let the Christmas shopping BEGIN + clean, gluten-free, dairy-free SUGAR COOKIES!

finally started a little Christmas shopping!

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 for myself :lol: .  i found these guys yesterday at Hobby Lobby for half price and i can’t wait to make healthy sugar cookies with Chiso.  here’s a tip that you may or may not have known- you can just pull up the featured Hobby Lobby coupon right on your mobile device and show it to the cashier, no printer or hard copy needed.  i found that out while in line yesterday cause the lady in front of me did it.  i logged onto www.hobbylobby.com super fast before my turn and immediately clicked on Coupon; it was for 40% off one regular priced item. SCORE.

we might leave these out for Santa this year, try’em!

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clean, dairy-free, gluten-free, vanilla and chocolate sugar cookies

the stuff:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal / flour
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla OR almond extract (either works)
  • dash of sea salt

—>for the chocolate cookies, make 1/4th of the almond meal unsweetened cocoa powder (which leaves 1 1/4 cups almond meal left, right? right.)<—

do this:

  1. mix your batter well.
  2. place bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes. **i know you want to skip that step but don’t!** it determines the texture of your cookies.
  3. press dough out on flat surface and use cookie cutters, or roll dough into 22 balls.
  4. bake for 7-9 minutes on 350 degrees or until golden brown.

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makes 22 cookies! per cookie: 44 cals, 3g fat, 4g carbs, 3g sugar.

Q: :shock: Christmas shopping……. have you started!?

le

Blog Elevated Conference + peanut butta banana fudgy brownies


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fit foodie le is headed to the Blog Elevated conference this month!!!!! i learned about this conference a few months ago and, well, everything about it grabbed my attention.  learning more about one of my favorite things to do in one of my favorite places in Houston?  um i HAVE to be there.  i must. and by the grace of God, I AM IN THAT THANG, free of charge.   i am just one big ol’ sponge ready to soak up ALL kinds of blogging knowledge.  crazy excited to say the least… this is like an overnight adult field trip.  if you’re going, well, i’ll be seeing you there then won’t i :)! i’m ready to take Fit Foodie Le to the next level baby.

everything you need to know about attending this fan-flippin-tastic  conference is right HEA.

oh you like brownies? me three. try theeeeeeese:

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peanut butta banana fudgy brownies

the stuff:

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 2 tbsp Stevia for Baking blend
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp PB2 (in powder form)

do this:

combine everything in your food processor and blend until smooth.  this is optional, but you can fold in 1/4 a cup (or however many you like really) mini chocolate chips, or mix up some PB2 slightly gooey-er than usual (using unsweetened vanilla almond milk) and swirl it into the top of your brownie batter before baking.  see below:

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your call though, as always.  350 degrees for 40 minutes in your baking pan that has been coated with no-stick cooking spray,  and all is right with the world.  under your roof anyway.

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oooooh yeah. the topping on this one is mashed banana and chocolate PB2 swirled together and dotted with mini chocolate chips.

makes 12! for 1(excluding toppings):

fudgy brownies

Q: have you ever attended a conference concerning your area of interest? was it worth it? how did you benefit from it? you knew that was coming, come on.

le

sunday family fun day

i have been teaching my 11am 24 Hour Fitness Total Conditioning class since the beginning of 2013.  i’ve had a crazy good time meeting so many new members and sweating our faces off together sunday after sunday for these past 9 months!   nevertheless, after having a sit-down with Sonny and fighting weeks (ok months) of conviction, i have finally decided to give it up.  even if a class inconvenienced me, leaving is always difficult.  i despise disappointing and letting people down, especially when they get a routine going and expect me to hold up my end of the bargain and be there.  i guess i despise it cause i know how it feels.    this isn’t the first class i’ve had to leave in my 6 years of teaching, but yesterday gave me that overwhelmingly bittersweet feeling.  again.

i could barely let my supervisor know my decision let alone share my ‘important announcement’ with my class today.  yeah…. this is always my answer to that dreaded ‘what’s one thing you would change about yourself’ question.

if we made it to church for early service, i felt good.  starting my sunday with Word and worship with my fam is well, the best way to start the day IMO.  however,  if we were out too late at a saturday night event (which happened all too often e.g. birthday parties, dinners,  gatherings, weddings, etc.) early service was out of the question, which meant church didn’t happen at all.  i have missed church more times this year than i have in my entire life…and that is so unfair to my family.   individual worship is important to grow your relationship with God, definitely….  but church is a vital part of that growth for me and my spiritual life has suffered because of its absence.  when this happens, i have to evaluate whatever is going in my life at the time,  pinpoint those distraction(s),  and either move or remove them.  it took me 9 months to accept this, but i finally let it go.  why? because it’s the best move for our family and the head of my household and heart agree.  masking those feelings of disappointment completely will come with time, but putting it that way makes me feel a whole lot better.

