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Ooh, I've never tried kohlrabi, or brassica, but if they're cruciferous I want to try them! Yes, I used Mel's ranch recipe, and I wish I had used the sunflower seed oil instead of the avocado oil I had on hand - it turned out with that too-strong flavor, and was also too thick, so I watered it down, and honestly, it wasn't bad enough to throw away, but it's not my favorite dressing. I think a better oil will make a difference, so I'll try her recipe again, and then play around with variations in the future, because I have the spirit of it now. I was conservative with the hot sauce in the meat, and next time I will amp that up, too. I've never done a huge batch of meat/salad for the whole week, and even though the dressing is not great, I'm liking having 5 lunches ready to go, a LOT. Will do that again for sure.

I've had days like your day at Walmart! Glad your shoulder is better, that's awesome. Is the inflammation in your hand going down at all yet? I didn't realize the damage was in your hand, too. Is there numbness? The big reduction of blood glucose has to be helping, right? I understand that nerve cells are on the slow end of the spectrum in their rate of regeneration and healing, so it must be demanding patience, eh? The W30 process demands patience, too, it seems. I am so grateful for this program because it gives me a way to sustain what I know I need to do for the long-run regarding inflammation, do you feel that way, too? I know this is the way to go.

My introduction to anti-inflammatory ways of eating came 20 years ago when I suddenly had a very bad case of rosacea. I looked wind burned, and sometimes pustules, too, really alarming. I took antibiotics (for anti-inflammatory properties), ignoring prompts in the dermatology literature to make lifestyle changes. I can't believe I did that for 5-6 years! Then I went on a retreat where coffee was not served, and at the end of 5 days when I looked in the mirror for the first time since arrival, my rosacea was gone baby gone. That is the reason I gave up coffee, and it taught me how powerful the diet/dietary elimination could be. Now I can drink it occasionally, and the rocacea only flares up if there are multiple triggers such as emotional upset, alcohol, lack of sleep, super spicy foods... but it will upset my tummy if I drink too much. It's my ally in that way now. It gave me a story, looking at eating spicy food and drinking wine, staying up too late, enter any random emotional upset (hello dating life), drinking coffee in the morning to rally, and whamo, a perfect recipe for rosacea, and what else was that inflammation doing in my body?

So last night I shared the real fried rice with my husband, and it was delicious...I did get hot flashes in the night, and while not terrible, it disrupted my sleep. So today I'm skipping the things I think trigger hot flashes: coffee, spicy stuff, grains. Will be strict W30 today, and play the rest of the week by ear. We only drink alcohol on Saturday night but I will probably skip that indefinitely and keep my bed time consistent as that is one of my rules for myself right now and drinking usually keeps me up late in a spirit of indulgence....I always want to stay up later with my husband, but I do better when I get up early, and he gets up as late as possible. I do love my to exercise now!

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Hey guys!

I know this is coming a bit late and we should have said something sooner, but we generally discourage reintroduction or off plan food talk on the main boards because it can get confusing for new people coming along not understanding why you're eating rice.

There are a couple options... you can create a new group in 'post whole30' or probably easier, I can move this entire thread over to the Post Whole30 section.  that way the link stays the same, the history is there but you can talk about whatever you want.  Please let me know what you would like to do.


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Welcome to our new home!

I make a "creamy" Italian dressing and just use mayo thinned out with red wine vinegar then add salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian herb blend so I guess doing the ranch would be similar but with different herbs. Zenbelly has one that looks good. My husband greatly prefers creamy dressings to vinaigrettes so I should do this. Brassica is the Latin name that gardeners tend to use to describe the cruciferous  veggies and I'm with you, I want to try them all- haven't tried rutabagas yet either. Isn't it great to have breakfasts/lunches made for the whole week?! It's like a big load is lifted off of my to-do list. I got breakfasts done this week but not enough lunches so today is sliced turkey breast, jalapeno coleslaw and this green tomato & olive relish I made at the end of tomato season when we had a kitchen counter full of green tomatoes.

Yeah, the nerve damage started in my shoulder but involved my arm and hand so it was paralyzed for a while- have I mentioned that I tend to never do things half-assed? I still can't bend the last knuckle of my fingers and they tingle all of the time but that's better than no feeling at all so I'll take it. The nerve was stretched and not severed so theoretically it will come back but at a whopping 1mm per day. I was hoping to help speed things along by doing as many anti-inflammatory things as I could (diet, oils, exercise) and why I wanted to do 60 days instead of 30. Not sure if I can see any big improvement but it certainly can't hurt! Patience...not really my strong suit but I don't really have any choice except to make the best decisions that I can. Like not diving head-first into a glass of wine or craft beer after I found out yesterday that I have to have a wisdom tooth pulled. :( Me and every teenager around! Now I need to look for some soft foods to cook up this weekend. I've been wanting some turnip soup (sounds weird tastes amazing) so I guess that'll be on the menu next week and I should have plenty of time to cook because we're going to be frozen in all weekend. Freezing rain, ice, snow and combinations thereof to start tomorrow morning-yippee.

That's amazing about your rosacea! My coffee would be a gone pecan if those were my choices as well. I've always had an acne problem but it cleared up when I eliminated grains and sugar from my diet and I definitely don't feel as bloated and puffy now that I'm W30-ing. Since I don't have any terrible food sensitivities, I'm going to really have to pay attention during re-introduction and look at the subtleties of my diet; all of the little things that add up like your multiple triggers for your rosacea.


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Hey there!

It sure sounds like you are doing everything in your power to support the healing of your body. Do you take vitamins? It sounds like the tingling - is it just in your fingers? - is a direct result of nerve damage, is that right?  I can't help but remember that tingling can also be from a B12 deficiency, have you had labs done since the injury? I sympathize with you. I've taken vitamins on and off...I used to figure if I ate well and lots of produce I shouldn't need stupid vitamins. But I started taking them again (multi, B complex, fish oil, probiotics) about a year ago, (and now calcium, too hello menopause) and I see an improvement in my hair - increase of baby hairs around my face, and my hairdresser sees lots of baby hairs all over my head. Must be good for my organ function, too!

Comparing notes on brassica (thanks for the clarification!) calls to mind romanesco. Another favorite (fractals!!!) which regrettably I haven't been able to find in the new homestead area. I like your approach to creamy dressings, I'm definitely going to play around with that. Don't think I've had rutabaga either...but your turnip soup sounds delicious! I ate a lot of turnips on my W60 last spring when I got sick and thought I might have FODMAP sensitivity, so I started eating turnips and parsnips. I learned that I like them both a lot.

