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I Passed the AFAA Group Exercise Instructor Cert!! – Geek Turned Athlete

I Passed the AFAA Group Exercise Instructor Cert!!

Steve checked the mail this morning, and I got my AFAA Group Exercise Instructor Certification!  Finally!   DSC03731 I took the class the end of September, and I have been waiting in anticipation ever since especially because I didn’t know if I had passed or not!!  It was a very stressful time since I was leaving to the states to get married a week later, and I had the Ramstein Welfare Bazaar going on at that time!  That weekend was very difficult, but it was fun!  I had my group exercise instructor cert workshop on Saturday, and my spin instructor workshop all day on Sunday.  Yay!

In addition to that wonderful news, it has been a wonderful Saturday so far!  I managed to get in some studying, running, stretching, cleaning, cuddling with the hubby, breaking out the winter clothes, and cooking.  I must say that I had a very productive day despite my attempts to be a lazy bum this morning.

I made a little taste of home for dinner tonight: pinto beans with green chili stew.  Mmmmmm.  I’m from New Mexico, and I miss it badly!  This is the ultimate comfort food to me a world away, and I hope you decide to try it as this meal surely feeds my soul…

Pinto Beans

  • 3-6 pieces uncooked bacon (no preservatives!), chopped
  • 1 lb uncooked dry pinto beans
  • 1 tbsp garlic POWDER
  • salt and pepper to taste

The night before you want this meal, start sorting your beans.  DSC03724 You are looking for rocks and broken beans.  Toss those in the trash.  If your beans come with artificial pork seasoning, please throw that crap out.  Rinse your beans, then put them in a big bowl.  Fill bowl with water 3-4 inches higher than where the beans come up to in the bowl.  Leave overnight.  When you awake, the beans should be nice and plump.  Rinse and drain one more time. DSC03721

Pour beans into crockpot along with the bacon, pepper, and garlic powder.  My grandma usually uses a chunk of salt pork, but I can’t get that at the commissary in Germany, thus the bacon.  DSC03726 Add enough water to cover the beans and come up 2 inches over the beans.  Turn the crockpot up to low, and cook for 6-8 hours.  I have to put my crockpot on high since it is at least 15 years old.  DSC03727 When your beans are done cooking, THEN add your salt.  If you like your beans sort of thick, use a potato masher to mash up a few beans in the pot, and stir.  That should thicken it up.  If it gets too thick, it’s okay.  Just add more water.  The first night that you make them, they might be a little soupy.  Keep in mind, they WILL thicken the next time that you eat them.  I like to top my beans with cheddar cheese and heat up with a tortilla on the stove to dip.  If you are adventurous to try some green chili, keep reading…

Green Chili Stew


  • 1 tub of frozen green chili
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned
  • 3 huge garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • beef consommé or beef broth

Sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.  Add to a pot with the tomatoes, ground beef, chili, and broth or consommé.  Simmer for about an hour to let the flavors meld with one another.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  If you want to add potatoes to this, feel free.  I just don’t like to add potatoes if I know that I have beans too. :) Don’t even think about adding CANNED green chili!!  I will come to your house myself and spank you!!  If you are fortunate enough to have fresh green chili from Hatch, NM, use that instead!!!  I’m in Germany, so I will have to live with Bueno brand green chili (frozen) until I get back. :)  You can pour this over your beans too.  That is what I do anyway. DSC03740

You could totally make this recipe vegan using veggie broth and nixing the beef!  I bet it would still taste really good!  DSC03741

I’ve got a 7-miler with my friend, Renee tomorrow!  I hope everyone’s weekend is going great!

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Laura November 14, 2009, 8:28 pm

    CONGRATS and a big WOOHOO for passing your test! That’s fantastic and truly a great accomplishment. Your post cracked me up… throw that imitation ham flavored crap out! Thanks for a great post, a tasty looking recipe and a hearty chuckle :)

  • Holly November 15, 2009, 3:40 pm

    ahhhh nicole…i had a bunch of posts to catch up on – sorry! your weddings was GORGEOUS. and you looked IMPECCABLY GORGEOUS!

    love all those food eats – especially the waffles and the salmon. mmmmm!

    congrats on the certification! that is so exciting! and yes, no one needs artificial pork flavoring. but i do need that stew – it looks amazing!

    have a wonderful weekend!

  • Scott September 16, 2010, 12:29 pm

    Hi there, we are a Spokane couple very interested in the BVT Tuscany trip that you and your husband did. I would like to know which trip you did – Tuscany Coast or Tuscany By The Sea, and whether you are aware of which might be better.

    Thanks so much.



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