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Tag Archives: Optimum Nutrition

Salad Momma.

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Breakfast was another success, thanks to Quaker 🙂  I think I can officially consider them one of my favorite companies.

1/3 C. old fashioned oats, 1 egg white, sugar free vanilla Torani, 1/2 smashed banana, and 1/4 C. frozen bloobs

After microwaving the oatty cake until it was cooked though, I put the bloobs in and microwaved again until they were thawed. 

Next, I added the icing which was made from 1/2 scoop vanilla Optimum Nutrition protein powder and thinned with water.

It was a breakfast fit for a queen!  Like a mix betweena a blueberry and banana muffin!

The warm oats warmed me to the bone, just before heading out to face the cold walk to work.  Luckily, my little sis is a sweetheart and starts my car for me everyday before she gets picked up for school.  My Dad says it’s best that the engine has some time to warm up when it’s this cold outside.

Coffee doesn’t hurt either 😉

Work isn’t bad.  Not much else to say about it though.  It’s not very “exciting” work.  Lots of paperwork and processing since I’m in human resources.

Two slices of Arnold’s 10 grain bread; One with forty spices hummus, sliced turkey, tomato, and alfalfa sprouts; One with 1 tbsp. fat free cream cheese, a smear of fat free ricotta cheese, and no sugar added apple butter.  On the side, a can of cut green beans.

I mostly just look forward to lunchtime and 4PM when I get to leave and head to the gym.

This snack bag fueled me through a 2 and 1/2 hour workout!  It contained a 100 calorie pack of cocoa roasted almonds, 1/2 banana, and some dried, unsweetened apple rings from Oh Nuts!

Practice is back to the original time (5PM-7PM), so I’ve got a whole hour to waste in the fitness room before it starts.  I just did 20 minutes light cardio on the Cross Ramp and then some ab work on the floor mats.  The end result, practice included?  1012 calories burned, 180 max hr.

1/3 C. oats + 1 egg white + sugar free vanilla Torani + cinnamon microwaved for 2 min. until cooked and topped with 1 tsp. fat free cream cheese & sugar free boysenberry jam

That little beauty was consumed upon my arrival home until I had time to throw together a beastly dinner salad which was inspired by my love for Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar.

Get ready for this massive list of ingredients cause it’s comin’ atcha…annnnnd go:

Baby spinach, broccoli, raw zucchini fries, sliced beets, diced cukes, baby carrots (halved), canned sweet peas, fat free cottage cheese, chickpeas, and dressed up in some Fat Free Vidalia Onion dressing with beet juice.

Yes, I was quite a proud salad momma 🙂  With some NewTree chocolate for good measure.

Dessert came in liquid form and was slurped out of this adorable tall glass that we picked up on our many adventures across the country.  This one in particular came from the Old Spaghetti Factory out in Kansas where my sisters’ basketball team was playing in a National Tournament.

It may not look like much, but this PROTEIN PINA COLADA put me over the edge into an “uncomfortably full” feeling. 

3/4 scoop vanilla Optimum Nutrition protein, 1/2 C. canned crushed pineapple in juice, 1/3 C. fat free milk, 3 ice cubes, 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut, and 1 butt of a banana.

It was amaaaaaazing.  Super creamy and frothy.

I facebooked and video chatted for the first time last night!  My friend, Kirk sent me an invitation to download the “Tango” app on my droid.  It’s SWEEET.  Try it out!

Have you ever used video chat or Skype?  What do you thinK?  Pro’s, con’s?

XO.

What Love Really Means.

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I didn’t have the time yesterday to share with you the entire story behind my history mid-term the other day…You see, as I said, I went into the test feeling super prepared…but I came out of the room almost in tears.  You know that feeling you get when you can almost PICTURE your study guide in front of you, but you can’t seem to remember EXACTLY what was on it.  Then you get yourself frazzled and freak out, causing you to lose focus and REALLY get yourself confused.  It’s hard to put things in perspective when you feel like an ultimate failure.  I don’t know about you, but I have this SERIOUS need to “measure up”…I have this unreasonable expectation to be the best at everything, and maintaining less than a 4.0 would be unexceptable.  What happened the FIRST time I went to school was my worst fear…FAILURE. 

As I left, the only thing I was thinking was how the test grade would kill my average in the class (currently a 90%).  I know I didn’t FAIL the mid-term, but I certainly didn’t do as well as I should’ve.  Anyway, I got into my car and drove home, allowing time for the tears to really well up in my eyes.  Not two seconds into my commute home,  I hear JJ Heller come on the radio.  She’s one of my favorite Christian artists, and I knew that God was sending me a message through her.  More like hitting me in the head with it, actually 🙂  I LOVE it when He does that, because sometimes, I’m too dense and caught up in my own problems to see Him at work.  Her song, “What Love Really Means” is the most AMAZING reminder that no matter where you find yourself, God loves you for YOU.  This would be a wonderful contribution to the Operation Beautiful page!!!  Listen to the song here.

Anywho, my breakfast was courtesy of Udi’s Gluten-free Granola.

Gluten Free Original Granola

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No good shots, because I was grabbing handfuls on my way out the door, buttt I can tell you this stuff is AWESOME.  Not missing the gluten at ALL.

