Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Who doesn’t love a good veggie soup? The lush gravy like tomato veggie broth with a mixture of potatoes, zucchini, celery, and carrots is delicious (my mouth is watering just thinking about it now). During the colder months I have a favorite veggie soup, minestrone soup. I prefer minestrone because I like to add pasta to it, it makes it seem more robust and filling on a cold winter day.  

Over the weekend, I made minestrone soup in the Instant Pot (who doesn’t like fast and easy). This recipe is super easy and extremely tasty. I hope you enjoy! 

Ingredients: 

1 TB olive oil 

1 white onion  

2 garlic cloves minced 

32 oz (1 large can) crushed tomato 

4 cups vegetable broth/stock 

3 TB tomato paste 

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 

1 can (15 oz) of garbanzo beans, drained (or any favorite bean you like) 

Salt (to taste) 

Pepper (to taste) 

½ a box of pasta (I like Barilla’s Chickpea Rotini, has more protein than regular pasta) 

2 tsp Italian Seasoning 

Vegetables: 

Celery – 2-3 ribs 

Carrots – 2 to 3 

Potato – 2 big potatoes, I used Russet (use whatever you have on hand) 

Zucchini – 1 

For the vegetables, I usually eyeball it. I want all the veggies to be equally represented, so you can adapt and add more of a specific veggie or not (it depends on your preference). 

Minestrone Soup

Instructions: 

  1. Plug your Instant Pot in and select the Sauté button and set for 10 mins. 
  1. Add olive oil to the Instant Pot 
  1. Once the Instant Pot is hot, add Italian seasoning, garlic, and onions. Let the onions soften a little (4 mins) 
  1. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, and zucchini. Stir 
  1. Add crushed tomatoes, beans, and vegetable broth. Stir 
  1. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Add the pasta and stir 
  1. Cancel Sauté and put the lid on the Instant Pot. Select Pressure Cook and set time for 4 mins and leave alone.  
  1. Once the Instant Pot is done, you can do a quick release (watch out for the steam). 
  1. Go ahead and plate it up and eat! 

This dish will go great with a baguette or any kind of bread you like; you could even serve it with a side of Triscuits (my favorite). This recipe is also good if you or on a Daniel Fast because it is vegetarian. 

Day 2 of 30 Meditation Challenge

Day 2 of our 30 day meditation challenge is here! Are you ready for another one? Today we are using one of our favorites from 2021 our- Breath meditation.

Here we will walk you through on how to focus on your breath as you clear your mind of any distracting thoughts.

Breath Meditation

Give this a go and comment below on how you feel afterwards.

Day 1 of our 30 Day Meditation Challenge

This is Day 1 of Fun Joy Peace’s 30 day meditation challenge. Are you excited? I know I am. I love to set new habits to help create a better version of me.

Today’s video is Meditation 101, where we cover how to meditate.

Meditation 101

Have you ever meditated before? It’s not as hard as we think. Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way. Enjoy this beginner meditation, it’s not too long. Just a snippet of what meditation is all about. 

Join Fun Joy Peace on this 30 day meditation challenge to help start your New Year off right!

#funjoypeace #funjoypeacemeditationchallenge #30daymeditationchallenge #newyearnewyou2022 #icandoanythingfor30days #2022hereicome

Peppermint Mocha

Serves 1

There is nothing like a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. However, during the winter months and especially for Christmas a peppermint mocha hits the spot! Unfortunately, sometimes when I go to a coffee shop my mocha can have too much peppermint resembling the nice minty flavor of toothpaste. Having had enough I made my own…and its pretty darn good. Its simple yet delicious! Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 8-10 oz hot coffee
  • 1 packet Sugar free hot chocolate packet
  • 1 Tbsp crushed peppermint candy
  • 1/2 tsp crushed peppermint candy for garnishing
  • Whipped cream for garnish
  1. Make hot coffee.
  2. Put peppermint candies in a zip loc bag and hit it with a rolling pin until peppermint is crushed.
  3. Pour hot chocolate packet into your mug.
  4. Pour hot coffee on top of the chocolate mix and stir until completely dissolved.
  5. Take crushed peppermint and place in mug, stirring until completely dissolved.
  6. Spray whipped cream on top and garnish with remaining peppermint.
  7. If cookies present, swipe them and enjoy with your new favorite hot drink!

Why Yoga?

