Enough? Nope.

Last week, I was all about avocado. This week I am all about strawberries. I impulsively bought a pint at the end of last week. I try to buy only  seasonal fruits and vegetables but these particular berries were staring back at me hardcore and I couldn’t resist! Strawberries are probably my favorite fruit, and fruit is my favorite food. No really, once I asked for a fruit bouquet instead of a cake and/or flowers on my birthday.

I made baked oatmeal this weekend to last me Monday-Thursday, and to switch it up from my overnight oatmeal. I will share the recipe soon- it is very delicious! I store the baked oatmeal in a container in the fridge, add a splash of (almond) milk in the AM, and microwave it for one minute when I am ready to eat. Almond butter and strawberries, obviously!, have been my toppings. Mmmm!!!

For lunch, I packed a almond butter and jelly (AB&J) sandwich and a side salad. The star was the side salad as I added fresh broccoli slaw, cottage cheese, and chopped strawberries. Note to self: chopped strawberries and cottage cheese on top of salad is guh-reat. I meant to add a few pistachios on top of the salad but I ate them earlier to fuel me through my cuss word of an Anatomy exam.

Strawberry eats from the weekend:


Sunday brunch Cinnamon Raisin french toast (made with a bagel thin), REAL bacon, and fruit salad (strawberries, blueberries, clementines, gala apple, lemon juice)

Mock Egg Mcmuffin (with jelly, please) + strawberries and blueberries.

Can it be summer already? Sheesh.

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WIAW

It’s that time of the week again… ahem, I said week not month. HA! The time for all of the nosy (that’s me!) and curious foodies to come together and snoop into everyone else’s day of eats. I love seeing all of the different meals each week. My favorite part is when people who eat very similar to me. Ya’ll know the way  to my heart mouth.

Whoever said convenience and eating healthy is impossible told a lie because from the look of all three of my meals, each of them are very convenient and cooked up in just a few minutes!

I’ve really been loving over-night oatmeal lately. It’s the quickest, healthiest and most delicious breakfast when I only have a total of five minutes to eat. I was so happy when I noticed a nearly empty jar of nut butter to serve as my bowl. I simply whisked my oatmeal mixture in the jar and put the lid back on to chill in the fridge until the AM.

  Blueberry-banana muesli

  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • a 6 ounce container of greek yogurt
  • a few splashes of almond milk
  • 1/2 of a mashed banana
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • a small spoonful of ground flax seed
  • 1/2 of sliced banana added in the AM
  • handful of blueberries added in the AM

**If you’re an overnight-oatmeal connoisseur then I’m sure you can agree there’s not quite anything better than the nut butter attaching to the end of your spoon when dipping into the oatmeal. YUM!! Oats in a Jar also means less dishes. Double whammy!**

Lunch was eaten before two very challenging work outs. I always eat lunch before a work out to provide me with the nutrients and energy required to push me through. I toasted the english muffin the same time I made my oatmeal the night before. On the side, I had a romaine salad and an apple.

Toppings on the wanna-be bagel bites: marinara, green pepper, tomato, and cheddar (all packed separately, added at lunchtime, and microwaved to melt cheese.) Simple yet delicious!

Romaine salad on the side: romaine (oh, really?), carrots, red cabbage, red onion, green pepper, crumbled feta and a serving size of parmesan-asiago balsamic vinaigrette.

A red delicious apple rounded out the meal.

This meal was just enough fuel to power me through a kick-boxing class and a boot camp class (whew!). I also ate half of a banana during my ten minute break between the two classes.

The above iced coffee (coffee+skim milk) was a much needed snack to cool me off from the two fitness classes and keep me awake during my speech class following just thirty minutes after my work out. I’m THAT sweaty girl in class. A few almonds were gobbled down, too.

I was starving when I arrived home around 7:30. As soon as I walked into the door, I was heating up a skillet and quickly sautéing chopped vegetables and scramblin’ eggs.

  • 2 eggs
  • red onion
  • green pepper
  • tomatoes
  • black beans
  • S&P

Left-over guacamole on a slice of sprouted grain toast on the side.

And two dried figs filled with crunchy almond butter for dessert.

To be completely honest, my stomach grumbled almost an hour and a half after supper and after noticing a lack of protein (no meat), I blended up a peanut butter protein smoothie. Greek yogurt+ almond milk+ frozen banana+ peanut butter+ half scoop of chocolate protein powder+ cinnamon+ ice chunks. ‘Twas delicious.

