Day 21: We Did It!
We did it! And we finished with a bang, squeezing in 2 tough workouts (well, Emma and I did at least!) and 2 delicious meals!
Savannah (my middle daughter) came over for lunch this afternoon. She was recruited to act as Official Taste-Tester for the batch of chocolate chip cookies Emma was baking for one of her students. You have no idea how much will-power it took for Emma and me to stay away from that cookie dough! I mean, seriously! The cookies are delicious, sure, but that dough – omigosh! As soon as Emma finished scooping up the last bit and placing it on the cookie sheet, that mixing bowl went straight into the sink and was filled with dish soap and water. Breech of Challenge averted!
While Emma was baking, I was on lunch duty. We had prepared Chef V’s Chipotle Bowl several times over the past 3 weeks, so we felt pretty comfortable making a few tweaks for this last go. Instead of the salad greens, I used the kale we had picked up at the farmer’s market yesterday and marinated it in olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and pink salt (see Queen of the Kitchen Episode 4 for how-tos). I also sauteed some chickpeas following Emma’s recipe to add into the dish. The final product was delicious and gave us that extra protein boost we needed after Micah kicked our tushies again in boxing class. It was a gorgeous day, so we ate on the patio, soaking up the sun as well as all the nutrients in our salad. It was such a nice treat having both of my girls there for lunch. 🙂
Tomorrow morning we will do our final measurements and tally our food costs over the past 3 weeks. It will be interesting to see how we did. Regardless of the numbers, though, I think I can speak for all three of us when I say we’ve enjoyed the Challenge and are all feeling really good about what we were able to do in terms of fueling our bodies. Despite coming down with a nasty cold, poor guy, I’m guessing even Matthew would agree that this has been much easier than anticipated and that it’s something we can see ourselves doing long-term (in a slightly modified version). We will have to build in days for eating out and the occasional cocktail (and, let’s be real, DESSERT), but, otherwise, I will definitely stick to the weekly menu planning, my morning protein smoothies, and several of the delicious dishes we’ve been cooking and eating these past 21 days.
If our Challenge has inspired any of you to make healthy changes in your family’s eating habits, I would love to hear from you! Please share in the Comments box below.
Don’t miss Emma, the Queen of the Kitchen herself, on this week’s ParentingAces Radio Show discussing the 21-Day Challenge and tips for busy Tennis Families!
Day 21 Menu
Pre-Breakfast: 8-12 ounces of water plus 8-12 ounces of Green Juice
Breakfast: Smoothie (for my husband: gluten-free toast with sliced apple)
Mid-morning snack: Organic Blueberries & almonds
Pre-Lunch: 4-6 ounces of Green Juice
Afternoon snack: Apple slices with organic almond butter
Pre-Dinner: 4-6 ounces of Green Juice
Dinner: Baked Balsamic Chicken with Emma’s Sweet Potato Wedges (made with that giant sweet potato I posted yesterday!) & Grilled Squash
Baked Balsamic Chicken (Recipe by The Cookie Writer)
4 bone-in, skinless chicken breasts (Note: We used boneless breasts that were butterflied)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. dried rosemary
Salt and pepper
*You can marinate the chicken overnight or make it as is. Combine all the ingredients into a Ziploc bag and give it a good massage with your hands to coat the chicken. Preheat oven to 400F. Place the chicken into a glass dish in a single layer and pour any excess marinade on top. Season with extra salt and pepper if desired. Place into oven, uncovered, and bake for 20 minutes. Baste chicken if desired. Cook for another 15-20 minutes or until chicken reaches 160F. Serve over rice if desired!