and i really miss going out to eat after church. lol. not just as an immediate fam, but meeting up with my parents, friends, and extended family, etc.  we have either turned down those invites or showed up super-duper late.  rushing off to the gym after service was the only thing on my mind…  if i hadn’t gotten my routine together the night before, i found myself writing down moves during service instead of giving God my undivided attention.  ok i could go ON.

———->let nothing hinder or get in the way of your worship & relationship with God or block the spiritual & emotional growth of your family.  nothing.<———-

now does this mean i won’t workout on sundays anymore?  not at all! i appreciate having the option to go at a more convenient time though vs. mandatory for sure. no pressure.  those family gym dates will keep right on rolling.

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 i’m so grateful for these two knuckleheads cause they are totally worth the sacrifice.  so each sunday when we do our family thing, i’ll capture the moment, upload it to Instagram, and hashtag it #sundayfamilyfunday.    seeing other families spending quality time together really makes you appreciate and cherish what you have.  so if you’re following me on IG, well, join in and share!  just don’t forget to hashtag it #sundayfamilyfunday. eating, chilling, hanging out, exercising….WHATEVER it is you and your family do together, share it.   i have a feeling most pics will revolve around food – i know most of ours will :shock:

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if there’s a HEB by you, fresh salmon is on sale for 6.97 a lb this week until tuesday!

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 i got us a couple pounds this past weekend and i have been roasting it with hidden valley ranch dry ranch dressing mix.

Walden Farms dressings have been BOGO (buy one get one free) at Sprouts Farmers Market this week so i got the Asian and Balsamic flavors on my last trip there.

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 you can use them as actual salad dressings, or as marinades for your proteins (fish, chicken, beef, shellfish).

that chicken up there turned out great (roasted it for 50 minutes on 350 degrees) and i threw it on a salad for lunch last week.

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see! it’s a berry almond Asian chicken salad.  romain lettuce mix, raw sugar snap peas, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, roasted chicken breast (marinated and sprinkled with Mc Cormick Perfect Pinch Asian seasoning), all drizzled with a little more Asian dressing.  crunchy, crispy, fresh and healthy.

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back to the salmon – i’ve been making these ‘teriyaki’ bowls by throwing everything into a container (carbs, veggies, protein, fat) and drizzling it all with one of the WF dressings.  flavorful, fresh, and addicting.  switch out any and everything for your favorites!  countless combos i tell you, COUNTLESS!!!!!!

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  these fantastic sales are over this week (tuesday and wednesday), so take advantage.

happylife

we always have enough to be happy if we are enjoying what we do have and not worrying about what we don’t have.

you’ll always be waiting for or on SOMETHING.  take a look over your life and praise Him for all you have right, right now.  you are so BLESSED!

Q: what day of the week do you consider your family day?

le

ooooh fluffernutter

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TGIF.  why did i even bother setting regular clothes out last night? idk.  it’s just too hot to be cute.  i threw on what i feel most comfy in before hitting the streets- GYM CLOTHES.  knowing good and well i will NOT be seeing the inside of a gym today at that!  the older i get, comfort > style indeed. oatbran banana pancakes and a veggie egg white omelette fueled me up and out the door this morning.

so messing around with this fluffernutter stuff had me creating all kinds of crazy recipes. like this one:

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Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter Graham Cracker Fluffernutter Brown Rice Crispy Treats (from memory!)

the stuff:

  • 3 cups gluten-free crispy brown rice
  • 1 cup Barbara’s Snackimal Vanilla Blast cereal
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp light agave nectar (or honey, or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew butter (or any creamy raw or roasted nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips (you can use real/regular choc. chips, YES!)
  • 5 honey graham cracker sheets (enough to cover the surface of the bottom of your pan
  • Fluffernutter (just any plain marshmallow fluff) to top

do this:

  1. combine cereal, syrup, vanilla, brown rice, agave nectar, cashew butter together in a large mixing bowl until incorporated WELL.
  2. spray your rectangle pan  (9 x 13 or something similar)  with no stick cooking spray and line the bottom when 1 layer of the Enjoy Life chips.  set the pan into a heated oven until the chips begin to melt, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. take the pan out and make a flat layer of graham crackers on top of the melted chips.  press down SLIGHTLY until even all the way across.
  4. dump the cereal mixture on top of the graham cracker layer and GENTLY press into an even layer all the way across the pan.
  5. sprinkle a few more Enjoy Life chips on top and put the whole thing in the fridge to set for at least an hour.
  6. cut into squares, (flip some over to see the cool bottom layer if you’re being fancy) and top with a dollop of fluffernutter cream and more crushed graham crackers on each one.

FREAKISHLY GOOD!!!!! please share.

20130815_215833i cut 14 bars outta my rectangle so the stats are for 1.  remember, gluten and/or  dairy free does NOT mean fat or sugar-free yall!  these are a bit indulgent, but definitely better for ya than the packaged stuff.

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**********

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please check out this eye-opening Q & A with former magazine editor and Senior graphic design and photographer, Jennifer Lau.

you might say crazy photo editing jobs are nothing new…and i agree.  however  this doesn’t just apply to mags and print anymore as social media is a really big deal this day in age.  so before you scroll through pic after pic of ‘perfect’ (filtered AND unfiltered) bodies then advert your eyes to yourself,  remember to:

be confident

 we all have special, unique talents, and most important, FLAWS & SHAPES! accept and love yourself AS YOU ARE; perfectly imperfect.  just like ‘her/him’!

HAPPY FRIDAY.

le

family + fitness + food = birthday trifection

what a difference a year makes.  i feel like i have finally LIVED these past 12 months and it only took me 30 years!  i have been spending more time focusing on my passion (fitness, creating and cooking healthier recipes, blogging, etc.) and it has opened up so many doors and avenues beyond my small, limited imagination.  i’ve crossed a few things off my bucket list and i have so many more to tackle.  however like all things in life, i’m simply striving for progress, not perfection.  i am content, appreciative, and so hopeful for what the future holds!  i thank God for another year that wasn’t promised, and i’ll walk right behind Him into 31 and all it has to offer!   Sonny put a little something together for lil ol’ me for my bday this year and it was … everything. what was it? those 3 simple f’s up there.

*****

i started my saturday morning off how i normally do-

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with a GREAT early morning workout!  i had way too many cartons of 98 cent strawberries (from HEB) on my island and i planned on incorporating them into our breakfast somehow.20130406_124056

so i diiiiiid. strawberry shortcakes came to mind!  i don’t normally eat whipped cream for breakfast lol but hey, the occasion called for it.  recipe is coming right up- had to do a little tweaking first.  i was given specific instructions to be ready to go by 5pm later that day and to ‘do something with myself’. IMG_20130406_173333

i did my best to make my bun as neat as possible. :lol:  so i’ve said in the past i don’t like shopping for clothes… i should clarify that i don’t like shopping ALL DAY LONG for clothes. i love Urban Outfitters cause 9 times outta 10 i find the cutest thing on the sale rack within minutes. UO keeps my shopping bug alive and kicking cause i almost stepped on it and killed it.  it’s become my go to store for a quick, cute outfit or top! i found this black lacy number for 10 whole dollars. what?  i thought it was clearly a mistake. i was too through after that awesome find! i even did my nails for the first time in a really, really long time. aaaaand i went to get some eyelash extensions done!!! watch out nah!  it was fun to get a little glam.

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 back pose!

we dropped off our Stank Tank with our ‘rents and headed to a private dinner at Tango & Malbec South American Cuisine.

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Mr. Impeccable Taste himself;)

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straight to the meal!

aaaaah, the lovely bread bowl.  it was filled with real, fried potato chips, bread sticks, and sourdough bread. so hard to resist this thing at any restaurant.  if it wasn’t for Sonny, i’d tell them to not even bring it to our table.

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our appetizers were Lamb Lolichops and El Calamar (grilled calamari steak) and they were both and cooked and seasoned perfectly.

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before we tore it up, we snapped a pic!

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my lil appetizer plate. to be honest, the lamb was too rare for me..i don’t do the bloody meat thing, so i gave it to Sonny.

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i decided on the Trout topped with mushrooms and carmelized onions for my entrée.   i told myself no salmon and no chicken breast!!! i knew Sonny would order some type of steak so i planned to just get a piece of his.

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i also had some old, faithful asparagus on the side.

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there it is- Como En El’s the name!  Sonny’s dish was a combo of  beef tenderloin, pork ribs, lamb chops, flank steak sausage and black sausage.  the ‘protein platter’!

