I’ll never forget the first time I got introduced to Indian food. Being partially Korean, I grew up eating curry and was not really a fan of it. So I was very hesitant when our good friends asked us to try Indian. I kept thinking back to that green curry my mom used to fix us and wasn’t too sure about the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, my mom was an excellent cook and I love most of her dishes but not that curry stuff. When I sat down and ordered my Indian curry, I was so pleasantly surprised; more like fell in love with the dish! Couldn’t get enough of all the spices and creamy sauces; just delicious and totally different than what I had thought.
Indian dishes can be on the heavy side and will leave you feeling overstuffed, to say the least. I knew that in order to enjoy these delicious ingredients more often then I would need to “lighten” the dish up a bit by using cleaner ingredients without taking away the flavors that I love so much! May I introduce you to my Coconut Curry Chicken. Oh, my goodness; all that yumminess all in one big bowl.
Now you can either top this curry on steamed brown jasmine rice or I choose to make a cauliflower rice and kale mixture that is so much more flavorful. I discovered a treasure in the frozen food department that will make prep time a breeze. Have you ever tried to make your own cauliflower rice. What a mess (at least for me)! All you have to do is add the bag to a frying pan along with any ingredients and spices you like and voila, you have a low carb option for rice that is so yummy! I’m a rice lover but this stuff is so good that I really don’t miss the rice.
Double the recipe and you’ll have plenty to either add to your freezer for later or portioned meals for the rest of the week. Makes pulling wholesome food right out of the fridge easy when you need it.
Breakfast time is really one of my favorite meals to prepare and eat. French toast is on the top of that list however, it’s really not the most nutritional meal to eat so when I discovered the cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread I was hooked. I’m not a fan of raisins but there’s just something about the raisins in this bread that brings it to a whole new level of yumminess and comfort.
How is Ezekiel bread different from the typical loaf a bread? Most bread contains added sugar but Ezekiel bread contains none. It is made from organic, sprouted whole grains which make it more nutritious and it’s also a low glycemic bread. However, it is still made from wheat, barley, and spelt which contain gluten. So Ezekiel bread is not for those people with celiac disease or who are gluten sensitive. You can find this bread in the frozen department of most grocery stores. I usually place it in my refrigerator when I get it home.
So to make this yummy and easy dish, I place egg whites, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, and stevia into a large dish for dipping. Blend this mixture with a whisk until totally combined. Heat a flat top griddle or pan to medium-high temperature. Spray the griddle or pan with cooking spray. Take 4 pieces of the Ezekiel bread (may need to place in microwave for 15 seconds to take the chill off) and dip each piece on both sides until well coated and place on hot griddle or pan. Cook on both sides for 3-5 minutes. Repeat until all pieces are cooked (if using a griddle you can cook all pieces at the same time). Slice each piece in half (2 whole pieces per person) and serve with maple syrup and sprinkled stevia on top. That’s it and you have a delicious breakfast that’s not only easy but nutritious! Healthy French Toast; Voila!!!
I’ve never been a huge fan of cauliflower but recently my hubby has found out that his body just can’t digest and process starches (such as potatoes, pasta, rice) which leaves him very bloated and so uncomfortable. So I’ve been experimenting with different ways to create dishes without using those starches and it all started with cauliflower mash.
Cauliflower is the perfect vegetable to re-create your favorite dishes. First, it really doesn’t have much flavor so you can season it to mimic dishes such as rice and potatoes. The consistency is lighter but the taste is delicious even for this girl who “thought” she didn’t care for it. Even my hubby has grown to really like cauliflower as long as I don’t serve it to him just steamed.
I’ve always heard that a truly healthy meal should be very colorful. Red tomatoes, purple cabbage, orange carrots…a meal that is visually healthy. Which means most of the time this “white vegetable” gets overlooked. But did you know that cauliflower is high in anti-oxidants, high in fiber, increases blood flow, and is full of healthy vitamins? It’s a wonderful vegetable to include in your diet. Here’s an article about the top 8 health benefits of cauliflower that may interest you. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx
Fresh organic cauliflower cut into small pieces in ceramic bowl on wooden background
I’m a huge fan of mashed potatoes so when preparing this dish I knew that I would be a big critic. It had to have the right consistency to fool this girl into loving cauliflower mash. I used a product called “nutritional yeast”. You can find it at stores such as Whole Foods. Nutritional yeast looks similar to parmesan cheese and is packed with nutrition. It’s low in fat, gluten-free, and contains no added sugars or preservatives. It’s used to thicken soups and enhance flavors. It made the perfect thickener to my cauliflower mash. Oh, my goodness! I actually love the taste of this version of mash and now I do believe it will become a staple dish in our home. By the way, it’s so easy to make which is a plus in my book.
So here’s what I did:
Steamed a head of cauliflower (cut into florets)
Drained and dried the cauliflower
Placed in a large bowl and mashed with a hand masher
Boiled together coconut milk, salt, and pepper, and curry powder (sounds strange but the coconut milk calms the curry powder flavor and the color makes it look like the mash is buttered)
Blended cauliflower and milk mixture together
Seasoned with salt and pepper if necessary
Added nutritional yeast to bulk up consistency
Be sure to give this dish a try. You might be really surprised with the flavor!
I am a carb fanatic! I can’t get enough of pastas, rice, and bread however these items don’t do my body any good. All those processed carbs go straight to my belly making me feel bloated and uncomfortable. Sound familiar? Well just wanted to share with you my favorite carbohydrates I love to eat that are cleaner and my body can process easier.
1. Fresh Berries:
Berries are the perfect snack/sweet treat to feed your body. I love to mix strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries together. They may be little in size but they are packed full of antioxidants which can help your body fight against heart disease and cancer. These berries are rich in fiber which in turn help you feel fuller too. I usually recommend waiting to wash the berries unless you know you will be eating them the next couple of days.
2. Starchy Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet Potatoes make such a great substitute to white potatoes. I never appreciated a sweet potato until I became an adult and now I can’t get enough of them. They are low on the glycemic index which means your body processes these carbs slowly in order to not cause a sugar crash. They are also high in beta carotene which is great for the eyes. My favorite way to serve sweet potatoes is by cubing them into bite size pieces, coating them with a little bit of olive oil, seasoning them with cinnamon, and baking in the oven until tender. Yummy!
3. Delicious Squash:
Squash is probably one of the most versatile vegetables that you will come across. There’s so many different varieties that I just love and I can prepare in so many different ways. Plus, the health benefits are amazing. They have the ability to improve the quality of your sight, boost skin health, strengthen your immune system, prevent cancer, manage diabetes, build strong bones, protect your heat, and reduce blood pressure. I love zucchini and yellow squash in any stir fry, I’ll even spiralize a zucchini to replace my noodles for spaghetti, I treat butternut squash about the same as a sweet potato, and spaghetti squash is one of my new faves. I’ll bake it, scoop out the squash, and use as noodles. Pumpkins are also considered a squash and love to use pumpkin puree for waffles. So good!
4. Comforting Oatmeal:
Oatmeal is one of my “go to” easy breakfast dishes. When I’m in a hurry I’ll take 1/2 a cup of old fashioned oatmeal to 1 cup of water, place in a bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes (stirring frequently). Then I add sweetner, blue berries, and a little bit of almond milk. So comforting and delicious! My daughter enjoys oatmeal also (as long as I add the blueberries to her bowl). Oatmeal is a carb and protein-rich source that provides calories and energy. It is also low on the glycemic index which means it will stick with you longer because your body will process it slower. It is rich in soluble fiber which can help you feel fuller which in turn can help you lose weight. Plus because it’s rich in whole oat sources it’s been linked to good heart health.
5. Light and Fluffy Quinoa:
Quinoa is one of my new favorites that I have replaced in some rice dishes. It is such an interesting dish and very high in health benefits. Quinoa is gluten-free and high in protein. It’s also high in fiber, calcium, and potassium. It’s actually considered a grain that is grown from a seeds. It’s so easy to prepare also. You take 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to 2 cups of liquid. I like to use low sodium chicken stock. It adds more flavor. Bring liquid to a boil and add the quinoa. Reduce heat to low and cover for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. I like to add low sodium soy sauce to the cooked quinoa and chopped green onions to add more flavor. You can spice it up any way you desire. Really yummy with salmon or tilapia.
So these are my favorite carbs that I like to add to my dishes. Rice and potatoes get boring after a while so venture out and try a different carb to substitute to bring some life to your meals. Your body will thank you!
Resting your body is just as important as feeding your body correctly. Life can be so busy for us all. It has it’s highs and lows and can literally take a lot out of you on a day to day basis. When the battery runs low on your phone, what do you do? You plug it in to recharge it. We often forget that we can do the same thing for ourselves with just a little bit of rest.
Have you ever woke up one morning and felt so drained, unsettled, frazzled, and sluggish? I know I have many times and it’s all due to getting off my sleeping patterns and not being fully rested. This really becomes a problem for me if I continue down the road of not resting and sleeping properly. My mood swings are the first that becomes apparent especially when it comes to my family. I’m cranky and snappy. Then it’s my memory and not being able to stay focused. That affects my job performance which creates stress. When I’m stressed I start craving food that is very unhealthy just to satisfy my cravings. I’m definitely a stress eater so then my weight becomes an issue. On and on I can tell you my downhill battles and it started with not being fully rested and getting enough sleep. All these factors work hand in hand.
Here are some benefits to resting your body:
Reduce Stress: resting your body and creating better sleep patterns for yourself will reduce the amount of stress on your body and in turn improve your overall health. I know that I require at least 6 hours of deep sleep or I’m good for nothing the next day. Each person requires a certain amount of sleep in order to feel fully rested so find what amount works for you and be sure to stick with it. Plus when I’m less stressed out, it reflects on my diet and choices.
Improves and maintains a healthy weight: sleep and metabolism are both controlled by the same area of the brain which helps to control your hunger and appetite. If you’re workout and diet is not effective, then maybe you’re not getting enough rest.
Memory is better: lack of sleep makes it really difficult to remember and concentrate during the day. While sleeping, your brain is able to piece and sort information together in many ways to improve and retain memory. The body is simply amazing.
No more crankiness: resting really does help with keeping that crankiness away. You feel rested, refreshed, and ready to take on your day with a better attitude.
How can we all get better at resting our bodies?
Be sure to take at least one day out of your busy week to rest. Consider spending quality time with your family, read a book, go to church, have a picnic with friends, etc…
When you go to bed turn your lights out and leave them off. Put yourself on a strict schedule! We do this with our children on school nights; do the same with yourself. Turn off the television, put your phone down, and turn off those lights.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.” https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why
So, it’s okay to get your “snooze on” and rest your body. Go for it!
Beth is a lady I met a couple of years ago when my husband and I joined and became members of our local church. She has this energy about her that draws you in and I don’t think she even knows it. The first time I heard a snippet of her story was when Beth taught a ladies, bible study by Lysa Terkeurst on motherhood called “Unglued”. Beth shared with us her testimony on how she discovered her addiction with food and how she lost her weight. I knew that I wanted to hear more and I’m so thrilled that she is willing to share her story (in her own words) with all of us. She is such an inspiration and I hope you enjoy her testimony as much as I do. I am blessed to call her my friend!
In November of 2013, I had pictures made for my parents 50th wedding anniversary that would be that July. Little did I know that was one of the last times my parents would be able to travel to South Carolina as my mother’s autoimmune disease had taken a turn after 15yrs diagnosed.
When I got the proofs back I could not believe how I looked that day. I weighed 275lbs and was wearing a size 22 pair of jeans that had holes all throughout them but I refused to go and buy a 24. As I sat and looked at those pictures I thought I have got to do something if one day this horrible disease affects me….
Before the holidays I made two appointments to go and talk to the doctors at the clinic about weight loss surgery and canceled both of them. After years of diets and clinics on weight loss, I knew in my heart that I had all the tools that I needed to get healthy but after failing so many times over and over I just didn’t think I had it in me.
In the fall of that year, our church came into a sermon series called simply Prayer and Fasting during that time I also decided to attend a small group study on the very same topic. These two times of in-depth bible study brought to light to major issues I had struggled with. Number one I had an addiction an ugly sin that even out of control I had control over and was unwilling to let go of… Food Addiction. The second issue was I had not fully grasped that as believers we have power over our bodies and what we put into our bodies. I learned so much during that time not only about myself through the LORD but from people, I would not have otherwise went to for the help and guidance I needed.
One day during my journaling for the small group class I clearly heard from the LORD and the phrase that kept coming to my heart and mind was ” You are not Honoring me” over and over this was pressed upon my heart. When I fully wanted to know(read I was ready to hear in my heart what that meant) I knew the Lord meant I was not honoring HIM with my body. A former athlete’s body that I had worked so hard for in HS was now 275lbs unhealthy , unable to sleep at night, unable to walk up and down the stairs in my own home. I WAS BROKEN. How did I do this….
That very week my very best friend told me that if i would pick her up every morning at 4:45 am…YUP in the Morning when its PITCH BLACK outside she would go with me or come and workout with me– whatever I needed to get my life back…she had NO IDEA what had happened personally in my quiet with the LORD.
So we started at the YMCA in a spin class not knowing anything —-we started by setting goals for me to lose 40lbs by my 40th birthday
I gained confidence and friends and supporters and when April 8th rolled around I not only lost the 40lb but had set another goal of 10 more 20 more….see I never thought I could do the first one. ONCE I committed this to her we prayed and every morning the LORD woke me up before my alarm could…..I wanted to meal plan and make smart choices…all because I gave this to Him.
Three years later I am happy to say I have lost over 100lbs and gained my life back. I have met friends through the YMCA (in various classes) and other health outlets that will be for life. I have re-connected with High School friends that are or have come through similar battles. THIS LIFE is my LIFE and it’s because of JESUS I can say HONOR HIM with your body and HE Will use your story to encourage others.
Hard work and dedication…commitment to myself, my husband and my children, was the only way I would succeed. Is every day easy? NOPE….do I still fall into the food addiction cycle when life throws me a curve ball? SURE I do but I’ve built accountability to pull me back out….It’s a daily walk and I pray that I can encourage someone else.
What is your motivation in life? Who or what keeps you going strong and making sure you live a healthy and full life? Please share your thoughts here with me!