friday fitness favorites

Once upon a time, I used to focus on fitness related things on Friday, the new diet I was on or a healthy recipe. Like many of my best laid plans on this blog, I never followed through with them. I know, I know, I have a tendency to quickly jump on a band wagon without giving the plan for follow through much thought. The first step is admittance, right?

I know you know that I love Stephen Covey. He’s big on goals, but he also teaches goals can’t be flippant ideas that we think we might would like to accomplish, eventually. Instead, he instructs you to set clear, measurable goals, monitor the process, keep your self in check, and never lose sight of the goal. The smallest part is speaking the goal out loud, but what will you actually do to get there? That’s where the real work comes.

I signed up for a new gym on whim a couple of weeks ago. As it would turn out, I signed up just in time for their 90 day Fall challenge. Of course, I jumped right in and signed up for the challenge. Thankfully, I had about a week to think about the plan for this challenge, to set some clear and measurable goals, and to eat whatever I wanted (and please believe, I did).

The great part about the challenge is that it measure body fat, not pounds. For the first time since I can remember, I put the scale away And the past few weeks have been fantastic. I’ve been going to the gym about 5 days out of the week. Now if I can just get my eating to match.

So how about a Friday favorites dedicated to fitness?

ONE- Cocotein– I’m a huge fan of Isopure, Zero Carb and this protein drink is made by the same company. It is seriously delicious! It’s like a refreshing treat each and every time I finish a workout.

protein water

TWO- Nike Tempo shorts– These are my absolute favorites to wear to the gym (or to the grocery store, or anywhere). I could seriously live in them.

Nike Tempo

 

THREE- Fit Bit Flex HR– Obviously, I’ve been living under a rock, but the gym highly recommends heart rate training, so I finally purchased a Fit Bit. It is my new best friend. I’m constantly challenging myself to more steps, or calories burned. I also love that it tracks my sleep, which is something else I’ve been working on lately. I am sold on this little bracelet.

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FOUR- Can I talk about bras on my little piece of the internet? If not, I’m definitely breaking the rules for this one. If you need a great supportive sports bra, I promise you will not find a better one than the Knockout from Victorias Secret. Hands-down, the only one I’ll wear to workout. Period. It’s a little pricey, but I promise it’s worth every penny. I just closed my eyes and swiped the card and it’s one purchase I don’t regret.

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Do you have favorite workout gear?


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white chicken chili

I originally posted this recipe on Every Day Cheer, but we all need a little fall and a great recipe for soup in our lives, right? Just looking back over it solidified my decision to make this for dinner this weekend. 

I have a slight love affair with White Chicken Chili from the Cheesecake Factory. It doesn’t matter what time of year, I don’t even need to look at the menu; I know I want White Chicken Chili the moment I step foot in the door.

I’ve made several versions, always trying to recreate the taste, but I could never quite get it right. Until, this past month.

When I tell you this is the perfect soup for fall, I really mean that I think you should go to the store and pick up the ingredients right now and get it started. I cooked this on a Monday, and ate it for dinner two other times and lunch twice.

I found the soup after many searches for a copycat recipe, and finally I found a video from a local news station. Apparently, a chef from the Cheesecake Factory was featured on a news segment and prepared White Chicken Chili. Could this be any more perfect?

whitechickenchili

I tweaked the recipe a little. The heat was a little more than I wanted since I knew my toddler would be eating it with us. What I found in the end was perfection. It is spot on and full of flavor. I want some now just thinking about the goodness that is White Chicken Chili.

Now, before you look at the list of ingredients, I’ll go ahead and tell you that it’s a little lengthy.

I actually held off on making it for a little while because of the ingredients. When I finally decided to add this to our weekly menu, I was surprised by the number of ingredients I already had in my pantry. All of the seasonings, garlic, chicken stock, white rice, white beans, flour and oil were sitting nicely on my pantry shelves. When it came down to it, I had little to purchase to make this amazing dinner.