What all is in the original? Good stuff.

Ingredients: Certified Gluten Free Oats, Wildflower Honey, Canola Oil, Raisins, Banana Chips, Walnuts, Cashews, Almonds and Pistachios

This combination is stellarrr.  And for protein to accompany my carbs this morning, I chose a Chocolate Mint Protein Shakee from Optimum Nutrition.

1 scoop protein powder, 4 ice cubes, sugar-free chocolate syrup

I knew I’d need these 24g of protein & yummy fatty carbs to hold me over throughout the morning, since I was volunteering at the flu shot clinic at work until 12PM, so there would be no time for snacks.

After a few hours of needles, paperwork, and band aids, I was craving what I had packed for lunch.  I’m really digging the fact that I’m not JUST packing the same old sandwiches everyday

2 slices of The Baker Honey Wheat bread, but can you guess what’s inside?

How about now?

Okay, okay, I’ll tell you.  First off, if you’ve never had sweet peas mashed into a sandwich (canned is my preference!), TRY it now.  That is an order 🙂  That’s what’s on the left slice.  On the right, we have a wedge of Sonoma Jack’s Pepperjack cheese topped with 1 egg + 1 white microwaved (using the pour & poke method).

With my sandwich, I had a gorgeous medley of fresh cut veggies including baby carrots, yellow pepper, red pepper, cherry tomato, cucumber, and green pepper all dressed up in Annie’s Fat Free Mango dressing.

Andddd later in the afternoon, I dug into this glorious piece of tupperware

1/2 red delicious apple & 1/4 butternut squash microwaved in some sugar free almond syrup + cinnamon

Other snacks included a lil bitta chocolate

in almond form 🙂

After work and before the workOUT, also hadda Chiquitaaa.

with a sketchy sticker…I like the ones with little messages better….like “I’m good for you!”

I went into the fitness room and read some “People” magazine while I jammed to my ipod and used the Cross Ramp.  After the fitness center, I had basketball practice from 5 until 6:30 when I had to leave to shower before class.

983 calories; 180 max hr; 2 hours 20 min.

Oh yeah, then I demolished my packed dinner from my car before class.

Black bean & Forty Spices hummus sammich on honey wheat

Grrrrr.  It gets dark at like 6Pm anymore, so these photos were only visible by the grace of my “map lights” in the car.  Not to mention, they were hustled because I had to be in class by 7 which gives me a 1/2 hour to shower, dress, look presentable, eat, and walk to class.  Fun times.

Roasted green beans & brococli in nooch

And with that, I hobbled to class.  I may not understand the vertical/horizontal shifts/stretches, but I do understand the algebraic things we’re doing with the functions now.  Praise God.  🙂

After class, dessert was obvious.  I had a waning container of NSA fat-free vanilla ice cream that was calling out to me from the freezer.

Topped with caramel sugar-free Log Cabin

And a vita brownie for good measure  😉 

I may or may not have also consumed a handful or two of granola before bed…GAH this stuff is DANGEROUS in my house!!

BEFORE I GO!  Here’s the winner of the Kroeger Herb giveaway I had awhile back!!

CONGRATS, Kelsey! Please send me your mailing address and phone number @ freckledfoodielove@gmail.com so I can get your prize shipped to you!

What are your exciting Halloween plans?  Are you dressing up?!

XO.

Becoming A Protein Powder Guru.

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I recently received a lot of mail asking about all the mentioned protein powders that I use.  I know that it can be confusing as to when to use which type of protein and what all of the differences are between them, so I decided to dedicate a post to just that 🙂  Thankfully, when I had questions, my buddy at Optimum Nutrition, Tim, could help me out!  He knows his stuff and this company has ALWAYS served me well in the past.  Their products are great!

Personally, I am a huge fan of protein powders.  They make it possible to enjoy low calorie dessert-like foods like protein ice cream, protein cookie dough, and protein brownie batter, without the extra fat and cholesterol.  Not to mention, they’re great for muscle repair and maintenance.  At times, I was unsure about which types to use when.  There are so many different options!  Tim explained to me that the differences between proteins are mainly the rate at which they are digested.

Casein, Whey, Soy, Egg, and Brown Rice protein powders are all out there.

Whey protein is the most commonly used protein powder and is fast acting, releasing amino acids almost immediately.  Derived from milk, Whey provides amino acids to the body for 2-3 hours.  Use is typical for a quick protein fix to renew muscles immediately following a workout.  My favorite?  Cake Batter from Optimum Nutrition!

Casein Protein is a much slower digesting protein source that continues to release amino acids for up to 7 hours!  It’s nickname, “PM Protein” is commonly used because it’s recommended to use before bed to prevent the breakdown of our muscle tissue while we sleep!  Casein proteins are also pH sensitive and gel in the acidic environment of the stomach.   It’s much thicker than whey protein, which I loved!  I have yet to try a flavor that I’m absolutely smitten with, but Cookies N’ Cream from Optimum Nutrition isn’t bad! 

 

Soy Protein is a great option for vegetarians and women in particular.  Optimum Nutrition’s is specifically formulated to meet the FDA’s heart-healthy claim for soy in just one serving.  It is lactose and cholestrol free along with being non-GMO.  You can use it in protein pancakes and baked goods to up the protein!  I have yet to try Optimum Nutrition’s, so I can’t rave about any of the flavors.

Egg Protein is another one on the market that is great for baking, but is also wonderful simply mixed with a spoon & water or milk.  One serving of Optimum Nutrition’s Egg Protein is equivalent to seven whole egg whites and provides a complete profile of Essential Amino Acids, Branched Chain Amino Acids and Glutamic Acid.  Great for those of your watching your carbs!

Here’s a nutritional comparison for all those in question!

Looks to me, like Casein is superior, with egg protein coming in a close second!  I can’t wait to try it in other flavors so I have a favorite to report back to you all! 

Any more questions?  Don’t be afraid to ask!  If I don’t know the answer, I’ll bet Tim does!  He’s the best 🙂

Three 4 Three.

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Verse of the Day:

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

– Proverbs 15:1

Breakfast

There

1

are some

 
 

2

new additions

 

 
 

3

to my serveware

 Thanks to Marlin, an old family friend, who passed away about a year or so ago.  He was such an amazing man.  These were a few of his dishes that I was given the opportunity to snatch up.  Props to you, Marlin!  I’ll think of you everytime I use one 🙂

 
 

SOC.

Optimum Nutrition Cookies N’ Cream + water & ice poured over Fiber One cereal.

love the waves

Work was actually busy again.  I had quite a few things to keep me occupied until 12ish when I dug into lunch.  The circus train has officially LEFT town.  It is no longer outside my window at work. 

veggies, whole grains, & protein.

Under that pile of diced cukes, baby carrots, and celery slices, we’ve the last of my mache mix.  I’m sad to see it go!  I can’t wait to get more… For protein, I packed some black bean dip (1/2 C. baby butter & black beans + onion, vinegar, & Splenda).  Then for whole grains, I packed a 100 calorie bag of kettle corn.  Never packing just that for whole grains again.  Yummy, yes; Filling, no.  It did take me awhile to munch it all down though.

After work, I had some  chunky monkey ice cream chocolate banana softserve for a snack. 

dreamyyy.

1 frozen banana + 1 Tbsp. Hershey’s cocoa powder blended.

Gena was right, this will change your life.  I think I could eat this everyday, all day and be a happy camper.  After “mmmmm” ing aloud several times and polishing off this dish, I went downstairs to use the stationary bike for about an hour. 

I knew I didn’t wanna over-do anything exercise wise since I wanted to have lots of energy for my FIRST sand volleyball match of the summer at City Island! 

dinnah #1.

After an hour, I made a quicky dinner of 1 greek yogurt + raspberry sf syrup for dunking my deep chocolate Vitatop.

I also made a sweeeet omelette which I got the idea from this fabulous birthday girl, Janetha!!  If you missed her birthday on the 1st, make sure you wish her a happy belated! 🙂

raw.

3 egg whites + 1/2 C. ff cottage cheese + 2 Tbsp. SF apricot jelly

I didn’t feel like dirtying a frying pan, so I just microwaved it!  It turned out much better than expected, actually! SO yum.  Wish I had some cinnamon.  That totally would’ve made it better.

 
 

cooked.

Not pretty, but deliciouso!

Tomorrow is also my sister’s first day back at work since she’s done with school for the summer!  She works at the hospital and needed a packed lunch, so I hooked her up 😉  I had a little extra time & like to be busy. 

 

Skippy & homemade grape jelly on sourdough.

I planned on making a super healthy lunch and letting her use some of my Easy Lunch Box tools, but she requested PB&J with oreos & cheese in a disposable container, so her wish was my command.

Randa's lunch.

Then I headed out to meet up with Tiff, Matt, & Will for our volleyball match which started at 7:15PM.  It was beautiful weather and a perfect night for a game.  I love hanging out with Tiff.  She’s like me. SO not into girly, petty drama.

We went three for three!  Officially undefeated, thus far!  We’ve got games every Wednesday.

When I got home, I had dinner #2 since the first was very low cal & I had already burned 1/2 of it off with the biking sesh pre-volleyball.

whole grains & low fat dairy.

Next up on the menu, fruits & veggies.

taste the rainbowww.

sliced cucumber, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, & yellow pepper slices atop homemade honey mustard dressing.

 and to wash it all down

an ugly swamp monster.

a big mug of blended frozen spinach + 8 oz. Diet V8 Splash (mango) + Diet Green Tea + 6 strawberries.

things just taste better out of glass.

I felt like Popeye after this drink! Not to mention, my hair already feels healthier..Haha.

I did a little Facebooking after my shower, and started writing to my two little boys 🙂  I received my informational package from Compassion International regarding my sponsorship!!

Compassion International.

I can’t wait to get in contact with Christopher & Robbin!  I want to let them know that as their sponsor I will be praying for them and their families… I also can’t wait to get to know them!  They’re both so adorable.

The week is already 1/2 over!!  Tomorrow is FRIDAY!  WOO hoo.  To make your day even better, check out Lucky Taste Buds for  your chance to win these yummy looking pretzel thins!  I know I’ll feel alot better if I would win these SmartSole Insoles from Missy’s giveaway to work out in! 

