creamy smokehouse chicken dip

January 28, 2015 in Blog, Blue Diamond, Food, Recipe, Review, Snack by lindsaymwright

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.  For more Game Changing Snacks, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Happy Wednesday!

Since the big game is this coming Sunday, let’s talk football today, shall we?  Or rather, let me tell you how little I actually know about the sport.

Lindsay’s Football Facts

1)  Football was invented in 1609 when two dueling countries decided to fight over an actual pig.  Hence the name, “pigskin” when we’re talking about the football*.

2)  The quarterback on every team must meet the following criteria or be kicked out of the league:  1) be “Nebraska-handsome” (you know what that means…or maybe you don’t), 2) must date a super-model or actress and 3) must use the phrase “my hands are my work” in at least one conversation a day*.

Two.

Two facts.

*I actually have no idea how football got started or if “Nebraska-handsome” is a thing…(but it should be).

BlueDiamond-1

Blue Diamond Almond recently sent me some of their Wasabi & Soy Sauce and Smokehouse almonds to try out.  Umm…YUM to both flavors!!  Then they challenged me to come up with a GAME DAY snack in preparation for the big game on Sunday.  True to my core, I chose the easiest recipe I could and made some fun substitutions.  After playing around for at least 5 minutes in the kitchen, Creamy Smokehouse Chicken Dip was born.  It’s PERFECT for your football crowd – tangy, creamy and packed with protein!  The finely chopped almonds add flavor and a little bit of texture.  We ate our dip with Blue Diamond Nut Thins and celery sticks.

Give it a go (and then get over here and fill me in on this football stuff).

BlueDiamond-3

Creamy Smokehouse Chicken Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/2 can of Blue Diamond Almond Smokehouse almonds, finely chopped
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I love using greek cream cheese – higher protein content)
  • 3/4 cup light ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Texas Pete)
  • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through.  Stir in chopped almonds, cream cheese, ranch dressing and bbq sauce.  Cook, stirring until well blended and warm.  Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture into an 8×8 pan.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Before serving, top with any remaining almonds you have.  Serve with celery sticks and/or chips.  <-Blue Diamond happens to make a SMOKEHOUSE Nut Thin but I couldn’t find it at the store I went to so I used their Sea Salt flavor – still great!

BlueDiamond-2

BlueDiamond-4

BlueDiamond-5

QUESTION:  Will you be watching the big game on Sunday?  What are you making as far as food goes (and can we come over?)?

splendid…lindsay

crockpot chicken and beans

January 21, 2015 in Blog, Dinner, Food, Recipe by lindsaymwright

Y’all.

I feel silly even typing this “recipe” out.

Like I’m hanging my head in shame.

You see – I’m a simple cook (I’m use that term loosely) and I was raised by the best.  Growing up, we always had a hot meal and we ate at the table together as a family.  My mama (God bless her) can cook two things well and about four things that are edible.  I have the best memory of this one time that she made chuckwagon steaks (like frozen, fried patties of meat), burned them, put them on white buns, and served them with tator tots for dinner one night.  As soon as she dished up the plates, my daddy (who was raised by one of the best cooks I’ve ever known) just laughed and laughed at this dinner.  My daddy loves my mom so he grinned through every burnt bite.  A story we still talk about to this day (along with the time she threw his scrambled eggs out into the yard because he complained…but that’s a story for a different day…).  Anyway, I am my mother’s twin when it comes to the cooking thing.  We just can’t…so we don’t.

But this dish…this dish I can do (and I do do at least once a week Smile ).  I’ve perfected all the measurements and cooking times and I feel like this is MY dish.  The dish my children will tell all their friends about on the school yard.

My daddy’s grinning so big right now.

013

014

015

019

021

CROCKPOT CHICKEN AND BEANS*

Ingredients:

4-6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

1/2-3/4 cup BBQ sauce

1/4 cup Texas Pete (or other hot sauce of choice)

1 can (16oz) black beans, rinsed

Place chicken, bbq sauce and hot sauce into a crockpot.  Cook on low for 4 hours.  Shred chicken using two forks, pulling apart the meat.  Stir in the drained black beans.

009

*We like this chicken as a main dish with a few sides, in quesadillas or atop a big salad.  Find what works for your family!

QUESTION:  Can you cook?  Bake?  Do you enjoy it?  <-no

splendid…lindsay

wiaw – a lot of green stuff

January 14, 2015 in 24 Day Challenge, Advocare, Blog, Diet, Food, WIAW by lindsaymwright

Hey.  Hi.  Hey-o!

