Torchy’s Tacos + surprise!

 aaaaaahh…  sunday.  Dego woke up at 4am to nurse as usual and i didn’t get back to sleep until around 6. before i knew it,  it was time to get on up for church!

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ready for my 2nd date of the weekend and unbeknownst to me, we headed to Torchy’s Tacos on our side of town. that line was serious!  it was our first time there, and i’m sure Sonny remembered me saying we needed to check them out a few weeks ago. i kinda wanted brunch brunch, but rolled with it.

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little did i know there was a pretty lil’ lunch guest already there and waiting on us to arrive- my dear friend Ericka!!   talk about a pleasant surprise- i was so happy to finally see and talk to her in person again and not via computer or phone as she lives in another city.  we spent the afternoon eating and laughing, and if she were staying longer we would have hit the gym together too i’m sure!   i’m so honored to know her and excited about where God is taking her foster care program Think Love Smart, as well as all her other endeavors!

Ericka had been to Torchy’s once before and said the Democrat w/ chicken was great, so i took her word for it.

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she was absolutely right.  shredded fajita chicken, topped with fresh avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, onions, and a wedge of lime on corn tortillas.

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Sonny got something yummy looking with eggs, beef,  and cheese on flour tortillas,

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and i split the Mr. Orange with him as well.  salmon (duh), queso fresco, avocado, sweet corn, and black beans on corn tortillas. my fave of the bunch!  YUM.

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then we went to relax, hang out, and catch up.  our kiddos love them some Ericka too! wrong boob though, Dego. so funny.

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after E hit the road, so did i! i did some GGG (gym, grocery shopping, & grazing (grazing in the bulk aisle of course).  i did almost 1 hour of treadmill intervals… ya, more intervals, i know, i know.  booooring. i expect to get cleared to workout THIS week and i’m crazy excited about it!  i need workout variety in my life right now.

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 made a few meals for Sonny and i for the next two days or so and shut the kitchen down. lean protein, veggies, good fat, and complex carbs on the side.  if you’re interested in a customized meal AND workout plan (because you can’t be efficient without both), email me! leah.egwuatu@6packusa.com. i will be starting my 6 Pack plan as soon as my OB gives me the green light.

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oh wait and then there’s this guy.  i can feel my cool whip addiction creeping back up on me from these crazy postpartum sweets cravings.  this is still a lighter alternative than say full fat ice cream or a restaurant dessert though.  sugar-free cool whip and low-fat honey graham crackers.  place it in the freezer so the cool whip can harden first.  all things in moderation!

Q: moms, are your preggo cravings different from your postpartum cravings?

Q: what have you tried at Torchy’s?

le

friday fun – what NOT to say to a preggo woman

it’s fridaaaaaaay!

 i subbed a 10am Total Conditioning class (it’s now called Total Conditioning Extreme or TCX)  for a Lifetime Fitness instructor friend this morning and it was AWESOME teaching my fave class ever in the real day time, lol!  it’s still dark when my tuesday and thursday classes are over at 6:30am. i had so much more energy too since i’m unable to drink coffee in the early mornings anymore :lol:

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a 6 month sweaty mess.

soooo since my little man and i were in the area, we hit up Ruggles Green for lunch and ordered what we always order:

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the Atlantic Salmon Salad for me, a fire-grilled cheese pizza for him (he couldn’t wait for the pic but at least he prayed first) and some organic roasted butternut squash that i’m hoping Chiso will eat a spoonful of ONE day!! until then i’ll gladly continue to kill it myself. i’m enjoying this solo time with Chi as much as possible before baby #2 arrives in less than 4 months. 4 months. whoa.

for kicks:

stuff not to say to or ask a preggo woman!

  1. wow, you sure were hungry! translation: you just ate enough to feed a small city. of Jabba the Hutts.
  2. omg are there twins in there?! translation: you’re huge.  however far along you are.
  3. sleep all you can — NOW. well thanks for the reminder!
  4. do twins run in your family? translation: did you use fertility drugs? does it matter?
  5. how much have you gained so far? i personally don’t mind this one and will share that unknown number just before i deliver.
  6. if cavewomen gave birth without drugs so can you. it’s a personal choice.
  7. can i rub your belly? some people don’t even ask! another one that doesn’t bother me one bit. #imatroll #rubmybelly #itsalllove
  8. i was ripped from end to end. omg! i had an episiotomy too but i would never be that graphic and scare another mom-to-be, ROTFL
  9. are you still with the father? really, REALLY personal… like best friend personal. however if they’re your BFF then they should already know that answer :shock:
  10. Moooooooo. 

