Motivation Monday: Getting Back on Track + Chinese Chopped Salad Recipe

Today is the first Monday of July, and that means it’s time for another edition of my monthly series, Motivation Monday. For me, healthy living is all about motivation. It’s about finding the motivation to skip a second helping, go for a walk, or cook instead of ordering takeout . Each Motivation Monday features easy tips and a healthy recipe.

Last month, my goal was to lose weight. Easier said than done, right? Well, the month started off well, but then I got a little sidetracked. Oops.

So my goal for July is simply to get back on track. I’m also sharing a Chinese Chopped Salad recipe that is super delicious!

Motivation Monday: Getting Back on Track + Chinese Chopped Salad Recipe | Hello Little HomeMy plan last month was to:

  • Watch portion sizes.
  • Cut out unhealthy snacks.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Track my exercise and everything I eat.

I did okay with this some days, but I seemed to lose focus most afternoon. These are all important keys to losing weight, so I’ll continue to work on these things.

Weight loss is a long, slow process, and having smaller goals has always helped me maintain motivation. Starting today, I’m going to be doing this 30 day plank challenge.

Basically, this challenge takes you from a 20 second plank to a 5 minute plank in 30 days. There’s even an app for tracking progress. Let me know if you want to join me, and we can suffer through it together!

Motivation Monday + Chinese Chopped Salad | Hello Little Home #recipe #NoCook #vegetarianIf you’re trying to lose weight like me – or even if you’re not – this Chinese Chopped Salad is a great recipe.

It’s full of crunchy vegetables, sweet mandarin oranges, and savory baked tofu (sub your favorite protein if you’re not a tofu fan). Everything is tossed with a lightly sweetened soy vinaigrette and topped with sliced almonds for even more crunch. It’s so good!

Chinese Chopped Salad

Yield: 4 - 6 main dish servings

Chinese Chopped Salad

Ingredients

    For salad dressing:
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • For salad:
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, cut into thirds
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8-ounce) package baked tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1 head romaine, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 small head of red cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 (11-ounce) can Mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

    Prepare salad dressing:
  1. Combine olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Assemble salad:
  4. Place peas, carrots, onions, tofu, romaine, red pepper, cabbage, cilantro, and Mandarin oranges in a large bowl.
  5. Pour salad dressing over vegetables and toss gently.
  6. Serve salad sprinkled with sliced almonds. Enjoy!

Notes

When purchasing tofu, look for "Asian" or "Thai" flavors. If you're not a fan of tofu, it can be left out or even replaced with chicken.

http://hellolittlehome.com/motivation-monday-chinese-chopped-salad-recipe/

Motivation Monday + Chinese Chopped Salad | Hello Little Home #recipe #NoCook #vegetarianMotivation Monday + Chinese Chopped Salad | Hello Little Home #recipe #NoCook #vegetarianHave you ever tried to lose weight? How did you maintain your motivation?

P.S. Read all of my Motivation Monday posts.

I’m linking up with these link parties, as well as Flaunt It Friday, Be.You.Tiful, Fridays Unfolded, Family Fun FridayFrugal FridayI Heart Nap TimeBest of the Weekend, Showlicious, Say G’Day Saturday, Saturday SparksSaturday Night FeverLink It or Lump ItThink Pink Sunday, Much Ado About MondayInspiration MondayInspire Me TuesdayTickle My Tastebuds TuesdayThe ScoopTweak It TuesdayLou Lou GirlsTake-A-Look TuesdayBrag About ItWine’d Down WednesdayYour Whims Wednesday, Make Bake Create, and Craft Frenzy Friday.

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Motivation Monday: Lose Weight + Greek Quinoa Salad Recipe

Today is the first Monday of June, and that means it’s time for another edition of my monthly series, Motivation Monday. For me, healthy living is all about motivation. It’s about finding the motivation to skip a second helping, go for a walk, or cook instead of ordering takeout . Each Motivation Monday features easy tips and a healthy recipe.

Last month, my goal was to spend as much time outside as possible. I lucked out with great weather and spent lots of time walking, having picnics, and just soaking it all in! Hopefully, this month isn’t too hot and humid, because I plan to keep it up.

For June, my goal is simple: to lose weight. I’m also sharing a recipe for a healthy and delicious Greek Quinoa Salad.

Motivation Monday: Lose Weight + Greek Quinoa Salad Recipe | Hello Little HomeA few pounds have slowly crept up on me these past few years, and this month I’m going to focus on starting to lose that extra weight.

My plan is to:

  • Watch portion sizes.
  • Cut out unhealthy snacks.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Track my exercise and everything I eat.

I’ve done this before (oops … will have to work on the maintenance part!), and the thing that made the difference for me was tracking everything. I really like SparkPeople.

SparkPeople is a website that teaches you how to eat healthier and exercise regularly.  Just enter how many pounds you’d like to lose, pick a date you’d like to lose the weight by, and SparkPeople gives you a calorie range. Then you track everything you eat, which is not nearly as annoying as it sounds. As you lose weight, the calorie range gets updated. Best of all, it’s FREE!

It also allows you to track exercise (bonus: the more you exercise, the more you can eat!), and there are a ton of educational articles, healthy recipes, and even a community of like-minded people to connect with. Plus, there’s an app for when you’re on the go.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not being paid by SparkPeople to say this. I’ve used it before, and it worked really well for me, but I’ve also heard great things about My Fitness Pal and other programs. If you’re trying to lose weight, the important thing is to track your food intake and exercise, so you can make healthier decisions.

Greek Quinoa Salad | Hello Little Home #recipe #healthy #MotivationMondayThe most crucial part of losing weight – even more so than exercise – is eating well and watching portion size. Salads are a great option, but there’s nothing worse than eating one and then being hungry again an hour later, right?

That’s why I love this Greek Quinoa Salad. It has all the flavor of a traditional Greek salad, but the quinoa, which is full of protein and healthy carbs, keeps you full a lot longer. Plus, it tastes great!

Greek Quinoa Salad

Yield: 4 main dish servings

Greek Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/2 a medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 3 cups spinach, lightly packed
  • For Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Cover pan and reduce heat to low. Cook until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
  3. Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl and set aside to cool.
  4. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Whisk until well combined. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired, and set aside.
  6. Halve grape tomatoes.
  7. Peel cucumber, if waxed. Cut in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Slice into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
  8. Peel and thinly slice red onion.
  9. Remove pits from black olives, if necessary, and cut in half.
  10. Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, and feta to cooled quinoa.
  11. Drizzle with vinaigrette and mix everything together.
  12. Add spinach and toss gently.
  13. Season to taste with additional salt, if necessary. Enjoy!

Notes

I used red quinoa for this salad, but you can use any variety.
Use your favorite kind of olives. I prefer Kalamata or Greek olives.
This salad can be made ahead; however, add spinach just before serving.

http://hellolittlehome.com/motivation-monday-lose-weight-greek-quinoa-salad-recipe/

Greek Quinoa Salad | Hello Little Home #recipe #healthy #MotivationMondayGreek Quinoa Salad | Hello Little Home #recipe #healthy #MotivationMondayThis Greek Quinoa Salad recipe is perfect for summer, too, since there’s not a lot of cooking involved. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Have you ever tried to lose weight? What worked for you?

P.S. Read all of my Motivation Monday posts.

P.P.S. Check out my other salad recipes for more healthy, but filling ideas.

I’m linking up with these link parties, as well as Lovely Ladies Linky, Much Ado About Monday, The Scoop, Tweak It Tuesday, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Create & Share, Make Bake Create, Your Whims Wednesday, Work It Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Pin It Thursday, Wake Up Wednesday, Creative Inspirations, Link’n Blogs, Eat. Create. Party!Flaunt It FridayCraft Frenzy FridayInspire Me PleaseFridays Unfolded, Family Fun FridayFrugal FridayThe Party Bunch, Link Party Palooza, Best of the Weekend, Say G’Day Saturday, Saturday SparksGet Schooled SaturdayShow Stopper Saturday, Epic Mommy Adventures, Saturday Night Fever, and Inspire Me Tuesday.

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Motivation Monday: Enjoying the Outdoors + Picnic Recipes

Today is the first Monday of May, and that means it’s time for another edition of my monthly series, Motivation Monday. For me, healthy living is all about motivation. It’s about finding the motivation to skip a second helping, go for a walk, or cook instead of ordering takeout . Each Motivation Monday features easy tips and a healthy recipe.

Last month was my fourth Motivation Monday, and I revisited my goals from the previous three months. I’m still having sleep issues, so I’ll continue working on that, but otherwise, I’m doing well with my other goals.

For May, my goal is to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors as possible. In that same spirit, I’m also sharing a few of my favorite picnic recipes from my archives.

