Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Garlic Chicken Chili!

From the "just throw this in the crock-pot and forget about it all day" department....


* 1 lb lean ground chicken (or turkey)... remember to look for the words "grass-fed", "antibiotic-free", "no hormones"... and Meijer has a pretty good ground chicken that was less than $5. The brand is Smart Chicken.

* 2 cups beans (I used leftover black and kidney beans, but feel free to use whatever you like. They're best if you take the time to buy dry ones and soak/boil them, but I know how time-consuming that can be. Canned is ok, too- just shoot for organic if you can. Meijer has tons of organic canned beans in their brand, so no excuses!!)

* 1 lg can of chopped tomatoes (again, Meijer has them in organic!)

* 1 green pepper, diced

* 1/2 sweet onion, diced

* 1 cup of your favorite salsa

* 1 whole garlic bulb

* 1/2 cup chopped green onions

* 1 pouch of taco seasoning

* sour cream (optional)


1. Chop up those green peppers and onions!

2. Brown the chicken meat in a frying pan with some extra virgin olive oil. Crush up the garlic and add half the bulb to the pan while you're browning. Once the pink is gone, add the taco seasoning according to pouch's instructions. Set aside.

3. In a large crock-pot, combine the chopped veggies, green onions, the rest of the garlic, the salsa, the tomatoes, the chicken mixture... am I forgetting anything? The beans! Whatever you have on that list up there, put it in the pot. EXCEPT the sour cream. That's for later.

4. Simmer on low for 4 + hours. It's good to sit there pretty much all damn day if you like. This is dinner that takes care of itself!

5. Enjoy with a dallop of sour cream. (Again, organic! Especially dairy- you don't need the extra hormones.)

Don't skip any of those veggies, or the garlic and scallions! Everything in this dish is in here because of it's health benefits. It's full of protein, fiber, lycopene, antioxidants... a heart-healthy, digestive-happy, cancer-fighting super dinner! And it will leave you feeling satisfied. =)

until later...

"Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili." ~ Last words of Kit Carson, American frontiersman (1809-1868)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snack Time!

Here's a yummy afternoon snack or lunch side dish that will satisfy your spiced sweet tooth and give you a boost of protein!

1/2 cup lowfat organic cottage cheese (I say organic, because if you're going to dairy, your estrogen levels will thank you. You should REALLY be buying organic dairy.)
1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce (or one individual serving cup)
1/8 cup unsweetened raisins

Stir together and enjoy instead of an afternoon candy bar! I'm sure you could easily add a fiber to this, but I'm having mine with a sandwich.

until later...

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A quick sound-off...

I don't eat much junk food. Not fast food, not cookies, occasional chips. (I do fall prey to the bowl of chips and salsa, because salsa is my Achilles Heel.) While some people interpret this as "not living life to it's fullest" or something, I just don't believe in that kind of mentality. Why are we brainwashed to think that way? To invest our "feel-good" vibes and heart into something processed to the Nth degree, only to digest it and send it back to whence it came... it doesn't make sense.

Food is just food. It is there to feed your body. It's not there to feed your soul, it's not there to love you back, it's not there to occupy your children while you work on something.

By eating healthy, nutritious foods, I am free. Free to run, if I like. Free from the chains of a 2:30pm sugar-crash. Free to climb up a mountain and see the world, if I like. Free from the guilt that comes from the candy bar you weren't supposed to eat. I am free, because my body embraces healthy foods, knows how to feed my body well with healthy foods.

I am awake, I am healthy, I am alive.

And with that freedom comes a happiness that can only come from one place; your soul.

until later...

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coupons! Coupons! COUPONS!

So, in case you're still convinced that buying organic is too expensive for you.... how about I sweeten the deal?

Here are some links to print coupons for organic foods!

This is a link to coupons for Organic Valley, dairy products/eggs that I know for a fact they sell at Sawall's here in Kalamazoo.

Shop at Meijer? They sell Horizon milk. Answer a few survey questions and you're on your way to some coupons.