comment below and add to the list!

le

vday >weekend< recap

that’s right, weekend! not just one day to celebrate V-day for us this year. a big, grateful thank you to our default babysitters, i.e., my parents :lol:

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i woke up and made some cliché Valentine’s Day themed food porn before heading out to do my Friday cardio.  they are just my oatbran banana pancakes with a little bit of unsweetened cocoa powder, stevia, melted semi chocolate chip drizzle on top with strawberries on the side. scrumptious!

after a full week of weightlifting i took it easy and did 45 min of elliptical,

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and 15 minutes of stairmaster (i repeated the chart above 3 times through).  kept my heart rate between 140-150.  you can turn this into an interval workout by switching the speed from 60 – 90 every minute.

before dropping the little guy off, we had a family lunch date at Perry’s Steakhouse.

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i always hate to have to send plates back to the kitchen cause i don’t like giving our waiter /waitress a hard time ( and especially if i’m REALLY hungry) but this time i just rolled with it and split my way
overdressed house salad with Sonny. that was followed by the grilled salmon, whipped potatoes and seasonal veggies.

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later that evening we exchanged some gifts, headed out to see About Last Night, and had a super late 10:30pm dinner at 52 Seasons.

i received some hand-made chocolate covered strawberries (impressive ;) ) and i found the cutest gifts at Urban Outfitters: a Sriracha water bottle (he eats this stuff with every meal, haha) and a ’50 things i love about you’ fill-in-the-blank flip book.  

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that’s it. just one sample question :lol:

*****

we were in the car a while sunday and we heard Beyoncè and Jay-Z’s ‘On The Run’ 53 times and i am really feeling it. especially her words in the very beginning:

‘who wants that perfect love story anyway, anyway…cliché, cliché, cliché, cliche…’

 after church we ended up on campus at our alma mater before heading to pick up Mr. Chiso. even though things are different physically around campus, being there always reminds me of our perfectly imperfect, almost 15 year-long, roller coaster of a love story.  visiting our old stomping grounds is a nostalgic experience, and this was an ideal weekend to reflect back on how much we have grown together.

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 we ended up eating dinner at our old dorm.  really, Sonny had already paid (it’s buffet style and you pay before you go in) and i didn’t want to ruin the moment so i sucked it up and threw this together at the salad bar.  the nutritional stats were displayed right next to each food item to my surprise (go UH!) and at 130 cals per slice, i couldn’t pass up getting two servings of that cheese pizza. baby’s request of course!!!

hope you had an awesome and hopefully long holiday weekend yourself.

Q: what’s the most unusual or original Valentine’s gift you’ve ever received or given?

le

#laterpost #flashbackfriday

i’m going through a period in my life where i’m letting go of something good to make room for something a billion times better.  why is that so dang hard though?  always easier said than done in my world. accepting change doesn’t have to feel like pulling teeth, but i tend to take it to that level a lot every now and then.

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i stick to my 6 Pack USA workout plan for the majority of my workouts but sometimes i just go in and wing it.

today’s sweaty randomness: back, light triceps, cardio

  • machine shoulder press 4 x 10
  • lat pull downs 4 x 10
  • machine tricep pushdowns 4 x 10
  • hammer strength pull downs 4 x 10
  • seated rows 4 x 10
  • deadlift / overhead press combo w/ 45 lb bar 3 x 10
  • steady-state, fat burning cardio on the elliptical 30 min

before that though, i met with the ladies of Style to Envy for breakfast at La Madeleine and did my best to resist all their crazy delicious savory and sweet pastries.  i met Val and Nikki at the Blog Elevated Conference this past Sept. and we discussed a few collaboration ideas for 2014! looking forward to that.

Chiso worked up an appetite playing hard and requested pizza for lunch. soooo, since were in the vicinity, we chowed down on some Ruggles Green gluten-free cuisine.

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i had the Atlantic salmon salad with all the trimmings.  i actually forgot to ask for the dressing on the side this time and was too hungry to wait for a re-do.

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what a Hammy Mc Hamster! Chiso got his pizza fix and i finished what he left which was only one dang slice! and i have no idea where he got ‘eat everything but the crust’ from. he certainly didn’t learn that from Sonny or i cause we eat the whole thing. so yeah, i finished all his leftover crusts too. that dough is AMAZING.

