I found my mojo! In a pot. (Warning: graphic images)

In a 5-gallon stockpot, to be precise. Yes, I’m cooking, and it’s as shocking to me as it is to Josh, who claims that in the last two weekends I’d spent more time in the kitchen than in the four years he’d known me. And to be honest, he is only slightly exaggerating.

It started as part of this overall pledge I made to myself, to be healthier and to not ever let myself get as run down as I was right before Christmas. It was both the mental health and the physical, its kind of difficult to separate them. To be honest, the stress is still there, even though the workload has slowed, I think my nerves are worn out raw – I cried again at work last week and even took a day off when I woke up crying in the morning. It mostly has to do with an unpopular decision I made and several people passively-aggressively letting me know just how unpopular I am at the moment. It will pass, but I have to survive the next couple of weeks somehow.

So back to the stockpot. When I was making that pledge, I have recognized that part of the whole mind-body calamity had to do with what I eat. Normally it’s pretty healthy, meat and veg, but it has been repetitive and I have started sneaking in snacks, even sugary chocolate. Every single afternoon, around 3pm I would nearly lose the will to live and prop myself with some hot chocolate, or birthday cake (always someone having a birthday!) or something else just to get to the finish line. As a result, my slowly creeping weight finally reached the number I saw only once before, about ten years ago, right before I had a major crisis and left the US for Australia. I knew that eating sugar was a bad idea, but when you feel like you’re in a crisis every day, survival comes first. But it had to change.

I’ve read about bone broths before and thought I’d introduce them as a snack, not a full-on broth diet like I’d heard of, but more as a supplement. The trouble is, every commercially available broth I’d tried tastes bad, anywhere from “bland” to “slightly bitter with a touch of puke” to full-on “is this made from poo?”

So I decided to make my own. How hard can it be?

It’s not that easy, actually. Turns out you need to know some basics, like “don’t let it boil, ever” and “buy a decent pot and strainer”. Oh, and which bones to get. I tried to boil beef bones and they do smell like roadkill, so I’ve concentrated on making good chicken stock. Yes, stock, because my ex-firefighter husband won’t let me leave the gas on overnight, so 4-5 hours of cooking is all I can do. True to my perfectionist ways, I have researched and experimented and basically had to “science the shit out of it”.

But it was worth it.

Not only have I made gallons of “liquid gold” that tastes delicious in any soup and even as a drink, but I have also lost two pounds in just over a week! Yes, almost a kilo of fat, and I have not changed anything other than eating as much of my own creations as I wanted. I still have a “breakfast sandwich” every morning, made by Josh with eggs, bacon, and love, but the rest of it has been soups of various kinds – tomato, pumpkin, potato, and leek. I have been full and did not even crave the chocolate fixes. It was a miracle of sorts, losing weight without actually trying. I do go to the gym almost every lunch, mind you, but that did not work before. I just had strong musculature wrapped in a fluffy layer of fat.

I decided to document this miracle in detail, should it continue. So here are the graphic images I have mentioned earlier:

 img_6647 img_6646

I am already less bloated in these photos, although I did not expect my whole stomach to stick out quite so much. On the positive side, I did not expect to see the faint outline of abs, woo-hoo!

I know what you’re thinking, what is this? The author-turn artist now starts a diet fad? I promise to keep revealing photos to a minimum, just wanted to share with you something that’s simple and has made a huge difference for me in the last week. If it keeps on working, I will update you further, for now, try making a stock/broth/whatever you wanna call it at home. The web is full of recipes and all of us can do with more nutrients and less garbage in our lives.

And guess what? All that time in the kitchen did not stop me from slowly progressing on those fiery dining room walls.


I don’t know if it’s the nutrients or the active meditation of skimming a slowly simmering pot, but I feel good right now. Hope you do too.


Filed under General thoughts

13 responses to “I found my mojo! In a pot. (Warning: graphic images)

  1. Tony Poulsen

    You always look great. Josh better have been giving you a lot of hugs to help out. Protein is always good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tony 🙂 yes, Josh has been an exemplary husband, and a scared one, too, hehe. He’s never seen me in this state before. I am much better though, I took measures as soon as I realised what was happening. Thanks again.


  2. Best of luck to you, Ana. Weight control is one of the hardest internal battles many people will ever face, and it’s very brave to tackle it publicly. Such bravery is always deserving of encouragement. 🙂 Keep at it, and keep following your creative passions to support your emotional health, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. olivia layton

    Hi Ana! I left you a long reply on your last post .It said it was posting my comment but I don’t see it on there. I had given you some info on things that I felt would help you since I had went through same life events and found my health affected like yours. First your adrenal glands are fatigued and you need to help them out by changing your diet and your on the right path. Stress kicks the heck out of your adrenal glands. Bone broth is a great way to heal your body along with eating only unprocessed foods. Painting and just 2-5 minutes of any kind of meditation helps a lot. I can also give you names of some inexpensive supplements that help your immune system and the adrenals. Just let me know if your interested as I’ve helped a lot of people over the years get back their health. Take care and don’t stress. Ha-ha! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Olivia, for some reason your comment was pending approval, which is weird, since you have been a regular – maybe I accidentally pressed the wrong button. Should work now.
      Thank you, I think you are spot on about the adrenal exhaustion, and the main thing would be to take things down a notch, which I’m not good at, haha! I have started taking a multivitamin supplement, might try others too.


  4. Pingback: I found my mojo! In a pot. (Warning: graphic images) | Ann Writes Inspiration

  5. … Sorry Ana… But now you’re in the people-who-look-fine-and-think-they’re-unhealthy category.

    I’m also disappointed to find out you’re not a ridgy-didge Australian. (Unless you moved to the US first).

    You’re also in the people-who-are-annoyingly-takented-at-everything group, by the way. But I still like you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, Ben, I’m Russian! Did you not know that? Read all that back with an accent 🙂 Which would make me a typical Australian, 40% of Melbournians were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. That’s why you can get any authentic cuisine here.

      I was afraid that people would think I’m vain or trying to create unrealistic expectations for others. It’s more practical than that – I have a work wardrobe worth thousands of dollars that no longer fits and I don’t want to spend more money on new clothes. Plus, I felt better when I was lighter, so that’s that.

      Oh, and sorry for being annoying 🙂


  6. You look beautiful! Keep up the healthy eating and the focus on revitalizing your body from the basics of food outward. And, of course, the room you’ve painted… (sigh) I have to say, I’ve written a few stories that I’m incredibly proud of, but I have zero skills when it comes to the visual arts (my kids still tease me about a game of Pictionary we played five years ago. Cats and office buildings are hard, people.) I so admire other writers and also artists in general. Wonderful — keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ana, I just have to say how much I love your dining room walls. I once had fun with some special effects paint that turned our dining room walls into what looked like marble. People looking for joins in the wallpaper had no luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are amazing. I love reading this. Good advice and inspiration. Looking forward to reading this journey 😀


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