Ultimate Reset: Days 7-9

Hello Friends! If you’re just finding my blog, WELCOME! So happy to have you here. If you wanna catch up:

Ultimate Reset Days 0-3

Ultimate Reset Days 4-6

Day 7

I finally broke through the mini plateau and hit 176lbs-YAY! I did spend about 3 hours outside in the 110 degree heat so I allowed myself a coconut water to rehydrate.

Day 8

This is the beginning of Week 2! That means new supplements, including the “detox” supplement.

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It actually doesn’t taste bad, despite how it looks. It tastes citrusy, and if I drank it quickly it vaguely reminded me of Fruit Loops. And because I’m drinking it 3 times a day before meals, it helps fill me up!

Day 9

I had smashed chick peas with garlic and olive oil and it was WAY better than I thought. No picture (sorry) but take my word for it. It was a nice change from the fruit breakfasts!

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I also dropped to 174lbs by Day 9, which felt good. Dinner was delicious too:

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Roasted asparagus with almonds, and Sweet potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque.

So far I’m feeling really proud of my success with the weight loss and I’m finding these veggie meals are pretty delicious! The prep is still time consuming, but it’s becoming more of a habit.

Thanks for reading! I share A LOT more about my journey over on my Facebook page and my Youtube channel.

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❤ Raya

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Quinoa Salad

As promised in my last post…here is the Quinoa Salad recipe that I LOVED from the Ultimate Reset. I’ve played around with the recipe to make it serve more (the original serves 1), and I’ve added feta. It is just as delicious without the feta, I just happen to love cheese!

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Let me know if you try this! It’s perfect to bring to a summer BBQ!

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Ultimate Reset: Days 4-6

Hi, friends! If you’re just starting to follow along, you can read about my decision why I’m doing this Reset here, and Days 0-3 here.

Day 4

This was probably my most difficult thus far. I didn’t sleep well the night before (less than 6 hours, which is NOT enough for me), I somehow gained a pound  (how is that even possible?) and it was my first day with absolutely no coffee.

I really love coffee.

Breakfast was good-lots of fruit, which I love!

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Lunch was more sushi, and it was soggy because I made it the night before. And lentil lime salad, which I couldn’t finish because, like I said in my last post-I am NOT a fan.

Then I made Annie’s mac ‘n cheese for Dominic for dinner, and it took EVERY. SINGLE. OUNCE. of my willpower to not “just take one bite”…because I knew that one bite would turn into 6 bites and then somehow half of it would be gone. Then, I really wanted a glass of wine to “relax”…or maybe because it was Saturday…or maybe because I love wine, too.  Instead I did some stretches and tried to calm myself down. Luckily, dinner itself (stir-fry) tasted pretty good and filled me up.

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Day 5

You know that saying, the night is darkest before the dawn? Or something like that? Well, turns out it’s true because Day 5 was my FAVORITE! Breakfast was delicious (farina w/ apples, nuts, and pure maple syrup). If you’re wondering what farina is, it’s cream of wheat. I had to Google it, because the guy stocking the organic section at Fry’s told me “I’ve never heard of that in my life and we definitely don’t have it here.” Thanks, bud.

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Lunch was even more delicious (hummus has never tasted so good)…and that’s quinoa salad that you see in the corner. That shit was DELICIOUS. So much so, that you’ll be getting the recipe in an upcoming post!

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Day 6

Weight is still at 178.

Had smoked tempeh for breakfast and it tasted yummy. Kind of salty (which, if I’m saying it’s salty, then it definitely is because I love salt), but went well with the steamed spinach.

For lunch, I subbed out the microgreen salad for a vegan chocolate Shakeology mixed with berries and water. I needed something fast, and didn’t have time to cut up all those veggies.

Dinner was sooo good! Zucchini Cashew soup and Roasted Root Vegetable Medley.

This was my first time using cashews in this capacity-basically, you soak them in water for an hour, then blend them (I used my Nutribullet) with the water and the boiled zucchini, and you get soup!

And the roasted root veggies-oh my. I don’t even like beets, but they tasted amazing in this! And the onions were crispy and caramelized…oh yum. This is another one I’m adding to my repertoire.

