Portion Control…Say What?

almod milkThere’s a special someone in my life that like all of us, tries her best to make clean eating choices when she can.  She has tried many of our recipes and lots of tips and tricks from Tiff and Mary and for that I am very proud of her.  But the other day she called me with the strangest comment I had ever heard.  “I think fat bombs and kale smoothies are making me gain weight.”

Say what?  This person, who shall remain nameless but I like to call her ‘Mom’, eats the way I grew up eating.  Cheese, bread, salads, cheese, bread, veggies from the garden, wine, cheese, bread, tequila, cheese and salt.  So when she began to incorporate fat bombs and kale smoothies into her diet I was so proud of her.  This pride slowly began to evade my body after this phone call however.

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Anyway, I said mom I am sorry if it seems like you have gained weight but please do not stop eating kale smoothies and fat bombs.  She told me it was the only change she had made in the last few weeks and that they must be the culprit.  Sigh.  So then we went through her ingredients we discovered she was adding a sizable amount of KEFIR to her smoothies, after already having a granola yogurt parfait first thing in the morning.  Not that this is considered a felony or anything but why I ask do you add KEFIR?  (I don’t like KEFIR, maybe that’s why I am putting it in all caps?  Weird.)  She said well for the probiotics.  She went on to tell me that it was ok because it was FAT FREE.  NOOOOOOOOO.

I used to live for FAT FREE FOODS.  I thought I could eat a box or drink a bottle of anything it was fat free because it was like air, right?  No.  Instead of fat, they fuel those items with chemicals and fake sugars (more chemicals) to make them palatable.  Which in turn can make you gain weight.  (Side note-there are beloved people in my life who stick to a low to no fat diet for heart health reasons and that’s a different story, I am talking strictly from a clean eating perspective).

She also told me she was using sweetened almond milk!  The unsweetened vanilla is amazing and has 60 less calories per serving!  That’s a ton ya’ll.

So if you feel like you are plateauing in your weight, look at your choices and make sure you’re buying the right items and eating proper quantities.

Oh, and what did I find out about the fat bombs and my mother’s choice there?  All I am going to say is limit to two per day people.
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The Travel Bug…and Recovery

Travel bug

I just got back from a four day trip to Houston with a girlfriend followed by four days in Las Vegas with my husband for a conference.  I feel like all I have done is eat, drink, eat some more and then finally, eat.  The good news is, I am usually one who likes to work out on vacation.  I am a workout “hobbyist”.  If I am in a “big” city, I enjoy trying a new workout that I may have never done before.  If I am at the beach, nothing beats a jog (walk) alongside the crashing waves or some yoga or Pilates oceanside.  But this trip?  I just wasn’t feeling it!  I wanted to enjoy the amazing restaurants, see the sights, and worry about my diet “tomorrow”.  I will say, I walked EVERYWHERE.  My feet feel so raw in addition to my bloat!  But you know what?  That’s ok!  It’s Sunday morning, we got home late last night and I am ready to reset.

detox

I woke up this morning after letting myself sleep in.  Not setting an alarm is a luxury I relish and I am a person who needs a lot of sleep.  My first step after rise and shine?  I drank a mixture of warm water, cayenne pepper, and the juice from a whole lemon and took a shot of apple cider vinegar (ACV).  Was it delicious? No.  Was it palatable?  Yes.  And I feel like it helps detox my body after treating it poorly several days in a row.

Note: The ACV shot should be followed by a TON of water.  It can hurt your teeth so don’t brush them right afterwards either.

Since it’s Sunday, my gym is closed but Douglas and I wanted to do something active.  We walked our neighborhood and then did a thirty-minute workout DVD.  This is not my ideal activity but the point is, I did what I could with what I had!  I was so proud of us after we worked out!  We both felt less jet lagged, bleary eyed, and full from all the debauchery of the past week.  I have learned that after I mess up my diet or fitness routine, instead of saying, screw it, lets go to hibachi! (even though this sometimes seems logical) I feel so much better if I hit the pavement, go to the gym or make a green smoothie.  I feel like me again in no time!  Oh and words to live by from my dear friend David, put the bottle/fork down, honey!rachel signature

Local Summer Squash Season has Arrived (finally)

summer squash
Sauteed summer squash is like candy to me.  IF…it is a) local b) fresh c) minimally cooked.  I like it just how I prepared it below.

