HAPPY FIRST FULL WEEK OF 2019, GUYS!!!!!!! so. my girl Erika had an adorable, chunky, healthy, baby boy recently, and i hopped on a plane with my baby girl and mommy to see them last week.Read More
priorities ;) ! after teaching my early morning Barbell Strength class, i sped over to Whole Foods Market and picked up a birthday cake for Sonny!
eeeerrrrrmygash! it was a gorgeous, layered vanilla cake on the inside. italian cream icing. almonds. sugar infused strawberries.
happy birthday, papa!!! from your little minions <3 i found the boy's shirts @ Target.
i told Sonny to get up and get dressed, pack an overnight bag, and to make it snappy. a kid-free trip is what i had planned, but after my sitters and backup sitters fell through we ended up bringing the boys!
1st thing on my agenda-- FOOD. we headed to lunch and i totally did my research on this place beforehand. Sonny wanted to stay as close to his meal plan as possible but enjoy his special day, and boy did we! Jerry Built takes pride in their all natural, organic, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, grass-fed chicken and beef, they don't use trans fat or hydrogenated oils, and the produce is organic and/or local.
they get brownie points from me for presenting the food just like it's displayed on the menu and online! Sonny got the super tasty Saint Arnold burger on a baked, toasted, whole wheat bun, and swapped out the french fries for a caesar salad.
i ordered this beauty-- Jerry's Cobb. the cashier asked me immediately, 'and would you like to add grilled chicken?' which is what i planned to do. i guess that is a popular menu combo there. yall, the flavors in this thing were POPPIN'!
Chiso was very happy with his nitrate-free, angus beef hotdog, fries, and chocolate milk.
there was a giant, kid friendly chalk board towards the front of the room that Chiso wanted to leave his mark on. way cool!
neeeeext, we hit the road.
40 minutes later we arrived on Galveston Island, but not before stopping by Kroger to get baby Dego some baby Ambesol! about halfway to G-town, he let out a cry both Sonny & i had never heard before. he was in so much pain from teething and i am honestly glad the kids were with us at that point.
after some Abesol, a diaper change, and some nursing, he did a complete 180. whew.
this pic is hilarious to me because my face looked like the minion's face on the drive there, haha!
after he finished, we hit the beach. but not before grabbing something to eat downstairs at Grotto. i had plans for a nice dinner later that evening but no way we could have waited that long to eat. hunger attitudes kill good vibes every time.
Chiso was beyond excited for his first time at the beach!
i cannot WAIT to see his reaction when we go to Disney World, then!
he told me his favorite part of the day was this moment right here...making sand castles with papa.
we took a dip in the hotel pool on the way back to our room.
afterwards, we changed and got ready for dinner. we traveled about 12 minutes away from our hotel to Rudy & Paco. it was an excellent suggestion by my sister-in-law Kara! birthday boy got steak and spinach, i got the salmon & sautéed sugar-snap peas, and from the 'off the menu' kids menu, Chiso requested a grilled cheese sammich and fries.
the owner was extremely warm, welcoming, and stopped by to chat with us and to wish Sonny a happy birthday.
back to z hotel! 12 minutes away and everybody was asleep when i pulled up to the valet. we're familiar with co-sleeping at home now and then, so 4 in 1 bed was nothing new. we got up the next morning, checked out, and headed to breakfast at IHOP.
this boy ate good the entire trip, right!?
sampler platter for Sonny,
and i stuck to IHOP's Simple & Fit selections which were all under 600 calories. how can you make healthier choices while dining at IHOP? here are some of my tips:
- read the entire menu. there are sometimes specialty diet sections (gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, etc.) or sections with healthier/lighter options. All meals in IHOP's Simple & Fit section are 600 calories or less, and contain lower sodium options as well.
- peruse the kids menu. the portion sizes are sometimes perfect for adults. at IHOP, all the Just For Kids options are 600 calories or less. they are usually smaller versions of the adult plates, so you still get a bit of everything without going overboard.
- switch your syrup. IHOP uses Carey's sugar-free syrup, but you have to ask for it! most likely the syrups already out on your table are 110 calories (or higher) and 28g sugar per 1/4 cup. and who uses 1/4 cup of syrup on their pancakes!? also, nix the butter.
