Sorry there wasn’t a post yesterday but I had serious computer problems! My laptop kept shutting itself down! I started this post yesterday morning but lost my window of opportunity to post it and had to move on with my day. Now this morning the laptop is working just fine!
The BBQ has been fired up at our house a lot lately! I love the simple clean it up after a meal cooked on the grill. The prep for kabobs is a little time consuming, cutting the meat and marinating it. This super simple marinade calls for fresh lemon juice, fresh oregano, olive oil, salt and minced garlic.Then cutting veggies into bite size pieces and artfully arranging them on the skewers. Once that work is done the actual cooking only takes about 10 minutes! A little rice or your favorite grain on the side and you have a tasty complete meal. This Greek inspired recipe came from Cooking Light and as usual I added more veggies to the kabobs and tweaked the Tzatsiki sauce with some fresh dill. Also, I doubled the recipe! It’s a visual treat for your eyes and after taking their first bite Katy and David exclaimed at how flavorful it was! I was grinning from ear to ear! This will be a recipe that goes into our regular rotation for sure.
Tzatziki sauce is a simple mixture of shredded cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, garlic and we like it with a little fresh dill as well. It’s cool and refreshing! If you have any kabobs left over use them in a pita bread or flat bread with the sauce and some shredded lettuce for a fabulous sandwich the next day!
Use the vegetables you like for the kabobs. I went with red, green and yellow peppers, zucchini squash and red onions. You could also use parboiled new potatoes, mushrooms, yellow squash and cherry tomatoes. I might make these again this weekend – yep-they were so delicious we could eat them twice this week!
Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce
- • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- • 2 teaspoons olive oil
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt
- • 4 garlic cloves, minced
- • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into (1/2-inch-thick) slices
- red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
- red, green and yellow bell peppers cut into 1 inch pieces
- • Cooking spray
• Tzatziki Sauce:
- • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
- • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- • 1/4 teaspoon salt
- • 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 sprig of fresh dill, chopped
To prepare souvlaki, combine the first 5 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake to combine. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning once. * I marinated it for 2 hours.
Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Thread the chicken and vegetables, alternately onto each of 4 (8-inch) skewers.
Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add skewers; cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once. Hubby Tom grilled these on the outdoor gas grill for about 10 minutes, turning a few times.
To prepare tzatziki sauce, combine cucumber, yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 garlic clove, stirring well, add chopped fresh dill if desired. Serve the tzatziki sauce with souvlaki.
I doubled this recipe when I made it and next time I will make even more!
Yield: 2 Servings
Calories 219; fat 4.7g; protein 30.9g; carbs 12.3g; fiber 2.4g; sodium 705mg. WWPP 5
Adapted from Cooking Light
Earlier this week I was reading Helens Blog at Doing a 180 and I loved what she wrote, “I have a tendency to get into thought patterns that lead me into not living and enjoying my life NOW. As I sat at the beach basking in the gorgeous day a sense of resolve came over me and I feel like a corner has been turned. I’m done with that. I’m tired of having a pale blue life. I want to live a hot pink life! I may not like my job, the extra weight I’m carrying or circumstances in general, but I am no longer going to allow those things to weigh me down. I am making the choice to celebrate who I am and where I am right this very moment. (Hence, I’m rocking a two piece bathing suit!) Something tells me I’m getting ready to have the best years of my life!” I love your wonderful positive attitude! You can read the rest of her amazing post here.
All of this positive thinking is contagious!
Are you Listening?
Who’s voice do you listen to the most through out the day? If you said “yourself” you are right! Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself because that internal dialogue is powerful. What you believe about yourself and what you tell yourself becomes your truth. It changes your behavior either giving yourself a boost to move forward or it can drag you down.
I was reading an article by Martha Beck in the August, 2011 Oprah magazine,where Beck said; “Studies have shown that after focusing on words having to do with aging people walk more slowly; when they see words associated with anger, they’re more likely to be rude! This phenomenon is called effective priming, but it works both ways. You can use it to connect with your inner wisdom by changing every stressful word in your self-description to something more freeing, relaxing, or exhilarating.” Words are so powerful!
Nurture Your Mind
On page 96 of The Ultimate Weight Solution book Dr Phil says;”If you are thinking rationally positive thoughts, your body and brain are energized and primed for success. Scientists have been studying this mind-body connection for years, and their research consistently shows that the thoughts we have can maximize performance in nearly every aspect of life. Musicians perform with fewer errors when they hold self affirming thoughts. Salespeople increase their sales quotas. Athletes increase their speed and accuracy.”
Do you want to root out the self defeating thinking that holds you back and incorporate rational, balanced,and productive dialogue into your thinking? Doing this means that you must have a new conversation with yourself.
Focus on the Positive
Whatever it is in life that we focus on seems to become bigger. If we focus on our short comings, failures and disappointments it soon seems as if that’s all we have. To change that takes just a little effort.
This is a little awkward at first but like anything the more you do it the easier it becomes.
- Write yourself positive affirmations on sticky notes and place them around the house where you can bump into them.
- Tell yourself something positive every time you see yourself in the mirror.
- Give yourself a pep talk each morning reaffirming how you are going to make healthy choices that day.
- Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend, using kind words of encouragement and praise.
- Focus on what you are doing right!
In regards to weight loss and living healthy, at the end of the day we can decide to see all the good things that happened, the healthy choices we made, the positive forward moving events or we can dwell on the negative.
When my kids were in grade school they had a teacher who would reward her students when they were “caught being good!” Oh the power of positive reinforcement!
We can do the same for ourselves by jotting down 3 things each day that we are grateful for or 3 healthy choices we made. Now I must admit that someday’s its difficult to come up with 3 things but do it and see what a difference it can make in how you feel. Build on that each day and see how it changes your internal dialogue.
Case In Point
Yesterday I got out the door later than usual for my morning walk and it was already getting hot, the sun was blasting me in the face! I was trudging up my first hill thinking, my legs feel heavy, it’s too hot, I’m too tired, the sun is too bright it’s late- maybe I will take the short route today.
Then I thought about this post I had already started about positive thinking and right then and there I changed my inner dialgoue. I started saying you can do this, I’ll cross the street up ahead and walk in the shade. I’m powerful and strong, (don’t laugh – it worked) I’m going to burn my thigh fat!!! Hows that for motivation?
Before I knew it I was up to my normal fast pace, my legs felt lighter and my attitude improved. Yes, it was still hot out, the sun was still bright, but my attitude shift made my walk seem like less effort. Just thinking about my thigh fat burning and melting away motivated me to keep going! I was so happy that I hadn’t caved and taken the shorter route! By the time I was finished with my 3 miles I was dripping with sweat, felt fabulous and I rode that wave of positive thinking the rest of the day.
We can talk ourselves into doing something positive or negative. You know that old saying “If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
Are you listening?
Add Your Thoughts
What is your internal dialogue like these days?
Are you as kind to yourself as you are to your best friend?