Surf & Turf Recipes for a Delicious Date Night

Surf & Turf Recipes - simple and delicious dishes featuring beef and seafoodEver find it hard to decide between serving seafood or steak when making a romantic dinner or special date night? I say, why deny – the marriage of meaty, mouthwatering steaks with delicate, succulent seafood is a bond that shouldn’t be broken. In fact, I’m pretty sure SURF AND TURF are those three little words your significant other wants to hear on Valentine’s Day. And, maybe “I LOVE YOU” later! Here are a few favorites from my personal recipe collection and from friends at Cooking Light and Texas Beef Council. Pair up one from the beef list and one from the seafood list for a memorable meal your love will LOVE!

FAVORITE STEAK RECIPES FOR DATE NIGHT:

Spice Crusted Tenderloin Steak - TheFitFork.comSpice-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks – I don’t know how many times I’ve made this insanely good beef recipe – you just can’t go wrong with tenderloin.  Slice up your beef into filet steaks (or ask the butcher) and get grilling. If it’s still cold outside, this simple recipe works well on an indoor grill pan like this one XOXOX.

 

Pomegranate Steak with Quinoa makes a healthy date night meal

 

 

Pomegranate Steak with Quinoa – The additional of an ancient grain makes this strip steak super well balanced!

Pan Seared Strip Steak is surprisingly lean, but tastes sinfully delicious.Pan-Seared Strip Steak – Smoky, savory and seemingly sinful, this recipe is made with a strip steak which is actually quite lean. I’d be inclined to sprinkle some blue cheese on top for an umami one-two!

 

 

 

 

Mojo Flat Iron Steak

Mojo Flat Iron Steak – Flat iron is a very tender cut of beef, slice thin and serve with some grilled shrimp for a tasty tropics-inspired treat!

FAVORITE SEAFOOD RECIPES FOR DATE NIGHT:

Cumin-Dusted Seared Sea Scallops are so quick and easy to make -- plus very healthy!Cumin-Dusted Seared Sea Scallops – My simple recipe for scallops is super flavorful and can be made in mere minutes while steaks are resting!

Crab Stuffed Lobster with Citrus DressingCrab-Stuffed Lobster with Citrus Vinaigrette – I went coastal crazy when I tried this — this easy lobster (and crab!) recipe is so easy and elegant plated as a side dish with the perfect steak.

 

 

 

Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spices

Sauteed Creole Shrimp – I originally made these quick Cajun-inspired shrimp to toss on a salad but found a few strategically placed atop a steak are spicy magic!

Lemon Grilled Bay Shrimp are sure to add some zest to any meal!Lemon Grilled Bay Shrimp – Let shrimp soak up flavors in a 10-minute pre grill marinade of lemon juice, garlic and simple spices. I serve with the wedges, it looks so lovely!

 

 

 

 

So what are your dinner plans for Valentine’s Day? Do you love beef and seafood — are you more surf or more turf when it comes to life?  Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

 

 

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DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce and Saucesome Food Pairings

Two-Minute Homemade Garlic Pizza Sauce can be made in a flash, saves money and lets you control the spice.Yeah, yeah . . . National Pizza Day was yesterday. I may be a day late, but definitely not a dollar short with this easy-to-make homemade garlic pizza sauce recipe that will take your pie to the next level.

Homemade garlic pizza sauce tastes better, saves money and can be made ahead and frozen for a busy weeknight dinner solution.

Store-bought sauces can be kind of pricey, especially the better ones – but my creation saves you some dough (see what I did there?) that can be put towards your favorite fresh toppings. Personally, I love Campari tomatoes, spinach and roasted garlic – but the kids are pepperoni addicts all the way. As for the crust, I’m staying out of the crust controversy – pan crust, thin crust or even cauliflower-carrot crust, it’s up to you. Make it your way, I’m just here to share the sauce.

DIY Homemade Pizza Sauce is perfect for your pie and to use with nearly everything -- sauce to dunk bread, shrimp, cheese, to toss with pasta or zoodles, or to simmer with eggs!The secret to this pizza sauce recipe is a can of “fire-roasted” tomatoes and Instantly Fresh herbs – I’m a big fan of these freeze-dried herbs and garlic from Litehouse Foods, but you can also use regular dried herbs or fresh if feeling fancy.  Those not in the know would think this hearty sauce had been simmering all day on the stovetop and not whipped up at warp speed in a blender. Make a double batch and freeze for a busy weeknight dinner solution.

Other recipes that are insanely good with this pizza sauce:

Egg & Zucchini Ragu

Eight Minute Egg & Zucchini Ragu

 

More Eggs . . .Portabello Eggs Inferno:  

Portobello Eggs Inferno makes a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Dip Roasted Spicy Creole Shrimp into Pizza Sauce (instead of cocktail sauce):

Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spices

 

So, what is your favorite topping for pizza? Dare I ask, what is your sauce strategy? Do you cut your pizza in wedges or squares? Do you consider pizza something for a “cheat” day or a well-balanced, hand-held meal? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

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DIY Homemade Pizza Sauce is perfect for your pie and to use with nearly everything -- sauce to dunk bread, shrimp, cheese, to toss with pasta or zoodles, or to simmer with eggs!
DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce and Saucesome Food Pairings
Print Recipe
No pre-packaged pizza sauce here, this easy homemade recipe takes your pie (and pasta) to the next level, saves money and lets you control the spice.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
DIY Homemade Pizza Sauce is perfect for your pie and to use with nearly everything -- sauce to dunk bread, shrimp, cheese, to toss with pasta or zoodles, or to simmer with eggs!
DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce and Saucesome Food Pairings
Print Recipe
No pre-packaged pizza sauce here, this easy homemade recipe takes your pie (and pasta) to the next level, saves money and lets you control the spice.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend for approximately 45 seconds or until ingredients combined and tomatoes broken down but not completely pureed. Spread out sauce thinly on prepared pizza crust. Makes sauce for 3 medium or 2 large pizzas. Store leftover sauce in refrigerator or freeze in air-tight zip-top plastic bag.
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Bon Temps! Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons

Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter CroutonsWell, first of all, happy Mardi Gras – Laissez les bons temps rouler! This day of eating, drinking and overindulging that can take quite a toll so, I’m sharing a healthy salad to help keep you fit and fierce for Fat Tuesday . . . or get you back on track later in the week!

Creole Cajun Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons

You’re going to love my Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons, it’s like a healthier version of a Po’ Boy sandwich that exploded with loads of lettuces and farm-fresh veggies. Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spicesInstead of getting fried in oh-my-gawd grease, the succulent shrimp in this quick and easy recipe get a toss in Creole Seasoning before being lightly sautéed in heart-healthy olive oil.

Forget about bland Creole seasoning from grocery store spice aisle, kick up the taste and cut down on costs by making a big batch at home – in addition, making it from scratch lets you say au revoir to weird chemicals and preservatives and control the amount of heat. Often referred to as Cajun spice, this blend of peppers, paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic and onion powders creates the base of bold flavor on practically everything in my shrimp recipe – BAM! Spices for Creole Seasoning

I also use Instantly Fresh Herbs  in my Creole Spice Mix, a generous recipe that makes plenty for the salad, dressing and croutons – store leftovers in an airtight jar for up to a year. Use this Creole Spice Mix in soups and gumbos, rub into catfish and tuna, mix into meatballs, and even sprinkle on grilled fruit – this Cajun food seasoning is crazy-good!

Creole Spice with Instantly Fresh HErbs

The dressing isn’t loaded in fat either; I used the deliciously creamy Greek yogurt-based Ranch and jazzed it up a bit with Creole spices.

If you are looking for some other Cajun, Creole or otherwise New Orleans-ish, check out this collection of Crescent City inspired recipes from Cooking Light

Creole Cajun and New Orleans recipes from Cooking  Light

 

What are your Mardi Gras plans? What is your favorite Cajun or Creole recipes? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer

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Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
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Let the good times roll while keeping it light with my New Orleans inspired entree salad featuring spicy sauteed shrimp and crusty French baguette croutons.
Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Print Recipe
Let the good times roll while keeping it light with my New Orleans inspired entree salad featuring spicy sauteed shrimp and crusty French baguette croutons.
Ingredients
For Creole Spice
For Shrimp
Servings:
Instructions
  1. To make Creole Spice Mix, place ingredients in small jar with lid. Stir or shake to combine. May be stored in pantry out of direct sunlight for up to one year. Makes approximately ½ cup.
  2. To make shrimp, heat olive oil and Worcestershire sauce in large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat thawed shrimp dry and toss with Creole Spice Mix. Place in hot skillet and sauté for approximately 2 minutes, or until heated through (take care not to over-heat since shrimp are precooked). Remove shrimp from heat to a plate while finishing remainder of dish.
  3. To prepare salad, top lettuce with cabbage, radish and tomatoes on a large platter or individual bowls. For dressing stir, Creole Spice Mix in dressing until incorporated – use more or less depending on preference for spiciness.
  4. For croutons, slice 8-inch length of baguette in half lengthwise. Next, slice each half in half at a long diagonal; place on baking sheet. Brush cut side of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and Creole Spice Mix. Set under broiler for 60 seconds (keep a vigilant eye) or until top beginning to bubble and brown.
  5. To serve, place shrimp on prepared salad and add one big crouton per person; pass with dressing.
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Dark Chocolate Espresso Pre-Workout Shake #HeartMonth

Disclosure: I was compensated for my time as part of the @CocoaVia Supplement #HeartMonth campaign through the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network.Dark Chocolate Espresso Pre Workout Shake offers your workout the benefit of cocoa flavinols, caffeine, quality carbs and sustaining protein.

Does it sound strange to say the favorite part of my day is working out? Some people hate exercising, but I love it. It’s a time to forget about everything that stresses me, focus on achieving personal goals, and cater to my competitive side while still having fun with friends. But, more often than not, it’s hard for me to get my rear in gear for a run or workout. However, I’ve found that the right nutrition about 30 minutes before I head out to the gym, trail or track helps me win the day. Jennifer Fisher TheFitFork.com BVM CrossFit

Since I’m typically in a rush tying up work and family obligations, I need an easy pre-workout snack that I can stash in my gym bag. Personally, I prefer a drink over food because it’s easier for me to stomach before a workout — unfortunately, many beverages need refrigeration. However, I came up with a delicious recipe for Dark Chocolate Espresso Pre-Workout Shake that can be prepared right on the spot with no blender, fridge or heating appliances.

CocoaVia Espresso PreWorkout Drink

The workout friendly ingredients include canned espresso for a caffeine boost, honey crystals for some quality, quick-energy carbs, chocolate whey powder for sustained energy and CocoaVia® Daily Cocoa Extract Supplement for a dose of cocoa flavanols, which are scientifically proven to promote a healthy heart by supporting healthy blood flow†.Sharing CocoaVia Espresso PreWorkout Drink

I didn’t have any trouble finding taste-testers at my CrossFit gym!

Seriously easy, all you do to make the “recipe” is bring along a mason jar filled with a bit of dry honey crystals and a half-scoop of your favorite chocolate protein powder. Before drinking, just add your 8-ounce can of espresso, 4 ounces of water and a packet CocoaVia® Daily Cocoa Flavanols Extract Supplement (Unsweetened Dark Chocolate). If you don’t want to use the canned espresso (or can’t find it), you can just add black coffee to the Mason jar brought from home – however, I do recommend the 8-ounce can of High Brew Double Espresso because it’s convenient and is made with just a light touch of cane sugar. Whole Foods usually carries it.

Shake, shake, shake up everything in the Mason jar and enjoy – this pre-workout shake isn’t too filling, so it stays down even if burpees are on the whiteboard.  Another thing, and GENIUS, if I might add – if you are in a situation where there might be multiple “mason jars” hanging around or if you want to differentiate concoctions in your own fridge, those cheapie rubber bracelets fit perfectly around the rim – everyone gets a different color! Scroll back up and look at the photo for my orange bracelet!

