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.

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 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:

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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