October 23, 2012

Insincere Expressions!

Have you ever been out shopping and bump into someone you have not seen in a long time and you are excited to see them but the expression on their face is insincere? They always say, “Let’s get together real soon” but never bother to set a date and time? Why do people do that? That is like when you are young and out on a date and the young man will walk you to the door and say “I’ll call you” and never does! Yuck! Why do some adults still behave like teenagers?

Some people will call and make plans with you and then cancel the last minute if they get a better invitation elsewhere. Friends don’t do that to friends. The best part is that they actually believe their excuse for canceling is believable to you!!!

Well, then they really are not friends are they? Some people only want your friendship for what you can do for them. Terrible isn’t it? To them, it is like having a “personal assistant” with what each friend has to offer. Sad that people use others like that.
It’s perfectly normal to express emotions. Just remember, when you do, be aware of how your facial expressions or your true feelings may make someone else feel. You need to be sincere with your smiles and your greetings. I wonder sometimes if some people were raised by ill mannered parents.

We all have made some mistakes, but you have to learn from them and keep moving. Even if you’ve been disappointed, transform that displeasure into determination and just keep your thoughts in a positive mode.
Things that normally drag you down won’t be able to keep up with your progress if you keep yourself in a positive mode and keep moving. It is foolish to think that someone can say something to you that you know is insincere…..some people are just bad liars! Why bother? Makes no sense to me at all! Their words don’t match the insincere smiles on their faces!

Action is a great way to overcome doubt. Put your energy into action and you won’t have the time for doubt. Making just a little progress is hugely better than making no progress at all, and all those small improvements will soon combine to form a major accomplishment.

Keep yourself in motion and you’ll get yourself to exactly where you want to go.  You need not to rely on insincere people, you can go it alone without any problems!  You just have to do what makes you happy.
Keep your true sincere smiles and your true sincere friends and life will be good!


October 13, 2012

Are you wasting food?

It seems like my grocery bills are higher and higher lately. With all of the family-size packaging, buy-one-get-one sales and better deals for bigger quantities, food shopping can be particularly challenging for those of us who live alone or with one other person often end up buying and cooking more than necessary. As a result, we either throw food away or get tired of eating leftovers for three days in a row.

I had to figure a way to manage my grocery purchases so I don’t buy more than I need. I found a dozen ways to downsize my food shopping—and stop wasting food.

I’ve learned to take the time each week to create a meal plan and jot down the ingredients for my recipes each week. When you’re cooking for one or even two, it’s helpful to think of smart ways to reuse key ingredients. For example, tonight’s grilled chicken dinner could easily become tomorrow night’s chicken salad. What’s more, having a menu plan will keep you from overbuying while you shop.  It really helps!

I found that cooking from scratch is a big savings, perhaps not a time saver but nonetheless helpful. Frozen, and prepared foods from the grocery store most always serve four people or more. So, if you’re a household of one or two, you end up paying for twice the food you need. You can easily scale down most recipes to serve one or two people (and shop accordingly). Plus, who wants all the preservatives and added salt in packaged foods.

Be careful with the coupons. We’re all about saving money on groceries, but coupons typically entice us to purchase more than we need—or, to purchase items we wouldn't normally buy. If you’re going to use coupons for food items, stick to pantry staples that won't go bad. I no longer buy something just because I have a store coupon these days. It just turned out to be a waste of money for me.

Larger package sizes are obviously a better deal. You’ll spend more per ounce or per unit by buying smaller quantities. However, consider the alternative: purchasing more than you need and throwing away food you tire of or don’t use. I look for half-quantities or smaller package sizes: You can choose six eggs instead of a dozen, half loaves of bread, half-gallons of milk, and pints of ice cream instead of gallons (probably a good idea anyway).

I no longer keep all of the above mentioned in my fridge anymore but thought it would be a good idea for those of you who still use those products. As a modified Vegan, we don’t eat dairy or meat, only fish occasionally. But, I have recently added a steak every two weeks to my diet, as my new doctor said I was not getting enough protein and vitamin B12 and the only natural way is from lean red meat. I thought I would be thrilled and anxious to have a steak again but after I had it, it was no big deal!!!!! LOL

I shop the bulk food section. Many larger grocery stores and most specialty stores have aisles stocked with bulk bins of items like grains, beans and nuts. The bulk food aisle is the single-shopper’s best friend, because you can scoop out and purchase only what you need.

In the produce aisle, I remove two bananas from a larger bunch, pull two tomatoes off the stem, or ask a grocery employee to split that large bag of grapes in half. Obviously, this is only advisable for items that are sold by the pound and not by the package.

I prepare my beans ahead of time and freeze. I buy a package of dry white navy beans or pinto beans is my favorite, and prepare the entire package. Beans store well in the freezer, and since they have to be soaked in water for the entire night before and the following day cook it slowly for about 2-3 hours, you’ll be ahead of the game next time you make soup or stir fry. I love my escarole and beans or rice and beans and who doesn't love pasta fazool?  I always have a pre-cooked container of beans in my freezer at all times for soups, etc.

Have you ever tried a scoop of leftover mashed potatoes in the middle of a bowl of soup?  Delish!  I always keep a soup starter in the freezer. If you only use a portion of a canned product like tomatoes or vegetables, or have leftover cooked veggies of any kind, use large freezer bags and store these in the freezer. Place the container in a handy spot in the freezer so you can easily pull it out and pour in any unused veggies or cooking liquid—just keep adding to it, and mix it all up! Use it within six months as a base for homemade vegetable soup.

And, of course, whenever I make my gravy and meatballs, (which is not that often these days) that huge pot simmering for hours makes many more dinners when I fill several containers and freeze them for another day when I’m craving pasta.

Shopping and cooking for one or two will always be a challenge, however, with a little creativity, you can stretch your dollars and still eat a variety of healthy foods each week.

Happy shopping and saving!

P.S.  Time for my Vegan lunch!