Food Prep 101

The other day I posted some pictures on My One Fit Life’s private fb accountability group with food prep going down in my kitchen20180107_140811

A friend commented, Oh, I need a lesson in food prep, so here it is, Robin! Your lesson.

First thing you should know: I’m a lazy cook.  What does that mean? A couple of things actually.

1) It means if the recipe starts anything like this: In your food processor ~ I ‘may’ look at it to determine whether or not my blender will do the job. If not, poof. It’s gone. I don’t have a food processor, nor do I want one. Two other kitchen items, one an InstaPot. Just say no. I’m sure most think that’s heretical, but, I can’t fathom the need.  Crockpot. Yes, I have one, no I don’t use it.

2) If the recipe has more than 5 ingredients, it’s typically POOF also.  Sure, some of my personal ones do go above five, but when determining a new recipe, naa, like I said: Lazy Cook.  Also, if by the time I’m done reading the instructions, and my eyes have glazed over, it’s gone.

As a homeschool mom of six, dinner making time was at a premium.  There was a time when I actually did once a month cooking, but it got boring, and old.  I also found that we tossed food, as the choices where limited.
Long before ‘food prep’ became an in thing, I did it. This is how it went down:
Day 1 – meal planning, and list.
Day 2 – shop.
Day 3 – this is the ‘fun’ day.  Cook.  I would cook ALL my ground beef, and then portion it out into zip-loc bags. I’d only season it as far as garlic/onion/salt and pepper, because any of those bags could turn into chili, goulash, lasagna, spaghetti, etc. I’d pre-cook various noodles. Just ‘most’ of the way, and freeze them also. Boil and bone chickens for different meals, too – Chicken Divan, chicken and dumplings, chicken salad, etc. We would lay all the zip-loc bags flat to optimize our freezer space, as we didn’t have a deep freeze, either.

Fast forward to my ‘food prep’ of today. My family dynamic has completely changed, as I no longer have six children at home, and I’m a widow, therefore, I cook for myself. That doesn’t change the importance of pre-planning, or pre-cooking. I still: 20180107_153710
Day 1 – meal planning, and list
Day 2 – shop. Though, now, day two includes cooking.
It took me two hours to prepare:
Roasted beets; roasted brussel sprouts; bbq sauce; orange chicken; roasted sweet potatoes and creamy avocado dressing.

When you are roasting your veggies, add whatever seasoning you like.  My sweets have onion, garlic, fennel, salt and pepper on them. Brussels have onion, salt, pepper and some balsamic vinaigrette.  Season to your taste buds.

Make your recipes as simple as possible. Instead of making four gallons of chili sauce, make four gallons (hyperbole) of tomato sauce flavored with the basics. That way it can turn into anything that requires a red sauce. I mean, what if you have all that chili sauce and you decide to make manicotti? You’d have to make more sauce!

Personally, for me, the trick is, don’t over think it.  Timing is everything. Think about your oven, and the time needed for each food.  For instance, I made the bbq sauce first, as I wanted my chicken in the oven.  When it went in, I prepared my beets, wrapped them up, and in the oven they went along side the chicken. Next, I got the brussel sprouts ready. Tossed them around in my cast-iron frying pan, and placed them in my toaster oven.  I could have easily added the roasting (cookie sheet) pan to the bottom rack of my oven. I then chopped up my sweet potatoes, and 20180107_161817WITHOUT CLEANING OUT THE FRYING PAN, I cooked them a bit.  Don’t freak out about the ‘not cleaning the pan’ part. To me, this is half the battle. Re-use your stuff!  You don’t need to wash you pan, your knife, your bowl, your blender, etc. If necessary, rinse it out.  (For instance, if you goof and make your avocado spread before putting together your protein pancakes in your blender, then, yea, rinse it out. Your pancakes could taste funny).
While the chicken and the beets were finishing, I cleaned up the amazing mess that was now my kitchen.  Chicken and beets came out; sweet potatoes went in.

Everything is now sitting nicely in my refrigerator waiting to be eaten as I see fit.

To re-cap: Plan and shop. Chop your onions and garlic for everything first. Make a plan of attack. i.e., what has to be done first. Cook your meats all at once, and freeze separately.  Don’t wash everything in-between, wipe out and keep going. Make a mess. Drink a glass of wine. Dance to your favorite beat. Do dishes ONCE.  Be a lazy cook.

Blessings,

Growing in Grace,
Laura Grayce
graycewritingservices@gmail.com

 

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Three Face Lines ~ A Primer

confused-womanBy now, you’ve heard the news, Beautycounter launched a third set of an incredible, plant-based regimen for your face. You are also probably wondering, ‘which one should I choose’? Today’s post should answer your questions, so, let’s go!

The Nourishing Collection is a fantastic place to start with Beautycounter. NourishingThe creamy formulas of the cleanser and exfoliator work well with normal, and normal/dry skin types. Good for you, your teens, whatever your age.  A terrific choice.  Formulated with organic coconut oil, and helps to remove impurities, softens and moisturizes your face.

