Crockpot Chili

Crockpot of chili
  • 2 pounds 97% lean ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs cumin, or to taste
  • 1-1/2 Tbs chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes (no sugar)
Light coals in grill. While coals are setting (30-45 minutes), form ground beef into large patties.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot, and add freshly ground black pepper.
Add bell pepper and saute 5-7 minutes. Turn heat off and stir in minced garlic.
Grill patties over coals until medium rare, no more than 5 minutes on each side.
Turn heat on high on crockpot, and place patties in with garlic, oil, and pepper mixture.
Break up patties into small pieces with spatula and brown meat thoroughly. Add tomatoes.
Mash and break up tomatoes with spatula.
Add enough water to cover all ingredients, reduce heat to low, and let simmer 2 hours or more.



2-3 lb. lean chuck roast

¼ C. Braggs Aminos

2 C. water with bullion cubes (no sugar)

1 T. Dijon mustard (no sugar

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. minced garlic

Sea salt and pepper to taste


Place water and bullion into the crockpot first, add onion powder, mustard, braggs aminos, garlic, salt and pepper.  Stir well make sure all ingredients are mixed well together then add the lean roast make sure the liquid covers the roast completely. Cover and Cook for 7-8 hours.




3 to 4 lb. Pork Loin Boneless Center Cut Roast

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. dried oregano leaves

½ tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 ½ C. Vegetable better then bullion make according to directions for desired amount

Directions:  In a small mixing bowl combine, garlic powder, cumin, salt, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon mix well.  Then take those and rub them on the pork roast coating inter roast, best if done with hands and not utensils.  Place in Slow Cooker or crockpot and pour bullion in making sure to not pour directly on roast.  Cook low for 8-10 hours high cook for 4-6 hours.

Crockpot Curried Chicken


1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breast, Cubed

2 tsp coconut extract

1 1/2 cups water

1-2 TBS Better then Bullion chicken

2-4 TBS dried onions

1 TBS curry powder, make sure its 0-0-0

1 TBS turmeric

1-2 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated

2 tsp crushed garlic

1 cup red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1/2 tsp sea salt

Cayenne pepper to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place everything in a crockpot and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours. Stir occasionally to break up meat (it will want to stick together). Serve over cauliflower rice or add other veggies in and eat as is.

The Five Major Metabolic Factors That Will Help You Lose Weight

If you are trying to lose weight without learning what the most important parts of your metabolism and health in general, you’re going to have a really hard time releasing stubborn body fat.

I cringe every time I read a diet book suggesting you should lower your calories, exercise more, eat fat-free, or take the latest metabolism boosting supplement.

Your body is a temple and temple’s are started with a SOLID foundation. If you neglect your foundation and try to lose weight, your temple/body will come crumbling down (i.e. you’ll gain more weight).

Learning how the 5 major metabolic factors responsible for your ability to burn fat off your body will help you not only assess your current foundation, but will help you build it up from the ground up.

Your Metabolism is controlled by 5 equally important parts:

  • Your Liver – The main detoxification organ. The liver is responsible for ¾ of your thyroid hormone production.
  • Your Adrenals – Your stress glands. The adrenal glands regulate steroid hormones (for fat loss) and stress hormones helping balance your metabolism.
  • Your Thyroid – Your master metabolism gland controls your body temperature, metabolism functions, and ability to burn fat.
  • Your Muscle – The only metabolically active tissue in the body, helps burn fat, regulate blood glucose, and support an elevated metabolism.
  • Your Body – The product of the 4 previous metabolism factors. Your body is either functioning optimally or is in a state of dis-ease.

How Your Liver Affects Your Metabolism

Your liver is responsible for over 600 metabolic functions. When your liver becomes overburdened with toxins, processed foods, medicines, alcohol, sugar, stress hormones, etc…it goes into survival mode.

You want your liver in thriving mode where it filters out environmental toxins, excessive stress hormones, helps assimilate nutrients and minerals, aides in digestion and blood sugar control, and helps process your macronutrients (fats, carbs, and proteins) efficiently, and controls over 70% of your thyroid function, helping you keep an elevated body temperature and metabolism.

When your liver goes from thriving mode to survival mode, metabolic problems soon follow. Like:

  • Weight gain on the hips and thighs
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Skin issues, moodiness, depression
  • Low energy, unstable blood sugar, sleep disturbances
  • Inability to lose weight or maintain an elevated metabolic rate

If you want to ensure a healthy metabolism and elevated fat-burning potential you will need to commit to supporting your liver for the rest of your life. Commit to eliminating the top inflammatory foods, processed foods, stimulants, and more.

The sky is the limits for your health, fat loss, and metabolism results.

How Your Adrenal Glands Affect Your Metabolism

Your adrenal glands play a major part in maintaining a healthy metabolism. The hormones your adrenal glands secrete and regulate can either help you balance your hormones in favor of a high metabolism or they can have the opposite effect.

