Real Food

I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile now but for some reason or another just haven’t.  However, I started reading a nutrition book last week (review to come later) and I finally feel like now’s the right time to write this post.

I get a lot of interest from people wanting to know the way that I eat, what diet I’m on (really, that one pisses me off), or why I eat the way that I do.  Not that I’m anything special, I’m more an oddity to them.  Fruits, vegetables, no chips?? What gives?? I used to give a lengthy explanation of clean eating but I kept noticing the same glossy eyed look on different faces.  Now that I’ve gone paleo, it’s even harder to explain.  So I’ve learned to keep my answer short and sweet:

food 2

This revelation either shuts the conversation down immediately, or opens up further dialogue.  Usually, further dialogue follows with a confused look and “Real food??” in a questioning tone.  Alright, I think to myself, I’ve got ‘em hooked.  This is where I pull out my soap box.

Yep, real food.  Food that comes from a plant, not manufactured in a plant.  Food that I recognize and can pronounce all the ingredients.  Food that can go bad.  Food that has a mother; although, that actually sounds really terrible.  And I’m pretty sure I just heard all my vegan / vegetarian friends gag.  I’m talking about beef, chicken, pork – not cannibalism.  Food that visually excites and inspires me.

Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto

Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto

papaya

Freshly halved papaya

481813_595241967170895_112862517_n

Sausage stuffed ‘shrooms

Real food is consuming food that is as close to the real form as possible.  Whole fruits & vegetables, nuts, meat that have been minimally altered or processed.  If it tastes like a banana, by golly, it better be because I’m eating a banana or it has a banana in it.  Not because it has banana flavoring. (Dairy, legumes and grains fall into the real food category, too, unless you’re Paleo.)

Real food rots and goes bad.  It doesn’t have a shelf life able to withstand a zombie apocalypse.  You can find it by shopping the perimeter (with some exceptions) of your local grocery store.

It’s taken me years of trial and error to find this real food lifestyle but it works for me; it fits me.  I went through the phase of eating low fat, no fat, sugar free “food” thinking it fell into the healthy category.

This aisle was my BFF for several years. Quick, easy, convienent, and...."healthy"

This aisle was my BFF for several years.
Quick, easy, convenient, and….”healthy.” I mean the sign even says so.

lunch

Look at those stats: 16g protein, 3g fiber and only 210 calories.
Eggs, potatoes, cheese, and peppers. Simple, healthy. Right?

I read nutrition panels like a hawk. I could quote health benefits of processed foods like nobody’s business – ‘that’s a great source of fiber, calcium, whole grains, whatever…’ But I never stopped to read the ingredients.

ingredients

This is the label from that breakfast meal above.
Not quite as simple as eggs, potatoes, cheese and peppers….

When I started reading the ingredients, I started changing my life.  That was a couple years ago and I haven’t felt better.

{Some} Benefits of Eating Real Food:

  • Increased energy;
  • More complex variety of vitamins, mineral, phytonutrients; antioxidants…. i.e. a multivitamin without the pill;
  • Happier & healthier digestive system;
  • Strengthened immune system;
  • Environmentally conscience;
  • Minimally processed;
  • Tastes great (duh); and
  • Doesn’t make your body a vessel for science experiments.

If you really take a look in the grocery store, the shelves are filled with food-like products.  I say food-like because if you read the ingredients, it’s more like a science experiment in a box.  A very well crafted and cleverly disguised science experiment.  Seriously, take a look at some of the ingredients.  When was the last time you saw a garden or pasture full of sodium bicarbonate? (Yes, that chemical is one of the ingredients in the frozen egg thingy pictured above.)

“But it tastes so good….”  Is something I hear a lot when I’m explaining real vs. processed food.  Yes, that processed stuff does tastes good. No, scratch that. It doesn’t just taste good, it tastes fantastic.  It was designed to.  But what is that food really doing for you?  Is it nourishing your body or just filling your stomach?

Real food nourishes your entire body and -wait for it- tastes great, too.  When I first ditched the processed crap, I missed it terribly. I might even go so far as to use the word ‘withdrawals.’  However, after awhile I started to notice just how great food, real food, tasted.  I was amazed at how natural flavors seemed to burst out of food that I had previously thought bland.  Gone was my need to add salt and refined sugar.  Gone were the junk food cravings.  Eating real food, I feel satiated when I’m done eating. I also feel like each time I grocery shop I’m buying a small amount of life insurance.

