Easy Peasy Taco Sque… Salad.

Easy Peasy Taco Sque… Salad.

Hello Hip Huggers and Happy Friday!

Taco salads have become a staple over these last few months of getting back to a healthy balanced lifestyle. I wanted to share the recipe and pictures form the fabulous one I made today. With all the fixings. Consider yourselves loves, blog readers – my IG’ers only got the naked version.

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You will need:

2 whole chicken breast

1/2 pack taco seasoning

One 16 oz. jar medium salsa

1 bag romaine (Italian) salad

1/4 cup pico de gallo

6-8 blue corn tortilla chips, optional but highly suggested

1/2 avocado, sliced, optional but read above about the chips

Ok, here we go:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take breasts and after rinsing and patting dry, place in 9×9 casserole dish. Season both sides of chicken with taco seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour 3/4 of jar of salsa all over chicken. This is the one I always see to have on hand, thick and chunky and organic.

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Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes. Once finished cooking, take 2 forks and begin shredding chicken until it’s of a stringy consistency, the pulled chicken effect.

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From here, you’re either going to prep you meals by simply dividing chicken evenly into however many dishes or portions you choose (to put salad together later) or pull about 1 cup of chicken mixture out for preparing now and store the rest.

In a bowl, grab about a handful of romaine salad. I use Italian salad because it has so much big chunky chopped romaine, and a bagged salad will surely get eaten. The remainder won’t turn into a science experiment from being forgotten about in the crisper, which I am notorious for doing. So are you.

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Next, I add the scooped chicken on top of the lettuce. It shouldn’t drown the lettuce, as it is a salad, but it should be hearty. I think 1 cup is the perfect amount but you decide. I then top that with already chopped or homemade pico de gallo, whichever is on hand. I’m not fancy. I also don’t have a picture, because I didn’t plan on posting but you get the idea, right. Just think moderation. Here is the pico I use when I haven’t made it to La Azteca for their pico or haven’t made in of my own. Aldi finds….

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Then, to finish it off – a tablespoon of sour cream, slice 1/2 of an avocado and crush up the tortilla chips for crunch and the taco salad vibe. If you want a more clean version, sans the extras – trust me you’ll enjoy it either way. The finished product should look as yummy as this, in natural lighting that is…

Naked Version…

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All Dressed Up and Ready for a Good Time Version…

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I am at a stage with my kiddos where I am teaching them a lot about cooking. Which is super beneficial to me, as I am learning easier ways of making quick healthy meals, that are delicious, right along with them. They could do this, easy peasy. And I have the confidence they’re eating well and my house isn’t being burned down in the process.

Win, win!

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Eat, eat!

Did this recipe inspire a taco salad for dinner? Let me know!

Talk About It Tuesday

Talk About It Tuesday

Hello Hip Huggers,

Here is an interesting Transform(ATE)tion Tuesday to end the year….

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Jan. ’15 (left) Dec ’16 (right) – 2 year and 20 lb. difference. And yes, ate a sista did in 2016!

The picture on the left is from January ’15 and the other is today, December ’16. Almost 2 years apart and although I can clearly see where I’ve GAINED weight and hair in the new picture. There is about a 20 lb difference between the 2 pictures and you guys, I don’t feel bad about that at all! In fact, I think I look surprisingly great for having an anything but active year, complete collapse on eating in moderation and mindfully, and really allowing stress and self loathing to rue the day all this year. But anyway…

Lets talk about: Goals.

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Really, I did!

My fitness goals for 2017 are pretty simple: 15 miles of running/walking a week, 3 liters of water a day, and a loss of 20 18 lbs. by June 2017. I really want to get my portions back under control, cut out bread & cheese a bit (y’all, I’ve been doing really good with the cheese) and train of a race – all secondary achievements I plan on acquiring this by summer as well.

This is not, in any, saying I won’t involve myself in a plethora of other fitness activities. I’d like to run the Hot Chocolate 15k in Feb, which will require much more than 15 miles a week. I also can’t neglect how vital lifting weights and cross training are running, and I enjoy all of the above. But, to get myself motivated, I want to go back to what I know can easily be a part of my everyday with working, being in school, and having a huge family to take care of. Putting things into perspective: Just run the world day, Pam.

