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Butternut Squash Nachos

Hello friends!
Happy happy first Friday of fall!  It is officially my favorite season!  Although the temperatures have been SO hot the past 2 weeks! It almost seems hotter than August!
Despite it still being hot outside, I am determined to lure in cooler temperatures with some yummy fall recipes! If you missed my new Pumpkin Pie smoothie, you can get the recipe here!

I also want to say a HUGE thank you to all the kind words of encouragement for my vulnerable post about some recent life events.

I went to Trader Joe’s the other day, and it was ALL THINGS PUMPKIN!  I have to say that made my heart pretty happy.  I had to restrain myself from buying everything with the word pumpkin! Haha  But I did find something that inspired the recipe for today!

I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit for our comfort food themed week!

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 Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Nachos

Ingredients

  • Large handful of pumpkin chips (or your favorite tortilla chip)
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (I cheated a little and got some pre-chopped, but you can always buy a whole squash and peel and chop it yourself!
  • 1 red pepper, washed, cored and chopped into 1 inch squares
  • Goat cheese, shredded- As much as desired
  • 1 avocado any any other desired nacho toppings
  • Spices- Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic

 

Directions

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  1. Pre-heat oven to 425* F
  2. Place veggies on a lined baking sheet, cover with spices to taste
  3. Bake for 20-25 min
  4. Carefully remove the veggies into a bowl
  5. Turn oven onto broil
  6. Place a layer of chips on the baking sheet
  7. Scoop the veggies onto the chips
  8. Sprinkle on desired amount of cheese (you can also add a layer between the chips and veggies if desired
  9. Broil for 1-2 min, watching carefully
  10. Remove from the pan onto a plate
  11. Add avocado or other desired toppings
  12. Enjoy!

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by AnnmarieFarrah, Esther + Jess.)

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! :)

  • Join us next week for some festive drink themed recipes!

I am also joining Jill‘s Living a Life of Fitness Health & Happiness link-up!

Be filled with joy and health!
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Let’s Love, Not judge!

Something happened to me last week that I really was not expecting.  It was actually a bit shocking and took me back to some painful memories.  Then it made me angry.  And then sad.  And frustrated. I guess part of me still had hope that by the time I reached my mid-30s, this kind of situation would not happen any more.

I was shamed once again for my weight.  And not just by a random stranger (although that as also happened), but by a medical professional. And I am really saddened when I hear these kinds of stories.  I have a few amazing Sweat Pink sisters who have also dealt with body shaming, and it makes me angry!

  • Jen was shamed when trying to find a bra!
  • Farrah was shamed because she is strong!
  • Kaila has been shamed for her lifestyle!
  • Susie has been shamed for her running!

Since the incident last week my mind has dug up a few memories from the past and I have had to re-process them, and remind myself that I am NOT those things that people said, and my worth is NOT based on my weight.

Here are just a few examples of things said to me over the years…from family members, strangers, acquaintances, classmates, doctors and boyfriends.

* You would be so beautiful if you lost weight.
* When you wear red you look like a fat tomato.
* If you stay the same weight and grow taller you will actually be skinnier.
* How can you have a boyfriend when you are fat?
* Have you ever considered weight loss surgery?
* Have you ever tried doing cardio?
And the latest
* Well, you know, your back muscles are tight because of your weight.

Excuse me? Did I hear that right? You think I am tight solely because I have some extra pounds to lose?
How about instead of judging me, you ask me some questions? Because if you did, I would tell you that I have been increasing the amount of weights I have been lifting. And that can cause me to be tighter.  And I have been taking care of sick kiddos. And I have spent extra time in the kitchen lately cooking. And have done extra driving. And slept funny.  And my thyroid is a mess and needs some TLC.
So yes, there are many reasons I can be tighter due to my lifestyle but NONE of those reasons mean you should judge me. Or anyone for that matter.
I did not come to be judged once again for what I look like.

Once upon a time that kind of judgement would cause me to make poor choices that would only hurt myself.  I am SO thankful that I have SO many wonderful people in my life who hear this kind of story and want to jump to my defense.
Those who judge me don’t know I have run over 100 races.
They don’t know that I love to cook healthy and delicious meals for my family and friends.
They don’t know that I lift weights, run, Zumba,  box, do yoga, eat well, drink loads of water and enjoy life.
They just don’t know.

But I know. And those who I choose to have in my life know.
And I choose to NOT let their words change who I am.

So to you who have judged me, I wish you the best.  I wish you can find happiness for your life so you don’t have to judge anyone else.

And I am going to keep on living my fabulous life just the way I am!

