Memorial Day Fly Over, then Meal Prep

Happy Memorial Day, all! We were fortunate enough today to experience a special fly over of an 18-plane formation of historic war planes over So Cal this afternoon. What an awesome experience, and a humbling reminder that this is a day to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, and to honor the military that is out there today protecting our freedom, our democracy.

Weekly meal prep is back for me. At least for the moment. We are heading into a heat wave this week, so I stuck with an easy, no cook salad for lunches. I found this White Bean, Tuna & Roasted Pepper Salad in the June 2020 issue of Prevention Magazine. Unfortunately I could not access the link to the recipe online, but here is the list of ingredients, and what I used:

Serves 4

15 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed – I used garbanzo beans

1/4 small red onion chopped

6 tbsp Classic Vinaigrette *see below*

3 hearts of romaine torn into pieces (12 oz; about 6 cups) – I used 1 5 oz bag of romaine and mixed it with a bag of broccoli slaw

2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained, and cut into pieces

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered (I used a little less, and chopped them up)

1/2 cup pitted mixed olives (I used about 1/4 cup of pitted kalamata olives, that I cut in half)

5 oz canned tuna packed in olive oil, drained and flaked – I used a 14.75 oz can of wild caught salmon packed in water

No Cook Garbanzo Bean and Salmon Salad, ready to pack up for the office.
The lettuce and broccoli slaw is bagged separately, the salmon is in it’s own container, and the beans and veggies are combined in another container. All I have to do in the morning is layer one serving of this into my special salad container, and put the vinaigrette in it’s own 2 oz serving container. I am going to have Trader Joe’s 3 Seed Beet Crackers on the side.

*Classic Vinaigrette:

To a jar add 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 shallot finely chopped, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Cover and shake to combine. Add 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup water). Cover and shake until emulsified. The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

And I did a breakfast prep today too! I follow a U Tube channel called Flav City, hosted by Chef Bobby Parrish. He is a wealth of knowledge, and a heck of a cook. I saw this and had to try it. It’s a copy cat recipe of Starbucks bacon and Gruyere egg bites. I did modify it Baby Boomer Mermaid style, and I am extremely proud to say that I pulled it off. I had a taste of my finished product and these are delicious. Here is the link to the Flav City recipe and video. Chef gives a lot of great culinary tips in a short amount of time. The video is worth the watch: https://www.flavcity.com/keto-breakfast-egg-bites/#viewrecipe

I followed the technical directions and the measurements of the original recipe, but altered the ingredients to fit my needs. I used 1 cup of egg whites, fat free cottage cheese, 4 slices of light Jarlsberg cheese, diced, I added jarred roasted red peppers to get a little veggie in there, and Canadian bacon in place of regular bacon.

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you have enjoyed the holiday weekend, and that you are feeling good. The world is starting to reopen. In a new way, but it is coming along, I am happy to say. Take care of yourselves.

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Smelling the Roses Again

Palisades Park – The Rose Garden

The city is slowly coming back to life. Santa Monica finally reopened their parks and beaches (for swimming and exercise only). My favorite is Palisades Park, which spans the cliffs just above the ocean. There is the most lovely rose garden there. I missed this little piece of paradise. I am gradually starting to feel whole again.

Last week I started going back to the office to begin prep for the economy reopening. My groceries served me well. I had good, healthy lunches each day. It is indeed all about the groceries. That said, I did want to meal plan for this coming week in the office, so I went to my well stocked freezer. There I found Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi (4 pts/ 140 cal per 1 cup serving), their Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip (2 pts/ 45 cal per 2 tbsp serving), frozen spinach, and frozen broccoli florets. The light bulb in my Baby Boomer Mermaid head went off, and I decided to combine all of this deliciousness into one veggie forward dish for myself. I will pair this with Trader Joe’s Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage (3 points/ 110 calories per 1 sausage serving). This gives me 4 servings, so all things considered, it will be healthy, filling, and really satisfying for the week.

