Showing posts with label healthy eating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy eating. Show all posts

Friday, August 12, 2016

Eat Well Be Well

 The reason I changed my eating habits five years ago was for health reasons, not because I wanted to be thin. Losing forty-five pounds certainly was a nice side-effect, but that was not my motivation.


I eat the power porridge above almost every morning topped with whatever fresh organic fruit I have on hand. Find the recipe here.

On most days I have breakfast a couple of hours after I rise and lunch late in the afternoon. Two small meals a day are enough for me because I am not doing a lot of physical labor or working out at the gym. I do go for a long brisk walk every morning that the weather allows. I am very active all day. I try not to sit still for more than an hour without moving around. I sip water throughout the day and I never ever drink sodas.

Late Lunch/Early Dinner

The picture above shows you what I have for a late lunch each day. Start with a bed of organic baby greens. Add steamed broccoli, peas, a little baked sweet potato or any vegetable combination you like. I almost always add about a cup of some type of beans. (If you don't cook your own dried beans buy the kind with no salt added and organic if you can find them. Rinse well and store extra in the fridge.) Some things need to be baked or cooked for us to digest them well. For example, I steam broccoli for about three minutes.

The plates I use are about the size of my outstretched hand.

I do not eat bread, croutons, cheese, dressings or oils on a regular basis. I might have a very small amount once a week because I do enjoy these items if they are of high quality. (Processed cheese is not something I ever eat.) I always skip the condiments which may be high in sugar.

In the winter months when fresh organic fruits and vegetables are not as available, I use frozen organic fruits and vegetables often. I especially like sauteed onion, mushrooms and garlic cooled and added to a large green salad. (Again you can save extra in the fridge.)

Now on to this next picture.


I bought this mix at the health food store to serve with a glass of wine when I have guests. Looks healthy with all those nuts, seeds, and sesame sticks, right?


I don't know what was added to it because it was bought in bulk by special order with no label (not from bins). For a few days, I was guilty of having a handful after each meal with a cup of hot tea as a little dessert. After about a week of this bad habit, I had a headache, my joints and muscles ached, my sleep was often interrupted, my mind was very foggy, and my digestive system was wrecked. I felt as if I had been poisoned. I felt almost as bad as I did five years ago when I started this healthy eating journey. I finally realized that the mix pictured above must have all those ingredients that I cannot digest. Within two days of ridding my body of even this small amount of processed food, I am back to my healthy, happy, sleeping well self.

Not everything you buy in the health food store is healthy. Almost all processed foods contain high fructose corn syrup and preservatives at a minimum and many more chemicals on average. Some say read the labels, but I avoid buying or eating anything that even has a label. Fresh, raw, organic real food is what I consume most often.

I have seen stock boys reach into bulk bins with their dirty hands to steal a few nuts while they are working. Kids can't resist those that are at their eye level. The stores rarely if ever clean those scoops or bins so I never buy bulk items unless it is something I am going to wash or cook before eating. All stores and restaurants have bugs. Bins are not really closed, are they?

As with my fashion choices, I keep my food choices clean and simple. I hope that what I share helps you discover what works best for you.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

All words, styling, and creative direction are my own.
I no longer accept products in exchange for reviews.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

What do you eat?

Summer means family and friends may be gathering for a potluck meal on the deck or by the lake. Whenever I am asked to bring a dish or need to plan a meal for a summer event, I always use recipes like the ones shown below.

Cucumber Tomato Salad


Baked Falafel Sandwich



Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

My friend, Diane Smith, is the writer and recipe developer behind We thought it would be helpful to share a healthy meal plan for those of you who are planning summer gatherings.

I always get lots of questions about what I eat and then more questions about how to transition to a plant-based diet. I am happy to tell you that Diane is preparing a course to help people transition to a plant-based diet. Contact her via her website to sign up for the course.

Diane Smith is the editor and publisher of We have so much in common, but most of all we are passionate about being our best selves and sharing what we learn with others.

