From parsnip hash browns for breakfast, to candied pecans for breakfast dessert, to hot yoga on cold winter's nights, a few things that have been happening on my Live Healthy Iowa Challenge journey
(This post may contain affiliate links)
Sipping Through a Straw: Kombucha(!) Just a few sips and I'm no longer foraging through the cupboards for chocolate (ps: It's also great for breaking a soda habit)
Biggest Weight-loss Obstacle: Sleep, it's ever elusive. Between us, the kitties, and the puppies, I swear there's a creature in motion at our house 24 x 7. (We'd be good candidates for a funny time-lapse video)
Secret Weapon for Busy Weeks: Meal services. Have you tried one? Admittedly, I was skeptical at first. There are some great ones out there offering seasonal + plant-based meals for ~ $8-$10 per person. A few of my favorites? Freshly, Purple Carrot, and Blue Apron
Remembering As I Reach For a Cookie (and Put it Back): The average craving lasts only 3-5 minutes
Always in the Freezer? Cooked beans + lentils. They add fiber + protein and are a cheap way to stretch main and side dishes. Some ideas? Add them to soups, rice dishes, pasta, and pretty much anything else.
A Few Ideas For Adding Flavor: Fresh herbs and minced roasted garlic .. will liven up just about anything. (The lightly dried and refrigerated tubes of herbs are also great to have on hand and last a few months) Another idea? Citrus .. I always have fresh lemons and limes in the fridge. Bright flavors from the juice and zest help maximize flavor without adding salt. (A little extra vitamin C never hurts)
The Way of Eating That Always Works For Me: Dana James .. When I'm following her philosophies and meal plans, I always feel my best.
A Small Shift That's Had a Large Impact: Drinking more water. A few years ago when I gave up soda and infused water (just water + fruit) saved me. A pretty container in the fridge was a constant reminder. Missing the fizz? I was too; try a SodaStream
Always in My Grocery Cart? Greek yogurt. I've had a sordid love affair with sauces most of my life, so I mix fresh herbs (dill for a quick salmon topper) a little Sriracha for my husband's tacos, and a dollop on soups for creaminess and protein
Guilty Pleasure/Indulgence: My husband and I love driving all over the state to try out Iowa's Best Burgers. So when I'm hungry for a splurge he tells me to pick a nominee, and we're off. (ps: The best burger I've ever eaten? At the Sac City Bowling Alley, Sac City, Iowa)
Inspired By: The most amazing 98-year-old yoga teacher(!) Let's all live our best lives for just as long as we possibly can
Grab and Go: Snacky produce, like mini cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and snap peas. They're fun finger food and require minimal prep. For the times we're heading out the door or just got home and need something to snack on before dinner (ps: For dipping .. see Greek yogurt sauces above)
Favorite App: Way of Life – it's great for tracking habits, is really simple to set up, and will even create beautiful charts and graphs. A few in my list? Minutes spent walking, yoga, weight lifting, no sugar, meditation, and “today have I treated myself the way I would a very close friend?”
Favorite Workout: I've been walking for as long as I can remember. As a kid growing up on our family farm, whenever I was bored, I'd walk the half-mile to the paved road and back. It's something I've stayed with my entire life. They're some of the most peaceful and meditative moments in my day
2nd Favorite Workout: Kickboxing – Just making it though feels like a huge accomplishment(!)
Cooking: Buddha bowls (recipes coming soon!) A Buddha bowl is all sorts of healthful goodness, piled in abundance, into a single bowl. They tend to be beautiful and make me appreciate a meal more than usual.
My progress report after week 2?
Total minutes of activity this week = 675 and Overall = 1310
It adds up quick! (a combination of walking, yoga, resistance class, and weight lifting)
Total pounds lost this week = 3.1 and Overall = 7.3
( .. to be continued .. )
This Lemon-Herbed Roasted Salmon with Veggies is exactly the weeknight meal I've been searching for these days. Healthy, light, and easy
As far as dinners go, this one is pretty simple, but with big flavors. Salmon covered in herbs, alongside colorful veggies are roasted together on a sheet pan. The entire dish comes together in less than a half an hour, although the roasting time can vary a little, depending on the size of the cuts.
The dish immediately earned a spot on our regular weeknight rotation. The salmon is flavorful, the veggies perfectly cooked; it’s a complete meal, and all prepared in one pan.
A few notes:
One of the many things I love about this kind of recipe is its ability to take on different flavor profiles. A few other herb blends you might enjoy? (keeping the proportions the same)
Dill, parsley or chervil
Olive oil (instead of butter), thyme, basil or marjoram
Peanut oil (instead of butter), cilantro or mint
Different veggie combinations? Definitely, equal baking time veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash will work without any adjustments. Veggies that would take a little longer (ex: potatoes), start them 10-15 minutes before adding the salmon
— — —
~ Adapted from The New York Times
Sheet Pan Lemon-Herb Roasted Salmon with Veggies
- 1 ½ - 2 pound skinless salmon fillet, fresh or thawed from frozen
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp rosemary leaves, chopped fine
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
- 3 Tbsp garlic, minced, divided
- 2 lemons
- fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp honey
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (optional, but it really makes clean-up a breeze)
- Prep the Salmon
- Rinse salmon and pat dry. Place salmon on baking sheet, leaving room around each piece for the veggies
- In a small bowl, add the rosemary, parsley, garlic, juice of 1 lemon, and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Combine
- Brush the melted butter on top of each salmon filet.
- Divide the herb mix and spread evenly over the tops of each fillet
- Prep the Veggies
- In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, broccoli, 2 Tbsp garlic, a small glug of olive oil, and a pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat.
- Arrange the veggies on the baking sheet around the salmon
- Bake and Serve
- Roast 15 to 18 minutes, or just until the salmon flakes
- While the salmon is roasting, in a small bowl add the lemon zest and ¼ cup juice from the lemon and honey. Whisk to combine
- Spoon over salmon and vegetables before serving.