What does “healthy” mean?

On October 8, 2016 I crossed the finish line of the Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon, then stopped running.  I did not run again until almost one month later.   I took that time as an opportunity to slow down and reflect.  I thought about the past six months of training, about what I want to accomplish in the upcoming months.   I also took a step back and thought about my overall health.

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 For almost a year I was a bit obsessed with fitness and looking back now, it was probably an unhealthy obsession.  This time to reflect has made me dig deep and think about what health means to me.   One thing I learned about myself is I can accomplish amazing things if I set my mind to it, so that was pretty cool.  But what I am figuring out is how to weigh the risk and reward.  

I was so fixated on body image as a measure of my health.  I would constantly look at my abs and think they weren’t good enough.  I rarely had dessert and almost never drank alcohol, even at BBQs and parties.  I had to exercise every day, and if I didn’t I was very cranky and sometimes mean.   I think something that opened my eyes was I kept trying to buy smaller and smaller clothes.  At one point I bought a pair of LUCKY jeans which were two sizes smaller than my average size.   I got them over my thighs (which is usually my largest area) and bought them immediately, feeling so proud of my accomplishment of fitting into this pair of pants.   Then, the first time I wore them I was so uncomfortable!  The band was cutting into my hips!  It suddenly dawned on me, no matter how hard I exercise, and deprive myself, these pants, or any size smaller for that matter, will never fit.  These are bones,  They are not going to shrink!  I am 5’9’’ tall and have had two children.  This is my physiology.    So, why am I killing myself?  My family does not care if I am a size 8 or a size 12.  They love me no matter what.  My kids won’t remember if I have tight abs, but they will remember if I am cranky around them.  My friend’s won’t care how I look in a bathing suit, but they will care if I keep saying no to desserts they lovingly bake in their kitchen for my enjoyment.  My pants will never love me, but my family does and I need to love myself.  

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Now, this is not to say that I still don’t LOVE fitness, and setting goals, and challenging my limits!  I will continue to do so, but maybe I will be a little kinder to myself, indulge a little, and live a lot more.    Keep my honest guys 🙂 

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Back to the Kitchen

I am not a naturally talented cook, and time is not on my side.

Kindergarten just started for my oldest.  I can’t believe I am actually a mom of a child in the public school system!  With that came a new routine for the family.  Two stops before home to pick up the kids after work, a night of gymnastics, homework, and an additional lunchbox to pack.


Also with the kids back at school and summer officially “over” it seems like my regular job has also kicked into high gear, so naturally the first thing to go was cooking new meals.  I fell back to relying on the quick and easy recipes.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with quick, easy, and reliable meals.. it just gets boring!

Last year when I was obsessed with 21 day fix, it forced me to try new recipes and I loved it.  I had to plan out my meals, buy food, and try to cook something new, different, and nutritious.  Now, I know realistically I can’t do that every night, but I want to try and make a few new recipes a week to keep it fun.

Last year I bought myself the cookbook Thug Kitchen and made a few recipes from the book.   This weekend I pulled it out again, peruse through it and picked out 2 recipes to try for the week.  The first is a chickpea and broccoli burrito, the second is a beet and quinoa salad.  Plus this book is funny as F*, and no I am not a vegan.


Tonight I made the chickpea and broccoli burrito.  By the time I got home it was 6:15pm, I had dinner at 7:30.  The kids had chicken nuggets.   Time was needed to chop an onion, pepper, and broccoli crown.  I used canned chickpeas.  The rest was adding spices and roasting in the oven for 35 minutes.    I put it on one of the Tumaro’s whole wheat wraps and added some spinach.  I was planning on adding avocado but it wasn’t ripe enough.  wah wah.   Verdict:  DELICIOUS!  Totally loved it, and after putting the recipe into the myfitness pal recipe creator the entire meal was only 300 calories and a perfect blend of protein, carbs, and fat.  I have enough left for 2 lunches this week too, because let’s face it I am the only one in this house who will eat it (I cut this recipe in half).  Maybe my son will try it, he’s my adventurous eater.   You can find the whole recipe here and transcribed below.  Next time I’ll add more lime… who doesn’t love lime?  Happy eating!

ROASTED CHICKPEA & BROCCOLI BURRITO

3 cups of cooked chickpeas (2-15 ounce cans, drained)
1 large yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
1 large crown of broccoli
4 cloves of garlic (I used goya minced garlic)
1 lime (I used lime juice)
Spice Blend:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (You can usually find this old school hippie shit near the vinegars or soy sauces in the healthy eating section of most big grocery stores and on the internet)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander or more cumin if you don’t want to go to the storeblack pepper or cayenne pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop up the onion, bell pepper, and broccoli so that all the pieces about the size of a chickpea. Chop up the garlic real small but save that shit until later. Place all the chopped up veggies in a large bowl with the cooked chickpeas. Pour in the oil and soy sauce, stir, and then throw all the spices in there. Mix until all the vegetables and shit are covered.

Put all of that on a large rimmed baking sheet (like what you would put cookies on but with an edge) and bake for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven, don’t fucking burn yourself, add the garlic, and bake for another 15 minutes. The broccoli will look a little burnt at this point but that is the plan so chill the fuck out and take it out of the oven. Squeeze the juice of half of the lime over the pan and stir the roasted chickpeas and veggies all around. Taste some and see if it needs more spices or anything. Now make a fucking burrito. I like mine with spinach, avocado, cilantro, and some fire roasted salsa but you do your thing

makes 6-8 burritos