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Pylometrics and Pita Chips

1 Apr

After tossing and turning most of the night, I was finally able to get a few hours of deep sleep in the early morning hours.

Woke up famished.

Breakfast: coffee x 2 (half and half, cinnamon), 2 eggs, 2 slices Mack’s Flax, 6pz fresh OJ. Ended up only eating 2/3. Eyes bigger than my stomach apparently. Usually it’s the opposite.


A few clients and group classes later…I was dying for some lunch:


Taco salad part 2, this time without yogurt or chips and with 1/4 avocado. And lots of hot sauce.

And another cup of coffee to get me ready for my own workout. For simplicity’s sake I’m following the p90x “Classic” order.

Workout: Plyometrics. Let’s just call it jump squats and jump squat variations…for an hour. I can honestly say this is my favorite of all the p90x workouts. Plyo is just my thing. I threw in a couple burpees at the end because I love those too. (please don’t smack me)

I drank coconut water during the workout. Staying hydrated helps keep energy up and alleviates muscle cramps/Charlie horses that may show up later.

Post-workout snack: cucumbers, red pepper hummus, nutritional yeast, and a handful of homemade pita chips.


Speaking of, you should totally make these right now.

Whole Wheat Pita Chips

  • Whole Wheat pita bread – look for one with simple ingredients.
  • 1 tbs avocado or olive oil
  • Sea salt

Cut into strips or triangles. Toss lightly in oil. Spread into cookie sheets in an even later. Bake at 325 for about 8-12 minutes. Let cool. Try to stop at 1 small handful.

Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli + carrots, 1 wholegrain Wasa cracker with 1/4 avocado and about a tsp of cream cheese.


I find that I need a protein-heavy dinner to avoid the late night snacking. I’m also eating dinner later these days, around 7:30, which helps. I’m in bed my 9:30 most nights, so I don’t have time to get hungry enough to raid the kitchen between dinner and lights out.

Happy Tuesday!


A Tale of Two Chickens

28 Nov

I was so very Little House on the Prairie yesterday. Spent the day smoking whole chickens, baking cornbread, tending the herd  children.

Let me start by saying, since acquiring a smoker, all I can think about is which things I would like to eat smoked. I think I might have a(nother) problem.

Also, the looks I got after exclaiming in Trader Joe’s, during a lull in the noise-level, “If it can be smoked, I’m gonna try to smoke it,” makes me think I need to think before I speak. However, it may have landed me a new friend or two. They will be disappointed, I think, when they find out I was talking about a carcass. Oh, well. Such is life.

Anyway, I had yet to smoke a chicken, so why not?

I found this recipe from Extraordinary BBQ recipe and followed it almost exactly.

Me, Monday night: “Wait, is brining overnight necessary? That’s a long time to wait for my delicious, delicious chicken.” SO I experimented: 2 chickens, exactly the same, prepped exactly the same way, except I only brined 1 of them.

*SPOILER ALERT: Brine the chicken. It’s immeasurably better: juicier, more flavorful, fall-off-the-bone amazing. I’ll have to do something else with the blander, drier chicken. Taco night again? Maybe.*

Note: That’s my garage fridge. I’m not, in fact, an alcoholic.

The Brine:

1 gallon water

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup iodized salt

Dissolve, add chicken, cover, and soak overnight.

The Stuffing:

2 yellow onions

4-6 cloves garlic

2 apples

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Chop, season, mix, stuff into chickens.

The Birds:

Rub chicken with olive oil

Season liberally with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika

Smoke at 250 for 3-5 hours (depending on bird size) until internal temp reaches 170.

Okay, it’s not EXACTLY like Little House on the Prairie. Close enough!

The smoking gives it that pink color. I wouldn’t poison myself (or you).

I have no words. So good. SO GOOD.

And only takes, what, like a day and a half?

It’s worth it.

Or you could just come over and join me for a beer while constantly checking the smoker temp + waiting the 5 hours for our feast.

You saw my garage fridge. Let’s get on it.

7 Days of Salads: Day 4: Goodbye Summer BBQ Chicken and Sweet Corn Salad

13 Sep

I have a confession: I love pizza. Love it. Especially brick oven style and especially smothered in bbq sauce, chicken, caramelized onions, provolone and jack cheeses . . . drool.  Or homemade. I should do 7 Days of Pizza next. And change my blog name. Totally.

Focus, Jess.

This salad comes close to satisfying those cravings. Well, as close as a salad can, I suppose.

