Crockpot Chicken & Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Verde Chicken

Prepare to amaze yourself with this mouth watering crockpot “Chili Verde!” Sweet, spicy and tangy sauce with melt in your mouth pulled chicken – it is sure to have you coming back for seconds.

Try it on a whole wheat wrap with brown rice, avocado, radishes, and Greek yogurt, on top of a salad, or as part of a scramble for breakfast! The possibilities are endless.

It really is easy to make bright, flavorful dishes at home with just a few fresh ingredients!

Cheers, I hope you enjoy this recipe. :-)

-Crystal

CROCK POT CHICKEN & ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA

  • 12 large fresh tomatillos
  • 1 large while onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 small can of diced green chilis
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 large chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay tomatillos over a large cookie sheet and leave them in their skin. Chop the onion into large pieces and add them to the cookie sheet. Roast tomatillos and onions in the over for 30 minutes, or until they begin to char on top. Remove from oven and peel skins away from soft tomatillos. (Careful, they will be HOT!)

tomatillos

Using a food processor, combine tomatillos, onions, peeled garlic, cilantro, green chilis, seeded serrano pepper, lime juice, salt and pepper. Blend mixture until smooth.

tomatillo processor

tomatillos 2

green sauce

To make delicious crock pot chicken, simply add 4 large thawed chicken breasts to your crock pot, along with all of your Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, and a little sea salt. Cover and let cook on high for 3 hours. The chicken will pull apart very easily with a spoon, spatula, or fork. I just used a wooden spoon and smashed the chicken while it was still in the crock pot until it all pulled apart nicely.

Bon Apetit!

Slow Cooked Verde Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
Slow Cooked Verde Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

10 Minute Full Body HIIT

Pike Leg Lift

Today’s workout is a short, intense approach to burning fat, sculpting lean muscle, and improving stamina. I have included 10 dynamic exercises that will target several muscle groups at the same time, giving you a killer full body workout in only TEN minutes! There is always time to get a great workout – so no excuses, let’s do this!

Push hard for each interval, and go for the maximum number of reps. There will be 10 seconds of rest between exercises, so make sure to set out any dumbells you may want to use before hand, and keep some water handy! Have fun with it, and repeat this circuit as necessary.

Cheers,

Crystal

10 MINUTE FULL BODY HIIT

  • Knee Slap Burpee
  • Lunge Chop
  • Pike Leg Lift Knee Cross (R)
  • Pike Leg Lift Knee Cross (L)
  • Chest Press Leg Lifts
  • Squat Jack and Row
  • Elevated Reptile Push Up
  • Goblet Squat
  • Leg Circles
  • Double Time Push Ups

Roasted Garlic Almond Pesto

pesto

This pesto is so easy to prepare, and will add a fresh, bright flavor to any dish! Incorporate healthy fats and loads of flavor with only a few minutes of preparation. When I made this pesto, I coated some shrimp with it, and cooked them for about 1 minute on my George Foreman grill. I tossed them with some cooked spaghetti squash and asparagus for a delicious healthy dinner and it was fantastic! Click HERE to learn how to cook the perfect spaghetti squash.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Cheers,

Crystal

ROASTED GARLIC ALMOND PESTO

  • 4 large cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds (pine nuts or walnuts would make a beautiful substitution as well)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

Using a toaster oven or conventional oven, roast un-peeled garlic cloves on a piece of tin foil for 10 minutes under the broiler. Once they become fragrant and have a nice browned look, remove them from their peels and add them to the food processor with all other ingredients. Blend until you have a nice bright puree. Enjoy on your favorite vegetables or proteins! This sauce will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Makes 6 servings – Information per one serving:

Calories
115
Total Fat
9.6g
Sat. Fat
1g
Cholest.
0mg
Sodium
195.5mg
Carb.
4.4g
Fiber
2.2g
Sugars
0.6g
Protein
4.2g

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

SP oatmeal raisin cookies

If you have a sweet tooth like me, try these delectable little cake like cookies and feel good about it later! These cookies are made from wonderful healthy whole grains, seeds, and vegetables, yet taste like yummy muffin tops.

“Carbs don’t make you fat, they make you awesome!” Eating healthy carbs will help boost muscle growth, fat loss, and healthy metabolism. They give you the energy you need to get through intense workouts, long days at work, or that cardio session you have been procrastinating. They are the perfect snack for any time of day, and will compliment all your fitness goals. :-)

Enjoy!

Crystal

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 cups cooked sweet potato, cubed
  • 4 scoops flavored protein powder of your choice (I used cake batter whey from Cellucor)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor, blend 1 cup of rolled oats into a flour. Add protein powder, sweet potatoes, coconut flour, chia seeds, eggs and egg whites. Blend until smooth. Now add cinnamon, maple extract, 1 cup rolled oats and raisins. Pulse mixture a few times to distribute without blending. Mixture should be thick but batter like.

