Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sun-dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Chicken Skillet


I have been playing around with recipes for super delicious weeknight meals that still fit into my macros that both I & my hubby can enjoy. This dish has a tangy cream sauce with salty, smoky bits of bacon and sweet sundried tomatoes. If you need something quick & easy, this dish came together in about 30 mins & then we served it over pasta. It's so good, you won't believe it's without any heavy cream or butter, not that those things are bad but not every cream sauce needs to be made with heavy cream, to be amazing!!!! And this certainly is just that. Enjoy!!! 


Ingredients:

10 slices of bacon
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup half & half
0.25 cup sundried tomatoes
5 oz goat cheese
0.25 teaspoon, coarse kosher salt
0.50 lemon, just the zest
2 tbsp parsley
Directions:

1. In a cast iron skillet, over med heat cook the bacon til crispy, remove the bacon but leave the fat in the pan (this is where all the goodness comes in). 
2. Place the chicken in the skillet, season with salt & pepper & cook til brown on both sides, maybe 3-5 mins. It won't be cooked all the way yet but you will cook it again soon. 
3. Add the chicken stock & deglaze the skillet, getting all the bits off the bottom (it's got tons of flavor too). 
4. Add the garlic & cook in the liquid for about a minute. 
5. Add the chicken back to the skillet & allow it to cook until internal temperature reaches 165F. Remove chicken & set aside. 
6. Pour the half & half to the skillet & allow it to reduce for about 5 mins. Then reduce the heat to low & add the goat cheese, it will melt & thicken the sauce. 
7. Grate the lemon zest into the skillet & the sundried tomatoes. 
8. Return the chicken to the skillet, top it with the crispy bacon & parsley & serve over your favorite carb, you could do rice, potatoes, pasta, etc. Enjoy!!! 

Makes approximately 6 servings

Nutritional info (aka, macros) 
24Protein/14Fat/40Carbs (served with pasta)/242g Sodium 


Friday, December 2, 2016

Blue Cheese Ranch Dressing




I was digging back in my old recipes that for whatever reason never got posted & I came across this one. All I did was substitute the full fat mayo for light mayo & viola, the lighter version was born. This is a great macro friendly dressing for salads. It only has 9g fat in it. You could even use less mayo or substitute a light sour cream to reduce it even more but I need to be eating more salads & this is how I plan on doing it. 

When I lived in Nashville there was a local restaurant that had the best ranch & blue cheese so I always ordered 1 of each & combined them together, to get the best of both worlds.  So, one bite of this took me back to living in Nashville.  

Try to use a good blue cheese, one that is creamy, it just gives it a much better texture, that's all.  This recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons, so you don't need much. Go ahead & splurge on a good stuff, it's worth it!! 

Ingredients
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 green onion, all parts, minced
1-2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp parsley 
2 tsp red wine vinegar 
2 tbsp buttermilk blue cheese (from Fresh Market)
1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 stp pepper or to taste 
3 T water, to thin out 

Makes about 1 cup 

Macros
2g Carbs
9g Fats
2g Protein

Mix everything together in a small bowl. Allow it to sit in the fridge for about an hour to get all delish. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Green Chili Enchiladas




I got home from the store, last week & quickly realized I didn't have everything I needed to make this. I had forgotten the green chili enchilada sauce. But the challenge was that everything I looked at had way too much sodium. A meal should be around 500g per serving, anything over that is considered too high. So I opened my pantry, hoping there was something in there that I could use to bring this to life. There it was staring me in the face, a jar of Alfredo sauce. Now, I know it may sound a little weird but it totally works. That's the secret to this dish, who knew. It's a great alternative to sour cream because what you get in only 2 tablespoons of sour cream, you can get in 1/4 cup of sauce...it's a much more substantial portion and it holds up really well when reheated in my individual serving containers. 

Ingredients:
4oz chicken thighs, diced 
28oz reduced fat mexican cheese blend
2 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons hatch chili salsa
1 serving

Green Chili Enchilada Sauce 
1 cup green chili's, canned
2 green onions, cut
1.25 cup Classico alfredo sauce
1/4 tsp cumin, ground
dash or so of garlic powder, to taste
salt & pepper to taste
5 servings (enough for 1 week of lunches)

Macros (for the enchilada sauce) 
5g Carbs
4g Fat
2g Protein

Macros (for entire dish)
30 Carbs
18 Fat
32 Protein


  1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients for the enchilada sauce & allow the flavors to come together in the fridge, while assembling the remaining ingredients.
  2. Put 2oz (or any amount to meet your goals) of chicken in each corn tortilla & roll up.
  3. Top with 1 serving of enchilada sauce, cheese, salsa & enjoy


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chili Queso Spaghetti


I wanted to create a dish that was macro friendly (click here to learn more about this lifestylem more on this later) & tasted amazing so I came up with this idea and we ran with it. I took my mom's chili recipe Hog Heaven Chili, removed the beans and then added velvetta cheese and WOW!!! It was exactly what we were hoping for. It's spicy, hearty & tastes just like a chili queso dip. This was so easy to toss in my crock pot & we just reheat it in the crock-pot anytime we want another serving. It's the perfect fall meal. Hope you enjoy!!!

