fashionably fit feature + homemade, all natural, vanilla cake

happy monday to ya! first, i’d like to give a BIG thanks to Nikki & Val of Style for the Fashionable Fit feature on their blog, Style to Envy! Please go check out my interview and show these ladies i had the pleasure of meeting at the ’13 Blog Elevated Conference some major love.  you can find and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and spruce up your wardrobe in the process.

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the Tin Woman went to yoga again this weekend. it was the usual, getting dizzy, falling over, body parts falling asleep, all that jazz. i’ve been keeping up with it but the struggle continues and won’t stop.  time to make that switch to prenatal yoga though (the classes are offered at my Lifetime Fitness) cause some of the Vinyasa moves weren’t too belly friendly.

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here are some of my weekend eats:

  1. 1. friday night fro-yo concoction. it’s been a while! did the dairy bloat me?  who knows :lol:
  2. fresh berries from Sprouts on sale this week.  the sales change every Wednesday in Houston (at HEB as well) so you can go on that day to take advantage of the old and new sales. double whammy.
  3. a 6 Pack USA approved meal of chicken breast, asparagus, wild rice, unsalted & roasted almonds, and strawberries. this is typically what i’ve been having for most of my meals or some variation of it (along with my egg sammiches!!)
  4. a southwest salad from Central Market (roasted corn, black beans, spanish rice, romaine lettuce blend, cherry tomatoes, tortilla strips & fried plantain chips (that i picked out), and sweet ancho vinaigrette on the side.
  5. a real crab roll from Central Market with avocado and cucumber.  i picked up the imitation crab roll until i saw the real thing just was a buck more. sushi is such a great balance of protein, carbs, and fat.

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the colors at Central Market are always so VIBRANT! we actually stopped by after church just for the Chocolate Fest going on from Feb. 5th – 18th. Sonny and i have gone every year since we’ve been married around V-day.  if you’ve never been, GO! they have a chocolate fondue fountain (at our location anyway) and samples galore throughout the store.

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this was our first time bringing Chiso along and the poor guy got #chocolatewasted #goodtimes

 i suggest going on the weekend when it’s lively or stopping by on V-day for dessert.

speaking of sweets, i have a healthy treat i’d like to share with ya! homemade, all natural, vanilla cake.

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all natural, homemade, vanilla cake 

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the stuff:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or cake flour or whole wheat flour or whole white wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup coconut crystals (or organic brown sugar or coconut sugar)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

do this:

1⃣mix dry ingredients with dry in one bowl.

2⃣add the vinegar to the milk and set it aside.

3⃣mix eggs together in separate bowl. then add sugar, vanilla, and oil.

4⃣add the wet mixture and the milk into the dry batter a little at a time until fully incorporated.

5⃣use any pan you’d like! bundt, cupcakes (14-18 min), or a pound cake loaf like i did (30-33 minutes) in a 350 deg oven. when an inserted toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.

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meringue topping: a complete experiment

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup warm agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

i whipped the egg whites until stiff peaks were formed, then i added the warm syrup and vanilla and kept whipping. it turned a pearlescent white and was so soft and fluffy! you have to eat meringue right away though..  i didn’t use it all and it totally didn’t last / hold it’s structure through the night.

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i also made a vegan butter-creme using Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread, powered sugar, and vanilla that actually turned out too good  but was too sweet.   some of the fresh fruit i bought earlier went on top and sliced almonds on the side. that’s another option.

 i cut my loaf into 12 servings; macros for 1 slice: 169 cals, 10g fat, 17g carbs, 2g protein.

Q: do you have a Valentine’s Day tradition? share!

sweet slow cooker cornish hens + ‘Chopped’ suey

did anybody else catch the new ep of Chopped tonight!? i’m a huge fan of the show and while i thought one of the competitors, Lauren Von Der Pool ‘s performance was totally disrespectful yet comical, social media pretty much agreed and proceeded to rip her to shreds immediately the show aired :shock: . after watching i just had to google her name (apparently i wasn’t alone) and i’m just blown away yet again at the wrath of social media, my goodness.  it’s 2014 and words still hurt.  they always will.  i wish her much success and sincerely hope she takes away some valuable lessons from her Chopped experience.  anyway, i hope your #sundayfamilyfunday was pleasant!  i whipped out my crock pot this morning before church and threw this together:madewithOver-4

sweet slow cooker cornish hens

the stuff:

  • 3 whole cornish game hens
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos
  • 1/2 cup light agave nectar
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Crystals (or coconut sugar)

do this:

  1. set slow cooker to 4hrs & 30 minutes on low
  2. place thawed birds in slow cooker
  3. coat birds in liquid aminos
  4. drizzle birds with light agave nectar
  5. sprinkle birds with cracked black pepper
  6. sprinkle birds with coconut crystals / sugar
  7. turn the birds every hour or so and coat them with the pan drippings to ensure it cooks evenly and is flavored evenly.

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i was supposed to cook these guys for new years day but never got around to it.  they were served with turnip greens and a giant baked sweet potato topped with cinnamon and a tiny bit of Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread. tip: spray your pot with no-stick cooking spray first; i forgot to do so.

my early am Lifetime classes are back on the schedule after a 2 week holiday break!  i’ll be hitting my new members and veterans with new moves, new music and a bigger bump :lol:

le

holiday happiness

::Christmas::

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: what are your NYE plans? vote below!

ay caramba!

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i thought the original quote by Ellen DeGeneres ‘i really don’t think i need buns of steel. i’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.’ was freakin’ hilarious.  but i want both dang it, hence this ecard i made. it CAN be done!!! right? :shock:

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i taught my Barbell Strength class this morning as usual and it was SO DANG COLD outside!!!! ok it was like 50 degrees but after a long Houston Summer i’d say that’s pretty cold.  i wanted to teach in my Lulu jacket but after the warm up i was good to go.   when i pulled up to the gym there were so many empty parking spots. this is the kinda day where if i wasn’t an instructor i’d be home in my warm bed too, shoot.  i think i say that too often :lol: .however, class attendance was spectacular. i was so proud and kept thanking my members for just being there.  the weather can be a big factor in determining class attendance; especially at the crack of dawn and especially in the rain. their desire to keep their health a priority spoke volumes to me.

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sooooo, it’s that time again. new FITzee Foods meals comin’ at cha for the month of November. coming home to this box at my doorstep always makes me all giddy!!

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this was the first meal i cracked open last weekend that i have already blasted over twitter and facebook, i know, i know. just reminding you how light, filling, nutritious, and Paleo friendly it is/was.

however… i found a new menu item i have fallen head over heels for: Green Chili Enchiladas.

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oh yeah. whole wheat tortilla. pinto beans. green chilis. corn. carrots. onions. roasted tomatillo sauce. shredded, seasoned chicken breast chunks. spices. CHEESE. it tasted like it came straight from a restaurant kitchen!  i stopped by Trader Joe’s on my way home this morning so i cracked open some of the 0% greek yogurt i got and plopped a dollop on top. perfection.

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Chiso wouldn’t come anywhere near my fork but he did smile for our picture.  it’s such a crazy beautiful day so we ate outside on the porch.

 also, thanks to Michelle for the cute, fitted FITzee t-shirt i’m rockin’. #represent

Q: is the weather a big deterrent concerning getting your butt to the gym? be honest.

le

 

all natural + BOO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OR

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

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

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

because all-natural refers to food that is:

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

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

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

scary, huh :shock: .

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

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

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

BE SAFE TONIGHT ;)

le

#pancakeporn


countless outtakes this morning. :shock:

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exercise of the day: heel clicks!

HIIT (high intensity interval training) includes anaerobic exercise which is defined as using your muscles at a high intensity for a short period of time. it is awesome for building strength and mass while still benefitting the heart & lungs. my fave benefit-  it builds your endurance and ability to fight off fatigue so you can run, bike, or swim, longer and longer each time.

i had my class do these this morning! super sweaty fun, fun.

1. perform a plie squat (knees and toes facing outward) and ensure your knees do NOT extend past your toes at the lowest point in your squat. ever.

2. spring up from the ground using both your upper and lower body.

3. at the height of the jump, click your heels together then quickly return and repeat consecutively from the start.

——–>30-45 sec straight 3-4 reps<——– no breaks!  works: legs, butt, and shoulders.

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GET SOME SERIOUS AIR!!!

afterwards, i started my day off with some #pancakeporn – tiramisu fudge pancakes were in the building!  i’m giving you three recipes at once, two of which you prolly saw via Instagram by now.  just adding them to the fit recipes section, that’s all ;)

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ah, yaaaas, nothin’ like a post-workout stack of cakes. these were inspired by one of my fave sites, Hungry-Girl.  i made a few subs though which made those nutritional stats even awesomer.

tiramisu fudge pancakes

the stuff:

pancake batter – 209 cals, 5g fat, 34g carbs, 8g fiber, 2g sugar, 22g protein

  • 1/2 cup oat bran (or ground oats)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coffee extract
  • 2 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

creme filling – 24 cals, 2g carb, 4g protein

  • 3 tbsp 0% greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp sugar-free jello chocolate pudding mix

chocolate sauce <—-recipe 45 cals, 1 g fat, 10g carbs.  OR you can sub stevia for the coconut crystals (15 cals, 3g fat, 2g fiber, 1g protein).

do this:

  • combine all ingredients for the pancake batter in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth (20-30 seconds).
  • cook them up like cakes (3-4 minutes each side) in your medium heated, no-stick cooking spray coated pan.
  • mix creme filling ingredients together (you can totally use cool whip…. i was trying to keep this recipe as clean as possible but dang it cool whip is just amazing and actually tastes better than the yogurt.) #sorrynotsorry.
  • assemble your cakes and stack them one by one, adding a scoop of creme filling in between each cake. top the stack with leftover filling and oooooooh, go ahead a throw a dollop of cool whip on top!!!!
  • drizzle your chocolate sauce over the cakes (you can refrigerate it to thicken), dust with unsweetened cocoa powder, and if you need more chocolately goodness (everybody does) add 1 tbsp of mini dark chocolate chips. YES.

stats below using: oatbran, stevia subs, greek yogurt filling. remember to adjust them accordingly to your recipe though. and TAG ME- this goes for Insta AND Facebook. k?

tiramisu stats

*you can get the coffee extract and the instant coffee granules while you’re at it (any kind will do, Folgers, Starbucks, whatever) at Walmart.*

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next up,

cinnamon roll pan-crepes

  •  1/2 cup ground oats
  •  4 egg whites
  •  1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or water if you’re competing for a show or doing a challenge)
  •  1 tsp cinnamon
  •  half a large banana
  •  1 packet stevia (optional)

sweet greek yogurt sauce:

  •  2 tbsp 0% greek yogurt
  •  1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  •  2 packets stevia
  •  4 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

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do this:

mix until desired consistency and drizzle over your cakes however you please.  long as it’s pretty.  a couple sprinkles of Trader Joes cinnamon sugar grinder and/or Walden Farms pancake syrup and you are good to GO.

stats: 297 cals, 5g fat, 45g carbs, 7g fiber, 9g sugar, 21g protein

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last one!

pumpkin spice pancakes

do this:

  • 1/2 cup oat bran (or ground rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp canned pumpkin
  • 2 egg whites

do this:

  • mix all ingredients together in your food processor or blender
  • cook up in your medium heated, no-stick cooking spray coated skillet like cakes for 2-3 min on each side.
  • i actually topped mine with a scoop of granola and some Walden Farms pancake syrup, but you already know the options are ENDLESS.

stats (using oat bran): 206 cals, 5g fat, 44g carbs, 11g fiber, 4g sugar, 17g protein.

