pan fried curry zucchini fritters + yeeeee-haw! Rodeo Run 5k

the response from my last post was incredibly overwhelming.  i’m already hormonal yall, jeez!!!! some of you even shared your heartfelt, REAL life preggo journeys with me.  it just reaffirms the fact that all women have a story to tell.  we all jump through, over, and under hoops all day, every day.  that’s life.  God is true to His word though!  i’m honored and elated that women were able to connect with me on a more personal level and get encouragement and inspiration to keep pressing through their own struggles.  we all need it.  anytime you ever feel the need to share with me or ask any particular question about my journey, do so without hesitation!  le@fitfoodiele.com.  again, thank you all for reading and commenting openly and privately.  to God be the glory.

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the Rodeo Run went down yesterday morning!  i picked up my race packet Friday and brought along a list of 3-year-old b-day party locations to check in the area.  yep, Chiso’s getting a birthday party this year.  we did a small gathering at the house last year for his 2nd and remember i went batty for his 1st  so now it’s time to venture out.  i think. suggestions? email me.

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i broke my ‘no oats pre-race’ rule and had big bowl of them topped with bananas, blueberries, and some coconut crystals before we hit the road.

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i walked/ran with a friend of mine, Krystal, and Chiso got to play and hangout with her son, Max.  Krystal is in FAB shape, right!? that’s her 9 month old daughter in her arms.  she is such a big fitsporation to me!

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 grateful to still be moving and shaking at 25 weeks now. my next race is the Bayou City Classic, and the link is over there in the events side bar!  strollers are welcome, so moms, let’s do this!  email me if you’ll be there; i’d love to meet up at the post-race party.  and if you see me running, SAY HAY!!!!!

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so about that zucchini fritter recipe i own ya…. ugh, they are so incredibly tasty.  Sonny took a bite of one and was like, ‘there’s no meat in this?’

nope.

pan fried curry zucchini fritters

the stuff: (source)

  • 3 large zucchini, shredded/grated
  • 3 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
  • 1/2 cup light parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1-2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

do this:

  1. use the larger holes when grating zucchini and shred them onto a dry cup towel.
  2. use those muscles and squeeze out all the liquid possible.
  3.  add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and incorporate well.
  4. heat a pan on HIGH coated with nonstick cooking spray (or pour a tsp of olive oil into the pan and spread it around)
  5. place heaping tbsp size scoopfuls of mixture onto hot skillet and press down flat.
  6. convert heat to LOW and cook for approx. 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and done. be patient.

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makes 20 small-medium cakes!  for 1:

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i have the patience of Chiso sometimes when i’m cooking and i often end up with a scramble instead of a perfect patty or cake.  i am sooooo dang proud of how these turned out!  best ones yet and so much savory deliciousness in every bite. please enjoy them as much as we have.  i got some garlic & herb goat cheese from HEB after the race that i have been spreading on them and, well,

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i really need to go to bed. now.

le

bok bok bok! healthy, homemade chicken nuggets

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after a fantastic early morning church service that concentrated on faithfulness to your spouse, i got crackin’ on meal prep right away.  i roasted some asparagus (seasoned with Weber Zesty Lemon blend) and some red bell peppers (seasoned with Weber Smoky Mesquite) in the oven on 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes or so. for our protein, i made something i will be making more often, especially for Chiso since he loves’em.

the coating for this recipe stemmed from the Fit Sticks recipe in my first ebook!  anytime Chiso eats and asks for more of something homemade i have to shout it from the roof tops!

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healthy, whole wheat, tender, baked, HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS!

i went a lil’ crazy and made them 3 ways: baked nuggets, and pan seared & grilled strips.

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the coating can easily be gluten-free if you use gluten-free bread to make your breadcrumbs.  i used toasted Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delicious multigrain wheat bread.  a few pulses in the food processor and that’s it!

