I was born in upstate NY, but I'm a Southern girl at heart. My parents moved to the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina during my freshman year of college, and I fell in love immediately. Being a football wife, I have moved a lot over the years. Texas, Alabama, Colorado. All amazing places. But the Crystal Coast is my home. One of my favorite stops is The Chelsea in New Bern, NC, where we lived while my hubby was coaching linebackers at New Bern High School. Their grits are TO DIE FOR. I've asked for the recipe but to no avail. But this. This was close! I couldn't BELIEVE that I was able to echo the flavors. I mean cauliflower grits with almond milk will NEVER taste as good as real grits with heavy cream, but this. This made me feel like HOME.
1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup cream, milk, or almond milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Or dayia or nutritional yeast if you're dairy free)
2lbs raw, peeled and cleaned shrimp
1 large shallot
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Seasoning for the shrimp:
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
Dash of cayenne
Cook 2 slices of turkey bacon (you can use pork bacon, but I choose not to eat piggies) and set the pan aside.
Chop cauliflower into florets and pulse in food processor until rice like texture and add to 3/4 cup boiling water. Turn heat down to medium and simmer until liquid is absorbed (this took about 20 minutes), add 1/2 cup of almond milk, stir, and continue to cook until thick and creamy. Stir in grated cheddar cheese, a dash each of salt and pepper, and leave on low until the shrimp are done.
After cooking the grits, finely chop 1 large shallot and 2 cloves garlic (I prefer the ready-chopped garlic in the jar and use about 2 tablespoons...I lurve garlic) and sautee with 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter until fragrant, in the same pan where you cooked the turkey bacon. Add the uncooked, seasoned shrimp and cook over medium high heat until all the way pink.
Pour the shrimp mixture overtop of the "grits" and top with to pieces of roughly chopped turkey bacon.
So if you've followed me for a while, you know I started my fitness journey with Insanity (at 210 pounds, I might add!). Since pushing through that program with the support of an amazing challenge group, I have been OBSESSED with high intensity cardiovascular workouts. I love feeling like I've just worked my body to the max, as my lungs heave and I'm covered in sweat. So last July at Beachbody's annual Summit when they announced a weight lifting program from Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev, called Hammer and Chisel, I wasn't totally enthused. The program came and went when it launched in December. I saw amazing results from my friends who had tried it, but I just kept telling myself that it "wasn't for me". I battled through tendonitis and severe seasonal depression in February. It totally crushed my vibe and lead me off track. I started to get lazy, and I took more and more "rest days", even after I was healed. After my FREE TRIP to Miami in April with a shitload of inspiring, fearless women, I started to get the feeling I needed a change. Something started rising inside of me, and I knew it was time to get back to being FABULOUS. I needed to do something DIFFERENT to bust me out of this funk. Enter Hammer and Chisel. I started to think about how I could make the program happen, considering I don't own anything but a set of 5 pound dumbbells after years as a cardio addict. I did some research and found that as a spouse of someone who works at a college campus, I was eligible to join the campus Rec center. Before I could talk myself out of it, I invested in myself and bought it!
I got my rec center pass and started the program on June 1st. I was IN LOVE from the get go. It was hard. My heart was pumping. I was weaker than I thought. BUT, it re-awakened something inside of me. Prior to getting in the best shape of my life, I always had gym memberships, and I enjoyed going to them. I just had ZILCH when it came to a solid plan. Personal trainers never did it for me. No shade here, but all of the ones that I was assigned to for my free hour of training when I signed at the gym just seemed like a bunch of assholes. I even had one tell me I was "pre-diabetic" JUST based on my weight (which at the time was not absurdly out of control...I'm talking like 20 pounds overweight). I may have been chunky and clueless in the gym, but I was also a professional person who knew that it's not only stupid, but dangerous to dish out medical advice when you're not a medical professional...So no, dude, I'm not investing in a training package with you no matter how much you shame me (end rant).
So I'm sure the first thing you're asking is "Beachbody...wait, that's home workouts...do you take your videos with you to the gym?" Well, no, I chose not to, but you can! Beachbody has a streaming on-demand service, where you can take all of your purchased programs with you wherever you have wifi. Being super protective of my fancy laptop and new phone, I opted for the super handy tracking sheets. You can print them off and they allow you to take the workouts with you! So for the first few weeks, every time I'd have a new workout, I'd pop the dvd in and fast forward through the moves to make sure I knew what I was doing, then I'd head off to the gym. Yes, it added 10 minutes or so to my day, but for me, it was totes worth it.
I'm not going to give you the breakdown of each workout, but basically every day, you'll have a routine to follow that's usually less than about 40 minutes to complete. Moves range from squats to bench press and pull ups, but each workout will have you working at a different tempo with different amounts of reps. There are Hammer days, hosted by Sagi, which are a bit more on the heavy, powerlifting side; and Chisel days, hosted by Autumn, that are geared towards balance and toning. Your heart will be pounding. It will be challenging. But it is SO fucking worth it. I found that my strength increased so quickly, and I was moving up in weights by the second week (if you have a home gym, you WILL need varied amounts of weights).
The one thing I WILL for sure tell you is that as much as this program is incredible, for women, it's a mindfuck. I gained 3 pounds within the first 2 weeks of the program and haven't seen the scale go back down since. There's several reasons for that. One is that I want to eat ALL THE THINGS and I'm having a hard time not eating like an asshole when I get hungry (like an asshole = zero portion control and snacking like a mutherfucker). Of course, I drink my Shakeology to keep the sugar cravings at bay, but controlling portions when your metabolism is revving isn't the easiest...at least not for a food addict/binge eater like myself. The other is that I'm building SERIOUS muscle. I feel like even if I were perfect food-wise, I'd still be up a pound or two. You likely WILL NOT lose weight on this program. You have to come to terms with that and do the mental work to separate your emotions from the scale. But what you WILL do is gain strength, tons of confidence, and tighten up every area of your body. I'm down an inch in my waist and my arms look AMAZING. I gotta tell you, I seriously could not give two fucks about the scale, because when I look at the day 30 pictures, I feel like a badass B. I am LOVING my new body, and I can't wait to see what my final, 60 day results will be.
I'm obsessed with shrimp. I grew up not even willing to try seafood, but my freshman year of college, something amazing happened. My parent realized their life long dream of living on the coast of North Carolina. My dad helped me find a sweet waitressing gig at a super busy seafood restaurant. It was great money and lots of fun for the next four summers, but more importantly, they forced me to try things. One day, the owner basically popped a fried shrimp in my mouth, and my life was forever changed. Nowadays, following my husband around the country as a football wife, I long for the fresh-caught-this-morning shrimp that my parents get from their local market. Being that it's summertime, I want to eat all the shrimpies, so my hubby and I decided to grab some and make my shellfish loving dreams come true. I present to you, super simple shrimp scampi! You can seriously thank me later.
SUPER SIMPLE SHRIMP SCAMPI
2 pounds wild caught shrimp
2 c frozen, chopped spinach (I buy it in the bag! If you bang it on the counter, it breaks up super easy ;) then I just pull out what I need and keep the rest frozen!)
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 tbsp minced garlic (I buy the kind in a jar to save time!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Red pepper flake
100% Whole wheat pasta
Pull out 2 cups of frozen, chopped spinach to thaw. Once thawed, press out the water with your clean hands and set aside. You can skip this step by using fresh spinach, but I never eat it fast enough before it goes bad.
Thaw, peel and devein the shrimp if needed. Set aside in a colander to dry out a bit.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, prepare the pasta.
Sauté the onion and garlic over low/medium heat until soft in 1 tbsp each of butter and olive oil.
When pasta is finished, toss in remaining tbsp of olive oil.
Add the shrimp to the onion and garlic, season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of red pepper flake to taste. The shrimp will cook quickly. Once they are pink on both sides, they are done!
Tear apart the spinach and sprinkle over top.
Pour the mixture overtop the pasta and toss together! Sprinkle with grated parmesan and a lemon juice to taste!
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.