That got your attention, didn’t it! Have you noticed that every magazine, newspaper and most TV commercials are about losing so much weight so fast’ Diet’diet’diet! Just watch what you put in your mouth’that is how the pounds got there in the first place. I have an old saying that many of you have heard, ‘Once past the lips’forever on the hips.’ Each year we all vow to lose some pounds, and I am one of them. But this year, I will do it. I have a “big” birthday coming at me very fast, so I decided (as a present to me) I needed to shed some pounds. Calories and carbs’ Who wants to count’ Just watch the amount of food you shovel into your mouth. We eat with our eyes; make your food look good and eat slowly. One of my doctor friends from Houston told me years ago that if you put your fork down between bites, you will eat slower and feel full faster. We all sit with our fork perched over our places and put another bite in our mouths before we swallow the last one. So much for the lecture and I am lecturing myself, too. So let us all have a much healthier new year. On these cold Sunday afternoons, plan ahead for the week. Make your own salad dressing, plan the meats and vegetables and salad for the week. Add sliced fruit to your salads to make them colorful and add taste; it will also take care of that sweet urge so you can skip the cake or pie. Classic Vinaigrette Dressing 8 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or any flavored vinegar 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard Salt and pepper to taste Put the ingredients into a screw top jar and shake. This will last two to three days in the refrigerator. Here are a few examples of seasonings to add interesting flavors:basil, rosemary, paprika, mint, crushed garlic, dill, almonds, walnuts or pecans, lemon juice, horseradish and parmesan cheese. Another thing to add is a small can of mandarin oranges, or fresh raspberries, strawberries or blueberries (just use your imagination). Chicken Picatta I love this, and it has great flavor and is quick to prepare. You can also use a boneless pork chop. I use a boneless, skinless five-to-six ounce breast. Lay it on a flat surface, cover it with plastic wrap and pound it with a cleaver. This will make it so tender and thinner so it will cook faster. Season it with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Dust it in flour, then place it in a skillet with melted butter. Saut’ it until nearly done. Remove the breast, and in the skillet, add one tablespoon of flour and whisk. Then add chicken stock and lemon juice and whisk until you have a light sauce ( not gravy). Add about one tablespoon of capers and a little chopped green onion. Put the chicken back into the skillet and simmer very low for another 8-10 minutes to absorb the flavor of the lemon. This has a great flavor and goes great with green beans or asparagus and that salad with your homemade dressing. If you still need a sweet snack before bed, try some vanilla yogurt with a couple of tablespoons of granola cereal and some sliced fruit in it. It is tasty and good for both you and your heart. I hope we all have a very happy and healthy new year so we can all be around to see all of the great things happening in Brady in 2008. Happy dining’ Barbara.