PhotoGrid_1373342278077you can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sail.

ttyl!

le

compound movements + let’s RUN!!!


how it went down eeeeearly this morning…

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i double (tea) bagged it (+ water, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and stevia). i had to.  didn’t get much sleep cause i’ve been grinding on these cook books and they WILL NOT DEFEAT ME!!!! :twisted:  i’m not yelling at you. i’m yelling at the cook books.  a little sleep deprived but the sacrifice will be worth it. it better beeeeee :lol:

let’s talk about something i incorporate into pretty much all my classes at the gym:

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can’t get enough of compound movements and there are TONS of them. what are they?

‘multi-joint movements that rely on the coordinated actions of several muscle groups to move two or more joints through a range of motion’

the featured move of this post (up ^ there) combines squats (which is honestly a compound movement by itself since it works multiple parts of the body) and over-head presses.

Squats + overhead press

  • start with feet shoulder width apart, weights on either side of your body.
  • perform a low squat, pushing your glutes back, weight in your heels, knees behind your toes, back flat, head up, chest up.  have a seat in that imaginary chair!
  • bear all your weight on your left heel and while driving it into the floor, lift your right knee straight up towards your chest and perform your over head press simultaneously. keep your core tight, and squeeze the glute of the heel that’s on the floor. hard.
  • repeat on the right and make it a continuous, fluid movement by alternating your knees from left to right.

the heavier your dumbbells, the harder you work, and the more you burn!

 *tip: working upper and lower body together is one of the best ways to burn fat.*

IMG_20130319_091205class went well this morning, can’t you tell from those disgusting sweat stains!?!?  i didn’t even notice them until after i posted the pic to IG. but that’s just how it goes down in my class :lol:.  if i could bottle the feeling exercise gives me….i’d sell it and retire at 30. good music gives me so much energy- i got a new cd and i know my members can tell i love it cause i keep playing it! good, loud music gives me energy through the roof!  i need all the energy i can get at 5:30am.

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then i came home to these babies. NOM. i threw the recipe together, but the base of it stemmed from the banana blueberry pancakes, if you’re wondering.
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i subbed the banana for 1 packet of stevia, then topped them with sliced almonds, raw, unsweetened, shredded coconut, and that big vat of walden farms pancake syrup back there.

WELL, i am so excited about the response concerning the Houston Color Run THIS Sunday, March 24th!  Thank you for your emails!  if you’d still like to run, you haven’t missed a thing- email me @ le@fitfoodiele.com and i’ll send ya the link to join team Fit Foodies.  however…my sincere apologies for not giving enough notice.  there were several people who wanted to run with Fit Foodies but the timing was just not right.  even for a 5k, training is very important, and some of the 1st timers need more of it.  i understand completely.  also, the race rates are cheapest when you register super early, and 6 days pre-race day is pushing it, i know!  so i’m super grateful, and thankful to all who have committed to running with Fit Foodies.

WITH THAT SAID,

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let’s do it right this time!  remember my Conn’s Green 10k post from last year??  if you’d like to get your run on with Fit Foodies for this event that is near and dear to my heart, come on then!  it’s special because it starts and ends in City Centre, one of my fave Houston hangouts, and also home to the best Lifetime Fitness in the entire universe!  #ithoughtyouknew.  if you’re interested, hit me up at the same email addy, and check out their site for details!

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 race date is Saturday, April 27th, 2013, and as always, same rules apply: walk, run, skip- however you gotta cross that line, just FINISH!

le

spanana pancakes + sweaty saturday

still waitin’ on that pancake recipe? :lol:  i really dropped the ball- this was supposed to be up days ago.  but here it IS, right now, i won’t make you wait any longer!!!

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spanana pancakes

the stuff:

  • 1 whole egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen, microwaved / cooked spinach, cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more…be generous!)
  • half a banana
  • 1 packet stevia (optional)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

do this:

throw everything in the blender and turn it ON!  the banana makes the batter sweet enough for me, but if you need more, add the packet of stevia.  blend to your liking- if you’re making it for your kiddos though, definitely blend until super smooth.  we don’t want them to discover our little secret!

turn your non-stick pan on medium heat and cook them up like cakes.  when bubbles start to form and pop, flip them.  3-4 min on each side should be about right.

