DON’T FORGET TO STIR THE GRITS was brought to my mind when I wrote yesterday’s blog with memories of younger days. Please join me for a wonderful life lesson as well as a lesson in cooking a great pot of grits. The blogs that take me back to simpler times are the ones I enjoy the most writing. I hope you enjoy this cooking lesson of life. Feel free to share it with others. #blog #lifelesson #grits #southernheritage #amwriting #love


grits 3

DON’T FORGET TO STIR THE GRITS should get the talking pot a little hot with discussion points. I am diving into my southern heritage with the anticipation some of my readers have never tasted this food staple of the south. As usual, if you stay with me throughout this message, you will find a life lesson recipe but you can learn how to make a great pot of grits.

Southerners use grits to enhance a meal as many people use potatoes. It is a filler and sticks to the “bones” filling the person up. It is a great breakfast dish but is also the ultimate staple for a fish and/or seafood recipe. I want to take you back to my childhood for a few observations on how I learned to love grits.

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My mother’s father, Cecil Holt, was the head security guard at a local prison camp in Irwin County GA. He was a tall man and walked with authority. With earned respect, he did his job without any obvious fear. Somehow, all of his grandchildren were attracted to him and I like to think he had charisma along with a disciplined personality. We would visit him and our step grandmother and I have to say she was a wonderful cook. However, I looked at my plate during breakfast and was not immediately drawn to the pile of white blah looking grits with over easy eggs and fried bacon. They were so white except for the pat of butter on the top. I wasn’t sure I wanted to eat them but then Granddaddy introduced me to how to make them delicious. Not everyone will agree with this method as I have continued to eat breakfast grits the same way……mix the eggs into the grits and crumble the meat in there too. It may not suit your fancy but Granddaddy scored a big point with us and grits became a delight.


On one of my special Mother-Daughter vacations, Missy and I went a five star resort in Florida. We ordered grits with our breakfast and were introduced to a plate of grits unmatched by any other grits we had eaten. Have I ever told you I am not shy (lol) so I asked if the chef would tell us how she made those delicious grits. I explained that I was not interested commercially but praised her on her five star or maybe ten star grits. I will say her secret was cream and butter and lots of stirring. It works and when my daughter comes home for holidays or vacation, we make long cooking, creamy buttery grits and believe me, we stir the fool out of them.

As the grits cook, it is a requirement to stir them on a regular basis or they form clumps and are not smooth consistency. Having stirred many pots of grits that turn out smooth from the stirring process and also the episodes when I was distracted and seeing the clumps form, I have given this process some thought. Life is similar to a pot of grits and let me share why I have come to this conclusion.


Life starts as an empty pot. We develop experience as we begin to figure out what we want to cook or be in life. We throw in our education and everyday encounters the same way we add bland grits, salt and pepper (if desired) and water (which I like to think is our faith in a higher power). As in faith, water is not a solid matter but a fluid that is there but we can’t hold it in our hands freely and it has to be placed in our hearts the same as we need it to cook our lives the same as the grits need it. We begin the process of life, going about the normal routine, and sometimes forgetting we need to stir things up. We need to give attention to those who make up our lives, stirring requires work and so does life. If we regularly stir our lives by helping others, inspiring those who are not as strong, sympathize or empathize (I call this adding seasonings), the grits or life begins to get thicker which represents a fuller life which can include marriage, friendships, and a successful career. At this time, when the grits seem to be bubbling away and a lot of stirring or interaction occurs, an opportunity to make our lives delicious and filling is presented in the form of adding the cream and butter (the finer things or accomplishments in life). Life can be ordinary as grits can be bland if the cook doesn’t take the time to add the extra or as I like to say, “go the extra mile by adding the things or activities that give you happiness and fulfillment.” One more bit of advice…..Stir the grits because no matter if you add the cream and butter, life will be lumpy and clumpy if you don’t take the time to pay attention to what is going on in your pot of life. Enjoy!

