It’s Classic Time In The City!

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For those who don’t know, The Magic City Classic or what many call “The Classic”–is probably one of THE biggest events that comes to the city of Birmingham (AL). Birmingham has been the hosting city for decades! Alabama State University Hornets vs. Alabama A&M University Bulldogs battle it out not only on the football field, but also with the bands! It’s tradition. It’s culture! Oh, and the dancers go just as hard! Robin Thicke’s new music video, Give It 2 U, features The Alabama State Stingettes–which was first premiered on MTV’s Video Music Awards. What’s also exciting…Ice Cube will be the Grand Marshall of the Magic City Classic Parade and game Halftime show Celebrity Ambassador. There will also be a post-game concert by Morris Day and The Time! “I got a brand new dance it’s called, The Bird!” I know you remember that! You can see the full schedule of events here.

imageI won tickets to the 72nd Annual Magic City Classic this year! A big thank you to Hot 107.7 Birmingham!

There is a lot of family history with Alabama State. My Mom as well as some of my HB’s family are graduates of ASU. Classic Weekend is such a fun time of year where I see a lot of my family, catch up with old friends, attend different events, tailgate, eat great food, and just have a great time! It’s also the one time of year where I truly indulge in a few of my favorites. For example–you cannot go near Legion Field and not get a polish sausage–especially a Chicago-style polish sausage from TRAVIS food truck or his famous “Bear Burger”!

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Okay, before you say anything–I DID NOT eat this! This is actually the Grizzly Bear Burger! It’s 5lbs of ground goodness, polish sausage, onions, peppers, cheese and secret sauce. It truly deserves to be on The Travel Channel’s Hamburger Paradise! Crazy!

I’m so looking forward to every minute of it! Do you participate in Magic City Classic Weekend? If so, what’s your favorite part of the festivities?

Check out Robin Thicke’s New Video featuring the ASU Stingettes! Warning: video does contain explicit content.

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Quick Mealsies ~ Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, Chicken, and Kale Pizza

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Some of my workouts are in the evenings, so I must have meals planned out to avoid eating too late. Lately I’ve been craving pizza–but I always want the unhealthy kind. I’m talking good, greasy pizza from Pizza Hut — Stuffed Crust Pepperoni or Deep Dish Meat Lovers! I’m not shame to admit it…so don’t judge me! *wink* BUT…to stay on track I make my own pizzas and save my treats for when I really want/need them. I have been searching for this tasty tortilla (I use as pizza crust) by Joseph’s that I found once at Publix. I loved it because it was a flax/reduced carb tortilla, not too thin, and very filling. Since I couldn’t find them, I used a regular whole wheat tortilla.

Super-Duper Thin-Crust (Tortilla) — Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, Chicken, and Kale Pizza

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 1 pizza (it’s sharable!)

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 inch whole wheat tortilla (any kind will work)
  • 2 tbsps sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 2 tbsps pizza sauce
  • 3 oz of cooked, grilled chicken chunks
  • 1 1/2 cup of lightly sautéed and seasoned kale
  • 1/3 cup of reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place tortilla on baking sheet.
  3. Spread pesto and pizza sauce evenly over tortilla. Mix them together well.
  4. Add sautéed kale then add chicken chunks. Top with mozzarella cheese and place in the oven for approximately 8-10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  5. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if you would like.
  6. Cut into slices. Serve and Enjoy!

Art Notes: If you can find any kind of flat-bread or a tortilla similar to Joseph’s, it will work great! If you use a regular (thin) tortilla you can bake it in the oven before adding sauce and toppings to give it a crispier, texture.

Super easy, quick, and delicious! Let me know if you give it a taste test!

~A

Should You Apologize For Being Fit?

Photo: Mike Byerly

Clearly, I’m not the only one who heard about the 32-year-old fitness fanatic and Mom of three who has caused an uproar. Maria Kang’s “fit photo”, captioned with the phrase “What’s Your Excuse?” (commonly used in fitness world) went viral and many people have something to say about it. I give credit when credit is due. I hope that I can look as great as she does after having three children. So, what’s the problem? She made healthier choices and got her “Fitness On” to achieve her goals–so she earned it, right? All to be accused of fat-shaming? Some people have called her “obnoxious” while others said she was an inspiration. Perhaps her approach was a little “in yo face” and raw for such a sensitive subject, leaving many with mixed feelings.

Maria stated on her Facebook page:

I’ve been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I’m a bully, I’m fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I’ve caused women. I get it. SO here’s my First and Final Apology:

I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.