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Overall, I’ve definitely slept better these last few days now that I’m not experiencing symptoms of caffeine withdrawals. I’m excited to see what the rest of this challenge brings! Thanks for sticking with me :-*

Raya

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Ultimate Reset: Days 0-3

Hi there! I’m in the process of completing a super clean 21 day “Reset” for my body and these next few posts are my experience. (If you’d like more info on why I’m doing this program, check out this post.)

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The day before I started we went grocery shopping-this was my list! YOW! It took me about 30-45 minutes to go through the recipes and the meals for each day and write out a specific list. Seems like a long time, but I wanted to be exact in my amounts so that I didn’t end up wasting produce.

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It was a pricey trip, let me tell you. We spent over $200 (now-that was not all for this program. Duane bought himself a bunch of meat and snacks and a $20 bag of rice as well in there, too). I would estimate a little less than half of that (so, roughly $100) was used for my stuff.  The first trip is always expensive when you start a new program because that’s when you pick up the staples that you may not already have.

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We did have to go to two stores to get everything. We went to our regular store (Fry’s) for as much as we could, and then Whole Foods for things like Nori, Dried Wakama (Seaweed), tempeh strips, etc.

Day 1

Breakfast:  good but I was hungry after. I allowed myself 1 cup of half-caff coffee before I wean myself off completely. There is no coffee allowed on the Reset if you want optimum results-the reason being that coffee is acidic, and the Reset is trying to align your body to be more alkaline. If you’re thinking “NOPE! This is not for me!” because of the no coffee rule, then you and I are just alike. 😀  Also, it was hard for me to choke down veggies (steamed spinach) so early in the morning.

Lunch: This is A LOT of food!!  It took me almost 45 minutes to eat all of this because it was so bulky.

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Snack (optional): I didn’t have a snack today. The Alkaline supplement (it’s green and you mix the powder with 2-4 oz water) tastes AWFUL. Just keepin’ it real. :-p

Dinner: The salmon was pretty good although I think I marinated it for too long (Several hours). I had a headache around 10pm which was due to caffeine withdrawal. Took a hot shower and had some tea, and went to bed. Slept pretty well even considering the headache.

Day 2:

The breakfast was AMAZING! So delish. I added 4 drops of stevia to the oats.

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Lunch and dinner were both GREAT!

I had a half serving of Shakeology for an afternoon snack because I was hungry (this is allowed if you use the vegan ShakeO, which I do). I also went for a 20 minute walk, and had 1 cup of half-caff in the morning with my oatmeal.

Day 3

Decreased my coffee to half cup of half-caff (tomorrow I’m going NO COFFEE!)

Lunch is a lentil lime salad and, I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan. I also made my own sushi for the first time for dinner and that was…interesting.

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It wasn’t bad, but the rice I used was leftover so it was dry. If I had used sticky rice straight from the rice cooker, I feel it would have been better. I can probably say that Day 3 is my least favorite day, food-wise, so far.

OVERALL: As of Day 3, I’m down 5 lbs from my starting weight (I started at 182-Duane and I both gained A LOT of weight while we were in Hawaii for 2 weeks!) and I’m currently at 177. Once my caffeine headaches subside, I believe I’ll be sleeping much better. All in all, I feel great!

I Struggle With Binge-Eating: My Story

DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH BINGE-EATING?  Me too.

