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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Time For A New Confession

Confession is good for the soul; it forces you to admit that there is a problem and deal with it.  Now I don't think I have a problem yet but it is time to confess my sins.  I can't stay out of the Christmas cookies and I haven't been exercising like I should.  There!  I said it.  If I eat one cookie and it tastes so goooood, then I find myself opening the cookie tin and getting another, and another, and another.  Our annual cookie party was this past Sunday and we have plenty of leftovers.  Too bad there wasn't some of the mocha punch left.

Last week was not a good week for exercise due to the food poisoning episode so at least I have an excuse.  I really didn't feel energetic until Friday or Saturday.  Then there are all the holiday parties, concerts and the shopping to do which got in the way of exercise.  I am back to normal this week though, so no more excuses.

The one thing I have continued to do though, is to try to eat light, well balanced meals between parties.  Don't just give up around the holidays and think you might as well take a break and eat all you want.  I always try to eat especially light and healthy the day of a big party where there will be lots of temptations.  My family is still eating fish and chicken dishes with plenty of vegetables.  In fact, tomorrow I am making a vegetarian dinner.  I'm making a pot of navy beans for protein, braised cabbage and fried potatoes.

Cooking a pot of beans is one of the easiest things you can do.  I rinse a cup and a half or so of beans (navy, pinto, cranberry, whatever you like) and put them in a pot with enough water to more than cover the beans.  I add a bay leaf and bring the water to a boil.  When the water boils, I cover the pot and reduce the heat so the beans are just simmering.  I let them cook an hour or two until tender, then I salt and pepper them.  Be sure to check the beans occasionally for tenderness and to make sure you don't need to add more water.

Fried potatoes is one of the few fried foods I make.  I peel several red potatoes and slice them as thin as possible and place them in a large skillet.  I add two or three Tb. of canola oil to the skillet and turn it on high.  I flip the potatoes with a spatula when they are brown enough and continue cooking until they are nice and brown all over.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.   The braised cabbage recipe is in my index.  I usually make a pan of cornbread to accompany this meal.  As you can see, it is loaded with fiber.

I hope you will consider making a pot of beans soon.  They are a fat free source of protein.  Add a bit of ham if you like to flavor the beans.      

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