health


What’s this “we” stuff? Well, even though I primarily mean that this blog has moved (to suzancolon.net), I still think of all of you coming with me. I hope! I mean, I don’t really want to be writing into the ether (hello… hello… hello…). After all, in space, no one can hear you blog.

So if you’ve bookmarked this address, un-mark and come on over to suzancolon.net and click on “Blog.” There you’ll find me doing my usual thing: writing about food; sighing over the good ol’ days with my Nana and Grandpa, when life seemed far less complicated; doing more talking about running than actually running; and kvetching about my occasional “feh” mood.

Good times.

Please come visit soon!
xx,
Suzan

One of my dearest friends, Francesco Clark, is a skincare guru. So when he says something, I tend to lean in close and lissen up. Recently, though, he said something kind of shocking, especially for a person who loves chocolate as much as I do: He said sugar is bad for the skin.

Shut. The. Heck. Up.

You can read more of his sacreligious statements here in this column. Initially, I thought, Blasphemer! How many pounds of sugar have you and I ingested together?! But I was a little hyper from eating about 12 macaroons at the time. (Macaroon recipe coming soon.) When I calmed down a bit and re-read the article, I thought, Well…

Hmm….

Maybe–MAYBE–there’s something to this. It wouldn’t hurt to try, would it?

Yes. Yes it would, I thought. Giving up sugar would hurt a lot. I love my sugar. But does it love me back? Not really, when I look closely at my skin, which looks okay but certainly doesn’t get the compliments it used to. Or when I look at my thighs. And let’s not drag my butt into this conversation, because it’s just too heavy to be dragged.

So Fran didn’t exactly lay down a challenge when he gently suggested cutting refined sugar intake down. Diane Chang, the author of the article, is going for two weeks without sugar. WOAH. That sounds like an awful lot of days without a reason to live.

But I do love a challenge. I don’t know why, because I often fail these challenges miserably–stay tuned for my wretched results at the More Magazine Half-Marathon. But I like to try. It’s that darn indomitable spirit of mine. Please remind me to have a doctor take a look at removing that at my next checkup.

So, here I am on Day 1 of not eating refined sugar. How far will I get? And will you join me? Stop laughing, I’m serious…

It's not only Fresh, it's exciting.

No time for clever headlines that make you think, What the heck is Suzan on about today… The short, sweet, and very direct story is that I saw Fresh: The Movie last night. Fresh: The Movie picks up where Food, Inc. left off, meaning that this is the continuing but more hopeful story about how people are questioning the health, ethical, and economic implications of processed food churned out by conglomerates and turning to smaller, family-owned farms for real, healthy, natural food grown the real, healthy, natural way.

Among the key players in the movie are Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Joel Salatin, a revolutionary farmer Pollan profiled in that book. These guys do awesome work in the “take back our plates and put some real food on them” movement. Lesser known to me but incredibly inspiring were Diana Endicott, who organized local farmers into a coop called Good Natured Family Farms so they’d have a shot at getting their very-goods sold in supermarkets; and the amazing Will Allen, the son of a sharecropper who started an urban farm and a non-profit called Growing Power. What this man had to say about how everyone deserves real food moved me to tears.

Urban farmer Will Allen of Growing Power. He made me cry (in a good way).

What am I getting at here? Go see this movie! Go here to find theaters near you that may be showing it. If you can’t find one, the Fresh people will help you have a community screening! Some friends and I are thinking of hosting one–that’s how powerful this little movie’s message is, and can be.

[Images courtesy of freshthemovie.com]

Over-eaten.

My apologies for so few new posts these days, but as I mentioned perhaps a few too many times, I’ve been hard at work writing additional chapters for the paperback edition of Cherries in Winter. There are a few new recipes too, and those required testing. (That is one of the least difficult parts of this job of mine, and The Hubbins and I are always up for that non-challenge.) My deadline is Thursday, and I just sent in my new chapters to my paperback editor Andrea today, so please join me in finger-crossing that everything goes well.

In other news that will make my race headline even more meaningful, here’s an update on my training for the More Half-Marathon: Both my running partner, my dear friend Linda, and I have fallen so far off our training schedules it would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. Both of us got swamped in work and one of us took a fabulous trip to Italy (hint: Regrettably, it wasn’t me). The consequence is that we’re now more prepared for The Far Side’s hundred-meter mosey than we are for anything resembling a 13.2 miler.

