A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Monday, January 31, 2011

Under Where?

I don't usually pimp particular clothing stores nor like to talk about my unmentionables, but over the weekend I had a gift card I needed to use for the clothing store Avenue. I wasn't seeing much that thrilled me in the way of work pants (which I need right now) so I investigated their lingerie department.

Without getting into graphic details, things that are supposed to be lifted and supported are lifted and supported efficiently, and stuff stays put rather than traveling to inappropriate destinations. I recommend this.

You pay more when you buy your underthings in a store like that as opposed to grabbing the package of ten at Wal Mart, but in this case much like with shoes, I think it's one of those areas where you really shouldn't scrimp.

Also I finally picked up a pair of those Yoga pants that everyone seems to be wearing that look so comfy and seem to make everyone's backside look nice. Go figure, they make my backside look nice too. Sweet!

Monday, January 24, 2011


To quote Spock: Fascinating.

I came across this article link today on a forum I'm a part of and was absolutely intrigued. It's a researcher documenting and describing the social interactions that human beings are capable of with one another while they're still inside the womb, as young as 14 weeks old.

Life is truly a miraculous thing.


Monday, January 17, 2011


Legends of superheroes were born from the actions of men such as my husband. They don’t necessarily make the news, and they’re not always famous. According to Ted, they live commonplace lives of “quiet desperation”.

But their legacy is left in the hearts of the people who saw them. Saw them stopping by the side of the road to help someone change a tire, or lend them a cell phone. Heading across the street to shovel snow off of the property of an elderly person who lives alone. Saw them noticing in a grocery store parking lot an older woman who has left home without her leg brace and realized far too late that she’s in deep trouble without it. So they help her to her car, follow her home, get her into her apartment, put her groceries away and then give her their phone number so that she can call again should she have need of them. That is the man I married, and that is a superhero.

Most days though, he’s just a superhero of my own personal variety. Tonight I spoke to him of my frustration: every day I get up ready to face my battles, and every day I feel like a failure because somewhere along that day’s road I put something in my mouth I shouldn’t have. It might have been too much peanut butter on my toast, or a big cup of hot chocolate, or simply a second helping at dinner. Every day I fail.

Tonight I was expressing these frustrations to him as I showered. He was of course in the bathroom with me because he tends to wander in there when I’m showering whenever I fail to lock the door. According to him, the prospect of nakedness, water and soap is a little too tempting to pass on.

He wondered why his admiration of me is never enough to keep my self esteem nourished as I nourish his, and I tried to explain to him that for him no one is following around behind breaking down for him everything that I build up. Just as soon as he has me convinced that I’m okay, I sit in a chair that’s too small, or go clothes shopping, or absorb the well intentioned helpful advice of family or friends who “just want me to be healthier”. And it all breaks down again.

My own personal Superhero looked at me and said:

“I wish I could make the world into a paradise for you. But all I can do is make it as good as I can, for us.”

And I realized then that I was simply giving excuses to continue to feel bad about myself. How can I take for granted a single moment of a life in which such a partner, lover and friend is daily at my side? His love is a super power strong enough to vanquish the entire world for me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chili When It's Chilly

This is another guest blog post from Joanna - who has saved me a whole week of having to write my own. Heh. I don't like vegetarian chili, I want to like it but I have never found a recipe that satisfied my meat craving where this particular dish is concerned.

This recipe uses a (I believe tofu based) veggie crumbles to replace the meat, so I'm really excited to try it out, it certainly looks meaty from the picture! Hopefully this weekend.

Thanks Jo!


This last Thanksgiving was a very quiet one for me. Due to a bunch of schedules changing at what felt like the last minute, it was just me and my mom baking cookies and watching terrible sci-fi movies at her house on Thanksgiving day. Since it was just the two of us, we didn’t plan a formal meal. Instead, when lunchtime rolled around I poked around in her fridge and pantry and looked for inspiration. It was cold (first snowfall of the season) and I wanted comfort food. Chili was the winner.

I made up a batch and mom LOVED it. In fact, she loved it enough that she asked for my recipe. I was stumped for a second; I don’t have a chili recipe. There’s a core set of ingredients that are canned, but all the spices and fresh & frozen ingredients change depending on what’s around. I was able to scribble down a recipe for my mom. I should follow up to see if she’s made the recipe since.

