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The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining us! This site is meant to be a place of encouragement, ideas and real experiences. My husband and I will be taking you along with us on our journey to get fit and healthy.

We are not fitness experts, gurus or the such. We are real people on a adventure to be fit and healthy. We are in the midst of our journey and we invite you to follow along.

This site will discuss exercise, products, recipes, along with the ups and downs that come along with making life-long changes.

Follow along. Leave comments so we can encourage you too!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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Fajita Hasselback Chicken

It has been awhile since I have posted any recipes and I have had some requests for some more.  I have not been eating every well over the last few months so I haven’t tried any new ones. Until last night.

Tuesdays are Taco Tuesday in my house. Taco is a very loose term. Basically in encompasses anything Mexican. Fajitas are a favorite of mine but I try to stay away from the tortilla shells. This recipe gives me the satisfaction of a fajita without the added carbs of the tortilla. Also, I don’t feel like I’m missing out by skipping the tortilla.

This is not an original recipe nor do I take any credit in its creation. I found this online via Tasty.co  I enjoy using Tasty’s recipes.  I enjoyed this one and thought I would share with you.

Fajita Hasselback Chicken

Ingredients

for 4 servings

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons

     fajita spice mix

  • 3 tablespoons

     salsa

  • ½ cup

     cheddar cheese, grated

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Slice into the chicken several times, about ¼ inch (½ cm) apart, but only cut about 85% of the way through, leaving the bottom intact.
  3. Cook the onions and peppers over a medium heat until softened, then stir in the fajita mix.
  4. Stir in the salsa and sprinkle the cheese over.
  5. Mix together until the cheese has melted.
  6. Allow to cool to the touch, and then fill each segment of the chicken breast with about 1 teaspoon of the mixture.
  7. Bake in the center of the oven for 18-22 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
  8. Enjoy!

 

The chicken breast I used were pretty big and thick. It took a little longer to cook than 22 minutes. Next time, I may sprinkle some Fajita seasoning on the chicken itself prior to baking. Also might sprinkle with a little more cheese.  I served these with some sour cream on the side. I might try mixing sour cream and salsa together for a spicier kick.  I’m not a big spicy person but I felt these need just a little something more. This could be due to the larger chicken breasts.

I used a homemade fajita mix consisting of

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

This recipe calls for salt and I omitted it. It is tasty without it.  Besides, who needs the added sodium, right. We don’t even miss it.

Let me know if you try this recipe. I love to read your feedback and suggestions.

New Years Resolutions

It’s that time of year again. Time to make those New Years Resolutions. UUHHHGGGG! right?!?! I know how you feel. I don’t really like making them either. But I figured out something. Resolutions are goals. But goals with out a plan are destined to fail.

I made a resolution to be better this year than last year.  Better with my finances. Better with my health and eating. Better person to those around me. A better version of me than last year. Of course I want to lose weight. But that is not my primary focus. It will happen as a bi-product of me doing better for myself.

Now the real question, how am I going to be better? What are the steps I am going to take to achieve my resolution?  First, I am going to journal. My first option was every day but I have already failed at that. So I am working up to every day by trying every day but doing it at least every 2-3 days. I bought a fitness journal which is helping. I get to write down my activity level for the day and what I ate and drank. I am using MyFitnessPal again to track my food every day. I am tracking everything I eat so I can see trends in my eating. Like when I have cravings or emotionally eat, I can see it and plan better for the upcoming cycle. I write these down in my journal as well. I’m also tracking my headaches and migraines to see what I ate that may be a trigger.  Also to track my hormone cycle. I no longer have menstrual periods but I am not in menopause either. So tracking the hormones and foods is helpful.

I am giving myself more grace when it comes to food. I look at it as fuel and not as a “I can’t have it” approach.  Is this cookie going to fuel my body the best way? Or should I opt for an apple with nut butter? Both will satisfy my sweet tooth but which is the better option for me. Nothing is off limits. Everything in moderation. This includes things like rice, pasta, potatoes and desserts. I don’t eat a lot of them anyways but I;m not going to shy away from ordering it on the menu or fixing it at home once in a while.

