Tag Archives: easy

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Tikka Masala

Professional cyclists DO NOT eat a healthy diet. Especially not the riders over in Europe. Mike and I saw this first hand when, while following the Giro d’Italia, we picked up their discarded feed bags on the side of the road. All we found were pastries and “energy bars” full of refined sugar and bad carbohydrates. It was unbelievable to us that their team directors think it acceptable and, above all, profitable to fuel their riders with these kinds of food. How much better would they perform on a 5 hour race day if their bodies could actually use the food they were given?

FeedZoneCookbook

This weekend I met two of my favorite chef’s: Dr. Allen Lim and Chef Biju Thomas. They co-authored “The Feed Zone Cookbook.” Allen Lim was the director of sport sciences for professional cycling teams, Radioshack and Garmin. He introduced the idea of gluten-sensitivity and the importance of a healthy diet in a training plan. Biju Thomas is an avid cyclist and chef to some of the top riders in the US. The cookbook is based on very simple but very healthy meals that could be cooked with 3-5 ingredients on one stove-top while on the road. I love it.

One of my favorites (and now perfectly adapted for me) recipes is their Chicken Tikka Masala. Their version uses lots of yogurt which is fine if it’s raw (or at least organic) but I wanted to see if I could get rid of it altogether. So I replaced it with canned coconut milk and OH-EM-GEE. Really, really yummy.

I was always nervous about cooking curry because it’s so tasty that I figured it would be complicated. Absolutely not the case. This is one of the easiest dishes I’ve ever cooked and it now holds a preferred spot on our meal planning menu.

Curry-Published

 

Ingredients (3 servings, double this to make 6 servings and last a couple days)

  • 4 cups of cooked quinoa for the base
  • 2 lbs chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (I used my leftover chicken from my roast last week)
  • 1-cup tomato sauce
  • 1 12oz can organic coconut milk (shake before opening)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 a sliced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a dash of cayenne pepper or 2-4 green chiles, cut into strips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and, if you can, let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. I didn’t have time for this and it was still delicious.
  2. Pour all ingredients into a deep pan and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Spoon on top of your quinoa and enjoy!

It’s the simplest and most delicious meal. Definitely one of our favorites. Try to pair it with a spinach salad to get your raw veggies in.

Let me know how it goes! I hope you’re all having very fun and spicy days šŸ™‚

 

Workout Wednesday: Hop Back to It

This is my first workout post since the Holidays. I’ve finally detoxed myself off of the ChocoCheese Diet: a sophisticated diet of only chocolate, cheese, wine, and NO exercise to speak of for the 10 days surrounding the Holidays. And I’m finally over the flu. Do you think the two were related? Hmmm.

I’m over the fever of my flu but still have a lingering cough and some sniffles. No matter! Read this awesome blog post about if you should or shouldn’t workout when sick. So because my fever is gone, I hit the yoga mat for some light exercise on Monday and then did the Beginner form of this workout yesterday. Today I’ll be back on the bike trainer doing intervals for an hour or so.

Anyway, it’s the New Year. We don’t have any more excuses. You have to get back to your regular routine whether you like it or not. And yes, I’m really struggling with this one too. Want to face it together?

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

Side Hops

1. side hops

LegBalance

2. leg balance – touch the top of your water bottle or the seat of a chair (switch sides at 10 seconds)

PushUp

3. push up

hipraise

4. hip raise

plank

5. plank (with kicks for advanced form)

Squat Jump

6. squat jumps

REMEMBER: this workout only works if you push yourself. HARD. This is the most difficult part of getting back into home workouts… but I don’t wanna push myself… just do it, you won’t regret it, I promise.

What are you struggling to pick back up this New Year? How are you going to beat it? šŸ™‚

Throw-It-In-Your-Bag Thursday: Homemade Trail Mix

I’ve been getting a little fired up in my posts the last couple days. Warning, that trend is about to continue … I’ve been getting it from patients and friends: I just don’t have time to eat healthy! I have so many presents to buy and still have to work my job! OH-EM-GEE guys. This is not an excuse, it just means that you have to be better planners for the few weeks that your schedule is tight. If you can learn to do it now, imagine how many busy times it will help you through.

