Spicy Sweet Potato Chicken Stirfry

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I love fusing two different cuisines. Almost any meal can turn into a healthy stirfry. I make an Italian Stirfry that’s so good it’s become a monthly favorite here.

Today’s meal came to me when I was looking in my pantry and noticed I had a sweet potato…I couldn’t figure out when I bought it. I thought I better use it before I have to throw it out. My husband hates when I throw out produce because I hadn’t gotten around to making the recipe I had in mind when I purchased it. I’m sure I’m not alone in this conundrum. It goes in the same basket as losing socks in the dryer and that’s a whole other story I’m not touching.

Sliced ingredients

Spicy Sweet Potato Chicken Stirfry

  • 2 T + more olive oil divided
  • 1 Red Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, thinly sliced into 1/4 half moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 cooked frozen skinless chicken tenders, cooked and sliced
  • 1 can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1/2 t Himalayan Salt
  • 1/8 t ground Habanero pepper
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Heat saute pan, add 1 T olive oil.
  2. Add peppers and onions. Saute about 3 minutes.
  3. Add sweet potatoes, chicken, garbanzo beans, and olives.
  4. Add seasonings and water. Cover and saute until potatoes are fork tender. About 5 minutes.
  5. Turn off the burner and add sliced garlic and 1 more Tablespoon olive oil.
  6. Enjoy

Serves 4

Spicy Chicken

Nutritional Info

  • Calories: 303
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Carbs: 16.3 grams
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Protein: 26.7 grams

 

 

The Good Stalk!

It’s been a mainstay in my refrigerator for over 30 years and I never knew just how good this good stalk was to our health until now. An enzyme in this stalk that’s mostly water is apigenin.

Apigenin starves cancer cells of its main food source…glucose. It also interferes with molecular signaling…slows down the need for certain chemicals in those cells. Read all about the technical aspect of this important food component here: Celery and Cancer Cells

My first thought when I read about this Apigenin was “Where can I get it?” Seems the lonely good stalk in your Bloody Mary is there for a reason. Celery is present in many dishes and recipes I create, I’ve also been putting it in the veggie smoothies I make daily. I never really got into the practice of researching every vegetable that goes into my kitchen…that is until my husband got sick.

Since then, I have tweaked our veggie smoothies to incorporate the necessary nutrients helping all his health issues collectively and individually. Kale used to be a mainstay of our mornings. But I have recently learned that if you have thyroid issues you should stay away from Kale, spinach, and leafy greens except for lettuce. Kale is also a great catalyst in clotting issues. While it’s packed with nutrients it’s also packed with possible health deterrents.

Since I started making these veggie smoothies, kale was the first ingredient. Little did I know it would contribute to my husband’s health deteriorating? But we live and learn and move on.

So what did I use as a substitute? Wheat Grass which both cleanses and builds our blood. Clean blood is less sticky and less sticky blood is less likely to clot along the veins. Cleaner blood moves freer within our veins and lowers blood pressure.

This new food info prompted me to remake our breakfast smoothie. Celery is the good stalk and we can really use some good in our lives.

Clean Blood Smoothie

Clean Blood Smoothie

Clean Blood Smoothie

Creating Change

Creating change begins in our mind. Reading many articles and books on how the mind can be used to heal our boo boos has led me to finally understand the how and the why we humans can make or break our own lives. It’s been fascinating to watch as my husband transforms his cells from the inside out.

Different websites tout different foods cause inflammation and cutting back on the culprits will cut down the inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation says these foods are the eight worst.

  • Sugar
  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids
  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • MSG
  • Gluten and Casein
  • Aspartame
  • Alcohol

As always I also read about inflammation on the alternative health websites. Dr. Axe says the following foods should be added to this list.

  • Corn and Soybean oils
  • Pasteurized Dairy
  • Conventional Meats

In reading the many journals on alternative health and inflammation I have found out that it’s associated with almost every health condition we know. By attacking the inflammation we can reverse these diseases and lead a vibrant life. So my husband and I have embarked on a journey to reduce the inflammation, not just with food, but actions, thoughts, and words.

