Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dining Out While Out of Town

I have totally changed my views on eating out due to this weekend.  I finally decided I am TIRED of getting sick and ending up in ridiculous amounts of pain due to eating out.  

This weekend was spent in Kissimmee because Mantha had a cheer competition.  With 3 dogs and 3 kids I really didn't want to make the 4 hour round trip drive in 1 day.  {I also didn't want to have to fight with everyone trying to get out of the house at 7 AM}  We opted to stay the weekend down there.  We stayed at the Studio 6 in Kissimmee.  It was a pretty decent hotel and it had a kitchen.  

After the competition we had 3 meal ideas.  Joe's Crab Shack, Chinese buffet, or pick something up at Publix and cook it in the room.  The room only had 3 of everything so we crossed Publix off the list of options.  The girls wanted to go swimming after dinner so we decided that the buffet would be quicker and would allow us to swim for longer.  

I chose what I thought would be the safe options.  Cold shrimp, crawfish, and clams, a few pieces of sushi and seaweed salad.  Halfway thru my first plate I was in doubled over pain.  When we got back to the hotel room I started sobbing.  

I'm sick of the pain.  I'm done with it!  I can hear you now "just stop eating out".  Honestly, we go out once a month.  I cook dinner 29 days out of the month.  I need 1 day that someone will cook for me.  

I have come up with a few tips on eating out.

1)  Never choose the buffet
       You don't honestly know what is in the food.  The fat content could be outrageous and you'd never know.

2)  Do your research
      The internet is your best friend when you want to dine out.  Look at every single restaurant's website and see what they offer.  Most of the chain restaurants have the nutritional information available.

3)  Be THAT person
      When I first got sick I vowed to not be the person who goes into a restaurant and completely customizes a meal to fit their diet.  SCREW THAT!  I make sure that my meal will not hurt me when I goto a restaurant.  I also tip more if a server deals with my demands nicely.

4)  Mom and Pop restaurants are good options.
      Alot of times the food is made to order so, go in and explain your situation. Many times the chef will whip you up something special.  

5)  Head to the grocery store seafood counter
      This sounds odd but, if you can't find any restaurant that will work for you, goto the local grocery store (or seafood market) and have them steam you some shrimp.  That and a bag of microwaveable vegetables is a great dinner!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Ode To My Mother....Kinda

Growing up I remember my mother used to make a lemonade cake.  It was amazing.  Kind of sweet, super lemony, just great.  I'm a sucker for anything lemon.  So, when I thought about the Recipe Redux theme {Treasured Cookware}, this recipe came to mind.

There isn't a piece of cookware in my kitchen that WAS my mother's but, she has stocked about half of my bakeware throughout the years.  Every Christmas I get a new piece.  One of the things she bought me was my angel food cake pan.  

Honestly I used to hate angel food cake, until it was the ONLY cake I could eat.  Now I love it and love playing around with flavors and different ways of using it.  For this recipe I used sugar free lemonade mix since there is SO MUCH sugar in the cake and then the glaze has added sugar.  I prefer to not have a complete sugar bomb. Pink Lemonade would make this rather pretty too.

Angel Food Lemonade Cake

1 angel food cake (I normally use a box mix and make it myself but, you can use a store bought one)
.25-.5 cup sugar free powdered lemonade mix (depending on how lemony you want it)
1 cup powdered sugar
2-4 T water


  1. Poke holes in the top of the cake with a fork
  2. In a small bowl mix together lemonade mix and powdered sugar
  3. Whisk in water and continue whisking until you have a nice smooth glaze
  4. Pour glaze over the top of the cake making sure some of the glaze gets into all the holes.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  

I hope y'all have a great time with your families today.  

Remember, getting in a workout today is easy and it can be a family event!  Take a walk around the neighborhood after dinner or, run around with the kids hunting for those eggs!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Easter Recipes

From:  Wide Wallpapers

2014 is a year of change.  Everything is changing.  I have gotten my certifications, Sunny starts school this year, I'm doing a fitness competition.  So many big changes!  After making the same holiday dinners for the past 3 years I've decided that since this is a year of change I'm also changing all my holiday dinners.  Easter is the first holiday that has food associated with it so, it starts here!

So, with that being said, here is the 2014 Easter menu.  Recipes follow the menu.

