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Try This Delicious Bikini Friendly Recipe

So… I love food with a real passion. I also like to stay in relatively good shape! Not only do I feel better physically when I eat more whole/ unprocessed food, but I can appreciate the effects doing so has on my body. In my world, the warm summer months call for days at the beach, bikinis, shorts, crop tops and sundresses.

Due to my undying love for food, I have to get creative and think outside of the box when it comes to some of my favorite meals. One of those is spaghetti! This recipe I am about to share with you is a healthy and delicious way to avoid the extra carbs and calories of one of my favorite meals without cutting the taste! It’s a healthier alternative that the whole family can enjoy, guilt free. “Don’t knock it ’til you try it.”

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****Carissa’s Veggetti Recipe**** 

(Approx. 4 Servings)

Items you will need:

  • 1 Veggetti (As seen on TV). I found mine at Target and have also seen them at Walmart, Walgreens, and several of my local grocery stores. Price: Approx $15.

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  • One large skillet
  • One medium pot
  • Tongs
  • Large bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs Ground Turkey

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  • 4 Zucchini Squash

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  • Spaghetti Sauce of choice, I love chunky tomato, onion and garlic. (Best to go organic)

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  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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  • Creole Seasoning
  • Onion (powder or diced)
  • Garlic (powder or minced)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, fully cook the ground turkey seasoning to taste using creole seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, (fresh ground) sea salt and black pepper.picture8
  2. Add spaghetti sauce to cooked meat and simmer on low heat while stirring occasionally. Here you can also get fancy and add oregano, mushrooms, spinach… whatever you like. While the meat sauce simmers, prep your zucchini noodles. Here’s how…
  3. Rinse your zucchini and cut off the butt end of the zucchini creating one flat end. Do NOT cut of the stem end, you will need this later.
  4. Take your veggetti apparatus and insert the flat end of the zucchini into either side of the device. The device will give you two options. On one end you can make your zucchini noodles larger and on the other end you can make them smaller. The preference is yours.picture9
  5. Rotating clockwise, with your zucchini in one hand and veggetti in the other, firmly press and twist the zucchini until it begins to come out in spiral form on the other end and into your large bowl. Tip: Grabbing a hold of the stem end of the zucchini allows you to have a firm grip while you are twisting. Throw away the stem piece when you can’t twist down any further. After you have spiraled all of your zucchini, set them in a bowl to the side.picture10
  6. Heat your medium pot and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Take your zucchini spirals and dump them into your pot while immediately giving them a light toss with your tongs until they are just slightly al dente. Continue to sautee your veggies until they resemble more of a pasta-like texture. Avoid over cooking! Remove from fire and lightly dash your zucchini noodles with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, poor the meat sauce over the zucchini noodles one serving at a time. I enjoy mine with a little bit of hot sauce and dash a parmesan cheese… Viola! Bon Apetite!picture12 picture11You can enjoy as much of this as you like and feel good knowing that it is low fat with virtually no carbs! Go INNNN! #CarissaInTheKitchenpicture13

Thanks for reading! Xoxo – Riss

carissa

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Viva Las Vegas! Bellagio Review

Last weekend I had the great joy and privilege to take a mini-vacation with my two favorite girls in the world, my mom and sis. We spent the weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada and did not waste a single second of our time there. It wasn’t our first time here together but it was our first time staying at The Bellagio.

We all are working women and needed to unwind with a little relaxation and A WHOLE LOT OF FUN. What better place to do that than The Bellagio in Fabulous Las Vegas? The weekend Girls Trip came at the perfect time as we all met up right after work to catch our Friday night flight then basked in everything The Bellagio had to offer for the entire weekend.There were so many great things about this hotel that it would be near impossible to list them all so I will simply list my top 9 things that I love about this hotel (in no particular order). Why 9 things?… because The Bellagio and Vegas in general had us on Cloud 9. Read on.

  1. The Location – The Bellagio is conveniently located on the Las Vegas strip and in the midst of EVERYTHING! It is right across from the Paris hotel, Planet Hollywood and right in between Cesar’s Palace and The Cosmopolitan. So much is in walking distance that you will rarely need to hail a cab/uber. 
  2. The Planetarium – It is just the naturally beautiful and fragrantly amazing observatory filled with live and exotic florals accompanied by majestic figures. This part of the hotel changes season to season and can vary from everything to the coast line of Southern Italy to peaceful Japanese Gardens and even under water in the deepest parts of the ocean. 
  3. The Spa – I can’t say enough about the spa. We received lux massages with rich coconut \ body butter elixirs from the finest in the industry. Following our massages we dipped in the spa’s individual hot tubs for relaxation and meditation.
  4. The Pool – Boss. Enough said. 
  5. The Casino – Of course every Vegas hotel has a casino. But the Bellagio has been known to attract the wealthiest gamblers so it was fun to play a few slots, have a drink and watch others risk it all on the poker and black jack tables. 
  6. The Clubs – “Club Hyde” and “The Bank”. At one point in the club I looked up and felt like it was snowing. Confetti in amounts never before seen. Lit DJs. All of this in one hotel!
  7. The Shows – The O show is the long running show gem that plays at the Bellagio It’s a must see. Circus De Soleil is not playing any games with this one. We had our fair share of shows while in Vegas. Another must see is Zoomanity. 
  8. The Food– The Brunch buffet at The Bellagio is practically mandatory.  There are also several other cafés and eateries in the hotel. One of which include a chocolate, vanilla and caramel “water falls”.
  9. The Views – Right outside of our hotel were the beautiful Fountains at the Bellagio where the water danced as if it had a soul. Just beyond the fountains and across the strip, the view of America’s very own Eiffel Tower.

    LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 24: The Bellagio Hotel & Casino water show comes to life after dark on December 24, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas, the popular Southwest desert tourist getaway, appears to be making a slow economic recovery following a tough global recession. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

    Thank you Bellagio for showing us an AMAZING time! Viva Las Vegas!!

Thanks for reading! xo

carissa

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Sproing Into Fitness!

Let’s talk about fitness! This year has been a roller-coaster for me. Through it all I am reminded to keep my health and fitness at the top of my priorities list! One way I do this is by making sure that I have workouts that I can truly look forward to and where I am also maximizing my time. One workout that I really enjoy is this revolutionary one at Sproing Fitness in Houston – River Oaks!

President Devon & Crew – Sproing River Oaks

The workout feels like a group fitness class which is perfect for me! I also love seeing my heat rate and calories burned in real time up on a screen along with everyone else in the class. This makes for a little friendly competition which pushes me even harder. Not to mention the music is always great and the instructors really know how help you achieve your desired results!

Coach Lauren – Sproing River Oaks

The Sproing machine looks like a treadmill but is not… it’s SO much better!! There is a cushioned launch and landing pad that makes me feel like I’m working out on the beach! It is easy on my joints and helps me get a better workout! The motto at Sproing is “TRAIN HARD, LAND SOFT.”

Coach Jermaine – Sproing River Oaks

Check out this video from Wednesday when Sproing River Oaks was featured on Good Day Houston (KHOU).

JOIN US this Saturday as NaturallyGG Hosts at Sproing River Oaks!! There will be a great workout from an incredible fitness coach and light bites on the patio from Max Fit Foods!!!

There will also be health and hair tips, swag bags from our sponsor CURLS, a gift card giveaway and MORE!!!

We are so excited to bring in the month of July with a BANG and hope you join us on this Saturday, July 1st! Get your tickets here NOW as space is limited!!! Be there for 1pm, the class will start right at 1:30pm!

Click the flyer below to purchase your ticket to our event July 1st!

Click here to learn more about Sproing.

Mention NaturallyGG and get your first week free!! Sign up here!! 

Here is a video recap from our event!

carissa

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Recipe: Carissa’s Famous Gumbo!

A little history| Gumbo has been a Louisiana tradition for over a century and is also a family tradition. Both sets of my grandparents are from Louisiana. Back in the day, a family would whip up a huge pot of gumbo and invite other family members and friends over to fellowship. Sharing a pot of gumbo was a sign of love. A pot of gumbo then became a revered as social activity and not just a simple meal. When a pot was made in the community the word would travel fast and soon it would be a dinner party! Gumbo is enjoyed year round but a big pot of traditional gumbo also marks the change of seasons… fall and/or winter. There is nothing like a delicious bowl of hot gumbo on a cold day. Or stepping into a warm home after being outdoors in the cold and the aroma hits you and sweeps you off your feet.

A traditional made-from-scratch gumbo takes about 4 hours to prep and cook. Gumbo is not considered soup in creole culture. The juice of the gumbo is not considered gravy. The impeccable liquid inside of a bowl of gumbo is referred to as the Roux (pronounced “Roo”). It looks simple but is comprised of many wonderful components and when prepared correctly, yields immaculate flavor! Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients list, just be prepared. Allow for time, budget and patience when attempting this 100% from scratch recipe. Average cost is around $50 but a big pot can feed many and even possibly… change lives.

Ingredients (Serves 6-10 people)

  • 1 pack of Chicken Drumsticks (skinned)
  • 2 packs of Andouille Cajun Pork Sausage
  • 2 lbs of Large Raw Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 lb Lump Crab Meat (optional)
  • 2 Cups Frozen Okra (optional)
  • 1 Bell Pepper (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 Whole Onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Minced Garlic
  • 6 Celery stalks (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 ½ cup of All-purpose flour
  • Bacon Drippings from 4 strips of bacon
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 can Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • ½ tsp Dried Thyme Leaves
  • Gumbo File Powder
  • Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Bundle of Green onion (scallions)
  • Beef Bouillon
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Louisiana hot sauce
  • Chili powder
  • 3 quarts of water
  • Rice

Directions

  1. Make the roux by whisking the flour and 3/4 cup bacon drippings together in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat to form a smooth mixture. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, until it turns a rich mahogany brown color. This can take 20 to 30 minutes; watch heat carefully and whisk constantly or roux will burn. Remove from heat; continue whisking until mixture stops cooking.
  2. Place the celery, onion, green bell pepper, and garlic into the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the vegetables are very finely chopped. Stir the vegetables into the roux, and mix in the Andouille sausage. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  3. Bring the water and 6 large beef bouillon cubes to a boil in a large pot. Stir until the bouillon cubes dissolve, add in the skinned chicken and whisk the roux mixture into the boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, and mix in the sugar, salt, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer the soup over low heat for 1 hour; mix in 2 teaspoons of file gumbo powder at the 45-minute mark.
  4. Meanwhile, cook okra (optional) using bacon drippings and a little vinegar over medium heat for 15 minutes; remove okra with a slotted spoon that allows drainage of the mixture you cooked it in, and stir into the simmering gumbo. Mix in crabmeat, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer on LOW until flavors have blended. Allow pot to cool for at least 20 minutes and serve the gumbo over rice after finishing it with a dash of gumbo file and chopped scallions. Enjoy!!! #CarissaInTheKitchen

Gumbo!

Thanks for reading! Xo -Riss

Carissa Stephens She's ChaRISSmatic

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Introduction to She’s ChaRISSmatic!

Welcome to She’s ChaRISSmatic! I am so grateful you are here! I hope you find great information and inspiration here on my personal blog. Watch the video below to learn more about what you’ll find here.

Thanks for watching! xo – Riss

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