Roasted Red Pepper Quoina With Shrimp and Green Beans, Topped with Baked Cajun Flounder

You know when you look in your fridge and see nothing to eat? Well I’ve taken that feeling and turned it into a challenge! So often I eat the same things so I’m working to expand my choices and my palate and get more creative with things I purchase regularly! Today that creativity turned into Roasted Red Pepper Quoina with Shrimp and Green Beans, Topped with Flounder!

Roasted Red Pepper Quoina


  • 1 Cup Quoina
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Green Beans
  • 8 0z Shrimp
  • 8 oz Flounder
  • 1/2 Chopped Red Pepper
  • Coconut Oil or Spray
  • Cajun Seasoning


  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
  2. On a separate pan bake Flounder topped with cajun seasoning till white and flakey. Roast chopped red pepper till edges brown.
  3. Boil 1 cup of water and cup quoina. (Till pot whistles, if using waterless cookwear.)
  4. Then add detailed shrimp, roated red peppers, and green beans to quoina. (and replace the lid till whistle sounds, then close value and let sit.)
  5. Once the shrimp and flounder are fully cooked, serve quoina mixture on the bottom, flounder on top!


When it Comes To Your Nutrition, Pointing The Finger Will Get You No Where!

Why take responsibility for your health when you can put the blame on something else? In today’s society, it’s so common to point the responsibility on outside factors instead of holding your own choices responsible. The following is a list of common sources that are blamed for you inability to lose weight, followed by an explanation and an opportunity to change your thinking about the topics and instead hold yourself accountable for your health.


Maybe you’ve read The Wheat Belly, maybe you haven’t. I won’t discredit that the book is full of many great educational points but it is missing the point of positive proactive health. Instead of pointing the finger at wheat/gluten, take responsibility for what you choose to consume. Wheat/gluten does not make you fat, eating more carbs than your body can use as energy will make you store any excess nutrients as fat. When given the option, choose to consume carbs from a variety of sources including wheat/gluten, as long as the energy to consume through food correlates with the energy you expend throughout your day.

The Whole 30/ 28 Day Fix/ Or any short timeframed challenge

So you’ve done or heard of someone who’s done The Whole 30/28 day fix/or any other trendy cleanse and they lost a ton of weight! That’s awesome! Do you want to know the magic secret? Instead of choosing high calorie/ low nutrient foods, they choose low-calorie/ high nutrient foods. That’s it, plain and simple, they over fixed their diet. Soon after the 30 days, they go back to the poor quality foods and gain all the weight back. Again, it’s all about your choices. If you choose to make a “quick fix”, expect to have your “quick results” to disappear soon after. If you’re considering a quick fix, take a lifestyle change into consideration. Choose high quality foods to fill the majority of your diet and add in a few extra things to match your energy output.

Clean Eating/Paleo

“Do you wash your food before you eat it? Because unless your eating clean, Paleo food you’re going to get fat.” This over-hyped, nutrition concept has become mainstream with the past year. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating clean or Paleo, but it lacks the individualization of portion sizes. Eating clean or Paleo only works when eating in correlation to your energy needs. It’s not the food themselves that are to blame for your weight gain or inability to lose weight, it’s the amount consumed. As long as you match you caloric intake with your caloric expenditure, there’s no reason to rule out any foods or food groups.

Red Meat

Red meat may be high in fat and cholesterol, but eating it does not make you fat and have high cholesterol. Does eating a Cheeto turn you into a Cheeto? No. Blaming foods is ridiculous, especially when you have the choice to control your consumption. Red meat is fine in moderation because your body does not need much fat or cholesterol regardless of what food in comes from. Red meat is not at fault for your excess body weight or high cholesterol. When planning out your meals be aware of all the foods you consume that contain fat and cholesterol and match them to your individual bodies’ needs.

Low Fat/Low Carb

Tracking carbs and fat is great! Everyone should have carb, fat, and protein goals daily! Depleting one macronutrient to an extremely low-level of intake may have some positive results but unfortunately they will be short-lived. As soon as the depleted nutrients are consumed again, the body will again store them as fat if they are over consumed. Fat and carbs are not to blame, consuming them in a disproportion to your bodies’ needs will cause any excess nutrients to be stored as fat. Plan your macronutrient intake to directly relate to your bodies needs.


Refusing the body of the nutrients it needs maybe help you to empty your stomach and deplete water stores in your body but beyond that, fasting has minimal health benefits. Your body needs regular feedings to stabilize your insulin levels and keep your metabolism working. The longer you restrict your food intake, the longer your stall your metabolism. Beyond religious or doctor recommended fasting, there is no need for it. Instead choose to fuel your body appropriately to keep your blood sugar stable and metabolism working and optimal levels.


Being overweight does not run in your genetics nor does having a low metabolism. You have the choice in life to either go down the path of least resistance or chose to be proactive about your health. You are never predisposed to being over weight and out of shape, your choices and lack of action send you down the same path that your genetically related family went down. Use your voice, take action, and don’t hide behind other people who have made poor choices.

Cutting out foods or food groups, labeling foods as good or bad, and depriving yourself of variety are all extreme choices when it comes to changing your nutritional intake. Make the choice to fuel your body according to your caloric needs and let the rest be soft guidelines instead of rules or restrictions.

Carbohydrates: Friend or Foe?

Who would have thought that a few molecules of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen could baffle the minds of so many people trying to maintain healthy diets? Lets start with the basics of the different type of carbohydrates that are found in food. To keep it simple, we are going to separate carbs into 3 different categories: Sugars, Starches, and Fiber. Each of them has their place in fueling your body and helping you reach specific goals.


