Tag Archives: healthy eating

It’s Not About the Body, Oprah


Dear Oprah,

I want to york.

I think I’m late to the session.

I just saw a Weight Watchers ad where you made some random, unsolicited confession that you’re not looking to get into a pair of jeans or you don’t have a red-carpet dress to fit into. You lost me at “honey chil’.”

You blathered on about how ‘you’ve been there,’ and how it’s important to “do this together.”

And that you want to “make 2016 the year of your best body.”

I’m so done with you.

You’re so lost. And people look




It’s about accepting the body you’re in. It’s about the spirit. It’s about starting from there … But this approach — making it all about the body, is really what is going to keep people failing and coming back and making you richer. If you examine the root of all these issues, and keep the needle on the health & spirit instead of the body, then people would get better and likely stay that way… but now that you’re a Weight Watchers stakeholder… maybe that’s not so lucrative. Keep the people coming back. Again and again… right? Because nothing says healthy liver and kidney and thoracic system like yo-yo dieting and depression from not achieving.

The reason why you are still dealing with a weight issue is because you’ve made this all about the physical.

Since forever, you’ve made your weight ‘situation’ all about the exterior.

You’ve completely missed the point.

You’re setting the wrong stage.

Just like that time you were wearing your new jeans and you hauled a red wagon full of red meat on to stage, you’re still sending the message that the body is what matters most.

You don’t even talk about it being a “temple.”

Where are the affirmations? Where?!

By the way, what does “Join for free — Purchase Required” mean?

Gah. It all makes me want to scream.

Dearest darling, confused, frustrated, distracted and wanting everyone-to-love-you Oprah:

It’s not about the body. It’s about the health. It’s about the spirit

If you believe half the things you spew, the body dies, the spirit lives on. It’s about what’s inside… How many times have you preached that?! 

It’s not about the hips, it’s about the heart.

It’s not about the belly, it’s about the insulin.

It’s not about the bust line, it’s about the pulmonary system.

It’s not about “the points,” it’s about the diastolic and systolic readings.

It’s not about the body, it’s about the life.

Because you talk about “Super Soul Sunday”… I’ll stick with the invisible: the blood pressure, the stress reduction, the diabetes, the insomnia, the heart palpitations, the kidneys, the fears, the inadequacy, the bullying, the abuse, the anxiety, and more which  manifests as our stuffing food / clothes / drugs / booze / risk — whatever the hook — which slowly kills the soul. I think you know what I’m talking about.

When you address the health, when you start talking about drinking more water and eating –anything!– with awareness, and putting your hand over your heart to honor its work, and practicing gratitude, and looking for lessons in life, and transforming stumbling blocks into stepping stones, the health will happen.


When will you wake up and realize that this has teens and mothers and men starving themselves –and dying– for a perfect “body”?

When will you use your powers for good and not to cater to one of the seven deadly sins?

If all we are after is steeped in vanity, we will never succeed.

YOU, of all people, should get that — with the brain trust of philosophical and self-help and spirituality avatars and personalities you have on speed dial — Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Pema Chodron, Bréne Brown… these people have spouted consistently that it’s not on the outside what matters but what’s on the inside, that the body is a shell, a container of the soul… and here you go, talking about The Best Body.

I gave up watching you years before you stopped your show. I saw through it all and I couldn’t take it anymore.

Now that you own 10% of Weight Watchers, the jig is up. The stock jumped when you announced your purchase, but it has since dropped 24% — it’s now lower than it was almost a month before you bought. Its price jumped like a yoyo. Similar to the numbers on a scale of someone who isn’t clear or is confused about the reason and the goal of anything worth doing, including weight loss, the direction is lost.

If you want to know how to run this campaign, ask a child of a parent who’s struggling with health.

If you had kids, you’d know: all they care about is having a healthy and present parent. The kids don’t care if Mom looks like a runway model (and a lot of them are super unhealthy) or Jack Sprat’s wife (what was her name?). Kids just want a healthy parent. They want Dad to play catch or to give piggy-back rides. That health is far-reaching: emotional, mental, spiritual, physical — once that is addressed, things will start to dovetail.

It’s not about the body. It never was. It’s always been about the health. Don’t lose sight of that. Stay focused. It’s not about the body. Never was. That’s why people still struggle. It’s about the spirit. 

Thank you.


If You Cut off A Cabbage Head, Does it Not Cry?


I know that eating an entire bowl of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries was on my list for today. I know it.

I just have to add it.

To the list I haven’t made yet.

Man, I’m gonna bum out on that yoga retreat. I am quite certain that there are less-processed ways to get my less-than one gram of protein and 22 grams of carbs.

