part II: core exercises for preggo patties and newbies

CYMERA_20140110_162501         well i didn’t think produce coupons existed, but HEB made that dream a reality! 3 dollars off 8 or more in produce. nice.  i couldn’t wait until this weekend to go grocery shopping because our pantry and fridge was crazy bare, so i went last night and got it done.  i checked online for some coupons before leaving and i’m glad i did.

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we also stopped by Walmart where i spotted these all natural Weber seasonings.  gluten-free, low sodium, and 100% sea salt used.  i caught wind of them via Instagram and chose the Gourmet Burger and Boston Bay seasonings first.  everyone is raving about the Kickin’ Chicken so i’ll be trying that one next. these big 5.75 oz bottles cost just as much as the Mc Cormick and Mrs. Dash 2.5 oz bottles! what a bargain.

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 this evening’s pre-workout meal before taking a Barbell Strength class at the gym: a big bowl of sautéed kale, avocado, green onion, and some Sweet & Spicy Tangerine Shrimp from last night’s taco dinner.  i’m still perfecting the shrimp recipe and will post it here soon,  you know it.

more core videos for ya as promised!

using dumbbells:

for floor oblique twists: sit up straight, chest up, and lean back 45 degrees before executing. complete the opposite the side the same way.

12 R & 12 L;  3 X 24

standing ab exercises:

for standing oblique crunches: pull your elbow down to your knee and squeeze your glute when your knee is at its highest point.

slow tempo for 8, fast tempo for 16  then repeat 2 more times straight.  switch sides and do the same thing.

the side bends keep my lower back loose, limber, and flexible.  if you’re preggo, don’t worry about using super heavy dumbbells here at all.  10’s work great. stand up straight, chest lifted, and don’t slouch or round your back!

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i can do that one!!!! please let me do that one :shock: .

speaking of shows though i have something in the works i am super excited to share.  a vision that has never been more clear to me, finally!  in due time though.

HAPPY FRIDAY AND HAPPY WEEKEND!

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:

supermarket

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:


fruit-chart

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


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

take it in stride

decisions, decisions.  this year has already started out with way more than i ever thought i could handle.  the major issue being my career!  I’ve been in the IT industry since i graduated 8 (WOW :shock:) years ago.  i’m an IT contractor, but let’s just say i’m on an extended holiday vacation right now lol.  which means…… i get to spend more time in my sanctuary (my kitchen!!!!!) creating new recipes galore, playing, teaching, & showing my little big boy new things, sprucing up my wifely duties big time, and finally, putting maximum effort towards the multiple personal projects God has dropped on my heart. finding balance is hard as crap sometimes! however, i find so much comfort in the fact that He not only tells us what He wants us to do, but He makes a way for it to be done.

standing still

 HELLO!  He won’t leave you hanging and clueless….  but if you don’t move, He can’t work.   remember, ‘ALL things work together for the good of those that love Him!’

fitness inspiration

you’ve only got ONE.  He has given me this precious time, and i’m going to ENJOY and cherish this blessing.

now let’s talk about food.

i finally got that red velvet pancake recipe up, and i made my little guy a mini stack of them yesterday for breakfast.

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i can’t even begin to tell you how gratifying it is to see him stuff his face with VEGGIES!  cause he still hates them.  anything green goes on the floor.  good thing beets are UBER good for us!  they are low-calorie, no fat, high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and help fight various types of cancer.  i’ll certainly be making some type of spinach cakes next lol.  i’m gonna get them into his diet however i can.

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this photo was pre-walden farms syrup…they look so dry!! but i promise you they are moist and fluffy on the inside. Chiso doesn’t appreciate my fanciness yet as he slid the whipped cream right off the top and pushed the chocolate chips around before making a pile of them in the corner of his high chair table.

Q: how do you roast your beets?

