Less Fat Kids, Trust Us…No Condoms Needed, Get Married and Pass the Salt, Get Fit In Minutes

Hi Friends!

Today I’m sharing a few articles from the New York Times, all about health, wellness, and fitness. I enjoyed reading them and I have a sneaky suspicion that you will too.  I try to watch the news and read a newspaper everyday to keep up on current events. I’m not successful every week, but this week I was. 


Less Fat Kids

Data reported in Major Federal Healthy Survey is the first “clear evidence” that the obesity rate for young children is decreasing fast. 

43% drop in obesity rate amoung children ages 2-5 over the past 10 years

Children that are overweight or obese at 3 to 5 years old are  5 times as likely to be overweight or obese adults

Around 8% of 2-5 year olds were obese in 2012 which is down from 14% in 2004

“The first time we’ve seen any indication of any significant decease in any group” said Cynthia L Ogden, a researcher for Center for Disease control and Prevention

1/3 of Adults and 17% of youths are obese
Information found in NY Times article : Obesity Rates for Young Children Plummets 43% in a decade by Sabrina Tavernise on Feb, 24, 2014

Trust Us…No Condoms Needed in Egypt

Doctor, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdul Atti confidently announced late last week that the military has developed a cure for the virus that causes AIDs and Hepatitis C

“Defeating the virus is a very easy process, but God grants wisdom to whoever he wants “said Major General Ibrahm Abdal Atti, who also bragged about treatments that have cured 100% of AIDs patients and more than 95% of Hepatitis C cases

Independent experts are skeptical about the generals new “so called cures”

This could be very damaging to public healthy and the reputations ofEgyptian  Scientists and Doctors

Dr Essam Heggy calls the latest announcement “a scandal for Egypt that  hurts the image of its scientist and science in the country”
Information found in NY Times Article: Disbelief after Egypt Announces Cures for AIDS and Hepatitis C, by Kareem Fahim and Mayy El Sheikh on Feb 26, 2014

Get Married and Pass the Salt

A new study published in The Journal of Hypertension proves people who are maried, especially  men, are much more likely to improve their blood pressure, compared to people that are not married

“Marriage might provide a level of social support that leads people to better manage their healthy and stress levels” (as stated in the NY Times (24, February 2014))
Information found in Ny Times Article: Marriage May Be Good for Your Blood Pressure, by Anahad O’Connor on Feb 24, 2014

Get Fit in Minutes

High Intensity Interval Training are both very effective and very short  but are becoming enourmously popular because of the results

Interval training shows immediate post exercise increase in blood levels, muscle tissue, and endurance capacity

Information found in NY Times Article: How to Get Fit in Minutes, By Gretchen Reynolds on Feb, 26, 2014

Don’t forget to complete your cardio interval training this week 

Thats all today Folks
Hope you enjoyed these articles

NY York Times
Kareem Fadhim 
Mayy El Sheikh
Maj, Gen, Ibrahim  Abdul Atti
Dr, Essam Heggy
Gretchen Reynolds
Anahad O’Connon
Jouranl of Hypertension 
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Finnian R. McCousland

My Favorite Healthy Snacks

Hi Friends

Today we are talking about my favorite healthy snacks. 

Who doesn’t love snacking? Sometimes snacking is my favorite part of the day. Here are some my favorite healthy snacks and a few reasons why they are so good for you.

Raw Mini Sweet Peppers 
(any raw bell peppers)


  • Bell Peppers are a natural weight loss food
  • Bell Peppers can boost our metabolism
  • Bell Peppers keep immature fat cells from developing into full fledged ones
  • Bell Peppers are loaded with vitamins

Boiled Eggs

  • Protein – Protein – Protein
  • Boiled eggs add good fats to your diet
  • Boiled eggs pack important vitamins to help protect your eyes and keep your bone strong

Smoked Salmon

  • Protein – Protein – Protein
  • Smoked Salmon provides a good source of good fat and  essential minerals including iron
  • 3oz servings of smoked salmon provides 41% of the recommended omega-3 fatty acids intake for women, 28% for men

String Cheese

  • Individually packaged food lets you know exactly how many calories you are eating 
  • String cheese is a good source of Calcium
  • String Cheese contains a large amount of other essential nutrients such as phosphorous, zinc, riboflavin, b12, & vitamin A

Baked Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes are high in B6
  • Sweet Potatoes are a good source of Vitamin C, iron
  • Sweet Potatoes are a good source of magnesium which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral

Fruit Leather

  • Fruit leather contains no chemical preservatives or artificial sugars
  • Dried fruit generally contains high fiver
  • Fruit leather is a good source of antioxidants 
  • Longer shelf life than fresh fruit