 

White Chicken Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds diced chicken breasts
  • ¼ c. canola oil
  • ½ Tbl cumin
  • ½ Tbl chili
  • ½ Tbl salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 oz. canola oil
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 2 Tbl dehydrated onion
  • 1 Tbl chopped garlic
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 1.5 oz. flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ⅛ c. salsa verde
  • 1 Tbl Chipotle Tabasco
  • ½ c heavy cream
  • 1 cup white beans
  • Garnish (optional):
  • Pico de Gallo
  • White Rice
  • Fresh Chopped Cilantro
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, heat canola oil.
  2. While the oil is heating, mix diced chicken and spices together in a separate bowl.
  3. Lightly brown the chicken in the heated oil, remove the chicken from the oil when it is browned and cooked throughout--don't overcook. Don't drain the pan.
  4. Heat additional oil and butter in the pan.
  5. Add onions and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the green chiles, stir to incorporate.
  7. Add flour, stir to incorporate and cook for about 1 minute.
  8. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock, whisk while adding to prevent lumps.
  9. Add salsa verde and tabasco and allow mixture to come to a slow simmer, once the mixture is simmering, add the chicken back to the pan.
  10. Simmer for about 7 minutes, then add heavy cream and white beans.
  11. Serve over white rice and garnish with pico and cilantro. (I also added a little more salsa verde to the top, because I love the flavor.)

Go ahead and try this dish, and invite a few friends over. They’re going to be impressed, trust me.

 


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what’s up, August?

The end of August, already? Let’s take a look at what we’ve been up to this past month.

What we’re eating: All the take-out. The kitchen was out of commission last week, but if we’re being honest, we’ve been eating way too much take-out in general. The kitchen is back in working order and I have some delicious meals planned for the weeks to come. I’m excited to started cooking, again. It’s really one of my favorite things, I just need to make time for more of it.

What I’m reminiscing about: Summer! Does it really have to end? We have had the very best summer, ever. Jud is big enough to run around and play, and we don’t have to pack the house to go somewhere. We kicked summer off with a trip to the most magical place on earth, and we’re winding it down with big home projects and a few more trips to the lake. I love fall and the cool temperatures and fun holidays, but summer will surely be missed.

What I’m loving: Filling my closet with fall favorites. If summer has to go, at least I can make sure I’ll be ready for fall. Cardigans, sweaters, vests, and plaid are all just waiting to be worn.

What we’ve been up to: .The kitchen project has consumed our days. The decision making process was longer than the actual changes in the kitchen. I can’t tell you how many ice makers, and backsplashes we looked at before making our final decisions. And the return of school. It’s been so different with BK being gone all day, but we’ve settled into a good routine. Oh, and did I tell you I joined a new gym? It’s a fun break in the mornings after I drop BK for school.

What I’m excited about: Football season! I can hardly believe it kicks off Saturday! Hooray! I can not wait for our back deck to be full of friends and good food while we cheer on our favorite team. I do believe that the start of football season lines up perfect with the end of summer for a great reason. It’s hard to be sad about anything with an SEC game on the television.

What I’m watching / reading: Watching? Nothing. We were almost finished with Revenge when we abandoned the television. Allen’s been watching a little NFL, but I’ve pulled out the books again and it feels so good to be reading. Currently on my night stand? Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman (currently on loan from Kristin).

What I’m wearing: Work-out clothes during the day! This week I got dressed a couple of times for Kindergarten Orientation and when I worked in the office on Wednesday, but aside from that I’m enjoying comfortable workout clothes. I did order some adorable fall pieces from Gray Monroe recently.

What I’m looking forward to next month: Hands-down, football and cooler weather! If summer has to go, I’m ready to embrace all things fall, so if I cook a big pot of soup next week and it’s still hot outside, just know my intentions are good.

And what’s a blog post without a photo? Here’s a peek at our family session at the beach last month.

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