Thursday, September 4, 2014

One Recipe, Endless Possibilities

It's important to me, as someone who is trying to lose weight and someone who wants to help others, that I find healthy recipes that are DELICIOUS! The 21 Day Fix has been extremely helpful for me to have lost 25 pounds so far, and I've been able to do that because I get to eat REAL food and YUMMY food! So I continuously search for, find, and modify recipes to make everything I eat mouth watering. 

Thanks to Martha Stewart, I have found a great recipe that has endless possibilities to modify into several different meals. I made these Honey Chipotle Turkey Meatballs on Monday night and I've already had them in two different lunches at work!

Lunch 1: I mixed them with some brown rice and sauteed bell peppers and onions to make a great, balanced lunch. 
1.5 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Green, 1 Spoon 

Lunch 2: I crumbled them into a whole wheat tortilla with some cheese to make a quesadilla
1 Red, 1 Blue, 1 Yellow, 1/2 Spoon
*I added a side of green beans and sauteed mushrooms to get my Greens in and make sure it was balanced!

So, here it is. Enjoy! (Thanks, Martha!)

Honey-Chipotle Turkey Meatballs
Photo courtesy of

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1-2 tbsp. chopped chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (depending on spice level you prefer)
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, mix turkey, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Do not overmix. 
  3. Form into meatballs
  4. In a small bowl, stir together honey, chipotle peppers, and vinegar
  5. In a large, oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil and add meatballs to brown on all sides. This should take about 10-12 minutes
  6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and pour the honey mixture over the top of the meatballs. Swirl them around in the pan so they are coated with yummy goodness. 
  8. Put back in oven for another 5 minutes. 
  9. Remove and enjoy any way you'd like! But don't forget to mash them into a red container to measure! I formed the meatballs about quarter size and found that I could fit about 4 in a red container. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Why I Chose to Coach

It was only months ago when I was in such a dark place, I didn't know how I could get out. Throughout my alopecia, my self-esteem had completely disappeared. Z tried to help, tell me I was still beautiful... but I couldn't get out. I had gained about 50 pounds and constantly made excuses as to why I couldn't change. I wanted to be healthier, but I had no idea how to begin.

Moving to Seattle really helped. Sometimes, when you move to a new city, it gives you a completely new perspective on things. It allows you to look at things, not from what they are, but at what they could be. All around me I saw people here enjoying life - living life to their absolute fullest. At the end of each week they asked, "What are you doing this weekend?"

"Going skiing."

"Going camping."

"Taking a weekend trip to wine country and biking from winery to winery."

I was green with envy. I wanted their lives.

Then, one day I saw a post on Facebook from a friend about the 21 Day Fix. It's a new nutrition program released by Beachbody - the same company that launched the extremely successful Insanity and P90X. I was drawn to the fact that it wasn't a diet - it seemed like an educational tool that would help me learn portion control and how to balance my food groups to maximize my health and energy. I could eat real food and even make up my own recipes that fall into the program. Now, I love to cook, so being creative in the kitchen was a must for me.

In addition to the program, I also received Shakeology - a vitamin shake powder I could mix with all sorts of different fruits and other ingredients to have as a snack or meal. I had tried other protein shakes, but this one was so delicious and so versatile.

Within days, I could immediately tell a difference. My energy level was so much better, my stomach aches were disappearing, and I was finally starting to feel like myself again. I started running with Z in the morning, I started working out at the gym. I have never felt better in my life!

Today, I am 15 pounds lighter, inches thinner... I mean I am running out of clothes that fit!!! I have never felt healthier in my life. And what's better, this is a lifestyle I can keep. It's not some fad diet where I am going to gain it all back when I started eating normally again. I am already eating normally!

I have never felt better and I feel it's my honor and duty to pay it forward. The team I have joined is compelled by a mutual desire to change lives and to help reverse the obesity epidemic in this country. If I can inspire just one person to become a healthier version of themselves, then I will feel like I've won. Do I make money doing this? Well, we will see! Yes, I will get a commission if I inspire anyone to purchase a Beachbody product, but that's not why I'm doing it. So, I will use this blog to post recipes, fitness things I'm doing and anything else inspiring I come across. I can't wait to continue this next chapter in my life and I hope I can help you start yours.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014: The Year of the Purge

Well, we’ve done it. We’ve made the move to the Pacific Northwest. However, it hasn’t come without its trials, triumphs, and harsh realizations. The emotional journey really began just a few short weeks ago when I sat in our big, 4-bedroom house in McKinney surrounded by boxes.  Before that, everything was happening so fast that I didn’t even have time to stop and take a breath. Now that it was the evening before the movers would come to pack up the truck, everything was hitting me like a freight train. What are we getting ourselves into?!? Z was in Seattle interviewing for jobs and I wasn’t about to call and lay all this on him during such an important time. So I just sat on our mattress, staring at hundreds of boxes that extended to every corner of the house. I sat there in silence and just contemplated the leap we were about to take. I can probably categorize the wave of emotion hitting me into three very different distinct areas.  I will separate them into different posts so as not to get too lengthy. But the first one, was definitely more about the imminent matter at hand.

