Under Pressure: Cooking with a Pressure Cooker

Nancy explains how the pressure cooker has changed the way she cooks dinner and how it helps her get great meals to the table while still driving kids to music and taekwondo lessons.  Learn about the new electric pressure cookers and how they can make dinner prep easier and faster.

Nancy likes the Cuisinart electric pressure cooker available at Costco.

Nancy’s EASY Frozen Chicken Dinner

frozen chicken thighs (you can do breasts if you prefer)
1 cup Kirkland Organic Salsa from Costco
1/2 cup water

Place frozen chicken thighs in pressure cooker, then add water and top with Kirkland Organic Salsa. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.  You can use the quick release method.  Remove the chicken and keep warm.

To make the pan sauce, set the pressure cooker to brown and watch the sauce until it reduces.  Stir occasionally.  This should take 5-7 minutes and makes a healthy and delicious sauce.  If desired, you can add sliced zucchini to make the sauce into a side dish.


NOTE: Still Nancy’s favorite fast meal machine.  Dinner Sunday night and the kids rave about it still–5 years later.

Why Did I NOT Do Squats?

Today was day one of Ladies Day 2017 at Sundance Resort.  The drive up was a bit hairy as it snowed all night but at least half of the ladies scheduled for Ladies Day made it.  We had a huge group!  Of course, we were divided by ability but since today was the first day I have skied, I know my form was not good.  Oh Well.   

Sundance has been blessed by the snow gods for the past few days and has a 60 inch base with 22 inches of new powder since yesterday.  I am NOT a powder skier yet.  I freak out when I can’t see my skis and I hate skiing through the messed up crud left behind by the guys who love it.

But, today, that was the lay of the land (or the mountain).  So, I embraced it.  And I did fine.  So did the six other women in my group.  A couple of them were from my group last year (Hi Stephanie and Kara!) and I made four new friends while we plunged ourselves into the powder! As always, we had an excellent instructor–Hi Sadie!

As I talked to the ladies I was skiing with, I was struck (as I always am–you think I would get used to this) by how similar our stories are.  These women have either learned to ski recently to be with their kids or are returning to skiing after their kids are all in the able-to-ski age range.  April came back to skiing after her youngest turned 10 (6 kids, ladies).  She did not want to be the only one left home!  I get that.  It is why I started skiing too.

There really isn’t anything like skiing with women.  Don’t tell my kids, but I actually prefer it because there is no competition and we all have the same fears and issues–things like worrying about getting off the lift or being afraid to try the powder (yea that was me).  But doing it together helps.  We support each other and make it OK to be nervous.  No male intimidation factor.  And besides, instead of saying that we need to point our belt buckle down the mountain to remember to keep our upper body still, we can say “point your boobs down the mountain” and laugh about it.  Those are some good friends and some good times.

But I have to ask myself: What Were You Thinking?  Six weeks ago, I thought I should start doing some more lower leg work.  And did I do it?  No.  I got a raging cold and laid around.  It took everything in me to drag myself through two birthdays, Thanksgiving, and family visiting so I ignored the voice telling me I would be sore on that first day.  Today, I paid the price.  Ouch!  My quads burn (which means I did not ski into my boot–I can hear Sadie in my head telling me that my quads will burn if I sit back too far on the skis).  And . . .I got a cramp in my buttocks.  No joke.  I am sure you feel sorry for me now!

So for a first day with fresh powder, weak quads and first-time fears, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I can see squats in my future this week AFTER I can walk again.

Self Compassion

Katie McClain, author of How to Tame Your Thought Monster, discusses how we can have compassion for ourselves when we feel a pain deep within ourselves.  Self-compassion allows us to give ourselves the comfort that a good friend would give us.  Using the findings of Dr. Kristin Neff, Katie has created Kind Cards to help us walk through the process.  She works through the process with Tricia.

Be compassionate to yourself and have a listen!

Can You Hear Me Now that You had a Baby

Did you know that having a baby could ruin your hearing?  It’s not from the screaming child.  Listen and learn how Tricia learned about otosclerosis and how having 4 children helped her to lose hearing in one ear.  And learn how a doctor solved her problem.  Can She Hear Us Now?  Listen and find out!

For more information on otosclerosis, check out this site.  As soon as Tricia meets with her doctor for her follow-up and gets more information about other resources, we will post them here.



Forget Stranger Danger Think Tricky People

Mom told you not to talk to strangers.  But she really should have told you to watch out for Tricky People! Pattie Fitzgerald, creator of Safely Ever After, discusses what we really should be worried about and how to arm our children so they are ready to face Tricky People.  Her website and books teach kids that they are the boss of their body.

