Friday, July 24, 2015

Recipe: Healthy Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowl

Hi there!

I've talked before how I'm following the 21 Day Fix meal plan and exercises as part of my journey to live a healthy life. In addition, I love to cook and have adapted many recipes from Pinterest to keep my work lunches interesting while following the meal plan. 
I don't know about your work situation, but I am so lucky to work in an incredible environment with many tasty options around me. However, the struggle is real and the temptations happen often! If I don't keep my lunches interesting, I'm much more likely to eat unhealthy food!

So today I'm sharing a recipe that I adapted from FOUR recipes that I love!

This recipe is easy and full of flavor. It makes a lot of food, too. Yay for leftovers!
I brought this for my work lunch yesterday (and today!). It's basically chicken and veggies with some spices. It was SO filling and made my co-workers jealous!

Prep time: ~ 20 minutes
Cook time: ~ 60 minutes 
Total time: ~ 80 minutes (I'm a slow cook, so this may be different for you!)

21 Day Fix containers per serving (approximate): 1.5 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue (and I cheated slightly and added 1 orange of low-fat shredded cheese!)

  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • 1 medium or large spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, however you like to cut it
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 green pepper, however you like to cut it
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, however you like to cut it
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa (use your preferred level of spiciness, but make sure it's low in sugar!!!)
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado (1/4 per serving)*
  • Low-fat shredded cheese (I use 1 orange container per serving...about a tablespoon I think?)*
  • *If you're strict, you should probably choose avocado OR cheese and not add both. Buuuut a little bit of cheese just sounded too good to me. I include it on mine :)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 
  2. Shred chicken 
    1. Place 2 quarts of water over medium heat
    2. Once the water is warm, add the chicken and simmer for 10-15 minutes (don't boil!)
    3. Let cool then shred
    4. Set aside
  3. Prep and bake spaghetti squash
    1. Cut in half (the hardest part!)
    2. Remove seeds and strings
    3. Lightly mist with olive oil and place face down on baking sheet
    4. Bake 40 minutes
    5. Let cool a few minutes, then use a fork to remove "noodles"
    6. Set aside
  4. While that's all cooking, get to chopping those veggies!
  5. Add olive oil to big skillet, throw in all chopped veggies and spices and cook to desired tenderness (for me, I start with the onions and garlic, get those nice and tender and then add peppers and corn. Then I toss in the spices, beans and salsa.)
  6. Add shredded chicken and spaghetti squash "noodles" to the skillet and mix up!
  7. Serve on plate and add toppings.
  8. Enjoy!

Let me know if you try this, what you think and how you adapted it for yourself!
Have a good one!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Unearthed Photos and Videos!


Hi everyone! 
I'm joining Macy & Meg's Wedding Wednesday linkup again!

I have a good reason to join today, I promise.
Yes, I'm an old married lady at this point, but I just have to share.

My friend, Daniela, and I were chatting the other day and she said she had a lot of photos and videos to show me from my wedding.

Say whaaaat?
I really thought that I had seen everything from our day but I am SO happy she shared! 

Here are a few from her phone! 
My bridesmaids helping me with the family veil.
I am so in love with this photo!

This cracks me up! My Mom is so awesome:

A video of the veil process:

Finally, a video of our glow stick pedicab sendoff!

It was so fun to take this stroll down memory lane. It makes me want to go through all of my photos from weddings I've attended and send them to the couples!

Thanks for reading!
Have a good one!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Work it Out Wednesday: Week 29

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Hi gang!

It's been quite a while since I've posted a wellness post.

Why, you ask?
Well, I have been busy but mainly I have been unmotivated to post.

You see, I keep working out 5-7 times a week for at least 30 minutes a workout, but my snacking and drinking and (lack of) portion control have kept me from being happy with my body.

Why would I bore you with posts about that on a weekly basis?

I'd rather not post.
Which is what I've done.
But now I'm back to tell you why and hopefully by writing it out I will actually push through.

Honestly, I disgust myself.
Yeah that's a little dramatic but it's true. I look gross. I feel gross...and I'm frustrated that even though I workout and eat well (most of the time) I look and feel gross (all of the time). It's just not fair. Why do some people eat equal or more bad stuff than I do, workout less than I do and stay thin? 
OK fine. It's because of science and metabolisms and stuff.
Still sucks.
And the more I get mad and sad at myself, the more I want to eat and drink. It's not a good cycle.

