Snowball Effect

In Wisconsin, the joke is if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. For the most part, we have very inconsistent weather. It keeps us on our toes. We got a big snow storm about a week ago which was nice because it was the perfect background to our Christmas festivities. The very next day, the temps skyrocketed to 40 degrees and rain. WaaWaa. Just wait 5 minutes.Snow has been on my mind, if I am going to live here we should have snow.

I have been trying very hard over the holidays to get my workouts in by sneaking them in before the chaos of the day begins. It’s hard to get started, the days are shorter and colder and motivation is pretty much at an all time low. I have been thinking about various ways to get myself moving. For example, the actual act of starting to work out is the hardest part for me but once my body is warm and the sweat is coming, I am in my element. So how can I get from zero motivation to sweat? Well, if I tell myself that all I have to do is 10 minutes, I am more aped to hit play on my DVD player or jump on the treadmill and commit to that 10 minutes – because what is 10 minutes?? Nothing, right? Ha! I tricked myself because I know once I get going I am not going to stop. My endorphins are kicking in and I am feeling good – The Snowball Effect! mitten-with-snowball

I started with something small and as a result, I gained the momentum and motivation to go longer and push harder. I honestly had NO intention on going longer than those 10 minutes when I pushed play but it felt good, and knew that something is always better than nothing. And you never know when a healthy snowball is going to hit you in the face!

Finding the right combination that works for you. How do you make those first few good choices that get the (snow) ball rolling?

The next time your brain says “I’d rather sit on the couch” tell yourself you only have to do the minimum. A walk, 50 jumping jacks with a plank hold, only 30 minutes at the gym instead of your usual hour. Some days that might be all you can handle and THAT IS OK! But other days that snowball you made could just turn right into a lean ‘n mean snowman or snow lady :).

snowman

Steeped in the Snow,

Megan

 

Advertisements

Shop-Chop-n’Plop

No, I did not become a Prep-er! I had some friends stop by the house this day and they had looks of concern, LOL. When I explained what I was doing I think I even talked them into doing the same! I’m not going to lie it takes some planning and I did hurt in the end. (Um, food processor? Maybe THAT should have been on my Christmas list!  Your hands will be thank you.) I do my best to find healthier options that don’t include cream of mushroom or anything like that. I have read that the lycopene of tomatoes is actually more bio-available from cans, that’s the only the vegetable I will buy in cans. You could also use dry beans but for sanity’s sake I bought organic beans in cans.

TIPS

  •  Pick up gallon sized freezer zip lock baggies -date/label them BEFORE you put food in them.
  • May sure to note any additions you’ll add on the bag when its time to throw it in the crock-pot, I  marked them with *
  • Make a list and check it twice. I use a tally system when going through the recipes so I know how many veggies/cans of tomatoes or beans.
  • Costco is great for canned tomatoes and black beans but you have to go to a regular grocer for a variety of beans/tomatoes with chilies…
  • Chop everything up and put in bowls. This is the most time consuming part. But well worth it once you start plopping.
  • If you have extra veggies throw them in a bag! No need to get obsessed on amounts, go by your own tastes.
  • Add meat first to the baggies
  • Good luck with the onions- it was brutal for me, again FOOD PROCESSOR!
  • Freeze flat
  • simmer LOW 6-8 hours

Pineapple Chicken Burritos *toppings like avocado or plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream, tortillas

  • 3 chicken breast(shred once cooked)
  • can crushed pineapple or cut and smash your own
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 can green enchilada sauce

Pork Carnitas*topping, tortillas

  • 2 lbs tenderloin
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 can tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1 tsp cumin

Roast Beef & Carrots

  • 2 lbs bone less beef chuck
  • 2 lbs chopped carrots
  • 3 Tb EVOO
  • 3Tb Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3TB seasoning mix of choice

Italian Pork Roast* can serve over spaghetti

  • 2 lbs boneless pork roast
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 2TB EVOO
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1TB parsley
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano

Sausage & Beans* over brown rice(with homemade stock), could sprinkle some cheese if you wanted

  • 1 lbs sausage -sliced
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 can tomatoes with chili peppers
  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  •  can garbanzo beans
  • 1 TB Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey

Chicken Curry * over brown rice/quinoa

  • 1 lbs chicken thighs-cut
  • 1 1/2  TB flour
  • 2 TB curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cups chopped sweet potatoes
  • 1 cups carrots
  • 1 cup mango(use frozen)
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup zuchini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup stock(I make my own and freeze in 1-4 cup bags)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup peanuts

BBQ Chicken * over brown rice

  • 1 lbs chicken- cut
  • 1.5 cup sweet potato
  • 1 cup green pepper
  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1 Tb flour
  • 1 150z can tomato sauce
  • 2 TB brown sugar
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tb ground mustard
  • 1 clove garlic

Meat Stew

  • 2 lbs stew meat
  • 1 cup onion
  • 5 carrots chopped
  • 2 zucchini chopped
  • 1 red bell peppers chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 Tbs flour at end (or GF flour alternative OR omit)

Chicken Taco* add one bottle beer and have taco toppings/tortillas (or brown rice for a bowl!)

