Gluten Free Coconut Crusted Chicken

I decided to try something a little new when I was making chicken this week.  I am a huge coconut fan.  I thought maybe I could give my chicken a little island flavor with some coconut.  Also, if you like chicken that is a little crispy like shake and bake but you don’t want to have to put a bunch of processed/carb-filled breading or seasoning, this works great!

 

Coconut Crusted Chicken

Ingredients:

I used bone in and skin on pieces of drumsticks and wings, but you can use which ever you prefer.

2 Tbsp Unrefined Coconut Oil melted (I used unrefined in this recipe because it retains more coconut flavor than refined)

1/2 a cup Coconut Flour

2 Eggs

1 Tbsp half and half

Shredded Coconut

 

Procedure:

Whisk the eggs with the melted coconut oil and half and half until well combined.

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Place the coconut flour in a separate bowl.

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Coat chicken pieces in the coconut flour.

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Then dip and coat in the egg mixture.  Dunk it in the coconut flour again and then back in the egg mixture.  Follow this for each piece.  Doing this helps the flour and egg to stick on the chicken and coat it better.

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Place coated chicken pieces on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

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After the chicken is all coated, sprinkle and pat shredded coconut all over the chicken. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this part of the process!

Bake the chicken a for 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees.  Some bits of coconut may turn brown which is fine and gives the chicken it’s crunchy texture.  If your chicken is taking longer to cook and you are worried about the coconut coating becoming burnt, simply cover the chicken with aluminum foil.

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This was one of the best recipes I ever came up with!  I hope you enjoy it!

This website has some awesome gluten free recipes: http://glutenfreehomemaker.com/

Getting Started on Paleo

I have had a lot of questions about the Paleo diet and its relation to helping people be successful in losing weight so I decided to do a blog post on it.  Call it a crash course on the Paleo way of  life.

First, let’s talk about what Paleo is all about.  The way I see it, for me, Paleo is about natural/organic, clean eating.  One thing that drew me to Paleo is that it is anti-inflammatory and because of my constant battle against inflammation, I knew this would be a great fit for me.

Some people look at “diets” as restrictive, time consuming, or even just a plan that they stick to so they can lose weight and then go back to life as usual.  I don’t advocate diets, but rather a lifestyle change which now-a-days has become a bit of buzz phrase.  What it means, is that if you want to live a healthy life at a healthy weight and be successful at keeping the weight off you need to overhaul your entire way of eating and looking at food.

Paleo can decrease inflammation, clear up your skin, give you back your energy, help you lose and keep weight off and make you feel fantastic when followed properly.

Now, you’re wondering the big question: “What am I not allowed to eat?”  But, let’s actually rephrase that to: “What am I allowed to eat?”  Looking at it from this perspective starts you out with a positive outlook on this change in your eating habits and the answer is: “ALOT!!”

Focus on eating things that have grown from Planet Earth.  For example, pretty much nothing McDonald’s serves is from Earth.  That may seem funny but its completely true.  Don’t eat at fast food restaurants if you want to live a long and healthy life.  Fried foods in general are a killer.

Pretend you are living in a hunter/gatherer society and you can’t just go to the store to buy food.  What would you find in the wild to eat?  Eat that.  You could find fruits growing on trees and greens for salads as well as some berries and nuts and maybe even some meat.  If you couldn’t find it running around somewhere on Earth or growing, run away from it!

My rule of thumb is to fill 1/2 my plate with veggies.  Green veggies are preferred because they are just full of fiber and nutrients.  Then about 1/4 Meat and 1/4 Fruit.

When shopping for meat you really want to look for grass-fed and organic choices.  We are talking eating clean here, right?

Focus on the ratio on your plate each meal and have fun mixing it up.  Snack on nuts,  fruit, and veggies leisurely throughout the day and don’t worry about calorie counting.

Did you know stress can add to weight gain?  Trust me, I know it can.

I have lost and maintained a weight loss of 30 pounds for over a year now and it’s super easy on this diet.  I have a lot more tips but if you are just starting out now, educate your self and start with this advice.

Also, read this article.

Leave a comment or message me if you have more questions and I will happy to answer and follow up.

Happy Hunting, Paleo People!

Tropicsicle Smoothie

Tonight I decided to make a smoothie to go with my dinner for fun and I thought I would post some pictures of the process and give you the yummy recipe.  This smoothie is one I usually have for or with breakfast but I just had a craving for it tonight so without further ado…

Ingredients:
1 Organic Pineapple
1 Organic Orange
1-1/2 cups Organic Whole Milk or Cream (or substitute with Coconut Milk)
1 tsp Organic Vanilla Extract
8-10 Ice Cubes

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Get your orange and pineapple out and ready.

