Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chicken Fajitas

This is another recipe that is super easy to prepare in the morning and keep refrigerated all day until you are ready to cook!  I prepared our fajitas while I was making lunch today because I knew we'd be at the gym tonight.  I wanted the ability to just heat up a pan and throw our dinner in once we arrived home and have dinner ready within 15 minutes…  You can easily use whatever peppers you have on hand.  I had red, green, and yellow so I used all three.

Chicken Fajitas
serves: 4

Ingredients: 
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 large chicken breasts, cut in strips
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp oregano
juice from one lime
3 cloves garlic, diced (or 1 tbsp pre mined garlic)


 Directions:
Put all ingredients (minus extra virgin olive oil) in large ziploc and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat pan over medium-high heat with extra virgin olive oil
Dump all ingredients in and cook until chicken is no longer pink.


If you are having this for lunch or having it on a "refuel" day, feel free to serve over 1/4 cup brown rice!  We also put a splash of hot sauce on top.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Breakfast

Here is a typical breakfast in our house - 

two eggs with a variety of veggies, sea salt, and black pepper
turkey sausage

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I found a recipe for Turkey Lettuce Wraps on skinnytaste.com and changed it a bit to work as an appropriate meal on the 24 day challenge.  


Ingredients: 

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.3 lbs extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 8 large lettuce leaves from Iceberg lettuce

Directions: 

Brown turkey in a large skillet with extra virgin olive oil. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well.  Add onion, pepper, and tomato.  Mix and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Wash and dry the lettuce. Place meat in the center of leaf.

Monday, April 16, 2012

24 Day Challenge: Days 8-10

Pre-Breakfast:
Immediately after waking, take your PROBIOTIC RESTORE ULTRA TABLETS with water
Drink SPARK

Breakfast: 
Take 2 OMEGAPLEX with meal
Have your FIBER DRINK
*Be sure to use a shaker to mix fiber drink as it can get clumpy.  Drink immediately after mixing.  If you do not like the taste/consistency of the Fiber Drink you can try adding a splash of your SPARK to it or a little lower sugar orange juice to help with the taste/consistency*
Have a bowl or piece of fruit (grapefruit or berries are good choices)
Eggs (add chopped veggies to eggs if desired) OR Oatmeal (serving size: 1/2 cup woman or 1 cup men)
**Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes are also a great alternative for breakfast on the 24 day challenge**

Mid Morning:
Drink a glass of water
Snack options: Fruit, raw veggies, Larabar, unsalted almonds, cashews, rice cake with almond butter, etc.

Lunch: 
Drink a glass of Water
Lean Protein (Chicken, Tuna, Salmon) with a salad or veggies

Mid Afternoon:
Tired? Drink a SPARK or water
Snack options: Fruit, raw veggies, Larabar, unsalted almonds, cashews, rice cake with almond butter, etc.

Dinner:
Take 2 OMEGAPLEX with meal
Lean Protein (Chicken, Tuna, Salmon) with Veggies
Add salad if desired

Evening:
Snack options: Fruit, lean protein, 1/4 cup unsalted almonds or cashews

Texas Caviar


Thanks for this recipe, Heather!

2 avocados, diced
1 tomato, diced
4 gr onions, chopped
cilantro, to taste
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can of black eyed peas (drained)
1 Clove of garlic or 1 tsp pre-minced garlic
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tbs red wine vinegar
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients
Let sit in fridge for about 3 hrs to let the flavors set 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sweet Potato Wedges

Love fries?  Here's a healthy, tasty alternative.  
We had these with bun-less guacamole burgers tonight!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
 Cut 2-3 sweet potatoes into wedges
Put in large ziploc bag
Add 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Chop fresh rosemary (to taste) and add to bag
Close bag and shake so all wedges are covered 
Cover a baking sheet with nonstick tin foil (saves in clean up later)
Spread wedges on baking sheet and bake about 30 minutes
Flip wedges 1/2 way through cooking time.

Spicy Speedy Stuffed Peppers

Recipe from Everyday Paleo
by Sarah Fragoso

While this recipe is AMAZING, I didn't find anything "speedy" about it.

Ingredients:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds italian pork sausage
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tbs dried oregano
1 tbs garlic powder
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 yellow crookneck squash, finely chopped
3 cups fresh basil, chopped
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
5-6 bell peppers
1 tbs hot sauce (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Fill large pot with water and bring to a boil.
3. While waiting for water to boil, put 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil in another large pan.  Saute the onion, celery, and carrots until the onions become translucent.
4. Crumble in the sausage and ground beef and add the dried seasonings and the hot sauce if desired to the meat before its entirely cooked.
5. Add the yellow crookneck, basil, and tomatoes, mix well, and let the meat and veggies cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for another 10-15 minutes.
6. In the meantime, remove just the tops of the bell peppers and rinse well to remove all the seeds. 
7. By now the water should be boiling.  Place the bell peppers gently into the boiling water and submerge them for 5-6 minutes or until the bell peppers are just a little soft but not falling apart. 
8.  Pull the bell peppers out of the water with tongs and arrange in a large glass baking dish.  Fill each bell pepper with the meat mixture (don't be shy, stuff em good!) and bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Leg/Ab Workout (No gym required!!)

I found this crossfit workout on runnersworld.com - I did it today and it was killer!  No gym or equipment required.  
35 Squats
35 Situps
35 Squats
35 Situps
35 Squats
35 Lunges (35 with each leg)
35 Squats
This is one round.  The complete workout is 2 rounds.  If you are new to working out, try starting with 10 of each, instead of 35.  Work your way up over time!  Your legs will feel this the next day!

Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad

Grill or bake a large package of chicken early in the week.  Refrigerate it to have protein ready to go.  This meal came together in under 5 minutes since we already had grilled chicken prepared in the fridge!

We had baby spinach, raw carrots and cucumber, sunflower seed kernals, grilled chicken, fresh black pepper and a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing

24 Day Challenge: Days 4-7

Pre-Breakfast:
Immediately after waking, take your PROBIOTIC RESTORE ULTRA TABLETS with water
Drink SPARK

Breakfast: 
Take 2 OMEGAPLEX with meal
Have a bowl or piece of fruit (grapefruit or berries are good choices)
Eggs (add chopped veggies to eggs if desired) OR Oatmeal (serving size: 1/2 cup woman or 1 cup men)
**Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes are also a great alternative for breakfast on the 24 day challenge**

Mid Morning:
Drink a glass of water
Snack options: Fruit, raw veggies, Larabar, unsalted almonds, cashews, rice cake with almond butter, etc.

Lunch: 
Drink a glass of Water
Lean Protein (Chicken, Tuna, Salmon) with a salad or veggies

Mid Afternoon:
Tired? Drink a SPARK or water
Snack options: Fruit, raw veggies, Larabar, unsalted almonds, cashews, rice cake with almond butter, etc.

Dinner:
Take 2 OMEGAPLEX with meal
Lean Protein (Chicken, Tuna, Salmon) with Veggies
Add salad if desired

Evening:
Snack options: Fruit, lean protein, 1/4 cup unsalted almonds or cashews

Before Bed:
HERBAL CLEANSE TABLETS with water

Product Info: Meal Replacement Shake


KEY BENEFITS:
Only 220 calories
Balanced meal for optimal nutrition and weight management
24 grams of easy-to-digest protein
High in dietary fiber (5-6 grams)
50% of the Daily Value of calcium
26 vitamins and minerals
1:1 ratio of proteins to carbohydrates
Low sodium and low fat

IS THIS YOU?
Someone who wants a nutritious meal on the go
Someone seeking a balanced, low-calorie meal for your diet and exercise program
Someone seeking to lose or maintain weight in a healthy manner
Someone who has limited gastric capacity or requires an easy-to-digest, light meal
Someone looking for an additional source of protein to supplement your diet

