Keto Friendly Homemade Chicken Soup with Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

Good Morning!  I know some of you saw the photos on my instagram (rptrainer425) of this delicious chicken soup.  So here is the recipes for both my homemade soup, and a recipe I tried for Cheesy Garlic Biscuits to serve with the soup!

The Keto Chicken Soup is my recipe.  I went to the grocery store for our meal prep shopping on Friday and thought… “What can we have in chicken soup that won’t knock us out of ketosis?”  It has been rather dreary the last couple of days here… We are having rainy, snowy, cloudy days most of this week, so I was thinking comfort food.  With this weather honestly, Panera Chicken Noodle with a huge hunk of baguette, is a weakness of mine.  Haha.  So to avoid ordering Panera on my way home from work, I opted to make some soup.

Ingredients:

10 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Broth

2lbs. of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (This is my preference, you could also use a different type of chicken meat, or even tofu if you wanted.)

3 Celery Sticks Chopped

1 Small Onion Chopped

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Butter

1 Tbsp Minced Garlic

1 Bunch of Kale Chopped (my bunch worked out to be about 2 cups of Kale)

Directions:

Step One: Cook your damn chicken!  – I did mine in a crock pot.  I prefer the chicken to be sort of shredded like a pulled chicken.  It’s easy and moist, and compliments the soup well.  But you can bake your chicken or even boil it if you prefer.  I clean up my chicken- removing any tough spots, fatty pieces, tendons, etc.  and toss into the crock pot with a little oil and seasoning of my choice.  I personally like BBQ rub or rotisserie seasoning because it gives it a nice flavor, but will be mild enough (because I am cooking it in the crock pot) that it won’t take away from all of the other flavors in my chicken soup.

Step Two:  While my chicken is cooking,  I set up a large pot on the stove with the butter and minced garlic.  I turn it on medium heat and let the butter melt and the garlic get frangrant before I add the 10 cups of chicken broth.

Step three:  Wash your veggies and chop ’em up!  I cut up the kale, onion and celery and add to the chicken broth.  (Note:  I keep the largest onion skin pieces and toss them in the soup while it cooks.  This adds flavor and color to the soup.

Step Four:  Bring the soup to a boil then add seasoning of your choice and simmer.  For seasoning I added a little garlic and onion powder, black pepper, a little oregano, and a bay leaf.

Step Five:  I let the chicken soup simmer, until the pulled chicken is done.  I drain the crock pot and shred my chicken (not too fine, but rather fairly large shreds).

Step Six: Slowly add the pulled chicken and stir into the soup.  Let it simmer another 10-15 minutes.

Step Seven:  Remove the onion skin and bay leaf from the soup.  Package or serve and enjoy!

Makes 6 Servings:  Macros: Roughly Per Serving: 212 Calories, 5.7g Carbs, 1.2g Fiber, (4.5g net carbs) 9.2g Fat, 27.4g Protein.

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits Recipe was served with these (shown in photo).  This recipe is delicious and pair well with the soup!  Here is the link…

Link: https://www.isavea2z.com/low-carb-biscuits-recipe-keto-friendly/

Mini Pumpkin Keto Cakes

One of the advantages to being a baker and a macro counting fitness fanatic is that I often find ways to make the sweet treats we love into something that fits our diets.  This morning I was starting our meal prep, and realized I had a cup of pumpkin in the fridge from a few days ago.  Pumpkin doesn’t really last long once you open the can.  So I was trying to think, how could I use this?  And this was the result…  Mini Pumpkin Keto Cakes!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Pumpkin

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

4 Large Eggs

1 Tsp Cinnamon

1/8 Tsp Nutmeg

1/2 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 Tsp Baking Powder

1/4 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 Cup Swerve Sweetener

1 Scoop of Gold Standard Vanilla Whey Protein

Pre-heat oven to 350, and spray a 9×9 or 9×13 baking pan.  Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another.  (If Coconut oil is solid, melt it to a liquid state.)  Add the wet ingredients into the dry.  Mix thoroughly.  Transfer the batter into your greased baking pan.  Place in oven for 30-40min.  Toothpick to test!

