Huevos Rancheros [Made Healthier]

Yesterday, I had the most irresistible craving for huevos rancheros. Weird, right? I mean, chocolate cravings make sense, so do chip/dip cravings, but huevos rancheros – who craves that?! This girl apparently. You see, when my best friend was visiting the other week, I did what any good New Yorker (yep, that’s right – I just called myself a New Yorker…more on that later) would do and took her to my favorite, guilty-pleasure brunch spot. The pancakes there are ridiculously good. Seriously, no joke. I’m not even a person who orders pancakes for breakfast/brunch. But they are THAT good. Ahh, the suspense is killing you, isn’t it? What is this magical place, you ask? It’s Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant, the (unofficial) brunch monarch of Alphabet City. Anyways, we did what any smart best friends would do and split two dishes rather than each getting our own – best of both worlds kind of thing. Now, I’ll be honest and admit that I was a little reluctant at first to share my precious pancakes, but truth be told, it was worth it.

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Our delicious, guilty-pleasure brunch!

My friend ordered the huevos rancheros and since I have never had it before, I didn’t know what to expect, but man was it good! I’m a fan of a smorgasbord of flavors and textures in my food, which is exactly what huevos rancheros delivers. If you don’t know, huevos rancheros (at least the one I devoured at Clinton St. Baking Co.) consists of sunny-side up eggs (which we substituted with scrambled eggs) with red beans, guacamole, jalapeno sour cream, salsa picante, and pepper jack cheese on a flour tortilla. Now you know why I was randomly craving it.

So, I vowed to recreate huevos rancheros in a healthier way.

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Huevos Rancheros [Made Healthier]

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

¼ red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, diced

½ green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

½ cup black beans, canned, drained (preferably no salt added or low sodium)

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp chili powder

1 tsp sriracha (optional)

2 6” whole wheat tortillas

2 large eggs (organic and cage-free, preferably)

½ half Haas avocado, sliced

1 lime wedge

1 Tbsp cilantro,diced.

2 Tbsp salsa (optional)

Directions:

In a pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, or until they appear translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the green pepper and tomato and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the black beans and spices and cook for about 3 more minutes. Meanwhile, spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and cook the tortillas, one by one, for about 2 minutes. Afterwards, fry each egg as desired. Layer the vegetable and bean mixture onto the tortillas, dividing evenly and squeezing the lime on top, followed by the eggs, avocado and cilantro. And if you want more kick, add salsa on top. And voila, you have a (healthier) huevos ranchero dish!

This dish is great as a weekend breakfast or brunch, or if you’re like me, it’s also delicious as a light dinner. Hope you enjoy! Do you have a favorite huevos rancheros recipe?

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Protein-Packed Pina Colada Smoothie

Weather like this (sunny and in the 90’s!!!) makes me wish I was lounging beach-side (preferably on a tropical island) with a pina colada in my hands rather than navigating through NYC streets. But because of my full-time job, internship, and research study, imagining a tropical island is about as close as close as I’ll get to being on one this summer. However, the pina colada part might be more realistic than not. With hot weather like, it’s best to avoid alcohol rather than indulge in it (dehydration much?).

But that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of tropical drinks. This beachy creation of mine came into being after a pretty hardcore run, when I needed a post-workout treat that would cool me down and replenish me.

And so, drum role please…

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The [Protein-Packed] Pina Colada Smoothie

Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 small smoothies

Ingredients:

6 oz 0% Plain Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani!)

1/2 cup frozen pineapple

1/2 cup frozen mango

1/8 cup water

2 Tbsp coconut flakes (for garnish)

Directions:

Add the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Hint: add water as needed. If you like a creamier smoothie, don’t add as much water.  Garnish the smoothie with coconut flakes and enjoy!

This delicious tropical smoothie packs 18g of protein (that’s the same as 3 eggs!).

 

My Summer of Fitness Kick-Off

Since I moved to the city, I have been on a fitness roller coaster, starting at the top and then dropping so low that it was hard to get the momentum going to get back up on the workout wagon. I used every excuse in the book (to myself, of course) – mainly that I was too busy balancing school, work, and life to workout. Well… My mind listened, but my body did not. Not only did I gain a few pounds, but I became really sluggish. So I decided to change that this summer.

With my blogging internship for FiTMAPPED, and just being in New York in the summertime, I’m gaining the momentum that I need to make fitness a bigger part of my life. Luckily, living in such an expensive city has its perks – so many things are free! Whatever you’re into, there’s a festival or some kind of event geared for it. And with NYC being such an active, fitness-obsessed city, there’s fitness and healthy lifestyle events all the time, especially in the summer. And because of that, I’ve dubbed this summer my Summer of Fitness. And hopefully next summer and the summer after that.

And since the summer officially started last Friday, I’m proud to say I’ve been on quite a roll:

Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind over Madness, which you can read about here.
Ballet Class at Dokoudovsky New York Conservatory of Dance (as part of Dance Week)
Buns n’ Biscuits Bootcamp and Brunch (you can read about my experience here.)
Pilates Mat Class at Ballet Academy East (as part of Dance Week)
Outdoor fhitting room class (as part of FITiST & Lole Showtique Summer of Fitness at Hudson River Park)
Mid-workday lunch-hour run
Pilates Circuit Class at Studio Anya (as part of dance week)
A nice, 3-mile run passing the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges (talk about a view!)
Real Ride spin class at Revolve Fitness
One last evening run along the East River (to top it all off)

My favorite workouts of the 10-day kick-off, other than the ones I’ve already written about, would definitely have to be:

the fhitting room’s FHIX class at Hudson River Park

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(source)

This high intensity training class was challenging and fun at the same time. Eric and Ben, the trainers, made sure to introduce themselves to everyone (this is quite impressive given that there were about 70 people in the class), and double-teamed to make sure we sweat ALOT. Interspersed with burpees and planks was a relay-race including sprints, crab walks, bear crawls, you name it. It felt like I was back in 4th grade again, only this time my gym class was filled with fitness fanatics and the “gym teachers” made sure you gave it 110% effort. Of course, I’m sure their classes at the actual studio are even more intense, and I would love to try them out there as well.

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(a sweaty and wide-eyed me with the trainers)

Pilates Circuit Class at Studio Anya

The minute I walked into Studio Anya, I was captivated by the zen atmosphere. The Pilates Circuit class was no joke, and I’m not proud to say my former experience in Pilates classes and the reformer did not prepare me for this, probably because my core hasn’t been worked like this in quite a while. Pilates has a fabulous way of activating muscles from their very core, rather than on a superficial level. The circuit class included exercises on the reformer, wall, and chair, all which worked different muscle groups and in different ways. Following the class,  I had a greater sense of my alignment and more control of my core.

Studio Anya(source)

Real Ride spin class at Revolve Fitness

This class was INTENSE! Taught by Kristin Kenney, who is HUGE in the fitness world, this class was no joke. I was dripping sweat almost immediately. She led us through a stimulated route in Sicily, and we alternated between high resistance and high speed. There were times when I was struggling, but Kristin had a great way of motivating everyone to keep going, so I tried my best to give 100% effort throughout the entire workout. 

Revolve Fitness(source)

What I’ve learned from the past 10 days: always give everything you do 100%. The best workouts I had was when I stopped holding back and just went for it. I never realized how strong my tendency was to hold back and conserve energy, but what I realize now is that its not worth it. There’s a fine balance between conserving energy for endurance and going all out for intensity.

This is just the start to my Summer of Fitness, but I’m confident that it will give me the motivation I need to keep going. Are you making this YOUR Summer of Fitness as well? Let me know!