If It’s Monday

If it is Monday, there will likely be a pot of dried beans on my stove.

I have been asked many times about what I eat daily. Beans, grains, seeds, nuts, and vegetables are part of almost every meal. I never eat processed foods, nor do I eat pork or beef. However, if the hostess serves chicken, I will have some. Occasionally, I have a piece of wild-caught grilled fish.

Late Lunch/Early Dinner

Late Lunch/Early Dinner

I soak dried beans and grains for at least twelve hours. The next day, I drain them and add them to a pot of fresh water. After letting the water come to a gentle boil, I turn down the heat to low and let the beans and grains simmer for about two hours or until the beans get tender. If the beans are old, they may take as long as four hours to cook.


When the beans become tender, it is time to add spices and herbs. If you add salt, save it until the very end because salt makes the beans tough when added during the cooking process. This big pot of beans will be eaten for my late-in-the-day meal each day. For example, they are served as a side dish to steamed broccoli and butternut squash, as hummus, added to vegetable soup, or added to the top of a big salad with more vegetables.

Some of the spices and flavors I add near the end of the cooking process include:
Powdered Garlic
Minced Dried Onion
Cayenne Pepper
Dried Chives
Plantation Blackstrap Molasses Unsulphured
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Half a stick of grass-fed butter, never margarine. (High-quality fat added to your meal helps your body absorb the nutrients.)

I read the book “Eat To Live” by Doctor Joel Fuhrman in 2011. This book changed my life because it taught me what to eat and why.

  1. Thanks for repeating this information for us – your healthy diet is certainly the way to maintaing or lose weight as well as fight off inflammations. I’m going to order that book – do you still recommend it or have you found another that you like? I need to keep my cooking simple and just for one. Thanks for all you do.

  2. Good morning from California. Susan, your salad looks delicious. My husband had quadruple by-pass surgery in August (he’s recuperating nicely) which changed our lives but also our eating habits. We’re following a Mediterranean style of eating – primarily vegetables, fruits, grains but we do eat fish (a lot of fish) and chicken. Enjoying the cooler weather here in California, I made a big pot of minestrone soup yesterday that the two of us can eat for lunch and with dinner for the rest of the week. You have mentioned Dr. Fuhrman’s book before so I’m going to order it from Amazon. Maybe if I follow his suggestions, I’ll be as stylish as you! Have a great day.

  3. Just finished reading the book and bought the cookbook,
    thanks to your posts. Incorporating into meal plans and hope to gradually switch over to this way of eating.

  4. I love pinto beans and cornbread, yes I know that corn bread is not good for me. But I grew up in East. Tn. and that was a staple each week. Now I love all kinds of beans cooked.

  5. While I love beans, they do not love me. Diagnosed and suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, beans do not process well. (Although chick peas or lentils do…go figure.) Any other kinds of dried beans can set off horrible pain and spasms. The FODMAP diet, for those with this illness prohibits beans, onions, and garlic (among other things that you have mentioned are not good, like wheat).

    “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”…an old saying which is so often true.

    Love your new site, and wish you all the best as you continue your journey.


  6. Hi Susan, I love your blog. I lost a few pounds and I NEED new stuff. I know you do not need new stuff but I do. I wish you would show us new things to buy.

    1. Sometimes I do add a tiny bit of butter to steamed vegetables and beans. We do need a little fat but not from frying or from cheese. I prefer to get fats from avocado or nuts.

  7. I’m also a fan of Dr. Furhman. Now that the fall is here and it’s colder, I’m all set to start making soups full of beans and veggies. Love your blog!

  8. You really are such an inspiration….I’m really trying to eat better (not for weight loss but just to be healthier)….this is SO NOT a negative but I was wondering do you get “bored” with eating the same bean soup daily? Although I actually think I’m a creature of habit and so eating the same or near the same soup each day (or even a big salad each day) I need something texture wise to shake things up. For instance I enjoy greek yogurt with fresh fruit for lunch but still need a handful of gluten free pretzels or something crunchy to go with. Either way, keep sharing what works for you because I’m still absorbing it 🙂

    1. I eat the beans in many different ways because they are a good source of protein. I treat them as if they are meat. I love to have dry roasted peanuts for the crunchy effect. I never get bored because I eat whatever is fresh and in season at its peak of flavor.

  9. Hi Susan,
    I love to make my beans from scratch, as well. There is something about a simmering pot on the stove whether soup or beans that helps me feel a bit warmer as the weather turns colder.
    I add olive oil and a few bay leaves to the pot once the water comes to a simmer.

    I will try your method of cooking beans of the same color together the next time I prepare them.

