Make a delicious, quick and cheap veggie soup in your crock pot. There's nothing better than coming home from a busy day and smelling something delicious!! Here is a recipe I use that includes lots of veggies and beans. You can add chicken breast pieces or ground beef or turkey, but even without meat it's awesome!!
1 box of frozen spinach
1 red potato diced
chicken breast pieces, ground turkey or beef, or frozen meatballs (all optional)
1 can of corn
1 can of cut green beans
1 can of black beans
1 can of chick peas
1 box of chicken, beef or vegetable broth
1 can of diced Italian tomatoes
cabbage cut up
red and/or green pepper diced
1 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
Combine everything in your crock pot with the frozen spinach on the bottom, then the red potato, and meat if you are not going to do the soup vegan. Pour everything else on top (do not drain liquid from canned veggies) and cook on High for about 3 hours or on Low for 5 hours or until you can see the frozen spinach is floating around.
If you want to make more of a winter style soup you can use squash, zucchini, carrots and leeks in place of the corn and green beans.
TIP: If you want to make your soup a little thicker, like a stew, just add 5 tbsp. of Minute Tapioca in with the soup and it will thicken as it cooks. You can add more Tapioca if it is not as thick as desired....and no, this does not add any taste; it's just an awesome quick way to make a gravy like consistency that is fool proof.
Quick Switch Tip:
One of my downfalls is chocolate milk..I love Hershey's Syrup and I use 2% milk, but yeah, I know it's still fattening and loaded with sugar. I tried Chocolate Soy Milk and it was OK, but I have since discovered Chocolate Almond Milk. It has 50% more calcium than milk and NO fat or aftertaste and it tastes really good. I also use it in smoothies. Almond Milk with Vanilla is good too, especially on cereal. My favorite brand is Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.
Water is the thing to drink while you're working out to stay hydrated on the inside, but how about a simple way to feel hydrated and cool on the outside when you're sweating up a storm?
You can buy Rose Water or Lavender Water in a spray form at your Health Food Store for about $6.00 and spritz this on your face, neck and anywhere else while you're working out. If you want to make your own spritzy water, get a spray bottle and fill it with sparkling water, put it in the fridge till you're ready to use it. Not only does it make you feel cool and fresher during a workout, it also sinks into your skin on it's own to keep it hydrated.
I own lots of DVD's, but the one piece of equipment I have is something I can not do without (and it's inexpensive!)....it's a Danskin Pilates Bar. It's a simple bar with foam over it and 2 resistance bands on each end. I purchased mine at WalMart - and it costs about $20.00. It comes with a DVD to watch while using the bar - it works every muscle you can imagine, it's not difficult even for a workout newbie (but it's highly effective!), you can switch resistance simply by placing the bands at a different angle, and the thing I love most is that it literally stretches your muscles and gets the kinks out....you feel tingly from the wonderful stretch and is a great way to tone. I use this just about everyday - I don't always do the DVD with it; I use basic moves with it and it makes my slight lower back pain disappear. This is a must-have little piece of equipment regardless of your endurance or regular workout routine. It's small and portable too!
Check back again for some more of my favorite things and simple and inexpensive tips!
Oh and I would love to hear your feedback and some of your favorites!!!!