On Comfort Zones

So, we all have our comfort zones, where we are, well, comfortable. We have our routines and our favorites. We are happy there. But sometimes those zones can turn into ruts, and rather than engaging ourselves in something productive or pleasurable, we are simply avoiding discomfort. I’m certainly not the most adventurous of my friends, two of whom are currently doing something called the “Death Race” in Vermont. But I certainly do enjoy pushing out of my comfort zone into a different realm.

I’ve been making forays into eating outside my comfort zone. This is already a pretty good-sized zone, because I just like food. But actually trying to prepare some of the strange critters that show up in my CSA bag has gotten me eating kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, fennel (okay, that wasn’t good, but if you like licorice, you probably would like fennel), and most recently, beets. I’ve gotten kind of obsessed with beets. Fortunately, they have excellent health benefits, as per various athletic nutrition advice blogs I’ve read. Here’s a link to some information about beets.


Today I’ve made what I call Vampire Salad. The below is not my picture, mine is not nearly this attractive, more like a red but delicious mess, thus the name Vampire Salad.


My simplified version of the recipe (for those who don’t like to chase links) is as follows:

Peel and cube 3 beets into 1/2inch’ish squares.

Make dressing with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, and some chopped rosemary.

Pour dressing over chopped beets, roast at 400degrees for 40minutes.

In the meantime, prepare 2 cups jasmine or arborio rice (3/4cup rice, 1/2cup water). Tear up 1/4 -1/2 head lettuce depending on how much lettuce you want.

Pour beets and reduced dressing over mixture of lettuce and rice, and toss all together.

This is tasty still warm or as chilled leftovers the next day.


But one of the coolest recent forays out of my comfort zone was a trip to the Virginia Beach Aquarium’s Adventure Park.


For my first adventure there, I went with three friends one evening, when the lights were strung through the trees, and it felt like a hike through the trees of Lothlorien (Legolas? Galadriel? anyone home?). But I was completely incompetent to explain it adequately to my husband and daughter, so I’ll let Chris’s pictures do the talking now:



See those blue shoes at the right? Those are mine. My comfort zone was stretched, but not far enough to try the Commando course on which Laura is making her initial ascent.

This obstacle on Black Storm, the second- most-difficult course, was quite enough for me to feel achieved!

This Zipline was an awesome part of the course! More Ziplines, please!!!

So, everyone, have fun with your comfort zones! Enjoy them as long as they do not become ruts!




One comment

  1. Ron would love the recipe. It’s a bit too far out of my comfort zone but the adventure park looks fun. 🙂

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