boy: a noise with dirt on it

a mommy-friend of mine invited the boys and i to toddler story time at a local library recently.  actually, she invited us weeks ago but i finally got it together enough on my end so that we could attend. it was a morning event so i got up super-duper early just to ensure we’d make it. a lil late, but we made it.  i feel like i have to start getting everybody ready like 3 hours before we have to be somewhere, seriously.  and when we are rarely making good time, Chiso suddenly has to go go to the restroom as i am loading up the car or Dego throws up on us.  never fails!  but hey, we made it AND we even got a nice breakfast in!

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i had egg whites with black pepper, mozzarella almond cheese, a little homemade guacamole, low-fat turkey sausage, and french toast with strawberries!  big breakfast to support my activity levels these days which includes hitting the weights again, nursing around the clock, and keeping up with my 3 yr old. among other things.

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Chiso has requested pancakes for like 2 weeks straight now. maybe even longer than that.  so made him some sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, sugar-free syrup, and a little fat-free Redi Whip.

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our boys warmed right on up to each other and enjoyed the crafting, songs, and puppet show.

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 Maranda is a mom of 3 boys herself so i know she feels my pain can relate to life with these little knuckleheads!

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 our first official outing together.  we did it!! we’re pros now. i actually avoided leaving the house with both boys for the longest…but the saying is true. ‘ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it.’ after that? piece of cake! for the most part. thinking, i.e. worrying, about every single thing that could go wrong is no way to live. i’ve learned to be prepared, prayerful, and cautious, not crazy.  Chiso’s independence could not have come at a better time though. for him to be able to get in and out of the car himself, clean up his toys and messes, retrieve and/or throw away Dego’s diapers, and turn on the bathroom light so i don’t have to get up lol helps out big time. sigh…no more baby Chiso!

just another one of those bittersweet mommy moments.

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well all that fun didn’t result in a nap at our house, but Chiso enjoyed himself and has asked to go back countless times now. Maranda is a pro at finding free & fun stuff to do around our city, and i recently came across Houston on the Cheap with even more ideas galore.  check it!
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i got to bed way too late so my early gym date was definitely out this morning. i hit the streets for some sprints once Sonny got home instead. i haven’t run full speed in almost a year and i’m sure i’ll pay for it tomorrow and the next day!  i did ladders:

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i started slow and only went ‘down’ the ladder from 5 to 1.  that was all i had, woof.  also, here are two foodie items being adding back into my diet that i’ve posted about before: almond cheese (gotta cut down on the dairy cause of bloating) and calorie-free Grey Poupon mild & creamy mustard. i got great feedback via Instagram about Daiya vegan cheese so i’m gonna step out and try that brand next.

Q: what have you tripped over that wasn’t even worth tripping over once you did it?

le

crunchy ginger rotisseri chicken wrap + stay fuller longer

having the same thing i had for breakfast yesterday while there are a few La Tortilla Factory Tortillas left in this house. they go so fast cause we all like them! Chiso eats them as pb & j rollups, Sonny makes tacos, and quesadillas are my fave. the exact kind i get are only at the Sprouts Farmers Market closest to where i live.

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 since i always make them for lunch or dinner,  i tried a breakfast quesadilla this time with egg whites, red bell pepper, green onion, low fat turkey sausage, and 2% pepper jack cheese.  i cooked it on the griddle for 4-5 min on each side and threw in some tomatoes, bluebs, and homemade guacamole. excellent!

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 my day gets going after some good fuel, and this thing makes it so much easier to get stuff done around the house when baby boy is fussy or i just don’t want to put him down.  i received this Baby Bjorn as a gift while preggo with Chiso and i love it for home use and outings.  Dego is a thumb sucker and puts his whole hand over his face while he does it! so funny.

