Tuesday, January 1, 2013

NEW YEAR, NEW BLOGS

Feeling a bit BLAH now that the holidays have come and gone?  Well, don't!  I used to have that same cringe of aching disappointment when the clock struck midnight on New Year's eve because it meant my favorite time of year was over, it was time to go back to work, time to take down the tree and decorations and face a long, cold winter with no holidays in sight.  But, I don't let myself go to that sad place anymore.  Instead, I decided a few years ago to redefine this time of year.  I don't say goodbye to the holidays, set unrealistic resolution goals or allow myself to slip into a post-holiday depression.  Because I have mostly artificial trees I leave them up a bit longer (no, I'm not the nutball that leaves them up all year, I just like to enjoy them a bit longer than the usual January 1st like many).  At the beginning of last year I blogged about how excited I get for after Christmas sales, and I still do. I love buying discounted ornaments and other decorations AND getting storage bins for far less than they were before the holidays.  By not setting a crazy deadline to have all of the decorations down, I give myself time to organize the old, find places for the new and neatly pack everything away for next year. While I don't make resolutions, I do set goals this time of year and typically treat myself to a new journal to track my progress.  For example, January will be an exciting month for me because I'm making final preparations for my book that's coming out in April (more on that later) and instead of setting diet expectations like "never drink margaritas again. No more carbs. No late night snacks." I've just decided to make January my fresh-start month and take a look at my eating habits, exercise routine, etc., document it all and make healthy, smart changes for the upcoming year.  Which, naturally,  leads me to one of my favorite new salads I plan on having over and over again.  Last night Joe prepared an amazing New Years' eve dinner including this fantastic shaved fennel, beet and onion salad.
HAPPY YOU YEAR!
This is yet another great way to add the incredibly healthy BEET into your life (remember, I HATED these until recently).  Joe used a mandolin (you could also use a vegetable peeler or cheese grater) to slice these raw babies paper thin.  If the fennel, for example, wasn't thinly sliced it can be tough to eat and a bit fibrous, so this is a great way to showcase the wonderful flavors.  After slicing the onions, beets and fennel, we plopped them in a bowl and added olive oil, pepper and a bit of salt.  Wowzah, what a wonderful, healthy way to ring in the new year!!!