Oh God, did I just eat that? I mean, yes, I did. All … say, 250 calories 500 calories (who am I kidding?! No one eats 3/4 cup of the Cap’n with 1/2 cup of skim milk) of it. But I hadn’t had a decent breakfast yet.

The yoga retreat. The one where I’m going to be certified to teach children’s yoga, which is great, but I know I’m in for it on the whole dietary thing.

So I spoke to one of the organizers. They insist that the diet is vegetarian. So I was ok; I asked, “No meat? So fish?”

Yogi: No.

Me: Ok… chicken then?

Yogi: No.

Me: Sigh.

Yogi: crickets. (No, we don’t eat crickets, she gave me crickets on the phone.)

Me: Eggs then? I mean, I have to have some form of non-plant-based protein, I know this about myself; I process vegetables very well. (Don’t ask me about this; I’ll tell you just about anything you want to know about myself, even the TMI stuff, but I stop at metabolic processing.)   Milk? Dairy?

Yogi: No, no eggs. No milk.

Me: (vexed at this point): But eggs aren’t meat. They’re … so this is sounding vegan. Isn’t this vegan?

Yogi: Yes. [pause] I mean, no. It’s vegetarian. [sounding confused herself]

Me: But vegetarian diets include fish and eggs. Milk… I don’t get it. This is vegan. I can do vegan: vegetarian chili, most of  my summer pasta is simply tomato and basil with olive oil (I began to get hungry and immediately wanted to put on my leopard pelt, take off my Nikes and grab a club to kill a rabbit I saw going all vegetarian and whatnot on my vincas); I know that all the soy isn’t good for us: all that estrogen is not so great…  Yogurt? Please… tell me there’s something….

Her pauses were staggered; I could tell by her voice that she was getting confused herself.

Yogi: Yogurt? Uhm… Yes, there is dairy because we have cheese with breakfast and yogurt with our fruit.

Me: Oh thank God! Erm, I mean Shiva! Thank Shiva, right? I was beginning to get a little nervous there.

Yogi: But not honey.

Me: Wha— ?

Yogi: Taking honey is cruel to the bees.

Me: How do we know this? Wait, don’t answer that. I can live without the honey. It’s only 16 days. I don’t eat honey … consciously … anyway.

At this point, I was beginning to feel as though my chances of survival in this yogic environment for 16 days without so much as a mini brie were going to kill me. But I can do mediterranean diets, I can “eat like Jesus” as Thing 2 (who was 9 at the time) once said: olives and feta and hummus and pita wedges. I can totally do that. So I decided that I needed to say something like that, but I didn’t say “Jesus” because I don’t know how they feel about the whole Jesus thing; I’m not a thumper, but I am a Christian.

Yogi:  The honey is controversial. Yes, it’s just 16 days and you will be amazed by how good you feel.

Me: (Yes, I will feel like a freshly RotoRootered house, I’m sure.) Oh, yes. I mean, in the summer, we grill all our vegetables and I eat lots of caprese salads and hummus and pita. So I can totally do this. I don’t eat much steak anymore (lie; I was hacking into a raw porterhouse with a wooden spoon at that very moment); I am sure this isn’t too different from what I do every day (apart from the fact that I have two poached eggs every morning with turkey bacon… ‘controversial honey‘?!). I wonder if eating that way will solve our number-one weight problem: belly fat. I’m just kidding. (Not.)

Yogi: Eating this way will solve lots of problems. It will allow you to be truly authentic in your journey toward greater ahimsa.

Me: Ok! Sounds great.

It's all in how we look at it.

It’s all in how we look at it.

A few days later I was at a Memorial Day event and I was talking about my dilemma over a juicy char-broiled hamburger with a friend. We wracked our meat-addled brains to figure out a way for me to survive, and then she came up with it: beef jerky. If I stow away a couple Slim Jims (not the spicy kind, because I will get the toots from those), I might be able to make it.

I was joking with another friend at the same event over a torture-free, PETA-approved beer, about the assertion that a vegan lifestyle isn’t cruel; “How do we know that when we cut off a cabbage that the root body isn’t saying, ‘WHAT THE HELL FUCK?! YOU JUST CUT OFF MY HEAD!’ How do we know its little cabbage heart or system isn’t freaking out? I mean, when we cut off the head, there goes all its chances for photosynthesis and it dies. We are killing the cabbage.”  This friend grabbed his heart because he was laughing so hard. I think I killed him. Does that mean my jokes must stop?  (I will not eat cabbage…)

When we take an egg from a chicken, the chicken doesn’t die (but the chick inside the egg never gets to live… I get it, lighten up, but hey, I was born with 200 million eggs, and they’re mostly done being of any value to me, so … no, you can’t eat my eggs, but if you were as twisted and desperate as I am in this context you would be able to see my point of view, I’m quite sure).

