Okay, raise your hand if you've joined a gym or started a new diet plan after the ball dropped in Times Square? After your hangover subsided, that is...
Anyway, you may or may not know that last August, I began HRT (hormone replacement therapy for the layfolk) due to a very aggravating diagnosis of premature ovarian decline. Basically my ovaries said, "To hell with this," and closed up shop, severely reducing their output of estrogen. I was having all the symptoms of menopause without actually being in menopause. Can I tell you how much that sucked?
Hot flashes, headaches, constant fatigue, dry skin and hair, hair loss, weight gain, bloating, mood swings.... I could go on and on, but basically I was going downhill hormone-wise for a few years and by spring of last year, I was downright miserable. God bless my ever-patient (most of the time) husband, who finally convinced me to see a wonderful hormone specialist in Tuscon.
I'm happy to report that I feel soooooo much better than I did last spring. I've still got a way to go, but don't think that just HRT alone is the cure. Certainly, it has given me more energy and improved a lot of other symptoms, but I have to meet it halfway. That means a sensible diet and exercise plan. Yeah, sorry to burst your bubble, but that's really the only "magic" there is.
Now you may be thinking I'm about to sell you some magical juice or supplement or other such crap, but no. I thought I'd be a doll and share with you some of my simple recipes and exercise routines that are getting me back in shape and back to being, well, me.
I'm not saying you need to actually DO any of this. But if you're looking for new healthy recipes and workouts because you're tired of the treadmill and salads, you might find a thing or two you want to try in these posts.
Here's a wonderful stew I made last night. It's completely vegan and probably gluten free as well. You do have to love your veggies, though. But it's easy and will give you a big boost of nutrients and fiber. Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich if you're not vegan or going gluten free. Or just sprinkle some cheese on top. I found this one by Julie O'Hara on CleanEatingMag.com via the Yummly app. Stay tuned for more recipes and other health-related posts...
Black-Eyed Pea Stew with Collard Greens & Potatoes
Photo: Edward Pon
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
8 oz collard greens, chopped (about 8 cups)
1 14.5-oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
12 oz red potatoes, cut into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)
1 15.5-oz can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
Ground black pepper, to taste
Bring broth and 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat. Add collard greens, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes and potatoes, and return to a simmer. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in peas and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with pepper, to taste, and serve immediately.
Serving size: 2¼ cups - Calories: 180 - Fat: 1g - Saturated fat: 0 - Carbohydrates: 0mg - Sugar: 5g - Sodium: 710mg - Fiber: 8g - Protein: 10g - Cholesterol: 0mg