tacos al pastor

Like clockwork, we have tacos every Tuesday, don’t you? We are always switching it up and trying to find new recipes to keep things interesting. I originally found a recipe for Tacos Al Pastor in one of my Cooking Light magazines when I used to be a subscriber. We weren’t really feeling pork one day recently, so we changed it up and made it with boneless skinless chicken thighs and it was AMAZING! We serve ours with some fresh homemade guacamole and it makes these tacos perfect. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!


Tacos Al Pastor

Serves 4

Chicken:
1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, remove excess fat.
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water

Pineapple Salsa:
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices fresh pineapple
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons red onion, diced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 jalapeño, finely diced
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Additional Ingredients:
Cooking spray
8 corn tortillas
8 lime wedges
1/2 cup guacamole

Place chicken thighs in a large Ziplock bag. In a food processor or blender, combine the remaining chicken ingredients; blend well. Poor the marinade over chicken, seal the bag, and mix well until incorporated. Marinate for at least 30 min, you can even marinate this night before.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

To prepare the salsa, spray the grill with cooking spray, and grill pineapple slices 3-6 minutes on each side. Coarsely chop the pineapple, place it in a medium bowl, mix in remaining salsa ingredients. Set aside.

To cook the chicken, spray the grill with cooking spray. Grill chicken 5-7 minutes each side until the juices run clear. Remove chicken from the grill and let stand for 5 minute before coarsely chopping.

While the chicken is resting, warm tortillas according to package directions. Build the tacos: tortilla, 1 tablespoon of guacamole, chopped chicken, and pineapple salsa; serve with a lime wedge.

21 Day Fix container count: 1 red, 1/2 purple, 1 yellow, 1/2 blue, 1/2 teaspoon

 

easy chicken chili

I am a busy mama, so I am always looking for quick {and preferably healthy} meals that I can plan ahead for. Chicken chili is a favorite in our house. We typically use the McCormick season packet, but because I was in a 21 Day Fix challenge group, I wanted to try something new. This is what I came up with, and I have to say, it was quite delicious. It was too spicy for our littles, so if you can’t handle something a little more spicy than mild, this might not be your favorite.

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Easy Crockpot White Chicken Chili

5 Servings

 

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped

1 lb chicken breast

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp cumin

¼ tsp black pepper

1 (32oz) box low sodium chicken broth

1 cup salsa verde

1 (15oz) can white navy beans

2 tomatoes, chopped

¼ c chopped cilantro

 

Throw ingredients into the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3 hours). Remove and shred the chicken, return to the crockpot and cook another 15 minutes.

my fitness journey

This isn’t a short journey, but it’s my journey…

I would love to say that I have been passionate about fitness all of my life, but that would be a lie. As a kid, I lived an active lifestyle, and tried playing a few different sports. I played soccer, volleyball, water polo, was on the swim team. I was pretty good at soccer, but everything else I was just okay. I would have never made varsity in water polo or on the swim team, so I only participated through my sophomore year. After that,  I threw myself into student government and social events, but I was young with the metabolism of a teenage girl so I was fine. During my senior year, I started working at two different restaurants and would eat there on my breaks, but very few of my choices were healthy. It helped that I was walking around a lot waiting tables, but not much. Things stayed that way until I moved to Las Vegas six months after graduation.

I started working as a bank teller where I stood still all day. I was lazy and didn’t feel like cooking (I also hadn’t found my passion for cooking yet) so quick freezer meals, or grabbing fast food were my go-tos. I started gaining weight and I asked D to workout with me. We attempted to workout together once. He was in MUCH better shape than I was, and I felt like I was dying less than ¼ mile into our jog. I was angry, pissy, and stubborn, it was the last time we tried running together until recently. Money was tight and we couldn’t afford a gym membership, but let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t have gone consistently.

Things stayed the same until we moved to Mississippi in the fall of 2007. We were married by then, so I had access to the base gym, but never made working out my priority. I worked at a restaurant with easy access to unhealthy choices and temptations that I gave into. I made a New Year’s resolution with some of my friends to go to spin class, and we went three times a week for maybe 4 months until it got unbearably hot in the gym.

No workout ever really stuck with me, and I hated working out. I would make excuses not to go to the gym. If I didn’t have a short term goal insight I wasn’t motivated enough to continue working out even though my growing waist told me I should get myself to the gym.  I couldn’t even get my butt into gear for our wedding ceremony/vow renewal in 2010. I look back at my wedding photos and wish I had worked harder and stuck with a good workout regime/routine.

Fast forward to our first year in Germany, my husband was deployed and I was going to go on a girls’ cruise. I worked out with a good friend of mine and she helped me learn some great workouts. She also continued to workout with me for the duration of the time our guys were gone. I lost a good amount of weight and was so proud of myself. I wanted to look good when D came home, and if it wasn’t for my friend, I don’t know if I would have looked the way I did.

When D came home for his deployment, we got pregnant right away. I told myself that I wanted a healthy pregnancy and I worked out a few times during my first trimester until the smell of the gym made me sick to my stomach, literally. I stopped working out and unfortunately took eating for two to heart. I gained 46 lbs with during my first pregnancy. I felt huge.

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35 weeks along with Emily.

