Joanne P.'s Profile

Joanne P.

Joanne P.

  • Highest
    1945 days
  • Current
    1945 days
  • Completed 1945 challenges
  • Joined
    Oct 3


American (originally from Chicago) living in France and married 42 years to French high school pen pal Paul; Mom to four; a grandson and a grand daughter and twin grand daughters to be born in late summer or early fall. We live in a small town 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) south of Paris. Hobbies include writing (short stories, poems, blogs), reading, traveling, outdoors and working in my kitchen. Blog link: http://amazone779.wordpress...
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    Good morning!

    Posting before starting laundry the morning's cleaning then heading out for shopping, including fresh fish, for the next couple of days. After lunch it's cleaning hour then clearing this laptop of old stuff. I can't believe April is just around the corner; three months went by so fast. I forgot to mention yesterday that France changed to Daylight Savings Time over the weekend; we lost an hour but it's good to see natural daylight early in the morning. It's going to be bright and sunny with temperatures rising to 19 C (66F) this afternoon. Tomorrow and Wednesday will be same with temps around 21 C. Thursday is unchangeable while Friday temps will drop with rain most of the day.

    Today's challenge - Add one cup (230 g) of rinsed canned beans to a salad.

    How to do it - The next time you enjoy a salad, add beans to the mix. Garbanzo and kidney beans provide a nice texture, but it's up to you! Whatever you choose, make sure they have been rinsed before being tossed together with your greens to reduce the amount of sodium they'll add to your dish.

    This is not really a challenge; although we occasionally buy canned beans we're finding it healthier to buy them in bulk and prepare them ourselves, especially because canned foods contain additives and preservatives, which sometimes leaves a rather tinny taste. This also goes for chick peas and lentils. It's simply a matter of softening the beans overnight (one cup fits in a large sized covered glass jar). They are then cooked either slow (hot water in a pan) or fast (pressure cooker) and prepared according to how they will be served. Beans are already on our food list, both red and white; we plan to add them to our meals during the coming week, mostly as an ingredient in salads.

    Wishing all a good Monday and happy last week of March.

    "Add 1 cup (230 g) of rinsed canned beans to a salad"

    March 27, 2017 at 8:54 UTC
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    Good morning!

    Today is going to be bright and sunny, not quite as warm as yesterday (a very pleasant 22 C, about 71 F) but close to it, between 18 and 20 C (64-68 F) nevertheless nice outdoor weather which is where we'll definitely be most of the day until the kids go home later this afternoon. This weekend we've both older grand kids with us as his little sister began to feel left out (the why him and not me feeling) so now we'll be having both most weekends, except when he has sports competitions. It was bound to happen, especially now that the seasonal change is in full swing.

    Thank you, Dileep, for the much appreciated encouragement!

    Today's challenge - Make an easy, delicious dinner: Bake chicken or fish in a foil packet with vegetables.

    How to do it - Place a piece of chicken or fish on one half of a piece of foil. Check your refrigerator for vegetables such as zucchini, tomatoes, asparagus, artichokes, celery, carrots, and yellow squash. Cut them into small pieces and add them to the foil. If you have them on hand, add fresh herbs like parsley or dill. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the whole thing and add the lemon to the packet. Add a splash of olive oil. Fold over the packet and seal the edges, and bake at 400⁰ F (205⁰ C) until done, usually about 20 minutes. When serving, place the packet on a plate and cut an "x" in the top to allow the steam to be released.

    This is an easy challenge; cooking in foil packets (called "papillottes" in French), is very common. Chicken (or any poultry), fish (even shell fish such as mussels) as well as simple veggies, mixed or by themselves, such as potatoes, are good ingredients for foil packets. One can also use baking paper instead of foil, or even large thick leaves of lettuce. Our favorite is salmon "papillote" with butternut squash sprinkled with rosemary, easy to prepare and cook, excellent for a light lunch with a small salad on the side. This is our menu for Tuesday as we've everything except the fish, which we'll be buying fresh tomorrow or Tuesday.

    Wishing all a happy Sunday and new week.

    "Make an easy, delicious dinner: Bake chicken or fish in a foil packet with vegetables"

    March 26, 2017 at 9:27 UTC
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    Good morning!

    It's going to be a bright and sunny day with temperatures warming up to 19 C (66 F) this afternoon. We'll probably have our grandson with us this weekend; everyone will take advantage of the good weather by spending most of the day outdoors with garden work and a long walk later in the afternoon.

    Today's challenge - List all the ingredients you don't recognize or can't pronounce in one meal or snack.

    How to do it - When preparing a meal or eating a snack today, look at the ingredient list of one package. Write down any ingredients you don't recognize or can't pronounce. If you have time, go online to look up what you've written on your list, or save it for a rainy day.

