Taco Seasoning

This is our favorite mixture of taco seasoning, we make it the day we make our meat, but it can be stored in an air tight container to future use!

Using any protein of your choice, for any reason you want to have a taco seasoned meal!!!

Serves 4 (for one pound of protein)

3t Chili Powder
2t Ground Cumin
2t Garlic Powder
1t Onion Powder
1t Dried Oregano
1/4t Cayenne Pepper
1/2t Sea Salt
Ground pepper, to taste

Mix all together, and spread over protein before thoroughly cooking through.

Meal prep staple

It is football season, and there is now even less time to enjoy cooking without missing a crucial play.

Meal prep on Thursday, is now a thing. For me, at least. I also get Thursday's off, thanks boss!

A staple item in my fridge is CrockPot quinoa. I have variations on how I make it each time, this time with kale, but I always have it.

Rosemary Garlic Quinoa, with Kale

Rosemary Garlic Quinoa, with Kale

It's easy to season according to what protein you pair it with (this particular version is super yummy with chicken or fish), it is good cold or heated up, and it's super good for you! You can make dessert and breakfast variations, as well!! CrockPot is life, for a busy person who doesn't want to turn on the oven in Hawai'i.

What is your go-to meal/side?

Five Things Friday - 12/16/2016

Disclosure: I am a participant in several affiliate advertising programs; this post does contain affiliate links. I will only link you to things that I love, or have given an honest review about, so that you may take a look for yourself. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, to help with blog expenses when you make a purchase through an affiliate link. Thank you for your support! 

Hello!!! Long time, no chat! It's been chaotic few a few months. More on that later!

Here's what I've been favoriting lately:

1. These chips by Food Should Taste Good 
So good with cheese and meat, salsa, hummus, or on their own!! 😋 Amazon Prime friendly: Buy Here

2. Backpack purses. Hands free purse holding is amazing while eating, drinking, and shopping! I bought a convertible one a few weeks ago and it's THE BEST. I love this one that Nordstrom has.

3. This Bolt vacuum by Bissell. Amazon Prime friendly: Buy here

4. The feeling after a tough run, hello ENDORPHINS! Did you know there's a free virtual coach with Nike Run Club? Check out more info Here

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5. StitchFix, and this dress from there. I love the idea of someone curating a selection of items for me, based on my preferences. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE shopping and do a pretty good job, but having someone else look for items brings in a new perspective and can send me things I have a hard time finding! 

Sign up (or get the man/woman in your life a gift card!) here: Help my wardrobe!

Five Things Friday 2Sept16

Disclosure: I am a participant in several affiliate advertising programs.This post does contain affiliate links. I will only link you to things that I love, or have given an honest review about, so that you may take a look for yourself. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, to help with blog expenses when you make a purchase through an affiliate link. Thank you for your support! 

Hello, and Happy Friday!

Here are a few things I've found to be AMAZING!

1. Espresso Affagato Stratoimg_3081

I get coconut milk instead of whole, and an extra shot. SO GOOD!!! It's not at all Starbucks locations, though.

 

 

 

  2. The 2017 limited edition design of the Daily Desire Planner

img_3078 It was released August 31, and I'm eagerly awaiting mine to be delivered.

3. This yellow rhubarb cake with custard. It's an old recipe my grandma dug up for my birthday, using all of the adjustments my food intolerances need. SO GOOD (with coffee, too!)!

4. My cat. He just turned 10 years old, and doesn't act a day over 2!

5. The summer sun. So warm, and delivers vitamin D to all of the living creatures.

Five Things Friday 5Aug2016

Disclosure: I am a participant in several affiliate advertising programs.This post does contain affiliate links. I will only link you to things that I love, or have given an honest review about, so that you may take a look for yourself. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, to help with blog expenses when you make a purchase through an affiliate link. Thank you for your support! 

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1. Toasted cashews. Seriously YUM! I made a trail mix recipe that called for them, ADDICTED!

2. Pink Lemonade Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks. I buy them ALL when I see them in the store, they're seasonal.

3. Cran-Raspberry La Croix

It's slightly sweet, and slightly citris-y. Perfect for summer.