A: in a pan:)

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that’s it! i avoided them for the LONGEST time at the store..i mean they just look so dirty and hard to prepare.  i cut the tops off (someone told me you can save them, cook them, and eat them, but i had already tossed them in the trash) put them in a pan, and shoved them in a 450 degree oven.  in about 45 min, they were soft to the touch, and the peeling came right on off.  beets have officially been conquered!

this morning i made us some cinnamon oatmeal pancrepes.  why crepes? cause i added too much almond milk!  you can compensate by adding more dry ingredients, but i kept it as is and went for it.  i have FUN in my kitchen.  sometimes it’s a great success, sometimes it sucks.  flip a coin!

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since they are thinner than pancakes, my recipe made a ton.  i ate some flat, and i rolled some too. no pics of those yet though, lmbo.  i’d love to stuff them with something the next time, and i will. so sit tight.  i topped the flat ones with sugar-free cool whip, strawberry slices, and cinnamon.

so, salmon went on sale at HEB this past week and i didn’t say a word.  ironically, i got so many PM’s from friends letting me know about it  though LOL!!! thank you guys so much!! i’ll say something next time, i promise!

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red bell peppers were also on sale, so i snagged some of them too.  i made a huuuuge filet of salmon when i was prepping at the beginning of the week, and here are just a few of my meals.

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honey mustard smokehouse salmon with steamed okra and red bell peppers.

the salmon was cooked at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.  i squirted it with some Bragg’s liquid aminos, then seasoned it with Mc Cormick Smokehouse maple seasoning.

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since i have beets at home, i wanted to make one of my fave Cheesecake Factory Salads: the beet, goat cheese, and candied pecan spring mix salad.  what a combo!  i was looking for regular old goat cheese when i came across this gem!  it’s so sweet, creamy, and SOUR. the best part!  i don’t really do candied nuts, so i figured the sweetness will come from the cheese, and i can keep the nuts roasted and unsalted.  i’ll be making that tonight, can’t wait!

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last night i was browsing Instagram (fitfoodiele) and got inspiration for my final dish of the evening.  i took some scrambled egg whites with spinach, garlic powder & onion powder, incorporated some shredded salmon into it, then stuffed all that into my bell peps.  i topped them with the honey goat cheese and baked them in a 405 degree oven until the peps were tender but still crisp, and the cheese was lightly browned.

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i didn’t think the cheese could get any creamier or tangier…oh but it DID.  steamed okra and corn on the side!

hitting the gym today for my 2nd leg day this week and ready to get my squat ON.

a quick announcement…..

for my Houston readers, i am excited to announce that i will be instructing at 24 Hour Fitness again!!  the Katy Bella Terra Super Sport location is launching a free weekend of Les Mills, Cycle, Zumba, and recently added, Total Body Conditioning classes!  i’m ALWAYS raving about this class and how much it has improved my cardiovascular & muscular strength and endurance.  now, you can come experience it for yo self, with ME!!!!  check out the schedule and join us!

*Total Conditioning @ 11am with Leah on  Sunday, January 13th*

le








updated oats & flashbacks

i am all over the place today and don’t even know where to friggin’ start! ok how about with….breakfast:

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i’ve been saying i’m gonna post my updated morning bowl of oats recipe and i need to do it already. less talking and more action is what i’m putting into 2013.  i mean really.

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this particular bowl was made with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, real vanilla, vanilla creme stevia, and topped with bananas, chopped almonds, and a sprinkle of cinnamon <3

fitfoodiele’s BBO (basic bowl of oats) 

the stuff:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

do this:

bring the almond milk to a boil, add the vanilla, then add the oats. stir them around until every oat is wet lol, then turn your burner on low.  after 3 minutes it’s pretty much done!  i like mine not too lose, and not too tight.. so if a little liquid left is left that’s cool wit me.