Good job coping with the news about your wisdom tooth, avoiding the temptation to comfort with food! I call that a ninja move. What else will be on the soft food menu? That weather sounds frightful, but your kitchen will be toasty warm! Do you like chili? I made a batch of bison chili yesterday with yams and it came out so smooth. Such a comfort food for me. I actually added black beans, too, just to I suspected, no problem there. 

13 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

Since I don't have any terrible food sensitivities, I'm going to really have to pay attention during re-introduction and look at the subtleties of my diet; all of the little things that add up

Thank you for articulating my best spidey sense about going slow with re-intros! Yes, exactly. So as I said, beans seem okay but the next step will be eating more at a time, and maybe making hummus. Last night I tried rice again with the restaurant albondigas...but when I got home I was still so hungry - not enough veggies! My tummy is a little off, and I realized that this week was a huge change, first by eating salad every day for lunch (yes, so awesome to have it all waiting!!!), and not eating as many steamed vegetables...I think it's a wee bit too much raw food for me. And no yams all week, just spaghetti squash for carbs. The thought of hummus makes me already crave bread with that. I think I'll re-intro bread on its own, then hummus without bread, then the two together. I suspect I'll get a reaction, and will save it for special occasions.

Tonight I made a double batch (chicken and bison) of Asian taco bowls from IHeartUmami, do you know her? It was pretty darned good, lots of ginger, and I went easy on the chili flakes. I served it on spaghetti squash, and added sauteéd zuccini and portabella. My husband liked it "ok" and when prompted said that yes, he would rather eat the orange chicken from the freezer! I wasn't offended, and would actually rather make that for him and save the good W30 food for myself!!! LOL!!!

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Those taco bowls sound so good; my Mom turned me on to her but I haven't poked around very much. My husband thinks eggplant is evil so I wouldn't have any competition for it! I love eggplant but hardly ever cook it but I think I'm going to try those- something different. We watch the TV show "Chopped" and some other cooking oriented things pretty regularly and they always talk about flavor. It can be the healthiest thing on the planet but if it doesn't taste good, no one is going to eat it. I find that I'm much more conscious of that during W30. A lot of the time I'll take whatever is leftover (or didn't come out as expected) and just muscle through eating it for my lunches even if it's awful but having something really tasty, flavorful AND good for you is so much better. I need to do that all of the time.

I love romanesco; it makes me smile when I look at it :) We haven't had much luck growing the brassicas that form heads like broccoli, cauli but I think I want to try again and include romanesco. For us it has to be a fall crop, though, otherwise it's a buffet for the miserable cabbage worms- nasty little buggers!

Yep, the tingling is nerve damage but it's better than nothing at all. I was taking some vitamins pre W30 but my multi and my Vit D both have rice flour in them so they're out for at least another 2 weeks- oh yeah, today is Day 40!!! Thank goodness my Mg is compliant, though! Like you, I tend to think that I don't need them because of my diet but then I keep seeing articles about how our food supply is so deficient in vitamins and minerals because of our messed-up growing practices. I have a hit-or-miss approach to them and take them most of the time but not religiously- except Mg EVERY night. I don't take probiotics and try to eat them instead- kombucha, various fermented veggies, REAL salami (when I'm not W30-ing) and good cheese but I'm trying to cut back on that. That's one place where I think the variety in nature is a step ahead of someone's proprietary blend. I'm worried that they're going to want me to take antibiotics after my wisdom tooth comes out and I am SO anti-antibiotic. I can't remember where but I read that it takes months for your gut to recover from an antibiotic onslaught so I think I'm going to try to preload as much fermenty goodness into my body as I can before Monday- like carb loading before a marathon but better :) 

I used NomNom's all purpose stir fry sauce again last night and that stuff is so great to have on hand! I still have some OJ left (not something we typically have on hand) so I think  I'm going to make some more and freeze it. I just have to wait for my Vitacost order to come in- hopefully today, weather permitting. I ran out of everything at once- coconut aminos, tahini. Thanks for the chili idea- love it and my husband would be thrilled if I made a pot of chili. It doesn't require very much chewing either LOL.

How did you find your W60 when you did it last year? I'm chugging along and not having any real problems but don't feel that big motivation like I did for the first half. My weight loss has slowed/stopped but that's not too surprising. I think I lot of that was water weight- but not all- I can tell there's some definite fat loss. I guess I can't have Tiger Blood all the time, huh?

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Woo-hoo day 40!!!

I'm with you about flavor, absolutely. Speaking of that, and thinking of flavor going with texture, I think it's time to take a break from ground meat recipes. Needing some new textures.

I used to be pretty fearless about antibiotics, and took them if I needed them, as you understood from my rosacea story. And since you asked about myW60, I'll tell you, a weird thing happened, and I am now going to avoid antibiotics like the plague for all the reasons you stated! 15 days into my W60 we went for an awesome hike. When I came out of the shower afterwards I had a tic dug in to my throat just above the clavicle. Eew! Just like a vampire. I think it must have fallen out of my clothes or hair because it wasn't latched in until I got in the shower. We got a clean removal and cleaned it up good, but by morning it was a swollen bullseye and was tender, and the tenderness moving in the direction of my ear. Terrified of lyme disease I consented to a broad spectrum antibiotic, and foolishly didn't even think about probiotics until ten days later when I got desperately sick, running to the bathroom several times per day. Because I had just started W30 ways, I wasn't sure, nor was the moderator who was helping me, if it was from the antibiotic or a FODMAP intolerance, as I mentioned. I was thinking about going for 90 days when I started, but it became exhausting and demoralizing to do W30, be sick, and adding low FODMAP foods, constantly obsessing and i gave myself credit for the 60 days, did my FODMAP re-intros, and really, even after all of that, I was sick for another 3 months or so. In the final analysis I am sure it was the antibiotics! I can eat anything on the FODMAP list and I am fine, now that my gut is healed. I have been re-visiting my food journal and what an ordeal it all was.

Having said all that, it was still a good experience. I guess I don't always do things half-assed, either = ) Right before the tic incident I tried stopping my allergy medicine cold turkey and I was fine forevermore, knock on wood!! That was proof to me that I was healing my gut notwithstanding the antibiotics.

This time around, I'm so, so happy not to be so obsessive, and not to be sick to my stomach. By coincidence, on day 1 last month, I had to run to the bathroom, and I worried, oh no, not this again! But any super mild PTSD is long gone!

You are so wise to be reading your vitamin labels! Good point, there! 2 weeks in to my W60 I discovered that my vitamins weren't compliant, so I started over. SO essentially I did 75 days...but who's counting? That's right, you use Mg to sleep, eh? Interesting about the change for you in the second half. You mentioned you were eating starchy veg every other day, something like that? May I ask, is there a reason why you're going with less than what is on the meal template? In my last two weeks of the W60 I tried eliminating starch and soon got in trouble with a coated tongue, and swollen, burning lips, apparently candida die-off. It went away when I re-introduced potatoes. It sounds like you've found a ratio that works for you! I'm still tweaking how much fat and starch to eat...tempted to step on the scale, but I'll wait til the end of the month.

