Monday, December 19, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili

I have finally joined Pinterest and have had some time the last few days to try it out and I love it! I found this great recipe which can be found on the Photo a Day blog. This is an easy recipe that you can throw in the crockpot before work and have it be ready when you get home.

1 onion, chopped
1 16-oz can black beans
1 16-oz can kidney beans
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
10 oz package frozen corn kernels
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
24 0z. (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts
chili peppers, chopped (optional)

Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, chili peppers and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.

Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.

Top with some low fat shredded mexican cheese and serve.

This was such an easy and delicious recipe that was great as leftovers. I think it may have even tasted better the second day.

Question: Have you tried out Pinterest, if so what are your thoughts on it?

Glazed Pecans

Tonight I made my annual glazed pecans for the holidays, which is a great gift to be able to give to family and friends.
The recipe is super easy with only a few ingredients and they are so delicious. I usually have to hand them out right away because if not I will eat the entire batch.
2lbs shelled whole pecans
4 eggs whites
2 cups sugar
2 sticks vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the egg whites until thick and gradually start to add in the sugar. Once beaten together fold in pecans.

In a separate bowl melt the butter on the stove top and mix in the vanilla. Fold the butter and vanilla into the pecan mixture and coat all pecans.

Place mixture into a large glass baking dish (I use a 9x13 Pyrex dish).

Cook in the oven at 350 turning every 10-15 minutes until there is no remaining liquid left in the pan. Usually I cook them for about an hour or so but once the liquid is gone they are done. Be sure to let the mixture cool entirely before transferring the pecans to a container. If you store in an air tight container they will last indefinitely.

Question: What is your favorite recipe to make for the holidays?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Protein Loaf

The other night I cooked up a protein loaf with a recipe I got from my trainer. The recipe is super easy and it actually tastes very good.

Protein Loaf
1 cup egg whites
1/2 cup oats
1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1packet stevia

Mix together thoroughly and place in a mini loaf pan. Cook for about 30 minutes on 350 or until the loaf looks cooked through.

The next morning I brought the loaf to work heated it up in the toaster oven and topped it with frozen berries I microwaved.


This is a great breakfast you can make the night before and have it the next morning. This loaf was enough to have for two breakfasts and it actually fills you up.

Question: What are some of your favorite quick and easy breakfast recipes?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Turkey Trot 5k

Sorry this is late but this week has been super busy with work and whatnot. I wanted to do a quick recap of the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot my sister and I did. It was your typical 5k Turkey Trot so my sister decided to push Abigail for her first 5k race!
As you can see she was a little scared at first
 A friend of mine also joined us and pushed her little son, aren't they so cute?

Luckily the race course was fairly flat except one hill around mile 2 but my sister was a rock star and had no problem pushing Abigail up the hill.

 The race was by far not my fastest but it was one of my favorites mainly because I was able to run it with people I love!
Abigail and I after she finished her first 5k
Question: Do you ever run races for fun instead of for a PR?

Monday, November 28, 2011

HIIT Sprint Workout

Yesterday morning I decided to switch things up and take a group class at my gym called Head to Toe. My mom and sister had bought a group on type deal to try the gym out. The class was really hard which I was surprised by I normally don't take the large group classes like that because I am so used to training with only a few individuals but it was a great challenging class.

After class I decided to work on my sprints and do this HIIT workout that I found on One Fit Foodie.

Interval time (min)

This is an intense workout but it is only 20 minutes so it goes by fast and you feel like you had a really great workout once you are finished.

Question: What is your favorite quick workout?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Biggest Loser Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Tonight after the gym I came home and made some stuffed peppers with a recipe I found online at Jennie-O which were featured on the Biggest Loser last season.

Target has the 99% ground turkey for only $5.49
This recipe was relatively quick and easy to make and very delicious and filling, the perfect week night meal.

1/2 cup onion, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 package JENNIE-O TURKEY STORE® Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast
salt, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
3 large sweet red bell peppers, washed
1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with olive oil spray; heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute two minutes or until softened. Add extra lean ground turkey breast. Add salt, garlic powder, and cumin. Break meat apart and cook over medium heat for 14-16 minutes, or until well done, 165°F as measured by a meat thermometer. Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about five minutes.
Turkey mixture
Add cilantro or parsley. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and stem. Place in baking dish. Spoon 1/3 cup of the turkey mixture into each pepper half. Pour remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
I baked the peppers for about 35 minutes then took the foil off and cooked them for about another 5 minutes.

