I can remember precisely the time and date of my last cigarette. It was 11:39PM on December 31st, 1999. My New Year’s resolution to quit after 27 years of heavy smoking, and I haven’t had a single one this century.

New Year’s resolutions

Two years before that I successfully gave up alcohol. Neither were easy to quit, but then why would we need resolutions if they were easy? We’d just do it without a second thought. Grand gestures of an unhealthy lifestyle in some ways, are easier to eliminate because you do just that – quit all together.

Did you know the #1 New Year’s Resolution is to eat healthy? Yet, it’s a commitment we make zealously at the beginning of the year, and all too often abandon once the excesses of the holiday season are soon forgotten. We can’t quit eating, so making healthier choices sometimes means constantly having to fight temptation. The Personal Chef Approach™ can be your greatest ally in the battle for success in your new, healthier lifestyle.

One of the biggest pitfalls is time constraints that lead to grabbing a quick take-away, or eating out too often. That makes me feel like one of those cartoons where an angel is sitting on one shoulder and a little devil on the other. The angel tells me to choose the grilled fish and spinach while the devil is taunting me with a greasy burger and fries. Having healthy home-cooked meals ready to “heat and eat” quickly at the end of a long day makes staying on track so much easier! Plus, I control the ingredients I eat – no hidden fats, chemicals, hormones, anti-biotics, pesticides or ingredients I can’t even pronounce – just 100% real food!

The current week’s menu plan (recipes, grocery list and “heat to eat” instructions are included)

“Now that I have structure with Jewel’s recipes, menu plans, incredible support system with both her and the wonderful women here in the forum, I am feeling better about myself, adopting better, healthier behavior, and teaching my kids the same. “ – JZ

The last thing I want to think about after cooking for a client is planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning, AGAIN for myself. I do it all in a few hours on the weekend, and the rest of the week I can kick back and eat well without a worry, and have plenty of time with my daughter when she is home, catch up with friends, get some extra work done, or just relax and enjoy having the luxury of time to myself.

The Personal Chef Approach™ means free time to catch up with friends

My premium members say the biggest advantage to them is that they are no longer short order cooks in households where differing tastes have ruled in the past. Using the Personal Chef Approach™ to dinner means you already have an array of delicious dinners easily at hand everyone can choose from. Have a finicky eater? It’s easy to toss a plain chicken breast in the oven next to the Orange Glazed ones for the more adventurous eaters – it just takes a little advance thought. The weekly menu plans are easily adaptable.

Better still, I save a ton of money. When I shop with well thought out grocery list in hand, I no longer buy groceries haphazardly that end up going to waste. Cooking everything in advance while it is all still fresh ensures nothing spoils, and even if my plans change, the meal is not wasted. I just pop it in the freezer for a later date. Don’t just take my word for it, see what members are saying about the PCA™.

“I think the most satisfying thing this year was you proving to me that I could cook.” – RM

No excuses either! if you can read, you can cook. The ingredients and directions are right there in front of you, and our supportive community in the forum means you’re never really alone in the kitchen. Advice is just a few clicks away – helping transcend any kitchen paranoia that non-cooks may fret over.

Happy New Year Everyone!

I remember my last cigarette – will your remember when you stopped fretting over what’s for dinner, how to eat healthy, and how to fit it all into your hectic schedule? Make your resolution in 2012 be the Personal Chef Approach™. Eat more efficiently, save time and money, and finally succeed at eating healthy all year round. Join now and enjoy a 5% savings thru January 31st. Please feel free to post any questions you may have about the Personal Chef Approach™ in the comment box below, and a very happy, successful, healthy New Year to you all! What will you be doing at 11:39PM Saturday night?

Slow Cooked German-Style Pot Roast

Slow Cooker German-Style Pot Roast

This recipe actually came with my slow cooker, and has been a favorite of my clients and mine ever since. It doesn’t get much easier than this!

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 can beef broth
8 ginger snap cookies
1 envelope brown gravy mix
2 lbs. bottom round roast
1 package of No-Yolk Noodles
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

1). Combine all ingredients, except the meat, in the crock. Stir well. Add the meat and stir well to coat. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours, or on high for 5 hours.

2). Cook noodles according to package instructions, drain, add noodles back to pan, and toss with butter until melted.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with Buttered Noodles and Cardamom Carrots & Peas.

