Smoky Beef Stew


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


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


  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 for details!
#fortheloveoffitness #fitmom #postpartum #momof2 #cleaneating #healthy #fitness #weightloss #support #happiness #bodypositivity #momlife



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!!


My two main squeezes.