Popchips Contest Winner & Norwex Party on Saturday!

 awesome, contests, Food, foodie, friends, fun, lifestyle, popchips, weekend  Comments Off on Popchips Contest Winner & Norwex Party on Saturday!
Oct 052012
 

The Popchips winner!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Second…

I’m having a Norwex party tomorrow folks 🙂  If you are in Minnesota and are free around 3pm….come! Bring a friend and get a free gift! I love meeting new locals. I made pumpkin bread, pumpkin whoopie pies, and I’ll have a key lime cheeseball, you know you want to come!!! Food and SCIENCE…Norwex is uber geeky cool cleaning stuff!

I went to a Norwex party, was awed by how well the products work! I am excited to not go through rolls and rolls of paper towels and napkins. To not have to keep stocking up on sponges, wipes and cleaners. You have to see how this stuff works!
If you can’t come or just want to preview…check out my friend Anna Berend’s Norwex page….call her or I with questions or orders towards my party if you wish! http://www.annaberend.norwex.biz/

Bring a friend for a free gift! Drop me a note here if you’re bringing someone 🙂

Norwex is committed to radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning to promote health. More than ever we feel the need to emphasize the positive environmental impact of reducing chemical use.
During the past several hundred years, human activity has significantly altered our global environment, and the negative effects of this are becoming alarmingly clear. No longer can we ignore the warning signs from nature. This trend can be changed if we all work together and take honest responsibility for our planet. It is a fact; household pollutants have a profound impact on our environment.
A radical reduction in the use of chemicals is an important step to improve the health of our planet and our quality of life.
The Norwex corporate vision for our products reaches far beyond the limited horizon of just making a profit; we are striving for a better quality of life for present and future generations. Our deep central theme is reverence for the value and beauty of all life on a healthy planet. Join us in our effort to improve quality of life in a profound way!
Oct 032012
 

Okay this is kinda of a mish mash post of updates and this ‘n that.

Don’t forget, through Thursday, WIN A CASE OF POPCHIPS!

Since I came home from Fitbloggin I came down with a bit of a cough/cold, so while I have been doing my strength training 2x a week, the cardio has been a no…even a brisk walk was kinda making me hack up a lung. I plan to get back into running today…woo! I think I’ll be able to walk/run…my nose is still a bit stuffy, but its basically nothing.

I’m excited to run in the Moster Dash 5K here in Minneapolis at the end of the month, I’m going to run as super girl! Even with missing a week of running due to being sick…I hope to PR in this one! I’ve heard this is a pretty crowded run, and I definitely want to have fun, so if “PR”ing isn’t in the works due to the fun factor, I won’t be disappointed. I’m excited to do a halloween run!

Anyone else doing a Halloween theme costume run? What are you dressing as?

I’ve also been re-focusing as I posted earlier this week!  While in one week a person may not lose a lot of weight, (I have lost, just check out my widget on the left), I feel so much better. I love this kinda “de-tox” feeling….cravings go away or are easy to push aside, my tummy feels happy, I feel more ready to go.  Eating healthy is just so good for us all around, right?

Speaking of food….I have something to share AND a question:

This is my favorite fall salad to have, yup pretty basic because of Slimgenics, but tasty and easy!

Chicken, Apple, & Celery Salad

Umm…YUM!!  Chop up celery, cooked chicken, your favorite apple…mix it up with some heart healthy olive oil mayo…..I like to make some toast to scoop some of it up with.  My FAVORITE apple in the fall is honeycrisp!!!

Now for the question….arugula.  My grocery store was out of plain old bags of spinach….so I got a bag of spinach & arugula mixed together.  Normally I use bagged spinach to make green monster shakes. Well, sadly….arugula is way too bitter to go in shakes…I ruined a shake with it…boo.

What should I use this with?

 

What do I do with arugula or more specifically a spinach & arugula mix? (I know I could just have salad, so not that please)

That’s about it for me today! Thanks for reading, I love your comments, too!

<3 Merbear

Refocus…eye on the prize

 control, Food, goals, guilty, lifestyle, popchips, progress, Setbacks, slimgenics, weight  Comments Off on Refocus…eye on the prize
Sep 282012
 

First…popchips, win them til Oct 5.

