Sunday, November 29, 2015

Forever Thankful

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It’s the perfect kick off to the holiday season. There’s nothing I enjoy more than having our home filled with laughter, good food, and wonderful company, whether that be family or friends. We always start with a basketball game on Wednesday night, then into the festivities on Thursday. Knowing everyone leaves with full tummies and fuller hearts tops everything.
Honestly, I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas. I love the spirit, the decorations, the movies, the music, the giving of oneself to others, the celebration of Jesus birth. Gift giving holds a special place for me. I love giving more than receiving. The look on faces when they open that special thing they didn’t know they were getting. I look around our house and see so much stuff. It’s overwhelming at times. I cringe when family ask what the boys want. None of us really need anything. They really don’t even want much. I’m ok with that. But I also know they will be disappointed if they don’t get anything.
I dislike the commercial garbage the Christmas holiday brings. Black Friday and shopping on Thanksgiving day don’t bother me as much as the fights and injuries over trivial, material things. All of the ads, the emails, the push at the kids for more. It’s all so much pressure to find the perfect thing; to find something they didn’t know they will get and are still interested in. No one likes to help decorate, but complain when things aren’t up yet or when something they like isn’t out. No one helps take down but wonders why things are still up after New Year’s. The month of December feels more like a list of obligations than a preparation for the celebration. Is this a reflection of my parenting? Is it a lack of focus being placed on what’s most important? Perhaps. Maybe I’m being selfish and missing the point. Very likely. I find myself faced with the term “Refocus” more often than not as of late. I believe this is one of those times I need to stop and refocus my vision of the Christmas holidays.
I know this for sure– We live a blessed life. We have jobs, good health, enough food to eat, and a roof above our heads. We are able to work hard every day. We teach our kids the value of a dollar, goal setting, and about following their dreams. We don’t have everything we want, but we definitely have everything we need. I want to celebrate the little things, hear the joy in the air, and be in the moment with those who matter most to me. The picture above depicts my vision of perfection- being with my boys and lots of laughter.  May we all find the vision of the season and enjoy the simple pleasures. May every day be a day of Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It's Never Too Late

Sadness. Despair. Fear. Darkness.

Thanks. Hope. Faith. Light.

The recent events across the world have sparked heated debate over the last week. How many of the words in the first line hit home for each one of us in the last few days? So many feelings felt, fears expressed, prayers uttered. I feel myself washed in sadness, not only for those affected by tragedy and destruction, but also for those closed minded individuals who chose to speak before thinking, reacting out of fear rather than in Faith.

Do you know what is most amazing to me? These people, so terribly torn apart by horrific acts, remain in the streets mourning, reflecting, even celebrating. Celebrating the lives of those friends and family members lost. It seems unfathomable, yet comforting.  We're seeing people flipping the bad guys the bird by refusing to live in fear.

Watching, listening, digesting all of the information has done two things for me; it's sparked deep sadness for those reacting so negatively and hatefully toward others different than we, average American citizens, and turned me toward my own faith to find peace and understanding.

Some folks see life more positively than others. They're blessed with the glass half full mentality.  I think it's only human nature to lose focus and get bogged down in the constant trivial garbage thrown at us all day everyday. Screaming kids, less than ideal work conditions, political red tape, bills to pay, not having enough time to get everything done... All.of.the.things! Life is overwhelming to say the least.

One thing my faith shows me each and every day- it's up to me to see the good in every situation. No matter how bad things seem, I can choose to take a step back and look at all the blessings in my life. People I love have passed on, and I miss them terribly, but I was blessed to have them in my life. On of my favorite workout instructors reminds us in several of her DVD's that we aren't promised tomorrow and it's up to us to make the most of each and every day. It's ridiculous to sit in fear, to worry about what others think of us and keep us from feeling confident, to let that fear make us feel less than worthy, and to miss out on those things in life that are most important.

So you know that goal you have for yourself? Take the first step. It's never too late to begin.