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healthy homemade chicken nuggets 

the stuff:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 + 2 tbsp cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 heaping tbsp of your fave no-salt seasoning (lemon pepper, cajun, bbq, etc)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. set oven to 450 degrees.
  2. cut chicken into desired shapes and coat with olive oil.
  3. spread a layer of foil across a large baking pan and coat it with no-stick cooking spray.
  4. add all dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl; blend well.
  5. in a large tupperware container with a lid, add in a few raw chicken pieces with a few spoonfuls of breading and SHAKE!  (or you could spread out some breading on a plate and dredge the chicken pieces until fully coated but this way was easier and not as messy AND Chiso had fun doing all the shaking :lol: )
  6. space the nuggets out across your baking sheet and bake for 17-20 minutes. (high heat & 4-5 min on each side if grilling, and 7-10 min on each side if pan searing or until done in the center.)
  7. let them cool, then whip out the dipping sauces! we used honey mustard, Weber all natural Buzz’n Honey bbq sauce, and dijon mustard.

i know i cut strips with some of my chicken, but i used 4 large breasts total.  you can cut at least 40 nuggets alone from 4 breasts though.  stats per nugget (using 40 ct):

35 cals,  1g carb, 2g fat, 3g protein

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then we had a biggest belly contest! happy sunday family funday!

le

hostess with the mostess – cheesy spinach and squash au gratin

my mom is a pre-K teacher and still on her holiday break, so she and my aunt (her sis-in-law) came over to hang out, sleepover, and keep Chiso company with us. which means, i get ta’ COOKIN’!  whipping up healthy, tasty food for my family gives me life (add that to the phrases we should stop using in 2014 :roll: ) but it best describes how i feel while i’m doing my thing in my kitchen.  now can i do all this again tomorrow?  you bet! playing hostess is FUN. what we chowed down on today:

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lean turkey burgaaaaaas for lunch!  super easy recipe can be found on my instagram post from earlier today (look for this same photo).

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i topped the patties with cheddar style rice cheese,

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and i found those sprouted grain buns at Sprouts Farmer’s Market recently.  i was looking for the Ezekiel ones but these were cheaper and by Alvarado Street Bakery.  heard a lot about them and was not disappointed.

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no lettuce or avocado in the house, womp. but i did have condiments, tomatoes, and plenty of pickles. stuff your burgers with your fave toppings and toast your buns (makes a big difference in taste and texture).  everyone enjoyed their burger except for you-know-who.

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he touched it like he was going to pick it up and then faked everybody out.  i’ll try again tomorrow.

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i’ve been playing around with a squash casserole type recipe for the past few days and finally just went for it today since i was all up in the kitchen anyway. turned out better than i imagined, whoa. 

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 Sonny says it tastes just like Boston Market’s squash casserole side and well, i won’t argue with him!

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cheesy spinach & squash au gratin

the stuff:

  • 2 large zucchini, raw, coined & halved (see pic above)
  • 2 large yellow squash, raw, coined & halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 1 cup frozen, thawed spinach
  • 1/2 cup cheddar style rice cheese
  • 1/2 cup skim mozzarella (you may use mozzarella almond cheese as well)
  • 1/8 cup light parmesan cheese

breadcrumbs:

  • 3 slices Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful bread, toasted until crispy
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 cup light parmesan cheese

do this:

  1. spray your casserole dish with no-stick cooking spray and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. make breadcrumbs by combining listed ingredients in your food processor and pulsing until you achieve a breadcrumb-like consistency.
  3. in a large skillet over medium heat, saute the garlic, onion, zucchini, and squash together for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
  4. add spinach, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid aminos, parsley, and cracked black pepper to pan; mix.
  5. cover pan and let cook down for 10 more minutes before shutting off the heat and pouring your squash mixture into your prepared casserole dish. set aside.
  6. in a separate bowl, whisk eggs.
  7. to the egg mixture, add 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of breadcrumb mixture, 1/2 cup of cheese, and the 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
  8. if your squash mixture has completely cooled by now, go ahead and add the egg mixture to it in the casserole dish and mix WELL. if it’s still warm, temper the eggs by adding a little bit of squash mixture to the egg mixture (in that order, please!)  at a time to prevent making scrambled eggs.  the cold almond milk should help cool the squash mixture down faster too. once all combined, set aside.
  9. add the last 1/2 cup of cheese to  1/4 cup of the breadcrumb mixture and sprinkle it on top of your casserole evenly.
  10. bake for 40-45 minutes or until the casserole no longer jiggles when you shake the dish.
  11. let it cool then dive in.

i divided my dish into 8 nice size servings and here are the stats for 1 serving: 162 cals, 6g fat, 14g carbs, 15g protein, 4 g sugar.

have a seat, Boston Market :lol:

lastly, for dinner, i heated up some leftover chicken & veggie stir fry and mixed it with some marinara sauce to revive the flavors. very yummy!  i also baked two pans of swai for tonight and for Sonny’s lunches tomorrow.  i don’t add ANY salt to the swai cause it doesn’t need it at all like tilapia.

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  i topped these with onion powder, garlic powder, and salt free Southwest seasoning from Mc Cormick (found at Walmart and HEB) and cooked them for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. that’s it!  roasted brussels sprouts on the side.
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 thinking about all the crazy business ideas in my head and on my heart for 2014 and it overwhelms me.  i’m determined to make 2014 NOTHING like 2013 though. one day at a time.  ok, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

le

starter grocery list + Paleo Roast Pork with Apple Chutney & Butternut Squash

‘i want to be healthier.’

you do? ok, read!

first off, breathe. don’t over-complicate things.  this process does not go from 0-60 in 3 seconds and you won’t either. it’s a gradual thing. a lifestyle thing.  one that you will see and feel the effects of if you just stick with it.  little by little, a little becomes a lot.  we know by now that proper nutrition and physical fitness is a package deal. can’t have one without the other.  i will be focusing on the nutrition part of the equation for now as this is where your journey begins:

supermarket

here is a staple starter grocery list to save, print out, and take with you to the grocery store.  i go into detail about each section below and provide some of my favorite brands and where to get’em. keep reading.

fflstartergrocerylist

key:

WF = Whole Foods

SFM = Sprouts Farmers Market

WM = Walmart

TG = Target

TJ = Trader Joes

HEB = HEB Pantry (local)

K = Kroger (local)

ALL = available at all listed stores

grains / cereals / breads

  • Ezekiel brand breads and tortillas WF, SP
  • Ezekiel cereal varieties WF, SP, WM, K, HEB
  • Alvarado Street Bakery brand bread WF, SP
  • La Tortilla Factory tortillas & wraps WF, SP, WM, K, HEB
  • Nature’s Own Double Fiber Wheat Bread WM, K, HEB, TG
  • Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful brand bread HEB, WM, K, TG
  • Trader Joe’s whole grain breads TJ
  • Sprouts Farmers Market whole grain breads SFM

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i find that rolled, quick oats, oat bran, rice, quinoa, and couscous are cheapest when bought in bulk.  whip out your calculator and do the math if you must and compare the price per lb to whatever way you previously purchased these items.  yeah, those Uncle Ben’s single serving rice pouches are DELICIOUSLY easy to prepare and taste so good, but they just aren’t cost-effective and you know it! buy your rice in bulk and season it yourself.

flours / nuts / oils

  • Bob’s Red Mill flour varieties  WF, SP, HEB, K, WM, TG
  • flours & nuts from the bulk bins of WF, HEB, or SP
  • choose unrefined, virgin, and cold-pressed oils ALL
  • roasted & unsalted mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans)  in bulk WF, SP, HEB

starchy veggies 

  • fresh & frozen are best. if you must do canned, look for a low/no sodium option. these are veggies that are carbohydrate rich, higher in sugar content, have an adverse affect on blood glucose levels, and load you with energy. any on the list above will do; pick your fave. if unsure about how to classify a particular veggie, use this helpful list of starchy veggies. ALL

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non-starchy veggies

  • fresh & frozen are best. if you must do canned, look for a low/no sodium option.  these are veggies that contain fewer calories and carbs, lower sugar content, and have little to no effect on blood glucose levels and are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals. any on the  list above will do; pick your fave. if unsure how to classify a particular veggie use this helpful list of non-starchy veggies. ALL

fruit

  • fresh & frozen are best.  beware of packaged and canned fruit which can contain crazy high amounts of sugar. read your labels!  don’t forget avocado is a fruit and high and good fat. we know fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and natural sugar, but the sugar content does vary per fruit, so choose wisely.  here’s a chart of some of the most popular and available fruit choices that gives you an accurate depiction of the sugar content for a 1 cup serving. ALL

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here’s a more detailed list:


fruit-chart

dairy

  • Lactaid brand milk & cottage cheese ALL
  • Greek yogurt brands: Fage, Chiobani, Oikos, Trader Joes ALL
  • Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese Wedges ALL
  • Mini Babybel light cheese ALL

non-dairy

  • Blue Diamond, Silk unsweetened vanilla and original almond milk ALL
  • Lisanatti Almond Cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella) WF, SFM
  • Tofutti non-dairy cream cheese spread WFM, TJ, SFM, HEB, K
  • Trader Joe’s canned light coconut milk TJ

meat / seafood  / protein

  • boneless & skinless turkey and chicken breast ALL
  • 97-99% extra lean ground turkey, chicken, and beef ALL
  • choose  cuts of beef with the least marbling
  • leanest beef cuts: eye of round, sirloin tip and steak, top & bottom round roast & steak ALL
  • shellfish: scallops, mussels, lobster, shrimp, crab ALL
  • choose low sodium canned beans and rinse beans under cold water before cooking: navy, kidney, black, lima, chick peas, pinto, black-eyed peas. ALL
  • HEB & Crystal Farms egg whites ALL, HEB
  • fish: cod, salmon, tilapia, flounder, trout,  halibut, mahi mahi, perch, snapper, sole, tuna (canned and packed in water) ALL

seasonings / sauces / sweeteners

  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos WM, WFM, SFM, K, HEB
  • Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar WM, WFM, SFM, K, HEB
  • all fresh herbs (sage, cilantro, oregano, basil, dill)  ALL
  • any salt-free standalone spice or seasoning blend (Mrs. Dash, McCormick, Trader Joes, Generic brands ALL
  • use fresh lemon / lime just for natural seasoning, flavoring & marinating ALL
  • liquid smoke WM, TG, K, HEB
  • Heinz low carb ketchup ALL

so do you just go buy the entire list at once? no! remember, i spoke with Tiara in HEB the other day and here’s that grocery shopping advice i gave her in a nutshell: ‘depending on how ambitious you feel, pick 2, or 3 recipes you know you’ll be making in the next 2 weeks or so and do your grocery shopping based on those ingredients.  else, there’s a good chance you may not use everything you purchased and have to throw it away.  we know some items have longer shelf lives of course, but the majority of what is thrown away is spoiled produce.’ i try to limit my store visits to 2-3 times a month.  i make large batches of a recipe at a time, and we have those meals/leftovers for the next 2-3 days before switching to something new.  sometimes i’ll cook two large batches of two different recipes at a time and alternate those meals for more variety.

 grocery shopping tips:

  1. buy fresh AND frozen produce
  2. only buy produce in-season and on sale to save $
  3. make a list first and stick to it
  4. don’t shop when you’re hungry
  5. set a monthly or bi-weekly budget and don’t go over it
  6. buy meat in bulk and freeze what you don’t use immediately
  7. buy generic brands whenever possible
  8. shop the perimeter of the store (fresh meat, bread, produce, dairy).  processed foods tend to rule those isles.

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Q: questions?  FIRE AWAY!  what would you like to see MORE of? what wasn’t covered or covered in enough detail?  i need your feedback. email me or comment below.

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my featured FITzee meal of the week:

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Paleo Pork Roast with Apple Chutney and Butternut Squash

all natural, dairy-free, gluten-free, Paleo friendly & smells and tastes like FALL.

place your FITzee Foods order to be shipped right to your doorstep now.

le


ffl’s red velvet pancakes


hi. this’ll be quick.

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yesterday’s awesome breakfast contains 1 serving of fruit,

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and 1 serving of veggies!

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double whammy :)

ffl’s red velvet pancakes

the stuff:

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 egg white (or 2 if you want them fluffier/thicker/cake-like)
  • 1/2 cup pureed, cooked beets
  • half a banana (natural sweetness!)
  • 5-7 drops chocolate stevia
  • 1/2 – 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

do this:

  1. throw your oats into your blender and ground them into a fine powder.
  2. toss in the other dry ingredients:  baking powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt.
  3. dump all that into a bowl and set it aside.
  4. add your roasted, previously cooked beets into the blender along with the banana, egg white(s), vanilla, and chocolate stevia.
  5. scoop all that out and add it to your dry mix. incorporate!
  6. finally, add the almond milk to your desired consistency.
  7. cook up in your no-stick cooking spray coated for skillet 3-4 minutes on each side. make sure it’s done in the center! take a peek first.

stats for the entire stack:

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what’s that topping you ask? you DID ask.  i heard you.  it’s 2 tbsp of no fat cream cheese + 1 packet of granulated stevia. any nuts will do, but that walnut, red velvet, cream cheese combo is a serious triple threat!

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 as always, adjust those nutritional stats accordingly when dealing with toppings.  a drizzle of Walden Farms pancake syrup  made these cakes and my breakfast complete.  eat’em up, then go lift heavy things at the gym today.

