Bring on the ‘buch!

Ok I admit it!  I like to get my drank on!!!  I like to sit back on a hot day and throw one…or a few back.  I like to collect the bottles and line them up like what you find in a frat house.  I might have an addiction strong craving for a certain fizzy drink of sorts.  I mean I don’t NEED it, I can quit anytime I want.  And really…what’s it to ya?  It’s MY life!!!  GAW!!!!!

I can’t help it that Kombucha is so delicious.  I tried to resist its allure…sitting there in the grocery cooler looking all sorts bubbly and cheerful (yes drink bottles can look cheerful).  But the combination of the enzymes, probiotics, and immune boosting benefits sucked me in.

So yes I will driving 30mins to pick up a six pack.  Yes they have their own kombucha bag.  Yes I will overlook that the $2.50 price tag.  I will even pay full price.  I have no shame.  If loving kombucha is wrong…I don’t wanna be right.

But all that was about to change!  One day as I perused one of my many “crunchy” Facebook pages I spotted someone offering free SCOBYS!!!  Ummm hello?  God is that you trying to tell me something?  I really think I heard him say “of course dear…I want you to brew your own ‘buch”.  Now…I can not prove that I heard God’s voice but there really was a free SCOBY and I really was all over that offer like a duck on a june bug.

What’s a SCOBY you ask?  Well it is a nasty looking little thing, usually a disc shaped gelatinous glob.  She is not appetizing to look at.  I mean it’s not like I would gnaw on her while watching a movie or anything.  She knows her place and is pleased as puddin when she’s floating on some tea.  SCOBY, or, symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast if you wanna be hard core; is the living portion of the drink.  Are your mouths starting to water yet?  Yea…mine too.

Now with SCOBY in hand I could have unlimited Kombucha at my disposal!  I am officially a ‘buch bootlegger.  Ok ok…maybe not so much a bootlegger but I am now officially brewing my own kombucha at home.  It may or may not be legal.  I will leave you to wonder.

Let me break down the process for ya.  I brewed a batch of tea.  Approximately 1 gallon.  Of course I used organic green tea.  You can use other types (but they say not “flavored”).  Don’t ask who “they” are…you DON’T want to know.  Anywho…I put about a cup and a half of raw organic sugar in the tea and brought it to a boil.  I know a lot of you fit freaks peeps are gasping at the amount of sugar.  Don’t fret.  SCOBY to the rescue!!  Once the tea cooled to room temperature I added the SCOBY and the liquid she was in and put it all in a 1+ gallon size glass container.  The yeast and bacteria (all good kinds) feed off the sugar that is in the brew, or better yet they consume the sugar so you don’t have to.  WHAT WHAT?!?!  This process is called fermentation.  Can you all repeat that together?  FER, MEN, TA, TION.  Good job!    I covered the brew with a coffee filter and a paper towel and held it in place with a rubber band.  Then I put a paper bag over the container and shoved it all onto a corner shelf in my dark pantry and let SCOBY do her thang.

Fast forward two weeks and it was time for the 2nd fermentation.  This is usually the time where fruit or other flavorings are added. I decided on strawberry basil.  Seriously y’all…does it not sound like a delicious combo?  Thought so.  I poured my kombucha into smaller glass bottles, this time with air tight lids.  I added my strawberries and basil that I previously chopped up a bit in the food processor.  Once bottled I left the kombucha on the counter for about 4 days.  During this time the yeast and bacteria fed off the sugars in the brew and created the fizz.  Do y’all get what I am saying?  It is pretty much bottled yeast and bacteria poots.  Gross huh?!?!  But it tastes so good!!

Fast forward 4 days and I am sitting here drinking my homemade ‘buch.  Don’t mind if I do, don’t. mind. if. I. do.  I am not gonna lie…it’s pretty darn good.  Yes I may be a tad biased.  But I am proud of me and my little SCOBY!!  I’ve already started another batch.

Here are a few pics I took along the way.  They ain’t pretty.  :)  But the outcome is delicious!!

