Category Archives: Bean soup

The Juice Fast

My son and his wife told me about the movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. They had seen it and gone on a 7 day juice fast and were so enthusiastic about it, I got the movie immediately and watched it.

It’s a life changer.

The next time I went to the grocery store,  I found myself a little nauseated at all the junk in there…at all the junk I used to buy regularly. I decided to do a juice fast, too.

It took me a little while to get my mind right about it. I’m a lifelong dieter, blessed with a body that tends toward heavy (can I blame my parents?) and a love for all things bread. I don’t get enough exercise because I… well, no excuses, can’t blame that on the parents… but in the summer I am on my bicycle a lot. A lot. And then winter comes, and with it the cold rain and the bicycle sits parked and I rev up the crockpot with hearty bean soups.

I’ve had a juicer for years. When I was single, I juiced daily. Being married to an avowed carnivore makes things a little difficult, but I’m determined this time to “reboot” the bod with some really, really fresh food. I have a Jack LaLanne juicer, which is a great machine in my opinion. I’ve been to the Join the Reboot website which is maintained by the “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” movie guys. It’s all so very inspirational.

For lunch today I had carrot, apple, lemon, cucumber, rhubarb, celery and tomato juice. Later I’ll include some pineapple or mango, ginger, and some fresh-from-the-garden spinach, lettuce, beets and radishes.

I feel great.

I don’t know how long I can keep this up;  already my jaws want to be crunching things, but for now, it’s a good awakening about all the empty calories we tend to put in our bodies. At some point, I confused food with fuel. The body needs fuel, and I’ve been giving it not only more than it needs, but many of the wrong things.

So if you’re not happy with how you look or how you feel, watch the movie (I got it on Netflix). Get a juicer and get healthy.

Let me know how it’s going.

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Filed under Aging, Bean soup

“If you want something done…

…give it to a busy person. ”

When I wrote the words “I don’t have enough to do” the other day on this blog, they haunted me for the rest of the day and night. I must be insane to think that. The truth is, I have plenty to do, I’m just not doing anything.

So this morning I got into action. I went back to work. And suddenly, life is brighter. I have a great pot of beans in the crockpot. I have finished writing a short story that began its life at the ghost story weekend in April, and then I sent it out. I got a reference book for my class this fall, and read it, and have marked the pages I will use. I went for a bike ride and did laundry and cleaned up the kitchen. I have dusted off the novel that is still 10 pages shy of “finished first draft” and think I might review what I need to review in order to finish those pages and then get going on the rewrite.

This isn’t a list of my daily activities, just a kind of apology for believing for a moment that I didn’t have enough to do. I have lots to do. If I do nothing but sit in gratitude for my embarrassment of riches, that will be a good day.

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Filed under Bean soup, Discipline, Short Stories, time, Writing

Another Ghostly Weekend

Twelve of us survived to retell the tales of the 2008 Ghost Story Weekend. The stories were outstanding! Some very creepy tales (out of very nice people!), some hilarious moments, all in good fun, great fellowship, and I think everybody learned something valuable.  I did, and met three delightful new people as well.

Those who are fixing up Siltcoos Station continue to do a stellar job. It’s better and better, every time we’re out there.

And, I must say, the meals are getting better every time, too. This time Val set the Sunday morning breakfast standard with pancakes and eggs to order from the fancy grill she hauled up the train tracks from Nightingale’s Fish Camp (long story). 

And thanks to Dianna Rodgers, I created a crock pot dish that served twelve, including two vegetarians and one person allergic to tomatoes.  Herewith, the recipe:

Dead-Eyed Peas

Into a big crockpot put: 3 Generous cups of blackeyed peas and 9 same-size cups of water

Let cook on high for about three or four hours.

After the peas have cooked for a while, in a frying pan, saute one big onion, one package of sliced mushrooms and about six cloves of garlic. Add to the crockpot along with a four oz jar of pesto and two packages of 6 Morningstar Farms soy sausage patties, cut into small pieces.

Cook on low for another three or four hours.

An hour before serving, throw in a big bunch of chopped spinach. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a dollop or sour cream and available Tabasco. Cornbread with honey on the side wouldn’t hurt.

And so. The eighteenth annual Ghost Story Weekend has passed. And I know of twelve people already looking forward to next spring.

(Photo by Shannan Sword)

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Filed under Bean soup, Friends, Ghost Story Weekend, Writing

The best bean soup

When I pull the slippers out of the closet, I know it’s time for a pot of bean soup. I am no kitchen diva, but I know good bean soup when I taste it, and this is my favorite:

2 cups dried beans (I like black beans)

6 cups hot water

1 big onion, cubed

2 tablespoons Summer Savory (the bean herb — goes great with all beans)

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 big can of smashed tomatoes (optional)

2 hamhocks

Throw it all in the crockpot after breakfast and get ready for a tasty dinner. If I’m really feeling fancy, I’ll whip up some cilantro and sour cream in the Cuisiart for a dollop on the top, but the soup really doesn’t need it.

This crockpot of soup that’s cooking in the kitchen right now is my first Autumn activity. Now I need to go chop down the sunflowers. The birds have picked them clean and they’re ready for the compost.

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Filed under Bean soup, Fall