The Zen of Rubber Mallets

Before we retired, Steve and I talk about how we wanted our daily routine to look when we retired. We want to wake up naturally – not to an alarm clock – drink one, two, maybe three cups of coffee, and piddle around on our computers before getting started on the day’s chores. We plan to go for long walks and eat healthier. So far, we’ve settled right into the routine we imagined.

I have a couple of personal retirement goals.  Blogging is one.  Reading more is another. I used to love to read for pleasure, but one day I stopped. I think it was because I HAD to read a lot at work. TONS of emails and lots of technical stuff. I guess I was all read out by the end of the work day.

As an aside, I did read a few blogs on a regular basis but I wouldn’t have read them if I hadn’t of gotten an email every time something was posted.  If you’re so inclined, checking out one of my favorite pre-retirement, yes-I-read-him-at-work bloggers may give you a feel for why this blog is called Zen on a Boat.

Steve has always read a lot, at least he has since I’ve known him. You name it, he reads it. Books, magazines, newspapers, Yahoo headlines, blogs, especially sailboat blogs. Since I didn’t read much before moving aboard FNR, Steve would tell me about things he read in those sailing blogs. It was his way of preparing me for cruising. One day, he shared how we weren’t the only ones who used a rubber mallet to break up ice. Apparently, no self-respecting cruiser sets sail without one and I am starting to understand why.

Remember, one of the things Steve and I want to do is eat healthier. I consider nutrition my avocation so I am taking responsibility for meeting this retirement goal. I know what healthy eating looks like. Problem is, I love eating non-healthy foods and so does Steve. A good cheeseburger can make my eyes cross.  Steve thinks that if something doesn’t taste good, then it has to be good for you.

Since they say you should only attempt so much change at once, I don’t want to set us up to fail when it comes to eating healthier. We’re changing our eating habits, but not drastically.  We’ve starting eating sandwich thins and yogurt, and there’s light mayo, 2% cheese, and non-fat milk in the refrig. Healthier choices, a few at a time.

I don’t love to cook.  As far as I’m concerned, if I don’t have to cook it, then it’s delicious.  But when I do cook, I have been known to substitute healthier ingredients when preparing traditional comfort foods. However, there’s one meal I haven’t been able to mess with too much and that’s spaghetti with meat sauce. A good spaghetti with meat sauce makes Steve’s eyes cross.

Luckily, marina sauce is not too bad for you and if I can sneak in lean ground beef, my meat sauce doesn’t clog our arteries too terribly bad. Switching to a healthier pasta is NOT on Steve’s radar screen so I don’t even go there.

Last night, spaghetti with meat sauce was on the menu. No salad though so no veggies. What if I could get an extra helping of veggies in that meat sauce, I wondered?  I used to try that with my kids, sneaking smushed cauliflower and spinach into foods they would eat. I really like Del Monte Zucchini with Italian Style Tomato Sauce.  Adding that to my meat sauce would make for a tasty and healthier meal.  But, how to smush it? Well, I think you know what I came up with…

Smush, smush, smush
Smush, smush, smush.

Add smushing zucchini to the list of things a rubber mallet can be used for.

All smushed!
All smushed and one other thing to note. No self-respecting cruiser sets sail without Ziploc bags either!

Was it edible?  Perhaps Steve should answer that question.

It wasn't awful!
This can’t good for you.

AHA!  Zen. Very zen.

2 thoughts on “The Zen of Rubber Mallets”

  1. Low cal Crown Royal?!?!?! It’s called Tiara Royal and comes in a tiny pink bottle….I think Dad would pass and instead go to a sailor’s rum drink. Sailor Jerry is too low ranking (those guys clean heads…oh, wait)…..maybe Captain Morgan? Has a ring to it…..if you ask me. Aaaarrrggghhh!!!!! Miss you guys


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