it’s hottt

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why? two words: THE SUN.

nothing drains me more these days and it’s not like i’m out jogging in it either! just walking up to the store and/or driving around in my truck (even with the air cranked to the max) still makes me crazy tired more so than any of my gym workouts. which is why i’m glad this little guy will be outta here before the texas heat really shows out. God bless and be with you preggo mama’s this summer (wherever you are)! i mean that sincerely. be safe, stay hydrated, and stay indoors.

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the weekend was rather warm too, so Chiso and i jumped at the chance to hit the pool with my sis, Michelle,  and her daughter, cousin Livvy.  time for swimming lessons for these two.  we did a family maternity shoot last month and i totally want to do a look in my bikini now! i enjoyed wearing it and sporting my bump.  most likely Sonny will have to be the camera man for that though, lol.

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something about the pool makes me want chips, hot dogs, burgers, and ICE CREAM! thanks, Sonic.

remember that summer stir fry i made? i finally got some shrimp from HEB and made it again.  this time i added red bell pepper and yellow squash too since they were on sale.  and yall know the more color in your meals, the better.

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i have still been eating the heck out of nectarines these past few days. i can’t get enough of them! plus the longer they sit in the fridge the softer they become. so i must eat them while they are still crisp. all of them.

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was sad to finish the last of this stir fry today for lunch but it’ll be back soon.

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Q: do i ever feel my bump is too small?

A: during my first pregnancy? yeah. this time around? nah. when people ask me (especially at the gym) how far along i am these days, ‘almost 10 months’ is the last thing they expect to hear.  their faces say it all, and ‘you’re so tiny!!!’ is usually soon to follow.  then the women reflect back on their own journeys and express how ginormous they were compared to me before delivering, and the men usually tell me the same about their wives, sisters, friends, etc!! never, ever gets old.  i welcome the questions (yes, the same ones over and over ;) ) and LOVE to discuss my journey with anyone willing to listen!   i enjoy hearing all about other women’s preggo stories by the same token as they are all unique.  anyway, that darn, ‘every woman is different’ statement refers to, well, everything, including bump size. the ‘right’ size doesn’t exist. also: bump size is not an indicator of your baby’s weight.  mom’s height, weight, activity level, the way baby is positioned, how much fluid present, etc, etc, etc…… so.many.factors.  so don’t compare bumps.  especially if you trust your OB and he/she assures you that you and baby are on track every check-up, just as mine has!  done deal ^^’.

Q: what’s your biggest pregnancy pet peeve? vent below!

le



bam bam bam

after three big events three saturdays in a row:

brother’s wedding

Chiso’s birthday party

my baby shower

and birthday parties, graduations, etc. sprinkled in between, i’m ready to sit down and just be pregnant.  i don’t even know how to do that but i’ve got 2.5 weeks left to figure it out.  and as soon as i do, Odego will just be like ‘OOOOOH NO YA DON’T’, so it’s whatever!  just taking this thing one day at a time and enjoying solo time with my 1st born until … it’s time.  i gave today my best shot and ended up in Ikea pricing bunk beds with Chiso. and hey, i got this blog post in and even started packing my hospital bag, so i’d say it was a pretty productive day.

this past sunday was baby shower day! been looking forward to it ever since my sister-in-love Michelle offered to host one for me.  it’s no secret that we’re having another boy, and i saved so many of Chiso’s things (mainly clothes) that i didn’t even consider having another shower.  however, God knew what we forgot we needed and provided for us, as He promised.

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after church and a family workout sunday morning, i went and got jazzy to the best of my abilities to celebrate this little ball of energy in my tummy.  bring on the belly rubs!!!!!!

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the braids are back and so is the high bun! normally after 1 or 2 stores, i’m DONE with clothes shopping for the day, but i have my go-to dress places and usually find something super quick. sooo, imagine  how disappointed i was to walk into the Houston Galleria to find both Zara AND French Connection UK….closed!? (fyi Zara will reopen in October but i needed them RIGHT THEN!!!). wasted gas indeed. the next day i tried again closer to home and was ELATED to have found this coral Calvin Klein number in the first department store i visited.  that never happens. ok, not to me. i paired it with my nude Steve Madden pumps, some gold jewelry from Forever 21, and got up outta there.

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i appreciate and humbly thank each and every woman who came to celebrate with me.  the Egwuatus take what we can get during the week, but sunday is family day for us. (and sometimes you just want to have a day to do your OWN thing, especially if your work week begins on the following day…i get it!) so when i have to be away from my boys for any reason, i’m always anxious to get right back to them. which means i understand completely when people shift their schedules and take time out of their day to come support, spend time with, and even bring unrequested gifts to and for someone else…. it means absolutely EVERYTHING to me.

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   i thank my family, friends, & Sorors for simply being there. and for those belly rubs!!!!

