halfway there! 20 weeks

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already!? cool with me.

  baby boy (we have a name but i’ll let Sonny finalize it first) is measuring the size of a banana this week.  i’m feeling him move all the time, day and night, and the flutters have definitely turned into random punches, kicks, and pokes.  my nurse says i am not drinking enough water (no surprise there unfortunately) so i’ve been chugging when i can.  so i have to pee all the time. day and night. i have to pee right after i finish peeing. no kidding. so annoying!!!!!! :evil:

foodery:

trying my hardest to keep things on the healthy side for the most part. here are some recent eats:

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been grilling up lots of chicken. people tell me they get tired of chicken quickly but as long as i switch up the flavors often, it’s like eating it for the first time to me.  i found the Weber Kickn’ Chicken seasoning blend a few days ago at my Walmart and i really like it so far. i don’t even mind the spice, which i’ve never been crazy about!  yummy.  since Sonny is about to be on the competition trail again he’s been eating lots of tilapia, so i usually eat some too with my meals.  i made that homemade bbq chicken pizza using Naan flat bread up there and omg. it was just incredible.   along with all my meals though, plenty of veggies and fresh fruit, everyday. some nights i have a strong craving for SOMETHING…… and nothing i eat will satisfy it. nothing. so i just eat a small chunk of cheese and go to bed.

and then there’s the occasional indulgence i have yet to deny myself.  Boston Market mac n cheese. why? because CHEESE.

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staying active:

getting it in 5-6 days  a week lately!  this past week i went 6 days in a row so i didn’t go anywhere near the gym saturday at all.  ok sunday too :lol: . i have never liked taking two days off in a row, but i am rested and ready to attack monday head on.  i haven’t skipped a beat with my super early morning HIIT and weights classes and i’m lifting at least 3 days a week on my own.

these are plain ol’ squats with a weighted barbell. (thanks for your patience, Tamika ;) )! as an instructor, proper form is a big deal to me, and using less weight has really given me a chance to focus on the muscle i’m working and ensure i’m doing it right myself.  sometimes my thoughts are clouded with how heavy the weight is and how many reps i have left to go vs. what i’m actually doing!  now, normally i’d slap 45 lbs on my bar for class (22.5 on each side) but i’ve modified that to 30 lbs total as of late.

remember:

  • knees BEHIND toes at all times

  • sit in your imaginary chair

  • back flat

  • spine, neck, head all in alignment

  • chest lifted

  • squeeze your glutes on the way down AND up

  • put your weight in your heels. can you lift your toes in your shoes at any time?

  • pick a spot on the ceiling and focus your attention there. looking up helps to keep your chest lifted too.

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so just.keep.moving.  it has been too uncomfortably cold to walk outside in Houston lately, so i have been using the elliptical, stair master, and treadmill for my cardio, 4-5 times a week.  however when it warms up i can’t wait to get back outside to my neighborhood walks again.  no idea how much weight i’ve gained and i’d like to keep it that way to be honest! i’m thinking once i deliver and start my transformation i’ll let Sonny track all my measurements and numbers in the beginning JUST for documentation/timeline purposes.  weight is just not something i want to stress myself about ever again.

conclusion:

against my wishes, i’m gonna need some maternity clothes this round.  i finally starting showingshowing around 6.5 months with my first pregnancy, so i wore all my regular, breathable clothes til i delivered for the most part. this time… belly is getting on out there and everything is tight already. especially my underwear.

Q: what was the best thing you ate this weekend? that mac n cheese made my DAY.

le

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

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

hostess with the mostess – cheesy spinach and squash au gratin

my mom is a pre-K teacher and still on her holiday break, so she and my aunt (her sis-in-law) came over to hang out, sleepover, and keep Chiso company with us. which means, i get ta’ COOKIN’!  whipping up healthy, tasty food for my family gives me life (add that to the phrases we should stop using in 2014 :roll: ) but it best describes how i feel while i’m doing my thing in my kitchen.  now can i do all this again tomorrow?  you bet! playing hostess is FUN. what we chowed down on today:

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lean turkey burgaaaaaas for lunch!  super easy recipe can be found on my instagram post from earlier today (look for this same photo).

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i topped the patties with cheddar style rice cheese,

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and i found those sprouted grain buns at Sprouts Farmer’s Market recently.  i was looking for the Ezekiel ones but these were cheaper and by Alvarado Street Bakery.  heard a lot about them and was not disappointed.

