Clear the Clutter, Hope's Healthy Kitchen

How to Stock Your Kitchen

We are off on another road trip starting today as an early celebration of our wedding anniversary……I can’t believe it has been 11 years since we got married and in October, we will be together 20 years!  Where does the time go?

No, this is NOT a picture of our kitchen in our forever home But we do have lots of space.  As a result, I am always on the hunt to find ways to keep things well-stocked and organized.  What about you… do you have an organized kitchen and pantry?  Are you ready with plenty of items on-hand to whip up a healthy meal anytime – without having to leave the comfort of your home?  Keep these tips in mind while you’re shopping and putting groceries away to be a prep pro!

PANTRY PERFECTION

Your pantry may not be this big (not mine BUT ours is about this big!).  Organize your pantry or cupboard in sections:

  • Baking ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda.  Mine also includes chips, brown sugar and anything else I may need when baking.

  • Oils & vinegar (mine are actually over my stove in a cabinet so they are easy to reach)

  • Herb & Spice blends (a totally separate cabinet close to the stove so I don’t have to go to far)

  • Canned goods: beans, lentils, fish, tomatoes, vegetables

  • Dry goods; pasta, rice, quinoa

TIP: Put veggies like onions and potatoes in bins and store in a cool, well-ventilated place.  Mine are in Tupperware bins in yet another cabinet in the kitchen.  LOL.

STOCK YOUR FREEZER

Is meal prep a thing at your house?  The closest I get to meal prep in the freezer is having lots of frozen vegetables, and meats on had.  Extra portions of meals (aka leftovers) are also frozen for those quick easy lunches or dinners when I’m not feeling well.  For many, meal prep means making big batches and then lay soups, broths, and chili flat in resealable bags for use during the week. Always keep frozen veggies and fruit in your freezer, along with your favorite protein.

TIP: Freeze leftovers in family-or-individual-sized containers for a quick “heat-and-eat meal” for the nights when you’re too busy to cook.

FIND IT FAST IN YOUR FRIDGE

Divide your fridge into sections:

  • Dairy/eggs, condiments (in the side door)

  • Veggies/fruit, meat/fish/poultry on a tray or plate to avoid leaks or in drawers if you have them.

  • Beverages

TIP: Keep prepped veggies and fruit near the front for quick access

SHOP WISELY 

The foods you choose to fuel your body directly impact your health. Whether you’re shopping online or stocking up on groceries to avoid the grocery line, here are some kitchen staples to keep you going:

Greek yogurt | Buy: 2%, plain, non-sweetened | Why: Fat-free can mean added sugar, and flavored yogurts can greatly increase your sugar intake.  Plain greek yogurt adds extra protein and can be “sweetened” with fruit or granola or a little Stevia.

Canned tomatoes | Buy: Low sodium | Why: We want to live well and feel great. For some people, too much sodium can make them retain water.

Olive oil | Buy: Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil – this is the healthiest because it comes from the first pressing and no chemicals were used in extraction | Why: Light olive oils do not mean light in calories, often, it means light in flavor.

Canned beans | Hack: Rinse your beans before use and reduce sodium by almost 30%

Pasta | Buy: Look for the first words to be “whole grain” on the ingredient list | Why: You want to avoid overly processed refined grains

Nuts & seeds | Buy: Natural, unsalted | Why: Sometimes nuts and seeds are coated with partially hydrogenated oil and added salt

Canned tuna & salmon | Buy: Packed in water, low sodium | Why: It will have less sodium and added fat

Crackers | Buy: Look for “whole grain” to be the first words on the ingredient list. They should have at least 3 g of fibre per serving and be low in sodium Why: Crackers can be overly processed and made with refined grains | Hack: Make your own healthy crackers with Everything Bagel Crackers.

 

 

Finally, remember to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Buy real food. Use wholesome ingredients.

  • Avoid shopping when you’re hungry (in-store or online).

  • Always have a list and stick to it.

For kitchen tips & tricks, recipes and more, check out Hope’s Healthy Kitchen on Facebook or my website at www.HopesHealthyKitchen.com

Have an Epic Day!

Hope Wissel

A Birthday Milestone

Another year, a BIG milestone….. believe it or not, today is my 65th birthday!

Do I feel 65?  Not on most days but I will admit, MS has kicked my butt a little bit more this year.

I have been doing an annual reflection since I started blogging… and this year is no different filled with lots of gratitude!