Monday, October 26, 2015

We're Doing Alright

Fall Break. One of the 4 most glorious phrases a teacher can hear during the school year. The other three are Christmas Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break. Duh. I cannot even begin to explain how badly I needed this break from school. To say it's been a trying start would be an understatement. To try to explain would be impossible. It is what it is and I must learn how to effectively rally the troops (and myself) to make it to Thanksgiving and then Christmas. We've learned a lot and I have no doubt things will be a little more predictable, albeit eventful, nonetheless. While researching this morning, this window popped up. I snapped a pic because it seemed a pretty perfect reminder that I have the power to change things. Totally true.

Our lives are always eventful, with things filling most waking moments. From practices, to games and matches, meetings, classes, and just everyday stuff, we seem to always have some kind of thing to attend to each day. There have been few days off, including my beloved Sunday's. In the midst of all of the ridiculousness, October is suddenly coming to a close and I haven't the first fall decoration put out, fall pumpkins carved, or even my summer flowers put away for winter. October means baseball playoffs. Baseball playoffs that included my beloved Cubbies. In honor of the Cubs making the playoffs, Coach decided to join the "Fear the Beard" movement. It may have had something to do with me challenging him to not shave or cut his hair until the season started... In all the years we've been together he's never grown the beard longer than about 4 days. It's been 3 weeks., almost 4. I can't believe it's still on.

I don't even know him anymore ;)

And then he shaved this morning. Apparently the hair is starting to tickle his lip and is bothering him or something. Whatev. He lost. I win. Next subject lol

Road trips are great. Even long, 2 day road trips when everyone just wants to be there and the driver has pulled muscles in his neck (must be the extra weight of the beard). We were kind of excited to arrive at our destination. Can you tell? 

Coffee, tea, music. Let's go.

In all honesty though, we have had a pretty good time together. We all sat down at dinner together tonight. When I say sat down I mean the kids set the table, helped make supper, laughed, joked, interacted with everyone, and we all sat at the table together. At once. All 4 of us. We said Grace and the boys said please, thank you, may I be excused and everything. Then I mentioned we should sit down at our dining room table once a week for dinner, say on Sunday's, every week. They all agreed it would be nice. You read that correctly. They agreed it would be nice to sit and have a family dinner, just the four of us. Hold on while I sit for a second. Wait, what? Did I hear that correctly? My almost 16 year old is encouraging sit down dinners and asked to be excused? I may pass out. I think I need to lie down. 

Seriously.... Where did my kid go? They both genuinely want to spend time with us. Either one-on-one or as a whole group. It's unreal. I hear friends talk about their kids not wanting to even be in the same room and then I look at my guys and think to myself that I must be doing something right. We bought a selfie stick for goodness sake and played with it for like an hour this morning. My post by the end of the week may not be as happy as it is now but I'll take my chances. I feel pretty dog-gone blessed right now to have some pretty terrific guys. 

Happy Family <3

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sweet Pepper and Sausage Pasta

The weather has turned cooler this week which has left me hungry and craving hearty foods. I opted for a pasta dish, partly because my boys are still working out after school in addition to putting in time outside in the field and are starving when they come in, and because I needed a good carb fix. Don't worry, I didn't go all out white flour pasta. That would just be silly. I found this quinoa pasta at the grocery that is both gluten free and pretty tasty. The link is for elbows, but I used penne. It's chewy and like al dente, but heartier like a whole grain pasta. It tastes like regular pasta, too. My boys ate it without complaint. They actually ate less of this than regular white pasta. That's always good!

The kale was a last minute touch. The peppers and onion just weren't enough with the sausage. It needed more. I had some fresh kale from the garden and knew that was the answer. Again, my boys ate it and my oldest gave me the "Mom of the year hug" as he likes to call it. I'll take it! It's filling, but incorporates your veggies, proteins and carbs all in one. Yes, the calorie count is a bit higher, coming in at 517 per serving. It also makes great leftovers for lunch the next day, if there's anything left!

Here's the run down.

