Monthly Archives: January 2015

Zucchini Turkey Burgers With Lemon Yogurt Sauce and Coconut Rosemary Sweet Potato Rounds

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If I could have this every night for dinner, I think I would.  This little dish has it ALL.  The burger coupled with the sauce, and the sweet potato rounds – no words.  I have no words.

The sweet potatoes were actually supposed to be chips, but I cut them a bit too thick, and really loved them just the way they were!  So, if you want them more like chips, slice super thin and cook until crispy.   I found the recipe for the sweet potato chips on Paleo Grubs.

I originally made the paleo bread – the last recipe I posted – thinking I could serve the burgers on it.  That was a no go, but let me tell you – this burger needs NO bread!!!  I served it more as an open faced sandwich with the paleo bread, but you don’t even need the bread!!  I found the burger recipe on The Iron You and adapted just a tad – adding in green onions instead of scallions, but you might want to try scallions or onions.  I garnished with avocado and tomato and a little more green onions.  So fresh, and SO good, and makes GREAT leftovers!!

Burgers

INGREDIENTS 

1 lb / 453 gr organic ground turkey
1 large zucchini, grated
1/4 cup Green onions, thinly chopped
1 free-range organic egg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I used dried because I didn’t have fresh)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

Lemon Yogurt Sauce

1 container (7 oz / 198 gr) plain Greek yogurt
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Chopped green onions for garnish

Directions

In a small bowl combine all sauce ingredients, stir well and set aside.
In a large bowl combine all burger ingredients and with dampened hands shape into burgers (you can also make meatballs if you feel like.)
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and cook burgers, in batches, until golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes per side (it really depends on the size of your burgers.)
Serve warm with lemon yogurt sauce on the side.

Nutrition facts

One burger (undressed) yields about 117 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs and 13 grams of protein.

Sweet Potato Rounds 

Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel (optional – I didn’t peel mine!) sweet potatoes and slice thinly, using either a mandolin or sharp knife. If you want them more like mine – just slice a little thicker than a chip.  In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with coconut oil, rosemary, and salt.
  2. Place sweet potato chips in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip the chips over and bake for another 10 minutes. For the last ten minutes, watch the chips closely and pull off any chips that start to brown, until all of the chips are cooked.

Hot Chocolate 15k

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I have to admit right off the bat – the reason, and I’m saying the sole, one and only reason why I wanted to do this race was because of the finisher’s medal.  The smart people behind this race knew exactly how to suck me (and millions of other women and men, but probably mostly women) in.  They sent out an email entitled “Have you seen the 15k finisher’s medal?”  Well, of course I had to take a gander…so, I opened the email…and then, I saw IT.  The medal looked like a beautifully wrapped chocolate bar peeled back at the corner with a bite taken out of it!  A. CHOCOLATE. BAR!!!!!  I had to have it.  One look, and I knew I had to have this one to add to my collection!  I mean, seriously – doesn’t it look like I’m eating a chocolate bar??!!!

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My wonderful friend Rhandee agreed to go do this fun run with me, so we piled in her car and drove to Atlanta for a one night getaway and a 9.3 mile, very cold, very hilly run. Being a bit injured lately, I wasn’t sure how I would do. To finish was the goal – even if I had to crawl over the finish line – I was getting that damn chocolate medal! I took 2 weeks off, and have been seeing my ART/chiropractor – Dr. Audra Lance twice a week.  I had my back and hip  rock taped to high heaven, and prior to the race hadn’t jogged – or done anything to that matter – in 4 days (oops.)…  I thought I really might have to crawl to the finish line, but I managed to keep it all together.

I’m lucky enough to be a part of a great group of runners – the Fleet Feet racing team!  (I like to say I’m the slow, injured one on the team).  One of the other girls joked that she’s the mascot – and I said – well, now you guys have 2!  But, I’m so blessed to be a part of this great team and this wonderful company, and to sport the FF logo!

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The alarm went off at 5:20am, and I got up and put the coffee on.  We got up, headed to the shuttle and froze for about 45 minutes before the run.  We happened to find the merchandise tent where a bunch of people were huddled to keep warm – BODY WARMTH!!!  10 minutes before the start – we headed out, stopped and did a little zumba and got in our corral.  One of the beauties about doing early am races is that sometimes you get to see the sunrise…

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Aside from the bone chilling cold, and the hill at mile 7 that I thought might kill me – this was a precious race!  They had chocolate chip stops, people handing out tootsie rolls, and chocolate marshmallows along the way.  I was too busy trying not to die and get a drink of water or gatorade at the stops to enjoy the chocolate.  After the race, they served everyone a chocolate fondue bowl with melted chocolate and bananas, marshmallows and cookies for dipping with a cup of hot chocolate in the middle!  Nowwwww – I gave up sweets this month, so you’ll be happy to hear that I did not partake in any of the fondue, BUT I did drink the hot chocolate because it was freakin’ freezing out there!

