Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Tacos are definitely a staple in our house, and not just Taco Tuesday. There can basically be tacos any day that ends in a Y. But on our mission to eat healthier we’ve been trying out different recipes and since I’m not a fan of following directions (hence why I don’t really bake…that would be a disaster!) I like to change things up and make them my own.

tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • .5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp ground pepper
  • juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • avocado
  • Mango salsa (I used Newman’s Own, but you can make it homemade or buy it)
  • cilantro

Combine Chicken, garlic and all the spices with orange juice and lime juice in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours. Once cook, shred the chicken while still in the juices. Warm the corn tortillas on both sides in a skillet over low heat. Spoon the chicken onto tortillas and dress with salsa, avocado and salsa!

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Getting faster and stronger!

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated all my lovely followers out there on my own fitness journey. I left you last when I was getting ready for the Chicago Marathon, ready to train and kick some butt. Unfortunately, that race kicked my butt instead.

During my training I found myself dealing with an old nagging injury in my right hip, which left me unable to run, let alone walk or even sleep peacefully at night. I tried to keep my fitness up best I could because there was NO WAY I was going to Chicago and NOT running this race. But what little I could do just didn’t compare to full on marathon training. I thought about writing a race report, but it would have been sad and miserable and I decided to just move on to the next!

So what does an endurance athlete that has been injured almost all race season do in the off season? Well, get faster and stronger of course! So here are some things I’m focusing on to get back to where I was.

foamrollMobility. This is why I got injured this year in the first place. I really ignored warming up and treating my body right. So for two-three weeks after the marathon this is what I focused on, getting my body to move without pain. I foam rolled, focused on stability and mobility in my joints through a range of movements and stretched a lot.stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

strengthStrength training. For the past month or so I’ve been working on building back up these muscles. Who ever said that endurance athletes didn’t need to be strong was WRONG. You’re using the same muscles over and over whether you’re swimming, biking or running so they need to be able to with stand all that motion!

 

 

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Base training. For an endurance athlete, I did very little of endurance this year. Actually, I did very little of anything, but you already know that story. So I’m paying the price now. My mile times are slower, swimming feels like I’m going through mud and my legs are lead on the bike. But I’m slowly, slowly working on building back up my base, mostly in swimming and running because biking is my strong suit and will come back fast.

 

It’s a hard road to go down starting over, but whenever you’re feeling discouraged, remember where you started and know that every day you’re moving forward. You have to love every step of the journey.

 

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Eggplant Rollatini with Sausage

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It’s tough eating healthy during the holidays. I know that I for one had 3 Thanksgiving dinners over the course of the past weekend alone and more wine than I care to remember. But we all slip up, and we should during the holidays. It’s not a time to stress out over food and weight, it’s a time to enjoy spending time with people that you care about. But if you don’t want to completely fall off track, I’ll be sharing some of the recipes that I’ll be cooking up to stay healthy during the week.

For one, there won’t be any salads. It’s cold in Boston and the last thing I want to eat is a cold salad. That’s just doesn’t appeal to me, sometimes even during the summer months it doesn’t either. I’m just not a salad person. So last night’s meal was cheesy, and full of vegetables and protein!
Eggplant rollatini with sausage
Serves 4
Per serving:
Calories: 344
Carbs: 27
Protein: 21
Fat: 19
Ingredients:
1 16oz container of Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggplants thinly sliced the long way
1 egg
1/2 pound of Sweet Italian Sausage (can also use chicken sausage for a low fat version)
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Parsley
10 oz of Partly Skim Mozzarella Cheese
2 cups Hearty Marinara sauce (homemade or store bought)
1 tbsp garlic
Directions:
Cook sausage until all the way browned and set aside.
Pre-heat over to 400 degrees
Grease cookie sheet and lay out sliced eggplant, once oven is preheated, bake Eggplant for 10 minutes or until softened.
Grease baking dish and coat bottom with 1 cup of the marinara sauce.
While the eggplant is in the oven mix together the ricotta cheese, 8 oz of the mozzarella, basil, parsley, egg and cooked sausage.
Remove eggplant, once it’s cool enough to touch, add 1.5 tbsp of the ricotta mixture to middle of eggplant and roll up the short side, place in baking dish. Top with the rest of marinara and mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes.

