Thank you, Birdpress!

I left the post of Birdpress the other day feeling re-motivated and inspired !

She is so smart about food and health that after reading her article about HAES (Health At Every Size) I decided to get out my trusty cooking class notes and find all those recipes I used to teach whenever I was asked to do a Light Cooking class.  The requests usually started coming in around January, after the gluttony of Christmas and Thanksgiving had passed and we all crawled into sweats because our clothes were too tight!

I would come up with recipes or modify others to create menus that would fill the tummy but leave the waistline unaltered. The trend then was for low-fat so most of them fall into that category. I still use many of these recipes and they’ve become staples at my house so I will share a few of my favorites for those of you looking for good, wholesome, healthy food to make for your families.

One of the most requested is my Spicy Pork and Black Bean Burritos. Not only are they low in fat, but once you make “re-fried” beans this way you’ll never go back to those fat-laden traditional ones again. They’re that good!


Spicy Pork and Black Bean Burritos

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed,  cut into bite-sized pieces ( about 1 lb.)

3 tbsp. good quality chili powder (I like Penzey’s Spices!)

2 tsp. vegetable oil

1 small can chopped green chilis

1 small can diced tomatoes

2 cans of black beans, rinsed well and drained

1 can low-fat chicken stock

Flour tortillas ( whole wheat ones  are good but I still like the regular)

Optional but recommended:

grated cheddar cheese

low-fat (not non-fat!) sour cream

Taco sauce

Combine the pork and chili powder and refrigerate (or freeze for future use!) for one hour.

Meanwhile in a medium-sized saucepan combine the drained black beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Do not cover. Stir occasionally. When the broth is reduced to approximately 1/4  (about 15-20 minutes) mash the beans with a hand-held potato  masher . They should be thick and will continue to thicken as they cool somewhat. Keep warm.

In a skillet, brown the meat in the oil, stirring constantly so the spices do not burn. When browned add the chilis and tomatoes and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6-8 minutes. Meat should be coated well with the sauce, not runny.

Warm the tortillas in the oven by wrapping them first in heavy-duty aluminum foil and baking in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.

To serve, place a portion of black beans down the middle of the warm tortilla. Add a few spoonsful of the spicy pork, and the optional ingredients as desired. Fold and ENJOY!

This recipe is very adaptable! You may increase or decrease the amounts of the spices and condiments. You can use chicken instead of pork (not as tasty). If you like more beans than this provides,  increase to 3 cans of beans but you can still use only 1 can of broth to do the job.

Let me know if you try this. It is a hit with everyone I serve it to!

Happy Healthy eating! And another round of applause to Birdpress for reminding us to Eat for Health!


Edit note-

I originally said I couldn’t find whole wheat tortillas but with the help of my readers I found them! 😀


Diet Update

Three weeks into my diet and …may I have a drum roll, please……I’ve lost 12 pounds!!!  TA DA!!!

My clothes actually have become comfortable! My jeans do not make me cry when I sit down in them! I have learned to LOVE green salads, EggBeaters, poached chicken and bananas.

Yes, I eat bananas every day now since reading about the Japanese Banana Diet . I don’t follow the rules to it though because I MUST have my coffee in the morning. It simply feeds me enough that I don’t crave other foods throughout the day. Go figure!

 I just thought I would let you know I haven’t fallen off the diet wagon…yet. And Birdpress , my little chickadee, is just full of helpful dieting tips. She’s really more about eating healthy but she keeps those calories in check imaginatively , too! Unfortunately she inherited my tendency towards plumpness but she is amazingly disciplined and conscientious about keeping herself fit and looking bee-you-tee-full!

 She suggested some good eating to me just this morning. She suggests I get Boca “Bruschetta” burgers and eat them on sprouted grain bread. Ooo, that sounds really yummy!          Seriously!!             Stop laughing!   I mean it!!hungry

I Know It’s Winter But…


Last week’s episodes of frozen pipes and fingers that never got really warm have me thinking of a trip to San Juan or the Bahamas or anywhere where there’s a beach and the temperature is 80 degrees or above. (Pool boys optional but desired.)

God, why didn’t you make me rich? I would not have been rotten about it. I would have shared like a good girl. I simply think that someone, like myself, who always  mostly played by the rules her whole life deserves a little sumpum-sumpum, ya know what I mean?

I’d like a few days spent to own  a cabin on a secluded beach, a kick-ass stereo system, stacks of great books on built-in bookshelves lining a woodburning fireplace, a fridge filled with triple creme brie and caviar (I prefer osetra over beluga, thank you very much), and a cellar filled with incredible wines. I want a native villager to bring me fresh fruits, crisp green veggies and the occasional just-killed free-range chicken ready for the grill weekly. I want no telephones except a direct line to my children and D’Bear (who will be able to stop working and come live with me on the beach…part time).

