Feeling a little under the weather and unable to bear the thought of turkey leftovers, I made a Chicken Black Bean Tortilla Soup that was warm, easy and helped dry up the sniffles. I played with the original recipe a bit and came up with this. Although, I think the picuture looks pretty good, it tastes even better! My "non-eater" middle son even had seconds.
CHICKEN BLACK BEAN TORTILLA SOUP
2 T Olive Oil
1 onion, diced
2 T garlic, minced
5 Cups Chicken Broth (fat and sodium free)
3 (14.5 oz) cans Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles
1 (14.5) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5) can chick peas, rinsed and drained
2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 Chipotle peppers, sliced
2 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
1 Cup cilantro, chopped
1 Avocado for garnish (optional)
1 Cup Monterey Jack cheese for garnish (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat oil and add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, tomatoes, and beans and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and add chicken breasts; cook 25 minutes. Remove chicken breasts and allow to cool slightly. Shred chicken and add back to the pot. Add lime juice and cilantro to pot.
Serve hot with desired garnishes. I'm partial to Avocado!
Serves 6, then some, as I'm still eating it as lunch leftovers.
What's your go to "comfort" food when you are under the weather?
We are at my brother's for the Thanksgiving Holiday. He and his wife are huge Foodies so there has been much cooking, eating, drinking, laughing and repeating. I can only handle so much of a good thing before the need to break a sweat and get my body in action takes over. I was so at that point late Thursday afternoon.
All of the men and boys had gone to the woods on their hunting expeditions so the house was quiet and it was the perfect time to work off some of the feasting. Before leaving I had bought a new pair of running shoes and had them in my car so I was looking forward to giving them a try. Alas, it was not meant to be. Due to some crazy family arranging, I did not have the keys to my car, someone had locked my car. . . with my shoes inside. So, I sat around in my running clothes wondering how in the world my brother had gotten hold of my car keys, and why in the world he had them up in a deerstand!
So, when they came back after dark I quickly got my keys so I could get my shoes and be ready the next morning. Alas, it was not meant to be. My new expensive running shoes were not in the car. So, that explains how I came to be at a Marshall's on Black Friday, looking for running shoes.
Before that morning I could not imagine needing or wanting anything enough to venture out on the largest shopping day of the year. Since I couldn't rationalize spending a lot on shoes again, I hunted and scrounged and actually found a great pair in my size for a mere $25 bucks. Well worth the hassle. That afternoon while the men and boys were back in the woods I had a much needed sweaty run and then just kept walking for another hour. It was perfect! Then I could begin again with the cooking, eating, drinking, laughing and repeating.
I think from here on out, I will just keep those shoes in my car for emergencies.
Have you had to buy "replacements" that really aggravated you? What did you do to get over the Thanksgiving Food Coma?
My bro and his bird . . .Thanks for a great time!
This is one of my very favorite Chili recipes - it's meatless, loaded with healthy vegetables and lots of fire! I have to remind my boys to leave the Tabasco alone. It's also a perfect "night before Thanksgiving" meal! Load up on veggies, the added heat fires up your metabolism and gets you ready for a feast! Or just enjoy any time, like we do!
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 T. Kosher or coarse salt
1/2 C Olive Oil
2 zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 C parsley, chopped
1/2 C basil leaves, slivered
3 T Cumin
1 T. dried Oregano
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
2 (15 1/2 oz) can black beans, drained
1 1/2 C. fresh or frozen (thawed) white corn kernels
1/2 C fresh dill, chopped
1/4 C lemon juice
Sour cream, grated cheese and/or chopped green onions for topping
Toss eggplant with salt in a colander. Let it sit for 1 hour; then pat dry. (Sometimes I do this without the eggplant and it is still great!) Heat 1/4 C. Olive Oil in dutch oven; add onions, zucchini, peppers, garlic and saute until tender. In a separate skillet, heat remaining 1/4 Cup of olive oil. Cook eggplant over medium heat until tender; about 10 minutes. With slotted spoon, put eggplant in Dutch oven. Add tomatoes with juice, 1/2 Cup parsley, basil and spices. Cook over low heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add black beans, corn, dill and lemon juice; cook 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings; add remaining 1/2 C parsley. Serve hot with or without toppings.
Enjoy with a glass of cold water close by!
Let me know if you try it!
The BIG Blow Out Day of Feasting is about to be upon us! And while I love that we have a Holiday just for offering Thanks (and I love all of you who refuse to bypass Thanksgiving for the flashier Holiday that comes next) I just cannot let the day come and go without giving you a least a little education on how to tackle the day. I am NOT about to tell you to skip the good, fattening sides or politely decline the homemade pie WITH either ice cream or whipped cream at the end, and I am one of the biggest eaters out there. I am often known to eat more than the husband, but we can't just say "ignorance is bliss" and wonder how in the world we put on 5 lbs over night!
