Well...its been a really interesting week at our house. We are all sick. Ashlyn started school 2 weeks ago and we are already fighting the "new school bug". ugh! Check out what I did to stay on track & get my whole family healthy again!
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I am sharing something a little different for this weeks meals. Since we are all feeling under the weather I decided to grab one of my "go-to" recipes for a big pot of soup full of nutrients! Its from www.ibreatheimhungry.com. I make this soup often when I'm going to have a busy week. It's yummy & makes a huge pot that we can eat off of for lunch & dinner for several days. No cooking, no cleaning! Fantastic for a busy mom!
This time I decided to make my own chicken bone stock as a base instead of the store bought stuff. I had just gotten my first order from Butcher Box and couldn't think of a better use for the Organic Whole Chicken I ordered. I just put the entire chicken in a big pot, filled it about 3/4 full of water then added onion, garlic, basil, peppercorns, salt, and a bunch of left over veggies I had in the fridge-yellow bell peppers, red bell peppers, carrots, celery, etc... (another win for making broth is that you can use up veggies that might go to waste otherwise). I let this boil then turned it down to a low simmer for several hours. There is really very little effort needed to make your own stick!
I wanted to chicken to fall apart to get to that nutrient rich bone marrow! And oh did it!!! I had to use a sieve to remove it from the pot!! I placed the chicken in a separate bowl, then filtered out the other veggies into another bowl.
I didn't want to dirty up a bunch of pans so I messed with the order of the recipe a little. I cooked the bacon in a separate frying pan (I puree the onions since my husband doesn't like them-you can do the same then just add the puree to the large pot. I you do like onions, you can cook them here with the bacon). While it was cooking I pulled apart the chicken meat and put the chicken meat back into the pot with the stock in it. When I had gotten all the chicken, the bacon was ready and I put everything (including the grease-make sure you're using a high quality bacon-pasture raised, no nitrates, etc...) into the pot with the stock & the chicken.
Then I followed the rest of the recipe as is!
I love that there are several veggie substitution options on the website in case you need to make a change. I end up using a lot of veggies that I happen to have on hand so I use this list often! And I don't care for celery root in the soup (the flavor is too overpowering for me) so I like to use cauliflower instead. Ive also used bamboo shoots instead! It adds that little extra texture I'm always looking for!
THE WHOLE SHEBANG:
I use the soup as a supplement to my keto lifestyle. But I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you read the entire IBIH 5 Day Soup Diet! There is so much more to it than the soup! If you really need a kick start, or just want an easy, pre-planned week of meals, this is where you should go! Pre planned & made breakfasts, the snacks are really good (hint: i prefer the flavor of vegenaise over mayo...) and then again...THE SOUP!!!!
Find the IBIH 5 Day Soup Diet HERE
We had a fantastic week! It was rainy all week so we cooked a lot of new soups & rich, creamy dinners!! So yummy!! And this week I've included one of the workouts I did!
Lets keep it up!!
Day 1: InstaPot Taco Soup
This turned out really good! Mr. Picky (aka my husband) was out so I made it with all the yummy chunky tomatoes & onions!!! I do have one suggestion if you decide to try it: Let it sit for about 15-20 min after opening the InstaPot. When you initially open it the cream cheese will still be in chunks (or solid chunk). It will stir up really well but the soup will seem pretty runny. Mine thickened up after a bit & the texture was so much better :).
I also like a little crunch with my soups. Usually that would mean tortilla chips, but instead I love using the Whisps (parmesan cheese crackers). They are delicious & give that extra texture to step it up a notch!
Day 2: Edamame Noddle Alfredo
This was my first time trying Edamame noodle for my "go-to" meal (alfredo, sausage/bacon, peas). Typically I would use zucchini noodles (or make a zucchini fritter) or the Shirataki Noodles. They are both good options for Keto Meals but I've found each one is missing something. The zucchini tastes good but its texture is a little 'flat". The Shiritaki noodles are the next best thing but can tend to be a little "rubbery". Good, but still left me looking for something different. The edamame noodles texture is EXACTLY the same as a pasta noodle!! Fantastic!! Just be aware that there is a taste to them. Not a bad taste at all (I actually liked it!), just know it going in so you can either work with the flavor (think...olive oil, garlic, spinach) or go with a stronger sauce (tomato based or a spicy sausage) to balance it out. The noodles took over my alfredo sauce here. If I did this again I would use a stronger sausage (like hot italian) and/or added more sauce.
