Easy Shrimp Salad

May 30, 2013


Hope you’re all having a blasty blast. I’ve been in and out of meetings all day, but wanted to share this quick and super easy shrimp salad recipe I came up with last night. Now, I have to admit- I can’t take full credit for this. I based this recipe off of my favorite tuna salad recipe that I stole from one of my besties (and trainer) Ami. I’ll never forget it… we were in Estes Park Colorado visiting her mom and one afternoon she asked if her mom would make her “famous” tuna salad. Let me tell you- it was the best (and healthiest) tuna salad I had ever had. Changed my whole view on tuna.

So, without further ado, I give you “Amis” Shrimp Salad (that you can also make with tuna!)

1 lb wild, raw shrimp (I used frozen)
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
2-4 celery stocks
1/4 c red onion
3 Hard-boiled eggs
1-2 tbsp home-made mayo
1-2 tbsp dijon
1 tbsp dill
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
Sweet pickles (optional)

Boil some water and add salt (like you would for pasta) Drop raw shrimp in. It really only takes about 5 minutes. Drain, cool, take the tails off, and chop em up. Next, chop up your celery, onion and eggs. Add them to the mix. Then add in your mayo, dijon, dill, parsley, salt, pepper. Mix it all up (and if you can) let set over night. The flavors will meld together and create deliciousness. I served mine today on a bed of red leaf lettuce with a whole tomato chopped up, 3 sweet pickles chopped up, and a half of an avocado chopped. No dressing needed as the shrimp salad had plenty of flavor.

Remember you can easily sub in canned tuna, canned salmon, scallops, white fish. It’s an easy and versatile recipe. Enjoy!

The good news is I tried my bridesmaid dress on last night, and it “fits”… I zipped it up, and well, it fits. The bad news is that it doesn’t quite fit right. Besides some minor altering, my stomach isn’t as flat as I want. To give you a better idea, here is the dress I’m referring to:

https://www.alfredangelo.com/collections/productdisplay.aspx?productID=8fac57ed-403a-4b43-b49d-c4a7f2986fac&categoryID=772f03c9-de43-4942-bfa0-da77e21ebd65&pg=0&colorId1=  The color is “Claret” not the black below.

bridesmaid dress

It’s a gorgeous dress, stunning in the deep dark red color too. And if I looked like the chic above, I would look stunning in it too. But I definitely don’t.  So back to the bad news… I weighed myself this morning and I’m 12lbs from my goal. 52 days to lose 12lbs. Hopefully in the stomach area… maybe tone up my shoulders and arms… that would be ideal.

And I’m on it. Day 2 back on my diet track and it’s on. Lots of lean protein, veggies, some fruit, and tons and tons of water. Yesterday’s workout was killer, and tonight’s workout is going to be even harder for sure. I slept like crap last night… pretty sure I had at least one night terror and woke up with a migraine.  I’m thinking it might have something to do with watching Dateline on ID before bed… its possible LoL.

Anywho- today I made up some lean ground turkey and sautéed/braised cabbage with bacon, onion and garlic. I love braised cabbage and this recipe turned out OK. Not great, but ok. But, cabbage helps the digestive system, cleans ya out. Always a good thing. The bacon is right on track with the Whole30 (all natural), and the ground turkey is just great to have on hand. Put it on a salad, have it with some eggs for breakfast, or over a sweet potato for dinner. I think I actually will do that tonight for dinner.

I’ll check back in tomorrow!

Happy Tuesday everyone! God I love three-day weekends. Especially Memorial Day… its pretty much my favorite family vacation weekend of the year. My family and our significant others go up to our house near Yosemite, go out on the lake, bbq, play a little drunken wiffle ball. So much fun.  This year was no different. We tend to have a tradition of getting in your face drunk on Saturday night, and I was the lucky winner this year. Go me.  All over a heated (and hilarious) debate started my Don Signori. His question was, ” how can you eat a pound of food and gain more than a pound?” Oh man did we come up with some good answers… and the theories got better and better as the empty bottles of wine accumulated in the middle of the table. It was a lot of fun!

