Michaela’s Clean-Eating Guacamole

After my friend Terryn made her delicious Carne Asada Tacos last week and told me she made my often-requested Guacamole, I knew I had better make her tacos ASAP! They looked so good AND I decided since I would be making it, I should share my Guacamole recipe for you all to enjoy too!

Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit (yes fruit!). They are a healthy source of mono-unsaturated fat, which can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease the risk for heart disease. They also help your body absorb other fat-soluble vitamins from the  foods you eat. But keep in mind that a serving size of avocado is 1/4 of an avocado. Guacamole is just one of the many ways I enjoy incorporating this healthy fat into my diet.

You can halve the recipe if desired, and adjust ingredients according to taste. We like ours garlicky and spicy.

Ingredients:

4 avocados, peeled and diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped

1 shallot, finely diced

1 large handful FRESH cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1 tomatillo, cored and finely diced (optional—I used it just because I had it)

Sea salt

Pepper

Cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp lime juice

Lightly mash avocados in a bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix. Let chill for an hour for flavors to meld.

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Smoky Beef Stew

smokybeefstew

This is a cold-weather favorite at our house because it is hearty, warm, filling, and has beef in it, which is a must if you are feeding a hungry farmer like my husband! Plus, beef is one of the most nutrient-dense food choices around–full of b vitamins, iron, protein, and zinc, to name a few, all while being relatively low-calorie.

Even better, it all goes together in one big pan, meaning only one dirty dish (if you use the method of parchment paper on a baking sheet in the oven to cook the bacon). Recipes at my house have to meet certain rules–simple, kid-approved, and healthy. This dish meets all of those criteria!

Smoky Beef Stew

Adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo and the 21 Day Fix Extreme Nutrition plan

By Michaela Gasseling

Ingredients:

½ lb bacon

2 lbs beef stew meat

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp chili powder

½ tsp ground chipotle pepper

1 large sweet onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

14 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

Salt & pepper to taste

Green onions, sliced, for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Cook bacon in 375 degree oven on parchment lined baking sheet until crispy (about 15 minutes). Let cool and chop.
  2. In a large skillet (a cast-iron skillet works great!) over medium-high heat, pour the leftover bacon fat from the bacon. Add the beef, salt, paprika, and chipotle pepper. Stir often until the beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  3. While beef is cooking, prep the sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic.
  4. Add to the pan the sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic. Stir until browned, then add broth and tomatoes.
  5. At this point, you can add beef mixture to a slow cooker and set on low for 5-6 hours. OR, you can add remaining ingredients to the cast-iron skillet and continue cooking on low for about an hour.
  6. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, top with sliced green onion and crumbled bacon and ENJOY!

Self Worth| Happiness

may2Self Worth| Happiness

You cannot have one without the other. If you don’t feel good about YOU, you won’t feel good about anything else.

Pause and think about that.

When I started this fitness business, I wanted to help people feel better about themselves by helping them meet their goals of losing weight or getting to their best health. But over the past two years, and going through a second pregnancy and delivery, becoming a mom of two, I realized something. Not just for myself, but for so many other moms and women– what’s important is how we FEEL about ourselves and how we view ourselves. Did you have a baby? Then how freaking strong are you already?!?! It’s time to take the focus off of appearance or pounds lost. Let’s focus on healthy behaviors, healthy foods, moving our bodies, setting good examples for the little eyes around us, and see what happens.
Starting in May I am opening a new kind of accountability group. We are going to focus on changing our lives, one step at a time.
What you get: meal ideas, recipes, accountability, support, positivity, and just possibly your best life!!
Comment or send me a message to macc_15@hotmail.com for details!
#fortheloveoffitness #fitmom #postpartum #momof2 #cleaneating #healthy #fitness #weightloss #support #happiness #bodypositivity #momlife

 

Changes

A couple of nights ago I had to capture a moment after my PiYo Live class.!! These two don’t care that I smell….they love the snuggles!

What’s crazy to ME is to think that had it not been for one scary-big decision a little over two years ago, I might still be missing out on these most important moments of my life. I was working full-time PLUS on-call anywhere from another 24-72 hours a week on top of that. When I was at home I was anxious, stressed, and well…..I didn’t enjoy life very much. With a 2 year old and another baby on the way, I knew something had to change.
After a final straw–and what I am sure was a sign from God surrounded by red blinking lights in the middle of the night–I quit my job, started working only two days a week at a wonderful hospital, and signed up with my friend to be a Beachbody coach.
My life, literally, will never be the same. I am surrounded by positive, encouraging, empowering people and what we get to do for “work” is not what I consider work. I get to help other people see how awesome they are and that they are capable of reaching their health and fitness goals, all while keeping myself accountable to my own goals.
The result?? I am happy, healthy, and get to spend my time on who and what matters the most to me.
If this interests you, let’s chat!!

 

crazies
My two main squeezes.

The #MomLife That No One Talks About

The following article, a conversation with a friend, and a lot of time passing have all encouraged me to share this.

