Discovery Park Outdoor Workout

Every Wednesday and Friday 7am

Bring a mat and 1 set of dumbbells 5-12lbs

Asian Edamame Salad

I love salads but this Asian Edamame Salad is MY ALL TIME FAVORITE!  I seriously can’t describe how delicious it is.  It’s a meal in itself and on top of it being a party in your mouth it’s packed full of nutrition.  The dressing can be used on everything.  It’s great as a marinade!   If you like cauliflower rice try drizzling the dressing over the top.  One more bonus about this salad = You can throw it in a large mason jar and your lunch is ready to go!

Asian Edamame Salad

The dressing: 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons  Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (or low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup water or orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons white distilled vinegar (really any kind of vinegar works- I’ve even used balsamic)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or Monk Fruit (monk fruit is a great sugar free natural alternative)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger or ginger paste (Blending the dressing will break up the raw ginger)
  • 1-2 limes (squeezed)
  • OPTIONAL but recommended: 2 tablespoon peanut butter powder or 1 tablespoon regular peanut butter
  • OPTIONAL but recommended:  2 tablespoons tahini (adds a great creamy texture)

DEPENDING IF YOU ADD THE PEANUT BUTTER AND TAHINI THIS DRESSING = 50-100 CALORIES PER 2 TBSP SERVING

The salad (BASE):
  • 16 ounces frozen shelled edamame ( I boil them in water for about 3 minutes then let cool)
  • 4-5 cups kale (if its tough be sure to massage with a little olive oil and lemon juice)
  • 3-4 cups arugula
  • 3-4 large carrots (sliced thinly)
  • 1-2 cups bell peppers thinly sliced (I prefer mini bell peppers)
  • 1 avocado chopped into small squares
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • 1 bunch green onions (chopped) 
  • 1/2-3/4 cup nuts- almonds, peanuts, or cashews (nuts are of coarse optional- pumpkin seeds are also another great option).  

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Blend all the dressing ingredients until smooth. Taste- if necessary add more lime or honey/monk fruit. If it’s too strong I just add a little more water or lime juice.  I store it in a mason jar to keep it sealed,  fresh, and easy to shake before adding to the salad.   
  2. Cook the edamame by boiling it for 3-5 minutes in water. Drain and let cool. Meanwhile, chop the kale, carrots, peppers, cilantro leaves, and green onions into strips or shreds.  I don’t chop the arugula unless it’s leafs are large.  
  3. Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse a few times to get a minced but still chunky texture. Transfer to a bowl and repeat the same process for the cooked edamame. Toss the kale, arugula, carrots, peppers, cilantro, green onions, edamame, and nuts together until well combined. You will  not use all the dressing at once.  I prefer to serve the salad with dressing on the side so it keeps longer and you can control  and drizzle to your liking.  You can enjoy the leftover dressing at your next meal!  

Enjoy!

 *You can play around with this salad based on what veggies you have in the fridge- There are so many ways to prepare it.  I’ve found the dressing and the edamame beans are what make it so special.  It’s also delicious with chopped chicken or Tofu squares and its hearty enough that it’s a full meal. 
ENJOY!

2 thoughts on “Asian Edamame Salad

  1. JEAN HAEDRICH

    This salad is the best!!! My family loved it and we ate it two nights in a row. The flavors are spot on and delicious. I didn’t include the water/orange juice. Storing the greens separate from the dressing makes it a great make-ahead. I served it with salmon one night and grilled shrimp the next. Thank you!

  2. Sierra Lavelle (Mindful Carrot)

    I’m glad you tried it! I have had so much fun playing around with it. Its a great way to put all the veggies that are almost past their prime to use before they spoil. The foundation of edamame beans and the dressing with any and all vegetables is awesome! I’ve also added roasted beets to it and that was amazing! Thanks for taking the time to comment Jean!

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Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Natural Egg Dye

Natural egg dye is a creative, educational, and fun project. Chances are you have some of the ingredients in your pantry already.  Below are just a few ideas – let your kids (or adults) get creative and experiment with plants, veggies, fruits, spices, etc.. With Earth Day right around the corner the timing couldn’t be better!

