OPPORTUNITY LOOKS A LOT LIKE HARD WORK

I didn’t coin this saying. And even though Ashton “Chris” Kutcher moved millions, including myself with these words, it was actually Thomas Edison. One of my favorite things about exercise is the way it tests you. How badass are you? Can you overcome obstacles? When things get hard, do you take of the resistance, do you wuss out or do you add more?

There is always a point in an intense workout where you feel like you’re completely gassed. And you think to yourself, there is no freaking way I can keep going. You see your mind quits on you before your body does. Your mind puts limits on what you can accomplish and it’s in these moments were you find out how badass you really are. Exercise pulls greatness out of you if you let it and so opportunity looks a lot like work.

I’m an endorphin junkie and one of my favorite ways to get my fix is spinning. I started cycling this past May at Shift and I was instantly hooked. I love spinning because it makes me feel badass, but more importantly because it helps overcome obstacles outside of the studio. Every single day you show up and climb into the saddle, challenges you, inspires you and pushes you to be MORE. Challenges are opportunities to grow. If you don’t test your limits, nothing changes. 

And so when I feel like I’ve reached a hill I can’t climb, I remind myself of all the hills behind me and I make that hill, for lack of better words, my b*tch. And so opportunity looks a lot like hard work.

   

BUFFALO CHICKEN SPAGHETTI SQUASH BAKE

  
Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash ( or 2 Small )
  • Franks Hot Sauce
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • 2 organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Organic American Cheese Slices (I used Trader Joe’s brand) Or Mozzarella
  • 1 Large and 1 Small Bowl
  • Baking Dish
  • Aluminum Foil (Optional)
  • Nonstick Coconut Oil Spray

Directions:

  1. Rinse spaghetti squash and stab to allow air to vent. I cook my spaghetti squash in the microwave because it cuts the cooking time in half! Typically 5 minutes of each side does the trick.
  2. Carefully remove squash with an oven mitt and let sit to cool (it will be hot!!).
  3. Marinate chicken in hot sauce and grill until desired. Do not over cook chicken because it will be going in the oven later!   
  4. Once squash is cool enough, cut in half and scoop seeds.
  5. Rake squash with a fork in a large bowl and combine with 1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and garlic powder.   
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking dish with aluminum foil and/or nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Dice chicken breasts and toss with hot sauce in small bowl (hot sauce amount as desired).
  8. Add chicken to the large bowl of spaghetti squash and drizzle with hot sauce.
  9. Pour into baking dish and bake on 350 for 15 minutes.
  10. Carefully remove dish from oven and top with 1 slice of sliced cheese.
  11.  Broil until cheese melts and bubbles. 
  12. Remove from oven. Let sit to cool and serve!     

 

Serving 2-3

POUNDING PAVEMENT

Three and a half weeks ago, I laced up my sneakers and began my annual 3 season sport of pounding pavement and I struggled. I truly struggled to get through the 3 mile route I had mapped out. After a winter solely focused on weight training and minimal cardio my body was no longer the long and lean machine it had been last summer. However, one of the biggest lessons running has taught me is one of perseverance. My mind always tries to chicken out before my body does and it’s pushing through these moments where the magic happens. This is where I grow.

Once again, I am reminded how quickly the body adapts. We evolved from athletes. While some of us are more athletically blessed than others, we are all programmed to physically adapt to our climates. Three and a half weeks ago, I finished my 3 miler with every muscle in my lower body aching, my heart pounding, and my lungs starving for oxygen. I had pushed myself to the point of nausea and I felt like a failure. Fast forward to week four (this week) and I am pushing through 7 milers with strong stems, a steady heartbeat, and abundant air in my lungs. This is a big win for me because I tore both of my iliotibial bands in high school and long distance running has always been out of the question.

Last night I finished my run with a .25 mile sprint and literally had to force myself not to keep going. The truth is though that while runners look forward to the runs where they feel literally feel invincible, we immediately start formulating a way to create complete exhaustion again. We have learned that pain equals reward. Running is a hard sport. It requires self discipline in the purest form, a lot of heart, commitment, and a tad bit of crazy.

This year I have decided that I wanted to run for more than just exercise and endorphins. I want to run for self-awareness. I want to learn my physical and mental “limitations” and then surpass them.

BUNLESS BEEF SLIDERS

Ingredients:
• 1lb 92% Lean Organic Beef
• 1/2 Bell Pepper
• 1/2 Zucchini
• 1/2 cup Cherry Tomato
• EVOO
• Pampered Chef Crushed Peppercorn and Garlic Rub
• Low Sodium Cheese (I did American because well, it fit my macros!)

Directions:
1. Finely chop veggies and sauté with 1 tsp EVOO until brown.
2. In a bowl, combine beef and seasoning.
3. Fold cooked veggies into meat and form in to mini paddies.
4. Sauté, grill, or bake burgers.
5. Once almost cooked add your chose of low sodium cheese.

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ZUCCHINI FRIES

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Ingredients:
•4-6 Sm Zucchinis
•2-3 Eggs (cage-free, purchased from a local farm if possible!)
•1/2 cup parmesan grated cheese
• sea salt/freshly ground pepper
• baking pan
• medium bowl
• nonstick olive oil spray

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick olive oil.
3. Rinse zucchini and slice into vertical wedges (wedge fries).
4. Separate egg whites in a medium bowl and pour cheese onto a clean flat surface.
5. Dip “fries” into egg white and roll in cheese.
6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until desired. I like to broil the last few minutes for crispiness!
7. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper (if desired) and enjoy!!

PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES

Ingredients:
-1 large egg
-1/2 cup Choc PB2
-1/4 cup natural peanut butter
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 cup steal cut oats grinded (Magic Bullet or mini food processor)
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp sea salt
-1/2 cup water
-1/3 cup Truvia baking blend
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup dark choc chips (optional)
-9X5 baking dish
-EVOO spray

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Mix ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
3. Spray pan with EVOO spray.
4. Pour in batter and bake for 30 minutes.

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TURKEY BURGER BACON CAESAR

Turkey burger patty over turkey bacon wrapped asparagus, mixed greens and fat free feta cheese tossed in yogurt parmesan caesar dressing

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Turkey Burger Ingredients:
•1/2 lb ground turkey
•2 tbs chopped red onion
•2 tbs yellow bell pepper
•salt-free garlic and herb dressing

Combine ingredients in a bowl and form into two 1/4 lb patties. Grill until desired.

Turkey Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

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Bake asparagus on 375 until it starts to brown. Wrap turkey bacon around 1-3 spears (HOT! be careful!) and continue to bake until bacon is cooked.

Salad Fixings for 1
•1 cup of mixed greens
•1 tbs of Bolthouse Farms Parmesan Caesar Dressing
•1 tbs of fat-free feta

Toss in a bowl.