To help combat my recent feeding frenzy I restarted Beachbody's 21 Day Fix. I've been doing well, even though I have already derailed a bit (chocolate happens when cramps happen. TMI? Whatever, #realtalk). However, aside from my chocolate attack I already feel better by overall eating less junk and shrinking my portions, so that's good at least. Hopefully I will see some results because I struggle to look in mirrors, get dressed and take photos.

It's pretty sad that my main goal is to be OK with the possibility of taking photos in social situations. I have canceled or thought of canceling plans with friends because I don't want to be in the photos that could potentially take place.
I hope that this ridiculous anxiety goes away soon. It's not fun and is completely selfish.

Enough of all of that, I am now going to be my peppy self for the rest of this post!
Exclamation time!!!

I have a few 21 Day Fix Pinterest workouts and recipes to share today, in case you're curious what I'm up to!

Weekly disclaimer:
Remember what I said about my lack of qualifications? Please keep in mind that I am aware that I am chubby and have no fitness/nutrition authority. I'm just trying to spread some wellness love as I fight the battle to live well myself.

Weekly Workout:


How I made it harder: Nada.
Overall impression: The first one is pretty short and is just a taste of the Upper Body workout, but the triceps one is super tough. I love it!
Sweat factor (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is when I look like I just got out of the shower): About a 6.
How I felt when it was over: Pretty good!
Would I do it again? Obviously! Better question: will YOU do it? Please tell me if you do and what you think!

Weekly Recipe:

I made this a while ago and it's SO good that I'm making it again! My lunches will be so delightful!

I'm also giving an Indian recipe a try tonight. It's 21 Day Fix-approved and was really hard to find but I'm making it!I will post pictures and the recipe if it's tasty! :)

Weekly Motivation:

I really need to remember this.

Weekly Workout Sass:
My little adaptation of this quote:

Have a good one!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I'm [DRAMATIC SARCASM] "Obsessed!"

Hi there!

My friend Stephanie wrote a hilarious post, inspired by other bloggers. I feel like this should be a link-up, but for now it's just for fun. In a very unscientific manner, I randomly polled eighteen friends and family members and asked, "What are three things you think I'm obsessed with?" The results were not surprising, especially how most couldn't limit my obsessions to just three.

What can I say? I like a lot of stuff...that is apparently perceived as obsession.
I can't say I disagree.

Some observations:
  • It's kind of funny how I had the same number of people tell me that I'm obsessed with my husband as I am with Teddy and the Steelers.
  • I have a thing for animals, especially if they are fluffy. It's true. They are so cute!
  • Obviously I love my nieces. I mean, duh.
  • In reference to Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, primping, fashion, good deals and weddings, it's pretty obvious that I am perceived as a girly-girl! 

And my brother added a second entry:

"Ugly sweaters, this blog post, that Lu Lu Lilly clothing store, live sporting events, got milk ads, adult beverages, NSYNC, Purple (the color, not the movie/play), the Capitol Building and Cozy Coupes."

My brother clearly knows me very well and I think his whole list deserves a blog post on its own.
I'm considering it.

Try this out with your friends! It's so fun!
Have a good one!

Monday, June 15, 2015

VittleWise: Yummy Food for a Good Cause!

Hi there!

I am so excited to share my friend's incredible non-profit organization with you today. When my buddy, Ed, told me about his new venture my eyes opened a little wider and I grew in admiration of my courageous friend and his colleagues.

VittleWise is a nonprofit organization located in Chicago focused on providing food education and access to folks with limited time, resources and access to well-balanced meals. I took the following info from the Indiegogo page, YouTube channel and website:

"VittleWise provides food education and assistance to low-income families who struggle with food security as well as healthy cooking tips and kitchen tricks that save time and money. 

VittleWise focuses its efforts on SROs. Single room occupancy (SRO) units are low-income housing units that are government subsidized for people who struggle with homelessness and poverty. 

Residents of SROs only have a microwave for cooking a donated supply of mostly canned goods from local food banks. With limited cooking knowledge and limited resources, many struggle with malnutrition and much food becomes wasted.

Our solution to help prevent these issues is with the Microwave Meals Cookbook. We researched the commonly donated food items to make 21 meals using a microwave. We are looking to distribute these cookbooks and provide training for residents in SROs.

So far, VittleWise has donated over 100 Microwave Meals Cookbooks to individuals living in low-income housing units. These cookbooks are designed to make cooking easier and more enjoyable when dealing with limited resources."

When I sampled the cookbook I was AMAZED.
You guys. I'm not exaggerating. The recipes are SO good.

I made french toast, sushi and gnocchi!
All healthified and all requiring only a few ingredients. It was awesome to make the recipes so quickly and easily, too!

I admit that I shamefully knew nothing previously about the need for this cause. I am so grateful for VittleWise for the education and the inspiration. I don't get anything for promoting VittleWise except the honor to call the CEO my friend.

If you know anyone who may need the cookbook, please direct them to the site. If you would like to help, either visit the many opportunities listed on the site or visit their funding page to help them reach their goal of printing and donating a cookbook to all 6,000 SROs in Chicago! 

Thanks for reading! Please pass along to your networks and help spread the word!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Life Lately

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Hi there!
It's been a while since I've written and I've been pretty busy! 
Considering that lately I only write about exercise and wellness, I'm guessing that my personal life is of little interest to most of you, but I've seen other bloggers write about themselves so I'm following suit. 
Plus, it feels good to write. 
I've stopped blogging regularly these last couple of months, so here I am with lots of stories and photos to show for it all. I won't tell too many stories today but I will ask a bunch of photos to do most of the talking.
It seems that all we do is travel! 
 Since our anniversary on 4/26 we have been to four beautiful weddings! 
 St. Joseph, Michigan:
It is so wonderful to watch dear friends tie the knot. We are beyond thankful to have witnessed such beautiful ceremonies and celebrate with our buddies. Weddings are the best! I love to see my girlfriends looking incredibly gorgeous and to take in all of the details that made their day uniquely theirs. Dressing up and dancing with my husband is pretty great, too. ;)

We have a few more weddings this year, too! SO FUN!

In addition to weddings we have had the pleasure of visiting friends and family for two long weekends!

Memorial Day Weekend in DC:

DC was wonderful. It was the perfect getaway, especially since we saw some of our best friends in our favorite city. I know I've mentioned this before, but we miss that city, our friends and our lives there so much.

Niece's Baptism in Atlanta:

I can't write enough about this occasion. Andrew and I are honored to be Scarlett's Godparents. We were so thrilled to be there and celebrate with the whole family (my side). We savored every minute with our two nieces and can't wait until we are all together again (with both sides!). Living so far from our amazing families (both sides) is so brutal.
I've mentioned before that I have migraines and TMJ (a jaw-popping thing that's pretty unpleasant). 
I'm going to keep it real and write a little update in that department: I'm seeing two physical therapists and one orthopedic doc for my head, neck and jaw pain. As a result from the painful treatment, I'm almost always hurting. It's affecting everything I do: I had to stop boxing, I almost always have a headache which makes me annoyed and when I get frustrated from them I have a negative attitude and just want to crawl home. Sometimes our home is my sanctuary and it's hard for me to leave. Most days I force myself out of bed. Thankfully I workout but I can't lose weight. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm bigger than I've ever been and that adds to my defeated attitude. So annoying.
Things could be worse, of course, but if anyone out there is also feeling this nearly constant pain and wants to swap stories/treatments/advice I'd love to connect. 
Don't worry, I'm still working out 5-7 times a week for 30 minutes a workout or longer, and I really attempt to eat healthy.
Work is going well. I am continually counting my blessings to work with such awesome and smart people. The smarter I realize they are, the more I accept how dumb I am much I have to learn.
  Here's a big update for me to actually admit to myself and write for you to read:
Even though life is overall good and God is great, as far as the rest of life goes I'm ready for some change. We watch house flipping shows regularly, puppies and babies seem to be everywhere, and maybe it's the I-just-turned-30 thing, but I want all of those things: a house, a yard, a dog (who loves Teddy, of course!) and a family. There was a time when I never thought I'd be ready to grow up. That time expired and I want that life now.
Just not in the suburbs.
(No offense to anyone reading this who lives in the suburbs. You do you!)
 Well that's about it, folks!
What's new with you?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ooof. Busy.

Hi there!

You guys. Wow busy. I don't want to bore you with my excuses. I also don't want to post to just post, you know?

OK fine, I'm kind of doing that today.

With my birthday, work, working out and traveling, this blog has taken the back-burner. Maybe I'll do a "Life Lately" post next week if you're interested?

I also need to share a really cool cookbook that a friend wrote.

The ideas are in my head I just need the time to execute!

OK fine, I need to MAKE the time to execute.


I miss you. And love you. And I will write a solid post soon.