Tag Archives: healthy eating

Turkey Chili Detox Cooking With My Little Helper

After a rough weekend of not eating much (that stomach bug!), everyone’s appetite returned Monday evening.  Although we were feeling better, we were still not ready to expose ourselves to the general public.  No sense in spreading the virus.  We were also still pretty depleted.  Thus I began the task of rummaging through the cabinets and freezer for a hearty, healthy dinner.  My daughter helped (in her snack drawer).

photo 2-176I always keep a decent amount of spices and spice packages around.  You never know when you will need them. Really!  I came across two packages of chili mix.  While chili was not exactly what I was feeling, the seasonings would work fine in adding and extra kick to the other ingredients that I found.

photo 1-168So what were those other ingredients? Simple.

  • 1-2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 16 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes, not drained

photo 3-149Brown the meat first.  Once cooked, throw in all other ingredients, including the chill mix.  There is nothing complicated about this.  Cook on medium/low heat until you reach desired consistency.  photo 4-113As I was waiting on my food to finish cooking, I checked in on my little helper.  Wow, she had made her way into the drawer. This was a first, and I have to say, sort of funny.  Prior to plating my meal, I cooked a package of quick brown rice and pulled out some shredded mozzarella cheese.  Top the rice with the chili mixture and a little bit a of cheese, and you have a healthy, hearty dinner.

photo 2-175Kid approved! I even gave her a soft tortilla shell as her carb since the rice would be hard for her to handle.  Perfect!

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Birthday “Refresh” Recipe + At Home “11 Workout”

After several days of eating cake and ice cream in a row, by Sunday, my body was craving vegetables. Since it is tailgate season, I had recently pulled out my “Taste of Virginia Tech” cookbook that I got for my birthday two years ago. The authors of the cookbook have actually shared student’s favorite recipes from dining halls and local restaurants. I scanned through the book for a healthy, hearty vegetarian recipe that could be easily reheated throughout the week (or even frozen if we couldn’t finish it all). The Spring Minestrone Soup nailed it. Don’t let the name fool you. This recipe can be used any time of the year.

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I snapped a picture of the list of ingredients before heading to the grocery store. Really, it is easy. See below. This is my own twist of ingredients (that should make it easier to remember and require less measuring!).

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  • 4 Cups of vegetable broth (this is give or take a tall box of broth)
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 gloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds of fingering potatoes, cut into several pieces (I bought a bag, no need to weigh)
  • 1 pound canned artichoke hearts, chopped (I used 2 14 oz cans)
  • 2 14 oz can of chickpeas (drained and cooked)
  • 4 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 bundle of green onions, chopped
  • 1 frozen package of peas (approximately 1.5-2 pounds)
  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper to taste

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I’m sorry, but I can’t share the details of how to cook the soup (that wouldn’t be fair to the authors of the book). You should be able to figure it out as best you can. If not, come by and check the book out OR dare I say buy it? Did you know Virginia Tech is consistently ranked #1 for dining halls at public universities? It might be worth it!

At Home “11 Workout”

Our daughter finally had a decent night’s sleep on Sunday. Joy! That meant that my husband and I both got a good night’s sleep (which ultimately means we were both refreshed enough to work out on Monday morning). Since I was on the bike and running Friday-Sunday, I opted for an at-home strength workout. As the name implies, repetitions revolved around the number “11”.

photo 4-9 Total workout time was approximately 40 minutes. Yes, longer than a typical Monday. Believe me, I needed it. Equipment used was two moderate weight dumbbells.

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Warm up – Since I was at home and it was cool out, I did the entire workout on the driveway. Over three minutes, I warmed up by completing the following exercises back and forth on the driveway: jogging, high knees, butt kicks, side shuffle and imperial walkers. I finished with a set of jumping jacks.

Workout  – There are two parts to the workout. Complete the first part entirely before moving on to the second part.

Part 1

I did something very similar to this last week. Alternate between weighted squats and burpees. Start by completing 10 weighted squats, followed by 1 burpee (Get it? 11 reps). Next do 9 weighted squats, followed by 2 burpees. Follow the progression until you do 1 weighted squat, and 10 burpees.

Part 2

Complete the following circuit of exercises sequentially.

  • Step Ups x11 each leg
  • Tricep Dips x11
  • Isolated Bicep Curls x11 each arm
  • Mountain Climbers x11 each leg
  • Kickbacks + Fire Hydrants x11 each leg/each exercise
  • Upright Rows x11
  • Side Plank Dips x11 each side

Repeat the circuit of exercises, this time completing 10 reps of each. Continue repeating the sequence of exercises, dropping one rep each round, until you only complete 1 rep of each exercise. If that isn’t clear you are completing this circuit 11 times. 11 reps the first time, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and finally 1. Whew! It makes me tired just explaining it.

Sunday Dinner Recipe + Monday AM Workout

If you are new to my blog, I want to reiterate the point that the reason why I started this blog was to provide working/busy individuals with an idea of how to prioritize fitness (whether it be through exercise or nutrition or both). In each post, I try to highlight ways that my husband and I work together to squeeze in quick workouts and even make quick healthy dinners during the week. We by no means deprive ourselves and we certainly don’t feel like we have let ourselves go. We work hard, but we play just as hard. That will never change.

photo 1-125 With that said, I wanted to talk about food a little bit before I posted my Monday morning workout. We typically grab brunch after my Sunday Flywheel class. This weekend was no exception. We chose to go to Toast, since we had not been there in a while. I got the “Runner Omelette” (sub brie cheese for mozzarella). It is made with egg whites and stuffed with white meat turkey and roasted veggies. I added some turkey bacon to the side, but the meal also came with a side of fruit and wheat toast (yum!).

photo 3-111 For Sunday dinner we worked together to make leftovers for the first part of the week. My husband made his incredible healthy twist on spicy fried potatoes. Y’all these are no joke (and easy).