As the world returns to “normal” (whatever that is) I struggle with stepping out of my comfort zone.  This introvert is content to be home with hubby.  I am grateful NA meetings have opened up and hugs are shared again.  This year, I have continued to learn so much about me. But mostly, I learned I am okay being with me which is HUGE!

I am blessed to have woken up this morning.  No matter what the day may bring, I know it will be WONDERFUL!  Am I always this optimistic – NOPE!   I’m determined to be positive and make the most of each day.  I no longer live in negativity or want to be surrounded by drama.  Thankfully, brain fog mornings have been few and far between.  I have accepted using my brace when I leave the house and will be doing some walking.  The scale hasn’t really changed much but the inches are slowly melting away.  I will take that any day, what about you???

The “birthdays” of the past where they were just another day are gone.  The days of low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and nasty inner gremlins who made me feel like I didn’t deserve a celebration have been let go. Today, I was blessed to wake up without expectations.  Expectations lead to hurt feelings and resentments so why have them, right?  Just for today, I like myself.   I am grateful for whatever the day may bring.  Birthdays are milestones in our lives.  As children, they are a day (or sometimes a week or even a month) where the focus is on us.  Filled with presents, parties, family, friends and of course cake and ice cream.  As the years go by, life “happens” and things change.  Whatever the celebration is like today – it will be okay!

I stepped down as a Director with Thirty One this year.  I will always be a Thirty One girl.  I am happy to share my love of the products without the stress of hitting numbers.  Yup, I can easily get wrapped up in the shoulda, coulda woulda as well as the comparison game which steals my joy.  As a result, I am still a walking billboard happy to help anyone solve their gift giving or organizational challenge. I can’t believe it has been 11 1/2 years with this amazing company.

Angels by Hope has a busy Etsy store which I do take on the road locally for some craft shows.  I love sharing my angels with everyone.  Gifting my angels has been the greatest blessing to me this year… it allows me to bring a smile to the face of others as they heal through their latest struggle.  Allowing the creative juices to flow has been exciting and actually has been a form of therapy.  It helps with processing thoughts the same as working my puzzles help with eye hand coordination.  Puzzles are my jam (do they still say that?) and I average about one a week.

Because of my new love for cooking and trying new recipes, I have joined Epicure. Good food, fast and easy in 30 minutes or less including prep!   We are eating cleaner – much less processed, more organic, and definitely gluten free.  Hubby has even jumped on the bandwagon – willingly. LOL.  Check it out if you are looking for healthy meal solutions (allergen free).

I hold fast to my mantra “every day is a gift from God with a blessing to be found.”  It seems like this is turning into one of those “holiday letters” you get from people you only hear from once a year…. LOL. Or maybe the makings of a Hallmark movie.

I have to admit the tears are starting to flow and I am okay with feeling the feelings.  With the help of my NA family, a new home group and a new sponsor, I am learning to live life on life’s terms.  Working on steps and sharing at meetings has definitely helped this “old lady” to heal and grow.  I’m grateful and blessed to say God willing, we will have four years on the 22nd!

There are many people I could (and probably should) thank or talk about from this past year.  Please don’t feel slighted… you have all been a blessing in my life.  This has been a great year and I am looking forward to the blessings God has for me in this new year.  I can’t believe I am actually 65 years old – okay, so it is only a number, right? Now, I am really “over the hill” and not like I was when I turned 40 (that is a story for another day! LOL)

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Have a blessed day!

Hope Inspires, Recovery, Thankful Thursday, Unclutter Your Life

Thankful Thursday: Struggling with Acceptance

Today is a difficult day…….I’m struggling with ACCEPTANCE.

After 10 years of being a Director with Thirty One, I will revert to a Senior Consultant.  WOW! I will admit I am struggling.  My ego is deflated.  My pride is hurt.  I have weathered many storms over the years fighting to keep my title.  Today I just have to have acceptance.  Could I point fingers and play the blame game?  YUP!  But the truth is life (and the inner gremlins) caused me to think I was less then when the struggles came along.  Yup!  I played the comparison game.  I dabbled in another direct sales company but my heart wasn’t really there.

Acceptance is defined as “the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group“.

