Friday, December 13, 2013

Kitchen Creations: Baked Oatmeal (The Remix)

My sorority sister had posted this recipe on Facebook a few days ago and I figured I would give it a try. I had to make some tweaks to it because I can't have cow's milk, I had no butter so I used margarine instead, but this was the results of my first attempt. It was tasty but it really was not what I expected. I found the finished product to be a little dry. 

In my strive for perfection I had to redo this recipe So here it is (links to original recipes are annotated below).

Side Note: In the original recipes berries, whole milk and nuts were used (one of the recipes used steel cut oats). If you want to add those back in feel free to do so.

2 cups (200 grams) rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2-3 sliced apples 

2 1/8 cups (475 ml) almond milk

1/3 cup (80 ml) maple syrup
1 large egg

2 tablespoons maple syrup (set aside)

4 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the top third of the oven. 

In a bowl mix together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. (This part can be done the night before, if you like, to make things easier in the morning). 

In another bowl, whisk together the almond milk, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla. Pour the mixture in the bowl containing the oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix together and set aside.

In an 8-inch square baking dish, line the bottom of your dish with the sliced apples, lay the 4 tablespoons of butter across the apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (picture upper left corner). 

Take the oatmeal mixture that you set aside and pour it over the apples (picture upper right corner).  Gently give the baking dish a couple of taps on the countertop to make sure the liquid moves down through the oats. 

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for a few minutes. You can eat this for breakfast or you can put some cool whip topping on it and eat it as dessert.

Yield: about 6 servings
1 serving is 277 calories (based on the recipe posted here)
If you use a serving of whipped topping then that  is an extra 25 calories.

Enjoy! Let me know what different things you have done with this recipe!

original recipes; alexandra's kitchen and orangette

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Detox Day 3 and 4!

I told  my daughter's teacher to take any left over cupcakes and out them in the teacher's lounge. Please don't send them home. I came to pick up my daughter and found two big cupcakes sitting in her bag. Ugh! She brought them home because she wanted me to celebrate her birthday with her with a cupcake. 

Well she got in trouble tonight so that won't be happening. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Raw Fruit and Veggie Detox Vlog Day 1 and 2...Lord Help Me!

As promised, I vloged my progress on this detox. Imagine opening up the refrigerator door to see a big old slice of cheese cake sitting there calling your name... *sigh* I may be detoxing but my kids aren't and it is evident they don't care. LOL! They could have at least put the cheesecake in the back of the refridgerator! Enjoy the vlog. I will follow up Day 3 and 4 on Wednesday.

Be blessed!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Detox...Long Over Due.

I am not even going to front like I have been good about my eating habits the last few months, hell the last few weeks. If you all could witness what I have been eating for the last few weeks you would say, 'oh now  that, that's just nasty!'. I know the first step to nipping a problem in the bud is to admit that you have a problem well... I have a problem! *tears* Sugar is my problem, juice is my problem, fast food is my problem, junk food is my problem lack of planning is my problem and lack of will power is my problem.

Yeah, I know this blog is supposed to be about my weight loss journey and more so a source of inspiration to others who are on the same path...but reality is there will be set backs, you will plateau, you will get bored and no it does not equate to failure. It will only equates to failure if you decide not to get back in the sattle and restart a minute, hourly, daily rededication to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Mind you I did not say maintain weight I said lifestyle as this is a life style.

Ok, the detox is going to be a raw fruits and vegetable detox and it will last for a week. No sugar (I can use honey though), no meat, no dairy, no oil just fruits, veggies and nuts. Doesn't that sound wonderful?! Just nod your yes head and keep reading.

I went to the store to arm myself with everything I need to stay successful during the week of detox. I am pumped I'm ready...I can do this...I know I can do this. <~~~ rededication via affirmation.

I will vlog about my experience through out the week; what I am eating and how I am feeling. My loved ones seemed to be concerned about how my mood will be through out the week, some have even informed me that they will talk to me after this detox week is over.

I think I will be all will see how fine I am in the vlog...just watch...people will survive and feelings won't get hurt. I will be successful in this. I believe it. *bites lip*

Thanks for reading. Be blessed everyone!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

New Vlog: Random Update!

