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Serving Size: 10
There is nothing better than a Crock Pot meal on a winter weekend and this one is a favorite. It’s easy to make and little prep is required!
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 16oz can black beans
- 1 16oz can kidney beans
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce
- 1 10oz package corn kernels
- 2 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes with chilies
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 24oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
- chili peppers (optional)
Combine onion, beans, tomato sauce, corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder and chili peppers in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.
Nutrition per Serving:
**For those with special dietary needs, a couple options are to remove the corn to reduce the carbohydrates by about 5g per serving or you can reduce the serving size and pair with spinach leaves for a taco salad.
PUNXATAWNEY PHIL SAYS WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER… AND WINTER IN NEW YORK MEANS MORE SNOW! SHOVELING SNOW CAN BE A BIG PROJECT; IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOT ONLY DO IT EFFICIENTLY, BUT DO IT SAFELY, TOO! HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU GET THROUGH THE LAST FEW WEEKS OF WINTER…
1. Stretch first
Don’t be in a hurry to get outside. Thoroughly stretch your hamstrings, back, and shoulders. Then dress in removable layers, grab your shovel and resist the urge to fly at the white stuff just to get the job done. Pace yourself. Start slowly and ramp up to speed.
2. Don’t move snow twice
Before you even take your first scoop, decide where you’re going to dump the snow. Drop the first shovelful farther away from where you are standing, then dump remaining snow closer and closer to where you are. That way, the last scoops that you shovel are moved the shortest distance. Don’t block access to snow that needs to be removed by piling it up in a way that will force you to move it twice.
3. Move snow the shortest distance possible
Consider that everything from a driveway to a patio to a walkway is really a rectangle, and rectangles have a center point. Move the snow from the center of the rectangle to the nearest edge.
4. Clear cars first
Brush snow off cars then clear around the cars.
5. Do the foreground then the background
For example, to clear snow from a rectangle, first shovel a strip clear along the perimeter of the rectangle. Then, moving from the center to the edge, push the snow into the cleared area. Next, lift and throw the snow out of the area.
6. Maintain proper posture:
A. Use your leg muscles as much as possible – push snow when you can and use your legs to lift when you can’t push it.
B. Keep your back straight as you move from the squat position to the upright position.
C. Use your shoulder muscles as much as possible.
D. Hold the snow shovel as close to your upper body as possible.
E. Keep one hand close to the shovel blade for better leverage.
F. Don’t twist your upper body as you throw snow.
7. Keep hydrated
Take bottles of water out with you and keep them accessible, either in the car or on the front stoop or somewhere else convenient.
8. Rest frequently
Clearing an area by hand means that you may lift and carry anywhere from hundreds of pounds to tons of snow.
9. Be thorough but not fussy
The sun is relatively strong this time of year. Clear an area, spread de-icer if necessary and then let the sun do the rest. The fact is, any surface color that you expose in shoveling (gray, green, brown or black) will be far less reflective than a thick blanket of snow, and remaining snow will melt more easily from that darker surface.
10. Don’t overdress
You need to stay warm, but if you overdress you’re going to be soaked in sweat in no time. Dress in loose-fitting layers that you can peel off as you heat up.
11. Whenever possible, team up
Shoveling with a friend or neighbor is inherently more enjoyable than shoveling on your own. Plus, it’s quicker to get the job done with two or three sets of hands.
12. Go easy on the de-icer
Once the area is clear, all you need is a thin scattering of de-icer to keep it that way. If you’re scattering by hand, throw the salt, pellets or granules low along the ground so they bounce and roll into a uniform layer.
13. Whenever possible, get a head start
It’s easier to remove snow in thin layers than wait until all the snow is down to have at it. If it looks like your area is going to get dumped on, try to get out there and shovel it in several passes.
14. Maintain your equipment
The front edge of a snow shovel takes a beating. If it’s metal, hammer it straight when it gets bent; if it’s plastic use a utility knife to carve off the burr that forms on its end. Tighten a loose handle by driving a large hex head sheet metal screw through the blade socket and into the handle.
15. Stretch when you’re done
Stretch gently when you’re done and use an ice pack to take care of inflamed muscles. Rest and remain hydrated.
Vitamin D is important for our bodies, but how can we get enough during the winter months?
Research has linked Vitamin D to decreased rates of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, anxiety and depression. Vitamin D levels in the body are not as much of an issue during the summer when people are going outside. However, during the winter months, people spend a lot more of their time indoors due to colder temperatures and snowy days. This often leads to a drop in the body’s vitamin D levels.
But how can you get Vitamin D in the winter? Go outside! Even when there is snow on the ground, you can still get enough sun to boost your vitamin D levels. When you’re outside, let as much skin show as you comfortably can- your face, neck, and hands can get some sunshine. Go outside during “solar noon.” This is the time of day when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. When you’re outside, use your skin as a cue. If your skin starts to turn pink, you’ve had enough. Keep in mind that you don’t need to spend hours in the sun. Even ten minutes a day can help boost the level of vitamin D in your body.
We live in an area where the sun shines enough in the winter that vitamin D supplements may not be necessary. However, especially with supplements, we need to ensure that we don’t get “toxic” on vitamin D. A better way to get vitamin D is simply by eating more of the foods rich in this vitamin. There are a handful of foods that can help boost vitamin D levels. Good food sources include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, mushrooms, eggs, and vitamin D fortified foods such as milk. Wild salmon is a great source and just a small 4 ounce serving can give us more than enough of the recommend daily allowance. For those with dietary restrictions, any type of milk will do! Cow, soy, almond, and coconut milk are all vitamin D fortified.
Following these simple recommendations can help everyone enjoy the health benefits of vitamin D naturally not only during the winter, but all year long.