Monday, December 15, 2014

WW – Week 7 – Holiday Maintenance

Week 7: December 8 – December 14

Original Weight: 197.6 lbs

Week 7 Starting Weight: 191.8 lbs
Current Weight: 190.2 lbs
Weekly Weight Loss/Gain: –1.6 lbs

Total weight loss: –7.4 lbs

Current Goal: 183.7 lbs
Ultimate Goal: 155 lbs

Week 6 Goals:
*Focus on my goal every time I feel myself falling down the rabbit hole of Oreos:
I probably made a solid “B” on this goal. A good 85% percent of the time I stopped myself from bingeing/eating excessively by just thinking about where I want to be on August 23, 2015 when I turn 30 – the best version of me possible.

After two weeks of gains, it was nice to step on the scale this morning and see a loss. I think talking about my own emotional eating last week helped really put things into perspective for me. It was a lot easier telling myself to stop (no binges!) and focus on my long-term goal after typing/talking it out.

I also received some really great advice that helped take the pressure I was putting on myself to LOSE LOSE LOSE by Miss Nutralicious (check her out, she’s wonderful!):

Also, real thing that I learned at nutrition school:
We were taught to help clients focus on maintaining weight instead of losing weight during November and December. Everyone gets so crazy busy during the holidays that they usually gain weight, so maintenance is a bigger goal. So don't beat yourself up if you maintain weight instead of lose during this month. Keep doing your healthy thang and you'll get where you want to be! :)

I decided that instead of beating myself up or telling myself NO during holiday shenanigans (we had two work parties last week I attended) – I would eat what I wanted but really listen to my hunger cues and not just blindly eat/snack. I’m going to still track my points, work on eating more filling foods and do everything else but move my focus more to maintenance over the holidays. I want to enjoy this time with my friends and family without having everything dictated by food. It worked this past week, so I feel good about this plan until after the New Years.

Another part of the emotional eating I didn’t address last week is that sometimes I think that, “Wow, I HAVE to eat this because I may never get to eat it again” – we just never knew how much food or what was going to be available to us growing up. I don’t ever remember being hungry growing up but then again, maybe it was just normal to us to have little, so we did with it what we could?

Just another aspect to this weight loss thing I have to remind myself about – my food intake is only dependent on me at this point. No one else. I buy the food, I prepare the food, I put the food in my mouth – anything beyond that is blaming someone else for my mistakes. I don’t like doing that in any other aspect of my life, so why should I do it when it comes to my nutrition?

Week 7 Personal Goal:
*Work on incorporating more vegetables into my meals.

Roasted Broccoli

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lillie Lately v.6

 Lillie Lately_update

Lillie Lately v.1; v.2; v.3; v.4 & v.5

Lillie has two princess bedtime story books. She’s really been into them lately and I let her choose which princess book she gets to read from each night. Recently, I’ve been working on teaching her left from right.

Me: [holding both books up in front of her] Which book do you want to read from – the left or the right?
Lillie: [points to left book]
Me: Which one is it? The left or the right?
Lillie: [points to the princess on the cover, Tiana] This one.
Me: No. Not the princess. Which book do you want – the book in my left hand or the right hand?
Lillie: The right.
Me: No, that’s the left book.
Lillie: Dat’s right.
Me: No, this is the right book (pointing to right book) and THIS is the left (pointing to left)
Lillie: No, mama. Dis is the WHITE book.
Me: …
White vs Right

Getting ready for school one morning, I’ve laid out a dress for Lillie to wear. She’s excited because well, she likes dresses. She’s changing from her pajamas.

Lillie: [shirt is stuck on her head] Silly shirt, you’re so taffy!
Me: [laughing] Did you say taffy?
Lillie: Yeah, silly me!
Me: What does taffy even mean?
Lillie: Um, um. It’s um, when like you’re trying to be nice and you are and you don’t throw balls at people’s faces. That’s taffy.

And here I thought it was candy. Silly me.

I was roasting brussel sprouts in the oven for dinner. Lillie comes walking into the kitchen from the hallway.

Lillie: Mama, someone farted.
Me: Uhm, I think that’s just dinner in the oven.
Lillie: No. I think someone farted.

I’ll give it to her though – brussel sprouts do smell a little bit like fart.

Lillie has been excited about Christmas since early November. She asked to set up our tree nearly every day for a month. When we I finally managed to get it together and pull it all out, she was thrilled. That evening we were sitting on the couch, looking at the tree and winding down for the day.

Lillie: Mama, is it Christmas?
Me: No, honey. It’s not for a few more weeks. We just put the tree up today to get ready for Christmas.

Lillie sits in silent for a moment, almost like she’s gathering her thoughts.

Lillie: Mama, will you please tell me when it’s Christmas?
Me: [laughing] You’ll know when it’s Christmas. I promise.
Lillie: But you will tell me, right mama?!
Me: [still laughing] Yes, I’ll tell you.
Lillie: YAY!

School Pics 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

WW – Week 6 – Emotional Eating

Week 6: December 1 – December 7

Original Weight: 197.6

Week 6 Starting Weight: 191.4 lbs
Current Weight: 191.8 lbs
Weekly Weight Loss/Gain: +.4 lbs

Total weight Loss: –5.8 lbs

Current Goal: 183.7 lbs

I gained again this week. Unlike last week though, I don’t feel entirely comfortable with it. And honestly? It’s probably less about the number increase and more about my lack of self-control when it comes to food. Specifically when that food becomes tied to my emotions.

Growing up we were poor. Mom raised 3 children on a waitress’ salary which is hard enough but then throw in the fact that she was dealing with her own demons (alcoholism and a smoker), we just did not have the disposable income in our life to have say, sodas on hand to drink whenever we wanted. Those were special moments and trust me, they were never name brand. Even going to McDonald’s was a luxury for us.

I am not ashamed of my childhood. My mother did the best she could with what she had. I always knew I was loved but I also was very aware of our social status in comparison with my friends/classmates. Especially when I hit middle school and things like name-brand shoes were popular and shopping at Goodwill was not.

When I started making my own money and could essentially afford a $6 meal deal from Sonic – I did (and I did it a lot). It somehow (and still does on occasion) makes me feel like I’ve stepped into a higher social class. It feels good knowing I can provide my daughter with more than what I had growing up.

I know it sounds silly but having the option/the ability to eat whatever the hell I want to reminds me of everything I didn’t have growing up and how much I do have now in comparison. It’s a positive reinforcement that I’m on the right track – at least in the sense of providing for my family.

When I start to limit that or recognize that I’m limiting it (no matter that it’s because I want to a better version of myself) it’s like my brain is all “FUCK THAT. You have worked hard, you deserve to eat that 1500 calorie burger.” And I listen. Because it makes sense to me.

When I type it out it sounds ridiculous. I’m also a people pleaser and sometimes that even makes it hard for me to tell myself no, even when I know I won’t like the future outcome.

I hope this doesn’t come off as one big excuse. It’s not. I know it’s my fault that I chose to binge eat that cookie dough, I could have walked away but I didn’t. There’s a consequence to every action and apparently this week it was a gain. All I can do is try to be better this week.

Last week goals:
*Prepare lunches/snacks for the weekdays – did it! Didn’t hit the vending machine once.
*Track my food on Saturday & Sunday – did it! It didn’t seem to help since I was being all emotional about shit but hey, it’s a start.

Weekly Personal Goal:
*Focus on my goal every time I feel myself falling down the rabbit hole of Oreos.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WW – Week 4 & 5

I didn’t post last Monday due to the awesomeness of being on vacation for Thanksgiving. My priority was not to blog and instead do things like do laundry & play with my kid. I did, however, still weigh in.

Week 4: November 17 – November 23

Original Weight: 197.6
Week 4 starting weight: 191.4
Current Weight: 191
Weekly Weight Loss: –.04 lbs

Total Weight Loss: – 6.6 lbs

Our water heater busted this week, which flooded the flooring in our kitchen, living room & hallway so we put new flooring in. It totally messed up my planning & instead of working around it, I used it as an excuse and didn’t put in the effort with my food choices as I should have. I was actually pretty surprised to even see a loss. New Floors

Scraping up carpet & tile is some serious business. Even Lillie got in on the action. (Actually she asked to watch television and we told her this was way more fun than that! I don’t think she quite believed us but she was a trooper anyhow.)

Alfred laid most of the flooring, I left Friday morning with just a small portion of the hallway done and came back that evening after work to everything done except maybe a 3x15 foot section. It was like walking into a whole new house. Even Lillie said, “Oh wow” when we stepped through the door.

Also, for anyone who ever decides to rip out their own carpet – you will be amazed at how gross it is underneath. We even found a Big Red stain underneath it that happened a few years ago that wasn’t visible from the top of the carpet.

We decided last year that we were really going to start making our home ours and updating it in the way we want. We moved in around 8 years ago but have always toyed with the idea of building our own home so kind of let things go. With Alfred starting his own business and investing money/time into that, building our own home just doesn’t carry the same interest to us as it did before. Our dreams have shifted. I’m excited for the changes we have planned.

On to Week 5!

Week 5: November 24 – November 30

Original Weight: 197.6 lbs

Week 5 Starting Weight: 191 lbs
Current Weight: 191.4
Weekly Weight Loss/Gain: +.4 lbs

Total Weight Loss: –6.2 lbs

*Current Goal:183.7 lbs*
Ultimate Goal: 155 lbs

Since starting Weight Watchers this is my first gain. I felt a little indifferent about it. Probably because I know it’s my fault. I let the week get away from me by not planning and my activity was low. Straight up, I’m the only one to blame for it and I knew it was coming. I’m happy it wasn’t more but now that I think about it – it sucks that I’m back where I was two weeks ago. I’m hoping that this week back at work I can get into my routine to keep me on track.

Weekends are the hardest for me since there’s no real structure – and with Thanksgiving traveling and family time, I just ate what I wanted when I wanted. I also drank a few more calories than probably necessary but to be fair, I did stay up for 39 hours straight Black Friday shopping so drinking a few Coke’s was the only way that happened.

Also, gummy worms. Gummy worms helped that happen.

Goals for this week:

*Prepare lunches/snacks for the weekdays
*Track my food on Saturday & Sunday

Officially been awake for over 24 hours now. #blackfriday #hashtagwow

A photo posted by Tamara Lehmann (@tamara0827) on

Friday, November 21, 2014

Runners Tell All: #1 Running Fan

Linking up with Amanda & Beka for the second-to-last Runners Tell All link-up to share a little bit about my #1 Running Fan.

Which would be lovely if I felt like I had a #1 Running Fan. Other than myself of course. You could probably save the hassle of reading this post if you’ve already read Kate’s – we’re pretty much in the same boat. I never felt like a “real” runner when I started (and sometimes still), so I just never forced running onto others. I was just like, okay, I’m going to run and that’s that.

Most of my races have been solo. It’s not that I don’t have supportive people in my life but none of them are runners, so the idea of them standing out in the weather for 30 minutes to 6 hours (hi non-marathon!) just to cheer me on for 30 seconds seemed kind of selfish. I mean, honestly, I’m not breaking any records here.

My husband is probably the most constant (because he has to deal with hearing about running way more than any non-runner should) and my best friend, Emilie, a very close second. She’s actually done a few 5ks with me.

5k Finishers!

And I guess my daughter. But to be fair, she thinks she’s the fastest human in the world right now so my running is pretty slow motion for her. Unless there is a park available near the start line, she’s not around to cheer me on. She does know when my Mizuno’s are on though, it’s about to go down. Which makes me pretty proud.

Houston Half Jan 2013

Both Alfred & Emilie have been amazing while I’ve ventured into this world of running but the people that get it, the people that are there when I need a mental boost and understand – are you guys. Abbey, Kate, Amanda, Katie, and Amanda are people who I could chat with about running & fitness all days if I could. The blogging community has been monumental in what I’ve accomplished and in what I hope to accomplish in this upcoming year. I don’t know if these people I’ve mentioned are actual “fans” but they’re certainly people who support the hell out of me & I love them for it.

Monday, November 17, 2014

WW- Week 3


Week 3: November 10 – November 16

Original Weight: 197.6 lbs

Week 3 Starting Weight: 193 lbs
Current Weight: 191.4 lbs
Weekly Weight Loss: – 1.6 lbs

Total Weight Loss: –6.2 lbs

*Current Goal: 183.7 lbs*
Ultimate Goal: 155 lbs

Confession: I didn’t track my food Saturday & Sunday.

Bonus confession: It was totally planned.

The husband & I decided to take ourselves a little mini-vacation (no kid!) I decided early on in the week that I wanted to enjoy the experience as opposed to worrying about what I was (or wasn’t) eating the entire time. I told myself throughout the week to stick to my food plan, if I was hungry to reach for something filling and not just convenient, because on Saturday I could choose whatever I wanted – guilt-free.

Alfred actually drinking Starbucks. SAY WHAT?!

It worked! I tracked everything throughout the week early on in the day, my lunches were planned & accounted for & I focused on my food slumps throughout the week. (2:30-3:00 pm is when my “munchie” clock goes off apparently). I thought I would weigh myself Friday morning, just to see where I stood and it was 189.8 lbs. I knew it wouldn’t be that low when I weighed in this morning because well, nachos were on my mini-vacation agenda, but I felt really good about that number.

