Chicken and Veggies

Wow! The past month has flown by, and I realize I’ve been spending most of my energy on my other blog site, http://robinthomas.biz.    The Healthy Competition went quite well for us… tastes changes away from processed foods,and  it became a regular habit to head to the farmer’s market on Sat mornings to find out “what’s for dinner this week? ”

Last week my husband and I had the opportunity to get away on a short vacation, all by ourselves!   We drove to VA, and had a blast bicycling down the VA Creeper Trail and cavorting among the wild ponies on top of Grayson Highlands.  You can check out my pictures at my facebook profile:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150365212299769.359145.856304768&type=3

Today I wanted to share a simple recipe I made up last night. It was quite delicious and healthy, too!

Robin’s Quick and Easy Chicken with Vegetables

Ingredients:

2 boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
1 Tbs coconut oil
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 chopped onion
red pepper slices
zucchini squash cubed
sun gold cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbs fresh herbs (I used tarragon, thyme, and rosemary)
organic chicken broth

Saute the chicken in the coconut oil until lightly browned on both sides.
Add the garlic and onions and continue to cook until onions are clear.
Add the other vegetables, and pour the chicken broth over the entire pan.
Sprinkle on fresh herbs: use what ever you have on hand that you like. If you don’t have fresh herbs, decrease to 2 tsp dried.
Cover, and simmer at a reduced temperature for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.

I serve this over quinoa, but you could use brown rice.

Enjoy!

Robin

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First Week of a Little Healthy Competition

So my first week on a healthier lifestyle is behind me.   My wins?   For me, the greatest joy has been the continued enthusiasm of my son.   He LOVES that instant gratification of checking off points!   He is trying new foods and new exercises- even said that today he is willing to participate in a yoga session with me.  ( extra points for a new activity, and doing something with a buddy increases his interest)  HUGE WIN!

On a personal level, I’m finding that on most accounts, I’m doing quite well.  The hardest part for me is keeping up with the points… they are just not motivating for me ( but I’m THRILLED that they are for my son)  The second hardest part is drinking enough water- I tend to go about my day not thinking about water, and then find myself dehydrated.   Now I carry my water bottle with me everywhere I go.

Healthy eating has been a joy- and really not a challenge for our family.   I stock up on many organic veggies and fruits at the local farmer’s market in Carrboro, and then just eat my way through their delicious goodness!  This past week was peppers:  take a look at my blog on sweet peppers for nutrition info and an easy salad recipe.

It turned cooler this weekend, so my family wanted something warm and comforting.  Who doesn’t like chicken soup?   I made it myself with organic chicken, fresh okra, zucchini, carrots, onions, tomatoes and garlic.  Spiced up and hot- just the way my family likes it.  Instead of adding noodles, I added white beans for more nutrition and fiber.

Yesterday my family wanted chili.  I used up the the remainder of the colorful peppers, sauteed with some red onion and garlic.

Then I added chunks of sweet potato, chilies, black beans, kidney beans, and tomatoes ( I was out of fresh tomatoes, so I used diced, canned, with no salt) The sweet potato made this meal filling and added a little bit of natural sweetness.  Some cumin, salt and pepper to taste, and no one missed the meat at all!

Topped with a little greek yogurt and some green onions, it was delicious!

Kicking the Processed Food Blues

Do you have the Processed Food Blues?

I don’t think I could even eat that stuff any more.   I am loving my second day on my health journey!

