Schererville, IN

January 14, 2021

The Surprising Truth about Eggplant, and a Recipe

A large eggplant. That is the vegetable size of a baby at week #28. Oh, but wait just a minute. An eggplant is actually a FRUIT because it grows from

January 7, 2021

My Least Favorite Vegetable and a Challenge

At week #27 baby is the size of… …a head of cauliflower. Most of you know that I do not care for this vegetable. I’ve tried. Truth is that cauli

December 31, 2020

Cheers to Scallions and a New Year

At week #26, baby is the size of a scallion. The first question that popped into my head is: What’s the difference between a scallion and a green on

December 24, 2020

The Hope and Excitement of a Baby

A bit of background for my new readers: I’m taking the produce journey along with my good friend who is expecting. As we track the progression, we l

December 17, 2020

Create Your Own Cookbook and Mr. Non-Compliant’s Favorite Vegetable

Those of us who attended the Zoom “Amazing Cookie Bake” had a delicious time baking our cookies. My cookie press was missing its piston—a critic

December 10, 2020

We’re Baking Cookies Together… Sort of

I’m baking cookies this coming Saturday morning, and I’d love for you to join me! Through the magic of ZOOM, we are all gathering to bake and soci

December 2, 2020

So, the Marshmallows Caught Fire…

Thanksgiving Day is but a faint memory, as we fast forward into Advent and the season of Christmas. It was quiet around the Slager home, until the mar

November 25, 2020

Cookies, Carrots, and Giving Thanks

Here it is November, and everything is still pretty weird. I find it hard to believe that we’ve almost blown through another year, even though it se

November 19, 2020

Are Bananas Good for You?

Bananas sometimes get a bad rap. The truth is, they have lots of redemptive qualities. They are among the most important food crops on the planet. Alt

November 12, 2020

What to Make for Dinner When the Power Goes Out

As I was writing this, my power went out. It wasn’t just a flicker. It was a full OUTAGE in our local area. Concerned that this could linger into th

Post Kitchen Coaching Tips

I recently held a kitchen coaching class, which meant a fun evening of food, learning and laughs. Some takeaways:

  • Make a crock pot full of soup on the weekend so that you have leftovers for the week.
  • Whether you are cooking for one, two or five, make extra. Package the portion you’d like to have for another meal before sitting down to eat, so the extras don’t accidentally disappear.
  • Store your olive oil in the refrigerator to keep it from going rancid. Since it will solidify, keep a small bottle at room temperature so it doesn’t delay your cooking. Rancid oils and foods produce free radicals in the body that over time may contribute to disease. (This  is  why you should not overheat oil, since the same process happens.)
  • When choosing fish, choose wild-caught varieties. A couple reasons: these are typically higher in omega-3 fats (a good thing), and lower in pesticides and toxins, than farm-raised.
  • Keep hard boiled eggs on hand. These make a great snack, breakfast on the go, and offer extra protein when added to a salad. If peeling them is a problem for you like it is for me, you can buy them already boiled and peeled! Any leftover chicken, beef or fish may also be slightly warmed and added to a bed of greens.
  • Toss vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or salt and pepper, then sauté or roast. Any combination of vegetables will work, cut in similar size pieces. Sauté for about 10 minutes or roast at 425 degrees F for about 25 minutes. Adjust time according to your liking.
  • Using chicken or beef bone broth for any recipe adds more nutrients and protein than regular broth. You could certainly make your own. I buy organic bone broth because that’s what works for me.  

The best part is knowing that there are lots of us in community practicing habits that lead to better health. Support along this journey is vital in order to make it a lifelong habit. If you have a friend who could use help, please forward this email to them.

Celebrate doing just a little bit better! Perfection? Well, I burned some of the roasted squash in Kitchen Coaching class. Next time I’ll do better.

“The seminar about making healthy meals is very informative. I learned a lot of ways to make healthy meals in a short period of time. This is perfect for my sometimes busy schedule.”–Markia

A Safari, One Thing, and a Surprise Recipe

I often compare our health journey with being on safari.

