it’s hottt

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why? two words: THE SUN.

nothing drains me more these days and it’s not like i’m out jogging in it either! just walking up to the store and/or driving around in my truck (even with the air cranked to the max) still makes me crazy tired more so than any of my gym workouts. which is why i’m glad this little guy will be outta here before the texas heat really shows out. God bless and be with you preggo mama’s this summer (wherever you are)! i mean that sincerely. be safe, stay hydrated, and stay indoors.

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the weekend was rather warm too, so Chiso and i jumped at the chance to hit the pool with my sis, Michelle,  and her daughter, cousin Livvy.  time for swimming lessons for these two.  we did a family maternity shoot last month and i totally want to do a look in my bikini now! i enjoyed wearing it and sporting my bump.  most likely Sonny will have to be the camera man for that though, lol.

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something about the pool makes me want chips, hot dogs, burgers, and ICE CREAM! thanks, Sonic.

remember that summer stir fry i made? i finally got some shrimp from HEB and made it again.  this time i added red bell pepper and yellow squash too since they were on sale.  and yall know the more color in your meals, the better.

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i have still been eating the heck out of nectarines these past few days. i can’t get enough of them! plus the longer they sit in the fridge the softer they become. so i must eat them while they are still crisp. all of them.

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was sad to finish the last of this stir fry today for lunch but it’ll be back soon.

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Q: do i ever feel my bump is too small?

A: during my first pregnancy? yeah. this time around? nah. when people ask me (especially at the gym) how far along i am these days, ‘almost 10 months’ is the last thing they expect to hear.  their faces say it all, and ‘you’re so tiny!!!’ is usually soon to follow.  then the women reflect back on their own journeys and express how ginormous they were compared to me before delivering, and the men usually tell me the same about their wives, sisters, friends, etc!! never, ever gets old.  i welcome the questions (yes, the same ones over and over ;) ) and LOVE to discuss my journey with anyone willing to listen!   i enjoy hearing all about other women’s preggo stories by the same token as they are all unique.  anyway, that darn, ‘every woman is different’ statement refers to, well, everything, including bump size. the ‘right’ size doesn’t exist. also: bump size is not an indicator of your baby’s weight.  mom’s height, weight, activity level, the way baby is positioned, how much fluid present, etc, etc, etc…… so.many.factors.  so don’t compare bumps.  especially if you trust your OB and he/she assures you that you and baby are on track every check-up, just as mine has!  done deal ^^’.

Q: what’s your biggest pregnancy pet peeve? vent below!

le



rainbowls

nectarines are on sale!!! so you know what that means…. Summer time is near.  i watch for that price drop every Spring and it’s finally time.  they are my fave fruit but my love for them is conditional… i will only eat them when they are solid and crispy like apples.  after a certain point ( peach consistency ) i can’t do it!

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Sprouts Farmers Market had a gigantic fruit sale (as always) so i got a few different kinds and made this bomb salad topped with fresh mint for us to snack on for the next few days.

20140604_200552_1there are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, and of course, nectarines up in there.

our television STAYS on the Sprout channel but i actually got to catch an ep of The Pioneer Woman this week.  she made this 10 min shrimp stir fry that looked so easy and so tasty i got up and went to make it immediately!  i used chicken instead of shrimp,

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fresh zucchini, grape tomatoes, grilled corn, fresh cilantro, garlic, and my last lemon. i didn’t even measure yall, but here are the steps for what i did:

  1. cut chicken breasts into bite sized chunks
  2. saute extra virgin olive oil with about 2 tbsp butter on med-high heat in a very large wok or cast iron skillet.
  3. add in minced garlic and stir til translucent.
  4. add chicken chunks and cook just until done (i added lemon pepper seasoning to them).
  5. remove proteins from skillet; add chopped zucchini and let cook for 2 minutes. push them to the corner of your wok.
  6. add corn and cook 1 minute. push to corner of wok.
  7. add grape tomatoes last; cook for 1 minute.
  8. add chicken, fresh herbs , and squeeze your lemon into wok with veggies; combine.
  9. shut off heat and let sit for about 10 minutes or so before serving.

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will be making this again and again with different proteins no doubt. the more color on your plate, the BETTER! rainbowls rule.

read below, but do it in reverse :) have an awesome Friday nite.

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le

supercharge your workout

pre workout snacks i’ve been having all week:

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half a banana + natural peanut butter in the early, early mornings,

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plain, 0% greek yogurt with crumbled up brown rice cakes, fruit, and agave nectar, + the simplest pre-workout shake ever on earth.

