Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Brownies

2nd Barbell Strength class back from maternity leave under ma’  belt! i used class as my warm up and went downstairs to get a solid back workout in afterwards.  i’m taking my time, trusting the process, and sticking to my 6 Pack USA plan these days.  i want to maintain balance and not go crazy with the exercise this time around. no need!  well, as long as i’m sticking to the nutrition part of the plan too.

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 baking has been on my brain this week.  why?

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most likely cause Sonny surprised Chiso and i with this really, really, magically, delicious lemon bundt cake tuesday from Nothing Bundt Cakes, ugh.  he says they were randomly giving out free mini bundt cakes to the companies in his office building. is that not the best marketing strategy ever?? um, it worked cause now i want one and will most likely use them for a future event. that reminded me of HEB’s and Whole Food’s sample stations throughout the store. if you feed me while i shop, well hey, i’m coming back there again and again to spend my money. and eat. and buy things that were never on my shopping list. and blow my grocery budget. genius. ok anyway, soon as i eat white sugar i just want more, more, MORE. sugar addiction is real. real annoying.   Chiso was super happy but yall know how i am around large amounts of my trigger foods!!! womp, womp.  i couldn’t let all my work from the past few weeks go to crap so i did have a small piece, cut Chiso some, and threw it out.  my very preggo sis-in-law was the first person i thought to give the leftovers to, but that’s just evil lol! i would have taken a bite every single time i entered the kitchen until it was all gone, SMH. we are all for minimizing waste when possible, but this was a game time decision that had to be done. so, that’s how these brownies came about. i was so excited about whipping them up regardless cause i haven’t baked anything sweet since i was waiting around trying to get Dego outta this tummy. these are naturally sweetened for the most part; the chocolate PB2 does contain sugar but not a mind-blowing amount like Mr. Bundt cake up there. i used agave nectar but you can use honey as well. it’s up to you!  heck you can also use full fat peanut butter if ya want.  just melt it in the microwave a little first for better mixability.

IMG_20140828_173837 Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Brownies

the stuff: (source)

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup chocolate PB2
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • *optional* 1/4 cup rolled, uncooked oats (either leave them as-is or grind them into a fine flour)
  • 1/2 cup light agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup water + 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

do this:

  1. combine eggs, vanilla, agave nectar and water in a small mixing bowl.
  2. combine PB2, cocoa powder, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
  3. add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.
  4. pour mixture into an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan coated with no stick cooking spray.
  5. bake for 30 minutes on 325 degrees or until an inserted coupon comes out clean.

recipe makes 12 brownies.  nutritional stats can be found on my Instagram post at the moment until i add them here!

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before i go, thank you to Rosa from Enlightened Ice Cream for the coupons!! i cannot WAIT to pick up my samples at Sprouts Farmers Market soon.  these bars are low in calories (70), high in protein (8g) and fiber (5g), 20% of the RDA for calcium, and contains only 2g of fat and 3g of sugar.  It’s made from rBST-free milk, is gluten free, and contains no added sugars or artificial sweeteners!  i like. review coming soon.

nite!

le

 

 

H-town’s very first 24 hour donut cafe

 a former colleague of mine and fellow UH Cougar, Ose Ohen, opened up Glazed last week!  we headed to stuff our faces immediately after church as planned.

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transparency is a wonderful thing.  i appreciate and enjoy being able to watch my food being prepared and just the entire process in general.  maybe that’s why i’m such a big fan of Unwrapped on Food Network.  seeing how things i’ve been eating for YEARS are made is just really interesting and cool.  anyway, kitchen windows build trust.  it can also change the way an employee works if you know what i mean, lol.

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 they had 3 flavors ready to go for the soft opening: lemon poppy, glazed, and maple bacon (with a turkey bacon version as well).

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more glass windows, awesome.

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we all sat down and got comfy while Sonny went to order our sweets.  i didn’t even have to tell him what to get either.

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*just before pulling the deliciousness out of the bag*

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i know. and it tasted as incredible as it looked.  perfect balance of sweet/salty/doughy/chewy/fluffy. WHAT a donut. i am crazy excited about this gigantic list of flavors they’ll be selling in the near future and i’m not even a donut person!

