Thursday, October 28, 2010

Exercise Champion

Yesterday I was kind of overwhelmed with school work. I sensed that my growing stress would be helped by exercise of some sort, but I felt like I didn't have time before class to get all my work done and exercise, so I had a mental breakdown instead and still didn't get all of my work done. I had more work ahead of me after my class got out at 9:30pm, so I did 30 Day Shred to get some energy to get me through.

Thursdays are all-day homework fests for me, and I vowed not to make the same mistake again. I did some work in the morning, had lunch, and got out there for a run. I almost didn't go because it was super windy, but I figured I'd try it.

It was indeed difficult because of the wind gusts. I almost lost my awesome Jaegermeister hat a bunch of times! I was running at an excellent pace, though, so that was good. At one point, and old man who was on a walk, walking towards me, began applauding and said "Good job! Keep it up!" I'm not sure if I liked it or not. I ran the entire route this time, thankfully, but I did feel pretty tired towards the end, probably because of the wind. I was out there or 23 minutes even. I really didn't feel up to going farther.

Since I didn't try for a longer time, as soon as I got home I decided to pop in 30 Day Shred. My new thing is to do it barefoot, partially because my running shoes badly need to be replaced, and partially because I've read a bunch of stuff about this barefoot running movement. Some believe it's better for the muscles in your feet/ankles/legs to not wear shoes. I noticed that the cardio moves on the DVD feel different, especially in my calves, when I'm barefoot. Anyway, that workout was really tough after finishing a tiring run, but I made it through. I'm going to move on to level 2 pretty soon. When I finished, I decided to round out my experience and queued up some yoga. I wasn't kidding when I said I wasn't going to make the same mistake as yesterday.

On Saturday I'm going to run the First Night route with seasoned First Night expert Dan to see where i'm at and how much work I need to do to be ready for this bitch.

Fact: I am currently shopping Richard Simmons DVDs to add more variety into my workouts. I'M NOT JOKING.

UPDATE! I just ordered this:

I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


There's nothing I love more than a good stir-fry. It's a great way to use up a bunch of vegetables that are in the winter of their lives. Although it's kind of time consuming to chop all the veggies up, it's so fast once you've done that that it's worth it. Also, the cool thing about stir fry is that amounts aren't important for the vegetables, just throw in whatever you have in your fridge. Here's the stir-fry I made for dinner Sunday after work: 

tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
dash of sesame oil
dash of red pepper flakes
dash of chili powder
black pepper
1 block extra-firm tofu, cubed

Yellow pepper
Red pepper
Shitake mushrooms
White mushrooms
Snap Peas

Chop up all of the vegetables so they are relatively uniform in size. If you're married like me, you are lucky enough to have a wok which you received as a wedding gift, so get that out. Otherwise, find a big pan. Crank up the heat to medium-high, and throw your oil and garlic into that bad boy. I probably used about 4 cloves worth, but if you're not constantly in a garlic frenzy like I am, 2 would suffice. Sauté for a couple of minutes, until the garlic begins to brown. Add your broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, and spices, and cook until the broth gets hot and begins to reduce. Add your tofu (any protein would work, especially chicken or shrimp. I would think that you might use different spices for beef, but I don't really do red meat so I wouldn't know) and cook for a couple of minutes until it absorbs some of the sauce and begins to color. Then add your veggies and cook, stirring often, until they are tender. And you're done! Making some brown rice to go along with the stir-fry is clearly a good idea, but I forgot until it was too late and it was totally delicious on its own.

In the Words of Liz Lemon: Blarg

I always have post-awesome-run anxiety. When I reach or surpass a goal, I feel elated for a little while and then the dread sets in: what if I suck on my next run? What if it was a fluke? Then I think, I can probably run farther next time! But what if I can't?

