My Favorite Recipe: Fresh Caught Fish

We are so fortunate to live about 40 minutes from the ocean. When the pandemic hit and we were short on activities, my husband and I decided to buy a boat to give us a safe, outdoor and Covid-free activity. We keep our boat at a marina next to where the cruise ships are now returning to. It’s a short boat ride out of the inlet to the ocean or through the loch to the intercoastal for calmer waters.

Now, this could almost be a post about self-care. I can’t tell you the joy having the boat has brought us. There’s something about sunshine and sea air that clears up a lot of what’s ailing you. It’s even made headaches disappear!

With pleasure boating came serious fishing. There are days where my husband wakes up at 3am to hit the marina well before sunrise for some hardcore, deep sea fishing. They go 50-100 miles off-shore, sometimes fishing in 3,000 feet of water. Out there, there is nothing but open water, dolphins and whales and copious amounts of game fish, if they play their cards, or reels, right.

A dolphin fish or Mahi Mahi as it is commonly known

The first big game fish he caught was a Wahoo. This is truly an anglers fish. Since they do not swim in schools, they are not commercially fished so you would be hard pressed to find them on a restaurant menu. When a Wahoo is eaten, it is sushi grade meat that you can eat raw.

Wahoo, prepare with a sesame coating, flash seared and served rare

My favorite is dolphin. Not the porpoise type of dolphin, but a dolphin fish, known to most as Mahi Mahi. It’s just a great tasting fish and is so versatile in it’s preparation.

Blacked dolphin (Mahi) served with a side of pineapple salsa

My air fryer has been a lot of fun to experiment with blackened seasonings or even a nice Panko coating. The salsa changes every time but the one above is just pineapple, tomatoes, green peppers, a little jalapeño, cilantro and scallions. We made it the next day with mango instead of pineapple. The spice of the peppers along with the sweetness of the fruit just makes the flavor pop.

Even if you can’t make it to an ocean, check out the fish section of your local grocery!

My Favorite Snack: Iced Lattes

I was never a big coffee shop person. Sure, when I was traveling, I would pop into a Starbucks but it was never part of my daily schedule. I also never drank my coffee over ice. I really was just a traditional, make it at home and hot kind of girl.

When I was in law school in Miami, I was introduce to Cafe con Leche, which is the better, Cuban version of a Latte. I recently discovered the amazing Cuban place we order from routinely (Black Bean Cafe if you are in the area) had an amazing Iced Cafe con Leche. Then, during the pandemic, they came up with bottled Cafe con Leche, which I immediately fell in love with. I loved being able to have this speciality coffee drink at my own home!

A great Iced Cafe con Leche recipe

The only issue I have with a daily Iced Cafe con Leche is the amount of sugar and calories. Generally, it calls for regular sugar and whole milk, which can make this pretty heavy! Of course you can play with the ingredients to reduce the calories and sugar and still keep it a sweet treat. You can even try a caffeine-free version!

Another drink I recently started making at home is Chai Tea Latte. I prefer the Tazo “skinny” version. Pair this with unsweetened almond milk and the drink is around 75 calories and 18 carbs or so. Of course, with the weather getting warmer in Florida, I am drinking this iced but you can make it hot as well. I’ve found this at Publix, my local grocery store.

I hope you enjoy some of these drinks!

My New Air Fryer & My Favorite Recipe Website

I am so excited that my new Air Fryer came yesterday after being back ordered for what seemed like forever. I wanted to take my air frying to another level, especially with my husband catching so much fresh fish lately.

My Breville Smart Oven

When I bought my first air fryer (which was the cheapest one with a decent rating on Amazon), I started with frozen fries and tator tots. Once I started to get the hang of it, I graduated to fried fish, pickles and zucchini. Then, I expanded into cookies, sausage and peppers and even burgers!

