halfway there! 20 weeks

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already!? cool with me.

  baby boy (we have a name but i’ll let Sonny finalize it first) is measuring the size of a banana this week.  i’m feeling him move all the time, day and night, and the flutters have definitely turned into random punches, kicks, and pokes.  my nurse says i am not drinking enough water (no surprise there unfortunately) so i’ve been chugging when i can.  so i have to pee all the time. day and night. i have to pee right after i finish peeing. no kidding. so annoying!!!!!! :evil:

foodery:

trying my hardest to keep things on the healthy side for the most part. here are some recent eats:

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been grilling up lots of chicken. people tell me they get tired of chicken quickly but as long as i switch up the flavors often, it’s like eating it for the first time to me.  i found the Weber Kickn’ Chicken seasoning blend a few days ago at my Walmart and i really like it so far. i don’t even mind the spice, which i’ve never been crazy about!  yummy.  since Sonny is about to be on the competition trail again he’s been eating lots of tilapia, so i usually eat some too with my meals.  i made that homemade bbq chicken pizza using Naan flat bread up there and omg. it was just incredible.   along with all my meals though, plenty of veggies and fresh fruit, everyday. some nights i have a strong craving for SOMETHING…… and nothing i eat will satisfy it. nothing. so i just eat a small chunk of cheese and go to bed.

and then there’s the occasional indulgence i have yet to deny myself.  Boston Market mac n cheese. why? because CHEESE.

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staying active:

getting it in 5-6 days  a week lately!  this past week i went 6 days in a row so i didn’t go anywhere near the gym saturday at all.  ok sunday too :lol: . i have never liked taking two days off in a row, but i am rested and ready to attack monday head on.  i haven’t skipped a beat with my super early morning HIIT and weights classes and i’m lifting at least 3 days a week on my own.

these are plain ol’ squats with a weighted barbell. (thanks for your patience, Tamika ;) )! as an instructor, proper form is a big deal to me, and using less weight has really given me a chance to focus on the muscle i’m working and ensure i’m doing it right myself.  sometimes my thoughts are clouded with how heavy the weight is and how many reps i have left to go vs. what i’m actually doing!  now, normally i’d slap 45 lbs on my bar for class (22.5 on each side) but i’ve modified that to 30 lbs total as of late.

remember:

  • knees BEHIND toes at all times

  • sit in your imaginary chair

  • back flat

  • spine, neck, head all in alignment

  • chest lifted

  • squeeze your glutes on the way down AND up

  • put your weight in your heels. can you lift your toes in your shoes at any time?

  • pick a spot on the ceiling and focus your attention there. looking up helps to keep your chest lifted too.

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so just.keep.moving.  it has been too uncomfortably cold to walk outside in Houston lately, so i have been using the elliptical, stair master, and treadmill for my cardio, 4-5 times a week.  however when it warms up i can’t wait to get back outside to my neighborhood walks again.  no idea how much weight i’ve gained and i’d like to keep it that way to be honest! i’m thinking once i deliver and start my transformation i’ll let Sonny track all my measurements and numbers in the beginning JUST for documentation/timeline purposes.  weight is just not something i want to stress myself about ever again.

conclusion:

against my wishes, i’m gonna need some maternity clothes this round.  i finally starting showingshowing around 6.5 months with my first pregnancy, so i wore all my regular, breathable clothes til i delivered for the most part. this time… belly is getting on out there and everything is tight already. especially my underwear.

Q: what was the best thing you ate this weekend? that mac n cheese made my DAY.

le

i workout for:


 well good morning!

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i workout for all those reasons and more, but i should have included eating lots of food!!! that’s #1.

since i workout super early in the AM most days, i have been enjoying Houston’s Fall weather to the fullest.  Fall not only means chili and cornbread, it means warm, hearty, filling, yummy, COMFORT food in general to me!  a big bowl of super creamy mac n cheese is hands down my fave (to eat in a bowl anyway, pizza is the other) and FITzee Food’s Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake was all that (hearty, filling, yummy, creamy, cheesy) and more.

fresh chicken breast, black forest ham, swiss cheese and mushrooms baked together in a creamy wine sauce with a touch of sage and topped with Panko bread crumbs. HEAVEN on a bowl plate.

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it was shipped to me as a perfect, rectangular, loaf, but i had a little accident transporting it to my plate. again.  hey it all went to the same place. again.

