Will it destroy me? (Day 10 Weight Loss Challenge)

Well, here it is, Weight Loss Challenge Day 10!

Today…well, it’s hard to put into words exactly how I feel.  So here it is…day 10 video to explain my feelings today.

 

I’m doing my best to overcome, be strengthened by it, and continue on my journey to get to a better version of me!

I also put together another awesome Instant Pot meal!  Here’s what I did, but I don’t measure anything, so I’ll do my best to describe it.  🙂

Chicken Veggie Soupchicken-veggie-soup

  • 2lbs chicken breast (pre-cooked in instant pot)
  • 4 c. chicken bone broth
  • 3 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 c. frozen chopped kale
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper

Put all ingredients in Instant Pot, lock lid and select “soup” setting for 12 minutes.  When adding the seasoning, do what is best for you and your family.  We like things a little spicy so we do a little more cumin and cayenne pepper.

It was super good, and helped turn my day around a little bit.  If I am able to cook without 3 kiddos in my way, then it is pretty therapeutic and helps me to know I’m feeding myself well and healthy.

What are some things you do to strengthen yourself?

strengthen

 

Weight Loss Challenge day 2 & an Instant Pot Original!

Well, day 2 was definitely a little tougher than day 1!  We were gone to our homeschool co-op all day, so that definitely made it interesting!  Plus it makes it a little more difficult to get all my steps in.  Here’s my thoughts on today…

And now for the Instant Post recipe…

My husband and I used to make this dish that we called “black bean pasta”.  It was simply a jar of salsa, a can on black beans, a can of corn, and a couple tablespoons of cumin warmed in a saucepan.  You then poured that over noodles.  This was a cheap and easy dinner for us and we used to eat it all the time.  Tonight I decided to make a twist on this simple recipe into something a little more healthy eating friendly.  It made approximately 8 servings.  Oh, and a warning…if you need exact measurements, this recipe isn’t for you. 😉

To begin I put 4 frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot, covered it with some cumin, salt, and pepper then poured about 2 cups of salsa on top and 1/2 a cup of water.gfree-black-bean-noodles  I put the lid on and hit the poultry button and set the timer for 15 minutes.  I allowed it to naturally release for about 10 minutes, then it rested in the juices for about 10 more minutes.

I made these interesting Black Bean noodles that I picked up from Aldi.  It’s seriously just
black beans dried into pasta.  After looking at the nutrition facts I decided I didn’t need an entire serving.  Although it had some great protein and fiber, it was a LOT of calories, so I divided it into 8 servings instead of 4 and decided to bulk up our dinner with some zucchini instead.  We had 2 medium size zucchini squash needing to be used, so I used our spiralizer and turned them into Zoodles!  I then sliced up the chicken into bite size pieces, then placed it back in the instant pot with the remaining salsa and a can of corn.  This became our “sauce”.  To make my plate I took about 1/2 a zucchini’s worth of zoodles, 1/2 a serving of black bean noodles, and our sauce!  It was SO GOOD!  I hope you give it a try!

gfree-black-bean-dinner

Slique in 60 Day 1

I decided a couple days ago that I needed to buckle down and finish my weight loss journey by getting to my goal weight!  In order to help motivate me I signed up for Young Living’s Slique in 60 challenge, and I’m going to do it twice for a total of 120 days.  I have been on this journey for awhile, and I would really like to get to the stage of maintaining my healthy weight instead of always battling to lose more.

I am excited for this because it helps give me a fresh start on my journey and helps me continue stronger with an invigorated spirit and perspective.

Tonight I made Sweet Potato Chili in my Instant Pot!  It was SO yummy.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1lb. ground turkey
    sweet-potato-chili

    Here it is all packed up and ready for my husband’s lunch tomorrow!

     

  • 1 large sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1-15oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1-15oz. can black beans
  • 1-15oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c water

On saute mode drizzle a little olive oil and add onion, carrots, sweet potato, and red pepper. Stir and let cook for 2 minutes.  Add ground turkey and cook until nearly completely browned.  While cooking add the seasonings.  When it’s nearly browned add the tomatoes, beans, and water.  Stir and switch to “chili” mode and 10 minutes, place lid on and allow it to cook.  Do a quick release when finished and enjoy!

After a fairly easy Day 1, I decided to begin a video log of my 120 day adventure!  Here’s day 1!