I just decided to do a random Vlog on what has been going on with me, what I am up to, into and about to get into. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Depression Sucks and Needs An A** Kickin

I recorded a video about this tonight but fooling with Youtube was not working for me and my patience right now. So I am going to scrap the video and just write about it.

I posted  the question ,"what do you do when you have lost your motivation to run and feel as though you want to hang up your running shoes??" in my BGR group yesterday. I also mentioned within my post that I have been battling depression for the last few months. I received response in numbers filled with love, support and good information. It was suggested that I might be suffering from Marathoners Depression which sets in after one completes a huge accomplishment such as a half marathon, marathons or triathalon etc. I could clearly see that in me as the feeling of not wanting to run set in not long after I completed the Nike Women's half.  Yes, I know the NWM half was months ago but I think that in conjunction with all the additional stress and other things I am currently dealing with has thrown me into a full on depression. 

Can I just say I am frustrated with myself? Why? I am very hard on myself and I always push myself to over come and achieve...I  honestly felt as though I had beat this. I have gone years without having been in a major depressive state. Yeah I will go into a funk or have the blues but normally it will last no longer than a few days to a week. So for me to get blind sided by this has me frustrated at not being able to shake it like I normally would. Now that I am here I am building a bridge and getting over it as that is the only way I am going to begin to get better. 

Yesterday (Tuesday, don't know when this will post) was a really rough day for me. It seemed as though everything bad, upsetting and disappointing that could happen did happen. I was not holding it together well, not at all. I realized the state I was in was getting worse and I really, really needed medication ( I was able to see the doctor tooday). 

I firmly believe that there is purpose and lessons learned in every struggle that one goes through and yesterday I saw the purpose in the out pour of support, expressions of empathy and love from those that I expressed my struggle to and I also learned the importance of having interaction with people and having the right people in your circle. 

Sometimes when I am in the middle of battling depression I will reach out to friends, family and at times an acquaintance, not necessarily to pour out and get all emotional but to do something fun that will lift my mood and create a distraction from everything. I learned yesterday to watch who you reach out to. People will proclaim that they will always be there for you and never turn their back on you; some mean it, some don't and are just trying to be nice (or they are complete ass holes). One should NOT put a person's word and integrity to the test during a period of feeling low, as the disappointment or being upset from what ever fall out that may occur can make you feel worse. Try to stick with people that have proven to be there for you and that can truly be a support whether they are aware of your current state or not. 

My therapist has been pushing me to go out more or have someone sit with me to help lift my mood. I figured I would start small by having a friend sit with me this evening and that did a whole lot to lift my mood (I actually felt like I wanted to go run). Eventually I will try going out and doing things. Overall my main goal is to regain my motivation to get moving and run again because I have completely lost it (and sleep) in this abyss of depression. 

All this to say, be aware of not just your body but your mind. If you are feeling really low for an extended period of time reach out to your family and friends that you know will be a support, seek help in the form of therapy, medication or both if need be (if you can't wait to see a doctor the ER is always and option). There is no reason to suffer in silence or be ashamed as I learned yesterday I am not the only one fighting the battle.

Before I go I really want to thank everyone for all the posts, text messages, FB inbox messages, phone calls, emails, prayers, words of support and encouragement. I am thankful and blessed to know and have you all in my life. Sometimes it is not having the experiences or making it through the struggle that help make you better, it is the people that you have around you and help you through it all that help make you better. 

Much love, blessings and good night. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Still Here, Still Running...

I know I have not written an entry nor recorded a video in a few months but things have been kind of busy around here; with major changes going on at my 9-5, kids being home and looking at me as their source of entertainment I just haven't had the time.

Any way, I have gained weight, lost weight, been in kind of a mild depression and through it all I have been forcing and when I say force I literally mean forcing myself to work out. My eating was not always on point but I never stopped moving. I should say despite my getting bored with my work out routine on top of everything I still kept moving.

In the midst of my "funk" or "mild depression" I did a whole lot of self examination...there were some aspects of me that I was not pleased with. There were some patterns that I have repeated over and over again that I needed to figure out how to stop. I knew where it all stemmed from I just really needed to figure out how to get past it. So I am now seeing someone that is helping me sort through everything and helping me to figure out how to move forth in a more functional manner within certain areas of my life.The self work is hard and at times extremely painful but I know I will be a much better person in the end.