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as we dined, a couple waltzed to music – very nice touch!  i enjoyed our dinner and it didn’t end there- complimentary dessert was on the way.

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hey i know her! i devoured that tres leches cake and received a little something i wasn’t expecting at all…

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a quality camera to take my blogging pics with! i’ve been using my cell for ALL of them as our previous Casio bit the dust a couple months ago.  it was right on time.

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we ended the evening with more dessert- self serve fro-yo!  apparently dancing was on the agenda  but after that meal our night was a WRAP.

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thanks, Polar! April 7th was the big day.

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first thing i did was thank God, then went to make me some birthday pancakes!  chocolate peanut butter banana pancakes with chocolate sprinkles.

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chocolate peanut butter banana pancakes

the stuff:

  • half a banana
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp chocolate PB2
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 packet stevia (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp butter extract
  • more PB2 for topping

do this:

whip this all up in your blender or food processor, then cook them up like cakes in your skillet.  3-4 minutes on medium heat for each side.  top with more PB2 and sprinkles! they are optional too:)

for the entire stack:

pbpancakestats

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i topped mine with more strawberries, and it tasted like a big peanut butter and jelly sammich. omg, YUMMINESS!!!

  i didn’t get a sub for my class…no need. i had some gifts to give out too- the gift of sweat.

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and i did so with new workout gear, whoop, whoop! that is ALWAYS appreciated, no matter what the occasion! i’ve been #upgraded!

afterwards, we got ready to go take some professional family pictures, and eat some lunch.

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lunch where? where else!?!?!? yep, RG.

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the weather was perrrrrfect, so we found a great table outside.  if you have a little one of age then you know an ipad or any electronic device works wonders to keep their little minds occupied until the food arrives.

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we tried the hi-protein hemp empanadas for the first time and WOW. i will definitely be remaking this at home! i LOVED the sweet and savory flavor combo.  seasoned ground beef, raisins, cilantro, mozzeralla and cheddar cheeses all stuffed inside a hemp and wheat flour pocket.  and yeah, they are fried… you’ve been warned!

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before pizza,

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after pizza.

i know exactly where he gets his hunger attitude from. :roll:

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this kids loves some cheese pizza, so of course we ordered him one along with…

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 grilled fish tacos on corn tortillas! Sonny’s was super spicy,

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mine was not.

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oh and i got some butternut squash too.  it’s the LITTLE THINGS that made my birthday so special and memorable!

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clearly the pizza had Chiso’s undivided attention until it was gone.

there was a lambo car show going on at the same time in City Centre so it was definitely alive:

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from newer models, 
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to classics.  

#justlooking

very last thing….. more, YES, more fro-yo!

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from Red Mango.

and that’s a wrap! thank you so much for reading!

i’m back on track with more EXCITING product reviews, and more GIVEAWAYS!!!!

i’m THRILLED about some of the products i’ll be featuring shortly that YOU will be able to enjoy yourself as well!!! stay tuned :)

le

spanana pancakes + sweaty saturday

still waitin’ on that pancake recipe? :lol:  i really dropped the ball- this was supposed to be up days ago.  but here it IS, right now, i won’t make you wait any longer!!!

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spanana pancakes

the stuff:

  • 1 whole egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen, microwaved / cooked spinach, cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more…be generous!)
  • half a banana
  • 1 packet stevia (optional)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

do this:

throw everything in the blender and turn it ON!  the banana makes the batter sweet enough for me, but if you need more, add the packet of stevia.  blend to your liking- if you’re making it for your kiddos though, definitely blend until super smooth.  we don’t want them to discover our little secret!

turn your non-stick pan on medium heat and cook them up like cakes.  when bubbles start to form and pop, flip them.  3-4 min on each side should be about right.

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for the entire stack: w/out the greek yo and using 1 whole egg

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remember this is pretty much a complete meal for your little one(s)! veggies (spinach), complex carbs (oatmeal), protein/fat (eggs) and plen-tay of fiber!

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have you tried this?

honey crisp apples are the bomb, but they are also pretty pricy per lb.  i buy red delicious apples a lot, and i make a dip for the slices using chocolate PB2 and 0% greek yogurt mixed together. sweet, protein-filled dip/treat.

i snacked on it while i made us this dinner last nite:

20130315_211745lean, grilled, apple-turkey burgers stuffed with mozzarella cheeeeeese! WHAT! we added ripe, mashed avocado, fat-free feta, juicy tomatoes, and coarse ground mustard, all on sara lee 45 cal whole wheat bread. mmm-mm-mmmmm.

i’m holdin’ out on ya again… recipe will be in tha e-book, but go make my apple-chicken patties until then..they are just as good;)

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i made some meatballs out of the rest of the batter and stuffed them with low-fat mozzarella also- you can toss these over veggies, whole wheat pasta, rice, quinoa,  salad…WHATEVER! avocado, fat-free feta, and low carb ketchup was what i was feelin’ along with my sweet potatoes and okra.

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how was your saturday!? mine was FAN-FLIPPIN’ TASTIC! can you tell?!  i subbed for another instructor at the gym and i always love the saturday morning crowd and a great, sweaty, saturday morning workout.  75 minutes of only the best class ever…Total Body Conditioning baby! even on spring break, people showed up and got their sweat on with me!  little man was there too, so we hit the Lifetime Cafe for some all natural, ‘pee-za’ on whole wheat crust, his fave.

ctrl

this spoke to the Techy in me:)

HAPPY SATURDAY!!!

le

clean, all natural, guilt-free chocolate sauce

i’m going dip and drizzle crazy.  i’ve googled homemade chocolate sauces in the past and normally they contain some type of oil (usually coconut which is 120 calories 13g fat, 12 saturated), a wack sugar substitute that tastes like chemicals, or just an ingredient i don’t particularly care for.  i took a complete gamble with the ingredients and the measurements and it turned out, well, darn good. so i tried it on what else, some dessert first!

i made a guilt-free arctic zero sundae with soy whip and crushed pistachios.

trial and error is a huge, frustrating part of coming up with your own recipes.  it can get expensive too!!  so getting it right the first time (or at least the first few times) makes me feel good. really good.

would you like to read about my fantastic workout from this morning before i share the recipe? ok great!!! there is something about the peacefulness of the gym super early in the morning.  i get it now.  i can clear my mind, focus on my to-do list not only for that day but my long-term goals, projects, dreams, next moves, pray…talk to God…and get my life together.

  it’s that crucial.  minimal interruptions, effective workout, no waiting on the equipment…  it’s never the same in the evenings immediately after work.  even late at night; it doesn’t compare.

symmetry is good.  symmetry is preferred. lol.  my right shoulder area is still more defined than my left, but i’m in the process of fixing it. one way to correct that is to do isolations (one limb at a time).  i used to pass this machine up, but never again!  i added it to my routine this morning and felt different parts of my glutes and hamstrings being worked way more vs. pressing both legs at once.  do NOT let the machines intimidate you- you can’t progress if you don’t try different things.  find a trainer and ask them for a demo if you can’t decipher the directions.

i rushed home to my breakfast and my boys!  made some egg whites and topped them with fat-free feta and parsley.  i kept my banana oat pancakes simple and sprayed them with ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’ and walden farms pancake syrup. aaand reduced sugar Heinz for my eggs.

 for my oatmeal though, i topped it with more fresh bananas, crushed almonds, and a drizzle of my clean chocolate sauce!  mmmm crepes would also be a grand idea.

  by the way, my oatmeal is cooked in unsweetened vanilla almond milk/water, and a splash of vanilla.  then i add cinnamon and stir.

ready now?

3 ingredients:

clean, guilt-free, all natural, chocolate sauce

the stuff:

  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp all natural, raw, coconut crystals (found at Whole Foods)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

do this:

i suggest you heat the milk first ( you can nuke it for 15-20 seconds) THEN add the cocoa powder and crystals.  the cocoa won’t absorb into the milk if it’s cold and you will be stirring forever cause it  just won’t mix. just like oil and water. you can either add more or less almond milk- the consistency is up to you.  i found that after mixing these exact amounts together (get all the lumps out) and letting it sit in the fridge for less than 30 min, it was the perfect consistency for dipping, pouring, or spooning it straight :lol:

the sky is the limit!   double, triple, or quadruple the recipe as needed, just adjust your stats accordingly.

strawberries and chocolate – classic combo.

banana chunks, dipped and topped.

raw unsweetened coconut flakes, crushed almonds, crushed pistachios.

had way too much fun today.  happy friday eve :)

le

dark chocolate pumpkin spice fudge brownies

crazy good 5:30 am workout this fine tuesday morning!  got through 1 hour of Total Conditioning,  a Lifetime Athletic signature formatted class.  almost 700 cals burned!  i set aside some time every monday to sit down and write out exercises for my class.  i have always sucked at making up stuff on the spot- that never goes great for me.  like i could never be given a mic and asked to ‘say a few words’ at an event… omg.  i’d totally pee on myself.  however if  i’m to speak about health, fitness, or FOOD, i’d be straight!!

