Stay the Course

Today,  as I was trying to do 10 things at once because I had a day off and wanted to accomplish everything, I realize how easy it is to fall off course and accomplish nothing! No matter if it’s with your diet, household chores, your business, or any other part of your life… many people have a tendency to let things send them off on a detour.

Sometimes, it may be because we try to get too many things accomplished at once. We are, as a society, multitask oriented.  We even raise our children to be involved in multiple activities which often times conflict with each other and our schedules!

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Sometimes, we get distracted by something we discover.  For instance, today I was cleaning out the guest bedroom and happened upon some old business cards… I got to wondering where are these people today? What did I do? I got right on social media  and started to search for them. Before I knew it, 15 minutes had gone by and I hadn’t found anything out about them and was now 15 minutes behind in my schedule to get the room cleaned up and get my daughter from school on time!

Other times we get off course with things such as a diet or exercise. We tell ourselves there’s a great show on TV and missing one day of walking won’t really matter!  Or boy that piece of chocolate cake looks really good, one piece won’t really matter.   And you know what?   Missing just one won’t really matter except often one time or one piece turns into many more   I speak from experience, I have lost the same 6 pounds each month for the last six months!

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Many things in life  that are truly important  require persistence and effort.  They require a commitment!    To help you stay on course in your life no matter what it is you’re trying to accomplish, Try these helpful tips:

  1. Remember the WHY, that got you started doing what you are doing.  What was it that made you decide that this was important for you to do? Focus on that.
  2. Each day before you go to bed take five minutes and write down a plan for the three most important things you need to get done the next day.
  3. Set aside a specific time to get those things done and do not let distractions get in the way. If that means locking yourself in the bathroom to get away from the dog and the kids, then do it!

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Honey Mustard Chicken and Baked Sweet Potatoe Fries

As promise yesterday, I have a deliciously sweet and spicy dish for you. I found the original recipes on My Fitness Pal’s Blog and Pinterest and then modified them to fit my lifestyle and kitchen supplies ;-).

I love seasoned sweet potato fries!  What’s not to like right?  Sweet and salty at the same time and a good source of fiber! They also have less carbs and calories than regular potatoes.  But here’s the thing…I have to stay away from fried foods. 😦  So I scoured the internet for a baked version.  Here’s what I found out…If I want simple and easy, they are not going to be crispy.  I’m okay with this, because as long as it has flavor, I can deal with them being a little on the soft side.  These were very flavorful and relatively easy to make!

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I like recipes that I can reduce or increase as needed.  My husband and daughter don’t really like variety so I often have to make a separate meal for me.  This recipe is for 1 medium potato, but the original recipe was for 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Scrub the potato and slice it into strips about 1/4 inch wide (I do not own a very good knife so this was a little challenging but I did the best I could lol)
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a plastic, resealable bag and add the sliced potatoes. Seal bag and shake well until all the potatoes are well coated.
  4. Place the slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
  5. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Source for recipe: Gimme Some Oven Blog

I paired the sweet potato fries with honey mustard chicken breast. I love the blend of spicy mustard with sweet honey and spices.  This was a very easy and tasty recipe. The original recipe was created for 24 ounces of chicken, but I only needed about 1/2 of that, so I modified the amount of the ingredients. I also didn’t include parsley because I didn’t have any handy.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/8 cup of honey
  • 1/8 cup of spicy mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp of dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp.)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken breast, place in a baking dish, salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Pour the mixture over the two breasts to coat.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes.

Enjoy!

Source for recipe:  MyFitnessPal – Hello Healthy Blog

 

Out and About

Usually on Mondays or Tuesdays, I try to cook something new or make a healthier version of a favorite food.  This week has already gotten away from me, lol.  One thing I discovered in my mad rush to find something quick to eat for lunch yesterday was a new dish at Wawa. (For the readers who do not have a Wawa, it’s a chain of retail convenience stores in 6 states along the east coast.)  Back to my discovery…it’s a Burrito Bowl!

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It is offered in 4 varieties and allows customization.  I chose the chicken without the cheese sauce.  Ordered this way, it’s a pretty healthy option packed with protein and plenty of fiber (both from the black beans) and very tasty!  Since I’m trying to lose weight and be more healthy, this was a great find!

Why am I telling you all this?  It’s not because I’m working for Wawa or promoting their product. I’m simply saying that, if you find yourself on the run and needing to pick up something fast, look for healthy options. They’re out there!

Stay tuned…I’m making a delicious baked chicken dish tonight!

 

Maple Glazed Broiled Salmon

Yummy!  That’s what this dish is!

