Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash

This is a great way to change up a family favorite. squash Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hr 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 cup almond meal 1 tbsp paprika 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp sea sald 2 eggs, lightly beaten olive oil cooking spray 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lb), cut in half 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese 1 3/4 cups spaghetti sauce (optional homemade)

DIRECTIONS

1 - Preheat oven to 375

2 - Filet chicken breasts so you have breasts that are about 1/2 inch thick.

3 - Place squash, cut sides up, in microwaveable dish. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on High 25 minutes or until fork-tender. Using a fork, scrape flesh from squash. Keep warm.

4 - Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Spray large baking dish with cooking spray.

5 - In shallow dish, combine almond meal, 1/4 cup of cheese, and all the seasonings.

6 - In a bowl, beat eggs with a fork. (Optional to use applesauce instead of eggs)

7 - Dredge each filet chicken in egg (or applesauce). Then coat both sides of chicken with almond spice dry mixture. Place in sprayed baking dish. Spoon about 2 tablespoons spaghetti sauce onto each chicken breast and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

8 - Bake 25 minutes until chicken is golden brown or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 160°F and the juices run clear.

9 - Meanwhile, heat remaining spaghetti sauce in medium saucepan over medium heat. Serve with the chicken and spaghetti squash.

Is Your Bad Attitude Making You Fat?

Disability in life We all know at least one person in our lives that just seems to have a bad attitude. And if you call them on it, they usually have an excuse related to something they "can't control" and therefore their attitude is justified. Well news flash, it is not ok to be a douche-bag.  And furthermore, it's their shitty attitude that is likely the root cause of their problems  in life, including their weight problems. Let me give three reasons to justify why I feel this way. Firstly, people with bad attitudes tend to be very stressed. Excess stress means excess cortisol which contributes to weight gain. The excess cortisol slows your metabolism causing more weight gain than you would normally experience if you were not so stressed. Stress also leads to cravings for more fatty, salty, and sugary foods. Clearly eating more of these foods causes additional weight gain. So instead of feeding into a bad attitude and allowing yourself to get overly stressed, work on stress management. Some great ways to manage stress are better time management, more sleep, and exercise. You are the only one that can stress yourself out. It may seem like it is outside sources and things happening "To YOU" but at the end of the day, you control how you react to these circumstances. Take ownership of your reactions. A second way a bad attitude makes you fat is through negativity. People that are pessimistic never seem to finish things because they are not goal oriented. For this reason, following a healthy eating plan, exercise routine, or committing to quitting smoking are rarely if ever accomplished by a pessimist. They just let that bad attitude take over and self defeat. They convince themselves it is either too hard or simply impossible and that they need to accept the circumstances they have been given.  They feel it is out of their control and take no ownership for their actions. A third way that a bad attitude makes you fat is through your relationships. That's right, the way you treat other people. People with a bad attitude tend to treat other people badly. For this reason they have few or no good, healthy, loving, or even professional relationships. A lack of healthy relationships is a leading cause of depression which comes with a whole lot of symptoms; none of which move you in the direction of good health. In fact, most the symptoms will contribute to additional weight gain. The top symptoms of depression are: loss of interest in favorite activities, sleep disturbances, fatigue, decreased energy, etc. It is this reason most that justifies having a good attitude because it is our relationships in life that are our driving force. They are what we live for. Yet people with bad attitudes don't recognize that it is their bad personality driving relationships away. They believe that people simply do not like them. They take no ownership of their interactions with others. To sum up my little rant on attitude, there are three key things that a person needs to take ownership of and be conscious of. Those three things are their Reactions, Actions, and Interactions. Please share with someone you think could use a little pep talk.