This week I ate less starchy veg and way more raw veg, and next week I will have to dial that back around a little to slightly less raw food/salads...tonight I will plot out tomorrow's shopping and cooking strategy...for sure will make some more steaks for having on hand and putting on salad...also, some chicken and bok choy stir fry...I have chicken thighs in the freezer, maybe a piccata. Still dreaming...will HAVE to get or make that stir fry seasoning!

11 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

I still have some OJ left (not something we typically have on hand)

What's that? I don't think you mean orange juice...

Tonight I ate 4-cheese semolina toasted (two pieces) with my chili for dinner. I steamed piles of broccoli because I am so craving cooked veg right now - it was really good. It sparks up some craving - wanting more. I was a big girl and controlled myself, just observing.

Stay warm, and enjoy your toasty kitchen!

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It's bright and early one day after my wisdom tooth extraction and, except for frozen roads and being unable to get to work, I'm doing great! I got that pot of chile made and it came out great but it took FOREVER! I tried a different cooking method I read about on (covered dutch oven in a 225-250 oven) that was supposed to take 2 1/2-3 hrs but took 5 and was too thin so I had to pull off some of the "juice", boil it down and put it back in the pot. We had lunner instead of lunch but it was really good. The texture of the meat was great so my take-home message is that the cooking method is great but decrease the amount of liquid and allow plenty of time for it to cook.  Oooh, we're with you on ground beef! We were doing the happy dance a couple of days ago when we had pork chops- it wasn't burger meat! Our fall-back dinner when we haven't planned is "Hamburger Helper": grd beef, onions, garlic, tomato sauce and whatever veggies we have on hand: peppers, celery, cabbage, whatever looks tired. 

OJ= orange juice! There's a little in the stir-fry sauce. I happened to have some fresh squeezed satsuma juice from my Dad's tree in my freezer so I used that but I don't buy it for regular consumption. Even my husband, who is a total sugar addict and loves juice, realizes it's barely better than soft drinks and doesn't drink it. 

Holy Cow! Your W60 (W75!) was way more of an ordeal than mine! Extra brownie points for that! Lyme disease is nothing to fool around with. We have lots of ticks in TN and they piggy-back on our cats and wind up inside :( We treat the cats and I'm pretty vigilant during tick season but we invariably get a couple of them but fortunately, no bulls-eyes. They make me itch just crawling on me so I can usually feel them before they latch on- usually. I talked to my dentist ahead of time about antibiotics and he said he would have to wait until he got in there to assess it but would help me avoid them if possible. Possible! No antibiotics- yaaaaay. I had some bone broth with added collagen peptides yesterday and turnip soup with sweet potato added in so I'm trying to give my body what it needs to speed the healing process. Boy, if you want to sleep, get conscious sedation! I slept ALL day yesterday but that was so the way to go.

I don't eat many starchy veggies (typically hardly ever but while W30-ing a maybe once a week or so) because I'm trying to lose weight and am not doing high intensity workouts. I don't think they're included in the meal template but I know they have lots of good nutritional benefits and I love them so it would be easy to over-do. That's why I included some sweet potato in my soup yesterday and I got the last couple of delicata squashes at the farmer's market last weekend so I have those to look forward to- one of my new faves.

Yum- piccata! I got some organic chicken breasts at Costco and was thinking of making some piccata since I have a LOT of lemons right  now. My Mom has a gigantic Meyer lemon tree and she shipped a big box of lemons to me last week. My produce drawer is about half full of lemons right now :) I'll have to wait until I'm cleared to have more solid food but it's definitely on the menu soon. Since it looks like I'm going to be stuck at home, I think I'm going to start the W30 Thai Carrot soup. That's some seriously good stuff even for a non-carrot fan! And it just started snowing again just to make navigating the icy roads easier!

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Yay for getting through your surgery and feeling great, AND not needing antibiotics! Ooh, the conscious sedation, yes, way to go! I think that's what I had for my colonoscopy last month - what a trip that was. "Better living with chemistry" as the button reads!

I can just imagine how smooth that chili came out after such a slow cooking! Frozen roads sound terrifying - so glad you're just staying home safe and sound!

Oh, ok, I obviously hadn't looked at that recipe very carefully - OJ, I get it LOL...your husband is so wise, I'm thinking about how ubiquitous OJ is as a drink of choice and how so many of us grow up guzzling the stuff - eeghads so much sugar!

Your question about how my W60 went raised some questions in my mind, and I referred to my food journal from that time. I had actually forgotten that I had to start over after the vitamin discovery. It was right after the "start over" that I got the tick bite, and that ordeal really dominated the experience. I felt proud of myself looking at how careful my log was. You know what else I discovered? Since I started that W60 on Feb. 1 last year I have lost 16 lbs. I think I only lost 4 or 5 during the 60 days, so my pace is slow, but steady. As pleased as I am with any weight loss, this loss brings me back to where I was when I was at my recent best in 2011 after completing a half marathon (I can't do that anymore!), and I have a ways to go. But I'm in my process, and feeling in control and hopeful for the future! Yesterday I did some work onsite where there are always cookies and sweets, and for the second time in 15 days I let myself have one small one, and felt very in control, and satisfied from just one. This is a new life skill since starting W30 that I want to always have.

Thank you for mentioning the carb curve, I went to my copy of FFF and realize I am due to read more and learn more, and tweak my plate...I could probably cut way back on starch! I'd probably slim down faster...must take a look at that and be honest with myself! Somewhere I had it in my mind that we/I should eat a fist size of starchy veg daily (I've been doing that, even when not very active), but now I don't know exactly where I got that information (it's probably the sugar dragon whispering in my ear), and so I will re-examine = ) I'm grateful for all that I am learning from you Miss Holly, and from this program in general.

Your mom is so sweet sending you lemons! I love love love lemons. My husband calls me Lemonhead. Looking at all the romaine hearts I have on hand, I'm now thinking curried chicken salad, too!

You're on the home stretch now! Are you thinking about your re-intros? sweet day and safe roadways!



