So it was Thursday night and I still had not used the bunch of kale that was purchased at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday. Immediately, I went to my new cooking book (aka Pinterest) and searched for a kale and lentil soup I recently came across. After looking through a couple, this one >> http://ohsheglows.com/recipage/?recipe_id=6036264 << caught my eye and stomach. I figured I would change it up and make a soup and sandwich for dinner instead of lunch. I had most of the ingredients besides the onion (which I made my boyfriend pick up) and substituted vegetable stock for chicken stock. My boyfriend and I are always going out to eat and this is an inexpensive meal that fills you up and provides you with leftovers which we will both eat today.
Saute diced onions & minced garlic in coconut oil – 5-6 minutes. Add in your choice of vegetables – I added carrots and portobellos (also leftover from Sunday’s trip to the market) with the celery to make it more filling. Toss in half of the total variety of spices (ground cumin, chili powder, smoked sweet paprika, cayenne, bay leaf, since I didn’t coriander I added cardamom) You will add half of spices later or will determine if you want to add more. Stir for another minute or so – you can really smell all the flavors at this point!
Toss in can of diced tomatoes & the juice, rinsed and drained lentils of your choice (I used Trader Joe’s red lentils), and 5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Bring this mixture to a boil, then let simmer for 20-25 minutes. Here, I added the rest of my spices. My boyfriend was getting antsy at this point so it was probably closer to 15 min.
Stir your desired amount of kale (pictured) or spinach – I wish I used more but the recipe only called for 2 handfuls. Let sit for another 2 or so minutes till kale is soft. Serve and enjoy all of the flavors! We kept the stove on until we had seconds so that the soup could simmer for a bit longer.
This recipe filled a total of 6 bowls (2 each last night, and one bowl each for lunch today).
I have to say, I am not a big soup person but I will be making this often once the weather cools down; I never realized how easy it is to make soup. My boyfriend really enjoyed it as well! He added cooked pasta to make it a little more filling and somewhat like pasta fagioli. If you are having the soup just by itself then I would suggest adding some gluten free pasta but we paired it with a tuna sandwich on toasted Calandra’s bread.
Such a simple way to use leftover produce and what you forgot you had in your pantry!
Thanks to my dad’s bargain shopping sprees in Marshall’s and TjMaxx he has found me 2 body balls for a total of $13.00. You don’t need any specific brand because they all work the same, so search around for items in clearance. The one pictured was $3.00 and I keep it at my boyfriend’s place for when we can’t go to the gym or want to get an extra work out while watching some TV. It took me less than 5 min to pump up and if you are traveling it can easily be deflated, packed, and taken with you which makes for an even greater investment. Even use it as a spare chair for all the fantasy football draft parties happening now if you live in a tiny apartment.
The following are a few of my top exercises I do with the ball – besides the usual core exercises
We did another training circuit at basketball on Wednesday night that incorporated a lot of leg and upper body work.
Cone jumps: Evenly space 5-6 short cones behind 5-6 tall cones so that there is room for two feet to land. Step over each cone laterally, going quickly, so that it is more of a run/jump. Step ahead and move on to the row of taller cones performing the same action. After 30 seconds switch to two foot lateral jumps.
Bungee chord defense slides: If you don’t have bungee chords to hook up to a wall, use resistance bands around the feet or have another person hold a resistance band as your partner slides. Set up cones, 1 as a starting point the 2nd as the most resistance point for the bands. Slide one direction for 30 sec – 1 min, change directions for another 30 sec – 1 min.
Hurdle hops: Set up tiny hurdles perpendicular to one another (about 6). Grab a medicine ball to hold over head as you two foot jump over forward and backward, and side to side.
Bosu ball: Start with bosu ball upright and grab a basketball or medicine ball to hold over head as you jump as high as possible and try to land and stay on the ball. After 30 seconds flip the bosu ball over and perform pushups holding the sides – if that is too easy, lift the bosu ball up as you perform pushups for another 30 seconds.
Wall ball handling: Start with heavy basketball in one hand with other on wall. As you cross over switch hand that is on the wall as you slide. Try to perform as quickly as possible. If that is too easy, try the same idea but with behind the back or between the leg dribbles. Go for 30 seconds and then the next 30 change the type of dribble.
Sprint Shooting: One partner is the shooter who starts at a point on the wall, the other partner will pass to shooter (where ever you decide) and rebound. The shooter leaves the wall, looking for the ball and steps into the shot, then sprints back to wall and back to take shot. Go for 30 seconds and switch partners
Last night I was put through the work out posted below by a basketball trainer at a local gym I attend when I want to shoot some hoops and work up a good sweat. He has a health and exercise science degree, was a former DIII basketball player, and the work out was great so I thought I’d share and give him some credit – I felt it walking up stairs to work this morning!
