The day after; let’s talk turkey

Yesterday morning started much the same as any other day. My hubby brought my coffee to me in bed, as he has done nearly every single day of our marriage, thirteen and a half years ago (a habit he gleaned from his father, who brought his mother coffee in bed nearly every single day of their fifty-year marriage; a good omen, I think!). I took a sip and reached for my iPad to check my mail.

“Checking mail….. Checking mail….. Checking mail…..”

This went on for five or six minutes and just when I was about to get out of bed to restart the wireless router (we often have wireless problems in our house..), my Inbox icon flashed, showing over 100 messages. Well above my usual volume and suspiciously high given the Easter Monday holiday.

Closer inspection revealed that almost all of the messages were from WordPress. More specifically, notifications of comments and subscriptions and ‘likes’ on my recent blog post (All I need to know about exercise I learned from knitting).

Waiting for the caffeine to hit my brain, I started scrolling through your comments, trying to understand why so many readers had happened upon my blog, today of all days. Finally, I came to a comment congratulating me on being ‘Freshly Pressed’. Huh?

Now I’ve only been blogging for six months or so and while I read a lot of fitness and nutrition blogs, I had never searched WordPress for new ones to add to my blog roll. I quickly navigated to the WordPress main page and saw, to my surprise, a snapshot from my blog listed under the heading ‘Freshly Pressed’. Oh wow. I get it now! (For those of you who don’t, ‘Freshly Pressed’ is a WordPress feature that regularly highlights recent blog posts of general interest).

The remainder of my day was spent on the couch, alternating between knitting (I started something new!) and moderating and replying to your comments on my post. (I also confess to continuously updating the ‘Site statistics’ to see how many times the post had been viewed now; I couldn’t seem to stop myself).

Let me start by thanking you all for your congratulations, your insights, your enthusiasm and your humor! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your responses to my work and was amazed to find that my commentary resonated with so many. (Several of you wanted to know about the knitting patterns I featured and whether or not I gave up entirely on the blue-grey shawl. Check out my responses at the very bottom of this post!). Along the way, I clicked on your blog links. I read post after post after post and am humbled by the incredible talent out there in the blogging world.

Given the magnitude of the response to Sunday’s post, I found myself worrying about what I should write about next. Certainly not anything too fluffy (or ‘half squeezed’, as it were). Definitely not vacation pics. Or Easter egg hunt photos of the kids. What if my new readers don’t find my next post so interesting? The fear of a ‘sophomore slump’ was stressing me out.

As I was tucking my oldest child into bed, I voiced these concerns to him. He paused for a moment and then said (with the brilliant insight and wisdom only the young and innocent seem to possess),

Write what you always write, Mom. Just be yourself“. So I will and I am.

We had turkey for Easter dinner. A big turkey. And since there are only five of us, that means leftovers. Lots of them. Here’s what I’m doing with them, Clean Eating style, of course (if you don’t celebrate Easter or don’t eat turkey, you may be excused; see you again soon!).

Turkey and cranberry quesadillas (makes 1 serving);

  • 3 oz sliced turkey breast (skinless)
  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries (preferably unsweetened)
  • diced onion (have as much as you like)
  • 1/2 cup sliced yellow peppers
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 8-inch whole grain tortilla
  • 1 tsp crumbled feta cheese
  1.  Warm olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and saute until translucent (5-7 min)
  3. Add cranberries and peppers, stirring constantly until vegetables start to carmelize
  4. Add spinach leaves, stirring until wilted.
  5. Place tortilla on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Place turkey and carmelized vegetable mixture on one half of tortilla. Cover with feta. Fold the other half of the tortilla over, covering filling.
  6. Bake in a 350 F oven for 5-7 min, or until brown and cheese is melted.
(Calorie count will be in the 350-450 range, depending on whether you used unsweetened cranberries and whether your cheese was low fat).

Turkey, leek and rice soup (makes 4 servings);
Turkey soup is a tradition in our house. It looks a little different each time we make it (I usually improvise with whatever ingredients are in my fridge). This one is my very favorite.
  • turkey carcass, minus the skin and meat
  • as much turkey meat as you like
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large leeks, white stalks only
  • 2 cups pre-cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup thinly slice sundried tomatoes
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Place turkey carcass in a large stock pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add fresh herbs (or not; I like thyme and parsley), simmer for an hour.
  3. Strain stock into a clean pot, removing bones and whatever’s left of the bird.
  4. In a clean stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  5. Add diced leeks and sundried tomatoes. Saute until leeks are soft.
  6. Add 6-8 cups of prepared stock and turkey.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  8. Add rice, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat for an additional 5 minutes.
This soup is wonderful with a crusty, whole grain bread. 
Bon apetit!
1. The sock pattern is Monkey by Cookie A. It was knit in Soho sock yarn by Saffron Dyeworks.
2. I did finish the blue-grey shawl; I just didn’t work on it in the evening. The pattern is Little Leaves by Susanna IC. It was knit in Enya by Saffron Dyeworks.
3. The stranded colorwork sweater pattern is Camp Hoodie by Susan B. Anderson. I finished it yesterday and will post modeled pics tomorrow on Ravelry!

Beware the saboteur…

Let’s go for lunch; you can skip the gym just this once…

It’s just dessert. Splurge, you’ve been working so hard, you deserve it.

Exercise always comes first with you. What about our friendship?

Honey, you look great to me. I like you with a few extra pounds around the hips.

You’re so boring now that you don’t drink. You used to be fun and let loose. What happened to you?

Sound familiar? Those are the words of the saboteur (you know, the friend/relative/spouse/child/co-worker/exercise partner), who’d rather you didn’t stick to your exercise and nutrition goals today (or tomorrow, for that matter), who constantly tries to sabotage your health and fitness plans.

Saboteurs come in all shapes and sizes; learn to recognize them. They often sound like they have your best interests at heart. They comfort you because they tell you what you’d like to hear. They tempt you into staying exactly where you are rather than moving forward. They smile and encourage while under-mining your health and fitness goals.

Why do some people feel the need to sabotage others’ good intentions? What’s it to them if you decide to skip dessert or forego the second glass of wine? Why does your going to the gym affect them at all?

Realize that more often than not, your saboteur’s desire to have you fall off the wagon has much more to do with them than you. Your good habits make them look and feel bad about their own poor ones. If they succeed in getting you to skip a workout, their decision to do the same is validated. They instantly feel better about themselves.

While I’m all about helping people find happiness and self-worth, I don’t do it at the expense of my own. Neither should you. Tips for dealing with saboteurs?

  • know who’s most likely to try sabotaging your health and fitness goals
  • anticipate their comments
  • prepare responses that emphasize your commitment to your goals and explain why those goals are important to you
  • encourage them to join you in your quest for health and wellness
  • use ‘when you say ____, I feel _____’; often people don’t realize the effects of their words on others
  • distance yourself; this is a last resort, but all too often we keep people in our lives even when their attitudes and actions are bad for us.

Stay strong, focused and true to your goals and aspirations. Don’t let the saboteurs sabotage you!

Oh na, na, what’s my name, what’s my name, what’s my name

Just read a great, thought-provoking post by fellow fitness blogger MizFit about blog branding. That is, the creation of an online persona that truly and consistently reflects one’s core values and beliefs.

The blog-brand is the message the blogger is broadcasting and should be evident in both their writings and their actions. It should be clearly evident to readers such that they can sum it up in a few words or sentences. Good blog-brands are predictable, in that readers are rarely surprised by the blogger’s opinion on any given topic. Readers ‘get’ the blogger.

So, do you ‘get’ fitknitchick?