I have also started back to meditating daily and I can say that has helped with my feeling more centered. Meditating has also helped with my sleeping better at night (over a month of sleepless nights). Yes!

I am beginning to get in an experimental mood. I am considering doing body wraps to see if they firm the skin and reduce cellulite  like I have heard/seen. Oh and I don't care what any one claims body wraps do NOT make you lose weight. The purpose of a body wrap is to tighten the skin and even that is temporary; you will need follow up wraps to maintain your results. If you want to lose weight eat right (80%) exercise (20%).

I have also been listening to my body. I had been feeling real sluggish and my face kept on breaking out. I ended up making note of the things I consumed and how I felt 1-2 hours after consumption. I found out that dairy was not my friend at all. My girlfriend hipped me to Paleo diet. I am not going to go all into it in this entry but I will in a separate entry complete with links and all that good stuff.  I feel so much better since I started eating Paleo. No more water retention. bloating, greatly reduced the facial breakouts and I have dropped weight.  So I am going to keep following the diet and see where it leads me.

I suppose that is all the updates. I for see my experiments coming to you in vlog form opposed to blog form so keep a look out. Until then you all be blessed and keep moving.

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Nike Women's Half Experience!

Ok everyone, decided to record my experience. Here is Part 1 and Part 2. Enjoy! :)

Be blessed!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sunday Is The Day...

The Nike Women's Half Marathons has quickly arrived. Sunday all my training, and fighting to train will be put to the test. I will be proving my doctors WRONG, WRONG, AND WRONG in regard to not being ready for this half due to my fractured toe.  

Am I ready? Yes, I am ready. Am I nervous? Oh yes I'm nervous but all of that will go away once I start running the course. 

Oh and clearly those that know me know that I have spent just as much time putting together my race day outfit as I did training. I don't know what it is but I really feel as though it is important to stay fashionable and looking good in any situation. :) 

I'm so excited. Stay tuned for a report back and pictures from the event. 

Much luck to all my fellow runners who will be running with me. See you on pavement!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Training Alternative: Water Running

I mentioned in a previous entry that I have basically been grounded from training because I fractured my toe in a car accident. The doctor told me the only exercises I can perform are; elliptical, stationary bike (spinning) or water exercises.

When he said I can get in the water I immediately began to wonder if it would be possible to run in the water. I started doing my research and found a few good articles (see below) and Youtube videos on water running. I found out that water running ( mostly deep water running) is a good way for injured athletes to continue with their training with out further aggravating their injury. It is also a good way to train yet prevent injury to your muscles period. I felt this was a good option for me because it still allowed for me to train while my toe fracture healed.

I have been water running at least twice a week for the last two weeks and I must say, in my head it was easy to do. Water running is extremely challenging as you have to push against the resistance of the water. If you add weights to your work out then it makes it even more of a challenge. From previous entries you all know I tend to learn things the hard way so here are the lesson that I learn...if you are not a strong swimmer don't go in the deep end. If you go in the deep end wear a water jogging belt (aqua jogger) to help keep you a float or if you are not a swimmer at all I suggest you run in water deep enough to cover your shoulders yet maintain your balance or run in the shallow end of the pool. It's a great activity, good for training, cross training and speed work but risking drowning in the pool is not worth it.

Anyway, I got a pair of water shoes got into the water and once I got my bearings I started running. I have read a lot of different suggestions on how you should run. Some say run as if you are running on pavement, and some say run as if you were riding a bicycle, making sure you bring your knees high up to your chest. No matter which way you choose to run always maintain your form so you don't end up straining your back. I chose to run as if I'm riding a bike, this way is easier for me to perform with out putting much thought into it because I need to concentrate more on maintaining good form and not leaning forward to much in the water.

Overall I really like water running and I will continue to run in the water even after I'm released to run on pavement this week. I am strongly considering running two days on pavement and one, maybe two days in the water.

I will keep you updated on the transition back to pavement running after running in the water. I have heard it is not easy and I've heard the transition is not hard in the slightest.

If you want more information on water running here are some articles that may help....

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sports Bras On A Budget

I swear every time I get something in the mail it is like Christmas.