1 package of sweet Italian turkey sausage, cut into bite size pieces
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped finely
4 kale leaves, washed and cut into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
olive oil
12 oz quinoa pasta
8-10 heirloom tomatoes, quartered
fresh basil (I used 3 leaves) chopped small
fresh parmesan cheese, about 1/2 cup
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. DON'T OVERCOOK! It turns into mush if you do.
While water is on to boil, add olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) to a non stick skillet and add onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft, but not translucent. Add sausage. Cook through. When sausage is almost completely cooked, add kale. Put lid on skillet and steam kale with veggies about 1 minute. Add drained pasta to sausage mixture. Then add tomatoes, fresh basil, and parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste (I added pepper but no salt to mine).

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 517
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19 g30 %
Saturated Fat 5 g24 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 98 mg33 %
Sodium 620 mg26 %
Potassium 446 mg13 %
Total Carbohydrate 60 g20 %
Dietary Fiber 7 g28 %
Sugars 11 g
Protein 27 g54 %
Vitamin A53 %
Vitamin C118 %
Calcium8 %
Iron25 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Using Adversity to Fuel Your Goals

I spend a lot of time diffusing situations with kids; teaching them how to deal with people they don't like, telling them there will be people they don't get along with in jobs along the path of life. It's true- there are those people in life we don't see eye to eye and must work with despite the challenge. It's not easy. Often times it really sucks. You can't just make someone behave the way you wish. We tend to expect more from adults than children but those habits are formed when we are children. 

Then after a particularly crappy day, you get a phone call from a friend who gives you a completely different perspective on the situation.  And she makes you laugh. A lot. Then your kid comes in and says something that completely makes you swell with pride and love for his entire being. Then you realize you had something to do with his awesomeness. Yeah. Darn them. 

All of this had me thinking. I've worked really hard to surround myself with positive, uplifting people, yet, given the chance, there are those in my life I'd very willingly remove. I don't have the power to change the people, however, I do have the ability to change my responses to those people. I have the ability to change my routines to better deal with the stress of dealing with the negative situations and feelings. In fact, lately I've poured my energy outside of work into my diet and exercise (and maybe the Nutella jar...) and I'm finally see some progress in my fat loss. Channeling that energy into something bigger than myself- in this case working out my physical reaction to negative situations- led to big gains in my goals. I know if I don't workout and get the negative feelings out of my system my entire day will be negatively affected. What a powerful motivator! A co-worker and I have been using Beachbody On Demand workouts matching our moods- this week has been a lot of sculpting, weight bearing, and tougher cardio work with Body Beast, Hammer & Chisel, and P90X3 MMX and CVX workouts. I've followed up with several 4-5 mile runs- It's been a helluva week! Those days I go home absolutely exhausted and wake up ready to take on the next day. What an empowering feeling! 

Bottom line is this: We can't always control all of the negative influences in our lives, but we can change our responses to them. We choose how to let it affect us. Finding an outlet or some other positive (Read: not Nutella) coping mechanism can make all the difference in how we react to the negativity. We can choose the friends we spend time with outside of work. Ask them for help and words of encouragement. Enlist them in your workout group or positive support system. It's amazing what those positive forces can do to help cope with the not so pleasant. After all, the only behavior we can truly change is our own. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Prosciutto & Sprouts

Ya'll, the weather has been just phenomenal again this week! I'm not kidding when I say sunshine and upper 70's with lows in the 50's is my version of heaven. Perhaps Indiana is the wrong place to achieve this perfection... For now I'm very happy. Warm enough for fun in the sun during the day in shorts and a tank or tee, cool enough to keep the house open, sit around a fire, and great for sleeping. One of the weather guys on TV put together the fall forecast and said the mild temps are supposed to stick around through November! I couldn't be happier with that news. Now if it holds true is another story. It is Indiana.

This week's tasty Tuesday combines a few of my favorite things and is super easy to prepare. Our local grocery really does a nice job at stocking healthy, clean and different types of foods, but prosciutto doesn't come around very often. For being an hour away from a major city though, Kroger does the job pretty well. I happened to go to Sam's Club the other day and saw a nice package of prosciutto. The price wasn't super, but how do you say no to prosciutto? It's just so good! And it was organic. Not that I'm all that hung up on being organic, but when it comes to meat it does taste so much better.

