Episode 22! Listener Questions!

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Source: Episode 22! Listener Questions!


Clean Sweep of the Week! Low Carb Chili

I need to warm up!

And is there really any better way to do that other than a nice bowl of chili!

I am taking a page from my old book here and brining you this low carb chili.

May I suggest serving it with my low carb cornbread?

Low Carb Chili


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, ground chicken or turkey ( I used grass fed beef)
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 can (6 oz.) no salt added tomato paste
  • 4 cups water (or chicken broth)
  • 1 heaping tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • couple easy shakes of nutmeg
  • 2 heaping tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp oat flour
  1. brown meat and drain off fat, rinse well.
  2. while the meat is draining, add the water and tomato paste together in a medium saucepan, let it start to cook
  3. chop your onion and mix all your spices in a small bowl
  4. add the Worcestershire sauce, onion and spice mix to the water/tomato paste base and bring to a boil
  5. Add the oatmeal and bring to a rapid boil and then turn off heat
  6. add the meat and sauce to a large crockpot and set on high for one hour, then turn heat to low for 2-3 hours (or until your ready to eat).
  7. Top with some shredded cheese and enjoy!

    Serves 5

Nutrition facts, per serving:

Calories 305

Carbs 7g

Sugar 4g (still higher than I would like)

Fat 13g (5g sat)

38g protein

I know you might be looking at me a little weird with the cinnamon and nutmeg, just try it. I quite liked it!

Soup’s On!

Liz Jackson

__Clean Sweep of the Week! __ Crockpot Chicken Stew


It seems only fitting on the last official day of summer that I break out my best Fall friend; the trusty slow cooker!

I ran across this recipe on Pinterest and it just looked too yummy to pass up. I chose it as this weeks “clean sweep” not because it is inherently unhealthy as it sits; it actually isn’t too bad really! Either way, I wanted to show what I would change to add a little more nutritional bang for your “buck”.

The base of the recipe really stays the same; I just made a couple very slight modifications.

You can find the original recipe here:


  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, wedged
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 T. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 2 t parsley flakes
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 1.5 lbs red skinned potatoes, halved
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Instructions
  1. Place chicken, seasonings & all vegetables into slow cooker. Cook on low 6 hours.
  2. Whisk cornstarch into milk, stir into slow cooker and cook 15 additional minutes on high.

Serving 4:

Here is my modified version:


  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, wedged
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 100g sliced jicama (I made it into little flat sticks)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 T. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt-to taste
  • 2 t parsley flakes
  • Paprika, to taste
  • Bay Leaf, to taste
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 1lb sweet potatoes, diced
  • 3 T oatmeal, ground to make oat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond  milk
  • Instructions
  1. Place chicken, seasonings & all vegetables into slow cooker.

chickenstewprepchickenstewincrock 2. Cook on low for 6 hours.

3. Whisk oat flour into milk-let it sit and thicken for about 10 minutes (I actually let mine sit for about 20), stir into slow cooker and cook 15-30 additional minutes on high.

Serving 4:


I kept my servings to 4 like the original recipe but we all ate on it and I think I have 2 servings left over (at least)!

I also opted to shred the chicken and I am glad I did.
I went a little light on my seasonings this time I admit, but it was easily remedied with salt and pepper 😉


May I suggest serving this with Low Carb Cornbread?

Soup’s On!

Liz Jackson

How to be a Happy Husband… a Wife’s take.

So last week I brought you “How to Acronym Your Way to Becoming a Happy Wife“. It seems only fair to do the same for our husbands!


I continue the same use of the word “happy” as before and added my own add lib for “husband”.

I continue to urge you to check out Arlene Pellicane at: http://www.arlenepellicane.com

Now some of these might seem reverse but you see from my earlier post that husbands truly do, at their core, want to make their wives happy; which in turn makes them happy.

Men might think this post is a little unfair, sorry guys-you have more letters in your title!

H-opeful-keeping a positive outlook and always hoping for the best in a situation and in your partner.

A-daptable-keeping your options open and flexible (with limits!-you shouldn’t be bending every direction ALL the time

P-urposeful– know that you have a reason, a purpose and are important, not only in your marriage; but in your life.

P-ositive– Don’t allow yourself to become negative…in your outlook or in your thoughts; about your husband, your marriage, life or even when dealing with your kids.

Y-ielded, While it might be hard to swallow; the Bible does mention this…but I believe it goes both ways. I really like the term MUTUAL submission; always holding the other in higher regard than yourself.  