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Mine calls me Cavewoman! LOL! I never turn on lights and he says it's like being in a cave :) 

Hurray for the process! At least your sugar dragon is whispering and not shouting! It sounds like your weight loss is coming along nicely since you've tied your most recent personal best. Didn't you mention that you were pretty close to where you wanted to be as far as clothing size? You should be really proud of yourself for keeping such a detailed log during such a miserable experience. That plus the fact that you persevered is awesome! I'm actually glad that I'm W30-ing while having health problems. I think those bouts of fever were tied to having that tooth simmering away in the very back corner of my jaw so it'll be interesting to see if it comes back. This past Saturday it was 100.7 which is waaay better than the 103.2 I had for NY but still just shouldn't be.

New life skill=FFF! Good for you!  I hope I can get there as well and I think I will; I feel strong and empowered. Sweets aren't my big temptation but a nice glass of wine or beer is. I've gone long enough now that it's gotten to be a habit NOT to have one (or 3) and I don't even think about it. I'll see someone on TV having a glass of wine in a beautiful glass and think that it looks yummy but it's a fleeting thought. I've totally broken my after work snack habit of a glass of wine and giant handful of pistachios (or 2). I've had a few almonds here and there but that's it- no food without brakes! I even made myself some berry puree gummies (Love me some gummies!!) on Monday and was worried that I would face-plant them but I haven't even come close and I think all of that good gelatin will help the healing process.

 I need to do some re-intro reading and, maybe, invest in FFF. I was thinking that cheese would be my first re-intro but now I'm kinda "meh" on the cheese. Unless I make tacos and can use some of my cauli tortillas that I made right before starting my W60. Cheese & sour cream- oh yeah- might be a plan!

I am grateful for your presence and support as well! Thanks for all of the kind words.

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That's funny--to sleep I have to have it pitch dark. My husband says it's too dark to sleep, which, if I live to be 100 years old, I don't think I'll ever understand. So, sometimes he sleeps in his office/guest bedroom, sometimes I wear my luxurious bear blinds (You have those too, yes?)

That fever is concerning, yes! Is it going down since your past post, I hope? Yes, it seems to do W30 on top of challenges makes it extra self-regard-boosting, absolutely!

Yes, I'm pretty close to where I want to be - my size 10 pants are all fitting better and better, and i have this idea that if I can get in a size 8 (I know this is sacrilegious talk!) and in the 143-ish zone (compared to the current 162) I will have arrived...

Meanwhile I keep getting glimmerings that come and go, of just loving and accepting myself as I am....the best version of myself, and all of that. My best inner wisdom knows better than keep numbersy goals whether it's the scale or pants size, and on the other hand, because I am permissive/indulgent by nature, it's good for me to be really honest with myself about being the best/most challenged I can be. Hey! We're fine tuning our plans for the "big" August hike. When it's finalized I'll send you a link to the details. "That" is the kind of being honest with myself/challenged I should focus on, and the rest will fall into place, I just *know* it!

Yesterday I was in a good place - I got a good hike in - taking it a little easy b/c it'd been a while, and then I did my floor work, with some additions, intending to challenge myself, and be a little sore the next day, but not too sore, and get a good night of sleep, and I did accomplish that, plus it was a good, productive day after the work out, but not crazy busy so I could enjoy myself and be present...some neighbors came over for dinner with a bottle of red, and I enjoyed that so much. Aah, a good day.

Hey, that attachment to cheese was a big deal! Your notable decrease of interest in cheese seems also to be a big deal! That's a big change! We share a love of pistachios, for sure.  I have to be careful there, too. Sounds like you made nuts off-limits, with a great deal of self knowledge, very self-respecting. I could stand to put a similar limit on myself. My regular "treat" is snacking in the car once a week on the way home from the grocery store with what I think is a very modest little bag of bulk trail mix (with little chocolate whatevers) ...pre-W30 that used to be bulk candy. As I write this, maybe I could make that monthly instead of's helpful to sound off here about this kind of thing.

It truly is getting easier!

Homemade gummies, ooh yum! I printed out the recipe for the stir fry sauce, and can't wait to make it probably this weekend. Today I made curried chicken salad, with all dark meat, it's not bad. Next up: using pork tenderloins. And wonton meatballs with the stir fry sauce! In other food news, this week I've been enjoying tomato soup with Mel J's Italian meatballs (bison) and leftover roast cauli/yams, all in the soup. Really filling.

Are the roads passable yet?

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Day 50!

Had some sunshine this weekend and it was pushing 70 degrees so all of the ice and grimy-looking gunk on the road is gone. All is good! I had to go to work for a few hours yesterday so I get to keep banker's hours today and only work 1030-230. I've been reading the forums and rules about re-intro and am starting to formulate a plan (unlike my first W30). I don't know where my brain went for that one but my re-intro was a total fail. I didn't have a plan and didn't understand the premise behind it so, of course I didn't re-intro in a way that gave me any useful info. I don't think I'm going to immediately dive into re-introducing anything since there's nothing I'm really jonesing for except maybe a little convenience. I think the first thing I'll do is ease up on the rules so I can take my vitamins and enjoy some local bacon that was cured with some sugar. I want to see if adding a little bit of starch/sugar will awaken my sugar dragon or hamper weight loss efforts. I will definitely do an official re-intro with dairy, corn and probably legumes and will eventually have a lovely glass of wine but I want it to be something special and am not in a rush. The plan is coming together! 

I haven't made nuts off limits but I have to seriously pay attention to how much I eat. Pistachios are the hardest to not overindulge in so I have conveniently run out of them :) Peanuts are another biggie and I get the Cajun-spiced ones that are spicy but not too salty- oh yeah, food with no brakes! I'm "out" of them, too! Gotta break that afternoon snack habit! I can really tell the difference if I don't have a good enough lunch so that motivates me to make sure I have a good template lunch to bring with me every day. Bars have become my downfall, as well- note to self: more nuts, duh! KIND bars in particular (or Costco's cheap version of them) became my breakfast dessert on work days. That totally had to stop! I have a bunch of them in the pantry and I still don't trust myself to have ONE and not turn it back into a routine so I think I'm going to bring them to work and let the hyenas devour them. Mark Sisson is making some bars now and I've gotten them when he has a 2-4-1 special (they're pretty pricey). I really like them, they aren't sweet at all and are made with good ingredients but, they are still not breakfast dessert! 

