Crockpot Fajitas

This past weekend I used the crockpot for the first time ever. I made crockpot fajitas (well the meat went in the crockpot) for my family when they were in town and it turned out great! And even better yet… They were super healthy! 

Time: 15min prep. 8hrs cook time. 
Ingredients: (enough to feed 6 people) 
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cup fresh salsa
2 cup salsa verde
2  tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
Lettuce 
Green pepper
Yellow pepper
Red pepper
Onion
Avocado 
Directions: 
1. Mix the salsas and spices together. 
2. Put chicken and salsa mix into crock pot and turn it on low. 
3. Chop peppers and onion and place in ziplock. 
4. Return 7 hours and 45min later to sauté the peppers and onions until they are carmalized. You can add some of the spices to give the peppers a little extra flavor. 
8. Shred chicken with fork (it will practically fall apart). Wash lettuce and chop avocado. 
9. Make your fajita using the lettuce as your tortilla. 
10. Enjoy! 

Making the Jump, 13.1 to 26.2

I have quite a few friends who are thinking they are about ready to make the jump from 13.1 to 26.2 and I have received numerous questions from them so I wanted to answer those questions in one place for all of you…

1. Can I do it [complete 26.2miles]?
Yes you can! If you put your mind to it and the miles of training in, you most certainly can get across that finish line. 

2. Should I run all 26.2miles before race day?
No, it isn’t necessary. Most people will train to about 20-22miles. I personally like to go to 22. 

3. Do you have any training plans you like to use?
I do not have a specific one I like to use but the general format I like to follow is: 

  • Monday — Cross Train (swim or bike) & Strength Training (generally all bodyweight exercises)
  • Tuesday — Mid Distance Run (4-8mile range)
  • Wednesday — Long Mid Distance Run (6-10mile range)
  • Thursday — Speed Work or Hills (3-5mile range)
  • Friday — Short Run (2-4mile range)
  • Saturday — Long Run (13-22mile range)
  • Sunday — Short (1-2miles) or Off Day
I tend to increase my milage weekly with every 4th week being a down week (my milage drops for a week allowing for recovery).

4. Any “special” gear that you really like?
I have 4 pieces that I really like. The first one is a good fitting sports bra. Trust me ladies, you get what you pay for in this category. I have found that Nike (medium and high impact) and Under Armor are the best ones for me.  A GPS watch. I have a Garmin and I feel like my training dramatically changed once I was aware of my milage. Compression Socks. My feet swell terribly so I have found when I wear these the swelling ins’t nearly as bad. Body Glide. There is nothing worse than chaffing. I put this stuff everywhere and it has defiantly been a life saver. 

5. People talk about “hitting a wall” what is that?
This is an imaginary wall that many runners will hit between miles 18 and 22. This is the point where you feel like you can’t go any further and everything hurts. Yes, the pain is real but you knew that was part of it when you committed to running this event. Stay mentally tough, maybe take some fuel, and you can get though it. I tend to play games at this point with myself. I will pick spots ahead of me and run to them, then pick another to walk to, going back and forth until I find my stride again. 

6. Do you eat while running?
Yes I do and this is something you must experiment with. I take 3Gu (one at hour 1, 1 at hour 2, and one at hour 3) and will take whatever the sports drink is (assuming it has no milk product in it) about every other water station starting at mile 6 or 8. Try to take the Gu (or whatever your fuel choice is) as you are approaching the water station… they don’t always go down super easy. 

