90 Days of Getting Back to ME--Update

Semi-successful week #2! Unfortunately my very generous 3 and a half yr old brought home a nasty cold to share with the family and both John and I got it good.  We're actually still a bit under the weather but have been back in action with working out for 2 days.  I had to take 4 days off but somehow managed to maintain the same diet.  My mama did bring me some homemade chicken soup so that helped a bit too. :) So this week there really isn't that much to report so I thought I'd let loose with a few recipes I've been utilizing this week. Some of my regular favorites actually.

Breakfast Bars:  These are delicious and the great thing is you can literally put everything but the kitchen sink in this recipe.  When I make these for my daughter I include some of her old cereals that won't get eaten. Sometimes I include leftover granola, and occasionally I'll throw in a handful of almonds, sunflower seeds, raisins, dates, walnuts or whatever is around.  I don't normally use measurements so some of the measurements may be a bit off. I also use all organic ingredients because they don't have sugar.

2 cups dry oatmeal 1 cup applesauce 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp agave nectar (FANTASTIC replacement for sugar. It comes from the agave plant so it is one of the only sweet alternatives that doesn't mess with your sugar levels) 1 egg and 2 egg whites 1/4 cup water 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder whatever other ingredients you think will make this yummy; nuts, dates, raisins...etc. I throw in a small handful of all kinds of stuff.

Put all ingredients except the extra yummies in a food processor and let it rip for about 2 minutes. Add your extra yummies and stir. When I make these for Ella I add a little extra agave nectar to make them a little sweeter and I also process the extra yummies in with everything so I can sneak in almonds, walnuts and even carrot shreds that she won't know is in there. Use cooking spray to coat some kind of muffin/bread tin (we have a mini-loaf pan that bakes 8 mini-loafs of bread) and fill each cup 3/4 way full. Bake at 350 for about 15-18 minutes or until browned a little on top. Move them to a cooling rack. For Ella I also spread Earth Balance Buttery Spread on top of each (this is a great substitute for butter--it is made with expeller pressed oils so we're getting all the good stuff from some really great oils like canola, olive and sunflower. There are no trans fats and no crazy ingredients I can't pronounce, which are usually all thru other un-natural alternatives like "I can't believe it's not butter". A title like that scares the hell out of me. If it isn't butter then what in the world is it??)

Also--if you leave out the baking powder and soda this recipe makes FANTASTIC pancakes also.  Just make minis and drizzle honey or agave nectar over top.  Ella loves these.

If you're watching calories then use nuts, dates and raisins sparingly as each is pretty high in calories.

Chicken Salad: I usually eat this open-faced on one slice of Ezekial bread. Never heard of that?? It's terrific. It's literally a recipe taken from the bible. No kidding! This "bread" is all sprouts and protein so it is absolutely fantastic for your body. In America, almost everything is so over-processed it just turns to sludge in our bodies so breads are one of the worst things you can eat. And don't think for a moment you're doing yourself any good by using whole wheat products. Wheat is the most over-processed ingredient in our country. Ezekial bread is so fresh and utilizes such great ingredients you can only find it in the frozen section. You don't have to keep it frozen once home but I do recommend keeping it refrigerated. I like it toasted best and they also have different kinds like cinnamon raisin. Yum!

4 boneless chicken breasts (if you have the patience for chicken with the bone still in then you should do that. You get more of the good stuff from meat that still has the bone in. Bones are actually rich in nutrients and minerals so using meat that comes from the bone is best for you. Also--try to only buy any meat that is free range, vegetarian fed--for beef only grass fed--and no hormones or antibiotics. So far I've only been able to find this at Whole Foods in Shadyside. It makes a huge difference and is SO much better for you). 1/2 cup low-fat plain greek style yogurt (no mayo! yay!) 1/2 cup grapes sliced in half 2 tbsp chutney of some kind 2 tbsp chopped red onion salt/pepper dill

Boil/grill/bake chicken breasts. Pull meat off in small pieces and put in bowl. Mix all other ingredients in and stir. Yum! You can also serve this over leaf lettuce.

So there ya have it. Also--my inspirational song of the week is by none other than the most talented, most beautiful, most poetic, most rockin' chick I know (well...I wish I knew)...Ani Difranco.