Why You Should Support Your Girlfriends’ Passions

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Many of us have idols. We follow their every move. We can’t wait for their “next-big-thing” – whether it’s a movie, a book, an album, a concert, a new release of clothing… we are counting down the minutes to swoop in and buy whatever it may be that our favorite celebrity is sharing with the world. We don’t actually know these people. We have never met them. We just watch their lives online or on tv and it feels like we know them. We want to be a part of their world and share in their journey, so we continue to follow along, to purchase, to worship, to idolize.

I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with the above… in fact, your girl spent close to $300 on a Justin Bieber concert ticket when he came to Chicago in April. I spent all of that money for a lower level seat super close to the stage and I went to the concert alone, because the obsession is that real. I have no shame. It was one of the best experiences of my life!

Okay, Leta, so if there is nothing wrong with supporting your favorite celeb #girlcrush or #MCM (#mancrushmonday) then what is the point in all of this? My point is that while it is absolutely okay to idolize and show support for celebrities and those who have big names in the industries that we follow, many of us neglect the pursuits, visions, and dreams of those around us.

There are so many cliché sayings that I could quote on this subject, but let’s focus on this one… “Empowered women, empower women.”

As a bikini competitor, I make a lot of sacrifices with regards to my social life. Some friends get it, some friends don’t. I wholeheartedly wish that all of my closest friends would understand that this is something that I love and I wish that they would support me and back me 100%, but that is not always the case. I want support, so I make sure to give it as much as I can.

I love sending words of encouragement to the people that send me messages asking for motivation. I love seeing some of my best friends find their passions and I support them in changing their minds and chasing after a new dream. I love going to competitions that I’m not competing in just so I can cheer on my friends that are up on stage. I love lending a hand when friends or family ask for help. I love to “share” Facebook and Instagram pages of my friends and family that are out there doing work and pursuing new ventures.

Empowering the women (and men) around you can do so much for your own self-esteem. You will find that as you continually lift others, you yourself will be lifted. It’s like respect, the more you give, the more you earn. The same goes with support; the more supportive you are to those around you, the more genuine support and encouragement you will receive.

When I first decided to compete, I couldn’t wait to tell my friend, Terressa, who had just started her own personal training business and fitness blog. She showered me with positive messages, the most precious note, bright pink sneaker laces, and gum (because I was dieting). Five months later, T (as her friends lovingly call her) even put together the sweetest show day present with two other incredibly supportive women when they came to the 2014 Badger State Championships to see me compete. After prejudging, we all went out to lunch together. The picture these women gave me still hangs in my room; the sour patch kids, however, didn’t last past midnight.

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Photo Credit: HMS Photography

T is a shining example of what it means to empower those around you. When she’s not taking her own pictures for her blog, she goes to a fellow female entrepreneur, Heather Schwartz of HMS Photography in Milwaukee, for her photoshoots. T was even asked me to join in on one of her photoshoots with Heather (the photo above is from this shoot). It was an amazing day with these girls and the energy was incredible. I left the shoot that day with a renewed energy and drive. It was so fun to help a friend out. This isn’t just business for these two; it’s mutually beneficial both personally and professionally. Terressa books a session with Heather, Heather is able to get some great shots (and glowing word-of-mouth references) to use for her portfolio, Terressa receives the same great shots to make her blog posts fun and personal, and they both have the ability to promote the other’s endeavors when showcasing the shots taken at the photoshoot.

“Support your girlfriends the same way you support celebrities you don’t know.” 

So the next time you need a fun photoshoot, a personal trainer, a graphic designer or artist, or maybe you just need help with your taxes… and you know someone who does these things, who is passionate about these things… reach out to them! Support them! By purchasing from them or using their services, you are funding their dreams and their passions. I don’t think there’s anything better than that.

If you ever wonder why your friends aren’t supporting you in your dreams, ask yourself if you’ve supported them in theirs!

