Chicken Enchiladas.

alexandra-golovac-xsfX3AqLDKo-unsplash

We’re back!

I took a bit of time to step away for some self-growth work through reading, education, and movement and girl, do I feel good now. It also might be these amazing chicken enchiladas recipe I enjoyed over the weekend. Let’s make this one simple so you can get right into the beef (or chicken) of this post.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Flour Tortillas
  • 4 cups cooked + shredded Chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 (10-ounce) can red Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, diced +sauteed
  • 1 (7.5 ounce) can diced Green Chilies

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a 9×13 baking pan. Mix chicken, sauteed onion, seasoning, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and 1 cup cheese. Add enchilada sauce.
  • Spoon mixture into tortillas, dividing evenly throughout the 8. Roll up tortillas and place in pan seam side down.
  • In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour, and cook for one minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly; stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in greek yogurt, 1 cup cheese, and chilies. Do not bring to boil; you do not want the yogurt to curdle. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 24 minutes and broil for final 3 minutes or until cheese on top begins to brown.
  • Enjoy!

You might be thinking… this doesn’t sound very healthy? And it isn’t, but it’s delicious and sometimes that’s all that matters!

Mediterranean Chicken Couscous.

How many times have I shared this dish on my Instagram? Way too many, that’s for sure. So it’s about time I give more details on how to make it since I’m so obsessed. It started with a Hello Fresh meal which I have a tendency to start up when I’m going through a slump with new cooking ideas. This recipe just stuck, clearly. 

The Mediterranean Chicken Couscous dish is very filling with refreshing, nuritioning ingredients. It’s a meal I have about once a week if I know I have a big day the next day and will need to feel energized. It also makes good left-overs if you eat within the following 2-3 days.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Chicken breast
  • 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Zatar Seasoning
  • 2/3 cup Coucous
  • Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • Feta Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice

Directions: 

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees
  • Line a pan with a piece of foil, slice tomatoes in half, place in pan topped with olive oil, garlic, and half the dill. Cook in the oven for ~15 minutes.
  • While roasting tomatoes, boil chicken in a medium pot on high on top of the stove. 
  • In another medium pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil on high. Once hot, pour in coucous and let cook until browned. Boil with 1 1/2 cups of water until couscous is thoroughly cooked. 
  • Once chicken is thoroughly cooked through, take out of the pot and shredded. Pour out water and rinse pan. Place shredded chicken back in the pot cook on medium for 4-5 more minutes with balsamic vinegar and zatar seasoning. 
  • In a small bowl, combine greek yogurt, 1 tsp water, remaining dill, and lemon juice. Stir until consitency is creamy. 
  • Place cooked couscous, chicken, and tomatoes in bowl and top with feta cheese and yogurt creama. 
  • Enjoy! 

Sugar-Free Taco Salad.

In true Cinco de Mayo fashion, this night calls for a robust taco salad. And luckily this is a recipe that is suuuuuper easy to make sugar-free (minus the red wine I had to include for festivity purposes). You really can’t go wrong with a veggie filled salad that is topped with some homemade salsa. 

Ingredients:

  • Ground Beef
    • Cook up with taco seasoning
  • Sauteéd peppers & onions
    • Season with salt + cracked pepper
  • Corn
  • Black Beans
  • Homemade Salsa
  • Plain Greek Yogurt 
  • Lettuce

Throw all that yumminess in a bowl and do a little salsa dance because you have one good dinner! Feel free to substitute the ground beef for chicken, pulled pork, fish, or jackfruit. Also, can add whatever vegetables your heart desires. 

What are you enjoying this Taco Tuesday (or indulging in ;))?

Sugar-Free Shopping List.

The biggest concern for me the first time I started an added-sugar-free detox was “What the heck am I going to buy at the store?” I was intimidated by the lack of knowledge I had and almost embarrassed to be one of those shoppers looking at the ingredient list on the back of items. But why? Nobody actually is noticing me and if I need to take a little bit longer to pick out my items NO. BIG. DEAL.

Once I started shopping I was relieved by how simple it became and how empowered I felt taking control of what I knew I was putting into my body to fuel it. Over time I’ve came back to my staple items that I know I’ll use up between meals and snacks.

So today I’m sharing that staple shopping list with all of you! I will more than likely be updating this list as I’m exploring new meal ideas in the coming weeks. Feel free to share your additional items with me as well or ask what I use specific items for!

