Seashells and Sit Ups

Cowboy Burgers


I’m sitting here this morning watching the sun rise over the Grand Tetons, breathing in fresh mountain air, and being so thankful we have so many fun memories growing up coming here for almost 30 years (literally have come here since I was an infant!) 

Last night we grilled at our condo, and I took on burger duty. I whipped up a new recipe, and am so excited to share it with you, as it’s the perfect weekend BBQ main dish! Hope you enjoy these Cowboy Burgers as much as my family did.

C O W B O Y  B U R G E R S 

makes 10 burgers 

<< i n g r e d i e n t s >>

  • 2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, chicken or turkey
  • 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup Carolina BBQ sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs, panko, or GF substitute 
  • 1 tablespoon steak seasoning of choice 
  • About 1/2″ cut off a block of sharp white cheddar, diced 
  • 1/2 onion, diced 
  • 1 jalepeno, seeds removed + diced 
  • 1 teaspoon worchister sauce 
  • Small handful of fresh parsley, washed + chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 

<< d i r e c t i o n s >>

  1. Preheat BBQ
  2. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl
  3. Using hands, knead everything together until blended well
  4. Add more BBQ sauce if desired
  5. Shape into balls and smash into patties (about 5″ in diameter)
  6. Grease grill and cook burgers until cooked thoroughly (I don’t like them mooing, so cook well-done for safety)
  7. Top with goodies like grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, grilled peppers, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.! The toppings world is your oyster😉
  8. Say yee-haw and enjoy!
  9. Serve with one of my favorite sides like roasted veggie pasta salad, Mom’s pasta salad, rainbow salad, or more 

HOWDY from Jackson Hole, WY!

U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition

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San Diego Gets Extra Sandy During Labor Day Weekend

For The 5th Annual U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge

WHEN >>> Sept. 2 – Sept 5, 9 am-7 pm 

WHERE >>> ‘B’ Street Cruise Ship Pier, 1140 North Harbor Drive, Downtown San Diego 92101

USA Today has named it one of their 10 Best and American Express calls it one of the top 20 “Must See” seaside events in the world

The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge is returning to San Diego and the ‘B’ Street Cruise Ship Pier downtown. This will be the fifth year that one of the world’s most important sand-sculpting competitions will be held on this built-for-the-occasion beach, with over 300 tons of sand dumped on the pier on San Diego’s Big Bay. It’s easy for sculptors to call it one of the most creative atmospheres in the world, as it takes place in America’s Finest City with sandcastles stretching west nearly 1,000 feet into the bay beneath the beautiful San Diego skyline.

It’s open to the public Sept. 2 – Sept. 5.

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Sculptors Background

World Master Class sand artists carve for four days to create the finest sculptures ever seen in Southern California. Sculptors come from all over the world to challenge the best from the U.S.  For 2016, three new international Masters will participate for the first time; Katsuhiko Chaen from Japan, Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova from Latvia, and Benjamin Probanza from Spain. Another new Master Sculptor addition to this year’s challenge will be Thomas Koet from Melbourne, Florida.

Last year’s grand prize winner was Melineige Beauregard of Canada. JOOheng Tan, from Singapore, took the Grand Prize in 2014, while Sandis Kondrats from Latvia won it in 2013. The last American winner was Rusty Croft from Carmel, CA. in 2012.

Where will this year’s winner be from? The U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia?

At stake, more than $60,000 in appearance, prize money and expenses … and national pride. Plus back by popular demand, the Cool California Carvers Class, which is comprised of seven teams of three professionals that will each be carving for two days.

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This family-friendly extravaganza offers a wonderful array of activities for guests of all ages.


  • It takes two full weeks from start-up to tear-down
  • Over 300 tons of sand are brought onto ‘B’ Street Pier in downtown San Diego
  • The public has just four days to see the sculptures, from September 2 – 5, 2016
  • It will feature 11 professional international Master Sculptors competing solo plus 7 teams of 3 in the Cool California Carver competition


  • The Dimensional Art Exposition – over 1,000 one-of-a-kind original works of art (metal, wood, glass, jewelry, hand-made clothing, wall-art, acrylic, fabric, gemstones, etc.) on display and for sale
  • Family Fun – Kid Zone with rides and sandcastle building lessons taught by professional artists
  • More than a dozen gourmet food trucks and a beer/wine garden
  • Live entertainment all weekend long
  • Special VIP area with great bay views

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The Dimensional Art Exposition

No matter how much you love them, you can’t buy the sand sculptures. But you can buy more than 1,000 works of art in other media, like metal, wood, glass, jewelry, hand-made clothing, wall-art, acrylic, fabric, gemstones and more. Many of the finest artists in the Southwest exhibit and sell their amazing one-of-a-kind art on the pier next to the majestic sandcastle creations at the show.

