Tuesday, May 31, 2011

By Popular Demand: 2 Summer Recipes!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Memorial Day Weekend!  We had a blast at our little cookout on Saturday, and I had a few requests for the recipes we had in our spread.

Here they are!  They're both super easy, light and healthy:    

Cilantro/Lime Salsa:
  • - 1 medium yellow onion
  • - 1 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (the big can)
  • - 1 jalapeno
  • - 1 tiny clove garlic
  • - Approx 1 cup cilantro
  • - Salt to taste
  • - 1-3 limes (depending on how juicy they are)
You basically just add everything to the food processor in a specific order - the first things you add will be mostly for flavor so it doesn't matter how much you pulse them - you need to be more careful with the stuff you add at the end to make sure it doesn't become like a salsa soup =)

I start by adding the cilantro (about a handful), garlic, about 1/2 tablespoon salt and juice from 1-2 limes to the food processor.  Pulse until garlic is finely ground - scrape the sides to make sure it's all mixed.

Add jalapeno - pulse a few times to roughly chop.

Add the onion - pulse 5-6 times to give it a rough chop - the onion should still be in pretty large chunks.

Drain about 1/2 the liquid from the can of tomatoes and add the can to the food processor.  Pulse 2-3 times to mix everything together.

And that's it!  Give it a taste and add more lime, cilantro, salt if necessary (I tend to like my salsa very lime-y and cilantro-y) but only pulse a few times each time you add something.  The idea is to keep the onion and tomato in generally big pieces.

Black Bean / Corn Salad:
  • - 2 12 oz cans black beans
  • - 1 12 oz can corn
  • - 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • - 2 poblano peppers
  • - 1 fresh tomato, diced
  • - 1-3 limes (depending on how juicy)
  • - Approx 1 cup cilantro
  • - Approx 3/4 cup parsley
  • - Approx 2 tbs olive oil
  • - Salt and pepper to taste
Seriously - this recipe is crazy easy.  Drain and rinse beans and corn - add to a big bowl with diced tomato and bell pepper.

The only effort is in roasting/peeling the poblanos.  Grill over open flame, turning every minute to make sure pepper is nicely charred on all sides (or just roast in the oven, 400 degree about 10 minutes), then sweat in a plastic bag for 10 minutes.  Peel the charred skin - dice peppers and add to bowl.

Chop parsley and cilantro, add to bowl.

Dress with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper and toss it all together.  And that's it!  Super easy =)

I assure you, these are super simple recipes and are always big crowd-pleasers.  The salsa, obviously, is great with tortilla or pita chips, and the salad can be served on it's own or as a dip (it's great with Tostitos Scoops!).

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

SO excited for the weekend!!!

My brothers are here!!  I'm so excited!!!

While I know Memorial Day is a time to remember those who fought and are fighting for our wonderful country (THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!!!), it's also the unofficial beginning of summer and trust me - I have been looking forward to it for WEEKS!!  We have had the crappiest weather I have ever seen since we've been in Colorado and it's finally back to normal.  I can't wait to get outside this weekend!

While almost all of my previous Memorial Day weekends were spent at our lakehouse in South Carolina, this year we will be going all out, Colorado style =)  Like I mentioned, my brothers got into town late last night (or should I say, early this morning...ugh) due to the crazy storms in Atlanta, and I can't wait to show them my little town!!

We'll start by hitting up some breweries - our local favorite being the Great Divide
 - and we'll probably hit Coors and our favorite little rooftop dive/bar called Fainting Goat.
 I'm actually quite concerned about 1) my diet and 2) my sleep schedule for the next few days.  Keeping up with 21 and 23 year old boys is going to be exhausting.  Thankfully, though, I have the altitude on my side =)

Tomorrow I am THRILLED about!  We have an amazing network out here in Denver and we will be throwing a fun little grill-out party all day.  We have a ton of friends stopping by, and we've taken the initiative to invite some of our non-psycho neighbors, so it should be a super fun time!  I'm still trying to get everyone on board for water-balloon toss and something dorky like an egg relay race, but I'll settle for corn-hole, ladder-golf, beer, food and friends =)  I can't wait!! 