I don’t have a whole bunch of time (about to head downstairs and train my MoveMore groups) but I wanted to sit down for a second and document some of the FOOD that we’ve been consuming around here lately.  Yesterday marked the end of a little mini-challenge that I had with myself (the 10-day Advocare Challenge for Nursing Moms if you’re interested) so we’ve been eating A LOT of green things.  Since our food color for the month of December was mostly brown…chocolate brown…a little green in the month of January was more than needed.  Lots of salads, eggs, crockpot chicken and green smoothies were consumed.  Travis and I both feel WAY better and plan to continue this green streak for a little while longer (aka I won’t be making brownies today…maybe this weekend Winking smile ).

A little look at what’s been going down:

012

The biggest container of spring mix I’ve ever seen.

001

Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter on a sweet potato…try it!

002

009

Crockpot Chicken (I need to share this recipe ASAP – we eat it at least once a week) and BBQ-flavored Good Beans

008

I can’t get enough of this Nikki’s Coconut Butter.  It’s good on everything but best on warm/hot items as the oil tends to solidify when cold.  Just a heads up for when you buy it because you should!

019

003

I love shrimp!  I cooked these in a little Kerrygold butter and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.

004

002

Told ya.  Love it!

QUESTION:  What’s your favorite VEGETABLE??  <-I like spinach only because it’s so versatile.  But a roasted brussel sprout wins my heart.

splendid…lindsay

wiaw

why i’ll never go on a diet

January 6, 2015 in 24 Day Challenge, Advocare, Blog, Diet, Food by lindsaymwright

This is probably the millionth resolution-type post that you’ve read this week but I need to write it out so I’m more apt to stick to some of the diet cleanup that I’m doing over here.  If this isn’t your thing, skip it and come back tomorrow.  Judging by the billion dollar weight loss and diet pill industry, I’m guessing that there’s at least a few of you out there who will read any post with the word “diet” in the title.  I get that.  I kept US Weekly in business for many years solely based on the cover pictures of celebrities claiming to have lost a few pounds on some miraculous diet.  I get it.

Let me first say that I’m not “going on a diet.”  That’s not for me.  It might be for you and I applaud you (maybe) but the minute I say that certain foods are off limits, the more and more I can’t stop obsessing over them.  For me, diets lead to very destructive behaviors.  I’m also not counting calories or tracking my foods.  After years of disordered eating, I just can’t.  I just WON’T.

But….Travis and I were kinda starting to turn into Sugar Zombies.  (you don’t want to be one of those, I assure you.)

After the holidays and with the start of the blank-page-new-year feel, we needed to start eating more vegetables.  Or any vegetables.  I’ll tell you – my biggest craving has always been SUGAR.  I’ve been known to go the entire day only nibbling on a pan of brownies ….only to see that the pan is gone two days later and I haven’t shared a single one.  While a brownie diet sounds fabulous (right?!?), it doesn’t make me FEEL good.  So this past Saturday, Travis and I cleaned out our fridge and pantry and got rid of all the desserts.  Nothing too strict – I still have my cereal and my graham crackers – but all the desserts were TOSSED.  It felt good.

002

I always make a BIG salad at the start of the week!  Add lean proteins (crockpot chicken or tuna fish) + healthy fats (I love avocados).

Today is Day 4 of my Cleaned-up Diet (combined with a few Advocare supplements) and I must say that I feel wonderful.  I have ENERGY again!!  We’ve been getting in the bed about an hour earlier than normal (more sleep always helps.  Always.).  We’ve eaten a salad every day (sometimes twice a day).  My normal afternoon coffee and Oreo ball has been replaced with Spark and a banana with almond butter.  Travis is actually doing the 24 Day Advocare Challenge so I know that our lives won’t include desserts for at least the next few weeks.  After a straight month of living in a sugar coma, I’m more than ok with that. Smile

Here’s what’s important about all of this:  I’m doing everything moderately.  Yes I suppose throwing out sugary treats might have been extreme but I know that I’m less likely to reach for those things if they’re not in the house.  There was no grand sweeping “No SUGAR whatsoever/No CARBS after 6pm”-sort of declarations.  I can’t stick to stuff like that.  And I’m guessing many of you can’t either.

Balance. 

Slow improvements. 

No quick fixes. 

Moderation.

Those are all things that I can get behind as a adult who needs to eat a little better.  I used to do crazy (CRAY-ZY!) stuff in the past to lose weight or “detox” and I’m just so over that.  Anyway, I hope that if you’re in the same boat, you’ll give yourself a little GRACE and take it all one day at a time.  By this time next year, if you’re a little lighter, a little stronger, a little healther, then that’s a step in the right direction!

QUESTION:  Have you cleaned up your diet this week?  Do you practice moderation or are you an “all or nothing”-type of person?

P.S.  I’ve been asked to write a post on the SUPPLEMENTS I take so look for that in the coming days.  Any other posts that you’d like to see?

splendid…lindsay

wiaw and navigating holiday eating

December 10, 2014 in Blog, Diet, Food, Goals, Rambles, WIAW by lindsaymwright

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve participated in Jenn’s “What I Ate Wednesday” (speaking of did you see her latest recipe?!?  YUMMO!!) – I never tire of looking at other people’s food pics.  Is that just me??  I don’t think so.  People love food.  Speaking of which, I know there’s a TON of food anxiety associated with the holiday season and I thought I’d share my two cents.

Stop Stressing.

Here’s the thing….Christmas comes once a year.  I’m guessing most of my readers are fairly healthy people.  You work out, you eat whole, nutritious foods the majority of the time.  I think that the anxiety surrounding holiday foods is unnecessary if you keep in mind that this is a temporary season.  Do you make Christmas cookies the other 11 months of the year?  Do you eat poorly on a regular basis?  I’d say the answer is NO (at least for me it is).  My normal approach is this –>I aim to eat a salad a day, lean proteins, little dairy (it hurts my belly) and I drink at least 100 ounces of water a day.  I make a point to move regularly.  I don’t track calories and I don’t have food rules.  I know that when I eat trashy foods, my body doesn’t function as well.  Health and energy take priority over weight loss or calorie counting.

During this season of holiday parties and cookie exchanges, I think the biggest tip I’d give is stop putting so much thought into it.  I know that for me personally, if I say some food group is off limits …then that’s the only thing I can think about.  It’s all I want.  Moderation works best.  Always will.  If you want a sugar cookie shaped in the form of a Christmas tree – go for it.  Just pay attention to how it makes you feel.  I can eat a few cookies.  A whole plate of cookies probably isn’t the best.

Anywho….here’s a little glimpse of what I’ve been eating lately.  Lots of greens, chicken, coffee and froyo.  Smile with tongue out

010

^^Henry and Clara ALWAYS pick gummy bears as their topping.  I can’t imagine that mixing well with froyo but to each their own.^^

015

031

006

^^I recently ordered two dozen Spring Sprinkle Healthy Bites.  They taste like a sugar cookie but are WAY healthier.^^

009

^^These lasted all of two days.  Reminded me of summer.^^

\020

021

^^I got all sorts of Martha Stewart and made my own cinnamon almond butter.  Meaning I shook a crap-ton of cinnamon into a jar of almond butter and stirred it up.^^

010

005

^^Pre-dressing.  I’ve been using Ken’s Balsamic Vinaigrette lately.^^

006

^^Best pumpkin yogurt.  Hands down.^^

035

————

QUESTION:  What are your thoughts on HOLIDAY EATING??

splendid…lindsay

why food and exercise shouldn’t touch

December 3, 2014 in Blog, Body, Diet, Food, Inspiration, Over-Exercise by lindsaymwright

“We’re eating turkey and dressing tomorrow. 

Push harder!!! 

WORK!!” 

Head down, legs pumping as fast as they could.  Those mountain climbers had nothing on this group.  Yet as soon as the words left my lips, I cringed at the sound of them.

“No, Lindsay.  NO!  You don’t believe it so don’t coach it.”

And it’s true.

I don’t let the corners of food and exercise touch.  Like those (odd) people who can’t let the juice from their black beans touch the corn on their plate, I don’t allow my mind to even go to that place where exercising X amount burns off X amount of food.  After talking to several recovering ED friends and just women in general, I realize that this is a blessing.

Food and Exercise.  Why DO we put these two things together so much??

We say things like: 

“I ate this donut so I’m going to run for 50 minutes to burn it off.”

or…

“I want to eat a donut later so I’m going to run for 50 minutes to make a calorie deficit.”

Read this:

If you want to lose weight, you need to watch your food intake. 

If you want to get fit and strong, you need to exercise. 

The borders of food and exercise should really only meet when we’re talking about pre and post-workout fueling.  That’s it.

003

When we use exercise as a punishment, pushing as hard as we can, for the food we’ve either eaten or want to eat, we dishonor our bodies.

When we binge on food because we worked out really hard (or maybe twice in a day), we dishonor our bodies.

When we use the phrase “let me burn this off,” we get stuck in this perpetual pattern of feeling shameful about our food choices or approaching exercise with an attitude of punishment.  Not good.  Not healthy.

028

I want to tell you right now – there is nothing more JOYFUL than moving your body.  It’s a pure blessing!  I think once you’ve dealt with an injury or sickness, you immediately recognize the privilege that is MOVEMENT.  Same goes with food – fueling your body in a way that promotes digestion, clear skin, energy – that’s a gift you can give yourself.  Eating vibrant, energy-giving foods is a way of honoring your body.

To move freely, for fun…for pleasure.  That’s the goal.

To eat healthfully.  That’s the goal.

Not “calories burned.”  

Not all the numbers.  

And most definitely not out of guilt or obligation.

(So long story short – don’t let “calories burned” rule your life, don’t let food and exercise touch and keep your black beans separate from your corn.)

QUESTION:  Are you stuck in this pattern of exercising to burn off what you ate?  Do you count calories?

splendid…lindsay