I don’t know about you, but I am SO happy it is finally Friday! This week was a long one, so I’m ready to have some relaxation time this weekend! To kick off the weekend, we are having an “at home date night” tonight making pizza again, but with an almond flour flaxseed crust topped with grilled peaches, prosciutto, spinach and goat cheese. Of course, we will also be sharing a nice bottle of wine! I think I am also going to try making some almond butter brownies, pumpkin cookies or a pumpkin microwave cake for dessert. I have been reading a lot about microwave cakes, so I am very intrigued. I’ll definitely keep you posted! Also, look for the recipe to the almond flour flaxseed pizza crust coming soon!
Tomorrow, we are going to head to our local farmer’s market in the morning (hopefully ride our bikes there) and then I’m meeting up with a friend for some coffee and pedicures in the afternoon. In the evening, we are heading to a class at a local gymnastics center, as part of our CrossFit box, to improve our gymnastics skills. Tomorrow should be fun! On Sunday, we are visiting some friends in the bay area, who are expecting a baby next month. We definitely have a busy, but fun-fill weekend planned!
This morning, after breakfast of our “usual,” Fage Greek yogurt with flaxseed, chia seeds, Kashi cereal and a banana, Keenan and I headed to our MOMs Club monthly social. At the social, an estate planning lawyer talked to us about making plans for our children, if something happened to us. It certianly made me think about who would take care of Keenan, if something (god for bid) happened, so I think my husband and I are going to set-up a time to meet with him. You just never know what could happen, so I feel it is better to be prepared.
After the social, we headed outside to play at the park for a bit (of course, we had to play with the water fountain, too!) before heading home for lunch.
For lunch, I made Keenan a turkey and cheese sandwich (I was able to sneak in some tomato and lettuce for the second time this week, whoohoo!) with some avocado on the side. Since my husband bought chocolate milk last weekend for a treat/post workout snack for him, Keenan has been asking to have it all week. We have been giving it to him as a special treat after he finishes his lunches or dinners (making sure he eats all of his veggies). It has worked really well because he has been sucking down his veggies faster than normal, so he can have a small glass of chocolate milk!
Speaking of food, I have received a couple of questions in regards to some of the items that I add to my yogurt or recipes, such as flaxseed, chia seeds and Xylitol, so I thought I would address them here:
What is flaxseed and why do you use it?
Flaxseed is a nutritional powerhouse that is full of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans (which contain antioxidant qualities) and fiber. Researchers are finding many cancer fighting properties in lignans, such as inhibiting enzymes that are included in the metabolism of various hormones and stopping the growth and spread of cancerous cells. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart and may help prevent heart disease. Americans don’t typically get a lot of omega-3’s in their diets, because they are mostly found in fish, such as salmon, so flaxseed is a great way to fit them in! You can buy flaxseed in most grocery stores,, either in the bulk or natural foods section. You can buy it ground or whole (small seeds). You can use flaxseed in your baking, subbing it for eggs (it is a great binder), just adding it to your recipe for more nutrition, mixing it into your yogurt, smoothies, protein shakes, or using it as a crispy coating for baked sweet potato or zucchini fries. In addition to the health benefits, I personally love the nutty flavor of flaxseed, so I try to add it into as many things as I possibly can!
What are chia seeds and why are they so beneficial?
Chia seeds are considered a “super food.” They are very high in omega-3 fatty acids (even higher than flaxseed), antioxidants and fiber. They also contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, niacin and zinc. Chia is very similiar in its’ antioxidant properties and cancer/disease prevention as flaxseed. In addition, chia also helps to decrease inflammation in the body. Chia seeds can be purchased at most grocery stores and they are usually sold in whole form. Some brands are even incorporating chia seeds into their cereal, crackers or beverages. The easiest way to eat them is to add them to your food, such as yogurt, cottage cheese, smoothies, shakes and baking.
What is Xylitol and why do you use it instead of regular sugar?
Xylitol is a natural carbohydrate that tastes like sugar and looks like it, too. It is a sweetener that comes from any fibrous plant material, thus being completely natural. It is mostly extracted from corn cobs and hardwood. In addition, it is also made in our bodies during normal metabolism. Researchers are finding many health properties to Xylitol, such as fighting/preventing cavities, thus you will see it in many toothpastes or gum. In addition, Xylitol can help prevent bacteria that causes respiratory illness, thus you will see it added in nasal sprays. Xylitol contains zero calories and its’ ratio to sugar is 1:1. I use it in my coffee and baking as I would normally use sugar. I find that the taste and sweetness is the same as sugar. I use Xylitol because I don’t like to consume too much sugar, if at all, due to the health consequences and calories. I’ve tried other alternatives, such as Stevia, but Xylitol seems to taste better to me, as well as provide the same level of sweetness as sugar. On the downside, Xylitol is a little harder to find. You can get it at health food stores and some grocery stores (in the natural foods section) or order it online. My local grocery store fortunately carries it.
After Keenan’s nap, we headed to CrossFit. Since it was a partner WOD, my husband and I teamed up. The WOD was 6 rounds of 20 medicine ball cleans to the wall, 50 m wheel barrel carry and 40 v-ups. The time cap was 25 minutes and we finished in 23 minutes. It was a fun WOD for the end of the week! Tomorrow evening should be fun at the gymnastics center! I am looking forward to it, since I haven’t tumbled since high school!
Well, its time to do Keenan’s bath and bedtime and then it is date night! Have a great evening!
Questions: What are your plans for the weekend? Do you use flaxseed or chia seeds? If so, how do you incorporate them into your food?