Review: The With or Without Meat Cookbook

Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN.  The With or Without Meat Cookbook: The Flexible Approach to Flavorful Diabetes Cooking.  Alexandria, VA: American Diabetes Association, 2014.  $18.95.

Recipes in The With or Without Meat Cookbook are flexible, full of flavor and simple.  Jackie Newgent has included 125 recipes that cover all meals as well as starters and snacks. Every recipe is plant based and is accompanied by tips on adding meat, poultry or fish.  Nutrition is balanced and meet guidelines for diabetic eating. Recipes include information on exchanges with or without meat.  Tips include ways to add meat to just one serving and to the full recipe.

The introduction explains the concept of flextarianism, someone who eats plant based but also eats poultry, fish or meat from time to time.  Recipes  generally serve 4 and can be easily divided to include meats.  Full of vegetables and whole grains, the recipes are appropriate for diabetics or for anyone who is seeking healthy options for meals.  Tips about how to include more vegetables as well as information about eating a plant based diet are also featured in the introduction.

Caribbean Black Bean Bowl is one example of an easy, flavorful meal.  Ingredients include sweet potato, green bell peppers, gingerroot, garlic, scallions, black beans and grape tomatoes.  This is prepared as a stir fry and is quick to fix.  It also includes several spices, giving it a distinctive taste.  Adding brown rice can make this a complete meal or you cn use the options included for adding pork.  (I will add the recipe when I have a chance to scan it.)

I highly recommend this cookbook.

carribean blackbean

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Intention: From the heart

This postcard hangs on my bulletin board above my desk.   I wrote it at the end of one of Jay O’Callahan’s wonderful workshops by the sea many years ago.  Several weeks after the workshop, Jay mailed the cards to us to remind us what our intentions were over the weekend.

intentionsOver the past few weeks I have been realizing that I need to return to the work that comes from my heart – the work of story. I am not sure how or where it will lead, but I know that my heart yearns for stories and once again to tell stories and teach others to tell their own stories. There is such power in being able to voice what you know and what comes from your heart.

I am not sure which of Jay’s workshops I was at when I wrote this card since I can’t read the date on the front but I know where I was living so it had to have been at least 10 years ago that I set these intentions.  Over the years that I worked with Jay I developed wonderful tales from my childhood memories as well as my story about Annie Edison Taylor, the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and live to tell others about it. (She was from my hometown.)  Other stories were about family and neighbors.  I think the one that remains a favorite was about the sense of community in the neighborhood I lived in at the time. It was titled, “48 dogs and 96 cats” and really centered on the story of the day the neighborhood gathered to bury my friend MJ’s dachshund, Fritz. Our pets were not just four legged animals; they were family and they meant a great deal to not only the owners but to others in the neighborhood.

Personal stories are not the only ones in my repertoire, however.  I also love to develop renditions of traditional tales, both fairy and folk.  I know I will find a way to tell these again as well. One of my favorite periods of time with story was the 8 weeks I spent teaching and coaching a group of 5th graders. They were lively, fun, and still uninhibited and unafraid.  The experience was joyful and watching them tell their stories at the final concert was delightful. I hope they have carried stories with them. This group is probably in their early 20’s if I have done the math correctly.

So I am keeping my heart open to the opportunities that I know will come.  I’ll let you know what happens.

many hearts

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Into the Woods: Journey into the woods of our soul

helen millie dougTwo volumes, one green and one red, nestled in their case and rested on the second shelf of the bookcase. These were among the first treasured books that were shared with me and read to me by my sister.  One volume was Grimm and the other Anderson. Words, images, stories crept into my soul at a young age. She took me to Sage Library for my first library card, opening up the world at large through printed pages and what seemed like an unlimited number of books from my five year old point of view.

Stories were followed by music -West Side Story, Camelot, Man of LaMancha, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles. She introduced me to all of these.  Later, she introduced me to art. We share a love of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks,  Winslow Homer’s Snap the Whip, John Singleton Copley’s Watson and the Shark (don’t ask, who knows why) and Peto’s doors  among many others. Helen  took me to my first Broadway plays,  42nd Street and Sunday in the Park with George. Our seats were so close to the stage at the second play that we joked that Mandy Patinkin could spit on us.  I have loved the play ever since. She influenced my teaching though I was never the stellar teacher that she was for over 40 years.