Cyber Bulling and Body Shaming

I feel like I’m incredibly lucky because for the most part I’m surrounded by incredibly supportive and positive people. However, I recently have experienced a bout of cyber bullying and mostly centered around body shaming from a small percentage of people in my communities. Realistically, for every one negative comment I receive there are 15 positive ones. 

But these negative ones can really get to you especially when some one takes the time out of their day to criticizes you for not having a 6 pack and not being super lean. For not looking like the athlete that you claim to be. For promoting unhealthy ideals. Yes, I got these messages the other day after posting this picture:

I posted this on instagram to show my progress with the whole 30. It wasn’t to show off, and I mostly talked about how my gut feel healthier and how I’m going to keep myself feeling this way after the whole 30 is over.

Nope no 6 pack to be seen. It’s actually been a long time since I’ve been lean enough to see them. Maybe I don’t look like your stereotypical endurance athlete because I’m no Shalane Flanagan. But I do go out there and run mileage that makes people cringe and I promote balance and self love.

So here are some things to remember when people criticize you or your body:

1. A 6 pack is NOT an indicator of health. Just because you’re super lean doesn’t mean you’re super healthy and fit. Actually, when I did have a 6 pack back when I was into bikini competition, I was essentially starving myself and completely crazed. Does that mean someone with a 6 pack is unhealthy? No! However, we don’t always know what’s really going on behind the scenes.

2. In today’s day and age it’s a lot easier for people to be cruel. It’s easy to hide behind a screen and comment on a persons appearance because even though your picture may be you, we are all still pretty anonymous online and the wicked in people tends to come because there’s something else going on with them. 

3. When someone criticizes what you’re eating, remember that you’re giving your body what it needs. Okay, that may not be the truth if you’re constantly eating sweets and downing a bag of potato chips. But if you’re eating nutrient dense foods that support your body and activity level then you don’t need to be eating your plain chicken breast and broccoli for six meals a day. 

4. What you do is your current best, like I said I’m not Shalane Flannagan. I do not run a sub 5 min mile, or crush Ironmans every other weekend. But I work hard and do my best, whatever you’re doing, you’re doing your best. You don’t NEED to be super fast or work out so hard 7 days a week. Who cares that someone else can run faster, you have to remember where you personally started and how far you’ve come.

And I don’t want to be cliche, but I will anyways! “Haters gonna hate hate hate.” 

So brush yourself and go about your journey. 

Friday Five with #AwareWithPink!

This weeks Friday Five Favorites is a special post in honor of Brest Cancer Awareness month. You get to know a little bit more about me and what keeps me inspired on this long sweaty journey called life. 

1. Tunes that inspire! When I’m getting my sweat on the 3 songs and podcasts I listen to are: Hall of fame by The Script, Shake it out by Taylor Swift (I’m a not so in the closet fan of T.Swift!) and currently The Paleo women podcast. Since I run so much wireless headphones don’t last very long for me, they fizzle out from all the sweat and the batteries never last long enough for my long runs. I want win a pair of Aftershokz so I can keep getting my sweat on and still be inspired by my favorite tunes! 

2. Give back!? Volunteering is something that has always been important to me. I did a lot of it in college, but when I graduated adult life kind of took over. This year I decided I need to change that and if you follow me on Instagram, I started volunteering with Title IX girls running group. I help coach girls ages 9-15 in running and life lessons. We have 3 weeks until the end of season 5k and I love watching these girls become stronger with every step.

3. Self Care. Being healthy doesn’t just mean physically healthy, but mentally and spiritually as well. You all know fitness is an important part of my life (haha I know stating this obvious!!) but I keep myself healthy mentally and spiritually too in ways I don’t often talk about. I have my own sort of meditation that I do every night before I go to bed to help me unwind, I do yoga (probably not as much as I should!) and most importantly I have self love mantras that I tell myself when I start to feel down. I always tell my clients that they can’t just get results by working out, you have to love yourself and take care of yourself first, and results will happen. 


