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

 

Perk up your Salad!

Need a new flavor for your spring/summer salads?   Try this ah-MAZ-ing Poppy Seed Dressing!  Jolene at Holly Hill Homestead has always been one of my favorite chefs in the entire world.  I think she has outdone herself with this dressing.  

image (4)

Try it on fruit salad, with a spinach and strawberry salad on a hot day, ontop of grilled chicken, and more!  I can’t say ENOUGH about this.  THANK YOU, Jolene, for making the world a better place with your dressing!  hehe

But wait!  It gets better!   You can stay at her Holly Hill Homestead Bed and Breakfast and she will do the cooking for you!  (just click on the link)   Hidden in the woods of North East Texas, enjoy a day of antiquing in nearby Jefferson, visit many lakes in the area, or just lounge on the back porch and let the country just cleanse your soul.   (trust me, it’s so worth it!)  

Check out her Blog here at Atop Holly Hill.   She has lots of yummy recipes waiting there for you!  Enjoy!

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.

My Single Saturdays Revisited

I love being married!   Date night last night was fun and dinner was fantastic.  Robby surprised me with flowers and my favorite cookies when he came home from work.  Awwwe!

picstitch

And then, we went to Osaka for hibachi and sushi.  Oh, this man deffinitely knows the way to my heart – good food!   We always have fun while at hibachi because it gives us a chance to talk and catch up while the food is prepared in front of us.  Last night’s realization was that we are learning what the other likes and we’re able to order for the other one easily.  There wasn’t even a questions about what to order last night – filet (medium rare) and scallops with fried rice, cucumber salad, edemame, and a sushi roll.  BOOM!  Just like that, we were on the same page.  I love it!

Hibachi is great!
Hibachi is great!

But today….I sing a different tune.   I’m happy to be back to my “old’ way of life – being single on a Saturday morning!

While single, my Saturday morning were pretty routine and I was very happy with that.  Wake up late (9:00am….that’s late for a teacher!), grab a cup of coffee and breakfast, surround myself with magazines and blankets on the couch, and catch up on Food Network and HGTV Shows.   *sigh*  Those were lovely days.  I never woke up early enough to make breakfast during the week days, so breakfast was exciting for the weekend!   After leisurely reading and being lazy, around noon I would start to grade papers, clean, and work out, and get ready for whatever the Saturday night would hold for that weekend.  Saturdays were MY day.  Saturdays were relaxing, restful, and productive in the afternoon.

This Saturday, I relish in the quiet and peace in the house.  Robby is playing in a golf tournament.   Daddy Jim is gone to work a bit and then play gin rummy .  And me…..I’m reliving my single Saturdays of days gone by.   Brand new coffee cups welcomed me this morning with a hot cup of coffee and toast from our Bountiful Baskets pack.

I love my new coffee cups!
I love my new coffee cups!

On TV, Giada just shared her wonderful recipe (just for me, I’m sure of it.  Only Giada knows how much a LOVE risotto!) for risotto with bacon and kale

Bacon and Kale Risotto
Bacon and Kale Risotto

I’m being inspired on HGTV for renovating a house that I don’t have.  But it’s fun to dream, right?!?  Yard Crashers make me wish we didn’t live in a drought…or made more money to pay for water to take care of a lush backyard.   I want a pergola and a water feature and a built in, fully functioning, our door kitchen in the shade that over looks our pool with a swim up bar.  Who doesn’t, right?

Dream pool with outdoor kitchen
Dream pool with outdoor kitchen

Yes, today is laziness at it’s best.  And I couldn’t be happier!

And now….it’s time to hit the gym, go grocery shopping, and return to the real world.

AdvoCare Cleanse – Day #8

Almost finished!  We’re very ready to be done with the cleanse.  For some reason, as we drove to church last night, we began to talk about the food that we just want a taste of.  We’ve had the strangest cravings along the way for things that we don’t even eat but maybe once a year.  (For example, I began to crave strawberry pop-tarts with frosting while watching The Nut Cracker with friends on Saturday night.  What?!?!   Where did that come from?  I don’t think I’ve bought pop-tarts since I lived in the dorms at college.)

Breakfast – back to the fiber shake, along with probiotics and a meal replacement shake.  It’s become the normal now, and I sort of enjoy it.  Don’t get me wrong, though, I still miss my morning cup of coffee.  It’s one of the 1st things I will do off of the cleanse!   but I’ve grown quite fond of my caffeine free hot tea.

Tonight for dinner we made a stir-fry with all of the fresh veggies from Bountiful Baskets.  This is all the wonderful food we got last weekend.   We used half of it if not for dinner for snacks and breakfast today.  So good!

image-3

 

stir-fry dinner

stir-fry dinner

 

On another note, Robby shaved his beard this weekend!  WOOHOOO!  I am not a fan of the facial hair on my husband, never have been.  When I snuggle up to him with my head on his shoulder, his whiskers scratch my face and my hair gets caught in it.  Eeewwwwee!   I adore his clean shaven face.   Here are the before and after pictures:

Before, this is my husband....Grizzly Adams.

