lunch. lunges. life goals.

i love interacting with my followers on Instagram and responding to every single comment and question that comes my way.  i go through as many un-private follower accounts as i can cause i’m generally interested in what yall got goin’ on and also to return the love.  all too often though i get lost in the IG matrix and literally hours later i’m like WHOA :shock: where did the DAY go?! social media is fun and addicting but can be a majooooooor distraction. for me. like i can’t get anything done. like blogging. nothing.

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i’ve been shutting down social media altogether for at least 1 day a week minimum. disconnecting is refreshing. and not in the least bit as frightening as i thought it would be.  the major difference in my day? i get stuff done. a ridiculously large amount of stuff. it’s amazing what putting the phone and ipad away can do for my productivity.

Q: how do you tame the social media beast? what works for you?

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hay there, 22 weeks!  i know i mentioned needing maternity clothes a few posts back, but gaaaaah, i can’t bring myself to buy them.  they are just so….. temporary. and de-motivating. i know, i know… do i wanna be comfortable or stubborn and make a statement? it just so happens that my mom takes the time to read my blog (xoxo, hi mom) and she kindly extended the invitation to take me maternity clothes shopping!  i didn’t turn her down.  i had a Dr’s appt. earlier this week though and since i was out and had time to spare, i stopped by Old Navy to see what they had before meeting a good friend for lunch. no maternity clothes at that location, but they DID have plenty of yoga pants. same thing.

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we ate at Red Lobster (hadn’t been there since i was preggo with Chiso in 2011) and as i stated on IG, they have tooooons of healthy options to choose from!  i was one happy fit mom in there reading the menu like a novel.  the downloadable nutritional stats for the entire menu are posted online and can be found right here.  i had the oven-broiled flounder, roasted veggie medley, a baked potato, and a garden salad with ranch dressing on the side. it was as tasty as i remember.  the baby had a cheddar bay biscuit or two; none for me though.

i’m showing sooner than i expected and the simplest tasks (tying my shoes, sitting up in bed, picking stuff up off the floor at home all.day.long) are becoming kinda uncomfy already. after the 6.5 – 7 month mark with my first pregnancy (when i really started to show) i cut out pushups and laying down flat on my back (for chest press, chest flyes, etc) for safety reasons. we’ll see how much further i can get, but for now,   nothing crazy with my workouts, just basic stuff like the vid above!  i’m grateful to be mobile and i’ll continue to take advantage.

lower body moves in the vid: (works glutes, hamstrings, quads, inner thighs)

  • walking barbell lunges with a front raised knee
  • plié squats dragging the trail foot (great inner thigh exercise)
  • reverse backward weighted  lunges

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this was one of my first attempts at making whole wheat pizza crust and it turned out incredible.  my Sur la table instructor would have been so proud.

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 i love the way the pizza turned out but instead of making another one with the leftover dough, i threw it in my grill pan randomly and made flat bread. just.as.awesome. so of course i had to make a sammich. a grilled Kickn’ Chicken breast sammich with roasted red bell pepper, honey goat cheese, and fresh basil.  whatasammich.  i disappointed a few IGers by not sharing the recipe but i have big plans for this dough! entertaining putting together a 2nd ebook. if i could just quit the internet.

happy friday eve ;)

le

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

commitment day 5k 2k14

words no one wants to hear at 3am: ‘mama, i pooped in my underwear.’ :shock:

after getting Chiso all cleaned up and finally back to sleep, i woke up feeling like we had partied the night away HARD!!

nevertheless, i got up, had a small breakfast of whole wheat toast, 1 tbsp of natural, honey roasted peanut butter with a side of prenatal vitamin, water, and hit the road, ipod nano in tow.

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this is Sonny’s last day to sleep in for a while so i let my camera man get his rest.  i would have taken Chiso in the jogging stroller but he had a rough night too so i let them be until the next race (deets below).

it was a modest turnout again this year with NO rain this time and warmer weather.

the weather was chilly, but as always, as your body starts to heat up you don’t feel the cold anymore.  halfway through the race i peeled off a layer of clothes cause i was burning UP.

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always happy to see this number.  time to pick up the pace :lol:

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post race goodies: bananas, apples, sea salt and vinegar pop chips, 4 different kinds of breakfast tacos from Taco Cabana ( i chose potato and egg), H2O, Aspire beverages, and granola bars.

