Artichoke Dip-like Soup, with chicken

Hello, fellow eaters! If, like me, you had a grandparent who could not get up when they fell or witnessed the same in others you care about, strength becomes more center of mind as the body makes more trips around the sun. As a result, I have done a bit of reading on healthy aging and been concerned with staying strong over the long haul.

Greg and I have had a steady routine for years, always with some weight lifting, but never anything terribly heavy. I thought I need only continue this workout, and I was good to go for life, barring some horrible event, of course. But, but, but, after reading Next Level, by Stacy Sims, and Outlive, by Peter Attia, I learned how terribly wrong this assumption was. We lose muscle mass, just by living, even if we do exercise and lift weights. So we are gradually increasing how many pounds we lift and will take it as far as our bodies allow, within reason and available equipment.

I also learned, as someone who likes to travel, if I want to be able to lift a 25 pound suitcase into the overhead compartment of an airplane or train when I’m 70 years old, I need to be able to lift a 35 pound weight right now (I’m so close!). That’s how much muscle strength we lose over time! Isn’t that bananas?

It gets even worse if our bodies don’t have adequate protein. I’m meant to get 100 grams per day, which meant nothing to me until I started paying attention. It is a lot! As a result, I have been mildly obsessed with the protein content of my meals, and eating accordingly. Every day, getting it any way I can: whey protein, eggs, legumes, grains, nuts, Greek yogurt, meat, fish. I leave no stone unturned and still rarely meet my target. Wah. But I remain earnest and creative!

Seafood chowder and gluten-free English muffin

Which brings me , finally, to today’s photos. Take, for instance, the creamy soups above. Both have some dairy (plain whey protein the usual source) but really derive their velvety texture from white beans! I pop them, along with broths and cauliflower, for even more of a health boost, into the Vitamix and whir until smooth. Dead easy, and with the right seasonings, no one seems to notice or care, well, at least until we start farting. Facts.

pork chop with apple gravy
Korean Fire Chicken
Curried chicken and chickpeas

Despite it being a major concern, I obviously don’t want to make soup every day, only because I am very much a variety is the spice of life type and crave just about everything under the sun, like a homey chop and deliciously spicy Korean or Indian. My food choices are as adventurous as my personality!

Here’s to health and hoping I can keep the variety going while figuring out more clever ways to maximize.

Junipers

When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash – at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the “newness,” the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.

Thomas Merton

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Dogs

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

Will Rogers

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Juniper has been our dearest dog for seven years! Happy, happy…

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p.s. You can see my reflection in her eyes!

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Hey all! Will you take a look at this mahvelously organized laundry room?! After having “a mad as hell (*not technically) and I’m not going to take it anymore” moment at the sheer mess of it, Greg and I spent four hours the other weekend, taking everything off of every shelf, wiping the dust and debris, purging necessary items, and then putting it all back together.

I am also including what it looks like with actual laundry. Because, let’s get real, there’s nearly always something hanging up. We are definitely not the go-getters who take everything down and fold it neatly the moment it dries. More often, it is an I’m out of something, so I better get to it occasion.

Also, if you would like to have the crazy-awesome hanging racks (at left) that also can be placed flat against the wall when not in use, you are out of luck. IKEA discontinued them, much to the chagrin of many a shopper. As a result, whenever the magic moment arrives for us to move to Taos, we are taking them with us. Indeed.

  1. Joy at having a tidy laundry room in my super, extra-puffy coat.
  2. Fur is faux.
  3. Glasses help prevent migraines from crazy-bright light.
  4. Peace out…

Wild Goose Chase

Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

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