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Crock Pot Lentil and Sweet Potatoe Soup

Here’s a yummy recipe for these cold, cold days we’ve been having!  Love the simplicity of crock pot meals.

Crock Pot Lentil Sweet Potato Souplentil soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1.5 cups chopped green beans
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 64 oz vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn heat on low and cook for 10 hours, adding a little more broth at the end if soup seems too thick.

Time:

10 hours

50 Blogs Later

Milestone

Hey!  Hey!  Here’s to 50 50 blogs later!

I hope you have enjoyed the blogs that I’ve posted as much as I have loved doing them.  I really do enjoy the process of doing the research on topics and finding great recipes to share with you.  If there topics that you would like me to post on, let me know.  I love feedback!

Cheers to 50 more!

Nutrition Label Changes

nutrtion label

Missing the Point

I just read an article about the FDA revising what information will be shown on the food labels we see on food packaging.  Here is the link if you’d like to read over it.

My ability to keep an open mind on their perspective is proving quite difficult after reading the article.  I do agree with them that trying to read information seen on a food labels is like trying to read Greek, and they did have positive changes proposed.  But, my first thought was that they are missing the point.

From what I gathered, they are still focusing on calories and the sugar and fat content.  My suggestion would be to focus on ingredients instead.

For example: When you read the food label on the average health bar, you see low calories, sugar and fat.  First glance, it’s a winner!  But then you look a little further down and realize that your “health bar” has 27 ingredients listed, some of them you can’t even decipher.  Is it still a good choice?

This is just my opinion but I think many informed consumers would agree; the ingredients list trumps the calories, sugar and fat numbers listed.

Think of it this way.  Wouldn’t you prefer your sugar to come in the most natural form instead of high fructose corn syrup or aspartame?  When you see the number after sugar on the label, it doesn’t say the source of the sugar.  Yeah, it might only be five grams but the source is a sugar substitute that will wreak havoc on your digestive system.

I’ll give the FDA some credit; they are trying to keep up with a more informed society (we’re slowly getting there).  And regardless of their efforts it is OUR responsibility to make informed choices.  So continue to check the ingredients list!

Show Yourself Some Love!

LoveLove… EVERYDAY!

‘Tis the season of love!  The month when we love up on significant others, family members, even pets.  So how about we love up on ourselves a bit too!

I’m not suggesting buying ourselves a five pound chunk of chocolate and breaking off a bite every 15 minutes.  I mean, let’s take a moment to be thankful for our bodies and having the ability to make it better.

In my latest newsletter, I mentioned that I find it very interesting that society puts so much emphasis on one day of the year to show to others how much we love them.  I also correlated that we use the month of January to do the same for our bodies.

Would you agree that love or better health is not going to be had by working on it for just a day or even a month for that matter?  What I’m getting at is this: Our body is our own masterpiece.  It is what we put in it.  Ha!  Literally and figuratively speaking, actually!

That’s a different way to look at it, isn’t it?  Just like a loving relationship, it takes patience and continual work to reap the benefits of a healthy body.  Take this time to put a plan into action on ways to treat your body better.  The benefits are SO worth it!

Cabbage and Beef Stew

stew

This is a great cold weather stew, much like chili with the addition of cabbage.

Cabbage and Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 small can tomato puree
  • 3 medium Tomatoes, chopped and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 head cabbage, chopped
  • 4 to 6 cups beef stock
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

In a large soup kettle, brown beef with onion, garlic and green pepper.  Add tomatoes, puree, chili powder, oregano, parsley, kidney beans and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well.  Add beef stock along with cabbage.  Add additional water if desired.  Bring to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

New Year’s Resolution 2014

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Here’s 2014 and another round of resolutions.  I think mine may sound like a broken record.  Run a half, stay in shape and help others do the same.  Eat as clean as possible and walk my own talk.

I’m going to add one more to that… go on a great vacation.

It’s been a while since my husband and I have gotten out of Dodge.  Whether it’s the mountains or a beach, we will get a break this year.  We need it!

Cheers to a new year!   Better than the last and full of excitement and fantastic experiences for us all!

