A few thoughts.
I love to talk. Being vulnerable helps me heal. Sharing is caring after all, right?
The Perfect Salad with Chicken...
What to do with all this chicken!?! I've got you. Read on y'all...
Let's be honest...I don't know many people who just LOVE salad. They do exist, but not in abundance.
I wasn't a person that "looked forward" to salad day...or salads at all, until very recently.
Why? Because salad has always been a "diet" food to me. Which immediately makes me loathe it. I recently stumbled upon The Virgin Diet by J.J. Virgin and it's changed my thoughts once and for all about foods. All of them. (scroll through my posts to learn more about that;))
So what changed? I've finally had salad done right!!! Homemade. I'm a fan. Forever. Salad doesn't have to be boring and lame. You can even adjust your simple restaurant salad to fit your needs!! Yep. Keep reading for my favorite quick salad...
This dish makes 4 servings of salad (will need to add more chicken or whatever topping you like if going back for seconds;))
What you'll need for salad:
(side note: put that iceberg lettuce back...like right now. Please don't touch it again unless you are using it for lettuce wraps, or food staging, iceberg has no place in a salad. Thank me later)
-Baby spinach (2 cups)
-Kale (1 cup)
-Roma tomatoes (2-3)
-Chicken (1 cup off that bird you made from my last recipe will be perfect)
What you'll need for dressing:
1/4 cup Redwine Vinegar
1/4 cup EVOO
Tbsp Red Palm Oil
Tbsp Organic Dijion Mustard
Juice of half a lemon
(If you like it a bit sweeter, add a squeeze of Agave Nectar)
Add all ingredients to a bowl, wisk them all together and set aside for later.
-Start with a BIG bowl (rinse ALL veggies and pat dry with paper towels)
-Chop Romaine and add half to the bottom
-Then add half the spinach
-Now add all kale
-Rough chop tomatoes and cucumber (I peel our cucumbers, but not a must) then add half
-Now layer the rest of the greens and veggies on top...helps keep you from having to "toss" the salad.
Personal salad assembly:
-Base: Smaller bowl...Add portion of salad from big bowl.
-Cut Avocado (saving seed) and add half chopped to bowl (TIP: take lemon juice and cover all cut areas of Avocado then place in a plastic bag, will keep from browning) This food step helps you cut out dairy completely. It adds a creaminess that will help you NOT miss the cheese.
-Dress salad with pre made dressing from earlier.
-Add Shredded Chicken to the top, season with cracked black pepper.
This salad is a GO-TO for us. I really hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
P.S. My husband NEVER ate Kale or Spinach (or most veggies) on purpose before me and NOW he loves salad night!!! Give it a try. Let me know what you think...especially the dressing recipe.
Crockpot Whole Chicken...
Hey there!! Thanks for joining me today. I want to kick off the "cooking" space on my blog with a super simple method of cooking a whole chicken!! I'll also add in ideas of what to do to NOT waste anything!!
(Sorry Veggie buddies you'll want to opt out of this one, unless you need to prepare it for non veggie family member)
Anywho, I learned this trick several years ago and it's been a life saver! Cooking a whole chicken has led to many #dishspirations along the way too!
Let me start with this...before I worked full time from home, I worked long 12 hour Nursing shifts at the hospital. Leaving NO time or energy to prepare a home cooked meal at night. This left me feeling bummed and I started looking for hacks to over come this issue.
In steps my beloved Crockpot. Be looking for future Crockpot meals, but today it's all about making the most of a whole chicken!!! Now before I found this crockpot trick, I used to by the whole roasters (already cooked) at whole foods. Occasionally I roasted it in the oven, but ain't nobody got time for that...and more importantly I loathe being hot, and hot ovens for extended periods are NOT my friend!! The store bought however, serves the same purpose and if you find yourself in a pinch, that's what I recommend. I made the same recipes with that chicken, but there's just something about a house aroma of slow cooking meals! Plus, you can choose the size of your bird too!