Anyway, I have lost 60lbs to this date and noticed excessive movement during a work out which indicated that I really, really needed some new sports bras. I'm doing this lifestyle change on a serious budget so when I set out to look for new sports bras it took me a while to do my research. 

Considering I was not able to really get around with my foot being all cracked up I had to rely on online reviews on different brand sports bra. 

I stumbled upon the Old Navy padded sports bras. Not only were they on sale but at the time Old Navy was offering a 30% coupon off of my total order. Jackpot! 

I essentially got 3 bras for $9 each.

The bras got so many mixes reviews that I felt like I was taking a risk. So to help any one else out that is considering the Old Navy brand or is looking for an inexpensive but good support sports bra here is my $0.02 on the bras.

The bras are padded. If you want you can remove the pads. Actually they suggest you remove the pads prior to washing them. The bras fit real snug so my suggestion is get a size larger than what your normal size is. According to their size chart I should be in a Medium but I ended up ordering them in Large and I'm thankful for that. These bad boys run small. Nice fit though but snug. 

I can honestly say they are good for women who have rather large breasts. The bra holds extremely well. I have experienced very little movement in them when working out, everything is held in place, there is lift, there is no uni breast phenomenon going on and it actually looks like I had some work done. LOL!

I was warned that the bras hold moisture and honestly that has not been my experience. They seem to dry rather quickly. 

I can't complain and I really love the bras. I will be purchasing a few more. 

Now though I said I really can't thing I really don't like is removing the pads. Removable pads  are like socks they get lost and considering my headlights show while working out I prefer a padded bra. So if Old Navy can make a bra that does not require removal of the pads prior to washing I would be deeply in love.  Anyway, for $9 a bra I shall not complain. 

Let me know what bras you like to wear during your work out. I would love to try some different brands. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snacks That Touch My Soul

They say the first step to any kind of change is admitting who you are and what your flaws/vices are. So yeah, I'm a snacker and I like my snacks. You want to see me praise the good Lord for something small and seemingly insignificant? Then put a tasty snack treat in my hand and watch me throw up my "Mariah hand" in praise to the Lord who created the man, who thus went on to create such a confection. Yes!

I was eating the Fiber One Chocolate snack bars and found the generic/store brand ones tasted better. For some strange and unexplained reason my local grocery store stopped selling the chocolate flavor.  I mean no warning no nothing just stopped. So I had to search for something else in that aisle to get me through until I figured something out.  

I looked up and these Cherry & Almond bars caught my eye....ok so what really caught my eye was that they were on sale. Yes, yes I'm a miser. Any way, I figure what could it hurt. I love dried cherries and I love almonds, perfect!

I'm addicted to them now! If I'm not careful I would eat a whole box in one night. Not saying that I have eaten a whole box in one night, I'm saying that I would. :)

I went onto the company's website and they have a whole line of products; 100 calorie brownies, soy chips and bars in other flavors. I am so in love with these bars that I went and purchased them in bulk. My face will be pressed against the window waiting for UPS to deliver them to my door next week. 

Now that I'm trying to focus more on clean eating these I stumbled on these bars right on time. Gluten free, dairy free, all natural no artificial sweeter.

This snack right here saves feeling and lives. I can honestly say I struggle the most with this weight loss journey when it's time for my cycle to come. I do suffer from PMS (at one point it was real severe) so I find that I crave sweets, more specifically chocolate. Yes, I have heard that taking magnesium supplements will eliminate the craving but I'm already taking a lot of supplements and really don't want to add another pill onto what I'm already taking so yes this keeps me quiet. 

These are soooooo good. A serving size is 9 pieces and only 130 per serving. Most bags come with nice sized pieces in them so you will feel satisfaction after just one serving. Yes, this is an addictive snack and the pack is so small that you can easily eat the whole pack and not realize it until it is gone. I admit I have eaten a whole pack. I have gotten in the habit of counting out my serving and putting the bag away. None the less it tames that raging hormonal craving beast in me, without my feeling like I need to count it as a "cheat snack".

