On my way home from work, a familiar, sultry, spicy scent hit my nose.

I was passing by Popeye’s, and it was clear they were frying up a new batch of chicken and biscuits.

It took me back to a moment in time when I would binge on food from the famous chicken spot.  I’d get a three piece, spicy, two biscuits, two sides and a coke to wash it all down.  That’s nearly 1500 calories, 2800 milligrams of sodium, all in one sitting.

Sometimes, I’d even go back for more…

At the time, I didn’t think about all the extra work I must have been putting on my heart with the loads of fat and sodium I was putting into my body.  It wasn’t until that high blood pressure scare 5 years ago made me realize I had to make a change.

Changing isn’t easy.  It took time and long talks with Jesus to wean myself off of those unhealthy habits. Slowly but surely, it happened and I’ve kept off 85 pounds.  Now, I can drive by any Popeye’s, Krispy Kreme or Cook Out without those cravings taking control.

Do I have a bit every now and then? Of course!  However, when you’ve come this far and have a better understanding of what certain foods do to your body, you have a bigger resolve to stay the course more consistently.

One of the most powerful tools I have learned along the way is remixing some of former favorite fried foods into healthier dishes. Here’s my remix of my former fried chicken foe.

Flax “Fried” Chicken

flax fried chicken picture

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 4 ounce pieces of chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3-cup milled flaxseed
  • 1-teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1-teaspoon paprika
  • ½-teaspoon pepper
  • ½-teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-teaspoons parsley
  • ½-teaspoons cumin

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  • Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with olive oil (I use an olive oil spray)
  • In a bowl, combine flaxseed, garlic salt, paprika, pepper, turmeric, parsley and cumin
  • In a separate bowl, cover chicken breasts with olive oil (approximately 1/2 tablespoon per chicken breast)
  • Place chicken breasts in flaxseed mixture until evenly but lightly coated
  • Transfer chicken breasts to baking sheet
  • Bake at 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes until chicken is well cooked. Foodsafety.gov recommends cooking chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Serve and enjoy your flax “fried” chicken coated in heart-healthy flaxseed!

When I drowned my feelings in fried chicken, I was in a wilderness of low self-esteem and low self-love. But God has done a new thing by giving me a passion for healthier path.  Isaiah 43:19 says “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

I know He’ll do the same for you!

While you’re here, join the journey everywhere you go!  Download the “Decide to Live: Jessica on a Journey Podcast” today!  You can listen to the episode inspired by my former fried chicken obsession on iTunes or Soundcloud.  Just search “Jessica on a Journey”.