*********************

 here is a lighter, low sugar pumpkin cake recipe i made a few days ago i’d like to share before Turkey Day:

madewithOveryummy pumpkin cake

the stuff:

  • 1 cup Stevia for Baking
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 can pure pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

do this:

  1. mix wet with wet, dry with dry, then incorporate together. do not over mix!
  2. divide batter evenly between two 8 in round pans
  3. bake for 28-30 min on 350 or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  4. let the cakes cool then pop them out of the pans
  5. top however you’d like! i used vanilla butter cream and the very last few pecans in the bag (i hope that explains the debris on the plate)  this time, but next time i’ll keep it super light and use sugar-free/fat-free cool whip. there are actually a few vegan coconut cream frosting recipes i’ve been seeing around.  that’s a great option too!

makes 12 slices (for 1, no topping): 137 cals, 6g fat, 18g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugar, 3 g protein

hope you had a fantastic weekend. it’s COLD in Houston these days, brrrrrr.

t-4 days yall!!

le

sunday family fun day

i have been teaching my 11am 24 Hour Fitness Total Conditioning class since the beginning of 2013.  i’ve had a crazy good time meeting so many new members and sweating our faces off together sunday after sunday for these past 9 months!   nevertheless, after having a sit-down with Sonny and fighting weeks (ok months) of conviction, i have finally decided to give it up.  even if a class inconvenienced me, leaving is always difficult.  i despise disappointing and letting people down, especially when they get a routine going and expect me to hold up my end of the bargain and be there.  i guess i despise it cause i know how it feels.    this isn’t the first class i’ve had to leave in my 6 years of teaching, but yesterday gave me that overwhelmingly bittersweet feeling.  again.

i could barely let my supervisor know my decision let alone share my ‘important announcement’ with my class today.  yeah…. this is always my answer to that dreaded ‘what’s one thing you would change about yourself’ question.

if we made it to church for early service, i felt good.  starting my sunday with Word and worship with my fam is well, the best way to start the day IMO.  however,  if we were out too late at a saturday night event (which happened all too often e.g. birthday parties, dinners,  gatherings, weddings, etc.) early service was out of the question, which meant church didn’t happen at all.  i have missed church more times this year than i have in my entire life…and that is so unfair to my family.   individual worship is important to grow your relationship with God, definitely….  but church is a vital part of that growth for me and my spiritual life has suffered because of its absence.  when this happens, i have to evaluate whatever is going in my life at the time,  pinpoint those distraction(s),  and either move or remove them.  it took me 9 months to accept this, but i finally let it go.  why? because it’s the best move for our family and the head of my household and heart agree.  masking those feelings of disappointment completely will come with time, but putting it that way makes me feel a whole lot better.

and i really miss going out to eat after church. lol. not just as an immediate fam, but meeting up with my parents, friends, and extended family, etc.  we have either turned down those invites or showed up super-duper late.  rushing off to the gym after service was the only thing on my mind…  if i hadn’t gotten my routine together the night before, i found myself writing down moves during service instead of giving God my undivided attention.  ok i could go ON.

———->let nothing hinder or get in the way of your worship & relationship with God or block the spiritual & emotional growth of your family.  nothing.<———-

now does this mean i won’t workout on sundays anymore?  not at all! i appreciate having the option to go at a more convenient time though vs. mandatory for sure. no pressure.  those family gym dates will keep right on rolling.

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 i’m so grateful for these two knuckleheads cause they are totally worth the sacrifice.  so each sunday when we do our family thing, i’ll capture the moment, upload it to Instagram, and hashtag it #sundayfamilyfunday.    seeing other families spending quality time together really makes you appreciate and cherish what you have.  so if you’re following me on IG, well, join in and share!  just don’t forget to hashtag it #sundayfamilyfunday. eating, chilling, hanging out, exercising….WHATEVER it is you and your family do together, share it.   i have a feeling most pics will revolve around food – i know most of ours will :shock:

**********

if there’s a HEB by you, fresh salmon is on sale for 6.97 a lb this week until tuesday!

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 i got us a couple pounds this past weekend and i have been roasting it with hidden valley ranch dry ranch dressing mix.

Walden Farms dressings have been BOGO (buy one get one free) at Sprouts Farmers Market this week so i got the Asian and Balsamic flavors on my last trip there.