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one of each please.

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17 weeks preggo today yall! things are different with this pregnancy though.  i was extremely cautious when i was carrying Chiso in 2011 and i wouldn’t run more than a couple steps before stopping altogether early on.  i became a power walking pro and didn’t run for months actually.  in fact the last time i ran, Chiso was born 24 hours later.  this much needed 2nd trimester energy carried me all the way through this morning’s race- no discomfort at all!  i didn’t come close to last year’s PR of 24 mins, but i ran most of the way and finished around 33. then i packed up my goodies and headed back home. to bed.

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speaking of last year, whoa! this pic was taken 1 year ago today and i still remember Sonny griping behind the camera about me going out into the cold and rain just to run 3 miles when i hadn’t fully recovered from dental surgery.  i didn’t tell my parents i had participated until after it was over. my dad let me have it anyway. i remember being super lean but comparing this pic to my current body is such an eye opener.  i was pretty much engulfed in fitness at that point. i remember setting my dental appointment to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed and just couldn’t fathom not working out for a few days and having to live life through a straw. no kidding. i was going hard 6-7 days a week in the gym and still operating in full bikini competition mode nutrition-wise (my first show was 3 months prior) and sitting down to rest and recover was just the biggest thorn in my side. in the back of my mind though, i also knew i wanted 2013 to be the year we expand our family for the second time.  as much as i loved my body on the outside,  things were the exact opposite on the inside. i’ll follow this up with its own blog post, don’t worry!

back to the race- it was awesome to see so many team members and gym members running along the route!  so many families, kiddos, strollers, and doggies running at that. i love teaching for Lifetime Fitness because they are extremely community and family centered.

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i brought the banana home to my little monkey.

next up, the Chevron Houston Marathon, Half Marathon, & 5k on January 19th!  i’ll be participating for the 6th year in a row (four 5ks and 1 half marathon).  i’ll tackle the full marathon one of these years. if you’d like to run with me and are local to Houston, EMAIL ME! le@fitfoodiele.com.

fyi, i choose my upcoming races from here.  if there is an upcoming race you are participating in, let me  know- i just might run with ya! happy 1st day of 2014, fit friends.

le

Lululemon 2-in-run tank review + full body @home workout

my post-workout breakfast looks sad but it was filling and really good!  i made an egg white whole wheat english muffin sammich (there’s some mozzarella almond cheese hiding in there somewhere) with bananas and blackberries.  strawberry prices have been down right outrageous since they’re out of season, but blackberries are super cheap in the stores these days.

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 well my monday started off STRONG this week and i hope you can say the same!  a great, solid workout always sets the tone for the week and gets my momentum going.

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Quest Bars are 2 bucks at Lifetime Fitness through January so i totally took advantage (no, i still haven’t ordered or bought a whole box yet :shock: )  and the mirror’s dirty, not my tank, whoops.

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speaking of tanks, i’m testing another top for Lululemon! it’s their 2-in-run tank. i wore it for the first time at home (you’ll see in the vids below) and well, i love everything about it. especially:

  •  the soft, flowy, stretchy Luon fabric @ the bottom (perfect for growing baby bumps)
  • the stylish cut-out sides & back
  • the moisture wicking, Power Luxtreme fabric, built-in bra with removable cups
  • provides ample support for running or any type of gymming

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 i still need the help of a second or 3rd bra at this point as my boobs have tripled in size (#1sttrimesterproblems), but the top fits snug and provides plenty of support up top. there are so many crazy colors and patterns for this tank as well.

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highly recommended!

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so when i got home sunday night, i did the first of many @home workouts to keep this 2nd fit preggo journey going! here’s the entire thing:

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 i can feel my posture slipping again heavily, so i’ve been working my back like crazy to keep up with the added weight and pressure.

i hope you found these useful! leave me a comment and tell me what you’d love to see more of from me.

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 check my Instagram post from today for extra metabolism tips ;)

le

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

#laterpost #flashbackfriday

i’m going through a period in my life where i’m letting go of something good to make room for something a billion times better.  why is that so dang hard though?  always easier said than done in my world. accepting change doesn’t have to feel like pulling teeth, but i tend to take it to that level a lot every now and then.

