Weekend Goals and The May Health Challenge

The weekend is here and I am EXCITED! I visited the doctor yesterday and didn’t exactly get the news I was hoping for but I still got good news.

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I will still be in the boot another two weeks. However, two hours during my work day and from the time I am done working until bedtime I can take it off. However, if we do any form of activity besides normal walking around the house, then it has to go back on. I did get the ok to do anything I wish with the boot on…hello trail here I come. Which means I made some weekend goals and hope to accomplish most of them. Take a look:

#1 To not over do activity with that ankle. I need to strengthen it back up. As much as I would love to hike 10 miles, that is not likely going to happen. I do plan to hike a little this weekend since our plans have been on the calendar for quite some time now, but all in good reason.

#2 I really need to even out my tan. One leg is white and the other is not. Since I can have the boot off for a while each day, this will be my time to marinate in the sunshine.

#3 Try out my new insoles when I have the boot off. I’ve been told this could be painful, but I am not too worried. I have been in pain for months, how much worse could it be?

#4 Enjoy my first campfire meal of the season. (Fire danger here is very high, this one is iffy)

#5 Spend some family time together. My son was offered a job last week which has him working in his field of photography almost every single weekend photographing weddings. This could be one of our last weekends together as a family doing what we love so I need to savor every second.

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#6 Last but not least, work on losing the three pounds I have gained from sitting around unable to exercise for the last month. The night I came home from my appointment we actually took our first walk in a month.(with the boot still on) It was great!

I’ll let you all know next week how many of these goals I actually accomplish.

Now, onto May’s Health Challenge. I don’t know where last month went but it’s gone and that means we are ready for a new monthly health challenge.

May’s Health Challenge Is: Meatless Monday’s

That’s right, no meat on Monday’s! You can easily replace your protein with another form of food one day per week without a whole lot of effort. Here are some options to choose from:

beans and lentils

cottage cheese

eggs

tofu/tempeh

greek yogurt

avocados

peanut butter

quinoa

nuts and seeds

I am sure there are many, many more out there besides just these.  If you don’t think you can survive an entire day without meat just start out with dinner on Monday’s. Work your way up to an entire day by the end of the month. You can set your own goals and achieve them.

These challenges are meant to be fun and rewarding to us all when we work to achieve something we normally would not do on our own. I don’t want these to turn into something that we all dread and find impossible.

Let me know of any good ideas or recipes you come up with that are meatless. I would be happy to give them a try here with my family as well.

Good Luck!

 

 

No Bake Granola Balls

I have researched many different recipes for grab and go granola type snacks. Some I have found just have way too much sugar and many just have so much peanut butter that you really taste nothing more than just that, peanut butter. So one day I did some experimenting in my lab(my kitchen). I wanted some peanut butter, some sweetness, as much protein as possible without adding any protein powders and mostly I wanted them to taste good. Here is what I came up with.

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No Bake Granola Balls

2 cups quick cooking oats

1/4 c. ground flax seed

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/3 c. sunflower seeds

dash of sea salt

20 pitted dates

1 TBSP. water

2 TBSP. natural peanut butter

2 TBSP. brown rice syrup

2 TBSP. mini chocolate chips(optional)

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First step, in a food processor add your 20 pitted dates and water and blend until smooth.

Second, in a small bowl mix together your natural peanut butter and brown rice syrup. Sometimes natural peanut butter is somewhat thick. Microwaving this mixture for 15-20 seconds will help with the mixing and make it nice and creamy.

Then in a large bowl combine all the remaining ingredients. Mix and then add your date mixture and the peanut butter mixture. Take your hands and mix until everything is combined and there are no crumbs remaining at the bottom of your bowl.

Last, form this mixture into balls to your desired size. Mine were about 1 inch and this recipe made 32 balls.

Store in the refrigerator, if they last long enough to store in your home:)

Protein Lunch Options

We have sort of changed up our eating plan here at our home recently, after my husband announced to me that he was joining the gym I belong to. He is one of those lucky people that can literally eat anything he wants and does not gain a pound. When he told me he was just feeling sluggish and unmotivated, I agreed that the gym would do him good but it also got me to thinking about his diet a little more.

For lunch everyday he typically takes leftovers from the night before. So in other words, if we had casserole for dinner, that is also his lunch the next day. His break consisted of the usual bag lunch snacks such as baked chips, cookies, trail mix, fruit etc. Now, I have put a little more planning into what his lunches are. He still gets the lunch meal of leftovers, but his break snack is protein packed for extra energy and to support the additional exercise he is doing at the gym.

Examples of his protein snacks are:

Hard boiled eggs, homemade granola balls (recipe to come later this week), carrots with dip (not shown)

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Wasabi almonds, cheese, olives

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Apples and peanut butter, dried mangoes, walnuts.

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For me on the other hand, with adding a much more rigorous workout routine to my schedule, I have been also trying to get in more protein. Although this is proving to be much harder for me because I cannot have nuts, I don’t like red meat and I am not a big cheese lover.

So I have been having salmon and Laughing Cow Cheese with avocado.

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And I have come to love lentil bowls. This one here has lentils, sauteed mushrooms and spinach then topped with two over easy eggs with 1/2 an avocado.

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Another favorite lentil bowl is sauteed spinach and mushrooms over lentils with cooked chicken breast pieces and a bit of shredded parmesan cheese. Topped with balsamic glaze. Oh yum:)These bowls provide a lot of protein and are filling enough for a meal.

Both of us have had more energy and have come to really love our new routine of going to the gym three nights a week. So whether you are home all day like me and can cook quite easily when you are hungry or you take your lunch to work everyday, it is quite simple to pack healthy protein packed lunches to support your active lifestyle.