AdvoCare Recipes, Shopping Guide, and more!

24 day challenge icon

 

I was so excited when I got my hands on the 24 Day Challenge Recipes. (updated!)   Always looking for something new, the recipes in the 24 Day Challenge meals are fantastic!   I’m really enjoying testing them out for our family.

And who doesn’t love a grocery shopping guide to help you navigate the crazy grocery store?!

A few people have asked me to assist with their meal planning during the cleanse phase and max phase.  Please comment below or contact me and I will gladly help out!

OH!   Have you downloaded the AdvoCare app?   Check it out!

digital 24 day challenge

 

AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge – results

I finished with my first AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge.

And the results are in…

Measurements for the 24 Day Challenge:

Neck– down 3/4 of an inch

Bicep: half an inch

Waist: down 1 inch

Hips: inch and a half

Thigh: down 2 inches.  (Those squats and lunges paid off!)

Total inches:   5  3/4 inches!

Weight:  Lost 10 pounds

Towards the end I could feel muscle starting to build back on, so I wasn’t as worried with what the scales said.  Just happy with how I felt.  My clothes fit better and I have a LOT more energy than a month ago.  I feel confident and don’t miss junk food.  After a week or so I started to crave veggies ALL day long!  Not coffee, not chocolate, not greasy chips, I wanted healthy veggies!   Just shows that when you give you’re body what it needs, it responds better for you!

I’m proud of myself for keeping it up for 24 days.  It’s true, after a while it becomes a routine and then a habit.  The one thing I will work harder at is being consistent at the gym/running/working out.  When traveling it’s really hard to keep up with that, but it makes a difference!!

If you have ANY questions or want advice about doing a cleanse or a challenge like this, feel free to ask me!  It would be my joy to help anyone be make healthier choices and enjoy life!

Flounder Piccata with Lemon, Capers and Artichoke Sauce

It’s HOT outside!  As in 102 as the high today, and it’s not even June yet.  Welcome to Texas,  y’all!  

These hot days make me crave citrus flavors and something light to eat.  When I came across a recipe on Skinnytaste.com for Flounder Piccata it sparked my interest.  Unfortunately, our grocery store did not have fresh flounder.  With a little bending of the rules, though, I created a terrific dinner that is great for the summer!

Follow the recipe link above, but feel free to substitute as needed for your dietary needs.  I used fresh tilapia filets and added in a can of quartered artichoke hearts to the sauce.  The artichokes added in a nice vinegar taste along with the capers.  Yum!

Let simmer until reduced to half
Let simmer until reduced to half

The finished product!!

dinner 2

Quick and Healthy – Taco Soup

It rained here,….sort of. It was dark, windy, and raining south of Midland/Odessa when I left work. It rained for a good 5 minutes and then it stopped. Just like that. You couldn’t tell on the streets or side walks that we’d received any rain in our neighborhood. I guess I should be thankful for 5 minutes of rain, it’s better than no rain at all!

Inspired by the cloudy evening, I decided to make one last stew before temperatures are in the 100’s for the rest of the week.

 

Taco Soup

Taco Soup
Taco Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 small can of green chilies
  • 1 packet of Taco Seasoning (low sodium)
  • 2 cups of water

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse the black beans and corn before combining with full can of kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, green chilies, and taco seasoning. Stir well and let simmer.
  2. Saute chopped onions and ground turkey until turkey is cooked through.
  3. Add meat and onions to the mixture and add 2 cups of water.
  4. Allow to bubble and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve with cheese and corn chips.

 

*I use lactose free cheese and a gluten free corn chips. This helps keep my allergies in check as well as makes the recipe a bit healthier!

Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)

During the AdvoCare cleanse, I find that I do better if I have snacks readily available during the day.  Sometimes I get so busy at work I won’t have time for lunch, but can grab a hand full of trail mix or an apple.  

