Tasty Tuesday: SC Mango Chicken

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I know it’s Wednesday, but I didn’t get around to posting a favorite healthy recipe yesterday, and I just couldn’t wait another week to share this one with you!

Not only are mangoes delicious, they have tons of health benefits too!

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This recipe only has a handful of ingredients and you can even make it into a freezer meal. Recipe from six sisters stuff

Slow Cooker Mango Chicken

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Photo Via

Ingredients

  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups mango salsa
    • TIP: You can buy premade mango salsa at the store either in the refrigerated section or canned in the aisle with other salsa varieties. Make sure to read labels for added ingredients  that aren’t clean. If you can’t find premade salsa, you can always make your own  using this recipe, just leave out the sugar and add a few more tomatoes to offset the taste)
  • Cumin to taste (1/2 to 1 tsp.)
  • Lemon Pepper to taste (1/2 to 1 tsp.)

Instructions

  1. Put chicken breasts in slow cooker.
  2. Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Pour over chicken breasts and cook on high for 4-6 hours.
  4. Shred chicken with two forks in the crock pot and serve over rice.
  5. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

 

Tips To Give Yourself More Time

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Time is a precious commodity and we can often find ourselves stressed out because we’ve over scheduled ourselves. Here are 8 tips to give yourself more time…and hopefully less stress!

1. Decide what’s important and do that first thing everyday. If it’s important, you’ll find a way to get it done no matter what! That might mean waking up earlier than your family some days.I wake up early on weekdays to put in 1 very focused hour of work and to get my workout in before the kids wake up. This helps me to plug into work when I am working and plug into being present with my children when they wake up.

2.Don’t let other people schedule your life. Friends and family may mean well when they  make plans that automatically include you, but if it’s not going to work for you and your family (i.e. it’s during nap time, the kids are cranky, you’re tired from a long day etc..) don’t be afraid to say no. They’ll understand!

3. Pay close attention to what makes you happy. Do you look forward to or dread your monthly book club? Get rid of obligations that you don’t actually enjoy.

4.Stop Watching TV–okay maybe not totally, but cut back and see what happens. You’ll find that you don’t miss it, and those shows you “just HAVE to watch” aren’t really that important.

5. Look through your calendar and cancel things that you aren’t excited about. See tip #3

6. Schedule your breaks and enjoy them. There’s nothing wrong with taking time for YOU! For more about this, see my post: taking time for you is not selfish!

7.If you keep putting something off, just let it go.

8.Before you go to bed, decide on tomorrow’s most important action.

9. Set good household habits so cleaning isn’t a stress: I have found if I stick to daily cleaning habits — my house stays pretty clean and in order. ✔️ make sure the dishwasher is loaded and started every night. ✔️ quick 10 minute tidy up throughout house before bed. ✔️unload dishwasher every morning so dishes can be loaded immediately with each meal. ✔️never put shoes or clothes on floor. Put them away immediately after removing from body.

I get asked many times how I’m able to juggle working from home and being a mom to young kids. Here are a couple tips for those of you work from home or would like to work from home, but aren’t sure how to do it–I follow all the above tips, PLUS the following:

10. I like to work during my daughters nap time. During this time my son gets to do a special activity!! Today, we made him a train and car track. I have a closet of toys and we rotate toys each week. I also like to have a few activities that we pull out each day of the week for special time (while mom works) and then they immediately go back onto shelf.

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11. I can work from ANYWHERE we often go for walks, play outside, or go to the park to play while mommy works from her laptop or phone.

My coaching business is important to me so I make it work! I am first a MOM but I also have a successful team because we make it work. I make it work because I love my amazing team, I love my challengers, I want to help people who struggle like I once did, and it makes me a better wife and mom! I would love to answer more questions about coaching and working from home if you want more info. Please feel free to contact me!

