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Six Months of Sitting 8 Hours a Day

April 28, 2017
Good Veggie soup with spoon.JPG

Great Veggie Soup – my vegan friends will be thrilled.

I love my job writing radio commercials. Its’ great because I love writing, and because people at my workplace actually seem to appreciate my work, which will never stop thrilling me. I’ve worked plenty of places where I was not appreciated, so I know this is not the norm.  Being valued makes you shine and want to work really hard.

The tiny downside to this job is that I sit 8 hours a day.  I’m often up and down printing things and I try to walk during my lunch hour, but sitting, not only makes me a little crazy, it’s making me round.  I’ve gained close to 10 pounds since I started. I have the beginnings of what an old boyfriend used to call, “government butt.” Not a very nice term for what government employees develop by sitting all day.

It’s easy to do, you don’t even see it coming, then bam.  That liar of a scale flashes a number that makes your hair stick straight up. So, I’m considering doing something as drastic as actually getting up at the God-awful hour of 5:15 and going to the gym to work out before work.  Just the thought of it makes me want to cry. It’s only in the consideration stage at this point, but I’m warming up to the idea. By December I should be on board.

The other thing I’m trying to do is count calories, which is OK, until you total everything up. My response at the end of the day is usually, “What the hell?  I didn’t eat THAT much, did I?” Followed by, “Wow, I guess all I get is a salad for dinner…no wait, make that a leaf of lettuce.”

In an effort to stop government butt, I’m making some vegetable heavy dishes.  One of my favorites, which I got from an old Weight Watchers book is Garden Vegetable Soup.  I love it. It’s low calorie, full of yummy veggies, and tastes really delicious. I have it with a little grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese on top and it’s really satisfying.

Granted, it would be better with a big hunk of crusty, warm bread dipped in olive oil, but I guess you can’t have everything.

Of course I can never leave well enough alone when it comes to a recipe, so I added a little more of all the veggies and two cans of stewed tomatoes, which added about 180 calories to the recipe. If you follow the actual Weight Watchers recipe, it’s about 42 calories per serving. With mine, it’s probably closer to 62 calories, but well worth it. And for all my vegan friends (I believe there are two of you) you can use vegetable broth and this recipe is actually vegan!

Garden Vegetable Soup

3/4 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup diced onion

2 garlic cloves

3/4 cup chopped carrots

3 to 4 cups vegetable  or chicken broth (I used chicken)

2 cups chopped cabbage

1/2 cup green beans

5 basil leaves finely chopped

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup chopped zucchini

2 cans stewed Italian style tomatoes (diced) and their sauce

In a large soup pot, spray with nonstick cooking spray OR a 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Sauté the carrot, onion, celery and garlic over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, cabbage, beans, basil, Italian seasoning and salt. Add two cans of finely chopped stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer covered about 15 minutes or beans are tender.

Stir in zucchini and cook about 5 minutes. Then serve with grated cheese.






  • Reply
    Tuan Tran
    October 8, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Nice story, good recipe! Delicious vegetables soup! Thank for your sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    May 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Your soup sounds delicious, Fran! I’ll have to whip up a batch of that myself! Yum yum!
    You’ll be happy to know that you have inspired me to try something new…. today we were at Claro’s Italian Market, getting our usual lunch essentials — a sandwich for my husband, some broccoli prosciutto salad for me, and then I was suddenly struck with a bit of whimsy and decided try something new…. mortadella! Yes, I recalled your tales of trips to the Italian market, and the word mortadella came to mind and danced a little jig in my head, so I took a walk on the wild side and got some. With pistachios.
    First, I asked Tony, our friendly counter man and shop manager, “What exactly is mortadella?” and he was more than happy to introduce me to the wonders of a delightful slice.
    Previously I have gone with the tried and true items such as prosciutto, Italian salami and various pedestrian cheeses. But today, Fran, your tales of exotic victuals lured me into the wilds and I followed the whispering call.
    Upon arrival home, I gobbled up several slices of the mortadella and some of the broccoli salad. Life is good. 🙂 You have broadened my horizons.
    Thanks for all of the mental, visual and culinary delights that you bring to life.
    I hope you have a great week ahead!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      Oh my God Leslie, I am so happy I was able to introduce you to something new. I know it’s not health food, but Mortadella is one of my favorite Italian cold cuts. A thin slice or two on a nice slice of Italian bread, maybe toasted with a little olive oil drizzle and I’m in heaven. Although I’ve been known to just rip a hunk of bread off in the car and make an impromptu sandwich on my way home because I have virtually no will power in the face of Mortadella.

  • Reply
    Monica Muehsam
    April 29, 2017 at 4:43 am

    When I went back to work full time, I started going to the gym at 5AM and have been going four days a week for 11 years now. It sucks getting up that early, but it really does give you more energy for the rest of the day. You can do it, Fran!!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 1, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Monica, you are always an inspiration!!!! Thanks so much, I needed that!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Soup looks delicious, Fran. And you know we love you and your chubutta, no matter what size it is! You are doing great. Xo

  • Reply
    Suzette Calleja
    April 28, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Fran
    I was wondering if you can switch to a desk that you have to stand at with a tall chair ( one that fits your size). I have started to stop putting sugar in my tea and coffee. I was having 5 cups of tea a day, also I am following Suzanne Somers diet, and I have already lost most of my stomach in 2 months. Just some thoughts. I am sure you get all sorts of advice, like running around nude in (in the house) and drink cactus juice. So take my advice with a grain of salt.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      April 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Suzette, well the running around naked might be a bit of a shock to my daughter, but no sugar in my coffee is something I could try. I’m down to one packet of honey, but none is better. I wish I could switch to a standing desk, but no such luck…yet. Thanks for the thoughts though. If I write it all down and actually make time to exercise, I do OK. I’ll keep you posted!

  • Reply
    Bernie Tunno
    April 28, 2017 at 10:02 am

    You sound like an Italian loaf of bread Chubutta! From you equally chubby brother drat the fat! Bernardo

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      April 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Yes, Chubutta indeed. But writing it all down helps. It’s cruel but it helps. We will conquer this!!!

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