GOOD MORNING TO YOU!

le

mmmm….crusty

  i ate Papa Johns pizza 10 outta 10 months of my pregnancy.  it was my celebratory meal after doing my first fitness competition.  pizza is neck and neck with mac n cheese as my fav food.  i keep my eyes peeled for healthy, lower calorie/carb pizza crust recipes that i can make at home.  however…….i’m not willing to accept a tortilla, portobello mushroom :shock: english muffin, or any other item attempting to be passed off as pizza crust!  now THIS though…this is just my speed right here.  yet another recipe inspired by IG (Instagram) that i have made every day since i found it.  once i find something i love i make it until i force myself not to make it  anymore.

ok.

the crust is composed of… breakfast. oatmeal and egg whites.  together.
 but you don’t have to eat it for breakfast if you don’t want to.  i don’t.

Trader Joe’s organic pizza sauce, ground chicken, goat cheese, fresh roma tomatoes, mushrooms, and cilantro went on my very first attempt at this recipe, pictured above.  your turn.

oatmeal pizza crust

the stuff:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water (mix until desired consistency but not too thin!)

do this:

  1. pre-heat your oven to 400 degress.
  2. throw the ingredients above into your blender or food processor and blend away until smooth
  3.  add more water if you need to.  i like my crust with texture, so i pulsed my blender a few times and left it semi chunky.  you can put it on high and blend until completely smooth though, it’s your call.  the seasoning are also up to you.  if you don’t like Italian seasoning,  by all means, use somethin ya do like.
  4.  spray your medium heated skillet with no-stick cooking spray, and scrape the contents of your blender right into it.
  5. it starts to cook immediately, so start spreading it as soon as it hits the pan.
  6. once it’s cooked on one side (3-4 minutes) flip it over and let the other side cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  7.  finally, slide the crust onto your oven pan (spray that with no-stick cooking spray  too) and  add your toppings.  remember, less is more.  don’t over crowd!  thumbs down to soggy pizza crust. blech.

1 serving = entire crust (egg whites, oatmeal, garlic & seasonings)

not too shabby, huh!  low-fat, and loaded with fiber and protein.  my skillet is not terribly big, so my first crust was thicker than i wanted it to be since i poured in all my batter at once.  the next few times, i poured half the batter in and made two thin crust pizzas.

 yall know i’m all about stretching my food!

i have been topping my crusts with whatever i have on hand.  ground chicken, ground turkey, grilled chicken, salmon, and even tuna.  same with the veggies/cheese- i have put some crazy stuff together and so will you!

le

@ my desk

no more start/stop- catching up NOW.

good monday that is almost over to you!!

this will be crazy random but just stay with me.

i hope you guys are using and being creative the IG food pics- that’s definitely some of my motivation for posting.

this was lunch @ my desk last Friday:

100 calorie multi-grain english muffin, grilled chicken breast, avocado, spicy mustard, and a crispy red bell pepper.  since my job is waaaaaaaaay closer to Trader Joe’s than my house, i stopped by there to get a few specialty items on my lunch break that day.

more eggplant humus wish it came in a big TUB.

i can pronounce everything. that’s the kind of ingredient list i like to see and the kind you should look for as often as possible.  also, natural, no additives or preservatives means eat it sooner than later! won’t last but a few days.

also got some sweet sugar snap peas for dipping! in the car.

 i walked into TJ’s with intent to restock my fig butter, but as soon as those double entrance doors parted, i walked straight up to a tower of pumpkin butter.  clever is that seasonal marketing. they also had honey apple butter and i couldn’t leave without it.  i did leave the mango butter for next time though.

i hit up HEB, Whole Foods, and Sams this weekend to do my real shopping.  i got my sample on of course,

  *high five*, HEB.  but zero points for presentation.  steak pizzaiola, italian chicken sausage soup, and creamy potato casserole was served at one of their live sample stations. oh God, those potatoes though :shock: . i always grab a recipe card to see just what they put in those samples and they never fail to freak me out.  full-fat heavy cream and cream cheese is what made those potatoes so darn good!  but they were sample size sooooo i proceeded to enjoy.

i got outta there with my usual stuff plus a few specialty items.

my kitchen island stays just like this for the most part.  i like to keep my produce out where i can see it cause i’ll forget about it in the fridge and it’s more likely to spoil.  gonna go ahead and add ‘personal grocery shopper’ to my resume, seriously!!! i could do this every day.

i’ve been using the sesame Ezekiel bread for the past few weeks, so i picked up the cinnamon raisin loaf this time.

i have sweet and savory dishes in mind for this puppy.

fat-free feta and goat cheese are still two dairy cheeses i won’t be giving up (will expand on that shortly), but i was inspired to try almond cheese from a fellow health and fitness IGer.  i figure i love almond milk, so i’d prolly like the cheese too. uh, yeah! it melts, grates, and tastes just like dairy cheese and nutritional stats are awesome.  i’m impressed and sold.  gonna try some rice cheese too.

i’ve been a fan of Blue Diamond brand almond milk since Hungry-Girl introduced me to it a few years ago, but decided to try the Silk brand because of the lower calorie count.

it is so much more creamier than i was expecting! i may have been converted indefinitely…

I picked up some of Sonny’s fav granola from Whole Foods – pumpkin flax.  it’s the best granola (nutrtion-wise) in the bulk aisle line up.  140 cals and 5g of sugar per serving. read your labels- granola is more like a treat/dessert as the sugar content can be super high for some of them.  a few spoonfuls over some cottage cheese or yogurt or a small serving of it is just enough.

 granola + almond milk = one great bed time snack.  if only i could stop eating bowl after bowl.

lunch today @ my desk:

seeing red today for meal 2-  grilled chicken breast, avocado, red bell pepper, tomato, spicy mustard and honey apple butter.  wrapped all up in a La Tortilla Factory white-wheat soft wrap with some strawberries on the side.

i snuck in some sugar snap peas and eggplant humus too.

we had some GORGEOUS weather in Houston today!! Sonny hates the cold and is already griping about having to stop his outside runs.  he still has time to take advantage though cause it will be hot again like tomorrow.

cajun crusted tilapia recipe coming up next.

le

pb2 shrimp pad thai

adapted from here!

low carb, low sugar, low sodium, and low-calorie.  yes, pad thai!!!!! one of my fav Thai dishes that i only enjoyed on occasion until now.

PB2 Shrimp Pad Thai

the stuff:

  • 1 lb shrimp (i used jumbo 16/20 count)
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 6 tbsp original PB2
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut crystals
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly long ways
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 oz  Sea Tangle Green Tea Kelp Noodles ( i only had half the bag left, but use the entire bag if you want)

do this:

  1. cook the shrimp with half of the chopped shallot, cilantro, onion powder, and garlic powder until done, about 5-6 minutes in a covered saute pan.
  2.  take them out and set them aside.
  3. combine ALL liquids in one bowl along with the coconut crystals.
  4. grab another bowl and add your PB2 (in powder form).
  5. make a well (small hole) in the PB2 bowl and pour in your liquids and mix it until you have a creamy consistency.  too thick? add more water.
  6. throw the veggies (shallots, carrots, red pepper, green onion, ginger, cilantro) into your saute pan and toss them around until tender; about 2-3 minutes.
  7. add your kelp noodles into the saute pan with the veggies, and pour the  sauce on top and mix well.
  8. finally, add the shrimp back in, toss one more time, and serve.

original PB2 – peanut butter minus the fat and oil in powder form.  if you can’t find it in the store, ask somebody!! and make sure you’re not using the chocolate flavor for this recipe either.  although that might not turn out too bad.

use fresh or frozen shrimp – i used jumbo 16/20.

get out your cutting board.

s/n: i’ve been meaning to go to Bed Bath and Beyond to get me some more kitchen gadgets!  i used a potato peeler on the carrots and just finely sliced the peppers.  gonna go get a julien veggie cutter asap.

 kelp noodles.  don’t get scared, get familiar.  i’m super skeptical about trying swaps people claim ‘taste JUST like the real thing!!!!’ and clearly don’t.   i respect and consider that everyone’s palate is uniquely different, but my expectations are always high lol. anyway, they can be found at whole foods, but i ordered mine online from www.iherb.com.

those are the nutritional stats for the entire bag.  these things are ridiculously low in, well, everything!!  i will be using them a lot in upcoming recipes, so go find some.

straight outta the package, they have a crunchy texture even though the bag they come in is filled with water.  a friend of mine soaks her’s in lemon juice which produces a more noodle-like texture and taste.  thanks, Udochi;)  they soaked up ALL the peanutty goodness of the sauce exceptionally well.

these are the coconut crystals! they can be found at Whole Foods or online.  I subbed them for the brown sugar.  raw, all natural, gluten-free, etc… ok i know you can read :)

 stats:

one huge pot can be split into 4 servings (4-5 shrimp)

the carbs come from the veggies!  you can totally use any kind of meat you’d like.  i’d pick lean chicken breast as my next option though.  also, i added some roasted, unsalted cashews on top just to make it pretty.  i was gonna use peanuts until i saw how much higher the stats are for them compared to many other nuts!  you can top your dish with whatever nut you like, (or not) but be sure to adjust your stats accordingly.

le

Trader Joe’s H-O-U-S-T-O-N!!!

the cardio horse is back in her saddle! after a week off from teaching my Lifetime classes, it’s great to be BACK.  burnout is a lose-lose for the instructor and the members… breaks always re-energize and re-fuel me to teach the best class i possibly can. especially at 530am.

after 1 hr of Total Conditioning, i jumped on my fav elliptical machine and did 45 minutes of fat-burning cardio and called it a day. no more gym for me until tomorrow…maybe even thursday!! no more two a days. for now!  until i decide to compete again (i’m sure i will) i’m focusing on maintaining my current weight, give or take a few pounds.

all i could think about was breakfast on my way home as usual.

so i’m back on the clean eating train. as of yesterday.  for the most part.  i’ve been adding extra things (for example, the tomatoes and asparagus ) to my meals that i normally couldn’t when i was preparing for my show.  usually what i add doesn’t really affect the total calorie count of the meal anyway.  extra veggies is nothing compared to an extra egg or some meat or something, you know?!

second shot of meal 1,

and here’s meal 2 so far.  i’m sticking with 5-6 small meals a day.  my body responds so well to this routine so i’m keeping it going.  try it out and see how your body responds!

so, Houston has just become that much cooler.

Sonny and i made it back in time from Jamaica to attend the grand opening extravaganza of Trader Joe’s this past Friday, Sept. 21st.

If you are familiar with H-town, then you know that this historic building was once a theater, then a book store for 25 years, and finally the home of our very 1st TJ’s! we didn’t even go home first- it was that important.  to me.

taking pics to pass the time while Sonny finished his phone call.

8 days later and my ‘show’ hair is already in a pony tail.

walking up- i love that they kept and used the old school marquee.

getting started. the store is not as big as i anticipated, but it was still jam-packed with a ton of cool items. it was lunch time AND the grand opening so space got a little tight.  i didn’t mind.

Joe’s O’s for Chiso.

saying a prayer and thanking God for these low sodium rice cakes!!! i used to get the popular Lundberg brown rice cakes, but why have one of those when i can have TWO of Joe’s for a 10 cal difference?!

sampling some kinda fresh squeezed juice. and  yep, that’s my tummy.  i left my abs in Jamaica.

i definitely grabbed something off of every isle.

ok people are going absolutely nuts over this stuff and i completely understand.  i passed a tower of it on the way to checkout and thought to myself  ‘man i wonder what that tastes like!!’. i literally looked up and walked right into a store associate shoving a sampling spoon of it right in my face!!  of course i’ll take some! our cashier told us it’s their top-selling item right now and that they will be coming out with a crunchy version for the Christmas holidays.  Lord have mercy.

turkey jerky!!!!!!! haven’t had this stuff since my Cali trip back in 2010.  great high protein, low-fat snack.

what i ended up with- roasted seaweed snacks, popping corn, unsalted pb filled pretzels, unsalted rice cakes, turkey jerky, lite coconut milk, unsweetened apple sauce, Joe’s O’s (whole grain cereal), lobster rolls, black mission figs, organic pizza sauce, lactose-free milk, fresh sugar snap peas, coconut oil, goat cheese, fat-free feta, egg-plant humus, egg whites, spicy mustard, fig butter,  and some fresh fruit.  no cookie butter yet!!!

i was expecting to go well over 100, maybe even 150. but i did NOT break the bank.  gotta love those reasonable prices for organic, natural, fresh foods.  i’m THRILLED that TJ’s is finally here and will gladly make the drive to visit.

after buying all that delicious food, what does Sonny want for lunch? Mission Tortilla.  because he was a great sport and even came grocery shopping with me i shut my trap right up :shock:

i waited til we got home to fix my lunch.  here are some of the items up close for you to look for on your TJ’s trip.

the fig butter is AWESOME- and no, there isn’t a drop of butter in it.  it even says that on the package. “To be a butter, a spread must contain more fruit than sugar..”

whole wheat pita pockets and eggplant humus – only 35 cals per 2 tbsp. serving!

there was no cooked meat (ok fresh cooked meat) in our house since we had been gone for a week, so i made some fig and feta tuna and grilled a whole wheat pita to go with it.

my seasonings for the tuna. i almost ALWAYS add boiled eggs to my tuna, but i was too hungry to wait!

i also spread some of the fig butter and eggplant humus on the pita bread-

DELICIOUS.

what else can you put fig butter on? it’s great in wraps too- i made a grilled chicken, kale, tomato, avocado wrap on a whole wheat tortilla for my next meal.  the spicy salty mustard and the sweet fig go great together. try it.

what are your favorite must have Trader Joe’s items?? and have you tried the cookie butter :lol:

le

blogging from de plane

that post title is false advertisement.  i was so excited to blog from our plane headed to Jamaica to celebrate our 5th anni that i started the post early, from home!  however…….. after all the hustle and bustle of the previous night (we had a FANTASTIC time and did well at our first bodybuilding show!!!!! details in my next post) that we naturally *sigh* overslept and missed our WI-FI enabled first flight. UGH. the second flight, which only left 1 hr later, was not wi-fi enabled because well, that’s just how things go.  SO, Sonny and i actually spoke to one another (cause people still do that :shock: ) about the weekend’s events, the highs and lows of training under one roof, our bodies then and now, how we felt on stage, how each other looked on stage, future shows, etc… yeah we had lots of time to catch up as life has finally slowed down a little.

i can’t shake this ‘i need to be prepared for anything’ feeling, which is a good thing though.
i knew i wouldn’t go completely HAM on sweets so soon after the show, so i packed some healthy stuff for our trip a few days beforehand to make this a gradual thing:

 strawberry flavored magic pop, some shelled pistachios, light tuna packed in water, apples, chocolate PB2, canned salmon, and a stack of Food Network magazines i never found time to sit down and crack open.

not gonna lie- even though we woke up super late and rushed out to miss our flight, i still had my oats and bananas lol!   i really WANTED them though and didn’t have time to get creative and make something else anyway.  we had a quick layover in Charlotte, NC, and it was there where i was reunited with the dairy food group again after over 3 months. i had an unused Starbucks gift card from Christmas, so i whipped it out and ordered a fruit cup and one of my fav drinks- a skinny vanilla latte.   

so, even on vaca, and i said i was gonna try and stick to 5-6 balanced meals a day, but also indulge and live a little! with everything being all-inclusive (unlimited food and drinks EVERYWHERE) this is hard.  not doing TOO bad so far though- there are different menus everyday, so i’m grateful for the variety.  for breakfast, there’s a live omelette bar- was so excited to see that!! can you guess what i’ve been ordering? haha

 they only have *GASP* instant oatmeal which is disgusting and tastes and looks like wall paper paste. maybe even worse. i see why some people might be turned off by oatmeal if they ever have this stuff when eating oatmeal for the first time, my goodness. i mean it was BAD.  there aren’t enough toppings in the world to mask a bowl of that stuff :shock:

my lunches and dinners have been looking a little like this: salad,

fruit / veggie plate – raw celery, tomatoes, artichokes, watermelon, cantaloupe.

and yes that’s a slice of cheese pizza lol- i said on IG that i’ve had a slice with every meal so far except breakfast and that is still in effect!

random lunch plate – curried tilapia, roasted yellow potatoes, sautéed green beans/onions, jerk chicken.

random dinner – grilled jerk chicken, beet salad, raw tomatoes, zucchini, and chicken/tomato pizza;)

have we been indulging? DARN RIGHT. they don’t just put out one dessert as you can see.  i made us a sample plate and well, we got our sample on.

rum cake, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry cheesecake, vanilla mousse cake, and chocolate cake.

there is a poolside grille that is open til 1 am (they shouldn’t have told us that) and we took advantage right away.  fried fish and french fries – we split this though!

the buffet people see us coming a mile away LOL. we are always right on time for every meal!

 having a really good time so far and i can’t wait to post about our show.

 for now, back to Jamaica!

le