dinner anxiety fading. it's a wrap people.

so tonight was dinner planned night #3. wow. amazing as i went through my day today, i had little stress or anxiety over how the day was going to end. what a relief! AND - it was a stressful day - work wise. though i honestly would not have it any other way - as i constantly remind myself - i am blessed to be stressed!

i digress... tonight, i planned chicken wraps. monday nights are bowling nights for dh, so i like to try things i know he wouldn't care for. he leaves right about the time i get done with work, so it makes sense. the wraps were easy, simple, and healthy - all things considered. these wraps were quick, simple, and tasted down right delish. they were lacking a lil something, my mom and i decided next time, i would add some dried cranberries and a touch more seasonings... i paired mine with a spinach, pesto, olive wrap, but could also go with plain flour wraps.

CHICKEN WRAPS from "Delicious Suppers" (recipe serves 4)
  • 2/3 C plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • pepper
  • 10oz cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
  • 5 oz iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 3 oz cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 C black seedless grapes, halved
  • flour tortillas of your choice (or yummy flavored ones!)

Combine yogurt and mustard in a bowl and season to taste with pepper. Stir in the chicken and toss until coated. Put the lettuce, cukes, celery and grapes into another bowl and mix well. Fill tortillas, and wrap it up - and the best part? ENJOY!

I have to tell ya - i am really, really enjoying this journey. three days of stress free evenings thanks to have a plan and sticking to it. i am really looking forward to growing in this area of my life. i know it sounds really simple - but this? THIS is a huge change for me. a big shift in the right direction. i've had anxiety over grocery shopping for almost 5 years now. meaning, i pull into the parking lot, my heart starts racing, and i have to do an internal pep talk to make myself face my fear and go INTO the grocery store. you see, i'd get very anxious and uptight in the grocery store. people leaving their carts in the way? BIG issue for me. big shift in a BAD direction for me.

i'm not quite sure how that developed, but i am fairly certain it came up some time during the period when i "hit bottom" as i like to call it with grave's disease. i developed short term (temporary) memory loss. i had to write down everything. simple things, such as, go to gas station. check. get GAS. check. go to store. check. take list. check. shop for items on list. check. one thing i didn't realize would happen, was that while in the store, once i remembered why i was there and what i was to do, was that i'd soon forget where my car was parked. so developed this huge anxiety over grocery shopping... due to one trip. one experience, that somehow, changed me for good. right before i had surgery, i went to the store to stock up on all the things i knew we would need while i was recovering for 8 weeks. i had hit bottom, my resting heart rate was 150 bpm, i was no longer sleeping, i couldn't keep food in my system, and here i was, at the grocery store.i barely got what i needed, left, and the minute i stepped outside, i realized... i could not remember where i parked. could not even recollect for a minute which row i went down. which side the car was on. forget it. and i started racing. my heart was pounding. i was going up and down every aisle, and i must have looked very frantic, as some sweet older man stopped to ask me if i was okay. i began bawling.. sobbing. telling him my life story, as he took the keys out of my hand, hit the panic button on the key fob, pushed my cart and said "follow me. i hear your car." this scared the shit out of me, and for weeks after, i was petrified to leave the house alone. thankful for the kindness of strangers.

bet you didn't expect all that and a bag of chips. but this is how my mind works. i hate the grocery store. it causes me anxiety. i don't plan for the trip. i always, ALWAYS forget LOADS of things i need for meals. i never take a list. i never plan. therefore, dinner is chaotic for me. and a scramble. but this simple shift in the right direction? good things. good friggin things. and it is... that's right people say it with me.. it IS OK.



the meals.. so far...

the first night of meal planning was subs. i neglected to take pics. but they were quick, easy, and fabulous. wegman's deli rocks and they always have the best selection of meats and cheese. i picked up a half a pound of each - garlic & sage turkey, peppercorn turkey, & peppercorn ham. some awesome kaiser rolls fresh from the bakery - easy-peasy. done.

tonight was my night to try a new recipe. chili was fabulous. i used this recipe. not only was it easy? it was fabulous. i doubled it so i will have plenty of leftovers. i say I - because hubs did not like it and daughter did not either. oh well. more leftovers for me and a lesson taught to the girlie. if she does not eat what is served at dinner, she will not get anything else for the night. she will eat breakfast the following day. sounds harsh, but she will learn eventually. i refuse to cook many different meals. period. and that is ok. and it is me being MORE.

had to photo the chili ingredients, and then, after much drama about what was being served for dinner, i neglected to take a pic of the final outcome. you'll have to trust me.. it looked pretty and the cornbread was just like the real deal from the restuarant!

you must have things rolling around inside your head...

as said to me by my husband when i was caught photographing the meal i was about to prepare. he just doesn't get it. i explained to him, i was "of the norm" in blog-world. he still - just doesn't get it. i just laughed and told him to leave me alone. i was thinking of a good blog post.

so - the new year. phew. it finally came. the holidays were a bust and i am SO glad they are over. many things in my life were confirmed and hit me like a ton of bricks. i took a good look at all of it, and finally realized and learned - how i feel about things? it IS ok. period. nuff said. i am no longer going to live a life hoping others will include us and make us feel welcome. i am no longer going to put my time and family aside to accommodate others schedules. i'm over it. and it IS ok. big, major life lessons learned. finally. phew. new year. stronger values. stronger commitment to be a better me. i follow Ali's blog regularly and have participated in her "one little word" idea each year. this year? MORE. more about us. more time. more organization. more play. more love. more of what we love. more confidence. more motivation. more acceptance of the things i cannot change. just plain more. more blogging. more creativity. more me so i can give more to them. more. i welcome it.

along those lines and that being said...

one thing i've always struggled with is meal planning. most of you that follow me, know i work from home full time. fabulous as that might seem, i do not sit around and eat bon-bons all day long. i do not get to do laundry and housework during the day. i am a slave to my job every day. working from home, you have an inability to shut the work off. it becomes tough to draw the line. and the worst thing? i don't have time alone, after work, to drive home, blare the music, stop for a coffee, and decompress from my day. that precious time is exactly that - precious. i get done with work, i shut off the computer, and i'm on. i'm mom. i shut the office door, walk downstairs, and there they are. everyone. waiting for me to decide what to have for dinner. waiting for me to orchestrate the evening. dinner, playtime, bath, preparing for the next day, housework, laundry. it just all waits for me.

i've taken a step to alleviate this stress from my world. i am committed to planning dinner menus out. this way, there is never a question. there is no double duty in meal cooking - making something different for everyone. here's the menu. you don't like it? you will go hungry until breakfast. done. so far - so good! we are past day two. here's my approach:
  • keep it simple
  • try one new recipe per week
  • write down the meals
  • make a list for groceries needed
  • blog about it. (here's my accountability factor!)

here's the menu for the week. I will plan menus Saturday morning before heading to the store:

  • Sat Night - Subs and Chips with side of fruit (I opt for the good deli meat and buy 3-4 diff kinds to give everyone a choice)
  • Sun Night - Chili. Found my recipe for this on KraftFoods.
  • Mon Night - Grilled Chicken Wraps with a side of fresh fruit
  • Tue Night - Twice Baked Loaded Potatoes & Salad
  • Wed Night - Pasta & Salad
  • Thu Night - Pork Loin, Roasted Potatoes, Salad
  • Fri Night - Frozen Pizza & Salad

so that's what we've been up to. new year. more goodness.

keep checking back. i'm full of inspiration and ideas and might even tackle a project or two very soon.