The Big Diet Myth

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I was never big on New Year’s resolutions until about two years ago.

Gross as it may be, I used to only floss my teeth right before going to the dentist for a cleaning.  I would inevitably get the speech of “you should floss regularly for healthy blah blah blah.”  But one day I actually listened and decided to make a New Year’s resolution to floss my teeth every night for a whole year.  It took a lot of hard work and determination, but I did it!  Now I’m an avid flosser and I’ve kept that resolution (with the exception of a few days) ever since.

Most people make resolutions to be more active and to eat better.  I was one of them.  I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t concerned about my weight.

I ran a lot and tried really hard, but I still wasn’t happy with how I looked.  I would cut calories, but always got discouraged by the lack of results.

My mom and I stretching for a 10K. 2015

One day, I was so upset that I didn’t eat the entire day.  That night I looked in the mirror only to see that my pooch and love handles were still there.   I just felt squishy and hungry all the time.

 

Thankfully, I found a better way.  My definition of eating healthy has changed a lot over the past year because I changed the misconception that was hard-wired into my brain by magazines and media.

I used to eat salads for two meals a day, and try to avoid sweets.  I was always hungry and craving something I couldn’t have.  I love salads, but it’s very hard to get enough calories eating ONLY veggies.  I thought I was being healthy, but nothing could be further from the truth.  I was starving myself, and that isn’t mentally or physically healthy.

I was under the impression that the less I ate, the more I would lose.  

This method for losing weight is widely preached among women, but it doesn’t bring long-term results.  It’s a myth.  You may lose a few pounds but you will inevitably hit a plateau.  That’s because you are in a habitual caloric deficit. Your body realizes that it isn’t getting enough food to continue burning calories efficiently, so it learns how to burn fewer calories to complete the same tasks.   Your metabolism drastically slows down, and you gain weight — even though you’re always hungry.

Thankfully, it’s very simple to reset your metabolism.  It only takes one or two weeks.  Ever since making this one simple change in my diet, I started seeing results.  I’m full.  I’m happy.  And I’m still skinny! I don’t count calories, I eat as much as I want, and I have actually lost inches.

I discovered it’s more about WHAT you eat than how much.  I started cooking for myself every day.  I eat fish, a LOT of chicken breast, veggies, sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, avocados, almonds, some fruit, some red meat, protein shakes, and eggs.  I make sure to eat a good amount of protein at each meal so I’m FULL when I finish eating.  I usually don’t even want dessert.  I used to eat 1500 calories a day.  Now my diet is closer to this.

It’s taken most of 2017 to adjust my taste buds, but now I actually prefer healthy food.  Sweets don’t seem as appealing, and when I do indulge, a small amount will usually satisfy me.  Veggies don’t need salt, and sweet potatoes don’t need butter because I’ve gotten used to enjoying their natural flavors.

It took almost a year to get to this point, but I promise you, it’s worth it.  I’m so much happier now that I’m not hangry (hungry/angry) all the time and I’m fueling my body with nutrition.  I encourage you to give it a chance in 2018.

Now I make resolutions like “get a six pack by 2018.”  I never would have dreamed that was even possible a year ago.  But now it’s a realistic goal.

This is just a quick summary, but I wanted to share it with you because of how it’s helped me! I didn’t know it was possible to eat so much food (I eat all the time) and be happy with how I look.  If you want to learn more about tips for eating right, please leave a comment so I’ll know how to post more of what you want to hear!

Here’s one of my favorite recipes for chicken breast to help you get started!  The pineapple juice tenderizes and caramelizes.  It’s great with white rice and roasted asparagus. Be sure to read the notes and give it a try!