In The Healthy Edge we have 5 goals:

  1. Eat healthy and low-glycemic every 2-3 hours
  2. Eat 6 or more Super Foods daily
  3. Drink 80 oz or more of pure, clean water
  4. Exercise 45 min or walk 10,000 steps
  5. Take a high quality pharmaceutical grade supplement as directed.
For the Little Healthy Competition we have very similar goals using a graded point system for a long list of specifics.
My son is thriving on this!  He woke up this morning and decided right off to run around the long block with our dog.  I wasn’t to be outdone, so I took the time to do some weight work and Yoga while he was gone.  Peace!
Breakfast was steel-cut oatmeal with fresh fruit- not some boxed cereal for us!
I had errands to run, and left my son actually meditating, doing some relaxation exercises.  (you’ve got to know my son- he has a severe anxiety disorder, and I am always trying to get him to practice his relaxation exercises, but am frequently met with resistance)
Then after a healthy lunch filled with fresh raw veggies and fruit,  we headed out to the garden to prepare it for the fall planting.   Most of the time, I’m begging my son to help.   Not only did he work diligently beside me, but then decided on his own to mow the entire lawn.
Snacks and plenty of water during this busy afternoon.  ( I must admit, eating every 3 hours and drinking 80 oz of water is the greatest challenge for me)
A healthy dinner: delicious baked eggplant with tomato sauce and a large salad.   And I’m still feeling energized.
Will this last?  I don’t know- but I sure had a great day today!

Starting the Healthy Edge

This morning I began a new health journey. I have always thought I was living a healthy lifestyle: I ate quite well, I kept active, I take my vitamins everyday and I’m not considered overweight.

But… sometimes I still get tired mid afternoon. I’m stressed. I find excuses to skip my exercise class. I know I can feel better, so I started a program called “The Healthy Edge”. And.. on the same day I started this program, I was invited by a facebook friend to participate in a Little Healthy Competition Game… Perfect!

Guidance from The Healthy Edge, and a bit of competition, to boot! My 21 yr old son is joining me in the competition, and he is already quite intense about it.

I’ll be posting our experiences right here. Feel free to give some suggestions, cheer us on, and hold us accountable. Here’s to 8 weeks and the rest of our lives! :~)

Why add supplements?

The RESET/ Healthy for Life program designed by USANA and Dr. Ray Strand includes 5 days of low-glycemic  shakes and bars to cut the carbohydrate cravings and jumpstart a healthy lifestyle.  It also includes 5 days of USANA’s Healthpak 100 to provide the necessary micronutrients that help reduce insulin insensitivity. 

vitamins

 Sometimes people new to RESET ask why the supplements are so important in this program.   A high glycemic diet with the resulting rollercoaster of blood sugar levels stimulates the production of stress hormones, causing inflammation.   Over  years, this inflammation causes insulin resistance and the harmful metabolic changes associated with it, including endothelial dysfunction in the arteries.  Several studies show convincing data that supplementation with antioxidants vit C and vit E together reverse this  endothelial dysfunction caused by the elevated blood sugars.  Dr. Antonio Ceriello makes a special note of the fact that multiple antioxidants work together in the body synergistically and it is hard to separate them out and try to study them individually.  For example, vit C helps regenerate vit E.  Vit E not only helps reduce oxidative stress , but also improves insulin function – it helps glucose transport as well as improves the pancreatic cell response. 

 Chromium levels are critical for the proper functioning of insulin and also for proper fat and glucose metabolism.  Depending on the degree of insulin insensitivity,  people lose their ability to convert chromium into a useable form.  In fact, chromium is now routinely added to IV nutrition solutions for very ill diabetic patients. 

 Other micronutrients have a role in improving insulin sensitivity as well.  Dr. Thompson and  Dr Godlin found strong evidence that supplementing their patients’ diet with zinc, manganese, glutathione, seleniu, and vanadium improved insulin sensitivity. 

The bottom line? If your goal for participating is to cut the carbohydrate cravings and increase your body’s insulin sensitivity (with a side effect of weight-loss),  the best way to accomplish this goal is to add optimal levels of supplementation to your program of low-glycemic foods and appropriate exercise.   You need the micronutrients to be complete and balanced for them to work together in synergy.  When proper balance is met at optimal levels, the result will enhance your body’s natural immune, antioxidant, and repair system.  

 Know anyone who wants to jumpstart their move off the glycemic rollercoaster?  Invite them to participate in our  5-Day Reset program starting Nov 30.  They are welcome to join our  5-Day Reset facebook group

 To Your Health!

Robin