And all the shoes my heart desires…….shoes

 That’s not much to ask, is it?

If not that, God, could you simply make my oil bill read “payment due $1.25” ???

I Only Wanted Some Coffee


This morning I got up to make coffee, turned on the water in the kitchen sink and ..nuthin’.  Ahh, the pipes are frozen…again. This happens every winter.frozenpipe

I trudge down the cellar stairs, plug in the old blow dryer and stand there, pointing the warm blast of air up onto the frosty plumbing. I left the faucet on so I can hear when the pipes thaw and sure enough, in a few minutes, I hear that blessed sound…running water. It’s just the way we do things here at the old farmstead.

 Funny the things I’ve gotten used to living here. Like never flushing anything other than poo and pee and single ply TP down the toilet. When one lives with a septic system, one learns that wipeys and tampons, and other normal potty detritus is forbidden from the flush. I learned not to clean the toilet with Clorox since chlorine bleach kills bacteria; not something you want to do to an aerobic system.

I’ve learned to live with drafts in the winter and overheated upstairs bedrooms in the summer. I simply turn on fans and lower shades when summer’s heat makes sleeping hard.

I’ve learned that one doesn’t run the water for more than an hour or so at a time lest the pump overheat or the well starts to pull mud up from deep below ground .

 I live with cluster flies in spring and fall, as well as Asian Beetles aka LadyBugs by the thousands! I am used to the cardinals beating themselves bloody every spring when the attack my sunroom windows. They think their reflection is another bird invading their territory.

 I’m used to deer eating every rosebud from my bushes and every rhododendrun bud as well. My hostas get attacked by marauding woodchucks and rabbits nest under the spreading yews, waiting to chomp down every edible green thing they can find.

 I live with a loaded .22 at the back door. Any woodchuck or rabbit caught near my vegetable garden is fair game. I don’t care what they do on the other 68 acres of mine but these 2 acres of backyard are mine to protect from hungry packs of herbivores! And I’m a damn good shot! The crows and turkey buzzards love me when I throw a dead rabbit out into the field for them to consume. It makes my daughters upset to think that their mother can so cavalierly kill an animal. I can. I grew up in the country when pragmatic decisions like that are made every day.

 So frozen pipes, while annoying as hell, don’t really faze me at all. It’s part of life “on the farm”.

 Just let me have my coffee first. Please.cuppa

Day # 10- The Scale Must Be Broken

dietweek6mattiasolsson I feel good because I’ve lost a solid 7 1/2 pounds this past week BUT the number has not changed in three days.  Bastard.

I am doing a modified Medifast plan where I drink three shakes until late afternoon and then eat a light, lean, and green meal. Yesterday it was roasted veggies and a poached chicken breast half. I felt full…and guilty. How stupid is that?


Maybe so but......

Maybe so but.....

but many are ugly.

many are really ugly.

  I know the weight will come off in time if I continue to eat sensibly and exercise regularly. That’s a bit of the problem: my lack of exercise. It’s winter. I hate winter. The temperature today is 7 degrees. The wind is blowing and a few moments of exposure to the outside air HURTS! I love to walk, bike, kayak, and garden but those activities are all out of the realm of possibility. (and don’t tell me to do spinning classes. I have. It’s not fun.)

 I got the hula hoop out two days ago, put on some good hoop dancing music and proceeded to hoop until CRASH! I knocked into the table holding my paperweights. It left a mark.

 I can’t find my 20 lb. dumbbells. I know they’re here somewhere but after looking all over my house I can’t find them. Maybe I don’t want to. 🙂

So, short of paying for a gym membership, which I can’t afford right now, I will shovel snow, carry firewood, take short snowshoeing walks through the fields, and walk up and down the stairs whenever possible.

Ahh, springtime. I need you NOW!

Diet Day # 3- Boring….

I got on the scale this morning. No change. Damn!scale

Yesterday was spent running all over trying to get all the necessary agencies notified about my name change. I have retaken my maiden name so the Social Security Office, the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, banks, credit card companies, etc. all require their own special brands of torturous, time-stealing forms and documents.

I had to drive 32 miles to my nearest Soc.Security center. Thank goodness for the new GPS my oldest daughter got me for Christmas! I was directed there perfectly by a wonderful British female voice. (You get to choose the voice type.)

