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.

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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

blogging from de plane

that post title is false advertisement.  i was so excited to blog from our plane headed to Jamaica to celebrate our 5th anni that i started the post early, from home!  however…….. after all the hustle and bustle of the previous night (we had a FANTASTIC time and did well at our first bodybuilding show!!!!! details in my next post) that we naturally *sigh* overslept and missed our WI-FI enabled first flight. UGH. the second flight, which only left 1 hr later, was not wi-fi enabled because well, that’s just how things go.  SO, Sonny and i actually spoke to one another (cause people still do that :shock: ) about the weekend’s events, the highs and lows of training under one roof, our bodies then and now, how we felt on stage, how each other looked on stage, future shows, etc… yeah we had lots of time to catch up as life has finally slowed down a little.

i can’t shake this ‘i need to be prepared for anything’ feeling, which is a good thing though.
i knew i wouldn’t go completely HAM on sweets so soon after the show, so i packed some healthy stuff for our trip a few days beforehand to make this a gradual thing:

 strawberry flavored magic pop, some shelled pistachios, light tuna packed in water, apples, chocolate PB2, canned salmon, and a stack of Food Network magazines i never found time to sit down and crack open.

not gonna lie- even though we woke up super late and rushed out to miss our flight, i still had my oats and bananas lol!   i really WANTED them though and didn’t have time to get creative and make something else anyway.  we had a quick layover in Charlotte, NC, and it was there where i was reunited with the dairy food group again after over 3 months. i had an unused Starbucks gift card from Christmas, so i whipped it out and ordered a fruit cup and one of my fav drinks- a skinny vanilla latte.   

so, even on vaca, and i said i was gonna try and stick to 5-6 balanced meals a day, but also indulge and live a little! with everything being all-inclusive (unlimited food and drinks EVERYWHERE) this is hard.  not doing TOO bad so far though- there are different menus everyday, so i’m grateful for the variety.  for breakfast, there’s a live omelette bar- was so excited to see that!! can you guess what i’ve been ordering? haha

 they only have *GASP* instant oatmeal which is disgusting and tastes and looks like wall paper paste. maybe even worse. i see why some people might be turned off by oatmeal if they ever have this stuff when eating oatmeal for the first time, my goodness. i mean it was BAD.  there aren’t enough toppings in the world to mask a bowl of that stuff :shock:

my lunches and dinners have been looking a little like this: salad,

fruit / veggie plate – raw celery, tomatoes, artichokes, watermelon, cantaloupe.

and yes that’s a slice of cheese pizza lol- i said on IG that i’ve had a slice with every meal so far except breakfast and that is still in effect!

random lunch plate – curried tilapia, roasted yellow potatoes, sautéed green beans/onions, jerk chicken.

random dinner – grilled jerk chicken, beet salad, raw tomatoes, zucchini, and chicken/tomato pizza;)

have we been indulging? DARN RIGHT. they don’t just put out one dessert as you can see.  i made us a sample plate and well, we got our sample on.

rum cake, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry cheesecake, vanilla mousse cake, and chocolate cake.

there is a poolside grille that is open til 1 am (they shouldn’t have told us that) and we took advantage right away.  fried fish and french fries – we split this though!

the buffet people see us coming a mile away LOL. we are always right on time for every meal!

 having a really good time so far and i can’t wait to post about our show.

 for now, back to Jamaica!

le

____-free

posing practice, weight training, cardio, grocery shopping, church, and family time.

that was my weekend.  how was yours?

this particular trip to HEB was one to remember!  i have been hearing about Walden Farms this and Walden farms that in cyberspace recently.  Walden Farms products claim to be:

calorie-free

sugar-free

fat-free

carbohydrate-free

gluten-free

cholesterol-free

not ALL products are free of ALL of the things i listed, but just read the label to be sure!