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a special, heartfelt thank you and BRAVO to my hostesses who did an amazing job putting everything together. my sisters:  Michelle, Ogechi, and Kara!

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 aaand, i especially appreciated the gifts given to our 1st born, Chiso. how thoughtful!  just WOW. blessed beyond measure and i just want to thank God as it is all because of Him. all of it.

thanks for reading! 9 month update post coming right up.

le

P.S. YEP, i put my cooking classes on hold in prep for those 3 big weekends and since Odego will be here super soon, the classes will be back when i am! for now, let the hardcore nesting resume.

*updated* Zucchini Pizza Cruise Ships + we’re registered!

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had a bowl of organic rolled oats cooked in unsweetened vanilla almond milk, water, cinnamon, and vanilla before heading to my (now weekly) OB appointment this morning.   fresh blueberries, more cinnamon, more almond milk, and pure maple syrup went right on top.  i had egg whites w/ salsa on the side too. fueling up for some kickboxing a little later today.

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was running late and threw on whatever (but i was comfy though!)  and we made it just in time for my group b strep test and routine check up.  if only pap smears were that quick & easy-peasy!  all is well @ 35 weeks and i thank Him for another great progress report. and yes, i smacked Chiso right after he smacked me.

on to our new hospital to registerrrrrr!

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so the hospital where Chiso was born doesn’t do L&D anymore. i enjoyed the experience there and was saddened after hearing that!  however, the new hospital is literally 3 minutes away, so no biggie.  AND my favorite OB in the entire universe will be there to deliver Odego this time, Lord willing.  (she was out having her twins at the time Chiso was born :’(  ) .  i went ahead and registered juuuuust in case we have to pop up there sooner than expected, but i am coming back with Sonny to take a tour so we can be cheesy and take pics and stuff.  a date i am so looking forward too, again.  i hardly EVER buy overpriced convenience store food/snacks, but i was unprepared and Chiso got restless while i filled out paper work.  so i got him this Sabra pretzel and hummus dip along with a banana.

enjoy this updated recipe of last night’s dinner:

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*updated* Zucchini Pizza Cruise Ships

the stuff:

  • 4 large, raw zucchini, halved & seeded
  • 2 cups cooked and seasoned extra lean ground turkey
  •  1 cup homemade marinara (add more if you’d like and the recipe is below)
  • 8 turkey pepperoni, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup shredded almond or rice cheese
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced into coins
  • 2 tsp dried italian seasoning or parsley or fresh basil
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. set your oven to 350 degrees and coat a large baking pan with foil and no-stick cooking spray.
  2. after halving the zucchini, scoop some of the insides out using a small spoon.  they should look like empty canoes cruise ships once you’re done; arrange them flat and seed-side up on your baking sheet.
  3. mix the cooked ground turkey and the marinara sauce together, then spoon the mixture evenly into/onto the zucchini.
  4. sprinkle the turkey pepperoni, tomato, and italian seasoning on top of the cruise ships, and bake them for about 20 minutes.
  5. remove them from the oven and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. ( i used 2% colby jack cause that’s all i had. to keep this recipe dairy free, use almond or rice cheese.)
  6. let them bake once more for 7-10 minutes or just until the cheese melts to your liking.
  7. top with fresh basil or parsley!

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i thought i posted my marinara recipe in the Fit N’ Crispy Chicken Parm post but maybe it didn’t save like i thought?? can’t explain that one.  but here it is:

homemade marinara:

the stuff:

  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 6 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend (optional)
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. heat a large sauce pan to medium-low heat; once hot, pour in your olive oil.
  2. add onions & garlic and sauté until translucent…about 2-3 minutes.
  3. add in the rest of the ingredients except sea salt and cracked black pepper, stir, cover, and let simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  4. shut off heat; add mixture to your blender or food processor and blend on high until super smooth.

you can make this ahead of time and store in the fridge to be used for pizza sauce, wing dip, breadstick dip, whatever!

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happy hump day! hollaaaaaaaaa

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! <——

33 weeks + Double Chocolate Skinny-Fat Brownies

 in the beginning of the 2nd tri i remember sometimes forgetting i was even preggo.  didn’t feel anything on the inside most days and definitely wasn’t showing on the outside yet.  yeah, those days are OVER.  i actually feel great and my energy didn’t deplete like i expected at 33 weeks now, but as my little nugget grows, obviously the discomfort does too.

#magicbump now ya see it, now ya don’t!