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for the entire stack: w/out the greek yo and using 1 whole egg

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remember this is pretty much a complete meal for your little one(s)! veggies (spinach), complex carbs (oatmeal), protein/fat (eggs) and plen-tay of fiber!

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have you tried this?

honey crisp apples are the bomb, but they are also pretty pricy per lb.  i buy red delicious apples a lot, and i make a dip for the slices using chocolate PB2 and 0% greek yogurt mixed together. sweet, protein-filled dip/treat.

i snacked on it while i made us this dinner last nite:

20130315_211745lean, grilled, apple-turkey burgers stuffed with mozzarella cheeeeeese! WHAT! we added ripe, mashed avocado, fat-free feta, juicy tomatoes, and coarse ground mustard, all on sara lee 45 cal whole wheat bread. mmm-mm-mmmmm.

i’m holdin’ out on ya again… recipe will be in tha e-book, but go make my apple-chicken patties until then..they are just as good;)

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i made some meatballs out of the rest of the batter and stuffed them with low-fat mozzarella also- you can toss these over veggies, whole wheat pasta, rice, quinoa,  salad…WHATEVER! avocado, fat-free feta, and low carb ketchup was what i was feelin’ along with my sweet potatoes and okra.

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how was your saturday!? mine was FAN-FLIPPIN’ TASTIC! can you tell?!  i subbed for another instructor at the gym and i always love the saturday morning crowd and a great, sweaty, saturday morning workout.  75 minutes of only the best class ever…Total Body Conditioning baby! even on spring break, people showed up and got their sweat on with me!  little man was there too, so we hit the Lifetime Cafe for some all natural, ‘pee-za’ on whole wheat crust, his fave.

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this spoke to the Techy in me:)

HAPPY SATURDAY!!!

le

more fun with kettle bells + say cheese

i had serious business to handle this morning at the gym!!! i downed my hot cup of  coffee + stevia + unsweetened vanilla almond milk, looked over my class notes and hit the road.

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‘it never gets easier, you just get better.’

i have some awesome veteran gym members that have been with me from the  jump!  they attended my very first class at Lifetime and have stuck with me ever since. i adore and admire their dedication to their health and waking up at the crack of dark with me every single week.  i present a new routine each class cause i like to keep things new and exciting, and never predictable. however…. because these members have been with me for  so long, they know some of my moves, which means they know which weight is the ‘safest’ for a particular exercise. mmhmm, and they also know which weight will really make them WORK hard, struggle, and sweat.  i know you see it coming already!  in order to change our current situation and get those results we so desire and pray for, we must sometimes get uncomfortable (e.g. pick up that heavier weight) so that we can GROW.

IMG_20130226_083032 had i not been given the opportunity to teach in the early mornings, i would have never attempted it on my own. i know the word ‘never’ is taboo, but i know me!!! never, ever considered AM workouts.  had no desire to do them whatsoever. waking up and doing anything, especially working out, before i go to work? HECK NO.  so when i was called upon to do so, my mind literally screamed  ‘why me?! it’s because i’m a newbie, huh!!’ but i kept a straight face with my manager of course.  what… a…. blessing in disguise.  sometimes doing something out of your ordinary or something you fear (public speaking, running your first 5k, cooking your first holiday meal for your entire family)  can help you break away from those chains and overcome those fears completely and present new opportunities.  don’t let those ‘what if?’ feelings haunt or consume you. challenge yourself.  every day you wake up…and that’s IF you wake up…you have another chance to make your dreams and goals happen.  do not fear stepping out of your warm, safe comfort zone.  keep fighting it, resisting, and staying in one spot, and you’ll never know or experience the opportunities that lie ahead!!!

smile! why so serious? :lol: i don’t usually get that long-winded.  time to talk about working out and food and stuff. i have some more kettle bell exercises for ya.

1. half get up:

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a. lie face up on the floor and keep your legs straight. hold the kettlebell in your left hand straight above your left shoulder.