4. Inspiring threads! I live in work out clothes, so when it comes to shopping I get more excited about clothes I’m going to get sweaty in over a dress and heels. My favorites you ask? Well for all my triathlon, cycling and running gear it’s Coeur sports! Created by and for women, they inspire me every day to get out there every day and get moving! I also love Reebok, I love that they’re stuff is so cute and versatile that I can go from the gym to dinner in their gear and still look cute!  


5. Friends who inspire! This was a tough one for me. Over the past couple years the people I have decided to surround myself with are ones that hold the same vision as I do. They’re out there to inspire and empower women through fitness and make a difference. So I can’t pick just one. But for your viewing pleasure, here are my @bosfitgrls that are just some of the ladies I love being around and watching them inspire everyone around them!


Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by AfterShokz in an effort to spread awareness about their new Pink Trekz headphones, in partnership with Bright Pink to support and spread awareness around breast cancer awareness. All opinions and words are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands the support the Sweat Pink community. 

The Tale of Two Races: Hyannis and Salem

I confess I have a slight race obsession. I just can’t help the love I have for the high I feel when I cross that start line with other people that love running just as much as I do (some probably even more!). There’s a certain exhilaration that you get when running through the streets that are usually filled with cars, not having to dodge pedestrians on the side walk and people that aren’t running staring at you like you’re completing some amazing feat. I mean you are accomplishing something big whether you win or come in last, whether it’s your first race or 100th. You’re doing something others can’t. Plus, I love the feel of the medal around my neck after I cross that finish line and search for the nearest bottle of water.

But not all races are created equal. Yes, there’s 5ks and marathons, ironmans and road races. But even the body that you have prepared for that day may not be the same as it was the day before the weekend before. Boy did I learn that the hard way. 

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On February 28th I participated in the Hyannis Half Marathon down on the Cape. As you know, the weekend before I ran an awesome half marathon, I may not have gotten a PR or anything but it was fun and I felt great after running 13.1 miles. This weekend, not so much. The night before I was up late because I had a fundraiser event for the Boston Marathon. I didn’t eat my usual pre-race meal and I had a few (see: 3 ciders) drinks. This messed me up. Three miles into the race, I looked at my friend who caught up to me after I had slowed down significantly and said, “I don’t think I can run another 10 miles.”

Let me tell you, this is the only race that I have EVER seriously considered quitting. I was nauseated, IMG_2366dehydrated and I hurt all over. I was able to stay with her for the first seven miles after she generously gave me one of her shot bloks. But after that I just couldn’t keep up. Every step was more labored, my breathing heavy and my stomach volatile. I had my honey stinger gel which usually gives me a burst of energy, but even that failed me this day. I walked a lot, I promised Jesus (I’m not very religious but some times I can ask him for help) that I wouldn’t drink again until after Boston. Haha, silly but true. I did finally cross the finish line…the slowest I’ve ever done (even slower than the weekend before and stopping to take pictures!), but I finished. Then I threw up, three times.IMG_2363

Fast forward to two weeks later and I’m at the Salem Black Cat 20 miler. The longest run I’ve taken on to date (I will be breaking that this weekend as I take on the first 21 miles of the Boston marathon route…home field advantage has its perks!). I followed my pre race rituals to protocol. I had chicken parm for dinner, I hydrated properly all day and I went to black cat1bed early. I felt great and ready to go the next day. Aside from a minor slip up (okay, major), where my nutrition for the race (one honey stringer gel and one pack of clif shot bloks) fell out of my pocket at the start line, the run went really well. Since I had a lack of sugar in body, I did hit a wall at 16 miles and I had to turn to a run/walk. I ran as hard as I could for 2 minutes and walked a minute for the remaining 4 miles. I missed my goal by only 4 minutes which I don’t think is too bad considering.

Just goes to show, even though I did 6.9 miles more that weekend than I had 2 weekends before, preparation makes a huge difference. As I approach these final weeks of marathon training I’m sticking to my plan. I’m not drinking until post marathon (oh I can’t wait for that post race cider!!!) and before every long run I’m making sure I don’t disrupt my flow. Even though the road to Boston has not been easy for me between bad races, fundraising stress and injuries, I’m determined to get to that finish line feeling good about how far I’ve come!!! IMG_2410
And there is me cheesing as I cross that finish line!

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Sorry for being so MIA this week, I spent all last weekend exploring Disney World and running the 8th annual Disney Princess Half Marathon!!! It has been one of the races that I have wanted to run for a very long time and I want to just say, now that I have had the opportunity to run it, I can say I was not disappointed. There are a lot of high lights from the race so let me just pick a few for you.

1. This race starts before the crack of dawn. Yes, I woke up at 3am so that I get the start line on time….at 5:30am. There were about 20,000 other runners that suffered through this early morning alarm with me though and the energy surrounding me made it seem a little less painful.

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2. Every corral gets fireworks. Yes every single one. I was exciting when they went off the first time, then they kept going off and it was awesome! Yes, I am probably going to say everything was awesome because really it was. I was in corral E and the first wave went out right at 5:30am like they said it would happen. It took about 10 for my corral to cross the start line and then the fun began!!!

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3. There are characters ALL over the course. I skipped the first few because the lines were ridiculously long or I just wasn’t interested in taking pictures with them. There was also other entertainment along the course like marching bands, brass drums and gospel choirs. Almost everyone running is in costume too, it gave me so many ideas for next time! This year I ran as Pocahontas which was a good choice because she’s such an underrated character, there was hardly anyone else dressed as her!

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4. We got to run through Magic Kingdom before it opened for the day. As soon as I rounded the corner and saw Cinderella’s castle I teared up a little bit. Disney World has always had a special place in my heart and doing the run was really magical for me.

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5. There are chEAR squads all along the course so there are constantly people cheering you on and making some noise as you run! It was really uplifting and at mile 10 really picked up my spirits. I got a burst of energy and started cheering a long with them. I thanked all the volunteers loudly and cheered on the people around me. I’ve never felt so invigorated after running 10 miles.

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I would definitely do this race again and I definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to run a half marathon or enjoys running half marathons. Here are some of the highlights of why this race was so awesome:

-High energy from races and spectators!
-Lots of entertainment on the course to keep your energy up
-Tons of opportunities to take pictures with characters.
-Wearing a costume
-Music along the course so you don’t need your own!
-Lots of water stops and bathrooms
-Running through Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s Castle!!!
-Flat course with a few hills
-Lots of water stops!!!
-SUPER organized for such a big race!!!!

Hopefully I see you down in Orlando next year!!!

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Whole 30 Week 4 and the aftermath

I made it through the last and final week of my Whole 30. Let me tell you, that this was not easy. My boyfriend and I decided to make a last minute move into a new apartment, my work schedule got crazy and I worked from 3 different offices as well as my part time job. I was bouncing around really with no home all week. This meant no time to really cook, pack food etc. so I had to eat out and with such a restrictive diet there’s very limited places that I could actually eat and stay compliant.

What did this mean for me? Well I ate a lot of grilled chicken salads with vinegar and oil. Also, bunless burgers. It wasn’t the most exciting for glamorous week for food.

But now what right?

I just did 30 days of clean eating, no sugar, dairy, alcohol, grains etc. I feel great, my stomach is happier, I’m happier with my appearance and everything seems to be functioning better. I certainly don’t want to go back to the way things were. But it’s also unrealistic to continually eat in such a strict manner in this day and age. I love working out and I need carbs for energy, but there are just so many potatoes I can stomach in one week. So, for the last week after finishing the Whole 30, I am slowly adding things back in. This week I started with dairy, I have a hard time getting in enough protein and I need yogurt in the morning to get a little boost to my intake. I also just love cheese, so dairy was definitely first.

I also added back in brown rice. No pasta and breads for me yet (except for Super Bowl sunday…but my belly regretted that immediately). I think I’m going to stick with this diet for now. There’s enough for variety for me, there’s tons of gluten free options out there and it’s not so restrictive where I can’t eat out with friends!

Are you thinking about doing the Whole 30? Have you already done a Whole 30? Tell me about why or how it went!

Whole 30 week 3!!

We are grinding down to the end of this and let me tell you, while I don’t miss bread and pasta as much. I do miss rice and other grains. I also miss cheese.

