Friday, March 30, 2012

C's Breakfast Cake Recipe

Breakfast Cake Recipe
My breakfast has evolved in to a breakfast cake and it’s my favorite meal. I thought I would share the recipe with you. Enjoy!
Ingredients:
¼ cup of soy flour
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1 tbsp of ground flax seeds
½ scoop of protein powder (I use Ultimate Nutrition Wheat Isolate Protein Powder.)
Water
Yogurt of your choice (I use Ralph’s Carbmaster or Fage Greek Yogurt and add Splenda)
Instructions:
Combine flour, chia seeds, flax seeds, and protein powder. Add water. This is where preference comes in. If you want more of a cake substance, use less water. Play around with it and see what you like better. Microwave for 2 ½ - 3 minutes. Remove from microwave, let cool then add yogurt on top. DELISH!
*Depending on what protein powder and yogurt you use, the nutrition variables will fluctuate a bit. Nutrition Facts below are based on the use of Fage Greek Yogurt and Ultimate Nutrition's Wheat Isolate Protein.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sis's Birthday Weekend. Paleo Cake Recipe. Coaster Run. Family Time. Life is DREAMY.

Criscilla’s HealthIER Paleo Birthday Cake Recipe
I aim to please! My sister has been hitting it hard with the healthy lifestyle and I am SUPER proud of her. I decided to make her a healthy cake with paleo ingredients since she has been following the paleo lifestyle. For the sake of time and wanting to spend every minute with family, when we were ready to eat the cake, I just poured on honey-flavored Greek yogurt. I did not follow the frosting recipe below. With that said, that was the only “issue” with the cake, the “frosting” (ah hem… YOGURT)  needed to be sweeter.
Ingredients:
1/4 cup oil (I used olive oil)
1 small avocado
1/2 cup agave
3 eggs
2 cups garbanzo bean flour
1 cup strawberry powder
3 bananas, flesh mashed

Preheat a fanforced oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cake tin and line with baking paper or spray with Pam.
In blender cream the oil, avocado, agave and eggs until light and fluffy. Add garbanzo bean flour, strawberry powder and bananas and combine well. Pour the banana cake mixture into a cake tin.

Bake in the oven for 60-75 minutes or until cake is cooked.
Frosting: 2 6oz cup of greek yogurt. 4 packets of Stevia, 4 tbsp agave, 2tbsp of garbanzo flour to thicken. Refrigerate.

In honor of Criscilla’s Birthday, we ran the Knott’s Berry Farm 10K Coaster Run! No better way to celebrate than with accomplishing a HUGE goal. My sister is IN IT TO WIN IT! She rocked that race and I am so proud of her. Next up, the Safari Half Marathon on May 6, the day before my birthday. Here are some memorable moments from the race.

Palani, Criscilla, Keesha, and I pictured above. We ran the whole race as a group and it was truly one of the best moments of MY life. I feel so blessed to have shared this with such amazing individuals!
Below is a collage of the race shirts I had made. They worked like a charm and people were wishing Criscilla “Happy Birthday” the whole race.
The Love of My Life and I post-race. I held this pie for every picture and then gave it to Coffey. My Mom’s absolute favorite dessert in the world is boysenberry pie and I wanted to save it for her, but that was NOT happening. It was a challenge to hold it, take pictures, give hugs, hi-fives, etc. for 2 minutes. Can’t imagine 2 hours. Ha!
I love this picture (and every picture) of P.
My Sis is my Best Friend. I love her with every ounce of my being and am SO proud to be her sister. I am getting choked up as I type this. On Saturday night, we put Ethan to bed and my sister was on one side of Ethan and I was on the other. He kept rolling towards her then me, then her, then me, then… you get the picture. He would reach for my hand and pull it towards him. I broke down crying. I am filled with so much love for my nephew that I cannot control it sometimes. I made my sister cry too! It was an UNFORGETTABLE moment and I will tell this story to Ethan for the rest of our lives. I think I filled up my phone with videos and pictures just from this weekend. Those of you who know me, KNOW how important my family is to me. Enjoy some pictures of family time!

