Tag Archives: Steph Bell

Bison and Black Lentil Chili

3 Nov

IMG_1973A bowl of chili on a crisp night with a classic book soothes my soul–bonus points for a crackling fire. I like my chili hearty, so it’s loaded with vegetables and can easily be made vegan/vegetarian by replacing the ground bison with an extra cup of lentils.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground bison (or grass-fed beef, turkey or chicken)

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 small red onion, diced

6 carrots, chopped

2 red bell peppers, diced

2 heads broccoli cut into florets

5 celery stalks, chopped

1 cup dry black lentils, rinsed

24 oz jar crushed tomatoes, low or no sodium

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, low sodium

1 tsp sea salt

20 turns cracked black pepper

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 Tbsp dried oregano

2 Tbsp chili powder

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

 

Directions:

1. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, brown the bison and drain the fat.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to simmer for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Serves 6-8

Slow Down… and Push Up

27 Oct

Oh, the push up. Love it or hate it, this exercise is pure gold. It strengthens many muscles at once, is extremely efficient when time is limited, can be easily modified for various injuries or strength levels and requires no equipment. Hooray!

In order to create the magical win-win for your body, it is muy importante to slow down, engage the abdominals and focus on bending the elbows to lower the body as opposed to collapsing into the shoulder blades. Shall we have a run at it?

1. Place your hands on the floor underneath your shoulders (or place hands on the wall or railing for a modified version). Shift weight back into your heels, draw your belly button towards your spine, tuck your tailbone and keep your shoulder blades wide and head in neutral (see Figure 1). This is your starting position.

Figure 4

Figure 1: Start position

2. Inhale and slowly lower (2 counts) your entire body towards the ground as one unit by bending the elbows (the elbows will point back at a 45 degree angle away from your torso). Keep the shoulders wide and head neutral. Stop once your chest is about a fist distance away from the ground (see Figure 2).

Figure 5

Figure 2: Lowering position

3. Exhale and slowly push your body up as one unit to the start position.

4. Perform 10 reps or as many as you can do with proper form.

Using a secure wall, railing or table works well to modify the exercise (see Figure 3). If you would like to increase difficulty, you may slow the tempo down even more, increase reps to 20 or place your feet on an elevated surface.

Figure 2: Modified Push Up

Figure 3: Modified push up on secure desk

Regardless of what you do, be certain you have proper form and stop the exercise if you feel any pain. It is always ideal to have the expertise of a certified personal trainer to ensure proper form and programming are achieved for your unique needs and goals. And remember, before you start any exercise program, please get the A-OK from your physician.

 

For your customized exercise and nutrition program, please contact me at 402-819-8970 or stephsbell@yahoo.com.

How to Throw a Halloween Hootenanny 101

20 Oct
Austin Powers needs his teeth back! Check out the apple and almond butter recipe here: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/green-meanies-recipe.htm#

Austin Powers needs his teeth back! Check out the apple and almond butter recipe here: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/green-meanies-recipe.htm#

Let it be said: I am from the generation that slayed vampires as opposed to falling in love with them and letting them sparkle (it must be noted that Buffy the Vampire Slayer did produce some enjoyable vampires in Angel and Spike). So there’s that. Now, let’s enjoy Halloween minus the guilt, shame, upset stomachs and sugar comas!

 

Here are 2014’s Tips for a Halloween Hootenanny to Remember…

1. Bring Nature In. Rather than decorating with candy corn, use acorns, apples, or leaves to add a homey vibe to your fall decor… or (un)lively things like mummies, zombies and spiders. Whatever…

2. Let it Glow! Swap the spider cupcakes and bloody cookie fingers in your gift bags for a G-rated Rave and hand out some glow sticks.

3. Work Your Thang. Build special memories with your kids and show them (and yourself) that play is fun and important for a healthy body. Start the night with a Mini-Monster’s Ball before your dinner. Play the Monster Mash and other fun Halloween tunes and dance your little vampire heart out. After dinner, join the kiddos and walk house-to-house with them while they trick-or-treat. Take turns thinking of different ways to get to the next house… maybe you do the Igor Foot Slide, the Boogie Man Boogie or the Headless Horseman Trot.

