Lightened-Up Carnitas (Pulled Pork Tacos)

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A Fresh Idea About Your Ideal Weight

In a recent post, I discussed New Year’s Resolutions, and how difficult they can be to keep.  And, it should be no surprise to you that America’s #1 most popular NYR is to lost weight (source:  University of Scranton, Journal of Psychology).  I think it’s especially difficult in the dead of winter, when all you want is to stay indoors, load up on comfort foods, and not burn off the calories, right?  Just me?

I think it’s especially difficult for all of us who love to watch football on the weekends– we get together with our buds (maybe want to enjoy a few Buds?), and are not only constantly tempted with the diet-devastation plethora of pizza, wings, chips, beer, and soda that will derail our resolutions to lose weight, but it’s the size zero models on the commercials for these foods (and the top-shape male athletes, for the fellas) that make us feel even more pressure.  It creates a shame-spiral that you can and will fall into:  resisting temptation of all that food is nigh impossible, and then you’re fat-shamed by the 4% body fat people on the screen.  I’m not going to preach to you all about how the media portrays unrealistic female body images– if you’re reading that for the first time in your life, you have A LOT more on the internet to see.  What I want to tell you is that, while it is great to set ambitious goals to improve yourself and your health, you need to get some perspective, stay realistic, and most of all, stay happy.

 Recently, I came across the beautiful, talented Andie Mitchell and her blog (PLEASE go read it after this, it’s amazing!), and it inspired me to write about a mutual thought about “ideal weight” that she and I share.  Everyone has there goal body image– that picture in their head of a lean, toned, media-approved body with abs and a tight butt– and they have a crazy low weight in mind that they are shooting for to get there.  I’m telling you, if you’re not there now and not predisposed for that kind of body, it’s not for you.  

Here’s what I mean:  I’m not going to write my whole story here, but I always have, and always will, struggle with my weight.  I was at my all-time heaviest tipping the scale at 179 lbs (I’m about 5’3”)  about 9 years ago, and was incredibly unhappy with how I looked and how my clothes fit.  I decided to make significant life changes, and was able to shed over 55 lbs and keep it off, ever since.  Now, there was a time, about 5 years ago, when I was down 10 lbs less than I am now, which is what I thought was my “ideal” weight.  I was so happy with how I looked (although I am a very curvy gal), and literally worked my butt off to get there.  I was actually (almost) happy with how I looked in a bathing suit.  I got down to a solid size 2 (sometimes 0 depending on the store).  I considered myself “small” and attractive for the first time ever.  But…

I was miserable.  Barring an epic case of the flu, I hadn’t allowed myself to miss a workout (sometimes two a day) in 2 and a half years.  I never ate enough, and was in a perpetual state of hangry.  I deprived myself of all desserts and breakfasts so much so to the point that I would taste treats and spit them out when no one was looking.  I am confident that if I went back and asked anyone in my life how I was to be around they would tell me I was short, snappy, and difficult.  With a capital B.

Over the next couple of years, I had more fun, gained those 10 lbs in a healthy way over time, let go of my “ideal” body image some, and let myself enjoy foods.  I realized that I was happy, and felt over all so much healthier, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I have worked to maintain this weight ever since (give or take), and know that although I would like to be more fit-looking, this is my true ideal weight.  By the way, if nothing else gets through to you in this article, please swallow this factoid:  you are NOT getting paid to look like those starving gals on the beer commercials, so stop feeling bad that you don’t look like that.  Not worth it.  

I will always encourage people to eat healthier, to improve themselves, and to be happy.  And I plan to be here to provide recipes and giggles that support that.  This week, I have crazy-good Carnitas (pulled-pork tacos):  by making it in the slow cooker with salsa and seasonings instead of the traditional oil it is usually simmered in, you will save a ton of calories without sacrificing flavor.  I paired them with corn tortillas and fresh avocado slices.  Enjoy 🙂 (inspired by Skinnymom.com)


Materials:

  • slow cooker
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • tongs
  • cutting board
  • two forks

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 T cumin
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c water
  • tortillas (I used white corn) and toppings

Directions:

  1. Place pork tenderloin in slow cooker.  (NOTE:  I did not trim mine for this.)IMG_3233
  2. Rub meat with brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt, and pepper until coated.IMG_3234
  3. Pour salsa over meat.  IMG_3235
  4. Pour water in bottom of slow cooker.  Cook on low for at least 6 hours, until well- cooked through.

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    Meat after about 7 hours

  5. Carefully take out meat and place onto a cutting board (it’s okay if the meat falls apart, that’s a good sign!).  Shred using two forks, pulling in opposite directions. FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender
  6. Serve with desired toppings, such as avocado, hot sauce, tomatoes, or cheese. FullSizeRender
  7. Enjoy!

Lightened-Up Carnitas (Pulled Pork Tacos)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 6 hrs 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

FullSizeRender

Materials:

  • slow cooker
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • tongs
  • cutting board
  • two forks

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 T cumin
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c water
  • tortillas (I used white corn) and toppings

Directions:

  1. Place pork tenderloin in slow cooker.  (NOTE:  I did not trim mine for this.)
  2. Rub meat with brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt, and pepper until coated.
  3. Pour salsa over meat.  Pour water in bottom of slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for at least 6 hours, until well- cooked through.
  5. Carefully take out meat and place onto a cutting board (it’s okay if the meat falls apart, that’s a good sign!).  Shred using two forks, pulling in opposite directions.
  6. Serve with desired toppings, such as avocado, hot sauce, tomatoes, or cheese.
  7. Enjoy!

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