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deliciously low carb, cheesy, and packed with protein!  a great choice.

i found this online yesterday and had to share with my fit foodies:

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couple things though:

  • when dining out, go for the broth based (tomato, chicken, beef, vegetable, clear, see-through) soups vs. the creamy ones because they are usually made with milk or heavy cream.
  • the leanest cuts of beef include:
    • eye of round roast or steak
    • sirloin tip side steak
    • top round roast and steak
    • bottom round roast and steak
    • top sirloin steak
  • a cup of any fruit usually is anywhere from 50-100 cals, but the sugar count is what you should keep your eye on.
  • air/stove popped over microwaved popcorn any day

Q: what activity (exercise) have you wanted to try but haven’t?
i’d like to try the different types of yoga- i had NO idea there we so dang many.

le

peanut butter chocolate chick cookies

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happy belated Easter :lol:

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we got up early and had a big platter of whole wheat french toast with fresh strawberries, blueberries, sliced almonds, cinnamon, and Walden Farms pancake syrup to go with our egg white scramble that morning! my class was canceled cause of the holiday, so we went to my parent’s church on the other side of town.

my granny was also hosting an easter egg hunt for our family at her house, so late saturday night i whipped up the easiest thing i could find for the kiddos!  sugar-free Pillsbury brownies.

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i split the batter up into two round pans and morphed it into a bunny ‘cake’.  remember those!? i made them a few times when i was living at home with my ‘rents. i used cake then, though.

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i used the rest of a tub of white icing and some  sprinkles; luckily they were  Easter colors!   when i got to my granny’s house sunday, my cousin found me some jelly beans so i could give Bugs a face.  i hope you enjoyed your Easter weekend, however you celebrated:)

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yesterday’s IG collage just after teaching my early class….

so when the rain comes, not if…. get in the habit of going straight to God, every time. He has every single answer to every single problem we will ever have.  just a reminder ;)

speaking of IG, my girl @jazzythings posted her own pic of these cookies i made below after she found the recipe via Pinterest. she made them look SO darn good!! good enough to make me  finally crack open the garbanzo beans that have been sitting in my pantry for weeks! the verdict?

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 are you kidding me? these are what’s hot in the streets!!! i don’t like being fooled into eating/making something that looks insanely delicious only to make it myself and be highly disappointed. that has happened more times than not on IG!!!! which is why i am taking my time with these ebook recipes to ensure that they not only look good, but taste FANTASTIC.  ok, back to these cookies that i was super skeptical about.   well, i’m driving the bandwagon now! see for yourself:

peanut butter chocolate chick cookies

the stuff:

2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and patted dry

1/2 cup chocolate PB2 (can sub full-fat peanut butter )

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp butter extract

1/4 cup honey (or your fave sweetener)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or more..it’s up to you!)

do this:

1. rinse and dry the chickpeas, then put them in to your food processor

2. add the honey, vanilla and butter extracts, and PB2 (mixed with water or unsweetened vanilla almond milk into a pb-like paste first)

3. blend until SMOOTH.  dump it all out into a mixing bowl, then fold in the dark chocolate chips.

4. spray your pan with no-stick cooking spray and form/roll into balls by hand. i made about 24 small ones!  bake them for 10-12 minutes in a 350 deg oven.

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me: ‘hey, Chiso….cookie?’

Chiso: NOMNOMNOMNOMNOM

moving on, i am UUUUBER excited about these ebooks, seriously! i’m cooking and eating, eating and cooking all day every day to make sure the recipes turn out PERFECT.  just a teaser!

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here are the sweet balsamic baked chicken breasts from monday’s night’s meal prep:

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they were for Sonny’s lunches for the next few days. during his lunch yesterday though, he felt the need to call and tell me how tasty this new flavor combo is, whoop whoop!

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just one of his:  raw carrots, creamy, ripe avocado, roasted brussels sprouts, and cherry tomatoes went alongside the chicken breast.

and fyi, he is now back on the competition trail for a few summer shows and i’m excited for him!!!!!!

yesterday, i went ahead and tried my hand at another favorite of mine that i don’t have often- 
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healthy, clean, Cajun shrimp n grits bay-beee!!!!!

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ok, that’s enough teasers for one post.

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i’m glad i have this little taste tester around to help me :)

last thing- two more Fit Foodies have signed up to run in the Green 6.2 at the end of this month!!!!   do you see it over there in the side bar?  again, if you’d like to run with us, email me, like right now!  the price goes up the closer the race date gets.  le@fitfoodiele.com!

Q: have you ever used chickpeas to make dessert?

le

basil boobie bells


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immediately after this morning’s class! a good friend of mine told me she was coming to see me and she showed up as promised :) i know how tough a 5:30am appointment can be to make, and i was so happy to see her again.  i expressed my gratitude by kicking her butt, lol!  1 hour of total body conditioning later, we were outta there for the day.

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a little later, i took Chiso to an Easter Egg Hunt that was being held at Discovery Green downtown.  they always have something going on there for all ages, love it!  we made it exactly 3 minutes before it started, but mommy forgot to put money in the meter so we had to speed walk all the way back to the truck. the meter maid  actually met us there and had the ticket in hand and everything that fast!!!! he let me make it this time though, thank God. #whew

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they let the 0 – 2 kiddos go first, so we made it back in time for Chiso to grab a few eggs. i cherish spending time with my little Stank Tank.

on to tha fooooood!  i got some sliced rotisserie chicken from the HEB deli earlier this week, so i chopped it up and topped my spring mix salad with it for meal 3.  it also had strawberries, carrots, avocado, tomatoes, pecans, fat-free feta, cracked black pepper, and a couple drizzles of Walden Farms raspberry vinaigrette.