So while the typical Thanksgiving meal taker consumes 2000 - 30000 calories on this one day . . . yes, that's at least twice as much as a normal caloric day should be. . . there are a few things to know in preparation for the big day, so here goes. . .
Here is a list of the damage you will likely do and some ways to undo the damage!
So, Go Ahead, Enjoy Your Holiday Treats
* Note: The calories burned are estimates based on a 150-pound woman. What you burn depends on your height, weight, and how vigorously you work out.
1. A SLICE OF PECAN PIE - 500 CALORIES
I make my Grandmother's recipe as it is my husband's favorite and it is not complete without the scoop of real whipped cream on the side. . . My tip . . . save the pie for later. I eat it as my dinner that night!
Burn it off this way: Run, run and run some more!! Or, walk 5 miles to get it off!
2. Sweet Potates - 200 Calories
My sweet potatoes are not quite as healthy as the normal sweet potatoes I eat, mine have brown sugar and pecans (but no marshmellows!) so I likely eat more that 200 calories if I have seconds!
Burn it off this way: Take an afternoon holiday hike or at least a walk with some good hills! A 45 minute walk with hills can burn 250 calories or add some stairs, climbing stairs for 5 minutes burns 50 calories. So there, those sweet potatoes never happened!
3. Stuffing, or dressing, as we call is down South - 105 Calories
I have to confess, this is one of my least favorite sides, so sometimes I just pass it by. Why waste the calories if you don't love it? But, for those of you who love your dressing. . .
Burn if off this way: 30 minutes on the stair stepper at the gym, or WRAP presents for one hour and burn 120 calories! (That assumes you have been really early on the next Holiday preparations)
4. A Cup of Eggnog - 400 CALORIES
I have to confess this is one of my favorites, but I have to have the lightened version. I just can't rationalize this many calories on a beverage! Plus, I don't start downing these until the calendar flips to December
Burn it off this way: If you live where it's available, ice skating is the perfect calorie burner! If not, I'm saying you need a good spin class to torch this many calories!
4. Honey-Roasted Ham - 3.5 oz. 122 Calories
This is another item, like turkey itself, I am known to pass on. I can eat ham any time! So, I tend to save it for a sandwich the day after the big feast.
Burn it off this way: Jog for an hour and burn about 500 calories, that's perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas day! Get it in early, before you start indulging and you will be free to enjoy!
5. Hot Chocolate - 150 CALORIES
This is a timeless treat that is good on any chilly afternoon or evening.
Burn it off this way: Get outside and play basketball or tag football! You'll burn it off without even thinking about it!
6. Cranberry Sauce - 1/4 cup 100 Calories
This is a yummy healthy side. No guilt here.
Burn it off this way: Take a walk around the block. Your tight pants will thank you!
7. Two Sugar Cookies - 200 CALORIES
I have to confess that cookies are my favorite, and my downfall.
Burn it off this way: 20 minutes on the elliptical machine at a good resistance will do the trick.
8. Broccoli Casserole - 1/2 Cup 130 CALORIES
This is one of my very favorite sides! I can't have a Thanksgiving meal without it and I can't not have 2 helpings!
Burn it off this way: Some type of cardio; jumping rope, stationary bike, elliptical trainer, running
9. Pumpkin Pie - 250 CALORIES
Burn it off this way: GO SHOPPING! Park farther away in the parking lot and carry lots of bags!
There you have it. Now, you can't say that you had NO idea you were eating so many calories! That being said, ENJOY but be picky! Don't eat it if you don't love it!
But mostly be THANKFUL! You have wonderful food on the table and you have this amazing body that can get out and move around after enjoying it!
There has been a lot of hype lately about barefoot running and all the wonderful benefits of running the way were were "born to run". A friend sent me a great article from the New York Times last week on this subject that also included some of the history behind the transformation of running shoes. Apparently, before we started wearing all the fancy cushioned running shoes and expensive orthotics, runners had very few injuries. Now, studies show that almost all runners will experience some form of injury.
So, perhaps all those barefoot runners you might see around are on to something. I can't say I will ever be one of them, but I am trying to run "lighter" and avoid heel striking when I run. Perhaps I would have been doing this all along had I ever been coached? That might have saved me lots of hamstring, hip and knee pain, not to mention the always lurking plantar fasciatis . . .
That being said, this is a new Nike video that takes the barefoot running to another level - at least it's good for a chuckle!
