Tip Tuesday – Save time, Eat healthy – Crock pot cooking

Sticking to a healthy eating does not mean you have to be faced with a hour or two of cooking and cleaning once you get home.

Relaxing is just as much of a priority in a healthy life style as fitness is. I enjoy cooking, but when I see a crazy day pop up in my schedule I reach for my crock pot.

As far as Crock pots go- I stick to the basics, I have had my good old crock pot for years. The settings are basic. Off, Keep Warm, low, and high, and that works for me.

What can you make in your crock pot? well just about any thing.

Ahimsa Chili

One of my families favorites is my crock pot chili. We do not get any snow here on the sunny west coast, but January brings some rainy days. And this Chili is  the perfect amount of hearty and spicy for those chilly nights. The ingredients are simple and can be purchased at any grocery store, no running around looking for exotic spices for this one. It is put together quickly before I leave in the morning and is ready to go by the time I get back. I serve it with the classics – Saltines, chopped onion,  and Vegan cheddar. But you can also do vegan sour cream, and green onions. This recipe serves four easily, if you have less, make the whole batch any way, it saves well in the refrigerator or the freezer.

Here what you will need –

1 tsp Olive Oil – I use Cali Virgin, it’s the best!

1 Medium Chopped Yellow onion

4 cloves garlic

1 Bag frozen Beyond Meat Original ground

3 Tablespoons Chili powder (use less if you want less spicy)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup vegetable stock

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (I used Muir Glenn)

2 16 oz cans dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons Bragg liquid Amino’s

salt and pepper to taste.

 

Set crock pot to desired temperature (see below) and add oil. Add half your chopped onion and all of the other ingredients. That’s it! Easy right?

Temperature guide –

With Crock Pot cooking choose your temperature by how fast you want it done.

Want to eat in 2-4 hours? High Setting

4-8 hours or more – low setting

 

 

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Healing Macrobiotic Tea

I have not been feeling well at all. I have been sticking close to home, so the rest of my symptoms have been easier to deal with. I just had a GI appointment, and while waiting for my next colonoscopy I just kept thinking there is no way I have tried every thing, so I looked for some new books to read on the subject.

This weekend I read not one, but two books on gut issues. I read A New IBS Solution Bacteria the missing Link in Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome by Mark Pimentel M.D.

And Controlling Crohn’s Disease by Virginia Harper

 

I don’t have Crohn’s, I have never been diagnosed with it. But since some of the symptoms are same ones I deal with, I thought it might have some things I could try in the book.

In Controlling Crohn’s Disease, Virgina Harper, suffering greatly one night calls up Michio Kushi, talks to his wife and gets a recipe for a healing tea, which he says will sooth her inflammation and help start healing her digestive system.

After reading about Virgina’s story I felt It was definitely worth a try.

First off – the ingredients may not be that easy to come by.  I eat mostly vegan,  so they didn’t seem too weird to me, and I knew exactly where to find them. If you have a natural foods store or a Whole Foods near, you will be able to find what you need. Other wise you can order from Amazon, I put the links in the recipe.

I started drinking the tea today, I will update you on my progress, but I wanted to get the recipe out in case any one wanted to try it along with me.

Macrobiotic Healing Tea

1 Umeboshi Plum chopped into small pieces

1 heaping teaspoon Kudzu Root

3 to 5 drops Shoyu

1 cup Water

Directions Dissolve Kuzu in 3 tablespoons water. Pour mixture into saucepan with 1 cup water and Umbosi Plum. Bring mixture to a boil over high flames stirring constantly. Reduce flame to medium low and simmer until mixture becomes thickened and translucent. Remover from heat and add Shoyu, gently stir, drink while hot.

I will update soon with how its going, I would love to hear from you as well.

Juice of the Week – The Best Green Juice Ever!

The

 

Green Juice, we love it!

In A perfect world you would be drinking at least 1 homemade green juice a day.

This recipe makes it easy to keep that promise, and its delicious too!

Kick Start Your Morning Green Juice

1 cucumber

3 celery stalks

2 green apples

5 Kale leaves

1/2 lemon

1 thumb size piece of ginger

Wash all ingredients thoroughly, making sure they are super clean, I always use a produce spray for this, and please buy organic!

Toss all ingredients in blender.

Blend till smooth, if you like it colder, add in some ice.

Drink and enjoy all the healthy deliciousness!

 

♥Pamela

 

Doing nothing IS doing something.

“Doing nothing is doing something”

Slowing down in this busy world isn’t the easiest thing to do.

But if you want to be healthy, taking care of your self should be top of your list.