Happy Monday Fam and Friends! Make it a great week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Journey as a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

I wanted to tell a little about my journey as a vegetarian for few reasons – I have NEVER felt better, I am RARELY sick, I do not have gastrointestinal issues, and I am in the best physical shape I have ever been in. Emotional and mental state have always been top notch so we will not focus on that! I know a few people who have dealt with kidney stones and this advice may help those in similar situations as myself and help those prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Since I was in high school, I had the steady production of kidney stones. If you have not experienced the pain and agony of kidney stones, I hope and pray you never have to, but it is indescribable and the most brutal moments I have ever experienced. Common symptoms of mine were urinating blood, straight blood, excruciating pain in the middle of my back where the kidneys are located and urinary tract infections (UTI) that NEVER went away, even with antibiotics. The final bout of kidney stones resulted in a stent over a foot long, placed in one of my ureters. The reason for this was to open the origin of the ureter in to my kidney to allow the stones to pass and increase flow of waste products. With that said, I hope to never experience this pain again.
During the years suffering with kidney stones, I met with a few urologists. I was told the common practices to incorporate – drink lots of fluids, minimal soda and stay away from foods with oxalate as my stones were composed of calcium oxalate. Nothing seemed to work, my diet changed extensively from high school but I was told, “Your body will produce kidney stones for the rest of your life.” I had come to terms with that… until my urologist in San Diego.
We moved to San Diego in January 2011 and I needed to follow up my stent surgery I have in Vegas a month prior.  She is AMAZING to say the least! I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I favor the “younger” doctors, as their knowledge seems to be fresh and up to date. The medical field goes hand in hand with the fitness field. It is EVER changing and it is our job to stay current with knowledge. Some people do and some people don’t.   She urged me to more of the vegetarian diet which was an easy switch for me. I already didn’t eat red meat and cutting out the fish and chicken was simple. She also informed me acidic foods increase the acidity of my urine contributing to the stones. Minimal intake of citrus was also recommended.
Currently, the main staples in my diet are oats, yogurt, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, veggie burgers, eggs, protein powder, fresh vegetables, and my treat is a MetRx bar every other day. Yes, that is my TREAT! Let’s be honest, it’s more like a candy bar! I also take cranberry pills for urinary health and vitamin d for my bones. I wrote in a previous blog about my diet consisting of the same foods day in and day out with more of a variety on the weekends. Everyone is different and there are websites and blogs with recipes to cater to ever special need. I enjoy cooking and experimenting as I tip-toe out of my box of set foods every day.  My diet is very plant-based which contributes to a healthy heart and blood vessels. Plant-based diets also REVERSE the onset of heart disease. Again, people become vegetarian for many reasons. Mine was due to health issues but also gaining knowledge on how animals are treated, it has become a moral and ethical issue as well.
My physical strength and physique has never been better. I feel so strong and confident in my own skin. I contributed my immune system gaining strength when I started training for marathons. My immune system is even stronger after changing my diet and continuing to run at a lower volume. I rarely have gastrointestinal issues as well, unless I overdose on vegetables. This was a daily issue for me before I changed my diet.
I am not saying vegetarian is for everyone, but I did want to share my experience. Kidney stone prevention, gaining strength, feeling healthier, minimal GI distress, CONFIDENCE and helping others is always shared via my blog.
Let me know if you have any questions. I am always here to help!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Manners and Weekend Finds

This weekend was a whirlwind! 24-hour trip to Vegas to teach Las Vegas High School then home by 7:00pm on Saturday night, or so I thought. Spirit Airlines canceled my flight and I was one of the lucky few to catch a flight Saturday night with a detour to Phoenix. Landed HOME in San Diego at midnight. That’s late for me!
This brings me to the topic of manners. As I was standing in line with every other Spirit Airlines customer that was supposed to be on the canceled flight, I kept my mouth shut and just watched. One lady was hysterically laughing at the canceled flight and thought it was a mistake on the computer screen. One lady was yelling from the line at the employee behind the counter. A couple of guys were shrugging their shoulders and I overheard one of them say, “You pay for $hit, you get $hit.” Sometimes, just sometimes, situations are beyond OUR control and beyond the control of others. If people only thought before they spoke and spoke from their heart, this world would be a much better place.
I was not excited about the fact that the flight was canceled but after being patient, the situation was solved and handled. Let’s not mention that I was going to be home THAT night instead of Monday morning!
This brings me to the actual flight TO Las Vegas. The plane comes to a stop and a few girls jump up and race through the aisle as far as they could go until someone was “in the way”. First of all, we are all going to same place – OFF THE PLANE. What makes certain individuals feel they are mightier than thou? Check your ego at the door.
 How can people be so rude? Why would people choose to be so rude? How about we put ourselves in other people’s shoes and think before we speak. Speak from the heart and not from negative emotions. The world will be much better off and so will you!
I came across some great finds this weekend:
Water bottles with self-gratitude. Perfect!

SoBe Life Water with Coconut Water. Tried coconut water and I cannot do it, so this is the best of both worlds.

