August 2, 2016

An Epiphany!

You don’t need to have an autoimmune disease to benefit from a healthy diet, for many people it is the way to go, well I drank the Kool-Aid, made the commitment, yet I’m still struggling with weight loss.  I’ve got the grocery/farm stand shopping down, I buy real, unprocessed, and whole foods.  On the way home I think of all the shoes and bags I could add to my collection if I wasn’t so health conscience and spending an arm and leg on groceries. I am always anticipating the miraculous changes in my weight, that seem to elude me.  Honestly, there are some days that I experience the joys of my efforts, but there many days that I feel junk food/sweets deprived.  Foods sweetened with figs or dates are delicious, but they don’t always satisfy my sweet tooth.  Intellectually I know the importance of losing weight, plus the benefits and relief to my joints I will gain, if I do lose weight, yet I’m still chubby!

I believe my biggest problem is, I read too much, and am constantly changing my weight loss game plan.  Last night while I was thinking about how I was going to attack my weight loss, I thought about a 7-year-old Mary Ann! Mary Ann 6 years - 1 After being so proud and excited about making my First Communion, I spent hours looking over the pocketbook the school gave the girls.  It contained rosary beads, a scapula, and most importantly a girl’s version mass book.  In the back cover of the book, there was an explanation about visiting the confessional, and categories of sins to confess.  During my post Communion confession, I couldn’t remember any sins I had committed that week, so I made some up and just figured I’d add my lie to next week’s confession.  So I wouldn’t make the same mistake of not remembering my sins, I started to write all the infractions I was making during the week, not forgetting to add last week’s lie to my list. 

Armed with this list in hand and my brothers Boy Scout pen light, I walked up the hill to church for confession.  What a shock that priest had when I fired up the pen light and began.  I was instructed to throw some light on the deepest reaches of my soul and the Father McCarthy was not impressed, I think he went catatonic! It was definitely not a good idea to set off a pen light in a confessional, but I also realized I would have had a successful confession if I was allowed to continue, only because of my well thought out list. It occurred to me that I was approaching my weight journey in the wrong way.  It couldn’t be a day/week on, day/week off commitment, and the only way I would be successful in reshaping my eating habits was to be accountable!  I can’t change the amount of time it is going to take getting into shape, so I am going to do, not think about what I should be doing!Father McCarthy - 1

Take this as a warning, that on my blog, you will occasionally be subjected to an account of my weight loss journey!  I whole-heartedly intend to log my progress, stay committed to my goals, and keep a food journal, and most importantly, not eat Funny Bones for breakfast, lunch, & dinner! 

XO - 1

July 19, 2016

2016 Summer Book Edit

 

Summer is usually a time that I read books/magazines that require little attention or thought, and have no purpose.  They are books and magazines that I pick up over the summer, read put down, and don’t take very seriously unless we have days of rain and then they become my best friend.  This summer is different!  On June 17th I had my second hip replacement.  Unlike the first one, I’m not recuperating at the same rate as the first one, and here I am four weeks out and still using a crutch and having the visiting nurse check/changing my dressing and home physical therapy.  This has left lots of time, with limited physical activity, so I decided to get some reading material that would be beneficial to my school schedule that I will resume in six weeks.  I sent my husband Jeff to Target to pick up a few books that would improve my organizational habits and acquire new cooking skills that would simplify my life during the school year.  I also wanted a mystery romance novel for some mindless activity.  He returned with the following books:

First off, what a surprise, Gwyneth Patrow’s book, “It’s All Easy“!  I spent at least two hours of my life that I will not get back perusing this cookbook.  I do understand Jeff’s choice in chosing this book thinking that easy weekday recipes would be doable during the school year.  What a surprise to find this book to be an introspective of how limited my culinary knowledge is, and I possessed a palette that was still in infancy!  Most of the two hours was spent online looking up ingredients that were as foreign to me as a size two bikini!  Who has a kitchen large enough to store a matcha whisk, chickpea flour, za’atar, hazelnut oil, coconut sugar, and the list went on and on.  I’m still baffled by airline chicken breast (or boneless, skin on), and was getting punch drunk trying to decipher what I was reading and then discovered the pantry list.  If I had read the two pages of ingredients needed for these recipes I probably would have just perused the lovely pictures of her and called it a day after 10 minutes.  I just couldn’t relate to the recipes and found this cookbook pretentious at best.

