August 20, 2015

Sharing What Works For Me...

Brynwood Needleworks - Fruit and Vegetables
Just over a month ago, I made a commitment to a healthier, more deliberate eating plan. I wasn't thinking "diet". Instead, I decided that I needed to change the way I think about and look at food.

Two weeks after I started, I had my annual doctor's appointment, and already the benefits were evident, with much improved blood test results. I was off to a great start.
Brynwood Needleworks - Fish and Meats
Then, one of my dear blog friends (who many of you also know through her writings) Dawn Edmondson of The Feathered Nest, decided to start a Facebook page and invited me to join.

It's called "Eating Healthy, Low Carb & Sharing What Works" (the name is a link). 

I found old friends there, and invited some of my own friends to join, as well. It's a great place for getting and sharing ideas and support for each other. It's "perfectly Dawn"!

The first two pictures are the result of my shopping trip to our local Amish market (Detwiler's) in Venice, Florida yesterday. All this glorious, colorful, healthy food (and the $12.99 succulent plant!) for slightly over $125.00, and this shopping trip will provide two meals a day for more than a week. Not bad!

***The raw honey in the back of this picture is a surprise for Handsome. This is a Sarasota product, with the bees collecting pollen from orange blossoms. mmm mmm! The jar next to it is Siesta Salsa, which I also use as a salad topping.
Brynwood Needleworks - Chicken Curry
Handsome is in Wisconsin right now, so the first dish I made while he's away was my own version of Chicken Curry. He's not a fan, so it's one of the things I enjoy in his absence.

I also create a side dish that is called "Raita" in East Indian cuisine. It has shredded carrots, baby peas, cabbage and chopped beets. Just right with the curry.
Brynwood Needleworks - Scallops and Brussels Sprouts
After shopping at our Amish market, I made sauteed' scallops with scallions; roasted Brussels sprouts; a side dish of avocado and heirloom baby tomatoes. I finished with a dessert of stewed fresh rhubarb, seasoned with Stevia, my homemade vanilla, cinnamon and topped with whipped cream.

It sounds decadent, doesn't it? Under the low carb (I chose Atkins to follow) plans, it's all allowed! So you don't think I'm feeding an army here, I served my scallops/sprouts on a 6" square plate and my side dishes are small berry bowls. It's a little hint to trick your mind into thinking you're actually eating more because your plates look full.
Brynwood Needleworks - Upscaled Tuna Salad
Lunches are healthy salads, like this tuna salad I made with a simple blend of Duke's mayonnaise and celery mixed into the tuna. I then topped a bed of lettuce with a nice scoop of the salad, and garnished with walnuts, chopped apples and shredded cheddar cheese.
Brynwood Needleworks - Meatballs and Cauliflower
Publix makes the most delicious meatballs that they sell raw in their meat department. I almost always have a package of them in our freezer for quick meal options. I made this batch into a stroganoff-type mixture and then served it over mashed cauliflower (blended with butter and cheddar cheese). Peas over the top were a nice finish.
Brynwood Needleworks - Chicken Kiev with a filling side salad
In a low carbohydrate diet, dairy is encouraged...whole cream, half and half, sour cream and cheese in moderation. Protein choices are meats, fish, and nuts, and vegetables add color, fiber and texture to meals. Anything "white" is to be avoided...sugar, potatoes, flour, breads, rice, and pastas. Juices and high sugar fruits in moderation. Anything "low fat" actually has added sugar, so avoid those items, too.
Brynwood Needleworks - Sonny's Sliced Pork, Sweet Potato and Broccoli
The reason I gravitate to this food plan is because it's easy to know what to eat (mainly by knowing what to avoid). I don't have to count calories and I'm not constantly thinking about food. I'm learning to "eat to live" rather than "live to eat" (the way I was raised). 
Brynwood Needleworks - Grilled Cheeseburger
The other component to this lifestyle change is that you don't need to feel guilty about eating something not in the plan once in a while. You just don't do it every day.

In the month since I started changing my eating habits, I have lost 14 pounds. Changing my outlook about food will continue to benefit my overall health, so I'm doubly motivated to keep on track.

Don't worry. This isn't becoming a "foody" blog. I only wanted to share this aspect of my life that helps support me so that I can accomplish all those other things that bring you back to visit the time I spend in the studio.

These photos were all taken to share in our Facebook group. Many of the members share meal photos...and then share recipes, too. If you would like to join Dawn's group, you can click here and ask to be added. You'll find the group to be welcoming and generous, just like our leader.

Oh, and apologies right now if scrolling through these images has made you hungy. I only hoped to inspire, not tease. If you'd like any of my "recipes", just let me know and make sure I have your email address so I can respond.

Now it's time to get back to playing in the studio. I'm going to make more dresses today. Friday is our deadline!


  1. Thank you Donna Dear for sharing your new healthy eating lifestyle. I have been accepted to Dawn's FB Group. I will continue my Weight Watcher journey because it works for me, however it is always good to get fresh new ideas for meals. Congratulations on your amazing weight loss and better numbers in just one short month. Glorious Life Awaits...

  2. Thank you very much Donna for sharing your Healthy Eating Lifestyle and it looks as though you excel in cooking skills as well as sewing skills so this says you are a woman of many talents! I really need to lose some weight but have always found it difficult but looking at the meals you have prepared they are very inspiring and what pretty blue and white China you have!! Am having some bad luck with health issues so maybe following this eating plan will help and have requested to join the Facebook group so see what happens.

  3. I did something like this, cutting out white sugar and white flour, and serving sizes no bigger than my fist for the last 18 months and lost 80 pounds, got off three medications, and have a ton of energy.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment today. I'm using new settings on my comments so that I might respond to your messages to me. Be sure to come back to see my replies!

Blessings, Donna