4. Cobian Braided Bounce flips. I'll own every color very soon.

5. Home Free TV show. Such an amazing purpose, who cares if it's possibly scripted. This is my first Five Things Friday style post, but I might make this a regular thing! We'll see how next week rolls out!

Fudge Bars

I have a confession, I eat dessert. 😱 I KNOW! Crazy humans.

SO Delicious makes the most amazing coconut milk fudge bars. Seriously, go buy some and find out for yourself!

Before I found these little guys, I was a sad panda. You see, my favorite ice cream is chocolate almond fudge (Cub Foods brand!), but I haven’t been able to eat it in YEARS after discovering my intolerance to dairy (all forms!), soy, gluten, and eggs. If you’re a restaurant server and see me coming, I’m sorry for the headache you’re about to get. I promise it’s legit, and I tip well!

While I had tried several many forms of frozen desserts, they just never satisfied that chocolate ice cream desire.

BUT THESE GUYS, they’re perfect.

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They even use eco-friendly sticks!

PERFECT!

😋

I wish I was paid by So Delicious to share about their products, but I’m not. So, instead just go buy some of these knowing you’re supporting an amazing brand with awesome products. And maybe write So Delicious and tell them I deserve free fudge bars for life. ;)

If you're a person, like me, who loves getting food delivered to their home, So Delicious is sold on Amazon. <-- That link is an affiliate link: If you happen to purchase anything through that link, I will financially benefit at no added cost to you!

What’s your favorite dessert/treat?

Meal Prep 2/1

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links but trust me, I'm super picky about what I link to. I won't lead you to weird stuff- just things to make your life more awesome. If you happen to purchase anything through the links, I will financially benefit at no added cost to you!

Yep, I meant to write this post the day after creating this awesome food but a huge snow storm came into town and instead of writing this post I spent way too much time in the car for appointments.

Here we go!

I had a can of coconut milk in the pantry and wanted to use it as many ways as possible for the upcoming week. I knew I was going to be out of town Friday and Saturday, so I had to make at least 7 days worth of food. I google'd and found this blog post: 10 Great Meals to Cook with Coconut Milk. Figured I would find at least one recipe I would like!

I found 2! I chose the Coconut Milk Soup with Wild Salmon, Winter Squash, and Kale and Coconut Ginger Fried Rice, where I then found this recipe for coconut milk rice pudding. YUM! In addition to my meal replacement shakes (monthly deliveries), GoGoSqueez Applesauce (subscribe and save to amazon Prime, get them delivered to your door and save a grocery trip!), Garuka Bars (also monthly deliveries!), and gluten free Cheerios, I knew I'd be set for the week!

I really like getting my food delivered, it saves a lot of poor decisions from being made in the grocery store, and a lot of time saved from needing to drive in the winter elements.

I had a lot of the items needed, except fresh greens and scallions, and made a few substitutions based on my preferences (I use Almond Milk instead of SoyMilk, etc) or what I had in the house, but everything turned out amazing and was EASY! It took 4 hours total from the time I unpacked the groceries until the time everything was packed up and in the fridge.

I used a whole serving of fish in each soup, instead of just one serving for the whole batch, because I like getting enough protein in each meal.

Meal Prep Feb 1 2016

Daily: Cereal (pre-workout), 2 meal replacement shakes, GoGo Squeez with Garuka Bar, greens and sweet potato, rice pudding, and alternated between the soup and fish with rice. This picture doesn't include my supplements of vitamins, and pre and post workout stuff.

Please let me know what you've created, I'm always looking for new recipes to mix things up!

I'm obsessed: Protein Mocha

Chocolate Coffee. mmm

Chocolate Coffee. mmm

Chocolate. Coffee. Vegan Protein. Need I say more?!

I've been toying around with variations in protein recipes, due to the need to up my protein intake with the amount of running I've been going through and will be going through since we are in marathon training.

I know that mixing hot liquids into [quality] protein powders will kill the enzymes and be less digestible, but my love of mochas needed to be satisfied at home (especially on those early morning runs in which coffee is needed after).

