Spicy Taco Zoodles (Cookbook Preview!)

spicy taco zoodles healthy recipes shed for the wed

I'm giving you a preview from the soon-to-be released Shed for the Wed Cookbook today! There is a whole section dedicated just to spiraled veggie noodles. I love them! You get almost all of the satisfaction of a hearty pasta dinner without the refined carbs weighing you down.  Do you want to know the secret behind why they are so great? It's the sauce! If you have a good sauce, you do not miss regular noodles. Don't believe me? Try it yourself!

They key here is finding the right marinara. You want to make sure its lower in sugar (the guideline I go off of is 4g or less of sugar per serving). My favorite is Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Basil.  You most definitely can make your own, but it will add on a couple hours to the endeavor. 

I hope you give this recipe a shot! It's a real winner. Scroll to the bottom for the recipe. :)

Also, if you haven't downloaded the FREE food & wellness journal yet, be sure to sign up for emails from me and download it here! I love this freebie because it is what I actually encourage my clients to use! Use it to get a clear impression of your normal habits, and then you can transition to keep you accountable to your lifestyle goals! -AHS

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Spicy Taco Zoodles

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1⁄2 lb ground turkey
  • Fajita seasoning (Simply Organic is a good brand)
  • 3 medium zucchini, spiraled*
  • 1⁄2 jar marinara sauce**
  • Optional: sprinkle of cheddar cheese 

Instructions

Heat olive oil in a medium pan. Add ground turkey. Lightly coat meat with fajita seasoning and stir. Cook until browned. Mix in spiraled noodles and marinara. Serve with an optional sprinkle of cheddar cheese.

*If you don’t have a spiralizer, never fear! A box grater also works as well as buying them pre-noodled.

**Jarred marinara shouldn’t have more than 4g of sugar/serving.

spicy taco zoodles healthy recipes shredding for the wedding

Morning Rituals And Why You Should Have One (Especially When You Are Planning A Wedding!)

morning rituals gratitude journal erin condren planner superfood latte

I'm obsessed with having a morning ritual. Ever since I heard Tim Ferriss talk about them on his podcast I have been intrigued with getting mine right. It's a super important part of my day as an entrepreneur who works from home. It helps get my head right and start the day on the right foot. However, the more chaotic your life is, the more you could benefit from a strong morning ritual.  If you start your day off rushing through your shower and running to catch the train- you may need a morning ritual even more! When you are planning a wedding you essentially have taken on a second job. Having a morning ritual adds a bit of peace to your day - it's a win from the very first moments of the day. I think we all need that!

There are so many benefits to having a morning ritual, but of course it varies depending on what you include in it. What I love about my morning ritual is that I know I'm starting my day off doing something to take care of myself before the madness begins!

It is always a work in progress and it has evolved over time. I'm going to give you a couple examples so you can craft your own perf version! One that I used for a while is referred to as the "Miracle 6". It takes 6 minutes of your morning.

  • 1 minute of silence.
  • 1 minute of affirmations. 
  • 1 minute of visualizations
  • 1 minute of scribing (journaling)
  • 1 minute reading
  • 1 minute of exercise 

To break it down: 

The minute of silence is without your phone, eyes open or closed, just sitting for a moment int peace.

The affirmations are just a list of positive things to remind yourself of daily. They help keep your mind positive. Example of one: "Today I am surrounded by love and abundance in my life." I think about what I am struggling with overcoming mentally and then write some out, or google positive affirmations until I find what I need. :)  

The visualization is a form of goal setting, and it may take some time to write before your review it daily. You want to think about what you are hoping to achieve in your life. It could be long term or just a few months away. Think about what you are hoping to see in your life and write it down. Get as descriptive as possible, so when you read it, it evokes emotion and gets you excited! You should really see the vision clearly. 

Scribing is essentially journaling. There are many forms you could do. Some people do morning pages - a practice where you practice writing 3 pages of long form stream of conscious journaling (I tried it, it wasn't my cup of tea - but many, many people swear by it!). It also is hard to do in one minute. I preferred gratitude journalling, where I write 3 unique things I'm thankful for each day. 

 I read this when I was practicing the Miracle 6 morning ritual- it was perfect in small snippets. 

I read this when I was practicing the Miracle 6 morning ritual- it was perfect in small snippets. 

Reading- pretty self explanatory. If you are doing the Miracle 6 I think it's best to read something with small insights, like my favorite, Tao Te Ching. Or a personal development book (see right) where you can get something out of just reading a page or two. 

Exercise- again this is just one minute, so something like jumping jacks, crunches or push ups are good to get the blood flowing! Or you could take the yoga approach and do a sun salutation or two!

There were aspects of this routine I really liked, and it worked for me for awhile. But as I evolved, so did the ritual. When I added true meditation into my routine (not just a minute of silence), it changed the dynamic of the morning. I found it really hard to just read for one minute, and it kinda felt cruel to stop at one minute. Then I would read more, and then the routine would last much longer. I've taken some things I really liked from that ritual and incorporated it into my current routine. 

I've included my morning ritual is below. It is not my every day- right now I am at about 3 days/week. And sometimes I don't do all of the components, but if I get one of them done, it is an accomplishment!  


My morning ritual

  • I go downstairs and start the coffee. If I'm feeling really on it, I will use the frother and make a superfood latte (I froth almond milk, cacao powder, and brain octane oil). 
  • I then write in my gratitude journal. I write three things that I am grateful for.
  • Sometimes I will do a visualization and/or affirmations.
  • I pray for a few minutes. 
  • I meditate for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Then I get up, get dressed, and make my bed.
  • Boom! Ready to start the day!

 a simple day with my gratitude journal and coffee. 

a simple day with my gratitude journal and coffee. 

This process takes me about 60 - 75 minutes when I do all of the components. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. 

If you have been following along, you probably understand how important coffee is to me. The smell tells me its time to start the day. When I have the superfood latte, I'm starting my day with nutrients that are fueling my body. Just one small step to start the day right. 

I love my gratitude journal because it really helps me cultivate an abundance mindset. I have so much to be grateful for every day.

Praying helps me focus on what truly matters and gives me perspective.  

Meditation deserves its own post. It helps me focus on the present moment. It helps me to be still in my world that is moving so fast. It helps me to just be. I will do a follow up post on meditation soon. 

I used to not make my bed. But now, I realize that making the bed (and keeping my space clean) helps my mind focused and clear. Besides that, it starts my day with accomplishing a task. There are so many things are out of my control, this is one small thing that is definitely within my domain. 

So in sum, having a morning ritual helps me to start the day: 

  • with good nutrition
  • in a positive mindset
  • at peace with what I can and cannot do
  • goal oriented
  • and accomplished

Pretty powerful stuff, right? All of those things are pretty critical during wedding planning! I encourage you to start your own morning ritual! The "miracle 6" is a great place to start.

Do you have a morning ritual already? I would love to hear about how you start your day! Leave me a comment below or on social! If you haven't seen I finally launched the Shed FB page. Go on and give it a like for me! xx, AHS

Gut Health 300

At long last, the practical final installment of the gut health series! This post is to help provide practical tips to increase probiotics and prebiotics in ya life to increase your gut/ overall health! Before you get started you may want to recap the previous posts in the Gut Health series. 

 

Probiotics

Here are some of the easiest ways to add healthy bacteria into your gut! 

  1. The easiest way to get more probiotics in your life is to take a probiotic supplement. For more info on how to pick the right one - read Gut Health 200. However, they are expensive, and if your gut is already in good shape, it may not be necessary to continue long term. I always advocate to try to get the bulk of your nutrients from whole foods, and here is no different. 
  2. Lean in and switch to the 'booch instead of soda. Kombucha - you've probably heard of this bubbly, magical drink. It is actually fermented tea, and is an awesome way to get more good bacteria in your life. Make sure you find brands that keep the sugar to no more than 4gs per serving. Bonus, if you are hooked on soda- it is a great substitute!
  3. Add more fermented foods into your life! Fermented foods such as kimchi (the national food of Korea! A spicy pickled cabbage dish) or sauerkraut (European origin pickled cabbage dish) are #shedapproved and are loaded with the good stuff. This is particularly good in the winter when fresh produce is less available (or historically was less available! That is how people would stay healthy all year round!). While Kimchi is not available everywhere, you can opt to go to a Korean mart and they are typically sold there. Many grocery stores sell sauerkraut. If those aren't in your neighborhood you can always make it yourself (Links: How to make easy kimchi at homeHow to make sauerkraut in a mason jar).  
  4. Greek yogurt (or Siggi's Icelandic style) and kefir are Month 1 #shedapproved and a great source of good bacteria. You know that watery stuff that sits on the top of yogurt? Don't pour it out or avoid it- that's where the healthy bacteria live! Be sure to mix it in fully! My one warning here is to avoid added sugar in your yogurt/kefir. Better to get the plain, full fat versions and add your own berries and honey! 
  5. Beer and Wine! Whaaaaat? Alcohol? Yep. The catch? Commercial beer is rigorously filtered and won't have the health benefits. Just another reason to try home brew! Also, don't overdo it. It negates the health benefits! Stick to one beer or glass of wine at a time (2 tops!) to maximize the benefits and prevent weight gain!  

