Living Lite

DC Dept of Public Works' Mobile Canvases

December 3, 2017

This morning, when I came outside to greet my sanitation workers, I was stunned to see a beautiful canvas of flowers on their recycling truck. When I asked about it, the guys proudly told me that their truck was painted by a local artist. 

Apparently, the DC Department of Public Works collaborated with the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities to create mobile canvases "featuring the work of local artists to highlight the importance of recycling," according to the website.  The project, dubbed "Designed to Recycle," wrapped ten recycling trucks, says the website.

I, personally, appreciated waking up to this bright display and the always cheerful sanitation workers whose work is critical to the health and safety of DC citizens. Bravo!

See all of the artists' designs.

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Tip# 139: Give Away Leftovers! Stay Slim Through The Holidays 5 Ways

November 26, 2017

In tip#139 of my book, "Diet Simple," I share a little reminder that... it's not the holiday meal that puts the weight on, it's eating the high calorie leftovers again... and again... and again... on Friday... Saturday... Sunday... and beyond... Get rid of them (I'm pretty sure a homeless shelter would appreciate them)! But keep the tasty and healthy turkey, bones, and veggies to make a yummy soup that'll soothe your loved ones' souls - and bodies.

Splurging is great. but I recommend you get back to normal eating as soon as possible. Think of the Thanksgiving feast as one lovely day, and then, indulge yourself with the love of friends and family the rest of the weekend. Besides, isn't love, friendship and thankfulness the most important parts of the holidays?

Soup is perfect for 5 reasons...

Soups are an especially good use for your leftovers. Why? They are satisfying in many ways: First, they are easy to throw together (as an example, Goody's Vegetable Soup in "Diet Simple"). Second, psychologically, soups warm your body and soul. Third, physically, they are yummy and filling, yet low in calories. Fourth, Soups made with Thanksgiving leftovers are brimming with nourishment from the most nutrient-dense foods available: veggies! And fifth, eating soups slows you down, calms you, helps you eat more leisurely, and mindfully. And mindfulness helps your body and mind in surprising  ways.

I've written about the "Science of Slimming Soups," in Diet Simple and on my blog, and you'll be amazed at the results!

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Light and Creamy Mashed Potatoes for the Thanksgiving Table

November 21, 2017

Marion Burros’ Streamlined Mashed Potatoes

(Excerpted from "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations")


Potatoes have more potassium than any raw fruit or vegetable, even a banana. Potatoes contain half your requirement for Vitamin C. They rank 5th out of 42 vegetables tested for antioxidant capacity, coming ahead of broccoli, cabbage, and tomatoes. A 5.3 ounce serving of potatoes have only 110 calories. Potatoes could sustain your body healthfully with just a few dairy products and oil added. Think of all the cultures through hundreds, if not thousands of years, which survived on potatoes... Scandinavians, Russians, Irish, Peruvians... You get the picture!


I can’t imagine a better comfort food!


Serves 6


1 pounds unpeeled thin-skinned potatoes (Yukon Gold or other boiling potatoes), scrubbed and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 Cups Nonfat Buttermilk, or more

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Cook the  potato slices in water to cover until tender, about 10 minutes. Do not let them get so soft that they start to disintegrate; that makes them watery. Drain and mash the potatoes - peel and all - in a food mill, through a ricer, or with a potato masher.

2. Stir in the buttermilk until the potatoes become creamy. Season with salt and pepper.


NOTE: The potatoes can be refrigerated, if well covered, but they are best when fresh. To serve, place in a glass dish, cover wtih plastic wrap, and reheat in the microwave for about 8 minutes on high. Stir once or twice while reheating. If the potatoes become too dry, stir in additional buttermilk. Use waxy potatoes for boiling like Red Bliss or fingerlings. Yukon Golds are all-purpose.

Streamlined Mashed Potatoes is excerpted from Cooking for Comfort (Simon & Schuster 2003) by Marion Burros. Burros is a columnist and writer for The New York Times since 1981, she lives in New York City and outside Washington, D.C.

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