i’m no longer unbeweavable.  i know sew-ins are supposed to last way longer than one month lol, but that’s all i could take.  i definitely sweat out my perm this morning and i’ll be smelling it for the next few days.   aaaaand so will anybody on the elliptical to the left and right of me :lol:


after  my class, i did a quick upper body circuit cause i didn’t get to finish my workout from last night. i did:

bench press 4 x 10

machine curls 4 x 12

machine tricep extensions 4 x 12

machine pull ups 4 x 10

pushups 4 x 10

cable flyes 3  x 12

with moderate – heavy weight.   didn’t do abs cause i do them at the end of my class.

breakfast was my banana-cinnamon oats and spinach egg white omelette as usual. dinner last night though…..

i was imagining making and eating this while on the elliptical, not even kidding.  could not get home fast enough.

grilled chicken BBQ pizza.

i used mc. cormick BBQ seasoned grilled chicken, Trader Joe’s organic pizza sauce, roma tomatoes, shredded rice cheese, and fresh cilantro on an oatmeal/egg white pizza crust.  i made two out of one serving and killed them both immediately.

are you stocked up on canned pumpkin through the winter? lol.  i have way too many cans of it in my pantry right now.  i bought so many at once though cause there was a shortage last year.  i use canned pumpkin all year round though, and pumpkin pie is my fave next to key lime.   pure pumpkin is low-fat, low sugar, low carb, and has plenty of fiber.  great for sweet and savory dishes, just like sweet potatoes.

i cannot wait until Chiso can participate more with me in the kitchen!  i have so many fun cooking projects planned.  for now, he’s my studio audience and listens to all my cooking demos.  yeah right, he only sticks around if i give him snacks.

my little hamburglar munching on strawberry magic pop, his fave. this week.

Sonny requested brownies, so i made some with canned pumpkin. who the heck knows who created this recipe first, but i got it from Hungry Girl a couple years back.  it’s just 1 can pure pumpkin mixed with 1 box of  brownie mix.  no oil, eggs, or butter.  i added a few thangs though.

dark chocolate pumpkin spice fudge brownies

the stuff:

  • 1 box fudge brownies (your fave brand)
  • 1 can Libby’s pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

i cut 15 servings outta my loaves.

do this:

set oven to 350 and mix everything together in a big bowl until smooth.  no lumps or dry spots.  cooking times vary..but since the batter is thicker than normal, take it out after baking it for the required time according to the kind of pan you use and do the toothpick test.

 

 hey, the stats are still waaaay lower than the normal box recipe.

made two loaves instead of using a rectangle or square pan- one with chocolate chips, and one without. which was stupid cause all our visitors ate the one with chips.

and that’s why!  i microwaved a piece for a few seconds until the chocolate melted a little, then topped it with some vegan whipped topping (found at HEB in the vegan/produce department).

YUM-MAY.

what are you gonna be for Halloween this year?

 

le

 

goodies

so thankful for encouraging friends!got this in the mail today from a dear friend of mine and it was RIGHT on time.  today is low carb day :lol:  thanks, BM ;) love you, girl!

july was a BLUR. hey, august.

there are a bazillion products i cannot wait to try next month. next month…NEXT MONTH is my show!!!!  burnout is not even the word these days.  i have been trying to run outside more for my cardio cause even the smell of walking into my gym sometimes makes me sick to my stomach, sad, and a tired, defeated feeling comes over my entire body.  yes, all that happens at once!  nothing a rest day can’t fix though…i’m definitely waving my white flag and in need of one.  i am still learning to listen to my body and not overdo it.  over time, i have learned to distinguish the ‘crap i don’t feel like going to the gym’ feeling vs the ‘i have absolutely no energy to lift a THING today’ feeling.  there is a huge difference.  when the only thing i can take away from my workout is the fact that i can say i went, that’s not good enough.  i’m doing more harm than good by forcing my workout rather than just sitting down somewhere, resting, and hitting it hard the next day.i posted this earlier today on IG- another instagrammer mentioned how her abs stay flat even after a satisfying meal and i LOVE that and couldn’t agree more.  it’s all from simply keeping your diet clean.  before, i’d either be a bloated mess all over or mushy in my midsection from high sodium, sugar, and additives hiding in processed and restaurant foods.  my tummy stays the same all day long- flat.