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Speaking of, today’s run ( first since June) was balmy and nice. The weather is so fall like here its crazy. We actually didn’t even get out for a run until well after 12, a sure no-no any other time of the year here in Texas pretty much. We just lapped it around the park here until we got 30 minutes so I have no idea the distance. That, thanks in part to an upgrade in FitBit. I got a FitBit Alta for Christmas. Lovely, however it doesn’t allow for you to manually start a workout on the watch – there s no button. I’m I missing something? Besides my old Charge HR….

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Merry Christmas to me. FitBit Alta, swapped out the black for the purple band, because like Nas, ‘my state of mind is purple’ in 2017.

I’m kinda bummed because I did want a FitBit that was a little more stylish, and more comfortable to wear around the clock so I can get accurate data of my sleeping. But I didn’t want to give up so many of the little things I wanted I a fitness watch. I can always return this and buy another, I just wish I’d done a little more research before adding this particular one to the Christmas wish list. I definitely didn’t trade up, but I’ll give in a little longer before I revert back to old faithful, like I’ve done with most meals…

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Fried chicken breast in grapeseed oil (was on sale), and lightly sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese while piping hot! Then, paired with plain jasmine rice and roasted skinny string beans.

Note: when making really flavorful (read: fried) protein, I always stick to plain rice, preferably jasmine. The chicken has plenty o’ seasoning and the plain rice balances it all out so the meal is sans unnecessary salt and oil (I sometimes stir fry my rice if just making chicken breast to add a little moisture to the meal,  but its really not necessary. I myself am cooking for 7 and they don’t all, or should not all, have to eat like me every night. Food is fun, don’t forget that! Meal down the hatch, and am currently trying to get down these last 20 oz. of water! Good night, Hip Huggers!

What are your 2017 resolutions and/or goals? We can encourage each other! Comment below!

Swinging By, Stress Free

Swinging By, Stress Free

Hello Hip Huggers and Happy Friday!

Just swinging in to share with you all my week on this lovely Friday afternoon. Since reading Eat, Pray, Love –  my enthusiasm for things feels anew, to say the least. The stress of getting it all done, has gone. I’ve adopted a ‘will do my best’ approach for living, just like that. Everyday, I have gotten out of bed, with an attitude of DO! My husband has been working long hours these last few weeks so I have had to step it up even around here and I have done so… willingly(?) Albeit, I am very proud that I have gotten up and out of bed everyday with purpose and have hit the floor running, figuratively at least.

 

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 Unready for a run, but ready for the day!

These last few weeks, I have tracked my eating and water intake about 80% of the time.  Mindful of fiber and side eyeing simple carbs. I have started journaling again and its been absolute therapy in dealing with falling back, and stepping forward in fitness. I have made it to Zumba twice a week and have ran at least 2 miles most days. All without feeling like I am overhauling my life or depriving myself. Getting it in where it fits in and focusing on the small things I can do to reach my goals, without overthinking it. Some days salmon, some days salad. All day delish.

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Kale salad with chicken, cheese, salad topping and tahini dressing, yum!

One big delish thing on my ‘To Do list of late is to attend at least 2 classes at my gym. I have been LOVING going to Zumba with my friend B, but the classes are in a different city 20 minutes away, and they start at 7:30 pm. The classes at my home gym vary, but evening ones start at 7pm, a little earlier like I like, and only 5 minutes down the road from home and across from Starbucks. Again, it’s at MY own gym – a place where I need to be swinging by regularly to better familiarizing myself with anyway.

 

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Going to check out the cycling, yoga, and Zumba classes these next couple weeks!

But, I reeally, reeeeally want to get back in full swing with running 20 miles a week again before the REAL Spring heat up and the scorching heat of an impending summer get the best of me.In the past, jumping in a 5k has always sparked a little something in the running spirit. I have been browsing a few races and have all but hit enter on one in particular, the 2016 5k for Human Rights in Dallas in May. But, I’m not 100% in it heart and soul. Even though I am certain I can manage a 5k on little training, I do NOT want to get out there, ill prepared and end up shelving running for year, again. I have to be smart and focused on the long term: weekly running, for fun and fitness. STRESS FREE!

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Forward me my mail, B… I’m outta there!

 

What are some goals you’d like to get checked off before summer? I’d like to hear ’em below!

Permission to be Paleo’ish

Permission to be Paleo’ish

Hello, Hip Huggers!