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 you can use them as actual salad dressings, or as marinades for your proteins (fish, chicken, beef, shellfish).

that chicken up there turned out great (roasted it for 50 minutes on 350 degrees) and i threw it on a salad for lunch last week.

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see! it’s a berry almond Asian chicken salad.  romain lettuce mix, raw sugar snap peas, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, roasted chicken breast (marinated and sprinkled with Mc Cormick Perfect Pinch Asian seasoning), all drizzled with a little more Asian dressing.  crunchy, crispy, fresh and healthy.

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back to the salmon – i’ve been making these ‘teriyaki’ bowls by throwing everything into a container (carbs, veggies, protein, fat) and drizzling it all with one of the WF dressings.  flavorful, fresh, and addicting.  switch out any and everything for your favorites!  countless combos i tell you, COUNTLESS!!!!!!

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  these fantastic sales are over this week (tuesday and wednesday), so take advantage.

happylife

we always have enough to be happy if we are enjoying what we do have and not worrying about what we don’t have.

you’ll always be waiting for or on SOMETHING.  take a look over your life and praise Him for all you have right, right now.  you are so BLESSED!

Q: what day of the week do you consider your family day?

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

take it in stride

decisions, decisions.  this year has already started out with way more than i ever thought i could handle.  the major issue being my career!  I’ve been in the IT industry since i graduated 8 (WOW :shock:) years ago.  i’m an IT contractor, but let’s just say i’m on an extended holiday vacation right now lol.  which means…… i get to spend more time in my sanctuary (my kitchen!!!!!) creating new recipes galore, playing, teaching, & showing my little big boy new things, sprucing up my wifely duties big time, and finally, putting maximum effort towards the multiple personal projects God has dropped on my heart. finding balance is hard as crap sometimes! however, i find so much comfort in the fact that He not only tells us what He wants us to do, but He makes a way for it to be done.

standing still

 HELLO!  He won’t leave you hanging and clueless….  but if you don’t move, He can’t work.   remember, ‘ALL things work together for the good of those that love Him!’

fitness inspiration

you’ve only got ONE.  He has given me this precious time, and i’m going to ENJOY and cherish this blessing.

now let’s talk about food.

i finally got that red velvet pancake recipe up, and i made my little guy a mini stack of them yesterday for breakfast.

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i can’t even begin to tell you how gratifying it is to see him stuff his face with VEGGIES!  cause he still hates them.  anything green goes on the floor.  good thing beets are UBER good for us!  they are low-calorie, no fat, high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and help fight various types of cancer.  i’ll certainly be making some type of spinach cakes next lol.  i’m gonna get them into his diet however i can.

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this photo was pre-walden farms syrup…they look so dry!! but i promise you they are moist and fluffy on the inside. Chiso doesn’t appreciate my fanciness yet as he slid the whipped cream right off the top and pushed the chocolate chips around before making a pile of them in the corner of his high chair table.

Q: how do you roast your beets?

A: in a pan:)

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that’s it! i avoided them for the LONGEST time at the store..i mean they just look so dirty and hard to prepare.  i cut the tops off (someone told me you can save them, cook them, and eat them, but i had already tossed them in the trash) put them in a pan, and shoved them in a 450 degree oven.  in about 45 min, they were soft to the touch, and the peeling came right on off.  beets have officially been conquered!

this morning i made us some cinnamon oatmeal pancrepes.  why crepes? cause i added too much almond milk!  you can compensate by adding more dry ingredients, but i kept it as is and went for it.  i have FUN in my kitchen.  sometimes it’s a great success, sometimes it sucks.  flip a coin!

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since they are thinner than pancakes, my recipe made a ton.  i ate some flat, and i rolled some too. no pics of those yet though, lmbo.  i’d love to stuff them with something the next time, and i will. so sit tight.  i topped the flat ones with sugar-free cool whip, strawberry slices, and cinnamon.

so, salmon went on sale at HEB this past week and i didn’t say a word.  ironically, i got so many PM’s from friends letting me know about it  though LOL!!! thank you guys so much!! i’ll say something next time, i promise!

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red bell peppers were also on sale, so i snagged some of them too.  i made a huuuuge filet of salmon when i was prepping at the beginning of the week, and here are just a few of my meals.

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honey mustard smokehouse salmon with steamed okra and red bell peppers.

the salmon was cooked at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.  i squirted it with some Bragg’s liquid aminos, then seasoned it with Mc Cormick Smokehouse maple seasoning.