what’s happening this week? finding a SUIT and themewear, that’s what.  i have been googling to the high heavens on what colors pop, what shade is best for my skin, etc., aaggggggghhhhhhh!!! my posing coach, Christine, simply said ‘go with your first instinct.’  simple as that. so, i will.

i visited a shop by referral from Christine, grabbed a handful of suits and tried them on.  those things are pretty darn tiny.  talk about ‘barely there’, my goodness!  stepping outside my box, big time.

i am such a BOY with this kind of stuff.  there is so much more to be done. hair, nails, waxing, tanning, etc,.  this is a pretty darn expensive sport.  and i didn’t even mention my training yet! (workouts, meal plan, and FOOD).  i discussed with Christine the best portion of the show for me to enter seeing as how i have about 5 weeks left.  she advised me to stick with Bikini.  so, Figure will just have to wait as i don’t have enough time to put on THAT much muscle.  so, if there’s a next time, i’m comin for ya, Figure!!!

so i have said already how excited i am to get back in my kitchen and make and EAT up some stuff.  i see new products every day on instagram, blogs, and foodie mags,  and i went online and finally ordered a few that sparked my interest and my taste buds!  i was supposed to stop looking at these sites before my comp, i know.  anyway,  i’ll pass on bargain shopping for clothes, but not food!  it really is cheaper to order some stuff online.  and there are always coupon codes, free shipping, and other deals that help.

via IG (instagram), @powercakes gave out her coupon code for saving 5 dollars on your first www.IHERB.com purchase. SWEET DEAL!  i just used mine AND got free shipping since my order was over 20 bucks.  now, if September would just get here already i’ll be one happy fit foodie.  look what i got:

soups, stir-frys, and spring rolls OH MY!! these are kelp noodles.  i loooove thai crystal noodle soup and pretty much all type of soup.  and noodles.   i have so many ideas for these puppies.  and hello, 12 calories per serving! I KNOW!!  kelp noodles are raw, gluten-free, fat-free, rice-free, low in carbs & calories, full of minerals and ready to eat.  have you tried them?

been hearing SO much about this stuff.  what sold me? ‘tastes like cheese’.   well we’ll just have to see then, won’t see.  after reading reviews, customers raved how great this stuff is sprinkled on air popped popcorn, over soups and stews, and even encrusting proteins in it.  i’ll see what i can do.

so splenda’s rep has gotten worse and worse over time.  it’s been known to cause/increase the risk of cancer, weight gain, bloating- man too many negative things to name.  just red flags everywhere.   i actually swore off the stuff a few months ago (Sonny chunked it. all of it.), but i walked past the above pic in HEB and the mocha part sucked me right back in.  however Sonny threw it right back out.

  then i heard/read about Stevia.

zero cals, non bitter, all natural.  i bought the granules from HEB before i discovered there was a liquid form!  so, i ordered some.

vanilla,

and

chocolate!

no sugar alcohols, bitter after-taste, and calorie free. stay tuuuuuuuned.

3 more things- look, i had a lot to say today.

1.) when i visit food blogs, i look for specific things. fantastic, enticing pics draw me in first and foremost, but what i always end up looking for and totally appreciate is nutritional stats!! people can say they don’t count calories all day long…but come on..you have to have SOME kinda ball park figure to make sure you’re staying on track, clean diet or not.  SO, one thing i plan to execute after this show is including the nutritional stats to my recipes.  sure, there are a crapload of web apps these days that you can just type the ingredients into yourself, but i dont want you to have to work so hard when you come visit me!

2.) although i have no plans to ever fully commit to a 100% paleo, vegan, vegetarian, or even clean diet (only 85% and i meant that), i can’t get enough of their deserts!  there are sooooo many ways you can ‘indulge’ and satisfy your sweet tooth without eating the full fat and calorie laden stuff.  i am on a mission to create cleaner deserts as well as incorporate more natural, raw ingredients.  working on cleaner pies, cakes, cookies, muffins, breads, and pudding recipes all day every day.

3.) i’d tell ya what i’m having for dinner but you already know. :roll: just got through putting some of my meals together for tomorrow .

i’ll tell you anyway.  marinated sirloin steak, french cut green beans, and brown rice.  after i nuke one, i add low sodium worcestershire sauce or my mustard, and some fresh cilantro.  yum!!

 Chiso is keeping busy in the midst of all this madness.

happy friday in advance!  nite.

le

mindfull behavior

i love my family.  they love me back. they love me so much they like to give me large quantities of sweets all at once.

Sonny went to a b-day party for our cousin recently, and the next morning i walked downstairs to this on my kitchen island.

