Paleo Cashew Garlic Basil Crusted Chicken

Paleo Cashew Garlic Basil Crusted Chicken

I had to post this Recipe by Popular Demand.  Originally came from “Make ahead Paleo” by Tammy Credicott and was originally Labeled Macadamia, Garlic and Basil Crusted Chicken however I did not have any Macadamia Nuts on hand but did have Raw Cashews and JUST ENOUGH 🙂

I also loved this because I was able to Freeze this for a couple weeks and pull it out when I had NOTHING in the house to cook.

cashew crusted


1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts (or Cashews)

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/4 tsp sea salt

Sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper



4 chicken breasts, boneless or bone-in


1/4 cup Honey, slightly warmed



1.  Place the crust ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until a coarse crumb forms.  Place the crumbs in a 1-quart, freezer bag, and seal.

2.  Place the chicken in a separate 1-gallon freezer bag, and seal.

3.  Place the crust and chicken freezer bags in another 1-gallon freezer bag, and seal.  Place the bag containing the crust and chicken in the freezer until needed.



1.  Thaw the chicken and crust overnight in the refrigerator.

2.  When you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

3.  Place the chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pat it dry with paper towels.

4.  Mix the crust a little with your hands to work out any large chunks.

5.  Brush the chicken with the warmed honey.  Divide the crust mixture evenly over 4 pieces of chicken, and press gently into a thin layer.

6.  Bake the chicken until it is cooked through adn the crust is golden, 30-35 minute for boneless chicken and 45-50 minutes for bone-in chicken.



Do I eat now or later?

Do I eat now or later?

I am constantly getting this question on my blog and on my Facebook page.  I figured it was time to give my opinion on this topic.  While my workouts are typically at night and I have to deal with whether or not to eat dinner before my workout (I do eat, btw)

But for those of you that prefer to workout in the morning I am determined to give you the information you need.

You need to remember that Food is fuel and therefore it is important to eat at least something prior to a workout.  Eating before exercise serves specific functions for your body:

  1. your muscles are fueled with the food eaten the day before as well as the hour before your workout
  2. your stomach is happier as it is settled and not playing hunger head games
  3. helps prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)- a dangerous position to be in and the symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, and headaches
  4. helps mentally knowing that your body has what it needs to push yourself in your workout.

There really is no set amount of how much to eat as well as what to eat.  This really does vary from person to person and activity to activity.  There really is no wrong choice and my best advice to you is to experiment with what works well…If you feel full and feel like you are gonna barf, well then next time back off.  If something is too sweet, next time go for something like oatmeal.  But everyone is really different.

Not only fueling yourself in the morning is important to your success.  But really maintaining healthy nutrition is key to success.  You really won’t see the results you are looking for unless you fuel your muscles consistenly with the right food.  Good Wholesome Food and stay away from the fried food.  Vegetables and salads with no crappy dressing are a simple solution to putting the right things in your body.  If you hate fruits, vegetables and salads, then contact me and let me know.  I have a really great alternative for people just like you!

Many people choose NOT to eat before working out because they are worried about feeling sluggish, having cramps or diarrhea, and/or an upset stomach.

One more thing to think about, if you workout on an empty stomach you will be exercising on fumes, not fuel.  Like not putting gas in your car before driving to work.

Remember too that after your workout you should really fuel your body some more.  You have just burned through your “gasoline” and in order to get your engine moving you need to eat some protein and carbs, so this is where you would typically have your eggs, toast, and coffee.  Roughly 60% of these calories should be from Carbohydrates, this is in order to replace the Glycogen that you have lost in your workout, 25% of your meal should come from Protein, this will stop your body from breaking down the muscle to use for energy and will start to actually rebuild and repair the muscle you just worked on.   HERE is what I drink only after a REALLY REALLY tough workout as it has the perfect Carb to Protein Ration and replenishes what I just lost so that I can come back hard the next day.

Stay away from the processed foods my friends, now is not the time to say I can eat anything because I just worked out.

…for those that can’t get their workout in the morning and have to workout at night, the same holds true, fuel your body to get through your workout.  What I typically do these days is drink my Shakeology about 45 minutes before my workout.  This also keeps me from overindulging after my workout especially late at night.

