The beginning of every year is one of my most-anticipated moments. I’m the sort of woman who will wait until Monday to start an idea because starting it on Thursday doesn’t make sense. Starting any sort of activity in October is fine, but there is usually a slightly disappointed feeling in the pit of my stomach because it’s October. A January start counts for so much more.

A woman whom I admire greatly challenged me once to think of myself as a tripod – body, soul and spirit. Cutting off one area or neglecting its importance means the tripod can’t stand, she used to say, and in the same way, when I ignore one part of my life, I will face the consequences of a life out of balance. The best way for me to focus on all three areas has been to set specific goals for each one. In the past few years of doing this, I’ve run a 15 kilometer race (a body goal), read a classical novel and tried to learn Tamil (soul goals), and taken a day each month as a personal retreat with God (a spirit goal).

It goes without saying that my life held more than a normal share of change in the past two years. Marriage. Move. Baby. In the mix of these significant life events I have struggled – and am still struggling – to regain a sense of identity and purpose. Who am I now? What is important to me? Where am I going? I don’t know what 2012 holds for me and for my family, but I am settled in knowing that I have time, and this year is for exploration, to give myself time to understand and grow and to give the people I love time and space.

One of my goals is a small attempt at finding what I have lost, and I am putting it here as a means of accountability for myself. As one of my soul goals, I will set aside 30 minutes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to write on this blog. I am not allowed to edit what I have written after I press publish, I only have 30 minutes to write and I will write about whatever I want. Pre-writing and saving is not an option (I might still do it, but then it will have to be two posts for the day), and no blogging on the weekends. Most of this blog will probably be related to food, after all eating is one thing I have to do every day. And if I run out of food things to write about, tackling the realm of pureed baby food will always be a possibility.

  • Special Rice – In an effort to eat better and cheaper, I’ve been thinking more simply about the majority of our meals. We had left over brown rice from a few nights ago, ground beef was on sale at Coop, and this was so easy to make, a must when there’s a baby who needs my attention.
  • For the beef    fry an onion in oil, add the beef and brown, add whatever flavours and spices you want – ours had Chinese five spice, dark soy sauce and fish sauce. I added spring onions to it at the end.
  • For the rest of it    Put veggie stock on the stove – whatever amount you want (more means it will be a soupier dish, less means it will be more like a rice dish), chop up carrots and toss it in, add the cooked rice to it. Can I just offer a small ad break for brown rice? It’s great for you and will give you lots of more energy for longer than its white counterpart. Add the cooked beef and some frozen peas, and you’re done.