Xo,

Leta

Want to know more about Terressa? Visit her at Achieving Fit or visit her Facebook page and Instagram. Her lifestyle blog is amazing and encompasses all things fun, fitness, and healthy. You can also learn more about her on-line training programs, here.

Need an amazing photographer? Heather shoots senior pictures, boudoir, engagement, and personalized shoots. She’s so sweet and gives amazing direction. She’s a must-use if you’re in the Milwaukee area! Visit her at HMS Photography to learn more and check out her Instagram and Facebook to see even more of her work!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

As my bio says, I’m a self-proclaimed Betty Crocker… what does that mean? It means that I LOVE cooking and baking. It is so fun for me to experiment in the kitchen. I’m on a mission to make all of my favorite meals healthier without sacrificing taste! It isn’t often that I get to cook for anyone besides myself, so when I get the chance to show off my cooking skills… I make sure that I come to the table with a meal so tasty that my guests won’t even know that they’re eating healthy.

With that being said, I had a visitor come over for dinner and decided to cook stuffed bell peppers. Most stuffed bell pepper recipes call for green bell peppers, but the red ones are my favorite so I changed it up and was so happy with my creation that I wanted to share it with y’all!

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

• 4 large red bell peppers

•1 lb. extra lean (99%), ground turkey

•1 tbsp. coconut oil

•1 small red onion, chopped

•1 packet Mrs. Dash salt-free Taco seasoning

•1/4 C water

•1 cup frozen southwestern style corn

•1 (12oz) jar of your favorite salsa (I used a chunky medium salsa)

• Shredded mexican cheese (I used Go! Veggie Mexican shreds)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Rinse peppers. Cut the tops off your bell peppers, remove the stems and and seeds. Set hollow bell peppers aside. If you’re tracking your macros, weigh out the hollowed bell peppers before. I found each of mine to weigh around 175-180 grams and sat the one that would fit my macros on a separate plate).

3. Sauté the onions first with the coconut oil, then add the turkey in a skillet and cook until just browned. Add the taco seasoning, a quarter cup of water, and frozen corn and continue cooking until the meat is finished. Don’t overcook it as it still needs to bake in the oven.

4. Stuff the peppers tightly with the meat filling, dividing the contents of the skillet into four equal portions as best you can.

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5. In a small baking dish (I used 8×8), pour the salsa into the bottom of the dish and place your peppers upright (per the picture above)

6. Sprinkle cheese on top of each pepper, then place the baking dish in the oven. Again, if you are tracking your macros weigh out your cheese prior to placing it on top of the pepper you had set aside for yourself.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, watch out for overcooking! You want the peppers to still be slightly firm.

8. Remove peppers from baking dish and cut in half down the middle. Use salsa from the baking dish as a topping, if desired, I accounted for ¼ of the jar of salsa for the macros so I could top my peppers with salsa.

MACROS for the filling (assuming all 4 portions are equal sized; this also includes the macros for the salsa topping): 29P | 20C | 2F

MACROS an entire pepper (mine weighed 180g; and filling): 30.5P  | 30.5C | 2.5F

If you chose to top your peppers with, simply add those macros to the above. For example, the Go Veggie! Mexican shreds I added to the other peppers have a macro count of 0P | 7C | 6F per serving, so if you added 28g (1 serving) of Go Veggie Mexican shreds to your pepper, the macros for your meal would be 30.5P | 37.5C | 8.5F – which is still a GREAT macronutrient count for an entire meal!

The pepper left me feeling full and happy, especially because I love getting to cook for others and don’t do it often enough. This is a great meal idea if you’re cooking for others and want to partake and actually eat what everyone else is eating. Whoever you’re cooking for won’t even be able to tell that it’s less than 300 calories for an entire pepper (without the cheese, it is still less than 400 calories WITH the cheese)! They wi ll have ZERO idea just how healthy they’re eating!

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Xo,

Leta