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 so about those bell peppers!  how many pics of these guys did i take? lots.

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they were on sale at Kroger at the time 10 for 10 dollars, so i bought a bunch of ‘em.

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then we walked to the mailbox later that evening and lookie there!  perfect timing for the cover of one of my fave mags! what a coincidence.  at least i think that’s what happened. i don’t remember anymore cause this post has been a draft since the end of January :lol: sounds about right though.
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basil boobie bells

the stuff:

  • 4 large bell peppers
  • 2 large chicken breasts (or ground turkey, ground chicken)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (or quinoa, or couscous)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp mrs. dash southwest chipotle seasoning
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2  cup low sodium oregano, garlic tomato sauce
  • 1 – 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese (or shredded parmesan, or fat-free feta)
  • no stick cooking spray

do this:

1. preheat your oven to 375 degrees. cut the tops off of your peppers, remove the seeds, and if need be, cut the bottoms to ensure they sit flat in your pan.

2. spray both your baking pan and a medium heated skillet with no-stick cooking spray.

3.  add the chopped garlic and onion to the hot skillet, and saute until translucent (2-3 minutes)

4. add raw, chopped chicken, liquid aminos, herbs, and spices; cook through until there is no more pink (5-7 minutes)

5. add the cooked rice, tomato sauce, chopped tomato and goat cheese, then turn off the heat and mix well.

6.  situate your peppers into your baking pan, and distribute the mixture evenly between all four peppers.

7. bake for 40-50 minutes or until tender.

8. top with more fresh basil, let them cool, then eat ‘em up.

per bell pepper! remember the stats change depending on your substitutions ;)

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let the bell pepper pic collage ensue:
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eat20130116_180355 a20130116_175354rainbow!!!

also, if you haven’t seen it on Instagram yet,  i’m running a contest that started yesterday (monday) and will end this FRIDAY! you MUST like the Fit Foodie Le Facebook Fan Page if you haven’t already- i will pick one lucky fan to win something seriously cool. health and fitness related of course! spread the word, please and thank you!

le

it’s all greek to me

been starting out my early mornings with green tea lately!  it’s either this or instant coffee, but i sweeten both with stevia and a little unsweetened vanilla almond milk. yummy, low cal, creamy, and dairy-free.

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my Mrs. Dash collection is expanding gradually- i love all flavors of her no-salt line so far!  recently added was the southwest chipotle.

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chicken breast was this week’s protein of choice, and i used…20130306_210702

all of the seasonings!  not just one.

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done! 350 degree oven for 45-50 min.  ensure it’s cooked through for sure with a meat thermometer if you have to.

i used the sw chipotle on the bowl below that i had for lunch today cause we ran outta bread, man.  so brown rice it was!  i know i take sweet potato pics  for days on IG, but i eat all types of carbs.  whole wheat bread, pasta, brown rice, couscous, pearl quinoa….

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i’ve been a salad makin fool’ this week!  greek salad in particular.  that trip to Niko Niko’s really put me in the mood.

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this combo was wednesday night’s din din- a BIG salad for Sonny with grilled chicken,

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here’s yesterday’s lunch,

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and finally, today’s meal #3!  they are all different, but they’ve been a combo of the following ingredients:

  • romaine lettuce mix
  • low-fat string cheese
  • red, yellow, orange, green bell peppers (reg and mini)
  • vine ripe tomatoes
  • jumbo black olives
  • fat-free feta
  • fresh cucumber
  • avocado
  • banana peppers
  • red delicious apples
  • carrots
  • red cabbage
  • baked chicken breast

Q: what kind of salad dressing do you use?

A: just like you season your proteins and sides, season your salad!  topping them with some Mrs. Dash (or any low-sodium seasoning) is such a flavor BOOSTER. so pick your favorite one and sprinkle away!  i make my own dressing when i’m at home, and i’m in love with this one in particular right now: braggs apple cidar vinegar, braggs liquid aminos, agave nectar, and my seasonings (mrs. dash, parsley, oregano) all mixed together. even fresh lemon or lime juice alone works.

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 maintainin’ and feeling strong these days! just an endorphin-high pic right after my gym session earlier this week.