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric (for yellow/gold)
  • 2 cups blueberries, crushed (for blue/purple)
  •  2 cups raw beets, chopped (for pink/red)
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar per color
  • Hard boiled eggs

Method: 

Place your choice of ingredient (beets, blueberries or turmeric) into a pot with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Strain to remove any solids, then stir in vinegar. Let cool until room temperature.

To color eggs, place eggs in dye, turning often to coat evenly, until desired color is reached.   You can also draw with crayons or wrap with string prior to placing in dye for a more involved and decorative egg!  The longer the eggs soak the brighter they will be so a little bit of patience is helpful.  🙂

 

Enjoy!

One thought on “Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

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Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cookies That Are Good For You… So Good You Can Eat Them For Breakfast Or Post Workout!

These high protein cookies are the perfect answer to your sweet tooth, a great quick and easy post workout snack, and kid approved!  You can also use almond butter in place of peanut butter.   I made these cookies last Friday (no school day) and they were gone by bedtime.
 

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Sugar Free High Protein Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

1 egg

1/2- 2/3 cup Monk Fruit (depends how sweet you like them- I prefer a little less sweet so 1/2 Cup was perfect for my tastebuds)

1 Scoop vanilla protein powder

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix the monk fruit and protein powder. I use a wooden spoon but you can use an electric mixer as well.

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    Mix Monkfruit and Protein Powder first
  3. Add peanut butter and egg – mix well until combined.

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    Mix well with wooden spoon or electric mixer
  4. Roll cookie dough into 1-2 inch balls and set on an ungreased baking sheet.  Using a fork press down to flatten.  If the ends crack you can use your fingers to press back together slightly. 

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    Roll into balls before flattening them with a fork
  5. Bake for 6-10 minutes, depending on how small or large you make them.
  6. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

ENJOY!

 

 

 

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Jigsaw Puzzles… A Mindful Approach To Limit Screen Time, Improve Brain Health, And Bond With Family.

We just got back from an amazing week in Bend, Oregon and I was inspired to write a post about jigsaw puzzles.

A way to put our phones down, bond with family and friends, and rest our mind.  I’m not good at sitting still (ask my Mom) yet I love the idea of meditation.  Scientific studies prove that spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace.  However, there are some of us that just can’t seem to do it… So what can we do?   Maybe a Jigsaw puzzle!

My daughter, Zoe received a puzzle for her birthday this year!  It was a big one…. 1008 pieces!  We decided to give it a go.  It began with Zoe and I staring at the 1008 pieces…  Where to start?   We finished it 3 days later.  My entire family (including my Mom and her Partner) took part in it.  We laughed, talked, and had moments of silence during the many hours we spent completing it.  Our days were full of outdoor activities and instead of unwinding on the couch, scrolling social media,  or watching TV-  I was drawn to the puzzle!  It was awesome and I can’t wait to do another one.

This article from Dr. Newtons is worth reading.   Turns out, jigsaw puzzles are good for our brain and can help get us off our phones, away from the TV, and all the other screen related activities that seem to consume our time.

With Mothers day coming up a jigsaw puzzle might be the perfect gift for the Mom in your life!

PS…  I recommend completing the edge pieces first. 🙂

Sierra

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Jigsaw puzzles! A perfect way to hang with the family.

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Shamrock Smoothie

PREP TIME 5 minutes  

Serves 2 / 16oz (250 calories per serving)

 or

Serves 4 / 8oz ( 125 calories per serving)

The list of ingredients below (without additions) make approximately 32oz total.

You could of course take a trip to McDonalds and order up a Shamrock Shake –  If you order a large you’ll be consuming 800 calories and a whopping 113 grams of sugar! Remember it is recommended by the American Heart Association that the average adult consume 25-36 grams of sugar per day.  EEEK- try this smoothie instead 🙂

Optional additions (below) will increase the total calories a bit but the dollop of whip cream and a splash of sweetness will be worth it.   My Shamrock Smoothie  could help increase your family’s love for blended greens!

Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year!  Without the rush to get the kids to school and ourselves to work we can celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with a little more thought and prep.

Besides the green toilet water (we have a leprechaun that pees in our toilet EVERY YEAR) I’m planning to make most of our morning snacks green!   I don’t know about you, but my girls tend to turn their nose toward my green smoothies.   I have a solution to help us teach our kids that green is GOOD!

MINT…

 I love this smoothie with or without mint but I’m sure that most kids would jump at the chance for a cool green mint chocolate chip smoothie!  They won’t even know that it is packed with spinach, avocado, and high in protein.  You have to try it!

I can easily drink 16 oz of this as a meal replacement but if your making it to compliment your breakfast an 8oz serving is perfect.

I recommend adding fresh whip cream to the top, a mint leaf, and cocoa nibs (adults) or mini chocolate chips (kids).   The perfect sweetness depends on your tastebuds so adding some honey, monk fruit, 2-3 dates, or a ripe banana can help create the perfect balance.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups ice (depends on how thick you want it)
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach
  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves (MORE IF YOU LIKE IT EXTRA MINTY)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (any kind or non-dairy alternative)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Optional additions

  • additional sweetener of choice (maple syrup, honey, sugar, stevia, monk fruit)
  • whipped cream for topping
  • cacao nibs/mini chocolate chips for topping
  • 1 banana
  • 2-3 Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies (this one will win you extra points w/ your kids)

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender ( I love my Blendtec) in the order listed, including any optional additions.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Pour into glass and top with whipped cream, mint, and/or cacao nibs/chocolate chips if desired.

Enjoy!

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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Valentines… Keeping It Mindful And Meaningful– Post-it!

Okay, so I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. But I do like the idea of taking a little time to show my loved ones what they mean to me.  With $18 billion spent every February on flowers, chocolates, gifts, and restaurants in the United States I feel motivated to do something different- that does not require a trip to the mall or induce a sugar coma!

So how can we really celebrate love while avoiding the trend of spending money, consuming sugar, and doing what we think we “should” do to show our love?

I have an idea… You will just need to spend a little time preparing.  Driving to the store and trying to find something to buy will take you more time then sitting down and dedicating a few minutes to your loved ones.    

All you need:  Piece of paper (one for each person your expressing your love to), sharpie/pen,  and a pile of post-it notes.   Your 20 minutes away from expressing your love without using your credit card.

***If you don’t have post-it notes on hand make your own…. You can cut heart shapes out of paper and use tape to stick them. 

  1.  Brainstorm on paper:   Write down all the things you love about the person.  If its a spouse make it personal, fun, and a little sexy!  If for a kid make it silly, sweet, and exciting.  You can include some coupons like:   Free kisses, Breakfast in Bed, massage, game of basketball, family game night, etc.
  2. Once you’ve filled up your paper with ideas all you have to do is write them down on post-it notes!  Place finished Post-it notes on the brainstorming paper to keep them in place.
  3. Spread the love the morning of Valentines:  Spread the notes everywhere the loved one might be throughout the day!  I did this years ago for my husband (boyfriend at the time).   I covered the inside of his car with post-it notes, hid some in the fridge, in his work bag, on his water bottle, bottom of his coffee mug, in his coat pocket, etc..  Ideas for your kids:  hide them in their dresser drawers, lunch box, on the bathroom mirror, in their shoes, coat pockets, school folders, etc.. This is such an easy but fun way to express your love!

That’s it- so simple but so meaningful.

Happy Valentines Day,

Sierra

 

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Oops… My Water Bottle Needs A Good Cleaning… How Often And Why?

My water bottle goes almost everywhere I go.  I’ve had the same Hydro Flask for several years now.  The days I’ve forgotten it or misplaced it are rough-   I imagine I feel much like a child feels about his/her special blanket.  I need it with me always 🙂  I also need to clean it more often– OOPS!

HOW OFTEN SHOULD WATER BOTTLES BE CLEANED?