My weight loss has slowed down but is still progressing and I'm really happy about that. My husband commented yesterday that I was going to have to get some new jeans because the ones I was wearing were about to fall off :) I've lost enough weight now that people are starting to notice and, kinda like when I started W30-ing back in December, I don't really want to discuss it. I've tried to keep to generic answers when people ask what I'm doing mostly because the ones who ask don't really want to hear the answer. I'm just saying that I'm back to eating the way I enjoy most: nutrient dense foods like lots of veggies and good proteins. Short and sweet and if they're interested in more details, they'll ask. I've gotten one grunt and one "Oh, I couldn't live without my giant muffin for breakfast." When they ask (and they do!) exactly how much weight I've lost, I just say that I haven't weighed recently and don't really know. I'm defining "recently" as in the last five minutes so I'm not lying and I'm not telling them it's none of their beeswax! The truth is 20 lbs so far with about 40 more to go but like you, I feel like if I just keep working on being the best me I can be, it will all keep falling in place and, for a change, I'm good with that. Can't wait to hear the details about your August hike. Our Big Bend trip is 2 months away and I need to start reading the trail book to decide what hikes I want to do. Slight monkey wrench in the plans, though, my husband may not be able to go. He is in the middle of the interview process for a new job and it really sounds promising. If he gets it, he most likely will not be able to go so that will change my plans a good deal. I am still using it as a big motivator, though, and that will not change.

How did the gingerbread pork stew come out? That tomato soup sounds yum! I think I'm going to have to do that. I have visions if tiny meatballs and roasted veggies floating in a beautiful tomato-y soup. Thanks! I've had a soup revelation since I made two different ones last week. Like smoothies, I have discovered that pureed soups don't keep me satisfied. I think it's the lack of chewing so I need to include chewable stuff in my soups like you did. One more lesson to help me on my way. 

Here's to the start of another empowering week! wooohooo!!

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So much awesome news! Happy Day 50!!!

Baggy jeans! Yay! Funny about letting the hyenas devour your breakfast bars. I can totally see it. I like your approach with the questions and comments at work, wise woman. Saving your energy! I'm intrigued by the Mark Sisson bars. I splurged on some Epic bars, and was surprised that I don't care for them much...I'm sure I'll be grateful for them now that (hiking) training season has started - I'll pack 1 or two for the long hikes and maybe they will be more delicious in that circumstance.

That's really insightful about pureed soups being like smoothies. Good point. Oh, I'm glad my soup inspired you! Hey, the gingerbread pork stew is really delicious! A new fave, I think. In this case, I can see using pork shoulder as it calls for instead of loin as I used, because you want a fatty meat in there (duh). Once the meat tears apart a little the loin doesn't seem so dry, but next time, a fattier meat...maybe ever dark meat chicken? I let it cool over night, and I blended the gravy this morning in my Vitamix, and it sure does have a beautiful silky texture. In addition to the potatoes in the recipe, I also added lots of carrots, and next time I'll use less potato, and add lots of vegetables, even celery, bell peppers, maybe parsnips, too. I thought the spices might be a little weird, but it is really heavenly. The recipe called for 1-2 TBSP of maple syrup, and I let myself do that, but when I was enjoying it for breakfast I thought maybe using some apples in there would sweeten it up and be a nice surprising addition.

I also made the all purpose stir fry sauce - yum!! I haven't eaten it yet, but I'm making wonton meatballs later before going to work, and I can't wait to try it out!

I need to prep salad greens for the week - lots of radicchio left over.

Your planning and strategy for re-intros sounds really sane and confident - I like it. Keep me posted!

I printed out your faux-lafel recipe this morning and plan to try that this week, too! 

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Feeding your body good stuff pays off! The dentist was shocked at how well & how much I've healed in just a week :D yaaaay!

OK, I'm getting parsnips next grocery run and now I NEED some radicchio, too. I love bitter lettuces! I just took another look at the gingerbread pork stew and that's going on the menu for next week. Great idea on the apple; I like that idea better than subbing dates for the maple syrup since they're little sugar bombs anyway. Had a pretty little pork tenderloin marinated in lemon, garlic and a Mediterranean herb blend last night to go with a big pile of roasted Brussels, cauli, onion and red bells and made enough veg for both of us to have some for lunch, too. Tonight will be leftover pork and different veg- I think broccoli and delicata squash is all I have left so I guess that's the menu!

I love, love my Vitamix! It makes everything saucy and beautiful. My Mom has a brisket recipe that uses the onion, carrots and celery that it cooks in to thicken the gravy and it is SO good so I'm guessing the texture of the pork stew is similar. My husband loves gravy and that gives me a way to  make it that satisfies both of us. Do you use your Vitamix to make cauli mash? It gives it the most luxurious, creamy texture especially w a giant glob of Kerrygold butter in there but I bet brown butter ghee wouldn't be terrible either. I brought a shepherd's pie kind of casserole to a potluck and topped it with that cauli mash and everyone raved about it.

I'm with you on the Epic bars. The texture is weird.  I was hoping to love them but maybe it's a good thing I don't since they are a bit pricey. I'm a little concerned about what I'm going to eat on the trip to Big Bend (a bunch of seriously SAD people and my brother and his wife are paleo but into the whole fasting thing and only eat one meal a day) so I've been trying to plan things I can bring with me like Epic bars and Mark Sisson's Primal bars, envelopes of tuna and olives, beef jerky.

It's all about the plan!

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Oh yeah, I hear you about planning - that is the golden key to the kingdom LOL! Okay, not just me about the Epic bars. So awesome in theory. I like your idea about tuna, olives, and jerky. Do you make your own jerky? I'll bet you do....I thought about getting an Excalibur just to make jerky!!! 

My husband is waiting for me to weigh in about which of two ways we'll hike in to the hot springs we plan to visit on our "big" hike in August. One way would be 6 days, the other 5. I usually let him call the shots (he's a great map reader and makes top notch decisions on these things) but I'm trying to be more engaged in the planning. So the books are on my desk, and that is next. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, here's a link with pretty pictures to the hike we did last year, The Rae Lakes Loop (it was 41 miles, not 37, they're not counting the hike to the trail head, but at that point, who's counting...besides my tired feet, that is)

I've never tried to make the cauli mash in the Vitamix! I should try that! And, I should eat that more often, thanks for the reminder! Yes, I think you'll love the silky texture of the pork stew you have your mom's brisket recipe? Would love to check that out. Isn't it fun taking paleo things to a party, and watching people love it? I took Mel's Bora Bora fireballs to a party once, and though I had to explain that they're not terribly spicy (my co-hostess was afraid of offending/harming our older crowd), it was a big hit!

Yes, you know my husband pointed out to me how many calories are in just one date, and I snapped out of my permissive, denial-ish haze very fast! EEEEK!

Ooh, that veg roast sounds divine - did you cut the sprouts in half or slaw them? I made those last night too (just the sprouts, though) and I keep wanting to slaw them and make a big batch as a bed for leftovers. Roasted Brussels sprouts are my favourite! I love the bitter edge and crispy leaves - we almost never have leftovers! I'm putting orange and yellow bells on my salads this week. It's amazing to me how long radicchio lasts in my produce bin - always longer than I think, and I'm so grateful for that.

