Enjoy this one pot, easy prep meal for those busy week night meals!

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Super Easy Slow Cooker Balsamic Brussels Sprouts. The perfect side dish for Thanksgiving!

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If you love lemon you are going to love this Slow Cooker Paleo Chicken Piccata. It was a hit with my family. It was so moist there was no need for a knife.

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Whole Crockpot Chicken

Whole Crockpot Chicken

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken is a great low carb dinner recipe! I put this in my crockpot in the morning and I walked  through the door to such a savory aroma of this chicken cooking when I came home. It smelled amazing and was ready to eat!

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  • 1 boneless pork loin roast (2 to 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and sliced, divided
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional


Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown roast in oil on all sides; cool slightly. With a paring knife, cut about sixteen 3-in.-deep slits in sides of roast; insert one apple slice into each slit.

Place half of the remaining apples in a 4-qt. slow cooker. Place roast over apples. Drizzle with honey; top with onion and remaining apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove pork and apple mixture; keep warm.

Transfer cooking juices to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Serve with pork and apple mixture. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Yield: 6 servings.


1 serving: 290 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 241mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 2g fiber), 29g protein.  Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 fat.


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Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Did you know that some Taco and Fajita seasonings contain wheat?  Not only wheat but silica.  What is silica???   SAND!  Seriously!  SAND!  I don’t know about you, but I like my tacos sand-less.

I decided then and there to make my own taco seasoning from now on.  I mean it is easy enough, I can make it ahead in bulk, and I can tweak it to my families tastes.  It is affordable, and there really isn’t a reason not to.  Hope you enjoy making your own taco seasoning too!


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp corn starch


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Use as you typically would a packet of taco seasoning.
  3. About 3 Tbsp per 1lb ground beef +- depending on your taste.
  4. Multiply the amounts to make this in bulk for future meals.


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Paleo Chili

Paleo Chili

Serves: 4 with leftovers


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning*
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

*skip the store bought stuff -- it's filled with chemicals. Here's the recipe for a homemade version I've been using for a while and love! 

Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon, allowing it to brown. Meanwhile chop your onion, carrots and celery. Season the beef with taco seasoning, stirring so the spices start to sizzle. Once the beef is mostly cooked through, add the veggies, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring the chili to a boil for about a minute, then lower the heat and simmer for about 1-2 hours on low, stirring occasionally. Taste it and add any additional salt and pepper or taco seasoning to suit your taste preferences.

Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt, sour cream, chives, cilantro, cheese, you name it! (This would obviously not be Paleo, ha!)

Go a little further and jump completely off the Paleo bridge by adding a can of kidney beans to this recipe if you like! Let me know how you like this easy dinner!




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Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage

Recipe type: Main

Prep time:  10 mins

Cook time:  5 hours

Total time:  5 hours 10 mins

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 fresh (e.g. uncooked, raw) Italian sausage links (sweet or spicy or a combo is fine)
1 white onion, thinly sliced (not diced!)
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 – 14.5 oz cans organic diced tomatoes
1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water or chicken stock
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
+ 1 tsp Italian seasoning
+ 1/2 tsp kosher salt
+ 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the first round of seasonings directly onto the chicken (Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt).  Don’t mix, just leave it on top.  During the slow cooking process, it seasons the chicken directly for perfect flavor. Lay the fresh (e.g. raw, uncooked) whole sausage links over the seasoned chicken.

Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next.  Then pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot.  Top with the second round of seasonings.  Again, don’t mix this up. I like the way the flavors develop with this style.

Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours.  Not all slow cookers are created equal, so it’s important you have a personal relationship with yours…  Mine tends to be really hot and cooks faster than most recipes call for.  With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that you could make this recipe on low for 7 hours. Worst case is that the chicken will dry out, so if that happens I’m super sorry!

This recipe was destined to partner with spaghetti squash, so don’t fight fate.  Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the guts and roast for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees cut-side down.  When the timer dings, remove from oven and flip them over to cool slightly cut side up.  Use a fork to harvest the strands. Spoon Balsamic Chicken & Sausage over the spaghetti squash and top with a little fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley!


  1. Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Add the first round of seasonings directly onto the chicken (Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt). Don’t mix, just leave it on top. During the slow cooking process, it seasons the chicken directly for perfect flavor.
  3. Lay the fresh (e.g. raw, uncooked) whole sausage links over the seasoned chicken.
  4. Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next.
  5. Pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot.
  6. Top with the second round of seasonings. Again, don’t mix this up. I like the way the flavors develop with this style.
  7. Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours.

