Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato

Makes 2 Servings, 1 potato with 1 cup filling

  • Total Time: 1hr 5 min.
  • Prep Time: 15 min  
  • Cooking Time: 50 min
  • Yield: 2 Servings

Container Equivalents per server: 1 Red, 2 Yellow, 1 Teaspoon

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, washed, pierced several times with a fork
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded roasted chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. Bake sweet potatoes for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender.  Cut sweet potatoes almost in half lengthwise
  3. While sweet potatoes are baking, combine chicken, beans, oil, cumin, coriander, and salt in a small saucepan; cook, over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes or until hot
  4. Top sweet potatoes evenly with chicken mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro.
  5. Serve Immediately

3 Day Refresh Results

Sometimes we need a good cleanse to kick off or continue our journey.  Our bodies sometimes hold on to the junk in our systems for dear life, and we need to take a couple days to flush all that out.  With Summit around the corner, Heidi wanted to flush those toxins out of her system to hit Summit Hard.

IMG_20160801_132909_636000

I have to admit that I was extremely  nervous to start the 3 Day Refresh.  I had read some reviews and worried that, I too, would be starving all day long.   However, I really wanted to see what my results would be.  I drank the horrible fiber sweep each day, stayed on track with snacks, vanilla refreshes and meals.  I was so full that there were days when I forgot to eat lunch until 4pm!  It was crazy!  I wasn’t expecting much since I had been pretty on track with both working out and eating for weeks prior to this.  So, imagine my surprise when I saw that I had lost 3 pounds (a pound per day), an inch on my waist and a half inch on my hips.  I felt great, too!  My only regret…that my pics illustrated my results better!

7 Ways to Accelerate Your I.T. Career

Over the course of my I.T. career I found that I was getting promoted roughly every 2 years.  For me it seemed natural as I didn’t know any different, but I did notice that my peers were not getting promoted as quickly.  Some never got promoted at all!  In addition to the promotions, I was entrusted with some pretty big projects and received some opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, like international travel to Brazil and Germany.

It wasn’t until I became a manager that I understood exactly WHY I was being promoted so quickly.  As I reflect back on the history of my career, I have identified seven points that have accelerated my career to make me one of the youngest managers in I.T. at my organization.

Don’t Suck Up

There is nothing more transparent than someone sucking up.  It suck%20up_Shutterstock_webshows that you are disingenuous and have ulterior motives.  It’s immediately obvious to not only your boss but also your peers as well, which will damage your relationships with them.  Instead you can look to form a semi-friendship with your management.  One where you share details about your life, your hobbies, your family.  Keep things professional.

Personal Development

You are not the expert in everything, nor are you perfect.  Set aside time on your own for personal development that betters yourself.  Read books or listen to audio books that develop your leadership Personal_Developmentskills and your technical skills.  Books like “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” are a great place to start on leadership.  If you’re a web developer, grab a book on ASP.NET or Java.  Learn about design patterns, business analysis techniques or process frameworks.  This is where you gain the knowledge and ideas that will set the foundation.  When you do this on your own, it shows your management that you have a hunger to become more than what you currently are.

Show Up

One simple thing you can do is to arrive early for work and stay late. I’m not suggesting you live at work! On the contrary, I believe in aarrive-early-300x198 healthy work/life balance.  You will be surprised the impression you will leave when you are consistently 5 minutes early and stay just 5 minutes later.  Don’t be part of the herd that does the mass-exodus at 4:30.

Prove Your Worth

A simple way to sum this point up is deliver.  Be proactive in resolving any impediments to your assignments.  If you are waiting for someone to clarify requirements or deliver a dependency to your work, don’t rely on email, call them early and often!

Set a high standard of quality for your work.  Minimize documented bugs by involving your users, business analysts or QA analysts early while you are doing your assignment.  That doesn’t mean hide issues.  If there’s a bug or issue, document it and follow the process to resolve it.  What it does mean is you do what you can to prevent it in the first place.

Partner Up

Your relationship with your peers is more important than you know.  Remember when I said above that you don’t know everything?  Neither does your peer.  However if you think of your knowledge and your peer’s knowledge like a Venn diagram, there’s his part of the circle that doesn’t overlap with your own.  Your peers will look at a problem or solution from a different perspective and often think of things you didn’t.  This will lead to higher quality solutions where it’s easier for you to Prove Your Worth.

