BeefFit, BeefFast + Soleus Mini GPS #Giveaway

A couple of beefy happenings going on in my life this week – let me share! First up, a guest blog post I wrote for Beef Loving Texans, go check it out. Basically, I talk about my philosophy of NOT dieting in a restrictive way, but instead focusing on filling my plate with wholesome and real foods. You’ll also find some other good tips on portion control and serving sizes along with a crazy-easy breakfast recipe for a super thin frittata that cooks up on a baking sheet.

Eat Real Food - TheFitFork.com

I have another guest post today on Core Power about how beef is a super food for SUPER ATHLETES! The folks at Core Power totally understand the benefits of beef for an active lifestyle – it was like preaching to the choir. Some days I time to grill up a steak, other days I rely on their high protein shakes for convenient refueling after a workout.  Whether beef or a shake, getting enough protein is crucial to muscle recovery after exercise. Protein helps build back damaged muscle tissue, reduces cortisol levels and, when eaten in tandem with carbohydrates, helps the body to efficiently replenish glycogen stores.

Beef - Superfood for Super Athletes - TheFitFork.com

Soleus Mini GPS - Jennifer Fisher - TheFitFork.comNow, I’m excited to tell you about my new Soleus GPS Mini watch. Now, when I say “mini,” I definitely don’t mean that this watch skimps on functionality, not at all! Instead it has a welcomed petite and streamlined silhouette that is NOTHING like that old dinosaur GPS I had been wearing for years. Soleus Running is totally right when they say “big things come in little packages,” — they are referring to the size of watch, but it also applies to the possible end result of wearing this watch – a PR.  IF you are a runner or triathlete of any ability, you know exactly how BIG of a deal that even a super small 1 or 2 second PR can be and this GPS watch can help you get there.  Big things DO come in little packages!

Anyway, onto the awesomeness of this cute GPS watch. It does everything I need it to. It keeps tables on my speed, distance and pace. It has a 100-lap memory, automatic lap slips, a calorie counter, simple 4-button interface, weighs less than 2 ounces, costs only around $100, comes in a variety of colors and more – check out all the other features here. Plus, awesome Olympic runner mama Kara Groucher wears one AND on the back plate the watch says “Sweat can be sexy,” so ‘nuff said.

Pink Soleus Mini GPS - TheFitFork.com

So, whoohoo . . . I get to give a Soleus Mini GPS Watch away to help one of my readers look great while achieving new levels of badassery.

soleus running logo

 

 

This giveaway is sponsored by Soleus, however all review opinions are my own. Enter through the Rafflecopter app below!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apple Cider Bourbon Glazed Carrots + Big Book of Sides #Giveaway

four roses whiskey - thefitforkOther than turkey, nothing says Thanksgiving more than a bottle of full of bourbon in my family. We’ll have that sucker drained in no time — no so much taking shots (okay, maybe a couple), but rather as a spirited ingredient in my holiday menu.

Watch this video of Rick Rodgers, chef and author of The Big Book of Sides, make Bacon, Onion and Bourbon Marmalade –it’s fantastic and versatile enough to spread it on a biscuit or dress a bowl full of warm green beans. Oh, and I’m hosting a giveaway for a copy of The Big Book of Sides, so enter at the bottom of this post.

Based on Rick’s recipe for Pomegranate Glazed Carrots (p. 148 of The Big Book of Sides) and my new found bottle of Four Roses Bourbon, I was inspired to create my own side dish recipe — Apple Cider Bourbon Glazed Carrots.  These carrots are so delicious and make a perfect pairing with your roast turkey or even a juicy steak – and because I’m using coconut (palm) sugar, they are even Paleo-diet friendly. Apple Cider Bourbon Glazed Carrots - side dish recipe from TheFitFork.com

Apple Cider Bourbon Carrots - thefitfork.comBourbon Apple Cider Glazed Carrots Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound carrots, scrubbed and green tops removed
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon coconut (palm) sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans

 

  1. Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add carrots in single layer and pour in apple cider. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Bring sauce to boil over high heat, occasionally stirring to dissolve coconut sugar.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes to soften remove lid and bring heat up to high. Boil until sauce has reduced to a glaze, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with pecans, and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.   Serves 4.