Momma SCOBY in batch of fresh brewed tea
Momma SCOBY in batch of fresh brewed tea
She's growing...makes me proud.
She’s growing…makes me proud.
Look away...she's hideous!
Look away…she’s hideous!
After first fermentation and after strawberries and basil were added
After first fermentation and after strawberries and basil were added
After 2nd product.  Some bottles are missing i.e. consumed.
After 2nd fermentation…final product


let’s go


(n.) A strong desire or urge to wander or travel and explore the world.

Do you have that one thing in life that feeds your soul?  Gardening, writing, dancing, etc?  For me, it’s traveling.

I constantly have this tiny voice in my head that says “let’s go”.  No, not the kind of voice that warrants medication and a psych consult.  But an ever-present little whisper from the world beckoning me to come marvel in her awesomeness.  Whether it is East Texas backroads or European vacations, small towns or big cities, mountains or beaches. It doesn’t really matter to me.

I love the memories, experiences, and pictures that I have collected from each adventure.  When I see the beauty of the world I am reminded how amazing our God is.  Although I try and capture it all with my camera…the pictures never seem to do it justice.  I really need to work on that.

Traveling challenges me to do more and to need less.  For this introvert it allows me to move out of my comfort zone yet still feel comfortable being a stranger in a “foreign” place.  I love accents and languages and not knowing my surroundings…almost feeling lost.

I have not been everywhere, but it’s on my list.  –Susan Sontag

Don’t get me wrong…I am blessed to have a home with my husband and our family.  But our house and our things are not what fills my cup.  In fact I have very few belongings that I would mourn if I lost them.  To never be able to see new places or go wander on a whim would mean a part of me would die.  I feel at home when I am away and each trip I take renews my spirit.

I am blessed to have been to such beautiful places and more so that I have been given the insatiable appetite to explore.  There is such beauty, grandeur, and majesty out there, all handcrafted by God.  What an amazing gift!

Travel changes you.  As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small.  And in return, life–and travel–leaves marks on you. –Anthony Bourdain


Let’s eat!

Tonight I decided to cook!  Not just warm something up…but REALLY cook.  I found this lovely Paleo recipe on Against All Grain.  I have been ogling the cookbook and all of the beautiful recipes for some time now.  I don’t know what took me so long to check out her website.  I guess sometimes I can be a little slow.  But it is now book marked!

I planned this meal a few days ago and headed out on one of my days off to shop for the ingredients.  However, the 3 stores I went to were out of leeks.  Yep you heard that right…out of leeks.  I have never had a Leek in my 40 years on this earth…and you’re telling me that they are so popular that Sprouts, Kroger, AND MarketStreet were out of them?  Hogwash I tell you.  So take note, even though I pride myself on following a recipe to a ‘T’ the first go-round, this one was Leek-less.  Oh well, I am sure I would not like Leeks anyway.  They look very vegetable-y.  My unhealthy body can only handle one new veggie at a time…and tonight it was cauliflower.

I hadn’t even planned on cooking tonight.  It was the fear that my cauliflower and already thawed organic chicken would go bad sort of forced me into it.  The meal didn’t take too long to prepare.  However, one of the first steps is to remove the chicken tender from the chicken breast.  WHAT?!?!  Are you telling me that the tender is not the same thing as the chicken breast?  Tenders are not just chicken breasts cut into strips?  I was stumped.  So I did what any novice chef would do.  I Googled “How to remove a tender from a chicken breast”.  Thankfully, there was a YouTube video of just that…removing a tender.  My chef ranking has now gone from novice to novice II.  I’m a fast learner.

The recipe states that the prep time is 20 minutes.  Well, that is only if you have already removed the tenders and made the pesto sauce.  Which I hadn’t.  So I am going to say the prep time is more like 40mins.  Just a heads up.

So enough fluff.  Let’s get to the meat of the matter.  Get it?  Do ya get it?  The “meat” of the matter?  tap, tap, tap is this thing on? 

Excuse my grainy pic…but I started cooking late and well, our lighting stinks.


Here is the recipe that I followed!  Try it out for yourself.  You will not be disappointed!

Well, hello again!

Well friends, it’s been a while hasn’t it?  I am sorry that I have been MIA.  So what happened you ask?  I fell off the wagon.  In fact I fell off, got ran over, then backed up over by the Paleo wagon.  I have plenty of excuses although no good ones.  They start with a friends 40th birthday celebration.  Then it was my 40th birthday (week).  Then Thanksgiving.  Then Hawaii.  Then Christmas.  Then NYE.  See…plenty of excuses. :)  I have more if you want to hear them.

