Weighty Matters

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Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

on October 29, 2013

Thanks to Susanne for telling me about FitBit. Yes, I know I’m becoming a little bit of a fitness-tech geek with my apps and stuff. In my defense, not only do I find them helpful, but they’re fun! The FitBit should arrive tomorrow, thank you Amazon Prime, and I’m looking forward to finding out just how many steps I walk on an average day.

I was thinking about something on my bike ride tonight. (Seven miles after a full day at work and another MLD treatment.) A long time ago, probably 1980 or 1981, my family attempted a little intervention with me about my obesity. My brother, who stopped eating meat and started eating healthier when he went away to college in the early 70s, told me I was sedentary. I hotly protested! I mean, after all, I worked a full time job and was usually out with my friends dancing at the rock clubs four nights a week. I was a busy, busy girl!

Now I’ve grown to realize that busy does not mean active. Dancing in the clubs doesn’t come close to, say, an hour of Zumba which is full out fitness exercise in the form of dancing. Working a 40-50 hour a week job and adding on other responsibilities, memberships in organizations, and so on, all makes for a very busy life, but that doesn’t mean a fitness-based lifestyle.

I really wish I’d gotten this when I was younger. There’s an old proverb, one that’s been picked up for book titles and other things now, that says, “We grow too soon old and too late smart”. That about sums it up. I’m filled with gratitude that I smartened up.

It doesn’t mean that I’m immune to doing dumb things or making stupid choices, but I hit the mark more often than not. Figuring out that I can make flavorful food that isn’t loaded with fat, salt, and calories is another advancement. Did I talk over the weekend about roasting a chicken? Picking up a cooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket is a great convenience, but there’s something to be said about roasting your own when you have time. After the bird was done, I picked off the meat and then plunked the carcass and drippings in water with veggies and herbs to make a yummy stock.

One thing I’ve discovered is that I enjoy inventing soups. Sometimes I just muse about different ingredients, adding and discarding choices in my head, then I think about how to add flavor in healthy ways. Tonight I attempted another soup experiment. To that homemade stock I added sautéed garlic, onions and carrots, then mixed in a small can of Ro-Tel tomatoes and chilis. Red lentils and sautéed kale went in next. Finally, for a bit more flavor without contributing too much fat, I stirred in some chorizo sausage. The results are delicious! Other than whatever sodium was in the tomatoes and chilis, I didn’t add any salt. The soup doesn’t need it. There are layers of flavor, with a small kick of heat from the chilis. It’s seriously yum. I have a decent sized container for myself at home, which I’ll probably divvy up into smaller portions to freeze. Even then, I had enough to fill another container to share with friends at work.

Active, healthier lifestyle. We might grow older but it’s never too late to grow smarter.

6 responses to “Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

  1. Hope says:

    I want a withings pulse, because it will integrate with my wifi scale and I’m a nerd like that. It’s very similar to the fitbit. Although maybe I don’t want to know how badly I sleep. :p

  2. Susanne says:

    I only know about the FitBit thanks to Barbara Samuels on ReFab. If it wasn’t for her, I’d be still protesting how active I am during the day. Not.

    The Test Kitchen says we don’t need to worry too much about the salt in home cooking — it’s the processed foods that knock us off the scale.

    I make great stock — recipe from French Mint, a Vancouver based blog (just google French Mint and it should pop up). She’s got veggie, beef and chicken. Lately I’ve been using the pressure cooker for stock. Everything speeds up there.

    And I figure by the time my life is done, I’ll be a genius! I’m always learning new things.

  3. Skye says:

    I don’t cook much, so I don’t like it much. However, I have a fabulous lentil soup, using red lentils, that I love to make, even if it takes hours. I make my own vegetable stock first (it’s a totally vegan soup, even though I am not vegan). Then I make the soup. When I get the liquid vs lentils balance right, the lentils break up and make the soup really thick. I made it for my housemates recently and it was such a hit I’m going to make it again very soon.

    And you are right: making a good stock and using herbs to season the stock and soup means you don’t really need to use salt (although I generally throw in a teaspoon of sea salt).

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