4. Bat Wings, Brains and Barf. Doesn’t that menu just scream “Eat Me!?” Plan a fun Halloween dinner that will actually excite the kids to sit down and eat a healthy meal before trick-or-treating. Think chicken “bat” wings, scrambled “brains,” carrot “fingers” with almond “fingernails” (stick the slivered almonds on the carrots with a little hummus), or guacamole vomit (bonus points for extra chunky and having it come out of a pumpkin or other figure) with vegetable dippers.

5. Savor Your Sweets with Enjoyment and Pleasure. It is Halloween, have your favorite candy or cookie or dark-chocolate dipped carameled apple and enjoy it in the company of your family or friends. The key is to not just devour it, but savor it. Eat it slowly, taking time to notice all of the flavors, colors, textures and feelings. Make it a game and see who can eat the slowest. The more we enjoy food, the less power it has over us and the better we realize that one actually is enough.

6. Spread the Love. Allow your kids to choose 10 pieces of their favorite bite-size candy (a month supply at two pieces per week). Allow them (and yourself) to have one or two pieces of candy that night. Place the remainder in the freezer, picking one night during the week when they may have two more pieces of candy. This will give all of you something to look forward to and know that you aren’t depriving yourself of your favorite sweet treat. After they choose their candy, bag the rest and donate it or throw it away. Many organizations and dentist offices will collect the candy (and some will pay you for it) and donate it to troops overseas. Go to http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com for a list of participating businesses.

Whatever you decide to do this Halloween, laugh often, be safe and enjoy the little moments in life.

Spaghetti 2.0

13 Oct

IMG_1969Sometimes traditional recipes just need a little nutritional upgrade that doesn’t downgrade the flavor. Mangia!

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

5 cloves garlic, skin on

4 heads of broccoli

1 lb ground bison (can also use grass-fed beef or turkey)

1 small yellow onion, diced

24 oz jar tomato sauce (I like Bionaturae brand)

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp dried basil

1/2 tsp sea salt

20 turns cracked black pepper

optional garnish: toasted squash seeds, fresh basil

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Cut the top stem and bottom off of the spaghetti squash, then cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds (rinse and pat dry for later if you want to toast them), coat the skin with olive oil and lay each half cut side up on a baking pan. Also, coat the garlic cloves (skin on) in olive oil and place them on the sheet too. Roast for 20 minutes.

2. While the squash is roasting, chop the broccoli into florets and steam in a steam basket for 15 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water to cool.

3. About now the timer will go off on the squash and garlic. Remove the roasted garlic and place the squash back in the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes or until done.

4. Then, brown bison (or meat of choice) in a large skillet pan. Drain grease. Peel the cooled garlic, mince it and add it to the skillet along with the diced onion, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Allow the squash to cool while the meat sauce is still simmering. Once cooled, use a fork to remove the spaghetti-like strands. Plate the spaghetti, then broccoli and top with the meat sauce. Add additional toppings such as the toasted squash seeds (the toasting method is described in this recipe) or fresh basil.

Serves 4-6

How to Flourish In Your Body

6 Oct
Enjoy every experience and be present in the moment... even when you are grocery shopping.

Enjoy every experience and be present in the moment… even when you are grocery shopping.

There is no need to

shame,

beat,

punish or

diet our body to good health.

 

Rather, let us

ACCEPT (that we are perfectly imperfect)

RESPECT (our body and know we deserve to feel amazing)

LISTEN (to our body and what it truly needs)

FEEL (that our self-worth is not in our appearance)

and LOVE our body. (that’s it–just love)

 

Then, true health will SHINE throughout us.

We Never See Our True Beauty

29 Sep
Are you ready to feel amazing?

Are you ready to feel amazing?

I was 17, the summer before senior year, watching a PBS documentary on ballet dancers. I, a dancer myself, was in awe of their beauty and grace. About 10 minutes into the documentary, I had an awakening.  Let me back up…

Like many females, I have wrestled with body image issues since I was young. I was called a “dog” more times than I care to admit and have been ridiculed for being too skinny, too flat-chested, too dorky, too everything! Unfortunately, I chose to believe those comments and soon found myself staring at my body and face in the mirror with hatred and disgust. All I could see was a homely girl with frizzy hair, glasses, a flat chest and a big butt. I even created a mantra in high school, “I’m glad I’m not pretty, because I actually had to develop a personality.” I used that mantra a lot.

