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Grateful. November 29, 2013

a new day

a new day

Yesterday was Thanksgiving day, and I had a lot to be thankful for. Just a few weeks prior, I thought I might have to bail on the holiday altogether, as I had been bailing on many things right and left since September. But thanks to my successful surgery and my gradual recovery, I had a wonderful day that managed to keep the majority of beloved traditions intact.

For the past four years, I have been participating in our local Weight Watchers 5k Turkey “Trot” (mostly a walk, although I did partially jog it a few times). This is something I really did not want to miss; starting the day out with some good company and activity. I had missed my WW members so much and I was hoping to see some of them there.

so excited to see many of my WW members

so excited to see many of my WW members

Hooray! Quite a few of them were there and it was great to walk along the shoreline with them. Pretty soon, though, I was feeling like “whew you guys are walking awfully fast!” and I fell back to the group behind them, and then behind them, and I was walking slower and slower and then I felt my gas tank start to sputter. I knew I had to turn around to the start point. I didn’t  measure the distance but I was guessing it was maybe half – like a mile and a half? The last few blocks back to my car felt like forever. I waited to meet up with them coming back the other way and got to see the fabulous Julie, who has been generously and enthusiastically holding down my meeting for me in my absence. I am forever grateful for HER for giving my members consistency while I’ve been away.

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It was tiring, but I was really really happy to have gone, and to be out there on the shore at sunrise. It felt like the beginning of a new day.

The triple challenge for drive-walk-drive, from 6:30am-9:00am pretty much took the stuffing out of me. I went home, gave instructions for various food preps, and took to my bed for several hours. Whew.

Right before dinner, we had a little holiday card family photo shoot.

intergenerational beauty and silliness

intergenerational beauty and silliness

the guys took care of the bird

the guys took care of the bird

My family has been amazing. A billion more gratitude points for them. They lifted all the heavy pots and pans, reached into high cabinets, chopped and prepped and stirred and did everything that I couldn’t. It all came together into a beautiful meal.

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my plate

my plate

After dinner, I needed another very big lie-down. The one task I had taken on was the Making of the Pan Gravy, and standing over the stove with my neck bent over the pan didn’t prove to be very comfortable in the long run. I was incredibly grateful (AGAIN) to everyone for doing ALL of the cleanup while I took some medication and lay on the couch.

dessert buffet!

dessert buffet!

Round 3 of Thanksgiving tradition: dessert and games! We had good friends come and join us for the grand finale of the evening. We have been playing games after Thanksgiving dinner for as long as I can remember, and it always ends in great hilarity. This time we played the old chaotic game of Pit, and then moved on to Balderdash so that all 14 of us could participate. We were laughing so hard we were wiping tears. Good times.

PIT!

PIT!

By ten o’clock another wave of major droopiness was setting in. But that was fine. All of the major holiday traditions had taken place: turkey trot, family photo shoot, dinner, friends and games. I managed to get through out with several big rest breaks and not a whole lot of pain. Considering where I was just four weeks ago, this was nothing short of a miracle.

super thankful for him

super thankful for him

Today is rest day.

 

 

Healthy Beef Stroganoff – YUM! A Guest Post by TJ! April 12, 2011


me and TJ!

I’m excited that Tracey (aka TJ) is sharing one of her awesome healthy recipes on my blog today! Her blog is full of fantastic, easy recipes that are super WW-friendly. Check out her fantastic progress – inspiring isn’t it?? One of her greatest strategies is coming up with wonderful recipes to keep her satisfied and on track. Take it away, Tracey!
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Hi guys! Tracey here from tj’s test kitchen! Special thanks to Foodie McBody for allowing me to post a recipe over here today. :) I made this just this past weekend with my Mom and the whole family loved it. Beef Stroganoff SCREAMS comfort food if you ask me but sometimes with comfort comes calories. My mission along this weight loss journey is to make the foods I love…. HEALTHIER!
Beef Stroganoff
serves 8
4PointsPlus
*add additional PointsPlus for noodles
1 lb package lean ground beef 90/10
1 can Campbells Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Campbells HR Cream of chicken soup
1 Cup Fat Free Sour Cream
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 1/2 Cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 Cup water
pepper to taste
First brown beef over medium heat until fully cooked; drain any fat after cooked.
In separate pan- even at the same time the beef is cooking saute mushrooms in a small pan sprayed with PAM.
Ingredients all lined up….
These are the noodles I used 1 cup for 5 PointsPlus
1 Cup Sour Cream
After draining any fat, add onion soup mix, sour cream, water, and both soups to the pan. This looks weird, I know, but wait! haha!
Give it a stir….then toss in the cooked mushrooms.
stir again…mmmm nice and creamy! Add in pepper if you like!
Serve on top of cooked noodles. YUM! After I took this picture I tossed in some peas. It was delicious!
Easy and tasty! My two favorite words to hear when I am cooking dinner! Hope you all liked my recipe! Make sure you stop by my blog to let me know if you decided to make it! I would love to hear all about it! :) ENJOY!  tj
 

