It was National Pi(e) day on Saturday so I channeled my in inner Grandma genes and decided to turn Paul and I’s favourite roast chicken dinner into a rustic chicken pot pie! I truly believe that “healthy eating, healthy living, clean eating, guilt free eating” whatever you want to call it is all a balance. Without yin there is no yang, without the sky there is no sun or moon, without rain there is no oceans, lakes or rivers, I think you get the point, right?
A complete whole foods, health and wellness journey needs to have balance and sometimes that balance is completely filled with decadence, sin, swoon worthy, luxurious, pastries, pies, croissants, chocolate, cake, cookies. pasta, cheese platters, whatever your favourite indulgence might be, creme brulee’? Oh heck yes that is on my list!
I wrote a post a while back on why I let go of all labels with regards to eating and with letting go of all labels I also let go of any guilt towards eating. Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean you have to cut out every sinful treat for the rest of your life, actually it is a journey of balancing the yin and the yang of wellness and becoming intuitive with yourself, allowing nutrient rich food to replenish your body on the regular and allowing the decadent food to slide in and out when your body or you desire it.
I eat balanced, healthy, whole foods, close to 80/20 plant based diet the majority of the time but if one day I am more like 60/40 I don’t beat myself up over it either. Some days are even 40/60, I know right, hold the presses!
I also don’t believe a treat needs to be referred to as guilt-free because you ate like a superstar all week, worked out every day and you "most definitely deserve" that “guilt-free treat”.
Truthfully I think guilt-free is a detrimental word to include in any way of eating. It is once again a label and labelling food or calling something guilt-free is only restricting, shaming and stressing out our mind body and soul. In moderation everything can be guilt-free no need to make it a special occasion.
I think there are enough internal struggles when it comes to food as is, putting that kind of pressure on yourself daily is killing the soul. If you want something have it, you don’t need "cheat days" or "I was so good yesterday I deserve this days", nope not needed, eat what you want when you want it. Just be mindful.
A balanced healthy lifestyle comes down to intuition and mindfulness; that trust from within that you know what your body will thrive off of the majority of the time and then also when it needs that small dose of indulgence, hold the berating!
I know the majority of the time I am completely nourishing and nurturing my body with whole, loving, REAL foods I don’t even give those "guilty foods" a second thought anymore when I do want one. I have taken the pressure off and it is liberating!
I allow, I indulge, I don't worry about the should and shouldn't, I move on and I thank my body for giving me the knowledge to let go of all labels, guilt, and the burden to be perfect all of the time with my diet.
Funny enough the second I took away the grief of so called guilty eating I actually lost weight, my body finally settled into an it's ok phase and the weight just dropped off. No stress, no pressure, no extra cortisol rises, just ease and simplicity.
I thank my body for being able to process the treat foods when I do indulge. Our bodies are amazing vessels that are literally with us on every step of our journey, thank her, bow down to her, give her love and gratitude on the daily.
Life should be filled with pleasure and love and health and wellness and yes total utter indulgence. Without the sinful, it's not going to kill you to eat (trust me), decadent treat, how boring would life be?
Including that guilt in your diet and mindset is only wreaking more havoc on your body than what the calories would be. In my opinion stress in the body holds onto a lot more fat than a piece of pie ever will.
Eating something with guilt attached only makes it harder for your body to digest and process that food, hormones freak out and the body is in this state of flux, not knowing what to do; you allowed this food into your body but you are now putting this stress onto your body because you feel bad for eating it, needless to say it is confusing.
Guilt also takes all of the pleasure out of the food. Food should be savoured and tasted, the salty, the sweet, the tart; it should be felt and devoured, the textures, the crunch, the softness; and smelled, yes smelled, the aromas filling our entire essence with pure unadulterated ecstasy.
Food is meant to make us feel good, euphoric even, it is meant to nourish and replenish our bodies. Food fuels our being, feeds our soul and invigorates our cells. Get back to the basics and enjoy what nature provides for us, real, whole, living, make us happy food. Guilt on the other hand does the exact opposite, it leads us to over eating or binge eating, calorie restricting and counting, body shaming and stress, and hypes up our monkey minds to over think it all; guilt takes all of the enjoyment, joy and luxury out of the nurturing aspect that food should be and is if you let it.
Eat with love, eat with acceptance, eat with trust.
So instead of passing this recipe off as, “Oh no, I couldn’t could I? But it is so bad for me, I mean its pastry?” Forget all of that, don’t worry about running 5 miles after either (guilt and body movement is a whole other post I have coming), relax, let your body enjoy a warming, home cooked, comfort meal that yes has pastry but is also filled with organic chicken and an abundance of root veggies that are so nourishing and nurturing for your body. Balance my love, balance.
rustic root veggie chicken pot pie
I used A couple Cooks pie pastry recipe and it turned out amazing, super flakey and light!! The only thing I added was an egg wash on the top of it to give it that extra golden hue.
Alternatively you can buy 2 pre-made pastry shells. But you really don't want to do that, especially when the pastry takes oh about 5 minutes to make.
2 large organic chicken breasts
3 beets (I used one red, one candy cane and one golden)
2 large russet potatoes
2 cups of chicken broth
2 small onions
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of fresh rosemary
2 tbsp of fresh thyme
3 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of cornstarch
½ cup of cream or almond milk
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Make the pastry first and let it set in the fridge while you make the filling.
Put a large pot onto boil, cut the beets, carrots and potatoes into bite size pieces and boil for 20 minutes (until tender but still crisp).
Mince the garlic and onions and chop up the fresh herbs. In a large pan add 3 tbsp of butter, once melted add the onions and garlic, letting them cook down for about 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the garlic and onions to brown.
Once the veggies are done, drain and add them to the cooked chicken.
Next add the chicken broth, herbs, salt and pepper (to taste). Bring the broth back up to a boil and add in the cornstarch and cream (mix the cornstarch into the cream before adding to the chicken mixture). Let this simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the broth thickens and becomes gravy like. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
While the chicken filling is cooling, you can roll out your pie pastry (following the directions in the above pastry link). The above recipe will make enough for the top and bottom layer of pastry. Transfer to a 9 inch pie plate, fill with the cooled mixture and then top with a layer of pastry.
Mix the egg in a small bowl, then brush onto the top of the pie pastry. Make a few slits in the pastry or poke with a fork to let the air out.
Bake for 50 minutes, serve warm.