Finger food is perfect for game day.
Typically football weekends are my time at home to try new recipes and meal plan for the week ahead. My family loves football, I love cooking, it's a win-win situation. But I do like watching the Super Bowl...maybe for the commercials, maybe not.
Finger food is not your typical health food that's for sure. This year, I’m making a "healthified" version of the processed cheese food, canned beans and salsa dip recipe of the past with cheesy bean dip.
Today, I’m making a big batch of not-fried re-fried beans. This recipe came from Homemaker in Training, Amy spoke at one of our local moms groups several years ago and share this recipe. I have adapted it with less salt, more cumin and have long since stopped measuring ingredients it's so easy. These beans are multi-taskers; we’ll have bean burritos tonight, a bean dip Sunday, and beans stocked up in the freezer for burritos, taco salad or quesadillas another day.
True to my promise this recipe is super simple too. It’s made in the crockpot, who doesn’t love an appliance that cooks while you go about your day? This recipe doesn’t even require presoaking the beans, yahoo.
Crockpot recipes should be throw it all in, let it cook and take it out at dinner time. I’m good with chopping, but would rather not have to cook something first. Maybe that’s just me.
Cheesy Bean Dip
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1 whole Onion – chop the ends off and peel off the skin
½ to 1 whole Jalapeno (adjust depending on your love of spicy)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups dry pinto beans
Just for the dip:
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Hot sauce – to taste
Throw it all into the crockpot, add water until everything is covered. Turn on high for 8 hours. Test the beans for tenderness, when they are soft and super yummy you're set to go.
If you have discovered the Instant Pot countertop pressure cooker, you can whip these up in a flash. Pour everything into the pot. Set to manual for 30 minutes. Quick release after 5 minutes.
Tonight, I’ll scoop out whole beans to add to our burritos.
For the Super bowl bean dip, we’re mashing into a traditional re-fried bean consistency. Scoop out about 2 cups of beans, add half cup of bean water (it’s magic stuff, all the seasoning is in there) and mash with your potato masher or a fork. Add more water if you like. Stir in shredded cheese and a hot sauce to taste, mix again.
Pepper Plant: My husband and I both went to Cal Poly in SLO so we are partial to this local product.
Tostitos: They have just 3 ingredients: whole white corn, vegetable oil and salt.
With a large batch, I would put this out in a fondue pot to keep it warm. Honestly it doesn’t last long enough to get cold with the four of us. True.
For the multi-tasking part, you take the rest and freeze in zip locks for the next bean occasion with some magic bean water. A whole batch is typically 3-4 meals worth as an add-in or side dish.
Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday, “healthified” food and all. What’s on your finger food menu?
Keep Moving Mama, and please share!
Was it a sneak attack workout that seemed easy at the time, but wouldn't let you think about anything else the next day...or two? Or did you see it coming while you were eeking out one more pushup?
Either way, let that feeling of sore remind you of your accomplishment. You did it, you rocked it, your pushed your limits and your body is responding. That soreness means your muscle fibers are literally repairing themselves to get stronger for the next workout.
Enjoy your feeling of being ALIVE!!!
Keep moving mama
Have you noticed fitness trackers on the wrists of all sorts of people recently? fitbit is the one that is most popular with my clients and that I use.
You see, fitbit and I see eye to eye on the need to track, analyze and challenge with facts and figures. It holds me accountable and tells it to me straight.
“0 active minutes? Get up and MOVE IT!” - fitbit said on Sunday
“Over 10,000 steps, keep it up!” -fitbit said yesterday
My fitbit of choice is the Flex. Simple, small and not too expensive. I’m seriously eyeing the Fitbit Charge HR but haven’t made the jump yet. Partially due to my investment in bands, more on that later.
Here are 5 ways make the most of your fitbit:
1. Wear it constantly.
The only reason to take off your fitbit is to shower or swim…or charge it. By keeping your fitbit on you can use all of it’s features. Period.
Keep it moving tip: Charge it when you shower and you’re a multitask-er.
Invest in a few colors or styles of band to mix it up.
Dress it up by pairing your fitbit with a few bracelets, it’s in style now to wear multiple bracelets.
2. Use the built in peer pressure
Find friends on fitbit.
Click on “friends” on your app or webpage, then on “find friends”. fitbit will search your contacts or facebook account to find others with fitbit. You can also email people directly to invite them to be your fitbit Friend. Fitbit "find friends" tutorial link.
Where do you rank?
Once you have friends, look at your feed and see where you rank with steps per day compared to your friends. Then see if you can over take someone today, maybe 2 tomorrow. A little competitiveness is good for ya!
This is a super fun feature. Challenge your friends to a Workweek Hustle or a Weekend Warrior challenge. Within the challenge you’ll see a list of each friend that accepts, how many steps they have AND be able to cheer or message them throughout the challenge.
