The Weekend Cook

I like to cook up most of our meals on the weekend.  We moved into a new home in August, so I am still getting use to the kitchen.  I’ve felt a little out of sync.  This is how things look in my frig when I’m on it.  Also, studies show that the best way to stay on a diet is if you plan ahead.


Tip of the day

Apparently grape juice prevents stomach flu.  Drinking a few sips a day between January and March is suppose to do it.  I’ll let you know if it works for us.  Half of the city I live in is sick with colds and flu currently.  The YMCA canceled a health expo because of such. 😦

Food Portioning

Smaller portions of food are easier for my husband Jim, to handle since he is disabled and has trouble holding onto large casserole dishes.  I found he was bypassing my cooked meals in the casseroles for a protein bar or anything handy because of such.

Portioning is also ideal for lunches on the go and dieting in general.

Some of the things I do with the “lunch tray”  container is pan seared chicken breasts with asparagus and sweet potato wedges.  I also sauteed spinach in olive oil with garlic and onion and added that in the last section.


The sweet potatoes are so easy.  Just put on a greased cookie sheet and spray with oil.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.


If you are doing the “Six Meals a Day” plan, low fat cottage cheese with 4 Melba Toast crackers is a good mid morning or afternoon snack.  Yogurt with fruit is too.    So much easier in the morning rush to grab an individual container of such instead of the larger container and then have to portion it out for the day.


This is a great and quick way to prepare chicken breasts for lunch.  Sear them with a tiny bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings.  I prepared my salads last night so they are ready along with the boiled eggs.  A standard for daily lunch.


What is better than spinach to top it off.  I fixed mine quickly with onions, garlic and olive oil.


Station Break…My Favorite Things

I always crave tacos with Old El Paso “Medium” taco sauce.  They have to have heated crunchy shell, taco flavored ground chuck (Old El Paso taco seasoning).  A few spinach leaves and shredded cheddar.  This isn’t a diet food item, just love them.  Don’t deprive yourself of things you crave.  This is mine.  Had some on Saturday.


Hope you have a great work week!  See you online!

Salads to Go

One of the best gadgets for creating fresh crisp salads , is the Salad Spinner.  After soaking and rinsing the lettuce, just put the torn leaves into the Spinner basket and with a few hard presses, centrifugal force pulls the water away from the leaves.  I fill it just half way with lettuce and do this twice for each half basket full.


In the past I would combine the salad for the week in a big bowl minus the dressing.


Now I have a better way…


It’s salad in a jar.  Very easy to create.  After cleaning and chopping all of the veggies, fruit, etc., just assemble.  Dressing goes in first then all of the wet produce (tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, berries).  Follow that with lettuce, and other leafy greens.  Make sure it’s stuffed not allowing for air, then seal Mason jar with lid.

I like to have boiled eggs handy to throw into a lunch along with the salad jar and some yogurt.  It’s fast and helps me get my 3 cups of raw veggies in each day.

The jars keep for a good week – sometimes up to 10 days.  These salad jars have Romaine and Butter lettuce with cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, olives and a Ranch dressing.

Try it and then circle back and tell me your favorite salad combo.

Have a great day and make it count!

How to Rock 2018

How to Rock 2018

I just came back from a three year exercise/diet  hiatus.  I won’t bore you with the details as to why, but I’m older and heavier which makes it harder to get back into an exercise routine.  I started running because I wanted to run a half marathon before I turned 50.  Since then I’ve finished six half’s and one full marathon.  My last race was in the fall of 2013.

So this is going to be my comeback.

Scenic Road In A Forest

I’ve signed on to Noom to help with a diet to lose the weight and get an exercise plan.  Also pulling up some good recipes and plans from past.

Maybe a little too ambitious but I’m signing up for the Shape Half Marathon in New York’s Central Park on April 14.    #WomenRunTheWorld #BigMotivation

So here’s my plan:

Stay Hydrated…

  • 64 ounces of water each day.



  • 1200 calorie diet – low sugar, salt and fat from all food groups.
  • Enlisted help of Noom.
  • Follow 6 small meals each day.
  • Cook everything on  weekend and prepare lunches for the week.



  • Start off with 3 mile walks and some core strengthening exercises.
  • Build up to light jogs.
  • Increase strength training and intensity over time.
  • Warm up and cool down.
  • Stretching

woman walking towards unknown places


  • Create a video in my  mind of what it will be like to be fit again.
  • Get great music on tap to listen to during such.