Family Fun — Live Entertainment, Gourmet Food Trucks, Kids Giant Sandbox & Rides

How would you like to have your kids taught to build sandcastles by professional sculptors who’ve created award winners in Amsterdam and Paris and Tokyo? For mom and dad there is a beer garden and the family can choose from over 100 kinds of yummy snacks and meals from gourmet food trucks.  Live bands will play during the weekend to really infuse the fun tone of this unique annual Labor Day event.


Take Transit

Easiest way to get to the event is by MTS trolley or bus to America Plaza/Santa Fe Depot, just 1 block South and 2 blocks East.  North County Coaster and Amtrak both terminate at that location.  You’ll get $2 off each adult ticket when you show proof of transit at the gate.  What could be easier?

Stay Downtown

Official hotels of the event are the wonderful boutique Sofia (, about 7 blocks East of the festival site on Broadway and Front Streets, and the newly renovated Wyndham San Diego Bayfront (, diagonally just across Harbor Drive from the show on the cruise ship pier.

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Your Attendance Helps Kids

A portion of proceeds from the event goes to local children’s educational charities.

  • The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts is a public arts magnet school that was named one of the best in the Nation by S. News and World Reports. Students are bussed from throughout the San Diego Unified School District and take classes in theater, music, dance, visual arts, video production, stagecraft and creative writing along with regular academic subjects.
  • Young Audiences of San Diego/Arts for Learning brings performers into elementary and middle schools to show kids what life in the arts is all about, yanks them out of their shells by teaching them to perform some of their ethnic songs and dance, and instills pride in self as they learn how to learn.
  • It’s All About the Kids Foundation helps less fortunate children through a network of 14 San Diego charities that have served over 11,000 kids. IAATK directly supports 10 previously homeless kids now in



Save on Tickets Right Now – Prices valid only through midnight, August 15, 2016. Buy now and save up to 33%!

 Friday only “Preview Day” Ticket

  • Kids (under 12 years), seniors (62+) – $6.00 (event day price at gate $8)
  • Active Military – Show I.D. at gate and get in FREE (Friday only – no need to buy tickets online)
  • Adults – $8.00 (event day price at gate $10)


Saturday – Monday Single Day Admission:

  • Kids (under 12-years), seniors (62+), active military with ID – $6.00 (event day price at gate $9)
  • Adults – $11.00 (event day price at gate $13)


Any 2-day Admission:

  • Kids (under 12-years), seniors, active military with ID – $10.00 (event day price at gate: $15)
  • Adults – $17.00 (event day price at gate $20)


V.I.P. Single Day Admission:

Online Only… Skip the “Buy Tickets” booth line and save!  Includes easy admission, 2 free beverages (beer, wine, soft-drinks — value up to $8 each; total $16), plus special shaded bay-front viewing area with deluxe seating and facilities, plus additional V.I.P. amenities to be announced. Good for any one-day V.I.P. admission for adults, kids and seniors on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Prices increase 8/15/16.

All ages, any day: $27.00 (event day price at gate: $35)

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Celebrating National Watermelon Day with these Watermelon Recipes

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Dear Watermelons,

We’re over the moon excited to celebrate you today on National Watermelon Day! We think you’d really love how we’re incorporating you into a handful of delish + fun recipes, which are featured below! Hope we make you proud!

xx, the Seashells and Sit Ups Fam

Dear Readers,

WELCOME to our round up of watermelon recipes in honor of National Watermelon Day! Grab a watermelon, some ingredients from your favorite recipes below, and get cookin’!

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t h e    s & s  …s a s s y  +  s w e e t  >>> sounds familiar!

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 5 watermelon cubes
  • Juice of one grapefruit
  • 1.5 ounces grapefruit @deepeddyvodka 
  • 4 mint leaves, mulled 
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lime or lemon 
  • Splash (or 1/4 cup) grapefruit sparkling water 
  • 4 Ice cubes 

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d i r e c t i o n s :

  1. Add all ingredients into a shaker (excluding “bubbles”, aka sparking water)
  2. After shaking all ingredients, add a splash of bubbles
  3. Shake lightly to blend and pour into glass
  4. Serve and enjoy. Cheers!  

    perk: no added sugar and fresh, fresh, fresh

s w e e t   s u n s h i n e 

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 1 C frozen watermelon, cubed
  • 1 1/2 oz grapefruit @deepeddyvodka 
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice from 2 oranges
  • 1″ of a cucumber, peeled
  • 1 mint leaf

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d i r e c t i o n s :

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Garnish as desired
  3. optional, add sparking watermelon water after blending

    perk: only five ingredients and takes under 5 minutes to make

s u m m e r t i m e    b r e e z e 

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 2 1/2 oz Peach Deep Eddy’s Vodka
  • Juice from 2 peaches
  • Juice from 2 blood oranges
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen watermelon
  • Juice from 1 pink lemon (and wheel for garnish)
  • optional, 2 mint leaves

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d i r e c t i o n s :

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender
  2. Blend until frozen smooth consistency is reached

t h e     s e a s h e l l 

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 1/2 Ginger & Lime Sealand Birk
  • 10 frozen watermelon chunks
  • 6 frozen pineapple chunks
  • mint leaves or two drops of mint extract
  • 2 frozen peach slices

b o o z y   v e r s i o n >>>

  • Use above ingredients and add your favorite Rose or Prosecco (1/2-1 cup)

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d i r e c t i o n s :

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-power blender (I always use my Ninja), and mix until fully blended, like the consistency of a Slurpee
  2. Garnish if desired, serve immediately, and enjoy with a straw!




w a t e r m e l o n   s o r b e t 

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 1 1/2 cup frozen watermelon
  • 3 frozen pineapple chunks
  • mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 pink lemon, with the rind removed or 1 pink lemon’s juice

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d i r e c t i o n s :

  1. Add all listed ingredients to a high-power blender and blend until thick but smooth consistency forms
  2. Immediately serve and enjoy!


c r i s p   a n d   c o l o r f u l   l e t t u c e   w r a p s 

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 3-4 butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry

  • 1 organic tomato

  • 5 chunks watermelon, sliced small
  • 1/4 organic cucumber

  • 1 avocado

  • 1 small chunk, organic red onion

  • 3-4 slices of cooked + crispy bacon

  • 1 nitrate-free turkey breast, cooked

  • 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce, balsamic vinegar, or citrus dressing (whichever flavor you prefer) OR fresh squeezed citrus of choice

  • Toasted sesame seeds

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d i r e c t i o n s :

  1. Marinade turkey breast in your choice of marinade (teriyaki, citrus, balsamic) and cut into small pieces
  2. Chop all veggies + watermelon into small cubes
  3. Add fruits + veggies to lettuce wraps
  4. Drizzle small amount of dressing of choice atop wraps
  5. optional, add feta or goat cheese
  6. Enjoy!


s u m m e r    f r u i t    s a l a d 

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 2 mint leaves
  • 5 sliced strawberries
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 6 chunks of watermelon
  • 1 orange
  • optional, fresh lime wedge

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d i r e c t i o n s :

  1. Rinse all fruit
  2. Mince mint leaves and set aside
  3. Slice strawberries and cube watermelon
  4. Cut grapefruit and orange into small pieces
  5. Add all fruit into a bowl
  6. Optional, squeeze fresh lime atop


C H E E R S     T O     W A T E R M E L O N    a n d   

 N A T I O N A L     W A T E R M E L O N    D A  Y  !



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Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood (WebMD, 2016).


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There are currently two yummy flavors available at Walmart – Berry Regular Strength and Berry Extra Strength; definitely accommodates all needs!


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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 5-hour ENERGY®. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 5-hour Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Sunshine, Summertime, + Accessories; Women’s Watches that make Unique Gifts

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It’s 8am; if my son hasn’t woken up yet, I quietly sneak into his room, snuggle him, whisper “Morning buddy, it’s time to go to school…” and get on with our school-day routine so he has 40 minutes to eat breakfast, watch one quick show, sneak in some snugs on the couch with his mama, change for the day, get his lunch packed, and head out the door by 8:40.

Not it’s 9am, and it’s time to start my day; shower or slather on dry shampoo, get dressed, and open my computer to respond to work emails or begin consulting projects. Since I work mostly from home, I frequent local coffee shops. I chose to work there half the time so I have a reason to get dressed in something other than “mom clothes” or workout clothes.

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“JORD is run by artists, designers, marketers, and minders. We spend our days creating, considering, arguing, and hopefully agreeing. Then we’ll scrap it all for the joy of starting new. We have fun. This is our journey.” – JORD

I’m not much of a jewelry person besides a few dainty gold bar necklaces, and a watch. You’ll never find me decked-out in anything too expensive, because, hello, I’m a mom. So that’s where JORD watches come to my rescue. Not only are they SO FREAKING CUTE, they’re also made out of wood, so their casual elegance is a must for any parent. They are sustainably made and hand-crafted. Perfect for a unique gift, JORD makes men and women’s watches, for the every day person, whether they’re career-driven, a parent, a young professional, or student.

“We are focused on creating timepieces that are modeled after a modern lifestyle. We value sustainability, efficiency, and experiential living. We make our watches for people who don’t just have somewhere to be, they have somewhere to go.” -JORD


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“The value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. Moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time.” -JORD

This blog posting was sponsored by JORD, but all opinions are my own.

The Summertime Breeze, a healthy cocktail for summer nights and sweet delights


Go get the ingredients for this gem right MEOW. It’s a summer necessity (100%), especially with watermelon being easily accessible from farmer’s markets, local grocery stores, or locally grown fields. 

Meet the Summertime Breeze  >>>


serves two 

  • 2 1/2 oz Grapefruit Deep Eddy’s Vodka
  • Juice from 2 oranges 
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen watermelon 
  • Juice from 1/2 pink lemon (and wheel for garnish)
  • 2 mint leaves


  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender 
  2. Blend until frozen smooth consistency is reached 

Dairy + Gluten Free + Healthy Watermelon Sorbet 


When you think of summer, you think of warm cozy nights, camping, crickets chirping, BBQs, and watermelon. So. Much. Watermelon. Which is a wonderful thing. 

My mom is the ultimate watermelon lover, and I’ve never been overly obsessed with it until this year. And I attribute that to all the beautiful local produce we have here in San Diego. 

My mom always taught me a few tricks about picking out a good one (when buying a whole one), and that was to smell the ends and knock on it to see if it sounds hallow. My friend Cassie just taught me that you also want to look for a large yellow spot aka “sun spot” because it means it should be nice and ripe. That being said, I picked out the perfect watermelon for out 4th of July BBQ, but we had SO much of it, I froze a bunch. 

Using the frozen watermelon, I made healthy watermelon sorbet and a healthy watermelon cocktail (coming soon). The sorbet is family and kiddo friendly, and just enough balance of sweet and sour – delish! And a new summer fav in our house, so hope you enjoy!

Healthy Watermelon Sorbet

use organic, non-GMO fruit when possible; recipe is dairy free and gluten free


  • 1 1/2 cup frozen watermelon 
  • 3 frozen pineapple chunks
  • 2 mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 pink lemon, with the rind removed or 1 pink lemon’s juice


  1. Add all listed ingredients to a high-power blender and blend until thick but smooth consistency forms
  2. Immediately serve and enjoy!

DIY Outdoor Work Space


I was one of those people who went through college still feeling like I had NO idea what I wanted to do “when I grew up.” I originally went to Chico State because of their teaching program, only to change my mind during orientation that I wanted to pursue my passion of graphic design. Two years in, I had a roomie in my sorority house who convinced me my personality was better suited for events and hospitality, because I could combine all of my interests into one and didn’t belong behind a desk working a 9-5. Boy did she save my life…

So, my junior year I dove into a double major – Resort and Lodging Management + Event Management/Hospitality and Tourism, where I studied abroad in New Zealand where I had honors in International PR + Event Management, and went on to graduate with honors and earn a certificate in certified green event planning.

Upon graduation, I went to work for Marriott Vacation Club in Park City, Utah, where I was an Activities Coordinator. Wanting to move up in the company and dive into corporate and social events outside of the vacation club sector, I applied for an event supervisor position, where I was promoted within and moved to San Diego to work at the JW Marquis, San Diego in Event Operations. From there, the wind blew me to South Florida, where I worked as a bridal consultant before founding and running my event planning company, Better Half Weddings and Events. Eventually I got pregnant, worked my last wedding at 37 weeks, and when Tanner was born, I surprisingly put my career on hold to be a stay at home mama. I always said I would NEVER do that, but there was suddenly something magical about motherhood that trumped fancy suits and professionalism head to toe.

Fast forward to now, and Tanner is turning 3 this fall. With Seashells and Sit Ups blossoming, I’ve been lucky to work with some pretty amazing brands and PR companies as a subcontractor for branding + marketing. I also work with Estate Weddings and Events, the sister site of Venuelust, as a Regional Event and Location Manager. Balancing Seashells and Sit Ups, Estate Weddings and Events, and various emails that come in all day long for personal and professional life, working from home is a blessing. I still get to spend a lot of time with my love bug, and a lot of time enjoying the beauty of Encinitas while working remotely at times.

I always have the itch to work outside, but especially now that Tanner is so active. My house is really small, and we don’t have a backyard, so when Tanner wants to (constantly) play outside, it’s difficult to get anything done. That’s when it dawned on me to create an outdoor workstation. Laptops are obviously portable, so they can be taken in and out, so I just needed a nice spot to be able to bring my computer and smell the roses (and watch Tanner) while also being productive.

With this at-home outdoor work space, work/life balance is achieved, and in a beautiful, peaceful way. Here’s my breakdown of this DIY space…



Black table: Target

Coral chair: Target

Chair pad: Target

Blue whale chair pillow: Target

Vintage-looking wood: My neighbor, Taylor found them on the side of the road. His girlfriend is also a lifestyle blogger, so he gave one to her, and one to me. You could easily recreate by looking at local stores for something similar, or make it yourself from a hardware store

Blue shelf: HomeGoods; this is actually meant to be a floating wall shelf

Vases: Mason Jars, Target

Flowers: Fresh assortment from Trader Joe’s

White backdrop: Particle board from Home Depot painted with white semi-gloss indoor/outdoor paint from Home Depot


Healthy Caprese Pizza


Summer means backyard gardens and fresh fruits and veggies from your harvest. My tomatoes are still blossoms, and I can’t wait for them to grow, but these organic beauties from Trader Joe’s were the next best thing I could find for now. Now, the basil? That’s from my beautiful basil plant. All you need are a couple more staples, and this caprese pizza is all yours! Fresh, healthy, and satisfying.

Healthy Caprese Pizza


  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 large basil leaves, torn or sliced into small pieces
  • 2 slices of fresh mozerella (or leave out of dairy free)
  • Homemade Tzaziki or store-bought (I love Trader Joe’s or making it myself with a dairy-free yogurt)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Thick whole wheat wrap (I used the “middle eastern style” from Trader Joe’s; it was thick like thin pizza crust


  1. Add a layer of Tzaziki to wrap
  2. Layer mozerella cheese, tomatoes, and basil
  3. Top with fresh ground black pepper
  4. Enjoy with a knife and a fork, or wrap up into a taco and chow down!
  5. Bon appetite! 

Veggie ‘Alfredo’ Zoodles


Two things I love – pasta and Alfredo sauce. Too bad when you hit 25+ all things go down hill with the “I can eat whatever I want phase.” So, meet Zoodles, which you’ve surely heard about unless you’ve have blinders on throughout the whole clean-eating movement and sliralizer phenomenon.
Warm summer nights leave me wanting to eat light, fresh dishes, so this evening Tanner had spaghetti and meatballs while I swapped noodles for Zoodles and spaghetti sauce for a lighter seasoned and ‘sauceless’ version, veggie ‘alfredo’ Zoodles. Alfredo in quotation marks, as this dish is anything but an unhealthy cream sauce…


Veggie ‘Alfredo’ Zoodles

Serves 2


  • Two large organic zucchinis, washed (optional, peeled)
  • 1 small box organic mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, washed
  • Steak seasoning
  • Ranch Flavor God
  • Avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut cream
  • Optional, add turkey meatballs
  • Spiralizer


  1. Spiralize zucchini and set aside
  2. In large frying pan, add a teaspoon of avocado oil, teaspoon of steak seasoning, and two shakes of flavor God.
  3. Add broccoli and mushrooms, sautéing until brown
  4. Once broccoli is al-dente, add zucchini and sauté about three minutes, or until Zoodles are aldente.
  5. Add two teaspoons ranch flavor God and 3 tablespoons coconut cream and mix everything together until Zoodles are coated evenly in “sauce”
  6. Serve and enjoy! Optional, add turkey meatballs or chicken