Hello to all and Happy Spring!
- I am grateful that I spend my Tuesday nights with 50 Fabulous Women.
- I am grateful for taking “ME” time with challenging classes at The Bar Method.
- I am grateful that I am mindful of my thoughts and actions.
- I am grateful that I am a student again.
- I am grateful……
One of the 50 Fabulous women is Julie McTernan. Julie is a Summit resident and mom of four. She is the editor of Tips from Town, Summit. She has written wonderful articles for Vita Organic Foods and Simple Clean and Whole. I asked her to write something for Tips from Town introducing the “30 Day Program”. As I relayed details of the program to her I came up with a great idea! I suggested she take the program and write about her progress. I’m not sure Julie initially thought it was such a great idea, but a week later she and 49 other brave souls took on the challenge. She has been kind enough to journal her progress each week for 30 days. Julie is very witty, funny, and absolutely a pleasure to work with!!! She has made some incredible gains in the first 2 weeks….so, let’s start with her week 1 review….
Julie’s Week 1 Review
-Started the Simple Clean and Whole program by attending first of four meetings – excellent start.
-3 Bar Method Classes completed – sore but smiling.
-Shopping trip to Whole Foods to stock up on necessary items for challenge – success.
-Meal plan and homework – spot on!
-Fountain Coke consumed (0) – shocking!
On one counter in my kitchen it looks like someone is performing a science experiment. There are measuring cups, a scale, cans and containers of unfamiliar products neatly displayed. The refrigerator is stocked and beautiful with multi-colored fresh fruits and vegetables waiting to be consumed. One thing is clear, either someone else has moved into the McTernan home or I am doing the 30 Day Challenge. Week one ends tomorrow and as promised I share with you my update. I’ve learned a lot already. Part of the program asks you to set up daily rituals that are designed to help support you through the tough times. Homework includes lists, journal writing and introspection. In keeping with the spirit of the program I list for you what I’ve learned this week:
- I’ve learned…living a Simple Clean and Whole life is harder than I thought. I hate change. I hate drinking water. It has required me to be disciplined and strong. Like at Magic Fountain with the kids, or buying a hotdog for them from Mr. Chi (yes I love them too).
- I’ve learned…to master shopping at Whole Foods. Like, if you look really lost and pathetic, a nice employee will find you and become your personal shopper. How else would I find veggie wash (something I didn’t know existed) and learn how to grind almonds into almond butter?
- I’ve learned…that daily rituals can be fun, like kissing my husband every morning when I wake up and smiling when I first look in the mirror.
- I’ve learned…that with the right support I can do anything. I’ve even learned a few “Meisterisms” like “It takes 30 days to make a mind shift,” and “You are entering the non-judgment zone” and “Your food hates you”.
- I’ve learned…about the best vitamin supplements and delicious food substitutes.
- I’ve learned…that the hardest part of the Bar Method this week has been walking through the door…and that it is hard.
- I’ve learned…the Bar Method isn’t just for skinny people.
- I’ve learned…that I still have a core when I dig deep enough and that shaking like you’re having a seizure is actually a good thing.
- I’ve learned…wearing lululemon as exercise clothes instead of just around the house really work.
- I’ve learned…that other people struggle too and belonging to a supportive group during this challenge and communicating through Facebook is very helpful.
But mainly I’ve learned about myself and what I can do when I put my mind to it and am disciplined.
How what’s going on with me on the inside both mentally and physically effects how I look and feel on the outside. I like making time for myself and I am walking (although more slowly) a little taller this week. As Week 1 comes to a close, I feel good, better than I thought I’d feel. Tune in again next week for the wrap up on Week 2!
- 5 -6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 3/4 lb Italian turkey sausage, cut into 4 inch long links
- 1 lb ground turkey (ideal to use dark meat)
- coarse salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 3/4-1 lb rigatoni pasta
- grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook, turning them occasionally, until browned all over – about 10 minutes. Remove the sausages to a plate.
- Add the ground turkey to the pot and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until browned. Remove to a separate plate.
- Add another 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook until they soften and just begin to brown – about another 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and their juice along with about a 1/2 cup of water (used to swish out the cans).
- Add the ground turkey, stir the sauce well and then nestle in the turkey sausages. Bring the sauce to a boil, season to taste with salt and pepper(doesn’t really need much-if at all-salt at this point). Turn the heat to low.
- Cover almost completely with a lid (letting the steam escape from one side) and gently simmer for about 4 hours – adding splashes of water every hour or so if the sauce is drying out at all.
- Uncover the sauce and stir in the tomato paste. Barely cover the pot this time and simmer for another hour.
- When it’s almost time to serve, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add the rigatoni and cook according to the package directions.
- Serve the sauce over the cooked rigatoni with a good grating of Parmesan cheese on top.