Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Years Move On

"I decided that I would take up aging 
as a form of art." 

I read these words in a paragraph quoted on Facebook this morning. Funny. I've been thinking similar thoughts for a few months now. I think it started when Jessica took me on a hike in the Ozarks. It was fun. But I barely survived. I could feel myself moving like an old person. I know I am a grandmother, but I figured I could do better. 

So as soon as I got home, I joined the gym, found a trainer and I go faithfully to workout whether I want to or not. (It's almost fun now.) The aging process is inevitable. Might as well do it as well I can. I need to tackle this just like I would any other project I take on—Learn all I can about my topic. Then, put it into action. There is always trial and error, but I'll make progress.

I'm trying harder in the kitchen, too. We have been making lots of green smoothies for the last year. But I'm looking for ways to add more vegetables to our diet. Shhhhh! Some nights around here are meatless ones. We're not ready to give up meat (we DO live on a cattle farm, remember?) but changing the proportion of meat and plants is something we can do.

Tonight I made Mason jar salads for the rest of the week. I've wanted to try these for a while. If you search the internet, you'll find many combinations to put in the jars. I just started with a very simple one. 

Here is the recipe from Skinnymomskitchen. I made it in pint-size jars because I didn't have any wide-mouth quart jars. I adjusted the ingredient amounts accordingly. I used 1 tablespoon of dressing per jar. A quart jar will yield a main dish salad. The pint jars make a generous side salad.


10 tablespoons balsamic vinegar dressing (I used Newmans Own brand)
1 quart grape tomatoes

10 ounces fresh mozzarella

2 cups dry whole grain pasta, cooked

10 cups baby spinach

5 quart size mason jars

Divide ingredients evenly in mason jars starting with dressing, then tomatoes, mozzarella, pasta, and ending with spinach. Place lid on jar and close tight. Shake jar to coat ingredients with dressing and pour into bowl to eat.

Jars will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days. (Because glass will keep things fresher than plastic containers.)

The trick here is to put the hard veggies in the bottom to keep the cheese, greens, etc. out of the dressing until ready to eat. I should have cut the cheese into larger pieces to keep it above the dressing. My small pieces fell between the tomatoes. I'll know for next time. 

Daddy-O came in late tonight from a meeting and ate his vegetable plate for supper. He needed a little more, so he ate one of the jar salads, too. He said it was really good. The big test will be how well they taste in a few days. The internet has declared them wonderful. I'll let you know.

That quote at the beginning? The very end of the quote was this: 
"When old people are strong, it inspires young people. Then they can look forward to becoming older, rather than fearing or being disgusted by age." —Gaea Yudron, from The Beauty of Aging.

I am thankful for my friends who are older than I am and who can still run rings around me. I want to be like them. I am thankful for my friends who chose to eat healthier than I often do. I want to be like them. And someday, I hope someone wants to be like me.

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