my ears perk up when i hear  ‘____ – free’ regardless, but not once have i heard so many in the same sentence and referring to one product!!!!!  my curiosity got the best of me and i ordered the infamous Walden Farms pancake syrup online.  however, man, sometimes all you have to do is ASK.  ‘do you carry Walden Farms products?’ i asked the store associate.  i just knew she would look at me crazy and reply with ‘who!?’, but nope, HEB always come through for meeeeeee.

could that be?…no… calorie-free ketchup!? yeah it scares me too…i’ll go back for it later though lol

i read A LOT of product reviews (i do hope for the best that they aren’t fake or anything) and the Walden Farms dips (chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, etc.) aren’t sounding too good.  so, i left them alone for now.

there they are…in all their glory!  bbq sauce too!  WF is on a roll.

and dressings! so for those of you who like to eat salad with your dressing lol, you should give these a try.

this is what i got outta there with in addition to my fresh fruits, veggies, and proteins.  syrup (pancake and chocolate) sesame ginger dressing (which is nothing short of awesome) and more PB2- there was a 50 cents off coupon running and i couldn’t pass it up.

saturday morning, i made Chiso a bowl of oatmeal and topped it with fresh blueberries, chia seeds, peanut butter, and almond milk.

then i made some more of those oatmeal pancakes i had last week (i am HOOKED!!).  i made up the batter the night before this time and let it sit in the fridge.

 we had them again this morning. ready to try them?! here’s that recipe:

super moist banana oat pancakes

the stuff:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (***you can use pre-ground oat flower, or ground them yourself in your blender or food processor***)
  • 2 egg whites
  • couple dashes of cinnamon (be generous)
  • splash of  real vanilla extract (OR you can use a couple drops of vanilla creme stevia if you want them sweeter!)
  • 1/2 a mashed ripe banana
  • 1/8th tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 heaping tbsp greek yogurt or unsweetened applesauce

do this:

  1. mix all the ingredients well in your blender or food processor!  *s/n: if the batter is too thick for you, add some unsweetened vanilla almond milk to stretch it.  i’ve been adding water to keep my nutritional stats the same for my competition diet though.*
  2. pour into a non-stick/sprayed skillet or griddle. you can make 1 big cake like they do at restaurants, or a stack. i like to do 4 mini cakes.
  3. 3-4 min on each side.
  4. you can add SO many things to your batter- the options are simply endless. top or incorporate your fav fruit or nuts and don’t forget that sugar-free syrup.  i also sprayed mine with some ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’.  this is too easy!!! i don’t even need a pancake cheat meal anymore!  tastes so darn good.  i’ll be adding some PB2 into my batter when i can have it again.  enjoy and get creative.

 (for the ENTIRE recipe)

bananapancakesnutritionalstats


   Chiso is a fan.

heck, oatmeal hating Sonny likes them AND the syrup too. jackpot.

About Time sent me some free samples of their whey protein this past week- chocolate and birthday cake flavor.  no carbs, no fat, no aftertaste, and all natural. hmmmmmmmmmm!  as usual, i will be trying, next month.

don’t wait til morning, go make some pancakes right now.  have a blessed rest of your sunday.

what is your experience with Walden Farms!? any products by them the world should know about? share!

le

snacks and certifications

saturday i did an all day (and i do mean aaaaalll day- 9am-6pm) re-certification class for Lifetime, you know, so i can keep my job.  only the best job EVER!!! the day went by super fast though.  the trainer was pretty amazing and super easy to listen to.  plus, she was funny. that always helps.  i went through the training with my fav gym buddies Anna & Julie- we all used to teach/workout together at 24 HF a few years ago and have stayed in contact with each other ever since.  this was my first time meeting Kris (far right), but i love him just the same! we all teach Total Conditioning (among other things) part-time for Lifetime and absolutely  LOVE IT.

refueling on our lunch break in the Lifetime Cafe.

 quick pic with our trainer for the day, Abrea.

i brought my gigantic, obnoxious lunch kit with me filled with snacks and food for the day.  (cell phone pics, blech!!!!)