Here’s a strange thing,….lately I’ve been craving something spicy!  If you know me, you know that I’m a baby when it comes to turning up the heat of food.  I can’t handle ANY spice without saying “It burns my tongue!!”  My family may never let me live it down.  I don’t know why, but I’ve wanted spicey things lately.   Strange, right?!?!  So last night, I had an idea:  make a snack with some kick to it!  And so I started something new for us:  

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Favorite Seasoning
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400.  
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Drain both cans of chickpeas and blot with a paper towel to soak up any excess water.  The less water the better!
  4. Spread out chickpeas on parchment paper.
  5. Generously dust/sprinkle with your favorite seasoning.  (I used a Cajun seasoning to get that spice kick I’ve been craving!)
  6. Drizzle olive oil on chickpeas just to cover, then toss so it’s well spread.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes then stir to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Bake 20 more minutes.  Look for a golden brown color in the chickpeas.  Once cooled, they should have a light crunch.
  8. Enjoy!
Spread out chickpeas on parchment paper

Spread out chickpeas on parchment paper

Tony Chachere's, my seasoning of choice!

Tony Chachere’s, my seasoning of choice!

Easy Mexican Salad

I suppose every good recipe has a story behind it.

This recipe was taught to me by a guy I dated in college.  To be quite honest, I was very hesitant to try his cooking since majority of the time we spoke on the phone I always heard the fire alarm going off in the background because he had burnt something.  On the night he made this dish, we went to grocery shop together.  He kept calling it “taco salad” so I went with the typical tex-mex Taco Salad with guacamole, pico, taco seasoning, etc…   After over an hour of miscommunications, he convinced me  that this WAS taco salad because his momma told him so.  HAHA!

Though the relationship didn’t last, this recipe has been one that I’ve passed on to countless friends!

Ode to my ex’s mother:

Dear Cindy, though the relationship was not meant to be,

I’m forever grateful for this fantastic recipe!

And with that, here we go!  Mexican Salad

image

Ingredients:

  • fresh spinach leaves (can use any other type of lettuce)
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef (can substitute quinoa, I used both for extra protein)
  • 1 bottle of fat free Catalina dressing
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn, rinsed
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag of Frito’s corn chips

Directions:

1.  Prepare the ground beef and/or quinoa.  I used a lean ground beef and a black bean quinoa.  The flavors really complemented each other.   Once ground beef is cooked through, drain well and set aside.

quinoa

Roland brand Quinoa, ready in 15 minutes!

lean ground beef

lean ground beef

2.  Rinse both corn and black beans before heating them in the same skillet as the ground beef was in.  Once warmed, mix ground beef, corn, and black beans together.

ground beef, quinoa, corn, and black beans with dressing on top.

ground beef, quinoa, corn, and black beans with dressing on top.

3.  Add Catalina dressing to the mixture, being careful not to add too much.  I taste test as I go to get the right flavor.

catalina

4.  Plate fresh spinach leaves and add Frito’s to the plate.  This gives a nice salty crunch to the salad!

And voila!  A simple and very quick meal.

The best part, the dressing!

Advocare Chicken and Spinach Skillet Review

I tried out a recipe from the Advocare 24 Day Challenge Cookbook. I was not very impressed, to say the least. The concept, a one pot meal, was good. It just lacked in flavor.

The dish involved sauteing onions and celery in olive oil, searing chicken breasts on each side, then letting spinach wilt while the chicken broth and sliced almonds simmered in the mix.

To spice it up a bit, I added capers That one ingredient kicked up the flavor and made the dish. I’m not totally sure of the nutrition value on capers but I’m going to go with they’re not bad. How could something so flavorful and tiny be that bad? We’ll go with that reasoning for now. I only added a tablespoon, just to get that ‘bite’ and bold flavor mixed in.

My guinea pig/taste tester (grandfather) was not a fan of the chicken. “It’s dry,” he said flatly. (Though not true at all, I think he meant that the chicken itself didn’t have much flavor.) However, he LOVED the spinach, celery, onion, almond, and caper mix!

Next time around, I might pound my chicken breasts to make them a bit flatter, or slice them into strips to get more of a flavor while cooking.

So there you go, Advocare. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a solid 5.

