Spicy Coconut Lime Shrimp

Every year on my birthday I enjoy a pina colada. This probably doesn’t sound too exciting to you - it’s just a drink. But it happens to be one of my favorite drinks and as I have only liked the full sugar/fat/alcohol versions, I only let myself partake on my birthday. One pina colada per year every year. This causes so much hype that by the time my birthday rolls around I’ve been dreaming and talking and thinking about my drink for almost a week.

This year was a little disappointing. I don’t know if all the anticipation created a drink in my mind that was much better than anything that exists, but it was too sweet. When my Mom asked about my birthday colada, she claimed my taste buds were growing up. I refuse to believe it. I try to eat everything healthy. I want to stick to this one horrible treat and I’m just not ready to give up on the tradition.  Despite my stubbornness, I have found some point friendly recipes on weight watchers. I may try one before the summer is over. Afterall, if I do go for the healthier versions, I can have more than one a year, right? Growing up may not be so bad after all!

My pina colada, although disappointing, was a source of inspiration. While drinking my Pina Colada with a lime, my birthday dinner of shrimp with cocktail sauce was served. Cue the recipe idea: Spicy Coconut Lime Shrimp.

 

Spicy Coconut Lime Shrimp (4 servings – 5 WW points plus)

1 lb of shrimp

1 can of unsweetened coconut milk

Coconut oil spray

Crushed red pepper flakes

3 limes

Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Directions:

1. Marinate the shrimp in coconut milk, red pepper flakes, and the juice of one lime.

2. Spray sauté pan with coconut oil.

3. Pour marinade and shrimp in the sauté pan and cook until warm.

4. Plate. Squeeze half a lime per plate. Sprinkle shredded coconut. Enjoy.

Verdict:

The coconut milk flavor was still a little too strong. The next time I make it I am going to offset it with a little more lime and red pepper flakes. Other than that, I loved it! This put me right back at the beach. All that was missing was a pina colada in my hand!

Spicy Coconut Lime Shrimp

Spicy Coconut Lime Shrimp

Three Things for Thursday Part 3

Three Things for Thursday:

1. Wanted: Workout Friends.

My best friend is my role model. A few months ago, she completed her first triathlon (and kicked ass) and still trains just as hard. She is the person I think about every time my head says I really don’t need to finish that last mile. The problem though? She lives in Texas and I live in North Carolina. 

I keep reading all these blogs where they’ve set a running goal with their best friend and blog together or meet with friends once a week to work out. I am envious. I have amazing friends, but they’re the type of friends I meet up with after the gym for a beer. Luckily, I do have Kevin and he has been awesome. He is constantly providing encouragement to do another rep or walk away from the m&ms. I just wish we had more friends who worked out.

Exercise wouldn’t feel like a chore some days if it could be more social: Hang out, go for a walk or run on the Greenway, cook dinner and watch bad TV. Hell, I’ll even cook. I think this plan is genius. Clearly, my friends are idiots! :)

2. Stuck in a Rut.

It feels like no matter how healthy I am being, the scale just won’t budge. It has literally been on the same weight for a week. It hasn’t gone up (thankfully) or down even a tenth of a pound. And what’s worse; it’s not just the scale. I don’t feel like my body is changing. I don’t feel stronger. I don’t have any more energy then I did the day before. I’m just here. The most frustrating part of becoming healthy is when you plateau. Unfortunately, I seemed to plateau after a vacation so not only am I stuck, but I’m stuck a few pounds higher than I would prefer. I’m trying to do my best to stay motivated. I know if I continue working hard, I’ll start to notice a difference. Still, I’d love any tips on staying motivated!

3. Motivation

As I am stuck and in dire need of my own motivation to last me through the rest of the week, I wanted to share what helped just get me through today. Hopefully it helps inspire you too!  

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I have a few recipe posts coming up. Sneak peak: Spicy Coconut Lime Shrimp.

Coconut Iced Coffee

I worked in a coffee shop all through college, which did very little for my caffeine addiction and a lot for my long hours studying. It is probably the best part time job ever. I mean – coffee! It’s been a few years since college and I’ve been working hard on getting rid of my caffeine addiction. That being said, every now and then I get a craving for some really good coffee. My problem lies in the fact that I am not a huge fan of plain coffee. Flavored and sweet coffee usually racks up the weight watchers points. Typically, I will do do a small latte with skim milk and flavoring but lately that hasn’t been satisfying me.

