Spicy Quinoa And Lentil Bowl (Vegan)

Lately I’ve been incorporating more lentils into my diet since they’re a great source of protein and fiber. I never liked them growing up so I often forget about this delicious member of the legume family. I wasn’t really sure what to call this recipe, so I’m calling it a BOWL. Very similar to chili because it’s spicy and filled with beans, but the quinoa makes it thicker and more filling. It’s packed with flavor and so nutritious! A bowl like this one is perfect for the days I want to go meatless but still feel satisfied. Another reason to love this recipe is for the easy clean up (only one pot!). I’m all about easy clean up and low difficulty level when cooking during the week. Today I happen to have a few fresh Fresno Chilis on hand so I added one to the mix. A jalapeño pepper would work just as well (I love everything spicy). As much as I love my lunchtime salads, I’ll be eating leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I’m obsessed.



What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves - minced

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion - finely chopped

  • 1/2 red bell pepper - chopped

  • 1 chili pepper (or jalapeño, depending on how much heat you want!)

  • 2 fresh tomatoes (can would work fine) - finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth

  • 1 cup water (plus more if needed)

  • 1 cup green lentils - rinsed

  • 1/2 cup quinoa

  • 1 container black beans

  • 1 container kidney beans

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro

  • Avocado for topping



To make:

  1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook for about a minute (until fragrant).

  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and chili pepper. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.

  3. Add tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, curry powder, cinnamon, S & P. Lower the heat and let simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add broth, quinoa, lentils, and water. Bring to a boil for about 30 minutes. Lentils and quinoa should be tender.

  5. Stir in black beans, kidney beans, and cilantro. Feel free to add more water here if needed. Simmer on low for another 10 minutes.

  6. Add any extra spices if needed. Serve with avocado and garnish with cilantro. ENJOY!

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Eating GF/DF in NYC

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New York City has always been one of my favorite places to visit. Whether I’m there for work or just a fun weekend, it never gets old. There are so many great things to do and see, and the fast-paced vibe is second to none. If you follow my Instagram stories while I’m there you’ll see LOTS of workouts and a whole lot of eating. But let’s be real, the best part of NYC has got to be the food. Within the hustle and bustle of each neighborhood you’ll find some really great bars and restaurants that just don’t compare to anywhere else. My inner foodie gets so excited to eat my way around town knowing that there’s always going to be new amazing concepts to try. But what’s even better is that I’m always able to find places that are healthy AND food allergy friendly, since I don’t eat diary and my boyfriend has Celiac (no gluten or dairy). If I’m indulging or eating clean, here’s a few of my all-time favorite GF/DF places to nosh: 

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Sushi Yasuda

Midtown East - 204 E 43rd St

If you’re looking for some amazing sushi, look no further. Compared to Nobu, it doesn’t have the sceney vibe or the fun cocktails. It’s a much more traditional, low-key space with extremely fresh dishes. A great spot for an intimate date night but also perfect for friends and family. We like to order a bunch of different sushi rolls to get a taste of everything. Each piece of sushi is incredibly fresh and flavorful. Once you dine at Sushi Yasuda, you won’t want to settle for the place-to-be-seen spots around town with mediocre sushi.

 

By The Way Bakery

Upper East Side – 1236 Lexington Ave

I found this gem on Instagram before heading up for a weekend in NYC last year. I happened to be staying uptown that trip so this heavenly bakery was just a few blocks away. It’s COMPLETELY dairy and gluten free, which is unheard of here in South Florida. The cake slices are moist and delicious, and the cookies are gooey in the middle. I don’t think there’s one baked good on the menu that isn’t amazing. Do I recommend eating sweets all the time? Of course not. But an occasional weekend GF/DF brownie straight out of the oven is definitely LivFitness approved.

 

Jack’s Wife Freda

Multiple locations downtown

A brunch staple (insert hands up emoji). Although at certain times it can be tough to get a seat, it’s definitely worth a 20 minute wait. This relaxed Mediterranean restaurant with locations in SoHo, WV, and Chelsea is popular for a reason. My favorite dish on the menu is Maya’s Breakfast Bowl. A hearty and healthy bowl with warm eggs, kale, squash, quinoa, and roasted tomato. SO yummy.

 

The Butcher’s Daughter

Nolita + WV

I first discovered this place while in LA, but it’s even better in NYC. I love that the menu is very specific in terms of what has gluten, dairy, and soy. Most items can easily be made gluten free. The juices and acai owls are all amazing and fresh. For a more filling breakfast or lunch, I like to go with the Mexican Breakfast Bowl or the Juevos Locos.

