Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Green Thresher Shark Sausage: Sustainable and Delicious

Green thresher shark sausage with toast and a fried egg
How much of what we eat today is food we wouldn't have considered a menu item 10 or 20 years ago? Perhaps quinoa. Sardines. Octopus. Gluten-free anything.

So, today I ask you to think about adding some green thresher shark to your diet--particularly if you live in Southern California, where it is abundant.

I learned about the shark from Tommy Gomes and Dan Nattrass of Catalina Offshore Products, a San Diego seafood wholesaler that strives for sustainability. They and owner Dave Rudie found that local swordfish fishermen tend to get the thresher shark as by catch. Unwilling to just discard it, the fishermen approached Catalina OP about buying it up to sell to chefs and walk-in customers. In fact, Rudie says, they've been selling it for over 12 years but the wholesale market dropped around 18 months ago when most supermarkets took it off their shelves due to pressure from environmental non-governmental organizations, or ENGOs.

One of the reasons ENGOs were protesting shark harvesting was due to something that's been in the news recently, fishing sharks only for their fins. While this barbaric practice has been illegal in California and banned to U.S. fishermen for years, it continues around the world. So, the big ENGOs have campaigned not only to stop shark finning, but to stop the sale of sharks for meat in California. Additionally, says Rudie, the Monterey Bay Aquarium set almost all shark species to a red rating, meaning they're overfished.

"But NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) does the science to understand if a species is over-fished and they found that the stocks are healthy," says Rudie. "The Aquarium of the Pacific was the first ENGO to stand up and support NOAA and the local fishermen by giving green thresher shark a good rating last year. And now the Monterey Bay Aquarium has also changed their rating to yellow."

And, Rudie and Gomes both pointed out that these sharks weren't targeted for fishing, they were by catch. Unless they were sold, their bodies would be tossed back into the ocean.

You can now find green thresher shark in San Diego at places like Mitch's Seafood, The Pearl Hotel, Lisko Artisan Deli, The Fish Market, Pt. Loma Seafood, El Pescador, Pelleys, Stumps and Harvest Ranch markets.

At Catalina Offshore Products you can buy shark steaks or loins for $3.99 a pound. The fish is firm, like swordfish, with a clean, sweet flavor. They're perfect for grilling, baking, or broiling. Most of the fish is caught during swordfish season--August to February--but Catalina OP and others do freeze it and sell it as "re-fresh" or will make burgers or sausage.

In fact, in a collaboration between Catalina OP, Lisko Artisan Deli, and chef Chad White of Sea Rocket Bistro and soon Gabardine, a delicious green thresher shark sausage came to be. Catalina OP had the shark, Lisko had the sausage grinder, and White the recipe, which he's given to me.

Shark sausage is ridiculously easy to make and has a wonderful spicy smoky flavor. There are any number of ways to use it--and I'm hoping White will add more of his ideas below. But you can start by forming patties and pan frying them. Make a breakfast sausage and serve with toast and a fried egg. Form into a small sausage or hot dog shape and wrap in plastic wrap, then poach for a few minutes, unwrap, and grill. Keep it loose and saute with vegetables and add to pasta or rice or grains. Add to burritos, to stew. Basically use it as you would use ground meat, sausage, or hot dog -- only there's little fat to worry about.

Here's Chad White's sausage recipe:

Green Thresher Shark Sausage
By Chad White
(printable recipe here)

2.5 pounds shark

½ cup garlic, minced

½ cup shallot, minced

½ cup Italian flatleaf parsley, minced

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons sea salt

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 capful liquid smoke

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

3/8 cup white wine

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Slightly freeze shark, slice into finger-width pieces and run through grinder (including Kitchen Aid grinder attachment set at largest grind at top speed).
2. Mix shark with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Shape mixture into patties or form into sausages and put into casings and steam.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

San Diego Food Swap: From Soup to Nuts

I've written about San Diego Crop Swap, but it turns that we have another similarly themed group in town--San Diego Food Swap. This group, which has met monthly since April, has a little broader mission, as the name implies. It's not just about exchanging excess harvest bounties (think zucchini), it's about sharing homemade dishes, beverages, or products (including soap, toiletries, and pet food) that may or may not include homegrown produce.

