Here I am girls, let’s talk about how our health-kick is progressing! Here’s some MUSICA to help knock off a couple of calories while chair dancing! I happen to know for a fact it works! 🙂
I can barely type with this music playing, my hands fly off the keys … ← I just made those dots in time with the music! These are pages from my book Girlfriends Forever – ideas I’ve accumulated over the years for living a healthy life. I lift small weights every other day and wanted to show you some of the simple exercises I do with them to keep my upper body strong, with those little back-bone-protecting muscles so I can continue to carry shopping bags, and climb hills in the Yorkshire Dales!
P O W E R F O O D S
Everyday we find out about food-as-almost-medicine, food that delivers a nutritional punch — crunchy vegetables, satisfying proteins, juicy fruits that are vibrant and alive and make us feel that way too.♥ Shop as close to home as possible for freshest and best of everything.
Here are a couple of my favorite “mini meals” I like to eat when I’m trying to cut back and trim down. This first one serves two: Prick a large organic sweet potato, the oranger the better, with a knife, rub the skin with soft butter, salt it, put it on a cookie sheet or aluminum foil (because it will drip on to your oven floor and we can’t have that), roast at 425° until done, about an hour and 15 min. Cut it in half, mash up the potato, pepper it and enjoy. Eat the skin too which will have caramelized in spots, making it even more delicious, filling, and it’s stuffed with healthy beta carotene antioxidants.
Another sort of one-item dinner that’s really filling and low calorie is an artichoke which you eat with your hands, giving extra satisfaction. I get two, one for Joe, one for me. They are good hot or cold, so cook extra if you like them. To make them: put a large pot of water on to boil. Wash the artichokes and trim off the tops (pointy part) of the leaves with scissors (you don’t have to do this, I just like to). Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the tops, drop them into the water, and pour another couple of tablespoons of oil into the water. Grind lots of fresh pepper into the water and add about a tsp. of salt. Cover and simmer gently (about a half hour or so) until a fork pierces the stem very easily. You can test for doneness: pull off a leaf, the little lump of meat (at the bottom of each leaf in case you’ve never made an artichoke) should come off easily when you pull on it with your teeth. When they’re done, drain them well. Put them on a plate. If you are a purist, squeeze over lemon juice pull off one leaf at a time, and enjoy. If you are like me and inherently impure (I inherited it from my dad), give yourself a TBSP of mayonnaise in a little side-cup to dip the leaves in. If this is your whole dinner, you can afford some mayo calories since there are only about 60 in the artichoke. Some people like to dip the leaves in melted butter; I like mayo better, but try it and see what you think. After you have eaten all the leaves and are down to the skinny feathery ones, don’t eat those. Scrape them out of the base of the artichoke with a dinner knife. What’s left is the heart, the most delicious of all, the reward at the end, and wonderful with a little mayo. It takes a little while to eat an artichoke giving your tummy plenty of time to realize it’s been fed, thereby ending the begging for more thing. Always remember how important consciousness is while trying to eat healthy. If your mind is crying out for a hot fudge sundae, just remember to say to yourself, “In ten minutes, this voice will be gone. This too shall pass.” And it will, just give it a minute.
That year is going to pass anyway.
I bet lots of you have one-food meal tips, foods that “get you through.” Share please! Have you ever made my easy recipe for wholesome, soul-satisfying Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti? It’s really good. If you haven’t and you’d like the recipe, let me know — I’ll put it in the next post. For you who have the Girlfriend’s Book, it’s on the page titled “Healthy Quick Cook”, page 110. Which brings me to this . . .
Oh yes. Good segue eh? It’s time to give away these two books! And I have to say, any cooking you do at home, anything you make from scratch is bound to be healthier than anything store bought. I am sure none of you would think about putting preservatives or MSG into your food — so although the Summer Book is not a “diet” book in any way, the recipes reflect my favorite things in cooking, “easy, quick, elegant, delicious, and nutritious.” Vanna knows this because she is the perfect example of health. Here she comes now, toddling in with her scrambled egg-white breakfast, her face smeared with a masque that looks like chocolate, and kind of smells like it too. (Hmm, is she not telling me something?)