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IG has some of the most beautiful and extravagant smoothie recipes and pictures i have ever seen… but hey, i do what i can in smoothie world :lol:

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this one’s rich in nitrates, potassium, carbs, good fat and perfect before smashing your workout. the almond butter can be omitted or adjusted according to your macros.

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thanks for the coaster love- they are from IKEA as well, just like the placemats!

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still having no luck whatsoever getting him to eat veggies of any kind, so watching him drink spinach never gets old.

brrrrr, stay warm out there yall! HAPPY FRIDAY!

Q: share your favorite, easiest smoothie recipe below. how often do you make them?

le

starter grocery list + Paleo Roast Pork with Apple Chutney & Butternut Squash

‘i want to be healthier.’

you do? ok, read!

first off, breathe. don’t over-complicate things.  this process does not go from 0-60 in 3 seconds and you won’t either. it’s a gradual thing. a lifestyle thing.  one that you will see and feel the effects of if you just stick with it.  little by little, a little becomes a lot.  we know by now that proper nutrition and physical fitness is a package deal. can’t have one without the other.  i will be focusing on the nutrition part of the equation for now as this is where your journey begins:

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here is a staple starter grocery list to save, print out, and take with you to the grocery store.  i go into detail about each section below and provide some of my favorite brands and where to get’em. keep reading.

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key:

WF = Whole Foods

SFM = Sprouts Farmers Market

WM = Walmart

TG = Target

TJ = Trader Joes

HEB = HEB Pantry (local)

K = Kroger (local)

ALL = available at all listed stores

grains / cereals / breads

  • Ezekiel brand breads and tortillas WF, SP
  • Ezekiel cereal varieties WF, SP, WM, K, HEB
  • Alvarado Street Bakery brand bread WF, SP
  • La Tortilla Factory tortillas & wraps WF, SP, WM, K, HEB
  • Nature’s Own Double Fiber Wheat Bread WM, K, HEB, TG
  • Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful brand bread HEB, WM, K, TG
  • Trader Joe’s whole grain breads TJ
  • Sprouts Farmers Market whole grain breads SFM

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i find that rolled, quick oats, oat bran, rice, quinoa, and couscous are cheapest when bought in bulk.  whip out your calculator and do the math if you must and compare the price per lb to whatever way you previously purchased these items.  yeah, those Uncle Ben’s single serving rice pouches are DELICIOUSLY easy to prepare and taste so good, but they just aren’t cost-effective and you know it! buy your rice in bulk and season it yourself.

flours / nuts / oils

  • Bob’s Red Mill flour varieties  WF, SP, HEB, K, WM, TG
  • flours & nuts from the bulk bins of WF, HEB, or SP
  • choose unrefined, virgin, and cold-pressed oils ALL
  • roasted & unsalted mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans)  in bulk WF, SP, HEB

starchy veggies 

  • fresh & frozen are best. if you must do canned, look for a low/no sodium option. these are veggies that are carbohydrate rich, higher in sugar content, have an adverse affect on blood glucose levels, and load you with energy. any on the list above will do; pick your fave. if unsure about how to classify a particular veggie, use this helpful list of starchy veggies. ALL

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non-starchy veggies

  • fresh & frozen are best. if you must do canned, look for a low/no sodium option.  these are veggies that contain fewer calories and carbs, lower sugar content, and have little to no effect on blood glucose levels and are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals. any on the  list above will do; pick your fave. if unsure how to classify a particular veggie use this helpful list of non-starchy veggies. ALL

fruit

  • fresh & frozen are best.  beware of packaged and canned fruit which can contain crazy high amounts of sugar. read your labels!  don’t forget avocado is a fruit and high and good fat. we know fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and natural sugar, but the sugar content does vary per fruit, so choose wisely.  here’s a chart of some of the most popular and available fruit choices that gives you an accurate depiction of the sugar content for a 1 cup serving. ALL

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here’s a more detailed list:


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dairy

  • Lactaid brand milk & cottage cheese ALL
  • Greek yogurt brands: Fage, Chiobani, Oikos, Trader Joes ALL
  • Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese Wedges ALL
  • Mini Babybel light cheese ALL

non-dairy

  • Blue Diamond, Silk unsweetened vanilla and original almond milk ALL
  • Lisanatti Almond Cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella) WF, SFM
  • Tofutti non-dairy cream cheese spread WFM, TJ, SFM, HEB, K
  • Trader Joe’s canned light coconut milk TJ

meat / seafood  / protein

  • boneless & skinless turkey and chicken breast ALL
  • 97-99% extra lean ground turkey, chicken, and beef ALL
  • choose  cuts of beef with the least marbling
  • leanest beef cuts: eye of round, sirloin tip and steak, top & bottom round roast & steak ALL
  • shellfish: scallops, mussels, lobster, shrimp, crab ALL
  • choose low sodium canned beans and rinse beans under cold water before cooking: navy, kidney, black, lima, chick peas, pinto, black-eyed peas. ALL
  • HEB & Crystal Farms egg whites ALL, HEB
  • fish: cod, salmon, tilapia, flounder, trout,  halibut, mahi mahi, perch, snapper, sole, tuna (canned and packed in water) ALL

seasonings / sauces / sweeteners

  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos WM, WFM, SFM, K, HEB
  • Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar WM, WFM, SFM, K, HEB
  • all fresh herbs (sage, cilantro, oregano, basil, dill)  ALL
  • any salt-free standalone spice or seasoning blend (Mrs. Dash, McCormick, Trader Joes, Generic brands ALL
  • use fresh lemon / lime just for natural seasoning, flavoring & marinating ALL
  • liquid smoke WM, TG, K, HEB
  • Heinz low carb ketchup ALL

so do you just go buy the entire list at once? no! remember, i spoke with Tiara in HEB the other day and here’s that grocery shopping advice i gave her in a nutshell: ‘depending on how ambitious you feel, pick 2, or 3 recipes you know you’ll be making in the next 2 weeks or so and do your grocery shopping based on those ingredients.  else, there’s a good chance you may not use everything you purchased and have to throw it away.  we know some items have longer shelf lives of course, but the majority of what is thrown away is spoiled produce.’ i try to limit my store visits to 2-3 times a month.  i make large batches of a recipe at a time, and we have those meals/leftovers for the next 2-3 days before switching to something new.  sometimes i’ll cook two large batches of two different recipes at a time and alternate those meals for more variety.

 grocery shopping tips:

  1. buy fresh AND frozen produce
  2. only buy produce in-season and on sale to save $
  3. make a list first and stick to it
  4. don’t shop when you’re hungry
  5. set a monthly or bi-weekly budget and don’t go over it
  6. buy meat in bulk and freeze what you don’t use immediately
  7. buy generic brands whenever possible
  8. shop the perimeter of the store (fresh meat, bread, produce, dairy).  processed foods tend to rule those isles.

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Q: questions?  FIRE AWAY!  what would you like to see MORE of? what wasn’t covered or covered in enough detail?  i need your feedback. email me or comment below.

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my featured FITzee meal of the week:

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Paleo Pork Roast with Apple Chutney and Butternut Squash

all natural, dairy-free, gluten-free, Paleo friendly & smells and tastes like FALL.

place your FITzee Foods order to be shipped right to your doorstep now.

le


oatmeal banana mini muffins

imagedo you believe that?  this phrase has been echoing in my mind since the day i read it, several weeks ago.  i said earlier on IG that i accepted my first formal health and fitness speaking engagement and well, i can honestly say that this is THE first public speaking event i’m actually excited about!!! prolly cause it’s concerning health and fitness :) .  i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t nervous, but hey, if it doesn’t challenge me, it doesn’t change me.  time to start SPEAKING along with all this typing!  if God brings you to something, He will surely take you through it. keep walking in faith and reaching for your dreams, friends… if i can get my sometimes timid and scary behind up there and do the one thing that terrifies most people, YOU CAN TOO.20130725_080411

super ripe bananas mean what? some baking is about to go down.   for breakfast this morning after my class, i made some banana oatmeal mini muffins.  i had the boy in mind- he loves these things and as long as i keep them coming, he will keep gobbling.

20130725_094643there is a similar recipe in my ebook for these puppies, and i got the calorie count even lower in there! pretty excited about that.

oatmeal banana mini muffins:

the stuff:

  • 1/2 cup ground rolled or quick oats ( or oat flour)
  • 1 small super ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • pinch of salt

do this:

mix real good until smooth!  if you’d like to use your food processor, that’s cool too.  i kinda liked the banana chunks in each bite though.  fill your tins 3/4 of the way up and cook these guys for 7-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. i topped mine with a banana slice, a drizzle of chocolate PB2 (mixed with unsweetened vanilla almond milk), and a dark chocolate chip.

