Simple Chicken-Wild Rice Soup

I like simple things. Simple food, simple exercise, and simple recipes. I don’t like: trendy, complicated work-outs, exhausting preparation in the kitchen, or weird food on menus of restaurants that are trying too hard. No Thanks, I don’t want to try “Pad-Thai Ice-Cream” no matter how real it tastes.

I think when food gets too mixed up, we lose the point that food is fuel and can be enjoyed in it’s natural state. When we make food into an emotional experience, that’s when the problems start. I like to taste the real-ness of the food, not someone’s idea of what it should taste like. I go light on condiments and seasoning and I cook things that I can still recognize when they are finished. When I am craving simple comfort I make this easy, nourishing, Chicken Soup. which is very similar to my Stay Well Soup.

I started by boiling a 3-4 pound hen and adding fresh herbs. I picked what was in my garden which at this time of year is Rosemary, and then snipped some fresh Thyme that I have growing in the house. I added onion, dried dill, black pepper, and garlic. After about an hour, remove hen and let cool enough to remove meat from bones. It should basically fall off.

Slow Cooked Chicken

Save broth and add chopped carrots and celery. Bring to a low simmer until veggies are soft. Place meat back in pot and continue to cook. Add any other seasonings you wish at this point. I am staying away from salt so I used Mrs. Dash.

Chicken Broth

Add chicken meat to soup and let simmer.

homemade chicken soup

Next cook wild rice in 2 parts water, 1 part rice. Bring to boil, cover, let steam for 30 minutes or until rice is soft. Add rice to chicken soup.

WIld Rice with Soup

I added in some fresh baby spinach near the end to give it some green and vitamin C.

Simple. Delicious. Nourishing.

chicken wild rice soup

Check out my vegan broccoli soup here

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Sexy Sunday Omelette

What’s not to love about a Sunday morning? The slow awakening, the lingering in bed, staying in pajamas until we feel like it, the breakfasts……Oh the breakfasts are the BEST part of my Sunday morning!

buckwheat waffles

During the week my breakfast is the same every morning: Oatmeal with berries and cinnamon and 5 egg whites with spinach and avocado. I follow my clean-eating meal plan pretty strictly during the week so on Sundays I like to mix it up a little bit and take my time in the kitchen. Cooking in pajamas is sexy, right?

I still want my protein and carbs but every once in awhile I will have a delicious buckwheat waffle or pancakes as a treat. Or maybe even a mimosa if it’s a very special Sunday.

Today I made a lovely, high protein, chicken, spinach, and feta cheese omelette. I started by placing 1 cut up grilled chicken breast in a heated skillet.

grilled chicken

I used 10 eggs, but only 3 yolks. This was for 2 people. Just typing this I realize how much food we put away together. You may not want/need 10…..

eggs

Add about 1 and 1/2 cups baby spinach to chicken and stir over medium heat just until spinach begins to wilt.

spinach chicken omelette

Add egg mixture, black pepper, garlic granules and cover to steam for 5 minutes.

spinach chicken omelette

Add crumbled feta cheese and re-cover. I only used about 1/3 cup. I use cheese very sparingly, if at all. It’s a treat and not something that I need in my daily food intake.

Flip omelette over after edges begin to brown and firm up.

spinach omelette

Cook thoroughly with pan covered until firm and fluffy!

spinach cheese omelette

I served this with sliced white and sweet potatoes browned in coconut oil- YUM!

Don’t Stop Believin’ (or Eating)

We set goals. We meet goals. We mess up. We start over. We get inspired. We get lost.

It’s all good. It’s OK. Trust the Process.

Progress takes time and can be very frustrating. It often seems so easy to give up. Sometimes just when we are ready to give up, a new ray of light shines down and we see something we hadn’t seen before. Or someone calls, or we read something inspiring, or synchronicity steps in some other way.

