oatmeal chocolate chip birthday cakes!!! – bday post

this year, my birthday fell on a monday. YIPPEEEEE :?

so Sonny started celebrating early (like i had hoped).  immediately after church service, we went to get our rings cleaned.

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i promise we’re only in our thirties. lol.  Chiso saw us placing our hands strategically on the display case for this pic and wanted part of the action.

over time, i have come to the realization that i’m a hint thrower.  what a lucky guy Sonny is.  rarely does one go over his head though, i gotta give it to him.  i forwarded him a Ruggles Green brunch email i received a few weeks earlier, you know, randomly.  high-five, Sonny.  high-five.

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so that was our next stop.  only the Heights location serves breakfast / brunch in Houston, and i had been eager to check it out for months.  i chose the delish crab & avocado omelette and Sonny played it safe with the breakfast plate (sausage, pancakes, eggs, potatoes).  Chiso handled up on his turkey sausage, scrambled eggs, and pancakes too.  we love us some eggs.

the next day, my actual birthday, Sonny got up and rushed off to work like normal, so i hit the gym early, like normal.

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but not before making this gorgeous stack of oatmeal pancakes! with the start of my cooking classes, blogging took a small backseat. obvi. but i believe i have a routine going now with my schedule. *crosses fingers, toes, and eyes*.  here’s that recipe:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes 

the stuff: (source)

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup dry rolled oats
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (add more if needed- you be the thickness judge)
  • 2 packets granulated stevia
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar or honey (optional)
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • handful of dark chocolate chips

do this:

  1. mix all ingredients except chocolate chips together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. if ya need more almond milk at this point, add it a tbsp at a time.
  3. heat your griddle or cast iron / no-stick skillet to medium heat and coat with no-stick cooking spray.
  4. spoon the cakes onto your cooking device as large or as small as you’d like them.  when bubbles start to form on top, check the bottom of the cake to see how brown it is first before flipping.
  5. you’re looking for a golden brown color (bout 2-4 minutes).
  6. eat’em up. sprinkles are optional but mandatory if it’s your birthday.

or, you can do blueberries instead of chocolate chips!

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 back to the birthday festivities.

little did i know that Sonny went right down the street to his mom’s house to hide out.

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i took a Barbell Strength class and worked my back a little more on my own in addition to some steady-state cardio on the elliptical. suddenly, i got a ‘lunch?’ text from Sonny, so i said ‘screw this!’ and sped home to get cleaned up.

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 i opened the door and walked right into .. Sonny!?, fit gifts, and cake.

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and a birthday song serenade from my boys!

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 just one small piece before lunch.

   Sonny shocked our palettes and drove us to an Indian inspired restaurant in Upper Kirby called Ponidicheri.  he didn’t know it was ‘meatless monday’ though lol. tasty  nonetheless and i appreciate the experience.

20140407_134832_1i got the Saag Paneer Omelette, Barley Salad, a piece of gluten-free, millet Roti, and one of their fresh, housemade juices, the Hari.

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 Sonny got an omelette too.  They didn’t really have a kids menu, but the guy taking orders suggested this concoction.  can you guess which two Chiso ate? yep, the fries and the Elephant Cookie.

i got a birthday nap back at home (YAAAAAY for daytime sleep) and we went back out for dinner that evening.  i was actually still full from lunch but went anyway just cause it was my bday and already on the agenda.

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my cups runneth over :shock: ! literally and figuratively.  we concluded the evening with Italian food and Neapolitan gelato from Sapore Ristorante, right in our own backyard.  which was awesome cause i had to be up at 4:15am  to teach my class the next day.

i feel like i’m at the age where i forget what i’m even turning and that my birthday is even coming up.  thankful to God for another year though, no doubt, and for Sonny’s impeccable planning skills year after year.

THANK YOU to my family and friends for the calls, texts, cards, gifts, and birthday wishes!!!!!!

and thank you for reading.

le

in love with lean

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the wait. that dreaded wait.  we all wait for something at some point in our lives.  His timing is….. impeccable though. perfect. every time.  but while you’re waiting, you don’t want to hear that.  and i wanted another baby. and when a woman wants a baby,  she wants one when she wants one.

