This walleye recipe is a family favorite! If you missed my post about Omega, Oils, Why I’m Picky, you’ll want to check’r out. Walleye has got to be one of the best fish to fry, well Crappies are good too. But walleye is definitely a special treat.
More about Walleye
Walleye got its name from its eye. The eyes are very big on a walleye and it’s pearlescent, which helps them see and feed at night. With that said they are a nocturnal fish. It lives in freshwater and is related to the perch family. Walleye like cold deep waters. You can find them in the Great Lakes region, Canadian lakes, Northwest Territories, and the Mississippi River basin.
To eat, walleye is one of the healthiest fish. It’s a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for our hearts and brains. Walleye is also a good source of vitamin D. The fish has white flesh and has a clean, succulent taste, it’s mild and sweet perfect for frying or baking. Yum! My mouth is seriously watering now. I should mention to not eat ‘walleye sushi’ so-to-speak. Always cook walleye before eating.
Ingredients needed for this dish
I use a cast-iron pan, not a deep pan, just you’re regular pan. We’re pan-frying for this walleye recipe, not deep frying, we’ll leave the deep frying for Blue Gills. A cast-iron pan really does make a difference, plus it’s SUPER easy to clean, no soap required. Seriously, no soap, you’ll wreck the ‘seasoning’ of the pan. I highly recommend getting one, even if it’s the small one. You can find them on Amazon.
As for other ingredients in this fried walleye recipe, we use coconut oil. It has a high flash point, which is great for frying. It heats up quickly. The coconut oil is a clean oil. It doesn’t taste like coconut at all. And it’s good for you! Much better than Canola or Vegetable oil. We get ours through Costco because we go through quite a bit. If you don’t have a Costco Membership, no problem! You can get it on Amazon. I highly recommend this product. When buying coconut oil get the Virgin, Unrefined.
For the breading, since my family and I need to be gluten-free we use a gluten-free pancake mix. I personally like Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancake Mix. We’ve tried Bisquick Gluten-Free too (that’s dairy-free). And I should mention we also tried Potato Starch. All work well! If you’re not gluten-free, I recommend any pancake mix. With this recipe we only want a dusting on the fish, we aren’t getting the pancake mix wet. Simply put the mix in a bowl and dust the fish with it, done!
As a side dish, anything works well. Although I’d stay away from pasta. Green beans and a store-bought potato salad are easy and good. Or the infamous broccoli/bacon salad is a favorite. If you’re going to have fruit, eat it while cooking your meal. You can check out my food-combining chart here to learn more about it.
Tired, bloated, or do you have indigestion after you eat? Let me fill you in on a little secret, it probably has something to do with food combining. Our stomach is known for acid. Stomach acid, along with the help of enzymes, helps break down food. Not only that but it actually helps support the body in absorbing protein and vitamin B-12, which we only get from protein (meat). In this post, you’ll find tips on how to feel better and get more bang for your nutrition buck! How to reduce stomach acid, how to increase stomach acid, how to test which one you have, and why food combining has a lot to do with stomach acid will be covered too. I keep things simple and to the point. Plus! You can download my free easy to understand food combining chart!
Let’s jump into the stomach.
If you have high levels of stomach acid you’re probably experiencing one of these symptoms: acid reflux, burping, or you may even feel nauseated. If you have too little stomach acid you may feel bloated, experience diarrhea or constipation, have food intolerances, osteoporosis, leaky gut, malnutrition, and heartburn. It’s kind of confusing, eh?
If you have either too high or too low of stomach acid it puts stress on the digestive system which can lead to further problems down the road, for instance, if you have heartburn (GERDS) and don’t pay attention to it, it can cause permanent damage to the esophagus and upping your chances of precancerous cells. If the stomach acid is too low and left untreated it can lead to hair loss, GI infections, anemia, lupus, allergies, chronic autoimmune disorders, and thyroid issues to name a few. Yikes!
How do you know if you have high or low stomach acid?
First off, I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I share information I have either experienced myself or are extremely interested in. I keep things simple and give you the nutshell version of what I’ve learned. *Consult your physician before jumping into new things.*
There are a number of things you can do to figure this out:
1) You could visit your doctor and have them order a test. Most likely it will be a CBC (complete blood count) and CMP (comprehensive metabolic panel). From the test they’ll look at a variety of factors, some include iron and phosphorous levels.
2) The other test is the Heidelberg Stomach Acid Test, this test requires fasting for 12 hours and swallow a tiny electronic capsule. You will need to drink a baking soda solution and then the capsule will record how long it takes your stomach to restore normal acidity levels. Cool!
3) If you don’t like doctors or want to spend the extra cash, there is a simple at-home test is called the Baking Soda Acid Test. The accuracy of this test is not 100%, so it’s best to do this test regularly to get a better idea of where you are on stomach acid.
Here’s how to do it: Mix ¼ tsp of baking soda in four ounces of water. In the morning before you eat or drink anything else, drink the concoction. Next, start your timer on your phone and time how long it takes to burp. If it takes more than five minutes or you experience no burp at all, it’s a sign of low stomach acid.
