Welcome to Self Soul Space! This blog is designed to bring you healthy lifestyle tips. A true healthy lifestyle, embodies a healthy mind, body, spirit, and environment. Thanks for stopping by to check out my way of living.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Updated Classic: Summer Vegetarian Chili

One of my main go to meals for meatless Monday is my vegetarian chili.  But I thought this Monday, how can I spruce this up a bit, make it more summer friendly.  So here is an update to my classic vegetarian chili. I hope you enjoy it on meatless Monday, or any day of the week.  And if you are a carnivore, you can add ground turkey or cooked chicken to it.

Summer Vegetarian Chili

Serves 6-8, hands on time 15 min, total time 45min

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped (I used vidalia)
1 green pepper, seeded & chopped
1 red pepper, seeded & chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup frozen corn
1cup frozen peas
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (add more for spice)
1 tsp crushed red pepper (add more or less for heat)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper

In a Dutch oven over med-high heat, sauté onion, green & red peppers, and garlic until soft. Add carrots, sauté more. Then stir in corn and peas.
Add beans, and tomatoes, stir. Then add seasonings, and bring to almost a boil. Lower heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 30 min (or longer). You could also cook this is in a crockpot, 2-3hrs on high, 4-6 on low.
I served this updated classic over brown rice with a little shredded cheese on top.
Makes great leftovers too... Enjoy!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baby Body 4 & 5 Months

The past 2 month have flown by... It has been very busy, which is why I had to combine months 4 and 5.  Craziness: Lots of workouts, new BodyFlow launch, new training program, summer vacation, and a bigger baby!!!  At the 4 month checkup, Baby V is topping the charts at 26 inches, and 13 pounds.  Still eating like a champ, and sleeping well.  She plays, laughs, rolls over, puts everything in her mouth, and loves conversations!

