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Eating Well and Getting Fit While Working Hard

Like so many of us, I work a lot. Always have, since I first started school at age 5, and especially since going away to college for pre-med. I love my work, and it's taken me wonderful places and given me much. But it takes a toll on health. Long work days (and nights) and business travel make keeping up with good intentions for nutrition and exercise a challenge. At 58 I'm a couple of years from retirement, and want to be healthy enough when I do retire to enjoy travel and leisure for a while. So I know that I need to make some changes and do a better job of applying what I know about being healthy to the realities of every day life.

This year I'll be writing about what I eat, how I prepare it, what exercise I do, and what I do for the soul, along with what happens at work and to my health and fitness. I'm a public health doctor. My job is keeping the 7 million people who live around Houston, Texas healthy and safe. I work with great people - epidemiologists, veterinarians, physicians, nurses, and public health analysts and officials in state and local government and the CDC, and with the public. We work to stop epidemics before they start, to prepare for natural and man-made disaster responses, to link people to health care services they need, and to help neighborhoods, cities, and counties build structures and communities that promote health. So I want to apply good health principles better to my daily life, both so that I keep up the pace of this job, and so that I can enjoy life more, now and later. Please join me as we see how it goes.

Day 1: 1 January 2016
Weight: 163.5
Food: It's New Year's Day, and the tradition of my people is black-eyed peas. If we eat them on this day each year, it's supposed to bring good luck. And, they're delicious, nutritious, inexpensive, and go great with cornbread. I've attached screenshots from the iPhone app I use to track calories and nutrients called Lose It! 

My Black-eyed peas recipe: 
One package dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in water then rinsed
Four strips of bacon (the thick cut type) - fry in an iron skillet, reserve the bacon drippings in the skillet
One medium onion (I use the ones on sale - this time yellow) cooked in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, until starting to get translucent
Add the black-eyed peas and 6 cups of water, bring to an almost-boil
Cover and simmer for 1 hour 20 minutes on low
Add 2 cups of chopped fresh greens (I added arugula, oregano, sage, and chives from my patio garden), turn off heat, cover, and let sit while making the cornbread
Salt to taste

Cornbread: Martha Stewart's iron skillet recipe  http://www.marthastewart.com/355583/skillet-cornbread
which she says makes 16 wedges (that made us laugh - we got 8 at most...) - except leave out the sugar (really, people...) and instead of the butter use the bacon drippings
While the oven is pre-heating to 425 degrees F, put the iron skillet in there with the bacon drippings and let it heat up. Mix up the cornbread in a glass or metal bowl - not plastic - and pour the hot bacon drippings (carefully) into the batter. Then pour the batter into the skillet, bake for 20-25 minutes, until a knife comes out clean. 

Then put a slice of warm cornbread in a bowl, ladle some black-eyed peas over, add a little spice if you want (I used Louisiana brand hot sauce, but Sriracha, jarred salsa, Tabasco - any of these would work)

Enjoy while watching New Year's day football and parades with a glass of Champagne (we had Laurent-Perrier, which turns out to be the official champagne of the Prince of Wales...)
 
Exercise: a hike through the Hermann Park Zoo and gardens in Houston with my daughter, 1 hour - see the app screenshot below (I use Runtastic)

For the soul: Cooking with my daughter, doing a bit of light housework and laundry, a hike through the zoo, Eva Longoria's hilarious new show Telenovela, and the newest episode of the BBC's Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, written by the amazing Mark Gattis and Steven Moffat
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Julie Graves Moy,
Jan 2, 2016, 6:20 AM
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Julie Graves Moy,
Jan 2, 2016, 6:20 AM
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Julie Graves Moy,
Jan 2, 2016, 6:20 AM
ą
Julie Graves Moy,
Jan 2, 2016, 6:20 AM
ą
Julie Graves Moy,
Jan 2, 2016, 6:20 AM
ą
Julie Graves Moy,
Jan 2, 2016, 6:20 AM
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