Tips on how to reduce gastric juice:
1) Understand what food combinations cause high acidity. See my chart on freebies.
2) Eat smaller meals. Overeating can put pressure on the esophageal sphincter, which causes it to open and leak acid into your esophagus.
3) Try a low-carb diet. When our system can’t digest carbs well, we get gassy and bloated, which then leads to GERD. Numerous studies support this idea. Looking into amylase, a digestive enzyme that helps breakdown carbs may significantly help you when you can’t say no.
4) Limit the guilty pleasures of caffeine and alcohol. The alcohol relaxes the esophageal sphincter and the caffeine weakens the sphincter. They basically have the same effects on the sphincter. Try decaf coffee instead, that’s what I do and my body has adjusted well after the caffeine withdrawal ended.
5) Chew gum. This helps increase saliva production and helps clear the esophagus of stomach acid. It helps with symptoms but doesn’t solve the root cause. No wonder my son loves gum!
6) Cut back on carbonated drinks and citrus juice. Again both of these kinds of beverages weaken the esophageal sphincter.
7) Mint is a no-go. Mint chocolate-chip ice-cream should take a backseat if you experience symptoms. This refreshing herb is so relaxing that it too relaxes the sphincter. Peppermint tea, peppermint chocolate or candies, and peppermint-flavored gum have the potential to fire back, literally up your esophagus.
Some other tips to help alleviate
symptoms are not eating too close to bed-time, elevating your head while
sleeping, and to avoid laying on your RIGHT side. These tactics help calm the
acid and keep that pesky sphincter closed!
4 little ways to increase low stomach acid at home
1) I wouldn’t hit the meat & potatoes to fix your low stomach acid, instead, take a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar that includes the Mother. This is an easy way to help your stomach acid get ready to work before a meal. Mix one tablespoon of the vinegar in water and drink before a meal.
2) Like honey? Try Manuka Honey. This honey comes from New Zealand and has amazing antimicrobial properties. It helps with IBS, indigestion, stomach ulcer prevention, oral health, and like most honey, helps with wound healing and sore throats. Get more details on Manuka Honey here.
3) Chew. “Chew, chew, chew.” When we’re hungry, we tend to eat fast and take big bites! It’s like a welcome mat for a stuck burp. Chew every bite so it turns into mush. There is no need to eat your food fast. Simply use a smaller fork to help with bite-size.
4)Digestive enzymes also do the trick. Unfortunately, the first time I tried these they gave me diarrhea. They can actually cause constipation in some people too. But don’t let this discourage you. Digestive enzymes play an important role in vitamin and nutrient absorption. As you age or if you have a digestive disorder, or have pancreas issues, your enzymes deplete and lead to uncomfortable symptoms. For instance, one sign is a change in bowels and/or seeing undigested food in your stool. Yes, you should look at your poop! So before I completely gave up on digestive enzymes, I gave them another try. This time I played with the dose. Instead of a whole pill before a meal, I only took a pinch and it worked a lot better. After your body gets used to them you can move forward from there.
What are digestive enzymes?
In a nutshell, there are three main types of digestive enzymes: proteases, lipases, and amylases. Here is a list of the enzymes and what they do. Helpful Hint: Pancreatic enzyme names usually end in “-in” (like trypsin or pepsin), while other digestive enzymes usually end in “-ase” or “-ose” (like lactose, sucrose, fructose).
The trick for making digestive enzymes work for you is to first determine if you are a candidate for supplementation. Know your body, pay attention to how it reacts after you eat. Are you burping, bloated, having to run the bathroom, heartburn, stinky gas and a lot of it, or cramping?
The next step is to determine what kind of enzyme you need. Asking your doctor, a nutritionist, or a functional medicine doc for their recommendations is the way to go. Just note the FDA does not regulate digestive enzymes, so everyone will have their own opinion, but you know your body best. You want clear ingredients from a reputable manufacturer.
Third, you’ll have to experiment to find the right dose. Remember this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. I’m not a doctor. Seek advice from a qualified health provider before trying something new. This post is to help you investigate how to help heal your body and ask the right questions to your healthcare provider.
A little info on EOE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis)
On a side note, my son has EOE, Eosinophilic Esophagitis. I seriously have a hard time saying this word. Essentially it’s an inflammation of the esophagus caused by a food allergy which can cause food to get stuck in the esophagus…believe me, I have stories. This is an annoying disease that if not treated, can turn your esophagus into something like bamboo, which will then need to be stretched with a medical balloon! We’ve had numerous scopes to find the trigger food and it’s only done by food elimination. Yep. There is not a test to check for allergies related to the esophagus because EOE has a delayed response to the trigger. This means a blood test or scratch test will be inaccurate…we did those anyway…hence, the only way to check if there is a reaction is to biopsy the food tube. This is a long process, so in the meantime, we’re constantly telling him to chew.