H-onesty -Wives want their husband to be truthful to them in ALL..err.. MOST things and I venture to say that guys have a pretty good compass on what those issues are. Having faith in her husband is easy if a wife really has no reason not to trust and believe you. Honesty feels good, not only to you but to her as well.

U-nderstanding- Taking the time to truly try to see where your wife is coming from when she is talking with you. I know a lot of men tend to see things very differently than women, and both views aren’t “wrong”, it is just a different perspective. Give your wife the benefit of the doubt and stay open to what she says… a lot of times we are smarter than you may think…even though we think differently than you.

S-elflessness-I know a lot of women who bend over backwards for their husbands and their kids, though it doesn’t seem like the husband is quite as bendable. This plays hand in hand with the “Y” from “happy”. More often than not a wife is yielding to your wants, try to do the same; mutual submission, always keeping the other in higher regard than yourself.

B-etter yourself- that means take some time for the gym, to READ a book or read my blog ( 😀  ). Those efforts help exercise, not only your body but your brain as well. No woman (a good woman…) wants to be married to a man that might die at 40 because he isn’t taking care of himself and reading a book gives you something to talk to your wife about (maybe try one she suggests perhaps?)! Try reading the same one together and discuss it together; this gives you something to look forward to other than talking about the kids and their activities!

A-ttention-lavish attention, take an interest in what interests HER. I understand that everyone needs their “zone out time”… I am sitting in my empty quiet house as I type…but try to devote some attention to your wife (other than playfully tapping her on the butt as you walk by as she cooks your dinner-trust me she probably finds it annoying). We want to know that you find us interesting without our boobs or butts being involved (free tip: doing so helps facilitate involving those two things later…if you catch my drift). Sitting down and giving us your attention while we talk about the day, vent (give us a 5 minute cap on that….) or ask for your advice or help (because we want you to be our hero so we will ask for your help) let’s us know that what we have to say is at least somewhat important to you and being able to verbally engage in conversation about the topics at hand leads us to believe you are actually… LISTENING.

N-ot your job-sometimes we need you to listen and not solve… and this might seem a little counterintuitive to what I previously said but sometimes in that “attention”, that will be all we need; just your ears’ attention. It might be hard to discern what we need from you and I think it is ok to ask (in a no judging manner) if we really want you to help or just need you to listen. If we are being honest with ourselves we will be able to tell you exactly which we need at the time.

D-ependable- Remember what I said about being our “hero”? That applies to every day life. Swooping in occasionally and “saving the day” is great….and I know some that will gloat about those singular moments for months. However, it isn’t really the things you do occasionally that mean the most. It is the things you do daily; without fail because you KNOW we depend on it and we depend on you.

I know my husband will go to work because he knows we depend on him. I know my husband will help me at the gym because I depend on him to. I lean on him daily because he has shown me that I can and I can trust him to be dependable. If he says he will do something, he will….eventually; though sometimes I have to remind myself it may not be on what I consider a timely manner…which goes back the wives acronym and the letter “F” (having faith). 


construction zone

These things are all “construction zone” things and it’s pretty much like road work in Oklahoma; it’s never done. While  perfection is never achieved, each day we get is a gift and a privilege to work towards our own little version of it. Some days are epic fails (I think I might be in the middle of a epic fail WEEK myself) but if both husband and wife are continually striving and keeping these simple things in mind, having a bad week or a bad day won’t diminish the longevity of a happy marriage.

This picture truly does sum up how I feel about my husband.

This picture truly does sum up how I feel about my husband.

To The Happy Couple!

Liz Jackson

Clean Sweep of the Week!…Can You Have Your Cake and Eat it TOO???

The other day a dear friend of mine shared a recipe on Facebook that looked absolutely divine..and slightly devilish.

I took one look at the recipe and knew I could do better!

Check it out…

texas sheet cake

see the delish?

You can find the original recipe here:



  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup butter
  • ¾ Cup water
  • 5 Tbs cocoa powder
  • ½ cup buttermilk (see tip in body of post)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • For Frosting:
  • 6 Tbs milk (I use either the buttermilk or the sour milk)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 5 Tbs Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1lb box powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Cup chopped walnuts
  • Instructions
  1. Prepare mini muffin tins either line with mini paper liners or use a baking spray that has flour in it. Spray pans liberally. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For Cake:
  1. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine water, cocoa powder, and butter in heavy sauce pan, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, pour over dry ingredients, lightly mix together. Add milk and eggs. Blend well. Batter will be thin.
  2. With a small 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop place one scoop of batter in each muffin cup. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until cakes bounce back when lightly touched. Remove from oven. If liners were not used let bites cool for about 10 minutes then using the tip of a knife gently remove from the pan and place on wire rack to cool completely.

