ROCKin' and Rollin' in the Brand New Year

We are pleased to feature guest blogger Jessica Thomas, NTP, who is also a North Fort Worth ROCKer! Learn more about Jessica in her bio at the bottom of this post.


How in the world is it already the end of the year? I don't know about anyone else, but this year has seriously gone by with a quickness! And though it might be a bittersweet parting for some, I know of others that are ready to kick 2016 to the curb and welcome 2017 to the party. And naturally, the talk of New Year’s resolutions is just around the corner. Some love it, some hate it, but there it is regardless. It seems to be all that anyone can talk about for the entire month of January. And just like every other obsession, it slowly fizzles out once the fuss dies down.

Now, believe it or not, I'm not dismissing the concept of New Year’s resolutions as a whole. The idea of a brand new year and a clean slate in front of you can be a very refreshing, encouraging, and exciting thing! Regardless of if you kept your resolutions from the previous year, it's exciting to have the chance to start fresh with the next chapter in your journey. Here's a couple of tips for when you're deciding on a resolution:


  1. Set a goal - what is something that you've wanted to do but just haven't done it yet? This isn't the time to focus on what you "should" or "shouldn't" do. What do you want? What is something that could bring more vitality and vividness into your life or the lives of people around you? It can be as little or as big as you choose to make it, but make sure to own it. This isn't anyone else’s decision but your own. 
  2. Make a plan - you can't just declare your goal out loud and expect it to magically happen (Insert The Office reference here...). It's also unrealistic to set a huge goal and try to conquer it in a week, and honestly, some goals can get overwhelming quickly. It's important to break down your goal into small, manageable steps. It's also important to anticipate things that could pull you away from your goal and have a plan to either avoid them or deal with them.
  3. Give yourself some grace - let's face it, no one is perfect. It's easy to get discouraged when you fall off the wagon. You have a weak moment, you get sick, all the kids are sick and you don't have time to even think much less cook dinner. Life happens, and it's ok. Try to avoid beating yourself up. All of the drama and messiness doesn't matter. What matters is what you choose to do with it and how to proceed. Making the conscious choice to not give up is half the battle.
  4. Accountability - surround yourself with a person or people that will support you in your efforts and be your personal cheer squad when you want to give up. It's much harder to give up when you have someone rooting for you. 

So there ya have it! I hope this gives you a head start with forming your resolutions. Personally, I love to start the New Year with some feel-good basic recipes. After all of the rich holiday food, my body just needs a break! And this dish fits the bill. This is a recipe I adapted from Lexi at Lexi's Clean Kitchen. This Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies is just an awesome, easy meal to throw together. And it's very easy to personalize with whatever veggies you have in your pantry/fridge. 




6 carrots, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
1 sweet potato (or butternut), sliced
5 purple potatoes, sliced
1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, halved
1 red onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb. boneless chicken breast or thighs 
2-4 tablespoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic granules
1 teaspoon onion granules
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. In a LARGE (seriously) bowl combine all the chopped veggies and garlic
  3. Add in whole chicken breasts or halved chicken breasts
  4. Coat with oil, salt, and pepper
  5. In a small bowl mix together the remaining spices
  6. Pour the spice mix over veggie and chicken mixture and coat evenly
  7. Place on a lined baking sheet (or in my case, two) and bake for 25-30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked through
  8. Add additional salt and pepper if you want. My husband even adds hot sauce, but that's because he has a hot sauce addiction and likes to keep the folks at Crystal's Hot Sauce in business...ahem... 

The original recipe can be found here

Jessica Thomas is a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner at Arukah Nutrition. She moved to the Fort Worth area from Denver, Colorado a year ago along with her husband and their two furry children. The word "Arukah" in her practice means health being restored - mental, physical, and spiritual - as a whole. She believes in the power of  the body to use nutrition as a tool to restore health. You can find more recipes and nutrition tidbits at 

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