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Why I love Mondays

May 30, 2011
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So fresh & delicious, it doesn't always make it to the table!

I look forward to Mondays, and here is why.

Reason 1) My farm fresh veggies for the week arrive today.

This makes me happier than you might imagine. I get two deliveries each week through CSA programs, (CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture), and if you’re not already receiving produce this way, you absolutely must look for one in your area! The first delivery of the week is from Healthy Basket, AUB’s program with farmers in Lebanon.  Most weeks, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to get, I just know that everything will be season, certified organic, and locally produced. And it actually arrives in a basket, not a nasty plastic bag, yay!

Buying your vegetables from a CSA program is a good idea for a multitude of reasons, most obviously because it supports local farmers, giving them a fair price for their produce and providing them with a steady income to help cover their expenses, so they can get back to doing what they do best, (farming is hard work!), instead of schlepping around the country trying to sell their vegetables. Second, you are doing a good deed for the environment buying locally, instead of contributing to a market for produce that needs to be shipped halfway across the world, polluting seas, skies and land on its way over. And third, you are creating a direct relationship with the people putting food on your table.

Very yummy baby artichokes

My other delivery comes from my friend Joanna’s farm. In this case, it’s not strictly organic, (i.e. not certified), but I know that she runs a clean, conscientious farm without dangerous pesticides, which is good enough for me. Plus, I get to pick and choose each week from her varied and interesting selection. (Through her we have discovered kohlrabi, yellow watermelon and baby artichokes, fun!) So the veggies arrive on Monday, and this sets into motion my second reason for being happy:

Reason 2) I get a fresh start on what I am going to eat and feed my family this week.

It’s easy to slip a little on the weekend. Or a lot, even. Recently, I’ve been “leaning” into vegetarianism, even cutting out most dairy as well just to see what will happen to my body/skin. (Another post, another day, maybe). This has influenced what we cook at home. During the week, I try to provide a mixed diet of vegetable stews (bamia, loubia, etc) , lentils, grains and some chicken and eggs. The kids do eat meat in the form of ground beef in mahshi (stuffed vegetables with rice) about once a week, but we try to keep it minimal.  Not because I believe that beef is so terrible for them, it’s just that I have no access to organic beef here in Lebanon, (somebody start an organic dairy farm already!) ….and no idea where the beef comes from at my supermarket, what kind of hormones/antibiotics/chemicals the cows may have been exposed to, or how hygienically or not it has been processed. (Ew.) The same goes for milk. This freaks me out a little, to say the least. I think we do ok, but then the weekend comes…and it’s pretty much over. Between the birthday parties and meals out, come Sunday their little bodies are subsisting on French fries, pizza and ice cream. Which is fine…. but whew! Monday arrives, and we can go back to our healthy habits.

I love getting this new chance to be organized and healthy, every single week. And with this renewed sense of purpose comes my third reason to love Mondays:

Reason 3) I get a great workout in, and with it a whole bunch of mojo that lasts for days.

Again, the exercise falters on the weekend, so by Monday I am ready to burst, which produces a great run or yoga session. Then with all that momentum, I get ahead of myself and make some crazy schedule for workouts all week! Ok, sometimes I do them all and sometimes I don’t, but hey! Come Monday, the wishful thinking starts again! And you know what happens when we exercise…..

Reason 4) I feel more focused at work.

Mondays are for evaluating, list-making, scheduling and catching up on last week’s undone tasks for my new business(es). If I was a superhero and procrastination was a superpower, I would rule the universe. I can also be slightly disorganized, it drives my (Virgo) husband crazy. The fresh start I get on Mondays uncovers The Productive and Efficient Me; Hurray, she does exist! There is huge satisfaction to be had from scratching things off your to-do list, and I do it with relish. I am also in the middle of an 8-week online business course, and a new module is released every Monday, yet another reason to look forward, get my groove on, and you know,  just DO the WORK!

What do all these things have in common? Kaizen, of course!

The beginning of each week brings a new chance to make small improvements in every area of our lives: Our health, our wellbeing, our careers, and our personal growth. What’s not to like?

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 Do you feel this way? What helps to set you in positive motion? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Maye F Ostowani permalink
    May 30, 2011 8:51 am

    Another interesting, inspiring and informative entry!! I love them. Keep them coming :) xxx

  2. May 30, 2011 9:04 am

    Will try! Meanwhile, if you come across a good recipe for silik/koussa/malfouf mahshi that doesn’t have any meat in it…pass it on !!

    Come to think of it…I will gladly accept all vegetarian recipes…I seem to remember eating yummy ta’amiyya at your house….hmmm? ;)

  3. Joanna permalink
    May 30, 2011 9:24 am

    Dear hana
    I recently discovered almond milk, it’s delicious! Unfortunatly you can’t find it in beirut, so i decided to make it out of dried almonds. It’s very easy.
    Basically you soak one cup of almonds in two cups of water for 12 hours, then you grind them
    with their water, then you pass the mixture through a sieve twice and collect the almond milk. Voila! It’s really easy, you can add a dash of sugar if you want, you can also use it in your oat meals.

    • May 30, 2011 6:24 pm

      Yum, thx J. I love almond milk, much more than any other non-milk (soy/oat/rice)…but I still haven’t found a non-dairy substitute that actually tastes good in coffee :(
      I tried this but I don’t think I strained it enough – will try again. Also want to try it with cashews!

  4. June 1, 2011 4:45 pm

    Hi Hana – I love Monday’s, too, because my CSA box is delivered and there are always lovely surprises in it. Blueberries, blackberries and the most luscious tomatoes I have ever seen. Monday is also a fresh start for the work week – exciting to get back to projects already in process and start new projects. I, too, am taking online classes, but we start our modules on Sundays, so Mondays usually mean homework is due…ugh. I keep telling myself that homework is good for me – still having difficulty believing that one…
    :-)

  5. June 2, 2011 10:29 pm

    I’m admitting right here: I’m TOTALLY jealous of your produce. Those artichokes look incredible! :)

    • June 7, 2011 8:56 pm

      They are, but they are teeeny! Lots of work but worth it for the deliciousness.

  6. June 11, 2011 12:58 am

    this is a new spin on mondays. healthy mondays now <3 love the post

  7. backgroundbird permalink
    June 14, 2011 11:42 am

    It’s much easier to find good things in Mondays during summer vacation. During the academic year, at college, it’s usually pretty rough. I should start planning some awesome weekly thing every Monday to make it a little brighter, like you do!

  8. Maria permalink
    August 22, 2011 8:49 am

    Have you tried soya (I used Naturalia brand) instead of ground meat? My husband didn’t eat red meat for years (now has it occasionally), so his mom (and then me :) used the soya (soaked in hot water for 5 mins with some spices, and then prepared just like you would ground meat) in mehshi, lasagna, potato soufle, kibbet el laateen, etc…
    It’s a great alternative, and tastes pretty good :)

    Enjoy!!

  9. August 22, 2011 8:59 am

    Hi Maria! Seriously, it doesn’t taste weird?? I’ve tried to have soy milk in my coffee but yuck..I just cannot get used to it, although my kids are very happy when I let them have chocolate Naturalia soy milk. Will definitely give it a try, thanks!!

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