Using leftovers: Baked Shrimp & Pineapple Egg Rolls

I had some old pineapple in my refrigerator that I feared would go bad soon. Instead of eating it straight, I figured I would find a way to use it for lunch. I also had a little bit of shrimp left over that I needed to use, so I thought making a shrimp and pineapple egg roll would be tasty.The pineapple was getting to the point of being overripe, which is perfect in a dish like this because you can even cut into the core a bit and won’t have any tough parts. I’m not going to have exact measurements, because I really made this on a whim, but just make this to taste.

  • Cooked shrimp, chopped
  • Fresh pineapple, finely chopped.
  • Fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Fresh ginger, grated
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Raw honey
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Mix shrimp, basil, ginger and pineapple together. In a separate bowl, whisk the vinegar, honey, soy, sesame oil (+salt & pepper) together in a bowl. You want to make just enough to lightly coat the shrimp mixture, so don’t make too much or else the egg rolls will come out watery. Incorporate the oil mixture with the shrimp mixture until evenly coated. Let it marinade for 15 minutes

Beat in egg in another bowl and set aside. Take an egg roll wrapper and brush with egg wash. Put shrimp mixture in wrapper on one side; fold corners in and roll like a burrito. Brush egg roll with egg wash.

Place egg rolls on a greased baking sheet (I used non-stick cooking spray) and bake for 15 minutes.

Let them cool before eating.

I served with salad greens, shredded carrot, almond slivers and Tamari Ginger Salad Dressing.

Motivation. Getting my lazy butt off the chair and working out.

I really had absolutely no motivation to do anything but sit on my behind all morning long, but I searched way down deep inside of myself for energy. I said I would give myself 15 minutes to get moving at give it my all.

I chose to do the 15 minute Extreme Workout from and I’m so glad I did. I felt GREAT afterwards.There was no need for someone to motivate me or any expensive equipment. It was just me against the clock and that was really the best motivator I’ve had in a long time.

As 2011 winds to a close, I feel really good about what I’ve accomplished in the last few weeks. I to really search within my soul and find ME. That I need to put the bullshit aside and live my life as stress-free as I can. I am not perfect and neither is anyone else. We just need to do the best with what we have.

Very much looking forward to what 2012 has in store for us.


Happy New Year!

Lazy Breakfast

What do I do when I don’t have the time or motivation to make myself breakfast? Sometimes I’ll make a protein shake, but when I feel like eating,  I’ll turn to a few trusty items in my pantry and fridge:

  • 1 small container Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is a type of yogurt that has been strained, giving it a firmer consistency.  It is also higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate than non-strained “traditional” yogurt.  The brands I  like are Fage or Chobani 2%. I really tend to limit my dairy intake, but Greek yogurt does not give me any digestive issues. You can also use coconut yogurt if you prefer.
  • Ground Flaxseed – High in fiber and Omega-3. The taste reminds me of ground almonds. Very inexpensive to buy as well. I can find a container at the local Ethnic grocery store for about $2.50. This Spectrum package was $4.00 and will last me a very long time.
  • Honey – Normally I’ll buy from a  local beekeeper that sells at my neighborhood farmer’s market, but I didn’t get a chance to get to the FM over the holidays.  Miller’s is a good brand though and local to me. I bought this at a nearby health foods store.
  • Fruit – Use whatever fruit you want. I had raspberries on hand. Bananas are great in this, especially with a little bit of PB2 powdered peanut butter mixed in.

Enjoy. 🙂

Healthy Sleep Habits = Happy You?


Sleep is something I have been struggling with lately. Actually,  it has been long term problem for me. It takes about an hour before my brain realizes that my body needs to rest, more so if I don’t have any “white noise.”  If I don’t have something to listen to, I start thinking about my day, other people’s problems, and how to solve the mysteries of the universe – all night long. It would be brilliant if I could figure out how to end world hunger during one of these sessions, but my only guaranteed accomplishment, night in and night out, is lack of sleep.

As a kid and into my teens, I would would let the radio lull my to sleep. Listening to new music from The Smiths or Gene Loves Jezebel on KROQ (when it was actually a good station) was somehow conducive to good sleeping. 🙂 As I got older, I fell into the bad habit of snoozing with the television on. Admittedly, this wasn’t really a problem until I moved in my husband, who, at the time, needed total quiet in order to sleep. Now I’m convinced that he can sleep through WWIII now if he really wanted to. 🙂

My poor sleep habits didn’t really become a major issue for me until we had our son. He wasn’t the best sleeper from ages 1-3 (sleep apnea issues) and his sporadic sleep routine coupled with my inability to fall asleep right away manifested itself into something far uglier – insomnia and sleep anxiety

I spent nights awake in front of the TV *waiting* for my son to wake up. I was literally afraid to fall asleep.  I would eventually doze off, only to be awakened about about hour later convinced that my son was snoring or coughing. Usually what I was hearing was just hearing the voices on the television.  Now here was my conundrum – If I turned the TV off, my brain wouldn’t turn off, but I left the TV on, I would get spotty sleep at best. I couldn’t win.

My son’s sleep has improved through the years, but my sleep cycle continues to be debilitated. This lack of continuous sleep has affected my energy, my focus and my IBS symptoms.

What can I do about it?

  • Set a regular bedtime – After my son goes to bed, I crave some me time, the problem is that I give myself too much me time and my sleep suffers. The result? My time to myself is crappy because I’m over tired.  I’m going to set a realistic bed time and stick to it.
  • No TV, smartphones or computers in bed – If I want to watch a show or goof around on the internet, I’ll do so from the living room. My bed will be for sleeping, and maybe some reading (but not from my Kindle. lol)
  • Stretch before bed – I find that meditative yoga helps. I love this 8-minute routine
  • No caffeine – This shouldn’t be too hard since I don’t drink coffee in the evening and I rarely drink soda. I start making myself a cup of chamomile tea. I hear Yogi Tea’s “Sleepy Time” tea is great as well.

We’ll see how well this goes. I hope that a regular sleep cycle will help give me more energy for my workouts and aid in easing these IBS symptoms. Wish me luck! 🙂

Rethinking Breakfast: Chia Seed Flan

Chia seeds have been making a bit of a comeback lately. My mom used to drink these seeds back in Mexico as a kid. Grandma would give this to all her kids, especially when they were sick. When you soak chia seeds in water, they take on a unique gelatinous consistency. This gel will actually help to keep you hydrated, which is great before or after a hefty workout…or if you are sick with fever. Chia seeds are also the richest in Omega-3’s and help with satiety, since they absorb water. They are also a decent egg substitute in vegan diets.

I got some inspiration for this recipe from a Chia Seed Pudding recipe at I really liked the recipe, but thought it would be fun to make into a flan. 🙂

Makes 1 six ounce flan (Make as many as desired)

  • 6-oz ramekin or custard cup
  • 1 1/2 – 2 heaping tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 4-5 oz of Vanilla Almond or Coconut milk – sweetened
  • raw honey (or sweetened condensed milk)
  • cinnamon, to taste

Add honey to the bottom of your ramekin/cup. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, chia seeds, and cinnamon together until seeds are separated and not clumpy. Pour mixture into ramekin. dust with cinnamon. Cover with saran wrap and put in refrigerator for 4 hours  or overnight (preferable). The seeds will soak up with milk and take on a custard-like consistency. Just run a knife around the ramekin to loosen and serve or just eat it straight from the cup. 🙂

This is also great with raisins added. Next time I’m going to add some cocoa powder and see how it comes out.

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

This is a quick and easy side dish or meal to help you get your veggie on an dalso get a good amount of fiber in your system. 🙂 Sorry for the blurry picture. I’m not the best photographer. 😉

Tomato & Cucumber salad

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons flax oil (can subsititue with EVOO or a mixture of the two)
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar (add as much as you like)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • Freshly ground pink Himalayan salt (or sea salt), to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Chia seeds

(Serves approx 3 people or 1 HUNGRY person)

Mix all the ingredients, except Chia seeds in a bowl. Once mixed, place on serving dish and sprinkle Chia seeds on top. This dish is refreshing and will give you at least 6 grams of fiber per serving and a good dose of Omega-3’s.

You can serve this on top of salad greens or along side grilled chicken or roasted lamb. You can add a bit of crumbled feta cheese as well.



Shake Review: Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer

In my quest to find a great protein shake, I give you my thoughts on Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer – Chocolate flavor.

Vega is definitely more than just a protein shake, it’s filled with a bunch of supplements that will help to give you a boost throughout the day. Similar to Spirutein, Vega gets it’s protein from plant sources, notably hemp, pea, brow rice and flax proteins, but it also contains a blend multivitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics, and maca root for energy. Here is a snapshot of the nutritional info.

In my opinion Vega tastes really, really bad. It’s gritty and tastes like grass and mud with an sickeningly sweet after taste – that comes from the Stevia. In my opinion, two scoops of this powder is too much unless you are planning on running a marathon. 1 scoop will knock it down to 130 calories and 13 grams of protein. The fat intake is high – 3.5 grams (for 1 scoop) of which .75 is saturated, but the whooping 7.5 grams of fiber in  1 scoop cancels out that bad in my opinion. Mixing Vega in juice helps to mask the flavor, but that instantly makes a 130 calorie shake at least 250 calories – not good if you want to use Vega as a snack, but ideal as a meal replacement.

On the plus side, the supplement does give you energy, most likely due to the maca root. I really and truly felt great after taking it, but actually getting myself to willingly drink Vega is the problem. Vega reminds me a bit of Shakeology, but cheaper (approx $42 for 15 servings or $84 a month) and worse tasting.

Vega – Drink at your own risk. 😉

Rethinking Breakfast: Ceviche

In trying to squeeze even more vegetables into my diet, I’ve begun to rethink what I eat first thing in the morning. Breakfast is definitely my starchiest, veggie-barren meal of the day. I started wondering why that is and it is probably due to American culture. We were raised on a breakfast of grains and eggs, most likely born out of English customs when this country was founded. This might have worked well for working class, active Americans back in the day, but it isn’t the best for my stationary, chair-sitting self.

Recently, I made a shrimp and octopus ceviche for a Christmas party and remembered that this is a typical breakfast meal in South America. The next day, I had some ceviche for breakfast and I felt invigorated. Now It is going to become one of my breakfast staples 🙂

Shrimp and Octopus Ceviche

  • 1 pound de-veined shrimp
  • 1 pound cooked and chopped octopus
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped oregano
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or flax seed oil (optional)
  • 1 minced jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Lightly blanch the shrimp in boiling water to make them pink, If you prefer to let the citrus juice “cook” the shrimp, cut the shrimp into smaller pieces and let it marinade for at least 4 hours or overnight (and it will be ready for breakfast :)).  If you blanch the shrimp, a two hour marinade time is sufficient. Let the shrimp cool in an ice bath before mixing with other ingredients.

Now mix all the ingredients together, minus the avocado and let it marinade for at least two hours, or overnight, If you want it for breakfast. When you are ready to serve, slice some avocado on top. You can eat this alone, on top of salad greens,  with a crispy tostada or a warm corn tortilla.

Shake review: Spirutein

I’m still on the look out for a decent, well rounded protein shake that tastes good and to be honest, I don’t think it exists. lol. I recently have been trying different brands. Thankfully Whole Foods sells single packets for me to sample so that I do not have to commit a whole, expensive container.

Today I will review Spirutein protein powder – Chocolate flavor. If you are searching for a dairy-free protein supplement, this is an option for you. Spirutein, made by Nature’s Plus, gets its protein content from non-GMO rice protein, pea protein, and both non-fermented and fermented soy. Each scoop offers up 14g of plant-based protein which is good for someone looking to get an adequate protein boost to their diet. If you are an athlete or working out more strenuously, you may be better off with a supplement that has higher protein content. There is also a serving of Spirulina, which is a supplement that is said to have antioxidant properties, but they package or website doe snot state how much Spirulina is in a scoop of Spirutein. The shake is sweetened with fructose, which some people try to avoid due to a lack of insulin release when our bodies consume fructose. This can be bad for a couple of reasons:

  • fructose is processed by the liver, if it is overcome with too much fructose, it will convert it into fat and send it off into your blood stream as triglycerides (a risk factor for heart disease)
  • Since Fructose isn’t regulated by insulin, it circumvents the normal appetite signaling system, so you may still feel hungry even though you have eaten enough food.

There is 7 grams of sugar in Spirutein, which is approximately the amount in 1 teaspoon of honey, so please keep this in mind if you decide to add fruit, milks, or any other sweeteners to your shake.

Now for the taste. 🙂 I drank half the packet with a cup unsweetened almond milk. It tended to clump first when mixing it in my blender bottle, but after 30 seconds of vigorous shaking, it was blended quite well. It definitely has a chocolatey taste, which is good, and no strange aftertaste, which is another plus. When drinking, you could dectect a bit of a gritty consistency due to the plant-based protein, but it wasn’t so bad that it was a deal breaker.

Later in the day, I mixed the rest of the powder with water, psyllium husk, and a 1/2 teaspoon of PB2. It yielded similar results, though I definitely prefer it with the almond milk than water.

In my opinion, Spirutein is a good supplement, especially if you are looking for a plant-based protein option. It comes in numerous flavors as well, but I don’t recommend that you try the Cherries Jubilee flavor. Blech.


My daily diet

I thought I would post my general diet in case anyone is curious. 😉 ‘Tis but a sampling of my weekly diet plan.

First thing in the morning:

Stretch and breathe. I know this isn’t food, but I do think it helps get the digestive system going. I give myself 5 minutes to focus on my breath, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Once I get up, I will take a probiotic with water. I feel that a probiotic is most effective on an empty stomach. I like taking Ultimate Flora Critical Care. You can find it in the refrigerator case of your local health food store. If you feel hesitant taking this on an empty stomach, you can certainly wait until breakfast.


I’m loosely following the MyPlate guidelines, but utilizing less grains.

My typical breakfast is a scrambled egg with bell peppers and a little bit of potato along side a small bowl of berries and a cup of coffee with a dash of milk or almond milk.

Morning Snack

This is when have a shake or drink. I’m still trying to figure out which protein supplement I like, but in the meantime, I’m think up more natural concoctions. Lately I’ve been alternating between two drinks. Here is the first one:

  • -8oz warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  juice of 1 small lime
  • 1 tablespoon whole psyllium husk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey (optional)

Since this is a drink, more than what I would consider a snack, I will usually have something else with this, I like carrots or almonds for its  insoluble fiber to balance out the soluble fiber in the psyllium husk. I also add 17g of Miralax to this drink as prescribed by my doctor. Sometimes I’ll add crushed blackberries as well.

My second drink of choice is

  • 8oz warm unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon whole psyllium husk.
  • Cinnamon to taste

This is my own version of spicy hot chocolate. Because of the calories in the honey and milk, I consider this a snack on it’s own. I’ll also add Miralax to this.

You can always omit the psyllium husk since it makes the mixture thick, but it does help give you that extra fiber and keeps you full until your next meal. I like the cayenne pepper because it stimulates the circulatory system and has anti-inflammatory properties.

If you are going to mix this at work, I find a Blender Bottle to be very helpful.  I use it when I’m at home as well. 🙂


Lunch for me is usually a roasted chicken thigh (with skin on – too delicious not to eat), baked butternut squash or sweet potato, brown rice and a small side salad – fresh spinach with a dash of aged balsamic and tomato.  Sometimes, I get in the mood for something sweet around this time of day and I’ll have a bit of dark chocolate or something like that. This is my biggest meal of the day.

Afternoon snack

I’ll usually pick one (keep the serving small)

  • carrots or a rye crispbread with baba ghanoush or hummus
  • mixed berries with a touch of greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt)
  • baked granola with almonds
  • Apple slices with peanut butter


Lately I’ve been liking  grilled salmon and quinoa, served with various veggies – chayote squash, corn, green beans… Our time is limited at the end of the day, so we try to keep it simple and not make anything extravagant. I’ll usually allow myself a glass of wine or beer in the evening, but not everyday. I’ll usually stick to iced green tea.

There you have it, a day in my diet shoes. 🙂 I also I try to get in my 64 oz of water as well. Nalgene makes 32 oz bottles that is perfect for this, drink one bottle in the morning and the other in the evening.