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Creamy Spinach Artichoke dip, spinach, and broccoli

Last weekend, after I published the blog, I got the baking bug. I had a can of pureed pumpkin in the house, along with all of the other ingredients needed, so I made this muffin recipe from Drizzle Me Skinny. No alterations. They came out amazing: https://drizzlemeskinny.com/pumpkin-spice-cream-cheese-muffins/. I highly recommend you give this a try. 2 pts/ 88 cal per muffin. Almost everything I make is inspired by recipes I find on the interwebs, either from Instagram, Pinterest, FB, the WW website, or just by randomly searching.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffins

More scenes from Palisades Park, Santa Monica, Saturday, May 16

Just a reminder that I am still selling hospital grade disposable masks. Masks will be a part of our “new normal” for the foreseeable future. Please contact me privately if you are interested in purchasing some for your home and/ or office: marshaleeg@verizon.net.

Thank you for joining me this week! Stay safe. Be well. Take care of yourselves.

Feel free to send me comments, critiques, questions, or meal prep ideas 🙂

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It’s About the Groceries

For me, staying home has become more about the groceries than the meal prep. I don’t want to feel obligated to one or 2 choices for the week during this time, so I have filled my freezer, pantry, and refrigerator with clean, healthy, and mostly “safe” food options…. There has definitely been a little splurging on comfort foods and sweets over the course of the last 6 weeks of quarantine, though. Not gonna lie.

Today I made a broccoli slaw. Super easy with Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Coleslaw Dressing (50 cal for 2 tbsp/ 2 pts). I added a little celery, red onion, and celery seed to bump up the flavors. I put about 1/4 cup of dressing in the entire dish, which will be 3 – 4 servings. Slaw needs to marinate a little, so it’s in the refrigerator getting delicious.

Broccoli Slaw dressed with Bolthouse Farms Coleslaw Dressing
From a couple of weeks ago – Macaroni Salad made with chickpea elbows, roasted red peppers out of the jar, celery, red onions, and a little sweet pickle relish. It is dressed with about 1/4 cup of light mayo, and seasoned with salt & pepper. This prep was inspired by this WW 4 pt recipe – https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/recipe/classic-macaroni-salad-1/5626a5f74236657004995d9c

My hearty breakfast was scrambled eggs with caramelized onions and nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a solid resource of protein and fiber. Besides the health benefits, it has a cheesy flavor, so mimics that in eggs without the fat, calories, and points of cheese. It is 20 calories a tablespoon (0 pts). Here is a cooking note on scrambled eggs (learned from The Barefoot Contessa, and who doesn’t love her ?) – cook them on low, slowly. You will get a fluffier more uncious finished product. I topped the egg mixture with my favorite jarred salsa, and wrapped it up on an Ole Extreme Whole Wheat Tortilla (50 cal/ 1pt).

Hearty breakfast – scrambled eggs and onions flavored with nutritional yeast, topped with salsa, wrapped in a tortilla 🙂
The tea is my mock chai latte made with Spiced Chai Tea from Trader Joe’s and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
Yesterday’s lunch – Trader Joe’s shrimp burger topped with creamy srircha sauce and a salad made of baby lettuce, broccoli slaw, and grape tomatoes, dressed with Trader Joe’s Green Goddess dressing (from the refrigerator section). Calling this 4 points total.
The tea is my home brewed ginger/ tumeric iced tea (also Trader Joe’s)

So it is all about the groceries right now. Here are a few tips to make grocery shopping a little easier during these challenging times:

*Make a list (best if you can do it in the order of the aisles in the store)

*Read the labels (and/ or keep your WW scanner handy) to be sure you are making healthy choices

*Buy seasonal produce and proteins on sale to help adhere to your budget

Just a reminder, I am selling hospital grade disposable masks. Find the details on the previous blog from last week (scroll down). Masks are an essential part of the “new normal” as business start to reopen.