Which meansss…

3 Question Thursday!

1. Which one of Marlin’s dishes do you like best? I think my favorite is the green wavy one with the aluminum flowery bowl coming in second place 🙂

2. What is the most valuable gift you’ve ever been given? I think the most valuable in terms of sentiment was the diamond necklace my parents gave me for my 21st birthday. 

3.  Who was it from? See above 🙂

XO.

 

 

Feel Good Friday.

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Verse of the Day:

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

– Romans 12:15

Pretty straight forward, no?

Today is all about what makes you feel good.   What makes ME feel good is starting off with a big old bowl of SOC, so that’s what I did… in a sweet Cali bowl, no less.

fiber bran cereal & optimum nutrition + water & ice.

Know what else makes me feel good?  CoffeeLots.  So I sipped on a cup at my desk at work.  This was no Birthday Cake coffee, but it did the job.  At about 12:05 PM, I dug into lunch which was packed the night prior.

Fiber Gourmet is feel good food, too.

 1 Serving Fiber Gourmet rotini, melted with 1 wedge Sonoma Jack’s light cheese, a spoonful of Oikos, and a spoonful of light canned Tuna (in water) mixed with whole green beans for extra veggie power.  On the side, I diced some cherry tomatoes & cukes drizzled raspberry vinaigrette made with sf raspberry syrup & vinegar.

About the time I got off work, I was meeting a friend for a shopping adventure (to use up some OVERDUE giftcards) so I munched on an apple.  Munching always feels good 😉

cameo.

+ a light string cheese (50 calories) that escaped the camera.

This snack held me about 3 1/2 hoursShopping is another feel good thing for me.  Especially when I’ve got gift cards that were almost forgotten about and end up spending only about $12 🙂

sun dresses.

We had a lot of fun searching out some fabulous finds!  These camis were BOGO.

lace trimmed.

I also had a coupon from Vicky’s Secret for a pair of undies 😉  They will NOT shared on the blog, well because its a SECRET, duh. 

When I got home, I made some dinner.

simple & satisfying.

I steamed some broccoli in the microwave & topped it off with some nooch.   There was obv. some reduced sugar ketchup dipping that took place.

noochy greens.

Chomped on alongside of one of my fave feel good foods, a baked sweet potato mashed with SF vanilla bean syrup.

skin & all.

To wash it all down, I had a Black & Blueberry Sobe Lifewater.

I decided I wanted to get a little bit of exercise in (I had probably already walked about a mile while shopping!), so I went down to the basement and rode old faithful for about 35 minutes burning a mere 200 calories.

I realized I had some packages waiting for me when I got home, so I quickly rampaged through them with excitement.  Mail is another “feel good” thing for me 😉

the goods.

Tim from Optimum Nutrition is SO sweet.  He was totally generous and agreed to help me out when I asked him about comparing Whey protein to Casein Protein.  I’m working on a post comparing the two, completely and he sent me some Casein to try so I could experience it for myself! 🙂  I loved the Whey he sent, and couldn’t wait to try the Casein!  Full review to come along with the comparisons!

 Since I didn’t have any protein with dinner, I figured I’d get a head-start on my review!

The bars!

I tried a tiny nibble of each & then whipped up some protein Cookies N’ Cream ice cream.

1 scoop protein powder, 1 pinch xanthan gum, splash of h2o, & lots of ice

Who wouldn’t “feel good” after that kind of dessert?!  It was ALOT thicker than the Whey powder, but I won’t get into details now.   It’ll be saved for the comparison post!  VERY yummy, though!

Again, when the rest of the family got home, we all got to catch up with Daddy via Skype, which has been a total “feel good” blessing.  After all, there’s nothing like being able to say goodnight to the ones you love!  🙂

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND & Memorial Day, LOVES!  We’ll catch up on Monday!

1. What’s your favorite “feel good” food or activity? For food, I’m going to go with sweet potatoes, I think!  There’s something so warm and comforting about them.  As for an activity, I think feeling good is all about feeling alive and nothing makes me feel more invigorated than a great sweat sesh!

2. Got any exciting weekend plans? Saturday I’m headed to ArtsFest downtown with a friend & then to the circus that night.  Sunday, my friend from Texas (he’s in the Army) is coming to see me for the first time in far too long, and then we’re going to pick up my Daddy at midnight from the airport!!  Can’t wait to see him.  Monday is a family Memorial Day picnic at mi casa.
XO.

An Epic (ROOTS) Thursday.

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Verse of the Day:

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

– 1 Corinthians 1:10

Breakfast

It was an ordinary Thursday morning and nothing was standing in the way of my cereal and I

Optimum Nutrition Chocolate Mint SOC.

As I’ve said before, this is not just any other cereal.  By the time I get to work, I’ve already had about 114% of my DV Fiber 🙂 HA.  Is there such thing as fiber overdose? If so, I’m pretty much doomed.

Over our break, my boss & I hit the Farmer’s Market together.  I snagged the usual suspects: alfalfa sprouts, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, gala apples, some kiwi & peaches.

Lunch 

This is when my day became EPIC.  The generous people at Epic Roots sent me some of their beautiful, fresh mâche mixes to try out! 