Like, wow, eating (mostly) quality food that satisfies me in the long-term actually does work. I never felt hungry last week or deprived. I had two really great runs – that should not have felt as easy as they did because my actual running in the past few months has been sporadic at best – and I really feel like that is because of what I’ve been putting into my body.

I ran today after my weekend of not-as-good-choices and I could really tell I was struggling much more (even though the mileage was about the same).

I did make better choices than I normally would have over the weekend but I was still able to enjoy myself. I had margaritas, French fries, & nachos. But I also had grilled chicken, water, & the best steamed asparagus ever. When I was full, I put my fork down. I didn’t eat with the mind-set of “I’m on vacation, why not?” I ate from a place of “That sounds good, I’ll have it.”

I didn’t lose as much weight this past week as I potentially could have (as evidenced by my unofficial weigh-in on Friday) but I am starting to rely less on food being the main course in my life and instead letting it be just be the side dish. For so long, it seemed like everything was surrounded by what we’re having for dinner, and what or where are we going to eat, etc. I want my focus to be on what I’m doing and not what I’m eating or planning on eating. I think I’m moving in the right direction.

Christmas lighting in our hotel

I don’t know how many of you guys are actually reading this but if you have any questions about the Weight Watchers program or just about me in general, feel free to ask.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Miracle Match 2015 Training Shenanigans

This was my first week back into half-marathon training. I’ve been out of the running long distance game for what seems like forever. I have done a couple of 5ks over the past few months but the last time I ran anything longer than 3.1 miles was in April (just a few short weeks after my failed marathon.)

After devoting so much time to running over the past few years, I think I got a little burned out. I told myself that when I start running again, I want to do quality over quantity. I mean, last year I ran 14 races. FOURTEEN. I never really got much better/faster even though that’s something I kept saying I wanted. I’m pretty sure it was because I refused to focus my energy on one race. Instead, I was all like I WANT ALL THE RACES AND I WANT THEM NOW. It was fun though.

Also, race registrations can be expensive and with the starting of Alfred’s business, I’ve been a little more conservative in my spending.  When I chose my next long-distance race I wanted to devote some quality running to it.

So, what race did I choose?

Miracle Match 5k & Half-Marathon 2015!

I ran this last year as part of my marathon training. I love the course, it’s practically in my backyard & you get extra swag for running the 5k on Saturday, then the half on Sunday. I do love me some swag. (Also, this was my first ever 5k five years ago, so it holds a special place in my heart.)

But to make this even more exciting I’m actually going to meet Amanda from The Lady Okie. I plan on giving her a wonderfully awkward hug & forcing her to take fake running selfie’s with me.

Here is my tentative training schedule. This is fairly fluid, depending on what’s going on in my life I’m up to being flexible as long as I end up getting my long runs in. We shall see.

MM 2015 - Training Plan

On the speed/tempo days I’m just going to use my Jeff Galloway running app. It will tell me exactly what to do and when. I’m clueless when it comes to actually getting faster, so I’m just going to trust he knows what he’s talking about and take it from there.

Moj days are whatever she sets up for us. Sometimes that’s a 40 minute burpee session, other times it’s a 40 minute stair workout. She likes to make me swear & sweat. I like her for putting up with my snarky attitude. Win/Win.

Rest/Lift days are just that. If running is wearing me out, I’ll take a rest day. If I feel up to a weight lifting day, I’ll pop open my BodySpace app and get some dead lifts in.

I’m excited to see how this training schedule will work with my WeightWatchers. I’ve never actually lost weight on a running plan (EAT ALL THE FOODS) and it will be interesting to see if it can be done.

(I know it can but dude, running has the ability to make the best of us HANGRY, so yeah.)

Any races in your future?!

Monday, November 10, 2014

WW – Week 2

I’m still trying to figure out how I want to format these posts – so, things may change up weekly until I get it down but the information should stay relatively the same.

Week 2: November 3 -November 9

Original Weight:197.6 lbs

Week 2 Starting Weight: 195.2 lbs
Current Weight: 193 lbs
Weekly Weight Loss: -2.2 lbs

Total weight loss: –4.6 lbs

*Current Goal: 183.7 lbs*
Ultimate Goal: 155 lbs

I am also going to add my measurements - just as another form of progress. I forgot to include them on last weeks post & I re-measured this morning just because, so this is a 2 weeks difference but my plan is to only update monthly.

  10/27/2014 11/10/2014

Change (+/-)

Hips: 44 43 -1 in
Waist: 34 33 -1 in
Bust: 39 39 0
Rt. Thigh: 27.5 27.5 0
Lt. Thigh: 27 27 0
Rt. Arm: 12.5 12.5 0
Lt. Arm: 12 12 0
Total loss:     -2 inches

I feel good about this past week. Although, right now when I get on the scale it doesn’t really feel like a loss. Since these pounds are ones I’ve lost once and have now regained, it doesn’t feel really that special as it did the first time. I can feel myself saying it doesn’t really matter, I shouldn’t have gained it back in the first place, and why even bother. Which is ridiculous. I made an active effort this week to clean up my food & consciously made good decisions, so I should be celebrating staying on track.

I’ve heard & read people knocking Weight Watchers because it doesn’t really teach you how to eat – it gives you points and you use them how you want. You want to spend 20 points on McDonald’s Angus Mushroom & Swiss Hamburger, go right on ahead. Sure, let’s add large fries for 14 points and just eat nothing for the rest of the day.

Technically, you can lose weight doing that. But I think those people who are using it in that way are setting themselves up for failure & really not interested in changing their life anyway. They want a quick fix & then it gives the program a bad name. You could probably say the same for other programs – Paleo, Atkins, etc. If you cheat the system, it’s probably not going to work long-term for you. You have to be willing to recognize & take responsibility for what you’re doing wrong and then figure out how you will overcome it.

Mine is my diet. I feel like I eat okay – which means I probably do not at all. I snack a lot and while I really do enjoy vegetables/fruits I’m more prone to reaching for a bag of chips than an apple. It seems more convenient and so much more satisfying.

So, I’m really trying to focus on cleaning up my diet so that this a sustainable change. I’m not going balls to the wall right away (that in the past has been a recipe for disaster). It’s just that once I reach my goal, I know I’m going to have to figure out how to maintain – and if I can work on that while I reach towards my goal, I think I will be in a much better place than that of complete restriction.

I actually had a Jack-in-the-Box burger & curly fries last week because I simply could not get them out of my head. I figured if I wanted them that bad, why not, so I did – and they were wonderful. I still managed to lose because the rest of my food for the week was mostly lean meats, vegetables & fruits. I’ve been working on not eye-balling things either. Like if I track a tbsp of peanut butter, it’s actually a tablespoon. It’s been a little eye-opening to me this past week in regards to my portions.

