Fun and games! + Cumin Chicken and Black Beans with Artichoke Salsa

Hello, hello!

You’ll never believe what we did at CrossFit this morning!

Our warm-up was …. FREEZE TAG!

Seriously!!  We were like a bunch of little kids running around the box!

But, it wasn’t just your plain ole boring version of freeze tag where you’re frozen until someone “unfreezes” you.  Oh no.  This was special.

If you were tagged, you had to do air squats (1st game), push ups (2nd game), and burpees (3rd game).

I didn’t end up doing the air squats because I was a tagger for that one.  Had a blast chasing people around! 🙂

And boy was I trying to avoid the tag during the burpees round.  Was all out sprinting at times!  Haha!

It really was a creative and fun way to warm up!

Then, we did a girl WOD today – Isabel.


Isabel is 30 snatches for time.  Rx weight for ladies was 65#.

We worked on our one rep max leading in to the WOD.

I got up to 75#!

I did one and Joe walked by and made a comment about me using my hips more.

Of course, after that, I couldn’t do another because I was focusing on my hips and not on just doing it.  I think I probably could have done another – or, maybe, that really is my one rep max.  Either way, I power snatched 75#!!  WOOT!

So, of course, 65# for the WOD was easy peasy.

Um, no.  Who am I kidding?  It was definitely NOT easy.

But, I knocked it out in 4:06 and I was pretty darned pleased with my performance. 🙂

I’ve really come a long way with regards to the snatch.  It’s amazing to me sometimes when I think back about how much trouble I had with 45#.

I love getting stronger!

strong girl


So, last night, I was wiped out from yesterday’s track workout and a full day at work and was so totally not in the mood to cook when I get home.

I really try to plan ahead but, sometimes, I just don’t want to do anything.

But, I was hungry (as usual).

And so was everyone else.

So, I had to figure something out that didn’t involve ordering a pizza.

I grabbed a few things from the pantry and some chicken breasts from the fridge.

And dinner happened.


Cumin Chicken & Black Beans with Artichoke Salsa

serves 4

1 bag brown rice (cooks for 10 minutes in the microwave)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt, to taste
2/3 cup black beans (or use more – Thing 2 wished there were more)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (14 ounce) artichokes, drained and chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped (I didn’t have fresh so I pulled about 4 out of a can of peeled whole tomatoes)
1/4 cup onion, chopped (I used yellow but red would be good, too)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 lemon, optional
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Prepare the rice according to the package directions.

2. Combine artichokes, tomatoes, onions and parsley in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Pat the chicken dry, cut into chunks and season with the cumin and salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until almost cooked through. Add black beans and cook until chicken is done.

4. Serve chicken and black beans over brown rice and top with artichoke salsa. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon, if desired.

5. Om nom nom!


Questions:  When was the last time you played freeze tag?  Or duck duck goose?  Or any game you played as a kid?  What was your favorite?

We used to play a version of hide and seek/freeze tag in the  dusk/dark.  Gotta love summertime!!  Front porch was base and the idea was to hide and try to make it back to base without getting tagged.  LOVED that game as a kid!

– jennifer

Bring the Border to you with “A Thinner Mexican Dinner”

Hi there!

Yesterday was such a great day!  I don’t normally say that about Mondays – hell, who does?! – but I really enjoyed yesterday.

The workout at Crossfit was AWESOME and I hit some PRs (I Rx’d the weight and downgraded to the blue band for the pull ups!) and I got to flip some really heavy tires!


I FINALLY met with the Orthopedist and got the “all clear” to get back to running. O. M. G. That’s like music to my ears!

music to my ears

Of course, I can’t just jump right back in to my marathon training plan. Wouldn’t that be nice, though? I’ve got to get back into it slow and steady and I’m okay with that.  I’ve been staying in good shape with Crossfit so I’m confident that I’ll be back in no time!


And, then there was dinner last night.

Oh. My. Goodness.


So. Delicious.

For all intents and purposes, it’s a taco salad.

But, different.

And, so much better.

You won’t find this at Taco Bell.