prebiotics 

Prebiotics keep the good gut bacteria happy and healthy! Because they need food too! The key to making gut bacteria happy? FIBER!!

  1. Freeze pre-ripe (lightly green still) bananas to add to your smoothies. You don't notice the flavor/texture difference as much as if you just ate them outright. Bonus - there is less sugar in these nanners so they are better on the waistline!
  2. Raw dandelion greens salad with raw asparagus (see recipe below!). Refreshing, light, crunchy, and yummy!
  3. Jicama chips (I mean fries. I swear I don't know where these Britishism are coming from)! So refreshing in the heat of summer. Check out the recipe below! 
  4. GG crisps/crackers. Month 1 Shed approved and LOADED UP with fiber. Be sure to look for the ones with psyllium husks (pumpkin and sunflower seed versions have this) on the ingredients list for gut friendly bonus!
  5. Any other fruits and veggies you like. The key here is the fiber, so leave the skins on (where you can - ie cucumbers, apples, etc) and eat up all the pulp you can! 

Here is a list of some of the top prebiotic foods not included above: 

  • Raw chicory root - the top source, with almost 60% fiber
  • Raw Jerusalem artichoke 
  • Raw garlic
  • Raw leeks
  • Raw onions 
  • Cooked onions
  • Whole wheat 
  • Legumes

This is by no means an exhaustive list, it's more of a prompting to get some new healthy eats in your routine! I hope you found the Gut Health series educational and beneficial. What are you going to do to add more gut friendly foods into your routine? Leave me a comment here or on Instagram! - AHS


Mexican style raw Jicama fries 

jicama fries chips mexican style tajin gut health prebiotics

Ingredients

  • 1 jicama
  • Extra virgin olive oil (start with a tbsp, add as necessary)
  • Tajin* or other chili lime seasoning blend to taste

Instructions

Peel jicama with a vegetable peeler. Cut into "fry" shape. I made mine a bit thicker. Coat lightly with olive oil and Tajin. Eat immediately for a filling snack and/or appy!

*Tajin is a Mexican spice blend that is amazing on fruit- it's incredible on watermelon too! You can order off amazon or get it at your local Mexican store if there is one close to you! You can also make this gringo style with paprika, onion powder, and chili powder.  


Dandelion Greens Salad

(adapted from the SHED program) (serves 1) 

This salad is an amazing summer detox salad and gut health booster! 

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 apple, chopped (skin on!)
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 2 cups dandelion greens
  • 3 spears of raw asparagus, chopped into 4 bites pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1⁄2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sprinkle of parmesan (optional)

Instructions

Mix ingredients in a bowl and enjoy a crunchy gut healthy lunch! 

Berry Banana Smoothie Bowl

shredding for the wedding berry smoothie bowl

It's officially summer and I am feeling all of the summer vibes. During the colder months, it is much harder for me to enjoy smoothies and/or smoothie bowls. I crave warmth. But when that sunshine hits, I want allll of the refreshing smoothies. Which sometimes can get boring, which is where smoothie bowls come into play. I love to start my day packed with phytonutrients, extra superfood boosts (because summer is all about that glow!), and something else to get me out of my "egg rut" (if you follow me on instagram - you know that I eat way too many eggs!). This beauty is in the Shed cookbook debuting next month! I thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peek! Happy summer and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine!! - AHS


berry banana smoothie bowl

shedding for the wedding berry banana smoothie bowl lose weight for wedding

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 frozen banana
  • 1⁄2 cup of frozen berries (I used a mixed berry blend)
  • 1⁄3 cup vanilla plant-based protein powder
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Topping Options

  • chia seeds (shown)
  • bee pollen
  • gogi berries
  • acai berries 
  • fresh berries (shown)
  • coconut shreds (shown) 
  • sliced almonds 
  • pepitas (shown) 
  • low sugar granola
  • cacao nibs (shown)

Instructions

Combine all ingredients, using less liquid than your normal smoothie. Blend. Pulsing until it creates a thick ice cream like consistency. If necessary, add more liquid, but try to keep a thicker consistency by using less.  If you are unsure of where to start with the amount of liquid, just add a little bit and pulse, slowly adding more until it actually blends. Note: Pick one topping initially to keep it economical — eventually working any and all of these into your smoothies/ bowls to add great health benefits. 


