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Entrees Uncategorized

Simple Cajun-Style Chicken, Sausage and Rice

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This healthier version of a traditional New Orleans favorite does not lack in flavor and is a great comfort meal for a chilly evening. I used an Instant Pot to make it even quicker, but it can be made on the stovetop, if desired. You can also add shrimp for a more traditional Jambalaya dish. 

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Ingredients

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  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed or avocado oil (or other high smoke point oil)
  • 1 pound chicken breast 
  • 4-5 chicken sausage links (I used Trader Joe’s Spicy Jalepeño) 
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 cups rice, cauliflower rice, or Right Rice (I used 2 cups Spanish Right Rice)
  • 2 Tbsp spicy seasoning blend* 
  • 2 cups organic bone broth
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 

Spicy Seasoning Blend (this will make enough for extra to store for next time)*

  • 2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 Tbsp ground oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Himalayan sea salt

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Instructions

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Step 1

Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the oil. Place chicken breasts in the pot and lightly brown each side for about 5 minutes each. 

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Step 2

Place chicken sausages, onion, garlic, celery and bell peppers in pot and sauté for about 2-3 more minutes. 

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Step 3

Add all other ingredients (rice, spices and broth and Worcestershire sauce). Ensure broth completely covers the rice. 

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Step 4

Secure the lid and set the pressure release to “sealing”. Set the cooking time for 10 minutes at high pressure.

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Step 5

Once done, let the pressure release by switching the valve to “venting” and serve! 

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Variations

You can add shrimp or serve with pasta instead of rice. This recipe can be made without an instant pot/pressure cooker by using a crock pot for extended time or on the stove top! 

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Categories
Entrees Uncategorized

Simple Chicken Salad

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  • 1 pound chicken breast, cubed (organic, free range recommended)
  • 1/2 small onion or 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small apple, cut into cubes
  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries (unsweetened recommended)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4-6 Tbsp organic mayonnaise (can also use 100% avocado mayonnaise or Veganaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley or 1/2 Tbsp dried
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

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  1. Cook chicken and cut into cubes
  2. Dice onion and apple
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine chicken, onion, apple, and remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.
  4. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve over a bed of mixed greens, in a bibb lettuce wrap, on a slice of gluten free whole grain toast, with crackers (such as Flackers, or Mary’s Gone crackers or enjoy all by itself!

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Blog

Can you Eat Too Much Avocado?

The answer from a functional medicine dietitian

Can You Eat Too Much Avocado?

Yesterday, it was mashed avocado slathered on gluten-free toast, a runny egg and a few dashes of Sriracha hot sauce. Today’s lunch? Cubed avocado on your spinach salad. So would guacamole with tonight’s tacos be overkill?

Sure, you can’t technically “overdose” on avocado, is there ever too much?

Functional medicine dietitian Ariana Cucuzza, RD, says there’s no one simple answer because no two bodies are the same.

“Obviously, there is good reason for including avocado in your diet because it offers so many benefits,” Cucuzza says. “But like anything good, people do have a tendency to go overboard.

“It is all the rage right now. And with good reason. It has the ability to be sweet or savory. You can throw it in a smoothie for texture or make some guac. But this is one of those instances when there’s no one-size-fits-all for recommendations.”

But some basic guidance

Deciding how many avocados to throw in the grocery basket? You first have to look at what your goals are for your weight, gut health, overall healthy diet — and your body type, activity level and genes, Cucuzza says.

“Usually, I would recommend that ½ to one avocado a day is reasonable,” she says.

She notes that since avocados are a pretty significant source of healthy monounsaturated fat, they make you more satisfied and are harder to overdo because they tend to fill you up. (Of the 20 to 25 total grams of fat in avocados, 15 grams is monounsaturated fat.)

It’s worth noting that avocados aren’t low-cal, with a whole one generally having between 200 and 300 calories, depending on size. But functional medicine experts don’t usually focus on calories alone, Cucuzza explains. “We really look more at increasing whole foods in the diet first,” she says. “We find when patients eat more real food, and less processed food, things tend to fall into place.”