My Homemade Granola Bars 

  • Granola helps lower your cholesterol and prevents certain chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer
  • The Fiber in granola bars help digestion and prevents constipation
  • Soluble fiber in oats are helpful for lowering bad cholesterol levels

A Handful of Almonds 
23 to be exact

  • Almonds are an easy way to incorporate crucial nutrients in your diet
  • Almonds are rich in Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  • Almonds are a significant source of protein and fiber while naturally low in sugar
  • There are only 160 calories in 23 almonds (a handful)

Unsweetened with flax seeds

  • Oatmeal “may” help  lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Oatmeal can help you control your weight
  • Oatmeal may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes

Okra Chips

  • Okra helps promotes healthy pregnancy 
  • Okra helps prevent diabetes
  • Okra helps with kidney disease, supports colon healthy, and promotes healthy skin

Here are a few more healthy snacks ideas

Healthy Snack Friends


Cauliflower Pizza, Sticky Asian Wings, & A Polka-Dot Layer Cake

Hi Friends,

Today is all about cooking! I’ve been trying to save every penny we have for our upcoming trip to Miami, by cooking all of our meals. I’ve created some delicious healthy recipes that my boyfriend and I adored. I also made a polka-dot layer cake that I’m uber proud of. I hope you all enjoy these recipes as much I as took pleasure in making them.

Cauliflower Pizza

I’ve seen this recipe on different health blogs recently but it never really turned me on. Pizza curst made solely out of cauliflower…. umm no thank you. While talking to my boyfriends Mother last week, she gave me this recipe to cauliflower pizza, and said it was Delicious. With a recommendations like that, I had to try it out.

Crust Ingredients
2-1/2 cups cauliflower
1 egg white
1 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp dried oregano
pinch of sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F
Spray or grease your pizza pan (I used a cast iron skillet)
Place cauliflower into food processor and chop until fine, if mixture gets watery you have gone too far (if you do no have a food processor use a blender or grate cauliflower)

Combine the rest of the ingredients and spread the dough out evenly onto your pan, making sure it not thin in any spots

Bake crust for 15-20 minutes, until the crust looks slightly brown

Remove from oven to add your sauce and toppings

I made a mini pepper, onion, and mushroom pizza, and sauteed my toppings for 3-4 minutes

Place back in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes

Cut and enjoy

Picture step by step directions below

This recipe can be made gluten free, vegan, or paleo

This pizza was really tasty. I couldn’t believe the crust, it tasted a lot like a regular pizza crust, with none of the guilt. Even my boyfriend asked for a few pieces, it was really that delicious. He also couldn’t believe I didn’t use any flour in the recipe.

This one is a keeper. It a good way to hide vegetables in common foods that your kids/husband/family will really enjoy

Asian Sticky Wings

2lbs chicke wings
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger
2 sliced green onions
as needed non-stick spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

In a bowl combine honey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and teriyaki sauce.

Peek ginger and grate it using a small cheese grater

Press garlic, add ginger and garlic to mixture, and stir to combine

Place chicken wings in a colander and rinse well

Cut each wing at the joint

Add the wings to the bowl of sauce and stir to coat and place them in preheated oven

After 25 minutes of baking, stir the wings to re-coat with sauce then turn the oven to broil

Broil for 3-5 minutes, stir then broil again for 3-5 minutes

Because broiling cooks fast and every oven is different keep an close eye on your wings. 

Keep stirring them until they have turned nice and brown

The sauce should have reduced and thickened significantly during the broiling stage

Let wings cool for 5 minutes before serving 

Sauce will thicken as chicken cools

Sprinkle sliced green onions on top

Polka-Dot Layer Cake

This weekend we celebrated one of our good friends 30th birthday. If I had to describe this guy using one word it would be: clever. Searching for a birthday present was nearly impossible. Instead of giving him something that he would pretend to love then stuff in the back of his closet for the next 5 years I decided to bake him a cake. Not just any old cake, a polka-dot layer cake. 

It was quite the adventure, with a huge reward. This was my first layer cake, and it turned out excellent. 

The recipe is simple, the extra steps are a little time consuming, but you can do it. 

Basic White Cake

All the recipes I found called for boxed cake, but I’m not a boxed cake kind of girl. You can substitute box white cakes if you are in a hurry, but this recipe is just as simple, with no added preservatives.