Food Combining 101
Back to Food Combining. Yes combining food makes a difference with stomach acid. Food combining gives you a little bit of control. When certain foods are put together they can either wreak havoc on your stomach or they can give you energy. For instance, the classic steak n potato with melted butter, well it’s going to spoil in your stomach. You will most likely have bloating, stinky ‘wind’, and indigestion. This combo could also contribute to weight gain. And the melon salad with grilled chicken, well that’s going to do the same thing. This is not to confuse you, it’s just the opposite. Keeping a diet with a few simple rules will reap benefits in the short and long term. I made a simple, easy to understand food combining chart to help regulate your stomach acid. In my kitchen, I tape it to the inside of one of my cupboards. Don’t forget to head to Freebies to download yours today. All in all, remember to eat fruit alone on an empty stomach and only eat proteins with non-starchy vegetables. We’ve covered A LOT of information. Keep this post handy to reference for a quick guide.
If you missed my post about food combining you’ll want to check’r out. This amazing steak recipe I’m about to give you goes in line with food combining. You might think to yourself, “Food combining matters? It’s all going to the same place anyway. What gives?”
was a kid, eating with my grandparents was torture for me. Not only did I have
to eat everything off my plate, including the extra ketchup…yes, with a spoon,
down the hatch it went; I had to watch my grandparents pretty much swirl
everything on their plate and eat it. As a kid, I didn’t want my peas to touch
my mash potatoes, or for Pete’s sake my jello to touch my chicken pot pie! This
kind of food combining is not what I’m talking about, but it gives you a
What happens in the belly
Let’s take steak n potatoes, a classic meal. It’s a meal that has withstood the decades. Many would call it a ‘healthy’ meal. To the eye, it is, but to the stomach not-so. Combining a protein with a heavy-duty starch like buttery mashed potatoes spoils in your stomach. Starchy sugars don’t mix well with hard-core proteins. Ew! With spoiling in the stomach comes indigestion, bloating, gas, burping…sluggishness.
If you want to feel better after a steak dinner, change your side to a low starch veggie, like salad, broccoli, green beans, or grilled summer squash. I know garlic mashed potatoes with steak is OH SO YUMMY, but if you’re feeling icky after a meal like that it could be the food combo. Hold up, I’m not telling you to stop eating that combo, not at all. All I’m saying is that you might want to mix it up every once in a while. Just letting you know what I’ve learned. If you want a download of my food combination aid, you can get one here at freebies. It gives you examples of what to eat with what, along with a list of foods, and when to eat fruit. I personally tape mine to my kitchen cupboard.
Ingredients needed for this dish
With this Better Belly Steak recipe, I use a cast-iron pan. It really does make a difference, especially if you can’t cook on the grill. I highly recommend getting one, even if it’s the small one. You can find them on Amazon.
I also use Kirkland’s Frozen Organic Green Beans. Love these things. They come pre-washed. And for my other side I simply visit the frozen veggie section at the grocery and pick up Green Giant Simply Steam, Riced Cauliflower Italian Style. This is actually my new go-to when I’m running low on time.
1tbspMcCormickGrill Mates 25% Less Sodium Montreal Steak Seasoning
1cupfresh or frozen organic green beansWashed and trimmed
1boxGreen Giant SimplySteam, Riced Cauliflower Italian StyleIn frozen section at grocery
Take yourcast iron pan, put it on the stove, and preheat on high for 4-5 minutes, oruntil very hot (wink).
Pat your steak dry with paper towels. In this recipe I used Strip steak, highest grade.
Sprinkle McCormick Steak Seasoning, this is gluten-free!
Put alittle salt in the bottom of your hot cast iron pan.
Place the steak in your hot pan. It might get a little smokey, so make sure you’re cooking in a well – ventilated space…I do not recommend a tent. I personally turn my kitchen vent on and crack a window.
In the next one to two minutes, carefully flip the steak placing it in a different spot on the pan. Cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Continue turning and flipping the steak until it’s cooked to your desired doneness.
To be on the safe side, use a meat thermometer and insert it in the thickest part of the steak. Here’s a quick guide on temperatures. · Medium-rare:135º· Medium: 140º· Medium-well: 145º
Place the steak on your plate and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it. Keep in mind the steak may continue to cook after it has been removed from the pan.
While steak is resting, take your green beans and put them in a sauce pan with an inch of wate on medium heat. Cover the pan. with lid. Cook 5 minutes and check. Keep checkingevery couple minutes. Cook to desire. Do not burn!
While green beans are cooking. Grab your box of Green Giant SimplySteam, Riced Cauliflower Italian Style and follow the microwave instructions. Stir after it has been cooked.
Dish up the steak, green beans, and cauliflower rice on your plate. Salt lightly if desired. Enjoy!
Omega. Or should I say ‘Oh-me-ga’ on the omegas? There is a lot of hype about these fatty acids and it can be overwhelming. Healthy oils for our bodies can be tricky to figure out. Let me make it simple for you with this quick go-to-guide. As an added bonus, I’ll tell you about the best-saturated fat that benefits our bodies! Huh?
To supplement, or not to supplement? You might not need to. There
are 3 major oils in the omega family: omega-3, 6, and 9. All are unique and
serve a different purpose. I’m here to simplify the explanation of them all.
First and foremost, Omega-3 cannot be produced in the human body, which means you need to get these from your diet. This fatty acid gets a lot of attention and it should! It’s good for producing good HDL cholesterol, which is good for your heart. This omega can reduce symptoms of depression, help with mental disorders, can prevent and manage autoimmune diseases, and can also help with weight management. Did you hear that? Fat can help you lose weight. Omega-3s are good for your liver and they’re anti-inflammatory. This oil can prevent dementia and improve memory. Not only that, but it betters bone mineral density and, get this, it can help reduce symptoms of asthma. Wow, powerful oil, no wonder it gets so much attention. The two highest sources of Omega-3s are fish oil and flaxseed (vegan) oil. Some other sources include:
Atlantic Mackerel: 6,982 milligrams in 1 cup cooked (174 percent DV)
Salmon Fish Oil: 4,767 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (119 percent DV)
With the olive oil craze, it is a source of all the omegas. My favorite, hands-down olive oil is California Ranch Olive Oil. It’s 100% olive oil. It has a great taste for salads, dipping…my mouth is watering…and cooking. Click on the picture below for more details.
You don’t hear much about Omega-6, because if you get too much it could backfire. And according to this article, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the diet should be 4:1, but in the Western diet the ratio is much higher, 10:1 and 50:1! Ouch. They are still essential with producing energy and if taken correctly this fatty acid helps with treating the symptoms of chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis and breast cancer (in conjunction with another drug). On top of that, it can also reduce body fat, once again, a fat to reduce fat. The top two sources of Omega-6s are Evening Primrose Oil and Safflower oil.
Nitty Gritty on Omega-6
I personally supplement evening primrose oil to help with my hormones. A word of caution, you don’t need to supplement with omega-6. Remember too much could increase inflammation. Keep in mind that other sources of omega-6s are soybeans, corn, and sunflower oils. Note these sources are usually treated with chemicals in the field before processing…which some chemicals leach into our food…hence digestive disorders and disease. If possible, consume organic.
These fatty acids are a bit different. They can be produced by the body. Some studies indicated they could help reduce inflammation and assist with insulin sensitivity. Yes, you shouldn’t have to supplement Omega-9’s because our bodies do a good job of taking care of them. The top three sources include macadamia nut oil, hazelnut oil, and olive oil. Avocado oil is also a source.
First off, I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I share information I have either experienced myself or are extremely interested in, and then I keep things simple and give it to you a nutshell. Please consult your physician before jumping into new things.
So what do we do with all this information? Out of all of the Omegas, Omega-3 is the most important. If you eat enough seafood and healthy fats, like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts & seeds, eggs, grass-fed organic beef, and dark chocolate, you should be good to go. I obviously didn’t go into the difference between monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, or saturated fats; if you want more of a ‘science’ explanation there is a great article here.
Bonus! Don’t miss this one.
There is an amazing fatty acid that is 90% saturated fat, but the highest in content of lauric acid, which in a twisted way can help improve the level of lipids traveling through the blood. That means it is likely it will reduce the risk of heart disease! That sounds pretty technical, but I wanted to share this with you because I eat this every day.
What I’m talking about is Coconut Oil. There are so many benefits to coconut oil, you will be blown away, in fact, there are so many benefits it can be a bit overwhelming. To keep it simple I’ll list the top 15 in a minute. But get this, some studies show that it may reduce belly fat and dampen our appetites…hello…more weight loss from fat! Word of CAUTION: too much of a good thing can backfire. Don’t consume more than 2 TBSP a day. If you have too much it can cause diarrhea.
What kind to get?
Coconut oil is a staple in our family. I no longer use butter on my toast, pancakes, or in my baking. Not to mention fish frying. We just had gluten-free fried walleye last night and fried it in coconut oil (recipe is at the bottom). And of course, we used our cast iron pans. Seriously, cast iron is a must. It’s the healthiest chemical-free pan, and it’s super easy to clean. The walleye was absolutely amazing!
Keep in mind when cooking with coconut oil you won’t taste the coconut. It’s a clean oil with a high flash point. When buying coconut oil get the Virgin, Unrefined. A little coconut oil can go a long way, just don’t overdo it. Ready for the powerful impact this stuff can do?
Coconut Oil Benefits – Top 15
1. It helps prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.
2. It can help treat Alzheimer’s.
3. It BE good for the ole liver.
4. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
5. It’s an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral! Works well on cuts and skin issues.
6. Improves energy
7. It helps the gut heal by destroying bad bacteria and that nasty Candida (yeast overgrowth).
8. Prevents Osteoporosis by helping to increase the
absorption of calcium and magnesium.
9. It’s Anti-aging. Now we’re talkin’!
10. It helps balance hormones naturally. Now we’re really talkin’!
11. Thickens hair and helps with dandruff. It’s a natural
12. It helps improve sleep when consumed every day.
13. It can help with environmental allergies if you rub the inside of your nose with it.
14. Speeds up the healing of sunburn.
15. It’s an amazing oil to make homemade popcorn with. Just sub coconut oil in place of your other oil. Yum!
We get our coconut oil from Costco because we go through quite a bit. If you don’t have a Costco Membership, no problem! You can get it on Amazon. I highly recommend this product. It doesn’t go bad, so why not save a few bucks. Click on the picture below for more details.
All in all, keep your diet simple and powerful with clean food. Oil does a body good. Don’t be afraid of it, just choose wisely. Now here’s the walleye recipe I promised!
The only way to change is to change. If you want to feel better and lose weight then changing-the-diet is in the cards. Here’s the thing, weight loss doesn’t have to be hard or daunting. I have a simple philosophy that will bring you relief and motivation. Get this, it’s back up by science. It’s easy: TAKE. IT. SLOW. Read my four tips to making the change and don’t forget the yummy recipe!
Changing the diet isn’t something I could do cold turkey. In fact, I’m allergic to turkey! Hence the going slow part. With a gradual approach, you’re more likely to stick with it and for longer if not forever! Chris Kresser uses the words, “shrink the change“.
Change Tip 1
The trick to eating a healthier diet is to clean out the bad stuff, call me Sherlock-Homes. I repeat, when you take a gradual approach, this gives your body time to adjust and not be shocked. If you go too fast, it could backfire and you’ll be headfirst in the bag of cheese puffs…not to mention gain even more weight! The cool thing about gradually reducing the bad stuff, like sugar, is that your body will start to crave healthier foods. You’ll feel better and the sugary snacks will start to be too sweet. Interesting, eh? The bottom line is our bodies will feel cleaner and they’ll want more of that awesome clean energy.
Change Tip 2
Awareness. Sugar was my number one weakness. It still is, but I’m now aware of my consumption and I know my limits. I sound like an alcohol disclosure. When I adjusted my intake of the sweet stuff the ‘less is more’ philosophy kicked-in. My taste buds became more content and my body was a happy human. Did you hear that? I didn’t give up sugar completely, I just cut back immensely. With that said, I wanted to share with you what I used to eat for lunch and what I’m eating now for lunch.
The old lunch
Back in the day of wanting to lose weight, I would only eat a salad for lunch. It contained greens, Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and maybe fresh broccoli. I didn’t have any protein or cheese. Just veggies. I chose whatever salad dressing sounded good, however, I would dip my fork in the dressing before I stabbed a helping of lettuce. Not too shabby of a lunch sounds good; but for me, it didn’t hold me over, which lead to a Snickers Bar in the afternoon, and then a hefty snack after work. Can we say blood sugar on the fritz?
Change Tip 3
First things first here, know your body. If you need protein, get protein in with every meal. Whether its nuts, clean meat, or dairy (I’m not a fan of dairy) make sure you get enough protein into your diet. There are a few reasons why. Protein helps you feel satisfied longer, it gives you energy, and need I say meat is an excellent source of B12, B6, zinc, and iron to name a few? Protein builds muscle mass, and it’s especially good after a workout. Add a little vitamin C to the mix and you’ve got a digestive helper and a hand at iron absorption. Listen up! The meat won’t make you fat unless it’s highly marbled or fatty, and your watch portions. Choose lean beef, grilled chicken, grilled or baked fish, or pork loin. Don’t be scared to add it to your diet or your salad. Remember portion-control is king.
Now a day my lunch looks a lot different. I still have my sweet snack later on in the afternoon, but I don’t overdo it as I had before. For a healthy powerful lunch, it’s best to make it with your bare hands. What’s the simple in that? Everything. Sure cooking can be a lot of work if you have that mindset; but if you switch your thoughts of creating an experience your meal will be a lot more satisfying. You may laugh, but I dare you to try it. For instance; I am constantly busy all day long, so lunchtime is a big break for me. My apron comes on, my mind turns off, and my hands focus on making a good meal. Making our own meals forces us to slow down and engage all our senses, which is part of the ‘satisfying meal’ experience.
Change Tip 4
Okay, okay, okay…you’re at work and can’t make lunch. That’s okay! You have a couple of options for a healthy clean lunch; the most obvious is to make it the night before. The other is to choose simple, limited, ingredient dishes when eating out. For instance, a 100% beef burger without the bun paired with a side of steamed veggies or a cup of clear broth soup, is a great lunch. It’s not heavy in carbs (bread or pasta) and it’s high in protein. Think ‘simple’ when at a restaurant and think portion control! As for drinks, you know what I’m going to say…water without ice. Hey, it may be a little boring, but your body will be quieter and happier. You may not even need to drink water with your meal. Too much aqua with the comida will cause a lot of vitamins to flush through your system, plus it will take longer to digest the yum yums.