Over the past year of helping women live healthier lives so they can regain their confidence and live a more fulfilling life, I’ve learned SO much about myself. Isn’t it crazy what can happen when we focus on helping others? But the truth is that about 6 months ago, I stopped seeing results and, as it turns out,  I’ve been struggling too. As I listened to more personal development, and I researched to learn more and more about my own health, I’ve come to recognize a few things. First of all, I have an unhealthy relationship with food. I eat to relieve stress or to “relax” and according to the research I’ve done, food can be an addiction.  Armed with that info, I can now say with almost certainty that I am addicted to certain foods. This leads to my second realization-my problem with binge eating several nights each week, and then feeling SO guilty about it for days.  I LOVE desserts. As soon as my brain gets a bite of sugar, it immediately says “MOREMOREMOREMORE!” and next thing I know, I’ve eaten 3 slices of cake.  Did you know that sugar and cocaine affect the same areas of your brain? Except you can give up cocaine forever-you can’t give up food. You need to eat to survive, and that makes food addiction different than any other.  For me, I can sometimes go weeks or even a couple of months without a binge-if I’m really focused. But it always seems inevitable that I will fall off the proverbial wagon. Did you know that 90% of women who suffer from food addiction were abused in some way as children? This can be sexual, physical, or emotional abuse-and that was when I knew that I had (have) a deeper issue than wanting to eat half a tray of brownies. I’ve been eating to comfort myself…for YEARS. My first memory of doing this in middle school. After school I would come home, sit on the couch and watch TV, and EAT. I would make brownies and eat half the batter before it made it into the oven. I would stuff my face with chips. My mom never kept a lot of junk in the house, but I was creative.

WHAT HAPPENED? Why did I need to self-soothe with food? Well. I didn’t realize it at the time…actually, I didn’t realize the depths of this until JUST NOW. But, the eating started in middle school-and you know what else started in middle school? I was bullied. I’ve briefly mentioned this before, but I’m going to elaborate a bit more in case others can relate. From the first day of 6th grade when I stepped onto the school bus, so excited for middle school, there were 4 girls on that bus that TORTURED me. They were one year older than I was, and this went on for YEARS. It affected everything-I couldn’t try out for the soccer team (even though my 6th grade gym teacher told me I should, because I was GOOD) because they played soccer. Once, they poured hot chocolate over my head (!!!!) on the bus on the way to school. They threatened to put Nair in my hair. One time, on the way home, the bus driver had to TURN THE BUS AROUND and go back to the school to drop me off because the entire bus was picking on me in unison.  They picked on everything from my last name, to my facial expressions, to my socks. In high school it got a little better, but it still continued somewhat until they graduated.  And I NEVER SAID A WORD. I never stood up for myself, I never said anything. My mom just told me to ignore them and they would go away. It’s actually shocking to me, now, that I never said ANYTHING…because anyone who knows me now, knows that I have NO issues speaking my mind. But still, one of my biggest regrets was not telling them to shove it on that very first day of 6th grade. SEVEN YEARS of being bullied is a lot for a teenager to internalize. And ever since then, I have always felt somewhat “less than”…and that habit of eating for comfort has stuck with me.  The feeling I get when I’m binge-ing is hard to explain-it’s almost like I’m not tasting the food so much as I’m experiencing the textures. I like soft, chewy things. I like the way they slide down my throat-but I’ve noticed that as time goes on, I need to eat more and more to finally feel “full.” One cupcake is no longer enough.

IS THIS FOR REAL? I’m not severely overweight, so you might be wondering-am I serious? But yes. I’m serious. I have roughly 40lbs to lose still, and the weight I’m currently at is 170lbs. For my height and weight, 130 is about an average healthy weight give or take a few pounds. I have been stuck at this weight for the last 6 months at least. This is also the weight I was stuck at before I got pregnant. It’s where my body is comfortable. It’s where I can workout enough to be able to keep up my “habit” of bingeing a couple times a week and not gain more.  So, OK-I was bullied when I was a teenager, and now I’m 32. SO WHAT? Well…I agree! That’s why it’s taken me so long to realize what a deep effect that had on me. I don’t want to dwell on the past, nor do I hold any ill feelings towards those that bullied me. I’m only sharing so you can see that abuse comes in many, many forms and everyone copes differently.

WHAT’S NEXT? Well, in my research I’ve come across an amazing book that I firmly believe will help me battle this addiction.  The first step (which I started today) is DETOX.  For some, this may seem drastic, but I know that I cannot keep putting this amount of food/sugar into my body and remain healthy.  I don’t know if this means I can never again eat a brownie without falling back into this pattern-only time can tell that. But I do know that I cannot put myself, or my future children at risk by continuing to eat this way the next time I get pregnant (God-willing). I know that it will be hard and I might have slip ups, but I truly believe I can recover from this and live a life where I don’t have to hide my eating habits.