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Chiso eats his donuts just like his pizza, plain.  i’d say he enjoyed it.

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 well you knew this was happening later.  sweaty stair master intervals and some core work completed my sunday.  5 weeks postpartum and i still work my kegal muscles (when i think about it randomly at home) to strengthen my pelvic floor again.  it’s a process, ladies!  be patient, work them daily if you can, and make sure you do them on an empty bladder.

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 as i got meal prep going for the next few days, i channeled my inner Fish City Grill with these tacos for dinner.  if you’ve been there and ordered them they should look pretty familiar to ya ;) .  i used La Tortilla Factory 70 calorie tortillas as usual (which i saw at HEB recently!!!!) and filled them with baked swai fish, bagged cabbage and Annie’s all natural Lite Goddess dressing.  this is super similar to the Crunchy Ginger Rotisserie Chicken Wrap from a few days ago.  then i grilled them up on our griddle for a few minutes until they browned.   heating the tortilla first makes a huge difference vs a cold, flimsy tortilla.  try it!  someone from Instagram suggested i taste that flavor of Annie’s next and i’m glad i did.

Q: kolaches or donuts?

i’m a cheese lover so that’s an easy one. 

le

hello there mr. speculum + 1st postpartum home workout

postpartum check up time!

5 weeks in, and here we are again.

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the last time i sat on this table i was 40 weeks preggo and 2 cms dilated.  just in my thoughts as i waited for Dr. A. lol.

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soon as i walked in the office my eyes were immediately drawn to the tools on the counter though, especially that darn speculum. hate it. and that clicking noise as it opens drives me craaaazy.

however, it was standing in the way of me and the gym so i tolerated it for yet another 60 seconds.  i know i’ll be seeing it for the rest of my life so i’ll make peace with it some day.

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aaaand we’re done here!  Dr. A cleared me to go back to my usual workout routine whenever i am ready.  however, i’m taking it super, duper slow.  teaching vs. taking a class are two different experiences for me as i’ve mentioned before.  kinda like Beyonce vs. Sasha Fierce– falling down the stairs and all.  i don’t want to push it too fast too soon, but ultimately i will be taking classes again, adding the weights back into my routine slowly but surely, and paying attention to how my body responds.  listen to your OB ladies, and listen to your body. i’ll discuss some of my fitness goals in the next post though!

*****

afterwards, i decided to share my very first workout at home with my Mr. Piggy! Sonny is NOT feeling Odego’s nickname but because he grunts and snorts like crazy when he is hungry it was only right.

#sorrynotsorry, hubs.

     

 i’m using body weight for these super basic moves for the most part as Dego only weighs like 9 lbs.  it’s perfect cause i’m forced to go super slow while i hold my precious cargo!

  • squats – looking up and out at the ceiling while performing squats helps to keep my back flat and knees behind my toes.

  • plie squats – you don’t have to go deep! gradually work your way back to that level.

  • side bends – try these to start and keep a flat back and elevated chest for better posture.  my postpartum core strength is loads better this time around as i worked my obliques throughout my pregnancy.

  • modified push ups with kisses :)

remember moms, my pace is not your pace and vice versa.  if you feel any pain or discomfort, STOP.  and if you haven’t been cleared to do these exercises yet, don’t even think about it!  if you have been cleared but still not ready, go outside and walk, hit the elliptical, or start with some postpartum yoga.  if moms could have their pre-preggo bodies back sooner than later, then let’s be honest– i’m positive a vast majority would jump at the chance to.  my message is to first and foremost show how proper nutrition and physical activity can aid in doing just that.  make no mistake, this is not a race.  i repeat…this is not a race.  i exercise because i love it. i make time for it because it’s a priority in my life.  there is absolutely nothing unrealistic about eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly during pregnancy. nothing. my journey may not be typical or the norm, but my results are very real.  my skin gets thicker by the day because of Instagram lol, but i won’t apologize or feel bad for being blessed to have an active pregnancy (i don’t take it for granted one bit) and/or living a healthy lifestyle.  ANY mom can do it and i hope to inspire other women enough to even try!

semi-rant over.