Here’s what most people do when they don’t have time to pack a lunch: eat fast food or don’t eat at all (less likely but the healthier people think this is a better option). NEITHER of these is ok. You MUST eat multiple times a day to give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, you’re not going to get those nutrients from fast food. End of story.

Now that we have that established, how the heck do you bring enough food to last you an entire busy day??

Well, you can make a smoothie (recipe for an awesome one is on its way), make a healthy sandwich, bring a couple pieces of fruit and….drumroll please…make your own trail mix! YAY!

photo 5

The trail mix has to be homemade because packaged and pre-made mix usually has quite a bit of sugar in it. Sugar coated dried fruit, nuts roasted and nutrients killed, or just plain chocolate chunks that pretty much cancel the goodness of the other stuff. I’m lucky enough that my grocery has an awesome bulk section (see above) but you can buy packaged raw nuts and seed too. No excuses.

A Few Rules:

  • no roasted nuts
  • no sweetened dried fruit
  • no chocolate unless it’s unsweetened
  • NO SUGAR

Trail Mix Possible Nuts:

  • almonds, raw
  • cashews, raw
  • walnuts, raw
  • pecans, raw
  • pistachio nuts, raw
  • brazil nuts, raw
  • macadamia nuts, raw
  • Any other nuts you like but NO PEANUTS! The processing of those hasn’t been so great lately.
  • sunflower seeds

Trail Mix Possible Sweetness:

  • raisins, unsweetened
  • dried cranberries, unsweetened
  • dried apricots, unsweetened
  • dried mango, tough to find unsweetened but so tasty when you do
  • chocolate morsels, unsweetened (aka. bittersweet chocolate chips)

Instructions:

  1. Buy a few bags of whatever ingredients you like and keep them handy.
  2. Throw a couple handfuls of each into a resealable plastic bag whenever you need and throw them in your backpack, briefcase, or car. Make enough to last you a few days.
  3. That’s it!!

TrailMix1-Published

I made this mix while writing this post. It took me a total of 2 minutes and 39 seconds. Just kidding, I didn’t time myself. But it was really quick!

Anyone else have mix-in ideas?

Workout Wednesday: Don’t Stop Now!

Yes yes, I know, “It’s the holidays, I spend all my time Christmas shopping, I don’t have the energy to think about myself, there’s too much bad food around, blah blah blah.” THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. If you read this blog, you probably interact at least a little bit with other health conscious people and, right now, they’re all giving you some wonderful information. It is possible to still enjoy the food, just load up your plate with vegetables before you add anything else. Plan your gifting so you can knock it all out in one day. Focus on yourself for a half hour a day, that’s all it takes!

I don’t care what life situation you’re in, it is ALWAYS better to care for your own health before that of others. You know in the airplane, how you’re supposed to “secure your own oxygen mask BEFORE assisting others?” I know it’s hard but it makes sense. If you’re unhealthy/can’t breathe, you’re unfit, unenergized, or dead before you can even help one other person.

Good thing I’m here for you huh? Because there are these awesome 12 or 16 minute workouts I talk about a lot. Maybe you’ve heard me once or twice? They’re all you need during the holidays. Just do this a few times a week, load up on those veggies, and TA DA! You emerge in January looking and feeling just as svelte as you did in August.

Today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

LowJacks1Ā LowJacks2

1)Ā Beginner/Intermediate- side to side step/ jumping jacks, Advanced- low jacks

PlieSquat

2) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- plie squat

ToeTaps(High)

3) Beginner/Intermediate- floor toe taps,Ā Advanced- high toe taps

GoodMornings(hands behind head, no weight)

4) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- good mornings

WindshieldWipers

5) Beginner/Intermediate- bent-leg windshield wipers,Ā Advanced- straight-leg windshield wipers

MountainClimber

6)Ā Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- mountain climbers

plank

Bonus)Ā Beginner/Intermediate- elbow and knee plankĀ Advanced-Ā hand and toe plank

Let me know how it went!

Ps. We’re getting SO close to the weekend/holiday/sleep in time. Hope you’re all having happy Wednesdays šŸ™‚

 

Workout Wednesday: Do You Brace?

The brace: anyone heard of it? Not like for your teeth or a broken limb, for your abs silly! It’s this position that you should be aware of no matter what type of exercise you do. It strengthens your core, supports your back, AND helps give you that awesome 8-pack you’ve been dreaming of.