There’s more to the plan but this is just to get me started.


Going for the Goal(ld)

This last year I’ve picked up some really bad habits.  Used food as an emotional crutch following my husbands 2 strokes and gave in to fatigue.  I have to do more than I have ever before to gain back my health.  Therefore, today begins my 1,200 calorie diet and exercise program that will take me a minimum of 5 months to lose the weight I’ve gained and the confidence I’ve lost in myself.  I’m going to do whatever it takes to climb back to the person that finished a marathon three years ago.

So my diet will be a simple 1200 calorie 6 meal a day plan that is low fat, low sugar and low salt.  The exercise starting out will be a brisk 2.5 mile walk 6 days a week coupled with a 30 minute kickboxing workout.

So here I go…



Mile 26 of St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon

Powering Up with the Olympics

UntitleddgfsfgI’ve taken about 3 months off…from running.  While off though I signed up for a marathon in September.winterolympics2014sochi-lrg

What a great time though to power up.  The Olympics are a great motivator to dig in and get going again.

I am switching up my diet/exercise a bit this time around to be at my best – adding in some serious calisthenics, weight training and 45 minutes of running.  I’d like to lose about 20 pounds by May and get back into better shape.  I am using My Fitness Pal along with a beginners weight training program.  Once I get closer to May, will kick in gear with Hal Higdon’s marathon training.  Till then will just run for 45 minutes.

fit-keep-runningSomething that always holds me back, is my limited lung capacity.  I’m really going to work on that too.   Here’s how:

  1. Warm-up 5-10 minutes of easy running.
  2. Run hard for 30 seconds 5 times, each separated by 60 seconds of recovery.
  3. Then do three –  five minutes hard running intervals with five minutes  of easy running between each.


From what I read, it  just takes a few weeks of this activity, performed twice a week.

There will be other races and such before September too.

So what is your game plan for 2014?  

Time to Register for the More/fitness Women’s Half Marathon

Tomorrow I’m registering for the More/fitness Women’s Half Marathon!

more halfThis will be my 5th half marathon.

I’ve covered 1,700 miles (estimated steps: 2.7 million) training and running the past 4 half marathons and my first full marathon in October of last year.  I’m going with a friend of mine and can’t wait.  This race is capped at 10,000 and usually fills up fast.  I did this event in 2010 and 2011 – loved it!  Here’s a clip of the 2010 race start which was my first race (cold and rainy with wind chill of 37 degrees).  It was brutal – don’t take it from me, read another runners experience.  Here’s a video that one of the participants put together from the 2010 race.  Central Park is my favorite and springtime in NYC is awesome.  If you are running this or another half marathon for the first time like my friend Kristina, you’ll want to read My First Half Marathon, From One Rookie to Another. All the tips, tricks and lists are there that you’ll need to finish your first half and achieve what you maybe once thought to be impossible.  It will be something you’ll never forget.

So, get your run on – dig in and get going.  This is your moment.  Do it.

Here’s your dose of inspiration:

Cookin’ with Julia Child and Richard Blais

Today, we are gathering items to send to friends in NJ who were hard hit by storms.  Ordered much needed gloves and masks to be delivered to help agency there.

Today is also…my cooking day.

First and foremost on the menu is- Julia Child‘s award-winning recipe for Beef Bourguignon.

Julia described this dish as, “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man.”  Watch her prepare it here.

I made Richard Blais‘s Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto and Chili Oil to go with it, this morning.  It is wonderful!  Great for runners too.

After I heated the olive oil and chili’s, I strained out most of the chili remnants.  It is wonderful – either for dipping or drizzling over pasta.

Chili Oil

Richard shared this dish on, “The Chew,” in the segment about him preparing for the NYC Marathon (which was to be today but now cancelled).

Adding to all of this a great salad with red/yellow bell peppers, almonds and raisins.

Yesterday, Alex and I made his favorite… Beef Chimichanga‘s.

Knowing that there is so much more to life than food and eating, and many things that are much more important, I still believe that

 “A full refrigerator  = happy family.”

After Mass will go for a short run – my first since the marathon.  Been waiting for daylight savings time so can begin running again in the morning.  Also, just liked having all that extra time.