Thursday, September 27, 2012

"5 or 50" Changing Lives

Our NEW poster
Have you ever thought of an idea and without much forethought -- just went for it? Well, I have. Three months ago, an idea came to mind. An idea to start a women's group to support, encourage, and motivate.

After years of blogging about weight, health and fitness -- I've talked to a number of women.  Sadly, there seems to be the same common issues among us. Often times, women will come to me for advice, support and I'll exchange a few words with them on the blog, FB, at an event, maybe back and forth via email, but that would be the extent of our dialogue. I started feeling like there was more that I could do to help. More that I wanted to do to help. It's one thing to hear from a doctor, nutritionist, or trainer, but it's entirely different to hear from someone who lives it every day.  And so I created "5 or 50" Women's Sustainable Weight Loss and Healthy Lifestyle Group so the dialogues could continue. So we could share, grow, support, encourage, inspire, and motivate one another. So we could cast out negative self image, look beyond physical attributes, and stop obsessing over our weight and every bite we put in our mouths.

Last night, we held our third meeting, had our second guest speaker, welcomed five newcomers, and had a nice time sharing our "Outside of the Box" changes we've been making. At our August meeting I asked the ladies to think of things they could do differently that they would normally not do "Outside" of their comfort zone.  It warmed my heart to go around the room and hear the ladies comments. Here's a few of them:

"I've started walking in the evenings even on the nights I don't feel like it." ~Maria
"I volunteered to be the President of TOPS. I would never have done that before, but something just came over me." ~Jaleit
"I had my hair cut and colored." ~Jennifer
" I mowed my lawn. I wanted to see if I still could." ~ Carol
"I really have been trying to eat less packaged food. I cook at home a lot more." ~Toni

And then this morning, I received this FB message from Debbie (it just about killed me over): " I have so much new information from last night! Can't wait to check out the books mentioned and the Costco 21 spice idea."

My heart is full. It's such a beautiful feeling to know that I'm creating an environment for women to share, bond and realize their potential. My short sighted idea is working, I'm helping change lives.

Read the blog that started it all: "5 or 50"

Sue sharing her story -- she's lost 100+lbs.

Debbie sharing her juicing recipe/tips
The ladies

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall calls for savory, warm soup

By far, fall is my favorite season. After the hot days and hustle and bustle of summer, it's nice to slow down the pace, enjoy the crisp cool air, beautiful colored foliage, layered clothing, and of course, warm comfort food.

Saturday marked the first day of fall. After a day of cleaning and organizing my house, for dinner I decided to welcome fall with a timeless classic -- lentil soup. Nothing like a warm bowl of soup on a crisp fall evening. I love the nutty taste and firm texture of lentils. This soup is hearty, savory and oh so good for you. You can just feel it in your soul.

My recipe is SOUPer simple, delicious, and of course healthy. I invite you to try it -- I think you will agree.

From the SOUP AND SALAD section of my NEW cookbook Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box.

Lentil Soup 

A timeless classic.



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons thyme
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 quarts vegetable stock (page 36)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 ¼ cups dried lentils

In a large stockpot on medium heat, sauté the leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme for 20 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and sauté for 10 more minutes. Add the vegetable stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.

This soup is a great option for Meatless Monday. Serve with Artisan crusty bread and a spinach salad with your choice of vinaigrette or dressing.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Superficial level

At Clark College Bookstore
Being a self-published author is rewarding, but it's a lot of hard work. There's no big publishing company backing you, with connections, clout, and money to help you with the process -- to promote and distribute your book.

Daily, I'm putting myself and my ideas on the line.  I have to constantly be on the look out for opportunities to promote and sell my book otherwise it won't get sold. It requires a huge amount of drive and tough skin.  I'm fortunate that my new book is being backed by Clark College's health department that's a huge bonus, but I still am a little fish in the pond.

The mecca of books -- Portland, OR

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a particularly bold state of mind and decided I wanted to go BIG. So I made a trip to one of the largest bookstores in Portland, Powell's Books. Walking in that store was overwhelming. Books, upon books, upon books. The bookshelves were MASSIVE. When I walked to the cookbook section I almost fainted. There were sooooooooooo many cookbooks from all the big well known authors, who are backed by big well known publishers.

I walked in with a calculated plan. But after seeing the massive amounts of books. I had a moment of self-doubt. "Come on, Ms. Mosley, you're here now. Turn it on." I told myself. So I started walking around trying to spot the right employee to deliver my pitch to. I figured it probably wouldn't be the best idea to target a cashier or anyone at the numerous info desks (they'd likely have to help other customers) and I wanted the person's undivided attention. I found him, Chris was his name. I showed him the book told him a little bit of my story. He was hooked, line, and sinker. He gave me the direct contact info for the buyer. I excitedly thanked him and he wished me luck.