So put something in your system and your body will perform to its maximum potential.


Sour on Milk? 5 Healthy Dairy Substitutes

By Jeanine Natale

Beachbody Newsletter Issue: #215, April 25, 2011

So you’ve made the decision to go dairy free for health, diet, and/or allergy reasons. Maybe you’re trying to avoid lactose. Maybe you just don’t like the way the dairy industry tends to treat cows. But here’s the rub: You love milk! So what are you going to do? Fear not, it’s easy to avoid lactose and still get your fill of milk-like liquids. Soy, rice, coconut, almond, and even hemp “milks” have all found their way into the diets, hearts, and grocers’ shelves of health-conscious people everywhere. Some, like coconut and rice milk, have been around for hundreds of years as dietary staples in many cultures around the world.
We’re going to take a look at the five most widely available—and very diverse—milk substitutes, but before we start, let’s quickly look at what you’re leaving behind when you give up dairy. A 1-cup serving of regular skim milk has 90 calories, 125 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of protein, 30 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium, 25 percent of your RDA of vitamin D, phosphorus, and riboflavin, and 16 percent of your RDA for vitamin B12. That same cup of skim milk also contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, 11 of which are sugar.

Now let’s compare the rest. Keep in mind that these are all vegetarian/vegan-friendly, gluten-free alternatives.

  1. Soy Milk. Soy milk is probably the best-known milk alternative in the Western world. It’s easy to find it in a variety of flavors and options at just about any market. So how does soy milk stack up nutritionally compared to skim milk? A typical 1-cup serving has about 100 calories—slightly more than skim milk—with 7 grams of protein, 29 milligrams of sodium, 25 percent of your RDA of thiamin, 9 percent of your RDA of riboflavin, 8 percent of your RDA of iron, 15 percent of your RDA of copper, 20 percent of your RDA of manganese, and just about 35 percent of your RDA of calcium.SoyDespite soy milk’s popularity, there is some controversy surrounding it. The trend toward foods that are or contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is currently a cause for great concern, and more than 90 percent of all soybeans sold in the U.S. are GMOs, making it pretty difficult to find truly natural, organic soybeans or soybean milk products.

    Also, unfermented soy products like soy milk naturally contain what are known as phytoestrogens—chemicals that when introduced to the human body tend to act like estrogen. There are many studies on this subject, but unfortunately most of them tend to contradict each other: Do phytoestrogens cause or prevent cancer? Are there negative side effects to ingesting too much of the stuff if you’re male? Should infants be given soy products at all? The best way to deal with the soy debate and its consequences, aside from doing a bunch of research yourself, is simply to remember the age-old adage, “All things in moderation.” If you aren’t going to be consuming gallons of soy milk per day, you should be just fine.

    Bottom Line: You might want to explore other choices before settling for this somewhat controversial and overprocessed milk alternative.

  2. RiceRice milk. If you’ve ever had the popular Mexican drink horchata, you’ve had rice milk. The popular commercial brands are enriched with calcium and other nutrients found in dairy milk, but they also (like commercial soy milk) have a variety of additives, sweeteners, and flavorings, many of which can’t be considered either organic or natural.So how does rice milk add up nutritionally? A 1-cup serving has approximately 80 to 90 calories, but they come mostly from sugar, which you probably already get plenty of, and which you’re probably trying to avoid if you’re trying to consume a healthy diet. If you’re a rice milk or horchatafan, great—you can mix it with all kinds of things to make it a fun, refreshing treat. But realistically speaking, rice milk doesn’t have much else going for it.

    Bottom Line: Although it’s relatively popular, I wouldn’t settle on rice milk as a truly complete and healthy alternative to regular milk, unless I was mixing it with Shakeology®. Store-bought brands will be more nutritious, but will contain a lot of sugar.

