Happy Valentines Day friends! I am rushing to get this up before I head out the door to go try Jiu Jitsu for the first time. If I'm being honest, I am nervous! I have been on the search for the next big fitness endeavor to take on. If you guys have any suggestions, let me know! As for this casserole, it was a total win at my house.
The only downside was when the pan was empty. :)
2lbs of Chicken Breast or Rotisserie Chicken
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt, Pepper
8 oz Plantain Chips
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
3 cups chopped broccoli
11/4 cups condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup mayo ( can use vegan sub)
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP cashew milk (can use almond but sauce will be thinner)
1 half fresh squeezed lemon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Roast Chicken Breasts + olive oil, salt and pepper in oven for 20-25 minutes
Meanwhile, pulse plantain chips until they have a sand like texture. Add in the nutritional yeast. Pulse until combined.
Cut Chicken into thin strips
Lightly grease 9X13 casserole dish
Place Chicken and Broccoli in the bottom
In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients plus 1/2 tsp of salt 1/4 tsp pepper.
Pour soup mixture over the top of chicken.
Top with plantain mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes or until it is hot and sauce is bubbling in center.
I recently hit up a local Thai restaurant for the first time. Having no idea what to order, I went with something I recognized. Red Curry Chicken. Now, what came out was absolutely not what I had envisioned. I thought I was getting a plate of curry chicken, vegetables and rice. I was a little shocked when I was served a soup..BUT let me tell you, it was AMAZING! I came home and went to work on a recipe that was a little healthier.
1Tbsp olive oil
1 Lb chicken thinly sliced
2 scallions, chopped
2 TBSP red curry paste
2 TBSP Tumeric paste
2 big cloves garlic minced
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 low sodium chicken broth
1TBSP fish sauce
Chopped/sliced carrots, onion, bell peppers and broccoli (use what ever you want)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Three stems of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook chicken strips in a large pot until almost thoroughly cooked and then remove. Keep the broth. Once all vegetables are chopped and ready to go, heat oil, red pepper flakes, red curry paste, turmeric and garlic in the same pot as the chicken medium-high heat. Add all vegetables at once and let cook down. Then add coconut milk, water and fish sauce let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Then add the chicken and let simmer for 10 minutes. As you remove the soup from heat, add the thyme.
You can opt to put rice into the entire pot or just serve in each individual bowl like I did.
The most frequent questions I get lately are usually related to how did I know to get my hormones tested and what am I doing for treatment.
I eat well, I exercise regularly, I don't consume alcohol often and I make it a point to get 7 hours of sleep. I still felt like crap, I was retaining water and I was emotional. All of these "symptoms" are your body yelling at you.
Saying HELLO SOMETHING IS WRONG.
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism based on my blood work. If you want to test and see if you have a thyroid disorder consider asking your doctor to run these labs.
TSH- measures how hard the pituitary is working
Free T4- measures if the thyroid gland is working
Free T3- checks if T4 is being converted to T3 so your body can use it.
Reverse T3- measures how much T4 is being converted into T3
Anti-TPO & TgAb-checks to see if your immune system is attacking your thyroid and may indicate an autoimmune disorder.
Vitamin D- you need enough of this for thyroid function
B Vitamins- thyroid regulator
Sex Hormones- if irregular can affect T4
Cortisol- stress can cause thyroid disorders
I always suggest that clients have their blood work done. To insure you are not fighting yourself. Getting your hormones balanced should be first priority. If it comes back normal with nothing wrong, GREAT. Now you know, that if you put in the work that you should be able to get healthy!
Large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp grass-fed butter
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp minced garlic
Leaved from 3 stems of thyme, chopped about 1 tsp
1/2 Tbs sweet potato flour or any type of flour
1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp coconut oil
2 boneless skinless 4 oz chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper
3 slices baby Swiss cheese
Heat the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook, stirring frequently. As needed, add in small amounts of beef stock to keep the onions from burning as they caramelize. Cook until onions are very tender and caramelized. About 30 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and sauce one minute.
Then Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and stir until combined. Add the rest of the beef stock and bring to a simmer. Then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Pour onion mixture into a bowl and sit aside.
Return pan to stove and increase heat to medium high. Add in coconut oil. Season Chicken liberally with salt and pepper and sear in pan for 2-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the onion mixture over the top of the chicken and then add the cheese on top. Cover and let cook until cheese is melted down.
I am currently in the middle of an online training about reseting the way that you think.
The body of it so far seems to about the choice between two brain settings.
Default thinking or deliberate thoughts.
Your default thinking is something that you fall back on when things get hard or you want to quit. It is, for most people the negative thoughts we tell ourselves and often times causes anxiety.
"I am not successful enough."
"I will never get there."
"I don't have the right genetics to lose weight."
"I am ugly."
"I am to fat."
"I cannot do that"
"No body likes me."
This list can go on and on. These thoughts generally give someone the validation they are seeking to quite pursuing whatever thing it is that they are trying to accomplish.
These are typically themes through out someones life. The person who has been on every crash diet that has been available. The person who never completes a project. The person with a severe case of FOMO.
Deliberate thinking is redirecting those thoughts to something positive. Creating an ANCHOR thought. This is something that I think I will continue to use through out the rest of my career.
Here are my anchor thoughts:
"I am on my own time line, I am exactly where I need to be."
"I am seeking the help to learn who to lose weight and be healthier."
"What is the harm in trying."
"The right people love me"
It's November, still two weeks from Thanksgiving AND IT. IS. SNOWING.
UGH. With this weather, brings on some of the best comfort food known to man.
Something, that I have found over the years that is easy to make lighter/healthier versions of, is soup. So that is what I have made for this miserably cold day.
