READ about my 14 week transformation here!
READ about my 14 week transformation here!
READ about my 14 week transformation here!
i told Sonny to get me outta bed when my alarm went off this morning no matter what. he didn’t, haha, but i got on up anyway and hit it early so i could use the rest of the day cooking for Thanksgiving! speaking of, we have a Thanksgiving Damage Control Challenge going on right now by the way for 1 buck!! check out the details and sign up to keep yourself in check for the big day tomorrow. i did a little arc trainer for my cardio and then one of our 6 Pack USA upper body workouts which targeted chest, biceps, triceps, and a little back. then i went into the group fitness studio for core and stretching and did a few of these:
i admit- i love this Beyoncé video and song. i just do! not a Yonce stan, but definitely a fan.
then i got home and got the boys up and fed before i got cracking on this soup again. yesterday went terribly wrong. bad pics, bad soup color cause i burned the sausage…it was just…wrong. sometimes i want to post anyway and get it off my chest but something kept telling me to WAIT and be still. today turned out loads better. loads.
while i was cooking away, the doorbell rang. i immediately heard a truck engine start which means it was UPS and i had a package, haha! they never wait. ever.
skinny bacon! what? yes please! when it comes to natural and organic meats, Applegate is top-notch. you get what you pay for, guaranteed. Chiso looooved the hot dogs from our welcome-home-from-the-hospital lunch a few months ago! and if you’re a dear reader of mine then you know how picky that guy is. we cracked the bacon open right away for breakfast. it’s:
it’s no coincidence the soup calls for *drum roll* bacooooon. i told ya, perfect timing. His timing! anyway, it tastes just like pork belly bacon without all the excess grease and/or oil. let’s give it up for Applegate!
*round of applause*
without further adieu, i present to you, healthified, dairy-free, Zuppa Toscana soup! it’s 2nd place to Olive Garden’s chicken & gnocchi soup in my book. maybe i’ll healthify that one next 😉 . the longer you let it sit, the creamier it will become, fyi. i hurriedly took these pics a few minutes after i finished cooking while i still had some good natural light left and it was still a tad thin. a few hours have passed since and the flavors have made their presence known and the texture is just right.
couple things: i used light coconut milk. full fat would yield an even thicker, creamier soup of course! i also used spinach & garlic chicken sausage that i found at HEB, but you can use whatever you fancy.
using the My Fitness Pal recipe nutrition calculator i estimate 4 big bowls of soup from this pot. for one 12 oz serving:
285 cals, 10g fat, 28g carbs, 4g sugar and 1299mg sodium
(high sodium because of my sausage choice but that can be altered.)
pure YUMMINESS! make this and tag me! @fitfoodiele
omg. i’m running a 10k tomorrow morning. it’s not like i don’t know how to train for a run, i just don’t want to. lol. and the temperature has dipped early this year at that! man. this time last year i was preggo and complaining about the cold. only difference is i still want to workout (indoors) and no first trimester woes. welp, if you’re out there getting your trot on in Houston, holla at meeeeee! for now…
back to cooking my mom’s famous cornbread dressing! happy TG eve!
currently 3 months postpartum and training for…. life. i decided not to compete in another bodybuilding competition until i’m done having kiddos. i believe this is the first time i’ve ever typed it out so that kinda makes it official! i’ve said and thought it bazillions of times recently. going from one extreme to the other with my body is not something i’d like to do in between kiddos again so i’m content with waiting. i have menstrual issues as it is and a super low body fat percentage will only complicate the preggo process. so, no thank you! ‘yall want more kiddos?!’ heck YES, Sonny and i would love more, God willing.
about 24 hrs after giving birth, i snapped these pics in my postpartum hospital bathroom. those postpartum pads are gigantic, right!? holy #thighgap LOL. i was left with a loose pooch/pouch– whatever you wanna call it- of a tummy cause, well, my skin had been stretched out over the last 10 months of course! take note; most of the mommy pooch pics you see around the net all lack one thing- muscle tone.
but what else contributes to mommy pooch?
the first tip that is not even included in my list below is patience. if you’re looking for fitfoodiele’s secret potion/formula/pill/cream it’s on sale and you can purchase it here. oh dang, the link is broken cause it does not exist!!!! #whoops #bubblebursted. ok, for real tho, here is the actual link: www.6packusa.com. you can’t undo this overnight, in a few days, or even a handful of weeks. but you can get a head start. more on that later. pregnancy and EVERYTHING that comes with it is a blessing. you must love and honor your body throughout this temporary stage though. never forget that. let me say it again. TEMPORARY. cause if it’s up to you (and it is) you’re not gonna stay the way you are! besides,
am i right?? i know i am!
you can drop weight in a matter of days by either burning yourself OUT on cardio or starving yourself, neither of which are healthy and…. who wants to live like that? the way my body looks and the way my clothes fit are most important. and it simply takes time to shape and mold your body.
this is my time-table so far! fitness is my life. it’s no secret i love to workout. i desire to move every single day. i need it!!! BUT…. i do not have the desire to eat clean 100% of the time 24/7 and neither do you. that said, your nutrition really does play a gigantic role in the PP recovery process since working out takes a backseat for a moment. people tell me all the time how they wish they had my discipline regarding healthy eating and uuuuh, my response is always ‘YOU CAN DO IT TOO’. i have the same temptations and same food devils in my ears day in and day out. i hear them the loudest at the grocery store. specifically in the bulk aisle where all the chocolate covered EVERYTHING is!!! it’s all about preparation for me and keeping things i don’t want to go overboard with out of my house. i know ME and you must know YOU. if i don’t prepare (meal prep, gym schedule, exact workouts) i end up winging it and failing more often than not. you can take the reins on your body again and start your PP process from the inside out with what you put into your body. which bring us tooooooo my first tip!
1.EATING COLLAGEN BOOSTING FOODS – collagen is the cement that holds us together. it helps to keep our skin tight and firm (which is why those adorable young kids and yummy babies have such smooth skin and shiny hair), so eating a plethora of collagen boosting foods only makes sense, right? right. processed foods work against you when it comes to your tummy. the fresher and more whole your food, the better. again, work this thing from the inside out and eat a well balanced diet of the following collagen boosting foods:
so…… avoiding high sodium, high sugar, and fried foods will do your body GOOD. it is what it is. keepin’ it real. reduce your sugar cravings by drinking plenty of water (with fresh lemon juice squeezed in), keep up with consistent, regular exercise, chew gum to satisfy that sweet craving, use stevia or any other zero calorie, all natural sweetener, and reach for fresh fruit first. do you have to cut those indulgent foods out completely? of course not. that’s no fun and no way to live long-term. but if you have a particular goal to meet at a particular time, well then you will have to sacrifice and limit/moderate those treats. also, be aware of your trigger foods! mine are dairy, broccoli, and Kashi as i’ve mentioned before, so i know my results aren’t exactly accurate after eating those foods as they bloat me like nobody’s business 🙁
2. BREASTFEEDING. i know. it’s tough, especially those first few days when your nipples are just like, #ican’t. ‘GO ON WITHOUT ME.’ but i promise you the benefits for both parties are well worth that temporary pain. there’s that word again! and if the pain persists, you could very well be doing it wrong! i was. check this out or ask your OB or lactation consultant for tips. i’m on team #savethenipples all day. while at the hospital i began to breastfeed immediately as instructed and i literally felt my uterus shrinking/contracting as my OB said it would. when nursing, your body releases certain hormones that shrink your uterus back down to its pre-preggo size. i take advantage of and appreciate ‘cry rooms’ and public breastfeeding areas so much more as they are still pretty rare.
the contracting was extremely uncomfortable (after giving birth a few hours prior they were a breeze tho lol) but again this helped my uterus do its thing at a faster rate, thus helping to eliminate the pooch faster as well. now that Dego is 3 months old, he nurses anywhere from 5-6 times in a 24 hr period. we’ve all heard the ‘bfeeding burns 500 cals a day’ thing but i like ‘our bodies burn almost 20 calories to make just an ounce of breast milk’ better. that way, i can do the math myself to get a more accurate number and so can you! i add that number in with estimated # of cals i burn on a particular day (if i don’t have my HR monitor then i just use MyFitnessPal) and adjust my macros accordingly. that is a whole nother post in itself that is coming by request. so anyway, while you enjoy your newbie and wait those few weeks for your workout clearance, you can still burn calories by picking up your baby, not a dumbbell! i understand not every mom is a workout junkie, so this is a free, convenient benefit you should take advantage of if you’re able to do so.
more benefits you should know:
one more thing about breastfeeding. after reading this the other day from Shape’s online mag:
i was like ‘hey!!!! that totally happens to me!! that really is a ‘thing’!’ however… it comes in the form of uncontrollable laughter. is that weird or what? i asked another mommy friend if she ever felt the urge to literally laugh out loud when her milk lets down and well, i was on my own on that one. it only lasts for a couple of seconds and i pretty much suppress it in public, but it is the craziest thing ever. oxytocin.. it’s like breastfeeding endorphins!!!
3. DOING POSTPARTUM BELLY FLATTENING EXERCISES – only with your doctors approval first and foremost should you proceed with these exercises. a relapse could prolong your recovery time so it’s not worth the risk. there are a billion-katrillion exercises you can do and they are all over YouTube! again, these are the top 5 i use, but i posted a few more below you should definitely try.
a. tummy vacuum (see pic below). i love this one cause you can do it anytime, anywhere, sitting, standing, laying down flat on your back or even on a yoga ball (which is my fave cause i can stretch out my back simultaneously).
to do: imagine pulling your belly button into your spine super-duper tight and holding it there, even after you exhale. hold everything in, contracting your core, for as long as possible then release. you can start with holding for 3 seconds, then increase it to 5, 10, etc, etc. repeat, repeat, repeat.
press play below!
*in order played*
b. can be used as a stretch or an exercise. on your back, arms out to the side, palms down, knees at 90 degrees. the slower the better. with your tummy sucked in tight, take knees from side to side, all the way down to the floor. this works your entire core, obliques included.
c. can be used as a stretch or an exercise. optional advanced move of b. legs straight out, feet together. take your time on this one.
d. start with this exercise if you’re a beginner. inhale and draw your core in tight. keep a 90 degree angle in your legs (i could have done a little bit better job) as you tap your toes to the floor and back to the start position. try your best not to arch your back; you want your core to do all the work so the slower the better. to advance the move, alternate your legs in a controlled motion and keep that tummy sucked in.
e. opposite arm/leg crunches on all fours. inhale and draw your core into your spine and hold it there as you execute the move.
here are a few more moves from Shape mag that focus on the LOWER ABS, where we need to concentrate the most.
4. TAKING CARE OF MY SKIN – i believe that what we put into our bodies produces the most dramatic results. however, sprucing up the surface can make a difference too.
a. body scrubs and moisturizer. they help tighten skin because of the increased blood flow that produces healthy, elastic, skin. use it all over your body but pay special attention to your trouble areas each time you shower. hello, i just posted 3 different super simple homemade body scrub recipes for you here. after a shower, i’ll apply cocoa butter to help tone the uneven parts on my belly as they were discolored from the stretching. and that’s it. i keep it very simple.
b. water. water, water, water = fresh, hydrated, supple skin. s/n: you can tell a lot about your health just from the way you use the restroom. if your urine is pale and almost clear, that’s a great indicator that you’re getting enough fluids. if it’s a darker, rusty yellow, you prolly need more fluids. my hands become wickedly dry when i’m not getting enough water, so that’s another telltale sign for me. we also need plenty of water for breastfeeding, ladies, so drink up! i drink a 16.9 oz bottle with every meal, so at least 6 of them per day.
5. IMPLEMENTING 6 Pack USA (Postpartum). so about that head start! weight training and cardio. you need both. i did both before pregnancy, during, and after. a transformation is a present activity, not a future event! if you wait until you deliver your baby to start working out and eating right, the road ahead will be long. extra long. start practicing healthier habits NOW. not only will your pregnancy be easier in general, but baby will benefit and it’ll take less work to get back to your pre-preggo body after you deliver. toned, lean muscle under your skin will help it look tighter. not just your tummy, but all over! slow and steady wins the race when it comes to weight loss and getting/keeping your skin tight. crash diets and quick fixes do NOT help the skin tightening process…no, no, no. it must be done the healthy way as in a steady loss of 1-4 lbs of body fat per week. extreme dieting will force your skin to stretch and sag more quickly, so give it time and build healthier lifestyle habits while you’re at it. we live by and promote this successful program and it has been my no-fail plan before, during, and after my 2nd pregnancy. it has blessed the lives of so many other around the country, including this mother of FIVE, April!
as i struggle to get my life together daily with my two rug rats, i watch this girl in awe as she juggles her photography career, 5 kiddos, each with their own busy agendas, a hubby, and still manages to make time to take care of herself! WHAT a transformation! that’s what dedication and consistency can do for you.
i was unaware of my daily micronutrients limit for my first pregnancy, but the second time around i had it DOWN. knowing what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat it made all the difference. the picture below says it all! on the left i was 4 months pp with Chiso (prolly my highest un-preggo weight ever), and on the right i was 2 months pp with Dego. knowledge really IS power!
skin firming and tightening skin-care products don’t work as well as their over-exaggerated claims. ever. and the price to quantity ratio is waaaaay off lol! because collagen is found in the second layer of our skin (the dermis layer), those creams are just sitting on the surface of your skin and not really doing anything but hydrating it. (they work just as well as those lotions that claim to prevent stretch marks. nope, not gonna happen.) you reeeeally gotta watch those key words when reading the product descriptions like: ‘..improve the appearance of your skin…’ and ‘..provides visibly firmer looking skin…’ . most of these creams require daily use but as soon as you stop applying, the product stops working. and that’s if it even works for you! the product reviews for these types of creams are all over the place. i’ve also noticed that some of the commenters claiming the product works mention that they are using it IN ADDITION TO exercise!! purchase at your own risk (i’d rather go buy groceries with that money) and definitely read those reviews first.
i’m not completely sold on belly bands. i say completely because i feel they are only great for providing back and core support (especially if you had an epidural or c-section), and making your waist/mid-section nice and smooth under your clothing immediately after birth when the pooch is most prominent. i get it. however, they have nothing to do with getting your abdominals and core back into shape. at all. once you take it off, everything settles (or drops) back to where it was! don’t be fooled. long term results come from physical activity and proper nutrition. belly bands are definitely a short-term solution.. a band-aid, if you will.
there is a reason it takes time to lose fat. the progress you see from using wraps is usually water weight and not actual fat. which means the fat is still present and can only be burned off.
same concept when you apply it to your body, aka, your temple. put great stuff in, get great results right on out!
yesterday i had vanilla oat bran with banana slices, Walden Farms syrup, and Trader Joes cinnamon sugar,
and this morning it was rolled oats cooked in unsweetened vanilla almond milk, pure vanilla extract, and some cinnamon and granulated stevia stirred in. some days i flip a coin! they are both great starts to the day. this bowl was sooooo creamy. i topped it with one strawberry cause that’s all i needed since they are so dang GIANT this season. and a small tsp of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter. so, so good.
today’s eggs weren’t pretty at ALL so i didn’t take a pic. these were from yesterday and were topped with some alfalfa sprouts and pineapple salsa from Sprouts. i love getting a little bit of charr mixed in with my eggs from the skillet- gives them extra flavor.
who’s got some core exercises for you? I DO! did’em this morning after teaching my total conditioning class!
i’m sure you’re familiar with the basic high plank on your palms and toes. right? yeah you can do that one in your sleep.
but when you mount up on a medicine ball (any solid ball will work really) then you really put that core to work. this is one of those exercises that looks uuuuber easy until you do it yourself. so, grab yoself a medicine ball and do these semi-advanced core exercises that promote core strength and stability!
★1st things 1st- engage your core by sucking your belly button to your spine, but DON’T hold your breath!★
what a 😯 BURN 😯 !
this exercise works glutes, core, and your shoulders & back definitely feel the wrath of supporting your bodyweight the entire time. try’em at the gym or at home during commercial breaks.
well hello there, fit eggplant parm. i whipped up a crazy good fit chicken parm that will be going into the you-know-what! for now, enjoy this healthier classic, fit foodie le style.
fit egg plant parm
*homemade breadcrumbs: toast 4 slices of Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful Whole Wheat with Honey bread until crispy, and toss them in your food processor. pulse until breadcrumb-like consistency.*
do this: * important S/N* this can totally be dairy-free if you use only almond cheese, (or rice cheese, or your fave vegan cheese) throughout the recipe. but then you’d have to call it fit eggplant almond. or whatever. you know me- i needed some nutty, creamy parmesan in my dish cause cheese is my thing, so i added it. just a little. and you can too. if you want. also if you don’t have the same brands i’m using and naming, no big deal!
1. lay the eggplant slices flat in a shallow baking dish and pour the liquid aminos all over them. let it soak in real good, about 10-15 minutes or so.
2. in a shallow dish, combine the egg whites and unsweetened almond milk; mix.
3. grab another shallow dish and pour in your breadcrumbs. add: the finely grated parmesan cheese, pepper, basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley; mix.
4. dip each eggplant slice into your egg mixture with one hand, then immediately drop it into your breadcrumb mixture. i only coated one side with breadcrumbs cause i was lazy and didn’t want to have to flip them halfway through. lol. spray a flat baking pan with the olive oil spray and bake your slices for about 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
5. when the eggplant is almost done, go ahead and start the first layer of the dish by spooning some of the crushed tomatoes in the bottom of your olive oil coated baking pan. eyeball it.
6. when the eggplant is ready and cool enough to handle (surprise, i didn’t wait), create the second layer. i know mushrooms are untraditional in this recipe, but so am i! and come on- melted cheese and mushrooms just go together. so i added a few sliced baby bellas for the 3rd layer,
7. top with 1/4 of the almond cheese. or more. way more.
8. and finally, top that with more sauce and repeat until you run outta ingredients. the last layer should be CHEESE! and lots of it. now don’t put those fresh basil leaves on there yet cause you will torch them in the oven. i put them there cause it looked pretty.
this made about 6 servings; stats are for 1:
we killed the pan but there are certainly a couple things i’ll be doing differently from here on: take note!
cooking is ALL about having fun and trial & error for me. get in there and make your own masterpiece!
i’d like to give a big THANK YOU to Bragg for sending me a few samples of their seasonings recently! i’ll be testing the nutritional yeast, the sea kelp delight seasoning, and the 24 herbs and spices seasoning this week.
ooooh the joys, blessings, and lessons of good ol’ parenthood 😆 it was just one of those days.
thank God for electronic devices!!!!!
p.s., if you haven’t entered to win some FREE FOOD, then click there and go see what’s up! contest ends this saturday.
last night’s meal 5…. ain’t she fine? i took a roasted baked potato, topped it with crumbled 99% lean ground turkey (seasoned with Mrs. Dash no-salt fiesta lime seasoning, fresh parsley, garlic, and liquid aminos) chopped green onion, fresh tomatoes, and a dollop of 0% greek yogurt. finished it off with a sprinkle of more Mrs. Dash and dried parsley.
flavor EXPLOSION in ya mouth!
i cooked the potato like i always do- 450 deg for 45 minutes or until oozy. if you poke holes in it beforehand it won’t ooze, but there’s no fun in that.
after 42 pics from every angle possible, i gobbled it UP. yall know i love the versatility of sweet potatoes- try them with your family and see what they think! you can customize your toppings for sure, just like you would on a normal russet potato. don’t let the sweetness throw you off- it will work out, i promise.
so i’m gonna post LEG exercises all this week, and i’ll start with these two:
1. side lunge w/ squat
1. start position stand with feet shoulder width or closer apart
2.(lunge) keeping your left leg straight, step out to the side with your right leg, and bend at your right knee.
3. (squat) push your heel firmly into the floor while pushing your glutes back and keeping knees behind your toes.
push-off the right leg through your heel to return to the start position.
repeat; 3 x 12, each leg.
above is just a collage of what the lowest point of your lunge/squat should look like^
Q: can’t you do these with a dumbbell? A: this particular exercise, DEFINITELY. however, the two main differences (ok really the only two in my book) btw kettle bells and dumbbells are the grip/handle and the center of gravity of the weight.
‘once the bell is thrown with force, it must be controlled and stopped with an equal amount of force. you are now working twice as hard to move and stop the bell. these actions and reactions require tremendous efforts to stabilize the body. most of these efforts start with your legs and hips and are controlled with your shoulders and trunk or core.’
kinda hard to do that with a dumbbell… and some will argue that you just can’t get a GREAT, EFFECTIVE full body workout with a dumbbell alone vs. a kettle bell.
well, what do you think?
these are fun and all about obliques! they also contribute to balance and core stability. the kettle bell handle is very useful on this one.
1. engage your core while standing with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. drive your right knee up, and simultaneously bring your right elbow down to meet it, crunching your right oblique in the process. same rules apply:
you can speed it up or take it slower, depending on the weight of your bell. really engage the obliques though by keeping your movements controlled and with a full range of motion. keep it even and hit both sides of course til it burns!
being an instructor has its perks- this outfit is a testament to that! an Athleta (by Gap ) store opened up close to my gym, and they kindly gave the instructors tops and bottoms to model and show off to our members.
*warning* i took these pics after working out and put this fit to the ultimate test! excuse the sweat stains! among other things 😉
Athleta – Inside Track Knicker 69.00$
not shorts and not pants- i have always dug the cropped length.
Athleta – Run On Tank 39.00$
if you haven’t checked out Athleta yet, go for it!
i told ya i don’t discriminate- i found the biggest beets i’ve ever seen at wally world (Walmart) and threw them in my basket without hesitation. @ 1.98 for 3 huge bulbs, they are as big as grapefruits!
however i was looking for eggplant, which i did NOT find and had to go elsewhere to get it.
i found some for a great price at Fiesta! i also copped some papaya since it was on sale. lunch was a plate of grilled chicken breasts seasoned with Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning, grilled egg-plant, roasted sweet potatoes, and papaya salsa!
fresh & fit papaya-lime salsa
slice and dice that all up, squeeze the lime over it, refrigerate, top on whatever you like, devour.
WHEW! it’s a lot goin’ on in this post lol! until breakfast, goodnite fit foodies.