Mexican Chicken Stew (GF)(DF)

I have been traveling quite a bit in the past month and have spent substantially less time in the kitchen. So since it has been bitter cold and my free time has been sparse, I decided to put my crockpot to good use. This recipe is simple, flavorful and filling. It will take you 15 minutes to throw together in the morning before work, allowing you to come home to the scent of a home cooked meal without slaving away in the kitchen.

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In a crockpot combine:

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup medium salsa
4 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 can of corn
1 can of black or pinto beans
1 ½ cups of chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder

Cook on low for 7 hours. Before serving add the juice of one large or two small limes.  Top with avocado and fresh ground pepper to serve!

 

 

 

 

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5 Ingredient Banana Nut Butter Muffins (Gluten Free & Dairy Free)

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My breakfast is early. If I want to have something substantial I have to eat before 6:00 am, usually around 5:30. I usually end up blending a protein or green smoothie and taking it to my first client. My smoothies are filling and I am usually satiated for a few hours. When my earliest client cancels I feel indulgent when I get to have eggs, but I usually have a pretty wimpy breakfast followed by snacks of fruit, nuts, seeds and on occasion a Lara Bar.

Today I made a client some breakfast muffins and decided to come home and whip up some for myself. I will admit, I usually feel a little sick of cooking after spending time in the kitchen for a client; but these muffins are so easy it was no sweat. I usually make these with mini chocolate chips, but I have been over doing the sweets lately and decided to leave them out. They are way more decadent with the chocolate, so by all means add away.

I mix these 5 ingredients in a blender to create a smooth batter:

1 Large Banana
½ cup of Nut Butter
2 tbsp of Raw Honey
1 Egg
¼ tsp of Baking Soda

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 7-13 minutes depending on the size of your muffin. Mini muffins take about 7 minutes in my oven and regular muffin tins take between 11-13.

I try not to eat raw egg but I licked the spatula and a little bit of the blender…it’s that good.

I like this recipe because it is simple and it is easy to just whip together when a craving or need strikes. If you don’t have Raw Honey you can use regular honey, agave or maple syrup. If you are vegan these work with a flax egg too! I used organic peanut butter but almond, cashew or sun butter would work as well.

My Not So Guilty Gluten & Dairy Freee Pleasure: Mug Cakes

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Four ingredients and five minutes later you could have this gem of a dessert sitting in front of your drooling lips.  Okay a little graphic, sorry.

This is a gluten and dairy free mug cake.  If you want to ensure your cake is vegan make sure you used dairy free chocolate chips.  Enjoy Life makes chips that can be found at almost any grocery store.

imageIngredients:

half of a banana

one heaping tablespoon of almond butter (or nut/seed butter of your choice)

one and one half tablespoons of gluten free all purpose flour (or almond flour  works)

one heaping tablespoon of chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand if you are gluten and dairy free)

Directions:

Mash banana and almond butter together in mug or glass bowl.   I use a mug because I am hip.

Pour in the almond flour and mix well.

Now put the concoction in the microwave for about 45 seconds, until the edges start to cook but the middle is still mushy.  Drop in your chips and gently push them into the half cooked cake.

Cook for another 45 seconds.  Stick a spoon in and make sure it is still moist but not runny.  If it is still runny continue to cook for 10 seconds at a time.

Let it cool first.  I say this but I always burn my tongue.

Happy “Blizzard” Everyone!

Post Holiday Detox

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Well I don’t know about you but I feel like it is time to detox. The holidays are a time to indulge, but sometimes I find it hard to kick my cravings for sugar and red wine after the new year arrives. I know I am not alone, which is why I have decided to lead another 12 day liver detox.

This cleanse is not what you may think of when you hear “CLEANSE”. It is not about starving yourself, or overdosing on sugary juices. This is 12 days of clean eating paired with milk thistle supplements and dandelion root tea. The diet is centered around promoting healthy liver function. Our liver is what sifts all the toxins we consume in our diets and all the chemicals we breath in everyday. When our liver is working optimally, we feel more energized and hormonally balanced. This diet has been seen to decrease inflammation, bloating, headaches, help with arthritis, clear skin, improve mood and decrease sugar cravings. This cleanse requires you to move. In order to feel your best I recommend you exercise daily. Your overall daily movement should increase. You do not have to exercise vigorously. When practicing yoga focus on twists to help detoxify the body.  If you don’t usually exercise start walking and stretching each day. Go outside and feel the sunshine on your face. That is if you can find any.