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i haven’t done a 10k since Thanksgiving last year!!!! but i’m running in one of my favorite races (look over there to the right for more info on the Bayou City Classic) in the morning and i’m so excited.  this race has THE best post race snacks!  and NO i have not even been training for this thing so don’t ask :lol: if this were a half marathon..then i’d be worried. but normally on race day for 5 and 10ks i just show up and run from start to finish with no serious training.  i know i won’t always be able to do that, and i strongly suggest you train correctly, stretch exceptionally, and get plenty of rest before your races.  do as i say and not as i do just this once ;)

so, about that cake….  i’m in love.  not only with the cake but with this girl.

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i adapted my recipe from her banana bread for one and it is PERFECT  i tell you, perfect.

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sweet cinnamon banana cake 

the stuff:

  • 1 tbsp ripe banana
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp apple sauce
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

do this:

  • set your oven to 325 degrees and spray an oven-ready tin with no-stick cooking spray.
  • mix the dry, mix the wet, then combine them. *banana lumps are actually cool cause it provides texture for the cake*
  • pour your batter in, and bake it for 10-12 minutes!

mine was slightly under done but i appreciated the gooeyness, are you kidding me!?  but if you like yours fully cooked, keep it in a lil’ longer but watch it.  there are no eggs, so no salmonella scares.

serving size = the whole thang

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sweet treat indeed!  around 100 cals, super low fat, and even has a little fiber in there.

it was topped with banana whip (fat & sugar-free cool whip + 0% greek yogurt + a ripe banana), Trader Joe’s cinnamon sugar, and i toasted and sprinkled on some organic unsweetened coconut flakes straight from the stove top.  HEAVENLY!

if you make this cake, show me!!! take a pic and post it to my fan page or tag me on Instagram!  i love to see your creations!

hitting the sack to prepare for tomorrow’s run. nite!

le

sb sunday

i started my super bowl sunday out with a beast of a workout!  why was it such a beast?  well, my bro-in-law, Brian, strolled into the gym and took the last 30 minutes of my total conditioning class with me, and he made me do 30 minutes of his workout afterwards in return, whew.  s/n- it’s always a great thing to see familiar faces in my class!!! when i first started teaching, i used to get ridiculously nervous if someone i knew told me they were coming.  even having my own husband there used to frighten me!  i just didn’t want to get so nervous and mess up…. unconfident much?

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 but you know what i learned? nobody even know’s i’ve ‘messed up’ unless i SAY something.  i actually used to apologize on the mic to everyone in the middle of the routine!  i have grown tremendously over the years through practice and experience and did NOT give up.  even now, i have brain farts often  but it’s usually because i get so pumped and start to run around the room motivating members that i forget what i was about to do next in my routine!!

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quitting is NOT an option though- do. not. give. up.  if you’re committed to something you truly LOVE,  your passion for it won’t let you.  it’s worth all the time, energy, and effort you put into it.

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we did a kettle bell and box circuit.

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when i saw him go get those stupid boxes i knew it was about to be ON. #crotchsweat

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that’s my grimace face…not a smile.

i post pics of my Polar watch after my workout on Instagram sometimes and i get questions like, ‘wow, what’d you do to burn all that??’ or ‘how much of those cals were from ____?’

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truth be told, it’s different every work out, of course.  i try to get in and out in under 90- minutes, but it also depends on what i’m workin that day.  here’s the approximate breakdown for this particular day though:

200 cals - 15 min fat burning warmup on the elliptical while waiting to begin my class

750+ cals - 1 full hour of Total Body Conditioning (cardio + weights, HIIT)

350 cals - 20 minutes of kb’s and boxes with my bro

i go over 1k maybe twice a week at the most.

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working out with Brian = soreness in places i forgot about. never a dull moment with him, EVER.

hope you guys enjoyed watching the big game on Sunday, whatever you did! we had a little last-minute viewing party at our home and i told myself i wouldn’t stress this year and to make it a SB potluck party!  i only made four things:

1. chunky grilled shrimp dip

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grilled chunky shrimp dip

the stuff:

  • 1 lb EZ peel shrimp, any size
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • half of 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • half of 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp fresh, chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped

do this:

cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice onto the thawed shrimp and add 1 tbsp of liquid aminos.  season with your choice of no-low sodium seasoning, and let it sit for 30 minutes minimum.  whip out your grill pan and grill them up on high heat. remember they cook extremely fast…no more than 3 min on each side.  plate them, cover with foil, and let them sit tight for about 5 minutes.  chop up everything else if you haven’t yet and throw it in a bowl: cilantro, bell peppers, red onion, avocado, and finally your shrimp.  bite size pieces perfect for scooping with chips is best.  add the last tbsp of aminos, squeeze the other half of the lemon over your mixture, and sprinkle with the cracked pepper.  let this chill in the fridge for at least an hour. then, scoop away.  fresh, easy, quick, mmm hmm, all that!