I could go on and on about this topic but this is where I step down from my soap box.  The processed stuff you find in the grocery store will not kill you. It may not contribute to your health but you won’t die if you eat a Twinkie. Unless you choke on it. Always chew your food thoroughly.  Don’t think that I’m putting myself on a pedestal either, I still splurge from time-to-time on non ‘real food’ (did someone say froyo??). This post isn’t meant to make you feel bad about how you eat, just maybe make you more quizzical and conscientious about what you’re eating.

Question: What’s your favorite real food?

Going Paleo(ish)

When in Rome, do as the Romans do….Right?  We’ve all heard that statement before but it’s one of those universally (ok, at least in America) recognized phrases that applies to just about anything.  Right now for me, my “Rome” is CrossFit and the Romans are….wait for it….CrossFitters. You totally didn’t see that coming, did you?

Janice

One handed rope climbs? I will not be doing like this Roman crossfitter anytime soon.
This is my instructor Janice. She’s a total beast – even with a broken hand/arm.

During this month, I really want to embrace the whole CrossFit experience, not just bits and pieces of it.  Afterall, how can I know if I really like or dislike something without having given it a fair shot.  A big part of the CrossFit lifestyle is the way that they eat. Paleolithic style or Paleo for short.  Now, I realize that not every CFer follows a Paleo diet, but it seems like most do. So when my CF instructor challenged us to reduce (not eliminate) our dairy and grain intake, I accepted. I dig challenges.

For those of you who might not be familiar with Paleo, the short and sweet definition is that  it’s basically caveman type eating.

the-paleo-diet11source

Think primal, hunter-gatherer type stuff.  Meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and BACON.  Oh wait, bacon’s not a food group… Whatever, it should be.  The graphic below gives you a pretty good idea about Paleo.

paleo

We all know that I eat clean, so getting rid of the processed stuff isn’t a huge deal for me.  But what you don’t know is that a HUGE part of my clean diet consists of the first three bullets on the “don’t eat list.” I typically eat anywhere from 3-5 servings of dairy a day, 4-6 servings of grains (cereal, pasta, brown rice), and at least 1 serving of legumes a day. I don’t really eat a lot of meat….until now. *gulp*

So where the Paleo(ish) comes into play? A bit of background first for context.  In the past, I have had the tendency to go off the deep end with my eating habits, unfortunately, in an unhealthy way.  I’ve learned if I put food on the restricted list, it almost instantly becomes an enemy.  Something I can’t have or shouldn’t have because it will “hurt” me.  It can make me feel like I’m back into a corner. I get anxiety if I eat restricted food, or, even worse, to avoid anxiety in the past, I just wouldn’t eat. {side note: My not eating didn’t have anything to do with weight loss.  It was completely because I didn’t want to put “bad” food into me.}

That mindset is completely, totally, 100% unhealthy.  But I know this about me and that I have a tendency to think that way so in an effort to avoid potentially leading myself down that path, I am going Paleo(ish).  I am not outlawing dairy, grains and legumes.  Instead, what I’m committing to is allowing myself one serving of each per day.  I am going to try to not eat them at all, but if I do, I know that they aren’t “bad” and I haven’t done anything wrong by eating them. No guilt, no shame.  Just a happy and healthy Gina.

Life is all about finding the right balance that works for you.  I’m not convinced Paleo is the most healthy lifestyle but I’m going to give it a chance.  I really need to research it and I know there are a ton of great reads on the market right now like It Starts With Food.

ISWF-Cover-Header-Food4

I started my Paleo(ish) journey 1 1/2 weeks ago and so far I have had no problems.  At first I was a bit sad every time I opened my fridge and was greeted by my organic milk and plethora of Chobani flavors but after a week, I’ve really gotten the hang of it.  I think the transition was a bit easier for me since I eat clean.  I didn’t have to worry about sugar withdrawals or anything like that.

I’m excited to see how the rest of the month plays out.  The thing I’m looking forward to most is seeing how the increase in protein effects my muscles.  However, in my heart I know that once May hits, I’ll return to clean eating.  A different form of clean eating though, I don’t see myself reintroducing a ton of dairy and grains back into my diet.  Now beans, I’ll be bringing those back with a vengeance.  I love ’em! Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat…. (HA, I know you just finished that sentence in your head.  You’re welcome.)