As I mentioned before, I haven't run since my awesome victory, and I had to take a rest day yesterday because I was really sore from hiking. I woke up this morning and my soreness was almost gone, thankfully. I started to feel a tiny bit hungry for lunch, but didn't want to wait for my food to digest before running, so I headed out. My plan was to try for 30 minutes this time, which was only 2.5 minutes longer than I ran last time. Seemed doable. Although I noticed a little pain in my lower back and shins when I started, it wasn't unbearable, so I kept going. Before I even got to the first mile, though, I noticed that my body was feeling pretty tired. As I hit the point in my run that loops back towards home, I got a little burst of renewed energy and felt pretty good; I knew I wouldn't be running 30 minutes today, but I figured I'd bring it home, which would be about 23 minutes. But soon, I started to drag again, and I was having trouble breathing. What the flip? Then a little lightbulb went on in my head: it was noon, and I hadn't had a single sip of water all day. Whoops. That combined with being a little bit of soreness was messing up my run. Hmmph!

I pushed myself to get to the final turn in my route, and then I allowed myself a walking break. I was kind of dizzy when I stopped, so the water thing was definitely part of the issue. I walked for 2 or 3 minutes, and then ran the rest of the way home. When I got home, another piece of the mistake puzzle fell into place: despite my walking break, I still made it home in 23 minutes. I was running too fast. Again. I need some sort of gizmo that can clock my speed so I stop with this running too fast nonsense! I'd rather run longer at a slower pace than get tired out so quickly.

Oh, well. Despite the fact that my post-awesome-run anxiety was RIGHT, I'm not going to beat myself up. I pushed myself during this run, I didn't give up the minute it got uncomfortable, and I think that's what's really important. Tomorrow is another day, and I will be smarter about my next run.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Instead of Running...

I haven't had a chance to run since my super victory on Wednesday. Thursday was spent at the hospital with a family emergency, and Friday was spent cleaning. I planned on running, but got kind of carried away and it didn't happen.

I was feeling pretty restless at that point, so we decided to hike Prospect Mountain on Saturday. It was hard to figure out how challenging it was going to be, as internet reviews ranged from "easy" to "difficult" but we decided to try it out because it's nearby and not too long a hike (a little less than 2 miles up). We made it to the top, but it was not easy. I think it was a little bit easier than Hadley, but not by much. It was really steep almost the entire way, wet and slippery at parts, and there were tons of loose rocks just waiting to sprain my ankle. I got pretty grumpy towards the top. It was definitely worth it, though, because the summit boasts 100 mile views. It was gorgeous!

I wasn't feeling up for the super steep hike down, because I don't have very good balance or hiking boots and have sprained my ankle twice on the way down mountains, so we took the paved road that you can drive up part of the way down, avoiding the steepest wet and slippery parts. That added about a mile to our trip, but we were able to zoom down that road so fast that it didn't make much difference time wise.

Needless to say, I woke up pretty sore yesterday, and working all day didn't help. I got home and was determined to get back to my regularly scheduled exercise, though, so I popped in 30 day shred and did that. Then for good measure I did some yoga, hoping that would stretch out my muscles and make me less sore. This morning I woke up really sore, unfortunately, so I will be taking today as a rest day. I will try out a run again tomorrow even if I'm still sore and see what happens!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage

I went a little pasta crazy last weekend, which is unusual for me because I don't really like pasta that much. But the idea of making butternut squash ravioli got in my head and wouldn't leave, so I decided to give it a go. I wasn't sure if it would work because I don't have a pasta machine, but I'm glad I made it, as it was delicious! I went really simple with my recipe and resisted the urge to add garlic, although if I ever make it again I think I will put some garlic in there.

I looked around a various pasta recipes, and looked at what I had in my cabinet, and here's what I came up with:

Makes 8 large ravioli (serves about 3)

For the filling:

1/2 large butternut squash
1 tsp olive oil

For the Pasta

2 eggs
2 cups flour (I used all purpose because that's what I had)
1 tsp salt
olive oil (I just did a glug into the bowl, it was probably around a tablespoon)

For the Sage Fun

4-5 fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the innards (you can save the seeds for roasting, just like pumpkin seeds!) and brush the cut sides with the olive oil and sprinkle on a bit of pepper. Place cut side up on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until it's really soft.

Right after you put that sucker in the oven, you should make your dough. Combine everything except for the water in a bowl (or you can put the flour on your counter and make a well in the middle for your wet ingredients. I didn't do this but I'm intrigued by the idea) and mix it up. Now add the water, a tablespoon full at a time, until the dough starts to come together but isn't too wet--it will look kind of crumbly. I added only 3 tablespoons to this recipe. Dump it out on a clean surface, shmoosh it into a ball, and start kneading. Get ready to be bored, because you have to knead that sucker for about 10 minutes, until it's smooth and elastic. Once it looks nice and smooth, form it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it sit for at least an hour so that it looses some elasticity and you will be able to roll it out.

