Archives for May 2014

Hearty Crockpot Turkey Quinoa Chili

Hearty Crockpot Turkey Quinoa Chili

Here is a healthy, easy meal for the family that will be ready for dinner at the end of a long workday.

Leftovers are easy to freeze and simplify the task of food prep for a busy week. This crockpot turkey quinoa chili recipe is simple, hearty, and delicious.

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I love hearty chili with a bit of heat but I also wanted it to be full of veggie-goodness and lean protein. So I decided to throw together a pot that features both beans and lean ground turkey, with loads of colorful veggies, and some white quinoa for an extra nutritious boost.

The result was a heaping crockpot full of delicious turkey quinoa chili that had the whole family going back for seconds.

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A large crockpot ended up feeding my family two nights worth of dinner, plus lunch one day for my hubby. You can also freeze this crockpot turkey quinoa chili in containers to use as quick ready-made meals at a later date.

Possible Modifications: To make this a vegetarian dish you can simply omit the ground turkey and sub in some black beans instead. To make it Paleo-compliant leave out the beans and increase the meat.



1 ½ lbs. lean ground turkey1-photo 1 (4)

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

1 small onion chopped

2 - (15 oz) cans kidney beans

½ large zucchini chopped

2 bell peppers of choice (red, yellow, or green) chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

4 roasted green chilis diced or 1- (4 oz) can

1 - (28 oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 - (8 oz) can tomato paste

½ cup white quinoa rinsed1-photo 5

3 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

3 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

1 small jalapeno chopped (optional for extra spice)



Chop all vegetables into 1” cubes, set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and chopped onion in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until fragrant and slightly tender.

Add ground turkey to the same pan and cook until browned. Transfer turkey mixture to a crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients and just enough water to just cover the chili, about 2-3 cups. Stir well.

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Cover and set the crockpot to low (8-10 hours) stirring every few hours and adding more water as needed. Spoon the chili into bowls, and top with chopped onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, or avocado. Enjoy your Hearty Crockpot Turkey Quinoa Chili! 

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Let me know what you think! Leave comments below if you try this recipe letting me know how you liked it and any other modifications you recommend.

My First Crossfit Experience


My First Crossfit Experience:

Crossfit By Overload

I recently had my first Crossfit experience. I was a little embarrassed about how long it took me to check it out, but I have to admit that like many people I was at first leery of Crossfit. I had bought in to a lot of the negative press that has been floating around the internet space.

I also believed that with new Crossfit boxes springing up left and right faster than the nearby housing tracks, I was going to be getting a cookie-cutter gym experience. Boy was I wrong.


My Experience

My first Crossfit experience was at Crossfit By Overload (CFO).  I had first heard about this CF gym from a website designer I met at a nearby grocery store. I then learned that a friend of mine is a member there. So, when I started my research I asked her about her box, and she talked me into checking it out. And let me tell you I am so glad I did, this place is awesome!

I reached out to one of the owners, Wayne, and requested the opportunity to interview him about his gym, and also for a tour and trial of the gym’s offerings.

Wayne was incredibly friendly when I contacted him and was more than happy to sit down with me and tell me all about how he came to love Crossfit and how he came to own Crossfit By Overload, voted the best gym in Murrieta.

1-OPEN14.1triosametime1-600x449My first impression of this gym was that it was HUGE! But upon entering the workout area and observing the classes taking place, I immediately sensed the community atmosphere of this gym.

Despite the massive building and the number of members in classes running simultaneously, there was an obvious closeness, a bond among everyone who was there. It was friendly and welcoming and a place you walk into that feels like coming home.

I was given the opportunity to try out a free week at CFO, as are all interested persons who come to check out this gem of a facility. I tried my very first Crossfit WOD and it was HARD and so much fun.

I loved the energy, the challenge, and mostly the levels of encouragement and teamwork that existed though we were each working individually to achieve our very best times.


On the other days that I was able to make it in for a workout, I tried out the Agility class, which is Crossfit Gymnastics. I absolutely loved this class and came back to do it again a second time. I wish I had been able to continue coming back.

The coaches here really know their stuff. They made me feel welcomed, comfortable, and at all times safe. It was really important for me to feel like I could go at my own pace without feeling pressured to try something I wasn't ready for.

But I also hoped to receive enough one-on-one direction and feedback to feel as though I was learning the proper form for any new movements to which I was introduced. The coaches at CFO far surpassed my expectations and the classes were very organized and run very smoothly.

The quality of the facility and the equipment at CFO combined with the highly experienced coaches , the super-friendly members, as well as the variety and caliber of classes offered at CFO made my first Crossfit experience absolutely awesome.

I will never look at Crossfit in the same way again and I hope that in the future I will have the opportunity to return to Crossfit by Overload.


What You Get at CFO

This gym boasts 12,000 square feet of workout space, fully equipped with all the pull-up bars, climbing ropes, barbells, wall balls, weights and more that you would expect to find in a Crossfit box.

They also have a wide offering of classes and have an impressively experienced staff in charge of leading each of the classes. If you are in the Murrieta or Temecula area and are looking for a family of support and encouragement to work alongside you as you strive to reach your fitness goals, Crossfit By Overload is the place for you.