I’m getting back to the gym. My goal is 5-6 days a week. But I’m easing into it. Right now I am averaging 3 days a week. Next week, I’ll shoot for 4.

I’ve also started talking to myself everyday in the mirror as I am getting ready for work. I say only nice things to myself. I weigh every morning to help keep myself on track. So on days where the scale didn’t move or move in the desired direction, I tell myself its ok. Weight loss is not linear so you will have ups and downs. I prefer the downs. I might remind myself that I enjoyed that glass of wine with dinner. Or maybe an evening out with friends. And we will do better today. You are beautiful. Your body is perfect just the way it is. It carried 3 children and have had multiple adventures. I am working on loving myself the way I am instead of waiting until I get to my “ideal” me. This is a journey my body and I are on together so we need to work together. The nicer I am to myself, the better I do during the day. I wish I would have figured this out years ago.

Baby steps! Baby steps are steps. Take it one day at a time. You will get there. This is a marathon not a sprint.  Enjoy the journey!

It’s Been a While…

It’s been a while since I have written anything.  Life! Life has a way of derailing my best intentions. Between stress at work, family, football season and now wrestling plus the holidays I have not taken the time for myself like I know I should.  I need to take care of myself so I can take care of others.

I let me slip to the back burner over the last few months. And I am paying for it now. I gained some weight back from not eating right and not being as active as I was. And with that weight, my negative self-talk as increased to being the only thing that is being said to me by me. Also, my migraines have increased in frequency again.  I know there is a direct link between what I am fueling my body with and my migraines. There is no denying it. I went back to eating things I don’t normally eat and eating out a lot due to limited time to prepare meals. Football would last until 6 – 6:30 pm than there was about a 30 minute wait to get my son after dressing down and a bus ride back to the school. So we’d get home after 7 pm then try and cook dinner. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Instead it was order take out to pick up on the way home or find the nearest drive-thru.

I am done giving excuses as to why I slipped up. I slipped up. Plain and simple. I need to do better for me so I can be an example to those around me.  Starting in January, we are getting back on track. It is a slow process and we are no where near perfect yet. But step by step, day by day we are working towards our goals.

We have eliminated all the sweet treats from the holiday season. I am a baker so I baked and baked for weeks and my freezer was full. I gave away a lot for Christmas presents to family, friends and co-workers. But there was a lot left. I took most of it to my church to serve during our breakfast for the homeless and those in need in our community. they really enjoyed the homebaked goodies. I left some in the freezer for my family. We finished off the temptations last night. One more step towards getting on track. No more sugary treats in the house.

So, if you have gotten off track. It’s not too late to turn back around and start again. Remember, this is for you. Do it for yourself.

Low Carb Cabbage Enchiladas

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted any recipes. Have been trying several and rejecting them just as quickly. It seems to be getting harder to find delicious recipes that are low carb. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is flooded with options. Just not delicious ones. At least not to me and my family.  If I wont eat it, I wont share it.

Last night was our famous “Taco Tuesday” night. Which actually translates to Mexican-style dish of some sort. Last night was enchiladas. So we tried Best Low Carb Cabbage Enchiladas.  Posted by Delish. This is not an original recipe nor do we take any credit for it’s creation or photos. I stumbled upon this recipe on Facebook one day and gave it a try.

The recipe calls for a whole head of cabbage. I used 16 leaves of the small head of cabbage and it seemed to work well with the amount of filling.  I had some medium style enchilada sauce on hand so I omitted the chili powder. The Medium sauce provided a little more kick than I prefer.  The cabbage was difficult to seperate the leaves without breaking them. I took the whole head, minus a few leaves, and placed it in the boiling water for approx 1 minute to soften. This helped with leaf removal. Caution, the cabbage will be hot upon removal. Use caution in leaf removal.