Whether your goals are centered around physical fitness, your career, personal life, or financial- you will hit walls. You will get so sick of doing what you think is the “right” thing over and over and not seeing the results that you want fast enough.

If you are starting a new way of eating or working-out this probably sounds very familiar. When things get tough we want to return to our old patterns that feel comfortable or to that “tried and true” diet that allowed you to lose 20 lbs five years ago. It doesn’t matter that you gained it all back, you liked the diet because it seemed to work. Fast.

But there’s another choice now; Trust the Process.

Don’t give up. Don’t give in to those thoughts that tell you it’s foolish to keep going. It might take weeks for you to see any differences, or it might takes months. In fact, if you’re doing it correctly by eating enough calories of real, whole foods then the results will most likely take much longer than you expect. Trust the Process.

Your friends and co-workers may be limiting their food intake and showing excitement over changes on the scale but what happens when their diet is done? How does someone re-learn to eat without sabotaging themselves?

Answer: Don’t stop eating. Don’t stop believing that you are an incredible machine that needs clean fuel. You are a work of art that deserves the Best, not the quickest. Don’t fall for the marketing this time of year for the many products that claim miracles. Just eat. And believe. And Trust the Process.

Here is my 3 month progress selfie after starting my clean eating meal plan. Although it’s no longer a plan, it’s a way of life.  After lowering my body-fat by 10% I am now starting to fill out and see some much anticipated muscle growth. Weight is still the same but my clothes are fitting much differently.

clean eating month 3

For more information check out www.createwholehealth.com

~Much Love~

Clean Turkey Chili

It’s cold. Everywhere. The holidays are over and normal activity has returned. Here is a super simple recipe to make for a winter’s night meal that will not get you off track of your clean-eating meal plan. Start it early and let it cook while you go to the gym!

Clean Turkey Chili

Brown 1 lb Extra Lean ground turkey and 1/2 white onion in skillet.

In a slow cooker combine:

1 can no salt kidney beans

1 can no salt crushed tomatoes

1 can no salt tomato sauce

Add browned meat/onion mixture

Stir in:

2 Tbs Chili powder

1 Tbs Cumin

1 Tbs Garlic Granules

Dash red pepper flakes, black pepper

Cook on high 3 hours. To cook longer (for more gym time) set to low.

Serve topped with plain greek yogurt if desired, or spoon over brown rice or quinoa for more complex carbs.

It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

I changed my way of eating in October to include more calories from real food. I began eating 5 times a day and include a lean protein, complex carb, and healthy fat in each meal. The results have been phenomenal as I have lowered my body fat from almost 29% to 18%. I’ve written several posts on the topic and shared tips on clean-eating and meal prepping. So……now what? I don’t want to go back to my previous way of eating that gave me lots of fiber but not enough muscle building protein.

It’s time to begin to incorporate my new way of eating into a lifestyle. The good thing is: It already is! I have been shopping, cooking, packing, and eating like this for 11 weeks and it really is my lifestyle now. That’s the secret, you don’t ever go back! And why would I want to? I am enjoying everything I want and indulging once a week in something that wouldn’t be on the plan. Sometimes it’s thai food, or gelato, or maybe a yummy muffin from a favorite coffee shop. And those treats are so much more special now than when I mindlessly indulged.

pumpkin nut muffins

It’s not a diet, it’s not restricting, and there is not end date. It’s a new way of nourishing and feeding myself that works WITH my body, not against it. When people go on a diet and have an end goal, there is always a feeling of great accomplishment, followed by celebration, followed by a lack of commitment, followed by a regression to old behaviors, eventually ending up back in the same place they started. Then the cycle starts all over again with a new and different “miracle” diet.

