Friday, July 16, 2010

Coping and Cooking

I've had a lot going on health-wise lately. Issues that are not life-threatening, but miserable. Sometimes the tests to find out why I'm miserable make me feel temporarily even more miserable.

So I fool myself into thinking I'm calm. Sitting back on the clinic chair, finding a focal point, breathing slowly and steadily. Visualizing peaceful places, imagining quiet and calm sounds. When all else fails, it's time for my sense of humor to kick in, and I distract myself thinking, "This is going to be a blog post" and then start writing it in my head.

After the appointments are done, I realize that things really aren't all that bad. Really. But I get home and my body disagrees. Aching back from tension. Sore jaw; I must have been clenching my teeth at some time. Overnight? In the doc's office? I'd internalized the stress I thought I didn't feel and placed it firmly in a convenient joint.

To make matters worse - or better? - sometimes I don't want to cook, but there is no excuse. We have plenty of food in the fridge and in the pantry. Lots of planned-overs, lots of good vegetables from the farmers' market, and more. It's rather difficult to justify calling out for pizza on a typical summer day, appointments or no appointments. Nope. I'd have to be feeling much, much worse to rationalize pizza, wings, and cheesy bread sticks. Sniff. Sigh.

It was one of those nights. I was sore from being poked and prodded, achy jaw, sore lower back, and tired. Anemia? Stress exhaustion? Poor sleep? Who knew? But the family had to be fed, and I was the one with time and opportunity to prepare it. I reheated my coffee (half-caff, with an eye toward minimizing self-induced tension), tried not to clench my jaw any more, and took stock.

Planned overs:
-chorizo, cooked on the grill a day earlier.
-sweet corn, already cooked

Pantry staples:
-rice (Texmati this time)
-olive oil
-roasted red peppers

Farmers' Market bounty:
-green pepper
-fresh peas
-fresh spinach

Did you guess? Stir fry! Rice cooked with a teaspoon of seasoning and a half cup of peas added. Onion and Pepper sauteed in olive oil, red peppers diced and stirred in, then corn cut off the cob and added to the mix, chorizo sliced thin, a little water and then spinach on top of it all. Meanwhile, the rice was cooking with the peas in the middle.

Know what, readers? It's all good. Keeping a well-stocked pantry, and then supplementing it with planned overs and farmers' market produce presented a positive result. It was easy enough to create a decent meal that I would not, could not talk myself out of it. And in the end, I felt better. Better for eating decent food, better for not wasting money, better for not feeling sorry for myself.

Now that I'm feeling positive and productive, I think I deserve to go out for ice cream. Chuck? What do you think? A grasshopper, perhaps? Get the keys; I'm on my way.

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Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You deserve a grasshopper! And not having to cook. Cooking is one job I don't care for in the least. Hope you're feeling better soon.

7/16/2010 3:08 PM  
Blogger Royal Ranch said...

Sometimes doing the "normal" things is what best gets us back on track. Sounds delicious and nutritious, just what your body and family needed, and the grasshopper to boot! You're tough, but you're also in my thoughts!!!

7/17/2010 7:52 AM  

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