Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

My sister-in-law/running partner has been making this soup for our family dinner nights for a few years now. The whole family loves it and I enjoy making it at home for my family as well. It is SO easy! And the macros are pretty sweet too. So I realized when I was telling a co-worker about it the other day that I have never shared it here.

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Serves 8

The Stuff:

  • 2 lbs of chicken breasts, fresh or frozen (approx 3-4 frozen breasts)
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can enchilada sauce, I prefer mild
  • 1 can Rotel (tomatoes with green chilis)
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning, optional
  • optional toppings: sliced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, lime

What you do:

In a large crockpot, place the chicken breasts. Then pour the corn, enchilada sauce, rotel, and black beans on top, along with the taco seasoning, if desired. Cook on low for approx 8 hours, break apart chicken before serving. Top as desired (I like all the things!)

Nutrition Stats

(per 1/8th serving without toppings)

Cals: 226
Carbs: 19 g
Fat: 4 g
Protein: 26 g

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Protein Pancakes and Almond Butter

I have been on a kick lately with the nut butters. Been making my own from scratch, saves a little money and you can pick what goes into it. Bad thing is that nut butters can get really high cal, really fast!
My nut butter calling to me
Tasty little nut butters, and they do keep me full for a long time. So I was trying to think of a vehicle to carry them with a little bit more protein to aid satiety and volume.

And one day last week, the heavens sang, "protein pancakes!" And I made them. And it was good.

On a side note, I got in some new workout gear from Fabletics (by Kate Hudson)... soooo cute! I am so impressed. Ran in them Saturday morning, and they wore like a champ! I am so in love with this seamless Oula top in cobalt- so soft and gorgeous color. The Salar leggings (in blue lava) have such an eye catching pattern, and are THICK.

So if you have never tried Fabletic's stuff, you might do so with caution! Haha! It is an addiction. They put you on a monthly membership. You can skip the month, but invariably there is something I find that I need!

So back to the recipe this week. One batch of protein pancakes makes 3 soft taco sized pancakes. So I double the batch to make enough for the week which is what I did below. I like 1 pancake with a tbsp of nut butter each morning for breakfast.

Protein Pancakes

(makes 6 soft taco sized pancakes)

The Stuff
-1 banana (I freeze bananas, peels removed, once over ripe in baggies; thaw in microwave to use)
-2 scoops of Vanilla whey protein powder (used GNC Amplified Wheybolic Extreme in Vanilla)
-2/3 cup egg whites

What you do
Blend in a blender until smooth. In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook 1-2 minutes each size until done.

Cool and freeze extras in Ziploc baggies. Defrost 30 sec to reheat.

Dollop with 1 tbsp of nut butter. Might I suggest my homemade almond butter recipe below. But peanut butter, cashew butter, Nutella, or any nut butter is amazing.

Prepping my pancakes for the week, got 2 skillets going to make it quick!

Cooling the protein pancakes

Stack the cooled cakes with a paper towel in between so they do not stick together, then freeze in a Ziploc for the week

Almond butter

(Makes about 1.5 cups)

The Stuff
3 cups roasted almonds (roast plain almonds in 400*F oven for 5-8 min)

What you do
In my large kitchenaide food processor bowl, put in the almonds (can be hot or room temp). Takes about 15 minutes, scrape every so often. Be patient like Mother Teresa. It will look like crumbs for minutes 1-10. Around 10-15 minutes, it will all ball up like dough. Then keep going and it will finally smooth out. I added stevia to taste- about 1 tbsp. 

Chocolate Almond butter -You can also add cocoa powder for chocolate- 1-2 TBSP. 
Crunchy Almond butter - If you like your almond butter crunchy, reserve some almonds to the side and add them once it gets smooth.

Plain almond butter, crunch style

Plain almond butter, smooth

Nutritional Stats

1/6 of protein pancake recipe *1 pancake* and 1 tbsp plain almond butter

Cals- 183
Carbs - 11 g
Fat - 8 g
Protein - 18 g
Sodium - 140 mg
Sugars - 5 g

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cabbage and Turkey Stir Fry

Well I was gone last weekend celebrating my son's birthday, enjoying time with my sweet momma, and having family pictures done; so I skipped a post on you guys. Sorry about that.