Have you bought a new pair of barefoot shoes? Or maybe you want to try this way to run .. .let me know!
Jorg Badura for The New York Times The Lost Secret of Running: Christopher McDougall demonstrates a lost running technique from the 1800s called the 100-Up.
By CHRISTOPHER McDOUGALL Published: November 2, 2011
The video below has been age-restricted due to content, so no kiddos in the room please!!
If you look at the right you will see a quote that says, "Get rid of the junk in your cupboard, if it's not there, you can't eat it". Sounds pretty smart - and easy. That's why I tell folks to do that one simple thing. Yet, I opened our pantry the other day and realized it was a total mess, and filled with who knows what. So, I decided to practice what I preach and do some housecleaning. I even have the pictures to prove it. . .
Hellooooo in there. . . can you see anything?
I unloaded absolutely everything out of the pantry onto my kitchen counters. I was extremely dismayed at the amount of boxes and cans dating back to 2007 or so. To the garbage they went - and I HATE to waste food, so this was very disturbing to me. I think I filled up two garbage cans and every bit of counter space. When all emptied my youngest walked by and was amazed. He had NO IDEA the inside of the cabinet was actually white. Go figure.
Then I completely re-organized and re-stocked the pantry. Neatly. I was so happy afterwards. For the next few days I would just go by and open the door just to see how neat and organized it was. Complete nerd.
Now we can actually see that the inside is WHITE. Who knew? And we can see what we can eat, where the almonds are, and I can say "Yes, honey, we have Ovaltine" withouht getting up and digging for it myself.
I am vey happy with getting the junk out of the cupboard. I can now see the good, healthy stuff to eat!
Does cleaning out just make you all giddy inside?
Not my typical Wednesday night. My friends who will likely kill me for posting this photo!
My normal Wednesdays are spent doing homework, cooking dinner, cleaning up from dinner, making sure more homework gets done, teeth brushed. . . you get the picture. It's really an exciting time - and then I hit the couch. And I am so very happy. Last night it was cold, supposed to be rainy AND I felt a real cold coming on, so the couch was sounding really good to me. However, my husband had different plans. He had plans to meet up with his highschool buddies and see their all time favorite musician. In fact, my husband calls him "a musical genius". Who is this, you might ask? Todd Rundgren. While I barely know three of his songs, my husband has all of his albums, no matter that Todd's Hey Day was in the 70's, when we were about 10 years old! He and his buddies know every word to songs I'm not sure were ever even played on the radio. However, I digress.
We ventured out last night and met friends before the show and had a great time catching up. We then made it to a small venue where we were absolutely the youngest folks in the crowd. And we are not young. Todd Rundgren is even less young. To put it in perspective, when my boys heard who we were going to see, their response was, "Why would you go see someone that old?" OUCH.
Well, Todd might be "old" in a 13 year olds book, but on stage he surely didn't act it. Get a look at the outfit! If that doesn't scream youth, I'm not sure what does! And you should have seen his air splits - just like in my cheerleading days . . .I was quite impressed.
So, as Todd and his band, who must have been with him for thirty years, rocked on and played lots of guitar with no singing, I had time to think about how he was up on stage "keeping it young" and the crowd around us was loving it and right there with him! I think everyone around had completely forgotten that it was not 1972, or if they hadn't they didn't seem to care. There were lots of gray hair and crow's feet in the crowd and just as much on the stage.
I'm thinking there ought to be some point where we should act our age, but who am I to say? I know there are studies that out there that say the younger you keep yourself in mind, spirit and body, the longer you will live.
I guess it's all a state of mind, and of course, I want our bodies to be able to keep up with what our mind wants to do! I'll be happy to be able to wear a psychedelic pantsuit with crazy sunglasses and not worry what folks think, if it makes me feel good. Although, there also might be a point where my friends might reign me in on the hair dye. It can be a really good thing to feel and act young, and then again, it can be a bit whacky.
Guess that's the beauty of it.
So, below is the one Todd Rundgren song I really know . . and, of course was not played. Below the video is a photo from last night's show and it really does NOT do the outfit justice.
I'm just hoping you are super impressed that I was able to put the YouTube video in here. My husband will be impressed that I actually found Todd Rundgren and could spell his name correctly.
A night out with friends, a break from routine, things that keep us young.
Other than the obvious healthy stuff, what keeps you feeling young?
This post should really go over in the Healthy Kitchen Tab, but I am so happy that I just have to put it here.
So, the brussel sprouts looked just so good to me in the grocery store yesterday that I had to snag them. Then, I had to get home and figure a way to get my boys to actually eat them! I remembered a recipe I had seen on Foodbuzz that had a maple syrup sauce for roasted brussel sprouts that looked really good. I wasn't going to all that trouble, so Id did the next best thing.
