A Day of Experimentation

Today I had some fun experimenting with my air fryer! As I am trying to stay veggie centric with my meal preps, I decided to take on the falafel this week. Here is the recipe I used: https://www.skinnytaste.com/air-fryer-falafel/.

This recipe is 134 calories/ 1 point on WW Blue for 3 balls. A bargain!

I followed this recipe as closely as I could. It calls for 1/3 cup each parsley (I used Italian parsley), cilantro, and scallions. I honestly was not sure how to measure herbs like that, so I used my instincts, and although these came much greener than the photo in the original recipe, they definitely have the right flavor profile, but taste a little more herby. I am pairing these with my take on a Mediterranean/ Israeli Salad. My salad consists of Persian cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, red onions, and Power Greens. I made a tahini dressing seasoned with sumac and lemon, which you will find here: https://www.crowdedkitchen.com/mediterranean-salad-with-falafel-and-sumac-tahini-dressing/#tasty-recipes-3598-jump-target

Last week I got stuck with a bad bag of Gala Apples from my beloved Trader Joe’s. Can’t always get it right! Anyway, instead of tossing them, I sliced them, sprinkled them with cinnamon and a dash of salt, and air fried them. Here is where I got the idea: https://www.hungry-girl.com/weekly-recipes/air-fryer-apple. These little morsels will take the place of blueberries in my yogurt bowl breakfasts this week.

Air fried Apple Slices. A yummy 0 point snack.

As I am publishing every other week now, I had a full day last Sunday, so my meal prep had to be quick. I pulled out Trader Joe’s Hearts of Palm Pasta, and mixed it with their Bruschetta Sauce (thank you, friend Stacey for that idea). I paired the “pasta” with Trader Joe’s Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage. This was a truly delicious combination, and took no time to put together. I will say that the box of “pasta” says it is 3 servings. I am here to tell you that it is more like 2 servings. Also, the “pasta” did not keep all the way through the week. My advice is to eat this within 2-3 days of prepping it for best results.

A winning combination of a meal prep that literally took no time.

Trust me, I would be no where without my meal prep routine with regard to my WW maintenance plan. I hope I have inspired you today to play with your food a little. Experiment with foods from other cultures, and flavor profiles. Expand your palette! The interwebs is full of fabulous culinary inspiration. Check it out. Here is a page that will give you a head start: http://Best Food Blogs for Weight Watchers Recipes.

Lastly, here is a little reminder for you:

Make it a great week! As always, I am open to any and all of your comments, critiques, and questions. Send them to me!

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A Multi-Cultural Meal Prep

I love writing this blog. I get such joy and satisfaction out of inspiring myself and you to eat well, care for ourselves, and live our best lives. One of the things that gives me the most joy is exploring the world of recipes on the interwebs, in magazines, and in books. As I watch the Food Network incessantly, I dream about having the time to explore recipes on a daily basis. But alas, I am relegated to once a week, as I need to continue to earn my living in the garment industry.

Last week my meal prep was a chicken tagine, which originated in Morocco. The recipe itself came from one of my favorite periodicals, Nutrition Action. This one is a keeper my friends. It can also be made with chickpeas, for a vegetarian version. I’m going to be honest. By Wednesday or Thursday each week I am usually getting pretty tired of my meal preps. This one was good until the last drop, like my lentil soup from a few weeks back. Here is the recipe link: https://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/healthy-recipes/the-healthy-cooks-chicken-or-chickpea-tagine/. I followed the recipe verbatim, with 3 exceptions – I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of bone-in, I swapped out the tomato paste for no salt added canned diced tomatoes, and I added the 2-3 oz of fresh baby spinach I had in the fridge. I want to mention that a couple of the keys to the success of this recipe were the fresh ginger, garlic, and lemon. Don’t skimp there if you are going to try this one. The side dish suggested by the magazine for this is bulgur tabouli, which did look delicious. I had Trader Joe’s Risoni (a grain free risotto made from lentils) in the house, so I used some of the inspiration from the bulgur dish, and added onion salt, garlic powder, fresh cilantro, and toasted slivered almonds to the Risoni, and it really became the perfect accompaniment. This was not the lowest point lunch in the world (15 points on wwblue), but it was delicious, satisfying, clean eats, and I thoroughly enjoyed it all week long, as I mentioned.