Who Wants Rocco’s New Book?? March 24, 2011

Filed under: body image,cooking,food,giveaway,good things,health,recipe,recipes — Susan @ 3:31 am

You all know I was lucky enough to win a copy of Rocco DiSpirito’s amazing cookbook Now Eat This! We have been going through the recipes and they have been shockingly EASY, fast and delicious. We’ve already made the tortilla soup half a dozen times and now we’re really into the turkey nachos. YUM. On the heels of the bestselling success of his low-calorie Now Eat This! cookbook, Rocco Dispirito has a new book featuring a weight-loss program “guaranteed to produce maximum results with minimum effort.”

Award-winning celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito changed his life and his health-without giving up the foods he loves or the flavor. He has lost more than 20 pounds, participated in dozens of triathlons, and-after an inspirational role as a guest chef on The Biggest Loser-changed his own diet and the caloric content of classic dishes on a larger scale. In NOW EAT THIS! DIET, complete with a foreword by Dr. Mehmet Oz, DiSpirito offers readers a revolutionary 2-week program for dropping 10 pounds quickly, with little effort, no deprivation, and while still eating 6 meals a day and the dishes they crave, like mac & cheese, meatloaf, BBQ pork chops, and chocolate malted milk shakes. The secret: Rocco’s unique meal plans and his 75 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snack time, all with zero bad carbs, zero bad fats, zero sugar, and maximum flavor. Now readers can eat more and weigh less-it’s never been so easy!

Now Eat This! Diet was published for the first time two days ago on the 22nd (congrats Rocco!) and I am lucky enough to have a free, signed copy for a giveaway! Here’s a little peek into one of the recipes: (click to enlarge) I’ll be giving away a copy of this book ON FRIDAY (April 1st) so if you want to be that lucky recipient, leave a comment here and tell me your favorite comfort food! I bet there’s a healthy version of it in Rocco’s book.

For anybody who really wants this book and either can’t wait or doesn’t win – there are many ways you can get your hands on one.

Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/hGdqDl
Books-A-Million - http://bit.ly/elumlG
Borders - http://bit.ly/fAOF5J
Hastings - http://bit.ly/dOKm9Z
Powell’s – http://bit.ly/eKmbjv
Tower Records – http://bit.ly/fgdzt5

EDITED TO ADD: The giveaway winners will be announced on Friday, April 1st! AND…. I just got the exciting news from “Rocco’s people” that there will be FOUR WINNERS! YAHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

 

Healthy Steps Giveaway: Nifty Tools for Healthy Eating! March 14, 2011

Filed under: cooking,food,giveaway — Susan @ 11:50 am

mmm... citrusy water!

I recently had the good fortune of receiving some very nifty tools from the folks over at Healthy Steps. They sent me some cool serving utensils and also a water infuser, to make water taste yummy and interesting. The water infuser is basically a ball that snaps open, allowing you to put in whatever you want. I put it some tangerine and some Meyer lemon and then popped it into a pitcher of ice water. You can also put in cucumber, mint leaves, strawberries – whatever you can think of to give your H20 a hint of flavor.

Pretty much every spa I have ever gone to serves “fancy water.” It just gives it something special. I have no idea why it never occurred to me to do this at home, but the water infuser has now gotten me inspired. We all need to drink a good amount of water and I am probably among the guiltiest for not really doing this enough. Having fresh fancy water could really help me with this goal.

I also received some nifty serving utensils. They are designed to help you serve up the appropriate servings of food. There’s a protein spatula thing that is just about the same size as the ubiquitous “deck of cards” serving for proteins. There’s a biggish scoop for “vegetables” and a mediumish scoop for “starch.” (<<< I actually thought this word was kind of old school) It doesn’t have an amount like “half cup” or “cup” but it’s just a visual reminder – “This is about right.”

I have been given the opportunity to give away TWO (!) sets of these cool kitchen tools to my awesome blog readers. All you have to do is leave a comment for me here – tell me what you’d flavor YOUR water with – and go to Healthy Steps’ Facebook page. “Like” them and then write a post on their page telling them you came from @Foodie McBody’s giveaway on http://www.foodfoodbodybody.com.  A few words about how much you’d love to try their cool tools probably won’t hurt either! Please RT and spread the word!

Copy and paste this to Twitter:  GIVEAWAY on @foodiemcbody’s blog: Nifty Tools for Healthy Eating http://bit.ly/fY2OAX Please RT!

Deadline: April 1, 2011 Good luck!!!!!!!

 

these could be sitting in YOUR kitchen soon!