Note from Blogger and Author: I am in a healthy WOE and I don’t get to eat grits like I used to eat. I can assure you one of my “cheat-treat” meals will contain grits and they will be cooked the slow, buttery, creamery way for maximum enjoyment as I live life the same way.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if known. Photos are not exclusively the property of Sipping Cups unless stated.



On the blog today, I wanted to step back to easier and simpler times and remind us to never lose what makes our country so special. Kick back, grab a glass of tea and return with me to those days gone by of fishing and sharing good times with family. WHERE DID WE GET LOST AMERICA? #blog #America #patriotism #amwriting #family #life #fun





Where did we get lost, America?

I remember kicking a can down the road and giggling.
I think about baiting a fishing hook with worm wiggling.
Bonanza’s music still stirs that come a’ running feeling.
And then I wonder why America went awry and reeling.

When did a peanut butter and jelly sandwich stop filling?
Why did cooking a regular meal become unwilling?
With low carbs, no carbs, sugar free, and lactose intolerant.
We forgot how a pot of chicken & dumplings can be so fragrant.

We stopped from laughing and loving while wading in a stream.
We moved to ridiculing others instead of living our country’s dream.
Bring back those good ole summer days of family gathering.
Let us stop the bickering and start those barbecue grills sizzling.

When did we start to feel we are better than another human being?
When did we get used to all of the hideous violence we are seeing?
I remember my parents teaching us to show our manners to all.
Why don’t we respect our elders and teach little ones not to fall?

Bring back the Andy, Barney, and Aunt Bea to teach us right from wrong.
Where is the neighborhood love and choirs singing an old gospel song?
I’d like to hear more of the Yes, Mam and No Sirs and what about Thank You?
An old fashion quilting bee, or just playing checkers or even nothing to do.

Where did we get lost America, and where do we go from here?
Do we sit back and allow the ones who would love for us to live in fear?
Do we care enough to dare to say, don’t steal our country from us!
I want the peaceful life, the joys of simple things and not all the fuss.

America, take a look around and see if our Glory can be found.
We can grow and love while staying the same, safe and sound.
Drown out the noise of the rhetoric, and stand tall with pride.
I may have to find my fishing pole and find my Mayberry stride.

Written by Arline Miller for some food for thought and love for our country!
October 20, 2018


This morning, I had this poem, as most of my writings, come to me and I wrote it free hand. I don’t spend a lot of time making sure it is grammatically correct as I never want to lose the heartwarming effect of the writing. It occurs I could be talking about other countries and way of life as it used to be.

With technology, which I use on a regular basis, I can expand my world into your world and share thoughts and concerns as well as the joys of life. I think we, as a human race, should stop and smell the roses, gardenias, freshly cut grass, listen to the birds chirping, and children laughing. We should act silly more often, laugh at ourselves and with others and not at each other. We should listen more and talk less. We can learn from our elders and not shut them out because they cannot go or do as they could younger. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by choosing to LIVE LIFE and not EXIST ONLY.

Here is an article on 8 Ways to Get the Most Out of Life

Many people feel that they can’t seem to get their lives moving in the right direction. If you embrace the attitudes below, you will find it much easier to get where you want to go.

