Bikini Ready Recipes: Chicken Fab Pho + Spa Smoothie

So, this momma is officially getting back to business. And, by business, I mean getting into a bikini after having my baby! Now that it's my third kid, I definitely know how to take care of my body during pregnancy so it's not such a struggle to lose the weight afterward. With that said, there's still a bit of weight I'd like to lose before the summer bikini season. I'm definitely not as big as I was after having Brooks (I gained 80 pounds due to a thyroid condition!) but there's still some pounds I'd like to shed. I'll be honest--my Sports Illustrated photos are currently hanging on my wall for inspiration. I mean, hey! Whatever works.

To lose these pounds the healthy way, I hired Los Angeles-based nutritionist, Kelly Leveque to guide me along the way. You may also recognize her from her blog, Be Well By Kelly and her YouTube channel. Also--her Instagram is where food dreams are made of!

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Even if you haven't just had a baby, follow along with us. There's nothing wrong with wanting to get a little healthy and fit before bikini season! For 12 weeks, on both of our blogs, Kelly and I will be sharing some healthy recipes every Monday followed by some healthy facts on Wednesday. We'll also be sprinkling some Facebook Live videos in there so you can see us whip up these recipes in real time.

Weight loss is all 80/20 meaning 80% of your successful weight loss will come from what you are eating. The other 20% is exercise (which is still important!) With that said, all of Kelly's recipes that we'll share will help tone you up and lose those pounds. It's all delicious, too!

For the first recipe, we're kicking it off with some warm and cozy Pho before the weather gets a bit warmer. This recipe is a great example of Kelly's "Fab Four" approach to health. That means it includes protein (ups collagen, muscle tone, and metabolism), fat (benefits hormones, skin, cellular health, and doesn't store in your body like carbs do), fiber (for gut microbiome proliferation and detoxification), and greens/veggies deep in color (cancer and inflammation fighting phytonutrients)

Chicken Fab Pho

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This recipe calls for a store-bought rotisserie chicken; try to choose one that is organic and not heavily spiced so you can add your own flavor.

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 quarts chicken bone broth (see below) or chicken stock

2 tablespoons coconut aminos

2 zucchini, zoodled (see below)

2 summer squash, zoodled (see below)

4 small bok choy

1/2 cup bean sprouts

1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, meat shredded

Fresh cilantro

Fresh basil

Red pepper flakes

Directions: 

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes

2. Add the broth and coconut aminos, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cooked through.In shallow bowls, layer the veggies and top with the shredded chicken. Top with broth

3. Top with cilantro, basil, and red pepper flakes

Note: I love my zoodler (also known as a spiralizer), but you can also use a vegetable peeler to make long, flat strips of the vegetables.

Bone Broth

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This richly textured, deeply delicious broth is a supreme immune support and overall anti-inflammatory. An elixir you will enjoy!

Ingredients: 

About 2 pounds grass-finished beef or pasture-raised chicken bones

1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar

1 medium organic carrot, peeled and chopped

1 medium organic onion, chopped

1 organic celery stalk, chopped

3 organic garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

Directions: 

1. Place the bones in a 3-quart slow cooker. Fill the cooker to the top with filtered water and add the salt and vinegar.

2. Cook on low for 18 to 24 hours (The more time, the more flavor, so if it tastes good at 18 hours, you’re good to go!)

3. Strain the broth through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer and cool.

4. Store in a glass container in the fridge.

Spa Smoothie

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Chill out, hydrate, and refresh with this spa-day smoothie. It’s the perfect way to add a little Zen to your morning.

Ingredients: 

1 serving vanilla protein powder

¼ to 1/2 cup diced avocado

¼ to 1/2 cup diced avocado

1 to 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Juice of ½ to 1 lemon

Fresh mint leaves

Spinach

1 small Persian cucumber

2 cups unsweetened nut milk

Directions: 

Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend, adding water as needed to reach the desired consistency.

Stay tuned! This Wednesday, Kelly will be sharing the facts about a micronutrient must-have, FAT. And, no--it's not something to be scared of!

Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.