Monday Meals: Crockpot Bonanza

This is pretty much a reblog. Earlier this month, I took $100 and bought everything and then some to make all of the meals in this post from Danny J. at Sweaty Betties. Not all were the healthiest, but it saved money, and ALL the meals are healthier than eating out.

Basically, in 3 hours, we made 9 crockpot freezable recipes for 5-6 servings. In actuality, it became 12 dinners plus leftovers for lunches.

8 crockpot meals in the freezer

8 massive crock pot meals in the freezer

Here’s a list of the meals made:

  • Pizza Soup
  • Chicken Curry
  • Savory Chicken
  • BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork
  • Lemon Garlic Chicken
  • Chicken and Spinach
  • Taco Soup
  • San Francisco Pork Chops
  • Lazy Day Stew

All meals were kid friendly, and kid-complaint free!!!

I hope you can use these meals as well to help you save time, money, and the “what’s for dinner?” headache!


Reduce Heat…

Reduce Heat


Many conversations in my house this week have revolved around the topic of anger and intense emotional states as well as actions taken during that kind of emotion. We’ve talked about how we feel, things that happened to cause anger and intense emotion, what should have been done, what could have been done, etc.  One of these such conversations happened while I was cooking one of dinners this week, and the mantra was manifested in our house.

Reduce heat and simmer. 

It’s the simple idea of cooling down before you irrationally do something or say something that could be harmful to you, the person involved, even affecting people you may not realize that could be affected.  We’ve all heard it before in many ways (think before you speak sound familiar?), but this was one of those moments that just made it click, you know? 

We’re all human. To feel is human. To get angry is human. To get emotional is human. That’s the joy of being human. But the GRACE of being human is to recognize that you can change everything by

Reducing heat and simmering

Emotions can cloud words and actions. Speaking and acting in that intense state won’t convey what you really want to convey. Let peace settle in before you react. 

Reduce heat and simmer.

On a physical sense, being angry and intense just stresses your body out. Your body uses all your energy feeling so much that it’s totally drained for any positive action, except maybe sleep. Not to mention potential digestive issues and headaches you can be prone to with prolonged emotional intensity. You can’t be the best you can be holding all of that it…so, let it go, release it, or as in the house of the Jock in a Skirt…

Reduce heat and simmer.

Monday Meals: Spaghetti

One of the biggest questions I get about food is “How can I make my family favorites more healthy?” I love these questions because it gives me the opportunity to share healthy substitutions and show how easy it is to swap and add foods to fit your nutrition goals.

One of our family favorites is spaghetti, and we eat it at least once every 10 days, if not more frequently.

Turkey Spaghetti ... a healthier version

Turkey Spaghetti … a healthier version

Here are ways to make spaghetti healthy and still keep the family happy:

  • Substitute whole grain wheat noodles instead of the regular “enriched” noodles, or if you’re gluten-free, rice or quinoa noodles work great as well.
  • Use ground turkey or chicken instead of hamburger. The fat content goes down, and with seasonings, tastes just the same.
  • Add finely diced/chopped veggies to the sauce: red onion, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, bell peppers, squash are just a few ideas.
  • Make your own sauce (make it ahead of time and freeze for those of you short on time in the evenings). A fresh batch of tomatoes, roasted and simmered with onion, garlic, parsley, basil, and oregano makes a great sauce.
  • Don’t want to make your own sauce? Go for all-natural brands such as Newman’s Own or Marinelli’s. Your local grocery store may also have a good organic brand. I know Kroger has the Simple Truth Organic line, which is all organic and all clean, including the oil, which is EVOO and not soybean.

Let me know what you think of the healthier spaghetti and how your family likes it.  Do you have any other recipes you would like to see a healthier version?  Comment on this post or email me at

NEW FEATURE: Monday Meals

Starting next week, I will begin featuring healthy meals, meal plans, and cooking tips to fit your lifestyle as well as your family’s. Healthy eating is possible in a quick and easy fashion, especially when everyone is asking “What’s for dinner?”, even when it’s your own stomach!

Since this will be reader-guided feature, I’d love to hear what you read more about when it comes to healthy eating.


