more fun with kettle bells + say cheese

i had serious business to handle this morning at the gym!!! i downed my hot cup of  coffee + stevia + unsweetened vanilla almond milk, looked over my class notes and hit the road.

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‘it never gets easier, you just get better.’

i have some awesome veteran gym members that have been with me from the  jump!  they attended my very first class at Lifetime and have stuck with me ever since. i adore and admire their dedication to their health and waking up at the crack of dark with me every single week.  i present a new routine each class cause i like to keep things new and exciting, and never predictable. however…. because these members have been with me for  so long, they know some of my moves, which means they know which weight is the ‘safest’ for a particular exercise. mmhmm, and they also know which weight will really make them WORK hard, struggle, and sweat.  i know you see it coming already!  in order to change our current situation and get those results we so desire and pray for, we must sometimes get uncomfortable (e.g. pick up that heavier weight) so that we can GROW.

IMG_20130226_083032 had i not been given the opportunity to teach in the early mornings, i would have never attempted it on my own. i know the word ‘never’ is taboo, but i know me!!! never, ever considered AM workouts.  had no desire to do them whatsoever. waking up and doing anything, especially working out, before i go to work? HECK NO.  so when i was called upon to do so, my mind literally screamed  ‘why me?! it’s because i’m a newbie, huh!!’ but i kept a straight face with my manager of course.  what… a…. blessing in disguise.  sometimes doing something out of your ordinary or something you fear (public speaking, running your first 5k, cooking your first holiday meal for your entire family)  can help you break away from those chains and overcome those fears completely and present new opportunities.  don’t let those ‘what if?’ feelings haunt or consume you. challenge yourself.  every day you wake up…and that’s IF you wake up…you have another chance to make your dreams and goals happen.  do not fear stepping out of your warm, safe comfort zone.  keep fighting it, resisting, and staying in one spot, and you’ll never know or experience the opportunities that lie ahead!!!

smile! why so serious? :lol: i don’t usually get that long-winded.  time to talk about working out and food and stuff. i have some more kettle bell exercises for ya.

1. half get up:

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a. lie face up on the floor and keep your legs straight. hold the kettlebell in your left hand straight above your left shoulder.

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  b. engage your core first, bend your left knee, place your foot on the floor, and prop yourself up on your left arm. keep the weight directly in line with your shoulder and sit up until your back is straight. reverse the movement to return to start. that’s one! 3-4 sets of 10 using a weight that’s heavy for YOU.

what it works:

  • arms
  • core
  • shoulders

what it’s for:

  • flexibility
  • core strength

2. kettle bell sumo squat to upright row:

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* start standing with your feet out slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes pointed at a 45 degree angle*

a. sit down into a plie squat:

  • core tight, shoulders back and down, back flat, chest up
  • tuck your glutes under and pull your belly button into your spine
  • knees and toes pointed outward in the same direction (about a 45 degree angle)
  • at the lowest point of your squat, your knees should stay inside your toes
  • lift your toes inside your shoes to ensure your weight is concentrated in your heels

b. straighten your legs and return to standing.

*at the same time*

  • draw the kettle bell to your body
  • SQUEEZE YOUR GLUTES
  • pull your elbows into a V and keep them higher than your wrists
  • let your arms extend back to starting position

repeat, 4 x 15.

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side view- straight up and down, back flat, abs in.

what does it work?

  • hamstrings
  • glutes
  • back
  • shoulders

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back view.  squeeeeeeeeze those glutes the entire time! don’t let’em go!

3. kb swings 

*stand straight with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart*

a. lean forward (bending at the waist) and slightly and bend your knees for a semi-squat position. keep your back flat and head up.

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b.  let your arms hang loosely but keep a firm grip on the handle. raise the weight with both hands up towards your head as you inhale. swing the weight with both hands back down in between your legs as you exhale, but remain in control!  use your hips, thighs, and lower back to thrust the weight back up.

do’em! then tell me aaaaall about it!

aaaaagh, breakfast.  had the same thing as yesterday- scrambled egg whites with papaya-lime salsa, a dollop of 0% greek yogurt, and some no-salt  Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning!

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this was right before i submerged them in low sugar ketchup.

so, what was in that big box that arrived on my doorstep last week?

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Fiber Gourmet graciously sent me a ton of their new high fiber crackers!!! i opened that box like ‘whoooooa!’ they’ve got wheat, cheese, nacho cheese, everything, and cinnamon flavors.  i’ve been a long time fan of their high fiber pastas and did a few posts on them, like this one.  now, they are taking over the cracker game!  i’m not doing them all in one night lol, so Chiso and i started with the cheese Thinables.