In fitness related news, I attended my orientation for Team Beef last night & officially started half-marathon training today! I’ll share more about that in a separate post later this week.

Also, if you’re not already following Holly from My Own Kind of Beautiful, check her out & give her some love. She’s a runner but is just starting weight lifting – and I can’t wait to see her progress!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Best Possible Me

One of the things I’ve learned about myself in the past 6 weeks is that I stress eat. I don’t even realize I’m  doing it half the time. I mean, I know that I am eating I just don’t realize how much I’m eating.

Bluntly put - I have gained back what I had previously lost over the past couple of years with running & exercise. I’ve been able to maintain that weight loss but with the over-eating & the under-exercising, it crept up on me & while I will never equate my self-worth with the weight on the scale I do hate the feeling of sucking in while buttoning up my pants.

I think one of my biggest issues with actually losing weight is that I like myself. I look at my body and I’m proud of what it has done for me & what it continues to do for me. I have come a long way from the girl who couldn’t jog 30 feet without her heart flying from her chest. And then I think, why would I want to lose weight when I can enjoy my life just the way I am? I can run for miles, I can zip up my pants, I have wonderful friends & family – why can’t I enjoy that extra piece of cake? And so I do. And I never really lose weight. I go up & down within a 10 lb frame over a course of a couple months & I’ve really only learned how to maintain.

Well, until I un-learned it by stress-eating.

My problem is not moving more. I can settle into a routine & be good to go, my problem is what I eat & the amount of it that I eat. I’ve tried entering food into My Fitness Pal & while it is a wonderful tool & helped me see what I’m doing, it does not hold me accountable. I see I’ve lost 3 lbs, I think I need a treat for doing so, then I’m right back where I started.

I guess the whole you can’t out train a bad diet mantra is true. Sigh.

You can't out train a bad diet. Someone may need to tattoo this to my forehead!

Before I had Lillie, I lost about 30 lbs doing Weight Watchers. I was successful because I was being held accountable by others (and because I was paying for it!) – this was before they rebooted the program with the different point system. I tried doing it right after the reboot (and right after Lillie) but my mind was so confused with the new & old system, I gave it up. Then, I found running and well, losing weight wasn’t at the top of my list because I was just focusing on establishing a running routine.

I received an email offering 50% off for 3 months with WW online. I signed up and have been on it for a week. I did really well the first part of the week, then the weekend & Halloween candy extravaganza happened. After my weigh-in this morning, I thought perhaps to hold myself even more accountable I should blog about it. While I’m sure this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I plan on posting every Monday where I’m at and what my plans/goals are for the week. And whatever I may be struggling with or thinking about.

I promise they all won’t be this long. Or…well, never mind I won’t promise that. I get wordy sometimes. (Clearly.)

So, here goes.

Week 1: October 27-November 2

Starting Weight: 197.6 lbs
Current Weight: 195.2 lbs
Weekly Weight Loss: -2.4 lbs

My ultimate goal weight is 155 lbs. I can recall being comfortable at the weight years ago & based on my height, it is a reasonable long term goal. However, that is a lot of weight to focus on, so I’ll be focusing on 5% of my body weight at a time (this is WW recommendation & to be honest, makes it a lot less scary.) I would really like to start my 30s (next August!) being the best possible version of myself I can be.

Current Goal Weight: 183.7 lbs

Once I reach this point, I’ll reward myself with something (not sure yet what, but it won’t be food) – likely a pair of shoes. Because, duh, shoes. 

Next week, I’ll plan on laying out my training plan schedule (I have to figure it out) because I have a half-marathon I would like to complete kill at the end of January 2015.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Let’s Bullet Point!

It’s been a while, right?

I’ve had a lot going on and unfortunately, for my amazing followers, you’ve had to suffer as blogging was knocked down on my priority list. I know this must have been a terrible time for you. I sincerely apologize.

But, I’m starting re-prioritize (actually, I’m just organizing my time better) and am planning on getting back into the blogging world. I figured I’d start with a bullet point list of what’s currently going on with me and then follow-up those bullet points with posts over the next couple of weeks. Sounds peachy, don’t it?

  • We’ve started our own dirt work/contracting business!

    And by we, I mean my husband does all the actual work & I’m figuring out all the behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s been interesting. I didn’t talk about it much (or maybe not at all) but he quit his full-time job last December (by trade he is a plumber) and so over the course of this past year, this has just been the natural progression of things.
  • We lost Biscuit. I have at least two separate drafts dedicated to her that I haven’t been able to finish, I will get there eventually. She nestled her little wiry body into our hearts in a very short period of time & (hell, I’m tearing up right now) this was honestly the first animal I ever connected with so deeply. She was part of our family, she still is. I miss her very much.Puppy Love
  • I was in a play for our local community theatre! I used to do these regularly (prior to having my daughter) so this was the first one back, and it was wonderful. I was actually a theatre major my first semester in college and had plans to be an actress someday. Once I realized how much sacrifice and work goes into being a paid actress, I changed my major & settled with doing local theatre whenever I could to get my acting fix in. Rockin' Around The Bed Posts
  • I’ve been given the opportunity to join Team Beef! Per their website, “Texas Beef Team is a community of runners, triathletes and cyclists who recognize benefits of lean beef and the vital role high-quality protein plays in their training.” You have to apply and I applied when I first started running but was not accepted, so when their email came this go around I was jumping out of my skin excited. I have an orientation session November 9th to explain what is expected of me as a member of this team. I am really eager to see what 2015 brings me in terms of my fitness.
  • Speaking of fitness, I am still hitting the weights & can definitely tell a difference in my strength. As in, I can actually bench press more than the bar & feel like I’m not a complete amateur in the free weights section of the gym. I give credit to and their free phone app Bodyspace with giving me the tools to move past my insecurities and squat this shit out. I will continue to lift but will probably cut back to make room for a little more running in 2015. I petered out after my marathon in April & haven’t quite figured out where to focus my energy but I’m ready to make some PRs (Personal Records) in my 5k, 10k and half times. Like I said, eager to see where 2015 brings me.IMG_4685
  • And lastly, Lillie is basically an adult now. At the very least, she’s a card carrying princess. I mean, look at her. It’s hard to believe she’ll be 4 years old in the next couple of weeks.
    Princess Lillie Fishing Like A Boss Well, I end this post here & I’ll do a more detailed recap on some of the things I mentioned. Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween tomorrow evening!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why She Stayed

What I’m about to share is a part of my story, a part of my life and is only told from my perspective. One thing I’ve learned is there is always two sides to a story and so I do not pretend to know everything that took place to lead to this ending.

