07/6/15

Endive fish tacos

This is one of those recipes that you can whip up within 15 minutes.

One of those recipes that’s perfect for a busy weeknight, or when you’ve just come home from a whirlwind vacation and still don’t feel like doing A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. #vacationhangover

I don’t make fish tacos as often as I’d like, so starting today I’ll be changing that with these babies on our weeknight dinner rotation!

Instead of tortillas or traditional taco shells I used fresh and crisp endive leaves! They made these fish tacos super easy to devour, low carb and incredibly yummy. And although I love endive, my favorite part of this dish would have to be the creamy remoulade I whipped up with ingredients right out of my fridge. 

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Endive fish tacos serves 2-3
3-4 fresh fish small/medium sized filets (I used mahi-mahi, but any white flaky fish will work)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne (leave out for milder flavor)
1 tsp. sea salt & 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
10-12 endive leaves, removed from stem
1/2 fresh lemon or lime
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
topping options: guacamole, fresh radish sticks, pico de gallo, chopped bell peppers, fresh cilantro
For the remoulade
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoon capers, minced
1 tsp. dill pickles, minced
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tbsp. hot sauce (I used Crystal)
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt & 1 tsp. cracked black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 425. Coat fish in cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Wrap with aluminum foil or parchment paper (drizzle a bit of olive oil before sealing the pouch), place on a tray or pan and cook for 15 minutes or until fish is firm and flaky. 
2. While the fish is cooking, prepare the remoulade by whisking all ingredients together. Set aside. 
3. Remove the fish from the oven, squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon or lime over the fish and let cool for a few minutes, then start building your endive fish tacos! Fill each leaf with a portion of fish, top with remoulade and toppings of your choice! I topped mine with fresh radishes and bell peppers! Enjoy! 

06/24/15

4 years

4 years ago Brian and I went on our first date.

I didn’t know it then, but he would turn out to be my best friend, the person to kiss me goodnight, hold my hand when I’m worried and hold me tight when I’m scared. 

I didn’t know it then, but he would turn out to be my shoulder to cry on, my ear to confide to, and my voice of reassurance. 

I didn’t know it then, but he would turn out to be the love of my life. 

Each morning I wake up and think about how lucky I am to be where I am at today.
Each morning I’m excited about life; excited about a new day, excited about the future. 

Brian, I love you more than words can say! 
Yours forever, Steph xoxo11178244_10153348200852474_6010548682286090715_n

06/21/15

Shrimp with chorizo and peppers

Chorizo is one of those things I never really had on my radar until just recently. Chorizo is a dried and cured sausage in a casing. It can be usually found with other ready-to-eat cured meat products like salami. But chorizo can also be fresh! I prefer the fresh kind- especially when I can make it myself and prepare it a bit more on the healthy side. 

Today I was craving chorizo and decided to whip up a homemade version of fresh chorizo made with ground turkey! 

I was already cooking shrimp for Brian’s mom, so I went ahead and combined the two and whipped up an absolutely scrumptious Sunday supper in a snap! 

Shrimp with chorizo and peppers serves 2
For the sausage (this makes extras so keep it for later in the week!)
1lb ground turkey
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (omit if you want milder chorizo)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. chili powder

For the shrimp and peppers
8-10 uncooked shrimp- shelled, veined and tail off
2 poblano peppers sliced into strips
2 sweet red bell peppers sliced into strips

Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add all seasonings into the oil and cook for 1 minute. Add the ground turkey and stir to coat with the seasoned oil. Brown until fully cooked. Using a slotted spatula, remove from the pan and add to a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside. 

In the same pan, add peppers and saute until soft. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add shrimp into the pan and sear 2 minutes on each side. When the shrimp is cooked, add the 1 cup of the chorizo and all of the peppers into the pan. Turn of the heat and stir to combine. Enjoy! unnamed

06/18/15

Anjolee Jewelry Review

I was invited to review Anjolee.com in exchange for compensation. However, all opinions and statements are my own.

I’ve never been much of a fine jewelry owner. Mostly because I’m known for losing accessories, so people don’t really buy these  items for me!

Earrings down the drain, necklaces left in far off vacation destinations, bracelets washed away in the ocean (see, I even forget to take stuff off!). Heck, even my Fitbit has become MIA! Again. I can still remember a pair of earrings I left in a hotel in Atlanta after a weekend vacation to see the Braves play when I was ten. Oy! Continue reading

06/17/15

Fox Fitness update (and benefits of working out with a trainer!)

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, today I wrapped up 3 weeks with Fox Fitness11407043_1103847322961941_7289741310017489761_n

We started our morning with mid-month measurements and a fitness assessment! Since my first workout session on May 27th I’ve lost inches on my hips, upper arms and thighs (<based on both gym & at home measurements)! And as I mentioned yesterday, my ankles and feet feel so much stronger from working out on the squishy martial arts mats without shoes. That’s a BIG plus for me because I’ve struggled with things like Plantar’s Fasciitis in the past and can use all the help I can get with strengthening my feet and ankles! 

