Too many emotions. Thank goodness for Chili-Mango Chicken!

Hi there! Happy Thursday!

Well, hopefully for you it’s a happy Thursday. For me, it’s more of a frustrated Thursday. :/ Between CrossFit on Tuesday night and then again on Wednesday morning and PT on Wednesday afternoon, I am pretty wiped out so I didn’t get up and ride the spin bike this morning. Additionally, I am dealing with the knowledge (and stress) that I have likely wasted 11 of 15 physical therapy visits because I’ve been misdiagnosed. I’m the type of person who wants to do the best for myself and my running so I’ve been doing more research on what could be causing my pain. You see, while I feel a whole lot better than I did, I still have pain and cannot run and cannot box jump, etc. And, some days, it just aches. You would think after 3 1/2 weeks of physical therapy, I’d be much closer to 100% if it was just a muscle strain.

I finally got the PT to really listen to me yesterday (honestly, I’m not sure what took so long – maybe I just repeated myself enough?) and he did some different flexibility tests. Turns out my hip flexors are WICKED tight. Like, so tight they could audition for the Wicked Witch of the West and easily snag the part. I have really worked over the past few years to make sure that I stretch after a run and I’ve never had any problems with my hips before but, clearly, I’m not stretching enough. And, prior to my discussion with the PT, I was researching hip flexor strains/injuries and I came across information regarding femoral neck stress fractures vs. hip flexor strains. It is entirely possible that I have a stress fracture based on my symptoms and, while I’ve been healing because I’ve not been running, I have been using that leg and some of the exercises I’ve been doing may be slowing down the healing process. Femoral neck stress fractures are very not good. If only my doctor had sent me in for the MRI 4 1/2 weeks ago like I asked. But no, he just sent me straight to PT where I wasn’t fully evaluated. Great. Pardon me while I go cry in my Cheerios.

sad face

So, the PT is going to reevaluate my program and I need to get back in with my doctor to ask AGAIN for an MRI. I don’t even know what I’m going to do if it IS a stress fracture. Obviously, a BQ is out of the question in Tupelo. Hell, I don’t even know if I’ll be able to even RUN Tupelo.

Okay, that’s enough “woe is me” stuff. Thanks for listening. 🙂 Please keep your fingers crossed for me. I need good vibes!

Now on to the happy part – FOOD!

I made the BEST stir-fry dish last night. Like, AMAZE-BALLS! If you like Asian food – especially the spicy sweet kind like General Tso’s chicken – you will LOVE this. And the best part is it’s not going to cost you 3 days worth of calories to enjoy it!! WIN! Plus, it takes less than 30 minutes! Double win! The hardest part about making this dish, besides waiting to eat it, is cutting the mango. Here’s a great video on how to cut a mango in different ways:

See? Super easy! Now go to the store and buy a mango so you can make this for dinner. Go on. Go. What are you waiting for? Seriously. GO! 🙂

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Chili-Mango Chicken
makes 4 servings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (preferably sambal olek)
Black pepper to taste

1. Combine the chicken, cornstarch, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the sugar snaps and stir-fry for 1 minute, using a metal spatula to keep the vegetables in near-constant motion. (Hence the term: stir-fry!) Add the chicken along with its marinade, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until the meat begins to brown on the outside. Add the mango, chili sauce, and black pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute longer, until the chicken is cooked through and the mango has softened into a near sauce-like consistency. (If your family hasn’t already come to the kitchen to check out what’s making all that noise on the stove, they will come RUNNING when the chili sauce hits the pan. O.M.G. Now THAT’S an amazing smell!) Serve over brown rice. Or, eat straight from the pan. Whichever. Just don’t burn yourself.

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Per serving:
Calories 240; Fat 8g (saturated 1g); Sodium 410mg

Has anyone ever had a femoral neck stress fracture before? How long was your recovery time? Advice? Have you ever tried acupuncture for a hip flexor injury?

– jennifer

A Half-Empty Nest, Stir-It-Up Chicken and Snow Peas

Hello! Happy Wednesday! We’re just a couple of work days away from a fabulous 3-day weekend. I don’t know about you but I’ve been waiting for this weekend since February! March and April are really long months and Memorial Day can seem so far away when you’re dealing with the crazy “is it Spring or is it still Winter” weather. I’m looking forward to the rest! And the barbecues! 🙂

What are your plans for the Memorial Day weekend?