  3. CoconutCoconut milk. Thai food, anyone? How about a piña colada? If you’re a fan of either, chances are, you’ve had plenty of coconut milk in your lifetime. Now, don’t mistake coconut milk for the watery liquid found in the center of the coconut, which is known as coconut water (the stuff you hear sloshing around inside when you shake one). Rather, we’re talking about the rich, creamy stuff that’s extracted from the white coconut flesh nutmeat itself. Want to do it yourself at home? You’re looking at some pretty intensive labor.Until recently, a cup of coconut milk contained at least 500 calories, most of which was saturated fat, but now low-calorie coconut milk has begun finding its way onto grocers’ shelves. A typical 1-cup serving has about 150 calories, most of which is still saturated fat. It has 3 grams of protein, 45 milligrams of sodium, 50 percent of the RDA of vitamin B12, 30 percent of the RDA of vitamin D, and 10 percent of the RDA of calcium and magnesium. If you’re a vegan looking to get more vitamin D in your diet, this stuff might help, but keep in mind that you won’t be getting any protein from it and you’ll be getting a lot of fat.

    Bottom Line: Regular coconut milk has traditionally been intended to be used in small amounts, mainly for cooking, not as a milk substitute for drinking a glass at a time. Although it’s delicious and has lots of healthful benefits, it’s way too rich to have as a drink by itself. And while light coconut milks may not pack the same caloric punch, they’re still essentially just fat.

  4. AlmondsAlmond milk. This is one I can live with. Nutritionally, a 1-cup serving will have anywhere from 50 to 80 calories, depending on how much water has been added. Although it has minimal protein, it does have 25 percent of the RDA of vitamin D, 50 percent of the RDA of vitamin E, and 150 milligrams of potassium, along with some manganese, selenium, and many other trace elements.There are a wide variety of fortified store-bought brands that all taste pretty darn good—sweetened, unflavored, or otherwise. Along with the more mainstream commercial brands, it’s also easy to find almond milk products that are raw and organic.

    Almond milk is a personal favorite and quite versatile too, although keep in mind it’s still low in protein. On a side note, it’s fun to make from scratch. A 1-pound bag of raw almonds can get a little pricey at around $12.00, but the investment is worth it. Make your own—it’s delicious!

  5. HempHemp milk. Places like Trader Joe’s® or Whole Foods Market® are your best bet for hemp milk. There are a couple of different brands, again, all fortified and sweetened to taste more like regular milk. And no, it doesn’t get you high. Interestingly though, the U.S. is pretty much the only country in the world that doesn’t allow hempseed cultivation, even though there’s no drug content in it. All hempseed in the U.S. is from Canada; it’s guaranteed to be organic and pesticide-free.Hemp milk could be a real find. Hempseeds are pretty much considered a superfood, meaning that even in very small amounts, like an ounce or two, they pack a wallop nutritionally. A 1-cup serving of hemp milk has approximately 110 calories and has 24 percent of the RDA of iron, 72 percent of the RDA of magnesium and phosphorus, 35 percent of the RDA of zinc, plus 11 grams of omega-6 fatty acids, 4.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, and 16 grams of protein. Wow.

    Bottom Line: A milk alternative that’s naturally packed with nutrients. Definitely worth checking out.

If or when you decide to go with one or more of these alternatives to milk, also know that you can use them in most recipes just like regular milk. There are literally hundreds of recipes available free online, and dozens of well-informed cookbooks on the market. So experiment a little, and find out which milk substitute works best for you.

Pre-Workout Eating

How much you should eat before your workout depends on the type of workout that you plan on doing: high, moderate, or low intensity. If you’re going to do a low-intensity workout, don’t eat before your workout because it will just make you feel sluggish. On the other hand, for moderate to high-intensity workouts, you’ll want to have some reserve carbs in your system to perform the best.

Here are some caloric guidelines:

  • If it’s 3 or 4 hours before your exercise, eating a large meal is OK (600 calories or more).
  • If it’s 2 or 3 hours beforehand, a smaller meal is better (400 to 500 calories).
  • If it’s 1 or 2 hours before, a liquid meal is a good choice (300 to 400 calories).
  • If it’s an hour beforehand, a small snack will do (200 to 300 calories).Try not to eat during the last hour before you begin a workout because it floods your system with too much blood sugar during those initial stages of your workout.

…information provided by Steve Edwards (Director of Results/Fitness Advisor at Beachbody)