Tea Time

Tea as Medicine

Tea is not just for parties with fancy sandwiches and scones. Not only can food be used as medicine, but so can a variety of teas. Over the last 10 years or so, I have gotten in the habit of finding foods and teas to help with my aches, pains, and ailments first, in place of meds. As you know, I am no expert, so here is a comprehensive article on the benefits and medicinal qualities of all different varieties of teas: http://www.skrewtips.com/tea-as-medicine.html.

There was no “meal prep” per se this week, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t plan my meals. I’m having turkey wraps using Trader Joe’s Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip as the spread. And a cup of a veggie based soup.

Wrap ingredients: Ole whole wheat wrap, green leaf lettuce, applewood smoked turkey breast, and a slice of light jarlsberg cheese. Can easily be assembled at my desk. The tortilla should be heated up in the microwave for a few seconds first.

I also prepped slow cooked “baked apples”. I had a few Gala apples aging in my refrigerator, so I decided to slice them up and put them in the slow cooker for a little light dessert for the week. I sliced them, left the skin on, and threw them in the crock pot with a couple of tablespoons of light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and just a tiny bit of butter. I cooked them on high for the first hour, and on low for the second hour. I took them out while they still had a little bite to them.

Any comments, critiques, and questions are always welcome.

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Make it a great week, my friends. Remember to give yourselves some love this week.

A Gift to Myself

Cancelled my Routine for the Weekend

This is what the middle of my morning looked like. We all needed some down time.

I am a woman who thrives on routine. I have a routine every morning of the week, and my husband and I have the same routine every night. Every night. I am not complaining, as that routine does include him cooking for us every night. I do like and appreciate that. My daily routine during the week is important. It keeps me on track and focused on the task at hand, which is building a business from scratch with my boss, and staying on my weight and fitness journey. It’s all working. The business is starting to go, and I have lost about 6 lbs since we started putting me 6 lbs under my WW Lifetime goal weight. My weekly Sunday meal prep is key here, as are my workouts.

Normally I get up early on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. My WW workshop with my beloved tribe is at 7:30 am. On Sunday’s I am usually at the pool at 8 when it opens. Honestly, these are both fabulous ways to start my weekend days. At the end of this past week, I was feeling super tired, and decided to switch things up so I could get a little extra rest. Yesterday I slept in, went to get a vitamin B12 shot, which I do about once a month. I then went to the gym to swim laps, and came home to decompress for a couple of hours before my hair appointment. Today I slept in again. It felt so decadent. Went to breakfast with my husband, then on to the market for my weekly groceries, so I could do my meal prep for the week. I will go to the pool later this afternoon to water jog. Note that I am not skipping any workouts or steps that will take me off track in any way. I am just off my normal routine.

Here is a list of some of the benefits of Vitamin B-12, if you are interested:

For lunch this week, I had a pasta craving, but wanted to swap out the pasta. I also wanted to make a warm 1 pot meal. This week’s desk lunch is Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash. Here is the original recipe I used: https://therecipecritic.com/turkey-bolognese-spaghetti-squash/.

Recipe Ingredients. Veggie forward!
The cheese is a garnish. 1 point, or 20 calories for 1 oz
Finished products. I had a taste. Very Yummy 🙂

I really did follow the recipe for the bolognese. It is full of fresh vegetables and lean turkey meat. I didn’t measure out the veggies. I eyeballed them, and added more than the recipe called for. I also added a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for a hint of heat. This recipe called for roasted spaghetti squash, but I used the micowave method. It was just easier and less time consuming. Here is how you do it: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-in-the-microwave-223928 . This was an easy dish to prepare, and took about a 90 minutes, all total. The last 45 minutes, the sauce is cooking.

Thank you for joining Baby Boomer Mermaid this week. Watch for more on my Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages throughout the week:

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Make it a great week! Remember your WHY, stay focused, and take care of yourselves, my friends.

Celebrating the 1st Anniversary of Baby Boomer Mermaid

Living My Dream

On January 1, 2019 I took the leap and wrote my first blog. I had no idea what I was doing. I had a vision, a love of writing, and a desire to share my journey and experience as a long time WW member, and 5 + years Lifetime member. I am grateful to all of you who follow me here on Word Press, on Facebook, on Instagram, and Pinterest. It is my honor to be invited into your lives almost every week with my philosophies, tips, and meal prep ideas. I love knowing that I am inspiring others to learn to care for themselves by becoming more fit and by eating healthier.