I’m not really into sports. Like, I know the fundamentals but I don’t make it a point to watch them on television so any kind of sports commentary is quickly skimmed over and placed in the waste receptacle in the back of my brain. After all, I have to make room for training plans and dinner ideas for a 3 year old and which shoes to buy to annoy my husband. You know, important things.

So, when Ray Rice, a football player for the Baltimore Ravens, was indicted for aggravated assault towards his fiancé (now wife) in March of this year – I didn’t hear about it. I simply don’t recall anything about it on the news – now, that could be because I’m sports deaf or it could be because it just wasn’t that big of a deal to the news media because he’s you know, a famous football player and his fiancé was not.

But now it has become a big deal - because a video of the assault has surfaced. You can view it by clicking here. If you haven’t seen it, or really aren’t interested, Ray punches her (Janay) in the face hard enough to knock her unconscious and drags her body out of the elevator (security cameras caught this). It’s domestic violence. Straight-up.

I’ve talked a bit about my mother in past posts, she is an amazing person whose positive outlook on life would never let you know that she was a victim of domestic violence. Sure, you could probably tell by the bruises, the black eyes, the scratch marks if you wanted to see those things but most people didn’t. But I saw them, I saw them every day of the week – I dreaded the weekends (when things were more likely to escalate) growing up and I did everything I could to never be home. I was really fortunate to have a couple of great friends with wonderful parents who did their best to protect me and my siblings, but they could only do so much.

I was 9 the first time I saw him hit her. I did what I was taught in school – I called 911. She cried for me not too because it would make it worse. I never thought it could be worse than that. It was explained to me that sometimes adults fight – she was my mom and why would she lie to me, so I just said okay. This was in the early stages of their relationship, we lived close to our family, and these “occurrences” were very spaced out. To a 9 year old who knows very little about the world, I took what my mother and he said and tucked it away. Sometimes adults fight. Big deal.

But then we moved. We moved to a city where all of his family lived and none of ours did – and things got worse. The violence became not only more frequent but more vicious , the blood splatter across the carpet became increasingly difficult to clean and the more I ventured out and witnessed my friends’ parents relationship I became more and more ashamed of my home life.  I didn’t want any of my friends to know what was happening, so I would lie and say I wasn’t allowed to have sleepovers. I never knew when a fight was coming and couldn’t risk it. That was, until my mom promised me for my 13th birthday she would make sure he wasn’t around so I could have one of those coveted middle school sleepovers I had only every participated in but never hosted.

I invited friends, we rented scary movies, and holed up in my living room – I felt normal and happy. We had all went bowling earlier and hopped up on Surge and cake. But then he came home. And he was drunk. And she was insistent he leave (full disclosure, she too had been drinking) because she had promised me he wouldn’t be around. He got mad, lashed out and I was standing there screaming at them to stop.

They didn’t. They never stopped. I don’t know why I thought this night would be any different.

He drug her by the hair into the kitchen and one of my friends called the police while I begged them all not to say anything to anyone. I tried to play it cool but that’s really kind of hard when the police officer comes to your front door and knows you by name - not because someone told him but because he had been there enough times to remember. And then, you know, you have to sit in his police cruiser filling out a police report of what happened on your 13th birthday while your friends called their parents to come pick them up.

At school on Monday, I vividly remember sitting in the library at a table for four and some girl I didn’t really know leaned over and said, “So, your dad beats your mom”. I quickly cleared up the fact that he was not my dad but then what else do you say to that other than, “Yes, it happened.” And then silently think to yourself as you watch the look of pity and disgust come across someone else’s face and think, “Wow, my mom is one of those women.”

I hated that she thought she wasn’t more, I hated that she allowed this to take place in front of us – that we weren’t enough for her to leave, but mostly I just hated. I can’t tell you the number of times I researched safe homes, was offered a place to stay for all of us, and then told my mom we could do this, we could get away. She would dismiss it with a wave of her hand as if to say, “Silly girl. You don’t know.”

She was right, I didn’t know. I had no idea what she thought he was capable of but there was one time she answered. They just had a fight, her face was swollen but no blood this time – although, I could tell her cheek would be bruised in the morning – she sat next to me on the bed and apologized. I was 11.

She apologized for screaming my name while he hit her, she apologized for the fact that he ripped the phone out of the wall so I couldn’t call the police to help, she apologized for him and as we went through what was now a routine apology, I asked again - “Mom, why don’t we leave?”

And she turned her head slowly, looked me straight into my eyes and said, “Because he will kill me.”

And two years later, if he hadn’t been too drunk/high to take the gun off of safety – she would have. Instead, she shot him. Years of abuse and she was finally free of him. It cost her children, it cost her freedom, it cost her name – but nearly 5 years later she was finally released from prison after being charged with manslaughter.

I don’t know exactly what happened that night. We were lucky enough to be visiting with family in Texas when the phone call came in that Mom was in jail and he was dead. I’ve never pushed Mom to explain in detail one of the most terrifying nights of her life, although she has shared bits of it over the years with me. But there’s one thing I do know – she stayed with him because she was scared for her life.

She wasn’t strong enough – and a lot of that has to do with her own childhood. Things I learned later on as an adult. Things I won’t share because those are not part of my experience. But they are things that help me piece together why I wasn’t enough for her to leave. On why it’s not as easy as just getting up and going when it comes to domestic abuse (verbal or non-verbal). There is so much more to it than anyone can know.

No one, man or woman, deserves to be abused. I’ve shared with you one story of many I have growing up witnessing domestic violence – and there were times when my mom fought back. He would be the one to wake up with a bruised eye or swollen lip.

So, Ray Rice beat his fiancé. She’s now his wife. People can’t understand why she’d choose to be with him after that and so they make assumptions.

She’s only with him because he’s rich.
She must be really stupid.
If she’s sticking around, she deserves it.

I can’t pretend to know what their relationship dynamic looks like, I just have my own perspective into this world – and having a little empathy/sympathy can go a long way in helping people find their way. Whether that way is to overcoming anger issues by counseling (which they have been involved in & I hope it works for them) or whether that way is packing it up and leaving – just be a human being and acknowledge each other for what you are and for what you hope to be – someone who is capable, who is beautiful, who is strong. 1619445_776791332331471_1851068138_n

Friday, August 29, 2014

Roasted Asparagus with Mushrooms

I’m trying to hit 5 new recipes for the month of August – this one is my third. I have a couple days left to hit two more, so wish me luck!

New Recipe 1: Spinach Mushroom Chicken Enchiladas
New Recipe 2: Easy (chick)Peasy Artichoke Salad

Just as in the other two recipes, I’ll outline the pinspiration in black and then my changes/substitutions/notes in red.