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since i have beets at home, i wanted to make one of my fave Cheesecake Factory Salads: the beet, goat cheese, and candied pecan spring mix salad.  what a combo!  i was looking for regular old goat cheese when i came across this gem!  it’s so sweet, creamy, and SOUR. the best part!  i don’t really do candied nuts, so i figured the sweetness will come from the cheese, and i can keep the nuts roasted and unsalted.  i’ll be making that tonight, can’t wait!

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last night i was browsing Instagram (fitfoodiele) and got inspiration for my final dish of the evening.  i took some scrambled egg whites with spinach, garlic powder & onion powder, incorporated some shredded salmon into it, then stuffed all that into my bell peps.  i topped them with the honey goat cheese and baked them in a 405 degree oven until the peps were tender but still crisp, and the cheese was lightly browned.

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i didn’t think the cheese could get any creamier or tangier…oh but it DID.  steamed okra and corn on the side!

hitting the gym today for my 2nd leg day this week and ready to get my squat ON.

a quick announcement…..

for my Houston readers, i am excited to announce that i will be instructing at 24 Hour Fitness again!!  the Katy Bella Terra Super Sport location is launching a free weekend of Les Mills, Cycle, Zumba, and recently added, Total Body Conditioning classes!  i’m ALWAYS raving about this class and how much it has improved my cardiovascular & muscular strength and endurance.  now, you can come experience it for yo self, with ME!!!!  check out the schedule and join us!

*Total Conditioning @ 11am with Leah on  Sunday, January 13th*

le








runnin the streets

i went out this past weekend!!! ok not out out, but it was to a private dinner celebrating my dear friend turning 30.  it was held at Perry’s Steakhouse – one of my faaaaaaave places for a magnificent dining experience!  always great service, and the food…well, look:

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i kept it clean and enjoyed the grilled salmon (sauce on the side) and kept the sautéed spinach that accompanied it.  i reeeeeally wanted to sub it for the butternut squash puree, but our waitress quoted me some ungodly price for that small change and i declined.  anyway, i made sure i altered my macros to fit this meal in- it was delectable.  i’m glad i got my sauce on the side cause i put a little on my fork and it tasted like straight flavored butter!!

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my friends were so sweet- they snapped pics of their plates for me :lol:   that was steak topped with crab with steamed asparagus spears on the side.

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here we have pecan crusted red snapper and broccollini florets.

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this is totally what i would normally order!!  surf and turf, YUM.  lobster tail, fillet mignon, and asparagus spears.

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quick pic before we got busy!  the birthday girl is in the upper right corner:) i’m honored to have been apart of her celebration.

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so this is from yesterday’s workout which means this post was supposed to go out yesterday too. 
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i’d love to have my competition abs/core back!  i took this pic immediately after my class- 1 hour of  HIIT and some core work at the end.

Q: what’s the best type of cardio? HIIT or steady state?

A: BOTH.  incorporate both types into your weekly routine.  i do HIIT once or twice a week, and steady state either early in the morning, or after my weights session.  switching up the days you do either one will keep your body from plateauing and constantly  burning fat.

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i sped home to my breakfast- scrambled eggs this time with fat-free feta, dried parsely, and reduced sugar ketchup,

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aaaand a bowl of cinnamon oats made with unsweetened almond milk and topped with bananas, more cinnamon, walden farms syrup, and raw, unsweetened coconut flakes.

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i bought a crap load of kale at HEB so i’ve been incorporating it into my dishes these past few days! we have here:

ground turkey and egg white kale wraps lol

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for another lunch or dinner i had a bowl of torn, raw, kale, roasted sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and lean ground turkey.

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but this recipe right here is my fave so far.  grilled smokehouse maple shrimp and kale tacos!

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with fat-free feta cheese and homemade guacamole.

(1 avocado + half a roma tomato + liquid aminos)

the shrimp was marinated in liquid aminos and smokehouse maple seasoning.

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i’m head over heels in love with sautéed kale. oh and those are La Tortilla Factory white-wheat soft wraps.

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i posted this on IG the other day- Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter.  i went in looking to replace my fig butter but happily left with this instead after i didn’t see any.

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it tastes just like the traditional canned, jellied, cranberry sauce, but fresher and more tart. i’m cool with it! 20 cals, 4g sugar, 5 carbs for 1 tbsp. i do believe it has the lowest calorie and sugar count of all the butters.  i missed it on Thanksgiving, but i will definitely be eating some with my Christmas dressing this year!

