Monthly Archives: July 2015

Stuck? Or Just Stuck in Your Story?

I love a good story - is yours serving you or holding you back?

I love a good story – is yours serving you or holding you back?

Do you ever feel stuck? Like no matter what you do, you can’t get out of your own way? That you were dealt the short stick in life? That there are too many obstacles in your way? That things just don’t work out for you? If this is happening to you, it’s possible that you have created a “story” for yourself and you’ve gotten stuck in it’s web.

We all have a story or stories. Something that has made us who we are today. We cling to it tightly and carry it with us everywhere we go. We use it to explain why we are the way we are and why we say the things that we do and why we can’t do certain things. We use it to protect ourselves from pain. We use it to continue doing behaviors that don’t serve us. Our stories formed in order to serve us in some way – it’s possible that the did help us at one time, but they may not be serving us now.

What’s your story?  Think you don’t have one? Sure you do – most of us have at least one (and some of us have many). How do you know what yours are?

What does a story sound/look like?

Think about the recurring thoughts about yourself that you’ve had throughout your life. The ones you may not say out loud to anyone else but have thought over and over again. The ones that have influenced almost every decision you’ve ever made. The ones you might have only shared with your closest friend. The ones you wrote down in your journal. It might be one long detailed story that originated from a specific event or it might be little bits and pieces of things that were said to you that you came to believe were who you are.

I’ll tell you some of mine:
(some of these are past stories that are no longer true for me, others are still a part of my internal dialogue)

I’m the fat girl. I’m lazy. I’m so awkward. I never finish what I start. I’ll never meet a guy who I like as much as he likes me. I’ll never meet a guy who likes me as much as I like him. I don’t have what it takes to start my own business. I’m not as smart as I think I am – there’s no way I could get through grad school! I’ll never be able to just eat without thinking about my weight. My stomach is so disgusting. I’m physically strong. I’m meant to do more than sit a desk and type and answer phones all day. I’m funny.

Maybe you don’t identify with mine but here are some other really common ones:

  • I’m not good enough.
  • I’ll never have/get what I need.
  • I’ll always struggle with __________.
  • I don’t deserve to ____________.
  • I can’t do __________ because people will think__________ about me.

Do any of these sound or feel familiar? Notice most of them are negative. If you rely heavily on your “story” or if you tend to feel stuck a lot – I’ll bet that most of yours are too.

Why do we create stories for ourselves?

In so many ways, our stories developed as a way for us to make sense of a situation or to protect us from something in our lives. Some of the things our stories protect us from are certainly real threats, for example, someone who has been mugged may worry about going out at night alone and might buy mace to protect themselves. Their story (I’ve been mugged – it’s dangerous out there) is protecting them from what is a legitimate threat.  But most of our stories are protecting us from things that we believe are real threats but may not be. In many ways, our stories keep us living in or fearing the past or prevent us from taking risks, being vulnerable or pushing out of our comfort zone. Some of us make our stories such a big part of us that others can see them within a few minutes of meeting us. Have you ever met someone and quickly got the vibe that they had really low self esteem or that they have lots of bad stuff happen to them? It’s because they’re living their stories in such a big way that it becomes almost a flag that they wave around.

Understanding their purpose

My beliefs that I wasn’t smart enough for grad school or that I didn’t have what it took to start a business were my subconscious way of protecting myself from taking risks – saving face! The thinking was: What if I failed? If you don’t try, you can’t fall flat on your face right??? It’s better to not try at all. My beliefs about not finding someone who could love me and vice versa stopped me from having to take an active role in my dating life. If I believed that it was impossible to find someone with an equal interest in me then I had no responsibility to put myself out there (ironically this post is going live on my 4th wedding anniversary – I killed that story!). Believing that I’ll never be able to eat without worrying about my weight, kept me from exercising and allowed me to continue eating foods and in quantities that made my weight remain an issue. I thought these stories were serving me. I thought they were protecting me.  But they were protecting me from even giving things a go! There came a point where these stories were causing me more pain than protection. That’s when I knew these stories had to be let go of.

