Reigniting my Love of Food

I did it! I came up with a new recipe that I actually enjoyed. I used to do that a lot — throw things together and love how it turned out. It’s been a while. I haven’t really loved anything I’ve created, more like choked through.

Honestly, to get all yogic, I think I was having a bit of an emotional block or disconnect or denial, about the fact that my body needs to be paleo, and that I ABSOLUTELY can no longer tolerate dairy (of any form, of any amount).

OH, Lord, why hast blue cheeses forsaken thee?

Right before Thanksgiving, I went on a 10 day vacation to Disney World. I set out with intentions to at least eat strictly gluten free (though I kind of think there was gluten in the eggs and sausage I was eating at the hotel). I decided, since it was vacation, I would just pop a Benadryl each day and ignore my dairy intake. Yeah, I had stomach issues for days following and my skin… ugh, it was like I was 15 again. Ick. Luckily, I’m on the mend.

Anyway, I think vacation was an emotional breakthrough for me.  Turns out I absolutely cannot compromise myself any more.

I fully believe yoga, and the awareness it has brought to my body, is my path to physical healing. Without yoga, I wouldn’t have been aware to all the symptoms I was experiencing. This lead me to demanding my doctors do something, which lead me to being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.

Without body awareness, I wouldn’t be in tune with my body’s cues –urging me to cut foods. Yoga helps me listen to my body.

Anyway, here’s that awesome recipe I came up with (forgive my lack of recipe writing)

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Paleo Asian Crock Pot Chicken

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 4 hours high, 8 hours low

Serves: A lot! (Hello leftovers!)

Ingredients

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 medium onion, sliced into strips

5 celery stocks, chopped

1 small bag baby carrots

1 small bag (about 12-16 oz) fresh snap peas

1 8 oz can water chestnuts (I chopped mine a little smaller)

½ cup coconut aminos (or tamari, or soy sauce)

¼-1/2 cup honey

½ tsp garlic powder (or use a few fresh cloves)

Directions: Whisk together aminos, honey and garlic powder. Place all ingredients into crock pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours. (My chicken was still semi frozen and I was in a hurry so I cooked it on high for 4 hours, turned out great!)

The chicken should fall apart when done. Serve over chicken, veggies and a little broth over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. OR, if you’re a grain eater over rice. I made white calrose rice for my husband and daughter. I’ll admit, I indulged in a ½ cup! Absolutely scrumptious over rice. signiture copy copy

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Chicken Soup and Yoga for My Soul

It’s the end of March and it seems the cold and flu season isn’t even close to being finished. As I sit here typing, I’m listening as my poor daughter lies in bed, attempting to hack up a lung (Don’t worry I’ve done all the good-mommy, all natural tricks). She’s on cold # 3 or 4 since November while my hubby and I are on #2. My mom on the other hand has been sick for like 9 weeks straight. It’s been a rough season for sure!

Since going gluten free and paleo, I haven’t been able to enjoy the ever so comforting homemade chicken noodle soup. Likewise, I also haven’t been able to partake in the yummy processed goodness that is Campbell’s Chicken Noodle or Cream of Chicken with a ginormous handful of saltine crackers either (Honest to goodness, there is a really big 5-year-old living in my body who is throwing a huge tantrum about that one).

Either way chicken soup is a must during fall, winter, and the cold and flu season. I mean, I can’t imagine not having some sort of chicken soup. This year I’ve been working on a Chicken and White Sweet Potato soup.

Today, I think I finally perfected it.

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Chicken and White Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

6-8 cups of Chicken Broth (homemade or low sodium)

1 medium onion

5-6 stalks of celery

5-6 whole carrots

1-2 very large white sweet potatoes

4-5 Slices Bacon

1 small Bacon end (optional)

1 cup (or more) cooked chicken

Salt to taste
Directions

1. Make chicken broth (I boiled/simmered 2 carcasses with fat and drippings in about 6 cups of water…added water as it boiled down) OR add store bought broth to soup pan.

2. Dice onions and celery, and peel and dice carrots and potatoes.

3. In a frying pan, fry bacon. Do not discard fat. Remove bacon from pan and sauté onions in bacon grease until caramelized. Dice bacon.

4. Add onions, bacon and rest of veggies to broth. Add bacon end to broth for more flavor, if using. Simmer veggies until sweet potatoes and carrots are soft.

5. Add chicken and salt to taste. Remove bacon end.

Yoga for Immunity.

If you are trying to boost your immunity and avoid a cold, a regular yoga practice can help. Your immune system is weakened by stress. Since yoga and yogic breathing helps to combat stress, your immune system will get a boost just by doing yoga.

If you don’t have a cold and are trying to avoid getting one, try a heated or a vinyasa class. No time for a class? Try three rounds of Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara A) followed by a series of balancing postures such as Tree Pose (Vrksasanana) and Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana). Both flow and balancing poses help to build heat quickly in the body and is ideal for immunity boosting.

If you are currently sick, take it easy! Try a restorative practice. Start with five minutes of focusing on your breath.  Next move into a few rounds of Cat/Cow, take a Child’s Pose, Downward Facing Dog, a lying or seated twist, and end with legs up the wall with your hips supported on a bolster or stack of blankets.signiture copy copy

Flexibility in Training

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Practice: Gentle practice centering around the neck, working into Fish pose and Shoulder Stand.

Inspiration: Flexibility in emotions, thoughts and life in general. ie. bending to be straight.

Life Lesson: I decided to take my daughter and niece to a children’s museum just a quick 40 minute drive up the freeway. The museum had rave reviews and an awesome website showing the fun attractions for my littles to enjoy. A 40 minute drive later…we find the museum is closed and in search of a new location.

Seriously!?! Well, (insert internal explicative here). So we stop at a gas station, grab a cheese stick for the girls and a Kind bar for me. I tell them, over our snack, that we’ll drive back home and go to the library. “Yay! Let’s go!” Their excitement baffles me.

They taught me a lesson in flexibility for sure.

I was grumpy for the rest of the day (could be from lack of carbs). But, the girls enjoyed the library and doing yoga with me, so I guess it wasn’t a total loss.

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