Resentments, Anger, and Fear

Resentments, anger, and fear are your will working in three different periods of time:  Past, present, and future.

These feelings are based on selfishness and self-centeredness.

  • Resentments represent your feeling based on something that happened in the past.
  • Anger represents your feeling on what’s happening now.
  • Fear represents the feeling you may not get your way in the future.

 

What can you do to put these bad feelings at ease?

  • Turn your will over to a power greater than yourself.
  • Practice gratitude. Be grateful for what you have. Don’t dwell on what you don’t have.
  • Practice the four absolutes: Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love.

I’ve found it’s impossible for me to feel resentful, angry, or fearful  when I’m practicing these principles.

Give it a try… you might like it…

 

~Thanks for reading,

LC

What can I learn from failure?

The line between success and failure is not always black and white. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of perspective. A process that fails for one aspect of life might be the perfect process when applied to something else.

A realistic approach rather than an idealist approach can sometimes help to see the difference between success and failure a little more clearly. Just because something didn’t work out perfectly doesn’t mean it didn’t work out at all.

Sometimes we have to look a little harder for the silver lining

What can I learn from failure?

Think about Thomas Edison. He didn’t view all the times his lightbulbs didn’t work as failures, he figured he just found a lot of ways that don’t work. He learned from his mistakes and eventually found success.

He had a positive mindset.

I, too, can study the mistakes I made that caused a failure and learn from them so I don’t make them again. Learning is always a positive experience in the long run, even if it stings a little, or a lot, at first.

Failure shows me what doesn’t work so I can move on. As long as I look at failure practically instead of personally, failure can actually be an asset, a wonderful tool for learning.

How can I turn failure into a positive experience?

Failure doesn’t mean I’m bad, or weak, or stupid, or incompetent, it simply means something I did didn’t work. It means I’m human.

It means I have an opportunity to learn and grow.

It means I had an experience that will make me stronger and wiser.

It means I get to try again, this time with more experience and knowledge.

Failure does not define who I am.

A failure doesn’t remain unchanging unless I let it. As long as I can learn from mistakes and keep moving forward, failure will not define me as a person.

If I give up after a failure, that is what defines me. Only if I dwell on the failure, and never move on, will I be defined by failure. It’s all about how I recover and the action steps I take to correct a wrong that will define me.

Not the failure itself.

Failure is not an end all and be all.

It can be changed.

~Thanks for reading,

LC

Expectation Vs. Acceptance

What is Expectation?

The dictionary defines expectation as “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future; A belief that someone will or should achieve something.”

For me expectation goes hand-in-hand with manipulation and the forcing of my will. Often times it also leads to disappointment. When things go as I expect, great! If they don’t, however, I need to shift into acceptance.

Expectations can sometimes be selfish motives. Sometimes they are just dreams that have been warped into a false sense of reality. When expectations aren’t met disappointment, fear, and anger soon follow…

There’s a saying, “Expect the unexpected”. In my case it’s been for important for me to learn to “Accept the unexpected”. It can be hard when things don’t go as expected. I’ve learned that nothing in life is guaranteed until it’s in the past.

I try to play out alternate scenarios in my head in case things do go awry. That way I’m not as disappointed or angry when they do. When the unexpected happens I quickly look at what I’m grateful for in life. This helps keep me from going down the rabbit hole of worry and despair. If it’s something I can’t do anything about, I have no choice but to accept it, or adapt, because for me, it’s the better alternative. The way I see it is I have three choices: Accept it, adapt to it, or waste my time fighting it to no avail.

What is Acceptance?

The dictionary defines acceptance as “the willingness to tolerate an unpleasant or difficult situation.”

This is a different definition than the one I originally subscribed to, which is, “Agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation.”

I always thought I had to agree with something in order to accept it. Turns out this is not the case. When I think about accepting things by order of this new definition, I find unpleasant and difficult situations to be more bearable. It’s all about perspective.

An attitude of acceptance benefits me by helping keep my mindset in the positive. This has a direct effect on my serenity. It helps keep feelings of disappointment at bay. Knowing that things will work out, and keeping an open mind for when they don’t go as planned helps keep me from entering that awful downward spiral of worry, remorse, regret, and anger.

By keeping my mindset in the positive I’m better able to see different viewpoints and perspectives, and I’m able to see when expectations aren’t met there can be alternatives just as viable if I open my mind. Again, it’s all about perspective.

For me, acceptance goes with positivity, and it helps keep me active and engaged in life at a level that makes arduous times more tolerable. It takes away the fear component and allows me to view things more objectively.

The Difference

In my life, the difference between expectation and acceptance is the difference between anger and happiness. Angst and peace. Self-will and open-mindedness. Idealism and reality.

Do I want to be right? Or do I want to be happy?

I’ve had to learn to accept and adapt to the world as it really is because in reality, things seldom turn out as expected. Sometimes they turn out better, sometimes worse. My happiness, I’ve discovered, comes from the journey, not the destination. The learning and growing involved with the journey come from action, not from paralyzation from fear of the unexpected.

I’ve had to go through a lot of pain and soul searching to realize that acceptance is much better suited for my inner peace and overall happiness than relying on expectations to come true.

 

~Thanks for reading
LC

 

 

**Go back to #4 and #6 after Acceptance

10 Tips to Minimize Food Waste and Save Moolah

I’ve been working in professional kitchens for 25+ years

In that time, I’ve learned a lot about food waste and how to avoid it. The restaurant industry is a nickel and dime business. The cost of waste adds up quickly. We try to do whatever we can to save costs, but not only that, to save food. There are millions, if not billions of people in the world who don’t have enough to eat and it’s reckless, irresponsible, and just downright mean, to throw away food.

I’ve put together a quick post here on some simple ways to re-purpose scraps and food that might not be super fresh, but still good. Also some items you might not have thought were usable at all!

1. Save bones for chicken, beef, or fish stock

2. Bake carrot peels into chips, or make carrot pesto

3. Freeze veg scraps for veggie broth or stock

4. Cook spinach (link to spinach w/ lemon and garlic recipe, posts on 11/30)

5. Composting/Fertilizer

6. Natural Dyes for Easter eggs

7. Turn leftovers into a new meal (tacos, stir fry, casseroles, chicken salad, soup)

8. Save old bread for croutons or breadcrumbs – old flat breads such as pita or tortillas can be baked, fried, or air fried, into chips

9. Turn leftover rice into fried rice

10. Turn overripe brown avocado into flourless and fudgy avocado brownies

Remember, when you cook from scratch you know exactly what is going into your body. Have a happy and healthful life!

 

~Thanks for reading
LC

Rejection as a Learning Experience

Rejection might seem like the end of the world but the sting will always pass with time. When I look at rejection from a stance of growth rather than fear, I’m better equipped to learn ways to improve myself. Rejection and failure are not so distant cousins and both provide an opportunity for learning and growth.

Fear of rejection has held me back from countless opportunities because I didn’t want to face the fact that maybe I’m not as awesome as I think I am. However, if I don’t experience rejection occasionally I won’t be able to see flaws in myself or make improvements. Lack of rejection gives me a false sense of perfection that will be damaging in the long run. How I handle rejection is imperative to my spiritual growth. It has helped make me a “grownup.”

The new opportunities rejection can bring are endless. It forces me to consider different ways of doing things, ways that could possibly be even better than before. Giving up on something just because I got rejected is not an option for me anymore. Today I choose not to sit and wallow in my unworthiness. I want to explore new possibilities. Rejection gets me back out there meeting new people, going to different places, and trying out new things. Rejection can be a blessing in disguise. It’s all about what mindset I choose to invoke when dealing with it.

If I utilize the mindset of using rejection as a learning experience rather than an attack on my ego I can gain valuable insights on who I am and how I present to the world. I can learn ways to improve how I act and what I say. I can learn new ways of doing things. Some of these may even be better than how I currently practice. Rejection doesn’t need to be feared. It’s a fact of life. Everyone experiences it. If I fear rejection I fear life, and hiding from my fears isn’t living, so it’s best for me to accept rejection and learn from it rather than fear it, because it’s happened before and it will happen again. When it happens again, I will tweak my performance and carry on. I have to remember that just because I got rejected doesn’t mean I’m “less than.” It just means I wasn’t a good fit for a particular person, place, or thing.

Acknowledge it, learn from it, let it go.

Learning how to accept rejection has been a crucial part of my personal growth. First, I had to realize rejection isn’t actually an assault on my ego. Often times rejection actually has nothing to do with me. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. I can accept rejection better by getting in the right mindset first. I have to let go of any and all expectations I have of whatever the outcome will be. If I obsess over it, the more disappointed I’ll be when I get rejected. I don’t seek a reason for the rejection. All I have to do is respect the other person’s wishes. If I get a reason, great! I can learn from it. There’s no reason to create more misery for myself or the other person by asking why. The sooner I can let it go, the sooner I can move on with my life. No need to get sucked into the vortex of resentments and fear.

I accept rejection for my own peace of mind. If I give power to rejections I am certain to be cast into a vicious downward spiral with no end in sight. If I want to be an adult I have to accept the fact that things won’t always go my way. That’s just a fact of life, and I can’t take it personally.

When facing rejection there are things I can do to ease the discomfort. I can meditate on it, ask my higher power for guidance, let it go, and move on. I can prioritize things more important than fixating on the “why” of a rejection so I can learn from it and grow into a stronger, more resilient adult.

I can now recognize that when one door closes, another opens. I shift my focus to the next right thing. Experience has taught me the more I obsess over something the more miserable I get. I take action to get out of my own head rather than dwell on “what if”.

~Thanks for reading
LC

Flourless and Fudgy Avocado Brownies

Avocado stars as the fat substitute for butter is this delicious fudgy brownie! This is also a great way to use up overripe avocados that have begun to oxidize and turn brown. A hint of avocado flavor can be detected. If you want to hide it even more try adding in a 1/4 cup maple syrup or a few tablespoons of molasses.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe or overripe avocado (1/2 cup mashed)
  • 2 whole eggs, large
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • A pinch of fine sea salt

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Grease a 9″ square baking dish and line with parchment paper
  • Peel and pit the avocado
  • In a food processor add in everything but the chocolate chips
  • Process until you have a smooth mixture, scraping the bowl as needed. (This entire process can be done by hand in a single bowl as well, just make sure you mash up the avocado well)
  • Fold in the chocolate chips, then pour the batter into the baking dish
  • Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until there is no “jiggle” left in the dish
  • Set baking dish on a cooling rack and let it cool entirely
  • Cut, serve, enjoy!

Lemon and Garlic Sauteed Spinach

Light, delicate, and healthy, this simple spinach dish can accompany so many things. It goes especially well with fish. It can also be tossed in with pasta.

Yields ~ 1 serving, or 2 small servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-large handful of baby spinach
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, shaved on a mandolin or sliced thin by hand
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2-3 TBS canola oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 TBS EVOO for drizzle (optional)

Method:

  • Heat the canola oil in a saute pan
  • Add the garlic chips to the pan and simmer until golden
  • Remove the garlic and reserve for later
  • Pour out almost all of the canola oil
  • Add in the spinach and juice half the lemon while it’s in the pan. Sprinkle with salt. Flip the pan a few times. You just want to wilt the spinach, not cook it all the way. it only takes a few seconds.
  • Remove from the heat, toss the garlic back in, and flip it around again.
  • Top with lemon zest, squeeze more lemon juice on top if needed.
  • Drizzle with EVOO if desired
  • Enjoy!

Carrot Pesto

This carrot pesto is a great way to use carrot peels so they’re not wasted!

Recipe yields about 1 1/3 – 1 1/2 cups.

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups carrot peels, packed loosely (appx 1-2 carrots)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pistachio, walnuts, or other nuts
  • 1/3 cup grated romano, parmesan, or other similar cheese
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/3 – 2/3 cups  EVOO
  • Salt & white pepper to taste

Method:

  • Put all ingredients except EVOO in a food processor and coarsely chop.
  • Slowly pour in EVOO in a thin stream to desired thickness. For example, if you’re using it as a spread for crackers make it a little thicker. If you’re using it for pasta, make it a little thinner.
  • Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

The Power of “The Pause”

Somewhere in my recovery I learned about a powerful tool that I like to call The Pause. I figured out, with some help, that I didn’t always need to reply with a quick snarky answer, or any answer at all in some cases. The Pause has kept me out of a lot of trouble since I started using it…

The trouble with it is actually remembering to use it. In the heat of the moment it’s easy for me to just blurt something out that may or may not be helpful or kind. I keep practicing though, pausing before I speak or act out, and it is now becoming almost second nature.

