Tag Archives: Health

Spicy Yellow Chicken Chili

When I was younger I hated chili, but I LOVED the smell. My best friend’s mom would make a whole bunch of it on cold days, and as I bundled up to make the quarter-mile walk back home, she would hand me a little Dixie cup full to keep me warm. I always ended up picking out the big chunks of beef, carefully maneuvering around the tomato chunks and “unknowns”.

I’ve never made chili before this year, but now I’m on a kick. I like mine with chicken, lots of spice and corn. I also strongly contend that all vegetables should be minced, no piece larger than a corn kernel.

This weekend I used a white chicken recipe my friend Emily gave me, and gave it a twist based on what I had in my kitchen, and my perfectionist desire to have a color theme. I had corn and yellow peppers, so the theme was yellow. If I was really motivated I should have gotten some squash or yellow tomatoes…next time.

First I browned my chicken in a large saucepan with a minced onion, garlic salt and some canola oil. Meanwhile I minced my yellow peppers.

After the chicken was cooked, I added 2 cans of great northern beans (drain the juice out), a can of chicken broth, my corn, spices and my peppers.

Bring the concoction to a boil, then put on low to simmer for a half hour


All you have to do then is throw in the sour cream and whipping cream to make it creamy, then put in a bowl with some sharp cheddar cheese for garnish.

I makes about 6 servings, but between me and Logan it was miraculously gone in 12 hours. Hmmm…

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
Sharp cheddar cheese for garnish.

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Featured: Ross Femrite

Recently I was with a couple of friends who were ordering diet pills online that were advertised for “the person who doesn’t have extra time to exercise”. This made me think of how my brother would take the situation. See, my brother is going to grad school, works as a bartender, has an active social life, plays rugby, and does triathlon. Because he has a work hard/play hard attitude and a desire to never cut corners, I know he would never be online buying a magical solution. So, of course I needed to interview him.

(EF): What’s your motivation for working out?

(RF): I always have goals that I am striving to reach to keep me motivated.  Right now I am getting ready for Crossfit games [in February].  Then, my goal will be to break the five-hour mark for the half Ironman.  After that  I need to get ready for Fall rugby season.  This always gives me something to work toward.

(EF): Why is it important to stay active?

(RF): You are only given one body, so why not take care of it?  There are a million studies out there showing how much activity helps you in all aspects of your life.  I really think if you had to choose 1 thing to improve your overall health,  activity should be the #1 choice.

(EF): What’s in that huge jug of powder you always have?

(RF): It is protein, the building blocks of your muscles.  I aim for about 200g of protein per day during training and without adding protein, it would be hard to get there on a normal diet.

(EF): What made you choose the career in PT?

(RF): I really wanted a career in the medical field where I was able to spend a lot of time working with people.  As a PT I get to do it on a daily basis.  It is also really rewarding to see people come in with problems that impact their life and be able to help them.

(EF): Best advice you’ve ever gotten for staying shape?

(RF): Always find a goal that you want to achieve and then tell everyone that goal.  It is a lot harder to quit when you know you will have to explain to people why you fell short and quit.

(EF): Advice for me in getting in shape?

(RF): Getting in shape is a slow process and can start anywhere and go anywhere.  Start slow even if it is walking for 20 minutes 3 days a week.  If you slowly increase that and add in running you will be running a 5k in no time.  Then you can increase to longer distances as you build up your fitness.  I am a good example I would have never guess I would do a half Ironman when I graduated High school, but I got there slowly over many years. Just stick to it and it will get better.

(EF): Hardest you’ve ever pushed yourself?

(RF): The last part of the half Ironman, I was dying.  The last 3 miles were not fun. The furthest I have run and biked is 13.1 miles and 56 miles respectfully.

(EF): Favorite triathlon?

(RF): I really like the Buffalo triathlon.  It is well run and just a good atmosphere, It’s probably why I have done it the last 3 years.

(EF): Why do you like Rugby?