What does this have to do with Into the Woods? Or a Journey into the woods of our soul?  Everything.  Into the Woods, the Sondheim and Lapine play based on Grimm tales, was the first selection for God on Broadway this year.  As I sat and listened to some selections and sang others yesterday I remembered one of the gifts my sister gave me – Broadway musicals, including this one.  But I was also reminded that she is currently on her own journey into the woods.  She has been ill and it will take time, will and hope for her to heal.  I was reminded that the original Grimm tales are dark and full of human tragedy, not the Disney happily ever after versions society knows now.  Life can be difficult.  I hope she finds her way through the woods.  I hope she knows that I have always watched and listened and that I have learned so much from her throughout my life.

I hope she knows that she won’t be entirely along on her journey. Many will be with her hoping for the best, because truly, No One is Alone.


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Kids + dirt=Vegetables! Druid City Garden Project

One of my very favorite projects is the Druid City Garden Project.  They are focused on teaching children about healthy eating, sustainability and  entrepreneurship through teaching gardens at schools.  It is a way to teach science and math to children that is fun and practical. There are now gardens at several schools in Tuscaloosa.  This past Saturday I experienced the joy of assisting with building raised beds at the Tuscaloosa Magnet School for their new garden. We worked alongside and with the children who will benefit from the gardens.  It was a fantastic morning.

I love this project because the staff and volunteers don’t just talk about the importance of health and providing children with opportunities to learn about and experience healthy eating, they carry out the mission and make it happen.  I have heard a number of stories from Lindsay Turner, the executive director, about children’s amazement when they pull up a carrot for the first time or eat a vegetable they never knew existed or work at the farm stand. I have purchased organic beets and kale from the Market that were wonderful and tasted so much better because I knew the work that had gone into growing and producing them.

Teaching children better habits will help them as they grow up.  Hopefully it will help prevent or lessen childhood obesity as well as other diseases that we are now seeing as a society in younger people and children.  Action and positive role models make a difference.

DCGP relies on volunteers as well as staff to carry out their mission.  Join in. If you are not familiar with the project, check out the link in the first sentence.  And buy a ticket to the Garden Party on September 14th, the DCGP major fundraiser.

dirtbuldsnows bend quote

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Missing puzzle pieces: Alignment and breathing

streamlineSwimmers know that the streamline position is fundamental. So is breathing.  I have known this but everything seemed to click after my return from California.  Sam and I have worked hard on improving my stroke for months – extending, leading with my hip, tucking my head, and pulling water.  It was coming together and my swims were improving but I often still found myself gasping for air as I swam, or at least feeling like I was doing so. I was also over thinking and Sam can usually tell when I am doing that and reminds me not to think so much.

I have already written about the marvelous massages I had after Barb’s Race.  The thing is that Douglas Canier didn’t just give me a massage; he talked me through breathing and had me paying attention to how I was breathing.  There are times when I feel like I am forgetting to breath but it is just the way my body is responding to breath.  There are times when I feel like I am gasping for air when I swim, run or cycle.  What I have discovered since coming home is that if I think about my breath then it slows and becomes regular. I don’t find myself gasping in the pool or open water. (Or not as much.  I don’t have this perfected yet.)  Breath brings a calmness to my body and activity. When my breath is right, the other elements of my stroke start to fall in place because I am not over thinking or struggling to get it right.

The other piece we talked about was alignment. This is certainly something Sam has talked to me about many times with my swim but, again, it finally clicked as Douglas talked to me and I have started thinking about aligning my spine perfectly which improves my extension. Aligning and leading with my hip is helping me propel through the water faster. I am still a slower swimmer than many others but I took five minutes off my mile time by adding these thoughts and practices to my repertoire.  Last weekend I swam my fastest 1.2 mile time in the Savannah River (32 minutes).  The current helped, as always, but so did adding thinking about alignment and breath.  Alignment helps everything else I have worked on fall perfectly into place.

I have also started thinking about these elements as I run and cycle. Being conscious in my breath has been helping me reduce the anxiety I sometimes feel about speed (or lack of it) and is helping me focus and gain energy. Alignment also contributes to better form and being more relaxed through the movements.

What I am finding one more time is that with gentle reminders and the right timing, I am bringing together years of practice in many areas into my present life and activities.  My musical education taught me how to breath and sit and stand straight.  James tells us to breath in the space as we sing and rehearse. I have to notice where the spaces are for breath, however. Carolyn Heines taught me to stack the bones in my spine in her amazing yoga classes. Alexander Technique and voice lessons with Charlotte Anderson made me aware of my body in totally different ways than any other practices had.

