Spring Awakening

This is my first post since wishing you a Happy New Year as 2010 ticked into 2011. No, I have not been hibernating. I have been busy. Just not busy writing posts.

For me 2010 was an interesting year that included the death of my mother, my beloved dog Izzy and Christina’s dear friend Stuart. During the year I produced about one hundred At Home posts — nearly all requiring hours of travel, recipe development and writing. I loved doing my farm stand and farmers’ market series. But as the holiday season approached I found that I had run out of the energy and inspiration to again produce posts about holiday entertaining that I found entertaining to produce. For a variety of reasons including feeling a bit of blog burn-out, as the year came to an end I found myself doing some long-overdue reflection.

One very important issue for me has been finally dealing with my life-long struggle with weight. I decided it was time to re-focus my energy on my health and seek a new balance between my love of food and cooking and my desire to live a long and healthy life. A serial dieter, I had come to understand that getting healthier was not a matter of will power. I have lost weight before. As with most people who struggle with weight, weight loss was followed by weight gain. I came to believe unless I dealt with the underlying reasons for eating too much, I would never keep it off.

I spent time developing a personal support system that began with excellent and on-going therapy to better understand the emotional role food played for me. Though weight was an underlying issue and weight loss a key goal, I understood there were more fundamental things I had to deal with if I was going to be successful with weight loss. Being overweight is a symptom of other issues.

After expressing despair one day about how much weight I had to lose, I was counseled to make a plan that focused on what I was going to do to get started rather than on some end point. (There really is no end point.) I wrote a plan for myself. On the plan was an appointment with a nutritionist. That  lead to a date certain to get on the scale and face how much I really weighed. It was worse than I thought, but it felt good to finally confront how much I weighed. That was just before Thanksgiving. As of this morning, I have lost 46 pounds. I go to the gym five to six times a week including once a week with my nutritionist/trainer. Many weeks my son Noah tortures me at his gym. (Last Friday I took a careless step off a treadmill and in breaking my fall I broke a bone in my hand. With a cast on my hand, no dumbbells for a while — though I bought a heavy pair of ankle weights to strap on my wrists.) I cook well most nights for Christina and myself — moderate protein, unlimited fruits and vegetables, maximum 3-4 tablespoons oil daily. We occasionally dine out and I always manage fine. I eat well and am rarely hungry. I weigh less and feel better than I have for years. I have lots more weight to lose and I need to eat differently than I had forever. But that’s fine.

I am still figuring out my relationship with food and cooking and not entirely clear about how that will effect my At Home blog. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I offer a recipe from At Home for a spring fruit salad of roasted rhubarb and strawberries and links to past blogs about Passover and Easter that I hope you re-visit and enjoy — including Mr. T’s Balls! As always, the illustrations are by my friend, Pascal Lemaitre from At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining.

Thank you for visiting.

Your Home Entertaining Coach

Some previous posts about Passover & Easter:

Plan to Entertain At Home – Passover & Easter
Chopped Chicken Livers & Mock Chicken Livers
Matzo Brei
Asparagus with Mustard Butter
Mr. T’s Balls
Sephardic Charoset
Matzo Toffee Crunch

Spring Fruit Salad: Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberries
Robins. Cherry Blossoms. Rhubarb. Each is a harbinger of spring. Rhubarb is one of those greatly under-used items. I recently served it at a Frog Commissary catering event on top of pan-seared fois gras on a parsnip crisp. Here is a recipe from At Home that is part of The Four Seasons of Fruit Salad. You can add some grated fresh ginger for some extra kick.

do ahead Roasted fruit may be fully made up to three days ahead and
2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 2-inch lengths
3 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
zest and juice of 1 orange (preferably a blood orange, if available)
1⁄2 cup sugar

1 Preheat oven to 325°.
2 Place rhubarb and strawberries in large, ovenproof baking dish. Toss with
orange zest and juice and spread into a single layer. Sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake until rhubarb is tender, but not collapsed, about 30 minutes. Allow
rhubarb to cool.
serves 6


Filed under Discovery, My Life

9 responses to “Spring Awakening

  1. Ken Hutchins

    Welcome back! Your topic for today’s post is so applicable to many of your readers and beyond. I too have struggled with weight and how best to achieve a healthy life style while trying not to sacrifice the “taste” of good food. Your journeys and knowledge may prove to be invaluable to many of your followers and beyond. While eating out, we generally share most appetizers, entrees, and if permitted (rarely) a dessert. We don’t share the wine, however!!! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Welcome back and congratulations on getting into a healthier lifestyle. As a fellow food lover I can tell you our love of food is a double edged sword sometimes. I make sure to always eat food that is ‘worth it’ no matter the type and that seems to work…along with running after my dogs.

  3. I’m happy your posting again, you were missed. Down 46 lb.s and exercising regularly – an impressive accomplishment.

  4. How great it was to see this post in my mailbox. I’ve missed your delightful narratives, entertaining ideas and recipes, Steve. But your time away sounded very necessary so you could rejuvenate your spirit and your body. I’m adding my electronic voice to the chorus of those who are with you in the struggle with weight and the love of good food. You are a brave and honest man. Keep up the great work…and the Rhubarb recipe looks great! I’m watching my own plants as they begin to appear in the garden.

  5. Gail

    Welcome back Steve, and congratulations on your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
    Now back to food…
    Is it possible to get your wonderful recipe for roasted baby carrot and sweet potato tzimmes (with shallots, apricots and prunes)?
    Thanks and Happy Holiday.

    • athomebysteveposes

      Thank you Gail. There is a recipe on Page 314 of At Home for Ginger Roasted Root Vegetable Tzimmes. Yams, carrots (not baby), celery root, rutabaga, apricots and dates. Could this be the one you are requesting?

      • Gail

        Actually, no. The one I was looking for was one you featured in your fabulous Passover menu for Inside Magazine a million years ago.

      • Gail

        Made the Ginger Roasted Root Vegetable Tzimmes and it was a big hit at the Seder, and equally delicious the next morning with Greek yogurt!

  6. Margaret

    Might your next book be all the healthier and delicious meals you are preparing these days? Keeping up with a special spring cleaning of my daily diet has been helped by sharing online with others. Thanks for sharing your story which gives support to all of us, who love food, and get a little too much love back from it!

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