But then came that PBS documentary. As I was watching the ballerinas, I realized they were small-chested like me; had a muscular butt and thighs like me. I went numb processing that discovery. For once in my life, I felt like I belonged. I felt like it was finally okay to have the body I have, regardless of what anybody else said.

We never see our true beauty…

I’m not over my body issues. I’ve used food to cope with loneliness and to “fix” me; and I’ve believed that when I’m prettier with a better body, I will finally deserve happiness. I worry because I work in the fitness industry—an industry notorious for placing emphasis on how an individual looks, rather than how healthy and happy they feel—and who wants to train with a fitness coach who has a (gasp!) flawed body?! Through a lot of practice, I’ve become more mindful, more aware that I don’t have to wait until I’m “fixed” to live my life fully. There’s nothing to fix.

Breathe that in… there is nothing to fix.

Whether we’ve been teased for being too fat or too thin; too tall or too short; red hair or blond hair—it hurts all the same. I work with amazing people who struggle daily with losing weight, feeling energetic and healthy, knowing what to eat and thinking that their life would be better if only they looked like this month’s magazine cover girl. I can relate. So, here’s a thought, let’s work on loving ourselves, on embracing our beauty, showing compassion towards others, being mindful of our own needs and celebrating each other for our intelligence, humor and grace. Let’s encourage each other to have strong, healthy bodies; let’s compliment each other; let’s be ridiculously gorgeous without apology; let’s cook healthy amazing food and feed it to our friends and family; let’s be the person our loved ones can be proud of—that we can be proud of. Let us just BE… and embrace all that that is.

If you would like to feel truly nourished and create self-acceptance and body freedom, join me for a 6-week course beginning October 21st, 2014. Please email or call for more details. 402-819-8970 or stephsbell@yahoo.com.

Fats Won’t Make You Fat and Carbs Aren’t the Devil

22 Sep

IMG_1197The Diet World is confusing. A quick Internet search lists so many fad diets, you don’t know which one is right for you. Should you do high carb or low carb, Atkins or Vegetarian, Slow or FAST?

 

Before you decide how you want to eat, let me throw in my two cents. How about not dieting at all? What about just eating food—real food that tastes amazing and works with your body type and needs (such as diabetes, thyroid disease, food allergies, weight loss, etc.)?

 

While I’m not going to give general recommendations in this blog as to how many vegetables, starches, fruit, fat and protein grams you should eat (because I believe that is highly individualized and who the heck knows what a gram of anything looks like, let alone want to measure it), I do want to talk about what real food is made of (macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat) and how it builds and sustains our health. While I think knowing examples of what a carb, fat and protein are is important, I also think it is crucial to remember that we eat food—not macronutrients—and that each food almost always contains all three macronutrients.

 

Carbohydrates. A lot of people villainize carbs, but here’s the catch—vegetables and fruits are carbs too, so eliminating carbs is certainly not the answer to vitality. Carbohydrates are compounds composed of sugars (not to be confused with processed sugars that truly hinder your health) and come from plants. They are a primary source of energy, fiber and a structural component of cell walls and plasma membranes because they contain all sorts of stellar vitamins, minerals, water and secondary nutrients like antioxidants. Carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits and starches (grains, beans and potatoes).

 

Protein. Protein consumption is essential for building and repairing all tissues in the body such as muscle, bones, organs, hair and skin, not to mention neurotransmitters, enzymes, hormones and a source of energy. There are 21 amino acids (for the chemistry aficionados, these are the individual compound strands of protein) and our bodies can make most of these all on our own. However, there are 8 essential amino acids that can only be obtained through direct consumption of fish, fowl, meat, eggs and dairy. These amino acid building blocks are necessary for our bodies to function optimally.

 

Fat. Before you run for the hills, please understand that you need to eat fat. Fat is composed of glycerol and fatty acids and their asso­ciated organic groups. Fat is a source of energy, a building block for cell membranes and hormones, aids in nerve conduction and helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It also helps with maintaining healthy weight due to its satiating nature. It is essential to consume high quality saturated and unsaturated fats to maintain optimal health, especially the essential fatty acid omega-3. Fabulous fat examples include olives, coconut, avocados, nuts and seeds.

 

For an individualized nutrition program and to create body and food freedom, please contact me at 402-819-8970 or stephsbell@yahoo.com.