Coconut-Lemon Whip: Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Finished Lemon Whip

Coconut-Lemon Whip

I apologize for the lack of posts. March and April were extremely crazy for me but I didn’t forget about you. April saw me take an actual vacation, to see my daughter in southern California. We enjoyed the beach (cold!) and Solvang, CA, (hot!), and my daughter’s and her room mate’s new house. It’s small, but the back yard has producing fruit trees. One was a Meyer lemon, the lemons ripe and ready to pick. So of course, I brought home five of them. What else could I do but make a dessert?

I’m still sticking to my Paleo life-style. Whatever your eating style, there’s nothing wrong with whole, fresh food, especially straight from the tree! Fair warning, because of the coconut oil and milk, this isn’t low fat but it is “good” fat. Enjoy in moderation. It makes four 8oz, ramekins of dessert.

Paleo Lemon Curd


Sauce Pot


Measuring cups and spoons


Cutting board

Zester or Micro-plane



1/2 cup juice: 5 Meyer Lemons (6 or more regular lemons depending on how juicy they are.)

1 T Lemon zest

3 eggs (whole)

1/4 C Honey

6 T Coconut Oil



Over gentle heat add the zest, eggs and honey to the sauce pot and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thickened.

Add the juice and 2 T of the coconut oil. Whisk and adding more oil as soon as the previous additions have melted. Whisk and add until all the oil is added and the mixture is thick and bubbly. Don’t stop whisking. It will burn very fast.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl. Cover and put in the refrigerator several hours or overnight. I do let it chill overnight.


Coconut Whipped Cream


Large Mixing Bowl

Hand Mixer with Whisk Attachment


14 oz Coconut Cream ( recommends Trader Joes coconut cream. If you’re like me, Trader Joes is a hundred miles away, but my local grocery does carry canned Imperial Dragon Whole Fat Coconut Milk. Refrigerate that overnight, open, scoop out the coconut cream which will be hardened at the top of the can. Save the coconut water to drink or to use in a sauce. You won’t have the full 14 ounces but you can either ignore it, which I do, or use 2 cans, storing any extra coconut cream in the coconut water until you’re ready to do an Indian chicken curry or other savory dish.)

1 T honey. Optional. (I’ve never added the honey to the cream as I like the tartness of the lemon curd and the whipped cream without it.)



Use a big bowl!

In a large bowl, scoop the cream. Don’t use the little bowl like I have in the picture unless you’ve planned to wash down your kitchen walls and cabinets. Which is what I had to do by using too small a bowl. Fair warning!

Using your hand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream and honey. It will be hard, so keep at it until you have a fluffy mix.

Whisk the lemon curd, to loosen it up and make it fluffy, then add the coconut whipped cream. Whisk until fully combined. You can cover and store the mixture or put it into ramekins as I did. To serve, top with more coconut cream or if you don’t mind going off diet, regular whipped cream.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at


Shrimp Scampi: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post


I seem to be on roll with the pasta recipes but I don’t care. I love pasta. I was thinking about what to do differently this week for our Saturday pasta night and it occurred to me that I could do a shrimp scampi. Was I watching an Olive Garden commercial at the time? Maybe. Anyway, I looked on the internet and for a fancy dish, shrimp scampi is surprisingly easy to make.

Serves 2 – 4.


Large frying pan

Cutting board


Serving Bowl

Pot for Spaghetti



2 Tblsp butter

1 cup shredded parmesan

1 lb shrimp, rinsed and patted dry

2 Tblsp minced garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 Tblsp Lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup Pinot Grigio

In a large pot, cook 12oz spaghetti according to package directions.


While the water comes to a boil and you cook the spaghetti, melt the butter in the frying pan.


When it begins to foam up, add the shrimp, garlic, salt and pepper.


If you’re using raw shrimp, cook about 2 minutes per side. If you’re using already cooked shrimp, just a minute per side to warm it through.


Remove from pan to serving bowl, then toss in the lemon juice, zest and wine. Bring to a boil and let reduce a little.


Add the parsley.


Return the shrimp to the pan.

Drain the cooked pasta, put in serving bowl, add the shrimp scampi and toss to coat.



