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Recipe: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

I’m always on the lookout for easy, healthy and delicious meals to add to my rotation and in the winter months that often involves my crockpot!

This was my first try with this cilantro chicken recipe, and it turned out awesome!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans - Cooked!

Recipe Details:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Crockpot Cooking Time: 6-8 hours on Low OR 5-6 hours on High
Serving Size: 1 cup
Serves 6-8

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans - Ingredients

Shopping List / Ingredients: 

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, thighs or breast
    (I find that chicken thighs don’t dry out as much as the breast in the slow cooker)
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1, 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha sauce (optional, if you like it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Directions: 

To eat it today: Combine all ingredients except cilantro in the slow cooker and cook it on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.

To prepare for the freezer:  Chop up all the ingredients (except cilantro) and place them into a ziploc bag and freeze it for an easy meal option at a later date.

When you’re ready to cook it, take it out of the freezer, run warm water over the bag to separate it from the frozen food, and place frozen ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans

How to Serve Cilantro Lime Chicken:  

Stir in 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro before serving.

Add to tacos, burritos, taco salad, nachos, or make burrito bowls with it. Or just add it to your meals as a side dish. It’s very flexible.

In the photo below I’ve made huevos rancheros with my crockpot cilantro lime chicken for breakfast – DELICIOUS!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans - Huevos Rancheros

Do you have a crockpot recipe to share? Post it in the comments below!

Recipe: Apple Butternut Squash Soup

I’m a HUGE soup lover, so I thought I would give this delicious looking apple butternut squash soup a try with the surplus of apples I picked from my parents’ trees. I had a fairly small butternut squash to work with, so I cut the recipe in half – an average squash should be fine with the full ingredient amounts.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Total Time: 1 hr.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 50 min.
Equipment: Blender, large saucepan
Yield: 8 servings

Shopping List:

  • 4 lbs. butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 medium apples, peeled and chopped
    (Tip: Use the apples of your choice, a more sour apple will help reduce sweetness of the soup.)
  • 4 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1 thin slice fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
    (Tip: I keep my ginger in the freezer, it helps it last longer and makes it super easy to cut into very thin slices.)
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
    (Tip: if you have lactose intolerance, use almond milk instead.)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • Optional: Cilantro to garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - Squash cut in half
  3. Cover squash halves with foil and place them on a baking pan cut sides up. Bake until tender (about 45-50 minutes). Set aside.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - foiled butternut squash
  4. While your squash is in the oven, add oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add chopped onion; cook, stirring frequently until tender (maybe 3-4 minutes).
  6. Add apples, broth, ginger, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until apples are tender (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat.
  7. Pour the apple mixture into the blender (in batches, if necessary). Blend until smooth. Return apple mixture to saucepan.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - Blended apple mixture
  8. Take the squash out of the oven and scoop the flesh out into the blender, add milk (or almond milk in my case) and blend until smooth.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - baked squashApple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - Blended squash
  9. Add blended squash to the apple mixture in the saucepan and add salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat, stirring frequently.
  10. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with fresh apple chunks and cilantro.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup

If you liked this apple butternut squash soup recipe, share the love with a pin, a like, a pic or a comment below!

Recipe: The Best Healthy Apple Crisp

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about this apple crisp recipe when I first read about it – mostly because there is no butter or no sugar in it. But I thought, “Hey! I have a TON of apples from my parents trees, so I may as well give it a shot.” Well let me tell you, I am pleasantly surprised by what I pulled out of the oven last night! So here, as promised, is the recipe. (Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for a bonus Shakeology recipe.)

Apple Crisp - 21 Day Fix Approved

Apple Crisp (21 Day Fix Approved)

Recipe Details:

Prep Time: 28 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes (approx.)
Serving Size: 1 cup

Shopping List: 

  • Your favourite apples (enough to make 4 cups, peeled and sliced)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 finely chopped (or crushed up) pecans and/or walnuts

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  2. Peel and slice up 4 cups of apples.
    (I had a leftover peach that needed to be used up, so those are the orange bits you see in the photo below.)
  3. In a medium baking dish; combine the apples with 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and mix well.
    Apple Crisp Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
  4. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and mix well.Apple Crisp Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
  5. Top the apple mixture with the oat mixture in the baking dish.
    Apple Crisp Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the apples are soft.
  7. Clean up. There’s not a whole lot of mess…

Cleanup from apple crisp recipe

Enjoy your fresh, delicious, 21 Day Fix approved apple crisp with a cup of tea or coffee! (In the photo: Earl Grey de la Creme black tea from Steeped Tea With Jenn)

Apple Crisp with Earl Grey del la Creme Tea

Bonus Vanilla Shake Recipe

Apple Pie Shakeology RecipeThis morning, as I was making my fiancé’s vanilla shake, I wondered how good it might be with some of the apple crisp blended into it.