I was in a lot of pain, on medication, in and out of Doctor's offices almost weekly, and could not sleep more than a couple of hours. That was all before I switched to a plant-based diet. 

My back, feet, and legs hurt so much I could only walk short distances even in flat shoes. Now I can walk pain-free for miles, even in heels!

Before at age 54               After at age 58  

The preservatives, sugar, fat and salt added to most processed foods caused inflammation, fifty pounds of stored fat, severe migraines every week, and numerous sinus infections. Removing those foods from my life allowed my body to heal and my immune system to thrive. I have not had a cold in five years. There are no more migraines! I take no medications now, and my lab results are those of a twenty-year-old. I feel much better now than I did when I was in my thirties. The only change I made was to a plant-based diet. This is one of the most important things I wish I could share with my younger self.

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


After I stopped eating fast, easy, convenience food from a box, bag or can and focused on eating plant-based meals; I started losing weight.


I was in a lot of pain when I weighed 183 pounds. That pain came from the arthritis inflammation in my hands, feet and back so I was very inactive. I remember thinking this is what it feels like to be old. I believed that was the way my body was going to feel from that point on. I was deeply depressed, and it showed in what I wore and how I carried myself. I gave away all of my heels and bought ugly flat shoes that are supposed to be comfortable. My feet still hurt!


A few days after plants became my only source of food, I started to feel much better. Soon I felt like going for long walks, working in my flower gardens, cleaning my whole house in one day and anything else I wanted to do. The pain melted away. I was amazed!

My spirits lifted because I now felt better than I did when I was in my 30s. I gave all those flat shoes to my mother and started buying shoes and clothes that reflect my personality better. It didn't happen right away but after a couple of years, I found my style chops again. (For some strange reason, I believed those horrible print tops hid my rolls and dimples.)

When we go out to eat now, I order a salad with a side of steamed broccoli or some other vegetable, and I ask them to hold the salt and butter. We will always order the vegetarian entree when there is one offered, and we often visit restaurants because they are vegetarian.

I eat this for breakfast almost every morning.
My late lunch sometimes looks like this.

I get questions almost every day about how I managed to lose weight during those hormone shifting menopausal years.

Honestly, all I did was change my choice of food. There was no radical exercise regime. I didn't take any pills or get on any of those food to order programs. I still don't take any medications!

The book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman gave me guidance on what to eat and explained why. The most important thing to know is that you need a variety of colorful, fresh, organic, local and in-season fruits and vegetables as often as possible. My diet includes fresh fruits, leafy green and other vegetables, mushrooms, onions, berries, seeds, nuts and ancient whole grains every day. I eat this way 90% of the time.

I still enjoy a piece of dark chocolate, a glass of wine or a decadent dessert on occasion but not every day. I also know that only a few bites are enough. I don't need to finish the whole dessert. 


I have maintained my weight loss for almost five years. No diet or pills. No gyms or classes. No calorie counting or obsessing about food. 

I hope that sharing my example helps you to achieve a happy, healthy body as well.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

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When companies supply products to me, I disclose that within the body of the post.
All opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why Plants?

About five years ago, I stopped eating meat and processed foods. I lost weight but that was not my motivation. 

When I visited my Doctor for my annual checkup in 2011, she warned me about my fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, the strange nodules by my thyroid and noted that my gall bladder would have to come out because I had gallstones. 

She wrote prescriptions for three different medications that I would have to take for the rest of my life and made appointments for me to see two specialists. She was also concerned about my blood sugar since I was now a borderline diabetic. 

The flat shoes I wore that day didn't help. My feet still hurt a lot from inflammation because of arthritis. Just walking into her office was painful. I had seven sinus infections that year. At least two migraines per week (sometimes more) were normal for me during that time.

I read the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman while I was recovering from the gall bladder surgery. Within a week, I started to lose weight and feel better. When I went back to my surgeon for my six-week checkup, I had lost twenty pounds. He was thrilled with my progress!

Later that day I ran two miles on the path around that same hospital where the gall bladder surgery had been performed just a few weeks before. I must say; I felt a little like Rocky when I did that!

