CAUTION: Busy Week Ahead, Meal Plan

What do you do when you KNOW you’ve got a busy week on tap? PLAN! I don’t anticipate that we will follow this to the letter, but just sitting down, and looking at my calendar and thinking ahead almost guarantees that I’ll do better than if I hadn’t done any planning at all. At least I’ve given it a little thought, so that when we’re coming home from an all-day play practice dress rehearsal on Thursday, I’ll hopefully have cooked up some turkey taco meat on Wednesday so that we’ll have dinner on the table shortly after we get home. What’s the alternative? Probably ordering out or grabbing some crap on the way home. I’ll make sure we have lots of good snacks packed up so that nobody is dying of starvation while we’re out, or on our way home. And even as I sit here typing, I’m thinking and planning ways to make this a good, healthy week, despite a VERY busy schedule.

A note about “FFY”. This one makes me smile. When my husband and I were newly married, and both working full-time jobs, I would leave him a note in the morning about what to expect for dinner (SEE? I was even planning WAY back then!). And sometimes that note would simply say: “FFY”, which meant “Fend for Yourself”. That usually meant that we had some sort of leftovers, or at least some deli meat or cereal he could choose from. There aren’t many things that my husband can’t do…but cooking is one of them. He once tried to make instant pudding with water. Another time he TRIED to make a grilled cheese sandwich the way that I made them and ended up buttering both sides of each slice of bread and simmering it over low heat in a pan of vegetable oil. Not quite right. He slopped his creation down on a paper plate, at which point the oil was wicked into the plate until it was entirely saturated. He did not eat this sandwich, and never tried again. This week requires at least one FFY night. Let’s hope for the best! 🙂

Have a GREAT week!

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Chicken, Fruit and Veggie Stir Fry

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It’s been awhile since I shared a recipe. You won’t believe how easy and delicious this is! This received rave reviews from the family! As always, I started with a recipe in my hand, but then quickly put it down and went my own way with it. 🙂

I think the key here is to let your chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 8 hours. Then you’ll just need to chop up your veggies and pineapple and throw it all together.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (you could use dry if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 breasts), chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium bell pepper (any color), cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 2-3 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/4 c. water (or broth)
  • 1 T. corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, optional
  • *optional extras: bamboo shoots, water chesnuts, onions (hubby doesn’t like them, but they would be good)

Notes: We like our Chinese food a little ‘saucy’ and a little spicy. You can adjust amounts accordingly.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, broth, honey, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes. Place chicken in a large shallow dish or Ziploc bag. Pour soy sauce mixture over chicken, tossing gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and marinade and sauté for 5-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and reserve. Add broccoli and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Then add the sliced carrots and bell peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender. Add pineapple and cook for 2 more minutes. Add reserved chicken back to the pan. Whisk together the water (or broth) and corn starch and stir into the pan to thicken the sauce. Serve over brown rice.

This recipe made about 8 servings. One serving of the chicken mixture is about 135 calories and 13 grams of protein. Served over one serving (1/2 cup) of brown rice (@170 calories), will be a grand total of 305 calories.

Winner!

And-the-winner-is___

And the winner of Hip Hop Abs is:

Vanessa Gonzalez!

Congrats Vanessa! I just sent you an email.

This was pretty popular…so I think I’ll try to include a new give-away monthly! It turns out I like giving away free stuff almost as much as I like winning it! It’s like Christmas!

Who Loves FREE Stuff?! GIVE-AWAY!

IT’S A GIVE-AWAY! FREE STUFF…I LOVE FREE STUFF!
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In Hip Hop Abs®, Shaun breaks the dance moves down into steps, so almost anyone can do them. And the workouts are set to hot dance music, so they’re high energy and fun.

BUT WAIT….THERE’S MORE!!!  🙂 Get the FREE DVD BONUS Workout – Hip Hop Abs EXTREME (a $19.95 Value)

hip-hop-abs-contest

Click the link below to enter! Hurry, contest ends Wednesday at midnight!

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If you win…you’ll LOSE (get it?!) 😉

Another Sunday, Another Meal Plan

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I have a little bit of ADD. Seriously…don’t we all? I sat down to do my meal plan, got about 20 minutes into it, and found myself making turkey meatloaf muffins and cleaning the kitchen. I like to start a project, and then start 3 more projects in the meantime. I’m not sure why that is, but it is. I will go to do a load of laundry. On the way to the laundry room, I’ll get sidetracked by a library book that should have been returned weeks ago! I’ll pick that up and go to put it in my bag, so that I won’t forget, and notice my checkbook. Oops, forgot to write that check for gymnastics class. Looking for a pen, I see the phone. First I’ll call my mom back and see what she wanted. While I’m talking, I’ll walk around and put the kids’ toys away that they left out all over the house. I’ll walk up to their bedrooms and notice my laptop that they swiped from me. I’ll carry that downstairs and remember I was looking for a pen. I’ll go get a pen and see the dogs bowl is empty…better feed him. Go get the dog food and see the laundry basket that I set in front of the washer 2 hours ago. And that’s how it goes most days. It’s a wonder I get anything done at all!

But I DID get my meal plan done for the week! So at least there’s that!

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Charlie Sheen is Doing It…You Should Too!

winningWhat on earth is Charlie Sheen doing that YOU should be doing, too? WINNING! We should all be winning every day! Because winning feels good! Just ask Charlie!

