Eat Your Way Right Through the Holidays- the rubber hits the road

There are many of you that are working diligently, planning and prepping and being ready for the inevitable pitfalls to healthy eating that come with office parties, candy dishes, and family feasts. You've been eating only when you're hungry and you've learned to stop eating when you're satisfied. 

Keep up the great work!

But for some of us, we still are practicing all of these skills. 

Keep going- Don't give up!

Remember these quick meal prepping tips.

  • Wash, cut, and even sauté your veggies after grocery shopping
  • Divide, season and cook your meats after grocery shopping
  • Make a double batch of a main dish. Some can be used for lunches or frozen for another meal.
  • Cook similar items together. Butternut squash and spaghetti squash can roast at the same time veggies are roasting. 
  • ALWAYS, Always have a plan.

Here are two recipes I like to make on a cold winter's evening. 

Chicken Bacon Alfredo

1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed

1 larger butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed

1 pound chicken tenders

4-6 slices bacon, diced  (use nitrate free, sugar free bacon- it is hard to find but well worth your health)

½ cup canned coconut milk

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your 425 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash butternut squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and excess threads. Don’t be dainty. Place open side down on a baking sheet (use aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean up) and cook for 20-25 minutes. You will know when they are done cooking when you can poke the outside skin and it ‘gives’ a bit.

Now you can either cook your chicken at the same time or after the squash is done cooking. Whatever you’d like. Just place chicken on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet, sprinkle some olive oil over the chicken (or other kind of fat), salt and pepper it, and sprinkle just a bit of basil on top.  I cooked my tenders for around 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Once your squash is done cooking, pull it out of the oven; dethread the spaghetti squash into a large bowl with a fork. Go against the grain, if spaghetti squash had grain.

Now throw your diced bacon into a skillet and cook until done. Use a slotted spoon to pull out your cooked bacon, but leave behind the grease.

Take your butternut squash and hollow it out.  Use the insides and dump them into your warm skillet filled with bacon grease. Then add your coconut milk. You may need to add a little bit more coconut milk depending on how runny you like your sauce. Mix thoroughly with a ladle to break up the squash a bit.

Add seasonings to the mix and salt and pepper as needed. Mix thoroughly and cook on low for about 5 minutes to simmer. Now dice up your cooked chicken. Pour sauce over spaghetti squash and add your chicken to the mix. Mix well & top with bacon. (Original Recipe from Paleo OMG)

Can’t get Enough - Chicken Curry           

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, diced into one inch cubes

½ - 1 can coconut milk

1-2 Tablespoon yellow, green or red curry paste OR

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 ½ teaspoon ginger root

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

And 4-6 cups veggies  (try combinations of these veggies- butternut squash cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, onion, pineapple, red pepper, sweet potatoe, broccoli, eggplant, green beans, green peppers, snow peas, spinach, zucchini. Be creative, use what you have fresh or frozen)

Coach Nancy's quick tip: make both these meals at the same time. They both need chicken cooked and it can bake while the squash and veggies cook.

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

About the author

Coach Nancy

Nancy Carlson is a Certified Professional Fitness Trainer with the National Exercise and Sports Trainer Association, a Level 1 Youth Conditioning Specialist with the International Youth Conditioning Association, and is a Level 2 Certified Precision Nutrition Master coach. Nancy was recognized in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 as the “Best of the Best” Fitness Trainer in Southern NH by the Hippo Press.

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