Recipe of the Week : Chicken Lettuce Boats

We always tend to have chicken around, and this is a useful recipe for making a quick lunch or brunch dish.

Serves : 2 – 3 people

Prep Time :  20 minutes

Cook time :  5- 6 minutes

Recipe15_ChickenLettuceBoats

Ingredients :

  • 1lb skinless and boneless chicken breast, chopped
  • Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1⁄2tsp dried or fresh oregano
  • 1tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 6 large romaine lettuce leaves, cleaned
  • 1⁄2 zucchini, finely diced
  • 1⁄2 carrot, shredded
  • Guacamole Sauce
  • 1 ripe avocado, skinned and de-stoned
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste

Method : 

In a small mixing bowl, season the chicken with Himalayan salt, pepper and oregano. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil, and then place the chicken pieces in pan. Cook the chicken approxi- mately 2-3 minutes or until it is browned on one side, and flip to brown the other side for another 2 minutes or so.

Once the meat is cooked, chop it into 1⁄2 inch pieces.

Place the romaine lettuce leaves onto serving plates and top with the chopped chicken, zucchini and shredded carrot. Top with guacamole sauce.

For the Guacamole Sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a small food processor or with a hand blender and blitz until smooth. If you prefer it slightly ‘chunkier’ use a lower speed or pulse mechanism.

Posted in Misc.

Butternut Squash Porridge

Butternut squash is a really good choice for Paleo recipes. It contains a good amount of beta carotene, and is also full of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Any member of the squash family delivers high amounts of potassium (which is vital for bone health) and vitamin B6 (important for the right functioning of nervous and immune systems).

Serves : 2

Preparation Time : 30 minutes

Cook Time : 8 minutes

Recipe13_ButternutSquashPorridge

Ingredients:

  • 2tbsp toasted coconut
  • 1 cup butternut squash (cooked)
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1⁄2 cup organic coconut milk
  • A pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp ground ginger

First of all, grate half unpeeled apple and put it in a blender. Also add coconut milk, butternut squash, salt, and the rest of the spices. Blend them all to make a smooth mixture.

Pour this mixture in a pan and let it boil, mixing it continuously.
Cook for about 8 minutes. Serve as it is or garnish with toasted coconut.

Posted in Misc.

Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie

Recipe12_BlueberryAndPineappleSmoothie

Blueberries are full of antioxidants containing flavenoids. Flavenoids are proven to have antibacterial activities. They also reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, reduce the inflammation in arteries, and lower the blood pressure and cholesterol levels. So, this healthy smoothie is perfect for those who are on AIP diet.

Ingredients :

  • 1⁄2 cup frozen or fresh pineapple pieces
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1⁄2 cup almond or coconut milk (unsweetened)*
  • 1 small banana (try freezing the banana first to add creaminess)

 

Method :

  1. Put all the above ingredients in a good quality blender and blend well till you reach the desired consistency. If pineapple is too acidic for you, try using fresh peaches or apricots, they are just as delicious.

    TIP 1: Add a few tablespoons of collagen or gelatine powder if you want to increase the protein content.

    TIP 2: If you cannot tolerate almond or coconut milk, try the follow- ing bases in your smoothie – they won’t be quite as creamy, but if you experiment you can achieve the consistency that you want eventually!

    • Green Tea
    • Purees made with leafy greens (may look strange but tastes fine)
    • Avocado
    • Natural fruit juice (if not too acidic)

 

Posted in Misc.

Smart Supplements To Consider

Gearing up to make some improvements in your health and fitness regime? If so, you may want to also consider what supplements you should be using that will take you that extra step further.

While no supplement will ever replace a proper diet and workout, they can help give you an extra edge. Basically, supplements should supplement any potential deficiencies or shortcoming you have naturally in whatever programs you are choosing to use.

Those who approach them in this manner will be far better off and go on to see the results they are hoping for.

This said, let’s walk you through the top supplements you should consider.

A Multi-Vitamin

vitamins-thumb-420x240

First, consider taking a general multi-vitamin. This is great for assurance that you won’t be falling deficient in any particular nutrients you may require.

