I was reading the New York Post recently and saw an article about the therapeutic value of mushrooms.  I wasn’t actually reading the paper itself, of course, because who does that any more?  Actually, my husband does, but he’s a tech-roglodyte and he deserves to have newsprint ink all over his hands.  Before I retired, I was part of the ‘paper biz.’  I should be shot for maligning the product that paid my mortgage, but c’mon!  Humongous sheets of ink-smeared pages with offset images making politicians look even more ridiculous than they truly are.  The last time I looked at a real paper, I saw a pic of Trump above the fold and the ink didn’t line up.  The yellow ink was so out of kilter it made him look like he had a halo.  ‘Nuff said.

I’m not going down the hell-hole of American politics.  Nope, not gonna do it!  I’m here to talk about mushrooms.  I love mushrooms.  Cooked mushrooms, that is.  The raw ones exist only to be cooked.  I’ve never understood the compulsion some cooks have for putting raw mushrooms in a salad…or anything else, for that matter!  Just because I get a little worked up about raw mushrooms, and their ill-advised placement in salads, doesn’t mean that you have to share my views.  But I’m right.  You know in your heart that I’m right.  Enough of my mushroom rant, I promise I’ll leave the subject of raw mushrooms behind.  But if you get me started on baby corn, there will be no turning back.

Let’s get back to mushrooms.  I’m rather interested in the latest research claiming that mushrooms are more than just pizza toppings and and bits that swim in pasta sauce.  The highly-touted fungi have been used for centuries to remedy scores of illnesses, and I was astounded when I saw how many ailments can be alleviated by eating mushrooms.  Here are a few:


Feeling a little on edge?  Reishi can make chill you out, man.  It helps with depression and anxiety, too.  

Cordyceps can help with energy and athletic performance.   I’ve never heard about this one before, but if I ever decide to run a marathon, I’ll find some!  As if…

Have high blood pressure?  Cholesterol through the roof?  Perhaps you have a wonky heart?  Eat some some shitake.  I don’t have any of these issues but I still eat shitake mushrooms because they are soo yummy…cooked, of course.  No wonky heart for me!  My heart is totally un-wonked.  “Eat shitake”  There has to be a joke in there somewhere.

Do you have high blood pressure?  Gobble up some Turkey Tail.  Thank goodness I don’t have high blood pressure because gobbling turkey tail just sounds wrong.  Unless it’s Thanksgiving, of course.  If so, then all bets are off.

Having issues affecting memory, cognition, and concentration?  If you think of it, have some Lion’s Mane.  I’m going to put my order in right away because…I’m not quite sure I remember why.  What was I saying again?

I couldn’t make these names up if I tried!  I mean, really!  I can’t see myself saying:  “I’ll just have some Lion’s Mane with a side of Turkey Tail, please.”  Then there are Puffballs, Wood Ear, and the highly sought after Truffle…they sound like props in a Harry Potter movie, don’t they?  Maybe J. K. Rowling was doing some recreational ‘shrooms when she wrote her imaginative books.  That would explain a lot.

Make sure you talk to your doctor before you take any mushroom that is not common in the culinary world…raw or cooked.  Be very careful about mentioning the Angel of Death because your next stop might be a facility that will keep you for 72 hours, whether you want it to or not.  And I really don’t want you to take the Destroying Angel because she will…well…destroy you.  We can’t have that!  I need all the followers I can get.



Pie Domination!

Just a quick note to follow up on my pie predicament in my previous post.   To recap, I was trying to lose 25 pounds by yesterday morning.  This is the end of the 16-week program I joined to lose weight and work my way toward a healthier me.  Did I think about the fact that this program would end a few days after Thanksgiving?  I did not.  I am pleased to tell you that I reached my goal weight three days ago!  I attribute this achievement to my painful restriction of pie at Thanksgiving dinner.  I did it!  Oh yes, I have achieved pie domination!  I am now a The Dominatrix of Pie.

