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.

Thrive With Your Tribe

+ A Tried & True Fall Favorite Recipe

If you are lucky like me you have life long loving, supportive friends in addition to a loving, supportive family. Throughout the last 10 years or so, since I began swimming, then becoming a member of Weight Watchers, I have become a part of 2 separate tribes. There is my swim tribe, and my WW tribe. These are friendships that have been developed over time, with people I might not have otherwise met, if not for stepping out and starting to swim or joining WW. These friendships started out based on the things we have most in common, but now we are like little pseudo families. Both are incredibly dear to me, and been there for me through thick and thin. Don’t be afraid in life to open yourself up to new experiences. Wonderful things can happen. You will get to know yourself better, become stronger inside and out, and you will meet wonderful people that you will cherish, possibly for the rest of your life, who are your tribe.

Even though it is currently 80 degrees here in Santa Monica, CA, I am finally giving a nod to fall recipes. I love fall foods. I love all of the different squashes you start to see in the market, and all of the beautiful root vegetables. Here is a comprehensive list of fall vegetables from http://www.kitchn.com, and how to cook them: https://www.thekitchn.com/12-fall-vegetables-you-should-know-how-to-cook-211234 I also have a lot of great squash recipes on my SQUASH board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/marshaleeg/squash/. Check it out.

Today I made my favorite Turkey Chili and Spaghetti Squash. Who doesn’t love chili over spaghetti? I am using spaghetti squash as a swap out for pasta, and my meal will be just as tasty and decadent, as if I were eating real spaghetti. Believe it. It will be low in calories (and WW points). I’ll be able to eat a full bowl of it, and not feel stuffed. Let’s start with the spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti Squash straight from the grocery store. They come in a range of sizes.
This one is medium sized.
The easiest prep I have found is to cut the squash down the middle with your sharp chefs knife. I also cut off the core end so that it will stand up for me when I am ready to pull the meat out of it. I removed the seeds before cooking, but you don’t have to. For me it is easier. To cook, place the squash face down in a microwave safe dish, filled with about an inch of water. The cook time in the microwave can be 10 – 15 minutes depending on your microwave oven. I set mine for 10 minutes, but had to put it in for 5 more.
When the squash is ready, you should be able to pull the strands out with a fork. Pull the meat of the squash out all the way to the edge of the shell. See how that really resembles spaghetti?
My yield on my medium sized spaghetti squash was almost 2 quarts

My turkey chili recipe is over 10 years old. I found it in a Cooking Light magazine, pre interweb. I read several turkey chili recipes on line this morning in preparation for today, but none of them sounded as good as I know this one is. And here it is (with my notes):

Monterey Turkey Chili

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 green bell pepper, chopped (I used red because I like it better)

1 large onion, chopped, 3 celery ribs, chopped, and 2 large carrots peeled, and chopped small (I used Trader Joe’s MirePoix mix instead)

2 lbs ground turkey ( I bought 93% lean; 7% fat; but you can use the type with 1% fat if you like. Trader Joe’s only had 20 oz packages of turkey today. That wasn’t quite enough, but I didn’t want 40 ounces either, so I bought an 8 oz package of turkey bacon to add volume, and the added bonus of that smoky flavor).

2 cloves of garlic (I used 2 cubes of Dorot frozen minced garlic)

2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon each of dried oregano, and cumin, then a pinch of cayenne pepper, which is optional (I used it).

8 oz can of chopped green chilies

15.5 oz can of white beans, drained, and rinsed

28 oz can of diced tomatoes

The original recipe calls for salt & pepper to taste, but I don’t add any. I like the flavors as is. They also have chopped cilantro as optional, but I opted out of it today.

My ingredients today

Directions:

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or stock pot until hot over high heat. Add the bell pepper, and mirepoix mix, and lower the heat. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 15 minutes (I added the turkey bacon during this first step so that it would caramelize a little and also season the vegetables).

Add the turkey and garlic, brown for about 10-15 minutes. For a chunkier chili, do not break it up with the spoon too much. Drain off the excess fat (no I didn’t).

Add the chili powder oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper (optional), and saute for another minute.

Add the green chilies, beans, and tomatoes (including the juice).

Stir in the cilantro if desired. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.

The original recipe also calls for optional fixings: grated cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, and sour cream. I will top mine with chopped scallions and a little light sour cream (plain non fat Greek yogurt will work perfectly as well).

The finished product. Love seeing the loads of veggies there.
The plated meal (without my fixings of chopped scallions and sour cream)

October is Breast Cancer awareness month. If you haven’t done so already, please schedule your yearly mammogram. Ask your doctor or radiologist about digital mammograms. They may cost a smidgen more, but they are more accurate. Mammograms save lives.

Thank you for stopping by today. Your comments, questions, and critiques are always welcome, as are your chili recipes!

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Make it a great week! Take care of YOU!

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