  • 3 chicken breast(shred once cooked)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 cup corn(frozen not canned)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 package taco seasoning or a homemade mix

Having finished I feel  much more prepared for baby Seiter’s upcoming debut, I also did this before a major knee surgery. But it would be a great thing to have in your freezer for these cold winter nights. Nothing like a little piece of mind in the kitchen!

Steeping in Shop-Chop-N’Plopping,

Tori

 

15 Minutes

As we all are currently experiencing, this time of year can be stressful. With a to-do list longer than Santa’s naughty list, taking time out for yourself can sound overwhelming and probably completely out of the question. I totally get it, I’m there too but hear me out. I recently attended an essential oil class on gratitude. Taking time out for yourself to regroup, recenter and refocus on why you are making these extra efforts is truly important – “True giving has to include receiving or will result in burnout”. If the doing, receiving, and giving is one sided, life isn’t balanced and something will give way – potentially your health, relationships, or even your sanity. It probably seems overwhelming to think about adding one more to-do on your list but to give a little perspective, 15 minutes to dedicate solely to yourself on a daily basis could potentially solve all the world’s problems. Or, maybe just give you tcolin-treehe balance you that may be craving at the moment.

OK, so you’re going to commit, now what? What to do? Read a book, take a walk, sip some tea, page through a magazine, take a nap, zone out on Pinterest, research some new recipes, call a friend, journal, breathe. Don’t those all sound so relaxing – just reading through the list has helped calm me down.

Give yourself permission to make time for yourself this season. Comment below & share your ideas on how you will spend your 15 minutes a day!

Steeping in the Moments,

Megan

Cookie Exchange? Try my Dark Chocolate Anti-oxidant Bark

‘Tis the season of cookies and parties, and boy do I love cookies and parties! I am sharing with you something that you can feel better about.  Its an easy crowd pleaser. Especially if you share what is so good about it!

Tori’s Dark Chocolate Anti-oxidant Bark

Sizes and amounts depends on how much you are making. Which dark chocolate you get depends on how much you like the person/people you are sharing with 😉

  • Dark Chocolate bar(s) – make sure it’s at least 70% cocoa  for optimal benefits
  • Anti-oxidant mix (bulk bins, sometimes called Heart Health Mix); usually contains dried cranberries, pepitas, raw almonds, raw cashews, walnuts…
  • Gogi berries
  • Candied Ginger (optional)
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Prepare your pan with wax paper. I sort out the nuts from the mix and give them a quick chop. Melt your chocolate; I use the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, then stir (be careful not to over do it).  Spread chocolate on the wax paper and sprinkle anti-oxidant generously! Less generously sprinkle with the salt; just a little adds a nice touch.  Chill in fridge or garage (it’s cold outside!). Once set, go ahead and break it up and keep in air tight container until ready to share.

Dark Chocolate *moderation is still key*

  • Magnesium-helps fight stress, fatigue, and depression.
  • Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, among others. Flavanol, an anti-oxidant, helps lower cholesterol and improve blood flow to the heart and brain.
  • Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Studies show that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage. (https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/)

Pepitas

  • One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function.
  • Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral. Some say that when you are craving chocolate, its your body craving magnesium.
  • Zinc is important to your body in many ways including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.
  • Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s ( DR. MERCOLA)

 

Gogi Berries

  • Unique among fruits because they contain all essential amino acids, goji berries also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit.
  • They are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber.
  • Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.
  • This amazing little superfruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system. It’s no wonder that in traditional Chinese medicine they are renowned for increasing strength and longevity. (http://thehealthyeatingsite.com/the-health-benefits-of-goji-berries/)

Ginger

  • Long known for its support of the digestive system. Ginger contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and inflammation. Researchers believe the chemicals work primarily in the stomach and intestines, but they may also work in the brain and nervous system to control nausea.(http://www.webmd.com)

I’m going to go have a piece now! I hope you try it and enjoy sharing them.

Steeping in the Holidays,

Tori