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they compare their crackers to Nabicso right there on the box, so i did a side by side showdown comparison too.

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why you should try them:

  • 25 cheese-its vs 37 Thinables for less than half the calories
  • fiber goes up, calories go down
  • low sodium
  • low-fat
  • no artificial anything!

yall know i’m all about more food for less stats and those stats are killer!  if you’re a cracker fan or have kids that love to snack,  give these a try.  Check out their site and try their huge variety of pastas as well.  THANK YOU, Fiber Gourmet!

remember our family trip to Star Pizza this past sunday?  see below!!!

Screenshot_2013-02-28-04-43-01didn’t see that coming, but ummmmm, we’ll be there with bells on!

what is your favorite kettle bell exercise? 

le

1st lululemon product review!!

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HOT french toast for Chi this morning, oat bran  banana pancakes for me!  and egg whites. you know the drill.

i didn’t measure for the french toast, but i used whole wheat bread dipped in a mixture of egg whites, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cinnamon, pure vanilla, and vanilla creme stevia.  i topped it with some Walden Farms pancake syrup. Chiso is still in love with bananas and eats a whole one for breakfast every morning, so he can lick his syrupy fingers all he wants since it’s sugar-free!

for lunch, i got fancy with something i make at least 4 times a week cause it’s so QUICK. and i need quick these days.

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 egg whites, wild tuna, cucumbers, and tomato on some wheat toast with a dollop of guacamustard (avocado and coarse ground mustard whipped into a mousse) and sprinkled with some no-salt Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasoning.  you don’t have to make a tuna tower too, but it’s FUN! right!?

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i’m no trained chef, yall! yeah right!  yall better stop emailing me with those ‘i can’t do all that’ messages!!! first off, you can, and second, who said you had to!? i do this for kicks cause it makes me happy. ok and to impress Sonny.  ultimately though, it also contributes to the fact that wholesome, healthy, nutritious food can taste as great as it looks.  presentation is important to me, but above all else, eat what’s good for you, first.

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SO, thank youuuuuu for your emails and questions!!!  i will continue to do my very best to respond in a timely manner, and even answer some of them in my posts.  how bout i do that right now!

Q: are you a PT (personal trainer)?

 A: no, guys! i’m a group fitness instructor!  a PT is something i’ve considered in the past and it’s just not for me…’officially’ anyway, lol!  i am certainly not opposed to the one-on-one thing, but the energy of a riled up group of athletes, the loud music, the microphone…yeah the combo of all that is what i live for.  i am in complete love with teaching classes for 24 Hour Fitness and Lifetime,  however, i do have intentions of teaching local classes (bootcamp, abs, TKB), in due time.

‘WHAT DO WE WANT?! ‘

20130219_070847-1‘GAMS!!!!’


‘HOW DO WE GET’EM?!’

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pop some squizats!

one of the many lower body exercises you can do for toned, strong, defined, glutes(butt), hamstrings(back of your legs), and quadriceps(front/top of your legs).

 TIPS:

  • lift your toes in your shoes and press your heels into the floor
  • have an actual seat- like you’re about to sit in a chair
  • keep your knees behind your toes even at the lowest point of your squat
  • back flat, chest up, abs in, head up!
  • your stance determines which part of the legs you work, so switch it up often to target and work more angles (narrow stance, shoulder width stance, wide stance)
  • inhale down, exhale up
  • if your knees cave in toward each other as you squat, the weight is too heavy. proper form first.  always.
  • you can hold heavy dumbbells down to your sides, you can sit the dumbbells on your shoulders (my personal fave), use a weighted barbell across the meaty part of your shoulders, or use no weight at all!

 i am THRILLED to now be apart of lululemon’s r & d (research and development) team, whoop, whoop!  i want to be apart of ALL THINGS LULU!!! no, this does not mean that i am employed by lululemon- it means that as an instructor, my feedback concerning lululemon products is valued and considered.  well i have A LOT of that to spare and share ;)

 before i get to new items, i’m gonna start my first product review with some things i wear constantly as you can prolly tell via Instagram!  i’m currently working on a new section on my blog that i will dedicate to *drum roll* product reviews! it’ll be composed of healthy food products i eat and use in my own recipes, as well as fitness related gear that i wear, use, and support. sooooo, here we go:

lululemon grey and black Wunder Under Pant (WU’s 2012) – 82.00$

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  • second-skin fit – feels like next to nothing, literally!
  • four-way stretch
  • designed for yoga, gym, to-and-fro, extremely versatile
  • stylish!

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  • secret waist pocket (keys, cards, small items, etc.)
  • wide soft waistband for comfort and eliminating muffin top

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  • light-weight, comfy, moveable, breathable fabric no matter what type of exercise you are doing
  • the contours and embellishments contribute to a longer, leaner appearance <—-my FAVE!


it never fails- every time i wear them out, people really dig the back of these pants, and i did too! which is what sold me on ‘em.  and can i just say i take ‘to-and-fro’ to a whole new level.  gym or not, i slip them on and GO! highly recommended!

do you own a pair?


le

journey to clean(er) eating

how it starts….

how it ends.

 i got the baby basket on purpose but i stuffed it full like i knew i would.  going in and coming out with one thing is a complete joke.  there is always something else we need!! or want.

the journey to clean(er) eating starts in the grocery store.  remember these tips when you go shopping:

MORE fresh fruits and vegetables

LESS processed foods (low to no)

lean proteins – chicken breasts, ground turkey, seafood, beef,

healthy fats – avocados, mixed nuts, olive/coconut oil, natural peanut butter

whole grains/fibrous carbs – oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa, beans, whole wheat pasta, high fiber cereal

on Sunday’s trip, i got everything on my list plus a few more items:

oh and Ezekiel sprouted grain sesame bread. left it off the list, oops.  aaaand i did get a few indulgent items for Sonny for winning his show this past weekend… i know you see them :shock:  oreos, gummy bears, and cookies n cream ice cream.

i have always wondered why pumpking pie spice is so freakin high!!! this 1.12 oz jar is like 4.99. for no reason. this is what i’ve always bought.  i was on my way to get some magic pop when i passed a table of seasonings and saw a big bucket of this:

what! now 4.99 a  POUND is more like it!! i grabbed a couple bags. man i love finding great deals.

yesterday, i applied that same ‘squeeze the muscle with every rep’ technique to my upper body workout and man did it give me a good muscle pump.  try it!!

one of my fave exercises (i’m sure my class members HATE them by now lololol) are W presses with dumbbells.  make a W with your arms (similar to my pose above) holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand.  move both arms up / out simultaneously without going higher than your head with the weights. then, retract them back in towards your head.  keep your elbows in front of your body.  makes for great shoulder/collar bone/back definition!  the racerback style is my absolute fave to wear, regarding my tops, and this exercises targets that area nicely.

dinner that night was a baked sweet potato stuffed with seasoned chicken breast chunks, green onion, and topped with fromage blanc. french cheese!  i also had a side of steamed zucchini.

yum.

i found the fromage blanc at Whole Foods while looking for the quark that they didn’t have.  the cheese lady told me that fromage blanc was the closest thing to it.  i picked it up and read the stats,

and they were even better than the quark!  heck that’s better than sour cream and greek yogurt!  greek yogurt does have a ton of protein, but it also has sugar too.  anyway, awesome find.  HEB has it also.

today…cardio, legs, and stretching.

i could not WAIT to get home to dinner to make me a sandwich.   that was all i could think about.

i made a big pan of baked chicken breasts this morning, so all i had to do was cut it up and put my sammich together.  i seasoned each breast with something different (bbq, lemon pepper, garlic and herb, smokehouse maple, and montreal steak seasoning) and some dried parsley.  350 degrees for 1 hr.

finally!  seasoned chicken breast, avocado, tomato, almond cheese and Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter all on toasted Ezekiel sprouted grain sesame bread.  i also had half a sliced apple and some Justin’s maple almond butter for dipping.

lastly, i munched on some of that vegetable medley bagged salad with some roma tomatoes on top.

sooooo, turkey day is in like 2 weeks!!!

are you hosting, going to someone else’s house, or going out to eat for TG?  

le

winner winner chicken dinner


glory to God, Sonny won 1st place in his division at the Ft. Worth MuscleMania bodybuilding show this past weekend!! here’s Chiso congratulating him and apologizing for sleeping through the entire evening show in mommy’s arms.  630-930…what a nap :shock:

i’m pretty proud of this guy.

i was screaming as loud as i could!!  great show and amazing jobs done by all.

here are Sonny and some of the other competitors soaking in their win.  cloud 9 status!

Chiso clearly just wanted to play with that ball, but we got a good family shot outside the venue during intermission break.  immediately following the show, Sonny’s team went to dinner at Blue Mesa  to celebrate their accomplishments, weeks of hard work, dieting, and training.  both of our phones were almost dead after our long day, so my camera flash was toast.  horrible lighting for these next few pics, ugh.

along with Sonny’s show day meals, i prepped all of mine for the trip as well.  and this meal was not apart of the plan lol! neither was the pizza Sonny brought me from backstage earlier.  nevertheless,  i started with a  dinner salad of field greens topped with tomatoes and red onion.  balsamic vinaigrette was on the side.

Sonny got the Perfect Tortilla Soup which had chicken, tomatoes, jack cheese, smoked chiles, and fresh lime in chicken broth.

CHIPS. sweet potato, tortilla (blue and flour).  and honestly they were nothing to write home about.  it’s just that they were in front of me and i was hungry!!! snacking ensued. excessive snacking.

having no flash totally took away from the dish, but it was way tastier than it looked.  i got the Spa Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas with asparagus and grilled sweet potatoes.  the Spa section on their menu was detailed with nutritional stats and lighter options.  i totally appreciated that.  why don’t restaurants just do this for the entire menu?  we’re prolly better off not knowing in some cases!

Sonny asked the server for the dish with the most food and variety like he always does and ended up getting a sampler platter.  like he always does. lol.  the Mesa Sampler came with a carmelized onion quesadilla, mixed nachos, and chicken taquitos.

so on the way back to our hotel WE wanted something sweet and went through a Mc Donalds drive through in hopes to get some ice cream.   the machine was already closed down for cleaning for the night.  that has happened to us SEVERAL times… we should know the darn schedule by now.  so we ended up at the next best thing… actually it’s prolly the best thing lol.

we split a whatasized vanilla shake and i’m pretty sure i slurped down 70% of it!  i hadn’t had one in YEARS.  it was…. incredible.  Sonny mentioned going to In-N-Out burger too (hey we don’t have one in Houston) but i had to put my foot down and call it quits.

we got some rest and headed home the next morning, but not before grabbing breakfast.  i took a selfie of my abs before we left though and i wasn’t surprised that they were still flat.  after i eat crap, it pops back up to say hello on me 3-4 days later.  for a while i had myself fooled!  the symptoms may be delayed  (bloating, gas, bubble guts, pimples, fatigue, flat muscles, heaviness) but they ALWAYS come.  always.

Sonny wanted to start breakfast with a BANG but Ihop was the  best option that popped up on our GPS.  i was somewhat relieved and i’m also glad there were no Shipley’s around :shock:

now THIS is a breakfast of champions.  ^^^ there’s one right there, tee hee.  Ihop always did have crazy portion sizes.

Sonny smashed a steak omelette topped with cheese and tomatoes,

and a stack of what Ihop is famous for…. mmmmmm.

we got Chi a kiddie sampler of baby cakes, scrambled eggs, and turkey bacon which he did NOT like and took off his plate immediately.  i’m not a fan of the texture of turkey bacon either…i don’t blame him.

 

time to get back on track.

after examining this pic closer, that totally looks like a bug in my oatmeal!!!!! LOL. i remember seeing it after stirring my bananas in though and it was definitely an oat.  i think.  i hope.

i also got a spinach, mushroom, and tomato egg white omelette that was pretty amazing.  i’m am in complete love with their Simple and Fit menu. look at all those options!!! the website is super user-friendly. seriously, GO IHOP! 4 thumbs up from fitfoodiele.

the oatmeal came with butter, brown sugar, and milk on the side, but i didn’t use them.  you know what i used!  packet of stevia from the stash in my purse.

didn’t bring any Walden Farms syrup with me, but they did provide sugar-free syrup.  again, GO IHOP!  HEB sells Cary’s syrup as well, FYI.

we hit the road and made it home safely, thank God.  THEN i hit the gym solo to get a head start on that vanilla shake before it did too much damage lol.  Saturday was a full rest day and i did absolutely nothing for the first time in a while, so i was ready to go and pump some iron.

one of the bodybuilders gave this advice to the crowd at the show:  ‘it’s not about who can squat the most.  it’s not about who can bench press the most.  eat right, squeeze the muscle with each rep, and train hard.’  it was short, sweet, and really hit home.  during that workout, i did my best to squeeze my glutes, hams, quads, and calves with each rep. i felt and saw a difference immediately.  oooh it burns. STILL feeling it.

i did legs and cardio and got up outta there.  will be switching up my routine next week though-  time for something new.  next i hit up the store cause my Sunday just ain’t right without some grocery shopping.