Remove from oven and let cool.  Cut the cake into squares and enjoy! (Optional Frosting Below)

Makes 12 servings: Macros without frosting: 133 Calories per Serving, 11.4g Fat, 4.5g Carbs, 2.3g Fiber, 2.2g Net Carbs, 4.4g Protein

Optional Frosting for Keto Cakes: Now depending on the caloric intake, some keto-dieters may opt for no frosting.  The cake is delicious both ways!  Here is the optional frosting recipe:

3 Tbsp of Butter

1 Tbsp Heavy Cream

1/4 Cup Swerve Confectioners

Combine ingredients for the icing in a bowl and mix with a mixer until well combined.  If the icing is too soft add an additional Tbsp of swerve to thicken.  (Other thickening agents can be used as well – if you prefer)

Frost the Keto Cakes and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and stevia.  Enjoy!

Macros for Frosting: 12 Servings:

My Personal Review of my cake recipe:  The cake is good.  Not too sweet, was moist and flavorful.  The frosting I wasn’t crazy about.  I used swerve for the first time, and don’t love the product.  I wanted to give it a try as an alternative for baking fit friendly snacks.  If I were to make the recipe again, I may opt for a cream cheese frosting instead so I could use less swerve confectioner sugar.  🙂

Also, please note this recipe is keto because that is the diet I currently follow.  You can easily alter the recipe and substitute the coconut oil and the eggs out, to have this fit a lower fat diet.

Hope you guys enjoy this recipe!  Stay tuned for more!

Pre-Meal Prep Pep Talk…

Meal Prep seems to be the hot topic lately… When people reach out to me, often times their number one struggle is diet. Sometimes they ask for easy recipe ideas for family dinners, other times they ask “where do I start”. So I am going to try to share more meal prep posts both on my Instagram (Rptrainer425) and on here.

For Starters, the key to success on a diet or meal plan is meal preparation. You need to plan ahead and be aware of what fits your diet if you plan to stay on track. I use myfitnesspal, but there are a variety of apps these days you can use to track your meals. Plan your day-to-day meals and even plan your cheat meal(s). You have to be willing and able to pack your snacks or meals if you leave the house for long periods of time – for work, or errands, or an afternoon out with friends or family. You have to remember to stay hydrated, and keep enough water on you if you’re out and about.

Trust me, I know it’s hard… It takes practice, and self-discipline. It takes courage, and time and patience. It takes a strong desire to overcome challenges and achieve greatness. True story… My coworker ordered a pizza a couple of weeks ago and put it right outside my office door, and repeatedly offered me some. I didn’t have any. The same coworker brought in a bunch of Girl Scout Cookies and left those also right outside my office door. Again, I didn’t have any. And then on Friday, my office had a going away party for one of our employees, and ordered a bunch of pizza, salad, and cookies. I sat for the entire luncheon with them, but managed to not touch a thing! I ate the lunch I brought, and drank water. Trust me, I know it’s hard… But in time you develop strength; You develop will-power; You develop a desire to put your goals ahead of temptation. And you realize what is worth it for you.

Hopefully this post got you guys realizing that being in the right mindset is an important part of success, even more so than meal preparation. We all start somewhere, but the difference between those who are successful and those who are not, is often the commitment or lack their of. So today I’d like you to reflect on this, and get committed to your goals. Write them down, prioritize them, learn them, get comfortable with them. Repeat them to yourself regularly. Then we can get into types of diets, and proper meal preparation for them in my new few posts! So stay tuned!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. 🙂

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

The diet and exercise roller coaster ride in life can be frustrating and exhausting, leaving you feeling defeated time and again.  Now, while failure is a healthy part of learning and growing as individuals, success is also an important (and healthy) part of our growth.  How do we achieve this with our health and fitness goals?

