Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mexican Chicken

I always find myself craving tacos, but in trying to be healthy, I don't want to indulge in greasy ground beef!! My Mexican chicken is a great alternative and is super easy!

Mexican Chicken
yum :)

1 chicken breast
1/4 c. Corn
Handful of spinach
1-2 tablespoons salsa
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
Cooking spray

Coat a small pan with cooking spray and begin cooking the chicken on medium heat, turning after about 5 minutes so each side is light brown. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces (you can do this before or after you cook it). After the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning into the pan with a tablespoon or two of water (you don't want the taco seasoning to be chunky, water helps it to thin it and glaze over the chicken).

Add in the corn and spinach, allowing it to heat up. I also enjoy adding chopped onion, bell peppers, and black beans! If necessary, add another sprinkle of taco seasoning to the mixture.

And with that, you're done! Enjoy it with a side of salsa and you have yourself a delicious and quick entree.
the picture doesn't do it justice. SO YUM
The great thing about this recipe is that you can save all of these ingredients for another meal, or for another helping of Mexican chicken tomorrow! Refrigerate the corn and toss it on a salad; use the spinach in your eggs, salad, stir fry; close the taco seasoning packet for next time (you'll have a leftover); freeze the other chicken breasts in individual bags to make your next dinner super easy- just take a chicken breast out of the freezer each morning and it will be thawed by dinner time; and use the salsa with anything you think of :)

This is a great meal for anyone with a busy life, on a low budget, or a collee student... I think a majority of us could fit into that category so give this meal a try!!

If you're really craving taco shells, try the "whole grain" taco shells- 2 shells only have 110 calories! Heat then up in the microwave or toaster oven.

Hope you like it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Edamame Salad

First of all, let me say how delicious and easy this salad was! I've been on a salad-kick for the last few weeks, trying to get back into "pageant" shape, and I stumbled across this delicious recipe (from Pintrest, posted below) for Edamame Salad. I personally love edamame- it is packed with protein and nutrients and is nice and filling. Combining it with all of these simple ingredients made it even more delicious, and it was a nice change-up from the typical lettuce/spinach salad I eat every other day!

Edamame Salad
1 c. frozen edamame, cooked to package directions, then shelled
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. sweet corn kernals
1 c. carrots, julienned (you can buy these pre-cut)
1/3 c. bell peppers, chopped
1/4 c. onion (red or sweet- I did sweet) rinsed in cold water

2 T. Extra Light Olive Oil
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 t. brown sugar

First, I began my chopping up all of my ingredients. The great thing about this recipe is that all of these vegetables can be used again on future salads (if you have leftovers) or on another batch of Edamame Salad!
Steam and shell the Edamame, dice the onion and rinse in cold water!
chop and measure your other veggies...
Combine it all in a bowl- so colorful!
 After you have chopped everything, combine it in a bowl and prepare your salad dressing. I actually designed my own salad dressing because I didn't have some of the ingredients listed on the original recipe. I had olive oil and balsamic vinegar in my cabinet, so I decided to use these with the brown sugar that the original recipe calls for (you could also try honey or agave nectar). Mix together your 2 T. of olive oil, 1 T. of balsamic vinegar, and 1 t. of brown sugar in a small container. I used a mini-tupperware that I usually use to store dressings in!
And just like that, you are done! Time to enjoy! I would save the dressing to pour on with each serving (rather than pouring it all on at once) so that it doesn't get gross. The original recipe actually called for 6 T. of olive oil...... I only used 2 T. and never even finished off the dressing! So use your judgement on how much dressing you usually like.

This also travels very well and tasted great as leftovers. I enjoyed this for my lunch break at clinical today, and it was so pleasantly satisfying! I hope you enjoy! Stay tuned for a few more recipe posts :)


This is the original recipe from which I got the idea!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"Get Your Rear In Gear 5k"- Raising Awareness for Colon Cancer!

