I like to move it

As I evolve, so does the blog.  Normally I share recipes and I hope they inspired you in the kitchen.  Today I want to share my new passion: working out.  Who is passionate about moving your rear?  Me!  Remember, the more you move, the more you can enjoy life (and sweets or beer or whatever you’re into).

Lately I train at the gym for roughly one hour/ day, 5 days/week.  Some evenings I run.  Some evenings matt and I get in long walks in downtown NOLA.  Some evenings I just need more.  More cowbell!  Ok no, more moving.  Pinterest inspiration led me to this video on you tube of a HIIT workout.  It aims to help you burn a lot of calories by moving quickly and with effort but with very few breaks.  Try it out and let me know what you think.

The idea came to me after the gym’s front door was locked due to a power outage.  The doors function on a key scan lock and the sensor must be reset when the power goes out.  We were forced to be creative and put together moves in the parking lot, boot camp style.  We improvised with what was in the trunk: kettlebell, resistance bands, latter, 2 mats, cones, and one jump rope.  BOOM.  It looked so fun that when I got home I knew I needed to get out some energy.  Good times, man.

Is there a video, a piece of equipment, or home-made work out you love to do?  Share it with me in the comment section below!  PRETTY PLEASE!  I’m always searching for the good stuff and no I don’t mean beer (in this case).

Peace, love, and hiit it hard

~The Hungry Wife

Baked sweet potato fries

You know that moment when you open your car door after it has been parked in the sun for an hour?  You know what I’m talking about, when you feel like getting in your oven would be better than getting in your driver’s seat.  Or what about how you start sweating buckets the moment you make it out your front door and realize that deodorant should have left home with you today.  Maybe I’m the only one.

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

In any case, summer is here for real, folks.  The upside is that we are now able to enjoy days by the pool, fruity drinks with umbrellas (right, like we waited for summer), and vacations to the beach.  Additionally, I am officially DONE with grad school and can now say I earned a Master’s degree in mental health clinical counseling.  I am still job hunting but have not come across the right position for me yet.  In the meantime, I continue evaluating my skills (counseling skills, cooking skills, nun-chuck skills) and remain open minded about my career path.  Things have taken an interesting turn recently.

Mom and Stuffed Husband

Mom and Stuffed Husband

Yesterday I interviewed for and was offered a position as a personal fitness trainer at a local New Orleans gym.  This is outside my experience area but I also find myself quite passionate about this career move.  For the next day or so I’ll be mulling it over, praying, and weighing my options.

baked sweet potato fries

baked sweet potato fries

Job chatter aside, let’s cook some yummy grub!  One of my all-time favorite foods are French fries.  I LOVE them. I love them alone. I love them with ketchup. I love them with CHEESE. I love them with MORE CHEESE.  And, I love them with CHEESE and Jalapeños.  Who doesn’t?  OFF WITH YOUR HEAD.

Baked sweet potato fries are a doable substitute when you are craving a yummy fry but trying to make up for your late-night sins of beer and pizza.  It happens.  Baking the fries saves a number of calories and makes clean up a little easier.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • two large sweet potatoes (one potato per person usually makes more than enough)
  • 1 tsp of olive oil per potato
  • salt, pepper, or seasonings of your liking
  • aluminum foil to line your baking sheet for easier clean up

First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Wash your potatoes and slice them up into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices.

bakedsweetpotatofries2Toss them in olive oil and seasonings in a bowl.  Then lay out on your baking sheet so they are not touching.

bakedsweetpotatofries3Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.  Do not open the stove during this time.  It ensures a better fry, I promise.  After 20 minutes, remove the fries from the oven and turn each over so we can cook the other side evenly.

baked sweet potato fries 4Follow by putting them back in the oven for 10 more minutes.  NO opening the oven.  Don’t do it.  You’ll ruin everything. Ok, not everything but I promise it will be worth it when you bite into the perfect fry.

bakedsweetpotatofries5Then just serve them up with a yummy burger, some grilled chicken, or just all by themselves.  Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Dig in!

Dig in!

I will keep you all posted on my career decision as things move along.  Thanks for all your support!

Peace, love, and big girl decisions,

~The Hungry Wife

Black Bean Soup. Arriba!

Something about bean soup just makes sense.  It’s a comfort food for me.  After watching the horrible news unfold about the Tornados that hit Moore, Oklahoma, I knew I needed soup.

This soup is both easy to make and VERY tasty.  It’s great for a meat-free Monday menu but you can absolutely add some bacon for added kick.  I top mine with homemade Pico De Gallo, shredded cheddar, light sour cream, and toasted corn tortilla.  You can’t go wrong. 

black bean soupHere is what you’ll need:

  • 3 cans of creamed black beans (16 oz. each)
  • 1 cup of fresh salsa (I use the store bought kind in the refrigerator)
  • half  yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 cups of water or chicken stock
  • Toppings of your choice (tortilla chips, pico de gallo, shredded cheddar, sour cream, avocado)

To start, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Toss in onion and salsa, let simmer about three minutes.  

