Sunday, January 13, 2019

Weekly Eats, I finished the Strava Lululemon challenge, and an epic chicken burritio bowl

So much to tell you, so little time...I had an epic week of lunches thanks to the crockpot, I finished the Strava Lululemon challenge, and we celebrated a very special birthday.
Monday: the last of Macheesemo's sweet potato breakfast burritos

Tuesday & Thursday: fruit, cheese, cereal bar
Wednesday & Friday: breakfast burritos
Saturday: homemade Egg McMuffin with bacon

Last week I told you that I made a batch of salsa crockpot chicken.  I didn't have the chance to try it before I wrote the post, and to be honest, it didn't look like anything special when I dished it out of the crockpot, so I decided to keep the recipe source to myself until I had a chance to try it.
This week I am here to tell you and everyone else in the universe that the mystery lunch is Skinny Taste's Salsa Chicken with Black Beans and Corn and it is good, good food.

What you're looking at is a base of cilantro lime rice topped with chicken, cheese, avocado, and of course unpictured hot sauce.  I ate it for five days straight and was sorry when it was gone.  Safe to say that you will be seeing this one again.

My only changes to the recipe were to add just a touch of oil to the chicken (I once made another crockpot salsa chicken recipe that didn't have any added fat and it ended up being very watery),  I started with frozen chicken breasts, and I shredded the chicken after cooking.  I was tempted to add extra seasoning but forced myself to stick to the recipe and I'm so glad that I did because it was perfect.

Monday (family meal): grilled chicken.  My menfolk had this with leftover rice from Sunday, I had a sweet potato sprinkled with garlic powder and topped the chicken with pesto.
Tuesday (family meal):the kids had mac n'cheese and nuggets, hubs had the last chimichanga from Sunday, and I had the last of my steak from Friday in a burrito.

Wednesday (date night): I was going to make chili but ended up working late, so I hit up Panera on the way home.  Half a turkey BLT and broccoli cheddar soup.  It really wouldn't have taken much longer to make chili, but between an extra work project and the Strava Lululemon challenge, I was tired and totally down to take the easy way out.

Thursday (fend for yourself night): Trader Joe's chicken sausage and cauliflower gnocchi with pesto.

Friday (family meal): Costco orange chicken and egg rolls.

Saturday (a very special birthday): family party for one of the stepsons.  The spread:
  • Appetizers: tortilla chips for the kids, crackers with spinach artichoke dip for the adults, veggie tray
  • Main course: a sandwich tray with macaroni salad
  • Dessert: Ice cream cake
 And of course, oreo balls produced with child labor.
The secret to making an ice cream cake is lots of freezing time between layers.
  • Friday night: set the chocolate layer and make the fudge filling.  Give it a few hours for the chocolate layer to freeze and the fudge to cool down, then add the fudge layer right before bed.
  • Saturday morning: add vanilla layer
  • Saturday noon: make whipped cream frosting, give it a bit of time in the fridge to stiffen.
  • Saturday afternoon: add a base layer of whipped cream frosting, let it all freeze, then add border and sprinkles.
  • Also: every time I make this, I end up with enough extra ingredients to make two mini cakes in my 4" spring pans, so we have those also.
Sunday (family meal): leftover sandwiches

Meal Prep
A party sandwich tray is the gift that keeps on giving.  We'll get another dinner out of it.

For lunches, I made a batch of Budget Bytes curried tofu salad

Achievement unlocked!  The Strava/Lululemon40/80 challenge is now complete.

Running total: 29 miles
Monday: Remember how I said that the weather was great last week?  I went to bed Sunday knowing that the forecast was 30's in the morning with a high of 50 and maybe some rain.  First thing Monday I learned that that was code for an ice storm.  I cut it short to just 2 miles and ran that mostly on grass.  By noon the rain and ice were gone and I got in another 2 miles.
Tuesday: was the golden day with temps in the 50s.  I did 4 miles in the morning and 2 at lunch.
Wednesday: welcome back winter!  3 miles AM/2 miles at lunch, clear sidewalks and roads.
Thursday: winter running for reals.  Temp was in the low 20's and it was a legit blizzard.  There was a coating of snow on the ground when I started and a good 3 inches but the time I was done.  My eyelashes were packed with snow.  Even so, this run has a special place in my heart.  Got in 2 more snowy miles at lunch.
Friday: super cold, and the snow had packed down to an icy layer.  2 sloooow miles in the morning, I just couldn't face it at lunch.
Saturday: The roads were clear and I only had 4 km left for the challenge, but I wanted to do something more than the minimum.  4 miles and that's a wrap.
Sunday: y'all know that I rarely work out on Sundays and that I also rarely miss workouts.  I know that I'm going to miss tomorrow's workout because of my schedule so I did it today.  Weights plus 3 treadmill miles.  I didn't know how running would feel after 7 straight days but my body took to the treadmill like a duck to water (I swear running outside and running on the treadmill are two completely different sports).

Thoughts on the 40/80 challenge:
  • My body liked the challenge a lot more last week when it was new.  The further I went this week, the more my body figured it that I was just asking it to do the same thing over and over again. Between that and running on snow and ice, my pace got a lot slower.
  • Running through snow is much like running through sand.  It's a legit workout.
  • I really, really, really lucked out with the weather.  Out of 17 runs, there were only 2 where I had concerns about running on ice.  I can think back to many Januarys when this would have been a concern for
  • I only used headphones on my Saturday runs.  I didn't use headphones in the mornings because it was still a little dark or at lunch due to safety concerns about my work neighborhood.  I would never want to do a long run without music, but for short runs music is totally optional.
  • Speaking of safety concerns in my work neighborhood, I got totally burned out with running in the cemetery.  My last two lunch runs were loops in the parking lot and around the building.
  • TMI update from last week: I did more laundry and started showering for my lunch workouts.
  • I did my normal weight lifting workouts on Monday and Friday and oh my goodness I needed them.  I think every runner out there is tempted to ditch the weights but don't do it.
  • Going forward thoughts: I think I might start doing short runs at lunch one or two days a week on the office gym treadmill.  Time wise, I can't do this every day, but running at lunch makes my afternoons so much better.
  • I loved the change up of running outside but will be very content to spend the rest of the winter on the treadmill.
  • My #1 reason for doing the challenge was just to see if I could, and that achievement has been unlocked.  My #2 reason is the rumor that finishing gets you free lululemon clothes.  It's kind of buried in the fine print that there might be a something something at lululemon's discretion after the challenge is complete on Jan 15th.  I'll keep you posted.
(From the treadmill): there are so many shows that I want to watch, but Acorn was offering a free month which made the decision easy. Started season 6 of A Place to Call Home.  I said before that I wasn't sure what was left to do with the story and 5 minutes in it's obvious that it's going to be a busy season.

(From the couch): Hubs and I watched some more Patriot.  For lighter fare, we finished Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and saw the season opener of Brooklyn 99.

Dover: the Collected Short Stories.  The last book in the series of an old favorite.

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