Are we HOARDERS????

Now, it’s important to know that Z and I do not collect things. One might think Z collects TCU apparel by all the purple in his closet, but that is not quite accurate. We have never been collectors. In fact, I had always considered us quite good at getting rid of things we don’t need. We go through our closets every year and donate clothes we don’t wear to charity. Before big purchases, we have serious conversations about the difference between want and need. But, on February 4, 2014 I was starting to have doubts. The previous weekend some wonderful ladies from a company called Home Sweet Home had come to help us go through the house and determine how to pare down our items to shift from a 4-bedroom home to a 1-bedroom apartment. In all, we had gotten rid of 2,400 pounds worth of items! When they pulled out of the driveway, Z and I looked at each other and smiled, quite proud of ourselves and all the purging we had done.
However, today I knew it wasn’t enough. We had 154 boxes to take to Seattle with us. How on earth had we accumulated enough stuff to fill 154 boxes? The harsh reality was staring straight at me in the form of cardboard. We were not minimalists. In fact, were we hoarders? We had so many conversations on things we wanted – a new computer, a new ipad, add-ons to my Kitchen Aid mixer… But it was obvious that we already had more than we needed. It was time for us to go through a major purging – time for us to figure out what in life we needed versus what in life we wanted. Previous conversations in that regard had all centered on cost. Is the cost of this item worth our level of need versus our level of want? But we had never truly had the conversation about what we wanted to be surrounded by on a daily basis. Whenever something was in question, the answer was always “Well, we might as well keep it. You never know when we will need it. We have the room, let’s just stick it _____.”

To be honest, we are still going through this process. As we tried to settle into our apartment and unpack boxes, we began by determining whether we would actually use the item on a weekly basis. If the answer was yes, it was definitely staying in the apartment. If it was no, it was going to storage.

But, there is going to come a day when we have to go through that storage unit and figure out what to do with everything. How do you decide? For example, if it’s a broken ceramic item or bowl handed down by your great grandmother… you think it is hideous and would never display it in your home… but do you keep it anyway for sentimental reasons? Do you get rid of things you don’t need right now, but may want or need 5 years from now?

I think this process of purging has been an eye opener for me. (And, maybe it’s a little bit of the hippy nature of Seattle influencing me as well.) But I think it’s time we simplify our lives. Simplify what we eat, simplify what we do, simplify our priorities and simplify our goals. This move to Seattle was already a big part of that – it allows us to focus on our relationship and our life together as a couple, what we want to make of it. I think, if we focus on keeping the things in our lives that enhance our lives, enhance our relationship and get rid of anything that goes against that… that would be a really good start to this roller coaster!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Top 10 Things Texas Gave Me

As my time living in Texas comes to a close, I can't help but think of the past 7.5 years as some of the best in my life. Moving here was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. It opened new doors for my career, my love life, and my personal development. Texas helped make me the woman I am today and I will forever be grateful. I have about a week and a half left here, and this imminent fact causes me to reflect upon all the blessings this great state has given me. So, here it is - a countdown to the Top 10 Things Texas Gave Me.

10. Cowboy Boots

I never really had a love for footwear. This is mainly due to the fact that the prettiest shoes are high heels, and I've always been too tall to appreciate them. But the great state of Texas introduced me to the variety and pleasure that are cowboy boots. They are relatively flat (only a slight heel) and come in a variety of colors and styles. I now own four pair and constantly crave more!

9. Pride in Where I Call Home

I'll never forget when I first moved to Texas and was shocked that every TV station, every radio station, all I heard was "here in Texas" or "The great state of Texas." I remember my roommate and I watching a local TV commercial and laughing out loud at the car salesman who spent half his time touting the greatness of his home state. Texans have so much pride and who they are and where they come from that it is contagious. It didn't take me long to become proud to call myself a Texan. It made me realize how important it was to me that I absolutely love where I live, where I call home. That's why, when Z and I decided we wanted to try living somewhere else, we made sure to find a city that we would be proud to call home. And we believe we have found that in Seattle.

