Sundays in Chelsea

Holy moly – has it been awhile or what?! I apologize for my absence, I know the world was quite effected by my lack of posts. I wanted to do a fun, picture based, post to get myself back into this thing! So as I have blogged & ranted about before, Sundays were always a bit of a rut. Well, now that I’m not a bobcat anymore (tear), I decided that my Sundays need to be productive & positive (or filled with mimosas & waffles)! Not to mention, I am currently living in New York City. There’s never not something to do. So sometimes Sundays are filled with brunch, grocery shopping or scoping out street markets. This sunday was filled with beautiful sunshine, some cardio and some cookies!

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Take a look at my adventure through my lovely neighborhood of Chelsea, as I run a long the chelsea piers, lay out a long the Hudson River, and take a bite out of somethings scrumptious!

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IMG_1172So – This was my Sunday! Grabbed some groceries on my way home and found some new almond butter to try! I am going to try to post more. I am cooking, but I am unfortunately not cooking anything recipe worthy – so those will be lacking! I am going to try to post about my adventures in NYC. Where I go, what I eat & what I see! Stay tuned 🙂

Yours Truly,

Stef

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A Foodies Tour: Wilmington, North Carolina

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Last weekend I spent a WONDERFUL weekend in the beautiful town of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. My best friend Casey is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a visit was long overdue! Casey is lucky enough to go to a beautiful school, surrounded by amazing places for food & drink, and not to mention, the beach! I thought it’d be fun to document as much of the food as possible! As many of you know, I’ve been trying to diet, but this was one trip I was willing to splurge for! Our friend, Jenna, goes to school at High Point University, so she came a long for the trip as well! Not only do the three of us love each other, but we love food. Casey, Jenna and I also have a love for natural foods. Farm to table restaurants are a favorite of ours. We love finding delicious restaurants where we know the food they are serving us are natural, organic, whole foods! Though we all love to splurge on lifes greatest temptations, like tequila shots and pizza, we are great at finding a balance between health and fun. Before I send you on this tour, I’d like to thank Casey for an AMAZING trip in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. No wonder she never comes home to Maryland during breaks, I’d go back in a heart beat!

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Okay, I know what you guys are thinking. This looks disgusting… I know. I thought I’d include my last Tupperware meal before my flight to Wilmington. This was tuna with mustard and rice cakes. I love this meal, sue me.  After four hours of traveling, between two flights and layovers, I arrived in Wilmington starving! Luckily, Casey was also ready to smash some food, we chose sushi, white girl problems.

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A staple at any sushi restaurant is the Edamame. Extra salty, or no salt at all, edamame is delicious! I do have to say, the salt helps 🙂

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And welcome to sushi heaven. I thought I’ve enjoyed sushi before, but these rolls surpassed all expectations. I had to double up on Gluten & Dairy digestive enzymes, but luckily they provide Gluten Free Soy Sauce for rolls. No surprise here, Casey and I finished all three rolls. This usually isn’t such a challenge but these rolls were huge.

King Kong Roll

Red Snapper and Avocado Cooked Tempura Style, Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Scallion, Masago and Special Sauce

Ninja Roll

Tuna, Salmon & Avocado Topped with Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Orange Sauce & Eel Sauce

Hurricane Roll

CA Tempura Roll Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallion and Eel Sauce

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Epic Food Co. 

Epic Food Co. serves up a Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menu. They serve flavorful dishes to fit your dietary needs, as there are many gluten free and vegan options. They have perfect portion sizes, and you leave feeling satisfied, not stuffed! There are many great things on the menu, a long with an option to make it “Your Way”. Casey and I chose to make our own fresh bowl!

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Caseys bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Sprouts, Spinach, epic PICO, and veggie sauté. Casey chose the Avocado Chile Lime dressing as her sauce, on the side.

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My bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Spinach, epic PICO, basil, and veggie sauté. I followed in Casey’s foot steps and got the Avocado Chile Lime dressing, on the side.

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Casey and I both got ourselves a side of freshly homemade sweet potato chips! I can’t explain how delicious these were, you’ll have to try them out for yourself.