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i stopped at GNC on the way home to try some new Quest Bar flavors before i buy a whole box of them and i’m excited!  they have been helping with my sweet cravings and i don’t mind the fiber and protein that comes with them.  they’re all natural, high fiber, gluten-free, 1g of sugar, and low carb. i bought hubs the Cookies & Cream flavor which he swallowed on sight (which is why it’s not pictured) and i managed to get a piece and loved it too.  it nipped his Oreo cookie craving right in the bud, sweet!

Q: what is your favorite Quest Bar flavor? 

le

33 weeks + Double Chocolate Skinny-Fat Brownies

 in the beginning of the 2nd tri i remember sometimes forgetting i was even preggo.  didn’t feel anything on the inside most days and definitely wasn’t showing on the outside yet.  yeah, those days are OVER.  i actually feel great and my energy didn’t deplete like i expected at 33 weeks now, but as my little nugget grows, obviously the discomfort does too.

#magicbump now ya see it, now ya don’t!

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you know that hasn’t stopped me from moving though!  outside of teaching my Lifetime classes, i look forward to Zumba and Kickboxing for my cardio because they are just so FUN to take.   some days all i want to do is move, nothing serious.  i’ve been constantly reaching for healthy fat to nourish the baby and i and i’m slightly addicted to Dark Chocolate Dreams by Peanut Butter & Co on my early morning pre-workout snacks as you can see!

other healthy fat sources:

  • avocado! homemade guacamole (2 avocados, 1 roma tomato, sea salt, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 2 tbsp minced cilantro – BLEND)
  • raw or roasted, unsalted almonds, pistachios, and cashews
  • olive & coconut oil
  • lite & full-fat coconut milk
  • natural peanut butter, nut butters in general
  • flaxseed
  • mackerel & salmon

today was my last ultrasound scan until we meet baby Odego.  my OB just wants to make sure he is measuring correctly and will compare his progress to the last scan.

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Sonny always asks me why i cuff my bump. i don’t know!!!! it’s just something we do. my hand just goes there automatically. especially in pictures.

here are some recent eats! if you follow me on Instagram though you’ve prolly already seen all of these ;)

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lean protein, plenty of fresh & raw veggies, fruit, healthy fat, and whole grains, even when dining out.

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 remember, your postpartum ‘transformation’ starts the MOMENT you get preggo, not after you deliver your baby! smart food choices and physical activity from start to finish is what makes the difference in your recovery time.

for my Sunday Dinners cooking class last evening, we made Fit N’ Crispy Chicken Parm and Thai Coconut Curry Chicken (recipe coming up next post!) – two flavorful, fun, things you can do with those plain ol’ chicken boobs.

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i sent my students home happy and packed up all the leftovers for them to kill later.  which left me with, well, nothin’!! it’s all about you guys though.  sooo, i made a big pan of parm for mysel….err, my family today and my Italian fix has once again been satisfied.

they also went home with a sample of these guys: Double Chocolate Skinny-Fat Brownies! why? cause i used skinny / healthy ingredients (no processed sugar, whole wheat flour, no butter) but it still tastes like a brownie should.  i had my fingers crossed that they would be a hit and they were!  which means i’ll be whipping some up for a ‘Skinny’ themed private 30th birthday event next month.  YES, i do those too!  email me for all the details at le@fitfoodiele.com.

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ok, ok.

Double Chocolate Skinny-Fat Brownies

the stuff:(source)

  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + 2 tsbp
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chunks, chips, or mini morsels
  • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour (i used King Arthur)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten and at room temp
  • 1/4 – 1/2  cup pecan pieces (optional;  can add to batter or save for topping)

do this:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat an 8 in square pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. mix the maple syrup and cocoa powder together really good (you’ll be stirring for a minute, just keep going).
  3. combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. in another bowl, add the applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla.  work in the maple syrup / cocoa mixture.
  5. add the wet mixture into the flour and stir until well combined.
  6. pour into your pan and let bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

TIPS:

*remember, there are chocolate chunks in the batter so don’t mistake the melted chocolate on the toothpick for uncooked batter like i did.

*let the pan cool a little then place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving. i just popped a piece in the microwave for 10-15 secs before eating.

*when cutting, run hot water on your knife for a few secs first to make clean cut squares each time.

