My New Year’s resolution this year was to start living a life of gratitude and adventure. I really didn’t see it turning into a journey for my health, but it came to my realization that I can not be truly grateful for anything exterior to me, if I am not grateful for the interior of me. You know the whole rigamarole of treating yourself with respect and love before being able to give it out to the world. It is true, I put my health and well-being at the bottom of the list of things to do.
I think I graduated to the next stage of adulthood a couple of nights ago. Something inside of me clicked and I realized that it was me and only me, baby. Sure I have family and friends, but in that moment I felt alone, not lost or scared; just focused and independent, on my own journey, a new adventure, if you will. Liberated, I had an intense urge within me to run. Not to run away from anything, but to run into my life, to run with it. To let all the beauty and chaos of living life out, to free it with the rhythm of my pounding heart and feet.
I needed to stop waiting on everyone’s approval for the choices that I have made in this life. I needed to stop waiting for all of the pieces to fall together or for a better, more convenient time. No more excuses, no more apologies. I am responsible for my life and my well-being, so a few days ago, I started running again.
I haven’t ran since college, which was over a decade ago, so I am easing into things, only running for 15 minutes. I am able to get a little over two miles in, which I am happy with considering. Plus, I got my heart rate up, started sweating. It felt good to be back on the saddle.
Maybe my journey this year will be to finally get the love and support from the one person that I need it from the most, myself. The following recipe is exactly what I needed the other night. An old standby, I remember clipping it from a healthy cookbook years ago and I have made it so many times that I no longer remember which one it came from. It is a delicious side dish and a healthier alternative to traditional french fries.
Rosemary Cayenne Oven “Fries”
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp water
Juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp paprika
Dash cayenne pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large russet potatoes cut in wedges that are 1/2 inch wide
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, water, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne pepper, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Toss a few of the potato wedges at a time in the mixing bowl, coating each wedge separately. Arrange in one layer on the baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until browned and fork-tender, turning the pan once or twice to ensure even browning.