For Frosting: In a medium sauce pan heat milk, butter and cocoa until bubbly, mix in sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add in nuts and blend until incorporated. Carefully spoon about a tablespoon of frosting over each bite and let frosting set.

Here is the DEVIL (Serving 12)
I only had a muffin tin to serve 12 so I adjusted the serving size to what I had on hand

I had to sit down when I read that!

Let’s see what I can do!


Here are my switches:

  • 1/3 cup to ½ cup stevia in the raw (granulated stevia), to taste
  • 1 heaping cup Oat flour (made with oatmeal in a coffee grinder)
  • 1 scoops chocolate whey protein isolate
  • 11g (1 serving) sugar free chocolate fudge jello pudding mix
  • 55g almond flour ( remainder needed to make a scant 2 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • ¾ Cup water
  • 5 Tbs cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (with 2 tsp vinegar added to sour)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • For Frosting:
  • 6 Tbs unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 2 tps Cocoa Powder
  • 1 serving peanut butter (natural preferred)
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Prepare muffin tin either line with mini paper liners or use a baking spray that has flour in it. Spray pans liberally. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    For Cake:

  1. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine water, cocoa powder, and greek yogurt. pour over dry ingredients, lightly mix together. Add milk and eggs. Blend well.
  2. Portion into your muffin tin (I only had a regular sized tin to serve 12-this will EASILY make many more mini!) With a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes or until just set in the center of the cupcakes. Remove from oven. If liners were not used let bites cool for about 10 minutes then using the tip of a knife gently remove from the pan and place on wire rack to cool completely.

For Frosting:
Mix all the ingredients together until you reach the desired consistency.

  1. Spread on the cupcakes.
  2. Garnish with sprinkles…because life is just more fun with sprinkles.

Here’s the UPDATED Nutrient breakdown




For the Love of Chocolate,


Liz Jackson

Top 10 Hacks to a Happier Life

A good friend of mine recently posed a question to me about that ever so elusive thing called: happiness.

 This could go so many ways…

What is happiness? Where do I get/find happiness? Can I buy it, bottle it, inhale it? (no comment…)

I’ve thought about it a lot: I did a little digging around in my own brain and threw in a little “community research”.

What I found is that most people agree that happiness isn’t something that can be bought, though sipping mimosas on a yacht couldn’t really hurt, but rather happiness is a frame of mind…. And it takes a little effort.


I stumbled across a Podcast about a month ago called “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” and I was immediately intrigued by its synopsis and started listening in to learn all the secrets to; well, happiness.

I decided I would implement some of the suggested advice on the podcast and between that and my most recent transition of thinking (after reading things like Should We Really Kill All the Marriage Counselors?), I have compiled a short list of easy enough things to incorporate into your day that just might lead you down the road to finding that elusive little treasure at the end of the rainbow; the “pot of gold” also known as Happiness.

  1. Warm Hellos
    Suggested on “Happier”, Gretchen explained that giving a joyous greeting to those you interact with creates an environment of happiness and puts you in a better mood.

    I have started making sure that I give Gray and Zach a big kiss and a cheerful “Good Morning!” greeting every morning. For those that know me well…you know this isn’t easy because…well…

    morning people

    I also have strived to come into work with a smile and a warm hello at work. Even though that might mean plastering a grin (not a cringe-those I think it might still look like a cringe anyway)on my face and being happy to be there, or at least faking it until I make it!

  2. Saying No

    This spans from reading book after book that tells me I need to STOP overcommitting. Stop “Helping” so much that I am hurting myself and possibly hurting others because I become resentful (AKA UNHAPPY)of them because I am feeling resentful of the full plate of crap before ME…that I TOOK ON MYSELF. Step away from the plate and put down the fork my friend. Let someone else help themselves to the buffet.

  3. Time to Treat Yourself

    Since you are going to stop overcommitting you are suddenly able to take some time to do something FOR YOU. Like I suggest in my post about Killing Marriage Counselors, make your list, pick your choices and DO THEM. A couple a day to keep unhappiness bugs away.


  4. Saying Yes

    Pretty much the opposite of number 2. If someone offers to help you, instead of saying “that’s ok, I’ve got it” (don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about…). I want you to say, “Thank you, that helps me so much!” Release it and smile.