CONGRATULATIONS SONNY!!!!! XOXO

le

tidbits

saturday morning started out with bananas and Justin’s almond butter. Chiso killed these things one by one and so did i! what a yummy combo. 

 i sprinkled some coconut flakes on a couple of them too.

we’ll be having these more often.

it was leg day @ the gym-

i didn’t even get to finish though which makes me so upset!!! i had to get to my hair appointment (time to chunk the deuce to this  weave)  and i was scolding myself for setting it so early in the day.  rushing through my gym time is the worst.  this is what i did get done though using moderate to heavy weight:

barbel squats 5 x 12

calve raises 5 x 12

machine  leg press 4 x 12

barbel dead lift 4 x 12

then i went into the empty workout room and did three full circuits of this holding 15 lb. dumbbells:

walking lunges forward/backwards (used length of room)

stationary reverse lunges (12 each leg)

stationary side lunges (12 each leg)

15 jumping squats (put the weights down 1st)

rest then repeat.

i ended it with 20 minutes of fat burning cardio on my second fav machine, the stairmaster. i have grown to love this thing.

700+ cals later, crotch-sweat status was achieved and we were outta there!


on our agenda for saturday was a trip to see the Rat.  { happy very 1st birthday, Levi!!!! } we hit up Chuck E. Cheese, aka, CEC, for a family birthday party.  i ate a quick meal in the car on the way of canned salmon (chicken of the sea), avocado chunks, and some asian stir fried veggies.  i think it’s some rice cheese up under there somewhere too.  i sprinkled Mc Cormick’s BBQ seasoning on it and it came out waaaaaaay too fast. whoops.

yeeeeah Chiso pretty much stayed cooped up under one of us for the most part.

he is not a fan of Chuck yet.   couple more trips and he’ll be kicking CEC in the shins like the rest of the kids.   and yes, the weave was still present in my head at that point, lol.  i ended up having to push my appt. to the following day.  sooooo i rushed through my workout for nothin :roll:


but i’m glad i got somethin in cause WE enjoyed the ‘peeza’ and cupcakes.

 back on track this monday morning though, right.
i hope you started your day with some GOOD stuff- i had a spinach and tomato egg white omelette, my oats made with vanilla almond milk, bananas, cinnamon, and vanilla creme stevia, and a cup of green tea.

more healthy recipes and are en route-   pumpkin chili, cauliflower crust pizza, salmon cakes, and pumpkin brownies.  it’s also time for an updated oatmeal post as i make it a liiiittle different now, huh.

le

mmmm….crusty

  i ate Papa Johns pizza 10 outta 10 months of my pregnancy.  it was my celebratory meal after doing my first fitness competition.  pizza is neck and neck with mac n cheese as my fav food.  i keep my eyes peeled for healthy, lower calorie/carb pizza crust recipes that i can make at home.  however…….i’m not willing to accept a tortilla, portobello mushroom :shock: english muffin, or any other item attempting to be passed off as pizza crust!  now THIS though…this is just my speed right here.  yet another recipe inspired by IG (Instagram) that i have made every day since i found it.  once i find something i love i make it until i force myself not to make it  anymore.

ok.

the crust is composed of… breakfast. oatmeal and egg whites.  together.
 but you don’t have to eat it for breakfast if you don’t want to.  i don’t.

Trader Joe’s organic pizza sauce, ground chicken, goat cheese, fresh roma tomatoes, mushrooms, and cilantro went on my very first attempt at this recipe, pictured above.  your turn.

oatmeal pizza crust

the stuff:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water (mix until desired consistency but not too thin!)

do this:

  1. pre-heat your oven to 400 degress.
  2. throw the ingredients above into your blender or food processor and blend away until smooth
  3.  add more water if you need to.  i like my crust with texture, so i pulsed my blender a few times and left it semi chunky.  you can put it on high and blend until completely smooth though, it’s your call.  the seasoning are also up to you.  if you don’t like Italian seasoning,  by all means, use somethin ya do like.
  4.  spray your medium heated skillet with no-stick cooking spray, and scrape the contents of your blender right into it.
  5. it starts to cook immediately, so start spreading it as soon as it hits the pan.
  6. once it’s cooked on one side (3-4 minutes) flip it over and let the other side cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  7.  finally, slide the crust onto your oven pan (spray that with no-stick cooking spray  too) and  add your toppings.  remember, less is more.  don’t over crowd!  thumbs down to soggy pizza crust. blech.