Add in all three cans of black beans and 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce head and let simmer for 10 minutes, pouring in the rest of the water gradually and stirring.  You can use more water for a thinner consistency or less water for a thicker soup.  It’s a matter of preference.  If you can not find creamed black beans, you can mash regular beans once heated to make the creamy soup.

That’s it!  Peace o’ cake.  Then just pour and top.  Enjoy!

Black bean soup 2

I certainly enjoyed this soup today, as did Stuffed Husband.  However, our hearts are still heavy for those affected by Monday’s tornados. While we do not always understand why things happen, we can pray for those in their hour of need.  Our hearts are with you Oklahoma.

 

Peace, love, and praying for Oklahoma,

The Hungry Wife

 

 

100 for Boston

I have not put together a post in a while and that is largely in response to the fact that Boston is still on my mind.  Two weeks ago we were all reminded of our humanness.  We remembered that we are all fragile and that this life is fleeting.  We were reminded to be grateful for our lives, our families, our friends, and our limbs.  

Boston

The Boston bombings last month really got me thinking about how grateful I am for my health and the physical ability to be active.  It must be heartbreaking to wake up after surgery to the reality that your body has been changed forever.

NBC recently did a story about OEF and OIF veterans who lost limbs as a result of IEDs.  These veterans helped the Boston bombing victims simply be relating to their experience and giving them hope for life after loss.  It was moving to see just how close these veterans and survivors became even after only having met briefly.  The human spirit is an INCREDIBLE thing folks.

veterans visit boston victims

Every time that I have felt sorry for myself or felt like I didn’t have it in me to tackle a challenge, I reminded myself of the resiliency and hope of the human spirit.  Sometimes we accept limits or boundaries to what we are capable of achieving.  The truth of it is, with the right attitude and mindset, you can do damn near anything you want to do!

In that same vein I have decided to challenge myself in honor of those being challenged today as a result of last month’s events.  I plan to run 100 miles by the end of summer.  This means between the end of may and the beginning of August, I plan to run a total of 100 miles. If you are interested in challenging yourself or just looking for away to honor Boston, run with me!  Check out our facebook group and join us in the 100 mile challenge.

run with boston

Peace, love, and praying for Boston,

The Hungry Wife

Pacing with pals and roasted veggie penance.

Some days I have great ideas for a post, I gather and edit pictures, and then sit  at the computer with coffee and a purpose.  Two hours later I completed nothing…except for three games of Murder, She Wrote (yes, this actually exists).  God help me if it isn’t one of the most addicting games for the computer.  In any case, I am well intended but easily distracted thus I haven’t posted here in far too long.

ccc 10k bib

Last month Stuffed Husband and I participated in the Crescent City Classic 10K for our first time ever!  This race is one of  the biggest races (possibly THE largest) in New Orleans.  This year was the 35th anniversary in fact.  We really enjoyed sharing this race with two of our favorite running buddies.

Scooter and JenJen

Scooter and JenJen

One of the most wonderful parts of racing is building a community of running pals.  Stuffed Husband and I are lucky enough to have friends like this.  Scooter and JenJen are two of our favorite friends to celebrate holidays and milestones with so it makes sense that we would enjoy racing and post-race celebrating with them.

Pacing buddies.

Pacing buddies.

Often we splurge after races.  When I say splurge I’m not talking an extra serving of a light meal or just indulging in dessert.  Nope.  We go all the way.  I’m talking cheesy tater tots, fried catfish, beers, and MORE beers.

Matt double-fisting it

Matt double-fisting it!

Naturally, I have to work on balancing out my post-race gorge fests with lighter fair as the weekend goes on.  Next time you need to lighten things up to pay for your dietary sins, try tossing veggies in olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.  Divine, I tell you!  

Roasted Veggies

Roasted Veggies

Roasted vegetables are great as a side, with whole wheat pasta, in a wrap, or on a salad.  So much flavor and SO little guilt.  Here’s how I topped off a salad with mine.

Salad with roasted veggies, Tempeh, and roasted tomato.

Salad with roasted veggies, Tempeh, and roasted tomato.

Do you have a quick recipe you use when you need to lighten up your next meal? I would love to hear about it!  Maybe you have a pacing buddy who you love to indulge with?  Tell me your favorite part of having a friend to put away miles with or why you prefer to run alone.