It's easy to take CocoaVia Favinol Extract Supplement anywhere.I think you’ll love this pre-workout beverage – it provides heat-healthy cocoa flavanols, sustaining energy thanks to the protein powder, and tastes great at any temperature. You’ll also really appreciate the CocoaVia® Daily Cocoa Extract Supplement that delivers the highest concentration of cocoa flavanols you can find. The use of cocoa flavanols, like those found in CocoaVia®, are supported by two decades of scientific research that suggest these powerful plant-derived nutrients may play a valuable role in cardiovascular health. It’s pretty much impossible to get enough of these cocoa flavanols through chocolate treats (you’d surely get sick!), the traditional cocoa processing, which includes drying, fermenting and roasting of beans, destroys many of the naturally-occurring flavanols. However, CocoaVia®supplement isolates the “good stuff” and packages it up for use in a convenient, versatile form, without all the calories and fat – my heart and I love them for that! For more information, visit www.CocoaVia.com

 †This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Are you a chocolholic? What do you eat before a workout? Did you run a race or have a competition this weekend? I’d love to know, please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

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CocoaVia Espresso PreWorkout Drink
Dark Chocolate Espresso Pre-Workout Shake
Print Recipe
Win your day and your workout with this easy-to-make pre-workout shake featuring the benefits of cocoa flavinols, caffeine, quality carbohydrates and sustaining protein. No blender or refrigerator needed.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 1 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 1 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
CocoaVia Espresso PreWorkout Drink
Dark Chocolate Espresso Pre-Workout Shake
Print Recipe
Win your day and your workout with this easy-to-make pre-workout shake featuring the benefits of cocoa flavinols, caffeine, quality carbohydrates and sustaining protein. No blender or refrigerator needed.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 1 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 1 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Add CocoaVia®, honey crystals, and protein powder to mason jar or shaker bottle. Add lid and lightly shake to combine.
  2. Add espresso and and water to powdered mixture. Shake vigorously until well combined.
  3. Enjoy as-prepared or serve over ice.
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Eight Amazing Fitness & Food Products + Giveaway

As a food and fitness blogger, it’s fun (and sometimes filling!) to test out all the new products that get sent my way.  I’m sharing the best from the last couple months (and some perennial favorites) along with any discount codes I might have. If I’ve listed it here, it gets legitimate thumbs up from me – other stuff gets tossed into the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all pile.”

Jennifer Fisher of The Fit Fork with Litehouse FoodsLitehouse Foods Organic Vinaigrette– I develop recipes for this awesome employee-owned company based in Idaho – they have delicious, healthy products ranging from artisan cheeses to Greek yogurt based dips and freeze dried herbs sold all over the US. Right now, I’m really digging their updated organic line which includes new flavors like two of my favorites — Organic Rosemary Balsamic and Organic Ginger Honey. Look for these in the refrigerated section of your produce department, purchase online or enter to win my GIVEAWAY for Five Free Litehouse Foods product coupons (use them on anything they make, not just the dressings – enter at bottom of post).

Salad with Somersaults Sunflower Crackers as croutonsSomersaults Sunflower Snacks – Available in sweet and savory flavors, these yummy little crackers are made mostly of sunflower seeds and offer up healthy fats, protein and vitamin E. My favorite way to use them is as a crouton alternative on my #BombAssSalads !! Use NEWFAN10 to get 10% off your order.

 

 

Nuttzo chocolate syrup and strawberries on my protein pancakesNuttzo Nut & Seed Butters –  My nutty shines through, Nuttzo has named me a VIP Ambassador for their organic and non-GMO Nut & Seed Butters. This stuff is so good, you’ll want to spread it on everything – or just eat right out of the jar. Save 20% on purchase with discount code FITFORK-20

 

 

bright planet skinBright Planet – There is so much to love about this small, woman-owned bath and skin product company – not only are there eco-friendly, human and organic products wonderfully pampering (loved the scent), but they also are mindful of their place in the bigger world. For example, for each purchase made, Bright Planed donates two healthy meals to children in need. Get Bright Planet on Amazon

 

Kevin - CEO of Nuun and Jennifer Fisher of TheFitFork.comNuun Hydration Tablets – This is not your standard Nuun Ambassador shoutout – I’ve been on the team for years, and am so happy to report that just recently the formula has been improved!  They’ve added non-GMO sourced dextrose to help body absorb fluids more efficiently (still keeping under 1g sugar), using only clean ingredients such as plant-based sweeteners, and are gluten, dairy and soy free and given a “Clean Sport Certification” by Informed Choice. Use code NUUNAMBASSADORFRIEND at checkout to receive 20% off order.