Postpartum Depression is not talked about enough. Before I experienced it myself, I barely knew what it was and wasn’t even sure it was a “real” thing.
As a lot of you know, three weeks after having baby #2, we moved. Not only did we move, but we moved in with my in-laws until our house was renovated. So, new baby, a move, I had quit my job of 7 years a few months earlier…….it was an understatement to say I was overwhelmed with change.
Thank God my doula had talked to me about PPD, its triggers and its signs and symptoms. I always just thought it was “being depressed after you had a baby.” SO WRONG. For me, it was extreme irritability and sudden rage. I am not proud of how I acted and I am thankful and hopeful that my then two year old will probably not remember how awful I was. I fully can understand why no one talks about it. But that needs to change. My doctor brushed it off. My husband felt helpless. It turned out to be a blessing that we were living with my in-laws because it meant I was not alone and my mother-in-law is an amazing woman and frequently would take care of the kids so I could go outside and get some fresh air and walk or run.
Eventually my hormones leveled out and I have an amazing support group which I believe got me through that period of my life. But if you or someone you know is maybe going through PPD, reach out. Even if you don’t know what to do or how to help, just take the first step of talking about it.

Here is the link to the mentioned article.

 

New Year, New Adventure.

I have a different idea for 2016. Hear me out. After seeing all the “new year, new you” posts, some personal development reading, and kind of a rough morning, I decided that I don’t want a “new me.” I want a BETTER me. 2016 is going to be another new adventure, because I have decided to CHOOSE to notice GOODNESS. That will be my word.

I woke up crabby, mad at the dirty dishes in the sink (the reason I always stay up late doing them). I felt disappointed and overwhelmed by my to-do list. Why is it so easy to notice the bad but not the good?? In ourselves, in others….

So I’m going to try to just STOP. Stop wasting time entertaining thoughts about my weight, or my gross natural hair color. Stop comparing. Stop shaming ourselves for things we can’t do that others can. No more guilt about a messy house, crafts left unfinished, a failed new recipe.

I have two beautiful kids. I am a mom. I am married to the man of my dreams. We get along most days. We have a lovely warm house. We have so much. I am grateful for those things. Even if I am imperfect. God doesn’t care. My kids don’t care. I have a choice. I can notice the GOOD and be thankful for it. 

I can relish the early-morning snuggles from my daughter when she tip-toes into our room. I will enjoy the rocking and nursing-to-sleep of my baby boy. The laundry? Evidence that we have clean clothes. The dishes? Evidence that we are fortunate enough to have plenty to eat.

I am challenging you to join me. Will I succeed every day at only seeing the goodness? Doubtful. But just by trying, and slowly improving, I am succeeding. We don’t need a “new year, new you.” We just need a new attitude.
Cheers to a new attitude in 2016!!
#2016 ‪#‎goals‬ ‪#‎imperfect‬ ‪#‎momof2‬ ‪#‎attitude‬ ‪#‎choosegoodness
newyearnewadventure

Reality

realityblog“Some days you feel like you’re killing it (as a parent) and some days your kids are eating chapstick.”

PERFECT quote from a fellow 4th Trimester Bodies Project mom!! (If you haven’t heard of it, check out here).

It also pertains to life in general I think. Maybe it’s because I was a part of a project, a movement, SO much bigger than myself a couple of weeks ago or maybe it’s the personal development book I’ve been reading, but whatever the reason, I’ve done some MAJOR re-evaluating and reflecting this week.

I am a Beachbody Coach, yes. I am also a mom, a wife, a sister, etc. I am a fitness instructor. I am a La Leche League Leader. I am a friend, volunteer, ultrasound technologist, runner, farm-wife, etc. We ALL have many roles and jobs.

What I do as a health and fitness coach involves posting a lot on social media. I post healthy meals, a few homemade “life is too short to not eat dessert” meals, sweaty selfies, workouts that I am doing, my beautiful children, pictures of the house I love….I post a LOT. But after this week, I am done making it look like things are always lovely and full of rainbows and unicorns. A lot of people in my profession do very well by posting those things. And I love their posts! But for me, I feel like it is time to show that I DON’T have it all together, and that real life is messy and that it’s OKAY!!! There is so much comparison and competition, when we should be working TOGETHER. We could be so much stronger TOGETHER. Judgment is human nature, I get that, but are we helping anyone by making others think that we have a perfect life? I don’t think so.

So I wanted to show you a few things. The top picture is our office. We moved in 11 months ago. Yep, I’m still not unpacked. It’s a disaster. I used to pride myself on my SUPER clean house. I cleaned from top to bottom every week. Then I had kids. Enough said.

The bottom is my current love-handle size. Maybe it will eventually go away, maybe it won’t. I’m working on it because that is a priority for me, but I know it’s not everyone’s priority and that’s ok. It’s also not my #1 priority. (I have kids.)

A few other things I could tell you–I just burned the damn muffins in the oven. Sometimes my almost-16 month old still sleeps with us. We had popcorn for lunch the other day. I don’t remember the last time I dusted my house. I am lucky if I put on make-up 3 days out of the week. So please, don’t ever feel judged by any of my posts. Know that I am so freaking imperfect. And I am ok with that!

Being a woman, a mom, a parent–is HARD and EXHAUSTING and I in no way want to contribute to the comparing and competing. I hope to inspire and empower. Nothing more.