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! As always, Thanks to the mastermind behind the foodie party, Jenn! ❤

Stuck On You

These past few weeks I have really been enjoying avocado. So far, I’ve made an avocado smoothie <–Please try!, made into guacamole to dip,  and paired with eggs on toast.

On Saturday night, my friend Leah (love her) and I shared a grilled chicken skillet at Tin Lizzy’s. Rice, lettuce, queso, tomato and other mexican fixins’ came with it and I, of course, asked for guacamole on the side. Apparently I couldn’t get the skillet off of my mind so Sunday night I (cough Seth) made a wanna-be Tin Lizzy meal in the cast-iron skillet Santa brought me. Guacamole was spread all over and dipped into before, during, and after the delicious meal! Obviously I hated it (see picture below.)

To continue on with my avocado obsession, I paired avocado slices with a vegetable egg white scramble for breakfast this morning. A lightly toasted multi-grain english muffin for my side. Light butter spread on one slice and sugar-free blackberry preserves on the other slice. A few hours later it was time for more ‘cado!

For the first Monday, I got to enjoy lunch at my own place today. Usually I pack my lunch Monday through Thursday to eat in between classes and work-outs. I wanted to make my lunch sandwich extra delicious today. In efforts to use up the last bit of the avocado I used for breakfast, I quickly made a easy guacamole for lunch. Red onion+ garlic+ sliced cherry tomatoes+ lime juice were the add-ins. Afterwards, I topped the spread onto a slice of sprouted grain toast (Ezekiel brand) with cheddar cheese.

Green pepper, sliced tomato,red onion, red pepper hummus, feta cheese, cheddar, guacamole spread, S&P on sprouted grain toast.

Substituting avocado for oil and butter in baked goods is becoming popular. I hope to try both of the recipes linked below sooner than later. Click here for a delicious sounding avocado oatmeal cookie recipe via The Daily Crumb and here for a avocado banana bread recipe! Now go get ya avo’ or ‘cado or avocado on.

Remove tagged photos

This is one of the hardest post I’ve written. I understand I didn’t have to write it. Some people may laugh and click away. But health and nutrition is obviously so close to my heart. It is truly my passion and I will do whatever I need to do to help myself and others to live a longer and healthier life. I will practice other techniques when I have a degree and certification behind my belt to help others. For now, all I can do is share with you my story, provide inspiration to anyone willing to change (which is everybody), offer fitness tips, and post about a few of eats on a blog.

The beginning months of 2011 weren’t the healthiest ones for me. I chose a lifestyle that didn’t support what I wanted out of life, put a hole in my wallet week after week, and obviously treated my body like a blow-up doll. I failed to have balance in my life. It was hard to be a student, it was hard to be a employee, it was hard to be a daughter. I believe in having fun and enjoying yourself with friends and family, but I took full advantage of the freedom I was given and enjoyed myself a little too much. As I have posted before, my workouts were little to none and I pretty much lived off of french fries and alcohol. And it was pretty obvious.

The below pictures are from December 2010 to March 2011. These pictures aren’t necessarily the easiest thing to post so play nice. 🙂

Currently: (L to R) January 2012 top, Decemeber 2011 bottom, November 2011, December 2011

I cleaned up my diet around March 2011 after seeing pictures and started incorporating more exercise throughout the summer. Now I try to work out at least 3 times a week, often 4 or 5, taking fitness classes, intervals on treadmill or elliptical, and lots of strength training. I eat healthy and wholesome foods 80%-ish of the time. I am now a happier, lighter, and healthier new girl! 🙂 I still love to have as much as fun but it took finding my own balance to pursue my dreams along with enjoying life to the fullest and it’s working!!

So you want to eat healthier?

When I decided to make a change in my diet for health and weight reasons, I was clueless (as if that word isn’t used enough.) I first went to none other than Google and researched high and low of what I should be eating. Most people claim healthy eating to be common-sense; Bland chicken, steamed plain vegetables, lots of salads, and fruits. Sadly, I was one of those. I started following fitness models and adopted their “body-building” like diet; 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. Since I grew up eating 3 meals every day and was accustomed to that, the 5-6 smaller meals didn’t necessarily work for me as I was either eating too much at one “small” meal or was just hungry. And that means grumpy.

 Some people have obviously found great results with that particular type of eating. To me, healthy eating is so much more than chicken, brown rice, and un-seasoned vegetables. For someone who truly loves food, I wanted flavor, texture, and something that I would truly enjoy everyday. It took a while to figure out what I liked, which brand I should buy, how to cook or prepare it (??!!), and how much of it I should be eating.

