Humor, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

IP Ribs and Other Tales

Last night I decided to get adventurous and stuff a slab of Costco pre-seasoned ribs into my Instant Pot.  I say “stuffed” because I packed the ribs in so tightly that it reminded me of trying to stuff myself into my jeans. That moment you realize that you were able to do it but if anything expands it is not going to be pretty….yeah, same with the ribs. Admittedly, I have never made ribs before but since I have been getting comfortable with using this fabulous cooking tool, I figured they would either be undercooked, overcooked or come out perfect, and in any case, I was fairly confident that they wouldn’t be rendered inedible. I had read somewhere to throw in 1 1/2 cups of apple juice, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke before putting
the ribs on the inside trivet.  I set my Instant Pot on high pressure for 40 minutes. I am not certain how healthy this all was but I steamed some green beans for good measure. When the timer went off and the IP finished a 15-20 minute natural release, I opened the lid and went to pull the ribs out; the meat was falling off of the bone. I was told that I fullsizeoutput_2072should have pulled them out, slathered them in BBQ sauce and then broiled them for a few minutes, however, they already had a wonderful flavor and I didn’t want extra calories and/or high fructose corn syrup that is in my favorite BBQ sauce.  These ribs may not look like much, however, they were amazing with very little effort.

Today was day two of getting back into the groove of working out. So far I have only tackled the treadmill as I ease into my new lifestyle.  At some point I will add weight training into my workout but for now I am perfectly content with a gentle start.  Halfway through my cardio workout, I had the realization that I would not be a good candidate for a Fifty Shades of Gray type of relationship since I felt spanked hard enough going 3.0 mph on the treadmill. The highlight of my trip to the gym was that Planet Fitness has these incredible hydrotherapy lounge chairs that you can program to focus on a certain part of your back, neck or legs and, additionally, you can adjust the pressure. This after workout delight makes the pain a little more pleasurable. Just a little.


Humor, Low Sodium Cooking, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

Threshold of Hell

Today was my first day back to Planet Fitness in three years in my attempts to lead a healthy lifestyle.  After my workout, I was reminded of a post I had once written regarding that iconic scene in Flash Dance where Jennifer Beals is dancing, sits down onThresholdofhell a chair, arches her back and pulls on a cord that dumps water all over her body.  I experienced the same thing after my workout except I was in a chair, hunched over with sweat pouring down me as though I was at the threshold of hell.

As I continued my journey into the abyss, I came home from my workout and threw a whole chicken in the Instant Pot and a second one was in line to be cooked, shredded and frozen. Once the Instant Pot finished its ‘natural release’ with the first chicken, I pulled that baby right out of the pot and the meat was falling off the bone. I began to slice into the chicken and then noticed that it wasn’t completely cooked all the way through. Perhaps the issue is that I usually cook with wine, but this time I hadn’t poured a glass….

Situation rectified. Happy National Wine Day!


Humor, Low Sodium Cooking, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

Time to Catch Fly With Chopstick

Tonight I made pork chops and rice in my Instant Pot. This truly has become a dinner time game changer in my household. I don’t think the cook time was any more than 20-25 IMG_1535minutes from start to finish.  In hindsight, the only thing I should have added to he meal was a salad or vegetable to make it a bit healthier and perhaps omitted the rice. Over the last several years I have really tried to commit to eating healthier in the hopes of getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  My little bundle of joy is almost 22 years old now, so I guess it is time. I thought the same thing when he was 15, but I tend to procrastinate.

So where does one start with a lifestyle change?  It is about more than just making healthier food choices, it is about changing a mindset.  Once you are able to change your way of thinking about food you become Miyagi catching flies in midair with chopsticks – then you “accomplish anything!”



Humor, Low Sodium Cooking, Weight Loss

Baby Steps

As a survivor of motherhood, and that may be a little presumptuous of me to use the term “survivor” as I still have adult children living in my home, in which case there is still opportunity for me to crash and burn, but I would like to think I have a 60/40 shot at pulling through so I am going to go with the odds on that for now…As a survivor of motherhood, I have prepared more than a few meals for my family of six.  As I journey (what a beautiful word to use in place of kicking and screaming) toward my 50th birthday  this fall, I have made the decision to approach the next chapter of my life with a healthier lifestyle, including creating more “me” time. I have raised four children to adulthood, and I am ready for a few, uninterrupted, “Calgon take me away!” moments. Cue the Instant Pot. This little bucket of love is a time saver and I am certainly going to incorporate it into my lifestyle change.

One of the healthy changes I have made this year is reducing my sodium intake. I don’t know what happened when I hit my late 40’s but one day I am happily shoving down chips and salsa, before devouring my favorite enchiladas, and the next day I am wandering around with stiff joints and looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from water retention. This signaled the need for change.

One of the small changes I have made is by switching up the broth that I use in soups and any recipe that calls for broth.  Purchasing regular “low sodium” broth, that has 33% less sodium, doesn’t seem to help out a lot in my opinion.  The sodium in one cup is still around 570 mg or 24% of  your daily value.  Low sodium? Lies and fabrications! The solution?  Organic low sodium broth. This has only 70 mg of sodium per cup and that is 3% of your daily value. Big difference!  Of course you could opt for no sodium but I am just not ready to go there yet. fullsizeoutput_2061Last night I made Taco Soup in my Instant Pot using organic broth, it was wonderful!  What was even better was that my adult children were downstairs and were able to witness a quick release.  My 21-year-old son, who shares my humor, dramatically darted into the pantry ‘shielding’ himself with the pantry door leaving his girlfriend to fend for herself.  My 25-year-old son took several steps back saying, “This should be good.” Once again the IP did not disappoint, although this time, I was better prepared.  I still used my long-handled wooden spoon to turn the valve, but I didn’t settle into a Warrior 2 yoga pose 4 feet away! Baby steps!