Family Hiking Trip & Tabbouleh Recipe

Healthy and delicious Tabbouleh recipe you don’t want to miss!

I have been ITCHING to go hiking lately. The last time I went was a few months before I got pregnant. My husband and I drove to Shenandoah National Park. We spent the whole day hiking and we might have gotten lost…obviously not my fault hehe. It was so relaxing and exhilarating and after wearing ourselves out we went out for (gluten-free) pizza and brownies…YUM.

Since having a baby I haven’t gotten the chance to go hiking again, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to plan a (serious hiking) trip with Aleena when she gets a little older.

We were in Canada visiting for a week and we wanted to do something fun and different, so we decided to drive up to Hamilton, Ontario for a short, easy hike. We were going to try to hike Chedoke Falls. It was a pretty easy hike–we were mostly just walking on a straight trail the whole time. Once it got closer to the falls it got a bit challenging and honestly–it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to be doing with Aleena in the baby carrier (I’ll be getting a baby carrier specific for hiking next time).
But we did it, and it was so refreshing just to get out of the house and get some sun! The fresh air, the relaxing walk, enjoying the company of being around my family was all so nice.
Since having Aleena, for some reason I have become obsessed with walking outside. It is the most relaxing thing for me! It feels like the only time my brain just shuts off and I’m able to relax…

gluten free tabbouleh
So once we got home we were seriously STARVING and I was cravingggg tabbouleh!
Now, I’m kind of a farab (a fake Arab) because in my family, we didn’t grow up very cultural, and to be completely honest, I don’t really like Tabbouleh (gasp!).
Also, I have been gluten-free for about 5 years, and so eating Tabbouleh wasn’t even an option for me anyway because it requires cracked wheat in the recipe. BUT, my mom is a master recipe queen and she created a gluten-free Tabbouleh recipe with quinoa. And it is seriously AMAZING. In my opinion, it is WAY better than traditional Tabbouleh. The quinoa absorbs the lemony-minty juice in a magical way and it is oh so delicious.
So, I wanted to share the recipe with you guys because it’s just too good and too easy not to share!

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GLUTEN-FREE TABBOULEH RECIPE

Ingredients:
3 bunches of parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, diced
1.5 cups cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cups quinoa, cooked
Dried mint, 1 tbsp
Salt, 1.5 tsp
Pepper, 0.25 tsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, ¾ cup
Juice of 2 lemons

Instructions:
1. Start by cooking your quinoa. I like to rinse it first before I cook it. For every one cup of uncooked quinoa, I use 2 cups water. 1 cup dry quinoa makes about 3 cups cooked quinoa, so I usually make about one cup quinoa just incase I need a little extra. Once quinoa is rinsed, put it in a pot with water, and put the stove on high. When the quinoa is boiling, turn heat down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed all the water, and is nice and fluffy.

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2. Once the quinoa is done, put it in a bowl and set aside until completely cool. If you want it to cool quicker, place the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes.

3. Finely chop the parsley OR put it in the food processor.

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4. Next chop the bunch of green onions, and tomatoes.

5. Add the cooled quinoa to the parsley, green onion, and tomatoes.

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6. Add the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dried mint.

7. Mix all together and let sit for 10 minutes for the quinoa to absorb all the flavor of the juice and spices.

8. Enjoy!!!
*Note: I like my Tabbouleh really lemony, so feel free to increase or decrease the amount of certain ingredients to your liking.

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9 Uncomfortable Truths About Health & Fitness

 

1. Quick results almost never last.

Quick!

Gimme the low-down.
Get to the point.
I want it now.

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We now live in a society that is so ruled by instant gratification that we are losing the ability to actually work HARD for things. Working out and eating healthy is not easy. It’s much easier to go through the drive thru at Chick-fil-A on your way home than it is to cook yourself some chicken breast and broccoli. And the media knows this.

The media and gimmicky gurus try to sell you on a “flat tummy tea,” quick “7 day fix” or “28 day bikini body,” because they KNOW that we want a perfect body and we want it now. These “quick fixes” are oh so easy to fall for, but it is also very disappointing because these results never last.

And ladies….flat tummy tea? REALLY? Puhhh-leaseeee…a tea is NOT going to give you a flat tummy for the rest of your life…let’s get real!

So next time you see something that promises “instant” or “effortless” weight loss, hold onto your Kate Spade wallet and run in the opposite direction. Nothing worth having comes easy. Living a CONSISTENT healthy lifestyle is the ONLY way to achieve healthy and lasting results.

2. What works for your friend may not work for you.

Everyone is unique. What foods work for your friend to lose weight, might not work for you. There are MANY factors that affect our ability to lose weight & be healthy, some of which include: genetics, physical environment, social environment, food sensitivities, sleep, stress levels, and psychosocial health.

Experiment with different types of exercise (although I almost always recommend some type of resistance training), see what foods work for you by doing an elimination diet, work on becoming aware of your thoughts & emotions and then work towards practicing self-love.

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3. Your fixation on being happy if you were just “X” amount of weight is based off of something deeper going on.

The reason I talk about self-love and self-forgiveness is not just because I’m a hippie–it also has to do with the fact that it plays a real role in achieving your goals and being CONTENT with them.

If you workout and restrict your food intake out of punishment and hate for yourself, you will never be happy with your results no matter how much weight you lose or how many inches melt off. You will always be in a state of wanting MORE. I know this, because I have lived it.

When you can learn to LET GO and work out and eat right out of love & nourishment for yourself, not only will you be more content day-to-day, but you will also find that you’ll achieve your goals with ease.

4. You will never be able to achieve the results you deserve if they are only ever a “wish.”

Wishing won’t get you anywhere. Set yourself a specific goal, and COMMIT to achieving it no matter what. Failure is not an option. Make your goal as specific as possible, then write it down somewhere you can see on a daily basis. You can even put your goal as a reminder on your phone. For example:

“I will exercise for [X] minutes on [DAY(S)] in [PLACE] at [TIME].”

Setting goals in this manner and writing them down will make you 3 times more likely to achieve them.

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5. The level of your health & fitness affects every area of your life.

Your health affects your happiness, energy levels, mood, attitude, relationships, your job, and the list goes on.

The healthier you are, the more able you are to move with ease, think with ease, and do (anything) with ease.

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6. By neglecting your body & mind, you are actively choosing not to be your highest self.

We are our highest selves when we are giving to others. You cannot give value to others if you are not in a state of optimal health. It really is as simple as that. Your health is a measure of your wealth. I’m not talking about money–I’m referring to your mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical wealth. Start to become aware of yourself. Notice yourself on days you feel healthy and energetic–it is much easier to help others and serve than it is on days you feel lethargic and sick.
Make a commitment to yourself to become a person who SERVES others. Do you want to live a life of true value? Then you must serve. And to do that, means making the health of your body and mind a priority.

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7. There is a difference between being consistent, and being obsessed.

I posted recently on Instagram about how exercise and eating healthy should make you feel healthy and happy NOT stressed and obsessed.
It’s great to be consistent with your workouts and nutrition, but you want to avoid letting it become an unhealthy obsession. So how do we avoid this? Again, it comes back to self-love and self-forgiveness. Doing things out of self-love and with the intention to be your best self (NOT out of self-hate) will help you avoid developing an obsession.

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8. It’s OK to feel uncomfortable at the thought of working out.

If working out is something that makes you feel very uncomfortable because it seems so new and foreign (in addition to painful), I want you to know–it’s OK to feel that way!

Feeling uncomfortable may not be the best feeling in the world, but it is a good sign. It means you’re moving in the right direction. It means you are growing. It means you are challenging the old and facing the new. So embrace the discomfort, and know that it’s along for the ride, but don’t let it control your decisions.

9. Slip-ups, failures, and bad-days are inevitable.

There is no such thing as failure–there is only feedback. For example, the days that I “save” my workout to the end of the day almost always never get done. I’ve learned this after years of telling myself it was going to happen…but at the end of the day, life tends to throw curveballs at you and working out just doesn’t end up happening.
So this is a type of feedback. Now I almost always workout in the morning because life tends to not get in the way then. But bad days and “failures” are inevitable, especially if you’re a mom. So ditch perfectionism and super high expectations because both those things are the enemy of progress.
Set realistic expectations for yourself, try to get things done in the morning (wake up earlier if you have to), and be forgiving and patient with yourself if things don’t go as planned.