**I tripled this recipe

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 package dry vanilla pudding mix (jello brand)
food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Grease and flour a 6×5 inch pan 

In a medium bowl, cream together sugar and butter

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla

Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well

Stir in the milk until batter is smooth

Pour or spoon batter into prepared pans

Bake for 30-40 minutes in preheated oven, for cake pops bake for 20-25 minutes

Cake is done when its springs back to the touch

Since this is a polka-dot cake we have to make our polka-dots first. I purchased a cake pop pan from target for $20, I wanted to keep searching for cheaper pans, but I didn’t have the time. 

Spoon a few tablespoons of batter into 4 separate bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl creating different colored batter. I used red, blue, green, and orange. 

Place batter in cake pop pans and bake for 15-20 minutes. You don’t want the cake pops to be fully done, they will re-cook in the layer cake 

Once colorful cake pops are done, trim off any excess cake, making sure each cake pop is a perfect circle

Add a few tablespoons of batter to the greased layer cake pans. 
(I searched high and low for 6×5 inch pans, I finally found them at Sur la table for $12.99. They were difficulty to find, but worth the trouble)

Place the colorful cake pop balls on top of the the batter in the layer cake pans, then cover them with the rest of the batter

Cook cakes for 30-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean

Let cakes cool on wire rack while you make your frosting

Basic Vanilla Frosting

I tripled this recipe

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp butter softened
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy

Once Frosting is done, and cakes are cool frosting your cakes

This was the first time I’ve ever frosted anything and I was NERVOUS. I remeber my mother making her first few layer cakes and having to hold it together with tooth picks. This was the deciding moment for me. I couldn’t serve a cake held together with toothpicks. I also remembered some of my mothers cakes comming out crooked. OMG what did I just get myself into???

I started by piling on a few spoonfulls on frosting on the top of the bottom layer. I knew that some frosting would end up squriting out of the sides, and since these cakes are taller then normal, I wanted to make sure I got enough frosting in the middle. 

Once I was happy with my frosting job, I place the 2nd layer cake on top. Just like I imagined, a lot of frosting started pouring out of middle of the cake, but since I piled it on pretty thick I wasn’t too worried. I piled more frosting on to of the cake and used my frosting spreader to slather it on as smoothy as possible. 

At some points my cake started to tilt, instead of freaking out, I just kept frosting it, and tried to correct anything I could. In the end the cake stood up perfectly straight and the frosting actually looked smooth. I placed the cake in the refrigerator over night to set. 

The next day I removed the cake and was thrilled to see it actually looked like a real layer cake. No tooth pics, not sloppy sides, no drooping. 

I cut out a big E out of white paper and placed it in the middle of the the cake. 

Then I used my hands to press sprinkles all over the cake and all around the E. 

This is the finished product. 

Can you believe I made this?? I couldn’t, my boyfriend was very impressed, but I was still nervous about the taste and the frosting the cake ratio. 

We spent the entire day with our friend celebrating his birthday with an all-you-can-drink brunch, some bowling, and a good old fashion house party. 

We all ended up at a bar by the end of the night, that’s where I presented the cake. 

Once I pulled it out of my cake holder everyone ohh ahhhhhhed
Did you really make that cake???
OMG look at all the sprinkles. 

The birthday boy jumped up and down with excitment. 

We lit candles, sung happy birthday, and then came the most exciting part, I got the honor of cutting the cake. 

It took me a while to actually cut a piece. When I finally did everyone went crazy. Are those poka dots in the cake? How did you get the circles so perfect??? 

I passed it out and got nothing but great feed back. The frosting to cake ratio was perfect. The cake was moist and fluffy, not too sweet. Everyone was impressed, I spent the next 20 minutes explaining how I got the color balls into the cake. Everyone loved it. The cake was gone within 20 minutes. I couldn’t believe it guys! I  pulled off my first layer cake. 

Next time I’m going to search for 6×3 pans so my polka-dots are more pronounced. 

Thats all today folks.
Have a wonder-filled Tuesday



Challenge Monday

Hi Friends,
I hope you had a great weekend, I surely did. I have lots of recipes to share with all of you this week, but not today because… 

Today is Challenge Monday 
Fitness Challenge

I challenge you to complete my cardio interval 

routine 4 days this week 

Challenge Synopsis
  • Complete Cardio Interval Routine Pictured below
  • Complete each exercise for 30 seconds 3xs each
  • Rest for 60 seconds between each exercise sets
  • Try to keep up a steady pace during the routine
  • Drink Plenty of water this week
  • If any exercise is too strenuous do a low impact version
  • Push yourself through this routine, it can get a little taxing
Why Why Why
  • Cardio Interval Training challenges your pace, you slow down to recover only to challenge your pace again
  • According to research published in the International Journal of Obesity, interval training targets your waistline, adding a burst of speed that can help you lose stubborn abdominal fat
  • Increases the after burn effect, post exercise your body burns more calories, even during sleep and rest
  • Saves time
  • Decreases resting heart rate
  • Exercise mat or big towel
  • Stop watch, or stop watch app on phone
  • Strength, endurance, and will power