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makes 19-20 mini muffins. for 1 muffin (excluding toppings):

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tty lata!

le

red, white, & blueberries

 

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happy 4th of July guys! this tower of straight awesomeness was displayed at Sweets in City Centre earlier this week.  isn’t it pretty!? pretty and patriotic indeed. hope you had a blast celebrating.

i celebrated by making and eating cliché red, white, and blue themed food all day. :)

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breakfast was a big bowl of cinnamon oat bran topped with juicy blueberries, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and Walden Farms pancake syrup, and a cup of scrambled egg whites. i have been eating my oat bran this way for the past several weeks cause it’s so addicting! i was up super-duper early this morning cause well,  i didn’t sleep. again.

:-?

been dealing with ebook issues all week y’all, my goodness.  the previous post concerning the book (fit foodie lean) will be updated with new info for ya. bear with me.

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after my boys woke up later, i made them some banana pancakes topped with fresh berries, sugar-free cool whip, and sprinkles!  we have sprinkles often though, so this was no big deal to Chiso.

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holidays always put me in an extra special baking mood, and i went with a light vanilla angel food cake with an american flag fruit design on top.  this is like a cool whip classic dessert that never gets old.  here’s my version though:

light vanilla 👼angel food cake🍰:

the stuff:

  • 🍓1 cup stevia for baking (not the packets)
  • 🍓1/2 cup coconut crystals
  • 🍓1 tsp vanilla
  • 🍓1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 100% whole wheat pastry flour (or any cake flour)
  • 🍓12 egg whites
  • 🍓1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 🍓1/4 tsp salt
  • 🍓1tsp lemon juice

do this:

👉mix 3/4 (half) of sugar mixture and flour together, and 👊beat egg whites with mixer until foamy💭.

add cream of tartar and salt and beat until soft peaks🗻form.

add remaining 3/4 cup sugar 2 tbsp at a time until soft peaks form.

👊beat in lemon juice. sift flour/sugar mixture in 1/4 cup at a time folding until incorporated.

spoon the batter into cupcake pans, round pans, bundt pans, square pans, whatever🙆.

adjust cooking times for a 325 degree oven.  bake and cool.

         makes: 12 pieces

1 piece per serving:

angel food cake statsnote:  now, ☝if you don’t follow these steps exactly, you might be having angel food brick🏠for dessert🙎. not that it wont still taste good though! top with sugar-free cool whip and 🍓berries🍓.

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i went to get my workout outta the way cause we had a few parties to attend later  that evening.  i came home thinking these two were getting dressed to go but found the opposite…

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first stop, Dami’s 4th of July party!  you know she lives in NY, so i see her every chance i get when she’s in town.  happy belated birthday to her hubby, Niyi.

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who else is in town? my big brother!!!! he works overseas and surprised our entire family this weekend and just popped up outta no where.  that’s just his style.  spending as much time with this dork as possible before he leaves again. *tear*

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so i had cake twice on the 4th- i could NOT pass up this slice of pure heaven from Maureen’s Gourmet Bakery in Sugar Land, TX, Dami’s fave cake place.  i totally see why!  the icing was not too sweet, creamy, fluffy, and the moist vanilla cake was just….perfect.  i mean really.

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was it worth another serving in a cup and eaten with a spoon? :shock: heck yes. i know party food can be tempting, so i made an IG post on how to eat at a social event- check it out for some good tips to help you stay (somewhat) on track!

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then we headed to another family graduation event – congrats to the Abadom sisters!!! i do believe this is the most people i’ve met from IG and Facebook in one day, forreals!  i am no celebrity and i certainly don’t feel like one, so when people tell me they are nervous to meet me, i am beyond baffled and humbled.  just know that i will always be the nervous one, no kidding.  i know people always have certain expectations when meeting someone in person after following them online (i know i do!), but i would hope that the two aren’t so drastically different with me!  i do love to express my love and giddiness for fitness and food via social media, but i am still lil’ ol’ shy leah e.  i can’t deny how fun it is meeting new people though, and it is truly helping to flourish my social side!  it was a pleasure and an honor to meet  them all :)

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*newsflash* – cherries are definitely in season and on sale all over the place- maybe even your local grocery store! you should check for this superfruit next time you’re there.

Q: did you pop your own fireworks, or just watch this year?

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.