There are not enough hours in the day, or at least days in the week. Being healthy means not just eating right but moving regularly and also getting enough sleep. During the week, I find myself working very full and usually long days then hitting the gym and by the time I get home it’s about 7:00 pm. That means a late dinner so I’m not even feeling ready for bed until 10:00 pm and then I’ve just completely screwed myself out of 8 hours of sleep.
This sort of schedule leaves no room for stopping at the grocery store or running any other errands after work. So I tend to clump all of my errands into one big to-do list for my weekends, to accomplish after my morning workout of course. Then either Saturday or Sunday night I turn my kitchen into a studio and make a new webisode for you, my dear readers. I have almost forgotten what a moment of relaxation feels like.
What’s a girl to do? What do I trim out? Can’t trim out work, that’s a given. Can’t trim out the gym, it’s become a non-negotiable must for me not just physically but mentally. Ugh.
Maybe I need to redefine what relaxation is to me. These little moments of bliss don’t have to happen nestled in my arm chair, under a blanket, dog on my lap, watching a great movie with a glass of wine in hand. Ok, that sounds pretty damn good. Where was I going?
Oh yes, recognizing bliss. Sometimes things like shopping can be relaxing, I find that there are definitely benefits to retail therapy depending on what I’m shopping for. Maybe I need to add one item to my weekend to-do list each week that will give me an opportunity to find some relaxation.
And in the meantime I will pick up a lottery ticket.
Tip of the Week:
It is so important to keep your body hydrated, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. It makes up 50-60% of our bodies, regulates body temperature, helps our breathing, transports nutrients, carries away waste, and helps our muscles function. For weight loss, study after study has shown that the more hydrated you are, the quicker your metabolism works and water also helps you feel fuller which helps with appetite control.
Before I started my journey, I was very guilty of not drinking enough water. I drank coffee in the morning, the occasional diet drink with lunch, and that was pretty much it. I didn’t like water and so I didn’t drink it.
Today, I drink at least 64 oz. of water each day, usually more, but it took time and effort to get here. I started by investing in and carrying around a 27 oz. water bottle to which I added Crystal Light flavor packets. I made a daily goal of emptying that water bottle twice before I could leave the office. At home, I kept a gallon-sized pitcher of water in the fridge that I squeezed one lime or one lemon into so when I had dinner at night, or was home on the weekends, I would drink from that. This is where I started.
I slowly weaned myself off of the Crystal Light packets in my water bottle and the lemon or lime juice in the pitcher at home. That may sound like it happened overnight, but it was really more like months that I gradually made that transition. Today, I only have plain water in my water bottle and pitcher at home. I appreciate the cool, clean flavor of water and crave it regularly.
Recipe of the Week:
Cider Chicken with Apples and Thyme
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins
- 10 fresh white pearl onions, peeled and halved
- 2 slices turkey bacon, diced
- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 cup hard apple cider (should be at least 6% alcohol)
- 1 firm apple, chopped (like a granny smith or golden delicious)
Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Sear the tenderloins about 1-2 minutes on each side until cooked on the outside but still slightly pink on the inside. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the pearl onions and turkey bacon to the pan and cook until the onions are tender and the bacon is crisped. Add the salt, pepper, thyme and hard cider. Use the back of a wooden spoon to scrape up the crusty bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back to the pan and add in the apple. Mix well to coat everything and cook about 5 more minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the apples are slightly tender. Be careful not to overcook the apples!
Serving Size: Makes 2 servings
Nutritional Information: Calories 196.9, Total Fat 2.3g, Cholesterol 41.7mg, Sodium 596.0mg, Total Carbs 19.9g, Dietary Fiber 2.0g, Protein 25.3g
Honey Roasted Carrots
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 lb raw carrots, halved lengthwise and chopped
- 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp cumin seed
- 2 tbsp chopped, unsalted pecans
Preheat oven to 350.
Use a small skillet that can go from stove-top to oven, such as a cast iron skillet. Heat on medium-low on the stove and add the honey and vinegar. Mix well and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture reduces down and becomes a dark amber in color.
Remove from heat and stir in the carrots, onion, thyme and cumin seed, mixing well to coat everything with the honey mixture. Sprinkle the pecans over the top. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until the carrots are tender.
Serving Size: Makes 2 servings
Nutritional Information: Calories 165.6, Total Fat 5.3g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Sodium 79.5mg, Total Carbs 30.4g, Dietary Fiber 4.2g, Protein 2.0g