Image result for cabbage leaves

I cooked the chicken in a crockpot while at work then shredded just before adding to sauce/veggie mixture. I was making 2 types of enchiladas (low carb and regular). My children will not eat cabbage in this form. They’re picky like that. LOL!

We used Colby Jack cheese instead of the cheeses listed. Instead of drizzling sour cream on the top, I placed it on the side. Not everyone is a fan of sour moo cow (sour cream) in my house.

Next time I think I will cook the cabbage just a smidge longer. The stem area was still a bit hard. I may add some cheese to each roll as well as on the top. I think it needed a little more cheese. Gotta love cheese. Yum!

Best Low Carb Cabbage Enchiladas 

By Delish 

image

YIELDS:SERVINGS
PREP TIME:HOURS 10 MINS
TOTAL TIME:HOURS 40 MINS
INGREDIENTS
1  head green cabbage
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
large onion, chopped
red bell pepper, chopped

Kosher salt

cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
3 c. cooked and shredded chicken
1 1/3 c. red enchilada sauce, divided
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 c. shredded Monterey jack
1/2 c. shredded cheddar

Sour cream, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. In a large pot, boil 4 cups water. Using tongs, dip each cabbage leaf in water for 30 seconds and place on a paper towel-lined plate to dry.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and bell pepper and season with salt. Cook until soft, 5 minutes, then stir in garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Add shredded chicken and 1 cup enchilada sauce and stir until saucy. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro.
  3. Place a heaping spoon of chicken mixture into the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold the short sides of the cabbage leaf in first, then roll into a cylinder — like a burrito! Repeat until all chicken mixture is used.
  4. Spoon remaining 1/3 cup enchilada sauce over cabbage enchiladas and sprinkle with both cheeses. Bake until melty, about 20 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and more cilantro and serve

Let me know if you try this. I’m always curious about how you like the recipes.

Enjoy!!!

Never Give Up!

You are too important to give up on. Again, YOU ARE TOO IMPORTANT TO GIVE UP ON!

Despite the setbacks, weight yo-yos, lack of motivation, lack of (fill in the blank), don’t give up. What ever your excuse is, don’t quit. You are too important!

I took some time off this summer. Time for vacations, day trips, family time, etc. I even took time off of my eating plan. Ok, to be honest, I completely abandoned the eating plan. I am paying for that decision. My health has deteriorated again. My headaches are more frequent and the migraines have increased in length, severity and frequency. And I gained weight. I gained about 10 pounds back over 4 months. Not too bad but not good either.

I can give a long list of excuses as to why I went off the plan. None of them were that important for me to “give up” for 4 months. It all boils down to 1 reason, I lost motivation. I got bored.

I became bored with what I was eating. A protein shake for breakfast/lunch. Usually some veggies, cheese stick or nuts for an afternoon snack and dinner. I got very tired of the protein shakes. They tasted great but I wanted something more. Something solid.  Something more satisfying. So I began to look for alternatives.

I settled for plain Greek yogurt with strawberries and blueberries for breakfast. Lunch varies but included sandwiches, meat roll-ups, and leftovers. Still eat the veggies and cheese stick often. I was adding a lower-carb granola (homemade) for a while to the yogurt but I ran out and haven’t made any more. I will soon as I like the added crunch every now and again.

So, back on track I am with a focus back on myself. It is the only choice. I can’t keep living with my current pain levels again. It is limiting my life and I am too important to give up on.

No more excuses! I am focusing back on eating right and getting more activity in. We stopped going to the gym for a bit due to an injury and extremely busy schedule. But we have to get going again. Both my hubby and I have gained weight and are feeling the effects of the more-processed foods we have been eating.

Now is the time! Get back on track if you have stepped away from your goals. It’s not too late. Today is the day. Don’t wait! You are too important!

Ahhh.. It feels good!

Ahh… It feels good! To be back on track. To be providing the correct fuel for my body. After all it is a lean, not-so-mean machine that I am in charge of keeping in tip top running condition.

