I love spring. Not just because it is the start of my racing and gardening season, but because it is the beginning of a long and delicious grilling season. For as long as I can remember I had a love affair with the grill. Many people will tell you that olive oil or butter make everything delicious, but I would like to respectfully disagree. I say there is nothing better than the smokey flavor of freshly grilled… anything. I mean it. Try grilling some vegetables you don’t like to eat normally and prepare to be amazed! Stove top cooked zucchini is good, but thinly sliced, grilled zucchini is divine! Grilling is to food as hair, make, and Photoshop is to supermodels. Food by itself is good, just like a model without the makeup is attractive. You grill the food and it is a knockout, just like the girls you see on magazine covers.
In addition to being one of the most primal and delicious ways to prepare food, grilling is also incredibly convenient. When compared to cooking on a stove top or baking, grilling requires less cleanup. I’ll take that any day of the week! Understandably, when warmer weather hits, I spend a lot of time at the grill.
Below is one of my favorite, quick and easy salads that uses grilled chicken breast. You don’t even need to heat up the chicken if you don’t want to! I prefer cold proteins on my leafy greens, so this is the ultimate “take-me-to-work” salad.
Grilled Chicken Salad
1/4 cup Fresh Champignon or Baby Bella Mushrooms (sliced)
1/4 cup Red Radish (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup English Cucumber (thinly sliced)
2 cups Baby Spring Mix with Herbs
3.5 oz Grilled Chicken (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 tbsp. Dill (optional)
1 tsp. Olive oil
Drizzle of lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss. If you are not planning on eating this salad right away, keep the dressing separate until ready to eat. This will keep your greens crunch and fresh.
After a long and cold winter our homes are not the only the only places where we need to do some spring cleaning. Winter diets tend to concentrate of fattier, heavy food that are designed to inspire feeling of warmth and satiety. And as we shed our layers of clothing, air out the house, and clean out all of the nooks and crannies from built up clutter and dust, we should do the same with our diets.
Spring season is finally in Georgia! It is hard to believe that just four hours north of where I live there is still snow and ice! To celebrate the warmer weather and to help you refresh your menus, I give you this Bruschetta recipe. It is quick and easy, stores well, and can be a great addition to a post workout / run meal.
2 Roma tomatoes (diced)
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup Red onion
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Olive oil
Salt to taste
Whole wheat bagel crisps
In a small bowl combine the diced cilantro, red onion, lime juice, and olive oil. Set aside to marinade while you dice your tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to your onion mixture, salt and pepper to taste. Serve atop of whole wheat bagel crisps, whole wheat pita chips, or just eat it like a salad.
It’s the middle of January and many of you might be starting to think that the New Year’s resolution you made wasn’t an objective one. Maybe you motivation began to wane and you started to skip workouts, slip off your diet, and began making excuses to justify it while feeling guiltier than ever in the process. Does that sound like something that you are going through? Don’t worry, there is a way to fix it.
Step One: Guilt is Overrated
Stop feeling guilty and beating yourself up over your past failures. What’s in the past is in the past and there is nothing that you can do to change it. What you can do, however, is resolve to be dedicated to your goals and promise yourself to practice disciplined behavior day in and day out from this point on. Minor slip-ups will happen and we have to move past them. Train your will power just like you train your body. Saying “no” to a piece of cake gets easier after you said “no” 500 times before.
Step Two: Re-Evaluate, Set Goals and Benchmarks
Re-evaluate your New Year’s resolution. Why did you make it? Is it realistic? Is it sustainable? Answering these questions will help you set benchmark goals along the way which will help with the process of achieving your greater goal. For example: “I want to lose weight” is too generic of a goal but can be your greater goal. “I want to lose 5 lbs by the end of February because I am running a 5K on February 28th” is a specific goal with a modifier (running a 5K) which can be broken down into two (or even three) separate benchmark goals: 1) benchmark goal being losing 5 lbs by the end of February, 2) run a 5K on February 28th, 3) finish a 5K at a certain time.
Benchmark goals are smaller, more achievable goals that help you celebrate your wins and achievements. Setting these goals keeps you more motivated, more concentrated on the task at hand especially if there is a satisfaction of an achievement and a reward at the end.
Step Three: Food is a Reward for Your Pet
Don’t reward yourself with food. When you achieve your benchmark goals, reward yourself with something other than a trip to the bakery. Agree to treat yourself to a SPA day, a new tech toy, a new outfit, or a night out at the movies. Do something that you enjoy, but do not derail your progress by eating food that isn’t on your plan. After all, you are not a dog, you don’t need treats.
Step Four: Get Involved
It is easier to stick to a resolution when you are part of a community. If you like to run — join a local running group (any specialty running store will be able to give you information about running groups in your area), if you prefer fast paced exercise that tightens and tones – find a crossfit gym, if you don’t like people but still want to get in shape – pay a personal trainer. Even the most seasoned fitness enthusiasts have someone who holds them accountable. One might even say that having an accountability partner accounts to 60% of successfully met goals for most people.
If you are still having trouble sticking to your New Year’s resolution after reading the steps above, consider doing a bit more reevaluating and editing. Remember, your goals can evolve out of the initial resolution and the deeper you dig, the more you might be able to find. If you need help “distilling” benchmarks goals out of your greater goal, feel free to contact me via Facebook, Twitter, or just comment below.