So in less than 60 days I will be on a shuttle van from an airport near my home to ride about an hour and change away to a retreat center in the fantastic Virginia Blue Ridge mountains. I am committed to this. I could bring my own car, but I won’t. I want to be just as desperate and vulnerable and insecure optimistic, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as anyone else coming to the retreat from far-flung places; and I am absolutely excited about that part. If I’m going to do this, I have to do it right.

Back to the initial phone call with the registrar.

Another option, to reduce some of the costs for food and lodging was to bring my own tent and sleep in it. That might work, actually, says my inner Snidely Whiplash… that way I could bring whatever I wanted; a side of beef, and NO bears would be the remotest bit curious. 

Yogi: you can save money on the lodging if you decide to camp on the grounds.

Me: Camp? As I look around at my new hot tub and patent-leather (I mean naugahyde — which reminds me: bring only cotton and rubber clothing) sandals. You mean, in a tent? I can’t … I stifle my laughter.

Yogi: [laughing herself] Yes, you would bring your own tent and sleep in it.

Me: In the Blue Ridge Mountains? Where there is basically no development, thank God because it’s beautiful, but it’s wild. There are snakes and stuff… And if I have to visit the ‘loo from time to time, thanks to the all-vegan, no, sorry, mostly vegan diet… I think I’ll sleep in the cabin. Does it have air conditioning? I’m from  Virginia; where I live is basically a swamp. The summers here are brutal, so I know what it can be like here.

Yogi: Yes [giggling], there is air conditioning. And you will have a roommate; so that helps defray the costs of the lodging.

A roommate? Did I ever tell you I’d never gone away to college? That I went to a commuter school? And that the last day I’d lived at home was the day before my wedding? Phhhh boy. I’m good. I’ve got this.

We had a few more laughs; she told me about someone in previous years who wanted to camp out but ended up coming in. I am trying to not be too insecure and feel like a failure already before I even leave my house for this endeavor because I’m not a hippie. I wear a watch, I have a refrigerator. She used a phone to call me. We used the Internet to register me for the classes using my credit card to take the payment. I have to remember that there is balance in the world and that my way of living is not to be judged by anyone. But it will be hard… I don’t beat my dirty clothes against a rock by a river stream to get them clean.

Speaking of laundry, I have prepared my children tactically at least for one major change in their lifestyles: I will no longer be doing their laundry after the last day of school. They will do their own and they will wear lumpy clothes or unlumpy clothes. The fact of the matter (I love that phrase) is that they are 15, 12 and 9. They can do this. They can help each other. I will be away for 16 days eating grass and tree bark. They can do their own laundry.

I know this: I will bring along a box of Crunch Berries.

Will I be able to blog from there? Good God I hope so.  Now I’ve gotta go find that list…

Thank you.

More Easy (Dinner) Recipes 2.0

More Easy (Dinner) Recipes 2.0

About a week ago I posted some easy dinner recipes and I think I was helpful. Did anyone make any of the things I proposed? Did you change them up a bit to suit your preferences? I talked to some friends about what I was going to make for dinner during the week that just passed and they asked me to post them again online and so here they are.

I make a killer home made chicken noodle soup – it’s almost entirely vegetable, save for the chicken. If you’re a vegan I suspect you could use tofu as a replacement for the chicken. It’s hearty, it’s a beautiful looking soup and it’s very healthy. Best part: with the help of a blender, the kids have NO clue it’s loaded with nutrients we all need.

Don’t Tell Mikey Chicken Noodle Soup

1 14 oz. can of stewed tomatoes

5 cups chicken stock (however you get there is up to you; I use “better than broth” as a starter)

1 medium onion, cut large slices so the kids can fish them out (and you can too, you’ll see why later)

3 stalks celery, chopped large

1 cup of carrots, chopped

1 large sweet potato, cleaned, NOT skinned and chopped into 1″ medallions

1 average size green squash, cleaned, NOT skinned: then grated

1 average size yellow squash, cleaned, NOT skinned: then grated

4 chicken breasts sliced thinly into strips

1/4 tsp nutmeg

noodles of your choosing: egg, rice, wide, bowtie pasta… whatevs.

Leaving the skins on all your veggies as I’ve noted also keeps the nutrients in them.