So this past Saturday, I made myself a batch of chili. As I mentioned earlier, I have more bell peppers than one woman cooking for just herself should, so a lot of fresh peppers were used here. Needless to say, this made a lot of chili. I’ve been reheating servings in the microwave for lunches and dinners this week. I also stashed some in the freezer. I’m not certain how the crumbles will hold up after freezing and reheating – time will tell.

Oh, and the photo is before I sprinkled a ¼ of shredded cheese on top. Thought you’d like to see all the veggies.

Joanna’s Ever Changing Chili Recipe

Early January Edition


2 T. olive oil

Half a large sweet onion, diced

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 12oz package frozen veggie crumbles

(A very successful variation from the fall saw me using Trader Joe’s vegetarian chorizo instead of plain veggie crumbles. So spicy and amazing!)

2 T. chili powder (I’ve been on a chipotle chili powder kick. I love the extra smokiness.)

1 t. cumin

1 ½ C. bell pepper, diced (I mixed red and green)

1 C. crimini mushrooms, chopped

1 C. frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained

1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 15oz can diced tomatoes

1 8oz can tomato sauce

½ C. red wine (or water as needed to reach chili consistency)

Shredded cheddar cheese for serving


In a big pot, saut̩ onions, garlic & crumbles in the olive oil until crumbles are browned. Add chili pepper and cumin for a minute or two. Add bell peppers & mushrooms & cook until peppers are tender Рnot terribly long.

Add everything else to the pot, stir and simmer til heated through – 20 minutes maybe.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers

My vegetarian chef guest blogger friend, Jo, has emerged from the holidays with recipes in tow. Below is a successful one she tried recently that looks delicious. She also always includes a picture so you can see how NOM this looks firsthand.

Recently she was telling me about Christmas dinner at her Dad's - which could be a post all to itself. Completely non-traditional from an American standpoint, but everything sounded SO delicious.

By the way, Jo has a blog of her own that's linked at the bottom of my site (Looking For A Pen That Works) where she writes extremely good fantasy fiction, check her stuff out! Perfect for a day like tomorrow when we're all snowed in and looking for a good read...


Dear Carolyn,

Remarkably, over the course of the Holiday Foodplosion that is Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Little Christmas (‘cuz the Ukrainian Orthodox party well into January) I managed to gain all of 5 pounds. I’m genuinely surprised at how little my weight went up. Usually, I try to not focus on numbers on the scale as it’s not my weight, but how I feel that matters. But I couldn’t help but get on the scale to see. My thoughts and feelings on food, weight, health and beauty are all a jumble. But that’s the introduction to a different essay all together; one I’ll send to you another day. For now, I want to talk about my getting back on the Healthy Eating Wagon.

Cooking is the key to me making healthier food choices. Happily, I love to cook and with the weather being so freaking cold, I’m happy to hang out in a toasty warm kitchen. Both Saturday and Sunday afternoons saw me cooking this weekend.

Due to a mishap at Produce Junction, I have more peppers than I like. I asked for red peppers and green beans and didn’t pay enough attention when veggies were packed in my grocery bag. I ended up with red peppers and green peppers. At least I don’t have to fear a Vitamin A deficiency for a while.
Saturday I made vegetarian chili; enough to last a week. Some, I’ve stashed away in my freezer for later, the rest I’ll be serving up over lunches and a couple dinners this week. I haven’t had any yet, so I want to hold off on photos and the recipe until later. Of course there are bell peppers involved. LOL

Sunday saw me making Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers for my dinner. Roasting the peppers was a little fiddly, but oh so worth the little bit of trouble.

Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers


4-6 red bell peppers
1 T. Olive oil
½ C. Onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. cooked brown rice
1 C. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 C. whole kernel corn, drained canned or frozen
2 T. canned jalapenos, diced
Salt & pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese

Roast the peppers:

Roast the whole peppers on a grill or under a broiler until they’re black. Put them in a paper bag for a few minutes. Once cooled a bit, remove the peels (they should just slide off). For longer peppers make a slit down the center to remove the seeds. Keep the cap on for presentation. If your peppers are the regular bell pepper size then remove the cap to stuff from the top. Then, without cutting through the pepper, slice a bit off the bottom so the pepper will stand upright.

Make the filling:

In a deep-ish pan, sauté the onion in the olive oil and add garlic. When the onions are translucent, add the rice, beans, corn and jalapenos. Stir and warm through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Also feel free to turn up the spice heat and add chili powder, hot sauce, whatever. (I opted to add hot sauce when serving.)