Let’s not dwell on shoulda/woulda/coulda.  It’s a new year and the perfect time to look ahead and plan positive changes.  I have a list about a mile long of things I want to accomplish this year.  Yep resolutions are cliché.  I know it.  But I think it is healthy to have goals.  Short term and long term.

Here are some of my resolutions for 2014.

  1. Healthy Eating…I plan to start a GF/Paleo plan again.  I loved how I felt while I was eating a Paleo diet.  My skin was better; I had more energy; I slept better; my hair was healthier; I had less back pain; I wasn’t as moody.  So for me…I choose Paleo.  If healthy eating is one of your resolutions choose one that is fully of whole foods, good fats, and lots of fruits and veggies.  Try to stay away from preservative laden foods…even when they say lite, light, fat-free, diet etc.
  2. Exercise…My hubby has a goal of running a marathon.  My goal is a 5k…MAYBE a 10k.  I HATE running.  Hate is not a strong enough word.  But I have always wanted to like it.  I used to run about 2.5 miles a day.  But now I can barely run 1/10 of a mile.  It’s pretty sad.  So my hubs and I will head up to the track…he runs his 7 miles while I run/walk my 30 mins.  I dread each time he laps me because it just tells me how out of shape I am.  Oh and he loves to give me a love pat as he passes me.  Probably his way of telling me “hey baby…I’m passing you again because what you think is running is actually a moderate walk”. Or maybe he just pats me to show encouragement. But, like I need anything else to jiggle as I work out.  I kid you not the 30 seconds before each “run” my body rebels and my legs turn to concrete pilings.  They just don’t want to move.  Every other part of my body moves when I run though. EVERYTHING.  It’s very disappointing.  I have said it before and I will say it again…there needs to be a full body bra.  We also joined the Rec center…they have a gym, racquetball courts (which I used to kick a$$ at), inside track, etc.  So we will be hitting it up as well.
  3. Church…My hubby and I know that when we are attending church weekly it helps us keep God at the center of our relationship.  Our relationship benefits.  We are better role models for the kiddos.  We just feel more complete.
  4. Debt…We don’t have a ton.  A couple of small credit cards, 2 cars, school loans, and the house.  My goal for this year is to get rid of the credit card debt and 2 of my school loans.  We have both read/listened to Dave Ramsey’s method and are scheduling ourselves to work a little more in order to get things paid off faster.  We have a 5-7 year plan…but for now I just want to think about the 2014 goal.
  5. Cook…I need to cook more.  I admit I am lazy in the kitchen.  I am not one who can just look in the fridge/pantry and come up with something off the top of my head.  I have to follow a recipe until I have cooked it a few times.  When I cook I love cooking from scratch but I am horrible about taking the time to plan out my meals and shopping.  So nightly about 5pm I hear the dreaded question “What’s for dinner?”  UGH.  Seriously, they want to eat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!!! I want to plan out more meals which in turn will make shopping easier and I won’t waste money at the store. 
  6. Simplify…bottom line, we have too much crap.  Crap that we spent money on but that holds no meaning for us.  I want more meaning.  I want more authenticity.  Most “Things” don’t hold either.  I look around this house and it seems I have filled it just to fill it.  I want to get rid of the excess in our home and in our lives.  Keep the meaningful things.  I want my family to be what makes this house a home.  Not the store bought items it is filled with.  So I plan to find 5 things a day…to put away in a “garage sale” box, on Craigslist, or simply throw away.

There ya have it.  Those are my resolutions.  What are some of yours?  Need an idea?  Here’s two:  be good to yourself and be good to one another.  Those are very doable don’t ya think?

Little Miracles

I am just sitting here on a Thursday night thinking about my week thus far.  It has been a week of ups and downs to say the least.   I turned 40 on monday.  Although neither an up nor down I was off of work and with my husband and daughter.  No place I would rather be.  But then came Tuesday.  When I got to work I was told it was going to be a busy day and that I had a nursing student assigned to me, which adds more work from the get go.  Even though it is a necessary part of getting through school it makes it hard on the “teaching” nurse.  I know,  I know…we shouldn’t dread students.  But we do.  Don’t judge me.  Just being honest.

