(158.4) Meal Planless Monday

Audrey'sWeddingDayIt feels like the holidays have already begun for me. I give you a photo from the wedding we went to last Friday and my last weigh-in until next Monday. That’s me in the middle, wearing that new dress I got in my most recent Stitch Fix box, with my girls Samantha (left) and Sarah (right). We had a wonderful time celebrating our friends’ getting hitched.

Then on Saturday, we went to my mother-in-law’s house for a substitute Thanksgiving celebration since we’re leaving for Farmville, Virginia, tomorrow. Instead of doing traditional Thanksgiving food we had “Middle Eastern Thanksgiving” with homemade falafel, from-scratch pita bread, hummus, and chopped salad. It was completely delicious and no one will have tryptophan burnout come Saturday. OK, we all probably will but at least it won’t be because we ate turkey dinner twice.  Continue reading →

(157.9) Ask an RD: How to Enjoy Thanksgiving

Deanna-Segrave-Daly-Web-sized-0002-e1371660063112I first met Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD, at Eat, Write, Retreat in 2012. We were both speakers at the conference, and I loved her food-positive approach to nutrition and wellness. Soon after, I became a regular reader of the blog she co-authors, Teaspoons of Spice. As I contemplated next week’s pie-a-thon, I reached out to Deanna to answer some of my questions about how to have a healthier holiday. She was so generous as to do a Thanksgiving themed Q&A with me, and I’m happy to share it here with you on the blog. Continue reading →

(158.4) Progress Report


At least I made this giant pot of soup

Time for the weekly progress report!


Up 0.9 pounds from last week. Down 7.6 pounds from day 1. This is the kind of week that makes me want to avoid the scale. I knew that was out of the question–daily weigh-ins and reporting here are the crux of my “program” such as it is. I don’t feel good about this, but I’m not beating myself up about it either. Really, less than a pound gain is probably just one of those fun weight fluctuations we all know and loathe.   Continue reading →

(159.1) Nine Years of Marriage and Pizza

PizzaProcessMy weight is up–I think it’s because last night instead of following my meal plan, we ordered Thai food, which is full of sodium. (And the day before that, I had a homemade stir fry that was loaded with soy sauce.) I ordered take out because I just wasn’t feeling good yesterday. My energy slump and headaches have continued, and yesterday I woke up with a stomach ache. Continue reading →

(157.8) The Thighs Have It

chickenforfreezerThis is not a big news flash, but some foods are better for weight loss and weight management than other foods. One of the absolute best foods? Chicken. It’s lean, it’s full of protein, and it can be cooked a  lot of different ways. Since I started this whole project back in September, I pretty much always have rotisserie chicken in the fridge. And I always have a stash like you see above in my freezer. What the heck is that? It’s chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, to be exact. My chicken thigh MO is to buy the gigantic family-size value pack. You definitely get the best price this way. It ensures that a quick, tasty lean protein is always close at hand. I like to press the thighs out flat in a single layer inside a zip-top freezer bag. Continue reading →

(157.4) Meal Plan Monday


I’m tired but I’m working.

Did you guys know that I do a bunch of other things for work besides this blog? For one, I’m the editor of Edible Philly magazine. Our Winter/Holiday issue is out this week, so for the past couple weeks I have been very busy getting that all set for the printer.

Another of my projects is League Street Press. It’s a small business I started with a food/media/paper loving friend about this time last year. We created a line of food-themed note cards and even though we didn’t dedicate all that much time or energy to the project in 2014, our cards sold pretty well, thanks to some favorable press mentions, and we are very excited to focus more on that project in 2015. Continue reading →

(158.4) Weekend Reads & Recs

Just Walk it Off: How Walking Can Improve Your Emotional Well Being via Mark’s Daily Apple

I have been writing a lot about walking because, well, I’ve been walking a lot.

I frequently bemoan the fact that my parents put me on a weight loss diet when I was 10 years old, but they did something else at that time that I will be grateful for the rest of my life. They walked with me, one or the other did, every day. I don’t know why they chose walking as exercise, probably because it was the simplest, but I’m glad they did. I still take walks with either of them any chance I get. (My sister is the least enthusiastic walker in our family. When I try to walk with her she complains: “Where are we going? We’ve been walking forever!”)

Continue reading →

(157.1) Chicken & Shiitake Stir Fry

ChickenShiitakeStirFry I’ve written in the past that I shy away from stir fries since I don’t have a wok or the extremely high heat source you need to make “correct” authentic stir fries. But I’m over it. I make due with a nonstick skillet and a pared down, Americanized list of ingredients. And you know what? My stir fries taste good. Plus, they are fast, healthy choices for week nights and I can usually find odd and ends in the refrigerator and freezer that lend themselves to improvisational stir frying.  Continue reading →

(157.5) Progress Report

Time for the weekly progress report!


Down 0.2 pounds from last week. Down 8.5 pounds from day 1. That’s just one half pound lost in the past two weeks, but I’m not feeling bad about it. Really, if I lost only 1 pound a month for the next year, I’d weigh 145 pounds next November and I’d be pleased. But, as I’ve mentioned, this is always how weight loss has been for me: a few weeks where it seems like I’m losing quickly followed by a few weeks where my weight seems a bit stuck. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing–tracking my calories, watching the quality of my food, limiting restaurant meals, and trying to keep my wine consumption to a minimum. I know 0.2 pounds does not seem like much progress, but I’ll take it.  Continue reading →

(158) Some of the Things I Want


Bardascino Park, at 10th and Carpenter Streets

Yesterday while walking through South Philly I was overwhelmed, as I frequently am, by my city’s gritty beauty, its many urban oases that open up out of nowhere, sometimes from nooks I’ve never noticed before. I’m often astonished by a comforting sense of belonging–Philadelphia feels like it belongs to me and I belong to it. I want everyone in the world to feel this way about the place where they live. I was born here, ventured away, and chose to return. It is, simply, my home. My hometown. And while it’s a place whose charms often elude outsiders, the pleasure I take from living here feels central to my quality of life. Continue reading →