Vitamin Dose BeverageVitamin Dose Beverage – I don’t know about you, but I hate swallowing pills. That’s why I was all over these little specially blended cans of drinkable vitamins. They are non-carbonated, caffeine-free, low-calorie and taste good too.  Get your Vitamin Dose on Amazon

 

Gnarly NutritionAltra superior 2TsaGnarly Nutrition – I am a protein powder nerd, I love trying all the new ones I find. Totally into the “Chiseled Chocolate” Grass Fed Whey Protein Supplement. It’s made with quality New Zealand Whey (happy cows there, I guess) and offers 12.5 g protein along with BCAAs, Glutamine and no artificial anything. Also, other full-on sports nutrition products including some vegan stuff.  Get Gnarly on Amazon

Superior 2 from Altra Running – Okay, disclosure, I’m an Ambassador and admitted junkie of their super light and flash-fast The Ones 2.5 (and all previous versions!). So, it took the color golden yellow and the promise of “more grip and less weight” to get me to try the award-winning trail shoe that everyone’s raves on. I was looking for something that was still light on the feet, take me from trail running to gym and me obstacle course appropriate – score!  Get Altra Superior 2 on Amazon

 

Tsamma Juice TheFitFork.comTsamma Juice — Tsamma Juice from Frey Farms makes me swoon plus, it’s another woman-owned biz. Everyone knows what a huge watermelon fan I am (for both healthy recipes and sports performance benefits). It’s so awesome to have access to sweet, yummy handcrafted watermelon juice during the middle of winter – look for it at your grocery store in the produce section, Costco or buy online.
 

Have you tried any of these health and fitness products? What are you favorite new finds? Please share in comments! XOXO – Jennifer

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Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate #BeeSweet + Giveaway

Healthy Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate uses Honey Crystals, Fresh Strawberries, and Fat Free Milk that froths up!This Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetie to my Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate – it’s a mug of hot, steamy love. There is no better way to warm up on February 14th, with the exception of a great big hug from your honey. Homemade from the heart, your favorite guy or girl will be tickled pink to sip away at this berry blissful beverage – and you’ll fall in love with how simple it is to make. Read to the bottom for giveaway.

Healthy Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate

Oh, and something else to adore – instead of fake flavorings, peculiar preservatives and corn syrup sweeteners found in many hot chocolate mixes, this made-from-scratch recipe uses fat-free milk (for the best frothing!), real strawberries and just a touch of added sweetness from Nektar Honey Crystals.

Healthy Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate

Can you believe this recipe makes it’s own whipped cream?! Well, not really cream, but the air that gets whipped up while blending makes a nice creamy top that is dense enough to hold sprinkles or colored sugar! I don’t really know the science behind it, but fat-free milk works the best for creating foam in the blender or with a frother. If you don’t do dairy, you can swap out for almond, coconut or cashew milk and still end up with a delicious drink.

Dark Chocolate Pretzels Covered with Nektar Honey CrystalsSince this recipe isn’t over-the-top sugary sweet, indulge your loved one with the perfect pairing – Dark Chocolate Covered & Nektar Honey-Crystal Dusted Pretzels. Ahh, strawberry hot chocolate and dark chocolate pretzels ARE a delicious duo, trust me!

And, it’s always tasteful to express your sentiments with food, words are also nice! Send a FREE “HoneyGram” to your sweetie – along with your personalized note comes with a complementary packet of Nektar Honey Crystals to melt your loved one’s heart. Go HERE to send a HoneyGram – hurry, ends 2/7!

Nektar Honey Crystals productsI first discovered Nektar Honey Crystals when looking for a way to pre-sweeten the homemade holiday tea bags I was gifting family and friends  – you must check out my DIY Tea Bag post, it’s genius. You also need to check out Nektar Honey Crystals, an equally clever and convenient idea Forget about the sticky mess usually associated with honey, these 100 percent natural crystals are super yummy sweet and deliver the familiar flavor of honey and the convenience of cane sugar anywhere — at home or on-the-go. They are non-GMO and naturally gluten free – pick up a bottle of spoonable crystals or a box of individual on-the-go packets at your local Walmart and also enter my giveaway at the end of this post!

Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate

Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate (serves 1)

  • 8 ounces fat-free (skim) milk
  • 2 to 3 large strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 ounce quality white chocolate, broken into bits
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Nektar Honey Crystals (depending on sweetness preference)
  • Garnish: colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired

To make, place milk and strawberries in a blender.  Blend together for approximately 45 seconds until strawberries are incorporated and froth areating up on top (strangely enough, skim milk works much better than higher fat milks).

Place blended mixture into small saucepan along with honey crystals and white chocolate.  Heat over medium-low heat, stirring gently until white chocolate is melted and drink is heated through. Pour into 12-ounce mug, top with colored sugar or spinkles if desired.

Enter giveaway below to try a bottle of Nektar Honey Crystals!

This post and giveaway sponsored by Nektar Naturals, however the recipe, opinions and enthusiasm are all mine! 

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Better-For-You Chocolate Mint Syrup and Greek Yogurt Parfaits

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SweetNewYear #CollectiveBiasChocolate Greek Yogurt Parfait has no added sugar and sweetened with stevia.

I have a serious sweet tooth. It’s not a secret that I like to start (and end) my day with a little bit of chocolate goodness. Studies have shown that certain flavonoids in chocolate may decrease recovery time and improve endurance in athletes and, goodness, how I hope that is true! However, munching down on chocolate candy or ice cream isn’t really going to help me achieve my 2016 health and fitness goals – there’s a lot of extra sugar and fat I don’t need in those treats.  When I eat less processed sugar, I have more room in my diet for protein, vegetables and healthy whole grains and that’s what keeps me fueled up to kick butt on a daily basis.

Variation of Side Crow with leg up

Eating for optimal performance and well-being is all about BALANCE!

However, I’ve still been enjoying my daily chocolate but living life with less sugar thanks to Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable. This zero-calorie, stevia-based sweetener is ideal for my healthy lifestyle and keeps me training smart for all my fitness goals – to get on the Spartan Race podium, to nail that next yoga pose, to bring my 5k road race time back down to freaking fast.

Aside from the great taste of Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable and help it gives me to reduce the unnecessary sugar in my life, I also appreciate the product’s versatility. From a spoonful in my coffee or sprinkled on grapefruit, there are so many uses.  Two favorite other uses revolve around my chocolate obsessions – the first is to stir right from the jar into unflavored, plain Greek yogurt (to avoid the added sugar that many brands have) and the second is to make a “better-for-you” chocolate syrup that can be poured on / into  everything from hot almond milk, protein pancakes, fruit slices, and yogurt.  When I stir this chocolate syrup into my Greek yogurt, it’s like eating ice cream – but with lots of protein and very few carbohydrates.Better for You Chocolate mint syrup

Today, I’m sharing the recipe for “Better-for-You” Chocolate Mint Syrup (which can easily be tweaked without the mint) and my favorite ideas for Greek Yogurt Parfaits. I could eat a chocolate Greet yogurt parfait at breakfast, post-lunch and as a bedtime snack . . . and sometimes have!

Ingredients for Truvia Chocolate Syrup

“Better For You” Mint Chocolate Syrup (Stevia)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or freeze-dried mint
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable
  • 1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Add mint to teaball / tea infuser and drop in small saucepan with water. Bring water to a rolling boil over medium high heat for 1 minute; turn off heat and let steep for 5 minutes.  Remove and discard mint.
  2. Mix in Truvia Spoonable into hot water, stir until dissolved. Turn burner back on to medium low, whisk in cocoa powder until incorporated and smooth, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. If needed whisk in a tiny bit more water to achieve desired consistency if too thick.
  4. To make “regular” non-mint chocolate stevia syrup, simply bring water to boil in first step – but omit mint.
  5. May store in refrigerator for up to a month. Makes about 12 ounces.

