Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kid-Approved Dinner with Hidden Veggies

If they can't see them...

Ground Chicken Meatloaf Muffins with Hidden Veggies

I wasn't sure I'd be able to sneak these past my two boys (4 and 2) but I did! I stuffed the meatloaf muffins with carrots and zucchini leftover from the garden. You can use any leftover veggies you have around the house!
Ground Chicken Meatloaf Muffins with hidden veggies


Ingredients:

1 pound ground chicken
1/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg or 2
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
A couple of handfuls of Ninja'd carrots and zucchini

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, but only use about ¼ of the tomato sauce in the meat mixture.

Press the meat into the muffin cups (you should be able to get eight to 10 out of this amount of meat).

Top with a dollop of tomato sauce on each one.
Cook for 30-35 minutes.

Serve two per person.

Nutritional Info: The calorie count is about 110 per muffin. (Pretty good if you ask me!)

ENJOY and let me know what you think!! If you want more recipes like this one, be sure to LIKE my page. If you're interested in receiving you FREE copy of my 5-Day Clean Eating Plan or if you want to participate in my next FREE Clean Eating bootcamp, apply here!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Healthy Stuffed Italian Shells

Quick Healthy Italian Dinner

Holy moly. These shells are amazing!! If you boil ahead of time, it's a pretty quick dinner!
Stuffed shells

1 lb ground chix breast
1 16 oz cottage cheese
1 pack of organic chopped spinach
1 bag of authentic large pasta shells
1 jar of favorite organic pasta sauce
1 TBS Penzeys Tuscan Sunset Seasoning
1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400
Boil shells (the authentic ones should take around 20 minutes). Cool.
Heat ground chix in pan until cooked through and season with seasoning. Mix in a bowl with cottage cheese and thawed spinach.
Poor a little sauce to cover bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Stuff shells and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 2 minutes more.
ENJOY and let me know what you think!! If you want more recipes like this one, be sure to LIKE my page. If you're interested in receiving you FREE copy of my 5-Day Clean Eating Plan or if you want to participate in my next FREE Clean Eating bootcamp, apply here!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mexican Chicken Zucchini Boats

Taking Taco Tuesdays to a New Level

These boats are a healthier spin on chicken burritos, swapping in nutritious zucchini for flour tortillas. A typical flour tortilla contains 25 grams of carbohydrates, 458 milligrams of sodium, and not much else. One zucchini contains 10 grams of carbs, 26 milligrams of sodium, as well as vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Using zucchini as the vessel is also convenient way to watch your portions without having to think too hard: 1 boat = 1 serving.

Mexican Chicken Zucchini Boats


Total Time: 1 hr. 10 min.

Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 50 min.
Yield: 8 servings, 1 boat each
21-Day Fix Containers: 1 Green, 1 Red, 1/2 Blue, 1/2 tsp
Ingredients
4 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
4 tsp. olive oil, divided use
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup tomato sauce, no sugar added
2 Tbsp. tomato paste, no sugar added
1 Tbsp. ground chili powder (or 1½ tsp. chili powder and 1½ tsp. ancho chili powder)
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground paprika
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1⅓ cups corn kernels
1 cup shredded cheddar (or Monterey jack) cheese
2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 400ยบ F.
2. Using a spoon (or melon baller), scoop pulp out of zucchini to make boats. Place on a large baking sheet. Brush with 1 tsp. oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender-crisp.
3. While zucchini is baking, heat remaining 3 tsp. oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
5. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
6. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
7. Add chicken and corn; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from heat.
8. Evenly spoon chicken mixture into zucchini boats. Evenly top with cheese.
9. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
Sprinkle evenly with cilantro, tomato, and green onions; serve immediately
ENJOY!! And please come back let me know what you think!
If you want more recipes like this one, be sure to LIKE my page. If you're interested in receiving you FREE copy of my 5-Day Clean Eating Plan or if you want to participate in my next FREE Clean Eating bootcamp, apply here!

Monday, August 22, 2016

QUINOA GREEK SALAD

Perfect quick salad for an event

This weekend we were invited to a home brew party. Luckily I had all these ingredients at home thanks to our garden. This takes 10 minutes to whip up and is usually a hit. We'll see what these home brewers think! Think it'll pair well with beer? We'll see...
Quinoa Greek Salad in 10 minutes

QUINOA GREEK SALAD
1 cup quinoa (recommended: Bob's Red Mill)
1½ cup vegetable broth
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded (if preferred) and diced
8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoons dried dill
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup kalamata olives, halved
4 ounces feta, crumbled or cubed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
In a medium saucepan stir together quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
Then fluff with a fork.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, olives and feta.
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, dill, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Pour over salad and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least a half hour to allow flavors to meld.
ENJOY!! And please come back let me know what you think!
If you want more recipes like this one, be sure to LIKE my page. If you're interested in receiving you FREE copy of my 5-Day Clean Eating Plan or if you want to participate in my next FREE Clean Eating bootcamp, apply here!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Minnesota Staycation for Families with Young Kids

Staycation with Young Kids in Minnesota

Fun things to do close to home

Here are a few of our favorite adventures to do close to home and that don't cost an arm and leg.