Um, Hello Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream!

Apple Pie Shakeology Recipe:

Blend together:

  • 1/2 cup apple crisp
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Shake Powder
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Ice (optional)

Did you like this recipe? Share the love with a pin, a like, a pic or a comment below!

This Opportunity Could Make Your Dreams Come True!

If you’ve been following my blog and social media for a while, you know that financial freedom, time freedom and location independence have always been important to me. These are things that I have dreamed about for quite a while.

For years I have been working a day job, and taking on side projects with hopes that “one day” the side jobs would out-weigh the daily grind. But, due to the time commitment of the day job, that dream always stayed a dream. I never found the right formula and support system to make it happen.

Are You a Dreamer?

Are You a Dreamer?

Are you a daydreamer? Do you ever sit at your desk job, thinking about the other things you could be doing? Thinking where you might be if you were location independent with financial freedom? What you would be doing? Who you would be doing it with? Which passion projects you would be working on?

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Think about what that day dream looks like.
  • Visualize it.
  • Got it?
  • Write it down.
  • Read it to yourself everyday.

What would you say if I told you that you could HAVE that dream?

What would you do if you had the tools and the means to get there?

Would you give it a shot?

What if I told you your dream could be a reality?

Becoming my own boss has given me the freedom to work on my own terms, set my own hours and do something I’m passionate about, all from any location I choose! Whether I’m  at home, at the beach in Parksville with my family, skiing in Whistler, or somewhere more exotic like Europe or Costa Rica, as long as I have an internet connection I can get my work done! My online business has taken my dreams out of my head and into my life!

If this inspires you and you’re ready to take your dreams into your own hands, try something new, be a part of a supportive community of like-minded entrepreneurs, and dream a little bigger, drop me a Facebook message, comment below or shoot me an email for more info.

Creating My Own Momentum

[This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7]

I’ve been working at my Beachbody coaching business for a little over two months now. I’m still learning the ropes and figuring out where my momentum is going to come from, but there a couple of things that I know will make a big difference by committing 45-60 minutes every day for the next 30 days. I’m taking Natalie’s advice to take this on for 30 days as a personal challenge!

This time commitment will be shared by two tasks:

Daily Beachbody Workouts

In order for people to truly understand what I do is and the true benefits of it, they need to see the program in action. Over the past couple of weeks, I have substituted other outdoor activities (hiking, running, etc.) for my daily workouts at least 2 or 3 times a week. My commitment is to do a Beachbody workout every single day for the next 30 days. There are so many options, from yoga to bootcamp to extra ab workouts – I have no excuse to not get a workout in everyday.

Daily Personal Development

think-and-grow-rich-napoleon-hillPersonal development plays such a great part in transformation and growth. It is something that Beachbody encourages over and above all else. Always be learning. Always be developing yourself.

I have read bits and pieces from Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” and I have heard great reviews about this book, but I have never read it cover to cover. This will be the first personal development book I tackle and will read from start to finish.

The Compound Effect is another book I’ve heard is worth checking out. If you know of any inspiring books that I should add to my list, I would love your recommendations in the comments below.

There are Still a Few Days Left to Join the Blog Challenge!

I have found this 10 Day Blog Challenge to be a fantastic exercise to help me get back into a habit of writing everyday, as well as to explore where my personal road blocks are.

Do you have road blocks of your own that are stopping you from living your dream life? There’s still time to join this Blog Challenge! *Click* the image below to join!

Join Natalie Sisson's 10 Day Blog Challenge

 

I Am the Master of My Own Success

[This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5]

I’m loving this 10 Day Blog Challenge that Natalie Sisson, the Suitcase Entrepreneur is hosting! (If you want to build a lifestyle business and you aren’t following her, YOU SHOULD BE!) In the past 5 days she has made me think (and write) about things that I would not have otherwise picked out as things that would bring me success and freedom in life and business. So far we have covered and explored:

And today’s assignment is to think about how to set myself up for success.

