bok bok bok! healthy, homemade chicken nuggets

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after a fantastic early morning church service that concentrated on faithfulness to your spouse, i got crackin’ on meal prep right away.  i roasted some asparagus (seasoned with Weber Zesty Lemon blend) and some red bell peppers (seasoned with Weber Smoky Mesquite) in the oven on 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes or so. for our protein, i made something i will be making more often, especially for Chiso since he loves’em.

the coating for this recipe stemmed from the Fit Sticks recipe in my first ebook!  anytime Chiso eats and asks for more of something homemade i have to shout it from the roof tops!

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healthy, whole wheat, tender, baked, HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS!

i went a lil’ crazy and made them 3 ways: baked nuggets, and pan seared & grilled strips.

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the coating can easily be gluten-free if you use gluten-free bread to make your breadcrumbs.  i used toasted Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delicious multigrain wheat bread.  a few pulses in the food processor and that’s it!

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healthy homemade chicken nuggets 

the stuff:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 + 2 tbsp cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 heaping tbsp of your fave no-salt seasoning (lemon pepper, cajun, bbq, etc)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. set oven to 450 degrees.
  2. cut chicken into desired shapes and coat with olive oil.
  3. spread a layer of foil across a large baking pan and coat it with no-stick cooking spray.
  4. add all dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl; blend well.
  5. in a large tupperware container with a lid, add in a few raw chicken pieces with a few spoonfuls of breading and SHAKE!  (or you could spread out some breading on a plate and dredge the chicken pieces until fully coated but this way was easier and not as messy AND Chiso had fun doing all the shaking :lol: )
  6. space the nuggets out across your baking sheet and bake for 17-20 minutes. (high heat & 4-5 min on each side if grilling, and 7-10 min on each side if pan searing or until done in the center.)
  7. let them cool, then whip out the dipping sauces! we used honey mustard, Weber all natural Buzz’n Honey bbq sauce, and dijon mustard.

i know i cut strips with some of my chicken, but i used 4 large breasts total.  you can cut at least 40 nuggets alone from 4 breasts though.  stats per nugget (using 40 ct):

35 cals,  1g carb, 2g fat, 3g protein

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then we had a biggest belly contest! happy sunday family funday!

le

swimming pools

our labor day in a nutshell.  the weather was PERFECT.

i hope you enjoyed your long holiday weekend as well, however you celebrated!

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we hadn’t hit the pool the entire summer, smh. as a family, anyway.  we hung out around the house afterwards and i made my healthified Summa Time Potato salad from my ebook for us to munch on.  you can’t trust everybody’s potato salad, but you can definitely put your money on this one! low-calorie, protein-rich & full of creamy dijon mustard flavor, yum.

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where’s the bbq? Sonny went and bought it this year. no pics :shock:

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instead of heading out for fro-yo to end the weekend, i made a dark chocolate mudslide for us to split.  Chiso was pooped from swimming so he missed out this time.

dark chocolate mudslide (alcohol-free & can be dairy-free)

the stuff:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup Almond Dream dairy-free Coconut yogurt (Plain or Vanilla works great too)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup or more of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (just enough for it to blend)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips (or vegan Enjoy Life Chips)

do this:

blend until your mixture reaches a super-duper thick consistency.  eat this with a spoon cause it might be too thick for your straw.  i melted some dark chocolate chips + almond milk in the microwave and stirred it to a thick consistency.  i smeared that around my glass before pouring in the mudslide and topping with more mini dark chocolate chips and pecan pieces.  SWEET!

Q: what’s the craziest drink name you’ve ever read/heard? Duck Fart takes the cake. what you got? lol

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

sunday, sweat, & salmon

i must start this post out by giving a HUUUUUGE congrats to everyone that participated in the Chevron Houston Half and Full Marathon races this morning!!!! my Facebook feed is blowing the heck up right now with pics of friends i had no idea were even running this year! the weather wasn’t the greatest, but i am so thrilled to see people sticking to their goals, breaking PR’s and just being such HEALTHY examples.  AWESOME job, all runners!

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i had this bad boy a few days ago- my protein filled breakfast sammie.

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 it’s got 2 egg whites and 2 oz of lean grilled chicken breast previously dipped in some calorie-free, carb-free, fat-free, Walden Farms pancake syrup and sandwiched between a Thomas light, multigrain english muffin. who needs a high-priced drive-through breakfast sandwich when you can make these right at home? my family doesn’t.

