vegetables in the garbageI am a big fan of NPR. I tend to listen to it when I’m driving, riding my bike, or sewing. I like hearing the news, listening to various shows such as Diane Rehm, Fresh Air, All Things Considered, and Marketplace. I also enjoy listening to Click and Clack banter back and forth on Car Talk. My vocabulary is challenged by the hosts and audience on A Way with Words.

As I was sewing last night and listening to Marketplace, I heard an interesting fact. According to The American Chemistry Council,  Americans are throwing away about $640 of food on average each year.

Which made me wonder? What do I throw away most often? I rarely throw away leftovers. I don’t think I’ve ever had to throw away a bag of chips or a box of cereal. Hank drinks our milk before it has time to go bad. In fact, he finished off the buttermilk the other day because it was getting close to it’s drink by date.

You know what I throw away most often? Herbs, fruits, and veggies. I tend to buy more than we actually eat, and this is worse, there are lots of times that I never get around to making the recipe for which I bought the veggies. And every time I throw fruits and veggies away, I’m thinking that I’m throwing away vitamins, minerals, fiber that is filled with flavor! It’s food that actually feeds my body what it needs!

So, what’s a girl to do? I could plan better, eat what’s here instead of going out, or throw those veggies into the blender and make a smoothie.

What about you? What is it that you are throwing away? Could you come up with a back-up plan for those foods?

Today’s workout…..

I’m currently doing a workout from called “Building your Beach Body.” It’s a three day split with upper and lower body workouts.  I had to cut the workout short in order to make it to one of my classes but this is what I did today:

Somewhere in the middle of this workout, I just wanted to quit! Not only was I running out of energy, I also had the nagging thought that none of this really matters anyway so why bother pushing myself. And then I thought of this scripture:

She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.  Proverbs 31:17

So I looked up the scripture and took a moment to really think about it….. (Thank goodness for iPhones and Bible apps!) This one workout does matter. I’m doing exactly what the scripture instructs me to do by making my arms strong and firm.  And it matters even more when I take the time to align my spirit and soul to the physical me who is working really hard.

You see, I am convinced that this physical body of mine ought to be a representation of my inward spirit and mental well-being. I’m not saying that I should look like one of the fitness models in my Oxygen magazine but I definitely should be doing everything within my power to be the best Sharon that I can be – body, soul, and spirit.

Today I allowed the woman in this scripture to challenge me to push through my workout and align myself to God’s word…….

Speaking of this Proverbial Proverbs 31 woman, I can’t help but wonder how I would respond if I were to meet her in real life. I think she would be intimidating if I didn’t take the time to get to know her. But if I were to gather up my courage and introduce myself I’m pretty sure that she would be more than willing to be a mentor and friend.

Maybe, like me,  there’s a real Proverbs 31 woman in your life that you’ve been afraid to introduce yourself to….. If so, I’m hoping that this post encourages you to gather up your courage and introduce yourself to this amazing lady. I’m sure that there is a lot that she can teach you. And it wouldn’t be a one way street – there is a lot that you can share with her.

Always remember this – when we align spirit, soul, and body then we too become that Proverbs 31 woman. I know very little about Melissa McCarthy. I don’t watch Mike and Molly. And I don’t know that I’ve seen her in any other television show or movie. I am not nor have I ever been a Saturday Night Live fan. Truth be told, I was turned off with the sketches about Roseannadanna and never really tuned in to SNL again.

However, after seeing several of the Spy stars on various talk shows and then reading the review in Time Magazine, I decided that I’d go see this movie. Let me share with you a few lines from Lisa Schwarzbaum’s review:

“Susan is at the top of her class and great at her job but consigned–the result of roads not taken and career options narrowed for plus-size, middle-aged single women–to working behind the scenes…….. But she has all the self-confidence of a mouse, not a rat; she’s the drab homebody who bakes cakes for her workmates…….  The vital joke in Spy–the aha moment of shared triumph between McCarthy and Feig and soon a trillion lady viewers–is the demonstration of what life is like for a woman like Susan, who has always felt invisible…….Yet when, in a moment of quick thinking to infiltrate Rayna’s inner circle, Susan marshals her top-notch instincts and skills, she drops the meek look, dresses in smashing black garments and speaks what is on her mind, pouring out a hilarious torrent of truth telling and score settling.”

