Healing Chicken Soup (gf)(df)

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February has been a bitter cold month here in Virginia, and nothing warms you up like a piping hot bowl of soup. Chicken soup is a simple comfort food, so I decided to make my own version of chicken and rice with an extra healthy twist.

With winter I find my body gets aggravated. I feel run down easily and my daily activity level decreases with the season. I am no longer spending my free time outdoors walking the dog, gardening, running or soaking up the sun. With temperatures well below freezing I find myself napping, reading and watching Netflix in my downtime. Having an autoimmune disease makes the seasons effects even more apparent. When my vitamin D levels are low my gut feels the effect, which leads to psoriasis flare ups and zapped energy. Which is why it is so important for me to eat very clean this time of year. I reach for healing foods that are easy on my system over raw salads and crucifers. This recipe is packed with anti inflammatory foods that will aid in digestion and help you get through any autoimmune flare up you may be experiencing.

I made this soup in the crock pot but if you want to make in on the stove in a stock pot it will take under an hour!

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breast
2 quarts of bone broth (I used the store bought brand Pacific)
1 onion diced
1 crown of broccoli
5 carrots
5 celery stalks
1 bag of frozen peas (about 2 cups)
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 thumb sized piece of ginger root grated
2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp of turmeric
1 lemon juiced
1 cup of dry quinoa
Salt and pepper to taste

Throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and let cook for 5-6 hours on low. Remove the cooked chicken and shred before putting back into the pot to serve.

If you cannot find Bone broth in your grocery store you can always make your own or just use regular chicken stock.

P.S.-This recipe is even better the next day!

The Scoop on Healthy Skoop Powders

Product Review: Healthy Skoop Powders

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I feel like the hunt for the perfect protein powder is ongoing.  I certainly have my go to whey and plant based powders, but I love to experiment with new brands.  If you follow my posts you probably have seen my favorite whey powder, Warrior Whey by Defense Nutrition.  When it comes to plant based protein powder my current favorite is Phood by Plant Fusion.

That being said, I have never tried a greens mix, which is something that Skoop offers.  Skoop sells powders for different nutrition goals, but advertises the product lines as an all encompassing package. While for the most part I consume plenty of greens and antioxidants, there are days where many of my meals are on the go.  I was grateful when Skoop offered to send me a generous sample package.  I hope you enjoy my review!

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Skoop a variety of powders: A GAME, B STRONG & B LOVELY.  All three powders are gluten-free and GMO-free.

Skoop A Game Is a powder you can wake up with. Phytonutrients, micronutrients, and adaptogens are said to help increase your energy level.  Since I don’t drink coffee I saw this as a great early  morning option.  The contents of A Game allow you to start your day with fiber and probiotics.  In my mind A Game stands up against my usual powders with its ORAC equivalent of 10 servings of fruits and veggies. Some days I am on the go all day. The ability to get my greens and antioxidants with just a shaker and some cold water is a huge plus. There are two A Game flavors, Chocofresh and Supergreens.  I have been shaking both with just cold water, but also adding them to my smoothies. I add Chocofresh to my chocolate protein powder along with a frozen banana, almond milk and chia seeds.  I add the Supergreens powder to my green smoothie.

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Overall, I liked having A game as part of my regimen.  I did feel a bit more energized when I included the powder in my first meal of the day.  The flavor took a little getting used to, its a bit bold.  I was adjusted to the taste by day five.  A Game is 50 calories per scoop and only 2 grams of sugar.

B Strong is the Protein powder.  It is plant based, soy-free and dairy-free as well as gluten-free and GMO-free.  The great thing about B Strong is it’s prebiotic fibers that assist your gut in breaking down and absorbing the protein.  This will allow you to use the 16 grams of protein and additional fatty acids to build muscle and recover quickly.

I tried the vanilla powder, which makes it harder for me to compare because I usually go with chocolate protein powder.  I do feel that my Warrior Whey is a bit smoother, but it is also whey protein.  There could be a compromise due to the extra prebiotics and antioxidants in Skoop.   If you are looking for a clean plant based protein powder I would certainly recommend Skoop.

Last, we have B Lovely.  This is actually a skincare product you consume.   B Lovely contains natural herbs, antioxidants and fiber.  You can help combat oxidative stress, repair damaged collagen and promote circulation with just 20 calories of this powder.  I cannot tell you if it works, I only tried the powder twice, but I can tell you how it tastes.  I was not a fan.  I am a tea drinker, so when I added the powder to my warm water I was expecting it to taste like a floral tea, I am sure it I could hide the taste in a smoothie or protein shake, but I only need one shake a day.

Overall, I found Skoop powders to be clean and easy to digest.  I suffer from a lot of stomach and GI issues, and I am easily irritated by many powders.  I had absolutely no issues with Skoop.

 

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/

Heal Your Whole Body: The 12-day Plan to Flush Toxins & Balance Hormones


Today I started a cleanse alongside many of my clients, friends and family members. The 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 clease requires you to move. Inorder to feel your best I reccommend you exercise daily.  Your overall daily movement should increase.  You do not have to exercise vigorously.  I reccomend lots of yoga and walking.  Go outside and feel the sunshine on your face.

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

If you are interested in feeling better 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. If all goes well with this first cleanse, I plan on repeating the same diet post holidays!

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

Super-Gut-Food Almond Butter

I have been dealing with Leaky Gut Syndrome for a while now, but my flare ups have become irregular and almost obsolete.  In fact, my gut has been fairly healthy in the past year and a half.  However, this past Monday I was completely blind sided by the side effects of this crap syndrome.  So for a few days I was consuming mostly liquids (coconut milk, kombucha, hot tea, and lots of water).  I eased my way to coconut milk yogurt, sauerkraut and mashed up bananas.  My stomach was inflamed and my energy level was insanely low due to a calorie deficit.

So now I am on a mission to repair my intestinal lining and get back to a healthy gut.  My diet for the next 2-4 weeks is going be restrictive, more or less Paleo with some extra rules.  I cannot eat soy, sugar, legumes, dairy, night shade vegetables, grains or anything processed by any means. Last night I had a dream I was eating Chinese food. I don’t even like Chinese food.  I have been Gluten Free for almost seven years and I remember in the first year I would have dreams I was eating sandwiches all the time.

It is not complete torment, I still get to eat most of the things I love.  I will be consuming lots of coconut products like coconut milk, coconut milk yogurt, coconut oil and coconut butter.  Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are great for gut health and I do love an excuse to splurge on kombucha.  I will be attempting my first bone broth this weekend which is supposedly deeeelish, I just hope I can find some chicken feet.  Another great food group for gut health is sprouted seeds (like flax seed, chia seed and hemp seeds).  Which brings me to my creation this morning.

Super Gut healthy Almond Butter

  • 2 tablespoons of Almond Butter ( I use Trader Joe’s Unsalted Crunchy)
  • 1 teaspoon of Chia Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil

Mix them all together and enjoy! I spread mine on apple slices for a mid morning snack.  This is a very filling spread so you might not need to eat the whole two tablespoons in one sitting, but it’s so good I cannot help but lick the bowl clean.