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so with breastfeeding and getting back to my random, sweaty workouts as of this week, i am double HOONGRY. this is ridiculous.  i just want to eat the entire fridge and pantry when i get home.  coincidently i got an email from Spark People titled ‘Tips to Stay Full Longer’ and i could not click the link fast enough.  these are some awesome tips to follow and i’ve already been doing some of them such as:

  • eat protein and fiber rich foods every 3-4 hours with healthy snacks in between (like fresh fruit and mixed nuts)
  • fill up on the non-starchy veggies and fibrous foods (leafy greens, cucumbers, red bell peppers, spinach, zucchini, sugar snap peas) with every meal
  • reach for natural fruit first to lessen/knock out those sugar cravings. remember, white sugar only makes you crave it MORE! it’s a dangerous cycle.
  • drink a full glass or bottle of water before every meal
  • take your time and eat!!! when i’m super hungry i rush and stuff myself (which is why eating every couple of hours is still the best option for me). it takes about 20 minutes for your tummy to tell your brain you are even full, but by that time it’s too late and you’re on your way to a food coma. take your time to chew and swallow every bite.

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today was my first day back on the stair master since i was like 6 or 7 months preggo!  my heart rate always shot up and being up so high with my belly made Sonny uncomfy so i just stopped using it. i didn’t miss it. lol. hurts so good though!  i did some intervals for about 30 minutes for my cardio and headed to a core class.  how about i modified everythang. my postpartum core is way stronger now than in my first pregnancy, but i still have a crap ton of work to do. but first….. :D

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afterwards, i picked up some of nature’s candy from Sprouts.  i love their 3 for 5 bucks sale! i got 2 strawberries and one pint of bluebs. and those sweet, crunchy nectaries of course.

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i also picked up another one of Annie’s all natural dressings– Gingerly.  winner!

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i wanted to use it right away, so for dinner, i threw some shredded rotisserie chicken, raw red bell pepper, bagged cabbage mix, cilantro, green onion, and crushed almonds into a bowl, poured in the dressing, and coated the chicken mixture in it.

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i grabbed a La Tortilla Factory tortilla, rolled the chicken mixture up really tight and made a Crunchy Ginger Rotisserie Chicken Wrap that had so much flavor!  please try this, guys!

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 for dessert i skipped the fruit and had some Arctic Zero with mini chocolate chips, fat-free Redi Whip, and sprinkles lol. have a fun friday night and a great weekend!

le

Q: what are your thoughts on Artic Zero? yay? nay? 

 i add a tbsp of Hershey’s sugar-free chocolate syrup to mine, stir until creamy, and add a few toppings first. hits the sweet spot.

4 weeks pp + Dego’s 1 month mark

last night i said i was going to get up at the crack of dawn this morning and not just get my treadmill interval workout in, but to pop up on my 5:30am class to say hi while i was at it! i made me some hot coffee and headed out, Beats and ipod in tow.

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i kinda forgot to factor in feeding my newborn before leaving though so i arrived way after class started.  it was SO good to see old and new faces all across the studio when i peeked my head in the door!  i caught up with some of my regulars after class finished and they only made me more anxious to put that mic on again.

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cardio killaaaaa. i was hoping to be cleared to lift this week, but my OB’s schedule is jam packed!!! huge bummer. still crossing my fingers to be worked in somehow. else i’ll just wait ’til next week.

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Chiso woke up and requested pancakes, so he got’em.  i made him a stack of my WW Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Birthday Cakes complete with dolphin sprinkles and he almost finished the stack by himself!  i gladly killed the rest. remember, you can also sub blueberries for the chocolate chips.

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who’s 1 month today? that guy! i asked Sonny does 4 weeks make it one month, or will July 17th make it one month… idk and too lazy to Google. close enough.  also up until today, smiles from Dego were only reserved for Chiso. i finally got mine :)

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our God is an awesome God.  i make an effort to praise Him for all things, both great and especially small.  after receiving and reviewing Dego’s newborn screening results in the mail a few days ago i began to thank Him repeatedly.  i was instantly reminded of the time in my life when my thoughts consumed me and convinced me that i was unable to bear any children, ever.  God has blessed us with healthy baby boy #2, and for that we give Him all the glory.

they willl find you

this is so funny because i actually remember doing this to my mom.  putting my face on the floor to see her feet while calling her name over and over again and everything.  well it’s payback time!  who am i kidding… once Chiso doesn’t give a flying hoot about my whereabouts i’m gonna have a mommy moment…

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grilled sirloin steak and taters for dinner tonight.  we’ve been outta sweet taters and they are exactly what i need to keep me feeling fuller longer between meals.  the steak was marinated in some Annie’s balsamic vinaigrette, pinch of sea salt and black pepper before i tossed it in my grill pan.  that delicious sauce is just Grey Poupon mild and creamy mustard (which is calorie free, sugar free, and fat free) sauteed with white mushrooms. it’s bananas!