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i stick to my 6 Pack USA workout plan for the majority of my workouts but sometimes i just go in and wing it.

today’s sweaty randomness: back, light triceps, cardio

  • machine shoulder press 4 x 10
  • lat pull downs 4 x 10
  • machine tricep pushdowns 4 x 10
  • hammer strength pull downs 4 x 10
  • seated rows 4 x 10
  • deadlift / overhead press combo w/ 45 lb bar 3 x 10
  • steady-state, fat burning cardio on the elliptical 30 min

before that though, i met with the ladies of Style to Envy for breakfast at La Madeleine and did my best to resist all their crazy delicious savory and sweet pastries.  i met Val and Nikki at the Blog Elevated Conference this past Sept. and we discussed a few collaboration ideas for 2014! looking forward to that.

Chiso worked up an appetite playing hard and requested pizza for lunch. soooo, since were in the vicinity, we chowed down on some Ruggles Green gluten-free cuisine.

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i had the Atlantic salmon salad with all the trimmings.  i actually forgot to ask for the dressing on the side this time and was too hungry to wait for a re-do.

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what a Hammy Mc Hamster! Chiso got his pizza fix and i finished what he left which was only one dang slice! and i have no idea where he got ‘eat everything but the crust’ from. he certainly didn’t learn that from Sonny or i cause we eat the whole thing. so yeah, i finished all his leftover crusts too. that dough is AMAZING.

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 here is a lighter, low sugar pumpkin cake recipe i made a few days ago i’d like to share before Turkey Day:

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the stuff:

  • 1 cup Stevia for Baking
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 can pure pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

do this:

  1. mix wet with wet, dry with dry, then incorporate together. do not over mix!
  2. divide batter evenly between two 8 in round pans
  3. bake for 28-30 min on 350 or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  4. let the cakes cool then pop them out of the pans
  5. top however you’d like! i used vanilla butter cream and the very last few pecans in the bag (i hope that explains the debris on the plate)  this time, but next time i’ll keep it super light and use sugar-free/fat-free cool whip. there are actually a few vegan coconut cream frosting recipes i’ve been seeing around.  that’s a great option too!

makes 12 slices (for 1, no topping): 137 cals, 6g fat, 18g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugar, 3 g protein

hope you had a fantastic weekend. it’s COLD in Houston these days, brrrrrr.

t-4 days yall!!

le

buy 4 get 1 free! + Sprout Channel

only two more Thursdays ’til Turkey Day yall!

this is my highlight meal for the week:

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this filling, savory meal is the Baked Penne with Sausage and Kale from FITzee Foods.  the kale part immediately sparked my taste buds!  whole wheat penne pasta, chicken italian sausage, and fresh kale all baked together with a dairy-free cream sauce, mushrooms, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh herbs. i’m lovin’ it.

—–> a ‘buy 4 meals get the 5th free‘ deal is happening right, right now! take advantage, fit friends.<—–

i would just love to express my joy for the Sprout channel real quick.

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my sis-in-law told me about it months ago and after the last adult joke i could stand from Sponge Bob i decided to look it up in our cable directory.

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3 words. WHAT A BLESSING.  Chiso has fallen head over heels in love with, well, every single show.  his absolute fave is Caillou.   Caillou games have mysteriously appeared on the iPad and neither Sonny nor myself put them there.  and then there’s Tree Fu Tom:

so even if we don’t head to the park, he can still move and shake indoors! that makes me one happy fit mom. but not happy enough to clean out that file cabinet.

Chiso sings,  interacts,  learns, & plays SO much more so than when the TV was on Nickelodeon or  Disney.  the Sprout channel caters to his crowd (24 hour pre-school channel) and i have really seen a different side of him these past few weeks.

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they have a fantastic, interactive website too! games, videos, and next on our agenda is printing out some of the blank coloring sheets provided of some of his favorite characters (soon as we get some more ink.) i am fond of several of the shows myself; especially The Goodnight Show :lol:.   i really like that they keep some of the classic shows like Sesame Street in rotation too. ooooh the memories. i am just too happy about this and wanted to share.

 parents, please check and see if your cable provider hosts this channel for your little one!  if you’re already a fan, which show does your little one love the most?

you can check out the FITzee Foods Facebook & Twitter pages, or click here to order.

le

go for it- this girl did!

i received some outstanding and heartwarming news this past weekend that i’d like to share with you.