With my fully cooked chicken I am able to make the following: Waldorf salad, Chicken pot pie soup, Chicken fettuccine, and Chicken with homemade gravy. PLUS I use the carcass to make fresh homemade stock!! Yes please!!! You can choose what you'll do with yours, and boy are the possibilities endless!!!
Now for the spice rub, veggies, and assembly...
I love using 1/2 tbsp of the following; Smoked Paprika, Thyme, Rosemary, White Pepper, Salt, Black Pepper, Onion power, and 6 cloves of fresh garlic (not a must to use all but I like a flavorful bird, go with the tastes your family likes...also you can use less of each too, this part is up to you) Mix in a small bowl and set aside.
Fresh veggies; Rough chopped Celery (3 ribs) , Carrots (3), Onion (1 large), Lemon (1), 2 Avocado seeds (optional)
Oils: EV Avocado Oil (if you haven't discovered this yet, do your homework...it's amazing)
1/2 cup of water
-Start with your Organic Whole Chicken (I do 5lbs, adjust for your family or crock pot), rinse well and remove any additional packaged items inside the bird (you can use this part for gravy, but I don't. I set aside and use to make stock later)
-After rinsing pat dry with paper towels and lay on a flat surface.
-Generously rub bird with Avocado oil, all over. This gives the spices something to stick to. Even get under the skin.
-Next, portion your spice rub all over chicken (both sides and inside)
-Turn Crockpot to High; add Water, Veggies, Garlic cloves, Avocado seeds and Lemon to the bottom (you can put half lemon and onion inside the bird if you have a small crockpot, but not a must)
-Then place bird in with legs up
-Cover and let cook for 5 on high, then turn to low and cook 3 hours
-Once cooked let cool and pull all the meat you can grab off the chicken, I like to separate dark from light, but that's optional.
So what's up with the Avocado seeds???
Did you know that the seeds themselves contain 70% of the antioxidants in the Avocado??! Yep.
So I cook them with the chicken and later in my stock to pull out those antioxidant goodies!!
Next time you eat an Avocado...think before you throw away that seed. There are so many ways you can use them!! (Google it, I promise.)
With the remainder of the bird I make yummy homemade chicken stock and use it for a number of dishes! One batch makes about 16 cups! (May need to freeze some of you can't use it up quickly)
I especially like to cook my rice and quinoa in it. Makes for some delicious extra fresh homemade flavor.
I realize this is a bit time intensive...but stay tuned for recipes coming up on how to prepare all this extra chicken you've come across!
Hope you enjoy!!!
Cooking is my jam...
I absolutely love to cook and create new delicious recipes!! I have a knack for taking an oldie and exchanging the outdated stuff for fresh healthy ingredients AND still keeping the flavor!! Cooking is a happy place for me and I've grown to love sharing it with others. I've picked up a few tips and hacks along the way that I'll be posting too!
SOOO...I asked and YOU responded...stay tuned for some cookspiration coming soon!! TO START this party I'll be posting my all time favorites and adding in options for gluten free, vegan, and bariatric folks too.
I want to see people get or stay healthy with ease, one bite at a time!! Shout out your requests in the comment sections or find me on social media and get in touch. I'd love to hear from you!!
Do you ever feel like you are drowning in a sea of "to do lists"? Does adulting seem like the enemy at times? Are you swimming in a perverbial pool of negativity? Yeah. You are not alone.
Listen, we all struggle with A LOT more than we are willing to admit. Social is meant to be a highlight reel. So enjoy it and other possible joy stealers in this light. Haters will hate and not everyone is meant to be friends (I still don't like that last one). Life is tough. It's important to note that...life doesn't grow to be that way either...it's always been tough. So how do we deal??
Choose peace. Choose to stamp out ALL negativity in your personal space.
Yep, it sounds cliche and annoying (especially in the midst of struggle) but it's what I know to be true.
