Monday, December 29, 2008

It's that time of year again...

...when people make resolutions.

I'm not very good at that kind of stuff. I don't know if I've ever written down a resolution that I was able to fulfill. Maybe it is because I was really writing a wishlist, not a course of action. Not that there is anything wrong with writing a wishlist. (Maybe one day I will take those guitar lessons... I still want to.) Anyway, I wonder if that is why most people don't follow through on their resolutions, and in the end get discouraged.

As a dietitian, I cannot ignore the overemphasis on weight that new year's resolutions have. Even the retail industry has jumped on the bandwagon. From electronic stores to supermarkets, they all have something to help you "get healthy" this time of year.

So I figure I would shamelessly offer my own suggestions:

  • Don't make your weight your goal. Instead, take a look at one lifestyle change that you think you can make. It's your lifestyle, not your weight, that makes you healthy.
  • Break the change down into steps. Lets say your resolution is to cook from scratch more often. Instead of resolving to do it every day, try one or two more days a week than you currently do. Once you get comfortable with that, add another day, and so on.
  • If necessary, put off the resolution until February or March. By then, you may not be as fogged by the self-imposed guilt that comes from eating holiday fare. Then your decisions may be better thought out and easier to implement.
  • Don't wait until next January. Reflecting on improving a healthful lifestyle should take place more than once a year. Evaluate what is working and what is not. Don't just stop, find something that works for you and stick with it. If something is not working, then do something else. However, be realistic with this. Some changes take a while to get the desired result. I'm talking more about whether you are able to keep up with a change that you'd like, not whether that change is giving you the results you expected in two months.
  • Be honest with yourself. Check your motivations for why you are doing what you want to do. Do you want to lose weight so you will feel better about yourself? Do you want others to feel better about you? Should your motivation really be tied to these things? And where does your health really fit into all of this? Will you be satisfied if you don't reach your personal goal, but you feel better and are actually healthier than when you started?
  • Don't go on a diet.
  • Remember, we are always learning something new. About ourselves, others, our environment, etc. Don't try and have it all together by year's end.
  • Evaluate what is really hindering you from reaching your goal. Stress eating has become a new challenge to me. It is easier for me to remove the food as opposed the stress. Otherwise it can become quite the vicious cycle. My answer is to avoid having certain foods around the house (and oddly enough, I recently discovered that I can get the "kick" with celery! lol!) This way, I am forced to focus on the source of stress rather than compound it...

...which reminds me of the cycle of blah that I meant to post about quite a while ago:
Thankfully, my problem is not with ice cream.

By the way, I'd love to hear of your resolutions. Current or past, successes or failures. What did you learn from them?

Here's to a healthier year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

For you and us another year has fled,
And varied are the ways that God has led.
But if the year brought stress to you,
Or loss,
Christ came to bear them all
Upon His cross.
So Christmas joy is deep
And good
And strong.

Look up, our friend,
And sing a Christmas song!

-Ray and Anne Ortlund

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Perfectly cutout cookies

Ever made cutout cookies only to have them spread out so much they don't resemble the cookie cutters you used at all? The reason for this is there is too much shortening or too little flour in the recipe. In my case, I didn't put enough flour in. I was modifying a recipe to be gluten-free and thought the amount of flour looked right. I plan to post the recipe later on.

Anyway, here is my solution:

Right after pulling the cookies out of the oven, press the cookie cutters back into the baked cookies. You have to act quickly, but it works pretty well.

The scraps are just as tasty, and can be added in a parfait, if they last that long.

I read this comment on the recipe for the Best Rolled Sugar Cookies at

Put a sheet of baking parchment (now easily found in grocery stores) on my cookie sheet, then ROLL THE DOUGH OUT DIRECTLY ON THE PARCHMENT-LINED COOKIE SHEET. After making the 'cut-outs', appropriately spaced on the dough, I PEEL AWAY THE EXCESS DOUGH from around and between the 'cookies' and bake as directed. The parchment helps keep the bottoms of the cookies from getting too dark, eliminates any need for greasing the pan, allows you to remove the cookies from the sheet by simply sliding the parchment carefully off the side (which is especially helpful with extra large or delicate cookies), and CAN USUALLY BE REUSED IN BAKING THE REST OF THE COOKIES. I have also rolled dough out on the parchment without having it on the cookie sheet, done the cutting and trimming, and then slid the parchment onto the sheet for baking, which helps when you're short of cookie sheets -- the next batch is ready to pop into the oven as soon as the first comes out.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two years have come and gone...

I thought this year I'd commemorate my second blogiversary as some like to call it. But I missed it.
Thankfully, Blogger didn't hold it against me and has finally removed my spam status! (Thank you VERY much!!!)
My first post was on December 6th, 2006 and it simply contained the definition of the word "nurture". Although I probably set up myself for failure by choosing a blog name that was hard to spell, the definition of nurture fit perfectly into the scope of my blog. Unfortunately, nurture.blogspot etc. was already taken (and never used).
But two years later, I'm still at it. And you're still here.
So thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


As I was writing a pretty serious email to some friends, my 6-year-old comes up snooping to see what I am doing. Looking at my signature file, he asked me, "Mommy, what does 'MPH road' mean?

I then attempted to explain to him what a registered dietitian was, but he left the room before I was able to regain my composure.


And while I am telling funny stories, my husband pointed out a really funny post at The Secret Life of Kat. Actually, this blog is a lot of fun to read all the time, but this post topped it off.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Psalm 131

Well, lately my posts have been more how God has been nurturing my spirit. So much has been going on that I don't know if I'll ever be able to put it all in words for this blog. But this Psalm caught my attention a while back:

A Song of Ascents. Of David. LORD, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever. Psalm 131

When it first caught my attention, I was still frequently nursing my daughter and I just was wondering what David meant by having a quieted and calmed soul. After all, nursing is a pretty effective way to comfort a child. But as the weaning process approached, I started to understand. There was a time that it seemed that if I ever had my daughter in my lap, she'd want to nurse. Of course it wasn't all the time, but if she was distressed, it was almost a given. Now, she'll be content just to be in my arms. The restlessness that used to come by being in my arms is now gone. And so it must have been with David, whatever he was wrestling with was now settled and he was able to have a calmed and quieted soul.