Before, this is my husband….Grizzly Adams.

After!

After!

And so we wind down night #8 and get ready for day #9.  Almost there…….

AdvoCare 10 Day Cleanse – Day #4

Not a bad day! (minus a few migraines, but other than that good stuff!)

No fiber drink for breakfast, yippee!  But started the probiotic pills and lots and lots of water.  No cravings today, and actually…I couldn’t even finish my lunch!   Maybe my stomach’s shrinking?!?!

Quinoa, grilled chicken and tomatoes

Speaking of lunch, it was delicious!   Stroke of genius last night and I decided to sauté some tomatoes with garlic and mix it with the left over quinoa and chicken.   AH-MAZING!!   This is definitely a keeper for post-cleanse.  So filling, all healthy, and easy to take to work.

I snacked on some fruit salad and enjoyed the rest of my afternoon with no problems.

And then…..I went to the grocery store.   UGGHHHH!   So many distractions everywhere!   Here’s just a few pictures of the things my taste buds just about jumped off of my tongue and ran sprinted to.

Double stuffed oreos, a favorite of Robby's.

Double stuffed oreos, a favorite of Robby’s.

Never had these, but I'm craving bread and chocolate.  Best of both, right?!?

Never had these, but I’m craving bread and chocolate. Best of both, right?!?

BREAD!!   I WANT BREAD!   Like the kind you get at italian restaurants with the dipping oil.  Ohh baby!

BREAD!! I WANT BREAD! Like the kind you get at italian restaurants with the dipping oil. Ohh baby!

It’s ok, y’all.  I have self control and kept my eyes focused on the tile floor while I walked around the grocery store to get the fresh veggies we needed.   *whew* glad to be out of there!  There’s only so much temptation (and free samples) that this lady can handle!

Got home, changed clothes, walked the dog, and started cooking.  For dinner, we fixed our own version of mexican food.  (That’s right!  Robby was back in the kitchen with me, helping to chop, dice, and prep the food.  He’s such a big help when I’m cooking.)  Lean turkey with taco seasoning, sauteed bell peppers and mushrooms, black beans, lettuce, whole wheat tortillas and much more!  It was a a great meal with lots of room to create-your-own meal.  Robby and I took 2 different approaches, and both were pleasing to the palate.

In the middle of cooking.  Isn't it so pretty and colorful?!

In the middle of cooking. Isn’t it so pretty and colorful?!

Robby's version of dinner

Robby’s version of dinner

I made mine into a salad.

I made mine into a salad.

And so, there you go!  Day #4 in the books and looking forward to #5.  See y’all tomorrow!

AdvoCare 10 Day Cleanse – Day #2

Day #2 – Things are getting better!

I don’t know what happened this morning when we decided to drink the citrus fiber drink.  Didn’t we JUST comment yesterday about how gross it was?  And yet, we did it again.  And we gagged again.  Robby got the drink down, I gave up and made another drink with the peaches and cream.  I will not have a memory lapse on that one again.   EEWWWWEE!   Breakfast meal replacement shake and off to work I went.

It was a busy day and my mind was everywhere except for thinking about food.  YAY!  I forgot that I even had snacks with me to keep me going.  I downed my water through the day and stayed in a good mood.  I had an emergency Slam energy drink, just incase that mid-afternoon slump got to me, but it didn’t!   What did get to me was a migraine.  It’s normal to experience a dull headache during the cleanse if you are accustomed to having caffeine.  Migraines, on the other hand, are not that common.  I took my medicine and powered through.

For lunch, I ate out with a friend.  We went to a place that customizes salads and I picked all sorts of yummy veggies for my salad.  It was filling and kept me focused during work.     After work I got in a good hour workout before going home to cook dinner.

Vegie Lentil SoupAhhh, dinner.  I was excited for dinner.   Why?  Because it was a vegetarian lentil soup!  YUMM!  This recipe is pretty easy to make and cooks for 45 minutes which allows you to clean up, relax, and do whatever.  This soup was fantastic!  So full of flavor and just creamy enough.  (following the directions on the link above, I blended a little bit of the cooked soup and mixed it back in before serving.  That made it more of a creamy soup instead of a broth with lentils.)  Robby wasn’t overly excited about it (he still gives me a hard time if I make a vegetarian meal) I thought it was fantastic!   Keeping this recipe for later in the winter!

No snacks during the evening, but I was extremely productive!  I decorated the house for Christmas and wrote this blog!  WOOHOO!

And now, breakfast and lunches are packed and ready for tomorrow, I’m calling it a night.   See y’all tomorrow for Day #3!