(RF): It combines so many skills in to one sport.  You need endurance because it is constantly going.  You need strength to go up against some of those guys.  It also involves a lot of skill.  It is very physical, just like football, but you don’t have to deal with all those pads.  If you have to hide behind lots of pads to make a tackle or be tackled maybe you’re not as badass as you think you are.  The people I have played rugby with are always a good group of guys.  I have met a lot of my good friend through rugby.

(EF): Why do you like triathlons?

(RF): It keeps me in shape and gives me goals to achieve.  I am always looking to see how far I can push my body physically.  When I work out I get bored, if I do the same thing over and over.  This is true even when I race.  Triathlons give me the opportunity to always be doing something different with my workout.  Then, when I race, if I get bored I know a new leg is always right around the corner.  It makes you a more well-rounded athlete.

(EF): What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?

(RF): I skied above the clouds in the Alps of Switzerland with 1 ½ feet of fresh powder.

(EF):Where is the coolest place you’ve ever been?

(RF): I loved Bahamas sailing from island to island for a week.  Every island was different and each reef had new things to explore.

(EF): If you won the lottery, what would you buy?

(RF): I would first pay off all of my loans and my sisters loans for school.   I would buy my parents their condo by the river.  Donate money to the Courage Center, the Eastside Banshees, and the UMN PT program.  Then I would so many toys, sports equipment, wave-runners, boats, most of the items at REI, ect….

(EF): I’m going to need you to start buying more lottery tickets. On what was your last splurge?

(RF): Being a Grad student really doesn’t allow me any money to splurge on anything.  I just bought new running shoes that weren’t cheap, but I really wanted them.

(EF): What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?

(RF): I have been to over 30 different musicals.  I really do enjoy them and listen to the soundtracks when I run.  Most people don’t think I fit in to that stereotype.

(EF): What are things we can do on a daily basis to live a good life?

(RF): Enjoy the little things in life.  It is the little enjoyments that make it all worth it.  Also always look at situations from others point of view, it will make you a better person.

(EF): Do you have someone you look to for inspiration in your life?

It is cliché, but I look up to my parents.  They always work hard and are good people and that’s what I try to be.  Plus they are still standing after putting up with me for 27 years, so they are obviously very strong.

(EF): True dat. What activity makes you most happy?

(RF): I can honestly say that working out makes me happy.  I look forward to it and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.  If not that, then laying on the beach in the sunshine.

(EF): Who’s the funniest person in the world?

(RF): I am and if you don’t believe me then just ask me.

(EF): Who do you admire most in the area of sports?

(RF): I admire the little guys who were not given god-given talent, but worked really hard to get the professional level.  It makes me angry when people like them make it and people who are naturally talented just throw it all away.

(EF): In the area of design?

(RF): I am sorry Erika, but I can’t even give you a name.  Mr. Effle for his tower and the iron structure inside the statue of liberty.

(EF): Mr. Effle? He sounds fancy. What would your last meal be?

(RF): It would be ribs with and Oreo Blizzard.  My side items would be sweet potato fries and cheesy potatoes.

(EF): What would you tell the 18-year-old you?

(RF): I would just point out what is really important in life.  I think 18-year-old me had a very warped sense of what was important.  I didn’t really have a good plan of where I was going or what I needed to get there.

(EF): If you could give someone advice, what would it be?

(RF): Look for what really makes you happy and what you enjoy.  This is one aspect in your life where you need to be selfish.  If you pursue that then the rest will fall in to place.  Also, there are no short cuts or substitute for hard work.  If you really want something then it is worth working hard for it.


Energy Bites

I know you’re all thinking, “Where does she find the energy to sit in a cubicle at a low/mid-level job, run 13 minute miles, fix dinner for one and lead such an active hulu account?” Well, this week I’ve been experimenting with some energy friendly foods.