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no lettuce or avocado in the house, womp. but i did have condiments, tomatoes, and plenty of pickles. stuff your burgers with your fave toppings and toast your buns (makes a big difference in taste and texture).  everyone enjoyed their burger except for you-know-who.

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he touched it like he was going to pick it up and then faked everybody out.  i’ll try again tomorrow.

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i’ve been playing around with a squash casserole type recipe for the past few days and finally just went for it today since i was all up in the kitchen anyway. turned out better than i imagined, whoa. 

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 Sonny says it tastes just like Boston Market’s squash casserole side and well, i won’t argue with him!

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cheesy spinach & squash au gratin

the stuff:

  • 2 large zucchini, raw, coined & halved (see pic above)
  • 2 large yellow squash, raw, coined & halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 1 cup frozen, thawed spinach
  • 1/2 cup cheddar style rice cheese
  • 1/2 cup skim mozzarella (you may use mozzarella almond cheese as well)
  • 1/8 cup light parmesan cheese

breadcrumbs:

  • 3 slices Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful bread, toasted until crispy
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 cup light parmesan cheese

do this:

  1. spray your casserole dish with no-stick cooking spray and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. make breadcrumbs by combining listed ingredients in your food processor and pulsing until you achieve a breadcrumb-like consistency.
  3. in a large skillet over medium heat, saute the garlic, onion, zucchini, and squash together for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
  4. add spinach, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid aminos, parsley, and cracked black pepper to pan; mix.
  5. cover pan and let cook down for 10 more minutes before shutting off the heat and pouring your squash mixture into your prepared casserole dish. set aside.
  6. in a separate bowl, whisk eggs.
  7. to the egg mixture, add 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of breadcrumb mixture, 1/2 cup of cheese, and the 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
  8. if your squash mixture has completely cooled by now, go ahead and add the egg mixture to it in the casserole dish and mix WELL. if it’s still warm, temper the eggs by adding a little bit of squash mixture to the egg mixture (in that order, please!)  at a time to prevent making scrambled eggs.  the cold almond milk should help cool the squash mixture down faster too. once all combined, set aside.
  9. add the last 1/2 cup of cheese to  1/4 cup of the breadcrumb mixture and sprinkle it on top of your casserole evenly.
  10. bake for 40-45 minutes or until the casserole no longer jiggles when you shake the dish.
  11. let it cool then dive in.

i divided my dish into 8 nice size servings and here are the stats for 1 serving: 162 cals, 6g fat, 14g carbs, 15g protein, 4 g sugar.

have a seat, Boston Market :lol:

lastly, for dinner, i heated up some leftover chicken & veggie stir fry and mixed it with some marinara sauce to revive the flavors. very yummy!  i also baked two pans of swai for tonight and for Sonny’s lunches tomorrow.  i don’t add ANY salt to the swai cause it doesn’t need it at all like tilapia.

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  i topped these with onion powder, garlic powder, and salt free Southwest seasoning from Mc Cormick (found at Walmart and HEB) and cooked them for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. that’s it!  roasted brussels sprouts on the side.
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 thinking about all the crazy business ideas in my head and on my heart for 2014 and it overwhelms me.  i’m determined to make 2014 NOTHING like 2013 though. one day at a time.  ok, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

le

commitment day 5k 2k14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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one of each please.

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

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

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

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i brought the banana home to my little monkey.

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

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

le

fit foodie who?

so i’m roughly 16 weeks and some change and finally climbing further and further away from my first trimester symptoms.  thank. God.  if you were to have asked me who Fit Foodie Le was from weeks 8ish to about 13 i would not have been able to answer.   at my 8 week appt., my doc asked me if i needed any nausea meds and i proudly said ‘nope!’. i prolly had a ‘who, me?’ look on my face to go with it.  weeeeell week 9 came and socked me in the face like a bag of rocks.  nausea (evening sickness) headaches, annoying forehead acne (still here), confused appetite, mood swings, and some of the worst fatigue i’ve ever experienced took over my world.  i felt like one of those cartoon characters with a black rain cloud following them everywhere.