The stew is almost gone, and the wonton meatballs won't last forever, up, I'm gearing up to make Nom Nom's sausage and kale casserole. I rarely eat kale, but this looks good. I have to make some marinara, and I'm out of carrots (all went in the pork stew) otherwise I would have made it tonight!  Also, I have a huge pork tenderloin in the freezer, and I'm thinking about slicing medallions, dry rubbing them, and cooking them up as needed, along with a batch of Mel's caramel apple sauce.

Do you get a little nervous/sad/blue when the last cook up starts to run low? I do, and I'm feeling that around now.  Ha. 

Also, what are your all time favorite dishes that are almost always in the rotation? I've been having so much fun with new recipes since last spring that I've just recently decided that I should keep a separate file (until they're all memorized) of my true faves. Seems we have pork loins and wonton meatballs in common with faves! But what are the others?

Hey, big congrats on the glowing report from the dentist! A notable NSV!!!! What about that fever?

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Wooohoo Tiger Blood!! I feel terrific today! Fevers seem to be a thing of the past so that sorta confirms my hypothesis that it was that wisdom tooth. Good sleep is still not one of my NSV's but I'm still working on it. I started wearing blue-light blocking glasses this past weekend and will continue (at least) until the end of my W60 and last night I got the best sleep I've had in forever! I tried them once before but it was when my husband still had serious snoring issues so it was impossible to really judge the results.  Last night I woke up twice but went right back to sleep and got 6 hours in a row. Keeping my fingers crossed that decreasing blue light exposure will do the trick. We usually watch a movie or something after dinner so I put them on when we settle in and don't take them off until I'm crawling into bed. They are terribly attractive with the emphasis being on "terrible" :huh: but if I can improve the quality & quantity of my sleep, I don't care!

Oh, what a beautiful hike! Thanks for sending the link. I went through the whole thing and felt like a voyeur! Hey, that 4 miles to the trailhead is about 10% of your hike so I think it counts and if you went to the furthest campsite on Day 1, it's about half again the length of that leg. I'm impressed with the elevation changes, too. I was born & raised in south Louisiana so anything more than a bump in the road is huge to us! The first thing we did when we moved to middle TN was pull out the GPS and look at our elevation. Flat-land geeks!

My cook up isn't running low, it's gone (except for my breakfast casserole) and I am unhappy about it; it leaves me without a plan and that's never good. I'm even out of beef stock, almost out of lard and running low on chicken stock since I hit it pretty hard after dental adventures. I am terrible about planning meals so I tend to make sure I have lots of produce and various proteins so I can mix-n-match. Ideally, I try to make at least one big batch of something we can eat off of a few times but I'm not always successful. I made this last week and have done it a couple of times. I use a whole chicken cut in 10 pieces (halve the breasts) and the sweet pickled peppers. I also cut up the sausage; I find it annoying to have to wrestle with a hunk of sausage on my plate with a bunch of sauce. Yum & different and you can use whatever sausage you have hanging around. This time I used andouille (spicy smoked pork) and added a few fennel seeds into the veggies. It is one of the sausage recipes I'm trying to perfect so I wanted to get it used up so I can make another batch.

I need a rotation :) Half the time we wind up grilling or pan-frying whatever protein and then adding veg to it. When I'm tired/lazy it's just one veg but I try to make it two or one and a starchy veg. I try to use different herb or spice blends so it has a different flavor profile but I am definitely stuck in that rut and trying to get out. I only have one jar of marinara sauce left so I feel your pain. It's such a good back-up to throw most anything into when you're in a jam. Meatloaf makes a frequent appearance and I usually use 2 lbs of meat so I can freeze slices of it for lunches after we eat it a couple of times. Tacos- on lettuce or as a salad for me. I used cabbage leaves once and it wasn't nearly as messy as lettuce leaves; I didn't even need a bath afterwards! I have a separate rotation of stuff for my lunches that I keep in the freezer: pate, faux-lafels, roast leg of lamb (yuuuum) and I'm out of that too- all things my husband it not interested in but I love so it works out pretty well. I was eyeing up that sausage kale recipe of Michelle's and thought it might be a good breakfast casserole. I love kale, all kale but esp locinato kale (AKA dinosaur kale, cavolo nero in Italian)

My Mom's brisket recipe is a very involved recipe off of Epicurious but I simplified it way down without sacrificing flavor. I have notes and need to get it put down in a coherent recipe. I'll try to work on it this weekend and send it to you. I've been wanting to make it again, too. I do make my own jerky but I've never been totally happy with it. It's OK but it's not where I'd like it to be. Love my Excalibur! Sun-dried tomatoes- when they're fresh out of the garden they're like candy. Dried chiles. Tried dried zucc chips-hack, hack, gag, gag- they were awful both in flavor and texture. Those Brussels sprouts were weird! They were gigantic but the heads were very loose so the first time I steamed them they fell apart- I like to give them a quick steaming in the nuker then drain them and sauté in brown butter with tarragon. They did much better cut in half and roasted- love the little Brussels chips that fall off. I was going to slaw them but hubby wanted to try roasting so that's what we did- anything he wants to "own" at cooking time is A-OK with me!

Gonna yoga when I get home. I rewarded myself by moving my yoga space. I got a pretty runner that I can put my matt on so my knees don't scream when I'm on all fours and I can have the basement to myself. Well, sort of. Yoga with cat. He can do a pretty good downward dog but is otherwise not so helpful!

Trust the process and plan, plan plan!

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Trust the process and plan, plan, plan...those are words to live by - thanks for the mantra! How did yoga go with your cat? = )

I'm intrigued by your blue-light blocking glasses....I never did get the legendary W30 sound sleep last month, or this W30 was far from perfect, but it all left me wondering how much of it might be about menopause. Without question, the best thing I know for good sleep is vigorous cardio vascular exercise! But the have my attention. Keep reporting!

Glad you enjoyed looking at the photos of Rae Lakes...thanks for the encouraging words! Yeah, I'm originally a flat-lander from Chicago, and I will never get bored with living in hills and mountains. I felt that way in my 20s in San Francisco's urban hilly landscape, and now here, I'm in heaven. We had a big rainfall (relatively big, relative to this winter so far which hasn't yielded much) and when the clouds parted, and I got to lay eyes on the snow line in nearby higher climes, it took my breath away! But if there's no rain tomorrow morning, I will lace up my hiking boots and get out there for a good sweaty climb! a half mile uphill from my kitchen door is a wonderful trail that goes up, up, up along a creek. After rain I often see lots of cool animal tracks, so that is always exciting!

I'm surprised to hear that you feel you are terrible about planning meals - you seem totally on it from where I sit! And all that energy that goes into from-scratch everything is so impressive. I imagine it's also time consuming, could that be it, are you fatigued after all the prep of your staples? That would be understandable. Your meatloaf sounds like my Mel J. balls! LOL That chicken scarpriello recipe looks dee-lish.