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  b. engage your core first, bend your left knee, place your foot on the floor, and prop yourself up on your left arm. keep the weight directly in line with your shoulder and sit up until your back is straight. reverse the movement to return to start. that’s one! 3-4 sets of 10 using a weight that’s heavy for YOU.

what it works:

  • arms
  • core
  • shoulders

what it’s for:

  • flexibility
  • core strength

2. kettle bell sumo squat to upright row:

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* start standing with your feet out slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes pointed at a 45 degree angle*

a. sit down into a plie squat:

  • core tight, shoulders back and down, back flat, chest up
  • tuck your glutes under and pull your belly button into your spine
  • knees and toes pointed outward in the same direction (about a 45 degree angle)
  • at the lowest point of your squat, your knees should stay inside your toes
  • lift your toes inside your shoes to ensure your weight is concentrated in your heels

b. straighten your legs and return to standing.

*at the same time*

  • draw the kettle bell to your body
  • SQUEEZE YOUR GLUTES
  • pull your elbows into a V and keep them higher than your wrists
  • let your arms extend back to starting position

repeat, 4 x 15.

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side view- straight up and down, back flat, abs in.

what does it work?

  • hamstrings
  • glutes
  • back
  • shoulders

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back view.  squeeeeeeeeze those glutes the entire time! don’t let’em go!

3. kb swings 

*stand straight with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart*

a. lean forward (bending at the waist) and slightly and bend your knees for a semi-squat position. keep your back flat and head up.

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b.  let your arms hang loosely but keep a firm grip on the handle. raise the weight with both hands up towards your head as you inhale. swing the weight with both hands back down in between your legs as you exhale, but remain in control!  use your hips, thighs, and lower back to thrust the weight back up.

do’em! then tell me aaaaall about it!

aaaaagh, breakfast.  had the same thing as yesterday- scrambled egg whites with papaya-lime salsa, a dollop of 0% greek yogurt, and some no-salt  Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning!

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this was right before i submerged them in low sugar ketchup.

so, what was in that big box that arrived on my doorstep last week?

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Fiber Gourmet graciously sent me a ton of their new high fiber crackers!!! i opened that box like ‘whoooooa!’ they’ve got wheat, cheese, nacho cheese, everything, and cinnamon flavors.  i’ve been a long time fan of their high fiber pastas and did a few posts on them, like this one.  now, they are taking over the cracker game!  i’m not doing them all in one night lol, so Chiso and i started with the cheese Thinables.

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they compare their crackers to Nabicso right there on the box, so i did a side by side showdown comparison too.

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why you should try them:

  • 25 cheese-its vs 37 Thinables for less than half the calories
  • fiber goes up, calories go down
  • low sodium
  • low-fat
  • no artificial anything!

yall know i’m all about more food for less stats and those stats are killer!  if you’re a cracker fan or have kids that love to snack,  give these a try.  Check out their site and try their huge variety of pastas as well.  THANK YOU, Fiber Gourmet!

remember our family trip to Star Pizza this past sunday?  see below!!!

Screenshot_2013-02-28-04-43-01didn’t see that coming, but ummmmm, we’ll be there with bells on!

what is your favorite kettle bell exercise? 

le

kb lunges & crunches + Athleta product review

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last night’s meal 5…. ain’t she fine? i took a roasted baked potato, topped it with crumbled 99% lean ground turkey (seasoned with Mrs. Dash no-salt fiesta lime seasoning, fresh parsley, garlic, and liquid aminos) chopped green onion, fresh tomatoes, and a dollop of 0% greek yogurt. finished it off with a sprinkle of more Mrs. Dash and dried parsley.

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 flavor EXPLOSION in ya mouth!

i cooked the potato like i always do- 450 deg for 45 minutes or until oozy.  if you poke holes in it beforehand it won’t ooze, but there’s no fun in that.