Notes: I didn’t think the scampi had enough sauce to coat the spaghetti so I added 2 Tblsp each of butter and extra virgin olive oil and tossed again.

I also added shredded parmesan cheese to my bowl. I know the rule is no cheese in seafood dishes but I really like parmesan cheese.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite pasta supper? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at

Roasted Veggie and Shrimp Salad


Roasted Veggie and Shrimp Salad

I first saw this in my facebook feed and it looked so good I had to try it. Taken from, when I tried going to buzzfeed to find the actual link, I couldn’t find it. However, a very similar recipe is Either way you’re going to end up with a really good meal. Serves 2.


Sheet pan

Cutting Board


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.



1 pound raw shrimp thawed, rinsed and patted dry

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup carrot, shredded

1 cup yellow bell pepper, large dice

1 cup red onion, large dice

1 cup asparagus, large dice

Olive oil

Chili powder


Salt and pepper to taste

Lime juice (at least 2 limes)

Mixed Greens

Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing:

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C


Add the cut vegetables to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings to your preference. Toss. Bake for 10 minutes.


Move veggies to the side to make space in the center of the baking sheet and add the shrimp in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings and lime juice. Toss. Bake for 5 – 8 minutes until shrimp is fully cooked. Be careful not to overcook.


Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

In large salad bowl, combine the mixed greens, roasted shrimp and veggies and vinaigrette.



What I did differently: I substituted dried thyme for the oregano because I didn’t have any. I substituted left over whole green beans for the asparagus because I forget to get the asparagus. I added the beans to the sheet pan with the shrimp since they were already cooked. I used a baby greens salad mix and when I put the hot veggies and shrimp in on top, the greens wilted some. If you don’t care for that, let the hot shrimp and veggies cool a bit. My hubby loved the meal.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite salad supper? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at

A New Year’s Breakfast: Chicklets In the Kitchen Post


It’s the new year and to be honest, I’ve kind of let my weight get the better of me. That has to stop. It doesn’t feel good at all. So, the first day of the year I decided to change my eating and get some more exercise. I know. Everybody does that. But it’s true. Time for me to make a change. Since I have been suffering from plantar fasciitis and from tendonitis in both feet, doing my usual hiking and aerobic exercise can’t be done. So I went to the local community college where they have a gym and as a senior, I get free membership. I signed up for a trainer to help me develop a training program that allows me to exercise without pounding on my feet, allowing me time for them to heal. Yay! I’ve even scheduled the workouts on the calendar, like appointments. No being wishy-washy. It’s important.

So what’s that got to do with breakfast? It’s the other side of the coin, of course. Good fuel, good workout, happy author. Actually this breakfast hash is so simple I’m almost embarrassed to post it but a lot of people box breakfast up into a tiny space when it could be so much more.

Today’s breakfast is customizable. If you don’t like one thing in the ingredient list, substitute another. You don’t have a particular ingredient on hand, not a problem, put something else in. You’ll notice the breakfast is heavy on the veggies and has only moderate protein. That can be adjusted as well.

And paleo? A recent diet that eliminates grains, dairy and most sugar. Heavy on the vegetables and lean protein, it is said to resemble a cave-man diet. I’m not sure about that but I do know this combo works for me, just as for my grandma. Eliminate the carbs and the weight comes off, especially with a moderate amount of exercise.

Besides that, it’s good!


Cutting Board


Medium frying pan



2 oz (1/3 cup) diced raw sweet potato

1 – 2 oz diced sweet pepper

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 green onion, sliced

1 oz fresh baby spinach leaves

1 – 2 oz ground breakfast sausage

1 T butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Other options: 2 oz sliced mushrooms, washed and patted dry, ham, eggs, celery, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, dried Thyme, oregano, sage, your favorite veggie.


In the frying pan, add the butter, melt. Add the sweet potato and sweet pepper. Sauté until nearly tender.

Add the onion, tomato, spinach and sausage. Cook till hot through and the spinach is wilted.

