My family and I made it through a fun but overly hectic December---multiple orchestra performances and solo recitals, amazing school projects and group music jams, and mostly positive kitchen experiences. We followed that up with a really lovely holiday break: multiple museums, plenty of time at the House of Musical Traditions "petting" instruments I could blow my budget on in a day, and lots of fun movies and games with my two double-digit--aged kids. I couldn't have asked for much more!
What I didn't do was spend any planning time on work or fun-blogging. :-) So I'm starting the new year out with a pretty traditional approach: putting my resolutions in writing:
Continue swimming, lifting, and rowing
In 2017, I joined the IronHeart Foundation Triple Crown Challenge to extend my exercise and health routine beyond completion of cardiac rehab. I met the goals of 100 days, 100 hours, and 100 miles of exercise. I loved the motivation, the flexibility, and the cost (free!).
In 2018, I plan to continue that motivation on my own time with the Achievement app. It's a program that connects to other apps and rewards you with points when you meet health goals. Eventually, you cash in the points. My biggest hurdle here will be that I'm too low tech to get started: I don't have any devices (or their apps), like FitBit, to connect yet! My cardiologist will be thrilled if I meet this goal, though, because he's been asking me for years to upgrade from my analog-like pedometer. :-)
Continue rosary walks
Even before heart surgery, I was a huge proponent of walking as one of the best cardio exercises. It's free, easier on joints than running, accessible to all ages and ranges of health, and can be done anywhere---even in place. During cardiac rehab, I walked daily; after recovery, I was thrilled with the places I could go! Hills? No problem! Bags of groceries or books? Didn't even slow me down.
My challenge? Walking, by itself, is just a tad too boring. I don't 100% enjoy walking and talking, and, ideally, I like to have a destination. To keep my walks going after rehab, I combined them with my daily rosary. Calming, productive, peaceful, quick enough to fit into any day.
In 2018, I want to continue these walks. They clear my head, and they get me out of the house on busy work-from-home days that blow by. The rosary walks are nice, but short. My goal is to extend them by adding in a podcast or two afterward. I've never managed to get into podcasts, though I'd like to and have a long list of ones to try. Popping in ear buds and walking to the library seems like a great way to keep me walking this year.
Organize a blog and media calendar
Right. This one will be a challenge, not because I can't plan but because I LOVE to plan, to the exclusion of implementing the plan.
In 2017, I learned more than I could imagine about online media: scheduling blog posts, calculating nutritional content, tweeting and replying to tweets, posting to facebook in different locations, adjusting photo sizes and uploading in different places, sharing and labeling pins, joining link-ups (who knew?!), designing my own infographics and PDFs, and so much more. I also learned something surprising: I truly enjoy this online community! The steep learning curve (especially for a devoted Luddite like me) to interact online was more worthwhile than I could have imagined. I am continually inspired and impressed by others' kindness, creativity, openness, and generosity. It's been an unexpected blessing to connect with people around the world, to learn from them and to share experiences.
In 2018, I want to get away from my haphazard approach to these interactions. Right now, I fit them in around work and family schedules. Although this blog isn't a part of my business, per se, it is an important part of my week, and devoting time to it just makes sense. In particular, I'd love---at a minimum---to coordinate scheduled, prewritten blog posts with tweets and other shares, to figure out Tailwind for pinning, to set aside dedicated time to write thoughtful yet focused posts, and to have a real editorial calendar.
I may have set my aspirations too high. This list doesn't even include my fun goals, like learning a new instrument, or at least playing the one I do know (piano) every week. Oh, and the knitting goals...don't get me started. It wouldn't be a January without outsized resolutions and optimism, though, right?
And it wouldn't be a good food blog if I didn't add some sort of recipe! This one has been tested a few times already and went up just before the Christmas holiday on Bloglovin' and Freedible. The chocolate peppermint bread is free from wheat, dairy (milk and milk products), eggs, peanut, tree nuts, seeds, soy, and preservatives. If you are celiac, this is gluten free, too (it's not necessarily 100% gluten free from my kitchen, though; we're still using rye flour in shared bowls and pans...for now).
Check out the downloadable version, also indexed here on the blog:
Linked to my first FreeFromFridays of 2018
If you've followed the blog in 2017, you might notice that this recipe and its download file are derived from my holiday strawberry bread. The new recipe incorporates some gluten-free truths I learned so far, either from others or the hard way (sadly trashing first try recipes), including use of lower cooking times, different amounts of liquid, and measurement by weight instead of by cup scoops.
The strawberry bread has the same free-from ingredients (except wheat). If you aren't wheat free, I suggest giving that recipe a try first. It's moist and yummy with any type of fruit or veggie!
Hi, I'm Nicole.
ABOUT THE BLOG
An apothecary is a person or a place. Either one implies healing and relates to pharmacy in its truest sense, as a source of treatment and advice.
This blog is my way of uniting my pharmacy training with my efforts to provide a healthy and safe lifestyle for my family. In true apothecary form, I research and prescribe alternative ingredients that work just right in each specific recipe, and I would like to share the results with anyone who needs help making their own family’s kitchen allergy safe and heart healthy.
I made the 2017 Top-40 Food Allergy blogs!
Nicole Van Hoey's books on Goodreads
Bakery Bites: Breads and Treats Without Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, or Soy
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)
Kitchen Adventures With Multiple Food Allergies: A Recipe Collection for Celebrations Without Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Seeds, or Soy