Updates-Taco Tuesday Recipe-Music

Hi All,

Can’t believe it’s already September! Speaking of which….Why are Halloween decorations already for sale? No, wait, why are THANKSGIVING decorations already for sale?

Stop- slow down…smell the roses! Time is flying by so fast… everybody needs to relax.

My Husband and I completed our second mud run- Warrior Dash … what can I say, we love getting down and dirty.

We wanted to get one more trip in before the end of the year so we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in Prague!

This past weekend my two other blog-mates and I got to stand along side our friend and watched her marry the love of her life.

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I discovered a delicious taco bake recipe that I would like to share with all of you! I am in love with this recipe for several reasons: It’s versatile (can add/swap ingredients), make a big batch to last all week or to freeze, it’s low carb, easy and quick to cook.

Taco bake recipe found here *I did make some changes to fit my needs so check out the original if you do not wish to follow mine

Ingredients

Crust

  • 4oz of cream cheese softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 8oz shredded cheddar cheese (I used taco blend- that’s what I had on hand)

Topping

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I did not have this on hand so I used marinara and tasted just fine!)
  • 4oz chopped green chilies
  • 4oz shredded cheddar cheese (I used taco blend)

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Beat cream cheese and eggs until smooth
  • Add whipping cream and seasoning- blend well
  • Grease a 9 x 13 pan
  • Spread shredded cheese evenly throughout the bottom of the pan and slowly and evenly pour egg/cream cheese mixture on top
  • Bake for approx 30 min
  • While your crust is baking, cook the beef until brown.
  • Drain fat
  • Stir in chilies, taco seasoning and tomato sauce
  • Once crust is cooked, remove from oven and let it sit for 5 min. Then spread meat mixture over crust, top with additional shredded cheese.
  • Lower oven temp to 350F
  • Bake for another 20 min or until bubbly. I like my cheese more burnt so I baked for approx 30 min.

Additional topping ideas:

  • Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, scallions.

I divided the pan into 8 squares- one square for lunch each day this week and some left over slices for Hubby to enjoy with a side of brown rice and salad.

Sooooo… some music for ya. I have to listen to people all day long and sometimes, I just love the silence. Don’t we all? But, I don’t like to work out in silence… that’s just boring. I have found a happy medium for anyone in the same predicament.

Instrumental music! Don’t sigh at me. Give it a chance… here is some of the music I’ve been listening to:

Lindsey Stirling- Swag

Lindsey Stirling- The Arena

Lindsey Stirling- First light

Audiomachine- Legions of Doom

Jorge Quintero- 300 Violin Orchestra

London Music Works- Requiem For a Tower

Roberto Concina Escala Chris Elliot- Children

I have some more recipes for you but I will be posting in the days to come. Let me know if you like this music, I can give you all some more ideas.

Xoxo,

Rachel

 

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Three Ways to Use Reddit for Weightloss

Reddit is confusing and weird. To the uninitiated, Reddit is about as charming as an oil slick. As far as social networks are concerned, my roommate sums it up perfectly as “the cool one.”

In terms of overall troll volume, Reddit puts the collected works of Scandinavian folklore to shame. These purveyors of wanton cruelty possess not only an impressive ability to conjure the most unnecessary opinion humanly possible, but also the baffling desire to share such opinion in matters that don’t concern them.

How to Use Reddit for Good

Because Reddit will greet you with the warm embrace of a massive forest fire, it might not seem like a great place for fitness tips and motivation. But don’t be scared!

The truth is that Reddit is home to some excellent (and highly unique) forums which can serve as wonderful resources on your fitness journey. The following sub-reddits are mostly troll-free, and some have features which I haven’t found elsewhere on the internet.

  1. Progress Pics

    This sub-reddit allows you to view and post progress pictures, but it also has a really cool feature. Look to the right of the page, and you will see buttons where you can click on “Male” or “Female”

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Click the appropriate sex, and the field expands (magically) as follows: unspecified.png

You can search before and after pictures by sex and height, which means that you can easily browse through hundreds of photos of people who approximate your own stats. You can often talk to those people, read about them, and learn what they did to lose weight.

You can also post your own photos to help others. I posted my own photo a little while back, along with a short description of my journey. In response, I received dozens of kind comments, many from people with similar stats as my own thanking me for the inspiration. Some people asked me questions about what I did specifically to lose weight. All questions were summarily ignored! #kidding

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My post on progress pics.

2. Lose it

Lose it is a more general forum, where you can ask questions, post pictures, and discuss a number of fitness and weight loss related topics. You can also participate along with thousands of other people in daily, weekly and monthly challenges, which can be found on the right side of the page:

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I’m not much of a tracker, but if you do track or if you want to try it – this is a great resource. In total, over 339,000 pounds have been lost with the help of the Lose it subreddit!

