By Cheshire Que, RND, RN, RD
The rainy season brings about that tempting, lazy bed weather. People become less motivated to exercise. Why don’t you ladies spice up your weekend by planning a wellness party from scratch? It will not only bring out the fun and laughter but will also make you feel more energetic and beautiful. Working out with friends is always a good idea because it won’t feel like you’re exercising at all.
Begin by choosing an activity that you ladies will enjoy. It could be high intensity zumba or a calming yoga practice, whatever suits your preference or lifestyle. You have an option to hire a professional or play videos to guide your group throughout the workout.
Next comes the hydration and nourishment part, post workout. Toss the usual fruit, protein shake, or peanut butter sandwich you’re so used to having in the gym. After all, this is a party!
It’s unwise to drink alcohol post workout. Instead, serve any delightful non-alcoholic drink that will give you that fizz. I like May 100% Sparkling Grape Juice from Belgium or I combine sparkling water with Welch’s 100 % grape fruit juice. Have a drink or two of this wine substitute and hydrate yourself more with lots of fruit and vegetable infused water afterward.
Refuel yourselves with carbs, protein, good fats, and fiber. Here are two easy peasy recipes created by Doña Elena Olive Oil that will guarantee your guests to eat healthily and pleasurably post workout.
Shrimp Puttanesca Rice Bowl with Capers & Tomatoes
1 tbsp.pure olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 fillets anchovies, chopped
¼ tsp.red pepper flakes
800g diced tomatoes
2 tbsp.capers, drained
¼ cup sliced black olives
1 lb.shrimp, shelled and deveined
¼ cup Italian parsley, minced
2 cups white rice, cooked
- Heat pure olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.
- Add garlic, anchovy fillets, and red pepper flakes. Break anchovies using a wooden spoon. Cook for two minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes, capers, and sliced black olives. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce slightly thickens
- Add shrimp and simmer until just cooked through, turning partway through, about three minutes. Stir in the parsley.
- Divide rice between four bowls. Top each portion with ¼ of the shrimp puttanesca.
Fusilli with Anchovy Caper Sauce
1 pack Fusilli pasta, cooked
8 fillets anchovies, mashed
1 tbsp.pure olive oil
1/2 pc.white onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp.capers, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 pc.lemon, juiced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. dry tarragon
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
pasta water (from boiling pasta)
extra virgin olive oil
- Heat pan to medium low. Add a drizzle of pure olive oil and butter. When butter melts, add onion, garlic, 1/2 the parsley (set aside other 1/2 of it for topping), tarragon and mashed anchovies and combine. (If using fillets, add them first and allow them to break apart in the butter before adding onions, garlic, and herbs.) Cover and cook until onions become somewhat soft.
- Add capers, cherry tomatoes, pepper, and about 1/2 teaspoon salt, continue cooking uncovered.
- When the sauce begins to thicken, squeeze a little lemon juice on it and add a ladle of starchy pasta water from the pot and stir it in.
- Stir in the cooked fusilli pasta and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining parsley, then toss until well combined.
After that exhilarating and gastronomic wellness party, don’t let your friends leave without taking home something that will make them remember their experience. A party is never complete without party favors, which, in my opinion, is like the cherry on top of the ice cream.
Prepare a beauty and wellness kit, each labeled with your guest’s name. You can get creatively feminine with the contents. It’s always best to give stuff that you yourself have tried. I’d throw in a good moisturizer like Jergens Hydrating Coconut Dry Skin Moisturizer; include a handy perfumed Caronia Hand Sanitizer which kills germs and moisturizes the skin; and add something that will help my friends stay fresh and odor free, all day everyday like the Jeunesse Anion Sanitary panty liners. You can add more health and beauty products depending on your preference and budget.
What are you waiting for? Gather around ladies! It’s time to plan your wellness party.