Question:  Have you ever gone Paleo? Did you stick with it or reintroduce some of the restricted foods back into your life?

Carbo Loading Done Right & Pasta Primavera Recipe

Now that I’m only four days out from the marathon I’ve turned my attention to final race day preparations.  Today, this includes two things.  Banishing my sick husband to the guest room (am I a terrible wife?) and starting to carbo load.

I think carbo loading is by far one of the greatest benefits of race week.  I mean, we’re talking all you can eat pasta, pizza, ice cream, right?  WRONG! While this week is fun, there are definite rules behind it. Carbo loading is so simple yet so misunderstood.  Throw in ‘clean’ carbo loading and people really start to freak.  Trust me…..been there, done that.   Below I’m going to explain {my version} of the who, what, when & how of proper carbo loading.

spaghetti-with-creamy-marinara

Who should carbo load? Before reading all this information, you should determine if carbo loading is appropriate for you.  If you’re participating in a short event like a 5k or 10k you don’t need to carbo load.  You will not be taxing your muscles enough to tap into the reserve energy that carbo loading builds up.  Think endurance events  15k, 1/2 marathon, marathon, etc.

What is carbo loading? To understand how to properly carbo load you have to first understand the science and benefit behind it.  The main point of carbo loading is to make sure your glycogen stores are full before the big event.  So what exactly is glycogen?  Merriam-Webster defines it as, “a white amorphous tasteless polysaccharide (C6H10O5)x that is the principal form in which glucose is stored in animal tissues and especially muscle and liver tissue”.

Gina defines glycogen as, “the energy stores that fuel your muscles.”

Glycogen is what keeps your muscles moving during endurance events like marathons, triathlons, etc…  It keeps you from hitting the dreaded “wall” where your muscles literally shut down.

When do you carbo load?  You might think that one big pasta meal before the race is sufficient but you would be guilty of the stereotypical carbo load mentality.  Research has shown in order to reach optimal glycogen levels you need to start upping the carb intake 48-72 hours before the race. Yep, 2-3 days!  If you show up to a race with just one carb heavy meal under your belt, you’re starting the race off on the wrong foot.  I really like to start increasing my carb intake 5 days before the race (in my case, the marathon on Sunday).

How do you carbo load & how much is enough?  This is completely subjective for each person but all the books and articles I’ve read suggest that 80-95% of your daily calories (leading up the the race) should be from carbs I found this carb calculator online if you want to see the breakdown of how many carbs you should aim for.  Preferably your increased glycogen stores will be from complex carbs (whole grains, vegetables and legumes) in the week leading up to the race and then simple carbs (refined wheat, fruits) the day prior to the event.  The reason I like to switch to simple carbs the day prior is because, for me at least, they’re digested easily.  Try to stay away from fats and refined sugars.

Speaking of digestion.  The day before the race, I really like to have my last big carb meal during the day and not at night.  I want to make sure to give my body enough time to have any ummm adverse reactions (you know what I’m talking about) before the marathon.

Clean eating has it’s own challenges when it comes to carbo loading.  It’s really easy to follow a clean diet 2-3 days out from the race but the day before I tend to relax a bit.  I’ll order pasta made with refined noodles or thin crust pizza made with white flour.  I had a twitter follower @jennvoss ask about paleo carbo loading and found a great article that explained the Paleo carbo loading how-to’s.  I don’t know enough about Paleo eating to even offer an opinion in that area.

So what are some clean foods that are high in carbs?  Look at stocking your fridge and pantry with whole wheat pasta, brown rice, granola, whole wheat pancakes & waffles (YUM!), oatmeal, figs, dates, raisins, baked potatoes & sweet potatoes, yams, beans (eat those early in the week, not the day or two before the race due to the fiber content), peas, bananas, berries, citrus, etc….