Yummy – Chicken Tagine with kicked up lentil risotto

For this week’s meal prep I made a mushroom dashi from Japan! Actually this recipe, and a couple of the exotic ingredients needed for it came from good friend Janis. This is a recipe that her vegan daughter makes often, and now she does too. And it originated from Bon Appetit: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fridge-clean-out-nabe-with-mushroom-dashi. Janis gifted me with the dried kombu (a thick piece of seaweed), and the dried shitake mushrooms needed to start the broth. I followed the recipe pretty closely. I couldn’t find baby turnips, so I bought a small one and diced it up. While I was in the produce section, I spotted the daikon, so bought a small one to add in. I mean, the recipe says “fridge clean out”, so I figured I could add whatever I thought would fit in. I also added a tablespoon if white miso because 1) I had it in the house, 2) I like miso, and 3) miso is a gut healthy ingredient. The noodles are shirataki https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/shirataki-noodles-10. This is a 0 point soup, exotic, oh so clean, and delicious. And it has butternut squash in it.

Mushroom Dashi veggie noodle soup

And finally, we visit the Dominican Republic! You know how I love to try new fruits and veggies. Well, I love a melon, and yesterday I spotted a Charentais melon, which is a unique heirloom French melon variety.  It was tiny and adorable, and I bought it. By today it became incredibly fragrant, so I cut it open, and it tastes like a cantaloupe on steroids. So good! Please friends, when you find an interesting new item in the produce section of the grocery store, buy one. It’s a small investment, and can open up a whole new world of taste sensation for you. And it’s produce – healthy and 0 points.

Charentais melon from the Dominican Republic

Thank you for traveling around the world with me today. Please remember to carve out some time for yourself every day. Do a some stretching and exercise every day. Eat clean and well. Love yourself.

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Why a Food Routine Works

Throughout my weight loss and weight maintenance journeys I have developed and stuck to food routines. They have morphed and evolved through the years, but I started developing them early on in my journey. It is hard to remember exactly how or when this started for me, as I started with WW almost 10 years ago. It is important to note that success came very slowly for me. It took me 3 years to lose 47 lbs. By attending weekly WW meetings, with the guidance of my smart, funny, inspirational coach, the great Amy B, plus my willingness to do the work it took to make the necessary changes in my life, I did it. The weight came off. And now I have maintained it for almost 7 years.

Lately weekday food routine consists of a light breakfast that consists of plain non fat Greek yogurt mixed with cinnamon, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds, topped with blueberries, and a couple of tablespoons of my homemade granola (https://cookieandkate.com/healthy-granola-recipe/). My mid morning snack is generally a small banana and a hard boiled egg (I love mine covered in freshly ground black pepper). Lunch is whatever my #mealprepsunday lunch prep is for the week. My afternoon snack is a piece of seasonal fruit. I also always have a light string cheese with me, although I don’t always eat it. It depends how hungry I am at around 3/3:30, and if I am swimming vs walking after work (a work out of any type after work and on the weekends is another essential routine of mine. I also do 10 – 15 minutes of stretching every single morning). I find that a piece of fruit paired with a protein satiates me for a couple of hours in between meals. As my husband cooks dinner every night (yes, I know how lucky I am), I have plenty of points left for whatever he throws at me. Plus I watch my portions, especially if it is something on the starchy or decadent side. This reminds me of the chart Amy B. used to take out a couple of times a year. The Comfort Zone. It’s important that we stay aware of how we are feeling with regard to our hunger level, and to remind ourselves of how gross we feel when we overeat.

