On Distractions and Focus

Do you ever go to reach for something and at the last second you’re distracted or focus on something else, so you end up missing your target? You’re off a fraction to the right or to the left. Or maybe too high or too low. You get it on the second try–or maybe the third–but you do get what you’re after.

That, in a nutshell, is how my life is rolling right now. I start out with a semi-determined day, get distracted somewhere along the way, and then play as much catch-up as I can. Some things get done; some things don’t. (Obviously, blogging isn’t happening regularly.)

My weight management efforts are generally following the same pattern. I have my regular way of doing things (5-7 fruits/vegetables daily, lean meats, whole grains, minimum 30 minutes exercise daily, etc.), and I’m on it most of the time, but I’m having too many “almost had it” days. That makes me uncomfortable.

I’m not sure why my focus is out of whack. Hormones, stress, spring, rainy days–could be anything. It could be all those things. :) I’ll figure it out. For now, I’m just trying to focus on what’s happening right now rather than what I did or didn’t do earlier.

Not all of the distractions are unwelcome. Here was a happy little diversion that took up most of a morning:

duncan phyfe style dining table

I was dithering between farmhouse-style or Duncan Phyfe-style for my dining room, and when this beauty showed up on my Facebook resale group for $25, I decided the Universe was giving me a great big hint. While the table is scratched and scarred, it’s still got style. Just like its owner. :) If I can’t clean up the finish, I’ll slap a tablecloth on it and just let the sexy legs show. LOL Now I just need seating and flooring (photo is from the original owner’s house), and I’ll have myself a proper dining room.

My Second Favorite Holiday

Cinco-de-MayonsHappy Cinco de Mayo! a.k.a. Cammy’s Second Favorite Holiday. (Christmas is first, if you didn’t already guess.)(Also, my birthday is technically second; however, despite my repeated petitions, it has not been declared a holiday. Yet.)

Mexican-inspired meals make up 80% of my diet, primarily because of all the fresh veggies involved. Not to mention, it’s super easy when you prepare it my way. :)

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I thought I’d traipse back through my files and share my go-to Mexican-inspired foods. Keep in mind, I’m no food stylist. I’m a food enjoyer, and that doesn’t allow time for fussing with photos.

Southwest Quinoa Salad
southwest quinoa saladQuinoa and black beans are okay on their own, but they become something almost magical when fresh onions, peppers, lime juice, and a few seasonings are added to it. Southwest Quinoa Salad is one of my favorite summer salads. I let it “rest” in the fridge after mixing, which makes for a cool, refreshing, and filling summer supper. I also like that it’s one of those adaptable recipes–just toss in whatever strikes your fancy. If you like avocado, that would be a nice addition, but I go for fresh sliced tomatoes or fresh summer corn. I suppose you could add both. It’s your salad, after all.

Snobby Joes
snobby joes: assembling, complete, and on a wheat bunBecause I make them in the slow cooker, Snobby Joes are a year round meal for me. Perfect for a cold winter day, but also good for a hot summer meal that doesn’t involve standing anywhere close to a stove.

Mexican Chicken
I have been yammering about Mexican Chicken on this blog for about 5 years now, and I cannot find a single photo of it. Not one! I will fix this in the weeks ahead–whenever Aldi has a good sale. For now, I’ll repost Chicken Aid: The Movie in which I demonstrate the 10-second chicken shredding technique.

Needless to say, this recipe is super simple to make, it’s flavorful, and it freezes beautifully. I usually eat it in a fiber tortilla wrap with a sprinkle of cheese, some sliced black olives, and chopped tomatoes. I never get tired of it.

DIY Taco Seasoning
DIY Taco SeasoningI like stirring up my own taco seasoning for the cost and the flavor. While I like the taste of some store-bought seasoning blends well enough, I like playing around with my own mix more. What can I say, it’s cheap entertainment. :)

DIY “Pancho’s” Salad Dressing
tacosaladFor the most part, I use the taco seasoning on ground turkey or beef for taco salads, which I serve with a copycat version of a local restaurant’s taco salad dressing. This is a slightly sweet, mustard-y vinaigrette that works well with the spices in the taco seasoning.

Now, with those in mind, my dinner tonight will be the Mexican-inspired classic ensalada de atún con tomate.
tuna salad with tomato, celery and salsa

Yep. It’s tuna salad with tomato. Not exactly fitting for the holiday, but I’m traveling today and will have to wait until mañana to celebrate. Or maybe I’ll go to La Michoacana when I get home this afternoon for some Mexican cake ice cream. Hmm, that sound particularly possible.

Are you doing anything special for Cinco de Mayo?

Alphabet Soup: K

Alphabet Soup is a series of posts in which readers and I explore the words, concepts, and ideas that help on the path to weight loss/maintenance. Please join in with your insights!

letter kRolling into the weekend, let’s continue the alphabetic exploration of words and ideas that help with weight maintenance/loss by playing with the letter ‘K’!

I don’t have many entries for the letter ‘K’, but the ones I do have are important for me.

Kindness – I’ve always been the sort of person who pokes fun at herself. It’s a fun way to diffuse the pressure when something doesn’t go so well, and it helps others see that I can laugh at myself when I do something laugh-worthy. And I do that a LOT. :)

There’s a point, though, that gentle humor crosses a line and becomes unkind, even when we ourselves are the recipients of the remarks or thoughts. I used to cross that line quite frequently, both before and after my weight loss. I captured one such instance in a post entitled, When Kindness Matters Most, in which I recommit to using kinder, gentler words when dealing with my emotions.

KISS – Most everyone is familiar with the acronym for “Keep It Simple, Stupid” (which I have kindly rebranded as “Keep It Simple, Silly”), right? Well, in the past, I apparently didn’t think it applied to weighty matters. I followed (or tried to) ridiculously complicated weight loss plans. You know the type. Eat from list A before noon, eat no more than 3 items from list B between 2 and 4 p.m., and so on and so on. And the exercise plans were no better. For me, keeping it simple by having a goal of lean meats, whole grains, 5-7 fresh veggies, and at 30 minutes of exercise each day seems to work better.

Kitchen – I can count on one hand the number of meals I cooked when I was losing weight. It worked for my lifestyle then, and it worked for my weight loss. (The trick was learning which restaurants to eat in.) Over time, though, my lifestyle changed and I was at home more often, so I began to play around in my kitchen. Fast forward a few years and I’m still no kitchen diva, but I find that I enjoy creating wholesome meals that are satisfying and energizing. I’ve also enjoyed giving up some of the convenience foods I was buying in favor of making my own versions. BBQ sauce, taco seasoning, and sandwich thins are just a few that come to mind. None of those are nutritionally awful in the brands I chose, but I like having control over the ingredients and the flavor. I’m just selfish that way.

Keep on Keepin’ On – That’s an old song title, I think. Something from the 70s? Anyway, it’s also a fun little reminder to maintain focus on the positive progress and keep on going.

Those are the ‘K’ words that have proven to be useful to me. I hope you’ll chime in with your contributions to the list!