I was excited by the mere look of the dramatic shapes, colors, and textures of this blend.  See what I’m talkin’ about?

look how fresh!

 Wild Arugula is officially my favorite green of choice for salad from here on out.  It’s also described as a “Mélange of sweet and spicy greens“.  The crunch of the leaves tasted so fresh…I had the absolute finest, most crisp salad base I could’ve asked for.   

the spread.

 I mixed things up again!  Thanks to the inspiration of Epic Roots & Quorn (who also sent me the most AWESOME lunchworthy goodies EVER –> Turk’y Burgers & Chick’n Cutlets!)  With grilling season just around the corner, what better proteins could a girl ask for?!

gorgeous colors, no?

 I packed some Epic Roots topped with alfalfa sprouts, some snap peas, broccoli, orange pepper, cherry tomato, and broccoli for topping my salad along with a sliced Turk’y Burger & some carby acorn squash microwaved until soft, topped with cinnamon & SF syrup!  I could NOT wait to dig into this lunch. 

Before I knew it the work day was over.  I went straight from work to meet Middle FF seester for a movie with some buds.   Our friend, Adam is visiting this week from Alaska!  We all decided to meet up for a little Russell Crowe action 😉

[source]

Good movie, but insanely long.  The movie started at 4:10PM & we didn’t get out until about 6:30ish!  I had a gala apple while I was in the theater & had some packed Oikos before I went in, but by the time I got home, my belly was rumbling!

Epic Roots to the rescue!

taste the rainbow 🙂

Eaten along side some munchie 100 calorie kettle corn from Pop Secret

dynamic duo = greens & grains.

After dinner, I was kind of bored.  It was almost 8PM, and I had missed the last One Tree Hill because of the see-off dinner for my Daddy at Fiesta Mexico.  I decided it was in my best interest to catch up on it ASAP and take advantage of my downtime by doing some biking & episode watching 🙂  HOLY COW.  SO glad I didn’t miss that one.  Hailey is out of her funk, Brooke is engaged, and Clay & Quinn are…SHOT?!?  UGH.  Drama, drama, drama.

Afterward, lunch was packed, a shower was had, and this girl collapsed in bed.

1.  How long is TOO long for a movie?

2.  What’s your favorite OTH episode?

3.  Any exciting weekend plans?

 

XO.

Daddyless 10 Days.

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Verse of the Day:

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” 

– James 3:17-18 

The airport.

So I woke up an hour early so I could see off Daddy to Nicaragua this morning.  He is going down with three other men + two guides on a missions trip with our church to help build roofs for the needy.  I have been dreading this since I heard about it, but admire his desire to serve the Lord.  He is SUCH a good man [understatement of the year]. 

all packed up.

 He will be able to text and email us, but phone time will be limited.  I got several texts assuring me that he was alright and that they made it safely, which I was grateful for.  I’m digging his Indiana Jones hat, how about you?! 

Love birds.

Momma FF was playing tough guy, and didn’t show much emotion until it was time to say goodbye, but I could tell she was nervous.  We’re a tight-knit family, so when one of us is missing, especially as vital as a person as my Daddy, we don’t feel complete.  I just keep telling myself he’ll be back in 10 days!  Please keep the guys in your prayers!! 

Breakfast was packed since I was going straight to work from the see-off.  I brought a protein shake (cake batter from Optimum Nutrition) & some Fiber Select. 

SOC packed.

Got to work around 8:20AM and lost track of time.  Before I knew it, it was time for lunch! 

  
At 12:15 PM, I dug into my packed treasures.

 

 

Mixin' it up!

I finally decided to switch up my lunch.  It’s still got a nice balance of whole grains, low-fat dairy, protein, and veggies, but I figured you’d hate me if I let you see another identical lunch.
  
We’ve got 1/2 C. egg whites mixed with 1 Tbsp. reduced sugar ketchup, minced onion, and sliced mushrooms to be wrapped up in a Light Italian Flat Out spread with Sonoma Jack’s.

 

Not real photogenic?

Along side some freshly steamed broccoli sprinkled with some GARLIC GOLD nuggets (available in my shop!!) that the company sent me to review.  Totally in love with these nuggets.  You’ll see why in my review post 😉 

gorgeous greens.

With some necessary Reduced Sugar ketchup on the side for dippage.After work, I was feeling sluggish but I knew I wanted to get in a GREAT workout seeing as how I missed going to the gym for my Monday routine due to the good-bye Fiesta.

I carbed up using this orange friend

Sweet tater mash.

Complete with sugar free vanilla syrup & cinnamon.

I changed clothes and left for the gym.

Here are my moves:

  • 65 minutes on the elliptical trianer @ levels 7-10 (about 9 miles)
  • 3 sets of 25 hip adductors (115lbs.)
  • 3 sets of 25 hip abductors (85 lbs.)
  • 1 Superman
  • 3 sets of 30 in-and-outs
  • 3 sets of 15 sit ups on the incline bench each side (total: 135)

I was feeling really tired, so I went home and whipped up some dinner, hoping that refueling would help my energy level.

My body wanted protein, but my heart wanted chocolate.  The solution?  Milk Chocolate Navy Bean Brownie Batter.

Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder is uhmazing.