Lately I've been trying to get a big picture of what I've been cooking, and I seem to be a tad bit obsessed with trying new recipes. I get it that it's part of W30, learning a bunch of new chops. Considering how much time it takes to cook a new recipe compared to after you've done it a bunch of times....big difference, right? I wonder if it might be time-saving for me to just slow the eff down for a couple of months, lay off any new recipes, and just make the things I already know how to make. So I have been working on a list of my favorites that feel familiar, that I've made at least 3 or 4 times...starting next week. LOL. There's an iHeartUmami recipe for skirt steak that I have on my list, but my grocer was out of it today, so I could back burner it for now...I'm still working on my rotation-list, so I'll get back to you on that if you're interested.

Thanks for the warning about zucc chips, I'll remember that! I made that sausage kale casserole today. It's really yummy! I should not have salted anything, though, because the sausage was already pretty salty. So it issss a salty dish. I like it though, and I stirred it into my salad greens, so that made it refreshing. I think I'll serve it up tonight and put it on rice for my might be too vegetable rich for him - he's like an 8 year old, as I may have mentioned. 

Oh! When I heard that Ursula K. Le Guin died - she's a favorite author/soul/thinker/voice in my life. Do you know her? I wanted to lift my glass to her memory and just think about her. My husband was running late coming home from work. I was hungry. Dinner was ready. So I ate, and I poured myself a glass of wine. In a little jelly glass like they use in Spain. It was wonderful to do that. I had another one, and even a third - a half a bottle of wine. I know this sounds decadent, I guess it was. But it made me happy. And then I took a bath and went to bed all cosy.

Tomorrow, up the creek trail!!!

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Oh, so sorry to hear that she died. I read some of her science fiction eons ago; I think it's past due time to revisit her work. What's your favorite?

A little decadence, happy, bath and bed- sounds like a lovely evening. Good for you!

There are a couple of things I have a hard time wrapping my brain around and meal planning is one of them- but only for dinner. I'll eat the same thing for breakfast every darn day but how do I know what I'll feel like eating/cooking for dinner on Thursday!? My Dad always had a list of what was for dinner every night then he went to the grocery and stuck to the plan! I do it bass- ackwards! I make all of the various components and try to make sure I have proteins and veg then figure out what the heck to do with it all! I'm getting better about trying to come up with a plan the night before so I can pull something out of the freezer and start pondering side dishes. The from-scratch stuff is time consuming but it tastes so much better and I don't have to worry about what crappy-poopy stuff THEY tried to sneak in. I'm so used to doing most of it that I don't really notice; it's kinda just grown over time and I do big batches of whatever it is like Creole seasoning mix or lard then don't have to do it again for a year or so.

So...trying to plan for next week! I'm going to have the Italian sausage/kale casserole for my breakfasts (not as eggy as my usual so it'll be a nice change of pace), tomato soup with veggies, 'shrooms and meatballs- little, tiny, cute meatballs because why make it easy and just make a few big ones when I can torture myself and make 100 little, tiny, cute ones! Yeah, that's how my brain spins sometimes, or a lot of times. :P I might make the soup Mexican-inspired since the kale casserole is Italian. Gingerbread pork stew is on the list, too as well as the ranch dressing I've wanted to make for the last couple of weeks. I have some pretty salad greens and some fish filets to make a big-ass salad (AKA Saladus Gluteus Maximus).

The night I slept so well, I had done a really good yoga session so that probably contributed. The next night I woke up every 2 hours and last night was in between. Maybe it was the kitty-yoga that did it; he is so very helpful. I'll enlist his aid this afternoon when I get home. Yoga then chicken piccata tonight. Not as exciting as your creek trail but I'll take it! I was looking at all of the critter tracks in the snow last week- looked like mostly deer & bunnies, no predators. The deer & bunnies are only predators the other 3 seasons of the year when they use our garden as the local buffet. We're going to try to outsmart them this year!

Have a mahvelous weekend and thanks for all of the inspiration!

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It's just in the last few years that I've begun reading Le Guin - a good friend turned me on to her, beginning with a quotation that has become a personal favorite:

"Only in the silence the word,

Only in dark the light,

Only in dying life: 

Bright the hawk's flight on an empty sky."

---The Creation of Éa (from the Earthsea series)

Ironically, just a couple of days before she died, I felt compelled to print this quotation out, and put it in a magnetic frame on my refrigerator. I have read every part of the Earthsea series, including the prequel sequels she wrote years later...and a few short stories that I checked out at the library. So I have barely scratched the surface of her offerings. For that reason, I guess I can't really recommend a good starting point unless you wanted to pick up "The Wizard of Earthsea" which is the first book of Earthsea series, and see if it speaks to you...I'm not a die hard fantasy/sci fi reader, but do enjoy some, and DO enjoy this one  a lot. They are marketed as junior fiction, but they are for adults, too. She didn't like being pigeon-holed as a sci-fi writer, or a junior fiction author, or anything else...she was her own person, and very before her time in so many ways, and I don't want to over-hype, so I'll leave it there....I just love her, and am so glad that my lifetime overlapped with hers. When I visit Portland in Nov. this year I will probably think about her a lot and hope to find her haunts and places her footsteps touched = )

When I read your part about planning meals, I started humming The Pointer Sisters (Lee Dorsey's)  classic, Yes We Can, with lyrics redux...I LOVE this song, I think I could listen to it every day, and that might not be a bad idea...


I Know we can make it, I think we can can yes we can, I know we can plan, yes we can, plan and plan, yes we can. Why can't we if we want to, I think we can can, yes we can, we can plan plan yes we can. We can make it y'all...!!!

= )

There y'go, from death to dancing around the kitchen!

How'd your cook-up go? I love that sausage/kale casserole! Even my husband loved it and was sad when I polished it off. I ate it twice cold in my salad and I can't wait to do that again.

Next up, Michelle Tam's potsticker stir fry, and something to do with the bone in/skin on chicken thighs thawing in my freezer...not sure what yet. I downloaded iHeartUmami's free recipe book that she offers this month, and can't wait to get it spiral bound. I find I really covet her recipes, and will try more like lion's head meatballs in the near future. And while I still have a partial jar in the fridge of beautiful store bought marinara, I will make a more giant batch "pizza casserole" again soooooon. I have a feeling the recipe will accommodate a ton of improvising with whatever veg is in the bin, yes?