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Epic does a great job in guaranteeing fresh ingredients and great service. They also include the nutritional values on the Epic menu, or the menu that is already created for you if you don’t choose to make it Your Way. The food tasted fresh and healthy, it was a delicious meal without the splurge! And well deserved after Casey and I hit the gym right before this meal 🙂

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After touring Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach for a bit, it was time to make dinner! We spent the day checking out local markets and picking up delicious ingredients for our homemade dinner we were planning that night! We picked up most of our ingredients at Trader Joes. Not to mention, my new favorite sparkling white wine! (I totally forget what it’s called, I’ll have to stalk Trader Joes next time)

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We made 1 pound of Gluten Free Brown Rice pasta!

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Mixed with 1 pound of White Ground Turkey meat! Seasoned with oregano, garlic, minced onion, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper!

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While that was cooking, we made a small antipasta to hold us over. I live for antipasta. Olives, salami, pepperoni, capicola. All that’s missing is cheese and crackers! Man, I miss mozzarella. #DairyFreeProblems

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Our pasta dish was amazing! The sauce we used was a Basil Marinara from Trader Joes. We had enough to hold us over, and then it was time to hit the town!

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Casey took us out to the beach bars for some drinks and yes, there was dancing! This lucky girl lives right near the beach, just over the bridge and down two blocks!

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We spent Saturday a little tired & drowsy, but we made it to the beach. It was a beautiful day, just not nice enough for bathing suits! After a long day of walking, beaching, and mostly napping, it was time to celebrate National Margarita Day! Casey works at On The Border and they were having $1 Margaritas! We started with happy hour there. Guacamole live was a necessity! We finished the night at Tower 7, Casey’s favorite place for Mexican food & Margaritas! I got the steak fajitas. We all cleared our plates and were home by 9 for a much needed nights sleep!

The Basics

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On Sunday, Jenna headed back to High Point University after a delicious brunch at The Basics. The Basics is in downtown Wilmington, which is an adorable and quant part of Wilmington! Casey got the Quiche special, which looked delicious!

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I got the Carolina Cobb Salad, without blue cheese. I saw someone eating this when I walked in and it looked so fresh so I had to get it!

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Jenna got the Spinach Feta Grill. I was so jealous! This meal was a thick cut toasted baguette with poached eggs, creamy spinach, artichoke and feta. Biscuit on the side, of course!

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We spent the next few hours at Port City Java, where scenes from We Are the Millers was filmed! Jenna left us to do homework. I, unfortunately, had a paper to write, and Casey had some exams to study for. After our homework was finished, we went on a run and got ready to go to the airport for my 5 o’clock flight back to Ohio!

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The struggle is usually so real at places like airports for people with “dietary needs” like me. Luckily, Wilmington had a local eatery right in it’s airport! The women who helped me explained where their meat was from, and that it had no fillers! I got a burger with onions and mushrooms over lettuce. I covered that thing in ketchup, as if we’re surprised.

I hope you enjoyed my food review on Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina! Stay tuned for a Foodies Tour of New York City after my trip this weekend!

Yours Truly,

Stef

BBQ Pulled Pork & Pineapple Salad

Not really much of a recipe…but a great idea! I made the BBQ pulled pork with 2 pounds of pork shoulder. Put your pork in your crockpot and add 1 cup of chicken broth. I added about half of a small yellow onion, and two garlic cloves, all chopped up. Next, I poured almost a whole jar of Stubbs BBQ sauce (I’m being dramatic I used a little over half) in my crockpot on top of all ingredients. I put my crockpot on high. Four hours later I opened my crockpot, stirred and “chopped” the meat a little bit. I added salt & pepper, and onion and garlic powder, graciously. I let it sit on low, then warm, for a half hour each.

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As much as I would love to have a BBQ pulled pork sandwich…I opted for the salad. I specifically bought pineapple for this meal. So I mixed romaine and spinach, lots of it. I cut up a medium tomato and 4 oz of pineapple. I then added my portion of 5 oz of pulled pork. I dolloped (is that even a word?) some BBQ sauce on top for taste, and added 1 tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper…to taste. 🙂

Crabcakes, Paleo Mayo & Lara Bars; A Must Read!!

