Happy Friday Eve! See, when it’s one of those weeks when I can’t believe it’s only Thursday, I like to refer to the day as Friday Eve instead. It sounds better, doesn’t it?
I have a few opinionated tips for you all today. The post is really pretty scatter-written because I’m scatter-brained right now. Bear with me.
1. When swinging weights or kettle bells around “at tempo” during a workout, don’t hit yourself in the knee. It bruises. It hurts.
2. If you must go for a frozen meal, but an Evol dish. I had my first one yesterday, and it was quite tasty.
They’re healthy, gluten-free, and even the ingredients are attractive!
3. If you’re doing one-legged dead lifts, be sure to count how many you do. I definitely overdid it on Tuesday, and it felt like I got kidney punched on both sides. I was sore all day yesterday!
4. Have a backup plan. On Monday, I gave into office pressure and had Mayfield Mint Chocolate Chip Select ice cream. It was awesome. Yesterday, I refused soft, fresh, delicious-smelling cookies. Instead of grabbing a cookie, I had decaf vanilla chai tea. Was it as good as a cookie? Not even close. Did I feel a lot better about myself (especially a lot better than Monday)? Heck yes. Thank goodness for backup plans!
5. Don’t stress! I’m busy and a little stressed at the moment with work and my friends’ inability to plan. I’m also frustrated that I can’t find the answers I want for the blog. I’d hoped to be self hosting by now with a slightly different look. As you can see… I am not.
Thanks for reading. I hope you took away at least one useful tidbit of knowledge!
What’s the best frozen or pre-prepared grocery meal you’ve had lately?
Food pushers planned an ice cream social at the office yesterday, and I did not eat any ice cream. Not even a cone, y’all – this is serious. Given my overall lack of willpower and my infatuation with sweets, this is good. Really good.
I’m not the only one who fought the urge to partake. I’m not sure why companies don’t just offer fruit socials or tea time instead. Many health insurance providers give discounts for employees’ healthy actions, so why is our insurer cool with this? It just sounds hypocritical to me.
I am skipping today’s workout. I hit the gym kind of hard yesterday morning, and my body was dragging the rest of the day. I’ve been in a slump all week, so I think rest is more important. I only hope I’m not getting sick. I have started to hear coughs and sniffles in the office. Yipes!
Here’s a makeshift version of the recipe I promised yesterday. I was inspired by the Whole Foods recipe I saw on Brittany’s blog. It’s not hot n’ spicy; it just contains a lot of spice. You could easily spice it up if you wanted though.
I’d love to provide the nutritional information for this, but my numbers are very different from Whole Foods. This is partially because I used different lentils and changed things a wee bit, but I’m still surprised at the size of the variance.
Indian Spiced Lentil Soup
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 TBS garam masala
- 1-2 tsp turmeric
- 2 cups orange lentils (Next Time I’d Use Green Lentils)
- 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (More If You Like it Hot)
- 3 handfulls of kale leaves, torn into bite-size chunks
- 2 tsp cumin (I Didn’t Add This But Might Next Time)
- 1-2 carrots, chopped (I Didn’t Add This But Might Next Time)
- Prep all your ingredients (washing, chopping, rinsing the lentils)
- Put everything in your slow cooker except for the kale. Give it a stir.
- Here’s the hard part… turn the slow cooker to “low.”
- Let the slow cooker do the work for about 8 hours.
- Add the kale in the last hour of cooking. It’s firm, but that’s better than mushy.
***I was running low on time and cooked mine for 3 hours on high. I added kale for one additional half-hour. This was okay, but I wish it had cooked a bit longer.
Why is this adapted recipe awesome?
If you don’t mind eating the same thing all week, this is a great lunch. Although I ate it without sides, I think naan would pair well with the meal.
In addition, according to the American Cancer Society, turmeric might be able to slow the growth of some cancers, help lower “bad” cholesterol, serve as an anti-inflammatory, and more. Gotta love spices!
Have colds started circulating in your area yet? Do you love your slow cooker as much as I do?