The cleanse involves lots of vegetables, spices, healthy fats, pre and probiotic foods, sulfur and lemon water. To be successful you will have to cut out dairy, gluten and all processed foods.

I used the past week to prepare guidelines, sample grocery lists as well as tips to help all participants cleanse with ease! My cleanse is based off of Frances Murchison’s book “Heal Your Whole Body”. Click the below link to read an overview of the cleanse:

http://www.rodalenews.com/foods-your-liver

This is my second time leading the cleanse and I already have a great network of participants (newbies and veterans). You can join my support group on Facebook. Here you can find links to a sample grocery list, a quick guide to the cleanse as well as recipes for other cleansers and myself. I know I will be getting lots of questions via Facebook and I will do my best to answer as promptly as I can. I do want to point out that you will be most successful if you start making these changes today and slowly implementing the cleanse. This will create more of a lifestyle change and make it a little more sustainable. Just because you binge on a brownie does not mean you are done. You can always brush those crumbs off your lap and continue with the cleanse. This is not an all or nothing diet!

I made the start date for the cleanse January 19th. You can start before or after this date, it is all up to you! Scroll down for some helpful resources.

Join my Facebook group to stay updated: https://www.facebook.com/groups/874533072564308/

You can access a spreadsheet with a breakdown of cleanse worthy foods and food groups to avoid here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xWVGxHl1EePkBGyD88SLClU1mRqeZVnvsjMe2gg1wLM/edit?usp=docslist_api

I also made a daily checklist to help you keep track of your food intake:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NIoOCPt0SR1TS4ZMPvr5-R5dU-SzJ_GXD_KEz_XDr5I/edit?usp=docslist_api

Chocolate for Breakfast

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My recipe game has been weak, but this post should definitely make up for it! This is a GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread. If it sounds like edible heaven, that’s because it is. As a bonus, this recipe is so easy to make. I bet you already have all the ingredients in your kitchen. I found this recipe on another blog and made a few modifications. Here is what you will need to concoct this loaf:

In Bowl One: Whisk egg then mash in the bananas

1 egg

3 ripe bananas

In Bowl Two: Combine the below ingredients

3 tsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

1/3 cup organic peanut butter

3 & 1/2 tbsp coconut butter or 3 tbsp coconut oil (I used coconut butter)

3/4 cup almond milk

½ cup cocoa powder

1 cup gluten free flour ( I used Bob’s Redmill)

1 cup gluten free oats

½ cup of chocolate chips

Fold bowl two into bowl one and bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes.

You can use any nut butter that tickles your fancy.  I used peanut because it is the most inexpensive.  I save almond butter for eating by the spoonful.  Personal preference….

Gluten, Dairy & Guilt Free Coffee Cake

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I have always loved coffee cake.  It was actually one of the first baked goods I learned to make from scratch! When I was an avid coffee drinker I loved sitting down with a cup of hot coffeee and a slice of anything sweet as I tackled homework in my collegiate apartment.  Now I no longer drink coffee, but I still love to enjoy a pick me up as I read my afternoon emails.  This coffee cake is the perfect guilt free solution.  It is not too sweet so it wont light up the chocoholic or sugar addict in you…I found this recipe on Dr. Axe’s website and made a few modifications:

Combine wet ingredients

  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 coconut milk

Combine dry ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking Powder

Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture and pour into an 8×8 pan

Comibine ingredients for crumble topping:

  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of gluten free oats
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle topping over cake mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and serve with a spoon of almond butter!

Thanksgiving: It’s Just a Meal

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Thanksgiving is a day to count your blessing and enjoy the company of loved ones, or it should be. Recently it seems more like a day of gluttony. We anticipate stuffing our bellies until its time to unbutton our pants. Or we plan ahead and wear a dress to avoid a full belly pressing against half digested mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. I have a better idea. How about we don’t eat until we burst. Treat this meal like any other family meal. Eat normal portions. Drink wine. Be thankful.

Avoid restricting what is typically off limits.  Instead put a tablespoon of everything that appeals to you on your plate. Eat slow and enjoy every bite. Save room for dessert. Don’t skip your aunt’s pie, she worked hard on it. Just shave off a small serving. Taste everything and anything you please. The trick here is to taste, not devour.  It’s one of the biggest cheat meals of the year, but be kind to your body.

This is a day you are meant to indulge a little. Just avoid gorging and you will avoid the guilt.

Spoiler: Cooked hot food is easier to digest, so skip the salad and cold appetizers to avoid any gastro distress.

If you are dieting you can let loose for one day. One caloric day will not throw you off, as long as you wake up and return to your healthy clean diet the next morning. Do not over restrict and cause a tipsy binge. Be good to yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble

Reflecting on 12 Days of Detox

In my last post I introduced a 12 day cleanse to heal your liver, balance hormones, flush toxins, kick cravings and improve overall health.  All my brave detoxers are now done with the cleanse, but in a way they are not…

My goal with this 12 day detox was to introduce more healthy foods into the diet. I wanted my clients and friends to walk away with a small epiphany, that eating for your body and not your schedule or cravings is so beneficial. Many people see health food as diet food.  It is just the opposite.  The food we ate on the cleanse is REAL food.  In a way it is more satisfying to eat clean.  Think about it, you take pride in every bite, knowing you are making the best choices for your own health.

So these little “Ah hah” moments are steps toward a permanant lifestyle change.  Whether it be cutting out caffiene or giving up sugary breakfast cereals, we are capable of changing some of our most hard to kick habits.

The community created around the cleanse definately helped keep detoxers on track.  Everyday there were multiple posts of cleanse approved meals posted to the Facebook group I created.  This also created a forum for questions and encouragement.  This is a group I am going to continue to utilize and look forward to inviting new members!  There will be another group cleanse after the holidays so stay tuned!

If you are interested in trying the cleanse, you can email me at genevieve@stormfitness.com for more information, or check out my previous blog post which overviews the cleanse rules.  The link is at the top of this post!

If you are interested but have reservations, read about Tammy and Janelle’s experiences below:

Tammy, 27, Storm Fitness Client

Each morning started with gulps of lemon water and a milk thistle supplement, followed by an on-the-go breakfast smoothie with protein powder, banana, avocado, spinach, chia seeds and almond milk (recipe courtesy of Genevieve). Perhaps I have a fast metabolism, but being hungry every hour is annoying, especially on days when I am not teleworking and have to pack 20 snacks. I thought I’d starve after the breakfast smoothie, but I was full for three hours! Now, I don’t think I will ever be able to drink a smoothie without an avocado blended in—the creaminess is just too wonderful and addicting.

On my telework days, I ate boiled eggs sprinkled with cayenne pepper and peppercorn, or baked eggs inside a tomato, topped with chives; lunch was always a super green salad with chickpeas. For dinner, I baked spaghetti squash, and actively looked for recipes that would be both delicious and detox-proof. In between snacking on cauliflowers, roasted seaweed, and dates (for when I needed something sweet), I guzzled lemon water nonstop, surely disturbing some co-workers by the number of times I got up to pee.

Best part of the detox was I had more energy to do everything, though I did feel sluggish on day 3 (could have been because the weather was disgusting). I missed coffee, which is always the highlight of my day, but to my surprise, I wasn’t having any withdrawals. Dandelion Root tea was my new evening companion, though I’ll admit I still stuck a packet of Sugar in the Raw in there (Yes, I cheated—but I literally had no chocolate or other sweets the entire day). I realized my body doesn’t need coffee to stay awake; I just need to give my body the proper nutrients.

Thanks to Genevieve, I have learned to stay active. I did yoga on Mondays, HIIT on Tuesdays, ice skating on Wednesdays, either a run or HIIT on Thursdays, long walks on Fridays and Saturdays, and went horseback riding on Sundays. My FitBit kept me on track to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Each evening ended with a painful foam rolling routine.

The only part I truly failed was not always including cultured foods in the plan, but 11/12 categories isn’t too bad. At least I am now inspired to brew my own kombucha.

Despite my mini-slips, I have developed amazing habits. I already meal prep every day and try eating organic whenever possible, but now I’m honestly not even craving sugar much. When I woke up to drink coffee this morning, the sweetness of my coffee creamer made me feel sick. Though I am not giving coffee up entirely, my coffee creamer will likely be regular coconut milk or almond milk creamer. (No doubt, however, I will be enjoying some eggnog lattes from Starbucks this Holiday season).

At one point, I felt discouraged and almost went for a spoon of my Trader Joe’s Cookie & Cocoa Swirl, but I resisted and grew excited knowing that I had delicious sugary treats in my cabinets, but I could say no. Why go for a spoon of that when I have fresh bananas?

I’ll probably do this detox 2-3 times a year (probably around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and once during the spring, or summer), but I’ll include many of the required liver detox categories in my diet every day regardless. I feel much healthier and oddly, happier, knowing that my liver is probably grateful to me.When Genevieve asked if I wanted to join her on a 12-day liver detox plan, I had flashes of the Dr. Oz’s and Gwyneth Paltrow’s of the world preaching the benefits of weird juicing plans and “cleanses.” The notion always scared me. However, I had been trained by Genevieve almost the entire year. I knew that I could trust her and have support along the way. Plus, she promised the detox was not a diet! Whew.

