Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup…healthified! + skinny bacon!?

i told Sonny to get me outta bed when my alarm went off this morning no matter what.  he didn’t, haha, but i got on up anyway and hit it early so i could use the rest of the day cooking for Thanksgiving!  speaking of, we have a Thanksgiving Damage Control Challenge going on right now by the way for 1 buck!! check out the details and sign up to keep yourself in check for the big day tomorrow.  i did a little arc trainer for my cardio and then one of our 6 Pack USA upper body workouts which targeted chest, biceps, triceps, and a little back.  then i went into the group fitness studio for core and stretching and did a few of these:

i admit- i love this Beyoncé video and song. i just do!  not a Yonce stan, but definitely a fan.

then i got home and got the boys up and fed before i got cracking on this soup again.  yesterday went terribly wrong. bad pics, bad soup color cause i burned the sausage…it was just…wrong.  sometimes i want to post anyway and get it off my chest but something kept telling me to WAIT and be still.  today turned out loads better. loads.

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while i was cooking away, the doorbell rang.  i immediately heard a truck engine start which means it was UPS and i had a package, haha! they never wait. ever.

knock, knock…

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IT’S BACON!!!!!!

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not just any bacon though. uncured, Applegate Good Morning Bacon.

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 skinny bacon! what? yes please! when it comes to natural and organic meats, Applegate is top-notch.  you get what you pay for, guaranteed.  Chiso looooved the hot dogs from our welcome-home-from-the-hospital lunch a few months ago!  and if you’re a dear reader of mine then you know how picky that guy is.  we cracked the bacon open right away for breakfast. it’s:

  • applewood smoked
  • 60% less fat than regular bacon
  • uncured
  • antibiotic, gluten, casein, hormone, and nitrate-FREE
  •  heaven-sent

it’s no coincidence the soup calls for *drum roll* bacooooon. i told ya, perfect timing.  His timing!  anyway, it tastes just like pork belly bacon without all the excess grease and/or oil.  let’s give it up for Applegate!

*round of applause*

without further adieu, i present to you, healthified, dairy-free, Zuppa Toscana soup!  it’s 2nd place to Olive Garden’s chicken & gnocchi soup in my book.  maybe i’ll healthify that one next ;) .  the longer you let it sit, the creamier it will become, fyi. i hurriedly took these pics a few minutes after i finished cooking while i still had some good natural light left and it was still a tad thin. a few hours have passed since and the flavors have made their presence known and the texture is just right.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup – Healthified

the stuff:

  • 1 lb sausage of your choice (see mine below), sliced
  • 2 medium red potatoes
  • 1/4 cup Applegate uncured Good Morning Bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 can light OR full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 32 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 big handfuls of raw, fresh kale
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

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couple things: i used light coconut milk.  full fat would yield an even thicker, creamier soup of course!  i also used spinach & garlic chicken sausage that i found at HEB, but you can use whatever you fancy.

do this:

  1. coat a very large pot with no-stick cooking spray and set it to med-high heat
  2. brown sliced sausage in pot  (3-4 minutes)
  3. add onion, shallot, potatoes to pot and stir
  4. add chicken broth ensuring the water cover the top of the veggies/meat
  5. cook on medium heat until the potatoes are done (about 10-12 minutes…watch it closely)
  6. add bacon
  7. add salt & pepper and let simmer for 10 min; taste
  8. season again if needed then turn heat to low
  9. add coconut milk and kale (make sure you push the kale into and under the liquid) and stir until well combined
  10. serve warm and top it with more bacon!

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using the My Fitness Pal recipe nutrition calculator i estimate 4 big bowls of soup from this pot. for one 12 oz serving:

285 cals, 10g fat, 28g carbs, 4g sugar and 1299mg sodium

 (high sodium because of my sausage choice but that can be altered.)

pure YUMMINESS! make this and tag me! @fitfoodiele


omg. i’m running a 10k tomorrow morning. it’s not like i don’t know how to train for a run, i just don’t want to. lol. and the temperature has dipped early this year at that!  man. this time last year i was preggo and complaining about the cold.  only difference is i still want to workout (indoors) and no first trimester woes.  welp, if you’re out there getting your trot on in Houston, holla at meeeeee!  for now…

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back to cooking my mom’s famous cornbread dressing! happy TG eve!

le

Esprit de She Katy 5/10K – Fit Foodie Finishers

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snapping pics at the stop light and headed to meet the ladies who signed up to brave the Esprit de She 5 & 10K races with me last night! great times.  it did NOT rain on our parade either, thank God.

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no sunshine, but it wasn’t unbearably humid either as this SOLD OUT crowd of  gorgeous, fit, ladies gathered in anticipation and excitement. just look at that turn out! there was plenty to do, too. Zumba, healthy snack samples, Yoga, and chair massages & manicures were provided by Lifetime Fitness Lifespa.  this event totally catered to the She.

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i arrived early, headed to packet pickup, and ran smack into my friend Alexia and her hubby (he came for support, how sweet!). she is 1 week ahead of me @ 36 weeks preggo and was down to pound the pavement regardless. LOVES IT!  the shirts were a gorgeous purple color this year; it’s definitely one of my fave race tanks (racerback always rules in my world) that i will be hitting the gym in for sure.  also, because i registered early (big surprise there :o ), i was able to personalize my bib. coolness.

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the Esprit de She ambassadors got a group email going a few days before the race and decided to meet up for a pre-race photo under the Athleta tent.  did it happen? i couldn’t tell ya lol, but i was there and looking around for the other ladies. Landi found me, and then we somehow found Jennifer.  nice meeting you gals <3

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my friend Eshé (top L) has been taking my gym classes since i started teaching at 24 HF eons ago! she is now a Lifetime member and is training for another triathlon later this year.  she showed the 10k who was boss last night!!! so proud of her and she looks fantastic.   Alexia and i (top R) received SO MUCH bump love!! i was truly proud to represent for the fit preggo moms out there with her, you already know.  way to GO, Alexia.  we ran into my crazy-sock wearing fitness buddies Ros (Zumba instructor extraordinaire)and Karen on the way to the start line (bottom L pic) :) lastly, i finally got a pic with my Soror, Ayesha!  she’s a fellow Coog, blogger, and Esprit de She Ambassador as well.

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before and after!

as Alexia and i wrapped up our final mile, a woman who was driving by in her truck slowed down (and shouted over a/her child in the passenger seat) ‘you’re pregnant? and running? why??’ and sped off! my response? why NOT!? :?: i should have shouted to her to follow me on Instagram. lol. if she only knew :P

i know a lot of mommies-to-be that aren’t able to run at this stage of the game as the weight and pressure of the fetus is pretty high.  however, we used common sense, checked on each other constantly, and alternated between jogging (when we felt like it) and power-walking to get through the 5k.  mission accomplished!

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post-race, you KNOW what i was lookin’ for and where i can always be found- by the fuel!  believe it or not, the line on the right was for the free bubbly LOL!  i was so happy to just walk right up and get my southwest chicken wrap(S) and salad that were provided by the always healthy and delicious Lifetime Cafe.

i had a rockin’ time and hope to return next year. with or without a baby bump ;)

HAPPY EARLY MOTHERS’ DAY <3

le

holiday happiness

::Christmas::

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: what are your NYE plans? vote below!

Esprit De She 5k + glute bridges

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breakfaaaast this morning!  just an egg white omelette chock-full of kale, roma tomatoes, baby bella mushrooms, mrs. Dash onion & herb seasoning. cheddar almond cheese, sriracha and avo on top. super filling!

let’s get physical.

Phonto

basic glute bridge: with your head on the floor and heels on  the bench or floor, raise your hips off the ground while squeezing your glutes and pressing your heels into the step or floor.  when your glutes are level with your hips, stop. lower and repeat.  mix it up with different counts- singles and pulses set those buns on :shock: FIRE :shock:

leg variations: 

  • left foot on your right knee (pictured) 12 x 2
  • right foot on your left knee (pictured) 12 x 2
  • right leg extended at hip level (pictured) 12 x 2
  • right leg straight up in the air 12 x 2
  • left leg extended at hip level 12 x 2
  • left leg extended up in the air 12 x 2
  • heels down, toes up 12 x 2

tips:

  • this can be done on the floor without the bench; alway make sure your surface is stable. an elevated surface provides a wider range of motion to perform the exercise.
  • keep a neutral chin; slighty tucked in towards your chest
  • avoid pushing your hips too high as this can hyperextend your back
  • you should feel this primarily in your glutes. if you feel lower back discomfort, try doing them without elevation.

have fun!

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i added a new recipe to the ebook today- roasted, curried cauli (as in cauliflower) mash.  i used to eat broccoli and cheese like nobody’s business but neither one of them are kind to my tummy. soooo, this was a great, flavorful replacement.  i also had some roasted butternut squash sprinkled with cinnamon, and pan seared lemon pepper tilapia.

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are you on IG? of course you are. i’m doing @fitnessfoodandstyle’s May Photo A Day challenge this month cause i love me some Dani and it looks fun! you should join me.

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‘don’t copy, compete with or compare yourself to others. their path is not your path, nor should it be. everyone has a unique gift to offer. what is yours?’

-mary frances winters

with that said, this next event is for my fit ladies only. let’s finish this race and compete together as a team. the Athleta Esprit de She Houston 5k/10k will be making its debut on May 9th, 2013!  yes, 8 days away!

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let’s make their very first year one to remember.  if you would like to run with the Fit Foodie Finishers, send me an email (le@fitfoodiele.com) so i can send you the link to sign up!   we will be running the 5k, so whether you’re a veteran or first timer, come oooooon.

le