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FAQ Friday + How I Season Protein & Veggies

Hi and we made it to Friday. It’s been a jam-packed week over here and I’m heading into a busy weekend as well. It’s weekend four of our summer 200-hour teacher training (there are five total) and I’ll be leading quite a few of the lectures and training sessions. I’m looking forward to it as I find giving back in the way of sharing professional knowledge along with helping others on their personal journeys to self-awareness/love/acceptance/fulfillment be so rewarding.

We have made some time for play and we’re having dinner tonight with Tanner’s brother and sister-in-law at Namastay Kitchen for Charlotte Restaurant Week. Our chef has done a great job with the menu! (You can check out some of the dishes on Instagram!)

Okay, for your Friday post I’m going to answer a few questions I’ve received over the last week or so. The last one is all about my favorite seasonings for proteins and veggies because I got that question from quite a few of you this week, especially in regards to my one-pan dinners.

Let’s go!

I recently became certified as a PT. I am already group, yoga and cycle certified so very familiar with a group setting. Transitioning to one on one is a little intimidating. Any recommendation for sites or sources to use? Trying to have some plans/routines for my clients. Thank you. Sincerely, Becky

First, congratulations on your new certification! It sounds like your one-on-one clients will be lucky to have you given your background in group and yoga! Regarding programming for PT clients, that was definitely a learning experience for me. I had to work through a lot of trial and error before I found something that worked for me and I definitely “tried on” other trainers styles before coming into my own.

My first tip is to talk to your clients about their goals and be flexible with your approach to programming when it comes to the different needs of different clients. For example, programming for a 28-year-old woman looking to gain muscle and then lean a little for her wedding is a lot different than programming for a 55-year old woman looking to improve her strength and stability.

My go-to “template” if you want to call it that would look something like this for the average client.

  • 10 minute warm up with something like rowing, brisk walking or jogging, foam rolling, dynamic stretching, etc.
  • 10-15 minute block of bodyweight/bands/med ball/stability ball/BOSU stuff focused more on core and stability while also continuing to get the heart rate up and the body warm. I like to do this kind of stuff before introducing any heavier weights.
  • As for the actual “workout,” I either program it sort of like a WOD (here’s an example that I’ve used with past clients, and another here) or I program it into 2-4 groups (depending on time) of 3-4 exercises and we finish each group before moving onto the next. (Here’s an example of that in one of my old workout recaps.)
  • Static stretching and mobility work as needed.

I hope that helps!

Do you have tips on how you trained your dogs to run with you? (Not pulling on leash, or pulling towards other people). -Rachel

I actually wrote a post about this SEVEN years ago! (I can’t even believe I’ve been blogging for that long) Here is a link to that post…enjoy the photos in it…we’ve come a long way. ūüėČ I still stand behind my advice in this post but with the added nugget of the value of training, training, training! Bring in outside help if you need and hire a trainer to help you with leash skills and learning to ignore distractions. You and your pup will be grateful for it for years to come and it’s worth the investment!

Hi Jen, I’m so jealous of your muscles! Since you walk a lot after each workout, how fast do you walk? Also how do you recover from all these workouts, aside from foam rolling? Thanks for your time. -Lolita¬†

First, thank you. They’ve come from many years of lifting weights! It will forever be my #1 recommendation for women looking to change the shape of their bodies.

I’ve only come to truly appreciate walking in the last few years. I just love how it makes my body feel and also the ability to connect with my pups and be out in nature. I don’t really treat my walks like workouts in regards to maintaining a certain pace but I also don’t leisurely stroll either. I’d say our average mile pace is around 18-19 mins when I walk with the pups.

Workout recovery for me is mostly in the form of yoga and bodywork. I try to practice yoga as much as I can. These days that’s usually 2-3x/week. I can’t express enough the benefits of a regular yoga practice for cross-training. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it. My body (and my mind!) would probably be a hot mess. When it comes to bodywork, I try to get massages every other week and I’m also seeing an acupuncturist every two weeks.

My favorite analogy for working out and taking care of your body is that you don’t drive a race car 500 miles around the track without bringing it in for pit stops so you can’t expect your body to perform like a race car without bringing it in for service!

How do you season your chicken and veggies? РKelly
Asking the same as the above! When you bake your chicken and veggies, how do you season them? Particularly the chicken? Thanks! РLaura
I came to ask the same! – Alisa

I pulled all of my favorite pantry items out yesterday and photographed them to show you guys!

