Creamy Chicken and Zoodles

I’m currently playing a game with myself. A game where I stand in the kitchen and stare at the contents (or lack there of) in my fridge and try to imagine what I’ll make for dinner.

It’s basically throwing something together and hoping it tastes good. Sometimes it’s mediocre. But sometimes it turns out so good we both stand over the stove and eat directly out of the pan.

In all honesty, I have no idea what to call this. It was created purely on instinct and a hungry tummy. And the fact that I wanted it to be ready quickly.

What you need:

  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 yellow squash, spiralized
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • A couple handfuls of frozen peas
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Salt, pepper, dill and garlic powder to taste

Season the diced chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sauté in a hot skillet. Let it get kind of brown.Add the onions and let them caramelize.

In a separate pan, cook the zoodles. Let them get a little crispy.

Add the peas and tomatoes to the chicken and onions. Let the peas heat through. Add the coconut milk. Season with a little more salt and pepper and a lot of dill.

Put the zoodles in the bottom of the bowl and top with creamy chicken mixture. Enjoy.

Don’t let the coconut milk mixture cook too long before serving. It can separate and you lose the creamy goodness.

This was so good we debated over who could drink the sauce. And it’s amazing such a dish exists because I had no idea what I was doing.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Cocktail

Don’t let the title mislead you. This is not a cocktail in the way cocktails are normally referenced. But take note. It can change your life in a good way.

The closer I get to 30, the more and more I noticed issues with acid reflux and indigestion. When I went mostly Paleo, I realized my indigestion would magically disappear.

But after eating the most amazing Chicken Pot Pie from Honey Pies the other night, my indigestion reared its ugly head pretty bad. I was completely miserable. And since I haven’t had a real bout with it since the September Whole30, I had forgotten how bad it can be

So I reverted back to my famous Apple Cider Vinegar Cocktail to help keep it together.

What you need:

  • A cup of warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother
  • 2 Tablespoons local raw Honey
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon

Heat up water in the microwave for one minute and thirty seconds.

Stir in the honey and Apple Cider Vinegar. Stir vigorously. You’ll see a nice foam on top.

Sprinkle with cinnamon. And enjoy.

This is the only thing that has ever kept my acid reflux and indigestion away. I usually have a cup of the warm goodness at night before bed. That was the time of day I’d have the most issues. Apple Cider Vinegar really can cure anything.

Weekend Wonders

Lazy weekends are my jam.

I love being able to totally check out. This weekend was the coldest one we’ve had so far, and I was excited to finally break out a big scarf and my favorite winter hat.

But the only thing I look forward to during the cooler months is a fire in the fireplace.

Since it was the first true cold snap of the season, we kept a fire going all weekend long. From now on, we are going to have Fire Fridays, which consist of a date night out for dinner and then home to a fire and whatever goodness we want to watch on Netflix. Right now, we are rationing out Stranger Things 2. And when I say rationing, I mean one episode per night.

Annie is loving this whole lazy weekend thing we’ve decided to pursue. She spent her time all cuddled up in blankets on my lap. But seriously, I can’t handle her cuteness. When I took this picture, I was whispering sweet nothings to her about how pretty she is. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. Brad didn’t even bat an eye at this. It’s simply my normal behavior when it comes to my puppy bear.

Keeping with the lazy weekend theme, I bought on of Honey Pies’ Chicken Pot Pies from Me and McGee Market.

Run. Don’t walk. Run to Honey Pies on Bowman Road in Little Rock or to Me & McGee Market to get yourself this deliciousness.

I would love to tell you that we had leftovers. But that would be a complete lie.

We ate every single bit of this gorgeous pie in a matter of minutes.

Is it Whole30 approved?

No.

Is it gluten-free?

No.

Is it dairy-free?

No.

Was it worth every single bite?

Absolutely.

