Health and Clean Eating

August 9, 2010

Good Monday evening to you all!  I am happy, happy today! 😀  The pool is coming along, the kids were good today, I went to a fantastic BodyPump class (ummm…400 calories….the most I’ve ever burned in BodyPump ever!!)  Plus, it’s launch week, where all of the new material is introduced, which makes it fun!  If you’re ever in my area, let me know, and you can come to my gym with me…you won’t be disappointed.  (Email for details! :))

For more information:  check out the Les Mills web site!


I would like to begin this next section with some questions:

Are you tired during the day, especially around mid-afternoon?

Do you feel sluggish and “foggy”?

Do you have health issues such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol or high blood pressure?

Then clean eating is for you. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!  Please don’t be scared off by that statement.  If you are just beginning, here are some things you can do to ease into the clean eating lifestyle:

1.  STOP eating fast food.  Anything that you make at home, in your own kitchen, is better than this:

Not sure about the story of the 4 year old burger that didn’t mold…you can Google it and make your own determination. 😉

2.  Start eating more of these:

Homemade Eat Clean Wheat Berry Salad


I think that is the perfect way to ease into the clean eating lifestyle.  It’s that simple!!

OK, so let me show you some of what I’ve been eating these last couple of days:

April’s brownies with peanut butter (which were great, by the way!! Thanks, April!)

Amy’s All American Veggie Burger with some organic ketchup, mustard, goat cheese and vinegar green beans on the side.

Ezekial toast with the last of my Artisana coconut butter. 😦  Egg whites (great source of a clean protein!)


It’s the return of the panoli. For those of you that are new to my blog, I actually invented something delicious! 🙂  A whole grain pancake, made really, really, thin.  Stuffed with protein, and eaten for breakfast.  This panoli had a cottage cheese and blueberry blend.  It looks interesting, but it was yummy and sweet! 🙂


The pancake was super thin.

It was soooo good! 🙂

Lots of smiles today! 😀  I am still working on my dot com, and will let you know when it is up and running.  Possibly by tomorrow!

Have a great night!


Stuck Beads, New Foods, and Kitchen Catastrophies

July 28, 2010

Howdy y’all!  Hope your Wednesday has been treating you well.  Personally, I can’t wait for this week to be over.  It has seriously been one thing after another this week!

Besides the puppy issues (she’s been good since the Monday Marker Debacle), Sophia *almost* ended up in the emergency room today.  I was at the gym, taking my BodyPump class, when one of the girls from the daycare walk in and toward me.

Ugh.  You know there’s something that’s going to pull you out of class when they walk up to you.  And we were in the middle of doing lunges off of the step, too.  She proceeded to inform me that my darling Sophia stuck a bead in her ear and she couldn’t get it out.  Amongst my rolling eyes I walked with her to the daycare and had a look-see at Sophia’s ear.

Yep! Sure enough, a white bead was stuck in her ear.…and I’m standing there wondering, how the heck am I going to get that out?  Well, a miracle happened, because there was a small piece of thread and I got tweezers and pulled out the bead.  This story is taking longer to tell then the actual occurrence, LOL! But all’s well that end’s well, I guess. 😉

Now, onto NEW FOOD!  My new food this week that I was able to find at Whole Paycheck was a kabocha squash!

I took the squash, cut it up, baked it at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, tossed 1tsp of butter and a heap load of cinnamon on top and it looked like this:

then this:

and then I gobbled it all up.  It was 2 cups, (I know this because I’ve been measuring my food to stay within my calorie restrictions), and it was all gone! 🙂

I liked it.  It kind of reminded me of a cross between pumpkin and butternut.  I wonder if you can toast the seeds? They were huge!!!

This morning for breakfast I poached 2 eggs (I’m getting the hang of this poaching thing….1:45 is all I need to have the egg perfectly cooked.

Poached Egg. Covered in Hogs Breath Green Hot Sauce.

There was leftover crab, so yesterday for lunch I made crab salad….and this was easily the tastiest food that I have made in a while.

King crab, Greek yogurt, Lemon and Pepper Mrs. Dash, Lemon Juice, Hot sauce. Heavenly.  On an organic, preservative-free spelt tortilla.

There was another spicy black bean Gardenburger with the addition of 1 oz. of goat cheese on a thin bun:

spiced up with Chipotle Tabasco Sauce

It was very melty when I ate it.  Melted goat cheese…yuuuummmmmmmy!

There was smoked salmon on a thin bun with Greek yogurt:

and cottage cheese with Mrs. Dash.

As for my kitchen catastrophe:  I decided I was going to try and make coconut butter.  I had all of these grand ideas, that I could make it at home, and it would turn out like my fave, Artisana.