  • Respect yourself. Without self-respect, you will not have the confidence you need to participate in the world and fulfill your dreams. Being unable to respect yourself is a sign that you need to do some inner healing. Once you have, life can be wonderful again.
  • Get emotional support. The energy you get from those people who care about you is a gift. It’s important to remember that those who have close relationships and friendships with others generally live longer and fuller lives. When you feel the need, reach out to someone you know cares about you.
  • Employ positive thinking. Keeping your thoughts moving in a positive direction not only makes you feel good in the moment but it also staves off anxiety and depression. It also gives you the one thing that we all need to keep our lives moving forward: hope. The more you employ positive thinking, the longer the effects last.
  • Show self-awareness. Knowing who you are and what your purpose is on the planet is one of the keys to happiness. If you don’t know what you want to do with your life at the moment, begin by looking at what you’ve done before that’s made you happy and start creating a list of things that might make you feel that way again.
  • Display kindness. Some people believe that being kind is a weakness, and nothing could be further from the truth. Kindness can make the difference between success and failure. It can make your life and relationships deeper and more meaningful. It can also change the lives of others in a very profound and positive way. Kindness is a very powerful tool.
  • Seize opportunities. Wonderful things pass our way every day. Unfortunately, even though these things may be desirable, some people find it difficult to summon up the energy to go after them. Reach into your heart and find the strength to take on the potential in your life.
  • Trust your intuition. When you get a gut feeling, listen to it. If what you want isn’t going to hurt you or anyone else, and the outcome could be a positive one, go for it. Our inner voices can give us a lot of good information and the inspiration we need to help us achieve our goals.
  • Don’t hide. If you want to make a difference on the planet or just make a difference for yourself, you have to get out there, so people can see what you are doing. Some people will help, and a few may be detractors, but if you don’t make it known that you want something new, nothing will change for the better.

These tips have helped thousands of people lead fuller lives and discover parts of themselves they have never known. Happiness does come from moving forward. Give it a try.

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(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original location for credit and reference source.




DON’T CLEAN UP; CLEAN OUT YOUR PANTRY. One of the most common errors in changing our Way of Eating (WOE) is having temptation as close as the pantry. Today on the blog, I look at the pros of cleaning out and removing the No-Nos of a healthy eating program. Please join me on the blog and share it with others. Your comments/feedback are appreciated. #blog #healthyeating #WOE #life #amwriting #lowcarb



TODAY THE WORDS are DON’T CLEAN UP; CLEAN OUT THE PANTRY.  As I start the New Year off with more focus on how we can live and eat in a really tempting world. How many commercials have food which can never look as good as they do while they want you to use their products? How many times have we gotten up from watching a commercial and gone into the pantry or refrigerator looking for the food you saw on the commercial? How many times if you didn’t find that product, you chose something else and ate due to the temptation? Now, all of us have done this so let’s be honest. If you haven’t; Kudos to you.

What we as consumers should realize, this is BIG business for advertisers and manufacturers and we get the blow on both arenas. We support the advertisers by buying all of the products advertised and we support the weight loss product industry by gaining weight from the very products we bought. Look at the following information with the link attached about advertising:

Total media ad spending in the US this year will see its largest increase in a decade, according to new figures from eMarketer. On the strength of gains in mobile and TV advertising, total ad investments will jump 5.3% to reach $180.12 billion, achieving 5% growth for the first time since 2004, when ad spending increased 6.7%.


– See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Total-US-Ad-Spending-See-Largest-Increase-Since-2004/1010982#sthash.135lkbkO.dpuf


Healthy Eating Tip: Before you can lose unhealthy eating habits you have to lose the unhealthy foods out of your pantry and refrigerator. If it is there and when those cravings come; it is harder to resist. If they are hard to find or you have to go buy them; you have a better chance of talking yourself out of them. We haven’t completed our over haul yet but we are making a dent in them. It is not easy and we are human but the effort is worth it. (I posted this on FB last year and did a good cleaning of the pantry, but it’s back).

One of the realistic, humanistic facts we know is normally we, at some point and time, will backslide and return to old unhealthy habits. I try to remember I fall victim to my emotions or situations and food has been a source of comfort. I have a sign up “I eat to live; not live to eat.” I have to read this and reassure myself I mean it.

ebab1-healthy2bfood2bpantryEAT TO LIVE, NOT LIVE TO EAT

I want to leave all of us with a thought: Eating to live means healthy eating and exercise. Living to eat is to fall victim to the unhealthy culprits hiding in our refrigerators and/or pantries waiting to devour our good intentions when we devour all of those empty calories and add chemical toxins into our bodies who ache to be healthy. Our bodies want to be fit; lean; and healthy. It is the commercial temptations which we have to fight like pro boxers. Prepare for the fight for your life! Clean out the frig and the pantry. If it is not there; you CAN’T eat it. It is that simple.  On my list for this weekend: Clean out pantry and take a picture of how good it looks with healthy choices. Keep the picture on your refrigerator to remind you not to buy the wrong foods.