I was then given report about each patient and was told one in particular was gonna be a challenge.  Already frustrated from having a student nurse, I was instantly dreading what I was going to walk into.  Actually, I was pouting inside; borderline pissed.  Fast forward and I walk into that patients room and instantly smell something I was familiar with.  Thieves.  I smelled Thieves.  As I approached her bed I noticed other Young Living oils on her bedside table.  So of course I told her that I too use YL oils.  She looked at me in disbelief and started crying.  After a few minutes she calmed down and I asked her to tell me what was going on; why she was crying.  Long story short…what SHE knew to be best for her baby was not in line with what some of the DRs’ and nurses’ believed to be best.  She felt alone and helpless.  I let her know that she would not feel like that from me.  I told her that I am oily, and natural, and of the belief that she is the mom and knows what is best for her baby.  I let her know that I would not challenge her belief or pressure her to do something she didn’t want for her baby.  She cried and cried and said that she posted a prayer request to friends and family on Facebook that morning before I got there…and asked them to pray that God would send someone to help her.  And then she said “and then you walked in!”  She told me God answered her prayers with me!  ME!  Plain jane frumpy 40 year old me!!  I ain’t nothing special.  I hold no superpower.  I am flawed beyond belief.  Me…the same girl who just 5 minutes before was pouting about the crummy day she was about to have.  Little did I know that what I was actually walking into was a the little miracle of answered prayers of so many people.  I even had a friend, Melissa,  in East Tx who saw my patient’s original post and felt so sad for her that she prayed “that God would send her a sweet nurse”.  She had no idea that the person she was praying for was in DFW, let alone at my hospital, let alone going to be assigned to me.  Melissa said she cried when a follow up post was put up by my patient tagging my name as an answer to her prayers.

Yall with me?  Have I lost you?

Come to find out we are all part of the same “oily” facebook group.  A place where we go to learn and share about oils.  Had I not been so busy pouting and dreading my day I may have seen her prayer request and probably would have whispered a little prayer for her.   Thankfully she was assigned to me.  Because when I finally got on Facebook in one of my few slower moments I was blessed to  read her prayer request and all of the amazing responses from dozens and dozens of prayer warriors.  And I was truly humbled after reading her follow up post tagging me as her “angel”.  I am no angel.  But man it feels good to have been able to make someones day better.

I never started using Young Living oils for money.  I started using to help myself and my family become healthier in a natural way.  I started sharing them with others so that they could learn of how they had blessed me.  Never in a million years did I think they would lead me to another person in this manner. But what a blessing this experience has turned out to be to me!

Oh…and the last little blessing?!?!  Her little one was born on my birthday.  :)



Investigative Reporter C.Reynolds On The Case.

Where is my magnifying glass and my houndstooth Sherlock Holmes hat?  Because I am on the case peeps…tracking down answers to the world’s mysteries!!  Sort of.  Well, maybe not mysteries.  Ok maybe I got an answer to one question.  But I got an answer none the less.  And you, my fellow crunchy friends, may want to take a gander.

So here is the 411.  A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook asking how can a restaurant say they are going to go GMO free in 2014.  What about the corn and flour tortillas they serve?  All wheat and corn is genetically modified right?  The company she is talking about is Chipotle and is a big favorite among A LOT of people.  Plus their commercials ROCK!!!  Anyhow…so we were wondering if in fact this was just a marketing ploy or a ruse to attract more customers.  If so, well, no bueno Chipotle.  No bueno!!


Food with integrity?  RE-HE-HE-EALLLY?  (That is my Ace Venture ala Jim Carey impression)  I nailed it right?  Thought so.

But first here is my understanding about GMO’s regarding corn and wheat.  I have read that MOST corn we eat is in fact GMO unless you buy organic corn grown from heirloom seeds.  However, ALL the wheat here in the US is genetically modified.  It was modified because the tall wheat could not withstand the winds.  They would bend and water could not make it up the “stalks?” in order to keep the plant alive.  Sort of like laying on your arm too long and it falling asleep.  Ya know what I mean?  So wheat was genetically modified to be shorter.  Whereas wheat used to be 5ft + tall long ago, now it is maybe 3ft tall.  I am not saying I am 100% right on this; but I would say I’m about 96.78% accurate.  Sooooo…now that you know that I can continue telling you about my investigation.

