Mindful Monday: Fitness

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Last week I focused on food. This week I’m focusing on fitness. Now I don’t mean fitness in terms of having a certain exercise routine for weight loss. For me, it’s about finding activities that you enjoy and that challenge you in a good way.

My gym membership was up and instead of renewing I rejoined ClassPass. If you’re not familiar with it, ClassPass allows you to take different classes at a variety of studios throughout the month. There are pros and cons to this over a traditional membership. If you enjoy working out alone on machines or in the weight room this probably wouldn’t be the right plan for you.

I personally don’t enjoy using the treadmill and am more likely to show up to the gym if I have a specific class I’m looking forward to. This is why ClassPass is a good option for me. I’ll be talking about specific classes I’ve taken later in the week.

I also run which is a solo activity for me. I’ve run in groups before, but I run to also clear my head so I prefer to do that alone. I also track my steps using FitBit. I’ll go into all of this in other posts this week. What activities do you enjoy the most?

Bonus Recipe

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Earlier this week I posted some new recipes I’ve tried. I’ve been posting these recipes on Instagram and I’ve got a lot of requests for the recipe to broccoli crust pizza. This isn’t one of my 365 recipes in a year since I first made it in 2016, but I’m including it in the blog since so many people have asked me for it.

Source: Gimme Delicious Food

Notes: Make sure you squeeze as much water from the broccoli as you can otherwise the crust won’t get crispy.

Rating: LOVED

 

 

365 Project: Recipes 1-15

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If you follow my Instagram (and if you don’t you should) you’ll have noticed that I have been posting even, more food porn than usual. One of the challenges I set for myself this year is to cook more. I don’t just mean spend more time eating in and less time eating out, I want to try my hand at making things I never had before.  So my 365 challenge is for me to make 365 new (to me) dishes by the end of the year.

Now I don’t cook every day, but I do tend to make multiple recipes a few times a week to pack lunches for work and have some dinners ready for nights when I’m out late. I’ve had a lot of requests for specific recipes so I thought I would post them here throughout the year.

What do I cook and bake? Right now everything. At the moment I don’t have any dietary restrictions. You will notice that I rarely have a meat dish. I have gone back and forth for years between being omnivore, pescatarian, and vegetarian. I was meatless most of last year, but when my health issues hit their peak I was severely anemic. I wasn’t absorbing iron through food or through supplements.  I had to receive iron injections and I was advised to start eating meat again. So I have been, but it’s not my favorite. I don’t eat it frequently and I wouldn’t be surprised if I stop eating it again in the future provided my iron levels stay up. Sometimes I do crave meat, usually when I have my period and my iron is lower than normal and so in keeping with listening to my body, those are the times I’ll eat meat.

For the recipes, I’ve included photos, links to the instructions or cookbooks I used, any tips or substitutions, and my rating which is (LOVED, liked, okay, or pass).

1.  Rosemary and Salmon Cabbage 

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Source: 21 Day Sugar Detox 

Notes: If you’re looking to reduce your sugar or eat more paleo style this is a great cookbook. I don’t really recommend it for vegetarians. Most of the recipes call for meat or fish.

Rating: Liked

2. Lemon Vanilla Meltaways 

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Source: 21 Day Sugar Detox 

Notes: This is a low sugar recipe using coconut butter and coconut oil and that flavor overpowered the lemon and the vanilla for me.

Rating: Pass

3. Peanut Butter Cups 

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Source: 21 Day Sugar Detox 

Notes: The actual recipe calls for seed or tree nut butter since peanut butter isn’t part of the detox. I wasn’t following the detox at the time so I used Peanut Butter and Co’s Smooth Operator. I recommend keeping these refrigerated as the coconut oil tends to separate when they get too warm.

Rating: Liked

4. Blistered Stuffed Jalapenos 

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Source: I Breathe I’m Hungry

Notes: I made this sans the chicken. Make sure you get all the seeds out they are deadly spice bombs. The tops got a little too burnt. If I’d made this again I’d take them out a couple minutes earlier.

Rating: Okay

5. Carrot Ginger Millet Salad with Kale

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Source: Love & Lemons

Notes: The recipe calls for any type of lettuce. I chose kale but if you want something a bit softer on the pallet I’d go with romaine or spinach.

Rating: Liked

6. Shrimp Scampi and Creamy Garlic Fettuccine 

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Source: 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook

Notes: I don’t feel like I dried the zucchini well enough. The sauce was fairly watery but still tasty.

Rating: Liked

7. Rosemary Beet Chips 

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Source: Minimalist Baker 

Notes: This was so easy and yummier than potato chips. I enjoyed these as a side dish with a veggie burger but these would also make a great snack on their own.

Rating: LOVED

8. Baked Eggplant Parmesan

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Source: Martha Stewart

Notes: I omitted the breadcrumbs and it still was to die for.

Rating: LOVED

9.  Slow Cooker Leek and Potato Soup

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Source: The Improving Cook 

Notes: I cooked overnight in the slow cooker. Instead of a blender, I used my Nutribullet to puree the ingredients. I often use my Nutribullet to chop or blend things. It is way less cleanup.

Rating: Liked

10. Berbere Chicken and Lentils 

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Source: Feasting at Home

Notes: I was given some unique spices as a gift recently and wanted an excuse to try them. One of them was berbere spice so I used that instead of blending my own. I used French green lentils.  If you wanted to make this without meat the berbere spice would taste nice on cooked potatoes.

