Category Archives: Dinner

Low Carb Chocolate PB Waffle Stack

I was seriously craving some waffles today, so I went to a trusty low carb waffle recipe, & tweaked it a bit. This recipe is floating around all over the internets, & the great thing about it is that you can use it as a great base for ANY type of macro plan (high fat/low carb/high protein) etc. I’d just add to it in whatever way you need, and voila! I wanted a chocolate + PB combo, so I used my Ideal Lean Chocolate Brownie protein powder as my base.
MUNCHER CRUNCHER CHOCLATE PB WAFFLE STACK

MIX TOGETHER:
1 scoop of Ideallean chocolate brownie protein powder 
1 tsp of baking powder
1 egg
a couple of splashes of water (to make the consistency how you like it.

If you are eating #keto, I’d add some heavy cream here instead)
a dash or two of cinnamon
Pour into your waffle iron (make sure that it’s greased or sprayed so it won’t stick.) BE CAREFUL HOW MUCH YOU ADD! The baking powder REALLY makes this “grow” once it starts baking. My waffle iron is small, so i split my batter into two waffles & then stack em up.
I also would recommend you make sure they are kinda crispy. I think it makes the texture better. Top them however you’d like!! I topped mine with some Kroger Natural PB (It’s the lowest in net carbs) & some low carb syrup, & then I enjoyed every bite! 😊  For just the base of this recipe it’s 152 calories 4.8 F | .6 C (.4 net carbs) | 26.3 P

 

Eat Fat to Lose Fat? Ketogenic Eating Part 2

It’s been about 4 months since I started down this ketogenic path; well…4 weeks & 10 days to be exact. I’ve eaten this way through my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. I tell you this not to brag, (by any means) but to let you know I’m still alive…and still sticking with it…and still quite happy with the process. 🙂

I’ve had a LOT of you who have questions regarding this method of eating, and quite a few of you who’ve decided to take the keto plunge yourself. If you haven’t read my first post on WHY I decided to start eating in a ketogenic way, and the method behind the madness read HERE first. It will help give you a proper introduction into this post. I hope that through my past few months of experience, trial & error, & researching, I can give some support, information, and answers to those who might be seeking it.

What I’ve learned thus far in the process…

  1. I personally, am prone to NOT eat enough fat. As far as my macronutrient percentages, I shoot for 80% fat in my diet. For someone who is used to eating high protein, (and who doesn’t naturally have an affinity for things like cheese…) I find myself still reaching for those lean options. It’s a total mindset change for me to be sure to get fat in first with regards to meal prep. It makes a HUGE difference. It is key to get enough fat. It is THE key.
  2. It is VERY beneficial to properly test your ketones. Without testing, you don’t have a way to know if you’re eating correctly. I would recommend testing with a blood glucose testing meter like THIS ONE. If your ketones are low, you know you need to switch something up in your diet. There are other methods of ketone testing (breath & urine strips) However, they tend to be less accurate.
  3. It is FAR better to stick to REAL healthy food options, even though there might be a barrage of “low carb” no calorie, artificially sweetened options. I see a lot of people get really excited about how easy eating Keto is going to be because they see a lot of options for “low carb” treats. Yes, they can be a great OCCASIONAL way to curb the sweet tooth, but the less artificial sweeteners the better. It’s better to just stick to real food, and not try so hard to fit in all the extra “treats.” Those are the foods that tend to lead to what is called “carb creep..” a few carbs here a few there, and before you know it, you’re not in ketosis. Things are called “treats” because they should be a treat…not an every day occurrence. Even things like gum or sugar free candies might surprise you with how the carb count adds up.
  4. This process has allowed me to decrease my body fat, and lose weight. So, yes…I’ve been eating fat in order to lose fat. As I explained in my first post, despite the fact that I am cutting out carbs to a high degree, it’s necessary to have fuel still. I’m just trading where my fuel source is coming from. Instead of using glucose to fuel my body, i’m using fat. I’m trying to re-train my body to become fat adapted…and it’s working. I won’t give you my exact number of lbs, mainly because it will be different for everyone according to what you have to lose.
  5. There are SO many different methods of eating this way when you search info on ketogenic eating on the internet. I would highly recommend working with someone who knows what they are doing to make sure you are doing it correctly. It can save time and misspent effort. I offer meal plans to those who are interested.
  6. Salt replacement is ABSOLUTELY KEY. This is especially true for those who are working out. With cutting out processed foods, salt intake is cut down dramatically. Insulin signals salt retention in the kidneys. When insulin levels aren’t elevated, the body doesn’t retain that salt, it actually excretes it. That being said, your body NEEDS salt to function. So, you must replace it. Drinking broth is a great way to do this. Those who start out eating this way might experience what is called the “keto flu” initially as the body is becoming depleted of it’s glucose stores, and the best way to combat this is through salt replacement.

