Monthly Archives: February 2013

Meal Planning Monday: Week 6

Six weeks straight of meal planning and it only gets better! I actually look forward to grocery shopping and making food now. I know what I am going to make so it is soooo much easier. I also know that since I am planning meals, the money I spend at the grocery store is so much less (like half) than it used to be. Yippee!

Week 6:

$50 Grocery List:

  • Red bell peppers, 3
  • Jalapeño peppers, 6
  • Broccoflower
  • Sweet potato
  • Mushrooms, shiitake
  • Eggplant, 1
  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Papayas
  • Chicken, whole
  • 4 lbs Ribs
  • Whole chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Frozen asparagus
  • Gluten free rotini noodles
  • Dried fruit
  • Frozen fruit
  • Eggs

What do you eat?

Inevitably, when I discuss my diet, after the “Why” question, I am always asked “What do you eat?”  I am used to this as my dairy allergy has caused people to ask this question for my entire life.  Now, things are a bit more complicated as dairy, gluten, corn, peanuts, most soy and all processed foods are eliminated from my diet.  “What do you eat?” is a normal question in this wheat-filled, allergen-filled, processed, society.

My answer typically is some variation of “Lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein” but that doesn’t really give people an idea of how much variety my diet encompasses.

Please keep in mind that has taken me over a year to make these changes in my diet.  I made changes one at a time and didn’t make another change until the last was habit.  This diet works for me because of the time I took to make the changes. When I stick to this diet:

I NEVER feel hungry and I NEVER feel deprived of anything.  I NEVER have cravings for the foods I used to eat.  I am always satisfied with my meals and I keep losing weight.

Can you say the same?  I hope so. 

 

What go-to snack helps you stay full until your next meal?

Here is a glimpse of what I typically eat throughout the week:

Breakfast:

– Scrambled Eggs with broccoli, tomatoes and onions (using a bit of almond milk)

Sausage, Peppers and Onion Frittata

Chia Seed Pudding/Yogurt with Fruit and Nuts

Lunch:

– Whatever was leftover from the previous day 🙂

– Grilled Chicken spinach salad

– Soup with a side of carrots and an apple

***I emphasize protein and veggies during lunch at work but always end my lunch with a piece of fruit.

Dinner:

– Any of the recipes you see on this site. A sampling below:

Chicken, Potatoes and Green Beans

Italian Sausage with Peppers, Potatoes and Onions

White Wine Garlic Shrimp

Dessert:

– Homemade sorbet

Apple Cinnamon Dessert

– Any kind of fruit

*** I rarely make dessert as I consider fruit dessert.

Snacks:

– Dried fruit & Nuts

– Beef jerky

– Fresh fruit w/almond butter

– Dry rice chex

Chia Pudding/Yogurt

– Veggies and hummus

***I always try to eat protein with my snacks.

***I usually have 2-3 snacks a day.

Gluten & Dairy Free “Breaded” Chicken Strips

Gluten-Free Chicken Strips

The other week, my father-in-law started a mission to make the best gluten-free/dairy-free healthy chicken strips. I wanted to try to help him on this mission so I tried a recipe from Healthful Pursuit but modified it a bit as I didn’t have all of the ingredients for the sauce and didn’t want to run to the store.

Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free “Breaded” Chicken Strips

Ingredients:
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup crushed rice chex
  • 3 tbsp brown rice flour
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 8-10 strips (about 1 inch wide)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly beat the egg in a medium bowl, set aside.
  3. Mix the rice chex, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
  4. Dip each chicken strip in the egg and then coat with the rice chex mixture. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with all strips.
  5. Evenly drizzle all strips with olive oil on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip strips, cook for another 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Optional: I put my strips under the broiler on low for another 5 minutes to make them a little more crisp.

Pineapple Cilantro Jalapeno Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup finely diced pineapple
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP minced cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 TBSPs dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Instructions:

  1. Add pineapple, garlic, jalapeno, broth, mustard and honey to a small saucepan. Cook on medium for about 6 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Once reduced, remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  3. Serve with strips.

Gluten-Free Chicken Strips with Pineapple Jalapeno Sauce

Happy Anniversary to Me! (1 Year Gluten-Free)

It has officially been one year with no gluten and I have never felt better! I felt it was time I give myself a small pat on the back for an accomplishment my old self never would’ve believed I could achieve. Seriously, I was a gluten addict but I broke the cycle.