Q: how do you like your steak cooked?  

blood = no bueno. can’t do it. well done, please.

le

 

is that sweat? 3 weeks postpartum

why yes!  that IS sweat.  today…was a great day. not just cause it’s friday either! it was great cause i started my day super-duper early this morning in the what?

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GYYYM!

i’m back baby!!!! i’m home. kinda. i miss the smell, the energy,  the whirring of the machines…  is that weird!?   the same smell that used to make my stomach turn when i was training for my bikini comp, go figure. and i definitely miss my gym buddies and instructor friends!  i said ‘kinda’ cause i only came to walk, which is still the only thing i’ve been doing until i’m cleared to hit those weights again.  that’s next though! i haven’t gotten up at the crack of dawn to workout since i took my hiatus from teaching my Lifetime classes at the end of May.  i had my headphones blasting and arms swinging as i power walked to the beat. before i knew it, my hour was up! pure, sweaty, bliss.

Odego is sleeping a lil’ longer these days (prolly 3-4 hour stretches if that) so this morning i had a small window of opportunity that i ran and jumped straight through.  praying for more mornings like that! else it’s back to my evening neighborhood walks or whenever i can get them in.

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i felt like i had the entire day ahead of me to get stuff DONE.  i’ve been losing track of what day it even is while trying to get a routine going with the kiddos, and today’s workout made me energized, refreshed, focused, and most important, MOTIVATED!!! you see i even got this blog post up :D

i’m eating around 1900 cals a day currently, and this morning’s balanced brekky consisted of scrambled egg whites with homemade guacamole (i only had a fresh lime instead of lemon and it worked just as well, yum), low fat turkey sausage, a nectarine, and some whole wheat toast with a tbsp of dark chocolate dreams peanut butter.  for your own customized meal plan, email me at leah.egwuatu@6packusa.com.

i marinated some chicken breasts in homemade honey mustard (equal parts dijon mustard and agave nectar and yes you can you honey) and a little sea salt and black pepper to taste.  i grilled them up on my grill pan and smoked up the 1st floor of the house real good.  all you need is a HOT grill pan sprayed with no stick cooking spray, cook the breasts for 8 minutes on each side (depending on size), then cover the meat with foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes.  here are a few of my grilled chicken lunch/dinner plates from this week:

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,..paired with plantains pan-fried in coconut oil, a fresh spinach, tomato, pecan, jicama salad, Annie’s  all natural Artichoke Parmesan dressing on the side (i could turn the entire bottle UP it’s so good) and my prenatal vitamin…

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..paired with sautéed spinach and mushrooms, a summer corn, tomato, cilantro & mozzarella salad with honey mustard on the side..

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..a ginormous spinach salad topped with pecans, strawberries, blueberries, jicama, green onion, and feta cheese crumbles.. this was actually my first time ever buying jicama and it won’t be my last!

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3 weeks postpartum now and my sweet tooth is still RAAAAGING, so i’ve been trying to stick to natural sugars as often as possible.  the cravings are SO strong though and all i want to do is eat chocolate and chips all day.  so i’ve been having fresh fruit with a little sugar-free cool whip and cinnamon for dessert most nights. super yummy and a better option than the Marble Slab i will go HAM on. also, the peeps over at Squarebars so graciously sent me some samples of their organic protein bars to try. omg. can you say right on time!? they are D-freakin-licious!!

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no refined sugars, no GMOs, soy-free, gluten-free,  low glycemic, vegan, and 12g of protein. i’m feelin’em, and their nutritional stats aren’t too shabby!