“Beware of the temptation by removing yourself from watching so much television or watch more movies without the commercials. Use the time for learning how to maintain your health. I am making it my mission to research on a regular basis and my health is improving. Trust me, this isn’t easy for this Southern Gal who was taught “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  Until we read and eat again…..Arline Miller, Author

(C) COPYRIGHT Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to the original location with links for credit and reference purposes.



It’s that time of year so get to the Pumpkin Patch and find the best ones for cooking and/or decorating. Please join me on the blog as we go pumpkin-ing. You may find the health benefits as an added plus. Pumpkin me this, yes or no? OCTOBER SCENTS ARE PUMPKIN READY is a fun post but informative as well. #blog #October #Pumpkin #pumpkinpies #cooking #healthyeating #amwriting



No blog message on the October Scents would be complete without the scents of mountain air and beautiful leaves with their awesome display of color. This video was composed from our recent changing of the leaves vacation.

Pumpkin flavored everything seems to be in all ads, coffee, shakes, lattes, cookies, pies, tarts and breads bring the strong allspice and cinnamon flavors. Answer me this…..As I listed these tasty and fragrant delights, did your smell sense rise especially when I mentioned cinnamon? Let’s go on a little memory trip and visit the gingerbread land.

When I was young and always ready for something Momma had baked; I looked forward to her tea cakes, her pound cakes (which we would always catch her out of the kitchen and jump up and down to cause it to fall; bless Momma’s heart it was years before she realized her cakes would have been beautiful if we hadn’t sabotaged her efforts to have it taste better), but I remember her gingerbread best of all. I could smell the fragrant aroma of the gingerbread loaf before I made it home from school. Walking up to our house, I could smell it’s wonderful smell and I was so excited. I am speaking from my heart but this was a unanimous contention for all of my siblings. It was a wonderful and joyous moment and now a great memory of those spices and more importantly, the love shown by our Mom.

We, as humans, are susceptible to smells as much as taste. We are usually expressive either pro or con about smells and aromas. Fall presents strong aromas and seemingly tied to family gatherings and holidays. This brings me to my focus for this message.


Pumpkin Pie Scents


Tis the season … for pumpkin spice, that is. This seasonal spice blend might have its naysayers who believe that the pumpkin spice love has gotten a little out of control, but to them, we say: bring it on. Even Trader Joe’s is embracing pumpkin spice mania — or, as they put it, “Pumpkintopia”.

If you don’t know what pumpkin spice is, we have to say, you are missing out. Contrary to the name, it doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin, but the warming blend of spices pairs oh-so-well with pumpkin pie and the famous concoction that has stolen our hearts over the years: the pumpkin spice latte. Unfortunately, the most mainstream example of our beloved latte, the Starbucks PSL, is not and cannot be made vegan, but worry not — it’s easy to make your own vegan pumpkin spice latte at home.

Bonus: this homemade version comes with some health benefits. Let’s break down the reasons why.

Ahh, pumpkin spice … A warming symphony of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
Cinnamon has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Studies have also suggested that it may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger boasts a variety of health benefits, such as combating stomach ailments, reducing inflammation, reducing headache pain, aiding in digestion, and increasing metabolism.

Nutmeg is rich in manganese, which helps regulate blood sugar, absorb calcium, metabolize carbs, and helps form tissues and bones.

Allspice, also known as pimento, is rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, may help improve blood circulation and more.

Cloves are a rich source of manganese and an active component called eugenol, which functions as an anti-inflammatory substance. It has also been the subject of studies on the prevention of toxicity from environmental pollutants like carbon tetrachloride, digestive tract cancers, and joint inflammation.

