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Monday, June 17, 2013

A Taste of Summer

I was introduced to the protein, carb and fat rule. I like how it’s working so far. The goal is to eat every three hours, keeping hunger at bay by following this simple rule. At every mini-meal eat:
A carb the size of your fist
A protein the size of your palm
A fat the size of your thumb
It’s just that simple and yet not. Technically, a vegetable is a carb, but not all carb-vegetables are created equal. Be wise.
This rule translates really well into most of my favorite meals.
 A sandwich
Bread= carb
Chicken breast= protein
Mayo or avocado= fat
Yogurt parfait
Yogurt=protein and fat
Beans and tomatoes=carb
Ground turkey=protein
Dollop of sour cream= fat
Breakfast Burrito
Eggs= protein
Tortilla and salsa= carb
Cheese= fat
I’m very excited about how easily that simple formula can be applied to everyday meal choices. Except for brownies. It doesn’t work for brownies…or pies. But that’s okay. I have a weekly two dessert allotment. Because brownies can’t be ignored.
For more helpful and healthly tips, be sure and check out my book romantic suspense novel, Losing Penny, featuring Penny Lee a cooking show diva who loses 50 pounds and gains a stalker. A delicious novel with all the right spices!

Here’s my new favorite food, stuffed peppers.
Peppers cut in half
Half a pound of ground beef, browned, rinsed and drained (rinse to wash away fat)
Add to meat:
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
Half cup of cooked brown rice
1 can of stewed tomatoes
Half cup of medium salsa
Simmer meat mixture for about 20 minutes
Fill peppers and top with:
Sprinkled parmesan and cheddar cheese
Bake until the cheese is golden.
Serve with avocado and sour cream.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Wedding Cake and the Visitor

The Wedding Cake and the Visitor

I belong to a group blog—thirteen amazing romance writers sharing their stuff three times a week. For the month of June, we’re all sending a few of our favorite characters to a wedding. (Meaning we each write a story snippet involving a character or two from one of our books and send them to a wedding on Main Street.) I decided to ask Penny, from my novel Losing Penny, to bake the cake. To read my blogger friends’ posts click here To read my post, which will go live tomorrow on the same site, just read on.

The Wedding Cake and the Visitor

Temptation lurks around every corner and sometimes attacks in your very own kitchen—Penny knew this, had written it as gospel in her heart, but even after months of relentless calorie counting and hundreds of hours logged on the elliptical, one little whiff sugary goodness could turn her knees to butter.
Tess, who pretended to be her friend but kept company with the enemy, held out a spoon weighted down with frosting.  “You have to taste this.”
 Penny gripped her spatula and her willpower. “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the boobies hang down.”
“Boobies will hang anyway. It’s what they do.” Tess laughed and wiggled the frosting under Penny’s nose. “You’ve already lost so much weight, how much damage can a smidge do?”
Penny sniffed at the offending spoon and returned to creating spun sugar roses. “That smidge is a whopping 150 calories.”
“How can you decorate an entire wedding cake without even taking a lick?” Tess asked.
“How can you profess to love me and still tempt me?”
“How can you be such an amazing cook and stay so thin?”
Penny sighed and put down her spatula. “All I have to do is close my eyes and picture myself at my brother’s wedding, wearing the beige dress that makes me look like a giant pralines and cream ice cone.”
“Ah, the dress from hell—or Dairy Queen.”
“Same thing,” Penny muttered.
“It can’t be that bad,” Tess said. “Rosalynn loves you, right?”
“I thought she did until I saw the dress.”
Tess licked her spoon and settled down on a stool in front of the three foot high, nearly completed wedding cake. “I’m glad my brother isn’t getting married. This wedding is enough stress. Thanks again for helping out.”
Penny smiled at her creation. If she couldn’t eat, she could do the next best thing—bake.  “Anything for Samantha and Greg.”
“Unless calories are involved.” Tess popped another spoonful in her mouth. She licked her lips, closed her eyes and murmured, “Yum.”
“Yum is right.” Penny bumped her hip against Tess and pointed her spatula at a tall, blond and blue eyed man standing in the courtyard. He looked lost and Penny fought the temptation to rip off her apron, bolt through the door and ask him if she could show him the way to where ever. “Who is that?”
Tess peered through the window and Penny elbowed her. “Don’t look!”
“How can I know who he is if I can’t look?” Tess asked.
“Okay look, but be fast and remember I tapped-tapped him first.”
Tess casually stood, went to the window and tweaked the curtain. “He’s visiting the new guy in 2B.” She resumed her spot on the stool, her back to the window.
Penny tried to focus on the cake, but for once sugar loaded calories had lost their appeal. The visitor of 2B glanced her way and their eyes met briefly. Embarrassed, Penny filled her pastry bag and drew a series of repeating hearts around the base of the bottom tier. When she looked up he was gone. Penny sighed, put down the pastry bag and returned to the sugar spun roses, promising herself that one day she would attend a wedding in a dress she loved.
And she would bake the cake and eat it, too.

Penny and Tess are introduced in Losing Penny, a novel that sizzles with romance, suspense and lip smacking recipes. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Food Mood Connection Experiment

For one month I’m going to keep a journal of everything I eat and how it makes me feel.

We’re all familiar with the term emotional eating: ( -- Anyone who's sought solace in pizza or a pint of ice cream knows that food can be comforting. But experts still don't know exactly why we gravitate toward fatty or sugary foods when we're feeling down, or how those foods affect our emotions.

So for one month I will be both the scientist and the lab rat. Without censor or fudging, I will track my own personal food and mood connection. Maybe I won’t find a correlation. Maybe I will.

Love this article: Food and Mood: 6 Ways Your Diet Affects How You Feel
And this one: Feeling Sad? Seven Instant Mood Boosters
And: What to Eat to Feel Happier

If anyone wants to join me in my food mood connection experiment, please chime in. The more lab rats the better. No one likes to eat alone.

Food Mood Journal