Monthly Archives: January 2013

Thriving Thursday: Sweet Teryaki Salmon

Confession: I HATE fish. I actually really dislike seafood in general. I’m not one of those picky, “I hate the consistency” people but oysters?? Truly the consistency is like snot. And fish? Any kind of fish is just so salty and YUCK. I’ve disliked it since I was a kid. When my mom made her delicious fish for dinner, I would eat a bowl of cereal.

However, (this is how I know I’m an adult) I LOVED this fish I cooked last night. Everyone always talks about how good fish is for you so I figured I’d give it another try. Teryaki was the closest I could get to make it taste like chicken. Haha. So I adapted a recipe from one of my cookbooks and came up with this. It is SO delicious. Sweet and tangy all at the same time.

Money Saving Tip: Wild-caught salmon can be really expensive ($13 for 2 fillets??) so we ate small portions with lots of veggies to make it last for the next day’s dinner too.

SweetTeryakiSalmon-Published

Sweet Teryaki Salmon (3-4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 Bragg’s liquid aminos (healthy soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp. stone ground mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 wild-caught salmon fillets or steaks
  • Whatever you would like for your side (bed?). I used leftover mashed sweet potatoes (from the Sherpherds Pie) and added sautéed red peppers and mushrooms (YUM). It would also be really good with a spinach salad, roasted veggies, and/or quinoa.

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix first 6 ingredients until combined. Set aside 1/4 cup of marinade in fridge for basting.
  2. Combine salmon and marinade in a plastic bag and marinate in fridge for 1 hour.
  3. While it’s marinating, cook your side.
  4. Lay marinated salmon on parchment paper in a deep baking pan.
  5. Broil or grill for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  6. Brush with reserved marinade.
  7. Enjoy!

We’re getting very close to the weekend. I hope you all have happy Thursday’s! 🙂

 

Workout Wednesday: Tuck Those Abs

Every once in a while a workout comes along where you really have to employ what I call the “brace.” It protects your lower back AND develops those lower abs into a rock hard segment of that 6-pack you’re going for.

Check here for the full definition. But basically you have to tense your lower abs so it feels like your belly button is touching your back. It took me a really long time to figure out how to workout with this part of my body tensed but, since that point, I’ve seen huge changes in my stomach definition. Put your hand on your lower belly and try it!

For today’s workout it’s extra important to brace because there will be a few exercises that test your core strength:

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

Squat Jump

1. squat jumps (too easy? squat lower, jump higher, go faster)

ElbowInPushup

2. elbow-in pushups (in plank, on your knees, or against a wall)

Lunge

3. lunges (too easy? lunge lower, go faster)

BirdDogs

4. bird dogs (hold the “bird” on each side for 2 seconds, stretch as high as you can)

RussianTwist

5. russian twist (legs in an upside-down “V”, 90° angle, or straight in the air, sit on your tailbone and keep your back straight)

plank(better)

6. plank (for advanced, do it with little swimmer kicks)

Have you ever done one of these workouts? How did it go? I hope you’re having a happy day. We’re coming out of winter so keep your chin up! 🙂

 

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

Sweet potatoes are flippin’ awesome. They are fantastic for digestion, heart health, skin health, and blood sugar levels. Specifically, they are high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Fiber, Potassium, Vitamins C and E, and Manganese.

This recipe was my attempt at making my mom’s amazing shepherds pie but without the starch of potatoes. With that in mind, it was GROSS. But once we stopped thinking of it as Shepherds Pie and started thinking of it as a dish on it’s own, SO DELICIOUS. Isn’t it weird how your brain can trick you like that?

This was incredible easy to make and I just kept it in a crockpot in the fridge and reheated it (on the lowest temperature possible) for 3 nights straight. Thank you bulk-cooking!

