It’s an especially happy one for me! My Thursday class today was cancelled, and I don’t have classes on Friday. Four day weekend? I think so.
Something I learned yesterday: A frozen banana makes a post-workout smoothie that much better.
Lately after every gym session, I follow up with a protein smoothie with a frozen banana, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop protein powder, and a handful of spinach.
When I got home yesterday, I realized I didn’t have any frozen bananas on hand. So I just chopped up a regular banana and threw it in. Yea, just not the same. Almost like a juice instead of a smoothie, which for me is unacceptable. I like my smoothies to be almost soft-serve consistency.
With Courtney’s current October yoga challenge, I’m trying to get two sessions of yoga in per week. Last Sunday, I realized I only had one session for the week so I needed to squeeze in a second. After my interval run at the gym, I planned on coming home and doing a podcast. For some reason that thought didn’t really appeal to me.
So what did I do? I ended up grabbing a mat at the gym, going into a room that wasn’t in use (it was not crowded that day whatsoever) and taking myself through my own little flow.
I’ve never actually done that before – I’ve always used videos or gone to classes. But my verdict? I loved it! I actually felt more relaxed than I usually do following yoga. It was just me, the mat, and the music pumping through the speakers (which I actually enjoyed the top 40 music a lot more than I did the regular soothing yoga music). I took myself through a few savasanas, some warrior flows, a couple of balance poses and some hip stretchers.
I usually find myself looking at the clock hoping it’ll end after about 15 minutes of a flow. But on Sunday I looked at the clock and was surprised to see 30 minutes had gone by. I’ll definitely need to do my own flows a little more often! (Speaking of which, I need to get a session in today!)
Homemade Healthified Poutine
I stand by the theory that if you are Canadian and you haven’t eaten poutine, you are being extremely unpatriotic. It is more or less our national dish, you know.
And of course, I happen to live with someone who is poutine obsessed.
The guy pretty much can’t go a week or two without wanting a fix.
While poutine is delicious, it’s not exactly the heathiest dish. Fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Then you get fancy (Mexican poutine, bacon poutine, pulled pork poutine…I’ve even seen cheeseburger poutine before) and the toppings just add to it.
So, I decided I needed an at-home version so we could get our poutine fix in a somewhat healthier way. It has baked fries, and the addition of chicken and peas for some protein and veggie action. It’s all about balance, right?
And because I’m obsessed with all things Mexican food, I needed a Mexi version.
Healthified Mexican Poutine
(Serves 2-4. Probably closer to 2, because it’s pretty much a rule that when you eat poutine, you need to eat a lot of it).
- 4 potatoes, washed and cut into fries
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- french fry seasonings – I chose dashes of salt, pepper, chile powder and cumin.
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 1 packet poutine gravy mix (if you can find a low-sodium option, go with that – I couldn’t find one)
- 1/4 cup white cheese curds
- Toppings of choice: sour cream, Greek yogurt, guacamole, salsa, green onion, ect.
If you can’t find cheese curds, you can use shredded cheese. But really, then it only half counts as poutine (my pet peeve = poutine made with shredded cheese. It’s just not the same).
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash potatoes and cut into fries (you could peel if you wanted to, but I never bothered. A lot of the nutrients are in the skin anyways!). Add fries, olive oil and seasonings to a sealable bag and shake until coated. Place on a tinfoil-covered pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil.
P.s. you probably shouldn’t crowd the pan as much as I did – it takes longer to cook. Do what I say, not what I do.
2. Place fries in oven for 40 minutes or until done, turning occasionally.
3. When fries are about half done, start the chicken. Cut two breasts into small pieces and season with the same spices you used for the fries. Place in pan with olive oil or cooking spray at about medium-low heat.
4. Cook chicken until no longer pink. The, add salsa and peas to the pan. When peas and chicken are cooked through, set aside.
5. Start the gravy. Cook according to directions.
6. When everything is ready, build your poutine! Start with a layer of fries, add 1/4-1/2 of the chicken/peas/salsa mixture, add a few spoonfuls of gravy, and top with cheese curds.
7. Add toppings (I used salsa, sour cream, and guacamole). Devour.
And there you go! A Canadian classic, healthified a little bit for weekday use.
<— What’s your favourite yoga pose? I’m a fan of half pigeon (so good for my tight hips) and dancer pose (I have no idea why, I just love it).
<— Have you ever eaten poutine?
<— What food is representative of your area? (country, state, city, whatever).