I entered the room where the Soc.Security houses their inmates. There were approximately 35 people sitting in folding chairs in a room about 18’X30′.

It looked a lot like this...hell.

It looked a lot like this...hell.

An armed guard stood by the door directing people to a monitor where one tapped a screen to acquire a number. Mine was A114. The number was, I suppose, determined by your required services by SSI. Some folks got simple numbers and the one showing on the screen at that time was 34.

I arrived at 11:20. This was one freaky room! Let me describe the people around me there:  a couple with two small children under the age of two, a woman wearing camo pants and a beret who looked like she was maybe a drug-user or alcoholic, several senior citizen couples, a chunky woman with a wayward eye and a reaaallly bad haircut who occasionally made strange, unintelligible noises, a large, unkempt woman who ate non-stop despite the sign reading “No food or drink allowed”, the big scary guy with the week’s worth of beard stubble who kept getting up to go outside to use his cell phone, the woman who insisted to the guard that she didn’t have time to wait because she had to attend to funeral arrangements so she wanted him to put her at the front of the line ( WTF?! Didn’t happen!), and the deaf couple who sat next to me. They insisted on talking to me even though I couldn’t understand half of what they said.

It was a noisy and fragrant room.

My number was called at 12:50. I was parked in a tow-away zone. I used the power of positive thinking to prevent getting towed. It worked! I was SOO glad to get the fuck out of there!!!!

Then it was off to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles where I stood in line for only a short time in order to get a form that was barely legible under fluorescent lighting. I stood there like a moron trying to figure out what the fuck I was supposed to fill in. The lady at the desk took it back, scribbled Xes and check marks all over it and handed it back to me saying “Fill those in”.

Fill WHAT in??? OK, I finally figured it out. Am I one of those dimwitted old people now? I mean I am almost 55!!! Is this when it starts? Am I going to be one of those old people with that blank look on their faces I used to feel sorry for?  ……help me……

 Then to the bank to get accounts changed over. I had to listen to the “account representative” tell me all about her lousy Christmas, her unappreciative grown children who abandoned her for the holiday, and her weight gain as she sat, pen poised in mid-air over the forms. Uh, can I please just get the hell out of here??!!!!

I finally arrived home at 3:15, drank two Medifast shakes, peed like a racehorse, and then watched as the snow began to fall yet again.  No walk for me this day. The snow was followed by freezing rain so it was slick as a used car salesman outside.

 I better lose some weight by tomorrow.

Day # 2- waisting away

Yeah, I know the reference is usually “wasting” away but since my concern is for this roll o’ lard around my waist I spell it my way!

This morning after removing all my clothes, my earrings (yeah, I slept in ’em), my slippers, and after peeing…twice..I got on the scale and TADA!!

4 lbs. down!!!

Shut up. I know it’s water weight. I normally eat salt and salty foods with abandon. I still love seeing that number go down. …..I like seeing my man go down, too. hmmm..  what?!?! Oh, yeah, the scales. Sorry.

So with my motivation strengthened for today I leave you with this brilliant quote by one of my favorite women comediennes, Dawn French, who said

“If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush.”


what a “waist”

cookie1I have to throw out, give away, or freeze all the leftover Christmas goodies. I am on Day 1 of ….dramatic drum roll….THE DIET.

I will not post my weight because , well, it’s none of your business, and I am like most every woman in that I think I am really fat when I know, in reality I am only pudgy. I hate pudgy. This roll of blubber around my middle is pissing me the fuck off. I let it come on because I was living the “good life”!

 So now I pay the piper.

Interestingly, I think about my food consumption a lot. HA! I was thinking last night that my weight and, to a certain degree, my level of health and fitness is something I can change if I choose to do so. There are so many things I cannot change such as the aging texture of my skin, the fact that I snore loudly enough to wake the dead, and my propensity for sarcasm. My fat ass is something I can control!

 So I will post my daily weight losses. There will be no gains, I promise you that! When I put my mind to something, watch out!  I’ll be 25 lbs. lighter by my birthday, come hell or high water as my bitch of a  mother used to say.

My weight loss plan is a little extreme. Birdpress gives me hell every time I do this because she loves me but it works for me. I do Medifastfor a couple of weeks so that I can get the weight-loss-momentum thing going and then I just eat very light and healthy foods and start a workout regimen. Medifast is not for everyone but it jump-starts my diet and for me, that’s important. That and making myself get on the scales and really see what the numbers are. Right now those numbers make me want to cry.

 I will be back, crankier than all get out probably, and ready to chew the shoe leather off of D’Bear’s boots but I WILL LOSE WEIGHT!