My Update: For the next two days I’m on vacation! While sandy beaches aren’t in our future, we plan to make the most of the short break and have some fun before the holiday chaos arrives.
So, we had a great stop at our local Barnes and Noble and scored this for 50% off:
I also tried the Skinny Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks and their Cranberry Bliss bar at the Cafe.
We chatted about work, family and life, and we had a wonderful time sipping our drinks while nibbling our sweets as the river flowed by down below us. I love how we can chat about things even though we’ve been together for 7 years. 🙂 It makes me sad to see couples just eating and ignoring each other at restaurants. Life is so much fun when your partner is enjoying it with you.
iChallenge Week 49 Topic: What I learned this year part 1
December, for most of us, is a whirl. We enter it at Thanksgiving and we’re only allowed to leave with shaky (and jiggling) legs in the middle of January when we finally get time to take down the decorations and crash tinsel-free onto our couches. Wrapping paper is cleared away and the next year’s supply is happily waiting for the rush to begin anew (at least in our house – I love after Christmas sales).
Since December can come and go and memories made and remade, I want to spend the next couple of ELB posts talking about what I learned this year before the New Year arrives with new goals and new experiences. Reviewing the year will also help me put into perspective what I need to work on and what I was successful at (even though some days I felt more like a fail than a win).
New Thing # 1: I actually like plain, no added ingredient peanut butter.
For those that know me, this will be a shocker. 😯
I remember disparaging this particular food just over a year ago and likening it to “bird food” since Eddy is quite keen. (Unfortunately he can’t have it anymore due to his low-fat diet. Lucky me!)
I now apologize and hang my head in shame. You were all right – this stuff is the best!
I will preface this New Thing by saying that it’s the Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter with Sea Salt that I like. No substitutes! I’ve had other “all natural” peanut butters and they’re still icky! 😉 But this stuff? It’s like heaven in a jar. Totally creamy, just this side of sweet without being sweet and so yummy that I could eat it out of the jar. I wouldn’t have thought that a change in peanut would make such a difference. Ignorant me.
This is a big thing for me. For one, I used to swear by the other more “standard” peanut butters that could sit in the pantry for years (due to all of the added preservatives). I would claim that I “hated” the natural stuff because it lacked the “yummy” added ingredients of oil and sugar. Now I have to eat my words (or peanut butter).
It also represents a change in attitude:
- I’m more likely to buy healthy, down to earth versions of “typical” goods, like pb. Still not fully onto the “organic” bandwagon, but I am on the “pared down to the basics” trolley. Other foods we’ve swapped: grass fed beef for “regular” beef, unsalted butter for margarine sticks, non-fat plain greek yogurt for sandwiches, and carrot sticks with hummus for chips.
- I’ve learned to give things a second chance, even though I would have sworn the previous day that they were disgusting. Something I would have never guessed at the beginning of this year was how much my view on food and tastes have changed. Items that got a new breath of life: whole wheat bread. I know, I’ll give you a minute to recover from the shock. 😉 I’m a white bread purist, or at least I thought I was. Then I tried out this particular whole wheat version from Healthy Life breads and fell in love. It’s whole wheat, but it’s just as soft and moist as white bread. Another? Almonds. Or, at least, sliced almonds. Still not so keen on the whole or chunky nut thing, but I’m trying! I can handle munching on sliced almonds with food, and it’s honestly opened up new vistas of food experiences. Still working on the whole nut thing.
- The more healthier me picks her battles with ingredients wisely and doesn’t let the “baddies” into her system unless they’re worth it. You won’t see me passing up a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, but you will see me walking right past the frozen dessert aisle at my grocery. Refrigerated cinnamon rolls? No thanks. Homemade cinnamon buns with extra icing, sure! Those extra calories and fats have to be this side of mind-blowing if I’m going to consume them and let them interfere with my body.
I’m loving these new experiences and while this change in tastes is taking some getting used to, it’s made life even more exciting. Who would have thought that actually caring about what you were eating would open the doors to so much more!