Inevitably, with modern life being the tricky thing that it is, parts of our lives fall into ruts and nasty little habits emerge. They evolve slowly and sometimes it can take a while before we notice that they’re there.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a little ‘perspective’ fairy hovering in the background, ready to tap me on the shoulder and give me a bit of rude truth from time to time. She could let me know how many nights I’ve missed readers this week, point out that there’s a pile of unopened mail under the kitchen table and possibly even let me know if my current love of leggings is unsuitable for a lady of my age.
Tough gig though, being a perspective fairy. No one likes to realise they’ve been doing a bad job of anything. She’d need to be a fast flier to avoid the swats and insect knock down spray.
So it takes a little courage to take a step back from time to time and reassess how life is going – and look for the little (or big) signs that are telling you when it’s time to have a think and take steps to make adjustments and repairs wherever needed in order to obtain better outcomes.
For me recently, I’ve needed a big overhaul of my discipline system to accommodate my growing kids. Old parenting techniques weren’t working and most days I was just being the house shrew. “Gee your throat must be sore after all that yelling” said Mr Meat & Potatoes (AKA the perspective fairy).
So I’ve pulled my socks up and we’ve got a new star chart in place. Elegantly executed by the ever industrious Miss F (who individually contacted 40 star stamped pieces of paper), we’ve got a new system where stars are pretty easy to earn and can be transferred into either 5 minutes of iPad time or 25c. Took a bit of effort to get it going but it has totally turned the dynamics around from me yelling and them ignoring, to them looking for ways to be good.
On the food front I noticed that my own breakfast routine had come unstuck. I used to be a muesli girl, but I’d tired of my favourite brands and started buying other cereals that are on the healthy scale, but are still outrageously sweet.
My second perspective fairy was Rosemary Stanton (she specialises in Rude Truth, doesn’t she?!). I’m reading her “Choice Guide to Food” (which is really practical and great) and she pointed out that even those of us who read the product labels are possibly being duped. Instead of admitting to a cereal being 50% sugar, many manufacturers use two or three sources of sugar, so that each percentage is lower and they can appear further down the ingredient list. She offered such an easy fix that I feel stupid for being lazy and buying the boxed stuff. MAKE YOUR OWN. It’s cheaper. Yummier. Healthier.
This morning I tucked into my homemade muesli and it was so yum, that the extra 10 minutes it took to make the huge batch seemed entirely worthwhile.
Use whatever grain, seeds, nuts and dried fruits you like.
Pecans, roughly chopped
Spread the oats on a tray and bake at 180C – stir once or twice until golden.
Repeat with the almonds, pecans and coconut (stay near – they burn quickly). Toss together in a container with the other ingredients and you’re done.
PS. Did you know that most cereal serving sizes are ½ cup? Might be worth measuring your cereal out into a bowl to see just how much that is – I’ve been having waaaaaay more.