Out of the mouths of babes

 In today’s Parade magazine 22-year-old (!!!!) Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter, says he gave up drinking last year (!!!!) because “My inner life was being drowned…the way I do it, there is no romance to it!…There is nothing glorious or triumphant about it — it was pathetic, boring, and unhappy.”

Hunh. That would pretty much describe me and holiday food. I weigh 8 pounds more than I did before Thanksgiving. Inner life being drowned: I scarcely wrote, had to whip myself outside for walking. A high-school reunion questionnaire this week asked what I considered my greatest ability: Wow, gaining weight! I can slap it on like a grizzly getting ready for hibernation.

At least I’m not going to waste any time or energy castigating myself for my slide down the slippery slope. I re-opened livestrong.com yesterday afternoon, and I’m again counting my glasses of water, measuring my grits, etc. As soon as we recover from our New Year’s trip, I’m re-joining the YMCA. I got in a pool on this vacation and remembered how good swimming makes me feel, during and after.

The way I understand (fuzzy at best) what happens to me when I fall face forward into the Christmas fudge is something like this: Some few lucky people have their metabolisms revved up by refined carbs. The rest of us poor schlumps take those carbs as a cue to store fat. The more carbs we eat, the more insulin we produce, the more resistant we become to the insulin, et voila!,weight gain and fatigue. At least I almost always got myself to bed at a reasonable hour, not adding sleep deprivation to the self-abuse.

This zippy soup will make your head sweat, open your sinuses and pretty much fix anything that ails you. The golden glow on top is a couple tablespoons of olive oil.

So, of course, my immune system tanked, and I came home from our 1,800-mile drive with a whopping cold. Lay in bed and on the couch for two days and today I wanted a healthy soup, one packing a wallop, hitting me (and my sinuses) upside the head, as we like to say in the South.

I found it by modifying a Woman’s Day magazine slow-cooker recipe. The WD calorie count is 462 per each of 4 servings, but we got it down to about 300 a serving by making it 5 bowls and using 5 ounces of pepperoni instead of 8. With the substitution of Rotel (even mild Rotel) tomatoes and green chiles, you’ll never miss the sausage!

Pizza in a bowl

2 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil — I just learned that!)

1 large sweet pepper, chopped

1 large red onion, chopped

2 14-1/2 ounce cans diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained (I used 1 10-ounce can Rotel and extra broth to make up the liquid)

1 14-1/2 ounce can lower-sodium beef broth (I used vegetable because it’s what was open in the fridge plus a beef bouillion cube)

8 ounces pepperoni sausage, diced (see above)

1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (I used 8 ounces canned mushrooms and rinsed them off)

1 cup water (I used more broth)

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

Black pepper to taste

1/4 cup shredded cheese for each soup serving

In soup kettle saute onions and peppers in olive oil. Add tomatoes, broth, sausage, mushrooms, water, seasonings. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Top each serving of soup with the cheese.

Investigating water aerobics weight with grandson Logan.
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