Welcome Well, if you’ve just read my title, you’re probably thinking, really? Just one? I promise you I have more than a few bad habits and I can make a list of things I bet my husband would change about me. So what’s the big one? I’m going to share that habit with you today and some things I’m doing to improve this area of my life. I also have some seasonal healthy recipes to share later. Thanks for joining me. Note–I may receive small compensation from advertisers or affiliate links found in this blog. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.
Food For Thought I’m always trying to engage my husband in deep conversations. In fact, that’s probably one of the habits he would like me to change, but it’s not the big one. What’s wrong with wanting to improve our relationship and know each other on a deeper level? He avoids these types of conversation, but a month ago I was able to engage him for a little while. I had been reading some marriage-help books and one of them suggested finding out what one big habit you would each want the other to change, knowing that we can’t change all of our bad habits at once. I shared the suggestion with my husband at probably one of the worst times of day, which the book had warned against doing! When my husband comes home from work he has a routine of watching TV after his shower because he needs some down-time from his day. I totally get this and support it, but I chose this time to “talk.” So he’s just staring at me. I doubt he was thinking, “Wow, what a great time to improve our marriage, honey. I’m so glad you interrupted my show for this important topic!” I’m also pretty sure he did not want to answer the question, “What one thing would you change about me?” It’s one of those questions we ladies use to trap our men…like the “Honey, does this make me look fat?” question. He probably saw no possible answer that was going to have him come out looking like the hero of our marriage. I reassured him I was not going to get mad, I just really wanted to improve something for the good of our relationship. It took him SO LONG TO THINK OF AN ANSWER! He tried the “I wouldn’t change a thing about you, you’re perfect” response. I said, no, not true, try again. So, yes, I pushed. In my mind I had a list of habits that I thought he could pull from, preparing myself mentally for each of them. It took him so long to respond, I had to go into the kitchen to start dinner, letting him know that it was okay to take his time to think about this one. I was pretty sure he was trying to come up with the answer that would be the least worst possible outcome on his side. Finally, he told me. And it wasn’t the one I thought he would pick!
He must have been pretty confident of his answer because I was chopping vegetables with a sharp knife when he finally answered. (J/K, no violence in my kitchen!) He said, “Well, the one thing I would pick for you to work on is your negativity and self-criticism. I don’t like it when you talk bad about yourself. You call yourself stupid, ugly, or worthless, and you are none of those things. I want you to just accept my compliments as truth, because I mean them.” And you know what? I believe him. I don’t think this was just an answer to get back to his show or keep my quiet. I know that this is a struggle I have, but I never stopped to think about it from his perspective. I bet he does get tired of my negativity or the inability to accept his compliments or my neediness for affirmation in everything I do. I also believe that my working on this habit really could improve our marriage. It could lead to more peaceful conversations and a household of gratitude, instead of criticism. But changing a bad habit that encompasses our thought processes is considerably harder than changing a physical habit, like biting nails or drinking too much soda. And so the journey has begun.
I’m trying to read more positive literature and use positive affirmations with myself. I’m saying “Thank you” when I get a compliment, instead of arguing the point. I’m using one of my many journals to write down how I’m working to improve myself, admitting when it’s hard and why, or when I’ve done particularly well. This included one night of writing down every possible negative thought I had about myself and then ripping up the page. I was advised that this physical act helps the brain process the finality of those negative thoughts and allows a healing to begin. It was a remarkable and liberating feeling when I did this, and I do recommend it, it’s not hokey! Another key component is accountability. I need a strong person to say, stop it, you’re being negative! Have I ditched the habit over the past few weeks? Not even close! This is going to be a long journey! It’s taken almost forty years to develop this habit of “stinkin’ thinkin'” so I know it’s not going away in a matter of a few weeks, or even months. But my steps are going in the right direction and I keep this quote in my mind: “Self doubt is nothing but God doubt” (Anna Joy @ Paththroughthenarrowgate.com). And by the way, my husband never did ask me what habit I would want him to change…ha, ha!
You might try some of these affirmation journals (links verified on10/19/17 at 1:50 pm, CDT):
Today’s Scriptures I’m using these verses to help me on my journey to a more positive outlook. I hope they help you too.
Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Deuteronomy 14:2 “for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possessions.”
Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Today’s Recipe Friends, it is officially five weeks until Thanksgiving! Wow, 2017 seems to be picking up speed toward the finish line. I hear so many people talking about how damaging the holidays are to their diets. Well, that actually might be my own words I’m hearing, but at any rate, Thanksgiving does not have to be a meal void of nutritional benefit. If you are interested in some of the most beneficial selections of the season, look no further. This meal has some stellar nutrients and can satisfy your craving for traditional Thanksgiving fare. This meal doesn’t feed a crowd, but works perfectly if you are staying home for Thanksgiving this year or you just want a tasty meal that’s good for you too.
Turkey is full of niacin, B6, B12, zinc, and selenium. These nutrients boost energy and immunity while working to lower homocysteine levels associated with heart disease. The healthiest way to eat turkey is skinless breast meat. Roasting an entire turkey, while delicious and nutritious, can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for a small family. I suggest getting a Honeysuckle White marinated turkey breast. I bought mine on sale this week for less than $4! Prepare according to package directions. It will take about an hour to cook, as compared to 4 or 5 hours for a whole turkey.
Sweet potatoes have plenty of carotenoids and phytonutrients, the same as those found in pumpkin and winter squashes. These nutrients found in the orange and yellow fruits and vegetables group are known to improve eye health, boost immunity, and fight disease. Here’s my favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes:
- 4 small or 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and washed
- 1 large onion
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp EACH smoky paprika, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, and sea salt
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Cut sweet potatoes in half, cut each half into eight strips, like making fries. Cut onion into large chunks. Place sweet potatoes and onions in large bowl. Add olive oil and seasonings, toss to coat. Place on foil-lined pan and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, depending on your sweet potato sizes. Roasting brings out the sweetness of the vegetables-no need for added sugar or marshmallow goop!
Green Beans are low in calories and high in fiber and include a long list of vitamins, flavonoids, and antioxidants. Walnuts also contain phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Onions possess phytonutrients that are good for the circulatory system and arteries. Combining all three will give a power-house side dish for your Thanksgiving table. This recipe does feed a large group.
- 2 pounds of fresh green beans, washed, stems removed
- 1 onion
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts
- Place green beans in large pot. Add onion, garlic, pepper, and salt. Fill pot with water until beans are just submerged. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low simmer. Continue cooking 8-10 more minutes. Drain water from beans. Add olive oil and walnuts and toss to coat. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Our families haven’t eaten the traditional green bean casserole in years-we all prefer this healthier green bean dish!
Nutrition facts found in Super Foods: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life by Steven G. Pratt, M.D., and Kathy Matthews, and the website, organicfacts.net.
My green beans recipe will be included on my Healthy Lifestyle page.