1 serving = entire crust (egg whites, oatmeal, garlic & seasonings)

not too shabby, huh!  low-fat, and loaded with fiber and protein.  my skillet is not terribly big, so my first crust was thicker than i wanted it to be since i poured in all my batter at once.  the next few times, i poured half the batter in and made two thin crust pizzas.

 yall know i’m all about stretching my food!

i have been topping my crusts with whatever i have on hand.  ground chicken, ground turkey, grilled chicken, salmon, and even tuna.  same with the veggies/cheese- i have put some crazy stuff together and so will you!

le

____-free

posing practice, weight training, cardio, grocery shopping, church, and family time.

that was my weekend.  how was yours?

this particular trip to HEB was one to remember!  i have been hearing about Walden Farms this and Walden farms that in cyberspace recently.  Walden Farms products claim to be:

calorie-free

sugar-free

fat-free

carbohydrate-free

gluten-free

cholesterol-free

not ALL products are free of ALL of the things i listed, but just read the label to be sure!

my ears perk up when i hear  ‘____ – free’ regardless, but not once have i heard so many in the same sentence and referring to one product!!!!!  my curiosity got the best of me and i ordered the infamous Walden Farms pancake syrup online.  however, man, sometimes all you have to do is ASK.  ‘do you carry Walden Farms products?’ i asked the store associate.  i just knew she would look at me crazy and reply with ‘who!?’, but nope, HEB always come through for meeeeeee.

could that be?…no… calorie-free ketchup!? yeah it scares me too…i’ll go back for it later though lol

i read A LOT of product reviews (i do hope for the best that they aren’t fake or anything) and the Walden Farms dips (chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, etc.) aren’t sounding too good.  so, i left them alone for now.

there they are…in all their glory!  bbq sauce too!  WF is on a roll.

and dressings! so for those of you who like to eat salad with your dressing lol, you should give these a try.

this is what i got outta there with in addition to my fresh fruits, veggies, and proteins.  syrup (pancake and chocolate) sesame ginger dressing (which is nothing short of awesome) and more PB2- there was a 50 cents off coupon running and i couldn’t pass it up.

saturday morning, i made Chiso a bowl of oatmeal and topped it with fresh blueberries, chia seeds, peanut butter, and almond milk.

then i made some more of those oatmeal pancakes i had last week (i am HOOKED!!).  i made up the batter the night before this time and let it sit in the fridge.

 we had them again this morning. ready to try them?! here’s that recipe:

super moist banana oat pancakes

the stuff:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (***you can use pre-ground oat flower, or ground them yourself in your blender or food processor***)
  • 2 egg whites
  • couple dashes of cinnamon (be generous)
  • splash of  real vanilla extract (OR you can use a couple drops of vanilla creme stevia if you want them sweeter!)
  • 1/2 a mashed ripe banana
  • 1/8th tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 heaping tbsp greek yogurt or unsweetened applesauce

do this:

  1. mix all the ingredients well in your blender or food processor!  *s/n: if the batter is too thick for you, add some unsweetened vanilla almond milk to stretch it.  i’ve been adding water to keep my nutritional stats the same for my competition diet though.*
  2. pour into a non-stick/sprayed skillet or griddle. you can make 1 big cake like they do at restaurants, or a stack. i like to do 4 mini cakes.
  3. 3-4 min on each side.
  4. you can add SO many things to your batter- the options are simply endless. top or incorporate your fav fruit or nuts and don’t forget that sugar-free syrup.  i also sprayed mine with some ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’.  this is too easy!!! i don’t even need a pancake cheat meal anymore!  tastes so darn good.  i’ll be adding some PB2 into my batter when i can have it again.  enjoy and get creative.

 (for the ENTIRE recipe)

bananapancakesnutritionalstats


   Chiso is a fan.

heck, oatmeal hating Sonny likes them AND the syrup too. jackpot.

About Time sent me some free samples of their whey protein this past week- chocolate and birthday cake flavor.  no carbs, no fat, no aftertaste, and all natural. hmmmmmmmmmm!  as usual, i will be trying, next month.

don’t wait til morning, go make some pancakes right now.  have a blessed rest of your sunday.

what is your experience with Walden Farms!? any products by them the world should know about? share!

le

my boo is thirty two

i dropped the boy off with his grandparents before Sonny came home from his saturday afternoon workout and surprised him with a weekend birthday getaway.  i told him to go pack an overnight bag and to make it snappy.  s/n, is my husband the only man who packs his own iron from home???? *crickets* we then hit the streets of our city, downtown H-town! (that would be Houston.)

i always assume Sonny knows every detail to my ‘surprises’, which means my track record with them is awful.  however this time- success.  we checked into the Hilton America’s downtown and right away, i made sure Sonny was on time for his much-needed pedi appointment in the hotel spa.

lemon water, sir? the spa was up on the 24th floor and the city views were a really nice touch.