I received a sample of the Sun Warrior's Warrior Blend Chocolate protein powder after falling in love with their vanilla flavor, and KNEW this is what my gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free belly has been NEEDING! Holy YUM!

So here's what I do:

Make Cold Press Coffee Concentrate (original recipe) I pinned that here, I recommend doing the same.

  • 1 cup coffee beans, coarsely ground

  • 4 cups water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the grounds and the water to a 40-ounce or larger jar or pitcher with airtight lid. Stir. Put the lid on and put the jar/pitcher somewhere out of the way on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight.

  2. Let it sit for at least 6 hours, up to 12.

  3. Pour it into a French press and gently push down the plunger. Pour out the iced coffee concentrate.

Everyone needs one of these.

Everyone needs one of these.

Add 1/2 cup of water to each 1/2 cup of the concentrate. When you want the mocha, though, add 1/2-1 cup of ice to a blender, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of coffee concentrate, and 1 scoop chocolate protein powder. Blend until desired consistency.

Mix it up!

Mix it up!

Chocolate Protein AND COFFEE!!!

Chocolate Protein AND COFFEE!!!

Cold coffee on a hot day

Cold coffee on a hot day

All the goodness in a cup.

All the goodness in a cup.

When I know I'm going to gone for the day, I'll bring a scoop of the protein powder with me in a shaker cup and add an iced Americano to it.

SOO GOOOOOOD.

Let me know if you try this, or have a similar recipe you think I should try!

We love to travel

Spending time together is amazing, and since we both love to travel and experience what this life has to offer, we truly have a magical time together. My work schedule drastically changed in October 2014, and his changed only one month later.  I started working for myself 100%, I do not have a brick-and-mortor business which means I work whenever and wherever I want, and his job finally gave him a reasonable work/life schedule.

My boyfriend actually travels for his job, we like to call the down time on the road interviews for potential vacations.  Over the course of MANY years, and even more airports, there was always one place at the top of his list when we were able to take longer vacations than previous years: Providenciales.

We spent a day in the cold Minnesota winter talking about where we wanted to go on vacation in 2015, how much time to spend there, looked up when the best time to travel to all of those places would be, and matched them all up against his work schedule.  We spent 9 hours dedicated to this.  The end result: booked 45 nights of hotels rooms, 1 week in a family condo, 3 nights in an airbnb apartment, 10 roundtrip airline tickets, 4 inter-island airline tickets, and 1 rental car for a week.

The confirmed list for 2015: Palm Springs, CA San Diego, CA Las Vegas, NV Hawaii Provodenciales, Turks & Caicos Colorado (road trip to see family, with family. Will be a cheap trip, tons of fun!)

No, we're not rich.  Almost the opposite, really.  I budget, we utilize credit cards that offer travel rewards, he racks up frequent flier miles, bank the hotel rewards points, and then we decide what to spend cash on versus blow points on.  The freedom of working for myself is really what allows us to travel this much, and the fact that I like to travel CHEAP.

Part of the budgeting process is food, I need groceries where ever I go because: 1. food allergies, 2. I would rather spend time in the kitchen than money on a restaurant, and 3. I eat whenever I'm hungry & usually can't/won't wait for the kitchen to open.

I can not recommend a more important tip for traveling than getting at least a mini-fridge (tell the front desk you have medical needs, they should give it to you for free) and buying your food from the store, it will save you A LOT of money!

If you want to live this kind of life, I am more than happy to show you how.  I'll post more travel related topics, as I remember to write them down, and if you want to help people on your own terms like I do, please comment below or email me.  I'm more than happy to help you live the life you want!

Chicken, Bacon, Cream Cheese, Jalapeños - Need I say more?

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I was watching some cooking show, and saw a stuffed chicken creation. I didn't want to pound out the chicken to wrap the ingredients, so I decided I could just take the recipe, and make a sandwich with the chicken. I just needed to figure out the ingredients I would stuff into the chicken. Since I am gluten and dairy intolerant, jalapeños poppers are something I have not yet been able to enjoy out of the house.

That's what I would put into my chicken!

And why not wrap it in bacon?!

