Sunday, June 30, 2013

Chicken salad

Who puts left overs in the refrigerator and  ends up throwing it away because you don't want to eat the same thing twice??  Well today I decided to make something different with my left over grilled chicken breast.   I made the best chicken salad!!  

Here is a recap of my recipe:

1 1/2 grilled chicken breast
1 single serving size of plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of sunflower nuts
1 celery stalk finely chopped
1/4 of small green apple finely chopped
2 tablespoons of craisins (I usually cut up 1/2 cup red grapes but I was out)
Dash of sea salt and pepper 
1 tablespoon of chopped pecans

Cut up chicken in small chunks and throw it in a food processor with the yogurt and pulse till its blended. Mix it in a bowl with all other ingredients and viola!!  

You can put it over a bed of lettuce, add it to some celery sticks or eat it on some Ezekiel bread.  Now I have something different with my left over chicken.  Can't wait for lunch tomorrow!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Breakfast of champions

This breakfast is one of Jason's new favs! 

Sautee yellow and red peppers in coconut oil and brown Ground turkey meat.  I make up a big batch on Sunday and store it in Tupperware and throw in the fridge.  Makes it easy to scoop out two spoon fulls into the pan and add 1 full egg and the rest egg whites.  

Of course he loves our fresh home grown tomatoes and don't forget a few slices of Avacado.  

Keep working on being consistent with a good breakfast.  More snack ideas to come later!!  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Need an afternoon "pick me up" snack?

Yea, me too!  Right now, this is one of my favorite snacks.  I probably have this about once a week.

Brown rice cake and almond butter.  :)

Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate.  Carbohydrates are the body's ideal fuel for most functions. They supply the body with the energy needed for the muscles, brain and central nervous system. Complex carbs have been shown to enter the blood stream gradually and trigger only a moderate rise in insulin levels, which stabilizes appetite and results in fewer carbohydrates that are stored as fat. Unrefined or ‘whole grain’ carbohydrates found in products like brown rice, whole wheat pasta and bran cereals are digested slowly.

My tip for today:

Everything in moderation is good!  

Avacado & egg

Yes, more breakfast ideas.  I can't express enough how important breakfast is to you.  It kick starts your metabolism. When you eat breakfast, you prevent the drop in blood sugar that makes you crave sugar later.  Trust me, I know from years of experience....this is not a good cycle to get into!

So here is another easy breakfast idea.  At first, I thought this just sounded gross but turns out to be my favorite breakfast.  Baked egg and avocado.

Cut the avocado in half, scoop out the seed with a spoon, crack an egg and sprinkle on black pepper or I like paprika on top.  I line a pan with foil because the egg will run out a little.  Sometimes I leave the avocado in the skin to bake, sometimes I take it out.  Whatever is easiest for you.  Bake on 400 for about 15-20 minutes. (how ever runny or cooked you like your egg)

Remember consistency is the key!!!  Work on being very consistent with having a GOOD breakfast EVERY morning then we will move on to the other meals of the day. 

 Don't want to overwhelm ya here.  Baby steps.... baby steps are good!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

You've heard it your entire life, right?  Then whats the hold up?  This post really isn't about a recipe per say, its more of a pep talk to get you headed in the right direction.  Baby steps, baby steps are good!

 Lets get started with some easy breakfast ideas for you.  

How about scramble up some eggs (I use 1 egg and the rest egg whites for 2 people) and slice an avocado and tomato?  The easiest breakfast ever!  You get your protein, good fat and some nutrients all in one sitting.  And from start to finish will take you less than 5 minutes.  Still think you don't have time for this?  Well try my egg cups below.  

Add a little hot sauce or grape tomatoes for variety.  :)

Egg cup variations:

I love the egg cups because they are single servings.  You can mix up a couple eggs and the rest egg whites.  Pour into a greased muffin pan and bake 350 for 20 minutes.  That's it!  Below I added a little hot sauce.  If I have a little extra time, I will sauté some baby spinach and/or red peppers and onions to throw in there.  Make a dozen on Sunday and stick them in the fridge.  Now you have breakfast for the week.  Pop them in the microwave for a few seconds and viola... its breakfast on the go!

My tip for the day, make breakfast mindless.  I read somewhere to make your meals as boring as possible. (at least in the beginning until you get the hang of changing your habits)  Repeat and repeat again.  Why you ask?  Well, fast food restaurants have spoiled us.  We like the convenience of driving through and buying what you want with out wondering if they will have all the ingredients to make your order.  Now set yourself up your own fast food restaurant in your house. Have your breakfast made so in the morning when you wake up, you "drive thru" your kitchen and order an egg cup!  :p  

Set your self up to succeed not to fail!  I promise, it works!  Have the right foods on hand and ready to eat.  This will leave no room for error or temptation! 