We live in a world of negativity. Anyone can turn something great into an argument and break someone's spirit. (Just scroll through any inspirational viral post on FB and you'll find the trolls, they're everywhere in real life too...sometimes disguised as a familiar face) SO...it's simple don't be a troll. You'll know if you are partaking in this behavior if you spark outrage with your words.
**Now, let me be clear, advocating for good is the life blood of humanity. Healthy respectful conversations or disagreements can take place and NOT everyone should agree, BUT if you can't have a peaceful conversation about it, then don't talk...or wait until you can do it peacefully.
Contrary to popular belief most of us aren't trolls anyway, so don't feed them. Be the one that says NOPE I won't take part in this. Now you don't have to go waving your white flag and standing down on things you believe in, but you can choose to walk away. Even if it hurts.
I've spent the last few years cleaning up my messes and removing negativity in all areas of my life. But I still wing it. I fail time and time again, but I've found it makes me stronger.
I'll be transparent...it's been one of the toughest things I've ever done. Why? Because it's easy to play along. It's easy to not walk away from something that you've convinced yourself is common place and comfortable. Do it anyway. Don't be guilty by association. Just because you "don't" say anything in the midst of negativity doesn't mean you aren't absorbing it. Then later you empty it on undeserving people. See how this becomes a vicious cycle?
Hear me when I say...no one, and I mean NO ONE has the right to steal your joy. But here's the tricky part. YOU hold the key. You grant permission to allow whatever you want in "your personal space". We must take full responsibility and make better choices. I used to do a lot of blame storming. Yep. I would find myself upset and immediately think of who I "needed" to blame. Looking for a way to purge the hurt. Was it my Dad? My Mom? The person who said what upset me? None of the above. It was me and continues to be me.
You see, we control little to nothing in this world. Just fact. But that doesn't mean you just get to move forward without consequences. We have a responsibility to do good. Even if that good only means small acts in our own heart. Not everyone has a big burning fire inside to change the world, but imagine what your life would look like if you removed the negativity through choice? What if you started taking ownership of your happiness and stop expecting to "arrive" at happinessland one day?
I'll guarantee you if you remove the negativity your life will change. Your heart will change. What's next is just as important, don't let it back in. You'll continue to face trolls everyday, but if you arm yourself with peace...you break the cycle. My belief is that trolls are good people that are consumed with negativity. It's not your job to fix them...but you can set the standard and be a positive example. Now, imagine your life if you inspired others to be positive? It's easy. Choose peace. You don't have to be on a big path to change the world to take part. So let's bridge the gap. One heart at a time. Starting with yours.
P.S. I believe your heart is beautiful and I encourage you to share it with others. Only you can be authentically you. So, don't be selfish. Share your gifts. The world needs more YOU.
Beauty Blog Friday...
Happy Friday y'all! Today I thought I'd switch it up a bit and post some of my favorite beauty tips, to end the week! During the winter I find I need a little extra push to break through cold weather blues. I love these products and they've become my "go-to" winter jam!
What are they?? Here are my Top 3:
-My eye and dry duo
-My at home blowout duo
-My winter lip duo
First up...Eye and Dry duo. Winter leaves my skin, and lashes feeling brittle and chapped at times, but since I introduced the following into my routine, those symptoms are GONE! What are the steps? I've got you covered.
(A few nights a week in addition to my regular R+F routine) I start with my MicroDerm paste on my face. This product is the bomb (yes people still say that lol). The paste offers great EXFOLIATION, which combats the dry skin and promotes cell regeneration!! It's a salt and sugar scrub and safe for the whole body, and even the kiddos. (I like to use it on my piggies in between pedis)
Next, after my skin is dry I like to condition my lashes with coconut oil. Not only does it smell delicious, it softens lashes and promotes healthy regrowth. I follow this with my Multifuction eye cream, R+F PM moisturizer and call it a night!
When I wake up, my face looks and FEELS fresh and can I say BYE BYE bags!!
Next up, is my AT HOME Blowout duo. First things first...we never can quite recreate what our incredible stylists do, but this right here gets you pretty close!!
