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Inspired By a 4 Year-Old

Sweat.Eat.Transform.

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Get Your Booty Outside!

 

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Folks, this is the last week of summer and there is no better way to take it all in than to take your workouts outdoors.  Take in the fresh air, hear the birds chirping, and take your workouts to a different level.  Don’t waste another minute staring out the window trying to find reasons why you shouldn’t go for a brisk walk or bike ride.  Just do it!

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As always, Healthy Journey!

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Orange Essence Ginger Snaps

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Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup coconut oil or butter, softened

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp orange extract

1 tbsp  orange zest

1 1/2 large egg or 1 extra-large egg, room temperature

1/3 cup molasses

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 tsp ginger

1/8 black pepper

  1. Cream coconut oil and sugar together until fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla and orange extracts, and eggs.  Add molasses until combined.
  3. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper.
  4. Stir flour mixture into wet mixture.  Add 1/3 of flour mixture at a time until combined.  Do not over-mix.
  5. At this point you can form cookie batter into a ball, slightly flatten, and wrap in plastic wrap before freezing (This method is for rolling out dough for cookie-cutter).  Or line loaf pan with plastic wrap being sure to leave overhang on all sides.  Press dough into loaf pan and press down firmly and evenly with overhanging plastic.  This step makes it easy to cut into slices before baking.
  6. Freeze dough for at least one hour or longer before slicing (loaf method).  Allow dough to defrost for about 2 hours at room temperature before rolling out (cookie-cutter method).
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Slice cookies no more than 1/8″ thick.  I like to take a chunk of cookie dough and lay it on a wax paper, take another sheet of wax paper and lay it on top of the cookie dough in order to roll out dough.  It’s also easy clean-up.
  9. Place cookies on sheet pan lined with wax paper.
  10. Cook for 7-12 minutes.  Cook for less time depending on the thickness of your cookies.
  11. Cookies will become crispy after cooling.
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Lemon-Almond Encrusted Salmon

This is my favorite manly meal.  I never considered eating almonds, lemon, and salmon together.  I cooked this fish the other day and fell in love with it.  No more boring fish meals allowed!!!

Lemon-Almond Encrusted Salmon

(This week’s Brown Bag Secret Ingredient: Almonds)

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(Makes 2 Servings)

1/2 cup raw almonds

1 tsp dried parsley

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp lemon pepper

Salt (to taste)

1/4 tsp paprika

1 large egg

2 wild salmon fillets (6-8 oz. each)

2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Toss almonds into blender or food processor.  Blend until almond become powder with a mix of pea size chunks or smaller.  This creates a fabulous texture.
  2. Add almond mixture to bowl along with parsley, lemon zest, lemon pepper, salt, and paprika until combined. You may choose to skip the salt given most lemon-pepper spices also have salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat large egg.
  4. Pat salmon fillets dry with paper towel then dip top in egg until coated well.
  5. Next, coat top of salmon fillets with seasoned almond mixture.  You can lightly press the mixture into fillets to help it stick.
  6. Heat olive oil in large pan (medium-high heat).
  7. Lay fish in pan, presentation side down first.
  8. Cook 5-7 minutes, flipping fish half way through cooking time.
  9. Almonds will toast while cooking giving fish an awesome texture!

Add fish to a bed of green salads for a healthy dinner with tons of protein.

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Brussels Slaw with Almonds and Ginger Dressing

Ginger Brussels Slaw with Almonds

(This week’s Brown Bag Secret Ingredient: Almonds)

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(Makes 4 servings)

1/2 pound brussels sprouts, shredded

4 tbsp slivered almonds

2 tbsp raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)

Ginger Dressing:

1 cup shredded carrots

1/3 cup white wine or rice vinegar

2 tbsp Tahini (sesame paste)

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

1 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp honey

1 apple or pear (optional)

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/4 cup canola oil

  1. Wash and shred brussels sprouts first if you are unable to find pre-shredded sprouts.  Set aside.
  2. Boil water while making dressing.
  3. Next, add carrots, vinegar, tahini, ginger, soy sauce, honey, and apple/pear (for extra sweetness) to blender or processor.  Blend mixture on low and gradually increase speed until mixture is smooth.
  4. Slowly add sesame and canola oil to blender.  Set dressing aside.
  5. Add salt and brussels sprouts into boiling water.  Boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Drain sprouts and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process and keep them crisp and green.
  7. Shake away as much excess water as you can before adding sprouts to mixing bowl.
  8. Slowly add ginger dressing to sprouts until desired flavor intensity is reached.
  9. Add almonds and raisins before serving.
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Almond EnJOY Bars

Almond EnJOY Bars

(This week’s Brown Bag Secret Ingredient: Almonds)

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(Makes 4)

8-10 deglet noor or medjool dates (soaked in unsweetened almond milk for 1 hour)

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut

2 tbsp hemp seeds

1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or sugar-free

  1. Add dates, almonds, walnuts, coconut, and hemp seeds to food processor or blender.  Blend until paste forms.  Feel free to leave a few chunks depending on your preference.  I like the CHUNKY stuff 😀
  2. Line small rectangular container or muffin pan with wax paper or paper cups.  (Divide mixture into four portions if using muffin pan).
  3. Pour mixture into bowl and mix in chocolate chips with spoon or by hand.  This step could be fun, but messy.
  4. Divide mixture into four portions or pour all mixture into small container.
  5. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cutting.
  6. Add chocolate drizzle on top if you just have to have more chocolate in your life.
  7. ENJOY!
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The Brown Bag Secret Ingredient REVEAL!

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This week’s secret ingredient is the almighty BANANA.  Never underestimate the power and versatility of America’s number one fruit.  Have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a snack, or dessert.  Not only are bananas nutritious and awesomely sweet, they’re very inexpensive. Known mostly for its high levels of potassium, which helps to maintain normal blood pressure and keeps your “ticker” functioning properly, bananas also provide a healthy dose of Vitamin C and dietary fiber.  Bananas are also used as a natural antacid to prevent stomach ulcers and protect against ulcer damage.  Here’s one more thing you should know about bananas.  They can help build stronger bones due to a compound known as a prebiotic (fructooligosaccharide), which works with probiotic or the friendly bacteria in your colon.

Below are a few ways I like to enjoy these beauties!

 

Banana Fritters

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Banana Raisin Wrap

Banana Wraps

Sweet Potato Fluff

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

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Coconut-Banana Creme Bowl

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Sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=7

http://www.corsinet.com/trivia/bananas.html

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