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Sonny and i prayed and believed consistently for another Egwuatu kiddo. we knew Chiso was only the beginning. however, after stepping off the stage last year i was head over heels for my ‘new’, lean body.  you might say, ‘but you were already lean.’ there’s a huge visual and physical difference between 21% body fat and 10%.   i was thrilled at seeing 130- anything on the scale.  i had not seen the 130′s in this decade.  ‘long & lean’ was something i had always wanted to accomplish with my body.  so once I got there, according to my standards anyway,

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i wanted to stay there. here we go again…but on a much deeper level this round.

<<rewind<<

my menstrual cycle has always been flaky. it has always done its own thing since it finally popped up at age 16. late bloomer right here. from then on, Irregular City…which was prolly due to my active sports life.

i discovered my passion for group fitness and became an instructor for a few local gyms a few years after college graduation and marriage to Sonny.  i was extremely nervous just thinking about getting in front of a crowd, but the support and encouragement from friends, Sonny, and my family pushed me to just go for it.  i started with a BANG teaching 7-9 classes per week (before and after work) and local boot-camps on my own in addition to my full-time job.  then things got a little crazy with my body. i went from monstrous PMS symptoms including heavy cramping & bleeding, bloating, mood swings, swelling & breast tenderness every one or two days a month to absolutely no period and zero symptoms. nothing. when i first met Sonny in college and had an ‘episode’, he actually called 911, bless his heart.

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 it was just something i lived with, and something my family (mom, dad & brother when i lived at home) adjusted to. on the first day of every cycle, life stopped.  4 aleeve, vicodin, hot water bottles,  massive overnight – diaper sized pads, and my bed was my life for 24-48 hrs. so, this exercise thing was quite alright in my eyes. it was my saving grace.  can i tell you how happy a camper i was?  to not have to deal with any of that mess anymore was….. LIBERATING. living like a boy was fun. no tampons, pads, PMS, none of that. this went on for months…. maybe over 8 or so…unfortunately i lost count.  i later researched this to be deemed athletic amenorrhea, but back then i just referred to it as AWESOME.  when the time came for Sonny and i to really get serious about bringing some kiddos into this world, well i was not exactly in the best position to house a child.  i have never been on birth control. so after being a married woman and doing married woman things for over a year and never being  ‘surprised’ (which was fine by me) i had to really wonder what was up with me.  …or Sonny. which one of us needed to be ‘fixed’?

i learned along the way that you don’t even need to actually bleed to get pregnant…just ovulate. but bleeding helps you pinpoit when to expect to ovulate.  and hello, it just comes with the territory of being a woman!  without a cycle, i’d have to take an ovulation test, well, every single day. that got old and discouraging real fast. and obviously, not bleeding on my own meant that things just weren’t right.  Sonny wanted to expand our family from the jump, but his concern grew as time went by without a positive result.

at some point along the way Sonny did wonder what happened to my angry woman PMS symptoms and asked about them.  i explained how they simply vanished completely after i started exercising a lot…along with my period.  he stayed on me about going to the Dr., and i did. eventually.  he naturally felt irritated and annoyed with me for not taking our health seriously and waiting months to see my OB.  i put it on the back burner countless times and kept reassuring him it would come back on its own if i just exercised less and rested more.  gym members were excited about my classes and attending consistently!  slow down? i can’t now! i’m in demand!  i made so many new connections and met so many new fit friends during that time. i was simply enjoying the instructor experience and wanted nothing more than to keep it rolling.  but i also knew i wanted a baby…sooner or later.

so i prayed. then i dropped a class. and cried. and waited. and dropped another class. and cried. and waited. and dropped another class. and cried. and waited… for negative result after negative result, and no period.  after several months of this draining cycle, my OB referred me to a fertility specialist.  he prescribed me Provera which brought my cycle back the following month.

just. like. that.

