Calendars bring possibility

Published 8:47 am Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I love to get my new planner at the beginning of a new year. All those empty days have so much possibility in them.

I always go through my new calendar and fill in birthdays, first my family and then friends. Then I check each of the kids school calendars and fill those in and then my school calendar, watching for any days that we are all off at the same time. By the time I add in some meeting dates for me and sporting events for Emily my calendar begins to look pretty crowded.

The new year means resolutions. Most of the time I make the same one and most of the time I fail to keep it.

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This year I am going to find a way to lose weight. I’ve done it before and always gained it back. Probably because I was “on a diet.” As soon as I was “off the diet” the weight came back. And my unrealistic goal was so unattainable that I soon got disgusted and gave up.

This year my goal is to simply change my eating habits and my lifestyle. Less fast food, less processed food replaced with simple, healthier alternatives. I am going to see to it that there are more fruits and vegetables in the house and hopefully those will be what I turn to for a snack.

Fortunately for my children they are all built like their dad and have his metabolism. Never mind the food that Matthew can consume, you should see my girls eat. But what I have noticed is that even though Emily will eat a foot long sandwich from Subway she rarely eats the chips and that may be all she eats for awhile. I’ve noticed that Holly eats a salad every day when she is home and then all of a sudden is hungry for something big. But then they are all young and well, let’s face it, I am not in their metabolism group.

I’m going to try and be sure I am eating because I am hungry not because it is meal time.

Another thing I find myself doing is telling children every day at school they should eat breakfast, and then realizing that I didn’t eat breakfast either. So my goal is to eat fruit, cereal or oatmeal in the mornings for breakfast, not just coffee.

I had a friend tell me once that the best advice she ever got about food was this “eat pretty food.” It took me awhile to get the meaning of that but I think I finally understand it. Overcooked vegetables are not as pretty as steamed or lightly sautéed. Grilled meats that are simply prepared are prettier than processed food and a fresh fruit is definitely pretty.

So here is a new year filled with possibilities and now that I have publicly stated it, here is to the possibility of good health.

This recipe for taco soup came to me from my late mother-in-law, who I think got it from Allen Brown. It is simple delicious and healthy. And when I eat mine, I am going to forego crackers or cornbread!

Taco Soup

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained

1 can of shoepeg corn, drained

1 18-ounce can of tomato juice

1 package of taco seasoning mix

4 cups of water

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown your ground meat and onion. Drain well and stir in the taco seasoning. While the meat and onion are browning bring all other ingredients to a boil. Add the meat and onion mixture and cook for about 15 minutes. This is even better the next day.

Christina Hall can be reached by e-mail at