Keep Working on it Kirstie Alley!

Kirstie Alley’s Big Life is better and more inspirational than watching all those Jenny Craig commercials. To see her actually exercising, going hiking and climbing those stairs… it is far more real than all the polished commericals ever were. I think before it seemed she had someone lose the weight for her, it was never real. We get so used to seeing Hollywood being fake and fawning over each other. I really like seeing Kirstie as someone real, doing real things, feeling real things.

I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and I’ve wondered at how different the Hollywood lifestyle is (cause there is no way I would have thought a rat running around my house was cute – dead, not cute).  But, watching her last Sunday and again this weekend, I can’t believe she is really doing it and being a real fat woman versus someone selling a diet program. Good for you Kirstie!

I’ve been trying to eat less. I don’t exercise. I try to walk more but not really thinking of it as exercise. I can’t say I will do more after watching Kirstie but I don’t feel quite so alone in the world.

Kirstie on Twitter and her Blog

Have a look at Phitter too.

Phitter is a Phitness Phocused community and gift from Kirstie to encourage talk or ‘Phits’ about health, diet & exercise while making new Phriends in the Phitter-mmunity and having Phabulous Phun…Phew!

Found on Oprah.com:

Recipe created by Kirstie Alley and Sean Prenter
In her quest to lose weight, the actress eats this green soup made with as many organic vegetables as possible.
Servings: Makes 23 cups
Ingredients:
Kirstie Alley’s Green Soup
6 to 8 big chunks shallots
8 leeks (Cut leeks just above their white part, about 2 inches. Peel the outer layer off and then slit them open lengthwise, but not completely severed clear through. Rinse them out well.)
1/3 cup organic olive oil
2 big bunches asparagus (cut the hard ends off about 3 inches)
3 big bunches broccoli (cut the stems off halfway up the shafts)
2 big bunches spinach (cut off the tiny part of the dirty ends)
6 containers (32 ounces each) organic chicken broth (for vegetarians, use vegetable broth)
Sea salt (at least 3 tablespoons of coarse grain)
Pepper , to taste
Directions:
Peel and slice shallots thinly.
Put all the olive oil in a very large, deep pot. Turn the heat to medium-high. Put the shallots into the oil and sweat the shallots. “Sweating” means to cook the vegetables to tenderize them without browning them. Adjust heat as necessary to ensure they do not brown.
Add 1 tablespoon of coarse, ground, good quality sea salt to shallots to absorb while they are sweating. Cut the leeks into thin slices and toss them into the oil with the shallots. Sweat the leeks along with the shallots. Chop the asparagus into small bits and then add them to the mixture and sweat them, along with the shallots and leeks.
When the shallots, asparagus and leeks are fully sweated and tender, break the broccoli into small chunks and throw them into the soup pot. (If the shallots, leeks and asparagus combo gets too dry before they are tender, just add small amounts of chicken broth to the mix and keep on sweating.)
Let the broccoli sweat a little while (about 2 minutes) and then add half of your organic chicken stock. Cook this for about 10 minutes.
Add remaining chicken stock and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes. (You want the broccoli to be tender, but not overcooked, and you want the color of soup to always remain a nice, bright green.) Add all the spinach and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the flame off the mixture and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Transfer the soup into a blender by increments and puree the mixture. Put the pureed soup mixture into one big pot. Then taste and season it to your liking. Only season with salt and pepper. If you desire any other seasoning, create an individual serving, not in the whole pot.
Split the soup into 2 equal parts, one for you and one for your Chubby Buddy or for storage. Cool the soup before refrigerating and/or freezing.
You are basically adding the vegetables in order of their hardness. The spinach is so soft, you would never want to add it too early. If you do, it can make the soup turn brownish…ICK!
Eat this soup once or twice a day or whenever you are hungry. Green Soup is 62 calories per cup.
This recipe yields about 23 cups of soup, enough for you and your Chubby Buddy for an entire week. Make sure your cooking pot is big, or you can halve the recipe.

Kirstie Alley’s Green Soup Recipe created by Kirstie Alley and Sean Prenter
In her quest to lose weight, the actress eats this green soup made with as many organic vegetables as possible.
Servings: Makes 23 cups
Ingredients:
Kirstie Alley’s Green Soup6 to 8 big chunks shallots8 leeks (Cut leeks just above their white part, about 2 inches. Peel the outer layer off and then slit them open lengthwise, but not completely severed clear through. Rinse them out well.)1/3 cup organic olive oil2 big bunches asparagus (cut the hard ends off about 3 inches)3 big bunches broccoli (cut the stems off halfway up the shafts)2 big bunches spinach (cut off the tiny part of the dirty ends)6 containers (32 ounces each) organic chicken broth (for vegetarians, use vegetable broth)Sea salt (at least 3 tablespoons of coarse grain)Pepper , to tasteDirections:
Peel and slice shallots thinly.
Put all the olive oil in a very large, deep pot. Turn the heat to medium-high. Put the shallots into the oil and sweat the shallots. “Sweating” means to cook the vegetables to tenderize them without browning them. Adjust heat as necessary to ensure they do not brown.
Add 1 tablespoon of coarse, ground, good quality sea salt to shallots to absorb while they are sweating. Cut the leeks into thin slices and toss them into the oil with the shallots. Sweat the leeks along with the shallots. Chop the asparagus into small bits and then add them to the mixture and sweat them, along with the shallots and leeks.
When the shallots, asparagus and leeks are fully sweated and tender, break the broccoli into small chunks and throw them into the soup pot. (If the shallots, leeks and asparagus combo gets too dry before they are tender, just add small amounts of chicken broth to the mix and keep on sweating.)

