Chicken, Veggie and Bean Soup

During the colder winter months, our body craves warmer, heartier meals.  Dishes that nourish the body but also feel cozy and heartfelt.  Soups and stews are often my go-to dishes throughout the winter season.  I love breaking out the crockpot or stock pot and throwing ingredients together to create a simple and delicious meal.

When deciding on dinner last night, I wanted something that supports the seasonal detox I’m doing right now.  Including foods that support detoxification and gut health, include farm to table ingredients, provide tons of flavor and those that help me feel nourished.

This soup can be prepared as the recipes shows, but there are many ways you can make adjustments.  You can choose different vegetables, beans, meats and spices.  I love cooking with fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and others that support detoxification and the removal of heavy metals.

Since this is the time of year when many want to detox from the holidays or work on new goals, I recommend sticking to fresh, organic (if possible) ingredients.  To learn more about EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen (great for shopping): Dirty Dozen  Clean Fifteen

 

 

Chicken, Veggie and Bean Soup

 

ingredients:

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 large carrots, chopped

4 celery ribs, chopped

4 chicken breasts, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 tablespoon all-purpose or herb seasoning (salt-free)

2 15-ounce cans adzuki beans, drained and rinsed (or other beans of choice)

4 cups vegetable broth

1 bunch spinach or kale

Handful of fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, cilantro, thyme, etc)

Optional: Microgreens for garnish, flavor and health benefits (I used borage)

NOTE: Local Microgreen Source (available all year): Maryland Microgreens

Directions:

Place a large soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Add oil,  onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté for about 3 minutes.  Add chopped chicken, salt, pepper, seasoning, beans, and vegetable broth. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat.

Check the pot every 10 minutes to ensure that there is sufficient liquid in the pot. If you need more liquid, add about ¼ cup of water or broth at a time.  Add leafy greens (such as kale or spinach) until wilted.

If desired, add in chopped fresh herbs and combine.  Serve and enjoy warm.

NOTE: If you’re like me and prep food to make meals simple and easy, this is a great recipe to double or triple and store.  I recommend storing this dish in glass containers or mason jars for later use.

 

I would love to hear your soup combination of choice.  i welcome you to comment below or message me. if you’re considering a reset or detox this season, i welcome you to see what i’m doing for improved health and wellbeing. more info here: Nourished In The New Year

CheerS to Health and Happiness in 2020!

XOXO,

KIM

New Year Goals

Setting New Goals In the New Year

Happy New Year, Beauties!  I hope your 2020 is off to a fantastic start! We are officially in the first full week of the New Year!  Have you set your goals for this year?

As 2020 welcomes us, so does the possibility of the New You. It is an unavoidable hope that the New Year will bring a clean slate for us to write our lives the way we want it to be. It is a beautiful belief to hold, that we will regenerate and rebuild as the year starts again. So, we inevitably set standards for ourselves to meet, a version of ourselves that becomes our new inspiration. We try and try again each year but often we find ourselves falling short of the person we set out to become with full conviction on New Year’s Eve.

So, what is it that we do wrong that we become stuck in a cycle of unfulfilled resolutions and goals? Maybe it is the goals themselves. Let us look at practices that may make rewriting ourselves entirely this year a little more manageable.

Listen to Yourself

We find ourselves, often, trying to live up to become the version of ourselves that has been sponsored by someone else’s opinions and validations. It is time to quiet down the voices in your head that are not your own. Try to listen to what it is that your heart is saying. If you find yourself in the same sort of situations, maybe you are short-tempered again, maybe you skip breakfast and you are exhausted again in the span of a few hours.  Whatever it may be, it will be a familiar kind of distress. For situations like those, the answer usually lies within. Shut everything else out and listen to what your body and mind are asking for. Those goals are the ones you will want to commit to.

Unburden Yourself

The weight you really should commit to losing this year is the one you have been carrying on your conscience and heart. Forgiveness is the universal key to feeling lighter. When it comes to holding grudges about what other people have done, it burns you from the inside out. Although there is no success formula for forgiving others, you can start by acknowledging that it is okay to let it go.

However, forgiveness is not limited to others. There are things weighing down on your conscience too. Forgiving yourself is definitely more complex, but a good place to start this year is by accepting that you are only human – with flaws, vulnerabilities, and limits.

Accepting You Are Human

Start out this year by accepting the human part of you. Do this by making your goals human, too. Set out small goals and reward yourself for whatever extent of your goals you can accomplish.  This will give you the sense of accomplishment you need to be motivated to complete your resolutions. Set goals that are broad such as “meditation in times of anxiety” instead of “yoga everyday”. This will allow you to feel liberated within the goals you set for yourself.

Also, make your goals about accepting weaknesses. When you acknowledge what you cannot do, your narrative turns from self-deprecating to self-motivating.

Practice Gratitude Like a Habit

The most important goal for this year should be gratitude. Perception is the key to determining everything, while you may be suffering between a rock and a hard place.  Your outlook upon life may change your entire approach to it. Gratitude transforms the mundane into the surreal.  You will realize what gold you witness every day. Every day of the New Year will start feeling like a fresh start.  The things that have been routine for ages will start feeling novel. When you practice gratitude like a habit, you can motivate yourself to complete all the other goals you set out for yourself too.

I begin and end each day with gratitude.  Every morning, when I work on my goals, growth and spirituality, I include gratitude.  Writing down 10 things I am grateful for every single morning.  It’s made a huge impact in many areas of my life.

Your Mind and Body Go Hand in Hand

It is not only for the health freaks to look after what your body is saying you need. Whether it is breakfast at least 3 days a week or a complete cycle of sleep at a reasonable hour, this is what is going to make your year shine. Your body houses your mind and it is up to you to make it a happy home. Set goals for your health which are manageable: hydrate, take a walk or some form of movement, have some greens, soak in the sun, implement stress-management tools, get some rest. When things may not be looking up for your state of mind, your body can always be given a boost with a little care and concern.

find an accountability partner

When it comes to setting goals, you may find a greater amount of success achieving them by locking arms with an accountability partner.  Someone to keep you accountable  can come in many forms.  Ask a co-worker to team up and support one another while working on some career or business goals.  Grab a girlfriend and join a fitness class or hold one another accountable at the gym.  Ask your spouse or significant other to help you stay accountable on goals you (or the both of you) have.  Hire a coach.  Investing in a coach can help you find attentional support and accountability for success.

What goals are you setting for this year?  I would love to hear!

If you’re feeling the need for additional support or a system for success, I welcome you to book a FREE Discovery Session with me.  I would love to hear your goals for the year and discuss how I can support you.  I welcome you to reach out to me here…  Let’s Chat!

Cheers to a healthy, happy and successful year!

XOXO,

Kim

 

Winter Squash

Healthy Changes to Your Winter Nutrition

As the temperature drops, our nutritional needs change. Except for winter-sports enthusiasts, people become less physically active. After all, when it’s cold and snowy outside, even a trip to a neighborhood grocery store is a daunting task. With the advent of cold and flu season, staying healthy takes a bit more effort. What’s more, nutrition-packed fruits and vegetables that were plentiful during the summer may be in short supply—and take a bigger chunk out of our wallets.

However, there are many delicious and affordable ways to ensure proper nutrition during the dark days of winter. These tips will help you maintain optimum health and please your palate at the same time.

Go for Beans

There are many varieties of legumes, including garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), lentils, lima beans, and pinto beans. These hearty foods have something in common: they are fiber and protein powerhouses. Beans can be added to stews and soups, served in salads, and cooked and eaten by themselves. To reduce gassiness, soak them in water for six to eight hours and rinse before preparing.

With the cold season in full swing, it’s a perfect time for chili.  Load up on the beans when cooking up your favorite chili.  This is a great stew recipe too!  Add whatever beans you enjoy.  Healthy and Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Try Some Spuds

Potatoes have an undeserved bad reputation for their starch content. However, they are chock full of vital nutrients. One potato provides hefty amounts of immunity-boosting vitamins B6 and C (29% and 25% of the recommended daily allowance of each). Fiber—4 grams in an average-size potato—and folate, essential for the proper development of unborn babies, are added bonuses. Purple potatoes are great sources of anthocyanins, antioxidants with a variety of benefits ranging from keeping heart disease at bay to reducing inflammation. Adding carrots, parsnips, turnips, and other roots vegetables to mashed potatoes is a delicious way to include vegetables in a wintertime dish.

Talk Turkey

This bird is not for Thanksgiving only. Low in calories and high in protein, it’s a natural in sandwiches, soup, salads, stir-fry, and by itself.

Include Winter Squash

Spaghetti, acorn, and butternut are only a few types of this colorful, tasty, nutritious vegetable. Winter squash is low-calorie and rich in fiber, vitamin A, folic acid, and vitamin C. Acorn squash also has 30% of the RDA of vitamin B1, 25% of B6, and 31% of magnesium. And butternut squash is a powerhouse of vitamins A and C: 179% and 31% of their respective daily requirements. Leave off the butter and syrup and try a little ghee, applesauce, maple syrup, brown sugar, or cinnamon.

Recipe: Simple Spaghetti Squash

Add Some Greens and Reds

Chard, collards, and kale flourish in winter.  The frosty weather can reduce kale’s bitter taste. With healthy amounts of vitamins C, A, and K—and plenty of folate in escarole, mustard greens, and collards—leafy greens can keep people’s immune systems in good shape. Red cabbage, a cousin of kale, contains few calories and lots of vitamin A, plus zeaxanthin and lutein, phytochemicals so important for eye health as people age.

Don’t Forget Fruit

Citrus fruit is loaded with vitamin C. Grapefruit, oranges, and their cousins are also excellent sources of all-important flavonoids. Hesperidin, the dominant flavonoid in citrus fruit, is known to raise HDL cholesterol (the good kind), reduce LDL cholesterol, and lower triglyceride levels. And if you have not yet tried pomegranate juice, you may want to add it to your daily regimen. It contains more antioxidants than any other kind. Studies show that pomegranate juice may help prevent free radicals from doing damage—and increase the flow of blood to the heart in patients whose tickers do not receive sufficient oxygen because of blocked arteries.

By adding these good-tasting and nutritious foods to the menu, you can ensure that you and your family will weather the chilly season. Enjoy!
P.S. If you’re looking for some delicious and healthy recipes for your holiday meals, I welcome you to check out my Healthy Holiday Guide
do you feel like you’re struggling with your nutrition and health goals this time of the year? let’s connect and schedule a free discovery session. click on the contact button here.  i look forward to talking with you soon. Contact

XOXO,

Kim

holiday

Top Tips for Staying Happy and Healthy During the Holidays

Holiday cheer and this time of the year is often filled with celebration, friends, family and togetherness.  It’s also filled with long “to-do” lists, stress, toxicity and unhealthy food.  Instead of adding additional physical and emotional stress to your plate, try some of these tips for a happier and healthier holiday season.

Give Yourself the Gift of Balance

What I’m proposing is a complete mindset shift around how you honor your body and your self-care needs during the holiday season. This is a time for giving, so how about you give yourself a gift that’s going to nourish you beyond the 10-minute sugar rush of that wretchedly unhealthy fruit cake your aunt likes to make.

Be mindful and intentional with your food choices

There is nothing wrong with enjoying good food during the holiday season.  You will have plenty of opportunities between the parties, work events and gatherings with friends and family.  With that being said, this should not be an opportunity to sabotage your goals and health between now and the New Year.  If you find yourself grabbing junk food or guzzling down extra alcohol, ask yourself how you’re feeling.  Are you stressed?  Depressed? Anxious?  Emotions play a huge role in our food (and alcohol) choices.  Being in tune with your mindset, feelings and intentions will play a large part in your choices.

If you know you have an upcoming event, make sure you eat something healthy and satisfying before you head out.  While at your event or party, enjoy a little bit of something you’re craving or wanting to try and fill the rest of your plate with lean protein and veggies.  You don’t have to feel deprived this holiday season, but don’t overdo it either.

