Archives for 2014

I answered the phone and someone stole my food!

It happened to me.  I got distracted and someone stole my food.  I hate when this happens.

I was starving and treated myself to a homemade meal.  I was trying to imitate this dish we had in Italy:


???????????????????It was pretty close and I couldn’t wait to eat it.

Then the phone rang and I answered it.  It was a lovely conversation that I really enjoyed it until I hung up.  It was  then I noticed that the plate in front of me was empty.  Someone stole my food!  What?  I was so looking forward to eating that delicious meal.  I wanted to taste every last bite.

But it was GONE!

I wanted more but strangely I wasn’t hungry but I was mad that the food was gone!

I only had to look in the mirror to find the thief.  I had eaten it while talking on the phone and deprived myself of the pleasure of the meal.

Ugh!  No one to blame, no missing food report to file with the food police, and no food to savor even though my belly was full.

So much for multi tasking which I know I am not good at anyways.  How sleeping aids many times have I over eaten because I didn’t remember eating or enjoying my food with the first serving  and I just wanted to taste it and remember? Wow ..too many times to count.  How about you?

My grandfather used to say “The slower you eat, the longer you live”  and he lived until he was 92.  On top of that I never saw him eat and do anything else at the same time.  He really enjoyed meal time and the food.  AND  he was always slender.

Not crazy about learning lessons the hard way but it seems those are the ones I remember.

I’m the food thief. Guilty as charged.  I know I will probably morph into the food thief again but I am still remembering the delicious meal I did not really taste and keeping that in mind will be enough to keep the food thief away from my plate (and keep me from answering the phone or any other electronic gadget that buzzes or beeps)

Well all the above plus I’m locking the door at mealtime 🙂

Quit Eating and do this instead!

We are obsessed with food and we can’t live without it.  This time of year pumpkin recipes, ideas for football game snacks and holiday parties are plentiful.  Our state fair is in progress and its all about the fried food.  Everything  from fried oreos to fried sweet rolls wrapped in bacon and covered with sugar.

We eat.  We eat a lot.  I’m guilty of it for sure.  I love food.  Who doesn’t?

I just got back from a dream trip to Italy ( fair warning you will hearing a lot about it )  and a couple of things about Italy:

  • It’s hard to find a bad meal in is all divine even at the smallest dive
  • They LOVE their food.
  •  I’ts more than food to them it’s a way of life.
  • Fresh food is delightfully abundant.  In NYC you might find a Starbucks on every corner.  In Rome you will find a fresh market.

And yet Italians rarely eat.

No they do not.

They dine.

You might argue that it’s a matter of semantic or words but I promise you there is a big difference.

This is what we saw everywhere and because we stayed in some very small local towns so I can guarantee it is not just for tourists.

??????? ??????????????

We laughed that every spare space, be it in an alley or just on corner, the italians would find a way to put a table there. They love to dine outside and watch the world go by.

Coffee is everywhere but not once was I served in a “to go” cup.  People took their time and sat down to drink it ( even in busy Rome).

There are no drive thru’s and not once did I see anyone eat in their cars .  Of course the way they drive that would be a disaster anyways.

We even drove past a picnic one day complete with a table, red checkered table cloth and real wine glasses.

What would happen if we actually sat down and dined rather than just eat?  What if we made it an experience, took our time, used real plates,and  real cups?  And what if we did this even if  we were dining alone?

I know what would happen because I experienced it.  Food would be enjoyed,  eaten slowly and with purpose.  It would be an experience to savor.

Maybe the problem with weight in this country is not so much what we eat but how we eat.  I know some of you are thinking you have no time.  I get it, and yet you only need to start with one meal.  Try it.  See if it makes a difference.

If you need a baby step then start by asking for a real cup at Starbucks ( they have them, I promise)  Sit down, sip and  breathe.

So don’t eat today. Instead dine with purpose and pleasure.  It will make a difference.



Weather Wimp or Weather Warrior?

Since January we have seen a winter that threatens to never end.  And just as we get a taste of spring, Mother Nature sends snow, a cold front and now torential rains and tornados.

Mother Nature is a big old tease.


Even the plants are confused.

Trying to get out in this to run, walk, or cycle has been a challenge and a convenient excuse for us weather wimps.

I mean who can blame us?  Who would go out in this stuff ..


Weather warriors that’s who, like my friend Ron. Except for extreme conditions like blizzards and ice storms I uusually see or hear about those weather warriors that are out there getting their workout in and enjoying every aspect of nature….


making this weather wimp ( and others) feel guilty as we trudge off to the comforts of the gym.

I could make the argument that us weather wimps are a little higher on the sanity scale but in reality I am in awe of the weather warriors

I do entertain thoughts of  “Are they crazy, am I lazy or am I just being smart” ?