1. Berry Picking

We have a few favorites in the area. This year the May frost destroyed any chance at cherry picking but we have been able to get in Strawberries and Blueberries!

We love Little Hill Berry Farm for our blueberries









2. Find an ice cream shop you haven't been to and dig in

We like to find local ice cream shops since they seem to have all kinds of fun flavors. We enjoyed a delicious kid's cone at Cow Interrupted in Farmington.







3. Set up a Tent in the Backyard

We haven't done full on camping yet, but the boys will find tons of entertainment when we set up the tent outside. Daddy and Jackson even spent a night out there together and it went great! Next up...the open woods:)




4. Set up a Slip and Slide and join in

Need I say more? Bring on the giggles! Even better when the PARENTS join in!




5. Fill up a Kiddie Pool

The fun can last for hours. Bring out some squirt guns and it gets better.





6. Go Fishing

There are TONS of lakes around Minnesota. Test your kid's patience but see the pure joy when something bites their line!




7. Find a new trail to take the bike on, catch bugs and critters along the way and have a picnic

We love taking the bike out and discovering new trails in Minnesota! The boys LOVE when we pack a lunch too and set up a picnic in front a park so we can play and then refuel.







8. Discover a new park

We love checking out a new park every Friday and discussing what we liked about that particular park after. Leads to fun adventures and great conversation!






9. Explore a new Splash Pad

There are a TON of fun Splash Pads in Minnesota. One or our favorites is at the Minnesota Zoo!




10. Go Kayaking or Canoeing

We heard that we could rent a canoe for $8 at Lebanon Hills and decided to give it a try. It was AWESOME and so much fun! We'll definitely be doing this again.




What are some of YOUR favorite adventures to do with your kids that is close to home?

For more ideas like these or for healthy recipes and health tips, please be sure to follow my LIKE page at Coach Christie Koester!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week Three and FINAL RESULTS of the Ultimate Reset

Down 9 pounds. Down from a Size 6 to a Size 4

Wow. 21 days of total CLEAN eating and I'm down nine pounds. I had eight pairs of size 4 pants buried in my closet that all fit now. What an incredible feeling to slip those on. But most importantly I really feel great and that is what I was going for!



There was ONE night during the final week where I had so much energy surging through me that I could not sleep. It was almost like a drank a pot of coffee. I could not settle myself down. Other than that, even a week after completing the 21 Days, I am still sleeping incredibly well. I lost an additional .5 pounds during the 4th week and that is with me adding in foods like grains, legumes, some chocolate and meat. I'm ecstatic.

Read about Week One Here
Read about Week Two Here 

I tried drinking coffee and my body rejected that. My heart went crazy and I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest once again. I was quickly reminded how that felt and I do not want to go back to that. No thanks. So I haven't been able to get myself to drink it. I continue to use a lot of the recipes from the 21-day Ultimate Reset in our weekly meal plan and that is helping a lot. I find myself craving the healthier foods over junk. Probably because I know how I feel when I eat well and fuel my body with foods straight from Mother's Earth vs. foods that have been manipulated or processed by science and man.

I did try a little Culvers after the zoo this past weekend and it did not sit well with me once bit. Not my proudest moment. My heart raced, I felt super sluggish and tired. I even took a nap, which I rarely do and spent the rest of the day feeling thirsty, groggy and swollen - I was retaining water terribly.

Would I do this again? In a heartbeat!! I was overwhelmed that first week but I realize that's how I had been feeling about EVERYTHING in life and I had gotten to a point where I was desperately seeking something that would help take that pressure and anxiety away that I had been feeling for months. Nothing seemed to be working anymore. This did the trick! Plus, it helped me get my love of meal planning and prepping back. I was getting burned out on trying to figure out what to make week after week. I also added in daily words of affirmations, massages, chiropractic adjustments, meditation, lots of walking and all that water and good food and it's amazing what that did for me - what this program did for me!!

I was hoping my Optic Neuritis would magically get better, but my eye is the same. My guess is if I continue to treat my body right, maybe my chances are better for a quicker recovery. Fingers crossed.

I've been sharing a lot of the recipes I tried during the 21 Day Ultimate Reset over at my Like Page. Be sure to like my page for more recipes or comment, like and share any of the posts.

DAY 21 ENTRIES: 

HOW WOULD YOU RATE OR DESCRIBE YOUR OVERALL HEALTH?
I'd give myself a 9.5. I do miss the fitness part but all that walking and stretching was pretty great!

DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS?
No.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE A BOWEL MOVEMENT?
Daily.

ARE YOU AWARE OF THE HABITS and PATTERNS YOU HAVE FORMED AROUND EATING?
Yes. I found myself wanting a bite of my kids foods more than just once or twice. Or I wanted a cracker or 10 a lot. I also tend to want to eat really fast during meals because someone always needs something. I tried to slow down and remind myself I deserve to have a nice meal too and that I won't die if I don't eat something the minute I start to feel hungry. That was a big thing for me. I have this idea in my head that I will pass out if I don't eat when I'm hungry. Not true.  

ARE YOU ABLE TO HAVE A COMPLETE AND SATISFYING ELIMINATION?
YES.