Plate and enjoy.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite breakfast? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at

Tomato Soup: Chicklets in the Kitchen



It’s the end of summer and I have a glut of tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes. Fortunately, the variety I chose for this year has that cherry tomato sweetness but isn’t too sweet. What to do with a giant bowl full of cherry tomatoes? Why tomato soup, of course! A few random Amish Paste and Early Girls found their way into the soup as well but it’s all good. The batch ended up making 3 pints of soup. Half a pint made it into my lunch but the rest I froze for future meals. Happy cooking and eating.


4 Quart Pot

Cutting Board


1 or ½ pint freezer containers

Immersion Blender



Bowl full of cherry tomatoes, washed

¼ cup sliced onion

2 med garlic cloves, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste


Slice the onion and garlic. Cut the tomatoes in half.

Add ½ cup of water to the pot.



Drop in the onion, garlic, and tomatoes, and salt and pepper.



Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about an hour.



Right in the pot, use the immersion blender to blend the mixture until smooth. Serve up bowls full for lunch or supper. Freeze the rest.



NOTE: I did not strain the blended soup to remove the seeds. I kind of like the seedy chew but if you don’t, go ahead and strain the seeds out.



Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. What do you do with your tomato abundance? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at

Chile Spice Mix: Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Finished Jar of Chili Spice Mix

Finished Jar of Chili Spice Mix

I know. I missed May and June. I can only plead that I was super busy but I haven’t forgotten you. Today I’m talking about chili spice. What’s that? It’s a spice mix that I use to flavor my chili! I know a lot of people just by those little packets at the store. That would work except I’m Celiac and most of those packets have additives in them that I can’t eat. Well, what’s a girl to do who likes chili? Make it myself. There are tons of recipes out there for the spices for chili. I started with a recipe that is courtesy of Tyler Florence from Food Network. I added my own twists.

This spice mix can also be used as a dry rub. I love it on spare and country ribs, especially.

I’m still trying to perfect my dish but here’s the recipe.


Food Processor

Meauring Spoons

Wax Paper

Canning Jar (to store it, especially if you double the batch)


The Chili Spice Mix Ingredients

The Chili Spice Mix Ingredients


3 dried ancho peppers, stemmed and seeded

2 T dried oregano (I used dried oregano from my garden)

2 T smoked paprika (my twist to Tyler’s recipe which called for sweet paprika)

2 T whole coriander

1 T cumin seed

1 T chili powder

1 T dried cilantro (my twist)

1 tsp cocoa powder (My twist. Every heard of mole?)

½ tsp cinnamon (my twist)

Breaking up the Chilies

Breaking up the Chilies

Get the food processor set up and ready to use. Spread the wax paper on the counter in front of you and by hand, open up the dried anchos, seed them and break the chilies up into small pieces. I’ve tried using big pieces but they just don’t grind up as well. No one wants to bite into a big chunk of a chili. If you’re smarter than I am, wear food prep gloves. Otherwise your fingers will be burning for hours. You could use the seed to flavor a cup of olive oil for hot chili oil and lemon spaghetti another day.

Chop the chilies

Chop the chilies

Add the whole coriander and cumin seed to the food processor.

Chilies, Corriander, and Cumin seed, chopped fine

Chilies, Corriander, and Cumin seed, chopped fine

Spin those together until the peppers, the coriander and the cumin seed and fine. My husband does NOT like biting into a coriander seed. So while I think it’s a big flavor punch, I try to get them crushed well

Heaping tablespoon of whole dried Oregano

Heaping tablespoon of whole dried Oregano

Add the dried oregano and cilantro. Pulse again to make those fine.

Adding powdered spices: Paprika, chili powder, cocoa and cinnamon

Adding powdered spices: Paprika, chili powder, cocoa and cinnamon

Add the powdered spices: paprika, chili powder, cocoa powder and cinnamon. Pulse again.

Spin again, covering the hole so you don't get spice mix all over the kitchen

Spin again, covering the hole so you don’t get spice mix all over the kitchen

Be careful as you take the lid of the processor on and off. The volatile oils from the dried chili will fry your nasal passages.

Final Mix

Final Mix



Pour the mix into a bowl and then into a storage jar. Glass is best, it won’t stain the way a plastic container might. Also note, the chilies did stain the bowl of my food processor. If you know of a way to get rid of the stain, I’d like to hear it.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you make your own herb or spice mix? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at

Basic Water Fondant: Chicklets in the Kitchen

Finished Peppermint patties and Truffles by Connie Cockrell

Mid-November, I start thinking about Christmas. A bit of thought is required because I like to make candy and ship packages of it back to my family in New York. The problem is timing. Mail slows down, a lot!, in December. So I want to get it in the mail as soon as possible after Thanksgiving so it can reach its destination in time to be enjoyed for the holiday. That means candy-making is competing for time with National Novel Writing Month, garden clean-up, conferences and Thanksgiving.

One thing I can do to help myself is to make some of the candy in advance. A family favorite is homemade peppermint patties. Fondant is the key to that creamy filling. Since I don’t live near a baking/candy store where I can buy packages of it, I make it myself.

This recipe is taken from the book, Homemade Candy by the food editors of Farm Journal and edited by Nell B. Nichols. Copyright 1970.

So, here’s how you do it.

Hardware and Ingredients for Fondant by Connie Cockrell


Liquid and glass measuring cups

1 cookie sheet

2-quart stainless steel pot

Silicone spatula

Bench Scraper

Food Ingredients

2 cups white sugar

2 T light corn syrup

3/4 cup boiling water

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 tsp almond extract



Almond extract is the traditional flavoring for fondant. Since I’m using the fondant for peppermint patties, I use peppermint extract. You can use any flavor you like: strawberry, maple, lemon, it’s all up to you.

All Ingredients combined and stirred

Combine all ingredients, except the extract and chocolate, in the 2-quart heavy saucepan and stir gently over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. I say stir gently because like all candy, you want to keep as much sugar crystallization off of the sides of the pot as possible.



Bring sugar mixture to a boil.

Bring the mixture to a boil.

Cover and Boil 1 Minute

Cover and boil for 1 minute. (This gives the steam inside a chance to wash any sugar crystals off of the sides of the pan.)

No picture of the next step. Sorry.

Remove the lid and cook to the soft ball stage, 238 to 240 degrees F. If you live in a high altitude area as I do, you’ll have to modify the temperature range to fit your altitude. See note below about my mistake. That step goes here!

Pour Mixture onto a cool, moist baking sheet

Pour at once onto a cool, moist baking sheet, platter or marble slab. Let cool until lukewarm.

Work with Spatula until smooth and creamy

Work with a broad spatula or wooden paddle until fondant is white and creamy. Add your extract of choice. Knead until smooth.

Place in plastic bag to mellow

Put in a plastic bag and close tightly. Place in refrigerator to mellow at least 24 hours or for several weeks!





Now, here’s a note. I tried three times to make this fondant.

Fondant is not turning creamy and white

You can see pictures here of the fondant not becoming creamy and white. It wasn’t until I was typing up this post that I see where I made my mistake. So if the fondant doesn’t come out, one fix is to add confectioner’s sugar.

Confectioner's Sugar to Fix

Poured mix into a bowl for easier mixing

Close to correct consistency

I added half a pound of sugar before it became the correct, well, close to correct consistency. I tried again a couple of days later and made the same mistake. That time I let the fondant sit on the cookie sheet, working it every half hour until it was close to the correct consistency.

Working the Fondant

What was my mistake? I skipped the cooking to soft ball stage step. Color me red! I wanted to share that fail with all of you. Not everything done in the kitchen comes out right. Laugh, and keep on going.

When you’re ready to make your patties, pull the fondant out of the fridge, and divide into 4 equal portions. Knead the fondant until soft then press into shape. For me, this would be one inch balls that I then press into a disk shape. I put the disks on a cookie sheet and let the fondant develop a skin. This will allow the discs to hold their shape when I dip them into warm, dark chocolate. Place the dipped candy on a wax or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet to harden in a cool place.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your favorite candy recipe or biggest kitchen disaster in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books

Company Cheesecake

Cheesecake, Connie Cockrell, Strawberry Glaze, Strawberries, Blueberries

Company Cheesecake by Connie Cockrell

In the theory that it’s better late than never, I’m presenting today’s blog post two days late. Hey, it’s a cheesecake recipe ya know! Anyway, this recipe is from my Betty Crocker cookbook, the one I bought just after I got married 40 years ago. The pages are yellowed and splattered, the tabs I used the most have torn off and I hold the cover on with duct tape but I still return to this book over and over again.