I try to maintain a 3 – 4 range during the day

All that said, I ended up mixing it up this week. Because – I was in the mood for Brunch All Day!! This week I will have my yogurt blueberry bowl for breakfast, but my mid morning snack will be my small banana with chia pudding. My lunch is a caramelized onion, spinach and mushroom baked eggs casserole with broccoli fritters. My afternoon snack this week will be either a Gala apple or a Cara Cara orange (seasonal fruit is key) with a piece of light string cheese (my favorite tasting one is Trader Joe’s Organic Light String Cheese). So I did a lot of meal prep this week, and I enjoyed the process. The chia pudding and broccoli fritters were both from recipes I have never tried before, so both were followed verbatim (see the links below in the captions). The baked eggs were in homage to my favorite omelet from the restaurant where our tribe always had breakfast after our WW meetings, which is now defunct due to the pandemic. Very sad. It was family owned and run. I miss so much about those days. Mostly the weekly in person visits with my tribe, but also, those omelets.

Chia Pudding: https://ifoodreal.com/vanilla-chia-pudding/ . These are large portions. My snacks will consist of half of a jar each day.
Broccoli Fritters: https://www.thekitchn.com/2-ingredient-broccoli-fritters-recipe-23100737. This was a challenge for me, and even though many of them are not that pretty, they do taste good, and are fun to eat.
Baked spinach and mushroom baked eggs casserole with caramelized onions. No recipe required. I simply slow cooked the onions in my cast iron pan, then added the mushrooms, and let them go so the flavors became integrated and developed. I added the baby spinach in raw to the egg mixture. The egg mixture consists of 8 large whole eggs, salt and pepper, about 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast for flavor, and about a 1/4 cup of plain non fat yogurt for creaminess. I baked this in my 9 x9″ Pyrex pan which had been sprayed with olive oil at 350 for 25 min (or until set). I then let it cool down before dividing into my containers.
Meal Prep ready to go! It’s a veggie centric, protein packed, hearty lunch! Brunch for lunch!

That’s it for this week! Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope I have inspired you in some way. Please feel free to send me your comments, questions, and critiques. Any meal prep ideas you have for me will also be greatly appreciated!

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Make it a great week! Be good to yourself. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Finding my Inner Vegetarian

Disclaimer – I am not a vegetarian, nor to I aspire to be. What I do aspire to is better overall health, less inflammation in my body, and a lower number on the scale. For that reason, I have been choosing to eat vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch. I have been doing this mostly on weekdays, but I have been trying to do so on the weekends as well. I started with “clean eating” back in the last half of 2020, I’d say. I stopped eating most processed foods (let’s not forget that all cheese is processed, and I have not given that up), and because of that, slowly my diet has become more plant based. I have become more diligent about this since the beginning of the year ( 2 full weeks now), and already I feel better overall. My energy is better, I am less achy (that’s the inflammation going down), and my clothes are fitting more loosely. This is a winning lifestyle for me.

This week I prepped a play on the soup and sandwich combo. I made on a breakfast burrito (for lunch), but made it with tofu instead of eggs. It’s amazing, once you season and heat the mashed tofu, and mix it with a little turmeric, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast, it does looks just like eggs, and tastes like them too. I picked this dish because I had tofu in the house that I needed to use up, I like a burrito, and it just sounded like fun to me. You kind of can’t miss if you like sweet potatoes, zucchini, and red bell pepper. Here is the recipe: https://skinnyms.com/meal-prep-friendly-vegan-breakfast-burritos/. I will garnish these with a little salsa, and maybe a little avocado when I have them for lunch this week. The sweet potato is 3 points spread between 4 servings, and the Ole Whole Wheat Tortillas are 1 point on WW Blue Plan.

Vegan Breakfast Burrito – For Lunch!

The soup I made today was born out of veggies I had hanging around in the fridge that needed to be used. I had almost a whole package of celery, so I looked up celery soups, and found this simple recipe: https://www.feastingathome.com/celery-soup/. I also used up my onions, most of my garlic, a few baby carrots I had in there, and the shredded zucchini I had left over from my burrito prep I had done earlier. The only new ingredient I bought for this was 1 Yukon gold potato (which is 2 points on WW Blue Plan). I kept the seasonings simple too, just S & P, and about a tablespoon of dried dill weed. I followed technique of the recipe, and used my immersion blender at the end to smooth it out. I decided against using the blender as shown in my photo.

I think I should call this “kitchen sink” celery soup because the ingredients consist of things had in the house, and needed to use up.

