Lemon Cilantro Chicken Wings

Oh, hi! Remember me?

My apologies for the lack of posts. Life happened, things got super busy, I was cracking down on finishing school and I am now happy to announce that I am officially a Nutritional Therapy Consultant! 🙂 

Lots of new content coming your way, but alas, a recipe to share.

For those who have been following me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), you may be aware that I am currently following an Autoimmune Paleo Protocol or AIP for short.

What is Autoimmune Paleo Protocol?

Basically… following ancestral ways of eating/paleo principles (no dairy, grains, legumes, refined sugar, or anything processed) and further eliminating foods that promote intestinal permeability or “leaky gut” which can further assault the immune system. In addition to following paleo, I am eliminating natural sweeteners, eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy (including grass fed butter and ghee), and nightshades (ie. potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, etc) and spices that come from nightshades (i.e., chili, paprika, black pepper, etc.)

Why am I doing this?

I am curious to know if any of the foods I am eliminating are problematic for me and also to continue my journey to healing my gut.

I am 9 days in. The first 5 days were very tiring. Super fatigued. A lot of bloating has gone down. I know food works for me when my sleep is so deep… and I’m at that point right now! Anyway, I am planning on sticking the course as much as possible and will have an update once I am done! But in the mean time… a recipe for some AIP / WHOLE 30 / 21 day sugar detox friendly Chicken Wings that only has 6 ingredients.


Lemon Cilantro Chicken Wings

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Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 40ish minutes

Ingredients

– 1 lb of chicken wings

– handful (or more) of cilantro

– zest of one lemon

– juice of 1/2 lemon

– 2 tbsp coconut aminos

– 2 tbsp avocado oil

– garlic salt, to taste

Instructions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking tray with foil. Place a baking rack atop the foil

2. In a bowl, season chicken wings with garlic salt and set aside

3. Place the remaining ingredients in a blender / nutribullet / vitamin and blend it up! Shouldn’t take too long

4. Pour lemon-cilantro marinade in the bowl with chicken wings. Mix to combine and make sure all wings are covered

Optional: You can marinate over night, but if you don’t have the time – that’s okay!

5. Place chicken wings 1 inch apart on wire rack and bake for 40 minutes, turning over once at half time, aka at 20 minutes

6. Enjoy! 🙂

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Garlic Bay Scallops and Bacon Zoodles

My weeknights are pretty packed with school and extra curricular activities like hourglass and bikram yoga, so I’m all about quick and simple meals made in one pot! Coming home from work with no food prepared usually goes a little something like this:

1. Look in the fridge

2. Ask myself, “What can I make with the ingredients I already have?”

3. Make it.

Most of my best meals come from being spontaneous. I have to remind myself to write down or remember exactly what I use and how I make it, so that I can share it with you all! 🙂

This meal is so flavorful and will definitely be one of my go-to meals! I remember coming home at 4:55pm this night and my meal was made by 5:15pm. Try it for yourself!

Also, I have officially completed 2 weeks of the 21-day sugar detox! 🙂

Garlic Bay Scallops and Bacon Zoodles

Garlic Bay Scallops and Bacon Zoodles

Yields: 4 servings | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 pieces of bacon, cooked to your liking and chopped in to bits
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 lb bay scallops
  • 3 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 tsp parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1 lemon (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Spiralize zucchini and set aside
  2. In a skillet or cast iron pan, fry bacon until crispy and set aside
  3. In the same pan (bacon fat included), saute garlic for 30 seconds
  4. Add cremini mushrooms and scallops and saute for 4-5 minutes
  5. Add spiralled zucchini and combine well
  6. Simmer for 10-12 minutes
  7. Remove from heat and top with chopped bacon and parsley
  8. Squeeze some lemon on it and EAT it up!

Bacon and Zucchini Egg Muffins

Strapped for time? These Egg Muffins are a quick and easy option to make sure you break the fast each day. I’m taking on the 21 day sugar detox starting January 5th, so I am easing myself into the challenge.  You can fill them up with whatever you like. Enjoy!

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Bacon and Zucchini Egg Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Yields: 12 egg muffins

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Filling:

  • 4 pieces of bacon
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • handful of spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 a medium onion, diced

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare your muffin tray by greasing it with coconut oil (unless you are using silicone baking cups, then you don’t need to grease)
  3. Pan fry your bacon until crispy and set aside
  4. In the same pan, add onions and saute for 30 seconds
  5. Add zucchini and sauté for 3-5 minutes, then take the pan off the heat
  6. Dice bacon and chop spinach and combine with zucchini and onion, set aside
  7. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, parsley flakes, salt and pepper
  8. Spoon filling (1 generous tablespoon full) into muffin trays
  9. Fill with egg mixture
  10. Bake for 12 minutes
  11. Breakfast for the week!