Ingredients:
1 tsp butter
1 lb sirloin
16 oz ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
5 garlic cloves
6 oz tomato paste
13 oz can rotel tomatoes
16 oz diced tomatoes
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp coriander, ground
1 tsp sugar 
1 cup water
8 oz velvetta cheese, cubed

Makes approximately 7-8 servings

  1. In a skillet, over medium heat, melt butter & add onions, cook til translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 2 min. Transfer to your crock-pot. 
  2. Same skillet, over medium high heat, add ground pork (add this first because you want to render the fat) and cook til brown. Transfer to your crock-pot. 
  3. Repeat Step 2, using the sirloin
  4. Once the meat is in the crock-pot, add your seasoning & just enough water to cover the ingredients. Turn your crock pot on high & cook for about 4 hours. 
  5. Add the cheese & stir til melted
  6. Serve over spaghetti & enjoy

Macros: 
343 calories
20g Fat
26g Protein
13g Carbs (not including spaghetti)

Friday, November 18, 2016

How to Survive the Holiday Calorie Warnings


As Thanksgiving & Christmas are both right around the corner, so are all the insane amount of social media posts about how to avoid over doing it, calorie wise during this time. I am here to save you from the drama by telling you to scroll past them, mentally flip them off & just enjoy yourself. Here's why, first of all it's one freaking day, who cares...enjoy yourself, you deserve it. More importantly, it takes 3000 calories, more than most of us eat in a day, to gain 1 lb on the scale. There is no way that most of us are going to be able to eat more than an entire days worth food in one sitting. Even if you can, again, it's only 1 day. Also, DO NOT step on the scale the next day & freak out. Anytime we indulge we gain water weight, so that scale is going to go up. It's also going to go back down. Drink lots of water the next day & everything should return to normal. On a side note, there's not a scale in our house for the 1st time, in 39 years. I have trashed it, it's a liar & it's gone!!! Join me on the other side, if you like, it's wonderful to not have his (yes, the scale was a male haha) lies & deception taunting us anymore. Happy Holidays!!!!

Eat this!!!

And this!!

You gotta have this!!

Eat the bacon & the cheese & the mayo based dressing!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Becoming the Best Version of Yourself



Do you allow mistakes to take over? I know I do. It's embarrassing to admit but sometimes I allow them to take over for weeks at a time, chopping away at my self esteem. It's not intentional but I have a hard time letting go of them. What happens is, I make a decision to do something, I realize it wasn't the best decision & then I make more mistakes trying to fix that original mistake. And I end up getting in over my head. I am sure you can relate to this. Recently, I made a decision to do something that would hopefully give my workplace a better quality of life but what I didn't realize at the time was that I was breaking a new company policy in order to so do. I was mad at myself for not knowing. I spent weeks in a cycle of mistakes, one leading to another and eventually I received a write up. Write ups are my nemesis, they take me down a road, that includes a relentless inside voice telling me I am not good enough. Which in turn, leads to me to more mistakes because my self esteem has been chopped away at until there's not much left. I realize I have to stop this cycle. What I am going to share with you is how I working towards breaking this cycle.  

I am reading a book right now, called Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss: Mastering 4 Core Eating Behavoris To Stay Slim Forever by Georgie Fear. I am completely in love with this book. What she is teaching me is priceless. A fitness journey is not just about losing weight or trying to change the way our body looks. What we really need to do is change the way we think about things & step outside our comfort zone. They don't call it a total transformation for nothing. In the first chapter Georgie addresses this issue of what she calls "slipups" and puts them into perspective. Of course, she is referring to slip ups in our eating habits but it can easily be applied to any part of our life.

Here's how it goes (this is the before): Screw up - feel bad about it so I screw up more - feel even worse about myself - keep screwing up - divine intervention or serious wake up call - get back on track for days or weeks at a time. Sounds familiar right? It's how I have always dealt with mistakes. It's how we all deal with mistakes, sometimes. But it's time to change that. My eyes are now opened and ready to tackle these mistakes in a better way. I just didn't have the tools to do so until now. There are 5 stages to dealing with "slip-ups" and as we progress into each new stage, we are teaching ourselves how to stop and think about these potential "slip-ups", let it be ok & get back on track without making more mistakes. Most importantly, we should be able to accept that we are not going to nail this 100% of the time. We are going to mess up but it's ok.  For me, that's the hardest lesson because I am such a perfectionist. A perfectionist, who needs to also teach herself to release that word from her vocabulary because it's not reality.  Here's are the steps to take to work through "slip-ups":

Stage 1: Screw up - feel bad about my screw up so I screw up more - feel even worse about myself - remember I don't have to keep doing this - get back on track without waiting for divine intervention or rock bottom (maybe the next day).