Processed foods are deadly for me. I will not buy them. The only things you will find in my pantry and refrigerator are plant-based foods in the most natural and organic state. The changes I made in my choices of food made a major difference in my health and the way I feel every day. I no longer take any medications and my lab results are similar to those of a teenager. My doctors are amazed and motivated by the changes I have made and maintained over the years.

If we eat in a restaurant, as we sometimes do, I will order a salad, a side order of broccoli or some other steamed vegetable and a glass of wine. I mostly skip the bread and share an occasional dessert when Mr. Mickey wants to have one. Three small bites are enough to fully enjoy it.

This is normally my breakfast.

The photo above shows what my breakfast looks like about 95% of the time. I use fresh fruit that is always changing with the seasons. 

One of my lovely followers shared this with me recently. Emily wrote: "I have suffered from chronic constipation (IBS) for years and this recipe seems to have reversed this disease. I am very regular with no stomach cramps!!!! PTL!!! Thank you so very much for this wonderful recipe!!!!"

You will find the recipe for the porridge here when you scroll down to the bottom of the page.

This is normally my late in the day lunch.

A typical late lunch might be steamed veggies over a salad with a baked sweet potato. I often make a meatless chili or vegetable soup for lunch in winter. I use frozen vegetables without any preservatives or salt in my soup. Two meals per day are enough for me. If I feel hungry later in the day I may have a piece of fruit or some hot tea. I sleep much better with an empty stomach.

This might be a different late in the day wintertime lunch.

I drink lots of filtered water with lemon every day. Many digestive issues are a result of not being adequately hydrated. I never drink sodas!

Eating highly nutritious plants, seeds, nuts, dried beans, and grains has allowed me to maintain a healthy weight for several years. This is the first time in my life that I have been able to do that. I have struggled with my chubbiness since I was a child. The best part of all this is that my immune system is very strong. I have not had a cold in years!

The many letters I get from readers who thank me for turning them on to a plant-based diet are so special to me. This one came just this week. 

Susan, when I found you on FB, I decided to follow you because you look so fabulous in skinny jeans. I am 64 and since menopause, I have gained a tremendous amount of weight. Anyhow, I wanted to tell you that I too found "Eat to Live" and started a new life on November 16. I have lost 25 pounds and have 75 more to go. I will continue to be inspired by you. We are both prolonging our lives. But I have to say what I want to do most right now is look as good as you do in your clothes. You are lovely, and I think you ought to talk more about your plant based diet. It would be a great service. I have inspired two male friends of mine to adopt this way of eating, and they cannot thank me enough! They have lost more weight than I have, and now they think I'm the greatest.

Sharing fashion tips and style inspiration with you is fun, but the most important thing I hope to accomplish with this blog is to encourage you to eat for your best health. Never underestimate the power of plants to help you regain your health.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

Visit me on Twitter.
Visit me on Pinterest.
Visit me on Polyvore.

When companies supply products to me, I disclose that within the body of the post.
All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year's Day Meal

New Year’s day means Hopping' John!

Photo and meal by JM Hayes.

Eating Hoppin' John and collard greens ensures prosperity in the new year (the collards represent greenbacks and the black-eyed peas coins or so they say here in the south).

Hoppin’ John

2 cans no salt added black-eyed peas
1 can no salt added fire roasted diced tomatoes
½ small onion
2-3 cloves garlic
½ red pepper
½ green pepper
¼ cup celery
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small diced jalapeno (optional)
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil

Sauté onion and garlic in a bit of broth or water until soft. Add diced celery peppers and zucchini and continue sautéing in a bit of broth or water until tender. Add black-eyed peas and diced tomatoes. Season with thyme and basil to taste. Add jalapeno if you want a bit of a kick. Simmer 20 minutes or longer to let flavors blend.

Serve over whole wheat couscous or quinoa and alongside collards, kale or greens of your choice.