Yam and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

If you are a soup fan than you will love this recipe. It is a thick and slightly spicy bisque that is perfect as a main course or to compliment a main dish. It can also be made vegan. I like to make a full batch and use it for multiple lunches or dinners throughout the week. P1030242 Ingredients: 3 large yams, peeled, cubed 2 Red Bell Peppers 1 Tbsp. Grated Ginger 1 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic 2 Tbsp. Miso paste 1/2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 4-6 cups Chicken Broth (Veggie Broth if Vegan) Bragg Liquid Aminos (to taste, optional) (Makes 6 servings)   Lets Get started: Peel yams and cut into medium sized cubes while bringing water to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Once boiling, add yams and cook for 15 minutes or until yams are soft. Drain and set aside. Cut Bell Peppers into 2 inch pieces. Add EVOO to grill skillet and roast red bell peppers. Turn frequently until skin is evenly charred.  You can also grill the red bell peppers on the BBQ whole and then cut into 2 inch pieces if you prefer to cook outdoors. Place drained yams into food processor (I used my Vitamix). P1030251 Add freshly grated ginger root, garlic, miso paste, and Italian Seasoning on top of the yams. Lastly, add the roasted red peppers to the vitamix. Top off with chicken broth until the broth fills the space in the vitamix and covers the red peppers. P1030254 Cover and start blending at this point while continuing to add chicken broth until the bisque is the right consistency. It should be thick but thin enough for the processor to blend it thoroughly. Once blended you can taste and add liquid aminos until you get the desired flavor. I add about 4 Tbsp of liquid aminos. P1030260 Once you love the flavor, VOILA!!!!! Your meal is ready to be served. P1030259

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

cauliflower-pizza-crust-pizza
We all have those trigger foods that no matter what...we just can't resist! For me...without question...it's ice cream and PIZZA!!! But every time I give in and indulge, I get an upset stomach and literally have to sleep off my food coma. So instead of beating myself up with guilt, I always try to find healthy versions of the things I love. I posted this before, but I just had to post again because...it's so dang delicious!
I know what youre thinking...cauliflower...really??!?!?
But TRUST ME! Hold onto your hats kids because this baby is delish!!  BY FAR this is the most popular recipe Ive ever posted! so please take pics if you make it and post on my Facebook Wall!! Facebook.com/jenngraham57
I'll post step by step instructions with the pics and then a recap at the end so it's easy to read while you're making it! xoxoxo
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • olive oil (optional)
  • pizza sauce, shredded cheese and choice of your toppings*  (I used spinach, peppers, diced tomatoes, mushrooms)

 

 To "rice" the Cauliflower: Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks.
  Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). 
 Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself. One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Or I covered my pizza sheet with parchment paper.
Next! In a medium bowl, stir....
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic (I threw mine in the food processor)
 
1 Teaspoon Oregano
 
1/2 Teaspoon garlic salt. I recommend that you use less! this was a bit much for me!
 
1 Egg, beaten.  I hate that term!! poor egg 🙁
 
Put it all together and what do you get.....
 
Looks like mashed potatoes!
 
 Transfer to cookie sheet and pat out into a 9" round,  spritz with olive oil
 Put in over for 15 minutes at 450 degrees
 Remove from oven, add pizza sauce. You can buy or make your own!
 Add pre-cooked toppings! I went with onions, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, spinach & red and yellow peppers
 Cover with Cheese
 Place back in over or place under broiler for a few minutes
Enjoy!!!
Recap!! 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • olive oil (optional)
  • pizza sauce, shredded cheese and choice of your toppings*
InstructionsTo "rice" the Cauliflower: Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself. One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.To Make the Pizza Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
  3. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven.
  5. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).
*Note: Toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.Give this recipe a try and tell me what you think in the comments below!