The next time you are tempted to try the next trendy diet or fast that the media is promoting try this instead:

Eat to fuel your body. Eat when you’re hungry and eat real, whole foods. Stop eating when you’re full. Break up your meals to eat several times a day. Choose home-cooking over restaurants. Eat simple foods without the sauce, butter, or salt.  Begin to make small changes that you can fit into your lifestyle. Remember, there is no time limit, you are trying to change how you eat for life, not 7 weeks.

take care of yourself

If you are interested in exactly what I ate everyday please contact me and I will share more with you, or  you can read more on www.createwholehealth.com

Herb Stuffed Turkey

I know Thanksgiving is over and everyone is probably tired of turkey but not me. I’ve eaten so much chicken and fish in the last 8 weeks that my holiday turkey was a welcome change. And I don’t want to wait for a whole year to make a turkey again, why do we do that? It’s such a great source of lean protein with a richer flavor than chicken. Plus I love the fact that I can eat it for about 4 days and it still tastes just as good.

I made a clean version using fresh herbs from my garden and some lemons. Super simple!

1. Wash and remove any extras from the bird including plastic bag with giblets.

2. Pat dry and place in a large baking pan.

3. Stuff bird with a bouquet of fresh herbs, stem first. I used about 10 stalks of rosemary but thyme, oregano, and sage would also be really good.

Herb Stuffed Turkey

4. Place one lemon cut in half inside next to herbs. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over bird and sprinkle skin with garlic, herbs de provence and cracked black pepper.

5. Cover with foil and place in 350 oven for about 3-4 hours depending on size of turkey, mine was 12 lbs. Read the instructions on the packaging for accurate cooking time. I also watched the little pop-up thingy that comes up when it’s done. Remove foil for last 20 minutes to allow skin to brown slightly.

roasted turkey with herbs

The lemon and herbs gave the meat a nice, subtle flavor without overpowering it.

I  found this magic wand of brussell sprouts at TJ’s and roasted them with olive oil after using it to cast a spell  on my chihuahua. But she still barks.

brussel sprouts wand

All in all it was a  relaxed day with very little over-indulgence. I am not as tempted anymore to go crazy over foods that I once thought to be “forbidden”.  It’s amazing how our bodies really want to be treated and fed well and reward us with health, energy, and vitality.

10% Lower Body Fat in 8 Weeks!

The results are in! If you’ve been following my posts you know that for the last 8 weeks I have been on a clean eating plan in order to lower my body fat by at least 5%. That was my goal. I am not overweight, I weight 113lbs which is ideal for my height and build. But the bod pod test in October showed my muscle mass was low and my body fat was up near the excessive fat range!  That was super not OK for someone who works out as hard as I do. So I changed up my diet for the last couple of months and recently went back for my 2nd test in the bod-pod, a device that accurately measures weight, muscle mass, and fat.

I went from 29% body fat down to 18% in 8 weeks!!!! I was soooooooooooo happy to know that all of my effort and hard work had actually made a difference. And guess what? My weight stayed the EXACT same! As you can see from the picture my body looks completely different but I don’t weigh any less or more than I did. We get so incredibly fixated on the #’s on the scale that we don’t even consider what’s really going on in our bodies and how the weight is distributed, which is way more important than the number on the scales

I wanted my body to be composed of more muscle and less fat. In order to do that I had to keep training with weights and eat more food. Yep, I ate more than ever of good quality carbs, protein, and starches 5 times a day.  I cut out smoothies, juices, sugary fruits, sweets, bread, alcohol, and too much fiber so that my body would utilize what I was feeding it, rather than eliminating it. That part really worked!

When setting goals be sure to include this kind of planning so that your results are lasting, not short term weight loss. Restricting calories or doing excessive cardio may temporarily lower your weight but it will not touch the body fat. You can be “skinny fat” and not have adequate muscle mass. Only by eating good quality real food, including lots of lean protein and clean carbs, and by engaging in a variety of weight bearing, cardio, and flexibility exercises can you have a well-rounded and balanced body.

Here is my 8 week photo- from 29% body fat to 18%. Weight 113 pounds

To find out more information please visit me at www.createwholehealth.com

I would love to help you on your own journey of transformation!

before and after body fat loss

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