Dinner at the airport anyone? Last time I had a meal at the airport I got food poisoning. Food poisoning and GI issues used to be the story of my life. Not these days! So, the verdict of frozen yogurt with blueberries and granola for dinner was a no brainer.

Super excited for this weekend as my sister is running her first 10K on her birthday! My sister, Criscilla, Palani, a close friend, Keesha, and I will all be running the Knott’s Berry Farm Coaster Run on Sunday, March 25th!  Also, I am taking pictures as an opportunity to venture into uncharted territory. I’m not stepping out of the box, I am ripping through it and leaping out of it. With that said, Happy Motivational Monday All! Have a great week!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Food Preparation and Protein Cereal Recipe

Happy Motivational Monday!
I have had a lot of people, in general, ask me on a daily basis about my diet, what I eat, and anything relating to nutrition for quite some time. It has taken a lot of trial and error with me because I have a very sensitive stomach. I cannot eat rich foods and am very picky when I go to restaurants. I stick with basics and foods that I know. Converting to a lacto-ovo vegetarian was one of the best decisions I ever made. Main staples in my diet include: eggs, oats, yogurt, nuts, protein powder, flax seed, Gardenburger veggie burgers, and fresh vegetables. For the most part, I eat the same foods day in and day out with an over consumption of calories on Saturday evening to reset the body - physiologically and psychologically. Some people can do that, some people can’t and that is okay, you just have to find what works for YOU. The goal is to not feel deprived, this will backfire!
Below is a picture of my fridge on a Sunday evening. I cook oats in the crock pot and 3-egg omelets for the week. My veggie burgers are in the freezer and yogurt is piled high in the drawer under all this Tupperware. In order to succeed, we have to plan and prepare.
How do you plan for the week ahead in terms of nutrition? What do you do now and what small change can you make?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Cereal

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup Garbanzo Bean Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup Soy Flour (I used Sprout's)
  • 1/3 cup Protein Powder
  • 1-2 TB Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 TB Coconut Oil
  • 1 TB Natural Peanut Butter (I used TJ’s Unsalted Crunch Peanut Butter)
  • organic cane sugar/Splenda for sprinkling (optional) 
*Note: The type of protein powder will make a difference. Try to use a blend of whey, soy and casein. EAS Premium Protein Powder and Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Builder have both worked great!
 
Instructions:
Combine flours, powders and salt in a bowl. Add water and mix well before adding coconut oil and peanut butter. Stir well and make sure the coconut oil and peanut butter are melted within the batter.

Line an 11” x 17” rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour contents of bowl onto pan.  Make sure to spread somewhat thin, or baking will take longer. (Honestly, I like mine thick, so I cooked it longer.)
Spread the mixture. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar, if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes (I baked mine for 35-40 minutes).
When it is done baking, the edges will be curled up and the cereal sheet will be crisp. It might be a tad soft in the middle, but that is just because the batter was a little too thick. No worries, just place it in the oven and continue baking until somewhat firm.

Grab a pizza cutter or a knife and cut the cereal into small squares. Yields 4 servings. Enjoy!


Have a wonderful week and GET. IT. DONE.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Better Weather = Healthier Bodies

My new philosophy is somewhat of a stream of consciousness. When you live in desirable weather, you are surrounded with a multitude of colors enhancing one’s mood. This feeds right in to a lifted spirit and better attitude. You want to get outdoors and live an active lifestyle (hopefully!).
Having lived in San Diego for over a year now, I see the difference in people. People are CONSISTENTLY active. It’s not a 2-month bout here a 2-month bout there, it’s a get off the couch and hit the beach for a run or bike ride, a hike in Torrey Pines or Balboa Park, a car ride to the mountains to snowboard. This is a dream come true!
I have spoken to people who drive in from the desert and as soon as they hit the coastal weather, seeing green and feeling the ocean breeze, their mood changes. I was in the same boat as well. Been there done that. The positive energy to be active and live healthfully spreads to the surrounding communities. It's FABULOUS! Our whole lifestyle has improved since moving here, so I also included some progress pictures of P and I to prove it. 
So, with that said, here are some uplifting pictures from the past few weeks. I am keeping a photo log for the year of 2012. These are some pictures I have included in the log. I created a special e-mail address and every day I send one picture of an amazing site and/or something I am thankful for on that given day. Near the end of the year, I will open up the e-mail and make my Gratitude Photo Log Presentation. Here are some sneak peeks…


Don't judge my puppy pajamas... P got them for me years ago and they are my favorite!
THESE progress pictures are more fun! Don't forget the puppy pajamas. They still made an appearance. 

One of the many reasons why I love P – his goofy personality. (The muscles are a bonus as well!) ;)
That’s all folks! Happy Weekend!