Sunday is going to be COLORADO day!  We're planning to do something athletic so hiking is definitely in the cards, it's just a matter of where!  We could go to Red Rocks, maybe around Boulder and see CU campus, go to Breckenridge, or we could even head out to Rocky Mountain National Park!  It's still up in the air and it will totally depend on how everyone is feeling, but regardless, I'm excited to show my Southern little bros what the mountains look like =)

And then Monday is Memorial Day!  They're flying out Monday and my goal is for them to go home and convince my mom that the whole Porcheddu clan should move here =)  We'll see how that goes.
Hope everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!!  What are you up to??

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quick update on Fitness!

Okay - I'm going to try to make this quick.  I will likely fail - we know how difficult "making it quick" is for me.

A few months ago, I mentioned that I have been mega-inspired by my amazing girlfriends who have been losing weight (another shoutout - ya'll ROCK!!!).  So I put on my copy-cat panties (ahhhh panties!), did some research, and decided to join a fitness program out here in Denver that's a little different than your typical 24-hour or LA Fitness gym.  I actually called my local gym and put my membership on hold for 4 months so I could take part in this program (sounds totally backwards, right?  Cancel a gym membership to get back in shape??).

Not to knock my little gym - I love them - but I just wasn't motivated to go by myself anymore.  I needed someone to kick my butt, so I took the plunge, dropped the cash, and joined BodyLab Fitness.

 (for kicks, my local gym is Powerhouse Fitness and I have to say, I love those guys and I can't wait to start going there again in June!  I just needed the fire and inspiration to actually GO there again)

BodyLab is different from most gyms - they run a weekly schedule with workouts that work your main muscle groups.  When you join, you commit to a number of sessions versus a monthly membership - and it's hard-core, marine bootcamp style stuff.  They change their workouts every two weeks (to prevent muscle plateaus), and they expect to see you 3-4 times per week. 

What's awesome is that they max out each session at 6 people - I've only been a few times and actually had a full class - which means a couple things:  1 - you get personal attention (which can be awesome...but can also really not be so fun!) and 2 - they get to know you VERY well (which again...is awesome but horrible at the same time).

Literally, if you don't show up, they call or email you (essentially it's harassment!) and tell you to get your booty back to the gym.  They also monitor your food intake, but not just in terms of calories.  They monitor where calories are coming from to ensure you're getting the proper ratios of carbs to fats to PROTEIN (I am now addicted to protein...).  Which is insanely helpful - I mean - I can eat 1200 calories a day and that's fine, but if I'm eating 1200 calories and over 1/2 of them are coming from fat, then what's the point - I'm not going to build any muscle or help my body rebuild itself and get into tip top shape.  It's totally made me change the way I think about the food I eat.  I used to worry about eating too much protein, and now I feel like I can't eat enough of it!

Okay - so the short post thing is out the window.  I've accepted that - let's continue...

My results.  They do a fit-test when you join just to see where you are from an overall fitness perspective.  It totally reminded me of the PE tests we did in elementary school.  The fit-test is comprised of:
  • - # push-ups in 2 minutes
  • - # sit-ups in 2 minutes
  • - # pull-ups in 2 minutes (or how long you can hold pull-up position if you can't do one...like me *hehe)
  • - # sprints in 2 minutes
They also take your overall weight and then calculate your % body fat to see where you are.

Here's the personal part - I won't disclose weight since I know that can be a sensitive subject - but let's say I started in February at my absolute heaviest I had EVER been in my life.
  • - Body fat = 34%
  • - 1 push-up
  • - 30 sit-ups
  • - 0-second pull-up hold (lame noodle arms!)
  • - 40 sprints
Overall - not too shabby...but I was pissed about the push-up thing.  Oh and my % body fat...since mine means I'm obese.  Yes - for women, a body fat % of over 29-30 (depending on where you look) = obese.  The range I'm shooting for is in the mid-low 20's which is considered good for my age (as a comparison - in college I was at 22% body fat - which confirms that I was a total whale in February!).

