Tag: healthy living

Healthy Chicken Cacciatore

(Gotta love the image… this is what happens when you post to Insta Stories and don’t save the photo first)

I always work to find and make healthy and quick delicious meals for the weekday! Most days I get home after 7 pm and want to be in bed before 10, so my goal is to make it quick and simple! I’ve also been working on eliminating carbs at dinner and finding alternatives!

Since my honeymoon, I’ve lost 8 pounds and am 0.4 away from wedding weight (hoping to be at wedding weight at my weigh-in Saturday). One of the biggest things that has helped me is no carbs at dinner and mostly veggies instead. Carbs give you energy so you don’t need them to sleep. Veggies on the other hand get you full and the little protein I add keeps me full until the next day!

So here is a healthy version of chicken cacciatore that can be made in 1 pot and in less than 30 minutes (and even less time if you buy precut things)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into bite stir pieces
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used coconut oil, but olive oil works well too)
  • 1 onion, cut
  • 2 peppers, cut
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 small potato (I added this because it came in our CSA this week but totally does not need it)
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • Basil, salt, pepper
  • Directions
    1. Heat oil in large skillet or wok… add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes
      Add onion, pepper, and garlic and cook for additional 3-4 minutes, or until veggies begin to soften
      Add tomatoes, optional potato, and eggplant. Season with salt and pepper and basil… I used a few pieces of fresh basil but dried would also work
      Simmer for 7-10 minutes or until eggplant is soft… Enjoy!

    Serving Options

    1. My husband and I love hot sauce so we naturally put some in
    2. The tomatoes make it a little liquidy, which I like and the broth is delicious! You can serve this over a veggie rice like cauliflower rice or brown rice if you are eating carbs at dinner
    3. Feel free to add any veggie to this dish! The original recipe I got this idea from (The Beachbody Blog) had mushrooms and zucchini.
  • As alway, let me know what you think! If you post it on social media, make sure to tag me at @lovelearninghealth
  • It is OK to have a Bad Workout

    workout

    Day 47 today, and it was not my workout day. I woke up, feeling decent, but once I pressed play, that liquid gold, never kicked in. I was out of breath in the first five minutes, I couldn’t lift as much as I did last week, and quickly my enthusiasm for the workout diminished.

    I had some mental choices during this 60 minutes of misery today. I could have easily given up, but I knew that wasn’t a choice I would be making. I then could either choose to suck it up and give it my all, or be annoyed throughout the workout and give it as much as I could in the moment. I did not do every rep, and I even lowered my weights throughout the workout, but at the end of the 57 minutes, I knew I made the best choice I could. I gave it all I could today and was okay at the end of the workout with my effort, because I don’t think I could have given more.

    Having bad days when working out is normal… just like when I was running, having bad running days was the norm. You can decide what you do with the bad day… You can decide how you go about the rest of the day. Just because it was a bad workout, doesn’t mean I ate unhealthy or had a bad attitude all day. I was just glad I got it done, burned some calories, and worked on reaching my goals.

    Embrace the suck, embrace the bad days, becaues it will make the good days that much better.

    Does Your Stomach Shrink?

    IMG_0901

    I have no idea… but I do know how I feel after being so conscious of my meals and portions…

    About 45 days ago, I started a new program that wasn’t just about exercise, but also about food. While I’ve done programs in the past that also had nutrition components, I never really committed and I knew that this time had to be different… partly because I wanted to look the best I could on my wedding day, but also because I knew if I wanted people to trust me, I had to go all in.

    I’ve been about 80 – 90% on this program (I love my wine too much… and when you’re planning a wedding, sometimes you need it) and for some reason, the past four days I haven’t been focusing on it as much. I’ve been making salads, but not measuring portions… I’ve been eating prior to working out, but not being mindful of portions or the type of food… I’ve not been taking my post – workout recover and fruit… and I’ve had a lot more wine that normal, which also means some (okay many) bad food choices… pizza twice, and Chinese food (I can’t believe I’m even admitting it).

    With these changes in my diet in just four days, I miss my old way of eating, and I actually can’t wait to get back to my routine tomorrow. The past few days I have had trouble sleeping, due to being so full, and starting my workout was beyond difficult today.

    Tonight, prior to dinner a Facebook friend and fellow bride and I were talking about does your stomach shrink? And while I don’t know the answer, I can’t even tell you how full I am tonight and luckily I’ve learned to stop. While nothing on my plate was unhealthy or even artificial, I ate my veggies and felt so so full. I had two choices… The old me would have made choice number 1, which is realizing how delicious the food is and continue eating and the new me, made choice number 2, which realized I was too full and could just finish the food tomorrow.

    No one ever said this journey was going to be easy… and depending when you are starting, you have to overcome years of bad habits. I have always been someone who has trouble recognizing I am full and stopping… I have often been the person who goes back for seconds, thirds, and sometimes sixths, because the taste is so good, without realizing my body was saying no more or even worse… wanting the food because it sounded good, even though I wasn’t hungry.