Be filled with joy and health!
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Little Week Recap and a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

Hi there friends!
Happy Tuesday!
I am a little behind on blogging and I have been playing catch up for the last week since I FINALLY got my computer fixed!!  I have had so many issues with it the last 6 months, and I was finally able to make an appt and take it to the Apple store.  I took it in last Sunday afternoon, and I was there for a while.  The tech who helped me was very kind and knowledgeable! At fist we both thought my hard drive had crashed (AGAIN), but thankfully, that was NOT the issue!  My computer was in a vicious cycle of needing an update, but not having enough room to update because my hard drive was full. But, each time I attempted to pull things off onto my external hard drive, the computer would freak and not let me do it because I had not updated…See the cycle there?!? So after running some test, they were able to figure out what needed to be done.
1- remove my 20+ thousand pics and all other data.
2- Delete & wipe the computer clean.
3- Load the update
4- Re-ad the data I needed (aka, not ALL of my pictures…lol)
So when they called on Wed morning saying it was ready, I was thrilled.  However, when I got to the store and they brought out my computer, I tried to log in and it was still having the same issues :(  Turns out they forgot to complete steps 2 & 3 in the 3 days they had my computer!  Thankfully, they were able to do them right then and there, but I did sit in the store for over an hour waiting for the “10-15 min” procedure to be finished.
At the end of the day I basically have a new computer with the new operating system and it running on happy space!

The rest of the week I played some catch up between mountains of laundry from sick kiddos (darn tummy virus) and lots of snuggles.

On Friday I got to head out to a city on the other side of Houston from me and hang with my Texas nephew and niece!  We had a fab weekend together despite it still being over 100*F with the heat index!  Saturday I watched little B play soccer and baby B and I were pretty much melting on the sidelines!

The highlight of the weekend was when the Hubs came out to join us and me introducing the kids to snapchat filters!  I think we laughed so hard we cried a few times! If you follow me on Instagram, you can see some of the video action!


As fall approaches this week, I have def been in the mood for more pumpkin based meals. I had some left over puree from my latest pumpkin creation, so I decided to make a pumpkin smoothie!  Boy oh boy, it was like Thanksgiving jumped off the calendar and into my smoothie!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 of small container of Siggis vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen
  • 1 tsp cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice

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Directions

  1. Blend banana with almond milk still smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend till smooth.
  3. Split into 2 glasses & sprinkle punk in pie spice on top.
  4. Enjoy with optional whipped cream ( I didn’t have an on hand, but I know it will add another burst of flavor to this delicious smoothie!)

I even hung up my new fall door decoration I received for my birthday from a sweet friend!
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Come on fall, we are waiting for you!

 
What are you most excited about for during this fall?
– What pumpkin recipes do you enjoy? Or are you more an apple person?

I am linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin today for their Weekly Wrap!
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Be filled with joy and health!
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Red guacamole with roasted carrots

Hi there friends! Happy Friday!
I am SO happy to say I have back with my computer!  It has been a good while since she has really worked properly, but after a little stay in the Apple store computer hospital, she is ALL fixed!  It is a nice feeling to log into ones computer and not see a gray screen!  So I will soon be able to reply to all the lovely comments and catch up on lots of blogs!  Blogging from my phone was really challenging, and my little fingers got tired from typing out my email and blog address over and over! Whew!

Today is Foodie Friday, but also a VERY special birthday!  My big sis is another year older!  I really don’t feel like we are in our 30s, but still back in our early 20s…She is not only my sister, but my friend!  Growing up we had our moments, but most of the time had each others back!  She has always be the most beautiful girl to me, and I always wanted to be just like her when I grew up.  She is an amazing wife and mommy to the best 7 nephews and nieces around! She loves God and has a heart to help anyone in need.  She is my rock and support and never judges me for my mistakes.  Love you sis!
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I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit for our guacamole themed week!

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Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 TBS avocado oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Carrot spices- pinch of salt, pepper, equal parts- Cumin, rosemary, oregano
  • Pepper/tomato spice- salt, pepper, paprika, garlic
  • Avocado spices- to taste- salt, pepper, garlic, paprika

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425*F
  2. Wash, core and chop pepper and tomato.
  3. Wash and peel carrots & cut into 3 inch sticks.
  4. Place chopped pepper, tomato and carrot on an oiled baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle the listed spices on each chopped ingredient.
  6. Bake for 20-25 min or until carrots are soft but also slightly firm.
  7. Let peppers, tomatoes and carrots cool while making the guacamole.
  8. Slice open the avocados and remove the pit.  Placing the flesh in a large bowl.
  9. Add in the spices and lime juice to taste, mix well.
  10. Add the tomatoes and red pepper to the avocado, mix well.
  11. Enjoy with the carrot sticks (or chips🙂 )

 

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by AnnmarieFarrah, Esther + Jess.)

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! :)
  • Join us next week for some comfort food themed recipes!