It is an alternative recipe to Olive Gardens Italian Zuppa.
Serving size about 1 1/2 cups-Fat 6.7g-carbs 18g-protein 38g
4 slices Center Cut Low Sodium Bacon, Chopped (or cut with scissors)
1/2 cup turkey sausage crumbles or 3 turkey sauce links, removed from casing
1 Medium white onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 Large russet potatoes
3 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup Half and Half
1 package of extra lean ground turkey
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Brown turkey in pan.
2. In a soup pot, cook bacon pieces until crispy; remove from pan and let cool on paper towel
3. Sauté onions and garlic in bacon grease, in the same soup pot.
4. Peel and cube potatoes
5. Add chicken broth to pot.
6. Add potatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to pot; bring to a boil and then let simmer
7. Add half & Half, turkey and spinach.
8. Cook until potatoes are tender.
9. Top with bacon bits & (not included in macros) mozzerella cheese.
When it comes to calories, alcohol has 7 calories per 1 gram. This is very dense especially compared to the main macronutrients:
1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
1 gram of protein = 4 calories
1 gram of fat = 9 calories
1 gram of pure alcohol = 7 calories
To track alcohol, we will be allocating these calories to carbs and/or fats. Never substitute alcohol for protein (because that’s just cheating).
IMPORTANT: If you are using a “mix” in your drink that has carbs or fat in it track that first. Then with the calories left over from the alcohol, do the math:
Track as carb: Take the total amount of calories in your alcoholic beverage & divide by 4.
Track as fat: Take the total amount of calories in your alcoholic beverage & divide by 9.
Or split between the two.
Example: if a drink has 200 calories you could track as:
Carbs 200/4 = 50 grams of carbs
Fats 200/9= 22.2 grams of fat
Both 100/4= 25 grams of carbs
100/9= 11.1 grams of fats
I'm not too sure where I got the bug to start running again. Growing up, I was horrible at running. Always felt slow, never consistent, yet I always wanted to do the fun 5k's and obstacle courses I would see advertised. My best friend and I had been doing some weight lifting paired with short runs and we eventually signed up for my first 5k! It wasn't my best run, but I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment and wanted to get better.
Fast forward a few years later, I had been training Rachael, one of my clients, for about a year when she asked me to help her train for a 5k. We decided to start incorporating runs into her training sessions. Getting started with running is the hardest part! It can be scary! I also love getting involved with the workouts my clients are doing. I don't want them to feel alone! Stepping into a gym or starting any sort of workout can be intimidating! Running with a friend is also great accountability. When you feel like stopping you have each other for encouragement!
Rachael did great on her first 5k! She then completed a half marathon relay this past spring and we are training to run a full marathon relay together come November! When we get the chance to run together we enjoy posting silly stories on Instagram! Partly because it's fun, and we hope it can encourage others to get out and get active!
Running can be tough! But if it's something you would love to get better at don't be scared to get out there and try it. Here are three things I would suggest;
When you start anything, when you start out on a path to anywhere the first step, the first day, the first minute you're excited. Then the next day comes and you think "this is tougher than I thought" and the enthusiasm from the beginning of the process starts to fade out and you forget the purpose of why you started. It gets monotonous and you become angry and frustrated.......And what happens then? Most people quit. Here is the funny thing about quitting. When things start to get hard that's generally also when it starts to get easier. It becomes more fun and you grind it out and it starts to click. You start to lay a foundation. You build it through effort! Nobody can judge effort, because effort is between you and you only. It has nothing to do with anyone else. Every day is a new day and every moment is a new moment. Love the process to get to the prize.
Be pissed off for greatness!
I have been doing a lot of extra reading and research on hormonal imbalance in women. I keep running into blogs and articles about seed cycling. I have personally been seed cycling for the past four months. I feel it has positively effected my symptoms and intend to continue doing this. That being said, I thought it might be good to put this natural method out there for our clients to consider implementing. It is very common today, that women are struggling with hormone issues across the board.
Irregular periods, PMS, anxiety, bloating, mood swings, breakouts etc. Many of these are contributed to a women's cycle and are considered to be "normal". However, it can actually be because of an imbalance of oestrogen and progesterone. Two of the main hormones that regulate your cycle. Seed cycling is said to help those who have irregular cycles.
Seed cycling is essentially the addition of two different seeds to your daily diet during different phases of the menstrual cycle to help with balancing hormones in the body. This ranges from progesterone production, blocking excess estrogen and hormone metabolism. This is a natural method. Simply add pumpkin, flax, sunflower and sesame seeds.
A regular cycle runs for around 28 days and involves a variety of hormones that influence the ovaries and uterus. In that time the development and release of an egg is made from the ovaries and the uterus prepares for the fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, the endometrial lining is lost though mensturation.
During the first phase (Day 1-14) estrogen levels increase. Once they start to decrease, progesterone levels increase (day 15-28). It is the imbalance of these that cause all of those not so lovely symptoms we can experience. Different seeds contain different types of nutrients our hormones need such as lignans (help regulate oestrogen) and essential fatty acids (assist with hormone production).
Phase 1: Follicular Phase
1 Tbsp freshly ground flax seed
Block any excess oestrogen.
1 Tbsp freshly ground pumpkin seeds
High in Zinc= supports progesterone production
Phase 2: Luteal Phase
1 Tbsp freshly ground sunflower seeds
high in selenium for hormone metabolism and liver detoxification
1 Tbsp freshly ground sesame seeds
block excess oestrogen
Everything that I have read has said that it could take up to 3 months to really notice a difference. This is a natural process and not like using medication. Be patient and consistent.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your health care provider before implementing any new changes to your diet or hormone regulation. This is not medical advice.