I try to ask myself and answer the 3 questions guaranteed to keep me in line:

1. Does it need to be said?

2. Does it need to be said now?

3. Does it need to be said by me?

When I’m irritated at a person or situation, the answer to all three of these questions is usually “no.” I can save myself a lot of grief later by utilizing The Pause and keeping my mouth shut now. The same principle can be applied to actions, not just words.

Another helpful set of questions I can ask myself before speaking that has been shared with me is T.H.I.N.K.

1. Is it True?

2. Is it Helpful?

3. Is it Inspiring?

4. Is it Necessary?

5. Is it Kind?

Practicing The Pause has helped make me a better person, and happier as well. It has enabled me to open my mind to other ideas because I’m not using my brain to quickly come up with a quick retort or snappy comeback.

The Pause has been an essential tool in my spiritual toolkit. It has saved me from having to make thousands of apologies and amends for my words and actions, and I’m sure it can do the same for you.

Just practice.

~Thanks for reading
LC

Homemade Chicken Stock or Broth

Making your own chicken stock or broth at home is easy and is a great way to use the bones instead of throwing them away.

When I buy chicken I usually get the dark meat quarters which is the leg and thigh still attached. Dark meat is cheaper than breasts, and more flavorful.

Then I cut the bone off of the end of the thigh opposite the leg, then separate the leg and thigh. I also take off any extra skin hanging off the side.

I take a few of the thighs and remove the skin completely and take out the bone. Then I freeze all the chicken in meal sized portions to pull out as needed.

After that, I put all the bones and leftover skin into a stock pot. I put the skin in with it because later when it cools, it’s easier to peel it off the top.

Next, I add some aromatic veggies like celery, onions, and smashed garlic cloves. For a darker, richer stock roast the bones first and also add carrots. It’s not necessary to peel the onions or garlic. They will be strained out, and the nutrients from the skins will be in the stock. If you wash your carrots well you don’t need to peel them either.

Also throw in some black peppercorns, bay leaves, and whole sprigs of thyme.

Then, fill the pot with cold water. You want to start with cold water because sstarting with hot water draws out more impurities and clouds the stock. I know some chefs that even start their stocks with straight ice.

Turn on the heat and let it ride for an hour or two. I like to get it almost to a boil then cut back the heat and let it simmer, never letting it come to a full boil.

Next, strain it into another pot.

From here you have a couple of options..

You can cool it now and then skim the fat off the top, and use it, or you can reduce it even more for a thicker, more gelatinous stock. Either option is good, it just depends on how thick you want it to be. Since I’m going to be using it for stew, I’m going to reduce it some more.

After it cools, the fat comes right off!

What your left with is a luxurious flavorful liquid that can be used as a soup base, in velouté, substituted for water when making rice, and much more!

I don’t add salt to my stocks. I save that for when I make the actual dish. Many of the store bought broths and stocks have salt in them. I prefer to make my own so I have complete control over what goes in.

With store bought stocks you also never know for sure the quality of the ingredients. The best stocks use high quality items and the only way to know for sure is to make it yourself!

It is time consuming, but luckily it freezes well so you can make a big batch and freeze it in smaller portions. This way you can just pull out a little at a time as needed.

Next time you feel like homemade chicken noodle soup, you’re ready to go!

Broth is even easier because you don’t use bones, just the meat and veggies. This is an even quicker and simpler way to make your soup base, although it won’t be as thick and full bodied. It will still be delicious!

For chicken broth, just throw some skinless boneless chicken, onions, celery, smashed garlic cloves, bay leaves, and a sprig of thyme into a pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer. Simmer about an hour or so. Strain out the broth, and use the chicken for chicken salad, or whatever you’d like!

Enjoy!

~Thanks for reading
LC