5 Things You Will Love About the Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet

Have you ever picked up a book and after reading the first couple of paragraphs you were suddenly in a better mood? A smile slowly starts to spread on your face, the wheels in your brain kick into gear and a voice somewhere inside starts chanting – you can do this!

 

That’s how I felt the moment I cracked open Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead’s new book The Fit Bottomed Girl Anti-Diet. 
 
 
I think most people assume that if you work in health promotion in any way, or if your persona is all about eating vegetables and staying active, that a healthy lifestyle comes super easy for you. That choosing kale over French fries requires no internal debate and that every evening you lace up your shoes ecstatic over the four miles you have get to run.

 

Untrue.

 

I have my ups and downs. Times when I gain weight and lose weight. Times when kale tastes good and when it tastes awful. Times when I bust through an eight mile long run and when I have to walk after just one mile.

 

I have to admit I was experiencing a down when I got this book. It launched me right out of it!
If you are a blogger, you remember those blogs you associated with at the very beginning when you first started out. Fit Bottomed Girls is one of those for me; one I connected with. I can still remember Jenn’s motivating comments on some of my original posts here at Fake Food Free. She and the Fit Bottomed Girls crew continue to motivate me. I’ve been thrilled to be featured a Fit Blogger We Love on the site and share a few guest posts on Fit Bottomed Eats over the past few months.

 

Their new book truly encompasses what is great about their site. These are five things I loved about it, and you will, too.

 

  1. It’s about ditching the diet mentality and getting back in touch with eating because you’re hungry, because it tastes good and because it nourishes you.
  2. It’s loaded with tips for quick exercise sessions that encourage movement, not punishment. It even gave me a few new ideas.
  3. It focuses on the positive and being grateful. Too few healthy lifestyle books emphasize gratefulness. Being grateful for what you have, for the simple fact that you can walk or run, changes your attitude.
  4. It emphasizes balance. I know there are people who feel that balance is not an achievable reality, but I completely disagree. It’s one of those journey, not a destination type of things and this book highlights that.
  5. When you read scenarios in the book like the dreaded weigh-in you will laugh out loud while saying – holy crap, that is exactly me.
Intrigued? Good news, the book was released yesterday! Get yourself a copy and as they say – drop the diet drama.

 

If you are already a fan of the FBG website, then I’m sure you are also familiar with the Big-Ass Salad. It always makes me giggle a bit when I read the term, but I love it when Jenn shares her ideas for healthy lunches.

 

There are some quick and healthy recipes in the book that you’ll love, but I decided to share one of my salads with you in celebration of a healthy eating attitude.
Roasted Cherry and Nectarine Salad with Honey-Walnut Dressing | Fake Food Free
It felt like such a long wait, but cherries, nectarines and peaches are beginning to show themselves at the farmers market here. Since they come at a time when we go back and forth between cool and warm temps (well, that’s pretty much always the case in the Bay Area), I struggle to decide between a cold salad or a hot lunch. This recipe combines the two. Perfect solution.
Congrats to Jenn and Erin on the book!

Roasted Cherry and Nectarine Salad with Honey-Walnut Dressing

Servings: 2 to 3

 

Dressing
4 tbsp walnut oil
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt

 

3 yellow nectarines, pitted and sliced
1 cup cherries, pitted
4 cups mixed greens
3 oz. crumbled cheese (Blue cheese or feta works well. I used goat milk feta.)

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or coconut oil.

 

In a small food processor, add 2 tablespoons of the walnut oil, walnuts and honey. Puree until the walnuts are finely chopped and a paste forms. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of walnut oil and puree for about 30 seconds. You will be left with a thick walnut paste and a sweet milky liquid. Transfer to a bowl.

 

Whisk in the vinegar and salt. This will take a little time, but trust me, it will turn into a thick dressing. Keep whisking. Set aside.
Place the nectarine slices and cherries in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until softened and the juices begin to bubble.

 

Place the greens in a bowl, add the warm fruit and cheese. Pour in the dressing and toss well to coat. (You can also serve the dressing on the side as pictured, but because the dressing is thick, it really works better to toss the salad in it.) Serve right away.
Roasted Cherry and Nectarine Salad with Honey-Walnut Dressing | Fake Food Free
 
Disclosure: The book in this post was sent to me for review purposes. I was not required to write about it and received no compensation for doing so. 

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Gluten Free Baked Shrimp Etouffée Recipe

I laughed out loud.

I’m not talking about chuckling or giggling here. I’m talking about a huge, hearty laugh. Again, and again, and again.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a book make me laugh like Gluten Is My Bitch, Rants, Recipes and Ridiculousness for the Gluten-Free by April Peveteaux. At first it might seem odd to laugh at such a serious health condition, but laughter is medicine and humor is healing.

Now I should explain that I don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, nor do I opt out of eating gluten for personal reasons. I have had my fair share of stomach issues in the past, but mine were corrected by cutting out all artificial sweeteners and fat replacers. In an indirect way, I can relate.

Keeping up on the various ways of eating and nutritional issues is also part of the deal after you spend your college years studying nutrition. The science, the mechanisms, the nutrients – as much as I love food and eating from a creative standpoint my left brain would never be satisfied without the scientific side.

This book has it all, and a little something extra.

When reading about conditions like celiac disease, what you don’t often get is the personal side. A side explaining what it is really like to be forced to change your diet. To eliminate things you love, not because you want to lose weight or reduce risk of disease, but because if you don’t, you will be in serious discomfort. It’s not a choice. There is no option.

I wouldn’t have thought there was a way to make such a serious issue so completely hilarious, but April figured it out. Along the way there are tips for eating out, feeding kids with gluten intolerances, traveling and substitutes for your old favorite foods.

Along with all this laughter and helpful information, there are also lots of recipes, bringing us to reason I wanted to review the book here. Cocktails, cakes, cookies, pasta dishes and meaty main courses like Fried Chicken and Waffles and Italian Meat Loaf.

I knew that the timing of this post would likely align with prepping for my first marathon (it’s Sunday!), so I wanted to make something filling. Something with plenty of (gluten-free) carbs. I also wanted it to be something I hadn’t tried before.

Enter, the Baked Shrimp Etouffée.

This hit the spot. For a gluten free version, April’s recipe calls for millet flour and gluten-free bread crumbs. The flavors are delicious and I love that this baked version is a one pot meal.

Whether you have a gluten intolerance, want to learn more about it, want some great recipes, or simply want to laugh out loud, add this book to your summer reading list.

Baked Shrimp Etouffée 

Copyright © 2013 April Peveteaux, reprinted with permission from Abrams Books

Cajun food makes an impression. Or maybe that’s all the booze you ingested with your boudin. Which is why I still remember an etouffée that had a little extra somethin’-somethin’ from my very first trip to New Orleans, which was ages ago.

After experimenting, I do believe the crust atop this shrimp etouffée is spot on with the roux, and the stew, and now a little cheesy crunch. Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Prep time: 20 minutes  Cook time: 35 minutes
Makes: 10 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
¼ cup millet flour
2 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon oregano
1½ pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined
5 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons gluten-free bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
Parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, heat the butter and oil. Add the garlic, pepper, onion, and celery, and cook until soft.

Whisk the flour into the onion mixture until well combined. Add ½ cup of the chicken broth and whisk to combine. Gradually add the remaining broth and cook until the mixture has thickened.

Add the salt, pepper, hot sauce, cayenne, paprika, and oregano. Stir, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, add the shrimp and continue cooking for about 4 minutes more, until the shrimp are pink. Do not overcook the shrimp.

Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into a medium bowl. Place the cooked rice in the skillet, and top it with the shrimp mixture.

Sprinkle the gluten-free bread crumbs and Parmesan evenly over the shrimp mixture and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until slightly golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, top with the parsley, and serve.

No-Bake Running Snacks and Christmas Carols

 
As I pulled up to a stoplight on my commute to work last Thursday, the radio scanner stopped on a local station. I sat there for a few seconds before my ears recognized what I was hearing.
A Christmas carol.
Normally, this time of year, I would immediately change the station and swear off any mention of winter wonderland, snowmen and reindeer for a few more weeks. But not that morning. I listened and I thought – this is kind of nice.
It felt a little like a guilty pleasure, a secret I should keep to myself. Kind of like when you have the second cookie you don’t need. Or the no-bake chocolate snowball.
That is, unless you are talking about these No-Bake Chocolate Snowballs.
I came across the recipe when I was catching up on Michelle’s blog at Find Your Balance Health, and I couldn’t wait to try them.
There are many healthy bars, protein bites and energy cookies around the web and these are perfect pre- and post run snacks. The only problem is that many use dates as the base, and while I can handle them in moderation, I get tired of that date flavor.
Big bonus, these don’t have a date in sight! I’m already on my second batch and I’m still loving them. You can get the recipe at Find Your Balance Health. It’s nice and simple, and bananas, nut butter, maple syrup and unsweetened coconut just happen to be staples in my kitchen.
Turn up the Christmas carols and grab a couple snowballs. Around here 2012 is going to be one great holiday season!