The Truth is…I’m Struggling Too

It’s been a long time since my last post. Our life, like a lot of you who read Good Better Best Food, has been a whirlwind of school starting, sports practices, homework nudging, keeping up with our day jobs (did I mention it’s an election year), dog walking, laundry doing, trying to keep my health situation in check but still trying to get a healthy meal on the table almost every night. And the truth is….I am struggling.
This fall, and even this whole year I have felt off. I feel behind, I am late getting things done, not crossing off my to do list items in a timely manner, not talking to family enough and at times running on empty. For a type A person like myself, this is challenging. I am not blogging (even though I want to), I am not gardening (oh how I want to plant fall bulbs and those beautiful mums) and at times struggled to get dinner on the table. No we are not headed to drive-through city, but this has been a challenge especially one night of the week. It’s called Tuesday friends…otherwise known as now the Sweet Boy has an extra hockey practice on a week night and it lasts 90 minutes.
This is what Tuesday evening looks like now. I pick up the Sweet Boy and then head to the hockey rink in my day job finest. I’m all fancy to go into the smelly locker room to help him get his gear on. It’s one thing on the weekends when I can drop Running Daddy and the Sweet Boy at the door, park, drink my coffee in my Red Sox hat and find the warm spot in the stands. Tuesday nights…I am a hockey mom in heels. He’s old enough to get most of his gear on without help and his super duper coaches are always so nice to tie his skates (lest I fear if I do them he will break an ankle). Then off he goes for 90 minutes to do what he loves and I love to watch him skate.
hockey glass
Running Daddy joins us post work and terrier walk and after 90 minutes we have a sweaty, smelly (have you even smelled the hockey smell…it’s unique) Sweet Boy. By the time we get home, it’s closer to his bed time than dinner time and there is still a little homework to be done, a shower still to be had, and oh yeah…dinner. The dinner part has really been an experiment on Tuesday nights. I have tried the crockpot with either a lot of failure or things the Sweet Boy doesn’t like. I have gotten recipes for one pot pastas which look cool, but I have not been able to get it together enough to try them on a Tuesday. Casseroles…forget it. It takes too long to heat up the oven and most have to then cook for 30 minutes.
Then it donned on me. I need to go back to basics with the principals of Good Better Best Food. I need to stop torturing myself and just make Tuesday nights, drumroll please…..burger and dog night. Yup, there it is and it is going to have to be Good enough.
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Running Daddy and the Sweet Boy are always Good with a burger and dog night. I can still Good Better Best our Tuesday nights with a hot dog on a whole grain bun, beef or turkey burger with avocado, steamed veggies or a quick salad and either organic frozen brown rice or sweet potato fries. It’s quick (I can almost have it done by the time shower night is finished), there’s nutrients in there, and even a tired, sweaty Sweet Boy will eat it before he does more homework and hits bed. Most importantly, this is why I developed Good Better Best Food all those years ago. For a while, I lost sight of the true principals of Good Better Best Food and I have now found my way back.
So there it is. The truth and frankly, I feel Better just writing this post. I am going to try to write more often, because it is what I truly love. There are lots of times when a post is all up in my head and I can’t muster up the energy to get it on paper. But how I love this fun quick concept about getting a Good dinner on the table and it makes me smile when people end a work call and say…”Oh and I love your blog.”
If you have a go to dinner that is super-fast and yummy, please leave it in the comment section and I will try to give you ways to Good Better Best that meal. Let’s help each other out with meal suggestions. Working moms, stay at home moms (hey dads too), traveling singles, empty nesters we all can work together to Enjoy the Best Food!


Good Better Best Back to School

underdog lunch box
Well if you are not already back to school, like we are, you should be headed back by next Tuesday.  Just a short post with some reminder tips on how to Good Better Best the lunch box.  Even small changes can be healthy and yummy.
Enjoy these tips and feel free to post your own ideas in the comment section.
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Lenten Sugar Free Challenge-Week Three

The Challenges
So the third week of Lent…the sugar free challenge was more challenging and I can’t even use the stomach bug as a reason.  It started with a work trip and ended with a retirement party. 
Last Friday I was in the airport for my day job.  I was tired, I don’t sleep well the first night in hotels and I was only there for one night, I had a big event that day, and I had already had my gluten free Lenten travel staple for lunch—brown rice sushi.  I was in the airport, I was hungry and tired and didn’t find any options that were sugar free, gluten free and meat free that sounded good.  In a moment of total weakness…I had fruity snacks.  Not proud of it, not making excuses for it.  Fruity snacks.
On Thursday we had a retirement party for someone at work.  Miss B came up to my desk and told me that she ordered me a special treat.  She ordered me a red velvet gluten free cupcake.  Sigh.  I ate it…and it was amazing.