Stage 2: Screw up - feel bad about my screw up so I screw up more - see where this is going - remember I don't have to keep doing this - get back on track (possibly the same day).

Stage 3:  Screw up - start to feel bad but realize it was just a mistake - realize I can stop now without making the situation worse - get back on track right away.

Stage 4: Start to screw up - realize (perhaps halfway into it that I don't really want to do this but doing it anyway) that I don't have to keep doing this - abort screw up and get back on track.

Stage 5: Consider screw up - remember this never works - decide otherwise.

If we can change the way we think about the "slip-ups" and revamp our approach, aiming for Step 5, more often than not, we are making progress. No matter what the scale says or how we feel about those skinny jeans. A fitness journey is about becoming the best version of ourselves. In this book, she hands us the steps above so that we can see that there's a better way and we can stop the cycle of continuing to beat ourselves up. And for me, this is how I am finding my peace of mind with my mistakes. As I have practiced these over the following weeks, I have been able to better control my internal reactions, alter my perceptions of my own fitness journey & realize I am making progress. I don't need to be so hard on myself or eat 5lbs of kale at every meal to be successful. Success is found anytime we step outside of our comfort zones, this book it taking me outside of mine and it's helping me become a better version of myself, one day at a time.

XOXO,
Angie




Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Goals: Marriage, Fitness & Friends



Goodbye 2015!!! I am thankful for our time together but I am ready to move forward, thrilled to be facing a new year with new possibilities & lots of hope. I am ending this year, knowing that God handed us more than we thought we could ever handle but he brought us through the fire and we are still standing. We started off the year very excited about deciding to start a family, after more than 10 years. But unfortunately those dreams were put on hold, after 2 back to back miscarriages. Exhausted mentally & physically, I immediately went into a stressful promotion at work that lasted for another 3 months. Then we went into the retail Christmas season insanity. The list could go on but let's move forward. 

We made it through & 2016 is right around the corner. I learned a lot about myself & how I want to live my life in 2016. I am not making any new years resolutions, those never last. What I am doing is making a list of goals that I want to accomplish in 2016. Then I will refer back to this list, as needed to be sure I am on track. Here they are & in no particular order...

Save Money 
This is needed so that we can take more vacations & have more time that it's just the 2 of us to do things we both enjoy. We rarely get time together & I really want us to focus on us & this is a great way to invest in our marriage.  

Become a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer)
Finish studying & get certified no later than April 2016

Keep reading this book!! I love it & highly recommend it anyone who is tired of dieting and wants to learn about the freedom in not having to do so. The mindset of this book is so laid back that most of the effort just comes from reading. Once we have the tools, that Georgie gives us, we can do everything in this book, pretty much without thinking and definitely without stressing out.  We will continue to practice habits 1 & 2, for about another week. Habit 1: eat 3 to 4 meals a day, with no snacking in between. I didn't realize it but I don't need those snacks. I gave them up & never looked back. It was a no-brainier.  It has saved us money too, not having to buy snacks anymore, love that!! Habit 2: wait 30-60 minutes before eating, once hunger arrives. I have enjoyed hunger actually coming in & saying hello I am here. I was eating so often before that I never allowed myself the opportunity to get hungry. She goes into more detail about this in the book but this is very common. Most times, we don't allow ourselves to get hungry because we are scared, that's me. I viewed it as a bad thing but since reading this, it's freed me to realize hunger is actually a good thing. I will continue to share my experiences with you, as we move into future habits.  

Create Deep, Meaningful Relationships with Others (and with God)
We will never regret the effort we put into our relationships. I want to spend more time, either in person or over the phone with people that I care about most. Text less and love more, great motto!!! Texting is only going to be used to get info to someone if needed but it's not my main form of communication. I want to spend more time face to face & less time on devices. 

More Self Compassion & Less Negative Self Talk 
I need silence my inner critic. This is going to be hard but I can do it. I have always operated under a perfectionist mind set, when it comes to myself. But I am done beating myself up, over not being perfect. It is time to accept who I am, I am not perfect & that should come as a relief. God accepts me for who I am & it's time I start doing the same. I am 38 yrs old, I am a Christian, I am a disgustingly positive person with a very spunky personality. My face rarely allows me to hide what I am thinking. I stand up for people & what I believe. I am the kind of person you want on your side because and I will drop what I am doing & rush to you if you need me. See, that's a good start, more of that to come. 

Schedule Workouts 4 Days per Week 
I want to get back into my workouts, about 30 to 60 minutes & 4 days per week. I want to set aside that time for myself, it's very important. I will be blocking off my time each week so that I know exactly when I am going to be working out. I am committed to taking care of myself & feeling good. Hopefully setting aside this time will help me refocus. There will be times when I have to go easy on myself & listen to my body when it tells me that's enough. It's ok let our body's win, in those times. 

I will probably add to this list as more things come to mind but for now, I am happy with this. I don't want to overwhelm myself, which is easy to do when your brain is constantly going 90 mph, as mine does. 

Happy New Year, 
Angie