As January 1 rolls around, we begin the process of reinventing ourselves what habits to get rid of or pick up as new. Statistics show that 44 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. However, the most common problem is that we come up with an extensive list and then immediately fail. How do you tackle everything at once? What is on your list: Weight, smoking, alcohol, attending church more often, being kind to your neighbors? It’s not reasonable to expect that just creating the list is going to ensure that you follow through.
After years of personal research, let’s start with the basics. Pick just one resolution and focus on that. It’s much easier to make incremental changes (baby steps, if you will), and make another change after a month. And if it makes you feel better, start the new year with a calendar you’ve populated - what changes you commit to for each of the 12 months. That way, if your goal is losing 40 pounds and running a marathon, lose the weight starting in January and start walking every day. Save the marathon until the end of 2018.
Start 2018 with what’s most important to you. What will make you happier? Be sure that it’s not an abstract thought (i.e. be more optimistic). Come up with a resolution that is easy to measure. Write it down. Record it on your daily calendar. Post it on your bathroom mirror. Tell your spouse/friends. If you fail one day, start back up the next. And speaking of starting, start small. If the goal is 40 pounds, make it two pounds in January. As your momentum builds and your confidence increases, those numbers will increase. If exercise is your goal, don’t expect you’ll be at the gym first thing before work every day. How about committing to a 10-minute walk every day? 1 Timothy 4:8 instructs us to keep exercise in perspective: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
Do you need help with ideas? How about being more mindful (put your smartphone down and be aware). Love your enemy. Give more to your church or your local charity. Commit to prayer each day (there are some good smartphone biblical or prayer apps that can help you with that). And lastly, get outside. Explore the world around you. If you are part of a group or organization, maybe consider a retreat at Casey. We offer a fantastic venue, complete with lodging, meals, and meeting spaces for groups of all sizes. Best of all, we have a beach, forest, and wide-open spaces for you and your group to get outside and practice serenity and mindfulness. Connect, learn, and discover at Casey.
Start the New Year off with a #meatlessmonday recipe from our Camp Casey Mess Hall. Many of our customers have special diet requests for medical and religious reasons. Sometimes the requests are in support of a healthier lifestyle. Out of this growing need, Barb and Fred have created a healthier alternative to the standard burger. We think it is no less delicious and can be a great way to use up some leftovers!
Barb normally cooks without recipes, but we cornered her to write this one down for us to share with our friends. She created this recipe after a busy day at Camp Casey and had leftover beans from black bean soup and potatoes from our chili bar. This is a popular veggie patty that causes many to ask for more.
Black Bean Veggie Burger
16 oz (1 can) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium russet potato, boiled until fork tender (or you can use a leftover baked potato w/o skin)
½ green bell pepper, cut into large chunks
½ onion, cut into large chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp cumin
1 tbsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp hot sauce
½ cup garbanzo bean flour (plus more if needed). Red Mill is the kind we can easily find.
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a medium bowl, add beans and coarsely mash up. Add cooked potatoes.
2. In a food processor, finely chop white onions, bell pepper, and garlic.
3. Add chopped veggies, egg, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and hot sauce to the bean and potato mixture. Mix until incorporated evenly ; add salt and pepper, if needed. Tasting along the way is key, says Barb!
4. Add garbanzo bean flour and sliced green onions. Fold into bean and potato mixture. Form into patties. If dough is sticky, add more garbanzo bean flour.
5. Over medium heat in a frying pan, add a small amount of olive oil until pan is hot. Cook patties until browned on both sides (about 3 min per side). Place patties on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or spray pan with cooking oil. Bake at 350 approximately 10 minutes or until patties are heated thoroughly.
Makes about 4-8 patties, depending on their size.
If you are going to make it vegan, just remove the egg and add more garbanzo bean flour.
We tend to serve them with a lettuce spring mix, tomato, red onion, chipotle mayo, and cheese on a whole wheat bun.
At Casey, we host dozens of sports camps throughout the year, and what we have learned from talking to the various coaches about their programs, is that those who have the most successful seasons are not those who focus on the fundamentals and core skills. Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn't it? Coach Mills, who brings his cross-country team to Casey every year for their pre-season camp, sets the example of inspiring the young runners to put the experience of participating in a sport with others ahead of the actual outcome of the race.
The Shorewood Cross Country pre-season camp places most of its emphasis on camp activities fostering bonding and team building. Their three-day schedule is well defined and packed with activities. Every block of time, from when they load their buses and depart their school Friday morning, until they leave Casey the next Sunday afternoon, has been outlined. One quick and simple way to gauge what the coaches find most useful is to count how many blocks are dedicated to honing fundamentals, core skills, and endurance training and how many center around teambuilding and bonding. Out of the 16 scheduled blocks (not counting meal breaks), 11 are teambuilding and bonding exercises. Music video filming, campfire meetings (think S'mores), talent show, field games, and filming at the lighthouse are just some activities that one wouldn't equate with cross-country training.
Sure, there is the occasional 'Oregon drill,' bluff run, and 'easy aerobic run,' but most of the days are filled with things one would typically associate with a fun summer camp. The kicker, according to Coach Mills, is that the pre-season camp is his best recruiting tool. Many of the first-time runners join the team because of how excited everyone is about going to pre-season camp at Casey.