3 SPOTS LEFT – HOMEMADE PIZZA COOKING CLASS!!!

it’s finally time… TO MAKE PIZZA!!!!!

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only 3 spots left for THIS coming Tuesday’s class (March 25th) so sign up right here!  remember, there are now 3 options to choose from.  bring a buddy and save.

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be prepared to WOW your little ones, significant others, look, your ENTIRE family will be happy you came ;)

email me directly with any questions whatsoever at:

le@fitfoodiele.com

happy sunday to you and yours!

le

‘my kids didn’t ruin my body. Ben did. and Jerry.’

i snagged my blog title from a random preggo message board concerning weight gain and had to include it in this post somewhere!  while the commenter was being funny, there is so much truth to her statement.  i stated on IG that the full list for preventing ‘stretchies’ (as my best friend refers to them) would be posted here to my blog, but honestly the list is quite short and sweet and focuses on these 3 things:                              skin, diet, and exercise.

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overall great health begins on the inside, and so does the handling and even prevention of ‘tiger stripes’.  i do the whole cocoa butter & sometimes olive oil thing on my belly at night (ok almost every night..sometimes i’m already in the bed and say screw it) and sure, that helps to keep my belly smooth, moisturized, and the itching to a minimum.   does that actually prevent them from forming? in my opinion, not at all.  i don’t believe they are hereditary either, but eating habits can be.  nevertheless, stretch marks are caused by          —–>rapid<—— weight gain and / or weight loss.  for all the creams, treatments, and remedies i researched, avoiding aggressive weight gain is usually in the fine print somewhere and one of the biggest factors in avoiding stretchies altogether.  since babies don’t go/grow from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye in your belly, it’s important to make the weight gain process a gradual thing as best you can.  now, i have a few preggo friends fighting hard to get through their first trimesters, and i can empathize with them greatly as the memory of my own is still pretty strong :shock: .  for the majority of women, you either can’t eat a thing, or you want to eat everything during that time span.  or, you can only eat certain things without…well, you know.  so when your appetite and normal eating patterns have pretty much been shot for a few weeks or more, motivation to stay active, be active, and eat healthy can be at an all time low. what has worked for me after getting back on track around week 14? read on!

1. eating a skin nourishing diet

  • antioxidantsnourishes and protects skin.  eat leafy, dark greens, blueberries, strawberries, and fresh, unprocessed produce, period.
  • vitamin E - protects skin cell membranes. eat nuts, seeds, avocados, broccoli, cabbage (pictured above and part of my dinner one night), and collard greens.
  • vitamin Arepairs skin tissues.  eat carrots, sweet potatoes, mango, squash, & red bell peppers.
  • omega 3s - keeps cell membranes healthy for glowing skin. eat fish (salmon’s a winner), fish oil supplements, walnuts, eggs and oysters.
  • prenatal pillskeep popping them, everyday.

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2. chug, chug, chugging that H2O

  • keep those skin cells plump and hydrated by drinking a full glass or bottle of water with every meal. how much in a day exactly? half your body weight in oz is a standard rule, especially if you are staying active.  i know, pee, pee, and more peeeeeeeee
  • all natural, flavored, herbal, decaffeinated teas (in the bag) sweetened with Stevia have helped me achieve my water intake goal these days.
  • seltzer water with a bit of 100% juice is awesome too and the closest thing to soda i will go.
  • snacking on water-filled fruits and veggies counts too. watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, cucumbers, bell peppers, & celery are great picks.

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3. MOVEing

  • if you’re a reader of my blog then you know physical activity is automatic and understood! exercising keeps your skin elastic, flexible,  improves your body’s blood circulation, keeps those joint lubricated and from getting stiff…the list goes on.  plus it just makes you feel so much better in most cases.  you’ll need all the endorphins you can scrounge up.. every drop.
  •   staying active *drum roll* prevents you from gaining too much weight too fast which is what we’re trying to prevent!
  • as you grow, modify your movements and your workouts as needed.  as i near the 3rd tri, prenatal yoga, the elliptical, walking outside, zumba, and spinning will be my go-to activities.  light weight training here are there for my back and upper body, but that’s about it.  slow down, but don’t stop.