What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point. So What’s Your Excuse?

not about perfect

I can’t knock Maria and all of her hard work and efforts. She looks amazing and she’s definitely an inspiration! However, after reading a lot of the comments–many didn’t share the same sentiments. Not all of them were unhealthy, overweight, over-eaters, or lack enthusiasm for fitness, etc. they just didn’t agree with her approach. Either you like it or you love it. I know firsthand that there are a lot of people out there working hard and trying their best to reach a milestone or another goal. Maybe the results aren’t happening as fast as they would like, which can be discouraging to someone who just saw Maria’s photo come across their news feed. What if they are unable to carry out certain exercises due to physical limitations? Or, LIFE just happened. Not making excuses, just giving you something to think about. No one knows one struggle to the next.

I have fitness goals and I do my best every single day to achieve them. “NO EXCUSES” is a phrase I use in my #tags and it’s something I tell myself–OFTEN. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded around people who want to improve and live a healthy lifestyle. That’s why I love movements like Black Girls RUN!, Girl Trek, and Fit Fluential!  Being a woman, especially a woman of color, it’s encouraging to see women like me getting out there–changing those statistics, putting an end to stereotypes, obesity, diabetes, and other health risks–We’re improving our overall health! We celebrate non-scale victories, hold each other accountable, support, motivate, and inspire one another. That’s what it’s all about! And–you should never apologize for wanting to make healthier choices and live a healthier life.

A

More Sweat, Less Jiggle | The Biggest Loser 15

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The season premiere of The Biggest Loser 15 is almost here! I’ve always been a fan of the show, but I would always catch it mid-season. This will be my first time watching it from beginning to end. I watched the last few episodes of BL14 with winner, Dani Allen, and knew I needed to subscribe to Hulu so I could catch up on what I missed. I loved her transformation and watching her change right before my eyes. Dani is also a runner and now runs marathons–so inspiring!

I am also a Jillian Michaels fanatic! She’s an absolute BEAST! Even if you’re not competing on the show, she makes you get your bum up and get it in. She will have your glutes and “hammies” on fire! I also love trainers, Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince–motivation at its best. BL15 kicks off tomorrow, October 15 at 8/7c. Sorry BET Hip Hop Awards, you will have to take the back seat and get DVR’d! I’m excited that Ruben Studdard, from my hometown (Birmingham, AL) and American Idol Season 2 winner, will be competing for the Biggest Loser 15 spot. He is the heaviest contestant on the ranch weighing in at 462 pounds. He said he will be dedicating two hours a day to himself to continue losing weight. The fact that they are all making the decision to change their health and lives is commendable.

Best of luck to all of the contestants. Will you be watching?

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reCreate13 Recap: I Was There!

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On last Friday and Saturday I attended my first reCreate (Women’s) Conference! It was one of the most incredible, empowering conferences that I’ve ever attended in my life! As a woman, a wife, and a future Mommy–it created an atmosphere for transparency, learning, growth and beyond. Talk about inspiring! Hearing from powerhouses such as Lisa Bevere, Priscilla Shirer, and Charlotte Gambill will bless your LIFE!

We all want to make our mark in this world and it is my hope that we all desire to change lives. I’m so very grateful to my Church of the Highlands family and my Pastor, Chris Hodges, and his beautiful wife, Mrs. Tammy for creating such an atmosphere to make it possible. They are so selfless and they both strive to help make this world a better place. I truly believe it’s their desire for us to have the most abundantly, blessed life ever! Being a part of this conference ignited something in me. I’ve been inspired by so many beautiful people and it’s a MUST that as I learn and grow–I pay it forward!

Here’s a picture recap from the conference!

20131008-144425.jpgPhoto Credit: nicoleunser on Instagram

As we (women) pulled into the entrance of the church, the men were holding signs that said, “You Are Beautiful!”, “You Are Cherished!”, “You Are a Warrior Princess!” — When I tell you after I saw the first sign, tears filled my eyes and I was done for the day! In my mind I was saying, Wow God! All of this for me? This is how you feel!?  I was so overwhelmed with emotion, I could hardly contain myself!

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I was in awe when I walked in. The entire building was decorated beautifully.

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Our first session began with worship led by Christy Nockels! She has the sweetest voice ever and I absolutely adore her!

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 Charlotte Gambill, Priscilla Shirer, and Lisa Bevere — Empowering Women!

(Photo Credit: lbevere on Instagram)

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