When you win a challenge, I highly recommend you taunt your friends by posting a screen shot of your "You Won" message on facebook.
3. Track It
There are a number of stats that fitbit automatically tracks for you. You can not enter or edit them, you just have to do them.
Track your water. Click the water glass each time you finish a glass or bottle of water to enter the ounces. Being hydrated is one of the most over looked ways to improve your health. You’ll feel more energized, flush out toxins, feel less as hungry and your wrinkles will show less…if you don’t have any yet, you will.
Track your weight. Weigh yourself once a week and add it to the tracker. Facts keep us honest.
4. Connect your Fitbit to other apps
Keep moving tip: Only log things in one app. Log runs on fitbit, log food in Lose It!, not both. Use the primary tool so you don’t end up with double credit it.
5. Set alarms
Your fitbit will vibrate and lights will blink when an alarm goes off. This is sooo awesome, because no one else realizes your alarm went off. I love this when I get up before my husband for a workout, it doesn’t wake him to like a regular alarm would
Set an alarm for reminders
Fortunately or otherwise, I have called into customer service several times. They always teach me something I didn’t know before, and have even sent me a replacement, actually 3 times. If you don't know how to use a feature look it up on the help page or just call fitbit.
Research all the features your "toy" has, try them and let them motivate you to move more and eat less.
Bottom line is, to get your money’s worth and motivation from your fitbit use it.
What features do you like on fitbit? What do you use your alarm for?
It is scientifically proven that eating every 2-3 hours keeps your blood sugars level, metabolism pumping and keeps you from over eating at meals. Doing so has made a huge difference in my own ability to make better food choices and maintain a healthy weight.
Having a snack in my car when I get in after a workout, or an apple on the counter when I get up from my computer in the afternoon I’ll eat that and be good to go till my next meal.
When there’s not I am likely to eat the whole jar of peanuts, or stop to buy a candy bar at the drug store on the way home...not healthy choices. Having a properly portioned snack in a little baggie keeps me in line. Go figure. And my family is learning portion control too.
Variety is the spice of life, eating the same snack everyday just won’t do. So watch for more snack posts in the near future, I managed to rein myself in and just give one recipe with a bunch of options in this blog post.
Today I’m sharing the simplest “homemade” snack I know, it’s a favorite of mine and my kids gobble it up too. Trail mix with just 4 ingredients that is ready in 3.2 minutes. I typically use dark chocolate (I stock up the day after any holiday, hence the Christmas packaging), unsalted or light salted nuts and sunflower seeds only if the kids haven’t seen them in the pantry and eaten them already. Look for dried fruit without added sugars or your calories go through the roof.
Super Simple Trail Mix
1 ½ cups salted peanuts
2 cups raisins
1 cup chocolate hard shell candy
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
Amount Per Serving 1/3 cup
Keep Moving Tip: Use what you like. unsalted almonds, a different dried fruit, more or less of any item, you can't go wrong.
More combo ideas:
Please share your favorite trail mix combination in the comments.
As an athlete (yes that's you...see definition)
one of the most critical ways you can support your body is by providing fuel during long workouts.
Often new athletes will do a long run or ride, drink plenty of water and then be baffled at why they are tired, out of energy or even dizzy at the end. Simply fueling the body during the effort can provide the energy it needs to power you forward. Teaching clients to do this with whole foods often leads to "ah ha" moments, which are the most rewarding part of training moms.
You don’t need to fuel during an hour of gentle yoga or a 30 min run, eating well before and after are perfect here. Fueling during exercise comes into play with a workout over an hour or a shorter but very intense workout.
Finding a fueling system that works for you takes trial, error and time. That’s why it should be part of your workouts and certainly part of your event training process. When looking for fuel, we want easily digested carbohydrates that will absorb quickly and give you a nearly immediate boost.
The fuel market is full of gels, gu's, bars, chews, you name it. Flip it over, read the ingredients and see if you know what you’re putting into your body. I do this with everything I eat already so there’s no sense in throwing that practice out the window with training. Athletes trained with whole foods long before the gu market exploded and there’s a great way to find balance here.
Whole food fuel options:
Stingers – on one particular run, I discovered I’d dropped my fuel zip lock and changed my route to pass the local running store. They had these honey stingers which met my need to have something on the go, while still being mostly whole food ingredients. My nod to living in the real world and not being psycho with my whole food quest.
Zip lock bags are perfect with fuel. An open honey stick is not your friend at mile 8 when you discover it is oozing out of your pocket. The snack size small enough to fit in a pocket, or easy to store in a race belt (fanny pack who are we kidding here). Repac makes a great quality reuse-able bag worth checking out.