Food as Medicine

It’s the eve before Christmas, and I’m sure we are all busy preparing for the big day. With so much going on during this time of the year – travel, school, preparing for Christmas, work, fitness and just living – the added stress of the season can wreak havoc on your adrenals and immune system.  We may all feel a little run down. ‘Tis the season for… lingering germs! This is a just friendly reminder from the Nurse in me that hand washing IS effective.

With all that said and done, I started feeling crummy early last week and came down with a minor cold. The life span of a common cold is 7-10 days and I recovered in 4 days. For the first time in years, I recovered completely without taking any medication.

Coupled with the information I have learned in school and some common practices, I decided to tackle my cold by supporting and treating my immune system with natural remedies that is based on nutrition. Instead of attacking the bug, why not provide your immune system with proper nutrients? For a strong immune system, I think these “remedies” should be practiced daily and not just when you fall ill.

Here is a list of remedies that worked for me last week:

  1. Rest – Making sleep a priority is vital. When you are sick, your body is telling you something – slow down. Always listen to your body.
  2. Hydrate – Drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Water moistens oxygen for easier breathing, regulates body temperature, removes wastes, flushes toxins and empowers the body’s natural healing process. Drink up!
  3. Probiotics – 60-80% of your immune system is found in your gut. Adding some probiotics can help balance, nurture and heal your gut. Some examples of probiotics: kombucha, fermented food (sauerkraut, kimchi), water kefir. I drank sauerkraut juice!
  4. Zinc – The most important mineral for immune system function – found in animal products like red meat, liver and eggs. I ate scrambled eggs cooked in grass fed butter during my short illness.
  5. Vitamin A – Works well with zinc and is essential for your immune system to function – found in animal products like eggs, seafood and organ meats (liver) and if that doesn’t work, you can take fish oil.
  6. Bone Broth – good minerals and gelatin which helps it with fighting germs and gut healing (recipe below)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks for a memorable year! 🙂

Michelle

broth

Bone Broth

(not my recipe – I cannot remember where this is from!)

Ingredients:

  • 4 quarts of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large onions, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
  • 2-4 lbs of meat or poultry bones

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a large slow cooker set on high
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the setting to low for 12-24 hours – the longer it cooks, the better it tastes!
  3. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter into a large bowl, and discard the waste

Journey to 30

Guys, I apologize for the lack of posts, but life just got a little busier. A lot of big changes currently happening and I wanted to share some updates with my little army of followers. Rest assured, a recipe will be posted at the end! 🙂

I will be turning 30 in a few days and normally I would be sulking at the thought of getting one year older, but this year feels different. This year I am embracing the changes and am feeling very thankful and blessed for everything I have and the people in my life. I am ready to say good bye to my twenties and start this new decade. A lot of things to look forward to this year and beyond. So let’s begin with some updates, shall we?

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1. Logo Launch — You may or may not have noticed my new logo. I won’t mention too, too much about my logo or website right now, but stay tuned (30 day paleo challenge coming up)! Thanks to the wonderful Jill for helping me with my logo and branding.

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2. Yoga Every Damn Day/60 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge — Last year I completed a 30 day challenge and because 30 days isn’t challenging enough (who am I?), I decided to double up and do 60 days with my 30th class landing on my 30th birthday (hence… #journeyto30). Bikram Yoga has always been so mentally, physically and emotionally challenging for me, but also very rewarding and this is why I am so hooked. I have already completed 21 days and I feel amazing! The only thing different is that I am doing classes with friends — Hi Kelly, Melanie and Linda! Stay tuned for my post-60 day Bikram Yoga Wrap Up!

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3. Back to School — This is one of the biggest updates from me. Never thought this day would come, but yes, you heard right, I am going back to school. Not nursing related at all, but who said nursing had to be my end-all be-all? This year, I’ve learned to listen to the whispers of the universe and follow my dreams and passions. Say hello to your future Nutritional Therapy Consultant. Very excited to begin this journey and share my knowledge.

And… last but not least, a recipe share (of course!).

NFL Season has begun so my goal is to share some healthier snacking options. This week I will be sharing an easy recipe for classic hot chicken wings!

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Butta Hot Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. of chicken wings
  • 2 tbsp of grass-fed butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup of Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 cup of grass-fed butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cover a large baking tray with foil and place a cooling rack on top
  3. Clean chicken wings and pat dry thoroughly
  4. Place chicken wings on rack, at least one inch apart; do not let them touch
  5. Melt 2 tbsp of butter and brush the chicken wings lightly
  6. Bake wings for 30 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes
  7. While wings are baking, melt butter (1/4 cup) over medium heat in a small sauce pan, then add your hot sauce. Simmer sauce over low heat until chicken wings are ready
  8. When wings are cooked, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Toss with wing sauce and enjoy! 🙂

Shrimp Scampi Zoodles

It is nearing the end of the week and my fridge is pretty much empty at this point. I used up left over ingredients to make this meal. Another one pot wonder and 20 minute meal that uses 6 ingredients + spices. My best meals are usually the ones that use left-over ingredients because it allows me to be creative!

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Shrimp Scampi Zoodles (One Pot Wonder)

Yields: 2-3 servings | Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

– 2 tbsp grass fed butter
– 4 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 cup (or more) of cremini mushrooms, sliced
– 1 lb shrimp
– juice of 1 lime
– 2 medium zucchini, spiralized/julienned
– salt & pepper to taste
– optional: red pepper flakes (if you like heat)

Instructions
1. Heat cast iron skillet/pot over medium-high heat
2. Add butter to skillet and allow to melt
3. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds (or until it begins to become fragrant, do not over-saute, burnt garlic is a no no!)
4. Add cremini mushrooms and cook for another 30 seconds
5. Add shrimp and lime juice, and flavour with salt/pepper and red pepper flakes
6. Toss zucchini noodles in the shrimp mixture
7. Mix well and simmer for 15 minutes
8. Enjoy! 🙂

I posted a similar recipe here: Spaghetti Squash Scampi

One Pot Wonder

My meals are not always elaborate and technical. Most of the time, I usually throw things together that takes less than 30 minutes of my time. However,  I wouldn’t mind spending most of the day in the kitchen anyway. But who has time for that? Life happens. I have a few go-to “one pot wonders,” but this one is a favourite.

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One Pot Wonder: Zoodles & Shrimp

Yields: 2 Servings
Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
– 2 medium zucchini
– 1 1/2 cups of paleo-friendly marinara sauce (I use the White Lace Collection brand from Costco)
– shrimp (as many as you like)
– chopped parsely

Tools:
– Spiralizer or Julienne Peeler

Instructions:
1. Combine spiralized or julienned zucchini, marinara sauce and shrimp in a medium sized pot
2. Simmer for 20 minutes
3.  Top with parsley
4. Enjoy! 🙂

Easy, peasy!

#lifebymich

🙂

Ditching the Pill

I’m starting another personal Whole 30 Challenge today and although my diet is mostly “paleo” anyway, I find that the introduction of natural forms of sweeteners into my diet (ie. maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar) makes a huge difference in the way my body functions and how I feel.

My most recent challenge (May 2014) lasted 37 days. I broke it while on vacation in the Bahamas and like I mentioned in my last post, I developed a rash on my face and became extremely bloated. The rash and the bloating went away 4 days after coming back from vacation and eating real food again.

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Today is yet another Day 1 for me and for the next 30 days, I will be focusing on incorporating foods that will help detoxify my liver and promote hormonal health. But why? Long story short: I’ve recently decided to Ditch the Pill (birth control). Yep. I am finally saying goodbye to that jagged little pill.

In my attempts to live a “cleaner life,” it only made sense to stop taking the pill after being on it for more than a decade. NOW… before the rumour mill gets started, the answer is NO. I am not planning on popping babies in the near future! 😉

It has officially been 3 weeks since I have been off the pill and boy has it been a ride! I feel like I am living in somone else’s body. My hormones are completely out of whack and I have experienced some less-than-desirable symptoms which include (but are not limited to): headaches/migraines during the first week, bloating, erratic emotions/endless crying, changes in body odour (I know, gross), cramping, breast tenderness & back pain. Short term pain, long term gain? Here’s to hoping so! I am so very thankful that my significant other has been very supportive and patient with me during this process — Hi Andrew!