Don’t rely on vitamins to meet your needs – food should always be the first choice but use the vitamin for peace of mind on those busy days you may not eat as you should.

Fish Oil

sn-fishoil

Second, also consider supplementing with fish oil. Most people are not eating enough omega-3 rich foods, which are primarily salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts. As such, you could be falling low.

Omega-3 fats are critical for optimal health as they’ll do everything from support a healthy brain to boosting heart health to warding off depression and keeping your immune system strong.

They’re one fatty acid you do not want to come up short in. 3 capsules per day is all you’ll need to ensure you get your needs met.

Whey Protein Powder

Getting a good quality whey protein powder is also a wise move. Most people do struggle to get sufficient protein into their daily diet, so the protein powder will help you overcome this.

It’s fast, easy, and ideal for the post workout period when you need a fast digesting source of amino acids. Aim to take this protein within 30 minutes of your workout session as well as at any other time during the day when you don’t have time to eat a solid food protein source.

Just look for a high quality whey that contains as few additives as possible.

Greens

You may also want to pick up a greens product as well if you aren’t eating a wide assortment of different fruits and vegetables. This will help you meet your daily antioxidant needs, which can help to protect you against free radical damage and oxidation.

Without a good intake of antioxidants, you will be more at risk for various diseases as the stress from everyday life takes a toll on your body.

Using a greens product daily can also help to boost your immune strength as well, allowing you to fend off colds, flus, and other viruses more easily.

So there you have the top four products that you may want to consider getting into place in your protocol.

While these aren’t absolutely essential, they will definitely help provide a few additional benefits, allowing you to reach your goals more easily.

Posted in Misc.

How To Select Macro Percentages To Reach Your Goals

myfitnesspal maintenance performance

As you go about making improvements with your diet and getting yourself on a regular workout program, one thing that you will need to start doing is identifying the macronutrient ratio you’re currently eating.

In short, this means what percentage of your total calories come from proteins, carbs, and dietary fats. What you must realize in all of this is that there is no right and wrong here. Instead, it all depends on your own body, your preferences, and most importantly, your goals.

Let’s go over what you should consider.

 

For Weight Loss Results

If you’re looking for weight loss, there’s no question that a total percentage of your diet should be protein. You will be taking in fewer calories and your protein needs actually go up when fat loss is the goal. Most people should aim for around 45-50% of their intake to come from lean protein sources. This leaves the remaining 50-55% of their diet to come from a combination of healthy fats and carbohydrates.

How you break those two down is up to you – but just remember you should never take either much below 15%. Healthy fats are best kept around 20-25%, and carbs should be between 30-40%.

 

Myfitnesspal Weight Loss

 MyFitnessPal Chart For Weight Loss

 

For Building Muscle

Now, if your goal is to build muscle, the tables are turned. You’ll still need a generous amount of protein, but since you are consuming more total calories, it won’t make up as great of a percentage. 25-30% will usually be sufficient for most individuals. You will want to take carbohydrates quite a bit higher as well. As carbohydrates are the most anabolic nutrient in the body, they will help out with the process of muscle building. This said, remember that you do still need to choose healthy varieties. Aim to take in around 45-50% of your total calorie intake from carbohydrates, which then leaves the remaining 20-25% of your total calorie intake to come from healthy fats. This should provide you with a well-rounded mass gaining program that will keep you lean in the process.

 

Myfitnesspal build muscle

 MyFitnessPal Chart For Building Muscle

 

For Maintenance & Performance Enhancement

Finally, if your goal is performance enhancement or simple maintenance, you will likely use a similar set up as the muscle building diet plan, however your protein may come up slightly. You don’t want to take dietary fat too low – keeping it at around 15-20% will ensure you still maintain good hormone levels. For peak performance, a good split to be around is 40-45% protein, 15-20% fat, and 40-45% carbohydrates. Also remember that nothing says you can’t adjust and adapt these ratios as you go. Constantly monitor your progress and how you are feeling and make small tweaks as needed to get to where you want to be.