Brace: tighten your lower abs. Tighten so you feel like your attaching your abs to your lower back. Now keep your abs there and breathe. This is how you should be exercising. There are exercises where the brace is more important but if you can learn to do this throughout your exercise routine you’ll start to see huge differences. This applies to weight lifting, riding bikes, running, swimming, EVERYTHING!

Finally for today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

TriDip

1. Tricep Dip

pendulum-lunge-ex

2. Speed Lunges (hold your feet in place. quickly straight then bend legs into lunge. switch sides half-way through each set)

RussianTwist

3. Russian Twist

ProneTrunkRaises1

4. Swimmers

fire-hydrants-moves-to-tone-your-butt-05-full

5. Fire Hydrant (switch sides half-way through each set)

4-bob-harper-exercise-moves-high-knees-lgn

6. High Knees

Now I have a question for all of you: How many times a week do you workout? Once, Twice, 6 times? And for how long each time?

Hope you’re all having wonderful Wednesdays! šŸ™‚

 

Tasty Tuesday: Guacamole!

Who doesn’t love guacamole? And all you people out there that are shaking their head, “no I hate guacamole, that delicious healthy fat combined with all those savory veggies and awesome spices, I hate it.” Obviously something’s wrong with you. The great thing about making your own dip is that you can take out any flavors you don’t like!

With this batch, I decided to try to add some protein. I put in some black beans and they are so tasty. Definitely be doing that again.

Guac is great to bring to parties with some crackers/chips or to put on top of salads. And it makes taco night SO much better. Plus, it’s so easy! This took me about 20 minutes to make and it will (hopefully with some restraint from Mike) last at least 3 or 4 days.

Easy Black Bean Guacamole

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados

1 small onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, pressed

6 oz salsa or 1 medium tomato, diced

juice from 1/2 lime, 1/2 lemon, OR 1 orange (I didn’t have anything else and it actually worked really well)

1 tsp cumin, to taste

2 tsp sea salt, to taste

1 tsp ground pepper, to taste

dash of chili powder

6 oz black beans

Instructions

photo 1

1. Our avocados were unripe yesterday so I took them out of the fridge and wrapped them in a brown paper bag. For some reason they ripen faster in paper bags. This morning they were perfect.

photo 2

2. Cut avocados in half, take out the pit, and scoop into a large bowl. Add all other ingredients besides black beans. Mash it all up with a fork or masher.

photo 3

3. Stir in beans or other add-ins. Taste test it! Mess with the spices however you see fit. It looks kinda gross but it is OH SO GOOD!

What is your favorite way to eat guacamole?

Hope you’re all having happy days šŸ™‚

Thursday Recipe: Bean Burgers

I’m not a vegetarian but good grass-fed, organic meat is expensive! So I’ve started to explore getting protein in other ways like from beans and other legumes as well as seeds and nuts. I just recently (while I was writing this post) learned that legumes form a fuller protein when eaten with grain so I’m stoked that we ate them like an open-faced sandwich. These were really really good. They were a little crumbly (like most veggie burgers) but great on a half-bun and ever better over a salad the next day. I made a double batch so that’s what we’ll be having tonight for dinner too!

TheRealFoodDiet

I got the base for this recipe from this book. This was a written by a chiropractor at our company and is AMAZING.

Bean Burgers (makes 8 small patties)

Ingredients

2 cups (about 22 oz) Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)

1 onion

splash of high heat oil (coconut is my favorite)

1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (you can make your own from GF bread or just buy some)

6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 Tbsp rosemary

2 Tbsp Tahini

juice of half a lime or lemon

dash of sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

photo 1

1. Thinly slice the onions and saute until soft and beginning to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper, then place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Blend or food process garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, and lime/lemon juice until smooth. Add to bean mixture.

photo 2

 

photo 3

3. Add all remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Use your hands to roll form into balls about the size of a baseball (love using my hands in cooking!). Use a bit of plastic wrap to cleanly and neatly form them into patties.

photo 4

4. Heat a little more oil and cook burgers until heated. Serve on top of half a gluten-free bun topped with dijon mustard and ketchup with a side of steamed veggies or salad.

photo 5

Enjoy!

Does anyone have any big events they need to cook for this month? What do you want me to cook?