i felt tons better and like a normal woman again. our strength and outlook on the whole baby-making process was renewed and TTC (fyi, that stands for trying to conceive from all the mommy-hood message boards i scoured at the time lol) became fun again, not a timed task.  but after a few more months of ovulation tests and scheduled intercourse, that stick just wouldn’t yield a positive result.  so, i had multiple tests run.  an HSG test was done to ensure my fallopian tubes weren’t blocked. what an uncomfortable day that was.  turns out they weren’t blocked though.  Sonny, on the other hand, passed all his tests with flying colors so he was eradicated immediately.  hopes were high again for the next month. negative.  i’ve never been a fan of roller coasters and wanted off this stupid ride. then the guilt set in.  i was extremely close to accepting that my negligence damaged me to the point of never being able to conceive a child.  around that time, God made two extremely special friends of mine even more prevalent in my life, just when i needed them.  they prayed for me, over me, and agreed in prayer with me that God would bless Sonny and i with a child in His time…… and under certain conditions.  i had to chill with the exercise.  i had to sacrifice the very thing i could not imagine going a day without.  i kept teaching my classes (i believe i was only doing 3 a week by that point) and did no other form of exercise outside of them except, walk. walk, walk, walk. nothing else.  this was because i would use my class as my warm up, then go do my own intense workout afterwards, every time.  even on the days i didn’t teach class, you knew where to find me.  after almost 2 months of sticking to the script, spending more time with the Lord (poof, i had a lot more spare time suddenly) exercising less, and giving my body the break it deserved, i had several friends including Sonny’s mom tell me about Clomid. i brought it up to my Specialist at my next visit.

after the very first round of Clomid (+ the self-administered Ovidrel shot, :shock: yikes), boom. our Chiso was on the way.

just. like. that.

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please read about my 1st fit preggo journey here!

>>fast forward>>

i was eager to return to my regularly scheduled workout program after giving birth….. i could not wait.  i was completely recovered (natural birth + episiotomy) after about 2.5 weeks total.

so, i loaded lil’ Chiso up into our new jogging stroller and hit the bricks! just to the mailbox and around the neighborhood though.  i was a good girl and waited the full 6 weeks to hit the gym again.  trust…Sonny made sure of it :roll:

>>fast forward>>

around Memorial day of 2012  (Chiso was almost 1-year-old), some friends of ours competed in a body building competition which intrigued me tremendously.  i’ve always wanted to be a bodybuilder!!!! always.  this only fueled my fire since it was so close to home.  Sonny has always wanted to compete, but only without the use of supplements.  more importantly to him were the new sleep apnea and blood pressure issues he faced for the 1st time in his life from the added 50lbs he put on after his college track days.  the dr. visit scare reminded him of his late father’s symptoms who passed away when he was 19,  just 1 year before we met.  not wanting to contribute to the possibility of leaving Chiso and I behind too soon, he instantly put his health in the forefront again.  anyway, i would always get crazy looks, comments, blank stares, and ‘are you serious?’ faces from friends and family about bodybuilding so i never took it seriously either.  not this time- Sonny and i agreed to train for our 1st competition together that would take place 4 months later on our 5th wedding anniversary, September 15th.  i still didn’t have a period at this point because i was breastfeeding Chiso regularly.

so we were off!  we committed wholeheartedly to our competition journey and started going hard with the weight training, sticking to our nutrition plans to the T, dropping body fat like crazy, and just training everyday with no breaks or rest days.  the ironic part? after somehow surviving that daily, strenuous, gym, work, home, gym again,  schedule, i was still lactating like crazy.  that was largely due to my diet, no doubt.  no processed or fried foods, only a combo of oatmeal (a big milk production booster), brown rice, sweet potatoes, egg whites, spinach, asparagus, apples, bananas, blueberries, chicken breast, lean beef, tilapia, almonds, and avocado, 5 – 6 times per day. no supplements, shakes, pills, powders were used or wanted because i didn’t want to pass any foreign ingredients to Chiso.

read about our 14 week transformations here.

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the end result? well, we made it! we even ended up bringing home some hardware! (hardware = trophies).  what a weekend and what a ride.

afterwards….. i was in love. i was super proud of my body and the new level of leanness i was able to achieve with the help of my former trainer.  i was fitter and smaller than before i got preggo with Chiso!  teaching my classes minimized my recovery time and got me back to my pre-preggo size quickly, but at the time i was convinced that was the best my body could do.  my clothes fit way different or just didn’t fit anymore at all, and i was slipping into things i hadn’t worn in years  that had been pushed to the back of my closet. my pride wouldn’t let me throw or give anything away.