Anyone in the community may participate--and there are FAQs on the website that explain the parameters. No, you don't have to exchange recipes but, yes, please label your product in case someone may have an allergy to an ingredient. Yes, to homemade beer and wine, but keep it to samples at the event. Make it, label it, sign it up on the website, and then decide the value of it compared to what you want to exchange it for. It's that easy--and that fun.

So much fun, in fact, that organizer Hillary Starbright Condon decided to have a soup contest. The event, held last Saturday at the Ocean Beach Women's Club, drew a couple of dozen people and nine competitors. The judges were Sam Zien (Sam, the Cooking Guy), Ed Decker of San Diego CityBeat, comedian Jesse Egan, and, well, me.

For the first hour, it was all about set up and exchange. Serious exchange. How many jars of lemon curd, hot fudge, or candied nuts would Gia Strang exchange for, perhaps, Peggy Spitz's lavender heart cookies or Lisa Stockton's Meyer lemon meringue pie or Sandy and Jared D'Onofrio's Dangerously Good Irish Cream?

Lisa Stockton's ware: French Onion Soup, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Chipotle Salsa
 These folks are serious about their food. Spitz is all about lavender. She makes sugar cookies infused with the herb and lavender jam. She swears that if you dry the herb and remove the flowers, the stems create a wonderful smoke that permeates proteins when added to the grill. She also spent years refining her treasured recipe for her Burgershire Soup, inspired by the Cheshire Inn in St. Louis, a restaurant that she visited before her marriage, now decades ago. This is one of the soup entries in the contest.

Peggy Spitz's Burgershire Soup with homemade crackers
Judging was based on three criteria: taste, presentation, and creativity. Some folks, like Spitz, really got into the presentation. But, of course, the most weight was given to taste and though the competition was tight, we each had the same clear winner: Gia Strang's African Peanut Soup.

This was a rich, stew-like dish, with deeply layered flavors that come from chopped peanuts and peanut butter, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, yams, sweet potato, chunks of chicken, and cilantro.

The group's next event--on Feb. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m., also at the Ocean Beach Women's Club--will include a Holiday Bake Off with cash prizes and "celebrity" judges. This is definitely something to check out--these folks are fun.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dear Paula Deen

Dear Paula Deen:
We don't know one another, but it turns out we have something in common. Something we both kept quiet about--but for different reasons, apparently. I waited about 10 months before coming out with my diabetes, mostly because I wanted to wait until I had spent enough time working on changing my diet, making exercise a (mostly) daily part of my life, and losing a big enough chunk of weight that I felt I could offer something to others going through the same thing.

Apparently you waited until you got a juicy financial deal with a big pharmaceutical company.

Okay, I realize that I'm sounding pretty sanctimonious. In fact, I started writing something this morning about the circus you've created in the last couple of days. Then I erased it all because I didn't want to pile on. This diabetes stuff is scary and everyone handles it differently. Who am I to judge? Plus, I truly don't want to become "diabetes girl."

But all through the day, the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. And late this afternoon when I saw that clip of you with your sons on The Chew I'd had enough.

Your diagnosis came three years ago. Yet, for the past three years--knowing (I assume) the impact of diet on diabetes--you continued your very public fat fest, promoting a caricature of Southern food. Hey, not even just Southern food. You have an upcoming episode on Feb. 2, "Cravin' Italian," that features "Cheesy Pizza Dip with Pizza Crust Dippers." What are the ingredients? Cream cheese, Canadian bacon, regular bacon, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and pizza crust dough. Oh, how about that "Smashed Potato Cake" on the Jan. 17 show, "Lovey Dovey Dinner?" We've got potatoes, of course, butter, Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bacon. Yum. And kiss of death. I heard you recently on the NPR show, "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," as you described the food in your kitchen and fridge--cakes, roasts, who knows what else... If it was for comic effect, congrats, you got your laugh. But if it was real, God help you.

Look, Paula, adult-onset Type 2 diabetes is associated with all sorts of health issues, not the least of which are heart disease and stroke. I would guess that you're not only taking your diabetes medication but probably cholesterol meds and baby aspirin as well. This is serious stuff.