Motivation Monday: Enjoying the Outdoors + Picnic Recipes | Hello Little HomeI’ve been feeling cooped up the last month or so, and now that the weather is finally nice, I’m planning to get outside as much as possible.

Here are my tips for enjoying the outdoors:

  • Schedule your workouts outside. At this time of year, I enjoy exercising outside whenever possible. I love taking walks in Riverside Park or around the Central Park Reservoir. It leaves me feeling energized physically and mentally.
  • Coat yourself in sunblock. I’m kind of a sunblock fanatic, and I’d rather get my glow from bronzer and self-tanner, than risk wrinkles or worse. Neutrogrena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen is my favorite. It’s super light and perfect for oily skin. I also switch to Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion with SPF 15 at this time of year, and apply it to my arms and legs every day. That way if I’m caught outside unprepared, I’m covered (literally!).
  • Explore a new neighborhood. One of my favorite ways to spend a beautiful day is walking around a new (to me) part of the city. New York is huge, so there’s definitely a lot to see, but most towns have their own hidden charms. Just pick a neighborhood and spend your day exploring its streets, trying new restaurants or markets, and window shopping.
  • Dress the part. The weather can change quickly at this time of year, so make sure to layer. I like to start with jeans and a tee or a casual dress and then add a light sweater, scarf, and jacket. That way I can add or subtract layers as the temperature rises and falls. It never hurts to pack an umbrella either!
  • Eat alfresco. I love eating as many meals outside as possible, and you don’t need a porch or deck to do it. Pretty much any meal can be eaten alfresco, so why not head to the park for your next one? Just pack everything up and go. If you’re looking for a basket, this Woven Picnic Basket from Target is so cute and costs less than $20!

Speaking of picnics, my husband and I enjoyed one in Central Park this past weekend!

Motivation Monday: Picnic in the Park: Hello Little HomePicnic Recipes: Watermelon-Basil Quinoa Salad, Caprese Sandwiches & Strawberry Lemonade | Hello Little HomeWhat’s a picnic without some delicious food? These are some of my favorite picnic recipes:

  • Check out this Easy Five-Step Picnic post for my favorite Caprese Sandwich recipe. It’s basically a caprese salad in sandwich form, and it’s so good!
  • For a really unique dish, try my Watermelon-Basil Quinoa Salad. I know watermelon in a savory salad sounds a little strange, but I promise that it tastes amazing.
  • Wash everything down with my Strawberry Lemonade. You have to try this recipe! It’s the perfect balance of tart lemons and sweet strawberries, and it’s really easy to make. Pour the lemonade into mason jars with lids before leaving home and add fun paper straws when you get to your destination.

Motivation Monday: Enjoying the Outdoors + Picnic Recipes | Hello Little HomeWe had our picnic in Central Park. It’s full of beautiful flowers at this time of year, so we had to take a few photos. Just ignore my crazy hair; it was like that in every shot!

Joel even got in on action. I must have said something funny!

Motivation Monday: Enjoying the Outdoors + Picnic Recipes | Hello Little HomeIt was a great day, and I’m hoping there will be a lot more like it this month!

Do you have any goals this month?

P.S. Read all of my Motivation Monday posts.

I’m linking up with these link parties, as well as Make Bake Create, Much Ado About Monday, Tasty Tuesdays, The Scoop, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Create & Share, The Yuck Stops Here, Work It Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Pin It Thursday, Link Party Palooza, Flaunt It Friday, Craft Frenzy Friday, Be.You.Tiful, Fridays Unfolded, Fabulous Friday, Frugal Friday, Best of the Weekend, and Inspire Me Tuesday.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something from one of these links, I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). I only recommend products that I love, and your purchase helps to support the free content offered on Hello Little Home (thank you so much!).

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Motivation Monday: Getting Enough Sleep + Easy Asian Dumpling Soup Recipe

It’s the first Monday of March, and that means it’s time for another edition of my monthly series, Motivation Monday. For me, healthy living is all about motivation. It’s about finding the motivation to cook instead of order takeout, go for a walk, or skip a second helping. Each Motivation Monday features easy tips and a healthy recipe.

Last month, my focus was on developing a consistent exercise routine, and my goal was to exercise 4 days a week. I’m happy to report that, save a missed workout or two, I did really well. I did lots of barre and pilates type workouts, and I’m looking forward to keeping it up in March and beyond (hopefully, spring weather will show up soon so I can get outside!).

For March, my focus is going to be on getting enough sleep (see my tips below). Plus, I’m sharing a recipe for a delicious and easy Asian Dumpling Soup.

