopping with all sugar until V-Day, I've decided just to forgo REFINED sugar. This will also flex my cooking brain. I will have sweet, but it has to be sweetened with honey, molasses, fruit, agave or what have you. Only natural sweeteners. Tricky, huh? I think that will allow me to make it all the way until V-Day. I never have before. I've gotten close...

3. Waste Not. This is also about food. And water. I end up throwing away eggplants that I bought and forgot. Or half a head of cabbage or leftover meatloaf. It's ridiculous. And water...that's just crazy. I think we run about 3 gallons of water in the kitchen before it gets hot. And I think that's a pretty conservative estimate.
So my plan is to take a look in those crisper drawers every morning. Scope out the contents. Noodle around with that during the day, and then cook from there at night. ALSO...I'm doing a pantry purge right now. I found 4 half-empty bags of various kinds of beans in there. They will all get eaten. Four kinds of rice? To be eaten.
The water situation. The only thing I can think there is to actually run water into the teakettle and bring it to a boil on top of the stove to add to the dishwater. But then I'm using gas on the stove instead of gas in the water heater. My main plan is to get an under-sink point-of-service water heater before the year is out. (note to self: mention this to MB. I think I've forgotten to do that)

4. Yoga every single day. No time limit. Could be 5 minutes, could be two hours. Could be by myself, could be in a class. Could be any kind of yoga. I never understand when people say they don't have time to do yoga. 5 minutes? That's brushing my teeth twice! Gimme a break!

5. Back to the camera. I wish I could say I'll take at least one picture a day. But then I end up at 8:15 p.m. thinking "I need to shoot something, quick!" That's not real. But I will try to photograph more. Kind of a lame statement, I know.

I just realized this embodies all my hobbies and in every one I say I'm going to do more. More cooking, more yoga, more photography. More fun!

That's all. There might be more but I can't remember them right now. I don't think there are more. If so, I'll post again.

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