Cilantro Lime Chicken & Me

I made the most delicious baked chicken yesterday, and it was super easy. I got the idea from The Nourishing Home blog. She’s got a ton of healthy recipes on there. This is her recipe for Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken, which I stole and transformed.

I didn’t have lemon. But, I had limes! And I had dried cilantro, not fresh. You know what though, I made it work and it was awesome. And nothing screams fresh, delicious, and sweet like some sort of chicken with citrus on it. Citrus on anything, really… I’m a huge fan of lemons, limes, and anything tart, so this was right up my alley. 🙂

Here’s what I did:

I had chicken breasts, so I cut them in half and on an angle (to be fancy), then arranged on a foil-lined baking sheet with a lip. Salt & pepper.

I squeezed one whole lime in a drinking glass, and poured in about 1/4 c of olive oil, a tsp of garlic powder, a tsp of dried cilantro. Then, I took the small whisk I have from my hand mixer and used that to make a “emulsion” … if you will… that I poured over the chicken pieces. If you don’t do that, your olive oil and citrus stays divided, so it will coat unevenly. At least take a fork and beat it together a little if you don’t have a whisk.

Bake in the oven for about 35 mins (maybe less). The first 15-18 I had the chicken covered to keep it moist. I took the foil off the top to make sure it got a little brown on there.

It was awesome. I ate it over lettuce with guacamole, but I’m sure you could do it with fresh mixed veggies and just squeeze more lime over everything.

….On a personal note, since I’m trying to blog not only about the facts but about my feelings on this whole new road I’m traveling…. I’ve been feeling really tired and moody lately. I don’t know if it’s just a phase or if I’m going to be getting a visit from my best friend Flo, but I’m just really cranky. I hate it when that happens. I’m not usually a cranky person. I’m usually a pretty cool and calm, go-with-the-flow type… it takes a lot to make me mad. But, lately, everything and everyone is on my nerves. GAAAAAH. I just want to stay in bed and read a romance novel and forget that I have to work, take care of my son, take care of myself, take care of the dog, do the laundry, cook, do dishes, etc etc etccccc….

I think I need a vacation.

Or a cheat day.

But I really don’t want to cheat, and I honestly can’t afford to go all banana sandwich and ruin my progress. I’ve been drinking coffee with only unsweetened coconut milk and I don’t even cringe anymore. Could you imagine what would happen to me if I drank a DD Coffee Coolata (my favorite) right now?! I’d go into insulin shock!! (This is not a laughing matter! And no, I’m not diabetic, I just googled “shock from too much sugar” and that’s what came up lol.)

Anyway, ugh. I’m going to grab a snack… a piece of fruit and some nuts… more water… maybe more coffee… and hunker down. Have a happy hump day!

Week 2 Results

Hello and happy Monday!

Last week I had been feeling pretty good Monday through Friday. I did two workouts last week and made sure I didn’t eat anything with refined sugar. It’s been fruits, vegetables, and proteins for me for the last 14 days.

I can already tell you, based on this article my mother-in-law posted yesterday, that I am probably not getting enough water.

So when I woke up on Saturday morning I weighed in at 191.5. Woohoo! The reason I weighed in early was because I knew the weekend was going to be one big “JUSTSAYNO” experience, and I wasn’t going to say no to everything. Like mojitos. To do so would be a crime against humanity.

Saturday was my friend’s bachelorette party, and we had such a great time. We ate at Mixto, and the food was AMAZING. I ordered skirt steak and vegetables, and we got way too many pitchers of mojitos for the table. Look at the bride. What a beauty!

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Sunday was Easter, so it was Easter Brunch and egg hunting with the kids at my parents’ house, then dinner at my cousin’s house. Everything was amazing. My mom outdid herself with a beautiful table full of breakfast food, and my cousin’s house was the epitome of elegance. What a beautiful day spent with great people!

I ate (mostly) what I was supposed to, but MAN was it hard to say no to the awesome desserts at the bachelorette and all of the amazing-looking pastas and appetizer food at my cousin’s house! I had to totally steer clear of the dessert table at Easter… munchkin and I practiced walking instead. My family really knows how to cook, and Death by Chocolate is MY FAVORITE THING EVER. Ahhhhhhhh!

For the most part (beside some ribbing from the girls about the heavenly smelling bread at Mixto) everyone has been amazingly supportive of my choices and my blog. My cousins, who are all gorgeous and skinny and successful, told me that I should definitely keep it up and that they read about my Jillian Michaels experience on here. HAHA. I was mildly embarrassed, but also felt amazingly loved.

