My family and I have lived an organic, low-sugar life for several years now after my wife became very sick with a chronic illness.
Diet and Lifestyle: What we do and Why we do it
We took the need to follow a strict diet for her as a chance for all of us to eat better by eliminating processed foods, cutting out refined sugar, and reducing our gluten intake as much as possible. We were just talking about our food choices the other day, and agreed that even if she was told tomorrow all restrictions are over and she can eat anything, we wouldn't turn back. We’re all better off for it – healthier, feeling better, and so much wiser about what goes into our bodies and how it all works.
Most importantly, our son makes smart food choices himself whether we’re there to pick things for him or not because he understands the benefits and costs of those choices. It makes us so proud as parents to watch him choose what’s best for him.
A lot of people hear about the ‘restrictions’ we live with (funny for us to see it that way), and think the world must be a boring, tasteless place for us. I couldn't disagree more. Just look at some of the pictures I've posted on my Twitter account to see some of the great ideas we've created or learned from others. People also think it’s too hard or takes too much work. Again, we've found the opposite.
The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman
Perhaps the most elaborate thing I've made that fits into our healthy eating lifestyle comes from a great doctor named Dr. Mark Hyman who you should absolutely follow. He has a book called The Blood Sugar Solution that teaches you why you should and how you can live a life that solves for blood sugar issues and the health costs associated with them (diabetes, obesity, certain types of cancer, etc). He has an amazing – literally amazing – cookbook that goes along with the book called The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook that is literally full of amazingly tasty meals, treats and ideas that aren't hard to prepare, taste incredible, and give to your whole health.
The Chicken Recipe to end all Chicken Recipes
The recipe I want to share is literally my favorite chicken dish. That is, the best tasting chicken dish I've had in my entire life (sorry, mom). It is gluten-free, has no added sugar (and is exceptionally low in sugar anyway – just a bit in the almond butter and lemon juice), egg-free, dairy-free and can be done organically if you use organic ingredients, as we do. We make a point of eating organic chicken from farmers we believe in and want to support. It’s great to see Dai working with the Canadian Chicken Farmers because we need to support people who support our lives and our health.
So, with that said, below is the recipe for Dr. Hyman's Almond-Flax Crusted Chicken, taken from his cookbook.
Almond-Flax Crusted Chicken Recipe
Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20–30 minutes
Source: Dr. Hyman's Almond Flax Crusted Chicken
I would like to share a few insights after making this several times…
First, prep time is not 10 minutes. It’s more like 20 minutes. Pounding the chicken can take a bit of time (especially when being careful in your clean up). Also, getting the fresh thyme and parsley off the stems can take some time, too. You also want to be sure to chop the ingredients up nicely, so don’t rush the prep and make sure you have a good and proper knife for the task (e.g. a sharp chef’s knife).
As for ingredients, I typically forget to add the lemon juice, and never miss it, so don’t worry about that (especially if, like my wife, you need to avoid the sugar). I would also increase the salt from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon. You can also increase the paprika, which adds more color to the dish, making it appealing. I also like more cayenne than a pinch, but no one else in my family wants any, so we leave it out (I sneak some on afterward as I like the taste and it has great health benefits like metabolism and inflammation control). You could put in a little ginger to add a kick (ginger also helps with digestion). And be sure to use sea salt and not table salt – this would apply more than just to this recipe.
Basically, it’s OK to experiment a bit with this, alter it to taste, and use what you learned making this to influence other recipes. The key learning I took away here is around using the almond butter to get the ‘breading’ to adhere to the chicken. I’d have used eggs for that before, but nut butters work just as well. Almond flour and flax also have a rich and full flavor, cook nicely, and really work well with the seasoning here, so you won’t find yourself wishing you had seasoned, processed breadcrumbs with gluten.
Another twist is to make them with chicken tenders (or by cutting the breast into nuggets) to appeal to the kids in the house who may not be ready to cut their own food. I've made this for dinner parties, and it’s played very well. I've made this for simple family meals with our preschooler (who loves it), and I've shared the recipe with others, who also rave about it.
We are What We Eat
There are so many choices we can make to live healthier lives starting with what we put into our bodies. Finding recipes like this that are easy to make, incredibly flavorful can help you make healthy eating a regular and ongoing part of your life and form the basis of healthful living for your children.
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Bryan Falchuk is the founder of newbodi.es health and fitness coaching and training. He spent the first 2/3 of his life overweight or battling being overweight before transforming his life into one focused on health, fitness and happiness. He coaches and trains people looking to change their lives, has an active YouTube channel and podcast, and shares his own health journey and inspiration via his blog (http://www.newbodi.es/blog), Instagram (@newbodi – and Twitter (@newbodi).