Believe it or not, as welcoming as the other group was and still is – it was not where my heart was.  I missed the relationships I had built over the years with team members and customers.  I struggled to fit in playing the comparison game yet again.  My addiction & MS makes building relationships hard for me.  The double whammy has also given me double the number of inner gremlins.  They usually have me acting in fear instead of being faithful to God’s will.  When I opened my eyes, stomped on the gremlins; I was able to see God winks telling me to remain faithful to my heart during the turmoil.

Over the last 3 years through recovery, I thought I had started to accept who I am or at least think I am.  I’m usually ready to stomp the inner gremlins when they start wanting to play the comparison game.   I still worry about disappointing others.  I still worry about whether I am good enough (just not as often).  Working a 4th step and taking an inventory can be a blessing and a curse – those who know, know ❤

Not sharing my business struggles sooner as a result of PRIDE left me feeling alone.  Over the last 3 months, those secrets of inadequacy kept me sick (and on the road to losing my title)…I was afraid of what my upline would think.  Unsure if they would accept me broken and struggling yet again.  I hate being the “needy” one.  Pride and fear kept feelings stuffed away.   The inner gremlins had me convinced my time with Thirty One was over.  The reality was………my upline loves me unconditionally and when I stepped up even at the very last minute to “vomit” my feelings, they were loving and supportive.  My team has been there through the struggles too so why would I think they wouldn’t be now.

I am learning to accept what is in my life – the good, the bad and the ugly.  I am learning to accept I am wonderfully made even on my worst days.  I am learning to accept (very slowly) my struggles with MS, having faith in the fact it is all part of God’s plan.  Do I think God’s plan was for me to make a mess of my life?  NO!  I do know he has helped me through the struggles.  He accepts me for who I am – no matter what.  But can I accept me, is the real question?

I accept:

  • I am a addict recovering from the disease of addition
  • I am a child of God as he wraps his loving arms around me
  • I am a better me today than I was yesterday
  • I am open to God’s plan whatever it may be
  • I am an MS warrior and I will not let it defeat me
  • I am a giving, loving person who wants to make a difference

Today I have acceptance for where I am in my business and in my life.  I accept this is just a bump in the road.  I accept this will be part of my story to share with someone else who may need to hear it.  I’m not giving up.  Thirty One has been the blessing which saved me on my darkest days in more ways than I can count.  It helped me get out of credit card debt.  It helped me learn how to build relationships.  It helped me in my walk with God.  It has helped this introvert come out of her shell even when I don’t want to.  Being uncomfortable is good sometimes – in business, in recovery and in life.

Today, I am learning to thankful…Being thankful helps you get through life’s tough times, because you can easily call to mind all of the good things in your life.  Being grateful just makes you happy and being happy can help keep your mind and body healthy!

Accept who you are, without relying on outside influences.  Accept we are not perfect and it is okay.  What are you thankful for today?

Have a blessed day!

Clear the Clutter, Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Top 5 Cooking Hacks

Kitchen hacks are clever solutions to every day kitchen dilemmas which could save you time, money and maybe even help to avoid an embarrassing situation.

If you are an avid cook, you probably know lots of them, right?  Maybe they are things you found out by googling a question.  Or, they were passed down in your family – you know like those “old wives tales”.  I have found each time I am in the kitchen making a recipe – I am googling another question and then am amazed at the results.  Sometimes it is even the same question over and over because I forgot the answer. LOL.  You would be surprised but sometimes you get different answers.

1 – Removing Eggshell Fragments

This is one of those hacks I thought wouldn’t work because it seemed too good to be true BUT I was wrong!

Simply use a larger piece of eggshell to scoop up those pesky little fragments. It’s like magic.  I am surprised how often I use this especially in the mornings when I haven’t finished my first cup of coffee  and am fixing breakfast.

2 – Evenly Portion Batter

Use an ice cream scoop to evenly portion out muffin batter or cupcake batter or anything you are using individual pans for. The kind with the trigger release makes it easy to transfer the batter to the muffin tin: no trying desperately to get the batter off of a spoon.  If it is a “sticky” batter, spray pam on the scoop FIRST, then scoop.  The batter will slide out, easy peasy.

3 – Freeze Flat 

OMG!!! I wish I knew this when we lived in the condo.  Our freezer was small and when I pulled one thing out, it all could come tumbling.  LOL. Whether it’s soups, stews, or ground meat, the flatter and wider you can get them, the faster they’ll freeze and defrost.  Place foods in heavy-duty freezer bags, squeeze out all the air, lay the bag flat, and use your hands to work the contents into as flat and even a shape as possible.

4 – Dry Bean versus Canned Beans

It has taken me awhile to learn this AND I usually google it every time I get ready to make something just to be sure.   REMEMBER…. 16 oz of canned beans DOES NOT equal 16 oz of dry beans. Dry beans DOUBLE in size when cooked. Yup, I have made this mistake more times then I can count.  LOL. If I am using the crockpot, I just rinse the dry beans off and throw them in – no pre-soaking here.

5 – How To Reduce Bacon Shrinkage

I was skeptical of this one too!  I had heard rinsing the bacon would cut out some of the salt BUT was surprised to find out it did even more.  To reduce bacon shrinkage, I first trim off the excess fat, then I rinse it off with cold water.  I used to cook bacon in the fry pan just like my mom and grandmother BUT not any more.  With smaller quantities (just for hubby & I) I put it in the air fryer for 10 minutes, turning it half way through.  If we have company, I cook it in the oven at 375F for 10 minutes or more until crispy.

Want more tips and tricks?  Check out Hope’s Healthy Kitchen on Facebook.  Have a hack you want to share…….comment below or send me an email.  If I use it in my blog post, I will send you a free gift as a thank you.

Have an Epic Day!

 

 

 

 

 

Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Finding My Purpose

We have been home from an amazing vacation for a few days and are adjusting to the cold weather.  UGH!  I do like the change of seasons BUT I am NOT a fan of cold weather. Sunshine definitely helps me to clear my head and is good for my MS.

My word for this year is ACCEPTANCE so let’s recap the first month. January was full of playing the comparison game especially in my business.  I have been digging deep to find  my “why” and as of today, it is still not clear.  To say the least, I have been beating myself up a little.  After 11 years, you would think I would be jumping on the bandwagon to kickstart my business in the new year with excitement, yet I can’t seem to find it.   Acceptance for me is about living in the moment, being grateful for the gifts God has given me and trying NOT to fix, manage and control things.  I can say I ended January with a win.  🥰  As we got ready to go on our road trip, the weather on the southern track was getting bad (an ice storm was coming to SC, NC & GA).  So, we changed plans.  Left a day early, drove longer than we originally planned, rescheduled hotel reservations & beat the storm.  In the past, I would have been a hot mess but with God’s help, we were blessed with safe travels and an amazing week.

I know…. what does all of this have to do with finding my purpose, right?  I was able to unplug in the hopes of finding my purpose.  I was able to stop and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.

I have been thinking about “What is my MAIN reason for my business?”  Believe it or not, it has become just a way “to make some extra money”.  No it hasn’t always been the  FIRST thing on my list.  Crazy, right?  It has always been to make a difference then it was about the money.  How the money can help me to make a difference.  Through working the steps in my recovery, I have been learning about me. I still want to make a difference in the lives of people but I’m not sure what it actually looks like.

 

Here are some ideas from the Direct Sales Education Foundation on Finding YOUR Purpose

  • Listen to your inner voice and hold off on asking others what they think. Before you start seeking opinions on what your purpose should be, tune into your inner voice for inspiration.  Once you have a definitive idea, then it’s time to gather opinions from others.  As a people pleaser, I struggle with this one.  I don’t want to disappoint people.
  • Follow what is exciting, not what is easy. In business, just as in life, the easy choice may not always be the best one.   WOW!  This is so true.  The grass may not always be greener on the other side.  If you are excited about your choice, you are then willing to do the work!
  • Tap into your instincts and emotions rather than logic. You obviously don’t want to ignore logic completely, but when finding the purpose for your business (or in your life), your instincts should take over. Instincts and emotions are powerful enough to guide us to do great things. When faced with a difficult question or decision, listen carefully to your initial gut reaction. This does not mean to act impulsively, but rather to let gut feelings lead the way on your journey.  For many hard-working and ambitious people, this is not always the easiest thing to do, but it certainly is important if you want to find your true purpose which drives you toward success.

I was never out to change the world, some may say the results of my work does it but it was never my purpose.  As a Social Worker, I wanted to help people improve the quality of their life – no matter how small a change it was for them.  As I look to work my businesses this year, I want to make a difference – one smile at a time.  The end result will be success in my business and in life while helping others get what they want.

What have you done to find your purpose? Would you add to our list? Please share your ideas in the comments section below!

Have a blessed 💝  day!