Cooking, Freezing, and Self-Love

Today I found a new blog that I absolutely love, www.faithfitnessfun.com. Tina, the author, wrote a 30 day series awhile ago about Self Love, talking about the endless cycle that we can fall into of self-criticism and doubt. Self-love is not a selfish kind of love, which is the extreme that we could fall into on the other end, but I would guess that most of us (besides celebrities, maybe? - and even then we might be surprised!) err on the side of criticizing ourselves too frequently.

The first day of Tina's 30 days series begins with a reflection on building confidence, a topic that I identify with instantly. The first quote she had felt like it spoke right to what I so often struggle with:
"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." ~Author Unknown
A large part of why I have struggled with self-doubt for much of my adult life is that I beat myself up over little things and compare myself with anyone else who seems like they are doing what I "should be" doing. I am learning that accepting myself and learning to embrace the good and the growth is an essential part of trusting God in my life and the key to truly being the person that I would like to be (aka the person I really "should" be).

There is a challenge at the end of each day's Self-Love entry to choose to reflect on something that you do well as a person: skills, enjoyable activities/hobbies, traits, etc. and to actually name them.

I enjoy learning and reading about new ideas, and then talking about them (anyone who knows me knows this too well!) and sometimes even trying them. I love to read and hear others' ideas about how to live more simply and creatively while using less and reusing/recreating more. Members of my church, family, friends, and authors have inspired most of what I do and value today. I also like to share ideas and am concerned with others and how my struggles, ideas, and lessons learned can help those around me who I love and perhaps don't even know yet!

Today I challenged myself to make several different meals to freeze and store for the months ahead to save both time and money. Since I will be going back to school, and Ben and I will be going back to living on one income, we are trying to simplify our lives and be creative with our resources. This means we have canceled our cable, gym memberships, DVD rentals, etc., but all in seeking out a fuller and simpler life. Today I wanted to make as many meals as I could, and track how much I spent.

Much of these contain ingredients from our garden, so the cost is significantly affected by that. Also, I shop at local farmer's markets and country stores, where I've found the prices are much lower than at the chain grocery store.

At two different stores today I bought:

- 1/2 dozen ears of corn
- A carton of baking potatoes
- 3 green peppers
- 3 zucchini
- Condensed milk
- 2 cans of Tomato paste
- Jar of dill spice
- Apple cider vinegar

and added it to a selection of veggies we had from our garden.

I had time today to make four different recipes. I made:
- "Spicy" Lentil Vegetable Soup from Food To Live By Earthbound Farms Cookbook (in quotes because my level of spiciness is just from how much chili powder I put in! My level of spice-tolerance is near-Amish.)
- Chili from Simply in Season cookbook
- Tomato Cuke Dill Relish from same cookbook
- Creamy French Dressing, an old recipe from my mom's bookshelf
- Frozen Sweet Corn

I made enough to get 2 meals out of each dish (1 meal = 2 servings), so, 6 all together, since dressing and frozen corn don't count as a meal.

Lentil Soup:

Tomato Cuke Dill Relish (delicious with a green salad):

Frozen Corn:

and Chili:

My total grocery bill was $10.11, so divide that by 6, and you get $1.69 per meal!

You can see from my level of messiness and the dishes stacked up in my small kitchen that it left me with quite a lot of clean-up, which I am too tired to "Do Now" after an evening meeting and dinner.

I'm already looking around at other parts of the house that seem too messy and are left undone. But I'm trying to remember what I'm good at and what I like to do, and letting that be enough for today. (And having a small collection of meals in the freezer for a later date isn't too bad either...)

Today's Lesson: Be Rachel, and enjoy the process. :)
I encourage you to think about, and name your strengths. What are you good at and enjoy doing? I'd love for you to share!


  1. I am SO impressed by all that food you prepared. Wow! Cooking ahead can really be a lifesaver sometimes but I never put in the effort for it. I need to though.

    And thanks for the shout out and love. Didn't expect to see that. :)

  2. Perhaps the best blog post title I've ever seen. And I'm inspired by your frozen meal ambitions, Rachel! I've been planning my first big canning event (on my own...) and am excited to capture summer tastes for later on. Miss you!

  3. Thanks Tina! I'm so glad to have found your blog and share it!

    Hannah - I found those Bush post-it notes in Ben's desk drawer and could not resist using them - just an instant smile every time I open that freezer! I'd love to hear how your canning event goes!

  4. Looks great Rach! You are all set for the fall =) I love having meals in the freezer too!


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