Meanwhile, I'm big-time procrastinating a daunting admin task at the desk today...and I would rather be cooking, but there's plenty of leftover curried chicken salad for later -- I made a huge batch a couple days ago -- oh, I do love that. This time the homemade mayo-based dressing included fresh lemon, mango ginger chutney, and a small handful of garam masala instead of curry, and it was just heavenly. I think I don't care much for the curry powder I have on hand, or maybe I just prefer garam masala's warmth. Hm.

Happy new're almost there!!!! What day is day 60??

Deep sigh, to my task...

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Day 60 is Feb 1, the day after the super, blue moon! I know we can make it, I think we can, can... yeah! They should broadcast that from the rooftops everywhere, everyday!

15 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

from death to dancing around the kitchen!

That's life, isn't it?!

I like science fiction a lot- a gift from my Dad- but haven't gotten into much of the newer sci-fi and really enjoy the classics. Thanks, I'm going to get the first book in the Earthsea series- looking forward to it; I could use some good fiction right now.

During my brief stint in a management position, I had to go to some management training sessions where they presented different management theories. One of the two that stuck out was "Eat a frog first thing in the morning!" Huh? Translation: Do whatever you're dreading the most first then everything is uphill from there. So, did you eat your frog? :lol:

The universe tried to mess with my plans but I didn't let it happen! I stopped for gas Friday evening on my way home before making a quick stop at the grocery to get the things I forgot on the last trip and the starter on my car decided it had had enough and there were no more starts left. I finally managed to get home with the help of AAA, our mechanic and my husband. I did a 30 minute rowing session and made my grocery run Saturday morning. Hah! Can't stop the plan!! My cook-up was good but I have a bunch of greasy meat grinder parts to finish cleaning when I get home and I need to strain all of the little leftover bits out of my lard and pour it into containers. I just wasn't up to dealing with all of the icky, greasy mess yesterday and I like to get it over with all at once so this afternoon will be a 30 minute rowing session and a 30 minute de-greasing session. I got my Tomato Meatball Soup (with kale and mushrooms) done on Saturday and it's delicious! I made a double batch based on Nomnom's tomato soup (I never have leeks plus they're expensive and a pain in the butt to clean if I can find them) and made 60 (!) mini meatballs out of a pound of ground beef. It was a good project to have while watching a movie :) That's my lunch today. I also made a batch of ranch dressing and was pretty happy with it for a first try. Giant salad with grilled fish for dinner Friday and lunch Saturday. My husband totally shocked me when we were making the salad and said he wanted to put some fermented veggies in it. He's not so big on the fermented stuff (except kombucha) so that was a real shocker. AND, he started rowing, too so now if I can just get him off of the wheat wagon...hahahaha

Yesterday was a killer but I did it!! I got all of that pork ground (15 lbs of butt plus 4 lbs of fat) so I got the lard mostly done, 3 pounds of meat chunks went for the gingerbread stew that I finished at 730 last night. It made the house smell so good but the gravy is crazy thick even after adding a good bit of water so I don't think I'm going to bother fishing out the meat chunks and pureeing the veggies. That's dinner tonight with potatoes for my husband and the great parsnip experiment for me-woohoo! I had 2 lbs of ground pork for a double batch of wonton meatballs and that was my "lunch" at 230 yesterday plus a pound for the Italian sausage & kale casserole- breakfast today and it was really good. I cut it into 6 portions but then decided it might not be enough all by itself and changed it to 5 portions. After all of that, I have a little over 7 pounds of ground pork vac sealed in the freezer. Whew!

It was fun but a lot of work so I'm glad it's over but it feels so good that I got it all accomplished AND I have a fridge & freezer full of goodies. Curried chicken salad will be on the menu soon. I love it, too. I'll have to try it with garam masala, esp since I'm out of curry powder at the moment. I love to put a bunch of celery and apple in it so it's nice and crunchy. The addition of the chutney sounds delicious.

Time to step away from the computer and MOVE!

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Did I eat the frog...yes, I DID. And it didn't taste so bad once I dug in. Isn't that the way it always goes? I'll have to eat the frog for an hour or so every night after work ("morning" of free time) until it's done done done...I put it off for so long!!! (I'm transcribing an oral history I took last October. The subject is 90 years old...must not put it off forever! But it's time consuming, about an 60-90 minutes or work for every 15 minutes of recording) anyway, I like the expression - thanks!

Hey, you are unstoppable these days - way to go! You can't keep a good woman from her rowing machine!  All that porky put a lot of energy into that meat grinder and making lard and stuff...the pay off sounds huge. It's funny, I used to say that I didn't want to eat anything that went through a meat grinder, and now ground meat is pretty much the majority of the way I eat and enjoy meat. My, how things change! Your meatballs sound so cute! Yeah, leeks can be a bit messy, though they seem so romantic, like the way they could be placed to stand up out of the grocery bag like baguettes, or hold them like a bouquet - such a lovely sculptural object. And theoretically I like anything in layers. They remind me of lemongrass, but since leeks are easily substituted and lemongrass is pretty unique, when lemongrass is called for, it just has to be lemongrass. I'm also a yuge fan of lemongrass essential oil in my lotions and potions. Mmmmm. But I digress.

That's super cool that the hubbie is surprising you - I LOVE when that happens. And he's rowing! As for me and mine, just when I complained to you that he was like an 8 year old, lately he's been ranting about my cooking - specifically the curried chicken salad, and tonight the (Michelle Tam's) potsticker stir fry. Yes, I whipped that up this morning since I didn't have time to cook yesterday. It's okaaayyy...I like the wonton meatballs a million times more. But since it was my first time, I could do better with the timing. For example, I would take the meat mixture off the stove more quickly after adding the ginger and garlic....and I would double the amount of ginger, I think. And I would dice the veg smaller - she called for a fine dice. On my cutting board, it seemed fine enough, in the pot, for potstickers, um, no, I should have spent more time to make it smaller. Oh well! It is yummy, and I ate in it lettuce cups, and put it on rice for the Mr. Also this morning, I cleaned and prepped salad greens for the week. That was fun! I had a beautiful, large head of butter lettuce, and radicchio (my usual as I mentioned) and I also added the most amazing baby spinach from my local CSA's hearty and curly like chard, but small like baby spinach, and a little more substantial toothiness than spinach - divine. Have you had this before? I forget what the proprietress called it...but it's delicious. Now, I need to make a new salad dressing - the champagne vinaigrette is gone. I keep getting these super sweet organic carrots from her, too, and it finally occurred to me that I should keep the tops - I plan to try out a carrot top pesto later in the week. And also a re-do of the pizza casserole with beautiful kale from aforementioned shop.

Okay, back to an hour of transcribing before bed! Hey, your finishing up your W60 with the rare super blood moon event - how auspicious!

What's your favorite classic sci fi novel?

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