**this is THE most basic way to make the oats…like ever.   when i post recipes in the future, this will almost always be the very base of the recipe…before i go crazy and start adding stuff all willy nilly.   sometimes i like to use 1 cup of almond milk + 1 cup of water which makes for one big huuuuuge bowl of oatmeal.  you know oats expand  in volume and soak up alotta the liquid it’s cooked in, so it’s like you’re eating more but really, you’re not.  i usually add a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon in there too- i like A LOT.  now, the toppings are endless i tell you, ENDLESS.  i usually do bananas (as if you didn’t know lol) but apple chunks and raisins, and blueberries work well as far as fruit goes, and all kinds of nuts pair well too.  my fave are almond, pecans, and pistachios.  a lot of people throw in a big scoop of nut butter (PB2, the real thang, almond butter, etc.) which adds incredible flavor. add what ya like!!!**

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here’s the break down on the types of oats so you won’t be in the bulk aisle lookin’ clueless:

old fashioned – not that great for smooth pancakes UNLESS you grind them first.  even when making a bowl of regular oatmeal, they don’t soak up much liquid, and take the longest to cook.

quick cooking / rolled oats  (1-3 minute cooking time) – these are pressed old-fashioned oats into thinner flakes which makes for a quicker cooking time, hence the name.  they work best for pancakes IMO. makes a huge difference in the texture of your cake.  buuut again, if you grind them up first, it doesn’t really matter now does it!

steel-cut – chopped up oat groats. (oat groats are the real whole oat, hulled and unprocessed). they produce a rougher, chewier bowl of regular oatmeal and take as long as old-fashioned oats to cook…maybe longer.

instant – i don’t do instant and you shouldn’t either :shock:

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after breakfast, i hit the gym and worked on my core, glutes, and ended with a little cardio.  you remember that ab machine that looks like a little tire wheel with two handles on either side? we had one of those growing up lol! the thought of my parents attempting to use that thing back then is HILARIOUS to me now.  matter fact, i don’t even remember anybody using it correctly, ever.  i like the cooler looking one above- i saw somebody else with one and grabbed one too.   i did 5 reps of 10 of these and was feelin’ it by the 2nd set, MY GOODNESS.

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then, grocery shopping! yeah i had a pretty awesome day! got lots of fresh produce and restocked Produce Island (e.g. my kitchen island, even though you prolly figured that out).  i have a lot of work to do in my test kitchen this month:)

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aaaand of course i restocked my snack corner too. all good stuff, i promise.

sooo, yesterday i made nachos for lunch. not just any nachos though, 

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grilled, JUMBO shrimp nachos!!!!

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i marinated the shrimp in liquid aminos, smokehouse maple seasoning, fresh chopped cilantro, and black pepper for a few minutes first,

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then went to work with my grill pan.  before i started that, i sliced up  some of my low carb La Tortilla Factory soft wraps, put them on a baking sheet, and cooked them until they were crispy.

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then…the magic happened.

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semi-homemade chips, shredded kale, chopped roma tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, shredded almond cheese, and SCRIMPS! i only had one small corner of almond cheese left and nachos MUST HAVE CHEESE! i scrounged up what i could, but they were still so good!  next time, way more cheese. way more.
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i also made some homemade guacamole:  avocado, tomato, cilantro, liquid aminos, pepper, and lemon juice.

KILLED IT!

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so i taught my very first class of 2013 this past Wed- i subbed a weight’s class for another instructor and got my burn ON baby! 

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i also realized that this is the beginning of my 5th year as an instructor. MY how time has flown. i have super-duper BIG news for my Houston area readers and gymers- just you wait!!

all these progress and throwback pics on IG have me going back looking through my own photo archives these days!  i came across this one from Sonny’s frat brother’s wedding in 2011.  

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fluffaaaaay!  and look at my posture:( however, my boobs were so heavy from breastfeeding.  i was darn  near hiding behind Sonny!!   i felt and definitely looked self-conscious and unconfident. i said on IG that Chiso was less than a year when we took this, but i later realized that he was 4 months old at the time.

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now, it didn’t take me an entire year to trim down to this size, but it’s something very gratifying about being able to look back to see where you WERE.  one bikini comp down and a current, consistent exercise/nutrition off-season regiment and i’m grabbing a fist full of that dress behind me cause it won’t stay up on its own these days!  i can finally say i’m content with my body; i’m staying right here. HEY Chiso, dang!!!!!!!