Put everything BUT the noodles together in a large pot and let it all get to know each other for about an hour on medium. The point is that you want to let the celery get soft and the onion cook through and the potatoes get soft because… you’re going to fish out all the large vegetables (or as much as you prefer, you might wanna leave some for aesthetics) and put them in the blender with about a cup of the broth. Add the nutmeg.

That’s correct: you’re going to frappé the veggies in a blender and then pour them all back into the pot. This way, you, your children and whomever else is lucky enough eat your soup won’t know they’ve consumed all that yummy goodness unless they wanna know. Bring to a boil and about 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve, add your noodles — OR — you can cook the noodles separately and ladle them into each bowl and then pour the soup on top of them – your choice. Sometimes pasta will starchify (made up word) the soup and make it goopy if the water temperature isn’t right.

To completely counteract the health benefits of the soup, my children insist on pillsbury crescent rolls to accompany the meal. I “sometimes” forget and we end up having whole wheat bread alongside. The point is they want to dip. I get that.

You can do all this in a crock pot – but the boiling part with the pasta is where you’d want to cook the pasta in a separate pot.


Classic Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

The point of including this recipe is that for me anyway, I often forget that the most classic and simple dinner is forgotten because of stress and panic.

We had this the other night (we actually had my utter favorite grilled sammie which is Grilled Ham and Swiss on Rye – with a pickle spear) and the kids were all “Mom You’re The Best This Is My Favorite Night Ever!”  yummy tummy about it. You can dress this dinner up with a nice bisque and garnish with a swirl of sour cream and a spray of parsley, but my team doesn’t care if the food is pretty yet.

Whole wheat artisan bread (if you can, otherwise just get a nice whole wheat bread)

Cheese (of your choosing – if you like a nice smokey cheese, GOuda for it)

Tomato soup (you can make this yourself or grab a can and whip it up in no time)

We use real butter and a cast iron pan to grill the sammies. You can use a panini pan, a regular pan, it doesn’t matter… the point is that you smile when you make this because it brings you back to the last time you had a really yummy soul-foody dinner.

Eat.  Indulge. Get a cloth napkin, set the table and serve with your favorite beverage. Mine is 2/3 water and 1/3 cranberry juice w/ a lime wedge.


Alshee Pancakes – 21st Century (aka lazy) Style

These pancakes are so protein heavy we often have them for dinner. They have a distinctly eggy flavor, so if you don’t like that, this one isn’t for you. The kids can’t get enough of them. Today we had them for brunch with turkey bacon (serve what you like alongside yours) and I had mine with pumpkin butter. We use true maple syrup because I hate the other stuff. They were heavenly. And they should be because Alshee died in 1990. Alshee was my great aunt. She was the bomb; she would drink a glass of beer on Saturday after mowing her lawn well into her 70s. Her summer house in Canada was kitty-cornered to ours until it was set on fire (arson) by some local teens looking for a place to party. Every summer Saturday we would waddle over to Alshee’s kitchen where she was waiting to make us breakfast. She never married. She was amazing. You can give thanks to Alshee when you eat these. She will smile on you for it. If you suddenly smell rose water and baby powder, she’s lurking to make sure you’re doing it right.

Get a large bowl or — a large (8 cup) measuring cup with a spout.

1 cup milk

4 eggs

1.5 cup of Krusteaz or Bisquik — or if you make your own pancake mix, just use 1.5 cups to the above ingredients. Sometimes I replace a .5 cup of the mix with whole wheat flour for fiber.

Using an egg beater (we have a hand one because I hate plugging in and it reminds me of Alshee when she used a hand egg beater too) mix all the ingredients until slightly frothy. You will have little pockets / spheres of dry mix and that’s OK, it all works out. Trust me.

This mixture will be soupy and sort of a soft yellow in color due to the egg yolks. That’s what gives the pancakes their crepe-like awesomeness.

Set your oven on warm or 200˚ – put a nice earthenware plate in it waiting for the pancakes.

The griddle must be hotter than you think it should be. If you use a plug-in griddle, set it on 375˚ and thinly coat it with butter by rubbing a pat of it with a folded paper towel onto the griddle (Alshee used bacon grease – she never messed around). When the butter begins to smoke, pour your batter — slowly, it’s soupy! — onto the griddle. Watch the griddle! In less than 40 seconds you’ll be flipping the cakes. 

When the pancakes bubble and then begin to pop, flip ’em. Put them on the plate in the oven, start your next rounds.

All of this batter will make about 35-40 4″ pancakes. They will go fast and they’re thin – they’re nothing like your standard IHOP deathcakes.