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before heading out to church this morning, i had another one and added some dijon mustard for some tang.  some cheese will make it even better! stats: 225 cals, 3g fat, 26.6 carbs, 8g fiber, and a WHOPPING 30g of protein! YUP!

so today was the launch of 24 Hour Fitness’s new Total Body Conditioning format (HIIT) and i had so much fun sweating it out with the members!   please, allow me to give just one more shout out to my amazing husband for his support. IMG_20130113_130339

weights? yes. cardio? not a big fan.  nevertheless, he was in my front row doing his thing and making crazy faces at me as usual.

this is my 5th year teaching and i always, and i mean always, get butterflies in my tummy right before class.  i don’t think that feeling will ever leave me.  soon as i put that mic on…

no worries

it’s ON!!

i feel unstoppable when i am in my zone!

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they made breaking a sweat look FANTASTIC.  so inspiring.

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i was on such a natural high which called for rr selfies-  it was a modest turn out and i KNOW the class will only grow to be bigger and better in the coming weeks. i just love family gym dates! heeeey, Chiso ;)

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so salmon is STILL on sale at HEB this week *big cheese*.  the price did go up a dollar, but it’s still a couple dollars lower than regular price. i couldn’t pass it up.  soooo, here are more healthy, fresh salmon meal ideas:

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salmon is amazing when paired with fresh dill, but i didn’t have any.  i used another toasted Thomas english muffin, broke apart some of the baked salmon and put it on one side, and i slathered the other half of the muffin with a homemade no-fat cream cheese & green onion spread.  i smell a salmon, dill, chive,  cream cheese dip coming soon, don’t you!? no pun intended.

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fresh blackberries are on sale too!  i made a spring mix salad for lunch one day last week and threw a few on top for one of my meal 5’s.  grilled squash, roasted new potatoes and a hunk of garlic and herb salmon went right along with it.  i roast or grill my food A LOT- you create so much flavor!  steamed is my least fave…

yesterday, my fam got together at my grandma’s house for a huge pot luck style brunch. what did i volunteer to make? banana pancakes, duuuuuh!

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i quadrupled my original recipe and blended 3/4th of the oats in a powder but i left 1 cup whole for texture.  you already know the ingredients, so i’ll spare ya.

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all griddled up and ready to be devoured.

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if you gone do brunch, do it right!  i brought sliced fresh bananas, chopped pecans, Cary’s sugar-free syrup, and whipped cream along to top them.  we also had:

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a beautiful concoction of fresh, ripe fresh fruit brought by my cousin Anne,

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eggies made with love by my aunts,20130112_134011

french toast (made with organic, low-fat milk, right, Kristy!)

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here’s one end of the table,

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this thing was soooooo sweet and delectable!  i had to know what the crust was and found out it was a big sugar cookie, yum! topped with cool whip, cinnamon, and fresh fruit. awesome idea that i WILL be stealing and tweaking lol.

20130112_133955aaaand here’s the other end.

time spent with the people i love and a big table of FOOD. i love my life.                    20130112_134257

aren’t these guys the cutest!? also brought by cousin Anne- they are soy yogurt shots topped with fresh fruit and granola. 20130112_134252

the tasted as amazing as they looked. i know you see that bacon :shock:

welp, it’s that time again.weekend ecard

rest up :lol:

Q: what is your FAVORITE brunch food?

hands down, mine is french toast.

le

happy fit & clean 2013!

 

 well, it’s here. the new year is underway…. i’m just happy and grateful to be here. soon as i opened my eyes today i made a Facebook status that said  ‘if you woke up this morning, you were SUPPOSED TO!! thank God! now, go and be YOU.’ i’m excited and so ready to live His purpose for my life. it’s time!

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the day after Christmas, i had all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed.  thanks to my driver and brother Matt for this hot photo.  what a day!  i was knocked out and didn’t feel a thing, but the 3rd day was definitely the worst as the swelling was at its peak.  howeverrrr,  it’s all over and done with now FOR GOOD!