Sonny and i headed to Jamaica to celebrate our wedding anni the sunday after our show and had a blast.  when we got back, i wasn’t necessarily interested in doing another show right away because, well, i told myself after i was done i would chill out and prepare my body for baby #2.  that was the plan…that fell through immediately.  from October 12 – June 13 i was living and training like i was about to compete in another show.  i’d wake up claiming that day as a rest day and found myself outside running or at the gym anyway raking up cals on my Polar HR watch.  now, being active is important to me.  i recommend daily movement to everybody.  but unless i burned a certain number of cals or was drenched in sweat, i wouldn’t leave the gym.  obsessed & unbalanced.  i was being stubborn and counter productive to my ultimate goal. again.

 let’s be real. we all want to look good, all the time.  for some competitors that desire is even more so magnified once we step off that stage.  when we start to look ‘normal’ again and go off our competition diet in the slightest bit, we feel fluffy, unfocused, and as if we’ve let ourselves go completely.  so, we flip the competition prep switch on.  in my case, i had no scheduled shows coming up.  since my body was on a way fitter level than before my 1st pregnancy, it was twice, no, quadruple times harder to let go of the exercise reigns.

the journey to baby #2 went in a somewhat similar fashion. this time though, increasing my body fat along with decreasing my workout intensity and activity level was number one on my to-do list. first, Provera brought my period back (after i stopped breastfeeding around 19 months it needed another jump-start i guess), then a round of Clomid.  and another round of Clomid. and another, followed by my very first IUI.  i remember speaking with my good friend by phone and expressing my frustrations as Sonny and i were on the rocky TTC road again.  she felt in her spirit that there was one constant clearly hindering the process. again.  and she was right.  of course she was right!  God was speaking through her because i wasn’t listening to Him.  then she politely reminded me about our agreement from my 1st pregnancy when she prolly should have screamed it into the phone instead.  we made the very same commitment with the Lord together in prayer and from that point on i only walked outside of teaching my 2 classes per week.  committing to do nothing but walk… don’t even get me started!  one of the toughest mental battles, ever.  i’d glance in the mirror every so often and see more jiggle here, a new softness there, and it would just make me want to say screw it and go sprint outside in the street!!!!  i could not disregard my promise or my priorities, and worrying so much about every little change in this temporary, earthly body of mine was ruining me.   this process reinforced spiritual discipline, submission, and obedience to God.  patience. faith.. the list goes on.  so while enduring the ongoing, daily spiritual growth (which is most important), there is something greater developing beyond my simple sacrifice:

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our 2nd blessing,

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*****

i have stopped asking myself  ‘why did i wait until 30 years old to finally do a bikini competition?’ and accept that the ‘delay’ was all apart of His plan for my life.  He knows me better than i ever will. He created me.   fitness will forever be my passion. i was born to do this! no doubt in my mind.  but abusing my gift and living an unbalanced, unhealthy lifestyle was never apart of the deal.  if balance is not present in anything we do, the snowball effect takes place.  you may think you can handle it and that things are under control for a few weeks….months….even years… but eventually the scales tip and fall over.  i highly doubt i would have been able to handle sacrificing my body for even one child had i dabbled in the sport of bodybuilding at a much younger age.  i’ve learned that menstrual cycle issues are such touchy and taboo subjects for women competitors, and some would simply rather not discuss it.  apparently some women never lose their cycle, and some cycles come right on back once that competitor’s body fat level rises to a normal range. does that happen for the majority of women competitors? good question. i don’t know. i do know that the road to conception is different for every woman…just like the pregnancy itself, labor, and delivery.  every woman’s got her story whether she chooses to share it or not.

writingishard

this post was months in the making.  part of me wanted it to come out perfectly, and the other half just wanted it to come OUT already.  i’m no longer ashamed or so secretive of the fertility drug discussions or questions.   7.3 million active and inactive women face infertility, yet it’s still such a taboo subject, especially in the bodybuilding and athletic arena.  the sense of feeling like less of a woman for being unable to conceive naturally can be overwhelming and lead to a loss of self-worth.  unfortunately, the same can be said depending on the way a woman delivers her baby!  there is nothing wrong with ‘help’. pain meds, epidurals, c-sections, etc.,–  they all go under the same umbrella in my eyes.  infertility is a medical condition, not a measure of who you are as a person.  breaking my silence has been incredibly empowering and played a crazy huge role in eliminating the ‘broken’ feelings i used to have about my body.  this ongoing journey has reinforced how living as a positive, balanced, realistic picture of health to my family and everyone i reach via social media, my blog, and on the street is such a vital part of my purpose.