For breakfast, I found I really enjoyed old-fashioned oatmeal with fruit and peanut butter or yogurt with fruit and honey. On weekends when I had more time, I loved eggs (scrambled, omelet, sandwich, wrap).

Lunch is where I still suffer on deciding whether I should go with the sweet or savory. Since I usually have oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, I will try to savor vegetables with some sort of protein and healthy carbohydrate for lunch.

For supper I almost always eat vegetables as that is what I grew up eating(for the most part). Whether they are incorporated into a soup or chili or snuck inside of jarred pasta sauce atop whole-wheat noodles or used as pizza toppings. Sometimes, I will make a huge salad with lots of vegetables and a protein like grilled chicken, hard-boiled egg, or black beans or all three!

Here I have a list of my favorite healthy meals:

Breakfast:

Overnight oatmeal

Perfect for those on-the-go (Combine first three ingredients the night before, stir and cover until the morning. Add last three ingredients when ready to eat)

  • 1/3 cup of old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 container of flavored greek yogurt (my favorite is Chobani)
  • A few splashes of almond milk
  •  Fruit (strawberries, apple, banana) added in the AM
  • Peanut or almond butter added in the AM
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon added in the AM

Breakfast #2:

  • 2 scrambled eggs or egg whites
  • 1 piece of 100% whole-wheat toast with 1 Tbsp. of natural peanut butter, almond butter, or crunchy SunButter  -OR- 2 slices of natural low-sodium turkey bacon
  • A piece of fruit (my favorite for breakfast are an apple or half of a banana)

Lunch:

Pack-n-go sandwich

  • Turkey or grilled chicken sandwich or wrap with spinach, tomato, onion, etc. and mustard(toast bread to avoid sogginess)
  • A serving of Kashi TLC crackers with roasted red pepper hummus -OR- fresh carrots and broccoli florets -OR- a simple side salad
  • A clementine

Lunch #2:
Vegetable medley
  • Roast vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, butternut squash)
  • Pair with pre-cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • Add grilled chicken, canned tuna or salmon
  • Top with low-fat cheese (I use part-skim mozzarella or Laughing Cow light cheese)

Supper:
Easy quesidilla 
  • 2 whole-wheat tortillas
  • Grilled chicken(the size of the palm of your hand), black beans, brown rice, lettuce, salsa, low-fat cheese, fresh cilantro and plain greek yogurt sandwiched in between the two tortillas
  • Cooked in skillet with olive or canola oil cooking spray
  • Side salad

Supper #2 and many more: 

The smallest changes make the biggest differences! Substituting diet coke for water, turkey bacon for full-fat, lean ground turkey in spaghetti or burgers, Earth Balance or Smart Balance for butter, whole grains for enriched, etc. Read food labels, research, educate yourself and appreciate the healthy and wholesome foods that fuels your body for energy and activity.

P.S. Check back soon for a re-cap on what I buy at the grocery store and my typical grocery list and expenses.

Grown-up bagel bite

On my ride home from class tonight I had one thing on my mind: pizza. I didn’t have any pre-made dough and I definitely wasn’t waiting for another hour or longer to eat so I took a step into my childhood. Except I made it just a tad bit healthier. BAGEL BITES!!

I used a light 100% whole-wheat english muffin (Thomas brand), marinara sauce, one slice of turkey bacon, chopped green pepper, sliced mushrooms, a chopped roma tomato, mozzarella cheese and crumbled feta. 10 minutes at 375 F and you have a tasty bite! I actually cooked a total of 2 english muffins (4 halves) so I can have cold pizza for lunch tomorrow, yum!

On the side: a greek(ish) salad. Romaine mix, green pepper, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, crumbled feta and light parmesan asiago balsamic vinaigrette!

Last week and this week has been a bit hectic and I’m still settling into my schedule. I hope to post more often throughout the semester focusing on specific workouts and on-the-go lunches and dinners. I pack my lunch 4 times a week and my dinner once. Oh, she classy huh? Have a great night!!

Rollin’ with It

The punches that is.

On the way to school this morning, I noticed a few wet spots on my pants from where my bookbag was sitting in my lap. I figured it was from where my bookbag was placed down on the ground while I was waiting on the MARTA (Atlanta’s rail and bus system) and I thought nothing else of it.

After arriving to class twenty minutes late, I reached into my bookbag for my notebook to copy down my notes for the class. At the bottom of the notebook, there was a very dark and damp liquid stain. I immediately knew what it was and quickly zipped up my bag.