 This time, I used NAVY beans instead of garbanzos & 1 tbsp. of cocoa powder instead of two.  Same stats as far as protein & fiber, but 30 less calories per serving.

Green beans.

I roasted some green beans after coating them in some Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce + SF Log Cabin (aka, I washed them, threw them in a bag with these two ingredients, and shook the crap out of the bag :)) Roasted at 380° for about 25 minutes.

perfect!

 Can you spot the snap pea that snuck into the green bean bag??

While those were roasting, I cooked up some Fiber Gourmet pasta.

Holy Fiber.

 Just 1 serving has 72% of your DV!  And seriously, who eats just 1 serving of this stuff?  It’s delish!

Clocking in.

See what I mean?!

I had about 1.5 servings mixed with red marinara sauce & some Splenda.  It tasted like Momma FF’s sweet spaghetti!

al dente noodles = carby heaven.

For dessert, I had a few bites of  SF, FF Vanilla ice cream.  Straight from the container because I’m classy like that 😉  I also sprinkled in some cocoa powder!

vanilla bean.

Twas a nice night, ended on a good note watching the Biggest Loser with da Momma.  She misses Poppa FF already…so do I!

Does anyone have any hummus recipes without using tahini that they’d mind sharing?

Happy Hump Day!

Check out this awesome Element Bars Giveaway from Hillary!

XO.

The Good Old Days.

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Verse of the Day:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

– Psalm 139:13-14

Anyone else out there find it completely incredible that the God of the Universe knows EVERY LITTLE THING about each of us, personally?  From how many hairs are on our head to our deepest, darkest secret!  The MOST amazing part of it all, is that he STILL loves us more than life itself.  Imperfections and all.  If that isn’t a humbling thought, I don’t know what is.  I just love starting my day out with a verse and devotional! 

Anyway, I was thinking the other day about how structured and mundane my everyday routine can be.  I was thinking about how in the younger years, our worries, fears and goals were so much different. 

For breakfast as a kid I would’ve had this:

toaster strudel!

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That’s right, as a kid you don’t think about the crazy amounts of sugar, fat, and proccessed stuff in your food, you just eat what tastes good!  Icing and all 😉  Typically it was raspberry or blueberry goo on the inside!  The cream cheese ones were pretty delish, too.

Nowadays, things are much different!  I fuel my body with a healthy balance of protein & carbs in the morning for optimum nutritional value.

Here was my REAL breakfast!

SOC

Smoothies over cereal are SOO much more satisfying than typical milk and cereal.  Could it be the 25g of additional protein?  I think, maybe.  All you do is mix some Optimum Nutrition protein powder with a lil’ bit of ice + water + frozen fruit and blend until creamy.  Milkshake for breakfast, anyone?

Backstreet Boys

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On the way to school work,  I jammed out to Backstreet Boys, Dream Street, N’Sync, and Britty Spears  Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline, Needtobreathe, and 33Miles while riding the bus driving.

33Miles

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Around 12 PM came lunch.  

Lunchables!

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These babies are an old favorite, which were considered “special treat” lunches, growing up.  Little did I know that the 330 calories in these measly lunches (with absolutely NO veggies), packed a whopping 19g fat (9g saturated!), 1100mg sodium (47%DV) and 65mg of cholesterol(22%DV)! 

NO more of that preservative packed crap for me!  These days, lunches are much more colorful & bright 🙂

taste the rainbowww.

Cucumber, yellow pepper, carrots, cherry tomato, broccoli, & cauliflower for the veggie power.   Homemade honeymustard with just sugar free syrup & mustard (10 calories, 0g fat, 0g sugar) for dipping, Hebrew National 97% FF hot dogs (2 @ 40 calories, 1g fat, 6g protein each), and a Light Flatout with Sonoma Jack’s cheese wedge packed with fiber and WHOLE grains.  It’s SOO much more food, too.  Completely satisfying 😉

After school work, I made my way home to have a snack

oreos & milk.

I really wanted to show a picture of Dunkaroo’s or those Cracker packs with the spreadable cheese & red stick, but I couldn’t find one!  Usually these snacks were consume while watching one of the following: Doug, Cat Dog, Saved by the Bell, or Fresh Prince 😉

Now this is a story all about how my life got flip-turned upside-down and I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air 😉

Needless to say, oreos and milk haven’t been on the menu for a longggg time.  Now, it looks a little more like this:

apple crisp!

A microwaved, diced apple drizzled with SF syrup & cinnamon.

anddddd maybe some of this:

Oikos + sf syrup & cinnamon.

Much more balanced & filling!! 

Annndddd my TV shows of choice have been King of Queens, Friends, and Ellen since it’s they’re always  on when I hit the gym after work in the cardio room.

I'll be there for youuuuu....

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After spending an hour & 5 min. on the elliptical running about 8.7 miles, with levels from 7-10 (the everyday routine!), I burned about 710 calories and my heart rate was niccee and elevated.  I left the tv room and found a comfy spot on the floor (mat involved), and did some “Superman” holds (3 @ 1 min. each), in-and-outs (3 sets of 30), and planks/pushups.

