Did you know May is considered National Meditation Month? I am disappointed I did not discover this sooner. I would have made a greater effort to celebrate it! In all truth though, it was a reminder that I should be taking more time to be still and let my thoughts run their course…I’m sure I am not alone here in thinking, “who has the time?!”
Let’s talk about meditation for a minute for those of us who when we hear the word “meditation” still picture a Buddhist monk up in the mountains somewhere sitting cross legged in front of a water fall chanting “aaaaaahhhhhhmmmmm” for hours at a time. Not that the description above isn’t also appropriate in a certain time and place, but not everyone has the ability to go find their inner voice in this manner.
Meditation is merely practicing mindfulness and awareness in effort to clear or calm one’s mind. In my own opinion I would add being still, present, and and allowing our thoughts to go wherever they please. It can be done with eyes open or closed, and is most effective in silence and solitude. This is meditation for me, I learned this method in college during my Mind and Body Wellness course in college (changed my life): I sit or lie down depending on my mood. I close my eyes and only concentrate on my breathing. I begin to repeat my mantra word in my head slowly and in the same rhythm. (I chose “new” as my word because that was the feeling I was seeking at the time. I still use it because it’s a habit and creates security for me.) I allow my thoughts to wander but continue to repeat my mantra word and return my focus to my breathing when it occurs to me. I do this until I physically feel weight lifted from me. This is not metaphorical folks. I literally feel a pressure flow out through the top of my head. This is my cue that I have reached the desired state of consciousness where I can feel complete peace. When I feel I am finished I begin moving my toes and fingers until I am in a place where I feel like I can open my eyes.
I am completely aware of how “far out” this sounds. But all I can say is it works and I always feel a state of happiness and peace like no other afterwards. You don’t HAVE to repeat the word, you can just focus on your breath if you’d like. Yoga has the same effect for me as well. Don’t just take my word for it though, meditation, or taking time to be quiet and aware has loads of physical and emotional benefits for your brain and body. Science guys, look it up! I encourage you to give it a try. You have nothing to lose, and no one will see you so it’s okay to feel silly.
I do not practice meditation like I used to, and this was a great reminder to make time for it again. Self care is essential and too often overlooked but you, yes you, deserve it. Cluttered minds make for chaotic lives. I’m positive it will make me a better mother and wife if I have a clear mind as I go about my life. Just like any new skill it takes practice to achieve this kind of peace. I have often received inspiration or answers to prayers while meditating. If you’re consistent, it WILL happen, and you will be like, “Hey, great idea Chelsea!”… you’re welcome:) Happy Meditation Month!
I liked it better cold. Is that weird? It had all those yummy Chinese food flavors minus the grease! It was a great side dish but next time I might put a hint less of ginger. My mouth was actually burning! Definitely a must try.
I was so proud of my sweet hubby! He picked this to make for Mother’s Day and it was delicious! We got instant brown rice so it would cook fast enough with the dish. Such an easy throw together meal.
I will no longer be adding the tag “GF” to any of the meals. Everything I make now must be gluten free so if the dish’s original recipe uses a gluten substance I will explain how and what I substitute to make it GF.
Below the dinners I hope you’ll be thrilled to see a Snacks & Sweets section. We usually have a dessert with Sunday dinners and I make a treat on Friday or Saturday. Some of the recipes in this section I already absolutely love, and some I have yet to try. Some are guilt free and some are reserved for cheat days, which tend to be Saturday and Sunday for me. Happy snacking!
*-Tried and true family favorite.
B4D-Breakfast for Dinner (There isn’t lot of time in the mornings and we love breakfast food so we eat it for dinner instead)
CP-Crockpot/Slow Cooker recipe
YoYo- You’re on your own. (Because I don’t believe that someone should have to cook every day of the week)
Not sold on meal planning yet? Check out my crash course guide and I’ll have you convinced!
*One Pot Southwest Chicken and Rice/ Side Salad
Gluten Free Healthy Banana Muffins / Spinach and Cheese Omelettes
*Hamburger Casserole / Peas
*Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup / Warm Tortillas
*Baked Chicken Parmesan / Buttered Garlic Noodles / Steamed Carrots
I just cook package of gf spaghetti and mix in butter, garlic, and basil to taste, sprinkle a bunch of Parmesan cheese, and serve the chicken over the noodles.
*Easy Weeknight Chicken Spaghetti/Fried Green Beans and Zucchini
I have finally found a quick homemade version of cream of mushroom and chicken soups! For the chicken, leave out the thyme and mushrooms. It’s a life saver!
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the following ingredients and microwave for 2 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency.
1 1/4 c milk 2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp thyme 4 oz mushrooms chopped fine
1/4 tsp garlic 1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
*Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Pork Chops / Roasted Broccoli/ Cottage Cheese
Chicken and Almond Stir Fry/ Brown Rice/ Roasted Brussel Sprouts
The next two dinners come from a church recipe collaboration from 2002. My mom bought me one assuming one day I would appreciate it. She was right.
3-4 raw chicken breasts 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 tbsp vinegar 1/3 c minced onion
1/2 tsp pepper 2-3 c chicken broth
1 tsp sugar(stevia) 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little water
1/2 tsp salt 1 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp sesame oil 1 bell pepper cut into strips
1/2 c toasted almonds 2 grated carrots
4 tbsp soy sauce
Mix vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, sugar, salt, and garlic. Cube chicken and marinate in mixture for 20 min then drain. Stir fry chicken in 1 tbsp oil until opaque. Set aside. Add 1-2 tbsp oil to skillet and add pepper, carrots, and onion. Stir till crisp but tender and add chicken broth. Stir in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in water chestnuts, chicken, and almonds and serve over rice.
All Day Meatballs / Creamy Parmesan Garlic Quinoa / Fried Zucchini
1 c milk 1 c ketchup
1/2 c water 1/3 c quick cooking oats
1 1/2 tsp salt 3 tbsp finely chopped onion
3 tbsp vinegar 2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 lb ground beef (or turkey)
In a bowl combine milk, oats, onion, and salt. Crumble beef over the mixture and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls and place in a slow cooker. In a bowl, combine ketchup, water, vinegar, and sugar; mix well. Pour over meatballs, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is no longer pink. Serves 6