Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Hello everyone. Welcome back. It's a bright and sunny Tuesday in Chicago. I hope you all had a great weekend and Monday. I had left up my Friday post yesterday, because many of you were still commenting on Chicago and my excerpt from BG.

Thanks for all your support. I'm glad you felt the HATE in my excerpt. Since I always like to have a positive vibe on my blog, todays post will be about welcoming new friends to my blog and eating healthily while spending time at home or eating out.

I am happy to add eight new friends into the fold. Shea, Doralynn, Nina, Lacie, Kelley, Natalie, Lorelei, and Ivy. Some of you I have already got to know a bit, but I look forward to learning more about all of you.

In Friday's post, I took you all on my daily power walk along Chicago's amazing lakefront. I feel privileged to live in such a beautiful city and have such an amazing vista right outside my door.

With only a few more weeks of summer left, there is still time to get fit and eat right. Winter and the holidays are approaching and along with that comes excess weight. We all tend to crave warm comfort food when the temps drop and the winds howl. I know I do.

When I started my journey to publication three years ago, I was in shape and feeling great, but then it happened. I became so obsessed with writing my first novel that I gave up going to the gym and didn't even think what I was eating. I packed on twenty-five pounds that winter without even knowing.

Has this ever happened to you? I know it has for some of you and that is why I decided to write a weekly post for us writers to keep fit and healthy during our hours plastered to our computers.

It's really not that difficult to substitute our beloved chocolate, chips, overstuffed sandwiches, cookies, and soda for healthier alternatives. Just by changing some things can make a huge difference in the old waistline.

The best thing to do is a few times a week put together snack packs for yourself. Make your own trail mix without the added salt and preservatives of the store bough ones. Raw unsalted almonds, flaxseed, unsalted walnuts, even cashews added with dried a few dried cranberries, apricots, cherries, or apple chips is a fantastic snack to munch on while at the computer. (be careful with the dried fruit though, it is high in sugar... the pineapple especially. Use about 1/4 of the mix dried fruit.)

Also make a half dozen boiled eggs and keep them in the fridge. Whenever you need a good source of protein this is perfect. Remember if you can with each snack add some form of protein. I had also mentioned before the THINK THIN protein bars. They are AMAZING when you have a strong craving for chocolate. They have no sugar or gluten. I had also discovered a new flavor of chocolate covered mixed nuts. YUMM. It tastes just like an Old Henry chocolate bar.

If you wondering how to start out your day, oatmeal is a great choice. It's high in fiber and filling. Now we all know oatmeal takes forever to cook. Well I have a good solution. Make a lot. I buy the Quaker Oates steel cut oats. They have a more nutty flavor. I start with 3 1/2 of water and a half a cup of milk. Bring to a boil. Add oats, stir and keep on simmer with the pot uncovered. Stir occasionally. It takes a good forty-five minutes, but it's worth the time. When done add, cinnamon, a few raisons, raw almonds, and a package of Splenda or whatever sugar substitute you prefer. The best now is stevia. A bit more expensive, but a much healthier alternative.

Cool the rest and put in plastic container. The next morning, place in a bowl, microwave it for a minute and add your favorite things. It tastes just as good as fresh. I get about five serving out of mine. So I only have to make it once a week. Of course if you have a family then cook accordingly.

As a final tip for today, I'd like to introduce you all to another great source of protein that you can keep on hand. BEANS. That's right. Mixing together a bean salad is a great way to have protein handy. If you use canned beans, make sure there is no MSG or too much added salt. Mixing together red and white kidney beans, with chick peas, black beans, read beans, and fresh green beans tossed together with a light vinegarette or just plain red wine or balsamic vinegar is a great side next to you grilled chicken or turkey burger.

So the next time you reach for that chocolate, remember you do have other choices. And don't forget to move the old body for at least a half an hour of some sort of exercise.

If any of you have some great healthy choice suggestions or recipes please let me know so I can share them with the rest of our friends.

Have a great day everyone.


  1. Snack packs are a great idea--the nuts and dried fruit are high calorie wise, but so much more effective to keeping you full...

    And I love black beans... on rice, on salad, just on their own... I still need to get out the extra stuff, though...

  2. I LOVE this Michael. What a great reminder! I'm gluten intolerant, which has actually allowed me to discover healthy alternatives to the things I used to snack on all the time. I'm putting THINK THIN protein bars and YUMM choc/nuts on my shopping list (YUMM is the brand, right? or your reaction??) Making sure there's some protein in every healthy snack--brilliant!

  3. Yay for new friends and great food! That makes for excellent times. :)

  4. Thanks for the healthy eating ideas you've given us. My secret is to eat only my own cooking (which is terrible - meatloaf should not glow in the dark!) That way I eat so little the pounds do not add around my upset stomach!!

    Have a great mid-week, Roland

  5. I have oatmeal every day for breakfast!

  6. I eat fresh. Shop for two days at most. That's my diet.
    Great tips.

  7. Ah michael...I was good for a whole week, but today I sinned mightily... check out the full carnage over at my place! However, I figure if this only happens on one day a week rather than every day, it has to be a little better, right?! (ahem)

    Back on the foodie wagon tomorrow, I promise (I love beans!)

  8. Beans are the BEST source of protein because it's plant not animal. Since I eat a lot of soy products as well, I get 2-4 servings a day.

  9. Fruit, nuts, oatmeal and Beans....sigh.......Ok then....Femping food all together!

  10. What great ideas. I have my dog that bothers me non-stop every morning until I take her for a walk, so I'm forced off my butt. Also, I love papaya and oatmeal for breakfast and veggies for dinner. My lunch is bigger. The worst thing for me is that I love potato chips. And when I'm writing I love to snack.