I did not want to believe that my beloved Chipotle was trying to deceive us.  Please say it ain’t so!!  I decided to go to their website.  I advise you all to go check it out.  Lots of great info about where their meats and veggies come from and changes they plan to make.  However I did not see anything about the GMO free plan.  So I emailed them.  Yep, I’m that girl.

Here is my email to them:

Hi there…A friend of mine on facebook said yall were planning on going GMO free in 2014. But then she brought up the fact that all wheat nowadays is genetically modified. She included corn in that but I believe there is corn that is not GMO. I could be wrong. Either way, what will your tortillas be made of if not wheat? I definitely do not mind paying more for safe food. And getting to eat out and still have safe food is a bigger plus. Thanks so much for your efforts!!
Christina Reynolds

And the response I received not long after:


Thank you very much for your interest in this. Indeed, it’s our intention to eliminate GMOs from our menu. We do not have a firm date set for when we will achieve this goal, but we have made some great strides in this direction. Our biggest push right now is eliminating soybean oil from our cooking process. We’ve already taken the soybean oil from our fryers and replaced it with GMO-free sunflower oil. All our restaurants have eliminated soybean oil from the beans, carnitas, and barbacoa and switched to GMO-free rice-bran oil or sunflower oil. In several markets, we have eliminated soybean oil from our rice, fajitas, chicken, steak, and vinaigrette and switched to the rice-bran oil as well, and we do hope to have phased out the soybean oil in our restaurants entirely by 2014.

I am familiar with your friend’s concern about how wheat is genetically modified; William Davis talks about this in his book Wheat Belly. When we talk about reducing GMOs, we are more concerned with those organisms that are genetically modified to be herbicide-resistent (or “Roundup ready”), not those that have been genetically selected for certain traits, as modern-day wheat has. We do still intend to make our tortillas with wheat, but if you have concerns about wheat that are specific to the way it has been genetically manipulated, please know that it is very easy to avoid wheat in our restaurants. The only wheat-containing items we serve are the burrito- and taco-sized flour tortillas. So you are free to enjoy salads, bowls, or corn tacos.

I know this is a complex issue, but I hope my response clarifies somewhat the distinction between the GMOs our restaurants are trying to eliminate and ingredients like wheat that have been heavily genetically selected and bred to have certain characteristics. We appreciate your recognition of our efforts and we hope to serve you soon.


Customer Service Consultant
Chipotle Mexican Grill


How cool is that?  Why do I feel like I am BFF’s with a celebrity or something?  Well, I liked the honesty and am pretty cool with their efforts.  What do y’all think?  Food with integrity like their ad says?  I’m gonna go ahead and say I believe so.  And just because Chipotle and I are close…y’all don’t be hittin me up for free burrito bowls. :)



I’ve got bones a brewin’!!

Today I am home with body aches, nausea, and fever.  It started up last night but hopefully it won’t stick around too long.  I am diffusing Thieves and have oiled up for the fight!!  I find it a bit fortuitous that I baked a whole chicken yesterday and never ate any of it.  So today I plan on making some homemade chicken noodle soup.  Is there anything better when you’re feeling under the weather?  I think not.   Some of you may be up in arms with contempt and ready to point out that CNS (that’s what the cool kids call it) is, in fact, NOT paleo.  Tap the brakes peeps, tap the brakes.  I am making a small portion for myself sans noodles.  So put the clubs and stones down.  :)

I also plan on making some homemade bone broth with the left over skins, bones, and cartilage.  I baked another chicken a couple of weeks ago and saved the carcass in the freezer for this very moment!!!  Had I planned this out a little better I would have made my bone broth yesterday so that it could be used as the base for my CNS.  And because I have the Veruca Salt mentality (I want it now Daddy!!!!!), and I am sick, I didn’t want to have to wait for my soup.  Alas, I will just have to use chicken broth instead.  Only free range organic, Dahling!!  (You have to go back and reread that sentence in a snobby accent…or it just doesn’t work).  I will wait.