The questions that I get on a regular basis…

  1. So..what’s the next step? Are you going to eat like this forever? My answer…I’m honestly still not sure. I’m over 4 months in, and i’m really taking this process a week at a time. Each week I test my ketones, reevaluate what needs to be shifted, and keep moving forward. I’m not where I want to be yet, goal-wise, so I’m still focusing on getting there. However, I’ve been studying a lot on ketogenic carb cycling for the future, and that might be a route I take if I feel like it might be beneficial to me. I guess I don’t fully have an answer there, but in the mean time I’m enjoying the processes I am in. I’m hoping to correct some health issues, and get my body working properly again.
  2. But, I thought eating fat was bad for your cholesterol…heart…insides…etc. Turns out a LOT of the information that we’ve had through the years telling us to fear fat may be a bit off. The more I study this information, the more I realize that it is the combination of excess calories & sugar (coming from actual sugar as well as carbohydrates) WITH the large amounts of fat that people are eating that are causing most of the problems. I’m eating a low carb, high fat diet, and my health stats are great. In addition to that my weight is decreasing, as well as my body fat.
  3. Are you still able to go out to eat?? Absolutely. I have simply had to figure out ways to ditch the carb heavy options for other low carb substitutions. For example…I’ll order chicken fettuccine alfredo, but instead of noodles I’ll have them sub broccoli or brussel sprouts. I’ll check w/the location on their salad dressing stats, and if it doesn’t contain sugar i’ll get a cobb or cesar salad. Those who like beef could order a steak w/a side of veggies topped with melted butter. Fajitas are a great options with the meat, cheese, veggies, guacamole, & sour cream…just ditch the tortillas. You get it. I will say that I have found myself cooking at home a lot more because I like to know exactly what is going into what i’m eating. I’ve found a ton of awesome recipes on pinterest, and pinned them on my Ketogenic board HERE.
  4. What do you eat all the time? My day typically goes like this
    • 8 oz heated up chicken broth + 2 tbs heavy cream in the morning (This tides me over until lunch, & helps with the intermittent fasting, which drives the ketones up)
    • Lunch: Low carb chocolate protein shake with added fats (heavy cream & MCT oil)
    • Snacks: (if hungry, a lot of the time i’m not) string cheese, veggies dipped in low carb ranch, cheese wisps, hard boiled egg, fat bombs, pickles, 1/2 a questbar if i’m really in a pinch.
    • Dinner: some combo of a hearty amount of fat + protein … Chicken Alfredo over zoodles, chicken broccoli & cheese bake, green chile chicken soup, cauliflower crust pizza, etc.
  5. Do I think this way of living is maintainable. I actually do. Does it require some effort, and some mind set changes in some areas…absolutely. However, Once you get into a routine it’s really not that difficult to maintain. HOWEVER…and this is a big however…It’s not something I think you should do for a couple days and then ditch on the weekends. In order for your body to actually enter into nutritional ketosis, you need to eat this way consistently. You need to decide to make it a lifestyle change, and not just a day to day decision.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the topic in the future. This is still a learning process for me as well. I’m just happy to share with you as I go along, and hopefully help some along the way as I do! 🙂

CREAMY GREEN CHILE CHICKEN SOUP

I have always been a lover of all things Mexican food…There is just something about the flavors that call to me, I guess. I would say that prior to switching over to a Keto way of eating, I was probably eating some sort of Mexican food like 4-6 times a week, and that might be an underestimation. I realized the other day that I miss those flavors! I have enjoyed the new palate that I’ve been eating these past few months. However, I was in the mood for something Mexican…SO, between that thought process, & the mounds of snow piling up outside my window…I decided to come up with a new soup recipe. I was pumped with how this turned out. (I will also say that I fed this to my friends, and there wasn’t a drop left…so keto or not, I think everyone was on board.)  CREAMY GREEN CHILE CHICKEN SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

  • two 4 oz cans of Hatch’s green chiles (I used mild, but if you like spicy food you could use medium)
  • one 12 oz bottle of Victoria Green Taco Sauce (again I used mild here)
  • two 12.5 oz cans of Kirkland brand chicken breast (you could use a rotisserie chicken or cook/dice your own chicken if you would rather)
  • 8-12 oz chicken broth (depending on how thick you want your soup to be)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 2-4 tbs heavy cream (again depending on how thick you want it to be)

Combine all of these ingredients into a crock pot & cook on high for 1-2 hours. All of the ingredients are cooked, so it’s just a matter of everything combining, & the flavor coming together. If you were needing to leave this to cook while you are doing other things, you could put it on low for longer.

