Monday, August 12, 2013 new favorite vegetable...

My goodness, I have been so unreliable with this blog but summer has taken over my schedule and left me with little free time (yes, this is what I do with my free time, oh, and I do laundry). Anyway, I am now back from NACAC  in Toronto where I presented a Hazardous Parenting Healing workshop and met up with old friends and hopefully made some new friends as well. That was my last planned attendance at NACAC so I made sure I saw whomever I could.

Well, now that I am back in real life I can get back to managing my stress more effectively. No weight gone yet, but I'm doing well with swimming several times a week and riding my exercise bike in the evening. The calorie count is still reasonable, although I had to eat pasta a few times in Toronto because of limited menu choices. I could have had a salad but really, that is never going to keep me full for a whole night and I find I just can't eat meat anymore. Don't really know how I returned to being a vegetarian, it wasn't a plan, I just seem to have gone that way again.

My kids and Sonja are camping now so I'm alone during the week and that lets me experiment with food. I'm trying out new kale based recipes this week and so far have been very happy with them. Here's what WebMD has to say about kale:

"One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw."
I've also been working hard on my stress induced eating. It's not so much that I eat badly, or jump into a potato chip bag, but stress really makes me exhausted so I simply don't have the energy to cook or eat what I should and then I lose whatever gains I've made. 
Stress is still in my every moment. My son who is critically depressed is a constant worry for me, but I'm learning to accept that I can only do what I can do. So, I try my best to help where I reasonably can, and then trust in my son and God to work together to get him where he needs to be. 
I'm also focusing on what is good. For example, the partner of one of my young adults took me out for lunch the other day. No reason that I could find. He was just being nice to me.I floated on joy from that all day. 
So onward I go. I hope your day is as good as you can make it. 
Here's a recipe I found for a kale/sweet potato/black bean casserole. I had it for supper last night and brought some for lunch today. Yummy. This recipe will make enough for two.

2 cups diced sweet potatoes
2 cups black beans
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 cup kale
1 cup salsa
1 cup cheese (any kind will do or try a mix of cheeses)
Preheat oven to 425
Dice up the potatoes into small pieces and layer on the bottom of a small casserole dish. 
Next, add a layer of onions, then a layer of black beans, then the kale, then add the salsa and top with the cheese. I used a very mild salsa but you can spice this up as much as you want. 
Bake for about 25 minutes. 
So simple.