Recipe created and shared with us by Diane Smith

Thank you for joining us on this wonderful journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

Represented by Talent Trek Agency in Knoxville TN.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015


When you send me emails sharing that you have lost weight, your blood tests are more positive, that you can now play with your grandchildren or that you are no longer diabetic, I am reminded why I continue to share my life with you via this blog. 

In 2009, I was so heavy at one hundred and eighty-three pounds, I could barely squat down to visit with this hungry little squirrel looking for a handout. Notice how carefully I cropped the picture at that time so as not to show my girth. I was in denial! 

Fast forward to 2012 on another visit to Brevard, North Carolina. My fashion sense and confidence are improving and I have lost more than forty pounds.

It was so easy to slip into the habit of eating mindlessly and then dressing in whatever was stretchy and comfortable every day. I lived this way for a few years and my health suffered greatly because of it. Not just my physical health but my mental health as well. I had so little confidence that I didn't even want to leave my home. I was deeply depressed for several years. I had zero friends. Not one! 

If you have visited my blog before today, you know that I now have lots of wonderful friends, loads of confidence and a fun filled life that I could not even imagine ten years ago. Being healthy both physically and mentally has allowed me to start to fully enjoy life and overcome the depression that dominated my life for several years. 

Sharing fashion tips and style inspiration is such a fun part of publishing this blog. I like everything in my closet now and getting dressed for any occasion is a snap. My style has evolved as I research and share with you what I learn. Dressing this almost sixty-year-old body with style and grace is a completely different project than dressing my thirty-year-old one. But, I firmly believe that the most important thing I share with you is the inspiration to learn to eat to properly fuel your body for your best health. 

I will continue to share what works well for me and use myself as an example. I hope that you will be inspired also to find what works well for your body and that you can start to enjoy better health and a more joy-filled life.

At the link below is a new hearty soup recipe I recently found. I added it to my collection of basics and have been enjoying this one as my late in the day meal for about two weeks. I often add frozen or fresh vegetables near the end of the cooking time. The grain farro is a wonderful substitute for the pasta. (I soak the farro along with the dried beans.) I also experiment with the ingredients and spices to add variety and new flavors according to what looks good at the grocery store on the day I visit.

Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

Represented by Talent Trek Agency in Knoxville TN.

Visit me on Twitter.
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Visit me on Polyvore.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Basic Makeup Techniques

Have you changed your makeup technique over the years? The correct placement of light and dark colors, use of shimmer or matte finishes can make you look vibrant, healthy, and youthful.

However, the incorrect placement of shimmer can make you look less than your best. I remember putting shimmer on the brow bone under my eyebrows in 1974. I am careful never to do that now because it puts the emphasis on the puffy upper part of my eyelid. If you have a hooded eyelid, you will certainly want to avoid shimmer on the hood because it will make it look more prominent.

It is very important to always remember this while you are putting on makeup, light advances and dark recedes.

In the photos above you can see more closely where I apply shimmer and dark shadow near the outer corner of my eyes for an evening makeup look. I wear a much more natural look for daytime so it wouldn't even show up that much in a photo.

Notice that I do not add any color or mascara underneath my eyes. That always makes me look harsh so I skip all that.

I do all the eye makeup first so that it doesn't flake on my foundation. 

The video below includes my tips for making up the whole face from start to finish for a light-handed easy to do daytime look.

Thank you for joining us on this wonderful journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

Represented by Talent Trek Agency in Knoxville TN.

Visit me on Twitter.
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Visit me on Polyvore.

Friday, October 2, 2015

How To Cruise Without Gaining Weight

Mr. Mickey and I are off on another fun-filled weekend getaway so I asked my friend, Donna Hull to share more cruise/vacation tips with you today. 
(Note: her tips work for me every day!)

Don’t Gain Weight on Your Next Cruise

On January 4, 2015, I boarded a cruise ship for the 64-day journey of a lifetime. After months of healthy eating and plenty of exercise, I stepped onto that ship looking and feeling good. At the end of the voyage, I stepped off a ship that served gourmet food and endless pours of wine and champagne having gained less than 5 lbs, and I still looked and felt good. How did I do that? 