I decided to call the buyer while I was in the bookstore. Perhaps he would be available and I could put the book in his hands. Low and behold he answered! I immediately started in on my spiel.  All the while I could detect his utterances to interrupt me, but I just kept going. He was less than enthused with my sell pitch. In a nutshell, he said it didn't matter much that I was a local author. There's a lot of local authors. He also went onto to tell me about the procedure for having my book reviewed. Because I'm no quitter. Even though I could hear the disconnect in his voice, I figured I had come to far to let him go. So I said "Well, my book is being sold at Clark College Bookstore as required reading." Ah ha that got him to agree to come down and see me. When he arrived he had a very unpleasant, highly irritated look on his face. We shook hands and I gave him the book. Convinced that once he saw the cover and then the content he'd soften up. He fumbled through it. Held the pages up to the light. Gave it a quick once over and said "On a very superficial level this cookbook doesn't jump out at me. It has nothing that stands out from the rest." He didn't take the copy of the book that I was going to give him, but instead he gave me a yellow card with instructions on how to submit my book for consideration.

Ha ha. Seriously. Didn't I just tell him my whole story and why my cookbook stands out from the rest? It's OUTSIDE of the Box, including my journey of how I came to author the cookbook. And I'm sorry, but local does have something to do with it. It has everything to do with it. I would think Powell's Books would embrace that. Seeing as how they once were just a local little bookstore. Obviously they are starting to lose sight of their roots.  Humph, or maybe the buyer was just having a bad day. Not sure what was going on with him, but I do know he made a mistake. Like he said he was looking at my book on a "very superficial level."

He's words stung for a few minutes, but as I left the store I ran into Chris and I shared with him the news. I also told Chris that one day my books will be on the shelves of Powell's Books, but in the meantime, on a "very superficial level" there are no hard feelings.

**Again, I believe in myself and my ideas. I can't and won't let a person or an entity define me. My journey and everything about my story is OUTSIDE of the Box. Next!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Believe in YOU

Our thoughts are very powerful. "What we think, we become."  I try to only think positive thoughts. I try to surround myself with positive, encouraging  people. By doing so, I stay, well, positive.

Y'all know I'm a huge professional tennis fan. I love the sport, and admire the fortitude it takes to play at that level. The mental, physical. Every day when the player's take the court it's just them against their opponent -- kinda like life, there's just YOU.

A couple of weeks ago, Andy Murray finally won a Grand Slam title. A month prior he won the Gold in singles at the Olympics. It's been a long time coming for him. He's been battling against the top ranked players for several years now with no title.

Yet, he continued to walk out on the court and give it his all. He's even had to change coaches a few times. That must be tough on the psyche. Then there's the naysayers (myself included) who counted him out, never believed he was going to win. I didn't even watch the final because I thought for sure he'd lose. When I saw the final score I was SHOCKED, but also so very happy for him. Actually, I found myself crying. What a beautiful thing -- to NEVER give up on yourself. To always believe in yourself. No matter what anyone else thinks. Wow. That's awesome. Congrats, Andy!

After Andy's victory, I thought about all the people who have supported me and my endeavors (I've had a lot of them). And then there were the folks who didn't quite support my ideas, couldn't really grasp the depth of my vision. That's cool. I'm thankful for them too because really at the end of the day It doesn't matter much what anyone else thinks. It's what I think. It's what I believe. Like Andy Murray, I've been counted out by some folks, but I believe in myself so I just keep playing to win.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


One year ago, today I started teaching cooking classes at Chuck's Produce & Street Market. Last night, along with 28 food enthusiasts -- family included, I celebrated my one year anniversary and the release of my NEW cookbook Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box. To commemorate the special night I wore the same apron I wore the first class and created the same delicious Lettuce Wraps (recipe in cookbook).

 Thanks to the foodies who have come out time and time again to support me, my family -- for your love, and to the staff of Chuck's for allowing me to use your beautiful kitchen to share my love of good food with the community.

Photos by Cassie Hill (my darling little cousin)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mirror Mirror

I've been obese my entire life so it's a little absurd for me to believe I can erase the years and years of unhealthy behaviors overnight. For goodness' sakes I use to weigh a mortifying 388 pounds.

Today, I'm 170 pounds lighter, healthier, and happier. But, it's been a while since I've recorded a lost in weight or inches. The good news is I haven't gained any weight or increased in inches either. So, it's safe to say I'm able to maintain, and the practices I've adopted in my life are sustainable.

I tell myself, maybe I'm suppose to be here in this space. Maybe this is what's comfortable for my body right now. And yes my thoughts are sort of contradictory, but like I've said before my blog is my diary and you just so happen to be privy to read it. Bear with me.

