“You need to start posting ingredients and recipes along with your pics.  I gotta start eating healthy.”

Yesterday I posted a picture on my Facebook page of my lunch and it prompted the above comment.

salad

I cannot take credit for making this salad; however, there is a story behind the salad.

Long story short– Thursday of last week, hubby and I took B’Dazzle (our 13-year-old son) to College Station, Texas to see a big football game Auburn VS Texas A & M.  The spirit of Aggieland is unimaginably amazing.  We had a blast!

We arrived home late Sunday; hence, no time for food prep and Monday I returned to work.

So, since I eat healthy and I eat clean, what’s the plan?

Develop a plan!  Hahahah!

In my neighborhood, I have a go to for healthy food on the go.  Nearly two years ago, my friend, who helps me meet my fitness goals, hipped me to Frankie’s Famous Pizzeria and their grilled chicken fajita salad; I’ve been hooked ever since.

Sunday night, I was tired from the flight.  It was late but I knew that I needed lunch for Monday. Since I did not have any leftover cooked food, on Sunday, I ordered the salad (with extra chicken) and kept in the fridge overnight.  Monday morning, I packed my other foods: oatmeal, eggs, apple, shake, avocado half, and grabbed my salad.  All done.

Okay so what’s for dinner?  I had a plan Plan B… Always have a Plan B. 🙂

On Wednesday, I knew that once we returned from Texas, I would need food for the week.  I scoped out the frozen and pre-cooked seafood at Sam’s Club and BJ’s.  Please know, I am not a fan of pre-cooked and frozen foods. However, with a little patience, if you read the labels carefully, you can find some decent options.

bourbon salmon box

After reading the label, I could not resist the anticipated flavor of Bourbon Salmon and it’s Wild caught, so that is an added bonus.

salmon box label

Okay so while the salmon is boxed, the sodium isn’t too bad. Most frozen meals are nearly 1000 mg of sodium, so 173 is doable.  Total fats are hidden, but saturated and trans fats are low.  The 24g of protein makes this a winner for me.  I was very surprised by the 0g of sugar!  I’m jumping in the air!!!  Whoooooop!! 🙂

pre-cooked salmonThe salmon is individually wrapped so you can cook only what you need.

The instructions are quick and easy.  Remove plastic, place frozen fillet on a greased baking dish skin side down, and place on the center rack of oven.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Other cooking instructions are on the box to grill (cool), pan sauté (cool) or microwave (Eeew).

I baked mine; it came out really pretty.  Hehe!

Cooked salmon

The next question is, What goes with the salmon?

Well, as I said before, have a plan.  I keep fresh organic baby spinach in the fridge.

boxed spinach

Of course, nothing beats freshly picked out-of-the garden spinach, but the reality is, my life is busy and I don’t have time for that.  My solution is to keep this spinach in the fridge.  I buy it from BJ’s and Sam’s.

You can use the spinach in a salad or quickly steam it down via stove top or microwave for no more than a minute and 30 seconds.

The label and nutritional value of spinach is why I eat it regularly.

spinach label

plate of spinach

Uncooked spinach

I grabbed two big handfuls of spinach (approximately two cups) and tossed them onto the prettiest plates I could find.

Steamed spinach in a microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Steamed spinach in a microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Then I added the baked salmon…

finished plate

…finished product..  a healthy, colorful, quick, and nutritious meal.  Anyone and I mean anyone can do this.  I cooked enough salmon for lunch for tomorrow.  It’s all packed up.

Finger lickin good lunch!

Finger lickin good and nutritious lunch!

Although I did not add carbs, you could add spaghetti squash (minimal calories), a baked sweet potato, yams, brown rice, black rice, or quinoa.   All of the carbs are healthy carbohydrate options.

Now, tell me that you can’t this!  I betcha you can… As a matter of fact, I know that you can!  Give it a try and tell me how you like it!

Bona-petite! 🙂

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A Fast Eat Clean Dish!

So it’s Friday late afternoon, early evening. In an hour I am meeting friends to paint and sip wine. Sounds like fun right? I can’t wait!

I’m due for meal number 5 of the day and don’t have much in the fridge because I haven’t done my shopping yet. I bought a pack of chicken breast tenderloin and used the rest of the veggies in the fridge.

Because I will have a sip or two of wine this evening and… because I’m trying to grow my guns for March’s competition, I wanted to make sure NOT to skip a meal.