Even as the weather has gotten better I find myself procrastinating ..waiting for the perfect day of no humidity, 65 degrees and sunny with just a whisper of clouds.

If I only want to run or bike pain relief outside about 5 days a year then I am good.

But  I want more.

So what is the secret to getting out there when its not ideal conditions?

There is the old standby of having a running, cycling, walking buddy .  I know that works because for over 10 yrs I walked with my friend Fancy at  5am every week-day morning and the the only time we cancelled was for ice or torential rain.

I think the real secret to transitioning from weather wimp to weather warrior is simply habit.  When it’s something you have ingrained in you like brushing your teeth you aren’t going to let most weather get in your way.  There will be those occasions when its just not safe to go out there .  When if it’s a habit and  the weather turns colder or hotter you are getting use to the changes gradually instead of heading out there cold turkey after a long absence.

I’m getting out there and will let you know if making it a habit can actually turn a weather wimp into a weather warrior.  Let’s do this!!

And as usual. even after careful proofreading, any leftover typos or grammatical errors are my gift to you and a reminder that we are all perfectly imperfect.



Sage advice from my 87 yr old Mom

How many times did I roll my eyes at advice my Mom gave?  Too many times to count and now I wished I had listened a little more carefully.  There is, however,  one piece of advice that she gave everyone everyday without even opening her mouth.

It came to mind recently when there was a news report that researchers have discovered that stress is contagious.  I laughed at that one.  That is old news to anyone working in a high stress job.  Those researchers could have saved a lot of time and  money if they had just talked to a few nurses.

I know from experience that when everything is hitting the fan it makes a HUGE difference if the nurse in charge stays calm.  The same situation looks and feels vastly different when the charge nurse  is losing her cool.  I’m sure that can be said for any stressful anti anxiety situation.

As Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD said in her book “My Stroke of Insight”:

Energy quote 1

Here is another contagious stress inducer: Multi tasking.  I am sooo guilty of this.  As a matter of fact I was thinking about this blog post and my Mom’s advice as I was racing to get out the door and started to laugh.  In the midst of multi- tasking and rushing I dropped and broke 3 things, tripped and did everything poorly until I slowed down and gave myself an extra 5 minutes.  That is all it took, an extra 5 mintues

So what advice did my Mom give us everyday without opening her mouth?  Here it is and it still hangs in her kitchen.

photo (9)

Sometimes it is the simplest solutions to the biggest problems that work best.

Thanks Mom and Happy Mother’s Day..a little early.

The healthiest thing you can do for you and your family!

When our son was a teenager we would frequently find him standing in front of the pantry or in front of the open refrigerator staring intently as if it were the most fascinating thing he had ever witnessed.

We started calling it:

“Man stands in front of pantry ” 

It became a running joke in the family because as soon as we said it he would  start to laugh and realized he needed to make a decision or shut the door. Like  a typical teenage boy he could have probably eaten everything in the pantry and not gained a pound.

Dear Fairy Godmother,

Could you just for one day give me the metabolism of a teenage boy?  Please!!!!!

Since she isn’t showing up anytime soon I did the next best thing.  I removed or hid all my temptations and guilty pleasures from my pantry and refrigerator. There is a TRUE love-hate relationship with this decision.

Love it when it keeps me from eating when I am bored, stressed or procrastinating.  Hate it when I stand there knowing I did this on purpose to keep me from eating when I am bored, stressed or procrastinating. Love it again when I realize how brilliant it was to do this.

Honestly I have found this to be one of the healthiest things I have done for myself and my family.  And about your family.  This is where its gets tricky but it is doable.  You may have to take this in small steps.  If you do it too drastically there might be a mutiny even if you offer healthier substitutions.

I did mention hiding the temptations.  There is a trick to this as well.  What works for me is putting things in a really high cupboard that requires a stool for me to reach.  Usually I forget that it is there because it’s a cupboard I don’t use that often.

What if the biggest problem isn’t the kids but your spouse. Look at what my husband brought home when he did the grocery shopping one week.  He got everything on the list AND all of this:




I think I gained 5 lbs from just looking at all of it.  So the non perishables went in the really high cupboard and I buried the frozen stuff in the freezer.  It helped that I didn’t like most of it anyways.  It happens.

Slip ups happen and all kinds of things start showing up in the frig and pantry  so they get cleaned out again.

I first heard of this in Judith Becks’ book The Beck Diet Solution and I was skeptical at first  but after doing it for several years now I realize what a difference this one change has made.

Try it might feel a little upside down ( pun intended) and you may have that love hate thing going but you may end up loving it more and more.

If you come up with some of your hints and tips on how to make this work for you please share!

Now go out and make it a healthy one!