As I mentioned,  “Better For You” Mint Chocolate Syrup is the bomb drizzled over Greek yogurt, but even better STIRRED in! Check out these yummy ways, I used the chocolate syrup made with Truvia Spoonable Natural Sweetener:

Greek Yogurt Parfait with Stevia Chocolate Syrup

As a Chocolate Greek Yogurt Parfait layered with syrup, granola, nuts and fruit –  I used pomegranate and cocoa granola, but you can substitute your favorite ingredients!ingredients for truvia yogurt parfait

As Chocolate Ombre Greek Yogurt Shooters — they are so tastefully trendy and good for you. Start with a big dollop of syrup in the bottom of glass and then spoon in yogurt that has been mixed with varying amounts of chocolate syrup to achieve gradient shades of chocolate brown.Ombre Chocolate Greek Yogurt Shooters sweetened with Stevia

It’s easy to find Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable on the baking aisle at Walmart – it comes in a 9.8 ounce container, so there are plenty of scoops for your beverages, snacks and recipe ideas. Save SAVE $1.50 on any ONE (1) package of Truvía Natural Sweetener (excluding 7 ct.), Truvía Baking Blend or Truvía Brown Sugar blend – get the coupon HERE.

truvia at walmart

Check out other delicious recipes using Truvia Spoonable HERE and request your free sample!

Do you have a health or fitness goal to share? OR, what would you drizzle chocolate syrup on? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

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How to Push Past a Running Plateau

How to kick through a running plateau. Whether you are fairly fresh into running or well-seasoned in the sport, you have may have experienced a plateau stage where athletic performance seems staler than, well, a week-old donut. Who wouldn’t want to be on a permanent upward trajectory, setting PRs at every race and nailing mileage on every single run? But, that’s just not humanly possible. All runners, even professionals, find themselves stuck in a rut on occasion. Instead of dismay, disappointment and threats to “throw in the towel,” look at a running plateau as an opportunity to analyze and overcome any issues that may be holding you back.

Use strength training as a tool to prevent injury and break through a running plateau.

Supplement with Strength Training: Contrary to what many runners believe, strength training doesn’t make you bulky or heavy on your feet. Stick with lighter weights (add more reps) and bodyweight exercises to add lean and mean muscle that will improve your stride and overall fitness, busting you right out of a running rut. While beneficial, don’t only focus on squats and other lower-body movements. A strong core and arms are also beneficial for running.

Avoid Over-Training:  It makes sense that gains in speed and endurance won’t be seen if hard work isn’t put in. But, too much of a good thing can also keep you down. Over-training has significant mental and physical symptoms that can keep you from reaching your goals — increased heart rate, poor recovery, loss of motivation (or obsessive fixation) and more. If you think over-training may be the culprit, swap out a workout for complete rest, cardio cross-training or just run lightly with a friend for fun (no watch).

Mix Up the Motion: Human bodies become better, stronger and faster when asked to constantly adapt. That means you can’t hit “replay” on your runs day after day. Mix up your running with a variety of speed work including short intervals, long intervals, mixed intervals and more. Also, running on varied terrain improves fitness, so run hills, stairs and trails every now and then. Try something new, other than a road race — for example, trail running and Spartan races are fun and “mix up the motion.”

Hit the Snooze Button: Part of a runner’s ability to recover and get back at it the next day is based on logging quality sleep. In non-REM deep sleep, blood pressure drops, breathing slows, the brain is at rest and increased blood supply becomes available to deliver oxygen and nutrients to restore muscle tissue. Additionally, the pituitary gland releases growth hormone which helps muscle recover and supports muscle gains. Too little sleep can cause growth hormone to be held back – you don’t want that! So, either go to bed earlier, wake up later or sneak in a nap when you can.

Use Food as Fuel: Eating junk food and other highly-processed foods and drinking alcohol are like putting regular gas in a top-of-the-line sports car. It’s just not what to do for optimal performance. An occasional splurge is fine, but for the most part, eating a variety of foods that are as unprocessed and naturally colorful as possible is the best bet for your health. Also, while complex carbohydrates are an essential source of quick energy, the importance of protein shouldn’t be overlooked. Don’t skimp on protein, the healthy fats, amino acids and other important vitamins, minerals and nutrients found in protein offer sustained energy and muscle recovery.

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a running rut? What did you do to move forward? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

Linking Up With: Happy Fit Mama, The Fit Foodie Mama, Hello to Fit, Fairy Burger , Jill Conyers

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