Roasted Asparagus with Mushrooms

Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms

The inspiration came from this pin (which admittedly looks much better than my iPhone concoction that you’ll see at the end of the post) and the original recipe is found on (or click here).
Roasted Asparagus with Mushrooms. Photo by Rita~


  • 1 1/4 lbs medium asparagus, tough stem ends trimmed
  • 1/2 lb medium white button mushrooms, stemmed & quartered (I had a 10 oz package of Bella Mushrooms already sliced I picked up because I have an infatuation with them but white button mushrooms would have been super yummy as well)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste (I also sprinkled with garlic and onion powder)
  • 2-3 tsp balsamic vinegar or 2-3 tsp sherry wine vinegar (I had neither of those things, but I found some red wine vinegar in my cabinet, cooking win!)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a non-stick baking sheet with sides (I actually always cover mine in aluminum foil when roasting things because I think they brown better), toss the asparagus and mushrooms with the oil and season with salt and pepper. (And onion/garlic powder.)
  3. Spread vegetables in a single layer. (Or as close as possible, I didn’t quite do this and missed out on some good browning of the asparagus)
  4. Roast for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and browned, turning once or twice. (I was in the middle of getting the kid ready for bed, so I think they stayed in for 20 minutes and were never turned. #reallife)
  5. Place vegetables on serving platter. (hahahahahahahaha)
  6. Sprinkle vegetables with (red wine) vinegar and toss gently to combine.
  7. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired. (We didn’t feel like we needed too.)
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature. (We were hangry, so they were served hot.)
  9. Makes 4 servings.

Overall, this was a really yummy, quick and easy side dish. I would definitely make it again, although I would make sure everything is in a single layer to get that slightly burned/roasted flavor & coloring that I like on my veggies. Alfred really liked the flavor and I will probably try the balsamic vinegar next time I make it, just to see what the difference in flavor is for the two.


I made honey & mustard boneless pork chop with it and then some Kraft Ranch Pasta salad (husband’s favorite). It all paired up really well and actually, the pork chop was a new recipe for me but I was so focused on the asparagus and mushroom I didn’t make any notes on it. LIFE WINNER.

Any new recipes in your life lately?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Little Things

Lehmann Laughter

If you’re new here, this link-up is every Wednesday (until the 30 weeks are up). It’s based off these two articles – here and here. You are welcome to take the points in any direction you choose, what I go off of is only something to get the ol’ brain ticking. Original post is here.

I hope you’ll join me!

Previous posts: Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,15, 16, 17, 18,19, 20 & 21.

Week 22

Appreciating the Small Things
What are some small things you are grateful for?

9 years ago I married my husband. Total years we’ve been together 13. I’ve almost had him in my life longer than I haven’t had in him my life – we started dating when I was 16. Such babies.  Prom 2002

I won’t pretend and say our life together has been picture perfect, there has been fights, accusations & lies directed towards/at each other but I would still say we have a very happy marriage. The ups we have had very much outweigh and outnumber the downs we have. I think the one constant that has helped us is being appreciative of what the other person brings into our marriage.

Alfred is one of the most driven people I know and he knows how to push to get what he wants – I, on the other hand, am much more laidback, go with the flow. The balance this not only plays in our marriage but in other aspects of our life is something we had to get used to but once we did, it’s helped me push for more out of my life and allowed him to pull the reins in once in a while and just enjoy life.Lake days!

It’s the little things in life that can either prop you up or push you down, most of the time you don’t even realize it until it’s too late and an argument has began. I try really hard to make sure he knows I appreciate all the things he does & I feel like he does it with me as well.  

Example 1: Even though it’s Alfred’s “job” to take out the trash, I still tell him thank you every time he does it (even if there is some prodding on my part) and whenever I make dinner, the first thing out of his mouth after the first bite is shoved in is thank you.

First 10k!

Example 2: Running is not Alfred’s thing. But he’s supportive and will come to support me in my races even though he basically just sits there and watches sweaty people jump up & down and apply band-aids to places people shouldn’t have to apply band-aids too. Farming is his thing, he grew up with it, so I’m clueless in that aspect & am only vaguely interested most of the time but I make sure to acknowledge what’s going on his world so we can talk about it whenever he’s had a rough day.

This lined up pretty well with it being our anniversary and the weekly writing prompt. One might think I planned it that way, but one would be wrong.

In any case, here’s to 9 years of all the small things he’s done for me that he didn’t have to do but I’m totally glad he did. Hopefully I can squeeze at least 9 more out of him. I think I got it.IMG_2293

What small things in your life do you appreciate?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Runners Tell All: What is your training routine?

I decided to do something crazy. Something wild. Something insane.
I’m sponsoring this month’s Runners Tell All! I know, cuh-razy, but I figured in honor of my birthday month (no shame in shouting out my own birthday – it’s this Saturday by the way) I’d step a little out of my blogging comfort zone. Life is good when you’re about to be twenty-fine (not a typo), so let’s get started!

Training Routine.
This prompt couldn’t have come at a better time seeing as I just started training for my fall races last week. I mostly took off from running over the summer because I had a non-fractured foot that was healing and wanted to try my hand at weight lifting.
For the past two years I’ve really enjoyed learning to love the run itself and haven’t been crazy interested in getting faster. But then my marathon happened (or didn’t happen) and I know if I would have been faster I would have completed the race – so I’ve decided to start from the bottom up. That 5k time is going down this fall.

Like all of you, I have a busy life - working full-time, being a mother to an incredibly awesome 3 year old and a wife to a very studly 31 year old – so in order to get my workouts in my best option is my lunch hour. It’s not for everyone but I work in Higher Education and have the luxury of free access to the gym. It’s literally a 2 minute walk from my office. My excuses are limited. Le sigh.
Today, I wanted to share with you a few of my training routine tips that help me get in and out of the gym in less than an hour and still looking somewhat presentable.
Tam's Tips
  1. Pack your bag. I (really try to) pack my gym back the night before and put it in my truck – that way the excuse “I don’t have my stuff” won’t technically work. Especially when my mind is telling me I should take a nap in my truck instead. (For the record, lunch hour quickie naps are the best.)

    If you’re able, I would recommend renting a locker so you don’t have to tote a ton of stuff every day. You can keep your essentials in there. A few things in mine are: deodorant, blow dryer (with a cool setting), dry shampoo, and extra hair ties/bobby pins. I also keep out my printed workout sheets as a fall-back plan (see #1) in a little pile that I can pull from if need be.

    Things in my gym bag: clean dry underwear.