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newborn life lol! have a fun friday evening!

le

40 weeks preggo + Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti Squash

 glory to God! we made it! 40 weeks in the bag.
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wednesday i had (what i hope to be) my very last routine check up with my OB before meeting Odego.

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did some reading to pass the time in the waiting area and my eyes were immediately drawn to “why it’s OK to get an epidural” after picking up this magazine, lol.  this birth plan is the same as my first… to give it my best shot  naturally, and call for the epi if i need it. God has already gone before me and everything is in His hands. everything.

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i love that my OB involves Chiso somehow at every visit.  especially when i forget to bring his ipad!  i just love her to pieces and thank God for connecting us.  according to Chi’s calculations, my belly is currently measuring at 39.7 cms (the number your belly measures in cms usually corresponds with your current week, fyi).  pretty happy to have progressed to 2 cms dilated without feeling a thing at that.  well, what i HAVE felt has not been painful at all, rather.

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so i left my appointment with JUST enough time to hit the gym for one last TKB (turbo kickboxing) class!!! i also just wanted to tell the best kickboxing instructor i know that i’d be seeing her in a few weeks, or whenever i’m cleared to come back.

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i started that day with lean turkey sausage, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, the last of a ripe avocado, all over  a sweet potato hash i could have sworn i had already added  to my blog, sorry guys!! here are the ingredients i sautéed in my no stick skillet with 1 tbsp coconut oil:

  • 1 small peeled/cubed sweet potato (microwave for 1 min first to make it easier to chop)
  • 1 yelllow oinion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cubed zucchini
  • 1/4 cup cubed yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup  cubed red bell pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • sea salt (i used liquid aminos) & pepper
  • fresh chopped cilantro

and i scarfed down those rotisserie chicken breast deli sammiches on Sara Lee whole wheat 45 calories & delightful bread and raw carrots after the TKB class.

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here’s dinner from tonight with the recipe as promised:

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti Squash

the stuff:

  • 1 lb raw, de-veined, shelled shrimp
  • 1 roasted small – medium spaghetti squash  ( i throw the whole thing in my oven on 375 for 45 min)
  • 1/2 cup whole grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp or more lemon pepper seasoning
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon

do this:

  1. heat a large wok to med-high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.
  2. add 2 tbsp garlic and stir constantly so it doesn’t burn for about 2 minutes; add shrimp.
  3. season shrimp with 1 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning and black pepper; remove from wok and set aside.
  4. add in another tbsp olive oil and the remaining 2 tbsp of garlic; cook for about 1 minute.
  5. add bell pepper if wanted at this point and let it cook/soften for 2 minutes. if no bell pepper, just add cooked spaghetti squash into wok along with another tbsp or two of lemon pepper seasoning and black pepper. mix well.
  6. halve the grape tomatoes then add them to your wok along with the cooked shrimp and cilantro; mix very well.
  7. squeeze the fresh lemon over the top of everything and serve!

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nutritional stats coming right up, asap. as for now, the baby waiting game continues!  have a safe, fun, friday night :)

le

m<3m’s day ’14

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one of my most cherished moments in time. i didn’t even know this pic of me and Chiso’s first  face to face interaction was captured until later;  i was so wrapped up in his little presence.  simply honored God saw fit to make me his mommy.

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 almost 3 years later i’m still getting all the kisses i can before he starts wiping them off! i woke up to the sweetest mothers’ day card from Sonny & Chi along with this little lifesaver right here:

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 my Samsung s4 is so full of pics and vids that i haven’t been able to download any new apps for weeks.  i mean really. and i’ve backed up everything in my phone onto my mac but because i never know when i’ll need to upload or get access to a particular pic, i can’t bring myself to wipe my phone totally clean. i know. all kinds of crazy over here. but now i have even more space to fill with food and workout pics :P

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i got on up and made breakfast for the fam and had one of my usual combos: mushroom egg omelette with whole wheat toast, natural pb, and sprinkles for fun ( i used a cupcake cookie cutter btw) and some wild blueberries.

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then i threw on my Mothers’ Day best and snapped a few 35 week pics before we hit the road to go celebrate with our moms!

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Sonny’s mom and sis couldn’t make it,  but he and his brother, Brian, treated my mom, his fiance, and his future MIL to a feast of a lunch at Las Ventanas.  May 17th, 2014 is the BIG day for those two!!! i am so happy to be gaining another sister as awesome as Kara.  my dad is a homebody and told us all to have a great lunch lol.

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so this is what i ordered… shrimp & mushroom topped brown butter snapper with steamed veggies.  it originally came with mashed potatoes but i switched them out. i normally ask for any sauce/dressing to be put on the side…..but i didn’t want to this time to be honest!  Sonny ordered a side of rice and i took a few scoops.

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 and here’s what everybody else ordered!   good stuff. this is actually one of the restaurants that will be catering Brian and Kara’s wedding. definitely looking forward to the reception, hahaha!

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 we skipped dessert at the restaurant and headed to get some all natural fro-yo from Tasti D-lite, our first time there. i heard about them via Instagram and was stoked to find out Houston had one too.  my mom and i both got their bananas foster fro-yo…heaven.

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   heath bar and sprinkles for me.

*****

my love and respect for my own mom grows exponentially each day. especially the older Chiso gets lol. seriously!!!  never knew motherhood would be so challenging yet rewarding all in the same breath.  God bless all mothers, those who play the mother role, and moms-to-be. you are needed and you are appreciated.

*****

i love you mom!!!!

le

8th month recap

group B-strep test is up next, guys.  HEY FIT FOODIES!  i’m gonna get in as much last minute preggo blogging as i can these last few weeks (or days, that’s cool too).  my 8th month has whizzed on by

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*bloop*

and i’m knocking on week 36 in like 2 days, praise God!

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O_o :P   >:( :'( :| #flipacoin

early AM workout classes & breakfast:

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so, getting up at 4:15am to teach my classes is only getting rougher.  but i’m hanging in there! that’s my automatic answer for my gym members every time they ask me how baby and i are doing, lol.  that’s really all i can say though, seriously.  sure i’d rather get those extra hours of sleep but i feel good after i get on up and most days and the urge to workout is still strong.

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mmhmmm, don’t forget that. aim to move every single day, even if it’s just walking around your hood.

i am asked how i am still doing HIIT training  this late in the game.  modifications! lighter dumbbells, monitoring my heart rate, using my knees instead of toes for pushups…just a few examples. see vid below!  plus i’m doing way more coaching/encouraging/motivating and ‘working’ the group exercise room more. the classes are NOT about me anyway- it’s all about the members!  i’ll do a quick demo of a high intensity/plyometric move though, then quickly modify it just so i can keep moving with the members.

 eating, on the other hand…. i know my appetite is flaky cause baby boy is growing rapidly and fattening up for his grand exit/entrance, but after breakfast and a small lunch (even after working out), i could honestly be done for the day.  the rest of my meals are pretty much forced since i’m still very active,  so WE need those cals and nutrients to keep coming. and they shall.  so i have my pre workout snack (usually banana w/ peanut butter) on the way to the gym, then tackle my real breakfast afterwards as usual.

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here are some breakfasts i’ve been rotating (clockwise starting from the top L):

1. spinach, tomato, and mushroom scramble (1 whole egg, 2 egg whites) with strawberries and blueberries

2.  4 egg whites over a whole wheat english muffin & topped with homemade guacamole w/ blackberries & a halo

3. spinach & mushroom egg scramble taco (La Tortilla Factory 80 cal light low carb, high fiber flour tortilla) w/ shredded part-skim mozzarella & pineapple salsa w/ berries

4. plain greek yogurt with strawberries & blueberries and dribbled with maple syrup (also a great post-workout snack)

 

individual workouts & lunch/dinner:

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i have been enjoying taking classes to the fullest these last few weeks!  why?

  1. i’m not up there teaching so i can stop at any time :P
  2.  i get ideas and inspiration for new moves i can use later in my own classes and just experiencing another instructor’s style, music, and motivational sayings
  3.  group fitness is FUN and keeps me motivated!  i look forward to it. period.

i do a combo of the following every week:

  • TKB – turbo kickboxing
  • Zumba
  • Barbell Strength (Lifetime Fitness signature formatted class)
  • Step (don’t knock it lol! keeps my heart rate nice and steady… great cardio workout vs. the boring treadmill and elliptical)
  • Weights – since i’m not lifting crazy heavy, i’ll do a full body workout in one day most times using basic exercises for each muscle group. 3-4 sets of 12 does the trick. looking forward to getting back to my postpartum 6 Pack USA workouts though.

 

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lunches and dinners (starting clockwise from top L):

  1. homemade Chipotle inspired salad (i cut the chicken into chunks and marinated it in Weber Kick n’ Chicken seasoning blend)
  2. Kick n’ Chicken pan seared chicken breast with pan roasted brussels sprouts and grilled pineapple
  3. pan seared whiting (cheaper than tilapia at Walmart right now so i gave it a try) grilled squash, and fresh coleslaw
  4. salmon & avocado deviled eggs sprinkled with sweet & smokey paprika and black pepper with raw sugar snap peas and sliced roma tomatoes on the side.

 

the bump and i will be walking down the aisle in my brother’s wedding this weekend! can’t wait to party and celebrate gaining another sister. fun times ahead. and cake.

—–> if you are preggo and need help with staying on track (or starting) a healthier workout and nutrition regiment for you and your little bundle-to-be, please check out www.pregnantnotpowerless.com and sign up!  even if you’re not preggo but know a woman who is, please tell her about this awesome program created by one of my inspirations and fellow fit mom @babyfatboss on IG. follow herrrrrr! <——

He is Risen!

Easter reminds us that there is an end to the suffering and a purpose in the pain.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

He triumphed over evil.

And He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

HE IS RISEN!

Risen

 Easter came and went and so did my window to type this post :o .

we spent our entire Easter weekend with FAMILY. my amazing cousins came over to hang out that saturday and you already know burgers were on the menu with toppings galore.  i had such a fun time just talking, eating, and laughing my face off with them about any and everything.  we hadn’t all gotten together since Thanksgiving of last year which is so unlike our fam.

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there it is.  the platter that made us late for church.  i envisioned cooking this up in my mind all morning while laying in bed…even had a couple of dreams about it while drifting in and out of sleep.  what i should have done was just GET UP cause when i went down to the kitchen we had absolutely no bread :/ .  so i jumped in the car (headscarf, glasses, pj’s – yeah, i took it there) just to get a loaf of bread. i know.  at least i didn’t see anybody i knew. that’s always next.

Nature’s Own whole wheat french toast, Applegate Apple & Chicken breakfast sausage links, scrambled eggs, and fresh berries. to-go :P

we went to see some of my younger cousins perform in an Easter play at my aunt’s church, then headed to dinner at her home which is always a treat. always.

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 Easter eats!  there was so much to choose from but here a few shots of some of what i had:

a big, fresh, veggie salad, fruit & dip, tortilla chips and  chunky shrimp salsa, and a plate of my mom’s chocolate chip cookies.

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and then we got down to BIDNESS. 
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go, Chiso, GO!!!!

happy belated Easter to you and yours <3

Q: what’s your family’s Easter tradition?

le

oatmeal chocolate chip birthday cakes!!! – bday post

this year, my birthday fell on a monday. YIPPEEEEE :?

so Sonny started celebrating early (like i had hoped).  immediately after church service, we went to get our rings cleaned.

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i promise we’re only in our thirties. lol.  Chiso saw us placing our hands strategically on the display case for this pic and wanted part of the action.

over time, i have come to the realization that i’m a hint thrower.  what a lucky guy Sonny is.  rarely does one go over his head though, i gotta give it to him.  i forwarded him a Ruggles Green brunch email i received a few weeks earlier, you know, randomly.  high-five, Sonny.  high-five.

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so that was our next stop.  only the Heights location serves breakfast / brunch in Houston, and i had been eager to check it out for months.  i chose the delish crab & avocado omelette and Sonny played it safe with the breakfast plate (sausage, pancakes, eggs, potatoes).  Chiso handled up on his turkey sausage, scrambled eggs, and pancakes too.  we love us some eggs.

the next day, my actual birthday, Sonny got up and rushed off to work like normal, so i hit the gym early, like normal.

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but not before making this gorgeous stack of oatmeal pancakes! with the start of my cooking classes, blogging took a small backseat. obvi. but i believe i have a routine going now with my schedule. *crosses fingers, toes, and eyes*.  here’s that recipe:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes 

the stuff: (source)

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup dry rolled oats
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (add more if needed- you be the thickness judge)
  • 2 packets granulated stevia
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar or honey (optional)
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • handful of dark chocolate chips

do this:

  1. mix all ingredients except chocolate chips together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. if ya need more almond milk at this point, add it a tbsp at a time.
  3. heat your griddle or cast iron / no-stick skillet to medium heat and coat with no-stick cooking spray.
  4. spoon the cakes onto your cooking device as large or as small as you’d like them.  when bubbles start to form on top, check the bottom of the cake to see how brown it is first before flipping.
  5. you’re looking for a golden brown color (bout 2-4 minutes).
  6. eat’em up. sprinkles are optional but mandatory if it’s your birthday.

or, you can do blueberries instead of chocolate chips!

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 back to the birthday festivities.

little did i know that Sonny went right down the street to his mom’s house to hide out.

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i took a Barbell Strength class and worked my back a little more on my own in addition to some steady-state cardio on the elliptical. suddenly, i got a ‘lunch?’ text from Sonny, so i said ‘screw this!’ and sped home to get cleaned up.

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 i opened the door and walked right into .. Sonny!?, fit gifts, and cake.

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and a birthday song serenade from my boys!

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 just one small piece before lunch.

   Sonny shocked our palettes and drove us to an Indian inspired restaurant in Upper Kirby called Ponidicheri.  he didn’t know it was ‘meatless monday’ though lol. tasty  nonetheless and i appreciate the experience.

20140407_134832_1i got the Saag Paneer Omelette, Barley Salad, a piece of gluten-free, millet Roti, and one of their fresh, housemade juices, the Hari.

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 Sonny got an omelette too.  They didn’t really have a kids menu, but the guy taking orders suggested this concoction.  can you guess which two Chiso ate? yep, the fries and the Elephant Cookie.

i got a birthday nap back at home (YAAAAAY for daytime sleep) and we went back out for dinner that evening.  i was actually still full from lunch but went anyway just cause it was my bday and already on the agenda.

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my cups runneth over :shock: ! literally and figuratively.  we concluded the evening with Italian food and Neapolitan gelato from Sapore Ristorante, right in our own backyard.  which was awesome cause i had to be up at 4:15am  to teach my class the next day.

i feel like i’m at the age where i forget what i’m even turning and that my birthday is even coming up.  thankful to God for another year though, no doubt, and for Sonny’s impeccable planning skills year after year.

THANK YOU to my family and friends for the calls, texts, cards, gifts, and birthday wishes!!!!!!

and thank you for reading.

le

food faces #toddlerfood

having a little fun with healthy breakfasts these days!  it’s whatever works and gets Chiso’s plate clean, and these have proven to do just that. he thinks it’s hilarious (telling a funny story along with it helps too) and i enjoy creating them. just some ideas for your picky eater(s) fueled by Pinterest.

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banana bear faces using Sara Lee whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter, and chocolate chips.

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 the original ‘recipe’ actually used blueberries for the eyes and nose, but they were a no-go.

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this morning we had whole wheat pancakes and i’d love to share this easy recipe with ya as promised.

easy whole wheat pancakes

the stuff:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk + 2 tbsp
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder

do this:

  1. heat your griddle or pan to med heat and coat it with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. mix all ingredients well in a large mixing bowl.
  3. drop 2 tbsp worth of batter onto your griddle and cook 2-3 minutes on each side (flip when you see bubbles form)
  4. top however you’d like and eat warm!

makes 15 (or more) silver dollar sized pancakes. for 1:

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i added natural pb and chocolate chips to Ralph too. happy friday :)

le