Here’s an example of a quick dish that requires little prep and cook time.

Chicken Breast Tenderloin

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Sweet Onions & Red Peppers

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Baby Carrots

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And you get a nice healthy stir fry. Oh yeah, I added broccoli!

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Mmm…. a quick healthy protein filled dish. I’m tossing it over a bed of leftover brown rice. This is solid proof that you can cook and eat clean quickly and without sacrificing nutrition.

Happy Friday! :0)


Genetics Or Lifestyle

I think folks’ perception of what post 40 should look and feel like is wrong.

If I earned a dollar for every time someone asserts my physique to genetics (and they don’t even know my parents), I might not have to get my tail up at 4:15 every morning.

While I cannot deny that me and my brother’s bodies are carbon copies of our father’s 5′ 10″ thinly framed body (veiny arms, legs and feet included), but daddy’s DNA is only going to take us but so far. At some point the age factor kicks in.

Many times I have shared that since the age of 14, I’ve worked out in some way, shape, or fashion. I have kept it movin all my life.

Ahem… (Clearing my throat)  Likewise, even when I did not know better and ate two big macs, two large fries, and sucked down a large orange soda, I still worked out and ate my share of fruits, veggies, and drank water.

Though I ate this ish, I was running like 35-50+ miles per week.

Back then (I sound old right!?), you couldn’t pay me to move the scale past 128 pounds. I gained a measly 20 somthin pounds with my daughter’s pregnancy.  Weight gain just wasn’t on the radar for me.

Fast forward some 30+ years, and that just ain’t the case anymore.  As some point, estrogen levels decrease,  the metabolism slows, and menopause kicks in.  Add an unhealthy diet and no exercise, medication and other health factors, and bam!  That’s a recipe for disaster.

Speaking of recipes, this is a typical lunch for me. The chicken, kale and brown rice is satisfiying and nourishing.  Best of all, I don’t feel sluggish and tired after eating processed foods like hoagies, french fries, and cheese steaks.

lunch

As we age, our bodies change and function differently. It’s no different from a car, a house, or a kitchen appliance.  We have to care for it well or it’s going to fail us terribly.  Heck sometimes, even when we do all the right things, the body still fails us.  So what am I saying? What’s the point? The point is to increase the chance of a long and healthier life by taking better care of yourself.

By the way, I can gain weight.  I repeat… I am very capable of weight gain. However, knowledge, discipline, and lifestyle changes keep me tight, trim, and slim.  Lol!!

About five years ago, I had surgery. Recovery time was eight weeks.  During the eight weeks, I was sedative (Doctor’s orders) but ate very well. Guess what?  Sista still gained weight!  I was devastated that I ballooned to a size 12.  Now hold on!  12 is not large by any means, but for me, that’s huge. I was literally busting out of my pants and skirts!

The facts are that you can eat well but don’t exercise and you are not going to get the results you want.  Finding a realistic balance between the two is key.

Age ain’t nothing but a number.  When I was a kid, I thought 50 was old as dirt!  But when I turned 40, I realized that my age didn’t mean squat!  Age is a mindset.

If you want to be old… Go ahead and be old.  Where old ass clothes, fill your head with outdated and unfounded old behind myths about how you’re supposed to act, eat any darn thing you want, sit instead of dancing, stay home, and live your life based on BS philosophies about how others say you “should” live after your 40th birthday.

My point here, is that I look and feel fantastic for a number of reasons:

  1. God has blessed me. Every day I thank him.
  2. As I learn better, I do better (in all that I do).
  3. I eat well (avoiding processed, unhealthy, and sugar laced food & beverages)
  4. I drink alcohol in moderation. Yes, I drink.
  5. I minimize stress by eliminating whatever or whomever causes me stress (people, environments, etc…)
  6. I help others (try to improve their life) and I don’t look for or want anything in return.
  7. I purposefully compliment and encourage other women (no reason to hate on one another, especially sistas).
  8. I say what I mean and mean what I say.
  9. I live within my means.
  10. I live a simple life, by  avoiding keeping up with the Jones’s & don’t indulge in trying to impress people.
  11. I do more of what makes me happy (work out, read, dance, travel, cook, spend time with the best of my friends and family).
  12. I don’t worry, care, or give two sense about those who don’t “get me” or like my style. I LOVE being different. J
  13. I laugh AND smile…. A LOT! Lol!!!  I really do. J

The bottom line is that we are adults and have choices. I choose to stay on my grind of cherishing my mind, body, and spirit.