ARE YOUR BOWEL OFTEN CONSTIPATED? HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON?
NO.

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS?
NO.

HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR OVERALL ENERGY LEVELS?
10. I am back to brain dumping everything I'd like to do, then writing them out in a level of importance and getting a handful of stuff done. Rather than having that brain fog and freezing and doing nothing at all, which would create more anxiety. 

DO YOU RELY ON STIMULANTS, SUCH AS CAFFEINE OR SUGARS TO GET YOUR THROUGH YOUR DAY?
NO! YAY! 

DO YOU SLEEP WELL?
AMAZINGLY

DO YOU WAKE FEELING RESTED?
If I get over 6 hours and 45 minutes of good sleep, yes. Anything less and the answer is NO.

HOW IS YOUR COMPLEXION?
CLEAR!!

HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE HEADACHES?
The day I had a few sips of coffee, my headache came back, otherwise I don't!

DOES YOUR BREATHING FEEL SHALLOW OR CONSTRICTED?
No. I feel really good!

DO YOU FEEL MENTALLY CLEAR AND ALERT?
YES!

If you're looking for that change and are ready to commit, I'd love to work with you! Take a moment to fill out this form so I can get to know you and your goals better!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WEEK TWO: DOWN ANOTHER 1.5 POUNDS

Ultimate Reset WEEK TWO

Image a weight being lifted off your chest and being able to sleep rock solid at night. Yeah. That’s what’s going on with me. This whole ultimate reset has done WONDERS for me. Not only do I feel more Zen and at peace with everything, the heavy pressure and anxiety has lifted, and my tight pants from two weeks ago are now LOOSE (total bonus!). I truly feel amazing from the inside out.



Best of all, my confidence has grown. I feel like I have broken out of this shell I’ve been wrapping myself in. It’s hard to explain because it’s not like I’m a super shy person—I enjoy  building relationships and being real with others—but I do swallow my emotions. I honestly didn’t think I was so caged up inside. I honestly think it boils down to control. I like to be in control of things and there were so many things happening this past year that I had no control over and that freaked me out. So I kept internalizing and would get distracted, so there was nowhere for those “emotions”/”feelings” to go.

This Reset has helped me appreciate who I am as a person, has shown me what I’m capable of and has made me see that holding things in is actual a disservice to my body and those around me. I simply need to be me, enjoy life and fuel up my tank with positivity and gratitude as much as I can FIRST before I start giving.

I've been waking up early and I start off by drinking 20 ounces of water and taking supplements at the same time each day and on an empty stomach. There are 6 different kinds of supplements. These supplements consist of ingredients like Pink Himalayan salt, aloe vera, curcumin, milk thistle, and probiotics to name a few. Nothing strange or that I haven’t heard of and all straight from Mother Earth—like all the foods in this program. I still can’t believe I haven’t sneaked a cracker or piece of chocolate or sip of beer this entire time. I am so much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for.

Meal prepping for everyone has been tough though. I'm not going to lie. I have had to stop myself from grabbing a cracker or finishing food off my kid’s plates….or licking a spoon. That part has been tough. Karl brought home pizza and cookies on Saturday night. That was challenging. The whole house smelled incredible but I also reminded myself, if I wanted that cookie SOOO bad, I could have it after the 21 days. And then I was fine.

After I drink my mineralized distilled water upon waking in the morning, I prop my feet up, lie on my back and breathe. I breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 5, exhale for 5 seconds and then pause for 5 seconds. I do this for 5 minutes. Then I do light yoga stretching. This gets my energy flowing. I get ready in the bathroom and read daily affirmations that I taped to the mirror. This helps remind me WHY I’m doing this and WHAT is important in my life and that I AM enough to everyone around me. It helps me stay focused and grounded.

On my way in to work and on my way home, I have been listing to Outperform the Norm, which has been such a good read for me. The author (from Minnesota) hits home on ALL areas of health. From nutrition to fitness to mindset and applying all of this into your daily life. If you're not feeling your best, how can you DO your best? 



I have been following the guide to a T! This is crazy to me since I never used to miss a day eating dark chocolate and I usually go a bit crazy on the weekends with naughty foods. I try to follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating, but we had a couple stressful months and I was eating more 60/40 and my body was screaming at me.

Entering the second week (called the Release phase), we eliminated meat, eggs and dairy. I’m not going to lie. I was scared. In the guide we have our meals planned out for us – we just need to get to the store, prep the food and enjoy! All the recipes are in the back. I share them on my Like Page (follow me there!). 

I have tried so many new types of foods and have prepared food in different ways, which helps me because I was getting burned out with meal planning for the entire family before I started. This has just helped put that extra bounce in my step and I appreciate food SO much more and realize how lucky we are that we GET all the options we do. What we put in our bodies really determine a lot!
During the final week we focus on plant based nutrition. So we eliminate grains and legumes. It’s simply fruits and vegetables. Will I be able to do it?






I’m entering the third week 6.5 pounds lighter and feeling so great! I can’t wait to see what’s in store that third week.


What would be the hardest food for you to eliminate from your diet right now if you had to?