Paleo Bird In A Nest

I’m not sure if this is the actual name of the recipe, but I’ve seen it floating around Facebook and different Paleo sites, so I decided to give it a shot.

Paleo Bird in a Nest with Black Beans

Paleo Bird in a Nest with Black Beans

It’s a really easy recipe. Here’s what you need:


  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 large egg
  • Black or cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1 tbsp plain greek yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 180° (I actually did 225°)
  2. Slice avocado into two. Remove pit. With a spoon, hull out more avocado where the pit was.
  3. Crack egg into hole.
  4. Sprinkle your choice of pepper and Kosher salt over the top of the egg and avo. Sprinkle cheese as well.
  5. Bake for at least 20 minutes or until egg is at desired cooked stage. Heat black beans while the bird in the nest is cooking.
  6. Place on plate. Serve black beans on the side. Add greek yogurt on top of beans. Sprinkle Tabasco over everything.
  7. Serve while everything is still warm.

I hope you give this a try! Enjoy it!! I found it very filling, yet light as well. 😀

Success Saturday: Jenna F.

Jenna and I have been friends through a virtual running moms group (RMM) for quite a while now. I’ve seen her overcome many obstacles and come out stronger and healthier! You can check out her beginner blog here as well.
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1. Why did you decide to lose weight/change your lifestyle? (Any and all reasons)
        My number one reason was to help me through my separation then my divorce from my ex-husband. That reason changed into making sure I was one of those Mom’s who played on the w/ their kid growing up instead of staying on the sidelines. Now my reasons for continuing is to reach the goals I have set for myself.
2. What exercise did you do? (List everything)
      1) Running- when I started I followed training plans. I lost my mojo for a good little while. I’m slowly getting it back.
       2) elliptical- this is my go-to machine when I have a chance
       3) hiking- I do this w/ my son. He loves it and I love that I get to spend uninterrupted time with him.
       4) t25- this is a beach body program and totally ideal for the time constraints I have on my daily life.
3. How did you change your eating?
      My eating has been the hardest part to change. I cut out fast-food and started bringing about %90 of my meals from home. And when I do have to eat fast-food. I do grilled chicken, only have the bun and no fries. I also make sure I have a shakeology shake daily at some point in the day.
4. Did you use any nutritional supplements?
     The only few things I add as far as supplements go is a B-complex and Potassium pill daily. Like I said I have my Shakeology shake daily, and that has all of my nutrients I need daily so I don’t bother w/ a daily vitamin pill.
5. Did you have support? (Group, friend, online community, etc.)
      I have a few ppl that I work with that have  helped them want to be better as well. Bc they see me everyday so they know the hard work that I put into being the best version of myself that I can.
      I have my online support from RMM. I’ve known these ladies for at least 5yrs. The group has changed, I’ve still got support from ladies who areno longer in the group. Their support has meant the world to me. There’s a few that I consider my sole-sisters for life.
     I have my family who push me to my limits. They have stood me through everything.
    Lastly, my son. Those two words mean everything to me. They continue to push me to push beyond my limits. He has no clue as to how much he’s changed me for the better, and I don’t know if he ever will. But I will always strive to be the best Mommy I can be for him.
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6. What do you feel is the top thing you’ve gotten out of your journey?
     My confidence back. My marriage was filled w/ domestic abuse (verbal and then physical towards the end), and with that I lost my confidence as a woman. Loosing the weight and just feeling better about myself (I still have “Debbie- downer” days. But instead of turning to food, I choose to get a good sweat in).
7. What is your next goal?
   My next major goal (I always have a ton of small stepping stone goals to get me to my major goal at the end) is to loose 39lbs in the next year. That’ll make it 100lbs that I have lost.

Are You A Success?

Have you had an amazing fitness journey? Are you still on your journey (as I believe, we are always on our journey)? Would you like some support, some encouragement, some celebration??? Share your story with me, and I will happily feature your success on my Success Saturdays.

I don’t care how you’ve done it, as long as it is healthy and good for you!!! If you’re interested in being featured, please email me @ so I can send you my Success Questionnaire and get you scheduled for a feature.

Let’s celebrate our victories!