Shredded Chicken

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Most often after I grocery shop I have all of this food I can not cook. Not because I don’t know how, but because I don’t have the energy to do it. So through the years, I’ve learned to break down big jobs into smaller more doable jobs.

One of the things I have just started doing is prepping my meat. We eat a lot of chicken. It’s lean, it’s versatile and doesn’t take long to cook. I typically buy 2-3 packages of boneless skinless chicken breasts (unless I’m butchering one of our chickens). Each package contains roughly 6 pieces of meat.

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Shredded chicken is wonderful in recipes, but is time consuming to do. In the old days (before my friends wised me up) I used to take two forks and pull chicken apart to shred it. I know I’m a bit behind the curve on this as many of you have probably figured out a food processor is faster and easier.

But what if I told you there is something easier and faster than a food processor, and you probably already have it in your kitchen?

In an effort to streamline my cook time, I prep one package of chicken ahead of time. The other 2 I break up into Ziploc bags and freeze in smaller quantities for grilling. I do this usually a day or two after I get groceries because shopping for food wears me out. I open up the package, wash the meat, trim it and throw it in a pot of boiling water.

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Then I let it cook for about 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. I drain the water.

Now this next step is important. And I can’t take credit for this life-hack as I got this idea from a few of my friends at church. But it is by far the best way to shred chicken.

Put it in the mixer.

Did you get that? The mixer? Yep. The mixer.

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I place 3-4 chicken breast in my mixer and mix on low for about 2 minutes. It shreds with ease. Then I add the remaining chicken and repeat the process. This is a time saver, energy saver and much easier than using two forks to shred chicken.

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I then put all the meat in a bowl with a lid and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours to cool.

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Once cooled, I divide the chicken into quart size Ziploc bags and freeze it. This gives me cooked shredded chicken at my fingertips, so when I go to make that yummy chicken pot pie it cuts my cook time in half.

What about you?

Question: Have you ever shredded chicken in the mixer? 

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Voice of Truth

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Each day chronic illness holds me back. It holds me back physically, emotionally and spiritually. I struggle to hear the voice of truth. My spirit hears many voices every day. Not audible ones, but thoughts and feelings that tell me the to-do list I need to accomplish is futile. The goals I have set for my self are unattainable. Why  even bother making a list?

Then I have other thoughts and feelings that tell me I can do anything I set my mind to. I can publish a book, I can run a homestead, I can be part of a community. I am needed.

But which voice do I listen to?

One thing I’ve learned in the past few years is that in order to have a clear perspective of my own life, I must separate the truth from the lies. Some might argue those aren’t the only two voices I hear, but for the sake of discernment, let’s agree for now that they are.

Lies tells me I should give up writing. It says the journey is too long and too hard, quit now before I put my writing out there. Stop just before publication, so that no one has the opportunity to give me a bad review on Amazon. The lie tells me that there’s no hope. No matter what goals I set and what choices I make I will never reach the end, so I might as well do what I want.

Can you tell I’m really good at circumventing the process? The voice of lies want me to bypass the process, but the the voice of truth knows there is purpose in the process.

The voice of truth tells me I am almost there. My goal is just around the corner and if I keep on keeping on, I will reach it. Truth says that I can accomplish all I set my mind to. It gives me hope and tells me that what I’m feeling in this moment is not the end of the road, it is a mere snapshot of how I feel this moment in time.

One of the ways I stay focused on truth is to listen to this song by Casting Crowns. It speaks to me and reminds me that others who have gone before me had the same struggle.

And they overcame it.

Whether your struggle is with food, exercise, keeping down a job or even being a good mom remember that the voices you hear and feel are not always truth. Mentally separating them will help you listen to the voice of truth.

Question: What lies do you hear and what is the truth to counteract it?

 

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Grocery Shopping Made Easy

Walmart Logo

Grocery shopping  takes every spoon I’ve got and then some. When you have limited spoons, one way to conserve energy is to shop online. While this is not a new concept in our day of technology, I’ve discovered a program I’m in love with. I’m not speaking of one of those monthly paid websites like thrive or even amazon pantry. We are a one income household, so I can’t afford sites that charge a monthly or even an annual fee.

I’m talking about Wal-mart. I know what you’re thinking. Wal-Mart? Yep. What I love about online grocery shopping is that I can do it from my own bed or the couch. Wal-Mart works just like any other online site except there are no annual or monthly fees. And you can choose to have your items shipped to your door or arrange pick-up at a local store.

I’ve bought everything from toilet paper to grape jelly. The packaging is not great, so some items are squished like cereal or kleenex boxes. But I do love that they package items like shampoo or rice in its own ziplock bag so if it is punctured or spilled the mess is contained. For the record, I’ve never had items do that.

Did you know that you can create lists at walmart.com? I have a list of pantry staples, essential groceries for meals I’ve planned, and of course a wish list. You can move the whole list to your cart and submit your order or simply place one item at a time in your cart.

Did you know any order over $50 is free shipping? I can’t beat that. And all of my  food comes straight to my door. This is a fabulous way to shop. If you have a list of pantry items or staples you simply click and they ship. One fair warning is that it can sometimes take up to a week before your items ship, so you’ll need to account for that when planning.

The best part? When I go to the store to get my groceries, I’m only buying fresh perishable items. You hit the outside aisle and in half the time! Now THAT’S what I call conserving spoons. And if you’re like me, you need to save as many as you can.

Question: Do you use online shopping to save spoons?

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A Healing Pain

Healing

Pain. It’s the body’s way of telling us to stop. Warning us that if we keep doing what we’re doing, something is going to break. For some of us we won’t slow down until we are forced to and pain forces us to slow down. It may send us to the doctor or surgery or heaven, but I think most can agree that pain is bad.

But what if I told you pain can be good for your body? This pain is sometimes the pain that makes you wish you were dead. This pain is the type of pain that Hydrocodone can’t touch.

It’s the pain of healing.

If you’ve ever had surgery (I’ve had 5) the nurses get you up and walking within hours of your body being cut open and sewn back together. They’ve cleaned and repaired the wound, stitched you back up and now tell you to push through the pain.

Anyone who struggles with chronic illness knows that you can only push through so much pain. And let me tell you something about surgery. You never realize how many muscles you use every single day until someone slices into them and you can no longer use them. Rolling over hurts. Sitting up hurts. Breathing hurts. And nurses give you pain pills to help, but when they send you home in a couple of days the pain hits full force.

And I’m supposed to stay mobile? Ugh. All I want to do is lay in bed and never climb out again, because I feel like I’m 80. But I have a spouse who needs me. I have children who need me. I have chickens who need me. And so like it or not, I must move.

And it hurts.

But after moving at a slow pace, hour by hour, day by day it gets a little bit easier. My muscles and joints hurt, but they are healing one step at a time. I’m not running any marathons, but walking up and down the driveway is doable. And one thing I realize is that the nurses and doctors were right. The more I move the less I hurt. And gradually I gain strength.

And the great thing about this type of pain is that I’m healing. It’s not the feel of more damage being done. It’s not the warning sign to go back to bed. There is purpose in this pain and that’s what gives me strength to press on.

And to be honest with you, there are some days I just can’t push through the pain. But on the days I can, I try to remember that this is a healing pain even though it hurts. And so I keep on moving. How about you?

Question: Do you stay mobile and push through the pain? What type of movements help you stay functioning with minimal pain?

 

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Low-Carb Bread Recipe

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Low-carb is my life. I’ve learned if there’s one thing that effects my body, poorly or otherwise, it is the food I put in it. And no matter which way I slice it my body doesn’t like carbs. It doesn’t matter if they are gluten free, grain free or protein filled. About thirty minutes after I eat carbs my body feels like it has the flu and I need a nap.

I’ve pinpointed I can only tolerate about 14 grams of carbs per MEAL. So most of the time I eat meat and veggies. But once in a while I want a good slice of bread. And for those who know me really well, know I want the bread just so I have an excuse to eat butter!

I love to bake and grew up with my grandmother and great-grandmother in the kitchen baking up a storm. I’ve been on a mission to convert my great grandma’s (who we affectionately called Two-Mamma, may she RIP) recipe into a low-carb recipe because she made dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls to die for!

Experience has taught me good low-carb bread recipes are hard to come by. Most either don’t rise and taste rubbery or taste more like a pound cake (which is too sweet to use for a sandwich or dinner roll).

After much, MUCH trial and ERROR I think I have finally nailed it. In my research I’ve discovered more dietary fiber lowers the net carb count and adding protein helps stabilize blood sugar while the body processes the carbs. For me, the best dietary fiber is wheat. So if you are someone who can not have gluten, I’m sorry. This recipe has lots of gluten. Also adding more protein to the mix enables my body process the carbs better.

Ingredients:

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3 cups of low-carb flour mix : 1/2 cup wheat flour, 1 cup of vital wheat gluten, 1 cup of white flour and 1.5 scoops or 1/2 cup of vanilla whey protein)

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup of boiling water

1 egg

1/3 cup of truvia or honey

1.5 packets of yeast

1 stick of butter

1/2 tsp salt

First you’ll want to open the stick of butter and put it in a bowl. Add truvia (or whatever sweetener you like-I’m contemplating honey my next go round). Pour 1/2 cup of BOILING water over butter and sugar. Let cool.

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In your mixing bowl add 1/2 cup of warm water and yeast. Mix until dissolved. Beat egg into mixture. Pour butter mixture into yeast and egg mix. Turn mixer on and incorporate all ingredients.

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Add all dry ingredients in SEPARATE bowl and stir until fully blended.

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Then add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Use your dough hook and it will blend beautifully.

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Once incorporated put dough in a glass bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place in refrigerator overnight.

The fact that I can make this in two days is what I call spoonie friendly. I often can’t stand for long periods of time in the kitchen. And making rolls or cinnamon rolls steal my spoons faster than any other cooking. So to mix one day and bake the next is right up my alley!

The next day pull out dough and  let it get to room temperature. Place in mixer again and beat for 10 minutes with dough hook. This second round of kneading is important. It seems because there is so much wheat and protein in this recipe the kneading incorporates enough air to make the bread rise like it should. So don’t skip this step.

Next, divide it into rolls, spread out for cinnamon roll making or shape into loaf and place in pan. Turn oven to 425 and let your bread rise on top of the stove (still covered with a tea towel). Your loaf should double in size, but it still won’t be as large as a typical bread recipe.

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Once it’s doubled in size, place in oven for 30-45 minutes. You might want to cover with foil to keep the bread from browning too soon. Let your senses fill with the aroma of fresh baked bread you CAN eat and not feel bad! And if you’re like me…add a pad of butter or two 🙂

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Nutrition Facts
Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 150
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8 g 13 %
Saturated Fat 5 g 24 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 39 mg 13 %
Sodium 203 mg 8 %
Potassium 56 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 7 g 2 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 3 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 12 g 25 %
Vitamin A 6 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 3 %
Iron 5 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
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