‘what? you love cake.’  **face-palm**

 over time i realized that i lose focus around large quantities of ANYTHING, sweet or not.

33.5 oz of gold fish.  thanks,  Aunt Hazel :)

i came home to Papas bbq yesterday- ribs, chicken, cheesecake, and potato salad.  and i haven’t even started on the office donuts, kolaches, cupcakes………………. it’s hard out here.

 on my last shopping trip, i bought a big bag of crisp, colorful bell peppers and some garden salad. i didn’t let Papas take me down- i took that bbq chicken breast, shredded it,  and made another garden salad for lunch today with cherry tomatoes and yellow bell peps.  also had some hummus too.

    we don’t always finish those big salad bags before they spoil, so i’ve been making Sonny and i salads for lunch and/or  dinner every day since this weekend.  no more wasting of the funds!  i also got some of these 100 calorie almond butter packets. i see them all the time and bought one- pleasantly surprised!

i got a few maple and a few honey flavored ones.  they taste GREAT on my La Tortilla Factory low-cal high fiber 50 cal tortillas.  spread some on and microwave it for 10 secs. sweet, warm, doughy goodness.

NOW, on to the good stuff- how to punch sugar cravings in the face and tips to maintain better control of your appetite!!!

  • don’t drink your calories.  smoothie yes, soda/sugar-filled juice NO.  i am not a fan of drinking water when i’m not thirsty. i just don’t like it and never have.  so i use these:

calorie-free flavored water.  crystal light pink lemonade is my fav.  they got a little crazy as there are waaaay too many flavor combos to pick from nowadays, really.  surely you’ll find something you like.

  • don’t even bring (chips, cookies, candy = JUNK) in the house.  you can’t eat it if it’s not there.   and yes you can just go buy it smarty pants but you have plenty of time to think about that decision on your way to the car.  chances are you won’t even get that far though.  this one is hard if you have kiddos, but i have a solution for that too, just keep reading.

  • eat your meals on smaller plates.  that makes so much sense, huh.  even if it doesn’t, it works.  the smaller the plate, the less food you put on it.  it’s not mandatory that you fill your plate until you can’t tell what color it is.  always start with round one and see how you feel after that.  if you can eat more, fill round two with more veggies.

  • stop the ‘clean your plate’ mentality.  even if you put the correct portions on your plate, that still doesn’t mean you have to eat every last morsel.  eat until you are satisfied, not sleepy.  changing the way you’ve done something your entire life is hard as HECK.   i ate this way my entire childhood and most of my adult life.  lifestyle changes don’t happen over night though.

  • that’s how i feel after a workout.  stop eating so fast.  it takes about 20 min for your food to reach your stomach.  if you scarf down a big plate in 10 min, still feel hungry, and scarf down another one, hello ITIS (that sleepy, sluggish feeling after a heavy meal) and hello way too many cals in one sitting.   how do you stop that?  don’t let yourself get so hungry!!!  smaller meals throughout the day prevents this…but that’s a whole nother post right there.  ok come back and focus- if you’ve got the time, slow down, chew, enjoy your food, and listen to your body.

  • chew some gum or drink some water- it’s proven to ward off sweet cravings and hunger in general.   besides, you could really be thirsty anyway.  i think we all know somebody that chews like that.

  • sometimes you just need to be satisfied, you know?  you don’t need the whole piece of cake- a handful of chocolate chips or a small square of chocolate could kill your craving completely.  i highly recommend those by the way^^

  • when grocery shopping (for the kiddos especially), buy 1 ‘treat’ each trip, never several at a time.  just ONE. even if you buy several and only open one bag at a time, it’s just not imperative to store junk food in your house. what for?  wean yourself off of it gradually.  remember, fill your family with  good, wholesome, healthy stuff.  i didn’t say the babies couldn’t have cookies, don’t be like that.  the point is,  better choices now mean better choices later when they’re on their own.  start them off on the right foot and give them the good stuff more often than not.

  • obnoxious, isn’t it.  #teamiPhone, whoop, whoop.  eat more natural, fresh fruit.  white sugar ( found in candy, processed foods) =  empty calories and brings on CRAZY cravings for more.  it’s true!!!  the fiber present in REAL 100% fruit slows the absorption of sugar so you don’t get those high sugar rushes and can maintain control of your appetite.

Q: how MUCH should i eat???? so glad i found this thing, it’s perfect.  study it and apply it.

i know..breaks my heart too.  wake up call, indeed. how do YOU measure up?

how do you deal with large quantities of FREE food at home, work, or social events?

le