Nutty Spinach

Leftover baby spinach + slivered almonds  + sunflower seeds = delicious Nutty Spinach!

I know that sunflower seeds are not nuts, but Nutty, Seedy Spinach is just too much!

Baby spinach was on sale and I had big plans for spinach dishes, but only used a minuscule amount for a pasta dish. I needed to use it before it went bad. I was also craving almonds.  Nutty Spinach is born.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 c coarsely chopped spinach, packed
  • 1/3 c slivered almonds
  • 1/4 c sunflower seeds
  • 1 T balsamic  vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat the pan and then heat 1/2 T of oil.

Add the almonds and sunflower seeds and stir for ~30 seconds.

Add the garlic and stir for and additional 30 seconds.

Add the remaining 1/2 T oil.

Add the spinach and cook until wilted.

Add 1 T balsamic vinegar and continue cooking spinach to your preferred likeness.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe makes four – 1/4 cup servings. This is a great portion to use as a side dish. As part of my lunch, I have eaten this over 1/2 c brown rice.

Nutritional Info (per serving), 4 servings:

136 calories, 12 g total fat (1.2 g saturated fat,  4.1 g polyunsaturated fat, 6.1 g monounsaturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 61.1 mg sodium, 280.3 mg potassium, 5.2 g total carbohydrates (2.5 g dietary fiber, 0.8 g sugar), 4.2 g protein

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It’s Workout Time! Or Is It?

BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP!

It’s 5:20 and the alarm clock is going off. Some mornings it’s smooth sailing and others, well, it’s a battle. This morning, the snooze button won!

BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP!

It’s 5:30, the alarm clock goes off again. Fine. You win, alarm clock!

My typical day usually starts around 5:30. Do I have wake up that early? No. Do I like getting up that early? NO! I’m a night person, but I prefer working out in the morning. I prefer AM workouts for several reasons:

  • It’s usually cooler
  • There are fewer people, which means little to no waiting
  • When it’s time to start school/work my brain is ready to go
  • My evenings are free to work, bake, hang out with friends, etc

If I have to work out the evening, I prefer 9 or later. I don’t like between 5 and 7pm because everyone is just getting done with work/school and the gym is PACKED. I like being able to use the equipment when I need it. I don’t mind altering 1 or 2 exercises, but revising half or more of my workout is annoying

There are several things to think about when choosing a workout time:

1)   When is your gym open? Your gym’s hour of operation will be a huge determinate of when you can work out. If you have to be at work at 8am and your gym doesn’t open til 7:30, a morning work-out isn’t for you.

2)      Are you training for an event? If you are training for an event such as a 5K, marathon or strongman competition, you may want to work out at whatever time your event will take place.

3)      What commitments do you have? Do you have book club on Tuesday Nights? Game night on Wednesdays? Late class on Thursday? You should take into account what commitments you have so you’re not missing your workouts and/or missing your commitments. I like AM workouts because there usually aren’t scheduling conflicts early in the morning.

4)      Night Owl or Early Bird? Your circadian rhythm largely determines whether you keep vampire hours or you’re the crowing rooster at daybreak. Circadian rhythm can influence several physiological functions that are important for athletic performance, including, but not limited to blood pressure, oxygen uptake, and heart rate.

When the sun goes down, I’m a like a cocker spaniel on crack. Even though I am a night person, AM workouts are best for me. Everyone has to choose their best workout time. Maybe your workout schedule will change  day-to-day, but is consistent week-to-week. The important thing is to find what works for you!

When do you like to work out and why?