One pot meals

When it comes to cooking I am a one pot girl so on my weekly meal lists are soups, stews, casseroles, anything cooked in the crock pot makes me extremely elated, or sausage and sauerkraut and I’m a happy camper, oh don’t forget make ahead freezer meals, sign me up!  One pot meals are great for light clean up but that’s not my reasoning behind the convenience it offers I like them because I would rather be outside busying myself with another project than stuck in the kitchen cooking or baking, I’ve never been a fan actually, if someone made the food I would happily do the clean up any day.

These are my go to brands for sausage and sauerkraut: Freybe and Kuhne.

It’s a fact that if you are not good at or do not enjoy something it becomes work, that is the way it is with cooking for me, I slave away in the kitchen to make big meals with a lot of prep and having to stand over the dish to cook or preparing celebration meals that by the time everything is on the table and ready to eat I’m exhausted and I don’t feel like socializing or doing the clean up, I’d rather take a nap!  In the end it’s not a positive experience and I dread special occasions because of it. Having found aag cookbooks has made all things kitchen a lot more doable with some easily made dishes.

Danielle Walker has a nice variety of soups as well and they are hearty and healthy! When healing IBD it is best to eat foods that are cooked or already in a state to easily digest so I stick to eating soup often, they are also easy to make and having leftovers is a bonus! The leftover roast chicken soup with roasted vegetables is my all time favourite, it’s the feature picture I have for this post! I make it twice a month, it freezes well and I eat at it for breakfasts or lunches. I eat proteins before 1:00 pm because my liver doesn’t process it very well so, I try to eat vegetarian for supper and snacks at least 4-5 days out of the week if not more.

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Chicken soup – comfort food!

I’m also a fan of the barbecue, even if I have to do prep, make a sauce or dip to go with the meal, for some reason everything tastes better on the bbq! Try these easy recipes for the grill: grilled flank steak, shrimp skewersLemon Parsley Grilled ZucchiniBlackened Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa and Grilled Artichokes with Rémoulade dipping sauceA few desserts that are one pot are fabulous! Stovetop to Oven Skillet Cobbler and Grilled Figs with Balsamic Glaze and Goat Cheese.

Soups to make and freeze are chicken, bison, venison and beef stock/broth. I actually drink stock from a mug because it’s so soothing and comforting plus I use it in cooking recipes. When I feel symptoms creeping up or when I have a flu I make stock!  You can find Against All Grain’s chicken stock recipe here. Again, makes life easier so I can spend time in the kitchen doing prep but other days all I need to do is pull all the ingredients together, put it on to cook and voila!

chicken-stock

Enjoy!

~Andrea

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Inspiration for health and wellness

Finding inspiration can come from an outside source or from within. For me inspiration can come from music, trees, a colour, a sunset, nature, snow, horses, a movie like Eat, Prey, Love or a child’s perspective. I also get inspiration from books, writing, organizing and socializing. Inspiration can be in plain view but it can also be hidden and you find it as a surprise or in an odd place. It’s a thrill to find, amazing to experience and uniquely yours! Go with the flow, allow yourself to be inspired and enjoy the depth of motivation it gives you. What you get out of this time is your own experience, one that can free you and help aid in healing by avoiding stress, living in the moment, concentrating and being mindful.

Finding your inspiration

Inspiration can be therapeutic in that is can take you away from your problems and submerges you into a state of positive focus. I love the feeling of getting lost in organizing, colouring, baking, gardening; all of these can bring you inspiration. Next time you go on a nature walk take pictures, focus on the green leaf with a rain drop om it or the water falls magnificent height making sure to have the image represent what you felt and saw at that moment.  Make a scrapbook of your walking journey or if you prefer to write, take a journal and write how you felt at that moment you saw a deer and its fawn run into the bush or maybe draw what you saw. Using inspiration as a way to channel anxiety, anger, or resentment by allowing yourself to focus on the positive is a proactive way to change your health and wellness.

Inspiration can be therapeutic in that is can take you away from your problems and submerge you into a state of positive focus.

When inspiration comes from within you will have an open mind, a listening heart, a trusting soul, and a free spirit.  Being a positive being is an amazing characteristic and will take you far in life. When life is difficult and you are faced with uncertainty, find ways to get away from it so that negativity doesn’t take over and rule your life. I avoid conflict, I despise negativity and I’m not defined by family or friends.

I surround myself with like people, I think happy, good, and peaceful thoughts even at the end of a tough day I still say to myself “Life is good!”.  After all I am alive, there could be something worse I have to deal with and when I look at what I have created I know I’ve done my best. In this moment I see a life that is successful, happy, and colourful and I see a person who is strong, brave, enduring and a warrior! Finding inspiration in everything you do and see will free you from negative, weighing and hopeless thoughts. It allows you to be mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Where do you get your inspiration from? What inspires you?

Love, peace & hope ~Andrea

Getting your walk on!

Spring has sprung and I am in walking mode! I can’t wait to accomplish my goals I have set out for the next month and I started this week with a new program. When something isn’t working I’ve learned to revamp, switch up and modify so that I have a goal I can achieve, I like to set myself up for success so that I keep up with my goals. My routine is simple and I’m starting slow and keeping it steady because I want to have progress rather than defeat. I am walking 10 minutes a day this week when I feel good enough to handle it. I am going to focus on how I feel after a walk and go by the way the previous day went in order to predict what will happen the next day. I think that if I do it this way I will be able to increase my length of time each week.

I am feeling good enough to walk more than two days a week so I ditched my old goal of walking 20 minutes twice a week which wasn’t working because I was taking three days to recover. I figured that was too much for my body right now and to minimize the amount of time may be the solution, I hope baby steps will give me success.I want to work at the amount of time I walk each day first that way I can walk at what ever pace I can handle that day and gradually increase as I go. So far this is working as I don’t have to recover the next day, I feel good and I’m right back out there walking for 10 minutes the next day! I looked online and found some facts about walking and hope they help you in getting your walk on!

Mind, Body & Soul

  • walking one mile a day burns 100 calories. You could lose ten pounds in a year without changing your eating habits.
  • experts agree, walk 6,000 steps a day to improve your health, and 10,000 to lose weight.
  • increases the blood flow to the brain

Fun tips:

  1. if you have to make a schedule do so, that way you are getting outside and moving each day.
  2. if it helps set a goal or goals, always make your goals doable, set yourself up for success.
  3. buy a pedometer to log your miles; one mile is about 2,000 steps, or a 20-minute walk
  4. get in the groove; download your favourite songs and make a play list.
  5. walk up hill: by walking up and down hills, you should start to notice results almost immediately. For starters, hill walking helps strengthen the muscles in your legs. Your muscles will gain tone and definition quicker. Helps get your entire body into better shape. Unlike regular walking, your heart rate will go up when you walk on hills because your body will need to work harder to do it. This will get oxygen flowing through your body more quickly and help you build up more stamina.

Enjoy your time walking whether it’s waking alone or with family or friends, where you walk makes a difference too. I was having a hard time because of safety and wild animals in the area so I found a great place in town that has many different paths for great inspiration and scenic trails to mix it up. There are many different resources online to plan a program, stats, tips and tricks to get motivated, and all the benefits that walking has on your well being. When I get into the rhythm of walking it is the best feeling there is, the rhythm of walking and the breath frees my mind of clutter, helps me reconnect with myself and promotes creativity.

Photos courtesy of Barbara Gavin MacInnes & Tessa MacInnes

Happy trails! ~Andrea