That, my friends, is exercising food freedom. Finding balance with food is hard. I posted a live video the other day expressing my struggles with eating healthy. So I’m truly getting back on the wagon, and I’m working hard to make sure I have food prepped and ready to go. Part of the issues I’ve been having is not packing a healthy lunch, getting caught up a work and settling for less-than-stellar foods and forgetting to thaw our meat for our weeknight dinners.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. And I do. I need to 5-Second Rule myself to get my act together when it comes to meals and meal prep. If I can do it flawlessly during Whole30, I can do it any other time. I can’t for the life of me figure out why healthy choices are so difficult to make sometimes. And why making good choices during a Whole30 seems easier than any other time. Anyone have any insights into that?

It’s amazing how easily excuses creep. How I can talk myself out of cooking dinner and going out to eat. How I can’t say no to a donut or cookie even thought I’m not hungry at all. How reintroducing sugars, even in the natural forms, can make daydream of sweets during my afternoon coffee breaks at work.

The mental attachments to certain foods are long-lasting. It gives us a glimpse of just how powerful the mind really is when it comes to attachments and habits. I remind myself that I must exercise making healthy choices like I exercise my body. The mind is merely a muscle that can be trained to be stronger. And while I practice I keep telling myself…I think I can. I think I can. I know I will. I know I will.

What do you do to help you make healthy choices? Any tips or tricks?

Countermatch Collection & Why It’s Different

When it comes to skin care, I don’t take it lightly anymore. I’ve found that my skin needs something better than conventional makeup and skin care.

Here’s the thing: I did everything I could to make my skin not look terrible. Battling breakouts throughout my teens and twenties made me gun shy to try something new. I only used my tried and true items, which was a Purpose soap bar and Simple moisturizer with SPF 20. But my face and skin still did not like it.

I was tried of my skin looking like a teenager going through puberty. I was starting to see fine lines around my eyes and on my forehead…because a big birthday is looming. And I wanted something that worked for my changing skin.

Enter Beautycounter.

I was naturally skeptical of a “clean” beauty product because all the ones I had tried made my skin oil due to the overuse of coconut oil or avocado oil or whatever crunchy thing manufacturers put in it.

But all the research I had done made me feel a little more confident that Beautycounter products would be different. Less crunchy. More like a high-performing skincare line at a descent price point.

So I took a leap of faith, and the rest is history. And you know what? It keeps getting better.

Over the weekend, Beautycounter launched its most innovative collection to date.

It is completely different than any other product line on the market.

How is it different?

Bio-Mimic Technology.

What does that even mean?

It means all these products use plant-based properties that are most like the human components of skin. It gives skin exactly what it needs and nothing it doesn’t. That’s a pretty cool thing, if you ask me. Plants are pretty cool. We use them as food to nourish our bodies, so it makes sense to use plant-based nutrients for nourishing our skin.

There are four products that make up this innovative collection, and I want to break down some of the best qualities of each one.

Let’s start with the one I have used for a while now.

Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion

It’s lightweight, smells great and it adjusts to your skin’s hydration needs throughout the day. That’s that Bio-Mimic Technology at work, right there. It’s free of silicones and synthetic polymers, which can irritate skin.

Some of the key benefits are:

Shea Butter: rich in vitamin E to boost hydration.
Squalane: derived from olives, it draws moisture into the skin and visibly restores elasticity.
Phytic Acid: sourced from green rice, it helps skin breathe for a natural-looking glow.
Plum Oil: moisturizes and nourishes.
Salicylic acid: helps even skin tone.
Arginine: found naturally in beet root, it provides nutrients and energy for vibrant, healthy skin.

The Adaptive Moisture Lotion launched in June and sold out in 12 hours. Pretty amazing stuff. And I can say my skin feels smoother and softer. I have zero issues with oiliness, and I use to be really oily. And it will be a staple in my skincare routine from now on.

Countermatch Intense Moisture Serum

I’ve never used a serum. With the oiliness I use to battle, I couldn’t imagine adding in an intense boost of moisture to my skin. But I’m super excited to try this.

