At the beginning of the month I let you in on my re-commitment to better eating this year.
I’ve also picked up on my short but daily workout again. This wasn’t a resolution, but it’s something I just need for physical and mental well-being. As a new work-from-home mom I just don’t get as much physical activity as I used to.
A few months after Olivia was born I came across the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge and started the 2.0 series on Youtube. Then, December came and with it birthdays, anniversaries, family visits and the holidays, of course. Needless to say, working out somehow fell off my radar completely.
Now, a few days back I found out that edition 3.0 just started in early January, which gave me enough motivation to start up again. Anyone else (mommy or not) looking for an easy to follow-along workout routine, check out Briana’s blog here.
During my first round with BBM, I ran into a few issues. One of them was finding the right time of day for the workout + shower afterwards. I tried to time it with Olivia’s nap time, but often she wouldn’t even sleep 20 minutes (this is how long the sessions are usually).
So this time around I am doing the workouts first thing in the morning. I never thought I would say this, because I never was a morning person. And I still am not. But Olivia usually wakes up earlier than I would like and wants to play. First thing in the morning she loves to play just by herself. I end up sitting on the couch browsing my phone until I wake up enough to start the day.
Now, this has become my workout time. I don’t even have to think about a time to work out and I am not awake enough to come up with a million reasons, not to do the workout today. Yeah, although I need it, I don’t love exercising.
Another issue I experienced working out last year, was joint pain – especially at night time. Intense enough to keep me from falling asleep. I don’t know why I didn’t think about this earlier, but now I am coupling exercise in the morning with a short yoga session in the afternoon (thank you nap time).
I learned this a few years back while working a physically demanding job, that kept me on my feet all day. During that time I was complaining to my husband first thing upon waking up how my entire body was aching. Once I started doing yoga though, that completely stopped.
My favorite way to do yoga (I am an absolute beginner) is the Yoga Studio App on my iPad. A while ago it was on one of those free app of the week cards you get at Starbucks. There are a ton of pre-made classes and you can even put together your own customized session.
Anyway, my hope is that sharing all this with you, will keep me accountable to keep up this good direction I’ve started on.
With this additional activity in my life, I need good nutrition to fuel my body. Something that is filling, easy to prepare, with lots of leftovers like these nourishing quinoa bowls.
I used red quinoa, mixed with chickpeas and parsley and topped it with roasted delicata squash – which might have become my new favorite squash. I love that it requires no peeling and is roasted in as little as 20 minutes. Enough time to cook the quinoa and prepare the dressing and other toppings.
I used sliced cucumber and avocado to top the bowls with, but other vegetables that you have on hand will work too. For some of the leftovers I added some roasted beet. Yum.
The bowls are finished off with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts and a delicious creamy almond dressing.
When I just prepare this meal, I enjoy it warm. Leftovers however, taste just as great when cold. This also makes a fantastic lunch to pack along.
- 1 medium delicata squash
- 1 cup quinoa seeds (I used red quinoa)
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- ⅓ field cucumber, halved and sliced
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon liquid honey
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon each, salt, black and cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Clean the outside of the delicata squash and cut off ends. Half the squash and scrape out seeds. Cut into ½-inch thick slices, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and salt + pepper.
- Place onto a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes; turning after 10.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Slowly stir in quinoa and turn heat to low. Simmer without a lid until the water has evaporated and quinoa is soft (about 20 minutes).
- Take quinoa off heat. Stir in chickpeas and chopped parsley, cover and set aside to let the chickpeas warm up.
- In a bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.
- Divide quinoa mixture into 4 bowls. Top with roasted squash, avocado and cucumber slices and toasted pine nuts.
- Drizzle with the dressing.
For an Asian version with red rice try this