-Abby Hughes

Hawaiian Chicken
 
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A great make-ahead meal with minimal prep. Designed for those with a busy schedule. Healthy and delicious! Goes great on salads, in stir-fry, or stand alone!
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 6-oz. Chicken Breast
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Pineapple Juice
  • 3 TBS Teriyaki Sauce
  • 3 TBS Soy Sauce
  • 2 TBS Red Wine Vinegar or Balsamic
  • 1 TBS Minced Fresh Garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • ¼ cup Hot Sauce (optional) (I like Valentina hot sauce)
Instructions
  1. If you are using large chicken breasts, cut it in half horizontally through the thickness of the breast. This is called butterflying.
  2. Set the chicken aside, and whisk together all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Toss chicken in marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 days.
  4. Preheat a pan by putting it on high heat for about 2 minutes. This will help sear the chicken and get good caramelization.
  5. Meanwhile, drain the chicken.
  6. Once the pan is hot, drizzle some olive oil and add the drained chicken (it should sizzle).
  7. Saute for about 2 minutes on each side (or till browned), then reduce heat to medium.
  8. Cook just until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Be sure not to overcook so the chicken will be tender and juicy.
  9. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.
Notes
A food thermometer can keep you from overcooking chicken. Even lean chicken breast is moist and tender when only cooked to 165 degrees. But you should also avoid undercooking chicken so you won't get sick.
Preheating the pan is important. The sugars in the pineapple juice should caramelize and create a nice brown crust on the chicken. Don't miss that step.
This is great for making ahead and leaving in the fridge until ready to cook. This marinade also works well on pork and steak.

 

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Gratin

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Brussels Sprout Gratin

Happy New Year!  Who doesn’t like to start the new year with some healthy new recipes?  I cooked up this skillet of Brussels Sprout Gratin earlier this fall.  The recipe came from Guy Fieri.  Well, not to me personally, but via the Food Network!  The bacon – well that is my addition.  Yum.

I’ve made this a couple of times to make sure it is blog-worthy.  From the first time we ate it we loved it!  I hope you do too.

Sliced Brussels Sprout

I always remove the outer leaf and slice off the bottom of the Brussels sprout. Once done these can be placed in a food processor with the slicer blade, sliced by hand or with a mandoline.  In seconds a whole bag of Sprouts is sliced and ready for the skillet.

You do not have to use a cast iron skillet, an 8″ x 8″ baking dish will do fine.  I just love using my cast iron skillet because it makes the cheese a little crispy wherever it touches the cast iron.  The skillet also creates a bit of crunchy crust to the bottom of this dish.

 When I mentioned I was blogging this recipe tonight to my brussels-sprout lovin’ husband he quickly said, “are you making that again soon?  I hope so!”  Well, I wouldn’t want to disappoint my honey.  I’ll be making this again this week!

Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

P.S. Don’t let the heavy cream scare you away from this recipe. It’s only a cup and it takes this recipe right over the top!

Bacon and Brussel Sprouts Gratin
 
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Loaded with a delicious blend of flavors this awesome side dish will have 'em coming back for more!
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pounds brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
  • ¾ cups grated sharp Cheddar
  • ¼ to ½ lb. cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon picked fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Shave the brussels sprouts horizontally into ⅛-inch slices with a sharp knife, mandoline or slicer blade in a food processor. Add to a bowl. Add the Cheddar, cooked, crumbled bacon, flour, thyme, garlic and some salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. Add the mixture to an 8- by 8-inch baking dish or cast iron skillet, packing it in. Pour over the heavy cream.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the panko, Parmesan and oil and pour over the brussels sprouts mixture.
  5. Bake uncovered until the brussels sprouts are tender, the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
The bacon is optional and you can use more or less depending on your taste. The recipe is still excellent without the bacon.

 

 

Top Posts for 2017

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It is not my nature to spend a lot of time looking back.  I love the present and always get excited about the future.  But today, the last day of 2017 I think it is appropriate to look back to the top blog posts of the year.  This list is based on top views for 2017.

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts takes the top honor again this year with 97, 184 views this year.

Oh my goodness, this is a great recipe and others think so too!

Second place honors with 26, 306 views goes to Easy (And Delicious) Homemade Chicken and Noodles!

This recipe caused a little stir this year when a reader pointed out I wasn’t using “homemade noodles.”  I corrected the error and quickly included my favorite homemade noodle recipe along with the post featuring store-bought Amish noodles!  From my midwest roots, we always serve chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes.