As you know, before I started this journey with the Whole 30, I planned it out. I did my research, I found recipes that were compliant and I made sure that I was never second guessing what I was going to eat. Well, I failed this week. Most of my meals were not pleasing to my palate and I ended up scraping most of it.

Breakfast: Sausage and potato hash
This meal was probably my only success for the week. I did end up adding eggs to it every morning, because while it tasted good, after the first day of eating it, I was still HUNGRY!!!
2 lbs white potatoes, cubed (small!)IMG_4814
1 lb Italian mild sausage (read ingredients to find one without sugar)
1 onion finely diced
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil (or coconut oil), brown sausage and cook through. Remove and place in towel lined bowel. Add potatoes and cook for about 5 min then add onion and saute for about 5 mins then add bell pepper. Stir in cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in sausage. Serve.
Lunch: Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken on baked sweet or regular potato.

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This recipe turned out ALRIGHT. I ate it for three days and then got sick of it. I’ve never really had a loaded potato like this before so I wanted to try it out. The sauce just didn’t do it for me and it was definitely better on a regular potato because it made the sweet potato just too sweet.
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
10 pitted-medjool dates
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lemon juiced
1 tbsp coconut amino acids
1 lb boneless chicken thighs.
Basically just throw it all in the crock pot for 8 hours on low. Bake a potato and top it.
Dinner: Butternut squash soup, burger and side salad.

Not going to bother with the butternut squash soup recipe. It was boring bland and I threw most of it out. I had the burger and side salad but ended up just eating another baked potato. I’m kind of sick of potatoes right now.

Well everyone, stay tuned for my last and final week of the Whole 30!!!

Whole 30 Week 2

 

Week two is in the books of the Whole 30. I won’t lie. I was craving donuts at the beginning of the week. Really badly. I almost broke down. But the thought of going back to constantly feeling bloated and burping all the time deterred me. Plus I want to do this the right way. I’m also feeling better in my own skin again. Can somebody say hello abs? These babies haven’t made an appearance in years. Per the rules of the Whole 30 I have no weighed myself. But I’m loving what I see!!image1

Week 2 menu:

Breakfast: Southwest Breakfast Casserole

Lunch: Spaghetti Squash and meatballs

Dinner: Chicken Stir Fry

Southwest Breakfast Casserole

I was surprised by this one, I usually don’t like ground chicken. It’s just weird to me, but I enjoyed this recipe!

1 red bell pepperIMG_2027
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
1 lb ground chicken
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
7 oz can of chopped green chili

6 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Chop peppers and onion and cook them in a skillet until onion is translucent. Set aside to cool. Add chicken to skillet and juice from the green chili, cook until slightly browned. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and coconut milk. Once the chicken and veggies are cooled to room temperature mix into eggs and pour into a 9-in greased pie pan. Bake for 35-40 min!

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

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Probably my favorite meal this week. I didn’t even miss real pasta and the spaghetti squash was surprisingly filling!

1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp rosemary
2 medium sized spaghetti squash
24 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 egg

In large bowl mix together the ground beef, basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and coconut flour. Mix together with hands until well incorporated, add in egg and continue to mix. Form into large meatballs, about 6-8. Grease skillet, brown meatballs on each side. You don’t have to cook thoroughly, they will cook in the crock pot. Add meat balls to slow cooker, top meat balls with tomatoes, onion and garlic. Serve with fresh basil and spaghetti squash.

Chicken Stir Fry

IMG_2075 (1)So I kind of winged this one. There’s no real recipe, I just took a chicken breast and whatever vegetables I had (mushroom, spinach, pepper, and onion) and sauteed it all together in some coconut oil. It was pretty bland so I found a Whole 30 approved Tahini sauce at Trader Joe’s and added that. It made a HUGE difference. Some times you just have to experiment and see what works for you. I have to say that my meals are usually anything BUT boring!

 

 

Here are some other meals that I tried during the weekend:

 

Sweet potato hash with eggs:

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Prosciutto wrapped chicken thighs with a baked potato and side salad:

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B Good Burger with no bun, avocado and an egg with sweet potato fries:  IMG_2054