Saturday, October 14, 2017

Crock Pot Venison Pumpkin Chili

It's that time of year - FALL! Also known as #pumpkineverything!

The weather is finally dropping to normal fall temperatures, and I am craving warm, hearty foods that fill me up and warm my bones. I've also been sick with the flu, and eating hot foods help me feel a little better. Being sick, I also don't want to spend a lot of time on my feet. Enter: the trusty crock-pot.

Thankfully, we have a freezer of ground venison, and nothing compliments this gamey meat like a good chili. 



2 lbs ground meat (use anything extra lean, I used venison)
1lb sweet potato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can Libby's Pure Pumpkin Puree
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 can of Reduced Sodium Great Northern Beans
2 tsp chopped garlic

Seasonings! I used smoked red pepper, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, a little sweet curry powder, onion and garlic salt.

Are you ready for the instructions? Hah, it's too easy. Brown the meat, and then throw everything into the crock pot. Add enough water until it's a nice creamy consistency - this is up to you. If you like thicker chili, less water. 

Cook on high for 6 hours. Divide into 8 tupperware containers. 

Good for a week in the fridge, and can be frozen for up to 6 months!

I also just discovered Kodiak Cakes Protein Corn Bread Mix, I can't wait to whip up a batch and pair these together!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Three Things Thursday

Thing 1: Being sick is gross. Oh, the blight of being bedridden, coughing so hard I can't breathe, and slowly burying myself alive under a mountain of snot-filled tissues (that my dog loves to eat, by the way).

I'm adding these two supplements (Turkey Tail and Lysene) to my already over-flowing cupboard of bottles in the hopes that the rest of this fall and winter will be a sick-free one. Do you have any supplements or remedies you swear by to avoid getting caught with a cold or the flu? Or how to get over them sooner?

Thing 2: You just need to re-watch your favorite kids movies. Take a lazy Sunday afternoon and dive back into Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, The Sound of Music, and The Labyrinth. You'll have a new respect and even deeper love for them as an adult (and be slightly amazed at the amount of sexual innuendos that no one seemed to care about back then). If you don't have lazy Sunday afternoons, don't worry. You might get sick soon enough and be forced to have a marathon.

Thing 3: Disconnect more. This week I took my work email ( off of my iPhone. CRAZY idea, right? But listen, here's why.

More and more, this idea of being connected 24/7 appeals to us. But, I think when you run your own business, you risk burn out if you don't learn to define and abide by work hours. Work never stops. It never turns off, you're always "on". It seeps into your home life, your private life, your personal life - and I don't care how committed to your business or profession you are - there have to be boundaries. Balance is something I teach all of my clients about food, about macros. It's why I love flexible dieting - I can have the Oreo cookies, if I make them fit into my macros. It maybe means I can't have jelly AND peanut butter with my morning toast, but I make the compromise. With life, too often we stay SO connected through social media through our phones, that we miss a lot of what's happening right now, in the present. Our devices literally follows us everywhere. I wonder how many people are reading this post from their phones while sitting on the toilet?

This change has made the hours that I dedicate to working incredibly more productive! And it makes time I'm not working so much more enjoyable - I'm "off" completely. Drawing this line has made my stress decrease exponentially, and it makes me excited to get back to work, back to my clients, back to what I love doing - helping people, changing lives, talking about food and fitness - how awesome!

Here's a crazy idea - how about un-plugging completely on Sundays from social media. Even going as far as deleting the Instagram and Facebook app.

How many mindless hours do you spend swiping through Facebook feeds and Instagram stories? Do you feel any better after it? Was that time productive? If it wasn't, replace that time with something that will uplift you, change you, grow you, inspire you, etc. Spend an hour reading. Spend an hour whipping up a new recipe with your husband, best friend, mom, sister. Let's focus on creating quality relationships in real life. Then plug back in on Monday and let us hear all about it. <3

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Real Tired

Sometimes a girl just has to get some stuff off of her chest, you know? Here's a list of a few things I'm real tired of. You might be, too.

1. Real tired of this freakishly warm weather. First day of Fall, and you're killing me with 90+ degree temperatures and a humidity index of 9,000, Pennsylvania. But don't worry, as soon as it's cold, I'm going to be real tired of that, too. 

2. Real tired of people coming into CrossFit when they know they're sick, have a bug, are contagious, and aren't really doing anything to keep their communicable germs to themselves. I feel like I need to walk around with Lysol wipes on my hands instead of gymnastics grips. 

3. Real tired of having a bloated, water belly. You know what I'm talking about, because it's SO hot, you're so thirsty, you're chugging water as fast as it's coming out of your pores. By the time the workout is finished, you're writhing around in pain but have to stop because the sloshing in your belly makes you want to vomit a little (but maybe you already did from the WOD).

4. Real tired of fat macros being in everything. I mean, everything has fat in it, and when a girl is trying to count her macros, and they're camouflaged better than a solider in Vietnam, it makes fitting my precious peanut butter into my day near impossible. Can I get an Amen for peanut butter?

5. That brings me Number 5. Real tired of peanut butter having so much fat in it. 

It's Thursday, which means a REST DAY and a re-feed day. ALL THE CARBS. Not real tired of those, that's for sure! 

What are you real tired of?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

So Much Protein Apple Doughnuts

Flapjacked protein pancake mix might be my favorite of all the protein baking mixes. They do well as waffles, as baked goods, and as pancakes - they are so extremely fluffy.