Just to give you an idea of how I’ll carbo load this week, I started last night with a yummy pasta primavera.  This hearty dish is packed full of veggies and the whole wheat noodles provide a stick with you punch.  Since hubby doesn’t really care for veggies (might be why he’s sick….) I’ll actually eat this for a few different meals.

pasta primavera

download

My breakfasts will consist of my either favorite Nature’s Path flax cereal with raisins or RAW oats.  Lunch – a sammich and veggies.  Dinner – Either a pasta or rice dish.  My snacks (I live for my snacks!) will be fruit, crackers, granola, or yogurt.  And race morning will be cereal, part of a bagel and then 30 minutes before the race I’ll drink about 6oz of Cytomax.  WHEW! I think that covers everything for this post.  Are you tired of reading yet??

Just one more morsel of advice….. Stay away from the scales this week!! You will gain weight, possibly even a few pounds, but it’s OKAY.

Question:  How do you prefer to carbo load before a big event? What’s your favorite pre-race meal?

Kid Approved Taco Cups

Thank you all for your supportive words and prayers from Wednesday’s post.  Every one of your comments meant a lot and really touched my heart.  Continued prayers for guidance and wisdom are definitely appreciated.

Several months ago I did a guest post for Stephanie from Fit Mom in Training which included a kid approved taco recipe and some thoughts on clean eating.  I realized recently that I’ve never shared it with y’all! *Face palm*  My apologies…

A lot of people have the misconception that clean eating is complex, uses incredibly strange ingredients and is not kid friendly at all.  And while that is partially true, there are a lot of great, clean recipes out there aren’t like that at all.  Recipes that use normal ingredients and are easy to make.  Introducing clean meals to your family is a great way to help your children develop life long, healthy eating habits.  Can I get an ‘Amen’?

So here is one of those recipes; a clean eating, kid approved taco cup recipe.  Besides loving these things myself, I tested them out on my niece and nephews this summer and they loved them, too!  They are a bit messy to eat (the taco cups, not the kids) but who cares, tacos are supposed to be messy, right?

Taco Cups

recipe 2

I have a 20 miler on tap for tomorrow – eek! I’m pretty nervous about it because 1.) my foot issues and 2.) I’m having to do it solo.  20 miles is a looooooooooooong way to run without any company.  I’ll have my Ipod but, for safety reasons, I really don’t like listening to when I’m by myself.  I want to be able to hear someone rushing up on me or if a car is about to hit me. Basically, I want to hear if I’m about to die – lol…  Only 5 weeks until Rock-n-Roll New Orleans; y’all wish me luck!

Questions:  What’s your favorite {healthy} go-to recipe for kids?  What do you do on solo long runs to keep yourself focused?

Banana Protein Pancakes

This is a recipe that I’ve been meaning to post for awhile, but like most things, I haven’t gotten around to it until now.  I can sometimes be a slight procrastinator…

During Hurricane Isaac (in August – told you this recipe is a bit late) I was craving pancakes.  Not all too unusual because I do love a good pancake.  However, there aren’t many pancake recipes that are clean eater friendly – that don’t taste like rubber.   Hmph… This led to playing in my kitchen which ultimately resulted in these beauties!  {Insert trumpet fanfare.}

Banana Protein Pancakes

Banana Protein Pancakes

They were fabulous and fluffy, very banana-y, and oh so good!  With only a handful of ingredients, you, too, can be enjoying some protein pancake goodness.  So here’s the recipe low down –

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used RAW).
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 cup milk (plus more if needed to thin the batter)

Step 1: Mix together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mash the banana to smithereens, add the milk, then add the lightly beaten egg and stir everything.  Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet; stir just until combined.  Depending on how you like your pancakes, you may want to add some milk to thin the batter out a bit.

Step 2:  On a pre-heated skillet, drop 1/4 c batter and cook until the entire pancake bubbles.  The trick to these pancakes is to cook them low and slow (like medium heat).  With the addition of the banana and protein powder, these puppies take quite a bit longer than regular pancakes.  If you have the heat up too high, you cook the outside and have pancake soup on the inside.  LOW and SLOW, people! Got it?

Step 3:  EAT!!  This recipe makes 10 pancakes if you use the 1/4 c method.

Since I love all things peanut butter, I topped mine with natural peanut butter and pure maple syrup – they were divine! I’ve also contemplated using chocolate protein powder instead of vanilla for a bit more decadent pancake.  If you try that, let me know how it tastes!  You can also ditch the protein powder all together and just make some really yummy, kid-friendly banana pancakes.

pub

Tonight, my running buddies and I are meeting with a new running group.  And I. Am. Excited! The group meets every Wednesday at an Irish Pub.  They have a few different courses but after you’re done running you meet back up for drinks and appetizers.  Sounds fun, right?