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Blend at Home
Ready to make your own pumpkin spice blend? First, make sure you have your supplies. You’ll need an empty bottle (save the bottles from spices you use up just for moments like this) and a kitchen funnel. You could also make your own kitchen funnel by cutting a sheet of printer paper in half diagonally, shaping it into a cone, and taping it.

Then, combine 1/2 cup ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons ground ginger, 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1 teaspoon ground cloves.

Now, you’re ready to use your homemade blend in homemade pumpkin spice lattes and more! Here are a few of our favorite recipes, courtesy of the Food Monster App:

Pumpkin Spice Latte With Homemade Pumpkin Seed Milk
This dairy-free version of the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte by Courtney West is made using homemade pumpkin seed milk! The latte is a concoction of the pumpkin seed milk, pumpkin spiced maple simple syrup and cold brew concentrate. Though this may seem a little involved for a coffee drink, the recipe will make enough for about four drinks, so you can keep sipping on PSLs all week long

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Now for the deeper thought……As our senses tell us what aroma is filling the air; we need to be as conscious of who and what is filling our lives. We need to “sniff”our home environment and smell out what children are hearing and watching.

We need to appreciate the warm, comforting times we spend with our family and friends. We can seek out God more and take time to thank Him for all the sweet blessings and treats of life. We want to cherish the good taste of life while we smell the cinnamon aroma of living and loving life.

Proverbs 15:17 ESV
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved






DO WE NEED TO CHECK INTO FOOD REHAB was a great and popular post in 2016. Due to a relapse in our recent eating, I thought it wise to address this issue. The amazing part is this eating life style works and we are back on our wise eating and seeing results. Do you need to check in with us? If so, please read the blog and share it with others. #blog #healthyeating #life #food #lowcarb #happinessthroughhealth #amwriting