Buy a few options or raid your pantry for some foods you have already. Start by eating a small something every 30 min. then play with that. Is every 20 min better or 45? If you are training for an event, find out how often there are water stations available and try matching that interval during your training. A sip of water with any fuel is ideal. Again, training for an event has to include practicing fuel options. Over time you’ll discover you really can fuel with whole foods for your strongest finish.
Do what you would tell your kids to do. Wear clean underwear and eat good food.
Keep Moving Mama
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Oh yes, you know the song. And believe me it’s a favorite tune in our house, cause this mama cooks with beans all-the-time.
Beans are actually one of my favorite places to save on the grocery bill and to channel my need to control the quality of ingredients. A can of beans is great in a hurry, but cooking dry beans is so satisfying and makes the house smell fabulous! They tend to hold together better and have a brighter color too.
In fact, I cook them so often that my friend Elizabeth and I started going in on a humongous bag of pinto beans every so often. Then we get to have a girls trip to Costco, it’s much more fun Costco shopping with her than on my own.
This week I cooked 2 pounds of black beans while we were at the house watching play off football. Football season gives me lots of time to cook.
Super easy recipe, you got this.
Toss the beans into a colander and rinse
I have yet to find a rock in my beans, but always look anyhow.
Toss the beans into the biggest stock pot you have, fill it with water to cover the beans by a few inches.
Bring to a rolling boil for 2 min, then cover and let sit for an hour.
Yes you can soak them overnight, but I rarely remember.
Drain the beans in the colander, toss back in the pot, cover with water and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to a slow simmer for about 2 hours. The time varies on the type of bean, the age of the beans so taste one periodically to see if they are done. Smashing one with the back of a spoon will let you know how soft they are too if you don’t want to eat a zillion unseasoned beans.
Once they are finished, I let them cool. Then scoop 2 cups into a freezer bag. Then I have a stock pile of beans in my freezer.
15 oz can of black beans at Raleys is $1.49
1 pound of dry black beans at Raleys is $1.99
1 pound of dry cooked = 53 ounces of cooked beans or 3.5 cans
Savings on 3.5 cans vs a pound dry = $2.48
That’s less than half price for a better product. Typically I find dry beans for even less in the bulk section, on sale or at Costco since they have a long shelf life.
Tonight I’m using a crockpot burrito bowl recipe with the black beans. Stay tuned to find out how that turns out. Recipe. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooker-chicken-burrito-bowls-207333
Love to hear your favorite bean and how you use them. Keep moving mama!
Sweet! The kids are off to school, I’m up, the good socks are clean and my phone is charged. I’m going for a long overdue solo run.
If I had only remembered to put on my Glide, I wouldn't have had chafe spots to hurt so bad in the shower! What’s Glide you ask?
It’s MAGIC, plain and simple.
In 1998 I trained for my first marathon with a group and the leader told us to buy a huge tub of Vaseline. We soon figured out why, you put that stuff anywhere clothes will rub, on your feet, under your sports bra, you name it. But even if you put handfuls on it would wear off after several hours, your feet would be raisins and who wants to carry Vaseline during an event much less sit down take off your shoes and put on more?
Fast forward to 2008 I’m leading Moms In Motion running and walking teams and discover Glide....the clouds opened up to blue sky and the sun shined right through…really it did. This stuff is in a stick like deodorant, so you can smear it on without getting it all over your hands. AND it stays-for-hours. Bra line, arm where your arm band is, ends of your toes, inner thighs, booty when you cycle, anywhere fabric may rub across your skin or you tend to get blisters.
Glide is MAGIC I tell ya. If you are a heavy sweater, ahem, do any endurance sports, hike, cycle or mountain bike you're likely to be familiar with the extremely uncomfortable chafe of which I speak. Order some Glide on amazon right now!
Keep moving tip: You can also buy an adorable pink Glide container. It’s the same exact product, just more expensive cause it's cute.
Silly as it sounds, I absolutely love this stuff. If you must know I actually keep a sample size stick in my purse. Have you used Glide? Or do you have another magic item for workouts?
Keep moving mama
Realizing I was no longer in control was my first lesson in motherhood. Babies do not come till they are ready and they never read the detailed birth plan. Turns out teenagers do things on their own time too.
It has taken years of practice, but I have found that if I focus on the few things that I can control, my whole family is better for it.
Running a group fitness program and a personal training business from home give me the exercise outlet. Each day I am inspired to learn new things about fitness and all its many topics, I just love it! Weird to some, but completely true.
Food is honestly on my mind even more than exercise. Baking, cooking, meal planning, visiting farmers markets...drooling over food blogs. Keeping the focus on real food for my family is my goal, doing that while living in our modern world is the daily challenge.
Attitude is a daily choice, I choose to do the best I can with what I've got.
So come along with me on this journey, I’ll share as I go if you will too…. keep moving mama!
Empowering women to build confidence through strength, health and community is the Keep Moving Mama mission. Comment to be part of the community.