I've been dreaming of the prosciutto-brussel sprouts combo.  I started with some bacon grease. Yeah, I just said bacon grease. Yes, we keep a mug of bacon grease in the fridge at all times. Because that's the way Grandma did it, except she kept it in a Crisco can. You just never know when you might need some bacon flavoring in your dish. #amIright Any way, a heaping teaspoon of bacon grease, melted in a skillet, followed by cleaned and halved brussel sprouts. I buy these in a bundle- about 4 cups. Cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes and flip. Cook another 5 minutes. Add 6 slices of prosciutto, diced or sliced into smaller pieces. Stir into the sprouts. Add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar. You can use white wine vinegar, but I had red on hand. Cook on medium-low heat for a few minutes, until sprouts are fork tender and have absorbed the vinegar. Add fresh cracked pepper and sea salt to taste. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese.

Coach went absolutely crazy for these, you guys! Not that he got many... I ate most of them before he came in from his work outside. We were so crazy about them I forgot to take pictures! I promise to post them the next time I make this. I'm sure it will be later this week. I may have to go back to Sam's this weekend for more prosciutto.

What's your favorite way to use prosciutto in meals?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Workout Wednesday: My Coaching Experience

Coaching was never something I thought I'd do. Sure, I'm a teacher but teaching and coaching aren't always synonymous. A big problem in schools is the need for coaches, at all levels, and having no other choice but to hire folks with little to no experience. Sometimes you get good ones, sometimes you don't. I participated in athletics in middle and high school. I would not go so far as to classify myself as an athlete, but I participated. I loved sports but didn't have the access to them my kids have, nor did I have the excellent leaders and sportsmen & women my kids have had the good fortune of learning from through their time in athletics. It has only been since I went on to college and found my love of personal fitness that I have really delved into find my competitive spirit and passion for helping others learn the fundamentals of sport and wellness.Teaching & watching the kids show good sportsmanship and improved fundamentals are what drive me to continue to learn and grow. Over the weekend I taught my oldest an alternate form for one of his weight lifting moves that I learned from doing P90X. Two weeks ago one of my cross country kids ran the entire course (3k meters) for the first time without walking! That was awesome! She was thrilled (so was I)! She told me after practice she couldn't have done it the week before, and No way she could have today without learning how to pace her steps with her breathing or without all of the core and stretching we've done. This past Monday we ran a 5K. This same kiddo came up to me after practice beaming. She'd never attempted a 5K before. Even I ran it without struggle. Proof that all we have been doing- stretching, core, sprint workouts, cross training, recovery days, my home workouts in my living room or classroom after practice- all pay off.  Again, all these things I've learned from my own personal running and Beachbody journey. 

Truth time: I mentioned yesterday I've been spending time reflecting and refocusing my energy on the things within my control. I realized I've been squandering this gift God has given me for the last year. #facepalm I am passionate about health, fitness and overall wellness. I love sharing my knowledge with others. I have this amazing opportunity with Beachbody to share health and fitness with others but I'm letting fear stand in the way. Its time to step up my game, get right with myself and do this as it needs to be done. I'm pushing past the fear and going to an uncomfortable place. Yesterday I purchased my very own website domain name. YIKES!! I'm in the process of setting things up now and hope to have it up and running by Monday. That does mean The Milkhouse Door will be changing or perhaps going on hiatus once my new site gets going. My focus when I started this blog was different than what my current focus. I'm super excited to see what the future has to bring for me and my family. 

Above all I am a coach and I am here to help you achieve goals you never thought possible. I'm really excited and a lot nervous for the changes coming in. I'm ready to take the leap and invest in this the way I have deep down wanted to since I signed up a year ago. After all, you only get out of something what you put in it. I'm all in. 

Will you join me?

Sign up for a FREE Beachbody account here (Click the JOIN TEAM BEACHBODY link) and let's see what we can accomplish together!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Un"Comfort Zone

The dreaded comfort zone. Have you ever noticed it's really not very comfortable? Does it intrigue you that you are more willing to live more out loud in some areas of life than in others? Why is it we are willing to stay put in one place but not others?

Staying in the same place causes stagnation, boredom and keeps us from learning and growing. Yet we are willing to stay put for the sake of what's easy. For me it's about fear. Coming to terms with my feelings regarding a situation, taking ownership of my feelings & responsibilities, and realizing I cannot continue to behave this way in certain areas of my life has removed a huge weight from my shoulders. Though the outcome may very well be unpleasant, I know I am not responsible for anything more than my own actions and reactions to situations. Taking a step back and taking a day away to reflect on the current state of my life allowed me to see some things in a different light.

This moment of reflection and refocusing also allowed me to see how important it is for me to follow through with my passions. I'm working hard to refocus, reprioritize, and rejuvenate my passion for health, fitness and writing. There are some BIG things in the works, my friends! For the first time in quite a while I am excited to be doing what I'm doing! It's a good feeling. It feels like I'm on the road home after a long trip away. I took the first step in my plan to make this into something great, like what I have envisioned since I started my fitness journey with Beachbody just over a year ago. Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for my BIG announcement.

In the meantime, how do you refocus your efforts to reach your goals?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Headache of All Headaches

This is my 5 minutes of random thoughts for the day. 

Thank goodness for a long weekend! It's arrived just in time. I don't normally get headaches, and certainly not migraine headaches. I used to get them when I was in high school and college (until I changed my eating and eliminated dairy) but I can count on one hand how many I have had since then. The weather has been uber hot and sticky- temps in the high 80's with heat indexes in the 90's and 50-90% humidity on any given day. Tuesday was a rather chaotic day and that afternoon we were on the bus to a cross country meet and I could feel the dull pain behind my right eye- always and indication of something coming on- and I started drinking more water and took some ibuprofen. Despite the hydration, I could feel the stabbing pain on the way home from the meet. I almost had to have my son drive us home!

So all week I've been nursing this dull throb in my skull. What I thought was dehydration and stress is maybe not that. I've never taken anything more than otc pain relievers for a headache. The worst part, and the thing I've never experienced with a migraine is nausea. I'm used to light and sound sensitivities but not the nausea. This makes things 10x's worse.

I've used some essential oils, taken my magnesium supplements, stopped my screen time as much as possible, continued my workouts (it's the only thing that gives me relief other than sleeping) and I've been sleeping a ton. It's starting to worry me. My next stop will be to have my back adjusted.

Anyone have any remedies for migraines? What do I need to try?

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Link back to this post (feel free to use the SOC Sunday graphic).
  • Add  your post to the list at the bottom of the page (be sure to use the permalink to your post, not your blog’s URL; and only NEW posts please).
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Finding Peace

There are so many things going on around here some days I don't know if I'm pitching or catching. Despite my Type A, always have a plan and a schedule self, I feel so lost some times. I really look forward to my weekends and time for myself.

This weekend was our first XC meet and it went pretty well. Then we went to soccer, and home to mow yards. There are so many places to mow that it takes a few hours to get it all done with two of us mowing. Several acres of grass is no joke. Best part is that we spent the whole day outside.

Rain was in the forecast for Sunday. We went to breakfast with my parents at one of our favorite little spots and raced to get kids picked up and ready for the lake as soon as we could. I could not have asked for a more perfect day! We had the whole place to ourselves almost the entire time we were there. The sun was out in full force for the 3 hours we were there. The boys played football, the girls sat and laughed at their antics. I sat there watching, thanking the Lord above for this little blessing, this spot on the beach at this moment, watching these kids play. The clouds rolled in around 2 and we headed home just in time for the rain to begin.

If only every weekend could be as picture perfect and relaxing. My goal and prayer is that I can learn to channel that same peace and thanksgiving when I am feeling stressed. And of course to have a house on a lake or a coast some day. A girl can dream, right?

What brings you peace?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

#SOCSunday: To Facebook or Not To Facebook

Welcome back to Stream of Consciousness Sunday! #SOCSunday is a 5 minute time where you write whatever is on you mind. Set a timer for 5 minutes and join the fun. 

