Friday, June 5, 2015

Healthy Mozzarella Chicken Salad

So, I made this salad of deliciousness for lunch! I was feeling guilty that I had bought a big bag of spinach thinking I was going to have a salad everyday for lunch... pssh yeah. We'll I made good use of it today and it was much bueno!

1-2 tsp EVOO
1 minced garlic clove
Pinch of salt
1 tsp sriracha
3-5 oz of chicken tenders
Sprinkle of mozzarella cheese
Sprinkle of Italian seasonings and pepper
Large handful of spinach

Warm up the oil and them add the chicken, salt and pepper. Let cook for a bit and then add the fresh garlic, sriracha sauce, and seasonings. Cook until chicken is just about done and then sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and let it melt just enough to stick to the pan a little bit. Then put on top spinach and drizzle the rest of the oil as dressing.

It was seriously amazing.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Eat ALL the food.

OK guys, Crystal here. I talked in a blog post about Insulite Labs and what they recommend as far as nutrition goes to alleviate PCOS symptoms. They recommend a high quality protein, good fats, lots of green veggies, low GI fruits, and lots of water kind of diet. I highly recommend learning about insulin resistance and why it is important to eat this way if you have this problem. A basic rundown is that if you are eating lots of sugars and carbs, and you are insulin resistant, your body is not properly utilizing glucose and therefore it is getting stored as fat causing you to gain weight. This is why it is important to back away (very slowly!) from the treat counter and grab a boiled egg instead. ;)

So I thought I'd list out the foods they suggested.

High quality Proteins: free range poultry (grass fed), free reange beef (reccommended only 2x per week), Fresh seafood (such as wild caught salmon, catfish, seabass, shrimp, crab, haddock, tilapia, trout), Omega-3 Eggs,  Game, veggie burgers (watch the ingredients though), lean pork (2x per week), nuts, and a good quality protein powder. It is also okay to have greek yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, and other cheeses but use in moderation.

Carbs (they reccommend trying to get down to only having 1-2 a day until your body is able to stabilize): 100% whole wheat breads and high fiber crackers. The fewer ingredients it has, the better.

Good fats: Avocado/oil, nuts, olives/oil, nut butters

Fruits (try to limit 2 a day): apples, berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, pears, apricots, cantaloupe, nectarines, peaches

Veggies (as much as you like!): asparagus, bell peppers (any color), brussel sprouts, celery, cilantro, greens (chard, kale, etc), mushrooms, onions, peas, artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, parsley, spinach, zucchini
*you can have potatoes, carrots, yams, corn, and squash but try for only once or twice a week

Can you feel your body screaming at you to eat ALL that food? Mine sure is.

Something they suggested that I really appreciate is to NOT COUNT CALORIES. Yep. Thats right! Wahoo for me! I find it annoying. It is a good idea to write down what foods you are eating and how much, just to keep a journal to look back on if you start having issues, but counting calories doesn't matter quite as much as the quality of good food you are eating combined with consistent workouts.

Once again I will emphasize these changes should happen slowly! Mostly I need to remind that to myself. I don't have to be eating like that by tomorrow. I'll just try to be more conscious and switch some of my carbs out for veggies. Yes, good plan.

I promise I will try to post some of my food recipes on here. But it may be in spurts similar to times like this where I decide to write 3 blog posts in one night.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Breakfast of Champions

Before I got married, I wasn't really a breakfast person. Not because I don't love to eat, but because I love sleep more. If giving up breakfast meant I could sleep for fifteen more minutes, that was something I was willing to do. Yes, I am well aware of every single news story, blog, or comment about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. I get it. I just want sleep more.

Chris changed that about me. He insists that I eat breakfast - what a great man! He insists so much, that he will make it for me every single work morning. I am often in the bathroom, finishing getting ready, when he yells, "Breakfast is ready!" And patiently waits for me to come eat with him. It has become my favorite part of the morning - especially weekday mornings when we both have work. That five, ten, fifteen minutes of quiet time, sets my mood for the day. Especially because we always say a blessing on our food and our day.

Eating healthy is so hard. I think the hardest part is the fact that you have to do it again the next day, and the next, and the next. Didn't I get enough vegetables yesterday? What do you mean I have to start all over again?! Hard. It makes frozen dinners and packaged food really appealing. But that's not healthy.

This is what I did. [I pre-made breakfast]. Just for one day. Just to see what it would be like. Guess what? It really wasn't too bad! A lot better than having cold cereal, or not eating anything at all.

I have been only eating whole wheat bread. Not the healthiest, but also, not the worst. With it, I made french toast.
1 egg
1/4 cup almond milk
Scramble, dip the bread in, and cook in a frying pan. I also made a fried egg. Protein, right? Instead of having syrup with my french toast, I had Greek Yogurt, blueberries, and strawberries. I made two pieces of french toast, and fried two eggs, and had one each one morning, and the others the next. Not bad. And so easy. I haven't tried reheating after more than one day, however, I think I may soon. I need to be creative these next couple of weeks, since we are traveling a lot. Saturdays are usually my prep days (as well as my cleaning days!).

Any tips on how to have a quick, but healthy breakfast?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pre-baked Chicken Salad

I am about as lazy as they come, however, I am also a perfectionist. So instead of cutting corners, I look for ways that I can do things more effectively, but still keep them quality. This is how freezer meals came about in my home. That is also how this idea came about. Because we live 45 minutes from the nearest grocery, I buy a lot of things in bulk, including chicken. It's always hard to buy a lot of chicken, freeze it, defrost enough for just my husband and I. so I decided that I would just bake it all. I usually like my chicken grilled, however, my husband was gone rafting again, and it's hard to get our ginormous grill out of the storage shed a lone. So, I bought a bunch of chicken breasts from the store, placed them on a cooling rack that was on top of a cookie sheet with tin foil, seasoned them, and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about half an hour. Voila.