Tasty Tuesday: Slow Cooker White Chili

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There’s a good chance it’s going to rain where I live this week, and with the rain will come cooling temperatures. And nothing tastes better than cup of warm chili on a cold day! I just finished up a FREE 5 Day Challenge group where we exchanged crock pot recipes. This is one crock-pot recipe that is always on my go-to list when I need dinner to take care of itself! And the best part is: this is also a freezer meal!

White Chicken Chili (recipe adapted from our best bites)13102657_886770518099549_407971253171144503_n

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 15 oz cans Great Northern Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 (3.5) oz green chilis
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • pepper to taste
  • 32 oz of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

Boil chicken breasts in water on stove top until done. Cube chicken, sIMG_6547hred with fork, or use the paddle attachment of your mixer to shred chicken

Place chicken and all ingredients, EXCEPT: beans, lime juice, and cilantro into slow cooker. Mix well and let cook on high 5-6 hours or low 3-4 hours.

The last 30 minutes of cooking, add beans (drain and rinse them first), lime juice, and cilantro and cook until heated through.

Serve with shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, fresh limes, fresh cilantro, green onions, or avocados on top.

TO MAKE IT  SPICY: sub in canned jalapenos for the green chili.

TO FREEZE: After cooking the chicken, add ingredients to a freezer safe container EXCEPT: beans, lime juice, and cilantro. This will freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, transfer to slow cooker and cook 7-9 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. The last 30 minutes of cooking, add beans (drain and rinse them first), lime juice, and cilantro and cook until heated through.  Serve with desired toppings.

 

Reward Yourself without Buying/Eating Anything!

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Whether your victory is large or small, we all need to celebrate and treat ourselves sometimes. While buying a new outfit to fit your slimmer frame or an occasional cheat meal has its place, if you struggle with emotional eating or emotional shopping–then finding a healthy alternative to rewarding yourself is the way to go!

First, I want to share this thought about emotional eating:

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Being healthy and exercising should be something you look forward to, not a punishment for overeating. And it’s too easy to fall back into bad habits, so don’t use food as a reward for exercise…otherwise you’ll end up like a hamster on a wheel: going round and round and never getting anywhere.

Okay, now on to the list!

Reward Yourself Without Buying or Eating Anything!

  1. Take a Nap/Sleep In
  2. Take a bubble bath
  3. Pamper yourself at home: give yourself a manicure/pedicure, use the lotion you hardly ever get around to putting on, search pinterest for a DIY facemask recipe to try
  4. Put your feet up and read a book/magazine or head to the library and discover something new there!
  5. Look at all those articles, tutorials and videos you saved to “look at later”, but never have.
  6. Shout it from the rooftops! Post about your success on social media and enjoy your friends celebrating with you.
  7. Have your spouse/significant other give you a back/hand/foot massage
  8. Get a day to yourself: use it to work on something you really want like scrapbooking, photography, sewing, that project around the house you’ve really wanted to get to, or whatever your hobby is!
  9. Binge watch something on Netflix or watch your favorite movies
  10. Go for a drive: this might cost you some gas money, but there’s just something relaxing and rejuvenating about driving around listening to your favorite music.
  11. Go window shopping: leave your purse at home (or least locked in the car) and just look. It’s okay to dream up ideas.

Your turn! What are your favorite ways to treat yourself without buying or eating anything?

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Applesauce

applesauce

When life gives you apples, make applesauce! It’s apple season, so take advantage of local You-Pick orchards, buy them fresh at a farmer’s market, or just find a good deal at the store! There’s just something about homemade applesauce….it tastes so much better than store bought and it’s better for you too! Store bought apple sauce has a lot of added sugar and preservatives. I love knowing exactly what my family is eating and that it’s healthy for them!

Apples are a great source of fiber and vitamin C. The flavonoids in apples reduce inflammation, regulate blood pressure, reduce excessive fat production in liver cells and lower your risk of heart disease. The soluble fiber in apples lowers your risk of heart disease by decreasing your bad cholesterol levels. Studies have shown the pectin in apples is a natural appetite suppressant, making them a great way to curb your appetite.

