Across the region, gyms are offering great deals to kick off 2016 on the right foot. Make this year about bringing well-being and balance to your life…your waistline and your wallet!
YMCA: First Coast YMCA is waving all new membership fees through the month of January. For a family, this can mean a savings of up to $100. Visit firstcoastymca.org.
Pure Barre: A combination of Pilates and ballet, Pure Barre is one of the hottest workouts in town. This moth they are offering 5 week of classes for $175, 2 weeks of Learn to Barre unlimited classes for $49, and many more deals. For more info about a studio near you, visit purebarre.com.
Orangetheory Fitness: If you are looking for a straight up power hour workout, Orangetheory Fitness is for you. For the month of January, this fitness studio is offering its premier package at the family rate, with a discount of 20%! Visit Orangetheory.com for details.
Looking for a group in your neighborhood to start walking with? Across the First Coast there are a number of walking groups always looking for a new pair of shoes to match a stride. From morning walkers to trail hikers, here are some websites to help you find the right walking community for you.
MeetUp: There is a wide range of groups to choose from at meetup.com all across our region. Visit http://walkers.meetup.com/cities/us/fl/jacksonville/ to learn more!
First Coast Trail Forgers Walking Club: This group walks together both in town regularly, and even goes on fieldtrips to places like Savannah. Visit http://www.firstcoasttrailforgerswalkingclub.org/
Here are some great recipes that are less than 500 calories, but filling and flavorful. Happy eating in 2016!
Paleo Shrimp and Grits (from popsugar.com) | 269 Calories per serving
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon ghee
1/2 large onion, diced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon ghee
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Chopped parsley, to garnish
1. To rice your cauliflower, use a food processor fitted with a shredding or grating blade. It can also be done with a regular blade by adding the cauliflower in a few batches and pulsing it into small pieces the size of rice. Set aside in a large bowl.
2. Heat a medium pot over medium heat, then add the ghee and onion. Cook and stir for about 4 minutes, until the onion begins to brown. Add the cauliflower, chicken broth, coconut milk, salt, and pepper.
3. Turn up the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cauliflower is very soft and most of the liquid has cooked off.
4. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and sprinkle it with lemon zest, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to make sure it’s very well coated.
5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the ghee. Place the shrimp in the skillet in a single layer, and cook for 1 minute on each side or until they’re no longer pink and are light golden brown.
6. Serve the shrimp on top of the cauliflower grits, add a drizzle of lemon juice, and chopped parsley as garnish.
Thai Beef Salad | Calories 452
1/3 cup jasmine rice, dry
1 pound top sirloin steak
1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 cup of cilantro leaves
For the dressing:
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 or 2 Thai chili peppers, chopped
1. In a large pot, combine 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup jasmine rice, and bring to a rolling boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, remove from the heat, and after 5 minutes, fluff the rice with a fork.
2. Set your oven to broil, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for your steak. With the oven door slightly open, broil your steak for 12 minutes, then flip the steak and broil for another 5 minutes. Make sure that the juices run clear once you stick a fork into the steak to ensure it has cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, slice and chop all your vegetables, then prepare the dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar, shake well, then pour into a large bowl.
4. Remove the steak from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice your steak into cubes or thin slices, and add the steak to the large bowl with the dressing. Mix well until all the dressing covers everything. Then add the cucumbers, red onions, tomato, and romaine; mix well, and serve into bowls.
5. Serve 1/3 cup cooked jasmine rice on the side, or mix the rice into your salad bowl.
6. Top off your salad with fresh cilantro leaves, and enjoy.
Mexican Chicken – Crockpot | Calories 381 per serving
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups chopped cilantro leaves and some stems, plus finely chopped cilantro, for garnish
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus grated lemon zest, for garnish
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup chicken stock
3 pounds skinless bone-in chicken thighs, about 12 thighs
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, minced
Finely chopped green onion, for garnish
1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pumpkin and cumin seeds, until the pumpkin seeds are popping and the cumin has released its flavor. Transfer to a mortar or spice grinder and grind. Set aside.
2. In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, peppercorns, oregano, salt, cinnamon, and cilantro. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer contents of the pan to a food processor. Add the lemon zest and juice, chicken stock, and reserved pumpkin and cumin seeds. Process until smooth.
3. Arrange the chicken evenly over the bottom of the slow cooker stoneware. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours, until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork. Stir in the jalapeño pepper to taste. When ready to serve, garnish with the cilantro, green onion, lemon zest, and salsa, if you wish.