Remember those BBQ boneless, skinless chicken breasts I told you to make Monday? Don’t tell me you don’t always have/don’t like bbq’d chicken because I do not even understand those words. Anyway, you’re going to use it again here. We did the vegan thing yesterday. We did the seafood thing Tuesday. Now we’re back to chicken – ’cause there’s leftovers and I hate being wasteful. Especially when it comes to one of my favorite foods.

Goodbye Summer BBQ Chicken and Sweet Corn Salad

serves 1 (because I am so sick of eating leftover salads for dinner all by my sorry self)

  • 3 cup shredded romaine
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • handful sweet cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sweet white corn
  • 3 oz boneless, skinless BBQ chicken breast
  • 1 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese (Provolone more than works, too. Or both, if you have ’em!)
  • 1/4 medium-sized Hass avocado (I really, really love avocados – have you noticed yet?)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place corn, red onions, garlic, tomatoes, and shredded chicken in small skillet, season with salt and pepper, and saute over medium heat until onions are caramelized, tomatoes are just starting to split, and corn is tender – this only takes a few minutes. Watch the pan and adjust accordingly.

Shred the cheese, dice the avocado, plate the romaine, and heap the hot stuff on top. You don’t even need dressing – truly a miracle in the world of salads.

Add a touch more BBQ sauce, if you need it. I did.

**No more chicken this week – I swear!

Spicy Pumpkin Chicken Chili

25 Jul

I know it’s summer, I know it’s hot out. But, is it me, or do the mornings and evenings feel like fall already? Either way, when the cool comes I want pumpkin. Pumpkin everything. Good for your body, skin, and soul. So yesterday, I made a big pot of (healthy!) pumpkin goodness.

Spicy Pumpkin Chicken Chili

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups roasted chicken, shredded
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1 (15oz) can Libby’s pumpkin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (15oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Heat oil in large pan, add onions, garlic, jalapenos, and bell pepper. Saute until soft. Add chicken, tomatoes (liquid and all), water, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and add beans. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve with a dollop of 0% Fage Greek Yogurt, green onion, and a sprinkling of red pepper flake.



Pairs ridiculously perfectly with that Full Moon recipe I shared awhile back. Full size this time. Ball jar sized.

30 for 30

19 Jul

I feel like I’ve been running around and accomplishing nothing today.

Thanks 2 hour DMV license renewal.


Thanks “hilarious” 30 burpees for 30th birthday warm up. Okay, I’m now 30, I get it. And you know what? I plan to own this decade. Maybe I’ll drop and do 30 more before bed (lying liar).

Lunch time, thank you very much.


  • Co-op chicken
  • Carrots
  • Red pepper hummus
  • Green leaf garden lettuce with about .5 Tbs Ken’s Caesar
  • Red grapes

To health, to better complexions (I’m vain like that – seriously, hard Montana livin’ jacked my face up!), and to strength. Bon appetite.

Later today: a beertail recipe. Beer+cocktail=best thing that will happen to you all summer.

Serious Eats for Serious Lifters

26 Jun

I’m sore. Like, having a hard time typing this sore. Day 1 of Jess getting re-serious about lifting is in the past. Thank goodness. Can only improve from here. Ouch everywhere. But in a good way.

Thankfully, I remembered to tweak my eating habits accordingly. Protein. Lean. Clean. Enough carbs and fat to carry me through. Okay, I went to Meconi’s and had a turkey sub on whole wheat. I can justify pretty much anything “on whole wheat.” Especially when I spend the morning with a barbell.

Not going to lie: I had trouble digesting so much. So good, though. A 5 mile walk with my neighbor helped. 5 miles goes fast when there’s much talking to be done.

By the time dinner rolled around, I was already feeling the tightness, soreness, and exhaustion setting in, protein was definitely on the menu.

Super Simple Grilled Chicken and Parmesan Roasted Zucchini



•3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
•Ken’s Light Northern Italian Dressing & Marinade, enough to cover chicken
•4 zucchini, sliced
•2 Tbs Parmesan
•1-2 tsp olive oil
•Salt and pepper

Step 1: Marinate chicken at least 2 hours. Grill on medium-high heat until juices run clear.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 375. Slice zucchini, lightly coat with the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Put on baking rack or nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.



Step 3: pass out for 12 straight hours, “cause you work hard and it’s time for a break, darn it,” says body.

See? Easy. You should do this today.