    I don’t know about you but I sweat like a chicken in a deep fry competition and to combat that, I need some clean panties. I just can’t get behind butt-sweat. (See what I did there! ha!)

    Other essentials in my bag: gym clothes, tennis shoes, O2 Gold, body wipes, towel, headphones, make-up bag.
    Lies & Truth
  2. Plan your workout. I can’t stress this enough – know exactly what you’re wanting to do when you get to the gym so you don’t waste time wandering around wishing you were eating enchiladas instead. I usually write down my plan of attack on a small piece of paper or put it in the notes section of my phone.

    Also, have a small inkling of a back-up plan in case the equipment you need is full or out-of-order. For me, the first few weeks of the new semester the gym is packed with all the new incoming students wanting to look fly,and I plan accordingly. Treadmills all taken? No worries, I’ll hit up the stair master.

    Since I work so close to my gym, travel time isn’t usually taken into account, but I can generally get a solid 40 minute workout in – with the other 20 minutes spent on changing into and out of my gym clothes. 
  3. Shower or No Shower? Um, can I be real with you guys? I totally don’t take a shower after every workout. Sometimes I’m just not that sweaty to justify wasting 5 minutes rinsing off that could be better spent towards running an extra half mile.

    On those non-shower days, I wipe myself down with a body wipe, apply deodorant, & body spray and BAM, smelling like an artificial rose in no time. On days when I look like this after my workout,
    there’s just no way around it despite my best efforts.
  4. Looking Presentable. I keep a blow dryer in my locker that has a cool setting on it (because let’s face it, I ain’t about to blast my body with HOT air after a speed session) and try to wrangle this hair situation I have. Sometimes my hair will have mercy on me and I can go for the beach wave look afterwards and let it dry naturally – most times, it goes in a braid or a bun.

    For make-up, my face usually stays pretty red for about 20 minutes after a workout, so I’ll throw some powder on, fix any smudged eyeliner or mascara and add some lip gloss. Boom. Nailed it. 

I think the best tip I can give you is to keep it simple as possible. The more extras you throw in there, the less time you have to murder that workout.
Oh and I almost forgot to mention this month’s giveaway!
UA top.headband.Beka Beka is super adorable, am I right or am I right?
You can win an Under Armour Tank Top (fitted heat gear, size large) and headband just by following the prompts below!
Now, your turn! Tell us about your training routine by linking up below.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Just Breathe

Lehmann Laughter

If you’re new here, this link-up is every Wednesday (until the 30 weeks are up). It’s based off these two articles – here and here. You are welcome to take the points in any direction you choose, what I go off of is only something to get the ol’ brain ticking. Original post is here.

I hope you’ll join me!

Previous posts: Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,15, 16, 17, 18,19 & 20.

Week 21!

Just Breathe
When you are busy how do you handle yourself?
Do you force yourself to take breaks or do you push through?

Whenever I’m in go-mode, I’m all for pushing through. I don’t want to stop until it’s done and sometimes that can leave me really frustrated. Like, yelling at nothing frustrated. It’s actually pretty embarrassing and has probably only been witnessed by other people a handful of times – at least one of those times at the gym when I simply couldn’t get my body to do what I thought it should. I’m also a crier, so yay for double the embarrassment!

As I’ve grown older I’ve learned that sometimes stepping away from something particularly stressful for even a few moments can help put a new perspective on things. Even if it’s a quick let me close my eyes for 15 minutes while I breathe deeply and try my hardest not to pull my hair out. I think for the most part I have a handle on my frustrations whenever I can see what the cause of them are. More often than I really care to admit (but I will because, uh, blog life, yo) it’s because of something I failed to do. I didn’t wake up 10 minutes earlier because I was being lazy or I should have gotten gas last night when the reminder light came on and I had time to do so.

It sucks major balls to recognize that your frustrations are typically your fault and not someone else’s. Sometimes I just want to blame the world for my problems but the only one who can be the issuer of my own happiness, my own calm, is me. Ugh, self-reflection, am I right folks?

You cow.

Your turn! Tell me how you handle stressful situations!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Easy (chick)Peasy Artichoke Salad

I was going through my pantry trying to find something interesting to add to our dinner and I came across a can of Garbanzo (Chickpea) beans and a can of artichoke hearts – my initial reaction was “put them back on the shelf and grab a box of Velveeta Shells & Cheese” but since I’ve been actively trying to eat better I thought I should hit up Pinterest to see if these two items would even go together.

Lucky for my pantry (and taste buds!) – they do!

This will be my 2nd new recipe for the month (one of my August goals is to hit 5!) I’ll do the same as I did with the first recipe (Spinach Mushroom Chicken Enchiladas) and post the original recipe and then add my own tweaks in red font. ChickPeasy Artichoke Salad

Photo courtesy of my terrible iPhone – maybe one day I’ll make an effort.

Original post is here.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil (I actually used 2 tbsp, divided)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed well (they’re also known as Garbanzo beans)
  • 5 to 7 artichoke hearts, drained & sliced lengthwise (I used canned artichoke hearts that were already quartered and I rinsed them)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted if desired (I didn’t have any on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (No lemon juice on hand – substituted with lime juice)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (Substituted 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning – probably could have added more)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced – I add garlic to nearly everything.


  1. Heat (1 tbsp) oil in a seasoned wok or cast-iron skillet (I just used a plain ol’ skillet). Sauté garlic for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas and cook on medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until golden brown all over. (I was helping Lillie color Barbie while cooking so I think they were actually on for 15 minutes). When done, put in a large mixing bowl and set aside. (My bowl was not large. It was husky and beautiful.)
  2. Add more oil (1 tbsp) to the pan and cook the sliced artichoke hearts until browned (between 10-15 minutes for me). Add them to the bowl of chickpeas.
  3. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet & then grind in a food processor. (I didn’t do this part) Add the almonds to the artichokes and chickpeas. Season the salad with lemon (lime) juice and salt, stir in chopped parsley (or dried seasoning). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition facts from the original post aren’t listed so here is what I got when I plugged it into My Fitness Pal (MFP).


I split it up into 4 portions but they’re small portions – this could easily be 1 serving if you were wanting to eat it for like lunch. (The site I got the recipe from actually said the same thing.) I also made meatballs, mashed potatoes & canned peas with this.

Alfred really enjoyed this – he said it was kind of tangy (artichoke hearts) and was something he would like having again in the future. I agreed. Lillie (as usual) insisted she didn’t like it before she even tried it.

In our house I never force her to eat anything she doesn’t like but she does have to try at least one bite. She’s actually really good about it and only sighs in disgust every 2 out of 3 times. I often have her try things multiple times because I’m pretty sure that stubborn bone she gets from her Dad makes her insist she doesn’t like something (even though she does) just to prove to me she was right.

