Recipe Pick: Curried Chickpeas with Spinach from Budget Bytes

This weekend, my boyfriend and I are either going to host a few of our friends at our place or we’re going to find a good BYOB place near us. Either way we’re going to be having Indian food.

Raise your hand if you like Indian food. I know, me too. If for some reason your life is sad and you have never really tried Indian food then I urge you to go to an Indian buffet near you and try everything. I bet you will like the naan, samosas, and chicken tikka masala at the very least.

Anyway, if we’re hosting friends at our place this recipe for Curried Chickpeas with Spinach is definitely in the mix as one of the dishes I might make for them. It sounds insanely easy and it’s from one of my favorite recipe websites, Budget Bytes. Even if I don’t make it this weekend, I will be making this in the very near future.

Click here for the recipe!

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 small onion $0.47
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 inch fresh ginger $0.16
  • 1½ Tbsp curry powder $0.45
  • 8 oz spinach (fresh or frozen) $1.36
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce $0.59
  • 1 (29 oz.) can chickpeas $1.89
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or to taste (HealthySimpleSmart’s recommendation)

Update: I finally made this recipe and it turned out so good! I added more curry powder to taste (because I wanted mine extra curry-ish and added about 1/2 c.- 1 c. coconut milk. The coconut milk really set it off! I highly recommend! I’ve added it on to the recipe.

5 Ways to Stay Committed to Your Workout During the Holidays


I think it is a cruel joke that the most gluttonous part of the year coincides with the coldest, darkest part of the year. So the time that you are eating more and drinking more also happens to be the time that you are least motivated to work out, move, or go outside at all. Or maybe I’m just talking about myself.

Either way, this holiday season I have found that I have been able to stay committed to my workout so far. More than any year in the past, I am making sure to schedule time for my workouts whether that means waking up early or staying out late, I’m still keeping up with working out 4-6 times a week.

What’s been most helpful for me is the way my workout is set up, once I schedule one of the classes, if I don’t cancel that class within 6 hours of it’s scheduled time, then I get penalized for not showing up. Did I mention it’s EXPENSIVE, so the need to not get penalized plus the need to get my money’s worth is a real motivator! It also helps that I LOVE my workout.

Anyway, this got me thinking of ways that I have been able to stay so committed during the season where I usually go into hibernation. Here are my tips for getting yourself out the door this winter:

1. Make It a Priority

Don’t you love when I make my own stock photos?

I know, I know, every single list says this and I’m always like “yeah, yeah duh.” But for the first time ever I really feel like it has become a priority. I’ve been scheduling happy hours with friends around my workout. My choices are to either workout in the morning at 7:00AM or to workout in the afternoon at either 5:30 or 5:45 (after that I just can’t motivate myself to stay that late after work).

I find myself constantly checking my schedule to see where my workout would best fit in for the day. For example, my work is having a holiday lunch potluck on Friday followed by a happy hour that evening. You better believe I booked an intense cardio session for Friday morning. Even if we weren’t going out for drinks in the afternoon, I still would have booked my class in the morning because I wouldn’t want to take any chances of not showing up to workout because I was too full or tired from a big lunch. This leads me to tip number 2.

2. Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure

My gym offers 6am and 6:30am classes , but just like the late evening classes, I know I won’t be able to get my butt there. If I’m going to be at a friend’s party on Friday night, I’m not gonna schedule an 8:30AM class the next morning (or even the 9:45 class if I know it’s gonna be a good party) because I know that I’ll be out late the night before.

Don’t give yourself any room for excuses by scheduling a workout session that you might flake out on. If you know a particular day is gonna be long or you might end up doing something with friends then schedule a workout for that morning instead; don’t give yourself the excuse to miss a workout all together.

3. Reward Yourself for Hard Work

In reality, the holiday season is not the time you should have your sights set on losing weight. I think maintaining weight sounds a lot more realistic during this season. That being said, you should get to reward yourself for all your hard work. Whether you decide a food reward (such as a happy hour or dessert) or another reward, like a new workout top or something that you’ve been wanting, set up your own rewards system.

For me, since I do have all these events coming up like dinners and brunches, I’m viewing those as my rewards, which means that if I don’t workout that morning (like I promised myself I would) then I don’t get to treat those plans like a reward. I’ll still go to them because I’m expected to be there (plus obviously I’m the life of the party) but instead of the cosmopolitan that I would want to be sipping on, I’ll get 1 dry red wine or water. And instead of delicious hors d’oeuvres, I’ll be snacking on salad.