You've said that you believe that these high-fat, high-carb foods are fine in moderation. Okay. I get that we all need to indulge periodically. I do it. I did it a bit today, having a few French fries and a couple of bites of a bratwurst at lunch. Then I pushed it aside and gave it to my friend to take home to her kids. I enjoy a small piece of chocolate. Last week I ate a tiny piece of my mom's lemon cake. Butter? Sure, a small bit periodically. Cheese? Yep, an ounce on toast (yes, I weigh it). Pizza? Uh, no. We have to count our carbs, remember? Fried chicken? Biscuits? Cheesecake? No, no, and no. No! Not anymore.

Paula, get real. You have diabetes. I have diabetes. Some 25 million people in this country have diabetes. We're talking total lifestyle change. You can't seriously have thought it was cool to keep pushing butter and cheese, bacon and sausage, plush desserts and deep fried foods on viewers knowing that these contribute to a frightening epidemic of obesity which, yes, leads to diabetes.

I have written that I think of diabetes as my disease of self-indulgence. I can't say that it's also yours. Maybe your family has a history of diabetes. Maybe it was just bad luck. But you've built an empire on promoting over-the-top fatty food. When people think of you, that's the association--fair or not. Karma? Perhaps. But, I think you might have come clean long before your big-time financial deal and taken the opportunity to turn your many fans onto healthy eating and exercise. It could have been your Oprah moment (not that she's much of a role model in this area these days...).

You might take your new pharma windfall and not just donate to the American Diabetes Association, but also spread that largesse on organizations that educate children and families on nutrition, healthy cooking, and exercise.

In fact, let's talk about this new source of income. Basically, the way my doctor explained it to me, my goal should be to lose enough weight that I can get off the medications and manage my diabetes through diet and exercise. I'm grateful to have medication for now, but I am working so hard to put it in my rearview mirror. I'd love to get some pharma money, too. In fact, I reached out to one company to inquire about writing about lifestyle and diet issues on their website to help people with diabetes make changes in their lives so that they can get off the meds. You can imagine that heaping big serving of silence I got. I congratulate you on figuring out how to become their spokesperson. But, after three years, I would have thought that you would have worked hard to get off those meds already. Looking at you today in that big lavender tent blouse, though, it doesn't look like you've been making a big effort to work in that direction. I truly hope you're not one of those people who believes that the meds alone will keep you healthy.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. Who knows where I'll be three years after my diagnosis. Maybe I won't be able to keep this up. Maybe despite my best efforts my body will still degenerate. I have said that I keep the image of an anvil swinging over my head to motivate and focus me. Perhaps, instead, I'll replace it with that image of you--still overweight, hawking diabetes meds--to keep me going.

Dear Paula, I know you have to maintain the Deen machine, but if you really want to get some credibility (and improve your health), you'll do more than promote your "Diabetes in a New Light" program. You'll do more than push pills. You'll show us by example.

And, now, back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tempting Turnips: Enjoying from Root to Stem

Whenever I make zucchini pancakes with the kids at Olivewood Gardens I always ask them to give me ideas for other vegetable pancakes they could make using the recipe."Carrots!," they'll shout. "Broccoli! Cauliflower! Sweet potato!"

No one ever shouted out turnips--and I never thought to suggest it. But the folks at Specialty Produce gave me a bag filled with beautiful baby gold, pink, and Japanese turnips last week.

And, it occurred to me that they are among the few vegetables that are edible from root to stem. So, not only could I make pancakes from the root, I could also saute the greens for a delicious side dish.

I'm going to assume that like me, you see turnips as one of those root vegetables that you pick up to add to a chicken soup stock, but otherwise ignore. It's been a big mistake for me. These baby turnips in particular are not only very pretty, with their bold colors, they're really delicious. Raw, they're sweet with just a hint of spiciness--kind of like radishes. Cooked, they're melt-in-your mouth sweet.

And, what I especially appreciate about them is that they're low in carbs. So, for dealing with diabetes, I can create dishes that I would otherwise use potatoes for and have something equally delicious but less problematic. So, mashed turnips instead of mashed potatoes. Scalloped turnips. Sauteed turnips. You get the idea. And, I can eat them raw, chopped into a salad. Can't do that with potatoes.