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Thank God Jeff redeemed himself with a cookbook author he knows I love, Ina Garten, the “barefoot contessa”.   Her cookbook, “making it ahead” is similar to her other cookbooks, foolproof recipes, and a joy to read.

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The recipes are easy to follow, written in a clear and concise manner.  I find myself having to prioritize what I will be making first and a list of any ingredients I may need, which is usually not the case. My results are what you see in the pictures of the book and I believe the recipes are written for all levels of cooks.  From this book I’ve made the Skillet Brownies and the Easy Tzatzike for the 4th of July.  They went so fast, I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures.  Whether you’re a cook or not, her cookbooks have stories that are paired with recipes that will inspire you to want to try her recipes or just enjoy her pictures of delicious foods.

Next,whatever possessed Jeff to pick “the life-changing magic of tidying up” is beyond me!  I made it to page 73 and couldn’t take it anymore!the life-changing magic of tidying up - 1

Just knowing this book is out there to help people live a more organized life lit a fire under me to reorganize my home workspace and bedroom so I wouldn’t need this book’s assistance.  What I took away from the 73 pages that I read was that I needed to finish the process of discarding before I could tidy in the right order.  The criterion for discarding is; “Does it spark joy?”.  I have a houseful of stuff that does not spark joy in my life!  I find no joy in many articles of clothing, toiletries, or cooking utensils in my life, yet, I cannot discard them, they are a functional part of my life.  I had no problem continuing to read this book that I found cluttered with useless information until I hit page 73 when the author wrote; “The act of folding is far more than making clothes compact for storage.  It is an act of caring, an expression of love, and appreciation for the way these clothes support your lifestyle.”  My head began to hurt, and I knew this book was maybe a little too deep for me! (sarcasm)  Even if my life was in shambles, my idea of tidying up is drastically different from the authors.  I pride myself on being able to read and value printed text but this was quite the challenge that I wasn’t willing to undertake!

Finally, a book that was not a cookbook that I found most enjoyable!

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As stated in the above description I wanted a mystery/romance novel for a quick read, and this one did the trick!  It certainly was not deep, yet it kept me engaged.  “Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe” was a fast paced read and just a typical romance novel that you don’t read for any intellectual content!  I loved it!

Hope you enjoyed my first book edit!  In the future I will share on a monthly basis reviews, of the book I found most exciting each month!

XO - 1

May 21, 2016

Lunch in Newport!

1 (12)Another rainy and dreary spring day in the northeast!  I’m getting used to them and rather enjoy going out on a Saturday morning for a late breakfast or an early lunch.  Today, in the rain we headed off to Oceancliff Hotel in Newport, RI, it is beautiful there, even in the overcast skies and rain!

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We were seated in the Safari Room with beautiful views of Jamestown, RI.  Lunch was quite the treat!

My asparagus puree with cheddar and pancetta was just what the weather ordered,

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and Jeff enjoyed his kale and quinoa salad.

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 For the entries I had a grilled chicken “Waldorf” salad

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and Jeff ordered the Newport’s Po’boy!  I have to admit my salad was delicious but I thoroughly enjoyed some bites from Jeff’s fried clam Po’boy  on a brioche roll.

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Both meals tasted even better than they looked, and they looked very appetizing!

We finished off our meal with delicious deserts that we shared!

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It was a great ending to a wonderful lunch with extraordinary views at every angle!

Loving these rainy days!

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XO - 1

 

May 7, 2016

PROVIDENCE, RI: RAINY DAY BREAKFAST AT CLEAN PLATE


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Chances are slim of doing something fun on a rainy Saturday morning! So……. Get dressed and head over to the…….!

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Located on the East Side of Providence, the Clean Plate has everything you

could  want for breakfast, and oh so delicious!

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You be the judge of how appetizing the food looks….

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Believe me; Jeff enjoyed his corned beef hash waffle with eggs and hollandaise, and my eggs with ham, and rye toast was steps above ordinary!  What clenched my affection for Clean Plate has to be the mini pumpkin doughnuts with maple cream!  Ambrosia!

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The pride of product shines through not only in the presentation, but especially in the meal!  Before leaving and braving the harsh weather my thoughts were consumed with my next visit and order of banana bacon waffle with maple blueberries!

If you ever find yourself in Providence, breakfast at the Clean Plate should definitely be on your agenda!

XO - 1

 

 

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