Attacking the inflammation in our bodies begins with creating the change in our mind. We need to think about every we do, say, eat and think. We can think our way out of inflammation by visualizing ourselves becoming less inflamed. Our cells do what we tell them to. We think our cells do their jobs on their own, they do but to a certain point we can change their trajectory and create the change within us. If we think we hate a certain food and never taste it, then we create this ill feeling when we see or smell it. If we’re inflamed we can talk our bodies out of it by saying how much we love to exercise (lowers inflammation), for instance. We’re then finding ways to exercise. Same is true for giving up all the foods that cause inflammation. If we say how much we love their healthy alternatives, we’ll eat them more often.

We all have the power to create the change we seek right in our minds. If we think it, we can do it.

 

Pain

All of a sudden there it was and I couldn’t ignore it any longer. It made my life seem unbearable at times. It took away my sleep, my figure, my family life, my joy, my art. It made me look at life through a different lens and what I saw was not who I was but who I could become because of it. It is Pain.

Last year it became apparent that I could no longer let go of the notion that walking up and down the stairs while holding on for dear life was normal. Nor could I console myself by thinking that if I just walked more the pain would go away. Then there was this inflammation that was ever present, I didn’t need a test to let me know that I carried around inflammation, all I had to do was look at my swollen feet, hands, and face. The pain I carried was like none I had ever experienced through any of the surgeries I’ve had and it was way worse than natural childbirth.

Everywhere was pain and the pain was everywhere. When all the pain receptors in your body are all turned on at the same time, you simply don’t know which way to turn. I turned to the medical community when I had an animal bite that would not go away even after two weeks. I still have flare-ups of strange pain around the scar that has disfigured my leg. The medical community tested me for everything known to them. I was sent to specialist after specialist and spent thousands of dollars but they could not understand where the pain and the inflammation came from nor could they give me a diagnosis. They just prescribed me with a couple of painkillers and strong steroidal meds that messed up my body.

On the personal front, it hurt to stand, walk, sit, lay down, type, and hold my husband’s hand. My skin hurt. My fingers and face turned shiny.  I could no longer crochet which meant the special afghan I was making for my son and his new wife would sit in my craft basket longer. (I am better and work on it from time to time until my hands cramp up with pain.)

Last summer seems like a blur because of the constant pain I was in. And it seems like the pain flare-ups are still with me. No matter what natural alternatives I take or do. Pain is still a constant in my life. The lessons I’ve learned through this pain are never ending and I view life so much more differently than when this painful journey began.

Pain Lessons

1st: Never take a day for granted. If you were able to wake up and open your eyes, then you’re day is a good one. If you woke up and you were able to move your hands and bend your knees your day got even better. If you were able to walk 10 steps when you woke up, or if you did something you couldn’t do the day before then you’re winning over the pain.

2nd: People in your life will look at you differently, they will withdraw from you, treat you with kid-gloves, and they may even call you names but none of it matters. What matters most is that you show up, you put a smile on your face and you tell the world, your family, your friends, your coworkers I am still here and I am still worthy of love. I can still contribute.

3rd: Never miss an opportunity to share your story with others. You never know when what you say and the example you live by will help someone else also dealing with their own kinds of pain. Our stories, become our history and our history becomes our legacy. Let’s leave a legacy for those who come after us to see that we went after our dreams in spite of the pain. We lived life the best we could while dealing with the pain inside.

4th: When people ask you how are you feeling? Tell them you are happy to see them, you are happy to be able to get out of the house, you are happy to ____fill in the blank. But never tell them how you are feeling. People really don’t want to know what you’re going through, it’s just a nicety that comes out of their mouths. You’ll be looked upon as a buzz kill if you share that you’re in so much pain that every movement you make feels like razor blades digging into your soul.

5th: Find comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your pain. Support groups help in listening to what others are going through and how they deal with their pain. Always remember there is One who suffered greater than we could ever suffer. He hung on the cross and bared our sins for us. His body was scourged and beaten for us. Our pain becomes miniscule when thinking about what Jesus did for us.

6th: If you need help, ask. If you can’t carry something, don’t. Asking for help is one of the most humbling things an independent person can do. It will help you grow and it will help the person who is helping grow.