Some key benefits are:

Hyaluronic Acid: one of the most effective hydrating ingredients, it delivers moisture without clogging pores. Intense Moisture Serum contains two forms of Hyaluronic Acid for ultimate hydration.
Vitamins C & E: energize skin and provide antioxidant protection to help fight free radicals.
Arginine: found naturally in beet root, it provides nutrients and energy for vibrant, healthy skin.

Plus, it is free of mineral oils and synthetic fragrances.

Countermatch Rescue Eye Cream

This is the product I’m most excited about trying. Why you ask? Because it decreases puffiness AND reduces dark shadows under eyes. Heaven has finally answered my prayers about an eye cream that will reduce my hereditary dark circles. It is formulated without the use of formaldehyde, a potentially carcinogenic preservative commonly used in eye creams which has also been linked to detrimental effects on the immune system. Formaldehyde can also be listed as formalin, formic aldehyde, merthaldehyde, methanol and oxomethane.

Key benefits include:

Squalane: derived from olives, it draws moisture into the skin and visibly restores elasticity.
Betaine: found in sugar beets, it increases oxygenation to help reduce the appearance of shadows.
Phytic Acid: stimulates oxygenation to help awaken tired eyes.

Tired, puffy, dark-circled eye will be a thing of the past for me soon. And I can’t wait.

And last, but not least.

Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream

I’ve not ever used a night cream either. It goes back to my formerly oily skin. But I’m going to give this one a try.

What makes it special?

Hyaluronic Acid: one of the most effective hydrating ingredients, it delivers moisture without clogging pores. Recovery Sleeping Cream contains two forms of Hyaluronic Acid for ultimate hydration.
Plum Oil: rich in omegas 6 & 9 and vitamin E, it reinforces the moisture barrier for healthy-looking, vibrant skin.
Tara Gum: this Peruvian plant is a nutrient for skin, helping it effectively revitalize while you sleep.

This nighttime moisture treatment will repair your skin with deeply moisturizing ingredients while you snooze. I like that idea. Sleeping really does solve a multitude of ailments.

The Countermatch Collection is the beginning of innovative, safe skin care. It’s the start of something wonderful, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

Learn more about the Countermatch Collection here.

Read some of the reviews on the one Countermatch product that has been out for a while now here.

Get the Healthy Living app to check out how your current products compare to Beautycounter products.

Let me know if you have questions, or if you want to try a sample. I can sample out Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion now, but I’m starting a list for samples of the complete Countermatch Collection. Reach out to me here.

Building Community

Living in a small community has its perks.

I love the fact that I have a wonderful farmers market in my rural community. There are actually several, but I do have a favorite one.

And they take community seriously.

They took the time to host a community breakfast. And it was the most gorgeous set up I’ve seen. Surrounded by fall decor and pretty fall flowers, 50 people in our small community came together at a place we all love to eat breakfast and fellowship.

And it was absolutely beautiful. Cold, but beautiful. We had so much fun, and the food was all locally sourced.

I was all bundled up in my favorite winter hat, and Brad was looking mighty fine, too, even with his crazy eyes. We really have a hard time taking a “good” picture together. You’d think after two years we would have it figured out, but we definitely don’t.

Brad’s mom LaDonna was there, too. And so was his dad. And it was the perfect way to spend a cold Saturday morning.

We had coffee and omelets and homemade apple bread and locally sourced sausage, bacon and ham. And lots more. The good news is you can get all of that and more at Me & McGee Market in North Little Rock. I don’t do my shopping anywhere else. And I like it that way.

Eating locally sourced produce and meats has been so good for us. I can definitely say we have kept better eating habits since “cutting the cord” with the grocery store. And we have made some amazing friendships since spring. I can’t imagine not going to my favorite little farmers’ market now that it has become such a staple to my routine.

What are Saturday morning traditions? Do you shop local?