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Month: March 2018

I Hate to Cook, but I Love to Eat!

I’m on a quest this year to take better care of myself and my health.  This includes spending time in the kitchen cooking meals with real food.  If you love to cook this isn’t hard, but I hate to cook…I’ve had panic attacks in the kitchen while trying to cook.  Even just thinking about cooking can send me into cold sweats, but ordering in or eating crap food makes me feel crappy and keeps my weight at a place that doesn’t make me happy.  When I eat more veggies, more protein, and other real foods I feel better.  I have more energy and I get more done.  I have more overall patience and can take care of others better because I’ve taken care of myself first.


My word of the year is Courage so my nutritionist asked me to take that word and apply it to the kitchen, food, exercise, and my health in general not just my writing goals.  We came up with a list of ways to do this including trying new foods (both at home and when going out or ordering in), cooking more meals, and being more creative when it comes to meal planning and shopping.  So, I took some of my Christmas money and bought a cookbook called The Can’t Cook Book! By Jessica Seinfeld and I went through it and picked out one recipe to try.  Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings and it was fairly easy to make and was super tasty so we added it to our monthly rotation of meals.  Then I picked out a 2nd recipe (who am I?) and tried that one – this time Chicken Drumsticks with various marinades – we chose the Mustard Rosemary option and I cooked those.  Again, fairly easy and really yummy!

Crock Pot

As you may remember, the gas in our building was turned off due to a small explosion (and then the building needed to upgrade pipes so it was MONTHS before it was turned back on) and we got quite a bit of use out of the crockpot.  Well, that was easy for me to throw stuff in and set it and forget it while working from home so I’ve been doing 1-2 meals a month this way, especially since my husband has been working a lot of over time (normal for this time of the year).  Usually I would just fix crappy food for myself for dinner, make sure my son had something to eat and call it good, because hubby is the one that really loves to cook and is good at it too, but this year I’ve been really trying to eat better even when he’s not home to cook dinner.

Done, not Perfect

Am I perfect?  Heck no, I slip up and fall back into old patterns all the time, but it’s one meal here or there not all the time.  I had already added good breakfasts and lunches into my routine a few months ago, so adding in dinners and working on my snacks (which I’ll talk about soon) was the next step in my journey to Intuitive Eating and being mindful about what goes into my body and how I feel when I eat a certain way.

What are your favorite dinners? Do you use the crockpot or the new favorite, the Instant Pot, to make dinners easier?  Do you have a great easy cookbook you could recommend?  I use Pinterest a lot to find easy meals, especially for my slow cooker, so hit me up over there with your ideas and suggestions!  And do you love to cook or do you tolerate it? Or…do you ignore it like I used to?  Maybe we can keep each other accountable in this area – just let me know in the comments!

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The Process of Learning as an Adult

I’m learning how to play the guitar!  My brother gifted me one of his old guitars – a Fender Squier Acousto-Electric – with a lesson book and DVD, some new picks (red, of course), and a really nice soft-sided case.

The first day back home with my new instrument, I held it in my hands and strummed some with both my fingers and the pick.  Tim, my brother, had tuned it for me so it sounded good but I did not.  Then I popped in the DVD and started, very slowly, working through the first lessons about how to hold the guitar and how to play certain notes using the strings.  Within 10 minutes my usual negative self-talk started – it said things like, “You are too old for this, why did you think this would be fun?” and “Wow, you suck – you’ll never learn this!”  I can be really mean to myself, but I’ve been working on this kind of negative self-talk with both my nutritionist and my therapist over the past year so I knew it for what it was – resistance, fear, and nervousness.

So, I took a break – for one thing, my poor left-hand fingers were getting sore – and put the guitar away, but here’s the thing, and this was huge for me, I picked it back up the next day!  I tried again. I didn’t let those voices get to me.  At least for one day, but they kept getting stronger and I kept feeling more and more stupid and old.  I have 4 decades of being on this planet and countless times where I had no idea what I was doing and needed to learn something and I always want to run away first and I always have to push myself through to get to the wonderful other side.

This time, my 6-year-old son is helping me with this process.  He works so hard going to school, learning new things – I mean, he is in first grade and is learning spelling words, has math tests, and just finished a report – he amazes me every day.  He also is a huge cheerleader for me.  When I play and I hit a wonky note and make a face, he giggles and tells me to try again or gives me a thumbs up or dances around the apartment while I plink out my new notes.  When I’m working out on the weekend and can’t do another set and I’m groaning, he runs into the bedroom and says, “Mommy you can do it!  Keep going!” and then when I’m done he gives me a huge hug.  When he’s at school and I’m doing the hard things, I remember his words and keep going.

Also, I see him struggle and want to give up and run away and I realize this has been the way I have dealt with new things for a while.  When I started singing Cabaret, just me and a piano in a small room in NYC, it was scary – I felt naked up on stage, exposed and raw – and I would finish a song and cry for what felt like hours, but I kept going back because I loved performing and singing for others.  It was hard and I wanted to run away, but I didn’t.  When I started working on my novel and things got hard or scary – I wanted to run away and hide and throw the whole thing in the trash, but I didn’t because I love writing and want my book to find it’s readers.

So I want to change how I deal with things so I can teach him that it’s okay to try, to fail, to fall down and get back up and try again, to keep going just because it’s fun, or you want to learn, without any other reason.  Yes, he has to go to school because it’s the law – but I want him to learn to love the process of learning and to do that I have to learn the process of learning.  For today, that means picking up the guitar even if I feel silly, even if I have fear and want to run away, even if I’m afraid it will never be “perfect” – because screw that! I want to have fun!!

What new things are you learning? Or do you run away from newness and learning and that horrible feeling of not perfect?  What do you want to learn?  Maybe we can help each other out – maybe we can be cheerleaders for each other and keep us on the “we’re doing this because it’s fun” path!


My Reader’s Group is officially OPEN!!

Join today to receive a free copy of her short story anthology, The Hit Parade!

Announcement time!!! My Reader’s Group is officially open and when you join you’ll get my short story anthology, The Hit Parade, for FREE….yup, three short Young Adult coming of age stories totally free!!  These stories all feature characters from the YA novels that I am currently writing or will be writing in the near future – so click here to join and start reading!

Send in the Clowns tells the tragic yet romantic story of a famous clown family – how they got started in the circus way back when and what made them decide to join the circus.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame shows Joe Marretti’s journey from promising pro-ball pitcher to back home in St. Louis nursing a broken heart and finding true love along the way.

Papa Don’t Preach is about Veronica and Michael’s unexpected teen pregnancy, family drama, and how love can overcome all obstacles.  The companion novel, The Art of Lying, will be available in Spring 2018 – more details coming soon!

I loved writing these stories and am so excited to offer them to you – as my gift – to you, my lovely readers.  By joining my reader’s group you will get insider info, sneak peeks into my book launches, freebies, and more! If you love Young Adult novels and free stuff – join today! 

Thanks….and share with your friends.    

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