Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Brownies

2nd Barbell Strength class back from maternity leave under ma’  belt! i used class as my warm up and went downstairs to get a solid back workout in afterwards.  i’m taking my time, trusting the process, and sticking to my 6 Pack USA plan these days.  i want to maintain balance and not go crazy with the exercise this time around. no need!  well, as long as i’m sticking to the nutrition part of the plan too.

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 baking has been on my brain this week.  why?

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most likely cause Sonny surprised Chiso and i with this really, really, magically, delicious lemon bundt cake tuesday from Nothing Bundt Cakes, ugh.  he says they were randomly giving out free mini bundt cakes to the companies in his office building. is that not the best marketing strategy ever?? um, it worked cause now i want one and will most likely use them for a future event. that reminded me of HEB’s and Whole Food’s sample stations throughout the store. if you feed me while i shop, well hey, i’m coming back there again and again to spend my money. and eat. and buy things that were never on my shopping list. and blow my grocery budget. genius. ok anyway, soon as i eat white sugar i just want more, more, MORE. sugar addiction is real. real annoying.   Chiso was super happy but yall know how i am around large amounts of my trigger foods!!! womp, womp.  i couldn’t let all my work from the past few weeks go to crap so i did have a small piece, cut Chiso some, and threw it out.  my very preggo sis-in-law was the first person i thought to give the leftovers to, but that’s just evil lol! i would have taken a bite every single time i entered the kitchen until it was all gone, SMH. we are all for minimizing waste when possible, but this was a game time decision that had to be done. so, that’s how these brownies came about. i was so excited about whipping them up regardless cause i haven’t baked anything sweet since i was waiting around trying to get Dego outta this tummy. these are naturally sweetened for the most part; the chocolate PB2 does contain sugar but not a mind-blowing amount like Mr. Bundt cake up there. i used agave nectar but you can use honey as well. it’s up to you!  heck you can also use full fat peanut butter if ya want.  just melt it in the microwave a little first for better mixability.

IMG_20140828_173837 Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Brownies

the stuff: (source)

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup chocolate PB2
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • *optional* 1/4 cup rolled, uncooked oats (either leave them as-is or grind them into a fine flour)
  • 1/2 cup light agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup water + 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

do this:

  1. combine eggs, vanilla, agave nectar and water in a small mixing bowl.
  2. combine PB2, cocoa powder, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
  3. add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.
  4. pour mixture into an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan coated with no stick cooking spray.
  5. bake for 30 minutes on 325 degrees or until an inserted coupon comes out clean.

recipe makes 12 brownies.  nutritional stats can be found on my Instagram post at the moment until i add them here!

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before i go, thank you to Rosa from Enlightened Ice Cream for the coupons!! i cannot WAIT to pick up my samples at Sprouts Farmers Market soon.  these bars are low in calories (70), high in protein (8g) and fiber (5g), 20% of the RDA for calcium, and contains only 2g of fat and 3g of sugar.  It’s made from rBST-free milk, is gluten free, and contains no added sugars or artificial sweeteners!  i like. review coming soon.

nite!

le

 

 

green 6.2

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after a restful friday night, i woke up Saturday ready to take on the Green 6.2 with a few Fit Foodie Finisher friends:

Ijeoma Ikechi

Ijeoma Okoli

  Ijeoma Ugoezi

YES, 3 Ijeomas ;)

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they did their thing!!! so happy they were able to come out and run for the cause!  i enjoyed hanging out and learning more about them, and i look forward to growing our team.  i love the way fitness brings people together!!! the Houston humidity was present as always, but there was no rain and the temperature was perfect.

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obviously i missed the thumbs-up memo, whoops.  there were a ton of vendors at the post-race party held in the City Centre courtyard.  we refueled with bagels, bananas, muffins, and water.

there was also a kids 1k as well- look at little Superman!

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i cannot WAIT to do that with Chiso!!! it was the cutest thing EVER.  the kids were all so happy to just run!

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after getting home a little later, i finally got to make my REAL breakfast, even if it was late afternoon!  i had fun fetti birthday cake pancakes (minus the fun fetti) and topped them with regular PB2 and fresh sliced strawberries. (recipe derived from GoSuperSisters)

light and fluffy pancakes

the stuff:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbs nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

do this:

mix the dry with the dry, and wet with the wet.  slowly add the dry into the wet until combined.  batter will be THICK! cook them up on a medium heated griddle until golden brown on both sides.