Raise your hand if you make, drink, or use homemade bone broth.  Anyone?  No?  Well you should!  Why you ask?   Here are 10 good reasons! (snagged from here)

1. It heals a leaky gut.

The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and helps aid in the digestion of nutrients.

2. Fights infections such as colds and flu.  

A study published in the journal Chest shows eating chicken soup during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms.

3. Reduces joint pain and inflammation.  

The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation.

4. Produces gorgeous skin, hair and nails.

The collagen and gelatin in bone broth supports hair growth and helps to keep your nails strong.

5. Helps with bone formation, growth and repair.

The calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in bone broth helps our bones to grow and repair.

6. Saves you money.

Homemade bone broth is cheaper and healthier than store bought.

7. Super easy to make.

All you need is a crockpot. Throw all of the ingredients into the crockpot and it cooks while you sleep.

8. Healthier than buying supplements.

Homemade bone broth contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons rather than just one or two found in pills. Slow cooking preserves the nutrients better than the high heat extraction used to make supplements.

9. Fights inflammation.

Bone broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline.

10. Promotes sleep and calms the mind.

The amino acid glycine found in bone broth can be very calming.

So you may be asking, “How do I make this lovely healing nectar?”  Or not.  But imma tell ya anyway!!!  Get yer pens and paper ready…

In a crockpot I put 2 medium onions quartered, 3 carrots chopped into big chunks, some chopped celery stalks, a small handful of thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, some garlic, and some peppercorns.  Oh…and 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar.  This helps draw the minerals out of the the bones and into the broth.


I used two chickens (one I had frozen previously).  And by chickens I mean the bones, skin, and cartilage.  Throw em in along with the veggies.  Now pour in water just enough to cover the ingredients.  Pop the lid on and and cook on low for about 24 hours.  Then use a fine sieve and pour the liquid through to remove all of the veggies and anything else leftover.   I can’t post pics because, well…it’s still brewin’ up.  But here are a few of the process:



Let me just say how much I love buying a whole chicken, baking it, and using every single bit of it from meat to bones to nourish my family.  I used to just buy boneless chicken breast thinking I was being healthy.  Even though I will still claim the breasts as “MINE!!!” over the dark meat I am glad I understand how healthy the whole chicken really is.  Try it peeps…you will love it!!

One thing though…finding a couple feathers on a chicken you are about to bake is disturbing.  Just saying.  But I felt all native plucking those two feathers off.  Kind of like I needed to put two swipes of blood along each cheek because I was SAVAGE!!

As for the CNS…I pretty much used the same ingredients.  Carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, onion, bay leaf, and chicken broth.  I also used the meat from a whole chicken and egg noodles.

I used my big dutch oven and put a little olive oil in the bottom then added the veggies, thyme, and bay leaf.  Cooked it up for a few mins until softened.  Then I added 2 qts broth and let it come to a boil.  Once boiling I added noodles and then let it simmer for about 5 mins.  Last I put in the chicken and let it simmer for a little longer so the chicken could absorb the flavors from the broth.  Thats it.  DONE.  Family fed.  This woman is going back to the couch and I ain’t moving nary an inch for nuthin!




I forgot to make my noodle free CNS so I had to scoop out only the veggies, meat, and broth.  Kinda difficult which leads me to this disclaimer.  The recipe called for 8 oz of Egg Noodles.  That was way too much.

Would you like some soup with those noodles?

All in all I got thumbs up from the fam.  Yay!!  So go out and get yourself some free range organic BONE IN chicken.  Start treating your family to some real wholesome goodness.  Foods that heal…It’s what God wanted.  I am sure of it.

Paleo Chicken Tortilla(free) Soup



Thanks to Pinterest, tonight I made this amazing soup.  It’s so delicious I should describe it as sinful.  But it’s not!!!  It’s healthy and Paleo!!!  Woot Woot!!  I didn’t take many pics of the process because I was doing other things at the same time like cleaning and cooking lunch.  So my hands were never clean enough to pick up the phone/camera to snap a few more pics.  The ones I took are…ehhhh and don’t do the soup justice.  But take my word for it…this soup is D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!!  A tad tangy and a tad spicy!

