Sunday, August 10, 2014

Grillin' up veggies & a Heinen's giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is part of Heinen’s #HeinensGrill campaign.  I was given a gift card in exchange for a post about my favorite grilling recipes. I'm a regular Heinen's shopper and my thoughts are 100% my own.

Grilling is the quintessential part of summer. But grilling is so much more than hamburgers, hot dogs and brats. 

Vegetables take on a whole new taste when fired up on the grill...and one of my favorite, non-traditional veggies to grill is avocados. When grilled, avocados soften and create a creamy, buttery flavor that is oh so good. I love to top it with one of my favorite summer bean and corn salad, with grilled corn and onions.

The cast of characters

This recipe is quick and simple (who doesn't like that in summer, right)...first step, heat up your grill. I use a propane fueled grill and turn my burners down to a medium heat while I prep the veggies:

1. Slice the ripe avocados in half and remove the pits
2. Drizzle olive oil over avocados, corn and onions.

That's it...see I told you it was easy. Then, place your veggies on the grill and let the magic begin...

The corn takes the longest, and you'll need to turn occasionally for about 10 minutes. The avocados and onions take about 4-5 minutes, with a quick turn in between. I started the avocados with the skin side down, grilling for 2-3 minutes until the skin changes color and starts separating a bit from the avocado. Turn and grill another 1-2 minutes until the avocados are softened with grill marks.

Remove from grill and top the grilled avocados with Black Bean & Corn Salad.

Black Bean & Corn Salad
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Corn (I cut corn off 2 grilled ears of corn, but you can substitute 1 can, rinsed/drained)
Tomatoes (I used about 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro 
Grilled green onion, chopped  (I used 3)

3 Tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Stir dressing and mix in with the salad.

There will be plenty of salad left after topping your avocados...but don't worry, it makes a refreshing side salad and tastes just as good the next day as leftovers. 

Giveaway for readers:
To help you with your own summer grilling, Heinen's has offered a tote full of grilling supplies for one lucky reader. You'll need to be near a Heinen's store as you will pick up your prize at your local Heinen's. To enter...just leave a comment with your favorite thing to grill OR tweet your favorite thing to grill...just remember to use #HeinensGrill and tag me... @Managed_Chaos. One entry per person. 

Winner will be picked after 6 p.m on Sunday, August 17.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Uncovering gratitude

Lately, I've felt stretched thin...with so many responsibilities on my plate. Work. Parenting. Wife. Chef. Homeowner. Referee. Teacher. Therapist.

And I've found myself wishing I could escape the reality that is my life, at least for a few days.

It's not that I don't love my life. But I just feel an overwhelming desire to focus on me for more than an hour at a time when I workout.

When I saw my friend Britt's recent post about not feeling like enough, it resonated with me and I realized I needed to change my perspective.

I am blessed. Beyond measure. And I am grateful (beneath everything that has been burying my gratitude).

So that's why I've finally decided to take the leap...and tackle gratitude journaling.

It's a concept that isn't new, and Britt (and even Oprah) have been touting it for years. But I've always brushed it off as one of this kitschy ideas, thinking I know what is good in my life and can be thankful for what I have without having to write it down.

But I haven't been. And I want to change that.

My gratitude journaling will be a personal thing for me, with a gratitude jar tucked away in a private location just for me.

And I can't wait to see what blessings reveal themselves as I actively look for them.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Update: My year of being a Badass

I've coined 2014 as my year of being a badass and many people have been checking in to see how I've been faring with this goal. Admittedly, I've had my ups and downs this year. Some days I'll feel strong at the gym and take pride when my trainers jokingly call me "badass" and push me to work harder. But other days I lose that confidence when I don't make consistently good food choices or struggle with laziness and lack of motivation.

But I'm human...and those roller coaster emotions, even if it's just in my own mind, is OK. It's part of making me who I am today.

When I look back at my progress, I can't help but feel proud of my slow, but steady steps in the right direction. I've been hesitant to share that progress (mainly out of modesty), knowing that I can camouflage my trouble areas with my clothing choices or camera angles. But today, I'm taking the hopes that I can help inspire others who might struggling with their own body image issues.

My "before" photo is me at my heaviest (about 2 years ago). Compared to my "in progress" photo this month...a leaner, stronger me.

I know my path to feeling like a "badass" will be long and winding. And I won't always feel confident about where I am each day. But I'm confident that I'll get there, one step at a time.

Speaking of steps in the right direction, this past week, I achieved one of my long-term goals...completing an unassisted pull-up.

It was just one rep...but man I was SO proud to have FINALLY marked this one off my goal list. 


Now, I'm thinking I want to work up to doing 3 in a row... 

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