Applesauce makes a great healthy snack for kids and adults and it can be used as a substitute for oil in your baking recipes.

Applesauce is seriously so easy to make yourself and can for your family’s use throughout the year. You don’t need any fancy ingredients, tools, or special knowledge. Just follow these easy steps!

  1. Pick your apples. I like red apples for applesauce because they tend to be sweeter.img_7496 You can choose to either peel your apples or leave the skins on. Then just core your apples and cut them into chunks. Keep in mind about 6-8 medium apples will make 1 quart of applesauce.

2. Place apple chunks in a pot on the stove with about 1 cup of water per every 8 apples. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5-7 minutes.

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3. When apples are tender, remove pot from heat and use potato masher to mash apples to desired consistency. For a smoother applesauce, you can put the contents of your pot into the blender. If your applesauce is too thick, you can add water until you reach the right consistency. I try to get mine to be a little runnier than pudding. During this step, you can also  add your sugar or cinnamon. Personally, I don’t add anything to my applesauce. Homemade applesauce is already pretty sweet, and the sauce will continue to sweeten as it sits on the shelf. I’d rather add cinnamon or maybe a natural sweetener to individual servings if I feel like I need it later on.

4. Once your applesauce is at the consistency you want, pour sauce into clean, sterilized jars and put on the lids and rings.

5. In a large stock pot with a lid, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add jars of applesauce.

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Make sure water covers the tops of your jars. Put the lid on your stockpot and process your jars in boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove jars from water to cool on the counter top. As jars cool, the lids should “pop” indicating they are sealed. Sometimes it can take several hours for the lids to pop. If you press down on the tops of your lids and it gives/ makes a popping sound, your jar is not sealed. You can try processing in boiling water again, or just put the jar in your fridge to use in the next few days.

And that’s it! Now you have homemade applesauce to enjoy throughout the year!

For my recipe for strawberry applesauce, click HERE!

8 Habits of Healthy Families

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Here’s a disclaimer: Healthy Families are NOT Perfect Families. They may grab a pizza for dinner or let their kids watch too much TV one day. Their kids throw temper tantrums and insist they must wear the same shirt 3 days in a row. And guess what? It’s OK! The biggest thing is that we’re trying. I was inspired to write this post after this article on extraordinarily healthy families. I thought some of the tips were really great, and wanted to add some of my own advice and experiences to it.

Some of these tips you may already do and there might be some new ideas for your family to try. Don’t get overwhelmed trying to make all these a habit with your family in one day or even one week. Remember: it’s our small, daily efforts that add up to big results!

1.Get Outside And Play

With the weather cooling down,  the temperature is perfect for afternoon and early evening playtime. Cold winter months means lots of time indoors, so take advantage of the nice weather and play outside as much as possible!

“Ideally that means, for children, some kind of physical activity every day, and for adults, a minimum of four days a week,” clinical psychologist Steve Orma says

Kick a soccer ball in the grass, play catch, draw silly pictures with chalk, visit the park, or ride bikes and scooters. Use this time to develop healthy habits, but also to bond as a family.

2. Have a NO PHONE zone

With younger kids, this can mean a NO SCREEN TIME zone. I typically power off my devices for an hour or two each day so I can focus on my children and spend quality time with them. When my phone is powered off I’m not tempted to sneak a peek at my messages. For some families, the no phone zone is during homework time or dinner time. Other families have a drawer or other charging station where phones go at bedtime so no one can use them after a certain time. Do what works best for you family.

3. Make Meal Prep a Family Activity

Why should mom do all the work when it comes to meal prep? Mealtime is a great opportunity to teach children healthy eating habits and cooking skills they’ll use later in life. You can talk to your family about why what you’re eating is healthy and good for your body. If you cook certain things like chicken ahead of time to use throughout the week, have kids help you scoop up the portions of chicken and transfer it into a freezer bag or Tupperware. Most young kids are eager to help in the kitchen, it’s usually the adult who shoos them away.

