Going from an “average” (or worse) lifestyle to a “healthy” one doesn’t happen overnight. After all, what is a healthy lifestyle anyway? Who is truly qualified to tell me that I should be eating more greens or that my thighs gap isn’t big enough? In my opinion, we need to be having more conversations with ourselves about what health or wellness looks like for us. Looking inward for answers vs relying on society to tell us what is best. I was reminded of that this weekend while at the Healthy Glow Co Retreat. When we arrived we went around the table for introductions & listened to why each person was participating in the retreat. Some came for a day of self-care, while others came to learn more fitness tips, and me, I was there to build connections with like-minded women. All of these could easily qualify as “healthy” reasons. But if you’re anything like I am, it starts with food. I’d guess i’m about 50% Food, 25% mind, 25% body. So let’s talk about food….
When I started my first Whole30, eliminating certain foods was difficult. Alternating ingredients to replace some of my favorite foods was an adjustment for not only my mind, but also my taste buds. But an elimination diet was the best thing I have done for my health, and I’ve tried many healthy things according to mainstream dieting. Process of elimination led me to undertsand how certain food groups were effecting my mind, skin & digestion.
Back to food, as I said- alternating ingredients was an adjustment for my tastebuds. But after finding out that my body had negative, inflammatory & digestive reactions to foods groups such as gluten, sugar & dairy I continued to substitute them in my diet for more natural/whole food- alternatives. Over time, my tastebuds have adapted to enjoy these cleaner replacements just as much as I use to love the original recipes. One big replacement for me was going from traditional milk to coconut milk. For someone unfamiliar with it, coconut milk may be extremely recognizable in a recipe. However, after months of experimentation it can serve as a near perfect replacement for your everyday creamer.
The same applies to sugar & grains. Never did I think the day would come that I would stop craving a bowl of ice cream or post dinner treat. But by process of elimination, my taste buds have grown extremely sensitive to sugar. While I once turned to chocolate, ice cream & oreos to fill those sugary cravings, I can now be satisfied by fruit, coconut butter, or even some kombucha.
But these practices were built over time. When my diet was filled with processed foods, sugars & gluten I could not foresee a life devoid of sweet treats. I still eat indulge in the occasional dessert/bread slice/glass of wine, but i can do so in smaller portions because those foods no longer appeal to me the way they used to.
This recipe is great for those who are just starting out and want to dip their toe into some “alternative’ options. Cauliflower rice & coconut milk are two of the most common paleo/whole30 standybys. So if you are participating in your first Whole30 or just beginning to explore some cleaner recipes, I offer this advice: be open minded, test multiple recipes/brands/ingredient substitutions, and just see what works best for your body & your tastebuds. Cultivating a healthier lifestyle, regardless of what that means to you, is a marathon.
- 1 LB chicken breast
- 1 TBSP avocado oil
- 1/2 TBSP chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/4 c chicken broth
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 C lime juice
- 1/2 C coconut cream
- 1 TBSP tapioca starch + 1 TBSP water
- 2 TBSP cilantro
- 12-16 OZ Cauliflower Rice
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 c shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1/2 c coconut cream
- Mix chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika & pepper. Generously coat the chicken breasts with the seasoning mixture. If there is remaining seasoning, you can add to the crockpot.
- Optional: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan & brown the chicken for 1-2 minutes on each side. This gives the chicken a crispy skin.
- Place chicken breasts in the crockpot. Add chicken broth, garlic cloves, lime juice & any remaining seasoning. Place lid on crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- With 30 minutes left to cook, gently remove chicken. Add coconut cream, cilantro & starch/water mixture to the broth in crockpot & stir. Add chicken back into the pot & cook for the remaining 30 minutes.
- For Cauliflower Rice
- Heat coconut oil in pan, add cauliflower rice & stir
- Add Coconut cream & shredded coconut, stir until coconut cream begins to obsorb into cauliflower. about 2 minutes.