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Thanks so much for stopping by. Please send me any comments, critiques, or questions. I would love to hear from you. Stay safe. Be well.

Coping with Quarantine

Recipe Schmecipe Recap – A Review of A Few of My Best, EASY Meal Preps

Not gonna lie. Although grateful for my overall good health, and the love and companionship of my husband, who’s health I am also grateful for, other than losing my parents, this is the hardest thing I have ever been through. I have lost my way the last few weeks, and in the meantime, tore a muscle in my back while stretching, which has temporarily taken away my ability to get outdoors to walk or to do anything else that resembles being productive. I am healing, taking it a day at a time. Locked up. Chin up. Putting on my big girl pants and moving forward.

Since we all are cooking most of our own meals these days, I thought I would offer you a recap of a few of my favorite past meal preps and tips in the hopes of inspiring you to make something new and fun. If you are new to the blog, my meal prep philosophy has always been budget conscious, pantry based, WW friendly, delicious, and EASY. This will also allow for you to peruse past blogs at the same time, in the hopes that you will find renewed inspiration, and get a few handy tips along the way. Let’s Go!

Pantry tips: https://babyboomermermaid.com/2019/02/10/your-pantry-is-it-safe-is-it-ready-for-any-emergency/

Cabbage Roll Soup (fan favorite): https://babyboomermermaid.com/2019/02/18/balancing-act-self-care-vs-obligations/

Slow Cooker Chicken Schwarma (personal favorite): https://babyboomermermaid.com/2019/04/14/recipe-schmecipe/

Creamy Broccoli Salad (fan favorite): https://babyboomermermaid.com/2019/06/16/celebrating-the-fruits-of-summer/

Favorite Low Point Gazpacho: https://babyboomermermaid.com/2019/06/23/tomato-tomahto/

Snacks: https://babyboomermermaid.com/2019/07/28/routine-vs-yolo/

Scenes from Home, the last couple of weeks

Thank you for stopping by. Feel free to send me your comments, critiques, and questions.

Stay safe, and healthy, my friends.

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Easy Comfort Food Meal Prep

Pinto Bean and Soyrizo Casserole

During this time of the Covid 19 pandemic, meal prep and a “safe” pantry have become even more important than ever. It is so easy to slip back into old habits under these circumstances.

The turkey taco prep I made last week was so good that my craving for spicy Mexican style food has continued. This week I was inspired by a recipe I found on the Skinny Ms. website: https://skinnyms.com/southwestern-black-bean-casserole/, but with the twist of adding soyrizo, which I love, and had not enjoyed in some time.

The basic recipe is great as is, but, I didn’t have black beans in the house. Plus, I wanted to add the soyrizo, so here is how I made it work: I had but one can of pinto beans in the house, the soyrizo, reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend (3pts per 1/4 C serving), our favorite salsa (Herdez medium), chicken broth, Dorot frozen garlic cubes, diced white onions, cumin, salt & pepper, and of course the all important Ole Mexican Whole Wheat Tortillas. Those were my ingredients.

I sprayed my saute pan with canola oil spray, then when it got hot, I threw in the diced onions (about 1/4 cup), then half of the soyrizo, which is about 3 oz (4pts), then added 2 frozen garlic cubes, and the cumin. I let that cook for a few minutes, and added the drained pinto beans, 1/4 cup of chicken broth (use vegetable broth if you want a fully vegetarian dish), a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and let that cook down for another few minutes.

When the mixture was cooked through, and the liquid absorbed, I sprayed my 9 x 9″ square pyrex pan with the canola oil spray, then placed the first tortilla in the pan. I layered on the soyrizo mixture, about 2 tablespoons of the salsa, and about 2 tablespoons of the cheese. I repeated this process using 3 of the whole wheat tortillas, then topped it off with the balance of the soyrizo mixture, more salsa, and cheese. I would say I used a total of about 1/3 of a cup each of the salsa and cheese. I estimate this recipe at a total of 11 points on the WW Blue plan. It made 4 servings, so just under 3 points per serving. Pretty good for a comfort food recipe, I’d say. I had a piece this morning for breakfast with a couple of over medium eggs. It was yummy and very satisfying.

