If you follow me on social media, you may find that I post things about health & fitness quite a bit--because I'm very passionate about it. There are so many aspects of my health & fitness journey that not many people are aware of--let's just say, I've been through a lot and I'm thankful God has seen me through those challenges. I'm a work in progress and I definitely don't have it all figured out. But for anyone who thinks I've always been in great health/great shape/and always on top of my health & fitness game...I'm just gonna drop this right here :).
I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant with Trey. I remember getting on the scale after I had him thinking "Wow! I have a lot of work to do." But the worst part was, I was unhealthy & didn't FEEL good. Instead of accepting defeat and a life of sluggishness, I set goals--big ones and little ones and then I focused on crushing those goals.
Little by little, my weight started to go down and my body started to heal itself. In total, I lost almost 80 pounds! But the best part is: I regained my health!!
In the pictures, you can only see the outward transformation, but I experienced a transformation from the inside out. And that will ALWAYS mean more to me than what the scale says--any day! Healthy is the new skinny!
Have you ever considered reducing your red meat intake? Research reveals that doing so may prolong your life.
A study from Harvard School of Public Health found an association with red meat consumption and increased risk of a shortened lifespan. Eating healthier protein sources such as fish, poultry, nuts, and legumes was associated with a lower risk of mortality. “We know processed red meat like hot dogs and salami are the worst,” says Larry Santora, MD, medical director of the Dick Butkus Center for Cardiovascular Wellness, Saint Joseph Hospital, Orange, California. The cause is not clear, but it may be in the preparation, since charring meat increases toxins (nitrosamines) that can lead to cancer of the stomach, says Dr. Santora. Adopting a whole food plant-based diet is the one nutritional regimen that has been scientifically proven to prevent and even reverse chronic illness.
In 2015, I started eating a plant-based diet and it improved my health dramatically. Although I'm not currently eating a 'strictly' plant-based diet, the majority of the meals I consume are plant-based & I love to cook healthy, plant-based meals at home that I know my family will enjoy. And to make it easier, I especially love using my slow cooker.
Regardless of how full your daily schedule is, you can always enjoy healthy meals with the help of a slow cooker! You will never get bored with them and all you have to do is throw together the ingredients in the pot, put it on the right settings and leave it alone while you go about your day. Here are seven great plant-based/vegan slow cooker cookbooks you can use to get you started or keep you going on your plant-based/vegan journey. You don’t have to waste endless hours in your kitchen, to enjoy wholesome meals. Try one (or more) of these cookbooks and begin to feel relaxed and confident that you’re moving rapidly towards your best health and body ever!
No matter which cookbook you decide to try, I'm excited for you to discover simple slow cooker recipes that will put your plant-based/vegan diet & lifestyle on autopilot!
Did you know that broccoli is at its best from late summer to early winter? It’s great raw, steamed, roasted, or even baked into frittatas and other savory dishes. Researchers have found that it has a positive impact on the body’s detoxification system, thanks to some of its phytonutrients and its high combination of vitamin K and vitamin A helps keep your body in balance when it comes to metabolizing vitamin D.
You can prepare this Spinach and Broccoli Strata the night before and let it rest in the fridge. Then, all you need to do in the morning is pop it in the oven to bake (this may increase the baking time). This recipe makes a large portion (serves eight), so feel free to refrigerate any extras to enjoy the next day.
Total Time: 1 hr. 7 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 53 min.
Yield: 8 servings
4 cups broccoli florets
4 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk
2 cups raw spinach, chopped
½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt) HERE is what I use
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
8 slices low-sodium sprouted whole grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 1½ oz.)
1. Boil water in steamer or large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high. Place broccoli in steamer basket; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender-crisp and bright green. Place in ice water bath to stop cooking process. Drain and coarsely chop. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350º F.
3. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.
4. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
5. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Set aside.
6. Combine eggs, milk, spinach, salt, pepper, broccoli, and onion mixture in a large bowl; mix well.
7. Place bread and cheese in 3-quart baking dish that has been lightly coated with spray.
8. Top with egg mixture. Press down gently so that bread absorbs egg mixture. Cover with aluminum foil.
9. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until strata has puffed up, is cooked through, and is lightly browned on top.
Tip: Strata can be covered and refrigerated overnight before baking. (This may increase baking time.) This works well if you are serving it for brunch.
Recipe from teambeachbody.com
I'm Kirsten and I LOVE to travel and I LOVE fitness. But I know what it's like to let the excitement of travel throw my off of my health & fitness goals. I'm here to provide tips on how to stay healthy & fit when you travel!