What does SUCCESS look like?

STEP 1: Create a Productive Workspace

Today, after watching Natalie’s video, I walked into my office to my desk covered in papers, receipts, bills, and all kinds of other things that have been left there in a “dump it and run” fashion. I have recently worked from my back deck, my couch, my kitchen bar stools or even my bed, and I haven’t given my actual designated workspace any love or respect.

So, after listening to Natalie’s very clever advice, I dove into the office and organized the space. I paid and filed the bills, filed my financial statements and receipts for the 3 businesses we are running from our home, and completely uncluttered mySetting Myself Up For Success space so that is became liveable, and more importantly, WORKABLE!

This is what is looks like now…

Setting Myself Up For Success - My Workspace

STEP 2: Make a List

I find I work far better when I work from a hand-written to-do list. When I’m working, I always keep a notepad within arm’s reach to write down all the things I need to do, as well as ideas as they come to me. The list tends to be long and gets overwhelming at times. My plan to make this more manageable is to prioritize this list and then break it down into a list of 3-5 tasks to accomplish per day. It always feels great to cross things off the list.

STEP 3: Choose a Production Time Period

My days tend to be a bit unpredictable, as I like to allow myself the freedom to take a longer do walk when the weather is nice, or to run out for coffee with a friend if the invite pops up, or to help a friend move (this has happened twice with two different friends this week), so my production hours will be different each day, depending on the events of the day. I do, however, ensure that I get at LEAST 4  good production hours in each day.

During those production hours, I find that I work best in 20-minute increments (I never realized that this was a “thing,” until Natalie Sisson identified this as the Pomodoro Technique). I have watched the clock and have noticed that it’s pretty consistent that I lose focus at the 20-25 minute mark. So, I schedule my work time in those increments to chip away at the to-do list mentioned above, beginning with the highest priorities to get them done and dusted first.

After each 20-25 minute increment is done, I get up, walk around, hugs my beasts, refresh my glass of water or tea, and then go back for another session.

STEP 4: Celebrate Successes!

Wits-End-Retreat-wine & pastriesI strongly believe that celebrating successes, even the small ones, is very important to keep people motivated. So, when a series of tasks leads to the completion of a larger scale project, it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate not only the goal itself, but also the milestones that get you to the goal.

This acknowledgement could be as simple as a glass of wine or a treat at the end of the day, or social media post to celebrate an accomplishment, or even just telling my partner about it and my excitement around it.

Celebrating success is so important for me to stay motivated, so I make sure this is something I always incorporate into my accomplishments.

What are some of the methods YOU use to be your most productive? (share in the comments below)

 

There’s Still Time to Join the Blog Challenge!

If you enjoyed this post and you’re interested in joining in on the 10 Day Blog Challenge to explore your own freedom in business, there’s still time! You can join right up until the last day of the challenge! *Click* the image below to join!

Join Natalie Sisson's 10 Day Blog Challenge

Identifying My Inner Superpowers

[This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4]

Today’s assignment for the 10 Day Blog Challenge is to talk about my superpowers. As I’ve discovered while thinking about this throughout the day, I’ve got quite a few things that I’m good at that could fit into this category, but I’m going to choose just a few.

Self Proclaimed Superpowers.

From the historical content of this blog, I’m going to go with:

I’m Good At PhotographyMariska, the Photographer

It’s no secret, I LOVE taking pictures. And I think I’m pretty good at it too! Over the past 8 years I’ve traveled more than I ever did in my previous life, always with a camera in hand. I just love experiencing different scenes and cultures and people and capturing them in pixels. Sports and event photography tie for a close second place for favorite photography subjects.

I Provide Good Tips & Tricks

Whether it’s travel tips, how to make a drink, how to use a sarong, or how to naturally cure a headache, I’ve got tips for you! I really like writing these types of posts, and some have become quite popular and well-visited on my blog.

I’m Good At Motivating Health and Wellness

This is a fairly new superpower I’ve discovered over the last couple of months, since beginning my Beachbody business. I love sharing my health and fitness journey so as to help others make healthier choices for their own ongoing wellness as well. It’s so inspiring to see others’ success come out of a spark I lit for them. Amazing!

mariska-richters-health-and-wellness-coach

Superpowers Identified By Others

It’s a funny thing to ask people what they think you’re good at. Some of the responses I got were unexpected and surprising. Things I would never claim to be good at, but apparently other people think that I am! I really enjoyed this part of the exercise!

