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Vicki Brands - Page 3 of 4 - fitness & food on the go

Shrimp Stack

Oh dear…I can’t handle all the new recipes this week. They are just so deLISH!!!

This is a recipe that I saw on Facebook. However, it wasn’t really a “recipe”; it was just a series of videos, sped up, in a video type presentation. No ingredients were listed, no measurements were given. But it looked delicious, so I tried it. This reminded me of an Ahi Stack you would order as an appetizer at a restaurant for $14…so of course, I had to try to make it. Here’s the recipe I used (slash, threw together using my best judgement):

Ingredients (for 2 shrimp stacks)

1 lb cooked shrimp

1 avocado (mashed)

2 stalks of green onions (chopped)

1 bowl of 90 second brown rice (Costco)

1 medium cucumber (diced)

a dash of low sodium soy sauce

~ 2 tbsp of mayo

6 shakes of Tapatio

a few shakes of sesame seeds



  1. Cook shrimp in a pan. Add pepper and garlic to taste. Cut shrimp into smaller, bite sized pieces.
  2. Mash avocado in a bowl. Chop green onions. Cook rice. Dice cucumber.
  3. Mix mayo and Tapatio (or Sriracha) together.
  4. This recipe makes TWO stacks, so you need to repeat this two times. In a LARGE coffee mug (or small pot…something cylindrical), layer the following ingredients: add half of the cucumber, then the green onions, followed by the avocado, and finally the brown rice.
  5. Pack down the ingredients to better insure that they will stick together. Flip mug upside down on a plate and tap several times to make sure the stack comes out. Pull the mug up slowly. If necessary, gather pieces that fell out and pack them to the side of your stack.
  6. Pour a small amount of soy sauce over your stack. then spread the Tapatio mixture on top. Add sesame seeds for extra style points.
  7. Tadahh! I chose to serve this with corn chips which worked out perfectly. It was fun to scoop up the stack with the chips, plus it added some extra crunch.

Coconut{milk} Mushroom Chicken

Tonight’s dinner: coconut milk mushroom chicken on brown rice with a side of 5 super food salad. Amazing. Delicious. Absolutely scrumptious.

Cooking chicken on the ever-so-handy counter-top George Foreman grill with some veggies and brown rice is a staple in our house. But tonight, we switched it up a little. I had a bag of precut mushrooms and left over coconut milk from the “Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Soup” I posted about the other day. So, why not put them together? Good idea…

  1. Bake 2 large chicken breasts.
  2. In a pot, heat coconut oil and add: 1 lb of chopped mushrooms, 1 medium yellow onion (chopped), pepper and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Add 1/2 can of coconut milk. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until it looks thick.
  3. Heat up 1 package of brown rice (90 seconds in the microwave…Costco!).
  4. In a separate bowl, mix up the 5 food super salad (Costco)
  5. Serve in a bowl: rice, then chicken, then mushroom mixture on top. Salad served on the side.



Lifting Day! {Yesss}


My favorite days are lifting days with my husband (who doesn’t like to be videoed ;). Today we worked on three different lifts: overhead squats, strict press, and high pulls. Overhead squats are tricky, as they require excellent balance and control. Strict press is one of my weakest lifts, I tend to max out on that really fast. And finally high pulls; I’ve never done these isolated before, so this is my first shot at them!


5 X 5 overhead squats (2 sets at 95#, 3 sets at 100#)

5 X 5 strict press (65#)

3 X 10 high pulls (45 # bar)

Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Soup

A couple of weeks ago I posted a recipe for Butternut Squash Soup, but I’ve found an even better, more savory one! I wasn’t happy with the appearance and the texture of the last one; it was dark in color and had the consistency of apple sauce. So, I decided to take another shot at butternut squash soup: I ordered an “emersion blender” on Amazon…UHHHmazing…plus I had some coconut milk I needed to use, AND I found a new recipe that sounded delicious! It came out PERFECT! I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did (:

Here is the recipe I used, reposted from “Making Thyme for Health”  http://www.makingthymeforhealth.com/2013/11/19/butternut-squash-and-sweet-potato-soup-vegan/


1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 5 cups) (save yourself some time: buy the precut package from Costco)

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)

2 carrots, peeled and chopped, (about 3/4 cup)

1 small yellow onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups vegetable broth (I used low sodium chicken broth)

1/4 cup full fat coconut milk ( used low fat- still delicious)

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon curry powder (I didn’t have any…just left it out)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Start by warming the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and the carrot for about three to five minutes.
  2. Next, add the squash and sweet potato to the pot and pour in the vegetable broth.
  3. Then add the spices and salt and bring to a boil. Once it has started to boil, reduce to a simmer and cover while allowing it to cook for about twenty minutes or until all of the veggies are very tender.
  4. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the vegetables until a thick, smooth consistency is reached.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk and continue to blend until it is mixed thoroughly. Serve warm with fresh bread and enjoy! (I garnished with parsley and made my own crutons with two slices of whole wheat bread, toasted)


Booty Blaster Workout

This is by far the best booty and leg workout I’ve done! Booty Blaster is a tabata style workout that targets your lower body muscles. Need a workout like this? Here you go!