Main Dish

Simple baked Cobia


Herbed brown rice 


Roasted carrots
Asparagus (if the price isn't too high)


Yeast rolls


Meringue nests with whipped cream and berries


Foil Wrapped Cobia
2 lb Cobia Fillet
Seasonings of your choice


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Spray a large piece of aluminum foil with pan spray and lay fish down.
  3. Spray again with pan spray and season then tightly wrap foil around fish.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until the fish is done.
  5. Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving

Roasted Carrots
adapted from:  Ina Garten's Roasted Carrots

1 lb carrots, peeled
seasonings of your choice


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cut carrots into 1 1/2 inch chunks
  3. Spray baking sheet with pan spray, lay out carrots in a single layer and spray them.
  4. Season to taste
  5. Roast for 20 minutes until brown and tender

Herbed Brown Rice Pilaf
Adapted from:  Herbed Brown Rice Pilaf
8 servings
Calories:  84.5
Fat: 0.5 g
Sodium:  592 mg
Potassium:  65.8 g
Carbs:  18 g
Protein:  1.6 g

1 small onion, diced
2 cups brown rice
5 cups vegetable broth or water, warm
2 T minced garlic
2 t thyme
2 t parsley
6 green onions, sliced


  1. Saute onion in a medium saucepan until translucent.
  2. Spray pan again with cooking spray, dump in rice, and coat with pan spray.  
  3. Pour in broth, thyme, garlic, and parsley
  4. Cover pot, turn stove to medium, and cook for 40 minutes. 
  5. Turn off heat and let stand 10 minutes.
  6. Fluff with a fork and stir in green onions

Meringue Nests

4 large egg whites
.5 cup sugar
.25 t cream of tartar
food coloring
8 oz tub of Cool Whip {you won't use all of it}
6 cups of your favorite berries, fresh or frozen {thaw if using frozen}


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Spray 2 baking sheets with pan spray and line with parchment
  3. With an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until the whites reach soft peaks
  4. Add in sugar and continue whisking until stiff and glossy.
  5. Drop 4 mounds of meringue on each baking sheet and use the back of a spoon to make an indentation in it and spread them out to about 4 inches {you can also use a piping bag and pipe your nests}
  6. Bake meringues about 1.5 hours, until they are dry, rotating halfway through.
  7.  Cool completely then fill with Cool Whip and top with fresh berries.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Greek Yogurt Comparison

I'm a compulsive label reader.  (When you have medical issues that afftct your eating you have to be, right?)  Plus, I want to make sure to eat the brand that has the least calories and the most nutritents.  Nutrients are especially important to me since I started working with my prep coach.  I have to make sure to eat a certain number of carbs, proteins and other nutritents every day.

Well, Greek yogurt has been a part of my diet for a while now.  I love it.  I don't think I could live without it.  I had 2 different brands sitting in my fridge and I started looking at the labels.  I was really surprised when I noticed that the numbers vary so much between them.  I started looking into the other brands.  I compared 7 factors (calories, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, total carbs, sugars, and protein) across the 4 major Greek yogurt brands (Fage, Chobani, Oikos, and Stoneyfield) and Walmart's store brand, Great Value.  All the nutritional facts are for an 8 oz (1 cup) serving of non-fat plain Greek yogurt.

The calories and protein between the brands isn't very different between the brands.  Calories are either 120 or 130 and protein is either 22 grams or 23 grams.  Carbs are 9 across almost all the brands and sugars are 9 grams except for 1 brand.   When you look at the cholesterol, sodium, and potassium, that's where the numbers seriously vary.  

I don't completely understand how the numbers can vary so much.  Carrots made by 2 different growers have the same nutrient levels, right?  Well, shouldn't greek yogurt (especially since it's plain) be the same?

**Note:  Any brand of Greek yogurt is a healthy choice.  You shouldn't make your decision one whether or not to eat it because of what I post here**

From: https://www.facebook.com/FAGE

Fage Plain
Calories: 130
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 85 mg
Potassium: 0 g
Total Carbs: 9 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 23 g

From: https://www.facebook.com/Chobani
Calories: 130
Cholesterol: 10 g
Sodium: 105 mg
Potassium: 0 g
Total Carbs: 11 g
Sugars: 6 g
Protein: 22 g

From: http://www.oikosyogurt.com/greek-yogurt/greek-nonfat-yogurt/plain
Calories: 120
Cholesterol: 15 g
Sodium: 80 mg
Potassium: 240 g
Total Carbs: 9 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 22 g

From:  http://www.stonyfield.com/products/yogurt/greek/plain
Stoneyfield Greek
Calories: 120
Cholesterol: under 5 g
Sodium: 95 mg
Potassium: 350 g
Total Carbs: 9 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 23 g

From:  http://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Value-Fat-Free-Plain-Yogurt-32-oz/10450107

Great Value (Walmart)
Calories: 120
Cholesterol: 10 g
Sodium: 115 mg
Potassium: 510 g
Total Carbs: 9 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 23 g

Winner - Tie between Oikos, and Great Value

Winner - Fage     
Loser – Oikos

Winner - Oikos
Loser – Great Value

Winner – Great Value
Loser – Tie between Fage and Chobani

Total Carbs:
Loser - Chobani

Winner – Chobani

Winner -  Fage, Great Value and Stoneyfield
Losers – Chobani and Oikos

What's your favorite Greek Yogurt brand?  Am I missing any?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mushroom Quesadillas

Kaylee is so happy!  Today was her first day back to the swim team {they switched pools for the winter and it was too far away to take her and still take Mantha to practice also.}  I have a feeling I'm going to have one very sore 10 year old tomorrow.  As a fitness enthusiast and personal trainer I'd love to know how many calories she burns during one practice.  But no matter what, she burns a bunch.  And every athlete needs a nutritious meal after they exercise.  What's a better nutritious meal than QUESADILLAS???  