A few months ago I went on an amazing family vacation. Each morning, even though I tried to sleep in, I couldn’t do it.  The first few days I sat out near the pool with my ipad. I checked for any new cool things on Pinterest, I looked at Instagram for pictures of my dogs at doggy day care, and I looked at what my friends were up to on Facebook. Then a few days in I stopped. I stopped, and looked around at the beautiful scenery, I just sat there. It was wonderful. Some thing about vacation makes it easier to slow down and just be.

At first It was easy at first to bring that home, to love up on my puppy and just watch her run around the yard, to listen to my son talk with out doing at least two other things, and then it was gone. It slowly crept back in, always multi tasking, always doing 2 or three things at a time, when I am making phone calls, I am also on the computer, waiting in line? I better look if any one has text me.

Now I am making a more conscious effort to just be in the moment, and a funny thing happened, I am actually getting more done! When I am returning calls, I am doing just that, returning calls. When I take a break to walk the best puppy in the world Olive, we try to break our goal and walk farther, throw  few more balls. Just be there with her in the moment.  Its a funny thing, some times you think you are way more productive when you are multi tasking, but I truly wasn’t.

Here is how I got started.

  • When I am answering emails, working on a project, I turn off the ringer on my phone. No interruptions helps me stay in the moment, and accomplish more when working
  • When I am walking my dog, or talking to my husband or my son, I don’t even have my phone with me or out.
  • I listened to music in my car instead of returning calls. I focused more on my driving and listening to some old and new favorites made me a happier person.
  • I set aside times to return call or answer emails. I work from home, so I did this 3 times per day, depending on how much follow up you have you might need to adjust this. I made a fresh cup of tea, got my note book and focused on the task at hand.
  • Making dinner, I used to have the TV on, and my phone on the counter. Now I turn on some music, pour a cup of tea and enjoy the process.

How will you try to slow down and me in the moment?

♥-

P

Avocado will you marry me?

Avocado will

It’s no secret I love avocados. I start most mornings with toast, avocado and a little bit of lemon or lime. Yum! As a matter of fact if I am out to breakfast or traveling I have been known to go off menu and ask for that there too. Sometimes I will ask for a side of grilled tomato sometimes not, on this stage its avocado that is the star!

Yes they have fat – the good kind that does not end up around your waist. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, AKA the good kind. This type of fat is the same heart healthy kind found in Olive oil.

Here are some ways to add avocados to your diet today!

  • Avocado toast for breakfast – I like mine with a little lemon, or lime
  • Add some to your morning smoothie
  • Top off your salad
  • For that matter top off your veggie burger or sandwich
  • Guacamole – hello!
  • make an avocado based salad dressing by blending with water, olive oil, and any spices you like
  • Making some veggie chili this weekend? Some crackers and a few avocado slices go great with your spicy bowl

 

Whats in my gym bag?

Whats in my gym bag

Whether you go to the gym or the yoga studio keeping a well stocked gym bag can be the key o keeping up your work out schedule.

Here are some items I cant live with out.

A reusable water bottle.

I LOVE S’well. I am too embarrassed to say how many I own, but I am obessed with this one  right now, isn’t it the cutest! The best thing about this little baby is it keeps your water cold for 24 hours, and hot beverages warm for 12. I always have one in my bag, next to my bed, and in my car.

Josie Maran Bare Naked Wipes

If you read my post on travel necessities you know I love these great little wipes! Keeping them in my gym bag makes it easy to keep my face break out free and feel fresh after hitting the gym.

Earbuds and a well stocked ipod

I NEVER go to the gym with out this. Yoga class you can skip it, but if you are getting some cardio going this can really help keep you going. I keep my iPod full with different playlists for what ever work out I am doing. I have lists for running that starts slower, gets going to a full on party and slows down again for my cool down. I have a list full of just my newest most favorite songs I might be in the mood for, and songs that motivate me.

Hair Ties

Product Details

I actually have quiet a few of these rolling around my bag. I have learned from experience how unhappy I can be at the gym if I don’t have one and now, I will never forget. I like the little ribbon ones. They come in a ton of fun bright colors and they are easy on your hair.

What do you keep in your gym bag?

♥p

 

 

Taking Care of your dry skin this winter

Taking care of your

 

With winter comes wonderful family get together, cozy sweaters, crock pot meals and unfortunately dry parched skin.

Here are some of my tips on keeping your skin hydrated and healthy this holiday season,

Drink more water! The more the better. Toss in a few cups of herbal peppermint tea to keep it festive!

Exfoliate! I like to use my Clairisonic at least once a day, its water proof, so I keep mine in the shower to save time.

Moisturize the heck out of your skin I like Valentia Even Glow Serum. Its loaded with vitamin C, which brightens up your skin, and feels amazing. It is a little thick, which is great for winter dryness. My skin feels so smooth and amazing! And it smells delicious!!