7. Any Tips for Race Day?
  1. Have a plan. Know what you are going to do for your warm-up. Know when you are going to take fuel. Have three goals (best case, content with, and worst case).
  2. Have fun. You are joining part of the 2% of the population just by starting the race. Have fun with it and allow your plan to be flexible. 
  3. Don’t start out too hard. They will normally line you up in a corral, be realistic based on your goals and start with the group you want to finish with. Things can change throughout the race but its a good idea to start with those who are going to go your goal pace. (I pick, the I’m content goal for my starting place).
  4. Break up the race. I like to think of it as I am running 2miles 13times. There are generally water stations every 2miles so that is a good mental break before you start your next 2mile rep. 
  5. Walk through the water stations. This is about 10-15seconds of pure bliss. I have found by doing this my hamstrings and hips last a lot longer before they start to get tight during the race. 
  6. Talk to those around you. People will have great stories and hey, you never know, you may just get hit on (During my 2nd marathon I had a guy that I was going back and forth with passing each other just after we had both “hit the wall”, and at one point he comes up to me and says “you’re beautiful”…trust me I got a little pep in my step at that point. Maybe it’ll happen to you or you can be that inspiration to someone else).
Please let me know if you have any other questions as I am always happy to help! Happy Running!

Whole30 Challenge…

Failed. This Sunday morning I came to the conclusion that the Whole30 Challenge was not the healthiest option for me. As you read in last weeks update I was struggling with low energy and headaches as well as some digestive issues, while at the completion of week 2, the same issues were still present. I was constantly low on energy, was still waking up with throbbing headaches and my digestive system was completely twisted and causing some extreme discomfort. I think a lot of the digestive issues came from the large quantities of protein I was consuming as well as the large amounts of fiber from all the fruits and vegetables. The headaches and low energy I believe are on account of the great amount of training that I am doing as I prepare for my next half ironman. Most of my headaches felt like they were a result of low blood sugar. Even though I “failed”, I want to share what I have learned during my experience, as this still may be a great route for you to try:

1. The cravings for “bad” foods did decrease. Be patient through the first couple days, no doubt it is tough. Keep in mind, you aren’t a dog. You can say no to food.

2. I thought it was a great kick start towards getting back on track to eating healthy. Because what you can eat is laid out so clearly it made it easy to choose what to eat and stay on track.

3. You must like eggs and sweet potatoes to complete the challenge. These will be your staples.

4. Guacamole tastes great on just about anything.

5. If you are trying to lose weight, I can see how this would be very a beneficial way to start. Fruits and vegetables do not have nearly as many calories as other forms of carbohydrates making it so you can still eat quite a bit.

6. If you are doing a good bit of exercise, especially high volumes of cardio, it may be beneficial to make slight adjustments to the plan and add some form of a grain carbohydrate to help keep your glycogen stores up.

7. Be prepared to do a lot of cooking. Fruits and vegetables will not keep you full as long as you are accustomed to with your more traditional snack options.

8. It is a great opportunity to learn to read the ingredients list on packaged foods. It will defiantly be an eye opener to the large quantities of sugar and crazy number of chemicals present in the foods we are eating on a regular basis.

9. It got me to eat a lot more protein. Although this wasn’t ideal for my digestive system, it was beneficial to my muscle recovery.

10. I tried and enjoyed quite a few new foods. When you venture from your typical way of eating you get the opportunity to try quite a bit more and this was a fun way to experiment in the kitchen.

For those of you who have done it, what did you learn? And for those of you who are considering it, what questions do you have?

Take care and have a great Monday!

Posture

Since I have been working in an office setting… At a desk, staring at a computer screen daily for the last couple weeks, I have noticed my posture has already started to lack. After noticing my own was lacking, I took a look around and guess what I saw?! All of us in the office looked exactly the same way, hunched over. This is a terrible way to sit, it creates a tight chest, creating more rounded shoulder, a tight neck that is pushing our heads down and forward, and weakens our back muscles. None of this sounds good, so this got me thinking about how I could potentially change my posture while in the office. Here are the ideas that I came up with… 

1. When on the phone, be intentional about sitting with shoulder blades touching the back of the chair. 
2. When typing, focus on sucking in your tummy. Bet you can’t do that well in a hunched over position. 
3. If filing papers, only take a handful at a time to the filing cabinet. Yes it may take a couple minutes longer but it will also allow you to stand and move around which will hopefully allow for better posture. 
4. When on the computer, bring the mouse and keyboard close so you aren’t reaching to get to it. 
5. Be intentional. Just by having it on your mind it could have just the impact you need to help keep you in that upright position. 
Please let me know if you have any other ideas! Have a great Thursday!  

