Almond Ginger Sweet Potato Bowl

After sipping my morning tumeric tonic, I had an urge for a comforting, warm, winter dish. Hey, if that’s what the body wants, that what the body gets!

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Ingredients

1 sweet potato or yam
3 cups greens (I used a blend of baby kale and chard)
1 inch peeled ginger, sliced into discs
coconut oil spray
1 TBS raw almond butter
pinch of cinnamon

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Pierce the potato several times with the tines of a fork and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, pierce with fork and put in microwave for about 6-8 minutes (depending on the size). Meanwhile, spray a small pan with coconut oil spray and cook ginger, stirring frequently. When aromatic add greens and cook until they wilt. Next, mash potato with the skin, add almond butter and blend thoroughly. Add cinnamon and greens. Remove ginger discs and enjoy!

 

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How to Hate Running a Little Less

I dominated the treadmill about a year or two ago. But then I studied abroad and ate gofres and tapas, got food poisoning, hospitalized and forgot about running. Whoops. Now I’m tackling this anxiety-ridden task three days a week before work.

Here are tips that help me:

1. Do it before your body knows what’s happening. Sometimes I sleep in a sports bra and shorts so when I wake up i literally have zero excuses. I set my alarm dangerously close to when I need to leave for work, sprint down to my treadmill and just get a mile or two over with before my eyes are fully open. And honestly – it’s not THAT bad.

2. Set possible, tangible goals. I KNOW I can run a mile with ease. I just need to mentally tell myself “okay Sam. You’re going to run this in under x minutes.” So one mile is my goal every morning and if I have boundless energy I’ll exceed my goal but at least I have a feasible basis that will build my confidence and lessen my disdain for running. So if you know you can run half of a lap then run half of a lap, walk half, run half etc. We need to start somewhere right?

3. Talk to yourself. I know. Sounds so strange but I swear midway through one measly mile my body realizes it’s still tired or doesn’t feel like doing this task it’s unaccustomed to. So I literally say to myself “Sam. Are you kidding me?” and just sprint it out.

4. Reward yourself. Every time I run my mile or two before breakfast I make myself a beautiful fruity smoothie or take a long hot shower before starting my day. Treat yourself for getting out of your comfort zone – it’s a hard thing to do!

5. Play good music. There’s nothing like great songs to inspire your run. I use Spotify  – and my running playlist (don’t make fun…) is a compilation of Reggaeton, Progressive Metal and Iggy Azalea. Who am I?

6. Remember why you want to do this. It’s important before enacting any goal-setting plan to understand why you want to accomplish that goal. I want to run a 7 minute mile (at 8:30 as of this morning) so I can get the body that I feel most comfortable in. Also, for me running symbolizes my fittest self.

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1/8 of a mile is half of a lap on the treadmill or track. Do chart one, then chart two and chart one again for about a 30 minute workout (this was my workout this morning, plus twenty minutes of plyos and abs):

distance (mile) speed (mph)
1/8 6.5
1/8 7.5
1/8 6.5
1/8 8
1/8 6.5
1/8 8
1/8 6.5
1/8 10
time (min) speed (MPH) incline
15 3.5-4.0 15

Vegetable Fittata Topped with Spicy Crab Salad

I love eggs for breakfast. They keep me full until lunch and the mixture of protein and healthy fat of this dish keeps my energy levels consistent. This only makes one serving, but feel free to double or triple this recipe!



Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients
1/4 cup white part of leeks, minced*
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped*
1/2 cup red bell pepper, minced*
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbs olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp paprika
2 organic eggs
1/2 serving (typically 1/4 of a Trader Joe’s can) of real canned crab meat
salt and pepper

Directions
In a small cast iron or oven-safe pan heat the olive oil and garlic over medium high heat until the garlic smells fragrant, but not burnt! Add the leeks, mushrooms, red bell pepper, and salt and pepper. Stir until tender and the leeks are translucent, about 10 minutes. In a medium bowl add the eggs, thyme, paprika and freshly ground pepper. Whisk together and stir in the crab. Add to the hot pan and stir around a little bit, scraping the egg off of the sides two or three times. Now don’t touch the egg and let it cook for a few minutes. Preheat the broiler if you have a cast iron pan, but if you have an oven-proof pan just preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

When the bottom of the frittata is set put the skillet on the top rack of the oven until the top turns to a golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Just keep an eye on it! In the meantime, make the crab salad.

*I used this combination of veggies, but you can use anything you have in your fridge! Frittata’s are my go-to because they’re an efficient way to eat my vegetables and clean out my refrigerator.

Crab Salad

Ingredients
Other 1/2 serving of real canned crab meat
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp homemade Paleo mayonnaise (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp aji, crushed chiles, or hot sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4-1/2 avocado, sliced

Directions
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together except the avocado. Adjust spices and acidity to taste. Put salad on top of avocado.

Serving suggestion: Top frittata with avocado slices, and place crab salad on top of that. Serve with a side of sugar-free, salt-free salsa.

Enjoy!

Dieting in a Grocery Store

Is so hard.

Okay, I hate to use the word diet because that alludes to a temporary change in eating patterns rather than a lifestyle change. However, “diet” sounds way better in the post title. Anyway. I’m an artist at Trader Joe’s and I love what I do! Painting and drawing all day around positive people? I’ll take it.

The problems arise when I smell the sweet alluring aroma: warm, flaky shortcake biscuits with airy whipped cream and voluptuously juicy blueberries. The sample station calls my name. Justifications run through my head: Sam you ran two miles before breakfast… you’re fine. Sam you’ve been on your feet all day… it’s whatever. Sam it’s only a few bites… basically negligible calories.

Nope.

Anything I put in my body should fuel my activity. Eating arbitrary confectionery treats, even in moderation isn’t worth it to me. Cravings are a different story. Of course I’ll eat the beautifully crafted luscious chocolate bar when I need a little break from my clean eating – but just hurriedly eating a processed sample just because it’s there?

Nah. I’ll take my homemade goodies any day.

Vanilla Ginger Protein Smoothie

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Ingredients

3 cups greens (spinach, kale, watercress etc)
1/2 seedless cucumber
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen mango
1 scoop vanilla whey (About Time is the cleanest, but can leave a bitter aftertaste)
1″ knob of ginger, peeled
Water

Directions

Place washed greens into high speed blender with 1/2 cup water. Blend until all green bits are broken down into a smooth liquid. Add cucumber, pineapple, mango and whey. Pour more water as needed. Grate ginger and discard big, stringy bits. Add grated pieces to smoothie, blend and enjoy!

Tip: peel ginger and freeze for easy, clean grating for another smoothie or stir fry!

 

 

 

 

Trigger Food Challenge: Day 8

ONLY EIGHT DAYS HAVE GONE BY?! ughhh. I just want to inhale an entire jar of almond butter. And that was my exact challenge today. I forgot my lunch at home and had to go straight from the gym to babysitting (I’m awful at time management). After a two-hour long workout with my friend, famished would be an understatement. I was ravenous. Scouring my employer’s home for anything edible, I found it. Almond butter.

As I stared at the cylindrical container memories of its creamy, smooth contents and nutty, comforting taste flashed through my mind. I opened the jar and salivated. No. I have self-control. Instead, I plucked some grapes from their stems and focused on each mini globe’s sweet, juiciness. I hurriedly encouraged the child I babysit for to play outside with me and successfully escaped my temptation.

Day eight complete.