Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Planning for the New Year

Jan's Peanut Butter Smoothie post on Monday focused on just what I'm thinking as I head into 2016.

I need to get back to my healthy eating regime. Regime makes it sound nasty, but really it's a good word choice.

If you look up the meaning of the word regime on, you get this:

a mode or system of rule or government:
a dictatorial regime.
a ruling or prevailing system.
a government in power.
the period during which a particular government or ruling system is in power.
Medicine/Medical. regimen (def 1).
Click on #5 regimen and you get:


Medicine/Medical. a regulated course, as of diet, exercise, or manner of living, intended to preserve or restore health or to attain some result.
YES! That's what my brain was looking for. See, all that sugar makes my thinking less than clear. ;)
 intended to preserve or restore health or to attain some result.
In my heart, I yearn for days of tea and scones, baskets of muffins to go with the morning coffee (or a delicious sour cream coffee cake). Alas, my body cries from energy levels depleted, resources to fight fatigue drained away by all those delicious carbs.
Truth is, when I listen to my body, I feel healthier and happier. I forget that sometimes in the rush of daily living, in the "grab something fast because I'm starving" end of the work day blues. Cooking a healthy meal becomes overwhelming, another task to accomplish. And oh that delicious cookie beckons with it's fast, sugary energy rush.

Followed by the inevitable crash.

So, as 2016 approaches, I vow once again to listen to my body's lament and learn to relish delicious, healthy foods, to become again the healthy writer!

I was reminded this past week that healthy eating doesn't have to be an insurmountable goal. My daughter and I made a delicious nut roast for our part of Christmas dinner, and I had leftovers for days. Eating healthy was an easy choice when I had meals stockpiled to choose from. 

I plan to share that recipe and others with you in the upcoming year, but for today, as we bid farewell to the old and plan to greet the new, I'll share our plan for a healthy New Year's Day dinner.

We plan to adapt this recipe - substituting black-eyed peas for the lentils to observe the tradition. Maybe we'll add some collard greens on the side. :)

The original recipe is called Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie with Parsnip and Potato Mash. You can find the recipe at
 I was curious why black-eyed peas, so of course I Googled and found this:

Southern tradition holds that the first food to be eaten on New Year's Day should be black-eyed peas for luck and prosperity -- specifically, one pea for each day of the year. To really ensure a good year, add a mess o' greens for wealth.
That's the tradition I'd always heard, but this one fascinates me:
 According to Wikipedia, the tradition dates as far ancient Egypt. During the time of the Pharaohs, it was believed that eating a meager food like black-eyed peas showed humility before the gods, and you would be blessed. According to Wikipedia, the Babylonian Talmud, which dates to 339 CE, instructs the faithful Jews to eat black-eyed peas at Rosh Hashana.
The belief was similar: those who ate black-eyes showed their humility and saved themselves from the wrath of God.


  1. I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU!!!! I haven't had vegetarian Shepherds pie in years and years and years and I've never made it myself. I was literally moping around the house yesterday trying to figure out if I could make a Shepherds pie using lentils but was stuck trying to figure out what to add to it. And, voila, here's the recipe. Definitely going to make this on the weekend. And I love the mix of parsnips and potatoes. Yum. Yum. Yum. I'm giddy with excitement. Thank you!!!!! And Happy New Year!!!

  2. Oh, Kav! I'm so glad. I was thinking of you when I posted the recipe. I'm so happy I posted this one instead of the gingerbread scone recipe I'd planned. We can have them mid-January when we need a healthy lift. :)

    I hope you enjoy!

  3. I can't wait to try this! I love shepherd's pie so I know this will be a yummy alternative.

    I'm originally from Kentucky and grew up eating black eyed peas and greens on New Year's Day. :) I've carried on the tradition.

    1. I don't have any recollection of it, Missy. Either it wasn't something we did up north here or else my family just didn't do it.

      My daughter and I got some frozen black-eyed peas at Whole Foods last year, but I don't recall what we did with them.

  4. This sounds amazingly good!!!! I love Shepherd's Pie, and I love playing with old traditions and wondering what inspired them... and then we'll probably find out that it's like the woman who always had the end of the ham cut off by the butcher, and when he finally asked why she did that she said... 'Well, my mother always did it'... and so she called mom and asked her why she did it and mom said: 'Because that was the only way it would fit in the pan.'


    I've never heard the black-eyed pea tradition, either, my grandpa would bring a fresh ham (unsmoked leg of pork) and we'd roast that for New Year's dinner....

    This year I will probably reward myself with writing time!!!! And a quick salad, it might sound lame, but that's the greatest celebration I can think of after the craziest December on record up here!

    Happy New Year, my beautiful friends!