Six Weeks of Bowl Meals: Chicken Taco Soup

r6OhrAtzStuki6DHedQAEQ.jpg

Aaliyah and Timbaland’s words keep circling through my head after losing a beautiful first draft of this post to internet never-never land yesterday. 

“And if at first you don’t succeed then dust yourself off and try again..”

Last fall I had a dear friend share his experience with this common blogging issue.  While sitting along side me editing my work, he advised me several times to “never type a post on your website. Create a document. Always.” He may even have made me promise him I’d never make that mistake.  Chances are good, I did.

Ironically, here I am, constantly fighting for others to do the same; advising to pay attention, plan ahead, make a healthy decision. Love yourself. Promise me. I know what works. Learn from my mistakes.

While it’s incredibly helpful, encouraging and necessary, to have trusted advisors in our lives, we will always be human, wired for struggle, imperfect, and in need of grace and forgiveness—beginning with ourselves. The reality is, learning from someone else’s shortcomings will never be as impactful as learning from our own. Personal growth is a humbling process.

Sit with the yuck for a bit—feel the sting, but then join me in the quest to be and do better. We get one life, yet a new opportunity with each given day.

After 24 hours of dusting off, I still have a simple, 30 min. soup I am excited to share with you.  Each step in the process of making this soup is crucial for the desired, deep flavor outcome.  The ingredients and layers closely resemble our family’s favorite tacos, yet is so much easier to throw together near the end of a busy day.

Chicken Taco Soup

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

Serves 6-8

for the protein fat and flavor

-1 Tbls. avocado oil, ghee or chicken fat

-1 medium onion, chopped

-1 Tbls. chili powder

-1/2 Tbls. cumin powder

-2 big pinches sea salt

-Black pepper, fresh ground

-2 cloves of garlic, minced

-2-3 cups cooked chicken, chopped(leftover and off the bone—optional for vegan/vegetarian)

for the veggies and carbs

-1 1/2 cups quick cooking brown rice

-2, 14oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilis

-1-2 cups corn, frozen, non GMO

-1 medium jar great northern beans, rinsed

-2-3 quarts chicken stock or broth

-1 tsp apple cider vinegar or to taste

In a large pot over med-high heat add oil and onion then sauté for 4-5 min. or until soft and translucent, stirring frequently.  Add all remaining ingredients in order and stir all together. Allow the garlic to become slightly fragrant before adding the stock and apple cider vinegar.  Cover and turn heat to high and allow broth to come to a boil.  Turn to low and simmer for 20-25 min. until rice is soft.  Serve with cashew sour cream, guacamole, organic tortilla chips and olives if desired. Adjust taste with sea salt, pepper and/or Franks Red H

BEET.png

Audrey Byker is a skilled and experienced Health Coach in West Michigan. She specializes in supporting busy people on their wellness journey through one-on-one coaching which can take place in person at her private office, in home or virtually from anywhere in the world. If you are looking for guidance and support to improve your health and quality of life, click here to set up a free consult today! She accepts HSA/FSA as payment!

Six Weeks of Bowl Meals: Grain-Free Thai Bowl

Thai bowl

Telling someone addicted to food to “just eat mindfully” is like giving an alcoholic a fifth of whiskey as a gift and saying “enjoy one glass a day”. Mindful eating is to an infant what living on autopilot is to an adult. As much as I believe in my clients far more than they believe in themselves a lot of the time, there is a point, typically in the beginning of Health Coaching program, where I just have to put it bluntly and show a bit of tough love. Awareness of denial, blame and shame is essential to beginning the process of living a mindful life. Mindful living and eating is freedom.

I am here to help you help yourself, trust me, and time is on your side.

My story includes too many years of battling an incredibly disordered relationship with food. It was as if I had myself convinced I was born with a weight + calorie chart in one hand and measuring cups in the other. Can you even picture that? First comes the head, the shoulders then…Wait for it…measuring cups and spoons! Awe! Now this child will always know how to stay healthy and love herself!! Yay!

Learning how to retrain my mind-body connection to “just eat mindfully” was a process. It took time. One of the important health discoveries I made along the way was the crappy physical feeling that resulted from junky food choices. Mindful eating means making well-thought out nutrition decisions based on the mind-body connection and love for oneself. It means fully enjoying the eating experience and slowing down with every bite—a helpful practice for life overall.

This week’s bowl meal makes eating mindfully simple. Every nutrient-dense ingredient not only forces taste buds to dance, but continues to fuel and support everyone living a healthy lifestyle. The balance of macros and micros will satisfy the largest of appetites! The dressing can be used as a sauce and is drinkable on its own! I’m so so so pleased with it and cannot wait for you to try it!