2. tidy turkey janes

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waaaaait a minute….i said i was saving this recipe for my Fit Foodie Le  fit e-cookbook, remember!?!? uh oh, i think i only disclosed that info on IG and hadn’t mention it on my blog yet. well, SURPRISE!!!! :shock:

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the meat sauce is aaaaaalll clean, but you can always switch out the rolls and use whole wheat/grain for sure.  e-book is still in the works! will hop right back working on it after i finish this post. it’ll be worth the wait;)

3. homemade, clean guacamole

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i did everything ‘to taste’ with this guac recipe! forgive me! here is everything i used though:

ffl’s homemade guac:

the stuff:

  • 8 ripe avocados
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • coconut aminos
  • half of 1 medium yellow onion
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • sweet, smokey chipotle paprika
  • juice of half of 1 lemon
  • fresh chopped cilantro

do this:

you can throw ALL this into your food processor/blender and whip it into a smooth, creamy avocado mousse like texture, or chop everything finely by hand and keep it chunky.  here’s a tip though- make sure the tomatoes are somewhat dry, cause they can make the dip runny.  taste and season accordingly from there!

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4. savory & sweet rotisseri chicken bites

ok….i did not get to go to Sam’s and get some rotisserie chicken, but i DID have some leg quarters in my freezer already. so i totally switched this recipe up this year.  i roasted them on 350 for about an hour or so, then shredded them after they were cool.  dark meat just doesn’t shred as easily as white meat, but i did my best to make it work.  and i didn’t use flour this time.  the clean version is right beside each ingredient in parenthesis for ya, as promised!

savory sweet rotisserie chicken bites w/ pb toast crunch coating

the stuff:

  • 4 cups shredded chicken (white, breast meat)
  • 1 bunch chopped green onion
  • 4 oz garlic and herb goat cheese (4 oz fat free cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar (1 cup low fat or 2% cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup sriracha hot sauce
  • 2-3 tsp black pepper
  • coating – 3 cups crushed peanut butter toast crunch cereal (3 cups peanut butter puffins or fiber one cereal)
  • 4 scrambled raw eggs (5 egg whites)
  • 2 tbsp tony chacheres cajun seasoning (salt-free tony chacheres)
  • 2 cups flour (whole wheat flour) OPTIONAL!

do this:

turn oven on 350.  after  the chicken has been shredded finely, add the cream cheese, hot sauce, shredded cheese, green onion, seasonings, and  form individual balls (1-2 in in diameter) with your hands.  get two separate bowls and put the eggs in one, crushed cereal in one, and the flour in another.  use one hand to roll the chicken ball into the flour first (optional), then the egg wash,  and finally the dry cereal mix until it is covered completely.  place the balls on your baking pan, and cook them for about  15-20 min or until brown and crispy.  makes about 30+ balls, depending on the size you rolled’em!

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yes, more goat cheeeeese! i found this one right next to the honey goat cheese @ HEB. it worked GREAT in the chicken bites recipe! so much flavor.

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alright, here’s some of the spread!

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these snacks made the Beyonce concert, i mean, the game much more enjoyable.

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a family member of ours brought wangs, YUM! you can’t watch football without’em.  hot, galic and parmesan, and my fave, honey bbq.
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friends also brought several bags of chips, like these multigrain Tostitos i adore,  among other things! we were so grateful for every contribution thank you MUCHO, friends and fam!
20130203_165911and lastly, there is NOTHING thing clean about these babies! i just used an ordinary vanilla boxed cake and made mini and reg size cup cakes topped with vanilla icing and sliced strawberries.  they went FAST.

alright, those were our game day treats!

now, what did you make? was it ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’?

le

chicken PB2 pad thai + TJ’s trip

let’s pretend today is yesterday, ok? ok.


i made pb chicken pad thai for an Instagram challenge last night for dinner.  IG can be so addictive! i’ve been seeing a number of ‘i need to get away from technology and focus on my life and the plan God has for me….etc.’ posts lately from some of the health and fitness peeps i follow.  it’s admirable, long as it’s not a publicity stunt or anything.  it takes a LOT to step away from technology for a few hours, days, or even weeks nowadays.  anyway, i get it.  what is IG to you though anyway? a ‘likes’ contest? are you secretly competing with someone? a business opportunity?  marketing tool? searching for who can flex the hardest?  seeing what celebs are up to? seeing who can make their plate of food the prettiest? finding who can wear the least amount of clothes? lmbo (not really).  i said all that to say it’s cool to be inspired and build off of what you see in your feed, but stay true to YOURSELF.  after all, it’s your account.  it’s tough to be original once your mind has been tainted with what everybody else is doing.   on top of all that, IG can be a huuuuge distraction, like facebook.  sometimes you gotta put the phone down,  log off your computer and just live…..  technology-free.

*inhale….exhale*
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so i adapted this from my own PB2 Shrimp Pad Thai recipe, but i used chicken breasts and fettucine miracle noodles instead of kelp.

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aaaand i added a yellow bell pepper along with the red.  everything else is the same.