Question: Are you a pancake lover? What’s your favorite topping??

2 Week Sugar Detox….Mission Complete!

It’s official….My 2 week detox is over and this girl couldn’t be any happier!!  So how’d I do?  Well, the past two weeks have been a total mental game but I’m happy to say that I won!  If you remember, I started this challenge with just a few goals in mind:

  • To Reduce my cravings & getting my sweet tooth back under control…..CHECK
  • Clearer skin….Not really
  • Less headaches….CHECK
  • A much happier digestive system….CHECK
  • Eliminating the few pounds I put on during marathon training….CHECK
  • More energy!! CHECK, CHECK, CHECK

With the exception of clearer skin, I’m very happy with the detox results.   I guess with running so much, I’m just going to be prone to breakouts.  I really shouldn’t complain because it could be much worse; I’m just used to having a crystal clear face.

The main portion of this detox was centered around eliminating sugar and processed foods.  Here’s an idea of how the past two weeks have gone food wise:

Breakfast: LOTS of eggs. I don’t want to see another egg or egg white for a long time; I missed my cereal terribly.  I also ate lots of RAW multi-grain hot cereal and peanut butter toast.

Egg whites, spinach, turkey sausage, crumbled feta.

Egg whites, turkey sausage, orange bell peppers and salsa verde.

Lunch: Leftovers from suppers the night before, sandwiches of any kind and lots of vegetables. (Sorry, no lunch shots… I get rather hangry around lunch time and forget my manners.)

Supper: Pasta, soup, lean proteins (chicken/pork) cooked vegetables, brown rice.

Chicken and vegetable soup.

Whole wheat pasta with ground turkey.

Snacks: Cut up vegetables, hummus, cottage cheese, clean crackers and cheese, almonds and pistachios, and natural peanut butter.

Love this hummus!!

I may or may not have eaten almost an entire jar of natural PB.  Whoops.

After the detox, I feel better, sharper mentally and my headaches have subsided a bit.   Other than 2 cheats [gum (that’s for the benefit of others) and communion (it was maybe a tsp. of grape juice)] I am really pleased with how I did.

The Good:

  • I control sugar, not the other way around.  I have minimal sugar cravings right now; even the thought of something sugary sweet makes me cringe a bit. {Side note: I am excited to get my fruit back.}
  • I’ve retrained my taste buds to appreciate the natural sweetness found in vegetables.
  • I’ve learned I can live without adding honey to everything.
  • I realized just how much processed ‘healthy’ items I was relying on.

The Bad:

  • It messed with my running…badly.  Not properly fueling myself during the first few days of the detox left me feeling light headed and ill. There is absolutely no way I could maintain this detox any further into marathon training.  Especially once I get back into the high double digit runs and have to refuel during the run.  Carrots and snap peas just don’t seem like they’d do the trick on a 20 milers.
  • The sheer amount of time it took to plan/prepare my meals and snacks was ridiculous.
  • My diet wasn’t nearly as balanced or complete as it should have been.  I found myself eating same stuff again and again because I knew that food was ‘ok’.
  • Sugar is everywhere and in everything! It’s almost unavoidable.

What I’ll continue doing:

  • Drinking hot lemon water in the morning.  I fell in love with this!
  • Avoiding all refined/processed sugar while keeping a watchful eye on my natural sugars.
  • Treat myself occasionally.  Like last night… I had small piece of all natural dark chocolate and a protein smoothie made with pineapple, blueberries, ground flax, plain greek yogurt and RAW protein powder.  After a two week sugar detox and 6 miles of hill work last night, fruit never tasted so good!

What does this mean for the upcoming Turkey Day? Well, it means that I do not get a carte blanche pass to eat whatever I want.  I worked too hard to sabotage the benefits from these past two weeks so I will enjoy a clean Thanksgiving with my family.   Holidays are not an excuse to go crazy off a diet.  FYI: The average person consumes almost 7,000 calories on Thanksgiving!