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‘I remember the day that I decided to start living a healthier life; it was the day after I got laid off from my corporate career. Before that, I thought I was a pretty healthy individual. My diet consisted mostly of fruit, veggies, meats and a little water. Of course there were the indulgences, such as chocolate (I am sorry, but who can resist?) especially when you sit in a cubicle for hours at a time. I did the occasional cleanse and I looked healthy but I simply wasn’t. I knew I needed to do more but HOW?! I didn’t want to spend my life writing down everything I ate or spend my time waiting for cleanses to end. I needed something else; I need a lifestyle change…a new way of looking at my health…. I realized that if I was going to make a lifestyle change, my perspective had to change as well. Instead of wanting to lose weight…I decided that feeling great was now going to be my motivation. During this transition, so many things for me changed; the way I lived, the way I socialized and the way I thought! I found myself wanting to change everything about me, IN A GOOD WAY, and I did! I grew very fond of a childhood friend who you guys know as FitFoodieLe. Her obsession with favorable food made me feel like I could actually make this a permanent change and enjoy every minute of it. I watched Leah blossom in so many aspects! I was drawn to do better, achieve more and conquer all that I can because she was making her dreams come true through a thousand pictures for everyone to see. Talk about inspired and motivated, I felt obligated and that obligation forced me to obtain my Group Fitness Instructor certification! Everyone that knows me, knows I absolutely LOVE Step…it’s an ancient workout but with a great instructor, great audience and some great music you are forced to have a great,long-lasting workout. I am so honored to know through the hard work and dedication of a super gorgeous sister, mother, friend, daughter, wife and motivator; I was able to achieve my own dreams as a Step Aerobics instructor!

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Ms. Leah thank you so much and never stop; I can only imagine how much work it takes to be in your shoes for a day but I want you to know that it never goes unnoticed because I am INSPIRED I am MOTIVATED I am FIT!’

Thanks again,

sharondaadigitalrun

Sharonda Ausbie

*****

say WHAT!? beaming from ear to ear is an understatement.  Sharonda has made my YEAR and i cannot wait to take her class!! she is such a positive, energetic spirit and is headed straight for greatness.

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health and fitness is pouring out of me and i will NOT put a cap on it!  it’s a sincere honor to inspire someone to finally go for their dreams and goals or  to simply try something new and different.   i am completely humbled to have been apart of her health and fitness journey.  much love, Sharonda, and thank you for sharing a piece of your story!

le

Popcorn Indiana giveaway + clean, shrimp fried brown rice


IMG_20130417_221237back to back giveaways?! WHY NOT!

if you’re following me on Instagram, then you already know by now what was in that big box.

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 oooh just one of my fave snacks ever-  POPCORN!!!! THANK YOU TONS, Popcorn Indiana!
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they sent me two phenomenal flavors of their new Fit Popcorn:

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i have my eyes straight PEELED for the onion & dijon flavor for sure. so far my Sprouts Farmer’s Market hasn’t carried it.  anyway, on to the contest rules!

  • Instagram: share the Popcorn Indiana giveaway pic on your own IG page!  remember to tag #popig and @fitfoodiele in the comments so i don’t miss your vote.

for multiple entries, you can:

  • Facebook fan page: ‘Like’ it!
  • Follow: http://www.fitfoodiele.com via email (top right corner of this page;))
  • Comment: on THIS post telling me your absolute, hands down, favorite Popcorn Indiana flavor. mine is dark fudge chocolate chip kettle corn…. :shock:

 Fit Popcorn stats: ★approx. 40 cals per cup★ all natural, gluten-free ★whole grain ★zero trans fat ★and non-GMO.

I just want to make somebody else’s tummy and face SMILE!!!!!!!!!!! please share!

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this fine tuesday morning started out with a crazy Total Body Conditioning workout as it usually does.

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then breakfast.  just an egg white omelette topped with alfalfa sprouts, low carb ketchup, greek yogurt, and dijon mustard.  pancakes were super ugly and did NOT make the cut. heck that omelette barely did.