I downed about 3- 16.9oz. water bottles while at the gym.  One thing I never have trouble with is getting in the recommended amount of water per day.  I drink two 33.8oz of Clear Splash (zero calorie sparkling water) at my desk during the day.  I’m pretty much a camel.

Dinner back in the day was almost ALWAYS some type of pasta or cheesy casserole. 

Sketties.

Momma FF always used to tell us she could eat pasta everyday for the rest of her life at dinner time and be a happy lady!  I rarely eat, or crave pasta anymore.  But, when I do, it’s gotta be Fiber Gourmet, which is pretty much ahhhhmazing.

For some reason, come dinner time I have been craving steamed broccoli lately!  I don’t know why, but it has to be the FRESH instead of the steamfresh frozen baggies.  Maybe I’m low on Iron?  And reduced sugar ketchup is a MUST.  Along with some nutritional yeast.

course #1.

And then I needed some protein to restore those muscles from the gym sesh, so I mixed together a can of light tuna, some homemade honey mustard, some fresh chopped veggies (cucumber, carrot, cherry tomatoes, orange pepper) and created some TUNA SALAD.

YUM!

It really hit the spot!

After doing the dishes, packing my lunch, and grabbing a shower (none of which I did as a child…okayy….maybe showering…but only every few days 😉 haha.  I was more a fan of bubble baths (which I should re-introduce to my routine!)) I facebooked, watched CSI with my Momma and sipped on this protein shake for my dessert.

bubblyyyyy.

1 scoop Optimum Nutrition cake batter protein powder + ice + water + 4 frozen strawberries

As opposed to the classic bowl of chocolate marshmellow ice cream (probably about 2 servings!) that I used to eat as a kid.

ohh, the old days...

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Just a sugar crash waiting to happen!  No thanks!  I’ll take my protein shake anyday.

What was YOUR favorite TV show as a kid?  Probably TGIF!  I loved Boy Meets World, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and Step by Step!

Favorite childhood snack? I LOVEEEED Dunkaroo’s & Fruit by the Foot!

Happy Friday!  Today is the last day to use your coupon (GOLDTEA) for 25% off Golden Moon Tea in my shop!!

ALSO!  My giveaway of Easy Lunch Boxes will end on Monday!  Have you entered yet?!  Another awesome giveaway going on comes from IGE!  Wanna win some HEALTHIFIED Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

 

XO.

Cinco De Mayooo

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El verso del día:

“No esté preocupado por nada, pero en todo, por oración y petición, con acción de gracias, presenta sus peticiones a Dios. Y la paz de Dios, que sobrepasa toda la comprensión, protegerá los corazones y sus mentes en Jesucristo”.

– Philippians 4:6-7

Translation:

Verse of the Day:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:6-7

I figured I needed a little Mexican flare included in today’s post in honor of Cinco de Mayo 🙂 

Yesterday started out with the typical cereal & protein milk breakfast:

It’s like cereal & smoothie combined!

1 scoop Optimum Nutrition cake batter whey + ice + water + frozen strawberries mixed with my Fiber Select.  I’m sorry again, if you’re bored by my breakfast, but I love cereal! ❤

Lunch was consumed around 12:15PM at my desk.

Veggie tub.

Carrrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli & cauliflower on the bottom.

Flat Out Light, Sonoma Jacks Light, & honey mustard tuna salad.

For the tuna salad, I mixed 1/8 C. sugar free syrup with mustard, then added some diced orange pepper and about 3/4 can of light chunk tuna.  At my desk, I made a cream cheese roll up with my wedge of Sonoma Jack’s & Splenda. 

When I got home from work, I needed a snacky

carb + protein.

This snack has been winning me over these days…Oikos greek yogurt mixed with 1/8 C. sf syrup & cinnamon with a gala apple for dipping….Swoooooon 🙂

I would love to say I worked out for the next two hours, but I had bigger plans in mind.  It WAS my Dad’s birthday, and we didn’t get to have his birthday dinner last night since my Mom and sister both had softball games. I sneaked around and got some things done while he thought I was working out, since that’s what I do everyday after work!  I did go down to start biking, so he wouldn’t think anything was up, but as soon as he left to take the little sister to her game and I got to work!

Step 1: Mix the batter – added 3 eggs, 1/2 c. oil, & 1 1/4 c. water.

I also added my own SECRET ingredients!  Don’t worry Dad, I didn’t lie to you, there was no chickpeas, spinach, or hummus involved 😉  (He actually asked me before he ate it to make sure! haha)  Just some Hershey’s chocolate syrup for some extra moisture and a few chunks of Hershey’s chocolate bar stirred into the batter!  I wouldn’t be eating it, needless to say, so I just wanted to make sure it tasted delish for him.  I wasn’t too concerned about making it healthy. 

Icing: 2 c. powdered sugar, 1 tbsp. marshmellow, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, 1 tbsp. crisco, 1 tsp. vanilla, & milk (until reaches desired consistency)

My Daddy loves chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, so that’s exactly what I wanted to give him!  Poor guy didn’t have much of a birthday celebration, since he had to work all day & was running around keeping up with schedules all night .

It was SOOO hard to squeeze the icing through the TINY design tubes!

Thennnnnnn, I cleaned everything up, ran to Giant to pick up his faves: Diet Green Tea, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup ice cream, Riesins, and some sugar free cinnamon rice pudding!