A big thumbs up as I arrive on Silver Spirit. I made my weight loss goal with exercise and healthy eating.
 Now to keep up those good habits on the cruise.

First of all, let me clarify—it’s not about the weight. The main focus should always be on your health. But being able to fit into clothes at the end of the cruise is definitely a bonus. And staying slim while having fun is a double bonus. My healthy cruise strategy allows for both and I’m happy to share it with you.

Develop a plan of action

Celebrate your health by bringing the exercise habits and sensible eating you practice at home along on the cruise. Do not follow the thinking: “This is my vacation so I can eat anything I want.” Splurging occasionally is fine; overindulging on a nightly basis is not.

Create an emergency plan of action. If you splurge one night—and you will—know which measures you’ll take the next day to offset that splurge. Don’t wait until the cruise is over!

Pack a tape measure to record measurements every three days. As soon as you notice a creep up, double down on self-control, eating habits and exercise.

Print out a list of positive affirmations that inspire you. Tuck them into your purse. When temptation strikes, read an affirmation from the list before giving in. One of my favorites: “I feel and look great when I’m eating healthy.”

A hiking excursion in Dunedin, New Zealand is a great way to work off calories and have fun!

Stay active

Vow to use the stairs for the entire cruise
Locate the gym and use it
Take a fitness class
Practice a water aerobics routine in the pool or swim laps
Walk the outdoor track
Walk the outdoor track for 3 laps after each meal (or at least breakfast and lunch)
Book the most active shore excursions available
Dance the night away
Wear a step counting device. Don’t go to bed until you’ve reached 10,000 steps. Hint: dancing will really up the step count, so boogie down. 

Eat (and drink) smart

Frequent the buffet for breakfast. You probably won’t find Susan’s power porridge, but there are enough fruit, nut and grain selections to create a cold version. Many cruise lines also offer protein smoothies.

Visit the buffet again at lunch. You’ll find plenty of ingredients for salads or fill your plate with fruit and hard cheeses. On my cruise, I preferred the small desserts at lunch to the ones served at dinner. I enjoyed a couple of bites and then walked off the calories in the afternoon.

Turn down appetizers in the lounge in favor of a bowl of nuts. Bonus points if they’re unsalted.

Fill your stomach with lots of water before starting an evening of drinking and dining. And I substitute club soda and cranberry or pomegranate juice served in a champagne flute for my first evening drink. It’s fizzy and looks pretty in the glass.

Think of dinner as an event. Focus on the ambiance, conversation and dinner companions rather than the food.

Ask for small portions or a half plate at dinner. And skip the breads and starches.

Choose low sodium options whenever possible. My experience is that cruise lines over salt their foods.

Take advantage of the plentiful seafood offerings usually found on ships but ask for sauces to be placed on the side of the plate.

Savor your glass of wine and decline second pours.

Enjoy dessert but stop at 3 bites. Did you know that after 3 bites, your taste buds have been satisfied?

Substitute a decaf skinny latte—a green tea skinny latte is even better—for dessert or order from the low cal dessert menu. Yes, ships have them.

No drinking alcohol after dinner. Sip water instead.

Listen to your body. Suddenly switching from a lean, healthy diet to rich foods filled with fat and calories leads to health problems. Indigestion, heartburn, constipation, headaches, lethargy and sleeplessness are signs to get back on the healthy eating train immediately.

Swimming with stingrays in Moorea is my absolute favorite cruise excursion. I giggle every time they bump into me. It’s another fun way to stay active and work off calories.

Final tip: Once you let your guard down, it’s easy to overindulge. Concentrate on fun rather than food and drink and you’ll return home a healthy cruiser. That’s how I did it. You can, too.

Donna L. Hull writes about active travel for baby boomers at My Itchy Travel Feet, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel. This cruise lover has spent over 300 nights at sea.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

Visit me on Twitter.

Visit me on Pinterest.
Visit me on Polyvore.