Things I’m Loving Tuesday

Back again for another edition of Things I’m loving Tuesday…

Guacamole.  I have decided that it is good on just about anything. And it’s whole30 approved 🙂 

Water with lemon. Since being on this whole30 plan, beverages have been super plain. Adding lemon has been a great way to spruce up the flavor. Have any of you tired any other fruits? 

Almond Butter. Best thing ever on a banana!! Sort of like peanut butter but better! Be sure to check the ingredients to make sure it’s just almonds and no additional sugar. 


And finally, one non-food thing… Actually a person. His name is Daniel and I am happy to be able to introduce him to you all as my boyfriend. Early this morning, he woke me up to a great breakfast he had cooked (sorry I ate it before taking a picture) and on my napkin he asked me to be his girlfriend. So I guess it’s pretty appropriate that he falls into this weeks post 😉 


That’s it for this weeks edition. I hope you have had a great Tuesday! 






Whole30 Week 1

A week ago today I started the Whole30 Challenge. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it is a 30 day cleanse of processed foods, added sugars, leguems, grains, dairy, and alcohol. AKA anything super delicious… Don’t even think about it!! 

Update: 
Days 1&2 were pretty rough, I was always starving. I couldn’t seem to eat enough calories. Day 3, I noticed my energy was up but eating so many fruits and veggies defiantly caught up to my digestive system if you know what I mean… Day 4&5, a lot better. I started to get the hang of eating a lot more protein. Day 6&7, rough again. I had a long run on day 6 and a long bike on day 7 (10miles on day 6 and 2hrs on the bike on day 7). This is when my lack of carbohydrates caught up to me. My run was good but I did notice I was getting a headache and a slightly dizzy feeling by the end, like my blood sugar was low. Day 7, my legs felt like lead, my head ached, and I had zero energy. I ate 2 Lara Bars (190 calories each) before beginning and I was only able to make it to 20min before calling it quits so I could eat some more and potentially recover a little more from my previous days run….
…because of this issue and the amount of training that I am doing I will be adding some whole grains to my diet for the coming week to see if that makes a difference. From what I have read, many other triathletes had to alter the plan as well to be able to maintain their training appropriately. Even though I hate to make alterations to the challenge.. Fingers crossed it works!
What I’m Missing Most: 
Tortilla chips and cheese. I didn’t realize how much I loved each of these until I could no longer have them. 
Best Meals So Far: 
Valentines Day Dinner: zucchini pasta, shrimp and scallops and some kind of other squash. It was delicious and all thanks to my Valentine 😉 

Mushroom stuffed with ground turkey and guacamole and a side of clementine. 

What I’ve Learned So Far: 
You must like eggs, sweet potatoes, and avocado to survive the challenge. These are the staples to my diet. 
A few more thoughts to close out week 1…For as tough as this “diet plan” is to follow, I am enjoying mixing it up and trying some new things. It is also forcing me to cook more often which isn’t always a bad thing either. Hopefully I will learn a couple more good dishes for you to try as well. I’ll be back again next Monday for week two update. 

Happy Monday Y’all! 

Whole30 Update

I’m STARVING!!!! I love all that I am eating I just feel like I can’t get enough food in me.  Day one, I consumed less than 1,000 calories and I felt like I ate all day. Day two I did much better, getting to 1,900 calories, thanks to the addition of smoothies, but still I feel like I am never full. I know I am an avid exerciser so I am sure that has a little something to do with constantly being hungry… so I want to know if anyone else who maybe started off with this, “I’m Starving” issue was able to turn the tables to feeling full while remaining on the plan? Any and all suggestions/comments welcome!!

