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.

Quick Note from Moose: I first had the opportunity to connect with Bryan over a year ago. Immediately we connected on so many fronts as we share many of the same passions when it comes to life and how we see the world. Like myself, Bryan is a family man first. Take some time to check out his blog, YouTube channel and Twitter accounts you'll learn pretty quickly what drives this man. I was fortunate to be interviewed on his podcast earlier this year, have a listen below and enjoy this post as much as I did… WARNING – if you are hungry, you might want to wait to read.

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.

blood sugar solution book cover by mark hymanThe 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.

cookbook-cover-final-blood-sugar-solutionAlmond-Flax Crusted Chicken Recipe

Makes:  4 servings

Prep time:  10 minutes

Cook time:  20–30 minutes

Source: Dr. Hyman's Almond Flax Crusted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 five-oz. chicken breasts
  • 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 3 tbsp. ground flax
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. fresh onion, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Take the chicken pieces and pound them evenly flat across the breast using a kitchen mallet or other heavy kitchen utensil.
  2. Marinate the chicken in all ingredients, except the almond meal and flax, anywhere from 1–24 hours before making the dish to enhance the flavor or prepare the dish in advance.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Pour almond meal and flax into a small bowl and stir to mix evenly.
  5. In another small bowl combine the olive oil, almond butter, lemon juice, and all spices and herbs. Mix in small food processor or by hand. Once combined add the chicken breasts to this mixture.
  6. Remove chicken breasts from marinade bowl and place on baking tray. Sprinkle half of the almond/flax mixture evenly across one side of all 4 chicken breasts. Pat each chicken piece with hand to better adhere the “crust” to the chicken. Carefully turn over each chicken piece and repeat process using the remaining half of the almond/flax mixture on the other side of the 4 chicken breasts.
  7. Place tray with crusted chicken in center of the oven and bake for 20–30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reaches 168 degrees on the thickest part of the 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).

ingredientsAs 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.

IMG_2449

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 Bio Pic 2015Author Bio

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).

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