Now, this is only a guess since I have never been on safari. What my wild imagination leads me to believe is that being on safari is so expansive, it must be a challenge to know where to begin; like figuring out how to improve our health.

There is SO MUCH! Here’s the good news…

Over the past year I’ve been developing a program for people who want to:

• Feel healthy and amazing in their bodies
• Lose weight while not sacrificing the foods they love
• Stop overeating and start having a love affair with food again

As I’m in the last phases of market research for this program, and because YOU have chosen to be a part of this community, I am offering you a very special opportunity.

In exchange for allowing me to interview you about your most desired health transformation, I’m offering you a 30-minute complimentary coaching call.

As a THANK YOU for your time in helping me with market research (yes, I’m talking to YOU!), I’ll be gifting you with laser-focused, specialized coaching on your specific area of health transformation.

We’re all in this together, and we’ll make a great team! CLICK HERE to schedule our call!!

We will spend a total of 50 minutes together, and you’ll leave the call with a clear path to gaining the health goals you desire most. You’ll know exactly where to begin on your “health safari!”

When you know the ONE THING you can do to make the most progress in the least amount of time, you will feel more at peace with where you are right NOW.

I’m excited to speak with you SOON! CLICK HERE to book your call today!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe using Beyond Meat meat substitute that is so tasty, my Mr. Non-Compliant never knew it wasn’t ground beef! I’ve made it for several of my Kitchen Coaching classes and it’s gotten rave reviews. You can find Beyond Meat products in many local grocery stores.

Veggie Protein Stir Fry

• Fresh or frozen vegetables cut in similar size pieces (red sweet pepper, carrots, broccoli, etc., the more colorful the better)
• 1-2 cloves minced or pressed garlic
• Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or your favorite seasoning, to taste
• Extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat the pan
• One package of Beyond Meat, The Beyond Burger

Sauté your choice of vegetables in extra virgin olive oil. Once the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes, add the garlic and The Beyond Burger. Break apart the “burgers” so they are in crumbles and mix with the vegetables. Cook for another 5 minutes. Season to taste. Enjoy as is, or top pasta, brown rice, or make a lettuce wrap with some Romaine lettuce leaves. The quantity of vegetables and Beyond Burgers you use will depend on how many people you’re feeding. One package of The Beyond Burger has two patties (2 servings), each containing 20 grams of plant protein, no soy or gluten.

Bon Appétit!

Celebrate Your Progress

We are nearly eight weeks into 2018. This means that if you began a “new you” program of any kind on New Year’s Day, you’ve been at it for a good amount of time.

Where are you today? I don’t mean geographically. I mean, where are you with whatever ideals, goals, plans, and resolutions that you made January 1? Have you made progress? Are you stuck? Has the fun of doing something new worn off? Are you moving along at a good pace?

Where are you today?

February can be a challenge for most of us. We may not be as excited as we wish we were about our new endeavors. Perhaps we think we SHOULD be making more progress or that there is such a small amount of improvement, it doesn’t matter.

It does matter. Everything matters. Every tiny bit of improvement you make adds up over time and leads to massive success! Congratulations for being here!

One of my goals this year is to meditate daily. When I look at my meditation tracker, the daily part did not happen. In fact, my focus on this habit has not been consistent at all. OOPS!

Here’s the good news: I have meditated more in the last two months than I probably did all last year. That is success and I feel as though I am making progress. Not only that, I am also practicing avoiding the SHOULDS. This means having the mindset that I look forward to meditating, instead of I SHOULD do this because it helps me focus, slows me down, and allows me to connect with the Divine. I’m experiencing more of “I feel like” instead of “I have to.” Progress. Slow. Progress.

In the world of food, it could go something like this: perhaps you are practicing eating more greens. You had a spinach salad almost everyday in January and now, you are growing weary of spinach salad. It feels like a SHOULD. Well, in a way it is because we should eat lots of vegetables for all the reasons you know to be true. Let’s face it; most of us know what we need to do—what we should do—to be healthier. Why don’t we do it? It is easier to revert back to our old habits when we get busy or stressed. Then it feels too hard to move forward. Hence, the vicious cycle. Lose the weight; gain the weight; rinse and repeat.

Today, think about whatever it is that you felt excited about doing January 1, 2018. Reflect on what you have been working on and what it is you’re doing that makes you feel good. Maybe you worked out twice a week as opposed to never. Maybe you have been cutting back on the cookies or the beer. Maybe you are simply noticing that you feel a bit more energy when you eat that spinach salad. Whatever it is, celebrate your success in some way that makes you smile. If there is more you would like to accomplish, make note of it and post it where you see it daily. Let’s move forward together and be a little bit better than we were last year!

“Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”–James Bryant Conant

Connecting Body, Mind and Soul

Welcome to Lent, a time of fasting, almsgiving and prayer. For those of you who participate in this mystery, you’ll probably relate to some of my thoughts. For those of you who are not as familiar, hopefully you’ll learn something of interest today.

The forty days of Lent offer time to prepare for Easter, and springtime. It is representative of the forty days Jesus spent in the desert prior to his earthly ministry. Before he could go out and do the work, he had to go within. What a great lesson. How many times do we seek important answers to life outside ourselves, when the answers lie deep within the silence of our hearts?

When I think of fasting, I think of giving up ice cream or chocolate or meat on Fridays. I remember as a kid I’d give up green beans because I hated them. That never went over well. I’d get the “mom eye-roll” and was told that I could do better. Of course, I was missing the point entirely. Sometimes I still do.

I like to follow Matthew Kelly’s advice for Lent. He says we shouldn’t give up chocolate. Sweet! Instead, he suggests doing something that is life-changing; something that leads us to follow our dreams and become “the-very-best-version-of-ourselves.” This is awesome whether you are a Lent participant or not. Figure out what you could do between now and Easter that helps you be better than you are today. Boom!

Here are some ideas that may lead to your own unique plan. Oh, and like I suggest when you are practicing healthier food and fitness habits, choose only ONE thing in each category that will truly make a difference. Too many things distract us and don’t stick long term.

  • Most people I talk with have way more than they need. I’ve seen this idea presented in a number of ways and I’m jumping on board here. Choose one item a day. At the end of our desert time, you’ll have forty clothing items, books, household goods, food pantry donations, dollars, whatever, to give to your favorite organization that needs it more than you. Creative almsgiving. When we give, we open ourselves up to receive—and I don’t mean more stuff!
  • Instead of fasting from chocolate, would it do you good to stay off social media and have meaningful conversations with your friends and family face-to-face? We’re planning to connect with friends (in person!) we haven’t seen for a time because “life gets in the way.” If the news makes you crazy, what if you spend some time in quiet solitude each morning? Is mindless TV taking you away from reading a book of interest or pursuing your dream to learn a new skill? Fast in a way that serves your soul, and it will benefit your entire being.
  • Since our bodies are made to move, what if you used your exercise time to pray or mediate or feel gratitude, simultaneously? The time you spend on the treadmill or track gives you a bigger bang for your buck when you use it in a special way. I often think about my friends who are battling illness and offer up any physical discomfort I feel, for them. I know it’s not even close to what they are going through, yet it’s a form of prayer. How many people do you know that would LOVE to be able to go for a walk, but they are too ill to get out of bed? (I’m grateful I overcame the flu bug and feel alive again!)

Living in a way that leads to fulfilling our dreams is what God, our Creator, Spirit, a Higher Power, calls us to do. What can YOU do for the next forty days that will be life-changing in some way?

 “We can become so preoccupied with what we have and what we do that we lose sight of who we are and who we are becoming.” –Matthew Kelly, “Perfectly Yourself”