Today I ran the Get Your Rear In Gear 5k at the beautiful Castle Island in Southie! It was awesome that it was so close to my house- I was still able to have a lazy Saturday sleep-in before I rolled out of bed to run! This race was extra exciting because I got to run with my best friend Miss Boston- Kelsey Beck! Two of her friends have parents battling colon cancer and I know a few friends fighting it so this was a perfect cause and reason to be active.
Miss Collegiate Area & Miss Boston  

We got to the race JUST in time. The National Anthem was ending, I was still putting my bib on, and the gun was off! We quickly hopped in line and had to start our "hellos" and catching up as we started the race... this made the race FLY by! Although we were totally out-of-breath from talking, we had so much fun.
a mid-run snapshot!
There was such a great turn out for this event. Like I said, we were running this for all the people we know fighting colon cancer, and to see such a great turnout was truly inspiring. It is incredible how many people were showing their support for colon cancer.
Get Your Rear In Gear 5k
my favorite running route- Castle Island
could Castle Island be more amazing?
Kelsey and I helped to push each other through the race (have you read my blog posts about HOW MUCH I love a running buddy?) and before we knew it, we were crossing the finish line! The best part about races is that you get to see friends, socialize, AND get your workout over with WHILE supporting a great cause.
another mid-run picture, hehe :)
pageant buddies, best friends :)
we had to re-enact our finish after everyone was done. kodak moment ;)
And I've told you another great perk about races- the free goodies. Thank you to ALL of the sponsors at Get Your Rear In Gear for filling up my college cabinets with post-run fuel!
so much goodness
The race was so much fun and totally inspired me to combine a little of my nursing-knowledge for this blog to make people aware of colon cancer and ways to potentially prevent it. Colorectal cancer is a cancer of the large intestine and occurs when cells start growing and dividing into abnormal cells that don't die on their own. These abnormal cells can grow into polyps, which if left untreated, can become cancerous. While some cancers are inevitable, we can still change our lifestyles to hopefully increase our lifespan and chance of disease!

-Watch your intake of red meat!! Limit yourself to about 2 portions per week and aim for lean cuts. The high fat and salt content may contribute to colon cancer.
-Make sure you are getting all of your vitamins and minerals!! Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables- yum!
-Exercise! Get moving! Obesity contributes to colon cancer.
-Don't binge drink. Try to cut back on the amount of alcohol you consume.
-Get screened! Colonoscopy testing should start at age 50!
-Don't smoke!!! (and avoid a million other cancers but quitting!). 
-Check out your family history and be aware
-Motivate your loved ones to become healthier and provide them with support for their colonoscopy.

These are all ways to hopefully prevent colon cancer, but ALL of these tips contribute to a healthier you! It is never too early to start. Try to make a few changes TODAY! What are you waiting for? Life is too short :)
These health measures not only prevent colon cancer, but could help prevent high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and heart attacks! Kill two birds with one stone (or many birds for that matter) by adapting to a more nutritious lifestyle- you will feel so much better inside & out!

This day was just SO inspiring that I passed a bloodmobile on my way to get coffee after the race... I decided it couldn't be more appropriate to give blood today and hopefully save a life! So that is exactly what I did. Giving blood is the easiest, most pain-free and simple way to save a life! Plus, you get to eat cookies after... who would object to that????
all smiles watching blood drain from me :) haha!
Thanks for reading! Lets raise awareness for colon cancer!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Tufts 10K For Women

Yayyyy!! Today was the day! I was so happy to complete the Tufts 10k For Women in Boston. The course was beautiful, starting at Boston Common, looping around the Charles River, Storrow Drive, Boylston Street, and finishing in front of the Common!

Yesterday I went to City Sports to pick up my bib and race packet... the best part about races is the goodies that come along with it! It made me even MORE excited to run, if that is possible.
Nothing better than another race shirt :)
I was so excited to put my training to the test. I haven't followed any specific training plan, but I was able to squeeze in a few 6 mile runs over the past few weeks, mixed in with my typical shorter runs. I think that really helped me to mentally prepare for the actual race, when everyone is zooming past you and you seem to lose track of your typical pace! Running in a crowd is so different than running by yourself! I filled my iPod with running essentials (thank you Paige and Jaycee), ate delicious carbohydrates all weekend, loaded my body up with water, and rested all day Sunday. I was R.E.A.D.Y!

