BUFFALO CHICKEN SPAGHETTI SQUASH BAKE

  
Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash ( or 2 Small )
  • Franks Hot Sauce
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • 2 organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Organic American Cheese Slices (I used Trader Joe’s brand) Or Mozzarella
  • 1 Large and 1 Small Bowl
  • Baking Dish
  • Aluminum Foil (Optional)
  • Nonstick Coconut Oil Spray

Directions:

  1. Rinse spaghetti squash and stab to allow air to vent. I cook my spaghetti squash in the microwave because it cuts the cooking time in half! Typically 5 minutes of each side does the trick.
  2. Carefully remove squash with an oven mitt and let sit to cool (it will be hot!!).
  3. Marinate chicken in hot sauce and grill until desired. Do not over cook chicken because it will be going in the oven later!   
  4. Once squash is cool enough, cut in half and scoop seeds.
  5. Rake squash with a fork in a large bowl and combine with 1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and garlic powder.   
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking dish with aluminum foil and/or nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Dice chicken breasts and toss with hot sauce in small bowl (hot sauce amount as desired).
  8. Add chicken to the large bowl of spaghetti squash and drizzle with hot sauce.
  9. Pour into baking dish and bake on 350 for 15 minutes.
  10. Carefully remove dish from oven and top with 1 slice of sliced cheese.
  11.  Broil until cheese melts and bubbles. 
  12. Remove from oven. Let sit to cool and serve!     

 

Serving 2-3

HOW WELL DO YOU DO YOU? 

We are told over and over gain how important it is to become a person comfortable in our own skin. The reality is however, that we live in a society that makes this extremely difficult. Social media facilitates feelings of inadequacy and lowered self-esteem.  i.e. If Tom can afford to take his family to an all inclusive in the Caribbean, then I am not making enough. I’m not a good husband. I’m failing as a Dad. I’m not enough. These are real thoughts that cross our minds as we click through our friends most recent posts. But what if Tom and his wife sleep in separate rooms and barely speak? What if Tom is away on business more than he is home? In that case, are their children really happier?

Similarly, clients are constantly telling me they want to lose weight but when I ask them why-superficial reasons aside- they can’t always tell me. They’re going to a high school reunion or a wedding and so and so will be there. Who says there is something wrong with the way we look now? Side note: Americans are sick, and they are often sick because they are overweight. I wouldn’t be in the career I was if this was not the case. However, most of our concerns have very little to do with health until our health is compromised. We are consumed by this need to be enough. We constantly compare ourselves to others and guess what, people who appear to “have it all” usually do not.

Instead of focusing on looking like someone else, working a job you hate, or staying in a toxic relationship, get to know your body (what nourishes it, what doesn’t), take a painting class (if you like to paint), and if someone isn’t a contemporary mirror of yourself, let them go.

How well do you know YOU? Even more importantly, how well do you DO you? I work at this every single day. My career is not typical, neither are my priorities. This means that my life is going to look A LOT different from most of my generation’s. I have to constantly remind myself of this. However…over the last few years, I have gotten to know myself enough to know what my ambitions are and that if I am not pursuing them, I’m not truly happy. Stop looking to other people to make you feel whole and look within.

LUNCHBOX WORKSHOPS

Hosted my first lunchbox workshop tonight with the help of a fellow health enthusiast who has two of her own munchkins that she aims to constantly nourish. More recently I have begun combining my two biggest passions-children and holistic health! I could not be more excited to share the projects I am working on as I strive to create my brand, Lean Life Inspire. 

Parents and caregivers are invited to come assemble balanced, wholesome and creative lunches once a month at Holisitcally Well in Guilford, CT. Packing healthful foods for fussy eaters is not an easy task. We offer tips and tricks to energize your child(ren) through their summer activities and conintue building healthy habits!

Register for the next workshop by emailing info@leanlifeinspire.com! 