Scenes from my weekend walks: gorgeous skies, plants and flowers in full bloom, a 25 square hopscotch course, and beautiful sidewalk chalk drawings

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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Navigating the New Normal

Virtual WW meetings. Visiting with friends by phone while walking in different parts of town. Reaching out to more people by phone rather than text at any time of day. Visiting with neighbors out front while keeping 6′ apart. Dealing with necessary changes financially, like talking to banks about deferring payments on credit cards, cars, and mortgages. Filing for unemployment. Streaming TV shows, and watching movies in the living room. Not going to work. Not working at all. These are all things that are new to me. I’m not going to lie. I am having a tough time of it, as I am sure you all are. We are all in the same nightmare, and I hope and pray that you are staying home and safe like we are because the sooner this horrible virus irradiates itself, or a vaccine is discovered, we can all go back to work and back to our lives. Can’t be soon enough for me!

Today’s meal prep is an easy turkey taco mixture; a “dump” recipe if you will. This was inspired by my niece, the lovely Eden, who happens to be one of the best people I know (not biased, it’s the truth). She told me a while back that turkey taco meat is her go to, and she is right. Once it’s made, it is so versatile. It becomes a taco salad, can be wrapped, or can be eaten as a chili. Nothing better than having options.

All I did was brown 1 lb of ground turkey with low sodium taco seasoning, and a little chopped red onion. I added to that 1 can of tri color beans (black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans), and 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies. I added 2 cubes of frozen minced garlic, then let it simmer for about 40 minutes. And that was it! I used regular ground turkey, which is 5 points for 3 oz on the WW Blue Plan, or 170 calories for 4 oz. You can use ground turkey breast for 0 points/ 120 calories. The rest of the ingredients in this dish are 0 points :).

Easy Turkey Taco prep

One of the things I love doing is trying new veggies and fruits when I find them. Earlier this week, I escaped to the legendary Santa Monica Wednesday Farmer’s Market. Don’t worry, I was careful. I wrapped a scarf around my nose and mouth to act as a mask. Plus the market was practicing safe social distancing, as I knew they would be. I found a fairy squash. It is so pretty! When I talked to the farmer about it, she suggested I just roast it whole for an hour at 350. I ended up with a beautiful orange mash. It is a little sweet, as promised, like a butternut squash. I can use it now to bake with, in a risotto, in a soup, or stirred into my morning yogurt bowl, as I would pumpkin. I am excited to experiment with it this week. Here is a little more info about this rare winter squash variety: https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Fairy_Squash_6685.php

New Find – Fairy Squash

I found a new fruit this week too – an Ataulfo mango. It’s really just a mini mango grown in Mexico. It was super sweet and delicious over my morning yogurt bowl, which I topped with toasted walnuts.

New fruit find – mini mangos

These days when the grocery store shelves are a little more sparse, is a good time to make new discoveries. Don’t be afraid to try new things, especially in produce.

Take care of yourselves, my friends. Make sure you move every day. I have been walking, but plan to incorporate virtual workouts in the house this coming week. Silver Sneakers has been hosting live Facebook workouts. I am going to try one tomorrow morning. Plus there are many available on your streaming channels, and online. I want to try a dance one this week too.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home.

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Eating to Build Our Immune Systems

As I was reading up on this topic I realized that eating to build your immune systems and an anti inflammatory diets are closely related, and in fact intertwined. Many immunity building foods also work as anti inflammatory foods. I have been sent, and have been seeing many concoctions that are said to ward off the Corona Virus. And I am looking closely at all of it, and that is what has sparked today’s blog.