So thank you to all who have been helping me out with kind words and “likes” and moral support.

This morning after a weekend full of “NOs,” and a whole lotta YES to vodka and rum, I was still able to lose 1.5 lbs from last week, so I am currently at 192.5, a total of 7.5lbs lost in 2 weeks. YAY!

This week the goal is to drink a lot of water, get a lot of sleep (HA), do two more workouts (at minimum), and keep eating fruits veggies and protein.

Here’s my favorite recipe for flank steak. My son is in love with this… he will eat several pieces of it at a time. Crazy kid. We do balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar… it’s so much better. If you’re doing Whole30, substitute the soy sauce for coconut aminos. Enjoy!

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I Went Rogue

Image from http://nolongernakedrunning.com/tag/walking-after-running/

I put the little man to bed tonight, and started thinking about working out. I could do yoga. That’s always nice, but not really that exciting. Or, I could do Jillian again. She’s good. But then I was thinking… if I do Jillian, I have to do Level 1, and I’m so sick of her outfit in that. Then I heard a small voice whisper “You don’t have to do Level 1. You could do any level you want!”

That voice gets me in trouble a lot.

BUT LEVEL 2 IT WAS!!!!

I can’t even post a picture, okay? I’m a wreck, and my knees hate me. But man, I feel AWESOME right now! I hate working out mostly because all I (usually) feel is yucky and tired, and totally unmotivated to tackle the laundry list of stuff I have to do after. But hot damn if that wasn’t the best 20 minutes I spent today, I don’t know what was. Woo!

Level 2, I’ll see you tomorrow.

Going to be a (Great) Friday!

Happy “Good Friday” to all who celebrate! If you gave up something for Lent (calling all Catholics), it’s time to decide if you want it back. If you added something extra… like added more patience in your life, or more time for other people… I hope you’ve found it to be beneficial!

Me? I didn’t do Lent this year. I know, I’m a terrible person.

BUT! I have a great recipe that you can bring to your Easter Brunch!

How do you guys feel about frittata? I’ve been in love with it since I discovered it was way easier to make at home than quiche. It’s basically an egg cake with whatever you want in it. Some people make them for dinner meals, but I’ve always done them for breakfast. People also do versions of frittata and put them in muffin tins for individual servings. (This one is amazing, in case you’re looking for something like that!) Me? I throw everything I want inside of it in a saucepan… usually some sort of meat, spinach, and cut-up veggies… add eggs, and let the magic happen.

Here’s the one that I found on a paleo website and tried out. It’s zucchini, sweet potatoes, and I added chunks of breakfast sausage. I think this would also be good if you have roasted or caramelized butternut squash.

I (loosely) followed this recipe.

I didn’t have any red bell peppers so hers looks better than mine, but I bet mine tastes better!

Try it out, it was delicious! I never thought to put sweet potatoes in one before, but I cut them small enough that it felt like little sweet surprises in each bite. 🙂 I’m glad I added the sausage. For me, personally, I like something a little salty in my breakfast life.

Here’s what I did. And don’t worry about measuring this stuff, it can really be about how much you like as long as you have enough eggs to keep everything together:

  1. Browned sausage, got them out of the pan and put them aside.
  2. Sauteed sweet potatoes until soft and caramelized
  3. Quick-cooked zucchini… this is a tough one. I like it soft, but I knew it was going to keep cooking even inside the frittata. I should have probably cut my slices a tad thicker.
  4. READY TO BUILD: I put a layer of zucchini slices on the bottom, then added in a handful of my sausage and sweet potato. Then, put half of my eggs in, and repeated.
  5. You want to turn your heat WAY DOWN on the stove and let it sit, but then move it to broil in the oven so you can get the crunchy top.

Enjoy, and I hope you all have a GREAT Friday and a wonderful Easter!

 

Jillian…

I may have started around 12:30am, but in my mind it was still Wednesday.

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Jillian Michaels. You are a very annoying yet lovely person, and your 30-Day Shred has been the bane of my existence since my husband first brought it to our house a bazillion years ago.

Mark and I were doing this thing like, WELL before I ever got pregnant, and we still never managed to do the whole 10 days of Level 1. I’ve never even seen Levels 2 or 3. HAHA. If they are anything like Level 1, I’m good. There’s way too much knee stuff in that video. Does EVERYTHING have to involve a lunge or a squat, lady?! What gives?!

Regardless, it is done.

And today I’m making new food!!!!!