On a positive though, I am sleeping better and generally feel more refreshed when I wake up in the morning 🙂

Here is what my first two days on the Whole30 plan consisted of:

DAY 1:
Breakfast: Hardboiled egg and berries
Lunch: Almonds (probably not the most substantial lunch ever)
Dinner: Spaghetti Squash, Broccoli, Chicken, and a Clementine
Snacks: Hardboiled egg, and an apple with almond butter

DAY 2:
Breakfast: Hardboiled egg, berries, and a kale, orange, mango, and strawberry smoothie
Lunch: Sweet Potato and kale chips
Dinner: Salmon, kale chips, and half an avocado
Snacks: Apple Pie Lara Bar, almonds, banana and apple in almond butter, and another smoothie just like I had at breakfast

Whole30 Challenge…

Accepted!! Starting on Monday, my good friend and training partner, Kimberly and I will be embarking on a 30 day challenge of no processed foods. The challenge is to eat only whole foods for thirty days in a row. This means no dairy, grains, alcohol, legumes, or anything with added sugar. Calories are not restricted only the foods we eat are. 

The point of this “diet” plan is to help aid curbing those cravings for “bad” foods. Also it has been noted by past participants that their energy levels have increased, feelings of being less bloated, weight loss, less frequent headaches, and better sleep. We will see what happens to the two of us through the process.  
But for now, we are in the planning stages using this as our guideline for the weeks ahead: 
Do any of you have recommendations for recipes based on this list? All suggestions are welcome!! 
I will be sure to keep you updated weekly as to my progress and if this sounds like something you are interested in or would like more information about check out the website listed below. 

**Please note I say “diet” in quotes as I do not believe in dieting, I believe in lifestyle changes. This although is temporary, it will hopefully envoke some lifestyle changes in my eating patterns long term. Also note “bad” is in quotes. There are no such thing as “bad” foods. There are just foods that are “better choices” and there are foods that should only be consumed be in moderation.**

Daily Odd Compliments

Earlier today as I was looking through Pinterest and I found this thing called Daily Odd Compliments. They kind of remind me of goofy/cheesy pick up lines. So today’s post is in honor of some of my favorites that I came across. I hope you enjoy and maybe even giggle about them a little as I did. 

I hope these made you laugh a little and possibly even brighten your Wednesday! And if you see fitting.. Throw one of these lines at your best friend or significant other. If you do so, please let me know how it goes! 
Happy Hump Day Y’all !!

Things I’m Loving Tuesday

Back again for another round of Things I’m Loving Tuesday. This weeks addition will be a little different as it will be all the apps that I am loving. 

1. Blogger. Without this one you wouldn’t hear from me nearly as often. I love it because it allows me to post quickly on the go (or at my desk when I have some free time). Anyone who is into the blogging thing, I defiantly recommend it. 
2. Nike Training Club. I think I raved enough about this one yesterday. If you missed it, check out yesterday’s post to get the down low on that one.
3. Training Peaks. Training peaks is a website where my triathlon coach posts all my workouts. I love having it as an app so I can easily make plans of how to incorporate my workout into my day without having to get on the computer. I feel like it makes me much less likely to miss a workout. 
4. My Fitness Pal. This is a great free app that allows you to easily track your calorie consumption and exertion. 
5. IFTTT, If this then that. Many of you who read my blog via Facebook may have noticed that I’m not the one who posts it there now. This app automatically posts my blog for me once I have published it. Additionally it sends me a text message alerting me of the weather forecast for the day every morning at 5am and let’s me know when it’s going to rain. It can do plenty of other things but that is all I have figured out so far. Do any of you use it? If so, what for?  

That’s all for this week. Are there any apps that you are currently using and would recommend? Please let me know, I’d love to give them a try. 

Have a great Tuesday! 

P.S. If you would like to have my blog emailed to you after every post please check out the home page. In the top left corner, there is a spot that you can add your email address. Thanks for reading! 🙂