What's happening on my healthy living, AKA loose the baby weight, journey? (This is a long breakdown)
Week 1, came right at perfect time... Just after my birthday and a baby V's baptism, I needed a good workout week! I taught a warm BodyFlow class, lol. For those of you who were in my class you remember... That was the first week of summer camp at the YMCA, and my normal room was taken away from me. So, we we're assigned the the very humid, and warm multipurpose room (it's connected to the indoor pool).  10 minutes into class, we were all dripping sweat... It was a great class!  Tuesday, I skipped spin to walk my neighborhood! Wednesday, Kathy kicked my butt (and back) as usual in yogilates.  Thursday, I taught class, in a cooler room, but it was a great class!  Friday was a rest day, because Saturday I scheduled a run a Glasgow. My Saturday run, was just ok, I didn't feel like running, but I pushed through and completed 3 slow miles.  Sunday was another rest day, in order to gear up for next week.
Wow, Week 2, was crazy busy for workouts. A group (myself included) within Black Girls Run Delaware, was starting our Team 26.2 training program.  Yup, you read correctly... I am training for a marathon... A Full Marathon.  It's a 18wk program, but our marathon is not until November 23 (22 weeks away), we allowed for some grace weeks, heat, summer vacations, back to school, etc.. On Monday, I taught BodyFlow, then hit the treadmill for a 2 mile easy run.  Tuesday, I practiced and started learning the new BodyFlow release at home.  Wednesday, it was insanely hot, so my girls and I met Dani & London at the mall for some laps.  We probably walked about 2 miles, before stopping to shop... Lol.  Thursday, I taught BodyFlow, with baby V in my arms... Smh, someone should of snapped a pic of me, V, and tree pose.  Long story short, baby V and kid zone did not get along that day.  Friday was a rest day. Saturday, I met up with BGR!DE/Team 26.2 and we (plus baby v) ran our first long run of our training program.  I ran 5.6 miles through White Clay Creek Park.  Then came home and did BodyFlow 65... Still learning. Sunday was a double BodyFlow day, I taught class then came home and practiced release 65 for launch next week.
Week 3-Launch week!  Monday, I taught my normal class, and practiced BodyFlow 65 for tomorrow's launch.  On Tuesday, I launched the new release.  On Wednesday, I taught flow express, a 45 minute class, then hit the streets in my neighborhood for an easy 2mile run... My body hurt! I taught Thursday, and think I lost a pound in sweat. Friday was 4th of July, BBQs and fireworks... Thank goodness, I needed a break!  Saturday, I skipped my run, boo! Sunday, I taught BodyFlow again, then walked over to Glasgow to meet up with the kids & D.  I taught a wopping 5 times, it was great... However, my runs suffered, I am grateful for those grace weeks already.
Week 4, I started working the agDiscovery summer program like I do every summer.  I taught Monday, and had a quick treadmill run. Tuesday and Wednesday were rest days for me because of program field trips. Thursday, I taught BodyFlow and hit the treadmill after class for a run.  My back was killing me, sleeping in a different bed, does crazy things to my body.  Friday, I taught again, and hit the treadmill again.  Saturday, I woke up early and went for a short run around my neighborhood, no phone, no music... Just me and my thoughts!  Sunday, I taught flow and stretched my achy body.
(at my in-laws' house)
Week 5 was an easy week for me ;-). I was wrapped up with the program for the entire week.  I even had a sub for my BodyFlow classes.  I still practiced at my in-laws, and ran around their neighborhood.  On Thursday, we headed to DC with the program, no major workout, just a little hotel room yoga.  Friday morning, I woke up early and headed out for a 3 mile run from Chevy chase to Bethesda, and back to DC.  It felt great, I felt like I had the power & speed of Michael Simmonds!  Saturday was a program day, and Sunday I headed home to teach BodyFlow!  I missed my class!  This was a nice easy week, but it was time to get serious!
Just as I say that, Week 6 brought vacation! The Thayer family headed to Miami! I taught Monday then hit the treadmill for a quick run.  Then pack and fly! I only practiced beach yoga on Friday... Other than that... Vacation was exactly what it was supposed to be!
Week 7, we returned from Miami after a long day of flying on Monday night.  Tuesday was a rest day. Wednesday, Mia and I headed to Glasgow for a 3 mile run with BGR!  Thursday and Friday class was back in session!  Saturday, I headed out for an early morning run in the neighborhood, no phone, no music... I think I'm starting to like running with just me and my thoughts.  Sunday, was another good BodyFlow class.  I truly need flow after runs... It's amazing what 60 min of stretching does for my body!
Week 8 was great... And busy! Monday, I taught my normal morning class, then headed back to the YMCA to teach the evening BodyFlow class.  I went for a 2 mi early morning neighborhood run on Tuesday. I rested Wednesday, yes!  Thursday, another great flow class, then the family and I went for a 1.5mi run/walk thru the neighborhood.  Friday, I taught (again).  Saturday, instead of meeting up with BGR! the family and I headed to Glasgow for a family sport day, we played tennis, then soccer, then walked!  We had a blast! And Sunday, was another flow day!  Oh yeah, how could I forget, I was also learning a new (old) release, to teach the following week.
Week 9, wraps up this long 2 month journey.  Monday, I taught, then J, M, V, and I walked the 1.1mi to the school playground, then back!  Tuesday, I practiced flow at home, then we headed to DC. Wednesday was a rest day, the girls, my stepmother, and aunt went to see The Lion King at the Kennedy center. Then we headed to Georgetown for some cupcakes... Yup, I said it!  I headed back home, while the big girls stayed in DC, V and I headed home, so I could teach Thursday.  Thursday evening, D, V, & I went for a 2.7 mi walk/run at Glasgow.  The weather has been so beautiful, we had to get out and enjoy it! Friday, I taught flow with a special visitor, Elysia (normal Friday flow teacher) and her newborn baby, then headed to the Wilmington blue rocks to moonlight for Toyota.  Saturday, I ran around the neighborhood again, my normal 2mi loop. Then headed to the blue rocks for another evening of baseball.  Sunday, was another great class, and my big girls finally came home from DC!

What's my body doing?
I weigh 132 lbs (woo-hoo)!
I am measuring at 30" under the bust, 32.25" top of bust, 27" around my waist, 36" around my waist, and 21.5" around my thigh.  Overall, I'm down a total of 4.5" and 2lbs!!
I'm feeling pretty good! Strong, more flexible, my core is strong, my legs are slowly Turing back into runner's legs.  My diet has been much better these past 2 months!  I'm still tired, but I guess that's the new norm with still one feeding a night, and life with 3 kids (4 if you count D).  I love the progress I am seeing!

Here are the Photos:
 4/7/14                 8/15/14
 4/7/14                 8/15/14
What are my goals for the next month?
I am extremely happy with my progress!! So, I will continue to add more runs to my schedule, get back on my school workout schedule... Yes, next month school starts for the big girls!  Yay!  I am also going to put Mr. D and myself on a 21 whole food cleanse.  I'll post more info about it later, so you may join in... stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Healthier Parmesan Crusted Chicken

I have been seeing the Hellmann's commercial for their Parmesan Crusted Chicken on repeat like everyday.  So, I decided I'm going to make it... But healthier, with less calories!  I served my chicken with spinach spaghetti, and a Caesar salad.

How did I do it?

