(160.9) Weekend Reads


Torrone I saw (and ate) while reporting a story this week

Welcome to Weekend Reads. If you come across something related to food, weight, or body image why don’t you send me the link at joymanning at gmail dot com?

I am a Plus Size Woman Who Wore a Low-Rise Bikini

In all of my 37 years I’ve enjoyed exactly one summer during which I felt comfortable wearing a bikini. I had this idea that summer 2014 was when I’d buy what is known on the internet as a fatkini, but what I realize now is simply a high waisted bikini. Given the fact that I never went to the beach, it became a non issue, but I figured that would be equally freeing and more comfortable than wearing a low-rise bikini, which seems completely out of the question. Not for this woman though. My hat is off to her and her experiment. Continue reading →

(160.9) Big Batch Lentil Soup

Easy Lentil Soup RecipeIt’s now obvious to me that if I would have started a straight up food blog instead of this mashup weight loss/wellness/body image blog, it would have been a soup blog. This is my third soup recipe in less than a month and I don’t see myself slowing down with soup any time soon. As I’ve said before, soups are so comforting to me. They’re delicious. And homemade soup is almost always good for you. The high water content makes it filling with fewer calories. Chicken broth, which I make in my pressure cooker from chicken wings and bones and store in my freezer, has plenty of health-boosting gelatin. A lot of vegetables tend to find their way into my soup pot, so that’s a bonus too. Continue reading →

Throwback Thursday

Playlist March 2012

Hey, sorry. I know this morning’s weigh in/progress report was a bummer and that my attitude was none too positive. I feel like I cheated you of a decent post so I’m adding this second quickie. I had a good workout this morning. My walk/run intervals on the treadmill were more run than walk–I was running either 2 or 3 minutes and then walking 1 minute. I credit the resurrection of my iPod. Today I listened to a running mix I made in either 2011 or 2012. Whenever I feel inclined to look down on someone who likes fast food or convenience food or some other comestible that rouses my food snobbery I try to remind myself that I have bad taste in lots of things, too. Like music. I’m pretty sure that this playlist and frankly almost everything I like to listen to kills brain cells. Good thing working out helps build new synaptic connections.

(160.6) Progress Report

Up nine-tenths of a pound from last week. Down 5.4 pounds overall. Obviously, I’m not feeling great about this. In the past seven days, there’s been an indulgent restaurant meal, a couple pretty sedentary days, raw cookie dough, multiple horrible night’s sleep, carrot cake, and 10 glasses of wine. On the plus side, I got to the gym twice (better than previously) continued to imperfectly but faithfully track my calories, and blogged here every day but Sunday. And, most importantly, I continued my streak of daily weigh-ins which I know from past experience is the single most important behavior when it comes to managing my weight. It’s not even a full pound up and as I said in last week’s progress report, weight loss for me never a straight downward slope. Today is a new day.

(160.6) Insomnia Juice


Photo credit: Neal Santos

Some people have trouble losing weight because of late-night snacking. Others struggle with a sweet tooth. There’s another camp that can’t stop eating between meals. And we all know someone with a bad soda habit.

None of these common pitfalls are a particular problem for me. As long as I stay out of restaurants and have good ingredients on hand, I’m happy as can be fixing and eating moderate portions of good-for-me food. I don’t even tend to overeat at home. I am lucky to actually love vegetables, salads, whole grains, and all that health food stuff.

But there’s one persistent craving that is definitely hindering my efforts to lose weight, one thing I cannot seem to resist no matter how hard I try. That thing is wine. Almost nightly, I have a glass of wine with dinner. A couple times a week, it’s two. And somewhat rarely (but not as rare as it should be), three. Continue reading →

(161) Red Pepper, Pistachio & Smoked Paprika Soup


My new favorite soup.

Let’s talk about food magazines. I love them. I’ve written for them. I’ve developed recipes for them. I’ve subscribed to them all–the health oriented ones and the not so healthy ones. Every month, I get a little thrill pulling them from my mailbox. But less and less often I’ll pull out a recipes or pin it from the website to make for myself.

I don’t exactly know why. I think the more you learn how to cook and get confident cooking without a recipe the more you’re inclined to wing it. But I am ever eagle-eyed for a recipe that appeals to me and is unlike what I’ve made before. Last week, at EatingWell.com, I spied a real contender to become a regular part of my winter soup rotation. This soup is basically a red pepper pureed soup, which I have made before, but several things set it apart. Continue reading →

(160.4) Meal Plan Monday


Dan is all business bagging groceries

My body really doesn’t want to say goodbye to the 160s just yet. I am calling on my limited reserves of self-acceptance and patience. It’s a little frustrating, but I know as long as I keep doing what I’m doing I will be comfortably into the 150s soon.

I realized last week that to get the most out of my workouts at the gym, I can’t  rely on the randomness of Pandora for my soundtrack. So I unearthed my old iPod–upon some research I found out that it is the iPod nano sixth generation–and tried to reteach myself how to use it. It’s amazing how quickly I forget how to work gadgets when I stop using them for awhile. I’m hoping that curated, uptempo playlists will power up my (so far lackluster) workouts. Please tell me your favorite workout songs in the comments!

OK, onto the week’s meal plan:  Continue reading →

(160.8) Weekend Reads: Having My Diet and Eating it Too


My niece and I #auntiebrigade

Welcome to the first installment of Weekend Reads. If you come across something related to food, weight, or body image why don’t you send me the link at joymanning at gmail dot com?

Why Mindy Kaling — not Lena Dunham — is the body positive icon of the moment

I near-worship Mindy Kaling. This is my favorite quote from this wonderful piece:

“Mindy isn’t willing to pass on the opportunity to write and direct her own show in order to make more time for personal trainers, and TV-character Mindy would rather be a good doctor and hang out with her friends than go to SoulCycle every day. Does this mean that she is too good for dieting? Heck no. Rather that it just isn’t such a big deal. Kaling can have her diet and eat it too.” Continue reading →

(161.9) 5 Tips for Better Salads


This morning’s weight in reflects the restaurant meal I ate last night. It’s amazing the amount of bloating that eating too much salty, fatty, sugary, chef-prepared food causes. Dan and I did have a good time and everything was delicious, but I definitely paid the price in terms of a restless night’s sleep, an unsettled stomach, and a couple (temporary) extra pounds. Ugh.

You may have noticed in my meal plans that I’m eating a lot of salad. It isn’t just because salad tends to be light and healthy; it’s because I love it and I’m really good at making it. Specifically, I’m really good at making salad dressing. I would say it is the most-complimented thing I make for other people. Guests always remark about it. I think it’s because many people eat mostly bottled salad dressings and they underestimate how much more delicious their salad could be with a homemade dressing. I have a few tips and tricks that I believe make my own dressings stand out. Continue reading →