First and foremost, I know it’s been almost 6 weeks since my last post. I’m noticing a theme in my blogging habits so far this year, and if I wanted to lie to myself, I’d say that I’m going to change these habits and post every single week. In complete honesty, though: things have gotten CRAZY busy over the last 4 months in all aspects of my life (personal, professional, and recreational), and I expect it to get even busier in the next 4-6 months. Posting every single week just ain’t happening, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Instead, I’m acknowledging the fact that I’m spending my time doing other things that are really important right now, and I’ll continue to post as often as I can. :o)
Between my regular 9-5 job, workouts, football games/practice 4+ times each week, cooking, and a lot of other big things going on, there hasn’t been a dull moment. No, I don’t have a ton of time to relax, and sleep has been difficult to come by throughout the last month, but I feel really, really good about where things are going. I’m motivated by a number of new things to keep nailing my workouts/eating habits, I get to spend a lot of time with my awesome teammates, and I feel like I’m thriving in the chaos. We even had our first scrimmage last weekend, where I both received and handed out my first full-on tackles. I loved every second of it — even the parts where I got knocked on flat my butt. Hard. (It still hurts.)
Two years ago, I would have never thought I’d be playing a team sport. I couldn’t even do a “real” push-up, much less run all over a field in full pads while tackling people. Growing up, I was never athletic enough to do anything like this. Being able to play one of the most physical sports out there is something that I’m extremely proud to do, and I’m glad that I took the steps that I needed to take over the last 2 years to be in the shape that I’m in today. It means I get to put on a (kind of skimpy, admittedly) uniform with full confidence and stand on a field amongst 20+ of the strongest, most badass women that I’ve ever known. It brings a whole new meaning to physical fitness for me.
And, after the game, Kristina was recruited by one of our coaches (no surprise there) and decided to join the team!!! She rocked her first practice on Sunday, and I’m so pumped to have her on the field with me. I have a feeling the next few weeks/months are going to be some of the most exciting times of my life so far.
Luckily, today is a little less jam-packed with meetings and emails. It’s one of the rare days where I feel like I have the time and mental capacity to write, so obviously, I’m going to share a fan-freaking-tastic recipe with you.
A couple of weeks ago, I made a pact with myself to increase my vegetable intake. I always cook my lunches over the weekend, and it’s been a little bit difficult to come up with creative ways to incorporate vegetables into my pre-made meals. I usually don’t eat a lot of salads, but I decided to step out of my cooking comfort zone and come up with a refreshing salad recipe as one of my lunches.
Since I’m not a huge salad fanatic, I had pretty low expectations for this one. (Certainly didn’t think it’d be one to blog about.) I was way, way wrong. This is taking place of the Quinoa Casserole as my new favorite item to meal prep, and that’s a big deal in my book. Yes, the list of ingredients looks really long, but there’s minimal prep work that goes into this! I promise this one is both easy AND delicious.
Grilled Chicken Waldorf Salad
Cook time: 30min marinating, 25 minutes hands-on
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1/2 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash)
- 1 tsp Lawry’s seasoning salt
- 5oz raw chicken breast, whole
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 0.5oz crushed walnuts
- 2 tbsp golden raisins
- 100g Gala apple, diced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tbsp honey or agave
- 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
- 1/3 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp light mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine your marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Transfer to a Ziploc bag and add your chicken. Place in fridge and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a grill or pan and cook until the center is no longer pink. Slice into bite-sized pieces
- Add spinach, sliced chicken, walnuts, raisins, and celery to a bowl or plate (or Tupperware, if you’re making this in advance like I did)
- Place 2T of lemon juice in a small bowl and roll your apple chunks around in it. Remove apple pieces from the bowl and place on top of spinach/chicken/walnuts/raisins/celery mixture
- Add all dressing ingredients to your bowl with the lemon juice in it. Stir well to combine
- If eating immediately, drizzle dressing on top of salad. If packaging for a later meal, transfer your dressing to a small container, then pour over salad right before engulfing.