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ooooh these noodles are simply amazing and went PERFECT with this dish i tell you, perfect.  my relationship with kelp is officially OVER, thanks to my affair with miracle noodles. *chunks deuce*

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eye-popping color and freshness goin’ on up in that pot!

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letting the flavors marry for the last few minutes…

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and bam! plated up! no cashews….i used pistachios and it was an even exchange.  ok, the pistachios really was the last thing i altered, whoops.

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yummay &  healthay.

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i worked the leggies at the gym this morning! how do i get my calves to pop?  4 x 25 of calve raises in between leg press sets.

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flexin’ in btw squat sets.
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afterwards, my Stank Tank and i had lunch in the Life Cafe that started out with some Snikiddy grilled cheese puffs.

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we’re fans of Snikiddy all natural snacks-  they sell the huuuuge bags in sams and costco, fyi.

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i ordered half a cheese pizza with whole wheat crust 2% mozzarella for Chiso (yes more cheeeeese),

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and a turkey avocado sammich on Udi’s gluten-free whole grain bread for moi.  this was my first time having Udi’s bread and i liked it cause it was thick and actually kinda sweet, like challah bread or even a coarse pound cake!  however, like Ezekiel, the slices are kinda small, and the price is kinda big. Natures Own and Sara Lee have the regular size bread and for less cals and price.

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nevertheless, both halves were gone in about 2 minutes.
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the weather was GORGEOUS, so we took to the courtyard for a little bit to play.  funny, i remember bringing Chi out here and all he could do was crawl and watch the other kids play and jump over him.  yeah, i had a moment.

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 our next stop- Trader Joe’s Houston numero TWO!!!! i took this pic from the car so i wouldn’t seem like an, i don’t know…TJ’s stan?

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 they said it was coming…and it’s here.  crunchy cookie butter. *shakes first*

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i walked down this aisle for f…o…r…e…v…e..r.  TJ’s  literally has chocolate covered everything you can think of.  some of THE oddest combos just go together.

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i didn’t do too bad- walked away with only a handful of items i don’t need, like these. cinnamon sugar (15 cals per tsp) and sugar chocolate coffee bean (calorie-free) ‘sprinkles’ or dust, or whatever you wanna call it.

first victim – PB2 topped whole wheat toast.

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so…how are yours coming along?

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  whether short-term or long, sow your seeds NOW and as often as possible, and knock’em out one by one.  happy to be sharing some of mine very soon!

le

disaster recovery

 we got back from Vegas monday morning at 6am and went straight to work from the plane.  didn’t sleep a wink on the flight or the night before.  however, Chiso did get some good sleep and snoozed the entire way home, WHEW.   you bet it was a long day that day.

while i attempted to catch up on rest, i neglected our empty fridge for two days!  i hadn’t grocery shopped on Thanksgiving eve in a really, really long time.  HEB’s parking lot was filled to capacity as expected, but as you see, they had every single lane open to accommodate the crowd.  take note, Walmart!!!!!!!!  AND, *big cheese* i happened to meet one of my readers in the store that night! i didn’t want to scare her off, so i screamed on the inside :lol:  shout out to Nneka from Austin! *waving*

 i had just hauled my cart up to the belt when she quietly stepped behind me with her hand basket.   of course i told her to go ahead of me since she only had a few things (don’t you appreciate when someone does that!?) which is when she introduced herself.  just goes to show how you never know who knows you or who’s watching-  treat others how you want to be treated at ALL times.

soooo, how was your TG 2K12?!

mine started bright and early at the crack of dark.  i left Chiso and Sonny slobbering and snoring to run the annual Houston Turkey Trot 10K.  i love that the free t-shirt this year is long sleeve; that’s rare.  i have not run long distance in forever, smh, but my cardio @ the gym definitely helps keep my endurance up.

before i hit the road, i made and devoured these babies:

coconut caramel pistachio pancakes.

 i used the base recipe for my banana pancakes and added the toppings- raw unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped bananas, Walden Farms caramel sauce, and crushed pistachios.

racing fuel!

might as well call these dessert pancakes- they were off the chain.

 over 12k people laced up their running shoes and showed out on Thanksgiving morning.

i was standing around and counting down to start time and noticed the people around me had on such cool colorful running shoes!

   i don’t like the front or the very back, but the middle serves me just fine!  i was about two minutes or so from the starting line.  and yes, i ran with my phone in my hand the whole time. i need a fanny pack.

finished around 50 minutes or so.

   just wanted to support the cause and get some exercise… didn’t care about breaking or making any PR’s.

forgot to stop my watch immediately afterwards as usual, but i burned somewhere in the high 600′s. which was only like half of one of my Thanksgiving plates :lol:

my heart rate really got up there! normally when i do HIIT, i top out around 176 before my HR starts to decline.  when i heard a lady shout  ‘last mile!!!’ i turned my burners on and sustained my HR above 180 until i crossed the finish line. my legs and chest were on FIRE.

post race, you can find me by the food.

they gave out some flavored vitamin water, bananas,

and chewy granola bars.  chocolate chip, peanut butter, and a smores flavor.

 i met up with my friend Nichola post race- she competed in Vegas for Fitness America Weekend as well!  always posing;)  and sorry Nichola, no donuts at the post race party LOL

by now i am almost sick to my stomach of seeing plates of Thanksgiving food on Instagram so i’m gonna chill on sharing mine.  i will, however, share my 5 ingredient dump cake recipe!  indulgent, um yes.  so you should prolly stick to making this on holidays only.

