Roasted Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Cauliflower Coconut “Rice”

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Looking for Gluten-Free options, a “paleo” meal, or just plain an easy way to increase your vegetable consumption?  I live on the east coast, so fresh seafood is a MUST in my diet! Not to mention a great source of protein!  Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable shown to have anti carcinogenic properties.  Cauliflower is a fun, creative way to go from “white rice” that will spike your blood sugar, to a fiber rich vegetable rich in Vitamin C, K, and important phyto-nutrients with anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.

My family is always my “test out” guinea pigs, and they approved, full thumbs up!! What is your “Gluten-Free” or creative veggie ideas?!

Roasted Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. extra large shrimp, peeled, deveined (I like to keep on the tails)
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil, melted

Brine:

  • 2 Tbs sea salt
  • 1.5 c hot water
  • 1 c ice

Dressing:

  • handful cilantro (I like a lot)
  • 1 Lime Juiced (you could also add a little juice of orange for a twist)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the Brine: Dissolving salt in the hot water, stiring in ice, add shrimp and refrigerate for 30 minutes (while you prep dressing).
  2. Dressing: combine all ingredients, whisk together.
  3. Preheat oven 450 F, with aluminum foil lined cooking sheet in the oven WHILE IT HEATS UP (easy clean up after =)
  4. Once oven and cooking sheet is hot, take shrimp out of fridge, dry completely and toss in melted coconut oil.  Add in single layer to baking sheet.
  5. Roast 2 minutes each side… these cook fast – don’t overcook!
  6. Toss in the dressing and serve hot or chilled (great as an appetizer, serve in small martini glasses for fun appetizer!

Coconut Cauliflower “Rice”

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 c coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • *Red Pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Chop cauliflower in small florets and place in food processor/vitamix/blender.  (I used a Vitamix, started at Variable 1, for 5 seconds, pulsed to Variable 6 for 2 seconds). You want a “light and fluffy” texture.
  2. Spread coconut flakes on aluminum foil lined baking sheet (I used my small toaster that has the “bake” option for convenience while my shrimp was cooking in the oven).  Cook at 250F for ~5 min (until lightly browned).. be sure not to burn!!
  3. Bring a sauce pan to medium high heat and add 1-2 Tbs coconut oil.  Once saucepan is hot, add cauliflower “rice” and saute about 2-5 min.
  4. Add 1/2
  5. Remove cauliflower and bring a saucepan to medium-high heat.  Add 1-2 Tbs coconut oil.
  6. Add coconut milk, salt, pepper and continue to stir for 5 minutes or until cauliflower is no slightly soft (be aware you don’t want it to be too mushy, just giving texture like “rice”!) … The original recipe adds butter at this last step to mix in just before stirring… your choice, but I enjoyed as is!
  7. Remove from heat, serve immediately with sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes!

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All thanks to my new cookbook ZenBelly!

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“BUN” – LESS Burgers

10616965_259629410902398_1556882209_nGET RID OF THE GRAIN

Wheat is found in everything and its not from the grains used 10,000 years ago but has gone through much hybridization, processing and is genetically a different plant than it was back in the paleolithic era.  I recently read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and am currently reading Grain Brain by Dr Perlmutter to learn more specifically about the modern hybridization of grains.

LOOKING TO RID THE GRAIN?

Are you looking for a way to “get rid of the grains” and get creative in finding new ways to get vegetables to the plate? My Dad thinks it is impossible to eat the way I do (mostly gluten & grain free, lots of vegetables at every meal). However, it is SO much easier than you think.. sometimes you just have to think outside of the box!

CREATIVITY

I see meal time as a game, how can I rid the processed junk in typical American meals and twist them to be MORE tasty, flavorful, and packed with nutritious benefits! Here is a great place to get you started… something the whole family can enjoy… BUN – LESS Burgers! Here are a few ideas to get you started!

BURGERS

Animal products whether beef, lamb, chicken or poultry is a great source of protein, iron, Zinc and B vitamins… but it’s all in the product that your choosing! I am NOT talking about the processed stuff from cattle who were fed on grain, had poor living conditions, and were pumped with hormones.. not to mention the chemicals added after the slaughter! That stuff is NOT good for you.  Some chemicals used in the US are even banned in other countries like ractopamine… is this safe? http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/10/banned-foods.aspx


 CHOOSING THE “MEAT”

What should you choose for burgers? Choose 100% Grass-Fed Beef/Lamb/Turkey (aim for 90% Lean, but if it is local, organic & Grass-Fed to be honest, the “lean” may not be as crucial… it’s when we purchase the conventional meat products when the “extra lean” cuts are super crucial! I dare you, just once, buy the little pricier option at the store and I guarantee you will taste the difference! (P.S. When you are purchasing your meat at the counter, compare the grass-fed cuts to the conventional cuts… see the light vs. dark color? See the marbling (white swirls of fat dispersed)… hmmm… I think I know what one I would choose! Rich red color, 100% Grass Fed Organic for me please! =))

