Happy meal planning everyone! This week I am making my favorite chicken enchiladas recipes. The recipe calls for 2 cans of cream of chemical soup cough I mean cream of chicken soup. If you have time and are feeling inspired here is a great homemade cream of chicken soup recipe that’s quick and easy.
However, if you are scrapped for time or just feeling lazy here’s another option:
I recently discovered this product at the Fresh Market and decided to give it a try. I’m hooked!
- Chicken Broth Concentrate (Water, Chicken*, Rosemary Extract*)*
- Crème Fraîche (Cultured Cream* [Milk])*
- Cooked Chicken*
- Rice Starch*
- Rice Flour*
- Sea Salt
- Chicken Fat*
- Garlic Powder*
- Onion Powder*
Look at that ingredients list! Ahhh that makes me happy 🙂
Have you used Pacific soups in your recipes before? What do you think of them?
I have always been tall & slender. I take after my Dad’s side in that way. We come from strong German stock with fast metabolisms. As a kid, I was always gangly thin up until I’d say my early 20’s when I started to fill out a little bit. However, at 31 years old I’m still tall & thin at 5’8″ and 120lbs (Yes, I just told you how much I weigh).
That being said, I have been harassed and hounded about my weight many times throughout my life. Inappropriate questions come flying at me all the time: how much do I weigh, do I have an eating disorder, how much do I eat, what am I eating, do I exercise, do I exercise too much, am I depressed (because apparently being too thin equates depression?) – all of which you would not dare ask anyone much less someone who is overweight because it’s offensive and would hurt their feelings and is down right nobody’s business. Yet, because I am thin and don’t have to work hard at being thin, there has to be something wrong with me and since I am apparently the size many people who are overweight strive for I should somehow be okay with having people ask me intimate, personal questions about my body. We all seem to focus on the insensitivity of calling overweight people fat, but the flip side happens as well and is just as hurtful and painful.
When I was pregnant with my daughter I gained exactly the recommended amount of weight and at every doctor’s visit my belly measured exactly the size it should. However, I was constantly told how small I look and how tiny my belly was and oh my gosh have you gained any weight!? One of my mom’s friends had the audacity to ask me how much weight I had gained and if I was eating enough. She also asked me, at 7 months pregnant, if I was seeing a qualified OB-GYN – like somehow because I was “small” that meant I wasn’t seeking out proper prenatal care. Yeah, folks. Pretty terrible. Are you annoyed yet?
Then why is this awful trend starting with my 18 month old daughter? I can’t tell you how many people make comments about how “small” she is and how “tiny” she is and what size clothing is she in now and does she eat a lot? Just like with my own body and my pregnancy, Amelia’s growth stats are right on par with her age. She is 18 months old and wears 18 month sized clothes. Her weight and head circumference is average and her length is above average. Yet many people swear she’s small for her age. I’d like to point out that her growth stats are no one’s business but ours, but for the sake of my argument I’m divulging this information.
First of all, the size you are is not a topic that should be commented on unless asked and is quite frankly no one else’s business but your own. Secondly, our society has got to stop being so obsessed with the “perfect” body. There is no perfect body. Every body is different and beautiful. We should celebrate that instead of striving for the Victoria’s Secret body (which is beautiful in it’s own right, but it’s not the only beautiful body type).
And finally, let’s take a moment and talk about our food culture in this country. I have been blessed with a tall, thin frame and a fast metabolism, but I also don’t eat garbage. I have chosen to live in a city that prides itself on being a part of the slow food and buy local movement. Asheville, NC is littered with health food stores and non-chain restaurants. If you want fast food or Applebee’s you have to look for it because it’s not in your face here. I don’t eat fast food and neither does my daughter not because I have to avoid it but because we just don’t like it. We eat fresh fruit & vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and the like. A wise friend of mine once said “you are what you eat and you crave what you eat” which couldn’t be a truer statement. Since we don’t eat fast food we don’t crave it. I literally crave salads all the time. I crave water and not soda. I crave healthy foods because that’s what I feed my body. My daughter eats a wide range of foods. She eats kale and brussel sprouts and quinoa and spinach. Of course, she loves some mac n cheese, but that’s a dish we eat sparingly.
I understand that much of the country is not like the town I live in. That fast food restaurants are the norm, processed foods are staples, fruit & veggies are canned, and soda is consumed like it’s water. This is why we have an overweight society and it’s quite frankly heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking that kids start their lives off eating this way. It’s heartbreaking that some adults just don’t know any better when it comes to food and nutrition because they haven’t been exposed to anything else. Food deserts are awful and criminal. For those of you unfamiliar with that term, the USDA defines a food desert “as a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store.” In urban areas “low access” is defined as 1+ miles from a grocery store and for rural areas it’s 10+ miles. We should all be appalled that such a thing exists in this country, the land of plenty.
Here is a map of food deserts in the US. You see the green boxes? Those are food deserts. Yeah. The country is littered with them. Soak this in. It feels icky doesn’t it?
