I’m not sure which part of the title to start with, so we’ll go with the rhubarb first. I love rhubarb – always have, probably always will. It is a sign that spring is well underway, and this time of year, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I used to have my own patch, but it had to be moved, and is now QUITE small. But after some blog-envy at Katie’s strawberry rhubarb muffins last week, I knew I had to get some – stat!
Thankfully, the farmers’ market that I stopped at last Friday had some, so I proceeded to buy $9.87 worth (6 HUGE stalks), and that night I got to work on one of my favourite ways to use it: stewed rhubarb.
Stewed rhubarb is SUPER-easy to make, and it is delicious and versatile – can be used in breakfast, lunch, snacks or dessert. To make it, all you need is rhubarb, water, and your choice of sweetener. For mine, I chopped 6 cups of rhubarb (this yield 4 cups of stewed rhubarb), added water and Splenda, and heated on high until boiling. I reduced heat to medium, then simmered until all the rhubarb had broken down and it was nice and mushy (in the best way). Next time, I ‘d add a bit less water, since it was a bit more liquidy than I wanted.
Let cool, then store covered in the fridge (add more sweetener of your choice if necessary. I had to. Rhubarb is delicious, but it’s pretty sour on its own). The above picture is a close-up of what the rhubarb looks like when it’s done, so you can see the texture.
So far, I’ve used my stewed rhubarb in breakfast:
mixed with pineapple and yogurt
mixed with thawed, frozen strawberries and yogurt
– a sort of rhubarb "cheesecake" concoction: 3 tbsp each of light ricotta and fat-free cream cheese, a splash of vanilla and Splenda mixed together, topped with some stewed rhubarb and a sprinkling of cacao nibs for crunch.
All have been delicious, and the best part is, I still have more left!
Now onto the challenge (don’t worry, it’s nothing TOO hard ). I’m really excited to be hosting my first official blog challenge to my readers.
It’s no secret that I’ve been trying to take off a few inches since getting back from my indulgent Vegas vacation. I made it 4 and 1/2 days on my low carb-ish plan, have been eating loads of fresh fruits and veggies, and getting in a good amount of cardio and weight training. It’s amazing how good those things can make you feel in only a few short days.
Since tomorrow is the first day of June and summer is just around the corner, I’m proposing a challenge to you, my dear HHH readers: Shape up for Summer (I know, I know, you’re thinking, “where did you come up with such an original name?). Maybe, like me, you’ve packed on a couple of extra pounds from winter or vacation, and bathing suit season doesn’t leave you much room to hide. Or maybe you absolutely love the shape you’re in now (lucky you)! It doesn’t matter – either way, you can join in the challenge.
What I’m asking you is to pick one (or more) healthy changes you can incorporate in the month of June that will help you meet your health goals, whether they are to drop a few pounds/inches by the end of the month, stay in fabulous shape, get more exercise or eat healthier. I have several steps I want to take, but one is just fine! I know the challenge seems a little open-ended/vague, but I designed it that way specifically because if I’ve learned one thing over the course of my weight-loss journey, it’s that weight loss/healthy living are very personal, and what works for one person may not work for the next. We’re all at different points in our journey, and the Shape up challenge can be done no matter where you are or what you want to achieve.
So, here are my goals for June:
– eat low-carb, mostly whole foods, one day a week (I felt so fabulous after doing it last week that I want to continue)
– use self-control and make smart choices at food functions in June (showers, graduations, birthdays, Father’s day) and bring a healthier option wherever possible
– push myself in my workouts, especially in strength training, to increase intensity and feel the burn
I could go on, but I’ll stop at 3…if I stick to these goals (or even sort-of do), I know I’ll like what I see. If you’re like me, you don’t need a scale to tell you if you’re at your happy weight, you know what it looks and feels like. Everyone has their own idea of “skinny” – for me, it’s not being a size 0, 2 or 4; it means reducing the size of my middle, being able to see the definition in my waistline (even just a tiny bit), and that my pants fit with no muffin top and blouses/sweaters fit without buttons or zippers pulling at the chest.
If you’d like to join me and share your own goal(s) (and I really hope you do), you can either leave them in a comment on this post, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and share with me. I hope to post weekly updates on my successes (and failures) and you can let me know how you’re doing too! I look forward to hearing from you!