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never, ever limit exercise to physical benefits only; i tell people this over and over again!  exercise reduces stress… it’s an escape.. it’s a form of therapy.  along with looking fitter, it makes you FEEL better emotionally too.  i even sleep better!  this is why i was ITCHING to get back into the gym after having to sit down and recover from my dental surgery.  all of  those reasons above!

so, other than the physical benefits, WHY do you exercise?  (2013 gym newbies AND veterans!)

le

HEB meal deals + banana french toast

it’s cooooooold.  Houston finally got with it and the temps have dropped.  enjoy it while it lasts.  this morning though… i did NOT wanna get up.  you hear me?   4:15am came way too quick and my bed was way too comfy.  i admire my members for just showing up to class like they always do.  THAT is true commitment and dedication if i ever saw it. cause ummmm, if i didn’t have to be there today…. yeah :shock:  watching them file into the studio one by one, collect their equipment, and wait in anticipation as the clock winded down to begin class gave me the energy and inspiration i needed to give them nothing short of my absolute best!!  and that cup of coffee /green tea combo didn’t hurt either.   let nothing stop you from remaining consistent and making progress. nothing. especially something as petty as the weather!

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after class i did some upper body (shoulders + chest),

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took a pic of my polar HR monitor :lol:

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zipped up my Lululemon, 20121211_083539

and headed home to take more pics and make breakfast!  saturday i saw all this french toast on IG and it inspired me to make some of my own.  i had some again this morning with my egg white omelette and they hit the spot.  carbolicious.

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i used sesame ezekiel sprouted grain bread and made a sliced banana sandwich first,
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then, i dipped the entire thing in a mixture of:

stuffed banana french toast

the stuff:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3-5 drops of vanilla creme stevia
  • 1 tbsp coconut crystals
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites

do this:

  1. combine all ingredients into a bowl big enough for your sandwich to fit in.
  2. mix them well, then dip your sandwich in on one side for 2 seconds, then flip it to the other side for 2 seconds.
  3. immediately transfer it to a medium heated no stick pan and ‘fry’ it until brown on one side.
  4. flip it and brown the other side!  plate it up however you’d like and top it with more cinnamon, walden farms pancake syrup, and fresh banana slices.  i even shot it with some ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’ spray a few times.
  5. NOM.

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@  HEB this past weekend, i took advantage of one of their popular meal deal specials.  i got the two-step gumbo and the BBQ shrimp mix for free.  yep, i had some help.

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 it’s not considered clean, but it’s all natural, decent nutritional stats, and quite good!

stats (per 1/2 cup): 60 cals, 1.5g fat, 470 mg sodium, 9g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein

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to the gumbo mix, i added 1 cup of water, another cup of low sodium chicken broth, a bag of frozen okra, cut up two roma tomatoes, some fresh cilantro,

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and even though it didn’t really need it, extra seasonings!  just a few dashes of my sweet smokey chipotle paprika, black pepper, sriracha, and 2 squirts of liquid aminos.  it all came to a rolling boil, then i let it simmer for about 20 min on low so it could thicken up.

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i THOUGHT i had some shrimp leftover from last week’s kale tacos, but nope…all gone.   wish i had realized that before i went to the store!!  i ended up using some of the bbq tilapia that you’re gonna read about in a sec.   so if you have some, you can totally add shellfish, crab, sausage, etc. because gumbo just ain’t gumbo without it ;)

i added a scoop of brown rice on top and Sonny mixed it all together before he gobbled it up.

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when you buy the gumbo mix, you get this free.  i got to sample this stuff on some steel head trout while in the store which is what sold me on it!  i believe the cooking demo lady used olive oil to thin it out though:(  but it was soooo good. when i got home, i took 2 tablespoons of the shrimp mix and added 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to make a creamy marinade for my tilapia.

stats: (per tbsp) 25 cals, 1g fat, 1g sat fat, 340 mg sodium, 3 carbs, 2 sugars

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loved it!!! yes, almond milk!!


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oh yeah, while i was @ the store, i came across these guys.  can you read that sign?  it says purple sweet potatoes are higher in nutritional value than the traditional sweet potato.  who knew? i didn’t.  a friend of mine advised that i check out an Asian market  for these babies though cause that 2.98 a lb is a little too steep for me.  can’t wait to try them!

now for my last unexpected purchase!  i’ve been drinking almond milk for like the past 3 years now and i have no plans to go back to dairy milk anytime soon, or ever.  but when i tell you i almost slurped down this whole box, you better believe it.