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you know that hasn’t stopped me from moving though!  outside of teaching my Lifetime classes, i look forward to Zumba and Kickboxing for my cardio because they are just so FUN to take.   some days all i want to do is move, nothing serious.  i’ve been constantly reaching for healthy fat to nourish the baby and i and i’m slightly addicted to Dark Chocolate Dreams by Peanut Butter & Co on my early morning pre-workout snacks as you can see!

other healthy fat sources:

  • avocado! homemade guacamole (2 avocados, 1 roma tomato, sea salt, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 2 tbsp minced cilantro – BLEND)
  • raw or roasted, unsalted almonds, pistachios, and cashews
  • olive & coconut oil
  • lite & full-fat coconut milk
  • natural peanut butter, nut butters in general
  • flaxseed
  • mackerel & salmon

today was my last ultrasound scan until we meet baby Odego.  my OB just wants to make sure he is measuring correctly and will compare his progress to the last scan.

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Sonny always asks me why i cuff my bump. i don’t know!!!! it’s just something we do. my hand just goes there automatically. especially in pictures.

here are some recent eats! if you follow me on Instagram though you’ve prolly already seen all of these ;)

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lean protein, plenty of fresh & raw veggies, fruit, healthy fat, and whole grains, even when dining out.

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 remember, your postpartum ‘transformation’ starts the MOMENT you get preggo, not after you deliver your baby! smart food choices and physical activity from start to finish is what makes the difference in your recovery time.

for my Sunday Dinners cooking class last evening, we made Fit N’ Crispy Chicken Parm and Thai Coconut Curry Chicken (recipe coming up next post!) – two flavorful, fun, things you can do with those plain ol’ chicken boobs.

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i sent my students home happy and packed up all the leftovers for them to kill later.  which left me with, well, nothin’!! it’s all about you guys though.  sooo, i made a big pan of parm for mysel….err, my family today and my Italian fix has once again been satisfied.

they also went home with a sample of these guys: Double Chocolate Skinny-Fat Brownies! why? cause i used skinny / healthy ingredients (no processed sugar, whole wheat flour, no butter) but it still tastes like a brownie should.  i had my fingers crossed that they would be a hit and they were!  which means i’ll be whipping some up for a ‘Skinny’ themed private 30th birthday event next month.  YES, i do those too!  email me for all the details at le@fitfoodiele.com.

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ok, ok.

Double Chocolate Skinny-Fat Brownies

the stuff:(source)

  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + 2 tsbp
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chunks, chips, or mini morsels
  • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour (i used King Arthur)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten and at room temp
  • 1/4 – 1/2  cup pecan pieces (optional;  can add to batter or save for topping)

do this:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat an 8 in square pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. mix the maple syrup and cocoa powder together really good (you’ll be stirring for a minute, just keep going).
  3. combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. in another bowl, add the applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla.  work in the maple syrup / cocoa mixture.
  5. add the wet mixture into the flour and stir until well combined.
  6. pour into your pan and let bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

TIPS:

*remember, there are chocolate chunks in the batter so don’t mistake the melted chocolate on the toothpick for uncooked batter like i did.

*let the pan cool a little then place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving. i just popped a piece in the microwave for 10-15 secs before eating.

*when cutting, run hot water on your knife for a few secs first to make clean cut squares each time.

 

makes 16! for 1:

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nighty nite!

le

sweet slow cooker cornish hens + ‘Chopped’ suey

did anybody else catch the new ep of Chopped tonight!? i’m a huge fan of the show and while i thought one of the competitors, Lauren Von Der Pool ‘s performance was totally disrespectful yet comical, social media pretty much agreed and proceeded to rip her to shreds immediately the show aired :shock: . after watching i just had to google her name (apparently i wasn’t alone) and i’m just blown away yet again at the wrath of social media, my goodness.  it’s 2014 and words still hurt.  they always will.  i wish her much success and sincerely hope she takes away some valuable lessons from her Chopped experience.  anyway, i hope your #sundayfamilyfunday was pleasant!  i whipped out my crock pot this morning before church and threw this together:madewithOver-4

sweet slow cooker cornish hens

the stuff:

  • 3 whole cornish game hens
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos
  • 1/2 cup light agave nectar
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Crystals (or coconut sugar)

do this:

  1. set slow cooker to 4hrs & 30 minutes on low
  2. place thawed birds in slow cooker
  3. coat birds in liquid aminos
  4. drizzle birds with light agave nectar
  5. sprinkle birds with cracked black pepper
  6. sprinkle birds with coconut crystals / sugar
  7. turn the birds every hour or so and coat them with the pan drippings to ensure it cooks evenly and is flavored evenly.

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i was supposed to cook these guys for new years day but never got around to it.  they were served with turnip greens and a giant baked sweet potato topped with cinnamon and a tiny bit of Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread. tip: spray your pot with no-stick cooking spray first; i forgot to do so.

my early am Lifetime classes are back on the schedule after a 2 week holiday break!  i’ll be hitting my new members and veterans with new moves, new music and a bigger bump :lol:

le