Food and Weight: An Ongoing Journey

Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category

Most folks who read me here know enough about me to know that I dress primarily for comfort. As such, over the years I have generally eschewed leggings. It’s not that I don’t like them per se – I’ve spent too many years in dance and yoga classes to ever say that. However, I generally didn’t find the kinds of legging that were easily available to be comfortable or convenient. I mean, come on, they didn’t even have real pockets. If anything, they had what looked like a pocket, but was just some fancy pretend pocket opening, sewn together and with no pocket inside to catch things like your keys.

Well, I have seen the light. A friend of mine, Rosalie, is selling leggings​ for a company called My Legging Craze. You can buy these legging from her website, or you can look at her Facebook page, Rosalie’s Legging Craze, or you can host a party with her as your stylist.

Their sizes run true to size, and their leggings come in a wide variety of sizes: from kids leggings all the way up to women’s 5X. They are wonderfully soft ​and wonderfully sturdy. I own about ten pairs at this point, along with a couple of their dresses and tops. ​the bulk of their leggings are in the $20 to $25 range, and their dresses, tops, cardigans and kimono-style​ jackets run a bit higher.

Now it’s really enough that​ they have a great product, but the thing I like best is that their consultants are more than willing to go the extra mile to make customers happy. I had one pair of leggings that had a small hole in an indelicate spot. I mentioned this to Rosalie, and she asked me to email her supervisor with a pic of the hole. I did so, and within 24 hours the piece was being replaced. Further, the supervisor checked back with me after I had gotten the replacement to make sure I was happy with it.

SO, for their great product, and superb service, I am giving a shout out to My Legging Craze, and​ hope that you all decide to give it a try. And if you do, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments!


There is some very good news this week. I spoke to my surgeon, Dr. Soriaya Motivala, on Thursday. She says that I do not have to wear the bone-growth stimulator anymore and that I can start using my Peloton exercise bike again, so long as I go slowly and do not overreach.

In other good news, I dropped six pounds this week, so I am cautiously optimistic that I am getting back on track. Wednesday, I decided that on days that I’m not going out I will go back to tracking my food for a while. but may switch to “Simply Filling” on days that I am going out. (I did track last night’s dinner – it was pretty easy to do since I planned what I was going to order before I left the house.

Dinner last night was wonderful. We ate at an old favorite, El Gran Castillo de Jagua, at 355 Flatbush Avenue, which makes some of the best Dominican dishes around. I had the fillet of salmon with a side order of sweet plantains. I did sneak a bite of Marc Glasser’s mofongo with pork (mashed plantains, usually with some meat or fish added). For a change, I managed to get through dinner without ordering any soda. The attendees were Marc Glasser, Cyndi Cascanti, Joe Sullivan, Sue Levy (the roomie), Maury Kestenbaum, Chuck Hancock, Ariel Winterbreucke, Mark Blackman, and me. Joe was kind enough to drive Marc, Sue and me to Marc’s afterward
deb-lucys-carrot-stewOkay, I promised I would post the carrot stew recipe. Let me start by posting what Lucy had to say about it that inspired me to make it:

“I’ve started adding what I call ‘carrot stew’ to my repertoire. The name comes from a picture book we had when our kids were small, The Tawny, Scrawny Lion, in which a hungry lion encounters a fat little rabbit, but before the lion can gobble him up, the rabbit invites the lion to come home with him and share a dinner of carrot stew with him and his five fat rabbit brothers and six fat rabbit sisters.  So this lion goes home with him, thinking that 12 little fat rabbits will make a better meal than just one, and the rabbits throw carrots and onions and mushrooms and some other vegetables and some fish into a pot and when it’s cooked they share it with the lion and then serve bowls of berries for dessert. And afterward the lion walks home, whistling to himself in the moonlight.”

Lucy and Deb’s “Carrot Stew”


Frozen (pre-cut) or fresh veggies

(I used frozen spinach, 2 diced onions, a bag of baby carrots, a can of new potatoes, 2 ribs of celery, pre-cut bagged zucchini and butternut squash, and canned mushrooms)

1/2 cup pearl barley

2.4 lbs of salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

tarragon, to taste

dill, to taste

Auntie Arwen’s Ultimate Garlic Insanity, to taste (Auntie Arwen has a shop on Etsy, and her spice blends are magnificent and reasonably priced.)

Water to cover


I swear this recipe is pretty much fool-proof. You just put all the ingredients into a large pot, cover, and simmer until the fish is cooked and the vegetables are tender. It is a very forgiving recipe. I made the whole recipe, without the mushrooms, then added them after Sue had taken her portion, then reheated it until the mushrooms were also warm. Cooking took about two hours, and the resulting stew is wonderful – even after being reheated four days later for today’s lunch.

The recipe is also incredibly Weight Watchers friendly: only 3 Points Plus for a one-cup serving.

Last week, I made a commitment to Robert, my WW coach, that I would meditate at least once a day. He suggested that I use the free trial at Headspace to get started. Even though I have done meditation many times in the past, I figured I’d give it a try, and I love their method, so I have added it to my routine (I don’t talk about this much, but I try to remember to meditate twice a day already). I actually like meditating; it’s refreshing to take a little time to not have my brain running around like a madwoman. I’ve also noticed that on days when I do take the time to meditate, I seem to have less trouble reacting to things that happen.

So that’s where things are today.See you all next time!





NOTE: I received this product as part of a product test.

As most of you know, I’ve been in cardiac rehab for most of the summer. This product is designed to help people with their workouts, so I figured I would see if it had an effect on mine.

Branch chain amino acids are essential in building protein in muscles. The contents of this particular formulation of branched-chain amino acids includes L-Isoleucine, L-Leucine,and L-Valine. What makes it different from many other formulations though is what it doesn’t have. Completely vegetarian, it excludes additives, artificial ingredients, binders, eggs, excipients, fillers, gluten, preservatives, soy, starch, sugar, or wheat. The serving is two capsules, and the recommended times to take this supplement is either 45 minutes before a workout, immediately after a workout, or between meals. According to the packaging, they can also be taken any time the body needs an extra fuel boost.

So, did I find it had an effect? Yes, I did. I had better recovery times from my sessions, and even seemed to have more energy going about my day – although I am still nowhere near where my brain says I should be, but I know that recovery from open heart surgery is not just a six-month quick thing.  Still, I am making progress, and I honestly can say that I feel this product has made a positive difference in that progress over the last month. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

The first is an article about my cousin Elly: Cooking at Home with Elly Kelly – Tarrytown.

The second is a new column by Mark Bittman in the New York Times: The Flexitarian.

I hope you enjoy them both!

Freelancers Union

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