Thanksgiving dinner was fabulous.  It was prepared by a professional chef!  It’s good to have someone in the family with such expertise.  Or bad…if you are trying to lose weight.  It was hard, but I kept to my word and had no seconds.  There were only four pies this year, so that was a bit of a break.  I gave in to temptation and allowed myself a single bite of each.  The pie-makers were happy to see me hovering over their respective pies, and I felt good limiting myself.  “Good” might be going too far, “strong” might be a better word.  Those pies were not going to stop me from achieving my goals.  No siree!  I showed them that I could just have a taste and walk away.  What do you think about that, pie!?

The idea of a post Thanksgiving day weigh-in wasn’t my idea of a good time.  I was a bit fearful as I approached the scale of judgment…how bad would it be?  It wasn’t bad!  I didn’t gain an ounce.  I guess that’s what happens when you bring 3 bottles of wine to a family dinner and don’t drink a drop.  My sister-in-law informed me that the two left-over bottles would be opened for Christmas dinner.  I don’t intend to drink it then, either.  I have goals, damn it!

So, pie isn’t the only thing being dominated.  Wine is on notice, too!  I’m guessing that last bottle of wine won’t be consumed until New Year’s Eve.  Since that is the date of my next colonoscopy, I think I might need a glass of wine that night.   I’ll just think of it as fruit juice.  Hey, it has grapes in it…don’t judge me!  The USDA says you need a minimum of 2 servings of fruit per day.  Who am I to question the USDA?  My scale might not be happy, but at least my wine consumption will be government approved!  


I cannot stress the importance of the support and motivation I received from my friends at Weigh To Be Healthy   We started that group when I was midway through this goal of mine and it helped me tremendously as I was nearing the end and questioning whether or not I’d make it.  I can’t imagine a more supportive group of people.  Feel free to join us if you like, and we’ll support you, too!

American Pie

In Thanksgivings past I have thoroughly enjoyed whatever food was put before me…often with seconds for the particularly choice bits.  Ok, they are ALL particularly choice bits, and that’s the problem.  Without thinking, I made a very ill-timed decision and I am now facing the consequences.  I joined a ‘lose weight and get healthy’ program and I set my goal to lose 25 pounds in 16 weeks.  The catch is that my 16 weeks are up on Sunday and I haven’t quite met my goal, yet.  My freaking goal is due three days after Thanksgiving!!!  You will just have to imagine me doing facepalms repeatedly…and with great force.

This year I vowed I would be more restrained.  No seconds!   No seconds, and no wine.  I’m going to eat and drink responsibly.  Yup, it’s going to be a sober, seconds-less Thanksgiving.  It sure is!  But I still have to deal with pies.  So many pies…

We are a pie-loving family.  Every year at least three people show up with multiple pies.  It’s always a pie-palooza.  Now it’s one thing if a couple of people bring a pie, but when there are a half dozen pies on the counter, there’s a problem.  Then the whole ‘eating responsibly’ idea becomes less of a reality and more of a quickly-forgotten oath.  Plus, you can’t have one and not another, otherwise feelings get hurt.  That would make for a very unthankful Thanksgiving, and we can’t have that.

How do you say no when a family member is handing you a piece of pie they lovingly created for you?  There they are, just waiting for that “mmmmm” sound made only after one has had an extraordinary piece of pie.  If they don’t get that sound, their entire pie-making endeavor was for naught, and Thanksgiving has been utterly ruined.  We can’t have that, but what to do?

I’ve been pondering this problem and this past week I have been working on plausible excuses for not eating six pieces of pie after Thanksgiving dinner.  I will probably have to use the excuse I come up with a number of times so it has to be universally appropriate and consistent…and it has to be true.  I won’t lie.  These rules have proven to make this pie-avoiding goal difficult.  The following are works in progress:

“Oooh, that pie looks wonderful but don’t get too close!  I have a tickle in my throat (true) and I don’t want you to catch my cold!”

“I’ve been trying to cut back on sweets (true), but it looks so good…let me have just a sliver”  This might work but there is an inherent problem here. It’s almost impossible for me to have “just a sliver” and not want to consume more.  I am a woman who has ‘slivered’ a cheesecake to death.  There will be no successful slivering of six pies, so this one is out.