In this fast paced world, it’s so easy to get caught up in doing everything all at once. But when you never get a break, you end up burned out and exhausted. That’s where I was a few years ago. Stressed out, not sleeping, and wanting to limit my time around people. It wasn’t the best few years, but I can look back and appreciate it because now I can help some of my friends who struggle with what I went through. 

During this stressed out time, I was having heart palpitations, severe anxiety, and depression. I literally felt like Chicken Little because I always had a bad feeling that something was going to happen. Little did I know, worrying about the heart palpitations made them even worse, increasing the anxiety and the depression because I felt like I had no control over what was happening.  I ended up finally going to the doctor and ended up with a prescription for an antidepressant. I tried it for a few days, but instead of making me feel better, I ended up with a severe headache that actually didn’t go away until I stopped taking it. With that being a failure, my provider gave me a more holistic option, yoga. I wasn’t totally against it, but wondered how exactly yoga was really going to help. 

I was used to fast paced cardio, like running, Crossfit, and cycling. But at this point I was in dire straights. I reviewed a few yoga classes at my gym at the time and picked one. It was a vinyasa yoga class. I’d been to it before a few times, but was never consistent. I arrived a little early and sat down on my mat. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The instructor arrived and low and behold it was one of my favorite spin instructors. Immediately, I felt at ease because it was someone I knew and talked with frequently. She had such a calm demeanor and spoke quietly throughout the entire class. 

The hour class came in went, in what seemed like in the blink of an eye. It was a little challenging in a way that my other fitness regimens lacked. But at the end I couldn’t help but smile. I had such a wonderful time in that class. But most importantly, I found myself able to actually focus on one thing at a time while being fully present in the class; rather than worrying about everything that I still needed to do at home. However, the tell-tale sign was the fact, later that night I was able to sleep soundly without the aid of sleeping pills. Needless to say, yoga became a go to for me after this wonderful experience and made me want to help others, which led me into becoming a yoga instructor.

I am now a 200 hour certified yoga instructor. If what I say registers with you please check out my YouTube channel Fun Joy Peace. There I breakdown what you can expect in a yoga class. I don’t want anyone to feel anxious about starting yoga because they don’t know what to expect. Let me help you along your journey, so that you have the peace in your life that everyone should have. 

Hopefully I’ll see you around!

Alaina

Mediation 101

Start 2022 off right. Learn to have that inner peace.

The last two years have been quite a doozy. There has been a lot of anxiety, worry, fear, and uncertainty in the air. The main thing that has kept me covered during this has been, Jesus. I make it a point to spend time with God on a daily basis, but I also try to meditate as well. Meditation helps me hear God, quiet my mind, and focus on one thing at a time. Have you ever tried to meditate? It’s a lot simpler than what people make it out to be. 

Meditation has been around for thousands of years. It’s actually a part of yoga classes. The main reason I tried meditation was because of its many benefits. At the time I was having a hard time sleeping and suffered from anxiety. It has been shown that practicing meditation can decrease anxiety, help on to focus on being present, increase patience, self awareness, increase your ability to manage stress, and to increase overall sense of wellbeing. I can personally attest to the fact that it has helped me with all of the above. 

It’s hard to describe, but after meditation, you feel oddly calm… and a little sleepy because it relaxes you so well. If this sounds like something you would want to try keep reading, I’ll explain how you can start to meditate like a pro. 

  1. Find a nice comfortable seated position in a nice and quiet area. 
  • It can be inside or outside, it’s up to you. 

2. Set a timer for how ever long you would like to meditate. 

  • If you are new, set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes,

3. Shake out your arms and roll out your neck, relieving any tension you may have.

4. Close your eyes with your hands either in your lap or on your knees.

5. Take a nice big inhale through your nose. Exhale out of your mouth for 2-3 times total.

6. Now focus on your natural breathing, in and out of your nose. 

7. As you focus on your breath draw your attention to how your chest rises and falls.

8. Keep your attention on your chest.

9. When you are ready or your alarm goes off, gently open your eyes. 

10. Take inventory of your body and notice how you feel. Then go on about your day.

If you felt awesome meditating and want to try it for a longer period of time. Come join me with Fun Joy Peace’s 30 day mediation challenge. Each day on our Facebook and Instagram page we will have a different meditation for you to practice. Have fun and learn some new techniques along the way. This will help set the tone for your 2022!