Though it looks and feels like spring around here this week, before launching fully into that season, I’m reflecting on what I learned in winter 2018 – December, January, and February.
So, here are 7 things I learned – in no particular order.
1. A multi-cooker can change your kitchen life.
I received one of these one-pot wonders for Christmas, and it is so fun and easy to whip up a healthy dinner. The Instant Pot is the most popular brand of multicooker, but on the recommendation of a friend, I got a Fagor Lux instead and am very happy with it. It can saute and pressure cook, all in the same pot, or make rice, risotto or yogurt. Repeatedly, I’ve made a chicken with kale soup and buffalo chicken meatballs in it so far. Pair either one with a tossed salad, and dinner is complete and quick.
2. Whole30 is not hard.
In January 2017, I tried the ketogenic diet. This year, I jumped into the Whole30, which is a diet that eliminates common inflammatory or problematic foods for 30 days. Both times I’ve approached these different ways of eating, it’s primarily been for curiosity: How does my body respond? What do I enjoy eating? What are the challenges? And what other insights do I have about what I eat and its potential impact on my health?
Whole30-compliant recipes abound online, so I never bought a cookbook. And I often used my multi-cooker to make it easier.
“Don’t you dare tell us this is hard,” the Whole30 program rules declare. “Fighting cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.”
I only followed it for 25 days, though, needing to cut it short because of a previously scheduled dinner commitment. But I plan to do it again soon. Anyone up for working through it together in April?
3. Larabars deserve their own food group.
I discovered Larabars while following Whole30. These little gems (not all are Whole30 compliant; read labels) contain only 3-7 ingredients and work great for me for a pre- or post-workout snack without soy, artificial sugar, dairy, gluten, GMOs. Simple. I’m addicted.
4. I can go at least two months without purchasing a new book.
My one word for 2018 is discipline, and one aspect of my life over which I wanted to exert more discipline is in my acquiring stuff. So I vowed to not purchase any books in 2018, with the exception of one that I had pre-ordered last November that releases in June. I still have 25+ books pulled aside to read that I already owned. I’ve also made two trips to the library and traded some books on Paperback Swap.
5. Curling is harder than it looks on TV.
As the Winter Olympics started, we visited a local curling club with friends and learned how to play the sport. It requires balance, strength, and strategy. And for newbies, it provides some good laughs. Each curling rock weighs about 40 pounds!
6. It didn’t have to take 6+ years to get our gas logs working.
We moved into our home in 2011, and we never had lit the gas logs. We didn’t know if they worked, how they worked, nor who could help us. So they sat there. But on Christmas Day, a neighbor mentioned that the gas company would send someone out for a nominal fee to check them for safety and light the pilot for us. Face palm. The technician took pity on me and my fears and took extra time to show me how everything worked.
7. Everyone should learn CPR, in case you need it some day.
The American Red Cross offers online, in-person, and combination online and in-person classes in CPR and other first aid to help boost your skills and confidence in helping someone during an emergency situation. Check their website for course selections. And even right now, you could learn Hands-On CPR at this link.
Can I challenge you to step out and learn these skills, or to take a refresher course? We never know when we might need it.
Now it’s your turn. What did you learn this winter? Comment below, or join my free, private “Faith and Sweat” Facebook group, where we can have a larger conversation.
Thanks for stopping by! I’m Amy Hoogervorst, an integrative health coach offering grace and space for a healthier you. I’d love to hear from you and get to know you better. If you’re new here and don’t want to miss a thing, be sure to CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter and updates.