Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Do you suffer from Chicken Boredom?? Try Cilantro Lime Chicken!!

Assuming you’re not one of the poor unfortunate souls who tastes it as “soapy” (which is actually a genetic difference and not something any of us can change), cilantro is a great, fresh-tasting way to pep up some roast chicken. Add some lime juice and chili flakes for even more zing, and garnish with (you guessed it) more cilantro for an easy but flavorful meal. 

I served this up with some grilled asparagus and mashed potatoes with a little cilantro to spice them up!! Why Not! 
Add a side of guacamole and Bang!! Chipotle Queen!! 


Cilantro Lime Chicken 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs 
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil;
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin 
  • Cooking Fat (ghee or evoo)
  • 4 tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. red chili flakes

  • Lime wedges, for garnishing
  • Fresh cilantro; for garnishing

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. 1.) In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, red chili flakes, cumin, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. 2.) Add the chicken to the cilantro sauce, and let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. 3.) Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  4. 4.) Heat up some cooking fat in a skillet (I used cast iron) and brown the chicken on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. 5.) Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. ENJOY!! Garnish the chicken with fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Beginner’s Guide to Once a Week Food Prep + A ton of Starter Recipes and Meal Prep and Snack Ideas

Food Prep can seem so Overwhelming..... at first!! But just like the first time you tried to ride a bike, it takes practice!! Over time you will become a food prep master, and trust me, it doesn't take long!!

A Beginner’s Guide to Once a Week Food Prep

I want you (my reader) to read the posts I write and think to yourself “I can do this”. I do not want you to feel overwhelmed or that it’s too out of reach. BELIEVE ME if you knew me in “real life” you would say “Dang, if Sara can do it then I can definitely do this”. Not kidding! 
Some of my closest friends wonder how I even make it out the door on time some days. But one of my favorite quotes is “It never gets easier, you only get better”. This is so true. 
The more I work at something the “easier” it gets. 
Not because the task itself got easier but because I got better. I evolved. The person I am today with food prep is not the person I was 5 years ago just starting out.

Don’t try to prep it all!

First and foremost, when starting out, don’t try and make ahead your entire weekly menu plan. This will completely overwhelm you – it can still overwhelm me. Start slow. The first week prep 1 or 2 recipes ahead of time and as you get comfortable with the process you can prep more.

Don’t try new recipes

When starting out with food prep it is best to stick with recipes you already know. This way you are confident in the outcome of the recipe and the only thing you need to focus on is preparing it ahead of time. This is the way I started with my food prep. I took recipes that I made often, like turkey meatballs, taco meat, Steak Fajitas and baked chicken breast, and prepared them ahead of time and then stored in the refrigerator and sometimes freezer. I was able to focus on what worked, what didn’t, and most importantly it allowed me to experience the benefits of having food ready. I know taco meat and baked Chicken breast is easy to make but I still found having these meals made ahead of time to be extremely beneficial.

Choose which recipe(s), if made ahead of time, would make the biggest difference in your week!

This is huge! If you are short on time or don’t have the energy to prepare a lot of food then prioritize your meals. Which recipe, if made ahead of time, is going to make your week easier? If you are rushing around every morning and always running out of time for a healthy breakfast then maybe focus on preparing egg white muffins  or Shakeology at $4 a meal is the easiest blend/shake grab and go, or shakeology breakfast bars!  If dinnertime brings you the most stress then put together some meal starters or prep ingredients for a couple slow cooker recipes. If you are always running to the vending machine at 3:00pm then put together some veggie packs or bags of almonds. 
What is going to make it easier for you to eat healthier during the week?
When I was working out of the house having a shake for breakfast and lunch prepared was huge. Or I would prepare egg white muffins and shake for lunch!! If I didn’t I was going to the vending machines or ordering out for sure. You can view all my mason jar salad recipes here.

It is not necessary to cook all the food you prep

Food prep can be anything. You don’t necessarily need to cook all your meals completely. It can mean chopping up onions, peppers, or other vegetables ahead of time for recipes. Washing fruits and vegetables so they are ready for snacks. Portioning out nuts, crackers, or other food items for snacks. Cutting up chicken or beef to be recipe ready. Whatever is going to work.

