Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Yesterday was busy.  Soccer, birthday party, KICK class...I knew it was going to be a crock pot dinner kind of day.  I won't mention that I really didn't feel like cooking anyway.  Oh.  Wait.  I did just mention it.  Ah well...

I had three chicken breasts in the fridge that I picked up from a local farm store on Thursday.  I tossed them in the crock pot with a packet of Frontera skillet taco seasoning for ground beef.  Totally cheaterly!!  Not only did I take the easy way out by using a packet, but I felt like a rebel because I wasn't using a skillet and surely wasn't using ground beef.  I didn't season the chicken.  I emptied the packet of sauce on top of the chicken, put the lid on, and let it cook on low for 6 hours.  Near the end of cooking, I took two forks and shredded the chicken so it could stew in the sauce for a bit.

I picked up a package of white corn taco shells and prepped the toppings prior to dinner.  I used bagged salad mix and ran a knife over it to finely chop it.  I also diced red onion & vine ripe tomato and set them in the fridge an hour before dinner.  While I should be avoiding cow's milk dairy, I opted for an aged cheddar that I grated and set aside as well.  

Right before dinner, I threw the taco shells in the oven to crisp them and mashed a couple of avocados with my Favorite Four (sea salt, white pepper, cumin & granulated garlic).  All I had to do when it was time for dinner was put everything on the table.  Easy peasy.  And, they were SO flippin' GOOD!

Prior to cooking

After shredding with 2 forks

Aged cheddar cheese

Avocados with my "Favorite Four" seasonings

Video coming soon re: cutting & storing avocados

Mashed avocado with seasonings

The toppings

I shredded the chicken further when took it out of the crock pot

Ready to eat!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Fit Mommy Breakfast - Step by Step - Shakeology

Several people have asked me about Shakeology recently.  "When do you have it?  Is it a meal?  What does it taste like?  Will it keep me full for awhile or will I be hungry soon after having it?  Will it help with my cravings?  Will it help my digestion?  Will it help me to lose weight?"

I'll spare you the novel and simply say that for me, Shakeology is an integral start to my day.  When I'm not on top of my nutrition and I choose other breakfast options, let me tell you, my digestion gets "stuck", I get bloated and I crave chocolate.  Generally if I choose a different breakfast, it's something from Starbucks when I'm on the run or some other gluten, sugary food that I should be avoiding.  If that goes on for a few days in a row, I gain weight, eat an earlier lunch due to the empty calories, crave even more sugar, and so on.  Therefore, for me, it's a great breakfast option.

Mornings are crazy in my house.  I have to get three kids ready for school, do their hair, help them get dressed, make their lunches, get their backpacks ready and get them out the door on time.  Most days we don't catch the bus, so I drive them to school.  Having a shake is my best option because it's easy to make in a pinch and take in the car with me.

Here's a little step by step pictorial of how I make my morning Shakeology.

First things first - my Probiotic
Fish oil & Vitamins (I usually use New Chapter but ran out)

Start with crushed ice and water

Then some unsweetened vanilla almond milk

A scoop of Chocolate Shakeology

2T powdered peanut butter (PB2) - or sometimes 1T natural peanut butter
Throw it all into the Vitamix


Yes, I had it in a Guinness glass today.  Don't judge.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

40 Minutes of Awesome!

I had one of those days today.  Nothing awful happened, the girls were decent, I did pretty much everything I had to do today.  However, I felt lazy.  I procrastinated ALL day when I thought about working out.  I made excuses, found other things to do, and thought about bagging it...several times.  Have you been there?

Reluctantly, I went into the basement and made a mental checklist of my entire home workout library.  P90X, Insanity, Insanity: The Asylum, TurboFire, ChaLEAN Extreme, Les Mills PUMP, Les Mills COMBAT, Brazil Butt Lift - lots of choices.  I went right to my favorite workout - TurboFire: Fire 30 and Stretch 10.  I love the music, the moves, the HIITs and the stretch.  It's a whole body, high intense cardio workout.  The stretch helped with a lot of my soreness from yesterday's upper body weighted workout.  I didn't wear my heart rate monitor, but after 30 intense minutes, I was spent!  But, I felt AMAZING.  My mood lifted, my energy increased and my body felt less stiff and sore than it did before I worked out.  Why did I hem & haw all day when I knew I'd feel like this after?

I know you have heard this before.  We all have.  When you don't feel like working out...when the excuses are free flowing...stop and remember how GOOD you feel after an intense workout.  It doesn't have to take 2 hours - or even an hour.  If you give it all that you can, you will NEVER regret a great workout.  Who ever said "Gee, I really wish I hadn't worked out today".  Right.  No one.

