Tag Archives: Healthy Mom

Cold Slow Cooker Chicken With Mango, Avocado, Spinach, Tomatoes, Peppers, and Quinoa

Yes, that’s a mouthful of a title, but it’s a flavor explosion in your mouth too!!

I tend to forget about my slow cooker in the summer, because…hot!  BUT…the biggest reason I use my slow cooker is because of it’s convenience factor.  THAT is needed all year round!

The other day, I knew I’d be running around all day and wouldn’t be getting home until right around dinner time.  Slow cooker to the rescue.

What you need…

  • 4-5 Chicken Breasts (I actually threw mine in frozen!)
  • 1 Medium yellow onion  diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Ginger
  • 1 Cup Organic Mango Nectar
  • 1 Large Mango
  • 1 Large Avocado
  • 1 Cup diced peppers (I used a yellow, orange, and red)
  • 1 Cup Cherry or grape tomatoes.  I used multi colored ones.
  • 4-5 cups baby spinach
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup uncooked quinoa

What you do…

  • Put Olive Oil, Garlic, Ginger, and Onion down and mix.
  • Lay Chicken Breasts on top.  Mine were frozen.  I’m sure if they were thawed, they might just be more tender!  BUT…if you don’t have time (as I never do)  you can put them in frozen as an FYI…
  • Pour the cup of Mango nectar (honestly, you could use orange juice too!  It all cooks away…
  • Here’s the odd/specific timing part.  You can totally mess around with this timing depending on when you will be home!  I started this in the morning.  Cooked it on high for 4 hours.   I added the quinoa about 30 minutes before it was done.   Then took the chicken out, chopped it (probably could have shredded it had it been on low for longer!).  I added the chicken back in to soak up a little more juice.
  • While it was still in warming mode, and right before I took it out, I added all the spinach and tossed it around.
  • Then I took it all out and placed it in a bowl to cool for a few hours.
  • Either earlier when it’s cooking or later depending on when you have time.  Dice the mango, avocado, peppers, and tomatoes.
  • Add all the diced fruits and vegetables on top, salt and pepper to taste, and serve!


Believe….I Can Do That.

This has been ingrained in me ever since I was little.  It has helped me accomplish a lot of things in life, simply because…I believed I could do that.  Some of that was because I couldn’t afford to pay someone else to do what I wanted, but once you have that mindset, I truly believe anything is possible… It’s so important to me, that I actually have it tattooed on the inside of my arm.  What better message could I have Maya see on the daily?

I’ve been debating how personal I wanted to make this post.  I try and keep things pretty light and fun, mainly because I want Maya to look back on this, and have a reminder of how much fun we had.  Well…the last 6 months or so have not been light and fun.  It’s been one major thing after another stresswise.  I remember one night, my husband and I were sitting on the couch having a glass of wine and we started laughing at the absurdity of it all.  Like….is THIS it??!!  Have we turned the corner YET??  Well, on a few things, yes.  On some others, not quite yet.

ALL THAT TO SAY…I have not been as healthy as I normally like to be.  Some people don’t eat in times of stress, but that is NOT me!!  I still have been working out 4-5 days a week (hello, stress reliever!!), but if I wasn’t…I’d for sure be 15-20 lbs heavier vs only 5.  I’ve been eating a lot more junk, snacking way more than normal, and drinking more than I should…

Well, I’ve had it.  It’s not the weight so much, because really…I go up and down 5 lbs even when I’m not stressed 🙂  I’m so tired of being exhausted all the time, my stomach not feeling so great, and waking up puffy and bloated… I started thinking about doing a juice cleanse.  I’m not even sure I’d have the willpower to do a full cleanse, but I thought maybe I’d sub in some healthy juice for all the crappy snacking I was doing!  I looked into a few different companies, but started getting overwhelmed with options.

I kid you not.  A few weeks later I was contacted by Suja Juice!  They asked if I’d be interested in trying some of their juices!!  Um, hello universe!!  You sure do work in mysterious ways.  I couldn’t believe the timing!  They were ridiculously generous, and sent me a lot of YUMMY juices to try.  Previously, I’ve always been against drinking juice, because it seemed like empty calories.  I’d rather just eat the fruit!!  BUT…there are so many delicious fruits, vegetables, and nutrients packed into these, that I didn’t feel guilty at all.

SO…I’m determined.  I am going to get my diet and health back on track.  And I don’t mean I’m going on a diet.  I just want to feel good again!  I want to have energy!  I can totally do that!! 🙂

This one, Uber Greens has Uber Greens– cucumber, celery, grapefruit, green chard, green leaf lettuce, lemon, kale, spinach, parsley, peppermint tea & spearmint tea!!  And…it’s only 50 calories!  It was totally refreshing, and I felt great after drinking it. Blog Suja Juice Dit-Elle-1 This one was one of my favorites!!  Twilight Protein.  It’s more like yummy smoothie!!  The added protein is great if you work out, or even if you don’t! 😉Blog Suja Juice Dit-Elle-2I’m not going to list them all…  Truth be told, there was one “Greens” drink that I had to make myself choke down.  Hey…all in the name of honesty, right??  BUT…this Berry Goodness, was just that.  YUM! Blog Suja Juice Dit-Elle-3SO…. I thought I might hold myself more accountable if I put this out there.  I’m determined to get back on track, and I can’t thank Suja Juice enough for giving me some tools to make that happen!!  They didn’t ask me to write this post, and if all the juices had been horrible or gave me a stomach ache, I absolutely wouldn’t be singing their praise!!

I’m still totally new to working juices into my diet, so I’d love to hear from anyone who has done it successfully!!

(all pictures taken with a tripod and remote shutter release by me :))dit-elle-Lauren

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage, Carrots, and Avocado

I don’t know why it took me so long to try spaghetti squash, but now that I have…I’m hooked!!

I won’t lie and tell you that it tastes like pasta, or that you will never crave pasta again, but…it’s a great healthy alternative, and a great way to get your kiddos to eat veggies!

I’m pretty lucky that Maya will eat just about everything.  She will even sit down with a bowl of raw veggies as a snack!  The teenage boys are another matter.  I have to figure out ways to hide veggies in things.  The first few times I made this, I added about half a box of veggie pasta, and they devoured it!!  I made this version when it was just me and Maya.  She devoured it, and I think I might actually try it out on the boys!   Or…add some quinoa?  Really, you can add whatever you want or eat as is!

The avocado adds a creamy healthy fat.  I mean…what isn’t better with avocado on top??!Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-1 Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-2What you need…

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 4-5 Pre-cooked Chicken Sausages (I used True Story Organic Italian Chicken Sausages)
  • 1/2 a large yellow onion (or one small) diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon crushed garlic (not necessary)
  • Large Handful of baby carrots sliced 4 ways lengthwise (use pre-shredded to save time!)
  • 1 Jar of your favorite Pasta Sauce (check labels if you are strict on paleo or whole 30)
  • 1 Large Avocado

What you do…

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  • Cut the ends off your spaghetti squash, cut lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.
  • Place it flesh side down in a pan that has about 1/4 of water.  I like to sprinkle sea salt and thyme in the water, because I swear the squash absorbs some of it!  You could use any kind of herb!  Cover with tin foil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until flesh is soft.
  • While the spaghetti squash is cooking, dice up your onions, and add it to a large pan with a little bit of olive oil and crushed garlic.
  • While the onions are cooking cut up your baby carrots, or add the shredded carrots in after the onions have been cooking for about 5 minutes.
  • While the onions and carrots are cooking, dice up your chicken sausage.
  • Add the chicken sausage into the mix and stir until hot.
  • Add the jar of pasta sauce and let it simmer until the spaghetti squash is done.
  • Once spaghetti squash is done, take it out and let it cool for about 5 minutes.  I usually am too impatient and just hold it with an oven mitt haha 🙂
  • Scrape the insides of the squash out into your pan.  You can get almost ALL the flesh out, leaving only a thin skin.
  • Toss it all together, and top with diced avocado!

Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-3It’s been so cold and blustery here in Seattle.  2 bowls of this, and a cozy blanket just sounded like heaven.  And..it was 🙂 Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-4 Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-5Ps- Don’t be afraid to let your children help you.  Maya wanted to help me stir, and at first I thought about all the different ways she could make a mess-PASTA SAUCE!  Then…I put an apron on her and let her.  Her exact words.

“Oh BOY!  This is AWESOME!!!”

Blog Cooking with Toddlers(taken with my phone)  And the hand behind her back??  LOVE!!!


Healthy Bake at Home Pizza

Some nights pizza just sounds good.  Ok, most nights pizza sounds good haha, but that’s not going to happen… I love trying to make healthy options that our teenage boys will still like.  Do they like it as good as our favorite delivery?  No…but they still chow it down, and I feel good.  Oh, and it’s pretty easy too!blog Costco Healthy Cheese Pizza Aidells Chicken Sausage Peppers Avocado Basil-1Ingredients

  • Pizza crust or ready made frozen cheese pizza of your choice (you can find gluten free options easily now!)  I used Costco’s Frozen Cheese pizza-not greasy at ALL!
  • Aidell’s Chicken Sausage (I used apple), diced.  Amount varies on how many you are feeding.
  • Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Peppers (diced) Amound varies on how many you are feeding.
  • 1 Avocado diced
  • Handful of Basilblog Costco Healthy Cheese Pizza Aidells Chicken Sausage Peppers Avocado Basil-2What to do
  • LOAD the pizza up with the chicken sausage and peppers.  That way, everyone is filling up on healthy stuff!  Cook as per directions.
  • Once cooked, top with avocado and basil and serve it up!

blog Costco Healthy Cheese Pizza Aidells Chicken Sausage Peppers Avocado Basil-3 blog Costco Healthy Cheese Pizza Aidells Chicken Sausage Peppers Avocado Basil-4Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren