Chicken Salad

Usually during the first week of my Whole30s, I am SUPER tired, and the first few days I’m hungry between meals. It’s interesting how all of it levels out after that first week, just one more reason why I am constantly AMAZED at what our bodies can do and how adaptable they are, but that first week is a little rough.

One easy snack or meal I like to make especially that first week is this chicken salad. It is great to keep in the fridge to just grab a few bites if you are hungry or for a quick lunch. I top it on a bed of spinach usually with a side of plantain chips (fresh or store bought) and salsa!

I’m kind of picky when it comes to chicken salad, it seems like everyone kind of has their own recipe about what they like in it, so I just thought I would share mine. It’s pretty simple and straight forward so I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Chicken Stock
  • 1-2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (don’t overdo this one haha!)
  • Dijon Mustard – couple of squirts (yep. I said squirt. It’s very official and precise.)
  • Mayonnaise – between 3/4 – 1 cup (If you are doing Whole30, Primal Kitchen makes a great compliant mayo, or you could make your own, which is actually super easy!)
  • Grapes – chopped
  • Apples – chopped
  • Walnuts – chopped
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

 

What to do:

  1. Place chicken breasts in crock pot and cover with chicken stock. Cook on high 4-6 hours. (This is my favorite way to cook chicken when I need it shredded for something, its so moist and tasty!)
  2. Once chicken is cooked, remove from crock pot and shred in a large bowl. I usually just use forks to shred it because I like mine to be kind of chunkier, but if you are looking for a fast way to shred chicken, try tossing it in your stand mixer and turn it on for a few seconds!
  3. So this is another one of my “just dump the ingredients in the bowl and taste it as you go” kind of things… so at this point add the mayo, dijon mustard, salt and pepper, apple cider vinegar, grapes, apples and walnuts.
  4. Stir everything up and you’re done!

 

I thought I would put my dog in this pic because she’s cute and I’m pretty sure this is the most unappetizing food I could take a picture of for y’all at this point haha… She’s always wishing she could gobble it up anyway!

So the cool thing about chicken salad is that if you don’t like what one person puts in their recipe, you can easily substitute something for another food to make it your own. I found this “make your own recipe” outline at some point on someone’s blog or maybe the Whole30 Instagram feed, I can’t remember at this point… but I thought I would share it in case you want to change this up a bit to accommodate your own personal tastes.

Make Your Recipe Your Own:

  • something crunchy – celery, onions, apples, nuts
  • something sweet – raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, grapes
  • something acidic – dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon or lime juice
  • seasonings
  • mayonaise

I would love to hear if anyone has any other additions that they love! Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy this!

 

Advertisements

Whole30 – Getting Ready!

Like I said in my first post, preparation is key with Whole30. You want to have lots of meals planned out and maybe some made ahead of time for those crazy nights you don’t want to cook. Keep this simple!

Read and get educated – This is most important. How can you make changes in your diet and lifestyle unless you know why you should and what changes to make hehe!? If you don’t want to spend time reading their book, I don’t think you necessarily have to. You can find the program guidelines on their website. I liked reading the book because they explain the science behind how your body processes food (in a very simple way) and that really made me want to change my diet.

Formulate Mind Mantras: Maybe this sounds silly, but any time you are about to commit to something, you have to get your head in the game. When I prepared for my second birth, this was SO vital that I had mantras I could focus on and sayings I could repeat in my head to be positive and get through the hard parts, especially since we did not do pain meds for his birth! Think about why you are wanting to do this… (These definitely came in handy when walking by the coffee creamer this morning haha!)

“I’m doing this for myself, for my body. For my family, for my friends, my husband and children… I’m taking the best care of what God has given me. This is not hard, I can do this. I can make changes that my body needs me to make so it can heal. I can say no to things that I might want to eat but shouldn’t eat.”