“Vanna, will you please draw us a winning name? In fact, draw two, so you can get back to pampersville.” (I hear the bubble bath water running upstairs, we wouldn’t want to hold her up. VANNA MUSICA PLEASE.)
Into the basket filled to the brim with your names she goes, long arm reaching deep, round and round she swirls her arm, she’s stirring them up really well. “OK, Vanna, go for it!” Up she comes, just halfway, she stops, she’s fishing around. The gleam in her eye tells me she has one … she starts up again, and out of the flying slips of paper, she brings ONE NAME, the winner of the two books has landed! “Go back down Vanna, we have another book to give away.” Down she goes, to the very bottom, and slowly, because of her drama queen propensities, she withdraws the second name. She hands it to me with a flourish. OK, I have them both. “Bye, Vanna, thank you darling girl! Good job!” OK, Girlfriends, are you ready? I said, ARE YOU READY? (Do you hate me now?) OK, here we go. With no further adieu, here are our winners:
For the two books, The Summer Book and Girlfriends Forever:
The Lucky Winner is: PATTY P.
(the Patty P. who had “tichi” as part of her email address)
Everyone say: YAY FOR PATTY P!!
For my newest book, COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS, Book of DAYS
Our fortunate girlfriend is:
Sally L’H . . . hooray for Sally!!!
CONGRATULATIONS to both of you! You’re going to find an email in your boxes announcing you as our WINNERS. Write me back, tell me the names you want in the books so I can sign them for you, include your addresses and they’ll go into the mail very soon. We are so happy for you!
And for all of you who didn’t win this time, we hope for better news next go ’round! And for you who tried to order the BLESSINGS DAY PLANNER BOOK from our web store, and couldn’t, that’s because we ran out! So sorry, it’s always hard to gauge how many we should order, but Kellee tells me that more are on their way. She’s going to fix it so you can order them today, but they won’t go out until we get them into the studio, which she says could be up to three weeks or so. Oh! And I forgot to tell you — last week Kellee put up the new CALENDARS for Pre-Order … you can reserve your copies now if you like.
And now, I hope a walk in the garden on a spring day on Martha’s Vineyard will feel like a nice consolation prize. I’m so sorry if you didn’t win. You have no idea how hard it is to pick just one or two winners. In our last two posts we had almost 3,000 comments! That’s quite amazing, and does cut the chances down a bit! Still better than the lottery. Oh well, let’s go to the garden and drown our sorrows in flower petals.♥
You can almost hear the water rolling onto shore . . . and smell the petals blowing out of the trees. I’m not sure you can really see the petal situation . . . so here . . .
this is how the lawn looks — just one of the many reasons to plant a flowering tree . . . so you have something to roll around in on warm spring days!
Flowering trees also make very nice wedding and baby presents . . . here’s the one we gave to our friends Laura and Charles Harris on their wedding day about ten years ago . . . her mom just emailed to me. ♥ So fun to see it!
Speaking of beauty, our pink angelique tulips are coming into bloom
Angeliques are very famous tulips and you can see why . . . just click on that link and see if you get inspired to plant some of your own next fall. They will grow in warmer climates too, but you have to keep the bulbs in the fridge for awhile so they can “winter over.”
I looked over and saw these two little people waiting for me at the door . . .
Yes, we do have deer on the island … they supposedly swam over here from the mainland. They rarely come into town, lucky for us. This one went strolling through our yard last year. Quite a surprise, thank goodness she didn’t stop for lunch! Obviously a “city deer” — she looks both ways before she crosses.
Home I go through the petals. Have a wonderful day wherever you are — be sure to try one of those easy recipes girlfriends. And remember, our “health kick” isn’t all about being thin. The real prizes, as I wrote above, are energy, vitality, self-confidence, strength of spirit, character, and grace. Most of which you already have . . . and for those things and for us, I leave you with this toast . . .
Love you. xoxo, Susan