Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end... no more sleeping in, "working" from home, shopping, cooking and eating homemade meals with family, or parents doing my laundry & paying for groceries. No sir, winter break is over and I am back in action here in Chitown. I flew back on Thursday and after unpacking, I went to the gym with my buddy Victoria. Considering that school hasn't even started yet, the gym was pretty PACKED!! Grrr. Not surprising I guess, the gym is always like that after the holidays. Suppose it'll all die down in about 3-4 weeks when school is back in action. We did about 40 minutes of ellipticals then some strength training. It was good, but I miss CrossFit. Hopefully starting CF back up again next week, presumably with more new year's resolution people. Joy.
I also did hot yoga (bikram - 26 postures in 90 minutes in 105 degrees w 40% humidity) for the first time in 4 months. It was not nearly as bad as I thought! Until I woke up the next day. You're supposed to feel some soreness after taking a break, so while this is totally normal, it's not the most pleasant thing either. It's more like an achy soreness rather than an "I just killed it at the gym and feel awesome!" soreness. They say you're supposed to go multiple days in a row to work off the soreness and get the body used to bikram... so I went again for the second day in a row (today). It was definitely harder than the first day but I made it through just fine. I was thinking of going again tomorrow, but I'm feeling really unmotivated. Instead, I'll probably run or something. Then get ready for the start of winter quarter at school. Joy.
One cure for feeling sore/tired is EATING! :) I made shrimp fra diavolo, which was inspired by a dish my family ordered over the holidays. It was tasty, but loaded with carby pasta, salt, and oils. Thought I could make a better one, paleo style of course :) Then STUPIDLY EASY two-ingredient, dairy-free banana "ice cream" to top it all off!
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
Salt & dried red pepper flakes
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
1 14.5-oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juices
1/4 c low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3-4 garlic cloves, minced (I love garlic so the more the merrier :))
A couple shakes each of dried oregano, parsley, & basil (or use fresh and chop)
1. Turn oven to 425 degrees F. Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the roots & seeds. Place squash face-down (skin up) on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 min or until squash is soft and easy to squeeze.
2. While spaghetti squash is baking, heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add shrimp, salt, & dried red pepper flakes and saute until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a large plate.
3. Pour 3 tbsp olive oil into pan. Add garlic & onions and saute until fragrant and onions are translucent, about 4-5 min. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, & herbs. Stir to combine and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
4. Add cooked shrimp and toss everything until evenly coated. Sample the creation and add more salt, red pepper, or herbs to taste.
5. Use a fork to shred the spaghetti squash into "noodles". Top with shrimp mixture.
6. Dig in!!
Banana Ice Cream
1 banana, cut into slices
1/4 c coconut milk (lite or full-fat, both work great)
1. Freeze banana slices for at least an hour, ideally longer.
2. Add banana slices & coconut milk to a blender or food processor. Whip it all up until desired consistency is reached.
NOTE: If bananas are too frozen, add more milk. Better to err on the side of caution and use less milk than more. You can always add more later. However, if you use more milk than necessary, you'll end up with a banana pudding which is actually quite tasty.
VARIATIONS: If you want to add some flavor, cinnamon/nutmeg could add some mild flavor. As for the bananas, the riper it is, the more sugar it has. My bananas were about to turn yellow but still had some light green. Tasted just fine, I didn't need it to be all spotty or brown or whatnot.