First, to wet hair, I apply my Amika Bombshell Blowout spray. Smells awesome and is very light. My fine hair can't take anything heavy or my hair goes limp.
Next, I man handle this beast of a brush to create a fresh look. (Separate hair for best results, and start with under and work out. It takes a couple times but you'll get it) This brush is key. I've tried smaller ones and they just don't cut it. Buy it. Immediately. Thank me later.
Last, right around the front and crown I spray a little Water Killer by Evo, this powder spray gives me that gritty volume I love, but can only get after 4 days of not washing my hair. (OMG I'm obsessed with the dry shampoo and I apologize in advance for the boat loads of cash you'll fork out for this must have, I can truly go 4 days without washing my hair...Don't judge) I let it sit for a couple of minutes and then turn my head upside down shake and back up, and BOOM, beautiful blowout in your own bathroom!
Lastly, my lip duo. Do your lips chap hard during the winter? Mine too. Even more so since I moved to New England. I recommend the following for supple lips all winter (and year) long.
At night, I start with clean lips, then I use my Lip MicroDerm stick for gentle exfoliation. Exfoliation is key ALL OVER the body if you want to keep things fresh and looking young.
I finish with a capsule of Lip serum. This leaves my lips silky and smooth. It evens plumps my lips while I sleep too!! Winning.
I appreciate you stopping by and I hope you try some of these winter savers soon!
*Water Killer, Brush, and Amika can be purchased in your local salons
*Rodan+Fields products can be purchased or browsed by clicking the following: holliecalderonmyrandf.com
Click "Shop Now" to browse all products. Today's featured are found under "Redefine" and "Enhancements"
Follow me on Social and feel free to shout out any questions in the comments OR email to the link below.
For the Love of Change...
That scary, uncomfortable, inevitable part of our lives.
The place we avoid, but so often pray for.
Recently I've made HUGE changes. Like move across the country and travel around the entire world, kind of changes. Let me share with you what I've learned...
I love the Jesus I see in humans.
It helps me love each of you. All kinds. All shapes, sizes, and colors. Human contact and relationships fill my soul. This is a gift I've had since birth, but chose for many years to hide it. Hide me. Never again.
2016 is my #bestyearever and I'm claiming that each day! This year I've decided to retire from Nursing (yep at 31 years old I'm able to retire, but that's another conversation all together) and work my Virtual franchise business full time. I respect and am honored to be part of the tribe that "is" nurses, but it's not my forever gig. It's taken a lot of prayer and strength to share this with you, but I bravely proclaim that I can be proud of me outside of my career. I can take care of me and my family as I've done for so many others and answer to no one about it. I mistakenly described my Idenity, Calling, and Assignment as the same for many years. When, in fact, that couldn't be farther from the truth. My calling is loving others and Nursing was an incredible assignment of mine for a decade. This year that assignment changes.
I am a Humanitarian. With my whole heart.
Let's chat about that a moment? Humanitarian. Yep. I realize that's exactly what I've always "dreamed of being when I grew up"...I just didn't realize I could be brave enough to take it head on. The actual definition is as follows:
So this definition brought me to tears the other day. Why? Because it explains me...my mission and I will stop at nothing less than moving forward in this role. I've struggled for 3 years trying to figure out "myself" and this year I'm still searching but the light at the end of the tunnel got brighter. I am many things, but I believe one of my greatest roles on earth will be to live and breath humanitarianism.
Every single day. I'm not perfect and I don't have all the answers, but I find peace in my bizarre and sometimes difficult journey. I welcome failure, so I may learn how to rise.
I believe in you.
Yes. I believe that you are brave, beautiful, and inspirational in your own way!! Shine your light bright and be proud of who you are. You are the ONLY one who can be authentically you and I encourage you to share your gift with others. Never let anyone tell you what they think you should do, of course respect advice, but listen to your heart and pray. The answers will come, but almost never in "our" time. So, don't give up on dreams or visions just because the timing doesn't seem right. You deserve all the happiness and love, so give that out like you'll never have a second chance too.