  10. Thank you, I really appreciate the hard work it takes you to publish your blog. It has helped me very much.

  11. Susan, you look fabulous and now I see why. You are inspiring me to get my act together in the eating department. I just read about the wonderful salmon dish that Mr. Mickey invented and hope to get a chance in the future to order it. I live in Nashville and went to Johnson City two years ago to see the home I lived in many years ago. We were on our way to Williamsburg and took a little detour. We lived in Gilmer Park and believe it or not the house was still there. I attended St. Mary’s School in the lst grade. Nice memories of my short stay there. Thanks so much for all you do to enlighten us over 60’s in fashion & health. You are a blessing. Cheryl Ann

  12. Susan, I am enjoying your blog so much. I grew up in eastern TN and my mom would have a pot of pinto beans simmering on the stove almost every day. And then she would make her cornbread from scratch and bake it in an iron skillet. Although I enjoy beans, I always wanted a variety of foods. I want to thank you as well, for everything you have in your blog. I am also checking out Dr. Fuhrman’s book. I love your dressing philosophy and am picking up lots of tips and help! No longer frumpy!

  13. Beans are also very helpful in keeping blood sugar levels lower, as well at as good level rather than highs and lows during the day. I have heard that eating a spoonful a day and gradually increasing can help your body get used to digesting them better. So…making a small pot of beans on Monday and taking a little each day would be ideal. Also, just opening a can and taking the small spoonfuls, increasing a bit each day may be an easier way to start until you can eat larger amounts.

    I appreciate your sharing your food ideas, just as much as you clothing ideas! Glad it will be a part of your new format on the new blog!

  14. I just read “Eat to Live”, stocked my fridge and made my first few healthy meals. Love the book. Whipping up a bean & veggie soup for dinner tonight.
    Love your blog, love your clothes, enjoy reading about your weekend adventures too! Thank-you!

  15. This looks delicious and healthy!! Do you have an actual recipe for these beans, I would really like to know what kinds of beans and grains to buy so that I too can make a pot of beans for the week.

    Thank you, you really do make my life better with all your tips and I really like waking up to your site every day.

    1. Thank you, Dianna. I never use a recipe. I just put in a little of this and a little of that. It’s somewhat like the way I get dressed, no plan, just do what feels right for that day. There are some good YouTube videos on how to cook beans.

  16. Hi Susan, I have been following your blog recently. I love your fashion style and am very interested in your diet (looks delicious) as well. I was wondering if you take any supplements or you rely on your eating plan to provide your nutrients.

    1. I don’t take any supplements. I have been very healthy for more than five years. My doctor tells me I have the lab results of a teenager. That always makes me happy!

  17. I love eating organic, with as little as possible animal derived products, but it’s not easy if u live in a family that though into healthy eating, does eat chicken, and a lot of processed foods. Nevertheless, I am progressing little by little. My weakness? Having been born and raised in Cuba, where sugar I’m high quantities is part of the daily diet, I have an addiction to sugar and sugary foods. That’s my toughest battle. But with inspiration like yours and many others, this is going to be my turn around year. Thank you so much!

  18. Could you share how often you shop, and how you store the fresh vegetables and fruits? Like you, I live alone and have a difficult time cooking for one without wasting a lot of food. Invariably at the end of the week I throw away some broccoli, mushrooms and berries that have gone bad. Eating a small salad every day doesn’t use a whole head of lettuce in a week. Thank you for the tips!

    1. I buy enough for no more than two meals at a time. I don’t eat head lettuce, but I do buy one small box of mixed dark leafy greens. I try to eat all of the greens within two days. I never buy prebagged fruits and vegetables because I can never eat them fast enough. For example, I will buy one avocado and one small box of cherry tomatoes, because that will be sufficient for two meals. I shop about twice per week, and I always keep frozen organic vegetables and sweet potatoes on hand.

  19. Hi Susan,
    I first found you on Facebook some time last year and there are so many things about your style that I connected with right away. I love what you share and I know you help so many women with your blog. Thank you for all that you share. You are helping me more than you would ever know, so therefore I will share just a bit, This year I fought and won the big fight with breast cancer and I am now recovering and working on regaining my health. Your sharing about how you are eating clean and reading Joel Fuhrman’s book really incourages me as I also need to’eat to live’ so I am following you and your fantastic example.
    Another kindred spirit sister, Connie.

  20. I just bought the book “Eat to Live “. As well as his cookbook. I had already lost 25 pounds by sticking closer to my diabetic program but seem to hit a plateau and wasn’t loosing my usual pound a week. I’m sure this book will take me to the finish line. I will let you know when I get there.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.