Under-used.

But will we give up? We will not. First of all, I say I’m going to do something, I do it. Well, I try to do it; I would put my dependability rating at slightly better than that of certain airlines. Second, I have to work off some of the food I ate during the recipe-testing phase of writing those additional chapters. I don’t know how my e-pal and food writer inspiration Melissa Clark writes cookbooks and stays so slim, even though she explained it in this great article. But I’m definitely not following in her footsteps.

So, whether I’m talking about a book deadline or a half-marathon finish line, I’m off to the races! And I’m exhausted already…

Last night, I went into the kitchen and saw this:

And I thought: Wow, The Hubbins really, really wanted pizza for dinner. Then I looked a little closer and saw this:

Gasp! I gasped. It’s matzoh time! But this is no ordinary matzoh: This is special matzoh that The Hubbins has to get from a special place, where the matzoh is very carefully handmade. It’s extremely crispy and fresh, and TH always makes sure to get several boxes (as you can see) because once Passover is, well, over, so’s the special non-bread of the holiday. No mas matzoh.

As I mentioned in Cherries in Winter, The Hubbins and I love and respect all spiritual traditions, and we especially love all food that goes with spiritual and religious holidays. During this season, we’ll be enjoying lamb for Easter (a little early, as I have to test a recipe for one of the additional chapters for the paperback edition of CIW), and we’ll be enjoying our Passover matzoh. Here’s me enjoying some:

If you can’t get your hands on some hand-made matzoh, another way to try the conventional supermarket type is in spinach matzoh pie. Here’s a great recipe I made last year, and here’s a vegan variation on that same recipe, because why not?

And I think I’ll go enjoy some of of that matzoh again right now.

Nope, I did not make this. But isn't it pretty? Makes me happy just looking at it--and writing about it.

Just a quick note to say hello because you all know I’m on a deadline for the additional chapters for Cherries in Winter: The Paperback. (Don’t worry, that is so not the book’s new official title.) Here’s the latest:

* I’m writing about cake, one of my favorite subjects (see above).

* My Jamie Oliver obsession is reaching new heights. Last night I made his chicken stroganoff recipe from Jamie’s Food Revolution, and I can’t wait to watch the TV show of the same name. Because I was a good girl and got an entire chapter finished this morning, I treated myself to watching the sneak preview here. I was surprised at how hard this show is to watch; people’s strong desire to eat unhealthy food makes me sad.

* My half-marathon training has fallen off the rails, but at least it’s not because I’m being lazy–just trying to meet the aforementioned deadline. I may have to walk the race, but I’ll be in it.

Okay, back to work! But first, some chicken strogie leftovers for lunch…

No more baking this week! I have to write!

Sorry no post yesterday, and it wasn’t just because I was overcome with advance excitement about Jamie Oliver’s new Food Revolution miniseries. Although certainly I could pull a near faint over this. I heart Jamie, I heart his Food Revolution cookbook major (the salmon stir-fry last night: to die for), I heart that he’s trying to save America’s unhealthiest not by making them diet but by asking (politely, because he’s British, after all) to eat real food. This six-episode series will definitely be more popular in this non-Nielsen-rated household than The Biggest Loser fer sher.

But no, that’s not why I’ve been slow to post, and will be for the next few days. As I mentioned, I’m trying to write additional chapters (with recipes containing real food that Jamie Oliver would probably approve of) for the paperback version of Cherries in Winter. What was the key word in that last overlong sentence? “Trying.” As your mother may have told you once or twice, “trying” and “doing” are “two” different things. Perhaps she didn’t put the air quotes around “two,” but I think you get the point of my message.

So, beloved visitors–and I do heart each and every one of all ten of you–I’m going to be a little quiet for the next few days as I try to go from “trying” to actually “doing” or, just for a change, “writing.” I will check in so you know I’m alive, but please lower your expectations for a new essay or banana bread recipe. To tide you over, look up the previous banana bread recipe and add two heaping tablespoons of unsweetened baking cocoa to it for a mocha-cocoa-loco banana bread.

Okay, back to work for me! After all, I’m trying…

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