Mom Said to “Eat Less, Exercise More”

A forkful of pancakes

Some time ago, I noticed extra weight gain. A panicked call was made to Mom. In a harsh and sweet tone of a voice, she said, “You know how to eat healthy. Now eat less and exercise more,” she continued with the reality of my dilemma, “…if you gain weight now, it’s difficult to get it off… You’re older and the weight doesn’t come off like it use to. There’s no excuse for being fat.”

Some may view the advice as insensitive. Personally, I appreciate the seriousness of it. Why cry about it when the solution is simple: Eat less and exercise more. The following morning, I was up at 6 am for a quick two-mile run. A food diary was started to find potential problems, which revealed large portions of food and too much sugar.

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Parade.com: Have a Joyous Morning With This Quinoa Mango Bowl

Mango Quinoa Bowl by Joy McCarthy
My email is flooded with PR representatives requesting reviews of health books about the latest diet trends. I delete the majority of those emails, because diets don’t work. All anyone needs is regular sleep, plenty of exercise, and a major overhaul of how they view food. It sounds simple, but learning how to live joyously is a difficult process that demands a lot of soul-searching. Read more

Say Yassss to Spring

Baked Eggs in Harissa Spice Tomatoes Sauce with Quinoa and Kale

Say yasssssss to Spring being around the corner, especially after we had one too many snowstorms this past winter. As I’m writing this, we’re due for another snowstorm (or dusting) the next day. Usually my refrigerator is packed with flour, buttermilk, orange juice, eggs and maple syrup for a pancake breakfast. This time, there will be no pancakes to celebrate another snowflake.

Overlooking the buttermilk, I remove left over red quinoa from a salad made earlier in the week. I find other ingredients for a quick breakfast: Crisp baby kale, a new jar of harissa spice, fresh thyme and plenty of eggs. On a whim, a savory tomato and egg dish with a bit of harissa spice was made.

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Start the Year by Improving Bad Habits and Trying New Food Pairings

Maple Cumin Bread
Maple Cumin Bread

My knowledge of wine could be more than the average person, for I know my basic pairings with food. I’m also not an aficionado when it comes to tea, but I know enough to start with loose-leaf tea leaves and the different steeping times. However, my knowledge of beer is flat. Last autumn, Jo of AGiftofTea.com — a true tea connoisseur — invited me to her Beer and Tea pairing event in Harlem. Although, my time management is a work in progress, I missed the demonstration. However, I was able to sample Organic Golden Monkey Black, Jasmine Green and Alishan Oolong teas while nibbling on beer flavored popcorn, spicy dried mango from Trader Joe’s (that’s now part of my grocery list) and dark chocolate.

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Parade Magazine: Roast Brussel Sprouts and Wild Brown Rice

Roast Brussel Sprouts and Wild Brown Rice

I personally prefer smoked over fried and roast turkey. The orange-tea smoky flavor infuses the whole bird to render even the breast meat juicy. As my father cooks at least three turkeys, each using a different cooking technique mentioned above, he’s also preparing several carb-loaded side dishes.  Read more