Alternatively, my belief that I’m strong (whose beginnings were cultivated by pulling older my sisters around our neighborhood in a radio flyer wagon as a little kid) has allowed me to become strong. I never turn down an opportunity to lift a heavier weight, or do one more pushup or carry a big box. When men kindly have offered to do something for me because it was heavy and I’m a girl, I decline – not to be rude or because I’m a feminist – but because I’ve learned to take great pride in my physical strength (and I enjoy it). When I worked for the Department of Housing in college, my coworkers always volunteered to carry furniture into the dorms with me. Why? Because I made the work easy – I was able to carry more weight than anyone. I love this story and love how it makes me push me forward still. I know part of the reason I clung to the strong story was that it was protection from the fat label (sure I was fat but I was also strong!) but even as I’ve shed the “fat” label the strong story has always been a positive thing. This story is serving me. This story acts like a teacher who encourages and fosters growth and pushes me to be who I can be. Stories like this can stick around because they’re giving me results that I’m benefiting from.

Keep it or let it go?

How do you know if it’s time to put a story down or let it stick around?  First off, you need to know where your story came from. Write this stuff down. You may think you don’t know where your story originated but I’ll bet with a few minutes of journaling you can come up with 2 or 3 memories about that story. Once you know how it was created, ask yourself how was it serving you? What was it protecting you from? And then, how is it serving you now? Do you like how it is serving you? Do you like the results you are getting from staying in your story? If yes, keep it, encourage it, grow it. If you don’t like how it is serving you or if you don’t like the outcome it is bringing, then you know it’s time to put it down. If you feel stuck and like you aren’t moving forward, then your story is probably getting in the way.

Fears of letting go

Some of you may see that it’s time to let go of something but fear putting an unhelpful story down. I get it. We think that by no longer living in our story daily, it will mean that what we’ve gone through isn’t important or that we won’t be who we are, or that our worst fears will come true if we stop believing something (If I believe I can eat normally, I’ll gain 50 lbs! If I stop blaming others for my lot in life then what if I still can’t get what I need? etc). But putting down your story or letting go doesn’t mean any of that. If your story keeps you from taking responsibility, you’re putting all power for change in someone else’s hands and you’ll stay exactly where you are.

Your past experiences happened – no one can take them away from you (good or bad) -and they absolutely affect the fabric of who we become (but we have a choice in what we do with the experience going forward). Our past is our past and it does not need to be our future. Sometimes we keep our stories held so tightly because they keep us connected to someone who is no longer with us or no longer in our lives but I promise you, that your connection to that person exists even if you put the story down.

And guess what? Because these stories are a part of who we are, even if we put them down and begin believing something that serves us better (believing that you can eat normally and that you can lose weight, or believing that you are good enough and will have enough), if we don’t like the results or don’t feel safe there – we can always pick the story back up again! It all goes back to how it is serving you. If you are honest with yourself, you will know if the story is worth pick up again. Is it bringing you more pain to believe or live in your story? Is it preventing you from doing things that will help you grow? Only you can answer these things and you have the choice to stay in your story or not.

Which will help you get closer to the life you want to have – staying in your story or beginning a new one? If your story is causing you great pain but you want to continue it, ask yourself why you are choosing to bring yourself pain? Questions like these can help you determine what to do and can make a huge difference in stepping forward into the person you want to be.

Do you have a story that is getting in your way? How has it served you? Please share in the comments!

5 Simple Changes You Can Do Daily to Increase Your Health

IMG_5410I know I’ve been writing about some heavy-ish topics lately – all the emotional eating and self love & responsibility stuff that has to happen in order for us to transform our lives (and boy do I think those things are important) but since it’s crazy hot summer I thought I’d send out something a little less heavy and easier to digest!  Today I’m sharing 5 super simple things you can do daily to increase your health and I’m challenging you to do them.

They’re super simple – there’s no reason why you and I can’t do every single one of these starting right now.

So what do you say?  Will you accept this challenge?

5 Simple Changes You Can Do Daily to Increase Your Health

1. Add one more vegetable to your daily diet. Very few people eat enough vegetables. Even those of us that like them find some days it’s just hard to fit them in.  Vegetables are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and are low in calories so they won’t contribute to weight gain.  Choose something green or vibrantly colored. Doesn’t matter if it’s fresh, frozen or canned (just choose BPA free cans if you can) and they can be cooked or raw. Some folks digest cooked vegetables easier than raw so if that’s what it takes to get you to eat them – cook away!