Clean out the pantry – Once you have the knowledge, clean out that pantry! Just throw away the junk you know your body doesn’t need anymore. There are some things that I know we can probably have after the 30 days that are “clean” but maybe not “Whole30 approved” so I just put those in the corner for now, but a lot of things just got tossed and I’m not looking back! Purging is good for the soul! Especially when you do it on January 1 haha!!

Create Meal Plans – Every where I turned, people kept saying, “Write a meal plan!” So I sat down and looked through my Whole30 Guide, Pinterest, Practical Paleo and Against All Grain- Meals Made Simple and wrote out the first week of meals. (This will be in my next post.) Here are some Meal Plans from other bloggers and Two Whole30 Day by Day Meal Plans in case you are interested.  The Can I have Guide from Whole30 was a HUGE help in planning out what we would eat for the week. Once I had a good idea of what we wanted to eat and what Jacob wanted to take to work, I made our grocery list.

Go shopping! – I’m one of those people that organizes my grocery lists according to where items are in the store, so as I’m walking through the different sections I can just follow the order of my list. I sent one like this with my hubby once and he was like that was actually really easy haha! One thing my cousin’s wife suggested when shopping is to focus on the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the aisles as much as possible. When I made my list for next week after I wrote our meal plan, I was kind of shocked at how much shorter those middle sections were. I’m interested to see how the bills will compare! I know we will be saving money by not eating out, so we can afford to buy more produce and meat! Listed below is the order that Whole30 suggests how you should shop.

When planning your list, think about your plans for the upcoming month… are there any situations you might need to prepare for? Dinners out or travel plans?

I’m ready! Coffee in hand, kids at home, and inconspicuous selfie in  HEB!
  • Buy meat, seafood and eggs first – allot most of your budget here
  • load up on vegetables and then fruits
  • shop seasonally if possible for best price and taste
  • get your healthy fats – virgin olive oil, coconut oil, pastured butter, olives, nuts and seeds
  • stock your pantry with essentials – Amazon has a lot of great products for great prices and things you might not be able to find locally

Honestly this is probably the most produce I’ve ever bought in one trip to the grocery in my life. And I’m so excited about that. My colon is too hahaha…
I literally almost started crying when I passed up the coffee creamer section… inwardly cringed and my shoulders started creeping up to my ears because I felt stressed about not having this in the morning and afternoon. #biggestsacrifice
And then I reminded myself… “This isn’t hard. I don’t need this!” Shook my fist at that toxic creamer and walked on. And possibly texted Ashley a picture of this with the crying emoji haha… #supportgroup
And DONE!
I’m just going to say… after being at the store for an hour and reading ingredient labels half the time for a few things we needed that weren’t in the produce section… I was kind of sick to my stomach. I was absolutely floored at how many food products have SO. MUCH. JUNK. in them. SUGAR is in EVERYTHING. Seriously. EVERYTHING! No wonder we all have anxiety, depression, ADHD and other health problems! It really just reassured me that this is what I need to do for myself and my family, and if I can keep up with this, it may be a more permanent lifestyle change than I realized. Why don’t we have a Whole Foods around here by the way!? I think I may email them today haha… anyone want to sign a petition with me?!?! 🙂
Got home and got organized. This was a great time to clean out the fridge!
Get rid of the scale – take measurements and a before photo but don’t weigh yourself every day. A big part of this program is getting rid of negative body images that are number dependent. They really want you to focus on how you feel.
Whole30 Downloads – Grocery lists, meal templates, products that are ok and products to rule out and more. I linked a few below, there are still a few more on their site as well as specialty guides for other dietary needs.
I hope this can help you get ready for Whole30 if you are interested in pursuing this too! It has actually been fun writing what meals we want to eat, making a list and then going shopping! I loved how full my cart was of good food for us! Yes, it may have included fruit snacks for the toddler, he’s definitely not giving those up for a month, but I felt so good about the other decisions I was making for my family. Happy shopping and organizing peeps!