Recently I shut off all Facebook notifications. My job also blocked FB from being used on school devices, even at home. It was painful at first, no ringy-dingy jingles, no little red circle with the number of new likes or mentions, no nothing. It was kind of like moving to a new place and not knowing anyone. Everyone looks but doesn't talk to you. Too harsh? Maybe it was more like giving up candy for lent. You notice it a lot the first few days and then you forget why it was such a big deal. Yes, I posted a few things but this is what I learned from unplugging from Facebook the last 2 weeks.

  • My life got a whole lot more positive
  • I may need to clean out my "friends" list to keep more positive influences in my life
  • I read my Twitter feed more. There so many more positive people and influences on my Twitter feed than on my FB feed.
  • I struggle with how much to use my FB, both personal and professional pages without sounding like a braggart. I want to encourage others to see beauty and goodness of life. And brag about my kids a little. 
  • What value do I get from Facebook? 
What do you think? Has FB run its course? 

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Fix- Attitudes, Workouts & Recipes

The Fix is back in my routine. Consistent workouts are back. Food prep is back. Sleep patterns are back. And still my cravings are hitting the ceiling- partly due to the stress of my day and another part because I got really used to shoving sugary foods in my mouth over the last 3 weeks. Hello convenience food.  Right now I'm choosing to be satisfied, despite the messages my brain is sending. Mind over matter. Am I right?

It's rather coincidental the mind over matter topic comes up today in the blog and in my life. We talked at length about mental toughness in practice tonight. Stepping up to the challenge even when our minds say our bodies can't do something. It's something I've never really been good at. I tend to wear my emotions on my face. Couldn't I be one of the lucky ones who wear them on her sleeve? No poker face here, just straight up exactly-what-I'm-feeling radiating from my face. So tonight as I got another shot of crappy news and started whining to myself, I had to recall my pep talk with a few kids just today. Suck it up. You can do this. Tell yourself it will happen and it will. Take one more step. One more rep. Just one second faster. It all boils down to attitude toward the situation. So suck-it-up-sally. Get after it and get it done. Wish I'd realized all of this before taking it out on everyone else. {sigh} Sorry guys. Tomorrow will be better.

Anyway, on to brighter topics. Can we say bipolar blogging? In honor of restarting 21 Day Fix Extreme, I'm bringing back Tasty Tuesday! I'd like to share with you one of my favorite summer time meals: Zucchini Boats. I don't have pictures of this one right now. I'll update soon! I have always made this with ground beef, which I still do from time to time, but I've really come to enjoy ground turkey and turkey sausage. For this one I used ground turkey breast and the recipe for Autumn's Turkey Lettuce Wraps in the 21 Day Fix Extreme guide book. It's super easy! I trade out the lettuce with medium sized zucchini and then top with a little bit of shredded mozzarella cheese. It really is tasty. Without further ado, here is my take on a summer classic.

The Coaching Wife's Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats

4 medium zucchini, halved
1 ½ lbs lean ground turkey breast
1tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp oregano
½ medium onion, finely chopped
½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
½ cup water
½- ¾ cup tomato sauce (no sugar added)
3-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1)    1)      Preheat oven to 400F. Grease baking dish lightly with olive oil.
2)       Cut Zucchini noodles lengthwise in half. Scoop out half of the middle of the zucchini with a spoon or scoop. Reserve zucchini guts for filling.
3)       Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add turkey; cook, stirring frequently about 5 minutes until no longer pink.
4)      Add garlic, cumin, salt, chili powder, paprika, and oregano and mix well.
5)       In a food processor, add onion, pepper and zucchini guts. Chop veggies until diced, but not pureed. Stir chopped veggies with meat and cook until onion is translucent (about 4 minutes).
6)      Add water and sauce—NOTE- since zucchini is a succulent veggie, it gives off quite a bit of water when it is cooked. You may not need the entire amount of water. I use the full amount of sauce and less water.
7)       Bring to a simmer. Cover. Cook about 8-10 minutes over low heat, or until liquid has reduced.
8)      Spoon meat mixture into hollowed out zucchini in baking dish. Sprinkle with chopped tomato and shredded cheese.
9)      Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Makes 4 servings, 2 boats each serving.
21DF: 1 Green, 1 Red, 1 Blue