“Take them to the grocery store and help them learn to read labels. Choose a recipe together and then say, ‘Let’s get your ingredients.’”

For older kids, try teaching them a simple meal to make, doing it once together. Then, the next time you make it, have them do most of it on their own. I know families who have their older children in charge of a dinner each week.

4. Organize Your Schedules Around Good Health

“To keep your family on the track toward healthy living, try getting a calendar and putting it in a place where everyone in the family can see. Then use it: Schedule the night the kids are in charge of making dinner. Add the once-a-month family bike ride to the park or the weekly driveway basketball game.”

Don’t do something once and then never do it again. Writing it on a calendar and part of your normal routine will help make these ideas into healthy habits that are just part of your normal family life.

5. Rethink Snacktime

The easiest way to tackle this is to get the junk out of the house and fill it with healthy options (for tips, see my post on cleaning out the junk). Make healthy foods accessible to your family (keep them in a bowl on the counter or on a low shelf in the fridge), and if you haven’t already, make sure each member of your family has their own reusable water bottle.

6. Communicate

I heard a great family tip the other week: another mom shared with me that the first Sunday of each month is a time when the parents have a one on one council with each child. They keep it informal and just ask about how things are going and if the child has any problems or concerns they want to talk about. I love this idea and can see how it would be especially beneficial if you have school aged children!

“Mental health, sleep, experiences at school and how they’re interacting with others are so closely linked, and if something is bothering or troubling a child, it will affect their overall well-being.”

Of course dinnertime, rides to school, and when your playing outside together are all other great times to talk openly as a family. Make communicating a fun part of your day where all members of your family take turns talking and listening to others. 

7. Wind Down Together

Try to establish a strong bedtime routine and make it a family affair (even if your kids go to bed earlier than you). Get things ready for the next day such as lunches, homework and outfits. Read books together, tell each other what you were thankful for that day, and start to relax and unwind. Experts suggest to give yourself at least 1 hour to unwind before bed…so if you want your kids in bed by 8, start your routine at 7.

I know a mom who tells her kids she will read books to them until 8pm. So that means if they can get in PJs with brushed teeth and go potty quickly, they have more time to read. But some nights they drag their feet and complain and only have 10 minutes to read. I thought this was a clever idea.

8. Keep Exercise Fun

Staying healthy and active is a life-long habit. What is your attitude when it comes to working out? Do your kids hear you grumbling and complaining? You are their example for healthy living…a lot of times your attitude becomes their attitude. Don’t be afraid to try new activities or to ask your children what they would like to do.

We went paddle boarding on our recent family vacation for the first time with our little buddies. They sat really good and just chilled while we were on the lake. It was fun, relaxing, and a workout all at the same time!  For more tips on keeping exercise fun, see my post on incorporating kids into your fitness routine.

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Hawaiian Chicken

I LOVE easy dinner recipes that use ingredients I most likely already have on hand or are easy and inexpensive to get. I found this Baked Hawaiian Chicken recipe from thepinningmama  and knew I had to try it, so I made a couple changes it to make it a “cleaner” version. Enjoy!
hawaiianchicken

Ingredients

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photo via
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6-12 Tbsp barbecue sauce (try this clean recipe)
  • 1 can pineapple slices, drained
  • 6 -8 slices part skim mozzarella cheese (or shredded mozzarella works too
Instructions
  1. Lay the chicken breast flat in a baking dish. I decided to pour about half of the pineapple juice from the can in the bottom of my dish for the chicken to cook in.
  2. Spread 1-2 Tbsp of BBQ sauce on each chicken breast.
  3. Place 2 pineapple rings on each chicken breast.
  4. Layer 2 slices of cheese on top of the pineapple on each chicken breast.
  5. Place in an oven preheated to 375˚F for 20 minutes, lightly covered with foil. Then remove the foil and continue to bake for 15-25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
  6. Serve with rice, greens, or potatoes and ENJOY!