This is Day 2 of me tracking my calories and I feel like I am finally in a mind frame of peace.  I admittedly have
gotten very relaxed with food portions and fat intake since transitioning from a Paleo to LCHF way of eating.

Now that I am revisiting daily low intensity fat burning cardio, I need to reduce my fat consumption by a bit.
In that, I’ve decided to cut back drastically on the cheese, and dairy. When I initially began
eating Paleo, I was at my most fit! I didn’t indulge in those to groups above and alongside a bit more
cardio, I was very positive about my weight and my physique.

 I would like to reduce my overall body fat percentage and lose about 10 lbs. over the next couple of months.
So, I have recalibrated my workouts 15 minutes of full body circuits and 30 minutes of low intensity, fat burning cardio daily. I know the true change comes in dietary changes, so I am back to eating Paleoish.

So after a happy Paleo breakfast of kale, mushroom, and eggs along side some burnt bacon and black coffee, I was ready to get my sweat on for the day. We did a leg circuit as follows:

***4 Rounds with 5# weights***
15 Curtsy to Squats
15 Squat Pulses
15 Lateral Lunges (each side)
15 Lateral Walks (each way)

 After that burn, we went on a 3 mile stroll around the park. Me getting a good post workout stretch…

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Me getting in a gratuitous yoga pose stretch…

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Once we got back to the crib, my neighbor friend showed me a cool little set of intervals that boosted my heart rate thru the roof! We used the sloped curb and did these drills about 2 minutes. I’ll record it next time and share it with you all!

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78 Minute workout. 630 Calories burned. Poor lighting.

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Home and looking for food. I desperately need to buy groceries, because eating wraps everyday is a wrap getting kinda boring.

So, I chopped up some peppers and boiled potatoes, threw in sausage and cracked an egg.

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Nothing fancy, but Paleo approved!
***
Stretching and off to the library to find a good yoga Paleo living book!
Catch you later!

Question: Are you Paleo? LCHF? Low GI? Let me know!

 

 

#SundayFlow

#SundayFlow

Happy Sunday, Heathens Hip Huggers!
So glad you stopped by to see me before service!

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Let’s!!
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Sunday vibes begin with #churchflow selfies on the way to worship!
I didn’t wash my hair after yesterday’s run so it looked like a bird’s nest.
I’m thinking something glad nothing flew into it!

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Turquoise on #fleek!! I am obsessed with this stone.

***

I didn’t get up bright and early for cardio or stretching, so both must be done today.
First on the agenda was some yoga. My muscles have been mad sore with all this running.
I feel like it took twice as long to push past the muscle resistance as usual today.
I spent a lot of time on my back bending and breathing. Once I loosened up,
#Yogaflow began to feel refreshing, healing even.

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Eagle pose is my least favorite yoga pose. Nothing personal, but I just don’t see/feel
the benefits of this pose. There is such a huge risk in too much weight being put on the
supporting knee and you can’t see anything! I just don’t get it. But, all is coming so maybe
some perspective will along with that. Until then, this will be a random thing.

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I am a little more partial to backbends. I love anything backbend. This pose was a bit more
challenging coming down on the forearms, and rising up on my toes. Still needs some work,
but practicing backbends often is paying off. Wheel pose variation is workin’

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Another great favorite is the Compass pose. I remember posting it on Facebook
and my friends went crazy! Like Barbie doll legs. I tried to convince them
it wasn’t that intense, but does require a great deal of flexibility in the hammies and hips.

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Last pose to make the list is this yummy stretch! Upward Dog in my opinion does not
get the love it should, it is not just an easy pose. Those quads burn! I need to regularly
practice anything that stretches these genetically tight hip flexors. I love Upward D!

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I have been especially careful about stretching my wrists. I do a lot of inversions,
and recently started practicing peacock pose, an arm balance where to wrists are torqued
backwards and you’re balancing primarily using your abs on your elbows for support an d
digging into your solar plexus. It is brutal challenging, but I’ve made some progress. No, not
enough progress to show but sooner or later, I’ll have something to share! For now, just the stretch.

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Just wanted to check in and share my yoga on the Sunday afternoon. I’m off for a quick #Strollflow around
the neighborhood to soak in the last bit of sunshine today. Hope all you Hipsters have enjoyed your weekend
and are ready to conquer the Mondays!

Enjoy the rest o’ your Sunday!