In addition to my plant based meal plan, I have also kept up my exercise plan for the year so far. It’s a great NSV for me. As active as I am in general, it has been easy for me to make excuses for myself and skip days in the past. So far this year, I have either gone swimming or walking every single day. Even if I get home late from work, I walk for at least 15 minutes. My swims during the week are by reservation, so I just make sure I leave the office on time to make it there. If I have to go in early the next day to make up time, that’s an easy trade off for me.

I want to quickly share last week’s meal prep with you. It was also a soup and sandwich combo. This was a garbanzo bean salad done tuna salad style on a light English muffin, and a pureed roasted cauliflower and artichoke soup, inspired by my fabulous SIL, Cynthia. Here are the recipes: https://goop.com/recipes/chickpea-tuna-salad/, and https://food52.com/recipes/26788-roasted-cauliflower-artichoke-soup. Both were delicious, and this was a very filling meal.

Garbanzo Bean Salad Sandwich with Roasted Cauliflower and Artichoke Soup

I hope I have inspired you to try something new today, and to think more about what you are putting into your body, besides just low point foods. Eating clean is actually less expensive than buying processed convenience foods, even if they are low points. Clean foods are naturally low in points, calories, fat, and salt. And clean foods don’t have to be all plant based either. Lean animal proteins and fish are also delicious, clean eats, and don’t have to be expensive.

Thank you for stopping by today. Your comments, questions, and critiques are always welcome.

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Resetting for 2021

“Intention without Action Leads to Procrastination” ~ quote by Michelle J, WW Coach from Sherman Oaks, CA.

It’s time to reset, to turn our ideas into actions. Want to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet? Add one to EVERY meal and snack you have. That can mean having an apple with your light string cheese snack in the afternoon. It can mean adding salsa to your eggs in the morning. It can mean adding broccoli to your pasta water while it’s in the last 2 minutes of cooking. There are so many creative and delicious ways to achieve this goal. Another fun thing to do is make a commitment to try a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month. This is a great way to discover the fresh new produce that comes out every season. By the way – it is Cara Cara orange season now. If you have not tried one, you are missing out.

Additional easy ways to achieve your goals to eat healthier include meal planning. Start with planning just one or 2 meals a week. Make a shopping list, and stick to it (except in the produce department, where you can go a little crazy). As you shop, be aware of highly processed foods. Clean eating is key to good health. Clean foods fill your body with vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and healthy fats, which improve heart and brain health, help with weight management, build a stronger immune system and increase energy levels, among other benefits.

My intention for myself this year, is to eat more plant based. I am also continuing with a couple of the plans I started this past year – 1 pot meals, and a focus on anti-inflammatory foods. My first lunch prep for 2021 is a curried lentil soup. Here is the recipe inspiration: https://www.thekitchn.com/lentil-soup-recipe-23004361. I cut the recipe in half, since it’s just for myself, but my trick with this is that I only cut the main components in half, not the seasonings or the vegetables. Also, instead of tomato sauce, I used less processed diced tomatoes, with no salt added. I also used frozen spinach, but only because my Trader Joe’s was out of fresh baby spinach. I also cut the fat. Instead of the 3 tablespoons (!) of olive oil the recipe called for, I sprayed my non stick Dutch oven with probably about 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Curry Lentil Soup with Spinach

It looks like we will still be going through tough times with the virus for the next few months, at least. But you don’t have to be complacent, or get yourself into any ruts. Get out of the house, and get moving. Try to get a short walk in either before or after work (or during your lunch break). I love my after work swims. Great for decompressing. And the afternoons I can’t get to the pool, I make sure I walk for at least 15 – 20 minutes. Same thing on the weekends. I get some type of movement in daily, in addition to my morning stretch sessions. Start small, but start.

Thank you for joining me this week. Please feel free to comment, critique, or ask me anything.

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A Look Back – My Favorite Meal Preps of 2020

No need to rehash what an unprecedented year 2020 has been. It has been a horror story in so many ways, but has also produced some wonderful epiphanies for many of us. I have become aware of being more compassionate towards others, and have learned to take better care of myself, both inside and out. And for these realizations, I am grateful.