Peace, love, and pacing pals,

~The Hungry Wife

Fuel for the distance: Three Bean Chili

Lately I’ve been really enjoying my outdoor runs.  Some mornings it is still pretty chilly out around these parts.  In fact I’ve had to go as far as wearing a hat and gloves on the mornings we have had a “hard” freeze.  Whatever that means.  Luckily Stuffed Husband is quite the motivator and was willing to take the run with me.  He’s just selfless like that.  Well, selfless and competitive.

Saturday Speedwork

Saturday Speedwork

Anyway, I’ve found that refueling after these bitter cold runs can be tricky.  My body wants something hearty and warm.  Naturally, I turned to chili.  Interesting, I wanted chili when I was feeling chilly.  hah.  Oh no, I’m developing my father’s sense of humor…AKA cheesy. This three bean chili was ridiculous easy and made SO MUCH friggin’ chili that I had to freeze half of it.  I suggest halving the recipe if your family is small like ours.  The recipe can be found here.

3 bean chili

I forgot to take a picture of the chili after I added the corn.  In the future, I would probably leave the corn out anyway.  It seemed unnecessary given that I made cornbread to eat with it.  Too much corn is well…too much.  The recipe is easy as pie to follow.  Just buy a bunch of cans of stuff and a packet of chili mix.

Cans O' Stuff

Cans O’ Stuff

Chop up some onions and garlic.  Try not to cry uncontrollably.  I did.

chop chop chop

chop chop chop

Dump it all in your slow cooker and set it on high for 3 hours, then go for a run.  The running part is an essential part of the recipe.  If you don’t run, you’ll just never get that homemade chili taste just right.  No really!  Would I ever lie to you? ;)

Slow cookers are awesome.

Slow cookers are awesome.

Serve up a bowl after a nice long run.  Maybe top it with a little cheese and/or corn chips.  I served mine with cheese and a side of cornbread.  Definitely hit the spot!  Not only is this recipe crazy easy, but the health benefits are undeniable.  Plenty of protein and fiber from the beans and a serving of vegetables in the diced tomato, corn, onion, and garlic.  Good stuff!  Stuffed husband even used the chili later in the week to make tacos with!  Brain and brawn with that guy.

Stuffed Husband

Stuffed Husband

Do you have a go-to recipe you rely on for recovery after a long hard work out?  I’d love to hear about it.  Share your recipe with me in the comment section below or post a link I can follow.

Peace, Love, and Foodie Fuel~

The Hungry Wife

Running 13.1 miles will make you oh so hungry.

Stuffed Husband and I are not typically the kind to plan far in advance for anything really.  It is characteristic of our relationship that we play most things by ear.  Perhaps that is why we are both in our late twenties and still trying to finish up degrees.  Perhaps planning may have benefited us in that case.  Late last year we actually planned to run the Rock N Roll New Orleans half marathon.  Months in advance we registered and began training.  

rnr

Two weeks into training I came down with my third sinus infection in a row and took a break from training.  Stuffed Husband, in his undying loyalty to me, decided to take a break as well.  Soon the sinus infection was remedied with medication, rest, and the love of that dude I share a bed with.  Two weeks later, I came down with the FLU!  I’m not sure if it has to do with working with 5-7 year olds or that my immune system took a long vacation but I was sick again.  So again training fell to the wayside.  My doctor even recommended I give up training for this race so as to allow my body to fully recover.  Silly physician.

To make a very long story short, the week before the race I decided I could not stay away.  So, against doctors orders and any good sense, I decided I would race.  NO training, NO plan, and NO one was going to tell me otherwise.  I’m just a rebel that way.  Stuffed Husband conceded he really wanted to give it a go too and so we did.

rnr 2.24.13

After the longest two and a half hours of my life, I completed my first half marathon.  The girl who could hardly complete the one mile challenge in high school gym class had now just run a half marathon.  The feeling of accomplishing that was one that I will carry with me forever and always.  Next time though, I will have a PLAN.  I will train.  I will avoid little kids with germs that may lead to the flu, chicken pox, or whooping cough.  I mean really, I even ended up with thrush last year after being on antibiotics so long.  

rnr jenn and i b.w

In the end, I did something I sincerely wasn’t sure I could do.  I wanted it.  I wanted it badly.  But the odds of completing the race with almost no training and running less than three times a week lately seemed pretty slim to me.  I guess what I really learned is that we are all capable of more than we think we are.  It is a matter of continuing to put one foot in front of the other, a matter of not stopping when it gets difficult, and a matter of wanting it badly enough to trust yourself.  Of course afterward I trusted myself with a bowl of ice cream.  Silly me.

rnr mel solo

Happy Hungry Girl.

Peace, love, and pacing it 13.1 miles

~The Hungry Wife