The goal for the site is to be your one-stop shop for balanced, healthy, gluten-free living tips and ideas. To celebrate the new site they’re hosting a month-long event called Balanced, Healthy, & Gluten Free. They lined up a different blogger each day to share healthy recipes, healthy foods, or healthy living tips. (Follow the link to see the whole line-up.) You can also keep track of them by following @BalancedPlatter on Twitter or through their Facebook page.
Exercise is one of the top things people resolve to do more of each year. For my contribution to the Balanced, Healthy, & Gluten Free event, I made a lentils and quinoa dish, but first I wanted to share some thoughts on working out.
Take It Slow. Create a Habit.
Mike and I started running about 2 years ago using the Couch to 5K program, and we highly recommend it. You start with walking interspersed with short (30-second) segments of jogging, for a total of 20 minutes. You do that 3 times each week. You gradually switch to more jogging than walking, and you increase the total time bit by bit.
Could we have gone out that first day and run for 20-30 minutes? Probably. [Mike's note: Uh, maybe she could have.] But we likely would have injured ourselves right away. (I ran cross-country in high school and remember constantly having shin splints because I was asked to run more than my body was ready for.) Don’t be afraid to work at your own pace. We even made up some of our own in-between weeks when we felt we couldn’t keep up with what the schedule called for. Work on creating the habit. The results will come as your body gets stronger.
Be Sure to Have Fun
I also wanted to tell you about a new workout we added a month and a half ago: indoor rock climbing. It is serious fun. FUN. It’s probably the only workout I’ve ever done where you keep at it until your body can’t do it anymore — just because you’re having that much fun.
I’d like to encourage you to find an exercise that is fun for you. My vote is for indoor climbing, but I realize that’s not the most widely-accessible activity. I did find this list of indoor climbing gyms and walls. It looks a little old, but it’s a start for those of you who are interested. Climbing aside, I truly do enjoy running. And I love yoga. My mother-in-law enjoys swimming. My dad likes biking. Any exercise is better than none, so find something you like and do it.
Lentils and Quinoa
Now, on to the recipe. With the addition of climbing, we realized we may need to scale back some of our other exercise until our bodies are strong enough to handle it all. We also felt that we needed a little more protein to help build muscle after all the climbing. I always keep lentils and quinoa–both protein powerhouses–on hand. They make it easy to cobble together a one-pot meal. Mixed with other kitchen staples like carrots, celery, and onions, it doesn’t get much more basic than that. And we got our protein hit.
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 ribs of celery, diced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Heat a medium pot with lid over medium heat. Add the oil and allow to heat through. Add the carrots, celery, and onions. Cook until everything has softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils, quinoa, tomato sauce, water, and spices. Stir well. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft. Serve.
I did go a little crazy with the spices, so maybe it’s not quite as “basic” as it could be. I think you could go truly basic with just some salt and pepper and still have a delicious dish. (Maybe substitute some broth for the water.) Eat it plain, spoon over some greens, throw in a wrap — there’s all sorts of ways to mix it up.
Wishing everyone the best of luck with their exercise resolutions.