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Friday, September 13, 2013

take it to-go!

The first weekend of your challenge is here! Where are you headed? Tailgating? Grill-out? Family reunion? Friends get-together? After church Sunday dinner? Chances are you will be out of routine this weekend...and that is when habits love to be broken. It doesn't mean you can't go and have a heck of a good time still. It just means go prepared. Be ready to see some oh so tasty looking platters of food and maybe even an adult beverage or two that you probably used to enjoy...and one day  will every so often again...but right now we are giving 24 days of our best eating choices. Only 24. Out of thousands of days you have. You can do this!

I love to take a side dish when we are gathering and usually try to take along something that is a healthy choice (not that I don't also take a non-healthy choice too, guilty as spoken :) But knowing I am bringing a safe option for me (and my kids) to eat makes saying no much easier to the cheesy potatoes and cream cheese dip staring at me. Three things you almost always find in my house are almonds, dried cranberries, and spinach leaves. Greens, protein, some vitamin E. Watch your dried cranberries though, choose natural ones over sweetened ones. They are sweet enough on their own!

For an easy side dish to take with you layer a big platter with baby spinach leaves, sprinkle almond shavings or slices over it. Sprinkle dried cranberries on it. Slice up a hand full of radishes, a cucumber or two, and if you want to really go crazy...add some feta cheese (you can also just have this available on the side for those avoiding dairy, a recommendation during your cleanse phase of challenge). Take along a red vinaigrette dressing and ta-da! You have a yummy side dish that you can eat and share. The bonus... if you are at a grill-out or pot-luck type gathering chances are you will find grilled chicken or steak. Just slice up some of that tasty meat, throw it on your salad, and enjoy a challenge friendly meal away from home!

Challenge Friendly Spinach Salad

baby spinach leaves
natural dried cranberries
sliced almonds
Vinaigrette dressing
(Feta Cheese optional, avoid dairy during cleanse phase)

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