Let the broccoli sweat a little while (about 2 minutes) and then add half of your organic chicken stock. Cook this for about 10 minutes.
Add remaining chicken stock and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes. (You want the broccoli to be tender, but not overcooked, and you want the color of soup to always remain a nice, bright green.) Add all the spinach and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the flame off the mixture and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Transfer the soup into a blender by increments and puree the mixture. Put the pureed soup mixture into one big pot. Then taste and season it to your liking. Only season with salt and pepper. If you desire any other seasoning, create an individual serving, not in the whole pot.
Split the soup into 2 equal parts, one for you and one for your Chubby Buddy or for storage. Cool the soup before refrigerating and/or freezing.You are basically adding the vegetables in order of their hardness. The spinach is so soft, you would never want to add it too early. If you do, it can make the soup turn brownish…ICK!
Eat this soup once or twice a day or whenever you are hungry. Green Soup is 62 calories per cup. This recipe yields about 23 cups of soup, enough for you and your Chubby Buddy for an entire week. Make sure your cooking pot is big, or you can halve the recipe.

Have all Women’s Magazines Sold Out?

“Most women’s magazines simply try to mold women into bigger and better consumers.” Gloria Steinem.

It does seem this way. Even those who try to rise above the consumerism become caught up in it when they want to make money. How can they not? Our economy is geared into making women consumers.

When you read women’s magazine the basic sections (health/ fitness, beauty/fashion, parenting, home/garden) are full of glossy, full paged ads and the articles themselves show large photos of products. The text articles, the ones about heartbreak, loss and health tips don’t get the big, mouth watering photos to illustrate them. After all, there are no products to focus on, nothing to sell. However, they do sell the woman we should be, the perfect one who does all the responsible green planet saving stuff, the one who knows which foods her kids are safe eating and the one who still has time to do her make up before she leaves the house. (Of course it’s a house, it’s always a house in those ads and the illustrations for articles). There are the token articles about great things some woman is doing somewhere. The magazines may even have a career section still, most don’t, though some did in the past.

Full, glossy ad pages are devoted to displaying nail polish, salad dressing and other things available at a mall near you. There are few car ads places in women’s magazines. I’ve yet to see an ad for sports equipment in a woman’s magazine, unless it is an ad for a spa, gym or weight loss clinic type of thing. We are still consumers who look after the family while looking pretty. Even the great Cosmo has long since fallen. Last time I picked one up I was sickened by it’s focus on looking after your man. It’s long lost track of the independent woman who was strong and looked after herself, first.

Do you read women’s magazines? I do. I admit the glossy pages appeal to me. I want to dream about this great life on display between it’s glamorous pages. I sneak them into my purse so no one sees me bring them into the house. My Mother buys them too, for the recipes. I think we actually did use one of the recipes, in the past two years. For me they are wishful thinking. Yet, I am angry too. I try to limit myself to not buying any at times. I would like them to change. I would like them to represent my reality. But, they can’t. I just don’t make enough money to buy all that stuff.

Zombocalypse Now

Inspired and quoted from the site for the book Zombocalypse Now:

You check the time (still two minutes before seven, though it feels like you’ve been sitting here for hours) and then start absentmindedly reviewing the appetizers listed on the plastic table display. Sweetbread? Ew—isn’t that cow brains or something? The restaurant is a spaghetti house, and you never knew that dish was Italian. But then, the “deep-fried ravioli blasters” don’t sound terribly authentic, either.

Suddenly you feel a hard bump against the table, which knocks two glasses of water square into your lap. Yiiiee! You jump to your feet, grabbing your napkin in a vain attempt to mop up your clothes, and risk a glance at your assailant.

Sure enough, your date has arrived.

Some vague approximation of the person portrayed on PerfectForeverLoveMatch.com plops down across from you. Missing from the ad, though, were the vacant stare, the slack-jawed expression and the exaggerated slouch. There’s no apology for the spill, or even an acknowledgment that water is still dripping from the table. Yeah. The bunny thing’s a deal breaker, you think. Your disappointment ends quickly, though, as you catch a whiff of something powerful and rancid. The singles profile had mentioned working as a dental hygienist, and yet hygiene is clearly not your date’s top priority.

You can read more from the site.