Top this with shredded cheese, avocado slices, sour cream, or whatever else you might like!

For those who are trying to keep this meal ketogenic, check the chiles and taco sauce you are using. Some brands sneak some sugar in there. You want yours to only have 1-2 carbs. Enjoy!

 

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Zoodles

Since I’ve started this Keto eating process, I think this recipe has become one of my favorites. It’s SO easy, filling, & very versatile as well. CREAMY CHICKEN & BROCCOLI ZOODLES

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups of broccoli florets
  • 3-4 cups of cauliflower florets
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • chicken broth (if needed)
  • 1/2-1 TBS basil
  • 1/2 -1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4-1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 7-8 oz of cooked chicken (you can use a Costco can of chicken breast if you want to speed things up)
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 4-6 cups zoodles (1 medium zucchini makes about 1 cup of zoodles)

In a large saucepan, combine broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, & coconut oil. Add to that the basil, garlic salt, onion powder, & ground pepper. Cover & cook until broccoli & cauliflower are cooked through. If you need more moisture, add some chicken broth to the veggies. You really could add any vegetables here, making this dish super versatile. While the broccoli & cauliflower are cooking, cook the zoodles in a separate saucepan. Combine the butter & zoodles over medium heat. Season with some salt and pepper. These don’t take too long to cook, so be sure not to cook them too long. Once they start to become see through, take them off the heat, & they’ll finish cooking while the rest of the dish finishes.

Once the broccoli & cauliflower are almost completely cooked, add in the chicken, cream cheese, heavy cream, & parmesan cheese. Stir together, until combined. Do not over stir, or the veggies will become mush. Taste, and add more of the seasonings if need be.

Serve up the creamy veggies & chicken over zoodles, & enjoy! g This dish actually reheats really well. It’s a crowd pleaser! Low carb, gluten free, full of flavor, keto-friendly, & SO delicious!! 

Muncher Cruncher Crockpot Healthy Ranch Chicken

The crockpot can be one of the best tools for busy people trying to eat healthy. It require very little effort to dump some ingredients into a crockpot, & let it do the work for you while you are running around all day. We had this super easy, and very delicious, healthy ranch chicken this past Sunday for dinner. It was a hit!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

CROCKPOT HEALTHY RANCH CHICKEN : (serves 6)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 dry ranch dressing packet
  • 1 can of Healthy Choice cream of chicken soup
  • 8 oz of neufchâtel cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 dash paprika
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp parsley flakes

In a large crock pot, combine 4-6 chicken breasts with one dry ranch dressing packet. Cook on low for 4 hours, or until chicken is cooked through & falls apart.

Add in 1 can of Healthy Choice, Cream of Chicken soup, 8 OZ of neufchâtel cream cheese, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 1 dash paprika, 1/8 tsp dried oregano, & 1/4 tsp parsley flakes. Cook for another 20-30 minutes until all ingredients combine.

Serve over brown rice or quinoa. We paired ours with some oven roasted veggies, & it made for the perfect meal!

NUTRITION BREAKDOWN: (for 1 serving) 25 g protein/12 g fat/6 g carbohydrates

Chopped Asian Chicken Napa Cabbage Salad with a Sweet Asian Dressing

My salads tend to look a lot alike most of the time, so when my mom busted out this yummy salad full of all sorts of different things a few weeks ago it was like a party in my mouth. I loved it! It tasted SO fresh & delicious. I wanted to recreate it ASAP. I changed it up a little bit because I couldn’t find all of the ingredients that she used…(I still have no idea what a daikon is…sorry mom, I left that out.) I also added chicken to make it a main dish instead of a side. I LOVED how it turned out.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetChopped Asian Chicken Napa Cabbage Salad with a Sweet Asian Dressing

Ingredients: Chop the following & combine in a bowl

  • 1 head of napa cabbage (I actually used a bag of pre cut cole slaw to save time)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper sliced very thinly
  • 3 scallions, white and pale green parts only, chopped or julienned
  • 1/2 cup snow peas thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber julienned

Add in 7 oz of chicken. I used one can of the Costco chicken breast that I’d seasoned with black pepper & garlic salt.

Sweet Asian Dressing: whisk together the following

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • sprinkle of crushed red pepper
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 TBS rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp stevia in the raw (or regular sugar if you would rather use that)
  • salt to taste

Combine the chopped vegetables, chicken, and dressing together and stir.

