Chimichangas by Ellipse

Chimichangas by Ellipse

Hi Everyone,

Looking for a spicy recipe that the whole family will enjoy?  This is a terrific recipe for to swap out for the traditional deep-fried chimichanga that you can order at your favorite restaurant!  Instead of deep-frying, you simply assemble the burrito, spray it with cooking spray, and brown it in the oven.  This method leaves the shell nice and crunch without all the added fat and calories!

Chimichangas by Ellipse

1 Package of Extra Lean Ground Turkey

1 Can Fat Free Refried Beans

1 Package of Low Carb Tortillas

1 Jar of Salsa

5 Kraft Fat Free single cheese slices

Pam Cooking Spray

Garnish of Lettuce & Tomato

Directions:  Lightly spray cooking pan with PAM cooking spray and brown Ground Turkey.  When turkey is completely browned, add 1 jar of thick and chunky type salsa.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile spread a thin layer of refried beans in the middle of each tortilla, top with 1/5 of turkey mixture, and one slice of fat free cheese.  Fold in four side of tortilla and place seam side down on cookie sheet.  Spray lightly with PAM cooking spray and place in oven at 375 for about 15 minutes or until shells look slightly crisp.  Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and fat free Greek yogurt.

Recipe = 5 servings

Total Calories: 321   Carb=25g Prot=43g Fat=4.1g

Tiffany’s Tip:  I like to turn the broiler on for the last 1 or 2 of cooking to allow the shells to brown just a little on the top.  A great topping is a little Greek Yogurt…..use it like sour cream!  Tons of protein and very few calories!

Warning: Slippery excuses. Accumulations expected.

It is icy.  There is some lingering snow on the ground.  It’s not that bad, but you would never know it judging by the news reports, school closings, and sudden surge in facebook activity.  I guess it just speaks to our levels of preparation, organization, and responsibility.  It makes me appreciate how days like this can show me something about my life in a whole new perspective.

Here in St. Louis you may as well shut down the city because .1 of an inch of ice has fallen.  Don’t worry about being the most dangerous city in the nation.  If you make that too big of a headline, people may panic.  Just be sure to put a news crew on every corner of the city slipping and sliding on ice on a sidewalk, warn people to stay indoors, off the roads, shut down every school, and, for crying in a bucket, stock up on bread, milk, and eggs.

After my first instructor called in 10 hours in advance of class.  I started to think “here we go.”  She does live very south compared to the rest of us in a more rural area with a smaller street department and the ice was predicted to be much worse there.  Reason or excuse?  Reason.  Right? Only she knows.

I decide “I better be prepared.”  I am the owner.  If no one can get to work safely, it is my responsibility to show up or close.  I cleaned the studio myself, got the workout ready, figured out how to get my kids to school and how to supervise them if school was canceled, checked the weather, laid out my clothes, set the coffee pot, found the rock salt, set the alarm, and went to bed.  When my alarm went off at 3, I did not hit snooze because I knew I couldn’t.  I had to drink the coffee, get dressed,  check the weather and school closings, prepare the website, and TRY to get to work safely. Guess what?  No problems.  Like Spongebob, I was ready!

So begin the text messages…”Are you open?”  “I just fell in my driveway.”  “How are the roads?” “There is a cop car in my front yard.”

At the 5am workout,  six people showed up.  They would not have been able to do it later.  They had to get it in if they could.  What if schools were closed and kids were home?  What if the roads are fine and we miss our workout for nothing?  What if we feel sluggish all day because of all this additional stress and missed out workout to top it all off?

It was a fun workout.  My hamstrings loved it!  Good for them/us.  We knew what we had to do it or, at the very least, try to do it.  We did it. It feels great and it is crossed off my list.  Moving on…

What about those people who did not make it?  Should we condemn them because they are not die hard workout fanatics who can’t get enough?  Of course not.  If Ellipse would have been closed, it would have been sad to see the sender of my first text message venture out into the cold for nothing.  If my driveway is so bad I can’t maneuver it with my feet, it can be highly intimidating to then maneuver a $20,000 vehicle on potentially icy roads.  Finally, if a cop car is in my yard in the middle of the night with the officer walking himself to the ambulance parked at the top of the hill I live on so he can transport himself to the hospital, I might throw in the towel on the next day too.  Does that make me a quitter?  Are these reasons or excuses? Or am I watching a clip of the movie The Hangover?

I believe each of us has to answer those questions for ourselves.