I love ordering salmon when I go out to dinner and have often wished I could have all wonderful flavor at home. Tonight, I got exactly that with this extremely easy recipe!  Not only is it easy, but I made it and my steamed veggies in 30 minutes from start to finish. That is very important to me because, like many parents today, I’m constantly on the run with work and my daughter’s busy schedule.  It’s so important to find healthy meal options that can be prepared quickly.

Ingredients: (meal for 2)

  • 2 – 6oz salmon filets
  • 2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tbs[ Balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 cups of baby carrots

Instructions:

  1. Mix the maple syrup and the balsamic vinegar together in a plastic resealable bag and place the salmon in the bag.  Seal and let marinade for 10 minutes.
  2. While the salmon is marinading, place your broccoli and carrots in a steamer.
  3. Remove the salmon from the bag and place on a broiling pan.  Baste with more of the marinade and salt and pepper to taste.  Broil for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Steam the vegetables for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition:  Calories 452; Total Fat 13g; Saturated Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 303mg; Carbohydrates 37g; Fiber 6g; Sugar 25g; Protein 45g  (source of nutrition from http://www.myfitnesspal.com

This recipe is based on original recipe from Hello Healthy at blog.myfitnesspal.com

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Sweet & Crunchy Kale Salad

One on our biggest challenges is trying to find healthy foods that are easy to make and tasty. I have always wanted to make a kale salad because I’ve read about it’s health benefits ranging from lowering cholesterol to fighting against some types of cancers. But, I was afraid of this veggie because I didn’t know how to work with it.  Then I found a wonderful recipe on Pinterest @jolynneshane.  It has yummy cranberries, almonds and carrots and is dressed with a sweet/tangy honey balsamic vinaigrette.

I’m no magician in the kitchen, so I was pleasantly surprised when this came together quickly and easily and made enough for me to take into the office for a birthday celebration!

Salad Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of chopped kale (I purchased 6 large leaves and pulled the curly ribbons from the stalk)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup of dried cranberries (I used Ocean Spray Craisins)
  • 3/4 cup of slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 cup of shredded carrot
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper

Balsamic Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp of Honey
  • 1 tbsp of Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry your the kale.
  2. Pull the green curly leaves away from the stem.  Throw the stems away, they are too tough to eat.  Chop the leaves/ribbons into bite sized pieces. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and “massage” the kale for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Set aside for the moment.
  3. In a jar or contain with a lid, add the vinegar, oil, lemon, honey, salt and pepper.  Shake well until fully blended.
  4. Add the cranberries, almonds and carrots to the kale and drizzle the vinaigrette over.  Toss and enjoy!

Note:  I actually enjoyed this better after it sat in the fridge for a bit.  It gave the flavors time to mingle.

Nutrition(per 1 cup serving): Calories 247; Total Fat 14g; Saturated Fat 2g; Monounsaturated Fat 10g; Cholesterol 0g; Sodium 100g; Total Carbohydrate 29; Dietary Fiber 5g; Sugar 19g; Protein 5g (source of nutrition from http://www.myfitnesspal.com)

Original recipe found at @jolynneshane

Heart Healthy Walking Challenge

So, with February being the month we pay homage to our ❤️, we thought it would be a great time to put up our first challenge!

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. We want to help fight against this statistic by challenging you to walk every day in February!

According to several healthcare professionals we’ve spoken with, you should aim to walk 10,000 steps a day to reduce your risk of heart disease and get more fit. Unfortunately, most of us don’t even take more than 4,000 steps a day. (I only average about 5,500 a day) We think we can do better than this!

BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW EXERCISE ROUTINE, PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER.

  1. Once you are cleared for this challenge, get a step tracker. I use the free tracker in my phone and the free app MyFitnessPal to keep track of my calories and steps. Tess uses her FitBit. There are many other options in the market place though so pick what works best for you.
  2. Use a tape measure to record your waist, hip, and thigh measurements. (Keep it somewhere safe)
  3. On February 1st, 2016, start walking every day with your tracker. Walk with a purpose, like you have somewhere important to be. 10,000 steps is about 5 miles or 9 kilometers. You don’t have to do all of it at one time. I usually do mine in 20 minute bursts.  
  4. Let us know how you are doing each day by taking a picture of your tracker and sending to us. Also, add your daily total in a comment for this post. We will be adding ours too.
  5. At the end of February, we will award a small sampler prize pack to the top people in the following categories:
    • Most Steps overall
    • Most improved step count
    • Most inches lost (yep, break out those tape measures again!)

REMEMBER TO DRINK TO STAY HYDRATED. APPROXIMATELY HALF YOUR BODYWEIGHT IN OUNCES. EXAMPLE: I weigh 176lbs so I should drink about 88oz of water each day.

      Have fun!