 

makes 16! for 1:

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nighty nite!

le

3rd triggity-tri update

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 it’s happening again :shock: . food aversions have returned and all i want for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is Subway!!!  so i had some last night for dinner.  yes, the entire thing in one sitting. don’t worry, it fit my macros, lol.  i’ve been randomly putting my meals in MyFitnessPal just to make sure i’m somewhere in the ball park of my daily requirements.  anyway, thanks Sonny, you’re awesome.

it’s a turkey breast sammich on honey oat bread with all the veggies except onions and jalapeños with honey mustard.  hadn’t had one since the 1st trimester and boy was it as tasty as i remember.

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uncomfy , eh? understatement. i enjoy the constant reminder that Odego is awake, moving around and doing his thing in here. however, i feel every single twist, turn, kick, punch, head butt, and cartwheel. all of it.  just like Chiso, he gets wired up as soon as i get settled in the bed at night.  but thankfully it doesn’t hinder my sleep one bit.

let’s talk about these energy levels though!  this baby is siphoning mine off day by day and i knew that was coming…just not so dang soon.  so most mornings,

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i wake up like that.

but this morning before teaching my 5:30am weights class i felt good. like really good again. maybe i should eat foot long Subway sammiches before bed more often.

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10 weeks left yall!!! :shock: WAT. i’ll explain more about that #pregnantNOTpowerless hashtag in a bit.

ironically, i’m most uncomfortable when i’m dormant or at home cleaning and picking up random stuff off the floor.  i do all this working out at the gym but when i see something on the floor at home that’s not where it’s supposed to be most times i just leave it there LOL. why is it so much more of a challenge then?!  idk.  i’ve been sleeping with one of those body pillows from Target for the past 4 months now and i highly recommend one.  you can splurge and get the real thing too.

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still not caring for sweets, just all things dairy, mainly cheese.  but every now and then i’ll make this guy instead of going to get fro-yo, soft serve at BK, or a McFlurry – a low-dairy chocolate milkshake at home.  i’m totally satisfied after slurping this guilt-free concoction down.  try it! throw this in your blender:

  • 3/4 cup cookies and cream or vanilla maple Arctic Zero ice cream
  • 1/4 cup + (2 tbsp or so if needed) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tbsp Hershey’s sugar-free chocolate syrup + more swirled in your glass ;)

before i made coconut whipped cream (which is dairy-free) for the first time a few days ago, i just used fat-free Reddi Whip and chocolate sprinkles for my topping.  legit yumminess for a total of:

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 10.53.15 AMthat’s it.


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this little boy here. he has his ‘Odego Time’ every single day, multiple times a day.  he GETS it now.  his little brother is on the way and he can’t wait to slide down the slide with him at the park.  his words, lol. i was worried about how he would be affected (and still somewhat am after he arrives) and i’m reading up on how to make this transition easiest for him.  heck, all of us.  any tips moms, please share!

you have a bigger influence on your kiddos than you think!  i just knew the park would be way more exciting than lil ol’ me, but as soon as we got there he asked, ‘mama can we make a video?  i want to exercise with you.’ floored. so that’s how our 30 week playground workout came about.

check out this adorable article via babycenter.com that shows you how big your fetus is using fruits and veggies, love it.  Odego is the size of a cabbage this week!

le

 

 

light whole wheat pineapple upside down cake & home HIIT moves

i had a little cabin fever Tuesday after my Total Conditioning class was canceled cause of the freezing temps and icy Houston roads. i have to be honest with you guys… home workouts are still hard for me to get through :shock: . being up in front of my class at the gym is my motivation to keep going and never quit. i know my members are looking up to me for motivation but they provide the exact same thing for me.  i’m 58 times more likely to stop when it burns when i’m at home. when i’m up on stage i don’t feel a thing. i just look at my HR watch an hour later and it says 800+ calories burned :lol: . anyway, i make up my class routines the night before so i pretty much did the whole thing without a step bench in my dining room and got a really good sweat going.

got the job done. try some of these exercises for getting your heart rate UP.