Some of the things other people said I’m good at:

  • Organizing – both physical spaces and business related things
  • Creating websites
  • Social media
  • I’m solution driven and come up with creative ways to solve problems
  • My love for dogs came up as a superpower – this made me happy!
  • I have a huge heart – although, this came from my fiance, so there may be some bias there…
  • Organizing events for groups
  • Stress-free traveling
  • Trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone
  • Self- motivated

If you know me and you have something to add to this list, I would be so appreciative if you would leave a comment below.

It’s not often that people express these things unsolicited, so I’m soliciting! 😉 I would be very interested to learn what you think!

There’s Still Time to Join the Blog Challenge!

If you’re interested in joining the 10 Day Blog Challenge, there’s still time! You can join right up until the last day of the challenge! *Click* the image below to join!

Join Natalie Sisson's 10 Day Blog Challenge

5-Day FREE Clean Eating Challenge – Starts September 19

Announcing my F R E E Clean Eating Challenge, starting Sept 19!

After a summer of patio and BBQ spoils, I’m sure we all have a little maintenance to do on our eating habits. I know I do! So I’m hosting another 5-day clean eating challenge to help you get back on track.

Free Clean Eating Challenge, Starts September 19

 

This 5-Day Clean Eating Challenge Includes:

  • The Basics of Clean Eating
  • Free Meal Plan
  • Free Clean Grocery List
  • Free eBook of Clean & Delicious Recipes
  • Daily (optional) Mini Workout Challenge
  • Provide Support & Accountability
  • FUN & RESULTS!

Results From My Last Clean Eating Challenge Group:

  • “I feel great! I’ve lost weight, my clothes are feeling looser and I’m not craving not-so-clean foods.”

  • “So encouraging how the results show up so quickly!”

  • “This group has really motivated me to be more mindful and realize how great I feel when I am eating clean!”

It all starts on September 19th! Comment “I’m in!” below or message me if you want to join!

“Yes!” Will Change Your Life!

When was the last time you said YES to something new? When was the last time you said NO and regretted it? These two little words have the power to change your life!

Life changing opportunities come in all  shapes and sizes and usually show up when you least expect it. It could be something as simple as accepting an invitation from a stranger to go for coffee, or it could be more complex like taking on a new health and fitness challenge. Either way, you never know where an opportunity may lead. That cup of coffee may turn into a life-long friendship or even the love of your life, and that new fitness challenge may turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself. Like Forrest Gump’s mama used to say, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Everything You've Ever Wanted is on the Other Side of Fear

New things used to scare me. I used to think that routine was what I needed to live a comfortable life. Then several years ago my life went through a drastic change (heartbreak can do that), and I learned how VERY wrong I was! While building myself and my life back up, I made a promise to myself that I would say YES! when opportunities came knocking. It was uncomfortable at first, but through this commitment to get out of my comfort zone, I’ve discovered so much about myself and about the life that is possible for me!

YES’es That Have Changed My Life:

  • Applying for a media pass at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics – This is where my Olympic passion was born!
  • A one-day (leave at 7am, return at midnight) media trip to the Yukon!
  • Spending a night in an Ice Hotel in -30 celsius in Quebec (Brrrr! but awesome!)
  • An invitation to spend a month in Bali in a gorgeous luxury villa (No-brainer, right? But I would never have dared to travel alone before!)
  • Two months of travel in Thailand and Bali, including some of the best scuba diving I’ve ever done!
  • A diving trip to the Great Blue Hole in Belize!
  • An invitation to join friends at the London 2012 Olympic Games!
  • Traveling to Costa Rica (alone) and spending a month learning Spanish, working out on the beach, releasing baby turtles into the ocean and exploring this incredibly beautiful country!
    Baby Turtle in Montezuma Costa Rica
  • Running a crowdfunding campaign to fund the Olympic Spirit Project at the Sochi 2014 Olympics – I succeeded in raising more than my goal, traveled to Russia (solo) and had a once in a lifetime experience.
  • The Cycling Co Logo Buying a cyclocross bike and taking a 6-week road riding clinic! – Who knew riding would give me such a sense of freedom?! (Well… lots of people know this, but I would never have, if I hadn’t said yes!) — Mountain biking is next!
  • Co-founding and building a road and mountain bike coaching business – The Cycling Co. (Good thing I bought that bike!)
  • Taking on a fitness challenge to kick my health and fitness habits into shape! – I’ve lost more than 20lbs and I feel like a million bucks!

