Art of the Diet with Claude Monet -episode 174

Monet may not be my Fitness Coach but creating a side dish of multiple contrasting colors is spectacular

The Art of the Diet with Claude Monet. You can listen to the podcast below.

No, it's not his fitness routine or low- fat recipes. It's his love of food, how it looks, and how it is prepared.

What impressed me was the care and attention he gave to food and its preparation as well as presentation. Obviously, his famous gardens in Giverny reflect this spectacular sense of color.

He guided all the designs for contrasting colors, shapes and textures and complementary groupings of all his plants and flowers. I come away from my research with the sense that his recipes reflect the same aesthetic needs.

I am determined to prepare one new side dish a day for the month of February that appeals to me on an aesthetic as well as taste level.  And, I think some new place settings or serving dishes for these side dishes might be in order as well as repainting my dining room, kitchen, maybe buying a house in Giverny and planting a 2 and 1/2 acre vegetable garden…

Yes, I've gone a bit mad for the color of Monet’s food, house, and, of course, his gardens. 

Pat Coakley

Maybe you’ll be inspired to add a dash of color to your plate as well. It is these small tweaks that keep me on this maintenance road with a certain sense of joy that combats the boredom or structure that is inevitably needed to be successful.

If anyone knows sources for fun vegetable or side dish plates, email me. Honestly, this photo of a chilled Asparagus Salad with Olives, Capers and Orange on THAT plate just kills me. And, I don't like capers or olives but I'm going to try it.

Monet's Palate Cookbook-Aileen Bordman & Derek Kell

For those of you who are signed up for this podcast with email notification, I'm going to be sending you a newsletter that I am now doing weekly on my website. That website is the hub of the wheel of my different creative ventures. Some of you have written inquiring about that part of my life as well as about weight maintenance issues. Some follow me on my art of the diet Instagram as well as @thephotogardener on Instagram.

At any rate, the weekly newsletter is called, “Notes from My Bunker” and I'll be sending out one of the newsletters to my email list for Art of the Diet and let you decide if you want to sign up to receive the weekly one. There will be a link at the bottom of the newsletter to subscribe or you can do so here.

PBS has a show called “The Art Assignment” and it took several artists and tried to reproduce the food they would eat. This particular episode on Monet was hilarious to me as the one doing the cooking on each of the recipes seemed unable to execute any of them! They still looked like they tasted good, though!

What’s Next on the Fun Agenda? ArtoftheDiet 173

What’s Next on The Fun Agenda?

2020 begins with a cartoon question that I saw recently on an artist’s Instagram account. His name was “clownchic”. His character answered it by simply stating “Abstinence”.

I laughed out loud as this character looked like he had abused every illegal substance available.

After the holidays, don’t we all feel this way?

Yes, but.

I cannot deal with another self help strategy, my own included.

So, in 2020, I am focusing in literally on “Art of the Diet”. Artists who have tackled food, glorious food, food issues not so glorious, addiction issues, LIFE issues in their art and they have resonated with my own issues in some way.

This month I discuss several artists. Philip Guston, Samara Golden, Dana Schutz, Wayne Theibaud, David Shrigley, Francisco de Goya.

The podcast art for this month is a wall hanging/teatowel that I designed as a calendar for 2020 and that is for sale.

Pat's Year of Anxiety Calendar TeaTowel.

2020 is the Year of Anxiety for me as I turn 75 and it’s a presidential election year in the US.

A quote from a woman attending a MAGA rally in Minnesota sums up my concern. “I can't really say that anything he says is true, but I trust him.” How much anxiety can an ol’girl take and maintain a 60 lb weight loss? We’ll find out.

Email me if you have art that has helped you understand this phenomenon! Eating, aging or political issues.

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The Keep It Simple Diet. Podsnacks/Art of the Diet 172

Anyone who has maintained a significant weight loss for years gets asked variations of this question frequently: “What diet do you recommend? ”

This month's podcast is a riff on my most recent answer to a friend who asked.

Here's basically 10+ years of advice in three words: Keep It Simple.

 All I know is losing weight can happen with a variety of national as well as speciality programs, WW, Paleo, Keto, Noom, online programs, meeting programs,  but keeping the weight off is the real challenge.

We get tired of whatever program helped us lose the initial weight and fatigue sets in when contemplating learning a whole different program.  You don't want to spend lots of time figuring out new programs? Oh, I totally get that. So, here’s my Lucy5 cents.

Begin by adding a couple of behaviors to your daily routines.  

  1. Weigh yourself every day.  Non negotiable. Every day whether you want to or not and write it down.  Leave a notebook in the same room as the scale. “Awareness” is the initial goal not necessarily whether you have gained or lost.  Find out where you are at from one week to the next.  Take the pressure off to “lose” weight. Just find out what your body does week to week.

I suspect if you are asking this question, you already know what “foods” to avoid as much as possible and what foods to increase.  In fact, most folks who have dieted on a regular basis can give seminars on the topic.

  • 2. So, I would pick one “truth” about yourself with respect to food and implement that.  Sometimes, people implement diet regimes that eliminate entire food groups, like grains or sugars. I've certainly done that periodically. But, if you don’t want to give something totally up, just have one serving of it per day.

If sugar, just one drink. Or one cookie.  If bread, just bread at breakfast, or lunch, or snack.  Balance is the thing that has long term effects but it is hard to do with trigger foods so I have found allowing them in on daily basis is good psychologically but on a limited basis so you can achieve your goals.

A “small” example: I occasionally buy a small snack  bag of Cheez-Its- not a whole box.  I don’t mean buy a big box of snack portions, either!  One snack bag in the house at a time!  Eliminating them entirely only has a certain shelf life in terms of livability for most of us but I have found allowing them but in limited size works for me.  Sometimes, in the winter, I put trigger foods in garage and since I have to suit up with boots and coat to get them, I don’t go most of the time!!  It’s called “Hiding the Marshmallows!”  Out of access and sight makes for healthier choices.

So, my best counsel is if you are dreading the whole challenge of losing weight, don’t approach it as a whole new system, just add some simple tweaks of behavior to your daily behaviors.  In the long run, my will power runs out of gas but habits of behavior can prop me up.

3. And, most importantly, add a little kindness to yourself as you begin.  

Wanting to lose weight is generally embarked on because of some negativity, judgment, and finger pointing and exhaustion at the mere thought of “having” to do it.  None of that negative stuff helps you in the long run. Do you always invite “Debbie Downer” to your parties?  No, you don’t.  So, don’t indulge in the teeth grinding thoughts of the challenge.

A little compassion and kindness to yourself as you hide the marshmallows is all you need.

And, a sense of humor won't hurt.