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oh and i wanted to post my baby bella almond cheddar grilled cheese sammich from yesterday’s lunch as i received quite a few inquiries on what the heck almond cheese is and where can you get some!  it’s a dairy-free cheese substitute that shreds and tastes darn close to dairy cheese IMO.  it will melt, just takes a little longer to do so.  i  learned about the Lisanatti brand via Instagram, and i have always stuck with it.  i’ll have to do a product review on some of those other brands at a later date!  you can find Lisanatti almond cheese in the cheddar, jalapeno jack, and mozzarella varieties at Sprout’s Farmers Market, Whole Foods, Central Market, and most other speciality food stores.  i just read on their site that they no longer ship orders out though :(

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so my first chicken fried rice recipe is super old…. a revamped was needed.  so here it is!

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i used shrimp this time though as you can see ;)

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clean, shrimp fried brown rice

the stuff:

  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 5 whole baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • handful of sprouts (bean, alfalfa, your choice)
  • 2 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 green onion stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb shrimp, marinated
  • 5 baby carrots, chopped thinly or shaved
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green peas (optional)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup fresh, chopped pineapple (optional)

shrimp marinade

  • 2 tbsp Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasoning or 1 heaping tbsp Weber Boston Bay all natural seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

do this:

1.marinate your shrimp for at least 30 minutes in the spices, liquid aminos, cilantro, and garlic.

2.add them to a medium to high heated wok or skillet sprayed with no-stick cooking spray.

3.they cook quickly, so about 3-4 minutes max will do.  remove them from the pan and set them aside for now.

4.add all onions (1 green onion stalk though)  garlic or shallots, carrots, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and aminos into the medium heated pan and cook covered until the onions are translucent and carrots are softened, about 5 minutes.

5.make a well in the middle of your wok and pour the egg whites into it.  let them cook and scramble as you continuously stir until they are done.

6.add the cooked rice, mushrooms, cooked shrimp, pepper, red pepper flakes, a little green onions, fresh pineapple, and green peas into the wok.

7. incorporate and mix well, then let it sit covered for 2-3 more minutes over low heat. chop the remaining green onion stalk and top your dish with it.

8. devourrrrrrrr!

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 learn to look for the good in EVERY situation; i promise you it’s there.  think positive, be positive, and positive things WILL happen.

le

fit eggplant parm

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same concept when you apply it to your body, aka, your temple. put great stuff in, get great results right on out!

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yesterday i had vanilla oat bran with banana slices, Walden Farms syrup, and Trader Joes cinnamon sugar,

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and this morning it was rolled oats cooked in unsweetened vanilla almond milk, pure vanilla extract, and some cinnamon and granulated stevia stirred in.  some days i flip a coin! they are both great starts to the day.  this bowl was sooooo creamy.  i topped it with one strawberry cause that’s all i needed since they are so dang GIANT this season.  and a small tsp of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter. so, so good.

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today’s eggs weren’t pretty at ALL so i didn’t take a pic.  these were from yesterday and were topped with some alfalfa sprouts and pineapple salsa from Sprouts.  i love getting a little bit of charr mixed in with my eggs from the skillet- gives them extra flavor.

who’s got some core exercises for you? I DO!  did’em this morning after teaching my total conditioning class!

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i’m sure you’re familiar with the basic high plank on your palms and toes. right? yeah you can do that one in your sleep.

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but when you mount up on a medicine ball (any solid ball will work really) then you really put that core to work.  this is one of those exercises that looks uuuuber easy until you do it yourself.  so, grab yoself a medicine ball and do these semi-advanced core exercises that promote core strength and stability!

 ★1st things 1st- engage your core by sucking your belly button to your spine, but DON’T hold your breath!★

  • high plank (top pic) – start on your knees. grip the ball on either side and press your palms into it as you elevate your body up into a straight high plank balancing on your toes.  maintain a neutral spine while keeping your head and chest lifted.  even if you don’t add the variations, you are still working to balance yourself without even moving! you’ll see!  hold for 30-60 secs or for as long as you can take it. ***you can also go down a level and perform this on your knees keeping your body flat and pushing your hips and glutes towards the floor***

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  • high plank + leg lift (bottom pic) - keep your hips square, squeeze the heck outta your glute, and lift that leg up off the ground and hold it for 30-60 secs. repeat on the opp side.