- use your swaps. my meal actually came with potatoes but i swapped them for fruit. you can also swap turkey bacon for pork bacon. fresh fruit is now the default side for the lunch and dinner meals instead of french fries.
- Stevia to the rescue. bring your own all natural, zero calorie Stevia to sweeten your coffee and tea with. the artificial packets already on the table will never compare nor will they do your body any good: Splenda - yellow, Equal - blue, Sweet N' Low - pink.
- IHOP's nutritional stats are finally listed online and are updated frequently (they were one of the last restaurant chains to release this info), so take a peek ahead of time or while you're waiting to order your food. utilize your resources; the info is right there for you!
- chiiiiiiiill. don't stress or get apprehensive about dining out. chances are there is something on the menu for you! even if the menu is set, you can simply ask for your dish to be made your way.
best picks: 600 cals or less (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Simple & Fit Spinach, Mushroom & Tomato Omelette w/ fresh fruit (330 cals, 12g fat, 690mg sodium)
- Simple & Fit Veggie Omelette w/ fresh fruit (310 cals, 12g fat, 750mg sodium)
- Simple & Fit Banana & Brown Sugar Bowl (260 cals, 5g fat, 35mg sodium, 5g fiber, 20g sugar, 7g protein)
- Simple & Fit Fresh Fruit & Yogurt Bowl (320 cals, 3g fat, 45mg sodium, 73g carbs, 7g fiber, 19g sugar, 25g protein)
- Simple & Fit Fruit Bowl (130 cals, 0g fat)
- Simple & Fit Blueberry Harbest Grain 'N Nut Combo (560 cals, 23g fat, 1040mg sodium, 64g carbs, 8g fiber, 21g sugar, 25g protein)
- Simple & Fit Turkey Bacon Omelette (420 cals, 20g fat, 720mg sodium, 25g carbs, 2g fiber, 17g sugar, 38g protein)
- Simple & Fit Whole Wheat French Toast Combo (490 cals, 15g fat, 930mg sodium, 56 carbs, 5g fiber, 23g sugar, 33g protein)
- Simple & Fit Two-Egg Breakfast (350 cals, 9g fat, 44g carbs, 25g protein)
- Simple & Fit Two X Two X Two (400 cals, 12g fat, 1450mg sodium, 48 carbs, 3g fiber, 10g sugar, 25g protein)
- Simple & Fit Grilled Balsamic-Glazed Chicken (440 cals, 22g fat, 940mg sodium, 25g carbs, 8g fiber, 13g sugar, 39g protein)
- Simple & Fit Grilled Tilapia (489 cals, 23g fat, 1270mg sodium, 27g carbs, 8g fiber, 14g sugar, 49g protein)
- Simple & Fit Take Two Combo w. Half Turkey Sandwich & Fresh Fruit (290 cals, 18g fat (nix the mayo!!!)
- Simple & Fit Mixed Greens House Salad w/ Reduced Fat Italian (40 cals, 1.5g fat, 120 mg sodium, 6g carbs, 2g fiber)
if you didn't katch our Periscope vid explaining some of the above info, watch it here.
thanks for reading and HAAAY MONDAY!
Q: have you ever ordered from the Simple & Fit section @ IHOP?
TJ's is such a fun specialty store! they walk to the beat of their own drum. i stopped by there yesterday and picked up a few healthy travel snacks ( hellooooo wedding anni #8!) and also some things that looked too interestingly tasty to pass up:
boo-yaaaaah! i exercised a little restraint and didn't get any chocolate. yet.
- Trader Joe's Roasted Plantain Chips - one of my guilty pleasures!
- Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa - salsa + eggs = :)
- Creamy Sun Butter - hey there, portion control! both my boys eat this stuff right off a spoon. it's basically roasted sunflower seeds. so yummy. it's nut-free if you or any of your loved ones have nut allergies.
- Trader Joe's Freeze Dried Raspberries - so i picked up every single pack of freeze-dried fruit they had and the raspberries had the lowest amount of sugar per serving @ 12 grams. the serving size is one whole bag though and how about that fiber count-- 11 grams per serving!