Holiday Damage Control

The holidays are upon us once more.  There have been plenty of opportunities to jump ship on our health goals. healthy holidays So how do we do damage control before the end of the year and we’re five pounds heavier?

If you’ve already set your routine to help you through the season, stick to it.  If not, here are a few ideas.  Something is better than nothing, just like one pound gained is better than five.

  • Water.  Water.  Water.  Drink it before, during and after your get-togethers.  It will keep you feeling full, hydrated and hopefully not so apt to binge on the tray of sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Eat clean during the week.  No sugar, flour or dairy.  And for good measure no alcohol.   You’ll have plenty of opportunity for that at your gatherings.
  • Eat well before you go to a party.  Get some substance in your belly before you walk in to temptation.
  • Get a move on.  The more you move, the more you lose or keep off.  Take every opportunity for an extra few steps of workouts.
  • Take a dish to a gathering that you feel good eating.  At least you know you’ll have something on your plate that you won’t feel guilty about eating.

Above all, keep calm and stay merry!  The key to beating the emotional eating cycle is keeping your cortisol and glucose levels steady.

One Year Anniversary!

1 year anniv

December 1st marked the official one-year anniversary of Achievable Health.  I swear time can’t go any faster.  It seems as though just yesterday I was sending out my first newsletter and hoping and praying that I had the capability to help clients as much as I thought I was able to.

A few mistakes and a lot of triumphs later I’m still going at it and loving every minute of the journey.  Who knows what will happen from now until the next anniversary.  I hope for many more great relationships built and wonderful experiences to enjoy.  What a great blessing this has been!

Roasted Root Vegetables

How about another great recipe!

It’s the time of year when we need great recipe ideas so here’s a follow-up to yummy beets.

Roasted Root Vegetables root vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds root vegetables (use potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, beets), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch wedges
  • 2  tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ½  head garlic, separated into cloves peeled and rough chopped
  • Chopped fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the root vegetables and onion in a roasting pan.
  2. Toss all ingredients BUT the garlic with the olive oil and maple syrup then salt and pepper to taste. Do not crowd the vegetables.
  3. Roast the mixture for a total of 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, scatter the garlic in with the vegetables. Continue stirring every 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and evenly browned.
  4. Before serving, add a sprinkling of fresh chopped herbs for garnish.

Yummy Beets!

Beets are a great source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. They are also a phenomenal source of betalains.  The detox support provided by betalains includes especially important Phase 2 detox steps involving glutathione.

I decided to pick up some good looking beets from the farmers market the other day.  I haven’t eaten beets for so long but they looked beautiful and I couldn’t resist.  I took them home and started looking up recipes.

As I was looking on line, I decided to kind of wing it and play around a bit.  I’m so glad I did because the dish ended up tasting amazing.  We made ours on the grill but they would be just as good in the oven.  Hope you like it!

NOTE:  One thing to keep in mind, beets will stain your hands.  Wear gloves if you have them while your peeling them.  Also, peel beets just like you would a potato and then soak in vinegar water before you cut them up.

 Roasted Beets

Ingredients:  Close-up of beet

  • 4 Cups Beets
  • 2 Cups Carrots
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • ½  Yellow Onion
  • Drizzle Olive oil
  • Drizzle Honey
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme
  • To Taste – Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (if you are baking them in the oven).  Clean, peel and cut beets, carrots and green pepper into bite size pieces.  Finely chop onion.  In a bowl combine first four ingredients, drizzle with olive oil and honey.  Add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme or two teaspoons of dry, then salt and pepper to taste.  Toss all ingredients.

If you are doing the beets on the grill, put the mixture on a double layer of aluminum foil big enough so that there are a couple of inches on all sides of the mixture.  Then cover with a single layer of foil.  Bring the bottom layers up over the top layer and fold inwards to where the juices stay in the pouch.  Cook until the beets and carrots can be penetrated easily with a fork or knife.

If you are doing the beets in the oven, you can either put the mixture in the foil, put it on a sheet pan and bake it in the oven or put the mixture in a baking dish with a cover on it until the beets and carrots can be penetrated easily with a fork or knife.

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