Now from a  broad outside perspective, a lot of individuals that ask for my advice or assistance are either stuck in a plateau phase, not really sure where to begin phase, or sometimes in the “I want to have a muscular hot bod without having to change my diet and not having to exercise too much” phase.  The last one is the only one I don’t typically take on as clients.  This is because they are in the wrong mindset.  People in this mindset are not ready to commit to change.  So I tell them honestly what they need to do, and I say, “when you are ready to make the change to better yourself, contact me, and I will give you the tools to be successful”.  I don’t believe in “Get Fit Quick” Schemes, or Miracle Shakes or Pills, or Body Wraps or “Detox Diets”.  I believe in balance.  I believe in fueling your body with the right foods so you can enjoy that occasional slice of pizza or ice cream cone without feeling like dog shit.  I believe in reasonable exercise, and getting enough sleep at night.  Hydrating and nourishing the body, loving and respecting yourself.  Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and really learning about yourself.  There is a famous quote floating around that says, “If you want something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done”.

For my clients that come to me and are ready and are committed to their goals and just want help getting there, I do my best to assist in each situation to make it as easy as possible.  Change is tough!  And we are creatures of habit.   I start with something I learned in my earliest years at school for personal training back in 2010.  I start with S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

S- Specific      M- Measurable        A- Attainable      R-Realistic       T-Timely       Goals

By setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals, I know my clients are choosing goals within reach.  Think of it as stepping stones or climbing a ladder or staircase… You have to take one step at a time.  So we set S.M.A.R.T. Goals, and work to achieve them, and once we do, we set some more… And before you know it the client is exactly where they want to be and feeling positive and motivated and hungry for more!

So I want to end this entry by asking you what your goals are?  Are they S.M.A.R.T. Goals?  If not… Maybe take a step back and re-analyze them.  Prioritize and figure out how to make them work for you.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Nacho Business… Or is it? ;)

A healthy alternative to a traditional Fall Football Season Dish! NACHOS!!! 🏈 😍

Now FTR, I know there are a million even healthier ways to make these (i.e. Substituting peppers for chips, or toasting pita bread) but seriously? I like chips. A pepper will never taste like a chip, sorry. So I just picked the healthiest tortilla chips based on nutrition info. Ok, so here’s the “scoop” 😂:
The easy way is to pre-cook the meats another day when you do your usual meal prep, and store in fridge so you can reheat! These Nachos I made, are half pulled chicken and half ground bison (you can use beef, or ground turkey or chicken also). I take my pre-cooked pulled chicken (which you can find the recipe in an earlier post) and my ground bison which I just cooked in a skillet, and I put them each into their own skillet to reheat on the stove top. Add taco seasonings of choice to the meat and a little water/oil so it’s not dry. Once the meat is reheated, turn off the burners while you prepare your nacho pan.
*Pre-heat the over to 350, middle rack.
*Line a cookie sheet with foil (or two or three if you’re making tons of nachos)
  (NOTE: If you make sloppy nachos then use a little cooking spray, if you make neat and organized nachos, you won’t need the spray – up to you.)
*Lay out your chips on the foil on top of the cookie sheet.
     -I used tortilla scoop style chips because they hold the meat and veggies but do your thing! Pick what you like! 🙌😊
*Use a tablespoon or small spoon to scoop the seasoned chicken and beef into my tortilla chips. (I make neat and organized nachos, haha. But if you chose sloppy nachos then just try to get the meat onto the tortilla chips and not all over the place, that’s the goal.)
*Now the Veggies!!! Load on the veggies I used diced jalapeño, tomatoes, peppers and onions. Black olives or beans are another popular topping but not on ours shown.
*Lastly, sprinkle with fancy Mexican blend cheese! Toss in the oven!
   -This takes about 12-15min or so, but I usually judge by how melted the cheese is. ✋
I served mine with Fresh salsa, guacamole and fat free plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. 💯💕
Enjoy!  Happy Football Season! 🙂

Vanilla Protein Cupcakes

I know you guys have been patiently waiting for this!  Here is the recipe for my Vanilla Protein Cupcakes 🙂

Because Everyone Loves Donuts!