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Mushroom Gravy Slow Cooked Rump Roast

Mushroom Gravy Slow Cooked Rump Roast

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Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 8 hours

Total Time 8:05




  • 1-2 lbs beef rump roast
  • 3-4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1-2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 container of mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, canned


  1. Pull out that handy crockpot of yours!
  2. Add in your broth, coconut milk, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and spice to your crock pot and mix together.
  3. Make a little room in your crockpot around the mushroom mix and plop that cute little rump roast in the pot.
  4. Turn on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
  5. Then you eat it!! Holy crap, THAT WAS EASY!!

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2 Ingredient Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

2 Ingredient Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Serving size: 2 wraps

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Protein: 20g


  • 2-4 boneless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup of buffalo sauce (I used Tessemae's)

Optional section

  • ¼ cup chopped red onion (optional)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (optional)
  • 3 baby carrots, diced (optional)
  • Butter lettuce leaves - for your wraps
  • Green onion- garnish


  1. Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker
  2. Top and coat chicken breasts with buffalo sauce
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
  4. Shred chicken with 2 forks
  5. Optional: mix chicken with carrots, onion, and celery
  6. Load up your wrap with chicken and some green onion and avocado
  7. Let's Eat!

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Breakfast Bake with Sausage, Eggs, Spinach, and Mushrooms

Breakfast Bake with Sausage, Eggs, Spinach, and Mushrooms

Prep 15min, cook 32min, servings 8


  • 1 pound breakfast sausage ( or ground turk/bison/beef/chicken) 
  • 3 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • olive oil , as needed
  • 6 green onions , sliced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes , seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
  • 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach , thawed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 eggs

 Breakfast Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble sausage. Add olive oil if necessary.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add remaining vegetables, herbs, and salt and cook about 2 minutes or until slightly softened and well combined. Pour mixture into a 9x13" pan.
  4. Crack eggs into a medium bowl and whisk well. Pour over sausage-vegetable mixture and bake 25-30 minutes or until a knife, inserted in the center, comes out clean.

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This Week's Challenge 09.25.17! Vitamin D!

This Week's Challenge 09.25.17! Vitamin D!

Join us on a weekly challenge and let's start with some Vitamin D!

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Vegan Green Goddess Dressing

Vegan Green Goddess Dressing


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 small - medium avocados
  • 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 1/2 cup scallions (white parts removed)
  • Juice of 1 1/2 small lemons
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. In a food processor, blend together the garlic, avocado, olive oil, and water. Add basil, parsley, chives, and scallions and pulse to blend. Add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt and blend to combine.


Depending on taste, you may want to add more or less of vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. I'd recommend adding a little at a time to your taste preference.

You also may need to add more water to achieve desired consistency.

I purposefully didn't add any sweetener because I like tangy but if it's too tangy for ya, add 1/2 tsp honey or agave nectar.

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The Method to the Madness Behind Functional Training

The Method to the Madness Behind Functional Training

As we received our degrees in Exercise Science, certifications to become Personal Trainers or Doctorate’s degrees to become Physical Therapists, we as health professionals made one promise; DO NO HARM!

Throughout the years of training individuals, and I mean that; everyone is an INDIVIDUAL… I have learned that every BODY is different. For the most part, everyone had a common goal:  weight loss, fat loss, tone, gain strength, increase cardiovascular endurance, feel better, move pain free, etc. Whatever the goal may have been, I still had a job to do; keep everyone SAFE. 


Enter the Functional Movement Screen.

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was introduced to me by my coach when I was slowly getting back into exercise proceeding a lower back injury. He had established a way to keep me safe and get me strong again. 

I knew this tool was GOLD.

I began using this tool in my practice and needless to say, I have had a 100% increase in the results of my clients. Clients experiencing pain, recovering from injuries, hurting themselves in sports and workouts, have all reached out to me in hopes of overcoming their injuries. Of course, all of them had the same concerns:

“Will I ever lift like I used to?” 

“Will I reinjure myself if I do?”

“How do I get back into it without getting hurt?”

Using the FMS as an assessment tool and incorporating the foundational movement patterns of the body, we can create a cohesive, structured and measurable program to assure you stay safe, are making progress and moving towards your goals. 