I have added more citrus to my diet. I began drinking warm water with slices of lemon in it daily (thank you, Marcy for the home grown lemons). And today I bought a range of citrus fruits to keep in the house, after reading about the overall immunity and anti inflammatory benefits of them. And I love all citrus fruits, anyway.

Marcy’s lemons with limes, and a pink grapefruit ready to eat on my kitchen counter. Not shown are the mandarin oranges I also bought today (they are in the refrigerator)

I have also discovered Nutritional Yeast. Nutritional Yeast is a complete protein, contains all 9 amino acids, is high in B vitamins, and trace minerals. And it tastes good! It adds a nutty, cheesy, kind of an umami flavor to foods. So far I have added it to scrambled eggs, and today to my vegetable soup. Here is more about it: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nutritional-yeast.

Here is a short list of foods that are good for our immunity and for anti inflammatory diets: https://globalhealing.com/natural-health/8-foods-that-boost-your-immune-system/

I want to mention HOW I finally came to buy and try Nutritional Yeast, because it’s a lesson for us all – I was shopping at Trader Joe’s last week after the shelves had been stripped of almost everything. I found the 1 bag of Nutritional Yeast on the shelf, and picked it up. I realized I had heard good things about it, so I read the back of the package, noted the low calories (20 cal for 1 tblsp/ 0 points), and price :), then decided to give it a try. Yesterday during our WW virtual meetings, our coach, the great Amy B. was talking about finding new products on the empty grocery store shelves during this time. She talked about low calorie (low point) sauces that you might not normally try, for example. Keep an open mind while shopping these days. You never know what new treasures you will discover.

Like many of you, I won’t be going to work this week. What little work I have I will do from home, as I am in sales, and unfortunately, as all of the stores I sell to are closed, I am essentially out of business until this passes. Deep breaths…. (This might be a good time for me to try meditation).

I wasn’t really planning a meal prep today, but as I was continuing to read about building our immune systems against this virus, I decided to throw a vegetable soup together out of what I had in the house. I went to my freezer and pulled out a bag of mixed vegetables, a mostly used bag of frozen broccoli, and a partly used bag of spinach. I had most of a quart of chicken broth in the refrigerator, a bag of shirataki noodles, and the Nutritional yeast. I seasoned my soup with 2 cubes of Dorot frozen garlic, some freshly ground black pepper (no salt, as my broth was not low sodium), some ground coriander, and cumin. It came out great, and I want to tell you that the Nutritional Yeast did lend a new flavor that I really like. And it my soup has 0 points, I believe, on all 3 WW plans. I am very happy to have this in the house this week.

0 point pantry veggie soup with shirataki noodles and Nutritional Yeast

I want to share one more thing with you that I am going to make for my husband and I. I found it on Instagram this morning. It’s a ginger lime tea recipe. Great for both our immune systems and has all of the anti inflammatory properties: https://presleyspantry.com/2011/04/11/ginger-lime-tea/.

We are all in the same boat here. There is no end date on the quarantine. All we can do is keep ourselves healthy with the foods we eat, exercise, and staying rested. Worrying, stressing, and food binging are not going to help. Take care, my friends.

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The New Normal

Challenging Times

Stressed Season 1 GIF by Friends - Find & Share on GIPHY
This has been me the last few days

This morning we had our first virtual WW meeting, and just prior to that, one of my technically capable tribe members set up a group phone call so we could all touch base personally. Normally, we all catch up a little before our Saturday 7:30 am meeting, then have breakfast together. It’s been a meaningful ritual for all of us. Today was certainly new and different, but it was just as meaningful for us to all be together, albeit on a phone call. And the meeting was GREAT. Kudos to WW for getting these virtual meetings set up. Connecting with our coach, studio team, and seeing everyone was incredibly settling and inspiring for me.