 

I have also linked up for Meatless Monday with Deborah (Confessions of a Mother Runner) & Sarah (A Whisk & Two Wands)
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Be filled with joy and health!
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Savory pumpkin & bacon quinoa shells {gluten free}

Hello friends and happy Friday!
I am finally getting into the swing of the new routine with school and my new routines.  It always seems to take a few weeks to get in the swing.  Does that happen for anyone else?

After I made zoodles a few times last week, I needed a little bit of a break from zucchini! Plus, I have been craving some pumpkin dishes since it is September, so I raided my pantry to see what I had hanging out to use. I was thrilled to find some pumpkin puree and some quinoa shells!
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I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit for our savory themed week!

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Pumpkin & bacon quinoa shells
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Ingredients

  • 2 peppers
  • 3-4 slices of chopped turkey bacon
  • 1 Tbs avocado oil
  • 1 Tbs ghee
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut milk
  • 2-3 Laughing Cow cheese wedges
  • Spices- to taste: Salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes
  • 2 boxes gluten free shell pasta

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425* F.
  2. Wash, core and chop peppers into quarter size chunks.
  3. Place chopped peppers and bacon on an oiled baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 min.
  5. Prepare pasta per box directions while bacon and peppers roast, set aside in a large bowl.
  6. In a large frying pan melt ghee and add in garlic.
  7. As soon as garlic begins to brown, add in the pumpkin, coconut milk, cheese & spices.  Whisk together well.
  8. Add roasted peppers and bacon to the pumpkin mixture, stir well.
  9. Add the pumpkin mixture to the shells and mix well.
  10. Enjoy!

 

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by AnnmarieFarrah, Esther + Jess.)

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! :)
  • Join us next week for some Guacamole themed recipes!

 

Be filled with joy and health!
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My favorite lifestyle apps

Hello friends!  Happy Wednesday🙂
I am slowly getting back into my workouts after a few weeks off due to back issues and getting a nasty summer cold/flu. Last week I managed to make it to the gym a few times and I also went to a self defense class which was pretty interesting and intense and I learned a lot.  I wish I had taken some pics or videos of the night.  The next time I attend a session I will for sure take some!
img_4544I wanted to share with you all a few things that help me stay on track with my fitness goals.  Many years ago I hardly forgot anything.  Then I had a brain injury and my memory does not behave the same.  So I am really thankful I have some tools I can rely on to help me stay focused and on the right path for me.  I pretty much use these apps everyday. Between logging meals, water, sleep and my fitness, I can get a sense of what I need to focus on.  Some weeks I notice my hydration is down so I pick up the intensity and set some alarms on my phone to remind me to drink more water!  I hope I am not alone in the area of needing some friendly reminders once in a while!  I also actually make money living healthy! Say what? Yep, it is true!  See below for more info🙂
In no particular order, here are my fav healthy living apps! {I was not asked to talk about any of these apps, nor am I being compensated in anyway, I am just sharing from my experiences!}

1. Runkeeper- This is an app where I can log just what type of workout I do.  It used to just be a running/walking app, but it is so much more now! You can pretty much log any type of workout.  I really like that I can play my music through the app and I shares with my my stats when I am running outside.  I also enjoy connecting with other friends who have RunKeeper- {Let me know if you want to connect here}

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2. My-24- This is an app for my gym, 24 hour fitness.  Previously I only used the app to look at the class schedule.  They recently re-did the app, and I like it even better.  I still used it for the class schedules, but I also use it to look at my own personal data.  The app is also aligned with a rewards program, and I get points for checking in, working out, connecting on social media, and reading valuable articles.

3. MyFitnessPal- Man, I have had this app for YEARS! My first log in was actually over 6 years ago!  I think that may be the app I have used the longest since apps became a thing! Ha.  I have seen the app improve so much over the past few years, and I really like that they have partnered with Under Armor.  I am not always super strict about my food logging, but it does help me know how on track I am.  Some days I feel like I did really well, just to see that I am short on a certain macro or nutrient.  I use that information to help myself stay balanced.  I also like that I can encourage my friends who are also on the app, and stay accountable if I am in a season where I feel I need it.  {If you want to connect with here, I am Chocolaterunnergirl🙂 }

4. Connect- This is a Garmin app that I use with my VivoFit2.  I had it with my first VivoFit and I have again, seen changes and improvements over the past 2+ years.  Although the Garmin may not be as popular as the fit bit, I still love mine.  I love that I don’t have to sync it everyday (although I normally do to check my sleep), no charging needed, and it is waterpoof, so I don’t have to worry about taking it off to shower or swim.  I like that the app gives me different step challenges each week and that it tracks my sleep pretty well.
{I am also Chocolaterunnergirl on this app if you want to connect}

5. ithlete- I received the ithlete monitoring system for my birthday last year, and I really enjoyed using it.  It gives me information about how my body is doing and how I should handle the training for the day.  I def need to be using the data I collect more to work smarter, not harder.