When the squash is nice and soft, let it cool for a little bit and then remove the skin. It should come right off. Put it in a bowl and mash it with a potato masher (or you could use a food processor, but I was too lazy to get it out, and really, it's not worth it because it's not hard to get the squash smooth) until smooth, which will take just a minute or two. Season it with the cinnamon and nutmeg to taste--I just used a tiny bit of each.

Now it's time to roll out your dough. You can tell if it's been sitting long enough by poking it. If an indentation stays, it's ready. If it springs back, it's not. Once it's ready, cut the ball in half, form each half into a rectangle, and roll them out suuuuper flat, and to approximately the same size. Rumor has it pasta dough dries out quickly, so keep the dough you're not working with covered. The rolling portion of the night will take a bit of time and patience (when using a rolling pin), because it turns out pasta dough is springy, even after sitting.

Once you have your two pieces rolled out, put a pot of water on the stove to boil. Then find what you are going to cut your ravioli with--I used a glass. You could use anything that's the appropriate size, a round or square cookie cutter would work also. I made little marks with the glass on the dough so I could see how many ravioli I could fit on the sheet, and then put about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each mark. Lay the other sheet on top, carefully pressing around the edges of the filling. Cut it out with your glass, and pinch the edges shut.

Once the water is boiling, put the ravioli in (I did 4 at a time, don't crowd 'em!) and cook it for about 4-5 minutes. Fresh pasta cooks fast! When they're done, scoop them out of the pot and set aside.

In a large skillet (or wok if your skillet is dirty and you're too lazy to wash it), heat the butter or oil and the sage until the sage gets all wilty. Throw the ravioli in (again, I did 4 at a time) and toss to coat, cooking for just a minute or two. When you're done, this is what you'll have:

Yum! They were really good, and the simple recipe definitely leaves room for experimentation.   


Last night I signed up for my first 5K. I will be running Saratoga's annual First Night race on new year's eve. To demonstrate how amazing this actually is, let me paint a picture of me last new year's eve:

Dan was running First Night, so I trudged to the starting line with our friend (and reverend!) to support him. I brought my flask. I made fun of all the runners, and vowed that the only way I'd ever run is if a bear was chasing me, and even then I'd give up pretty quickly. After the race, I teased Dan for doing a cool-down jog. I was all "OOOOH, I'm Dan and I just LOOOVE running! I just ran a race and I can't stop!" 

What a difference a year makes, huh? 

I'm really excited and kind of nervous. I think the hardest thing will be keeping a good pace when surrounded by other runners. I'll just start way at the back. I'll be running with my friend, Simone, so I think it's going to be really fun!  

I was up really late last night, and then woke up really early this morning, getting only about 4 hours of sleep. I couldn't fall back asleep so I just got up and decided to go for a run. I was famished, though, so I had a tiny bit of oatmeal. I was worried about feeling sick so I wanted to eat just enough to not feel hungry. My bananas aren't ripe, I think that would have been better than oatmeal. I chugged a big glass of water (lesson learned from my last morning run) and headed out the door. 
The run was going well, I found a really good pace right away and stuck with it so I had good stamina. I hit 10 minutes, and decided to keep going to the next block before turning around because now that I'm going to be in a race, I'm training. I figured that worst case scenario, I stopped running at 20 minutes and walk the rest of the way home, and best case scenario I would run about 22 minutes this time. 
I ran and ran and got to 20 minutes without really noticing, when I looked down it was 20:40. I was like, "Oh hellz yeah!" I kept going, and when I got back to the apartment I was at 23:30. I figured, I've got this, and decided to run to 25 like a champ. I blew past my apartment, and set my sights on a white mailbox about a block away. I decided to run to that little guy. When I got there, I just turned around and ran home. And guess how long I ran????
Check THIS out!


It's so awesome. That totally blows my pre-summer record out of the water. And it's 12 and a half minutes more than I was running a week ago! Nothing like signing up for a race to motivate you, I guess! 
Today, I love running. Tomorrow? We'll see. 