Traumatic Brain Injuries on the Rise

According to the CDC, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in children increased 60% in the past decade.  We talk with Alexis Carroll, mother of a young man seriously injured in a skateboarding accident about how the decision to take off his helmet changed both their lives. This is a cautionary tale for every mother with tips to help you keep your child safe when riding, boarding, scootering, or skating.

Check out the local news story on Alex and Alexis: http://m.ksl.com/index/story/sid/34279985

Check out the Facebook Page for Alex’s progress: https://www.facebook.com/AlexUpdates

Empowering Kids to Deal with a Hyper-sexualized World

As never before, our society focuses on a person’s looks and sexuality.  From seemingly innocent ways to devastatingly manipulative ways, children are exposed to sexuality at younger and younger ages and in much more in-your-face ways.  How do we equip our children to deal with everything coming at them? Dina Alexander, President of Educate and Empower Kids, explains what we need to do as parents and where we can get the resources we need to raise future adults who have a healthy understanding of sexuality and the amazing blessing it can be when approached appropriately.

Check out educateempowerkids.org/ for more resources.  Check out the 30 Days of Sex Talks books on Amazon.com

Success in Weight Loss–It’s All In Your Head

Tricia and Nancy discuss how to lose weight.  Both women have lost large amounts of weight (70+105 pounds) and have changed their lives.  Tricia is currently in the midst of her weight loss journey and is changing her life (70 pounds and going strong).  She shares the reasons for her success and she and Nancy talk about what is most important when you decide to change your body and change your life. Nancy shares her journey to lose 105 pounds and her journey back to lose the 30 pounds she gained after surgery and recovery.

The Psychology of Weight Loss

Does emotional eating sabotage your ability to enjoy a healthy weight and keep it off? Do you eat when you are bored? Depressed? Anxious? How about when experiencing too much stress or when you are feeling a need to reward yourself?  Chances are that your emotions are feeding your appetite for overeating and you are an emotional eater. We chat with Dr. Denise Wood, Doctor of Clinical Psychology and co-author of
Psyched to be Skinny.  We discuss how to identify your emotional eating patterns and what you can do to help stop emotional eating so you can achieve a healthy weight and keep it off for life.

Are you ready to change your relationship to food? Are you ready to have more control over your emotions and become happier and healthier? Are you ready to lose weight and keep it off? If you suffer from emotional eating you will find the help, support and answers you are looking for.

Free 12 Week Course: Fitness for the New Year

Shelly Zumba picsmallAre you ready to start on the first week of this super simple, totally doable, powerful plan to give your life a kick in the health? Check it out.

This is Shelly’s FREE and EASY Plan. She created it because she has seen people struggle with where to start for too long.  Many people don’t know where to start or aren’t even aware of what habits are unhealthy. She wants to empower you with simple, practical guidelines that will set you in a great direction.  The goal is to be in control of your health by the New Year but you can do this any time. This isn’t a “diet” but a way to establish the habits you need to get yourself on track to healthy living.

Let’s do together!

Shelly Parcell


Keeping Kids Safe on Social Media

Nancy shares her family’s scary social media experience and discusses tips to help kids navigate social media with clinical social worker, Kim Kettle.  Learn how a mom who set up incredibly distinct rules for using technology found a predator taking aim at her child and how you can keep your child safe while teaching them how to have good social media skills.  Your child is all alone in the social media landscape and you have to step up and be their guide and their support in this lonely space.

Kim’s Reasons WHY parents need to Help Kids with Social Media

  1. Ensure kindness
  2. Be aware of who they are communicating with
  3. Be aware of sites they are visiting
  4. Help them develop good judgment

Other Resources:


Postpartum Health

Did you know there is more to having the baby than HAVING the baby?  What you do right after birth can affect your heath for the rest of your life.  Marianne Ryan, Physical Therapist and Clinical Director of the MRPT Physical Therapy clinic in Manhattan discusses what women need to do after having a baby to avoid chronic back pain or pelvic dysfunctions that can appear later in life.

Lunch Solutions

LunchWeekFreezerLunch boxes don’t keep your child’s lunch cold enough and you don’t have time in the morning. SOLUTION: Making Lunch on the Weekend and Freezing Them! Nancy explains how she makes fun lunches for the entire week including snacks and fun stuff in an hour or so on the weekend.

