I love to learn.
One of my greatest passions is continuous learning and improvement. I have a unquenchable thirst and desire for wanting to know more and gain deeper insight, to grow, to improve, and to change. In virtually every situation I find myself in whether it’s professionally, socially, or personally related I find joy in the pursuit of gaining deep subject matter expertise and an understanding of the underlying dynamics that are in play. On a typical day off (after I get my barre fix in of course), you are likely to find me curled up with a book or with my laptop researching and studying something. It’s what I do for fun. Critical thinking and literacy is extremely important to me in all areas of my life whether it’s related to the movies that I watch on the couch with my husband, business strategy, process design and optimization at work, or educating myself in terms of health, nutrition, and exercise. I have a profound love of learning.
And in recognizing that a love of learning is a character strength of mine, I have made this a prominent theme in my day-to-day activities in addition to my major goals, resolutions, and projects for the year including some of my most recent endeavors. The first was the completion of the Whole30 Certified Coaching program which I am SO.EXCITED about! The certification process was intense in terms of depth and detail not only on the very technical aspects of the protocol, but also completion of projects which require a demonstration of understanding of more subjective material as it relates to real world scenarios and the spirit and intention of the program. As I have mentioned previously, the Whole30 has been so much more than a sustainable way of eating in a healthy manner in terms of nutrition and psychologically, but has also helped me to develop habit strategies with a spillover effect to countless other areas of my life. Sharing this and helping others to achieve success with the program is something I have been passionate about for years now so I am thrilled to be officially official!
I also had the opportunity to learn some new barre tips and tricks this past weekend in Dublin with BootyBarre training. For anyone outside of Ireland, barre is still very much a new thing here which is growing in popularity, but actual continued education and training courses for instructors are quite few and far between. It was interesting to learn new choreography and methods which are definitely different from my historical background with the Pure Barre technique and it was also great to “re-learn” or be reminded of some good principles which have gotten a bit dusty stored away in the recesses of my mind. The weekend included some very sweaty workouts, a fresh new perspective which I think challenges me to engage or think in a different way , some new athleisure, probably one too many Americanos, and tons of laughing and insightful conversations with my #barrebestie Julette. So safe it say it was a good one.
And although the Whole30 certification process may be complete and the barre training course is over, the work to apply what I have gained has only just begun and I am fizzing with excitement and enthusiasm for just that! My experience reflects what research shows – when we develop and exercise our own specific character strengths (e.g. a love of learning) we feel gratified and authentically happy. As Gretchen Rubin outlined as her Fifth Splendid Truth of Happiness, we “can build a happy life only on the foundation of our [own individual] nature.” It is important that we understand ourselves better and make sure that we know our own signature strengths and, as much as possible, use them frequently, daily and across various settings. And this is something which I will undoubtedly endeavor to personally do while spending extra time along the way to learn how and why that matters. Of course, because that is what a love of learning does to you.
One other thing that I loved to learn over the past few years has been how to use a variety of simple and real foods in different, creative, and tasty ways, both by recreating old favorites or just trying something new. And this dish is one of the best! The flavor combination is outstanding and the ingredients are whole and real foods which you may or may not consider putting together. But, trust me, you do want to try this one out. It’s a paleo and Whole30 dinner option which is easy enough to be a weekday dinner or fancy enough for entertaining guests of all taste palates. It’s a Whole30 Strawberry Guacamole Swordfish with Coconut Cauliflower Rice and it is out of this world delicious!
- Swordfish Steaks 4 each
- Coconut Oil 1 TBSP
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
- Strawberries, Chopped 1 cup (150 g)
- Avocados 2 each
- Onion, Chopped ⅛ cup (12 g)
- Small Jalapeño, Minced 1 each
- Cilantro/Coriander, Chopped .25 cup (15 g)
- Avocado Oil 1 TSP
- Juice of 1 Lime
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
- Coconut Oil 1 TBSP
- Cauliflower Head 1 Large or 2 Medium, Chopped into 1"x1" florets
- Shredded/Desiccated Coconut 1 cup (100 g)
- Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
- Sea Salt to Taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C.
- For the fish, heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat adding the coconut oil. Allow to melt.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the swordfish and then once the pan and oil are hot, sear the fish for about 1-2 minutes per side.
- Once seared, transfer the pan with the swordfish to the oven and allow to bake until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the strawberry guacamole by chopping all ingredients.
- Mash the avocado in a bowl and then stir in onions, jalapeños, cilantro/coriander, sea salt and pepper to combine.
- Then add the strawberries and stir gently just to combine.
- Finally the coconut cauliflower rice. Start by chopping the cauliflower into the 1"x1" florets and then add a few pieces at a time to your high speed blender, food processor or chopper. Pulse just a few times to break the cauliflower into tiny rice size pieces. Don't go overboard or it'll result in a mush.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a small bowl and repeat until all is riced.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with the remaining 1 TBSP of coconut oil, allowing to melt.
- Then add the cauli rice and the shredded/desiccated coconut, stirring well to combine.
- Cook until just barely golden brown and heated throughout.
- Remove from heat and add the lime zest and juice along with some sea salt to taste.
- Build your plate with the coconut cauliflower rice, followed by the swordfish, and then topped with a generous serving of the strawberry guacamole and savor the explosion of flavors!