Thursday, January 17, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken & Sweet Potatoes and Practicing Good Posture

(*Disclaimer: I wrote this post over a week ago and never got around to posting it. Good news is that I have tried many other new things since writing this and hopefully I will get around to writing about those as well!)

So far 2013 is off to a good start.  Last week I tried a new meal in my crock pot. I have a very large crock pot that seems to cook at a very high temperature even when set on low.  Actually, there seems to be no difference between the low and high setting.  It has been hard to find recipes that are 1) healthy 2) don't burn in my crock pot and 3) I actually enjoy! This one is a keeper!

Crock Pot Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
(you can also do 1 sweet potato and 1 large russet potato... that what I did in these pictures)
1 sweet onion chopped
2 carrots washed and cut into 2 inch chunks
At least 1 large chicken breast
I am sure there are many other things you could add... 

Put all the ingredients in the crockpot.  Then mix 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp curry powder, and 1 tsp garlic powder into one cup of water.  Pour this mixture over the top of everything.  Cook on high for 4 hours. I lifted the chicken out and cut it into chunks but it could also be shredded.

I loved the sweet potatoes.  Everything was perfectly cooked... not to mushy and not too firm. 

In my fight against Occipital Neuralgia one of the many things I have been trying to do is hold my head properly. Like a lot of us I jut my chin forward and carry my shoulders up and forward. This actually shortens the back of my neck and applies pressure at the base of my skull and possibly aggravates the occipital nerves.  All through out the day I am trying to remember to bring my chin down and back and to lift through the crown of my head. I catch myself the most in the car.  
I am also trying to stay aware of this during spin class.  Lifting my chest up (from the front and not the back as I often do), aligning my neck and head and dropping my shoulder blades down and in.  It relieves the pressure at the back of my head and helps me to breathe properly when my heart rate rises.

What do you do through out the day to try and have good posture?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Day Smoothie (Dairy and Gluten Free)

Happy New Year's!!

I have never been one to get excited about New Year's but this year feels different. I am happy to be starting a new year with a tremendous sense of gratitude and filled with hope for the year to come.

I know everyone has their favorite smoothie recipes and there are hundreds on the Internet but I figured I would share mine as well.  It is dairy and gluten free. I have always struggled to eat lunch and I definitely do not eat enough fruits and vegetables so making a smoothie for lunch seems like a good solution!  This recipe makes enough for me with a small bit leftover for my daughter. (Along with the smoothie, I try to eat some meat or humus and these delicious lentil chips for a more substantial lunch)

Mommy Boler's Dairy and Gluten Free Smoothie

1 cup apple juice
Splash of coconut creamer
1/4-1/2 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen... I sometimes do half and half)
4-6 frozen peach slices
3-6 fresh strawberries (Optional... I use them if I have them)
1 banana sliced
1-2 cups spinach
1 tablespoon coconut oil

I usually put the juice, creamer and banana in first.  Then the rest of the fruit and the spinach on top.  Typically, I fill the rest of the blender with spinach. Today I measured and it was almost 2 cups worth.

I have an old blender but it seems to do the job well. I start on low and work my way up through the speeds.

I would like to add more protein to the smoothie but gluten free, dairy free protein powders are expensive!! I am thinking about experimenting with pasteurized raw egg whites.  Brenda at swears by the raw egg whites and I am working up the courage to try them!

I also plan on trying some make ahead oatmeal smoothies with Monica's recipes at  My husband loves the smoothies and keeps asking if we can save them for later or if he can take them with him to drink right after his workout. These make ahead smoothies seem like a great option. I will let you know how they turn out!

What is your favorite smoothie recipe? Do you add extra protein?