In an attempt to get back to drinking plain(ish) coffee, I decided to try a combination of coffees that we used to have in the shop. The result: Coconut Iced Coffee

Coconut Iced Coffee (1 cup, 1-2 points plus)

Ground Coffee

Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Skim Milk

Water

Instructions:

1. Fill coffee pot with water.  

2. Layer ground coffee and shredded coconut in a coffee filter. Brew coffee. 

3. Pour coffee into a pitcher. Add more water until desired strength. Refrigerate. 

4. When cold, pour over ice in a cup and add milk and splenda (if needed) to preference. 

Coconut Iced Coffee

Coconut Iced Coffee

Verdict

It wasn’t as sweet or as flavorful as I wanted. I had set myself up for failure though – the Toasted Coconut Coffee we had in Boone was delicious. That being said, I didn’t have to add any type of sweetener. That in itself is huge for me. I’m going to try a few other variations to give it more flavor and maybe make it just a tiny bit more sweet. Overall, it was just what I needed!

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Three Things for Thursday

Take two on my Three Things for Thursday:

1. Cleansing from the Beach. If you read my previous post, you know I indulged at the beach with food and drinks. Let’s just say the scale is not my friend this week. Because of this and  how horrible I feel from all that overeating, I have been eating light(er) meals and trying to cleanse my body from all the alcohol and large meals. Here are a few of the meals I have had this week:

A Few of my Dinners This Week

A Few of my Dinners This Week

2. Mental Health. When I was little I wanted to be an author. While normal kids were playing outside, I  was inside spending hours on my computer typing up “books.” I wasn’t writing the next great American novel or anything, far from it actually. Those stories were horrible, but I loved it. I was able to express my feelings. Now that I’m no longer in school, I don’t really have the time to write and I’ve realized its been more than 3 years since I’ve even jotted my thoughts down (this blog excluded, of course). Yesterday, I took the plunge and did something for myself.  I signed up for an online writing class at UNC Charlotte. Health isn’t just exercising and eating right. It’s about finding things that you are passionate about and following what makes you happy. Happiness has a lot to do with health and fitness and it’s not something that many consider. Do something for yourself today!

3. Running. As most of you know, I did the Diva Dash a few weeks ago, and I had a blast! I remembered how much fun races could be. It’s a nice way to break up running alone. I already have two more races that I am going to register for before the year is over. I’m even thinking about joining a weekly group run with some local fitness stores. I was never one for group exercise but it’s definitely starting to grow on me!

Until the next Three Things for Thursday!

Lemon Sauteed Shrimp

I only have time for a quick post so I thought I would share a pretty simple recipe. I am still exhausted and bloated from eating and drinking but I still had an amazing four days at the beach. The best part was the majority of my meals were healthy. I did overeat said meals but it was still overeating on healthier options. That counts for something, right? No? Probably not, but at least I had dozens of steamed and boiled options versus fried. Shrimp. Oysters. Crab legs. I would go back now if I could!

I made this recipe a few weeks ago but in honor of all the wonderful seafood I had this past weekend, I thought I would post it.

Lemon Sautéed Shrimp (serves 4 = 3 WW points plus)

Olive oil Cooking Spray

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 pound shrimp

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp lemon pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp Parsley

Directions:

1. Mix the ingredients together. We skipped the cooking spray and used cooked shrimp. (A frozen bag of cooked shrimp is $6 at Walmart!)

2. Put on sauté pan and cook until warm and ready to eat.

Verdict:

This isn’t one my favorite weight watchers recipe that I have come across, however it is still good. I think what would really make the meal is adding a little more olive oil and putting on angel hair pasta. Definitely how I will make it the next time I give this recipe a try!

Lemon Sauteed Shrimp

Lemon Sauteed Shrimp

Three Things for Thursday

On the off chance you haven’t noticed, my posting lately has been sporadic. I blame a hectic schedule, travel, and the fact that I have been downright lazy. In an effort to get back on track with posting 1-2 times a week, I am going to start doing a post every Thursday: Three Things for Thursday.

In these posts, I will talk about three things. It can be food, exercise, weight watchers, or healthy tips. Anything goes. My hope is that this will keep me posting more frequently as well as sharing new things that I love. Currently I am stuck inside at the beach (more on that later) and thought it would be a good time to start the weekly posts. Here are my three things for Thursday!

1. Aylio Resistance Bands.

 

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If you have never tried them; try them. Basically, it’s a giant rubber band that you use to exercise. One of my coworkers brought them to work, so on a quiet Friday afternoon three of us walked the hallway with those on our legs. It just so happened that the hallway had a lot of foot traffic that day and we received more than our share of weird looks as we stumbled up the hallway. I will say, my hips and glutes were sore the next day! If you are looking for a way to mix up your workout, can’t get to the gym, or just want to have fun working out with friends, try these out! I’m going to order some on Amazon. Here are some cool exercises you can do:

http://www.aylio.com/resistance-band-exercises/

2. Running at the beach. Basically this is a touchy subject at the moment because I love running on the beach. It is one of the only times I can tolerate running without headphones and between the waves and the breeze, I find it very relaxing. Every year for my birthday, I head down to the beach and spend a long weekend. This year is no exception so I have taken my first day off work since December (I’m stockpiling PTO for the wedding) and have been looking forward to morning runs. I need to learn that nothing goes as I have planned. I am currently trapped in the condo with a tropical storm raging outside. I’m barely braving the weather for food yet alone running. All I’m saying is it better clear up by my birthday tomorrow!

3. Our Weight Loss Journey.This beach trip marks a year of healthy living for Kevin and I. Following my birthday last year, we joined weight watchers and changed our lifestyle. When I look at numbers, I wish I would have lost more weight than I did, but this year was about more than what I see on the scale. We learned how to eat. When people used to say that, I would laugh. Duh – fruit and vegetables are better than cake and cookies. How hard is it to figure that out? But learning how to eat, how to portion, how to tell the difference between hunger and boredom, and how to listen to when your body is telling you to ‘Stop!’ is a learning curve. It wasn’t something that came easily. Now that it has become habit, I don’t know how I ever lived without listening to my body. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us.

So that’s all I have for this Thursday. I won’t be posting for the rest of the week – hopefully the weather will be clearing up and I’ll spend the rest of the weekend with my butt in the sand. I hope you all have a great fourth of July!

Spice Rubbed Pork Chops

I seriously suck. I have had every intention of writing a post this past week (and a half), but then I would go home and get caught up in reading and forget my original game plan for the night. Between reading and travel, I honestly haven’t had the time to sit in front of a computer and type up any variation of a decent post. Here is a quick post to make up for my silence lately!

I promised a recipe for this post – and a recipe you will get. But first an update. I completed one of my fitness goals! This past weekend, I participated in a 5k! I did the Shape Diva Dash. It is a 5k with obstacles and, the best part, for women only. To be honest, I didn’t train as hard as I wanted, but I set a goal of 45 minutes and I completed it in 44. I am already signing up for a race in October. It’s called the Insane Inflatable 5k. Check it out here: http://insaneinflatable5k.com/

Climbing the Very Last Obstacle

Climbing the Very Last Obstacle

Finshed the Race

Finished the Race

On to a food post! I believe I mentioned that I bought a ton of pork chops from Costco a few weeks ago. If not, I apologize for another pork chop post but I need to get them out of my freezer. I have a tendency to eat and cook the same things. My goal with all the pork chops was to make each dinner differently and so far, I think I have achieved it. This recipe is definitely a repeater though! Thanks Weight Watchers for the recipe!

Spice Rubbed Pork Chops (serves 4 = 6 points plus)

1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp unpacked brown sugar

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

4 pork chops

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to Broil.

2. Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl and mix into a paste. I had to add a little more Worcestershire.

3. Rub the mixture onto both sides of the pork chop. Place on a pan and broil for 4 minutes on each side until the center is no longer pink.

Verdict:

I feel like I say this every time I make a new pork chop recipe, but this one is my  new favorite. I was a little hesitant at first. Rubbing the mix on the pork chops was… well, lets just say it did not look appetizing. If you can get past how it looked while preparing, it was delicious and a must try!

The Unappetizing Way to Prepare the Pork Chops

The Unappetizing Way to Prepare the Pork Chops

The Delicious Finished Product

The Delicious Finished Product