Saturday, November 8, 2014

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls

If you know ONE thing about me, it's that I cannot live without Chipotle. Whatever witchcraft they put in fast food to make people addicted is what they put in Chipotle's food. Yes, the food is amazing, but I feel like it's one of the few places I can go to eat where I don't have to worry as much about what's in the food itself. Also one of the few places that will serve you real food. Like veggies instead of pink nugget slime.

But for some reason, I never considered making my own "Chipotle" at home until I was visiting my best friend's in-laws and they made homemade burrito bowls for dinner.

I should warn you, I'm not a recipe follower, unless it's something I have no idea how to make. These bowls are so easy that I didn't bother with measurements. You really just add in what sounds good to you. Also, I didn't use any copycat recipes for Chipotle ingredients; actually I just used whatever I already had in my kitchen.

In my bowl I used:
  • 4 servings of all-natural, hormone-free chicken breasts
  • A 32oz carton of organic chicken broth
  • Taco seasoning (I used chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, salt & pepper, and paprika)
  • 4 servings of brown Minute Rice
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • A ton of organic cilantro
  • A 15oz can of organic black beans
  • An 8oz can of organic, whole-kernel corn w/ no added salt
  • A package of organic grape tomatoes
  • Jalapeño ranch salad dressing

(makes 4 bowls)

To prep the chicken, I put 4 servings into my slow cooker, added just enough chicken broth to cover everything, threw the taco seasoning on top, and cooked the chicken for 5-6 hours on low. When it was done, I used forks to shred the chicken. I wanted to use pork butt to make carnitas, but I'm not ready for that yet. I just got to the point where I can touch raw chicken.

I made 4 servings of brown rice according to the package directions, then added lime juice, salt & pepper, and cilantro before serving.

To make the salsa, I drained the beans and corn, mixed them together, and added some lime juice and taco seasoning.

After that, I put the bowl together! Rice first, then chicken and salsa. I threw some chopped grape tomatoes on top, even more cilantro (my favorite!!!!) some jalapeño ranch dressing, another shot of lime juice, and more pepper on top. I didn't have any shredded cheese or that would definitely have been in the mix.

Since the recipe made 4 bowls, I put the chicken, salsa, and rice into tupperware containers and warmed everything up the next night we had them. The leftovers kept just fine for 2 days.

And that's about it! Bowls like this are so customizable that you can really do whatever you want with it. I'm not a fan of jar salsa on anything but tortilla chips, but that's an option. Sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, any onions at all (I didn't have any), taco sauce, or guacamole would all be great to use. I recently moved, so I have nothing in my kitchen. We'll get there.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the weekend!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

We're Moving!


In the world of fitness, nothing exciting is happening that warrants an entire blog post. Aside from plugging away at my NerdFitness 6-week challenge, I'm trying to take it easy. However, I've officially registered for the A Christmas Story Run again for their 2nd annual race! Definitely doing the 10K this time. No way am I ever waiting for that damn bus again. Also, Jeff and I are doing the Cleveland Turkey Trot 5-miler this year for the first time! 5-miler in November and 10K in December... sounds like a good start to treadmill season.

Anyways, back to the moving. My husband, 2 cats, 3 xboxes, 8 instruments, 14 baby lemon trees, and myself are venturing forth to a new apartment tomorrow. This will be my 6th move in 7 years, so... there's that. Packing has really become second nature now. Also this new place will be the closest I've lived to my family/hometown and best friend since 2007! So basically I'm really excited. Plus, the new apartment is a massive upgrade from anywhere my husband and I have lived since moving out of our parents' houses!

Hopefully this is the last stop before buying a house for us. I want to get through my last year and a half of school and start my career so we can afford a house that we really want. We picked Medina because it's about halfway between our families, and we really like it so far. It has the elements of a small town that I grew up with and elements of a big town that my husband grew up with.

Also, Medina stole its bandstand from my hometown of Bellville. How cool is that? My grandpa was on the village council when guys from Medina came to get the blueprints to build their own. :)

L: Bellville   R: Medina

Short story long, I'm really excited to move and it's gonna be super fun. Sorry for the rambling. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

NerdFitness and Future Goals

So, I ran a half marathon last week. It was an awesome time! I'm really proud of myself, and my recovery is basically complete now. But... half training was my life for the past 4 months, so now I'm ready to branch out and try new things!