I did have some fun with meal preps this year. In no particular order, here are my favorites of the year:

Fritatta prep from Brunch All Day, August 9. Recipe inspiration: https://www.loveandlemons.com/frittata-recipe/
One Pot Spinach & Artichoke Chicken Pasta from Reality Check, September 14. Recipe inspiration: https://www.thekitchn.com/one-pot-spinach-artichoke-chicken-pasta-recipe-23073220
Homemade Healthy Granola from Take Care of Your Heart, October 11. (I make this all of the time now. It has become a breakfast staple for me, topping my yogurt blueberry bowls almost daily). Recipe inspiration: https://cookieandkate.com/healthy-granola-recipe/
Garbanzo Bean Greek Salad from In Gratitude, August 30
Very Veggie Turkey Meatloaf from Making Clean Eating a Priority from June 17. Recipe inspiration: https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/recipe/very-veggie-turkey-meat-loaf/5c993ed35e84d2001c1cf17f
Spinach and Tofu Miso Soup from Managing the Holiday, December 6. Recipe inspiration: https://www.marthastewart.com/1159033/miso-soup-tofu-spinach-and-carrots.

Like most of the world, I did a little baking this year. My favorite recipe conversion came from the PB & J Blondie I made for Baking Baby Boomer Mermaid Style, published July 3.

Other baking favorites from this year that did not get photographed were: cherry oatmeal bars from: https://shewearsmanyhats.com/almond-cherry-oatmeal-bars-recipe/; fudgy brownies from: https://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/super-fudgy-brownies/; and my long time favorite, pumpkin spice cream cheese muffins (which I make into bars) from: https://drizzlemeskinny.com/pumpkin-spice-cream-cheese-muffins/

You can find many more healthy and yummy recipe inspirations on my Pinterest boards: https://www.pinterest.com/marshaleeg/_saved/. Also, find additional content on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marshaleeg54, and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marshaleeg/

This was also a year of lots of long walks, and video streaming. Two of my favorite discoveries from streaming are: https://www.youtube.com/user/flavcity with chef Bobby Parrish, whom I have learned so much from this year, and Chef Jamie Oliver, streaming on Hulu: https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/category/books/5-ingredients-quick-easy-food-recipes/. Both are so inspiring and are great teachers. Check them out.

It’s hard to admit that I have any favorite memories from the first shutdown that went from March to June, but this was a cool moment, seeing ducks swimming in the pool next door to me back in April.

What will 2021 bring? Who knows? My prayers are for enough vaccines for all, and peace in the world.

Wishing you all a very Happy, HEALTHY, and Prosperous New Year full of Joy and Love!

Managing the Holidays – 2020 Edition

It’s the holidays! And yet we are all still going through very stressful times. The uncertainty of life with Covid-19 continues. It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to enjoy the holidays with our friends and families in person this year, but virtual family gatherings are a great way to connect with your loved ones this season while keeping yourself safe and healthy.

It is more important than ever to stick to our regular self care routines as closely as possible. Keep your body, your mind, and spirit active. Continue your exercise regimens. Read. Explore new cuisines, foods and recipes. Stream – enjoy all that Netflix and the like have to offer. Learn to paint with watercolors, or take on a 100+ piece jigsaw puzzle. One of my girlfriends continues to play Trivia virtually weekly. Remember, prioritizing your health and well being is not an extravagance, it is part of being human.

My meal prep this week is a super simple vegetarian spinach miso soup. Miso is a fermented food, which good for our gut health. It is also rich in essential vitamins and minerals. 

I started with Trader Joe’s Miso Ginger Broth. To that I added 2 cubes each of frozen minced garlic and ginger, a 6 oz bag of baby spinach, carrots cut up like matchsticks, and a heaping tablespoon of white miso paste. For cooking tips for this meal prep I consulted Martha Stewart: https://www.marthastewart.com/1159033/miso-soup-tofu-spinach-and-carrots.