Such a food culture breeds health problems and obesity. We are all extremely weight conscious, which has it’s pros and cons, and for my daughter and I we are picked a part because we are not an unhealthy weight which is unfortunately not the norm. Let’s be blunt and honest, we are an obese country and it’s terrible.
Every size is beautiful so long as the inside is healthy and nourished. We must change the food culture in this country. It’s killing us. Literally. I feel grateful to be in a position and place where I can give my daughter a positive and healthy food start in life. I wish this were the case for everyone. Unfortunately, it’s not.
So I was shopping in Target the other day and saw that they have already put out their Halloween onesies and t-shirts for kids. Holy shit! I can’t believe it’s happening already! I cannot wait to take Amelia trick-or-treating this year! Last year she was only 8 months old so it was more for us than her. This year she’s going to have so much fun! I have a feeling she’s going to be Mickey Mouse this year. She’s in love with Mickey. It’s the most adorable thing ever. Everything she does is the most adorable thing ever 😉
I’m in the mood for comfort food this week so that’s what we are doing.
Recently, a close family member was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer which has spread to the brain and lymph nodes. It’s been shocking and sudden. One day everything is normal and then the next you find out nothing will ever be the same.
I used to smoke cigarettes. Yep. I started when I was 15. By my 18th birthday I was smoking nearly a pack a day. Once I reached my 20’s I started feeling like I didn’t want to smoke anymore, but by that time I was so addicted it was difficult to just stop. It wasn’t until shortly after my 24th birthday, after many failed attempts, that I was able to successfully quit. I came down with the H1N1 virus. Remember that craziness? I saw that as my chance. I didn’t want to smoke because I felt so terrible. It takes 72 hours for you to get over the physical addiction. By the time I was over the swine flu, it had been more than 72 hours since my last cigarette. I knew that at that point it was all mental.
I created a reward system to help me stay focused. For the first month, I rewarded myself every week for not smoking. A nice dinner out, a pair of shoes, expensive chocolate, things like that. After the first month, I rewarded myself every month. I found I looked forward to my little rewards that I planned ahead. I also replaced smoking with exercise which was a reward in itself. To run a mile and not hack up a lung felt amazing. I love to sing and I found my voice started to get clearer and my breath control improved. After the first year, I felt pretty confident and no longer needed the rewards.
It’s been 7 years since I quit smoking and I have cheated maybe a handful of times (usually alcohol has been involved), but I have happily remained a non-smoker. I am grateful that I quit. Smokers are slaves to smoking. You plan your day around your cigarette breaks. There’s a stigma you live with every day. You are judged as a smoker. Yes. You are. It sucks but it’s reality. I was constantly paranoid that I smelled – which I’m sure I did. I was also constantly aware of the damage I was doing to my body starting at such a young age. Once I quit, I was free of all that anxiety. I found I had all this free time and money. I planned my day around activities and not when my next cigarette break would be. Food tasted better. Wine tasted better. Everything smelled better. My skin looked better. That awful yellowing around my ring and pointer fingers from holding a cigarette started disappearing. Yeah, that shit happens and it’s unattractive.
If you are trying to quit smoking but can’t seem to be successful, know that every day it gets easier and easier. Every day you’ll experience something positive and new as a direct result of quitting smoking. There is support out there. Reach out. It helps. Figure out what will work for you. If the rewards option doesn’t seem appealing then do something else. You’ll be glad you did. I have never met an ex-smoker who regretted quitting smoking.
Have you quit smoking? I’d love to hear your quitting story. Let’s share so those who are struggling to let go of nicotine can find some inspiration in our stories.
I leave you with a picture of the first harvest from my vegetable garden. If I were a smoker, these beauties wouldn’t taste as flavorful as they are.
I have 11 unfinished posts sitting in my “drafts” folder waiting to be completed and shared with the world. Why are they just sitting there? Because I am a god forsaken perfectionist and can’t click the “publish” button until it’s PERFECT! Ugh! I drive myself nuts sometimes.
Being a perfectionist has it’s pros and cons.
I refuse to accept less than stellar work from myself and others.
I’m constantly driving myself to do better and learn more.
Quality over quantity is my mantra.
I refuse to accept less than stellar work from myself and others which means I am very easily disappointed.
I strive for an unrealistic level of excellence that sometimes I end up stagnant because I won’t publish or do anything less than perfect.
Perfectionism breeds anxiety.
I’ve had a lot of inspiration for this blog lately, yet I haven’t published much because I am paralyzed by perfectionism. Perfectionism is holding me back. Perfectionism is prohibiting growth. I need to kick perfectionism in the ass and just start putting myself out there.
This is a moment for the wisdom of Dr. House. Time to start looking stupid and shining because of it.
My goal is to do a “rants & raves” post once a week. Do you think I can do it?
Do you battle with perfectionism paralyzing you? I’d love to hear that I’m not alone.