Tofu Technique and Honoring Real Beauty

Are you on Twitter? You should be. Every day, I’m alerted to everything from breaking news (The Hudson plane crash, anyone?) to fashion and celebrity news to foodie delights. (Note: you should also be following me! @kwidrick) This week, I saw a post from Glamour Magazine and the link took me to an amazing and refreshing story.

Meet a real woman:

(Courtesy: Glamour Magazine)

(Courtesy: Glamour Magazine)

I highly recommend that you read the complete article here, but the summary is that Glamour posted this picture in its September article, and ever since — the editors have been inundated with letters of thanks and support from readers. Here’s what the editor wrote in an online post:

So what’s the story behind the photo? “The woman on p. 194″ is actually 20-year-old model Lizzi Miller, and this is her second appearance in Glamour, shot by fashion photographer Walter Chin. A size 12-14 and avid softball player/belly dancer (“I like exercising when it’s fun”), Lizzi moved to New York City from San Jose three years ago to become a model (a “plus-size” one by modeling industry standards, though hello, at size 12 she’s actually “normal size”…but I digress).

“When I was young I really struggled with my body and how it looked because I didn’t understand why my friends were so effortlessly skinny,” Lizzi told me. “As I got older I realized that everyone’s body is different and not everyone is skinny naturally–me included! I learned to love my body for how it is, every curve of it. I used to be so self-conscious in a bikini because my stomach wasn’t perfectly defined. But everyone has different body shapes! And it’s not all about the physical! If you walk on the beach in your bikini with confidence and you feel sexy, people will see you that way too.”

It reminds me so much of the beautiful post Meghann made about Bikini Confidence, in which she detailed her own weight loss journey and what it took to feel brave enough to wear a bikini and put the picture on her blog.

This weekend at the Healthy Living Summit, Caitlin asked us to write down one thing that makes us feel beautiful on the outside, and one that makes us feel beautiful on the inside, all for Operation Beautiful. Here were mine:

On the outside: I feel beautiful when my brown eyes turn green from crying — especially when it’s because I’m laughing so hard that I’m tearing up.

On the inside: I feel beautiful that I was brave enough to put my “before” picture on my blog.

I’d love to say that I have the confidence to wear my bikini in public, or to let it all hang out in a picture like the Glamour model. Truthfully, the first thing I looked at in that picture was her wide, inviting smile. She feels great and it shows.

Okay, onto some good eats! As the title alludes to, I celebrated Tofu Tuesday this week by trying to perfect an already kick-ass tofu technique. Now, if you read Gliding Calm, you’re probably familiar with her blogger-world-renowned GC Tofu. She has an entire page devoted to rubs, marinades and recipes. I’ve been making her baked tofu for months — an amazing statement because pre-GC, I thought I hated tofu!

How can you hate this?

Tofu and Veggies

Here’s how I got here. I pressed the tofu — the most important step! I prefer the extra firm variety, and so, apparently, does my cat Travers:

Tofu and Travers 2

Yup, that’s a 10-pound weight on the poor, unsuspecting brick of tofu. Don’t worry, the tofu is wrapped in layers and layers of paper towels to soak up all the liquid that gets pressed out. This makes it easier for the tofu to soak up the awesomeness that is the next step:

Tofu Marinade

I throw whatever is handy in — this week, it was olive oil, honey and some balsamic vinegar, but I often add spices, soy sauce, lemon juice and even orange juice! The longer your tofu pieces (because you’ve cut them into small chunks at this point) can stay in the pool, the better. From here, you can bake them until they are crispy and soy-tastic, but this week, I dredged the tofu in panko breadcrumbs that I mixed with a spicy taco seasoning:

Tofu 1

Tofu 3

Tofu 4

And baked them, along with some eggplant and broccoli — one oven, one temp, no big deal.

Tofu and Veggies 2

I know, I’m working on the whole kitchen light situation.

I have really grown to love tofu. There’s a big debate about soy — can you eat too much? Not enough? What kind? Will it lead to cancer? Janel Ovrut has initials after her name and she says that soy, like everything else, is fine in moderation. Sounds good to me.

And since we’re talking about eats, I should tell you that Shannon‘s Cardamom Coffee Zucchini Bread is one of the best things I have eaten. I think it’s the pineapple — it kept the bread moist and sweet while keeping that slightly savory taste from the cardamom. Mmmmmm.

Next week, I’m planning on going to two really neat foodie events:

  • A Slow Food meetup at Orlando Brewing — good for me, good for Lucas. He actually reviewed some of the Orlando Brewing beers during our trip to Pizza Fusion a few weeks ago. I’m interested to learn more about the local food movement, and to hopefully meet other people who love food as much as I do!
  • Taste of the Nation, supporting Share Our Strength (one of my favorite charities). Tickets are spendy, but it’s for a great cause. Lucas and I have been once before and it’s a fun night with lots of eating, drinking and socializing. I’ll leave you with a great video that really sums up the need to do more when it comes to childhood hunger.

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  1. Terry says

    A shout out to you for addressing how “Real Women” look. It’s so refreshing to see a woman who is completely happy with her body. I would sometimes feel ashamed to let others see my “before” pictures, but I’ve started to think that it may give people who have really large amounts of weight to lose hope that they could also achieve a healthy body/lifestyle. To me, that’s what it’s all about, sharing the hope that we can live better, stronger and healthier as we go along in life.


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