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Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Piece of the Puzzle - Plus Parmesan Chicken!

Part of the reason I write this blog is to share recipes.  The other part is to encourage others to adapt a clean eating lifestyle.  I read and share lots of information with you, with my friends on Facebook, Twitter, anywhere.  Some of what I read discourages me a little because I am concerned that it is discouraging you.  I know that it isn't always easy to go "all in" on a new eating plan.  And some of what I read makes it sound like you have to only eat organic, cage free, grass fed, pastured but not pasteurized, living on a hilltop, singing songs from the Sound of Music chickens, beef, pigs, and almond trees.

That is just NOT TRUE.  Is it ideal to eat organic?  Probably. Is it best to eat grass fed beef?  I think so.  But is it absolutely necessary to a healthier you?  Nope.  The fact is, in some areas it's harder to find those sources.  For some people, it's just not affordable right now.  (Once you get your whole family eating like this though, you don't have to buy "their food" and "my food" so it does start to balance out.)  It would be great if you could start moving in that direction, but don't let it stop you!

Another piece of this puzzle is... do you have to go all in right from the start?  Nope. Nope.  Nope.  That's how I did it, because that's how I tend to do a lot of things.  But if it's easier for you to start with eliminating one thing, like sugar, then start there.  Next switch from white flour to whole wheat.  Then start to think about making one meal from scratch, if you don't already do that.  Then another, and another.  Baby steps!!  If you go out to eat a lot, start thinking about how you can make that meal at home.  Not only will it be healthier, but it will save you a lot of money that you can spend on organic The Hills Are Alive chicken eggs!

Caprese salad, dill pickles, Parmesan chicken
You don't need to know everything there is to know about clean eating either.  As you go, you can read and learn.  But start out just by reading labels.  Does it have less than five ingredients (as a general rule)?  Can you pronounce all the ingredients?  Can you honestly define all those ingredients?  If so, then it's likely something you can eat.  Or just buy one ingredient foods.  Chicken.  Egg. Beef.  Apple.  Green Bean (two words, one ingredient... BONUS!).  Don't get hung up on the new ingredients you will start to see in recipes. Coconut sugar, whey protein, blackstrap molasses.  These are things you can add later as you get more comfortable with clean eating and clean cooking.

Another thing!  Very important.  Don't focus on what you can't eat.  Focus on what you can!  There are lots of "can" foods out there.  One thing I tell people is that if there is a food you must have, I can usually find a clean substitute for it.  Some of my friends make a game of it, I think, to try to trip me up.  But so far, I am still winning!  And so are they because they are trying these new ways to make things.

The picture on this blog is a quick supper I threw together last night because we were out a little late.  Dill pickles.  A little Caprese salad (just a slice of tomato, a slice of fresh mozzarella, and some fresh basil, drizzle a little olive oil over that).  And leftover Parmesan chicken.  You didn't think I'd leave you without a recipe, did you?  Check it out!  Quick and easy!!!

Parmesan Chicken

2 lbs chicken tender
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 T Italian seasoning blend
1 t chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter, melted

Mix together Parmesan, Italian seasoning, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Dip chicken in butter and then roll in Parmesan mix.  Lay on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Whatever you are eating today, let's Keep it Clean!



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