The kids and I have been craving Mexican for a few days and Vegetarian Times Magazine did a piece with various quesadilla recipes.  

One of the things I love about quesadillas is that they are so versatile.  There are over handful of different tortillas to choose from, dozens of different cheeses, hundreds of different filling options and thousands of different combinations you can put it all together with.  

But, in the fashion that my recipes for this blog have been going recently, something went wrong when I made this.   I opened up my bag of tortillas and they were moldy.  I had bought them the same day!  I was so annoyed.  But, today I wasn't going to let that get me.  I took one of the tortillas I bought for Ken and the kids and made this quesadilla into a quesadilla salad.  I baked the tortilla into a shell in my tortilla shell bowl that my mother gave me for Christmas.  If you don't have one you can always bake the shell flat.

Creamy Mushroom Quesadilla Salad

adapted from Vegetarian Times
  • .5 small onion, chopped 
  • 8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • .25 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 8-inch fat free tortilla
  • Fresh spinach
  • Your favorite salsa 
  • Fat free sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 450, spray tortilla bowl mold and fit tortilla inside
  2. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned
  3. While the tortilla is baking, saute mushrooms and onions.
  4. Turn off heat and stir in cumin, cream cheese and cheddar until the cream cheese coats the mushrooms mixture and the cheddar cheese is melty. 
  5. Take tortilla out of the mold and fill 3/4 of the way full with spinach
  6. Top with mushroom mixture and garnish with salsa and sour cream.

What's one of your family's favorite after workout meals?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Check In

Since the last time I checked in I've hired a coach.  He has put me on a training schedule and has set certain protein, carb and fat numbers that I have to reach every day.  

I follow alot of IFBB and NPC competitors on Facebook.  It's no secret that they eat the same thing every day.  {Before I get comments let me say that I already know that 100% of them don't.  But, many of them do}  When I first started my competition diet I swore I wasn't going  to be one of those people.  I was going to vary what I ate.  2 days in that completely changed.  I understood why they ate the same thing day in and day out.  It takes ALOT of work to vary your diet.  You have to calculate everything every day.  When you eat the same thing you know exactly what your macros {fat, carbs, protein, etc.} are for the meal.  

Here is my typical days menu:

Breakfast - 7 AM
1 cup of egg substitute or egg whites

1 slice of Sara Lee 45 calorie bread

Snack - 10 AM
1 cup of Plain Nonfat Greek yogurt
1 T PB2

Lunch - 1 PM
1 scoop of protein powder
1 cup of Silk light soy milk

Dinner - between 4 & 5 PM
I switch this up but at every meal I eat some sort of seafood and a salad {gotta get those veggies in!}

Snack 2/Dessert - between 6:30 & 8 PM
1 cup of Light and Fit Greek Yogurt 
1 scoop of protein powder

And before breakfast, snack 1, lunch, and dinner I eat 1 teaspoon of peanut butter.  I use the Peter Pan whipped so 1 teaspoon only has 1.33 grams of fat.  My coach is aware of the fact that I can't eat fat and it was actually him that suggested this.  "You can't build muscle without some fat."  

Sunday I decided to try "prepping" my meals.  When your meals are so simple, why should you prep?  Because, running back and forth to the scale before every meal was getting REALLY annoying.  Cooking and making meals isn't easy anymore.  It's not about cups, tablespoons, or teaspoons, it's about weight.  Everything must be weight to get the accurate macros.  Saturday my scale died and I told Ken that I couldn't eat until I got a new one.  

Ken has decided to compete in the same competition I am.  I'm actually really excited about it.  He made the decision to compete less than a week ago and it's been amazing to watch his mindset change.  His thoughts on food and nutrition have done a 180.  I'm really proud of him and can't wait to see his transformation.  {And I'll keep y'all updated too!}

Lastly, I finally finished my Nutrition and Wellness Consultant certification!  By the end of April I should have my Sports Nutrition Consultant certification, end of May will be my Weight Management Consultant certification and then the end of June I'll become a Master Nutrition Consultant.  2014 is going to be a good year!