Set 1: 50 toe jumps – stand on tips of your toes and bend knees slightly and jump as high as you can
Paired w/ 10-15 push ups
Sprint (I did sideline to sideline on a basketball court)
Set 2: 15 squat jumps – get low in a squat position, make sure your back is straight, arms back, power up and go as high as you can, land softly, jump right back up into it
Paired w/ 20 opposite arm and leg raises from a plank position – assume plank position and raise your right arm and left leg, then alternate till you complete reps. Great for core too!
Sprint (same as 1st round)
Set 3: 15 high knee jumps – resume in squat position, back straight, jump up as you did for squats but this time lift your knees up towards your chest, land softly
Paired w/ 10-15 plyometric pushups – get in push up position, lower yourself normally and then push off your hands so that they leave the ground and return to normal position
Sprint (same as 1st round)
Set 4: 20 split-squats (10 each leg) – get in lunge position, using arms and legs push yourself up and switch legs in the air and land in opposite lunge softly. These are difficult! Take your time, get down low on each lunge to do it properly.
Paired w/ isometric pushups – assume position, lower body on a count of 11 and return back up from count 11 to 22 – or however long you wish you perform
Set 5: Choose your own (skater lunge?) or omit for the last set
20 up and down planks – plank position, get on one fore arm, then the other, and push up on the first fore arm and then the other, repeat
Paired w/ rolling pushups – spread arms a bit wider and legs wide, similar to a downward dog and cobra position, roll your body forward and backward using your arms and core. It should simulate like you are crawling under a fence.
It is so important to stay hydrated throughout the day but who would’ve thought it could be so difficult. I noticed once I started working that I was not drinking enough H2O so I made a point to drink a cup of water before getting out of bed in the AM, then another one with my breakfast, and either bring a tea or coffee to work. At work I go through 1 water bottle, 2 on a good day. Yes, this means I run to the bathroom frequently but it helps me get up from my desk every so often.Once I get home I try to drink another cup and if I am working out I will usually sip on water and then have another glass afterwards or tea before going to bed.
With some of the ingredients that were purchased from the trip to the farmer’s market yesterday I decided to make a detox water consisting of the following: 1/2 large cucumber sliced, 1 lemon sliced,
handful of fresh mint (I have also added ginger in the past) It is a good idea to try after a long vacation, weekend out, or just as a refreshing drink in the summer.
Kombucha is a drink I came across while in Fairway Supermarket (located in Bergen Co. NJ and NY). It was on sale (usually a bit pricey but will last you two days) so I figured I’d try it out since it contains antioxidants, amino acids, and probiotics. They have so many different flavors and some with chia – the most recent ones I tried were Lavender and Raspberry, both tasted like juice! If you’re used to eating yogurt it may benefit you to skip the diary once in a while and either try something new like these products or possibly take a probiotic supplement. Staying hydrated and eliminating dairy can dramatically improve one’s skin.
My favorite tea’s that I would not mind spending a few extra $$ for: Starbucks Tazo Mint Tea: great on a rainy day or iced, many places claim they do not make it iced probably because you need 2 bags. My brother who worked at a Starbucks says that they have to make it if you request it but I just make it at home when I can. Harney & Sons: So far I have tried 3 different flavors (the one pictured, hot cinnamon green tea, and chocolate mint). I first tried the hot cinnamon green tea while babysitting and had 2-3 cups and immediately went online and purchased a bag of the satchets and always give some to friends and co-workers to try. I browsed for another flavor and went with the chocolate mint tea (which was not my favorite but great for any chocolate lovers trying to curb those cravings). They are also located in SoHo, NYC if you live in the city check it out!
Try making your own tea with different spices or buy loose leaf tea and brew different mixtures!
As many athletes will say, there are “no days off”. The same goes for you. We only get one body and one day at a time so why not make it look and feel great #yolo
Last week when I was on vacation I actually ran more than I normally do back at home. I love exploring places and what better way to do it than running in the morning before the crazies come out. I use the mapmyrun app with which I have become slightly obsessed. Morning workouts make the rest of the day seem so easy and guilt free. It allows me to worry less and relieve anxiety as thousands of research studies have proven.
It also helps if you and a partner are committed to the early workouts. I had my brother to motivate me and we both went for long runs, completed short ab and arm circuits (pictured above) at a park as well as in the condo, and even came across a free yoga session on the beach.
If you’re thinking, “well I can’t run where I live,” or “I don’t belong to a gym,” try to stop and figure out a solution. As my counseling theory implies, create ways to overcome the problem and think about what has or has not worked in the past for you. For myself, I live in a very hilly neighborhood and off of a busy and windy road that makes it difficult for me to run outdoors which I enjoy. Instead I either run on my treadmill and lift in my basement, save my run outdoors for when I visit my boyfriend in the city, consider going to the local track, or attend a basketball practice for some cardio.
blend together in food processor
Muffins: Set oven for 350 degrees, 4 eggs, 1/3 coconut oil**, 1 banana, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tbsp vanilla extract – mix together then add dry ingredients 1/2 C coconut flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tspn sea salt then fold in 1 C raspberries. Bake in trays seen above with paper cupcake holders.