Speaking of moisturizing, don’t forget the fragile skin around your eyes, Since I am obsessed with Vitamin C skin creams I tried Valentia True Glow Eye Cream and I was just as tickled with it as with my serum. It has that same yummy smell and just disappears into my skin, leaving my eyes feeling refreshed and bright.

Use a humidifier at night. This helps with both moisture AND anti aging. I use mine year round.

How do you change your skin care routine for the winter?

♥ – p

 

 

Peloton Bike Update

As promised, here is an update on my experience owning a Peloton Bike.

I have had the bike now for about a month, and I am still in love with it as ever! It has been amazing having it here in my house being able to join a live class or stream from the library when ever I want to. The only hiccup I had was the shoes, I ordered a pair from Peloton using their size recommendations, and they were way too small, the pair ended up fitting my daughter, so she kept them and I ordered another pair off amazon following their sizing chart, they arrived, too small again! I was so frustrated. In the end, I headed to a local bike shop to get a pair i could try on, but in the process I bought 3 pairs of shoes!

Now that I am all set with my gear, I tend to ride pretty much every day. What is great about the streaming classes is even if I don’t have a lot of time there is usually a class I can fit in, from 15 minute beginner classes, up to 45 minutes theme rides they have it.

My husband likes the metric rides the best, he feels like the hills and weights give him the best work outs, I like the music themed classes. The Justin Timberlake vs NSync ride with Cody is my favorite so far! He’s amazing and motivating and the music keeps me into it. I did make some adjustments to our home gym area. It helped me to install some room darkening curtains, that way I did not get any glare and it felt more like a ride at one of the studios. It made a big difference for me as far as really focusing on the class.

If you remember from my original post, I love me some SoulCycle, I was a little worried that Peloton would not live up to my experiences in a SoulCycle studio, but it has! I just love being able to get a spin class of this quality in my home! Totally recommend getting your own bike.

♥P

Book Review Oasis

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There is nothing more I love then relaxing with a nice cup of tea and a good book.

I have been reading a lot of non fiction lately, but this weekend I decided to switch it up and escape into a fiction book. As you all know I am a huge fan of The Hunger Games, and the Divergent series, which is how I stumbled on Oasis. I was lucky enough to receive this book in advance for review. Oasis is set to be a series, and I can not wait for the next book.

Oasis The Last Humans Book 1 is a dystopian fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic world, which I thought I might be sick of at this point, I mean lets be real, there are a LOT of books with this description. But, I honestly really liked this book, I finished it in one weekend at home.

Throughout the book, the main character, Theo, talks to himself, or his imaginary friend, at least we think, Theo isn’t sure if he’s crazy or not, and neither was I, which is why I got hooked. Theo lives in a world where the planet has been destroyed, and all survivors are separated into groups by age. This Oasis that has survived because of a barrier which was set up to keep all the bad things away from the residents. Its an interesting future, and because Theo is classified as a “Youth” we get to experience him going to college, learning about history which will be very familiar to you.
Oasis started out slow, but really paid off with the amount of twists and turns and an ending I never saw coming. I loved the characters, and I can not wait to see what they do next!
Oasis is available on Amazon paper back or Kindle versions.

Easy ways to burn more calories every day

EASY WAYS TO

If you read my post on Fitness Trackers you know I love my Fitbit. Wearing a fitness tracker really lets you know how much you are NOT moving! I was pretty surprised to find some long periods of complete inactivity. Since then, I have really made an effort to increase how much I move every day. Its amazing how many calories you can burn during the day with out hitting a gym. Here are some simple ways to break up those sustained sitting periods at work and home:

  • Take phone calls standing up. If the phone rings, stand up! You will automatically find your self walking around.
  • Rather than email office colleagues, walk to their desks to communicate with them. On that note, don’t yell for your kids, walk to their rooms, or where ever they are to talk to them.
  • Create a standing workstation. My husband just changed over his work and home offices to this standing desk, it lowers so he can sit at it too, if needed, but its really amazing how many steps he has added not changing any thing about his routine.
  • Wear a pedometer or fitness tracker to encourage taking steps. I check on mine through out the day, reach for at least 10,000 steps.
  • Set a timer on your home computer or phone to alert you to get up every thirty to forty minutes and break up sitting with short bursts of activity, like running to the mailbox.
  • Have a dog? Try and increase you walks by 10 minutes, or take time to toss a ball in the yard, your puppy will love you for it!

Bonus tip – At home, stop multi tasking! Are you setting things on the stairs to bring up the next time you head that way? Stop, bring it up right then and there. I have found I doubled the amount of flights I climb each day just by doing that.

How do you add more activity in your day?

♥Pamela