Spicy Grilled Ahi

This BBQ albacore was delicious and so easy to make.

Tuna Marinade:

  •  olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic, minced or pressed
  • red chili flakes

Mix ingredients together in a ziplock bag and add tuna steaks. Marinade for at least an hour and then throw on a hot BBQ. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove, slice, and serve!

Advertisements

What I Believe To Be True About Kale

There is so much information out there about the benefits of eating kale, but some people still aren’t interested in consuming this leafy green. So, I thought I’d try to convert a few folks by sharing what I think kale does for me and why I eat it so often. But for those of you who want “real facts” I added some of those too. Most of my info was found on WebMD.

***Disclaimer-  I am not a doctor, I just really like Kale.

10 Reasons I Think Kale is So Awesome

  1. It gives you an immune system of steel so you won’t become sick or diseased (kale is LOADED with antioxidants, both Vitamin A and Vitamin C)
  2. In a fight, kale would kick cancer’s ass (it is a great source of Vitamin K which is believed to help fight cancer)
  3. Sunglasses? Who needs those? (kale is loaded with carotenoids which help prevent UV rays from damaging your eyes).
  4. You won’t get a broken heart eating kale (kale can help lower your cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease).
  5. It makes you skinny (kale has a very low-calorie content so you can eat it as part of a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, along with exercise, for weight loss).
  6. It “cleans you out” if you know what I mean (one cup has 20% of your recommended daily fiber which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating).
  7. If you mix heavy kale-eating with heavy body-building, you will get Popeye-sized biceps (like spinach, kale is high in iron).
  8. If you injure yourself during your regularly scheduled body building session, you won’t need to take Advil (kale is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties).
  9. Don’t Got Milk? Don’t need it! (for us lactose-free folks kale is a great way to get your calcium in without dairy).
  10. IT ACTUALLY TASTES GOOD!

So…basically, if you eat kale, you’ll be on your way to becoming Superwoman like me (or Superman, I don’t want to be sexist- men are allowed to eat kale too.)

There are tons of different types of kale and they are all delicious in their own ways! I use the softer kale when I am making a smoothie or salad because I will be eating it raw, but the tough kale is also great when steamed or sautéed.

Here are a few ideas for how to eat this lovely green leafy veggie.

My All-Time Favorite, Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk (I switch off from Rice, Almond, and Coconut Milk)
  • 1 ripe banana, preferably peeled + frozen
  • 2 handfuls kale
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds OR 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp nut butter, optional

Best Kale Salad Ever

  • Kale
  • Olive Oil – massage the olive oil and salt into kale to soften and let sit while you add other ingredients.
  • Lemon
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Avocado
  • Any veggies you like!

I have also posted about kale recipes here, and here.

For more delicious kale recipes, click here!

Photogenic Furball

He was totally posing for me.

Crispy Sweet Potato Chips with Cinnamon

I saw a recipe for sweet potato chips on Pinterest and knew I had to try them. Isn’t Pinterest the best?? The recipe I came across called for orange zest and thyme, both of which I did not have in the house. So, I decided to make some sweet sweet potato chips by using a little cinnamon. I googled “sweet potato chips with cinnamon” and found tons of recipes, all calling for brown or white sugar and butter or honey. I really wanted a healthier, lighter version, so I just left those ingredients out. These were SO easy and so delicious, I could have eaten 100 of them.What you’ll need:

  • 1 large sweet potato (I used a very skinny, long potato and ended up with little chips)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • as much cinnamon as you like!

What you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a cookie sheet with a thin layer of the olive oil. Slice the sweet potato into very thin slices (a mandolin would work best, but I didn’t have one of those either). Place the potato slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Brush the slices with olive oil and then sprinkle with as much cinnamon as you prefer and bake for about 20-30 minutes until the edges curl up on.

The result – crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, deliciously sweet chips. The key  was slicing the potato incredibly thin. Since I didn’t have a mandolin some of my chips were thicker and didn’t cook as well. The thinner the chip, the better it tasted.