Stay Active

Exercise is very important during the holiday season.  Have you heard “endorphin’s make you happy?”  It’s true!  Not only is it important to get that booty moving when it’s cold outside (and year round), but it helps with your mood too!  This is a great time to join a gym, start a new fitness class or find some new gal pals for accountability.  Are you more of the “outdoorsy” type?  Grab your skis or ice skates and bundle up for a fun event.  There are many options (indoors and outdoors) this holiday season.  Find what makes you happy and get others involved.  Whatever you choose, keep it moving!

 Find Time for Rest

Yes, exercise and movement  is important but so is rest!  Especially during the busy holiday season.  Your body needs it!!!  Not only will you feel more refreshed, but it will help with your stress levels and keep you from making poor choices.  If you’re finding it difficult to manage a rest and sleep schedule, you may need to make some changes in your routine.  Sleep should be a priority; especially this time of the year.  Try going to bed and waking up around the same time.  Limit your television and technology viewing a few hours before bed.  Relax in a hot bath with some lavender and other oils.  Grabbing a good book and cup of tea helps in the evening too.  Again, find what works for you and make it a priority.  Rest is not something that should be negotiable any time of year.

 Bump Up the Self Care

If you’re one of my clients or follow me on social media, you know how much I stress Self Care.  This is something I had to learn the hard way but it’s something I make a priority in my own lifestyle.  Especially during the busy holiday season.  Why?  Because it’s SO important!

Women are the first ones to put themselves last!  If you resonate with this statement, then you may need to ask yourself how much you’re adding self care into your lifestyle.  A hot epsom salt bath, massage, yoga class or new outfit can make a huge difference.  You’re not being selfish!  You’re taking care of you and in turn, will benefit so many around you.  When the holiday season is stressful and you’re feeling run down, bump up the self care.  It’s good for the body and mind!

set boundaries

Talk to your family and friends and explain that you’ll be doing things differently this year.  Share with them that just because it’s the holidays, it doesn’t mean you’re going to settle for nutritionally deprived foods that take more than they give your body.  Explain that you’ll be creating some healthy delicious options and offer to share with them, it is the holidays, after all!

Beware of Toxic People 

The holidays can bring upon stress when it comes to gatherings with friends and family.  We often hear about “tolerating” someone for an event or evening.  You may feel uncomfortable being around a group of friends or family members.  Whatever the case, choose wisely.  Ask yourself if the stress, anxiety and frustration is worth it.  I am not saying to isolate yourself from your family and friends, but choose what makes you happy and feel healthy.  Maintaining distance and setting limitations may better serve you.  You should surround yourself with those who light you up and make you happy.

exercise your creativity in the kitchen 

Try new and exciting recipes. Splurge and buy expensive superfoods, interesting fresh fruits and vegetables that you don’t always get, nuts and seeds and truffled extra-virgin olive oil.  I’ve become a huge fan of speciality oils and balsamic vinegars.  I love the incredible flavors and I enjoy cooking more when I use specialty ingredients.  If you’re looking to save money on Superfoods, I recommend Amazon and stores like Home Goods and Marshalls.

Healthy food can be totally gourmet and special too. Make your own homemade chocolate with mint leaves and stevia for sweetness. Adorn your salads with pomegranates and walnuts.  Go out of your comfort zone and see what healthy meals you can whip up with some new ingredients.

If you’re looking for a SWEET and healthier treat, I welcome you to check out my favorite recipe to share with friends and family during the holidays.  Not only is this Bark super easy to make but it’s enjoyed by many!  It stores well, looks adorable in a treat bag and is enjoyed just as much when frozen or refrigerated.  

RECIPE:

Dark Chocolate Coconut and Cranberry Bark

I hope you found some value in these tips.  Even though they are all important, incorporating a few of them can make a huge difference in your holiday season.  This time of the year passes so quickly, so I encourage you to make it a magical, happy time.
Your health and happiness should be a huge priority!  You don’t have to wait until the New Year to get started!  

P.S. i’m sharing additional tips, tricks and tons of recipes in my healthy holiday survival guide. for additional details or to purchase a copy, click here: Healthy Holiday Guide

 

from my home to yours, happy holidays!!!

XOXO,

Kim

Happiness

Daily Practices for Increased Happiness

It’s the holiday season and a time when we embrace and exude gratitude, thankfulness, happiness and joy.  This may be the case for many but it’s also a time of stress, frustrations, negativity, loneliness and struggle.