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Cut the rind off the pineapple.

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Slice into slender pillars.

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Place the pineapple slices into the blender.

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Peel your orange.

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Put it in the blender with the pineapple.

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Add in the 1-1/2 cup of milk.

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Now put in 1 tsp of organic vanilla extract.

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Now let’s blend it up!

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Here it is doing it’s job blending everything up.

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Here is the finished product! Yummy!!

Coconut Oil: A Jack of All Trades!

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Coconut oil, in my opinion, is the best oil out there.  It can do just about anything.  It has a high smoking point and therefore can be used for high heat cooking without burning or becoming rancid.
It also has anti-bacterial properties so it is really good for you!
It is good for helping to lower cholesterol and is a very healthy source of fat.
Not only is it good for cooking but its also great for baking, putting in smoothies, or drizzling over salads.
There are two kinds of coconut oil available on the grocery store shelves.

One is refined which means its had all it impurities taken out and less coconut flavor.  It also has a slightly higher smoking point but is not as nutritious because the process of refining it also destroys many nutrients.

The other is unrefined which means it more raw and has its full coconut flavor, which by the way is amazing!  It’s smoking point is a little lower than refine but it has maintains all its nutrients therefore making it the healthier option of the two.

Did you know coconut oil has other uses besides cooking and eating it?  Ah, yes, I did say it is a jack of all trades.

It can be used to moisturize your lips better than chap-stick.  It can be put in your hair to make it healthy and shine.  You can rub a little on your face to help moisturize and even help get rid of acne.  Some people even swish it around their mouth, something called oil pulling, to help better their over all health.

I honestly can not say enough good stuff about coconut oil.  It does amazing things for your health and tastes great!

Sequoia Sunrise Fruit Smoothie

Today, I’m going to share with you this new smoothie juice I made today.   I hope you like it!

Ingredients:
1 Organic Pineapple
1 Organic Mango
1 Organic Apple
2 cups water
8-10 Ice cubes
See creamy variation at the end of post

Cut the rind off the pineapple and slice into slivers if using fresh pineapple.  Cut the skin off the mango and cut the flesh away from the pit.  Core and slice the apple.  Put all fruits into blender and add the 2 cups of water and the 8-10 ice cubes.  Blend well until smooth.

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Enjoy!

Variation:
Substitute 2 cups of water for cream, milk, or coconut milk for a creamer version.  Also add 1 tsp vanilla for extra flavor.

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Delicious!

A Mean Green Smoothie!

I have found that smoothies are a great way to get all those veggies in your system without having to cook them up or even really taste them if you don’t them at all.  I, for one, love vegetables but as I am trying to include them in my diet for each meal more and more, I find it easiest in the morning to have a smoothie.  Also, they are a great way to give your immune system a boost and fend off illness.  Here’s one of my recipes!

 

Single Serve Mean Green Smoothie Juice

Handful of Spinach or Kale

1 Apple cored

small piece of tumeric

1/4-1/2 slice lime

Ice

Some water

Place all ingredients into a blender. And blend.  Ta Da!  Health in a glass!

This recipe can certainly be altered depending on serving size you want

Note: I use the Ninja blender which comes with a single serving cup attachment.  I highly recommend this blender!  It makes life so easy and its better than juicing because it maintains all the fiber which is great for your body.  You aren’t going to get a smooth juice but it is a very healthy one!

 

Old McDonald had a diet…P…A…L…E…O!

It seems today that everyone I know is on an endless quest for the perfect diet.  The reasons are always different.  Some people want to lose weight, some want to simply eat healthier, others want to eat organic or clean, and still others just get swept away on an endless roller coaster of the best new diets out there.

I, too, have been there.

It started for me as a way to lose weight.  I had tried just about every exercise and the weight was still piling on me.  So, I concluded that it must be my diet. Perhaps, I need a change there.  I tried vegetarian, vegan, occasional meat, and juicing.   I tried weight watchers shakes and did have some intial success with them but I switched to more real foods after the first bit of weight came off.  I tried paleo, high carb, low carb, low fat and high fat.

What did I conclude?

