Holidays - Should You Workout or Take a Break?

Holidays - Should You Workout or Take a Break?

Traveling for the holidays?? Hotel room, the in-laws, friendsgiving airbnb...the holidays don't have to mean your fitness takes a down turn!

Pack shorts and a tee (or those black leggings you know you’re going to wear anyway), and sneak in a quick 20-minute bodyweight workout. It can make a huge difference in your energy and prevent that dreaded feeling you know you're going to have when everything just…feels...so...hard...in your workout next week.

That “use it or lose it” principle you hear about, is actually a thing (sigh). It’s known as “disuse atrophy” and can happen in as little as 72 hours. BUT, that doesn’t mean all progress is lost when taking a week off. The more fit the muscle (and therefore, you), the slower the atrophy.

So, if you’re someone who exercises vigorously 5-7 days a week, you might actually benefit from giving your body a chance to recover, so listen to it and embrace it! Maybe you just pack along a travel foam roller for some muscle regeneration.

But if you've just started out on your fitness journey, keep it up and make sure to get at least one day in while you're traveling to maintain progress, slow down atrophy, and stay consistent with those healthy habits you’re building. And I promise you'll feel a million times better knowing you fit a workout in before noshing on all the delicious holiday treats.

Summer Vegetable Nori Rolls with Ginger Tahini Dipping Sauce

summer vegetable nori rolls

Seattle is H.O.T. right now. Like, beyond hot. And the air is filled with smoke, sadly (BC fires galore). And we have zero air conditioning, along with 90% of Seattleites.

And in the midst of all the heat and haze and efforts to avoid turning the stove on, these green snappy beauties come to mind. 

Clean, crunchy and packed with nutrients, these nori rolls are the peeeerrrrrfect afternoon snack on a hot summer day and make for a great appy for your next backyard BBQ. This veg combo is my favorite (and not just because they're so pretty...but they SO are, right?). Use whatever crunchy veg you have on hand and mix it up for a nutritional twist. 

The possibilities are endless and they're always a hit at summer dinner parties.

SUMMER VEGETABLE NORI ROLLS WITH GINGER TAHINI DIPPING SAUCE

Serves: 6-8 (makes roughly 12 rolls) | Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or coconut nectar
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/8 c water
  • 1 large bunch swiss chard or collard greens
  • 3-4 carrots, julienned
  • 3-4 golden beets, julienned
  • 8 asparagus spears, blanched and thinly sliced
  • 1 large handful of sunflower sprouts (or whichever sprouts look fresh and seasonal from your market)
  • 6-8 nori sheets, halved width-wise
  • 1 small bunch of basil
  • 1 small bunch of purple basil 
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. Dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk tahini, maple syrup, tamari, lemon juice, ginger and 1 Tbsp water. Add more water until desired consistency. Set aside.
  2. Prep green leaves for rolling by cutting alongside the vein/stem (save stem for later use in another recipe or feed to dog - my pup loves kale stems!). Each whole leaf should yield 2 leaves for rolling.
  3.  Setting your mis en place: Prep your vegetables and arrange your ingredients in order for making the rolls: Julienne carrots and golden beets, blanch and thinly slice asparagus, thinly slice green onions, set out sunflower sprouts, whole purple basil and whole green basil (use all Italian basil if you cannot find purple), black and toasted sesame seeds, halved nori sheets, halved green leaves.
  4. Rolling: Place a green leaf vertically down on your workspace and place a nori sheet shiny side down, on top of the leaf. At the edge closest to you, arrange a thin line of carrots, golden beets, asparagus, sunflower sprouts, whole green and purple basil, black and toasted sesame seeds, thinly sliced green onions and a drizzle of the dipping sauce.  Roll tightly, using fingers to hold in place and lay seam side down. Continue for remaining ingredients. Serve with extra sauce for dipping.

Greek Yogurt "Ranch" Dressing and a Summer Salad

Everyone loves a creamy dressing. Everyone. A lot of us just dislike the heaviness of them as well as the thought of how many additional, maybe unnecessary, calories we'd be consuming if we went with that dressing option. But, summer...sweet sweet summer. And a good chop. Summer and chopped salads deserve a creamy sidekick. 

So here, I've created a healthier version of the standard Ranch Dressing we all grew up with. And an easy-peasy throw together salad to bring to your next backyard BBQ.

SUMMER SALAD WITH GREEK YOGURT RANCH DRESSING

Serves: 6-8 as a side

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 box spinach
  • 1/2 box organic girl butter lettuce or 1 small head of butter lettuce
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 c fresh dill
  • 10-15 basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 c chives, minced
  • 1/2 c microgreens
  • 3/4c plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss together spinach, butter lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, avocado, seeds and herbs.
  3. Add desired amount of dressing and carefully toss with hands to prevent damaging herbs or avocados.
  4. Top with microgreens and maldon salt if desired

The 6-Minute Egg

I've always had a love for hard boiled eggs, mainly for the convenience on my crazy days on top of the fact that eggs are protein packed and high in nutritional value (hello omega-3's, vitamin A and D, B vitamins, selenium, zinc, iron, copper and choline!)

In recent years, I've grown tired of the dry hard boiled eggs and have turned to SOFT BOILED EGGS and sometimes even a touch medium if I know I'm going to be eating them in the car and on the run. The perk, a golden milky center that's perfect for soaking up my maldon salt and doesn't leave me reaching for a drink to swallow it down. 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Carefully add however many eggs you desire. *You can make a big batch for the week to plan ahead or simply just a few for your next meal.
  2. Set a timer for 6 minutes. When the timer is up, use a slotted spoon to transfer to an ice bath.
  3. For a less-runny yolk, yet still super creamy that you can easily slice for toasts, set your timer for 7 minutes. For a hard boiled egg, set it for 8. But trust me, just try the 6.

 

10-MINUTE ASIAN KALE SALAD

Let me guess...you raaaarely, if ever, have time to whip up a healthy lunch in the middle of your crazy work day. Me either! Even though I'm in and out of the house, I'm running around and need to be out just as quick as I got in, so lunch needs to be fast, easy, healthy and delicious. 

And while it helps to always keep healthy staples on hand, hours of food prep is out of the question for me. Find habits that work for YOU. If you know you'll never find yourself chopping and prepping your Sunday away, choose easy and ready-to-go staples and easy simple meals for the work week. And if you enjoy prepping ahead of time, you go, you!!

Whipped this salad up in under 10 min and topped it with some leftover turkey larb from our picnic in the park last night for an extra protein boost. (side note: it's been decided that summer picnics need to happen waaaaaayyyyy more often). Toss everything together in the morning (or night before) – dressed or undressed (referring to both yourself, and the kale) – and you're good to go. I'm all for nudity in the kitchen btw.

10-MINUTE ASIAN KALE SALAD

Serves 1 | prep time 10 min

*No need to measure any of these ingredients - use your eyes, but here's a simple guideline.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 c lacinato kale, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp or splash of rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp or splash of tamari
  • 2 inch piece of cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 radish, julienned
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Massage kale with olive oil, toasted sesame oil and sea salt.
  2. Add rice vinegar and tamari. 
  3. Toss in a cucumber, radish, green onion, pepitas, sesame seeds.
  4. (Optional protein boost: ground turkey, soft boiled egg, chopped nuts, etc. Feel free to add in any other greens you have on hand. Thinly sliced green cabbage is a great addition!)