Um….there was an explosion of coconut in my kitchen!  And it never got creamy.  It just got hot...and then the explosion happened and my Vitamix ate my tamper:

Yep.  I then proceeded to make pecan butter (I was bound and determined)  and it ate my wooden spoon! OK, it wasn’t funny when it happened, but it’s kind of funny now.  The pecan butter actually got kind of creamy and looked like this:

See?  It tasted good, too…until I got wood stuck in my teeth. 😉

Guess I gotta work on my tampering! 🙂

What kind of kitchen catastrophe’s have you all had? I know I can’t be the only one….(uh, please help me out here, LOL)

15 Things About Me

July 24, 2010

Hey Y’all!

Hope your Saturday has been absolutely fantastic.  I had a hectic morning – not sure why, because I didn’t get up until 9 (the kids are really sleeping in lately!) and didn’t step foot out of the house until after 11:30.  I am still melting here in GA, so we decided to go on the lake today with all our kids and their friends too:

Did I mention that the air temperature was 98 degrees, and the lake temperature was 117 degrees? It was like taking a bath…in a hot tub! 😉  About 2 hours in to our adventure the storms started to roll in so we took cover in a cove until the storm passed, then headed back to the dock.

I can’t believe all of the kids fell asleep! How often does that happen, lol!

Today I wanted to share with you all a little about myself.  I tell tales about my family and friends, and share my kitchen catastrophes, but I’m not sure that I share a lot about me, at least in recent months.

So here we go…15 things about me:

1. I don’t want to have any regrets in the future. NONE! Life’s too short.

2. I NEED to eat clean. I’m terribly afraid of the chemicals that are in our foods. I try my best, but sometimes I fall off of the wagon.  I always get back on, though! Old habits are so terribly hard to break.

3. I really enjoy iCarly on Nickelodeon.  LOL! That’s one funny show! 🙂

4. I need to enjoy life more and worry less (and chill out, I’m really tense and uptight a lot of the time, except when I’m at the gym, which is probably one of many reasons that I LOVE the gym.  Actually, I LOVE my gym, not just any gym.)  Maybe someday I’ll share why.

5. I REALLY want to get in better shape, even though I know I’ve become fitter over the last year because my VO2 Max went from 42 to 50 (that is the amount of oxygen that your body uses…it’s used as a measure of fitness.)  I have before and after pictures from the past year, but I just don’t have enough confidence to post them in this public of a venue.  What I mean about “wanting to get in better shape” is building lean muscle and dropping my fat percentage.  It’s not easy, and definitely a continuous work in progress.

6. I’ve found that I can’t just “eat clean”…that I have to count calories. I ate clean for over 6 months and my weight went UP. (see 8 below, which I suspect is the reason why, among others.)

7. I am a calorie counter and scale weigh-er. I totally have to do the two of these things to stay sane, and yes, I’m just that OCD.  And you know what?  I’m ok with that.  It’s just me. And I wish I had a YAY! Scale in pink fur, LOL:

8. I can’t eat nut butters on a regular basis because they are a complete indulgence for me, (as is coconut butter)…addictive!!! JUST LIKE CHOCOLATE!!! and yes, I will over-indulge. These are the 3 things that will send me over the edge, LOL!

My Favorite Coconut Butter...Artisana! Aaaahhhhh 😀

9.  I like to read, and read a lot.  My newest endeavor is The Complete Cancer Cleanse, by Cherie Calbom.  I’m petrified of cancer, as everyone should be.

10.  Other books that I have downloaded to my Nook but have yet to read are Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern and Worst Case by James Patterson.

11.  The place I’ve wanted to go since I was about 5 years old is Paris, France.  I have also added Tuscany, Italy to that list.

12.  I really want to write and publish a book.  I asked for a typewriter when I was 4 from Santa.  That’s when I wrote my first “book”.  I wish I had that book today!

13.  I am constantly reassessing my life: what I want to be doing, where I am going.  It’s not an easy process.

14.  I plan on buying a small house on the Gulf of Mexico in the next few years.

15.  I enjoy blogging, and through my blogging, have begun to enjoy cooking.  I never new I would be a food blogger, and it’s FUN!

With all that being said, everything that I have eaten this week has been totally CLEAN. Not one bad thing, and I’m proud of that.

And with all of that being said, maybe we should get on to the food part of my post?

I am a relatively new cook.  I poached my first egg ever this week! Easy as pie. 😀

How to poach an egg:

1.  Crack 1 egg or however many eggs you want to eat into a coffee cup.

Egg. Coffee Cup.

2.  Pour the egg gently into simmering water.  Try not to break the yolk. 😉

There's an egg in there!

and voila! A poached egg 1:45 minutes later!

Oh, step 3:  take out of simmering water with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Poached Egg

4.  Commence Eating:


I found some spelt muffins at my local health food store in the freezer section.  They’re yummy!