By continuing to educate myself, I improve my diet and overall lifestyle.  Whatever I learn, I apply to my life, and whenever possible, my family’s life.   If I learn that a certain food is bad, I give it up and find an alternative.  Likewise, when I discover new food, I try it.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.

Genetics may contribute to my physique, however at 49 years old, a lot more has to do with my habits and lifestyle.

Keep it movin!!

50fit

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Tug-A-war In The Kitchen

Two weeks ago I cooked baked ziti for my family.  This week it’s authentic baked mac & cheese.

While they enjoy the dish and look forward to traditional meals, I feel like a heel for feeding it to them.

Some of the meal are loaded with the unhealthy fats.  Whenever possible, I substitute with “low fat” this, “low sodium” that, Non -GMO Verified, ingredients and more. So although, I do what I can to prepare healthy meals, mom and hubby are grown folks and I have no right to make them adapt to my eating styles. I can only encourage and educate them and hope they make healthier choices.

I had a moment while running through the aisle of Shoprite.  Lol!!  I like using the new smaller carts with two baskets; one on top and one on the bottom.  I was filling my cart with one gallon water jugs and got a glimpse of the contrast of the basket contents.

cart1There was no more low fat cheese; cheese was on sale.  They like the mac & cheese better with the whole milk. I can’t find whole wheat pasta in elbows. And the corn muffins, well, their delicious!  Lol!

cart2

Water. Chicken breast (I wish it were organic).  Flaxseed. Brown rice. Black Rice (new to me).  I don’t know what this black rice is going to taste like, but I’m always up for trying new foods.

mac and cheeseThey will be grubbin on a scrupulous (Yes, I tasted it…OMG! It’s delicious) pan of mac & cheese, while I experiment with great anticipation, a plate of hot fluffy black rice.  🙂

I could very easily eat the mac and cheese with dinner, but I won’t.  Why?

  1. Goals!  written-goalsIn 2015 I will compete again, so I’m on a mission.

  2. My body no longer appreciates the cheese, milk, and the pasta, so I’d rather not suffer through the consequences. Feeling bloated, gassy, and down right uncomfortable.
  3. I understand the health benefits of avoiding certain foods and eating clean, so all is good. 🙂

Best believe the next meal I cook for my fam is going to be healthier!  Lol!!  To help me (mentally) and them (health wise), I try to rotate and vary meals.

I have to go check on the black rice and finish cooking vegetables (broccoli and kale) for dinner.

Enjoy the day; make it a good one! 🙂


A Beautiful Habit

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Image courtesy of LivingWellSpendingLess.com

Boo!!  Lol!  Good Morning!

I just packed my lunchbox and got excited at the beauty of lunch; it’s so pretty!   It’s okay, I’m cool if you don’t get it.  When you eat clean, you see food differently and appreciate the natural beauty of vegetation.

Anyways, the meat is from Sunday’s food prep session; center cut pork loin.  We ate the last of the cooked veggies yesterday, so I tossed in a couple handfuls of a kale medley blend (spinach, kale, chard, and carrots), drizzled pan juices from the cooked chops, and placed the chops on top.  A half-cup of brown rice is my side.

Mmm…. makes for a delicious and nutritious lunch!

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Happy Halloween and Happy Friday!

Enjoy the day… make it fabulous!  🙂

 

 

 


Good Cheating!

Hurray! Today is Friday and I completed by day job! Lol!

Mama dukes is setting the stage to get my weekend “chores” done tonight. Laundry is sorted and the house…. Umm… Nope! I’m not cleaning.

Today is Day# 19 of my 100 Happy Days Challenge and it is a tasty one!

IMG_3046.JPGI’ve talked about Z Crackers in earlier posts and I haven’t nibbled on this treat in a hot minute.  The market was out of my favorite dark chocolate, but I have had this brand before and it will work.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to eat them together because I don’t usually combine the two.

The chocolate is for a fine glass of Cabernet, which I haven’t had in months. Still amazed that I gave up my almost glass-a-day craze.  Although I never thought I could give up my daily glass of wine, once I realized the sugar content, I weaned myself off. Heeey!  The crackers are perfect when I feel the need to crunch on something.

Either way, it’s about to go down!! I want to say more, but I have to get this laundry done so I will have a handle on my weekend, starting with the gym on Saturday and Sunday.

I’ll talk to y’all later.

Enjoy the evening.