So, if you’ve ever struggled with side dish ideas and are tired of the same old mashed potatoes or plain buttered peas, The Big Book of Sides has more than 450 recipes that will add pizzazz and razzamatazz to your holiday plate. Some of the side dish recipes that spoke to me were Chard Puttanesca; Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes;   Farro, Cherry and Feta Salad; and Chipotle Corn Pudding. Enter below for a chance to win a copy of this must-have manual for the home cook – if you can’t wait to win, you can pick up a copy on Amazon.

This post and giveaway is sponsored. I received product and other compensation in exchange for my time; all opinions, editorial comments, content and photographs are my own, unless otherwise noted.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish & #StackandSnap Food Processor #Giveaway

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Hamilton Beach. While they provided products for review, all opinions, editorial comments and recipes are my own.

Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish - TheFitFork.com

Looking for an easy, healthy holiday side dish you can make CHOP, CHOP?! My recipe for Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish is a real winner that beats that nasty canned jelly stuff with a wallop of fresh, zingy flavor. Versions of this recipe have been served at my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations for as long as I can remember – while Grandma used to dump in a cup of granulated sugar, I keep it lower carb by using Stevia instead.

Cranberries Oranges and Ginger - TheFitFork.com

Can you believe there are only four (FOUR!) ingredients in this simple recipe and it can be whipped up in two minutes or less with the help of a food processor. Seriously, all you do is wash the fruit, quarter the orange (leave skin on!) and peel the ginger, throw all the healthy ingredients along with a touch of Stevia (or you could use honey) into the food processor and pulse for about a minute. Viola, you’re done – it’ tastes even better the next day and can be used as a side salad, relish for lean proteins, topping for yogurt, or as a way to add some seasonal razzamatazz to your turkey sandwich or roast beef wrap. And, for those of you with dietary concerns, this fruit recipe is sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and appropriate for Paleo, vegetarian, vegan and raw diets.

Hamilton Beach Stack and Chop Food Processor -and recipe from TheFitFork.com

I was so excited to receive a brand spanking new Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor from Hamilton Beach just in time for the holidays. My old one is almost 24 years old (wedding gift) and a pain in the butt to use – although, back then it was AWESOME! Today my new awesome is this good-looking Stack and Snap™ processor – it’s super easy to use thanks to a simple function guide that shows you which blade to use and which button to press. Another thing I appreciated right out of the box is that everything assembles with ease — there’s no twisting, turning or locking required when assembling the food processor. Uh, I hated using my old one because I could never remember how to put it together. I would have to holler for my husband to come into the kitchen to fix it because it was “broken.” Hey, don’t judge – I do all the cooking, he should make himself useful in the kitchen too!

Cranberry Relish in Food Processor - TheFitForkWith a powerful 450 Watt motor, this healthy-food-making bad boy can chop, slice, shred, mix and puree in no time, making my recipe prep time nearly non-existant. The Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor is also leak-proof, has a lock-down blade that won’t fall out when pouring and a Big Mouth® feed tube that can handle many whole-sized food (less pre-chopping by me)! Oh, and clean up’s a breeze, the parts (except for the base) are dishwasher safe.  So, you know it – I’m giving one away! Enter via the Rafflecopter app at the end of the recipe. 

 

Raw Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish Recipe

  • 1 lb. package fresh cranberries
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 2-inch chunk of ginger root, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons powdered Stevia
  1. Rinse cranberries and drain in colendar.
  2. Wash and quarter orange, remove any seeds but leave peel on.
  3. Peel ginger with paring knife and cut into chunks.
  4. Place all ingredients in work bowl of processor and pulse intermittently for one minute, or until coarsely chopped.
  5. Serves 6 – 8.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - bourbon cranberry apricot pecan relishIf you’re looking for another cranberry relish idea, check out this Bourbon Apricot Pecan Cranberry Relish recipe I did for last year’s feast. It is also sugar-free, but has a more syrupy, cooked on the stove top taste.

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab a Friend Workout & Harvest Snaps #Giveaway

partner workout

Friends don’t let friends workout alone! Amen. I probably don’t have to tell you, but is so much easier, motivating and just plain fun to work out with a buddy. My friend Valerie reminds me of this – we’ve been meeting up now for at least five years to stay strong and fit and, even though we’re like night and day, we so get each other. Sometimes we’re competitive in a friendly way while other times we’re just plain silly. She knew me when I could only do one pull-up and I remember when she was still in her thirties! Between our busy schedules, we only get to connect once a week – but it’s a pow-wow this one-woman wolf pack really needs.

Neither of us has a serious race or CrossFit competition in the near future, so our training plans are open to interpretation. So, here’s my Partner WOD for the week – hope it inspires you to “Grab a Friend” and workout!

Partner Workout with friend

I also wanted to share my new obsession — Harvest Snaps.  I was first introduced to these healthy snacks at the Dallas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon and have been hooked ever since.  These sensible baked snacks, featuring snap peas or lentils depending on the variety, have up to 40% less fat, less sodium, more fiber, and higher levels of protein and vitamin B than traditional chips. Plus, all the flavors are gluten-free, non-GMO and have a reasonably lower glycemic index. Oh, and about the flavors – the Snapea Crisps come in Lightly Salted, Caesar, Black Pepper and Wasabi Ranch and the Lentil Crisps come in Tomato Basil and Onion Thyme.  I love them all!

harvest snaps border

 

SAMSUNG

If you can’t wait to see if you’re one of the two winners who wins a month-supply box containing one bag each of all six flavors, head to the nearest store to pick up a stash. I’m pretty darn sure you will love them as much as me – my two favorite ways to eat them are straight out of the bag (natch) or as non-grain croutons on my daily salad. YUM!

harvast snap salad

To enter the giveaway please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below – there will be two winners!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Must-Haves | Running Stuff for Women + Compression Sock Giveaway

crossfit girls pull up

Hanging around with friends at the gym makes working out FUN!

Sometimes girls don’t want to be like the guys, especially when it comes to working out. Really, what female – no matter how ripped and rock solid — wants to come across as a hulked-out he-man during gym time, running or other workouts?  Really, guys are great, but women rule the land of working out – 57% of gym memberships are held by women and 60% of half marathon finishers are women!

hood to coast last leg sparkle

Wild colors and sparkle to keep me awake at the 36th and final leg of 2013 Hood to Coast relay.

Let’s celebrate this commitment to staying fit with sparkle skirts and glitter headbands, the pink nail polish and purple kettle bells, and the fun compression socks and other fashionable workout gear!   Here are some of my favorite women-focused fitness brands:

zooma texas

Zooma Race Series:  I love this race series that is targeted towards women and am honored to be an ambassador for the Texas race for the third time. Races, that include something for everyone (half-marathon, 10k and 5k) are held scenic getaway-inspired places all over the country like Nappa Valley, Florida, Cape Cod, Chicago and more. Please check out my recent guest post at ZoomaRun.com on the benefits of citrus for runners and a yummy citrus-beef recipe. The catchphrase for this female-focused race is “Run-Laugh-Celebrate” and that spirit is evident by the smiles, support and sparkles on the course. The Texas race will be held April 12th   at the gorgeous venue of  Lost Pines Hyatt Resort & Spa.  If you’re looking for wildflowers and wild times (and a really nice swag bag), it’s not too late to register for the Zooma Texas Half Marathon, 10k and 5k – and if you use my discount code TXAMB3 at checkout you can save 10% on your entry fee.

