WritersButt Wednesday — Make Healthy your Normal

Ah, it’s WritersButt Wednesday again. Last week, you all really loved getting some recipes so I’m going to give you some more. But before that, did anyone try the Kale chips? Some of you mentioned that you were going to try the Marvelous Meatballs, if you did, how did they turn out?

While we’re on the subject of food, did you know that experimenting with food and trying new recipes can boost your creativity? It’s true. Not only do we need to feed our bodies clean, whole foods, but also having some fun with them in the kitchen can give our creative side another playground in which to play — off of the written page.

To me, there is nothing more blah than an uninspired meal. That is not to say we don’t have them in our home. We do. Because we are a busy family of five, I don’t cook every night and I have to cut corners here and there, but I try to plan ways so that we always have fresh food and our meals don’t become routine.

I’ve become known for my soups and salads. I love thinking of new ways to pair different ingredients or throw in something unexpected. Take this recent salad I made.

I used both red and green butter lettuce so the colors would be pretty. I had ½ a seedless cucumber, so I threw that it.  I tossed in ½ a pint of blueberries. Here’s the something ‘different’.  I had about ½ a bag of fresh green beans leftover from a veggie tray (AKA: The Platter of Awesomeness) that I recently brought to a party.  I cut them in half and sautéed them in olive oil and dried minced garlic.  I did this quick on fairly high heat so that the beans would stay crunchy but they’d get sizzled in that garlic. (OMG-Good!).  I tossed my sizzled garlic beans onto my salad, splashed on some vinegar, drizzled more extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled some kosher salt, some cracked black pepper and some more garlic crunchies. It was seriously delicious!

Want to impress at your next potluck? Walk in with The Platter of Awesomeness! Putting it together is literally playing and creating a piece of art with your food. Nestle an olive here, poke in a snap-pea here, … have fun!

Don’t be afraid to let your creative side have room to play with your cooking. The more we let those creative wings spread out and reach to other areas of our life, the stronger that creative muscle becomes.  And you know I’m all about strong muscles!

I get a lot of people who ask me for advice on how to make healthy eating convenient. It can be done, but I won’t lie, it often comes with a little preparation and planning on the front end. I would also like to suggest that traditional convenient foods, like fast food, microwave meals and prepackaged snacks come with some very inconvenient side effects. Heartburn, IBS, gas, high blood pressure, extra weight, achy joints … shall I go on?

So, you owe it to yourself and your body to love on it a little and spend some time planning some quick go-to meals and snacks.  That’s one of the reasons I love soups.  I can make a huge pot of soup, packed with protein and veggies. It’ll feed my family for at least 2 nights, which gives me a night off from cooking. I plan this strategically to coincide with a night I’ll be running around town getting my kids to and from their activities or when I have to be coaching at the gym. Also, soup is a great go-to lunch during the day. It can also be brought to work and heated up and everyone will be jonesin’ for your homemade (with fresh ingredients!) savory Italian meatball and veggie soup while they stare down a microwaved pool of who-knows-what.

Here’s another great recipe that you can change up countless ways to suit your needs and taste buds.  Egg Muffins!

Eggs are a perfect protein and the yolk is packed with healthy fat, so don’t skip it!  So, crack about a dozen eggs into a big bowl. (I like to use one with a pour spout, like a large measuring bowl) Throw is whatever sounds good. Suggestions: onions, chopped fresh spinach, mushrooms, cut up meats, tomatoes, cheese (if you’re doing dairy), broccoli, — seriously, anything that you think would taste good in an omelet or egg-scramble. Add in your seasoning and then pour out into a 12-cup muffin pan. (I spray mine with olive oil spray first!)  Note: I usually sauté my onion and mushrooms in a pan first to brown them up because that’s how I like them.  It’s all about getting what you want.  😉

Into a 350 degree oven they go for about 20-25 minutes.  When your knife comes out clean, they should be done.  They can be enjoyed immediately with salsa and avocado, maybe some cilantro, or just plain because they are already packed with goodness.  And, they freeze well.  What we did was put the extras into a zip-bag and snacked on them for days.  They are great heated up or cold.  Bam!

Workouts:

How were those 1-legged wall squats on your potty breaks? I bet they were a party of fun, weren’t they?  Did anyone take a fast walk/jog stopping every minute for 10 squats?  If so, how did it go?  Give me some feedback?

This Week’s Workout Challenge:

PottyTime—Every time you go to the bathroom, give me 10 squats and 5 push-ups.  EVERY time!

BONUS workout – For those who are interested, I mentioned last week that I’d offer a bonus workout for this week using some weight (dumbbells).  At least once, but I’d prefer 3 times during the next week, I want you to complete the following workout. Time yourself and see if you can get faster each time.

4 Rounds of:

–10 steps walking weighted lunge holding a dumbbell in each hand, hanging down by your side. Remember, keep front knee behind the opposite toe! Keep your chest up to keep core activated

–10 dumbbell thrusters (see video below)

I think that’s it for this week. I hope you are all feeling great. Maybe you’re a bit stronger and energized. I know you’re hydrated and peeing like crazy. I hope your heart is full of gratitude and your creativity is buzzing.  If any of you have had a positive result from any of the WritersButt challenges that you feel comfortable sharing with me, I’d love to hear it.  Email me at ginger at CrossFitGeorgetown dot com.  I can share your story on a future WritersButt post if you’d like, but at the very least, I’ll cheer you on and celebrate your success. It’s my favorite thing to do!

Have a fantastic week.

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About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on February 15, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Had to share, Ginger. Already feeling better. This morning I ate an apple to start the day. Later I let my hunger get a little too intense and I almost – ALMOST – went in search of something sweet (the boys had cookies here in the office). But, I visualized what it was that I wanted – flat and toned abs. I reached for two hard-boiled eggs and a little bit of tuna that was left over from last night and had that instead. So much more satisfying than a cookie! Now drinking water and heading to the gym later. Thanks for your help, Ginger! Summer, here I come!

    • Love this, Diana! I’m so happy to help. I’m right here with you … seeing all this fun Valentines Candy the kids got and I just had leftover soup (chicken/veggie) and some almond butter and celery. Speaking of almond butter, have you tried it? It’s awesome, as well as sunbutter (sunflower seed) and both really good sources of healthy fat. You can spread some on your apple. 😉 Also, the nut/seed butters often satisfy a sweet tooth craving.

      Summer is going to fly in here fast. ACK! Have a great day!!

  2. Fab post Ginger. I can’t wait to try those egg muffins – YUM!
    I gotta say, I didn’t get much in last week but…I did keep up on my water, food diary, gratitude note, and avoided restaurants!! So…a definite win! Will work harder this week to stop it up! Woot woot!
    Love WritersButt!!

    • You’re always so fun, Natalie! Thank you for your enthusiasm. Sounds like you’re doing great especially in avoiding restaurants. Hey, maybe you and hubs can do some WritersButt workouts together and then work in some couple bedazzling for your cool-down and recovery, or would that be heat-up? *wink wink*

  3. Well, Ginger, I’ve got to say, I think my bladder is twice the size it should be because I’ve been “holding it” so I wouldn’t have to use the bathroom so much during the day, and thus avoid doing all of that extra bathroom stuff. I can “hold it” for a really long time now. Once, again I’m kidding! That’s all really good stuff to do and I do it some of the time. Hey, I’m honest.

    I haven’t tried the kale chips but I’m still going to give that a try. Salads and soups are a mainstay at my house. I love my crockpot! I’m definitely going to try the egg suggestion. Never thoght to use a muffin pan for eggs, but that one sounds like a really good one.

    I’m going to skip the dumbell routine since I’ve been using weight machines at the gym, but that workout looks rewarding.

    Thanks again for more good information to stay healthy and creative!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Aren’t salads and soups the best!! Endless variety. I know you hit the gym and I love it! Try mixing in some free weight stuff with the weight machines. It’ll break up the routine and hit different spots.

      Have a great week.

      • Oh, Ginger – not the free weights. I’m scared of the free weights. That’s where the really buffed sweaty guys hang out. It’s too intimidating over there. They scare me. There’s like Army dudes and police guys that work out over there and not the cute ones you read about in the romance novels either. These guys can crush you with their pinky toes.

        Maybe I’ll venture a little closer tomorrow when I go. Stay tuned! If you don’t hear back from me ever again, you might want to send someone looking for a splat on the gym floor.

        Patricia

  4. You go girl! I have been working it every morning now. It means getting up at 5:30. Yuck. I am late on my mid-morning snack, but eating my apple now. You are awesome, getting everyone to take care of their bodies like this. Now if you could only come kick a few people close to me in gear. 😉 LOL

  5. Ginger, this is awesome. Weds is my regular day off, and I usually spend it in the chair writing. Love the potty-break tips, and will be doing 10 squats and 5 pushups next time I get up to ‘go.’ 😉 Thank you!

    • Fantastic Serena. Wednesday is my day off from the gym and I’m also usually found at my desk for most of the day. I bet you’ll love the little burst of movement throughout your day. You’re welcome and thank you right back.

  6. Don’t yell. I haven’t yet made the turkey meatballs but plan to do so THIS WEEKEND.

    On the upside, I’m doing walking lunges in the privacy of my home. The cats are spellbound.

    This a.m., I took an umbrella with me and walked in the park. “Ginger would be proud,” I told myself.

    Thanks for these posts. I don’t follow your advice a hundred percent but am doing a hundred times better than I would be without them.

  7. Pat, I read “Don’t yell” and laughed before I even read another word. Do I look like someone who yells? I mean, look how friendly I look. haha (If my kids every read this, I’m sure they’ll tell you a thing or two about my yelling.) No rush on the meatballs. You’ll need to share what other recipes you’re cooking up.

    “The cats are spellbound.” … Priceless! Might need video of this.

    Ah, and you thought of me during your walk? That makes me so happy and I love that rain didn’t stop you. You know even I don’t follow my own advice 100% of the time. I certainly don’t expect anyone else to. 🙂

  8. Ginger, I’m way behind on the posts but just knowing your here, dishing out health and eating advice, is always in the back of my thoughts. So as I shouted in my tweet, I got on the treadmill today. In fact, it’s the third time this week I’ve been on it. Taking some good reading material helps enormously, of course, and the time just gets away on me. 🙂 Not overdoing it, but working my way up slowly.

    Now, to catch up on the rest … oh, I already eat an apple every day, so I’m good on that one. LOL!

    • I love being in the back of your thoughts and encouraging you from afar. You are doing great … just keep on going! You’ll ramp up slowly, which is perfect, and you’ll feel better and better. I always tell people, it’s not about weight or size, it’s about health. The other two are fortunate by-products of be healthy and fit. 🙂

  9. not doing anything with the exercise and I should be. but the recipes I’m going to try. they look yummy.

  10. Oh my god, you’re a genius! Those egg muffins sound delicious! I wish I could make them now, but I can’t wait that long to eat. I will try them soon, though. I’m drooling just thinking about them.

  11. We’ll be trying the garlic green beans tonight. Sounds delicious. And probably the egg muffins tomorrow. The thing I like about discovering new creations with your recipes is that my choices increase rather than decrease as I try to make healthier choices with my family’s food.

    Can’t help giggling as I do the wall pushups this week, thinking of Barb flying out of the stall as the door swung open on her. : )

    • Let me know how they turn out, Linda. And you’re right, eating healthy is not about limiting choices. Quite the opposite!

      Barb’s flying push-ups definitely needed a hidden camera!

  12. Hi Ginger,

    Is Pat a hoot or what? She cracks me up.

    Love the recipe for the egg muffins. Gonna try those. Yum. And we like eating eggs for dinner at our house.

    To be truthful, I have not been exercising. I like to walk, but my walking partner, aka my husband hasn’t been able to since his surgery. I guess I’m a social walker. Ii don’t like to walk alone.

    I need you to come and kick me in the butt Ginger! You have my permission. lol

    But I am trying to keep tabs on what going on over here. I just read your Beautiful woman post. I won’t tell you what I said. I’ll let you read it. See you soon! 🙂

    • Yes she is! 🙂 Social Walker– I love it. Maybe you need an audio book to listen to so you don’t feel quite so alone. I love music to inspire me.

      I saw your comment, you beautiful woman .. I’ll reply over there. Thank you! ~hug~

  13. I have to take creativity with food to a . . . different level in my home. My husband was raised in a very unhealthy family where almost everything was fried or smothered in cheese and fruits and vegetables were in short supply. Because of the way he was raised, he thought anything healthy tasted bad. He’d never even tried things like banana bread. But I love experimenting with food. I’ve since been sneaking new things into his meals and only telling him what he’s eaten once he already likes it 🙂 I’ll be an expert by the time we have kids.

    • Oh, that’s a tough one, Marcy. It really is. I hear this a lot actually. Since I truly love veggies and the taste of real, fresh, food, it’s hard for me to imagine not liking it but I know it’s what you’re used to and like you mention, what you were raised eating. You are so right and smart to work on this now so you don’t pass along the same eating habits to your future children. One of the top things parents seek advice about is how to feed a picky eater!

      If you need any tips or advice about this, let me know. I think that olive oil, garlic, and savory spices will be your friend in terms of veggies, etc. Good luck!!

  14. Okay I’m going to give it a shot- 10 squats and 5 push-ups- can they be girly push-up?

    • Yay! You can do. And, yes, you can do the push-ups on your knees. And for anyone else reading this reply, if that’s too hard, you can do the push-ups against the tub, the sink/counter, even the wall! It’s all about doing what you can and then gradually making it harder. As soon as you can knock out 5 push-ups easily in whatever form you’re doing them, make it harder. Always push yourself to the next level.

      Let me know how you feel next week! 🙂

  15. Shannon Esposito

    While I’m avoiding going potty..ahem, I just stopped in to say happy friday & check in. I’ve been hanging in there this week, also eating healthy. My friends are starting to call me the soup natzi though. I think I need to mix it up with some salads. 🙂 Have a great day!

    • Hi Shannon! Now, you shouldn’t ‘hold it’. Suck it up, Buttercup and get to the potty and then get your squats and push ups done. hee hee!!

      Soup Nazi … my family thinks I am too. They are so easy and comforting though, I can’t help it!

      Thanks for checking in. I love hearing from you. Have an awesome weekend!

  16. I adore soups and salads, too, Ginger. Thanks for the fab tips and recipes!

    One beautiful thing about eating healthy foods is that it naturally becomes our normal way if we seek out fun, fabulous ways to consume them and keep our goals positive and realistic. You’re great proof of this!

    Dishes without colorful produce look and taste naked and blah to me…quite different from my kid days when my favorite food groups were white bread and chocolate. 😉 Love your enthusiasm!

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