Sugar Free Shopping List

Printable .pdf file available on request: ashraeeiningyoga@gmail.com

No Sugar May.

Do you struggle with bloating, inflammation, or trouble sleeping? Or maybe you wake up most mornings to stare in the mirror with a puffy face and dry eyes? Or maybe you are victim to the afternoon slump most days?

If none of these things resonates with you then congratulations! But this is the definition of my life when my diet contains too much added sugar. Which is why I attempt* a monthly detox a few times a year. 

*Attempt is the key word because our lives still need indulgences. 

Added sugar is a variety of caloric sweeteners or sugar carbohydrates added to food and beverages during their production. This type of sugar is chemically indistinguishable from naturally occurring sugar that we would find in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Added sugars have no nutritional value and are “empty calories”. 

These sugars can cause the body to become inflamed, gain weight, higher blood pressure and can even increase risk for heart attack and stroke. These little punk ingredients aren’t only bad for us but are just as addictive as alcohol, caffeine, gambling, etc. Our bodies become dependent on the need for sugar that we are consistently craving to fill the desire to consume more sugar. This desire than results in withdraw when we detox our body from them. Symptoms of withdrawal are headaches, increased cravings, and mood swings that can result in feelings of anxiety and sadness. The good thing is most withdraw symptoms only occur for a few days or a week. 

You might be thinking, why would I give up added-sugar then? Well, the rewards extremely outweigh the work. All those questions at the beginning of this post… ya, let’s get rid of those!

Cutting out (or for the most part) added sugar from your diet will likely decrease inflammation, boost your energy levels, and improve your ability to focus. You might even lose weight or see more definition around muscles. A low sugar diet also has been known to help with diabetes, heart disease, brain health, mood levels, and even improve the health of skin, hair, and nails. 

An informed diet does take work though. The food industry has a long history of sneaking in these ingredients in ways that do not have to be stated in the nutrition chart as actually added sugar. That means even if you see 0g added sugar, you still need to review the list of ingredients to actually be sure. For example: 

  • Agave Nectar
  • Barley Malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brown sugar
  • Brown Rice syrup
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane Juice crystals
  • Cane Sugar
  • Caramel
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Diastatic Malt
  • Ethyl Maltol
  • Fruit Juice
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Golden Sugar
  • Grape Sugar
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing Sugar
  • Invert Sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt Syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado Sugar
  • Panela Sugar
  • Raw Sugar
  • Refiner’s Syrup
  • Rice Syrup
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Sucanat
  • Sucrose
  • Treacle Sugar
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Yellow Sugar

The sad part is this isn’t even close to all of the sneaky ingredients the food industry shoves into food. The most effective way to reduce your sugar intake is to eat mostly whole and unprocessed foods. You might be thinking that is way too hard – I thought the same thing the first time I did an added sugar detox. But once you get into a routine of what to eat that is good for you, not too mention how good you’ll be feeling, it becomes a lifestyle that you don’t want to quit. 

If you would like to join me for the month of May, I’ll be sharing tips for shopping, meal planning, and yummy dish ideas here as well as on my Insta account (@ashraeeining). Having a tribe to go through this together, ask questions, and share ideas makes it WAYYYY more enjoyable (yes, it can be enjoyable!)

Like I said earlier, indulgences are still part of life – so have that donut or 3 scoops of ice cream. I know I sure do! Enjoy that margarita on a nice day and the cheesy enchiladas at your favorite Mexican restaurant. But making sure we are monitoring these indulgences so they don’t become a habit is when we start to take control over our health so we can feel all the benefits I stated above. 

So if you would like to join me on this journey for the month of May (or at least attempt* it) then stick around and follow me over on Instagram as well. I like to share some esthetically pleasing, highly edited photos of meals, snacks, and drinks (you can even follow just to creep the photos).  

Let’s get to feeling & living a healthier life!

 

 

 

Typical Workday Meal Plan.

Hey loves!

I just got done filming this week’s episode of Wine Down Wednesday that will be posted later today. We’re covering some barre moves that really target the lower body and the booooootay.

I’ve also been dealing with a mild case of tendonitis on the top of my right foot that I believe might have set in from driving. Reminder: I didn’t have a car while living in San Francisco and depended on public transportation or walking. Now that I am in Colorado, I have my car back (hallelujah!) but I’m thinking the tendons that keep your right foot flexed while driving might be a bit strained. If anyone has dealt with tendonitis of the tendons that attach to the 4 smaller toes, I’d love to hear your insights into how to recover quickly (seriously, seriously).