Exercise not only helps you to lose weight, burn calories, melt fat and improve your cardiac health but there's also a plethora of other benefits.  The ones I experienced tonight are just a few.  I had MORE energy after my workout than I did before I started.  Exercise - while one might think it drains energy due to exertion - really does increase it over a period of time following the workout.  I know I'll be burning calories and fat for a few hours at a higher rate too.  Bonus!

Remember this post next time you want to bail on your workout.  Here's a tip - Journal!!  If you're already journaling what you eat and what your workouts are, add in how you're feeling throughout the day - especially following your workout - so you can look back and remember those thoughts & feelings when you're procrastinating.

Here's a few pictures from today!

Dinner - Zucchini Cashew soup and big salad

Stretching - it's SO important after your workout!

Post Fire 30 - and look, Ray's jersey over the TV - GO RAVENS!! :o)
After Stretch 10 - it took me a minute to get up off the floor after that 40 minutes

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Very Green Dinner!

In order to combat the nutritional damage I did over the long weekend, I decided on a green dinner tonight.  I planned on a good salad and one of my favorite meals from my Beachbody Ultimate Reset - Zucchini Cashew Soup.  Say it with me...YUMMMM.

The salad was easy.  I just tossed some baby mixed greens with leftover diced chipotle chicken, radish, red onion, goat cheese and one of my favorite dressings by Organicville - Dairy Free Ranch.

For the soup, I tripled the recipe from the Ultimate Reset nutrition guide so that I would have leftovers.  I soaked 3/4 cup raw cashews for a few hours this afternoon, then drained prior to making the soup.  The recipe, for a single serving, calls for one large or two small zucchini.  I used 5 small, organic zucchini tonight.  I love to steam vegetables, so I tossed the sliced zucchini in the steamer until they were tender.  One it was finished, I retained the water from the steamer for the soup.

Super simple preparation - add zucchini and drained cashews to blender.  Add water and blend to desired consistency (I used about 3 cups of the steamer water).  *Be sure to vent the lid on your blender to avoid an explosion from the trapped heat in the canister!  Add spices to your tasting.  I used my favorite four.  These are my go-to spices: cumin, HimalaSalt brand sea salt, granulated garlic and white pepper.  That's it!

Cashews soaking
Organic zucchini
Zucchini in the steamer
My Favorite Four!
Prior to blending

All blended and ready to serve!
You can add roasted or steamed veggies for a chunky soup
My favorite dressing
Dinner: Soup and Salad

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fish Tacos...YUM!

As I sit here looking at my blog, trying to figure out why I haven't posted since November 1st, contemplating the many posts I have swirling in my head and wondering why I cannot seem to get those thoughts into words, I figured it would suffice to do a quick dinner recap post.  No glass of wine needed for this post, friends.

Josh picked up a great piece of wild caught mahi mahi at The Fresh Market yesterday.  I was thinking I would season it lightly and bake it in the oven, serve it with greens and call it a meal.  You know, a nice healthy meal.  However, because I wanted to use up some (not-so-healthy) things in my fridge, I chose a completely different preparation.

When he was eating it, Josh kept repeating "Wow!"  Therefore, I consider it make again meal.  Maybe in 6 months...or maybe gluten free and without the sauce.  We'll see.

Let me start by saying that I really should not be having any cow's milk dairy or gluten due to my food intolerances.  This meal had plenty of both.  I'll be regretting it tomorrow.  If you are not sensitive to these foods, then please feel free to recreate this meal.  Put your own spin on it to make it dairy or gluten free.  Pretty much everything I used has a substitute available.  It is nice to use up things that were already in the house so I'm going with that.

We love fish tacos, so I rummaged through my pantry and fridge to see what I could use.  I found some whole wheat panko crumbs; whole wheat, low carb flour tortillas; fresh salsa; goat cheese; avocado and then the sauce ingredients (see below).

I seasoned the fish (after removing the skin) with sea salt, white pepper, garlic powder and cumin and then dipped it in an egg & almond milk wash, then into the panko.  I broiled it in the oven for about 25 minutes on a wire rack over a cookie sheet so that the bottom would crisp up too.

The fish was super tender so I flaked it over the flour tortillas and topped with fresh salsa, a sprinkle of goat cheese, sliced avocado and the sauce.  We each had two and they were fantastic!!

The Sauce.  Be warned - it's NOT healthy at all.  It's more like something you'd see on a Paula Deen program.  But once in a blue moon - go for it!  All measurements are approximate.  I don't measure.

~ 1T butter
~ 1/2 cup plain almond milk
~ 3T light cream cheese
~ 3T light sour cream
~ generous handful of shredded cheese
~ 3T salsa

Melt butter in skillet and add almond milk.  Whisk and add in the cream cheese and sour cream.  Once those incorporate, whisk in the shredded cheese.  Last, stir in the salsa.  Spoon over the fish in the tacos.  Enjoy!!  Drink lots of water (or a light beer - haha!)

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