The holidays over now, life goes back to normal for me tomorrow. Well, not quite. My community pool doesn’t reopen until Saturday, and my alternate pool at 24 Hour Fitness broke down (as in no heater). So I have been walking instead. Cannot wait to get back to my routine!

Work wise, it’s back to the full time grind tomorrow. I didn’t have a plan for my lunches for the next 2 days, so I dug into my pantry and refrigerator. I have left over pork that we had made into carnitas last week for Christmas, but the pork itself was cooked in the slow cooker, and is relatively low in fat (5 points for 3oz serving or about 200 calories). I grabbed a can of black beans, a can of stewed Mexican recipe tomatoes, a little bit of fresh red onion and red bell pepper which I diced, and put it all together, seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano. Now I have a quick chili. I can eat this as a soup, or put it in an Ole Whole Wheat Tortilla (1 point/ 50 calories), which is available now in most grocery stores. https://olemex.com/products/whole-wheat-wrap/ . Here is the original recipe I used for the pork. It’s a good one: https://www.recipetineats.com/pork-carnitas-mexican-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

Left over pork quick chili

I want to make it clear, on this, the first anniversary of my blog that I am passionate about keeping my weight off, and helping others to make similar positive changes in their own lives if they choose to. It took me 3 years to lose 47lbs. That is a long time, but 5 years + later it is still off. And I am in the best shape of my life due to my workout regime. For me it’s mostly the pool, although as mentioned in my previous blog I intend to add strength training this year. I want the same for you all. Find the activities that make you happy. Just keep moving!

Down from 201 to 154

Make 2020 your best year yet! I intend to.

Your comments, critiques, questions, and meal prep ideas are always welcome. Reach out to me hear, or on any of the other social media platforms.

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Take care of YOU, my friends.

2020 – Taking Control to Make it Great

Setting Intentions for the Year to Come

What a whirlwind of a year it’s been. Frankly, overall, it was not a good year for me, but I have come away feeling stronger for it, and very grateful. Most of all, I am grateful for my good health, and the good health of my husband, family, and friends. We are all so blessed. One thing I know for sure is that no matter how much money you have, good health is everything. Without it we have nothing.

My intention for this year with regard to my health, wellness, and fitness is to continue on my path of becoming physically stronger. This past month I met with a trainer at my local 24 Hour Fitness, where I have a free membership thanks to Medicare and Silver Sneakers. If you are not aware of the benefits you are entitled to, check it out here: https://tools.silversneakers.com/. The meeting with the trainer is a free perk for joining the gym, whether you are with Silver Sneakers or not. Ask about it at your gym. The trainer showed me some new stretches and strength building machines that are right for me. I am excited to expand my fitness repertoire with at least 1 day a week in the gym. Of course I will continue to lap swim, which is my passion, and water jog, which has turned out to be the best thing to manage my lower back pain. I also intend to stay on track with my weight maintenance, and that means mindful meal planning and prepping.

Over the past few weeks, I have been off of my routine with holiday work hours, and general holiday shenanigans, so meal prep has been off the table, as it still is this coming week. But meal planning is not. It’s all in the grocery shopping. I’ve made sure that I have the following on hand:

Progresso Light Soups (140 – 180 calories for the whole can)

Ole Whole Wheat Tortillas (50 calories each)

Fresh veggies and fruits

Oatmeal

Unsweetened almond milk

Non fat plain Greek yogurt, as well as low fat cultured cottage cheese

Trader Joe’s Spinach Kale Yogurt Dip

Also, lean proteins for meals and snacks like eggs, turkey breast, smoked salmon, light string cheese, and hummus.

Decadent 1 point breakfast: Ole Whole Wheat Tortilla topped with non fat refried beans, and scrambled eggs with salsa
Roasted Delicata Squash was a great little treat to have around the house. It tastes like candy. Just follow these simple prep directions – Place seeded squash halves cut side down on a cutting board. Slice into 3/8-inch slices. Transfer slices to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil; add salt and pepper, or any seasoning you like. Toss to coat squash with oil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Arrange squash pieces in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Place in preheated oven until bottom of slices is browned and squash is tender, 12 to 18 minutes. Enjoy with the skin and all!
2 point lunch – Ole Whole Wheat Tortilla topped with Trader Joe’s Spinach & Kale Yogurt Dip, Everything but the Bagel Smoked Salmon, and a sliced hard boiled egg seasoned with Everything but the Bagel Seasoning. Add a little sliced tomato and/ or cucumber for more fresh veggie goodness.
Lastly, I want to show off my contribution to our family Hanukkah celebration. My beloved Sister in Law, Cynthia invites family and friends every year to a fabulous all homemade dinner for 40 + people. Bringing the fruit for dessert is the least I can do to help. The pan on top contains the best of winter fruits: black grapes, fuyu persimmons, opal and envy apples, cara cara and blood oranges, and Asian pears. The bowl contains the tropical side of fruits in season: kiwi, pineapple, papaya, and mango.