**complete each exercise for 30 seconds, 
3-times each

 30 seconds of Jumping Jacks

30 seconds of Jump Squats 
(low impact: regular squats)

30 seconds of Mountain Climbers

30 seconds of Butt Kicks

*60 seconds rest

30 seconds of High Knees

30 seconds of Plank Jacks

30 seconds of Speed Skaters

30 seconds of Push Ups

*60 seconds rest

 30 seconds of Burpees

30 seconds of Mountain Climbers

30 seconds of Squat & Kicks

30 seconds of Wall Sits

*60 seconds rest

My take
Because I exercise so much, I’m constantly looking for different ways to push myself past my current limit. No matter how many times I complete this cardio interval routine, it always challenges me. By the 3rd set I’m usually trying to talk my self out of finishing the routine. 

I also love that its a timed routine, instead of a set based one. Instead of completing 20 pushups I complete as many push ups as I can, which makes it easier and challenging at the same time. 

Nutrition Challenge

I challenge you to drink more water

Challenge Synopsis

  • Increase your water intake
  • Studies have produced varying recommendations about the amount of water actually needed
  • Your water intake depends on many factors ie you health, how active you are, where you live and many more
  • Baseline recommendations: Drink at least 8 glass of water a day
  • For a more detail water intake calulations click here
Why Why Why
  • Water helps build muscle
  • Water Increases Cognitive Function
  • WAter helps your  joints stay strong, healthy and lubricated
  • Shiner hair, shiner skin, better complexion
  • Water helps you lose weight
  • You body is 60% water
  • Water 
My take

I grew up drinking water more than anything else. Of course we had sodas, koolaid, juice, and ice tea, but water was king in my house. I try to keep the tradition of drinking plenty of water going now that I’m older, and I’ve been pretty successful in spurts. I am constantly calculating my water intake for the day. This challenge is going to help remind you to drink more water daily. 

Self-Help Challenge

Identify and tackle your blind spots

Challenge Synopsis
  • Write down all of the things/events/people that trigger you daily (Trigger means to feel annoyed, angry, sad, frustrated,small..)
  • These triggers are your blind spots
  • Once you identify your triggers, start addressing them one by one

Why Why Why

  • Blind spots, in personal development terms, are things about ourself that we are unaware of
  • Identifying your blind spots helps identify the area that need improvements and that we are unaware of
  • This exercise helps you discover new things about yourself
  • This exercise will also expose some blind spots that you didn’t realize you had
  • Clean piece of paper
  • Your favorite writing utensils 
  • An open mind
My take
I am all about addressing blind spots. No matter how hard I work on myself, I know there is always room for imporvment. I found 8 blind spots today that I’m going to work on. This challenge was adapted from one of my favorite blog www.lifehack.org 

That’s all today Friends

Facts about Fat

Hi Friends

Today we are diving into facts about fat. I like to watch my calorie intake as well as my fat gram intake. I know a lot about calories, but fats can be tricky. What are good fats? What are bad fat? What are trans fat? What are the benefits of consuming fats? All this and more will be  addressed today.

Sit down, get comfortable, and maybe even take some quick notes

Fat Facts
*Fat is a good concentrated source of energy

*Fat contains more than twice the energy in carbohydrates and    
 protein contains 4 calories per gram

*There are 9 calories per fat gram

Fat & Your Body
*Your brain is 66% fat

*Your hormone system runs on fat

*Your Cells are 50% fat 

*Certain fats are essential for the body which means our bodies   
 cannot make them, therefore they must be part of your diet

*Fat provides vitamin  A, D, E, and K

*Everyone requires fats

*Fat must be in appropriate function to avoid its ill effects 
 such as obesity, heart-related problems, hypertension, stroke, 
 and other diseases

Fat & Your Diet

*The dietary guidelines recommends that all Americans limits fat 
 intake to 30% of calories

*How much fat you should consume depends on the number of   
 calories you need according to the formula:
 – Daily calories x 0.30 = calories from fat
 – Calories from fat 9 calories/grams of fat = grams of fat per   

*For most people counting grams of fat rather than calories from  
 fat easier

*To keep track of fat grams read labels, and/or fat tables and  
 add up the total everyday

How much is a gram of fat?
*It is easiest to think in terms of tsp of fat

*If 4 grams equal 1 tsp of fat then
 – Carrot and celery sticks = no fat
 – Slice of bread = 1/4 tsp fat
 – 3oz lean beef = 1 tsp fat
 – 1/2 cup creamy coleslaw = 3tsp fat
 – Croissant = 3 tsp fat
 – 2 hot dogs = 7 tsp fat 

Average Fat Gain Per Day

*On an average, the recorded fat of the individuals gained per   
 day is 1 gram of extra body fat. 

