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!

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.

Find me on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marshaleeg54/

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Make it a great week!