Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jalapeno Turkey Burgers - Recipe

Lately I feel like I've been in a cooking rut and have been trying out lots of new recipes to add a few new favorites to our rotation. The other weekend I decided to pick up some ground turkey and give it another go. It has been at least 2 years since I've had it and for good reason.

Before I got pregnant with Aiden we had turkey burgers all the time. Once pregnant, I could not stand the sight or smell of ground turkey whatsoever. The moment I smelled it, I was a gagging mess. One day in early pregnancy I started cooking it, I had to vacate the house and have Ryan take care of it because my aversion was so terrible. I became a red meat devouring animal during pregnancy. The aversion was so bad that it took me this long to even think about trying it again, but I'm so glad to say that we're over that mess. 

Anyways...I'm finally able to eat it again so now we have a new option for some quick and healthy weeknight meals. I made these jalapeno turkey burgers the other night and they were awesome. They're a great option for those evenings that you are time crunched, but want to still eat healthy.

My homemade buns came out HUGE for some reason, The burgers really aren't small. ;)


Jalapeno Turkey Burgers
(adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients: 

1.25 pounds ground turkey
1 small onion (about 3/4 cup), diced
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 jalapeno (seeds removed), finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Heavy splash of lime juice

Optional ingredients:
Hamburger buns
Avocado
Cheese (we love pepperjack on these)
Lettuce
Tomatoes

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking pan.
  2. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. 
  3. Form into 4-5 patties.
  4. Bake 30 minutes, turning once. Bake until you reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F. Top each patty with cheese the last few minutes of baking.
  5. Top with condiments and toppings. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It's almost running season! Time to start planning.

The sun is out, the temps are finally out of the teens, and the snow will hopefully be melting soon. I feel like this winter has been the absolute longest winter yet. The bitter cold temps made it nearly impossible to leave the house and spend any time outside, especially with a toddler. I'm ready to get out of this house and have had the worst case of cabin fever ever.

The warmer temperatures and bright sun have me itching to get out and run. I've ran on and off through the winter when temps were above 20 degrees, but it's tough getting out often since I do most of my running in the later evenings or with a jogging stroller. So for the last few months it's been a ton of yoga, HIIT and kickboxing.

Pretty, but over it!
I won't miss this!
Now that it's spring, I've been busy making some race season goals and plans:

  • Run one race a month
  • Run a half marathon 
  • Increase overall speed (would love an under 25 minute 5k)

I like the idea of having a race every single month (starting in April) because it will keep me motivated and having something to look forward to is always a bonus. I'm planning on having a mix between some 5k's, 10k's, a 20k and the half marathon. I'm aiming to run the half marathon by late June to mid July. 
  
The race lineup so far: 

Tri to Finish Cinco de Mayo 10k in Flint (May)
Fenton Tiger Run 5k in Fenton (May)
Volkslaufe 20k in Frankenmuth (July)
Crim 10 mile in Flint (August - one of my favorites!)

My half marathon is still undecided, so if you have any recommendations for an awesome first half marathon in Michigan, let me know. I'm also looking for some recommended training plans too. The longest distance race I've ran was the CRIM (10 miles) last August and I prepped for that by just running a lot, without any real plan. I'd like to have a more structured plan for the half marathon.

I was thankful enough to be able to get a few walks in this week with the kiddo. We both enjoyed the fresh air and warm sunlight.
We love our Ergo baby carrier! New moms...this is a must have!
Loving the sunlight! 
Next weeks temperatures are expected to be in the mid 40's! You can bet that I'll be out there ASAP! I cannot wait to get outside again.

What are your running goals for this year? 
What's the longest distance race you've done? 
If you have any long distance running tips, fill me in. I'd love to hear them all! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

A New Twist on Hummus - Guaca-Hummus!


We've been on a major hummus kick lately. It's easy to make, healthy, and super cheap to make so it's a perfect snack for our family. It's versatile so it never goes to waste in our house since it can be paired with veggies, pita chips (Stacy's are the absolute best!), and even used on sandwiches instead of other high fat condiments.

