Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Look Back, A Look Ahead, and An Easy Lentil Soup Recipe

2012 was a mixed year. There was certainly lots to be thankful for, but it was also a year that proved to be stressful and unsettling. In the end, I had to remember that every challenge, every life test, ultimately makes us the people who we are.

Looking ahead, I don’t want to set lofty New Year’s goals. Instead, I want to renew my commitment to making healthy choices every single day. This includes some form of daily exercise as well as lots of fresh, unprocessed plant foods. And, of course, it also means the occasional treat.

While my exercise level certainly decreased a lot while I was going through a difficult time in my life, I did manage to stick to several long walks per week. These walks did so much for body and mind. They were my me time, helped me think, breathe, calm down, and provided some much needed physical activity.

Over the past few weeks, I heard and read a lot about the Fitbit Zip, and I decided to give it a shot and ordered it today. Tracking activity and, hopefully, finding some new motivation sounds like a good idea to me. I’ll also continue to lift weights (I’ll have to increase the weight and challenge myself a bit more) as well as take barre classes, which do wonders for my back.

As far as food goes, my plan is to plan more while working within a tighter food budget without sacrificing quality. I hope to blog about some new, healthy, and thrifty meals.

To make life easier, I also plan on using my slow cooker more. The other day, I threw together a very simple lentil soup. The soup turned out very thick and was more like a stew, but we enjoyed it a lot.

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup/Stew

  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
  • Stir.
  • Cook on high for about 4 hours.
  • Enjoy!

We spent the past few weeks with my parents. I am beyond grateful that they are both well enough to make the long journey to visit us. We spent a few days at the beach, went to the Farmers’ Market, went on walks, talked and laughed a lot. Here are a few pictures.

Wishing you a Happy & Healthy 2013!

Be well,