BURGER RECIPE

1 Lb. 100% Grass-Fed, hormone and antibiotic free, local, organic Beef/Lamb

1/2 c chopped yellow onion

2 Tbs Fresh Thyme

1 Tbs Dried Oregano *(Organic is best for dried herbs as dried spices are usually subjected to irradiation in the processing)

1 Tbs Dried Basil *Organic

Directions: Mix all ingredients in bowl, form 4 patties. Drizzle 1 Tbs unrefined organic coconut oil in frying pan (or use a grill) and cook burgers to medium done-ness (should be just slightly pink in the middle)

 


 

BUN – LESS BURGER IDEAS:

  1. Potato Pancake “Bun”

  2. Boston Bibb Lettuce “Bun”

  3. Portobello Mushroom Caps

Ok go try! And don’t forget to add a fresh heirloom summer tomato and sliced avocado to your beautiful bunless burger! Go ahead take a big BITE!=)

Love to hear what you like to do for a “bunless” grain-free burger and what has worked/doesn’t work for you?

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I promise these were AMAZING and totally held up.. I was shocked! Thank you to one of my favorite Paleo cookbooks Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfillipo. I had the guys at the dinner table try it and they approved full thumbs up!

Potato Pancake Recipe

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded sweet potatoes
  • Coconut oil for pan frying10616965_259629410902398_1556882209_n

Directions:Medium sized bowl beat eggs with coconut flour and spices.  Mix in shredded sweet potatoes (use food processor/vitamix/very finely chop) until well combined.  Spoon onto skillet and cook about 2-3 min per side.

(Recipe from Practical Paleo)

 

LETTUCE “BUN”– Use Boston Bibb Lettuce ****
  • I have tried many lettuce wraps with Romaine or Kale, but Boston Bibb Lettuce Caps definitely hold up the best!! Use the larger outside leaves to hold your burger up for big bites! =)

 

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PORTABELLO MUSHROOM CAPS776161
  • I haven’t made these yet but am dying to try… Grill or bake large portobella mushroom caps at 350 F for about 10 minutes before using for these burgers!

Grain-Free “Cereal”

10598404_515686255243309_2080708161_nLooking for a Healthy, Nutritious, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Breakfast that will fill you up and leave you happy and satisfied until your next meal?

As a kid, our staple morning breakfast items were cereal and fruit. LIFE, Cheerios, Kix the list could go on for days.  However, upon learning about the effects gluten can have in the body, and how common gluten intolerance can be in many individuals yet goes undetected, I try to avoid gluten and processed grains (I believe I may have a bit of gluten intolerance myself). I avoid milk/dairy products because of all the hormones injected in our farm animals, and I would just rather choose whole foods that be nutrition stars at all my meals.  So what to do to get that cereal “fix”, that spoonful of cold milk with berries?!

Flaxseeds and Walnuts are both super high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids and act as great anti-inflammatory foods so I popped this in a bowl with unsweetened almond milk along with fresh organic strawberries and blueberries for a boost of antioxidants with a dash of cinnamon (shown to help regulate blood sugar and cravings) and VOILA! Magic just happened!

Not only did this do the cereal “fix” I was craving, but I was SO satisfied and lasted all the way until lunch which is typically NOT the case after breakfast for me personally. So if you are either

1. looking for Gluten/Grain/Wheat-Free, Anti-Inflammatory Breakfast Ideas

2. Looking to increase your Fruit or Omega 3 Fatty Acid intake, or above all…

3. Needing a breakfast to satisfy you until your next meal… well this is IT!

Go on, put the spoon in, fill up and ENJOY!


 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup Ground Flax Seed *Organic if possible *Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts *Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Handful of Organic Blueberries *Super Antioxidant!!
  • Handful of Organic Strawberries
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Dash of Cinnamon

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DIRECTIONS:

  • Combine all ingredients, fill milk to the top, and dig in!
  • Mix & match your berries or nuts to your liking – try a mix of almonds or pecans.  As for fruit, berries are always your best bet, naturally sweet, and has a low glycemic index and won’t cause drastic sugar spikes – causing you to be hungry only an hour later! 😉

Nutrition: 450 kcal, 23 g Fat (0 g Trans, 2 g Sat, 4 g Mono-Unsat), 50 g carb, 13 g protein, 17 g Fiber (*Approximately According to MyFitnessPal.com)

 

 

Time To Relax: 12 Quotes to Start/End Your Day

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Are you constantly stressed, worried, anxious or just plain worn out?  Your body is begging you to take time for yourself and take time to RELAX.  The benefits of meditation and relaxation can have a profound effect on your everyday life.

