‘Me time’ is now official. Early this year over 1,000 new entries were added to the Oxford English Dictionary and the noun ‘me time‘ was one of them. I imagine very few people would turn down more me time. Because too often life’s essentials get in the way of precious time for ourselves – the biggest one being work.
For too long I found myself wanting more hours in the day. This craving for more time is one reason I’ve just embarked on a ‘career break’. After 15 uninterrupted years in the corporate world a gut instinct told me it was time to try something different, to explore my passions and to have the luxury of time. I trusted my instinct and now with time on my hands my favourite ‘me time’ activities are so much more plentiful – especially cooking and reading.
I’m enjoying more time reading the lovely posts of fellow food bloggers and working through a backlog of books. I love a good mind, body, spirit style non-fiction book and here are three top picks from my recent reads:
- The well publicised “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson – a book that suggests we can improve our lives by being fanatically critical about what we choose to care (or give a f*ck) about.
- “Ancient Wisdoms for Modern Health” by Mark Bunn – a must read for anyone looking for super simple lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, sleep and more) that can radically improve health.
- The newly released and inspiring “When To Jump” by Mike Lewis. This is super timely reading for me, it being a collection of over 40 stories from those who, like me, have found themselves at a crossroads and have jumped from their day jobs into something new.
Next on my reading list is to dive into my cookbooks – some of which have been gathering dust for too long…..
Cooking during me time is so relaxing and fulfilling. And the end result is always more gratifying and nourishing than something whipped up in haste. My new found extra time has seen me dabble in creative baking – like these Chocolate muffins with avocado and this saintly Banana bread with banana flour. My most recent kitchen highlight? This smoky cherry tomato salsa. I made up the recipe on the fly and surprisingly it turned out to be the best tomato salsa ever. It’s good for you and keeps for weeks. Give it a go……
Smoky cherry tomato salsa
- 1 kg ripe cherry tomatoes (or standard tomatoes)
- 50g fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp each salt, cumin & smoked paprika
- 1 black cardamom pod – seeds (optional)
- 1 dried habanero or 2 chipotle chillies
- 1/2 tsp each allspice & black pepper
- 250ml malt vinegar
- 100ml coconut oil
- Soak the chilli in a little hot water for 10 minutes. Then blitz it, water included, into a paste with the ginger.
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin and paprika. Simmer for a few minutes. Add the paste and cook.
- Throw in the tomatoes – whole or sliced. Add the vinegar. Then the salt, pepper, allspice and cardamom.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 1-2 hours (longer is better) until the consistency is thick. Transfer to jars.
I talked at the start about my craving for more time. A little voice in my head knew that creating space with more time would open up new opportunities. Perhaps you’ve been there or are experiencing something similar right now? If so I thought you’d appreciate a couple of inspirational quotes from those who share their stories in the book I mentioned called When to Jump:
“We arrive at a crossroads between two really different paths over and over again throughout our lives – should and must. Should is all of the expectations and obligations that we feel other people put on us while must is our own intuition and deepest knowing.” Elle Luna
“If your body’s telling you something, it’s not lying. If you feel like you want to do something else or be somewhere else, and that feeling stays in your body, and it’s not going anywhere, listen….you don’t want to look back and wonder.” Rashard Mendenhall
And thanks to Mike Lewis, the author, for sending me a copy – it’s given me an extra boost of confidence in my decision to listen to that little voice.