Back to Basics

It’s time to come clean here. We’ve been doing a great job talking about our emotional well being and spiritual growth. We’ve read about motivating ourselves, being a fountain, having enough, filling our buckets, overcoming procrastination and being a friend. I’ve even written about Transcendentalism. But while I’ve been bursting with mysticism and overflowing with creativity, I have been neglecting my physical health a bit. You know – That whole eating well and exercising thing. Stop the eye rolls – I know it’s not as visionary or utopian as some of my other blogs. But it is as important and a big part of our daily lives. AND all that wonderful philosophy is no good if we’re not taking care of ourselves, right?

I heard that groan. But thanks for staying with me on this. I need your help. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing well on my own. But maintaining healthy habits is easier when you have support. When I asked for suggestions about eating breakfast, my faithful readers provided some fabulous ideas! So, here goes!

A couple of weeks before my vacation to Florida, I began walking a little, knowing that there would be lots of it at Disney World. I was out of shape and had assorted aching joints. It really helped! Not only did I walk several miles every day and keep up with everybody else, but my sore joints never felt better! (My only complaint was blisters on the bottom of my feet, which are still healing!)

In addition, I tried to eat a salad for one meal, every day, on vacation. The heat helped me with another goal: To drink lots of water! I enjoyed a few really good meals that were not the healthiest choices, as well as a couple of glasses of wine here and there. Tomorrow, I’ll find out what the scale says, but I am confident that I enjoyed my vacation without gaining any weight!

Now that I am home, I am determined to keep it up. My guest blogger, Angelina, talked about joining Weight Watchers and helping motivate one another. I’m in!

Getting back to basics always helps me focus on good decisions and block out the mind-chaos created by temptations. Eating a big salad every day is a way to ensure I’m eating my veggies. I chop all sorts of good things in the bowl – Broccoli, summer squash, peppers – just about anything! Make sure you add protein to keep you satisfied: Lean turkey breast or beans are my favorites. Olive oil makes the perfect, healthful dressing. You can add balsamic or rice vinegar, or make your own herbal vinegar!

The first thing I cooked when I got home from vacation was a big batch of Taco Soup. It’s tasty and filling, not to mention packed with protein and fiber. Start your meal with it and you’ll eat less. It makes a good snack, too.

Yesterday, I put my sneakers on and hit the road. I walked two miles! Not a marathon, by any stretch, but a good start for someone out of shape. It kicked my butt (especially the hills!) but I felt great afterward.

So, that’s how I am getting back to basics: Salad, Taco Soup and Walking. Who’s with me? Share your ideas for staying on track and I’ll check back in with you later in the week! 

Taco Soup
2 – 32oz containers low sodium chicken broth

1 packet Taco seasoning

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dip/dressing mix

2 – small cans Refried beans

1 – large can black beans, rinsed and drained (or kidney beans or any combination of beans)

1 – large can petite diced tomatoes

2 cups corn, frozen or canned

Optional: Chopped chicken breast (Makes it more of a meal, by itself)

  1. Over medium heat, warm broth and whisk in the 2 seasoning packets
  2. Add the Refried beans and break apart with the whisk or a wooden spoon
  3. Add the remaining Ingredients and heat through 
  4. Enjoy!


17 thoughts on “Back to Basics

  1. You are doing exactly what I did to lose weight. It has been almost 2 years of walking, being aware of what I eat and drinking lots of water. It is something that can be done and eventually becomes routine. I feel healthier than I have felt in years. And the walking is only an issue in winter and rainy days. I have access to a treadmill and elliptical, but just do not like them. Outside is best. Keep on keeping on, you can do it!

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  2. A salad for one meal as well as elimination of junk food, processed food and wheat flour worked for me until I got cocky before the holidays. Now I have 12 pounds to loose again. I’ll be having some of that soup, one of my favorites !

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  3. Oh boy, does this post ever sound like me! It is so difficult to lose weight after 60. I have been going to the gym everyday for about a month walking for an hour on the treadmill, 2-3 miles on the bike, weight training, etc but have NOT lost a pound. I wish we had a walking group I could be part of close to my home or even 15-20 minutes away. Support is what I need. Also, I HATE to cook and I HATE making salads! I usually buy the pre-made at Market Basket but even then I have trouble enjoying one without Blue Cheese dressing! LOL! I will be making the Taco Soup!

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    1. It’s a lot of work, but well worth the effort! I applaud your exercise! Even if you’re not seeing the results on the scale, you are much healthier for it, Candace! I had a hard time kicking the blue cheese, too, but I still indulge once in a while!!


  4. Congratulations Barbara on your new healthy journey! The one thing I’ve found is that I sometimes dread going to my Jazzersize class but I never regret it when I’ve finished! It always make me feel so much better after. The trick is finding something you like doing like dancing and walking. As you know I gave recently embarked on the Bone Builders excersize program. It is far from easy for me I am very sore. But I know in time I will be stronger. My goal is to have three cardio days (Jazzersize) and two weight lifting days (Bone Builders) And by becomeing an instructor it will make me more accountable! Also watching what I eat mostly my portions size! I am such a foodie! I love to eat! This is a big goal!! But with the support of each other I know we can do it! Wish me luck. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You don’t need luck because you are awesome! And motivated!! Go Deb!!! You’ll be helping others while getting healthier yourself – It’s a win/win!! Go girl!


    1. Yes Connie I’m training as we speak to be a leader for Bone Builders of R.I. It is an osteoperosis prevention excersize program using weights and balance excersize. I am very excited. 🙂

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  5. Okay, so Babs…I’m in on the Taco Soup! My fear is that with many of us making taco soup, the market is going to run out of ingredients! LOL It’s so very strange that today’s blog talks about healthy eating and exercise. I was planning on asking Carmen when she returns from vacation in Nashville to do a healthy eating and exercise plan together so we can support one another. Really I was! So I have to collect my thoughts and figure out a plan. Planning is a big issue for me (as well as others, I’m sure.) I have to “plan” to “plan.” So if I can get my act together and plan, I should be on a roll. What I like to do is really try hard with the healthy eating during the week so as I can ease up a bit on the weekend. Not go hog wild…just maybe be a little less stringent. I find that if I can do this, I don’t beat myself up for a treat on the weekends if the opportunity lends itself. Now I know some people wouldn’t agree with this method, but I know for me, if I pass on a piece of strawberry cheesecake on the weekend, but then beat myself up on Monday and end up “pigging out” I am no better off. Enough about food! As for exercise, I figure NOW is the time to walk before we get to a sweltering 100 degree temp this summer. So that’s the plan at night. I have a friend who has a walking buddy in her neighborhood and everyday they walk. How wonderful is that? Hopefully Carmen will become my walking buddy! So thanks for posting. One more thing, I really would like to know who this Angelina is…Angelina, please come forth!

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  6. Good job Barbara, keep on truckin’ Great all that walking. I start a walking regimin, and then all of a sudden it goes down the tube. The taco soup sounds great. I’m going to start looking at some of my old “eat right” recipes and will forward them to you. See you Thursday. Want to hear more about your vaca.

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  7. First, congrats Barb on back to basics. Everyone is a little different about works for them. For me, weighing myself almost every day, except on vacation, motivates me to keep on track. I also pay attention to serving size. In today’s world, portions are way out of wack in restaurants. In other words, measure, count, and read labels. If you want chips, count out the number you get in a serving and try your best to close the bag, put it away, and savor the ones you have. I do sometimes get teased about my OCD tendencies to count and measure, but it works for me. I encourage everyone to find what works for you!!

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