I came home and made some dinner:

Steamed broccoli with Light Ragu for dipping.

I went for quick and easy since I didn’t want to clean up TWICE.   While I was waiting for the broccoli to steam in the microwave, I packed my lunch.

Cinnamon sugar chickpeas.

For protein, I added some chickpeas to a bowl and stirred in some cinnamon & sf syrup. 

Allll together, now.

Dinner is served!

+

this bad boy for good measure 🙂

my little orange friend.

After I was finished with clean up, I went downstairs to bike for about an hour and some odd minutes burning about 330 calories, until the family started arriving home.  Then, I showered, and got my gifts together!  We finally got to sit down with my Dad to relax and celebrate! 

We sang “Happy Birthday

Love ya, Dad!

Gave him his gifts:

new sneaks!

From my Mom, he got these New Balance sneakers along with a new gold cross pendant for his chain that had been broken. 

Here’s my card 🙂

This was the funny/cute one that I got, but I also gave him a more sentimental one that I’m not going to share on the blog.  I couldn’t decide between the two, so I got them both!

Anyway, I was so excited to give him his gift from me, and I was so glad he loved it!

Our seats!

He’s a huge Steelers fan, so I got us tickets to go to one of the pre-season games in September against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field.  We actually went to one last year (my Father’s Day present to him!) and had a blast together.  I never really get time with him the way I’d like to, so this was kind of a selfish gift, but I know he’ll have a blast, too!

The night was finished off with cake & ice cream for the family, and this beauty for me:

love this psu mug!

It had Diet V8, frozen fruit, & spinach in the mix.  YUM-O.

Happy Cinco De Mayo, errbody! 😉

I’m A Murderer.

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Verse of the Day:  

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” 

– Luke 19:10 

It’s official.  I have slain a live animal.  On my way to the gym yesterday after work, I hit my first squirrel 😦  I swear it came from out of no where!! I was just about in tears.  I was praying that it didn’t suffer at all and I’m pretty sure it didn’t, considering I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw something pretty ugly.  This is going to sound absurd, but the blogger in me seriously contemplated going back to document aka photograph the accident so you guys could mourn the animal death with me. HA. 

Anyway, I guess we’ll start at the beginning

Breakfast yesterday was pretty boring.  But cereal is exciting for me!  Any other cereal lovers out there?! 

in my new, hand-painted bowl!

In place of milk, I use water blended with 4 ice cubes + 1 scoop Cake Batter Optimum Nutrition protein powder.  LOVE that protein! 

When I got to work, I sipped on this AWESOME iced Caftea Birthday Cake coffee I mixed with a little SF Vanilla Torani Syrup at my desk. 

My snackTAXI is in the washing machine, so I shamefully opted for a ziplock baggie for my wrap!  Don’t worry, though, I use them over & over again!

Lunch was some steamfresh broccoli topped with reduced sugar ketchup with 3/4C. egg beaters + reduced sugar ketchup mixed, along with a La Tortilla Factory low-carb high fiber wheat wrap with a wedge of Sonoma Jacks pepperjack cheese & Splenda. 

I opened my mail when I got home from work to find this exciting package from Lainie at Eggland’s Best

100 Winning Recipes!

It’s the 2010 Pillsbury Bake-Off 100 Winning Recipes Cookbook!  Just a little reminder, you can actually WIN YOUR OWN by submitting a recipe on the Eggland’s Best site, as I announced in this post, by April 30th

After scanning through the pages, I got changed and hit the gym for an hour of cardio on the elliptical.  For some reason, I wasn’t hungry for a snack between work & the gym today. 

On the way home, I stopped at the grocery store, mainly because I was craving a big bowl of veggies for dinner and my produce stash was completely depleted.  

Dinner.

It was a huge, beautiful bowl with just about each color of the rainbow represented 🙂  Broccoli, cauliflower, yellow pepper, tomato, cucumber, and spring mix on the bottom.  I topped the bowl with homemade honey mustard (1/4 C. SF syrup + mustard to taste) mixed with 1 whole can of light tuna.  

Post dinner plans were to shower, pack my lunch, and relax.  Our house was finally alllllllmost finished.  Now all that’s left to do it put the trim back on.  The hardwood floors are in, the hallway/living room is painted, and all of our photos have been re-hung! Check it out:

 

Hallway.

Living room.

Other side of the living room.

After admiring all the beauteous additions to our home (props to Poppa Freckled Foodie!),  I decided it was time for dessert.  I picked up some fresh strawberries at the grocery store, and knew exactly what I wanted to make. 

Deeelish.

Sliced strawberries + frozen deep chocolate Vitatop topped with Oikos mixed with Calorie Free chocolate syrup from Walden Farms. 

Holy yum.

For some reason I prefer my Vitatops cold/frozen as opposed to warmed in the microwave? All I know is, this was the perfect ending to my Monday!  I caught up on Dancing With The Stars and One Tree Hill while consuming this, which only made it that much more enjoyable.  There’s some crazy stuff going on in the OTH world!!  Totally scandalous 😉 

Any OTH fans out there?  I missed part of the episode, so fill me in!! Maybe I’ll watch it online tonight 😉