So you’re probably asking what’s in 53 days? Welp, that would be my sister’s wedding. I have my bridesmaid dress that I havent tried on since we ordered it, and really need to do so. I’m nowhere near my goal weight, and I’m feeling pretty discouraged. I fell off my Whole30 train, ate some (delicious) but terrible for me foods and drinks. And now I’m back at ground zero. Or at least it feels that way. So I made a decision last night. Today is day 1 of 53. I have 53 days (or 7 weeks and 4 days) to get to my goal of losing 10-15lbs. To stick to my diet, to exercise 6 days a week, sleep 7-8 hours a night, drink lots of water, and hopefully not die in the process.  Theoretically this is doable. If I can lose 1-2lbs every week, I will hit my goal of 10lbs no problem. But I have to stick to my diet. I have to not eat the cake, have the margarita, or that piece of bread at dinner. I have to watch my portions, drink enough water, get in enough exercise.

Here’s how I’m going to do it:

1) Actually do my cook-up every week. Whatever it takes. Make the time and just freaking do it 🙂

2) Add in more cardio, specifically HIIT intervals on my (still broken, but hopefully soon-to-be-fixed) treadmill

3) SLEEP: this is huge for me. I’m a mess when I don’t get enough sleep. I’m already blonde, so this is devastating  <– I once drove past my office three times due to not enough sleep…

4) Get the junk out of the house, and keep it out! Honestly, we don’t really have that much “junk” since I’ve been doing the Whole30, but I gotta keep the chocolate chips out and sour patch kids.

5) Minimize eating out: Steven and I like to eat out, especially during the week. It’s easy, convenient, and were both so tired by 8pm that Chipotle sounds pretty good.  I just need to be smarter about this. Eating out doesn’t have to be a disaster, nor does it have to be the only thing I eat. I can get chipotle and add in some stuff I have at home. Or get the protein style burger, and have a sweet potato on the side.

All of this sounds so easy. Now I just have to do it. This blog is going to keep me accountable. It has to, so I’m asking all of you (the few that read my little blog) to support me in this as well.  Hold me accountable when I don’t post by the end of the day, ask me how the previous day went, and make me tell you what I’ve been eating!

I appreciate all of your support and time you take out to read this funny little blog of mine. Until tomorrow, enjoy the rest of your day back from vacation!

Lets begin with the fact that I ran 5 miles yesterday. Not gonna lie, I feel pretty bad ass. I’ve got 6.9 miles to run on Sunday so at least I know I can run the majority of it.  On Sunday a couple of my friends are running in the Surfers Path Marathon & Capitola Half Marathon. My trainer is running the half marathon, and I’m running in the relay half marathon with one of my friends (hence the 6.9 miles). I’m pretty excited about it actually. I go through phases of loving long distance running (5 miles is a long distance for me lol) and loving HIIT type running. Right now I’m loving both, so yay for that. Friday’s plan is to try to run 5-6 miles on a path near my house. I really should have done this last week, but I didn’t really stick to any sort of training schedule.

Ok, onto the meatballs. Since starting my paleo journey I’ve tried to keep my meals simple and paleo, really only cooking from It Starts with Food or Well Fed. This past weekend my family, Steven, and I went to our favorite Italian restaurant for a family dinner and I realized how much I missed cooking my favorite italian foods. So Monday night I proclaimed to Steven “I’m making meatballs this week. And Sauce. We’re Italian. This needs to happen”. Pretty much word for word. His response? “Can I have pasta?” Of course love.

In creating these meatballs I had to think about how I’ve made them normally. Where do I substitute ingredients to make them truly paleo? How do I keep the flavor there? It was actually much easier than I thought. I present to you Paleo Meatballs:

Paleo Meatballs (Makes 18 “chuck-it” ball size meatballs)  <<— if you have a dog that likes to play fetch, you know what a chuckit is

1 pack organic ground beef (Costco baby)

1 pack organic ground turkey (not costco!)