*The average recorded fat being gained each day is 1 gram of  
 extra body fat. 

*If you take 1 gram of fat per day from different sources, a  
 total of 365 grams of extra body weight you will gain annually

*If you calculate this quantity will be converted into 20 pounds 
 when you reach age 50. 

*The problem starts when you consume more fats than the standard 
 body requirements

Life Period of Fat Cells
*The average or standard life span of human fat cells life is 
 only ten years

*The rate of fat cells death is 150 per second

Calorie Generator

*Fat is the number one basic source of calories of the body 

*The thinking that fat can kill someone is wrong. 

*Fat will kill you or cause health problems only when consumed in 
 excessive amount than the standard one

*Obesity is also produced by fats and the obesity related 
 diseases are more frequent in the US

Flavor Enhancer
Most of the preservatives and flavor ingredients that are readily mixed to the food for delicious cooked food, the primary ingredients of majority of them are derived actually from fat. 

When flavors are added to food a great change in texture and flavor

Vitamin Absorbent
Fat acts as an absorbing agent for all soluble vitamins that can be found in store pharmacy products, that is actually the soluble form of vitamins

Women Needs Fat More than Men
Women experience ovulation period and during this process it prepares women in general to be pregnant through menstruation process.

Women get weak after the menstruation process and the best way to recover energy from intake of fat to reserve the energy for routine activities

During baby birth process women lose large proportion of fat. It also depends on the different eating habits of women during pregnancy period.

When women decide to breast feeding to the baby, she would need more fat as all the required nutrients are being shifted to the baby

Women lose weight during breast feeding period

These are just some of the reasons why women need more fat than men

Energy Reserve 
Fats contain high amounts of calories which are being transformed into energy so it is an energy reserve

One gram intake of fat is actually equivalent to about 9 calories and if you have stored a pound of fat, it only means you actually have an equivalent 3,600 calories of energy. These calories are necessary for routine activities

Types of Fat
The two types of fat are good fats and unhealthy fats 

Good Fats = Unsaturated fats

Bad Fats  = Saturated fats + Monounsaturated fats + Polyunsaturated fats + Trans Fat 
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are composed of unsaturated fats
Trans fat are unsaturated fats which are uncommon in nature but can be created artificially

Saturated fats are generally found in meats, dairy products and other trans-fat products
Saturated fats cause bad cholesterol intake and heart problems 

Essential and Storage Fat
Fats are necessary for human health that is normally stored in human organs, muscles, bone marrow, and nervous system 

The other types of fat lies under the human skin which is an indicator that whether you have gained body weight or lose weight. 

Fats are required for the overall performance of the human body similar to enhancing immune system and production of hormones

Percentage of Fat 
The scale of standard healthy body fat for human is divided according to gender and age of the person. 

Men have higher body composition of body fat than the women from 18-39 years old, 40-59 years old, and 60-70 years old with more than 100% difference

Women have 13 to 17% of extra body fats which are normally stored in their thighs, hips, breasts, and bottoms. 

Men have to maintain an essential fat of about 3 to 5% which is less than women and they usually stored in their abdomen

Books on Fat
If you want/need more information about good fats, bad fats, and incorporating fat into a healthy diet check out these books:

by Shawna Vogel

by Mary Eng and Sally Fallon

by Kaayla Daniel

The point of this posting is to give some knowledge about the benefits and good effects of fats on the body if it is consumed in the required amount of body needs. 

I hope you enjoyed it. 

Blessings Friends


Seasonal Vegetable Recipes & Reving Up My Workout Routine

Hi Friends

Since I challenged all of you to eat seasonably this week, I figured I should share some of my favorite seasonal vegetable recipes.  

Parmesan Spinach Cakes
Spinach is in season, great excuse to try this new 
healthy, delectable, delicate, recipe

12oz fresh spinach
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese or low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low fat parmesan cheese (more for garnish)
1/4 cup low fat mozzarella cheese
2 large eggs
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
Pinch of red pepper flakes if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Pulse spinach until finely chopped and almost liquid

Transfer to medium bowl and add ricotta, parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper and stir to combine

Coat a 8 cup muffin pan with cooking spray

Divide mixture among 8 cups 

Bake spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes

Let stand in pan for 5 minutes

Lossen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate

Serve warm, sprinkled with more parmesan if desired

2 cakes per serving!!

141 cals 
8g fat 
2g fiber
6g carbs
4g sat fat 
123mg chol 
13g protein  
456mg sodium 
560mg potassium
** Nutrition Bonus!  
Vitamin A – 170% daily value
Vitamin C – 40% daily value
Folate – 46% daily value 
Calcium – 30% daily value 
Potassium – 16% daily value 

Chile Garlic Cabbage

Cabbage is in season, this recipe only has a few ingredients, it’s quick and easy to make, and it reminded me of sauerkraut, which I love.

4 tbsp fresh lime juice
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbs sesame seed oil
8 cups sliced cabbage
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Combine lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, in small bowl


Heat sesame seed oil in large skill over medium-high heat; swirl to coat skillet

Add cabbage to pan; cook for 7 minutes, or until lightly browned

Stir in brown sugar mixture; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally

Stir in 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 

Serves 4 (serving size 2/3 cup)
Calories 57 
Fat 2.4 
Sat fat 0.4g 
Sodium 193mg

Reving up my Exercise Routine

I’m going to Miami in a few weeks and I’ve reved up my workout to make sure I’m ready for the beach. I’m never really intimidated by my bikini, but I do want to be tighter then I am right now. 

I could pout and wish I was someone other then myself, maybe a woman with perfect breasts, a naturally flat toned stomach, and manageable thighs. Nope that’s not me, I’m all about self love. I love my little body, my big booty, small waist, my voluptuous figure. That doesn’t mean I have to give up there. I will do whatever I can to do get where I want to go. 

All that said, I’ve reved up my workout routine and I wanted to share it with all of you. 

Yesterday I did an interval cardio routine and my beach body workout. The workout targets arms, abdominals, legs, butt, cardio endurance all of the above. Its annoying, hard, and effective. I adapted this workout from other workout routines I love to hate. 

Cardio Interval 
Jumping Jacks
Jump Squats
Mountain Climbers
Butt Kicks
complete each exercise for 30 seconds, go directly into next exercise, rest for 30 seconds after the 4th exercise. Complete x3

High Knees
Plank Jacks
Speed Skaters
Push Ups
complete each exercise for 30 seconds, go directly into next exercise, rest for 30 seconds after the 4th exercise. Complete x3

Mountain Climbers
Up down hops
Cris Cross hops
Wall Sits
complete each exercise for 30 seconds, go directly into next exercise, rest for 30 seconds after the 5th exercise. Complete x3

Beach Body Workout
20 Deep Squats (legs, cardio)
20 Kick Back crunches (core)
20 Deep Squats with 2 second hold at bottom (legs, cardio)
20 Rotating planks (full body)
20 Side Step lunges (legs)
20 Bridges (lower body and core)
20 Up-Downs with Plank Rotation** (full body killer!)
20 Curtsy Lunges (core)
20 Reverse Crunches (core)
20 Speed Skaters (cardio, core, legs, arms)
20 Side Plank hip raises LT (core, arms, chest) 
20 Side Plank hip raises RT (core, arms, chest)
20 Scissors (core) 
2 minute water break
20 Step back lunges (legs)
20 Rotating Plank kick backs (full body)
20 Deep Squats (legs, cardio) 
20 Up-Downs with Plank Rotation** (full body killer!!)
20 Leg Raises (core)
20 1 Legged Speed Skaters (full body, cardio)
20 Criss Cross Legs (core) 
20 Side Crunches (core) 
20 Curtsy Lunges (legs)
20 Toe Touch Crunches (core) 
20 Bicycles (core) 
20 Feet on Ground Crunches (core)
20 Up-Downs with Plank Rotation*** (full body killer!!) 
2 minute water break

Ab Challenge
25 In-outs
25 Bicycles
25 Rev Bicycles
25 Crunchy Frog
25 Wide Leg Sit-ups
25 Scissors
25 Hip Butt Ups
25 Heels to Heaven
25 Roll Up Vs
25 Leg Climbers
25 Kayakers

Foam Roll + Stretch

That was my workout yesterday! It took me about 2-1/2 hours to complete. It was hard, just like I like it. 

I’m also adding some kettle bells into the mix to make sure I have muscle tone throughout. I enjoy kettle bells, they just got too expensive to keep up with. I was moving up in weight every 3 weeks, the next kettle bell I need costs $75 and I just can’t bring myself to purchase it. They have kettle bells at my gym, but I don’t like working out in front of people. Too many eyes on me. It makes me nervous which takes the concentration away from my workout. 