Serve with whatever you like. LL Bean makes a wonderful blueberry syrup; so does Trader Joe’s. Leftovers (horrors!) can be refrigerated for about two days. They heat up in the microwave nicely.

Telling you about this recipe reminds me of the Jim Gaffigan bit on (pan)cakes:


The point to all of this is to remind ourselves to slow down a spell and to have communion with each other at the table. Talk about the day, keep it light and easy, especially for the chef.

So, let me know if you have questions. I love all these foods and we eat them around here pretty regularly. I appreciate you following my blog and putting up with me and my randomness. I give these recipes so you will eat and come back.

Don’t worry — I won’t serve you this:

What used to be French Bread. That’s me, proud chef. Apparently I set the oven on broil. …. RIGHT?!

Thank you.

ps – I have won a few awards from some wonderful bloggers and the honor of these awards is to bring awareness to other bloggers which I am very privileged to do. Please check out the post that highlights some fun places on the web: https://mollyfielddotcom.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/awards-awards-three-posts-in-won/

Easy Dinner Ideas.

Easy Dinner Ideas.

So I’m a SAHM.

I also have hobbies that take me out of the house: volunteering at school (not a hobby), rowing, running, yoga classes and I hope soon, classes to teach yoga classes. We are in and out of this house a lot. Last night The BreadWinner was coaching Thing 2 and his soccer team; Thing 1 had soccer on another field which required that I drive him. Note to self: get on a carpool list. Three games on Saturdays. The only free days that we don’t have soccer practices are Tuesday and Friday. Sunday we have CCD. Every day is booked with something.

So last night, I posted on Twitter what I made for dinner in a pinch. To my amazement, my children all loved it.

I aspire to be a holistic foodie; all home-grown, all organic, nothing from Monsanto or Kellogg’s but this is not realistic for me. My daytime hours are limited, I am doing the best I can within my personal patience and abilities, so if you’re looking for Perfect Food, I am about to WOEFULLY disappoint you.

Here’s last night’s recipe.

“Crisis-Averted Ravioli”

However many servings of Costco four-cheese ravioli for your brood

One package of ground turkey breast cooked and drained. Add garlic, add whatever veggies you wish to the meat after draining and cook for another 10 minutes.

One jar of Progresso Garden Fresh red sauce.

Dump all of that together (sauce on bottom, then ravs, then more sauce) in a crock pot set on high (for 2 hours) or low (for 4 hours).

Cover with shredded mozzarella, cover and walk away.



Another recipe:

“Keep Mom out of the Newspapers Chicken and Salsa Burritos”

Four (frozen) chicken breasts.

Whole wheat tortillas.

Shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend).

Sour cream.

Designated (per person) servings of orzo pasta.

One pint of deli-fresh or home-made salsa (you really don’t want to use the glass jar stuff on this if you can help it).

Can of black beans, drained.

Can of  corn, drained.

Mix beans, salsa and corn together in a bowl, set aside.

Crock pot.

Defrost (frozen) chicken, drain.

Flash boil orzo for about 3 minutes, drain.

Use half the salsa mixture to line the crock pot.

Add flash-boiled orzo.

Cover with chicken breasts.

Cover chicken breasts with remaining salsa.

Cook on on high (for 2 hours) or low (for 4 hours).

Shred the chicken when all cooked, mix it all together.

Serve with tortillas, garnish with cheese and sour cream.



I made tuna casserole and my kids eat it. I sneak in a can of salmon in there too to help amp up the Omega 3s.

“Not a PianoTuna Casserole”

2 small cans of chunk white tuna

1 can of salmon

wide egg noodles

Frozen peas.

1 cup sour cream

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 tbsp old bay seasoning (THIS MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE!)

2 cups (+/-) shredded cheddar cheese

Flash boil egg noodles, set aside.

Combine tuna, salmon, sour cream, CoM soup and old bay with peas.

Add noodles. Stir again. I know, sorry.

Dump in crock pot on high (for 2 hours) or low (for 4 hours).

Cover with cheese.

Cover crock pot, walk away… You are free now…


If you’re like me, you feel guilty not having a salad on the side. I buy mixed field greens and some crumbled bleu cheese, avocado, balsamic vinaigrette (did you know there are two “i”s in vinaigrette?!), red onion, and tomatoes to make this:

This is the “salad of love.”

And my kids actually eat it if I use raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

That’s all for now. You all have been such nice followers and readers and commenters that I wanted to give something back. If you like these, let me know. I’ll try to post a few recipes every friday or something like that.

Thank you. Really.