- Trader Joe's Wild King Salmon Jerky - high protein, non-refrigerated snack. turkey jerky is great too.
- Organic Sriracha Ranch Dressing - i knew my hubby would FLIP once he saw this! two of his fave things combined in one.
- Coconut Oil Spray & Olive Oil Spray - i don't normally use oil to cook, so these are perfect.
healthy eating travel tips:
- a lil' planning goes a long way.
- never let yourself get too hungry between meals! keeping snacks on you saves money and keeps your hunger attitude at bay.
- they never give you enough snacks on the plane anyway!
- are you even hungry.... or just thirsty? guzzle your water every chance you get.
- protein rich, non-refrigerated, and/or nutrient rich snacks that won't leak or get smashed in your bags are best. examples:
- low sodium turkey, salmon, beef jerky
- roasted, unsalted raw mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts)
- single serving nut butter packets
- Modern Oats for a healthy breakfast
- fresh or freeze-dried fruit (apples, bananas, raisins, avocados, halos),
- raw veggies (carrots, red bell pepper, broccoli)
- rice cakes
- Quest Bars
- Stevia packets
- Magic Pop
- whole grain, air popped popcorn
- take a cooler bag (or actual cooler) for refrigerated snacks like:
- babybel / string cheese
- unsweetened applesauce
- pre-cut fruit
- hummus/pretzel combo single serving
- greek yogurt
found some new mustard i'm lovin' on! they are from HEB and were 2 for 3 bucks. the whole grain one is DELISH on top of fish.
so i made some for dinner! fresh steel head trout was on sale as well and came home with us. i used South African Smoke seasoning & coconut aminos from Trader Joe's on it, and i bake it the same way i bake salmon-- high heat (450 degrees) @ 5-7 min per lb.
someone missed their first official day of school! my hubby is very proud of the fact that he had perfect attendance from preschool through high school. crazy!! anyway, apparently there's a stomach virus going around that got the best of him. we sure do miss the Sprout channel's Summer Family Movie Night, but we watched his fave shows while he ate Trader Joe's (how many times can you say Trader Joe's in one post :D) turkey corn dogs, Go-Go Squeeze applesauce, and strawberry magic pop on the couch. enjoy your friday night too, fit friends!
Q: the very last trip you took on a plane....where did you go?
for the past 8 days Chiso has asked me the following every.single.day:
when is papa coming home?
when does Nigeria close so Papa can come home?
why is it always night-time in Nigeria?
can we Skype Papa?
where is Papa?
why isn't Papa answering?
are you making (food) for Papa too?
can i save the rest of my food for Papa when he gets home?
well thanks be to God that Papa is home from his work trip.
my boo coming home put me in a cooking mood! ok i'm almost always in a cooking mood but today was special. i had a taste for some enchiladas. healthy enchiladas. Chicken Fajita Spinach & Mushroom Enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce. yaz.
i used boneless, skinless chicken breast, but you can also use lean beef, you bet. i diced up the veggies, chopped up the chicken,
assembled my spice mixture,
then made the enchilada sauce! this can certainly be made ahead of time.
Healthy, Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 1 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt or 2 tbsp Liquid Aminos
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 - 15oz can low sodium tomato sauce
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
- heat EVOO in sauce pan over medium heat
- add diced onion and saute until translucent; about 3-5 minutes
- add in chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, and cocoa powder; cook for 2-3 minutes while continuing to stir
- add in tomato sauce & chicken stock and simmer mixture for approx. 10 minutes
- remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes before adding mixture to your blender or food processor.
- blend until super smooth!
recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated.
this'll taste even better the next day once the flavors elope in the fridge.
i only had 2.5 La Tortilla Factory (i mostly use this variety; there are SO many!) tortillas left SMH! i wasn't about to leave and go to the store, so i halved them and made 5 mini enchiladas so i could fill my mini rectangle pan. you will make enough chicken mixture to cram full 8 regular size tortillas (or more) so don't you worry. i put in about 2 heaping tbsp of chicken mixture and a pinch of 2% mozzarella inside before rolling them up. ok here's that recipe:
Chicken Fajita Spinach & Mushroom Enchiladas
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed or cut into strips
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1-2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt OR 2 tbsp Liquid Aminos
- 8 low carb, high fiber La Tortilla Factory 70 cal flour tortillas
- 2 cups homemade enchilada sauce (recipe above)
- 2 cups shredded 2% cheese or dairy-free almond or rice cheese...it's your call
- optional toppings: fresh cilantro, avocado, tomato, olives, cheese, green onion, more chicken mixture.
- preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13'' pan with no-stick cooking spray
- add 1 tbsp EVOO to medium heated skillet
- add chicken; cook 5-7 min or until cooked through
- remove from skillet and set aside
- add last tbsp of EVOO to your skillet
- add bell peppers and onions and cook until tender and charred, about 8-10 minutes
- add chicken and spice mixture all at once into your skillet and combine
- add mushrooms and spinach and combine once more; cook for 2-3 more minutes
- spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce evenly across the bottom of your baking pan
- fill each tortilla with 1/4 cup of filling and 2 tbsp of shredded cheese of your choice. remember to save some filling for your topping if you desire.
- roll them up and place them into your baking dish, seam side down.
- pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the filled tortillas, then top with remaining cheese.
- bake in over for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.
- take out and top with your desired goodies! the olives don't really make sense lol and i wanted some tomatoes on top for color but i didn't have any.
enjoy this family friendly, healthy meal with your loved ones! take pics and tag me!
now to catch up on that lost family time. happy early MLK Day! hollerrrrrr
why yes, yes there is :lol:
alright, i'm giving the blog-as-i-go thing a try for a few days- i have a ton of pics, but some of them are in my phone, and some in my camera. and guess who left their camera usb adapter at home? i always forget one thing when i travel, and well, this time it's that darn cord. SO, instead of waiting until i get home and doing one big post like i normally do, i'm bloggin' what i got so far minus a few camera pics. Chiso's taking a nap and i'm bored.
we are in the fabulous Las Vegas, NV for Musclemania Fitness AmericaWeekend - Sonny is competing in his last show of the year!
Chiso was NOT feeling his first plane ride. i'm hoping and praying the return flight is a million times better. our plane touched down around midnight, and after getting our luggage, renting a car, etc., we finally made it to our hotel, tired & hoongry.
Matt & Sonny had an after-the-club breakfast in the hotel cafe,
and they brought mine up to the room since Chiso needed to be put down for bed immediately. i had whole wheat toast, egg whites, hash browns, and the saltiest piece of ham on earth :shock:
energized after some much needed rest, we were ready to get into something the next day. while Sonny attended meetings, waited in super long lines (he's somewhere under that water slide)
does media interviews, take pics and all that jazz,
Chiso, uncle Thew,
hit the strip!
i justified our Whole Foods trip by scoping out the room service menu for kicks like i always do and ummmmm..... half a grapefruit for 3.75? only in vegas.
1st up, we fueled up for all the walking we were about to do!
of course i had a sandwich.
whole wheat, grilled chicken, avocado, tomato, cucumbers, mushrooms, provolone cheese, and stone ground mustard, pressed. classic!
let the walking begin!
we saw the famous welcome to las Vegas sign, the m&m store, the underground forum shoppes in Caesars Palace, fashion show mall... the usual, lol! we also stopped at The Bellagio to catch the water show and have dessert.
Chi watched and sat still like a big boy for the entire performance. he deserved a standing ovation from Mommy!
or some sugar-free strawberry gelato, that works too.
Matt got a 3 layer mini cheesecake that was so creamy.
oh just eat it already.
after more walking, we headed back to the hotel for dinner @ The Grotto.
no idea what kinda bread this was but it was so moist and chewy on the inside, and crunchy on the outside.
and i got the seared ahi tuna with grilled red potatoes, asparagus, french green beans, red & yellow tomatoes, and a boiled egg. the host hotel restaurants have special menus just for fitness america weekend, and i ordered from that since i knew it would be super clean and healthy. even still, most restaurants will accommodate your requests (omit oil, butter, dressing on the side, etc.) if you just ASK!
aaand i ended the day with a bed time snack that Sonny can't have yet-
ok that went fairly well- i'll try again during the next nap.