“Oh my goodness!  So and so was just asking who made this gorgeous pie!” This always leads to the pie-maker heading in the direction of the potential pie-appreciator and thus getting me off the hook.  The only snag here is that I can only use this when someone actually does ask who made the pie, otherwise it’s a lie. Lucky for me, everyone in the family is always asking who made what pie, so this one is a contender.  Did I mention that we are a pie-loving family?

I could get up and move around with a drink in my hand.  It’s hard to eat pie while standing and drinking.  But to make this plausible, it would entail talking with someone who is also standing.  The real concern here is that the odds are high that the only people standing would be pie-makers…who want me to eat their pie.  That would defeat the purpose.  I should probably rule this one out.

I could tell them that I’m sharing with Bill, and because he doesn’t indulge in sweets (true!)  we’ll only have small pieces.  If I had one bite of each, that might work!  I would be able to tell everyone exactly what I liked about their pie.  Mmmmmm  I wouldn’t have the ‘slivering’ problem because there would be another bite coming.  And I would come away eating only the equivalent of a single piece of pie because after I eat my one bite of each, I can move away from the table and what’s left on the plate will be Bill’s problem.  Even that is more pie than I probably should eat, but we all have to make sacrifices for those we love.  Yummy, yummy sacrifices.  This idea might be the winner!  Maybe I could make it a new tradition.  After all, Christmas is right around the corner.

Oh, and if you don’t live in America, just disregard this whole thing.  You can be thankful that you aren’t in the middle of our current political maelstrom. Although, if you are from the UK, your situation isn’t too rosy either.  Even though you aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, you should have a piece of pie.  It’ll make you feel better.  I’m more than willing to share.









Come On People, Let’s Get Healthy!

I promise I’ll get back to regularly scheduled programming (my typical blog posts) soon, but I wanted to post an update on Weigh To Be Healthy.  In case you missed it, this is a new health-oriented Facebook group that was created to help us along with a healthy lifestyle.  Geez, I hate that word “lifestyle.”  It sounds like an animated hair cut.  But it does convey the idea that we want make changes in our lives to be healthier longterm.

In this group we support each other as we try to lose weight.  Hey, that’s just one of the best ways to improve your health, but it’s more than that.  We share healthful information of all kinds.  Want to know about cauliflower crust, exercise snacks, and have lots of laughs?  Join us and you’ll get all of that, and more.

Becoming healthy is one of my highest priorities.  It took me a while to realize that I have only one life to live, and I want to make the most of it.  I’m eating healthier food, losing weight, and I’m just feeling better all around.  Commitment is a cornerstone of any worthwhile endeavor.  Accountability is another.  The support I get from Weigh To Be Healthy encourages those things.  Plus, it’s just so much easier when you have friends to cheer you on…and have fun doing it!

Come join us!

Weigh To Be Healthy

If you aren’t ready to join and just want more information, just send an email to me at mainepaperpusher@yahoo.com.  I’ll be happy to answer questions.

Weigh To Be Healthy! Support Group

My guess is that you think being healthy means getting to your goal weigh.  Am I right?  How many times have you done that and then regained it all and realized you were no better off than you were before?  Or worse!

I was always a fat kid.  I always thought I was a failure because I could never keep the weight off.  I told myself it must be genetic.  Believe it or not, I recently had my DNA done, and I really do have a genetic disposition toward weight gain!  I was also on an epilepsy drug that made me gain 50 pounds in six months!  “There!  See!? It’s my DNA and the drugs.  It’s not my fault!!!”

I could have given myself those very valid excuses to justify being overweight. I could refute the words of my neurologist:  “You just have to eat less.”  I had proof that I couldn’t help being fat and unhealthy.  I had excuses but I was miserable…and I was mad!  I was mad at that neurologist who didn’t understand, and I was mad at myself for thinking I had no control.

So I thought I’d go on another diet.  I’d get my weight down.  I’d be happy again. Thinking that my weight and happiness went hand in hand made me realize that this struggle is about more than just what my scale told me each morning.  This is about becoming and sustaining the ‘me’ I want to be. I know I’m not the only who feels this way, and that’s why I started this group.