Here are a few of the other features they offer:


  • Crossfit Kids and Childcare included with an adult membership
  • 2 Locations, 1 price: Murrieta and French Valley
  • $99 unlimited membership‼! Voted Best Gym in Murrieta and still boasting the lowest price in town
  • Multiple Class Offerings Such As: CF Agility, Strength and Conditioning, Crossfit WOD classes, CF Endurance, Crossfit Teens, etc.

If you are interested in trying out Crossfit By Overload you can connect with them in the following ways:






41588-A Eastman Dr.

Murrieta, CA 92562


French Valley

36580 Penfield Ln.

Winchester, CA 92596






MFC’s Smilin’ Sam Alvey Weighs In on Fitness: MMA Fun for Everyone

MFC's Smilin' Sam Alvey Weighs In on Fitness:

MMA Fun for Everyone

Mixed Martial Arts is a challenging sport. It is mentally and physically draining, requires hard work, dedication and sacrifice. And the matches between fighters while often extremely technical and requiring hours of intense training, are brutal and not for the faint of heart.


However, as the acceptance of MMA as a sport continues to grow, we have been seeing more and more gyms pop up bearing MMA in their listed services and even full blown MMA training gyms appealing to the masses.

Though increasingly popular, Mixed Martial Arts continues to be an intense sport and you may be asking yourself what does MMA have to do with physical fitness for me?


I recently had the opportunity to interview Smilin’ Sam Alvey, Middleweight Champion of the MFC.

1-sam alveySmilin’ Sam currently holds a record of 21-4-2, with his next bout and first title defense scheduled for tomorrow night, May 9th in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at the Shaw Convention Centre.

Sam hasn’t always been a fighter. Aside from doing a bit of wrestling in high school, he only started training in martial arts a little over 6 years ago.

After discovering he had some natural talent for fighting and with a few amateur fights behind him, he landed his first professional fighting contract with King of the Cage.

Now, with 27 fights already under his belt and 3 more scheduled in the next two months, Sam’s professional fighting career has been keeping him more than busy.

But when he isn’t battling it out in the cage or preparing for his next fight, Sam can be found at Dan Henderson’s Athletic Fitness Center, helping people from all walks improve their physical fitness.


Sam has been working as a personal trainer for just about 10 years, starting in his junior year of high school with a certificate from ACE. He began teaching MMA shortly after discovering his natural aptitude for it and currently teaches amateur and professional fighters as well as the general public.

He has since combined his knowledge and experiences from the two into the fitness training programs he teaches at DHAFC. Sam offers personal training, one-on-one training for fighters, group fitness classes, adult Pankration, and even a program for kids MMA.

He is a talented fighter, dedicated and hard-working, and his work ethic extends into his job as a trainer. He definitely lives up to his nickname, always wearing his famous smile, but when it is time to train he takes his job seriously and will motivate you to do the same.

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Sam is a family man devoted to his wife, McKey and daughter, Reagan, and his love for teaching and working with children shines through while coaching the kids MMA classes. He is both firm and gentle and deeply cares for his students and their overall well-being.

This can be seen in the way he works to help not only the students in his kids classes succeed, but also in the time he dedicates to each of the members in his adult classes.

I asked Sam if the training he teaches in his fitness classes is similar to the training his fighters go through, to which he responded,

“It is hard to do anything intensely for 15 minutes and when you are fighting you are put in the most uncomfortable positions possible and still have to be able to perform. So while training to be a fighter does require peak physical fitness, it is also A LOT of mental training. The training I teach to people in the fitness classes is based on their personal goals and is a lot more functional and less strict than how I train the fighters.”

Along with the Kids MMA program, and the newly added Adult Pankration classes at DHAFC, Sam runs a class called Quest Ultimate Fitness.

One of the most popular classes offered there, Quest Ultimate Fitness is a group class that incorporates a mix of functional fitness movements, circuit training, and a bit of punching and kicking. These fast-paced, high-intensity classes utilize movements that promote muscle development, burn fat, and are scalable to all fitness levels.

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But most importantly, this type of training works.  According to Smilin’ Sam,

“Training in these types of classes is one of the best things because it keeps your mind occupied, and is easier than just running long distances. We work out in a group setting that is not super strict, but is effective, and people continue to come because it is more fun.”

As anyone who has ever started a new fitness routine knows; you will only get your desired results if you actually continue to do it.

Having a class environment that is different than what you are normally accustomed to, teaches you how to use your body in new ways, and provides a fun way to get together with friends and burn some calories is a sure way to achieve the results you want without feeling like you have to work as hard to get them.

You will likely find multiple gym locations near you offering classes such as kickboxing, introduction to boxing or MMA, and even Jiu-Jitsu wrestling.

These classes are usually open to everyone, done in a group setting, very physically challenging, and a whole lot of fun.  So, while MMA may not be for everyone, a group-based fitness class with a bit of MMA flair could be just the thing you need to kick your training up a notch.

Be sure to catch Smilin’ Sam Alvey as he defends his Middleweight Title against Wes Swofford at MFC 40 tomorrow night, airing live on AXS TV. You can follow Sam on Twitter: @SmilenSam.


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