Monday, October 18, 2010


Guess who's awesome? ME!!

I woke up a little bit early this morning, and the thought of this paper that I have to write which is due tonight was looming over my head. I was thinking that I hoped I had time for a run, and then decided to just go on one right then. First thing in the morning runs aren't my thing, because I'm usually really hungry and grumpy in the a.m., but today I wasn't hungry so I decided to go for it.

I went out on a new route and planned on running 10 minutes out and back in order to try to accomplish my next goal (running 20 minutes without stopping). I figured I'd need a walking break at around minute 15, because that's how long I've been running since I started up again.

I got to minute pretty easily, turned around, and as I anticipated, started feeling short of breath at minute 15. I didn't want to stop, though, because I was curious about whether or not I would be able to do it, so I kept going. The rational adult in me said, "YOU'RE ALMOST THERE ANYWAY!" and the lazy child responded, "NO I'M NOT!!"

At minute 17, I was really feeling out of breath (it doesn't help that I was running on a busy-ish road. All that exhaust can't be good for my little lungs!) but I could see my apartment in the distance, so I was not going to stop. And I didn't! I MADE IT!! I was sweaty and wheezing and a little dizzy (note to self: drink water before a morning run. duh), but I'm so glad I did it!

I don't love this route because it forces me to run on said busy-ish road, but I guess it will be my new route because I will be able to work my way up to 30 minutes of running on it, and it allows for some variety.

This is the 6th day out of 7 that I've exercised, and while I'm grumpier than I would expect, I notice that my motivation to exercise is increasing. I'm glad I got the 30 Day Shred (which I did again last night--holy crap was I sore! But today I feel a lot less sore, so I guess my muscles are getting used to it.) because it allows me to exercise when it's raining out, or on days like yesterday when I work all day and then take a nap, and it's already getting dark when I wake up so I can't run in my neighborhood unless I want to risk being run over.

I guess I have to go write my dumb paper now. The good thing is that I brainstormed while I was running and had to manically scribble notes for my paper so that I wouldn't forget them as soon as I got home! I was trying to write last night but was having wicked writer's block, so I count my run as part of the paper-writing process!

Friday, October 15, 2010

30 Day Shred

As planned, I got my hands on Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred last night. I've heard a lot about it over the internets, particularly when I was planning the wedding. Those brides-to-be were all abuzz with their fitness plans, and everyone seemed to be doing this DVD. Further internet research brought mostly positive reviews, so I ran right out and got myself a copy.

Today was the perfect day to exercise indoors, as it's cold and rainy out. I popped in my DVD, got my hand weights ready, and proceeded to get my butt seriously kicked. It's only a 20 minute workout, but it is really challenging and by minute 10, I was sweating as if I was on a run. I'm pretty excited, it was awesome. I would definitely recommend it. Because I'm using weights, I'm going to get SO STRONG!

The plan is intended to be done every day for 30 days, but I definitely am not doing that. I still want to run, so I'm planning on running 2-3 days a week and doing the DVD 3-4 other days. Hopefully I won't get bored this way! I know that exercise is important, not just physically, but I'm generally less crazy when I'm getting exercise. It's just not always easy to go on a run every day, though, especially because it's pretty boring in my opinion. So now I'm mixing it up. I'm so smart!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day Three: Run Three