  5. Release Expectations

    I once read a Facebook poster…

    I know I am not alone when I say, “ain’t that the truth!” How many times do you let your own image of what you think something should be ruin what a beautiful thing it actually is? Have you ever prayed and then not received what you asked for? …Only to realize later you HAD received it, only not necessarily in the package you anticipated? Or have you gotten yourself worked up over planning the perfect party (at least in your mind), only to have everything not go as you planned at all; ruining the party? Or you think ruining it, only to be praised later for such an awesome event (which you then downplay any positive feedback you receive because you felt it wasn’t up to par, don’t act like you don’t….)?

    Take things, embrace things and work with things as they are. Don’t let your expectations of how something SHOULD be in your mind ruin what COULD be if you will allow it to be.  The more you will open your mind, you find that things usually turn out just fine and the stress just truly isn’t worth it!

  6. Take a Technology Time Out

    I learned this while on my girls’ trip to Mexico. I wrote a whole post about it! Prying my phone, tablet and laptop out of my cold dead fingers isn’t always an easy thing to do but I believe it is necessary. Facebook, constant interaction, text messaging, face timing, Instagram, Twitter- do we really need all these distractions every day, 24/7? I think a lot of us will argue, YES! But I find the more I pay attention to those TIME SINKS the more unhappy I become and the more time I waste. I could be putting that time towards tip 2!

    I challenge you to take some time every day away from those things and I challenge you to even try taking an entire day where you just turn them all off…and LEAVE them OFF, ALL DAY.

  7. 1 Minute, 1 Sentence Journal

    This suggestion from the Happier Podcast intrigued me because I have been on myself lately about keeping a journal. I keep telling myself I will…then I don’t.  I start one…and then I quit.

    Enter in the 1 sentence, and my own addition, the 1 minute journal. Every night before bed write a sentence about your day. According to Happier, research shows that you will remember and write about the more positive things in your day.

    One sentence. Here is an example of mine from last Saturday:

    Ended the day on a much more positive note than how it started; great time at the aquarium with Gray, he is getting so big!


    Since I am keeping my journal digitally on my phone through a journal app I attached a picture to the entry as well.

  8.   Let it Go
    (don’t act like the theme song from Frozen didn’t just start playing on repeat in your head)


    Got anything you are harboring? Guilt, a grudge, anger, hurt, un-forgiveness?

    Who are you truly hurting with that; Most likely only yourself? One of the many things I learned from reading the book, “Should We Really Kill all the Marriage Counselors” is that I can’t be grateful and resentful at the same time and I think that applies to all of the previously mentioned feelings.

    It is time to LET IT GO.

    Not for others but for yourself.

    It is a waste of energy and a waste of time.

    Who wants to walk around with all that baggage? Not me!

    …And in the new saying we all love so much, truly, “Ain’t no one got time for that!”

  9. Learn to Be Content

    Grass is always greener on the other side, right? …Until you realize that grass has to be mowed too. You can run yourself into the ground trying to keep up with The Jones’s or be as awesome as you THINK he or she is at X or Y. We ALL have someone that is more –ER than us. Ya know, Pretti-ER, strong-ER, wis-ER, Rich-ER, skinny-ER, strong-ER.  We believe if we can just be like them then we will be happi-ER. Or we think if we can just get that new car then we will be happi-ER; and it might work for a while-but then we get back in an unhappy funk.

    Growing yourself to learning to be content in your own skin and circumstance takes a lot of effort but I find the more I embrace the beautiful thing I TRULY am, the happi-ER I become. …and I didn’t have to become anyone else or acquire anything else to reach it. It was a brain train thing, not a “buy it now” quick-fix or achievement reached feat and I am thankful that isn’t the case. Otherwise I would probably have a mountain of debt!

  10. Move it, Move it

    You know I can’t let you go without a plug for moving your body! Studies have proven over and over again that being active (hear me, I didn’t say SKINNY), I repeat, being ACTIVE releases feel good endorphins in your brain; which in turn leads to a better attitude (for practicing that attitude of gratitude we talked about earlier) and overall better well-being.

    You don’t necessarily have to invest in a gym membership or commit to 5am fitness classes (unless you just want to; **Shameless plug alert** then come see me at http://www.therackgym.com)- just not about the 5am part, sorry.

    Simply taking a walk outside, with a friend or with your dog (they don’t tell your secrets..) can do wonders to elevate your mood and your heart rate simultaneously. I know my multi-tasking momma’s can appreciate that!

    Admit it: Just looking at all this cuteness made you at least a LITTLE happier!