This meal was delicious and flavorful and is very healthy, the nutrition facts are below.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 170
Fat :3g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Protein: 25g
Cholesterol: 50mg
Carbohydrates: 10g
Sodium: 130mg

Question: What is your favorite healthy week night meal?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Killer Arm Workout

I finally made it to a yoga class last night and it actually felt good! I was nervous since I have been super tight lately in my hips and glutes but I think the class really helped me stretch out so I am going to try to attend one yoga class a week.

This morning I had a duet training session at the gym with my trainer who usually focuses on kettlebells but this morning we strictly worked on arms using supersets.

Overhead press lying flat on the bench with straight bar paired with sitting concentrated biceps curls with elbow resting on your knee doing one arm at a time

This was done 4 times through with the following weights and reps.

25lbs overhead x 20
10lbs dumbbell x 15 each arm

30lbs overhead x 15

12.5lbs dumbbell x 12 each arm

35lbs overhead x 12
12.5lbs dumbbell x 13 each arm

50lbs overhead x 12
15lbs dumbbell x 10 each arm

Once I was done with this circuit I moved on to rows with the straight bar paired with overhead triceps extensions on the keiser machine.

This was done 4 times through with the following weights and reps.

30lbs straight bar x 20
13lbs on keiser x 20

35lbs straight bar x 15

15lbs on keiser x 15

50lbs straight bar x 12
17lbs on keiser x 15
55lbs straight bar x 10
17lbs on keiser x 12

Next it was on to a kettlebell ladder with a 10kg or 22lbs which consisted of high pulls and clean and presses.

10 high pulls on each arm
10 clean and presses on each arm

8 high pulls on each arm
8 clean and presses on each arm

6 high pulls on each arm
6 clean and presses on each arm

4 high pulls on each arm
4 clean and presses on each arm

The last set we did was a clean and press with a straight bar paired with a sitting reverse fly with dumbells.

25lbs straight bar x 20
10lbs dumbbell x 20
 12.5lbs dumbbell x 15
30lbs straight bar x 15

30lbs straight bar x 15
12.5lbs dumbbell x 15

35lbs straight bar x 10

Sorry for no pics but I really wanted to share this workout since it was a killer. I was sweating up a storm which I normally don't do if I am just lifting so needless to say I felt great after this workout, it may be a different story tonight when I have to take my 30 minute APC circuit class but we shall see.

Question: What is your favorite type of workout?
15lbs dumbbell x 10

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spicy Southwest Chicken and Rice Wrap

Last night I was very tired after work and didn''t feel like cooking but we had chicken in the fridge that I didn't want to go bad so I whipped together this quick and easy recipe I found on the Mrs. Dash website for Spicy Southwest Chicken and Rice Wraps.

1 can (14 ounces) low sodium chicken broth
2 cups Minute® Brown Rice, uncooked
2 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash® Extra Spicy Salt-Free Seasoning Blend
2 cups frozen southwest blend vegetables
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
4 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded, optional
1/2 cup light sour cream, optional

1. BRING chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. ADD Minute Brown Rice, Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Salt-Free Seasoning Blend, vegetables and chicken; stir. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
3. WARM tortillas and divide rice mixture evenly onto tortillas. Top with cheese and sour cream, if desired, and roll into desired shape. 
I served the wraps with a side of spinach that I cooked in a little chicken broth and garlic. This was the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal.

Question: What is your favorite quick and easy weeknight meal?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chicken Fajita Stew

I love my crockpot so much and need to start using it a lot more. I forgot how easy and convenient it is to make dinner in the crock pot. Yesterday morning after I got home from my morning run with BOMF I threw all the ingredients to make a chicken fajita stew into my crockpot and set it on low for 9 hours.

1 lb chicken cut into cubes
2 tbl minced garlic
1/2 onion chopped
1 green or red pepper chopped
1 packet of fajita seasoning
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
2 cans diced tomatoes with basil and garlic

I threw everything into the corckpot all at once and when I get home after the gym last night all I had to do was cook brown rice and dinner was served.

This meal was delicious and nutritious it is on the keeper list of crockpot meals.

