Monday, July 25, 2011

Staying happy while staying at home

While reading my “morning blogs”, I found this post from Beau Hindman about his experiences as a “stay at home” kind of person. I’d like to write here my own version of it, as it is so rare to have a chance to share about it.

I've been at home since January when I quit a job for it being a dangerous environment, so I take it as my job (while looking for work) to take care of myself and my home, and keep in mind that, whenever I do find a money paying job, that it will be my "second" job, because I don't want to quit taking care of myself, my husband and my home.

With all the time available, there are no more excuses not to cook. Cooking is much more simple then what some people make it look like. All you need to do to start cooking is to know what you'd like to eat. Then you get on a nice cooking website (such as and start searching. Or call people that you know to be able to cook wonderful things and ask some help. A lot of recipes are as simple as following assembly instructions. The more complicated ones might lead you to making a mistake or two, but after a couple of tries you'll probably master it. The more complicated family recipe I make took me around 5 times to have it the exact way I wanted it to be.

Cooking at home leads to knowing what to buy at the grocery store, which leads to discipline to keep cooking and not giving up to the fast food stuff, or else those fresh stuff you got will run bad. So write down your plans to make it easier to follow.

I took this picture to use later as a drawing model
So once you get familiar with using your stove to craft yummy stuff, get used to cook the healthy stuff, which might be, or not, alien to you. It is to me! This is the stage I am in, replacing the not so healthy with the healthy, adding veggies on recipes and trying to have only fruits as snacks. For the first time this year, I enjoy eating tomatoes and bell pepper, things I'd never willingly add to my plate.

Of course it would be great to just cut all fast food and homemade fries in a day and start having healthier stuff, but it didn't work for me. So this is why I share my "go slow" version: let yourself get used to do it and learn it, instead of trying to rush and risking some frustration that might make you want to give up on the whole idea. I still have fast food once a week, or once every two weeks. The result is interesting: while I feel happy I took a break from cooking, my body feels a punch from the alien food, something I wouldn't feel when I had fast food 2 or 3 times in the same week. That sends me an important message: the stuff I cook, even though they are simple and not super chef stuff, is still better then the fast food.

I've had a lot of people telling me that they simply don't drink water. This means people are either not having enough liquids or getting a lot more calories then what their body needs. Water is the perfect thing to drink, you just need to start doing it to get used to it. You can get 34 little mineral bottles for less then $4, stuck them in the fridge and you'll have something nice and cold all the time. And recycle those little bottles while you are at it, its silly simple to recycle.

Exercise is not a big mystery either. Just start slow so you won't injure yourself. Even if you have a heavy body right now, there are exercises without impact that won't let you injure your knees. This website has a lot of easy reads on exercises: What I did was to spend $100 for an indoor bike, because I was making excuses not to exercise. With the indoor bike right here, no rain, or cold, or heat are good excuses. I also don't need to go anywhere, or pay any fee. I have the internet streaming service from Netflix, and I watch that while I exercise.  I really like the Yoga idea, and might try it sometime, it sounds perfect to do in silence, as opposed to my bike while I watch a show option.

Social isolation is something I feel sometimes by staying at home. It is more complicated to make friends when you don't have any kind of "forced encounters" with strangers that might lead to always meeting and talking and maybe being friends. All of this makes me closer to family and already known friends, and long distance calls (thank you Skype) to the folks in my homeland. 

Yet another thing I'd like to add is that staying at home gives you extra time then those that go out to work. All the time spent in commute, you have as possible free time for yourself. While gaming is my top entertainment, learning is something that I am adding too. Hobbies come in so many different ways, and I recommend people to go after some to take a break from computers. I am picking up drawing after a looooong break since I was 15 years old. I got a DIY book from the library, plus a website (, and having a blast with it. Next on the list is to learn spanish by myself.


  1. I do a lot of home cooking too, actually. I try out recipes that sound good that I find online (I'm not loyal to any one site -- I just search on Google for recipes from anywhere), and I save the ones that I liked to make them again.

    I usually try variations on them, and rarely follow the recipe exactly, unless it's something that requires a particular chemical balance, like baking.

    I almost never eat out, either at restaurants or fast food. I use a lot of fresh ingredients in my cooking.

    (Have you seen any of the WoW-based recipes?)

  2. Never seen WoW-based recipes! I hope it doesn't involve cooking spiders ;)

    I am trying to go back into using only fresh ingredients. U.S. is simply the devil place of good ready to serve/add sauce, and I need to work on making my own sauce instead of using a wonderfully tasty one I'm kinda addicted to atm.

    Also keeping a binder with the good recipes, it fills up slowly as I HATE HATE HATE cooking something wrong and risking wasting food, but at least there's progress!


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