I give you delicious, and really easy, chicken. I love using McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic and Herbs seasoning. And my very favorite part about this whole thing? I only have to deal with nasty raw chicken once!

I will usually put the chicken that I don't eat in the freezer for a quick, easy defrost later. Mostly, I will put it in salad, but it (as I have posted before) is really good with any veggies.

For my salad, I just grab a bag of romaine lettuce, shred some chicken, and cut up some strawberries. And have you ever tried this with poppy seed dressing? Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing has become my new addiction.  Honestly, I am in love. I don't even care if it has a bucket full of sugar... Okay, I do, but I go lite on the dressing.

In my opinion, you need to do things that will help you eat what is healthy. I am so sick of salad with lemon juice... You don't even want to know, because it's that unappetizing for me to talk about.

Does anyone have any other salad ideas? I don't see myself getting sick of this anytime soon, however, strawberries are not cheap at our grocery store, so sometimes I don't have them on hand...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Crock Pot Taco Soup

On Saturday, my husband was gone all day river rafting. Which, I actually didn't mind, because it was the first time I'd been home in three weeks, and I had a lot of stuff that needed to get done! Laundry, scrubbing the kitchen floor, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning our bedroom, and the dishes were piled a mile high. I love my hubby, but I can get a lot more done when he isn't home. 

We live in the very bottom corner of Southeastern Utah. It can get really hot very quickly (I have strawberry plants that survived the winter and are already producing!), however, on Saturday, it was a cold and rainy day. The kind of day that I love. It was a perfect day to make a yummy Taco Soup! Which had actually turned into a blessing when my husband came home freezing - he'd been rained on while on the river and hadn't been able to warm up yet. 

Crock Pot Taco Soup
1 pound lean ground beef 
1 packet taco seasoning
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 15 oz can kidney beans - drained and rinsed
1 can corn - drained

Precook the ground beef and add the taco seasoning packet, following the directions on the packet. Add the garlic and onion to the hamburger and cook until they are tender. Add everything to your crock pot and cook on high for 1 hour, or low for 2 hours. 

I ended up one and a half-ing the recipe, and added a can of black beans instead of another can of kidney beans. I like to put a little cheddar cheese, sour cream, and Fritos in it, however, it is delicious plain, as well. Also, you can use shredded chicken in place of the ground beef. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Gluten Free/Sugar Free Pumpkin Bread

I think Chocolate Chips make some things eatable. Seriously. Because I am trying to avoid sugar, and that's hard, I had to get creative with what I wanted to have for snacks. I have a minor sweet tooth - if a minor sweet tooth is eating a bag of jelly beans in one day... I love, love, love sugar. Unfortunately, so do my hips and buttocks. So, ditching it has always been so hard for me. However, I LOVE how I feel when I haven't had sugar in awhile, I am exercising, and eating healthy. The skin on my face looks amazing, and I can wake up at 6:00 AM and not want to slit my wrists. All good things. The only problem is, if I avoid sugar, how can I eat my feelings? Along with sugar, I have been trying to avoid white flour. That has also been hard. I love my white bread. I even make homemade white bread, and, ooh. I miss it. So, that's how this recipe came about. I found one on Pinterest that I just didn't quite like, and I adapted it to what I wanted, and although it's not amazing homemade white bread with freezer jam, it'll do. 
Gluten Free - Sugar Free Pumpkin Bread
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
1 cup Oat Flour (you can also use Almond Flour)
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
3/4 cup Pumpkin
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Coconut Oil melted
4 eggs
1/2 cup SUPER dark chocolate chips

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl and all of the wet ingredients together in another bowl. Stir together until everything is nice and mixed. Put ingredients in greased bread tin and bake for 45-60 minutes.

I buy the big cans of pumpkin from the store, and so I double, or even triple to recipe, so I don't have pumpkin hanging out in the fridge. I have also doubled the recipe and then used the rest of the pumpkin for pancakes. You can see a recipe for that here

Because there are no preservatives, I will keep one loaf in the freezer, and then then loaf I am currently using, I will keep in the fridge. It doesn't taste as great as a handful of jelly beans, however, it isn't bad. Especially with yummy chocolate chips. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Protein Pancake Win

Well, I did it! They don't look as appealing, but they sure tasted good. That's what counts, right?? I used to same batter recipe as the ones I made the other day, and had left it in the refrigerator, which made it thicker than normal pancake batter. So the recipe:

Pumpkin Protein Pancake
1 1/2 cups Oat Flour
2 tbsp Stevia
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 Nutmeg
4 Egg Whites (I used 3 whole eggs)
1/2 cup raw Pumpkin
1 1/2 cups Almond Milk

As with regular pancake mix, mix the dry ingredients together, and the wet ingredients together, and then mix the two together. Cook on a griddle or skillet that is at medium heat until brown on both sides. Hopefully yours don't look as clumpy as mine did. 

I just want to say something about my choice of Greek yogurt. First of all, it's delicious. It is something that I will eat and enjoy. I really don't like the taste of plain yogurt with honey. I know that this yogurt has sugar (7g) but it also has protein (12g) that I feel helps with the sugar. I'd rather eat something that is semi healthy that I enjoy, than try and choke down something that I think is completely nasty, and hate my life. So, I buy plain Greek yogurt (Fage), and use that for smoothies, but nothing else. Mostly because I haven't found that I like it any other way. 

Happy pancakes everyone!