With that being said, don’t deprive yourself, either.  Watch your portion size and if you want something, eat it in moderation.  For me, it’s not Thanksgiving without the French’s Green Bean Casserole.  Totally not clean, but I’m going to eat it anyway.  No need agonizing over a certain dish.  Tomorrow is a day to enjoy, to celebrate and to give thanks for the many blessings in life.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Marathon Plans and Vegetable Chicken Soup

Ah, Wednesday, how you tease me being the middle of the work week.  Yet, I’m still trying to get back in the swing of things from my mini-vacay with the hubs.  You gotta love extended weekends, right?  So this weekend we went a couple hours north to visit some family.  I got in a lovely 7 mile run and then Jody and went on a leisurely bike ride.  It was so pretty!

One of the gorgeous views from my run.

Since I’m still on the no sugar detox I was pretty nervous about leaving the security of my pantry; however, it turned out to be fine.   It was definitely an inconvenience but I stuck to my guns.  Saturday night we went out to swanky restaurant and there was so many yummy things on the menu that I wanted but I settled for chicken and vegetables.  Safe.  Not much processed crap goes into chicken and vegetables.

nommmmmmmm…

Before coming home we made a detour to my favorite duck pond.  I’m such a big kid at heart and love feeding the ducks/geese. It’s the little things in life that make me the happiest.

Duckzilla likes to eat clean. He says gimme more organic, whole wheat croutons now before I peck your toes off!

After the weekend fun ended I still had all of Monday to piddle around be completely productive.  It turned out to be a really rainy and fairly cold day which meant a trip to the gym to get my miles in.  After that I met my running girls for lunch at Newks so we could discuss our Rock-n-Roll marathon training plan.  This week started week 2 of training.

I printed my Marine Corps Marathon training plan which was geared to for a 4:30 finish.  My goal for Rock-n-Roll New Orleans is 4:30 or better so my running girls and I tweaked the plan just a bit.  It focuses more on speed and building up strength to get me to the starting line injury free.

I’m excited about running RnR New Orleans (NOLA) again.  I ran the 1/2 marathon last year and suffered quite a bit of marathon envy watching all the marathoners continue on as I headed towards the finish line.  Did I mention that last year RnR NOLA was my very first 1/2 marathon?

It’s crazy to me that in the period of a year I will have run 5 half marathons, 2 full marathons and countless other races.  1 1/2 years ago I was still nursing my ‘I can’t do that because I injured my knee’ mentality and letting it dictate my life.  I’m so glad I threw I can’t out of the window.  Never under estimate what you can do when you kick the ‘I can’t’ mentality.   So now less then a year later, I’m planning my second marathon and this time I will not have marathon envy, I will enjoy marathon glory! (Side note…I’m not telling you to ignore an injury.  Listen to your Dr., let yourself heal, and then keep going.  Don’t stop what you love out of fear of re-injury.)

And now the part of the post that you’ve all been patiently waiting for….the recipe. I mentioned earlier that Monday was a terribly dreary day which means one thing to me….SOUP!  I went to my pantry and fridge to see what I had to work with – looked like a chicken soup sort of day.  So I visited my favorite clean eating recipe site, The Gracious Pantry, and found a recipe that worked with what I had; I was only missing a few ingredients.

After tweaking the original recipe just a bit, this is the hearty deliciousness that happened: Clean Vegetable Chicken Soup (it would also taste great if you used beef instead of chicken).  This recipe makes a large amount so if your crockpot is on the smaller side, I’d cut the ingredients in 1/2.  I wouldn’t want you crying over spilled, err, broth.

Nothing says fall like eating soup out of a leaf shaped bowl. YUM!

Clean Vegetable Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, thawed
  • 12oz frozen sweet corn
  • 12oz frozen sweet peas
  • 1 15oz can black beans, undrained
  • 1 15oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 15oz tomato sauce
  • 3.5 cups organic chicken broth

Instructions:

Place all ingredients (in the same order they are listed) into a large crockpot, set on low and run away! Ha, just kidding. Don’t run away, you still have to come back and eat it.  Instead of running away, cook on low 4-6 hours or until the chicken falls easily apart.

When making this soup, pay attention to the labels on your produce, especially the canned and frozen vegetables.  You want to get organic and make sure that there isn’t any sugar hiding out.

Don’t forget today’s the last day to enter my Vega Energizing Smoothie giveaway!

Question:  What’s your favorite type of cold day comfort food?