I’ve been really focusing on healthier eating habits lately and have started the Whole Life Challenge with a group from the gym. If you’re unfamiliar with the challenge, it is more than just a nutrition challenge. It also incorporates scores each day for exercise, mobility (stretching), sleep, water intake, and lifestyle challenges (this week’s lifestyle challenge is meditation). There are 3 different levels of nutrition guidelines you can follow for the 8 weeks; kick-start (if you’re new to exercise and healthy eating), lifestyle (designed to be a guideline for long-term health and wellness), and performance (designed to get leaner, stronger, and see better results in and out of the gym). I chose performance level which means for the next 8 weeks I’m eliminating dairy, rice/white potatoes, legumes, alcohol – so basically anything processed and containing artificial sugars. I’m doing well so far, but definitely missing frozen yogurt!
The goal of the challenge is not to be perfect, rather, to become more aware of the choices you make each day and hopefully take these (healthier) lessons learned and apply to life after the challenge.
Here are the 3 things I’m hoping to take away from the challenge:
1. Become more aware of the ingredients in everyday foods and find healthier recipe alternatives for some of my favorite foods. This week, I made homemade larabars rather than buying at the grocery store, and they came out amazing! I’ll have to share the recipe with you all soon!
2. Exercise every day (the minimum for the challenge is 10 minutes a day). On CrossFit days, this is no problem. On days that I don’t go to the gym, I’ve been mixing it up with running and body weight circuits. I’ll be posting a few of my go-to workouts on non-gym days in a later post.
3. Reduce ‘cheat’ meals or days. Typically, I eat pretty well during the week as my day is more structured. On the weekends, I tend to eat out a lot more and indulge in whatever I feel like that day. I’m hoping that this challenge will help me make better choices when eating out.
One thing I’ve already learned from the challenge is that dinner doesn’t have to be fancy to taste good! This simple recipe took less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook and was so tasty. The almond butter kept the chicken really moist and added a great sweet/salty flavor. I was worried it would taste too ‘nutty’ but I was pleasantly surprised by how many different flavors it brought out in the chicken!
Here’s what you’ll need to make Almond Butter Crusted Chicken with Summer Vegetables and Cauliflower Rice:
Almond Butter Crusted Chicken
1 1/4 lb of boneless, skinless chicken
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of Beckah’s Bangin’ Butter (original flavor)
black pepper and sea salt to taste
Summer Vegetables and Cauliflower Rice
1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
3/4 pint of cherry tomatoes
1/2 bag of Whole Foods brand frozen cauliflower rice (Note: I’ve tried to make this on my own before and it did not turn out well; pre-packaged is much easier for me!)
Slice zucchini and summer squash into thin discs. Halve cherry tomatoes. Add to medium saucepan, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until desired softness of vegetables. Stir occasionally.
Use olive oil to lightly coat a large frying pan. Cut chicken into bite-size cubes and add to the pan; medium heat. Lightly coat chicken with additional 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and add sea salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the almond butter onto the chicken and coat, turning the chicken over to coat the other side. Cook chicken for 15-20 minutes or until inside is not pink.
Use olive oil to lightly coat a medium frying pan. Add the cauliflower rice to the pan and cook until all the water has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. This takes about 5 minutes. Make sure to stop cooking if the cauliflower rice begins to stick and burn to bottom of pan.
Serve and enjoy!!
Don’t forget about the September giveaway!
Each week during the month of September, I’ll be posting recipes using Beckah’s Bangin’ Butter (like this one) and YOU will have a chance to win a jar of each of the BBB flavors! To win, all you have to do is share this post with your friends on Facebook, making sure to tag me (Fittestah) and Beckah’s Bangin’ Butter. Every time you share, you’ll be entered to win. We’ll select the lucky winner on October 1st.
Beckah’s Bangin Butter is a vegan, Paleo jar of almond butter. It has zero-sugar, gluten free, and is packed with protein. Each jar is made fresh and ready to eat and can be stored just about anywhere. It is the perfect partner to fruits, veggies, marinades, baking, smoothies, and many more. You can purchase online at beckahsbanginbutter.com or visit the Beverly Farmers’ Market every Monday from 3-7 PM located at Veteran’s Memorial Park.