Crockpot Shredded Beef

What is the biggest struggle with eating at home during the week? Is it time? So how do you make this easier? How do you continue to eat well and healthy when time is money (or sleep)? Food prep is key. But your next best friend? The crockpot.

We all have that crockpot that is taking up room on a shelf somewhere. It’s time to pull that puppy out. If you don’t have one, its time to track one down (they aren’t that pricey).

Crock pots are great for soup, great for pulled pork, stews, etc.. Anything that takes some time that needs some simmering time. They are also great to set up in the morning, forget it through the day, and have dinner ready for the time that you get home. Just in time to get on the way to whatever your evening has in store.

This recipe is great because it can be used in a multitude of different ways. This most recent time, I used it in tacos, along with cheese, veggies & hot sauce. However you could use it in sandwiches, quesadillas, on top of salad, with rice and grilled veggies, the options are endless.

Crockpot Shredded Beef

Ingredients:

Beef Round (size depending on how much you want)

1/2 sliced yellow onion

1 can green chilis

1/2 Cup low sodium beef stock

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cumin

pinch of chili flakes (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

In crockpot, add ingredients on high for 6 hours, or low for 8. If possible, rotate 1/2 way through.

When cooked through, remove from pot, shred with 2 forks, spoon a few ladle-fulls of left-over juices and onions over the meat. Use as desired.

Enjoy!

 

Words for a New Year

In the past few months I have struggled to keep things balanced and provide content on here – I’m sorry for that! However, as 2017 comes to an end, we can’t dwell on the things that we didn’t accomplish, but celebrate a year that was, hardships and triumphs, successes and learning opportunities.

2017 was a year full of changes. With the highest of highs and some of the lowest lows. Anxiety overcame me through the summer as I was conflicted with making a choice of going into the unknown, or being comfortable, but bored and miserable. I haven’t experienced that kind of anxiety in years, I found myself trying to cope with excessive exercise and resulted in low productivity everywhere else. I did recognize this, but was scared to make a change, but then I jumped, quit my comfortable job that I did quite well and had found success in, and started something completely new, and almost immediately that anxiety lifted.

The thing that 2017 has taught me was that change is inevitable. Change is progress, change is necessary. Don’t run from change and the hardships that come from it. Yes you will cry, and get stuck, but you will also succeed through trial, and laugh and make new relationships. You will find things about yourself that you hadn’t realized were there. In change you find your strength. Through change you find your next path.

So my advice to myself, and anyone else that wants to hear it, for 2018 is to embrace the change. Seek it out. Seek out the uncomfortable. Challenge yourself. It might work. It might not. But you will learn, and you will grow. And through that change you can find that thing that you feel is missing – because whatever it is, you wont find it by staying where you are.

I’m wishing you all a safe and happy New Years, full of challenges, changes, adventures and love. I can’t wait to see what it brings us all!

 

 

My highlights of 2017:

-Finding out the beauty of winter hiking

-Enjoying watching my dog learn new things and explore

-A trip to Tucson to spend some quality time with one of my favourite people.

-Hiking to some of the most beautiful lakes, views, waterfalls – and pushing myself out of my comfort zone on those trips

-Taking time on hikes to sit and watch and do nothing – watching the sunset, watching the clouds pass by

-Finishing my nutrition coaching certification, and playing around with some of the things that I’ve learned

-Time with friends and family at home and on adventures

-3 Dragonboat festivals and paddling with a second team

-Adventure to California, where we got to eat some amazing food, see some new places and step onto the Pacific Crest Trail for the first time (but certainly not the last!).

-Becoming an Aunt, and while being far away from her, enjoying the beauty of technology to watch her grow through daily messages.

-Starting a new job, something completely different for the first time in 7 years.

-Winter camping for the first time

-Evan surprising me with one of the most romantic weekend getaways to a mountain lodge with our own private cabin for the night.

 

Things to look forward to in 2018

-Spreading my wings in my new job

-Expanding my coaching business

-Hiking in some new places and introducing some people to the adventure

-Getting better at skiing

-A trip to Singapore to spend some time with my sister, brother in-law and Niece. Also, my first time visiting Asia

-TBA roadtrip vacation

-More quality time with friends and family

 

 

 

 

Healthy Chicken Parm over Zucchini Noodles

WHAT?! Healthy Chicken Parm?! This is a thing?

Also yes. I’m on that Vegetable noodle thing again. Because its awesome, and Zucchini is highly underrated.

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Store-bought Zuchini noodles – Life changer

You could make this chicken parm and put it over pasta, rice, other veggies or just eat it as is. Whatever floats your boat. Also, I recommend making a bunch of the ‘breading’ mixture and save it for later. The first time you make it the coating can take some time to make as you have to ground everything up. So if you are able to prep this ahead of time it will save you a bunch of extra steps on the day that you actually make it.