Today was my first fitness assessment with Fox Fitness. Assessments are done monthly and give clients a way to measure progress in methods other than the scale. The goal is to challenge ourselves each month to get stronger and more flexible so that we can smash our fitness assessment results each month! Here’s what our assessment looked like this morning:
1) How many push-ups in 1 minute. 
2) How many crunches in 1 minute.
3) How many squat jumps in 1 minute. 
4) How many burpees in 1 minute. 
5) How long can you hold a right side plank. 
6) How long can you hold a left side plank. 

So how did I do? Here’s my baseline data that I hope to improve next month!
1) Push-ups: 26
2) Crunches: 39
3) Squat jumps (I just did squats to tippy toes): 31
4) Burpees: 14
5) Right side plank: 56 seconds
6) Left side plank: 60 seconds

This is also a great assessment to do at home! Give it a try and see what you can accomplish and what you can do to improve each time you complete it! One of the things you might consider is working out with a trainer. It’s a complete myth that hiring a personal trainer will break your bank. There are SO many options out there (one-on-one training, group training, classes, etc) where you can have the ability to work with a fitness professional and stay within your budget. It’s important to do your research, see what you can afford and see what’s available in your area. 

I started working out with a trainer a few years ago and it has been SUCH a great experience for me. Whether it’s small group training at Fox Fitness and Orangetheory Fitness or one-on-one training with a run/triathlon coach, having a fitness professional by my side has been the key to reaching my goals, gaining confidence and enjoying the process. 

5 reasons why working with a trainer works for me

1. Accountability. Working with a trainer is like having “Big Brother” watching you. (In a good way, of course). Especially if you befriend that trainer on Facebook, Twitter and the like (lol!). In all seriousness, having someone on your side, checking in with you and keeping you on your toes has been a great way for me to stay accountable. If you find yourself in a situation where you absolutely can’t work with a trainer, find ways to network with like-minded individuals and put your goals out there. Social media, forums, and blogs can be a great way for you to share your progress, be seen and get the support you need to help you maintain that level of accountability in your quest for better health and wellness.

2. Form correction and injury prevention. Before I started working with a trainer I literally knew nothing about strength training. I’ve learned so much from having someone there teaching me correct form and how to prevent my body from injury. I love having someone constantly modeling and patiently demonstrating the ins and outs of our workouts to ensure that we have a successful and safe experience.

3. Challenge. Like I said before, I had no idea what strength training was or how to even start. Working with a trainer has challenged me to push my body to limits I never thought were possible.  It’s neat to see the transformation in both my physical shape and abilities. I feel challenged every time I start a training session and leave feeling like I did more than I had done the previous workout.

4. Motivation. Even when I’m feeling like I can’t possibly give another rep, burpee or mile, my trainers push me to get it done. That positive reinforcement has really made a difference in my mindset. As a teacher, I know how effective and powerful a little positive motivation can be. It’s the same in the real world, kids, and when we’re feeling tired, down and frustrated, we need it the most!

5. Planning. For me, I’ve found that trainers are experts at “seeing the big picture.” They help me set short and long term goals that help to guide my training. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with your journey to your healthiest self, the process can feel quite daunting and frustrating. A trainer can help keep you on that forward thinking path, celebrate small successes and accomplishments, give hope, courage and the confidence to keep at it.

If you’re in the Tampa, FL area, and want to get a taste of what working out with a trainer is like while helping to raise money and bring awareness to an AMAZING local organization, join us on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 8:45am for a special event! 
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We’ll be sweating for the Centre for Girls on Saturday morning during a fun, strengthening and calorie-burning workout! The suggested donation is $15, but any amount will help! Come and meet Becky Fox, learn all about Fox Fitness and help give back to our community! For more details, check out the event on Facebook by clicking here. 

Have you or do you work with a personal trainer? What are your thoughts?
Steph :)

06/10/15

Celebrate #NationalIcedTeaDay with Sweet Leaf!

Disclosure: I am working with Sweet Leaf tea to help spread the word about their upcoming campaign. I was compensated with product. All refreshing opinions are my own!

June 10th is National Iced Tea Day!
I’m a BIG fan of iced tea- especially fruit infused teas. 
At one time I pretty much hated tea! But as I’ve become older, I’ve learned to love it. 

I was recently introduced to Sweet Leaf Tea. All I can say is YUM! Continue reading

06/8/15

Fox Fitness update (and a new recipe!)

A little over a week ago I started working out with personal trainer Becky Fox at Fox Fitness in Tampa. It’s been an AWESOME experience! Like I said in my introduction post, Becky is positive, patient and super motivating. I don’t plan on taking any of my measurements until my 21 day challenge is through, but between the workouts and Becky’s nutrition plan, I’m feeling like I have a lot of energy, and feeling stronger after each workout.  Continue reading