6. Waterlogged- Like I mentioned above, I have times when I struggle to get all my water in during the day.  Depending on the water bottle I have with me each day, I know how many times I need to fill it up to reach my quota.  I like this app because you can personalize it with pictures of your own beverage containers, and it also gives you rewards for simply logging in.  I like to see where I am during the day and how many more ounces I need.

7. Pact App- This is literally one of my favorite apps!  It is so simple, and so rewarding.  Since I joined almost 3 years ago, I have earned several hundred dollars, and never had to pay a single cent.  The app began as a motivational app with exercise.  Log your workouts, earn cash.  Miss your pre-set workouts and pay.  They then added in fruit/veggie logs and food logging.  The beauty of the app is that you can change each week what you want to do. You can change how many workout days you want to do (up to 7), how many days you want to log food (also up to 7) and how many fruits/veggies (up to 5 per day, and 35 overall). Some weeks I know will be crazy and I might only commit to logging 3-4 workouts, and other weeks I know I need to push myself and log a workout of some sort each day.  You can log workouts at the gym, outside, through other apps (runkeeper, mapmyrun, jawbone, moves & fitbit) or even at home.  They are pretty versatile about it.
When it comes to logging meals, you do have to have myfitnesspal to get credit for the logs.  You have to log at least 3 meals for the day and be over 1200 calories.  Not very hard.  And there are times I forget to sync it before midnight, and I just sync it the next day and it counts🙂
The veggie (fruits and veggies count) part is the most interesting. The community has to vote on the pictures you submit and sometimes they vote no! People used to vote ‘no’ to my smoothies and it was so annoying.  Then I realized that if I post each ingredient in my blender, they usually say yes!  You also get to vote and decide someones fate for their pic.  One thing I do like about the app is when you vote you can see the other pics they have submitted, and you can tell if someone just took 5 pics of the same thing and tried to say they reached their quota for the day.  When you deny a pic you tell why (from per-determined options).
The app does have glitches from time to time, but they always fix it, and they don’t charge you if they are having issues.
If you want to try Pact App, let me know and I can send you a code that will set you up with $5 to start🙂

So those are my basic healthy living apps.  I have used others over time, but these are the ones I have stuck to over time.

Do you have any health apps that you love?  Tell me about them!
And don’t forget to connect on any apps we have in common🙂

I am linking up with Annemarie, Nicole, Michelle and Jen for #WildWorkoutWednesday
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Michelle at Fruition Fitness // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Google+
Jen at Pretty Little Grub // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pin

Be filled with health and joy!

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Avocado Pesto Zoodles

Happy Friday friends!

Last week I spent a good portion of the week battling a bad cold and some flu like symptoms. The 2 weeks before that I was nursing a back flate up. I am so thankful to be feeling better this week!

We have a few teaser days of fall-like weather. Fall is my favorite time of year, and it will officially be here in a few weeks. While we still definitely have more summer weather here in TX, we are taking advantage of it and participating in some more summer activities before it gets cooler.

One thing I love about fall is the harvest. I love going to a farm and picking apples, getting pumpkins and squashes and other yummy veggies. Growing up in PA we had lots of farms all around us. Now where I live there are a few pumpkin farms close to me, but for the most part I visit my local Farmer’s Market to get some fresh local produce. It is a perfect match for our theme this week.

I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit for our Organic Harvest themed week!

One thing I get a little obsessed with in the fall is zucchini! I love that it is so versatile and I can use it in so many recipes!  My latest meatballs have zucchini in them and it makes them kind of melt in your mouth.  I also really love adding it to desserts to add more nutritional value😉

This new recipe was inspired by my bestie. She posted a delish looking meal the other day and I made some modifications with what I had available!


Avocado pesto zoodles 

Ingredients  

  • 2-4 organize zucchini, washed
  • 2 tbs organic ghee
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 1/2 organic pesto
  • 1 med organic avocado
  • 1 handful organ grape tomtoes
  • Spices to taste (Himalayan salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes)
  • This recipe calls for a spiralizer, but you can always chop up the zucchini if needed)

Directions 

  1. Spiralize (or chop) all zucchinis
  2. Warm ghee in a large frying pan and add minced garlic.
  3. Add zoodles and sauté till soft.
  4. Place zoodles in a large bowl
  5. Add additional spices if desired.
  6. Chop tomatoes in half.
  7. Blend pesto and avocado together till smooth.
  8. Add sauce to zoodles
  9. Sprinkle tomatoes on top.
  10. Enjoy!


Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Farrah | blog | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin’

Annmarie | blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin’

Jess | blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin‘

Esther | blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin’

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah, Esther + Jess.)

Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O

Please only link up recipe posts!:)

Join us next week for some savory themed recipes!

I have also linked up with Angela for Sunday Fitness & Food link-up!

Be filled with health and joy!