For the Marinara sauce, there are a ton of different options. Making your own is probably the best option as you can truly control what you put in it. However, unless you take the time to do this ahead of time, it does take some time. My favorite option is to buy it… buyer alert!  CHECK THE INGREDIENT LIST. Store bought Marinara Sauce can have all kind of additives and sugars, and stabilizers etc added to it. Stuff that you do not need to have in your food. The one that I have found that I like the best is the Kirkland Marinara sauce. You buy it at Costco in bundles of 3, for something like $13 (don’t quote me on that one, I couldn’t find it on their website to verify), and it is all ingredients that you can pronounce with no added sugars.

So try this one out!

Chicken Parm with Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

Beachbody’s Chicken Parm Recipe

1 cup Kirkland Marinara Sauce (or homemade)

2 diced carrots

2 stalks diced celery

1/2 small yellow onion, sliced

Premade Zucchini noodles or 4 Zucchinis run through a zoodle maker

Grated Parm Cheese (or other type of cheese to top, picture shows crumbled goat cheese)

Directions

Follow directions for chicken via link above for breading and cooking the chicken.

In a medium sauce pan, sautee carrots, celery and onion in tbsp of oil of your choice. Once slightly softened, add marinara sauce. Cook until heated through. Add salt and pepper (or hot sauce) to taste if desired.

Boil a large pot of salted water. Once boiled, add zucchini. Cook until al-dente, but not too soft.

Serve chicken on top of the zoodles, cover with marinara sauce.

Enjoy!

 

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Coated Chicken  over the cooked noodles
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Veggie Marinara sauce over chicken topped with goat cheese

 

Me Too.

This is not food or nutrition based post. But it needs to be said.

For those who haven’t seen the origin or meaning behind the #metoo movement. Spurred from the Harvey Weinstein sexual Harassment scandal, Alyssa Milano started the #metoo movement, to encourage women to post the hashtag or the words on social media if you have been a victim of sexual abuse or harassment. The movement is in hopes to raise awareness as to how common it actually is.  (Want to know more, check out this article here)

Those words have flooded on my facebook and instagram feeds over the last day. Including my own profiles. It makes me angry to see so many people that have been in situations where they feel objectified, harassed, unsafe. Keep in mind as well – This isn’t just a situation that just affects women. It affects both genders and is instigated by both genders. Unfortunately women being harassed by men are more often the victims, or those are the victims more willing to come forward, or those are the ones that we hear about.

In my experience, I’ve been cornered, threatened, grabbed, spoken to inappropriately, had a drunk man stick his hand down my pants on the London Tube (which I was able to promptly stop and a hero on the train stepped in and put himself between me and this other man (everyone should be like this man)). It has happened in public; with (and by) friends; at work; in places where I should feel safe. It made me second guess decisions, made me feel unsafe when someone walked towards me on the street. While I’ve been lucky that I haven’t ever been in a situation where it has been more violent, these situations have made me realize that it can happen anywhere. And that is not okay.

I knew that these situations were common. However, I wasn’t aware that it affected nearly every woman that I know. So why didn’t we know? Speaking from my own experiences, there is a level of embarrassment, a feeling of shame, a feeling that somehow it was your fault – either that you somehow encouraged it, or didn’t stop. The other reason is victim blaming – will people believe you? Are you blowing this out of proportion? If you ever feel unsafe, or having unwelcomed physical or verbal sexual contact with someone, you are not in the wrong. You are feeling that for a reason.

So how do we stop this? I certainly don’t have the answers, but from what I already know, and what I’ve come to learn, we have a few things that we can all do to help.

First of all, stand together. Speak out, tell your story – it doesn’t have to be public, but to someone that you know and trust. Think about telling authorities (either at work, or with law enforcement) if the situation warrants it. Do not shame or judge others about their stories, their stories are real experiences, and can affect their relationships, their mental health and their well being. Do not ‘one up’ them. Their experience is real, and if you have a story, share yours too, but don’t make them feel that theirs does not matter because yours (or your friend’s) is worse.

Second of all, if you see something, speak out. Tell someone that is not okay. Step in.

Third, understand consent. If someone tells you no, respect that. They do not need to give you a reason. Step back, ask for permission. It doesn’t mean a rejection, it just means that you need to respect their decision and how they are feeling.

Be there with your friends. Stand together. Make people know that it’s not okay.

All the love my friends. I’m here to listen if you ever need an ear.

When life takes you out at the knees

Have you ever had those weeks/months where you look at the world and life and ask yourself what the hell is going on?

Life has a way of happening all at once. In the last month it has been a whirlwind of highs and lows.

With all of the environmental catastrophes, while we’re lucky to have not have impacted us directly, the amount of people that have been affected gives me all the worries. Particularly the fires in Southern Alberta, while luckily no human lives were harmed during this event, Waterton is my second home and it pains me to see it effected so.

As well, sadly, Last week we also lost a family friend, my sister’s best friend that she knew since childhood lost her battle with cancer at the age of 34. We are all thankful to have known her and will continue to bring her along in our adventures, but miss her dearly. My heart hurts not only for the loss of her incredibly beautiful spirit, but also for her family who now have to learn a different life.

This week was also a week where so many more lives were changed. Edmonton, experienced what they are calling a terrorist attack. Luckily no one was critically injured but it shook our city to the very core. And then monday morning the world woke up to the realization that so many lives were changed forever when a shooter opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, ending 59 lives, including 4 Canadians and wounding countless others. To top it off, the same Monday the world lost Tom Petty, one of my favourite artists of all time.

Amongst all of this, the happy news is that I became an Auntie, with the welcoming of my niece, born on September 11th in Singapore. I have not had the opportunity to meet her yet, but happily receive all of the pictures that are sent.

To add more stresses to the experience, after months of going back and forth, and weeks of serious deliberation, I decided to leave my job at a company that I love and have been with for almost 7 years. While I love the company, I have decided that I needed another challenge, something different, new goals. I have accepted a position at a different company in a whole different industry, where I will have the opportunity to learn a whole bunch of new things, and put myself outside of my comfort zone.

All of this has happened in a few short weeks. Needless to say, I’m exhausted. Mentally, Physically, Emotionally.

So why am I telling you all of these things? For a few reasons. As an excuse to say why I’ve been so MIA over the last few months. Exhaustion has taken over my life. But also to show you that life happens. So many things aren’t in our control, but there are some things that still are. Taking care of yourself is one of those things.

Taking care of yourself can be encompassed in a few different ways. The decision to make this change has ripped me out of a depression. I am sad for so many reasons, but I’m no longer in a state of despair. I feel like there is something to work towards, something to learn, something to challenge myself. None of that has to do with the company that I am soon to be leaving, but just the state that I was in. Sometimes you need to make a dramatic change and see where it takes you.

Taking care of yourself is also about eating well, fueling your body with foods that make you feel good both inside and out and not depriving yourself. If you force yourself to be in a state of deprivation you will only stress yourself out further. On the flipside, If you feed your body nothing but crap, your body will respond in the same manner.

Taking care of yourself is about moving your body. The thing that has saved me over the last few weeks is being able to work out. I have scheduled a workout in 4-5 days a week, plus walking the dog. I did my first unassisted pull up which a very coordinated (…not so much) happy dance followed. Without that outlet, I don’t know where my mind would be. Move your body. It may be the last thing that you want to do, but it is one of the most important pieces to keeping a healthy body and mind.

Taking care of yourself is spending time with people (or animals) that you love. Lean on your people. You don’t need to force yourself to be happy but just be with them, or talk to them if you can’t physically be with them. Those people will light up your life and help you sort out all of the bullsh*t going on in that mind.

Taking care of yourself is getting sleep. I almost always prioritize my sleep. Almost at annoyance to others – I’m that person that goes to sleep early, even when others are ready to party. Being well rested can reset your clock, helps you digest your food better, helps you think better, helps you exercise better, helps you make better decisions.

Life happens, sometimes all at once. But that doesn’t mean that you need to stop.

All the love my friends. To you, to your families, to your friends and to this earth we are lucky enough to spend our days on. Take care of yourself. And those around you.

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

IMG_1892Have you ever gone to the grocery store and not able to find anything that you’re looking for? That was my shopping trip last weekend. I knew days before that I wanted Fish on the weekend. We don’t eat fish during the week due to us wanting our coworkers to not hate us. So when I have a weekend at home, I almost always make fish (because we don’t need leftovers). However the last time I made fish, I made Salmon. So I wanted a white fish. I found this awesome looking recipe that was chilli lime cod. So naturally, there was no fresh white fish at the grocery store (I don’t know what I was expecting, the meat selection at my local grocery store has room for improvement).

So, I had a decision to make. Do I go hunting for white fish? Or do I try another option? Salmon it was.

Now the other fun thing, was that I then got to come up with a recipe or find a recipe based on the food I already had in my kitchen. Luckily, I stumbled upon this one. I always have at least 3 mustards in my fridge because it’s my favourite condiment, and I most definitely have honey as it is my favourite sweetener.

I love how easy this recipe is, and how easy the clean up is. I highly recommend cooking it in the foil, as it not only helps with clean up (cuz the cooked honey would be a beast to clean up), but it also helps keep the fish nice and moist.

You can do any kind of side with this one as well – I decided on roasted potatoes and asparagus.

So here it is: Honey Mustard Salmon

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Mongolian Beef Zoodle Stir fry

IMG_1719Have you ever had those weeks where everything that could happen, happens. It’s been a crazy few weeks. Fun, exciting, stressful weeks. Full of new opportunities, hikes, big wins, stressful situations, and home improvement. So I apologize deeply for being MIA for the last few weeks. I had a few minutes today so I figured that I would take this opportunity to post a recipe, rather that waiting for my usual Friday post.

I made this one a few weeks back, and was blown away by the amount of flavour in it! I honestly can’t wait to try it again. By now you may have noticed my obsession with Zuchinni Noodles. This recipe just heightened it. I altered the recipe just a little and tossed in extra veggies… because veggies make the world go round.

Check this one out (link below)! I hope you like it!

Mongolian Beef Zoodles