Drinking water throughout the day is important for good health.  Keeping a reusable container at your side is a great way to increase your water intake while also protecting the environment.   But…. When was the last time you cleaned it?  Like most of us we might wait days, weeks, or even months to clean it out. Turns out….. We should be washing out our water bottles every single day!  This was news to me and will take some time to master.  Can I blame the nasty cold that has been in our household on our 5 dirty Hydro Flasks?  Probably not but maybe?   Now, I’m sure that waiting a couple days between washing will be ok but I will definitely change my routine.

It is not the water that your filling your bottle with- it is the fact that your putting it to your mouth.  Germs develop in moist environments and can multiply quickly.  Not washing your water bottle gives germs a chance to grow regardless if your using plastic, glass, metal, or ceramic.  Cleaning your water bottle doesn’t mean just rinsing it out with water.  Soap with hot water and a good scrub should do the job!  Click here to check out a cool scrub brush set I found on Amazon.  You can clean the straws and lid with it too.

ESPECIALLY THIS TIME OF YEAR!

Studies found that 60% of the germs found on water bottles are the kind that can make you sick!  In addition the average water bottle has about 313,499 CFU (or colony-forming units of bacteria) compared to 2,937 CFU on a pet’s chew toy, according to a recent TreadmillReviews.ca study.

Whew!  I’m going to go clean all the water bottles in our house.

Cheers,

Sierra

 

2 thoughts on “Oops… My Water Bottle Needs A Good Cleaning… How Often And Why?

  1. Diane

    Great information. In the midst of flu and apparently measles season this is so timely. If you can get the bottle washed daily try having a second lid/straw. The you just have to change out the cap.

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High Protein Spread

This is one of those recipes that if you make ahead of time you will be super stoked for the next couple days.  Its so good!  With Super Bowl Sunday approaching this could be a great addition to your snack platter!

Ingredients

1 cup shredded chicken or black beans

1/2  large avocado (or 1 whole small)

1 rounded TBSP plain yogurt

1 TBSP Fresh cilantro, parsley, or basil (chopped)

Sriracha – to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Throw it in a bowl….. Smash it with a fork- Just like making guacamole.    Thats it!   It makes the BEST Sandwich, is awesome on celery for a protein rich snack, as a dip for veggies or chips, wrapped in a tortilla with fresh spinach, or just by the spoonful!

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Enjoy!

Sierra

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Storing Fresh Herbs

How to Store Fresh Herbs So They Last Longer

Fresh herbs are like the icing on the cake-  They can add a perfect finish to your plate. Fresh herb of any kind can totally complete a meal.  Throwing my herbs into the fridge after coming home from the supermarket doesn’t work for me!  My basil leaves get brown (which I now know is because they get too cold in the fridge) and my cilantro tends to wilt or get slimy.  The trick to having them fresh and on hand, aside from growing your own, is this simple trick!  All you need is a mason jar, water, and of course the herbs.

  • Do not wash them- They should be dry.  It’s best to wash them as you use them.
  • Cut off an inch or so from the bottom of the stems.
  • Fill a glass jar 1/2 full with water and place the herbs stem end down into the jar.
  • Basil and Parsley like room temperature and can be stored on the countertop.  Cilantro does better in the refrigerator and covering loosely with a plastic bag will help keep them happy for longer.
  • Be sure to change the water every few days.
  • Thats it!!  Your fresh herbs can last up to 2 weeks or longer when stored this way.

I LOVE cilantro and basil!  I use fresh herbs daily- I put them in my salad, soup, sandwiches, entrees, etc..  This trick has made it easier for me to keep them fresh and on hand.   I love that I can quickly clip a few ends off, rinse, and enjoy.

 

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Cut stems about 1-2 inches from bottom
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Fill Jar 1/2 way with water, place herbs stem side down. If storing Cilantro cover loosely in a plastic bag or saran wrap.

 

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Storing fresh herbs in a mason jar will help keep herbs fresh- Less waste 🙂

Bon Appetite!

Sierra

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