i dined (lol) on humus with sugar snap peas, carrots, cherry tomatoes, pistachios, strawberries, and chicken breasts cutlets w/ roasted vegetables ( entrée courtesy of My Fit Foods).

i’m also super excited to announce that i’ll be getting certified in Turbo Kickboxing by the end of this month, whoop, WHOOP!  i have always been a hug fan of TKB and i’m elated to add it to my instructor repertoire.  two thumbs up for cardioooooooo.

alright, now. you asked for snack ideas between meals, so here are a few to get you started. preparation is KEY, so go get you some baggies, buy your snacks in bulk, and ration them out for the week.  i don’t mind several trips to the grocery store, but some people do!

go to your nearest warehouse club and stock up.  Sam’s is closest to me.

 cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas.  i’m so hooked on these peas- looks like edamame but you eat the whole thing.  they’re sweet and crispy.  great eaten raw or dipped in you know what- hummus! i do carrots too.

fresh fruits- buy whatever’s on sale at the time. natural sugars trump processed foods/sugars EVERY TIME!

unsweetened apple sauce. 50 calorie, naturally sweetened snack. great for baking- i’ll get to that though;)

1 serving (1/2 cup) of 2% cottage cheese (90 cals) with fresh blackberries.

or strawberries!

pistachio nuts!  sam’s. 8 bucks for this big ol 24 oz bag.

grab some sandwich baggies and ration out your mixed nuts. they are high in good fat and great for you- but don’t go overboard. 1/4 cup of either a day fine.

0% or 2% greek yogurt

keep it plain and add your own toppings. the flavored varieties usually have way too much sugar. try it with pistachios, flax-seed, and honey,

or pecans and blueberries.

cheese! babybel and string. perfectly portioned protein. 50-60 cals each.

there are also the laughing cow cheese wedges- perfect for spreading on crackers or fruit. ’35 cals a wedge!’

deli meat. you can roll some string cheese up with the turkey/chicken/ham/roast beef, etc. for a lean, protein snack.

these two ingredients are great separate…but together?  unfortunately, i don’t care if they aren’t considered healthy at this point LOL. this is one snack i’m keeping.

air popped popcorn! 4 cups for 100 cals. i bought this air popper on amazon a few days ago and i am still waiting for it to arrive *taps foot impatiently*

sliced apples with PB2.

La Tortilla Factory tortillas- tons of flavors and varieties of low calorie, low carb tortillas! make a wrap using your deli meat and babybel/string cheese. (also great for breakfast tacos, enchiladas, and homemade tortilla chips).impressive, huh! but they taste good too.

you remember ants on a log- celery, pb2, and raisins!  also take one of those wraps, add some pb2, then microwave for a warm,  healthy ‘pb sandwich’.

whole, hard-boiled egg. 70 cals, 7 grams protein.  exclude the yolk for a fat-free, 20 calorie egg.

freeze-dried fruit, all kinds! i order mine from Brothers All Natural for around 20 bucks for a 24 pack.  they have sales frequently, so use those coupon codes when you see them!  i really like the bananas though and so does my little one.  1 bag = 1.5 bananas.  the sugar is lower in the freeze-dried bananas vs. fresh!

a few readers expressed to me how much they hate the taste of green tea lol, and if i had any flavor recommendations i sure do! try making a quick and easy green chai tea using:

a shot of torani sugar-free vanilla syrup and 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

steep the tea as normal, and add those two ingredients, and stir!  if you like it as much as i do, LET ME KNOW! and sorry, i don’t have a cool cinnamon stick or garnish, yet.

i do hope you found a few snacks you’d like to try or are already eating!

le

products that change the game

goooood morning!

i’m feeling pretty darn good today- had an energizing, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast:

oats, bananas, and toasted walnuts w/ a hot green tea

 i can eat peanut butter by the spoon and jar-full. sucks that it’s almost 100 cals per tablespoon and 8 grams of fat (2 saturated) though.  i’ve tried adding it to my oats before, but 1 tbsp doesn’t provide a strong enough pb flavor, and anything over 2 makes the nutritional stats of my oatmeal skyrocket. you can’t just get all willy nilly with your pb serving sizes- it adds up so fast.  even nutella- it’s DELICIOUS (although way too high in sugar) but i honestly can’t stay under the recommended serving size sometimes.  let’s be real.  which brings me to a product that has very well changed my LIFE, overnight. thanks, Alli!!!