2. Cut back on some of the sugar from your diet. I know. I really should be recommending that you cut out all processed sugars from your diet (and sincerely I do, but I want to meet people where they are and help them get from A to Z without falling off a cliff on the way!). Take a look at some of the foods you eat on a daily basis – coffee in the morning, a yogurt a breakfast, salad with dressing at lunch etc. Could you cut down from 2 or 3 sugars per cup of coffee to 1 or 2? Could you try a different brand of yogurt that has a few less grams of sugar added? How about the salad dressing? Most have lots of sugar added – straight up extra virgin olive oil and a vinegar or lemon juice will do the trick for 0 g of sugar. Cut down the sugar, just a little on the foods you consume every day and it will make a big difference over time (and you won’t even really miss it!).

3. Add in one more glass of water to whatever you are drinking currently. Some of us are awesome about drinking enough (gold star here!), while others seem to really struggle with it.  Water is vital! Our bodies use it for so many different processes: flushing waste, transporting proteins and carbs in our blood, regulating our body temperature and more.  Without enough of it, you’ll feel sluggish and are more likely to mistake thirst for hunger, leading to eating food we don’t really need (and often of the variety that’s not so great for us). If you don’t like water, try adding fresh lemon, lime, mint leaves or grated ginger to it!

4. Add in 5 minutes of exercise to whatever you are doing now. Odds are, you are someone who gets a decent amount of exercise or you are someone who gets virtually none. If you are in the later category, you may see starting an exercise routine as something very difficult to start with the demands of your current lifestyle. In that case, most people will opt for never beginning at all, rather than doing what they can, when they can. Why? Why settle for 0?? What’s stopping you from doing something, anything? Get up right now and walk for 5 minutes – even if it means doing circles around the office or in your kitchen. Drop down to the floor and do a few pushups, squats and tricep dips. Maybe throw in a few crunches. No change or clothes or equipment needed. Toddlers and babies can be included. Just commit to 5 minutes! If you can do more, good for you! If you can’t, at least you did 5 minutes which is more than a lot of people out there! At first, it may make you more tired, but with a little time (commit to at least 21 days in a row!) it will become a habit you can’t live without and you may even find ways to add more time to your routine.

5. Do one stress relieving self-care type of activity every day. Stress is one of the biggest killers in this country and yet most of us do little to manage it. If you were diagnosed with diabetes, you would take steps to control it. If you were diagnosed with MS, you would do all that you could to increase the quality and length of your life. So why do we pretend that stress doesn’t exist? It’s really silly! Sometimes we can’t reduce the causes of stress in our lives (family, work etc) but we can do something about relieving that stress on a regular basis. Everyone gets stress relief from different things – exercise, laughing with friends, massage, long bath, reading a good book, holding hands, using essential oils, meditation, having a cup of tea etc. It doesn’t matter what it is – find a couple of things that help you feel more relaxed and give yourself permission to do one every single day, even if you only get a few minutes of it. Treat it like the priority it is – your stress relief activities can work like preventative medication!

There you have it. 5 simple things you can do right now! Do you think you can make these changes? Why or why not? What can you do to make them a part of your day? If you like reading this type of content please sign up for my email list in the green box below and share with anyone who you think may also benefit from it.

(Ps. Did you do last week’s homework? I’d love to hear from you if you did!)

Have you gotten my newest free guide You Have What it Takes? If you’re an emotional eater, overeater or longtime dieter who wonders if she has what it takes to change her relationship with food, then this for you. And it’s free. Click on the image below, then enter your name and email and it’s yours!


We Can’t Shame Ourselves Thin

For some reason, we think that if we could just hate our bodies a little more, it will spur enough motivation for us to change it. We believe that if we could reject it more, that we’ll finally reach the weight, size or shape that eludes us. That there is a level of disdain, distrust and disgust we need to reach with ourselves before we’ll diet enough, exercise enough and have willpower enough to reach an ideal in our heads.

So many of us think this way and unconsciously accept this type of thinking as truth. But have we ever seen even a modicum of proof that it works? Of course not – but yet we act it out as though it was the only way. And we hold onto this body hate so tightly, as if we loosen our grip on it, even a little, we’ll lose total control and end up in a worse body than the one we already are living in. But this is total lie.

Here is the honest truth:  There is no amount of self-rejection that will lead us to the body we want. No one has ever lost weight and kept it off with hate. You can’t shame yourself thin.