  • Processed carbohydrates are pure evil.  If you want to gain weight and gain it fast, eat those.
  • Vegan and Vegetarian left me hungry.  I know, I probably wasn’t eating enough vegetables, but I just can’t eat enough to keep me from feeling like fainting.
  • Juicing gave me sugar spikes because without the fiber the glycemic index was through the roof.
  • Low fat made me crave sugar.
  • High carb messed with my allergies and caused inflammation
  • High Fat got boring although I do recommend this diet because I was never hungry and I never got fat!  I lost a few pounds being on it and its very easy to maintain
  • Traditional Paleo is good but not great. While I agree with the filling up on lots of veggies and having small portions of fruit and meat with each meal, after my encounter with a high fat diet I have to conclude lean protein is not the way to go.  I also conclude that low fat anything is just plain bad.

So, what in the world am I going to eat?

I propose a hybrid diet and I’ll call it High Fat Paleo!  The high fat diet, commonly called  Low Carb,  High Fat (LCHF) or the Swedish Diet promotes eating fat as your main percentage of calories with protein coming in next and then limiting carbs to about 5-20% of your overall daily intake of calories.  This was hard for me to do.  It meant mostly nuts and berries as carbs and eat lots of dairy, meat, eggs, butter, etc.  The problem for me with this diet was the fact that I am sensitive to dairy and therefore I found out the hard way this diet wasn’t the best fit for me.  I also found out that dairy is highly inflammatory.  For my body, this is not a good combination.

I decided to research an anti-inflammatory diet that would assist me in getting better from some health issues I was having.  To my surprise Paleo is very anti-inflammatory!  I could have fruits again!  I could eat more things I liked again!  And all the while I could cut out dairy which would be great for me.  The one thing I wasn’t keen on was the emphasis on lean protein.  Coming off LCHF and knowing how full and happy I felt after a nice fatty steak, I wasn’t buying the go lean propaganda.  Besides, fat is essential to all functions in our body.  The real enemy is corn fed, non-organic meat.  Instead of worrying about lean meat, everyone should be concerned about what that animal was eating before it ended up on your plate.  The best thing to purchased is organic grass fed beef, and pork or free range chicken.   Grass fed and free range are naturally lower in fat so you are still getting a leaner product but the fat you are getting is much healthier and great for your body.

So, how is this diet working?

Great actually!  I have one free range egg cooked in coconut oil (which is amazing for cooking!) and an apple spinach smoothie.  Yes, with paleo you are supposed to eat your veggies with every meal and while a salad with my egg at 7am didn’t seem appealing, this smoothie did!

Side note on my smoothie juice: I no longer use a juicer, because as I said earlier it takes out all the fiber and you end up with a sugar blast to your system which isn’t healthy at all and can make you gain weight.  No, I now use the Ninja brand blenders that are so efficient they blend the whole fruit and veggies up so well you can drink it straight out of the pitcher.  I add 1 apple, a handful of spinach, some water, and ice and instant health!

For lunch I go for a bed of spinach with tuna fish which is very anti-inflammatory, some tomatoes, and carrots, and a nice glass of water.

Snacks include: bananas, carrots, occasional oat cookies (did I mention I also stay away from grains?), and lots of fun kitchen projects making new amazing treats that I will share, I promise!

Dinner is simple, usually consisting of steak, chicken, or pork cooked some amazing way with spices and butter (I do occasionally use butter, I’m definitely not a food nazi!) and a green veggie.  Another favorite is homemade bone broth soup!

After much trial and error, I conclude the best diet that I think everyone would benefit from is a high fat paleo.  Stay away from things that inflame your body as they cause all kinds of sickness.  Maintaining a good weight and even losing are easier on a diet like this. It’s not as restrictive because if you eat anti-inflammatory for most days, an occasional treat or few days of having to eat other things because you are away or it is a holiday, doesn’t effect weight nearly as much as other diets!  Trust me, I know!

So, if Old McDonald had his choice of diets, he would shout from the barnyard:

“HIGH FAT PALEOooooooooooooo!”

Vegetarian Egg Bake

10 eggs beaten
1/4 cup reduced fat milk
1/4 tsp black ground pepper
cooking spray
1 lg onion
2 cups tomatoes chopped
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup salsa

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
Spray a large heavy non-stick skillet with the cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
Saute onions for five minutes. Add tomatoes and spinach. Saute another 10 minutes stirring frequently.
Transfer veggies to egg mixture and combine thoroughly.
Pour into a lightly oiled glass pie plate and back for 15 minutes or until the eggs are set. Do not over cook.
Serve at room temperature. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa.