Citrus and summer go hand in hand in my book. I know it isn't technically summer yet but the weather in South Alabama has felt like it is the middle of August. I'm sure if you were to talk to locals they would tell you how great the weather has been. For this Minnesota boy it's a different story. Temps were in the 80's everyday and the humidity was above 90% everyday. That's hot!
Being in South Alabama we had the benefit of getting some really good shrimp and it was cheap. This has definitely been one of the things that I've enjoyed about traveling so far, local food! Getting to eat food that was picked, farmed or fished recently is so fun and adds so much more flavor. We've tried to take in local markets wherever we are and get some fresh veggies and proteins, then fill in the gaps with some food from the big box stores.
I made this while in Gulf Shores, Alabama and it was super light and perfect for a warm day. We hope you enjoy it!! If you have a shellfish allergy you could easily leave out the shrimp and do a piece of baked whitefish.
Where do we even begin?? The last month has been a whirlwind!! One month ago we left Minnesota for a quick stop in Nashville, TN...on our way to Augusta, GA so Dan could go to the Master's. Since then here's what we've done and where we stayed:
Greenville, AL: first Walmart parking lot experience. Pretty pleasant actually!
New Orleans, LA: Spent 8 days here to watch some friends play in the AVP tournament and to check out a few touristy things
Foley, AL: Spent 11 days here to see some friends, go to the beach in Gulf Shores and just relax a bit.
Quincy, FL: Just outside of Tallahassee. Spent 1 night at a small RV park...couldn't pass up $12/night in lieu of the Walmart parking lot. It was HOT and humid and we wanted to be able to plug in for electricity and run our air conditioners rather than run the generator all night.
Savannah, GA: This is where we are currently staying for 7 days and we can't wait to explore downtown Savannah, Tybee Island and Hilton Head Island, find a farmer's market and some good coffee shops and food!
Honestly, we're still trying to find a rhythm with our daily schedule. Since we work from home doing online health/fitness coaching it's really really easy to get sucked into working ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. We don't want that. There needs to be balance. We did this so we could be together as a family and have more flexibility/freedom!! So we are committing to a daily schedule where we both can focus on our priorities at different times so one of us is playing with Eli or taking him out of the RV to do fun things or run errands...then in the afternoon after Eli's nap, we'll head out and do some exploring around town for 2-3 hours. Every day may look different...depending on what we need to focus on that day but we both know we want to get up around 5:30/6:00 am every day to make sure we get our devotionals/coffee and maybe a little work done before Eli even wakes up! Yep, that's early BUT because we know the most successful people start their day early, we want to model our habits after them!
The other day I asked Dan if he was still glad we took the plunge and did this...his answer, with no hesitation was "YES...what else would we be doing?"...Well, we'd be living in our townhome in Minnesota most likely...working from home. And while there is nothing wrong with that, we both knew we wanted to see where God would lead us by stepping out in faith and doing something a little unconventional. Giving up something good for something great is hard to do when you can't see the whole road!!
I FULLY believe that He called us to do this for a purpose...whether it be for us OR for the people we interact with...or something completely different...I have a gut feeling that as long as we are open and willing to follow where He leads, He'll lead us into some pretty amazing things and put us in touch with some pretty awesome people.
I can't wait to watch the road unfold.
Currently we are in New Orleans. When we travel we like to eat what the locals eat. We avoid chain restaurants and try to find the off the beaten path places to grab some food. A couple places we checked out while we've been here are Blue Line Sandwich Co. We did breakfast here last week and it was really good. Definitely was a local hangout. Cochon was another place we checked out which I believe is in the Uptown area. This place was great, we shared some oysters and their traditional dish and namesake, the Cochon. Both were great!
We also checked out John Besh's restaurant Lüke for breakfast yesterday. A little bit on the spendy side but the food was fantastic. I had the southern breakfast and instead of the grits they gave me some roasted potatoes that were just awesome! Laura had the egg white frittata which was also delicious! We also made a stop at Cafe Du Monde and had some coffee and Laura and Eli had some beignets.
As you can see a big piece of what we like to experience when we travel is FOOD!!! Both of us would rather spend $100 on an awesome dinner, then go to a concert or a show. We don't mind those things but we just love food and experiencing the different preparations and flavors is so fun. This has definitely helped me in the kitchen too. I get to see how dishes are made and assembled. I get to taste different combinations of that I would never have thought of on my own. In the traditional version of gumbo, you make a roux from wheat flour, so I had to modify that a bit and I think it worked pretty well.
My goal with a lot of the food we come across is to find great local ingredients, do a little bit of research on what the base of a dish is, then make it your own! For those of you that follow us on Facebook you might have actually seen me make this entire dish on a Live Broadcast. If you want to watch that you can click HERE, then go the videos section. We've also had a lot of people ask about how they can Live Subscribe and get notified when do our live videos. I finally figured it out! If you click on the image below, it will take you to our page, from their click on the videos section, then then in the upper right hand corner click the arrow then choose Turn On Live Notifications. This works if you are on your desktop. From a phone, go to our page, The Cook and the Coach, the select to Follow Us, not just Like our page, then scroll down a few posts and find our last live broadcast and in the upper right hand corner you should see an option to Live Subscribe.
From a Computer
From a Phone or Tablet
So finally the recipe! If you are like me, you probably just skipped to this section! Hope you enjoy this recipe. If you want, you could certainly modify it to your taste, by adding things like shrimp or crawfish. You can also tailor the spice level to what you like and how spicy your andouille is that you buy.
When you don't feel like proofing a blog post, you just talk! So you get to deal with my "umm's" and "and's", hope you don't mind. I also want to start doing some more video messaging so hopefully these will get better.
Let us know your thoughts? Do you cook? How has it changed your life?
We have always known that KNOWING where our food comes from is really important...but it was still cheaper to get 2 dozen organic eggs from Costco. Just being honest here!! Sue me.
BUT, when a friend of ours (Sara) said she raises chickens and sells their eggs I knew we had to get on her list. We eat SO. MANY. EGGS. Seriously. It's ridiculous. We go through about 6-8 eggs per day. Yes. SO. MANY. Haha!! We love them though and so does Eli, so we have them for breakfast pretty much every morning.
As soon as Sara's chickens started laying eggs she messaged us (this last weekend) and said she'd bring 2 dozen to church the next morning and I kinda jumped for joy. My older sister, Sara (as well....weird)....raised chickens for a short time in Colorado so we had tried pasture raised chicken eggs before and they were SO good. Here's a picture of me holding one of her chickens a few years ago:
However...do you know WHY it's important to know where your eggs came from and what those chickens ate? To quote one of our favorite podcasts, The Model Health Show
"You are what you eat ate."
By that we mean any animal product you're putting into you body, you're also ingesting whatever THEY ATE as well. So choose your animal sources wisely!
Sara's chickens are pastured...meaning they have full access to outdoor area that is fenced for their safety. This is much different from "free range" which simply means according to the USDA the chickens have "access" to the outdoors for at least 50% of their lives. ALSO, don't mistake "Cage free" for being all that great...if they came from a big factory farm those chickens were probably just cooped up in a barn with a thousand other chickens...not technically in a cage per se...but not roaming free and able to eat whatever they want. "Cage free" and "Free range" aren't necessarily better...even though we all get misled by the terms sometimes. I know I did!! That's why knowing where your eggs come from (if you have that ability) is really important. Click here for a great article explaining more about this.
Sara's chickens are fed non GMO feed with no soy and it's basically organic...just not certified organic yet because she gets it from farmers that are in the process of organic certification. Her chickens also get fresh fruit and veggies all the time and they add kefir, whey etc...when available! They also forage and eat bugs and weeds in their pasture and they sometimes reserve feed until the end of the day to force them to forage more which means they get more variety in their diet! Genius! That's why the yolks are so yellow (see picture below).
Here are a few pictures of her beautiful chickens and her toddler terrorizing a few of them...or maybe they're terrorizing her, I can't tell!
And now the big reveal...we wanted to do a side by side comparison of the organic Costco eggs and Sara's pasture eggs...check it out. Can you tell which is which?? We won't leave you hanging...the one on the left is the pasture raised egg and the one on the right is the organic, cage free egg from Costco.
SO...if you don't have the option to pay a little more for quality eggs...that's fine!! I just challenge you to think about the foods that you eat ALOT of on a daily basis and think about slowly starting to swap IN a higher quality version!! Your health will thank you in the long run!!
July 16th - 19th we packed our bags, left Eli with my parent's and headed to Nashville, TN to spend 4 whole days with our Beachbody family...to say we were excited was a bit of an understatement!
This event is something we look forward to every single year for quite a few different reasons:
I won't bore you with all the details of what we did since I have pictures of most of it...but to summarize: there were workouts with Shaun T and Autumn Calabrese, listening to Simon Sinek speak and also DeWitt Jones who is a photographer for National Geographic, delicious food, amazing trainings, knowledge, insight and inspiration shared and LOTS of walking!
"Every One Matters" was the theme for this year...and that couldn't be more true. We're in this business to help people live HEALTHY and FULFILLING lives. Your health really is one of the cornerstones of your life and it impacts every area of your life. If your health is suffering, everything else seems to go downhill as well, right?? So our goal is to get people to focus on health...and how it's a lifestyle and not a diet or a short term fix. It can't be if you want to live life to it's fullest!!
We are already looking forward to next year...and can't wait to have so many more people from our team there!!
Last weekend my parents were in town for a quick visit so we spent all day on Sunday with them and my brother's family. We went to church, went to brunch and then spent the afternoon hanging out by the lake where their new house will be built next year! Our brunch adventures this week took us to Victors on Water in Excelsior, MN...right off of Lake Minnetonka. This tiny town has so many cute shops, restaurants and coffee shops...I love it!!
Anyway...this was our first time to Victors and everything was just spot on. The food, the service, the atmosphere...we will definitely go back!! The picture above is what Dan had and it was the Polenta Benedict w/ asparagus, king crab, poached eggs and parmesan fondue....and obviously an arugula salad on top. He loved it. I had the Pork and Vegetable Hash with two eggs and toast. It was delicious and I ate every single bite. I also had a bloody mary that was seriously good. One of the best I've had in a while! Great flavor and thick...which I like.
My view at lunch...isn't he cute?? And miraculously, Eli slept in the Ergo the entire time. It was LOVELY!!!
And then we ended the afternoon/evening with some time on the lake, some naps and cuddle time and then some sushi. Sundays are my FAVORITE!
Oh and YES, we would highly recommend Victors on the Water. Go check out the weekend brunch and then walk down by the lake and enjoy the view!
Here is our second installment of "Brunching in the MSP"...even though our brunch spots will be all over the Twin Cities, we'll just say MSP for the sake of ease and the fact that there are no hashtags with that name :)
A few weeks ago it was a GORGEOUS day so we decided to hit up a spot for brunch and then walk around Lake Calhoun. A few of my favorite things to do on the weekends: walk around a body of water, go to a farmers market and go to brunch. Do all 3 and then sit outside and read books and I'm a happy camper!!
We had been to Lake & Irving before when they had first opened and it was pretty delicious then and it did not disappoint this time either.The service was spectacular, the food was tasty and the bloody mary was delicious...although I could have used a few more "additions" to my bloody. I love them loaded with a beef stick, pickle, cube of cheese, bacon...and this was just kinda plain. Oh well, the actual bloody itself was delicious.
My cute date
My other cute date
Dan and I tend to gravitate towards the same things...so we often get two things and then share them, but today we didn't do that. I ordered the open faced kalua pork torta, which had duroc kalua pork, sourdough, guacamole, poached egg, chile japones and a mixed green salad.
And Dan ordered the brisket hash, which had smoked brisket, poached egg, herb potatoes, carmelized onions and roasted red peppers.
They were both a perfect way to start the day! I know you're thinking...aren't these people supposed to eat HEALTHY all the time and be good examples for everyone? Umm no. We are REAL. We're people. We love bloody mary's...heck...that's basically vegetables isn't it? :)
We know eating out can be hard so we really do try to be intentional about where we choose to go eat. We stay away from chain restaurants and try to go local as much as we can. We love farm to table restaurants and places that serve fresh, real ingredients. We do tend to also gravitate towards the healthier things on the menu and stay away from the sugary, sweet, because we know how much better they'll make us feel.
Peace out. Make it a great day!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.