add FLAVOR, hold the rest

healthy food has PLENTY of flavor!! i know mine does!  i like to switch up my seasonings often to keep the flavors new and different without altering the nutritional stats of my meal.  after all, i'll be eating the same things for a few more weeks.

 just a small section of my flavor arsenal.  i do love fresh herbs best, but dried is the next best thing and lasts waaaaaaay longer.  AND these are all one dollar at HEB.

that smokehouse maple is outta this world!! i seasoned our tilapia with it just last night for dinner and it was amazing.  i also used some of the roasted garlic and herb on the sautéed zucchini i served with it.  scrumptious. see?

i instagrammed my  clean, balanced, flavor-filled lunch today:

it was roasted chicken breast, oven-roasted sweet potatoes, and fresh spinach all topped with toasted pistachio nuts.

i used the montreal chicken seasoning on the breasts (and some dried parsley),

 and roasted them on 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or so.

same thing with the sweet potatoes- i roast them until they are soft to the touch.  i sometimes add cinnamon, vanilla, and some 'i can't believe it's not butter' spray and make a fancy puree for no added calories!

or, i just leave them as is.

 mustard is such a versatile condiment.  i use it to dip my chicken in, as a marinade, and as a sauce.  and you guessed it- it doesn't add all the extra calories, sugars, and carbs that typical sauces like ketchup, bbq (LOVE IT) , and ranch do!!  i found this little gem at HEB just a few days ago:

it is CRAZY good and ZERO calories!!! (works VERY well as a fish marinade too)

 i also drizzle the spicy brown mustard  (5 calories per teaspoon)  as well as the honey mustard (10 calories per teaspoon) all over my food before devouring it.

speaking of flavor, let's talk about water.

i've said this multiple times- i am NOT a fan of drinking water when i'm just not thirsty.  blech! so i use the sugar-free, flavored packets.

 these Wylers packs are just 1 dollar at Walmart and HEB and 10 calories per serving.    i actually split up one packet between two 16 oz water bottles cause it's a little strong for me.  drinking one of these things curbs my sugar craving completely.  BIG help.  speaking of sugar cravings, they are GONZO!!!  but i'll get back to that in my next bodybuilding progress post ;)

 make a few ahead of time and put them in the fridge.  s/n- i thought the cherry limeade flavor would some how resemble the sonic drink but boooooy was i wrong!  try'em and see what you think though.

what's your favorite dipping sauce?  i used to put the buttermilk ranch dipping sauce from Jack In The Box on EVERYTHING :shock:


only the best, ever.

ooooh if only i could only post every day!! life would be grand.  but no, my little one is not having that.  aaaand as luck would have it, my HP laptop quit on me. makes it that much more difficult to keep up with this thing.  however, i'm committed and i'm gonna keep on trucking. this concludes my pity party. breakfast was my usual bowl of oats and egg white omelette with cheese.  i had an oval apple for my mid morning snack- yeah it didn't look like an apple to me either. Central Market was sampling them this past weekend and they tasted like a mixture of apple and pear to me! so, i got a pair.

i also got some fresh whole wheat tortillas while there.  I threw some skinless chicken breasts and ranch dressing mix into my crock pot last night, so this morning we woke up to our lunch all ready to go.  gotta love that thing. today's lunch- a whole wheat, ranch chicken wrap!

i added about a tablespoon of mashed avocado, some cilantro, half a tomato, and half of a laughing cow cheese wheel. nope, no lettuce:(

we'll be eating the rest of that chicken for dinner tonight for sure. i'll have to come up with a creative way to serve it and get back to ya.

 one more thing about CM,  i MUST tell you about this popcorn Sonny and i were introduced to on V-day last month during the chocolate festival.  it's only the best i've ever had, no big deal.  i was already hooked on Popcorn, Indiana's kettle corn, but  now....oh but now.  i went to CM that very same weekend just to get some more bags... only there was not a bag in sight. the shelf was completely cleared out. i was so bummed, but i completely understood.  sooooo when i stopped by CM this past weekend for lunch with my mom, you know i checked for it again. and hello, it was on sale- 2 bags for 4 bucks!!!!! i got two and so did my mom.

ignore the ash on my hand and focus on the chocolate chips on that kernel!! seriously good.

this drizzled chocolate popcorn is definitely an indulgent snack.  i mean it even says it on the bag:)

hope you have a fab monday and an even better week!!

 what's one of your favorite indulgent snacks?


