Hello, week № 45!
My picks this week aren’t November specific, but they are definitely appreciated this week and they deserve the spotlight. So I hope you’re ready to read about a silly soup, soft bras, intuitive eating, military libraries, and the only sunshade my child has ever seen (meaning that it’s so perfect for us that I haven’t wanted different brands or types).
Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links; I may earn a tiny commission from purchases.
Here are my five favorites this week:
- Salsa soup
- Wire-free bras
- Intuitive eating
- Military libraries
- Removable sun shades
— SALSA SOUP
This silly soup is my new favorite. It’s silly because I was inspired by a friend’s homemade roasted salsa, but I just wanted to drink the salsa as is…so I added one thing to make it a soup. Drinking soup is more common than drinking salsa; and this one addition was the perfect match.
Chicken broth. That’s it. Adding chicken broth to fresh salsa makes a really nice chuggable soup. If you step back from the silliness of it all, you see that fresh homemade salsa is a healthy dish, and adding high quality broth simply adds more nutrients. Here’s my basic recipe…you’ll notice that it’s not very specific. This recipe is just a guide because I just buy whatever is in season and looks good, plus I shop to our tastes. Our salsa is heavy on tomatillos, uses a variety of large green peppers, but no cilantro, and no spice (Kid Jupiter has zero spice tolerance right now). Sometimes I’ll roast a tomato or Kumato – it all depends on what looks good!
— Salsa Soup Recipe —
- fresh tomatillos, husk removed, quartered
- fresh tomatoes, quartered
- fresh peppers, rough chopped (remove seeds for mild audiences)
- fresh greens, chopped (like cilantro)
- onion, peeled and quartered
- garlic (a few cloves), peeled
- broth (Whatever broth you prefer. I’ve used homemade, bouillon paste, and powdered – I use 1 cup broth per adult – start there and modify as you want.)
- Quarter limes, set aside. Set aside leafy greens.
- Chop and roast remaining produce. You want some blackened edges.
- Carefully transfer produce to a blender, add salt and pepper.
- Add any greens or spices, top with broth.
- Secure lid, and pulse until smooth (or just mixed; the texture is up to you).
- Pour into saucepan, warm entirely, add hot sauce to taste.
- Divide into mugs or bowls.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice on top, stir well, and enjoy!
— WIRE-FREE BRAS
Like most folks I enjoy dressing up, but most of the time I am dressed down for comfort. Soft wire-free bras are a big part of my daily comfort.
I started buying wire-free Hanes bras when I was pregnant and needed new sizes frequently. The low price made buying new bras easy, and the lack of underwire was perfect for my expanding ribcage. I quickly got hooked on being able to breathe deeply (a luxury in women’s undergarments).
For the record I’m not very busty, so I’ve been wearing these wire-free bras daily because I don’t require underwire’s support. I spend my days chauffeuring my toddler, or doing chores around the house; so I live comfortably in leggings and hoodies – no need for pesky underwires here.
And like a real hooligan, I machine wash AND DRY these (in a mesh bag at least) and they’re holding up just fine. Pricing changes often, but I usually pay anywhere between $8 and $13 for each bra. That’s the cost one or two breve lattes, depending on cafe and sizing.
— INTUITIVE EATING
This one is a potentially tricky topic, only because Americans like me have been taught to fear hunger, but you need to understand hunger to eat intuitively.
The short story is that I used to be a naturally intuitive eater, but I was persuaded into eating more often, and I was getting bigger and unhappier despite “doing the right thing.” Well, the “right thing” (many snacks all day to ward away hunger) was entirely wrong for me.
I started intermittent fasting (which is still eating everyday, just not all day) and this helped me break out of eating to a clock, versus actual hunger signaling. I learned that hunger isn’t a big deal at all; feeling hungry isn’t bad, and it’s not an emergency. When you get comfortable with fleeting hunger, you can slowly start listening to your body.
Lately I’ve been following a very loose up & down day pattern of eating. One day I just want salad & juice, so I have salad & juice, and I feel great. The next day I want pizza, so I have pizza and feel great. Rinse and repeat…but only because that’s what I really truly want. I am satisfied after every meal, no foods are off-limits, and my pants are getting loose.
Intuitive eating makes a massive difference in my satiety and waistline, but the first step is getting to know your hunger, which means that you need to not nibble all day. It takes practice and dedication – intuitive eating is worth it.
- Here’s an audible.com recommendation for food choices (Deep Nutrition, Shanahan)
- Here’s an audible rec for a book about fasting (Fast. Feast. Repeat., Stephens)
- Intermittent Fasting, Month Twenty 📍
— MILITARY LIBRARIES
Installation libraries are a treasure.
Yes, they have the usual 1) lots of books, 2) kids rooms are common, 3) computers and printers, 4) rental DVDs. But also military libraries are very likely to display curated favorite reads. You know how Oprah and Reese Witherspoon are vocal about their favorite books? Well so is the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.
What if you don’t identify as “a reader?” Well, military libraries also have language learning programs for anybody with a military ID. I found out about this in…2008, then I walked straight to the library on Kunsan AFB, registered myself, and started learning Korean that evening. No, I never fully learned Korean, but I was immediately more comfortable in South Korea.
Programs change, and logons expire, so ask your librarian for details!
But what if you’re not into language learning either? Check out (har har) the available media also. Sure, you can expect DVDs, but you can also find video games. I don’t have the patience for console games, so I can’t speak much about what’s available – but it’s not just DVDs.
Give military libraries a chance if you have access. An in-person signup gives most people access to the installation’s digital library too if you prefer reading from an eReader. While most of my library visits are with my toddler (so I’m chasing him and apologizing to everyone), I still manage to grab a book to read over the weekend, or a cookbook to pore over during nap time. My kid hasn’t felt the need to borrow any titles yet, but that will come. I may not have attention, but I have patience. He’ll come around once he gets the hang of dropping off and picking up books.
— REMOVABLE SUN SHADES
Lastly I want to talk about these silly sunshades.
A few months before Kid Jupiter was born I bought a new car. But unlike my previous vehicles, it was neither a truck, nor already tinted. I knew that I would need some sun protection for my kid…but I wasn’t sure what. I was too pregnant to leave my car anywhere for tinting, and I don’t want those suction cup roller shades. I searched and found another option.
It’s just a mesh & elastic sock that fits on the door of your car. That’s it. My kid loves looking out the window, so I take it off on cloudy days so he can see. If it’s the middle of summer and super bright and hot – my kid seems happy to have it. It doesn’t affect window function, and it doesn’t peel at the edge like a low-quality tinting. Got caught in the rain? It’ll dry; it’s just mesh and elastic.
Personally I only shade the window nearest my kid. I still might get my windows tinted because I like that look, but I really like being able to remove this shade whenever I like.
Looking for something specific? Scan the Picks of the Week, Index.
Otherwise, here are more picks if you’re feeling clicky —