Remember, consistency and dedication is key!  

Starting with the basics

 Before we jump into recipes, lets evaluate your vitamin and supplement intake.  Here is a snap shot of what the hubby and I take.

  The pic was taken a couple of months ago so I'm sure I've added or discarded a few of those and changed brands depending on additional information I may have read.  Don't have a panic attack thinking you need to take that many pills!  It took me 2 years of adding and trying different supplements before I got to this point.

So I know you're wondering, "where do I start"?  Well, this is how I came up with a good 'base' of vitamins and supplements ~ I read the book Mood Cure.  It provides a good recommendation for a base of vitamins and supplements and it will also suggest special supplements if you are battling blood sugar mood swings, menopausal symptoms, stress, addictions, adrenal exhaustion and depression!  There is even a neat little quiz if you think you might be battling one of the ones I just listed:

Now I'm no doctor or nutrionist, so do your research but here is where I started:
A good Multivitamin
Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc (you can actually find this all in 1 pill)
Vitamin D
B Complex
Vitamin C (1000mg)
Fish oil (check the DHA level on your fish oil.  Need 1200-2400 a day)

That's it.   Six pills is not too bad, is it?  

So you might be thinking "I don't need to take all these vitamins.  I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits for the vitamins and nutrients".   Well, here is one little piece of information I stumbled on a couple of years ago.... fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today!  Its sad but true.  Modern agricultural methods have stripped the nutrients from our soil.  So even if you eat your veggies like a good boy or girl, you will still lack the amount of vitamins and nutrients needed to sustain a healthy life style.   If you want to read more on this subject, here is an article I found online:

I'll end this post with my newest find.  I love the employees at Sprouts.  They seem to be very knowledgable about all their products.  The lady gave me a 10 page printout of all the benefits of this multivitamin.  So far so good :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Flab to fab

I look at this comparison photo and say "wow"!  I honestly can not believe this is me.... in either photo.  

So let me tell you how this journey began.   In 2011, I was starting to feel more overwhelmed than usual.  Yes, I have 4 children and work full time but this was my norm for the last 10 years.  So why was I just now starting to feel anxious, stressed and have panic attacks?  I had other symptoms as well.... crying spells, drastic mood swings, obsession of having a terminal disease, withdrawn, depressed, insomnia, easily confused, low libido (yes I said it), lethargic and an overall feeling of something gone wrong.  Seriously wrong!  

What do you do when you feel sick?  You go to the doctor, right?  So off to the doctor I go.  I give the doctor a run down of my symptoms and she tells me I need to take an antidepressant for the stress and Xanax for the panic attacks.  I'm still confused at this point....I want to understand why absolutely nothing in my life has changed but all the sudden my body is "stressed" and having panic attacks!  I knew deep down these prescriptions would not cure me and would only mask the underlying issue at hand.  I continued my search for answers.  Several months and several doctors later I finally figured out this was all hormone related.  FINALLY some real answers.

The road ahead of me was not going to be easy.  I knew there was no magic pill that was going to fix me.  I had to undo 40 years of damage (eating junk) to my body 1 day at a time!  "How?", you ask.  Well, you have heard it your entire life.... eat a healthy diet and exercise.  Seriously, that's it!  

I researched foods, vitamins, supplements and different exercises until my eyeballs were cross eyed!    Out of all the exercise information I found, weight training looked to be the best option for me.  I reached out and called Jayla, my friend and awesome fitness trainer.  She convinced me that I could not afford NOT to work out!  Double bonus ~ she has a degree in nutrition.  Score!  Some things are just meant to be.

Fast forward 6 months and you see the new me above!   So now you know my journey was never about vanity or losing weight.  I was desperately trying to regain some normalcy to my life.  Not only did I find Sherry, I found the new and improved Sherry!  I feel like I found the fountain of youth and I want to scream it from the mountain tops!

My transformation is 80% diet and 20% exercise.  Its all about the food!  I know very little about cooking much less healthy cooking.  So I spend hours researching, modifying and testing out recipes.   Now I've decided to start a blog that will highlight healthy recipes I've found, modified and love.  Oh and btw, they will all be easy recipes.  For those of you that don't know me, I've never cooked a day in my life until a year ago!  Yes, you read that correctly....never cooked a day in my life until now!  Check in often to find some of your own favorite recipes that will hopefully help you feel as energetic as I do.  

Remember ~ healthy food is medicine!