    This is a not really a challenge for us; after years of reading food labels on packages, boxes, etc. and also because we prefer to prepare our meals with natural and/or fresh ingredients we are very familiar with the names and meanings of ingredients of foods we place on our table. Because of the unpredictability of food processing and also because of the dangers of pesticides (new versions included) we purchase very little processed foods, prefer fresh produce (learning how they are planted, etc.), fresh fish, meat for those who eat it, and taking the time to choose and prepare each ingredient and cook our meals and goodies the long way, that is, by hand, knowing that when we do it ourselves we are engaging in a healthy way of living.

    Wishing all a happy Saturday and weekend.

    "List all the ingredients you don't recognize or can't pronounce in 1 meal or snack"

    March 25, 2017 at 9:18 UTC
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    Good morning!

    It's a grey, dreary rainy morning, turning into a drizzle during the afternoon hours. We'll be finishing up weekend shopping this morning, take a short walk this afternoon after the rain stops then relax the rest of the day with a good book.

    Today's challenge - Use an online tool to determine how much energy you need each day.

    How to do it - Visit the American Cancer Society's Calorie Counter tool at Answer the five quick questions, and the tool will calculate how many calories (kilojoules) you need in a typical day.

    This is an easy challenge that I've already checked in January primarily to better keep tract of eating habits, daily activities and regular exercises for the rest of he year. I personally need 2022 calories per day to maintain good weight and at the same time continue good eating habits, exercising, etc. on a daily basis. In reality at home I eat less than this, simply because by habit we have smaller meals with less preparation and cooking, avoid eating in between meals and keep active, and most important we don't stress about specifics; calorie intake is variable and personal (each individual is different), thus one can't, and shouldn't, depend on fixed indexes. When eating out we balance calorie differences by eating less at home, knowing restaurant meal preparations and cooking, as well as main ingredients, aren't always the same as our own.

    Wishing all a good Friday and safe weekend.

    "Use an online tool to determine how much energy you need each day"

    March 24, 2017 at 9:01 UTC
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    Good morning!

    It's going to be a cool overcast day with rain during the afternoon hours. I'll be leaving for my therapy session then we're off to babysit the grand daughters while their parents get some food shopping for the weekend done. Afterwards we'll do our own shopping. When we get back we'll spend the afternoon putting everything back in the bathroom now that it's been painted and re-arranged. Today will be overcast and cool with strong possibility of rain. At the moment the sun is making a brave show of shining through the clouds so rain may be temporary or not come at all in spite of the weatherman's predictions, leaving us with the normal high humidity of early spring.

    Today's challenge - Aim for 28 grams of fiber today by eating foods like produce, whole grains, beans and oats.

    How to do it - Focus on eating at least 28 grams of fiber today. Most nutrition labels will tell you the fiber content of a food. If you're eating a fruit or veggie, you can find out the fiber content by searching with the words "fiber content" and the name of the produce. Whole fruits and veggies (not juice), beans, oatmeal, and whole grains are all great examples of fiber-rich foods.

    This is an easy challenge; this morning's breakfast included two or three dried prunes, rolled oats cereal with zero per cent faisselle (similar to yogurt), sprinkled cinnamon and walnuts, accompanied with fresh coffee (for me chicory) and dark brown whole wheat toast (bread from the bakery). This is our usual fare every morning, variable by adding different chopped fruits with our cereal. This morning it was apples.

    Wishing all a happy Thursday and peaceful end of the week.

    "Aim for 28 grams of fiber today by eating foods like produce, whole grains, beans, and oats"

    March 23, 2017 at 8:27 UTC
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    Good morning!

    It's a bright and sunny but cold morning with temperatures rising to 13-14 C (around 55 F) this afternoon, perfect outdoor weather for playing football (soccer) as our grandson will be doing with his club later today. We plan to try and get in a short walk around the neighborhood while he is on the field.

    Today's challenge - Pledge to check the amount of salt in one boxed, canned or bagged food that you eat this week.

    How to do it - Pledge to check the amount of sodium in 1 package of food you eat this week. It can be a snack food (like chips) or a food you might use to prepare dinner (such as a boxed rice mix). Even desserts and breakfast are fair game! To find the amount of sodium, look about halfway down the nutrition facts label printed on the food's package.

    Sodium is one of the more important ingredients when we shop for processed (boxed, canned, bagged) foods. For this challenge I'll use a favorite grain: packaged (500 grams, just a little over one pound) of organic quinoa. One hundred grams (three and a half ounces) of cooked quinoa varies between 9 and 13 milligrams of sodium; when serving this amount (approximately for two persons) one would need to be aware of sodium content of food elements combined with the cooked quinoa, creating a healthy sodium balance for the whole dish, especially since the sodium content in cooked quinoa alone rises much higher (depending how it is cooked).

    Wishing all a good Wednesday and midweek.

    "Pledge to check the amount of salt in 1 boxed, canned, or bagged food that you eat this week"

    March 22, 2017 at 9:27 UTC
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    Mimi C. completed a pact with Joanne P. and won 341 bonus points March 21, 2017 at 14:58 UTC

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