The Accountant's Garden

Scheduled non-accounting weeks: April 10-14, 2017 June 12-16, 2017 July 24-28, 2017

Monday, December 31, 2012


It's the very last day of the year. A whole new year begins tomorrow, and I've read up on all my "New Year, New You" magazine articles. As you know, I've already begun my food cleanse, which is going rather well. I don't have massive amounts of new energy or anything like that, but my gut feels better and my skin seems a little nicer.

But back to the real reason for this post. I realized, as I was tallying up all my new year to-dos that I had one bad habit to kick: my over-planning habit. So my new year's resolution is easy--I want to stop trying to plan out every second of my life. What has been so enjoyable about this last week (with kids off from school) is that I just decided to not plan anything and try to spend time with my kids and visiting family.

I have to say, though, that the meal plan I've been following makes it super easy on me. I will probably try to make a meal plan and shopping list similar to the Bon Appetite one that I have been following. It will probably be a combination of the healthy breakfasts, snacks, and desserts along with recipes from monthly sources and utilizing my weekly organic produce bag allotment.

Other than not over-planning, I do have a few other items I'd like to tackle in the new year:
  • Spend no more than 1 hour a day with daily cleaning
  • Read with every kid
  • Spend time with the kids doing something together: playing a game, baking, making a project, playing outside, etc.
  • Reach out to someone every day, whether it's writing a letter, walking with a friend, or a quick call or email, but remembering that face-to-face time is better.
  • Exercise moderately
  • Spend some time learning: accounting and sewing are my first thoughts.
  • Read all four Gospels
  • Cook delicious, healthy meals
  • Organize a little bit of my world
  • Do something nice for someone else, whether that's for a friend, family member, or a volunteer thing like school, church, or girl scouts.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


It only took a day or two of the "food lover's cleanse diet" before I was a suspect in some sort of weird food conspiracy by my dear husband. Yes, he figured out that something was different: where were the white-flour breads and pasta? So, I had to make some concessions (like cooking a pot of rice or spaghetti with each dinner), but other than that, everyone is on board with this diet and it's going well.

Yesterday, we ate caramelized onion omelets, a salad made from leftover bean salad and leftover salmon, pears and goat cheese, and stir-fried bok choy with a marinated tofu (served with white rice instead of the brown rice pilaf suggested). Not bad.

Today, we tried making the spelt flour pancakes, which were absolutely delicious with the maple applesauce. Lunch was an ahi poke that DH made, served on spring mix greens and with a red cabbage slaw. Our snack (that only Helen and I ate) was pear and apple with Greek yogurt and a bit of honey. Dinner was the best though: Cider-glazed chicken breast and broccolini with chili-garlic infused oil. Even Rudy ate it!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Detox Diets

Detox diets - they're all the rage now, especially as we head into the new year. They range from obscenely harsh (just cayenne & lemon water!?!) to ridiculously simple (seven days of broth and smoothies). Most of them are so unappetizing, but the health benefits are so tempting. Even if you aren't in the market for weight loss, the benefits of purifying the diet include decreased inflammation, healthier skin, more energy, and better mood.

Even with that impressive list of health benefits, I have not been convinced. But still, I felt I really needed to try to clean up my diet. Enter the Bon Appetite two-week food lovers cleanse. Now this... this is something that I can get behind.

It follows all the conventions of the detox diets I've read about. So, no coffee, alcohol, refined sugars or grains, and limited dairy and other sweets. There is some cooking involved, but nothing that's too extraordinary. So far, I've made a large pot of lentils and a batch of caramelized onions. I thought I would miss the sugar, but so far, the biggest issue was no coffee (I had tea instead) and I realized that I've probably just been drinking coffee in order to consumer sugar.

Here are today's meals:
Breakfast: Ten grain cereal with strawberries and walnuts
Snack: Pumpkin smoothie
Lunch: Cooked lentils with Greek yogurt and red leaf lettuce salad with oranges & avocados & miso-tamari dressing

Dinner: Black Cod with Caramelized Onions and Apples; Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currant; Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chile and Orange
Dessert (yes, there is dessert!):  Dark chocolate and a tangerine 


Monday, December 24, 2012

The anticipation of Christmas builds. I'll know we're really close to the actual day of, when the emails stop flooding my inbox offering unending discounts and advantages.

The presents are arranged under the tree now. I've had them in hiding for several weeks, to keep the two-year-old out of them and to save my own sanity. Despite the lack of presents under the tree, the girls wrapped and stacked up their own little packages and Helen has persisted in asking if she can open "Just one." This must be an instinctual behavior, because she must know what's in each of the parcels she wrapped up, and the ones her sister wrapped (and they are all toys and books of theirs anyway).

We have nothing planned until this afternoon, when we will migrate to our church and the children will perform their roles in the now traditional St. Clement's Christmas Pageant. The girls are all angels this year. John is listed as a sheep, but he is not very receptive to the idea. Afterward, we have a nice family dinner planned with the Grandparents:
  • Citrus and thyme salmon fillet
  • Honeyed carrots
  • Hawaiian sweet bread
My sweet mother in-law is bringing salad and dessert, so this should be a fairly easy-going dinner party.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Getting Ready for Christmas

It's a mere few days before the holiday break and we are home, sick with our next wave of illness. First, it was John with a fever and vomiting and cold symptoms. Then, it was Helen vomiting with no other symptoms (not even a fever). And now, John's nose is oozing a sticky green substance and the girls have sniffles and fevers.

The upshot is that we get some time at home to clean and prepare. Here's the natural cleaning tip that I successfully employed:

To clear a slow drain, pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda, then 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Let sit for about an hour. Pour in a kettle of boiling water.