My wish for you all is for a HAPPY, HEALTHY, SWEET, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

And remember – Focus on results, and you’ll never see change. Focus on change, and you will see results.

Thank you for joining the conversation. Your thoughts, critiques, and meal prep ideas are always welcome. I look forward to hearing from you.

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See you in 2020!

Thanksgiving Appetizers Transformed

What I Did with My Left Over Crudites

Thanksgiving Appetizer Crudites Platter

Thanksgiving is always celebrated in the home of Cousin’s Ilene and Elliot. They make the most amazing smoked turkey, and never disappoint with their healthy and thoughtful side dishes and desserts, some of which are long standing family traditions. This year Ilene asked me to make the appetizer. I used our Grandma Kate’s antique platter to put together a fun, colorful, and healthy start to the meal. It was all really so simple. I used whole bell peppers as dip bowls. In the red pepper is hummus. In the yellow pepper is Trader Joe’s Spinach & Kale Yogurt Dip, and in the orange pepper is onion dip mixed with fat free plain Greek yogurt. On the side I had Trader Joe’s 3 Seed Beet Crackers and their Bite Size Everything Crackers. Make note: The spinach kale dip on the beet crackers is a GREAT bite.

There were only 9 guests, and although they loved the tray, and made a dent, I had a ton of vegetables left over. This is how I solved that today – most of the celery and carrots got diced and went into a vegetable soup with a diced yellow onion, a can of diced tomatoes with fire roasted peppers, and a 5 oz bag of baby kale. I seasoned the soup simply with salt, pepper, and a couple of cubes of frozen minced garlic. The broth is Trader Joe’s low sodium chicken stock. You can make this a vegan soup by using vegetable stock instead. The broccoli and cauliflower had already been blanched for the appetizer tray (I don’t like raw cruciferous vegetables). I preheated my oven to 400 degrees. I tossed the veggies with a little olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning. I roasted them for 20 minutes, tossed them, then roasted them for another 10 minutes. Both the soup and these roasted veggies will be part of my desk lunches this week. I also pan roasted chicken breast for my lunch prep. I made them very simply, as well. I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder. I preheated my oven to 450 degrees, and roasted it for 20 minutes. I took the temp with my quick read thermometer to make sure it was 165 degrees, then removed it from the oven to rest. Desk lunches prepped!

Mirepoix Soup with Tomatoes, Garlic, and Baby Kale
Easy Roasted Veggie Prep

The mini bell peppers were a little more challenging. I ended up pickling them! I had never done that before, but always wanted to. Here is the simple recipe I found online: https://www.simplywhisked.com/quick-pickled-sweet-peppers/. This will preserve them and we can use as need as sandwich accompaniments. I also had left over carrot sticks even with using most of them in the soup, and jicama, so I made veggie snack bags out of those. As for the tomatoes and cucumbers, they went into our salads this weekend. The olives will keep, and the grapes have been snacked on already. And that’s that! All veggies transformed to reuse, and no waste!

Easy Pickled Peppers
Veggie Snack Bags

Thank you for stopping by! As always, your comments, critiques, and questions are welcome.

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Enjoy the holiday season!

As Time Rushes By

Reminder to Take a Deep Breath.

It’s Thanksgiving week. How did the year fly by so fast? I just want to take a moment to remind myself, and you, dear readers of the real things that matter in life. Not tangible things, not material things, but things that matter in our daily lives – having a positive attitude, kindness, gratitude, being good to yourself, just to name a few. Take a few minutes to ponder what is meaningful to you this season, and give yourself a hug.