Sugars are the most simple of the carbohydrates. All of your mono or disaccharides are going to qualify as sugars. Not only are they the most simple in their chemical structure, but it is also a much more simple process for you body to digest and utilize these types of carbs.
Sugars are very important for proper brain function since your brain really only likes to use glucose for energy. Sugars are also very important when it comes to insulin levels in your body. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for controlling the uptake of blood sugar into muscle cells to replenish glycogen levels. Another very important effect of insulin is the increase of amino acid uptake and protein synthesis that it causes.

To put this knowledge into action, you can utilize sugars following a workout to help your body recover faster. Not only will you replenish your glycogen levels, so you have energy to workout again in the future, but it also jumpstarts the process of repairing muscle tissue by driving the building blocks into your muscles and initiating muscle synthesis.

While sugars can be included in your diet, over consuming them can have a negative impact on your weight loss goals. Insulin is also a signal for your body to store fats. It is basically an indicator that your body has enough energy for right now and should start to store the excess for later. This is why I tell most of my clients to avoid eating lots sugars and fats in the same meal.

When picking the type of sugars to include in your diet, take into consideration the fact that refined and processed sugars hit your system faster than sugars that are getting from eating fruit. For example, you wont get as much of a rush from eating an apple or banana as you would from eating cotton candy or skittles. Fruit juices are also going to spike your insulin harder than whole fruit, which generally has a fibrous structural component.


Starches are a more complex carbohydrate that are made up of chains of sugars. Since your body has to work to break them down into their smaller components before utilizing these carb sources for fuel, starches provide energy for a much longer time period. Starches also don’t create the same insulin spike that you would get from taking in a simple sugar, since you don’t get such a large increase in blood sugar all at once.

If you are looking to stay leaner while still promoting recovery and muscle growth, taking in starches around your workout will still increase insulin release. Complex carbs can extremely effective at promoting higher energy levels during your workouts when eaten about an hour prior to activity. They are also great for recovery when you consume them about an hour after you ingest the simple sugars that followed your workout. The continuous release of sugars into your blood stream that result from the breakdown of complex carbs will help to keep your insulin levels at a state that continues to allow for recovery over the time period that your body is working to digest the starch. Essentially, the sugars jump start the recovery process and the starches keep it going.

Over-consuming complex carbs can have similar effects to over-consuming sugars. They will essentially put your body in storing mode, so if you are looking to cut weight or body fat, make sure you have an idea of how many complex carbs your body can handle. Some great sources of complex carbohydrates are potatoes, rice, pasta, beans, and quinoa. Most fruit also contain starches.


Fiber is complex carbohydrate that your body can’t break down into sugars to absorb. You need fiber in your diet to regulate your digestive tract by keeping everything moving. There are two different types of fiber; soluble and insoluble:

Soluble fiber technically can provide calories for your body, but is not absorbed as a carbohydrate. Once soluble fiber makes its way into the large intestine, your body’s natural bacteria begin to work on it and break it down, to an extent, into short chain fatty acids, which could then be absorbed by the body. Technically soluble fiber does have a net caloric value, but keep in mind that your bacteria may not have time to break down all of the soluble fiber you digest. Insoluble fiber on the other hand is roughage that cannot be broken down or absorbed at all by the body. This helps to scrape any buildup off of intestinal walls and ensures that all of the food you take in makes its way to the end of your digestive tract.

Fiber can be used throughout the day to help keep you full and regulate your digestive system. It also helps to slow down the rate at which sugars are absorbed and balances your insulin levels throughout the day and also helps to lower cholesterol. Fiber is extremely beneficial for everyone, but really helps people who are on a cutting diet to maintain a sense of fullness with each meal. Fiber is found in tons of different vegetables, bran, oatmeal, beans, nuts, fruit skins and seeds.

Carbohydrates are your friend if consumed correctly and your foe when they are over-consumed. Take this breakdown of carbs and apply to your nutrition based on what your goals are. If you need help figuring out how to do that, Contact Me!


Seems A Little Fishy

I know there are more than a handful of people who genuinely don’t like fish. Maybe you really don’t, or maybe you’ve never had it prepared in a way that you would enjoy it. Try the following fish burger recipe for a twist on fish that will help to expand your palate.

Tuna or Salmon Burgers

  • 6oz. of Fresh Salmon or Canned Tuna
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/2c of Finely Cut Celery & Onion
  • 2tsp Mayonnaise
  • Garlic or Onion Powder to taste

Combine all ingredients. Form into patty and grill, bake, or pan fry. Serve on a whole grain bun or as a low carb option, serve on a bed of lettuce with fresh tomato and red onion.

High Protein, Low Carb & Low Fat Foods

Eating an effective amount of protein while staying within your allocated carbohydrates and fat for the day is extremely tricky. My best advice is to plan your meals around a high protein source and add carbs once your protein source is set. The following are the best high protein-low carb/low-fat protein sources:


  • Hamburger patty 95% lean ground beef, 6oz = 36 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of fat


  • Chicken breast 6oz = 54 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat


  • Tilapia 6oz = 42 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat
  • Salmon 3oz = 19 grams of protein, 0 rams of carbs, 10 grams of fat
  • Cod 6oz = 30 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams od fat
  • Canned Tuna(in water) 6oz = 44 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat


  • Lean Pork chop/loin 6oz= 42 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat


  • Egg, whole = 6 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fat
  • Egg, white only = 4 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat
  • Skim Milk, per oz = 1 gram of protein, 1 gram of carbs, o grams of fat
  • Low Fat Cottage cheese, 1 cup = 28 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat
  • Greek Yogurt, 1 cup = 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, 8 grams of fat
  • Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Feta )  per oz = 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat
  • Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) per oz = 7 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat
  • Hard cheeses (Parmesan) = per oz 10 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbs, 7 grams of fat

Shortcut: An ounce of meat or fish has approximately 7 grams of protein if cooked, and about 6 grams if raw.