    Commit to yourself and your goals. You are worth it and you deserve to get to the point where you question, “Is my stomach shrinking?”

    What is your Why?

    What is your why?

    Ask yourself this question 5 – 7 times…

    It could go something like this (this is completely fictional):

    1. Why do you want to lose weight?
    2. Because I have a high school reunion coming up and want to look good.
    3. Why?
    4. Because my ex – boyfriend will be there and I want him to know how good I look now
    5. Why?
    6. Because he cheated on me with a girl who was must skinnier and prettier
    7. Why?
    8. Because I had gained so much weight that I couldn’t give my all in the relationship and became depressed and withdrew from a lot of people.
    9. So why does it really matter now?
    10. Because I don’t want this to happen again with my husband who I love so much

    Often times we think we know why we want to start, but until we dig deeper, we might not actually understand the real reason we want to start, and without that real reason, we might not stick with it.

    Go ahead try it…

    Why I Drink Shakeology

    shakeo

    I had a super fun night with my best friend and Maid of Honor last night. I can’t even tell you the last time, just the two of us went out… While I love everything about life right now, it felt good to just go out, sit at a bar, drink wine, and catch up for hours. Besides drinking wine, we also LOVE nachos, so we enjoyed some epic nachos that had buffalo chicken, tater tots, and bacon…

    Anyway, while I enjoyed every moment of last night and don’t regret the food or drink choices, today hasn’t felt great. Not necessarily hung over (thankfully), but definitely sluggish due to the wine and unhealthy food choices. Around 4pm today I made my daily nutrient – dense shake with vegan vanilla, banana, and unsweetened almond milk… and let me tell you I feel so much better. So I wanted to share my top five reasons why I drink Shakeology everyday (in no particular order).

    1. After a night of drinking, Shakeology makes me feel human again. Before I started this journey, my post going out meal was Dunkin Donuts hash browns and a bagel and now its just a Shakeology. Because Shakeology is just loaded with vitamins, minerals, and pre and probiotics, my body kinda gets a  kick of nutrients, which is what my body needs. Not to mention, its about 200 calories, instead of 400 Р500.
    2. Shakeology gives me energy, which is also why it helps after a night of drinking. I don’t need caffeine the way I used to and my energy is more regulated throughout the day. I also love having one at 3 pm since it helps with that afternoon slump.
    3. Sugar cravings have diminished. That doesn’t mean they are gone… but I used to NEED dessert after dinner, but now I need it maybe once every two weeks. Also, on a day like today when I’m on the couch since it is gross outside, I often just want to eat candy… and while I had a few pieces, I quickly made myself a shakeology and haven’t wanted any more sugar.
    4. It makes my nails and hair so much stronger! I love how my nails look each day and how long they get! Perfect for getting ready for the wedding.
    5. It is slightly costly, and definitely more than a lot of products out there… and I know a lot of people don’t even try it because of the money… but the cost actually helps me be healthier… Because I know how much it costs, I don’t like throwing away the money by eating junk later in the day… it helps me stay consistent throughout the day.

    It also tastes good in my opinion and there are so many options! I also love that there are sample packets for both vegan and whey protein, and there is a 30 – day money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied. Interested in trying? Leave me a comment and let me help you get started!

    Just Keep Pushing Forward

    Friday is my “weigh – in day”. It’s the day that I track my weight and measurements to see if I lost anything and for the first time since starting 80 Day Obsession, I gained weight. Over a pound. This is disappointing for a lot of reasons, especially since I have my first dress fitting today (though, I am still less than I was when I bought the dress)…

    However, I have two choices. I can be upset and blame the program and say things like it isn’t working for me, nothing works for me, I’ve tried everything, and give up.

    OR

    I can reflect on the type of week I had… and I’m going to be honest. Last night, I had two margaritas, a glass of wine, guacamole and chips, and half of a salad… (wow just writing that out makes me realize how much it was)… Most likely the weight gain has a lot to do with salt, but reflecting on how much I ate shows me that the program works if you follow it.

    I am not going to dwell on this weight gain today and I am just going to keep pushing forward. I am going to push hard in my thirty minute cardio workout today and make as many good food choices as I can. I know I am doing Happy Hour with my best friend tonight, and I’m not going to hold back because we only live once, but it means the rest of the weekend will be clean eating and lots of water.

    When you have a set back, reflect on why versus giving up. Then keep pushing forward.

    Focus

    Have you ever had a workout where you just were unfocused and didn’t get a great workout? I was feeling slightly sluggish this morning and was fearful that when I pressed play, I was going to have that type of workout.

    Before leg day began, I wrote the word FOCUS on my calendar in my home gym. Every time my mind starting wandering, I looked at that board and told myself to focus… and each time it worked. I upped my weights and burned more calories today than last week’s leg day.

    Give yourself a daily mantra and apply that mantra to each part of your life. Tonight, when my fianc√© comes home from work, I’m going to continue with this mantra of FOCUS… get off the computer and my phone and focus on him and us. Small daily affirmations or mantra’s help you have a better and more positive day. What will your daily mantra be?

    IMG_0820