One thing I found that was really easy, delicious and gave me a bit of a boost, was these no bake “energy bites” from Smashed Peas and Carrots:

All you do is mix 1 cup oatmeal (I used Bob’s Gluten Free Oatmeal), 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup honey (I used agave), 1 cup coconut flakes (which I don’t really care for but Logan likes), 1/2 cup ground flaxseed (apparently you find this near the spices), 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I threw in a little more) and tsp vanilla.
Then you chill the mixture for a half hour, roll into balls, and snack before work outs, as a morning pick me up, when you have a craving for chocolate, or because it’s there.
Peer review? I gave a couple of these to Joe and Logan as they were playing baseball on the X-Box. They both said they were good and tasted like “candy bars with a lot of fiber.” Within an hour of eating them, they were in the car, driving to the club to party until dawn. These bites are that good, or it was just a typical Friday.

Food Project Conclusion

“Life itself is the proper binge.”  –Julia Child

Today concludes my little experiment with eating better, and to celebrate I allowed myself a nice cold Diet Coke. Two weeks without having any pop, and frankly, I was unimpressed. What I did really enjoy was the chicken chili I had waiting for me in the crock-pot for when we got off the boat. Totally made up for being pretty much the only one on the sand bar without a beer in hand. There was some talk of bringing a bottle of Vodka out, but my brother has had better ideas.

Going forward I’m going to keep giving up gluten. Not only is my skin clearer, but also I haven’t slept in my car during lunches, or had my 3pm fatigue. I absolutely want to see how this plays out over the next few months.

I’m also pretty happy with my juicer. I admit that I’ve found some bad combinations. Particularly, I learned celery and grapefruit shouldn’t be combined. I hate grapefruit. Have you had freshly made apple juice, though? Yum.

Here’s some delicious gf cookies I made from a Bob’s mix–

Tomorrow I’m starting my next project where I make an effort to do my own thing and better cultivate my passions. Pave my own path if you will.


Eat Feat

For my first trick, I’ll attempt to restrict my diet. If Voltaire once said, “I’ve decided to be happy because it’s good for my health,” I’m now saying “I’ve decided to be healthy because it’s good for my happiness.”

Here’s a run down of how I’ll be limiting myself for the next two weeks:

  • Gluten-free (and no glutton either)
  • No red meat, and since I don’t really eat any other white meat other than chicken—sorry chickens…
  • Possibly the hardest thing—no pop. I say “pop” because it strikes anger into the hearts of southerners when I don’t say “soda”
  • Will drink lots of water in the pure, tea and coconut form.
  • No restaurant food, nicotine vessels, overly processed foods or anything that I deem “NOT HEALTHY”
  • I’m deciding on alcohol. Obviously, I can’t drink beer with the gluten-free diet, and I can’t drink in excess according to the “glutton” rule either, but a glass of red wine on Friday night? I’m open for suggestions.

My friend Stephen makes fun of me for always giving a “disclaimer” for everything, and this is no different: I don’t want to lose weight (I’m not going to complain if I lose 5 pounds though), I simply want to feel healthier and more alert (and maybe stop spending my lunch breaks sleeping in the back of my car).

If you have ever restricted your diet for your health, I’d love your feedback. What kinds of things helped? What changes have you noticed?

Oh, and I really don’t have anything against the chickens.


More and more, it feels like I’m doing a really bad impersonation of myself.

“We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better.”—Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)

I’m on a mission to save myself from becoming a zombie, so I’ve come up with a “GAME CHANGING PLAN”. My last game changer involved me moving down to Florida, but as they say “The grass is always greener, but if you suck, everything looks like shit,” or something. This time I’ve harnessed my need to control situations and make lists into a no fail solution. Every two weeks for a total of 20 weeks I am going to tackle a new trait I want to master. I’ll also be interviewing my friends and family who I admire for integrating the trait into their life (and are also pretty awesome). Oh, and books! I’ll read a book or two on the theme, because I’m under the pool of thinking that every great idea has already been thought of; and I love to read.

Up first,  I try to start eating well, and stop thinking that frosting and marshmallow fluff counts as a legitimate meal.

Let me know any input you have, or if you have ever attempted something along these lines. Oh, and stay tuned.