Sharing this is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Especially when I’m supposed to be inspiring others? I would rather portray the image of having it all together. But let’s face it-NOBODY has it all together!!! Definitely not me. I do the best that I can.  When I realized that I wasn’t “weak” and it’s not that I have no willpower-but instead that I’m ADDICTED….I felt free. I felt BETTER. I felt like I finally had found a solution to a problem I’ve been dealing with for years. So…if this helps someone else, then it’s worth the embarrassment it causes me to share something so personal.  For me, I no longer feel helpless. If you feel you’re struggling with food addiction(s), you are not alone.  I have a plan-and, as always, I’ll be documenting my journey with 100% honesty.  If you’d like to follow along with me, you can add me as a friend on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube Channel, or send me an email (rayapickett at gmail dot com). And of course-thanks for reading!

Raya

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Body Beast: Week 3 Review

YAY! My last week of “Build” before I get in to the “Bulk” phase which lasts 5 weeks. The schedule for week 3 basically remains the same as the first two weeks, so I won’t go into detail like I did before because it would be repetitive.

I can say that I have upped my weights for at least some of the exercises for each muscle group, which is AWESOME! It means I’m already making progress!

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Can you see some arm definition?!?

As for the nutrition…I mentioned before that I’ve had to up my calories about 1,000 per day. I haven’t been weighing myself daily but I do know I am up 4 pounds from the weight I started at. I feel a bit worried, but mainly I’m okay about this, because I’m trusting the process. 

I can already tell that lifting heavy is becoming a slight obsession for me! I love to be “that girl” next to all the boys. Now I REALLY want to see some definition in my legs!

Do you lift heavy? Or, at all? Why or why not?

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Body Beast: Week 2 Review

WEEK 2 IS DONE!

The schedule looks like this:

Mon (gym): Leg Day! I went much lighter on the weights this time to pace myself, and it still felt like I was getting a killer workout. However, I was a little bummed that I was barely sore the next day. It seems that I need to find a happy medium between last week and this week.

Tues (gym): Back and Biceps: I hit the gym this time and used the assisted pull-up machine for the pull-ups and chin-ups.

Wednesday (home): Cardio + Abs: The cardio involves weights! I was NOT expecting that (if you remember, I skipped cardio the first week because I was so sore). But I like how it’s structured, and there are breaks so it’s not balls-to-the-wall for the entire 30 mins. The abs? Yeah. That hurt.

Thursday (gym): Shoulders: Love this one!

Friday: Rest

Saturday (gym): Chest and Tri: Already gone up in weight on a few exercises!

Sunday (gym): Legs: Upped my weights a bit from Monday and was pleasantly sore the next day, but not to the point where I couldn’t do things. Sweet!

Read my Week 1 Review here.

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Body Beast: Week 1 Review

 

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I started my first round of Body Beast this past week-YAY! After Piyo, I am really excited for this heart-pumping heavy-lifting workout.  Body Beast has two different plans-one if you want to get BIG and one if you want to get LEAN.

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Since I am a woman and have no interest in looking like a body builder (no offense to those women who do-it’s just not my thing), so I am following the lean path. The first week looks like this:

Mon (gym): Chest/Triceps: A great workout. I was really sore the next day, but it’s upper body so it wasn’t too bad.

Tues (gym): LEG DAY: I COMPLETELY overdid it. I started out using 20lb weights (and the weight increases in each set) for my squats and lunges and I couldn’t even finish some of the reps. By the end I could barely walk on my Jell-O legs, and I was in severe pain for about 4 days after.

Wed (home): Back/Biceps: I’m just thankful that I don’t have to use my legs much for this! This has pull-ups, which I find challenging to do at home. Will probably try it at the gym next week. 

Thursday (home): Beast Cardio and Beast Abs: I had to skip this in favor of a 30-minute walk around the block with the baby in the stroller. My legs are still in severe pain (I should probably add that I am not a wimp when it comes to being sore, and this soreness is easily one of the worst I’ve ever experienced in my life).  

