You work a long 8-hour day, pick up the kids from school, take them to activities, and arrive at home after dark. The easiest way to fuel the family is the fast-food drive-thru or quick, frozen meals. Did you know late night eating can quickly turn into unhealthy habits not only for you but for your kids?
By allowing salty, quick food to become the norm on a busy day, health conditions can sneak up on you including rapid weight gain, high cholesterol, and acid reflux.
Today we will share a few chicken-based recipes that could help with the busy days to sustain healthy living for a restful night’s sleep.
Light Cream Cheese Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 75 ounces fat free cream of chicken soup
- 8 ounces fat free cream cheese
- 1 ounce dry Italian dressing mix
- Place chicken, soup, cream cheese, and dressing mix in slow cooker.
- Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 8-9 hours, until chicken is cooked through.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
- 4 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
- 3 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Onion, finely diced (optional)
- 1 Cup Celery, diced
- 1 Cup Carrots, diced
- 2 Chicken bouillon cube OR natural chicken broth
- 10 Ounces can of biscuits
- EXCLUDING THE BISCUITS put all ingredients a crock pot and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
- About an hour (give or take) before serving, remove chicken and pull into pieces and return to the soup mixture.
- Place the torn biscuit dough in and cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.
Chicken and Noodle Soup
- 5 cups of chicken broth (boxed or can is fine)
- One 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup carrots, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced (optional)
- One 15 oz can of whole kernel corn, drained
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cup Egg noodles
- 2 cups cooked chicken chopped or 2 cans canned cooked chicken
- Add everything but the noodles and cooked chicken to the crock pot on low for 5-6 hours.
- For the last hour, add the add noodles and chicken so they do not soften too much.
If you find yourself more susceptible to acid reflux or indigestion from onions, leave them out of the recipes. Other foods to avoid at bedtime includes:
- Steak and other red meats can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for obesity. And at night, these fatty foods take longer to digest making your body work hard as you try to sleep.
- Bacon releases norepinephrine, a brain stimulant, so ease up on foods with tyramine.
- Spicy food like wings or salsa are best left for lunch and possibly dinner. Depending on your body's sensitivity, spicy food can cause acid reflux or indigestion that follows you into the wee hours of the night.
By trying these healthier recipes and avoiding ones that are heavy for the tummy before bedtime, sleeping more will also create healthier eating habits. In order to build a leaner and stronger body, a full night's sleep is considered one of the most important factors.
A recent study concluded seven to nine hours of sleep rebuilds muscle more efficiently than those who receive less than seven hours of rest per night. Sleep strategies helped the study participants adjust their daily routine to sleep more and eat healthier, while maintaining a consistent workout routine.
If you find yourself reading this article and you already are checking off most of the boxes, you may need a consultation with a sleep study professional. Healthy eating and exercise alone may not be the only answer to your sleep deprivation. Call Alaska Sleep Clinic today for your free sleep assessment.