Back to Real Life – January 4, 2016

Today we got back into work and school.  And winter.  It all decided to come on the same day. The cold certainly shocked us back into reality.

I don’t really set New Year’s resolutions as I like to be thinking through new goals and priorities on an ongoing basis.  This year, though, I saw Oprah’s TV advertisement for Weight Watchers where she says that 2016 will be the year of her best body.  And she wants that for us, too.  I know, I know. It’s weird that it was an Oprah ad for Weight Watchers that got me all worked up, but something about the way she was talking resonated with me.  Not necessarily about my body, but just working towards being the best version of me.  I lost a bit of myself this year, and I want to make sure it’s the right version of me that comes back.  I don’t have any real steps to achieve that goal; I’m just keeping that in the back of my mind as I go through 2016.  Changing your mindset can be a powerful tool in moving forward.

(Side note: I know there’s been some different feedback out there on the Oprah ad, and I am not taking a stand on the message itself just how it got me thinking about my personal goals)

One thing I am not likely to change in 2016, or ever, is spending Sundays to cook and prep for the week.  That helps me get my head right for the week, and I find it relaxing.  Most Sundays I make sauce and meatballs, just like my Granny and mom did when I was growing up. I’ve had to make some changes to the recipe over the years as I’ve adopted a low FODMAP lifestyle, and it’s really just made the cooking that much simpler!


My portion and Matt’s portion.  I may have also had seconds – I had the gym this morning so I needed the energy 🙂

Sauce and Meatballs



  • 2 28 oz. cans whole, peeled Italian tomatoes (I prefer to use a San Marzano tomato)
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt (and extra as required)
  • 1 – 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano


In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add the garlic cloves to the pot and turn heat to low.  Allow the garlic to cook into the oil for several minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the garlic is infusing into the oil, place the tomatoes and fresh basil leaves into a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour a small amount of water into each can to get the remaining tomato juice out and add the water / tomato mixture to the puree.

Remove the garlic from the oil and discard.  Add salt and oregano to the oil and cook on low for another 1 – 2 minutes.  Add the pureed tomatoes to the pot and raise temperature to medium.  Allow the sauce to cook for 1 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally as the sauce boils up.




  • 1 lb. grass fed ground beef
  • 1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (I recommend the 4C Plain Gluten Free breadcrumbs as they do not have any garlic or onion powders)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a baking sheet – line or grease the baking sheet if they tend to stick.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Mix well using a wooden spoon or your hands (I prefer hands) to make sure that the ingredients are thoroughly combined.   Roll portions onto the baking sheet – should make 9 – 12 meatballs depending on the size.  Bake for 20 minutes, removing and flipping the meatballs 10 minutes in.

When you remove the meatballs from the oven, place them into the sauce to allow the flavors to meld in the pot.  Cook the sauce for another 30 minutes – 1 hour and serve with gluten free pasta.




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