As you know, Thing 1 left the nest yesterday. Yesterday was interesting. And odd. And surreal. It was pretty much a regular Tuesday – I did my track workout and then I went to work. I practiced the pigeon pose all day (I should be an expert soon!) and I ran a couple of errands at lunch. Normal, right? On my way home, Thing 2 asked if she could eat dinner somewhere else. Fine, I need to learn how to cook for 2 and not a crew anyway. So, that’s what I did. I found a great stir-fry recipe that serves 2 and that’s what my Sailor and I had for dinner. Still, not abnormal for it to be just the two of us. The girls both have social lives and would, at times, both be gone for dinner. It didn’t really hit me until this morning. She’s swearing in today and will actually fly off to Great Lakes. And I feel like I want to cry. She’s really gone – I mean, she’ll come back for leave and she’ll be in this area for school – but that’s it. She’s making a career and life for herself. I just don’t know how to process that. I’m so proud of her!

So, here’s that stir-fry recipe. It comes from the Abs Diet Cookbook. It’s absolutely packed with protein and flavor. The red pepper does give it a nice kick so, if that’s not your thing, you probably want to scale back to a pinch or maybe just use freshly cracked black pepper, instead. This took no time at all. We used up all the brown rice in the chili the other day so I was stuck with white rice but it was still delicious. The rice took the longest time to cook and that was only 15 minutes. Got more than 2 mouths to feed or want leftovers for lunch the next day? Double the recipe! Easy peasy. Enjoy!

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Stir-It-Up Chicken and Snow Peas
Makes 2 servings

2 teaspoons peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 thin-cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces or strips
1/3 cup frozen snow peas*
1/3 cup asparagus tips
1/3 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/4 medium onion, cut into bite-sized pieces or strips
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sayce
Cooked brown rice
*I could not find any so I used some frozen bell pepper strips instead. They were delicious.

Heat the oil and red pepper flakes in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the remaining ingredients, except rice, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Serve over the rice.

Nutritional information:
Calories 428; Protein 48g; Carbohydrates 28g; Fat 18g (saturated 3g); Sodium 505mg; Fiber 7g

Honoring a Hero; Moxy socks; Make your own Chinese take-out!

So, it’s a big day in my second official week of CrossFit. It’s Hero Friday! My first Hero WOD!! CrossFit Hero WODs are intense and are intended to be performed with intense effort, in honor of our fallen Heroes. The idea is to focus on what you can do, scale where needed, and think about the Hero that has given his all for our freedom. Today’s Hero is Australian Army Sergeant Brett Wood MG, 32, of Ferntree Gully, VIC, assigned to the 2nd Commando Regiment, based in Sydney, NSW, died on May 23, 2011, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, after insurgents attacked him with an improvised explosive device. He is survived by his wife Elvi, his mother Allison, and his father David.

Wood

The WOD consists of running, burpee box jumps, sumo-deadlift high pulls, and thrusters, 5 rounds for time. You can see the breakdown for each group (Rx, Scaled, and Novice) here. I, of course, did the Novice (Except for the burpee box jumps. Those I did scaled.) because, well, that’s where I’m at.  And I was skeered. But I was ready! And I think I knocked it out of the park! I finished in 30:25. Woot!! By round 3, I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest and my legs were like jello but I kept on. Dug deep and found more. Nothing like finishing a tough Hero WOD to make a girl feel invincible. Oh, and awesome socks help, too. Check out my new Moxy socks! Love them. 🙂

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Make your own take-out!

I don’t know about you but we love us some Chinese take-out. We have a great place that we love and frequent regularly but, sometimes, the budget doesn’t have room or I want Chinese but without all the sodium and fat. So, that’s when I make my own. Takes very little time, I can control what goes in there and my Chinese food craving is quashed. Can’t argue with that!

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Beef and Broccoli
Recipe from Women’s Health Magazine
Serves 4

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 can (14 1/2-ounces) beef broth
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, slices
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips (optional – I added for a bright red pop of color and because I LOVE red bell pepper)

1.  In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, and oyster sauce and whisk until smooth.  Set aside.

2.  Warm the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat for 1 minute.  Add the steak and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the beef is browned.

3.  Transfer to a bowl to keep warm.

4.  Add the broccoli, garlic, and onion (and bell pepper, if desired) to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender.  Add the broth mixture and bring to a boil, stirring.  Reduce the heat, add the beef, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

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Do you have cravings, too? What’s your take-out guilty pleasure?

Words of wisdom from Dove chocolate:

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Happy Friday!