Happy Tuesday, everybody!
How is autumn in your neck of the woods? It was
nearly 85 degrees here today, just spectacular
for this time of year. The weekend was fantastic,
too, and that's a good thing, because my husband's
sister was married in an outdoor ceremony. We had
quite a busy week preparing for the "big day", and
then hosting 50+ people at our home for the out-of-
town guest and family barbecue.
Even though the ceremony was moving, the dinner
unbelievably tasty and the reception a total blast,
my favorite moment was slow dancing with my soon-to-be
11 year-old for the first time(his birthday is
Thursday). He surprised me later by knowing all the
Travolta moves during "Stayin' Alive". I have no idea
where he learned it. :-)
Anyway, things have settled down once again.
I want to share two things with you this week: a delicious
recipe I'm now cooking once a week, and a terrific
success story from a "Real People Don't Diet" reader.
First, Kathy's story:
I had my doubts when I started. At first I tried to cut my carbs to
100 grams and switched to too much fatty meat and cheese. My
stomach was in agony and I was hitting the Pepto pretty hard. I
knew I couldn't do this by trying to be so rigid about anything.
That's why soooo many diets fail. Then I focused more on just
eating less carbs than I would have. This was easy. The other thing
I started doing was cutting way down on processed sugar and flour.
By week two I had lost the constant craving for sweets. I have
always had an enormous sweet tooth. This was totally amazing to me
as I've never been able to do this before. I wasn't losing any
weight, but I felt I was eating healthier. Then in week three, I
really noticed I wasn't eating constantly - even when I was
watching TV. IT WASN'T WILLPOWER! I love pasta and bought some
whole wheat pasta. It has as many carbs as regular pasta, but it is
so much healthier. I didn't throw away the regular pasta in the
pantry, but I will mix it with the whole grain pasta until it's
gone and I go completely whole grain. I started throwing a couple
cans of random vegetables into the pasta too. I bought a mandolini
slicer to make slicing fresh fruits and vegetables almost
effortless. I lost three pounds this week. It came off so
effortlessly that I even considered I might have some serious
disease. No. I've simply made some small changes that are really
So let's see...
I'm not dieting.
I can eat whatever I want.
I really want what I'm eating.
I'm eating healthier.
I'm losing weight.
I'm not on the wagon so I can't fall off.
Her ending made me chuckle. Sounds like Kathy's pretty
happy to me!
For those of you who haven't read "Real People Don't Diet"
yet, you may find some clues in Kathy's email as to what makes our
eating strategy successful. But you need the whole picture,
encourage you to visit www.RealPeopleDontDiet.com
and pick up a copy. If you hate dieting, you'll love the book!
Write and let me know that Kathy sent ya!
On to the recipe.
Since we have dance class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have
to leave the house by 4:45 p.m., I decided they will be "crock
pot nights" until further notice. My family loves spaghetti
and meatballs, and I'm trying to simplify by reducing meal
choices, so...Tuesday night is now spaghetti night at our
I modified my very good friend Karen's sauce recipe for the
crock pot, and threw in my own "super-secret" ingredient. The
result? YUM-YUM! Enough sauce for another dinner
the week, too.
I usually throw this together just before I make lunch for
myself and the kids. It only takes 3 to 4 hours to cook (on
Keep in mind that tomatoes are nice and healthy. You can add
pureed vegetables such as carrots and peas to your sauce, too,
if you're concerned that you or your kids aren't getting
enough veggies in your daily diet.
Be sure to serve this with a crunchy salad or a steamed veggie
and a tall glass of ice water (add lemon for extra nutrition
and zest). I use Barilla's delicious whole-wheat spaghetti for
Cate's Special Sauce
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
2 large cans of tomato paste
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper (secret ingredient)
2 cloves garlic
oregano to taste
basil to taste
onion to taste
pinch of baking soda
pinch of sugar
homemade (uncooked) or frozen meatballs
cooked bulk Italian sausage, optional
parmesan cheese, optional
Mix together all ingredients in crock pot except the meatballs.
Fill a crushed tomato can halfway with water and add. Fill a
tomato paste can to full with water and add. Check taste and
adjust spices as necessary (don't add more red pepper unless
you like things spicy). Add meatballs, slowly
sausage and/or cheese, if desired.
Cook for 3 hours on high setting or 5-6 hours on low setting.
If sauce begins boiling before it's time to serve, reduce heat
to low or warm.
Makes approximately one gallon of sauce, enough to feed a crowd,
make a lasagna later in the week, or freeze for later!
After my last newsletter I noticed a lot of you tried my friend
Lana Dorazio's book on grocery shopping. How did you like it?
I'm able to spend around $200-$250 every two weeks using her
strategies. That's less than $500 a month to feed a family of
five! If you'd like to do just as well then give Lana's book
a try, if you haven't already.