You always see fit people chowing down on donuts on social media. Not entirely sure why this a favored cheat meal by the fitness population but maybe it’s just because everyone loves donuts! So in honor of National Donut Day last week I decided I was going to use my talents as a baker/cake decorator and my knowledge as a personal trainer and athlete, and try to create a “macro friendly fit donut”. So this is one of my latest projects. Haha. These aren’t quite ready to be recipe shared, since this was the first time I made them and I would like to try a few variations to make sure I get the best recipe before I share! The photo below shows three types of donuts I created from scratch, a cinnamon sugar donut, chocolate glazed, and a chocolate peanut butter (of course). These resemble the old fashion cake like donuts, and are baked rather than fried! While they are not exactly low calorie, they are low carb, low sugar, and are high in protein and fiber. Stay tuned for more variations to my homemade donuts, and for the recipe! 🙂 #Happynationaldonutday #nationaldonutday #donuts #ilovefood #cleaneating #fitchick

Brown Baked Rice… A Meal Prep Staple for Us.

Happy Meal Prep Sunday Everyone! Recently I have been getting a lot of messages regarding my diet. Questions like, what do I eat? How do I find time to meal prep? What kinds of foods do I meal prep? How often do I meal prep? How do I come up with meal ideas for the week? And of course, one of my favorites…Can I get the recipe for that? So I decided to try to start sharing recipes and meal prep ideas and info more frequently! So here is one of our weekly staples! It is a healthy spin on my mom’s famous Baked Rice Recipe from when we were growing up.

Often times people hate changing from white or jasmine rice to brown rice because of the texture. Brown rice is a whole grain so it doesn’t get as soft and fluffy as white rice or jasmine rice does. So, I would like to share with you the way we cook our brown rice for meal prep to get it closer to the fluffy and soft texture of white rice.

Oven Baked Brown Rice

Step One: Measure out your servings of dry brown rice based on how much you plan to eat for the meal or week, and dump into a medium sized mixing bowl.

Step Two: Add water to the rice, in the mixing bowl. Typically the amount of water you use, should be whatever you would use for the ratio to what you measured for dry. So if the box or bag says 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water add a cup of water to the mixing bowl. Make sense?

Step Three: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and “forgettaboutit”. Lol. No but seriously, just let the rice soak up the water! Give it 1 to 3 hours. You can stir the rice after an hour to see if there is any water left in the bottom of the bowl. Again I don’t have an exact time because it depends on how much rice you make. I have set this up on a Saturday night, and didn’t cook the rice until about 11am the next day.

Step Four: Once the rice has absorbed the water and you are ready to cook it. Wash and chop up a red or orange pepper into small pieces (Picture shown).

Step Five: In a small frying pan, put 1 tbsp of olive oil and a tsp of minced garlic. One the garlic is fragrant add in the chopped pepper and stir gently to coat. Cook the peppers about five minutes or so.

Step Six: Preheat the over to three hundred and fifty degrees, set to bake, and position the oven rack to the middle of the oven.

Step Seven: Dump the sautéed peppers into the mixing bowl with the rice and stir to combine, add some seasoning! I typically use garlic powder, onion powder, a little salt and black pepper,and sometimes parsley flakes… Stir to combine.

Step Eight: In a square baking pan (like the one you use for brownies, I use usually a 9×13) dump the brown rice from the mixing bowl and spread evenly.

Step Nine: Slowly add water or chicken broth/stock to the rice. Same amount that the recipe calls for but now we are adding it to the rice to actually cook it. Chicken broth or stock will be saltier and add more flavor, but some people think the seasoning is enough. So it’s really whatever you prefer.

Step Ten: Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Until water is absorbed and rice is soft and fluffy.

Step Eleven: Remove from the oven (turn the oven off). Remove the foil from the rice and let cool. If you want to add a little butter or butter substitute to the rice to prevent it from getting sticky when chilled, now would be the time so it melts. We use 1 tbsp usually for 2 cups of rice.

Step Twelve, transfer the rice to a mixing bowl, stir it and taste it. If it needs more seasoning now is the time to spruce it up! 🙂 Remember that spices and herbs are packed with flavor, and don’t hurt the diet. Go easy on the salt and butter though.

Step thirteen: Transfer the rice to plates or containers.

Step fourteen: Mainly because I didn’t want thirteen steps…. Enjoy! 🙂

Banana Blueberry Fit Muffins!

These Blueberry Banana Fit Muffins are fairly Low Carb, High Fiber, and High Protein providing you with a high energy breakfast to kick start your day!