But other than that…there were no slip ups.
What I have learned
I didn’t know that I would learn so much in this process by giving up sugar for Lent.  I thought I would challenge myself and probably not be able to do it.  I have done much Better than I thought I would but the whole blessing of Lent is to teach you something.
Here is what I have learned.  I feel a lot better when I don’t eat sugar.  Deep in my heart I know it is not good for me, it’s really bad for people with autoimmune disorders and causes inflammation.  I have always known that but sugar tastes so darn good.  The additional benefit of this is that I am down about 5 lbs. 
I have learned that for me, I really need to cut sugar out of my diet as much as possible.  I need to treat sugar the way I treat gluten…avoid it at all costs and I won’t feel horrible.
My plan is to go through Easter and enjoy the day and all of the treats it has to offer, go to our amazing tropical resort vacation and eat what I want (gluten free of course) and then when we return back to the mainland, restrict as much sugar as I can.
So there it is.  I said I would be honest about this process.  Two slip ups.  One was worth it, one was just based on exhaustion and traveling.
Enjoy the Best food!

The Sugar Free Lenten Challenge-Day 12

Well today is all kinds of mentionable days…it’s another snow day (seriously…like number 10,000 this winter), St. Patty’s day (yes, I am Irish) and also Day 12 of my Sugar Free Lenten Challenge.  It’s going Good…really Good…except…
Well about 10 days ago the Sweet Boy brought home the stomach bug.  It has run rampant in the lower hall of his school for about three weeks.  Apparently there are either different strains of this bugger or it takes different forms in different people.  Either way, I think that Jack may have had two different strains of this thing over four days.  I will spare you the details.
Well, on Friday I woke up not feeling well.  Queasy, pukey, blah.  I soldiered on and went to work.  As my morning progressed STILL NOT BETTER.  I cheated and reached for the only type of ginger ale in the office fridge…the kind with sugar.  For the next two days I proceeded to cheat…sort of… is it cheating when you have a full blown stomach bug and the only thing that you can have is ginger ale and Gatorade?   I mean if you are going to cheat…wouldn’t you just go for a big cheat and eat a gluten free or regular cupcake? When I bought more ginger ale, I did choose the kind without sugar.  That should absolve my sins….hopefully.
So without the episode of the stomach bug, which has also hit Running Daddy….hard, I would say my Lenten Sugar Free challenge is going Good.  I am having little cravings for sugar, well and for any food for that matter over the last couple of days.  I will even stay strong and hold off until Easter weekend on the gluten free Girl Scout Cookies my friend Nurse M is getting me all the way from North Carolina.  That one will be hard…I have not had a Girl Scout Cookie in FIVE YEARS.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread
Despite the score of Stomach Bug 3…Team Good Better Best 0 I am determined that this will be the Best Sugar Free Challenge yet. 
Enjoy the Best Food,

The Sugar Free Lenten Challenge-Day 3

So I mentioned in my last post that I was giving up sugar, the bad stuff…the white stuff, for Lent.  So here I am three days in and it’s going…fine.  Dare I even say Better?  Really Better!
I have embarked on this sugar free journey before, with mixed success.  I always feel Better when I am sugar free but usually the first 48 hours are really difficult.  But.Not.This.Time.  I have gone sugar free for New Year’s, the middle of the year, because I have been feeling gross but never for Lent before.  Some how, some way my Sugar Free Lenten journey is going Better than when I tried it in the past.  Not sure if it is because this time I have a higher purpose and goal but it could be.
The only little “cheat” I had was that I had to drink regular Gatorade for a medical treatment that I had on Thursday.  Believe me if you are going to “cheat” with sugar…would anyone really pick Gatorade?  I think NOT!
I will keep you posted on my sugar free progress.  So far it is going Better…let’s see if I can make this the Best sugar free experiment ever!
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A Confession, a challenge and a potential movement

