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This week has been a whirlwind of things going on, mainly in the gym. Although it’s hard to say, I gained a few pounds during the week my parents and teens were here. I try really hard to reduce the amount of food that goes into my body during times of eating out but for some reason I stress eat around my parents and it doesn’t always show kindly on the weight scale. So I have been proactive in finding those pesky pounds and trying to do double workouts each and everyday (minus my one day off a week). I’ve read that if you split your runs into two workouts, it’s the same as doing one long a day. So pretty much I am in the gym in the morning running, lifting weights and doing the dreaded sit-ups. Then in the evening I am back to running outside with the husband and enjoying a comfortable pace with fresh air.

So as one can expect, I am tired at the end of the workday and it leaves little time for me to stand in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Unfortunately the more time I spend in the gym, the more hungry I became so it’s like a vicious circle. Ha-ha. But thankfully there is a silver-lining and that would be creative healthy but fast recipes that anyone can do at home. I put this lentil & rice recipe together in about 5 minutes right before I was out the door for my second workout of the day. It’s seriously so easy and forever tasty! It does have a more bland taste, but that’s usually what my husband prefers after a good long workout. If you want something a little more flavorful, try adding some hot sauce or tahini to spike it up a notch. You can also add more vegetables if you prefer but we found just the collards worked just fine. We were so full after 5k run and a 5k walk in the evening sunshine.

2 c collard leaves, stems removed and chopped
1-2 c cubed squash (we used butternut)
½ c brown rice
½ c lentils (I used “fancy red lentils” – yep, that’s really what they’re called)
2 ¼ c water
4 tbsp capers (optional)

Toss it all in a rice cooker and let it steam away while you are working out. It takes about 30 minutes if you do it on the stovetop the normal way you make rice.

Tip: I have a very simple Hello Kitty rice cooker that doesn’t have a vegetable steamer, so don’t worry if you don’t have one. Simply place your rice and lentils on bottom, then your vegetables on top.

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