How to Season Chicken and Veggies

Here are my my must-have basics. Himalayan pink sea salt goes on EVERYTHING! Lemon pepper will always be one of my top seasoning choices and this grinder from Trader Joe’s is great. I also use a lot of coarse sea salt for seasoning, especially for steaks, skin-on chicken and roasted veggies. I roast most of my sweet potatoes and winter squashes in coconut oil. I love the subtle flavor it gives them. I’ve also started cooking my rice with coconut oil too! More on that in another post.

For roasted veggies, my seasoning is almost always just olive oil or coconut oil, salt and pepper. When I’m roasting potatoes (regular, not sweet), I get a little more creative and add fresh or jarred herbs and some sort of fresh garlic or garlic powder blend.

dizzy pig seasonings

This isn’t the first time you’ve seen Dizzy Pig seasonings on my blog but I have to tell you guys that I reach for them constantly. My family has been using these seasonings for as long as I can remember. Here are just a few that I have on hand right now. My favorites for chicken specifically are Mediterranean-ish, Shaking the Tree and Raging River. (Also all good on salmon.) You’ll be happy to learn that Dizzy Pig seasonings are MSG, gluten, peanut, tree nut and soy-FREE!

be runa seed salt

This also isn’t the first time you’ve seen be Runa seed salt on my blog but I still use it all the time and find myself using it more and more. The baked chicken thighs you guys were asking about were seasoned with the curry and garlic cayenne seed salt. If you haven’t ordered any of this stuff yet, I highly recommend. It’s good on everything from salads to chicken to eggs.

How to Season Chicken and Veggies

And finally, a random assortment of basics. I love citrus for brightening up fish and chicken, especially the zest. It also does wonders squeezed over roasted veggies. I am always sprinkling Italian seasoning on something. You always need a good garlic powder and I love this one blended with lemon. I use this chili powder blend from Whole Foods all the time and it’s especially delicious to spice up sweet potatoes and winter squash along with the coconut oil.

I hope that helped! I mix and match seasonings a ton and might use 2-3 different things on one piece of chicken. I’m also pretty heavy handed with seasoning on protein and usually look for kind of a “crust” on the outside. Get creative so that your food doesn’t seem repetitive or boring. The right seasoning can absolutely transform a meal!

Please share your favorite seasonings! I am always looking for new things to add to my arsenal! 

Holla if you have any questions to add to a future FAQ post! 

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Aimee July 28, 2017, 9:26 am

    yum! love all those seasoning combinations!

    In Boulder, there’s a Voice and Sight program for dogs to be off leash on certain trails. Its a lot of work, but so worth it to be a part of.

  • Laura @ Laura Likes Design July 28, 2017, 10:35 am

    Those seasoning blends sound amazing — definitely going to add those ingredients to my shopping list!

  • Mari July 29, 2017, 11:12 am

    Hello! Girl I love your blog! I have been following you for years and you are such an inspiration to me. Trainer question for you: My goal is to lean out. In the past I used to only run. I lost weight. But then I gained most of it back. I’ve been working out with a trainer on and off for about three years and he is adamant about no cardio. His philosophy is weights and hiit only. His reasoning is that running will only eat away at the muscle I’m building. What are your thoughts? I see that you run and also lift weights….and you look amazing!! One last thing…how long does it take for a woman to see the results from weight lifting? My problem is I always start a lifting program then give up after a couple of weeks when I don’t see any aesthetic changes. Help!

  • tara July 31, 2017, 1:06 pm

    love this post and all the seasonings ! i just made sweet potatoes last night with olive oil, salt, pepper, a little cinnamon, and a little cumin. sometimes i throw a little chili powder on to. sorta like sweet and spicy/smoky ? i also love italian seasoning and love to use fresh herbs on steaks/chicken in the form of a little compound butter. i LOVE tarragon on steaks. i just soften a little butter and stir in some fresh herbs and after the steak or chicken is done i put a little pat on and let it melt all over. i also like to throw herbs in homemade salad dressing to sorta perk them up. i second your notion of salt. i am not really a salt person but over the past few years have realized that salt isnt necessarily for taste but for other reasons like getting a good sear on your protein or giving your homemade gauc that extra punch.

    • Jen July 31, 2017, 4:34 pm

      yes, yes to your sweet potato combo! i’ve done that one quite a bit! sweet/smoky is a good way to go. herb butter on steaks is the way to go, for sure.

  • Rebecca July 31, 2017, 5:01 pm

    Yum, those seasoning blends all sound great!

    I love Penzey’s for spices and seasonings, they do a lot of catalog and online business but they happen to have a store near me. Their chili powder is my absolute favorite and comes in different spice levels!

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