 

myfitnesspal maintenance performance

MyFitnessPal Chart For Maintenance or Performance

 

Posted in Misc., Nutrition

Recipe of the Week : Cherry Braised Short Ribs

Recipe10_CherryBraisedRibs

 

Serves : 4

Preparation Time : 25 minutes

Cook Time : 1 – 2 hrs

Ingredients:

  • 3lb short ribs (6-8 three inch pieces)
  • 11⁄2 cups pitted dark cherries (fresh or dried)
  • 1 cup bone broth (make your own or buy natural from the super- market)
  • 2tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2tsp lemon zest
  • 2tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3tbsp olive oil

 

Method :

In a cast iron skillet, add 1tbsp olive oil and brown all sides of the short ribs. Remove and set aside.

In a skillet or frying pan sauté the onions and garlic until softened. Add cherries, zest thyme, lemon juice and broth. Cook for 5 minutes then add the short ribs. Stir and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.

Transfer everything to a baking dish, cover and cook on a low heat (300°F) for approx 1 and half hours. Test that the ribs are tender – if not return to the oven for a further half an hour. Continue until ribs are meltingly tender (ovens vary, so persevere!)

This dish is so tasty with either roasted vegetables, or go really oriental and serve with bok-choi and green onion stir fry.

Posted in Misc.

Managing Adrenal Fatigue And Thyroid Health

In order to become the healthiest you you can be, you need to be doing more than just watching what you eat and how much you exercise. You need to look at your body as a whole and make sure there is proper balance and overall well-being taking place in your lifestyle.

Far too many people neglect the consequences of some of their lifestyle choices and this can lead to many problems – adrenal fatigue being one of them. Let’s take a closer look at what this issue is and how you can prevent it.

What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

Your adrenal gland is a master gland in the body that is responsible for a whole number of different roles, one of the most important ones being to control your metabolic rate.  It dose this through regulating your thyroid gland, which then determines how quickly you are utilizing the fuel that you eat on a day to day basis.

Many things can start to impact the adrenals, making them run less than optimally.

These include:

 Very low calorie diets

 Insufficient carbohydrates for a very long period of time

 Overdoing exercise

 High levels of day to day stress (chronic)

 Lack of sleep

 Lack of rest/down time to relax

If you lead a very hectic lifestyle, are always dieting, and hit the gym regardless of how you feel, there’s a good chance you could be on the road to adrenal fatigue.

adrenal-fatigue-causes

Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue

Once adrenal fatigue sets in, you’ll be at risk for a number of different symptoms.

These can include:

 Ongoing levels of fatigue

 Irritability

 Inability to lose weight

 Feeling cold all the time

 Lack of motivation

 Loss of libido levels

 Lack of interest in activities formerly enjoyed

 Decline in physical performance

Basically, you’ll feel downright miserable. This your thyroid slowing down, your metabolism coming to a crawl, and your body trying to get you to rest up and relax from all the stress you’re putting on yourself.

Basically, it’s trying to get you to start taking care of yourself better.  And if you choose not to, the symptoms will only get worse from the on in.  And, the longer you choose to keep going in your current lifestyle and nutrition/exercise approach, the longer it will take for you to start feeling well again once you adopt wiser behaviors.

Left to go on for years, it could take some time before you’re feeling 100% again. So the key thing to remember in all of this is that you must take a comprehensive approach to your overall well-being. Don’t just look at diet and exercise alone. Also consider the other life stressors you’re facing, how much sleep you’re getting at night, and any signs or symptoms that may be illustrating that your body is asking

Obey it when it tells you this because the consequences of not are going to be great. Keeping your adrenal glands happy and thyroid in proper working order is vital to achieving your dream body because these will regulate both your body weight and how you feel on a day to day basis.

Posted in Misc.

Recipe of the Week: Lemon and Lime Chicken Wings

This is a great snack that is just as tasty hot or cold plus you can freeze to use at a later date. The lemon and lime give the chicken plenty of flavour and keep it moist and succulent.

