NEW CASTLE —
Christopher Columbus said, “You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Are you willing to embrace an endless horizon? Where is your safe zone? How far are you willing to travel to explore the new?
A New Castle News reader recently called me, asking for tips about making meals more exciting. She is a diabetic and said she gets bored easily with the foods she is eating.
So, what is the difference between being in a rut and living in a groove? When you do the same old thing over and over again, it becomes mindless habit. That’s when life can become tasteless and boring.
When you are in your groove, just like a runner who finds a zone, you are able to feel a sense of being “right on.” There is the thrill and rush of the excitement that includes your senses. Life is exciting and spicy when you bring aliveness to what you are doing.
In the case of eating, it may require leaving the safety of the comfortable shore and heading off for the adventure of new foods. This newness may include new ways of cooking, being willing to try new textures and openness to new flavors, including herbs and spices.
Believe it or not, I did not like sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie when I was younger. Now, I truly enjoy them. Tastes change. Give your taste buds room to grow!
Often, it is the path of least resistance that can keep you feeling stranded on the shore. This is the proverbial rut that creates the boredom you loath. Familiarity can be bland. It may be your curiosity that is yearning to hit the high seas, while your taste buds keep you marooned on that lonely sandy strip where you look out to an expansive adventure, which promises the new. Consider these actions:
•Secure your life boat: In the Spectrum Program, the Ornish team always says “know what you’re willing to do, and what you are not willing to do.” This is similar to checking your lifeboat ahead of time to look for any leaks. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making goals that you just won’t commit to in the end. That’s very leaky.
•You are the captain: What will you change? You know you best. What are your good qualities and your bad habits? Where will you put your attention? How will you take action? Only you can answer these questions for yourself.
•Keep a firm grip on the paddles: Your oars are equal to your will power and your preferences. If you are seeking change, it is important to direct your efforts toward the new world. Only this kind of emotional steering will help you meet success. What new flavor or texture do you think you might enjoy? Can you stick with it until you find out the answer?
•Name your first mate: Make sure you have a strong support system. Even if you live alone, it is beneficial and necessary to have at least one person that can acknowledge your successes, and help you when you falter, if you are to embark on a new journey.
•Fins to the left, fins to the right: When the sharks are circling — those old habits, the dinner crowd that does not know your goals, that fast food restaurant you drive by daily — we have the option to keep a sharp eye, and, like Christopher Columbus, follow the light of the sun, as we leave the old world.
Baked Sweet Potato
Makes 4 servings
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch strips
- non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine first five ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from heat; let cool. Combine juice mixture and potatoes in a large bowl; toss well. Remove potatoes from bowl; discard juice mixture. Arrange potato strips in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until edges are crisp.