Motivation Monday: Getting Enough Sleep + Easy Asian Dumpling Soup | Hello Little Home #soup #resolutionsI’m not entirely sure why, but since moving to New York, my sleeping habits have been absolutely terrible. Not only have I been staying up too late, but when I do finally get to bed, I haven’t been able to fall asleep. There’s lots of reasons why – stress, staying up too late, a bad shoulder, etc. – but whatever the reason, I need to make a healthy change.

There are a few things that have helped me sleep better in the past, that I’ll be working into my routine:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night. My goal is to have the lights out by midnight on most nights.
  • Turn off electronics at least an hour before bedtime. I’ve fallen into the habit of watching TV and/or working on the computer, phone, or iPad right up until bedtime and that needs to stop.
  • Get anxiety and stress in check. There is nothing worse than laying down to sleep and having your mind kick in to overdrive. Making a to do list for the next day, writing down the days worries (and then letting them go) , and doing a little stretching before bed all help.
  • Wind down before bed with an easy routine. I’m usually really tired before bed, but after washing my face and taking out my contacts, I’m wide awake by the time my head hits the pillow. I’m going to start getting ready for bed a little earlier and then doing a little reading, so I can go directly to bed when I’m tired.

"Sleep is the best meditation." Dalai Lama | Hello Little Home #MotivationMondayOne thing that stresses me out during the week is getting a healthy dinner on the table. I have a bad habit of waiting until the last minute and then resorting to takeout. Eating a fatty takeout meal right late at night is not a great way to prepare for bed!

My Easy Asian Dumpling Soup is the perfect weeknight meal. This recipe is so simple that you can have it on the table in 15 minutes. Plus, it’s super light and healthy.

Easy Asian Dumpling Soup | Hello Little Home #MotivationMonday #recipe #healthyEasy Asian Dumpling Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 head of cabbage
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 16-oz. package dumplings (I used Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza)
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • sriracha, to taste

Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.

While broth is heating, prepare vegetables. Peel and thinly slice carrot. Chop cabbage. Thinly slice green onions (green part only; reserve white part for another use).

Easy-Asian Dumpling Soup Ingredients | Hello Little Home #MotivationMonday #recipe #healthyWhen broth reaches a boil, add carrots and cabbage. Return to boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 – 10 minutes. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha. Stir well. Season with additional soy sauce, if necessary.

Easy Asian Dumpling Soup | Hello Little Home #MotivationMonday #recipe #healthyWhile vegetables are cooking, prepare dumplings according to package directions. I microwaved mine, and it took about 5 minutes.

To serve, place dumplings in a large soup bowl. Ladle soup over top and sprinkle with green onions. Enjoy!

Easy Asian Dumpling Soup | Hello Little Home #MotivationMonday #recipe #healthyWhat is your best tip for getting a good night’s sleep? Do you have a favorite meal that takes minutes to prepare?

P.S. Read my other Motivation Monday posts.

I’m linking up with Much Ado About Monday, Plucky’s Second Thoughts, Give Me the Goods Monday, Home Stories A to Z’s Tutorials & Tips, Time to Sparkle, The Scoop, Tuesday’s Treasures, Ginger Jamboree, Awesome Things Tuesday, Sugar Bee Crafts’ Take-A-Look Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, The Makers, VMG206’s Brag About It, The Inspiration Exchange, Wine’d Down Wednesday, The Wednesday Roundup, Lovely Ladies Linky, Make Bake Create, SNAP! Show + Tell, Work It Wednesday, Embracing Change’s Creative Inspirations, Lamberts Lately’s Create It Thursday, Live Laugh Rowe’s Live Laugh Linky, Sweet Bella Roos’ Pin It Thursday, Link’n Blogs, Inspiration Gallery Link Party, Craft Frenzy Friday, Be.You.Tiful Link Party, Inspire Me Please, Nancherrow’s Fridays Unfolded, The Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday, Pinworthy Projects Party, The Party BunchLink Party Palooza, Best of the Weekend, Cheerios & Lattes’ Saturday Show & Tell, Pieced Pastimes’ Saturday Sparks, Sewlicious Home Decor, Get Schooled Saturday, Saturday Night Fever, Showstopper Saturday, Flamingo Toes’ Think Pink Sunday, Link It or Lump It, DIY Showoff’s That DIY Party, Sunday Best Showcase, Inspiration Monday, and Craft-O-Maniac Monday.

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