Cheesecake, yum. This is a nice fluffy style cheesecake, not dense like say, a New York style cake. But it’s a perfect dessert for company. I made this one for my bunko group. I hosted the game in April and while a lot of ideas floated through my brain since January, this is the one I picked. Make it the day ahead of your event and keep it in the fridge once completely cooled.

The Crust

Cheesecake crust, Lemon Shortbread Cookies, Butter

Crust Ingredients by Connie Cockrell

I made the crust gluten free by using gluten free lemon shortbread cookies. I used the whole box, broke them up into a food processor and whirled them till they were crumbs. I added 3 tablespoons of melted butter and stirred until the crumbs were coated.

Crumbs and melted butter

Crumbs and melted butter

Put in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan, place on a cookie sheet and back at 350 degrees F until lightly brown. It could be 10 minutes, it could be 20. Mine took closer to 20. Also, add just 2 tablespoons of the melted butter to the crumbs and see if that’s enough to coat. At 3 tablespoons mine seemed kind of wet.

Crumbs in Springform Pan

Crumbs in Springform Pan

After the crust is pulled out of the oven to cool, reduce temp to 300 degrees.


Cheese Mixture


Cream Cheese, Sugar, Eggs, Lemon Flavoring

Cheesecake Ingredients by Connie Cockrell

2 8oz packages of cream cheese plus another 3 oz., room temperature

1 c sugar

2 tsp grated lemon peel

1/4 tsp vanilla (or substitute lemon juice or lemon flavoring)

3 eggs, room temperature

1 cup sour cream, Cherry Glaze or Strawberry Glaze

I use a stand mixer for this as I have in the past burnt out a hand mixer but both will work.

Cream cheese, sugar

Add sugar to beaten cream cheese by Connie Cockrell

Beat the cream cheese in the stand mixer bowl on medium speed. Gradually add the sugar, beating until fluffy. Add the lemon peel and flavoring.


Add Eggs by Connie Cockrell

Mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time.

Cheesecake ready to bake

Cheesecake ready to bake by Connie Cockrell

Pour the mixture over the crust.

Baked Cheesecake

Baked Cheesecake by Connie Cockrell

Bake for an hour and check for doneness. The center should be firm. Turn off the oven and cool to room temperature right in the oven. Loosen edge of cheesecake with knife before removing the side of the pan. Spread with the sour cream or glaze.


Strawberry Glaze

1 – 1 1/2 cups cut up strawberries

1 cup sugar

3 T cornstarch (I used 1 tsp of Arrowroot. I find cornstarch makes the sauce cloudy.)

1 cup water (I used a couple of tablespoons)

Cook in a small pan over low heat to a low boil until you can mash the berries. I left some fairly large pieces but you can thoroughly mash them. Cook until the sauce is thickened. Refrigerate until ready to top the cake.

After I made the glaze and put it on the cheese cake, I sliced strawberries and used them and blueberries to decorate the top. This is optional, the glaze is certainly pretty enough on its own.


Cherry Glaze

1 1lb can pitted red tart cherries, reserving the liquid

1/2 c sugar

2 T corn starch

Water to add to the cherry liquid

Red Food Color

Add enough water to cherry liquid to measure 1 cup. Mix sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in the liquid. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in cherries and 4 drops of red food color. Cool thoroughly.


Other Notes:

I have also cooked this cheesecake in a water bath.