Your habits, food choices, exercise, and lifestyle determine how your adrenal glands behave.

Cortisol regulates glucose, fat, and proteins and helps keep the body’s metabolism in check. Cortisol is important in regulating blood pressure. It also plays a role in controlling inflammation.

Catecholamines, such as adrenaline, cause the “fight or flight” response. They also help mobilize sources of energy, since energy is needed in coping with stressful situations.

What can cause dysfunctional adrenal glands? Unfortunately, a lot of things: mental/emotional stress, food sensitivities, blood sugar imbalances, infections (i.e. parasitic, bacterial), excessive exercise… basically anything that is a perceived stress on the body.

If you’re concerned about your adrenal glands, the first thing you must to is remove or address the source of stress. This may mean removing food sensitivities, addressing an infection, resolving mental/emotional stress, or whatever it may be that is negatively impacting adrenal gland physiology.

How Your Thyroid Affects Your Metabolism

As you may remember from school, your thyroid is your “master metabolism gland.”

Thyroid hormones act on almost every kind of cell in your body to increase cellular activity or metabolism. If there is too much or too little thyroid hormone, the metabolism of your entire body is impacted.

Because the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 control cellular metabolism throughout the body, when there is not enough of them for any reason, this metabolic function slows and becomes impaired.

Since the thyroid gland regulates metabolism, there is a strong correlation between thyroid disease and weight. Weight gain is more severe in people with hypothyroidism due to an excess accumulation of salt and water; weight loss is common in people who have hyperthyroidism.

Though it seems that thyroid hormones could be an easy cure-all for weight control, the use of the hormone would also cause loss of muscle protein, which would be detrimental to a person’s overall health.

Here’s how to address low thyroid:

Treat the Underlying Causes — Identify and treat the underlying causes of hypothyroidism, like food allergies, gluten, heavy metals, nutritional deficiencies, and stress.

Optimize Your Nutrition — Support your thyroid with optimal nutrition, including foods that contain iodine, saturated fat, zinc, omega-3 fats, selenium, and more.

Minimize Stress — Eliminate adrenal exhaustion and minimize stress by engaging in a comprehensive stress management program.

Exercise — Engage in thyroid stimulating exercise, which boosts thyroid function.

The good news? You can reverse low thyroid and turn your thyroid into a metabolism boosting machine.

How Your Muscle Affects Your Metabolism

Lean muscle not only looks great, but they are vital for your overall well-being and your metabolic health.

With the help of your thyroid, muscle tissue dictates your metabolic rate. Muscle is the only metabolically active tissue you have to burn excess fat off of your body.

In other words, the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns and the fewer calories you need to maintain your weight.

Since most of our insulin receptors are present in our muscle tissue, the less muscle you have the more “insulin resistant” you become.

What happens when you have insulin resistance? One of 3 things happen when you eat sugar and have insulin resistance:

Ideal Scenario: Glucose is used as fuel, which helps build lean muscle and boosts your metabolism. In this scenario, glucose, your primary energy source is used to help you burn calories efficiently and eventually, burn fat.

OK Scenario: Glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver or muscles for later use as fuel. In this scenario, your happy liver holds on to your glucose for later use (i.e. exercise, or missing a meal, because of a last minute meeting)

Bad Scenario: If your glycogen stores are full, your meals are improperly balanced, your muscle mass is low, and your carbohydrate intake is high, glucose is stored as FAT. In this scenario, way too much glucose is floating around in the blood with no where to go.

The result of the bad scenario is MORE insulin, leaving your liver stressed out and your abdominal fat more stubborn than ever.

How Your Body Affects Your Metabolism

When it comes to your metabolism (and fat loss) there are 2 kinds of bodies:

1.) A Fat-Burning Body

2.) A Fat-Storing Body

This sounds over-simplistic, but when you start to investigate how your metabolism functions in relation to your ability to burn fat, this is what you’re left with.

Are your habits, exercise, food, and lifestyle supporting a metabolism that helps you burn fat or store fat?

Here are the 7 Differences Between the 2 Body Types:

Your metabolism is responsible for deciding which type of body you have and you are responsible to swaying your metabolism in either direction.

Now all that’s left is to identify the primary areas of metabolic stress…

  • Are you eating too many processed foods for lunch, which is overloading your liver, which is inhibiting your thyroid?
  • Are you relying on caffeine or energy drinks for mid-day energy boosts, which is tiring out your adrenal glands causing high levels of stress hormones (i.e. cortisol)
  • Do you need to increase the amount of protein in your diet? Or Fat? Or Carbs?
  • Do you need to cut out long bouts of cardio and add in shorter bursts of metabolic exercise?

These are just a few questions I’ll leave you with to get started on identifying your primary areas of metabolism lowering habits.