  

ALTERED PERCEPTION: Primary foods and Flexible Dieting

Over the last two months, my perception of nutrition has altered in two ways.  The first being that while food certainly is necessary to thrive, it is not the only thing that nourishes us. In fact, through the foundations of the Institute for Integrated Nutrition I have disocvered the term primary food, coined by Joshua Rosenthal. Primary food is composed of four things: Relationships, Career, Physical Activity, and Spirituality. The example Rosenthal gives is that as a child, we are constantly reminded that it is time to eat. We find ourselves so engaged in play, that we forget to eat. At 24, this seems quite foreign to me as I pretty much plan my entire day around the foods I am eating. Partly because I am health foodie, but also because society encourages us to “live to eat.” However, it is significant to understand that when we are engaged and fulfilled in these 4 areas, we eat to live. We eat because we know that if we don’t we cannot fully participate in our primary food. Thus, the actual act of consuming energy (calories) is considered secondary food.

The second alternation comes from a nutritional concept called Flexible Dieting. I became intrigued by FD in January, however I remained skeptical. I spent about a month reading articles that both supported and opposed FD and looking at FD athletes and their stories. While the concepts has a bad rep, I have found it to be extremely beneficial for me both physically and mentally. The assumption is that Flexible Dieters eat whatever they want as long as it fits within their macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats). However, athletes know that when they consume a diet rich in whole foods they feel better and they perform better. The exception is that Flexible Dieters are given the freedom to incorporate foods that a “clean eater” has deemed off-limits. I consumed a clean diet for the last two years. However, I definitely developed binging habits. I would eat perfectly all week and then would consume an entire small pizza, a row of Oreos, and a plate of nachos on my “cheat day.” My body would be so caught off guard that I would not only be depressed the next day, but physically ill…and the cycle continued. This is something that is very common for our extremist society. We do not know how to do things in moderation. Over the last month, I have lost 7 pounds while consuming 200-300 more calories a day, doing less cardio, and incorporating foods like poptarts and Oreos along with whole foods. I know that immediately before and after my workout, my body benefits from consuming simple carbohydrates like a Poptart. However, I also know that I feel fuller and have more prolonged energy after consuming a meal that consists of sweet potato, chicken, and asparagus.

The human body is an amazing organism. When we are sick, our bodies purge the toxins and create antibodies to defend against the illnesses’ return. When we lift weights and tear apart our muscles, our bodies repair them and adapt them so that they are stronger for the next workout. On a daily basis our bodies heal themselve. 

Until we learn to nourish them physically, emotionally, and mentally instead of punish them, we will never  discover our full potential. Eat to live. Do not live to eat. 

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Organic Pumpkin Pure
  • ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 cups Almond Butter
  • 1 cup Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Baking Sheet
  • Olive Oil Spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheet with olive oil spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine pumpkin puree and almond butter. Mix well.
  4. Add pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, pure maple syrup, vanilla, and chocolate chips (if desired). Mix until batter is a consistent paste.
  5. Place teaspoons of batter onto baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Servings vary

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CHICKEN SAUSAGE VEGGIE “SPAGHETTI”

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash
  • EVOO
  • 1 medium Zucchini
  • 1-2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Applegate Organic Chicken Sausage Links
  • Organic Garlic cloves
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Baking Dish
  • Frying Pan
  • Large Bowl

Directions:

  1. Rinse spaghetti squash and carefully stab with a knife to allow heat to escape.
  2. Cook spaghetti squash in the microwave (cuts cooking time in 1/2). Approximately 6 minutes on each side. The squash will be soft when cooked.
  3. Once squash is done, carefully remove from microwave, cut in half, and let cool (15-20minutes). Squash will be extremely hot. I would recommend using oven mitts.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Heat a teaspoon of EVOO and garlic, add chicken sausage, and cook until brown.
  6. Rinse zucchini and tomatoes. Slice Zucchini (1/2 inch thick) and cut tomatoes into halves. Finely slice onion. Roast in baking dish with 1 tbs of EVOO for 20 minutes.
  7. Scoop seeds from spaghetti squash and fork into large bowl.
  8. Once veggies are done add to spaghetti squash with 1tbs of EVOO and sea salt & pepper to taste. Toss dish.
  9. Slice chicken sausage and add to dish.
  10. Enjoy!

2-3 servings