Guess what?! This is officially the 100th blog post to be published on barreeatrepeat.com! I can’t believe it – starting a blog is something that I have wanted to do for literally years, but was afraid to start for a few reasons. Firstly, I tend to keep a very full schedule and I wasn’t sure if this was something that I could commit to. When I take on something new whether of my own initiative or by signing up for something with someone else, I take it very seriously as an Upholder. I am not someone who likes to quit things once I get started, so I knew this would be a big commitment for me. And although there have certainly been weeks which were crazy busy and weeks when no matter what, the words just weren’t flowing – I can say definitively that this was a great decision and one well worth the effort. Another reason that I was hesitant about starting a blog was due to my own self-consciousness. I was afraid that I didn’t have anything unique to offer or any insight which couldn’t be found elsewhere or ideas which haven’t already been beat to death. I didn’t want to just add more noise and content for the sake of content and I didn’t want to assume that anyone would care to read my thoughts. But here I am, and here you are, 100 posts later. So THANK YOU! Writing this blog has been a tremendous source of joy for me.
For me, writing has been very helpful in quite often forcing me to clarify my thoughts and what I believe more precisely. It has caused me to take a deeper look at the some of the assumptions I may have subconsciously been holding onto or conclusions which I easily jump to; and it has provided a way for me to synthesize the things that I am learning. Since as I have mentioned, a love of learning is one of my core strengths, writing has been an effective way for me to consider the topics I study or read about more deeply. It’s an outlet to share some of the technique tips and “barre epiphanies” I have throughout my teaching and taking classes. It’s a way to share some of the recipes which I have developed and devoured over the past several years of pursuing a more healthful diet and lifestyle. And it’s a way to connect with people that I may not see or speak with regularly or those that I may not even know. It’s deeply rewarding to hear feedback in real life or read comments and responses. This blog was one of the best things that I could have done for myself and I am so thankful that I did take the leap to get it going as part of my Happiness Project. This is indeed something which makes me happier.
And according to the experts, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. In Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote, “in today’s world we have come to neglect the habit of writing because so many other media of communication have taken its place [and are] more efficient in conveying news. If the only point to writing were to transmit information, then it would deserve to become obsolete. But the point of writing is to create information, not simply to pass it along. In the past educated persons used journals and personal correspondence to put their experiences into words, which allowed them to reflect on what had happened during the day… it is the slow, organically growing process of thought involved in writing that lets the ideas emerge in the first place. [Therefore] it is never a waste to write for intrinsic reasons… writing gives the mind a disciplined means of expression. It allows one to record events and experiences so that they can be easily recalled, and relived in the future. It is a way to analyze and understand experiences, a self-communication and brings order to them.” This is something which definitely rings true for me and thus many of my Happiness related resolutions involve some element of writing. Since last July, I have kept a one sentence journal and I also added on a marriage journal to document something I am thankful for in my relationship with Jon everyday. Neither of those things take much time or consist more of more than just a few lines each day, but as Robert Emmons wrote in The Little Book of Gratitude, “writing [things] down rather than just thinking about it leads to a deeper level of processing, which has a longer, most sustained effect on your mood.” Consequently, one of my biggest recommendations for boosting your own subjective wellbeing is to find ways to incorporate writing into your life whether it’s a little or lot. Simply documenting one thing per day which you are thankful for actually does increase your level gratitude and helps you to savor positive experiences which might otherwise be quickly forgotten or underappreciated.
The best way to get started, I have found, is to just get going! Whether it involves keeping a private diary, one sentence or prayer journal, regularly composing letters to loved ones, working on a novel, or starting a blog – I couldn’t recommend more highly finding ways to do a bit of writing (other than mundane work emails!) consistently. Make it a priority and start small. With some consistency, the habit will build and you are very likely to find it become more natural and enjoyable. Use whatever small pockets of time you have between tasks and activities or schedule a set block of time in your calendar.
And now for the part of writing this particular blog which is always a bit challenging for me – transitioning to a recipe! 🙂 I find it always a bit awkward or clunky, but try my best. In this case, I must say, as I have said many times before, one way I consistently make more time for the things that I love or which are important to me – including barre classes, time with my fam and friends, and writing this blog is by setting aside just a little time over the weekend to prepare meals so that I have less time spent cooking throughout the week. Batch cooking is a great way to gain some scales of efficiency and allow for more freedom and flexibility for more of the things which are important to you. Not to mention the fact that keeping yourself well-nourished make a big difference in your ability to think and to write. So this week, I’m enjoying one of my personal favorite lunch options – a Whole30 Taco Mason Jar Salad with the best Green Goddess Dressing ever. It’s easy to make and there is usually a bit of the dressing leftover which I always enjoy with some raw veggies as a snack – usually while I’m writing.
- Chili Powder 1 TBSP
- Ground Cumin 1.5 TSP
- Sea Salt 1 TSP
- Black Pepper 1 TSP
- Garlic Powder .5 TSP
- Onion Powder .5 TSP
- Paprika .5 TSP
- Crushed Red Pepper/Chilies .25 TSP
- Oregano .25 TSP
- Coconut Flour or Almond Flour 1 TSP
- Garlic Cloves, Minced 2 each
- Paleo Mayo 1 cup (200 g) recipe here
- Avocado .5 each
- Fresh Coriander, Chopped and Loosely Packed .25 cup (15 g)
- Fresh Parsley, Chopped and Loosely Packed .25 cup (15 g)
- Fresh Chives, Chopped and Loosely Packed 3 TBSP
- Juice of 1 Lime
- Full Fat Coconut Milk .25 cup (55 ml)
- Tarragon 1 TBSP
- 95% Lean Ground/Minced Beef 1 lb (400 g)
- Avocado .5 each
- Pico de Gallo recipe here
- Romaine/Cos Lettuce, Chopped 2 Large or 4 Baby Gem Heads
- Start by mixing the spices of the taco seasoning together in a small bowl and set aside. This will keep for a very long time if you want to make extra to have it on hand for next time.
- Add all ingredients for the Green Goddess dressing to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste as required.
- Then make the pico de gallo, chopping all ingredients finely and mixing together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add ground beef, using a spoon to break it apart into small bits. Stir while cooking until completely browned which should take about 6-7 minutes.
- Then add the prepared taco seasoning to the beef along with 60 mL water. Stir well to combine and allow to come to a simmer, cooking until the water is absorbed. This should take no more 5 minutes otherwise the beef will overcook and become too dry.
- Build your salads! If using a Mason jar, start by adding the desired amount of Green Goddess dressing to the bottom, followed by the pico de gallo, avocado, beef, and topping it with chopped lettuce. If your prefer to use traditional bowl or container, I would recommend keeping the dressing separate until ready to eat. Also, you could keep the lettuce whole and make lettuce boat tacos with all the same ingredients as well!