I might have to make these again tonight..ya know, to really perfect the recipe :)

Enjoy!

Photo of The Week

Results Are In!

So I told you all here about the six-week boot camp I started in May. Well, tomorrow is our last workout and end of boot camp party and today was our last workout at the gym. This session they decided not to focus so much on numbers on a scale and tried to focus more on how we feel. I love the idea of not stressing over weight loss, but since it was my first Kaia session I really wanted to see if I had any results after the first six weeks. I did measurements, weight, and body fat percentage during the first week and then again today. We ended up doing measurements on Friday of the first week and by then, I had already lost almost 3 pounds from when I started on Monday.

I have a scale at home that weighs the same as the scale at Kaia and I have been stepping on it about once a week to see how I’m doing. I have always done that just to check in on myself and remind myself to get back on track if the weight started going up. I really try not to worry about the number or let it bother me because we all fluctuate on a regular basis, but I like to keep an eye on it.

The first week and a half of boot camp I dropped about 4 1/2 pounds . I was so excited and thought, “At this rate, I’ll have no trouble losing 10lbs by the end of 6 weeks!” I was wrong. Since then I’ve fluctuated a little, especially after my Chicago trip but my weight has stayed just about the same since the end of that first week. Each time I got on my scale at home, I reminded myself that no matter what the number is, I feel great and I know I am gaining muscle and getting healthy.

So today when I took my measurements I had lost 1 inch around my butt, 1 1/4 inches off of my chest, and 2 inches off my waist. Most importantly I went down 3.4% body fat. To be honest, I was a little disappointed at first. I think I was hoping for more drastic results. It is still hard for me to not think of myself as the same person who was 25 pounds heavier a few years ago, completely out of shape and unable to run a mile. But today was kind of a reminder of how far I’ve come on my own and now how Kaia has pushed me to be even healthier and stronger.

In May of 2011 I ran my first 5k, the farthest I had ever run in my entire life (by a lot) and since then I have run countless 5ks and 10ks, trained for two half marathons, and now completed six weeks of the hardest boot camp I’ve ever done.

So when I sat down and really thought about the person I was a few years ago and the person I am now, I felt pretty proud of myself. And I realized that although other people may have had much better results than I did, I am happy and think I did pretty damn good for six weeks. I plan to continue on the path I’m on and no matter what happens, remember that I feel fantastic. I have more energy, I’m stronger, my mood is always better and I am often surprised by what I’m able to push myself to do. I am so thankful for Kaia, and of course for my best friend who really inspired me to join. I think I’m going to be a Kaia girl for life now :) If my story interests you, you should check out Kaia F.I.T. here!

In the Garden

I am SO excited for this year’s garden to start producing. So far we have eaten a few artichokes and a ton of raspberries from the yard and we have about 10 jalapenos ready to be eaten. This year is the first time we planted our tomatoes in wine barrels and raised beds instead of directly in the ground and I am anxious to see if they turn out as well as they have in the past. From the looks of it they are doing fairly well so far!

Tomatoes in April

Tomatoes in June

                          This year we tried to make the garden a little less maintenance since we are constantly out of town, so we really didn’t plant as many vegetables as we have in the last few years. We tried to focus on planting flowers and trees that would come back every year and be a little less demanding.

Right now we have fresno chilies, jalapeno peppers, green onions (we have those all year), cilantro, basil, rosemary, tomatillos, artichokes, raspberries, and my favorite, an asian pear tree. We bought the tree last year and it is already producing!! I snapped a photo of it on my iPhone last night to send my friend in New York who loves them as much as I do. I cannot wait for them to be ready for harvest!

We also planted grapes two summers ago and they are now TAKING OVER. I love it! We planted 4 plants, one at the base of each of the posts on our overhang in the backyard. They have been climbing and climbing and now are growing over the top and grapes have started poking out through the wood and hanging down. They have given us some much needed shade on that side of the house and they look green and pretty all summer long. Not to mention the grapes are delicious!

Stay tuned for lots more gardening photos and of course some recipes with all of the delicious tomatoes.

Photo of The Week