An Easy Crockpot Recipe to Enjoy All Week Long

Meal prepping is a must for me when it comes to eating nourishing foods all week long. I’ve learned that if I don’t have healthy meals already in my fridge at the end of a long work day, then I end up eating whatever food is easily accessible. That usually means take out or a PB&J, which leaves me feeling bloated and with less energy the next day.

I love using the Crockpot for my meal prepping during the winter because you just can’t beat a warm meal waiting for you when you get home! This is one of my favorite Crockpot recipes. It’s a fast and easy prep, and you can use ingredients you have on hand.

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Ingredients

  • 1-2lbs of Beef Shank Bones
  • Sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper to taste (This is my favorite winter day mix. Play around with different spices to change it up!)
  • Vegetables used this round: 2 sweet potatoes, 2 cups of shredded green cabbage and carrots, 4 tomatoes, 1/2 yellow onion, 4 crushed garlic cloves (I used what I had on hand. This is a great way to use up the vegetables that are on their last legs).
  • 2 cups of water

Directions

  1. Throw veggies (except for the garlic and tomatoes) into the bottom of the crockpot along with the paprika and cayenne pepper.
  2. Sprinkle the sea salt and black pepper to both sides of the beef, then add the beef on top of your layer of veggies in the crockpot.
  3. Slice your tomatoes in quarters and crush slightly over the crockpot to release juices. Then add on top of the meat along with the garlic cloves.
  4. Pour water over everything then cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Enjoy!

This recipe makes for a great foundation to meals for the rest of the week. During the winter, I almost always have spaghetti squash on hand so I will mix that in for an extra shot of veggies and my version of spaghetti with meat sauce. This recipe is also a delicious start to Taco Tuesday!

FYI, the extra broth and bones make for a fantastic beef bone broth which is full of nutrients and great for healing the body!

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Three Things a Day

Confession: My to-do list is miles long.

Seriously, it spans multiple notecards, post-it notes, notes on my phone, and even notes in my journals. There’s just so much GOALS to be done! Yes, I’m a total personal development-addict and have a tendency to take on way too much at one time. There’s so much knowledge to be had and the beauty of technology today is that it’s easier and easier for that knowledge to be shared. Each program, whether it’s a gratitude/fitness challenge or a course on women’s health, has so much to offer for myself and my clients, and I can’t wait to soak it all up.

I’ve quickly learned though that it’s not possible to do it all at once. Shockingly, I can’t actually participate in four different programs, keep up with all the latest research, run my own business, be fully present with my clients, and, you know, actually enjoy life with my man in the mountains.

In an attempt to cut down on my to-do list and get back to truly living life, I rifled through one of my old journals the other day in hopes of finding the answer. There, in my own handwriting, I found advice from my dear mentor-friend Lauren. A couple years ago, she had told me that just doing three things a day towards my goals would get me to that sweet success. So simple but so much truth! Three things is do-able, it’s manageable and we always have time for three things. Whether it’s writing down an idea, drinking a green smoothie, or writing a blog post, each step we take brings us a step closer to our goals.

Heck, even one step a day means you will have taken 365 steps towards your goals by the end of the year! Imagine where 365 steps (times 3!) gets you in one year! What will your life look like then?

I’m realizing that I’ve been attempting to make myself into an all-knowing guru of women’s wellness. So essentially Mrs. Google.

Realistic? No. Fun and life-fulfilling? Definitely not.

I can though continue to grow and build my knowledge-base, one sweet step at a time. I can read the newest bit of research on energy-boosting nutrition, then go out and implement it in my own life. Boom! Two steps taken and I’m enjoying life while doing it!

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10 handstand attempts a day is one step towards reaching my handstand goal

 

Share with me three steps that you are doing today to get to your goals. I would love to hear!

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**Originally posted on Jacki Carr’s blog as a guest post which you can find here: http://www.jackicarr.com/blog/guest-post-three-things-a-day

 

My Winter Wellness Kit

It’s that time of year: the season of the endless colds and the flu. I’ve built up a little wellness toolkit for myself to boost my immunity so that I won’t have to miss out on any of the wonderful fun that winter brings.