I’ll share my Kettle Bell workout with you tomorrow, its killer!

To top it all off I’ll be working in some Bikram Yoga Classes this week and next week. Bikram always keeps my skin tight and taunt, while raising my heart beat and sweating like a pig. 

After all of these sweat jerking routines, I’m also eating clean. My lunches look like this right now:

a big salad, no salad dressings, olive oil and salt & pepper, with a few eggs, peppers, toasted almonds and a sweet potato. 
**this salad is on a bed of Arugula. Arugula is in season!

Whenever I want to lose a few extra pounds, I revert back to salads. As much as I would rather be eating potatoes day and night, I enjoy having control over my diet. Controlling my diet controls my weight.   

All of you are on this crazy journey with me. I hope to post a few pictures of me in my bikinis during this vacation, pictures that I’m actually proud of. Cross your fingers and wish me luck. It’s going to be a long, sweaty, ride. 

You know I’ll keep you posted
Blessings Friends

Cooking Light Magazine

Challenge Monday/Tuesday

Hi Friends

Today is Challenge Monday Tuesday 

Fitness Challenge

I challenge you to complete my Abdominal 

Challenge 5 days this week

Challenge Synopsis
  • Complete my Abdominal Challenge 5 days this week
  • Do 25 reps of each exercise at a medium to fast pace
  • You should work up a small sweat
  • Try not to rest in between exercises
  • Drink plenty of water this week

Why Why Why
  • Without proper strength and conditioning of all core muscles injury, aches, and pains can occur more frequently
  • The core of the body is responsible for supporting the back, spine and shoulders
  • Strength and power ordinate at the core of the body, when the trunk, torso, and pelvis are strong and stable, power is transferred to all other muscles
  • Core fitness exercises support proper posture
  • Strengthening the abdominal muscles allows the weight of the upper body to be evenly distributed over the front and back improving balance  

  • Exercise mat or big towel  


My take
Since I’m heading to Miami in a few weeks I’m trying to get my mid-section as tight as possible. This challenge is going to get me where I’m trying to go.

I swear by this abdominal challenge, I know it works, I’m living prof. 
I did this challenge for 30 days, no breaks, no mercy, and I am flabbergasted at the results. 

Nutrition Challenge

I challenge you to consume produce that is 

currently in season

Challenge Synopsis
  • Eat produce that is currently in season for the rest of the week
  • Vegetables in Season:
    • arugula
    • asparagus
    • beets
    • broccoli
    • brussels sprouts
    • cabbage
    • carrots
    • cauliflower
    • garlic
    • fennel
    • kale
    • leeks
    • lettuce
    • mushrooms
    • mustard greens
    • onions
    • parsnips
    • pea-shoots
    • radishes
    • scallions
    • spinach
    • sprouts
    • sun-chokes
    • turnips
  • Printable chart of vegetable seasonality
    Why Why Why
    • When produce is in season, the abundance of the crop usually makes it less expensive, especially at farmers markets
    • In season produce is naturally more flavorful 
    • Produce grown in its proper season, under the correct growing conditions, exhibits all of its natural nutrients
    • Seasonal fruits and veggies don’t have to endure as much travel, so they don’t loose those vital nutrients
    • Since seasonal vegetables don’t travel as far to reach their destination you can reduce your carbon footprint
    • In Season Produce and some imagination
    My take
    Right now I’m on a seriously healthy diet to ensure I look great in my bikini. I’m making sure to eat double the amount of vegetables then I usually do. To make sure I’m getting the most bang for my buck, I try to eat seasonally. Not only is it cheaper, but the flavor from the vegetables are exponentially enhanced. 

    Self-Help Challenge

    I challenge you to put someone else up to the 


    Challenge Synopsis
    That’s right friends, I’m turning the tables on you guys.

    Create your own challenge, (i.e. weight loss, fitness, spending time with family, hanging out with friends, saving money, etc) compete with one of your like-minded friends, co-workers, or family members.  

    Why Why Why
    • Competition is not only healthy, it’s also a positive way to grow
    • Setting challenges and competing with a friend, can motivate you to finally get out of your comfort zone 
    • You will gain more competing with a friend then going at it alone


    • A like-minded friend, relative, co-worker…
    • Your imagination

    My take

    I don’t have many friends, the friends I do have support me and all of my endeavors.

    I have one friend that keeps me on track with my relationship, she makes sure that I’m not neglecting myself or my man.

    I have another friend that keeps track of my career goals and aspirations. She constantly asks me what I’m working on, and if she can help.

    I have another friend that likes to talk about fitness issues with me.

