• Lindsey, EDRD

We hit 45 degrees this weekend. FOOOOOOORTY FIIIIIIIIVE. That is 60 degrees warmer than it had been just a week prior, and man alive, it felt practically tropical outside as a result. Birds were singing. Kids were riding bikes without jackets. Toddlers were splashing through puddles. Glorious.

You know how some recipes are just made for warm springy days? Like- I’m not going to put a shepherd’s pie or beef stew in the crock pot. I want fresh. I want simple. FORTY FIVE DEGREEEEEES!

This dinner is great. The only problem is that I don’t know what to call it. It’s not a hotdish. It’s not a salad. It’s perfect for those in-between winter and spring days. If you can think of a not boring name, let me know. Just because it’s vaguely named does NOT mean you shouldn’t make it. Nutritionally this rocks- it has it all: veggies, fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

Chicken with Avocados and Tomatoes

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

2 avocados, diced

2 cups corn (if using frozen, microwave to heat first)

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lime juice

½ teaspoon honey

Pinch of salt

Cilantro, if desired

Hot sauce, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and ground coriander together. Sprinkle over both sides of the chicken breasts. Place in a shallow baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until internal temperature registers at least 165 degrees. Hint- this is my favorite way of cooking chicken because it’s a foolproof way to get tender, juicy chicken.

Meanwhile combine black beans, tomatoes, avocados, and corn in a large bowl. Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, honey, and salt. Set aside.

When chicken is done, coarsely dice it up into bite-ish sized pieces. Stir into the bean/tomato mixture. Pour dressing over it and stir to combine. Serve with a dash of hot sauce and cilantro, if desired. This will keep fine in the fridge for a day or two. The acid of the lime juice will help prevent the avocado from completely browning, but it might still turn a bit of a dull green- this is totally fine. It changes only the appearance but not the flavor.

Makes four large servings. Per serving: 472 calories, 26 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber, 27 grams of fat (mostly all heart-healthy unsaturated), 43 grams protein, 759 mg sodium.

  • Lindsey, EDRD

Ever make an assumption that a certain food/restaurant/grocery store is super nutritious? On my YouTube channel I'm discussing this effect, and how a certain food product we enjoyed for dinner last night definitely counts as part of the health halo.

The Health Halo Effect

  • Lindsey, EDRD

Updated: Feb 24

If I had to pinpoint one nutrition area where I personally tend to struggle, it's over-snacking. During the day time I'm busy working, parenting, cooking, cleaning, laundrying (I do 14+ loads a week. I've earned the right to make it a verb), but come the magic hour of 8-9 pm? The kids are in bed and mama's free to feed her face and cruise the internet. Am I really hungry? Most of the time the answer is NO. It's clearly a dopamine thing because I'm sure not inclined to snack on, say, raw veggies. It's whatever carby sweet-or-salty thing I can find.

Though I am a work in progress, here are some tips that I strive to follow as much as I can. Does a person need to feel guilt over snacking? Of course not, but I'm a huge fan of feeling confident enough in one's habits most of the time.

1. Do. Not. Eat. From. The. Package. That whole dipping-your-hand-in-the-bag-again-and-again-until-it-comes-up-empty? Yeah you know it’s not a good idea. Our brains need the visual cues to help us fully understand how much we are truly eating. Get a bowl or plate dirty. Inconvenient? Yes. Ultimately will you feel better about that decision? YES.

2. Have a designated eating zone. Okay so the most sensical place for this is (drumroll) the kitchen table. If you’re struggling with mindless snacking, keep the eating where it really belongs: at the kitchen table. I’ve had patients enact this tip and without even making any other changes, they’ve felt more in control with their choices. It’s not even about WHAT you’re eating here- you might find that if the big draw is watching a new show on Netflix, eating is secondary and sometimes not even what we care that strongly about. By sitting down at the table, your attention has to be more focused on the food.

3. After dinner, go brush your teeth. Do mouthwash. Floss. This helps me for two reasons: I don’t like eating when I’ve got a fresh minty taste, and I’m too lazy to rebrush my teeth if I were to eat something. Truth.

4. Idle hands are the snacker’s playground. Is that *not* how the phrase goes? But seriously- a good amount of the time we are snacking, it’s because we want something to do with our hands. Get a notebook to doodle on/make lists while you’re watching TV. My go-to activity to tie my hands up is painting my nails.

5. Drink up. Sipping on water or decaf tea is an all-around win. My personal favorite is lavender tea. Chamomile is also a great bedtime tea. Just don’t overdo it with the fluids- no one likes multiple bathrooms breaks during the night!

6. Have an accountability partner. If you’ haven't noticed, changing a habit is REALLY hard! Enlist a partner, friend, or family member to help you stay accountable. That doesn’t mean this person has permission to nag and criticize- more so their role is to ask about progress and offer support and encouragement!

This list is just a few things to think about should you find yourself developing a habit you're not super jazzed about. On that note, I hear my tea kettle whistling. Gooooood night!