So I went to see it. Now here’s my review…..

This was a movie that failed to meet any of my expectations. I expected to see a woman who is transformed from invisible and mouse-like into someone who knows who exactly who she is and what she is capable of doing without losing herself in the process. Instead, I discovered that I liked the kindhearted woman in the beginning far more than the woman who emerges at the end. It seemed to me that the character Susan Cooper, and apparently the greater part of America, believes that one must be rude, obnoxious, foul-mouthed, and belligerent to be seen as successful in this world. In other words, a woman must act like a jackass of a man to be successful.

Oh! And I don’t think that I laughed one time during this movie. Between the continuous use of the F-bomb and the predictability of the movie, I was actually quite bored.

My take-away from the movie is that it’s okay for us to know who we are, be all that we are capable of being, AND be kind, compassionate, loyal, and even a little soft-spoken. We don’t have to behave like men that we don’t even like, much less respect, to be successful. I guess I’m saying that we can have our home- baked cakes and eat it too!

car-logos(2)I’ve always joked that I do not have to worry about Hank running off with another woman but what I would have to worry about is if a 1969 Pontiac Firebird with a convertible top were to drive up and ask Hank out that he’d jump in and not realize that he’d left me behind until he reached the Canadian border.

This man loves cars! The reason that I’m talking about this is that I asked Hank to name all of the cars that he has ever owned and he began with Matchbox cars.

That’s where I set the search parameters with reducing the question down to what cars has he owned that he could drive—- you know, the ones with running engines and inflated tires. Obviously his list is longer than mine…..but here’s my list…….

Before I married Hank I owned a Fiat (Fix it again Tony!). Then, when I moved to Atlanta I bought a Nissan Sentra. Before I married Hank, I bought a Nissan Pulsar. And after we were married, I drove:

  • Toyota Camry – which I hated!
  • Dodge LeBaron convertible – which I drove until the wheels fell off.
  • Isuzu Trooper that we took on our great adventure in the great Southwest.
  • VW Beetle that I drove until Hannah got her license.
  • Nissan Sentra that Hank traded in for a truck.
  • Honda CRZ

And I got to drive my dream car for a short while which is a fully restored 1974 VW Karmann Ghia convertible. IMG_0259  (Thanks David for keeping it safe from the dreaded disease known as Florida rust…..)

The point I’m trying to make is that most of have had more than one car in our lifetime. There are cars that we loved and cars that we hated. Some cars were more fun than others. And, sadly, too many of our cars were bought solely for transportation with very little fun factor.

Yet, in all the years that we’ve lived and with all the cars that we’ve owned we’ve only had one body to sit in the drivers seat. One body that cannot be traded in for a newer version. But it can be totaled.

When we are driving we cannot control how other people drive and if they will crash into us and total our car. But we can control how we drive by not texting while driving or drinking and driving. You get the picture here, don’t you?

It’s the same thing with our bodies. We cannot always control what will happen to our bodies. We can be injured during a car wreck or get a non-preventable disease just like our cars can succumb to the fatal disease known as rust. Those are chances that we have to take simply because we are human. But then there are  things that we can prevent —– high blood pressure, diabetes, along with other obesity related diseases.

Simply put – we can protect our cars and our bodies by paying attention to what we are doing.

training for old age……

During one of my fitness classes, I mentioned that I had ridden 37 miles on my bike the previous day. The instructor mentioned that her daughter races in biathlons and asked if I was training for anything in particular.

Without thinking, my response was that I’m training for old age. That simple, yet true, response drew several of the seniors to me. One mentioned that the first sixty years was fairly easy but the last twelve have been a little more difficult. One told me that she has exercised her entire life and feels that she’s younger than the years she’s lived.