 

Koss FitClip

Koss FitClip

Koss Fit Buds: For a couple months now, I’ve been trying out the Koss Fit Clips sent for me to test in a FitFluential campaign and they are definitely my favorite pair of headphones, especially for running and working out.  And, natch, they are designed for women, by women – scaled down in size and awesome colors. I’ve always had problems with headphones, either they  don’t fit in my ears well, slide out because they get too sweaty or are just so poorly made that they break within weeks – happy to report none of these problems at all with the Koss Fit Buds. I don’t endorse just any product, I seriously do use and love both the Fit Buds and Fit Clips and wanted to share the news that (for a limited time), all models and colors are on sale at Walgreens for $19.99 (regularly $29.99)!

Altra TRE13 small

Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes:  I’m an ambassador for this company that makes awesome zero-drop running shoes for women. Well, they make ‘em for men, too – but that’s okay; this is one time I don’t want the guy runners to feel left out.  What I love about the many models of Altras I have worn over the last few years, is not just the fact they are zero-drop and have a nice roomy toe box that keeps my nails from turning black (and thus ruining many months of cute pedicures and sandal wearing), but that they are gender specific. By gender specific, I mean these running shoes for women aren’t just scaled down in size and prettied up in pink. Altra running shoes for us ladies are made to accommodate a narrower heel and midfoot, a longer arch, higher instep and toe positioning – this helps us run better and healthier! And, they’re cute. Win-win-win!

purple leopard bondi band compression socks

You could WIN these — whoohoo!

Bondi Band Compression Socks: I love compression socks for so many reasons. They keep my shorts-wearing yet always-cold legs a little warmer. I also really feel like knee-high compression socks really do help keep leg fatigue away longer during intense training and racing and make recovery a little quicker. This company has so many cute patterns which always makes “dressing up” a running outfit so much fun. I’m GIVING AWAY a pair of these awesome running compression socks so that you can accessorize your speedy running legs with a snug hug of style. These are also perfect for the gym or CrossFit – keep those gorgeous gams from getting ripped up on the rope climb!  Turquoise leopard-print, knee-high and in size medium –  enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below!

2008_06 keep austin wierd

So, what is the craziest, most outrageous or girly thing you’ve ever worn in a race? Let me know in the comments. As you can see in the pic above, I once ran a 5k in a Cleopatra (“Queen of the Mile” – get it, ha ha) in the Keep Austin Weird 5k several years ago. The clanging of those beads drove me crazy and I could barely see out of the blue eyeshadow painted glasses, but it was so much fun!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Green} Giant Taste! Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites Recipe + #Giveaway

It’s a very familiar scene. I’m in the midst of preparing a holiday dinner (or even a weeknight supper) and family and friends begin congregating in the kitchen to see what smells so good and make diversionary chit chat. It’s not that I don’t want to visit with them, because I most certainly do! But, at the same time I am totally aware of their ulterior motives – and that is to get their greedy hands on a pre-dinner sample.

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com green giant appetizer

My husband calls it “quality control” and my three teenage boys don’t even bother explaining away this blatant devouring of the dinner rations. Forget about sneaking tastes on the sly; mounds of shredded cheese, meticulously sliced fruit, chopped nuts and other ingredients intended for the night’s recipe disappear right off my cutting board. In all honesty, I’ve been the guilty party as a guest in other folks’ homes . “Oh, do you think that roast is done yet or should I add a little more salt and pepper to those mashed potatoes? I’ll just have a small taste, if you don’t mind – thank you very much!”

jennifer fisher green giant appetizer

However, with a little pre-planning, it’s easy to whip up a first course that will tide everyone over until the main dish is ready. My stash of frozen Green Giant vegetables has become not just a reliable source for healthy side dishes, but also nutritious ingredients for hors d’oeuvres.   If you’ve read the blog more than once or twice, you may have noticed I love me some southwestern cuisine – the smoky flavors and spicy heat turn even the mildest-mannered menu into a boot-stompin’, chop-smackin’ experience.  My recipe for Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites with Chipotle Crema will keep even the most ravenous rustlers satisfied and out of the main dish until the dinner bell is rung. It’s also a festive and flavorful offering to bring along to a casual holiday party – the host will totally be high-fiving you at the door!