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i put all entries (Facebook fan page, blog post commenters, IG (Instagram) reposts) into my random name picker app and it spit out these guys:

@raceylee109 – Tracey Spicuzza

@cboutarfa92 – Courtney Boutarfa

@gorgeouswifey – Brandy McGhee

@karoniepooh – Karone Roger

@cecelisimon – Cecelia Simon

i’ll be sending out their precious Fit Popcorn bags today, whoop!  i thank each of you ladies for participating and spreading the word about this giveaway.  i am so honored to be able put smiles on their faces, especially via free, healthy, FOOD!

le




family + fitness + food = birthday trifection

what a difference a year makes.  i feel like i have finally LIVED these past 12 months and it only took me 30 years!  i have been spending more time focusing on my passion (fitness, creating and cooking healthier recipes, blogging, etc.) and it has opened up so many doors and avenues beyond my small, limited imagination.  i’ve crossed a few things off my bucket list and i have so many more to tackle.  however like all things in life, i’m simply striving for progress, not perfection.  i am content, appreciative, and so hopeful for what the future holds!  i thank God for another year that wasn’t promised, and i’ll walk right behind Him into 31 and all it has to offer!   Sonny put a little something together for lil ol’ me for my bday this year and it was … everything. what was it? those 3 simple f’s up there.

*****

i started my saturday morning off how i normally do-

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with a GREAT early morning workout!  i had way too many cartons of 98 cent strawberries (from HEB) on my island and i planned on incorporating them into our breakfast somehow.20130406_124056

so i diiiiiid. strawberry shortcakes came to mind!  i don’t normally eat whipped cream for breakfast lol but hey, the occasion called for it.  recipe is coming right up- had to do a little tweaking first.  i was given specific instructions to be ready to go by 5pm later that day and to ‘do something with myself’. IMG_20130406_173333

i did my best to make my bun as neat as possible. :lol:  so i’ve said in the past i don’t like shopping for clothes… i should clarify that i don’t like shopping ALL DAY LONG for clothes. i love Urban Outfitters cause 9 times outta 10 i find the cutest thing on the sale rack within minutes. UO keeps my shopping bug alive and kicking cause i almost stepped on it and killed it.  it’s become my go to store for a quick, cute outfit or top! i found this black lacy number for 10 whole dollars. what?  i thought it was clearly a mistake. i was too through after that awesome find! i even did my nails for the first time in a really, really long time. aaaaand i went to get some eyelash extensions done!!! watch out nah!  it was fun to get a little glam.

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 back pose!

we dropped off our Stank Tank with our ‘rents and headed to a private dinner at Tango & Malbec South American Cuisine.

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Mr. Impeccable Taste himself;)

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straight to the meal!

aaaaah, the lovely bread bowl.  it was filled with real, fried potato chips, bread sticks, and sourdough bread. so hard to resist this thing at any restaurant.  if it wasn’t for Sonny, i’d tell them to not even bring it to our table.

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our appetizers were Lamb Lolichops and El Calamar (grilled calamari steak) and they were both and cooked and seasoned perfectly.

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before we tore it up, we snapped a pic!

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my lil appetizer plate. to be honest, the lamb was too rare for me..i don’t do the bloody meat thing, so i gave it to Sonny.

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i decided on the Trout topped with mushrooms and carmelized onions for my entrée.   i told myself no salmon and no chicken breast!!! i knew Sonny would order some type of steak so i planned to just get a piece of his.

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i also had some old, faithful asparagus on the side.

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there it is- Como En El’s the name!  Sonny’s dish was a combo of  beef tenderloin, pork ribs, lamb chops, flank steak sausage and black sausage.  the ‘protein platter’!

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as we dined, a couple waltzed to music – very nice touch!  i enjoyed our dinner and it didn’t end there- complimentary dessert was on the way.

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hey i know her! i devoured that tres leches cake and received a little something i wasn’t expecting at all…

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a quality camera to take my blogging pics with! i’ve been using my cell for ALL of them as our previous Casio bit the dust a couple months ago.  it was right on time.

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we ended the evening with more dessert- self serve fro-yo!  apparently dancing was on the agenda  but after that meal our night was a WRAP.

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thanks, Polar! April 7th was the big day.

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first thing i did was thank God, then went to make me some birthday pancakes!  chocolate peanut butter banana pancakes with chocolate sprinkles.