The Natural Food List is an all-around good source for information, but they also offer coupons here:

One of my favorite's, Bob's Red Mill, runs monthly specials if you're inclined to order some quinoa or oatmeal or even 13 Bean Soup Mix. They send you a case, or 4 bags, of whatever you order, at a percentage off. (They also sell Bob's Red Mill at Meijer.) Here's a link to the specials this month: (And think about this; at $30 for a case of quinoa, a delicious ancient grain with more protein than rice, a case being four bags? There are 39 servings in ONE bag. That's 156 servings of a side dish. That's pennies a serving, people.)

Have a baby/toddler? Here are some coupons for Earth's Best chlorine-free diapers... baby food... formula...

Lastly, if you want to do some leg-work yourself, the following site has links to a lot of manufacturer's websites. Since most organic foods come from small, family-run farms, you can't usually get coupons at your local supermarket. You have to go online, check the farm's website, and print your coupons. But that's not so hard, is it?

until later...

“A man in love is like a clipped coupon -- it's time to cash in.” - Mae West

Monday, January 10, 2011

Going Green

I'm about halfway through this new-ish Jillian Michaels book called "Master Your Metabolism". I'm finding it both informative and terrifying. And it supports a theory I've been mulling over for some time:

What if the obesity problem, the hyper-activity problem, the adult acne problem, the kids starting their periods at age 10 problem... what if all of these problems (and many more!) stem from the pesticides and chemicals being used to grow our food? What if this army of chemicals is sending the wrong signals to our hormones, mixing them up, causing them to flounder around like a drunk kid outside of Monaco Bay?

Think about it, because it really is common sense. If the human body was built to consume, digest, and process natural, organically-grown foods- how could it know what to do with the abstract things we try to give it as "food"? Red Dye. Corn Syrup. Genetically modified fruit and veggies, grown to be super-huge for super-appetites.

I won't even get into the cleaning products... the plastics we store our food in... the antibiotics we piss right back into the ground and our drinking water... see? Terrifying.

But before you go freaking out (like I did), slow down and take a breath. There are some small changes you can make not just to lose weight, but more importantly, for your HEALTH. Because even if health officials say that the pesticides/antibiotics we use are being used in "safe amounts" on each fruit or vegetable or chicken... if EVERYTHING we eat is covered in garbage, then that is a lot more than a little old safe amount.

BUY ORGANIC. Yes, yes, blah blah blah, it's expensive. I get it. It costs more money than the garbage made with corn, and the garbage covered in pesticides. But think a second of the money you spend going out to eat. Or money you might spend on Diet Coke. Or maybe cigarettes. (By the way, stop smoking.) Point is, if you pulled from some other area into your current food budget, you might find you have more money to work with than you thought. And speaking as someone who has been buying "mostly organic" for some time: I can safely say that if you buy things that are "in season" (and you shouldn't be buying out of season fruit anyway, unless it's in the frozen section, because it loses it's nutritional power), buying organic isn't as expensive as you think. Especially at Meijer.

In a perfect world, we'd all be able to buy organic all the time. (Read "The Organic Manifesto" by Maria Rodale if you want to read about the power chemical companies have over our nation's farmers.) But the world isn't perfect, and organic is growing, but not as readily accessible as we'd like. And maybe you're working on a budget. But there are some things you really should buy organic if you're going to make a switch. And yes, even a little bit helps. Just think of it as one less pesticide going into your body.

So here is a link to an informative slideshow featuring "The Dirty Dozen", 12 foods you should buy organic if you can only afford to buy some organic.

And here is link with some info about "Organic Manifesto" and its author:

And if you want more information on the subject of hormones and how they're affected by what we eat, give "Master Your Metabolism" a read. It's scary, but important.

Buy for yourself. Cook for yourself. Enjoy for yourself. It's your health, and your life.

until later...
"If you build up the soil with organic material, the plants will do just fine." -John Harrison