Even the littlest bit of food prep makes a difference

I used to think if I did not have hours to set aside for prepping my food then why bother. Obviously, that is not the right approach to take. There are always going to be weeks my time is limited. If I wait for the right time or more time then I would never do anything. It is important to make the most of the time you have and do what you can. I have since learned that any food prep is better than no food prep at all. Some weeks I might not get any dinners prepped ahead of time but if my eggs are boiled I know I have fast food or even my eat clean egg salad can be done, then at least I don’t need to worry about lunch. Breakfast is covered with shakeology.


There is no right or wrong way to food prep.

The options are endless when it comes to prepping food ahead of time so there really is no right or wrong way to do it. Basically, it comes down to just making time and getting it done. However, just like any weight loss strategy, to be sustainable it needs to fit into your lifestyle. Basically this means do what works for you. If the only thing you want to prep each week are hard boiled eggs then that’s fine. Or maybe you find it helpful to make mason jar salads, quinoa, or rice , and a couple slow cooker stuffed peppers. Whatever will meets YOUR needs. Don’t get bogged down in thinking it has to be done a certain way. Also, it is very important to remember that I have been doing this for 5 years. I have lots of practice and made my fair share of mistakes. What works for me might not work for you. I share the strategies and tips I have learned along the way in hopes that you will take and adapt them to fit into your lifestyle.

Meal Prep and Snack Ideas

Give yourself time to reap the rewards and make it a habit

I think with any Healthy eating or weight loss strategy it is really important to keep at it long enough to experience the benefits, see the results, and form new habits. Remember it takes about 3 weeks to form a habit. Weekly food prep is no different. Don’t throw in the towel if it doesn’t work out the first time. Or the first few times. Adapt and overcome. Expect to make adjustments along the way. Food prep is about making your life easier. Sure it takes a little effort and time upfront but it is worth it. It is so rewarding to open up the refrigerator door and see healthy delicious meals and snacks ready to eat. It was a game changer for me and I am confident it will be for you too.

Here are a ton of easy recipes and meal/snack ideas for your first weekly food prep day. 
Sara's Recipe Book - Clean eating Recipes Click Here 
21 Day Fix Recipes - Portioned controlled color coded meals Click Here
Whole30 Recipes - 30 days of focused eating and eliminating and adding back in foods after. Click Here


50 healthy SNACK Ideas: Click Here 

Remember don’t do them all. 
Pick 1 or 2. Then the next week add on another one and so on. Do what you can. 
Always keep in mind even a little food prep is better than nothing. ~ Sara 



If you are Ready to start focusing on your health and fitness and need more 1:1 guidance over a post here for 30+ days!! Hey it's a Lifestyle!! 
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Whole30 Surf and Turf

Classic surf and turf (filet mignon and lobster tail) is a perfect special occasion dinner ~ elegant and surprisingly easy to make at home. 

My  recipe instructions ensure that both the steak and the lobster are cooked to perfection without a lot of fuss and include a simple clarified whole30 approved compound butter for added flavor. If your significant other is anything like mine this meal is sure to knock his meat and potato socks off!! :)



Surf and Turf Dinner for Two

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 lobster tails (5 ounces each)
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 2 filet mignons (1-1/4-inch thick)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the compound butter:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted Clarified butter, softened (You could also use Ghee)
  • 1/2 medium shallot, very finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preparation: 
Remove the filets from the refrigerator to allow them to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Prepare the clarified compound butter by combining the softened clarified butter, shallot and parsley in a small bowl. Mix well, then spoon the mixture onto a sheet of wax paper and form it into a small cylinder shape, about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 small baking sheets with aluminum foil and coat them with nonstick spray. Choose sheets small enough to fit in the oven side by side.

Place the lobster tails, top side facing up, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, carefully cut a slit down the center of the shell, leaving the fan end intact. Be careful to insert the tip of the shears just under the shell to avoid cutting through the meat.

Spread the shell apart and very gently loosen the meat, leaving it fastened at the fan end. Pull up gently, press the empty halves of the shell back together and rest the tail meat on top.

Prep Tip: To help loosen the meat from the shell, carefully insert an upside-down teaspoon between the underside of the shell and the meat. The shape of the spoon conforms to the segments of the lobster shell, and being smooth and rounded, it helps to separate the meat without shredding.

Carefully rinse the lobster tails under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Should you find a vein that runs the length of the tail meat, remove it and discard.

Arrange the tails on one of the prepared baking sheets, squeeze a little lemon over each and top with a pat of the compound butter. Set aside.

Preheat a heavy skillet over high heat. Drizzle the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Film the pan with a little extra oil, then sear the steaks just until they release easily from the pan, about 1-1/2 minutes per side.

As soon as you begin searing the steaks, place the lobster tails in the oven and cook until the meat is firm and opaque, 6 to 8 minutes total. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Watch the lobster carefully - you don't want to overcook it.
Once the steaks are seared, quickly transfer them to the other prepared baking sheet and place them in the oven for 4 to 7 minutes depending on desired doneness (about 4 minutes for rare). Remove from the oven and allow the steaks to rest for 5 minutes.

Arrange the filets and lobster tails on individual serving plates, top each filet with a pat of the compound butter and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings

Serve with mashed potatoes, halsalhof potatoes, roasted asparagus and/or a big salad!! 



Easy Romantic Meal For Home and Cost WAY less than your local steak house! 


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Whole30 Appetizers and Game Day Recipes!!

Well just because the Steelers aren't going to the superbowl it doesn't mean I won't watch it...... So I decided to pay my dues to all of you and create a Super Bowl Whole30 Appetizer list as payback for the terrible game my home team played in the playoffs!! LOL! 

All joking aside I have a goal to make this weekend better than my last and 30 day pictures coming up Monday!! So ON POINT I will be!! 



Are you thinking about starting Whole30 after the Super Bowl? Join my Facebook Accountability Group! I will be posting meal and recipe ideas, encouragement, and humor for anyone who needs some help! 

Nothing is easier to travel with or crowd please than a veggie tray!! Now Since you can't dip in hummus what will you dip with??? Plus this will be great on your Chicken WINGS!! 


How about Whole30 approved RANCH!! It takes 5 minutes to make and EVERYONE has time for that!! 


Whole30 Approved Ranch 




Ingredients:

• 1 egg
• 1 cup "light" olive oil
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon pepper
• 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
• 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
• 2 TBS Dill Weed 

Instructions:
  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl. Blend with immersion blender or food processor until all ingredients are combined. Let set in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. Will keep for 1 week!

Ok DO NOT ADJUST YOUR EYES!! This Next Recipe will BLOW YOU AWAY!! 

Perfectly breaded and Whole30 Compliant 
Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets!!



Ingredients:
  1. 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1/2 Cup Dill Pickle Juice
  3. 2 eggs, Beaten
  4. 1 can Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  5. 1/2 C. Arrowroot Powder
  6. 2 Tbls Paprika
  7. 2 tsp garlic powder
  8. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  9. salt and pepper to taste- I like to use sea salt
  10. 1/2 Cup coconut oil for frying
Instructions:
  1. First, prepare the chicken by dicing into 1-2 inch cubes
  2. Add diced chicken and pickle juice to a mixing bowl and cover
  3. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours
  4. After chicken has marinaded in pickle juice, drain pickle juice from bowl and add coconut milk and beaten eggs to the chicken
  5. Toss the chicken in the mixture and let sit for at least 5 minutes
  6. Mix the dry ingredients- arrowroot powder, salt & pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika in a shallow pan
  7. Add batches of chicken to the dry ingredients. Make sure to cover each piece of chicken completely with dry ingredients.
  8. Heat a cast iron skillet with the coconut oil on medium-high heat
  9. Once the oil is hot, add one batch of chicken at a time
  10. Do not crowd the chicken- this will take 3 or 4 batches- and make sure to turn each piece individually once the crust has browned, about 3 or 4 minutes per side
  11. Drain cooked chicken on a drying rack over a baking sheet
  12. Keep cooked chicken warm in the oven at 170 degrees
Notes: Serve with Whole30 Compliant Ketchup or Ranch Dressing

WHOLE30 Approved Hot Wings 


INGREDIENTS:
  • 15-20 Chicken Wings/Drums
  • ½ cup of Franks Original Hot Sauce (make sure it is the original without sugar!)
  • ¾ cup of heavy coconut cream
  • ½ tsp Roasted Granulated Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F - cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil - place a greased cooling rack on the cookie sheet so that the wings cook up on the rack.
  2. Rinse and pat dry chicken wings
  3. In a skillet, blend hot sauce, heavy coconut cream, garlic powder and smoked paprika - allow the coconut cream to melt into the hot sauce, making the hot sauce look creamier.
  4. Set aside ¼-ish cup of the sauce for later
  5. Lay a few wings at a time in the hot sauce, covering them thoroughly with the sauce. When they are covered in the sauce, place them on the cooling rack (that is on top of the cookie sheet.) Cover all wings with sauce and lay all of them on the cooling rack with a little bit of space between each.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes - flipping the wings half way through. Before you put them back in the oven drizzle the remaining hot sauce on the wings.
  7. I wanted to crisp my wings up just a tad so when they were done baking, I flipped the oven to broil for 2 minutes.
  8. These pair well with the Whole30 Homemade Ranch and Celery!

Not a Carnivore?? 
Try these Meatless Wings With Cauliflower!! I LOVE THEM even as a meat eater!! 




Like chicken wings, it really doesn’t feel like the Super Bowl without some good ‘ole Guac. I add tomatoes to this recipe but other than that it is PERFECTION!!

Guacamole!!



 serves 4 people
    INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 avocados
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • salt (approximately 3 generous finger-pinches of Kosher salt)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Aleppo pepper (optional) *Substitute hot paprika, cayenne, or crushed red pepper flakes. Ancho chile powder would be the closest substitute,possibly combined with a dash of salt.
INSTRUCTIONS:
1.) In a medium bowl, combine the minced shallot, salt, and lime juice. Let sit for 10 minutes.

2.)Pit and peel avocados. Take half of the flesh and mash it in a bowl with a fork.

3.)Pour the lime mixture into the bowl and combine with the mashed avocado.

4.)Dice the remainder of the avocado flesh into ¾-inch cubes and gently incorporate into the mixture in the bowl.

5.)Add freshly ground pepper and Aleppo pepper (if desired) to taste.

ENJOY!! Put this condiment on any and everything or just spoon it directly into your mouth!

So that’s what I’m making! I hope this provided you with some Whole30 inspiration leading into your Super Bowl weekend! 
If you liked this post you should check out my Facebook Page and Instagram 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Whole30 Week 2 Review!

Alright the hardest part was definetly week ONE!! Week two was BLISS!! I was in the grove with my workouts, my meal plan and shakeology as a snack was the secret sauce!!

AND than my weekend got switched up SUPER busy and..... I did good, but eating away from home can be tricky!!
I asked questions at the Memorial service I was at to the food staff, but I am not sure if they knew what was in the food. So I had veggies and gluten free meatballs and tried my hardest to get the sauce off because I am pretty sure sugar was an ingredient.



My point is Life happens and I got so much from this memorial service mentally for a teacher I had and the amazing life he lead and touching others lives.

That being said. I did my best and I am not starting over but giving myself grace and moving forward. I know I am a rule breaker but this is my personal journey and I am happy with the way I am feeling and how my mood, sleep and toilet habits have changed! :)


The beginning of my week is going to look very similar to end of last week since I have my meats defrosted and ready to go for this week, but I plan on trying a few new meals so I can have more easy meals to share with you and my group for accountability in february!!



I have noticed my water is slacking!! So this week my goal is to track my water and get it in!!
I love this trick! Wrap a hair band, rubber band or something around your glass! As you fill up move a band up! Easy! 


So onward and upward week 3 in full effect and I will be adding the sloppy joe and salmon cakes recipe this week!! Stay tuned here! The sloppy joe was great friday night, however I may change the name because in my mind sloppy joe wasn't what it tasted like. So my mind didn't care for it but my taste buds loved it! I know I am weird like that but honestly!! It matters! 



Make it a great week!!  
Sara

For accountability and support online message me or click here for a free consultation! 




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Whole30 Recipes that Made the cut this week!!

Ok the #1 message I am getting is " Sara!!! Help me with Whole30 Recipes!!" I hear ya! 


I am on day 10 so I have a few but I will add MORE!! I have tried a few that I will not add here so that gives me about 6 days give or take not counting going out to eat on date night!! I am listening! I am cooking like a MAD women!! :)


Whole30 Beef and Broccoli 


Whole30 Beef and Broccoli 

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 7 cups cut up broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-1 1/5 pounds flank steak or sirloin, cut in strips against the grain
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (optional for a thicker sauce)
Instructions:
  1. 30 minutes before cooking take beef out of the fridge. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, add 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos, and EVOO to marinate the steak.
  2. Add oil to a large skillet and turn the heat on to medium-high.
  3. Add the beef and cook for 3 minutes per side. Remove and Set aside
  4. Add the rest of the ginger, coconut aminos, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to create a sauce.
  5. Add Broccoli to hot pan, if dry add coconut oil. Saute broccoli for 1 min and keep it moving on the hot pan. Add 2 tablespoons of water cover Cook until the broccoli starts to soften- about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the beef and sauce cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. If desired, add the tapioca starch and stir until sauce is thickened.
  8. Plate and garnish with toasted sesame seeds
  9. Serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or zucchini noodles.
Enjoy!!


Slow Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Lemon, Garlic and Basil

1 boneless pork loin
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 cup lemon peel, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup dry Sherry Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar (watch out for added sulfites) 

Score the pork line with a knife. Whisk together the parsley, onion, lemon peel, basil, garlic and two-thirds of the olive in a small bowl. (Reserve remaining olive oil for later use.) Rub this mixture onto the pork, distributing it evenly. Wrap the pork loin in foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the pork loin from the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature (about an hour). Preheat oven to 350o Fahrenheit
Brush the remaining olive oil onto the pork loin and set on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast the pork for 2 ½ hours, or until meat registers 170o Fahrenheit in the center. Set aside.

Add the vinegar to the juices in the roasting pan. Deglaze over medium heat on the stovetop for 2-3 minutes. Pour off into a gravy boat or bowl. 

Transfer pork to a serving platter and garnish with fresh lemon slices and additional parsley, if desired. Serve sherry sauce separately.
Enjoy!!

So that's what I got so far!! 
Stay tuned for more!!
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 1 Whole30 Review!


Week 1 SEE YA!! Here we go Week 2!! 

Whole30 week 1 review 

 

Whole30 and Shakeology (nutrition)
P90X3 on Beachbody On demand (workouts)

As a coach I run accountability groups online. Every Sunday in my group we all share our meal plans and set up for success for our week! This holds me accountable as the coach as well as a place for me to share the nitty gritty day in day out grind of changing unhealthy habits!! 

Week 1 of the Whole30 was HARD for me and I know w/out their support I would have given in and thrown in the towel!! My mind wanted me to give in, stop the headaches and just be OK with eating "clean" and still having my little cheats. 



Today I feel like a million bucks!! I am sleeping better, my intolerances to the healthy food I was eating have gone away. TMI poop talk is gone from my life!! AMEN!

So THAT makes it all worth it!!

I started Monday already 9 pounds down for the month of January with changing my mindset with food, eating clean, and adding movement. CONSISTENCY!! I said it is my Middle Name and I mean it! Adding in the Whole30 is to fine tune and listen to my body and what it is that I need to feel amazing, EVERYDAY.


So we will see where the scale tips 23 days from now. That rule I am following! However I will not stop drinking shakeology. I have replaced a meal/snack a day with a shake and it is NON-Negotiable for my health and has been the Key factor in removing prescriptions from my Personal life with PCOS. or lack there of if you are me!! TMI again!! 



Alright!! Week 2 meal plan!! 

Whole30 Meal Plan with Vegan Shakeology 

Focus: 
Workout: Less Modifications with my workout.
Nutrition: Change Shakeology from my lunch to a Snack

For Information on my next accountability group click here, fill out this form and I will get back to you ASAP!!
 https://sarastakeley.wufoo.com/forms/mgc3hfx1br2qs5/