I think the the hidden beauty of aligning spirit, soul, and body is that  we get to experience the benefits now and in our old age. You see, I want to be a healthy active senior citizen. I want to be strong enough to travel and see more of the world that I’ve ever seen. I want to be like Tammy who’s 80 years old and goes to visit the old people in the nursing home. Like the lady above, I want to be younger than the years I’ve lived.

I also want to be a sweet old lady who’s known for her kindness, words of wisdom, and, most importantly, her relationship with God.

You see, I believe that those mean, grouchy old people that we all try to avoid are people who never went through the process of inner healing. They are the ones who never forgave those who harmed them and who still see themselves as childhood victims who endured more than any child ever should. They might know God but they have never experienced the love and kindness of God — and like the religious people in Jesus day they refuse to allow others to experience it for themselves.

And often, it’s these same grouchy old people who are telling others how to have a relationship with God. They corner their pastors demanding that the church doesn’t accept the people who are trying to find Jesus until they clean up their acts! I know this pastor who created an atmosphere that drew teens into their small church by the hundreds. You know what these grouchy old men and women did? They decided to stop paying the pastor by refusing to pay their tithes. They literally starved the pastor out of the church and drove the teens out of their doors!

I don’t want to be like that! I want to be a sweet little old lady who can walk a hundred miles while telling someone just how much Jesus loves them…..

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4

Tonight’s dinner……

Austin, Hannah, and Liberty came and spent a week with us here in Florida. And it was amazing! As you know, the only word that I can use to describe my love for that little girl is smitten. And, I’m pretty proud of her parents too!

As usual when I’m with Liberty, I don’t it to the gym very often and my eating habits change quite a bit. I’ve told you before that when I don’t exercise, I also don’t eat very well. You would think that I’d be stricter with my diet when I’m not working out but that’s not at all how it is…..

And it was no different this time. While we were very active with beach time and going to the aquarium, we also did quite a bit of eating out. Hannah and Austin were on vacation and we decided to make it a stay-cation for ourselves. Now, I didn’t go hog wild by going to fast food restaurants and I tried to eat very little fried food but we did eat out quite a bit.

We took the kids to the airport this morning. Before going to the  gym this afternoon I went through my Clean Eating magazines to find something for dinner tonight. Since we had lots of pineapple left over I choose the following recipe.  And it was delicious!

Happy eating…..

Pineapple Pork Stir-Fry with Coconut Rice


Serves: 4
Hands-on Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes


  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup short-grain brown rice (TRY: Lundberg Organic Brown Short Grain Rice)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp reduced-sodium tamari
  • 2 tbsp fresh pineapple or orange juice
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple, dried on paper towels
  • 1 tbsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger (1-inch piece)
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 red chiles (such as Fresno), thinly sliced, optional


  1. In a small saucepan, bring milk and 3/4 cup water to a boil. Stir in rice and salt. When liquid returns to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 50 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together tamari, pineapple juice, honey, vinegar and oil; set aside. Heat a large skillet on medium-high and mist with cooking spray. Add pork and cook, stirring frequently and crumbling with a spatula, until no longer pink, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Lightly press another paper towel over pork.
  3. Carefully wipe out skillet with paper towels. Return skillet to stove top, mist with cooking spray and heat to just above medium. Add pineapple and cook until very lightly browned, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in ginger and cook until softened, about 30 seconds. Return pork to skillet, increase heat to medium high and add tamari mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallions. Divide rice and pork among individual plates and top with cilantro and chiles (if using).

Nutrients per serving (1 cup of stir fry, 1/2 of rice): calories: 469, total fat: 17 g, sat. fat: 10 g, monounsaturated fat: 4 g, polyunsaturated fat: 2 g, carbs: 51.5 g, fiber: 3.5 g, sugars: 17 g, protein: 32 g, sodium: 558

Photo: Brandon Barré

By Julie O’Hara