Lastly, I am important.
We all are. It's important that our older and younger generations know this too. So wether it's parents, siblings, your children, neices, nephews, etc...be to them, who you needed when you were younger. Set the example and realize that kindness and love always wins.
Welcome change in this New Year. Embrace it, own it, and change the world but starting with yours.
The Virgin Diet: Day 2
Going strong on the Virgin Diet y'all!! Hope no one is starving yet. ;)
Here's a pic of my dinner tonight...so yummy. Comment below for recipe.
Follow me on Periscope (@holliecRF) for daily encouragement as we do the 21 Day elimination cycle together! Stay strong!!!
P.S. The author J.J. Virgin gave me a shout out on Twitter today and is super excited for our journey!! Pretty cool huh!? I thought so :)
The Virgin Diet: Day 1
Welcome to the Virgin Diet!! Below you'll find the shopping list we discussed on Periscope (holliecRF) as well as the daily shake recipe!
On the slides is a typical meal assembly, pay close attention to this, it's very important to your progress.
I highly encourage buying the book for more recipes and details on why we are giving up the High FI foods.
This won't be easy, but it will be SO worth it!
Although exercise is encouraged for a healthy lifestyle, if this is all new to you, don't add in the gym just yet. I've failed many times in my journey by taking on to much at once...so master cutting these foods out first and THEN decide when working out makes sense for you! I added exercise in after week two and I only workout 3 days a week. Being healthy shouldn't stress you out, so take it one step at a time.
You CAN do this!!! Remember to keep a food journal Or an accountability partner.
The Virgin Diet...Video Blog
Lets be honest...the holidays are the WORST time to commit to a new diet or routine!!! I started The Virgin Diet before Thanksgiving 2015 and tried hard to stick with it through Christmas...and about that....LOL...fail.
I did lose 17 pounds, but I cheated and didn't totally remove "trigger foods"!! So I'm back!! In 2016 I commit to losing 20 more pounds (and keeping off the full 40 pounds) and I aim to do it without going crazy!!!
Join me by following me on Periscope (holliecRF) and I'll share my journey with you daily. My hope is to shine light on the foods that may be killing your weightloss goals and gut!
*This diet blog is based off the book The Virgin Diet by J.J. Virgin. I highly encourage purchasing the book for full explanation of diet. Please check with your healthcare provider for medical advice. These thoughts are simply my findings after trying this routine. I am not associated with the author, I simply want to help others regain confidence and good health.
Cheers to 2016
I LOVE a new beginning. A chance to start fresh and reflect. To be thankful. To commit to LIVING more.
This New Year I encourage you to set some goals rather than "resolutions" that slip your mind a few months in.
The thought of resolutions is great, but what if you turned them into measurable goals that you can track and achieve? How will you feel when you reach them? Challenge yourself in 2016 to push past the fear and dream bigger!!! Take money out of the equation and ask yourself...what do I really want?
I'll admit that I have a history of believing that I don't deserve God's grace. That I have control over my path. It's quite ridiculous in fact and so it stops on 2016. No more doubting God and the blessings He has for my life and my family!
Where do you start with goals?!
I suggest this...focus on Family, Personal. Professional, Health, and Spiritual Goals. These are important areas of our lives and deserve a lot of thought. So put pen to paper and getting moving. Don't be afraid to Dream HUGE!!! Like God sized dreams...don't you dare be the obstacle keeping you from each blessing meant for you!!
Here are a few of my 2016 goals...
-Add a Calderon baby to our lives
-Travel back to Ethiopia to hug my sponsor kids
-Pray more specifically with my husband/Trust God more
-Start my foundation Healthy Heartstrings/Advocate more
-Meet financial goals to end the year debt free
My prayer this year is for you to believe in yourself more and to make each day count!! You deserve all the happiness in the world and you are loved so much more than you could ever imagine. Embrace that love and be authentically you!!
Happy New Year from the Calderons! 💙❄️💙