7th: Concentrate on the joys and blessings of your life. Look at old photos of your children, remembering the good times you had with them. Play with your pets, if you have them. Pets love you unconditionally, they see past your pain and they love your heart.

8th: Focus on the good things in life. Stop watching the news. Stay out of deep political discussions about the degradation of our society. Watch funny movies, old televisions shows, videos of animals and little children. Better yet get away from the electronic devices all together. Get yourself outside and soak up some vitamin D.

9th: Cry. It’s cleansing. It’s restorative. It releases healing and painkilling hormones. I didn’t believe this either but it’s true. Let go of the guilt trips that you put on people for whatever reason. I learned how to use guilt trips from my mother who did it do me, but that didn’t mean that I needed to let it continue. Let go of the negative impact of dealing with the stress of your life. It all comes down to that anyways. How we deal with the stresses in our lives can have a negative or a positive impact on our lives and those around us.

10th: Those of us who live with pain every day know that it’s going to be there with every step, every breath, and every movement. Resolve to be stronger than the pain. This is by far the most difficult yet most needed. Once you have this resolve within you, your strength in doing the everyday tasks like getting dressed, making your food, and taking care of the people in your life gets that much stronger.

 

I had a few months of almost no pain thanks to a new chiropractic technique. But last Monday that all changed when the pain came back with a vengeance to wreak havoc to my entire body yet again. I know it stems from the whatever diagnoses the medical professionals think I have now. In my head, it doesn’t really matter what name it has and I’m not even searching for a diagnosis anymore because the last one they said is rare enough. I won’t take the medication they offer anymore than I would drink poison.

I can’t always do the things I want to do in the same way I did them before but I’m learning new ways to accomplish them. I am opening myself up for new alternative therapies some are working, some help me maintain, and those that don’t get tossed aside. I’m forgiving myself for all the wrong I did in being a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a friend and will continue to do so, because only One is perfect and I’m not it.

Pain is a great teacher.

Keeping It Going!

Keeping It Going!

My favorite blog post over the last several years is one from 2013.

Keep It Going

Keep moving!   Keep smiling!   Keep shining!   Keep dreaming!    Keep Imagining!   Keep planning!   Keep laughing!   Keep deciding!   Keep giving yourself a chance!   Keep paying it forward!   Keep singing!   Keep dancing!   Keep running!   Keep reading!   Keep asking!   Keep doing!   Keep sharing!   Keep saving!   Keep encouraging!   Keep inspiring!   Keep writing!   Keep blogging!   Keep helping!   Keep praying!  Keep serving!   Keep listening!  Keep searching!   Keep my eyes open!   Keep finding!   Keep learning!   Keep playing!   Keep loving!   Keep speaking!   Keep hearing!   Keep watching!   Keep bringing!   Keep painting!   Keep creating!   Keep it real!   Keep telling the truth!   Keep living the word of God!   Keep natural!   Keep organic!

Keep on Doing

Keep breathing!   Keep living in the present!   Keep changing!   Keep growing!   Keep putting one step in front of the other!   Keep improving!   Keep showing up!   Keep forgiving!   Keep calling!   Keep compassion in your life!  Keep empathy a part of your life!   Keep thinking!   Keep camping!   Keep hiking!   Keep climbing!   Keep walking!   Keep swimming!   Keep hugging!   Keep your lamp burning!   Keep spinning!   Keep digging!   Keep eating healthy!   Keep taking your supplements!   Keep cooking!  Keep sowing!   Keep harvesting!   Keep pruning!    Keep mentoring!   Keep building bridges!   Keep tearing down walls!   Keep recommitting!   Keep appreciating!   Keep standing!  Keep feeling!   Keep talking!   Keep making peace!   Keep staying positive!   Keep praising!   Keep journaling!    Keep journeying into reality!   Keep promising!   Keep coaching! Keep loving!

Keep it going!

These are the areas that I want to keep going at since I want to make a consistent effort to be the best me possible I need to keep doing the things above. If you have some more positive, uplifting things you do every day, let me know. We all could use as much help as we can get.

Keep it going! 