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6 days later i’m still healing and struggling to chew and it sucks.  i can only do so on one side for now, and i’m not supposed to eat any crackers, chips, popcorn- anything that crumbles and can get stuck in those crevices back there.  this foodie is ready to EAT.  so while my family gets to eat Papa Johns :shock:, i’m on baby food status. how i’ve been surviving:

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oh and let’s not forget i couldn’t exercise! no food = no energy = no activity = boo. this entire pint of Arctic Zero came in handy.

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however for breakfast, i cooked my oats as normal with vanilla creme stevia and unsweetened vanilla almond milk, then i sliced up a banana and threw it in the blender with them. this pic translates to how i felt that morning :lol: BLAH

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before bed one night, i whipped out some cottage cheese to get some protein in.  i made some of my healthy chocolate sauce and drizzled some on top along with a dash of cinnamon.

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 aaaand for dinner, i got fancy and made some roasted squash and onion soup.  i roasted the veggies in the oven until soft, tender, and charred, then threw them in the blender along with some low sodium vegetable broth, nutritional yeast flakes, black pepper, liquid aminos, sweet smokey paprika, and sprinkled some goat cheese on top.

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i was trying to make a balanced meal in a glass and this actually turned out ok!  fruit, greens, healthy fats, and carbs.

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 i’m outta protein powder, but a scoop of vanilla would have been perfect!

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i ate it with a spoon though, no straws allowed yet.

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no gym for 4 straight days and i felt like a weak, wet, limp noodle.  lost a couple of pounds of both fat and muscle for sure.  this is why i LOOOOVE my complex carbs combined with hitting the weights (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, etc) – without them i’m flat and squishy.

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sunday was my first day back in the gym and i made some green eggs for real!  liquified frozen spinach + egg whites then scramble!  shredded a little almond cheese on’em that melted on top.

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got a nice welcome back 700+ calorie burn in my boxing shoes which happen to be perfect for weight lifting.

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 definitely getting a few pairs of these in more crazy colors!

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i hope you enjoyed your new years eve WHATEVER you did last night!!  Chiso surprisingly checked out at 9:30… SCORE.  i know! soooo Sonny and i enjoyed a quiet evening at home and popped open a bottle of  the good stuff – sparkling welches red grape juice cocktail. we had a quiet, intimate toast to end a great year and welcome an even better one!

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this morning was the Commitment Day 5k-  did you get up and go run in your city?

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it rained. it was windy. it was cold.

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but that didn’t stop these people from coming out in their raincoats, hats, and umbrellas!  it was still a fair turnout and i was honored to participate.

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i ran with my sister-friend Shabakka; she showed up and showed out!  we had just finished up.

i saw a few familiar faces along the way though and i was definitely looking for some!  i’d like to give a huge CONGRATS and shout out to one of my readers and fam, Ivy!!!  you did it! way to start 2013 STRONG.

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you know i wore my watch. couldn’t tell ya what my time was though…let’s say around 24 min or so.

that’s my holiday wrap up!  i’ll leave you with one of the quotes i’m really feelin':

‘don’t tell people your dreams, show them.’

here’s to a fit & clean 2013! (thx Dami;)

le

mmmm….crusty

  i ate Papa Johns pizza 10 outta 10 months of my pregnancy.  it was my celebratory meal after doing my first fitness competition.  pizza is neck and neck with mac n cheese as my fav food.  i keep my eyes peeled for healthy, lower calorie/carb pizza crust recipes that i can make at home.  however…….i’m not willing to accept a tortilla, portobello mushroom :shock: english muffin, or any other item attempting to be passed off as pizza crust!  now THIS though…this is just my speed right here.  yet another recipe inspired by IG (Instagram) that i have made every day since i found it.  once i find something i love i make it until i force myself not to make it  anymore.

ok.

the crust is composed of… breakfast. oatmeal and egg whites.  together.
 but you don’t have to eat it for breakfast if you don’t want to.  i don’t.