The Confession
I have a confession, I think I am a sugar addict.  While I eat in the Good Better Best style every day and make our dinners in Good Better Best, I am not going to lie to you…I follow that healthy dinner with candy or a gluten free ice cream treat almost every night.  There…I said it and it’s time to do something about it.
I know that white sugar is really bad for me.  It’s really bad for all of us but especially bad for me due to my autoimmune diseases.  I know that sugar causes inflammation and anything that causes inflammation is a challenge for people fighting autoimmune diseases.
The Challenge
So this year for Lent, I am giving up white sugar.  I am not giving up honey or things like stevia, I am giving up the processed white stuff, he ingredient that makes things taste so yummy, but is also doing so my damage to my body.  I am also not going to replace white sugar for artificial sweetener, to me that just defeats the the purpose.  For  the record, I am not giving up wine and while I do know that wine contains sugar, it’s not the same as the white stuff and I think giving up wine and sugar is just setting myself up for failure.
The Potential Movement
Betsy Karetnick, former host of Morning Living on the Martha Stewart channel and writer of and I were chatting on Facebook last week about sugar and how all calories are not created equal.  I mentioned to her that I was giving up white sugar for Lent and she suggested that we try to start
, along the lines of Meatless Mondays.  So today I went a whole day without white sugar.  I just had some raspberry tea with honey for dessert and it was pre
Let’s see if I can go forty days without sugar, which will also happen during my birthday and I will keep you posted on my progress.  I promise to be honest.
Enjoy the Best Food.

Gluten Free-Four Years!

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Just a quick post to celebrate my four years being gluten free.  While Good Better Best Food is not a gluten free blog, I came up with the concept in my kitchen long before I even went gluten free, everything I make now is gluten free. 
People always ask…does it really help?  I would not be doing this four years later it didn’t.  It doesn’t work for everyone but it did help my health issues and I did feel better right away.
Feel free to message me if want more information about taking gluten out of your diet but you can always enjoy Good Better Best Food even if you eat gluten! 
Enjoy the Best food!

A Good Better Best Tribute to Rudy-the Best Rescue Cat

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Rudy Christmas
I know I have been totally off the blog scene and at my favorite time of the year.  I have missed great holiday cooking and wine posts, gift ideas etc. but in December we lost our dear sweet rescue cat Rudy, and the last few weeks of his life (which happened to coincide with Christmas) became all consuming. 
In this blog I write about things I love, healthy cooking, good wine and gardening.  I also touch on my great loves, the Sweet Boy and Running Daddy, but over the last twelve years there was a four-legged boy in our house too, his name was Rudy and he was a white rescue cat.  For the first couple of years, it was just Rudy and me and I realized when he was very sick last month, that he really was the start of my family.  Two years later I would meet Running Daddy and he honestly was the only guy I dated that not only Rudy liked…but Rudy loved Running Daddy and well the feeling was mutual.  Running Daddy and I got married and a little bit after that the Sweet Boy was born.  Rudy and I truly had what we were looking for now, a real family.
Rudy was 2-3 years old when I adopted him and therefore was about 15 when he passed away.  The last month was tough for him and frankly for all of us.  He was a fighter and pushed so hard to stay alive until the day after Christmas.  During those 16 days when he was in such bad shape several things ran through my mind.  The first is that I kept telling him that if it was his time, he could go and if not then I would take care of him.  As I did everything we needed to for him over those last days I kept thinking “there are no limits” and truly there are no limits for people I love.  I have realized that Rudy taught me a lot.  Rudy taught me a lot about love and he taught me a lot about friendship and there were no limits on his love for us either.
When Rudy passed away a close friend sent me a text and one of the thing she reminded me was that I saved Rudy‘s life.  As I look back at the last twelve years I am very proud of the life that Running Daddy, the Sweet Boy and I gave Rudy.  He truly had the life and family that every rescue animal should.  The night before Rudy went to the emergency vet will always be of my fondest memories.  I had just had one of my monthly treatments at the hospital and I am usually pretty wiped out by 7pm on those days. All four of us (Rudy, Running Daddy, Sweet Boy and I) were snuggled up in bed in a “sandwich” hanging out, laughing and reading.  That was love.  That was my family.  Those were my boys….two legged and four legged.
While I am not giving you a new recipe to try or a wine find in this edition I do want to encourage you to think about animal rescue if you are looking to add a four legged love to your family…or help you start your family.  It has truly been one of the Best things I have ever done.  As we start to think about the next member of our family (four legged) I am truly overwhelmed by the number of rescue groups out there and the number of animals looking for a forever home.  Anything you could ever want is available as a rescue.  Literally just yesterday my sister rescued an 11 month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from a shelter and I know she will give him an amazing forever home.
It’s an end of an era but we are looking forward to the next chapter in the Good Better Best household.  Not sure when or what breed (or mixed breed!) but there will be four footed love in this house again.  Maybe even a girl this time to balance things out for me.  So in this blog I am not recommending a Good recipe or Better wine but the Best kind of love you can and give….the love of a rescued animal.  Rudy, you simply were the Best.
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