Caring for ourselves and our world; two tasty hacks

On a liquid diet this week, I wanted to plunge into a vat of chocolate like this butterfly into one of my mother's old daylilies. I'm amazed still at what a tough time I have NOT eating!
On a liquid diet this week, I wanted to plunge into a vat of chocolate like this butterfly into one of my mother’s old daylilies. I’m amazed still at what a tough time I have NOT eating!

The only way I can justify writing about food and healthy eating this week is to remember that eating together/cooking is a positive form of caring for others. And among those others, we must include ourselves. If I don’t take care of myself, I’m not content in this world, I’m angry, resentful, filled with negative energy.

Which is not to reduce the horrific news to a simple case of bad nutrition, but much of our satisfaction in life begins with acceptance and recognition. Acceptance of our bodies, ourselves, our sexuality, the differences among others and us. Recognizing that we are blessed and the world around us teems with beautiful surprises (like the three bright male goldfinches tussling at the bird feeder outside my windows). Supporting others in some way. Any way.

Taking care of me at this moment includes following the Weight Watchers points system and working out like a madwoman (meaning 5 to 6 days weekly). I’m seeing results on the scales (15 pounds gone in 10 weeks) and in my energy. Last weekend we drove more than 15 hours, and I didn’t collapse afterward. Part of that was not gnawing my way northward through entire bags of candy. I packed my lunchbox with “baby” carrots, fruit, light cheese and Weight Watchers snack bars. I tracked my points along with the miles. I drank what seemed like gallons of water.

I’m trying to change some of my vocabulary. Instead of saying, “I can’t eat it,” I’m going for, “I don’t eat that.” The “don’t,” to me, reflects a disciplined choice; the “can’t” sounds like I’m helpless before whatever it is.

Or in the words of one of our Silver Sneakers instructors : “Don’t say I can’t do that. Say I can’t do that yet.” Exactly.

One of the things I can do is keep up my faithful WW meeting attendance where I always walk away with something helpful. For instance, did you know you can use a perfectly ripened avocado instead of mayonnaise to make egg salad? I like two hard-cooked eggs mashed with one-half avocado. Add salt and pepper, and you’ve got a really good 8-point sandwich filling or salad.

Also, this bruschetta topping from is just the right accompaniment to ground sirloin burgers. In Weight Watchers you’d count only the olive oil (less than 1 point per serving) in the topping.

Fresh bruschetta topping for burgers

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup diced fresh tomato (seeds and juice discarded)

1/4 cup  fresh basil chiffonade (tiny ribbons cut with kitchen shears)

Combine ingredients and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, to allow flavors to meld and bloom.

One of countless beauties around me this week.
One of countless beauties around me this week.






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