Solve Problems

As I.T. Pros, we LOVE solving problems.  The type of problems I’m talking about here are problems your team or your department faces.  Think about what’s taking too long?  What’s always breaking?  What’s unpredictable? What processes are inefficient and could be improved?  For example, do you have a bug that just keeps showing back up?  You fix it, and then someone unfixes it?  Could automated testing help prevent that if only your team did automated testing?  Could you become the automated testing guy?

Don’t Be A Problem

Once you are viewed as a problem, it takes serious work to undo that perception.  If you think about your current progress towards a promotion as a bank account, then doing everything above adds small deposits to that account.  However, being a problem to your manager makes withdrawals… big withdrawals.  Ways to becoming a problem include not delivering on your assignments, never accepting responsibility for your actions, purposefully going against your teams standards, being dismissive towards your peers and management, being rude and unprofessional to anyone at any time.

Now with all that being said, there is one last piece of advice I will give you.  Don’t try to be promoted too quickly.  For every single level I was ever promoted to, I thought I was already ready for the next level.  Once I got that, I realized that I wasn’t ready when I thought I was and I needed time.  Time served doesn’t always qualify you for a promotion to the next level, but it does give you the wisdom needed to know how to approach the situations you will face with courage and integrity.

What’s In Shakeology? Maca Root

Maca is a root from Peru; it’s a tuber, like a potato, and offers an amazing energy boost for those with low energy. Maca however, unlike coffee, offers energy in a non-caffeinated way that supports the body.

Maca is a nutritionally dense super-food that contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and all of the essential amino acids. Maca root is rich in B-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins, and maca is a vegetarian source of B-12. To boot, maca has high levels of bioavailable calcium and magnesium and is great for remineralization.

Maca root helps balance our hormones and due to an over abundance of environmental estrogens, most people’s hormones are a bit out of whack. Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the “master glands” of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands.

Instead of providing hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to different bodies’ needs individually. If you’re producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. However, if you’re producing too little, it’ll regulate the production upward.

Hormones regulate many things including mood, growth, sexual development, and tissue function. Hormones also play a role in many diseases, like cancer and depression.

Maca root has been shown to be beneficial for all sorts of hormonal problems including PMS, menopause, and hot flashes. Maca’s also a fertility enhancer and is best known for improving libido and sexual function, especially in men. For this reason, it’s earned the nickname “nature’s Viagra.”

Morning Workout Routine To Start An Awesome Day

I Don’t Have Time To Workout

I’ve heard it 100 times.  I’ve said it 100 times.  “I don’t have time to workout” or “I’m too busy”.  It took me a very long time to overcome this line of thinking.  First, I had to have the trigger that pushed me over the edge to get started.  For me, my pants were too tight and I didn’t want to buy new pants.  We had a bathroom scale and when I used it I found that I was the heaviest I had ever been.  Then I knew it was time to make a change.

Morning Workout, Really?

Heidi wanted to work out in the morning, before the kids got out of bed.  I didn’t want to, but I gave it a shot.  We woke up at 6:00 and popped in our T25 workout.  It sucked! I hated it! I had no energy.  I couldn’t do the workout.  I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything.

After work works, doesn’t it?

I found that doing my workout after work worked for me.  I had more energy, I could finish my workout, and I felt like I was making progress.  I was losing weight, gaining muscle definition and overall felt great.

So, What’s The Problem Then?

My family was suffering.  T25 was 25 minutes, P90X3 and Insanity Max 30 are 30 minutes.  When you add in the time it takes to load up the workout and then cooldown, I might have 45 to 60 minutes spent in my workout.  I wouldn’t get started until 5:30 – 6:00, which takes me to 7:00 pm.  My kids’ bedtime is 8:00, which means I only had half the time I needed with them.  Also, I couldn’t get much else done at home either.  Time to rethink this!

Back to Morning Workouts

Along the way, I discovered something that helps solve my issue with morning workouts.  Preworkout Supplements. I experimented with a few and found some that woke me up enough in the mornings to get a good solid workout in.  Once I incorporated, I was able to develop a solid repeatable routine that allows me to get my workout in, and not allow my family to suffer.  Here it is:

5:00 AM – Wake up, put on workout clothes make my way downstairs

5:15 AM – Mix up Energize, turn on skillet on the stove (it’s electric), drink energize, do a load of dishes or laundry

5:30 AM – IT’S GO TIME!  Workout!

6:10 AM – Mix up Recover, make kids breakfast, get kids dressed, get them started eating.  (This might occur before I do the workout IF I’m running behind. Kids need to be up by 6:15!!)

6:30 AM – Get Shower, dressed for work make breakfast, mix up Shakeology

7:00 – 7:15 – Out the door