Clean Eating Shrimp Jambalaya

Since we are all still staying at home and mostly cooking at home…I wanted to pass along a recipe I used last night.  You could substitute any protein source for the shrimp based on what you have in the house.  Stay safe and keep your nutrition in check these days!  More important than ever now to keep your immune system strong. 

Shrimp Jambalaya

recipe by: Dr. Gabe Mirkin, Drmirkin.com

1 pound shrimp
3 cups bouillon – low sodium
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, broken up
1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon thyme
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Peel the shrimp and set aside. Bring the shrimp shells, bouillon and bay leaf to a boil and simmer 20 minutes while chopping the vegetables. Strain the bouillon and return to the pot. Add the onion, pepper, celery, garlic, tomatoes, rice, hot sauce and thyme to the bouillon and simmer 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Stir in the shrimp, green onion and parsley and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and firm. Serve with ground pepper to taste.

4 servings

 

One final note, if you haven’t found Alton Brown’s (Good Eats) FB posts or You Tube posts about cooking from your pantry, you should check it out.  Look up Pantry Raid and Alton Brown.  Good laughs and creative recipes using common items in your pantry. 

Worth a look!  

Boring Breakfast Solution #8

Don’t suffer from a boring breakfast one more morning, or worse yet, skip it all together. This week I made my own Apple Pie Yogurt and guess what…it took less than 3 minutes. It is low in sugar, full of protein and quick. Here is the recipe:

Apple Pie Yogurt

recipe by eatlivefit.net

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 apple, cored and sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt

Place apple in microwave safe dish and heat for 1 minute until soft but still crunchy. If you like your apple pie filling very soft add 20 second increments to cooking until soft enough. Sprinkle with dash of cinnamon while still hot. Top with 1 cup of Greek yogurt, and serve.

Is it Added Sugar?

I gotta say, I feel slightly badly about posting this incredibly yummy picture of chocolate at the beginning here. It makes my mouth water just looking at it. Here is why I put it here, as a reminder that it nutrition is mind over taste buds:

Making you aware of the recent trends in the food industry has always been a priority of mine, especially when you may think they are a positive change that will help you with good nutrition. So the question here is: Does substituting the white pulp of the cocoa bean count as added sugar in your diet?

The following is an article from That Sugar Film Website, that discusses the positive and negatives of this new trend.

“As awareness around limiting added and free sugar intake increases, food manufacturers are innovating and testing alternatives to provide (what they believe to be) a better, yet still sweetly satisfying, option for consumers to delight in.

Nestlé has recently announced it will be using the white pulp of the cocoa pod — the fleshy part that surrounds the cocoa seeds or beans — in place of “refined sugar” in some confectionery products.

Sounds great, right?

Before we start reaching for these pulp-sweetened chocolates, let’s clear up the confusion around the term “refined sugars”. 

In recent years, this term has been commonly used to differentiate between highly processed sugars, such as white table sugar, from those sugars or sweeteners some consider “healthier”, such as rice malt syrup or coconut sugar. 

But to the body, freely available sugar will still be treated and processed as sugar. Sure, there are better versions than others, but let’s not trick ourselves into believing that because a sugar or syrup is considered less refined, we can glug back a tonne of it. 

So, the removal of some “refined sugar” in a piece of Nestlé confectionery is irrelevant. It is what they replace it with we need to consider.

To our understanding, the cocoa pulp being used in place of stock standard sugar is processed into a dried fruit sugar product and maybe classified as free sugar.

This is because the powder is not an intrinsic sugar, the type of sugar found incorporated within the structure of intact or whole fruit and vegetables, or sugars from milk.Intrinsic sugars we are not concerned with (we absolutely endorse eating whole veg and fruit); it is the added and free sugars we need to keep an eye out for.

The original cocoa pulp, which contains intrinsic sugar, is dried and made into a powdered sugar alternative via a patented technique. It this processing that sees the sugars fall under the definition of free sugars, which includes those originally and naturally present in fruit and veg but processed into a powder, juice, concentrate, purees, and extruded veg and fruit products.2

Nestlé has stated that by using the powdered pulp, overall sugar content is reduced by 40%. That is a plus, along with claims Nestlé is using the cocoa pulp, among other initiatives across their food manufacturing processes, in an attempt to reduce food waste.

This is great from an environmental and business perspective as currently, a fair proportion of the pulp is wasted in the chocolate-making process. 

But this doesn’t make the chocolate they make a ‘health food’ at the end of the day, and if you are going to have some, such products should be treated as a once-in-a-while food.  And as with all other free and added sugars, consumption should still be limited to 6 teaspoons (25g) per day.”