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chocolate peanut butter banana pancakes

the stuff:

  • half a banana
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp chocolate PB2
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 packet stevia (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp butter extract
  • more PB2 for topping

do this:

whip this all up in your blender or food processor, then cook them up like cakes in your skillet.  3-4 minutes on medium heat for each side.  top with more PB2 and sprinkles! they are optional too:)

for the entire stack:

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i topped mine with more strawberries, and it tasted like a big peanut butter and jelly sammich. omg, YUMMINESS!!!

  i didn’t get a sub for my class…no need. i had some gifts to give out too- the gift of sweat.

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and i did so with new workout gear, whoop, whoop! that is ALWAYS appreciated, no matter what the occasion! i’ve been #upgraded!

afterwards, we got ready to go take some professional family pictures, and eat some lunch.

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lunch where? where else!?!?!? yep, RG.

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the weather was perrrrrfect, so we found a great table outside.  if you have a little one of age then you know an ipad or any electronic device works wonders to keep their little minds occupied until the food arrives.

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we tried the hi-protein hemp empanadas for the first time and WOW. i will definitely be remaking this at home! i LOVED the sweet and savory flavor combo.  seasoned ground beef, raisins, cilantro, mozzeralla and cheddar cheeses all stuffed inside a hemp and wheat flour pocket.  and yeah, they are fried… you’ve been warned!

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before pizza,

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after pizza.

i know exactly where he gets his hunger attitude from. :roll:

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this kids loves some cheese pizza, so of course we ordered him one along with…

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 grilled fish tacos on corn tortillas! Sonny’s was super spicy,

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mine was not.

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oh and i got some butternut squash too.  it’s the LITTLE THINGS that made my birthday so special and memorable!

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clearly the pizza had Chiso’s undivided attention until it was gone.

there was a lambo car show going on at the same time in City Centre so it was definitely alive:

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from newer models, 
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to classics.  

#justlooking

very last thing….. more, YES, more fro-yo!

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from Red Mango.

and that’s a wrap! thank you so much for reading!

i’m back on track with more EXCITING product reviews, and more GIVEAWAYS!!!!

i’m THRILLED about some of the products i’ll be featuring shortly that YOU will be able to enjoy yourself as well!!! stay tuned :)

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.

ctrl

this spoke to the Techy in me:)

HAPPY SATURDAY!!!

le

chicken PB2 pad thai + TJ’s trip

let’s pretend today is yesterday, ok? ok.


i made pb chicken pad thai for an Instagram challenge last night for dinner.  IG can be so addictive! i’ve been seeing a number of ‘i need to get away from technology and focus on my life and the plan God has for me….etc.’ posts lately from some of the health and fitness peeps i follow.  it’s admirable, long as it’s not a publicity stunt or anything.  it takes a LOT to step away from technology for a few hours, days, or even weeks nowadays.  anyway, i get it.  what is IG to you though anyway? a ‘likes’ contest? are you secretly competing with someone? a business opportunity?  marketing tool? searching for who can flex the hardest?  seeing what celebs are up to? seeing who can make their plate of food the prettiest? finding who can wear the least amount of clothes? lmbo (not really).  i said all that to say it’s cool to be inspired and build off of what you see in your feed, but stay true to YOURSELF.  after all, it’s your account.  it’s tough to be original once your mind has been tainted with what everybody else is doing.   on top of all that, IG can be a huuuuge distraction, like facebook.  sometimes you gotta put the phone down,  log off your computer and just live…..  technology-free.

*inhale….exhale*
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so i adapted this from my own PB2 Shrimp Pad Thai recipe, but i used chicken breasts and fettucine miracle noodles instead of kelp.

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aaaand i added a yellow bell pepper along with the red.  everything else is the same.

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ooooh these noodles are simply amazing and went PERFECT with this dish i tell you, perfect.  my relationship with kelp is officially OVER, thanks to my affair with miracle noodles. *chunks deuce*

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eye-popping color and freshness goin’ on up in that pot!

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letting the flavors marry for the last few minutes…

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and bam! plated up! no cashews….i used pistachios and it was an even exchange.  ok, the pistachios really was the last thing i altered, whoops.

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yummay &  healthay.

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i worked the leggies at the gym this morning! how do i get my calves to pop?  4 x 25 of calve raises in between leg press sets.

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flexin’ in btw squat sets.
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afterwards, my Stank Tank and i had lunch in the Life Cafe that started out with some Snikiddy grilled cheese puffs.

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we’re fans of Snikiddy all natural snacks-  they sell the huuuuge bags in sams and costco, fyi.