 

Holy Guacamole

There have been many a Sunday where my dad would come home from church and make a fresh batch of guacamole. It is one of those things that I feel like I could eat on almost anything…I LOVE it. He has taught me well, so I though I’d share his delicious recipe. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThe Best Ever Guacamole: 

Ingredients: 2-4 large avocados (pitted & smashed to desired consistency), 1 small chopped tomato, 1 TBS cumin, 1-2 tsp garlic salt, 1-2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. (Anything else you want to add…cilantro, lime, peppers for some spice, etc.)

Blend together & enjoy!

10 EASY Ways to Clean Up Your Diet RIGHT NOW

I always laugh w/my clients/friends/family about how we always tend to gravitate toward starting over at the beginning of a week, a month, or a year. “I’ll start eating good again on Monday.” You’ve said it, you know you have. I think we all have. While it may be the beginning of a new week, and a great time to start getting things back into gear, these are a few things you can do at ANY time to clean up your diet RIGHT NOW.Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

  1. Start your day with a high quality breakfast. Don’t skip breakfast. Don’t eat cookies for breakfast. Start your day off right. It sets the tone for your whole day. I highly suggest a high protein meal, and you can read why HERE.
  2. Ditch your full sugar soda. I recommend you stop drinking your calories all together. It doesn’t fill you up. It adds in a TON of sugar, which is a big contributor to weight gain, and it’s usually just additional empty calories. I recommend to all my clients that they should drink 100 oz of water per day. You can read why I recommend this HERE.
  3.  Watch your portions. I believe in intuitive eating, I do. Not everyone should have to measure out every single bite they eat. It’s good to eat when your hungry, & eat enough so that you feel full. However, with the super sized portions, bulk packaged bags, & wide availability of convenience foods…portion control has gone out the window. Think about it, how many times have you found yourself reaching endlessly into a bag of food for one handful after another, until you don’t know if you’ve had 1 serving or 11. It happens. When you are conscious of your portions this will be far less likely to happen.
  4. Try not eating candy. I’m not saying you have to get rid of it forever for the rest of your life, but I dare you to try and eliminate it for a bit. You may be surprised at the things you end up skipping over that you normally would have eaten in minutes.
  5. Get your dressing/condiments/”extras” on the side. The “extras” add up really quick. Try getting your dressing on the side, and dip your fork. Get your condiments on the side, and YOU will be able to control how much you use. Take a look at what you eat regularly…are you topping everything with cheese? mayo? dressings? tortilla strips? croutons? These add up real quick!
  6. Get rid of some of your “processed” options. Processed foods tend to be higher in unhealthy fats and sugars. When you get rid of some of these and focus your meals around whole foods, fresh produce, & lean meats you will be way better off!
  7. Skip Dessert. GASP. I dare you. Have some fresh berries, fruit, or nothing at all instead.
  8. Cook at home more. Now, I’m a huge believer that it is VERY possible to eat out and eat healthy. However, I know that I am always more in control when I eat at home. I know exactly what is going in my food. It’s clean, portion controlled, & there aren’t any hidden additives I might not be aware of.
  9. Use salsas, spices, & seasonings instead of dressing. Flavor is the key to healthy cooking. Healthy food SHOULD taste good. It’s all in the way you prepare it. Get creative. Put a little thought and effort into it. One of my favorite ways to spice things up is with fresh salsas. They are so low in calories, & they are packed with taste!
  10. THROW OUT THE CRAP. This is the biggest one right here. If you have a pantry full of oreos, a freezer full of ice cream, & a candy jar stocked with your favorite treats. You will most likely end up eating oreos, ice cream, & candy. If it’s not there, it’s far more likely that you won’t be eating it. Set yourself up for success, not for failure. Fill your fridge & pantry full of fresh produce & healthy food items that you can grab when you need healthy options.

Eating Healthy When Eating Out + Some of My Favorite Utah Healthy Eats

Y’all know that I love food, & I love to eat out. Eating out usually means spending time with the people I love eating all sorts of delightful things while doing so. I often here people say, “I could eat healthier if I just didn’t eat out so much.” Well, the truth is, eating healthy is a decision, regardless of whether you are at home/work/with family/at a restaurant/in your car/or wherever else you may find yourself. Life is busy. You have to decide to be consistent with your healthy choices, no matter where you may be. Some simple tips I have to make healthy choices when eating out are:

  1. Go with LEAN protein and veggies. – This can help eliminate a lot of options on the menu that are extremely processed, high in carbohydrates, high in starch, and high in sugar. Grilled chicken, fish, lean cuts of beef, and vegetables are available almost everywhere. Lean protein doesn’t mean deep fried. Lean protein doesn’t mean in sandwich form, ditch the bun/tortilla & eat it solo or wrap it in lettuce.
  2. Skip the bread basket & the chips & salsa. – When you sit down to a table, you are usually hungry. Instead of reaching for the basket of free warm bread that is CALLING your name, drink some water, and get your order out there asap. You can add hundreds and hundreds of calories to your meal before you even start eating if you dive into the high calorie extras first.
  3. Watch the extras. – Speaking of extras, sometimes the “extra” things, (cheese, chips, dressing, sauces) can add hundreds of calories. A lot of the time, they don’t even do a ton for the flavor of the meal. You’ll help yourself out by leaving them alone.
  4. Salads aren’t always the best option. – Salads can be EXTREMELY healthy. They can also be EXTREMELY unhealthy. Lots of little things can add up quick when you factor in a half a cup of dressing, cheese, tortilla strips, croutons, guacamole, eggs, etc.
  5. Always get your dressing on the side. – ALWAYS. You don’t need all of it. Vinaigrettes are a better option than creamy dressings. Dip your fork in, or drizzle a bit on top. Use salsa if it is an option. Salsa has a ton of flavor, and is super low in calories.
  6. Check the nutrition facts before you go. – You may be surprised to find some of the items you thought would be “healthy” are not. Being in the know is ALWAYS a better idea.
  7. Don’t be afraid to make special requests. – Most eating establishments are more than happy to accommodate your healthy eating requests. Ask for things to be grilled, ask for cooks to use olive oil instead of butter, ask for your veggies to be steamed…etc.

With these tips…here are some of my favorite healthy eating options in Utah…you may recognize a few of them from my IG account.

Cafe Rio: Grilled Chicken Tostada/no rice/no beans/extra lettuce/extra pico/guacamole/dressing on the sideMCeat10The Habit: Grilled Chicken Club wrapped in lettuce w/avocado/tomatoes/mustard/no bacon/no mustardMCeat9Aubergine & Company: create my own salad/mixed greens/broccoli/tomatoes/beets/zucchini/sunflower seeds/dressing on the sideMCeat8Whichwich: Turkey lettucewich/allthe veggies/pesto/dijon mustard/black pepper/oreganoMCeat7Jason’s Deli: one trip side salad bar/spinach/beets/mushrooms/peppers/broccoli/zucchini/mushrooms/cucumbers/1 egg/cottage cheese/ground black pepperMCeat6Cubby’s: Apple Pecan Salad/no cheese/dressing on the sideMCeat5Bajios Grill: Small Honey Chicken Salad/no rice/no beans/corn/caramelized onions/extra lettuce/extra pico/mango salsa/guacamole/dressing on the side MCeat4Chipotle: Chicken Salad/no rice/no beans/grilled vegetables/corn salsa/extra pico/dressing on the sideMCeat3Tacos 180: Cascabel chicken salad/fire roasted poblano sauce/cilantro/carrots/jicama/cucumbers/pickled onions/salsa/dressing on the sideMCeat2Wild Zucchini Grill: Chicken salad/mixed greens/grilled vegetables/sundried tomatoes/mushrooms/lots of balsamic tomatoes/zucchini/cucumbers/peas/green beans/corn/dressing on the side
MCeat1Good luck making smart choices, & happy eating!!

Almond Crusted Paleo Chicken Tenders

My sister & I are always on the lookout for new recipes to try out for Sunday dinner. Sunday dinners have always been a tradition in my family that I love. It’s so fun to cook together, eat together, & just spend time together. We decided to attempt some healthy chicken strips this past Sunday, and they ended up being so delicious. The kiddos even gobbled them up! Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

ALMOND CRUSTED PALEO CHICKEN TENDERSProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil/olive oil cooking spray
  • 1.5 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 lb chicken tenders or chicken breasts pounded thin & cut into strips

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat your oven to 475. Line a cooking sheet with foil & spray generously with coconut oil/olive oil spray.
  • Combine almonds, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt, & pepper in a food processor. Pulse until the almonds are very finely chopped, and the spices have combined together. Drizzle the olive oil in until combined. Transfer this mixture to a shallow dish.
  • Combine 4 egg whites into a small bowl, and whisk together.
  • Dip chicken tenders in egg white mixture & then dredge in the almond mixture.
  • Place coated tenders on the foil covered baking sheet & spray with cooking oil.
  • Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken fingers are golden brown & chicken is cooked through.