 

countermatch

Countermatch – the new kid on the block. This line addresses dullness, skin texture and is formulated to adjust the necessary hydration level that impacts your specific skin. Any skin type responds well; normal, dry, combo, oily and sensitive skin. Countermatch provides hydration, nutrition and oxygen for vibrant, smooth skin. This does not have a specific cleanser, either the Nourishing Cleanser, or the Countertime works well.  That’s up to your personal choice.

countertime

The Countertime Rejuvinating Collection is designed to address the issues of fine lines, wrinkles and aging.  Works well with all skin types. The Jambu extract on which this formulation is build responds to aging stressors and rejuvenates the skin.

 

There you have it. The differences in the three face lines that we have available to you.  If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m here to help!

Growing in Grace, taking every day step by step,

Laura G.
lgbeck59@gmail.com

Beautycounter by Laura-Grayce

 

 

I am NOT an ‘Other’

I received a packet of information the other day from a new physician’s office.  You know the ones, tell us when you stubbed your toe last, (well, for me, seconds before I opened the packet ~ true story), when was your last ~fill in the blank~.

I’m merrily filling it out, and I see this: “single” “married” “other”. YNot An Otheres, I was filling the form out in purple, but, as you can see, I changed to red, crossed out ‘other’ and wrote in widow.

I am NOT an other.

I AM ~ A Widow.

I AM. Part of a group of women that is close to 245 million worldwide, and at least 13.6 million in the U.S.

I AM ~  A warrior.  In a blink of an eye, I went from safe, protected, with provision; to unsafe, unprotected; with no provision. I rose from the ashes, straightened my crown, and learned how to walk with confidence.

I AM ~ Brave. I took back areas that were stolen from me. I took back my health and my life. I challenged myself to do things I’ve never done or thought about. I learned I could do anything. I’ve hiked more steps, kayaked more waters, and pushed so far out of my comfort zone then I ever thought possible. Everything I do today is ‘out of my comfort zone’, but I do it. As a widow, you learn that ‘yes, you can’. Because you have to.

I AM ~ A Young Widow. The average age of a widow is 55.  I was 53 when I became a widow. I am not old, I am not ‘beyond my prime’, I am strong, I am confident, I am enough. I have linked arm in arm with other widows, broken down the stereotypical ‘view’ of what a widow should look like.

I AM ~ NOT AN OTHER. 

~ Blessings
Taking each day, step by step with Grayce,
Laura Grayce

 

The Bracelet Story

Recently I had the privilege of spending time with a lovely group of ladies I’d not met before.  One of them noticed my bracelet, and commented on it, and asked if there was a story behind it.  I said, yes, and told them the story.  This morning, I woke up and decided to tell The Bracelet Story.

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I’m a widow.  If this is the first time reading, then, there you have it.  I am a widow.  I joined the worst club in the world about 3.5 years ago.  I don’t tell you that for you to feel sorry for me, or to ask questions, I tell you that for a bit of a back story, and to help you understand that the bracelet isn’t about that part of my story.

I had met him at church in the spring of 2016, – pause – actually, I first saw him in October of 2105 it was a ‘huh’ moment,,, – hit play; and we talked every Sunday, or mostly every Sunday, sometimes one of us wasn’t there,  about darn near everything.  I mean. everything.  We laughed, we joked, we became ‘church friends’. I prayed.  I prayed some more. I may have prayed again.

In the fall of 2016, we became more than church friends.  I took a chance, and stepped about as far out of my comfort zone as possible, and went out with him. He was right – it seemed.  His jam was my jam.  Music. Movies. Stuff.

It was amazing, it was fun, it was exciting, it was crazy, it was confusing, confounding, intense, dreamy, head spinning, heart pounding, TEARS FLOWING, plain ol’ nuts.  Sweep me off my feet, type of all of the above. bracelet_story

(Here’s my gift to you – don’t let anyone tell you that dating as an adult is an easy walk.  IT. IS. NOT.)

We laughed together, we joked together, we were honest with each other, we – well. I’m sure by now you get the picture.  He met my #6, and they really clicked.  YEA!! ONE DOWN, FIVE TO GO!

And then. It crashed.  Hard.  Subsequently, I crashed. Harder. The month after the crash was, from my vantage point, harder than the death of my husband.

As I pondered the affect the crash of 2017 had on me, I realized that in my life, two songs represented my feelings.  One is Thy Will Be Done.  While I may NEVER understand, how my broken heart is a part of HIS plan, my step is ‘thy will be done’.  What the Lord has for me, WILL NOT pass by me, as HIS promises are all ‘yes and amen’.

I met a young lady at our local farmer’s market, and she crafted my bracelet for me.  Because, you see, according to Phil. 4:6-7, I am to be anxious for nothing, but IN EVERYTHING with fear and supplication, I am to let my request be made known to God, and the PEACE OF GOD will guard my HEART and mind in Christ Jesus.  Why?  Because at the end of the day, as the three little birds pitch by my doorstep, I’m reminded that every little thing is gonna be alright.

There you have it.  My story isn’t over.  I wake up every morning and am reminded that step by step The Lord leads me.  Your story isn’t over either.

Take every day,
Step by Step

Growing in Grace,
Laura G.

Save

Save

Complete.