Question: Is there a yoga pose you are not so crazy about? Please share!

Saturday Snags

Saturday Snags

Happy Saturday, Hip Huggers,

I picked up my kiddos from their friend’s sleepover early
so I could get a workout in on this fabulous Saturday afternoon.
But, I couldn’t leave without snagging some leftover pre-workout…

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Homemade Frozen inspired strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
They were divine! Is there a better pre motivation to workout than this?
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Speaking of motivation, I’m glad I didn’t let yesterdays run dissuade me today.
Still a little stunned by my digression, I felt like I couldn’t even deal with pace today.
Like, we’ve seriously broken up until I get some answers speed under my feet.
My only tangible goal today was to run 3 easy miles, nonstop.
No pace, no mileage just a full out run is all my poor little discouraged heart desired.
So, we ready? Cupcake Food in Belly? Check. Running gear? Check. Gratuitous Selfie?

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Check… out those muddy dog paws on my floor.
Let me get outta here before someone slips asks me to clean it!
***
Such a beautiful day, so I figured I’d be spontaneous and snagged a new route,
secretly hoping it would be a flatter route and boost my running ego a bit.
By the time I got home, 40 minutes had passed and it felt like about 3 miles.
I’m glad I didn’t have my Garmin because I didn’t want to even know that pace… boo.
But, I have to keep in mind I have built muscle and I’m carrying around a lot more
girl than I was last summer when I was running 100+ mile months. So, to share some
encouraging advice I received yesterday: one must be okay with slow winter running!

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Especially with still waters and blue skies like this!
Thank you Boring Broad Runs for your words!
***
Got home and the hubby and my teenager were working out in the garage,
so I grabbed my weights did about 10 minutes of arms and squats along with them.

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After an hour of working out, I was pleased with today’s effort.
Always awesome when you get a good sweat in on a Saturday, folks.
Afterwards, I stretched, showered, and recovered Naked.

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I am not a huge fan of calorie laden drinks, no matter how fruity.
But these 32 oz. bottles are regular price $4 and I snagged them for $1 each!
Something tasty to sip on with some vodka eggs in the a.m. after yoga…

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I’ll pass on the yoga vodka. This time.
Sleep Tight, Hip Huggers!

Question: What’s the last fabulous deal you got?

Friday Food Fight

Friday Food Fight

Hello Hip Huggers and Happy Friday!

Started my day sipping some coffee scrolling thru Facebook looking
for a laugh and was dinged today’s Timehop from 3 years ago..

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A lot of food?! Hahahaha!! I’m fighting back tears!
Y’all I had this eating thing down to a science!
Seems a bit high maintenance now but eating
healthy and really managing my portions, was a
recipe for weight loss success.
***
Speaking of unsuccess, I saw a peek of the sun so I got up for a 2 mile run.
I am glad there is no such thing as a bad run because this one
would have qualified for sure. I had to fight for and thru this run!
Wet and muddy everywhere, my jacket felt itchy, my new gloves were hard
to get used to, and my foot arches ached after just a quarter mile into my run.

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But it was too pretty of a sky to let my body talk me
into out of 2 miles. I have needed this mental run for some
days now and I was gonna knock it out!

IMG_6910TKO! 3 Mile Run, slow but steady.

***
Home and I need to lift something! I pulled out my
favorite arm blast and did my best sets.

Here’s the Arm Work; 3 Sets of 10:
**Used with 8 lb. weights**
10  Curl to Press
10 Side to Lateral Raise
10 Row to Fly
10 Single Tricep Extensions

 Followed up that routine with
shoulder burnouts. Burnouts are
pretty much another routine performed
after the primary workout to work muscles
to full exhaustion, so use a super light weight!

**Used with 3 lb. weights**
All one Set:
25 Side Lateral Raises

25 Front Raises
25 Shoulder Presses
25 Arm Circles
***
After that tapout burnout, I needed to recharge.
I also needed a carb, to refuel these glycogen stores.
I grabbed a lavash, cooked up a couple pieces of bacon
and egg w/ cheese, and used leftover pico de gallo, salsa, and
ranch from my birthday meal and voila… food at last!

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Now, I need to grab a few things from Aldi before my kiddos
get out of school and we’re all in here fighting for food.

Enjoy your weekend, Hipsters!

Question: Do you care about pace when running?