½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used whole milk fat)

2 Large Eggs

¾ Cup Almond Flour

¼ Cup Coconut Flour

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 Banana (sliced into small pieces – I cut it into slices then each wheel slice into 4 pieces)

½ Cup Frozen Blueberries

½ Cup Oil of choice (Coconut Oil Melted, Avocado Oil, Vegetable/Canola Oil, Saflower Oil- I don’t recommend olive oil or peanut oil because they really aren’t the best for baking and alter the flavor of the muffins)

1 Heaping Scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein of Choice (I used Gold Standard Vanilla Ice Cream)

1 Tbsp of Baking Soda

½ Tsp Salt

Old Fashioned Oats to sprinkle on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray or line muffin pan of choice (I used a 6 count large for the picture shown- but you can use a standard 12 count muffin pan as well or mini muffins)

Combine your dry ingredients – Almond & Coconut Flour, baking Soda, Salt, Protein Powder in a mixing bowl.

In a second mixing bowl, combine your wet ingredients- Greek Yogurt, 2 eggs, Vanilla Extract, and Oil.

Chop up the Banana into wheel shaped slices, they cut each slice into 4 pieces like a pizza! 🙂 Set the Banana aside with the blueberries

Combine your dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly until no clumps of the dry mixture remains.

Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, slowly fold in the blueberries and sliced banana. Over mixing the blueberries will turn your muffins blue! That’s why I suggest mixing this way. Walnuts are another options mix in item at this point.

Now scoop the muffin mixture into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with a few oats if you would like as shown in my picture! Bake on center rack. Depending on the muffin pan size you use, and the efficiency of your oven – this could take between 10-20 minutes to bake. I recommend checking after about 10 minutes and poke ’em with a tooth pick for firmness at the center. Muffins will turn slightly brown (also as shown in the picture).

Once fully cooked, remove from pan, and onto a cooling rack until cool enough to eat without burning your mouth, but still warm enough to enjoy the delicious taste of a fresh baked muffin… Without the guilt! I store these on the counter, in the fridge and also in the freezer in a ziplock bag! 🙂

Don’t forget to turn off the oven and wash all the dishes once you’re done! Thanks for checking out my page and stay tuned for more great recipes by RPTrainer! 🙂

A Healthy Twist on a Congo Bar

Good Morning!

So With the holidays among us there is lots of baking to be done!  Cookies and brownies, and cupcakes.  Cakes, and Pies, and Pastries and Breads! But with all this temptation staring you in the face, and tickling you in the nose, how can you avoid it?  Or do you have to?

Well avoiding sweets is one way to be successful in a diet… And some people just naturally don’t like sweets.  But I find if I avoid it, it comes back to haunt me later and I end up binge eating on donuts, pizza and ice cream. lol.  So rather than avoid, I try to find healthy alternatives and just moderate how much and how often I eat them.  Most of the time, I can find a reasonable alternative and I can make a batch, and freeze it so it’s there when I need a treat, but don’t want to dive into a batch of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownies.

So here is a healthy twist on a congo bar recipe a friend of mine shared with me.  I made the recipe to original order the first time, and thought it was okay.  A little soft and gooey for me, but if you like fudge-like brownies this might be perfect for you. The second time I made the recipe I cut the maple syrup to half a cup and added a scoop of PB Cookie Protizyme  Protein Powder.  I used Teddy’s Natural Peanut Butter.  This made the recipe more fluffy and cake-like, which I loved! If you want to reduce the calories and fat further you can substitute PB2 for the Peanut Butter (or even half the peanut butter) and a sugar-free syrup or similar substitute for the maple syrup.  The best part about the recipe is that it is simple, easy to revise to your liking, and it’s gluten-free and vegan so it can be shared by many!

http://thehonoursystem.com/2014/05/14/chocolate-peanut-butter-chickpea-cookie-bars-gluten-free-vegan/

Here is the photo of the recipe when I made it the second time.

chickpea cookie bar

Enjoy! 🙂

Need something to bring to a holiday party? For some additional sweet treats under 150 calories, check out some of these recipes below!

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/sweet-treats-under-150-calories?utm_source=un_display_na_ti_20150513_outbrainrightrail