Stuff the peppers and cover with grated cheese. I had about 2 T. of cheese per pepper.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 mins.

I served with a simple mixed baby greens salad with grape tomatoes, crimini mushrooms and a light Italian dressing. (I really wanted a cilantro lime vinaigrette for my salad, but my cilantro looked bad by the time I got to it and I didn’t feel like going to the grocery for more. Maybe I’ll get some today for my salad with dinner tonight.)

Anyway, if you make this, let me know how it goes.


Thursday, January 6, 2011


Yes, I realize that it is snarky and unproductive of me to respond to the question of:

"Oh, are you on a diet?"


"Since I was about fourteen or so."

Am I capable of stopping myself from answering thusly when interrupted by said question while trying to read a book on my lunch hour?

Apparently not.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Size Sensitive

Hollywood, although crazy, is at least predictable. Overpaid directors with over inflated egos will preach to us about how we should be living and how very bad we really are. Sex will be sold. And way too much emphasis will be placed on how people look (Michael Bay, I’m looking at you). Also, there will be explosions, lots of happy explosions.

A lot of good entertainment is also had along the way though, which I like, so I admit that I lack the willpower to boycott Hollywood for its shallow ridiculousness.

I’ve noticed a trend recently though that particularly bugs me… the slimming down of certain actresses. These actresses of which I speak weren’t actually “fat” to begin with, they were just sort of closer to average. To start, they were all around the size I want to be when I’m done losing weight. I mean those curvy, sexy girls with nice tracts of land.

I’ve been seeing them turning up in advertisements for Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers as famous spokespeople, taking off the twenty to thirty pounds or so they need in order to be closer to the Hollywood ideal.

It bugs me because I’m wondering, are people out there in La La land saying to these girls; you better loose that weight if you still want to have a job? It’s probably closer to: you will work MORE if you loose that weight. But it still bugs me.

I complained of this at a social gathering last weekend, and one of my friends pointed out to me that I shouldn’t judge – because for all I know all those previously average sized actresses might have had high blood pressure or high cholesterol that they needed to loose weight to correct for health reasons.


But I’m very skeptical.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zombie Philosophy

Most who know me well know that I like Zombie movies, so it probably comes as a surprise to absolutely no one that I’m enjoying the AMC TV series “The Walking Dead”. It’s based off of a comic book series by Robert Kirkman which I haven’t read a single issue of.

When Ted first asked me to tape the series he had no intention of actually letting me watch it, he really didn’t think I’d like it because the comics are apparently incredibly brutal. I watched it with him anyway though. As it turns out its being re-written slightly for television, perhaps because you just can’t do some things on TV, even if it’s cable TV. Instead of being irritating to my husband who read the comics, he’s actually loving the changes, plus it means he too has no idea what’s going to happen next.

As I was recently told in school, zombies are really just a metaphor for a shared crisis that no one can escape from. It seems to be the writers who really get that it’s not about the zombies, it’s what people do in response to the zombies who make the whole thing really, really interesting.

Kirkman focuses on exactly that: what do you do when society breaks down? Do you man up? Loose it? Surrender yourself to your own wants because there’s nobody left to stop you? Or become a hero?

What would YOU do if the world was suddenly no longer governed at least loosely by all the rules you’ve always known and counted on?

Personally I hope I never have to find out, but it’s something to consider just the same.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I knew my insomnia was contributing to fatness, now I have a name for it!

“Studies show people who get less than 6 hours of sleep eat up to 300 calories more during the day because a lack of sleep triggers the production of the hunger hormone, grehlin,” says Marjorie Nolan, RD, CND, CPT and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Each extra hour of sleep could save you 100 calories.

Grehlin. That’s apparently the hormone that makes me constantly hungry on days when I’m exhausted from not sleeping. A name so close to that of evil, nasty little “Gremlins” that it makes perfect sense to me! I have hunger Gremlins!

I got that excerpt from an article on easy ways to cut 500 calories per day. Some of their suggestions were stupid, like replacing your office chair with a big exercise stability ball (yeah, that’ll go over great with HR). Some of them were no brainers, like the above.

One of them however was really good.

Tell yourself at dinner time that you can have seconds, but make yourself wait twenty to thirty minutes before going to fetch them.

This one is kind of brilliant because it gives your stomach plenty of time to process feeling full, so that by the time the wait period has elapsed, you won’t want seconds anyway.

Sheesh, why didn’t I think of that?

Also, I think I’ve become addicted to wasabi peas.