Another egg picture:


Mushroom and onion omelet with Earthgrains Wheat Berry and Honey bread with Polaner Peach All-fruit. 🙂

Dinner tonight was a Spicy Black Bean Gardenburger, with Mozzarella cheese on a spelt muffin.  Green beans and salad accompanied it on my new Tuscan Olive Plates which I love:

I have been a HUGE fan of Mrs. Dash lately, especially because I can’t eat a lot of sodium.  I’ve been putting it on everything!

Every night about 10:00 I am starving whether I work out or not.  So I’ve been having one last meal of protein, which is good for you before bed anyway because it helps with muscle gains and repair:

Greek yogurt, stevia, cocoa powder and 1/2 a nanner.  Totally satisfying and under 200 calories.  Total calories today: 1204.

Well, hope you enjoyed the post. See you in the am! Sweet dreams my friends!

Rainy days and Survivor Thursday!

March 11, 2010

Hello all! It has been raining here in the ATL for 48 hours straight, I swear! We all feel like drowned rats.  The thing was, 2 days ago, it was 70 degrees. Now it’s 53 degrees and rainy! Ugh.

Even so, those are the best days to go to the gym, because you’re under fluorescent lights and they always make me feel more sunny 🙂  Plus you can get an endorphin high that will last all day, and that’s always a good feeling.  There you go, two reasons not to miss going to the gym on a rainy day!

To come soon: shopping lists of “cool and useful ingredients” requested by my friend Lauren! 🙂 I think that’s going to be my weekend project! 😀

Today I knew I was going to BodyStep this morning and then strength training, so I got my carbs and protein on:

Oatmeal with vanilla protein powder, pineapple and a few cashews (less then 1/4 cup).  Tasted great, as usual! No sweetener…didn’t need it, natural or otherwise!

SO let’s talk about the workout, since that is what happened next.  Last night I went to BodyCombat and got out all the aggression from life this week.  I did a good job getting it out, too, because this morning I was SORE.  My back was sore from descending elbows and muay thai, and my legs were sore from lunges and eskivas. (yes, I’m not sure how to spell that, AT ALL). So I went to BodyStep this morning, where I swear we did the hardest leg track ever.  Not to mention, my legs already felt like lead, LOL!  Worth it, though, although I am still really sore still.  And tomorrow is leg/abs day! It’s never ending this week!!

I did a killer strength workout too (back, biceps and abs)

  • barbell bent over row 30 lbs. 3 sets of 12
  • machine lateral pull-down 55 lbs. 3 sets of 10
  • row rear deltoid 40 lbs. 3 sets of 10
  • 21’s 15 lbs. 1 set
  • open ups 15 lbs. 36 reps
  • hammer curl 15 lbs. 3 sets of 8
  • ab crunch machine 10 lbs 5 sets of 10
  • incline reverse crunch 40 reps

I got home and was absolutely staaarving!  I’m trying to eat more protein, so I made this:

1 link of chicken sausage that I bought at Trader Joe’s yesterday, along with 4 egg whites, leftover roasted broccoli, and salsa:

I think I increased my protein intake in this one meal!

There was some puppy love while I was trying to work:

It’s really hard to work when there’s a Biscuit lying upside down on my lap. 🙂

I took the boys to karate, met with my GF Colleen for coffee and to catch up, and came home to Jeremy cooking dinner:

Grilled beef kebobs,  half of a massive sweet potato with cinnamon, and corn. YUMMY!!

I use this cinnamon that I ordered online…it’s clean and tastes fantastic…it’s sweet, so no need for sugar at all!

I watched two episodes of Survivor…I missed last week, but it was DVR’d. 🙂  I got hungry about half way through the first episode and used my 3 favorite clean ingredients to make some dessert:

So how good does my dessert look?  I put the above fruit and coconut butter on TJ’s sprouted grain bread:

and of course, the close-up pics look even better!

The above is blueberry, and below:

peach! The perfect healthy dessert.  Decadent.  I am going to try to make my own coconut butter this weekend…can’t wait to see how it turns out!  Pictures to come.

Tomorrow is legs and abs day, and a lunch out with my girlfriends!  Hopefully my legs will hold up…and it’s always fun to see my girls! 🙂

Have a fantastic Friday…the weekend is finally here!!

Jessica xoxo

The good along with the not great…where good reigns :)

February 25, 2010

I know I said it yesterday, but this week seemed especially long.  I think for me it was due to a couple of reasons:  I inadvertently over-trained this week, resulting in aches that I don’t normally have to endure, the kids went back to school after being off for February break, (sleep deprivation) and my relatively new heart rate monitor (about 6 months old or so!) isn’t working properly.  (uh, it got stuck on 175 today in BodyStep, LOL).  It gets “stuck” all of the time!  Giving it back to get it fixed (hopefully).  In case you are wondering, I changed the battery. 😉 It didn’t help.

There were also some good points to the week: The kids went back to school, 😀  My heart rate monitor is getting fixed, and I scored some samples of POM Pomegranate Juice  from the POM Wonderful people! (Thanks, Ryan!)  I can’t wait to try it, reviews to come in the next couple of days! Also, I went to the eye doctor and I don’t need glasses to see! Whoo-hoo!

I decided I wanted to try a different protein powder with my oatmeal this morning, and I bought this at the health food store the other day:

Pina Colada!

I added it to my Bob Marley Oats…so pineapple, coconut, and some cashews.  It just didn’t taste good to me, it tasted sweet but was lacking in flavor. I was so disappointed, because I’d heard good things about this brand in the blog world.  Maybe because it was an unusual flavor?  I have one more flavor to try, so it gets a second chance.

The following is a not-great picture of my Bob Marley Oats, it looks very white:

It normally looks like this:

Well, maybe there’s not much of a difference, after all! 😉

After I got out of class this morning (I believe I burned about 500 calories…for what DID register on my HRM), I ate a LemonZest Luna Bar:

and then came home and ate lunch.  I was starving again about an hour later!  Helloooo cottage cheese, homemade Southwest Chipotle Hummus, and veggies.

There was a cheese stick and some more dark chocolate:

Dinner was some leftover, some new.  I want to discuss the carrots that I cooked first, though:

They were a bit charred. Completely not edible, and I was really looking forward to eating them!  (No, I can’t cook, and I’m ok with that! ;))  The sweet potato turned out fantastic, though!


I put the peanut sauce that I made yesterday on my sweet potato and it went from mediocre to fantastic in an instant!

Peanut Sauce

Along with the wondrous, peanutty sweet potato was, of course, turkey (which I have coming out of my ears!!) and some mixed veggies:

It was really good, I must admit 🙂

About 3 hours later I was hungry again, so I made a snack:

I know you’re wondering why there’s frosting on my homemade bread and blueberry jam toast. It’s not frosting, it’s Artisana Coconut Butter! I looooove coconut butter.  It is frosting like, smooth, coco-nutty, creamy goodness.  It cost $12 and was worth every penny.  You don’t need a lot, either!  That was probably less then a teaspoon on the toast!

Well, it’s been fun, but I’m exhausted and in need of some sleep.  See you tomorrow, and I hope you have a warm and cozy night 😉

Jessica xoxo

Before and After

February 21, 2010

Happy Sunday Morning!  Hope y’all have had a wonderful, relaxing weekend.  The weather here in Atlanta is supposed to be really great today…70 degrees!  It’s not the norm, but I’ll take it.  Bring on the yard work, LOL!

This morning I did pancake Sunday (instead of my normal pancake Saturday) for the kids.   Recently I had gone to Williams Sonoma (which I love, but it’s so expensive) and picked up some miscellaneous items.  Two of those items were pancake molds and a pancake pen.  These were the coolest items ever!

This morning my kids ate pancakes:  (This is the after picture….LOL)

Space Pancakes!

So easy when you have a pancake pen:

Pancake Pen

Pouring pancake mix into the molds was easy with the pen! (Before picture…)

Just to clarify, these are healthy, clean pancakes:

This mix calls for oil, (1 tablespoon per batch) so I use coconut oil, which is clean and very good for you!

Since sometimes I feel just like a little kid, my breakfast looked like this:

Little Kids Breakfast for Adults 🙂

I have found my new love. Coconut butter. Yes, there is a distinct difference between coconut butter, and coconut oil.  Coconut butter tastes just like coconuts…a wonderful, mild, coco-nutty taste that is more than just oil because it actually has coconut meat in it!

Better then natural nut butters. And we all know how much I love my nut butter!

Artisana Coconut Butter

Yesterday, I made a deal with Jeremy that if he made some bread for us, I would go to the store.  (This was a good deal for me, because we all know what my bread sometimes turns out like):

Bread? Not so much 😉

Well, Jeremy can make bread, let me tell you:

That is one huge loaf ! It tasted fantastic, too! (It’s French Bread, btw)

Dinner was also a la Jeremy.  I had some pork, and instead of cooking it the usual way, we decided to grill it on The Big Green Egg.





And on my plate: 😉

BBQ Pork

with some broccoli:

That was broccoli with real parmesan that I grated and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Oh, and before I forget, I ate two little heads of kale in the form of kale chips!


Kale Before


Kale Chips After

They are so good, and so easy to make. I will post the recipe in the recipe section!  They’re too good not to share! 😀

Hope y’all have a wonderful, fantastic, sunshine-y day!  It’s beautiful at my house today, so I’m going to head out for a short run. 🙂

Jessica xoxo