 

Rocco Rocks the Comfort Food February 28, 2011

I was excited to win a (signed) copy of Rocco Dispirito’s brand-new cookbook Now Eat This! (150 of America’s Favorite Comfort Foods Under 350 Calories) from Ryan over at NoMoreBacon. I’ve loved watching Rocco on the Biggest Loser as well as on Top Chef, and one of his special skills has been “lightening up” normally calorie-heavy dishes. And I am a person who certainly enjoys comfort food. In fact, Comfort Food is practically my middle name. When I got the book in the mail, Juniorette flipped through it and put a Post-It note on the page of every recipe she wanted me to make. Fried chicken! Mac and cheese! Brownies! All under 350 calories? For real?!?


Tonight I decided to make Rocco’s Tortilla Soup with Avocado and Cilantro. (<— sorry, we do not like cilantro in our house) It was awesome. Delicious. Fast. And EASY.  I cannot even begin to describe how easy. That, my friends, is a combo that cannot be beat. And under 350 calories per serving? Yow. We are going to be dipping into this book OFTEN.

I have to admit I fiddled with the recipe a teeny bit. I took out the cilantro. I added some black beans (fiber can’t hurt, right?). It was YUMMY. The whole family gave it a giant thumbs up.


Thanks, Ryan! Thanks, Rocco! TOTAL WINNER.

 

Food Fitness Fabio FUN! February 16, 2011

Filed under: cooking,exercise,Food Blogs: Yum Yum,good things,running — Susan @ 2:25 am

I had a very Foodie McBody weekend this last weekend. Mr. McBody and I took my mom down to LA to visit friends and relatives and to visit the awesome Japanese American Museum. The weather was absolutely amazing.

It was really interesting being in LA for so many reasons. From the minute we got to the airport, I was struck by the incredible number of (by my estimate) size zero-to-2 women around. I mean, I rarely see women this stick-thin where I live. But it felt like they were everywhere. Plus, incessant ads for 1-800-Get-Thin on the radio, on billboards, EVERYwhere. And cosmetic surgery. It was such a “Toto, you’re not in Kansas anymore” realization.

On the other hand, there was such a visible overall commitment to fitness as well. AND massive foodie-ness everywhere. So… double edged sword, I guess. Triple edged sword.

The McBody part: I went for an almost five mile run along the Palisades and the beach on Saturday. It was absolutely gorgeous.


I had plenty of time, and I just told myself I was going to go as far as I wanted. I started out slow but after mile 2 (my magic moment) it started feeling really, really good. One of the great things was that I kept passing these “pods” of around 20-25 people, each running with a couple of coaches. LA Roadrunners, you guys are AWESOME! I must have seen a total of (no kidding) 500 people out there running that morning. At first, I saw lots of really fast teams but toward the end of my run, I saw this group out there that looked… like me! They were running like penguins. I got so excited because I could see their feet and they were moving at the same pace as mine. They were coming toward me and as they passed me, I turned around and ran behind them for a while. It was really fun, and a great aha! moment to think, there are training groups that go at my pace! I loved it.


On Sunday, I took a nice long walk along the same route. Beautiful.

But the HIGHLIGHT of my Sunday was a cooking class at Firenze Osteria, the restaurant of Top Chef‘s Fabio Viviani! Woo! I am such a HUGE fan of Top Chef and Fabio is one of the friendliest, Tweetiest chefs there is. And funny. AND an amazing chef. I was so excited to discover that he was going to be offering this class the same weekend that I was going to be in LA. YIPPEEE! I invited my young cousin-in-law’s fourteen year old son, who loves to cook, to come with me.

The “class” was actually a live demonstration in front of a restaurant full of highly amused people. Fabio is a great entertainer, warm and funny. He also really knows his stuff! He’s been cooking since he was a toddler. He’s been in restaurants his whole life. He told lots of affectionate stories about his grandmother and her handmade, old-country ways.

So the class was about how to make pasta in five minutes, which Fabio stretched out to about 45. But really it was shockingly simple. He quizzed us over and over: HOW many eggs if you are cooking for four people? “FOUR!” I was actually amazed at how easy he made it look. Then we got to taste it. Wow. It was so, so, so delicious. With this crazy delicious Bolognese sauce. Immediately people started clamoring for a “sauce class!” Which Fabio put into his iPhone immediately and promised to offer next month. Yahoo! (if only I could return…)

After the pasta, he demonstrated gnocchi. “The potato needs to be grinded, not mashed!”  I was a little bummed to see that gnocchi involves (ideally) a stand mixer. Which is not the same as investing $40 in a pasta presser. I have wanted a stand mixer, like, FOREVER, but it always has seemed like too much of an extravagance. Let’s just say it’s on my permanent wish list.

The class was awesome. It was like going to a performance and a great meal and invited into a friend’s kitchen all at once. Y’all, if you are near LA and want a fantastic experience, I really recommend checking out Fabio’s cooking classes.  Follow him on Twitter or watch his blog for announcements. I’m posting a lot of my photos in a slideshow below. You’ll see that his hands are often completely blurred, because they were never still. Total Italian!

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