boy: a noise with dirt on it

a mommy-friend of mine invited the boys and i to toddler story time at a local library recently.  actually, she invited us weeks ago but i finally got it together enough on my end so that we could attend. it was a morning event so i got up super-duper early just to ensure we’d make it. a lil late, but we made it.  i feel like i have to start getting everybody ready like 3 hours before we have to be somewhere, seriously.  and when we are rarely making good time, Chiso suddenly has to go go to the restroom as i am loading up the car or Dego throws up on us.  never fails!  but hey, we made it AND we even got a nice breakfast in!

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i had egg whites with black pepper, mozzarella almond cheese, a little homemade guacamole, low-fat turkey sausage, and french toast with strawberries!  big breakfast to support my activity levels these days which includes hitting the weights again, nursing around the clock, and keeping up with my 3 yr old. among other things.

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Chiso has requested pancakes for like 2 weeks straight now. maybe even longer than that.  so made him some sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, sugar-free syrup, and a little fat-free Redi Whip.

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our boys warmed right on up to each other and enjoyed the crafting, songs, and puppet show.

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 Maranda is a mom of 3 boys herself so i know she feels my pain can relate to life with these little knuckleheads!

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 our first official outing together.  we did it!! we’re pros now. i actually avoided leaving the house with both boys for the longest…but the saying is true. ‘ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it.’ after that? piece of cake! for the most part. thinking, i.e. worrying, about every single thing that could go wrong is no way to live. i’ve learned to be prepared, prayerful, and cautious, not crazy.  Chiso’s independence could not have come at a better time though. for him to be able to get in and out of the car himself, clean up his toys and messes, retrieve and/or throw away Dego’s diapers, and turn on the bathroom light so i don’t have to get up lol helps out big time. sigh…no more baby Chiso!

just another one of those bittersweet mommy moments.

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well all that fun didn’t result in a nap at our house, but Chiso enjoyed himself and has asked to go back countless times now. Maranda is a pro at finding free & fun stuff to do around our city, and i recently came across Houston on the Cheap with even more ideas galore.  check it!
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i got to bed way too late so my early gym date was definitely out this morning. i hit the streets for some sprints once Sonny got home instead. i haven’t run full speed in almost a year and i’m sure i’ll pay for it tomorrow and the next day!  i did ladders:

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i started slow and only went ‘down’ the ladder from 5 to 1.  that was all i had, woof.  also, here are two foodie items being adding back into my diet that i’ve posted about before: almond cheese (gotta cut down on the dairy cause of bloating) and calorie-free Grey Poupon mild & creamy mustard. i got great feedback via Instagram about Daiya vegan cheese so i’m gonna step out and try that brand next.

Q: what have you tripped over that wasn’t even worth tripping over once you did it?

le

H-town’s very first 24 hour donut cafe

 a former colleague of mine and fellow UH Cougar, Ose Ohen, opened up Glazed last week!  we headed to stuff our faces immediately after church as planned.

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transparency is a wonderful thing.  i appreciate and enjoy being able to watch my food being prepared and just the entire process in general.  maybe that’s why i’m such a big fan of Unwrapped on Food Network.  seeing how things i’ve been eating for YEARS are made is just really interesting and cool.  anyway, kitchen windows build trust.  it can also change the way an employee works if you know what i mean, lol.

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 they had 3 flavors ready to go for the soft opening: lemon poppy, glazed, and maple bacon (with a turkey bacon version as well).

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more glass windows, awesome.

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we all sat down and got comfy while Sonny went to order our sweets.  i didn’t even have to tell him what to get either.

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*just before pulling the deliciousness out of the bag*

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i know. and it tasted as incredible as it looked.  perfect balance of sweet/salty/doughy/chewy/fluffy. WHAT a donut. i am crazy excited about this gigantic list of flavors they’ll be selling in the near future and i’m not even a donut person!

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Chiso eats his donuts just like his pizza, plain.  i’d say he enjoyed it.