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Through research, I found that one of the best ways to nurse myself back to hormonal health after coming off the Pill is to detoxify the liver through diet & nutrition. So, in addition to following a Whole 30 regimen and  in order to acheive hormonal and liver health, my 30-day plan will include the following (oh by the way, Day 1 breakfast is above — Fried Eggs & Greens!):

– No grains/dairy/legumes/sweeteners/alcohol (Whole 30 principle)
– Daily dry brushing and oil pulling (I do this first thing in the morning before my shower)
– Eliminating all fruits except for lemons + an occasional green apple (oh boy…)
– Eliminating all night shade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc)
– Eliminating coffee/caffeine (substituting with Roasted Dandelion Tea which is surprisingly delicious!)

It’s going to be a challenge alright! If I knew all of the negative effects the Pill had on my body, I would have never considered it as an option. But it’s too late.

So with coming off the Pill I have decided to follow the Fertility Awareness Method as my choice of non-hormonal birth control. I am in the middle of learning about it, so I don’t have too, too much to say right now.

However,  if you are considering coming off the Pill and are looking for a non-hormonal and eco-friendly form of contraception, these are the following resources I recommend:

– Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

– Justisse Method: Fertility Awareness and Body Literacy A User’s Guide by Geraldine Matus

Wish me luck!

🙂

 

 

Convenience Food

When life gets busy, I become dependent on convenience foods. Convenience foods are meals that are quick and require little preparation.

Here are two recipes that I have discovered this week that I absolutely love. They are effortless, quick and delicious: Chocolate Banana Pudding and a recipe share for Avocado Sweet Potato Toast. Enjoy!

 

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Chocolate Banana Pudding

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 can of coconut milk
1 large banana
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Toppings (optional): fruit, nuts, cacao nibs, etc.

Instructions:
1. Place can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and let sit overnight
2. Once coconut milk is chilled,  open can and drain liquid into another container (save liquid to use for a smoothie)
3. Scoop coconut cream into a medium sized bowl
4. Add banana, vanilla extract and cocoa powder
5. Use a hand mixer and blend until smooth
6. Top with toppings of choice
7. Best served when chilled,  but you can eat it right away!

 

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Avocado Sweet Potato Toast
(recipe from @thewhetappetite on Instagram)

Yield: 4 pieces of toast

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes
– 1 ripe avocado
– 1/2 lime
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– Sea salt
– Black pepper
– Toppings of choice

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Thinly slice sweet potatoes lengthwise and brush each side with olive oil
3. Place sweet potato slices on a nonstick pan and roast on middle rack for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through
4. Remove sweet potato slices from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes

5. Halve avocado, remove pit, mash the avocado with a fork
6. Add a dash of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime to taste
7. Spread the avocado mash on the sweet potato with a fork
4. Add toppings of choice

In my photo, I use: smoked salmon, salsa and a soft boiled egg.

#lifebymich

🙂

Carne Fiesta

Happy Nursing Week to all my fellow Nurses out there, especially my awesome team! In preparation for the upcoming work weekend, my team has decided to celebrate with a Paleo Friendly Mexican Fiesta Potluck (with Non-Paleo items). I’m bringing the protein!

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Carne Fiesta (…or a fancy word for the BEST TACO MEAT EVER!)

Ingredients
–          1 tbsp coconut oil
–          1.5 lbs of ground beef
–          1 medium onion, diced
–          2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
–          16 oz of tomato sauce
–          1 tbsp tomato paste
–          1 tsp paprika
–          1 tsp cumin
–          1 tsp salt
–          ½ tsp pepper
–          2 medium tomatoes, diced
–          2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
–          2 tbsp lime juice
–          2 tbsp green onion, chopped
–          guacamole/avocado

Instructions

  1. On medium-heat, melt coconut oil in a cast iron pan (or any other pan)
  2. Saute onions until soft
  3. Add beef and stir for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned
  4. Add garlic, tomato paste, tomato sauce & spices, mix well to combine
  5. While covered, simmer for 20-25 minutes
  6. Take taco beef mixture off heat
  7. Mix in diced tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice & green onion

How to Eat?

–          Top with avocado/guacamole in a butter lettuce wrap for a paleo-friendly taco
–          Pile on top of sweet potato chips with guacamole for Loaded Paleo Nachos as seen below (recipe for Sweet Potato Chips belwwith recipe for Sweet Potato Chips!

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Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients
–          2 medium sweet potatoes
–          1 tbsp avocado oil
–          Sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes, then dry well
  3. With skin intact, finely slice sweet potatoes by hand or use a mandolin
  4. In a mixing bowl, toss sweet potato chips with avocado oil
  5. Place chips on a parchment-line baking tray in a single layer
  6. Sprinkle with sea salt
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes

Quick Notes:
–          Keep a close eye on the chips as they can burn quick

ENJOY 🙂

#lifebymich