APPLE CIDER GLAZED CHICKEN THIGHS

This is a PERFECT chicken recipe for the fall! delish-190912-apple-cider-glazed-chicken-0176-landscape-pf-1571156445

ingredients

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

2 apples, sliced

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed

2/3 cup apple cider

2 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. Grainy mustard

1 tbsp. butter

3 rosemary sprigs, for skillet

directions

Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, add potatoes, apples and chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until combined.

In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add chicken and sear, skin side down, until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove chicken from heat while you make the glaze.

To the same skillet, add apple cider, honey and grainy mustard. Bring mixture to a rapid simmer and cook until mixture has reduced slightly then whisk in the butter. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up, and scatter the sweet potato mixture and rosemary sprigs around the chicken. Turn off the heat and transfer the entire skillet to the oven.

Bake until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. (If potatoes need longer to cook, transfer chicken to a cutting board to rest and continue cooking until tender.)

(recipe found on delish.com)

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PARMESAN BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD

Here is a different way to enjoy Brussels sprouts. A lovely Fall salad with gorgeous colors!!

ingredientsdelish-brussels-sprouts-salad-1528221412

4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 tbsp. lemon juice

¼ c. freshly chopped parsley

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved and thinly sliced (about 8 cups)

½ c. chopped toasted almonds

½ c. pomegranate seeds

Shaved Parmesan, for serving

ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper until combined. Add Brussels sprouts and toss until completely coated. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for at least 20 minutes and up to 4 hours before serving.

Fold in almonds and pomegranate seeds and garnish with shaved Parmesan before serving.

(adapted from a recipe found on https://www.delish.com)

 

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THE BENEFITS OF DECELERATION

I recently went to Boulder, Colorado and while there, I took a restorative yoga class with an incredible instructor, Lara. As the class started, Lara began talking about something that she learned that day about electric cars: She discovered that electric Zdp6sMyoGA.pngcars actually recharge when the accelerator is not being pressed. This means that when the car is going downhill, and decelerating, it is actually recharging. She wanted us to think about this as it pertained to our lives. Since rest is restorative, she wanted to know…….were we decelerating enough?

I sat there feeling as if Lara was speaking directly to me. I came to Boulder feeling broken in every way.  A month prior, I had a bad bike accident. I should have taken time off so that I could rest and recover.  Instead, I chose to ignore all of that just “carried on”, as if nothing happened.  (DENIAL!) Eventually it caught up with me and I re-injured myself hardly doing anything. I hobbled into that yoga studio barely able to walk.

Like most people, I had to learn the hard way before I was ready to make a change. Our bodies are wondrous—they work so hard for us all the time doing things that we all take for granted. Right now, as you read this, your heart is pumping, your lungs are taking in air and removing carbon dioxide, your digestive system is breaking down and absorbing nutrients, hormones are flowing, new red blood cells are being made, your eyes are blinking, your kidneys and liver are detoxing, your white blood cells are fighting off invaders. In return, we owe our bodies good nutrition, water, a lot of movement, and REST so we can recharge.

I preach to my clients about the benefits of rest and yet I did not follow my own advice.  Pushing through pain is never a good thing! So, if you find yourself rushing around, trying to squeeze it all in,  and pushing yourself too much, sooner or later your body will send you a strong message. Mind did. Please don’t make the same mistake I made!

I am currently on a path of embracing deceleration so that I can properly heal and recharge . I want my life more balanced. Maybe you need to recharge, too?

 

 

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HARISSA CHICKEN WITH LEEKS, POTATOES AND YOGURT

This Melissa Clark recipe is AMAZING!!! I made this a few days ago and grilled the chicken instead of baking it in the oven. Either way, try it!

ingredientsdownload.jpg

2 tablespoons harissa

4 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 teaspoons kosher or flaky sea salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

3 chicken thighs

3 chicken legs

1 pounds roasting potatoes (such as Yukon Golds) and/or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½ -inch cubes

2 leeks, washed, sliced in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced crossways

grated zest of one lemon

½ cup plain yogurt

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

lemon or lime juice

1 cup mix of fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint, dill, chervil, and tarragon, very coarsely chopped

directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the harissa, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, cumin, 2 ½ teaspoons of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper. Add the chicken and potatoes, then rub the thighs and legs and potatoes with the marinade. Be sure to use your hands to rub the sauce under the skin of the chicken. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the leeks together with the lemon zest, ¼ of the salt, and the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.
  4. Transfer the chicken and potatoes, and any sauce in the bowl, onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the chicken pieces so they are skin side up, and make sure the chicken parts and potatoes are in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Toss the potatoes (so they can brown on the other sides of them) then strew the leeks over everything on the baking sheet. It may look like a lot, but they’ll bake down.
  6. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, another 20 to 25 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the garlic, the remaining salt and pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice.
  7. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spoon the yogurt sauce in various places over the chicken and potatoes. Top with fresh herbs and serve.

(Melissa’s Clark recipe found on www.tastecooking.com)

 

 

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I’ve fallen but CAN get up!