I often hear things like “You are either feeding a disease or fighting it”, “You are what you eat” or “you get out what you put in”. I would kinda roll my eyes at them. But if you think about it, they are true statements. The body responds to the food put into it. If highly-processed foods are ingested daily, it improves your risk for obesity and other health issues. Just ask me, I’ll tell you. I ate out of a box or out of a bag for years. YEARS! And I gained weight. I was morbidly  obese a few years ago. Still obese but now I am on the lower end, almost to overweight. My blood pressure was on the rise. I was on several medications for my migraines that I had to take daily and still had migraines a majority of the time.

Since switching to a more whole foods diet, I am off all my preventative medications. My migraines have gone from 8-9 a month lasting between 4 hours and 10 days to 4-5 mild headaches a month and maybe 1-2 migraines that last between 2 hours and 4 days. My most recent migraine was around 4th of July. It was caused by a lot of things and not eating right is probably one of them. Stress and lack of sleep didn’t help either.

I am back on track and have lost 4.5 in a week. I am not being super strict either. Being more mindful of the fuel I am putting into my body. Replacement parts are not cheap and the labor is costly. But preventative maintenance goes a long way. Shedding the extra pounds and toning the muscles will provide me with a better body for retirement. Eating the right food, little to no processed foods, will be my life-long eating habits.

Sure, I still cheat once in a while. I ate a blizzard last night. But I am not eating one every night. It’s hot and I like the cold treat. Should probably make some frozen protein yogurt for such a time as these. And maybe I will.

The point is, do good for your body. You only get one! Take care of yourself!

The struggle is real!!!!

By Staci

The struggle is real!!!! And it is real to struggle. Struggle is (unfortunately) a part of life. Same thing for change. It can be a struggle to change. Habits can be hard to break. Just when you think you have conquered the habit or have made the change a part of your life…. you slip back into the “old ways”

Let me tell you a little story. I have been on a “new me” journey for a few years now. Ok… 5 years. I get going and doing well then something interferes. Most of the time it’s time that ruins my best-laid-plans. Or lack there of. This is especially true in the summer months.

This summer has been no exception. Time has become limited. Family vacations, weekend trips, holidays, etc. The list of excuses could go on and on. For the last month, I have completely abandoned the eating right and exercise thing. Ok, not completely but for the most part. I was still going to the gym 2 days a week instead of the usual 5-6. My workouts were only about half-effort, so they really don’t count.

I ate whatever I wanted. Lots and lots of ice cream. Bad idea since I’m lactose intolerant. But it is soooooo yummy! And it’s been HOT!!!!! And eating out a lot due to the heat. You know that “no desire to cook” thing. Throw in a camping trip and boom!

I was content with where I was in my journey for a bit. I was happy with where I was. Not at my goal, but happy. I could look in the mirror and not cringe at what I saw. I could stand on the scale and be ok with the number. I was happy with the way my clothes were fitting.

Not anymore! I gained about 10 pounds. Which is not the end of the world. What has happened is I have stopped liking the way I look again. I am no longer content with where I am. I look in the mirror and do not like what I see. Yes, this is all about me. As it should be. It’s my body, my life that I live with. I am making the change for ME! No one but ME! Me! Me! Me!

I’m not a selfish person or self-centered for the most part. But there comes a time when you realize that you are not happy and you need to make a change for yourself. When I start disliking me, my relationships start to suffer. I start looking to them for affirmation. Looking to them to fill a need for reassurance. For love. When that becomes the focus, to fill the gap in myself, it puts a strain on things. When I am happier and more self-assured, my relationships thrive. There is not the added strain of trying to fill gaps that cannot be filled.

So I am back on track. We have been to the gym 3 days so far this week and day 4 will be after work. I am working on eating better. It’s starting to cool down here so my desire to cook is returning.

Focus on yourself when you need to. Self-love is very important. Without it, you do not have the strength and energy to really, really focus on others. This is really difficult for those with children, especially moms. Find a way. Everyone will thank you for it.