I myself am very “Type A”, I like to get things done, be “in and out”, and am usually the one speeding down the highway to get to my next destination.  However, life can’t always be in the fast lane.  What would happen if we slowed down and turned the dial down just a notch? You may be rolling your eyes at me saying to yourself “She’s just blabbing about this “meditation thing” that seems all the “hype” these days. But just wait a second, because I myself was the same way just a few years ago!

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Despite the overwhelming amount of research showing the benefits of meditation and relaxation on the brain and body, I wasn’t convinced until I tried it for myself… I just Smile and am so grateful I tried this little “meditation experiment”. I urge you to try the same… Read on!

So yes, I tried meditation not just because of my yoga background, nor because scientific research showed benefits, but because I was going through some difficult points in my life, and I needed something to help me balance out.

 


What does the Research Show? Recent research has revealed compelling evidence that meditation and mindfulness can impact specific brain regions (including the amygdala,  lateral frontal regions, and changes in the hippocampus) affecting neural processes to support emotional control, manage stress, and serve as a treatment for psychiatric disorders (1, 2). The following are just some of the many benefits research has shown:

  • Increased quality of life/well being (especially those in diseased states including diabetes, cancer, fibromyalgia)
  • Support in attention control (ADHD, ADD)
  • Emotional Regulation/ Anger Management
  • Ability to think more clearly
  • Stress Management
  • Ability to rationally think through difficult/frustrating situations/problems
  • Physical benefits including:
    • Reduced inflammation
    • Supportive in cancer treatment
    • Reduced cortisol levels
    • Supportive in treatment for psychiatric disorders


Where To Start?

Here are 12 of some great quotes for you to help get into this peaceful mindset. Start your morning, end your day, or split up the afternoon for just 5 minutes. Breathe, Smile, and Enjoy =)

  1. “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” – Chinese proverb10601699_1456425187961804_465053255_n
  2. “Smile, breathe, and go slowly” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  3. “How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.” – Spanish proverb
  4. “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  5. “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” – Ram Dass
  6. “The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.” – Unknown
  7. “Everything you do can be done better from a place of relaxation.” – Stephen C. Paul
  8. “A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.” – Aesop, Fables
  9. “Who among us hasn’t envied a cat’s ability to ignore the cares of daily life and to relax completely?” – Karen Brademeyer
  10. “Laughter relaxes. And relaxation is spiritual.” – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
  11. “You need not wrestle for your good. Your good flows to you most easily when you are relaxed, open, and trusting.” – Alan Cohen
  12. “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” – Henry David Thoreau

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REFERENCES
1. [Neural mechanisms of mindfulness and meditation: Evidence from neuroimaging studies] World J Radiol. Jul 28, 2014; 6(7): 471–479. Published online Jul 28, 2014. doi:  10.4329/wjr.v6.i7.471 PMCID: PMC4109098 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25071887
2. [Review of the effects of mindfulness meditat… [Sante Ment Que. 2013] – PubMed – NCBI http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24719001

My Fitness Challenge: One-Legged Motivation

20140806_194832I am an avid fitness enthusiast and train the body for strength, endurance,  and flexibility in multiple ways.  A fitness challenge is never too big, so when a recent injury came up I was NOT ready to let that stop me!  I developed “Seismoiditis” pretty much overnight and woke up (after doing a half marathon 2 days prior) unable to step on my left foot.  Seismoiditis is an overusesamoidfinalillusse injury involving chronic inflammation of the seismoid bones and the tendons involved with those bones.

Don’t let an injury stop you from your daily routine!

Despite being unable to put pressure on my left foot, I went on to develop some pretty grueling 1-legged workouts that I wanted to share… If you have had, or currently have an injury, don’t give up! You can still get in an AWESOME workout – your injury is just a fun way to add spice and creativity to what you had planned! And hey, you might get stronger in ways you didn’t know you could… I got my 1st Kipping Pull-UP!


 If you have an injury like mine and are looking for ideas, or just want to get motivated here are the workouts I have done the past few days.