First of all, I was stupid to think I'd lose weight training for a half marathon. Everyone says running is the easiest and best way to lose weight, but it's just not doing it for me. Not on its own, at least. My PCOS has been totally out of control the whole time, which I know can contribute to the general weight-loss failure. But it all comes down to the fact that I need to eat well, run, AND strength train to have any success.

This is where I start yapping about NerdFitness. My friend referred me to it when she joined the community and had a lot of success. And it has changed my life.

Essentially, NerdFitness is an online community of people who 1.) are really really nerdy and 2.) want to improve their health and happiness. They have a paid community called The Academy, but Jeff and I joined the free group called The Rebellion. And let me just say, for a free subscription, we got an entire community of nerds that support us unconditionally, unlimited articles and resources about healthy food, fitness, and lifestyle, and basically everything we need to be successful.

The thing I like about NerdFitness is that they aren't trying to sell me a miracle product or make me buy stuff to get my money. They tell me things that nobody else will, and they explain things in a logical way. They don't sugarcoat anything either. When I joined, I was immediately given free e-books that helped me identify exactly what my problems are and how to deal with them. Apparently I'm a textbook Overeager Beaver. I always start out giving 150% for a couple weeks, then crash and burn. For someone like me, they recommend making a couple small changes at a time and making those changes a habit before you add more. They say "Start small, win small. Eventually those small changes will add up to a big victory." The other thing they told me is that "willpower is a finite resource." If I spend too much of my willpower trying to make all these changes, my bar will eventually go empty and I'll fail. Which has happened many a time. I can attest to the validity of this quote. :)

When I started NerdFitness, they recommend that I join a 6-week challenge ASAP. Since it's my first, I joined the Level 1 Rebels challenge. The first thing I had to do is basically make myself into a video game character. As an exclusive RPG player, this was heaven for me.
  • I chose the Breton race from The Elder Scrolls game series, because I'm short but relatively intelligent. :)
  • Additionally, I chose the Ranger class, because it focuses equally on strength and stamina. I can keep running, but add in strength training like I wanted.

After I made my character, I was instructed to choose a Main Quest for myself. It could be something I could accomplish within the 6 weeks or up to a year. I also had to determine what my overall motivation is. Then I had to choose 3 Side Quests to complete during the 6-week challenge. I made sure to choose smaller quests that I could manage easily (start small, win small). These Side Quests have to be something measurable, because I grade myself at the end of the challenge. Additionally, I can pick a Life Quest during the challenge, in which I work on improving something unrelated to fitness during the 6-week challenge. Right now, I'm a Level 0 Ranger, but at the end of the challenge, I will become Level 1 and get to assign myself attribute points according to how well I did during the challenge. I can put my attribute points into strength, stamina, dexterity, constitution, wisdom, and charisma, depending on what I worked on during the challenge. Every time I do a 6-week challenge, I can level up. There are also Mini Quests I can complete during 6-week challenges after my first one. I think it's like a Workout Of the Day thing.

  • So my overall motivation is that I want to stop being self-conscious and be comfortable with the way I look. I also want relief from my PCOS symptoms and be able to conceive a child naturally without having to use medications, etc.
  • My Main Quest is to get down to an ideal weight and regulate my PCOS within the next year. My reproductive system sometimes works and I only have about 20-30lbs to lose, so I feel this is a realistic goal.
  • My 3 Side Quests are:
    • Complete 3 20-minute running sessions and 3 20-minute bodyweight sessions per week
    • Eat paleo 2x a day, 5 days a week. I am working to eliminate processed foods, sugar, and dairy, and everyone says the Paleo Diet is great for PCOS.
    • Drink at least 64oz of water each day. I almost never drink enough water, so I want to start making the habit of drinking more every day
  • My Life Quest is to schedule my annual women's exam and possibly go back to the endocrinologist about taking additional steps to regulate my cycles.

Basically, I'm improving my health and fitness using a format that I am already very familiar with. I want to earn attribute points so I can level myself up. The more skills I use, the better and faster I can level up. It's essentially a real-life RPG, which my husband and I are both loving. It was so easy to get started because I've already done this stuff dozens of times in video games.

Short story long, yes, I will continue running. Yes, I will continue to run races. And yes, I will still be blogging about running on here. I'm already signed up for a 10K in December, and I'm so excited to get back into racing (shorter distances for a while though). 

Here are some links where you can read more about NerdFitness and what they're all about!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!