The original recipe called for...
1/2 c Hellmann's mayonnaise (90 cal & 10g Fat per serving- 1tbs)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless chicken breast (1.25 lbs)
4 tbsp Italian seasoned dry breadcrumbs

My healthier recipe used...
1/4 c Hellmann's Light mayo (35 cal & 3.5g fat per serving- 1tbs)
1/4 c Parmesan grated cheese
2 boneless chicken breast, butterflied then split, equaling 4 pieces (less than 1lb)
4 tbsp homemade Italian Wheat breadcrumbs

The directions are still the same... Combine mayo and cheese. Spread over raw chicken. Then top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

By swapping out the ingredients, and cutting the portion size of the chicken, you save about 25% of the calories and fat content in the chicken breasts, and over 80% of the calories from the mayo. I personally can't tell the difference between regular and light mayo, so it's an easy swap for me. And even though you are using less mayo all together, it still has the same effect and flavor on the chicken like the commercial says, "juicy chicken".   Also, using homemade breadcrumbs, you can control the ingredients and eliminate extra, unnecessary ingredients.  Overall, this healthier Parmesan crusted chicken got a thumbs up from everyone in my family!!

Here are my recipes for the pasta and breadcrumbs:
Homemade Italian breadcrumbs
2 Slices of Whole Wheat toast
1tsp Dried spices/herbs
-granulated garlic
-thyme leaves
-ground sage
-basil leaves
-Salt & pepper
In a small food processor, chop toasted bread, dried spices, and sprinkle with S & P.

Spinach spaghetti 
Cooked spaghetti (serving for 4)
4-5oz spinach
2 cloves minced garlic
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Melt 2 tbs of olive oil and 1 tbs of butter in a skillet, sauté garlic and spinach together. Then add cooked pasta, toss to. Blend and coat. Add a bit of pasta water to loosen up spaghetti.

Close windo
Close window

Monday, August 11, 2014

Smoothie Recipe: Kiddie Kale

Remember when I mentioned that big bag of kale from D's poker buddy, well Jordan and Mia wanted to make their own smoothies... Here is their kale smoothie recipe...

Kiddie Kale
makes 2 kid smoothies

2 kid handfuls Kale, stems removed
1 cup fresh squeezed Orange juice
1 cup Strawberries, frozen or fresh
1 cup Pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp ground Flaxseed

In a blender, blend kale and OJ. Then add fruit and flaxseed, then blend to desired consistency.  Or split the ingredients between 2 separate magic bullet/nutribullet cups, and blend,

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Walk this Way!

We all know walks are great for the mind, body, and soul.  So today, I went for a walk with my Family around the neighborhood.. And I decided to take a lesson from my kids, and make it fun.  We had a blast, and that 1.5 miles flew by!
Make your walks more fun: Add a game to your walk to bring a smile to your lips and a bounce to your step. Whether you’re on your own or with a partner, invite your inner child to play.  Here are some of the games we played...

ABC Scavenger Hunt. Try to spot something that starts with each letter of the alphabet — in order.

Tightrope Walker. When you come to a log or curb, use it as a balance beam.  Now, we did balance beam "gymnast" tricks, that's optional.

Follow the Leader. If the captain hops up onto a park bench, everyone must follow suit, and so on. On paths without obstacles, pretend you’re stepping through a tire run like football players in training, try funny dance moves (Walk Like an Egyptian, anyone?), princess parade, or long jump over a sidewalk crack.

Double Dog-hog Dare You. Every time we saw a dog (or groundhog), you have to complete a challenge: speed walk for 30 seconds, hopscotch a few steps, skip for several feet, run, or walk backwards.

Games not only help pass the time, but experts say combining physical activity with mental exercise also boosts brain health, which can help to protect against Alzheimer’s.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Smoothie Recipe: Simply Kale

So, A poker buddy of D'reardon grows kale in his garden. He gave us a huge bag of kale, I was so grateful!  But now... What do I do with all of it?  I made a few batches of my kale chips, yum!  Sautéed it with fresh garlic and olive oil, as a side... And made some new smoothies with it.  Here is my favorite kale smoothie recipe!

Simply Kale
Makes 1 large smoothie 
1 big handful Kale, stems removed
1/2 c Coconut water
1 whole Apple, cored & chopped (I used Fuji & pink lady apples)
5-6 Pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
1 tbs ground Flaxseed

Blend kale and coconut water together first, to break down the kale. Then add fruit and flaxseeds, blend to desired consistency... And enjoy!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summertime Sadness

"I've got that summertime sadness..."  Summer is wrapping up, can you believe it?  It was going so fast, I had to take some time, the entire month of July for just me and my family.  We spent some good quality time together and with extended family, we even went on vacation to Miami... Which was awesome! Beach, fun, and family... What more could you ask for?

But we are back. Time to get the girls ready for school, get back in the grove of teaching, and get Self Soul Space running at full steam.  So no real sadness, that summer is coming to an end, but happiness fall is about to begin.  And don't worry, The Thayer healthy living journey never stopped, so you will see recipes from the summer and new ones too, new baby body posts, videos, and tips for making your environment, the inner you, and the outer you more healthy!  If there is anything you'd like to see on Self Soul Space, comment below! In the words of my friend Lelani in Ohio, "Namastayhealthy my friends!"