My One-Legged Workouts

Day 1 Workout

  • 10 sets. 6-8 reps. Tempo Push-Ups (slowly down count of 3, explode up  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyAVWRBNqoM)
  • 5-10 Kipping Pull-ups EMOTM 12 Minutes (I got my 1st Kipping Pullup today!!)
  • 5 Handstand Wall Walks (Handstand against the wall, walking5-10 steps to the right and back)
  • 20 seconds Ring Rows, 10 min *EMOTM
  • Handstand Holds 5x, 1 min
  • Supported Ring Holds, 5 x 15-20 sec

Day 2 Workout

  • 5 sets x 5 reps Seated Strict Press (65#) followed by Max Push-Ups between each set
    • Max Push-Ups  (20,17,15,13,12)
  • 14 EMOTM: 20 sec alternating T2B (Toes to Bar) & Burpees

Day 3 Workout

  • Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 9.25.14 AM100 situps
  • 50 1-legged Burpees
  • 40 Push-Ups
  • 30 Pistol Squats (1-legged squat)
  • 20 Hollow Rocks
  • 10 Tempo Push-Ups (slow 3 count down, explode back up)
  • 100 situps
  • 5×5, 1 min handstand with 1 min plank between

Day 4 Workout

(I was pretty mad because the other Crossfitters had an awesome workout with running and double unders, but I had to modify…)

For Time:

  • 25 1-legged Burpees (Rest 2 Min)
  • 100 1-Legged Jump Rope (I was really trying for 1-legged double unders but didn’t get it today)
  • 50 T2B (Toes to Bar)
  • 100 1-legged Jump Rope (Rest 2 Min)
  • 25 Burpees

Score/Time: 13:46 min

… Followed by working on my T2B and Supported Ring Holds (Ring Holds shown in picture on Day 1)


I got this message the next day… It made me smile, and this is why I love working hard for myself, but to also inspire others to do the same!=)
Hey Kristen! It has been a very long time. I think I still have your number but I figured I would message you. I just saw your Instagram post about you pushing through a tough workout with your hiccup of a foot injury. That’s really impressive!
 
I know you have always pushed yourself to the limit and worked extremely hard in the gym; as evident in McComas, everyday, back at Tech. I thought I would send you this note because it was very encouraging to see your video as I always have old, nagging injuries from various sports. I hope everything is going well in general! 

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….. Last year I had an injury on the same foot (small fracture in a bone on the top of my foot)… here is a picture of me still powering through with pistol squats none the less!

 


 If you have an injury don’t let it stop you from achieving your goals.  Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be pistol squats on one leg, but do what works for YOU!

Have ideas, suggestions, or feedback? I would love to hear from you! Contact me

.  =)

 

What’s My Blog About?

As an enthusiastic Registered Dietitian, this blog aims to reflect multiple directions of my life, and the life I hope to inspire in others.  My directive energy driving the “flavor at the moment”, reflects my passions for health, nutrition, fitness, motivation, meditation, mental health, personal strength and creative expression.  Sending strong positive energy, I intertwine these many “flavors” to the common goal of leading a healthy, happy, holistically integrated life! The idea of “Flavor” stems from nutritious plant foods I love and share as a Registered Dietitian.  But the idea of delicious Flavors, branches out further to represent how all parts of life can be beautiful and delicious in our hearts and soul.


What are the “flavors”?  What does this “holistic approach” to health and happiness mean and what resonates with you?

10507852_1447951025482894_784780006_n My nutrition “flavor” as a Registered Dietitian and health food junkie, supports a colorfully  vibrant plant-based diet, with fresh pressed juice.  I share my passion that healthy food IS delicious, easy, and possible! Mostly its about having FUN while getting creative in the kitchen!

    311414_10151168306188208_99227725_nMy fitness “flavor” is to get stronger, faster, and work harder, all driven from the motivation and confidence to be at the body’s peak physical performance always setting the bar one step higher.    I run, bike, teach Bootcamp, strength classes, TRX, body weight HIIT training.  I am one of the few people in this world who actually enjoys Burpees! I have done 5 half marathons and have future goals setting the bar high for triathlon, to do a marathon, and if I ever complete an IronMan I am definitely getting the Ironman tattoo! I am all smiles, but I do enjoy some competition, and I encourage all others to join along!

My motivation “flavor” in myself and in helping others, is to see that change is possible and to not be afraid to challenge yourself. Mind over Matter. You CAN do anything! A friend once said to me

“When things get tough, remember why you started, why you decided to change. Put yourself back in that moment.” – Rich Adrian

 

Dancer along the South River,MA at Sunset
Dancer along the South River,MA at Sunset

My self-love “flavor” supports respecting our bodies and doing things that sometimes goes against what other flavors may speak against. (For ex. You disappoint yourself saying “I can’t do 10 push ups I failed!”… It’s great you set the bar high, but wait, be grateful you have the strength to do 1 push up! WOW! You are Beautiful!!)  ”

“Stop beating yourself up.  You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.”

 

20140623_134437My relaxation & meditation “flavor” is the yoga in me! Yoga is not just a rigorous physical practice, but this flavor aims to bring a meditative calm to the mind, focusing on the present moment, and the importance to slow down, relax, and breathe.


Each “flavor” benefits from the others and they all need each other to get to your best true Self!  Each feeds into the common goal for self-love, optimum health and true happiness. Maybe you can relate to some of mine, maybe not? But I encourage you to look at your inner self, and find what resonates with you! =)