there was also some trail mix for snacking.

oooh just taking a look around…

what’s funny is that i now see the Four Seasons Hotel in the background which is where we spent our very 1st anniversary getting a couples massages!!  that was also the weekend of Hurricane Ike.  yeah, we had to postpone most of our celebrations that year cause of the storm. it happens.

bless her heart and hands :shock:

another view overlooking the Toyota Center.

i headed back down to the room to make sure we had the proper necessities-  a fridge and a microwave. of course i didn’t ask if those things came with the room cause i’m a horrible planner, remember!  my training diet is still in effect, so please forgive me and believe me when i say i’m glad it wasn’t my birthday!!! isn’t that horrible!?  i would have wanted a cheat nibble, cheat snack, cheat meal, cheat ANYTHING…. but i just couldn’t do it.

waiting for the elevator, and yes, the tummy was OUT that day, bay-bay!!

i did remember to ask for a great view- our room overlooked Discovery Green Park and Minute Maid Stadium below.

and nope, no microwave or fridge in the room, but they were both complementary, awesome.  i brought my seasonings, mustard, cinnamon, low sodium soy sauce, everythang.  while i was down there i warmed up/ate my next meal as Sonny finished up.

i picked up the in-room menu because, well, reading menus like actual books is fun.  just wanted to see all the goodies i would not be devouring!!!!!! :roll:

anyway, mission accomplished!

 toes done with slippers to match.

next, you know we checked out the gym-  wouldn’t mind knocking out some cardio with a view like that!  unfortunately, that was our 1st and last trip up there for the weekend lol.

so, Sonny’s #1 priority on vaca or a getaway is to SIT DOWN somewhere.  don’t even get me started on the time we went to Vegas and he was NOT cool with walking up and down the strip like i planned. it was also July and 117 deg outside. but i didn’t care.  i like to run the streets and take advantage of the free time and do all the things we don’t usually get to see and do! however, it’s not my birthday.  so, i kept the activities and walking to a minimum.

we explored the massive hotel a bit before making our way to catch the Metrorail.

i’ll follow him anywhere.  i’ll give him a hard time first though and i’m working on that!!! but i really will. i mean it.

shot of our highly recommended hotel.

tickets bought.

.

what’s up on that Metrorail workout? seems to be working for that guy.

he even incorporated some lower body moves too.

 we rode the Metrorail to the museum district and walked around Herman Park and talked.  the simplest things make life so …simple.

my birthday boy!!!

i really had plans to go watch the free Shakespear play @ Miller Outdoor Theater that was being put on by our alma mater’s theater department.  so, we walked up the infamous Herman Park Hill and took a peek.

  however we had no blanket, no snacks, no nothin, so walking and talking sufficed.

back to downtown we go.

what’s next? dinnerrrrrr (if you wanna call it that)

snappin’ pics before heading downstairs.

ready for great company and convo!

i had a plethora of tea flavors to choose from. *sarcasm*

while Sonny devoured his fried onion ring topped salad, yummy!!

looked and smelled DELICIOUS.  field greens, dried cherries, oregon bleu cheese, balsamic vinaigrette all nestled under those fried rings.

we ended the evening with movies and QT- Sonny wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!!

the next morning. we ordered room service and ate our egg whites in style.

 with a side of 6 dollar *SIDE-EYE* grapes.  the bday boy wanted grapes and he got them.

this was only a teaser as we are UBER ready to celebrate 5 years of blessed married folk life next month.  it will be a much-needed break for us both that can’t come quick enough!! until then, happy 32, boo.

le

grrrrrrrrrr

that’s my stomach rumbling!!!!

super hungry after this morning’s workout.  i had a filling, oatmeal protein shake for b-fast with my egg whites. recipe? but of course:

van-ban oat shake

the stuff:

  • 1 frozen banana

keep some handy in your freezer

  • 1 tsp sugar-free chocolate pudding (for flavor and texture, don’t really need it if ya don’t want it)

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup oats - you might want to soak them for a few minutes in the almond milk if tasting some of the oat bits (kinda like pulp in orange juice) bothers you.  i liked the texture of my smoothie just fine though. (just boosting my blender’s self-esteem)

  • 1 cup almond milk

new flavor, haaaaay! coconut, yum. or the unsweetened vanilla will do just fine.