Don’t you remember when you were a kid how winning made you feel? Getting a blue ribbon, celebrating a big victory at a little league game, hoisting the team trophy, winning a game of checkers, even just racing a friend across the playground…you wanted to WIN! Now compare that with our adult lives…what do we win? Cleaning the dirtiest toilet best? Cooking dinner that most of your family will eat? Maybe…

In 2004 I ran my first marathon and quickly re-discovered what it feels like to ‘win’ again. Of course…I didn’t win the marathon, not even close. I think I finished in the top half though…so around 15,000th place! LOL! But you couldn’t have convinced me that I hadn’t won! As I turned the corner toward the finish line, and reflected on the last 4 months of training, and the 26 miles I had just run….I remembered all the early morning runs, the heat, the blisters, and leg cramps. In the last two tenths of the race I might as well have been all alone, running toward the tape. I was sobbing, in disbelief of what I had just accomplished. When my foot crossed the line, I WON! That’s how it felt. Even writing about it makes me well-up. It was an emotional as well as a physical achievement. And that feeling is most definitely the reason that so many people repeat the whole process again and again. I have run 4 marathons since then and ‘won’ them all! It feels good to win!

Of course the only person I won against, was me. The me that never thought I could do such a thing. The me that would rather sleep in on a Saturday than lace up, fuel up, gear up and go run for 3 hours. I beat the crap outta that me. She never even saw it coming!

I haven’t run a marathon since 2010, but I win all the time. Every time I start a new 90 day program, and see it through to the final day…I win! Heck, every day I choose my workout over an extra hour of sleep, or a t.v. show…I win! Every time (like this morning) that I take an extra 10 minutes to pack up my lunch and snacks for the day instead of feeling the temptation to stop for fast, convenient, junk food…I win! And I celebrate every little victory. It’s usually a quiet celebration: a smile, a sigh of relief, a skip in my step…but it still feels pretty damn good. In my head I’m spiking the football, doing a victory lap, pumping my fist and screaming at the top of my lungs…I DID IT! 😀 “In your face Old Me!” I’m a much more gracious winner now, than I was when I was a kid. I guess then I was a little more like Charlie Sheen.

*A side note: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend winning in the sense that Charlie was winning. Cause on the outside it looked a lot more like losing. But at least he felt good about being the best loser he could be! So in a sense…he WAS winning!

In short…find victory in the little contests of life. We face multiple battles every day, often with ourselves. Show You who’s boss. Put your game face on and be a winner! And celebrate your victories…it feels good! 🙂

Another Meal Plan! Is it Sunday Already?!

This weekend, in a nutshell, was AWESOME! Super Saturday was 10 tons of fun! I got in killer workout with my childhood BFF Jenelle Summers. And after that workout, we all got to do a preview of Shaun T’s new program, coming out this summer, Focus T-25! It was simple yet intense! Basic moves are combined to create a heart-pumping cardio workout for the full 25 minutes…no breaks! The craziest move was 1-armed burpees! Not a surprise from the creator of Insanity, I guess! 🙂 I give it 2 thumbs up! If you’d like to be notified when it comes out and is available to purchase, provide your email below and I’ll let you know!

So without further ado…here is this weeks meal plan.

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Wrinkles Shmrinkles!

derm_CollageI am super excited about my wrinkles! Because I can make them disappear! (Actually…I HATE THEIR GUTS!) Beachbody has a line of anti-aging products called Derm Exclusive. Have you seen the infomercial with Minnie Driver? Well…I decided to give it a try. I typically have VERY little faith in products like these, so I was skeptical. But, BUT, BUT…much to my surprise, it seems to work! Keep in mind, I have only used it twice! And these pictures were taken before and after my FIRST application (only 15 minutes apart)! If you look closely at the before/after pics, you can see that some of those fine lines are less noticeable! These totally UN-flattering pictures are obviously with NO makeup, and I wouldn’t know how to Photo-Shop, so it’s the real deal! I will keep you posted and take some more pics after 30 days, but I was excited to share this now, after only ONE day! I love the way the products feel and smell! There are several products available. I decided to test most of them, in order to get a real feel for the entire line. I imagined that I would eliminate some of them, anticipating that they wouldn’t work, but so far…I love them all! The real winner seems to the ‘Fill and Freeze Wrinkle Treatment”. It’s like a magic wrinkle-disappearing wand! You use it both AM and PM, and can even spot-treat during the day over your make-up! The effects are supposed to last about 8 hours.

If you want to check out all of the products that are available, or want to watch a quick video about it, click the “Beachbody” tab at the top of this page, then “Shop”, and “Derm Exclusive”.

Guacamole Hummus

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I posted this on Facebook recently, but wanted to add it to my blog for easier access! This is SO good! Use it for a condiment, a dip, whatever you like!

Do you like guacamole? Do you like hummus? Then VOILA! You have to try this!

1.5 C (one can) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 C fresh spinach
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Half a large ripe avocado
Juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Toss it all into a food processor or blender and you’re done!

*I added a little water when I blended mine to get the right consistency.
94 calories/serving (Makes 7-8 servings)

 

Meal Plan and Happy Thought

First my happy thought: I’m so lucky to have such an awesome family! I got to hang out with some cool aunts, uncles and cousins today, when we all got together to celebrate my Grandma’s 85th birthday! Several of them joined me right after the new year, in a challenge group. They are still going strong, working out, eating healthy foods and reporting daily. And I finally saw them IN PERSON today, for the first time since Christmas! Although now they are down 15-25 pounds and dozens of inches EACH! Better than that were the smiles on their faces when they talked about their progress and how happy they are with what they’ve accomplished! What fun! I’ve been smiling all day! 😀

And now my meal plan for the week. This is helping me be accountable so much! I’m hoping that it helps some of you, too! 🙂

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