2 eggs

1 cup grated white onion (I used my food processor)

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup fresh chopped italian parsley

1 cup almond flour



Dried Basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, fennel.


Preheat oven to 400*

Put the meat in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper (about 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper). Then add your grated onion, garlic, eggs and parsley. Mix slightly to start distributing the ingredients. Next, pour the almond flour in a small bowl and add your dried herbs. (I added what looked good). About a tablespoon (each) of dried basil and oregano. 3/4 teaspoon of thyme and rosemary, and about a teaspoon of fennel.)  Mix this around and add to your meat . Combine everything with your hands, being careful not to mix too much (you don’t want to break down the meat too much, just incorporate the ingredients).

Take a large cookie sheet and line with foil. Spray with coconut oil. Form your meatballs and place about an inch apart on your cookie sheet. Mine were slightly smaller than baseballs. Cook for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your meatballs). Mine cooked for 25 minutes and were absolutely perfect.

I’m telling you. These meatballs came out better than I had expected. Steven loved them, I gloated for a good hour. It was great. I served these with my standard marinara sauce (also paleo) and it was a perfect meal. I’ll post the marinara sauce recipe later!

Today flew by, holy moly. Crazy busy at work, leading my trainer’s class today, training my own client, and then making a quick dinner. Sheesh.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I stay track with my diet. The idea of following a paleo/whole30 type diet does seem difficult to most people. It seemed really hard to me before I tried it. But I continue to tell people that not only is it a piece of cake now, but its the best decision I’ve made in a really long time. And it’s changed my life. Here’s how I do it:

It may seem expensive to eat so much protein and fresh produce, but with some thoughtful planning and investigating, it really isn’t that expensive.  I buy most of my meat and seafood from Costco. I’m not sure about Costco’s other than my two local ones, but mine are carrying more organic, free range, wild caught meats and fishes. If you have a big enough freezer, you can stock up. I’m still working on my Costco run and that was about 3 weeks ago.

I keep a ton of frozen vegetables on hand. I keep an eye out for deals at Safeway and Target. If need be I stop at Trader Joes and Mollie Stones to pick up some as well. Every time frozen vegetables go on sale I stock up. This takes making a quick trip to the store at least once a week to make sure I have some good produce on hand and frozen vegetables.   Yesterday I went to Safeway and bought some staples: 2 containers of organic strawberries, bananas, organic orange juice, 2 dozen eggs, fresh italian parsley, green onions, swiss cheese (for the stevenator), 6 bags of frozen vegetables, organic romaine, carrots, and celery. Total cost was around $40.

Once you have the food purchasing down, now comes the cooking. I try to do a big “cook-up” once a week. Every week I try to vary the protein options so I don’t get bored. This week my schedule didn’t allow for me to do my usual cook up on Sunday or Monday night. Sunday night I pulled out a pack of organic ground beef, organic ground turkey, and an all natural duck breast (all from Costco) to thaw for my cook up. The meat didn’t actually thaw out by Monday night, so we dipped into our reserves and made a meal out of frozen veggies and frozen all natural chicken apple sausages.

Tonight I had some more time and baked eight chicken thighs. I also opened up the duck breast and cut some up for a “duck breast scramble” tomorrow morning. Pretty excited.

Tomorrow night I’m planning on making some paleo meatballs (out of the ground beef and turkey), whole30 marinara,  and if I can get my hands on a spaghetti squash I’ll make that as well.  This will be enough for lunch, dinners, and snacks for the rest of the week.

Last week we cooked up a big pack of rock fish (also from Costco) and had that all week along with Salmon Cakes, turkey burgers, and chicken thighs.

As far as vegetables: salads are my go to for lunch and having ready-made protein makes it easy to make a great meal. I like to have bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, celery, fresh herbs, cucumbers  and any other fun vegetables on hand to make the salads interesting.  Our fruit bowl varies from week to week. But the three staples we have every week are bananas, strawberries, and fresh pineapple. Steven likes to make smoothies some days so the strawberries and bananas are perfect for him. The fresh pineapple is insanely good right now (from Mollie Stones), so we cut up one a week as well. Right now we have some apples on hand, some weeks we have grapes, other weeks melon.

