Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday - Healthy thoughts

One of the things I am working on as part of my One Little Word 2014 ---Strong--- is health in general.  I want to be stronger in body, mind, and spirit.  Lately, that has been thinking more consciously about food, which is a serious weakness of mine.  I'm also working on exercise plans that make me stronger--- not just cardio, which is where I tend to focus as I like the endorphins of a good run or zumba or whatever makes me breathe hard.  My body needs to build strength too and, fascinatingly, that strength will help the other "cardio" be more effective too.

Anyway, enough musings, here are some of the healthy tools in my arsenal just now.

1.  Eat Food.  Not too much.  Mostly Plants - M. Pollan. -- This is a quote from Michael Pollan. He writes a lot about "food" ---which is a defined term to him, and what we're eating now.  I don't agree with all of it, nor have I read all of it, but this mantra seems to be helping me make better choices right now.  (His NYT article on the subject is here--- the tips at the end are good). 

2.  Ballet Beautiful Body Blasts- For me, these are hard.  I tried them first maybe a year ago, but got frustrated.  I am trying again and accepting that I can't do all of the reps in a row right now, but that if I keep practicing I will be able to eventually.  The "Swan Lake Arms" is tough.  No weights or anything complicated, just your own body and repeated movements of lifting and lowering as in the ballet.  My arms/back were sore the next day and I had a much better appreciation of the ballet itself.  I also have tried the other blasts and have similar thoughts. (Note.  This is available for free streaming via amazon if you have amazon prime.)  

3.  Yoga Meltdown - This is not "quite" a normal yoga practice.  It is a Jillian Michaels take on Yoga and there for much less...calm? I'm not a huge Jillian Michaels fan, but do like this series even though it is a bit nontraditional.  (Also free to stream via amazon prime.)

4. Spark People -- Sort of like weightwatchers tracking software, but delightfully free (there are lots of ads). You can make it a game and earn points for a variety of things as well as keep a food journal online or on your phone. There are a variety of plans and options for goal setting that should fit a variety of approaches to healthy living. 

5.  Healthy "treats" -- the reality is I'm not really giving up carbs or the occasional "treat." I am looking for ways to make things I love more healthy.  These One-Bowl Whole Grain Pear Breakfast Donuts are an example.  They are full of whole grains, no oils, fruit, and goodness, but also a treat my kids love.  Another example is cauliflower.  Here is my recent "spin" on an old favorite.  

I normally make cauliflower like this (via Orangette) and love it. However, I wanted something a bit more snacky and with more pizzazz.  I discovered there are A LOT of cauliflower recipes on my pinterest vegetables board.   I didn't actually use one directly, but this is like the popcorn cauliflower mentioned in a few of them.

Cauliflower "popped"


  • 1 head of cauliflower -- break into very small florets -- like the size of popcorn chicken
  • Savory Spice's Panhandle Chicken Fried Steak Seasoning (to taste - I used a heaping 1/4tsp with a small head of cauliflower)
  • 1 T. Panko (or other) bread crumbs
  • 1 T. Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss olive oil and cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet. Then mix with bread crumbs, salt and Panhandle Chicken Fried Steak seasoning.  Bake for 15 minutes -- stirring occasionally.

I topped my resulting cauliflower with 1 T. of Cashews and 1 T of dried cranberries and had a truly wonderful lunch. I hope you enjoy it too!

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