The new lunch
Let’s cut to the chase and get to the recipe. This recipe is one of my favorites. It’s low carb, high in multivitamins, and low in inflammation. I call it “Autumn Awesomeness”. There are only 6 ingredients! And it’s oh-so-good for your body. Enjoy!
This is an amazingly healthy yet tasty dish for lunch or dinner. The chard kale and roasted butternut squash complement each other, while the dried cranberries make it pop. This is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and nut-free!
4Strips of grilled chicken or 4 GF Chicken nuggets
2TBSPDried Cranberries or Cherries
3 TBSPOlive Oil1TBSP for frying kale, 2 TBSP for topping at the end
Heat cast iron pan on low.
Wash thoroughly, pat dry, remove stalks, and chop. Put chopped kale into the pan. Then add 1 TBSP olive oil. It might get messy and splatter if kale is not dried off. Be careful.
I pre-roast an entire cubed squash. 350 for 40 minutes. Just toss a little olive oil and salt in before baking. Tip: Costco usually has raw cubed squash. Do not use frozen squash! You can also peel and cube your own squash.
After kale is charred and well cooked, wrap a dish towel around the cast iron panhandle and put kale on a plate.
Take leftover chicken, pre-cooked grilled chicken (Costco), or Gluten-free chicken nuggets. Microwave for the allotted time, or cook in your cast iron pan to warm. When done, put on top of kale.
Add squash to kale and chicken. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top. Drizzle olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Delish!
For added flavor, add thinly sliced red onion, roasted pecans, or crispy bacon!
Calories may vary on chicken type and the amount you use.
You probably saw that you need a cast iron pan. That’s right. Cast iron all the way. Here’s why: it’s what the pioneers used; no seriously, they had some things figured out and cast iron was one of them. It’s nonstick, chemical-free, adds iron to your food…this is great for us who have anemia. It’s versatile, you can use it on the stovetop, in the oven, or on a campfire! Cast iron has a long life span, and it’s super easy to clean…they don’t require soap! Oh, and cast iron is less expensive; on Amazon, the small one is less than $10 and Prime! Plus you could probably use it to lift weights. Ha ha ha! Hands down, the best pan out there. My favorite size is the small one. You can get one here if you don’t have one. Or click on the picture below for more details.
As for Olive Oil, not all oil is the same. You gotta watch out for scammers. What I mean is that some companies claim it’s 100% olive oil, but in reality, it’s not. They add soybean or sunflower oil to it. Ick! So how do you tell? This can be tricky. The oil needs to be First Cold Press and come directly from the juice of the olive. And secondly, it must be the only ingredient. Easier said than done. I did the research for you and my favorite safe, real, olive oil is California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Everyday). I know what I’m getting and it’s delicious. You can get it on Amazon. Or click on the picture below for more details.
One more thing, be sure to get more out of your weight loss program with My Wellness Way. This is an easy online course that goes over some things I mentioned in this post. Change doesn’t need to be scary or hard. This course helps with all that. It’s simple, you watch 7 short videos and get a downloadable workbook for each video. There is also a 30-day Moneyback Guarantee. Fun stuff, seriously, it really is fun. Enroll today! Click on the picture below for more details.
To be successful with weight loss and the management thereafter, it’s going to take time. But listen up. It’s totally worth it; there’s more to weight loss than weight. In 1992 I was 20 pounds overweight. I wanted to lose the weight, but all the things I was trying weren’t working. If my mind projected a picture you would have seen a desert. No landmarks, no sense of direction, no color, no contrast. I was thirsty.
What gave me a drink was an Indiana Hoosier Basketball game. At the time, I was a freshman at a small private college. The first month was okay, but as months ticked by and the newness wore off, the weight inched on. This college was more clicky than high school, and I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I wanted to be happy, to find me, to be free. Please help me Lord.
My roommates and I were watching TV in the common area when the basketball game came on. It wasn’t like I’d never seen a Hoosier basketball game, my dad is a big fan. But it was something a roommate said that stirred my core, “I’d love to go to Indiana.” I looked at her as she watched the game and asked, “Why don’t you?” She responded, “Because I don’t know anyone and I don’t think I can get in.”
Her answer triggered something inside me. You’re letting the fear of not knowing, stop you? It was as if I was asking myself that question. As I watched the game and the exciting fans…I began to want to be a part of that picture. I wanted a large university experience.
Be true to yourself
In the fall of ’93, I was officially an Indiana University student. I was in a new setting, with new people, and new goals. PLUS I had season basketball tickets! I did it. It wasn’t easy, but it was a game-changer. And you know what happened? I lost the 20+ pounds within 6 months; all because I looked at my thought process first. On the surface, I wanted to lose weight, but deep down I wanted to explore who I was and be true to myself. And when that was put into motion, the weight naturally came off.
Are you asking yourself the right question/s before you start your weight loss plan? Do you have a picture of what you want to be a part of?
To the core:
Which leads me to the core: it’s not what we’re eating or doing, it’s what we’re thinking. It’s not the weight on our bodies that give us frustration; it’s the weight we carry around in our minds that trip us up.
First off, I’m not going to tell you how to lose weight; you’re going to do that. Why? Because I want YOU to see results in more areas than one. I want you to live in harmony with your body, mind, and heart for the rest of your life…not just swimsuit season. And only YOU can make that happen, not someone telling you what to do.
My secret to weight loss starts with W: 5 questions you’ll want to answer.
1:What is your WHY? Why do you want to lose weight? I’m not talking surface answers here. Peal that off, look under that. WHY?
2:What are you WRESTLING with? What’s blocking you from making this happen? What are you carrying around with you? Stress? A belief? Fear? Identity crisis? Loneliness?
3:What is your WAY? In other words, what method works for YOU to reach your weight goals? What are you going to do EACH WEEK to make this happen?
4:What will you WIN? By reaching your goal, what is it going to do for you? Freedom? Confidence? More energy? More outgoing? Motivation? Purpose?
5: What is it WORTH?
I’m happy to say I’ve kept the weight off ever since my Indiana days; even after having a baby and going through steroid treatment for an ailment. I have managed the weight; not the other way around.
If you’re having trouble answering those 5 questions or want to dig deeper, I would love to walk with you and discover things you might have not known. You may find the desert is only a mirage. There is no better feeling than saying, “I finally figured it out.”
My Wellness Way is an online course to help you lose weight and keep it off. My approach is long-lasting, easy to do, and benefits you not only in body but mind. The program breaks-down into seven sections, each with a short video and workbook. Did I mention affordable? Get more information here. Save the day with My Wellness Way!
“You let this little thing tell you what to do?” – Diana (Wonder Woman)
Tears streamed down my cheeks. “Dear God, how am I going to do this? I have too much going on…too many hats to wear: Christmas shopper, decorator, home manager, wife, mom, personal banker, blogger, volunteer, and now a student?”
I enjoy these many hats, I really do! But this December I got carried away. I had a hard time sleeping, completing a thought, and taking care of my own physical ailments. I felt like I just existed. Don’t get me wrong it had its fun times with family and friends; but there were challenging, brain-draining, and humbling realities scattered throughout the month.
Wonder Woman Activate
During the second full week in December my expectations for myself where stupidly unrealistic. Not only did I have the usual Christmas preparations and home duties, but I started an online class! WHAT? “Wonder Woman Activate!” I would say to myself. “Wonder Woman Activate!” I pictured this tall, confident, strong woman with fists on hips seamlessly do everything with a smile and wind blowing through her hair.
“Wonder Woman Activate! I can do this.” Then out of nowhere, a hawk landed on the back deck. Was this a sign? BARK! Bark, bark, bark! My dog saw the hawk… I snapped out of my dream. There I stood looking outside. My eyes stung. My arms crossed. And a golf ball size knot grew in the nook of my neck.
“Wonder Woman Active”, came out of my mouth like a broken record. My mantra did not work.
I found myself on my knees. My dog looked at me and knew what was ahead, annnnnd…yup…there it is.
Tears streamed down my cheeks. I stretched my neck side to side and bowed my head with fingers intertwined, “Dear God. Help. Help me manage all this.” After a few minutes of “sob-fest”, I sat there on my knees. It felt good to take a breather. Real good. So I gave myself a time-out. I stood up and walked to the kitchen. My praying hands unfolded and tied the strings to my apron. A deep breath filled my lungs as I closed my eyes to envision my ‘go-to’ recipe… Christy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.
As my hands got busy, my tangled world loosened up just enough to welcome in some wandering. A heaping cup of flour, a pinch of salt, and a few hardy shakes of cinnamon were ready to be mixed. The beaters spun. My brain zoned-in on the mesmerizing hand mixer. The hum of the beaters, the swirl of the dough, and the smell of sweetness filled my senses. Then it was as if time clicked into slo-mo. Thunk-a, thunk-a, thunk-a. Each beater spun with poise. Each beater focused on the job. Together they mixed the ingredients with accuracy. I watched them work. Thunk-a, thunk-a, thunk-a. Wait a second…I watched them work. All of a sudden I was back in the Hall of Justice! This time I wasn’t looking to utilize the powers of Wonder Woman, but of the Wonder TWINS!
My “Wonder Woman Activate” affirmation was wrong. I laughed out loud about my realization, my confusion. Let’s try this: “Wonder TWINS Activate!”
I quickly found a picture online of the Wonder Twins. Oh my gosh! Remember Gleek the monkey? Zan and Jayna’s purple bodysuits? Whoa…I have Jayna’s same haircut!
While cleaning the cookie dough bowl…with my finger…I still laughed about the superhero mix-up. As I detached the infamous dough-draped beaters my thoughts went back to my reality. What was I trying to prove with this juggling of hats? That I could do it all? That I could be that strong woman who holds everything together?
A blow to the gut
For one last lick, I swiped my finger in the umbrella of the beater. As I was enjoying the flavors I felt a brick hit my stomach, not because of the raw cookie dough, but because I understood my madness.
I was trying to achieve all these things to prove to myself that I could do it all. And do it…all…by…myself. Why?
It was at that moment realized there was a little something telling me what to do…i. The very letter that is in the center of pride, anxiety, and exist! Pride was getting in my way. Anxiety was stealing my joy. To just ‘exist’ was sabotaging my goals. I was holding me BACK!
It wasn’t the tasks I needed to manage; it was my motive that needed attention.
What did I do next? Five things.
I asked God for clarity and perspective.
I found my Wonder Twin. And called on them when needed; whether to physically help, to listen, or to be my cheerleader. “Wonder Twins Activate!”
Took things one small step at a time, step, by step, by step.
Made time to hang with my family and put aside the “I”.
Gave myself permission to take a time-out every once in a while and baked cookies.
1cupKing Arthur's Gluten-Free Baking MixBaking mix. Use a heaping cup.
1/3cupEnjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips MiniThese are allergy-free, read package.
Preheat oven to 370. Tear a sheet of parchment paper and put it over the cookie sheet.
Add the coconut oil, brown sugar, and cane sugar to glass mixing bowl and mix with hand mixer until mixed together
Add egg, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Mix until together
In a separate bowl, add a heaping cup of King Arthur's Gluten-Free Baking Mix, salt, and cinnamon. Hand mix with a fork.
Gradually combine both bowls while mixing with the hand mixer. Mix until all together.
Fold in Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips Mini with a wooden spoon.
Scoop dollops of dough about the size of the wooden spoon and place on the cookie sheet. Allow 1-2 inches between dollops.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven and set the timer for 11 minutes.
While cookies are baking, clean-up the dishes. Please don't eat raw cookie dough due to the egg. We don't need tummy aches.
When cookies are done, slowly transfer them to a cooling rack if you have one. Otherwise, remove the cookies from the cookie sheet in a minute.
Calorie count is a guesstimate for one cookie when baked. It depends on the size of the cookie. Also the cost of the batch of cookies is also an estimate.
For the remainder of the month, my Wonder Twin and I worked together. We joked as we cooked meals, we encouraged each other managing the house, we were present with each other, and we played games with our son and dog.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work…” Ecclesiastes 4:9
This past December taught me something unexpected; my real superpower came from putting the “I” aside.
The cookies I baked that day didn’t last long. In fact, I made another batch that coming weekend. Who knew cookie dough would be so powerful?
Here are some of the ingredients I use for my cookie recipe. Don’t forget to use a glass mixing bowl! Plastic bowls have a tendency to add unwanted flavors to the cookie dough, plus there are chances of chemicals or plastic leaching into your delicious cookies. I use these, click on the picture below for more details.
Click on the picture for nutrition information and details.
Click on the picture below for ingredient information and more details.
It was the first day of track practice. I was a freshman in high school. This year I was going to run the 800 meter. But today I was in for a surprise I would carry for years to come.
My track coach guided us to dirt trails in the woods behind the school. He said, “Ok guys, we’re going to do the three-mile loop before we practice on the track.” I looked at my friend with wide eyes and whispered, “I’m a sprinter. I’m not sure I can do this.” My stomach fluttered. I took a deep breath. My coach instructed, “Pace yourself.” I had no idea what he meant.
How running changed my life
That day was the start of a new habit I would use and apply to my personal life, work, and spiritual arena. Who knew running would be so beneficial for not only the body but for the mind. My legs were definitely tired that day, but more so I was amazed I was actually running a long-distance!
My self-doubt turned into self-confidence. As I practiced long-distance running I began to feel it change me. It changed not just my physique, but how I thought.
I learned how to think about nothing; yet also how to think and solve problems. Nature was more noticeable. Creative thinking came naturally. I gained more confidence in school, and I had more courage… all because of running.
The Pastor had it wrong
Just knowing I had an outlet (running) for hard days, was comforting. I knew that running may not solve all my problems, but it would get my blood flowing and mind working on how to understand my challenges.
My Pastor preached awhile ago about how we can help the world. He mentioned during his message that he was a runner and how much he depended on his runs. He said running helped clear his mind and solve problems. I could relate.
But he said something I disagreed with. Nonchalantly he slipped in there, “Running doesn’t help the world”. Well, that caught my attention and I wasn’t going to let that fly.
That afternoon I e-mailed him and said, “Pastor, you say a lot of things that are right, but today you got something a little wrong…about running. It may not be the activity that helps the world, but it’s what the activity does for the person who can change the world.”
If you’re not a runner or can’t run due to injury that’s okay. Any activity outside will work. Try walking, cycling, hiking, or even gardening. These simple activities do more than you think. Keep at it, you’ll see.