I ran today for the third day in a row. I don't know where the motivation came from; in fact, I motivated myself to finish my run yesterday with the thought of a rest day today. But then this morning came and the idea of running got into my head and wouldn't leave, so out I went. It was okay, but my legs were tired. I need to find a new route so that I can try out my next goal of running for 20 minutes because even though I have the best intentions of going past the apartment at the end of my loop, I just don't do it.
I have this guideline I made up for myself which I have snazzily named "3, 2, 1" and which I used to stick to much better. It's simply that I run at least 3 days a week, run no more than 2 days in a row, and take no more than 1 rest day in a row (barring injury, of course). I know the math doesn't add up for one week, I AM TAKING THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM COLLEGE MATH COURSE, SO I KNOW SOME STUFF! But it's just a good guideline when I'm feeling lazy (usually) or overzealous (rarely). So if I last ran on Monday and it's Wednesday, I remind myself that I'm not supposed to take more than one day off and I had better get my butt out there. And if it's Thursday and I ran Tuesday and Wednesday, I shouldn't go for a run because I need to rest my little legs (whoops).
After my run today, I did yoga (which I can't stop trying to sell as running's bff). I use Gaiam's 5 Day fit which I really do love. I got a free "The Firm" something or other in a beginner's yoga kit (which I got for the mat, block, and strap) which I really hate and only did once. Anyway, I usually do one of the routines on my 5 day fit DVD with Susan Deason, but I decided to mix it up today and did "AM Yoga for Peak Performance" with Rod Stryker. I didn't really like it that much and I even thought at one point, "This guy's a jerk!" He moves through the poses really quickly, and I'm pretty clumsy so before I fully get into one he is on to the next. Also, he dangled the dream of being finished when he had me do Savasana (the pose at the end when you lay on your back and breathe) BUT IT WASN'T OVER! What the what? I will try it a few more times before I completely give up on him, because once I know the order of the poses I may be able to keep up and then I will forgive him.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Two Runs in Two Days

I would like to run 3-4 days a week, but I've only been managing two runs a week so far since getting back into running. Part of it is time constraints-I have a ton of homework this semester-but another part of it is lack of motivation. I really don't like running. I hope that someday I will, but it feels like a chore when I'm doing it. More often than not, I'm really grumpy for the duration of my run. I like the idea of going on a run, and I like how I feel after, but I don't like running. OKAY?? I DON'T LIKE RUNNING!! It's kind of boring--my neighborhood doesn't allow many options to switch up my route because I don't like running on the shoulder of high-traffic roads. So I run the same dumb route every time. 
Also I'm getting kind of discouraged because my lack of commitment has slowed my progress. I'm still just running for 15 minutes (1.5 miles) at a time and I don't feel ready to bump it up to 20 minutes yet. If I got my butt out there 3 or 4 times a week, surely I'd be making more progress. 
With all of that in mind, I'm off to a good start this week. I went out yesterday and today, and both runs were solid. Yesterday I did yoga after, which I love doing. Today I didn't have time because I had to finish some reading for class tonight, but I think I'll do it when I get home from class. 
One issue I'm having is foot pain. Obviously I need new running shoes, but I've been putting it off. Last week, the side of my foot hurt, this week the top of my other foot hurts. Waah!
In an effort to make sure to get enough exercise, I'm shopping around for an exercise DVD for days that I don't want to go on a run. I think I've settled on Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, because the fact that the workouts are only 20 minutes long appeals to me. I can definitely find time to squeeze in a 20 minute workout. I'm also keeping my eye out on craigslist for a cheap stationary bike or elliptical. I think that if I add some variety into my exercise plan, I will be much more likely to do it more often, which in terms of my overall mental health and grumpiness, is good for me and everyone around me.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lindsay's Shameless Panera Salad Rip-Off

I am obsessed with Panera's Harvest Chicken Salad (or something like that), so I made it at home for dinner last night. Here's what I used:

Lindsay's Shameless Panera Salad Rip-off

1 bag baby spinach
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper
Onion Powder
2 Granny Smith Apples
2 Pears
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Raspberry Vinaigrette

Season the chicken with a sprinkle of each of the spices (S&P, sage, onion powder, garlic). Don't overdo it. I cooked my chicken on a George Foreman grill, but you could also cook it in a skillet or however you like.
While the chicken is cooking, wash and dice your apples and pears into little bite-sized pieces. Leave the skin on because that's where, like, all the nutrients such as FIBER are.
Once your chicken is finished cooking (should take about 5 minutes on the indoor grill), dice it up into little bite-sized pieces.
Now, there are two ways to put this salad together: the lazy way and the better way. I did the lazy way and instantly regretted it. That is, I threw all the ingredients into a big bowl and watched all of the good stuff fall to the bottom. This isn't so bad if you have salad tongs (which I thankfully do) but it's kind of a pain in the ass. What I would actually recommend is mixing all of the ingredients except for spinach and the dressing in a bowl and mix it up, and then when you are ready to serve this bad boy put down a bed of spinach and a scoop of the rest of the salad on top.
This made about four servings if the salad is your main dish.

Cranberry Chicken + Garlic Basil Green Beans

I cook almost every night, but Friday nights are the only nights I see my husband for more than 5 minutes, so I like to cook something a little fancy. Here's what I whipped up last Friday:

Cranberry Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Cup 100% cranberry juice
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 Cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch or flour
Salt & Pepper

In a skillet, heat a little bit of oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and throw it on the pan, cooking each side a couple of minutes until brown. Remove from the pan.
Pour the cranberry juice and thyme into the pan and cook until juice is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Whisk together the water and cornstarch or flour and stir this into the cranberry reduction. Allow to thicken for about 30 seconds. Put the chicken back into the pan, flipping it to coat. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Along with this, I made:

Garlic Basil Green Beans

1.5 cups frozen green beans
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp basil
1 tsp olive oil

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the green beans and cook until just before they are done, they should be crispy (if you forget that you are cooking the beans because you're also making chicken and trying to do the dishes all at once and therefore overcook them, it's not a huge deal, they'll just be a little mushy. But I wouldn't know anything about that...). Drain the beans, and in the pan heat the oil and garlic until it becomes fragrant. Throw the beans back in along with the basil, and cook for a minute or two until everything is all warm.

Along with these, I made some bulgar, which I'm kind of obsessed with right now. It was delicious!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trudging Along

Last Thursday I went on the most wonderful run ever. I had been inside trying to write a paper all day but having the worst writer's block. I glanced out the window and noticed the rain had stopped, so I decided to take a break and go for a run. I was really in the mood, it was the perfect temperature, and I was going along at a great pace. It didn't feel bad or or exhausting or uncomfortable, just nice. I broke out of my writer's block, had an epiphany about my paper, practically wrote the entire thing along my route. Even when it started to rain steadily, I wasn't grumpy. My idea to run 5 extra minutes to make it to my next goal was ix-nayed, but I wasn't stressed about it.

This week is a different story. I am dumb and because of an oversight, I got myself a week behind in my math work. Besides being rainy, this week has been frantic as I try to play catch-up, so I have only squeezed in one run so far. I headed out on Monday, and it was COLD. I wore sweat pants and a t-shirt, and my arms felt like ice cubes. That made me grumpy, and despite my good pace (hit the mile at exactly 10 minutes, which is perfect for me) I couldn't let my mind wander because all I could think about was how cold my arms felt, which lead me to thinking about how it was kind of hard to breathe and my legs were kind of tired.
Just as I hit the mile marker of my route, it started to rain again. This made me even more grumpy than I already was, and the lazy child inside of me took over as I stopped for a sulking walking break. Rationally, I knew it was totally unnecessary, as I am physically capable of running 1.5 miles, but running is so mental that I suddenly felt like it would be impossible to run the last half mile home. I allowed myself a short walk, then I ran some more, then I stopped for another walking break before running the rest of the way home. I still made it back in 15:30, so my two dumb breaks only added on 30 seconds, which is okay.

So, that sucked, but I feel okay about it. I know some days will be better than others, and as I get back into shape I will have more good days than bad. I haven't been able to get back out there yet since I've been trying to catch up with work, but I'm hoping the weather is a bit nicer tomorrow so that I can have some hope of squeezing three runs in this week.

Turkey Chili

Today was a great day for chili, wasn't it? I actually really like when it is cold and rainy because it gives me an excuse to do my homework from the couch under a blanket.

If you have a crock-pot, you are smart. It makes things like chili super easy to make if you're busy. Here is my recipe for turkey chili in the crock pot:

1lb lean ground turkey
1 white onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large can of whole, peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of chopped green chiles
1-2 cups of tomato juice (depending on how soupy you like your chili)
tons of garlic (I probably used about 6 cloves)
1 Tbsp chili powder 
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oil

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion, saute until onion becomes translucent. Add the turkey and cover, stirring occasionally until brown. When it's done, throw it in the crock pot along with all of the other ingredients (NOTE: I use tons of garlic because I am insane, which Dan can attest to. If you aren't obsessed with putting garlic in/on absolutely everything, you may want to use less. Also, you can obviously use more or less of the other spices to increase/decrease the heat). Set the crock-pot to high and cook for 4 hours. 

This makes probably 6-7 servings, depending on how hungry you are :)