Weekly Food Challenge (3/8 – 3/14) – Prunes!

Click here to learn more about the weekly food challenge and how you can play along. But, basically, you just make something during the challenge week with the weekly challenge food item and add your link to this post (leave a comment with your URL and I'll add it). See, simple!

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This Week's Challenge Item (3/8 – 3/14) – Prunes:

According to Parker-Pope, from her article "The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating", "Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants. How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked."

According to Jonny Bowden in The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, "Prunes are high in fiber." "Prunes are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and iron." "Prunes boast more antioxidants than any other fruit" – more than twice that of blueberries! Not too shabby, eh?

I'm not really sure what to do with these except eat them plain. Any ideas? I'm wondering if they'll taste good in granola bars or granola…I may try something out later this week. I did find some interesting-looking recipes, which are below.

Recipe Ideas:

How to Play:
Everyone is welcome to play, but unfortunately, there's no prize this week. :( I hope you'll still play along for fun, though!

  • Cook/prepare something during the challenge week (3/8-3/14) with prunes
  • Do a blog post about what you made
  • Add the Challenge banner (the muffin photo – available here – click) to your blog post, optional
  • Leave me a comment on this post to let me know you did your post so I can add your link to the list

The Players:

TBD – Leave me a comment on this post with a link to your prune-post and I'll add your link here.

Special thanks to everyone who played last week! :)

Happy cooking!

SCBR Week 6/ Day 1 Food/Exercise Journal

10:00 am – Coffee + WW English Muffin + TJ’s PB – First Signs of Feeling Full (6)

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I had to run to TJ’s this AM to pick up stuff for our picnic, so breakfast was thrown together rather quickly. I had some coffee – 1/2 Breakfast Blend + 1/2 Caramel Macchiato with sugar and milk.

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For eats, I had a Thomas WW english muffin toasted with TJ’s Valencia Flaxseed PB with an organic valencia orange (hubby had 2 pieces). Great start to the day!

1:45 pm – Picnic Lunch – First Signs of Feeling Full (6)

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I had a picnic lunch with hubby in a local park – see here for details (click). I had a chicken salad wrap with havarti and green leaf lettuce.

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I snacked on some veggies.

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I also had some of my homemade taboulleh – my first attempt at making the dish and it came out great!

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We had TJ’s chocolate chip cookies for dessert – I had 2. It was hard to resist eating more, though! They were delish!

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The park was lovely and the weather, even nicer!

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Hubby and I also took a nice long walk and I had a BIG glass of water when I got home…make that 1 1/2 of these.

5:35 pm – Walk #2 with Minimal Jogging – Tired!

I decided to take another walk and try out some jogging since the jogging went so well last night and I felt so energized. It was not the same today. I felt heavy and tired…maybe it was the weather? Maybe I didn’t feed my body the right fuel today? I dunno, but I still got a good workout in with about 45 minutes of fresh air and a wee bit of jogging. Bails got a 2nd walk today, too!

I didn’t do any strength training afterwards, but I did remember to stretch.

8:15 pm – Simple Dinner – First Signs of Feeling Full (6)

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Since I spent about $20 at the store earlier, I didn’t want to get anything else for dinner, so I just used stuff we already had on hand. That’s what I get for not shopping with a list! Shoulda planned for dinner this AM, too! lol

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I made a rice pilaf like this one I made before except with just water (since we are totally out of stock! grr…) and sans turmeric.

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I cooked up some frozen TJ’s shrimp – just sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with Steak Seasoning. I really wanted to add a splash of lemon juice, but we didn’t have any lemons either! The shrimp were delish! I still can’t believe they were frozen – they tasted really good!

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Oh, and see the fluorescent green veggie? That’s broccoflower! I saw it today at TJ’s and couldn’t resist trying. I know, I know, I probably shoulda gotten that lemon, but again…I didn’t have a list and I am so easily distracted by delicious food – especially the unique stuff! :)

9:00 pm – TJ’s Chocolate Chip Cookies + Milk – First Signs of Feeling Full (6)

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I was so enamored with those darn TJ’s chocolate chip cookies that I had to have more today! I’m usually pretty good about resisting sweets, but when I get in a sweet-tooth mood, watch out! lol

I had my cookies with 1/2 cup of 2% milk.

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Oh, and I’ll be honest…that second walk was partially so I could eat more cookies today…hehe. I am also still testing out my new kicks, entertaining Bailey, and was sooo happy to take advantage of the beautiful weather, but the cookies were the heart of my 2nd outing.

Summary

Calories Eaten: 1557
Calories Burned: 246
Net Calories: 1311

Guess I could have had another cookie and stayed under my goal of 1437. Oh well, I’ll probably enjoy at least 1 more tomorrow. Heehee.

Oh, and you’ll never guess…I have yet another announcement in the works. You guys must think I’m crazy, but I’ve got a lot going on right now and things seem to keep popping up left and right! I don’t want to jinx anything yet, so I may have to wait a day or so to let the cat out of the bag. I should be able to start releasing info tomorrow, so check back! I’m going to have to start talking soon before I get too many things queued up!

Ta-ta!

Picnic in the Park

I seem to come up with my best ideas at night, usually right before I go to bed. I decided before falling asleep to hit up Trader Joe’s to get goodies to take hubby on an impromptu/surprise picnic.

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Before I got home, I took my car for a much-needed car wash. I still had a ton of salt on my car from the snow we got last weekend, and it needed to come off asap. My car looked so much better afterwards, so I was really happy I was able to squeeze that in.

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I used up more of the leftover cooked chicken from Thursday night’s roast chicken breast dinner to make chicken salad for moi and a chicken wrap for hubby. I measured out the amount of chicken I thought I could eat in a wrap and added celery, red onion, mayo, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. I didn’t measure anything, I just eyeballed the whole thing. The chicken salad came out quite good!

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Some celery I picked up at TJ’s this AM for my chicken salad and for hubby to munch on.

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My wrap pre-wrapping. I put havarti cheese, chicken salad, and some organic green leaf lettuce on mine.

I also made some taboulleh so we’d have a nice, refreshing + healthy side (instead of chips).

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The park was super busy but so beautiful, we didn’t care.

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The weather was in the upper 70′s F and the sky was super blue. The wind kept things cooler, but we still found a nice semi-shady spot.

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The park was pretty full with people laid out all around on towels and blankets, but we still managed to find a nice spot to set-up camp.

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We got to use a duvet I actually made by hand a couple years ago. It looks like a quilt and it is except I left the middle un-filled and one side is closed up with buttons so you can stick a comforter inside. We’ve never used it as a duvet, but it has helped us out on numerous outdoor activities. :)

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View to our left.

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View straight ahead (hubby playing with Bails).

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View to the right.

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View above.

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I took my shoes off to get comfy.

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My chicken salad + lettuce wrap.

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A closer look.

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Some raw veggies (baby carrots, celery, a piece of organic green pepper) to snack on with lunch.

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My first-ever attempt at making taboulleh. It came out great! I think we’ll be eating a lot more of this since it seems to be a great way to use up leftover fresh parsley. Not to mention, it’s simply delicious and a pretty healthy snack. My friends at the Mediterranean restaurant told me taboulleh is very cleansing, too.

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Dessert was a chocolate chip cookie – I picked these up at TJ’s this AM and they are sooooo good!

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Make that 2 cookies. Yea, it’s another picture of the first cookie, but I forgot to take a picture of the second one and quickly gobbled it down. Oopsie!

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Anywho, the cookies are amazing! If you see them at TJ’s, give them a go. They’re soft, but not too-soft and firm but not crisp. They rocked! I wanted to eat the whole bag. I read the label on the back and even noticed they’re even made with wheat flour! Nice! I am considering attempting a run later today so I can work some more cookies into my day…heehee.

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We had a nice big container of water to drink. I wanted to get an Orangina at TJ’s but already spent about $20 and didn’t want to spend too much on one trip since we’re a little front-heavy on the spending of our March Food money.

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Hubby ate his food pretty quickly, as usual, so I got to enjoy watching he and Bailey playing fetch while I finished up my lunch.

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I know I had a great time and I think hubby and Bailey had a pretty awesome time, too. It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

SCBR – Week 6 Changes

Phew! After this week, I’ll be half-way done with the Small Changes, Big Results 12-week action plan. For those of you new to TCL, here’s my original post on the program (click). I’m also working on an SCBR page with more details and a brief history of moi and food and diet and weight and all that good stuff. I used to try to hide the things about me I thought were “flawed” but I’ve noticed that opening up allows people to relate to you, and when people can relate to you and your story, you’re more likely to inspire and help.

Anywho, enough blabbing, here’s the changes for Week 6:

  • Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Walk with more intensity
  • Try deep relaxation or meditation

I feel as though I’m falling a wee bit behind in the program since there seems to be so much going on right now: work, blog, email, and other fun plans that I have yet to announce. ;) I’ll do better this week! I’m actually even thinking of extending the program on my own to revisit some changes I didn’t do to a level I consider satisfactory and possibly even add my own changes in.

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