Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Crock-Pot Southwest Chicken

When I saw a recipe for "southwest chicken" my mouth started watering. What sweetened the deal even more was that it was only a few ingredients, minimal preparation, and maximum deliciousness! Honestly, this recipe could not get any simpler, and you can adjust it to your own tastes.

This chicken is delicious, simple, full of nutrients, protein, and you can put it in or on whatever suites your fancy. We used this southwest chicken in some romaine heart lettuce cups, and I (of course) drizzled it with some hot sauce, and BAM. Dinner is made.

Here's how to make your own crock-pot southwest chicken! Note that this meal can also be made, put into two gallon zip bloc bags and frozen for later use.

1 16oz jar of salsa of your choice
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 package of cream cheese (could substitute for Greek yogurt as well) ** optional **

Lettuce wraps, brown rice, corn tortillas, or whatever you want to put your chicken in or on
Cheese, hot sauce, Greek yogurt, whatever toppings you want to use

Put salsa, corn, beans and chicken in the crock-pot on low. Cook for 6 to 7 hours. During the last 30 minutes, if you are adding cream cheese or Greek yogurt, mix in now. Serve over your lettuce wraps, tortillas or brown rice, and top with your favorite toppings! 

If you are looking to add in more veggies, chop up some onion and a bell pepper and add it to the mix! If you want to add some extra heat, try chopping up and mixing in a fresh jalepeno. The possibilities are endless. 

Who is ready to try this super simple crock-pot recipe?? 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Marriage Tip #6

Christmas has come and gone all too quickly, I am afraid. When I was a kid, everything seemed to magically slow down around the twinkling Christmas tree, and now time comes flying at us and runs me over. Never the less, this Christmas was one I will always cherish.

It was our second Christmas together as a married couple, and we just passed our one year anniversary this month! It's crazy to think how quickly a year has gone by, and I know the second will come just as swiftly. This time of year is our absolute favorite, too.

Not just because it's our anniversary, but because it's Christmas! The time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and a time that both Zach and I have adored since we were small. It's been a blessing to create our own memories and traditions together this year!

Which brings me to my next marriage tip...take time to create your own traditions with your spouse!

I promise you, it can be a lot of fun.

Your traditions don't have to be anything incredibly elaborate, though if that's your style, go for it! We started a few of our own traditions this year, and I'm confident that we will continue to add our own as the years go on.

Since becoming a Georgia peach, I have learned that the south takes tradition very seriously. Which isn't a bad thing. I actually really have enjoyed being a part of Zach's families traditions, which inspired me to think of our own traditions to add to the mix!

Here are some of the traditions that we created this year, and some ideas of what you can do, too!

1. Made popcorn and cranberry garland while watching a Christmas movie. Yup, old fashioned air popped pop corn and fresh cranberries! Get some string, a needle and get to creating! It's seriously a lot of fun, just don't poke your fingers!

2. Visited Stone Mountain Christmas. This is a local attraction in Atlanta, and one that Zach has gone to for years! It was really special to go with him as his wife this year. Find a local Christmas or holiday event that you guys can make into a yearly tradition to attend!

3. Host our own Christmas party! This was a first for me! And my little hostess heart was so happy to have so many dear people in our living room. We had an ornament exchange party with a hot chocolate and dessert bar. Really easy to do, and everyone gets something to put on their tree!

4. Have a home cooked Christmas dinner. We debated whether we wanted to do this Christmas Eve or Christmas day, but this year it ended up being Christmas day, and it was wonderful! Be sure to get all your ingredients before hand, and make a nice dinner for your spouse!

5. Watch your favorite Christmas movie together (or several). Zach and I have watched countless Christmas movies (A Christmas Story is one of our all time favorites). You can grab some hot chocolate, curl up in some cozy Christmas pajamas, and relax together!

There are just a very few ideas of some traditions you could start on your own. Like I said, they could be more elaborate, or really simple! The point is that you are intentionally making memories together, and that it means something to you both!

Make it a point to invest time and love into your relationship with your spouse this year. Traditions can be created any time of year, not just the holidays, and it can create a lifetime of wonderful memories ahead!

What's your favorite tradition with your sweetie?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Crock-Pot Teriyaki Chicken

When our oven caught on fire right before Christmas and was out of commission for about a week, I dug around for some spectacular crock-pot recipes that I could cook, save some time, and get around not having an oven.

I found quite a few recipes that are fantastic and are definitely going in my go to meal planning because they are quick, easy, and most importantly, healthy! Isn't it nice to have minimal prep, set your crock-pot, then come home to a hot meal ready for you? I know I love it!

