It’s Springtime, finally!!! And I am seeing a lot of people hitting the gym in preparation for bikini season. I am slightly amused because they could’ve been ahead of the curve if they stayed true to their New Years’ Resolutions but alas, we are a culture that is obsessed with instant gratification. The thing is that things don’t change overnight. No matter what the TV or the movies say change is something that develops over time. Whether it is change in our bodies or in our health it is consistency that matters the most. I learned this the hard way over the past several years. Fad diets don’t work. Starving myself doesn’t work. Surgery doesn’t work. The results are unsustainable, at best, because there I don’t change my day to day habits!
Now that I am wiser I aim for four things:
Fat loss over weight loss
Nutrient-rich foods - what makes up a calorie matters, NOT just the calorie
Regular Exercise - for the endorphins and the fabulous, fit looking body
90/10 Rule - Eat healthy foods 90% of the time, leaving room for the occasional treat
Everyone knows that Green Tea encourages fat loss and improves physical performance, which is why it is one of my favorite things to drink. But not everyone knows about cinnamon! To change it up I started drinking a tea made from a cinnamon stick and dried goji berries. Goji berries have tons of anti-oxidants and have a long history of being a longevity-promoting and beautifying food. But cinnamon is also very impressive.
Some top benefits of Cinnamon are:
Boosting brain function
Preventing fat storage, especially in the belly
Anti-microbial properties, which makes it great for fighting colds and flus
Helps control blood sugar level
Rich in Manganese, Iron, Calcium and Fiber
Improves circulation, which helps aid digestion
Cinnamon you had me at preventing fat storage!! I am enjoying this tea daily and I sprinkle ½ teaspoon of cinnamon on my chia pudding or in my coffee as well!
The type of cinnamon you want to buy is Ceylon Cinnamon. You can find it at Whole Foods or your neighborhood health market or on Amazon. Frontier Natural Products is the company that I buy my cinnamon from. Ceylon cinnamon is preferred over the more common Cassia, because it has less coumarin, which is better for the liver, tastes better and is sustainably grown.
Chicken & Dried Apricots Tagine
1 ½ lbs organic chicken thighs
1 medium red onion, organic
1 (~⅓ cup) handful parsley, organic
1 (~⅓ cup) handful cilantro, organic
½ dried Turkish apricots, organic
1 ½ cups water
2 tbsp olive oil, organic
1 tbsp butter, organic
1 tsp Tagine spices
½ tsp Allspice powder
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Himalayan salt
Place the 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp Tagine spices, ½ tsp allspice, ½ tsp ground coriander in a bowl & coat the thighs in the spices. Melt butter in pan & brown the chicken thighs over medium-high heat (~2-3 minutes per side). Transfer to chicken to plate. Start cooking the onions over medium heat (~2-3 minutes). When they are half translucent, add the garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the parsley & the cilantro, cooking for ~3 minutes. Toss in the dried apricots & cook for ~1 minute. Return the browned chicken to the pan with juices. Add 1 ½ c of water & let chicken simmer over low-medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.
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