1. canned cherries. i was über happy to see this ‘no sugar added’ variety of cherry pie filling, but was bummed that it was still sweetened with Splenda. womp, womp. however i got it anyway cause the original stats were just way too high. i couldn’t do it.  i’m a changed woman.

2. pineapple chunks.  the ‘skinny fruits’ caught my eye like the manufacturers intended, but that big Splenda stamp ruined it again.

so, i grabbed what i always use- dole.  a little higher in the calories and sugar vs. the Libby’s, but it’s still all natural and no sugar added.

dump the can of cherries into a pan

followed by the pineapple chunks, juice and all.

3. box of yellow cake mix. it’s not pictured, and any brand will do.  pour it on top of the cherries and pineapple.

4. stick of butter :shock: yeah, those are pads of butter.  they melt into the yellow cake mix when baking and form something so incredibly delectable and Paula Deen approved.  i mean you don’t have to use the entire stick though, and you could very well substitute it with a lighter whipped butter, Earth Balance, or Smart Balance spread instead.

5. pecans. sprinkle them on top before popping the whole thing in the oven for 1 hr on 375-400 deg.  no stirring required! hence the name, dump cake.

so…………how many times have you admired your Thanksgiving food baby in the mirror today?

do NOT let that or food guilt completely ruin the happy, positive memories of  Thanksgiving 2k12.  you ate those delicious foods cause you wanted to and you’ve been waiting all year for them.   you may have woken up with a tummy ache and the need to make a mad dash to the rr like i did this morning lol, but that’s OK.  like most people, i ate a lot of carbs  and white sugar: pie, cake, dressing, rolls, etc, so i did cut some of my carbs today to balance my intake, but i did not cut them out.  do this:

  • get back on track with your clean diet – do NOT starve yourself.
  • physical activity…asap.  hit the gym for your routine as normal, or go outside for a walk, jog, or run.   you’ll feel a lot better, instantly.
  • drink plenty of water  and green tea with each meal as it speeds up digestion.
  • let the food guilt GO.
  • chunk the leftovers or give them away.  if the temptation is too much, stop torturing yourself and get rid of them. liquid soap to the rescuuuuuuuue :shock:

i slept in this morning but i made my way to the gym eventually for some cardio and light leg work.

20 minutes of HIIT on the stairmaster (60 rest rate / 90 work rate), legs, then 40 minutes of steady state cardio .  yep, put in a little extra work to combat yesterday’s feasts.

i bought some chicken drumsticks a few weeks ago cause i could not pass up the sale price, so i went ahead and made them for dinner for the weekend.  we have been eating only chicken breast for……..a really long dang time!!! 

it’s nice to eat a different part of the bird for a change. smokey chipotle paprika drumsticks.

 i do hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family time, memories, lots of good food, and fellowship.

if i had ten thousand tongues, i could not thank the Lord enough!!!!!!!

le

@ my desk

no more start/stop- catching up NOW.

good monday that is almost over to you!!

this will be crazy random but just stay with me.

i hope you guys are using and being creative the IG food pics- that’s definitely some of my motivation for posting.

this was lunch @ my desk last Friday:

100 calorie multi-grain english muffin, grilled chicken breast, avocado, spicy mustard, and a crispy red bell pepper.  since my job is waaaaaaaaay closer to Trader Joe’s than my house, i stopped by there to get a few specialty items on my lunch break that day.

more eggplant humus wish it came in a big TUB.

i can pronounce everything. that’s the kind of ingredient list i like to see and the kind you should look for as often as possible.  also, natural, no additives or preservatives means eat it sooner than later! won’t last but a few days.

also got some sweet sugar snap peas for dipping! in the car.

 i walked into TJ’s with intent to restock my fig butter, but as soon as those double entrance doors parted, i walked straight up to a tower of pumpkin butter.  clever is that seasonal marketing. they also had honey apple butter and i couldn’t leave without it.  i did leave the mango butter for next time though.

i hit up HEB, Whole Foods, and Sams this weekend to do my real shopping.  i got my sample on of course,