Okay so the title of this blog is a little dramatic. I may or may not have just wanted your complete attention. You would think I had some sort of awesome give away prize or contest or the president just dropped dead but no this is not that kind of blog. All 12 of you that read my blog, you’re in for a treat. And the rest that are just dropping by, consider yourself lucky.
I had to restock on meats the other day. While at roots I saw they had lump Maryland crab meat. It was one pound. My first thought was crab cakes, my second thought was hell yes, and there were zero thoughts going through my head about the $30 price tag on this purchase. My total for this grocery trip was absurd, but I deserve it, I mean look what else I bought…
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As if I needed more reason to eat Lara bars, I bought almost every flavor. Two, in my favorite flavors. I’m actually not a big fan of the more “dessert” themed lara bars. They are a little sweet and make my stomach hurt. Nonetheless, they are still delicious and will fix your sweet tooth if necessary. My favorites are cashew cookie, coconut cream pie, banana bread, pecan pie, che….okay I’m done. But in all seriousness, try Lara bars out. If you are looking for a healthy on the go snack, or just love granola bars, they are your best bet. The ingredients is beyond perfection. For example, the ingredient for cashew cookie is cashews and dates. Yes, I’m done…cashews and dates. No syrup, sugar, oil, flour. There is no granola in this “granola” bar. Just all natural goodness. Yes, you look at the sugar and notice it’s a little high. It’s natural sugar, sugar your bodies are actually “supposed” to consume. They might have the same sugar content as your typical granola bar, but you will notice the sugar in those crazy bars are added. Why add sugar? The lara bars are delicious the way they are. I’m waiting for the day that I can buy my favorite flavors by the box… but for now, I’ll try to show some control. Go out and buy some!

And now for this crab meat business I was so eager to share with everyone. After browsing recipes for crab cakes all week I decided I wanted to ditch those recipes and just wing it. I knew what was needed, and the recipe is quite simple. And holy crap, they were perfect.

First, we must make the Paleo Mayonnaise.
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In a food processor, combine 1 egg, 1/2 squeezed lemon (for juice), and about 1/2 tsp of Sea Salt. Process for about 20 seconds. Next you will need 1/2 cup Olive Oil and 1/2 cup Coconut Oil. Slowly add your oil into your food processor. I was told to literally do this slow. Not a slow pour, like one drop at a time. You need some serious patience to do this because I failed miserably. I added one drop at a time and the only thing I did slowly was start adding the oil in faster. So the consistency wasn’t exactly identical to mayo, and I forgot to take a picture, but it was perfect for the crab cakes. Not sure if I’d spread this stuff on a sandwich though…

OKAY! Crab Cakes!
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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees – You will also be using a skillet.
-1 pound lumb crab meat
-1 Egg
-1/4 cup Coconut Flour
-1/4 cup Gluten Free Baking flour
-2 tsp Dijon Mustard (you may add more)
-2 tsp parsley
-1/2 squeezed lemon (for juice)
-1 tsp Garlic Powder
-1/2 cup Paleo Mayo
-1 tsp Hot Sauce
-Salt & Pepper to taste
-As much Old Bay as you damn well please!
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Combine all ingredients into a bowl.
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Make into patties
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Melt 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil in a bowl. Measure 1/3 cup Coconut Flour, mix with sprinkle of Old Bay & Salt. Dip your patties in the coconut oil (lightly) and then dip them in the flour mixture. Place them on your stone and put them in the oven for 12 minutes on 400 degrees.
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Once you take them out of the oven, start heating your skillet on medium heat. Place a tablespoon of coconut oil on your skillet and your crab cakes. I used a small skillet and did two at a time.
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Keep on skillet for about 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown. I ate one right away and it was so delicious! I was worried they were going to be dry, but they were perfectly moist. (Does anyone else hate the word moist?) I didn’t use any sauce, nor did I have to add any salt. These crab cakes would be delicious with guacamole, or my homemade ketchup!

Get your chemicals here!

Get your chemicals here!

I am so grossed out.  Read the link above through and realize what you are putting in your bodies! I was at a gas station driving home from Ohio yesterday and needed something to eat. I was going straight to crossfit and hadn’t had a substantial meal since breakfast. There was NOTHING to eat at that gas station. Every packet of mixed nuts had a list of fifty ingredients. Why do they have to make it so complicated. People buy nuts because they want to eat nuts, not 100 oils and 100 chemicals. The ingredients could simply be almonds, cashews, pecans, but of course America loves chemicals so it couldn’t stop there. I needed food so I picked the one with the least ingredients. It had vegetable oil in it, not so hot but the only option! I think the brand was Frito-Lay. Anyways, there were hard boiled eggs near the sandwich section. I nearly vomited while purchasing them, but I did. My mother and I tasted one of the eggs and could just tell it was not fresh, and ridiculously processed with chemicals. We had to throw those away. As if we were expecting anything different.