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after 42 pics from every angle possible, i gobbled it UP.   yall know i love the versatility of sweet potatoes- try them with your family and see what they think! you can customize your toppings for sure, just like you would on a normal russet potato.  don’t let the sweetness throw you off- it will work out, i promise.

so i’m gonna post LEG exercises all this week, and i’ll start with these two:

1. side lunge w/ squat

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1. start position stand with feet shoulder width or closer apart

2.(lunge) keeping your left leg straight, step out to the side with your right leg, and bend at your right knee.

3. (squat) push your heel firmly into the floor while pushing your glutes back and keeping knees behind your toes.

push-off the right leg through your heel to return to the start position.

repeat; 3 x 12, each leg.

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above is just a collage of what the lowest point of your lunge/squat should look like^

  • knees behind your toes
  • straight opposite leg
  • back flat
  • chest up
  • head up
  • weight planted firmly into your heels
  • lift your toes in your shoes
  • push back up to starting position through your heel, not your toes

Q: can’t you do these with a dumbbell? A: this particular exercise, DEFINITELY.  however, the two main differences (ok really the only two in my book) btw kettle bells and dumbbells are the grip/handle and the center of gravity of the weight.

‘once the bell is thrown with force, it must be controlled and stopped with an equal amount of force. you are now working twice as hard to move and stop the bell. these actions and reactions require tremendous efforts to stabilize the body. most of these efforts start with your legs and hips and are controlled with your shoulders and trunk or core.’

kinda hard to do that with a dumbbell… and some will argue that you just can’t get a GREAT, EFFECTIVE full body workout with a dumbbell alone vs. a kettle bell.

 well, what do you think?

2. knee to elbow standing crunches
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these are fun and all about obliques!  they also contribute to balance and core stability.  the kettle bell handle is very useful on this one.

1. engage your core while standing with your feet shoulder width apart.

2. drive your right knee up,  and simultaneously bring your right elbow down to meet it, crunching your right oblique in the process.  same rules apply:

chest up

back straight

core engaged

you can speed it up or take it slower, depending on the weight of your bell.  really engage the obliques though by keeping your movements controlled and with a full range of motion.  keep it even and hit both sides of course til it burns!

*****

being an instructor has its perks- this outfit is a testament to that!  an Athleta (by Gap ) store opened up close to my gym, and they kindly gave the instructors tops and bottoms to model and show off to our members.

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 sweet deal.

*warning* i took these  pics after working out and put this fit to the ultimate test!  excuse the sweat stains! among other things ;)

Athleta – Inside Track Knicker 69.00$

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  • great for running, gym training
  • wide waistband streamlines hips
  • NeverEnd drawstring means no hunting for ends

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  • lightweight, sleek, stretchy, comfortable, moveable
  • made of recycled polyester/lyrca spandex
  • performance fitted, mid-rise, and tight leg

not shorts and not pants- i have always dug the cropped length.

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Athleta - Run On Tank 39.00$

  • running, gym training
  • ultra flattering style lines
  • lightweight, silky, breathable, stretchy
  • polygiene (ployester/spandex)
  • rear zipper pocket (cards, keys, small items, etc.)
  • semi-fitted (more ‘flowy’ than skin tight)
  • reflective detail keeps you visible in low light conditions (for my evening runners!)

if you haven’t checked out Athleta yet, go for it!

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i told ya i don’t discriminate- i found the biggest beets i’ve ever seen at wally world (Walmart) and threw them in my basket without hesitation. @ 1.98 for 3 huge bulbs, they are as big as grapefruits!

however i was looking for eggplant, which i did NOT find and had to go elsewhere to get it.

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i found some for a great price at Fiesta! i also copped some papaya since it was on sale. lunch was a plate of grilled chicken breasts seasoned with Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning, grilled egg-plant, roasted sweet potatoes, and papaya salsa!

fresh & fit papaya-lime salsa

  • 1/2 diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced papaya
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 2 tbsp green onion, chopped
  • juice of half a fresh lime

slice and dice that all up, squeeze the lime over it, refrigerate, top on whatever you like, devour.

WHEW! it’s a lot goin’ on in this post lol! until breakfast, goodnite fit foodies.

le