Friday, September 6, 2019

Moving Out + White Bean and Sausage Stew.

Hey there. Can I just tell you how tired I am? I know it's an overused phrase. I'm so tired. But I just had to say it.

We finally moved out of our house in Baltimore last week. Our rooms are rented, our basement is stuffed, and suitcases are (sort of) packed, and we are out. Here is our packed to the gills basement with a bed, bunk beds, Justin's classroom supplies, clothes, toys, you name it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What I Eat In A Day

Last week I wrote about my food journey, which begs the question: what do I eat? Years ago, I remember hearing of people who gave up grains, and I just felt so sorry for them. How can one live without grains? While it is certainly not a fun transition, it can be done. And, I believe, done well. Read on to learn how I do it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

My Food Journey + Lunch Today

You may start to notice, if you compare the posts to come and the posts from four years ago, that how I eat today is very different than how I used to eat four years ago. Four years ago, I ate all sorts of grains and cheese throughout the day, had a raging sweet tooth, and drank coffee and wine regularly. Not that, of course, any of you should stop eating or drinking these things. Unless they cause you problems.

After having Lydia in 2015, I couldn't seem to shake the baby weight. I felt chubby, and I wasn't used to that. I accepted the fact that my body changes as I get older, and figured this is just how I was supposed to be. But I never felt settled with it. My goal was to be able to wear a swimsuit and not feel self-conscious.

So I went on a diet journey. It progressed as follows: Paleo, Atkins, Whole30, Ancestral, Gut Makeover, and Low FODMAP. This took over two years of trial and error, and honestly, I'm still trying to figure it out.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Preparing to Move (Part 1) + Gut Healing Soup

How does one go about moving to another country for just one year? Here is the story of how we came to go to Spain, and the process of getting there. This is part one.

About four or five years ago, Justin stumbled across the international sabbatical option on his employer's website. We had no idea that a middle school teacher could apply for a sabbatical, but there it was. We knew we wanted to have another child, so we decided to wait a few years and then apply.

Well, we had Lydia in 2015, and Justin applied for the sabbatical at the end of 2018. He was confident he had a strong application and didn't see much reason for it to be denied. We waited to hear whether it was approved. January came and went. Then February. "Did you find out about the sabbatical yet?" People kept asking. March. April. May. I was all set to give up and make plans for staying in Baltimore again. I had enrolled Lydia in the same nature school that Evelyn had been in as part of her home school curriculum. I did some research into how to become a foster parent, since that has always been part of our plans. I had planted our garden and fully expected to harvest well into September.

And then. Justin texts:

I opened up my email to see the forwarded message that the sabbatical was approved. And I felt like the walls were closing in on me. I was so not ready to read this news. I had made plans for Baltimore next year, not Spain. I was mad! I got home and texted some close friends, cried a little, and felt like I had no control over the situation. I also felt a little like a crazy person. After all, we had made this decision together. It was not something I had ever opposed. But now it was real, and I had to get used to it.

Justin bought our plane tickets that same day. I was shocked. It was really happening! Fast forward three days or so, and we told the girls about the upcoming move to Spain after eating pancakes. We showed them the map, showed pictures of Malaga, and noticed there is a water park near by. That certainly helped them warm up to the idea. Seeing them get excited, and seeing Airbnb places we would stay for the first month, helped me get excited too.

I started clearing away clutter, packing up things to donate, clearing out the basement. Which brings me to the first step in how to move to another country (when you intend to rent out your house): Clear out your basement. All those items that you never use? They gotta go. Anything you thought you might need but not yet? It's probably gotta go too. We needed to make space for bunk beds, book shelves, books, heavy winter gear, clothes that don't fit the girls yet, toys, certain kitchen items, linens...the list goes on. Not to mention Justin's boxes and boxes of teacher stuff.

Checklist for moving abroad:

1) Clean stuff out of basement
2) Get rid of stuff
3) Move other stuff to basement
4) Cook up your pantry and freezer items
5) Get book lists for kids and download to kindle

By the way, here is what the basement looked like in the midst of the clean out:

Yikes. It was a doozy. It's somewhat organized now, and I will let you know how it looks once everything is neatly stored down there.

In other news, I've been working on healing my gut for some time. I will share more in future posts, but for now, you can peak into this tasty recipe of a soup I had for lunch today.

Gut Healing Soup
Serves 1

1-1.5 cups bone broth 
1/2 cup cooked diced eggplant
1/4 cup cooked zucchini
2-3 spears cooked broccoli rabe
1/2 cup diced cooked chicken thighs
Drizzle of olive oil
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Crushed red pepper

Method: Add all ingredients except vinegar and olive oil to a pot. Bring to boil, then simmer until heated through. Serve in a bowl, splash in vinegar, and drizzle with olive oil. Taste, and adjust vinegar and seasoning if necessary. Enjoy the hearty comfort of gut healing soup.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Four years in a nutshell

Hello, and I hope you will welcome me back! It's been almost four years since I last posted. In those four years, I've had a second baby, gone on a food journey, discovered how to eat for me (and am still discovering), home schooled my first born, and decided to pack up our lives and move to Spain for the upcoming school year. Nothing new, right? I hope you'll join me as I update you on my life, the food I eat, and the process of moving to Spain. I will continue to revise the recipes on A Kuk's Kitchen to mirror how my food philosophy has slowly changed from low fat, high grain to high fat, low grain. I will share how I conquered various food addictions and what that has meant for my life and my body. I will look into spiritual growth in my life and give you a peek into my food journal (the two, surprisingly, are more related than you would guess). I will share with you original recipes, link you to some favorite recipes on the web, and highlight beautiful restaurant eats along the way.

Moving Out + White Bean and Sausage Stew.

Hey there. Can I just tell you how tired I am? I know it's an overused phrase. I'm so tired . But I just had to say it. We fina...