Janelle, 24, Starbucks Addict

I have always considered myself a healthy eater, but I had a few very unhealthy habits I knew were keeping me from being as healthy as I could – like my Starbucks addiction, my need to have chocolate after every meal and late night snacking! When Gen suggested I try to cleanse with her, I immediately said yes, but as it got closer to my start date I began to wonder if I could really do it! No coffee, or sugar, or processed food for 10 days?! I was also really nervous about being hungry all the time, so the day before I loaded up on groceries to keep my shelf (and tummy!) fully stocked during my cleanse. The first 3 days were the hardest for me – I missed my morning oatmeal and yogurt, and all the greens were a big change to my system, plus the caffeine withdrawal headaches weren’t helping either. By the fourth day however, I started to make cleanse-approved foods I was actually enjoying and it didn’t feel like I was restricting myself anymore! I noticed that during the cleanse, I didn’t feel so bloated and icky after my meals, but instead felt lean, clean and green all day long. I really enjoyed finding new recipes with many of the main ingredients the cleanse promoted and trying new foods, like endives! As soon as my cleanse ended and I started to go back to regular food, I missed the cleanse immediately! I felt SO much healthier from the inside out during those 10 days and I plan to do the cleanse hard-core again next month. In the meantime, I am hoping I can stick to some of the basic cleanse rules (no sugar, processed foods, lots of greens) and focus more on enjoying lean, clean and green foods. I’ve already noticed my coffee addiction has diminished almost completely and I don’t find myself craving chocolate after every meal like I used to. I’m SO glad I tried this cleanse and I’m already looking forward to doing it again!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/874533072564308/

Slow Cooker Chicken & Sweet Pots

Everywhere I look I see delicious fall recipes.  I would love to crank out an elaborate seasonal feast every night, but with my funky work schedule I like to have dinner ready when I get home.  My last client usually ends around or after dinner time so it can be a pain to come home and prepare food.  The crock pot is truly the answer to this dilemma.  This recipe is gluten free, delicious and only takes 10 minutes of prep.

Sweet Potato Crock

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound of organic skinless chicken breasts
  • Half of an onion
  • 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced

Directions:

  1. Peel and chop sweet potatoes
  2. Slice chicken into one inch cubes
  3. Place chicken and sweet potatoes in crock pot and season with salt and pepper
  4. Mix onion, apple sauce, apple cider vinegar, cumin and garlic in a small bowl
  5. Place mixture on top of chicken and sweet potatoes, cover and cook for 6 hours on low

Crock Pot Pots

I have eaten this dish a few ways.  On the first night I ate the dish alone.  On the second day I mixed with red quinoa and on the third day I served alongside sauteed kale and brussel sprouts.  It’s tasty, filling and delicious as a leftover.  I found the original recipe via Stock Pilling Moms and look forward to trying more of their slow cooker recipes!

Gut Health Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Fall is officially here in Virginia.  The nights are in the low 40’s and Trader Joes is stocked with all things pumpkin.  I don’t usually like the taste of  most pumpkin flavored products.  They all taste artificial and not much like pumpkin if you ask me.  I remember trying the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks a few years ago.  It was so disappointing, I ended up taking two sips and dumping it in the trash before I left the store.  Now Starbucks is being slammed with criticism for using caramel coloring and other artificial ingredients.

So maybe pumpkin packaged goods are icky, but you can still celebrate fall by making delicious and healthy homemade recipes with fall squash.  Pumpkin is a super food.   So why not add it to everything?

Pumpkin Packs:

  • Lots of dietary fiber
  • Low calorie count
  • Antioxidants to improve skin and sight
  • Vitamins A& B
  • Folates
  • Minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus

Recently I have been on a quest to improve my gut health. Going dairy, grain, soy and legume free has made breakfast a challenge.  I have had to get creative to find things that keep me full when I don’t have time for eggs and veggies in the morning.  So let me present you with my Gut Healthy Pumpkin Spice Smoothie recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp organic honey
  • splash of unsweetened coconut milk (or as much as needed)
  • few dashes of cinnamon
  • 1 dash of nutmeg
  • 1 dash of ground cloves

Simply add all your ingredients together, blend and enjoy at home or on the road! Happy fall y’all 🙂