Keep your options varied, watch for sale prices, and be flexible. Being flexible allow me to save money where I can on fresh produce and allows us to try different foods.

I know this was a lot of information, so if you have any questions please let me know. I love sharing whats worked for me and help others succeed at this. Because its totally worth it.

Good morning and happy Monday everyone! Ugh who am I kidding. Its monday. FML.

This weekend was a blast though. Saturday started with a beast of a workout at the CSM track. I took Friday off to rest and had a lovely date night with the Stevenator instead. We went to CPK for dinner and I had a huge California Cobb with dijon balsamic dressing. I ate the whole thing. It was delicious. Back to Saturday. My mom’s best friend put on a gorgeous bridal shower for my sister. I wish I had some pictures to put up so I’ll be as descriptive as I can 🙂 The theme was a beautiful myer lemon color and light green. The flower arrangements had hints of pinks and purples, there were signs hung as you walked into the house and outside int he back yard. The food was incredible: peach and raspberry champagne cocktails, mini dulche de leche cheese cake bites, home-made chinese chicken salad, the best sugar cookies you will ever eat (in the shapes of tulips and daisies)… I could go on and on. It was a beautiful day and so much fun. My sister had a great time and enjoyed every minute of it.

After the bridal shower most of us came back to my parents house to check out their newly remodeled backyard. My moms a sucker for a project, and this was quite the project. Again, I wish I had some pictures to show you. Next time I’m over there I’ll take some. The waterfall she designed and put in is incredible.

We were all sitting in the family room talking with one of my aunts and cousins (who live in Davis and we don’t see nearly enough) and I suggested we all go to our favorite restaurant Cafe Figaro for dinner. I was pretty much stoked when my dad said yes, so we all headed over there and enjoyed another awesome family dinner. I absolutely love those. Food, conversation, wine. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

Saturday I stuck to my paleo/whole30 plan relatively well. I had a glass of champagne and one cheese cake bite. But other than that I ate fruit salad and chinese chicken salad. Dinner I had some wine and a new york strip with grilled veggies. I felt pretty good Sunday (despite a headache I had Saturday night… definitely from the champagne. Champagne and I don’t get along too well). And then Sunday happened. Mothers day and my brothers 23rd birthday. Two cakes, fresh rosemary bread, meats and cheese from italy. Heaven on earth. And I had some. And I’m paying for it.

I haven’t had bread in just about a month or so. Almost immediately after having a piece of the rosemary bread, I started sneezing, my stomach bloated up and I didn’t feel well. The cake put me over the edge. It was beyond good, and I ate way too much of it. But I felt sick about half way through it. My stomach is still upset from what I ate yesterday and I woke up with another migraine. I know for a fact that sugar and wheat just don’t agree with me. It’s better if I stay away completely from the bread, and only have a little of the deserts. Because really, chocolate is  worth so much more than bread. Especially chocolate cake.

I’m sure you’re wondering why the title says, “Cake, bread, and Bangs…” two weeks ago I went in for my usual highlight and cut and told my stylist I wanted a change… in the bang region. Apparently Kim Kardashian is rocking the bangs (and starting a trend of course) so she suggested I try something like that. So I did… she cut off about 6 inches from the front of my hair.  I’ve been wearing them pulled back a lot because I can’t quite figure out how to style them. But this weekend I had sort of an ah-ha moment, and wore them down Saturday and today. Usually when I get a new style it takes me about 2 weeks to figure it out, get use to it, and style it right. I’m almost at two weeks so were right on track.  Again, no pictures of this, but maybe tomorrow you’ll get an awkward self-portrait of yours truly.

One last note- thank god for spell check. You should see how many words I mis-spell as I’m typing. And most of them are easy words. Like parents.


