Monday, January 23, 2012

Let’s Make It Simple

Today I will take a rest day. Today I will go to get my left ass cheek (LAC)  massaged by the almighty Matt who knows how to make it all better. Today I will not make things harder than they need to be. Spending more time on things does not necessarily produce better results. In many instances, it can be classified as “spinning your wheels.” I am the queen of the spin.

This is what I’ve discovered about myself: I often put things off because I make them more complicated than is warranted. Instead of making a grocery list of basic items for simple meals, I think I have to come up with some new and fancy menu plan. Instead of answering an email I received with a basic “thank you” or “no, thank you,” I think I need to write a novel explaining why or why not I want or don’t want to do something.

I think many of us do this with exercise. Instead of just heading out for 30 minutes of moving our bodies, we think we have to have a plan or run a certain pace or exercise every stinking day. Not the case. Keeping it basic and simple is the key to success. One thing at a time leads to big things over time.

When we over-think, we self sabotage. When we over-think, we tend to forget to keep it simple. I am convinced many aspects of life do not have to be as involved as we make them out to be. In order to keep it more simple, it’s time to let go of some elements of perfectionism.

Ever had a five ingredient meal? Sometimes those are way better than the complex 20 item recipes full of hard to find stuff like marinated bull testicles.

Last night’s dinner- Easy Chicken Tacos:

6 chicken thighs
1 can green chilis
1 can pinto or cannellini beans
2 T taco seasoning

Dump in crock pot for six hours. Shred chicken, mash beans. Serve in multi grain taco shells. Watch family devour.

Simple. Basic. Authentic. The anti-fancy.

This is not my photo.-> I would never use a cloth napkin or a sprig of cilantro. Or a lime on the side. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

What’s something you make harder than it has to be? (TWSS)

What’s your favoritist (it is a word) go-to quick dinner? Feel free to share recipe.



  1. I am so the same way. I have felt so stuck lately with many things, because I overanalyze and want things to be perfect. I need to simplify!

  2. I have the hardest time getting to bed early and then of course getting up to run...

  3. taking care of our home...there are days I think: "WTF...stop it!" then I go for a run and start all over again ;)

  4. Everything! I put off things bc in my head it's more complicated than it really is. Then I feel anxiety bc it's not taken care of and it usually ends up costing me money as well. I'd be much happier if I took care of things right away.

  5. Getting together with people I don't know. Ex: running groups, other spouses... it seriously takes me out of my comfort zone.

    Army Wife of the Year for sure.

    Hope your ass feels better.

  6. What do I make harder than it needs to be?

    That's what she said.

    (you totally set yourself up for that one, Beth...)

  7. pensive pump: omg how did I not see that? need to add it in. hilarious.

  8. Your posts have always been wonderful to read. But these few posts have been really insightful.

    I try to appear to be one of those "make-it-simple" kinda girl. But before I appear that way, I go through a long list of stuff that I have to take care of, so everyone else will get the simple part.


  9. I'm mentally beating myself up over a 30 minute treadmill run that hasn't even happened yet...definitely going to be harder than it needs to be!

    We also had chicken tacos for supper...just in case you were curious! ;)

  10. Ooh I was (and still am to a degree) also the queen of overanalyzing. I have gotten better, mainly because my now 6-month old forces me to be. 30 minutes of a nap? No time to overanalyze, just run! (on a 'mill, but it can't all be perfect, right??) and speaking of simple recipes, this is a must-try:
    ... I hope the link works ... sooo tasty and all you do is dump it in the pot and warm it!

  11. You are SO right!!! I always think that I need to run at least 4 miles. It's like I think if I don't do that then it's not worth it, but in reality anything's better than nothing. I'm going to try swimming at our local aquatic center tomorrow morning, but I'm already thinking that I won't be able to go far, so I need to make time for a run tomorrow afternoon instead of keeping it simple and just enjoying stretching out my body for a swim. WHY do I do this?? It's such a mind game for sure. eek!

  12. You got me thinking and mahalo. I would have to say I think I may end of day routines harder than they need to be. I am so anxious to have 5 minutes with dear hubby before I zonk out I think I may add stress to getting darling daughter bathed, fed, hair braided, cuddled, and to sleep. I just don't know how to simplify my process....

  13. Cubed chicken breast tossed in taco seasoning. Saute in a T. of oil. Stir in a can of diced tomatoes and 1/4 c. apricot preserves. Simmer til done (about 15 min). Serve over steamed rice. Easy, fast, delicious and only 4 ingredients. Its my favorite!!

    KISS (keep it simple, stupid). Repeat as needed.

  14. My favorite quick dinner is an omelet, but I married this weirdo who refuses to eat eggs (basically we need counseling to get over this). So instead I either have beans going in the crockpot all day, or do some fast pasta like artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and shrimp with lemon or tuna, spinach, and olives (and hard boiled egg for me).
    And I wouldn't be totally truthful if I denied resorting to cheese and wine some evenings.

  15. Thank you for this post! I don't always feel like a "real runner" since my daily miles aren't daily, and rarely are they more than 5! Have a simply great week!

  16. I always over- analyze. I also always compare myself to everyone...including you ;)

    Here is my favorite fast recipe:

  17. Oh man, this hits home. I make everything more complicated than it needs to be! I do have one simple go to meal. Roast veggies with a little olive oil in the oven til browned (any combo as long as it's 50 % red veggies) - red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, etc. Throw in blender, food processor or my beloved Vitamix with sundried tomatoes and puree. Mix with a jar of pasta sauce, serve over pasta with store bought garlic bread warmed in the oven.

  18. One pork tenderloin + one can of root beer + crock pot on low all day = easy!
    Add BBQ at the end and shred for sammies or throw into corn tortillas and bake for taquitos!

  19. Ah, yes, I also lean toward the dramatic side when I feel overwhelmed and make things that should be joyful a pain in the a$$ (oh wait, that's just me!). In order to make shopping/cooking for my family easier, I always double a recipe and portion it out so that I can serve it twice but just cook once. Anything I can give my "maid" (aka slow cooker)to do!

  20. Well said. I, too, need to simplify. I had a pound of beef sitting in the fridge waiting for me to do something "magical" with it. After browsing all my recipe books and online resources and coming up with nothing appealing, I said screw it and made hamburgers. I like that taco recipe and I love my crock pot, so will def be making it. And what is up with LACs? Mine is bothering me too. Feels like someone is kicking me in the butt when I run. I am trying acupuncture next.

  21. Favoritist quick dinner: granola and almond milk with fruit. The beauty of eating vegetarian is that just about everything is a quick make meal.

    I always push off sales calls until I just can't take it anymore and blow up under the pressure of not having made the call. Gotta change that.