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it was worth the gas and bloating :lol:

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 Chiso hasn’t been a fan of drinking milk solo, so i’ve just been using it to make his oatmeal instead of water so he can still get his vitamin D and calcium.  after i let him sample a little of this Horizon Organic Vanilla milk @ the store, to my surprise, he asked for more immediately!  actually i’m not surprised cause it’s a little high in sugar (22g) and it’s vanilla flavored. lol.  however, it’s all natural, and still loaded with nutrients, so it went in the basket.

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he tried to tear that box open after it was empty.  score!  if only he loved his veggies the same way…

le

disaster recovery

 we got back from Vegas monday morning at 6am and went straight to work from the plane.  didn’t sleep a wink on the flight or the night before.  however, Chiso did get some good sleep and snoozed the entire way home, WHEW.   you bet it was a long day that day.

while i attempted to catch up on rest, i neglected our empty fridge for two days!  i hadn’t grocery shopped on Thanksgiving eve in a really, really long time.  HEB’s parking lot was filled to capacity as expected, but as you see, they had every single lane open to accommodate the crowd.  take note, Walmart!!!!!!!!  AND, *big cheese* i happened to meet one of my readers in the store that night! i didn’t want to scare her off, so i screamed on the inside :lol:  shout out to Nneka from Austin! *waving*

 i had just hauled my cart up to the belt when she quietly stepped behind me with her hand basket.   of course i told her to go ahead of me since she only had a few things (don’t you appreciate when someone does that!?) which is when she introduced herself.  just goes to show how you never know who knows you or who’s watching-  treat others how you want to be treated at ALL times.

soooo, how was your TG 2K12?!

mine started bright and early at the crack of dark.  i left Chiso and Sonny slobbering and snoring to run the annual Houston Turkey Trot 10K.  i love that the free t-shirt this year is long sleeve; that’s rare.  i have not run long distance in forever, smh, but my cardio @ the gym definitely helps keep my endurance up.

before i hit the road, i made and devoured these babies:

coconut caramel pistachio pancakes.

 i used the base recipe for my banana pancakes and added the toppings- raw unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped bananas, Walden Farms caramel sauce, and crushed pistachios.

racing fuel!

might as well call these dessert pancakes- they were off the chain.

 over 12k people laced up their running shoes and showed out on Thanksgiving morning.

i was standing around and counting down to start time and noticed the people around me had on such cool colorful running shoes!

   i don’t like the front or the very back, but the middle serves me just fine!  i was about two minutes or so from the starting line.  and yes, i ran with my phone in my hand the whole time. i need a fanny pack.

finished around 50 minutes or so.

   just wanted to support the cause and get some exercise… didn’t care about breaking or making any PR’s.

forgot to stop my watch immediately afterwards as usual, but i burned somewhere in the high 600’s. which was only like half of one of my Thanksgiving plates :lol:

my heart rate really got up there! normally when i do HIIT, i top out around 176 before my HR starts to decline.  when i heard a lady shout  ‘last mile!!!’ i turned my burners on and sustained my HR above 180 until i crossed the finish line. my legs and chest were on FIRE.

post race, you can find me by the food.

they gave out some flavored vitamin water, bananas,

and chewy granola bars.  chocolate chip, peanut butter, and a smores flavor.

 i met up with my friend Nichola post race- she competed in Vegas for Fitness America Weekend as well!  always posing;)  and sorry Nichola, no donuts at the post race party LOL

by now i am almost sick to my stomach of seeing plates of Thanksgiving food on Instagram so i’m gonna chill on sharing mine.  i will, however, share my 5 ingredient dump cake recipe!  indulgent, um yes.  so you should prolly stick to making this on holidays only.

1. canned cherries. i was über happy to see this ‘no sugar added’ variety of cherry pie filling, but was bummed that it was still sweetened with Splenda. womp, womp. however i got it anyway cause the original stats were just way too high. i couldn’t do it.  i’m a changed woman.

