Healthy Paleo-Diet Keeps Hall Director Motivated
Story and Photos by Paige Gandara-Valderas
As a full-time hall director in Founders Hall, Samantha Garcia enjoys cooking when she can.
Garcia, a San Antonio native, received her undergraduate degree in leadership and development from Texas A&M and a graduate degree in Seattle. She enjoys that St. Mary’s has a nice family feel to it and that everyone supports
“We all have each others backs. It’s an ‘I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine… and if you can’t scratch it back just yet, don’t worry about it’,” Garcia says.
Growing up in San Antonio, Garcia’s favorite foods are primarily Mexican. Her favorite ingredient is avocado. She uses avocados in just about anything she eats.
“You can put avocados in any dish and it goes great with Mexican food!” Garcia says. “I love avocados even in my smoothies.”
The dish that Garcia prepares is Paleo Stuffed Avocados with Cilantro Cream Sauce, a recipe from her sister.
The significance of the dish was to showcase a healthy option and also because it is one of her sister’s first dishes. Garcia’s tip on preparing the dish is to not overcook the avocados in the oven because they can burn easily and ruin the flavor.
Garcia also enjoys her yoga workouts. Yoga, for Garcia, is a great exercise.
Garcia likes to promote mental, emotional and physical health. Garcia has also done a podcast series with her sister called “Fed and Fit Podcast: College Student Series,” which is five episodes long.
“I’ve been in college for a really long time and I am able to give a lot of insight about that. Especially since I work with college students on a daily basis,” Garcia says.
There should always be that leeway according to Garcia. It’s important for her to live in a balanced lifestyle.
“It’s all about that 80-20 balance. Eighty percent should be a really healthy portion, but 20 percent is whatever you want,” Garcia says.
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 5 avocados
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Chicken broth
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 4 limes for lime juice
Sautee 4 cloves of garlic with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil for flavor.Then, wash, dry and season the chicken tenders with a pinch of kosher salt, then sautee in extra-virgin olive oil. After that, simmer the chicken tenders in broth for about 20 minutes, then shred immideately after. Add the cumin, chili powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and the black pepper to the shredded chicken to taste.Halve and de-seed five avocados and lay them out on the baking sheet to bake at 400 F for 5 minutes. For the cream sauce, stir one can of full-fat coconut milk, lime juice and cilantro. After the avocados are baked, pull out of the oven and drizzle with the cream sauce to serve.