Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"The Color Purple" by Alice Walker

I have no idea what took me so long to read this novel. It's amazing. I don't even know what else to say. I've read short stories by Alice Walker and loved them, but this novel is by far the best I've read in a long time.

Walker tells the story of two sisters through their eyes, individually. There lives unfold through letters to God and to each other as one sister goes on a missionary trip to Africa. The lives of Celie in the southern United States and Nettie in Africa intertwine as both girls realize that there are cultural differences within the African people that separate them from African-Americans.

In the South, Celie deals with life as it comes to her, from her arranged marriage to an ungrateful man, to the arrival of love with Shug Avery, and the discovery that her children are still alive and well with Nettie in Africa. Celie knows no labels other than colored and white, and her view of God is touching, and probably right.

If you haven't read this novel, you better get to it! It's amazing and you won't want to go through life without it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Eat, Pray, Run!

I just finished reading "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I must say, I have mixed reviews about it, but mostly I'm just jealous that she was able to travel the world for an entire year and write about it. And made millions of dollars off of it. I would love to go to South Africa, and recently I've been thinking about how cool it would be to run my first full marathon in Capetown. I have no idea how I'm going to get there, though... The book was a good read, and I do recommend it for any woman (and men!) that need spiritual uplifting and confidence to get to know themselves on a deeper level when life gets tough.

As you know, I've been running a lot lately. I recently got my distance up to 6 miles and I am very happy with this. The RodeoRun 10K is on the 27th, so I'm happy to be ready for it so early. Being a runner (I now officially call myself "a runner") makes me more conscious about what I eat, especially before and after a long run. It's made me think of food in a different way. I think about it as fuel, as natural energy to keep my body going through the work day and through a long run. Theresa and I went to a book sale at the local library and she got a South Beach Diet cookbook. I'm not into fad diets, but we tried the Mexican Chicken Soup recipe and fell in love. I'm posting it here for your enjoyment, as well!

"South Beach Diet" Mexican Chicken Soup

1 tbspn canola oil
1 small onion
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tspn ground cumin
5 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch strips
2 cups mild refrigderated fresh salsa (we used the pico-like stuff at HEB near the organic section)
salt and freshly ground black

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin; cook 30 seconds more.
Add broth, increase heat to high, and bring to a rapid simmer. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in salsa, bring back to a simmer, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot. (We added sliced avocado, and fat-free shredded cheese).

Makes 4 (2 1/4 cup) servings.
Per serving: 320 calories, 8g fat, 1.5 sat fat, 46g protein, 14g carb, 2g dietary fiber, 680mg sodium.

From: Agaston, Arthur. "The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook: 200 Delicious Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less." Rodale, Inc., 2005.

On the food note, I recently saw "Julie and Juila" for the first time and loved it! I will definitely by the book and maybe try to make one of Julia Child's recipes myself. Very inspiring and cute film.

Bon appetite!