Monday, April 02, 2007

Cutting Back... And Liking It

Tom and I joke about us becoming more high maintenance the older we get. And it's the cutting back of things we're finding is most helpful. I'll show you what I mean.... and you can take these or leave these as you wish:

To cut back on salt, I use tomato puree instead of tomato sauce and use fresh or frozen vegtables instead of canned. Instead of salting foods while cooking, I add lots of salt-free spices, instead. (Check labels... chili powder and lemon-pepper--to name two--are loaded with salt.)

To cut back on computer time, I try to earn my time here. I clean parts of my house or do laundry or run errands, etc., before allowing myself to peek into Blogland or whatever.

Instead of drinking soda (either sugar-drenched or with nutra-sweet), I drink flavored seltzer water with just two ingredients: carbonated water and natural flavor. You get used it. In fact, I'm addicted--I sit on our porch with my chilled can of lemon-lime seltzer and feel positively decadent.

I save money and gas and time and my sanity by shopping for postage stamps and gifts online and ordering Netflix movies, too... and having all these arrive at my door, rather than chasing after them through traffic in my car. I also renew my library books online to avoid last-minute trips and fines.

To cut back on toxins and chemicals in our home, I use baking soda to clean our sinks, vinegar as a laundry softener in the washing machine, and I buy a natural type of laundry detergent for both laundry and dishes, etc.

To avoid sinus and ear problems, I take 2,000 mg's of Vitamin C each day and go easy on dairy, wheat, corn and citrus... and sleep with an opened window during winter for added moisture in the air.

To cut back on sugar, I use Stevia packets and/or just a tiny fraction of real sugar in recipes (you get used to that, too).

I take daily walks to cut back on gaining weight and I also try to exercise at home at least 5 days a week. (Keyword: try.)

To avoid burn-out in any area, I try to stay balanced by following where Grace leads me... when she leads... the way she leads.

To cut back on egg yolks, I--generally--use just one in any recipe and use extra egg whites, instead.

To cut back on decorating disasters, I first picture how I want the finished room to look and feel, down to the details. After that, I buy paint, fabric, pillows, etc.

For fewer bad moods, I take at least one fish oil tablet each day, avoid as much sugar and caffeine as possible and get enough sleep. For an afternoon pick-me-up, I mix two tablespoons of baking cocoa with a teaspoon of powdered sugar (or Stevia), some vanilla and a little milk to form a consistency of frosting... then eat and enjoy slowly.

To avoid ruts, I mix things up... do my tasks in a different order or on different days... shop at different stores... drive different routes... visit different restaurants... create different meals... read different books or blogs...

To keep from bogging down in unforgiveness, guilt and laziness, I remind myself often to let things go and that 'we are all but dust'... and I spend extra time with God when those things are trying to attach themselves to me.

And to cut back on wandering away from God, I meet with Him often each day, spend moments with Him and take Him with me wherever I go.

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