Easy Slow Cooker Chili & When Self-Care May Not Be Fun

Sometimes self-care isn’t necessarily fun, relaxing or what you might want to do.  Sometimes self-care is more about what you truly need, which might mean working hard, pushing through and delaying gratification for a greater good.

Last Saturday was a really productive day.  We cleaned the house, washed cars, ran errands, grocery shopped, did some food prep…and otherwise organized life.  I really needed it and really enjoyed it at the same time.  I’ve learned that I thrive in structure, not rigid and militant but definitely organized, planned for and well thought out.  It felt good to create that for myself and for my family, knowing how much we would all appreciate it in the coming (busy) week.  I also enjoyed a day of rest on Sunday, which is part of what I was preparing for on Saturday.  

Self-care is creating an environment for yourself that you can thrive in.  It’s about showing up and supporting yourself in meeting your own needs.  It has a lot to do with how you speak to yourself, moving your body in a way you enjoy, eating foods that nourish and satisfy you, finding time for rest and relaxation and anticipating what you might need in the future. 

Last Saturday I also made Easy Slow Cooker Chili which we ate after watching the epic BYU/Nebraska game (He caught that? He caught that!!).  I made a large batch, knowing we could have it for lunch and/or a quick dinner this week.  I use tempeh in this recipe, which if you aren’t familiar with, is cultured soybeans.  It’s a great source of probiotics, protein, fiber, and nutrition.  I grate it in and it produces a meaty texture that we all enjoy.  It’s the only way my boys will eat it, and I’m all for providing a wide variety of foods at meal times.  If you prefer, you can use ground meat or poultry or just omit it.  

Easy Slow Cooker Chili
3 cans beans, drained and rinsed (I typically use a combination of black beans, kidney beans and pinto beans)
2 cans diced tomatoes (or 1 box POMI tomatoes, pictured above)
2 cups frozen corn (or 1 can corn, drained and rinsed)
1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 (8 oz) brick tempeh, grated or crumbled
2 large bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 package mild chili or taco seasoning spice mix

Optional:
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Limes, juiced
Guacamole or avocado
Tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients for chili in a slow cooker, mix well, and cook 4-6 hours on low.  Serve topped with cilantro, lime, guacamole or avocado and tortilla chips.

Hard work and preparation fosters healthy self-respect and confidence.  In our convenience-fueled lifestyles, we sometimes forget that!  I also think we forget to take time to rest and relax, which adds to our well-being equally as much.  The key is to find the balance, which I feel starts to flow naturally as we work to stay engaged and present in our lives.  

Oh, and, we ended the night with a trip to Pizza Factory for a Never On Sunday (like a pizookie).  Perfect Saturday!

Self-care also tastes delicious!  

Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD