Happy Healthy Thanksgiving

Brrrrrrrr. Is it snowing outside your front door today? Hopefully you are staying warm and cozy- preparing for a fun/relaxed/festive/insert your own adjective here holiday weekend. I love love love the holidays-there truly is nothing like them. Unfortunately, so many choose to put their fitness goals on hold this time of year. If I had a dollar for every time I heard (or said) the phrase “I will get on track after the holidays” I would be one rich lady. Just for fun I spent some time looking up how many calories the average American consumes on Thanksgiving. Any guesses? The average is 3,500. Let that sink in for a minute. I’ll wait.

thanks2That amount of calories is equivalent to SIX Big Macs. You likely wouldn’t sit and eat that in one sitting so what is it about Thanksgiving that gets everyone in “eat all the food” mode? I could sit here with a chart about eating “this not that” or “tips and tricks” for a healthy Thanksgiving but what it comes down to is this…..

thanks3There is no magic tip or secret trick to staying healthy during the holidays. Deep down we all know what needs to be done- make good choices, eat in moderation, and throw in a workout if you can. Enjoying the holidays is about so much more than what is on your dinner plate. I still have a long way to go with my weight loss journey BUT this lesson I have learned. You are worth the effort- truly you are. So set your mind to success mode and have a beautiful Thanksgiving Day.

If you need some extra support tomorrow follow along with my Thanksgiving road trip on Twitter and Instagram .



One Pot Wonder- Chicken Tortilla Soup

Happy Wednesday and over the hump we go! Just two short days until the weekend. This has been a busy week but I wanted to make certain there were plenty of clean eats on hand to get me through. However, being a little low on time also meant I wanted something easy and no fuss. This one pot wonder fits the bill. And an added bonus? You can easily sub turkey for the chicken making it the perfect post Thanksgiving recipe!

You Will Need:

Shredded Chicken or Turkey

2 Cans Black Beans (Drained)

2 Cups Frozen Corn

1 Large Chopped Onion

15 oz Chopped Tomato (Roughly 2 cans of Rotel)

1 Can Tomato Sauce

1 Carton Chicken Stock

Spices: Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Cumin

First you will shred your chicken or turkey. I picked up a chicken from Fresh Market today but this soup makes an excellent “second day” type meal to use up left overs!

IMG_2229 (300x400)While shredding the chicken allow your onion to soften in some olive oil. Remember to use a pot large enough for a pretty substantial pot of soup!

IMG_2233 (300x400)Once the onion softens- add your corn followed by your drained beans.

IMG_2230 (300x400) IMG_2231 (400x300) IMG_2235 (300x400)At this point you will apply your first round of seasonings. I dont have a hard rule on seasons- just do what smells/tastes right to you!

IMG_2236 (300x400)Next add your tomatoes and tomato sauce- season again.

IMG_2238 (300x400)Lastly, you will add your chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil. Allow it to remain at an uncovered rolling boil for about 20 minutes.

IMG_2239 (300x400)Your finished product will be a protein packed hardy soup!

IMG_2246 (400x400)Feel free to top with sour cream, shredded cheddar, and (of course) tortilla chips. Garden of Eaten Red Hot Blues are actually my favorite to crumble on top but you can certainly use what is handy!

IMG_2244 (300x400)Enjoy!!

IMG_2245 (300x400)(WW points are 7-8 per generous bowl prior to adding toppings)

Weekend Round Up

Happy Monday!!! I am already 2 cups of coffee in on this COLD morning! All I wanted was to stay snuggled in bed this morning. BUT work and life call so I am up and at it on this fine fall day. Luckily, I will have happy weekend memories to keep me feeling warm and fuzzy.

Truth is, I was NOT in the most social of moods when 8 of us headed out on Saturday for a “tour” of some of Virginia’s breweries and wineries. I knew with my Weight Watchers points in full effect I really wouldn’t be drinking not to mention my work week had left me overtired. BUT I truly was excited to go exploring so I bundled up in my cold weather gear and we were on our way.

IMG_2151 (400x300)I am not sure how I have lived in VA this long without knowing about it but apparently there is a stretch of highway about 30 minutes from my home that is full of wineries and breweries. Mind Blown. I was really thinking there might be a stop or two but no- it was place after place after place. And apparently I was the only person out of the loop on this because every winery and brewery we stopped at was PACKED.

First up on the list was Devil’s Backbone Brewery. To be fair- I actually had heard of this place before. Unfortunately, the bar area was cram packed full and there was an hour’s wait for a lunch table. We were all pretty hungry so we decided to move on.

IMG_2152 (400x300) IMG_2153 (300x400)Luckily our next stop would prove more successful. Next up was Wild Wolf Brewing Company. Also packed BUT we did manage to somehow snag 8 spots in the bar. The hubs (and pretty much everyone else) enjoyed the beer flight offerings.

IMG_2158 (400x300)And yes I was “that girl” who ordered a fruity mixed drink. Sorry. I am not a beer drinker (though I did try a couple sips to be a good sport).

IMG_2180 (400x400)I just enjoyed watching everyone else sample and watching a little football. :)

IMG_2164 (300x400)I also enjoyed busting out my new bag for the occasion.

IMG_2171 (400x400)After about 40 minutes at the bar we got a table (woohoo)! I was STARVING and everything on the menu looked awesome. One of the coolest things about the trip this weekend was seeing what each brewery had as their “specialty”. So many items were prepared from scratch “in house”. My inner foodie was impressed. Apparently BBQ is the thing to have at Wild Wolf so I ordered some up with some house made chips and possible the best slaw I have ever tried.

IMG_2170 (400x300) IMG_2168 (300x400)Lunch was a lot of fun and I found myself being truly glad I decided to come. You really don’t have to drink or consume all of the calories to have a good time out with pals. :) Sometimes when we are on these weight loss plans we turn to avoidance which is unfortunate. I understand wanting to adhere to a plan but the truth is we don’t live in a bubble. At some point we all have to learn how to get out there and make healthful choices on the fly. If I had stayed home I would have missed a beautiful and extremely fun fall day.

IMG_2181 (400x400)Less importantly, I would have missed an excuse to bust out my new fall boots. I deal with a wide calf situation so I was over the moon excited to have found a cute pair of boots that fit properly. We are going to be very happy together this winter. ;)

IMG_2154 (300x400)Moving on, our next stop was Blue Mountain Brewing company. I just sipped on water and snacked on a cheese plate here. The guys all really liked the beer and I really liked the view. Beautiful.

IMG_2183 (400x400) IMG_2207 (400x400)IMG_2187 (300x400)One last stop at Wild Fox winery (sorry no photo) rounded out the day. The sun was setting as we headed home and I could not have asked for a better Saturday.

IMG_2193 (400x300)Sunday proved much less eventful although I may have started decorating for Christmas!!

IMG_2223 (400x400)I know its early but I feel like I am not the only person out there doing this….. right? ;)

What did you do this weekend??