Low Carb Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices

As a true Italian, (or Sicilian as my grandma says) I LOVE PIZZA! What I love most about pizza is how versatile it is. You can add any topping...and make it on just about anything! I love portabella mushrooms as a "crust" or cauliflower! So why not zucchini?
Slice your zucchini up. Grill each piece for about 7-8 minutes until tender.If you want to get fancy, you can make a fun pattern with the grill marks =)
Remove from grill, add your tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes with oregano), add toppings of your choice and throw back on the grill for another 7-8 min.until your cheese is melted.
Official Recipe:
--large zucchini slices, cut 3/4 inch thick (love my food processor for this!) --olive oil, for lightly brushing both sides of pizza and oiling grill grate --pizza sauce of your choice (Check the label- avoid anything with more than 6 grams of sugar) --grated cheese
--pizza toppings of your choice ( such as low-fat turkey pepperoni, sauteed mushrooms, , caramelized onions, sliced olives, sauteed bell peppers, or any other toppings you like on pizza.) I strongly suggest jalapenos!!!!
Oil the grill grates (I use a bit of oil on a paper towel), then preheat grill to medium-high. (If using a broiler, it should be reheated as well.)
Cut zucchini into thick slices about 3/4 inch thick or you can cut them long ways like a zucchini bread stick.Grill the zucchini 7-8 minutes, or until there are some grill marks and it's starting to be tender. (If the zucchini has a side that's slightly larger, grill that first so it will be the "top.")Remove zucchini from the grill. Add sauce, cheese, and other toppings as desired. (I spread each slice of zucchini with about 1 T red pizza sauce, then sprinkled each piece with a generous pinch of pizza cheese, added 4-5 slices of turkey pepperoni, and sprinkled over a tiny bit more cheese.)Put loaded zucchini slices back on the grill and cook 7-8 minutes more with the grill lid closed. (Check them every few minutes to see when the cheese is melted and the toppings are lightly browned, especially if you're using a broiler. If you have a gas grill where you can regulate the heat, I turned it to high when I put the pizza back on.)Remove zucchini pizzas from grill and serve hot!
Want more recipe ideas? Here ya go!

Itchy thighs or stomach from cardio?

Do you ever get an itchy sensation when you start a new cardio regimen or just get out and run one day? It starts as a small itchy sensation on the top of your quad that eventually spreads to your whole thigh and even abdomen. It is annoying and really gets in the way of your workout because all you want to do is stop and scratch, which makes it worse. And it is no surprise that the itchy areas are likely your biggest problem areas. Let me explain why. T25 cardio Inside our bodies are major blood vessels and smaller blood vessels called capillaries. There are millions of capillaries used as passageways for blood through our muscles and bodies. When you start a cardiovascular workout, your heart rate increases and begins to pump harder and increases blood flow. As a result, these capillaries begin to expand to allow greater blood flow to the muscles that are working. As these capillaries begin to expand it causes nearby nerves to send signals to the brain. These signals are new to that area since they have gotten little to no exercise and therefore required little blood flow. Our brain interprets these new signals as the need to itch. Annoying right? But don't worry, as your fitness improves the sensation should dissipate because you are in better shape. So once you start moving, and continue moving with regular cardio workouts you won't have to deal with the dreaded cardio itch. I have experienced this itch ever since junior high. I remember every Friday, it was the dreaded mile day in PE (physical Education). I would be super red and scratched up by the time I finished my mile. It always started with me noticing the fat on my legs literally jiggling and within minutes the fat would start itching. As I got older and fatter, especially in the stomach area, I started getting the glorious itching in my abdomen as well. You can see in this video how the shuffle burpees have my belly fat jiggling and super itchy. [wpvideo jndqxn8u] I recently set aside my heavy weights regimen and started on a cardio regiemen using a workout called T25 and sure enough, my legs and abdomen started itching. And I am not over weight. I just have not done high intensity cardio in a while.  But I am not going to stop just because my fat is screaming at me, lol. Instead, I will push harder and grin and bare it. Within a week or so it stops. And the lesson learned is to always incorporate at least two days of intense cardio into my workout regimen. Focus T25 is the perfect 25 minute workout to get that done. Checkout my story if you want to see my  whole journey with weight loss.