Trader Joe’s organic pizza sauce, ground chicken, goat cheese, fresh roma tomatoes, mushrooms, and cilantro went on my very first attempt at this recipe, pictured above.  your turn.

oatmeal pizza crust

the stuff:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water (mix until desired consistency but not too thin!)

do this:

  1. pre-heat your oven to 400 degress.
  2. throw the ingredients above into your blender or food processor and blend away until smooth
  3.  add more water if you need to.  i like my crust with texture, so i pulsed my blender a few times and left it semi chunky.  you can put it on high and blend until completely smooth though, it’s your call.  the seasoning are also up to you.  if you don’t like Italian seasoning,  by all means, use somethin ya do like.
  4.  spray your medium heated skillet with no-stick cooking spray, and scrape the contents of your blender right into it.
  5. it starts to cook immediately, so start spreading it as soon as it hits the pan.
  6. once it’s cooked on one side (3-4 minutes) flip it over and let the other side cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  7.  finally, slide the crust onto your oven pan (spray that with no-stick cooking spray  too) and  add your toppings.  remember, less is more.  don’t over crowd!  thumbs down to soggy pizza crust. blech.

1 serving = entire crust (egg whites, oatmeal, garlic & seasonings)

not too shabby, huh!  low-fat, and loaded with fiber and protein.  my skillet is not terribly big, so my first crust was thicker than i wanted it to be since i poured in all my batter at once.  the next few times, i poured half the batter in and made two thin crust pizzas.

 yall know i’m all about stretching my food!

i have been topping my crusts with whatever i have on hand.  ground chicken, ground turkey, grilled chicken, salmon, and even tuna.  same with the veggies/cheese- i have put some crazy stuff together and so will you!

le

grocery finds

i know variety is important, but my breakfast just ain’t right without my oats (either in a bowl with toppings or in my pancakes).  i NEED them. i’m still finding new ways to eat them every single day.

 i made saturday morning’s bowl of oats with Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a few drops of vanilla creme stevia, lots of cinnamon, half a banana, some chocolate pb2, and some unsweetened coconut flakes.

and my daily egg omelette of course topped with fresh cilantro and pineapple salsa.

  i did about 30 min of fat burning cardio on the elliptical + an upperbody weight workout and high tailed it outta there. we had a few birthday parties to attend as well as grocery shopping to get done, the usual!

 i’m doing a fitness challenge via IG (Instagram) right now (@fight_for_healthy).  my goal is to add more definition to my body overall, especially in my abs.  also, i plan to eat as clean as possible for the month of october.  but these birthday parties though… :shock:  expecting big changes next month just in time for the Thanksgiving holidays. oh boy.

for meal 2, i cracked open some canned salmon (fresh is too high right now @ HEB)  and put some on a 3-seed La Tortilla Factory soft wrap along with some fresh cilantro, rice cheese, avocado, tomato, smokehouse maple seasoning, spicy mustard, and some fig butter. i  microwaved it til the cheese melted and devoured it. two of them.

in the car on the way to the party, i had meal 3 which was a salmon sandwich on raisin Ezekiel bread with the same toppings.

after running around chasing this boy the whole darn time, let’s just say i’m so grateful to be in good shape!  trouble finding workout motivation?  keep your babies (or future babies) in mind.  thank me later.  i see why those child leash thingies were invented!!!

i see to it that Chiso eats nutritious, healthy stuff all day long, so of course he (we) can partake in party food every now and then.  didn’t i just say i was in the middle of an october fitness challenge lol? come on,  it’s not a party without cake.  i split a piece with my boo and we had a blast partying with family.  and it was the non-dairy whipped topping, not the super, duper sweet sugary kind ;)  just go with it.

 after the par-tay, i guilted Sonny into going grocery shopping with us since the HEB i frequent was nearby.

in addition to my normal goodies, i got some other cool items i’m so excited about trying!!

quark. i learned about quark through a few Aussie IGers.  i had been looking for this stuff for weeks- not all HEB’s sell it and few people even know what it is.  it’s comparable to greek yogurt as far as taste.  nutritional stats? not so much.  not a lotta protein per serving, but very low cal, fat, carbs, and an awesome 0 grams of sugar.  ever notice just how much sugar your greek yogurt contains?  yep, even the plain varieties.

not too shabby.  non-fat ricotta cheese is another alternative to add to your fresh fruit instead of cottage cheese or yogurt.

next,

one of my guilt-free treats.  i make a two scoop sundae with vanilla maple flavored Artic Zero (150 cals per PINT)  with some soy whip. and sprinkles.  recently, Artic Zero underwent some scrutiny for incorrect nutritional stats and ingredients on their labels.  they ended up adding milk to their ingredient list (for some reason it still doesn’t bloat me like real ice cream though) which upset a good amount of their consumers.  seriously… even if the stats were off a bit, come on.  can you eat a freakin entire pint of ANY of the other brands for less than 150 cals, total?  it’s not that biga deal my goodness. :roll:  i’m still a fan and will continue to be! i also drizzle some healthy chocolate sauce (will share recipe soon) on top and it’s an incredible, low cal, carb, guilt-free, bowl of yumminess.

i can dig it!   a little expensive for the size of the bottle though.

i taste tested it solo, and it tastes exactly like reg. ketchup. no funny after taste or any of that.  but it wasn’t enough.

so i baked some Ore-ida fast food fries. it passed.

ok…i had to share this as i’ve been asked a few times what my cheat snacks are…and this is one.  sweet and salty chex mix.  it’s even good in a bowl of almond milk!!!!  we passed by a big shelf of it and as i talked myself into not even looking in that direction, Sonny picked up the biggest bag they had and threw it in our buggy.  and i let him.   

ok focus!!! back to the good stuff that’s good for you and to you.  we got plenty of fresh fruits and veggies as they are at the top of my list, every time.  strawberries, blackberries, bananas, grapefruit, apples, roma tomatoes, zucchini, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and avocados this trip.

ooooh Ezekiel… i love your bread and now i must try your cereal.  with my silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk of course. match made in heaven.

and the award for the cutest bag of popcorn ever goes to Angie’s.  it definitely got my attention! sure i’m a stove popcorn popping advocate, but as healthy and fun as this bag looked, i just had to try this kettlecorn.

even vegan.  impressive.

what else can you do with an old nike box? use it to hold all your snacks. ghetto? prolly. effective. ya.  i like to keep things out where i can see them.

try a new item on your next grocery shopping trip!

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

apple-chicken burgers

 i threw some ground chicken in my grocery basket this week. there’s more to life than ground turkey.

i love chicken/apple sausage for breakfast, so that combo would make a darn good burger.  while training for my comp, if my meal plan called for apples that week, i would go get the BIGGEST ones i could find, lol.  i have really grown to love red delicious apples- eat one every day now.

aminos!  low sodium soy sauce alternative i use to marinate my proteins in.

i added the aminos along with my chopped apple, herbs, and seasonings into a mixing bowl with the chicken.

one more time close up.  no reason.

mix it. real good.

then grill’em up.  you can cook them in a flat iron pan too, or even bake them in the oven. i just have a thing for grill marks, that grilled taste, and it’s the quickest method.

apple-chicken burgers

serving size: 2 oz patty

the stuff:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg white
  • half a large apple (approx. 1 cup, diced)
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 tbsp smokehouse maple or any seasoning of your choice
  • 3 tsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke (hickory or mesquite, you choose)

do this:

mix and grill. 4 min on each side should be perfect. watch them though.

cover the meat and let it rest for a few minutes afterwards.

 i made a sandwich and used Prophet Ezekiel’s sprouted grain sesame bread.  sprayed a little ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’ on the slices first, and toasted them.

i like how the sesame seeds get toasted too- gives your sammich so much texture and crunch when you bite into it.

the chicken is lean, but the apple helps keep the patty moist.

add your toppings.  that’s almond cheese- yep. this is a GREAT brand i found through an IG buddy, @spoonfulofit.  it’s Lissanti and i found it at Whole Foods.  it melts and tastes just like regular dairy cheese, she was right!

topped it with plenty of spicy mustard, and there’s some fig butter hiding under the tomatoes ;)

i shoulda let the cheese melt on the patties, what was i thinking? next time.

ok enough sammich pics, go make one.

Prophet’s Ezekiel also makes great whole wheat pita pockets.  the stats are better than Trader Joe’s by far.  only 100 cals compared to TJ’s 160 (same size pita) and has a whopping 7 grams of protein!

have a happy, lean & clean friday in advance,

le

Trader Joe’s H-O-U-S-T-O-N!!!

the cardio horse is back in her saddle! after a week off from teaching my Lifetime classes, it’s great to be BACK.  burnout is a lose-lose for the instructor and the members… breaks always re-energize and re-fuel me to teach the best class i possibly can. especially at 530am.