This teriyaki chicken recipe was one of the ones that I found, and love!

Be sure to try this recipe out for yourself, you could serve it over hot brown rice, or even some zucchini noodles!

Medium to large bag of carrots
1 onion cut into large chunks
4 garlic cloves
2 cups of fresh cut pineapple (or two cans undrained)
*1 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce (about one regular sized bottle)
4 chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in your crock-pot, cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, then serve over hot brown rice or zucchini noodles!

*If you are freezing your crock-pot meal before use, split between two bags, and only use 1 cup of teriyaki sauce, then add the additional 1/4 cup when you are cooking it.

And it's as simple as that! Honestly, it doesn't get much easier. Prep time is minimal, and you come home to a hot, healthy meal! Who is going to give this a try?

Monday, December 22, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Fitness - Day 8

EIGHT Glasses of Water.

Stay hydrated during the holidays! Getting the proper amount of water every day is important no matter what time of year it is, but around the holidays it can make an even bigger impact!

Aim to drink at least eight eight ounce glasses of water every single day, and that’s the bare minimum. Generally you want to drink half of your body weight in ounces every single day. So it could be less, depending on your weight, but eight glasses is a good amount!

To help get your recommended amount of water in every day, drink a full glass of water when you wake up, a full glass of water before every meal, and a glass with every meal. This will help keep you full, keep you hydrated, and give you energy too!

I’m pretty sure we can all use more energy around Christmas time, so drink up on that water!

How many glasses of water are you going to drink today?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Fitness - Day 7

SEVEN hours of sleep a night.

I don’t think I have to tell you just how important a good night’s sleep is. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to get your full seven hours, but at least make it a point to carve out that time and attempt to get a good night’s rest every night.

Turn off your phones, computers and other screens and hour before bed time and get your body prepared rest! Take a bath with lavender essential oil diluted in the warm water, or drink a cup of chamomile tea to calm you down from the day.

Create a warm, cozy space for you to sink into at the end of the night and sleep away the stress of the day! Not only will a good night’s sleep help you feel better, but it aids in weight loss, your energy throughout the day, and keeps your body working at it’s full potential!

How much sleep do you normally get per night?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Fitness - Day 6

SIX small meals a day.

Spread your eating out throughout the day! Like I suggested earlier on day three, bring three small snacks with you on the go so you have healthy options. Along with that, plan out your other three meals for the day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) so that you can make healthy choices!

If you are going to a Christmas party, eat some veggies and protein before you go so you don’t arrive starving. Drink a full glass of water with each meal to keep your body hydrated and your metabolism revving throughout the day!

Spreading out your meals will help you maintain your energy and help you keep your body balanced, especially as you go throughout your busy shopping, work and errands that you have to get done!

Which meal is your favorite meal of the day?

Friday, December 19, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Fitness - Day 5

(Zoodles...AKA zucchini noodles are a fantastic way to get a veggie serving in!)

FIVE servings of fruit and veggies every day.

Just because you are enjoying some yummy holiday foods and maybe even some cheat meals doesn’t mean you can’t stay on track with getting the nutrients in your body that you need!

I challenge you to focus on getting at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day this month! Aim for at least 3 servings of veggies, and 2 servings of fruit. Getting the dense nutrition from fruits and vegetables will keep you full, give you energy and make sure that you are staying on track with your health during the holidays!

Looking for some easy ways to get a lot of your servings of fruit and veggies in at once? Make a smoothie! Throw a cup of spinach or kale in your smoothie with your choice of fruit, add some water, ice, and you could even add some Greek yogurt in! Blend it up, and enjoy some super nutrition that your body craves, especially this time of year!

What’s your favorite fruit and vegetable?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Fitness - Day 4

FOUR little healthy treats to share.  

Christmas parties are laden with sugar filled fun. That can be tasty, but also dangerous if you over indulge. If you know that you won’t be able to stop yourself at the buffet table when it comes to dessert, prepare yourself! Go in with a plan.

You can also help that by bringing your own healthy sweet treat to share with everyone else! Here are a few of my favorite that you can try yourself!

1.     Chocolate Protein Balls

1 cup of chocolate Shakeology, 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup peanut or almond butter, and 1/2 cup honey. Mix it all together, roll into ping pong ball size and put in the fridge! 

With these treats you can indulge in your own sweet tooth without worrying about completely undoing your health. And, if you know you can handle it, pick one regular treat to allow yourself to indulge in at the party! Avoid hanging around the dessert table, but grab your goodie and go mingle and enjoy your treat!

What’s your favorite healthy sweet treat?