Wrap the springform pan in aluminum foil, a couple of layers so no water can get in. Bake the crust per directions. Then, when you’ve filled the pan with the cheese mixture, put the springform pan in a large baking dish and fill halfway up the side of the springform pan with boiling water. It’s easiest to do this when the baking dish is sitting on the oven rack. Carefully slide the rack into the oven and cook until done. Cool according to the directions above. This helps prevent the cracks you get in the cheesecake top when it cools. It’s an extra step and takes longer to cook and cool. Your choice.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite dessert recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at

Introducing Myself With One More Chicken Recipe

Butternut Squash and Roses by Randy Cockrell

Butternut Squash and Roses by Randy Cockrell

Hi, my name is Connie Cockrell and I’ve been invited by the wonderful ladies of Chicklets in the Kitchen to participate on their blog. I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at
I suffer from Celiac disease and my husband is lactose intolerant. That means I cook most of our food at home. I’ve also begun modeling my diet after the Paleo Diet to help both of us lose weight and feel healthier. And like any author, sometimes the freezer gets a little bare. The other night I had chicken breast thawed. Pre-Paleo, I might have butterflied those open, pounded them thin and turned them into a scaloppini, this particular night, I was sticking to the Paleo plan.
What is that, you might ask. It’s a diet that’s free from grains and dairy, as it is believed hunter/gatherers may have eaten. I don’t stick to it strictly, moderation in everything, but I stayed pretty close with the chicken breast.
I rubbed them with olive oil, salt, pepper and finely chopped rosemary (from my garden!). Then pan fried them until done. I deglazed the pan with a little white wine and let that reduce. I removed the cooked breasts and added plain, non-fat Greek yogurt to the reduced pan juices. Over low heat I stirred it to combine and put the chicken back in the pan. Yes, yogurt is a dairy but you only use two or three tablespoons. Like I said, I’m not crazy strict about it. The side dishes were green beans and cherry tomatoes from the garden. It was delicious. Sorry, I didn’t think to take a picture but you can see my garden where I have a nice crop of trellised butternut squash.
Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite chicken go to meal in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

Eat to Live…

…not the other way around. (Yes, I’m the queen of cliches. Sue me.)

My dad is a former smoker, and to this day he has a real problem with people who smoke around him. Once, after changing seats because the person behind him was smoking, he told me, “There is no zealot like a convert.”

I live that concept. When I find an idea I like, I jump into it with both feet.

In the 90’s, I tried the Atkins diet. I didn’t buy the book; I just went with what my cousin told me, boosting my protein intake and cutting back on carbs and fats. I must’ve missed the part about having fats. I dropped 25 pounds in no time flat…and gained it all back.

In the 00’s, I tried South Beach. This time I got smart:  I bought the book. Loved the whole idea. Ate meat like it was going off the market. Finished the induction period and ate salads every chance I got. Actually, I found South Beach to be healthier than Atkins; I felt better on it. I lost at least 40 pounds and wore size medium pants. Then somewhere along the line, and I can’t remember what it was, I hit an emotional downturn and ate back all the weight I lost and then some. Not in one sitting, but eventually I ended up weighing the same as I did when I was 9 months pregnant.

Welcome to now. I’m a vegetarian. My son says it’s “just a phase Mom’s going through” but I’ve always been a veggie fan. My brother and I were polar opposites; he’d feed his broccoli to the dog while I slipped her the gristly pieces of meat I couldn’t bring myself to chew. Needless to say, she was one happy dog. Also a bit overweight.

Over the weekend I saw a show on PBS by Dr. Joel Furman about micronutrition. Unfortunately I missed the first half hour, but I got the gist of it. It suggested that for “incredible health”, we should focus on micronutrition and make GOMBS staples in our diet:

G – greens

O – onions

M – mushrooms

B – beans/berries

S – seeds

I thought, well heck, I’m doing that now. I’m a mushroom junkie. If I can find a way to work mushrooms onto my plate, they’re there. (For the record, mushrooms and low-sugar ice cream…no.) Supposedly this combination not only results in optimum health but after a short time making this your regular routine, it’ll taste delicious to you.

Know what? It’s right.

When I first became a vegetarian, I did this exact thing, and I came to think of cashews and macadamias as a treat akin to chocolate. Better still, I lost my chocolate cravings. I kid you not. My Girl Card is at risk but there you have it. Strawberries became delicacies; I’d see them on TV and salivate. Cake and cookies lost their appeal because I knew if I had one, I wouldn’t feel as good as I would after a small bowl of berries (okay, sprinkled with Splenda). And you already know about me and mushrooms. 🙂

I’ll let you know my progress as I continue. In the mean time, what have YOU changed in your life to make yourself feel good?