Thigh Gap Prevents inner Thigh Chafing

Is inner thigh Gap a Big Deal? Heck yes it is!!!!!!!! Inner thigh Chafing is a very sensitive subject for a lot of women and even some men. For those of you that do not know what I am talking about, it is the resulting rash from inner thigh skin rubbing together under hot weather conditions. It can happen in cold weather but is much worse when it is hot due to sweating and moisture in the area. And it doesn't take long for a rash to appear. I can remember putting on a pair of shorts on a hot day and leaving for school after forgetting to rub baby powder on my inner thighs and being in pain all day after lunch. I would be too embarrassed to go to the nurses office and ask for band aids. I would just walk kinda funny with my legs as far apart as possible and try to avoid walking as much as possible until I got home. At that point, it is too late for preventative measures and its time to medicate and wait the week for the rash to scab up and  heal. Do any of these look familiar to you thigh chafing sufferers?   I speak from experience because I suffered from inner thigh rashes all summer long ever since I was in junior high. I would look forward to summer because it meant I could use my pool and quite honestly I can't stand cold weather. I am a tropical person, lol. None the less, the one thing I always hated about summer was wearing skirts and shorts. No matter what, when wearing a skirt, you were getting a rash unless you took preventative measures. As far as shorts, you could only avoid a rash if you got shorts long enough to cover the areas that would rub. Does this look familiar? I learned to accept that this was just a part of my life and that I could not buy the cute shorts that I really wanted to wear. And if I did and happened to be good about using baby powder and keeping the inner thigh area dry, I always had bunching of the shorts between my thighs. I looked like the fat pockets on the top of my inner thighs were trying to escape my shorts, ugh!!!! I would be constantly pulling them down and they would eventually be all wrinkled between the thighs and just looked really bad. I knew that my problem was that I had no thigh gap. This is what my thighs looked like. So I started researching Thigh Gap and found my future Beachbody Coach's blog. She had achieved an amazing transformation with a workout called Brazilian Butt Lift. That was enough for me, I purchased it. It arrived at my house within a week and I hit it hard. I followed the workout calendar and nutrition plan and really enjoyed the workouts. There is a lot of booty shaking and I really like dancing so this was a perfect workout for me because I was not bored with it. I started to see and feel results after a few weeks and I remember getting crazy excited the first time I could see a hint of light between my thighs. It started at the very top and was very faint but damn it, it was happening. I completed the program and finally got my thigh gap. 4_4_13 (3) I have since moved on to other Beachbody workouts but I always incorporate this workout into my routine  because I have proven that it works. I have spent hours on eliptical machines at the gym and tried countless diets but this is what did it for me. Thank you Brazil Butt Lift!!!! Weight loss is not easy. Especially for women with hormone disorders like PCOS. Follow this link if you would like to hear my whole weight loss journey.  

I renewed my vows 40 pounds thinner

I married my husband May 22, 2010. On the day of my wedding, I weighed 174 pounds and was wearing a size 10 dress that I had NO ROOM in. I did not feel fat on my wedding day. I absolutely felt beautiful but was uncomfortable in my skin. I just felt fluffy and toxic. I made no effort to lose weight for my wedding. In fact, I gained 8 pounds the year before my wedding day. On the day of my wedding, I tried on my dress and could not wear a bra because I as coming out of the top of my dress. None the less, I had an amazing photographer and felt beautiful on my wedding day. After all, I was marrying my highschool sweetheart so I was over the moon with happiness. A lot has changed since our wedding and here we are almost 4 years later and both my husband and I are 40 pounds thinner. Not only do we look incredibly different but we feel like completely different people. We are not the party animals we were four short years ago. We have new values and appreciation for our bodies, life, and each other. Never in a million years did I think I would become one of those people that worked out all the time and read personal development books. I mean come on...... I hated reading. But here we are, two completely different people. We like the people we are now. We love the people we have become and are more in love now than ever before. We decided to renew our vows because not only do we feel better in our skin, but we are new people. And these new people have different values and we felt it important to express those values through a marriage ceremony and re-commit ourselves to each other and our new life. Is it crazy that I actually had butterflies while looking out over the balcony at the site of my wedding renewal just minutes before saying my vows? Our wedding renewal took place Jan 23, 2014 and was very different than our original wedding. We chose to escape to Los Cabo Mexico and have a romantic beach wedding like I had always dreamed about. It was very intimate and the most romantic day of my life. I have never felt so beautiful. This time I was not wearing a super expensive dress. Instead I was wearing a short white cotton dress I picked up at the good will for three dollars. This wedding was not about a big party or lavish gifts. It was purely about us. It was perfect. After the ceremony, we had a beautiful dinner in a private bungalow on the beach with two amazing friends which also happen to be our Beachbody Coaches. How perfect that the very people that helped us find Beachbody and our new life are the same people to witness us renewing our marriage. Dinner was amazing and when we returned to our room, we found that the hotel had left petals on our bed and a drawn bath. I wont get into any further details but the night ended very well.