One source that I will be looking to for my recipes is Brandi’s website at Stay Snatched. She also has a great cookbook that is available through Amazon. Check out her links on her website to order. This is my go-to air fryer recipe site and everything I have made has been delicious. She is basically a magician in the way she turns comfort food and bar favorites into healthy and easy recipes. Check her out!

I’ll post some of the best recipes as I go so stay tuned. Let me know what your favorite air fryer recipe is!

My Favorite Breakfast: Protein Waffles

This is a new, easy breakfast which is perfect on those busy mornings.

My daughter loves a good Eggo waffle but I used to shy away from them because they weren’t “nutritious.” I was late to the game discovering protein waffles. There are mixes and frozen and if you look online, tons of great recipes filled with protein and fiber.

For this breakfast, I am using Kodiak blueberry frozen waffles. Kodiak is widely available and come in many varieties. I also like Birch Benders frozen waffles, but so far I have only found them at Whole Foods. For 2 waffles, Kodiak has a bit more calories and a gram more of protein but 11 or 12 grams of protein puts protein waffles on the same level as 2 eggs!

To complete the meal, I drizzle a little maple syrup, add fresh berries and then a dollop of whip cream on the top. This meal is around 350 calories. For macros, it’s 51% carbs, 35% fat and 14% protein. For comparison, 2 eggs, 1 slice of Killer Dave’s wheat toast and the same berries would be 304 calories (44% carbs, 33% fat, 23% protein). Adding butter to the toast overtakes the waffles in calories but makes it almost the same macros.

So don’t fear a sweet treat for breakfast and check out some high protein options!

My Favorite Breakfast: Egg Muffins

For those mornings I don’t have a lot of time (which is most lately), I premake these egg muffins. They are super easy to make and you can add whatever ingredients you prefer.

For these, I beat two eggs and pour them individually into a muffin tin that I prepared with some cooking spray. I do this for portion control but if it’s easier, you can just beat 12 eggs in a large bowl and pour into a six-muffin tin. I also added chopped tomatoes, chopped veggie sausage, chopped spinach and a pinch of shredded cheese into each.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees F. I test mine with a toothpick to make sure they are cooked firmly. Let them cool and then refrigerate. While I reheat mine in the microwave before eating, my husband often grabs them right out of the fridge.

I promise one of these days I will do another non-breakfast recipe!

My Favorite: Breakfast

Here’s another routine breakfast for me…

My omelet is two pasture raised eggs, one vegetarian sausage and a pinch of cheddar cheese. I bought this egg cooker from Amazon, which is amazing. While my omelet is cooking, I steam my zucchini and season with salt and pepper. For my carb, today I ate half of a Killer Davie’s Bloomin’ Berry bagel but I also add sprouted wheat bread or a veggie muffin. Depending on how hungry I am, I may add some grapes or berries as well. I often eat those right after my workout so they are sort of a pre-breakfast and then eat this breakfast 30 minutes after that.

I’m actually surprised at how much I am enjoying zucchini for breakfast. I used to add steamed spinach but never loved that as part of my breakfast. If I am ever not very hungry, I may add spinach or broccoli to the omelet to get those macros in!

Why Do Carbs Get Such A Bad Rap?

Carbs are almost a dirty word in todays society. There are just about as many no or low carb diets as there are carbs themselves! Whether you did Atkins or South Beach decades ago or you are keto now, some people swear by the no-carb life.

I was watching the Netflix show Down to Earth with Zac Efron. While they were eating pasta in Italy, Zac mentioned that when he was filing the movie Baywatch, he didn’t eat any carbs. The carb-filled diet of the centenarians in the town they were visiting was the opposite of what any trainer had told him. His diet made a lot of news at the time but he also said it made him crazy and even depressed. I know competitors in fitness competitions carb cycle in the weeks before to enhance their physique. I have never thought of a no or low carb diet to be sustainable long-term.

Zac during Baywatch (L) and Zac during Down to Earth (R)

The problem with cutting out all carbs is that some carbs are good for you. Following a balanced macronutrient diet, like I do, carbs can account for 50% of your diet! (I am usually between 40-50% each day). Carbs provide you with glucose for fuel and fiber for digestion. They also help to keep you full and satisfied so you aren’t tempted to over-eat on unhealthy foods.

We also try and watch carbs in our house because we have two people with Type 1 Diabetes, which is a chronic condition where the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Insulin is needed to break down glucose into fuel. Type 1 Diabetes has no known cause or cure. Although people with Type 1 Diabetes can eat whatever they want, they must inject insulin to “cover” the amount of carbs they eat or drink.

How do you choose which carbs to eat? In our house, we know that most cereals or refined/processed carbs are going to spike blood sugar levels. Same with fruit juices or sugary sodas. I look at these types of carbs as empty calories. I prefer whole grain bread to white bread. There are low-carb or vegetable pastas, even cauliflower rice (although we eat plenty of brown rice).

Some people avoid fruits because they contained carbs. I avoid fruit juice because it only has the carbs but the fiber has been stripped away. We eat a lot of berries, apples and pineapple. Also good are melons and oranges.

In reality, there are many ways to reduce bad carbs still eating the foods you love. Using some of the carb substitutes mentioned above is one way. If you season your cauliflower rice correctly, you can make it tasty, I promise! I have a spiralizer to make zucchini pasta, although there are plenty of options at the grocery store. Even a burger or sandwich can be lower carb by removing the top bun or piece of bread or putting it over a salad. I promise you, as I write earlier, a taco over a salad is still delicious!

For those of you using the Ultimate Portion Fix container list, I usually have whole grain toast as one of my containers. Other popular carbs are sweet potato, black or kidney beans, lentils, brown or wild rice and quinoa. Of course, when you have a glass of wine or beer, that counts as a yellow container, so plan accordingly!

Also, check out this article from the My Fitness Pal blog about the top myths about carbs.

Don’t forget to check out some of my recipes that are filled with good carbs, including cheesecake! Keep checking back for more delicious recipes and let me know if there’s a particular food you would like to see a healthy carb version of!

Recipe: Pineapple Chicken Skewers

A great summer grilling recipe that comes in just over 200 calories per serving and has tons of flavor!

Cut 1lb of raw chicken breast into 1 inch pieces. Put it in a reusable bag or container with 1/4 reduced sodium soy sauce, 2 tsp. of sesame oil and 2 tsp. of grated fresh ginger and shake to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. I don’t always have ginger on hand so it’s not essential to the recipe. I also usually end up making more than 1 pound of chicken, which is completely fine. Just adjust the amount of sauces (i.e.) 2 pounds of chicken should have 1/2 cup soy sauce and 4 tsp. of sesame oil. Don’t forget to cut a few more vegetables as well.

Cut up 1-2 bell peppers and 1/2 a red onion into kabob size pieces. Take those pieces, your chicken and a can of pineapple chunks and alternate them on to a bamboo skewer until there are two of each of the ingredients on each skewer. (I actually fit three of each ingredient but when you are factoring portion size, calculate 2 skewers with 2 ingredients each for the portion size.) Throw those on the grill and you are good to go.

Each serving is 214 calories, 5 grams of fat, 12 carbs and 26 grams of protein. For Ultimate Portion Fix, the container counts are 1/2 green, 1/2 purple, 1 red and 1/2 spoon. You can add some brown rice for 1 yellow if desired.

Happy Grilling!

My Favorite: Breakfast

One of my favorite things to eat for breakfast is also one of the easiest! If you want to be fancy, you can call it a yogurt parfait but basically it’s yogurt, granola and fruit.

Loved the mixed berries this week

I usually use Siggi’s Mixed Berry Yogurt, Kind granola and whatever berries I buy. The only thing missing is some veggies but I usually make it up by adding spinach to my smoothie later.

What is your favorite breakfast?