I could have easily posted on our website that we were closed due to weather.  Everyone (but that one guy-there is always on of THOSE guys) would understand.  It never would have been an issue.  Except to me.  I KNEW I could have made it or tried to make it before I waved the white flag.  I can pat myself on the back and move on.  Does that make me better than someone else?  No.  I could have gone a step further and planned my breakfast while I was at it.  I do preach this to others everyday.  I know better.  I still grabbed a chocolate chip cookie my son made for his algebra class and a 100 calorie pack of yogurt covered pretzels to go with that coffee I made a priority the night before.  Guess I wasn’t quite prepared enough.  Was I?  Reason:  I had all this to do.  I was so busy.  I had to drive in that ice.  I didn’t have time to stop for eggs and scramble them up with no yolks.   I had to sub for that 6am instructor.  I’m working out anyway.  Reason? Excuses!  Excuses!  Excuses! It would have taken me 30 seconds to make a protein shake, and grab a banana or toast half an English muffin as I walked out the door.  I allowed extra time for slippery driveways and roads.

Are those people who did not make their usual workout sitting at home right now or around the water cooler talking about how stupid it is to get up in the cold and ice and try to make a group exercise class?  Maybe.  Who cares if they are?  I don’t.  I wonder though.  If they are saying those negative things, they must be the people who are making excuses.  If I had a true blue reason why I could not do something,  I would not feel a bit bad.  Not a bit.  For example, if I were trapped in my car on the side of the road, found that cookie and ate it, I would be writing about survival today instead of excuses.  If I failed at something I tried to do, I would be proud that I tried.  If I decided to come down on someone who was only being health-conscience, I would wonder why I am trying to make myself feel better by making them look bad.

I might blame their etiquette and call it rude not to try my special homemade holiday delight, but I think maybe I should blame that cookie that snuck it’s way into my mouth a time too many and causes me not to fit in my jeans, be grouchy at that party, cross my hands over my muffin top and over-sized shirt, and say you’re stupid for working out on cold days when I can barely drag my ass out of bed because I consistently don’t plan my breakfast!  Dumb cookie.

Reflect on the times in your life when you are not prepared.  How does this make you feel?  Like a quitter or like a failure?  There is a difference.  A big difference.  Failures cannot possibly because it is out of their control.  Quitters just don’t.  Quitters often find somewhere else to lay the blame.  It’s not their fault.  Right?

Reflect on the times when you speak negatively about someone trying to do something to improve themselves or when you discourage them from trying to improve.

Reflect on your level of preparedness and lack thereof.

Reflect on your reasoning or excusing.  You can only judge yourself.

Holiday Hold ‘Em

It has been a very challenging week of “Holiday Hold ‘Em” this week.  I waited to send this until Friday of this week.  As the weekend approaches, are you prepared for what lies ahead.  No, not the crowded parking lots, credit card limits, or weather.   I am talking about the 15 meals you need to eat Friday to Sunday.

Ellipse Fitness Neenah has challenged their members to a game of Holiday Hold Em.  The focus is on body fat percentage and how to maintain it over the next few challenging weeks.  You better believe they know what the next 15 meals over the weekend will be.  They KNOW because they have a plan.  Do you have your plan set? Are you planning on planning?  Are you hoping for the best this weekend? this month?

Ask yourself: What do (did) I hope to accomplish this week or this month? Why is it that we “hope” to do something we are in complete control over? You hope that you avoid the cold and flu bugs for the holiday. You hope that snow holds off this weekend. You hope loved ones suffering from cancer can find a cure or peace. You don’t hope for proper nutrition or weight loss. You don’t hope to eat well. You do it or you don’t.

What are you going to do this weekend? What do you hope to do next week? Do that. I know you can. You know you can.

Thanks Becky!

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup by Ellipse

Hi Everyone~

Wow….can you believe that it is already December?  Where has this year gone?  As the days seem shorter, it is always nice to come home to a meal that is warm and ready to eat.  Attached is a slow cooker recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup that is sure to warm your heart!  Thanks to the tip from my Step-mom, this recipe is very easy to prepare and only requires a few ingredients and a few minutes of prep time!

Remember – EVERYONE IS A MEMBER IN DECEMBER AT ELLIPSE!  That means that if you have never tried Ellipse, you can come to Ellipse and workout for the whole month of December for FREE!!  Make your resolution now.  Come and join us.  If you are ready for RESULTS…..You are ready for ELLIPSE!!!

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 Package McCormick Slow Cookers Chicken Noodle Soup


3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4″ cubes

2 cups sliced carrots

1 cup sliced celery

1 cup chopped onion

5 cups water

1 cup uncooked noodles

Directions:  Place chicken and vegetables in slow cooker.  Mix Seasoning and water until blended. Pour over chicken and vegetables. Cover.

Cook 8 hours on LOW. Stir in noodles. Cover. Cook 10 minutes longer on HIGH or until noodles are tender.

Servings:  6

Total Calories: 136   Carb=12g Prot=19g Fat=1.3g

Tiffany’s Tip:  In a hurry?  Throw your chicken in the slow cooker frozen with the rest of the ingredients.  When you get home, take a fork and just shred the chicken up in the slow cooker before you add your noodles.  The chicken is so tender by this time, that it just falls apart!