Nateur Cooking with Julie Ligon: Greek Chicken Cucumber Boats

 Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. It’s still possible to indulge in your favorite foods, while nourishing your body at the same time. Here we share clean versions of delicious recipes that will leave you feeling and looking incredible and not to mention, incredibly satisfied

Name: Julie Ligon

Instagram: @foundbyjulie

Job description: Stay at home mom, fitness instructor and lover of all things gold and sparkly!

Eat this for a healthy gut: FIBER!! I have been following a fiber rich diet for the last couple of years and it has changed everything. I was on a very restrictive calorie deficit diet previously and I felt stuck. Adding fiber to my diet allowed me so much freedom. I now eat more than I ever have, and my daily greens not only fill me up, but they have helped to improve my digestion (something I have struggled with forever).

I love using simply inulin (from Ingrid De La Mare Kenny's Gangster Chic Brand) as an extra source of fiber. It is a prebiotic fiber which means it goes directly to your gut and acts as a welcome party to good gut bacteria. I started adding it to my morning lattes this past summer and it has been a complete game changer for me. I added just a small amount every few days to my morning latte (which I now call my "de-bloaté"). My digestive system responded immediately, and I was no longer feeling bloated. I had been on prescription medication for hormonal acne and within 2 months of taking simply inulin, I was able to wean off of it and have not had a breakout since last summer! Simply Inulin has helped to balance my hormones, leaves me fuller longer, keeps me regular and contributes to glowing skin. It is flavorless, made with one ingredient and mixes into anything. So..yeah...basically, I'll never be without! I also recently started adding holi (mane) to my de-bloaté and it has made it even creamier and more filling, plus I am already noticing shinier hair and more glowing skin!

Top 3 Instagram accounts for inspiration: 

@Darakaye: Beauty, fashion, FUN

 
@Garyvee:business confidence, inspiration direction!

@Marlaaaron: Jewelry (after fitness, jewelry is one of my passions and Marla makes it so fun and accessible) 

 

Favorite skin food ingredient and why:  Fatty acids! It took me so long to realize the importance of fatty acids for every system in my body. As a product of the 90's "fat free" craze, I spent many years in an unhealthy relationship with fat. It took such a long time to undo the thinking that eating fat would make me fat. In re-learning the incredible value of fat as a nutrient, I saw so many changes in my body, both inside and out. The first major difference I honed in on was satiety. At the time, I was eating enough food to feel full, but rarely ever felt satisfied. Fat did that for me. Soon after, I noticed how it was aiding in my digestion. After a few months and no change in my weight (as I had feared), I added in even more healthy fats and noticed a vast difference in my hair, nails and especially the bounciness and elasticity in my skin! My favorite fats are found in tahini, olive oil, hemp hearts, nut butter and avocado. I love them all, and never again will I shy away from them.

Go-to quick, healthy meal:  A warm winter salad. In a pan, I quickly heat up a bunch of greens (whatever I have on hand) in olive oil, nutritional yeast and a little salt and pepper. I love charring some turkey or other already prepped protein in the same pan. I serve it with a simple dressing that I make with the Tahini Goddess tahini, rice vinegar, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast and a squeeze of lemon. I call it drinkable dressing because you will absolutely want to drink the entire jar of it. Eating veggies this way eases in digestion and, especially during the winter, feels so warm, nourishing and soothing going down.

Skincare mantra:  Keep it simple and invest in a few products that truly work for you. I used to be in a whirlwind of buying, trying and tossing every single thing I saw advertised or endorsed. I finally stripped down my routine which enabled me to truly take notice of what each individual product was actually bringing to the table. I realized that if I have to wonder IF a product is working for me, then it probably isn't! Right now, my AM and PM routines consist of a few products that I absolutely love and that I am certain are making a difference in my skin. For AM, I use p50 with the Agent Nateur holi (trinity). And at night, I just use either a retinol or vitamin a serum plus Agent Nateur holi (oil )and holi (glow) ageless eye serum. 

My last tip is (if it's your thing) to find someone you trust for botox...not everyone wants or needs it, but for me it helps with some of the deeper aging lines I have noticed in my middle-to-late-40's. Botox has given me a great baseline to start from and then I let my skin care do the rest!

Recipe:  

Greek Chicken Cucumber Boats for all of your Santorini travel dreams that didn't come true in 2020 or maybe even 2021.

This is my favorite go to easy weeknight dinner and it just got lighter and more fiber filled with the swap of pita bread for cucumber boats! 

Instructions:

For the chicken, throw the following in your insta pot, slow cooker or dutch oven and cook on meat setting or until chicken shreds easily:

1-2lbs organic boneless skinless chicken breast

juice of 3 lemons

1/2 cup juice from pepperoncini jar 

bone broth if you need extra liquid 

3-4 garlic cloves (but go crazy if you like more!)

1 diced red bell pepper

1 diced red onion 

bloop of honey

2 Tsp garlic salt

For the Greek Salsa, dice and add following ingredients then chill in fridge:

1 bell pepper (I love using orange here for color variation)

1/2 red onion

1 cucumber seeded

lemon zest from 1 lemon

garlic salt to taste

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2-3 tbs olive oil

Pepper to taste

Sprinkle or spronkle (that’s a sprinkle but more) of good feta cheese.

For the "Easy Peezy Tzazzizzzi" stir the following into a bowl:

1 cup Greek yogurt

Juice from 1 lemon

1 clove crushed garlic

1-2 tsp fresh or dried dill

To serve:

Hollow out (I use a spoon or melon baller) as many cucumbers as you need to serve. For this recipe, I made about 10 individual boats, so everyone in my family got 2!

*I like to crisp my chicken up on the flat top cast iron, so it gets all caramelized but it’s not necessary!

Load up your chicken, Greek salsa and Tzatziki on your cucumber in whatever fashion you prefer and EAT IT ALL of course!