I saw a recipe on the back on the Cinnamon Apple bag for doughnuts. I recently purchased a doughnut baking pan at Target (along with $129 worth of other things that threw themselves into my cart), and had to give it a whirl.

When I calculated the macros, they were too good to be true! The recipe makes 9 doughnuts. Each doughnut yields 2g fat, 3g sugar, 8g protein and 9g carbs. Amazeballs. This includes the frosting I added and the cereal sprinkles.

You could double this recipe easily to make 18, or use a mini-doughnut pan to make twice as many, but more fun-size!

I created a cream cheese protein frosting and sprinkled them with my favorite cereal: cinnamon Honey Bunches of Oats. They are divine! Store them in the fridge for up to a week. They're delicious cold, or pop them into the toaster oven or microwave to bring that fresh-baked smell back into the kitchen.

1-1/4 c. cinnamon apple mix
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup plain greek non-fat yogurt
1/4 cup applesauce
Dash of vanilla
Sprinkle of nutmeg

2 tbsp whipped cream cheese
2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
Enough almond milk to create a thick but spreadable frosting

1/4 cup Honey Bunches of Oats with Cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix ingredients together until blended. The more you mix them, the more cake-like your doughnuts all become. 

Dollop batter into grease doughnut pan. Fill pan to the center but don't cover. 

Bake 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Mix frosting ingredients together vigorously, you want no lumps. Spread evenly over each cooled doughnut. Sprinkle with crushed cereal. 


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Why I Wear A FitBit

I should have a name for her. In my mind, she's definitely a her. Even though, she's all murdered out and kinda thuggish looking (black frame, black band).

I'm talking about my FitBit Blaze.

Blanca. I will call her Blanca. (You can see her on my left arm below).

Blanca is my reminder to not be a slug outside of the gym. When I am not wearing Blanca, honestly, I am a lazy bum. I avoid excess trips up the stairs, I spend less time outside with the pups, I spend less time cleaning the house, less time cooking, and generally, less time running errands and completing important tasks. I tell people I am the laziest CrossFitter ever, I am not kidding when I say that.

Blanca keeps me honest. I was sedentary before I started wearing a FitBit. And I really didn't know it.  I thought I was always on the go, go, go. But feeling stressed and actual activity are not the same thing. Go figure.

The first thing I did was purchase a treadmill desk. No more sitting for a few hours here and a few hours there catching up on emails. When I am working these days, I'm walking. She made me realize that my morning activity of sitting and drinking my coffee while browsing Facebook was a lame way to start the day. Now I don't open Facebook until at least lunchtime (it's hard when you run a business via social media) & I take my coffee outside and enjoy the morning on our property with our dogs.

Sitting is no bueno. Have you even read Deskbound, bro?

Not only does Blanca remind me to move more (park farther away from the grocery store entrance, park farther away from the restaurant), she keeps track of my nightly sleeping habits. I am a dork for data, I didn't know it before though. Before Blanca, I went to bed when I wanted and woke up when I wanted. Some nights I'd stay up way too late and then wake up 2 hours later and suffer through terrible insomnia. My sleep was all over, and I never got what I needed. It's crazy, because I know how important sleep is. But, it wasn't until I saw my pattern and saw my sleep graph from FitBit, that I knew I needed a change. Less TV, less blue light, less caffeine, a properly timed nighttime snack, more magnesium, and a routine sleep schedule - I sleep like a baby and it's very consistent. 10am bedtime, 7-8a wakeup and an uninterrupted night of sleep.

I use Blanca in the gym when I'm training. This isn't the reason I bought her though, it's just an added feature. I love the Blaze because it comes with different exercise modes, which in turn provides more accuracy. When I start warming up, I put it in Circuit Training mode, and keep it there until I'm done for the day and cooling down. (I move it higher on my arm, about 2 inches above my wrist, for the most accurate heart rate monitoring). I don't need exact tracking with training though - I know I'm working hard. I more love her more for the 22 hours I'm not in the gym - the bulk of my life. I know I'm active and working hard when I'm fitnessing, I don't need an activity tracker for that. What I do need to know is what I'm doing with the other hours of my day. How am I recovering? How am I sleeping? What's my average heart rate at rest, etc.

On Monday, my husband and I took our nephews to Hersheypark for the day. It might have gotten a little damp at the water park ... When I woke up Tuesday morning, it wasn't working. Oopsies. I contemplated purchasing a new one. Blanca wasn't cheap. Did I want to drop another $200 on a new one? (By the way, they new make waterproof versions).

It turns out, YES. A huge, resounding yes. After the last few days of not wearing Blanca, I have noticed my laziness sinking to new depths. It even affected me in the gym! I was way more motivated to get home and shower than I was to do any extra work or an optional conditioning session. Blanca ALWAYS motivated me to do more.

She's like that friend that reminds you without being all in your face: YOU CAN DO BETTER.

Yeah, it might just be a watch to some people, but to me, Blanca effectively changed me for the better. She made me more aware, and allowed me to change a few things in my day to day that really added up to big change.

"Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed."

If you're looking for a FitBit of your own, this is the one I recommend. If you already have one, add me as a friend on the app ( I do Workweek Hustle's regularly, and I'm always looking for new friends to keep me moving.