Shrimp in White Sauce
I am so frustrated, guys! For my fellow Orangetheory Fitness goers you will understand when I say I cannot get my heart rate up in my workouts lately, despite trying my hardest. I left my workout this morning feeling defeated and on the verge of tears and normally I leave feeling accomplished and like I’m sitting on top of the world. A little background on Orangethoery Fitness (OTF) for those who don’t know…
OTF is heartrate based interval training. Each member wears a heartrate monitor and that information is displayed on a screen in class so you can see what heartrate “zone” you’re in. There are 5 different zones: grey, blue, green, orange and red. The goal for each class is to spend 12 or more minutes in the orange/red zones combined and you achieve that by getting to 84% of your maximum heartrate or higher. The theory is that if you get those 12 minutes or more in the orange and red zones, you will keep burning for another 24-48 hours after class, something they call the “afterburn effect”. The total number of minutes you spend in the red and orange zone are your “splat points” for the day and that is also displayed on the monitors in class as well as in a post-workout email with all your stats. So, if I was in the orange/red zones for 14 minutes, I would get 14 splat points for that class. The exercises vary, but each workout includes cardio and weight-room for half the time and focuses on either endurance, strength or power, and some days all three.
I absolutely love OTF, it is the first workout that I have stuck with and enjoy going to every day. I go to 5-6 classes per week. On the weekdays, I go to the 6:00 a.m. class, and on weekends the 9:00 a.m. class. I have completely changed my lifestyle since joining OTF. I go to bed at 8:15 p.m. every single night to make sure I’m getting enough sleep for my 5:15 a.m. alarm. Not only that, but as soon as I get home from work, I immediately prep all my meals for the next day, cook myself dinner and probably snap a few food pics for the Gram! Sometimes I feel like I’m constantly on the go and it can be exhausting, but I truly would have it no other way. This is the one time in my life that I am able to be selfish and focus on me and being my best-self so I decided to go all out and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
Back to my frustration now…
Let me just say that I am NOT a runner. I have problems with my mental toughness when it comes to running – something I’m working on but not quite there yet. OTF has been HUGE in helping me get over my running fears. I’ve accomplished many PR’s in the past 6 months that I’ve been a member and though I still get nervous for workouts, I know I’ll make through even though it will be HARD. I’ve been able to increase my running speeds and that’s an accomplishment I am super proud of. BUT for the past 3 weeks or so, I have been pushing myself so hard and barely getting into the “orange zone,” as they call it.
I used to feel bummed when I got 12-14 splat points. I had no problem getting anywhere from 18-25 minutes in the orange zone regularly and sometimes I would even get in the red zone if it was a killer workout. These days, I struggle to make it to the 12-minute goal, even when I feel like I can’t run any faster or push any harder. Today I got 7, yep SEVEN, minutes in the orange zone and I was running at a faster speed, on an incline (shout out to strength days), was the first or second person to complete the two 500-meter rows later in class, and increased my weights for all the floor exercises.
I’ve talked to a couple of other members who experience similar issues so at least I’m not alone! One of the members suggested that I may have just reached a plateau and have gotten stronger (woot-woot!) so I would need to push harder to see the same results.
After a few weeks of trying new speeds on the treadmill and heavier weights, I still walk into each class not knowing if I’ll get those 12-minutes. It makes me feel even worse when the coaches remind us that those 12-minutes are why we got out of bed – I don’t blame them for saying this one bit, I just get even more frustrated with myself that I seemingly can’t achieve the same goal as everyone else in the class.
Today I actually felt myself tear up at the end of class. Am I getting weaker? Am I not really pushing as hard as I can? Why am I the only one who didn’t get the results I was aiming for? That was my inner dialogue to myself for most of the day.
The only thing I can do is remind myself that I know I’m working hard and doing my best each time I step foot in class. I know sometimes the screen will read “83%” for a solid 2-3 minutes even when I’m increasing speeds and difficulty but it just won’t budge into that “84%” threshold.
I had to make a conscious decision to stop sulking and realize that all those awesome things I have gained from OTF have not gone away just because I’m in this odd and upsetting phase right now. I need to remind myself why I started this journey and keep on going. That is what I plan to do.
Woof that was deep!
The one good thing about the day was that I had a delicious lunch to look forward to. I created this recipe the other day when I found some jumbo shrimp on sale and wanted to create a meal worthy enough of how epic these shrimps were.
The white sauce tastes almost like an alfredo, but without any of the guilt. I legitimately licked the pan clean and slurped the leftover sauce out of the bottom of my bowl – no regrets!
I paired mine with radish noodles (spiralized radishes – found these at Whole Foods Market) but this would be good on just about anything. You could try another veggie-noodle, make it the topping on your cauliflower pizza crust or the filling to your tacos!
Hope you love this recipe as much as I do and if your internal dialogue ever sounds like mine did today, always go back to your “why”. Why did you start this journey, why do you continue to choose health, why are you where you are today?
Shrimp in White Sauce Recipe
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Makes 4 Servings
2 lb. Jumbo Shrimp, peeled and tail off
2 Tablespoons Ghee/Cultured Butter
1 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
¼ Cup Blanched Almond Flour
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Chives for Garnish, chopped
1 Cup Baby Tomatoes
½ Tablespoon Olive Oil
Oregano to taste
Pre-heat oven to 425 and roast baby tomatoes coated in olive oil and oregano until they begin to shrink and slightly blacken
To defrost shrimp, place in a colander in the sink under cold running water for 5 minutes (or until thawed) then place in folded paper towel and squeeze out excess water
Heat ghee over medium-low in a large skillet then add shrimp
Add coconut milk, garlic, and salt and let simmer for 1-2 minutes
Mix in almond flour and let stand for 2-3 minutes allowing it to thicken
Check for thickness of sauce, if still soupy, add a pinch more almond flour and let stand again
Once sauce begins to thicken (approx. 5 minutes), stir in roasted tomatoes and allow sauce to continue to thicken for another 5 or so minutes
Garnish with chopped chives, Serve hot and enjoy!