Cooking up a Swim

She wore an itsy bitsy, teenie weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini that she wore for the first time today.

Okay, so I didn’t wear a yellow polka-dot bikini today, but I did go swimming! Madison has been struck with thunderstorm after thunderstorm recently, and the weather cycles between beautiful 85 degree days and cold, rainy days. I had to take advantage of this glorious, sunny day today!

Not my swim experience today, obviously! I could not resist posting this photo from my assistant dolphin trainer program in the Bahamas!
Not my swim experience today, obviously! I could not resist posting this photo from my assistant dolphin trainer program in the Bahamas!

Back in April, I moved into a new apartment complex with a swimming pool. Three months later, and I’m finally going for my first swim. The pool water was surprisingly warm, so I didn’t have to gingerly tiptoe in the way I was expecting. I didn’t really lay out a plan for myself in the water. There are really only three strokes I know – freestyle, backstroke, and breast stroke. I’m really happy my mom made me take a lot of swimming lessons when I was very young and in high school summer gym class. I think swimming is one of the few sports where even though I don’t do it frequently, I still can return to form after a few laps (albeit very, very slow form.) I never did master butterfly. I’m pretty sure I do the accurate motions when I attempt it, but I really just look like a seal flopping about. I can’t lie. There’s something a little bit satisfying that while everyone was cooped up in offices today, I enjoyed the sun. I definitely did the right thing in taking time off during the summer. I don’t think I would be nearly as productive had I taken a winter break!

Without purposely setting out to do so, majority of these new activities I’m trying or re-trying have a fitness focus. I think that’s great because it’s helping me get back in shape in fun ways. I also have a few non-fitness goals such as doing more cooking and the punning.  (The dreaded, punishing puns).

After working out yesterday morning, I excitedly skimmed Whole30-approved recipes before I went grocery shopping. I can practice cooking by trying out new recipes! I sat in my car outside the grocery store searching different articles for tasty-looking meals and decided to try Chicken Bites and Chia Pudding. The pictures looked healthy and delicious. Plus, they included ingredients that I don’t use that often, which gives me an opportunity to expand my cooking repertoire.

As I compared my grocery list to ingredients throughout the store, I had difficulty finding chia seeds and almond meal, the two ingredients with which I never cooked before. When I finally did find both, they were more than double the price of the recipe-suggested alternatives flax seed and flax meal. I’ve never tried flax before either, so I figured it would be okay to use the substitute.

I was wrong. I do not like flax as it turns out! Does anyone actually like flax? I was pretty disappointed because my chicken bites looked pretty tasty, but they just didn’t live up to my expectations. I am going to retry the chicken bites recipe using almond meal, though. I like almonds, so I think that could be a tasty rendition of chicken fingers. In order to eat the flax meal chicken bites, I essentially had to douse them with a spoonful of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Thank goodness that meets Whole30 criteria because I love that sauce, and it significantly increased my satisfaction with the chicken bites! 🙂

As for the chia flax seed pudding, I’m honestly not sure it’s worth even retrying this recipe. I didn’t use coconut because I personally don’t like coconut, and I think I may have used a little too much almond milk. The pudding never solidified, even though it’s been in the refrigerator since yesterday. I’m a little scared to try it, to tell you the truth! I’ll have to find another healthy dessert alternative.

I wish I could have reported better news regarding my cooking attempts. Next time, I’ll try to remember to take photos, too. I will not get discouraged, though! I’m going to find yummy, healthy recipes that expand my cooking horizons!

Do you have any favorite healthy recipes? Please comment below! I’d love to give them a try.

8 thoughts on “Cooking up a Swim”

  1. Kimmy-I think it’s wonderful that you have put yourself out there and are trying new things! I wish you the best of luck reaching all of your goals this summer!!

  2. Kim, you can always try the two ingredient dessert that I found in the Skinny Girl cookbook…one can of 15 ounce pumpkin, one package devil food cake mix (just the mix, don’t add the ingredients on the box). Mix the pumpkin and dry devil food mix together, pour in cupcake tins and enjoy! You get moist chocolate cupcakes and you can barely even taste the pumpkin!! Enjoying your blogs, keep on blogging!

    1. Thanks, Roberta! I can’t have chocolate yet, but I bet I could find something else to eat with the pumpkin (I have to check, I think that’s on the approved list). This probably could be a good transition dessert when I start adding food groups in after 30 days. 🙂 I do miss your treats!!

  3. But chia pudding can be so good! I prefer it with almond or cashew milk myself, and have found the trick to making sure it solidifies comes down to 3 things: 1.) don’t cover it with plastic or any other lid, 2.) let it sit overnight if possible, and 3.) stir it about 2 hours after putting it in the fridge to give it more of a “whipped” consistency. I’ve really come to like it a lot! I also like to top it with bananas or cacao nibs or both.

    Also, I’m not sure where you shop, but I’ve found the Fitchburg Hyvee has a lot of alternative ingredients (I’ve had to search out a lot of alternatives for gluten-free recipes), and offer a Hyvee-generic brand that is a little cheaper than the standards other places (…still not cheap, probably, but a little better at least).

    I”m jealous of all the physical activity you’re getting in! I haven’t stepped into a pool once this summer (which is… not good, considering the mini-triathlon I have coming up in a week). Keep it up, girl! 🙂

    1. Can you send me your recipe, Linsey? I think you’ve convinced me to try it again with the proper ingredients this time! lol. How long is each segment in the mini-triathlon? That sounds great!! Good for you 🙂 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

      1. I keep it pretty simple really–1/4 cup of chia, 8oz of whatever milk choice (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or chocolate cashew, depending on whether I want plain or more dessert-y), and whatever I top it with in the end. The whipping up in the middle of it “setting” is important though! Otherwise the top gets… filmy. I also find that bananas sweeten the vanilla style nicely, while chocolate is good on its own 🙂

        The mini tri is 1/4 mi. swim, 13 mi. bike, and 3 mi. run… I feel okay on the biking/running, but swimming is always a challenge, and I haven’t found a pool I could get in while travelling, so hopefully I at least remember how to float 😛

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