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 well you knew this was happening later.  sweaty stair master intervals and some core work completed my sunday.  5 weeks postpartum and i still work my kegal muscles (when i think about it randomly at home) to strengthen my pelvic floor again.  it’s a process, ladies!  be patient, work them daily if you can, and make sure you do them on an empty bladder.

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 as i got meal prep going for the next few days, i channeled my inner Fish City Grill with these tacos for dinner.  if you’ve been there and ordered them they should look pretty familiar to ya ;) .  i used La Tortilla Factory 70 calorie tortillas as usual (which i saw at HEB recently!!!!) and filled them with baked swai fish, bagged cabbage and Annie’s all natural Lite Goddess dressing.  this is super similar to the Crunchy Ginger Rotisserie Chicken Wrap from a few days ago.  then i grilled them up on our griddle for a few minutes until they browned.   heating the tortilla first makes a huge difference vs a cold, flimsy tortilla.  try it!  someone from Instagram suggested i taste that flavor of Annie’s next and i’m glad i did.

Q: kolaches or donuts?

i’m a cheese lover so that’s an easy one. 

le

Torchy’s Tacos + surprise!

 aaaaaahh…  sunday.  Dego woke up at 4am to nurse as usual and i didn’t get back to sleep until around 6. before i knew it,  it was time to get on up for church!

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ready for my 2nd date of the weekend and unbeknownst to me, we headed to Torchy’s Tacos on our side of town. that line was serious!  it was our first time there, and i’m sure Sonny remembered me saying we needed to check them out a few weeks ago. i kinda wanted brunch brunch, but rolled with it.

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little did i know there was a pretty lil’ lunch guest already there and waiting on us to arrive- my dear friend Ericka!!   talk about a pleasant surprise- i was so happy to finally see and talk to her in person again and not via computer or phone as she lives in another city.  we spent the afternoon eating and laughing, and if she were staying longer we would have hit the gym together too i’m sure!   i’m so honored to know her and excited about where God is taking her foster care program Think Love Smart, as well as all her other endeavors!

Ericka had been to Torchy’s once before and said the Democrat w/ chicken was great, so i took her word for it.

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she was absolutely right.  shredded fajita chicken, topped with fresh avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, onions, and a wedge of lime on corn tortillas.

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Sonny got something yummy looking with eggs, beef,  and cheese on flour tortillas,

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and i split the Mr. Orange with him as well.  salmon (duh), queso fresco, avocado, sweet corn, and black beans on corn tortillas. my fave of the bunch!  YUM.

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then we went to relax, hang out, and catch up.  our kiddos love them some Ericka too! wrong boob though, Dego. so funny.

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after E hit the road, so did i! i did some GGG (gym, grocery shopping, & grazing (grazing in the bulk aisle of course).  i did almost 1 hour of treadmill intervals… ya, more intervals, i know, i know.  booooring. i expect to get cleared to workout THIS week and i’m crazy excited about it!  i need workout variety in my life right now.

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 made a few meals for Sonny and i for the next two days or so and shut the kitchen down. lean protein, veggies, good fat, and complex carbs on the side.  if you’re interested in a customized meal AND workout plan (because you can’t be efficient without both), email me! leah.egwuatu@6packusa.com. i will be starting my 6 Pack plan as soon as my OB gives me the green light.

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oh wait and then there’s this guy.  i can feel my cool whip addiction creeping back up on me from these crazy postpartum sweets cravings.  this is still a lighter alternative than say full fat ice cream or a restaurant dessert though.  sugar-free cool whip and low-fat honey graham crackers.  place it in the freezer so the cool whip can harden first.  all things in moderation!

Q: moms, are your preggo cravings different from your postpartum cravings?

Q: what have you tried at Torchy’s?

le

baby shower brunchin’

i celebrated the coming of my dear, talented friend Dami’s twin boys today.