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transparency is not easy. i feel the reader isn’t affected nearly as much as the writer spilling their beans and putting themselves out there.  regardless, it sure does feel good to share.

as always, thanks for reading.

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

holy forehead acne

my close friends are like ‘girl SHUT UP about this forehead acne already. please.’ and i will. when it goes away :shock: .   forreal though, it’s the only symptom that is different from my 1st pregnancy. so 2% of me believed a mini fit foodie le was on the way.

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 welp, yesterday was the day we got to confirm those (un)educated guesses.  i have been saying i don’t care about the sex… i meant that.  i still don’t care. i just can’t believe i said i would wait until i was in the delivery room to find out….HA. yeah, not doing that. this round anyway!  i commend women/couples who actually go through with it though, seriously.

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i wake up wanting real cheese, eggs, and toast. every morning. most days this is dinner too.  so after a filling breakfast and some 19 week selfies,

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i was so excited i threw on some heels and we hit the road to meet Sonny.  i asked Chi for the last time that morning,’ so, sister or a brother? ‘  he responded with ‘no thank you mama.  i don’t want a sister.’ aaaaallrightythen.

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 i couldn’t help but think, ‘i was just here with Chiso.’ 3 years really did pass by that fast. funny how my entire visit happened just like last time too.  Sonny came to meet me (well us, this time) from work, and i even used the same changing room. on purpose.   i remember having to chug 20 oz or more of water just before the procedure. and i barely made it to the bathroom afterwards. like last time.

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heading down the long hallway to the US room.

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it was even the same nurse – i recognized her right away and the way she began: ‘ok please let me find what i need to find first and then we’ll eventually get to the gender, your questions, and then i’ll show you your baby in detail.’ aaaaallrightlythen. #doyourthing.  she reminded me that the procedure usually lasts an hour, but that’s cause sometimes the babies don’t cooperate or face in the best direction.  luckily our little one gave us a clear shot of the goods ;)  . i think it’s hilarious to watch the baby’s mouth opening and closing on the screen- i’m like what the heck are you even saying :lol: !?  it’s also cool to see all the punching and kicking and feel it happening in your belly simultaneously.   just in complete awe of God, again.

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he’ll fully understand soon enough.

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and we’re done here! all cheeses after ‘meeting’ the 4th member of the Egwuatu family.  so…..

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this was the very first pic the nurse printed out for us…. POW. i knew instantly but Sonny still had the ‘wait, what is that?’ look on his face for the longest.

well, what is it?! 

(view is from the top looking down)

le

commitment day 5k 2k14

words no one wants to hear at 3am: ‘mama, i pooped in my underwear.’ :shock:

after getting Chiso all cleaned up and finally back to sleep, i woke up feeling like we had partied the night away HARD!!

nevertheless, i got up, had a small breakfast of whole wheat toast, 1 tbsp of natural, honey roasted peanut butter with a side of prenatal vitamin, water, and hit the road, ipod nano in tow.

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this is Sonny’s last day to sleep in for a while so i let my camera man get his rest.  i would have taken Chiso in the jogging stroller but he had a rough night too so i let them be until the next race (deets below).

it was a modest turnout again this year with NO rain this time and warmer weather.

the weather was chilly, but as always, as your body starts to heat up you don’t feel the cold anymore.  halfway through the race i peeled off a layer of clothes cause i was burning UP.

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always happy to see this number.  time to pick up the pace :lol:

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post race goodies: bananas, apples, sea salt and vinegar pop chips, 4 different kinds of breakfast tacos from Taco Cabana ( i chose potato and egg), H2O, Aspire beverages, and granola bars.

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one of each please.

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17 weeks preggo today yall! things are different with this pregnancy though.  i was extremely cautious when i was carrying Chiso in 2011 and i wouldn’t run more than a couple steps before stopping altogether early on.  i became a power walking pro and didn’t run for months actually.  in fact the last time i ran, Chiso was born 24 hours later.  this much needed 2nd trimester energy carried me all the way through this morning’s race- no discomfort at all!  i didn’t come close to last year’s PR of 24 mins, but i ran most of the way and finished around 33. then i packed up my goodies and headed back home. to bed.

