Tag: cold

Healthy Creations: Winter fallback recipe for the crockpot!

Healthy Creations: Winter fallback recipe for the crockpot!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share today, but after thinking about the frigidly cold temperatures that are being seen (and of course, felt!) all across the country, I thought it would be appropriate to share a healthy crockpot recipe that the whole family could enjoy!  This time of year we often turn to comfort foods and crockpot recipes which aren’t always healthy and are often high in sodium.  So, here’s a quick, simple and delicious crockpot recipe that I have made many times and can attest to how tasty it is!

Pesto Crockpot Chicken

What you will need:

~4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or salmon if you prefer)

~1 cup of brown rice (the healthy stuff 😉 ) or pasta if you prefer (cooking time may vary)

~Mushrooms, cut into quarters

~1 8 oz. jar of pesto

~1 package of dry ranch dressing seasoning

~1 head of broccoli cut into florets

~2 cups of chicken stock or water (whichever you prefer)

What you will do:

First, spray the inside of your crockpot with a nonstick spray.  Then place your chicken breasts on the bottom of the crockpot.  Next, pour the ranch dressing seasoning on top of the chicken breasts, followed by the jar of pesto (use the entire jar). Next, top that with the broccoli florets and the mushrooms.  Then add a half cup of the chicken stock and place on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.  When there is approximately 3 hours left of cooking time, you will add the brown rice along with the additional 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock (or water).  Total prep time is very minimal…maybe 10 minutes (if that) and this is definitely disaster free!  You can be a highly skilled chef or a mom at home cooking great meals for her family.  Either way it is a healthy creation that the whole family can enjoy together to stay warm during these freezing cold temperatures that we are facing!  Enjoy!


Make cold weather your motivation!

Make cold weather your motivation!

So, all I hear right now are complaints and negativity about the cold weather, snow, winter and yada yada yada.  Personally, I LOVE snow and I LOVE cold weather.  I actually can’t emphasize that enough and mostly because I love sweaters and boots and turtlenecks and scarves.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! 🙂

But for all those cold weather haters and grumpy “grinches” out there, here’s something for you to think about!  Cold weather has actually been proven in several studies to be better for you!  For one, people tend to move faster and walk more briskly when it is cold out, increasing their heart rate more quickly than they would in warm or hot temperatures.  During the summer, people tend to walk more leisurely and therefore not as many calories are burned and your heart rate doesn’t speed up as quickly.  In other words, all those exercises such as walking, running, hiking, etc that you do (outside) after your Christmas feast or before the drinks and appetizers begin on NYE will be most beneficial in the cold, winter temperatures! 😉

Second, studies have shown that people burn more calories during the cold, winter months when the body must use more energy in order to maintain a warm, steady body temperature.  So, next time you consider complaining about the cold, winter months, maybe you should be thanking Mother Nature for the gift she is giving you! 😉  Two great exercise benefits: 1) you walk faster to keep your body heat up to get to your destination and 2) you burn more calories because your body is working equally as hard to help you maintain a balanced body temperature.  Sounds like a win win to me…so get out there and get to moving.  Play in the snow with your kids, take a hike to see the scenery, walk your dog to get fresh air, or even take treats to neighbors and friends by foot to get into the real holiday spirit of giving!

Let me remind everyone that each person’s body is different so what works for me, may not work for you.  Cold weather is something I love and enjoy, but it may not be something that fits you or your workout!  Further, where I see success, you may not see as much success because of the activity and level of intensity within the workout.  Don’t let that discourage you, but rather let those stumbling blocks be the force and motivation that keep you going.

So, grab some gloves, a hat, and cold weather gear, throw on a pullover or winter running clothing and get to exercising.  After all, there are plenty of fun outside activities to do, so don’t let the cold weather stop you from getting your 30 minutes a day!  Happy Winter!


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