Good morning! Happy Monday!
I bought a bag of cranberries at the grocery store yesterday. In years past, I added them to my oatmeal, so I wanted to switch things up with my breakfast and planned to throw some in my oats this morning.
While I was waiting for my oatmeal to cook, I checked out the nutrition facts on the back of the bag:
As you can see, a half cup serving has 30 calories, 2g of fiber, and 10% of your daily vitamin C needs. Not too shabby!
- Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) and other polyphenols (type of antioxidant) that help to prevent free radical damage.
- Several studies show that the total antioxidant capacity of the cranberry consistently ranks higher than most other berries and commonly consumed fruits.
- Cranberry PACs help ward off urinary tract infections by preventing E. coli from adhering to the walls of the bladder and multiplying. Instead, the bacteria get flushed out in the urine and the risk of an infection is reduced.
- By reducing H. pylori levels in infected subjects, cranberries may help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers. According to the American Cancer Society, H. pylori is also a major risk factor for stomach cancer.
- Results from laboratory and animal studies have shown that extracts from cranberries inhibit the growth and proliferation of breast, colon, prostate, lung and esophageal tumor cells.
Interesting stuff, right? Now, I’m really glad I decided to pick up that bag of cranberries at the grocery store!
In the mix:
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Big scoop of peanut butter
Last night’s dinner turned out great! Mal and I didn’t cook the meals in the order that Men’s Health suggested (no reason really). We were in the mood for steak and it didn’t require a lot of work, so we grilled it up.
On the menu: Grilled Mustard-Garlic Skirt Steak with Arugula and a really yummy, super-simple dressing (2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar + 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard + 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper).
So happy to see this little guy!
I ended up cutting my steak into pieces and adding it to an arugula salad with grape tomatoes, roasted broccoli, and that delicious dressing mentioned above. Mal and I both loved this meal. Sooo good!
Even though I loved dinner, I saved room for dessert. When Mal and I were in Oregon last week, my cookie blend from The Mason Jar Company arrived at our house. They sent me one as a thank you for hosting the giveaway on my blog.
In my cookie blend: traditional sugar cookie base with dark chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and pistachios. I named it “Hooray for Cookies!” I mean, isn’t that what everyone says when cookies come their way? No? Ok, maybe it’s just me?
How adorable are these things?!
And the cookies turned out wonderfully! Holy yum!
I wanted to eat a bunch of them, but I stopped myself after two cookies, which is a pretty big deal for me.
Obviously, I don’t hide the fact that I love desserts, especially cookies, but I know I don’t need to eat five or six (or seven or eight) cookies at a time. Of course, enjoying a bunch of cookies like this every once in awhile is totally fine, but I know it happens a little too often for me. I told Mal last night that I want to treat treats like treats. Meaning: I want them to be something I enjoy on occasion and not nearly every day in large quantities. It’s not really a treat if I treat myself all of the time, ya know?
Plus, now that I’m investing a lot of time and money into CrossFit, I want to make sure my diet is consistent with my workouts. I’m working hard at CrossFit, so I don’t want to lose the gains I make by eating foods that aren’t going to benefit my body. I want to eat quality foods that give me energy and help my body recover, build muscle, and burn fat. (Of course, there will always be cookies, beer, and other fun foods in my diet””just less of them.)
I started thinking about cleaning up my diet after my second CrossFit session, but a letter from a reader in Oxygen magazine ultimately pushed me to do it. What it said really resonated with me and made me want to take responsibility for what I put into my body, especially with regard to treating treats like treats:
In response to a reader name Kimberly, who wrote a letter in your October 2011 issue saying she’s not getting the kinds of results she wants to see (“Get it Together”): duh! The reason you are gaining weight is because you admitted to eating an entire batch of almond butter whey cookies in just one day! Try eating just one serving, then blaming others.
–April, via email
Obviously, I’ve never blamed others for not getting results, but I know if I want to see changes, I need to step-it-up. I’m the only one to blame if I don’t get those results. With that said, here’s to treating treats like treats and getting it together!
Spandex & Obesity
Just in case you missed yesterday’s post about spandex and obesity, there’s a great discussion going on in the comments section. Feel free to weigh in!
Question of the Day
Was there ever a moment that kicked your motivation into gear to get healthy/lose weight? What was that moment?
P.S. If you want a butt kicking, do this workout. My buns are so sore this morning!