Next Monday I’m embarking on yet another challenge!  You may recall that I committed to a 30 Day Challenge for the month of September (no sweets and real food) which is now rolling straight into another one.  I am facilitating a 4-Week Fitness Challenge at my CrossFit gym: Reebok CrossFit Medfield.  Currently 52 members are on-board to participate. WOW!

The challenge provides 5 possible points per day: 1 for doing a WOD (Workout of the Day in CrossFit speak), 1 point each for abstaining from sugar, grains, dairy and alcohol.  There are weekly prizes for top point earners and a big grand prize for the individual with the most points at the end of the 4 weeks.  I’m really excited to be leading the journey with such a great group.

Now, personally, if you are following along, this means if I want to keep my points high each day on the CrossFit challenge, I could go 57 days without any sweets between the two back-to-back challenges.  Oh dear… If you know me well, you know sweets are my weak spot for sure!

OK… On to what’s cookin’ next week!

After two nights off from cooking (Friday/Saturday) I have some great meals planned to keep me on track to earn those challenge points!

Sunday: Oven-Baked Pork and Apples and roasted brussel sprouts.  Now if you think you aren’t a brussel sprout fan, have you tried them roasted and lightly salted?  YUM!

Monday: White Bean & Sausage Ragout with Tomatoes, Kale & Zucchini

Tuesday: Lemon Roasted  Chicken & Cauliflower

Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken & Black Bean Taco Salad (note the modifications I made in the Comments section)

Thursday: I’m making Winter Lentil Soup which is  one of my favorite recipes from my 3 Steps Toward Optimal Health program book.  This is a program I offer 3x per year (January, Spring, Fall) that focuses on nurturing and reviving your body by eating an abundance of healthy food over a 14-day period.  It’s a structured eating plan in three phases that helps remove excess toxins in your body, jump start weight loss and transitions you to a healthier way of eating.
*Please see past participant comments about their experience with this program on my Testimonials page.

Winter Lentil Soup:

4 Leeks
1 bunch of Kale (or box/bag of baby kale)
1 TBS Olive Oil
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup of lentils
1 TBS of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each into 1/4 inch half moons (approx. 2 cups worth).  Place in large bowl of water and swish to remove any dirt.  Drain and pat dry.  Remove stems and chop kale if you have large leaf variety (approx. 3 cups worth).  Heat oil in large pot add leeks and sauté until they become soft.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer until lentils are tender (approx. 30 minutes).

My 12 yo leaves very early Monday morning for a 4-day school trip.  Because she is gluten and dairy sensitive I need to pack an entire cooler of food for her.  Good grief… So, I’m not trying anything new for her to avoid any risk of her not liking it.

My 9 yo looked through our little binder of breakfast/lunch recipes and selected these two for next week:
Overnight Oats in a Jar – There a lot of varieties you can try on this link.  Megan enjoys the Raspberry Vanilla option from that list.  100 Days of Real Food also has some recipes you can try.
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Tops – We have made these before and she really enjoys them.  They freeze well and are great to pack for lunch.

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