Friday: Shoulders (home): GREAT! Loved this one. Legs still sore.

Saturday: Rest: THANK GOODNESS. Legs still sore.

Sunday (gym): Chest/Triceps: Still used the same weights as the first time, but felt great! Legs FINALLY better!

As you can see noted above, I did some of the workouts at home and some at the gym, depending on the weights needed. Going forward, I now know I need to pace myself a bit and not go balls-to-the-wall right out of the gate. I love how the workouts are set up…starting with one single set, then a double set, and then a triple set…and then a few more single sets. So it starts out somewhat slow and builds. There is a lack of cardio in this plan, but personally my heart rate is up and I am dripping sweat during every workout. And I’ve heard the Beast: Cardio is “humbling” so stay tuned for more on that! 

Nutrition: Following the Beast calculations, my calories have been upped by about 1,000 per DAY! So crazy, but I am hungry enough to eat almost everything I’m supposed to. I’m not going to lie, it feels great to not be as strict about calories as I have been, but I am nervous to eat so much! I’ve stopped checking the scale daily. 

Goal for week 2: To not miss any workouts due to soreness (or other things!) and get to the gym for Back/Bi to allow me a chance to do the pull-ups and chin-ups.

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Piyo: My 4 Week Review

Hi friends! I am 4 weeks into my Piyo journey and I wanted to share how it’s going so that hopefully my experience can help you decide if this is right for you.  Please keep in mind that my fitness level at this point is probably intermediate (I’ve been working out consistently 5-7 days a week for the past 120 days) so what’s hard for me may not be for you, and so on.

If you’re not familiar with it, you’re probably thinking “What the heck is Piyo?”

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My thoughts so far:

Week 1: I honestly thought this was really easy. The Define: Upper workout is only 18 minutes and I didn’t feel like I had completed a workout at the end. I did LOVE the Define: Lower workout. I felt great afterwards, especially my hip flexors-they felt better than they have in years!

Week 2: I get lower in all my stances to try and kick up the intensity a bit. There is a new workout this week that is a bit harder. I am sore the next day after the workouts and feeling VERY stretchy. I am also HUNGRY constantly, so I adjust my meal plan a bit and add an extra serving of protein daily (I still follow the 21 Day Fix meal plan).

Week 3: I love that each week there is a new workout to add into the mix! Plus the calendar mixes it up so there’s no boredom. The Core workout is GREAT, and that extra serving of protein is perfect.

Week 4: I start to realize that the “easy” workouts are no longer found on the calendar going forward. Instead I have workouts called Drench and another called Sweat! I now see that they were building a foundation for the harder workouts, which I really liked. I also think that is GREAT for a beginner!

Results?  

I am down 4 pounds and 3.5 inches-and that is, honestly, a little disappointing to me over a full 4 weeks. I can tell that the lack of cardio has caused my results to slow a bit. Piyo gets my heart rate up, but it is not the same as high intensity “my lungs are on fire” cardio.  However-my eating has also not been as clean as it was the first few months.. And I am seeing that in these results, without a doubt.

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In a nutshell…

PROS: It’s quick, it’s very low-impact (great for those with knee issues or injuries!!!), I have increased flexibility, I am seeing toning and my muscles are leaning out, I feel sore in muscles I didn’t know I had, and Chalene is a great motivator! I feel much more “bendy” if that’s a word.

CONS: There aren’t many, but to be honest I am missing that lung-burning stress-relieving cardio fix that I NEED in my life. I actually don’t exercise just so I can look good-I do it to feel sane. I do it to prevent myself from getting so stressed out that I clench my jaw at night while I’m asleep (this has been happening the last 2 weeks or so!). I workout to feel HAPPY instead of depressed.

Now-would it help my business to sit here and write that Piyo is the next greatest thing and it will solve all your problems and that you should buy it? Maybe. At least in the short-term. But that’s not me-this is my honest opinion, and I want to share my journey with you, both good AND bad! I think Piyo would make a great COMPLEMENT to any workout plan-and I think incorporating it even 2-3 times a week would be phenomenal, especially for those involved in Martial Arts! Want to kick higher? Yeah, check this out. But don’t throw out your HIIT training just yet! 

What’s Next?

I will definitely finish out the next 4 weeks of Piyo! I will clean up my eats (already have, actually), and I will add in 2-3 days of HIIT cardio during the week, in addition to Piyo. That still keeps my workouts at less than an hour each day which is completely acceptable in my opinion.

I am taking a Piyo LIVE class in a week or so, and will discuss that in my 8-week (and final) update! And, of course, if you’re interested in trying Piyo at home, please contact me here and we can chat! You can also find me on Facebook!  

Have you ever taken a Piyo class? What did you think?

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Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I discovered this recipe when I was pregnant and obsessively searching Pinterest for make-ahead meals to stick in the freezer and eat after the baby was born.  I have since modified it to make it 21 Day Fix friendly, and it is still just as good!

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas (makes 4 enchiladas)

(adapted from this recipe)

2 large (or 3 small/medium) boneless skinless chicken breasts (raw, or pre-cooked)

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, chopped

1 4-oz can of green chiles

1/4 cup salsa (homemade or store bought-your choice)

2 cups fresh spinach

2 TBSP taco seasoning (you can use homemade, or I like McCormick taco seasoning-all ingredients you can pronounce!)

1/4 cup water

4 whole wheat tortillas (Trader Joe’s are my fave-only like 4 ingredients)

1-2 cups Enchilada sauce (I make my own using this recipe. You could use store bought, but I honestly think this sauce is what makes them SO good. And it’s easy!)

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat and add 1 tsp of olive oil, the garlic, and the chopped onion and jalapeno.  Cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes.

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Next, add diced chicken breast. If using raw chicken, cook all the way through before moving on to the next step. If your chicken is already cooked (like mine), after 1-2 minutes add the salsa, chiles, taco seasoning, and water.  Stir until all is combined and sauce has thickened a bit-about 4-5 minutes. Lastly, add in spinach and stir to combine.

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Take a casserole dish and cover the bottom with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Now, divide up your pan with the filling into 4 sections-just attempt to draw a line with the spoon.

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Take 1/4 of the filling and spoon it into the first tortilla. Add in 1/8 cup of the cheese (or, for my 21 day fixers, half of your blue container) and roll up. Place seam side down in the pan. 102

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Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas. Now, pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top-just enough to coat the tops of the tortillas-you don’t want to drown them in it. And then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top (should be 1/2 cup left, spread out over 4 enchiladas).

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Bake for 25-30 minutes or until everything is heated through, melted, and bubbling.

For your convenience, here is the entire recipe together:

 

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas (makes 4 enchiladas)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat and add 1 tsp of olive oil, the garlic, and the chopped onion and jalapeno.  Cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes.  Next, add diced chicken breast. If using raw chicken, cook all the way through before moving on to the next step. If your chicken is already cooked, after 1-2 minutes add the salsa, chiles, taco seasoning, and water.  Stir until all is combined and sauce has thickened a bit-about 4-5 minutes. Lastly, add in spinach and stir to combine. 

Take a casserole dish and cover the bottom with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Now, divide up your pan with the filling into 4 sections-just attempt to draw a line with the spoon. Take 1/4 of the filling and spoon it into the first tortilla. Add in 1/8 cup of the cheese (or, for my 21 day fixers, half of your blue container) and roll up. Place seam side down in the pan. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas. Now, pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top-just enough to coat the tops of the tortillas-you don’t want to drown them in it. And then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top (should be 1/2 cup left, spread out over 4 enchiladas).

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until everything is heated through, melted, and bubbling.

 

21 Day Fix Notes:

1 enchilada = 1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 blue, and maybe 1 tsp depending on the enchilada sauce you use. 

I measured my chicken breasts, using my red container, before adding to the pan to be certain I had correct amounts.

I am counting the salsa, enchilada sauce, and the chiles as 1 green, the spinach as 2 green, and the onions/jalapeno as 1 green to equal 4 green for the entire recipe.

I hope you enjoy this and, as always, let me know if you try it!!!

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