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

  • 4-5 ice cubes

do this:

blend.

 slurp.

got it? were you really paying attention?  the blender was empty by the way, tee hee.

anyway, that went well with my egg whites, cheese, and salsa. and yes, that’s a cool whip tub. i have so many of them i’ve started to use them for tupperware. O_0

le

a-z…get to know le

don’t you just hate icebreakers!? here we goooooooooooo:

a is for age: 30th b-day is in t - 5 days!

b is for breakfast today: the usual- i start craving my oatmeal and egg whites as soon as i wake up, seriously.

c is for currently craving: all things SUGAR!!!! which proves that sugar addiction is real.  i’m conducting a little experiment. i have dropped (not quite 100% but a GREAT deal) of all processed foods from my diet and i’m only getting sugar from natural sources (100% real fruit). 1 week down and i have tightened up all over my body; lost inches all over and especially in my waist, and i’m definitely more defined. my muscles are popping out and waving hello!

d is for dinner tonight: stuffed turkey bell peppers w/ brown rice.

e is for fav type of exercise: cardio and weights COMBINED. i teach a class called Total Conditioning- it’s a Lifetime Fitness signature format.  can you say calorie burning fest?!?! the first time i ever took the class i was extremely intimidated; didn’t think i’d ever get the hang of teaching it.  now i can’t get enough of it.

f is for irrational fear: big boats and open spaces. e.g. cruise ships and places like the grand canyon. yeah i don’t get it either.

i'll go someday...but i'm fine just looking at pics for now.

g is for gross food: most of the time i find that it’s a texture thing with people.  in this case it’s texture and smell for me- chitterlings. no thanks. ever.

even the 'prettiest' picture looked horrid... more power to yall.

h is for height: 5’10. my driver’s license proves it.

i is for ice cream: marble slab sweet cream mixed in with chocolate chips.  any other time, it’s self-serve fro-yo w/ random toppings.

j is for favorite jam: booooy when this particular song comes on in my gym class i get my second & third wind outta nowhere.  i could be a tired, sweaty mess and almost to the end of class but this song gives me a surge of energy to finish strong.  it’s ‘Nah Mean’ by Mannie Fresh- the edited version played at 140 bmp (super fast) though! pretty sure my members are sick of it by now:)

k is for kids: my unbelievably, awesome, blessing and precious gift from God. my 10 month old. for now.

l is for current location: @ work. blogging. shhhhhhhhhhhh

m is for the most recent way you spent money: i’m TRYING to spend money and find my bday dress!! been to look for it twice now with no luck.  still need shoes too. and a bag.  i’ll find something though. i always do!

n is for something you need: God and His word.  every single day. my husband.  i need some form of contact with this man on a daily basis (after we go our separate ways in the morning of course). whether it be by text, skype, facebook, email, it doesn’t matter.  with all this technology, a plain ol phone call was the last thing i thought of, smh.

o is for occupation: IT manager, group fitness instructor, fitness model, entrepreneur.

p is for pet peeve: at the moment, drivers who don’t turn right on red. ESPECIALLY downtown. who doesn’t know this!?

q is for quote: quoting from songs is cheesy but this one is so powerful to me.  helps me push during my workouts:

‘i’m a beast, i’m an animal, i’m that  monster in the mirror, the  headliner, finisher, i’m the closer, winner. best  when under pressure with seconds left i show up.

- usher  (give me more)

r is for random fact: i eat cool whip like it’s ice cream. i add sugar-free chocolate syrup and make a ‘mousse’.  i’ve thrown some chocolate PB2 up in there before as well.  i can’t be the only one doing this…

s is for fav healthy snack(s): 2% greek yogurt & toasted pistachios drizzled with honey.  fresh veggies & hummus. peanut butter & celery/apple. freeze dried fruit (especially bananas), banana protein smoothie, cottage cheese w/ fruit…

t is for favorite indulgent treat: key lime pie & grain-sweetened chocolate covered raisins from whole foods. chocolate chip paradise from chilis.  my brother is the only person i know that can eat one of these a day and not gain a pound.

u is for something that makes you unique: i prefer grocery shopping over the shopping mall, any day.  but you knew that already, right!

v is for fav vegetable: sweet potatoes. they are SO versatile. sweet, savory, fried, baked…

w is for today’s workout: 1 hour of total conditioning

x is for the # x rays you’ve had: besides being born and giving birth, i pretty much stay outta the hospital.

y is for yesterdays highlight: spending aaaaaaaall day with my little man. we attended a 1st birthday party at Gymboree Play&Music (twice in one weekend) and because my LO can’t walk yet, i had to help him ‘play’ for the most part. got my workout for sure.

z is for time zone: CST

welp, that’s a snippet of le. take 3 letters (or more, it’s all good) and tell me something about you!

le