Recipe9_Lemon and Lime Chicken Wings

 

Serves : 4 people

Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Cook Time : approximately 20 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 2lb chicken wings
  • 2fl.oz honey
  • 2tsp lime juice
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp lemon zest
  • 1tsp lime zest
  • 2tbsp coconut oil

 

Method :

Mix the honey, lime, lemon, lime zest and lemon zest together in a bowl. Transfer to a saucepan with 1tbsp of water and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for a few minutes until you get a thick syrup like sauce. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, brush the wings lightly with coconut oil and grill the chicken wings on a medium to high heat for 6 minutes each side.

Then add the chicken to the sauce for another 7 minutes, coating the chicken wings well.

Check chicken is thoroughly cooked before serving (cut one open and check the meat is white).

 

 

 

Posted in Misc. Tagged with: , , ,

The Benefits of Broccoli

broccoli

 

One of my favorite vegetable is the broccoli.  Broccoli is a superfood, rich in Vitamin C and containing high levels of both soluble and non-soluble fibre.

There are many ways to enjoy this green vegetable. One thing that I like  is to have it steamed. I usually mix it with some chicken breast or turkey. Or one can even have it in a soup.  I previously shared the Broc-Cauli Chowder with Bacon Soup in this blog. Try it and it will surely be your next favorite recipe.

Posted in Misc.

The 10 Worst Health Choices

Looking to boost your health level? Then the following 10 choices are something that you should be making sure are NOT a part of your regular lifestyle.

Many people focus too much on only the foods they eat or the exercise they do. While there’s no question that both of those elements are imperative for your success, you also must take a comprehensive look at your entire lifestyle as well.

Here are 10 health choices that you must be sure you stay away from.

1. Smoking

stop-smoking-and-stay-healthy-11

Most people are well aware of the negative implications of smoking, so this one is quite self-explanatory. There are zero health benefits associated with this dirty habit.

 2. Alcohol 

While one glass of one every couple of weeks is fine, if you’re drinking more than that, you may want to rethink this. Alcohol is empty calories and often comes laced with sugar – a combo that will set you up for fat gain and liver problems.

Opt for alcohol-free as often as you can.

3. Late Nights

Lack of sleep is at the heart of many different diseases ranging from physical ailments to psychological issues such as depression. Turn in earlier for that extra hour of sleep. You’ll feel better and might just find you do better at your weight loss program as well.

4. Processed Carbohydrates

If you’re aiming to eat healthy, there’s no place for processed carbohydrates in your diet plan.  These blood glucose spiking gems will up your risk of diabetes and lead to rapid weight gain. Not to mention provide you with few nutrients as well.

5. Deep Fried Foods

Deep fried foods are the equivalent of putting fat bombs into your body.  Most often you’ll have the combination of processed carbs along with unhealthy fats, which is a double whammy working against your goals of getting lean.

Not to mention they often contain trans fats, which can increase your risk of cancer.

6. Lack Of Social Activity

Want to lead a happier life? Make time for your friends. Those who have a strong social network not only report being happier, but stay healthier as well.

There’s health protection in numbers.

7. Sitting For Hours On End

If you lead an office job, avoid sitting for hours on end. Get up and move around at least once per hour and you’ll slash your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

8. Sugary Beverages

The next thing that has to go from your diet is sugary beverages. These also are rapidly converted into body fat as the body takes in excess calories that spike blood glucose and get taken up and stored as triglycerides.

Soda, fruit juice, energy drinks – all need to get the boot.

9. Stress

stress less

Stress is the silent killer, slowly creeping up on us and eventually leading to all sorts of diseases.  Practice good stress management techniques and it won’t get the best of you.

Most people don’t take stress seriously enough, but it can do everything from preventing fat loss to leading to a psychological illness.

10. Erratic Sleep Schedules

Finally, along with sleeping enough, also make sure that you are aiming to keep regular sleep hours.  Erratic sleep schedules can take a toll on your body, leading to lower quality sleep.

Duration and quality both matter, so try and keep it regular.

So there you have the worst 10 health choices you could be making. Do you see yourself in any of these?

So there you have the worst 10 health choices you could be making. Do you see yourself in any of these? 

Posted in Misc.