Day 3: Leftovers
This has been working out so well the last few weeks. About every 2-3 days we have enough left overs to each make up a meal & not waste any food! This has been great for us, especially on those days that are busier than others! For my husband, I re-heated the leftover edamame pasta, and added 2 eggs to it. For me, I just reheated the leftover taco soup (This recipe made SO MUCH!!! Ive had it for lunches all week!). Ashlyn had it as well & was licking her bowl clean! lol
Day 4: Creamy Garlic Parmesan Mushroom Chicken & BAcon
I also;utely LOVED this recipe! Its creamy, full of flavor & has so much texture! My husband (aka Mr. Picky Pants) was not a big fan. He does not care for mushrooms but I really did not want to completely eliminate them. I went ahead with the recipe as is then used a sieve to filter out the chunky mushrooms for him. Unfortunately he was still not a fan of the flavor they left behind. Too bad for him because I enjoyed every single bite!! lol
The photos below show the 2 different ways I served it (and I had to include a pic of the chicken cooking because it looked/smelled so yummy!!). The middle pic was my husbands plate-no mushrooms & I added a little cayenne pepper to spice it up a bit. The pic on the right is my plate! Mushrooms galore!!!
Day 5: InstaPot Cabbage Soup
I've been holding onto this recipe for the perfect rainy day meal and it finally came! I thought the flavor was good but since Mr Picky Pants doesn't like chunky tomatoes or onions I had to puree them in the food processor. This left good flavor but the soup was lacking in texture. I found that I liked it better if I added the parmesan cheese whips (parmesan crackers-see column to the right for the ones I use) for extra texture.
Overall, I do recommend this recipe if you like all ingredients & can make it as is.
Day 6: Keto Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie
I was so nervous about this recipe since Ie never tried it or the keto biscuits that top it. I was not only making this for my family, but we were having friends over as well. When I get nervous about cooking something I ALWAYS forget something and this time was no different. I TOTALLY FORGOT to add the mozzarella cheese!!! But you know what, IT WAS STILL DELICIOUS!!!! So many compliments and returns for more!!!! I CANNOT recommend this one enough!!!!
Day 7: Restaurant-Smoked Chicken Ranch Salad
This was a first for us. Not the first time at this restaurant, we LOVE this place!!! But the fact that it was super bowl sunday and we had absolutely 0 interest in watching it so we decided to go on a family adventure instead! And we had so much fun!!! We decided to grab dinner at our favorite smokehouse in Santa Barbara... SoulCal Smokehouse!!! Absolutely fantastic!!! I crave their smoked chicken salad!!! And it did not disappoint! If you are ever in Santa Barbara, CA make sure you check it out!!! (instagram: @soulcalsmokehouse)
I had some really fun workouts this week! In case you're curious about why types of workouts I do, I've shared one of them here for you!! As you can see from the above Before/After photos, I like to write everything out because I lose count really easily when I'm focused on the workout. When I have to do different movements every 90 sec for 15 min for instance, I write out each start time and what movement set I'll do. You can also see that if I'm doing multiple sets of a series of movements (like in C1 & C2) I mark each round so I can keep track. The final thing you'll notice is the scribbles! haha!! That's all Coach Ashlyn!! this keep her entertained while Im working! Win-Win!!
Here's a typed out version of the workout (keep in mind this was specifically designed for me & my strengths/weaknesses. Only do what you know & are comfortable with!) And if you try make sure to leave a comment!!!!
A: Dot Drill (directions here)
B: On the 90 for 15 min (every 90 seconds alternate sets for 15 min-see chart on above photo)
C1: Hip Extension 3 x 15 with PVC on back
C2: Bent Over Dumbbell Fly 3 x 15 (10#)
Ab mat sit-ups
If you watch my stories on Instagram you will have seen that on Wednesday of this week I was not feeling a workout. It was al mental. My EXCUSES were as follows: emotionally hard week with Ashlyn starting school; cleaning house all day; Ashlyn potty training set back from starting school lead to massive amounts of #2 to clean up. But my actual REASONS: 0. I really had to have a conversation with myself about why I had such a bad attitude about it that day, and that if I let it go today, why not tomorrow, then the next day, then the next, etc... That how I got lost last time! And I also reminded myself that I needed to change the way I was going into it. If I went and did my workout begrudgingly I would not get a full benefit. I would undoubtedly half ass a movement with lighter weights, or not do a full extension. I might even hurt myself in the process. So I decided that I was looking forward to going out in the garage (where my equipment is) listening to good music & sharing that experience with Ashlyn. And you know what? I ended up having one of my best workouts! It was fun! Ashlyn "worked out" right beside me jumping for each single under I did, sit-ups right along side me, squats..it was so cute & so fun & I realized what an impression this is making on her!
The moral of the story here is this: The hardest part of beginning a workout lifestyle is not the workout itself, its overcoming what your mind tries to tell you.
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I am 2 years into my keto lifestyle! Lost a total of 55 lbs since I started-!! Will be sharing my ups & downs, recipes that work, grocery shopping tips as well as weekly workout schedule! Check back every Monday for an update & kick start to your week!