Doing what any 1990’s baby, now 21st century young adult would do, I unlocked my handy-dandy iPhone to write type the notes I needed. Sometimes, you just gotta go with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              

An hour and fifteen minutes later, class ended and I found the nearest restroom to clean out the bottom of my bookbag. I always pack my lunch the night before I have class and put it in my bookbag. Apparently, the black beans and tomatillo salsa from my left-0ver salad I had from Willy’s thought it was a good idea to party in my bookbag. A black bean soaked bookbag, half of a delicious salad and a notebook in the garbage later my lunch is looking like a jar of peanut butter and an apple. Sometimes, you just got to roll with it.

 

I managed to find lunch in the coffee shop at my school’s library and ordered the Meditteranean Veggie Deluxe (spring mix, hummus, green and red pepper, olives, cucumber, and basil.) The apple and peanut butter jar? I attempted to slice the apple with a plastic knife and dip the pieces into a big fat jar. People around me must think I’m a crazy food blogger. Oh wait. Sometimes….. you just gotta roll with it.

What I Ate Wednesday + Werk Wednesday

For some reason I thought it was necessary to put Wednesday in the title twice. What day is it again? Doy.

For Werk Wednesday, try out a fitness class. Whether it be at your local gym or school, you will be guaranteed a quality work-out and will be motivated to give it your best the whole time. Most gyms have a variety of classes to incorporating dance (think Zumba, hip-hop, salsa) to incorporating weights (BodyPump) to toning and stretching (Pilates and yoga.) Find out which one you enjoy best, and take it! Fitness classes are probably my favorite work-out. I AM ITCHING FOR THEM TO START BACK NEXT WEEK!!!

On to What I Ate Wednesday here and there and everywhere:


2 pieces of toasted 100% whole-wheat bread. a Laughing Cow creamy swiss cheese wedge. spoonful of blackberry jam. sautéed vegetables and two eggs scrambled at the last minute of cooking.

3 new Chobani flavors! apple cinnamon (yum!). blood orange (yum!). passion fruit (tba when tasted!).

grilled chicken quesadilla ( chicken tenderlions, green pepper, onions, mushrooms, black beans, 1/2 of a whole-wheat tortilla). homemade guacamole courtesy of my boy.

over-priced hibachi take-out. i haven’t had hibachi OR salmon in forever, so i was excited! the other half is for lunch today!

so ridiculously easy, but you would never know it. brussel sprouts, broccoli, & cauliflower drizzled in olive oil and S+P roasted at 450 F  for 10 min. 2 pieces of turkey bacon. sprinkle of parmesan.

As always, thanks to the wonderful Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting this WIAW partay. Check out her blog for awesome crafts, eats and recipes and the WIAW page for eats from TONS of other bloggers!

And afterwards, do some WERK(sweat, move, dance, run) on this Werk Wednesday, eat properly to fuel your body, be happy and stay cool. Holla!

Back to school, back to school

to prove to Daddy (and myself, future clients and employers) I’m not a fool.

I’m always running late. With classes starting earlier this semester than my usual schedule, I have to be prepared for the next day the night before. I pack a lunch, work-out clothes and shower things(if I choose to shower after my work-out or fitness class.) Since I plan my schedule around the fitness classes I take (because I love them so much) I always allow myself enough time in between classes to squeeze in my work-out, rest time, and a quick lunch.

Last night, on 3 sticky-pads I wrote down “quick n’ healthy” breakfast and lunch items for the weekdays. One of my breakfast options was egg whites+ avocado on toast.

Toppings included: Mozzarella cheese and cracked black pepper. Twas’ very delicious and I have a feeling this combination will be repeated over and over again. Kept me full for so long! <– very important

Clementine on the side! For those of you returning to school and/or work, hope everything goes smoothly and it is a great day!

P.S. I hope to do a post very soon on “quick n’ healthy” breakfast and lunch option for you busy-bees.

Rainy, gloomy, lazy

It’s a rainy day over my way. I have no plans. Classes start tomorrow and I will be relaxing all day.

This morning I cooked chocolate-chip bacon(!!!) pancakes for brunch. Toppings included: frozen banana bits and pure maple syrup.

Hopefully classes beginning tomorrow will break my habit of all day sweatpants-wearing and couch-lounging that I have developed lately.

See you guys later. I have a date with the couch for football and dessert. Falcons and Burt’s Bees Honey & Lemon throat drops.