So, I may have not done the “stopped posting cause I’m not seeing results” thing that does happen to many bloggers….but I did do that “leeeeet’s keep it to myself that I gained weight back” thing. I didn’t go onto MyFitnessPal, like I had been, religiously, after every weigh in at Slimgenics..and update my gains. I was kinda embarrassed…everyone was so proud of me for losing 50 lbs…and at first I kinda just yo-yo’d…you know…down 50 lbs, down 48 lbs, down 49 lbs, down 47 lbs…then…it kinda went more like down 45 lbs, down 43 lbs…and yup…I’m down 38 lbs..even though I was 2 lbs away from 50 before my birthday.

Guys…summer is hard. Its not an excuse…its just a share…cuz I know the rest of you sometimes feel this way, too.

I actually don’t feel like winter holidays are as challenging as fun, spontaneous, bbq, boat ride, camping, fair, and concert filled summers. There are SO MANY freaking guides and tools for winter…the best foods to eat for holidays…how to avoid halloween candy, what’s the best way to fill your plate on thanksgiving. Plus, seriously, those holidays, at least to me are A DAY. I can hunker down and get tough on myself for A DAY..and do the positive self talk and food prep and planning.

BUT A WHOLE SUMMER…oh goodness, its been hard. Thank the bejeezus I only gained 10 lbs. Fortunately I didn’t have to go back to fat pants or something like that..but I noticed a little more annoying “flub” hanging over the waist line…my little tshirts that were finally super cute were looking a bit too floppy..you know the drill.

It also didn’t help that Ryan (my fiance), had hit maintenance…and while its still hard…he got to switch to just watching his balance of food groups and counting calories..he had no more “no-no” foods that Slimgenics blocks while you are in weight loss mode. I wasn’t eating out of spite that I was still on plan or something…I just was a little to “lax” with the rules…and it bit me in the butt! Until I reach a good lean body mass…my body isn’t as good at maintaining fat loss..and we all know fat attracts fat!

So NOW…I am going to buckle down….I’m going to get to goal by Thanksgiving…EYES ON THE PRIZE…I have to fight through Oktoberfest this weekend, Renaissance Festival, too. Some birthdays, some family events…even BEER SCHOOL…but I will DO THIS. Who’s with me?

I’m totally on board for #DontEatTheTreat on Twitter with @Tidbits_of_Tara and @redstar5 coming up next month through the holidays, too! Follow them on Twitter and/or their blogs to get in on the mindset!

What do you guys think? Is summer harder? Is winter harder?

<3 Merbear

Sep 272012
 

Yum yum yum yum people!!

I know you love popchips! I know you love tortilla chips! Guess, what?? Now popchips makes tortilla chips!!! Woohoo!!

I got to taste these babies at Fitbloggin this year and they are just as a-maz-ing as the original ones…but, yeah, they have tortilla chip flavors now, too!!

 

Chili Limon, Nacho, Ranch & Salsa!

 

You can definitely snack on these by themselves…..OR…

popchips has teamed up with award-winning Chef Aaron Sanchez of Food Network’s Heat Seekers and Chopped to bring you four exclusive recipes to pair with your favorite tortilla popchips and beer:

 

  • Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love with salsa tortilla popchips and Goose Island 312
  • Ceviche with chili limĂłn tortilla popchips and Bud Light
  • Crab Dip with ranch tortilla popchips and Stella
  • All-Beef Chile Colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips and Shocktop
Want to win a case of tortilla popchips?  Enter my drawing on rafflecopter!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love

Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love with salsa tortilla popchips & Goose Island 312

These hulking sandwiches are like Mexican subs—overstuffed with all sorts of goodness, bursting with flavor, and topped with a mind-blowingly delicious sauce of roasted garlic pureed with smoky chipotles. Have a lot of napkins on hand! salsa tortilla popchips bring a crispy counterpoint to all the juicy sandwich fillings and a bright flavor that can withstand everything going on inside that bun.

 

Makes 4 servings

For the Chipotle Love Sauce:

1 cup of canola oil

12 garlic cloves

3 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

zest of one lime

2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Cemitas:

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 ripe Haas avocado

Juice of 1 lime

4 cemita rolls or hamburger rolls with sesame seeds

Olive oil

1 cup refried beans, warmed (from 1 15-ounce can)

8 ounces Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, grated

Sliced ripe tomato

Thinly sliced lettuce

Fresh cilantro leaves

1. Make the Chipotle Love: In a dry medium heavy nonreactive sauce pot place oil and garlic cloves and cover with foil and place in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes till garlic has browned and become soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then place remaining ingredients and cooled garlic oil mix in a food processor and puree till a smooth paste.

2. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill with the lid down for 10 minutes on high.

3. Split each chicken breast in half horizontally and lay each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each breast half until it’s one-quarter inch thick (if you don’t have a meat pounder, use the bottom of a small saucepan). Sprinkle each piece with salt, pepper and cumin on each side.

4. Mash the avocado with the lime juice and season with salt, and warm the refried beans on the stovetop or in the microwave.

5. Grill the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once. Set aside and keep warm. Split the buns and brush lightly with olive oil. Grill, cut sides down, until just golden brown, about a minute.

6. To assemble each sandwich, spread the bottom half of each toasted roll with a quarter of the mashed avocado. Top with a chicken breast, then spoon on a quarter of the refried beans. Divide the cheese among the sandwiches, and top with tomato, lettuce and a sprinkle of cilantro. Drizzle on a generous amount of Chipotle Love and top with the remaining bun half. Cut each sandwich in half before serving.

 

Crab Dip with ranch tortilla popchips

Crab Dip with ranch tortilla popchips & Stella

Sweet and delicate crabmeat in a creamy sauce with a dash of lime highlights the tanginess of ranch tortilla popchips. The buttermilk in the dip echoes the buttermilk flavor of classic ranch, and the jalapeno offers color and bite. While fresh crabmeat is always delicious, this recipe works equally well with frozen.

Makes 6 servings

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 jalapeno, finely minced

1 pound lump crab meat, picked over, any shells discarded

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 1-quart baking dish.

2. In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and mayonnaise with an electric mixer on medium speed. Blend in the buttermilk, lime juice and salt until the mixture is smooth.

3. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the crabmeat. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until the mixture is golden and bubbling.

4. Sprinkle with the cilantro and scallion and serve warm with ranch tortilla popchips to scoop up the dip. 

All-Beef Chile Colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips

 

All-Beef Chile Colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips & Shocktop

A Tex-Mex style chili is all about the meat—and the chilies. Layering the different types of chilies adds depth and a rich heartiness, a perfect foil for nacho cheese tortilla popchips, which become a crunchy base for each bowlful. Throw a handful in each bowl and ladle on a generous scoop of the meaty chili. A sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese echoes the flavor of each chip and makes this a real meal.

 

Makes 6 servings

 

6 guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed

1 1/2 cups boiling water

6 fresh tomatillos, papery skins peeled off

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 chipotle chiles in adobo

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped

2 pounds ground beef (preferably chuck)

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Grated sharp cheddar

1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the guajillo chilies on each side for 30 seconds, until just softened. Put them immediately in a glass bowl and pour the boiling water over them to cover. Soak for 15 minutes.

2. In the same dry skillet, toast the tomatillos and garlic, turning several times until the vegetables have softened slightly and the exteriors have brown marks, 3 to 4 minutes. Discard the paper skins on the garlic.

3. Put the guajillo chilies in a blender with the soaking water, the tomatillos, the peeled garlic, and the chipotle chilies in adobo. Pulse to make a smooth puree.

4. In a large stewpot over medium heat, cook the onions until softened and just turning golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook through, breaking it up with a spoon as you cook, about 10 minutes.

5. Add the pureed chiles and tomatillos, the tomatoes, ancho chile powder, cumin, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, loosely covered, until the deep orange-red sauce is thick. You may need to add a little more water, but take it easy. The finished chili should not be too wet.

6. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. For each serving, put a handful of nacho cheese tortilla popchips in the bottom of a bowl and ladle a serving of chili on top. Scatter with a handful of cheese and eat at once.

 

Ceviche with chili limĂłn tortilla popchips

 

Ceviche with chili limĂłn tortilla popchips and Bud Light

Usually the fish in a ceviche is trimmed into large chunks, but for scooping up this tangy-sweet version with brightly flavored and spicy chili limón tortilla popchips, I’ve trimmed the fish into small cubes, 1/4- to 1/2-inch in size. The result not only makes a ceviche that’s perfect for scooping, but also a speedy version that “cooks” in the fresh lime juice in less than an hour.

 

Makes 6 servings

 

1 pound fresh halibut filets (or any firm-fleshed white fish, such as haddock, red snapper or sea bass), diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup fresh lime juice (from approximately 8 to 10 limes)

1 fresh red Serrano chili, seeds discarded, chili thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 small mango, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. In a medium-sized glass bowl, combine the fish with the lime juice, Serrano and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. The fish cubes will “cook” in the lime juice until they are opaque.

2. Half an hour before serving, stir the mango, scallion, cilantro and olive oil into the ceviche. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve with chili limĂłn tortilla popchips for scooping up the ceviche.