Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter weigh-in, Stuffed Pepper Soup with Cauliflower Rice, and Spiritual Evolution

Happy Easter everyone! We've been to the in-laws for morning tea, came back home and had some lunch.  I had leftover Stuffed Pepper Soup, which was really tasty! Basically all the things you'd stuff in a bell pepper (capsicum) but in soup form, with shredded cauliflower standing in for the rice. Trust me, this was yummy.  I put a bit of shredded low-fat cheese on top and stirred that in before serving.



3 cups cauliflower rice (grate or shred 1/2 medium size cauliflower to resemble rice)
1 lb (500g) 95% lean ground (minced) beef
1/2 green bell pepper (capsicum), chopped
1/2 red bell pepper (capsicum), chopped
1 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz / 400g) diced tomatoes
1 3/4 cups tomato sauce*
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt and fresh pepper to taste

*Note that what Aussies call tomato sauce is basically ketchup. The closest thing I've found here to American tomato sauce is crushed tomatoes or passata. But if you're not following Dr Poon you could even use tomato soup.

In a large pot or dutch oven, brown meat on medium-high heat and season with salt. Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low, then add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, then add the riced cauliflower and simmer 10 minutes more on low.


Before I get to the weigh-in, you may notice I've changed the look of the blog. The old format didn't always display well on mobile devices, and this one suits me heaps better. What do you all think? Plus I can have more menu items at the top, so I've given Photos their own page. I'll be adding new progress photos soon - having started at 287 pounds, I took pictures at 253 and again at 225, so now I'm hoping to get below 200 pounds for the next ones.

After weighing in at 93.0 kg (205.03 lb) last week I went back up to 93.5 kg (206.13 lb) and stayed there pretty much all week! Even after all the running and walking I've done, I didn't get a drop, and it was frustrating I must say. I wasn't expecting the monthly gain for another week, but then mother nature has been messing with me more frequently these days. Still, I am happy to report I have dropped this morning to 92.9 kg (204.81 lb). It's really not much of a loss at all from last week - 0.1kg (0.22 lb) to be exact. However, I have lost fat and gained water, so I'm guessing I'll soon have better results.  My loss to date is 37.4 kg (82.45 lb).

Having spent the last eight months working towards improving my health and fitness (evolution of body) and recently tackling some of my fears and the belief that I could never run (evolution of mind), I would like to focus on my spiritual evolution as well.  No, I'm not going to get all religious on you! Organised religion is so not me.  But if you've browsed my Shelfari bookshelf in the lower right of my blog, you'll notice that I'm interested in spiritual matters, it's just not been the focus of my blog. And I'm not saying it's going to become the focus, so don't worry if that's not your thing! LOL But I did title my blog "An Evolution in Body,  Mind and Spirit" because I'd like to experience self-improvement in all three areas.

Currently I've been drawn back to a book I've had for years. It's called "A Life Complete" - Emotional and Spiritual Growth for Midlife and Beyond - by Sallirae Henderson. I started reading it a few years ago, and found it interesting then, but now that I'm 50 the topic is even more meaningful to me. The Shelfari description reads:
"Once we reach middle age, the harder questions about how it actually feels to grow older -- and closer to the end of life -- begin to surface. Difficult as these questions may be, Sallirae Henderson assures us that our desire to find the answers is both a mark of maturity and an opportunity for growth. A Life Complete envisions midlife as a rich, reflective period that gives us the chance to begin a process of discovery. With Henderson's sensitive and knowing advice, we learn how to make emotional and spiritual choices that can help us confront the past and welcome what the future holds. A Life Complete offers six simple skills that guide us through this period of change and inspire feelings of satisfaction and joy: Befriending Yourself, Learning to Grieve, Recognizing that You Always make a Difference, Maintaining a Sense of Personal Evolution, Finding a Larger Context for Your Life, and Accepting the Help of Others. Remarkably wise and thoughtful, A Life Complete is an inspiring reflection on what may be the most meaningful period of our adult lives."
And an excerpt from inside the jacket: This book explains how the choices we make in midlife can become distilled and irreversible by the time we reach our last years. It offers a practical plan for healing in middle age so we can avoid elderly regret, unexpressed grief, and unresolved spiritual issues before it's too late. In a culture that ranks the fear of living in a nursing home above the fear of death, this book serves as a reminder that the end of life is also an organic part of life. It is an indispensable guide for those seeking to grow old gracefully, with a sense of meaning and purpose.

As I've said before, longevity is not something my family members have enjoyed by and large - and though I'm doing my best to improve my health, if I only have another 20 years or so on this planet, I'd like to ensure they are both happy and healthy - in body, mind and spirit.


  1. Hi Anna

    Sorry – I’ve not been around too much lately, but I’ve had a few days off sorting out some family health issues. As the saying goes sometimes real life intervenes …but all is going well now.

    ....and I've come back to a new look blog it.

    You have done so well in your weight loss and fitness journey - thanks for sharing with us.

    Like the sound of this recipe, thanks.

    All the best Jan

    1. Hi Jan. I figured with the holiday and all people are out doing other things. Nice to hear from you and glad you like the new look. :)

  2. I can't wait to try that soup recipe. That looks really good. I am also very interested in spiritual matters. I am currently reading a book called Living with Joy by Sanya Roman. You might check it out. It is very spiritual. So excited I found your post.


    1. Hi Leslie ... the soup was really tasty, I hope you like it! Nice to meet you and I'll hop over and check out your blog as well. :)

  3. way to go on your progress - keep it up!


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