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3. Veg Recipes and Paleo Recipes

Veg Recipes

Even if you eat meat, veg recipes is an excellent forum to find interesting and delicious vegetarian recipes, which are often quite simple and healthy. With a community of around 37,000 people – there are constantly new recipes to try.

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Ok, so maybe stay away from that last one.

Unlike the previous two  forums, Veg Recipes is NOT specifically for weight loss. But because I’ve found so many wonderful recipes here, it’s definitely worth checking out. Challenge yourself to make a new vegetarian recipe every week! Healthy food does not need to be bland food.

Paleo Recipes

Despite being a smaller community of less than 5,000, Paleo Recipes also has a lot to offer, ranging from breakfasts to snacks and desserts.  Here are just a few examples of what you can find there right now:

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In Sum

The above forums are just a few resources on Reddit that I use regularly and love.  There are so many more out there despite the fact that Reddit is, for the most part, a hell hole.

If you’re new to Reddit, you can avoid trolls, meanies, and negative nancies by starting out with the links above. Then, if you enjoy any particular forum, you can find links to related  sub-reddits on the right hand side of the page.

You can also use Reddit’s search feature to look for key words, but be wary – you might end up in troll territory. Or in a forum with very few users that is rarely updated.

If you have any sub-reddit you love, please do share.

..And remember, don’t feed the trolls!

**UPDATE**: Reddit Trolling has officially gotten so bad, that I just got Reddit trolled while sharing this post on Facebook.

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In any event, he’s right. Just the other day, I spent about four hours in the Reddit black hole after coming across a post about husbands who cheat on their wives. This topic has zero relevance to my life, but in any event – during that four hour period, not a single slice of pizza was consumed. Success.

Happy Redditing :]

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“One Step” Slow Cooker Chicken

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Ok, so really it’s TWO steps.  Three if you count buying the chicken, and four if you count turning the knob on your slow cooker. Reasons why this recipe is awesome:

  • Simplicity/Affordability
    • Ridiculously simple;
    • Only takes TWO ingredients;
    • Perfect for people who can’t afford salt.
  • Deliciousness. Juiciness factor = high; A++
  • Appeal to Sadism. You get to bathe a chicken breast in its own broth.  And then you get to eat it.

BUT! Take heed: This dish is NOT pretty. In fact, it looks gross. Save something else for date night.

You’ll need:

  • A Slow Cooker
  • Chicken Breast (as a typical white person, I prefer Organic)
  • Chicken Broth (as a typical white person, I prefer Swanson)

Procedure:

1. Apply raw chicken breast to slow cooker. To avoid contracting Salmonella, ask an elderly neighbor to handle the chicken for you.

2. Apply broth to chicken. One cup broth per chicken breast = good, but you can probably get away with a little less.

3. Turn knob. Try not to hurt your wrist.

  • For juicy results: 7 to 8 hours on LOW is ideal.
    • 3.5 to 4 hours on HIGH works too.
  • Time Adjustments: Cook time assumes you’re cooking three lightly frozen chicken breasts in three cups of broth. Adjust up or down based on:
    • how many breasts you’re handling; AND
    • the frostiness of said breasts

Dinner is Served!

This chicken is PERFECT for shredding (imagine – salads/tacos) but also quite yummy whole. There’s no need to season or salt it, but if that is your most urgent desire, I’m not going to jump through your computer screen and stop you.

If you’re interested in experiencing heaven on earth, try it with a side of aromatic jasmine rice and greek yogurt.  It’s yummy, healthy, and (presumably) John Stamos approved.

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So good for you. 

Added bonus – your kitchen will smell awesome for hours.

Happy Slow Cooking 🙂

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Coconut Fried Bananas

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sizzle sizzle

You want fried dessert, but you don’t want to hate yourself.  This takes 4.5 seconds to make, and requires two ingredients.

All you need is:

  1. Two bananas
  2. 2 tbsp of coconut oil

About the bananas: 

  • Pick bananas that are not too ripe. No matter what you do, the bananas will stick to the pan a little bit. The less ripe, the less they’ll stick. Frying them in oil will bring out the natural sweetness in any event.
  • I get my bananas from 7/11, because I’m a scumbag. Don’t be like me. Use better bananas.
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this is what a sad 7/11 banana looks like

About the oil: 

  • I keep my coconut oil in the fridge, which means it’s hard. I let it sit out for a few minutes prior to using.
  • I use Carrington Farm’s 100% organic coconut oil, because that’s what I have. Ideally I would use Trader Joe’s everything. But this works fine.
  • Use plenty of oil. These bananas will stick.

 

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my 2nd favorite coconut oil

What to do:

  1. Slice bananas
  2. Get pan a bit hot, then add 2 tablespoons coconut oil.
  3. When oil is beginning to get hot, add sliced bananas
  4. Cook as needed. 30 seconds – 1 min per side seems to work for me. 
  5. Brag to your roommate about what happened to all of the bananas

 

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Cheesy Cauliflower!