ACV Drink Hack

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) drinks are popping up all over the place. Our new trendy grocery store Main & Vine has these drinks and their not cheap either. $2.69 for 16 ounces. Granted they are made with Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and good ingredients. To me, it’s just another way to waste money when I can easily make this myself. In fact, this ACV drink hack has been part of my morning routine for over a year.

 ACV Drink

ACV Drink Hack

Base Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (coconut vinegar can also be used)
  • Juice of one lemon or lime
  • 1 teaspoon Sweetener of choice (coconut nectar, yacon syrup, honey, equivalent of liquid stevia, maple syrup)
  • 16 ounces Clean water of choice (spring, reverse osmosis, distilled)

Mix together in a glass or recycled glass drink bottle. Add one or more of the following.

Variations (Pick one of more)

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Collagen (adds 12 grams of pure protein)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger (pulverized)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped turmeric (pulverized)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons mashed, seeded cucumber
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • Substitute a good brand of coconut water for the water (Zico is my favorite)

Favorite Combinations

3 C’s: Chia-Collagen-Cinnamon

4 C’s: Chia-Collagen-Cucumber-Coconut Water

4 C’s Chia-Collagen-Cinnamon-Coconut Water

 

All mixed up ready to enjoy!

All mixed up and ready to enjoy! Chia-Collagen-Cinnamon-Coconut Water

 

 

Making My Own…

It’s been some time since I felt like writing but with spring around the corner, and here we are in the 3rd month of the year already, I have felt the need to get back to writing. So write I must.

These first eight days of March have been interesting. I’ve been focusing more on making my ownfill in the blank. I have made my own water kefir the entire month of February but it took over my kitchen because my husband and I weren’t drinking it fast enough; my husband ended up being the only one who drank it because I think it tastes like beer and I hate that taste.

This month I’ve tried my hand at making my own coconut milk that doesn’t have all the nasty ingredients in it. Do you know what’s in your coconut milk? Whether you buy your coconut milk (or any nut or seed milk) by the carton in the refrigerator section or in the can in a grocery aisle, it’s best to read the ingredients. Check out the ingredient label of your coconut milk. Are these ingredients in it? Carrageenan,  Sodium Metabisulfite, xanthan gum, tricalcium phosphate gellan gum then put it back on the shelf and learn how to make your own coconut milk. So many digestive health issues are associated with these ingredients alone that it would take the entirety of this post to list them all. But, I will give you this. Carrageenan may come from seaweed but it’s extracted using deadly chemicals. And Gellan gum is made from the lactose and cornstarch. This is why I am a big proponent of being an II (Ingredient Investigator).

So what do we do in the meantime? We make our own.

Coconut Milk!

Ingredients in My Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

  • 1  33.8 container  coconut cream (Chaokoh Coconut Cream Classic Gold is my go-to brand because it only has coconut extract and water) room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon the best pure vanilla you can buy. I happen to like Madagascar vanilla.
  • 32 ounces clean water. I use either spring or reverse osmosis.
  • 32-ounce carafe with lid for shaking, I usually reuse another.
  • A funnel that will fit into your carafe.

Step 1: Shake the coconut cream to mix the water and extract, it usually separates sitting on a shelf. Open the coconut cream container, pour through the funnel into your carafe. Sometimes you will need to coax the coconut extract into the funnel. I use a chopstick for this.

Step 2: Once you have as much of the coconut cream as possible into the carafe, pour in the water. You may not use all the water depending on how much of the cream you were able to use.

Step 3: Add the vanilla. Shake. Enjoy.

I use this coconut milk for making smoothies and in cooking.

PLEASE more than ever before we need to become Ingredient Investigators. So much of the food marketing industry is leading people astray making them think they are drinking something that’s healthy like this new Flax milk that’s out by Good Karma. The only thing good about it is in its name. The company touts that their flax milk is free of dairy, lactose, soy, nuts, and gluten. How can this be when one of their ingredients is made from lactose (gellan gum) and another is made from soy (xanthan gum)?

While I’m making my own...Fill In The Blank, I hope you gain some courage to make your own too.

Deceptive Food Labels

Phosphate Alert

Common Food Additives Linked to Crohn’s Disease