Who had a good weekend? I did! It wasn’t the best ever, but no weekend is a “bad” weekend. Clemson sure could have played better, but let’s not get into that…
I had a relatively healthy Friday, but that went right out the window on Saturday. It could have been much worse, and I don’t feel guilty at all. Kev and I split quesadillas for snack/dinner while watching football, and we split this frozen pizza for a late dinner after the GA vs. USC game.
I don’t generally like thin pizzas or white pizzas, and this was both. However, we agreed that it was pretty darn good for the price.
Pizza may not be the healthiest option, but you know what is healthy? Iron. (Sweet transition, right?) I purchased lots of spinach, sprouts, salmon, and beef at the store Sunday, so it got me thinking about this vital nutrient.
Women’s Health Magazine said that iron eliminates free radicals from the body “and helps protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.” Iron also strengthens your immune system and keeps your thyroid running smoothly.
Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RD, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, told Fitness Magazine, “Only heme iron — found in animal foods like beef, lamb, or poultry — is directly absorbed into the body… Vegetable iron isn’t absorbed as efficiently.”
No matter your diet (carnivore, flexitarian, or vegetarian/vegan), you can boost absorption by consuming iron-rich foods along with Vitamin C. According to Fitness Magazine, calcium interferes with iron absorption. I guess fortified cereal doesn’t help so much with milk!
We should get 18 milligrams of iron per day, but that can be difficult – especially on a plant based diet. Up to 62 percent of women fail to meet the recommended minimum.
- Half a cup of cooked chickpeas = 3.4 mg
- Half a cup of steamed kale = 2 mg
- 3 oz of steak = 4 mg
Hello! I have the day off from work, but I’ll still be pretty productive. I have 3 doctor appointments today. (Well, technically 1 is a dentist appointment.) Today I get to see the podiatrist. Hopefully I’ll get all my foot issues fixed. Cross your fingers for me!
Now it’s time for the topic of the day, calci-yum. I threw the “yum” in there because 1) I’m a dork and 2) getting calcium can be delicious. In my One Hot Mess of a post, I mentioned that one of my goals is to actually take my calcium supplements instead of habitually ignoring the bottle on my vanity. Some of you mentioned that you wouldn’t mind a special calcium-devoted post, so here it is.
According to WebMD, our bodies need calcium because it helps to strengthen bones and prevent certain cancers. In addition, Prevention magazine states that calcium and vitamin D can also help ward off type-2 diabetes. The National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests that calcium can also help with weight maintenance; WebMD explains how. Here’s the NIH table of calcium requirements:
We know we need it, here are a few examples from the Milk Matters campaign explaining how to get it.
- 1 cup of milk = 300 mg and calories vary depending on type
- 1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt = 425 mg (note: most yogurt doesn’t come in 1-cup containers) and 127 calories
- 1 cup cooked soybeans = 285 mg and 175 calories
- 1 medium stalk of broccoli = 180 mg and 106 calories
- 1/2 cup spinach (cooked from frozen) = 139 mg and 27 calories
Keep in mind that the body can only take in about 500 mg of calcium at once, so don’t
spend get it all in one place.
Of course, you can always pop a pill. One WebMD article says that the type of calcium you take does not matter, so you can just opt for the cheaper one. Getting one with vitamin D is often helpful though, since vitamin D helps calcium absorption. (Most doctors recommend taking supplement with food to promote absorption, but the Dairy Council says veggies and grains can inhibit absorption… hmmmm???) My doctor recommended Citracal, so that’s what I take. Luckily, they have coupons on their website right now.
There’s more to it than popping a pill or eating yogurt. For extra bone health, bone-up on your vitamin D, and include weight bearing exercises in your fitness routine. (Woohoo! All my years of playing soccer helped my bones!) WebMD also gives us the less fun info: limit sodas, antacids, caffeine, excessive alcohol, excessive sodium, and excessive red meat.
Oh, and by the way, I was going to swim some laps today at the gym, but I’m just not feeling it. I stayed up too late, and although I’m up early now, I think I’d rather just go tomorrow. I’ll probably do some pilates later before lunch instead.
So why was I up late??? IPA Day of course! Here’s what I did: beer shop with drinks and dinner, then a friend’s house to celebrate the occasion.
Do you take a calcium supplement? Did you celebrate IPA Day?