 PB2.  i can’t tell you how many times i walked past this stuff in the store thinking ‘uh, i bet that fake, powder pb crap tastes horrid.’ well my friends, let’s just say i was in my kitchen toasting bread at 11pm just so i could slather this stuff on there.  it comes in two flavors- original peanut butter and chocolate.  it’s in powder form, so there’s a little mixing required. no big deal.

2 tbsps of PB2 +

 1 tbsp of water and..

 BAM.  sweet, creamy, peanuty, chocolaty, the real deal.  i was immediately reminded of a pb smoothie my college roomy introduced me to @ Jamba Juice- Peanut Butter Moo’d.  i went to their site to check the nutritional stats on that thing and i was completely blown away.  it’s a DIET DISASTER.  for the original size, it’s 770 cals, 20 grams of fat, and 126 carbs.  however, can you believe we both used to get the Power size (one level above that)?! and NO we didn’t buy one and share either. my goodness- i don’t event want to know what those stats look like.  ironically, the power size isn’t even available anymore- maybe JJ saw just how ridiculous a 1000 calorie smoothie is. *shrugs*. man, we must’ve had crazy high metabolism back then. nevertheless, peanut butter everything (cookies, smoothies, etc,) seem to always be calorie/fat loaded…but now, just LOOK at these stats:

2 TBSPS

PB2 Peanut Butter Nutella

Cals

45 200

200

Fat

1g 16g

11g

Sat. fat

0g 3g

3.5g

Carbs

6g 6g

22g

Sodium

70mg 110mg

15mg

Protein

4g 8g

3g

Fiber

1g 3g

1g

Sugars 3g 3g

21g

all natural.  i can recognize and pronounce every single ingredient.

*faints*

i’m ok. next up, green tea. i am SO on the green tea kick.  i was going hard with coffee before i got preggo.  my OB told me to cool it, so my ‘addiction’ eventually wore off after going so long without it.   besides, i was only adding coffee to my cream and sugar- it has to be super sweet.  sure i used low cal sweetners like torani’s sugar-free vanilla syrup (great stuff) but ultimately, coffee does nothing for me but stain my teeth.  i occasionally have a treat from starbucks- a tall skinny vanilla latte when it’s cold out, and any of the light frappucino drinks in the summer.  but now, green tea is def my daily drink of choice these days.  i tried a different brand at WF- the ‘with white tea for a smoother taste’ sold me because green tea can leave quite a bitter aftertaste.

why you should drink green tea every day too:

  • aides in burning fat!!!! EGCG speeds up the rate at which fat is burned in your body which produces a faster metabolism.  music to my ears.
  • calorie free. long as you stick with those zero calorie sweeteners:)
  • provides stable energy. no spiking of your insulin levels which means no crashing and/or burning.  also wards off fatigue, irritability, and fatty food cravings. helps keep your appetite in check!
  • aides in lowering the risk of several types of cancers, including heart attack, and stroke.
  • antioxidant loaded = cell regeneration = 200 times more powerful than vitamin E when it comes to destroying those skin damaging, wrinkle causing free radicals.
  • the tannins in green tea help with digestion after a meal.  however they also give it that bitter aftertaste.  that’s nothing a little squeeze of lemon or lime can’t fix though!

*just a tip:  green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but consider switching to decaf if drinking before bed so you can get to sleep.  for real. staring at Sonny getting some good sleep gets old real fast.

le