Monday, November 10, 2014

A Little Sweet and a Little Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

The Fall is the time I crave soup the most.  There is a chill in the air and warm soup is so satisfying.  

I have a big bag of sweet potatoes from my CSA/farm share.  So I decided to make some sweet potato soup!

5 cups sweet potatoes, diced
2 small or 1 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 can or 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas
2 cups veggie stock (up to 3 cups)
1 cup water
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp celery seeds
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
pinch salt and a few turns of fresh ground pepper
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice or lime juice

Heat up a soup pot on medium heat and add olive oil.  When oil is hot (not smoking!) add onion.  Cook for 3-5 minutes then add spices.  Cook for 1 minute.   This soups will be full of flavor not heat.  The amount of red pepper flakes will determine the heat.  With 1/4 teaspoon there is just a touch.  It warms you up.  If you like it hot, feel free to add more.  Add the sweet potatoes and garlic and and mix well.  Add stock and water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Take off the heat. 

I use an immersion blender but you can use a food processor or blender.  Whatever you use, puree until smooth.  It will be a little thick.  I added 1/2 cup more stock.  You can add more or none to your personal preference.  I like to leave it a little thick so I don't need to add cream or milk.  

Stir in the chickpeas.  They will heat up quickly, no need to turn on the heat again.  Add the lemon or lime juice and sprinkle with a little fresh cilantro to taste.   It is nice to serve with a wedge of lemon or lime. 

This would be a great lunch or dinner.  Heat up a half a pita and serve it on the side with some hummus.  

If you are using the 21 day fix the soup would use a yellow container since it is mostly sweet potatoes and chickpeas.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Another Round of the 21 Day Fix in the Books

I completed another round of the 21 Day Fix. I really needed this to get back on track after my running season.  That might sound a little strange.  Most people think I'm joking when I say I gain weight during my running season.  They ask, "How do you gain weight running 100+ miles a month?"  Well, I am just really, really hungry all the time when I run that much.  I just get to the point I can't control myself.  For the most part I eat healthy but I know I don't eat the right proportion of foods.  A little too many carbs and a touch too much fat.  Ok, chocolate plays a role in this too.  

I lost 3 pounds and an inch off my waist.  That might not seem like a lot but that is all I needed to lose and I fit back into my work pants.  That is what is great about this program. It finds your equilibrium.  

Other people I worked with lost 5, 10, 15 pounds and many more inches. 

So here is a little information about the 21 Day Fix.  It is a simple program that focuses on portion control, healthy eating and simple but effective 30 minute workouts.  

There isn't a diet.  It is a way of eating.  And let's be clear.  You can't just follow it for 21 days and go back to sitting on the couch and eating potato chips. If you are looking to get back into shape, lose weight and to start eating healthy again -- or for the first time, you should give the 21 Day Fix a try.    There is a 100%, 30 day money back guarantee if you don't like it.  Just return it, no questions asked.  

The way the 21 Day Fix works is you get color coordinated containers. 

Green: veggies
Purple: fruit
Red: protein
Yellow: Carbs
Blue: Healthy fats
2 Orange: seeds and dressings

And you also get a Shakeology cup!

So what did I eat during the 21 day fix?  Everything.  For Breakfast I drank Shakeology every day.  I love this stuff, especially Chocolate Vegan.  For morning snacks, I ate eggs with onion, peppers and mushrooms with cheddar as well as oatmeal, overnight oats.  Lunches were salads, much of the time because it is easier but I brought in left overs of chicken or beef with rice and veggies.  Dinners were everything from pasta with meatballs to burritos.  I even made healthy cookies with recipes in the nutrition guide.  

The second part of the program is the workout.  You must do both parts in order to see results and to get healthy.  Your body needs both nutritious food and exercise.  

There are 6 workouts in total.  They are all 30 minutes.  They weren’t huge calorie burners for me but I felt them and I know I was building muscle, which in turn melts fat. 

All levels can do this workout.  Just follow the modifier if you are a beginner.  Pick a heavier weight if you are more experienced.  

The workouts are:

Total Body Cardio Fix. Rises your heart rate, boost your metabolism into overdrive for long-lasting weight loss benefits.

Upper Fix. Specifically works the back, shoulders, arms, chest and abs for a great swimsuit body.

Lower Fix. Works the thighs, calves and butt for the rest of your beach-ready body.

Pilates Fix. Uses core strength moves to tone and elongate the torso and tighten up your thighs, butt and hips.

Cardio Fix. Insanity cardio workout that kicks the first workout into overdrive.

Yoga Fix. Boosts flexibility and relaxes your muscles to keep them in perfect tone.

The workouts are well crafted, varied, simple but effective. 

This program has the tools that work to get you back in shape and eating healthy.  It is a program I go back to from time to time like after vacation or anytime I need a restart or to mix it up.  

If you want more information or to order the Challenge Pack click here 21 Day Fix.