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  all her events are magical and so well put together, just like this one! i actually like our pic on the right better, but our camera person cut off her yummy blue heels which is a no-no!!! she rocked the blue for the boys of course. i dig it.

brunch. food. galore. my postpartum hormones were in for a treat. i am a bottomless pit these days and as MUCH as i love food, it’s pretty annoying always being so hungry.   staying under my macros feels like a joke and is quite a task… but only a few more days til i can finally hit the weights again.

anyway, i cannot wait to see the professional pics of the shower cause i was so busy eating everything i didn’t get the best food shots, whoops. there was soooo much variety which is always a great thing.

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there was an omelette station and a pasta station complements of @shecookedit, and they did such a tasty job.  everyone around me loved their food, me included. there was a waffle station as well.

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in addition to that,  there was a buffet table full of more brunch goodies like bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pastries, fruit, cookies, muffins, bagels & lox, mimosas, fruit & granola cups, etc, etc, etc!

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i was first in line for waffles. isn’t she pretty?

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there was an ongoing onesie decorating contest that i adored! i suck at arts & crafts IMO, so after staring at my blank onesie for like 30 minutes between bites and looking at everyone else making bow ties and sewing on fabric suspenders lol, i did my best.

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 i found a lion stencil, markers, and came up with this. Beasty, right? well Dami thought so and that’s all that matters. LOL.

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she is a lover of simplicity and well, my onesie (ok, OK, and a few others, haha) fit the bill. sweet!  the winners all received ‘love conquers all’ stationary from Parchment by Dami. i’m just now noticing my to-go plates in the shot. ridiculous.
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 twin boys, triple cakes.  isn’t this entire corner fabulous? and the children’s books cake stand? genius.

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parting gifts were provided by her hubby, Niyi, of Post-Imperial. yep, a family of many talents.  i can’t wait to see who the boys take after and their special gifts and quirks as well! congrats, DaNi.

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 back home and back on the grind after a brunchtastic day.  i didn’t have time to get a power walk in, so i made time!  morning workouts are my preference, but i will get it in anytime, anywhere, within reason. i’m grateful my hubby holds it down with the boys so i can handle up on other business and make sure we are on track with our meals for example.  spousal support rocks.  speaking of spousal support, check out Dami’s  breathtaking beach bump pics from Spain!

 Q: what is your all-time favorite brunch menu food or dish? homemade or from a restaurant? drop that name! 

 

bam bam bam

after three big events three saturdays in a row:

brother’s wedding

Chiso’s birthday party

my baby shower

and birthday parties, graduations, etc. sprinkled in between, i’m ready to sit down and just be pregnant.  i don’t even know how to do that but i’ve got 2.5 weeks left to figure it out.  and as soon as i do, Odego will just be like ‘OOOOOH NO YA DON’T’, so it’s whatever!  just taking this thing one day at a time and enjoying solo time with my 1st born until … it’s time.  i gave today my best shot and ended up in Ikea pricing bunk beds with Chiso. and hey, i got this blog post in and even started packing my hospital bag, so i’d say it was a pretty productive day.

this past sunday was baby shower day! been looking forward to it ever since my sister-in-love Michelle offered to host one for me.  it’s no secret that we’re having another boy, and i saved so many of Chiso’s things (mainly clothes) that i didn’t even consider having another shower.  however, God knew what we forgot we needed and provided for us, as He promised.

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after church and a family workout sunday morning, i went and got jazzy to the best of my abilities to celebrate this little ball of energy in my tummy.  bring on the belly rubs!!!!!!

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the braids are back and so is the high bun! normally after 1 or 2 stores, i’m DONE with clothes shopping for the day, but i have my go-to dress places and usually find something super quick. sooo, imagine  how disappointed i was to walk into the Houston Galleria to find both Zara AND French Connection UK….closed!? (fyi Zara will reopen in October but i needed them RIGHT THEN!!!). wasted gas indeed. the next day i tried again closer to home and was ELATED to have found this coral Calvin Klein number in the first department store i visited.  that never happens. ok, not to me. i paired it with my nude Steve Madden pumps, some gold jewelry from Forever 21, and got up outta there.