2. pineapple chunks.  the ‘skinny fruits’ caught my eye like the manufacturers intended, but that big Splenda stamp ruined it again.

so, i grabbed what i always use- dole.  a little higher in the calories and sugar vs. the Libby’s, but it’s still all natural and no sugar added.

dump the can of cherries into a pan

followed by the pineapple chunks, juice and all.

3. box of yellow cake mix. it’s not pictured, and any brand will do.  pour it on top of the cherries and pineapple.

4. stick of butter :shock: yeah, those are pads of butter.  they melt into the yellow cake mix when baking and form something so incredibly delectable and Paula Deen approved.  i mean you don’t have to use the entire stick though, and you could very well substitute it with a lighter whipped butter, Earth Balance, or Smart Balance spread instead.

5. pecans. sprinkle them on top before popping the whole thing in the oven for 1 hr on 375-400 deg.  no stirring required! hence the name, dump cake.

so…………how many times have you admired your Thanksgiving food baby in the mirror today?

do NOT let that or food guilt completely ruin the happy, positive memories of  Thanksgiving 2k12.  you ate those delicious foods cause you wanted to and you’ve been waiting all year for them.   you may have woken up with a tummy ache and the need to make a mad dash to the rr like i did this morning lol, but that’s OK.  like most people, i ate a lot of carbs  and white sugar: pie, cake, dressing, rolls, etc, so i did cut some of my carbs today to balance my intake, but i did not cut them out.  do this:

  • get back on track with your clean diet – do NOT starve yourself.
  • physical activity…asap.  hit the gym for your routine as normal, or go outside for a walk, jog, or run.   you’ll feel a lot better, instantly.
  • drink plenty of water  and green tea with each meal as it speeds up digestion.
  • let the food guilt GO.
  • chunk the leftovers or give them away.  if the temptation is too much, stop torturing yourself and get rid of them. liquid soap to the rescuuuuuuuue :shock:

i slept in this morning but i made my way to the gym eventually for some cardio and light leg work.

20 minutes of HIIT on the stairmaster (60 rest rate / 90 work rate), legs, then 40 minutes of steady state cardio .  yep, put in a little extra work to combat yesterday’s feasts.

i bought some chicken drumsticks a few weeks ago cause i could not pass up the sale price, so i went ahead and made them for dinner for the weekend.  we have been eating only chicken breast for……..a really long dang time!!! 

it’s nice to eat a different part of the bird for a change. smokey chipotle paprika drumsticks.

 i do hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family time, memories, lots of good food, and fellowship.

if i had ten thousand tongues, i could not thank the Lord enough!!!!!!!

le

journey to clean(er) eating

how it starts….

how it ends.

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

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

MORE fresh fruits and vegetables

LESS processed foods (low to no)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yum.

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

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

today…cardio, legs, and stretching.

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

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

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

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

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

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

le

winner winner chicken dinner


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

i’m pretty proud of this guy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sonny smashed a steak omelette topped with cheese and tomatoes,

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

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

 

time to get back on track.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONGRATULATIONS SONNY!!!!! XOXO

le

turkey day 10k + november goals

happy NOVEMBER &  friday :)

let’s celebrate.  have some pancakes.

i made a big one for Chiso’s breakfast yesterday.  since he hadn’t had them in a while (we switched to Ezekiel’s cinnamon raisin bread for a little bit) he killed the whole thing in a few minutes.

it was topped with some cinnamon and a drizzle of walden farms pancake syrup.

SO, what are your fitness and nutrition goals for this month?  how often do you make goals anyway?  do you even make them? daily? weekly? monthly? making goals has become an incredibly useful tool for me now that i’m in off-season with my competition training.  whenever i write ANYTHING down (grocery list, an event, reminder, whatever) Sonny feels the need to remind me what year it is and to document things electronically.  well sometimes i don’t want to!  i mean seriously.  i enjoy writing out my grocery list by hand and crossing off items one by one while i’m at the store.  i just do.  i’m pretty sure it’s cause my mom did/does that.  i also like to group all my items together (frozen, produce, etc.) as i take them out of my basket and put them on the belt at checkout.  Sonny finally understands this and lets me do my thing :lol:  anyway, it will take me longer to type my entire list into my phone… and then what if it dies!?