Update 7/2/18: the original post did not include that the banana and berries be frozen! Whoops! You would have one warm smoothie bowl without them being frozen! :)

Put a little (self) love in your heart...

 When I look at the pose above, I first think to myself, "Woof, those calves. And I have a long way to go to make this pose look good!" It takes me a moment to reset and appreciate how far I've come and appreciate that tan instead! 

When I look at the pose above, I first think to myself, "Woof, those calves. And I have a long way to go to make this pose look good!" It takes me a moment to reset and appreciate how far I've come and appreciate that tan instead! 

When you look in the mirror what do you see? Sometimes I see circles under my eyes. Sometimes I see bloat from last night's pizza (yep- I eat pizza!). Sometimes I see a whole lotta thigh. Rarely when I look in the mirror am I like, "damn that's a fine looking lady in there!" But why don't I? I suspect I am not alone in this. 

There are probably a lot of contributing factors, and I do not want to diminish them - but I will focus on two reasons for the purpose of today's note. The first is comparison. A natural human tendency that has been magnified by the omnipresence of social media. We spend our days longing for what other people have- their banging bodies, their DREAM weddings, their perfect husbands, adorable babies, charming houses, fancy cars, and exotic honeymoons. We spend a huge bulk of time assessing other people's lot in life and comparing ours to theirs. This isn't to say that we dwell on it or it takes over how we live our lives (sometimes yes, sometimes no) but regardless it happens on the daily. Sometimes we know we are doing it, other times it is operating in the background - but still happening. 

The second reason is judgement. Comparison feeds judgement. Example, so-and-so buys a beautiful new home – "But who would want to live there? It's the middle of nowhere!" Someone posts a selfie - it's attention seeking and/or desperate. Someone cuts you off on the highway - they are an a**hole. Immediately we affirm our own choices and lifestyle, building our own ego at the sacrifice of tearing down someone else. We judge other people and ourselves ALL of the time for EVERYTHING. And that includes what we see when we look in the mirror. 

And it's exhausting. 

And it doesn't serve us.

And in fact, it has a negative effect on the way we view ourselves and others. We need to knock it off. 

Less judgement, and more love. 

We need to love ourselves. Seriously, love every part of ourselves. We need to cut out the negative self talk. We are KWEENS ladies! And stunning rays of light filled with love. We are pure magic. When we acknowledge this, it helps us to see that in everyone else. 

Today is #internationalyogaday, and with it, comes a challenge. Love yourself and then love others. That's our mission. But how to shift our mindsets? It's a big task, so let's break it down.  

 

Step 1. Acknowledgement

Sit with a journal and a cup of (insert beverage of choice) and do some self reflection. When do you tend to compare yourself to others? Is it comparing that bling on your finger to your friend's? Does it happen when you look in the mirror and you think about the Instagram model you follow? When do you tend to judge? Does it manifest in road rage? Again, is it social media? Your favorite Bravo TV stars? 

Just take the time to think about how comparing and judging show up in your life. If after reflection you truly do not compare or judge, please teach a class and invite me! 

 

Step 2. Forgiveness

The next step is to forgive yourself and forgive others for being this way. We have to absolve ourselves from this. These habits are ingrained from childhood and perpetuated by the culture we live in. Let's not beat ourselves up over being judgmental. That defeats the purpose of this whole exercise. 

 

Step 3: Radical acts of self care

How did we get to self care? Well, what is at the heart of comparison? I believe it's our own feelings of inadequacy. Showing yourself some care is the foundation of self love. Do something for yourself every day. Take time for yourself. Whatever that means for you. By caring for ourselves, we nurture self love. It helps us to live more comfortably in our own skin- which helps us to love others better, too.

Self care is not selfish.

