Green Creations- Part 1

I love mixing lots of different flavors together. Once I discovered cumin there was no turning back for me! It tastes good with just about everything. The other day I was preparing quinoa which, to me, tastes just o.k. but it’s an excellent source of protein so I eat it often. I usually cook the quinoa in broth to add some flavor. This time I also added cumin, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper. (A teaspoon or two of maple syrup is delicious too but since we’re fasting from sugar this week I left that out).  I always make extra so I’ll have some for leftovers.

For lunch yesterday I covered my plate with lots of leafy greens. Then I sliced up a crisp, juicy apple and thin red onion. I reheated the quinoa (that we’d had for dinner a few days before) and placed it over the greens. Next I artfully arranged the apple slices and pretty red onion. I’m addicted to avocado so no salad is complete for me without at least a few chunks, plus we need healthy fats in our diet. Once I lightly drizzled on my own home-made balsamic vinaigrette I was ready to dig in…..after I took the photo, of course. Sweet and salty with a bit of spice. Delicious!  Hope you enjoy this beautifully healthy lunch.

 

 

Savory Quinoa Apple Salad

A Reminder Of Why We Exercise

As I was making my way down the Upper Gauley through class V rapids on Monday I was reminded again how good it feels to be strong! This time it was not only empowering it was also very reassuring. Me, my pal Ev (a fellow exerciser), our husbands and a few others woke up very early Monday morning to prepare for our river ride. All of us were visiting the upper Gauley for our third or fourth time but still…..I was a little nervous; it’s that fun kind of nervous but it definitely keeps you on your toes!

If you’ve never been rafting this is sort of how it goes: Get up at dark o’clock, don your wetsuit, booties and gloves. Make your way to the loading area to sign your life away and pick up your flotation vest and helmet. Stand around for what seems like forever then board the bus to the river. Our ride took about 15 minutes.

Once at the river we met our guide and found our boat. After a few stupid jokes we’re ordered to grab a  handle and carry our vessel down to the water. Those in the front hop on and the rest of us follow. Then the fun begins!

“Paddle three,paddle back, paddle one, lean left”… our guide yells out to us. As we approach each big rapid we’re told where to swim if we fall out. We’re warned over and over again: Never try to stand up if you fall out of the boat.

So this is where the empowering, reassuring feelings come in. For each two-hour stretch (we did the double upper!) my quads were pinned so hard to the side of that boat that they had to be practically pried away each time we made it through and over the falls! And my shoulders are a little tired today from all that paddling.

I know for sure that without my BbG exercise I would have no business being on the river. Ev and I were the only two women and I was definitely way older that most everyone there!

So that’s why we exercise; not only so we can stay healthy but also because we can keep up with the rest and continue to do the fun stuff that makes life that much more exhilarating! Be fit, be happy, have fun.

Here’s our crew after a long day on the Gauley! Fidge, our guide, is just to my right.

This Week We’re Dairy Free!

This week our Fall Challengers are continuing with our sugar fast and have also added a dairy detox. For some of us, giving up our beloved dairy is even a bigger challenge than doing without sugar. Lots of people have the same concern. Many have written to ask: “But what will I put in my morning coffee?”

Who wants to start the day with something that doesn’t even taste good? Heck, for most of us our morning coffee falls into the “one of life’s simple pleasures” category!  Last week I finally made it without adding that one teaspoon of sugar to my morning joe. It wasn’t as difficult as I imagined it would be. Mostly because I’d made up my mind that this time I was going to do it!

But I’ve been searching for something to substitute for my regular half and half. Well, I’m happy to report I think I’ve found it!

 It takes a few extra minutes (maybe 2!) but well worth the effort in my opinion.

Here’s what to do:

Add cold soy creamer to your mug. Insert the frother and whip until it’s about double the volume of the original amount. Heat in microwave for about 30 seconds. Add your coffee and sprinkle with cinnamon. Tastes better than Starbucks.  Try it, you’ll love it!

Yummy!

Are You Addicted?

So here we are five days into the Fall Challenge and  “Sugar Detox” week! I’ve heard lots of comments at class (while people are diligently practicing perfect form and working to their highest level of intensity!).

I began getting the feeling that I was running a drug detox program. It sounded like people were weaning themselves off  heavy-duty drugs! I’ve heard comments like “I’m so tired” and “I just don’t know if I can do it”. Questions popped up regarding how much sugar they could have. “But I only had my usual all-natural granola”.  Believe me, 99.9% of all granola has lots of sugar added!  Why do you think it tastes so good? Not that  food without added sugar can’t taste just as good. It’s really just a matter of training our taste buds.

Be kind and patient with yourself. It takes a long time to develop bad habits. We generally can’t change them over night. If you’ve been consuming a lot of added sugar you may experience some withdrawal symptoms like headaches, mood swings and lethargy. Push through it people….Don’t give in! Life is a series of challenges. This is just one of them.

You Can Kick The Habit!

Who isn’t constantly looking for suggestions on healthful food to eat and meals to make?  I know I am!

I’ve started this blog (which I’ve resisted doing for years) because I thought it might be a good way to tell everyone what I’m eating during the challenge week.  I eat this way all the time but I’m thinking about you guys and want to help all you drug addicts.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Build your meal around vegetables. Then add a small quantity of high quality proteins if you desire.

2. Give yourself a little extra time to prepare a healthy meal or snack. Keep your hands out of boxes and keep boxes out of your house so you won’t be tempted to just grab something quick

3. Sit down and enjoy your meal. Take the time to nourish your body. You’re worth it! No one should be too busy to eat well. What’s more important than your health?

Here’s what I had for lunch today:

Left over Ultimate Veggie Burger. Recipe at 101cookbooks.com

I served my burger over a huge plate of greens then reheated our onion-bell pepper mixture from a few days ago.  Covered the burger with the warm mixture, added a bit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and a spritz of home-made balsamic viniagrette and YUM…my lunch was made.  Try it, you’ll like it!

I Love Left-Overs!