Wednesday, February 24, 2010

getting dressed and eating soup

It's another rainy day in London, and I'm in my apartment until it lets up. I'm not much in the mood to think about nutrition and health, but I have been thinking about things that make my life better, and how every little thing works in a balance to make me a healthy and happy person.

I really don't like to get ready in the morning--especially on a day like today. I also don't like to catch myself in the mirror or come into contact with other humans when I don't get ready...or think about going places. This morning I was cooking and listening to the downpour and thinking ugh I will never go on another walk, and then I got dressed and ready and am now thinking that maybe getting my shoes wet wouldn't be so bad. And I'm also thinking about how certain less wonderful times in my life have been marked by the scrubs or hoodies I wore to class with a ratty ponytail. You know? When I'm doing things to help me feel good about myself, I treat myself better and enjoy life more, and vice versa.

So, my teeny tiny bit of encouragement for today is to get out of the rut if you're in it. Take time to care for yourself, then be proud that you're doing the best you can with what you have. For me, wearing clothes that I really like and spending a few minutes on my hair are easy things that make all of the difference (my warm winter clothes are few and boring, though, so I'm hoping to either mix that up or get some warmer weather soon). What do you do to keep yourself confident and feeling good?

Not related at all...I also encourage you to make some soup--so good in cold weather, and it can be really healthy and filling. I made this toscana soup yesterday (left out the sausage and used extra light cream...and oh the cream made it so much better, but maybe milk replacing some of the water would do the trick?). It was amazing. I made lentil soup for dinner tonight (from the incredible 101 Cookbooks blog), and the taste test was also positive. Both recipes use kale, which I discovered is really tasty in soup.

my take on Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup
2 cups black beluga lentils (or green French lentils), picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
3 cups of a big leafy green (chard, kale, etc), rinsed well, deveined, finely chopped

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the lentils, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and salt and saute until tender, a couple minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and water and continue cooking for a few more minutes, letting the soup come back up to a simmer. Stir in the chopped greens, and wait another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be.

*I seasoned with cumin and cayenne, and my lentils took more like 30 minutes to cook. Also, my lentils were neither of these varieties.

Enjoy soup-making, and do share any good soup recipes you have.

ps: here's a picture to go with an awful christina aguilara song that this post brought to mind. anybody know what it is?


Katie said...

Seriously. I feel so gross and blah on the days when I don't really put forth any effort to get ready and so pretty and nice on the days when I wear my favorite things and do my hair a little bit. Haha. I just remembered Brawny's champ shirt. I guess this is the same principle, but we probably shouldn't wear our champ shirt every single day. Haha. Thanks for the good post Marae.

alee said...

"You are beautiful..." I hate that I know that song! :)

Agreed. I get over my slumps more quickly on the days when I have to get dressed and go to work or something...especially if I wear some heels or sparkles or something! :)

Kathy Haynie said...

Marae, so true! And thank you for the yummy soup recipes - I try to make soup once or twice a week, and I've been in a bit of a soup-recipe-rut lately, speaking of ruts.

I guess that's one good thing about getting up and going to work every morning - I have to get dressed, and my students DO notice what I look like, so I try to be presentable.

I think it's really important to get outside, even if the weather is crummy. An inexpensive rain suit won't set the budget back much, but it can do wonders for getting out! Ok, it looks funny, but still...

Lisa Lou said...

I hate the mid-winter blahs. Those days I'd rather snuggle in my bed and watch a movie. But life goes on and there's work to do. So, I get up, shower, and pick out a cute outfit.

Syl said...

Thanks for the soup recipe! I love lentils.

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