This little bag is $5 from the store. I have been doing some research to see if it would be cheaper to buy this in bulk. Like I said this is highly, highly addictive so I'm not sure how I would do with multiple bags of this at my disposal. I suppose that is what will power is for. *shrugs*

I am always looking for new snacks to add to my list of snack that touch my soul so please feel more than free to share your favorite snacks with me. 

Be blessed!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kitchen Creations : Protein Pancake Success! Finally!

Ok, last night I posted my epic failure of protein pancake hell. In my determination to get this right I had enlisted my boys in taste testing this new recipe I came up with. Hell if it turned out bad why should I have to suffer and eat it alone? *shrugs*

Anyway, it was a SUCCESS! I know the picture isn't all that pretty but these came out really, really. really good. They had the taste and consistency of regular pancakes. Couldn't even taste the protein power. So anyway enough of my boasting. Here is the Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes recipe:

1/3 cup Organic Oat flour
1 Scoop of your favorite Protein Powder
1Tbsp. Plain Greek Yogurt
1/3 cup Egg White
                   1/3 Almond Milk (use what ever milk you like)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
         2 Tbsp All Natural Chunky Apple Sauce (unsweetened) *
2 Packets of Stevia
1/2 tsp of Cinnamon *

Mix all the ingredients together and cook over medium heat, in a pan or on a griddle oiled with cooking spray as you would regular pancakes. The recipe above will make approximately 4-6 pancakes. Double the recipe as you need to in order to suit your family size.

*Add additional applesauce and cinnamon to your taste/specifications. 

This has been picky eater kid approved. The texture and taste are perfect and I'm excited. I conquered this recipe and have redeemed myself.

If you try it let me know how you like it. If you have made changes, variations or if you have a protein pancake recipe that you love let me know what it is. 

Until next time eat well, get moving and be blessed!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kitchen Creations : Epic Faiiiiil!!!!

I by far am not perfect. A perfectionist? Yes. Perfect? No. More often than not when I try a recipe for the first time it never comes out as I had expected; the taste is slightly off, it make need a little bit more of this or a little bit less of that. When a recipe fails I dust myself off and try again. But this, this right here was an epic failure of all failures and I feel like I have gotten got.
In my quest to eat clean I have figured that I would leave the boxed, buttermilk pancake mix alone and find a way to make healthier pancakes.So why not protein pancakes. Yaaaayyy! I Googled it and search Youtube far and wide for ideas and recipes before I came across one that was relatively easy, yet looked tasty.

Here is the recipe so you all won't follow in my foot steps:

2 Cups egg white
1/2 cup of Rolled oats
2 scoops of protein powder

blend it all in a blender and cook it up like regular pancakes.

Yum? Not. This recipe is so disrespectful. It turned out watery and I ended up having to add more oats. I cooked it up and they looked ok but what you all don't see in that pretty picture is that they were not cakey  and fluffy like regular pancakes. The texture and taste left a lot to be desired. I was so disappointed that I set out to figure this thing out. 

I love words and I love food. To me food and words are the same in which you can do almost anything with them. So yes, that is the mission and I think I have accomplished the mission. Stay tuned for an update and a real good recipe. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'm Still Here!!

Yes, I  know it has been a while ok a month or two since my last entry but I have been sick and injured. Yes, injured.

After almost three weeks of illness I was finally getting back into the swing of things then.... I got into a car accident and fractured my toe.

With a little over a month until the Nike Women's Half I fractured my damn toe. Can I just admit that I broke down in tears when the ER doctor said I will be healed but I won't be conditioned enough to run the half? 

My poor dad was there trying to make it better by offering to give me back my registration fee. There was so much going on with my daughter being checked as well that I really couldn't break it down to him.

It's like are doing something you love and benefit greatly from in many ways. It is the one thing that brings a balance to your mood and in some ways your life. Lets add the consistent challenge it presents to you to push yourself to limits on you never thought you could reach or surpass. Now for the icing, you decided to set out to accomplish your greatest challenge and conquer the fear of completing 13.1 miles; only to be told you won't or can't. *smashed my cake*

BUT!  Lets no go selling my bib just yet. I found away to train while healing without further injuring myself and I will share that with you all once I get fully engaged in it and actually can say I know what I'm  doing.

None the less the show will still go on. I have bought some goodies that I will share with you all over the next few days.

Until then be cool, be blessed, be easy and keep moving!