SweetPotatoPotPie-Published

Sweet Potato Pot Pie (6-8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 7 organic sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup organic milk (almond, coconut, dairy, whatever)
  • 1 organic yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds organic ground turkey
  • 1 package of organic gravy mix
  • 8oz organic frozen mixed veggies (carrots, peas, etc)

Instructions:

  1. Boil sweet potato chunks in a large pot until soft. While they are cooking, mix gravy. 
  2. Drain water from pot add the milk and mash it all together. Set aside.
  3. In a separate, deep pan, sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes on medium-high heat.
  4. Add turkey to pan and cook until brown.
  5. Add gravy and frozen veggies to pan and mix together.
  6. Either in the large pot or in a crockpot, layer the meat mixture, then the mashed sweet potatoes. Heat in the crockpot or oven on low for 10 minutes. This allows the juices to mix together. YUM
  7. Enjoy!

The Dark Side of Happy

I recently updated my “about me” to include a few rules. One of them is that I have to tell the dark side of being happy. There is one. And, although it’s not around the majority of the time, it does drop by for a cup of tea every few weeks.

“You can’t know happy without knowing sad.” – My Dad

That’s true actually, you can’t recognize the happiest moments of your life unless you have something to compare them to. On that same token, everyone’s moments operate on a different scale. Your sad may be MUCH sadder than mine. I think that’s the case as people get older and they experience more loss and hardship. But that’s also why, as people get older, they have the opportunity to really find happiness. Because they can find it in the smallest of victories, the smallest of successes and joys. Middle school sucked. I had very little sad in my life so every tiny thing that went wrong seemed catastrophic. Back then, my biggest crush completely ignoring me was heart breaking. My definition of heartbreak shifted massively when he died in his sleep ten years later at the premature age of 24.

With every big life experience, my happy/sad scale shifts, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore the three-day stints of deep melancholy that seem to creep up on me. They happen about once every few weeks in the Winter and once every month or two in the Summer. It’s almost like I can feel when they’re coming. I can fight them off for days but something always triggers a breakdown. Last week, it was my wonderful Google Hangout session with my girlfriends. I’d been sleepless, working a lot, and having some lonely days. Then I saw their smiling, beautiful, happy faces, and my self-pity just threw me over the edge.

So accepted it. I let myself be sad for 24 hours. I forgave myself for the 20 minute cry session and for being morose for a day. Every happy person has to come down from that plateau high up in the sky. Happiness takes work and sometimes you just need a break.

After the 24 hours passed, I put on my hiking boots and started the climb back up that plateau. I talked to a few of the people who love me unconditionally. First I cried to Mike but the poor guy can only take so much. When I felt that he needed a break from listening to my whining (because that’s what it was) I just called my family and spilled my heart to whoever picked up the phone first. By now they know what I need and they just listened to all the reasons my life was “terrible.”

CarWash

Then I spent the day slowly setting up activities for the weekend. First, to perk my mood, I drove my car through a car wash. Who doesn’t love to turn up the music and watch the water swirl around?? Then, that night, I had dinner with some bike girls in the area and got closer with one really cool chick. On Saturday Mike and I went on a lovely afternoon date and that night we went line dancing! (< more on this stuff later) On Sunday I went for Indian buffet with a few new friends from work. I was the only one who could pull myself out of the funk and, for me, I knew I just needed to be around other people.

So here I arrive at Monday, completely exhausted but in a MUCH better mood. I’m cresting the happy plateau today and hopefully I’ll be able to stay up here for a few weeks. Whatever the case I know I can’t possibly understand happy without a little sad 🙂

 

Friendly Friday: Thank You Technology

Once upon a time there was a group of five girlfriends. They were all gnarly and raced bikes together. When they got off the bikes they would sit down for pizza and a beer and laugh for hours and hours. Then these girls graduated from college and spread across the country like lighting bolts, forever changing the points they touched down in. They spread to be teachers in Boston, medical students in North Carolina, nurses in Colorado, bike marketers and women’s activists in California, and holistic health advocates in Illinois.