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speaking of last year, whoa! this pic was taken 1 year ago today and i still remember Sonny griping behind the camera about me going out into the cold and rain just to run 3 miles when i hadn’t fully recovered from dental surgery.  i didn’t tell my parents i had participated until after it was over. my dad let me have it anyway. i remember being super lean but comparing this pic to my current body is such an eye opener.  i was pretty much engulfed in fitness at that point. i remember setting my dental appointment to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed and just couldn’t fathom not working out for a few days and having to live life through a straw. no kidding. i was going hard 6-7 days a week in the gym and still operating in full bikini competition mode nutrition-wise (my first show was 3 months prior) and sitting down to rest and recover was just the biggest thorn in my side. in the back of my mind though, i also knew i wanted 2013 to be the year we expand our family for the second time.  as much as i loved my body on the outside,  things were the exact opposite on the inside. i’ll follow this up with its own blog post, don’t worry!

back to the race- it was awesome to see so many team members and gym members running along the route!  so many families, kiddos, strollers, and doggies running at that. i love teaching for Lifetime Fitness because they are extremely community and family centered.

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i brought the banana home to my little monkey.

next up, the Chevron Houston Marathon, Half Marathon, & 5k on January 19th!  i’ll be participating for the 6th year in a row (four 5ks and 1 half marathon).  i’ll tackle the full marathon one of these years. if you’d like to run with me and are local to Houston, EMAIL ME! le@fitfoodiele.com.

fyi, i choose my upcoming races from here.  if there is an upcoming race you are participating in, let me  know- i just might run with ya! happy 1st day of 2014, fit friends.

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!

LA road trip – Destiny Christian Center Health Fair

so i got a chance to do my first live cooking demo this past weekend at a health fair held at the Destiny Christian Center in LaPlace, Louisiana :shock: :)

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 the day before though, Chiso and i had the pleasure of meeting a fit foodie le supporter in HEB while i was picking up a few last-minute things for our road trip.  i so thought i was being reprimanded for going back to the grape sample bowl too many times, but nope, it was Tiara, a fit mom of two doing some shopping with her mom and just introducing herself!  she asked about getting started with grocery shopping and well, i will cover ALL that and more in my (hopefully) next post. nice meeting you lady.

k, back to the trip.

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we hit the road at 3 somethin’ AM, homemade egg white & bacon bowls to-go (2 slices sara lee 45 cals & delightful bread for me, 1 whole wheat tortilla for him) in tow.

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oh what fuuuuuun it is to ride with my hub-by to LA. HEY!

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by the grace of God we made it right on time,

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and started setting up immediately.  i made the Mo-Rockin’ Chicken and Cold Cucumber & Tomato salad w/ Dill from my ebook, and also whipped up some of my oatmeal banana pancakes.

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i spoke to the attendees about healthier ingredients (swaps) when cooking at home, shared a starter grocery list, grocery shopping tips, and concluded with a little Q & A.

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then i added Sonny to the presentation so he could give everyone the run down on our personalized health and fitness company, 6 Pack USA!

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Food Network ain’t ready for me!!!!!! i ain’t read for them either though :lol: . those cooking show hosts make it look CRAZY easy. cooking & talking (and making sense) in front of people or a camera is no easy task, but it will just take practice, practice, and  mo’ practice for me.

grateful for this fun learning experience. friends and family keep asking me if i was nervous up there- heck yeah.  however,

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so don’t let fear block your blessings.  if God brings you to it, HE’LL TAKE YOU THROUGH IT.20131116_124129_3

my line sister Santrice so kindly had my e-book printed and binded in color just for my trip and i thank her SINCERELY!!!! i brought them with me to be auctioned off during the raffles at the health fair, and here i am with Kimber, a sweet, helpful woman who gave me SO much great feedback on how to improve and grow after my presentation.  she blessed me greatly and whaddaya know, her name was pulled to win my e-book!

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i’d like to give BIG thanks to my girl Dami for hooking me up with the ladies over the Destiny Christian Center Health Fair, Kassidy and Brittany, in the first place! they both did a fantastic job of catering to the vendors and putting on a successful community event.

thanks for reading!

 to contact me about speaking at your health and wellness event, email me! le@fitfoodiele.com

for 6 Pack USA inquiries, email me at: leah.egwuatu@6packusa.com

le

life is


haaaay, it’s FRIDAY!  friday night. and i’m on the computer talking to you.  livin’ the life.

