Friday, January 28, 2011

Funky Friday and a Comfort Food Recipe

Have you ever just been in a funk? It starts small, then builds and builds and builds to the point that when something big does come your way, you are just too exhausted, too emotionally spent, to deal with it as effectively as you know you should?

I recently read an article that said January 17th is usually the saddest day of the year, because it’s about then that resolutions fall off and you realize (I am paraphrasing here) that this year is going about as well as the last, which is to say not that well.

For me, it started small. Scott had been telling me all year that he had heard people can get addicted to chapstick with petroleum jelly. He would always stare pointedly at the new 3-pack of cherry chapstick I had just purchased.

So I figured I would give something else a try. When I was at Trader Joes, I picked up their all-natural chapstick, no jelly.

Two days later, I broke out all over my chin. And my lips were cracking, and a cold sore was starting. I was HORRIFIED! We’re talking puberty break-out here, not just a pimple here or there. My entire face was COVERED. And if you guys ever suffered this as a youngster, it’s painful. You can feel them crawling out of your skin, and as much as you know you need to keep your hands off them, you’re just constantly touching your face. Are they still there? Are they gone yet?

This is, by far, the worst breakout I have had in probably 15 years. I had horrible skin when I was a teenager, I was constantly in the dermatologist’s office. I thought, years later, I had really gotten control over this demon. To have it come back like this, this insidious little disease, was (as vain and lame as it sounds) devastating.

I’m not proud of my reaction. My 12-year-old self came crawling out of the cocoon and promptly forced me to hide. I didn’t want to go out, didn’t want to see people.
That same week I stepped on the scale. And somehow I had gained 3 pounds. No big deal, right? Well, add that to the 5 I gained over the holidays and I was beyond behind my goal. I have a wedding to be in at the end of March and I am just devastated to get this behind with so little time left to go.

Now, what I should do? I should focus on losing what I can. Still trying to get those 10 pounds off so that I can still fit into my dress. Will I look as good as what I wanted? Of course not. But, at least I would be on my way to that goal. I should just set a new goal, right?

What did I do instead?

I skipped my gym classes, and didn’t work out at home because I was just so depressed.

This combined with big changes at work (all good in the long run, but any change is scary, especially when it’s not initiated by you), financial concerns (again, nothing major, just some things that may change future plans), and an upcoming daycare vacation that requires me to try to line up back-up care for Wee ‘Burb…well, I didn’t handle any of those well.

It just left me unable to focus, and unable to pinpoint what it is that has got me so down. I truly think it’s just a funk, bordering on a little seasonal affective disorder trying to live in 10 below temperatures and feet of snow for weeks on end.

I am happy to say I am pulling out of it. I am tracking my food, working out religiously, working on fixing my skin, having fun with my new makeup, and working out a new budget.

To that end, here is my favorite low-fat comfort food recipe for turkey chili, which I have been obsessively making every week for the last month. Every time I make this, people are SHOCKED that it’s not beef. I used a Weight Watchers recipe as a basis and added more turkey and twice as much beans as the recipe calls for.

What do you do to get out of a funk? Do you have a go-to comfort food recipe?

Turkey Chili

1 spray(s) cooking spray
1 tsp canola oil
1 large onion(s), chopped
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
1 pound(s) Turkey
2 medium carrot(s), thinly sliced into rounds
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
2 medium tomato(es), chopped or 1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
1 cup(s) canned tomato sauce
1 cup(s) chicken broth (check out my recipe for chicken stock here)
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium green pepper(s), chopped
1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste **
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste **
** I use adobo instead of salt and pepper for depth of flavor.

Coat a large pot with cooking spray; place over medium heat.

Add oil and onion; sauté onion until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add garlic and carrots; cook until garlic is softened, about 1 minute.

Add turkey; brown meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Stir to break up lumps.

Add chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, cumin, tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, beans and green pepper; bring mixture to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat and simmer until meat and vegetables are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7 comments: said...

Lady, when I'm in a funk, I usually crave me-time.

Otherwise, I hit the exercise and the cooking because those are two things that have a tangible outcome. I know what will happen if I put "x" know? Failing that, wine, chocolate + cheese are always effective remedies.

Keep your head up - and don't hesitate to share these moments with us. We've all been in that overwhelming place.

Joann Mannix said...

It's been an overwhelming month for me, too, for a few reasons. And I hate to sound like a too perky cheerleader, but working out even when I don't feel like it, always chases my blues away. On one exceptionally tough day this month, I went out and bought myself a really fabulous pair of shoes. That helped a whole bunch.

Thanks so much for your comment on my guest spot over at The Girl. Humiliation isn't so bad when you share it.

Jen said...

January always seems to be a rough month. I think it's the lack of sunshine! Your chili looks great though!
Stopping by from Not Baaad Sundays
jen @ said...

I am addicted to Vaseline, so I think your hubby might be on to something here. I'm so sorry about your skin though! I just want to crawl under the sheets when my hair/skin looks bad. This is daily. So I totally get where you are coming from!

I hope this week is a better one for you my friend!

Erica said...

Oh no! I've heard chap stick is addicting and I kind of believe it. But there are worse things, right :). To get out of a funk- a good workout, a nice nap or a peaceful walk outside usually does it for me! The chili looks yummy

Small Town Mommy said...

I had the same issue in early January. This was combined with my daughter being put on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet and I just completely lost it. I am better now, I just seem to have come out of it. On another note, I love Trader Joe's lip balm. I don't like fruit scents but I love the mint.

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

You all are so right about exercise. It def. makes a difference and I am coming out the other side of all this nonsense, I think.

@ Small Town: the mint is what started all this. Evil!