Article By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med)

Thanksgiving updated

I encourage my clients to enjoy their Thanksgiving feast, by keeping their portions in check (protein, carbohydrates and fats). Have what you want, just in moderation! Also remember to jump back on track the next day or that evening with clean meals.

Festive Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries

Difficulty: easy

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice
½ cup brown basmati rice
¾ teaspoon salt
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (may substitute coconut oil)
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 stalks celery, diced
1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1 large apple, peeled and diced
1 cup pecan halves
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Rinse the brown rice in cold running water. Place in a small saucepan with 1 cup water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon (coconut or olive oil) until they become translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Toss the butternut squash cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet( or foil lined). Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until they are cooked and golden. Set aside.
In a small skillet, toast the pecans over medium heat, until they become fragrant. Set aside.

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
In a large salad bowl, gently toss together all of the salad ingredients. Just before serving, add the dressing and toss again. Serve immediately.
This can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days. It will last longer, but the nuts will begin to soften.

(Courtesy of Pinterest, modified by eatlivefit.net)

How Do I know I Am Dehydrated?

Good question, and one that seems obvious to some.  The most common side effect is thirst.  Duh, right?  But did you know that there are many other signals your body sends to your brain when dehydration sets in that you may not be aware of currently?  Such as:

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Cravings for Sweets
  • Fewer trips to bathroom (for #1 or #2)

Here is an excellent article posted in BicyclingMagazine about just these symptoms and how to address them.
https://www.bicycling.com/news/a20044214/dehydration-symtoms/

Drinking plain, old fashioned water is the best way to keep your body working in perfect order. Every organ, tissue, and cell in your body needs it. Add an electrolyte drink when exercising at a strenuous level for more than 1 hour. Pretty plain and simple. You demand a lot from your body, so give it what it needs to perform at it’s best.

pexels-photo-113734.jpeg

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

 

 

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

Super easy and very flavorful. Healthy food does NOT mean bland food.

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai)

Recipe By:Chef John, modified by eatlivefit.net

Ingredients
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or as needed
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey or chicken
1/4 cup sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced Thai chilies, Serrano, or other hot pepper
1 cup very thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
2 cups hot cooked rice

Directions
Whisk chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar together in a bowl until well blended.  Set aside.

Heat large skillet over high heat. Drizzle in oil. Add chicken and stir fry until it loses its raw color, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in shallots, garlic, and sliced chilies. Continue cooking on high heat until some of the juices start to caramelize in the bottom of the pan, about 2 or 3 more minutes. Add about a tablespoon of the sauce mixture to the skillet; cook and stir until sauce begins to caramelize, about 1 minute.

Pour in the rest of the sauce. Cook and stir until sauce has deglazed the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until sauce glazes onto the meat, 1 or 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in basil. Cook and stir until basil is wilted, about 20 seconds. Serve with rice.

Coconut Lime Rice Side Dish

I found this recipe on a blog that I frequently use for workout ideas. pfit/pfood.  I tried it out and really like the flavor and texture enough to share it with you.  I expect it will become a regular side dish in my house going forward.  Coconut-Rice

Serving Size – 1/2 cup, makes 6-8 servings

The Hard Truth About Weight Loss

I wanted to weigh in on the timing of weight loss the right way.  The honest truth is weight loss takes time.  How much time you ask, depends on your individual situation.  What works for one person, your friend perhaps, may not work for you.  You are your own unique being.  You have your own set of circumstances, challenges and talents.  Thus, your body has it’s own schedule for weight loss.

I will tell you that no matter the length of time, the effort you put into weight loss will come back to benefit you.  During the first few weeks, months for some of you, amazing transformations are happening inside your body that you cannot view with the naked eye.  Every cell in your body is leaning and preparing for change, mitochondria are gaining efficiency in energy production and your gut is building up healthy bacteria.  These are the first steps in preparing your body for weight loss.

“What we acquire without sweat, we give away without regret”

This little phrase has helped me remember that I have to “work” for results.  They are WAY more meaningful if I have worked to make them happen then if they came easily and without effort.  The self confidence gained from, “I did it,” is much more valuable and meaningful.