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postpartum

KEEP IT GOING.  exercise will be added back into your routine eventually, but use that inactive window of time to sustain those healthy nutritional habits as you enjoy your newborn, breastfeeding or not.   your skin and body will still need to get those vitamins and nutrients to renew itself from all the stretching.  no crash diets! you’ll need to lose the weight as gradually as you gained it.

if you get’em, treat’em 

  • bio oil – this method gets high marks and reviews across the WWW as it is great for both old and new scars.
  • glycollic acid – women who use this cream on new stretch marks saw huge improvement as it is proven to boost collagen.  the word ‘acid’ always makes me raise an eyebrow, but unlike Retin-A, which apparently causes severe birth defects if you are preggo or breastfeeding, you can safely use this cream during and after pregnancy.  it can be bought over the counter, but you can get a stronger dose from a dermatologist.  read up on the pros and cons of this method.
  • laser treatments – this is not my area of expertise, but according to Dr. Oz, banishing them completely is just not possible at this time.  laser treatments can successfully reduce redness, diminish the appearance of white marks, and improve the texture of the skin, making them a lot less noticeable though.
  • and then i came across a story that was shared on bodybuilding.com from a young lady with a surefire stretch mark treatment (and four kiddos later might i add). it’s worth reading and checking out her progress pics; some of her methods just might work for you too.

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battle scars, stretchies, war wounds, tiger stripes, etc…there are far worse things to worry about.  so nip them in the bud while you can, or minimize them as best you can.  these knuckleheads were worth it.

Q: what has worked for YOU?  prevention and  minimization? share and help another mama out.

le

Perfect Pizza @ Sur la table: a Benihana-like experience

well what a glorious, gluten-filled afternoon i had yesterday at Sur la table!

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amazing instructors produce amazing classes. i loved Amanda’s personality and she was so dang funny and entertaining! like genuinely funny,  not corny, forced funny.

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i referred to this as a ‘Benihana-like Experience’ because depending on how big your party is, you have to sit and eat your meal in close proximity with people you’ve never met before.  you know how it’s kinda awkward and quiet when you first start/sit down (it was only 4 of us) but by the end you’re laughing, high-fiving and taking pics with each other.  same difference.  food DOES bring people together.

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Amanda was very detailed & thorough with all of her demos.  she showed us how to prepare the pizza dough and chop fresh herbs and onions correctly early on.

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she introduced this little gadget here, a garlic peeler. i loved it so much i told myself i wasn’t leaving without one.  you throw a bulb of garlic in this plastic, regular looking tube, apply pressure, and roll it over on itself a few times and boom! clean garlic bulb. i know i could prolly make one using something random at home but i went ahead and got a cute one for my kitchen.

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seven minutes after we watched Amanda assemble the very first pizza, it was hot and ready. and so were we to gobble it up.  after that tease, it was finally time for us to make our own!

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not too bad, right!? the pizza was so good i couldn’t even put it down for the pic. DELICIOUS.

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 i am totally ready to duplicate this at home!!!

for the next round of pizzas, we incorporated a semi-homemade pizza sauce.  yeeeeeeeah i’m gonna chill on buying the jarred stuff for now since this was so darn easy and tasty.

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 an immersion blender is on my kitchen gadget list man! not having to wait until my pot cools slightly before adding a mixture to my blender or food processor THEN put it back in the pot to reheat was pretty convenient.  i took a turn and helped turn our chunky tomato sauce smooth.  it was magical.

whats in there:

  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2-3 minced cloves garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • S & P to taste
  • oregano
  • pinch of sugar

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my 2nd pizza had italian sausage, pizza sauce, blanched broccoli rabe, sliced roma tomatoes, and all three cheeses. all of them. i guess you could say i’m craving cheese this pregnancy. every single day.

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isn’t he handsome? my station was right next to this guy and he is still on my list too. in due time.

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my pizzas were shaped like Florida. or Italy. or something.

takeaways:

  • per Amanda: to incorporate whole wheat into your dough, use whole wheat pastry flour as it is lighter in texture than ordinary whole wheat flour.

  • if recipe calls for 1 cup of bread flour, use a  1/2 cup bread flour & 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour ratio and so on.

  • use a generous amount of corn meal underneath your pizza to make it slide-able when transporting the pie to the pizza stone.

  • buy a pizza stone.

  • as your oven pre-heats, the pizza stone should be sitting in there doing the same. it needs to be SUPER hot.

  • buy a garlic peeler.

  • hurry up and teach my cooking class as this was so much FUN!!!! i can’t wait to share this experience with others interested in eating healthier at home without compromising flavor. details to follow soon.

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i had to pick the broccoli rabe off and eat it myself first but Chiso tore this UP when i got home.  incorporating the whole wheat pastry flour is next and i hope it doesn’t change the light, chewy/crunchy texture too much. we’ll see.

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i left with a garlic peeler, a metal scraper thing that doubles as a ruler, dough cutter (among other things), and some cookie cutters that were on sale for 76 cents each. i got all our first initials! happy friday!

Q: what kitchen gadget can you not live without?

Q: do you have a garlic peeler?

Q: why didn’t you tell me about it :shock:

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

burritos & brothers

i am surprising myself right now because although i did make some blogging goals for 2014, blogging every day was not one of them :lol: .  well, let’s keep this going then! #nopressure

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weeeeell as you saw my diet got a little outta control a few weeks ago.   the baby is supposed to be the size of an avocado at 17 weeks, and it’s definitely more me there than baby already!  or, the saying  ‘you show quicker for every pregnancy after your 1st’ has been applied. nevertheless, i have been feeling GREAT these past few days and directing all this new 2nd tri energy into my workouts.  i’m taking it slower than usual and being cautious, but i’m finally getting to the gym without having an emotional meltdown first or having to bribe myself.

