Resiliency — the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness; the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity; ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy — the ability to persist and even flourish when handling challenges. Developing a mind that can walk evenly over uneven ground.

How is your level of toughness feeling right now? Are you still feeling like elastic girl or guy, never to return to your original shape — both mentally and physically? I think we were starting to feel a bit more buoyant towards the middle of the summer, until we had to deal with the fall. The waves of summer came crashing down with the reality that fall was going to be tough. Different we expected, but every turn started to go left. So, we must create our own right turns. So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune. — Makers interview, 2012, the late RBG. No one has ever demonstrated more resilience.

Eating and Resilience

When it comes to weight management, we often create these yo-yo types of eating cycles. We either feel completely in control, tightly wound, yet often to a point that is too difficult to sustain for the long-term. Or we feel out of control, like we are unraveling, eating anything and everything in our path. A goal for the Jewish new year (whether you celebrate or not😊- but the time is now), find your sweet spot of freedom and flexibility. You are in charge of you. Mindfully fuel your body. Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full. Eat for sustainability, pleasure, enjoyment, fun, special occasions. Be mindful of the decisions you make, never expecting perfection. Persist and flourish — be resilient.

Yes, we are going to take our resilience to the kitchen :-) — actually outside the kitchen. Yes, we need to stay outside... Let’s keep the grill lit and the fire pit smokin’!

Fall is one of best seasons to be outside. Nutritionally speaking, grilling helps you create lean dishes, yet high on flavor. Here are some grill tips to keep you outside:

  • Blanch or microwave vegetables briefly before you place them on the grill. This will save you on cooking time & assure you they are cooked through.
  • Most fish and shellfish just need a brief marinade time — 15–20 minutes at room temperature, where chicken and meat can handle the overnight shift in the fridge.
  • Grilled pizzas and tortillas are a fun, tasty, creative way to enjoy the grill — with your favorite food combinations desired on top.
  • Grilled fruits are sweet way to end a meal. Mangos, pineapples, peaches, bananas, to name a few. Serve alone or with some caramel and chocolate dipping sauce. Yes.
  • Keep your grill clean. Always coat with oil before igniting, either a nonstick spray or wipe oil on the rods with a paper towel.

BUFFALO TURKEY BURGERS

These are a fun, delicious addition to any seasonal menu. They are simple, quite tasty and help you easily create a balanced meal. Serve with a side salad, on top of a salad or wrap it up with lettuce leaves — and stuff it with tomatoes, onions, avocado, etc. Are they resilient? No, but YOU are resilient!

INGREDIENTS
1 pound lean ground turkey
¼ cup bread crumbs (You could toast whole grain bread and whirl in the Cuisinart, or go with pre-made bread crumbs. Pre-made bread crumbs are higher in sodium.)
3 green onions, chopped into small pieces
¼ cup buffalo wing sauce
2 Tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
4 whole grain flatbread rolls (like Arnold’s 100-calorie) or whole wheat buns; all optional
Lettuce pieces or Boston lettuce leaves to fully wrap burgers

PREPARATION
Preheat the grill to medium heat. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, onions, buffalo wing sauce and blue crumbles, mixing well. Shape turkey mixture into 4 patties (always best to divide mixture into equal portions first). Place burgers on grill and cook for about 4–5 minutes per side. Serve on flatbread, hamburger buns, lettuce wrap or on top of salad. Makes 4 servings.

GRILLED RADICCHIO ORZO WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Chicories are members of the daisy family, closely related to lettuces and dandelions. Escarole, Belgian endive, curly endive and radicchio are varieties of Chichorium intybus or Cichorim endivia. The romaine-shaped radicchio in this recipe actually has a more official name, Rossa di Treviso. Just something fun to say when you are trying not to talk politics… And definitely something even more delicious and peppery to consume :).

INGREDIENTS
2 small heads of radicchio
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups orzo, whole wheat
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1–2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Additional options: feta cheese crumbles, olives, pine nuts; for a main dish: chicken or veggie sausage

PREPARATION
Prepare and preheat grill to medium. Wash the radicchio, removing any bruised leaves and cutting off any stem. Slice each radicchio into quarters. Place radicchio and onion in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil and a few whirls of salt. Place both directly on the grill. Grill radicchio until slightly wilted, but not charred, about 4–5 minutes, turning frequently. Grill onions for another few minutes, turning once. Remove from grill, chop into bite size pieces and set aside.

Prepare orzo according to package directions. Mix orzo, radicchio, onion in serving bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper to taste, and any additional ingredients desired. Makes 5–6 servings.

CUCUMBER RAITA

There are never too many veggies on the table. Cucumber has that refreshing crunch to it, making it a great side dish, or even the last course of the meal.

INGREDIENTS
4–5 cucumbers
2 cup Greek yogurt, nonfat
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION
Wash and peel the cucumbers. Slice each cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out all of the seeds. Slice into bite-size pieces. Toss with salt.

Place yogurt into medium-size serving bowl. Mix in cayenne pepper. Add cucumbers and dill. Mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 7–8 servings.

To new citizens at a naturalization ceremony:
We are a nation made strong by people like you.~Ruth Bader Ginsburg

For comments, thoughts, requests or anything else you feel the need to share, please do: amysmargulies@gmail.com

A nutrition expert and middle child, I am writing to promote health and wellbeing, recipes and tips in a relatable, slightly rebellious fashion.