I chopped up broccoli, red bell pepper and halved the brussel sprouts. I drizzled them with olive oil and roasted them at 400 degrees (like I do any roasted vegetables) When they were done, just lightly browned on the edges, I took them out of the over and drizzled honey (yes, right out of the bear , although I think this one is organic) over the roasted vegetables.
When my oldest saw what he was actually eating, he began gagging and hacking - then, slowly, said, "Mmmmm, not bad". Middle son even complimented them. SUCCESS!
So, there you have it: A MIRACLE - a way to get the kiddos to eat brussel sprouts.
What are your sneaky tricks?
YOU CAN GET FIT!
I know, the weather is beginning to get a little chilly so you start fudging on your workouts. The Holiday events and invitations will soon begin coming and your "to do" list will grow AND your workout window will SHRINK. So, keep this little workout handy and you have no excuses to keep your fitness level at its peak and your STRESS level low!
You will need weights, a jump rope (or your imagination) and some room to move - that's it-
BEDROOM (or any room) BOOTCAMP!
Begin with a 2 minute Warm-up:
2 minute March in Place (high knees!)
1 minute Squat (with weights if you have them)
1 minute Squats
1 minute Jumping Jacks
30 Crunches (on the floor with knees in tabletop over your hips, not chest for maximum abdominal work)
20 Walking Lunges with Bicep Curls
1 minute Jumping Rope (use your imaginary rope if you don't have one!)
20 Tricep Dips (coffee table works great here!)
1 minute running with High Knees
1 minute Overhead Press with weights
1 minute Squats with Overhead Press
25 Double Crunches (Knees to chest and chest to knees)
1 minute Jump Rope
1 minute Plank
15 Tricep Push-ups
25 Double Crunches
1 minute Plie Squats with rows
30 second Mountain Climbers
30 second Plank
30 Double Crunches
20 Squats with Lateral Raises
That's it! 20 Minutes and you are done!
Now you can go on with your day and know you've gotten a good workout in without leaving your house1
AND can afford to taste a Holiday treat (Check out the Pumpkin Mousse Tart Recipe I'm Posting! It's worth the calories!)
What Holiday treat is worth the calories?
I've posted before about the importance of MOVING. You know, getting off the couch and actually moving your body. I even did a whole post on NEAT (Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis) which basically supports the importance of normal everyday activity and its health benefit. Well, today a NEW study came out stating that prolonged sitting EVEN if you exercise regularly, may bring on certain cancers.
Yesterday the study was that women who drink wine are at greater risk for breast cancer, now all the sitters out there are at greater risk. If you don't believe me, here is what the report says:
"Alpa Patel, an American Cancer Society
epidemiologist who looked at the data, says the numbers "seem like very reasonable estimates."
Experts have known for years that physical activity decreases the risk of chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes, Friedenreich says, but the new data give estimates on the number of cases that might be prevented if people were more physically active.
"A brisk daily walk of at least 30 minutes could lower a person's risk over time for breast cancer and colon cancer," says Alice Bender, a registered dietitian with AICR.
Friedenreich reviewed more than 200 cancer studies worldwide and found convincing evidence that regular physical activity reduces the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer and endometrial cancer by 25% to 30%. There's some evidence that regular exercise also reduces the risk of lung, prostate and ovarian cancer, she says. That's all good news. The kicker is this:
Patel and others also have investigated the health dangers of sitting too long without moving around, which is called "sitting disease."
In a study of 123,000 people, she found that the more time people spent sitting, the higher their risk of dying early. "Even among individuals who were regularly active, the risk of dying prematurely was higher among those who spent more time sitting,
" she says. (I added the bold highlight)
Even if you are doing half an hour of aerobic activity a day, you need to make sure you don't sit the rest of the day, Patel says. "You have to get up and take breaks from sitting." I JUST told my body sculpt class this very thing last Friday, but it wasn't to scare them of cancer!
Emerging research indicates that prolonged sitting also increases the risk of some types of cancer, such as colon, endometrial and ovarian cancers, Friedenreich says.James Levine
, a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., says many people sit an average of seven to 9½ hours a day. "If you've sat for an hour, you've probably sat too long," he says.
Friedenreich is looking into why exercise reduces cancer risk. In a study of 320 post-menopausal women, she has found that physical activity appears to decrease the risk of cancer by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing body fat, inflammation, metabolic hormones and sex steroids hormones.
There you have it. ANOTHER GOOD reason to get off your rump and get moving! So, I guess I should be standing as I type this and definately not sipping on wine while I post all this info to you all!
Excerpt taken from