I’ve always loved the holidays but especially so as a child.  Do you remember those joyful feelings when you were little?  The excitement and energy!

When I became a police officer, I saw a different side of the holidays.  I saw hardships, unhealthy relationships, struggles and sadness.  It took a strong mindset to keep that feeling of joy and gratitude.  It was through those experiences and my own struggles that I worked on my own health and happiness.  Discovering new joys and blessings.  Gratitude like I’ve never felt before, yet it took work, personal development and growth.

Finding something to be happy about just once a day can be difficult. Finding something to be happy about so that you are a happier person overall can seem almost impossible. If you are finding yourself in this situation, you may be wondering how to get out of it so you have less stress and anxiety as well as increasing your happiness and getting to a better place in your life. Here are some daily practices that can help you be a happier person.  Especially during the holiday season.

Gratitude Journal

One way to become a happier person, through mindfulness and daily practice, is to start a gratitude journal. You do not need a full journal to do this. In fact, you can use your daily planner or online planner for this. You can even use social media. The key point to this daily practice is to find at least one thing a day you are thankful for or have gratitude for. This can be anything. Let’s face it, we all have bad days. It is finding the good in that bad day that helps us become happier. So, it can be anything from having a great cup of coffee that morning to being happy the day is over so you can start fresh the next day. The point is to recognize the happiness or good and note it.

Every morning I start my day with gratitude, growth and goals.  This daily routine has been a game changer for me.  Start your day listing 1, 5 or 10 things that you’re grateful for.  Like I said, it can be the simplest things.  I recommend sticking to this routine daily.  You can choose to list your gratitudes in the morning, at night or both.  Notice the shift in how it makes you feel and be mindful of your thoughts and feelings around it.

Reducing for Charity

Reducing for charity may seem like an odd endeavor as a daily practice, but it is something that can be very fulfilling for both parties. The idea here is to remove something from your life each day or week that you do not need. This can be anything from a toy your child no longer plays with or has outgrown to an extra set of dishes you really don’t need. Place these items in a box and at the end of the week or month and give the box to charity. These items are no longer cluttering your day and causing a storage issue, and you are helping someone else who may want or need them.  The happiness comes in when you find the joy in either getting the items out of your house or seeing that they can bring joy to someone else through your charity.

Breath Walking

Breath walking may be something that is new to you, but it can make you a happier person. The concept here is to go on a walk in nature each day for a few minutes or more. Just get away from everything. Step out into nature with no electronics. Now this doesn’t mean to go out with no way of contacting anyone in an emergency. It simply means to turn off distractions and phones and just walk. Concentrate on your breath as you move and walk and work to calm it. Notice the sounds and nature around you, and let go of the stress of the day through your breathing. You will find yourself healthier and happier at the end of the walk and as the walks progress, you may find yourself more adapted to handling your daily stress as well.

Meditation

Meditation is a great way to slow down, relax and fill your happiness tank.  There are different forms of meditation, so discover which one works best for you and build on it.  There are guided meditations, quiet time alone, breath work, listening to quiet music while relaxing your mind and just being still.  Many have discovered that clarity, calmness and fulfillment come from meditation.  When we calm the body and mind, amazing things happen.

Be the Reason Someone Smiles

This is something my father taught me as a young girl.  It’s something I’ve carried with me through the years and something I exercise daily.  Be the reason someone smiles today- and everyday!  Whether you open the door for a stranger, say hello to someone walking down the street or engage a joyful conversation with someone in the grocery checkout line.  Engage with others, smile, exude your happiness and joy.  Whatever works for you… discover it and do it some more.

I’ve discovered many ways to encourage others to smile and it not only brightens someone else’s day, but it fills my gratitude, joy and happiness tank.  So, be the reason someone smiles today. 😁

As you start adding these daily practices into your life, you will start seeing a change for the better and seeing yourself becoming happier. Remember, start slow and discover what works best for you. It’s all about letting the process develop in your life at your own pace.

From my home to yours, blessing and best wishes for a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season!

XOXO,

Kim