 

Sweetgreen

All over NYC

Out of all of the salad joints in NYC, Sweetgreen is my favorite. I can always count on a great SG salad for a simple lunch or dinner. I create my own salad with is normally kale or romaine with chicken, avocado, tomato, onion, and any other vegetable I’m in the mood for that day. Most of their dressings are dairy free and a few are gluten free (my favorite is cilantro lime!). If all else fails, simple olive oil and vinegar for the win. You just can’t go wrong with a crunchy bowl of greens!

Ground Turkey Kale Soup

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I’ve never been big on soup and I’ve always thought of it being a huge production to make. But once I started cooking up this delicious soup and realized how easy it is it became a regular dinner in the rotation. The white beans and turkey make it filling, flavorful, and great the next day. And if you follow my food posts you’ve probably noticed that I love kale in all forms. This recipe originally came from one of my clients and I’ve modified it to make it my own. It’s perfect for a weeknight when you want something hearty and clean that doesn’t require tons of time. Also, preparing the soup doesn’t make a major mess in the kitchen and all you need is one big pot!

 

What you need:

  •  2 tbs olive oil

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast

  • 1 cup onion — chopped

  • 1 cup shredded carrots — chopped

  • 1 cup turnip — diced

  • 2 garlic cloves— minced

  • 1 can white cannellini beans — rinsed

  • 2 cups kale — chopped and stems removed

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • salt and pepper to taste

To make:

  1. Heat olive oil in large pot.

  2. Once pot is hot add turkey, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Use spoon to break apart turkey.

  3. When turkey is almost fully cooked (not too pink), add bay leaves, carrots, onions, turnips, and cook for a few minutes.

  4. Add white beans, vegetable broth, water, and kale. Bring to a boil.

  5. Cook for 25 minutes.

  6. Add any extra seasoning if necessary.

I hope you enjoy this amazing soup as much as I do! Cheers to a new month and new week!

XO

Liv

What I Eat In A Day

The most common questions I get from clients and followers are about my diet so I figured I’d share what a typical day looks like for me. I’m obsessed with clean eating and I’m always trying to figure out ways to incorporate more nutrients into my daily diet. I love food and I’m constantly experimenting and learning what works best for my body. I focus on eating mostly vegetables (as much as possible), complex carbs, and lean meats like chicken and fish. I buy mostly organic, fresh, and local when possible. I stay far away from dairy, and because my guy has celiac disease, I rarely eat gluten. I’m not into diet trends or fads, just intuitive clean eating. I also believe in having sweet treats and a tequila on occasion without letting it ruin your life (it’s called balance but I’ll save that for another post). I stress the importance of nutrition with every one of my clients and I’m very honest about one thing: you cannot out exercise a bad diet. PERIOD. Even though most of my Instagram stories are of what’s on my plate, I’m going to give you a breakdown of a what I eat on an average day.

 

Early AM routine:

I always start my day with either warm lemon water or a shot of apple cider vinegar, and I make sure to drink plenty of room temp water over the first two to three hours of my morning. Because I’m up very early, I feel my best when I spend the first few hours of my day hydrating before I eat anything or have any caffeine. Six months ago I decided to stop drinking coffee all together as an experiment to alleviate stomach issues. I noticed such a big difference that I completely quit coffee and haven’t had it since. I enjoy black tea, green tea, and matcha once or twice per day.

Breakfast

True story: I wake up hungry every day. I’m a breakfast lover! If you’ve been following me for a while on the gram you know how much I love my morning oat bowls. Usually enjoyed on the go, this bowl of perfection is filled with 1/2 cup of gluten free oats, a scrambled egg, peanut butter powder, almond milk, berries, and some coconut or bee pollen sprinkled on top. My breakfast must be filling and tasty, and this bowl is my go-to!

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Lunch

I’m a salad fanatic. I eat a big salad for lunch almost every day. My green of choice is either romaine, baby kale, curly kale, shredded brussels sprouts, or a mixture of two. For protein I use chicken (usually pre-made in the Crock Pot) and sometimes a hard boiled egg white. Cucumber and avocado (either 1/4 or 1/2) are a must. Other items that get thrown in if available are chopped green apple, butternut squash, bell pepper, orange, walnuts, onion, and chickpeas. For dressing I mix together EVOO, white wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

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Snack Time:

A snack between lunch and dinner is a must for me. It usually happens between clients, after my workout, or anytime between 2 and 4. I am a huge fan of bars like FROPRO Bars (specifically the almond butter). Other snacks include nuts, hard boiled eggs, protein shakes, low sugar green juice, and a red apple with almond butter. Depending on my workout and how many hours I’m working, certain days I’ll feel the need for a snack between breakfast and lunch. I try my best to listen to my body when it comes to eating between meals. If I feel extra hungry one day I won’t ever deprive myself of a healthy snack.