4. Penalize Yourself for Missed Work (but don’t be too hard on yourself)

I find that during the holiday season, I need to raise the stakes a little bit more to kick my own butt. Luckily as I said before, my workout does this for me by taking away a day from my monthly pass if I miss a workout that I signed up for.

In order to penalize yourself for not working out think of something that would truly motivate you to not want to miss your workout.

A few ideas are:

  •  Download the Gympact App (here’s what I think about it) where you get charged at least $5 per missed workout.
  • Donate a pre-determined amount to charity each time you miss a workout (not exactly punishment but the loss of money at this time of year kinda stinks, but at least it’s going to a good cause)
  • Give up one of your “treat yo self” treats, whether it’s your morning coffee or going out to lunch 
5. Make Sure You’re Doing Something You Love

That’s love
I really enjoy running, but not when it’s freezing cold and dark outside there is no way in Hell that you’re getting me to go outside. Nope, that shit used to fly in high school but now my bones are old and brittle. The point being, if you’re lying in bed in the morning what you’re getting out of bed for has to be better than the warm bed you’re in.
It also helps to do it with someone you love (or just a friend, you know, whatever). As I mentioned before, I’ve started using MyFitness Pal again to track my calorie intake and workouts and I’m friends with my friend Julie through the app. I get to see her workout logs and successful calorie days and she sees mine. It’s great to know that someone else is going through the same struggles as me (plus I’m undercover competitive).
Those are my tips! What are some of your tips that help you stick to your workouts?

Five Favorites: Current Health Obsessions

1. Juices/ Smoothies from Sip-N-Glo.

Unfortunately this place is on my way to work in the mornings. I say unfortunately because everyday is an internal struggle for me whether or not I should get their $8 juice. I KNOW $8 is ridiculous…. but it’s soooo good 😦  My two favorites so far are the “Honey Love” which has bananas, greek yogurt, spinach, almond milk, and raw honey and the Merry Berry which has bananas, oats, cinnamon, cranberries, almond milk, and acai powder. I’m thinking of trying their juice cleanse just because a day of drinking their juices sounds like a win to me.

Nevermind my dude-like hand in this picture. 

2. Pimped-Out Oatmeal

Since I suffer from Tom Haverford syndrome aka “Treat Yo Self”-itis I try to make smart money decisions on at least a few things. I buy my oatmeal in a GIANT container of just plain oats. The night before I have work I’ll portion out about 1/4 cup of oatmeal into a Tupperware container. I’ll mix in everything together dry so I just have to add water in the morning when I get to work. One of my favorite ways to pimp out my oatmeal of late is to add shredded coconut, walnuts, and powdered PB2 Chocolate to my oatmeal. YUM.

Coconut and Walnut love ❤

I’m about to change your life. This peanut butter comes powdered. 2 Tbs is 45 calories. You just add water and POOF peanut butter. Or just put the straight powder on things like oatmeal, smoothies, ice cream, cake, mashed potatoes, chicken (some of those ideas might not be good).

3. Green Tea
It’s colder than a witch’s tit heart outside lately so tea is necessary! I love the extra health benefits of green tea (amped up metabolism? yes please!) These are the two flavors I’ve been drinking at least twice a day.
Just a good basic green tea
It’s deliciously sweet and pepperminty!

4. Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate

I don’t think I need to make a case for chocolate ever. I will say, I’m not a huge dark chocolate fan but I’m trying to be. This dark chocolate bar from Whole Foods is everything I want in a chocolate bar: salty, sweet, nutty, and addicting. And BONUS it comes with a love letter in the wrapper. Using my BA in English, I’ve deduced that this a love poem about chocolate which they have personified.

Definitely about chocolate.

5. Tek Towel

What’s on my Christmas list, you ask? Well how sweet of you to wonder. I want a Tek Towel. A Tek Towel is just a super quick drying, light weight, compact towel that will help me amp up my gym game. Right now I rent one of their scratchy white tiny towels because I don’t have enough room to haul a regular towel around with me to work. Hopefully my boyfriend gets the hint (read: blatant asking for it multiple times) and buys me one 🙂