Question: What is your favorite meal to make in the crockpot?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chilly Half Marathon Recap

I ran another half marathon on Sunday to make this half number 8 but this one was very special to me. I was able to run the whole race with one of my resident members of Back on my Feet, Austin, who was running his first half marathon. To be able to run this half marathon with him knowing how hard he has worked to get to this point was so unbelievable. I have been lucky lately to run my last two half marathons with two very special people, my sister and then today with Austin (BOMF member).
Trying to take a self portrait of Meghan, myself and Austin, obviously we failed the first time
We did a little better the second time then it was off to the start
I can't explain how happy I am that Austin was able to dedicate himself to running this race today and finishing with such a great time of 1:55. Being homeless is not an easy thing as I have come to know since I started working with the BOMF organization. People don't choose to be homeless but have had made some bad decisions in their life or have not been able to overcome some obstacles they have been dealt with in their lives that have pushed them to be homeless. Seeing that Austin could put enough time and effort to finish this half today proves to me that he will get "back on his feet" because he has the determination to help himself beat homelessness.

The course for this race was hilly. The first and last few miles had a decent amount of rolling hills while the middle of the course had a few pretty steep and long hills, but we were able to conquer those hills and push through to keep running. Once I knew we could finish under two hours I made sure Austin kept a steady pace for the last 4 miles and I kept encouraging him to keep going one foot in front of the other, keep his shoulders back and down and chest up. The last mile or so had some rolling hills and Austin was starting to hurt but he knew the finish was just around the corner and that he would soon be finishing his first half marathon.
On the home stretch to the finish!
Austin and I finished in 1:55 which was a pace of 8:47 which crushed his original goal of finishing between 2:00-2:15.  I am so happy for him and couldn't be any prouder of his accomplishment yesterday. When I saw Austin this morning for our morning run he was a little sore but still ran two miles at a good pace, what a trooper!

Question: What is your proudest running moment?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Scarlet Oak Tavern

Last night Joe and I headed to the Scarlet Oak Tavern for an early dinner thanks to a Living Social deal I had. Since I was running another half marathon today I didn't want to be out late so we had reservations for 5:00 which was perfect so I could get home early and have a good night sleep. We started looking over the menu and figured we would start with an appetizer.

We went with the Narragansett Calamari which was served with arugula, pickled peppers and chipotle remoulade (which we did not use). Joe and I both don't care for mayonnaise. The calamari was so delicious and it just lightly fired but my favorite was the arugula that they served with it.

For my meal I went with the Cedar Planked Salmon with was served with balsamic brown sugar glaze, quinoa, roasted celery root and kohlrabi apple slaw. The salmon was very good and moist but the quinoa salad was out of this world. I want to try to replicate it at home now it was that yummy!

Joe went with the Chicken Pot Pie for his meal but I didn't get to snap a picture, sorry. I did try a bite though and it was very good but they used some dark meat in the pot pie and I am not a huge fan of dark meat.

As if I needed more to eat we also ordered a side of mac n cheese to try because it is one of my favorite dishes. I can't eat a lot of it because I have a hard time digesting a lot of cheese and cream but as long as I just have a little I am fine. The mac n cheese was very good and not super cheesy just like I like it.

I think Joe and I will will be back again soon to the Scarlet Oak Tavern but next time we might try sitting at the bar and trying that menu out.

This morning I ran my thrid and final half that was on my race calendar with a Back on my Feet resident. It was his very first half and he killed the hilly course, finishing in 1:55. A full recap will be coming shortly and I am already trying to figure out what my next long race will be.

I now plan to sit on my couch the rest of the day and watch football. Happy Sunday!

Question: Do you always need to have a race on your calendar to push you?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pizza Night

Tonight I had a class at the gym that is called APC Circuit, APC stands for Athletic Performance Center. The class is a circuit class where we go to 4-5 different stations and perform an exercise for 45 seconds to one minute. We usually have a burst of cardio in between each exercises, tonight we did burpees and jump squats after completing each exercise in the circuit. The class is only 30 minutes but it is such a great workout. We usually finish with some sprints which I love!

This morning I decided we would have homemade pizza for dinner since we had everything we needed in the freezer so we wouldn't have to go to the store.
Excited about making pizza!

I decided to make a cheese pizza on multi grain dough and a pepper and onion pizza on the Portland Pie Co. garlic dough. They both came out delicious!

I took tomorrow off for work but I still have to be up early to run with my BOMF team then head to the gym for a class and a personal training session so it is off to be for me.

Question: What is your favorite type of workout?