 

Come on amurrica!

 

I didn’t fail completely though. We stopped at a farmers market before we left and I picked up two huge Bacon Peanut Butter Cups. One for my brother, and one for my coaches. I do this thing where I buy things for people that I want them to eat because I can’t eat it. SOMEONE has to enjoy this bacon peanut butter cup situation I stumbled upon, and unfortunately it can’t be me. I also picked up fig infused olive oil, garlic olive oil, and a mason jar wine class. They called it a redneck wine glass. I’m ready to get classy.

Preparing to Succeed in College & America

Tomorrow morning I’ll be at the beach for two nights with some of my girlfriends. Because of my intolerances and not to mention my eating habits, I have prepped meals for the next three days at the beach. Sure, it’s a vacation, but it doesn’t have to get out of control. I also don’t have many options as to what I can eat these days, so prepping my meals makes certain situations a little less stressful, and a lot less hungry.
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I’m completely fine with being the girl that’s eating chicken, sweet potato’s, and veggies on the beach out of Tupperware. One wrong bite of something and I turn into an extremely miserable, stomach aching, mess. So, I consider the public lucky that I am so prepared.
My excuse for constantly eating “healthy” and bringing around prepared meals in Tupper wear is a lot easier than it was before. I’m gluten and dairy intolerant. Once I explain that to people, they stop offering me cake as if it is the last thing they have to cross off of their dying bucket list. Before that, I didn’t have an excuse. I just wanted to eat healthy. I wanted to feel good. I wanted to look good. I wanted to feel that I looked good. And I wanted to look like I felt good. Anyway. These days, the criticism you get from your peers seems a little reversed. You don’t want to drink 10 days in a row and not remember a thing and ruin the crap out of your liver? You have some nerve to miss out on a night at the bar! Oh my god I can’t believe you aren’t going out! What are you gonna do? Sit here by yourself and watch TV? Like, yes, I am completely secure with everything going on in my life that I can sit here by myself every now and then. If I miss Sally drunkenly falling down the steps at the bar, I’ll just push her down them next weekend. It will all work out. I don’t force everyone to run marathons and work out with me, so don’t force me to chug a handle of Bacardi. I just won’t do it. Just because my life mainly focuses on nutrition & fitness does not mean I don’t like to go out and have a good time. There is a lot more to us obsessive fitness freaks than those annoying tweets about our workouts and instagrams of healthy dinners we eat. I swear. I absolutely love going out. In moderation. Though I don’t moderate my drinks well. Maybe one day we can talk about Rumpleminz. But I’m not sure that I even remember.
Back to the whole topic of succeeding. You have to be selfish. You have to want it. No one is going to help you, and no one is going to support you. They want you to eat a million cupcakes with them. Why? Because cupcakes make you happy. For like……..5 seconds. You want to know what else makes you happy? Getting a ridiculous PR on a lift. My coach, and friend, Rebecca, is texting me about her ridiculous clean & jerk PR. She is on cloud nine, and that type of cloud nine lasts for way more than 5 seconds. Another thing that makes you happy, fitting comfortably in a roller coaster seat. I’m guilty of that struggle. Also, losing inches. If you lose inches, you’re probably losing fat. Then you might lose a pants size. If you lose a pants size, you probably look really freakin’ good. And that makes you feel really good. You’re happy. Inside and out. If your mind isn’t in it and you don’t want it bad, you won’t succeed.

Prepare to succeed.

That’s what America is all about, right? Well, for the most part. And when it comes to America’s favorite holiday, July 4th, the only thing you prepare for is a food baby and one too many drinks. Yesterday was a blast.
A few drinks in I was feeling like this:
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When in reality I looked like this:
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Either way, drinks were flowing and the sun was (finally) shining. Everyone and their mother was at the beach, and it was up to us stragglers to have a good time in good old Clarksville. Not to mention burgers and hot dogs were cooked in mass. Is there anything more American than a hot dog and a beer?
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As it was a Holiday, it wasn’t the cleanest day for food. I’ve become very good at keeping myself distracted and not focusing on all the good food that is around at these picnics. I feel good when I make it through a day where I could completely stuff myself, but don’t. But regardless, it’s okay to hop off the bandwagon, give yourself a treat. Have two hot dogs, not one. America would be proud.