A Thinner Mexican Dinner
makes 4 servings

For the meat
3/4 pound lean ground beef (90% lean or higher)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup water

For the dressing
4 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the salad
2 Romaine Lettuce Hearts, chopped
1/2 cup reduced-fat, shredded cheddar cheese
2 ounces baked corn tortilla chips
1 avocado, diced (I added this because avocados are YUM!)

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink. Add the garlic and beans and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the chili powder, cayenne and water ans stir until well combined and some, but not all, of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.


2. Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl; set aside.

3. Divide the lettuce among dinner plates, top with the beef mixture, and sprinkle with the cheese. Spoon the dressing over each salad and crush tortilla chips on top. Add avocado, if desired.


Let each person build their salad they way they want. Thing 2 put the chips on her plate and topped them with the beef and lettuce and cheese (no tomatoes for her, thankyouverymuch) and made nachos.

Do whatever makes you happy!

4. Om nom nom!

Per serving:
Calories 440; Protein 32g; Carbohydrates 43g; Fat 19g (saturated 6g); Sodium 870mg; Fiber 11g

NOTE: Calorie count provided is for the original recipe without the avocado. The total will be different if you add avocado or any other toppings.

Recipe adapted from The New Abs Diet Cookbook

Question: How do you like to top your taco salad?

– jennifer

A Pop Quiz, the Unknown, and Tuscan Pot Pie

Hi there!


I am filled to the brim with girlish glee this morning! (I will bake cookies and send them to the first person who can tell me what that’s from WITHOUT using Google. Seriously, no cheating.)


I decided to go to the 5am crossfit class this morning instead of hitting the 5pm class per my normal schedule.

    One – it’s HAWT and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in a hot box at 5pm


    Two – I just didn’t feel like dealing with a ton of people today.

It will probably end up being a small class now that I’ve done that but that’s okay. I’d rather give up an hour of sleep than deal with a potential crowd. Besides,



Plus, it’s a great boost for the rest of the day!

Anyway, Joe usually puts the WOD up on their Facebook page super early in the morning. I swear, the man does not sleep. So, I like to look and see what the WOD is. I don’t get intimidated by it – it helps me to get in the right mindset and decide if I should wear knee socks or not. Hey, deadlifts can be torture on my shins if the bar scrapes me up!

So this morning, Joe was vague about the WOD.

    “Come enjoy the fun that Thursday has in store for you!”

Uh oh.


And then I got there and saw what we were doing.


And, I knew it was going to be a GREAT Thursday!

No, I didn’t run the sprints for the warm-up. I rowed those because I know I’m not ready for the explosive start and stop that’s required when sprinting. But, I was sure as H-E-double hockeysticks going to run that mile! WITH THE WEIGHT, EVEN!

I scaled it down to a 10 pound weighted ball instead of the 15 pound plate and I planned on taking it slow and easy



So exhilarating! I didn’t feel any pain – it was more an awareness of my hip but no real discomfort. I stayed slow and steady and it was awesome! Came back in and finished up my last 25 wall ball shots (unbroken, thankyouverymuch!) and knocked out the WOD in 13:43.


Comfort Food – Day 4!

And, it’s not southwestern!

Not that there’s anything wrong with southwestern food.

It was just time for a change.

So, over to the Mediterranean we go!

Italian sausage, cannellini beans, tomato/pasta sauce, and crescent rolls for a delicious meal in less than 30 minutes? WIN!


Tuscan Pot Pie
serves 4-6

3/4 pound sweet or hot italian sausage
1 jar (26 to 28 ounces) prepared chunky vegetable or mushroom spaghetti sauce (or, just use your favorite)
1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I’ve never seen a 19 ounce can of beans so I used 15 ounce)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove sausage from casings. Brown sausage in medium ovenproof skillet, stirring to separate meat. Drain drippings.

2. Add spaghetti sace, beans and thyme to skillet. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.

3. Unroll crescent dough; divide into triangles. Arrange spiral-fashion with points of dough towards center, covering sausage mixture completely or as much as you can. Bake 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown and meat mixture is bubbly.


4. Om nom nom!

– jennifer