Dinner

My boyfriend and I usually take turns with dinner. Luckily, he’s an amazing cook and we eat all the same foods. I try to have somewhat of an idea of meals I’d like to make ahead of time so I can buy ingredients in advance. We love to grill chicken, shrimp, and the occasional burger. Steamed vegetables, roasted potatoes, and baked salmon are weekly staples. I try to keep my dinner portions under control, eating mostly vegetables and protein. A perfect weeknight dinner would be a turkey burger, steamed broccoli, and cilantro cauliflower rice. Simple, tasty, and far from boring. I try my best to eat before 7:30pm allowing time to digest before bed. This way I wake up feeling energized and rested. A HUGE tip I would give to anyone would be to find things you like to eat for dinner that are also great for lunch the next day.

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Questions about healthy eating or need some diet guidance? Contact me for more information about personal training and diet coaching! Be sure to follow me on Instagram for daily meal ideas, motivation, and tips!

XO

Liv

Kale Quinoa Salad

The other day I had a 5 mile run planned and the thought of this salad was what got me to the finish line. Kale Quinoa Salad is one of my all time favorites. It’s hearty, tangy, and SO satisfying. I don’t typically eat quinoa for dinner since it’s higher in carbs, but since I had a late afternoon run this nutrient-packed salad was just what I needed for recovery.

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Ingredients:

  • Organic chopped kale

  • 3-4 oz salmon

  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 1/4 sumo orange (regular orange would work)

  • 1/2 cup steamed butternut squash cubes

  • 1 tbs honey

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tbsp slices almonds

  • Pepper to taste

  • Parsley to garnish (optional)

Dressing:

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar (more or less to taste)

  • Dollop of dijon mustard

Salmon:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Place salmon on a large piece of foil on a baking pan.

  3. Pour 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs honey, and pepper over salmon.

  4. Fold sides of foil and wrap salmon so it’s fully covered.

  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 5.

Salad:

  1. Place kale in a large bowl (removing stems) with chopped orange slices, avocado, quinoa, steamed butternut squash, and sliced almonds.

  2. Pour in dressing and mix up the salad.

  3. Remove salmon from the oven, leaving the honey mixture in the foil. Garnish with parsley and place salmon on top of salad.

Enjoy!!

*I do not measure out kale or most greens. I like to eat as much green as I can!

**Foods like quinoa and butternut squash usually make way more than one serving, so I like to eat the rest over the next two days with other meals.

South FL Meal Delivery - Catered Fit

These days there are SO many options when it comes to meal delivery services. Vegan, Paleo, allergy-friendly, organic…you name it. Over the years I’ve had many clients who have tried most of the meal services in South Florida. A huge part of training with me is understanding how to keep a clean diet, so food is a major topic in most of my sessions. I guide my clients to be the best version of themselves by proper nutrition and exercise. Luckily, I love to cook and will always make the time for it in my schedule. But for someone with long work hours, a busy parent, or just someone needing help in the kitchen, a meal delivery service could be a savior. Recently I tried a few days of meals from Catered Fit, a Florida-based food delivery service. Setting up the account and choosing meals online ahead of time was super easy. I was given a few choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was also able to choose a meal plan which was dairy free (HUGE plus!). The meals were delivered in a cooler tote to my doorstep which was very convenient (I live in a building). All of the meals were really fresh and flavorful. I’m typically a creature of habit when it comes to food, but having these meals made me eat a few unfamiliar vegetables like Swiss chard and broccolini which I wouldn’t normally cook.

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If you follow me on Instagram you know that I’m a lunchtime salad LOVER. Two of the days I chose a salad for lunch and they were both awesome - arugula with salmon and shredded brussels sprouts with chicken. I was also able to make note of any food that I did NOT want to see in my meals, which for me happened to be mushrooms (yuck!). Overall, I was impressed by Catered Fit and would recommend them to anyone needing fresh, healthy, and convenient meals daily.

Click here to read more about what Catered Fit has to offer.