 Chicken stuffed with cream cheese & jalapeños, then wrapped in bacon. It was amazing! Original Recipe Here (Bigoven.com)

I adjusted the recipe for one serving, thankfully they have a little calculator on the BigOven sight to do the math for you, since I usually cook for myself.  

I fully intended on making two portions out of this, since it is a whopping 710 calories for one serving, but that did not happen.  

After one bite, I knew I was eating the whole thing!

Cleansing while eating chocolates. #winning

I'm cleansing today, right now, and wanted to share something pretty amazing.I'M EATING CHOCOLATE.

MMMM Chocolate

That's right, I'm eating chocolate, on a cleanse day.  I'm not doing a super long (2-days) cleanse like I previously wrote about (here), I'm only doing a 34-hour cleanse due to my training schedule for the half-marathon.  This time I started last night, and will finish tomorrow morning.  It's safe for me to go in public on cleanse days, as long as I have a glass of water nearby, or green tea, and don't sit in the car longer than my bladder can handle!  I simply drink fluids, eat some spree size candy-ish wafers, eat some chocolate squares, and take my vitamins.  I find that doing a cleanse day in my training schedule helps with the lactic build up in the muscles, and helps clean out the toxins my body soaks up while running outside.

I started this nutritional lifestyle May 2014.  My results have been: more energy, glowing skin (even my bf commented on it), zero sugar or caffeine cravings (I used to drink caffeine 3 times a day!), have released 10 pounds of fat, gained 5 pounds of lean muscle, feel less anxious and irritable, and I have experienced a huge mental clarity (like a thick layer of fog has been lifted from my head). This has been without any diuretics or laxatives!

I've never really written about it before, and thought how much of a disservice that is to you!

The basic program is comprised of Shake Days and Cleanse Days.  On Shake Days, you substitute two meals of your choice with a delicious shake, a nutrient-dense meal that is natural (artificial free), soy-free, and gluten-free. There is also a dairy free shake, which is what I use.  I know, I know, 'it's just a shake, I would get more if I ate food.'

There are 90 nutrients that the body needs (essentials) that it cannot create on it's own: amino acids, vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals.  Sixty of these are missing from our food due to our current food sources and soil depletion over the last 50 years.  In one of these shakes, you get all 90 essentials!  It's also the proper balance of carbs & protein to keep you feeling FULL, it is 250 calories so you won't be hungry until it's time for a snack in 2-3 hours!

The third meal of the day is a 400-600 calorie healthy, balanced, “knife & fork” meal of your choice. You must get in two healthy snacks (100-200 calories) throughout the day, as you should eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism going and prevent yourself from getting too hungry.  Increased thermogenesis can only be sustained while on a metabolism-enhancing diet (the body burns up to 10% of the calories with thermogenesis just after eating).

On Cleanse Days you drink a berry-flavored synergistic blend of gentle herbs and nutrients that support your body’s natural ability to remove toxins and impurities.

To support you on Cleanse Days you have wafers (in chocolate, vanilla, or berry) which help curb your appetite and support healthy blood sugar levels naturally with a balance of nutrients.

You also get CHOCOLATE, yes that’s right, CHOCOLATE on Cleanse Days. When your brain is low of “feel-good” chemicals, it seeks out sugar, junk food, and caffeine to artificially boost your energy and mood levels. These yummy chocolates are specially formulated with green tea extract, amino acids, antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals to help ease those cravings. They come in milk or dark chocolate, and are ESSENTIAL on Cleanse Days.

Good for you chocolate!!!

So here's the truth: I eat treats, desserts, chips, fries, syrup, etc, and that's because my goal for this lifestyle isn't to only drop fat.  I'm 5'3" and weigh 135 pounds, and an athlete.  I'm not looking to go to the Olympics, I'd cut out the junk food if that were the case.  My lifestyle isn't about restricting anything, I enjoy food that I like in moderation = portion sizes!  Unless it's a bag of jalepeno kettle chips, then I'm eating that entire thing in one sitting.  They're good, I'm proud of it.  I know that if I were to restrict food I'd see the fat MELT right off, but I can't maintain a restricted lifestyle and knowing my boundaries is important.  However, these shakes, bars, chips, and cleanse drinks allow me to RESET my body to the way I am comfortable.

I LOVE these products and how they make me feel so much that I am confident that I will be buying these groceries, and vitamins, for a very long time.  I take it everywhere, I have a snack box in my car with chocolate and a meal bar in it, and I take shakes, bars, cleanse, and chocolates with me when I travel.  TSA doesn't care, it's not liquid!

I also coach others on this life-changing program, which is an added bonus because I LOVE helping others achieve their goals, it is something I am very passionate about. This is not just for people who want to lose weight, there are professional athletes using this food in their own ways.  Athletes need to eat more, so they ADD meals and snacks to their day!  The professional athlete's are not paid-spokespeople either, they have to BUY this food just like I do.  It's the best out there!

Everything comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose except maybe a few extra pounds.

Are you ready to hit the button?

If you are interested in taking back control of your health once and for all and would like to join me on this exciting journey, please send me a message and let’s get started!  Email: emilyrunfree@gmail.com

How to Not Overeat

Happy International Be Happy Day!  In doing preparations for my first half-marathon, I read the book Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance, by Matt Fitzgerald.  Since I'm training for my second half-marathon in preparation for my first full, I decided to read the book again.

I've found a lot of the information beneficial to everyone, not just endurance athletes, which the book is geared toward.  For example, there's a section of managing your appetite and "How to Not Overeat:" 1. Learn the difference between belly hunger and head hunger 2. Clean out your kitchen of the low-quality temptations 3. Use smaller dishes 4. Spoil your appetite 5. Keep healthy foods handy 6. Plan for temptation 7. Avoid distracted eating 8. Limit Variety

Under each are tips and ideas of how to manage your appetite better.  There are three more books in my Kindle Library I 'must' read, so I better finish this book!

Since I love food, and can do a great job eating what's in front of me, there are times I eat faster than I should and regret it later when my belly is swollen, and I move slowly.  I'll keep my self in-check and hopefully not look like this:

What are your go-to books?  Have you read a Matt Fitzgerald piece?  What do you like to eat a LOT of?

56 Hour #Fast - WHY?

Monday morning I decided I needed to Fast, and I decided on a 56 hour Fast.  For me, that means not consuming a meal until Wednesday (today).  Purposefully not having a meal for an entire 56 hours, but if you really think about it I fasted for 64 hours because I slept 8 hours before waking up on Monday.  So I will now call it a 64 hour fast, but not retitle the blog post. :) The reason I chose to Fast is because I am getting ready to do some MAJOR training, I have thrown my name into the lottery for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon which is June 20th.  I have also registered for the Medtronic Marathon (here and here).  Going through a Fast gets my head into the game, makes me really plan what I need to achieve nutritionally, and to clean my body and mind of any nasty cravings.  I'll be doing a 64 hour Fast once, every other week.  The amount of inflammation alone that is removed through urination is AWESOME!  Professional athletes complete a 24 hour Fast on their "rest" days, so I may switch to those once my actual 12 week training program begins.

I successfully completed my 64 hour fast when I woke up this morning, and had an amazing breakfast to replenish the natural nutrients I need.  I had a vegan protein shake, and a Protein Ice Cream Shake.  The Ice Cream shake counts as my snack for the morning, too.  I did a little research into the history of fasts, because some people question why do them, and it's the Christian Faith that really populated my search feed.  I encourage you to do a search of your own, in case you're on the fence.  I don't nutritionally deplete my body, I follow a system that includes herbal remedies (that taste good, to me) infusing the body with healthy nutrients.

During my short research into Fasts, I also found this little picture, and noticed the Fast side is basically how I already function.  I have nutritional meal replacements (~250 calories each) for breakfast and lunch/dinner, have a few small snacks in between, and then a sit down lunch/dinner (~400-600 calories).  I'll need to be conscience about the meat, but I believe I can handle it.  Now I consider what to 'give up' for Lent.

This is already how I eat, except the meat part.

Are you able to follow this type of Fast pictured? Would you follow the fast I just completed? Are you abstaining from anything for Lent?