    Admit it: Just looking at all this cuteness  made you  at least a LITTLE happier!

    So there you go! My top 10 tips for hacking into a happier life.

    What is your definition of happiness?

    Define it, write it out and reach for that, life is too short for anything else!

    In Happier Health,


    Liz Jackson

This One’s For YOU.

Since my last topic was about supplements for our kids I thought I would write to you the supplements I currently take in MY regimen (you really didn’t think I was only neurotic with Grays dailies, did you?). As parents we worry ourselves to death about the health of our kids and making sure they get what they need, often times at the high price of our own bodies, neglecting them in the process. One day we wake up and look in the mirror and wonder, “What in the HELL happened?” Over tired, overweight and mentally exhausted are just a few of the effects that having even just one child can have on you as a whole-not to mention all of the other responsibilities that come with being an adult. Especially if you are working a job outside of taking care of a home (which we all know is a full time job!). Oh and let’s not forget to mention extracurricular activities you might over commit to or your KIDS might over commit you too added on top of that mix.


Between our constant go go GO life in the fast lane and the FAST FOOD lane it is no wonder our health is eroding.  While I truly feel that proper diet, exercise, SLEEP and time for mental health are MOST important when it comes to being and KEEPING yourself healthy, I also believe in the power of supplements to help bridge the gaps in our nutrition and uncontrollable bumps in lifes ever winding road.

I am not going to discuss Pre and Post workout supplementation (at least not much) because I understand that not everyone is like me. This is more focused on the things that every person could implement into their daily routines with positive benefits.

The timing of your vitamins is important and I think it is important to not try to take everything all at once (and especially on an empty stomach), because your body can only absorb so much of each nutrient in a given time. Whatever your body can’t use or store (that is water soluble at least) will be excreted out in urine. So in order to not piss on all your efforts, let’s try to keep your pee from being worth more than Gold, shall we?

I am going to give you my daily vitamin/supplement routine and explain my reasoning behind that nutrient placement and my recommendations on a product to use if you wanted to start doing the same. I must emphasis I am NOT a doctor and I am speaking only from personal experience. Check with your M.D. if you feel compelled to do so.


Immediately upon waking (literally-within 5 minutes)

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice in 3 oz. warm water (drank through a straw- don’t want enamel erosion)
Post Lemon Juice
3 tsp diluted to 1tbsp with water-Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I use vitacost.com brand)-shot down like a shot (again, past the teeth)
-I find this particularly helpful if my throat is at all irritated and I will do it a couple times a day if a sore throat persists. Mid

Breakfast meal and also Pre Workout (I eat half my breakfast and then take these-I do this to avoid a queasy stomach)

2 Nutrabio Multi-Vitamin for Athletes, Women’s Formula (the multitasker!)

2 HMB (This is a Nutrabio product that helps maintain Lean Muscle Mass)

1 500mg Vitamin C (NutraBio)

1 30mg OptiZinc (NutraBio-I do this for an immune booster)

1 B-100 Complex (Nutrabio) -studies have shown that B vitamins help digestion of Carbohydrate Calories as well as supplying energy

1 Vitamin D3 (Nutrabio) -I usually only take this in the winter months when I don’t get as much sunshine

Mid Afternoon (taken with a snack)

2 Nutrabio Multi-Vitamin for Athletes, Women’s Formula

2 HMB (This is a Nutrabio product that helps maintain Lean Muscle Mass)

1 B-100 complex (Nutrabio)-sustained energy

I take the first two at breakfast as well and the rest of the recommended daily dose later in the day-my reasoning is that I want to spread out the vitamins and minerals throughout the day.

Before Bed

ZMA (a Zinc, Magnesium blend from Nutrabio that helps to promote recovery from training and works as a natural Sleep enhancer).

-I really feel like this helps me so much, I sleep like a zombie! I usually sleep 6-7 hours a night, which I realize isn’t enough and I am happy to have something that helps my body recover as quickly as possible from the day’s activities.

It might seem like a lot and maybe at first it feels like it, but I have found that the longer I have done this the more being part of my “daily morning ritual” it has become. Now as normal and routine as making my coffee or brushing my teeth.

Ready to dive into some of these? I highly recommend Nutrabio prducts to you-as the Company is a FDA and GMP inspected facility with complete label disclosure and product transparency (you know EXACTLY what you are getting) and I invite you to use my coupon code for 10% off and flat rate shipping!
Code: LJ2014 (just put it in at check out)

To YOUR Best Health,

Liz Jackson Team Nutrabio Athlete