These little babies carried me through :)
Today I got to Boston Common, stretched, (peed like 6 times, I was so excited), and lined up! It was FINALLY time to start running so I started my watch, blasted some Kap Slap "Back To School Mix" in my headphones, filled my lungs with air, and we were OFF! I tried to start nice and slow, forced my brain to stay focused and positive, and didn't let myself stop once. I didn't even get a side-ache (these are huge accomplishments for me!). Just under 52 minutes later, I was crossing the finish line, where I was SO HAPPY to find my darling roomate Erin surprising me and congratulating me on my finish! Thank you for supporting me Erin!!!
Successful Finish! I had so much fun!
The race was amazing. It is always so incredible to see so many people out being active and supporting a great cause. More importantly, I was so proud of myself. To me, running is not about winning or getting the best time. It is about competing against MYSELF, working to better myself physically and mentally, and about proving to myself that I CAN do anything I set my mind to. Sometimes I get so down about the stresses of life: nursing school, relationships (or lack there of), exam grades, being homesick, and wondering what I'm meant to do in this world. I kind of had an epiphany today at the race: it doesn't matter who is surrounding you, who is supporting you, or how perfect your life is. Live your life to the fullest, find something you enjoy, and work hard at it! Running is exactly that for me, and it is SO wonderful to have a passion that ONLY I get to control! It was the most amazing feeling today knowing that I finished this race because I worked hard to get there! Sorry to get all sappy :)

The motto of the race is "Start Strong, Finish Stronger" and based on that last paragraph, I would say I did!
Look how much stronger I finished!!! (this is a joke)
It was such a great race, that I came home and started researching when my next 10k could be! If you haven't ever run a race, I strongly suggest trying it! Compete against yourself and give yourself something to work towards! I have a 5k this Saturday and I couldn't be more excited! (nerdy, I know!)

Thanks for reading everyone! I can't believe I've had over 4,200 views on my blog!! If you have any suggestions, I'll take them! Thank you!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Protein Pancakes!

For a while now, I've been wanting to try protein pancakes... I sure do love breakfast and protein, so I thought these were the best of both worlds :)

After spending some time on Pintrest, I found a recipe that I really liked. It was the only recipe I found that didn't use soy or whey powder. Usually I only keep Muscle Milk on hand, and I didn't want to have to buy a tub of whey powder JUST so I could satisfy my craving for protein pancakes!

Here is the recipe!

Cinnamon Protein Pancakes
1 c. egg whites
1 c. oats
1 c. fat-free cottage cheese
Truvia or Sugar
(I halved this batch by using 1/2 c. of each ingredient. This yielded 3 pancakes, which gave me a full meal and a snack)
After gathering all of your ingredients (mine already happened to be in the house), mix it all into one bowl. I used about 1 teaspoon of regular sugar and sprinkled a good amount of cinnamon in!
When I put the ingredients in the bowl... I was kind of grossed out. It looked a lil nassssssty (haha). However, after throroughly mixing it for about 3 minutes, I was happy to find all of the ingredients happily mixing together:
MUCH better!
Next, heat up a flat skillet on medium heat with a dash of non-stick cooking spray. Once the pan is hot, pour a little mixture on! Like I said, I divided my "half batch" into thirds, yielding 3 pancakes. PS- don't make them too big because they can be hard to flip!
After cooking it for about 5 minutes, flip it to the other side. I found that these don't quick as fast as normal pancakes do. You don't want them doughy and you want to make sure the oatmeal cooks well. If its on medium heat, burning them shouldn't be an issue, so let em cook!
done! now get in mah belly
After both sides cook, enjoy! I decided to get all crafty and added a banana to my second pancake. Do this immediately after you pour the batter onto the pan so that they can cook in!
nummy naner
And that is it! Easy as pie. I put the leftover batter into the fridge, and it still tasted great the next day.

Now, I have to be honest. While I thought the pancakes tasted really good, I was CRAVING syrup... it sure is weird to "indulge" in syrup-less pancakes, so I decided to put a tiny amount of light maple syrup on mine. This made is perfect, and I didn't have one ounce of guilt :)

Plus, you are packing tons of protein into your belly between the egg whites and fat-free cottage cheese, and hardly any fat. Oatmeal is much better than flour, so I suggest fully enjoying these babies!

This is the website I found them from, there is also a video if you REALLY need help making these:

Enjoy :)