Happier – The One Coin Loophole

I’m relatively new to the world of podcasts. For the last year or so I’ve been burning through all kinds of them in an effort to watch a bit less TV, and also to have something to listen to that isn’t the Wiggles. It is such a treat to find a new fabulous show that has a few years of back catalogue and is still making new shows. That’s just what I have found with the show Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

About a day after I published my post Bit by Bit, Happier was recommend on my all time favourite podcast My Favorite Murder. A few minutes in Gretchen and her sister Liz are explaining The One Coin Loophole and articulating my thoughts in a way I never would have strung the words together. Broken down to its most basic form, the one coin loophole works like this: Are you rich if you are given one coin? Most people would say no. What if you are given another? One more? Ten more?

Eventually you will have a pile of coins. At some arbitrary point, one more coin will be added to the pile and you will say – NOW I’m rich! If you look at the growing pile vs. staying focused on the single coin. I’ve made it. And that is the way habits work. Every day you eat within your calorie limit, and eventually it adds up to weight loss. Each week you make sure to learn and use a new word and after a while you have an improved vocabulary. The little stuff adds up and that’s exactly how I feel challenging myself bit by bit, a little at a time.

But they also reminded me of this very important flip side to bit by bit, or the one coin loophole, and that is that it works in reverse as well. Lately I’ve been so happy for reaching my weight loss goals and I’ve been “rewarding” myself more often and maybe not monitoring my calorie count as diligently as possible. This is a slippery slope that leads to bad habits. It’s unfair that these little bits seem to add up faster and easier than good habits, but such is life.

This podcast is FULL of amazing “try this at home” tips, interesting behavioural science information that helps you to know yourself and those around you better. I can’t wait to dive in and get making some newly inspired changes. Today my new notebook arrived for my one line journal. Just one line about the most memorable part of my day. That’s enough to look back on, and is an amount I would actually keep up with.

When I find other tasks that really resonate with me, I’ll pass them along. In the meantime, give Happier a listen and get ready to know yourself better.

Love & Spices,

Mexican Adobo Chicken Stew

Mexican Adobo Chicken Stew

1 TBSP olive oil
6-8 pieces skin on chicken thighs and drumsticks
Salt and pepper to taste
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves , minced
3 large carrots , chopped
2 celery stalks ,  chopped
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp flour
3 cups salt free vegetable or chicken broth
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 tsp Worscestershire sauce
1/2 TBSP C&C Mexican Adobo Spice
2 bay leaves
1 lb baby potatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Brown chicken in batches on both sides until light golden, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Remove from pot.

Add onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until onion is translucent. Add carrots and celery, cook for 1 minute.

Add water. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to dissolve the brown bits into the liquid. Cook for 1 minute until liquid is mostly gone. Sprinkle flour across surface, stir.

Add broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, C&C Mexican Adobo Spice and bay leaves. Stir to dissolve tomato paste.

Place chicken on top, keeping the skin above the liquid level as much as you can. Bring to simmer then cover. Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven, remove lid. Add potatoes, pushing them into the liquid and rearranging chicken so they sit on top. Return to oven without the lid for 40 minutes until the chicken skin is deep golden and super crispy, the potatoes are soft and the sauce is thickened.

Taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper to taste.