healthy

Travel Tuesday #TT – restaurant review + travel tip

For you regular readers y’all know that food is a big topic here on the blog. Admittedly, I struggle everyday, all day making good choices. You also know that I am weird about eating out. I’m not a picky eater because I love food, but I am a judgemental eater. I easily get weirded out by restaurants and those that prepare my food *germaphobia*

I met a friend last week for dinner and I felt so compelled to write a review because it was such a great experience. Let’s dig in to why I had to write about my meal. My friend suggested we meet in the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando. We met at Stefano’s Grill. I figured,”grill” there had to be something I could eat. I have to start by saying our waiter greeted us like we were in his home, I felt so welcomed. He then asked about our food preferences – what??!!! Asked about allergies, he shared that they have gluten free meals-YES, gluten free (hallelujah!!)  and that they can accomodate requests because they make everything from scratch!  Everything made fresh…ahhhhhhh, music to my ears. He shared the specials in great detail (which I loved), he explained all of the produce is organic and locally sourced, except the tomatoes which are brought in from Italy, they are not messing around #quality —it keeps getting better. I said that I like to eat healthy and he shared some of his favourite picks with me. He genuinely cared about our dining experience, not just take the order and place the food in front of you. 

Now let’s get into the food. Stefano’s Grill has something for everything. It is an amazing grill with a variety of incredible steaks to rival any steakhouse but they also specialize in Italian fusion (look at their website and get ready to drool) .

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There is something on the menu to satisfy every kind of appetite. Their gluten free menu is what I was really curious about. Gluten free meals can be tough to make, especially pasta which is very tempermental.

We decided to start with an appetizer their house special crab cake (no filler or heavy breading- just big chunks of crab)Image

and the claims

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Both were incredible. 

I opted for the fresh caught salmon for my entree and it came with pasta, I asked for the gluten free.

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My friend went with the Kale salad and added shrimp to it.

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Wow! SUCH GOOD FOOD -yes all caps. 

I have to say they nailed the pasta. The sauce was incredibly infused into the pasta–how did they do that?! I don’t eat pasta so this was a real treat. My salmon was cooked perfectly. It was such a great meal, I really have to rave about it. I havent eaten that well and felt that comfortable at a restaurant in a long time. The staff came by frequently and asked about the meal, they really wanted to know.

 My only regrets:

-not trying my friends Kale salad – but I was too busy inhaling my dinner.

-not having enough room for dessert 

When you are in Orlando go and eat there (thank me later). They also offer a Sunday brunch that has a lobster omelette…what the what?! I will definitely be going back.

I give it 4 Carrie stars which is the highest honor I can.

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Travel Tip Tuesday

Whenever I travel I always talk to locals and find out where they go for food. If the locals eat there you know there has to be some good eats! This tip has never failed me. I have had the best Key Lime pie in Key West Florida, out of this world Jerk chicken in Jamaica, incredible (and authentic) Thai food in Toronto (yes Toronto-Canada!) 

Most people are incredibly honest about food and their food experiences–so ask! 

 

Question of the day (three parter):

-What is your best travel food tip? 

-Where have you had the best _________ ?? 

-If I came to visit you, where would you recommend I go and eat?

 

Be a Flu Fighter

You can’t go anywhere right now without seeing a sign for Flu shots.  Everywhere you turn there is a clinic set up offering a simple shot to help protect you against the flu.

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I’m not going to say whether you should or shouldn’t get the shot, but I am going to say that you should do everything you can to protect yourself from becoming a victim of this mean little “bug”.

The best defense against the flu is a strong offence.  Don’t let the coughing, headache, body ache, fever, chills, vomiting and everything else virus get you this year.

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Here are some simple things-reminders you can do to help protect yourself.

1.)  Wash you hands!  You touch people’s hands, doors, railings and elevator buttons all day long.  Have you ever thought what other people are leaving behind…gahhhh can you say gross? Not near a sink…no worries, always, I mean always carry a good hand sanitizer with you.

2.)  Nutrition. Eat foods that are full of antioxidants.  Fruits and vegetables are your best bet in that department.  Think the colours of the rainbow over a dark leafy base.  You can also supplement with vitamins.  Look for vitamins A, B, C, D and E.  A good multi will do the trick.  Don’t wait till you feel symptoms…tis the season!

3.)  Get outside in the fresh air.  Just because its cold out, you need to get out and take in some fresh air.  If the sun is shining, go suck it in.  The lack of daylight hours this time of year can zap your vitamin D so why not get it the natural way to help.

4.)  Exercise!  Yes, believe it or not exercise can help fight off the nasty little virus.  Studies have shown that exercise can boost you immune system function and a stronger healthier body is better equipped to keep you going strong.

5.)  Rest.  Sleep and recovery are always essential, but as we gear up for the heavy celebration season, you really need to help your body recover and rest with sleep.

6.)  Be a considerate parent.  If your wee ones are under the weather, don’t send them to school.  Even if they don’t have the flu, you’re just asking for their weak bodies to suck up the petri dish of disease that is the classroom.  And if your child does have the flu, for goodness sakes, keep them home.  Yes its tough to keep them home that extra day, but other parents will thank you and there isn’t anything like a little extra cuddle time with your babies.

7.)  Cover your mouth when you cough.  No, this doesn’t help  you much, but when others see you doing it, they may remember to do it as well.  Cough into your elbow, not your hands (refer to point 1).

8.)  Avoid refined sugar.  Ever wonder why Flu season starts just after Halloween, ramps up over Christmas and settles down at Easter???  Sugar!!!

9.)  Mind your minerals.  Just like vitamins, minerals are best taken before the onset of the flu. Zinc, selenium and Iron have all been proven beneficial in the flu fight.

10.) Lot’s o’ liquids. Stay hydrated. Water is a must!

There is no way to guarantee yourself a flu free year, but if you take these steps, you will be increasing your odds.  Tis the season to be a germaphobe so celebrate!

 

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Cookie Wednesday…Happy Hump Day!

Middle of the week, you’re half way there and you’re ready to slide into the last weekend before the kids go back to school! This is a great time to get them to help you out in the kitchen to make a few awesome snacks that you can add to the lunch box list for the upcomming year.

Living a healthy lifestyle is not as hard as you think it is. So many people think that eating healthy = deprivation —- not true at all!!  

Here are a few sweet treats to beat some of those negative thoughts.

 

3 Ingredient -Sugar Free, gluten free (and healthy) peanut butter cookies:

*1/2 cup of peanut butter or almond butter (crunchy or smooth)

*4 tbsp of mashed banana (no more, no less)

*1/4-1/8 tsp of nutmeg 

*splash of vanilla

*1/8 tsp of salt

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Blend all of the ingredients then place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10min.

Let cool for 5min

 

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Banana Pear Oatmeal Cookies

1+1/2 cups of oats

2-3 ripe bananas

1 pear pureed

dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice

choice of chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistaschios)

Mix all ingredients and drop cookie size amounts on your baking sheet.

Bake for 25-30 min at 350. Cool and enjoy.

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Applesauce Cookies:

3 ripe bananas mashed

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 cups of oats

1/4-1/2 cup raisins or chopped nuts (optional)

1 tsp vanilla

dash of cinnamon/nutmeg (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20min.

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You don’t need decadent, ooey gooey cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Change your mind about what is delicious and you will love how your body changes!

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If you have any healthy recipes you love, please share them.