HIIT is great for burning fat while keeping all your hard-earned muscle, e.g. like sprinting on a track or treadmill.  you can only hold this high rate of intensity for so long, so you give it all you got for 30 seconds – 1 minute then recover. i do it gradually by starting with a basic exercise move then building on it from there (see example vid above).  my heart rate has to stay in the safe range of 140-150 since i’m preggo, so i don’t go full throttle anymore. but YOU can! if you’re not preggo.  if you have never taken Total Conditioning at Lifetime Fitness, YOU MUST.

on to one of my favorite cakes to eat growing up.  i don’t have it often at all and i didn’t want to have to resort to a boxed cake mix (even though they taste awesome too) so i created this one. finally got it right on the 3rd try.

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light whole wheat pineapple upside down cake

the stuff:

  • 1/3 cup coconut crystals (or organic brown sugar or sucanat)
  • 2 tbsp organic whipped buttery spread (i used Earth Balance)
  • 7 fresh or canned pineapple slices
  • 3.5 **maraschino cherries
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup fresh pineapple juice (you can use more milk if you’d like)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour OR cake flour (i used King Arthur)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup coconut crystals (or organic brown sugar or sucanat)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

do this:

  1. preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. coat a 9 inch round or square pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  3. melt and coat the bottom of your pan with whipped butter spread until even.
  4. next, sprinkle 1/3 cup of coconut crystals in the bottom of your pan on top of the butter.
  5. lay pineapple rings flat in bottom of pan; place cherry halves in center of the rings.
  6. mix egg, 2/3 cup coconut crystals, coconut oil, milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl.
  7. in a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder well.
  8. slowly add your wet mixture to your dry and stir until all combined, no lumps.
  9. pour batter on top of pineapple rings evenly.
  10. bake for 30-33 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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let it cool, then flip the pan over and convert it onto a plate. see below.

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 ta-da.

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**let’s chat. maraschino cherries are not healthy. no way around it.  i used them cause they just go with the standard pineapple upside down cake recipe. they just do. it’s not the same without them. you don’t have to use them though! chances are you don’t even have any in your fridge anyway. you can actually make them yourself using fresh cherries, or find another fruit to use. be creative.

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i equate the area under the individual pineapple slice as one serving, so there are seven up there.

per 1 serving: 264 calories, 10g fat, 38g carbs, 4g protein.

not too shabby when compared to Betty’s stats ;)

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so i’m taking my very first cooking class at Sur La Table tomorrow, aaaagggghhh!!!! and guess what we’re making?! the best food ever on earth. homemade PIZZA.  this class had my name all over it.  i plan to start teaching my own cooking & exercise classes as early as next month so i’m getting all the tips, info, and advice i can stuff into my brain. more details to come VERY soon- it’s pretty much February already :shock:

le

sweet slow cooker cornish hens + ‘Chopped’ suey

did anybody else catch the new ep of Chopped tonight!? i’m a huge fan of the show and while i thought one of the competitors, Lauren Von Der Pool ‘s performance was totally disrespectful yet comical, social media pretty much agreed and proceeded to rip her to shreds immediately the show aired :shock: . after watching i just had to google her name (apparently i wasn’t alone) and i’m just blown away yet again at the wrath of social media, my goodness.  it’s 2014 and words still hurt.  they always will.  i wish her much success and sincerely hope she takes away some valuable lessons from her Chopped experience.  anyway, i hope your #sundayfamilyfunday was pleasant!  i whipped out my crock pot this morning before church and threw this together:madewithOver-4

sweet slow cooker cornish hens

the stuff:

  • 3 whole cornish game hens
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos
  • 1/2 cup light agave nectar
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Crystals (or coconut sugar)

do this:

  1. set slow cooker to 4hrs & 30 minutes on low
  2. place thawed birds in slow cooker
  3. coat birds in liquid aminos
  4. drizzle birds with light agave nectar
  5. sprinkle birds with cracked black pepper
  6. sprinkle birds with coconut crystals / sugar
  7. turn the birds every hour or so and coat them with the pan drippings to ensure it cooks evenly and is flavored evenly.

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i was supposed to cook these guys for new years day but never got around to it.  they were served with turnip greens and a giant baked sweet potato topped with cinnamon and a tiny bit of Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread. tip: spray your pot with no-stick cooking spray first; i forgot to do so.

my early am Lifetime classes are back on the schedule after a 2 week holiday break!  i’ll be hitting my new members and veterans with new moves, new music and a bigger bump :lol:

le