Pickled Vegetable Sandwich Slaw

Third place weighs in at 25,152 views for this Picked Vegetable Sandwich Slaw. This is a surprise for me.  I first posted this recipe in 2013.   I know it is an awesome addition to any sandwich or hotdog and apparently, now there are a few others that think so too!

It is no surprise to me that the Cheese Frenchee holds the 4th place of honor.  This recipe is a walk down memory lane from my childhood. Growing up in Nebraska Cheese Frenchees were available at Kings Restaurant.

I asked my sister-in-law, Jeanne, where she still eats them these days in Nebraska. She immediately responded with all kinds of information including this picture!

9 Can Vegetable Soup

9 Can Vegetable Soup comes in at number 5 most viewed posts for the year.  If time prevails homemade vegetable soup can’t be beaten, but having said that, this is an amazing blend of flavors that never gives away the simplicity of the recipe!

Scripture Cake rounds out the top 6 most viewed recipes for the year.   This is a recipe I adapted from one I found on the internet in 2013.  It’s a fun recipe to make for a group and then put them to the test of Bible knowledge to come up with the ingredients!

In 2017 I have had the extreme honor and blessing to step into a new role at Community Bible Study.  As an Area Director in middle Tennessee, I am privileged to walk beside 3 middle Tennessee classes and shepherd their Servant Teams.  This probably sounds like strange lingo to anyone not familiar with Community Bible Study.  But suffice it to say that in-depth Bible study has transformed my life and the more I study the closer I walk with God.  In-depth Bible study brings the character of God alive and truly allows for a personal relationship to develop.

The Mission of CBS is: To make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in our communities through caring, in-depth Bible study, available to all.”  

For all the new year’s resolutions people make, studying the Bible and having a truly meaningful relationship with our Creator is the one change that can and will affect all others.  One resolution that is worth keeping!

It is my prayer for 2018 that I become even more intentional in discovering the plans the Lord has for me.  My prayer is also that you will discover the joy waiting for you as you get to know God personally.  If you do not know how to get started or make this happen, send me an email through the Contact link and I would love to share with you.

Having Abby Hughes join My Daily Bread Body and Soul this year has been a wonderful blessing! From both of us, we wish you a Happy New Year and a wonderful and joyful 2018!

Blessings,
~Catherine

Christmas Past …

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I am having fun today searching my blog for special treats and recipes I shared over the last seven  Decembers.  You can click on the posted link and it will take you to the original blog post and the recipe!   I must start out with my favorite sugar cookie recipe!

Christmas always means Sour Cream Coconut Cake at our house!

Looking for a few colorful recipes this one caught my eye.  Perfect for some Christmas eve appetizers this red and green taco dip is surely festive!

Layered Taco Dip

Hot fruit compote is so easy and incredibly good with breakfast on a cold, snowy, Christmas morning.  Okay, so it may not be cold and snowy where you are (or where I am) but the hot fruit compote is still my sous-chef dish-washing mom’s favorite!

Speaking of breakfast … this Apple Sage Sausage recipe was a huge hit every time we served it at our bed and breakfast.

Unbelievably Delicious Apple Sage Sausage Balls

It’s not too late to “gift from the kitchen” with this Better Than Starbucks Hot Chocolate! Check it out!

I am having a blast taking a walk down memory lane from Christmas’ past!  I hope you enjoy these pictures and recipes too!

Oh! Brine Your Turkey!  I know many of you deep fry your turkeys and I hear that is an awesome way to tuck in the moisture and flavor.  I haven’t ever eaten deep-fried turkey but I have brined a few and highly recommend as the way to go! 

My family can attest to the fact that if it is “broccoli” I love it! Add the au gratin and I am all in!

Another favorite au gratin comes in the form of Brussel sprouts.  Ah, so yummy!

Looks like I need to stop looking backward and get to the kitchen for some Christmas weekend cooking!  Before I sign off I would be remiss for not including this Peppermint Fudge Cake Roll.  Enjoy!

Happy Cooking!
~Blessings, Catherine

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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