Write about the date with the zombie. Sounds like she’s fresh, or, as fresh as a zombie can be. Does the hero take her home to meet Mom? Or is she not quite that type of girl?

The Decadent Red Bedroom

House Home Garden has made three posts showing photos of a bedroom, kitchen and a lounge decorated almost completely in red. I picked the bedroom as my favourite. It just looks so… decadent. How would you decorate your favourite room in your favourite colour? Write at least a paragraph to describe it.

Would you be bold or brave enough to actually do it?

I’m not so sure myself. It might be great for awhile but… if you got sick of it you’d be stuck with it for awhile before you could re-do it all. Still, it would be really stylish while it lasted.

An Igloo of Love

On the left side of the page, list tangible nouns: house, garden, train, truck, tree…

On the right side of the page, list abstract/ intangible nouns: trust, peace, misery, dreams…

Now combine them in a phrase like this:  A ____ of ______.

Play around, create interesting phrases and some new cliches. Some will be silly, some will be obscure and some may turn out to have a lot of power in just four words.

Will You be Blogging for Christmas?

xmsbloggingChristmas is on my mind today. I’m watching romantic holiday movies. Right now The Lake House with Keanu Reeves. I admit I have a thing for Keanu. How could any Canadian woman not have a soft spot for a hockey player who can dance? It’s just finishing up, the final scene, the last great kiss. Funny that he looks older in this movie and yet there is still just something about him… Well, you don’t really want to read my mind babbling on about Keanu Reeves.

Will you be blogging for Christmas? Do you keep blogging during the holidays or do you put your blog into suspended animation?

I will be here. For me I like having some alone time during the holidays. This year it is mucked up cause my sister is having a baby and I am the prime babysitter for her other children, those who have left the womb. I will be glad when the babysitting time is done. I am loving having the house to myself for this bit of time. I can cook things the way I like them, or not bother with cooking or eating at all. I did make the Christmas cookies. So I’m not being wicked and lazy and forgetting about the holiday thing. Later, I will haul the Christmas tree and the box of decorations out of the garage. Not looking forward to finding out if mice got in there or not. I’m hoping for at least not too much.

How is your holiday spirit hanging on? Blog about it!  🙂

Life in a Small House

You’ve just won a free house! Of course you are very excited, feeling like you just won the lottery. It comes with the land it is built on and a free trailer hitch (which is kind of odd but you don’t put much thought into it at the time). When you arrive to claim the house and property the lawyer has you sign a bunch of stuff, some of it you read and it all seems straight forward. You actually own a house, all paid for!

When you drive out to see it, plans of moving in, furniture arranging and gardens floating around in your mind, it’s a bit of a shock. Yes, the property is there and there is a lot of land, all you could really ever desire with a lot of fruit trees and vegetable gardens. But… the house is tiny. Minuscule even. You wonder if your queen sized bed will even fit in there let alone your computer desk, china cupboard and the leather sofa you bought out of misguided love a year ago.

Still, it is a house. A home of your own. No money to pay for it. All yours. You can live there for just the annual costs due to the government and utilities not included. So it’s a little small. That’s not all bad. You talked about getting rid of some clutter. Now you can.

When you start really breathing again, what plans do you make? Will you move in, keep it but rent it perhaps or do you just keep some of the land and sell the house?

Storytelling for the Ordinary

Think of three ordinary things around the house: can opener, laundry soap, remote control, last year’s calender (useless stuff counts too). Now pick one and write about why you have it, what it does and how/ where you keep it. Make it sound interesting! Why did you buy that one? Does it work well? Have you found a creative and yet practical  way to store it? Did you have to repair it? Does it smell nice? Exercise your storytelling spirit.

There Goes the Neighbourhood

“Don’t buy the house, buy the neighborhood.” – Russian proverb.

The new neighbours are a bit odd. You, actually, are the new neighbour. They were all here already, in the neighbourhood. Although you love the new house… the neighbours are starting to freak you out!

What is it about the neighbours that has you spooking and reconsidering this whole moving thing?

Moving into the Maze

Below is my description of our last move from one town to another. I’ve moved a lot, mostly in Ontario. Twice to another country, though one was only for a few months. Change is not easy and it’s a real pain when you have to change almost everything and carry it in heavy boxes too.

Moving makes me feel like I’m one of a few survivors of an earthquake or some other mass destruction. The house is packed with boxes, furniture stacked against walls out of the way for the painter who might come this week. Clothes are in garbage bags in the closet rather than sort them out into drawers or hang them up. (Hardwood floors were just put in yet we still have that painter guy hanging over our heads so we can’t really move in).

No wonder there are people making a living as organizers. We have so much stuff. Stuff is just the right anonymous word for it all too. I have thrown out and donated and recycled a lot yet it still surrounds me like a nagging flock of seagulls in some Alfred Hitchcock movie. I hope it will all be done, well no, that’s not realistic. I hope we can live in this new house in this new town soon. I’d like to at least walk through the house and not feel I’m in a maze, bumping into untamed furniture.

How do you feel about moving? Write a description of your last move.