  • One bag red potatoes
  • One green pepper diced
  • One yellow onion diced
  • One jalapeno diced
  • Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil

Total cook time is about thirty minutes. See directions below:

  • Dice potatoes into small pieces (as seen in the picture). Boil potatoes until they are soft.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, cover the inside of a large skillet with olive oil. Cook onion, pepper, and jalapeno over medium-high heat.
  • Once potatoes are cooked, drain them before mixing the potatoes into the large skillet with the vegetables.
  • Add Caribbean jerk seasoning and sea salt to taste.
  • Cook potatoes and vegetables for 10 minutes. Cool before serving.

My daughter napped while we cooked. I love this picture!  She goes so hard all the time.

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Monday Morning Workout

I was moving slow this morning. My husband and I worked shifts with my daughter last night. I have no idea what is causing her to be uncomfortable in the middle of the night, but I am sure that we will find out in the next few days (upon one of several scenarios: a tooth breaks through, she gets and ear infection, etc.). With that said, I still managed to get up this morning, however, I felt like I was moving in slow motion. My workout was almost entirely strength and core and utilized dumbbells and body weight.

photo 4-19Total workout time was approximately thirty minutes. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone who was feeling well rested could get through this in 20-25 minutes.


Warm Up

I completed an active warm up in my driveway. By active, I mean I spent three minutes jogging/running up and down my driveway, before doing some side shuffles, imperial walkers, jumping jacks, and body weight squats.


The workout consisted of three parts: cardio strength circuit, full body weight circuit, and body weight circuit. Complete each circuit entirely before moving on to the next.

Cardio Strength Circuit – I performed an “11” circuit here using one dumbbell (you could also use a kettlebell). Start by doing 10 kettlebell swings, followed by 1 burpee. Next do 9 kettlebell swings, and 2 burpees. Continue decreasing your kettle swings by 1 and increasing your burpees by 1 after each set until you get to 1 kettle bell swing and 10 burpees. You will be breathless.

Full Body Weight Circuit – Complete the following exercises sequentially, repeating the circuit three times before moving to the next circuit. Use your dumbbells (or kettlebell for each exercise).

  • Upright Rows x10
  • Steps Ups x10 each leg
  • Bicep Curls x10 each arm, isolated.
  • Squats x10
  • Side Plank Hip Raise w/dumbbell on side x10 each side.

Body Weight Circuit – Drop the weights and focus on some body weight exercises to finish up. Complete the following exercises sequentially, repeating the circuit three times.

  • Tricep Dips x10
  • Squat Jumps w/one foot elevated on step x10 each side
  • Mountain Climbers x10 each leg
  • Clam Digs x10 each side

Staying Healthy Without the Exercise

It has been a crazy few weeks.  I have learned the hard way that my body needs to physically take some time off from exercise.  That lingering cold just won’t go away.  I finally went to the doctor last week, and I was told that if I wanted to get better, I would need to lay off the cardio.  Sigh.  Instead of listening to my body early on, I have now spent the past two weeks doing toned down workouts and ultimately ending up on the couch.  Depressing.


Being forced to be inactive has left me feeling SUPER sluggish.  Since I won’t be getting my calorie burn on at the gym, I have focused more than ever on getting the right nutrients into my body and resting.  With the extra time, I have been able to research easy, healthy recipes that we haven’t tried before.  Take a look at the salmon below.  We picked up two filets from the local grocery store.  Look at how deliciously flakey that cut is!  Even better, we made this in less than 20 minutes.  My daughter even practiced putting her chef hat on (see above).


Simply Baked Salmon

  • Preheat oven to 450.
  • Place salmon skin side down on a non stick baking sheet.
  • Rub a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon pepper over the top of the filet.
  • Toss in the oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on how well done you like your fish).

photo 1-102Healthy eating was not limited to what we cooked at the house.  I grabbed a much needed father daughter dinner with my dad over the weekend at Bricktop’s in the Southpark area of Charlotte.  The weather was incredible, so we grabbed a table outside.  I decided to get a light, barbecue chicken salad.  Baby greens, corn, avocado, black beans, tomatoes, topped with cilantro.  The dressing came on the side, but I didn’t really need much with all of the fresh vegetables topping the salad.  I have to say, we could have brought my daughter to this restaurant.  There were kids all over the patio enjoying the courtyard fountain and comfortable seating.

photo 2-102We live right off the beaten path of the Charlotte 24 Hours of Booty race course.  Over the weekend several riders pledged to ride a specific number of miles during a 24 hour period in order to raise money for cancer.  I have talked a lot about my husband’s workout group, F3.  Again, F3 went all out for this event. A member of the group lives in close proximity to the start of the race, so the family hosts a barbecue picnic for F3 families. Those riding in the event can also use the yard as a break point in the ride.

photo 3-88My daughter was clearly having a great time with her dad.  In fact, she even met another F3 2.0 (or child of an F3 athlete) named Madison.  I love this.  With her mom being cooped up in the house, my sweet girl truly enjoyed getting out and socializing.

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