Rating:  Liked

11. Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash with Peanut Sauce 

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Source: The Skinny Fork 

Notes: This was a great mid week lunch. I cooked the squash overnight in the slow cooker and I steamed the broccoli in the morning. This is my new favorite recipe for peanut sauce.

Rating: LOVED

12.Crispy Pappardelle

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Source: Plenty 

Notes: This might be my new favorite cookbook! This dish was amazing. No need to sprinkle on any cheese it was perfect.

Rating: LOVED

12 Slow Cooker Ethiopian Cabbage 

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Source: Slow Cooker Queen

Notes: This was very tasty. I served it with Injera flatbread.  For the flatbread recipe, it really does taste better if you let the dough sit. I enjoyed the leftovers more than the original night I made this. The dish would also be good on its own.

Rating: Liked

14. Chocolate-Covered Cherry Brownies 

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Source: Happy Go Lucky

Notes: I didn’t realize till the first layer was in the oven that I didn’t have any powdered sugar for the second layer. If you’re ever in that pickle you can make your own by adding one tablespoon of corn starch for every cup of sugar and mixing it in a blender (or Nutribullet).

Rating: Liked

 

15.Buttermilk Eggplant 

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Source: Plenty 

Notes: Did I mention how much I love this cookbook? Oh yeah, I did a few recipes ago. Seriously though I can’t wait to try more from this book. This recipe is suggested as a starter, but I found a serving to be satisfying enough for a meal.

Rating: LOVED

 

Mindful Monday: Food is Your Friend

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This week I’ve decided to try a theme for the week which I’ve done in the past. This week I’m focusing on food. I have had this love/hate relationship with food my whole life. I’m a foodie. I love trying new dishes, cuisines, and restaurants. Trying a flavor for the first time is the same high as walking out of an airport or a train station in a new city.

The hate side of food has been how I’ve associated it with weight. If I didn’t like what was on the scale in the morning it meant I had failed and I needed to deprive myself of calories to make up for and punish myself for the day before. I could deprive myself for weeks and then, of course, I’d rebel when I couldn’t take it anymore. I’d eat any and everything I could get my hands on. This was classic yo-yo dieting.

This year I wanted to try to improve my relationship with food. Food is fuel and we all need it. Food should be delicious, nutritious, and something we enjoy not something we’re afraid of. So here’s are some of the changes I’m trying to make:

Stop weighing myself every day: I have friends who never weigh themselves. I would love to be comfortable in my skin to get to that point. To be honest I’m not there yet. I have gone from a daily weigh into a weekly weigh in. That’s a small step in the scheme of things, but a huge one for me. I want to be less focused on a number and more concerned with how I’m feeling.

Listen to my cravings: This goes back to the depriving thing. I used to ignore my cravings if I felt they were for something that was “bad” so of course, I’d eat everything else and nothing would satisfy my appetite until I gave in to what I really wanted. So now I listen to what my body is telling me. Lately, I’ve been craving dark green veggies like there is no tomorrow. I think that’s mostly because I couldn’t eat them when I wasn’t feeling well last year. But there are times when I’m craving chocolate or some rich dessert and I let myself have it without guilt.

Spread out eating: I don’t do well with three big meals. I feel sluggish after them and am starving in between. Instead, I try to break my day out into five smaller meals. I basically eat a smaller breakfast, lunch, and dinner but I have two substantial snacks. I stay satisfied this way.

BYOL: I’m trying to be better about bringing my lunch to work. I do at least three days a week. I also try to pack my snacks. I find when I don’t plan ahead I eat the highly processed foods that are lying around not because I want that but because it’s there and I’m hungry. When I pack things like fruit, pickled veggies, hummus, and yogurt I don’t want to eat the chips or candy bars in the office. Packing lunch is also a great way to save some money each week which is another goal I have for the year.

Stay hydrated: If I’m diligent about drinking water throughout the day I eat less because I’m not as hungry. When I feel extra hungry some days I check in to make sure I have been hydrating throughout the day. I’ll drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes. If I’m still hungry I eat something but most of the time I’m not.

 

 

 

 

 

Mindful Monday: Habits vs Resolutions

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In January we tend to start the year of with lofty resolutions that if you’re like me and most people you tend to abandon by February. This year I’m saying adios to resolutions and instead focusing on habits that I want to improve on this and every year. So here are my goals for 2017:

Be healthier: I think the most common resolution around the new year revolves around weight loss and health. I don’t want to focus on a number on the scale, how many gym visits I fit into a week, or how much I can bench press. Instead, I think better goals are to be active and know when my body needs a rest day, eat good and nutritious food that I enjoy, and most importantly feel good about my body and how I look. To get to that place it’s not about being “perfect” it’s about being hydrated, wearing clothes that make me feel great, and getting the proper amount of sleep.

Cook more: I’m a foodie and I love going to restaurants and trying new dishes and cuisines. Even more satisfying is expanding my own repertoire in the kitchen. I have a lofty goal of making 365 new (to me) dishes this year. I’ve made six so far so we’ll see how this goes.

Save more and spend smarter: The past few years I’ve had some things come up where I’ve had to dip into savings. I want to have a cushier net and I want to be more mindful about spending.

Be better organized I keep busy with lots of different things in my life and when everything is full steam I get a bit scattered. I also can loose site of the big picture and that’s when things get out of balance. I am trying a Passion Planner this year to keep everything in one place and to make sure I’m spending my time well.

Write more: I don’t just mean blogging, I used to do more freelance writing and last year felt very blocked. I want to work on more pieces that mean something to me and send them out into the world.

Those are my larger focuses for the year which are playing out in some smaller projects, but more on that in the future. What are you concentrating on this year?