I repeat, SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH. When you are feeling drained and out of gas - it is really easy to get into negative self talk patterns. Beyond that, it also hinders our ability to serve others. So take the time to refuel. It is so important for your mental and physical health. Don't know where to start? Take a break from wedding planning and try some of the suggestions below:

  • Spend quality time with loved ones. 
  • Buy a coffee for a homeless person.
  • Take a bath. 
  • Laugh. Really hard. 
  • Watch trashy tv, or whatever gives you joy. 
  • Bask in the sun. 
  • Dance by yourself. 
  • Get a mani/pedi.
  • Do nothing - guilt free. 
  • Do something you have wanted to do for a long time, but never had the time. 
  • Go for a walk in nature.
  • Read a book. 
  • Take a nap. 
  • Exercise (in a way that sparks joy!).
  • Call a friend. 
  • Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful. 
  • Meditate. 
  • Take a social media/technology hiatus.
  • Eat a hearty nutritious meal.
  • Eat whatever you want, and without judgement

 

Step 4: Judgement Detox

Now that we have acknowledged our habits, forgiven ourselves for them, and have built up our self love... it's now time to take a break from the judging. This is really, really hard - because it is ingrained so deep. And it's not always showing up the way you would think. For example, today I was trying to back into my garage, and a neighbor had left what I think was an air conditioning unit outside their door, which prevented me from getting in my usual way. I was so annoyed. I was thinking about how inconsiderate that action was. Why didn't they move it to the side? Was this a handy person or was it the neighbor? Someone doesn't know the protocol... Judgement after judgement after judgement. And then I stopped myself. I realized, it was highly unlikely that they even realized it inconvenienced anyone. THEN I realized, I manage to get into my spot, just fine. I spent 2 minutes thinking they were horrible people, and realized I worked myself up over absolutely nothing. 

And this story isn't rare. I'm sure I do this 10x a day.

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to spend one day completely judgement free. Only loving thoughts towards yourself and others for just one day. That doesn't mean the judgements won't arise, but do your best to quash them when they come. AND double whammy, when they come up- don't judge yourself for having the thoughts! 

 

In summary

The world we live in is full of judgements. By giving ourselves some self care, and by choosing to judge less, we will love ourselves and others more! Yoga reminds me to have a beginner's mind, love and accept myself where I am at, and to love others unconditionally. I hope that through reading this post and doing this exercise, it helps you do the same. 


Are you going to participate in the self care and judgement detox challenges? I would love to hear if you participate and how it went! Use #shedselfcare and #shedjudgementdetox so I can see! -AHS

GF "Breaded" Chicken Thighs AKA "The Best Chicken I Ever Made"

gluten free breaded almond meal chicken thighs

I was messing around in the kitchen last week, and was craving a breaded-style chicken. I had unopened almond meal in my cupboard, and voila, I came up with "The best chicken I ever made" - according to my husband. I served it on a cauliflower rice stir fry. Which was a random throw together of cauliflower rice, frozen broccoli and bell peppers, powdered ginger, paprika, liquid aminos and a dash of rice vinegar. The combo was amazing! "Breading" the chicken took an extra 5 minutes of prep compared to my usual go-tos, and it was worth it! 

 The set up is easy enough! One bowl for egg and one for almond meal. 

The set up is easy enough! One bowl for egg and one for almond meal. 

Have you ever heard of engagement chicken? It's this recipe that every time a woman makes it for her boyfriend she finds herself engaged shortly thereafter. I'm not crazy about the premise of the story, but I feel like this recipe would bear similar results. 😂😂

So without further ado, recipe below! I hope you guys try it. If you do, leave me a comment below! - AHS

 

almond meal chicken thighs breaded gluten free

Gluten Free "Breaded" Chicken Thighs aka "The Best Chicken I Ever Made"

the best chicken i ever made gluten free breaded chicken thighs

Ingredients

  • 5 chicken thighs 
  • 1 egg, whisked 
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • Olive oil spray 
  • Herbs de Provence 
  • Salt and pepper 

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease baking dish with olive oil spray.  

Dip chicken thighs on each side in egg. Batter with almond meal. Add to baking dish. Gratuitously add herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. (Note: You could mix the herbs de Provence in the almond meal mixture, but it turned out great just sprinkling it on top.) Some almond meal will come off where you grab the chicken. I just sprinkled those spots with more almond meal once they were in the baking dish. 

Cook for 40 minutes or until inside temperature reaches 165. I recommend using a meat thermometer - every oven is different, and you don't have to worry about overcooking your chicken for safety. :) 

Serve warm, but it's great cold for lunch the next day too!