Booty Blaster

Total Time: 20 minutes

*Girl weight is the weight I used, guys weight is what my husband used. Be sure to choose your weight based on your ability.*

Air Squats (40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest, 4 X’s)

1 minute rest

Kettlebell Deadlifts (girls 53#, guys 80#) (40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest, 4 X’s)

1 minute rest

Overhead Squats (girls 45# bar, guys 95#) (40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest, 4 X’s)

1 minute rest

Back Squats (girls 95#, guys 135#) (40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest, 4 X’s)

1 minute rest

*Once this becomes easy for you, complete 2 rounds instead of 1, for a 40 minute workout*

Video: In this video, I demonstrate a few reps of the air squat, kettlebell deadlift, over head squat, and the back squat.

Ground Turkey Chili

Here is a great rainy day recipe that you can throw together pretty quickly. It’s delicious, healthy, and super easy to make!

Ground Turkey Chili


  1. 1 lb. ground turkey
  2. 2 cans of crushed/ diced tomatoes
  3. 1 can black beans
  4. 1 pack of chili seasonings, or you can make your own
  5. 1 bell pepper, chopped
  6. 1 onion, chopped
  7. 1 sweet potato, diced
  8. Pepper, garlic powder to taste


  1. Cook diced sweet potatoes until they are almost completely soft. Set aside.
  2. Thoroughly cook the ground turkey in a large pot.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes back in.
  4. Add all other ingredients in any order, including spices.
  5. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Enjoy! (:

Butternut Squash Soup (paleo version)

WOW. This soup was delicious! I have never tried butternut squash soup in my life, but decided to take a shot at it tonight. It was the perfect cold weather dish. Here is the recipe I used, as published on http://paleogrubs.com/


  1. 1 large butternut squash (about 5 lbs)… I used 2 lbs, pre-cut from Costco 
  2. 1 green apple, sliced and cored
  3. 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  4. 2 carrots, chopped
  5. 3 tbsp olive oil
  6. 2 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/2 tsp cumin
  9. 1 tsp chili powder
  10. 2 tbsp ghee (I subbed coconut oil)
  11. 3 cups chicken broth
  12. *** I added 2 chicken sausages (Costco) to up the protein content 


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, olive oil, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp cumin. Mix together, coating the squash well. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Next, in the same bowl that the butternut squash was in, toss the apple slices, onion, and carrots to coat with the remnants. Place on a second rimmed baking sheet and add both baking sheets to the oven. Roast for 35-40 minutes until soft, stirring once.
  3. Heat up ghee over medium heat in a large pot on the stove. Add the roasted ingredients and then the chicken broth. Add 1 teaspoon each of salt, cinnamon and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. While mixture is simmering, cut and warm up two chicken sausages to use as garnish and to add some protein to this dish.
  5. Using an immersion blender, combine the ingredients until smooth, or transfer to a blender to puree. Serve warm. Sprinkle warmed sausage on top. Garnish with peeled carrots if desired.


Partner Workout

Working out is way more fun with a buddy! If you’re like me, you get lazy when you are working out by yourself. If you want to workout with someone (or multiple people), then you need to create workouts where everyone can be moving at the same time. Stations always work best. We have a garage gym, which means that we are limited in our weights and equipment. Here’s a great workout we did yesterday:

Work for 4 min., rest 1:30 min. for 6 total rounds (each station 3 times)

Person 1:

~ row for 4 min straight, working to match or exceed calories or distance each round

Person 2:

AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) in 4 min of:

~ 10 push ups (modify if needed)

~ 10 kettle bell swings (whatever weight you’re comfortable with, I do 35#s)

~ 10 lunges, alternate legs

~ 10 balance ball sit ups

*At the end of 4 minutes, rest 1:30 minutes. Then switch stations (rower goes to AMRAP, AMRAP moves to the rower) You should get to each station 3 times, bringing your workout to about 30 minutes.

Hero WOD: T.U.P.

Today’s workout (as posted on http://www.crossfit.com and Crossfit’s instagram today):


15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
135-lb. power cleans
135-lb. front squats

To complete this workout, complete 15 reps of each skill listed, then complete 12 reps of the skills listed, and so on until you finish the 3 reps. This workout is for TIME, so you want to complete it as quickly as you can.

Modifications: The nice thing about Crossfit WODs is that you can ALWAYS modify it to your level. For this workout, I modified the weight (Hero WOD’s are presented with men’s weight). I completed this workout using 85 lbs. for both the power cleans and front squats. The girls’ weight for this WOD would normally be 95 lbs. I modified the weight because I have not done lifts like this nor at this rate in a while, so I’ll work back up to those recommended weights (:

For the second set of pull ups each round, I chose to do ring rows instead. My husband, on the other hand, completed the workout as prescribed. I’m working my way back up to that!

Shrimp Tacos

Seafood, especially shrimp, is low in calories but high in protein. Here is a simple recipe for fresh shrimp tacos!


  1. fresh, raw shrimp (~ 1 lb.)
  2. 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  3. 1 avocado, diced
  4. corn tortillas
  5. fresh cilantro
  6. 1 lime
  7. 1 tomato
  8. baby greens


  1. In a frying pan, melt coconut oil. Place shrimp in pan and cook until orange. Add salt, pepper and garlic as desired.
  2. While shrimp are cooking, make your salsa: mix your diced avocado, juice from half a lime, 1 diced tomato, and chopped cilantro in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Grill/ warm up your tortillas. Place baby greens on warm tortillas, then add cooked shrimp, and top with salsa. Serve with a few lime slices. Enjoy! (: