Health, Fitness, & Nutrition

Day 6: A Little Yoga, A Little Cardio, A Lot of Protein

Aerial Yoga

So, big news! Matthew has joined Emma and me on the workout bandwagon! Yes, my previously sedentary husband has gone to the gym for some cardio the past two days. I can only attribute it to the clean eating . . . and maybe just a slight bit of peer pressure from the women in the house! Emma meets him at his office and they hit the gym upstairs. Regardless of the why behind it, I’m just so happy he’s back on a treadmill. And it’s nice Father-Daughter time, too.

While they’re working out, I’m home prepping dinner since I’ve already done my exercise for the day. One of my favorite classes that I’ve discovered via Class Pass is aerial yoga (yes, that’s me hanging out in the above photo). It’s a combination of traditional yoga poses and traction, using the ceiling-hung nylon hammocks as a prop to deepen the poses, leading to a greater release in the muscles and joints. It’s a great way to start the day, and I think it is allowing me more stability in my non-aerial yoga practice as well.

Now that we’re nearing the end of the first week of this Challenge, it’s time to reassess our menus and make some adjustments moving forward. One important thing we’ve noticed is a need for additional protein. All this exercise is burning lots of calories, and our bodies are craving that extra protein boost. Dinners from here on out will feature a significant protein source – such as a 6-ounce serving of chicken or fish or lamb – and include veggies and other items on the side – rather than having a salad as the centerpiece. Last night’s dinner of grilled lamb chops with quinoa and roasted carrots on the side was perfect! Emma and I will probably stick to hearty salads for lunch then supplement with a protein-rich afternoon snack as needed. Her sauteed chickpeas (recipe below) are a great munchy when the protein craving hits!

Day 6 Menu

Pre-Breakfast: 8-12 ounces of water plus 8-12 ounces of Green Juice

Breakfast: Smoothie (for my husband: gluten-free toast spread with fresh almond butter & sliced apple)

Mid-morning snack: Jicama sticks

Pre-Lunch: 4-6 ounces of Green Juice

Lunch: Butternut Squash Salad with Quinoa (for my husband: grilled chicken breast & avocado slices)

Don't you just love Emma's new apron?!?

Don’t you just love Emma’s new apron?!?

Afternoon snack: Emma’s Sauteed Chickpeas

Pre-Dinner: 4-6 ounces of Green Juice

Dinner: Chili-Lemon Salmon with Sweet Potato Wedges and Broccoli


Butternut Squash Salad with Quinoa (serves 2)

2 cups of wild organic greens (Arugula, spinach, mixed herbs)
½ small organic butternut squash, deseeded and diced small
1.5 tbsp. organic coconut oil
¼ cup of organic onion (sweet or yellow)
1 clove organic garlic (minced)
½ tsp. organic nutmeg
½ tsp. organic thyme
organic sea salt
crushed black pepper
¾ cup raw organic white pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 organic pomegranate (deseeded & rinsed, use the seeds for the salad)
2 small or 1 large organic avocado (sliced)
1-cup organic quinoa (cook in a rice cooker with 2 cups of water)

Optional Dressing:
For lettuce only.Toss lettuce in a mixture of :
2 tbsp. organic cold pressed olive oil
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a bowl, mix pumpkin seeds with 1 tbsp. of coconut oil. Use just enough oil so seeds are lightly coated. Add sea salt to taste and mix so that seeds are fairly evenly coated. Transfer seeds to lined baking sheet, and bake for about 15-25 minutes (or until seeds are cooked and begin to golden). Remove tray every 10 minutes to stir the seeds and check for doneness. Let cool and set aside. In a large non-stick pan, heat 2 tbsp. coconut oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and small cubes of butternut squash (the smaller the squash is diced, the easier it will cook). Sautee squash and onions over medium heat for 5 minutes or until squash are soft. Do not burn squash or onions. Add garlic, thyme and nutmeg and cook for additional 1-2 minutes. Mix butternut squash together with the cooked quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a bowl and let cool in the fridge. To arrange the salad, start by adding a serving of greens to the plate. Next add the cooled butternut squash mix. Add 3-4 slices of avocado. Top with pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds. Bon Appetit!

Emma’s Sauteed Chickpeas

1 can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp pink salt
2 tsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Toss the chickpeas with the seasonings then saute over medium heat until brown and crispy on the outside. Serve warm. Store leftovers (if you have any!) in an airtight container then re-heat to crisp them back up before serving.

Chef V’s Chili Lemon Salmon (Or Chicken or Veggies) (serves 2)

12 oz. Wild Salmon, cut in two fillets (Or for different recipe use chicken or veggies for vegan)
1 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil
2 lemons, sliced in half
1 tsp. organic sea salt
1 tsp. chili powder

Preheat oven to 500° F. Rinse salmon, pat dry and place on a metal baking sheet, lined with foil. Rub each fillet with olive oil. Squeeze the juice from one-half lemon onto each fillet. Sprinkle fillets with salt and chili powder, then place a half lemon on
top of each fillet. Turn down oven temperature to 275°. Place salmon in oven and cook for 8-12 minutes, depending on how well done you like your fish. For the chicken, grill it on the grill for 3-5 minutes per side. Or place in oven on 350° covered for 20 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Queen of the Kitchen’s Sweet Potato Wedges

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Heat oven to 450. Wash sweet potatoes thoroughly. Cut into wedges (see this episode of Queen of the Kitchen for specifics). Place in a large bowl and toss with oil to coat. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle generously with turmeric. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Helpful Links
Click here for Chef V’s website
Click here for the Queen of the Kitchen website
Click here for a Google list of Green Juice recipes

Workout of the Day
Intro to Aerial Yoga at Vita-Prana Yoga (Lisa)
Yoga Sculpt at Core Power Yoga (Emma)
Cardio (Emma & Matthew)

Queen of the Kitchen Show Instagram Feed
[instashow source=”@queenofthekitchenshow”]

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