Every so often, thanks to some sweet technology, they actually get to reunite and laugh together again. Check out Once a Month’s blog to see how easy it is to keep in touch. Reunite with the old and wonderful friends in your life.

Once a Month: Coming Together While Miles Apart

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 8.37.08 PM Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 8.36.28 PM Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 8.37.41 PM

My friends are amazing. This is going to happen much more often from now on. I love and miss them so incredibly much but they’re all doing so well in life. They brighten my day 🙂

 

Thriving Thursday: Why Blog?

Since I started this blog in September 2012, so many people have asked, why do you spend such vast amounts of time writing that thing! Well first, yes, it takes VAST amounts of time to research and write this little love of mine. But there are so many reasons I do it.

Since I graduated with considerably less than zero money, this blog documents the varying ways I manage to make a healthy life and beautiful home for my boyfriend and I, without spending a fortune. It is the interior of my mind, a melding of food, workout ideas, design, and a little bit of much-needed inspiration. I can honestly say that I’m a very happy lass overall and I don’t want anyone to ever feel that they can’t reach that point too.

So yes, some of the recipes may be things you’ve seen before. And some of the workouts may seem overly simple. But that’s what I’m here for! To wade through the annoying, time-consuming, expensive stuff and present you with the entirely reachable and totally worthwhile. So please read! Maybe you’ll actually try something and love it. I do!

A few rules I obey:

  1. Never post anything I haven’t tried at least once (usually more than once).
  2. Show my reality. Never pretend that happy is easy, show the darker side of living life to the fullest.
  3. Only post facts that have been researched and supported by the most reliable sources.
  4. Have fun with it! This blog will never become taxing for me. If it does, I will change it.

Why the heck do I write this thing?

  1. I’m selfish! Writing forces me to continue learning. This blog helps ME become healthier and happier.
  2. I think I’m awesome. I live my life with dedication, love, and honesty. There a lot of people who should be doing the same. My hope is that a few of them become in inspired, through my words, to better themselves.
  3. My loved ones read this. I have loved ones scattered all over the world. This is for them to know where I am and what I’m doing. It’s impossible to talk to them all so this is me saying: “I love you!”
  4. I can figure YOU out. By reading your comments and gauging your responses, I know how to better serve people. How to reach the greatest number of people and how to help them be healthier and happier. So please comment!

And just for a laugh, I got this from my little sister, Makenna, the other day. I just can’t stop laughing.

Velociraptor

Workout Wednesday: Feel That Bum Burn!

My workout class is growing as it’s wonderful. We’re getting lots of guests of patients and they’re starting to show up even when their original friend isn’t there! That class is my favorite hour of the week because I get to see people progress and get stronger right before my eyes. I love it. Maybe they can feel it and that’s why they keep coming back. Or maybe all they feel are their muscles burning the next day, who knows…I’m just glad I keep seeing their happy, sweaty faces every week.

Last night I kept yelling “Do you feel that in your bum?” Haha. I couldn’t post that in the title because my brain is just a little too dirty…anyway! This workout seems to workout the glutes more than usual. So enjoy it!

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Tip: As always, you’re the only one who can make this exercise hard. It’s only 12/16 minutes so just grin and bear it, push yourself to fatigue, it will all be over soon.

Exercises:

Side Hops

1. Speed Side Hops (beginner-side steps, advanced-jump very quickly over an obstacle, if it’s easy, use a bigger obstacle)

FrogSquat2 FrogSquat1

2. Frog Squats (only go as low and high as your flexibility and strength allows)

PikePushup

3. Pike Push Up

JumpKneeTucks

4. Jump Knee Tucks (land as softly as possible, if it hurts your knees, quickly tuck one leg at a time)

Fire Hydrants

5. Fire Hydrant

MountainClimber

6. Mountain Climbers

Your bum is going to be sore tomorrow but, in a week, it will be even more shapely. Yay!

Happy Wednesday everyone! 🙂