  • An invitation to a team of incredible women in an online health and wellness company so I can help others achieve their health and lifestyle goals too! (This opportunity is available to ANYONE, by the way, so if you are inspired to help people reach their personal health and wellness goals and you want to learn more, contact me!)
  • And the most recent yes: I GOT ENGAGED last weekend to a kind, caring, generous, strong, amazing man! We are gonna ROCK the marriage thing! 😉

I said YES!

“Yes!” will change your life!

Life is too short to pass up new opportunities. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Maybe you won’t like it? Maybe you won’t have fun? Maybe you won’t be successful?  But…

WHAT IF you LOVE it??? And…

WHAT IF you achieve MAD SUCCESS??? And…

WHAT IF you EXCEED your goals and expectations???

You will never know unless you get out of your comfort zone, take that first step and say, “YES!”

YES. It’s a powerful little word. “Yes!” will change your life!

So my advice to you: Just Say YES! 🙂

How I Learned to Eat Clean and Healthy

About a year and a half ago I went from working from home back to a full-time office job. It was a tough transition for both myself and my beastie. Going from choosing my own schedule and work times, with 2-hour mid-day hikes with Roxie to sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day was tough. I found myself snacking more and exercising less.

My healthy eating habits at home turned into convenience snacking on things like cookies, sugary granola bars and instant oatmeal packets for breakfast. My 2-hour mountain hikes with Roxie turned into quick hour-long fairly flat walks around Thetis Lake at the end of my day. It was a challenging transition and I found myself leaving my healthy habits behind me in exchange for making time for the commute into the office. I started to feel lazy and cooking easy nutrition-poor meals to save time. I felt gross.

Working from home vs working in an office

So my 2016 New Year’s resolution was to eat clean and healthy, cut down on the wine, and get fit. I joined a 12-week Lifestyle Challenge at my local gym to kickstart these new healthy habits. I was looking forward to the program, but was also a bit anxious about the hard work it was going to take to find my healthy self again. But once I got started, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get back into it!

Not having had any concept of the caloric value of anything, the program taught me about what was good and what was bad about my food choices. It taught me about high-value calories and empty calories. With a calorie limit of 1200 calories at the time, I just didn’t see the value of eating a 330 calorie bagel, only to be hungry again in a half hour, so I started choosing better, more valuable food options. But once I had grasped the concept of caloric value, I was not a fan of the calorie counting, which was a requirement of this lifestyle challenge. The app was a great teaching tool, but eventually entering every little thing I ate and drank into an iPhone app was tedious and annoying.

What I LOVE about the Beachbody program is that there is NO CALORIE COUNTING! Yay!! Instead of counting calories, Beachbody uses color-coded portioning containers. Each food group has its own color and depending on your fitness goals and daily caloric target, you are assigned a certain number of each container that you should eat everyday to reach your goals. Easy!

21-Day Fix Challenge - Portioning Containers
  • Red: protein
  • Green: vegetables
  • Purple: fruit
  • Yellow: carbs
  • Blue: healthy fats
  • Orange: nuts, seeds, oils & dressings

At first this freaked me out, because when I looked at the containers it didn’t look like it was going to be enough food and felt like I was going to be hungry all the time. But once I got started with my first 21-Day Challenge, I found it difficult to eat all of my assigned containers in a day! Now THIS is a system I can get on board with! No counting. No reading the packages for portion size. No wasting time entering food into an iPhone app! Just good plain healthy portioned food! YES!

The program also provides an eating plan with lists of healthy food choices in each color coded food group, which has made meal planning and shopping for ingredients so much easier than my usual, “I’ll just go to the grocery store and see what I find” method.

This meal plan combined with 30 minutes of exercise a day, plus Shakeology has made a huge difference for the better in my health, fitness and overall daily life. Our next 21-Day Challenge begins on July 25th. Message me if you’re curious to learn more or to join the group. Your future self will thank you for it!