The other week I was cruising my Pinterest (add me) and came across a chart with all different hummus variations.  Since I was getting a bit tired of the original recipe I use, I figured maybe I'd try something different.  I took the basic bones of the recipe, but added a few extras for added flavor and tang. 

I'm so glad that I did! We've been obsessed with this new recipe and may have devoured it rather quickly. ;) It's a combination of hummus and guacamole and it's delicious! Read below for recipe and let me know if you give it a try! I promise, you won't be disappointed. 


Guaca-Hummus

Ingredients:

1 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans (drain, but reserve liquid)
1 medium avocado
1/2 cup cilantro
3 Tbsp lime juice
3 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeño (add more or less as desired)
1 tsp cumin seasoning
Red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions: 
Add all ingredients, except red pepper flakes, to food processor. Blend until puréed. Add reserved liquid from beans, if needed. Add red pepper flakes to taste. Refrigerate for several hours to let flavors enhance. 

Seriously easy! I love this as a midday snack with lots of fresh veggies and pita chips.


I hope that you all enjoy this recipe and let me know what you think! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Join the prAna & FitApproach #TakeTheLeap Yoga challenge!

Several days ago the prAna and FitApproach #TakeTheLeap yoga challenge began. I LOVE yoga challenges, but sometimes have a hard time staying consistent with them, especially as many of them seem to be aimed at extremely advanced yogi's. I've done yoga for several years, but took some time away from it when I got pregnant because I had no energy left after working full time (I wish I had stayed with it through pregnancy though).


The last few months, I've been working hard into getting into a new solid yoga routine. We've recently had a new yoga studio open up in town (The Yoga Retreat & Boutique) so it's been so fabulous to go to classes again. I look forward to it every weekend and it's a great time for me to be able to zen out and refocus. The great thing about the prAna and FitApproach #taketheleap challenge is that you can choose your daily pose. It's completely up to you so you can work toward your own goals and use the poses that feel and work best for your body. There's no showing up one another and forcing a pose that may not be suitable for you and your body. One of my goals is to work towards inversions again, but it's going to be a long road to get there and I don't want to rush it and risk hurting myself. 

Another bonus to the challenge: PRIZES! When you join the challenge you become eligible to win $500 worth of new prAna gear (they have AMAZING stuff, check this top outand able to gift $500 to a person of your choice. Pretty awesome, right? 

Below are my first 4 poses to start the challenge off...


A little loving from my boys...


Join the challenge on Instagram (add me!), Twitter (follow me!) and on your blog by using the hashtags:

  • #TakeTheLeap
  • #Prana
  • #FitApproach
Also tag @prana and @fitapproach! 


Don't forget to join the Facebook group and event page!

Hope to see you there! NAMASTE!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

25 Books of Christmas

We have a wonderful free-cycle group in my local community where members of the community give away items that they no longer need and sometimes even hold giveaways for some great products. It's a great way to get rid of items that you no longer want or need and give to someone that could use it. I've been lucky enough to have given and received many great items on this site. It's always heartwarming to see others helps those in need and the kindness on the site makes me so happy to live in such a great and caring community.

Several weeks ago, a kind woman posted a giveaway on the site for a 25 Books of Christmas gift that included 25 children's books, basket, wrapping paper and tape to be used the 25 days preceding Christmas. The premise is to unwrap and read one book a day leading up to Christmas. It's a great way to promote reading with your children, grow your child's library and a great bonding experience daily. There were many, many people interested in offer so she picked a name from the long list of those interested. I WON! :) To say that I was excited is an understatement. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I'm a bookworm and I can only hope that our son follows the same path.

All the books and goodies to wrap it up!
Wrapped and ready to read! 
We've had a great time picking out a book each day and reading a new book. There have been some great ones, but so far Little Blue Truck is definitely a favorite. This is definitely a new tradition that I think that we'll be doing each year while our child(ren) are still young. I plan on making sure to pass along the random act of kindness next year and offering a similar gift to the group.

Do you have any holiday traditions that your family participates in or traditions that you're hoping to continue/start? 