i did a reverse selfie (which is way freakin harder to do than i thought) of my october progress which was to eat as clean as possible and to add more definition all over, especially my abs.  i stuck with my clean eating for the most part even though these weekend parties filled with pizza and cake got me a few times!   but i stayed inside my 80/20 rule, so it’s all good.  i also upped my weight training and decreased my cardio.  i’d love to stay where i am right right now so that when i compete again, i’ll be at an acceptable ‘starting’ place.

 le’s NOVEMBER 2012 fitness and nutrition goals 

  • continue to stay on track with my meal plan and clean eating
  • ENJOY Thanksgiving to the fullest – no meal plan, scale, nothin’ on that day
  • Run this 10K on turkey day —-> http://turkeytrot.shelteringarms.org/  and beat my current PR!
  • Add HIIT back into my current workout routine (sprints 2x’s a week)
  • Take my ab workouts more serious

ok those are mine!  whether you write them or type your goals, just make some.   i’m not just running a 10k so i can eat like a crazy woman on TG, but  i already planned to workout anyway.  i know my gym class will be canceled like it is every year, but i’d totally be there at 5:30am sharp for anyone who wanted to get in a great weight workout that morning.

have you ever worked out on Thanksgiving Day???  

  my little Ruggles Green lunch date from the weekend inspired me to throw a butternut squash in our grocery basket.

 i threw the whole thing in the oven for about 20-25 minutes on 400 degrees.  after it cooled, i cut it in half, long ways.

i think i got pretty darn close to their Famous Butternut Squash.  in terms of taste, not looks, apparently.

at least Chiso thinks so- he liked it *wipes forehead*.   i used:

squash:

  • walden farms pancake syrup (instead of the maple syrup)
  • i can’t believe it’s not butter spray butter
  • few dashes of cinnamon
  • dash of salt

topping:

  • crunchy lite granola (bulk bins at HEB/Whole Foods)
  • coconut crystals (found at Whole Foods)

that’s all that’s in there and it was too simple to be that good.  i didn’t measure a thing though and just threw it together, fyi.  i was gonna cut it into chunks and throw it in the blender, but it was soft enough to just whip/mash up in a bowl by hand.  also,  i didn’t have graham crackers like the original recipe, but Sonny’s lite crunchy granola worked out fine.

does he look warm?  bless his heart.  i hadn’t been outside since my eeeeearly morning workout, so i assumed it was still pretty cool out.  not quite.

i took him out of the jacket and he took the hat off himself lol.  Moms, if you don’t have a jogging stroller, INVEST in one.  no gym membership required.  your post baby body journey starts with some good ol’ walking.  you’ll be jogging/running again eventually though, and you’ll be able to knock out two birds with one stone!  family time and exercise.  never let your little one be your excuse…only your reason.  we were blessed with this stroller as a baby shower gift and i am SOOOOO grateful for it.

i used the last of that fresh atlantic salmon we bought to make breakfast tacos for meal #4 that night.  i put this concoction together in my head while on our evening walk- fresh salmon, avocado, egg whites, shredded almond cheese all on a Ezekiel sprouted grain corn tortilla. yum!  the tortillas pretty much broke apart once i picked it up :( , but hey it all went to the same place.

we topped them with cilantro and salsa first.

after that, i went to my freezer for the next best thing since we’re outta salmon right now- tilapia!  i baked a few pans of garlic and herb tilapia in the oven so i could prep some more meals to get us through the week.

i also made so fresh steamed asparagus for our green vegetable. lots of lemon pepper and Pam.

meal #5  for that evening consisted of spaghetti squash i baked earlier in the week, tilapia, and asparagus. i just rolled up two fork fulls of the squash and made it look like little pasta nests.  then i sprinkled them with garlic and herb seasoning and some dried parsley.

Chiso and i are gearing up to support Sonny in his 2nd bodybuilding show this weekend!

we are so ready to cheer him on :)

a trophy would be awesome, but i get to bring the man home with me! whoop whoop!

le