Fast Chicken Spinach Parm Panini & 8 Back Stretches for Flexibility

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Quick Chicken Parm Sandwich

I would say this recipe is a grilled cheese sandwich for grownups, except the kids love to have ‘em for a super-speedy weeknight meal too!  For added convenience, I’ve used a pre-breaded chicken tender from the freezer section at the market, but you can do this step the old-fashioned way if you have an extra hour –  and, if you such a surplus of time, can you please come over? I have a list of chores to share with you!

Making panini for the family is always a crowd pleaser — everyone can customize a sandwich to suit their tastes. No cheese, no problem. Extra sauce, add it on! One thing I do insist on though is the kids make their panini sandwiches with whole grain bread. I was shocked to find out that a mere 3 percent of children and teens and about 8 percent of adults are eating at least the recommended three servings per day. Whole grains provide an abundance of vitamins and fiber and have been linked to a reduced incidence of heart disease, diabetes and other health concerns. Even though I’m not a huge grain eater, I always make sure that I’m getting biggest benefit for my body when I do – and that’s by eating whole grains over white “enriched” grains.

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I created this panini recipe for Litehouse Foods and you can check it out on their blog. It uses their Opadipity Greek Yogurt Spinach Parmesan Dip, a protein-packed, lower-calorie dip that works great in recipes and is just plain yummy to dip vegetables into.

vegetarian wrapsIf you’re looking for a packable lunch or quick dinner idea, my recipe for Roasted Veggie Wrap rolls up the power of plants into a delicious, nutritious meal.

 

If you roast a big batch of veggies, you can enjoy this recipe for lunch and then keep the leftovers in the fridge for a last-minute supper later in the week.

 

 

 

 

bridge yoga thefitfork

Enjoying some improvements with back flexibility!

Even though I’ve been super rushed, I’ve been making time in the morning to work on the flexibility in my back. As a kid, I used to be very bendy, but fast-forward several decades and several kids, the range of motion in my back had left and gone elsewhere – but, I’m happy to say that with some consistency in stretching (only a couple minutes per day), I’m getting my bendable back back!  Check out these 8 Back Stretches for Flexibility:

how to get a more flexible back with stretching

  1. Child’s Pose: Sitting back on heels, roll torso forward bringing forehead to floor and lowering chest to knees as much as possible. Keep arms extended forward.
  2. Cat-Camel Stretch: On hands and knees, alternate between slowly arching and rounding back.
  3. Upward Facing Pose: On back, pull knees up to chest, grab with arms. Rock slowly back and forth.
  4. Bridge: Lie on back with knees bent, feet hip-distance apart and flat on floor. Inhaling, press into feet, lifting hips toward ceiling. Hold as long as possible.
  5. Torso Twist: Sitting with one leg extended forward, the other bent up toward the chest. Turn torso toward bent knee, grasping to gently stretch back. Repeat on other side.
  6. Downward Facing Dog: With hands and knees on ground, press backward raising knees and lifting tailbone to ceiling. Keep weight on shoulders and then gently push heels toward floor to stretch hamstrings.
  7. Seal Pose: Laying on stomach with legs together, elevate head and upper torso using arms, keeping forearms off the floor and stretching spine.
  8. Scorpion Pose: From knees, rest forearms on ground shoulder-width apart. Kick up into a forearm stand, achieving balance and slowly bend at the knees, arching back and lifting head to look forward.

What do you like to throw together busy-night dinners? Do you have back tightness — what do you do to stay flexible?

 

2 thoughts on “Fast Chicken Spinach Parm Panini & 8 Back Stretches for Flexibility

  1. PERFECT timing!! I recently tweeked by back by doing almost NOTHING!! It worried me a bit because I’m pretty active. I WILL be doing these stretches EVER morning. I do love the back bend!

    • That’s the thing about hurting your back, it’s always on something random, like picking up a bag of groceries “with out proper form” lol Take care!

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