So what do you think?  Are you ready to be part of a fun group where you can help others with the same struggles you share?  Are you looking for some support as you head toward a healthier life?  If so, then I am thrilled to invite you to be part of a brand new Facebook group called…

Weigh to be Healthy!


If you would like to meet the two other wonderful women who helped get this thing off the ground, here are links to their blogs.  I could never have done this without them. 

Deb at Being Aunt Debbie

Lisa at Lismore Paper


All of us have different ideas on how we want to become healthy, and that makes for great discussions.  We’d love to hear yours.  Our tag line sums it up beautifully.  We are “a support group for the health of it.”  Let’s do this together.  Let’s figure out a Weigh to be Healthy!

Weigh To Be Healthy!

About a week ago I published a post called Why Weight?  I lamented that I was in a weight-loss slump and wondered if any of my WordPress friends might be interested in figuring out a way to get together and support each other.

Let me tell you, I didn’t have to wait long for solutions.  The very day I published the post, Deb from Being Aunt Debbie offered to set up a Facebook group!  Lisa from Lismore Paper sent me an email offering to be part of whatever it was we were going to do.  Wow, I really didn’t know where this would go but I had two people willing to go there with me.  Now I know how the head lemming must feel!

The name “Why Weight?” was taken, but after a bit of brainstorming “Weigh to be Healthy” was born.  Hey, this  group could be more than just about losing weight.  It could be about health in general!   But, for most of us, pursuing health does mean losing weight.  The three of us are committed to doing just that.  We are all attacking the problem in different ways and that will make for some good discussions as we share experiences in a supportive atmosphere.

So, you may ask yourself, how do I find this group?  When can I join?  Should I wear a special cape?  At least I hope you are asking yourself those things.  Ok, maybe not the last one because it’s obvious that the answer is yes.  😉    There will be much merriment and cape-flapping…and you know you don’t want to miss that!  Do you want to be a flab-fighting superhero?  Do you!?  Now is your chance!

Our launch date will be this Sunday and just before that, all three of us will be posting the link and more information on our blogs.  Come and join our support group…for the health of it!

*Cape optional


Why Weight?

I’m in a slump.  I see posts here all of the time about a writer’s block, but my slump is different.  I’m in a “lifestyle change” slump. Yeah, no one diets anymore, they do the lifestyle change thing.  It makes perfect sense.  If you go on a diet and get to your goal weight, then great!  Woohoo!  But then if you go back to your old habits, you will gain it all back…and then some.  Sound familiar?

So here I am in the process of lifestyle-changing spectacularly (I wish) and I’ve hit a slump.  I’m on a plateau.  I’m at a standstill.  I ain’t goin’ nowhere, baby!  You know what I mean, and some of you have probably experienced it.  It’s you lot I am aiming this post at.

If you are svelte and have never had to count calories in your life, you can just stop reading right here while we rounder people all sit back and hate you.  “Hate” is a strong word.  Perhaps we could just resentfully envy your metabolism and love of exercise or whatever it is that has allowed you to maintain a perfect weight for your height.  You know, I could be at a perfect weight for my height if I was approximately 12 feet tall.  Maybe it’s my height I need to work on.  Is there a lifestyle change that will help me increase my height?  I thought not.

Since I can’t seem to grow another six feet, I figure it would be nice to get together with other people who are too short for their weight.  I can’t be the only one who needs to drop a few pounds…or a ginormous number of pounds like I do.  So if you want to become part of a cheerleading/grumble session, just give me a holler at mainepaperpusher@yahoo.com  I was going to type ‘cheerleading bitch session’ but it brought back to many memories of high school, and no one wants that.

I’m not sure of the best way to do this, but there has to be a way that we can get together in a chat room, separate blog, or somewhere else to share our tales of victory and struggle.  There are oodles of places to do this sort of thing but I want to do this sort of thing with my friends rather than perfect strangers.  ‘Perfect’ people need not apply. 😉

If anyone is interested and wants to be part of a group who will be supportive, listen to lamentations, and generally just be there for the rest of us, please get in touch.  I promise I’ll return the favor and I’m sure everyone else will, too.  I figure I can’t be the only one with a wonky height to weight ratio.  Round people unite!

Linda aka mainepaperpusher