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soft-boiled eggs with Swiss chard

I am looking for ways to add greens to my meals and to rock out of my food rut. Instead of saying “I should” to myself, I ask my brain, “how could we do this….” Solutions, rather than shoulds.

This morning I loathed the idea of fried eggs. Instead, I spied some fresh baby chard and thought, why not for breakfast?

I paired soft-boiled eggs with the Swiss chard, which I sautéed lightly in bacon drippings.

I started the eggs before the greens. They were done at the same time. A twist of pepper and a dollop of balsamic vinegar creme and voilà! Very satisfying.


21DSD – Notes from Day One (Monday)

First piece of advice: never start on a Monday. They’re busy enough. … It would help to follow the directions – the book suggests taking a week to get prepared. I am more of a Jump-Start person. I have a kitchen-full of “alternative” ingredients (almond butter, coconut oil, coconut amino, etc.). So I felt comfortable getting going.

On the other hand, why wait? I did not want to fall victim to “I’ll start tomorrow”.  And I’ve decided I don’t need to be perfect.  I’ve tried the Whole30 protocol and have FAILED repeatedly, making me think I am a FAILURE. False.  

I decided instead with the 21 Day Sugar Detox that 1) I am going to do several of these;  2) I will try my best;  3) I will not be perfect; and 4) I will be gentle and persistent. 

When I took the quiz, I scored as  a Level 1 [since I’ve been “free range eating” lately], which did not satisfy the inner-food-Nazi. But did delight the inner milk-addict.  I’m going to try the “easier way”.  Easy is good. Easy gets done. Easy leads to more joyful experiences. That’s my new story.


21dsd Day zero. Sunday

planning ahead means I don’t have to rely on will power to make good choices.

eggs, bacon, tomato and spinach
coffee with almond milk

Eggs scrambled in the remnants of fried pancetta
handful of sliced cherry tomatoes sprinkled with basil
roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and chopped walnuts
espresso with whole milk [my kryptonite]

salmon salad with nori wrap, green salad

Ate: leftover Brussels sprouts cold from the fridge
Just wasn’t that hungry.
Coffee with whole milk


Ate: ground beef stir fry with recipe from Well Fed. It was tasty but I have to admit that Chinese five spice is not my favorite combination.
Japanese veggies. Boksoy, yellow carrot, mushrooms, red onion, leek and snow peas.

Roasted parsnips and pumpkin. So so easy!

snack: beef jerky, hard boiled egg

Ate: None. Not hungry

thinking ahead: afternoon concert has a short pause where I can drink tea or coffee if I bring my own creamer. Enjoyed their fresh koffiemelk.

other good ideas:

water. Check.
sleep. Soon!
exercise. Not much yet.
fun. Definitely

dusting off the ol’ blog and 21 days of pleasure

I fell asleep at the wheel, figuratively, and I have developed a cushion around my middle.

[I just deleted several sentences in which I was pointlessly explaining my sins.]  I turn 50 in a couple weeks, and I want life-long health at a cellular level. And thinner thighs.  

I would like to model my nutritional beliefs by displaying a lean physique, rather than a middle-aged middle. So I’m starting a 21 day sugar detox tomorrow. And what better way than sharing my travails and successes here.  I picked Diane’s book 21dsd after my favorite mother-in-law introduced me to her beautiful writing and delicious recipes in Practical Paleo, a book I wish I had written. It’s smart and thorough. A shout out to Ann for giving me a copy of PP. 

Next year, which is really just weeks away, I’m  venturing out on my own, after nearly 30 years of institutional shelter.  I am following my passion, which is helping people feel good about themselves and the stories they tell about their lives.  This blog is part of that effort.  

I will spare you the gory details of weight, body fat, measuring tape, ad nauseum. Instead, meal plans and recipes. Because everyone has a body to feed and meal plans and recipes make success easier. And that’s what I’m about. Sharing.

So here’s my little phoenix bursting out of the fire, a photo that showed up when I challenged the Benevolent Universe to send me a gift of purple feathers. And voila! This is it! 