Additional add ins were edamame and tofu for protein, Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Goyza (because I had about a half of a package of it in my freezer), shirataki noodles, and sliced scallions. I also kept about half of my sliced up scallions fresh to add right before eating. The goyza is 9 points/ 160 calories for a serving of 5 dumplings. I won’t have more than 1 or 2 per serving. Everything else in this work week lunch is 0 points :).

Spinach and Tofu Miso Soup

As we get into winter, the produce in the markets are changing. Don’t forget to explore new fruits and vegetables throughout the year. This month alone enjoy parsnips, persimmons, all of the wonderful varieties of winter squash, turnips, and yams, to name a few.

This week’s fruits are mega kiwis, new at Trader Joe’s, and Satsuma mandarins. I look forward to them every year.

Wishing you all a holiday season filled with love, joy, health, and happiness!

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My Gratitude List 2020

It’s the time of year to count our blessings. There is no need for me to go on about all of the trauma and tragedy of this year, and I am not even going to get started on the political aspect of it all. None of us need to be reminded. What I do feel that we need to remind ourselves of are the things we do have, and the things we have gained appreciation for through this whole experience. Here is my short list:

  1. I wake up every morning, and I can breathe, I can see, I can smell, I can taste, I can hear, I can move; my overall good health.
  2. My husband, and my home, which includes my darling, loving cats.
  3. My family and my family of friends. I love you.
  4. My job, and the fact that I was able to come back from not earning, and being in debt, to now earning a good living, and am working my way out of debt.
  5. The pride I have come to have in myself. I have said this more than once this year: I am a late bloomer who has bloomed. I have truly come into my own. I have finally learned how to love myself, and appreciate all that I have and all that I give in this world. And for this gift I have given myself, I am eternally grateful. What is on your list?

Of course Thanksgiving itself looks much different this year. For us, instead of going to my cousin’s home, we are staying put, just the 2 of us, as it is every other night of the year. We went through a list of some of the fun things we can make instead of turkey, which spanned from prime rib to linguini with clams. We ended up deciding on Cornish Game Hens, which we will do in the air fryer. Our side dishes will be mashed potatoes, and green beans with bacon. Slightly traditional and a slight splurge at the same time. I found a perfect WW inspired desert idea, which I will be making, a crustless pumpkin pie.

I plan to substitute the Splenda with brown sugar Splenda. Just a personal preference. Regarding the pumpkin pie spice – that is very hard to find right now. Here is a quick homemade version: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/homemade-pumpkin-pie-spice/

With a short workweek ahead, I am not cooking either. I did my weekly Trader Joe’s trip this morning and picked up a few things to have in the house, and to take to work for lunch this week.

The Trader Joe’s pre-made soups are always good, and both of these are 3 points for a 1 cup serving. A couple of good proteins to have with them are smoked salmon, and veggie burgers. The thing I like about the Dr. Praeger’s is that they are not a highly processed plant based meat. They are a clean combination of ;vegetables and grains formed into a convenient , tasty burger. I like them on a light English muffin with mustard and sauerkraut.

Last week I was super busy, therefore no blog, but I did make sure to throw together one of my favorite 1 pot recipes from a couple of months ago: https://www.thekitchn.com/one-pot-spinach-artichoke-chicken-pasta-recipe-23073220.

This time I used low sodium chicken broth instead of water. It came out creamier, and I think, tastier. I used Trader Joe’s Sweet Italian Sausage again as the protein. I love this recipe. Easy, and delicious.

Well, I am off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday. Next up for today – a swim with my crew. I hope you prioritize things that make you happy too.

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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And BOOM! It’s the HOLIDAYS!

The holidays are definitely looking different this year, but there is no reason not to be festive! Decorate now. Spend time with the friends and family you would normally see this time of year in person virtually, or at least by telephone. Most importantly, continue to be kind to yourself, and take good care of yourself. Here are a few reminders on how to stay on track this season:

  1. Don’t skip meals before your big feast.
  2. Alternate your alcoholic beverages with glasses of water, or mix water or club soda into your cocktail or glass of wine.
  3. Use a smaller plate to control portions.
  4. Make your splurges “worth it”.
  5. Veggies first! Load your plate up with vegetables.
  6. Eat slowly.
  7. Take 10. It can take a few minutes for your belly to send the “I’m full” signals to your brain. For this reason, give yourself at least ten minutes before you decide to go back for a second helping. Remember, we’re going for satisfied, not stuffed.