Now that we have the mushy stuff out-of-the-way, I need to get back to business and set some new health and wellness goals. I like to evaluate and reevaluate every so often to see what progress I am making.  I have achieved a lot in the past year but I still have work to do. I continue to struggle with inflammation and need to keep improving my diet. Additionally, I need to start working out more consistently and pick up the intensity.

As you probably know, goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely). I like to be held accountable with my goals, so I am making these goals very public. Also, goals should be about a positive change, as a supervisor once put it;

“If a dead person can do it, it is not a goal.”

Meaning, the goal should be something you work to do. A goal shouldn’t be something that you work to not do. You shouldn’t make a goal to eliminate a bunch of things from your diet. Why? If you did that, what would you eat? As my old supervisor would say, “Can a dead person eliminate food x, y, & z from their diet?” Yes, yes they can, as they are dead and do not eat anything.  Pretty easy to eliminate foods if you aren’t eating. A goal should be about some kind of actionable change, what you will do differently.

Anyway, I have A LOT of goals that I am working on and planning to work towards.

Diet Goals:
1. Completely replace coffee for white, green and oolong teas (which have anti-inflammatory properties) in the next two weeks. **If I can actually do this, it would be HUGE for me!**
2. Increase the amount of whole grains (quinoa, brown rice) and leafy greens in my diet while eliminating refined gluten-free flours and sugars (including fruit juice).
3. Use the correct oils for cooking (olive oil, palm oil, walnut oil) and avoid using all vegetable oils, margarines and peanut oil.
4. Increase the amount of beans, sprouts and nuts I eat to at least one serving per day except for soybeans, which should be kept to one serving per week and peanuts which should be completely avoided.
5. Increase the amount of non-starchy vegetables each day while eliminating corn from diet and decreasing potatoes to 3-4 servings per week and peas to once per week.
6. Increase the frequency of eating fish/seafood to once per week as well as taking an omega 3 supplement at least 2 days per week(I never take them now).
7. Drink at least 100 oz of water per day.

Wellness Goals:
1. Complete two moderate to intense workouts per week at least 45-60 minutes long.
2. Engage in 3 light yoga workouts per week, at least 25 minutes each.
3. Do something fun, out of the house each and every week with my husband.

Phew! These are all things I had in my head, once I put the goals on paper, it looks like a lot! However, I am working on most of these goals and am close to making quite a few of the diet goals permanent lifestyle changes.  However, I have A LOT of work to do in the exercise department.

Now that I have committed to these goals in writing, I can go back and evaluate and reevaluate my progress every so often to see how I am doing, pat myself on the back and/ or make changes.

What are some of your goals?

What are you currently working to improve in your life to make you more well?

What have you tried to do that hasn’t worked yet? (Yet being the operative word. . . it is always possible)

Sausage, Peppers and Onion Frittata

Frittata

Yum! This was the perfect “Brinner” meal. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with a frittata.  Everything about it is appealing.  Even saying “frittata” is fun.  Say it, frittata.  Mmm . . .

This frittata was hearty but still very much a breakfast item. I originally got this recipe from Popular Paleo  but modified it a bit to reflect the veggies I had on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb pork sausage
  • 3/4 cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 3/4 cup green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pan (that has a lid) over medium heat. Add sausage and break up. Continue to stir occasionally for a few minutes.
  2. When sausage is partially browned, add onions and all peppers.  Let cook, stirring occassionally.
  3. Scramble the eggs in a bowl and season with some salt and pepper.
  4. Once the sausage, onions and peppers are fully cooked, pour the scrambled eggs into the pan.  Mix well. 
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. For about 5-7 minutes.
  6. When you see the edges of the egg start to pull away from the pan, remove the lid and place under a broiler, set to LOW, for about 5 minutes. 
  7. Take frittata out of the oven and place lid on the pan for about one minute.  To remove, carefully loosen the sides from the pan and then gently under the frittata.  Tip the pan and guide the frittata with the spatula onto a plate/platter.
  8. Add cayenne pepper (optional) and additional salt and pepper, to taste. 

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