What do you think when you read that word?  Complete.  You finished something, checked everything off your list, closed the book on the last page of the last chapter.
The dictionary definition reads:
Complete:
adjective
1. having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full:
a complete set of Mark Twain’s writings.

~~~ SCREECH! Wait?  What?!?  That sounds so final.  While, on the one hand, I agree.  When you complete something, it’s done, yet on the other,,,,
When Christ hmissioncompleteung and died on the Cross, it was done.  He even said so – It is Finished.  Or, was it?  No.  On the third day, He arose from the Grave.  Without His resurrection, Christ’s work on the cross was not complete.  There was more to be done.
That brings me to the heart of the matter.  You may or may not be aware, but, in November of 2015, I was gifted Scuba Diving lessons from Live The List Non-Profit.

The folks at Aqua-Hut were amazing.  They understood why I was there, gave fantastic instructions, encouraged me, and knew I could do it.

But.  Mid-spring came and I began to feel like going was not in my wheel house.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the water, I loved what being under the water brought to my soul, my body and my mind. However, I was feeling this isn’t ‘for’ me.  For several months, I felt guilty about not going.  This wasn’t my money.  This was from donations; therefore, I knew I had to ‘complete’ my classes and get certified.

Summer? was a blur.  Busy doesn’t define it for me, I kept saying, I’ll go back ‘tomorrow’.  We all know tomorrow never comes – unless, of course, you are Scarlett O’Hara.

Fall came.  My life was changing, my desires were changing, my ‘list’ was changing. My ‘list’ became hiking, kayaking, backpacking, climbing a mountain.  That, my friends, is not scuba diving!

BUT.  The story isn’t over.  The lessons I did take, the things I did learn, were not so much about scuba, but, about me.  My lessons were complete.  At least, those lessons.  Did I complete my certification? No.  Yet, I’m okay with that.  I did complete that chapter.  My book isn’t done being written yet, but, Scuba completed what I needed.  I grew and stretched in personal, emotional, and spiritual ways I didn’t even know possible. My fire, once smoldering, has been re-kindled.

Maybe you are not sure what sparks you, I’d encourage you to go find out!  I’d also encourage you to not be disappointed in yourself if ‘complete’ looks different than the dictionary definition.

If you ask me, did you ‘complete’ your scuba? My answer will be most assuredly, YES!

Thanks for following along, I’d love your feedback!
Growing in Grace,
Laura G.

Cancer.

That one word brings everyone to pause. If you are reading this blog today, I would almost bet that you marked off in your head people that you directly know, friends, family members, co-workers that have, or are walking down this path. If not personally, then I’m sure you know someone whose life has been touched by cancer. As I type this, I can personally click off friends, family members, family members of friends, co-workers, truly, the list of people whose lives are touched is far too long.
Facts:

As many of you know, I am a consultant with Beautycounter, a skin care company whose social mission is to see the laws change in the U.S. when it comes to the toxins that are allowed in your shampoo, shaving cream, bubble bath, cosmetics, you name it. Eleven is the number of toxins banned from your products. At Beautycounter, we ban 1500.  neverpictureWe lovingly refer to a small portion of those 1500 as our ‘never list’.  Our ingredient screening process is like no other, and I would encourage you to read more about it using this link:
Ingredient process

With all of that being said, for the month of July, as a company, and as an individual, I’m asking you to stand with us to fight back.  We have partnered with Stand Up to Cancer.  Beautycounter is matching donations up to $50,000 to work towards breakthrough in innovative research and new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now.

For the month of July, I will be giving back a portion of my income to this
monstand3umental effort.  Will you stand with us?  There are two ways you can help.
By shopping at my link,  (Beautycounter.com/laurabeck) not only will you get safer products with safer ingredients, you’ll be helping the mission.

You can also use my direct fund raising link – SU2C ~ Laura Beck

There is no purchase too small that you can make, nor any donation amount ‘not enough’.  Every dollar helps, and again, matching funds up to $50,000.

I appreciate you so much!
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have about our mission to get toxins OUT of personal care products.
Growing in Grace,
Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com

 

The Who and What of Standing Courageous, INC

In light of the recent, disturbing news concerning the (non) sentence of a rapist, I feel compelled to share this blog from Standing Courageous.
NO ONE deserves to be treated like an animal. NOT ONE PERSON has done anything to be violated in any way.
These crimes are going unpunished. You CAN do something about it. Get involved with your local women’s shelters, churches, find someway to work to change these laws.
Please read the following blog, and visit their web site. What can you do?

A Mess to a Message

I started Standing Courageous on October 1st, 2015. I was raised by parents who taught me that if you don’t like something, you always have the option to change it. What is happening in our County with interpersonal violence is out of control. I know from personal experience how much damage domestic violence can do to a person, their family and friends, and their coworkers. I decided I needed to help others not go down the very dark path I walked.
On December 3rd 2015, Standing Courageous held its first board meeting. I stood in front of an amazing group of people who joined me in this journey. The purpose of our organization is to train all those who work with victims of domestic violence to be better educated and aware of all aspects of domestic violence. We educate people on how the malignant narcissist and the web of control…

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