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  • high plank + pendulum leg lifts - while that one leg is in the air, take it out to the side from right to left in a controlled swinging motion going no wider than shoulder width. repeat on either side for 30-60 seconds or until burnout.

what a :shock: BURN :shock: !

 this exercise works glutes, core, and your shoulders & back definitely feel the wrath of supporting your bodyweight the entire time. try’em at the gym or at home during commercial breaks.

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well hello there, fit eggplant parm.  i whipped up a crazy good fit chicken parm that will be going into the you-know-what!  for now, enjoy this healthier classic, fit foodie le style.

fit egg plant parm

the stuff:

  • 1 large raw eggplant, sliced into 1/2 in rounds (you can peel them if you’d like- i kept the skin on)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp  unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • 1 cup Lissanati almond cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 – 1 cup homemade breadcrumbs*
  • 28 oz Sprouts all natural low sodium crushed tomatoes with basil & garlic
  • 1 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1/2 tsp parsely
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 5 baby portabella mushrooms (optional!)
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

*homemade breadcrumbs: toast 4 slices of Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful Whole Wheat with Honey bread until crispy, and toss them in your food processor.  pulse until breadcrumb-like consistency.*

do this: * important S/N* this can totally be dairy-free if you use only almond cheese, (or rice cheese, or your fave vegan cheese) throughout the recipe. but then you’d have to call it fit eggplant almond.  or whatever. you know me- i needed some nutty, creamy parmesan in my dish cause cheese is my thing, so i added it.  just a little.  and you can too. if you want. also if you don’t have the same brands i’m using and naming, no big deal!

1. lay the eggplant slices flat in a shallow baking dish and pour the liquid aminos all over them. let it soak in real good, about 10-15 minutes or so.

2.  in a shallow dish, combine the egg whites and unsweetened almond milk; mix.

3.  grab another shallow dish and pour in your breadcrumbs.  add: the finely grated parmesan cheese, pepper, basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley;  mix.

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4. dip each eggplant slice into your egg mixture with one hand, then immediately drop it into your breadcrumb mixture. i only coated one side with breadcrumbs cause i was lazy and didn’t want to have to flip them halfway through. lol. spray a flat baking pan with the olive oil spray and bake your slices for about 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

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5. when the eggplant is almost done, go ahead and start the first layer of the dish by spooning some of the crushed tomatoes in the bottom of your olive oil coated baking pan. eyeball it.

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6. when the eggplant is ready and cool enough to handle (surprise, i didn’t wait), create the second layer. i know mushrooms are untraditional in this recipe, but so am i!  and come on- melted cheese and mushrooms just go together. so i added a few sliced baby bellas for the 3rd layer,

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7.  top with 1/4 of the almond cheese. or more. way more.  

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8. and finally, top that with more sauce and repeat until you run outta ingredients.  the last layer should be CHEESE! and lots of it.  now don’t put those fresh basil leaves on there yet cause you will torch them in the oven. i put them there cause it looked pretty.

IMG_20130416_1949359.  back into the oven on 400 degrees for about 20 more minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melty and brown and stuff.

this made about 6 servings; stats are for 1:

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we killed the pan but there are certainly a couple things i’ll be doing differently from here on: take note!

  • NOT burning the breadcrumbs in the toaster smh – it made the eggplant darker and harder on the eyes. i didn’t want to waste it and used it anyway
  • using the small side of the grater for the parmesan cheese cause the large shreds don’t stick to the eggplant as easily
  • pan frying the egg plant instead of baking (however i’m not sure the cheese in the breadcrumb mixture would hold up in the hot skillet…i’ll just have to see)
  • OR, roast the eggplant solo first,  assemble the dish, and save the breadcrumb mixture for the topping only. <——i really like that idea!!!!! if you try it this way, upload a pic to the Fan Page or tag me on IG (#fitfoodiele #fitclean2013).  i’d LOVE to see your creations.

cooking is ALL about having fun and trial & error for me. get in there and make your own masterpiece!

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i’d like to give a big THANK YOU to Bragg for sending me a few samples of their seasonings recently!  i’ll be testing the nutritional yeast, the sea kelp delight seasoning, and the 24 herbs and spices seasoning this week. 
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ooooh the joys, blessings, and lessons of good ol’ parenthood :lol: it was just one of those days.

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thank God for electronic devices!!!!!

le

p.s., if you haven’t entered to win some FREE FOOD, then click there and go see what’s up! contest ends this saturday.