So, I'm a convert. I took a bunch of those gold baby turnips, trimmed and cleaned the greens, rendered the fat from half a slice of diced bacon and sauteed the greens in the fat with garlic and added the bacon pieces and sliced boiled turnips. They were delicious with a scoop of cooked millet.

Later in the week, I grated more turnips and made turnip pancakes--frying some in rendered duck fat and the rest in olive oil. I think I've come up with a competitive latke dish for next Chanukah. Crisp and sweet, they look so pretty from start--grated and then molded into pancakes--to finish.

Making them is very easy--and they're a great way to introduce your kids to a new veggie (and maybe even yourself). Be sure to use a cast iron skillet to get them extra crispy. They're also freezable. Reheat them straight from the freezer in a 350-degree oven until warmed through and crisp.

Baby Turnip Pancakes
(Printable recipe)
Makes about two dozen, three-inch pancakes

1 pound of baby turnips, trimmed but not peeled
6 large green onions, trimmed
3 cloves garlic
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup Panko or seasoned bread crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons fresh, chopped herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil or rendered duck fat for frying

1. Grate the turnips coarsely, using the large holes of a box grater or food processor grater. Put the grated turnips in a colander, set over a bowl, and let the liquid drain from the turnips.
2. Chop the green onions coarsely and add to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Add the garlic and pulse until the onions and garlic are minced.
3. Put all the vegetables in a large bowl and add the Panko, baking powder, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir it all together to fully mix the ingredients.
4. Add the eggs and mix well. The batter should be moist but not runny.
5. Heat 1/4-inch of oil or duck fat in a hot pan. Place a tiny bit of the batter in the pan. If it begins to sizzle, the fat is hot enough for the batter. Use a large spoon and drop the batter into the pan, then flatten into a pancake. Don't crowd the pancakes by putting too many in at one time. Cook for several minutes on each side until the pancakes are golden brown. Put the pancakes on a plate with paper towels placed on top to drain the fat. Then serve (with applesauce, sour cream, or creme fraiche).

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year's Resolution: Keeping the Anvil Over My Head

On New Year's Eve day, I bought my first pair of "skinny" pants, size M, and a black sleeveless cocktail-type dress, size 10. Now for many many women, this isn't anything worth mentioning (except to your girlfriends), let alone relevant to a food blog. But for me, it was huge (pardon the pun) because neither purchase is something I could ever have considered a year ago when I weighed well, well over 200 pounds.

Before: a chunky monkey in 2007. At least Shayna was happy.
But, last March the inevitable happened. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Yes, I say inevitable because a couple of years before I was told I was pre-diabetic. Clearly I was in denial because I made barely an effort to lose the weight that could have prevented the full and permanent onset of what I call my disease of self-indulgence.

The diagnosis in March, however, changed my life. In some ways it was, perversely, the best thing that could have happened to me because I stopped living my life as a slothful eating machine and made a hard right turn. If I was to have a future that didn't include loss of my feet, my vision, kidney functions, or having a stroke or heart attack--all ghastly physiological problems associated with diabetes--I had to take very good care of myself.

By the time I met with my doctor later that month to discuss the diagnosis I had already joined Weight Watchers online and had just begun to take working out as a serious daily endeavor. I think I'd lost about six pounds at that point. By June, I'd lost over 20 pounds and the A1C blood test that measures diabetes fell from extremely bad to just above normal. Nine months into my new life I've lost 60 pounds. To my mind I still have another 30 or so to go. Late next month I have my next A1C test and I'm hoping to hit a normal number.

And that's what I have to focus on this year. Yet, while I'm so tickled to have those new pants, the little black dress, and the hope of good health, with success comes the risk of complacency. I told my friends and family back in March that I felt like I had an anvil hovering over my head and that's what kept me in line, not the promise of smaller sized clothes. But you can't live indefinitely under the threat of imminent danger. Once the perceived threat begins to fade, it's all too easy to regress incrementally into bad habits. That's what I'm fighting now. My immediate goal is not to be thin as a rail; that'll never happen. It is, however, to be at a very healthy weight that leads to a normal A1C result so that my doctor will wean me off the metformin I take three times a day. My long-term goal is to manage my disease of self-indulgence with self control. In other words, commit to a lifetime of good diet and daily intense exercise. This is no mere New Year's resolution.

So, I have to remember things. I have to remember the mortification of sitting in a nutrition class with other newly diagnosed diabetics and of mortification turning into disbelief as participants, also in clear denial, asked the nutritionist if they could still go to McDonald's, still eat their favorite chicken pot pie frozen dinner, still drink Cokes. I have to remember the guy I sat next to at a brunch cooking class I was covering for San Diego Magazine. He downed hefty portions of a croissant bread pudding and stuffed French toast and whatever else was served. I wasn't eating or drinking anything; there wasn't a thing there for me to eat that wasn't full of fat and carbo-loaded and besides I had to measure my blood sugar within the hour. It was a small group and the instructor wouldn't let it go so I finally blurted out in exasperation that I had diabetes and couldn't have the bread pudding, the French toast, or even the proferred glass of orange juice. The guy next to me looked at me like I was a nut case, shrugged, and said, "Oh, I have diabetes, too. I just take my meds and I'm fine. I can eat anything."

Well, let's see if he still has all his toes in a few years. I'm counting on having mine. I need to remember him.

Biology is apparently against me. On Dec. 28, The New York Times published a health story on weight loss called The Fat Trap. According to research, at this point my body is going to do everything it can to try to sabotage my efforts to get rid of that last 30 pounds and try to regain the 60 I've already lost; it will act like I'm starving. My workout won't have as much impact on burning calories. Ghrelin, dubbed "the hunger hormone," will increase while peptide YY, a hormone that suppresses hunger, will decrease. It's why so many people regain weight and why we need to rethink our condescending attitudes toward them. It's not a lack of will power. There are very real biological dynamics going on.

So, I need that hovering anvil swinging over my head if I'm to stay focused, get off the metformin, and wear that new little black dress a year from now or, what I'm actually planning, have it altered to at least a size smaller.

I'm asked a lot how I've managed to take off the weight, especially as a food writer who's always in pretty challenging settings for a diabetic working to shed pounds. The answer is simple--reduce fats, keep portions small, weigh myself regularly (usually twice a week), and exercise. A lot. And, because of the diabetes, I have to drastically limit my carb intake. I'm a fool for carbs but am only allowed 35 grams per meal. I use Weight Watchers online as a tool for tracking diet, weight, and exercise, but it doesn't always help because much of the food I eat--particularly when I go out--isn't easy to measure. So I have to rely on just tasting things or saying no thank you. I also am not shy about explaining this to the people I'm with, including chefs. That way they both know my limitations and back off insisting that I consume everything they set in front of me.

Finally, nothing gets in the way of daily exercise. Not rain or heat. Not clients. Certainly not malaise. In that sense, fear keeps me going. I truly get anxious when there's even the possibility that I can't get on the treadmill in the morning and will do what I have to--get up earlier, reschedule client conference calls, eat breakfast later, whatever--to make sure I get at least half an hour and usually 45 minutes in after a long walk with my dogs. Allowing myself to skip a workout could lead to complacence and I'm petrified that I could easily slip back into my natural sloth mode. I can't afford that.