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i appreciate and humbly thank each and every woman who came to celebrate with me.  the Egwuatus take what we can get during the week, but sunday is family day for us. (and sometimes you just want to have a day to do your OWN thing, especially if your work week begins on the following day…i get it!) so when i have to be away from my boys for any reason, i’m always anxious to get right back to them. which means i understand completely when people shift their schedules and take time out of their day to come support, spend time with, and even bring unrequested gifts to and for someone else…. it means absolutely EVERYTHING to me.

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   i thank my family, friends, & Sorors for simply being there. and for those belly rubs!!!!

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a special, heartfelt thank you and BRAVO to my hostesses who did an amazing job putting everything together. my sisters:  Michelle, Ogechi, and Kara!

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 aaand, i especially appreciated the gifts given to our 1st born, Chiso. how thoughtful!  just WOW. blessed beyond measure and i just want to thank God as it is all because of Him. all of it.

thanks for reading! 9 month update post coming right up.

le

P.S. YEP, i put my cooking classes on hold in prep for those 3 big weekends and since Odego will be here super soon, the classes will be back when i am! for now, let the hardcore nesting resume.

one…two…THREE #may27th

saturday, this boy woke up singing ‘because i’m happyyyyyyyyy!’ :P  he knew it was finally party day.

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we threw a joint birthday pool party with friends of ours, Kristina and Allen; their daughter, Celén, was born on May 28th.  the location was at my gym, Lifetime City Centre! it was special to me because i had part of my 30th birthday celebration there, Chiso was finally able to come gymming with me when he turned 3 months old, and now he has celebrated his 3rd birthday there.

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excited and picking up the Mickey and Minnie Mouse cakes the morning of.

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the guests of honor! and why do they look like long-lost brother and sister?! LOL

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but before their guests arrived, we put them to work stuffing their favor bags. we paid them in food, no worries.

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on the menu:

 cheese, pepperoni, & BBQ chicken pizza (provided by the Lifetime Cafe), an assortment of subway sammiches, a variety of chips, cake batter rice crispy treats, strawberry-pecan-spinach salad, juice, water, and cake.20140524_133508_1

right on time, Papa, thanks.

we played gym games upstairs on the 3rd floor before hitting the pool. 

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does that parachute give you a nostalgic feeling too?

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they had some parachute fun, bowled, played scooter races, and there was even a real live Angry Birds game… pretty neat.

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Chiso had all the pretty girls to himself before his guys friends arrived ;)

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my girlfriend, Michelle (bottom L corner), put her super long legs to work and dusted EVERYBODY in the scooter race! her daughter, Lyonna, and Chiso share the same birthday.

now for the part the kiddos had been waiting all day for-

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it’s time to SWIM!

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the party ended at 4, but we were in that pool from about 2:45 to 6:15.  he just didn’t want to leave! you know where to find us this Summer.20140524_150546_1

this picture cracks me up- i was just trying to get their attention for the picture and i have no idea what i even said! but ummm, they look so annoyed. ROTFL.

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splish, splash <3

i didn’t get pics with everybody, but i’m grateful some of my family and friends were able to come celebrate with us!

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my cousins Angie and Gerrilyn and their kiddos,

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my sorority sister Trashina took a dip with her adorable boys,

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and my friend Krystal was on double duty and held it down! i tell her all the time what a huge inspiration she is to me.  i feel like i’m starting all over balance-wise with Odego on the way and all… heck i feel like i JUST got into a groove with one kiddo (remembering to add an event to my calendar, getting there on time if at all, making sure he has pants on, etc) and she always encourages me that i can. experience is the best teacher and i believe you, girl. alright *clears throat*

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let’s sing! make a wish, Celén.

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your turn, Chi!  he would not put that pizza down.