I have to remind myself, this is no yo-yo, fad diet. I'm not seeking a quick fix. I'm creating a healthy lifestyle for myself by eating a wide variety of fresh, whole food, discovering new things beyond food, exercising, and reaching out to the community along the way. I'm proud of myself. It's taken an awful lot of discipline and deep inward stares at myself to lose and keep the weight off.  I've taken a whole lot of negative and turned it into a whole lot of positive.

Yet and still, the other day when I caught my reflection in the mirror, it caused me to pause and ask myself "Are you  giving it your all?" Sure, I've been busy, busy, writing my latest cookbook. Sure, I've been busy facilitating community meetings, speaking at various events, and hosting cooking classes. But those things encompass my life. Shouldn't I be able to balance it all? Heavy sigh. I'd like to think -- yes.  I'm going to have to figure out a way to make them all fit together and still work towards my fitness and weight loss goals.

Because of my weight loss success, folks, ask me all the time, "What makes me stay with it?" It's simple, I look in the mirror. A journey of this sorts takes a consistent commitment. Evaluation of self -- onus. Discipline. Accountability. I've come this far by being honest with myself, about my goals, whether or not I'm giving 100 percent. If I find that I'm not giving 100 percent. I call myself out, confront myself. I'm a no non-sense type gal, who doesn't make a lot of excuses. So my latest glimpse in the mirror has me on a new mission. A mission to put all the pieces together.

Mirror mirror I seek balance. Balance so that I can do all the things that I enjoy: blogging, authoring cookbooks, hosting cooking classes, speaking to the community, all while I continue to work on my health and fitness goals.

A look at my transition over the years...

It's more than the physical weight I've lost. It's more about the inner strength and peace I've found.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


After a chill Labor day weekend, I was all set to return to my workout routine. It's Tuesday so that means time to get my Row on -- Bike & Row with Ted. Walked in the studio and it was rather dead. It's usually buzzing with energy. Peeked in the classroom, empty.

At ten after 12 it was apparent I was the only one coming to class. So, Ted decided to reward my efforts with a one-on-one personal training session.Yes! Just what I needed a kick-butt strength and cardio workout. Ted and I shared stories and laughed as he challenged my strength, balance, and my favorite part -- stretched me out.

Like most days, I had a slew of things on my to-do-list, but I made my workout a priority and low and behold I was rewarded for my good behavior. Sometimes it's the thing(s) we don't necessarily want to do, but do anyway that yield the biggest reward(s).

BTW, I love working out at Northwest Personal Training they really are the BEST.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What's Happening: September

Bye-bye summer, hello fall. I love transitioning into the calmer, cooler months.  With the release of my NEW cookbook, Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box   September 2012, however, will be far from calm, it will be busy, busy, busy. Lots of cookbook promotion and community building happening this month.

This weekend
On a personal note, I'm super-excited to have my first ever BouDoir photo shoot -- I received it as a 40th birthday gift and for all my hard work ! I can't wait to get all dolled up! Make-up, nails, hair, and oh all the outfit changes. Super fun!
I'm looking forward to returning to Chuck's Produce & Street Market for my first cooking class since I went into full cookbook production late May. This is going to be an extra-special class. It marks my one year anniversary teaching cooking classes. To commemorate I will feature Lettuce Wraps (the very same recipe I began with) and I'll have copies of the new book for sale.

Tuesday, September 11th

6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Outside of the Box: Asian and Mediterranean inspired lettuce wraps. Fresh, tasty, and easy to prepare.
  • Classes are F-R-E-E
  • Please call store to sign-up for class and reserve your seat
  • Class size is limited to about 20
Chuck's Produce & Street Market
13215 SE Mill Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, 98684
360. 597.2700
Later in the week, I'll be at Tully's Coffee for a cookbook signing.

Friday, September 14th
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box-- Cookbook Signing
Step OUTSIDE of the prepared food box
Tully's Coffee
1801 SE 164th Ave.
Vancouver 98683
Sunday, September 23rd
11:30 a.m - 1:30 p.m.
Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box-- Cookbook Signing
Di Tazza Gourmet Coffee & Cafe                                                                               
2100 Southeast 192nd Avenue
Vancouver 98683

To end the month...

Wednesday, September 26
6- 7:30 p.m.
"5 or 50" Women's Sustainable Weight Loss & Lifestyle Group 
Cascade Park Community Library
600 NE 136th Ave
Vancouver, 98684

    September proves to be plenty of busy and fun! I hope to see you out and about. Here, there, and every where. If for any reason you aren't able to make any of these dates. No worries. My October calendar has double the dates including a return to Clark College bookstore and a snacking presentation and book signing at Cascade Park Community Library.  

    The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

    The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

    · Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
    overweight or obese.

    · Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
    medical burden every year.

    · Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

    Source: CBS News