The thing I've learned about
planting a seed is ..
you probably won't see it grow .. at least not in the way you envision it should
A theme that keeps re-appearing in the most unexpected of ways. A nurse who works with the Iowa Veteran's Hospitals .. we chatted at a neighborhood party not long ago. She shared with me some of the devastating health consequences veterans can face as a result of their service. A few examples .. conditions brought on by post traumatic stress .. or exposure to chemicals and other environmental toxins in the places they've found themselves stationed
I was stunned
On her own time .. she'd began an educational program centered around nutrition and lifestyle. Her hope? To teach the men and their families .. that whatever the condition .. being mindful of what they're putting into their body .. can serve as a powerful weapon.
I could hear the frustration in her voice .. wondering aloud if she should quit .. more than once thinking it was all for naught. “With all of the information I'm giving them .. how can they read it and NOT want to change? Please .. they're still eating <a, b, and c> .. and smoking for God sakes”
“What's your definition of success?”
Life lesson #102 .. You can't change someone else .. no matter how hard you try. The only thing you can do is plant some seeds along the way .. and leave them to someone far greater .. to decide how and even if they'll grow.
(This one I've learned/lived/remembered/re-lived .. so many times over)
Life lesson #103 .. Germination can take a very long time .. and the fruit probably won't resemble anything you'd ever imagined
I wondered aloud ..
Maybe someone in her group cut back on smoking .. from a pack a day to a half .. or switched from white to whole grain bread . Maybe they shared breakfast with a visiting grandchild and served a side of fruit instead of hash browns fried in bacon fat. Maybe they were diagnosed with full-blown diabetes .. looked through the notes from her class .. went to the library .. checked out one of the books she recommended .. and began to read
She may never know the impact .. but I guarantee she's making a difference. I'm sure it was far more than she'd bargained for when she struck up casual conversation with a stranger over a glass of wine
In the room sat two sisters .. who'd done it together .. one a college student .. another with a husband and beautiful baby waiting for her at home. It wasn't long ago they'd entertained visiting relatives.
“What's that in your fridge? You're not having what we're having? You've loved mashed potatoes with extra sour cream and butter since you were a kid. Meatloaf with extra gravy .. “
“But .. but .. don't they know? Don't they understand? Can't they see how bad it is for them? I tried to tell them tried to explain .. don't even get me started on the Cheez Whiz”
Life lesson #104 .. Seeds aren't always planted with words
As everyone went around the room sharing their stories of success .. I couldn't help but smile
“My Mom bought a food scale and asked me about portion sizes!” A sentence finished as only a sister could “Wait .. wait .. and don't forget they want us to teach them a few things about food”
“But not until after the holidays”
You never know what's going to happen .. when you toss a pebble into the water
Bravo you two!
A great recipe from the week .. from the same kitchen as our favorite banana cupcakes.
It has to be one of the easiest and most delicious recipes I've run across in recent memory. Chicken with Mexican flavoring .. made with only a few ingredients in the slow-cooker. Not only was it simple to make .. but incredibly versatile as well.
A few ideas? Inside a whole wheat wrap for a quick & healthy lunch .. or you can cook your wraps .. topping them with hot sauce and cheese for burritos. Sticking close to the Mexican theme .. a topping for nachos.
It's also perfect on a bed of salad greens .. served over rice .. or eaten as is. A meal loaded with protein and fiber .. that fills you up without weighing you down.
~ Adapted from a friend .. We love you extra for sharing your favorites on handwritten recipe cards!
Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 Taco seasoning packets
- 1 can green chilies
- 2 15 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes diced
- 1 15 oz can corn, drained
- 1 15 oz can red beans, drained
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
- In the slow-cooker .. layer the ingredients in this order:
- chicken breasts
- package taco seasoning
- green chilies
- can fire roasted tomatoes
- can red beans
- can black beans
- can pinto beans
- can fire roasted tomatoes, diced
- package taco seasoning
- Cook for 6-8 hours on low .. checking at about the 6 hour point to make sure it isn't getting dry