I tested a new recipe for breakfast this morning, and want to share it with you. It is Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes from Livestrong.com: https://www.livestrong.com/recipes/cottage-cheese-protein-pancakes-5/. I posted it on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, so I made it today. I followed the recipe as written, except I used fat free cottage cheese 1) because it was one of the few cartons of cottage cheese left on the shelf, and 2) it was on sale. Not sure it would have made much difference in the taste of the final dish if I would have used the 2% cottage cheese. My final product did not turn out pretty, but it did taste good. I garnished it with fresh blueberries, and added about a teaspoon of real maple syrup to the plate. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and highly recommend you give it a try.

Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

While home, with extra time on my hands I have been doing more interwebs exploration. I came across Flav City on Instagram, and really like his point of view. If you are looking for fun, healthy, and new takes on recipes, and to be entertained, check out this guy Bobby Parrish. https://www.flavcity.com/ and also on UTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/flavcity.

Take care, my friends.

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Fresh Meal Prep Ideas

Thinking Out of the Box Today

I came up with some fresh ideas today for my meal prep. I’ve been getting tired of my breakfasts. I haven’t even posted them recently. I eat at home every morning now, so I don’t really need to “prep” perse, just need to have healthy things in the house at the ready. I have been switching off between cultured cottage cheese and yogurt bowls with cinnamon, ground flax and chia seeds mixed in and topped with berries, oatmeal with the same mix ins, or scrambled eggs topped with salsa and wrapped in an Ole Whole Wheat Tortilla. All good, healthy choices. But I’m bored.

A couple of months ago I started a new Pinterest board called Healthy Breakfasts Sans Eggs (https://www.pinterest.com/marshaleeg/healthy-breakfasts-sans-eggs/) inspired by those of you in the WW Facebook groups that were looking for healthy breakfast options, and don’t like eggs. Last week I came across a recipe that I pinned, and have not been able to stop thinking about – Sweet Morning Potato with Yogurt, Maple Syrup & Nuts. I’m not big on anything that is too sweet any more, much less breakfast, but this idea intrigued me. And I know it won’t really be that sweet. Today I roasted 3 large sweet potatoes, which I will cut in half for my servings, and top them with non fat Greek yogurt mixed with my ground flax and chia seeds, drizzled with a little maple syrup, and toasted walnuts. Not only does this fit into my WW maintenance plan, but it fits into my anti inflammatory diet as well. Yogurt and sweet potatoes are both good for that, and for building up my immune system. Here is an article I found showing more: https://www.marthastewart.com/1542077/foods-healthy-immune-system?did=489992-20200212&utm_campaign=martha-stewart-living_newsletter&utm_source=marthastewart.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=021220&cid=489992&mid=29641328065

The fixings for this week’s breakfasts. And here is the recipe:
https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-sweet-morning-potato-with-yogurt-maple-syrup-nuts-recipes-from-the-kitchn-9080

For lunch I hacked a slow cooker spinach and artichoke chicken recipe into a stove top version. Usually slow cooker recipes are my go to, but the poached chicken aspect of the original recipe didn’t appeal to me today, so I reworked it. Here is the original recipe, which is a great one. Love the flavor profile: https://www.thekitchn.com/slow-cooker-chicken-spinach-artichoke-recipe-256184

My version of spinach and artichoke chicken

I used all of the ingredients in the original recipe, but I did a stove top version – using ground chicken breast. I started with a diced shallot over medium heat, let that get a little translucent and soft in my pan, then added 1 lb of ground chicken breast, and seasoned that with salt & pepper. I then added 2 cubes (or 2 cloves) of the frozen garlic cubes, and let the chicken cook through. I combined 1/4 cup each of dry white wine, fresh lemon juice, and chicken broth, and deglazed the pan, lowered the heat, and let the liquid reduce to about half. That took about 10 minutes. I added the drained artichoke hearts, which I cut in half, then started adding the baby spinach in batches as it wilted.

I also wanted a “noodle” to go with this, so I cooked the half bag of red lentil penne I had in the cupboard, and combined it with a can of Palmini linguine to use as a bed for the chicken mixture.