Easy Apple Cinnamon Quinoa

I am always looking for more ways to get my children to eat good and healthy food.  This recipe that a friend gave me was so easy, and yummy!  Our middle son, Owen, is currently in the Brain Balance program and along with all the therapies and work he is doing there 3 days a week, we also have exercises for home program and a nutrition plan.  This plan is pretty restrictive.  No gluten, dairy, soy, or refined sugars, and very limited corn.  He also is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs so although we can have those things and stay on program with him, he can’t.

When we first began trying new foods Owen would absolutely refuse.  He would have meltdowns, throw fits, I mean you would think we were asking him to move mountains, not take a small bite of food to try.  Sometimes when he finally would try something, he would then throw up or spit it out because it was terrible.  We have learned through his testing at Brain Balance that his “smeller” is off.  He failed the portion of the test where he is supposed to guess smells, and smelling our food is a big part of how we taste our food so it makes sense that not very many things taste good to him.  If it wasn’t the taste, it was the texture that threw him off so many times we felt like we could20160817_114859n’t win.

He is slowly making progress.  He is more open to trying new foods and taking at least 2 bites and swallowing.  We haven’t found very many new foods that he likes yet, but the fact that he isn’t throwing up when he tries them is definitely progress!

We tried this recipe with some success…

Apple Breakfast Quinoa

Begin by peeling and coring the apples, then cut them into bite size pieces.  In a medium saucepan add apples, water, and quinoa.

20160817_111919 (2)

Bring these to a boil, then cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir in cinnamon, then separate into 2 bowls.  You can drizzle with honey if needed.  I made a double batch so that I could have it all ready for the next day as well, so I put them in containers.  It reheats quite well!

20160817_114712

This was a definite hit with my littlest.  He’s 3 and can nearly eat an entire serving by himself!  My Brain Balance kid, Owen, doesn’t love it, but will eat about 5 bites and given our history, I’d say that’s a win!  My oldest who is 9 will eat about 1/2 a serving before she says she is full.

I absolutely love it!  It tastes good, but more than that, it is filling and keeps me full until it’s time to eat again, no mid-morning hunger to try and battle.

I’m going to be sharing some more recipes that we are trying soon, so be sure to follow our blog and check us out on Facebook at Wellness Momma.

**To learn more about cooking with Essential Oils, or to place an order, simply email me at wellnessmommaelyse@gmail.com or use this contact form.

 

Protein Bites

I made these awesome little nuggets of splendor last week!  I didn’t realize when I was making them that all these healthy ingredients mixed together could create something so scrumptious.  I have to do my absolute best to restrict myself to just 1 or 2!  Plus my kids love them, and that makes them even better.

My first batch had less chocolate chips, and I added a blend of pecans, pistachios, and cranberries to it.

My second batch I made nut-free for my middle son with food allergies, but I added too many chocolate chips, so they were harder to keep together.  But don’t worry, those chocolate chips didn’t go to waste!  My little boys made sure to eat those up.

The original recipe comes from my Core Strong coach, Mark.  I’m not sure where he got it from, but I don’t think it’s fair to keep it a secret because these are AWESOME!

Protein Power Balls

protein bites2

They may not look very pretty…but they are REALLY good!

  • 1 cup Gluten Free Quick Cooking Oats
  • 2/3 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup almond/peanut butter (for my no nuts batch I used Sunbutter)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips/dried fruit/nuts/combo
  • 1 tbsp  vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

Mix all these up in a bowl, then use a tbsp to portion out a roll into balls.  I place them on parchment paper in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.

Now…to add my own little Essential oil twist!  Add 6-8 drops of Young Living Orange Vitality Essential Oil.  It puts a fresh spin on an already great mix!  Learn more about it here.  My member/referral number is 1567278 in case you decide to purchase some for yourself…that little bottle has 85 drops in it, so it’ll last you quite awhile!

WARNING!  Like I said, these are awesome and you have to be careful not to eat too many.  🙂  I think my youngest would eat 1/2 the container in one setting if I let him.  😉

Keep up with our adventure of clean eating and healthy changes in our family by following our blog and our Facebook page!  https://www.facebook.com/wellnessmommaof3/

orange_loveitshareit_vitality

 

Unplanned Healthy Meals

So one of the biggest things I have learned with food (as well as many other areas of life) is when I fail to plan, I plan to fail. Fail to plan, plan to fail So MANY times I’ve failed.  Life gets busy, things don’t go as planned, kids need more attention so dinner doesn’t get made, we get home late from piano lessons or gymnastics, the list of excuses can go on and on!  It used to derail me from healthy eating quite easily, but with time and practice I developed a plan for my “unplanned days” that has helped keep me eating healthy!  Here are the steps I take to put together dinner for us on those days…green veggies