THE ISSUE:
There are two major obstacles in todays culture that make healthy eating a formidable challenge. One obstacle is our schedule. Todays fast-paced lifestyle often has us rushing out the door to work or school with no time for breakfast. We often sacrifice good nutrition for convenience, opting for the high-fat combo meal or the nutrient- starved microwave dinner instead of a meal thats fresh and nutritious. The other obstacle is that even healthy options may not always be as balanced or complete as we need them to be. For example, the right amount of protein and other nutrients may also be high in calories and fat. Its difficult to take the time to prepare healthy meals on a regular basis, and yet thats exactly what our body needs to maintain steady energy levels.

THE SOLUTION: Meal Replacement Shake
Receive complete nutrition in a light, refreshing meal even when youre pressed for time or trying to lose weight. Available in berry, chocolate and vanilla flavors, Meal Replacement Shakes are easy to make and deliver balanced nutrition that taste delicious. More importantly, Meal Replacement Shakes offer a powerful combination of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fiber that are wholesome and easy to digest. With 26 vitamins and minerals and only 220 calories per serving, Meal Replacement Shakes are an excellent addition to your weight management program. They give you an alternative to high-calorie meals packed with sugars, fat and other empty calories, and provide the protein and nutrients you need to stay at your best.

One of the most distinguishable features of a Meal Replacement Shake is its protein content. Each shake packs 24 grams of easily digestible protein, more than twice what youll find in many leading health shakes on the market. Because protein is the building block of muscle, and because muscle is your bodys best engine for utilizing fat as an energy source, the protein in Meal Replacement Shake supports your bodys ability to lower body fat. Furthermore, studies have shown that a 1:1 protein-to-carbohydrate ratio supports weight loss and provides sustained energy for healthy weight loss. Meal Replacement Shakes provide that optimal ratio to help facilitate healthy weight management.
Meal Replacement Shakes also provide the vitamins and minerals to make them one of the most well-rounded meals you can find. Nutrition authorities recommend that we consume at least 25 grams of fiber each day, although most of us only consume 12 to15 grams. Each shake contains five grams of fiber (chocolate flavor includes six grams of fiber) to help make up for where your diet falls short. People who eat high-fiber diets are less likely to gain weight because fiber helps curb your appetite and supports regularity. Meal Replacement Shakes also address calcium intake. While it is recommended that most adults consume 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium each day, the majority of us consume only 500 to 800 mg. Calcium is vital not only for strengthening our bones and teeth, but it also plays a vital role in every cellular activity in our bodies. Meal Replacement Shakes provide 500 mg (50% DV) of calcium in every single serving.

Directions For Use:
For ages 12 and older. Blend, shake or briskly stir contents of one pouch into 9 fluid ounces of cold water until smooth. Can be blended with fresh or frozen fruit for flavor variety.

Key Ingredients:
Protein, calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin A, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin B-12

Purchase your AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shakes HERE!

Grilled Kabobs with Asparagus

Kabobs are one of our favorite things to grill and are 24 day challenge meal approved!  
Make kabobs using chicken (add steak if desired) and a varienty of vegetables.  We used green peppers and unions, but you could easily add cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.  You could even add pineapple for a delicious twist!  
Salt free Mrs.Dash seasons are a good option for seasoning.  You could also use items like lemon pepper, sea salt, black pepper, etc.  
 If you are short on time around dinner, these can be prepared the day prior or earlier in the day.  
 Asparagus is an easy side dish.  We lightly brushed with olive oil and added a little black pepper and garlic salt.
 Tip: Throw leftover chicken/steak on the grill to refrigerate for use on salads later in the week!
Dinner is served!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

It's a cold, rainy day in Upstate NY - the perfect weather for soup…

Recipe adapted from Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso


 Ingredients:
2 Butternut squash
2 garlic cloves (or 2 tsp preprepared minced garlic)
1 white onion
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
black pepper to taste

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes-1 hr 
(I flipped them over 1/2 way though)
Remove from oven and scoop squash out of skin

 Add garlic and onion in a food processor (I don't have one so I used my blender) with the squash and process until completely smooth.  (I had a hard time getting mine smooth without any liquid, so I added about a 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to the blender to help).

 Transfer to a large soup pot and add the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Turn down to low and let the soup simmer, stirring often for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

 
Enjoy!

24 Day Challenge: Quick and Easy Snack Ideas

Here are four quick and easy "grab and go" ideas for your mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks!

1. Fruit
Apple, pear, etc

2. Almonds
If portion control is an issue, go ahead and get the 100 calorie packages.  These are available at most grocery stores

3.  LARABAR (www.larabar.com)

LĂ„RABAR is a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. Made from whole food, each flavor contains no more than nine ingredients. Pure and simple, just as nature intended.  These are a HUGE favorite in our home!!
4. Rice Cakes with Almond Butter

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dinner Recipe: "Spaghetti"




Make a family favorite with spaghetti squash instead of pasta!



For our family of 4, plus lunch leftovers, we used the following recipe:  



Noodles:

Cut two small spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and baked them at 375 degrees for 1 hour.  I put about a 1/2 cup of water in the pan and set the squash upside down.  When they are done you just put a fork in it and twist. It magically comes out just like spaghetti noodles! 


Sauce:

1 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup bell pepper, diced


1 pound lean ground beef (we used 93% lean)
1 jar of marinara sauce (option: get a flavored variety of sauce to your liking)
1 clove garlic, diced (or 1 tsp pre diced garlic from the jar)
Oregano seasoning to taste (we used about a teaspoon)
Salt (we used sea salt) and pepper to taste. 


Heat pan with a splash of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.  Add everything but the marinara sauce and cook until meat is browned and veggies are cooked.  Drain off any fat.  Add marinara sauce.  Simmer until squash is ready, stirring occasionally.


Delish! Got the idea from a Savannah friend.

24 Day Challenge: Days 1-3

Breakfast:
After waking, have your SPARK and FIBER DRINK.
*Be sure to use a shaker to mix these drinks as they can get clumpy.  Drink immediately after mixing*
*If you do not like the taste/consistency of the Fiber Drink you can try adding a splash of your SPARK to it or a little lower sugar orange juice to help with the taste/consistency*
Take 2 OMEGAPLEX
Have a bowl or piece of fruit (grapefruit or berries are good choices)

Mid Morning:
Drink a glass of water
Fruit is best for cleansing.  Add in 3 hard boiled eggs or plain oatmeal if needed.

Lunch: 
Drink a glass of water
Lean Protein (chicken, tuna, salmon) with a Salad
Complex Carb if needed (rice, hummus, oatmeal)

Mid Afternoon:
Tired? Drink a SPARK or water
Snack Options: nuts (almonds) , seeds, raw veggies, or fruit, rice cakes with natural peanut or almond butter

Dinner:
Take 2 OMEGAPLEX with water
Lean Protein (Chicken, Tuna, Salmon) and Veggies

Evening:
Fruit if needed

Before Bed:
HERBAL CLEANSE TABLETS with water



Additional Tips For Success:
**You also want to be drinking 2 glasses of water between each meal and snack.  Your goal should be 1 gallon per day!**
1. Try to stay away from fried foods, refined sugars, bread, wheat products, alcohol, dairy, coffee, and soda.
2.  The best fruits to eat during the cleanse phase are apples, grapefruit and berries (fibrous and low glycemic)
3.  Stick to clean proteins like tuna, salmon, eggs,  and chicken.  Stay away from processed lunch meats.
4.  Eat clean carbs like rice, hummus and oatmeal
5.  Add in Spark when you are feeling tired.  I prefer it in the morning and mid-afternoon.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Advocare Herbal Cleanse System

The AdvoCare® Herbal Cleanse system can help rid your body of toxins and waste with its unique blend of herbal ingredients. Using a systematic approach, this 10-day system guides you day by day through the steps for thorough internal cleansing and improved digestion. Herbal Cleanse supports the body's metabolic systems and general health during the detoxification process by helping to keep energy levels up, aiding in removing impurities and supporting the immune system. Some people who use Herbal Cleanse for the first time experience an encouraging weight reduction and/or reduction in inches when they pair the system with the recommended diet and exercise. 

Each Herbal Cleanse system includes these three key products:

ProBiotic Restore™ ULTRA: Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that confer health benefits on the host. Our bodies must maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria to work at its best. When this balance is disturbed, it can have significant negative effects on our health. ProBiotic Restore ULTRA contains a superior multi-strain probiotic complex that provides four billion colony forming units (CFU) of freeze dried friendly bacteria to support your body's overall health by main-taining the normal, healthy balance of microorganisms your body needs. This probiotic complex with six high potency strains - three species of Lactobacillus and three species of Bifidobacterium ensures full coverage of both the small and large intestines. ProBiotic Restore ULTRA helps strengthen and support our immune system, supports intestinal health and function, aids in digestion and enhances your weight loss program.
Take on days four through 10.

Fiber Drink:: Fiber Drink is rich in the mixture of fibers your body needs to work at its best. Each serving contains 10 grams of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber to help add the fiber your diet may not provide. As part of the Herbal Cleanse system, Fiber Drink also helps move the toxins and waste material through the digestive tract while scouring your intestinal tract to support improved nutrient absorption. Take on days one through three and again on days eight through 10.

Herbal Cleanse Tablet: The Herbal Cleanse tablet provides herbal extracts that help rid your body of the impurities that may be obstacles to achieving better health. One ingredient, senna leaf extract, is known for its use to relieve occasional constipation, as well as to encourage the movement of waste through the intestinal tract. Beet root powder and wheat grass juice are included to aid in the reduction of metabolic by-products in the blood and liver. Cranberry juice powder helps cleanse impurities from the kidneys and aid in excretion through the bladder. The Herbal Cleanse tablet also contains milk thistle extract, which has the active component silymarin. Silymarin has been traditionally used to aid in eliminating toxins from the liver and is also an excellent hepaprotectant and antioxidant. Echinacea, astragalus, garlic, zinc and vitamin C help support the immune system. Herbal Cleanse tablets also contain a wide range of B-vitamins to help maintain energy levels during the detoxification period. Take on days one through seven.

The 24 Day Challenge

Looking to jumpstart your weight loss? Looking to break through a plateau? Then take the 24-day challenge! This bundle features everything you need to get you going toward your next goal.


Each 24-Day Challenge includes:
  • One box of Herbal Cleanse-Citrus
  • One bottle of OmegaPlex®
  • One box of AdvoCare Spark®-Mandarin Orange
  • One box of AdvoCare Spark®-Fruit Punch
  • Your choice of one box of Meal Replacement Shakes - Chocolate, Vanilla, or Berry
  • Your choice of one box of MNS® Max 3, C, or E

Days 1-10 Cleanse Phase

The first ten days are about cleansing your body of toxins and preparing for optimal nutrient absorption, and you may enjoy weight loss as well!
  • Herbal Cleanse-Citrus: helps to cleanse and detoxify your body.
  • OmegaPlex®: essential fatty acids for increased overall wellness.
  • AdvoCare Spark®: nutritionally-advanced energy

Days 11-24 Max Phase

Give your body the best tools you need to achieve your next weight management goal during days 11-24!
  • Metabolic Nutrition System (MNS®): Your choice of Max C+ (appetite control), Max E+ (energy), or Max 3 - for weight management, appetite control and overall wellness.
  • Meal Replacement Shake - your choice of chocolate, vanilla, or berry: Complete nutrition in a great-tasting shake!
  • AdvoCare Spark®: nutritionally advanced energy
+ Compared to MNS Max 3


Purchase your 24 Day Challenge Bundle here: https://www.advocare.com/120328999/Store/CatalogView.aspx?id=A

Questions?  Reach us at northcountryadvocare@yahoo.com