I didn’t get straight back into working out after Emily was born. It took me almost 2 years to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (and stay there for consistently) and I couldn’t have done it without my girls with FIT4MOM Fort Worth. I decided to join them for Stroller Strides because I was bored, new to Texas, and wanted to make new friends. I didn’t think it was going to be a difficult workout, just strolling around a park with other moms. I was SO wrong. I almost threw up at my first class, no joke. It was an awesome (yet so painful) mixture or cardio and strength training. The moms were so welcoming, my daughter was engaged during class, she played with other kids after class, the workout kicked my butt, and from day one I was hooked. I signed up for a membership that day and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. A few months later I signed up for Body Back, an 8 week result based nutrition and workout designed to help moms get their body back after pregnancy. The workouts were intense, to say the least. I started seeing results and became addicted. In my first session I lost 13.6 lbs! I had an amazing Body Back instructor who motivated me and help me get through those 8 weeks. I knew then that I wanted to pay it forward and help someone achieve their goals, just like my instructor had done for me. Thankfully our franchise owner felt the same about my potential and she hired me as a Stroller Strides instructor. I had found my passion, my purpose, it was to help other’s achieve their fitness goals.

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Before and after photos of my first Body Back session.

My second pregnancy was completely different then my first. I worked out my entire pregnancy up until 3 days before my c-section at 39 weeks. I gained 30 lbs with my second pregnancy, but it wasn’t just about the number on a scale. I felt better, I looked better, and recovered faster than I did with my first pregnancy and c-section.

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28 weeks along in both photos.

Six weeks after I gave birth, we were on a plane moving to South Korea. I missed my FIT4MOM family so much. I was depressed, I wasn’t working out because I had a new baby, I didn’t have Stroller Strides, I was temporarily living in a one bedroom hotel/apartment until our home was ready for us to move-in. A friend reached out to me and asked me if I was interested in joining her in a Beachbody challenge group. I had been approached before about Beachbody, but I was never interested. I knew I was on a downward, petty-party spiral, and  I needed something to change. I bit the bullet, purchased a 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack, did the challenge and loved it. I learned some great tips and had an entire group of other challengers motivating each other to reach our goals. I finally knew what other people who had approached me about Beachbody were talking about. The programs are awesome, Shakeology tastes great, and I saw results. It’s not a quick fix, which I falsely thought it was, its a lifestyle. I was hooked, so I decided to become a Beachbody coach. I still have that passion and drive to help other people achieve their fitness goals, it just looks a little different now than it did last year. An added bonus, I can do my job ANYWHERE which is huge for me being a military spouse, and I can do it while being a stay at home mom, my favorite job of all.

My journey isn’t over yet. In fact, now that I am done having babies, I can’t wait to see how I can transform my body into the body I have always wanted, but never thought I was capable of until now. I am not a model or someone who is “lucky” enough to have high metabolism and be naturally thin. I am a mom of two who has worked hard to get the body that I have and I am damn proud of it.

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21 Day Fix + Shakeology

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If you’re tired of giving up, if you want to change your lifestyle and commit to being fit and healthy I can help you succeed, just contact me. Do you have a passion for fitness and want to help others? I’d love for you to join my team. xoxo

bali

In early September, we took a two week family vacation trip to Bali. It had always been on my bucket list of places to visit, and if it weren’t for us living in South Korea it wouldn’t have been possible during this phase of our lives. We looked at travel blogs, asked friends for advice, and read up on everything we needed to see on this once in a lifetime trip.

Here are some highlights and favorites from our time Bali:

One of the best decisions we made for our family traveling with two small children was booking a private villa. We were able to relax, cook food we knew our kids would eat, and enjoy this amazing pool while our baby napped. Winning! An added bonus: we weren’t staying at a resort so we purchased everything at cost and helped saved us money.

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A view of the pool from our private villa, it was amazing.

When I think of Bali, I think of beautiful beaches, tropical drinks, and feeding monkeys. I had seen pictures of our friends feeding monkeys in Bali and knew that had to be one of the things we did. The Sacred Monkey Sanctuary Forest was an experience that will not soon be forgotten. Monkeys were everywhere. You can buy bunches of bananas to feed them, so be sure to bring cash. There are monkeys running, jumping, climbing, and snoozing all over the forest. They are free to roam and seem to be loving life. Check out this guy, just napping away without a care in the world.

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The monkeys loved D. I lost count on how many landed on him, wanting to be fed, play with our backpack, or just hang out.

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We had a phenomenal driver that we booked through our villa. He is a native and drives tourists all of over the island and knows some of the best places on the island, including wonderful restaurants. The best meal we had in Bali was at Gana Villas in Ubud. It was FANTASTIC.

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Black pepper basil beef
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Chicken satay

Another place our driver recommended was the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. We didn’t know what we were in for, it was a hike, especially with an 8 month old baby strapped to your chest, but the view was worth it.

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Some of the top sightseeing destinations in Bali are temples. Every travel app/website had lists of temple after temple, and our two favorite were Tanah Lot Temple and Uluwatu Temple because of their breath taking views.

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Tanah Lot Temple
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The view from Uluwatu Temple
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View of the Uluwatu Temple

Our favorite beach was Kuta beach. It is full of tourists, shops, and restaurants galore, but the beach is clean and the water is calm, perfect for our little girl to dip her toes in the water and collect seashells along the shore. Other beaches we went to, including Canggu, were a surfer’s dream, but not suitable for young children or inexperienced swimmers due to the strong current and large waves.

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Kuta Beach

Lastly, a fun and educational experience we had was visiting a turtle conservation. Entrance is free, and the people who work there are passionate about what they do. You can tour the grounds and learn about the whole process from rescuing turtle eggs to their release back into the ocean. For a small donation, you can adopt a turtle to set free.

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Baby turtle love
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We adopted two turtles to release. Emily named her turtle, Ella, after her friend from school, and we named our second turtle, Chex, after our dear friend that we lost last year.

If you ever get the chance to go to Bali, you need to go! I am so happy I was able to check it off of my travel bucket list and make these memories with my family. xoxo