Spicy Coco-Choco Smoothie

Posted on

1 can coconut cream, stored in the fridge overnight
an equal amount of almond milk.
1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
dash of vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Mix the coconut and almond milks in a blender until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again.

exercise can be habit-forming

I’ve started and stopped exercising so many times in the past that sometimes I wonder how I managed to change into the person I am now. I struggled and felt guilty. I paid lots and lots of gym dues and never went. But I got tired of being tired. And worked through the pain and resistance of beginning again. Now I do something – actually lots of things – every day. So the Whole Life Challenge awards one point for Workout and one point for Mobilization. The Workout is at least 10 minutes of “active recovery” [intentional movement]. I got that covered. I usually ride my bike to work. Lately, I’ve been riding extra, in order to accompany my son to school I also walk my dog every night. And lift, swim, run, row, … you get the picture. My challenge will be to start a new habit of daily Mobilization. More on that in a moment.

If you aren’t actively moving yet, and you need some strategies, here are mine for Getting It Done – whatever you choose “It” to be:

Find a workout buddy: I go for a run or a bike ride with friends – we set up the details in advance (where, when, how long), and this makes sure I show up (because the other person is going to show up) (this helps a lot when the weather isn’t great and I don’t “Feel” like it).

Do something fun: I pick activities I really enjoy and look forward to – for example, at my gym, I usually train with a trainer who I like, so it’s a fun-hard workout, and I “reward” myself with 10 minutes in the sauna afterwards. I also like being outdoors, so I do a lot outside in nature. I also like climbing, but I live in a flat country. So I go to indoor sport climbing.

Take a class: having a specific time/place/activity picked out on your calendar where you are with others might help you get there. I registered my family for a month of climbing lessons on Monday nights. Without the class, I doubt we’d muster the energy to go to the wall at 8 PM. Knowing the instructor will be waiting for us makes us hustle to be on time.

Make an appointment: I schedule my gym visits at the same time each week (most of the time) and that cuts way down on “skips.” If it’s tuesday @ 11, it must be time to go to the gym – the decision has already been made. this makes it easier, since I don’t have to use up willpower.

Set a Goal: I use upcoming events that I enjoy to keep me motivated over the long term.

Be safe: I rest enough before going back to the gym for more – and try to train in zones that add to my fitness rather than break me down. When I was trying to get in the habit of exercising, I would do way too much on the first day, feel awful the next day, and not go back for several months.

Remember the reason why: I remind myself I always feel better afterwards, and that my health is as important (if not more important) than whatever thing I have to stop in order to keep my appointment with myself to exercise. When I am really resisting it, I tell myself, okay, you can stop after 10 minutes. This is particularly useful when I don’t feel good and think “I need a rest day” – usually, I just need to get moving and I feel better. I don’t think I have ever actually quit after starting. the hardest part sometimes is getting my shoes on.

Always be prepared: I have my gym bag packed and ready to go. There are no excuses when I am rushing out of the house in the morning. I also have a swim bag and a climbing bag – nothing fancy. They just keep my stuff organized so I don’t waste precious time looking for what I need to get out the door.

So, now about this new habit I have to form. Mobilization – daily stretching. I am going to have to answer the “W” questions to succeed at this. The W questions – what, when, where. There are some reminder apps I have used when I want to remember to do something new. You might try Habit Forge or Rootein. I also like Astrid – a to-do App that can schedule repeating tasks. I found though that if I set too many reminders, I ignore them all.

What’s your plan? The body you have today reflects the choices you made yesterday. It’s up to you.

Whole Life Challenge

On 15 September, the Whole Life Challenge starts. I joined up to give myself a leg-up. Left to my own devices, I succumb to my habitual way of eating. I’d really like to see whether cutting dairy and grain from my diet catapults me into Nirvana.

So this challenge features rules, points, and cheerleaders. I figure public shaming might help me. I mean, after all, I have this blog. I was writing a lot and regularly, and then got busy. And now it — meaning the blog — needs redecorating.

So here’s the thing. I’ll write about the challenge here. If you’re trying to make some changes in what you feed yourself, you’re welcome to join me. Misery loves company. Strength in numbers. Or something like that.

And check back. I am writing this on the iPad, which isn’t going to let me save a draft so I can find the links I want to add before I send it out on wings.