20121202_174444which means after 30 years of this stuff, i have no more use for it.  those stats are outta line for only 1/4 cup serving…i can eat the whole can by myself with my plate.  too high in sugar and has high fructose corn syrup at that. no thank you.

got great news and events coming up for 2013 that  i’ll be sharing very soon!

which apple butter is your favorite?

le

light & lean black bean pumpkin chicken chili

this morning started out with an invigorating weight workout.  every time i drive to the gym early in the AM feeling crappy from not enough sleep or just plain tired, i always, and i do mean always, end up feeling the complete opposite immediately afterwards.

then my day REALLY got started with some pancakes.

banana -oat surprise! pancakes.

surprise.  i promise i’ll use a different fruit sooner than later.

i drizzled them with my precious Walden Farms syrup.  i now have  a small inventory of bottles in my pantry.  ever hit the store and the one (or few ) item you need is completely gone!? that’s been happening to me lately.  Hunt’s reduced sugar ketchup….GONE. every other freakin kind of  hunts ketchup is just sitting there collecting dust, untouched.  rows perfectly straight.  Mc Cormick smokehouse maple seasoning… nowhere to be found.  the entire row! coincidence?!?  vegan whipped topping… :roll:  do all my readers live in this area or what LOL

well HEB did have fresh salmon on sale and plenty of it.  i always keep my eye on it and 3.97 is the lowest i’ve ever seen it go.  so, i got a few pounds.  large shrimp were also going for that same price, so that went in my cart too.  i seasoned a hunk of salmon with garlic and herb seasoning and roasted it in the oven along with some zucchini for lunch today.   healthy,  fresh, and light.  clean eating makes you FEEL that way too.  i also had two slices of sprouted grain sesame Ezekiel bread along with it.

i also bought some 99% lean ground turkey and cooked it up with cilantro, onions, shallots, curry, chili powder, pepper, and liquid aminos  last night for dinner.  i had just come in from the gym and had a craving for some cheesy enchiladas!!!

so i used that turkey mix and combined it with fresh spinach, La Tortilla Factory white-wheat soft wraps, Trader Joe’s organic pizza sauce, plenty of shredded rice cheese, and fresh avocado.  healthy, low-fat, low-carb, delish, and GUILT-FREE.

so as i was checking out of HEB, the best grocery store ever in life, this caught my eye.  look at all those special options!!

did i mention i was still inside HEB?

who puts a mini self-serve fro-yo shop complete with not only low/no fat options but gluten and dairy-free as well inside a grocery store!?


it doesn’t matter. *sheds a tear or four* two of my fave things under one roof.

did you know that a red bell pepper is green first?  it doesn’t grow red. did you know that? i didn’t.  i believe my co-worker told me that a while ago.  now, it’s happening on my kitchen island. cool.

nugget of info about red bell peps:

‘These are more mature than green, orange or yellow bell peppers. They are rich in carotenoid phytonutrients and contain almost eleven times more beta-carotene than green bell peppers as well as one and a half times more vitamin C. Red Bell Peppers have a sweet, almost fruity taste. Pimento and paprika are both prepared from red bell peppers.’

must be why they are so expensive :shock:

almost done, last thing!

light & lean black bean pumpkin chicken chili

the stuff:

  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 2 medium chopped tomatoes
  • 4oz lean ground chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 can pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp smoked papripka
  • 1 4 oz can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (or water)
  • 1/2 cup no salt added black beans (drained and rinsed)
  •  1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 1 medium-large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • couple sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup mushrooms (optional)

i split the entire pot into 5 bowls of chili.

1 serving = 1 bowl

do this:

chop up the onions, shallots, and  half of the cilantro, and cook it in a medium heated pot until translucent.  throw in your ground chicken along with your spices and liquid aminos and cook it until there is no more pink. dump all your vegetables, canned pumpkin, tomato sauce, beans and chicken stock in…everything except the cilantro and salt.  bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat. add more chopped cilantro and stir.  now, taste it, and add the appropriate amount of salt to your liking.  this will taste EVER better the next day!

i made a bowl for myself and topped it with fresh avocado, goat cheese, and corn thins on the side.

Sonny had a nice big helping of it too.

i’m so excited- i had a cooking date tonight with one of my dear friends!! can’t wait to share what we created- good times and good food.

nite!

le