I honestly don’t know the calories/ points of this dish, but I do know that it is veggie based, and overall very clean and healthy. It has flavors that I enjoy. And that is what matters.

Don’t be afraid to re-imagine your recipes and experiment. It’s fun, and you might surprise yourself with how well they turn out.

Thank you for joining me today. Make it a great week, and take care of YOU.

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Easy but On Point Meal Plan

Super Simple Meal Prep to Keep Me on Track and Satisfied

Not only am I on a calorie/ WW point budget, but I am on a financial one as well, as I am sure many of you are. Today I finally invested in cheap Rubbermaid containers at the market. I got tired of putting my lunches together every morning. I now have them prepped and set. Fewer dishes and utensils to wash in the morning, and it’s overall going to be a major time saver.

This week’s lunches are based on veggies and lean proteins, i.e. 0 point, albeit convenient foods. I made oven roasted chicken breast, simply seasoned with S&P, cumin, and smoked paprika. Because those are the seasonings that I like. Use the seasonings that you like best. I roasted it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper that I sprayed with canola oil spray in a 450 degree oven for 18 minutes, then let it rest for about 15 minutes. I want to mention one of my budget saving tips. My market, Ralph’s, has all of the choices of chicken breast in the world. My husband and I discovered that they also have a house brand hand cut chicken breast. These are beautiful, and far less expensive than the branded options at the meat counter at Ralph’s, or even at TJ’s. Check it out. Today I paid $6.02 for 1.22 lbs of chicken breast. By the way, the yield after roasting was just over 1 lb of chicken. If you are planning to eat about a pound of any kind of meat, total for the week, buy a little over that to allow for shrinkage during the cooking process. I paired the chicken breast with Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower Stuffing, that I bought during Thanksgiving season, and regular riced cauliflower to build up the volume (I had about 2/3 of a bag left in the freezer). The Riced Cauliflower Stuffing is 60 calories/ 3 points. The regular riced cauliflower is 0 points/ 30 calories per serving. With the chicken and stuffing I am trying a new veggie based soup I discovered at the market today, a Super Greens Creamy Soup. It’s 80 calories/ 2 pints per 1 cup serving.

Lunch prep is 4 oz of chicken breast with 1 cup of riced cauliflower mixture and super greens soup

I was out of town most of last week on a business trip. If you read last week’s blog, you know that I brought my breakfast fixings and snacks with me. It worked out great, and I highly recommend that you take the time to pre plan as I did. Not only was it a calorie/ point saver, but a money saver as well. No restaurant breakfast for me. The snacks I took along were Trader Joe’s Chomps Turkey sticks (60 cal/ 1 point), and WW 2 point nut bars. I also brought chamomile tea bags, and WW 2 point lemon bars for after dinner (saved fat, calories, and $$ on desert too). Note: Starbucks did not charge me for the tall hot waters I asked for every evening.

In room hotel breakfast. Call the hotel in advance to reserve the fridge. BTW, I didn’t expect the fridge to be quite this small, but I made it work.

Yesterday I was exhausted after my long week away. I slept in, missed my WW Workshop, and breakfast with my tribe, but I needed it. When I got up I went directly to the pool and swam laps for an hour. I felt so much better! I was very low on energy when I got home, so just wanted to piddle around. I had a couple of aging bananas hanging around, so decided to make a banana bread. It was so cathartic. I found a great light recipe using plain non fat greek yogurt and applesauce, and just a small amount of sugar: https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/greek-yogurt-banana-bread-3/. It came out great. I snacked on it yesterday, gave some away to my neighbor, and snacked on a small piece today, witch I toasted. So comforting.

Thanks for joining the conversation today. Note that all of my WW point values are based on the Blue Plan. Check out the points for your plan when using any of the products or recipes mentioned here.

Wanted to show you that I had lovely company while writing the blog today. Pearl has not left my side since I’ve been home.

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Make it a great week, and take care of yourself!