My momma and I enjoying the deck off the cabin

Here are some sneak peeks from the photographer and one shot far away on a cell phone from off camera:

Sneak peek off the back of {forever} Grace's camera 

Caught by my momma off camera

My sis-in-law and I have been upping our mileage for our upcoming half marathons so we ran in the mountains; the scenery was stunning. I am still getting in 5 days of lifting too- most important thing!

Sis-in-law and I on our run up the mountain

This recipe will make up for my skip week, I hope! My momma made a similar version growing up, so this makes me think of her when I make it.  It is super simple, and tasty. I always forget just how tasty it is honestly. Something about cabbage does not sound mouth watering. But this dish is.

Cabbage and Turkey Stir Fry

Serves 2 very generous portions

The Stuff

  • 0.5 lbs extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves)
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper, each

What you do

Saute up turkey in a big wok until browned, transfer to a holding plate. Add remaining ingredient and saaute for 5-8 minutes until cabbage is just turning translucent. Add turkey back into wok until heated through and mixed in. Enjoy!

Nutritional Stats

Per serving

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Southwestern Slowcooker Chicken Cups

This recipe was a hit when I posted our dinner one night to my social media, so I thought I would share it here :) it is pretty fantastic (if I do say so myself!) haha

Prickly Pear Limeade

I made this limeade to accompany the southwestern chicken cups. I had some prickly pear fruit in my Bountiful Basket (produce co-op) that I needed to use. I made it with the juice of 7 prickly pears, 3 limes then filled the pitcher up to the top. I added stevia to taste. It was a hit!

Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.Dr. George Sheehan

My sister-in-law and I have been upping our runs on the weekends. I have a half marathon in December with Jenny- Saint Jude's in Memphis! Cannot wait. Erin has one in Houston in January. So we have been running Saturdays and sometimes on Sunday. This hilly path called the Old Soncy Trail just outside of town is a great workout and 6 miles down & back.

Baby Gus
        I all got my baby needs met this past weekend. One of my dearest friends from school days came back into town with her super adorable son. Ain't he darlin?

Southwestern Chicken Cups

Serves 4

* 1 lbs chicken breasts (2-3) frozen
*1 can diced tomatoes (I like the ones with green chilis added)
*1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
*1 can corn, drained and rinsed

*Lettuce leaves

Put the chicken and tomatoes (not drained) in low in crockpot for 5-8 hours. Drain most of the liquid then shred. Add beans and corn. Serve in lettuce cups. I like to top mine with a little plain greek yogurt. My fam like avocado and cheese on theirs too!

Nutritional Stats

per serving
  • 300 cals
  • 5 f fat
  • 311 mg sodium
  • 23g carbs
  • 41g protein
  • 4g sugars
7.5 weight watchers plus points per serving

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bacon Broccoli Salad

My Grandmommie is a fantastic cook. So is my mother. It is in our blood! So it is only natural I blog about cooking food, right?

Here is my Grandmommie featured in a cooking article in a local magazine this month, along with a handful of her recipes. So proud of her!

When I was pregnant with my youngest, she brought over this fabulous broccoli salad. Sounds boring, but this dish is FANTASTIC. I ate it all the time. It was ridiculous, I was making a dish of it every few days for a while.

It is slightly sweet, but tangy and savory. It is creamy but it has crunch.  It just crosses the T in every flavor and texture category. This is one of those dishes that I can take to any get together and people want the recipe.

So summer just ended and we were having a back to school block pool party.

Kidlets and back to school swimming block party

First day back to school
I decided that I would take this salad and some strawberry angelfood cake trifle. Guess which recipe they wanted? Yup. Haha! So here it is.

Bacon Broccoli Salad

Adapted from my Grandmommie Finney

Serves 8
*3 heads broccoli crowns, cut into florest (or you can do 1 lbs broccoli florets in pkg)
*1/2 cup craisins (or raisins)
*2 slices bacon, crispy and chopped (or 1/3 cup bacon bits)
*1/2 red onion, finely diced
*1/4 cup slivered almonds (or sunflower kernals)
Toss that with coleslaw dressing (8 oz) but I use the healthified and lower cal recipe below. Keeps overnight if you want to make ahead.