I agree with this recap on the time and effort it takes to achieve weight loss from several trainers at http://www.myfitnesspal.com article this month:

“You probably already know it can take a while to see the benefits of working out and eating healthy, but knowing something and accepting it are two different things. “Many clients will join a fitness program only to terminate too soon,” says Michael Piercy, MS, certified strength and conditioning specialist, owner of The LAB and IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year 2017. Think about it this way: “The weight that you might want to lose didn’t get there in one day, so we know that it won’t come off in a day.”
Plus, there’s the fact that losing weight really quickly isn’t a great idea. “The faster you lose weight, the more likely it is to come right back (plus some) when you stop dieting,” says Christel Oerum, a certified personal trainer and diabetes coach. “When you lose weight too quickly, you also decrease your body’s metabolism, meaning that you burn fewer calories. When you have reached your weight goal and go back to a normal, healthy diet, you may have decreased your metabolism so much that even a ‘normal’ diet will make you gain weight fast.” That’s why slow and steady is the best approach, which means 1–2 pounds of weight loss per week maximum.” – 8 Things Trainers Wished Everyone Knew About Weight Loss Article

 

 

Flat Tire Syndrome

How familiar does this scenario sound to you?

You woke up this morning with great intentions, new day, new start.  You downed a glass of water as you cooked breakfast.   You ate a healthy breakfast of eggs, oatmeal and fruit.  At lunch , you erred on the side of grilled chicken with a huge plate of salad (even though I wanted to add in the sugar laden cranberries and opt for the fried chicken).  Dinner was a quick meal of steak and vegetables before running out the door for an evening packed with carpool, and activities or errands.  When you arrive home, tired and hungry later that evening, you open the bag of Oreos and finished off the whole first row.

Can you relate?  You are not alone. The average person makes over 200 decisions about food everyday?  It is really a lot!   Each one of those choices can support or hinder your weight goals.  Some days you get all the choices right 100%, and others you veer off course.  Mindfulness is a BIG part of a healthy diet.  Remembering that life is about balance and not perfection.  Being honest with yourself is also key.  Being aware of all the food choices you make each day and how they impact your total caloric intake is important.  Merely consuming an extra 100 calories a day, each day, can add up to 10 lbs. of weight gain each year to your body*.  Reminding yourself of this may be motivation enough to keep you focused on your goals of staying healthy and feeling your best.  Rather than beating yourself up about one slip up, realize that tomorrow is another chance to start fresh and make better choices.

Have you heard of the Flat Tire Syndrome?  Picture this, you are leaving work for the day and arrive at your car only to discover one of the tires is flat.  Since one tire is flat, would you go around the car and slash all the other tires to make them all flat?  Of course not, that would only make your situation much worse than it already is currently.  The same it true for a healthy diet.  When you make a poor choice (eating the entire sleeve of cookies), it doesn’t help to give into an inner voice telling you that you already blew it, so you might as well eat the rest of the package.  NO!  A better approach is to write off the one sleeve of cookies, put away whatever is tempting you, and choose another activity.  Making a mindful choice to stop what you are doing and make a change, is a step in a direction that will build your confidence and make you proud of yourself.  Each day is a fresh start.

*source Brian Wansink, Cornell Food and Brand Lab in Ithica, NY

Caribbean Tuna Cakes

I have to confess, I am not a big fan of canned tuna.  I enjoy fresh tuna, but the canned variety has never really caught on for me.  Perhaps it was because I was using the canned variety that looked more like cat food.  Recently, I found albacore tuna packed in water that has a milder taste.  When I rediscovered this recipe, with the jerk flavor, I had to retry it.  This is my new favorite lunch, because eaten cold or rewarmed, these are wonderful for several days.  Pair with a Napa cabbage slaw (thinly sliced Napa cabbage, drizzled with lime juice, jerk seasoning and vinegar) and you have a meal!!

Caribbean Tuna Cakes

1 small red onion

1 small green pepper, diced

1/4 cup mayo (olive oil based)

1 1/3 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs

2 tbsp. Jamaican Jerk Rub

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans chunk light tuna (albacore in water), drained

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

fresh lime or lime juice

 

Finely chop onion and bell pepper.  Combine mayonnaise, 1 cup of bread crumbs and jerk rub in small bowl.  Add onion, bell pepper, beans, and tuna to same bowl.  Mix to combine.  Place remaining bread crumbs on plate.  Using hands, form small patties, approx. 1/2 inch thick, with tuna mixture and pack firmly.  Press gently in to bread crumbs to lightly coat outside of each patty.  Mixture will fall apart very easily if pressed or pushed into crumbs, so use caution.  Turn cake over to lightly coat other side.  Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in pan on stove over medium heat.  Add 1/2 tuna cakes ; cook 2-3 minutes until golden brown, turning once.  Heat remaining oil in pan and repeat with remaining cakes.  Serve warm with lime slices and a extra dash of jerk seasoning on top.

Yield: Approx. 12 cakes

recipe by: Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner, modified by eatlivefit.net