Step 1: Vegetables!  What vegetables do we have and what can I do with them.  I try to use any fresh veggies we have first.  I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping our freezer stocked
with frozen veggies we can steam in a pinch, but fresh
veggies are our favorite.  Generally I roast them in the oven with a little olive or coconut oil and salt and pepper.  I try to choose a green one because usually those provide the most health benefits, but I use what we have.  Learning to build our meals around a vegetable instead of a meat, definitely took some adjustment!  Almost all of us are raised to think of what meat we are going to prepare first and build sides around it.  Making the vegetable the star of the meal is still new to us, but I think we’ve embraced it well.

Step 2: Protein!  Sometimes this is a meat, sometimes it quinoa.  When cooking my unplanned meal those are generally the 2 we bounce between.  The most common for us is leftover chicken breast, lean steak, or turkey burger that we season with our homemade taco seasoning.  I think that is my favorite!  Sometimes I add onions and peppers to it and place it on a bed of mixed greens and a scoop of guacamole or avocado slices.  🙂

Step 3: Eat it! Yes, it’s that simple.  Meals don’t need to have 3 or 4 sides.  Keep it easy and simple and you’ll be amazed at how wonderfully satisfying it is to eat REAL food!  That’s how I adopted this unplanned yet planned meal idea in the first place…make it easy and I’m more likely to see it through!

Back Up Plan…Worst Case Scenario  So this happens sometimes.  I’m SO hungry and it is SO late, that I don’t even have time for what I’ve laid out above.  So, what do I do?  Well, I used to hit the nearest drive thru, but now that I’ve kept to healthy eating for so long, going through the drive thru makes my body feel horrible!  Now I just make a protein shake.  We have a couple protein shakes that we use.  We love Pure Protein Complete from Young Living, (contact me for wholesale pricing) or the All in One Nutrition from Vega. (I’m not affiliated with Vega, just love some of their products!)  Those are our favorites.  We just add a little unsweetened almond milk, sometimes a little frozen fruit and blend it up in our Ninja.  It helps keep me on target and even on days that it’s not what I really want, it tends to hit the spot.

How can you make dinner easier when you’ve forgotten to meal prep?  What are your favorite healthy go-to meals for your family?

Keep following our journey on facebook and like our Wellness Momma page.

A Quick Veggie Side

Today I realized I needed to take some time to cook a little food up ahead of time so that it wouldn’t go bad AND so that it’s easy to grab with our busy schedule. (If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!  So plan your food so you can SUCCEED!)  I decided to utilize the Brussels sprouts and bell peppers that probably wouldn’t last one more day in the fridge.  Anyone else NEVER eat Brussels sprouts as a kid?  There’s SO many things I never ate growing up because I was so incredible picky!  I really wish I would have tried them sooner because now veggies are a HUGE part of our everyday diet.

So, how did I make them?  I threw down a little extra virgin olive oil on a baking sheet, then cut the sprouts in half and chunked up the peppers.  I tossed them around to spread around the olive oil.

sprouts 1

Then I hesitated, thinking…what can I do to make these a little different and taste amazing?  I mean, I didn’t have any bacon, (that worked well last time) and I’m trying to not do a bunch of sweet (I’ve seen honey done before) and then I sawsprouts 2 it…

LEMON essential oil!  That will flavor it nicely and give it a fresh new flavor for me.  Since I already had the olive oil down, I couldn’t add it to that, so instead I took about 1-2 tsp. of sea salt and added 3 drops of Young Living Lemon essential oil.  I mixed it around in the little cup I had, then sprinkled the salt all over the veggies!

 

I roasted them at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.  They were great!  Now, just to be real with ya’ll, I am not a big fan of lemon flavored food. (my dad made lots of lemon pepper chicken when I was growing up because he was given a large container of the seasoning, and I just haven’t been able to eat it since)  So if you LOVE lemon flavored food, you may want to add an extra drop or 2 to your salt mixture, but for me 3 drops was enough.

sprouts 3

(sorry for the blurry image…I guess I was in a hurry to eat my veggies!)

We love incorporating YL essential oils in our everyday lives.  Let’s chat if you’d like to pursue that for your family as well.  We’d love to have you as part of the Wellness Momma family!

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