Hi everyone 🙂

Since I’m still on my cycle, and feeling rather emotional and in need of cuddles, I’ve been making some paleo waffles to help sooth my soul. Last week I made a batch from PaleoOmg using almond flour. Delicious. Today I made a batch from Nourishing Days using coconut flour. Also delish. So which one tastes better? Which one makes me feel better? Which ones stick with me longer?

They both taste great. I mean they’re waffles, come on. However, the almond flour waffle is much more dense. It’s a heavier waffle, takes more time to chew. One to two little triangles from my belgium waffle maker was plenty. And they stuck with me for hours.

The coconut flour waffles seemed just as dense when I made them, but were actually much lighter while eating. They seemed to come out a bit drier though, so a little bit of melted ghee on top was necessary. Well maybe not necessary, but it felt important at the time. And I ate two and a half triangles. That was about 2 hours ago and I’m still going strong.

So my question to my paleo and Whole30 friends, which do you prefer to bake/cook with? Almond flour or coconut flour?  Mind you I am already thinking about my birthday cake…. which is seven months away… but something I look forward to every year. Not necessarily my birthday, but the cake. My mom makes this insanely good carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s to die for. Let me preface though: No nuts, no raisins. NO RAISINS. Cause that’s just gross.  And my good friend Rachel (who is also following the Whole30 and is a CRAZY good baker/cake maker… Cake Baking Extraordinaire! Yeah that sounds good) will be testing out paleo recipes for cakes and what not. I’ve already told her the importance of carrot cake in my life, so I trust that she will develop something amazing. And I shall be her official tester. The end.

Let me know what you all think about cooking and baking with alternative flours!

Making a lifestyle change is hard. We all know that. It requires patience, time, forgiveness, and support. Everyone has “bad” days or “good” days, successes and fails. But we have to remember that because it’s a lifestyle were learning to embrace, you really can’t make mistakes It’s all just part of it. But to help me get through those tough days I have a lot of support. Friends and family of course are there to help. A few of my friends are doing the Whole30/Whole9 as well (Hi Sash and Rach!)  But when I’m lacking motivation or creativity to make something delicious and my kinda healthy, I turn to the many blogs that I read, follow, and obsess over. Blogs like:

The Clothing Makes the Girl (Melissa Joulwan, my hero and whole30 go-to chef)

Whole9Life (Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. The two that wrote It Starts With Food and inspired me to embark on this journey)

Nourishing Days (for beautiful paleo recipes)

PaleoOMG (for straight up entertainment and delicious paleo recipes. I heart you Juli)

NomNomPaleo (for more delicious Paleo and Whole30 recipes)

Having all these resources available help make this fun every day. Talking with friends about recipes we’ve tried, what worked, what didn’t. Trying new spices, marinades. Food is beautiful again.  Something that I truly enjoy from start to finish. I don’t dread going to the store anymore. I look forward to checking out the new and in season produce, to finding coconut flour in bulk on amazon, going to Costco and buying two dozen eggs at a time (and only lasting a week btw).  I don’t look at food as the enemy (or as my savior) anymore. Its food, its fuel, its delicious, and it feeds my body and mind.

And I’m Back!

May 7, 2013

It feels so good to be  back on track. It’s only really been 24 hours and I already feel a little more mental clarity, less bloated, and not so anxious with cravings. And I’m on my period, which means I’m extra bloated, full of cramps, and battling a constant migraine. And I’m emotional, and mushy today for some reason. So I’ll get it out-of-the-way real quick. I love Steven. I love him more than I thought I could ever love someone. He’s my other half, my best friend and I can’t believe I lived life without him for so long.

Ok, now that that’s done lets recap my cookup last night. It took me about 2 hours to do it all, but now I have protein and veggies options in my frige for the next few days. Here is what I made:

8 Grilled chicken thighs:  (Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika. 400* in the oven for 35-40 min)

8 pieces of rockfish: (cocnut butter, ghee, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, herbs de provance 15 minutes 375* in the oven)

Green beans & Cashews (Steven made these, my fav) Fresh green beans, balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper, cashews. SO GOOD

Salmon Cakes!!! (seriously can’t get enough of them) See the recipe here

Homemade Mayo <— WIN on this one. Followed the directions like a boss, recipe here

Homemade Tartar sauce  (made with the homemade mayo) Recipe below!