8. Texas Country Music

The first time I heard Texas Country music was in college when my good friend Ashlin introduced me to Pat Green and Cross Canadian Ragweed. I instantly fell in love! Since moving here, I've been introduced so many more bands and so many songs about Texas, about love, about the pride of living in a place that is all about enjoying life. The beat of the music, the lyrics, they get me every time.

7. Tex Mex

You all obviously know I am a foodie. I LOVE cooking new recipes and trying new cuisines. My love for spicy and flavorful food was certainly ignited when I moved here. From sour cream chicken enchiladas and tamales to tablitas and carne asada. Oh, and the margaritas! The margaritas!! I love it all and will miss it when we move. I just hope I can find ways to recreate it in Seattle.

6. Independence

While my independence started at a young age, when I first had to get a job to pay for my own expenses. Moving to Texas taught me an entirely new kind of independence. It's not just a separation from my family. I had that all through college. Moving to Texas gave me a new found sense of finding my way in life - helping me determine what I wanted to accomplish and what kind of woman I wanted to be. It didn't always go smoothly. I had many years of faltering and poor decisions, but I had noone to rely on buy myself. I was completely on my own, and I grew so much as a result.

5. Love of the Water

My true love of the water started at the Colley's lake house during high school summers. But in Texas is where my appreciation for lakes and boats grew exponentially. Z bought a boat about a month after we started dating and it showed me that we shared a lot of the same passions. I learned to wakeboard in Texas, I learned to drive a boat in Texas, I even learned how to back up the boat/trailer down the ramp! I will truly miss our times on her, but I know we will find new adventures on the West coast. This is my favorite picture of our boat tied up to the dock in Cedar Creek.

4. Friends

I developed some really great friendships in Texas. Some are still here, others have moved on, but the friendships I have made and the lessons I have learned from these ladies will be with me forever. Whether i is the friendships I made at The Richards Group in my first few years, the ladies I trained with for the marathon, or those that I grew with as we all began to fall in love... I feel so grateful!

3. Appreciation for my Liberalism 

As everyone knows, Texas is a VERY conservative state. I mean the amount of backward thinking here on social issues sometimes just makes me want to vomit. However, I will say that living in Texas has made me appreciate the conservative stance on fiscal situations. Texas has consistently produced fantastic economies, even during the recession. But being a liberal in a conservative state has also made me become more steadfast in my beliefs in marriage equality, freedom of choice, legalization of marijuana, among others. Texas may be the last to come around to some of these issues, but I'm glad these people didn't rub off on my too much. :-) Washington will appreciate me!

2. A Fantastic Career

If it wasn't for my move to Texas, I never would have found this fantastic career in marketing. I first owe it to The Richards Group for recruiting me out of undergrad to come down here and work. I never would have had a reason to move here without that job offer. But my job at Frito-Lay is what really made me love marketing. All the skills I developed and the people I worked with, the things I was able to accomplish... it really renewed my love of this industry.

1. My Husband

By far, the best thing Texas has given me is my wonderful husband. I won't lie. Texas gave me some other relationships - some good, some disastrous. But just when I thought I was done with love and done with Texas, Z walked into my life. At the time, I was ready to leave this state and never look back, but meeting this amazing man pulled me right back. If I owe anything to this great state, it's thanks for giving me a fantastic life and a fantastic future with my best friend and the love of my life. When we have kids, when we have grand kids, I will look at them and know they are a result of the great state of Texas. I am forever changed and forever grateful.
God Bless Texas. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

We are moving!

For a long time now, Z and I have been talking about taking an adventure. We've dreamed of packing our things and moving to a new city where neither of us have ever lived. The idea of doing this is scary. Z has lived in the DFW metroplex his entire life. We both have great jobs, have built a wonderful life here. Everything is pointing to us taking the next step in our relationship - have a baby, buy a house, grow old together. But what if we didn't? We are still young. We have our whole lives to have babies and buy houses. What if we did what noone expected?

So that's what we are going to do. In one month, we will be hitting the road and setting off for Seattle, Washington. We can't wait for this next chapter in our lives. The mountains, the ocean, the culture, the amazing culinary scene - we can't wait to consume it all! So get ready friends. We will document it all for you to enjoy. But if you want the true experience, well, you will just have to come visit!!