Coleslaw dressing

*1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
*1/2 cup mayo (you can do all mayo as well)
*2 tbsp vinegar (I prefer apple cider but any will do)
*2 tbsp sweetener of choice (I used splenda this time but sugar or stevia is fine)





Nutritional Stats

1 serving prepared, 1/8th of recipe

  • Cals 160
  • Carbs 8
  • Fat 13   
  • Protein 5             
  • Sodium 142        
  • Sugars 4
  • 4 weight watchers plus points


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Keeping Your Motivation Up

Coach Jenny knows what it takes to win a Venus Contest.
As we start out this latest Venus Contest- VT12, expectation and motivation run high. It is so exciting to think of the possible change you can drive in 12 short weeks with consistency and hard work!
For some the newness will wear down after a few weeks; challenges will inevitably present themselves and motivation will wane. What you will be left with is a choice to continue on with the commitment you made or to throw in the towel. Many will choose the latter. Do not be one of them.  You can do this!
Here are some practical tips to keep up your motivation-

1) Refocus and reflect

I like to look over how I did the day before and plan out the day ahead for both calories and workouts. I then take my daily goals and turn them into weekly goals. Those become a weekly journal where I can reflect on what went good or bad.  It is from this weekly feedback that we learn what works.

On scene at my last shoot, photographers and timelines are motivating for me.

2) Try a new tool

There are many to choose from, and how well they work for you will change with the seasons. Being open to trying new things and to changing something 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Vegetarian High Protein Meal Ideas

One of my best friends is vegetarian/vegan so this topic interests me as it comes up with clients on occasion. It is challenging to get your protein macros within your calorie limit when you are vegan or vegetarian.

Planning for success

My first tip is to plan your meals ahead of time and have calorie and protein chunks planned out for each meal- e.g. 300 cals and 30 g protein

Know your sources

An easy way to sort out best protein sources is by percentage =  ((protein in g) / (total cals)) * 100 per serving. E.g. a 4 oz chicken breast is 25 g protein per 142 cals or 17.6% which is pretty high compared to most foods thus it is a diet staple for the fit crowd.

Here are some high protein vegetarian food ideas in order from highest to lowest percentage protein:
-Egg 78 cals and 6.3g protein which is 12.4% protein (egg whites are even higher at 1 cup 126 cals and 26.5g protein 21.0%)

-Rice and pea protein powders 1 scoop is 120 cals and 24g protein or 20.0%

-Plain Greek yogurt 1 cup is  120 cals and 20 g protein or 16.7%

-Tofu 100g (3.5 oz) is 55 cal and 7.4 g protein or 13.45%

-Beans ( highest % is soy) 173 cal and 16.5g protein at 9.5%
Followed up by kidney, white, lima, fava, black, mung

-Ricotta cheese (no rennet so it is vegetarian) 0.5 cup is 171 cals and 14 g protein  or 8.2%

-Nuts and seeds (hightest % is pumpkin) 0.25 cups or 28 g 151 cals and 8.4 g protein 5.2%
Followed up by peanuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax, mixed nuts

Other ideas- cottage cheese, quinoa, soy milk, nut butter, tempeh, vegetarian protein bars (aim for 200 cals and 20g protein per bar (Vega and Rise are good store bought ones... or make your own), Quorn, hempseed, buckwheat flour, chia seeds, Ezekiel bread, spirulina
I scaled the following meal plan example down (by 2/3rds) from the following website-

This site was featured in Brad Pilon's article here-

Vegan Sample Meal Plan

(You can combine meals as preferred)

Meal 1:
0.5 cups oatmeal
Protein shake with 0.33 serving of Plant Fusion, 0.33 cup soymilk, 0.33 banana

Meal 2:
1/6 block of extra firm tofu, scrambled with spinach and peppers
1/3 grapefruit
1 almond butter sandwich: 1 slices of whole grain bread, 1 tbsp almond butter

Meal 3:
Black bean chili with 0.33 can black beans, 1/6 pack seitan, and veggies
1/3 baked sweet potato
1/12 avocado

Meal 4 (post workout):
1/3 apple
Protein shake with 0.5 scoops SunWarrior protein, 0.33 cup soymilk, 0.33 banana

Meal 5:
1 large spinach salad
1/6 cup lentils, cooked with veggies and spices over 1/6 cup brown rice
1/6 pound steamed broccoli

Meal 6:
1 tbsp almond butter spread on celery sticks

Approximate totals for the day:
1128 calories, 69g protein, 171g carbs, 25g fat

X- Liss