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Clarkston Back Roads Half Marathon and 10k Race Recap

A couple weeks ago, Ryan and I ran the Clarkston Back Roads Half Marathon & 10k and I'm so glad that we decided to do this race. It was a really chilly morning, but the gorgeous sites during the run were well worth the initial chill.

I had been looking forward to this race for awhile, but as the date approached I was reluctant since just the week before I took a really hard fall while running. The sidewalks where I run are in terrible shape and I caught my toe while running and super-manned right near a busy intersection. I jacked up my knee, hip and hands in the process, but I think my ego was hurt more than my body, as motorists stopped to see if I was ok. LOL. Anyways, I was definitely feeling the fall a few days later and it made me a bit nervous about running the 10k.
Thank goodness for running gloves! My hands would
have been destroyed without them!
The morning of the run was a chilly one, but it was a nice because this race has a later start (9:30), so it was beginning to warm up a bit and sun peeked out now and then as the race was beginning. I was shocked at how many half marathon runners there were. The start was a little confusing at first because it was difficult to hear what was going on, but after a few minutes everything was cleared up. I started in between the 9:00 and 10:00 pace, but wished that I had jumped up to a quicker corral. I think that I've been taking it too slow from the start during some races lately and it's hurting my time. I'm always afraid I'll push too hard and burn out before the end, but I think I need to push harder.

Staying warm pre-race!
Hubby pre-race! He sped ahead of me (he's faster than I)


The course was super hilly and gorgeous. We looped around the lake and at one point passed a bunch of horses that were galloping around and right near the runners. It was really a cool thing to see mid-race. As difficult as hills are, I love them during races and the challenge they provide. The course was a mix of cement path, dirt road and small trails. The runners were all great about getting over and letting runners pass and there were fabulous volunteers throughout! I was really impressed at how seriously they took runners safety and how well marked the race path was.

I felt pretty good until about the 3 mile marker and my knee started bugging me. I kept pushing through it and eventually the pain subsided some and then went away completely! I felt like the last few miles of the race passed pretty quickly, I was really happy with my time, especially battling a mild injury and for not train all that much (I got a little relaxed on the training after the Free Press Marathon). There was a fun after party with the Clarkston Union Mac n Cheese (the best in Southeast Michigan), MIP beer (which tasted great!), live music and small fires to warm up.  This is definitely a race that I'll be doing again and next time I'll likely try to do the half marathon. I really loved that it was a trail run and all the great and friendly runners that participated. I think that I'm starting to prefer trail races a bit more than road races now.

I was pretty happy with my pace and place for not being 100%. My husband, Ryan, finished 2nd in his age group! Mr. Speedy!

YUM! My favorite!
Finish line is in sight! I totally thought I was going
 to wipe out here since it was downhill!
Do you prefer trail run or road races? 
What type of races or running do you do more often?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Do you love trying new, fabulous products? Check out Influenster!!

I've always loved staying on top of trends and new products and thankfully there are so many great sites out there now that help connect you with growing products and companies. One of my favorite sites for this is Influenster!


Influenster is a large community of trendsetting consumers that share their opinions and thoughts in new products, power hitting social media users, and influential consumers. The site offers lots of interaction between other users and brands via Twitter chats, opportunities to try full-size products, contests and giveaways, and even discounts on items and services that you use. Basically, Influenster rewards you for your social media presence by giving you some really great opportunities to try and review new products.

Influenster calculates your Social Impact Score using different modes of social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Google+, blogs and by inviting friends and family to the program. The higher your score, the higher your social impact. Connecting your accounts boosts your score and increases your chances for being included in programs.
Through Influenster I have received numerous VoxBoxes, which are one of my favorite things to get in the mail. I've had items from many large companies, ranging from health items, soap, hair care, baby items, makeup and nails items, foods, candy, drinks and so on. If you're into free,  new products I highly recommend checking out and signing up for Influenster. Sign up is quick and easy, along with participating in campaigns. They make it even easier to participate by having a simple to use app too (search for InfluensterApp)

Below are just a few of the VoxBoxes that I've received complimentary to test and/or review:



If you're interested in this program, follow the link below and sign up!

Sign up HERE!