Since this is a short work week, I made a delicious, healthy, hearty Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup. It will work for desk lunches, and will just be good to have in the house all week. Oh yes, and my house smells amazing. The recipe is called Keto Cabbage Soup. I don’t know anything about Keto or Paleo and all that. As you know, I am a Lifetime WW member, and follow the low fat, low carb, low calorie/ points meal plan that works for me. I picked this recipe because the ingredients are mostly plant based, and fit in with the flavor profile I wanted for myself. Here is the original recipe: https://www.savorytooth.com/cabbage-soup/.

I actually did follow the recipe pretty much to the letter. I cut the quantities of the liquids in half and only used 10 oz of shredded cabbage instead of 16 oz. I did use a hole pound of ground chicken in place of the beef. I wanted it hearty, as I said. I used chicken broth in place of beef broth. I slightly cut down on the amount of seasonings as well. I can always re season the soup and add more, but I wouldn’t be able to take it out.

Unstuffed Cabbage Soup Baby Boomer Mermaid style

Thank you for stopping by . I want to wish you all a meaningful and Happy Thanksgiving.

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Gearing Up for the Holidays

How to Manage Holiday Parties and All of that Delectable Food!

Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away, then come Christmas and Hanukkah. BOOM! These are the biggest and best food holidays of the year. Let me help you put things in perspective. These are just 2 or 3 meals you are going to enjoy over the next 6 weeks or so. At 3 meals a day, that is 3 x 42 days = 126 meals. That is 2 or 3 celebration meals out of the 126 meals you will eat in the next 6 weeks. We have plenty of time to plan for them. The most important thing is to stay on track during all of the days leading up to these special celebrations. Stay within your calorie or point budgets, and continue to be mindful of your portion sizes. I know this isn’t easy. We have “Friendsgiving” parties, we have office parties, we have cocktail parties at friends homes, just to name a few. Be smart with your choices. And don’t go to any of these parties or dinners hungry! This is one of the most valuable tips I can give you this time of year. Eat something healthy and a little filling before you leave your house! You won’t arrive famished, and ready to grab every fried, or processed appetizer that is put in front of you, not to mention the cheese and crackers (my downfall). With regard to alcohol, be mindful. Add soda water to your wine glass and make it a spritzer. Alternate with glasses of water between drinks, especially if you are more comfortable having a glass in your hand. Most importantly, remember WHY you started this journey to begin with while you are enjoying your friends and family during this special time of year.

I went Asian this week for my lunch prep. I made an easy Asian vegetable soup and teriyaki roasted chicken breast, using my husband’s famous savory teriyaki recipe, but with a healthier twist. In place of soy sauce, the base of my marinade is Coconut Aminos, which is made from coconut blossom nectar and sea salt. It is gluten free, soy free, and lower in sodium than soy or even tamari sauce, but lends itself to the soy flavor you are looking for here. Here is the original teriyaki recipe (which actually came from a friend’s mother back when my husband was growing up in the 60’s): 1/2 c soy sauce, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp ginger, pepper, 2 cloves garlic. That’s it. It is hand written. There are no other instructions. But it works. We add a little Sriracha to it too.

My Asian veggie noodle soup is seasoned with coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, dry mustard, and granulated onion, and a dash of Sriracha . In addition to the frozen stir fry starter, I added frozen, shelled edamame, and the rest of the bag of frozen riced cauliflower I had in the house.
My juicy 1.22 lb chicken breast cut into 4 servings. This was marinated in coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, dry mustard, and sriracha for about 4 hours, then roasted at 450 for about 25 minutes. Your chicken breast must reach a temp of 165 to be cooked through. A quick read thermometer is a valuable tool to have on hand. It’s important to remember to let any protein rest for about 20 minutes before slicing to retain the juices. The last thing you want is a dry chicken breast or piece of beef.

Breakfast this week is a egg white fritatta which includes turkey sausage crumbles, chopped spinach, and roasted red bell peppers, diced. I always add chia seeds and flax seed meal for their health benefits. I only used freshly ground black pepper to season this today, as the sausage has plenty of salt in it.

Healthy, hearty egg white fritatta with spinach, roasted red bell peppers, and turkey sausage crumbles

An important part of my meal planning includes my snacks. I always bring snacks to eat between meals. I eat breakfast early, so around 10 I’ll have a banana and a cup of 80 calorie/ 2 point Greek yogurt. In the late afternoon I’ll have an apple, and a piece of low fat string cheese, or a WW nut bar, which I always have handy.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope I have inspired you to take care of yourselves! Your comments, critiques, questions, and meal prep ideas are always welcome.

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Make it a great week!