Grain-Free Thai Bowl

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

Serves 4-6

for the veggies and protein

-1lb. boneless chicken tenders, chopped into 1 in pieces(make it vegan and omit)

-1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced

-1 pint shiitake mushrooms, sliced

-2 cups shredded carrots

-1 large bundle of broccoli, chopped

-Sea salt

-Black pepper, fresh ground

-1 Tbls avocado oil(or any healthy oil)

-1/2 tsp sesame oil

for the carbs fat and flavor

-2-3 cups jasmine rice, brown rice, brown rice noodles, cooked(optional if grains are desired)

-Sunflower seeds, roasted and salted(optional garnish)

-Green onion, sliced(optional garnish)

FOR THE THAI SUNFLOWER SEED DRESSING/SAUCE:

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

-1/2 cup sunflower seed butter, unsweetened and unsalted(or any other natural nut butter)

-3 Tbls Tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos

-2 Tbls raw honey(optional—omit for vegan)

-Juice of 1 lime

-1 Tbls rice or white wine vinegar

-Water to taste

Add both oils to a large wok or nonstick skillet(with a lid if you prefer veggies to be cooked through) then add chicken, salt and pepper. Sauté until cooked through, remove from pan, set aside and immediately add mushrooms to the pan. Sauté over med-high heat, stirring frequently for 5 min. Add remaining veggies(broccoli and shredded carrots) and sauté over medium heat until cooked al dente(or add the lid and steam until desired doneness is reached). Meanwhile add all dressing ingredients except for water in a small mason jar with a blender ball, add lid and shake until fully combined. Add water to thin to desired consistency, one tablespoon at a time. Add chicken back into pan to heat through, just before serving. Serve in bowls layered with noodles or rice(optional), dressing, green onion, and sunflower seeds. Eat leftovers cold or reheated, in a salad, alone or with grains.

BEET.png

Audrey Byker is a skilled and experienced Health Coach in West Michigan. She specializes in supporting busy people on their wellness journey through one-on-one coaching which can take place in person at her private office, in home or virtually from anywhere in the world. If you are looking for guidance and support to improve your health and quality of life, click here to set up a free consult today! She accepts HSA/FSA as payment!

Six Weeks of Bowl Meals: Harvest Burger Bowl

portraitburgerbowl

Everyone is overwhelmed. Laundry, responsibility, work, a million school papers flying out of kid’s backpacks. The garage. Voicemails. Emails.

Then there’s meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking healthy meals.

The difference between those who can handle the overwhelm and those who allow it to paralyze them is basic: Healthy-striving people prioritize and plan. Successful people prioritize and plan. Less stressed people prioritize and plan. They listen to their intuition and trust it. They ignore that which is not important and focus on all that is to them.

What does it even mean to prioritize and plan? For some it’s a detailed planner, for others it’s utilizing Apple technology, google calendar or an app. For my grandpa it was always a notepad and golf pencil stashed in the breast pocket of every shirt he wore. It means saying “no” more than “yes” even if it hurts someone’s feelings, makes the kids cry or the neighbor annoyed. It’s taking action, one priority at a time.

Yup, without disclaimer or explanation. It’s a “no”.

Week four of six weeks of bowl meals is the perfect salad to add to next week’s meal plan. It follows all the balanced nutrition guidelines for ideal blood sugar control—a high healthy eating priority. It just so happens eating balanced, nutrient dense meals aids in the effort to feel less overwhelm. Blood sugar control is related to hormone regulation. Hormone regulation is responsible for balanced cortisol which aids in calm, clear, focused thinking, sleeping, and moving. It’s crazy how everything is connected.

Suddenly the emails and garage have bumped to the bottom of the list.

Harvest Burger Bowl

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

serves 4-6

FOR THE VEGGIES FAT AND PROTEIN

-2-3 head of romaine lettuce, chopped, washed and spun in the salad spinner

-1lb ground beef (know your farmer)

-1-2 Tbls. non chili spice blend(burger blend). I can’t get enough of this

-1/2 medium onion, chopped

-1 cup pecans, roasted and salted

for the carbs and flavor

-4 med/lg sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1in. pieces

-1-2 Tbls avocado oil

-salt

-pepper

-1 apple sliced or diced(optional for garnish)

Creamy Avocado Dressing(or this):

-1/2 large avocado

-1/4 tsp sea salt

-One lime, juiced

-1/4 cup olive or avocado oil

-1/2 Tbls raw honey(optional)

-1 clove garlic, minced

-1/4-1/3 cup water, as needed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add sweet potato to a large bowl and stir to coat with oil then sprinkle with 1 1/2 Tbls spice blend. Add salt if spice does not contain it. Add to parchment paper covered sheet pan and add to oven to roast for 30 min or desired doneness, stirring 1/2 way. Set aside to cool slightly before adding to bowl.

While sweet potatoes roast add ground beef and onion to pan over med. heat. Add 1/2 Tbls spice blend. Cook through and brown. Remove from heat until sweet potatoes are ready.

Prepare bowl and dressing. Layer romaine coated in dressing, sweet potato, ground beef and pecans. Drizzle a bit more dressing on top as desired.