Hello boy and girls! It’s a lovely Monday morning (well for me, for y’all it’ll be Tuesday….or whatever day you found this post) and I am ready for a brand new week! I’ve recently been focusing a lot on reframing how I view obstacles or things that normally cause a negative reaction. Inspired by Ben Bergeron’s Chasing Excellence Podcast (CFNE owner, and coach to the fittest woman and man), I’ve really been trying work on this change every day. It’s more than just being positive, shitting rainbows and thinking everything is sunshine and happiness. It’s about redefining adversity and using obstacles to your advantage.
Now this may sound silly to you but I’ve been finding it incredibly helpful. It’s so easy to get sucked into the negative things about your life every day but it’s when you can redefine those negatives that change can really start to happen. I think too often people are unhappy with an outcome or something that has to be done in their day to day life but aren’t doing anything to change it. I know I’ve been guilty of this many times before and still am. However, making a plan to move forward and make changes has made me feel monumentally better about those negative things. As an arbitrary example, I’ll talk about CrossFit (are you surprised?). Gymnastics movements and anything involving my back and triceps has continuously been my weakest area in CrossFit. Every year I tell myself I’ll work on it. I’ll do some stuff over the course of the year and sure, I’ll improve somewhat but not as much as if I had just made a plan, stuck to it and followed through. People generally don’t like working on their weaknesses and I’ve totally been one of them. After being highly motivated after listening to this podcast while in Canada, I decided that I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself anymore. I talked Z into writing me accessory work 3x/week, I signed up for a gymnastics program and I committed to the process. It’s frustrating when I don’t see gains as quickly as I liked but I’ve embraced the process and I’m sticking to the plan. Now when I see those movements in a workout, I see them as an opportunity to get better. I get excited knowing that I’ll have a chance to gauge where I am. I changed my perception, I’m executing my plan and now I just have to stick to the plan. I know this example may seem easy because it’s exercising. However, this can be applied to anything else in your life. Hate your job? How can you redefine that? As an example, even though you may not like what you’re doing, that job can still be used as experience. You can still show that you’re a hard worker, you get projects done in a timely manner and you have great personal skills. While you’re building those skills (or others), you can look for that dream job you want. There are many traits you can take from one job that can applied to another. Don’t look at your job as something you hate doing every day but rather as an opportunity to grow so you’re ready for your dream job. Again, I know this sounds a little ridiculous and maybe too sunshine-y and shitting rainbows but I promise you that learning to redefine things like this will make you 100% happier.
Now I didn’t just stumble across this notion on my mind. As I mentioned, I’ve been obsessed with the Chasing Excellence podcast but Diane Sanfilippo also had a guest (JJ Virgin) on the Balanced Bites podcast that talked about this as well. A few other tools that have helped are The Daily Stoic and The Obstacle is the Way, both by Ryan Holiday. These books give guidance on how to adopt this mindset and why you should. Some of the greatest leaders and most successful people throughout history have/had this mindset and it’s easy to see why.
Wow, that got long winded. Can you tell I’m getting passionate about this subject?! As we all know, health is much more than just what we eat, exercising and sleep. I believe mental health is just an important as what we’re putting into our bodies, how we move on bodies and how we recover. If we’re stressed out because we’re doing something we hate every day, we’re not optimizing our health as much as we could. I know it’s not that simple and that nobody can just up and quit their job tomorrow. However, it can be as simple as changing your perspective, making a plan of action and sticking to it. Let us know if you’ve read these books, listened to similar books or liked the podcasts! We’d love to hear your feedback.
Alright, now for the real reason you’re here, THE FOOD. I must admit I wasn’t ever really a fan of grits (or collard greens for that matter) until the last 2-3 years. I think it was something about the texture of grits that really turned me off. It wasn’t until Z and I had a wedding in Charlotte, NC awhile back that I had grits prepared properly and tasted SO amazing, I couldn’t remember why I never liked them in the first place! The rehearsal dinner was at a fabulous restaurant that served some of the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever had. Not to mention some tasty collard greens. After recently remembering this amazing experience, I was inspired to try my hand at my own version of some shrimp, collard green and paleo (i.e. grain free) grits! This dish comes together easily and is packed full of flavor. It’s perfect for a small family get together (served buffet style) or meal prep during the week. I hope you enjoy these shrimp and grits as much as we are!
- For the “grits”;
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 cups cauliflower, riced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For shrimp;
- 1# shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- For garlicky collard greens;
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch collard greens, loosely chopped
- ½ medium lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Toss shrimp in olive oil and spices. Marinade for 10-15 minutes.
- While shrimp is marinating, melt butter for grits in a small saucepan over medium heat. Toss in riced cauliflower and cook until softened, about 5 minutes)
- Add chicken stock and simmer about 10-15 minutes until mostly absorbed.
- Add in nutritional yeast with salt and pepper. Mix until yeast is thoroughly incorporated. Set aside and keep warm.
- In a large skillet, melt butter for collard greens over high heat. Once melted, turn heat to medium and add in minced garlic. Toss and cook until fragrant. Be careful not to burn garlic.
- Add in collard greens to skillet and toss in butter and garlic. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- While collards are cooking, in another skillet, cook shrimp over medium heat until pink, about 5-10 minutes.
- Once collards are done, toss with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve over “grits” with cooked shrimp and enjoy!
Other great recipes here