The more energy we put into rejecting ourselves, the greater our struggle will be. It’s tiring and the goal always seems so impossible to reach. As long as we direct hate at ourselves, we will continue to do the very actions that keeps us in a body we are unhappy with.

To lose weight and to change our bodies, we actually have to let go of our habit of beating them up. We have to choose love and appreciation instead. We have to accept what we look like and how much space we take up right now. We must consider this:  What if I had to stay in this body as it is right now for the rest of my time on this earth? How would that change how we lived our lives? And what is holding us back from living that way right now?

The way we think about our bodies is a choice. I know it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, but feeling the way we do really is a choice. It all comes from our brains – which we are in charge of. We choose to hate our stomachs. We choose to see dimples on our thighs as repulsive. We choose to view a number on the scale as good and another as bad. We choose to put energy into feeling disgusted with ourselves.

Ask yourself, why am I choosing to think thoughts about myself that cause pain?

Why am I choosing to think thoughts that cause me to do harm (restrictive eating, bingeing, over-exercising, not exercising etc)?

Why am I choosing to think thoughts that prevent me from living the life I want to live?

How do you want to feel about your body, about yourself? Really. Think about this. If you could choose how to feel (and know that you can), what would you willingly choose to feel? I know that the answer is not hate, shame, disgust or pain.

Halting negative thinking is not easy. It takes a lot of practice and awareness. The first step is noticing where those painful thoughts creep in.

I have a little homework for you. Will you do it?

Homework assignment:
This week, just notice how your brain operates. Our brain likes to be efficient and do things it’s good at (think how we go on autopilot when brushing our teeth) – and it’s excellent at thinking painful thoughts about ourselves. Just notice where it goes. Become a witness in your own mind. Become aware of your patterns. Notice what you are thinking about your body and notice how that influences the choices you make. Write these thoughts down – and write down what was going on when they came up.  Be honest and don’t hold back.

Don’t focus on changing your thoughts with this assignment – this week I just want you to notice what your brain is up to! And please, let me know if anything comes up that surprises you or if you have any questions.

Beef and Kale Gnocchi with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts

Pure comfort food that won't take 2 hours to make.

Pure comfort food that won’t take 2 hours to make.

Summer calls for raw vegetables, grilled meats and fish, light crunchy refreshing dishes, right? This isn’t that but it’s something indulgent and creamy I’ve made on cooler nights so rather than wait until the fall to post it – you’re getting it now! This is pretty quick to make too – brown beef, cook veggies in the same pan, stir in some flavorings and cook your gnocchi and put it all in your belly. The pictures don’t do it justice but it is so delicious! You’re welcome.

This is comfort food. This is not low calorie and it’s not super good for you. You may be wondering why I’m posting it if it isn’t super healthy, well, it is delicious, easy and I frequently get asked what I eat when I’m craving pasta or bread. This is definitely a meal that satisfies those cravings for me. Plus, I’m a human who occasionally eats things that aren’t good for me – I break my own rules on occasion because that’s how life goes. I do my best most of the time and allow for some leeway because as much as I eat for my health, I also derive joy from it. And one last reason – if posting indulgent comfort food recipes once in awhile gets people in their own kitchens creating home cooked food, that’s still healthier than what is often the alternative!

I’m really not a fan of gluten free pastas or breads so we very rarely eat them.  But I also find I don’t really miss either so substituting with sub par versions of the real deal is just not worth it to me. The reason I don’t think I miss pasta or bead is because I eat lots of fat to keep me satisfied and don’t eat too many carbohydrates that spike blood sugar – which is what causes those types of cravings. Gnocchi is what I reach for when I want chewy comfort food and it only makes an appearance once in a great while which keeps it fun and a special treat.

Gnocchi are potato dumplings that usually have wheat flour added to them to give them that chewiness that we all love. I try to avoid wheat in my house so if I’m feeling really motivated, I’ll make my own without wheat (like these from Serious Eats) or if short on time I use DeLallo Gluten Free Gnocchi. If you tolerate wheat or gluten ok then by all means, use regular gnocchi (or even pasta would work here)! This recipe is gluten free if you use gf gnocchi.

This is creamy, chewy, crunchy, salty and savory. I add parmesan (another rare treat), nutmeg and toasted pine nuts to deepen the umami flavors.  If you like pastas with creamy sauces, you’ll be all over this.  To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of nutmeg but I’ve been using it occasionally with beef lately. It adds a warm earthiness that is a nice change up!

Try this and let me know what you think!

Beef and Kale Gnocchi with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts

1 lb Organic Grass Fed Ground Beef (I use 85% lean, 15% fat)
1 box (or about 3 cups cooked) of Gluten Free Gnocchi
1 bunch of kale, washed, stems removed and chopped
1 onion, diced
1 minced clove garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 – 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1.5 tablespoons pasture butter (I use Kerrygold when I can’t get local)
5 tbsps freshly grated parmesan reggiano cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (see note below on toasting)
sea salt
black pepper

In a large saute pan, cook ground beef until browned through, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. When the beef is mostly cooked, add in the onion and kale and cook for 5 – 6 additional minutes or until the kale is wilted and the onion is soft. Cook your gnocchi while the kale/onion are cooking (you’ll know they’re done when they float – takes just a few minutes), drain and set aside. When the kale and onion are just about cooked, add the garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cooked gnocchi, parmesan, butter and toasted pine nuts to the pan and stir until the cheese is melted and your kitchen smells amazing. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed (some gnocchi brands are very salty).

Mix everything together so that the flavors have a chance to blend.

Mix everything together so that the flavors have a chance to blend.

Note: To toast pine nuts, add them to a dry cast iron skillet (or at least a skillet that you can safely heat dry) and heat on low. Stay close as they toast and shake the pan occasionally so that the nuts get toasted on several sides. The amount of time this will take depends on how long your stove takes to heat up! In a hot pan it will only take a minute or two. Remove them from pan before they burn.

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What would you like to declare independence from?

photo credit: Stars and Stripes, US Flag via photopin (license)

What will you declare your independence from?   photo credit: Stars and Stripes, US Flag via photopin (license)

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!

The 4th of July celebrates America’s Independence from the British and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and as I was preparing my blog posts for this month, the holiday got me thinking about all the things that we do to ourselves that keep us perpetually in a state of oppression or at war with ourselves – physically, emotionally or mentally. Huh? Hear me out. The American colonists reached a point of oppression from the British (taxes) that they deemed unacceptable before they were willing to take actions that would forever change the course of this country. As an analogy, we have to reach a certain level of unhappiness, frustration or health issues before we are willing to make changes to our lives and that turning point is reached because we can no longer tolerate our own self-oppression.

When I talk about self-oppression – I’m talking about how we have a tendency to suppress and control who we are, our deepest desires, urges and needs, all for usually not great reasons! Neverending diets, restrictions, negative thinking, painful judgements, punishments, withholding permission etc around any area of our lives. When we go to war with ourselves – no one wins. This summer, I urge you to come up with a list of actions or thoughts you will stop doing and then take time each day to work on them.

What are you doing in your life that is not serving you? That you will declare your independence from?

5 Things I’m declaring independence from:

1. I Declare Independence from Body Shame. This summer, I will enjoy being at the beach, at the pool or on vacation in a swimsuit without spending precious energy judging my body. No one is paying all that much attention to what I or you look like anyhow (despite what we think!) because they’re focused on their own body issues. The amount of joy I receive from doing “summer” things just like everyone else in a bathing suit far outweighs silly thoughts about my physical form.

2. I Declare Independence from Food Guilt. This summer, I will enjoy summer foods like ice cream, cheeseburgers and potato salad on occasion without feeling bad about it. There is room in every “diet” plan for life and if there isn’t, then we are setting ourselves up for failure. No one blows their weight loss goals by having one ice cream sundae. And no one succeeds in their goals by attacking themselves. If I eat foods that aren’t great for me, I will only do it because I really want to eat them and I will eat them slowly and savor every bite. I will not eat in secret.

3. I Declare Independence from Judging Others Bodies. This summer, I will let passing thoughts of judgement about other people’s looks go on by.  When we make judgements about someone else’s body or lifestyle based on how they look, it’s not really about them – it’s really about how we feel about ourselves. Why would you want to feel anything but good about yourself? Give yourself the freedom to stop knocking others down – instead look for good things in others (which will help you see them in yourself).

4. I Declare Independence from Other People’s Standards. This summer, I will not worry about whether or not I look how others would like me to look. I will never be a size 0. But I know I can be strong, healthy and beautiful at any size. It has nothing to do with the amount of physical space my body takes up on this earth or what size appears on my clothing tag. I can meet my own standards by taking care of my body through eating high quality food the majority of the time, getting lots of sleep, laughing often, being gentle with myself and others and moving my body in supportive ways every day.