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  • December 30, 2011
    11:25 am

    You and I share a common stop-smoking anniversary..mine was 12/31/2010. Tomorrow marks one year for me.

    I’ve quit smoking many times in my life (each of my 4 pregnancies were smoke-free), however, I always fell back into it after my children were born.

    I’m committed to staying smoke-free forever.

    My resolutions for this year are to become more physically active and to become more positive.

    And of course, to stay away from my bad kitchen habits and continue to cook via your PCA!!!

    • December 30, 2011
      3:10 pm

      Well done! I have a feeling we share that day with a lot people. It took about 7 years before I got completely over the cravings – but you will get there, so stick with it. I just remember the first year every time I think about smoking again – I’d rather go through childbirth every day, than go through that again.

  • December 30, 2011
    1:22 pm

    Well done to all ex-smokers! It’s harder than ever with the chemicals sprayed on plants when they’re young. Congratulations and keep it up the fantastic work!

    Happy New Year to everyone!

  • December 30, 2011
    11:09 am

    Wow Jewels! Those were two really demanding New Year’s resolutions I would say. Kudos to you!
    My resolution is to take better care of myself, which of course includes healthier eating but also reducing stress and loving myself more in General. I hope it’ll finally work out.
    I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year and please go on inspiring me and so many others! xx Ricarda

    • December 30, 2011
      3:05 pm

      Aww, thank you Ricarda! We’ll all do it together – the cyber living room has proven there is power in like minded numbers.

  • December 30, 2011
    3:13 pm

    Thanks Rachel – I always tell Tatjana it is soooooooooo much easier never to start. So far, so good.

  • December 30, 2011
    9:12 pm

    How can I give my daughter a 1 month membership as a New Year’s gift ?
    ( FYI….I’m Dean Chamberlain’s mom.)

  • December 31, 2011
    10:18 am

    PS. Love to Dean and thank you for your support. A healthy, prosperous, happy New Year to you all.

  • December 31, 2011
    1:31 pm

    I’m terrible with resolutions but plan to stick with them this year. I’m hoping for a healthier year which in turn should make it a more productive year. So, sleep, hydration, reasonable expectations of what I can sensibly accomplish without hurting my body or spirit are all mandates of the new year and forward on. I need to stop allowing myself to get stressed and so that means being realistic in what I agree to take on in terms of helping others. Being more financially responsible is also on the table. That will be a work in progress over the year as I take note of every pence spent. The resolutions are not painful, they are really just taking special note of what it takes to take care of myself and do it. But, I also resolve to spend more time in the studio an accomplish more things in different mediums. This resolution is totally to make me move forward artistically and hopefully get my art noticed, progress my writing to a more professional level and learn as much as humanly possible of all things artistic. Will I succeed? I hope so! I also promise to be more of a presence here and in other social media areas that I participate in as well as blog weekly. Happy New Year’s Jewels! Keep doing what you do so well – motivating all of us to do our best, eat healthy and use the tools you provide for us (like the PCApproach)to stay sane and get dinner on the table with a minimum of effort each night. Lots of cyber hugs heading your way! XOXOXO

  • December 31, 2011
    3:52 pm

    Wishing you all the best in 2012, Ruthee! xo

  • January 2, 2012
    11:58 am

    I just got a slow cooker as a Christmas gift, so I’m writing a shopping list to make this. Can’t wait to try it!

    • January 2, 2012
      2:27 pm

      Lisa – this is without a shadow of a doubt, my personal favorite slow-cooker recipe and many of my clients and members rave about it too. One of the few recipes on my site that is not my own, so I can’t take credit, but too good not to share. The ingredients look suspect, but actually do work well together, and you can read labels to choose ketchup and gingersnaps ect. that are not filled with high-glucose corn syrup, organic and even gluten free if your careful.

  • December 31, 2011
    10:17 am

    Happy New Year Valley! You can purchase a 1 month gift certificate for your daughter in my shop. PayPal will walk you through the instructions on how. Let me know if you would like it emailed directly to her (I will need her email address – there is a box to enter any special instructions before you check out), or if you would like me to email it to you to print out and give to her? Just click here http://personalchefapproach.com/shop/1-month-premium-membership-gift-certificate