Warming up

With the results of a Functional Movement Screen, coaches can design a program to assure you safety as the client and rid you of any weaknesses or asymmetries that could cause any future injury, or any past injury to rear its ugly head. Appropriate warm-ups targeting joint mobility, core activation and stabilization are all necessary to assure your body is prepared to start any exercise. 

*** I will say this about warming up. You need to be DELIBERATE. If you are just going through the motions, you are missing the point of a warm-up.


Functional Strength Training

Once a thorough warm-up has been achieved, it is time to put a focus on strengthening the six major movement patterns of the body:  

  • Squat
  • Hip hinge
  • Upper body push
  • Upper body pull
  • Lunge (or single leg)
  • Core 

Using the FMS to establish a road map for programming, we now have a way to measure the clients’ progression without taxing the nervous system too much, or letting them do too little in which no change will occur. The bottom line is to find that sweet spot in which you as the client are making progress weekly, but not overdoing it. A skilled coach can guide anyone through this process. 

Dr. John Rusin, a respected Physical Therapist and Strength and Conditioning Specialist wrote an extraordinary article explaining the benefits of this type of training here:  "6 Foundational Movements that Every Person on Earth Needs to Master

The first 3 to 6 months of strength training for a beginner might be the most important lifting they will ever do. This is where you can create healthy habits, a positive training experience and dial in technique and form. In my opinion, learning and lifting should go hand-in-hand. 

Train smart, work hard and never give up.


By Stacy Torres CPT SFG FMS




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Delicious Green Shake

Delicious Green Shake

1 serving

1 cup of 30 cal almond milk

1-1.5 serving of vanilla whey protein powder

1-2 handfuls of spinach

Juice of two limes ( treat yourself to the real thing...this is what makes it exciting!!)

1/3 avocado or 1T of coconut or flax oil.( if in a hurry spend time on the limes and throw in oil!)


1 cucumber ( with or without skin)

Wild blueberries if post work out

Try it with chocolate if really adventureous

Water to desired consistency ( We like 1 cup +. Remember this will drop the creaminess of the avocado)


Stevia to taste (We use NuStevia vanilla drops)



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How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

Thinking about all you have to appreciate can boost your happiness and your overall sense of well-being, according to psychologists. (It helps explain why Thanksgiving scores so high among American holidays. It's topped only by Christmas, according to one recent poll.)

The Effects of Gratitude Last Longer Than You Think

Feeling and expressing gratitude can make you happy in the moment—just think back to the joy you felt the last time a friend helped you out or your partner cooked a gourmet dinner—and a growing mound of evidence shows that giving thanks can also have a lasting effect on your mood. One study from the University of Pennsylvania found that people who wrote and delivered a heartfelt thank-you letter actually felt happier for a full month after, and the same researchers discovered that writing down three positive events each day for a week kept happiness levels high for up to six months.

Tools for Thankfulness

So how can you cultivate a growing sense of gratitude—and its positive side-benefits—on your own? It turns out that the tools used by psychologists in research studies—namely a gratitude journal and some thank-you notes—are some of the best ones for boosting gratitude both in and out of the lab. By writing down positive things that happen to you and actively acknowledging those who have helped you, you become better at recognizing the good in your life, which naturally helps you feel more grateful and thankful more often. You can also find dozens of fun gratitude activities on Happify!

What Grateful People Have in Common

Of course, the actual goal isn't to have a notebook full of your declarations of gratitude, but rather to make gratitude a default feeling. According to researchers at Eastern Washington University, there are four primary characteristics of grateful people, and these are the ones that thank-you notes and a gratitude journal can help tap, strengthen, and invigorate. People who experience the most gratitude (and therefore the positive effects) tend to:

  • Feel a sense of abundance in their lives
  • Appreciate the contributions of others to their well-being
  • Recognize and enjoy life's small pleasures
  • Acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude

Train Your Brain for Gratitude

Whether or not these attitudes come to you naturally, paying attention to life's positives can train you to see more and more of them, which will help you learn to be more grateful. You might feel blessed that good weather allowed you to get out for an afternoon run, that a stranger lent a helping hand, that you made it to the bus on time, or that your kids offered to do the dishes. Acknowledging these things—on paper, with words, through Happify, or even in your thoughts—will help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude—and with it, a boost in happiness that will last year-round.

Sign up for Happify for activities and games that help you cultivate gratitude every day.