Wednesday it was a bunch of boring leftovers since I’ve been cooking a lot with only me and the kiddo to eat it. We’re almost done all the good stuff, though, so I’m moving on! On the menu for Thursday is marinated flank steak, the zucchini and sweet potato frittata (I have an evil plan to add breakfast sausage to it), and some sort of chicken dish. If you have any Whole30-friendly chicken ideas let me know!

Hope you all have an awesome Thursday. Only ONE MORE DAY until the weekend!! ❤

(Not) Feeling the Burn… yet

Did you ever notice how you always make time for the things you WANT to do, and never for the things that you don’t? I only did 14 push-ups yesterday, and no physical activity yet today. It’s pathetic.

I was really hoping to be able to sign on this morning and be like, GUYS, I totally rocked out to PiYo (last night/this morning)! It was awesome! Except my little man decided to wake up multiple times last night and I ended up falling asleep on the couch after the last round of getting him back to bed. Did you think that, when my husband dropped him, literally, on top of me at 7:30am and begged to sleep for another hour, my butt was doing anything but surviving until I had to start work at 8:30am?

Yeah, me neither.

Tonight I’m meeting one of my Europe friends out and about, and working on more homework. Grad school is awesome, but it’s time consuming. Of course, though, I always get what I need to get done completed on time. Like I said, all about what you WANT to make time for. GAH!

When I get home tonight, though, I am soooooo going to work out. Really. I’m going to do FIFTEEN push-ups and some … thing. Yoga is my go-to because I love it and it makes me feel great, but it’s not very burn-oriented.

Speaking of, I’m wondering about whether or not I should be feeling the burn. I’m conflicted!

I started this blog because I knew that, even if I didn’t move a single inch, I would lose weight because I wasn’t eating crap anymore. And so far that’s still true. I jumped on the scale this morning and now I’m down 8lbs from my baseline. What I should do is prove that you literally have to change NOTHING ELSE and you will still lose weight just by cutting out sugar and junk. But…. isn’t that obvious?

My super secret goal in this blog is to get all of you to join me on the no-processed food train. HAHA. (Is it working yet?!) If I start working out and losing tons of weight and looking all awesome, will you attribute that to me working out only, and will I lose whatever curiosity you currently have about this whole no-sugar thing and whether or not you should give it a shot?

I’m inclined to think so. I’m the biggest anti-workout person I know, only because I don’t like to move. (Can’t you tell? I just wasted 10 minutes telling you why I didn’t do anything yet this week and it’s Wednesday!!!) However, my other super secret is that I’m in a wedding in one month and my dress doesn’t zipper. :-O  The bride knows… she wants to murder me, I think… but she knows. So I need to be able to zipper the damn dress. And before you say ANYTHING, it fit me in the store, but hubby said it must have been stretched out. As much as I love him, in that moment it was HATE.

OKAY. I’m going to do it. I’m going to work out when I get home tonight. Fifteen push-ups and … something else. Stay tuned!

 

 

What I’m Actually Doing

Yesterday was an exciting blog day! Over 100 of my friends, family, and fellow bloggers checked in with me for Week 1. So cool!

A few of you asked what the hell I’m doing. HAHA

Answer: It’s a loose combination of Whole 30 and Paleo.

What’s Whole 30, you ask? It’s an elimination diet that’s supposed to work as a “reset” button for your body. It’s a 30-day challenge of eating only fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fat. I first heard about paleo/Whole 30 from a friend I used to work with, but it wasn’t until the Brown Eyed Baker blogged about it (http://www.browneyedbaker.com/whole30-experience-results/) that I actually seriously considered it.

Honestly, if a girl who makes her living baking and eating delicious food can do it, I can too, right?

The way you’re supposed to do it is like this:

“The cornerstone of the eating plan is for each meal to include at least three ounces of protein (or at least two eggs), two cups of vegetables, and one tablespoon of healthy fat (olive oil, clarified butter/ghee, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, almond butter, etc.). In addition, up to two servings of fruit a day.”

I am not that rigid. I figure that eating fruit and vegetables and not eating junk is a huge improvement over what I had been doing anyway, and if I can’t have sugar but I have a craving, I’m not going to worry about having an apple or a handful of grapes. I’ve got bigger problems. 🙂

This site was a huge help for me when I first started:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/whole30-and-flirty-and-thriving#.umpZBJRYd

Here’s one of the new recipes I tried out!!! Paleo Twice Baked Breakfast Sweet PotatoesIMG_5394[1]

Paleo Twice Baked Breakfast Sweet Potatoes

So, the first time I did this I did it correctly, just like the picture in the URL. But I overcooked the egg on top so it was more like a fried egg instead of a runny egg. Boo that. So the next time I tried it I intended to do the sweet potato the way it was written, and just put an over-easy egg on top. Well…. it didn’t work out the way I hoped! I microwaved the sweet potatoes to make them softer faster (dude, it was 7:30 am, I wasn’t waiting 40-some minutes for potatoes to bake) but I ended up cooking them too long, and the skin peeled away when I was scooping out the inside. So I just put the insides in corningware and put the egg on top. It was actually really good, and so much easier! An egg takes only a few minutes, so it was a great compromise. Try it out!!