Cover cookie sheet or baking stone with wax paper and spray lightly with misto sprayer. Spoon mixture onto wax paper – in approximately 3 inch circles, with 2 inches of space between cookies. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tops begin to turn brown. cookies will set like a firm cake when cooked. Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Nutrition information for TWO cookies:

Calories
202
Total Fat
4.5g
Sat. Fat
1g
Cholest.
81.8mg
Sodium
105.2mg
Carb.
23.7g
Fiber
3.8g
Sugars
6.6g
Protein
15.8g

Adore Your Core

ADORE YOUR CORE 017

Today’s workout is a full body interval challenge with an underlying focus on the core. I have combined 6 exercises that will each work multiple muscles at the same time. Go for speed while keeping your form in tact, & try to get the maximum number of reps possible during each interval! Set your interval timer for 24 rounds of 60 seconds work, 20 seconds rest – or use THIS pre-set one.

HIIT workouts are a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, increase your metabolism, burn fat and build lean muscle. Use weights to increase the intensity, but choose a medium/light weight so you can still push through those high reps. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! :-)

-Crystal

ADORE YOUR CORE

60 Seconds Work: 20 Seconds Rest Between Intervals

Repeat this circuit a total of 4 rounds.

  1. Front Kick Push Up
  2. Squat & Press Up
  3. Reverse Side Step Plank
  4. Sit Up Press
  5. Sumo Side Kick
  6. 1 Arm Kettlebell Swings

 

Legs For Days!

gluteBRIDGE.jpg

Today’s workout is a dynamic and challenging approach toward shaping lean strong legs and glutes. I’ve included a couple combo exercises that will force you to enlist all of your stabilizers and get your heart rate up as well. Make sure to concentrate on keeping a strong engaged core, straight back (never rounded) and push through the heels, squeezing those glutes for every exercise in this circuit. Don’t be afraid to get those weights in there – that’s what will shape and tone those muscles!

Cheers!

Crystal

LEGS FOR DAYS!

Repeat this circuit 3-5 times

  1. 1 LEG GLUTE BRIDGE (L) X 8 – 10 REPS
  2. 1 LEG GLUTE BRIDGE (R) X 8 – 10 REPS
  3. CURTSY LUNGE/SQUAT COMBO X 10 SETS
  4. ROMANIAN DEADLIFT X 8 REPS
  5. REVERSE LUNGE (R) X 8 REPS
  6. REVERSE LUNGE (L) X 8 REPS
  7. KETTLEBELL SWINGS X 25 REPS

The Healthy Brain: 5 Ways Your Brain Function Improves With Exercise

Over the course of my journey to being fit, I have realized something amazing. My physical transformation has been astounding, but what has happened internally is something much greater. I have become happier, more productive and organized, stopped procrastinating, purged negativity, and noticed a complete 180 in my mood. Once a change begins to happen with your mindset, the physical change will follow.

Most people view exercise as a tool to help them lose fat, gain muscle, and become more toned. However, it’s not just the physical transformation that occurs when we stay active. Our brain chemistry actually changes significantly with regular exercise. Just as a strong body helps protect us from injury, a strong healthy brain protects us from depression, anxiety, memory loss, and negativity. Here are 5 reasons working out will improve your brain functions and support a productive, happy lifestyle:

natural high

  1. Strength: Exercise releases neurotransmitters known as endorphins – endorphins are responsible for inhibiting the brain’s response to stress signals, pain, and anxiety. Not only do endorphins help us relate exercise with something more fun and enjoyable, they help guard us from stress and emotional pain in the future, making every day challenges easier to process, evaluate and solve.
  2. Happiness: When we exercise, the brain is able to regulate important mood stabilizing chemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This regulation is directly related to treating symptoms of depression, and can also aid in controlling our appetite and sleep patterns. Sleep, appetite and mental clarity are all crucial to a healthy physical body. Exercise also burns adrenaline, contributing to a significant decline in anxiety.
  3. Youth: As we get older, our brains begin to purge neurons. Physical exercise has been proven to produce new neurons, helping our brain to perform at a “younger” rate, improving cognitive function and memory. Bonus!
  4. Intelligence: The mild stress that exercise imposes on the physical body signals the brain to make moves to make repairs. This results in a significant production of neurons and a huge stimulation of the hippocampus – which is responsible for memory forming, organizing, and storing – like a filing cabinet!
  5. Motivation: The reason most people feel too tired to work out is because they are not working out! Literally. When we exercise and begin to improve all the above named brain functions, we are actually creating the energy needed to sustain regular physical activity. It is much like a snowball effect: the more you do it, the more you will want to do it, and vice-versa. The less physical activity we get, the more likely we are to feel lethargic and be less productive. Exercising regularly will skyrocket your energy levels and brain function – so what are you waiting for?!

HAPPY

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