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i didn’t want to do ANYTHING.  y’all don’t hear me. NOTHING AT ALL.  no blogging, no IG, no social media whatsoever. i just wanted to disconnect from everything, everyone and sleep.  after walking up the stairs in our home, i had enough energy left to crumble to the floor once i finally made it to the top.  carrying Chiso across the room made my heart rate skyrocket.  i had no desire to workout and used every single excuse i could not to hit the gym when i wasn’t teaching my fitness classes. i mainly blamed the weather (smh) which has never been a factor for me.  had no desire to go anywhere, do anything, be social, talk about fitness, eat or cook healthy food, and definitely no desire to motivate and inspire anybody else when i couldn’t even get my own behind going.  because baby #2 was still secret, i had to keep quiet on social media and act like nothing had changed.  truth be told, i was on strike from vegetables with Chiso during that time cause the sight or smell of them made my nausea flare up.  most days, especially after a gym class, i’d be super hungry, but everything i thought of to eat repulsed me. friends, over those few weeks i ate some things i hadn’t eaten in years because i wanted them and just didn’t care! this flood of new hormones made me completely unfocused.  was i craving them? i wouldn’t even call it that.  i just didn’t want any healthy food and had to eat something.

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but subway is a great pick, right? everything in moderation friends, even subway. i had my fave sammich (the turkey breast on wheat) for lunch and dinner for about 2 weeks straight. it’s all i wanted. and conveniently located right next to Sonny’s job :lol: .  then things took a slight turn…

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a tartar sauce-less fillet O’ fish from Mc Donalds. who even eats these anymore!?!?  hadn’t eaten one in decades but a tv commercial was all it took.  it was as delicious as i remember.

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Timmy Chans wings and rice. with gravy. I KNOW. :shock: :shock: :shock:

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fresh, hot, Shipley’s donut holes. i figure the holes would help me nip my ‘craving’ in the bud rather than eating a whole donut or four. but if you eat them all at once then that theory doesn’t actually work now does it :roll:

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more chocolate chip Eat Pastry vegan cookie dough. eaten raw,

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and baked.

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now THIS really was a craving! i can eat Papa Johns pizza any time of day, hot or cold, preggo or not. omg. pineapple, ham, and plenty of CHEESE.  5 slices later……. and i could have honestly kept going.

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normally i get oatmeal or a whole wheat english muffin/toast on the side when we go out for breakfast (which is super rare anyway) , but nope, i ordered and devoured a pancake bigger than my head at The Egg & I.

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aaaaand this guy… I IG’ed this weeks ago and i consider it the start of my indulgent, sporadic 1st tri eats. it’s the Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie,  a Chili’s classic.  the last time we ate there though it was called the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie!  its been a while.

so the wack part of it all is that immediately after i ate those things i felt worse. every time.  i’m not just talking food guilt here guys. i’m talking bad physically.  i don’t know if those foods tasted so unbelievably incredible because i’m preggo or because i hadn’t eaten them in soooooo long or what! they only satisfied me for the moment though and wreaked havoc on my ‘plumbing’ later, if you will.  things were just as bad in the exercise department.  i’d dread my drive to the gym and gripe, moan, and complain the entire way there.  once i got going and was actually  moving and sweating though, i felt like ME again and back to normal.  soon as i stopped? back to crappy town. so i figured i might as well force myself to eat healthy stuff again since my workouts were struggling and eating those terrible processed foods was a threat to me and the baby’s overall health.  also, i was heavily contributing to early, unnecessary weight gain and reintroducing former unhealthy habits.    my classes have literally saved me.  if it weren’t for them i would not have exercised at all.  some might say ‘what’s the big deal with not exercising for a few weeks???’.  i don’t want my first trimester to set the tone for the rest of my pregnancy.  once i sit down for too long, even two days, (even when i’m not preggo)- it’s like pulling teeth getting back into a routine again.  if you’re struggling to get through your first tri or pregnancy period, just HOLD ON!!! indulge in a craving every now and then and just keep moving. what can i say..it will all be worth it ;)

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my OB assured me things would change with time and thankfully they have.  hellooooo, 2nd tri!  my goal is no longer weight or fat loss, none of that! i just want to keep moving as much as possible, have fun with my workouts, and keep my healthy eating habits going along with some Papa John’s pizza here and there. that’s it. no pressure. until i deliver and recover; health for me and baby is my priority. i’m excited to share my 2nd fit preggo journey with you again!

looking forward to some of these prenatal exercises now that my desire to move again is back:

  1. spinning – works wonders for circulation for mom and baby without all the joint pressure from weightlifting or say kickboxing classes.  plus, you determine the speed, intensity, everything.
  2. yoga- no hot yoga though! eases tension, boosts your mood, and can even make for an easier delivery.
  3. walking- i walked 98% of my 1st pregnancy and did a few 5 and 10ks along the way. ain’t nothin’ changed.
  4. zumba- it’s a great cardiovascular workout that  requires side stepping, jumping, and turning movements. keep an eye on that heart rate though.
  5. water aerobics – ‘It may reduce pain during labor, according to a study published in Reproductive Health, finding that women who did water aerobics three times a week were less likely to ask for pain relief during labor, compared to those who didn’t exercise.’ hmmmm! i like those odds.
  6. booty barre – a ballet-inspired class that includes legwork with minimal jumping, making it a great option for preggo women.  they will be offered at Lifetime Fitness soon!

the real Fit Foodie Le has returned and is ready to rock round two RIGHT! here we gooooooooooooo

le

 

fit n’ crispy chicken parm

Italian food. its been on my mind lately.

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i really wanted something heavy like a big pan of cheesy lasagna but this nipped that craving right in the bud.  it’s lean, it’s fit, it’s crispy, it’s savory, and it’s good.

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making your own bread crumbs is super simple and recommended.  i used some toasted Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful bread for mine.

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perfect. no frying needed! i had planned to sear the chicken on both sides in my cast iron skillet (before putting them into the oven to finish) cause i wanted that crispy, crunchy exterior, but omitting that step still produced the same results. SCORE.

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i used Classico all natural, fire roasted tomato & garlic sauce,

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and topped the breasts with a heaping tbsp of sauce, a few spinach leaves, and a big slice of mozzarella almond cheese.

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i know chicken parm is usually paired with some variety of pasta, but i had a big, unbaked spaghetti squash sitting on my counter i needed to use.

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tender, Italian juiciness.  recipe time :)

fit n’ crispy chicken parm

the stuff: breadcrumbs

  • 4 slices Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful wheat bread, toasted (can use gluten-free bread)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup light parmesan cheese (optional for a dairy-free dish)

the stuff: chicken

  • 4 large boneless & skinless chicken breasts (pounded and flattened)
  • 1/2 jar of all natural Classico Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread
  • 3 oz Lisanatti Mozzarella Almond Cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos

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do this: breadcrumbs

  1. toast slices of bread until crispy, not burnt but no longer soft and chewy.
  2. break them up into pieces by hand and toss them into your food processor.
  3. add the onion powder, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings.
  4. blend until you achieve a breadcrumb-like consistency and set to the side.

do this: chicken – preheat oven to 400 degrees now!

  1. pound and flatten thawed chicken breasts (under a towel, in plastic wrap, in a plastic bag, etc) with your mallet until about 1/2 in thick.
  2. place them into a large bowl and pour the liquid aminos and melted whipped butter spread over the top, coating evenly.
  3. spread out the breadcrumb mixture onto a large, flat plate.
  4. spray your baking pan with no stick cooking spray and set it on your work station.
  5. take each chicken breast and dip/press them into the breadcrumb mixture coating both sides evenly.
  6. place them neatly into your pan, flat.  if they are touching it’s ok but don’t overcrowd your pan.
  7. sprinkle cracked black pepper onto the breasts.
  8. place pan(s) into the oven and cook for 20 minutes on one side; flip, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. remove chicken from oven (make sure they are done in the center) and remove the breasts from the pan.
  10. pour tomato sauce into your pan, covering the bottom completely.
  11. place chicken breasts back into pan on top of sauce.
  12. top them each with 1-2 tbsp more of sauce, a few leaves of spinach, as well your cheese (you can shred it too, your call.)
  13. place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until your cheese is all bubbly and melty!

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fyi, there was a little over 1/4 cup of unused breadcrumbs left.

per 4 oz serving of chicken: 240 cals, 7g fat, 12g carbs, 2 g fiber, 31 g protein

enjoy! make it, take a pic, and tag me on Instagram (#fitfoodiele) or to the Fit Foodie Le Facebook Fan page!

le

#laterpost #flashbackfriday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

madewithOveryummy pumpkin cake

the stuff:

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

do this:

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

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

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

t-4 days yall!!

le

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.

fflstartergrocerylist

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

sugarstack.35 PM copy

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:

image (47)

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