My meal preps are becoming more and more simple. Today’s is probably the most simple yet, and it’s based on one of my favorite fast foods – bean & cheese burritos from Taco Bell! My plan was to incorporate as many veggies as possible in my mixture. I drained a can of diced tomatoes with chilis, and added them to the saucepan that already had diced red onions that had been sweated down, and a can of fat free refried beans. I just stirred it all through, and took it off the heat to cool. I put the mixture in the refrigerator for about a half hour, then filled my Ole Extreme Wellness Whole Wheat Tortillas with the mixture, and a pinch of shredded Lite 3 Cheese Blend. I rolled them up, and made individual foil packs out of them, so I can grab an go. This entire meal is barely 2 points on the WW Blue Plan. I say barely because the cheese is 2 points for a 1/4 cup serving, and I’m barely using a teaspoon of it per serving. My salad side is Trader Joe’s Power greens mixed with their Chopped Veggies, and that will be topped off with 2 tablespoons of Cilantro Salad Dressing, which is also 2 points. Now I have a filling, satisfying, and yummy 4 point lunch to eat throughout my work week.

Bean & Cheese Burritos Baby Boomer Mermaid Style
Fresh & Easy Side Salad

Last week I made a really delicious slow cooker recipe from WW.com: https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/recipe/chicken-mushroom-and-brown-rice-slow-cooker-casserole. I reduced the calories, and points by swapping the brown rice for Trader Joe’s Risoni lentil rice. The flavors were savory, and very satisfying, but the recipe made a lot of food. I recommend this for an easy family dinner.

Slow Cooker Savory Chicken Thighs with Vegetables and Lentil Rice
A little inspiration

Thank you for stopping by. Stop and savor the beauty of the season, and take time with your friends and family, even if it can’t be done in person. And, please practice self compassion daily.

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Making Meal Prep a Habit

Whatever direction your life is taking you now, 8 months into the Covid 19 pandemic, I am certain you are busy. Besides work and family obligations we need to remember to take care of ourselves. Our health management is one of the best and most important parts of self care, and that includes keeping our physical strength up, and our metabolisms running efficiently. It’s not always easy to put ourselves first, but if we do a few basic things to take care of ourselves, we will perform better in the other aspects of our lives. Here are a few helpful hints from a meme I found on social media:

Happily, my life is very full at this point. I go to work every day (safely, and well distanced from others), I am in the pool at least 3 times a week, sometimes 4. On the rest of the days I take walks, and I start each day with 10 minutes of stretching. Plus I manage to fit in a bit of a social life. But no matter how busy, or tired I am on the weekends, I do my meal planning, my grocery shopping, and my meal preps. Meal planning and prepping are key not only to my weight management, but to my entire well being. My healthy, clean meals keep my body running like the machine I need it to be.

This week I made a super easy one pot recipe I found in one of my daily Hungry Girl newsletters this past week, a healthy chicken enchilada stir fry: https://www.hungry-girl.com/recipe-makeovers/chicken-enchilada-stir-fry. This recipe is loaded with healthy vegetables and yummy Mexican flavors. I doubled the recipe, as it was just for 2 servings. I’ll be eating this with jicama tortillas, or Ole Wellness whole wheat tortillas throughout the week.

Chicken Enchilada Stir Fry

To catch you up on last week, my husband and I had social plans on Sunday, so I threw together a tuna salad loaded with celery and red bell pepper. I had plenty of my chopped salad left from the previous week, and it was still good, so I added Trader Joe’s Power Greens to that, and had a satisfying, and healthy lunch for the week, last week. No recipe required.

Tuna salad on Trader Joe’s jicama tortillas and Chopped Veggie Salad on Power Greens dressed with TJ’s fresh Green Goddess dressing.
A little more inspiration for you

So, friends, make it a great week by making self care your first priority, and try to begin to turn some of those things into habits, like meal planning and prepping, and making time to exercise.

Thank you for stopping by today. Find me on social media:

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