Healthfully Ever After

Healthy Curated Living

Healthy Living: 5 Ways To Take a 5 Minute Stay-cation

Curated LivingCarlene ThomasComment

I used to be horrible at taking breaks. Such a royal screw up that my 'personal growth' project during my post grad work as I became a dietitian was to 'turn something in late'. PS I basically cheated: the project was done, it just sat on my desktop for a day extra. The road to becoming a dietitian nutritionist was so freaking competitive (only 50% of students make the cut after their bachelor's degree) I HAD NO IDEA how to relax after freaking out for about five years straight. The only break I knew was the kind I had once a year where I burnt out so bad I was in bed for a day straight (and even then, trying to check my email). As I learned the value of slowing down, I got better at embracing slower times of the year and realized, in fact...I'm a whole lot more productive if I take advantage of working for myself and take a day off when I need to! Which is why I'm headed to catch a Nats game this week in the middle of the day. I will be eating a curly W pretzel and then eating at the best dining facility in the country. Take that former Carlene. 

 But when life is crazy busy, there are definitely ways to have a five minute mini vacation in the comfort of your own home...or if I have my choice, outside! Here are five things you can literally do tonight. Also, scroll to the bottom of the post for an event in DC!

watermelon basil cocktail

5 minute vacations

  1. Read: I read A LOT. But honestly, much of it is 'work' reading. I enjoy it, but it's books on business or nutrition. Want to know my guilty pleasure? Just binge reading magazines and new cookbooks. Go to the library or your Kindle and download some new reading material. If you're looking for a total fluffy read I just crushed The Royal We 
  2. Cocktail: Hello. Nothing says 'relax' like a delightful mixed beverage outside. If you aren't very good about keeping your bar stocked, look into pre-mixed beverages. Palm Breeze is a new flavored malt beverage (like a beer base) that comes in two flavors. I add rum soaked melon balls and fresh herbs to the ruby red citrus flavor. PS. soaking fruit in rum is the primary way my mother in law does fruit. And she lives in the Caribbean so I think we can all take a page from her book. 
  3. Nail Polish: I'm typically really good about keeping my nails painted since for food photoshoots we usually need a hand in the shot. But lately...I've been shirking that responsibility since house of restoration, gardening and cooking typically tear up a good manicure. To me, having perfectly painted nails signals 'VACAY YO!". One of my favorite colors is Essie Adore-a-ball but to fun it up, I love to top it with gold glitter. Although I'm not adverse to a good bright lilac. 

 

4. Open Windows: Oh my gosh. If you want to crush my soul, keep me in a dark room with closed windows. Any chance I get I love the breeze running through the house or car. And I won't even lie: a sunroof sealed the deal on our Jeep purchase. Air our your home or your car and enjoy the weather. 

5. Music: Just turn on some music! It doesn't matter if you're cleaning or cooking or working or whatever. Good music makes all the difference. Old school Justin Timberlake makes me so ridiculously happy. Please go check out the 2000's pop station on Pandora. 

Want to win a REAL vacay? Enter to win a trip to Austin  or for my DC ladies: come hang out at this DC event with me at Blo Bar in Dupont with Palm Breeze! RSVP here. 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Whole Wheat Protein Packed Seafood Crepes

Healthy HostessCarlene ThomasComment

There's something about spring and the warm evenings perfect for eating dinner outside that makes me think of my Grandma, and therefore the seafood filling on the inside of this crepe. From about April to November, every meal possible (only if it was a heavy rain it was a no) was enjoyed on the deck overlooking the remains of their Chardonnay vineyard. There was no such thing as too hot or too cold really...it was always 'deck weather' and I think the poor husband learned pretty quickly that their years of living in South East Asia had done a number on what they considered to be 'normal heat and humidity'. While the cocktails and wine offerings each night were the same, dinner never was unless you had a special request. My special request was always Grandma's seafood casserole: a variety of seafood in a light white sauce, topped with toasted breadcrumbs and parsley, served with toasted baguette and a salad. 

While I still have yet to make the true casserole for myself, last week I plucked her recipe card from the box and did a little tweaking (shocker) to turn it into a crepe. And I'm pretty sure this just became 'my dish'. I thought it was her souffle she taught me to make but I'm making a heavy bet this is what I'll make for my next 'special dinner/brunch'. 

The funny thing about this dish is it looks SO fancy schmancy and hard and 'bad for you'. Wrong on all fronts. The crepes (the wrap looking things) are 100% whole wheat meaning more fiber and important nutrients. The seafood filling is tossed in a skim milk based white sauce. And as for how hard it is to make? Basically the filling gets put in a pot with a lot of white wine, it simmers and then you use the wine stock to start your white sauce. IT'S BRILLIANT. Try it and I promise you'll want to make this again. I even texted a picture to Grandma. And over about three texts where it autocorrected, we surmised that she's impressed too.

Whole Wheat Protein Packed Seafood Crepes 

whole wheat seafood crepes

filling fills 6 crepes

based on my grandma's seafood casserole: 

  • 6 oz salmon, skin removed
  • 1 cup medium shrimp with shells but deveined
  • 1 bundle fresh parsley 
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • chardonnay or another dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 T tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 T all purpose flour
  • lemon juice
  • hot sauce
Whole Wheat Protein Packed Seafood Crepes

 

/// directions /// Simmer salmon and shrimp in a pot with a bundle of parsley in white wine (wine to cover, probably about 1.5 cups). Right before shrimp are finished cooking add celery, carrot and onion and simmer until the veggies are just cooked (al dente). Remove shrimp and de shell. Set shells aside for another recipe like a shrimp stock with grits! Chop shrimp into bite sized pieces and flake the salmon into bite sized pieces. Strain the liquid from the seafood and veggie mix and set aside for the white sauce.

Make the white sauce by melting butter in a pot. Add flour and whisk together allowing to turn golden brown. It should smelly nutty. Whisk in 1 cup of skim milk and the remaining seafood stock. Bring to a boil and reduce, whisking constantly. When very thick, remove from heat and fold 3/4 into the seafood mix. Top with a dash of hot sauce and a squeeze of lemon.

 

To make crepes: 

In a blender:

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp melted butter

/// Directions /// Add everything to a blender. Blend, blend, blend. In a pan on the stove heat with a little bit of butter. the first crepe is a sacrificial crepe. It's going to suck but this is part of making crepes. So make your sacrificial crepe by pouring a small amount of batter into the pan and swirl it around so it coats the pan. Use a rubber spatula to loosen the edges. When the edges begin to bubble and the underside is set and golden, flip the crepe. Cook the rest of the batter. The first few are never perfect. Keep going.

Whole Wheat Protein Packed Seafood Crepes 

GIVEAWAY: Healthy Snacks Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans

Healthy HostessCarlene ThomasComment

I love finding new foods and products. Or maybe I should clarify...I love finding AMAZING foods. As a blogger and nutritionist, I am sent or pitched a ton of products that suck. Like honestly, they're just not good. Or they're very scary (think supplements). But when a really, really good one comes across my desk I have to find a way to share it with you guys. So meet Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans...and WIN SOME!

HEALTHY SNACK GIVEAWAY

Ever since Expo East last fall, I've been seeing a ton of bean products turned into snacks. You've definitely seen the roasted chickpeas going around (my favorite brand of the whole roasted chick peas is The Good Bean). Maybe you've even seen Beanitos which are more like potato chips or tortilla chips made from beans. But today we need to talk about BROAD BEANS which I have never, ever seen used in snacks before. In fact, the only time I've ever seen those big green devils is in my CSA and we get a shit ton of them. Like I am still eating pickled broad beans from last year. STILL. 

Enlightened has 3 grams of fiber per serving and 7 grams of protein. SEVEN! These are going to not only satisfy your crunchy, salty craving but also keep you full. With several flavors from wasabi (it's holy shit wasabi, not American wasabi) to Mesquite BBQ (my favorite), you're going to love having these in your pantry or purse as a go-to on the run snack. 

So here's the deal! I'm partnering with Enlightened to give away THREE sampler packs of Enlightened broad beans and also their ice cream line! You'll get 1 large bag and 4 mini bags as well as free ice cream coupons. Enter below for your chance to snack healthier and happier! Giveaway ends May 5th!

 


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