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I have these moments where I need to clear out. Get rid of everything! I don’t like things… I’m pretty sure in one of my most recent posts I touched upon my hatred of chachkas. So this post is dedicated to shopping in your own kitchen.

It’s unclear why we have bags and bags of frozen cauliflower but I was determined to use it this week. Clear out the fridge/freezer and spend less on food shopping… Yes, please!

Disclaimer– this recipe is addictive. In my opinion, it tastes like a really healthy version of macaroni and cheese. If you’ve always been open to sharing your plate with others, this will change everything. You will become selfish and overprotective of your food. This will bring out a different side of you.

My husband hates cauliflower… I was tempted to make him try this last night to change his mind. But beast mode came out and I kept this to myself. More cauliflower for me….More faux mac and cheese for me.

My only regret is that since it was a test recipe, I made very little of it. I will only have enough for 3 days worth of lunches but I want it for lunch forever and ever and ever.

Low Carb Chicken Cauliflower Casserole adapted from here

Recipe yields 3 cups. I recommend doubling up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower (I used ShopRite steam in bag)
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup cooked chicken (I bought rotisserie and shredded it)
  • ¼ cup salsa verde (I used Herdez)
  • Pinch of salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Although, if you like a kick, maybe some pepperjack cheese!
  • *Optional: Chopped scallions (which I used) and chopped red/green peppers
  • *Optional: Red pepper flakes (which I used)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Microwave cauliflower as per directions on bag
  • Place cauliflower into an ovenproof dish (Pyrex is my fave)
  • Add the cream cheese, microwave for another 20- 30 seconds
  • Mix cream cheese and cauliflower together
  • Add chicken, salsa verde,seasonings, shredded cheese and the optional ingredients
  • Mix everything together and cook for 20-30 min. I like mine more crispy and crunchy so I cooked it closer to 30 minutes.

Let me know what you think and if you added any other ingredients.

 

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Low Carb V-Day Dessert Alert!

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“Scale, scale on the floor, who’s the fittest of them all?” Obviously you and me because we decided not to give into temptation and eat all those delicious heart shaped candies.

This won’t be a long post because I need to make this cheesecake and let it cool before the season premier of “The Walking Dead” tonight!

Few things before we begin:

*I’ve only made this in mini meatloaf pans and it’s yielded enough for two pans. I am sure this can be done in a cake pan and a cupcake pan but I haven’t tried them yet.

*Great make-ahead dessert/treat. They freeze very well.

*I’ve kept them in the fridge, stored in ziplock bags and they held up for five days. I am not sure about any longer.

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Recipe

1- 8oz package of cream cheese

1 egg

8 Splenda packets

1 tbls vanilla extract

1 tbls Torani sugar free chocolate macadamia nut syrup (If you do not have this, I suggest using a teaspoon of vanilla extract)

*Optional: cocoa powder or crushed nuts, or fruit like blue berries, or crushed bakers chocolate

*Optional: Top it off with some fresh fruit and whipcream

I used chopped walnuts and lined the pan with the walnuts to make a “crust”

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix all ingredients together

Grease your pan (I used PAM)

If you are lining your dish with crushed walnuts, do that first and pour batter on top. If not, pour batter into dish

Bake for approx 40-45 min or until cake looks golden brown

Please make sure to refrigerate before eating. It tastes much better chilled. Last time I made them, I put them in the freezer to cool off because we were impatient and wanted them ASAP. So remember to refrigerate or freeze prior to eating.

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Take a pizza my heart

Let me preface this by saying dinner was so easy to make and Hubby approved ::two thumbs up::

I introduce to you my cheat clean dinner for the week…drum roll please!!!!

*Tortilla pizza*

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Be still our hearts… friends, our pizza days are not over…just modified.

As you get to know me, you’ll see I focus on high protein-low carb meals. Carbs have always been a big problem for me. Unfortunately they don’t go straight to my ass, more like my stomach and thighs 😦 Ok, less about me and more about this pizza.

One Mission tortilla= 6 carbs Trader Giotto’s Rustica sauce = 4 carbs per 1/2 cup (trust me, you won’t need to use that much for one slice) and zero carbs for cheese and Hormel turkey pepperoni. Max carbs for this meal is 10 grams.

Here’s what you got to do:

Preheat oven to 350 F

Spray your baking sheet with cooking spray

Lay your heavenly wrap on the sheet

Spread sauce, cheese, and pepperoni on top (remember, you can substitute with any topping or no topping at all…ain’t nothing wrong with the ol’ reliable cheese and sauce)

Pop it in the oven to desired crispiness. Personally, the crispier the better. I love the crunch! – This was about 10 min.

Serve with a side salad and I’d say you got yourself a gourmet Italian dinner 😉

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