The reason for re-posting is I believe in honesty and apparently we had to come back to Food Rehab. In an attempt to relapse into food comas, we chose the wrong foods even after I wrote this and we had both lost weight and thought we had the food addiction whipped. The scales told a different story so this has to be a life style change, a mental determination, and the strongest commitment we had to make to maintain a healthy weight. I give you this confession to affirm this is not easy but here we are again so at least we are aware what we had returned to eating incorrectly is not what we want to do. Everything in this post is on point. I can honestly say it works when we “work at it”. We also know it doesn’t work if you give into temptation and it becomes the norm and not a cheat treat. Here is the original post and to inform you how it works in 1 week I lost 6 pounds and my husband lost over 7 pounds.
FOOD REHAB? DO WE NEED TO CHECK IN? I made a joke remark to my husband that we might qualify as food addicts and it brought me to this thought for the blog. In a society, geared toward commercials, commercial processed food, fitness programs which make us even hungrier, and video recipes showing us in a few seconds how to make a scrumptious dessert; how do we not become food addicts? We see super thin models and now they have embraced being fat as a sexy thing; how are we to know what to think, do or eat?
We are being programmed with a warped sense of how to maintain a healthy weight (notice I didn’t say skinny). In an effort to be politically correct which is a phrase I wish had never come into existence. Now, if someone is satisfied with their body when they are obese; that is their right but it is not healthy. I am not hating on obese people; they are dealing with enough of their demons. I see a lot of people hiding behind a mask of if they pretend they are sexy when they are 400 pounds; they  will be. It is a game of denial and it is time to check into Food Rehab. No one has to be skinny but it stops being healthy when there are layers and layers of fat. Heart attacks and strokes as well as organ damage occurs and it is what it is…..that is not sexy.
If you would choose the one on the right, read this post.
My husband and I have been fighting a weight gain over the years and it kept creeping up year by year. Here is why I am referring to Food Rehab; pretending to eat healthy. We had “pretended” to buy healthy; cook healthy; and exercise while indulging in occasional desserts, carbs, and just junk. We offset our minds it was not a regular thing; so we ate and we gained and we gained and we went into denial. I did lose 22 pounds over a long period of time but had I not been a Food Addict; that should have been 50!
The reason I am being up front and in my own face is a little over 2 weeks ago; Greg and I checked into Miller Rehab Center for Food Addicts and here was the sign in sheet for us:
1) Clean out that pantry….If it is there; we will eat it. Like an addict, if the drug of choice is lying on the table next to the addict how much harder is it to resist it?
2) Good food shopping trip…….We find it easier to prepare, cook, or snack healthy if we have healthy in the house.
3) Prep the good food snacks…..Clean, cut and have celery, carrots, fruits, and raw nuts, seeds, etc in zip lock bags or containers when the urge to snack, these items can help distract us. It is like an AA meeting for food addicts, a reminder of the goal to stay away from the harmful things.
4) Talk and kid about your goals….One of the most encouraging parts is our “Sponsor” idea. We encourage, support, and kid about our progress or lack of (all of you out there trying know what I am talking about). It is nice to hear my husband joke and say, “One great thing, is when I lose this weight; I have a new wardrobe in the closet!” Humor makes the changes more fun while we are getting in shape for more fun as healthier and fitter people.
5) Tune in to your inner self…..It is not fitness gurus or programs; it is not changing your eating until you change your mind. One of the things I do for myself and it is not for vanity (or maybe it is more pride in how we look) is I look back at pictures and some clothes I saved from the days when I was fit. I remember those days of jogging and walking and being able to breathe while I did those healthy exercising.
6) Be real with yourself……It is not going to happen over night. There is not a magic wand to make it disappear. One of the most deceitful thoughts we can have after it has taken years to get overweight is to think it will go away if we eat right one day……Doesn’t happen that way, folks. The good news with some changes, it does start to go away…..The Millers are proof of this method. Greg has lost 7 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks. I am now officially off 25 pounds and headed for the next 25 pounds.
Here are what we had to leave at the door of the Miller Food Addict Rehab Center and these methods have been around so no secret formulas to help get us through but they are working:
1) Breads had to go. Along with the breads, they had company Pastas (except the veggie), Sugars, Flour.
2) Water took the place of tea (even with Stevia) and we have one cup of Coffee in the morning. It is amazing the more we drink water, the less hungry we are without so many cravings either. If there is magic in healthy eating, it is the water. Half your weight in ounces is how much water to consume. The skin gets better, you don’t feel sluggish, and it is the river of good health.
3) I passed over Sugar but I cannot reiterate how important this step is. The more sugar we eat; the more of everything we want. Give it up with only an occasional treat (not meaning everyday treats either). Small portions of fruit (the ones with fiber and chewing are best)
4) Healthy snacks instead of junk food. Prepare small pieces of an apple or nuts. We have celery and carrots in ziploc bags ready in the refrigerator and we get our chomp-chomp from these. Healthy crackers are the only bread with peanut butter are in a container already made (not store bought) and if we get extra hungry, one will suffice and kill that urge to go rogue!
5) And this should have been Number #1, ATTITUDE. As I said in the beginning, the mind is portion control center. Get on the weight loss train and be the good food conductor and soon, you will be concentrating on the positive side of healthy instead of the woe is me victim syndrome. I made the comment the other day “I am not upset by the things I can no longer eat; I have already eaten more than a lifetime quantity of them.”
6) Encourage others but don’t patronize them if they haven’t made up their minds. I have been guilty thinking I was encouraging friends by expressing “That’s alright; you will do better or You can start over tomorrow.” Enabling is not encouraging. Maybe “You royally messed up and now you need to get serious” is what we need to say.
7) New tip since original post: Make foods attractive. Healthier food looks better when plated with some arrangement and colorful placement. I am posting a slide show of healthy food presentation for you to get the idea. It makes you want to eat healthy.

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Good eating; get real; acknowledge the food addiction; prepare the intervention by changing the foods in your home; and be prepared for a free from got to have food life so you can enjoy life to the fullest.
Until we eat and read again…….Arline Miller, author of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and A MISTRESS, A WIFE, novel
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller. All rights and properties reserved and to be used with permission. Third party material is sourced to original location for credit reference.
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