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before & after.

 asleep in the car by 6:30pm and didn’t wake up til the next day. party POOPED.

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all four of us were! happy, HAPPY, 3rd birthday to our Chiso <3

thanks for reading!

le

pan fried curry zucchini fritters + yeeeee-haw! Rodeo Run 5k

the response from my last post was incredibly overwhelming.  i’m already hormonal yall, jeez!!!! some of you even shared your heartfelt, REAL life preggo journeys with me.  it just reaffirms the fact that all women have a story to tell.  we all jump through, over, and under hoops all day, every day.  that’s life.  God is true to His word though!  i’m honored and elated that women were able to connect with me on a more personal level and get encouragement and inspiration to keep pressing through their own struggles.  we all need it.  anytime you ever feel the need to share with me or ask any particular question about my journey, do so without hesitation!  le@fitfoodiele.com.  again, thank you all for reading and commenting openly and privately.  to God be the glory.

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the Rodeo Run went down yesterday morning!  i picked up my race packet Friday and brought along a list of 3-year-old b-day party locations to check in the area.  yep, Chiso’s getting a birthday party this year.  we did a small gathering at the house last year for his 2nd and remember i went batty for his 1st  so now it’s time to venture out.  i think. suggestions? email me.

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i broke my ‘no oats pre-race’ rule and had big bowl of them topped with bananas, blueberries, and some coconut crystals before we hit the road.

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i walked/ran with a friend of mine, Krystal, and Chiso got to play and hangout with her son, Max.  Krystal is in FAB shape, right!? that’s her 9 month old daughter in her arms.  she is such a big fitsporation to me!

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 grateful to still be moving and shaking at 25 weeks now. my next race is the Bayou City Classic, and the link is over there in the events side bar!  strollers are welcome, so moms, let’s do this!  email me if you’ll be there; i’d love to meet up at the post-race party.  and if you see me running, SAY HAY!!!!!

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so about that zucchini fritter recipe i own ya…. ugh, they are so incredibly tasty.  Sonny took a bite of one and was like, ‘there’s no meat in this?’

nope.

pan fried curry zucchini fritters

the stuff: (source)

  • 3 large zucchini, shredded/grated
  • 3 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
  • 1/2 cup light parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1-2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

do this:

  1. use the larger holes when grating zucchini and shred them onto a dry cup towel.
  2. use those muscles and squeeze out all the liquid possible.
  3.  add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and incorporate well.
  4. heat a pan on HIGH coated with nonstick cooking spray (or pour a tsp of olive oil into the pan and spread it around)
  5. place heaping tbsp size scoopfuls of mixture onto hot skillet and press down flat.
  6. convert heat to LOW and cook for approx. 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and done. be patient.

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makes 20 small-medium cakes!  for 1:

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i have the patience of Chiso sometimes when i’m cooking and i often end up with a scramble instead of a perfect patty or cake.  i am sooooo dang proud of how these turned out!  best ones yet and so much savory deliciousness in every bite. please enjoy them as much as we have.  i got some garlic & herb goat cheese from HEB after the race that i have been spreading on them and, well,

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i really need to go to bed. now.

le

food with friends + updated clean shrimp fried rice recipe

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i got the chance to feed these gorgeous, fit ladies this past weekend! Kimberly (l) & Nichola are figure competitors and group fitness instructors in addition to their respective full-time careers.  busy women who make fitness a priority.  i.e., my kinda’ women. they took about all the teasing they could stand from my facebook and IG pics and invited themselves over :P . j/k, we finally got our schedules together after trying to plan something for months.  i thoroughly enjoyed cooking for them and the non-stop laughter the entire time. check out tha spread:

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hummus (topped with a little EVOO, s & p) with fresh cut red, yellow, orange bell peppers, cucumbers, and those addicting pretzel crisps, the sesame variety.

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of course i made burgers. you know me. i let my apple-chicken burger mix marinate over night to ensure a flavor packed patty. it’s a fam fave. also, homemade guacamole, lettuce tomato,  Sweet n’ Spicy Sweet Potato Fries from my e-book accompanied the burgers.  the toasted buns were sprouted grain from Alvarado Street Bakery.

20140118_141950_1yogurt bar!  i thought it was a great healthy dessert idea.  non-fat plain yogurt, sliced almonds, pumpkin flax granola, berries, and stevia or light agave nectar for sweetness.

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breakfast and snacks for us for the next few days, yum.

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thanks Kimberly!  

i hope you guys can use some of these ideas for your next gathering.

also, the base recipe for my clean shrimp fried brown rice can be found here, but i added a few extra thangs the last time i made it (last week) like:

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pineapple! the tropical twist was so refreshing; you’ll love it.  as far as the shrimp marinade, i used Weber All Natural Boston Bay seasoning blend instead of the Mrs. Dash and only 1 tbsp of liquid aminos.  try this asap.

 so super bowl is upon us! and once again my husband waits two weeks before to mention hosting a party. who does that? i know it’s a big event (and annual) but it’s outta sight outta mind to me and i don’t watch ESPN. womp :x

Q: what are you doing for the big game this year?

le

holiday happiness

::Christmas::

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uncle Thew is stateside again from working in Afghanistan!  he and Chiso have some catching up to do.
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Christmas morning.. wake up my sleepy face!

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Caillou has a bike, so Chiso had to have one too.

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one of my foodie gifts! already used it twice! Yonanaaaaaaaaaaas

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a fitness gift! i am ashamed to say that this is my 3rd ipod Nano :shock: . i do not even deserve this.  but i’m grateful to have it in my life again cause i sure did miss it.  i fried my other two with my own sweat because i used my bra to house it during my workout. both times. i know.  soooooo, tomorrow i’ll be getting a nice little arm band/holder thingy to prevent that from ever happening again.  thanks Hubby. for real.

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breakfast and gift exchange at my MIL’s was earlier, then we headed to my side of town to see my folks. this was dinner plate #1 at my moms: cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, turkey breast,  deviled egg, potato salad, candied yams, hummus dip with carrots and celery, cranberry sauce, and a wheat roll. this baby can EAT.
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aaand our 2nd stop/plate was homemade seafood gumbo, garlic bread, and plenty of sweet treats at Granny’s house with all my cousins, aunts, and uncles.

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grateful for Christ and what he means to me and my family.  blessings to you and yours as another unpromised year comes to a close!!!

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my next race will be the Lifetime Fitness Commitment Day 5k on January 1st, 2014!  come run with me!  details are over in the side bar ————>

email me at le@fitfoodiele.com if interested ;)

Q: what are your NYE plans? vote below!

thanks & giving & food & family 2013

 i hope Thanksgiving 2013 was one to remember for you and your family.  here’s what we did:

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who eats like this on Thanksgiving Eve? sammiches and sushi @ Central Market.  it wasn’t as crowded as i expected AT ALL. is it weird that i wanted it to be?

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lemon ricotta pancakes for the boy.
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on TG day i sped downtown to run in the traditional Turkey Trot 10k and left Sonny and Chi in our nice, warm, comfy bed :(

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  this is THE coldest weather i have ever run in. ever. 32 dang degrees. the Chevron Houston Marathon in January isn’t even this cold!!!!
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so because of the dip in temp earlier that week, i switched from the 10k to the 5k y’all. keepin’ it real. i believe i have become one of those people who like cold weather but hate being cold.

 i met up with some bodybuilder and UH alum friends afterwards.

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FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS RUN ALONE!!!! thanks for that, Charlene ;) 

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plate # who even knows from later that evening! each one was sampler style so i could get a little bit of everything of course.

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always good to see and hang with my beautiful cousins!

Q: how many places did you visit on TG day? 2 for us- my MIL and then Grandma’s house.

le