All in all – we had a GREAT time!  It was wonderful to get away for a minute and see some new scenery.   With my injuries I ran the 15k in 1:17, which is about an 8:20 mile average.  Not the greatest, but not the worst, and I did better than I thought I would!  But most importantly, we got what we came for – the chocolate medal!!!  This was an amazing little adventure with a great friend.  We caught up, had girl time, and accomplished a goal.  So, whatever it is you’re running for – a chocolate medal, a time goal, a charity…  Know that you can do it!  When your feet cross that finish line – the miles you ran, the training that you put in, the gear, the sweat, and the time – will all be worth it

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Paleo Sandwich Bread

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I couldn’t help but add every picture I took of this beautiful bread!!  Sometimes, you just need carbs, and there’s no better way to get them than to MAKE THEM FROM SCRATCH.  This is an amazing bread that you can use for sandwich bread or just slice it up and snack on it.  It’s completely natural, and you know every ingredient going into it!  THAT is what eating healthy is about, my friends!!!  Non-processed, all natural, the real deal – BAM!!!!!  So. Good.

I got the recipe from Paleo Grubs, and didn’t change a thing!!

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal ( I do think you could sub almond meal if you don’t have flaxseed)
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, blend the almond butter, eggs, coconut oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar together with a hand blender.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flaxseed meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  3. Pour the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until browned and completely set. Remove from the oven and allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one week.

Finding a Balance: Managing an Eating Disorder, Exercise Addiction and LIFE – Client Spotlight – Leann Crossno

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Leann Crossno became a fast friend after we started working together. Partly because she’s freakin’ awesome, and partly because she is so open and honest with me, but mostly because of her heart.  (It also doesn’t hurt that she’s in the fashion business and has helped make some of my fashion dreams come true!  More on that later…) Leann is also an inspiration. – not just to me, but I feel like she has the potential to be an inspiration to many people out there.

Last year, when I wrote my blog about battling depression, I had many women reach out and say – THIS is my story and they really related to what I said. Then, even aside from depression, a lot of them felt comfortable enough with me to share their personal stories, and a lot of them came out about having eating disorders.  Personally, an ED is something that I’ve never battled with, but it effects a lot of women, and I mean A LOT.  Being in health and fitness, it’s something that needs to be addressed and talked about openly.  It’s not something to be ashamed of.  Our society has really pressured and encouraged women that “skinny” is the only way to be and that really skinny is sexy.  BULLSH!T!!!!  Strong, healthy, curvy, muscly, and normal is SEXY. Really, being in love with yourself and accepting how you are is SEXY.  I mean look at this girl!  🙂  We call this the FBI vest….

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Leann reached out to me, and came to me with a few different issues – a torn shoulder and a stress fracture in her ankle due to over exercising.  Aside from her injuries, she came to me and was completely honest about her struggles with an eating disorder. I was in awe of her honesty and willingness to deal with her ED and to conquer it!! I know that her sharing her story will help many other women out there.  I asked Leann some questions, and here is what she said…

How long have you battled an eating disorder?  

My struggle with anorexia and exercise addiction started at age 14 as I entered high school. I had always dealt with extreme anxiety even as a child, and change such as starting high school was probably the trigger. Eating disorders are really a control issue and not just about the food. So anytime my life has felt out of control I have used restricting and exercise as my coping mechanism. 

What have you done to battle and deal with it?

I have been in and out of treatment for both anorexia and anxiety since age 15. I have done in patient programs along with out patient therapy and sought help from a nutritionist.

Has working one on one with someone helped you?

When I came to Megan I was broken, both physically and mentally. I had full blown overtraining syndrome including a torn labrum, stress fracture in my right foot and neck injury all from over exercise. I was training 7 days a week intensely and 3-4 days a week I would train twice a day. I was sleeping maybe 4 hours a night bc my body was so hyped on endorphins. My body was constantly starving, I was cranky and anxious.  My doctor gave me strict orders on what I could and could not do and I finally listened. I knew I had to turn my life around. I was open and honest from the get go with Megan about all my issues and she immediately helped me set boundaries with lifting, cardio, etc. She could see I wanted to push myself past the point of what I should do and helped me understand why I shouldn’t. She was also extremely helpful with my food intake making sure I was eating, texting me to check on me, supporting me with my struggles because when I had to stop exercising, it was like withdrawing from a drug. Probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Megan became not only my trainer but also one of my biggest supporters. 

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What role does health and fitness play in your life and your ED?