The appropriate end for this post seems to be Namaste for all who have helped me this far on my journey.


Posted in Body Tuning, change, Douglas Canier, running, Sam, swimming, training, triathlon | Tagged | Leave a comment

Posts coming soon

My schedule has been a bit hectic and I left my computer at work last night so I didn’t have a chance to finish a post I have been working on for a few days.  I needed an evening without technology though – rest and renewal.  There are several things on my mind that I plan to post in the few weeks so I thought I would just give you a list of what I am thinking about:

  • The post I have been working on is about alignment and breath.  It is tri related and also related to things I have talking about with Douglas.
  • Discerning my journey and call
  • Comfort zones with my body
  • Sleep, rest and renewal
  • Three reviews (overdue) for ADA cookbooks.

These topics will keep me busy writing over the next few weeks. To wrap up this summary, here is a quote I have been thinking about for a few days:




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Things that make my heart smile: Wrap up of Tri Camp

I had planned on writing my usual race report kind of wrap up about my weekend in Augusta for Tri Camp.  You know, two swims in the river with a PR on Saturday (32 min.), a run that was not so great, and a ride that got me back in the saddle physically and mentally.  I nailed nutrition this weekend, on and off the course, and was able to get some advice about treating my knee pain. And before I miss this point:  TriCoach Georgia puts on a fantastic camp.   Brian Patterson did an awesome job and the TriAugusta club was their usual gracious and amazing selves, welcoming everyone to town.

Then I saw this on the Augusta 70.3 page that I follow:

“We really enjoyed helping out yesterday at the Ride for a Reason. It was really great for my daughters to see so many strong women athletes out there. They kept talking about all the girl riders on the way home. Well done Ladies!! Nothing against the men, I’m sure they will be talking about them soon enough lol.”

That made my whole weekend worthwhile.  It made my heart smile … and sing a little too.  One of my passions is being a role model for girls and encouraging girls to be strong. There were many strong women cyclists on the course on Sunday – far stronger than I am. I am so glad the girls noticed and that we were good examples.  It reminds me once more that we never know who is watching and who we influence – or how we influence them.

pine log rd

Stopping at the aide station.

Millie and Katie

Millie and Katie

So, that made my weekend.  But there was more that made the weekend great. When Katie Hansen saw that I was coming to camp she offered me a place to stay for the weekend.   That was so sweet.  I had a great time hanging out with her, her family and her fur babies.  I appreciate that her son, Justin, gave up his room for me for the weekend.  Katie and I shared book titles, talked about scrap booking, and about racing. Such a fun time!

I saw lots of old friends and met several new friends.  I connected in person with people who I have been chatting with on Facebook.  It was great to finally meet Lester Benitez, who has been so supportive and gave me some great advice on timing nutrition for my races last year. I also met Stephani, who coaches with my friend Neal, and met my cousin’s friend, Debbie.  (We tried to get her to come.  Next year, Dionne!)  Of course, my faithful buddies from TriAugusta were there too –  too many to name but I always have to mention Jeff Spires who is so fantastic to everyone from out of town.  I loved seeing Lisa, Allison, Kim and Charlie, and so many other people.

Lester, Devon, and Jeff.

Lester, Devon, and Jeff.

Julie and Stephani - post ride

Julie and Stephani – post ride







Carrie rescued a kitten during the ride.

Carrie rescued a kitten during the ride.

A huge group, organized by Shawna Block, went to dinner on Saturday night.  It was lots of fun to hang out with everyone.

Tri friends

Tri friends

And last, but not least,  I got photo bombed by Jason Stine!  (all around great guy and my friend Shawna’s dorky coach, who we all love and love to tease).


Shawna, Jason, Millie

I met so many other great people.  It was a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing many people back in Augusta in 7 weeks and cheering for those who are racing Chattanooga on the same day.  It will be another great weekend.  I’ll end the post with something I saw on a car during the run on Saturday.  It really circles back to the point that made me weekend.  Be strong.  Be who you are.  You are beautiful.

be your own kind of beautiful





Posted in Augusta 70.3, bikes, camp, change, passion, races, training, triathlon, TriAugusta | Tagged , , | Leave a comment