An easy snack to make, these mini muffin-esque appetizers use Green Giant’s boxed Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce, a surprising low in fat and calorie product that is endorsed by Weight Watchers® with a 1 PointsPlus™ value per ½ cup serving.  The creamy dip that accompanies these Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites is mindful of fat and calories as well – it’s simply fat-free sour cream blended with lime juice and ground chipotle powder.

Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites with Chipotle Crema Recipe

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com green giant ingredients

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (10 oz) Green Giant® cauliflower & cheese sauce
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted Hatch green chiles (or 4-oz can green chiles)
  • 1/3 cup grated Colby Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup bacon crumbles

Chipotle Crema:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder

Heat oven to 375°F. Generously grease or spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Cook cauliflower as directed on bag for minimum time. Let cool for 5 minutes and coarsely chop cauliflower.

In medium bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, milk, eggs cumin and salt with whisk or fork until blended. Stir in cauliflower and cheese sauce, green chiles, cheese and bacon. Divide mixture evenly among cups, filling ¾ full.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops are light brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of bites from pan; remove to cooling rack.

Meanwhile, mix sour cream, lime juice and chipotle powder in small bowl until smooth. Top each warm bite with mixture or serve on the side.

Makes 24.

green giant

Looking for more veggie inspiration? Check out all the other appetizer ideas from Green Giant. And, don’t forget to enter my giveaway  – one winner will be sent three coupons for a free Green Giant Steamers product (11 – 12 ounce bags).  It’s so easy to eat healthy when you can steam vegetables right in the microwave. Choose from a variety of delicious, low-fat, 100% natural sauces or your favorite plain vegetables.

****This was a sponsored post and I was compensated for my time. However, all opinions and recipes are completely my own.****

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Sweet, Smoothie-licious Giveaway!

Happy spring! Spring has symbolically been considered a time of renewal, so it’s definitely time to kick off the birth of this blog (and the start of smoothie season) with a sweet, sweet giveaway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delight as the making of your morning, post-workout or bedtime snack smoothie becomes even easier than ever imagined. One lucky winner will get to frappe frozen concoctions with the help of a Hamilton Beach Classic Blender and 2 coupons for make-at-home smoothie kits from Jamba Juice. Just imagine how awesome this stainless-steel blending bad-boy will look sitting atop your kitchen counter top!  We’ve gone even more bananas — four runners-up will also each receive 2 coupons for free Jamba Juice smoothie kits for flavorful, fat-free fun at home.  Read below for all the skinny on entering and good luck!

Giveaway:

  • One (1) person receives a Hamilton Beach Classic 12-speed Stainless Steel Blender model #52277 (ARV $60) and 2 coupons for free Jamba Juice smoothie kits (ARV $6.58).
  • Four (4) runners-up receive 2 coupons for free Jamba Juice smoothie kits (ARV $6.58).

Entry Dates:  March 20 – April 20, 2012, midnight.

Entry Methods: 

  1. Like The Fit Fork on Facebook  and post separately in ‘leave reply’ below that you ‘liked’.  (Mandatory 1x entry)
  2. Follow @thefitfork on Twitter and post separately in ‘leave reply’ below that you ‘followed’. (Optional 1x entry)
  3. Subscribe to email list found on right sidebar of The Fit Fork where it says ‘enter your email address’ – don’t forget to confirm subscription email that comes via Feedburner. Post separately in ‘leave reply’ below that you ‘subscribed’. (Optional 1x entry)
  4. Post to ‘replies’ below with your favorite smoothie ingredient. (Optional daily entry
Note: Facebook ‘likes,’ Twitter ‘follows’ and email subscriptions will be cross-checked.
Giveaway open to U.S. entrants, 18 years or older. Void where prohibited by law. This Giveaway is brought to you by The Fit Fork and is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. For complete giveaway rules please click HERE