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Fresh air – Daily walks with my dog and time in the sun (when it’s out and shining) keeps my body moving and gives me a dose of natural Vitamin D.

Gaia Bronchial Wellness – Immunity boosting herbs to give the body that extra little boost to combat all the colds that we are exposed to during this time of year.

Water, water, water – I carry a 24oz water bottle with me everywhere I go. I also love keeping a glass of water next to me with lemon juice or fruit/mint in it, which makes it a little more fun to drink.

My turmeric tea – A sweet way to end the day that is filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients to fight off any colds.

– Diffuser and Plant Therapy germ fighter – My germ fighter oil full of immunity-boosting herbs is a constant in my diffuser this time of year.
**Plant Therapy is my go-to company for essential oils. Family-owned, great quality, and affordable. There are also tons of other great companies out there that sell equivalent oils.

Green juices and smoothies – Easy, grab-and-go meal that packs a punch. There are so many wonderful variations of green smoothies out there. One of my favorite quick smoothies is a couple handfuls of spinach, half a frozen banana, 1 scoop of protein powder, a dash of cinnamon, and a cup of cashew milk.

What are some of your favorite ways to build up your immunity during the winter season?

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The Incline

I did the Manitou Incline a while back. If you haven’t heard of it, the Incline is a hiking trail in Manitou Springs that goes up 2000 feet in elevation in less than one mile, and is approximately 2700 steps. It’s tough and almost a rite of passage here in Colorado Springs. We did it as the sun was setting one night after work, and, I have to be honest, it was rough. An uphill battle that I had to talk myself out of quitting several times. As my legs began to feel more and more shaky, I gave myself a set point that I needed to make it to at which point I’d turn around and take in the view, breathing in and acknowledging how far I’d already come. Then I’d take 15 more steps. It took me a little over an hour to do it but I made it to the top, and man, that view was worth every step.

As I go through life’s ebbs and flows right now, I realize how much life is like doing the Incline. Sometimes working towards our goals seems like an uphill battle. If you take the time though to acknowledge how far you’ve come (and trust me, you’re kicking ass!), breathe, enjoy the view where you are right now (because there is always beauty in the present moment, you just have to notice it), and then take a few more steps towards your goal, you WILL reach the top. I promise you, it’s worth every step.

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What are some of your goals that you’re working towards right now?

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An evening drink to warm your soul

I have a raging sweet tooth that likes to make itself known in the evenings. Instead of reaching for chocolate or ice cream (the winning desserts in our household), I’ve been making myself a cup of turmeric tea instead. Lately turmeric milk has been pretty popular and popping up everywhere on social media. I decided to play around in the kitchen with ingredients I had on hand. And so, my turmeric tea was born, full of spice, a hint of sweet and packed full of goodness.

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I heat up half a mug of either ginger tea or sliced ginger (whichever I happen to have on hand at the time), strain the ginger out, and whisk in about a teaspoon of turmeric, half a tablespoon of local raw honey, and a dash of cinnamon. Once everything is mixed together well, I fill the rest of my mug with cashew milk for that added bit of creaminess. I don’t really measure out any of my ingredients, it’s all to taste and depends on if I’m looking for a little bit more spice or sweet that night.

**Just some of the wonderful benefits of the delicious ingredients in this tea are that they are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, can help with digestion, fighting off the flu or common cold, reduce osteoarthritis pain, lower blood sugar, decrease menstrual pains, decrease indigestion and heart burn, reduce cholesterol levels, and help increase metabolism. Who can argue with a sweet evening drink that does all that?!

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Phone a friend

I have a confession to make. I love being active, some of my favorite hobbies involve hiking and yoga, but when I get busy and stressed, those are the activities that tend to get abandoned first. It’s this ridiculous idea that if my to-do list is miles long, then I don’t have time to do things like workout. I know though that if I’m not taking care of myself, that to-do list isn’t going to be taken care of. So now, when I’m feeling too stressed or busy to workout, I schedule in my active time with friends and family because I’m less likely to cancel on them than on myself. An after-work yoga date with a co-worker, yoga and brunch at a fun juice bar with the girlfriends, a hike and HIIT workout with the boyfriend are some of my favorite ways to incorporate a little bit of physical activity and sanity back into my to-do list.