90 mins in the saddle

my hat goes off to MS150 (150 mile bike ride from houston to austin, tx) participants and pretty much cyclist EVERYWHERE as i barely got through the 1.5 hr. spinning class i took this afternoon.  and don't even let me get started on that bike seat, my goodness.  once you get past that (it really shouldn't bother you anymore after the first few times) the positives totally outweigh the negatives and the benefits of cycling are pretty awesome.  i don't own a performance bike yet, but i do a cycle class (also referred to as spin) 3 or 4 times a month to shock my body, change up my workout, and to keep from plateauing.  also, it's:

i don't know any unicyclers, but i love how this chart shows various body weights and different types of cycling. the more detail, the better.

Activity (1 hour)
130 lb
155 lb
180 lb
205 lb
Cycling, mountain bike, bmx
Cycling, <10 mph, leisure bicycling
Cycling, >20 mph, racing
Cycling, 10-11.9 mph, light
Cycling, 12-13.9 mph, moderate
Cycling, 14-15.9 mph, vigorous
Cycling, 16-19 mph, very fast, racing
Stationary cycling, very light
Stationary cycling, light
Stationary cycling, moderate
Stationary cycling, vigorous
Stationary cycling, very vigorous

looking to slim down overall?  mix up your workouts and try spinning as your cardio component sometimes.  don't worry, you don't have to go buy those special cycling shoes if you don't want to.

 most gyms have the bikes with the dual pedal, so you can't use that excuse.  just go try the class!

i went grocery shopping with my mom and aunt yesterday (hey, it's what we do) so i have a fridge full of goodies.  this morning before church i had a small bowl of yogurt with some blackberries, almonds, pumpkin flax granola from WF, and my prenatal vitamin.  didn't need any honey as the granola was sweet enough.

but back to our grocery shopping trip yesterday-  HEB had this awesome soup we sampled and i snagged the recipe card for it:

it was so, so good. creamy, cheesy, all that.  after actually reading the recipe card tho, i see why. velveeta cheese and 1 WHOLE pint of heavy cream!!! i love you regardless, but really HEB?   since they didn't supply the nutritional stats, i did them myself.

8oz of velveeta - 672 cals

1 jar of tortilla soup - 280 cals

1 can black beans - 300 cals

1 pint heavy cream - 1642 <----WOW

i haven't even added the darn chicken yet and we are already at 2894 calories.  i knew i could do better, so you know i did. i used just two chicken breasts instead of an entire bag of fajita chicken thighs (284 cals vs. 720).  i threw them in the crock pot and sprinkled them with just a little of my ranch dressing mix.  they were cooking while i was suffering in that cycle class.  after about 4 hours or so on high they were good to go as white meat normally cooks faster than dark.

 i took them out and let them cool before shredding. please know you can also pop them in a 350 deg. oven for about 45 mins or even grill them until they are cooked through evenly if you are short on time.

there's the jar of soup (280 cals), the sodium-less black beans (about 300 cals), and the half and half (71 cals for 1/2 cup).

pay no attention to that expiration date- i tasted it first L O L. i discarded all the leftover liquid from the chicken breasts, but i didn't wipe the crock pot clean. no need, as those flavor bits help to enhance the soup. i added all the ingredients back in, including the 5 laughing cow cheese wedges (175 cals total) i forgot to include in the pic.  then, i dumped in green onion and fresh cilantro.

i let it cook on high for just 1 hour so the wedges could melt- turned out as creamy and as fabulous as HEB's version, and i saved us over 600 calories a bowl. 903 vs. 277 to be exact.

topped it with some tortilla strips and pow.  (you get a free bag of strips when you buy the jarred soup.)

this will be our lunch for tomorrow- if we don't finish it all tonight!