She tried it, said she didn’t like it, so I told her to just leave it on her plate and eat around it. She ate all the chickpeas after I left her alone, so guess her taste buds liked it just fine even if her eyes didn’t.

Any requests/ideas on what to try for my 3rd new recipe of the month? I’m not picky and always open to new things!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Listen to Your Heart

Lehmann Laughter

If you’re new here, this link-up is every Wednesday (until the 30 weeks are up). It’s based off these two articles – here and here. You are welcome to take the points in any direction you choose, what I go off of is only something to get the ol’ brain ticking. Original post is here.

I hope you’ll join me!

Previous posts: Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,15, 16, 17, 18 & 19.

Week 20!

Listen To Your Heart
Do you believe in intuition? If you’re a Christian (in any capacity) do you believe that little voice is God warning you about something? Do you truly listen to your heart when it speaks?

I do believe that little voice, that moment of clarity, is often God talking to us – it’s just up to us if we’re going to listen. I also think that voice is sometimes imitated by Satan and it can be really hard to decipher between the two when you’re battling something within yourself. What seems to work for me is picturing the outcome – am I going to hurt myself or others? If so, will it be worth it in the long haul? Will I be proud of my decision at the end of the day? Will I still be someone my daughter will be proud to call a mother?

Answering the questions truthfully through prayer have helped given me insight into the type of person I want to be. I want to be the person who listens. Not just to people’s words but to their actions and also through mine. Sometimes it’s really hard and all I really think I want to do is go through the action of living, because it seems easier. It’s hard being there for someone when you don’t know how to be there for yourself, how to listen to your self, to your inner voice, to your intuition, to God.

Do what you know in your heart is right and the rest will follow.  


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Spinach Mushroom (Chicken) Enchiladas

Holly posted on Instagram about this #boostyourlifechallenge and it sounded interesting, so on a whim to kick-start my birthday month I decided to join her.

I’ve actually stuck with it each day (so far) and so when Day 5 came (Spinach Creativity), I wanted to not only hit that day’s prompt but also hit one of my goals for August – trying a new recipe.

First thing I did was hit up Pinterest and I quickly found this recipe from Taste of Home. It looked phenomenal and I was pretty sure I had mostly everything already in my pantry at home. I figured what I didn’t have, I could swing. I don’t talk much about cooking on this blog but it’s a small hobby of mine – I really enjoy finding & trying new recipes & even tweaking old recipes. I probably don’t talk about it much because as a blogger, it feels like if you post a recipe you MUST include very fancy, photogenic food materials – and I ain’t interested in all that. The picture below – yeah, not mine. But it’s the one that totally convinced me this recipe was worth trying.

Spinach Mushroom Enchiladas Recipe

I’m going to post the ingredients/directions from the recipe in black and then my substitutions/additions in red. You can check out the regular recipe by going here.

Spinach Mushroom (Chicken!) Enchiladas


  • 1 pound baby Portobello (bella for me) mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, chopped – it was about 9 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (we love garlic, so I minced 6 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth (I used broth, the only wine in my fridge was something that resembled old grapes I clearly need to throw away)
  • 12 ounces chopped fresh spinach, coarsely chopped (I only had a 10 oz bag)
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, divided
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream ( I only had 8 oz of sour cream)
  • 4 oz Greek Yogurt Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro (I didn’t have any)
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches), warmed (I only had 8 & they were flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (I didn’t have any)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Cook chicken breasts. I buy these quick & easy ones for lunch on days (note: they’re HEB brand which is a grocery store only found in Texas) when I’m rushing out the door. Since adding chicken was a last minute addition for me I just threw them in the microwave for the recommended amount of time. But you can cook the chicken however you want – I’d go ahead and get started on it though.
  2. While they’re cooking, chop up your vegetables. (I chopped the spinach by hand) I bought this Ninja Master Prep a couple years ago after seeing how amazing a friend’s was – I love it. Highly recommend. It comes with the little one and I use it all the time.
    I also chopped them boobs up when they were done cooking in the Ninja like I was communicating Will Smith/Wild Wild West style.
  3. In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms and onion in butter until tender; add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Set aside half of the mushroom mixture for sauce.
  4. Add wine (or chicken broth) to remaining vegetables; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add spinach and 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt; cook until spinach is wilted and liquid is evaporated. Add chopped chicken and mix. Add water as necessary to keep the vegetables from burning.
  5. In a large saucepan, bring the water, lime juice, chicken bouillon, garlic powder and remaining seasoned salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve bouillon. Stir in the sour cream, yogurt, cilantro and reserved mushroom mixture; heat through.

  6. Place a scant 3 tablespoon spinach mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13 in x 9 in baking dish. Spoon sauce over top; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° F for 14-18 minutes until heated through. I did not use all my spinach mixture in the enchiladas – it was really good all by itself and since I only had 8 tortillas, I just saved it in Tupperware and have been eating it like that all week.

The original nutritional facts: 1 serving is 2 enchiladas at 427 calories, 24 grams of fat, 879 mg sodium, 36 grams carbs, 5 gram fiber, 16 gram protein.

My version nutritional facts (or as close as I could get with MFP): 1 serving is 1 enchilada at 492 calories, 19 grams of fat, 1019 mg sodium, 47 gram carbs, 3 gram fiber, 32 gram protein.

I didn’t take a picture of the final product because I was much more concerned with stuffing my face. Both Alfred & I, not so much Lillie, agreed it should be added to our regular dinner line-up.

Substitution/Addition notes:

  • I’m glad I added chicken to increase the protein and give it a little more substance – maybe more for my husband who is not quite on board with having a meatless dinner. STEAK AND POTATOES FOR LIFE needs to be tattooed on his back.
    I served him two enchiladas but he only ate 1 1/2 citing he was full (we also had steamed broccoli with it). So they are at the very least filling. I had one (along with broccoli) and was satisfied.
  • I wish I would not have used Vanilla flavored Greek Yogurt. I could taste the vanilla in it (Alfred said he could not) and was not exactly a fan. When I make this again I will either use all sour cream OR use plain flavored Greek Yogurt.
  • I’ll get the recommended number of tortillas (I was sad to see the leftovers vanish) – and I won’t use flour ones. Whenever I make enchiladas I typically use corn tortillas since they hold up so much better than flour ones do – they don’t get quite as “gummy”
  • Using chicken broth was fine – but I can definitely see the advantage as far as taste goes with adding some white wine – so hopefully next time I’ll have some to spare and not just an empty bottle from the previous weekend taunting me in the trash can.

So, there you go! My first of five new recipes for August. Let me know if you’ve ever made these (or plan too!) and what you would change about it!