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The Science Behind Gratitude (and How It Can Change Your Life)

The Science Behind Gratitude (and How It Can Change Your Life)

The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. And gratitude doesn't need to be reserved only for momentous occasions: Sure, you might express gratitude after receiving a promotion at work, but you can also be thankful for something as simple as a delicious piece of pie. Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.

You’d think that just one of these findings is compelling enough to motivate an ingrate into action. But if you’re anything like me, this motivation lasts about three days until writing in my gratitude journal every evening loses out to watching stand-up comics on Netflix.

Here are a few keys I’ve discovered—and research supports—that help not only to start a gratitude practice, but to maintain it for the long haul.

Freshen Up Your Thanks

The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude journaling works because it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on. While you might always be thankful for your great family, just writing “I’m grateful for my family” week after week doesn’t keep your brain on alert for fresh grateful moments. Get specific by writing “Today my husband gave me a shoulder rub when he knew I was really stressed” or "My sister invited me over for dinner so I didn't have to cook after a long day." And be sure to stretch yourself beyond the great stuff right in front of you. Opening your eyes to more of the world around you can deeply enhance your gratitude practice. Make a game out of noticing new things each day.

Get Real About Your Gratitude Practice

Being excited about the benefits of gratitude can be a great thing because it gives us the kick we need to start making changes. But if our excitement about sleeping better because of our newfound gratitude keeps us from anticipating how tired we’ll be tomorrow night when we attempt to journal, we’re likely to fumble and lose momentum. When we want to achieve a goal, using the technique of mental contrasting—being optimistic about the benefits of a new habit while also being realistic about how difficult building the habit may be – leads us to exert more effort. Recognize and plan for the obstacles that may get in the way. For instance, if you tend to be exhausted at night, accept that it might not be the best time to focus for a few extra minutes and schedule your gratitude in the morning instead.

Make Thankfulness Fun By Mixing It Up

University of Rochester partners in crime Edward Deci and Richard Ryan study intrinsic motivation, which is the deep desire from within to persist on a task. One of the biggest determinants is autonomy, the ability to do things the way we want. So don’t limit yourself—if journaling is feeling stale, try out new and creative ways to track your grateful moments. (Happify offers an endless variety of gratitude activities to choose from.) My fiancée Michaela decided to create a gratitude jar this year. Any time she experiences a poignant moment of gratitude, she writes it on a piece of paper and puts it in a jar. On New Year’s Eve, she’ll empty the jar and review everything she wrote. When a good thing happens, she now exclaims, “That’s one for the gratitude jar!” It immediately makes the moment more meaningful and keeps us on the lookout for more.

Be Social About Your Gratitude Practice

Our relationships with others are the greatest determinant of our happiness. So it makes sense to think of other people as we build our gratitude. Robert Emmons suggests that focusing our gratitude on people for whom we’re thankful rather than circumstances or material items will enhance the benefits we experience. And while you’re at it, why not include others directly into your expression of gratitude? One Happify activity involves writing a gratitude letter to someone who had an impact on you whom you’ve never properly thanked. You could also share the day’s grateful moments around the dinner table. The conversations that follow may give you even more reasons to give thanks.

Incorporating gratitude into your life is easy—and fun—with Happify's activities and games: Sign up today!

errick Carpenter, MAPP, coaches individuals on living engaged and inspired lives, runs experiential corporate leadership programs, and trains US Army personnel on resilience. He's researched what makes people great in psychology labs at Harvard, Yale, and UPenn, where he received his Master of Applied Positive Psychology.

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Martha Stewart's Greek Chicken Cutlets/Salad.

Martha Stewart's Greek Chicken Cutlets/Salad.

I can't even begin to describe how simple and delicious this dish is. If you like to toil over dinner for hours, move on. Otherwise, try this.

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Zucchini and Fennel Soup

Zucchini and Fennel Soup

3-4 servings





* 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


* 3 zucchini, chopped and peeled


* 1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped


* 1/2 fennel bulb, chopped


* 3 cups chicken stock (low-sodium)


* Salt and pepper, to taste



Heat olive oil in a large skillet or soup pot with zucchini, onion, and chopped fennel.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cook for about 10-15 min.

Add stock, bring to a boil and then simmer until soft.

Put everything in blender and blend. 


Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Mindful Movement to Ease into Sleep

Mindful Movement to Ease into Sleep

A 3-minute bedtime practice from Cara Bradley that stretches and relaxes areas of your body that tighten up during the day, followed by a meditation to settle the mind.

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