Living Well

So I only set one goal for the month of July, and it was a good one!

Mostly this is because I was so busy prepping for my Israel trip that I couldn’t think too hard about the month ahead.  But also, I really wanted to live well on my trip abroad.  And live well…I did!

 

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This was a super active vacation with walking and hikes almost every day.  Yet, I still attempted to run (two short runs in the crazy heat) and did yoga in the mornings when I could.

 

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Since we were typically on the move, there wasn’t much downtime for snacking.  But there was plenty of fresh and colorful veggies at every meal and I can see why the Mediterranean diet is so popular. 

 

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Mentally, I was able to stay present and journal every day.  This made for a fantastic vacation which started the month off right.  Since then it has been all about marathon training with a little Bikram yoga thrown in for fun!

 

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I have been catching up with my family and friends and the BOY and I hosted a Mediterranean BBQ with some of the best food we’ve ever made!

 

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It’s amazing to me that tomorrow will be August.  How does summer always seem to fly by?!

 

What was the highlight of your July???

 

 

 

August Goals

My main goal is to support my marathon training so that I can stay healthy and happy as the miles increase! 

The plan is to do this by…

-Finishing Hal’s Book

-Stretching

-Eating Clean

-Sleeping Often

-And Living Well!

 

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My secondary goal is to raise money in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a St. Jude Hero!

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Woo Hoo!

I got a new laptop!

 

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Insert Happy Dance and Jump for Joy here!

 

I got it at Costco…hence the chicken and greens.  The BOY has been telling me for well over a year that I am in need of a new computer.  Yet when things came up (oops I’m out of memory), I was able to come up with strategies (moving all music to external drive).  Yikes!  So when a few new things came up this weekend, I finally told the BOY to do a little research.  And after checking out Windows 8 on a demo computer, I was sold.  Now I have barely touched my computer.  It has been in the tight grasp of the BOY who is ‘setting it up’ for me.  But I am super excited!

 

While the BOY worked away on my computer, I got busy working on dinner.  I made classic lasagna for the BOY which is quite a labor of love, but totally worth the effort.  I went with the entire recipe this time (I usually just make half) and brought leftovers to share with my coworkers. 

 

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I apologize for the poor quality photo above but as always the BOY was on the move with his dinner while I was trying to snap a picture.  The BOY thinks I’m crazy but I just never liked lasagna.  So I made my own dinner from my new slow cooker recipe book. 

 

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Chicken + Sweet Potatoes + Figs

 

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With the temperatures dropping below zero and and my efforts focused on the lasagna, I was excited to try a new crockpot recipe.  I love figs and was intrigued by this Moroccan looking dish.  Especially since I had almost all of the spices in my cabinet.

 

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I was playing with my crockpot settings, so I think I slightly overcooked the chicken.  Yet even with the less than juicy chicken, the flavors of this dish are wonderful!

 

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And the leftovers warmed me up after my cold commute home.  You should most definitely bust out your crockpot this week and try one of these awesome recipes!  Let me know if you are looking for suggestions!

 

 

In other news, we are back to meal planning this week.  

Well, at least we are attempting to get back into it with an easy week…

 

Monday:

For Him Lasagna

For Her Chicken with Figs

 

Tuesday: Leftovers

 

Wednesday: Shrimp Stirfry

 

Thursday: Leftovers (I hope!)

 

Friday: Raid the Fridge/Wing It!

 

Breakfast: Pumpkin Banana Baked Oatmeal Bars

Healthy Weekday Snack: Clean Garlic Hummus

 

 

Chicken with Figs

From The Big Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

Serves 8

 

Ingredients

1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

3/4 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts*

3/4 cup dried figs, halved

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp ground orange peel

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 3/4 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup orange juice (I used the juice of one orange freshly squeezed)

 

Directions

1. Cube the chicken.  Quickly sauté the chicken in a dry nonstick skillet until it starts to turn white.  Drain off any excess grease.

2. Place the chicken and remaining ingredients into a 4 quart slow cooker (I have no idea what size I used).  Stir.  Cook for 6 hours on low.  Stir before serving.

 

*NOTE: I just used 1 pound of chicken breasts and no thighs

 

 

Do you use Windows 8?  Any tips for me?

Fig, Date, Nut Energy Bars

So I can’t believe how much I liked these Date Bars.  They have the perfect texture, and they are sweet and filling.  I have been talking about them non-stop and have shared the recipe with everyone that I know will listen. 

Have you tried them yet?  What do you think?

 

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Well, I was so inspired by these bars that I went out and got more ingredients to make a double batch.  And this time, I added a few things.

 

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Like dried figs!!! 

 

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I may have processed my dried fruit a little too long, and I have to admit that just the dried fruit tasted fantastic all on it’s own.

 

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But even better with the addition of nuts and coconut!!!

 

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With a a drizzle of agave to pull everything together…

 

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These incredible bars are complete and full of protein, healthy fats, and energy.   They come together quickly, which is perfect as the temperatures are back up in the no bake zone!

 

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The bars need about 2 hours in the fridge.  I suggest finding something to do to keep yourself busy because you will want to be sneaking bites.  One suggestion…checking out some of my favorite recipes!

 

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When they are set, these bars have the same great texture of the plain date bars…

 

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But the added fig flavor, which I LOVE!

 

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Can you say…new favorite energy bars?!

 

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I thought that the date bars were good, but this version turned out even better!

 

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I shared a few bars with my coworkers today who were all super impressed and excited to make their own batch!  No joke…you need to try these!  I will definitely be packing up a batch to bring to class starting Thursday.  I know that I will need the energy to make it through the weekend!

 

 

What is your favorite homemade energy snack?

It would be great to get a collection going, so please share your links!

 

 

 

Fig, Date, Nut Energy Bars

Makes 12 bars

 

1 cup dried figs, roughly chopped

1 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup coconut

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Agave, maple syrup, or honey (optional)

 

Place the figs and dates in your food processor just until combined.

Add in nuts, coconut, salt, and cinnamon.  Pulse until everything is combined and a sticky dough is created.  If the bars remain dry, then stream in 1-2 tsp of agave, maple syrup, or honey if desired to help the bars stick together.

Remove the dough and press into an 8×8 inch square pan lined with parchment paper.

Refrigerate for ~2 hours until set.  Cut into bars and store in the fridge.  They won’t last long!

 

Note: Get creative with this forgiving recipe.  You can add quinoa, dried fruit, chocolate, flax etc.  If the mixture is try, then add in some oil or syrup to help everything stick together.

 

Also, I haven’t tried it yet, but I have a feeling these bars will freeze well.  Enjoy!