Power Yoga: It’s a love-hate relationship!

In the last year, dealing with several chronic pain issues has made me acutely aware of how important flexibility and mobility are in injury rehab and prevention.  With this realization, I decided to start adding more stretching and some short yoga sessions into my weekly rotation.

I started out with some routines from this book…The Athlete's Pocket Guide to Yoga Cover

Which lead me to this DVD…

Now I have to admit, I struggled with this.  If you have ever done yoga, whether you’ve only just dabbled or are close to being a master yogi, you know, IT IS HARD.

It is uncomfortable, it puts you in positions that you know you probably are not anatomically structured to be in.  So it should come as no surprise that I had a really difficult time being consistent with this DVD and with several other DVDs that I have tried at home without anyone to push me.  It was time to get in the studio.

Now luckily I have a good friend who was up for a challenge, so a few weeks ago we meandered into the yoga studio at our local YMCA, ready for something called “Power Yoga”…we weren’t quite sure what we were getting into…

The Verdict

I LOVED IT!  Not in the way you love a massage, or a warm bath, but in a way that makes you dread going because you know it is SO hard, it will challenge you, you will not be able to do most of the poses, and YOU WILL FALL DOWN, but every once in a while you will be able to get your leg in a position you thought was impossible, and then you will feel UNSTOPPABLE.  YES!

I highly recommend trying a yoga class, or two, or three, because not all instructors, or classes are created equal, and somewhere out there, there is a class that will provide a “just-right” challenge for you!

Other than the mental gains I have found from attending this extremely difficult class, I have noticed less pain, I’m sleeping better, and I have more strength in the rest of the week!  Success.  🙂

Barbecue Crockpot Chicken and Chicken Gumbo

I tried two new recipes this week that I thought would be easy enough to tweak to make healthier…

1 – 1.5 pounds skinless chicken breast;1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder;1/2 Tsp Pepper;1 Tsp Onion Flakes;1 Cup of BBQ Sauce & Hamburger Buns. Set your crock pot to low place everything but the BBQ sauce. Cook for 3 – 4 hours or till the chicken is fully cooked.  With 2 forks shred the chicken and pour in the BBQ sauce and mix.  Cook for additional hour.Serve on hamburger buns!Enjoy!

The sugar content in this one because of the BBQ sauce was a little high for my nutritional plan but after a little tweaking, Steve loved it!

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast-cleaned
  • 1/2 T Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 T Pepper
  • 1 T Onion Flakes

Set Aside:

  • 1 Cup BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)
  • Whole Wheat Buns
  • Homemade Red Pickled Onions (See recipe below…)

Instructions:

Put all ingredients except the last three in the Crock Pot for 3 hours on low heat.  When fully tender shred chicken and add BBQ sauce.  Cook on low heat one more hour.  Serve with whole wheat buns or alone and top with picked onions!  Raves!

I was a little concerned about the chicken being too dry but I flipped the breasts a couple of times during the process and they really created their own juice.  Also, I increased all the spices and really loved the result.

You can find the original recipe here… http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/09/90149/

Below is Bobby Flay’s Red Pickled Onions Recipe from the Rachel Ray Show that I am trying this afternoon…

http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/recipe/13644_Bobby_Flay_s_Pickled_Red_Onion/index.html

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced

Directions

Bring the vinegar, 1/4 cup water, the sugar and the salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Put the onion in a medium bowl, pour the vinegar over, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days before serving.

I’ll be trying this with Stevia instead of sugar so that I can have some too!  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Up next was Slow Cooker Jumbalaya from Skinny Ms….

Slow Cooker Jambalaya With Chicken and Shrimp

Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup jambalaya and 1/2 cup rice|Calories: 456| Previous Points: 9| Points Plus:  11| Total Fat: 11 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 101 | Sodium: 1125 mg | Carbohydrates: 50 g | Dietary Fiber: 6 g | Sugars: 8 g | Protein: 40 g |

Ingredients

  • 2 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup homemade chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes ( I did not drain this but next time I will)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (I never use this with recipes and it always still tastes yummy!)

Directions

Combine everything except the rice, and parsley in the slow cooker. Cook over low heat for 8 hours. Serve over rice with parsley for garnish!

The original recipe calls for shrimp but I did chicken only since shrimp is so pricey right now!

I probably would double the Cajun Seasoning and add a little more salt next time.

I used Slap Ya Mama Seasoning that I picked up in Texas…

Slap Ya Mama

You can also find this on Amazon 🙂

Enjoy!

Find it here http://skinnyms.com/slow-cooker-jambalaya-with-chicken-and-shrimp/#7MsSZchjywSt23sf.99

I’ll be posting more Trial and Error recipes next Sunday, as well as letting you know how the pickled onions turned out with Stevia!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup homemade chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions

Combine everything except the shrimp, rice, and parsley in the slow cooker. Cook over low heat for 8 hours.

Add the shrimp to the pot, cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Serve over the rice with fresh chopped parsley on top.

Read more at http://skinnyms.com/slow-cooker-jambalaya-with-chicken-and-shrimp/#7MsSZchjywSt23sf.99

Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup jambalaya and 1/2 cup rice|Calories: 456| Previous Points: 9| Points Plus:  11| Total Fat: 11 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 101 | Sodium: 1125 mg | Carbohydrates: 50 g | Dietary Fiber: 6 g | Sugars: 8 g | Protein: 40 g |

Read more at http://skinnyms.com/slow-cooker-jambalaya-with-chicken-and-shrimp/#7MsSZchjywSt23sf.99