On August 18th, I had my first serious bike accident. I was going down a hill at 30 mph and must have hit some loose gravel and a fell off of my bike onto my right side. I came down hard on my right thigh, banged my head, and cracked my 10802-Sad-And-Stunned-Male-Biker-Clutching-The-Handles-To-His-Damaged-Mountain-Bike-Clipart-Illustrationhelmet. I don’t remember much about the fall but my husband, who was with me, told me that I screamed, fell, paused for a moment,  and then stood up. I was walking around in such a way that he thought I could get back on the bike. I couldn’t. I was very banged up, confused (had a mild concussion) and had 2 broken ribs on my right side.  Once he fully understood my state, he called an ambulance.

Given how fast I was going, it is miraculous that I walked away with these mild injuries. I was VERY lucky and feel extremely fortunate.

The one glaring lesson that I’ve learned, is this: STRONG LEGS ARE ESSENTIAL. It’s great to be able to do push-ups, but strong legs are imperative to being healthy—especially as you get older. Many older people can’t stand up from sitting in a chair, simply because it’s too difficult. This becomes a domino effect: Not being able to get up leads to inactivity. Inactivity leads to a sedentary lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle leads to an increase risk of developing hypertension, coronary heart disease, anxiety and depression, and certain cancers. Reduced activity increases the risk for falling, which can lead to hip fractures. Hip fractures are a very serious health issue for people over 65. It could lead to crippling disability and even death.

Bottom line: Keep moving. Work your leg muscles! Work those muscles until you feel them fatigue or burn! Walk, jog, weight train, bike, squat, lunge, jump, hike, skip, play tennis! If you are a beginner, sit in your kitchen chair with your legs at 90 degrees and stand up and sit down. Keep this up so that you can stay active and healthy. This means when you fall you CAN  get up!

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BLACKBERRY-GLAZED CHICKEN

Summer is still here so fire up your grill and try this chicken dish. Super simple and screams SUMMER!!

ingredientsblackberry-glazed-chicken-1565022551

1 (6-ounce) package blackberries

¼ c. water

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. cold butter

1 tbsp. whole-grain mustard

8 pieces chicken parts (thighs, drumsticks, quartered breasts)

Kosher salt and black pepper

Fresh, flat-leaf parsley

directions

Heat grill to medium. Combine blackberries, water, white wine vinegar, and sugar in a small saucepan; simmer, mashing occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbsp., 18 to 20 minutes. Stir in butter and whole-grain mustard. Transfer half the glaze to a bowl; reserve.

Meanwhile, pat chicken parts dry; season with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill, skin-sides up, covered, 15 minutes. Uncover, baste with some of the glaze and grill, turning and basting occasionally, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh flat-leaf parsley and serve with remaining glaze.

(recipe found on http://www.countryliving.com)

 

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THE DETRIMENT OF DIETING

Many of you know how I feel about diets: I HATE THEM. I know this is a strong statement but I would feel differently if they worked. They don’t. In fact, chronic images.pngdieting wreaks havoc on your psyche and on your body. Emotionally, unsuccessful dieting can make you feel like a failure, full or shame and self-hatred, and/or utterly frustrated. Physically, chronic yo-yo dieting can slow down your metabolism. In addition, it can change your body composition leaving you with more fat and less muscle.

Here’s another huge problem with dieting: You become so focused on the rules of the diet that you lose the  connection that you have with your body. You learn to accept feeling hungry, cutting out food groups, or eating foods that you don’t really enjoy. This is not conducive for long-term success.

A client of mine, let’s call her Jane, has been a chronic dieter her whole life. She’s a woman in her mid-forties, who came to me because she wanted to lose weight. After talking with her and understanding her long diet history, I knew she was looking for me to solve the problem. She would have been ecstatic if I handed her a sheet of paper, telling her exactly what to eat. In essence, she was looking for another diet.

I had to set Jane straight. I wanted her focus NOT to be dieting or weight loss but on other factors that were keeping her from losing weight—her real barriers. One of Jane’s barriers was her erratic work schedule. Often, she would go for long periods of time without food. By the time she had a break, she was “starving”, so naturally, when she sat down to eat, she ate too much and too much of the wrong foods.  However, when Jane’s work was more predictable, her eating was mindful and healthy. She had time to shop, prep and cook. Most importantly, she had time to figure out when she felt hungry (and not starving) and when she had enough (satiety). This is what mindful eating is all about.

My strategy for Jane was to have her armed and ready for the erratic days. She had to make sure she had healthy snacks, like fruit and nuts, to keep that “starving feeling” at bay. She is starting to see how this is making a big difference rather than following a strict diet, feeling strangulated with restrictions, and then  throwing in the towel because it’s just too hard. I am encouraging her to focus on her body to see what it’s telling her and to act accordingly.  In her case it means that she can’t ignore the hunger. This is a long-term strategy rather than, in the short-term,  counting calories on an app, and ignoring her body’s signals.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE:  If you want to lose weight, and have not been successful, DO NOT try another diet.  Instead, try a DIFFERENT approach: Take the focus OFF of weight loss and look for the underlying barriers that are sabotaging your progress.

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