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my brother’s vaca time is winding on down way too fast. his fridge is pretty empty since he’s leaving again soon so i stopped by Sprouts Farmer’s Market after my morning workout to pick up the makings for some gigantic breakfast burritos:

  • La Tortilla Factory 80 calorie, low carb, whole wheat tortillas
  • 99% lean ground turkey breast
  • eggs
  • green bell pepper
  • yellow bell pepper
  • red bell pepper
  • yellow onion
  • cilantro
  • Boars Head cheddar cheese (i could have done waaaay better with this selection —-> part skim mozzarella, reduced/low-fat, almond/rice cheese, etc., but i gave into to my craving and got the real thang)
  • pineapple salsa
  • avocado (that i forgot to get)

as much as i want strawberries these days i can’t bring myself to pay that price, nope.  they are outta season, but blackberries are in and have been super cheap and affordable.  buy on sale only and save that money.

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if you buy ground turkey instead of beef in an effort to save fat and calories, you MUST read the label to be sure you’re doing just that.

turkey breast is lean, but if you aren’t careful, you may grab a package that contains both breast and dark meat, which isn’t lean.  i usually come across and purchase these two varieties: 99% & 97% lean.  the leaner the meat, the higher the price. that’s just the way it is yall.  i keep my lean protein serving to 3g of fat or less. if you choose the wrong package, you might have come out better nutrition-wise picking the beef! read your labels.

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miss him already.

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pretty sure he ate burritos for lunch and dinner :lol:

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later, my 1st pedi of 2014 happened. MAN i needed this. hadn’t had one since we went to Miami in September and after a couple of 5ks, let’s just say the nail tech made it snow with all my dead skin. :shocked: . and bless his heart, no more scratching up Sonny’s feet in the bed for a while.

speaking of snow, i hope we get some since it will be in the dang 20′s in Houston on Monday, whoa. bundle up!

le

all natural + BOO

image(1)there are so many cute Halloween snacks on Pinterest and IG and this is as creative as i could get this morning.  that rain pouring down outside explains that face-  it’s supposed to last all day here in Houston!

HHchi

a year ago today…whew.  now he talks back and can operate an iPad better than his grandparents.

anyway, we’ll be carving pumpkins indoors tonight then.

***because it took me all day to get this post up, i’m happy to announce the sun is now, in fact, OUT!****

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up early livin’ the FITzee lifestyle this morning and getting my workout in before the busy day begins.  so, how did i get that sweaty?  you wanted a cardio workout so you got it!

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repeat this 3x’s through, but in between each set:

  • run one full lap around your track (or time a 2 minute run at a steady pace through your neighborhood)

OR

  • 2:10 minutes on the treadmill at 6.5 mph.

leave a comment and tell me what a SWEATY good time you had doing this!

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you should know by now that FITzee Foods meals are prepared with all natural ingredients.  why is this so important though?

because all-natural refers to food that is:

  • minimally processed
  • additive-free
  • chemical-free
  • no genetic manipulation
  • hormone-free
  • antibiotic-free
  • sweetener-free
  • food coloring-free
  • flavoring-free

i researched some of the more popular,  frozen, pre-packaged  ‘tv dinners’ and i’d like to show you something:

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(clockwise from the top left) Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Michelinas, & Smart Ones.

scary, huh :shock: .

processed foods have a completely different affect on my body, and you will notice a gigantic difference too once you start to eat whole, all natural foods on a consistent basis.  they slow my digestive system to a halt, they’re not as filling which intensifies my hunger or cravings ( usually with sweets/sugar), and they tend to bloat me from the high soduim or sugar levels.  besides, having to google ingredients before eating your meal kinda makes it less and less appetizing.  FITzee Foods keeps it fresh, all natural, and simple, but that means anything BUT bland, friends.  see for yourself just how flavorful and filling these meals are.

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now that’s an ingredient list i can dig and feel great about sharing with my growing fam bam. no additives or preservatives also means a shorter shelf life, so this is just a reminder to either refrigerate, freeze, or eat your FITzee meals immediately upon arrival.  if frozen, they are good for up to two more months.

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

BE SAFE TONIGHT ;)

le

livin’ the FITzee lifestyle

A FITzee is a busy professional, entrepreneur, mom, dad, athlete, weekend warrior, fitness enthusiast, and anyone else who seeks a nutritious, all-natural, and great-tasting alternative to the world of over-processed foods.

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i’m willing to bet you’re a FITzee too if you’re following my blog! ;)

on those crazy-busy days that we all tend to have, FITzee Foods has been my saving grace.  i appreciate those moments when all i have time to even do is reach into the fridge and heat up a  FITzee meal for myself or my fam.   i recognize all of the listed ingredients and nutritional stats posted right on the tray, which is something that has become second nature to me.   maybe that’s why i’m always in the grocery store so dang long!  i know my label-readers feel me!

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i send one or two FITzee meals off with Sonny for his workday sometimes to give him more variety.  for example, the  flavorful, light, chicken tiki masala and the creamy Paleo friendly, mild, curried chicken easily fit into his daily macronutrients  (the Carbohydrates, Fats, and Protein amounts a person needs per day depending on their fitness goals. more on those to come though!).

all menu items are delivered FRESH, which means you need to refrigerate them immediately.  or just eat them all right then. if you do not eat them by the date posted on the tray, you can pop them into the freezer and they will be safe and ready to eat for an additional two months.

FITzees believe the best path to a fit and healthy exterior is to worship and nourish your interior – it all comes full circle. i could not agree more.

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see a pattern there? it’s so true! that has pretty much been my mantra since shifting to this lifestyle change over two years ago.  sure, ‘better’ will vary from person to person, but ‘better’ for me equates to low-no processed, wholesome, nutrient dense  foods – this keeps me running at my absolute best and i see the progress i desire in my body at a prompt rate.

that macros post is headed your way!  enjoy your thursday!

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.

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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

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:

eggpp

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. 
idontcare-2

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.

homemade, creamy vanilla-strawberry-banana popsicles + kopy kat kale salad revamped!

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so he loved the homemade popsicles!!! i did too.

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made with all natural ingredients!

creamy vanilla-strawberry-banana popsicles

the stuff:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • *2 packets granulated stevia OR 5-7 drops of liquid vanilla creme stevia
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 heaping tbsp of plain greek yogurt (optional)

do this:

*you can use 1/4 cup of your fave sweetener  (honey, agave nectar, etc.) but i used stevia simply because i must monitor and regulate Chiso’s sugar intake as he asks for fruit all day long.  never veggies :( so i wanted the sugar to come from the fruit only.  this also keeps the nutritional stats of the pops low as well.  use what you and your family like best though!* throw everything into your blender and pulse it to your desired consistency.

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i left my ‘batter’ chunky cause i liked the bits of real fruit that appear as you eat the pop.  but you can liquify it completely – it’s always your call!  the greek yogurt gives it more creaminess and a shot of protein of course. however, they won’t be considered dairy-free anymore if ya add it, fyi!

for 1 pop:

vanillastrawberrybananapopsicles

my recipe made 4.  you can also try freezing them in ice-cube trays if you don’t have the popsicle mold. no biggie.

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frozen, guilt-free treat!
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the flavor combos that can be made with these things are endless. so expect more where that came from!

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Chiso enjoyed half a stack of spanana pancakes this morning,

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and he finished off the other half for lunch.

i’ve been able to add a few more recipes to the ebook as of late and i’m happy with its progress!  thank you guys for being so patient.  i stopped by Sprouts today to get some red potatoes for a new recipe i’m creating, but i forgot that their sale goes from Wednesday to Wednesday and, well, ….
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  let me explain!!!! i have never, ever, in my life seen fresh asparagus for under 1 buck per lb, ANYWHERE. i didn’t think it was possible.  so i got a few bunches. i had to.  Chiso loves the cuties, i ran outta alfalfa sprouts for my sammiches, Indiana Popcorn is just too hard to resist (it was on sale 2 for 5) and i grabbed THE last package of La Tortilla Factory 80 calorie light flour tortillas!!!!!! i mean it was literally perfect timing! they have been sold the heck out since my Sprouts opened, so i didn’t expect any there. can i get a WHOOP, WHOOP.  oh i really did get the potatoes too.

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now, here’s our post-workout dinner tonight!  pan seared onion & herb tilapia, the other half of my roasted acorn squash from last night topped with cinnamon this time, and a cleaner, better, revamped version of my copy cat Central Market kale salad!

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 FFL’s  Kopy Kat Kale Salad

  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 cup Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 packet granulated stevia
  • 2 tbsp crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted pepitas
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 big fresh bunch of raw kale
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)

do this:  wash, dry, and chop kale into bite sized pieces.  add all liquids to your mixing bowl as well as the stevia; stir until dissolved. toss steamed kale into your bowl and incorporate.  add the chopped ginger, almonds, pepitas, and cranberries and toss/mix well once more.  eat those greens UP!  they will taste even better tomorrow after the flavors do their thing in the fridge.

the big difference?  steaming the kale in my wok for about 2-3 minutes first made a significant one.  it gives the salad so much more flavor vs raw kale.

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hope you had a fab hump day.  enjoy those recipes!

le