Anyways, onto the real point of this post: I wanted to share a typical day of meals and snacks with you all. I’ve been giving a brief glimpse into this on my Instagram stories lately but thought I would go a little more in-depth with a series of posts.

I’m starting this first one out with a typical workday. I have an 8-5 desk at a Digital Advertising agency where I work as a Digital Strategist. I do my best to always pack my lunches and mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. I find if I don’t eat healthy snacks throughout the day, in between meals, I have a higher risk of binge eating at the end of the day.

Also, it’s important to note that everyone is totally different. You should eat when you are hungry! I do not recommend you following my meal plan exactly unless that works for your body. Make yourself and your tummy happy!

Ight, let’s go:

Morning

I’ll normally get up in the morning and chug water. Seriously. I work out quite a bit so I find I am the most dehydrated after a night’s rest.

I’ll probably get about 8 oz of water in within the first 10 minutes I am up. If I am feeling bloated, I will heat water in my electric kettle and mix in a few tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar.

Then I’ll make some coffee. I always put a scoop of collagen into my coffee because within out, my nails and hair are pretty weak so it works miracles for me. (If you’re interested in collagen, I can recommend a few of my favorite brands.)  Lately, I’ve been testing out how I do with more protein in the morning to see if that keeps me fueler throughout the day and cuts down on sweet cravings. I’ve been lovvvving the KITU Super Protein Creamer. It is about 17 calories per tbsp with less than 1g of sugar. If I’m making sure I stay fuel for a while, I’ll use a Premier Protein (I prefer the caramel flavor) with ice in my coffee.

Mid-morning hits and I’ll either have a banana, a couple clementines, or a Luna Bar.

Lunch

I like super quick and easy meals for lunch that aren’t going to weigh me down for the afternoon. I have to eat light for lunch! Anything too heavy and I am worthless for the afternoon.

Lately, I’ve been heating mozzarella cheese on a tortilla and top it with a packet of tuna (in water). Super feeling, super delicious, and way lighter than a normal tuna melt.

Mid-afternoon comes around and I’ll enjoy one of my homemade protein bars (recipe to come soon) or an RX bar.

Dinner

My favorite meal of the day!!

This is very I really like to indulge because it is normally after my daily workout. I will try to get this meal in between 6:30-8PM in order to not eat too late.

If I am starving I will increase my carbs by having pasta but if I am pretty full from the day I will whip up a salad or a heavy veggie stirfry.

Dessert

Sometimes it just has to happen!

If I need a little something sweet, I will reach for a mini dark chocolate dove. If I am still really hungry, I’ll whip up my new obsession: Chocolate Protein Frosty Knock-off. So yummmmmmy!

This fake frosty contains one avocado or banana, a handful of ice, a scoop of cocoa powder, vanilla protein to your desire, and almond milk. I have tried with both an avocado and a banana and both ways are uber delicious.

What are you guy’s favorite workday meals? Let me know if you enjoyed this post and if I should continue to share more in this format 🙂

Namaste.

Asian Chicken Salad.

Salads do not need to be boring!

I use to HATE salads. I would say naive things like “I feel like I’m chopping on a tree!”. But through the years, I’ve experimented plenty to find out which ingredients I actually really enjoy and have learned that I actually love and sometimes crave a good, hearty salad.

After a busy weekend of eating out way too much, it’s been nice to be in my new place and cook up my own meals. I’ve been in an Asian phase lately which is where I pulled my inspiration. I whipped up this simple salad this beautiful sunny afternoon with 6 ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Spinach
  • Trader Joe’s Miso Salad Dressing
  • Trader Joe’s Fat Free Feta Cheese
  • Mixed Stir Fry Veggies

Directions:

  1. Shred the rotisserie chicken. If you’re making the salad just for you then baggy up the chicken into 3-4 bags and freeze the remaining chicken to use for later. If you making a salad for a group then feel free to use the entire chicken.
  2. Place shredded chicken into a frying pan or wok. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce and heat on medium heat for 2-5 minutes.
  3. If you’re using microwavable veggies, cook accordingly. If you’re using fresh veggies, sauté in a frying pan over high heat.
  4. Top spinach with Miso salad dressing, cooked chicken, cooked veggies, & feta.
  5. Serve & enjoy!