Today’s affirmation:

Today I simply give.

I got up today, filled with doubt. Doubts about this path and where I’m headed consumed me. I couldn’t even get creative about my affirmation. I didn’t mention before but there is one caveat for the 29 Days of giving which is, if you miss a day, you should start again from Day 1. By 4 p.m. I was feeling like I may have to start Day 1 again tomorrow. I had absolutely no clue about what the day’s gift was going to be. Starting over felt like a defeat somehow.

As I was wrapping up to leave the office, my friend Lucy invited my sister and I to join her for dinner. On the way to her spot, I thought to myself, how can I give a gift in this situation? But by the time I got there, I vowed to myself that today’s gift will happen naturally and that I should just enjoy the girl-time for what it was.

Lucy loves avocados as much as I do and so our dinner was going to be an avocado salad. Yes, my love affair with avocados continues. Below is a list of the ingredients we used for what turned out to be one of the yummiest salads I’ve ever had. It is light, easy to make and absolutely “customisable”

Avocado & Feta Salad

You will need:
2 ripe avocados
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 green sweet peppers, diced into bite-sized pieces
2 apples, chopped
2 cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup chives, chopped
½ cup of crumbled feta
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 lime

For dressing:
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil


Directions:

Cut avocados in half and remove pits, dice and add to salad bowl.
Add lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, sweet peppers and chives.
Toss and chill.

Combine all ingredients for dressing, whisk briskly.

When you’re ready to serve: top with apples, feta and walnuts.

Drizzle with dressing.

This made about 5 servings.

Salad Tip: Put some lime juice on the chopped apples, this will keep it from getting brown.

Today’s gift? I did the dishes and cleaned up after our dinner!

Trudy’s Frutti-Tutti Avocado Smoothie

My sister, Trudy asked me yesterday what I thought of an avocado smoothie and if it would taste good. So I decided to try making one just for her. So using ingredients I already had, this is what I came up with.

What you will need:

• 1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
• 2 ripe bananas
• 1 cup skim milk
• 4-6oz Strawberry Greek yogurt
• Ice cubes

Directions

Combine the avocado, bananas, milk, yogurt, and ice cubes in a blender; blend until smooth. This makes 16oz.

Enjoy!

When you have this smoothie I suggest you follow it up with a light mid-morning snack.

I must say, this looked, smelled and tasted so good, I felt like I should be having it with a spoon. It was so silky smooth and the bananas and yogurt gave it the right amount of sweetness. Avocados huh? Who would have thought?!

A spicy way to start your day!

I felt like trying something different today, mixing it up a bit.

What you will need:
• 1 cup of carrots chopped
• 1 medium apple
• 1/2 to 1 inch fresh ginger
• 4-6oz Greek Plain Yogurt
• Ice

This makes about 14oz.

Add all the ingredients to your blender (I use a regular blender, then blend on medium for 30 seconds or until you don’t have any more large chunks. I recommend if you want it really smooth you add a little water and blend some more.

Pour into a glass and enjoy!

I simply love the colour on this smoothie. Think I’m gonna have to try one with beets.

For my lunch today, I’m keeping it simple. Pesto Shrimp, steamed vegetables and a little coconut lime rice. I got the original recipe at The Shrinking Kitchen added vegetables and halved everything. Of course I started the day with my delicious Green smoothie. But I decided to have a heavier lunch, since my cardio burn class on a Tuesday really takes a lot out of me. So I have to make sure and eat well.

The original recipe makes 6 servings. I’m making only enough for 2. So I halved everything.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2 servings (perfect for lunch and you have leftovers for dinner)

What you will need:
1 pound shrimp (I used pre-cooked shrimp, since I’m making this before I leave for work, time is of the essence here)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon I used cayenne pepper powder, since I forgot to get dried peppers at the grocery
1/4 cup olive oil, divided

(the original recipe called for honey, I decided to skip this)

For the Rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light coconut milk (left over milk I froze to use in smoothies)
1 cup long grain white rice
2 teaspoons lime zest
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 green onion, thinly sliced

For the vegetables:
2 cups of mixed vegetables (bought pre-chopped)
1 tablespoon of ginger (love the flavour it gives them)

Step by step To Prepare the Shrimp
1. Add the cilantro, lime juice, ginger, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper to the bowl of a food processor.
2. Pulse while drizzling in 3 tablespoons of olive oil till mixture forms a paste.
3. Heat a skillet over medium high heat.
4. Add the shrimp then cilantro and toss to combine. Since shrimp is already cooked, you can saute this for 3 mins and it will be ready.

To Prepare the Rice
5. Bring water, salt and coconut milk to a boil.
6. Add the rice, stir and reduce heat to a simmer.
7. Allow rice to simmer for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
8. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice, zest and green onion.

To Prepare the Veggies:
9. Steam for 6 minutes.

Lunch is gonna be yumm-O today.

Good-for-you Green Smoothie

Good-for-you Green Smoothie

I found a simple green smoothie recipe on Pinterest and since I had all the ingredients in my fridge at the time, I decided to try it immediately. This was about 3 weeks ago. I have been drinking green smoothies at least 5 times a week ever since.

My biggest surprise was that the smoothie didn’t taste like I imagined it to with all that green stuff. It was delicious.

In my online research I’ve realized that there is no real right or wrong way to make a green smoothie and you should make your experience as fun as possible by experiementing with the fruits and veggies you like.

Here is the basic recipe I tried initially, after you decide if you like it or not and I bet you’ll probably like it better than you think…you can feel free to jazz it up and make it more you.

Basic recipe:
6oz plain Greek yogurt
2 handfuls of spinach
1 banana (it can be frozen, this will give the smoothie an ice-creamy texture/taste)
Ice

This makes about 16oz

Variations:

2 bananas makes a sweeter smoothie

I’ve tried different kinds of fruit: mango, pineapple and berries (frozen) and apples.

Of course if you use berries it will change the colour of your smoothie, still tastes great though.

Greens: Broccoli, Lettuse, Kale, Spinach, Celery

Ground Flax meal, soaked oats, even prunes for more fiber

I have also tried adding coconut milk to it. I used the milk in its natural state and I didn’t like that the spinach didn’t puree to its usual fine texture. I could still see the bits of spinach and that turned me off. So I decided to freeze the rest of the milk I had left in an ice cube tray and use maybe 2-3 cubes when I make my smoothie for the rest of the week. This worked out better than my last try. Smoothie tasted just as yummy.

I usually have my Green Smoothie for breakfast and if I have an early morning Spin class I follow it up mid-morning with an egg and a slice of toast. I’ve found, I’m not very hungry after I have my smoothie so if I have Spin at lunch I will have an apple for my mid-morning meal/snack.

There are lots of vitamins and minerals, enzymes and amino acids for healthy skin, hair, nails and teeth. In this drink form, you absorb the good stuff easily without having to eat a big salad. Who doesn’t like that?

Remember to have fun with your ingredients and enjoy doing somehting great for you body everyday.