after 1 hr of Total Conditioning, i jumped on my fav elliptical machine and did 45 minutes of fat-burning cardio and called it a day. no more gym for me until tomorrow…maybe even thursday!! no more two a days. for now!  until i decide to compete again (i’m sure i will) i’m focusing on maintaining my current weight, give or take a few pounds.

all i could think about was breakfast on my way home as usual.

so i’m back on the clean eating train. as of yesterday.  for the most part.  i’ve been adding extra things (for example, the tomatoes and asparagus ) to my meals that i normally couldn’t when i was preparing for my show.  usually what i add doesn’t really affect the total calorie count of the meal anyway.  extra veggies is nothing compared to an extra egg or some meat or something, you know?!

second shot of meal 1,

and here’s meal 2 so far.  i’m sticking with 5-6 small meals a day.  my body responds so well to this routine so i’m keeping it going.  try it out and see how your body responds!

so, Houston has just become that much cooler.

Sonny and i made it back in time from Jamaica to attend the grand opening extravaganza of Trader Joe’s this past Friday, Sept. 21st.

If you are familiar with H-town, then you know that this historic building was once a theater, then a book store for 25 years, and finally the home of our very 1st TJ’s! we didn’t even go home first- it was that important.  to me.

taking pics to pass the time while Sonny finished his phone call.

8 days later and my ‘show’ hair is already in a pony tail.

walking up- i love that they kept and used the old school marquee.

getting started. the store is not as big as i anticipated, but it was still jam-packed with a ton of cool items. it was lunch time AND the grand opening so space got a little tight.  i didn’t mind.

Joe’s O’s for Chiso.

saying a prayer and thanking God for these low sodium rice cakes!!! i used to get the popular Lundberg brown rice cakes, but why have one of those when i can have TWO of Joe’s for a 10 cal difference?!

sampling some kinda fresh squeezed juice. and  yep, that’s my tummy.  i left my abs in Jamaica.

i definitely grabbed something off of every isle.

ok people are going absolutely nuts over this stuff and i completely understand.  i passed a tower of it on the way to checkout and thought to myself  ‘man i wonder what that tastes like!!’. i literally looked up and walked right into a store associate shoving a sampling spoon of it right in my face!!  of course i’ll take some! our cashier told us it’s their top-selling item right now and that they will be coming out with a crunchy version for the Christmas holidays.  Lord have mercy.

turkey jerky!!!!!!! haven’t had this stuff since my Cali trip back in 2010.  great high protein, low-fat snack.

what i ended up with- roasted seaweed snacks, popping corn, unsalted pb filled pretzels, unsalted rice cakes, turkey jerky, lite coconut milk, unsweetened apple sauce, Joe’s O’s (whole grain cereal), lobster rolls, black mission figs, organic pizza sauce, lactose-free milk, fresh sugar snap peas, coconut oil, goat cheese, fat-free feta, egg-plant humus, egg whites, spicy mustard, fig butter,  and some fresh fruit.  no cookie butter yet!!!

i was expecting to go well over 100, maybe even 150. but i did NOT break the bank.  gotta love those reasonable prices for organic, natural, fresh foods.  i’m THRILLED that TJ’s is finally here and will gladly make the drive to visit.

after buying all that delicious food, what does Sonny want for lunch? Mission Tortilla.  because he was a great sport and even came grocery shopping with me i shut my trap right up :shock:

i waited til we got home to fix my lunch.  here are some of the items up close for you to look for on your TJ’s trip.

the fig butter is AWESOME- and no, there isn’t a drop of butter in it.  it even says that on the package. “To be a butter, a spread must contain more fruit than sugar..”

whole wheat pita pockets and eggplant humus – only 35 cals per 2 tbsp. serving!

there was no cooked meat (ok fresh cooked meat) in our house since we had been gone for a week, so i made some fig and feta tuna and grilled a whole wheat pita to go with it.

my seasonings for the tuna. i almost ALWAYS add boiled eggs to my tuna, but i was too hungry to wait!

i also spread some of the fig butter and eggplant humus on the pita bread-

DELICIOUS.

what else can you put fig butter on? it’s great in wraps too- i made a grilled chicken, kale, tomato, avocado wrap on a whole wheat tortilla for my next meal.  the spicy salty mustard and the sweet fig go great together. try it.

what are your favorite must have Trader Joe’s items?? and have you tried the cookie butter :lol:

le