  *high five*, HEB.  but zero points for presentation.  steak pizzaiola, italian chicken sausage soup, and creamy potato casserole was served at one of their live sample stations. oh God, those potatoes though :shock: . i always grab a recipe card to see just what they put in those samples and they never fail to freak me out.  full-fat heavy cream and cream cheese is what made those potatoes so darn good!  but they were sample size sooooo i proceeded to enjoy.

i got outta there with my usual stuff plus a few specialty items.

my kitchen island stays just like this for the most part.  i like to keep my produce out where i can see it cause i’ll forget about it in the fridge and it’s more likely to spoil.  gonna go ahead and add ‘personal grocery shopper’ to my resume, seriously!!! i could do this every day.

i’ve been using the sesame Ezekiel bread for the past few weeks, so i picked up the cinnamon raisin loaf this time.

i have sweet and savory dishes in mind for this puppy.

fat-free feta and goat cheese are still two dairy cheeses i won’t be giving up (will expand on that shortly), but i was inspired to try almond cheese from a fellow health and fitness IGer.  i figure i love almond milk, so i’d prolly like the cheese too. uh, yeah! it melts, grates, and tastes just like dairy cheese and nutritional stats are awesome.  i’m impressed and sold.  gonna try some rice cheese too.

i’ve been a fan of Blue Diamond brand almond milk since Hungry-Girl introduced me to it a few years ago, but decided to try the Silk brand because of the lower calorie count.

it is so much more creamier than i was expecting! i may have been converted indefinitely…

I picked up some of Sonny’s fav granola from Whole Foods – pumpkin flax.  it’s the best granola (nutrtion-wise) in the bulk aisle line up.  140 cals and 5g of sugar per serving. read your labels- granola is more like a treat/dessert as the sugar content can be super high for some of them.  a few spoonfuls over some cottage cheese or yogurt or a small serving of it is just enough.

 granola + almond milk = one great bed time snack.  if only i could stop eating bowl after bowl.

lunch today @ my desk:

seeing red today for meal 2-  grilled chicken breast, avocado, red bell pepper, tomato, spicy mustard and honey apple butter.  wrapped all up in a La Tortilla Factory white-wheat soft wrap with some strawberries on the side.

i snuck in some sugar snap peas and eggplant humus too.

we had some GORGEOUS weather in Houston today!! Sonny hates the cold and is already griping about having to stop his outside runs.  he still has time to take advantage though cause it will be hot again like tomorrow.

cajun crusted tilapia recipe coming up next.

le

add FLAVOR, hold the rest

healthy food has PLENTY of flavor!! i know mine does!  i like to switch up my seasonings often to keep the flavors new and different without altering the nutritional stats of my meal.  after all, i’ll be eating the same things for a few more weeks.

 just a small section of my flavor arsenal.  i do love fresh herbs best, but dried is the next best thing and lasts waaaaaaay longer.  AND these are all one dollar at HEB.

that smokehouse maple is outta this world!! i seasoned our tilapia with it just last night for dinner and it was amazing.  i also used some of the roasted garlic and herb on the sautéed zucchini i served with it.  scrumptious. see?

i instagrammed my  clean, balanced, flavor-filled lunch today:

it was roasted chicken breast, oven-roasted sweet potatoes, and fresh spinach all topped with toasted pistachio nuts.

i used the montreal chicken seasoning on the breasts (and some dried parsley),

 and roasted them on 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or so.

same thing with the sweet potatoes- i roast them until they are soft to the touch.  i sometimes add cinnamon, vanilla, and some ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’ spray and make a fancy puree for no added calories!

or, i just leave them as is.

 mustard is such a versatile condiment.  i use it to dip my chicken in, as a marinade, and as a sauce.  and you guessed it- it doesn’t add all the extra calories, sugars, and carbs that typical sauces like ketchup, bbq (LOVE IT) , and ranch do!!  i found this little gem at HEB just a few days ago:

it is CRAZY good and ZERO calories!!! (works VERY well as a fish marinade too)

 i also drizzle the spicy brown mustard  (5 calories per teaspoon)  as well as the honey mustard (10 calories per teaspoon) all over my food before devouring it.

speaking of flavor, let’s talk about water.

i’ve said this multiple times- i am NOT a fan of drinking water when i’m just not thirsty.  blech! so i use the sugar-free, flavored packets.

 these Wylers packs are just 1 dollar at Walmart and HEB and 10 calories per serving.    i actually split up one packet between two 16 oz water bottles cause it’s a little strong for me.  drinking one of these things curbs my sugar craving completely.  BIG help.  speaking of sugar cravings, they are GONZO!!!  but i’ll get back to that in my next bodybuilding progress post ;)

 make a few ahead of time and put them in the fridge.  s/n- i thought the cherry limeade flavor would some how resemble the sonic drink but boooooy was i wrong!  try’em and see what you think though.

what’s your favorite dipping sauce?  i used to put the buttermilk ranch dipping sauce from Jack In The Box on EVERYTHING :shock:

le