Smores. All-Powerful-Protector of the Boot Tray!

This morning, I was able to get up almost with the alarm… okay, more like the 2nd snooze… But we were out of bed before 5:30!!  That meant we had enough time to actually get our workout in this morning, to leisurely get ready for work, and have breakfast together!!!  This morning’s added bonus… I got to work on time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Getting up and being rested made such a difference with my ability to work out and stay focused on my health today.  I can’t tell you how important that is to me feeling capable of success.    I read on Paula’s Blog about people being stressed about The Excellent Challenge.  Truthfully, I am apprehensive, not quite stressed, but apprehensive.  I don’t want to have anything other than wildly successful.  I don’t want to let myself or anyone else down.  But realistically, I know that even if I lose 5 lbs the whole time, instead of the 14… well that’s 5 lbs closer to where I want to be.  I have to make myself stick to any movement in the right direction, is still bringing me closer to my goal.  I struggle with not having instant results.  I have worked very very hard on that in my other aspects of my life.  One of the hardest things for me to say to someone is anything along of the lines of “I can’t help you right now because I don’t know the answer, I’ll have to ask and get back to you”, and then actually have to wait for a resource to have time for me to go over the situation with them.  I think that comes from me not wanting to let anyone down, ever.  Usually it’s other people I would be letting down.  The pressure with the challenge is that I would be letting myself down.
In preparation for the smooth morning I anticipated us having today.  I prepared a batch of pancake mix last night.  It’s a recipe I use often, and this time I used some gluten free whole grain oat flour.  I added everything except the blueberries.  I was so looking forward to having delicious pancakes for breakfast.  Unfortunately, I meant to add the eggs last, and completely forgot.  The pancakes were an epic failure this morning… and poor Hubs… I didn’t recall the omission until he had a set of failed pancakes.  Pamela’s Bread toasted with pb and flax meal it was!!!
Yesterday, you may have read about the quinoa salad I was making for our “mains” for lunch.  I was honestly a little worried that it would look super yummy but just fall flat.  Instead, it exceeded ALL of my most hopeful expectations…   I adore it and so doesn’t Hubs.  In case you want to make it yourself, I am including the recipe and nutrition info below.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
3 cups of water
1 cup of quinoa
½ tsp sea salt
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground chipotle chili powder (I actually used ancho)
2 T red wine vinegar
3 T canola or olive oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
½ red onion, diced
¼ cup cilantro
Directions
1. Two Options:  Rice Cooker or Stove Top
  • For Rice Cooker: Combine quinoa & water, set to cook… Walk away and enjoy letting your rice cooker do all the work. 😉
  • For the Stove Top:  In a large pot  bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and salt and boil for 10 minutes.
    • Remove from heat and rinse quinoa and place in a fine metal sieve or fine colander. Bring a fresh pot of   water to boil.  Place quinoa in the sieve over it. Cover with a kitchen towel and lid. Steam for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile make the dressing by combining lime juice, cumin, chili powder, chipotle/ancho chili powder, vinegar, oil and garlic. (You can do this in a small bowl or in a blender… heck you can even use a protein shaker, which is totally what I did. 🙂 )
3. In a separate bowl, combine black beans, corn, onion and cilantro.
4. After quinoa cools, combine with black bean mixture.
5. Toss with dressing and serve at room temperature or chilled.
Nutrition Breakdown: 
16 1/2 cup servings.
Per Serving:
Calories: 156
Fat: 5
Carb: 24
Fiber: 5
Protein: 5
Spring in Virginia is one of the reasons I think people fall in love with this area.  This year I feel like my eyes and nose are assaulted by the beauty of the trees, bushes and flowers proclaiming themselves to the world. 
Every morning, on my commute, I pass these three gorgeous weeping willows.  They are in a neighborhood that appears to be off of Hershberger, but I’m not sure.  They are huge, and splendidly outfitted in light pink blossoms.  They make my morning!   Hubs has a dinky commute… He doesn’t go by those three trees.  Since they make me so joyful, I wanted to share the joy with my love!!  This evening right after work, he jumped in the Civic.   It’s been gorgeous today, but supposed to be rainy tomorrow, and I was worried that the trees would lose some of their flowers.  We tried to find the trees up close to take a picture to share, but no dice.  We ended up in a really sketchy section of the city I’ve never been in before.  We gave it a good try, then gave up!  Sorry!!!!  When we got home, and he agreed with me that the trees were an excellent sight…
I had been thinking about having a salad for dinner all afternoon, but thought Hubs, the Saver he is would balk.  Instead, he suggested when we got home from the tree adventure that we walk down to the sports bar at the bottom of the hill and get salads for dinner.  This place has some severely good Greek salads.  Last time we went they drowned the salad in dressing, so Hubs reminded me to get mine on the side.  We each got a half salad, and a bowl of chili.  (I’ve been here a lot so I knew these food choices to be “safe” AKA GF)  It was the perfect portion and so delish.  We took the long way home and then picked up Sir Theron and took him for his evening trot.
It’s late and my dogs are barkin!!  (The foot type, not Theron:) )
Here’s the daily cuteness….
I am Smores.  All-Powerful-Protector of the Boot Tray!
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