Here is what you will need:

3 pounds chicken breasts (I only used 2…but wish I had used 3)

3 Tbsp of Coconut Oil

3 Tsp of fajita or taco seasoning (to keep it healthy and paleo…make your own like this recipe I used)

1 large or 2 medium onions, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeno peppers, diced

2 poblano peppers, diced

2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock

28oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (to be healthy…use organic that states they used BPA-free lined cans, or fire roast your own)

Juice of 2 limes

1 Cup cilantro, chopped

Avocado and fresh cilantro for garnish



1. Preheat your oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit (350 for convection). Place your chicken breasts in a large baking pan, and pour one tablespoon of oil over all, coating well. Sprinkle your fajita seasoning over the chicken, coating well, and place in the oven. Cook for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces) until cooked through and liquid from chicken runs clear. Using two forks, shred the chicken (while this is not so easy to do while the chicken is hot, I find I get a better “shred” if I do so while the chicken is still hot). Alternately, you can just chop the chicken into small pieces.

2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and when hot, add in the onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 4-6 minutes.

3. Add in the garlic and peppers and saute for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

4. Pour in the chicken stock and fire roasted tomatoes and bring to a medium boil.

5. [THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL] If you want a slightly thickened soup, strain out some of the tomatoes, onions and peppers to a blender or Magic Bullet and puree. Pour back into the broth mixture. I did this with about 1/2 of the solids in the soup.

6. Add the chicken, cilantro and lime juice to your bubbling cauldron of goodness. Taste to see what you’re in need of (salt? pepper? more of a kick?) and adjust as need be.

7. Serve with avocado and cilantro on top.

I am not gonna lie…I wanted to top it all off with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla slices.  But because I didn’t…I could eat two whole bowls…guilt free.  And that my friends, is DELICIOUS!!

Surefire Ways To Derail Your Diet

As I start week 4 of eating a paleo diet I thought I would take this time to warn you of a few pitfalls you may want to avoid.  Not me because I am doing so well, but some of you who may be feeling a bit weak.  Me…I’m going strong.  Fighting temptations like I am Mohammed Ali.  So here is my advice to all of you:

1.  Never head into the weekend with an empty fridge/pantry saying “I will shop sunday”.  Not a good idea.  Don’t expect those two eggs to be there the next morning.  Let alone be able to feed a family of 5 for the entire weekend.

2.  Never try to be supermom and get the kids donuts because there are only 2 eggs in the fridge.

3.  Never let each kid choose 2 donuts, plus 3 glazed and 3 chocolate in case the hubs wants some, plus chocolate milk and kolaches.

4.  Never let the donut shop lady throw in an extra cinnamon and glaze twist just to be nice.

5.  Never assume that the extra donut was God saying “you’ve eaten so well…here ya go”

6.  Never agree to go out to a mexican restaurant for your friends 40th surprise birthday.  Because you won’t be able to eat Paleo…that is just being selfish and the night is not about you.

7.  Never let them set a basket of warm chips directly in front of you.  Again God?  “Awwww…You shouldn’t have.”

8.  Never accept the “extra” margarita that the server ordered accidentally.  And DEFINITELY do NOT believe God was giving it to you.  That is just wrong.

9.  Never head out to an all day cheer competition without having eaten breakfast…and without packing snacks…AND thinking I can just grab something there.

10.  Never let your husband go grab drinks and snack for you at the cheer competition…he just might come back with nachos and a coke.

11.  Never leave the cheer competition and go directly to the state fair whilst hungry.  However…the crazy crowds and lines just might save you from faltering.  Maybe!

12.  Never let your husband and kids decide on dinner on the way home from the fair and cheer competition…they might choose Subway.

13.  Never ever let your husband order your dinner…you might end up with a turkey and salami sandwich with chipotle mayo, jalapeño chips, and a coke!!!

14.  Never get home late Sunday evening and remember you were supposed to go grocery shopping and now you work tomorrow and you have nothing to take for lunch.  (Except two eggs)

To set the record straight…I am not necessarily  talking about me.  I am just saying these might be good tips to consider if you find yourself trying to stay healthy.   But if you do fall into any of these traps…just realize that tomorrow is a new day.  And you can start again.  You.  Not me…because I am doing SOOOOOO perfectly good!!

Wanna see what the hubs and son were doing at the cheer competition?  Check it out!