This, of course, is the time of year for making resolutions, particularly when it comes to weight loss and exercise. So, here are some food-related lessons I've learned that might help you if this is your challenge:
  • Eat mindfully. Only eat what really tastes delicious to you. If you're going to eat pizza, it should be terrific, not crap. It's amazing how much food we consume indiscriminately that we really don't even much like. I found myself easily saying no to things once I got that in my head.
  • Stop eating once you just begin to feel full. I learned this lesson once I started having to prick my fingers three times daily to measure my blood sugar. If I overate--even so-called healthy foods--my blood sugar rose dramatically. I pay attention to how I feel when I'm eating and put down my fork once I just start feeling full. The side benefits are that it leaves me with leftovers and I sleep better now, too, as a result.
  • Enjoy small tastes of favorite foods if you truly can limit them to just small tastes. I can easily have just a small piece or bite of chocolate and I'm good. Same with ice cream. I enjoy sweets but they're not a weakness. A taste is all I need. However, I stay far away from potato chips and other salty/fatty/crispy treats. As the old Lays slogan goes, I can't eat just one. I'm an addict and they're my crack.
  • When you go out to eat, ask if the chef can make a dish for you that is aligned with your needs. Last spring I told chef/owner Matt Gordon of Urban Solace that I was having a hard time eating off his comfort food menu and he told me he'd just gotten some fresh trout--would I like grilled trout on a bed of greens and sliced apples? Why yes! Okay, sure he'd do that for a friend and food writer, but he made a point of telling me he'd do that for any customer and that most chefs should. He emphasized that chefs have the ingredients in the kitchen; there's no excuse for them not to help if the request is within reason. And, by the way, you have no idea how many food issues many chefs have. They get it. Just ask without being too demanding.
  • Look for naturally small portions of favorite foods. I'm so tickled when I can find a little five-ounce russet potato. That means I can enjoy a whole baked potato and for some reason psychologically that's important to me. I look for small chicken pieces, like thighs so I can eat the whole thing. I buy small apples and bananas for the same reason (carbs are carbs and most fruits are full of them so I have to limit my intake of them, too, not just pasta, breads, or sweets).
  • Try easing away from white rice and check out the brown versions. I have come to love the earthy flavors of brown basmati and brown jasmine rice. I also eat whole wheat pasta--but not much of it because even in limited amounts it still makes my blood sugar go up. 
  • Try out various whole grains as a pasta and rice substitute. I love farro, barley, millet, quinoa, and wheat berries. I use them for side dishes; I create salads with them. They have great flavors and textures--they just happen to also be healthy.
  • Vary your diet and experiment with new ingredients, new ethnic foods, new types of produce. Try new recipes and cooking techniques. Fennel bulbs, for instance, can be sliced into salad, but they're also delicious cut in half lengthwise, topped with olive oil and grated parmesan and then roasted.
There are so many truly delicious foods out there that are also healthy that I really don't find myself feeling too deprived most of the time. Yes, there are times I desperately yearn for pizza, tamales, a banh mi sandwich, or a big bowl of pasta but they pass. And I guess that's where the diabetes advantage, if there is one, comes into play. If I were just trying to lose weight to fit into clothes it would be easier to make excuses and indulge big. Knowing I have to measure my blood sugar, knowing that indulgence carries tremendous ramifications for my health, usually keeps me in line. And, when I do indulge, it's still pretty restrained--as in a big bowl of popcorn as opposed to a big bag of chips. Periodically I have a burger or something else I otherwise avoid, but it's infrequent. And many things I used to love--barbecued beef ribs, roasted turkey wings--I no longer have a taste for. (I have to admit to having had a minor meltdown at Trader Joe's in the beginning when, after reading nutrition labels, it looked like everything I loved was out of range for me, but I've since figured out how to shop there; they haven't missed me at all.) In short, I eat well and make the occasional accommodation. After all, this is for life.

The other thing I've learned in this process is that what works for me may not work for you. (And, vice versa; there are a lot of well-meaning people who offer me lots of unsolicited advice. Oh, and, for the record, diabetes doesn't go away; it can be managed without drugs, but it's a chronic disease. Once diagnosed, you always have it.) You should also always consult your doctor before following anyone's advice or suggestions--including the tips I just mentioned.

And--this is very important--nothing you or I say will change what someone else will do, just as no one ever changed my behavior (and, oh, did they try). I have a relative who is suffering from weight problems and another wants me to counsel that person. I said no. Clearly this person is aware of the excess weight and knows that it has to be dealt with. I grew up with well-meaning people trying to "enlighten" me. Having said their peace, they felt better but it would only cause me embarrassment and shame--and send me off to a Costco-size bag of Hawaiian-style potato chips. It would have the same effect on that relative to have me, uh, weigh in. When that person is ready to make a change and wants to talk, I'm there, anytime. But only then. The drive to do it has to come from within. That's the only thing that powers success.

So, on that note, I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year! I hope you wish me luck as I keep moving forward on this journey. And please share any favorite tips you have for leading a healthier life. We can all use them!

At Rancho La Puerta this past October. Much lighter, healthier, and clearly happier.

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