Don’t make it your only healthy fat

Going all gung-ho on avocado? Just be sure not to eat it so much of it that you’re shunning other healthy fats in your diet.

“If you’re getting all of your healthy fat from avocados, you’re not getting all of the benefits from things like olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds,” Cucuzza says. “To maintain an overall healthy diet, variety is key to get everything that your body needs.”

After all, we now know that fat doesn’t make you fat per se. The real culprit of many issues — like metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes — is processed carbohydrates, not the fat we’re consuming, she says.

Singing avocado’s praises

Besides its healthy fats, there’s plenty of other lesser-known reasons to include avocado on your plate.

“Avocados are really high in fiber, which is important for feeling full between meals and for keeping our digestive tract moving and lowering our cholesterol,” Cucuzza says.

It’s also really high in potassium, one of those good electrolytes that’s essential for our heart, muscles and many body processes.

Plus, avocado actually helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. “So eating avocado with a salad or a lot of different vegetables actually helps you to absorb the vitamins from those foods,” she says.

That vitamin E is important for immune function. And overall, avocados are known for supporting brain function and healthy memory thanks to their healthy fats.

Those who should eat avocado more sparingly

If you’re really watching your weight, Cucuzza says, it’s probably wise to stick to about one-half to one whole avocado per day, assuming you are also eating other sources of healthy fats.

Avocados are also a higher FODMAP food, meaning they contain carbohydrates that may not be digested or absorbed well. So, those following a low-FODMAP diet or those with intestinal bacterial overgrowth will also want to stick to an eighth an avocado serving, although there is no magic amount for everyone.

The bottom line? “Avocado could be part of your daily diet as long as you’re including a variety of colors, textures and kinds of food,” Cucuzza concludes.

For original article, visit https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-you-eat-too-much-avocado/

Categories
Blog

Curious about Lectins?

Lectins is a hot topic today especially after Dr. Gundry’s “Plant Paradox” and Kelly Clarkson’s weight loss success. Here are a few resources below that may help you to determine if a lectin-free diet is right for you.

What is the Plant Paradox Diet and could it work for you?

No, you probably shouldn’t follow Kelly Clarkson’s “Lectin Free Diet”

Categories
Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

Very Berry Chia Seed Pudding

Looking for something to eat for breakfast that doesn’t include eggs or grains? This is the perfect, healthy indulgence filled with omega-3 fats, protein and antioxidants from the berries.
Makes approximately 4 large servings (1 cup to 1.5 cups) or 8 small 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

  • cup of Chia Seeds
  • 1 – 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk (I like the Trader Joe’s brand because it has NO fillers or preservatives which is very hard to find!)  

 

  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • mixed berries (fresh or frozen) 
  • protein powder of choice (optional). I used Paleo Protein Egg White powder 
  • Toppings of choice – I used mixed nuts and seeds, more berries and a drizzle of almond butter.

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add chia seeds, coconut/almond milk, protein powder (if using) and vanilla and mix together until all ingredients are fully incorporated and there are no clumps of chia seeds.
  2. Divide into mason jars or other containers with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.
  3. Leave in your fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour until set. (I usually leave it overnight).
  4. Serve with the toppings of your choice. You can enjoy it cold or heated up 🙂

Categories
Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

“Peanut Butter Pie” High Protein Chia Seed Pudding

I’ve been on the “chia seed pudding” bandwagon for a little while now because it makes such an easy breakfast option, especially during the busy holiday season. With about 26 grams of protein per serving* and lots of healthy fats this is bound to keep you full and satisfied. This also makes a great snack if you are craving something sweet 🙂

*depending on the type of protein you use

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk (Trader Joe’s has a wonderful one without any gums or additives!)
  • 1/2 cup all natural nut or seed butter (I used chunky peanut butter but almond or cashew butter would be a great Paleo option)
  • 4 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Vantrition Four Plate Protein)* or you can choose to use a collagen powder, plant-based protein powder, etc.
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • dash of cinnamon to sprinkle on top

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine the coconut milk, nut/seed butter and protein powder and make sure its mixed well.
  2. Stir in the chia seeds.
  3. Once all ingredients are combined well, divide equally into four small mason jars or containers and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until the mixture sets.
  4. Enjoy warm or cold and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon if you’d like. I like to reheat mine in the microwave quickly for about 30 seconds to a minute.

 *Vantrition is my protein of choice for the past year because it provides safe and effective, evidenced-based, protein and amino acid supplements targeting specific athletic needs and is produced locally by a friend of mine. Visit their website to try a free sample! 

Categories
Blog Uncategorized

Whole30: “The Finale”: Recipes, Meal Prep, and Tips on What Happens Next

Weeks 3 & 4 started to feel pretty normal as I got into the groove. Sure, meal prep got old, I REALLY, REALLY wanted ice cream and a glass of wine, etc., etc, but just when I wanted to quit, I knew if I held out a little bit longer I would feel accomplished and on the road to a healthier relationship with my food cravings.

Not to mention, my willpower has gotten SO much stronger!

Also, if you are concerned with “what comes next” or “life after Whole30”, read to the bottom. Many of you may feel a little nervous about wrapping up your challenge and maintaining the healthy principles that were introduced during the month. I will give you several “take aways” to ease your anxiety.

Without further ado, here are recipes for Weeks 3 & 4.

Breakfast

Lunch & Dinners 

Snacks

Meal Prep Sunday:

Oven:

  1. Roast broccoli and sweet potatoes

Other:

  1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and chop as many as you can (within reason)
  2. Hard-boil your eggs
  3. Prepare Grain Free “Cereal”
  4. Pre-portion out snacks (nuts, veggies, fruit) into single serving bags or containers
  5. Defrost meats, if necessary
  6. Everything else should come together fairly quickly during the weeknights!

So now that you are approaching the finish line, what next? 

Congrats, you did it! But what now?

Remember that Whole30 was just a starting point. I really liked the way it was phrased on the Whole30 website, so I’m not going to recreate this point, “You cannot erase decades of unhealthy food choices and damaging behaviors in just a month. Our program gives you an amazing jump-start, but you’re not “done” yet. Second, you will slip back into old habits. At some point, no matter how good you feel now, no matter how much you swear you’ve left those less bad foods behind… they’ll creep back in, maybe a little, maybe a lot. And finally, this is okay. Expected, even.  And it does not mean that you have failed. Hear us clearly on that one.”

Here are a few tips to remember as you venture off the plan;

Continue to take the important principles of Whole30 with you.

  • Continue to moderate your added sugar and alcohol intake

Remember, just because you can now enjoy some of the foods that were eliminate on the Whole30, doesn’t mean that you need to eat them all on Day 30! They will still be there on Day 31 and Day 365 🙂

Always eat mindfully- Sit down, turn off the tv, remove your cell phone from sight and enjoy your meal that you have taken the time to prepare.

Nourish your body with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, quality sources of protein, and healthy fats . Don’t forget water!

When you’re done, move the heck on. No guilt, no shame, no remorse. You made a conscious decision to eat something you deemed worth it. Good for you. Now let’s move on back to our normally scheduled healthy meals.

Remember to always evaluate whether you think something is “worth it”. How will you feel after you eat it? Is it something you truly enjoy, or just because it is within eye sight? Are you really hungry or are you bored/stressed/nervous? 

Continue to follow my blog for consistent healthy recipes, most of which are gluten-free, paleo-ish, and yummy (I know, I’m biased)! 

If you are interested in more personalized programs, email me at luvwhatyoueat@gmail.com.

final-finish

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Whole30 Week Two Recipes, Meal Prep, and Tips for Eating Out

Alright…2nd week of Whole30 in the books!

When you feel like giving up, remember why you started

Week 2 was no doubt a challenging week for me. I felt a little irritable, energy waxed and waned, and I was starting to feel bored. I think this is common when you are making any type of change in your life. At first it’s exciting and new and then, just like any challenge, you start to wonder, “can I really do this for a few more weeks?” Keep in mind that while Whole30 is only 30 days, it is meant to reset your mindset around food, give you the opportunity to try new things and see how your body feels when it eats REAL, WHOLE FOODS. Yes, it is extreme for some, but it gives us the tools to live healthier even after the 30 days is complete.

I also noticed this week that even thought I had planned it all out, there were days where I wanted something else or didn’t have the time or energy to make what I had thought I would. That’s ok… this week I will give you several tips and tricks to help when you feel like giving up.

Breakfast

Lunch & Dinners 

Meal Prep Sunday:

Oven:

  1. Roast all vegetables (red/purple potatoes)
  2. Bake spaghetti squash, cool, and pull out strands with a fork

Other:

  1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and chop as many as you can (within reason)
  2. Brown ground turkey
  3. Spiralize zucchini noodles
  4. Pre-portion out snacks (nuts, veggies, fruit) into single serving bags or containers
    1. Prepare breakfast casserole and place in containers for easy heat-and-go breakfasts
    2. Defrost meats, if necessary
    3. Everything else should come together fairly quickly during the weeknights!

Here was the meal schedule I followed for week 2:

Monday:

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole with citrus fruit
  • Lunch: Simple Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Potatoes
  • Dinner: Chipotle (yes, I said it) – Bowl with Carnitas, Lettuce, Pico de Gallo, and Guac *these are basically the only Whole30 options at Chipotle 
  • Snacks: Celery with Almond Butter and Golden Raisins, Rx Bar

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole with citrus fruit
  • Lunch: Work Lunch – greens with pulled chicken, avocado, pico de gallo, no dressing
  • Dinner: Seared grass-fed beef wrapped in Prosciutto with leftover avocado zoodles and potatoes
  • Snacks: Celery with Almond Butter and Golden Raisins, Rx Bar

Saturday/Sunday: The weekends are usually for simple meals and leftovers 🙂

  • This week we had a special Whole30 Friendsgiving- watch for the post tomorrow!! 

Tips for eating out on Whole30

  • Pick something simple: The more complicated the order, the more likely they are to mess it up!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they prepare menu items- watch the type of fat/oil they are cooking their meats and other items in, as well as added sugar & dairy in sauces, dressings, etc.
    • It’s best to choose oil/vinegar for salad dressings and hold the sauces and condiments
  • Places like Chipotle make it easier since you can choose exactly what you get
  • Ask for seltzer or sparkling water to jazz up your beverage
  • Try to avoid eating out as much as possible on Whole30. Even though I made good choices when eating out, there were still hiccups, such as the restaurant accidentally put cheese on my salad the first time.
  • It IS possible to be “Whole30 compliant” by eating Rx Bars and Chipotle everyday, but is it teaching you to make good choices, cook, and eat mindfully? NO. So, my advice is to cook and eat at home as much as possible. Remember, preparation is KEY.
  • For more visit realfoodwithdana. She has some great tips!
challenges
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Whole30 Week One Recipe and Meal Prep Tips

Here are the recipes that I tried during the first week of Whole30. I think it’s important to get creative and make dishes full of flavor that you are looking forward to (especially since week one away from grains, sugars, etc. can be challenging)! Meal planning is key to setting yourself up for success.

Breakfast (I ate the same thing each day during week one)

Lunch & Dinners 

Meal Prep Sunday:

Oven:

  1. Roast all vegetables (sweet potatoes, brussels, cauliflower)
  2. Bake salmon for salad
  3. Roast butternut squash
  4. Make meatballs for Thai meatball recipe

Other:

  1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and chop as many as you can (within reason)
  2. Cut pineapple
  3. Spiralize zucchini noodles
  4. Pre-portion out snacks (nuts, veggies, fruit) into single serving bags or containers
    1. You can go ahead and portion out the roasted vegetables for the hash. In the morning all you need to do is cook your egg and go.
    2. Make your salmon salads
    3. You can make the butternut squash soup and store it (its easier to get the squash out of it’s flesh while it’s warm)
    4. Everything else should come together fairly quickly during the weeknights!

Here was the meal schedule I followed for the first week (Monday was a holiday so here we begin on Tuesday since meals weren’t very structured on Mon-oops!) ;

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 eggs over-easy
  • Lunch: Salmon Salad Power Bowl
  • Dinner: Butternut Squash Soup with Thai Meatballs
  • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 eggs over-easy
  • Lunch: Salmon Salad Power Bowl
  • Dinner: Turkey Burger with Grilled Pineapple and Spinach
  • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 eggs over-easy
  • Lunch: Leftover Butternut Squash Soup and Thai Meatballs
  • Dinner: Garlic Shrimp Noodle Bowl
  • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter, Sliced Pear & Cashews (pre-workout)

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 SCRAMBLED eggs
  • Lunch: Leftover Garlic Shrimp & Noodle Bowl
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter, Dried Mangoes

The weekends are usually for simple meals and leftovers 🙂

Enjoy!

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Cajun Salmon Salad

Ingredients:

  • Large salmon filet
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper
  • Roasted cauliflower
  • Spinach (or greens of choice)
  • Blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare  baking sheet with foil and coat with olive oil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Brush oil on salmon and evenly coat with seasoning mixture.
  5. Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes or until salmon is flaky. Let cool.
  6. Prepare bowl with spinach, roasted cauliflower, flaked salmon, and top with fresh blueberries.
  7. Drizzle and oil and vinegar dressing overtop and enjoy!
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January Whole30- Who’s In?

First of all, you may be asking yourself, “what is Whole30?”

The Whole30 a nutritional program designed s a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.

Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. For 30 days, you will cut these foods from your diet and learn how the foods you have been eating might be affecting your hormones, gastrointestinal system, and your overall energy levels. But don’t worry, you don’t have to restrict your favorite foods forever…it’s only 30 days!

There are pros and cons to cutting out entire food categories from your diet, and it’s not for everyone. However, there are a large number of people who find themselves sensitive to foods that contain grains and dairy. One item that I strongly believe is important for EVERYONE to reduce or eliminate is ADDED SUGARS.

Added sugars are so detrimental to our entire body and we will all benefit from cutting the consumption of items containing added sugars (other than the obvious, think flavored yogurts, some energy/protein bars, cereals, coffee drinks, etc.)

Each week, I will be posting meal plans for this program, so feel free to jump on the bandwagon with me. At the end of the challenge, I will consolidate it into one large post, where you can reference the recipes from time-to-time. 

Let’s get started!

If you would like individual support, please email luvwhatyoueat@gmail.com and we can develop a personalized plan for you!

whole30

To learn more about the Whole30 program, click HERE

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Halloween Hangover: Candy for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner!?

Halloween Hangover: The act of being sick from eating too much candy.

Follow These 4 Tips to Get Back on Track;

  1. Understand HOW sugar affects your body.
sugarpreventionfinal

2. Plan Ahead.

  • Have a game plan- trust me, there is no candy shortage. Candy is sold 365 days/year, so you don’t need to overindulge just because of a “holiday”.
  • Plan out your meals. You’ve heard the saying “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Have a healthy dinner planned before/after taking the kids trick-or-treating so you don’t fill up on sugar.
  • Try some of these healthy recipes to get a sweet fix without the added sugars.

3. Enjoy in MODERATION.

  • You don’t need to restrict yourself. Often times eliminating certain foods or food groups will lead to binging on the “forbidden” items and leave you wanting it even more. Go ahead, sit down, and enjoy a piece of candy. Try to avoid mindless eating in front of a computer screen, TV, or on the go. We tend to eat as much as 25% or more calories  when we are distracted!

4. Get Moving! 

halloween-candy-show-down
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Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Pine Nuts

This recipe is so simple but looks so gorgeous! Simply add a little olive oil in a pan, remove stalks from chard and add the leafy greens to the olive oil over medium-heat. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, garlic powder, pine nuts, and fresh parmesan cheese & ENJOY!