The Relationship of Food & Mood

Most of us have days when we feel great: energetic, enthusiastic, clear-headed, content, and well-balanced. We also have those other days when we feel down: sluggish, unmotivated, forgetful, irritable, helpless, and hopeless.

Compelling scientific evidence shows that mental health and physical health are absolutely intertwined, and we now understand that the link between mood and nutrition is much stronger than previously thought. The prevention and management of many diseases rely on our genetic individuality, our environment, stress management, and healthy lifestyle habits – and nutrition is the foundation of a healthy body and mind.

Healthy eating habits can be challenging to maintain with our modern lifestyle, which can generate feelings of stress that can disrupt our good intentions, which in turn can affect our mood. Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you feel happier and healthier:

  • Don’t skip breakfast, and eat three well-balanced meals. Simply skipping breakfast is associated with lower fluency and problem-solving ability, along with lack of energy and motivation.
  • Eat good sources of protein. These include eggs, fish, poultry and lean meats. Protein consists of amino acids, the building blocks of neurotransmitters. Protein also helps stabilize blood sugar, which can interfere with concentration and mood when elevated (hyperglycemia).
  • Avoid high-sugar foods or refined carbohydrates, such as bagels, doughnuts, and other refined grain products, and cereals. Concentrated fruit juices have the same effect as drinking a soda.
  • Eat at least 8 servings of vegetables every day. Try to get all of the colors of the rainbow. One serving = ½ cup. See the website to see the produce with the highest and lowest pesticide content to make the best choices.
  • Mind your dietary fats: Found in both plant and animal foods, these play a significant role in brain function. Omega-3 fats from foods such as fish, flax seeds, some eggs, and grass-fed beef have been shown to improve cognitive function and lower depression by reducing inflammation. Excessively low-fat diets, as well as diets high in processed foods, are linked to mood changes.
  • Choose beverages wisely: Drink plenty of filtered water to improve blood flow and keep your brain well-hydrated. Avoid sugary drinks or those with artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or preservatives. Limit or avoid alcohol, and limit coffee intake. Green tea has been shown to reduce anxiety and sharpen mental focus while relaxing the mind.
  • Vitamins are key: Take a high quality, natural vitamin and mineral supplement daily. Many of the B vitamins such as B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), folate, and B12 (methylcobalamin) have been shown to reduce the incidence of depression. Low levels of Vitamin D3 increase one’s risk of major depression. Also, low levels of magnesium, selenium, and zinc are linked to mood changes.

Will eating fast foods lead to an increased risk for depression?

Eating fast foods like hamburgers, sausages, and pizza, as well as commercial baked goods such as muffins, doughnuts, and croissants has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of depression (Sanchez-Villegas et al., Public Health Nutr. 2012).

Can you eat yourself into a bad mood in just two days?

A study with 44 college students at Penn State University revealed that the more calories, saturated fat, and sodium they ate, the more negative mood they reported two days later. The researchers suggest that the food causes mood shifts (Hendy, Appetite, 2012).  If you find yourself in a bad mood, look at what you are eating.

Can being bored drive you to eat?

Researchers at the North Dakota State University would say “yes”! In a sample of 552 college students, they discovered that those prone to being bored and lacking emotional coping skills led to inappropriate eating behavior, like eating when bored or in response to negative emotions (Crockett et al., J Health Psychol. 2015).

Is a Mediterranean diet protective against depression?

We already know that a Mediterranean diet full of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, fish, and olive oil reduces inflammation and may be beneficial for heart health. A large study with 10,094 healthy Spanish people showed that eating a Mediterranean diet was protective for the prevention of depressive disorders (Sanchez-Villegas et al., Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2009).


9 Surprising Relationships Between Food & Mood

Is food indulgence a target behavior?

I don’t know about any of you, but food was always my go to when I was feeling stressed. With my wedding just 30 days away, 60 days left of my masters program, someone crashing into my car this week and other life stressors my desire to engage in my “target behavior” was heightened, but how do you deal with it when these moments pop up? I didn’t want to indulge in my creature comforts because then I would be feeling poorly about my body AND all the other stressful events around me. I started logging how I was feeling and when things were rising up. Just as we use my fitnesspal to track our eating and exercise, why not track our emotions and cravings? I am a Marriage and Family Therapy Trainee and will use Diary Cards with clients to help them track moods and symptomology (below is an example)Diary Card with sample data screen shot.JPG

So why not also track feelings and target behaviors that pop up? The other piece is implementing skills and practices. For example, when a craving is coming on what other coping skills can be used in place of indulging? Here are a few examples of things I do:

  1. Write it down and notate the craving.
  2. Drink a big glass of water.
  3. Take a deep breath (there are also many breathing apps to use in conjunction).
  4. If I want to eat something have a healthy snack to help with that urge that arises. Depending on the texture or type of food being craving it can represent many different things and I will discuss that in a future blog.