Lost 8 lbs and 12.35 inches doing Beachbody Ultimate Reset

Why did I decide to do the Ultimate Reset? ultimate Reset prep I purchased the Ultimate Reset almost 6 months ago because I had heard how amazing it makes you feel and that people lose a lot of weight doing it. I figured that since I am a beachbody coach, I should at least experience it so I can have an honest opinion of the product. I also had a terrible dependency on caffeine. I was drinking about 12 cups of coffee daily and would get headaches if I waited too long to get my first cup. I knew this was a problem and very likely contributing to my infertility. Research has shown that excess of 2 cups of caffeine daily can make it more difficult to conceive and can cause miscarriage. Its no secret that I want a baby so I figured it was worth a shot to kick the caffeine. Truth be told, I was dreading it and continued to put it off. I knew the diet was very restricting and that I could not workout for the full 21 days of the reset. As most people know, the diet part of any weight loss program is always the hardest because you are restricting yourself. It is always easier to add things into your life like working out than it is to remove things you love. For this reason I was quite content continuing with my workout routine and holding on to the last 10 lbs I could not lose because I was not committed 100% to my diet. My sugar cravings continued to plague and inevitably sabotage me from reaching my health goals and the Ultimate Reset sat on a shelf in my closed unopened. My injury ended up having a silver lining hurt knee Well about two months ago I hurt my knee at work from lifting a really heavy backpack and carrying it on my back all day. It was too much stress on my knee and I further aggravated it by continuing to workout. It got to the point that is was so swollen, you could see the swelling through my yoga pants. And the day my puppy ran straight into my knee and damn near brought me to my knees was the day I said, I NEED A BREAK!! I was not happy about the idea of taking a few weeks away from my workout routine so I figured I would do my body a favor and take advantage and do the reset. If I could not workout my muscles then I would workout my organs with a detox. I started the next day. Week 1 Was Hell!!!! I made the huge mistake of not watching the video that comes with the reset and just kicked the coffee cold turkey on day 1. The video tells you to ween yourself off of the caffeine and sugar. Well.....no slow transition for me. I had a killer headache for 4 days. It got so bad that I literally threw up. I was totally miserable. In the first week, you cut out caffeine, dairy, sugar, red meat, and processed garbage. I already ate pretty clean so the only things I cut out were the coffee and the occasional sweets(maybe 1 per day). So for me, week one was pretty much a caffeine detox. By day 7 I had only lost 1 pound. This was a little depressing because I had heard about stories of people losing  up to 10 lbs in the first week and I wondered if I was doing something wrong but I just continued on. I had paid for the Reset and was finishing!!! Week 2 - Life got better For Week 2 you cut out all animal protein and are completely vegan. My meals consisted of fruit, veggies, and quinoa. I made a great effort to cook a lot of the recipes in the Ultimate Reset book and found some recipes that I will continue to cook. This was actually my favorite week. I didn't mind the diet any more because I was past the caffeine detox and my sugar cravings were very mild. For the mild sugar cravings I still had, Chocolate Vegan Shakeology came to the rescue. I had it every night before bed. chocolate vegan shakeology The best part of this week is that I finally started to lose some serious weight. And I was feeling the difference in how my clothes were fitting. My body just felt like it was getting tighter. Week 3 - The Finish Line For Week 3 you continue eating Vegan but cut out more of the grains and try to eat solely vegetables and fruit. I definitely missed eating protein but was not hungry during this week. I also felt very CLEAR by week 3 if that makes sense. I used to feel tired and had a lack of energy most days but by week three of the Reset I no longer felt foggy. I did not have a lot of energy but was definitely feeling clear, fresh, and clean. By the last day of the Reset, I had lost a total of 8 pounds and 12.35 inches. A lot of those inches were from my thighs which is GLORIOUS!!!! Ultimate Reset Post The day after the reset, I had my first protein in 2 weeks, an egg!!!!! Oh man did I miss my protein. Once I started eating protein again, I had incredible energy. This energy mixed with the clarity I developed on the reset has left me feeling absolutely amazing. I am able to push harder in my workouts now and here's the kicker..... WITHOUT CAFFEINE OR PRE-WORKOUT!!!!! So at the end of the day, the Ultimate Reset is worth doing. By no means would I do it often but I plan to do it yearly. Kinda like my own body spring cleaning.