2013-04-16 19.36.31

Chicken and Spinach Skillet Dish – from Advocare

  • 1 to 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 – 4 thinly pounded chicken breasts
  • 1/2 of a fresh lemon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning (or to taste)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 – 4 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1/8 cup of slivered almonds

Lightly spray a large, nonstick skillet with no fat/no calorie cooking spray. Lightly sauté celery and
onion about 1 -2 minutes, add chicken breasts and cook until almost cooked through on each side.
Season with a very small amount of sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon pepper seasoning.
Squeeze lemons juice on top of chicken as it’s cooking. Add almonds. Once chicken is almost finished
add spinach (3-4 large handfuls or 1 bag- they shrink significantly). Pour broth over spinach. Cover
and cook till chicken is done and spinach is cooked.

WordPress Stats: addicting!

Everyday I check the stats for our blog to see what people are checking out.  The topics/pages that get the most hits:  our Advocare results!

I couldn’t believe it when I looked at a monthly view of how many hits we get per day from Pinterest.  And the crazy thing, we never intended that to happen!  We thought we’d blog about our experience with a 10 day cleanse, but never gave thought to posting our recipes from everyday things.  But now….maybe people really do like my cooking finds and ideas!

So, new goal:  post more recipes that I make on a regular basis that work well with Advocare/Paleo as well as links to good food articles for people.   I love to cook and help others find healthy and great tasting recipes, and maybe,…..just maybe,…….this is a great start to it!

Thanks, WordPress, for the addiction of checking my stats and giving me feedback on what I need to work on for the blog!  Appreciate it!

Healthy and filling! Quinoa salad

Thanks to my amazing sister-in-law (Jenny, YOU ROCK!) I’ve been loving my subscription to Clean Eating Magazine.  Great recipes and ideas of how to keep my family eating well.   I tried a variation of one of the recipes last night, and it was FANTASTIC!   Easy to make and throw together, healthy and filling, this recipe has been added to the KEEP pile of recipes in my kitchen.

SIDE NOTE:

Who Knew? Digestion begins long before you put food in your mouth. According to nutrition expert Kathie Madonna Swift, MS, RD, LDN, our other senses, notably smell and sight, can jump-start the production of saliva and enzymes that promote better digestion. This so-called cephalic digestion—cephalic being Greek for “in the head”—explains why the appearance and aroma of food goes beyond mere aesthetics. According to Swift, attractive presentation, pleasing odors, and a relaxed mood improve digestion. So do yourself a favor and set the table with attractive dinnerware and light a candle or two.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Braised-Chicken-with-Artichokes-and-Olives-51150800#ixzz2PVtzRz6f

*****So on that note, please forgive my pictures and lack of presentation.  One day I hope to be that amazing blog with beautiful pictures of food and dishes and table settings.  But until I win the lottery and hire a photographer to follow me around (why can’t we all look like Giada when we cook?!?!), my iPhone camera will have to do for my cooking photos.  Thanks.

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened craisins
  • 1 cup chopped raw pecans
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • chopped green onions, about 1/3 cup (depends on how much you like green onions)

Directions:

– Cook quinoa according to package.  I used Bob’s Red Mill last night.  LOVE it!

Bob's Red Mill Quinoa

Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa

2.  While quinoa cooks, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup.   Set aside

3.  Chop you other ingredients.  You can add so many other variations to this recipe.  I used the pecans my dad hand-picked and shelled for me from East Texas.  YUMMM!  So good!  Almonds, walnuts, and others can be used, too.

lots of yummies to add to the salad!

lots of yummies to add to the salad!

4.  When the quinoa finishes cooking according to the package directions, pour the olive oil mixture and stir until quinoa is completely coated.  (if preparing this for the next day, reserve about 1/4 of the liquid and pour over salad when ready to eat.)

5.  I mixed in 1/2 of the spinach leaves and allowed them to wilt just a bit from the steam.  Also mix in the craisins and nuts and let sit for 2-3 minutes.  This allows the craisins to plump up a bit.

Mix well so that the quinoa is coated with the dressing.

Mix well so that the quinoa is coated with the dressing.

6.  Serve over a bed of spinach and enjoy!

What a great lunch!

What a great lunch!

This was great warm, and even better the next day when cold.   I added in some grilled chicken for the guys, knowing that they love to have some type of meat with their meal.  Easily that could be left out and just a vegetarian meal.