Friends don’t let friends workout alone! Amen. I probably don’t have to tell you, but is so much easier, motivating and just plain fun to work out with a buddy. My friend Valerie reminds me of this – we’ve been meeting up now for at least five years to stay strong and fit and, even though we’re like night and day, we so get each other. Sometimes we’re competitive in a friendly way while other times we’re just plain silly. She knew me when I could only do one pull-up and I remember when she was still in her thirties! Between our busy schedules, we only get to connect once a week – but it’s a pow-wow this one-woman wolf pack really needs.
Neither of us has a serious race or CrossFit competition in the near future, so our training plans are open to interpretation. So, here’s my Partner WOD for the week – hope it inspires you to “Grab a Friend” and workout!
I also wanted to share my new obsession — Harvest Snaps. I was first introduced to these healthy snacks at the Dallas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon and have been hooked ever since. These sensible baked snacks, featuring snap peas or lentils depending on the variety, have up to 40% less fat, less sodium, more fiber, and higher levels of protein and vitamin B than traditional chips. Plus, all the flavors are gluten-free, non-GMO and have a reasonably lower glycemic index. Oh, and about the flavors – the Snapea Crisps come in Lightly Salted, Caesar, Black Pepper and Wasabi Ranch and the Lentil Crisps come in Tomato Basil and Onion Thyme. I love them all!
If you can’t wait to see if you’re one of the two winners who wins a month-supply box containing one bag each of all six flavors, head to the nearest store to pick up a stash. I’m pretty darn sure you will love them as much as me – my two favorite ways to eat them are straight out of the bag (natch) or as non-grain croutons on my daily salad. YUM!
To enter the giveaway please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below – there will be two winners!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I have the perfect dish for you to whip up for your sweetie for Valentine’s Day – my recipe for Slow-Cooker Orange and Sugar Snap Pea Beef! It’s a little sweet, a little spicy and very healthy for your honey. Ladies, they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and, by the way my husband gobbled this healthy dinner, I’d say this Asian-inspired dinner was a winner. And, men, if you’re looking for a way to impress that someone special, I just want you to know that women think it’s super sexy when guys self-initiate cooking and cleaning up in the kitchen – this crockpot recipe is insanely easy to make and has virtually no clean-up.
February isn’t just about “hearts” in a romantic way; speaking cardiovascularly, it’s also National Heart Month! I like to use the month of February to “check-in” with my health and show love to my heart with healthy changes in diet and exercise – and renew any of my New Year’s resolutions that have started to slip away! Little changes in the foods you consume, like increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables on your plate and reducing salty, sugary snacks, can add up to big benefits in terms of your overall health. Eating lean protein is important, too! A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from Penn State University found that people who participated in the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study, consuming about 3 to 5 ounces of lean beef daily as part of a heart-healthy diet, experienced a 10 percent decline in LDL “bad” cholesterol.
My recipe for Slow-Cooker Orange and Sugar Snap Pea Beef is the perfect way to put your lean protein plan into motion – plus you get some fruits and veggies to boot! Who knows, you may even reduce your bad cholesterol if you follow the protocols of the BOLD study – I’m happy to share lots of healthy beef recipes with you including Sirloin Cobb Kebabs and Spice Crusted Tenderloin Steaks. Just search the word “beef” in my recipe collection to find more!
Slow-Cooker Orange and Sugar Snap Pea Beef Recipe
- 2 lb. beef chuck shoulder steak – trimmed and sliced into 2” strips
- 1/2 cup Litehouse Food’s Tangy Orange Dressing & Marinade *
- 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Sriracha Chile Pepper Sauce (found on Asian food aisle)
- 1 Tbsp. Litehouse Food’s Instantly Fresh Ginger
- 1 Tbsp, Litehouse Food’s Instantly Fresh Garlic
- 1 large onion cut very coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 6-oz can mandarin oranges that have been drained (or may use fresh)
- 1 (8-oz) package sugar snap peas
- Add beef, dressing, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, Sriracha and onion to 3-qt or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours until beef is tender.
- Turn to high. Remove ½ cup of liquid and stir in cornstarch until dissolved. Stir this mixture back into slow cooker. Add sugar snap peas and oranges; cover and cook on high 10 minutes until peas are crisp-tender.
- Serve over brown rice with sauce from slow cooker.
*If you can’t find the dressing in your market, you can order it online at LitehouseFoods.com or substitute ½ cup fresh orange juice