Here was what I ate on Monday. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came over to babysit the munchkin, so we made roasted pork loin, a strawberry spinach salad with balsamic dressing, green beans, and honeydew. My good friend from childhood came over for dinner, so we made roasted garlic potatoes, asparagus, and STEAK! Whooop! We were rocking it.

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Hope you all have a great day today!

Week 1 Results!

Aaaaaaahahaha 🙂 Drum roll pleaseeee….

Today, the scale said I lost 6 lbs and 3 inches from my waist. In only 7 days.

Crazy right?!

If you ever watched The Biggest Loser, you know Week 1 is always the most amazing week… it’s all water weight and a new lifestyle, so the huge change contributes a lot to a big number on the scale. Who cares, though, right?! That’s 6 lbs I’m no longer lugging around. 🙂

Week 2 is always way less fun, even though you’re still doing everything you need to.

Knowing this, I’m going to start incorporating some exercise into my daily routine. It’s not just about weight loss, but about health. I really don’t move very much, at all, unless I’m chasing after my son. I really need to start getting in shape!

I hate exercise with a passion though. I might start *really* small and just do some yoga from TV, just to get moving. Next week I will do something a little more rigorous.

Any ideas for workouts? I hate exercising, and I have knee problems which have been really acting up lately since I’m constantly crawling around on the floor with the kiddo. I’d like something less knee-intensive, and fun, if at all possible! Thanks in advance! 🙂

TGIF!

Image from http://www.talkless-saymore.com/tgif-poof/

What a week! Let’s keep this short and sweet, hmm? It’s Friday night, I’m exhausted, and I’m sure you are, too. I won’t be posting this weekend, but I’ll be back sharing some exciting recipes I’ve uncovered starting Monday. AS WELL AS…… MY PROGRESS! Sneak peek of a non-scale related victory? That iPhone charger I told you about? We’re overlapping 🙂

Feeling: Good, but I can definitely see a change in the length of time I’m able to be energized and productive as the day moves forward. By 8-9pm, I am ready for bed. There’s no more sugar keeping me awake or hyping me up late at night. Now I’m that old lady your parents threatened you would be at … thirty-something.

Food:

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Interesting tip of the night: If you don’t use slow cooker liners, go to Target and pick them up tomorrow. They work so well. Clean up is as easy as throwing out the bag and rinsing out the crockpot. I don’t know why I didn’t use these years ago.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Ireland and the Irish people are amazing. I’ve been twice and had an incredible time sight-seeing and enjoying the culture. The first time I went was with (what soon became) an awesome group of girls that I call my “Europe friends” in 2007. The second time was on our honeymoon in 2011.

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So cute. 🙂

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to dress up the munchkin. Marissa, my son’s babysitter, took some gorgeous photos of him outside today. Here’s my favorite!

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Look at that little jelly belly! He is the cutest.

Now that it’s been a few days I’m definitely in a MUCH better mood. I think my brain chemistry has finally equaled out and I’m not as much of a nut as I was over the last few days. I haven’t craved anything sweet today, which is awesome! I also didn’t eat as much as I have been… I had breakfast around 8:30, then lunch pretty late… after 2pm… and then dinner around 8:30. I’m not saying that’s healthy or whatever, and I was STARVING at dinner, but I was in a pretty great mood and feeling okay despite the long waits.

Here’s what I had.

Breakfast – Another 2-egg day with 3 links of pink

Lunch – Ginormous green salad with a St. Paddy’s inspired chicken salad. I buy rotisserie chicken now, so I chopped some up and mixed it with a whole avocado that my mom gave me. Half a lime and a dash of salt and I was in business.

Dinner – Rounding out my St Paddy’s celebration… potatoes. It’s a sin against good ole St Patrick himself (or not, he probably doesn’t care) but it’s a sin against IRELAND if you don’t have potatoes on St Paddy’s. So I had red-skinned mashed potatoes and these really cool healthy chicken sausage things… it’s al fresco jalapeno? It was amazing.

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Hope you guys had fun celebrating today! Have a beer for me!