Nancy’s Tips to Make a Week of Lunches Ahead of Time and So They Stay Cold:

  1. make all sandwiches at once and freeze them in freezer paper  (if mayo—put in the middle between layers of meat). You can even cut shapes out and freeze them.
  2. bake and freeze cookies or muffins, then take some out everyday
  3. freeze yogurts or applesauce(even pudding freezes fine)
  4. freeze water bottles
  5. freeze cheese sticks so they stay cold
  6. cut up fruits and veggies and put in containers in the fridge
  7. make bags of dry goods that can be added quickly to lunches

MissingPieceWith everything already cut up, frozen and ready, you can just grab things in the morning for your kids!  Making lunches takes seconds this way.

Other things to check out:

PBJ Sushi RollPBJ Sushi–the TOTAL hit at lunch in Elementary and JR High

  1. Roll the bread thin and flat with a rolling pin.
  2. Spread the peanut butter on the bread.
  3. Add a slice of banana and a small amount of jam.
  4. Roll the bread tight (try to keep the jam in the first time you roll so it doesn’t spread further.
  5. Place the sushi rolls in the freezer uncut.
  6. Cut them when you make lunch.

PBJ Shushi

Since you have extra time, some days you can make some fun lunches

AngryBirdsLunch ShaunTheSheep



Perfect Protein Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

CowboyCookiesBy using white beans instead butter along with the oatmeal, you are creating a cookie with a perfect protein profile.   This recipe has half the sugar of our original Cowboy Cookie recipe but so much flavor with the addition of cinnamon that the kids don’t miss the sugar.  Plus the semi-sweet chocolate chips add a heart-healthy dose of deliciousness.  I also simplified the recipe so that you use the entire can of bean–no measuring needed there.

Makes 60 small cookies

1 15 oz can white beans  (also called Northern beans)
1 1/2 c brown sugar
3 eggs
1 T vanilla
1 T cinnamon
3 c whole wheat flour
3c oatmeal
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a blender at the lowest setting, mix beans (with the can juice), sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract quickly until the beans are incorporated.  Do not mix on high or for a long time so the eggs do not get over beaten.

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients (except chocolate chips). Add the moist mixture to the dry ingredients until incorporated (it will be a dry dough mixture), then add chocolate chips.  Make small cookie dough balls and place on baking sheet.  Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until they start to turn golden on the edges.  Make sure you remove them before they over bake so cookies remain soft and delicious. You do not want them to look golden brown everywhere.

These cookies freeze very well and can be put directly into a lunch and will defrost in time. On days when we are rushing out the door, these cookies also work as an easy, healthy breakfast–just pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds to bring back the deliciousPerfectOatmeal taste of just-baked cookies.  We take them on road trips and when we go camping. These are also great after-dinner snacks.  Some family members even love them frozen. Whenever I make these for parties, I always get requests for the recipe.  Make a batch and see!

Update:  Here is the nutritional profile for 1 cookie




Increasing Marital Intimacy

All marital relationships go through changes when children enter the picture.  Sometimes, as women we set aside our personal needs or the needs of our spouse because we think the kids have to come first.   Dr. Juli Slattery, author of No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex and Intimacy in Marriage takes a loving and intimate relationship-oriented look at how to increase our marital strength through our sexual relationships.

This is a replay of a Babies and Moms: Birth and Beyond show.

Is it Your Hormones?

Nancy has been struggling after her hysterectomy with her hormones.  So we are bringing back a show from Babies and Moms Birth and Beyond for those moms who might be struggling with weight and not know it could be hormonal (despite what your GP will tell you).

Dr. Vaughn Johnson shares how our hormones can affect us and how even young women can have hormone issues (this is not JUST a menopause issue).  Millions of women are misdiagnosed and live with symptoms of miscarriages, depression, tiredness, irritability, weight gain, hair loss, and more just because they have a simple-to-fix issue. Nancy has a lot of experience with this topic!



Nursing While Losing Weight

Shelly has never nursed her babies for very long and she thought she could not do it because she is so skinny.  This time, she wanted to protect her milk and nurse for as long as possible.  BUT she wanted to lose weight as well.  She decided that it was something she could do if she took the right approach.  Using the app My Fitness Pal, Shelly logged her calories and exercise and made sure she ate enough calories to keep the milk but also the right amount to lost weight.  Listen to how she was able to lose the weight while having the richest milk she has ever produced.

Green Cleaning

After a family member’s baby received a diagnosis of liver cancer, Tricia decided to clean her house of all chemicals when the doctor told her family that they should get chemicals out of their lives.  Learn about how Tricia has done this and how the last 4 months have changed her family.

Learn more about Norwex cloths from Tricia  greenwaytolive@gmail.com
See her site or watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvKE8dGNqOI