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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Recipe Share: White Bean & Escarole Soup

Savory, creamy, a feast for the eyes and filled with garlic flavor - this recipe (courtesy of my Mom, thanks Mom!) is perfect for the last cold gasp of winter.  It packs a lot of healthy, hearty goodness into a low calorie bowl of yum!

·         2 cups dry cannellini beans (1 bag)
·         4 big cloves of garlic (chopped fine)
·         Escarole (1 nice sized head, chopped and washed)
·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         1 sweet onion (chopped fine)
·         15 cherry tomatoes (halved)
·         2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
·         Salt to taste
·         Grated parmesan cheese for topping and nice crusty bread to dip

Cover the beans with water and soak overnight.
Rinse soaked beans and put in a pot with garlic.  Add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and cook until the beans are tender (about 2 hours).
Boil washed and chopped escarole in 1 quart of water just until wilted.  DO NOT DRAIN.
Heat the oil in a fry pan and add the onion.  Sauté onion until tender and add the tomatoes.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Add the pepper flakes.
Combine all into the bean pot.  Bring soup back to boil and cook for 5 minutes.  Season with salt and more red pepper if you want spicier soup.
Serve with grated cheese and bread.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Long Road... Leads to Mumbai

***Guest Post Follows***

(Thanks and hugs to Carolyn for the space to tell you all what I’m seeing and feeling about bodies, beauty, food and culture while I’m here in Mumbai.  I’ll be your on-the-road correspondent until the end of June!)

Women’s bodies are the same, all over the world.  Right?

I mean, we all shift and get wrinkles as we age.  We all have boobs and hips.  In any culture, some might have smaller hips than others, and some have bigger biceps.  A cross-section of women in a culture have the same categories of differences, even if in some places the range of difference may be more (or less) dramatic.  So we’re the same.  Right?

Well, yes and no.

As I sit in my office in Mumbai and see the women of my office interact, I don’t hear them talking in negatives about their bodies.  I don’t hear that they’re on diets, or that they’re counting calories (or fats, or carbs, or proteins, or anything).  Their vegetarian choices happen mainly on religious holidays, and they always bring a tiny piece of sweet or chocolate (only 1 bite!) to have with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. 

And they dress loving their curves.  One thing to think about here in India is that the sari is worn by all walks of life, by all ages of women.  I've seen both Aishwarya Rai Bachchan AND my colleague’s 72-year old mother look stunning in saris, the only difference in the saris (which the grandmother of 4 was proud to say) was the color.  The curves were there for both of them, but the beauty wasn't in how much of the curves we saw; it was how the colors and sparkle of the fabric made these women glow.

And I think that speaks a lot for all of us who look in the mirror and hear the voices saying that we simply should not be satisfied with what we see, whatever our size or shape.  If we took size numbers out of the equation, along with pants that are built to hug hips and shirts cut to accentuate the bust…  If we all wore the same basic cuts of clothing…how much would our perceptions of our bodies change?

Someone once told me (you know who you are) that I have the “good curves” for a sari.  But I think that I look at that compliment differently now.  I see that there is no such this as a “right or wrong” curve in a sari.

To Indian women, feminine body shapes are pretty much all the same.  The only real question of beauty is whether or not you glow.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Recipe Share: Black Bean Hummus

Black bean hummus is lower in fat and calories than regular hummus because it does not contain olive oil.  Although the oil is wonderfully healthy for you, it plumps up the calories fast so this creamy, slightly spicy variety is good for days when you want to eat a bit more.


  • 1 big clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained with 2 tbsp. bean juice reserved
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Recipe Share: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

This smoky, savory chili recipe is perfect for cold winter nights when you just want to curl up and EAT.  Made with all vegetables, it's healthy and lower in calories than traditional chili, while being very hearty and comforting at the same time.  A dollop of sour cream on top adds just the right amount of creamy finish.


·         1 large red onion, chopped
·         4 garlic cloves, minced
·         1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
·         1 tablespoon ground cumin
·         2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
·         ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         ¼ teaspoon black pepper
·         2 teaspoons kosher salt
·         2 14-ounce cans of Hunts fire-roasted diced tomatoes
·         2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
·         2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
·         Sour cream and tortilla chips, for serving

    In a slow cooker, combine the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, and 1 cup water.
    Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
    Serve the chili with the sour cream and tortilla chips.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Bathing Suit Happiness!

Somebody out there was listening to me!  (Or, more likely, listening to the myriad women who are a significantly different size on top than they are on the bottom.)

Last year I got gutsy and ordered my first bikini since being single digits in age.  I ordered it from Forever 21, who have an awesome and adorable selection of plus sized two piece suits.

Problem was, when I measured myself I found that my top half needed a size M-L and my bottom half an XXL, so I had to split the difference and order the XL size in between.  This means the top of my beautiful new suit was slightly too big, and the bottom slightly too small.

This year, they have released a gorgeous new selection, all sold as separates!!!

Since I’ve lost a bit more weight since last season, my bottom half from last year now fits and all I have to do is order a new top in a neutral color to match.

I rarely find myself saying this to fashion designers, but: thank you thank you thank you for listening!!!

P.S. On a related note – does anybody need a cute bikini top in a size XL?  Only worn once!