Okay - so that's super personal.  I can't believe I'm telling you all this.

So that was back in February when I first started with BodyLab.  I had my 6-week fit-test back in April, and I was actually THRILLED with the results.  Which I will share =)
  • - Body fat = 30% (still obese - but waaay lower!)
  • - 29 push-ups (so pissed I didn't get 30!!!)
  • - 35 sit-ups
  • - 3 second pull-up hold
  • - 43 sprints (and again - I'm actually quite angry about this - I couldn't breathe after my 40 sprints before and after 43 sprints I was totally fine...which means I didn't go fast enough...ARGH!)
And the weight?  I was down 7lbs - which I would have been super disappointed with if it wasn't for the body fat %.  I actually lost 11 lb's of fat and gained 4 lb's of muscle - which is absolute insanity to me!

At this point - I have one month left with BodyLab and I cannot WAIT to see where my final results will be.  I've been buying new clothes in celebration - only to have to return them mere weeks later since they are all too big.  Very exciting stuff!

So that's where I am right now.  Oh...also...I hadn't been able to run in over a year due to my huge-ness and it causing me immense pain in my knees.  After going to BodyLab, dropping some weight, getting some new running shoes and learning some new stretches, I'm proud so that I'm back to hitting the pavement 3-4 times per week!  I am loving all of this right now, and I can't wait to see how far I can push it =)

I seriously have re-discovering my passion for fitness and I don't know...maybe this will be the first step in a major life/career/priority shift for me.  Who knows.  All I can say is that right  now, I'm happy...and I have to go since I have a training session in an hour =)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Words with Friends...oh no...

Have ya'll found this game?  If you haven't, do NOT click the link below and download it for your phone.  If you're anything like me, you will become addicted and your productivity levels will drop significantly...

If you have found this game, send me your name so we can play!!!  I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours!

This is just one of the fun things I picked up while spending some time with family this weekend.  Thanks a lot, Kathy!!!  Now I have a new game to play that will not only feed my competitive side, but I feel as though I'm exercising brain muscles I haven't used in a while (I've never played Scrabble before...judge me).

I have also discovered playing this game can lead to marital disputes...so proceed with caution =)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

So many things...

I have so many things to update you on!!!

I'm sorry...I have so many things on which to update you!!!  (ending sentence in a preposition...)

However, I've had, like, zero time.  I for real wish that I could get an extra few hours out of the day, but alas, my time-machine broke in college and I haven't found anyone to fix it.

My goodness, I'm feeling sarcastic today =)

Anyway, here's my list of hopeful topics for the next few postings:
  • - Birthday weekend in San Diego with Crystal (SO much fun!!!)
  • - Easter Supper hosted by the Felices (again...SO fun!)
  • - Check in on my journey back to fitness (just had to...let's just say someone is down quite a few lb's)
  • - Visiting family in DC and seeing our Nation's Capital for the first time EVER
  • - Atlanta Wedding Weekend(s) EXTRAVAGANZA (hasn't happened yet...but I know I'll want to share!)
  • - Other general life updates =)  No...not pregnant.  Definitely not.
 And aside from these updates, I would also like to quickly state that my DWTS predictions have been spot on this season, even if I haven't had a chance to share with you.  However, today I'm torn.  I have a feeling either Romeo or Kendra will go home...but I also feel like Ralph could be in some trouble too.  This is the first week I actually don't want to see someone go so I'm actually really nervous.

As long as Kirstie and Hines make it to the finals, this lady will be a happy camper.  As far as I'm concerned, that third spot could seriously be taken by any of the other folks, however if we're going based on raw dance talent, Chelsea deserves it.  I'm just not sure who's voting for her!  And of course, my heart wants Ralph to stay in it, but his age is starting to show...and Romeo has been seriously surprising...I just don't know!

So there you have it - some topics that I'm hoping I get to share with you over the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned and hope everyone is doing well!!!
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