ISWF Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup Olive Oil Mayo

1 T. minced dill pickle

2 T. fresh parsley, minced

2 tsp capers, minced

2 tsp fresh chives, minced  (I used dry)

1/2 T. lemon juice

1 tsp pickle juice

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Add all ingredients to bowl and mix with spatula. Allow flavors to meld for 30 minutes in fridge before serving.  **This worked really well with the rockfish I made, and goes great with the Salmon Cakes. Although the salmon cakes are heaven on their own**

Today I started the day off right with 3 eggs scrambled with some mushrooms and spinach, a banana,  and a lovely (double shot) cup of Roma Nespresso. Love my Nespresso. I also love that I have coffee options in the house. If I just want a nice cup of drip coffee, Steven makes the best. If I want an espresso or latte, Nespresso takes care of it.

I packed up my lunch up as well (hand full of strawberries, 3 small chicken thighs, and about 2 cups of green beans). That should hold me over till my workout tonight. And dinner will be some rockfish over cauliflower mash. If you haven’t yet tried cauliflower mash and happen to love the comfort of mashed potatoes, give these a try. You’ll learn to love them, appreciate them, and ultimately crave them 🙂

Happy Monday everyone 🙂 Last post was about my fail to read directions properly and a pretty over-powering home-made mayo. I have not yet re-made this but will be tonight for sure. I’ll have that update tomorrow. Today’s post is a vulnerable one. Another honest confession and real life happenings. I’m kinda tired of writing about these, because ultimately they feel like failures. Logically I know they’re not, but my insecurities chime in and tell me I’m an epic failure.

I made a decision a few weeks ago to do the Whole30 “Challenge” with the intent that I wouldn’t just be doing this for 30 days, but take this on as a lifestyle. And I meant it. The Whole30 plan makes me feel good physically and mentally. And its sustainable. I’ve been following it for roughly 3 weeks with no major slips, no binge eating, and no desire to go back to the way I was eating before. But this weekend  I gave in a little too much.

I could feel myself pmsing last Thursday and Friday and knew that my hunger may get out of control. I was craving comforting foods (ie carbs) but didn’t want to ruin my progress. So I made a conscious decision to stay within the paleo relgm and try Paleo Waffles from PaleoOMG. Sasha has made them before for me and the ingredients (with a little modification) kept me on the Whole30. I had one for breakfast Friday and I felt good. Friday night brought some outside stress, and combined with my pms, all I wanted to do was eat. Fries specifically. So I did. I felt like I “deserved” them after what went on that night. (Thinking back now it sounds so stupid. But in the moment I believed it).

After the fry eating, I felt ok… not great, but not horrible. I still ate my protein and vegetables so I thought maybe it balanced it out. Saturday I stayed on track with breakfast and lunch, but that night I took the reigns off. I had a margarita (as clean as I could get), chips and salsa, and a salad. The salad had some sour cream that I chose not to tell the waitress to hold, and chose not to take off my plate. I just ate it. Along with 15 or so chips and this margarita. After all that flour, wheat, dairy, alcohol, and sugar I wanted more. And I wanted it in the form of my absolute nemesis. Safeway Cake. And so I got some, and although I didn’t eat the whole piece like I normally do, I ate enough to make me feel mentally and physically sick.

And that was enough crap to put my body back were it was before I started this. My hunger signals are way off. My stomach isn’t telling my brain that I’m actually full. All the things that I felt like I had no control over before are back. And its scary. So scary to see how quickly my body reverted back to the way it was. My hope is that it will detox just as quickly and get me back on track. But I have to remain aware so that I can make conscious decisions.

So today I’m back on track, sticking to my whole30 approved foods, drinking lots of water, and getting in some much-needed exercise. But I feel bloated today, lethargic, and disappointed. Tomorrow is a new day though, and so the journey continues…