Simple Satisfying Summer Squash
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Side dish
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 2 squash or zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1T EVOO
  • 1T coconut oil
  • One garlic clove finely chopped
  • Fresh chives
  • Lemon wedges
  • S&P
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet to medium heat with the evoo and coconut oil. When it sizzles, add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. (You don’t want the garlic to burn or it will taste bitter). Throw in the zucchini or squash and add salt and pepper. I like the squash to brown so I don’t really mess with it a lot once I throw it in. Let it cook for about 7-10 minutes then move around the pan and flip so it cooks evenly. Finish it off with fresh chives and a squeeze of lemon juice. Boom.

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Dinner: Yogurt Marinated Chicken and Sides!

post july fourth dinner
We are just coming off of a FABULOUS July Fourth weekend. It was so much fun that the fourth happened to fall on a Friday. Douglas and I grabbed two other couples and headed to the beach until Sunday. We had a great time but completely over indulged so I knew I wanted to make a healthy but delicious dinner to ease back into the week.

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Yogurt Marinated Chicken
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 small/medium organic chicken breasts
  • 2 cups organic plain full fat yogurt
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 handful chopped parsley
  • S+P
Instructions
  1. Trim the chicken of any excess fat and stick breasts in a large freezer bag. Add all of the other ingredients (juice the two lemons and add the zest of one of them), seal the bag and massage all of the ingredients so they are evenly spread across the breasts. I stuck the bag on a plate and let it marinate until about 7 hours but anything over an hour is fine.
  2. Remove the chicken from the fridge and let it rise to room temperature, about twenty minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Take the breasts out of the bag one by one, shaking any excess yogurt off (a little bit left on is fine) and place on a cookie sheet. Throw away the leftover marinade. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Note: I don’t love to bake chicken.  I usually prefer it sautéed or grilled, but this recipe has changed my mind.  It is super moist and flavorful. Enjoy it like I did with food babe’s melt in your mouth kale salad, roasted beets with mint and goat cheese, and a baby tomato stack!

 

kale salad

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roasted beet salad

Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese and Mint

8-10 small whole beets
3 oz goat cheese
1 handful of fresh mint
EVOO
S&P

Preheat oven to 375.

I soak the beets for about 15 minutes to rid them of any dirt and sediment.

roasted beet salad
To trim, slice off both ends then roughly chop into bite size pieces.  (I don’t peel them).  Spread out the beets and evenly coat with about 2T of EVOO and S+P.  Bake for thirty-forty minutes, flipping them half way through.

roasted beet salad
While still warm, toss the beets in a bowl with the crumbled goat cheese and mint.  Done! I realize this dish is totally easy but it’s so good and really versatile.  It would be fabulous served over greens with a little homemade salad dressing too.

tomato stack
Tomato Stack

I don’t even think I can make this super simple side dish into a full-blown recipe!  Douglas and I eat sliced tomatoes as a side a lot when they’re in season.  Sometimes I will add mozzarella and basil and make a mini caprese.  Sometimes I add a little crumbled bleu cheese and broil them briefly.  Tonight I had some sliced Havarti so I did a twist on our traditional tomato side.

I sliced the small-ish tomatoes thinly lengthwise.  Then I took two slices of Havarti and cut them each into four small squares.   I stacked tomato, then cheese, tomato, then cheese etc.  I topped with salt and pepper and baked for five minutes and served warm.

Aside from the two tomato stacks and the kale salad, the chicken recipe and the beets and goat cheese could have easily served four people.  We had leftovers that were perfect for my lunch the next day.

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