Cheap & Healthy Eats

I’m not cheap. I’m frugal. My dad said frugal was just a different word for being cheap. I tried to reason with him when I was older. He had a canned response, “Cheap, cheap, cheap.” I thought he was trying to imitate a canary. I never dared say that. So, here’s the story. I go to Whole Foods. I’ll get dinner there. It’s Whole Foods. They must cook healthily. At least, that’s what they want everyone to think. It looks healthy. I’ve had some of their food bar products and wraps. I wonder where Zagat rates it.

I drive the five miles to WF (short for Whole Foods not other Internet misspeak). I brimming with confidence. I walk in. I check out the grilled salmon. There must be some mistake. Surely, the piece of salmon I holding in my hand doesn’t cost more than the three frozen pieces I have in the freezer. I check another. Then, another. It’s the former researcher in me, I need enough data points to be certain. What a waste of a valuable twenty seconds I’ll neve have again.

I’m not discouraged. I go to the food bar. I walk around like I’m from the city health department. There is nothing that appeals to me. I should say, nothing that appeals to my wallet. I decide to head home and make a healthy, meal that will cost me one-third the price. I’m being frugal. I hear my dad hollering from heaven, “Cheap, cheap, cheap.”

How hard is it to make a salad? On a scale from one to ten. I give it a 3.5. The point five is cutting and scooping out the avocado. I like big salads. I use ready to eat, triple washed baby spinach and baby kale. I grab a handful and place it in a bowl. I rinse off of some cherry tomatoes and spread them around the salad for the photo. I use my slicer device and make nice even slices of the cucumber. I add almonds (I can count to ten). I place the two halves of the avocado on top of the salad. I pour a bit of Balsamic vinegar and EVOO around. Add and few sprinkles of feta and slip this baby into the fridge until I’m ready to eat.

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Keep an eye out and I’ll tell how I made my salmon to go with this great salad. Hey, it’s a teaser, just like they do on the six o’clock news.

The Power of Love

“Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.” – Albert Einstein

I am a guy dancing alone. In reality, I’m only alone if I choose to be alone. I am surrounded by great neighbors. I have great friends. I have wonderful daughters and grandchildren. Everywhere I travel I meet good people, kind people, compassionate people.

I am attempting the absurd, as Einstein says – I am proving to myself and to all who share a similar journey, suffering doesn’t have the last word. Love has the last word. Despair has no place in the conversation. Love is the conversation. Sorrow will not triumph. Love will triumph over all.

Yes, believing in the awesome, healing, renewing, recreating power of love is absurd. It is the path I follow to achieve the absurd.

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Here For A Purpose

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Have you had tough times? Dumb question, right?  We’ve all had our share of tough times. No one is a stranger to life’s storms. We’ve all had moments when our world turned dark, leaving us wondering if the sun will shine again. Life happens

Life happens in ways we don’t understand. The only fair thing about life is that it is unfair, unpredictable, and uncertain.

I believe, in spite of life’s unfairness, unpredictability, and uncertainty, you and I are here for a purpose. I believe our purpose involves other people. It doesn’t take keen insight to know we all need compassion. We all need to feel loved. We all need to feel needed. I know I find my happiness not in things but through my relationships with other people. I find a deep sense of joy when those I love succeed. I feel a deep sense gratitude when I make a difference in someone else’s life.

I’ve come to understand, any happiness I find occurs when I move from ME to We.

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We Are Not Defeated

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. – Maya Angelou

I love the words by Maya Angelou, “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” I know by observation and experience that a defeat is only a setback, a stumbling point. It is not the end of the journey. It marks the beginning of the Journey.

It marks the beginning of the Journey.

It is the place where we get to rise and stride forward.

It is the place where we summon the courage to rejoin the quest.

It is the place where we indelibly stamp our character with a mark of who we are.

It is the place where we find out what we are made of.

It is the place where we stand, hand in hand, with all others of good will, who refuse to be defeated, who rise and again begin our journey.

We Are Not Defeated

Making it Through the Tough Times

What you are thinking, what shape your mind is in, is what makes the biggest difference of all.  ~ Willie Mays

You and I experience tough times. You and I have the stuff to make it through tough times. We were created with an inner toughness to get up after being knocked down.

Tough times don’t keep tough people down for long. They get up, shake the dust, and get going again. It’s what they do.  They reach down and find they still have a bit more they give. They don’t save it. They summon it up and give it their all. That’s what they do.

This week. Let’s give it our all.

This week. Let’s stick our face in the wind and bring our best.

This week. Let’s shake the dust, get up, and get going again.

When the weekend comes, we’ll look back together, smile and say, “WE DID IT. WE MADE IT THROUGH. YES WE DID!”

Leap

Easy, Healthy, and Fun Meal – Fish Tacos

You ever have a day where the chaos grabs hold of you, tosses your plans in the air, and you watch a southerly breeze carry them down the street and over a fence? It happens frequently to me. That’s why I have a contingency backup, surefire, ready fix, not going to miss backup plan.

I hear what you’re thinking. You’re saying you understand why the Ray was born with brown eyes. I was born with brown eyes, but they’re as blue now as the south Texas summer sky at noon. What does that mean? No, I’m not wearing contacts. It means, what I’m about to share with you, is between you and me. And, everyone else who reads the blog.

I live in San Antonio. I’m only two and half hours away from Corpus and the Gulf. This makes lots of sense to me. For one, when you’re enjoying the snow and sub-zero temperatures, I can take a drive to the Gulf and walk barefooted along the shore. Ouch, you say? I’m sorry, that was an unfair shot at everyone north of the Texas border. The second reason, fresh fish is always available in San Antonio. Today, I’m going for the second option. Hence, the title, Fish Tacos. 

Make it easy, two small corn tortillas (a staple of life in this wonderful city). Chop, chop, how hard is it to make pico de Gallo, shred cabbage and top the tortillas with a dab of sour cream? Not very!

Check out my healthy plate. Note the avocado (my heart is doing backflips it’s so happy). A bit of rice and I’m good to go. Easy as 1 – 2 – 3;

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I said it was fun. I invite a friend to have dinner with me. Food is always better when you share a meal.

Let’s talk about easy. Okay, I’m busted. We went to a great Mexican restaurant (another trait of the Alamo City).

You can eat out, eat healthy, and have fun. And, there is no cleanup.

We Are Strong

SoulStrong/Breakaway by Siddharth Anand
Abandon the past
Throw away the baggage
Suffer no more. avast(stop now)

Breakaway from the chains and shackles
Which from you, your life, take away;
Breathe again; this time without constraint
And the dreams in your eyes
Realize;

Forget fear. Forget the barriers and the walls
Even the greatest of mountains on your feet will fall
When you with self-trust stand tall.

Walk away from those who try to cheat on your soul. Don’t stall.
Remember the wisdom of those wiremen The universal law will square all.

Dream and don’t give up
And if they don’t shape up
Try. try once more.
Don’t breakup.

For the race of life
Is won, not, by the fastest or the strongest
But, by the one who can give his all……….

I want to report life is easy – I can’t.
I want to report you and I will easily climb the next mountain – I can’t.
I want to report suffering will not ever again knock at your door or mine – I can’t.
I can report that you and I are strong.
We have an inner guide and an abundance of strength to take over the next mountain and the mountain after that, and whatever mountains await us.
I can report that suffering will not have the last word. You and I will not let it.
We are a strong, hope-filled people and we know if we join hands, lift our hearts and minds to a loving God, it’s all going to turn out right.

Fight On – Fight On – Fight On

strength in chaos