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this caught my attention today while we were waiting for our food at one of Houston’s most popular Jamaican spots, Cool Runnings.

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i feel guilty when i don’t pack Sonny’s food for the day for whatever reason and today was one of those days :shock: , so we scooped him up on his break and enjoyed some lunch together.

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afterwards, fro-yo @ Swirll.  cause when you make an ice cream promise, you gotta keep it.

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our conversations get deeper by the week as his vocabulary expands!

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after Sonny got off later, we went with Uncle Bri-Bri to The Hill for an endurance workout before the sun went down.

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ok they worked out, not me, boo.  i mean i couldn’t really participate cause i had to keep an eye on the boy with those cyclists speeding by and all. however i improvised and put Chi on my back and went up and down the stairs a few times for a super slow lower body burn.  i’ve got sample cardio workouts coming right up by request!

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then the mosquitoes quadrupled and we left.

here’s the recipe for those stuffed peppers i made for dinner last night! i used what i had in my fridge:

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veggie stuffed lean ground turkey bell peppers

the stuff:

  • 6 med-large bell peppers, any color
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 lb. 97% lean ground turkey
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 5 portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • tops of the bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free feta (wish i had some at the time!)

do this:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray your pan (big enough to fit 6 large bell peppers in) with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. cut the tops off the peppers & also cut the bottoms to make them sit flat in your baking pan. arrange and seat them in pan.
  3. in large skillet on medium heat, saute the shallot until translucent.
  4. add ground turkey & seasonings and cook until browned and chopped into crumbles.
  5. add all chopped vegetables, mix, cover, and let steam on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
  6. add feta, mix again, and spoon mixture into your bell peppers evenly.
  7. bake for 25-30 minutes or until desired bell pepper tenderness.

approximately 130-150 cals for 1 stuffed bell pep.

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have a blessed night!

le

BE countdown

and we’re back!  Sonny and i celebrated wedding anni #6 in South Beach this past weekend.  you know i’ll be making a nice little blog post about it when i get my life together but check out my Instagram feed for a few highlights in the meantime.

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we got in late monday night after picking up Chiso from his grandparents house and i went to bed feeling like i shoulda got a sub for my 5:30am class the next morning.  after not picking up any dumbbells in 5 days straight and eating everything under the blazing Miami sun, um i needed to be there :shock: . i felt crappy on the way and not even my cup of coffee did much to help but i left the gym feeling the exact opposite.  it always happens that way!  then i crashed when i got home. really hard.

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one great thought or action breeds another, so start your day with POSITIVITY!  an uplifting song, a scripture, prayer, or a motivational quote or all three.  they have an incredible, noticeable impact on the rest of your day. then pair it with something healthy and nutritious to go in your body and you are well on your way!

******

AAAAAAAGGGHH!!!!! the Blog Elevated Conference (BE) starts TOMORROW!!!!!! super-duper stoked is an understatement.  i’m shy, i’m reserved, yeah, yeah, yeah, but i am gonna try my absolute best to JUMP outta my comfort zone this weekend and be the social butterfly i know i can be.  i’m anxious just thinking about it but enough is enough.

dosomethingyouveneverdonegot it? good. now apply it.

i owe you like three recipes!!! let’s talk about these apple pie pancakes real quick though.  not to be confused with the apple pie oatmeal in my ebook (shameful plug).

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hot apple-cinnamon pie  oat bran pancakes

the stuff:

  • 1/2 cup raw oat bran
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 – 4 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 heaping tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup chopped red delicious apple
  • 1 tbsp coconut crystals
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

do this:

mix everything in your blender EXCEPT the apples, coconut crystals, and lemon juice.  add as much almond milk as you’d like; i dont like super thick batter so i add about 4-5 tbsp myself to stretch it and make as many cakes as possible.  cook up the batter in your medium heated, no-stick cooking spray coated pan for 3-4 minutes each side.  heat a small saucepan over a medium flame and add your apples, lemon juice, and coconut crystals all at once.  stir until crystals have melted a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn! it cooks fast.  top your cakes with the hot apple mixture.  drizzle them with some zero calorie Walden Farms pancake syrup.  ready, set,

go.

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stats are for the entire thang.

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happy pancaking.

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Q: what’s one thing in your morning routine that you must do every single day?

le