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i ordered half a cheese pizza with whole wheat crust 2% mozzarella for Chiso (yes more cheeeeese),

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and a turkey avocado sammich on Udi’s gluten-free whole grain bread for moi.  this was my first time having Udi’s bread and i liked it cause it was thick and actually kinda sweet, like challah bread or even a coarse pound cake!  however, like Ezekiel, the slices are kinda small, and the price is kinda big. Natures Own and Sara Lee have the regular size bread and for less cals and price.

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nevertheless, both halves were gone in about 2 minutes.
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the weather was GORGEOUS, so we took to the courtyard for a little bit to play.  funny, i remember bringing Chi out here and all he could do was crawl and watch the other kids play and jump over him.  yeah, i had a moment.

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 our next stop- Trader Joe’s Houston numero TWO!!!! i took this pic from the car so i wouldn’t seem like an, i don’t know…TJ’s stan?

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 they said it was coming…and it’s here.  crunchy cookie butter. *shakes first*

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i walked down this aisle for f…o…r…e…v…e..r.  TJ’s  literally has chocolate covered everything you can think of.  some of THE oddest combos just go together.

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i didn’t do too bad- walked away with only a handful of items i don’t need, like these. cinnamon sugar (15 cals per tsp) and sugar chocolate coffee bean (calorie-free) ‘sprinkles’ or dust, or whatever you wanna call it.

first victim – PB2 topped whole wheat toast.

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so…how are yours coming along?

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  whether short-term or long, sow your seeds NOW and as often as possible, and knock’em out one by one.  happy to be sharing some of mine very soon!

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

pb2 shrimp pad thai

adapted from here!

low carb, low sugar, low sodium, and low-calorie.  yes, pad thai!!!!! one of my fav Thai dishes that i only enjoyed on occasion until now.

PB2 Shrimp Pad Thai

the stuff:

  • 1 lb shrimp (i used jumbo 16/20 count)
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 6 tbsp original PB2
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut crystals
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly long ways
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 oz  Sea Tangle Green Tea Kelp Noodles ( i only had half the bag left, but use the entire bag if you want)

do this:

  1. cook the shrimp with half of the chopped shallot, cilantro, onion powder, and garlic powder until done, about 5-6 minutes in a covered saute pan.
  2.  take them out and set them aside.
  3. combine ALL liquids in one bowl along with the coconut crystals.
  4. grab another bowl and add your PB2 (in powder form).
  5. make a well (small hole) in the PB2 bowl and pour in your liquids and mix it until you have a creamy consistency.  too thick? add more water.
  6. throw the veggies (shallots, carrots, red pepper, green onion, ginger, cilantro) into your saute pan and toss them around until tender; about 2-3 minutes.
  7. add your kelp noodles into the saute pan with the veggies, and pour the  sauce on top and mix well.
  8. finally, add the shrimp back in, toss one more time, and serve.

original PB2 – peanut butter minus the fat and oil in powder form.  if you can’t find it in the store, ask somebody!! and make sure you’re not using the chocolate flavor for this recipe either.  although that might not turn out too bad.

use fresh or frozen shrimp – i used jumbo 16/20.

get out your cutting board.

s/n: i’ve been meaning to go to Bed Bath and Beyond to get me some more kitchen gadgets!  i used a potato peeler on the carrots and just finely sliced the peppers.  gonna go get a julien veggie cutter asap.

 kelp noodles.  don’t get scared, get familiar.  i’m super skeptical about trying swaps people claim ‘taste JUST like the real thing!!!!’ and clearly don’t.   i respect and consider that everyone’s palate is uniquely different, but my expectations are always high lol. anyway, they can be found at whole foods, but i ordered mine online from www.iherb.com.

those are the nutritional stats for the entire bag.  these things are ridiculously low in, well, everything!!  i will be using them a lot in upcoming recipes, so go find some.

straight outta the package, they have a crunchy texture even though the bag they come in is filled with water.  a friend of mine soaks her’s in lemon juice which produces a more noodle-like texture and taste.  thanks, Udochi;)  they soaked up ALL the peanutty goodness of the sauce exceptionally well.

these are the coconut crystals! they can be found at Whole Foods or online.  I subbed them for the brown sugar.  raw, all natural, gluten-free, etc… ok i know you can read :)

 stats:

one huge pot can be split into 4 servings (4-5 shrimp)

the carbs come from the veggies!  you can totally use any kind of meat you’d like.  i’d pick lean chicken breast as my next option though.  also, i added some roasted, unsalted cashews on top just to make it pretty.  i was gonna use peanuts until i saw how much higher the stats are for them compared to many other nuts!  you can top your dish with whatever nut you like, (or not) but be sure to adjust your stats accordingly.

le