164.3 (Truce with Food)

I’ve been interested in Ali Shapiro‘s work for years. As a health coach, she has a refreshing and unorthodox approach to weight loss. She’s created her own program, Truce with Food, which, according to Ali, is more of a way of thinking than a formula.

I think that’s a nice way of saying the program is nothing like Weight Watchers, Paleo, Nutrisystem or any of the other popular diets that have a rigid, one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. Because all the usual suspects have repeatedly failed me, I’m very interested in any unconventional approach to weight loss, and and especially one that prioritizes health and happiness over weight loss. Continue reading →

164.8 (Meal Plan)


I ran into a couple of eating challenges over the weekend. On Saturday night I attended the Rodale Organic Pioneer Awards dinner on behalf of Edible Philly. It was a pleasure to watch the honorees collect their awards and see some of my former colleagues. The dinner was a fantastic spread made from the lush bounty of the farm there, and included some of my favorite things, like fried chicken, charcuterie, and a banana split. Before the dinner, we toured the property on a champagne hay ride. There were a million calories involved but how could I pass it up?

I got home very late and didn’t get the best night’s sleep–something that always makes me vulnerable to overeating the next day. On Sunday, Dan baked some bread, and in between the time it cooled and I got it sliced up and stored in the freezer (my best insurance against bread overconsumption) I ate too much of it. It didn’t help that the soup I was making, Cook’s Illustrated Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup, took a whole lot longer than I thought it would. I ended up pairing my bread snack with a beer. Carbs on carbs. Not very healthy. Continue reading →

163.3 (Jill Sauce)


When my sister Jill was in her final month of pregnancy last winter, her husband went away on a trip to India. Not wanting to be home alone for a couple weeks when she was 8 months pregnant, she asked me to come stay with her. She lives in Farmville, Va., a very cute college town in the country, so I packed up select kitchen gear and took off, planning to cook for her during my stay. And mostly, I did.

The interesting thing about siblings isn’t the way they grow up the same; it’s how they grow up different. As obsessed as I am with food and cooking, Jill dislikes being in the kitchen and barely cooks at all. I previously would have said “doesn’t cook at all,” but during my time in Farmville last winter I saw that she actually has several impressive culinary skills. For example, she can make perfect rice without measuring the rice or water. I certainly can’t do that. Continue reading →


Yay, sub 165! Perhaps my weight gain wasn’t as much water weight as a thought.

Over the aforementioned bachelorette weekend, I told two of my closest, longest standing girlfriends that I was planning to relaunch this blog. Sam, who knows me as well as anybody outside my husband and sister, asked, with concern, “Do you think you can do it without being so hard on yourself this time?”

I hadn’t really thought about that before, but I do think I can. Continue reading →

165.2 (Back to the Gym)

Joy ready to work out

Until yesterday, I haven’t belonged to a gym since 2010. During the year and a half I worked at Rodale, I used their wonderful on-site fitness center from time to time, and after I came back to Philly in May of 2012, I just stopped working out. I did remain active, walking miles and miles through the city, and going sporadically to yoga. For a long time, I figured that was good enough.

I’ve been encouraging my Dad, who recently moved close to where I live in South Philly, to join a gym two blocks from his new place. I started to think, hey, maybe I’ll join too. I got pretty into the idea but stopped short of signing up. Why? Because there’s another gym that’s more convenient to my house–the one I belonged to for several years before taking off for the hinterlands to work at Rodale. Continue reading →



This is pretty much the most I’ve ever weighed. I don’t feel good about the way I look in this photo. It’s painfully obvious which one is me in this photo, but I’m on the left, with the neon pink belt that seems to highlight the thickness of my waist.

Even as I was hanging out with my friends on the beach having fun, I was distracted by feelings of self-consciousness–especially as photos were being snapped. I kept noticing how much bigger I looked than my fellow travelers who were either pregnant or postpartum. That’s a depressing observation. Continue reading →