5. I Declare Independence from Limiting Beliefs. This summer, I will work on not limiting myself with beliefs that are carved in stone. I acknowledge that believing that I can’t do things (lose weight, stop eating junk, get that promotion, climb that mountain etc) only serves to prevent me from doing them and holds me back from living the life I want to have. I will practice being open to an “I can do this” mindset because the actions I will take are a direct result of my thinking. The difference between what we can and can’t accomplish is all in what we believe! (And if you don’t believe that – it’s a limiting belief!) 🙂

Those are the things I’m working on freeing myself from. Not just this summer, but always. Can you come up with some of your own? What would you like to Declare your Independence from?  What is something that is holding you back, making you feel stifled, making you feel crushed and preventing you from taking the actions you know you need to take? Write it down! Declare your independence from it! You are the master of your own life – no one else! Please, share with me your declaration of independence, either by leaving a comment here or by shooting me an email! I’d love to chat!

Rustic Mediterranean Pork Chops

A healthy main course that you can make in 15 minutes.

A healthy main course that you can make in 15 minutes.

I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump in the kitchen so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe! That doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking at home (I actually cook almost every night), just that I’ve been feeling uninspired and resorting to a lot of the same old stuff. None worth sharing. Even though I spend much of my day talking about food with clients, I have times when I wish I could delegate the task of feeding myself to someone else. I’m sure you can relate! Anyhow, this was a really fast and easy main course that I came up with based on random ingredients that I had in the fridge and pantry and it was really good. I can’t say it enough – but keeping your pantry & freezer well stocked means you can make tasty stuff with short notice – even when you wish you had a healthy take out fairy godmother. Moving on . . .

These pan cooked boneless pork chops and rustic tapenade will only take about 15 minutes to make. The topping is like a rustic tapenade (only cooked) of capers, spinach, tomatoes, olives and lemon juice. You could easily sub out some of these ingredients for other staples (roasted red peppers or artichokes would work well). These would also be good on the grill though you’d probably want to marinate them a little beforehand (as lean pork can dry out when grilled).

Pork is one of the hardest foods to find organic or humanely raised. We don’t eat a ton of it but if we can’t find something I’m comfortable eating in the local grocery stores or if there isn’t any available at a local farm, as a backup I order online from US Wellness Meats or Tendergrass Farms.  Yes, avoiding factory farmed meat is very expensive. The way I see it is I can spend money now on high quality food that nourishes my body or I can continue buying meat that came from diseased and tortured animals on the cheap (with questionable country of origins) and pay extra at the doctors office. I prefer to avoid the doctors office if I can. When making a switch to higher quality animal products, it’s helpful to plan to eat less of it. You’ll find that a whole pasture raised chicken may only be 3.5 lbs, whereas you can find grocery store ones that are 6 or 7 lbs. Chickens that aren’t force fed or kept in tiny little cages rarely get huge – you’re not going to find a chicken breast that is 13 oz on one of these chickens, more likely that a chicken breast is going to be 5 or 6 oz. which is a heck of a lot closer to how much we should be eating anyhow. It takes some getting used to, but if you’re getting enough fat and eating lots of vegetable variety, you won’t miss it for long.

Hope you have a great 4th of July!

Rustic Mediterranean Pork Chops

For the pork
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
4 boneless Organic pork chops, fat trimmed and pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
sea salt
black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves minced garlic

For the topping
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
7-9 large green olives, roughly chopped (pit removed if there is one)
2 tsp organic capers
2 – 4 sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. While it’s heating, sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder (if using minced garlic, rub it into the chops). When the pan is piping hot, add the chops and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. When you flip the pork, it should flip easily and have a good sear on it. You may need to cook for less or more time depending on how thick or thin you pounded the chops to. When the pork is cooked through (slightly pink is okay) remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the spinach, green olives, capers, tomatoes and onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the lemon juice and scrape up any burnt pork bits while you cook.  When finished cooking, add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to the mixture and then serve on top of the pork. (You won’t need salt for the topping – olives, capers and sun dried tomatoes are usually quite salty!)

Makes 4 servings.
Note:  This would also work great with chicken or fish.