Through all this, health and fitness has become such an integral part of my life. Yes I do still struggle with the urge to overexercise. Sometimes when there’s a life issue that comes up the first thought is I should restrict or go exercise again but then I realize that’s just me trying to cope in an unhealthy way. Now I look forward to my daily workouts which are a combo of low impact cardio such as walking or biking, and light weight lifting. I do cardio daily and strength training about 3-4 times a week typically. I try to follow a meal plan because that works for me well. I’ve also learned the importance of self care and rest. Because my injuries still affect me daily, I have to take care of myself. I do have a lot of pain still so I have to say no to doing a lot if things I wouldn’t have in the past like going out, etc. It’s all about moderation in life all areas.  And, yes I still struggle with all or nothing  thinking but I’ve definitely made some significant strides bc of the support I have and have learned to accept. 

What advice would you give to people out there struggle with an ED?

For anyone struggling with an eating disorder my first piece of advice would be ask for help. Seek support. I can’t say that enough.  For years and years I lived in hiding that this was something to be ashamed of. It’s not. Everyone has struggles, and this is mine.  Be accepting of those. I was fortunate enough to find an amazing therapist this last year who specializes in eating disorders and addiction issues and she has helped me to understand that you must get to the root of the disorder to treat it. So I’m still working with her on this and am now aware of where this all stems from. I also have a great supporter in Megan along with several close friends and an amazing boyfriend that I know are all there for me. Whether it be family, friends, or a therapist never be ashamed to ask for help. I wish I had a long time ago because I may not have had to deal with this on and off for 20 years. 

 There will be hills and valleys along your road to recovery. Don’t beat yourself up for one slip up. Admit it, accept it, and move forward. I don’t believe I will ever be “cured” or “fixed” but I do believe I can manage this because I have accepted the fact that it’s ok that I have this. It doesn’t define me it’s just a part of me. 

What an inspiration!  Leann is happy with herself, and has recently found love.  When you love yourself, then you can truly love someone else…  I couldn’t be happier for you, Leann.  I mean, you can SEE the happy!

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Thank you so much, Leann, for sharing your story and being a light in this world.  This is not an easy subject to talk about openly but I believe if we open the door and start to share and talk about our struggles, we can all help each other with what we deal with.  We all deal with issues personally, and finding people to share with, walk beside of, and lift us up is what is truly important.  Thank you Leann, for being one of these people for me, trusting me to be one for you, and for opening the door for so many others out there.

As I mentioned above – Leann has an awesome job!  I mean – a personal shopper/fashion consultant – ah-mazing.  She has helped some of my fashion dreams come true on a very limited budget.  Want your closet cleaned out or have a dream bag you’re looking for?  She’s the one to help you! Here I am with a few of my Leann finds…

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Feel free to contact her at leanncrossno@gmail.com.  Here’s more about what she does in her own words.

I graduated with a degree is fashion merchandising from the university of Tennessee at Martin. After college I had a successful career in banking and real estate but fashion has always been my true love. After a job transfer for my ex husband that resulted In me having to leave my job, I took a job at a resale boutique part time. The store realized I had an eye for designer fashion and a strong interest in high end handbags and hired me full time to work with that type of merchandise. I moved to Nashville in early 2013 to assist a longtime friend in opening a resale boutique. Since then I’ve assisted in opening 3 more boutiques. I now focus on personal shopping, the buying and selling of high end handbags and accessories, along with closet organization. I do everything from pricing merchandise for resale boutiques to finding buyers and sellers for high end goods to cleaning out closets and selling the contents for my clients. My goal is to be a full service go-to for both resale boutique owners as well as shoppers. So if you are looking for a particular bag or need your closet cleaned out for some extra cash I’m your gal! 🙂 

 

 

 

Cauliflower Everything Bagels

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So, I’ve become obsessed with cauliflower recently.  I mean, I might as well start growing it.  It’s gotten to the point where people are tagging me on Facebook in cauliflower recipes…  I’m not mad about it.

I found this recipe on Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, and just had to try it out.  I have to say – if you don’t like cauliflower, you may not love these, but they are a GREAT sub for carbs!!  And they are the perfect little fix when you need a bagel – just maybe lay off the cream cheese. 🙂  My suggestion is to really cook these through – the more you bake them, the better they get.  I also ate them the next few days by putting my stove on broil and throwing one on the rack to brown and warm it up.  YUM!

(I put her original recipe below and what I used instead in parentheses.)

Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower, riced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp organic corn meal (I used almond meal)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
“Everything” Topping
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp dried minced garlic (I used more garlic powder for this instead)
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion (I didn’t have this so I just left it out)
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. In a food processor, or using a hand grater, pulse/grate cauliflower until rice consistency
  3. In a bowl combine eggs, cauliflower rice, almond flour, coconut flour, corn meal, garlic powder, and salt
  4. In a separate bowl combine “everything” topping ingredients
  5. Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet
  6. Make even sized balls and lay onto parchment paper.
  7. To make a few of them look like bagels – I punched a hole lightly in the middle with the end of a wooden spoon.  🙂
  8. Sprinkle “everything” topping and slightly press them into the top
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bread-like consistency (it might be longer depending on the size you make)
  10. Optional: Broil on high for 3-5 minutes after baking
  11. Optional: For extra crisp, remove from baking sheet and do the broiling step with the buns directly on the oven rack
  12. Remove from baking sheet and let cool directly on a cooling rack
  13. Serve with your favorite sandwich ingredients

Asian Ginger Salmon and Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

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Okay, so I have a new obsession – Cauliflower Fried Rice.  It’s insane!  I’m not a huge fan of cauliflower raw without it being drenched in ranch dressing, but lately I’ve found so many amazing recipes – pizza, fried rice…  I mean I can’t wait to see what else is out there!  I’m planning on making a huge batch of this each week and eating it during the week.  (If it lasts that long…the last batch lasted 1 day…oops.)  I added some chicken to my leftovers – so so good.

I found both of these recipes on Lex’s Clean Kitchen, which is one of my favorite blogs.  I adapted them a bit to taste and to shat I had available…a couple of her ingredients I think would even add to the Asian taste, and flare – I just didn’t have them!  So, check out her original recipes.

I had a friend recently send me a sample of this amazing gluten free, low sodium soy sauce, and I’m now using it for all of my Asian influenced cooking!  Go check it out – so good!!

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Asian Ginger Salmon 

INGREDIENTS

Marinade
  1. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  2. 1/4 tbsp raw honey
  3. 2 tbsp balsamic
  4. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 3 tbsp fresh grated or powdered ginger
  6. Optional: dash red pepper flakes
Everything else
  1. 1 lb. wild salmon
  2. Garnish with green onions
INSTRUCTIONS
  1.  In a bowl mix together marinade ingredients and pour over salmon
  2. Let marinade for at least 20 minutes in fridge (the longer the better)
  3.  Place oven on broil
  4.  Transfer salmon to a baking sheet and broil for 8-10 minutes
  5.  Garnish and serve

Cauliflower Fried Rice

INGREDIENTS
  1. 1 head cauliflower
  2. 2-3 carrot stalks, chopped
  3. 1 cup frozen organic peas
  4. 1 zucchini, chopped
  5. 1 head broccoli, finely chopped
  6. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  7. 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  8. 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  9. Handful of spinach
  10. 4 organic eggs
  11. 1 tbsp garlic powder
  12. 1 tsp onion powder
  13. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more to taste)
  14. 3-4 tbsp soy sauce
  15. 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt, more to taste
  16. 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1.  Using your food processor or cheese grater, pulse/grate cauliflower until rice consistency
  2. Cut up all veggies you’re going to use and set aside
  3.  In one pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté 2 cloves crushed garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes, then add in the rest of your veggies (except for spinach) and mix well for 6-8 minutes
  4. Add cauliflower rice to the pan and mix well, let cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Make a hole in the center of your rice and put eggs in. Once scrambled in the center, mix in completely with the rice. Add scallions and mix again.
  6.  Add garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper,  and soy sauce and mix well
  7.  Add spinach and mix until sautéed
  8. Taste and adjust spices as desired

Paleo Sweet Potato Waffles

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I had leftovers after making sweet potato waffle iron hash browns a couple of nights ago, so naturally I had to use the rest of the sweet potato that I had!  These are SO good, and super filling. I was only able to eat half of one because they are so satisfying!  I found the original recipe on Paleo Newbie and then made a few changes.

After I made the hash browns the other night, I had a good amount of chopped/food processed sweet potato left, so I just put it in a bowl in the fridge.  Today, I took it out, nuked it for 5-6 minutes to cook it, and then proceeded with the recipe!  Easy Peasy!!

Happy, healthy eating my friends!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cooked and mashed sweet potato (about 2 potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tbs coconut flour
  • 3 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbs agave or maple syrup (then extra for topping)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your waffle maker
  2. Separate the eggs’ yolks and whites. Place egg whites in a small bowl and set aside. Add the yolks to your main mixing bowl (see next step)
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the yolk and all of the above ingredients (except the egg whites) and blend well with an electric mixer – about 3 minutes. The batter will be thick – don’t thin it!
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with electric mixer until peaks form – about 3-4 minutes
  5. Now fold the egg whites into the sweet potato mixture until blended into the batter
  6. Lightly grease your preheated waffle maker with coconut oil
  7. Pour batter into molds and cook until golden
  8. Serve with a fruit topping or maple syrup if desired!