Staying active is very important to me, but if you are a long time reader or friend, then you know that I am not one to run marathons or take on the challenge of a triathlon. But I do like to get out of the house, take in some fresh air and challenge myself to get my daily steps on my tracker.
Last summer and fall, my husband and I really got into bike riding. We would spend several hours a few mornings a week taking on the various hike and bike trails in our city. Then life got busy and out schedules didn’t exactly work out to go biking together. So we just stopped.
A few months ago, shortly after we moved into our new neighborhood, I decided we needed to get active again. No we didn’t start training for that marathon, but we did get up and moving in some form or fashion every single day. You see, while I know you must push yourself and work hard to see “results”, I fully believe that some activity is better than no activity. That if you have no motivation or are suffering an injury, that sometimes all you need is to get up and dance, go on a walk around the block or jump on the trampoline with the kids… to not only get your heart going, but to make your heart and soul happy!
With this in mind, the last few months I have focused on these little bursts of activity. Our go to activity, is sunset walks with our pup to “discover” our new neighborhood, hoping to get a little lost to have more time to spend with each other. Other fun, low impact exercise we love and have enjoyed since summer rolled around, is kayaking (we seriously spent an entire afternoon a few weeks ago trying to row as far as we could on our local lake!), yoga, hiking, swimming and even getting back on our bikes.
Since these activities are more fun with friends, after a recent family dinner, I invited our dinner guests to join us on our evening walk. Yeah, they may have not had their yoga pants ready for a workout, but we went on our walk anyways and it was not only a gorgeous night (a rare thing the past few weeks with all the rain we have had) but we had a fun time laughing and bonding with each other!
Not only am I trying to be more active, I am trying to make smarter choices when it comes to our meals. As I prepare our meal plan each week, I am consciously looking for simple recipes that fit into our balanced and more active lifestyle.
The SPLENDA® Brand wants to help inspire and motivate others to make smarter choices and live a more balanced diet, by swapping out sugar with SPLENDA® sweetner products. This Sriracha Glazed Shrimp with Quinoa, adapted from the SPLENDA® Sweet Swaps website, was a great addition to our weekly, more balanced, meal plan! It was a crowd pleaser, as it was a complete hit with our dinner guests! I especially loved that this meal came together in less than 30 minutes (prep time included!). The sauce is slightly sweet and sticky with a hint of heat from the sriracha. Paired this meal with steamed green beans or a garden salad, for a complete and satisfying dinner.
Sriracha Glazed Shrimp with Quinoa
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Serves: 4
1 cup tri-color quinoa
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 lemon, jucied and zested
1-2 tablespoons sriracha hot chili sauce
1 tablespoon SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh Thai or regular basil, chiffonade (optional for garnish)
In a medium sized pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Stir in quinoa and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over high heat, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice and zest, sriracha sauce, SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, and garlic. Bring to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce temperature to medium heat and add shrimp.
Sauté shrimp in sauce for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
Remove shrimp from heat and serve over cooked quinoa, garnishing with fresh basil.
Serving Suggestion: Make this a complete meal with a serving of steamed or roasted green beans or broccoli.
adapted from Sweet Swaps
Did you know that swapping just one cup of sugar with one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated can save more than 600 calories? For more recipes, tips and ideas on how to reduce added sugar by swapping out full sugar for SPLENDA® Sweetener Products, visit SweetSwaps.com and follow SPLENDA® on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.