 

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Puppy playdates and a backyard hike

What are some of your favorite ways to de-stress and stay active?

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Egg Muffins

My current work days usually start around 7am so quick breakfasts packed with nutrition are a must.  One of my favorite go-to breakfasts is an easy Sunday meal prep: egg muffins. I usually use a full dozen eggs and freeze the muffins so that the recipe takes me through a couple weeks of work before I have to meal prep again. I pair it with a banana and a coffee or tea with cashew milk.

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Just out of the freezer and ready to be heated up and enjoyed!

Egg muffin recipe – makes 12 egg muffins

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • spices to taste (my current favorite mix is garlic sea salt, black pepper and smoked paprika)
  • 1 cup chopped meat (I usually use whatever leftover meats I have in the fridge – bacon, ham, and chicken tend to work really well)
  • 1/2 cup chopped vegetables (I’m really loving broccoli and carrots right now)
  • 1 handful of greens (kale or spinach are my go-tos)

*Have fun with the ingredients! I love to change it up with each  meal prep so that I don’t get bored with the same egg muffins each morning.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray (I use EVOO spray but butter or coconut oil works too!)
  3. Crack eggs and mix with your spices.
  4. Divide the meat, veggies, and greens evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
  5. Pour your egg mixture over the top, divided equally between each.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool before popping them out of the pan.
  7. Freeze to enjoy on those rushed mornings! (I heat them in the microwave for about 2 minutes while I make my coffee.)

**Tips to make meal prep even easier and faster – I keep a bag of frozen grilled chicken and a bag of frozen veggies in my freezer so that no matter what I always have healthy ingredients for a quick meal at the ready. I add them to salads, stir-fries, or to these egg muffins when I haven’t had time to run to the store for fresh ingredients. 

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All about those pesky New Year’s Resolutions

It’s the ever popular question this time of year: what are your New Year’s Resolutions? The chatter tends to be centered around disillusionment, with frustrations about how resolutions never stick. I get it, I’ve been there. I’ve made those resolutions to “eat healthier” and “go to the gym every day,” only to find myself starting off January 1st with a sugar hangover and exhausted from the busyness that usually comes with those last few weeks of the year. January 1st is in all honesty a hard day to start all these beautiful new goals. I absolutely adore a fresh start though, a clear end to the habits of old and a clear start to a clean slate. Here’s how I make my New Year’s resolutions (or really, any goal that I resolve to take on throughout the year) stick no matter what:

  • Figure out why you want to achieve this goal. Let’s take one of my goals as an example: I’ve been enjoying the holiday season to the fullest and indulging a bit more than I would like to so one of my resolutions is to clean up my eating habits for the new year. I could say that my resolution is “no more sugar and gluten” but that’s not really hitting the reason why I want to clean up my habits. For me, I just don’t feel my best with all of my indulgences, my energy is lower and I feel like I drag through my days. Sit down with your resolutions and find the true reason behind it. Is it because it’s what everyone else is resolving? Ditch it and find one that truly means something to you. Once you’ve found the feeling that you are trying to achieve, then you are better able to write a goal that motivates and excites you.
  • Find an accountability partner/community. Having a friend, family member or your significant other on the journey with you can give you the motivation to stick with it even when you’re tired or stressed. This time of year is also a wonderful time to find a community that can keep you accountable, whether it’s an online forum or in a group exercise class. It’s a great way to make friends that are on the same path as you.
  • Make an action plan. Now that you have your big picture of what you want to achieve, break it up into small steps. It’s much easier to change old habits when you ease into it rather than trying to do it all in one go. Just one small win a day gets you to the big win.
  • Make it measurable and then reward yourself. Having a deadline makes your resolution a positive action, not some fuzzy abstract idea that’s going to happen some time in the future. A race registration, a fun girl’s night, or a vacation are all fun motivators to work towards. And don’t forget to celebrate each small step taken towards achieving your goal!
  • Start now. Why wait to get started on living life to the fullest? What’s one small step you can take right now that will get you to your goal?

Need an accountability partner? Not quite sure how to make your goals happen? I’d love to help. Send me a message and we can set up a free mini-consult.

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