    All of my friends play an active roll in my success. If I didn’t have people holding me accountable, I might let some things slip through the cracks. But because I don’t want to disappoint any one of them, I keep moving forward, striving to reach my dreams.

    I want all of you to create that kind of love and support in your life. This challenge is the first step…

    That’s all today Friends

    V Day Dinner Low Down

    Hiddy Ho Friends

    How was your Valentines Weekend??

    This past Valentines was the best one I’ve ever experienced. I put together a savory meal of food, then we jumped on a quick flight to LA to soak up some sun and relax. 

    For some reason whenever I plan big dinners something usually always falls through the cracks. This time it was the arugula salad.

    After making another batch of almond biscotti for family members, tackling those red velvet cheesecake brownies, and carefully preparing a vegetable tart, I was pooped. I didn’t have the time or energy to fix a salad, and I still had to pull of sesame seed chicken.

    Luckily my man is easy… ‘Like Sunday Morning’ and he didn’t care that the salad didn’t make the cut.

    Enjoy the pictures and the recipes. 

    Leek and Swiss Chard Tart

    1 sheet puff pasty, 1 sheet tart dough, or 1 sheet pie dough unthawed (I used pie dough)
    2 tbsp unsalted butter 
    2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only) coarsely chopped
    1 tps dried thyme
    1/2 bunch Swiss chard (I used kale instead) ribs removed, leaved chopped about 2-1/2 cups
    1-1/4 cup whole milk
    3 large eggs
    2 large egg yolks
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper

    Roll out pastry dough on floured work surface 

    Transfer to 9 inch glass pie dish (I used a 9inch cast iron skillet instead)

    Trim overhang to 1-inch , crimp edges, cover, chill

    Melt butter in large non stick skillet over med-low heat

    Add leeks and thyme, sprinkle with salt and pepper

    Cover and cook until leeks are very tender but not brown, stirring often about 10 minutes 

    Add Chard sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes 

    Remove mixture from heat and let cool

    Position rack in bottom of oven and preheat 425 degrees F

    Whisk milk, 3 large eggs, 2 egg yolks, salt and pepper in large bowl

    Mix in cooled leek mixture

    Pour filling into crust

    Bake tart 15 minutes 

    Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake until filling is puffed and set in the center, about 15 minutes longer
    It took my over about 10 minutes longer

    Transfer to rack
    Cool for 10 minutes 

    Sesame Seed Chicken

    1 large egg
    2 tbsp corn starch
    1 pinch salt and pepper
    1 pound chicken breast tenders (or chicken thighs)
    2 tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)

    2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
    1 tbsp water
    1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seed oil (I couldn’t find toasted so I used regular sesame seed oil)
    1-1/2 tbsp brown sugar
    1-1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
    1 inch fresh grated ginger
    1 clove minced garlic
    2 tbsp sesame seeds
    1 tbsp cornstarch 

    For serving
    4 cups cooked white rice preferably jasmine or brown rice
    2 whole green onions chopped

    In large bowl mix together eggs, cornstarch, salt and pepper

    Trim excess fat from chicken and cut them into small 1-inch pieces

    Toss chicken in egg and cornstarch mixture and coat chicken

    Let sit for 5 minutes

    Heat large skillet with vegetable oil over med-high heat

    When oil is very hot (it should look wavy on the surface) add chicken and all of the egg mixture

    Let chicken cook with out stirring for 2-3 minutes ***you will want to stir it but fight the urge. This step is very important

    After first 2-4 minutes stir chicken occasionally until golden brown  and cooked through, about 7-10 minutes

    Drain off access oil

    While chicken is cooking prepare sauce

    In same bowl stir together soy sauce, water, sesame seed oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, minced garlic, cornstarch, and sesame seeds 

    Once chicken is cooked thoroughly and golden brown pour sauce over the chicken

    Toss chicken to coat in the sauce

    Sauce will began to thicken as soon as it hits the hot skillet

    Once chicken is coated and sauce is thickened turn off heat it should take about 3-4 minutes depending on your stove

    Serve chicken on bed of rice, sprinkle with green onions

    Serves 4
    Calories per serving 175.6!!! Fat 9.05g, sat fat 1.21g, protein 19g, sodium 176mg, carbs 5g, Chol 79 mg

    I put some serous love into this meal and received a abundant amount of love in return. 

    I’ve never made a tart before, I’ve eaten tarts, and I always enjoy the texture, taste, and most of all, the crust. Being the fearless cook that I am, I wanted to make everything from starch. I’ve tackled pie dough before, it’s a little time consuming and a bit nerve racking. I decided to take the pressure off and go with a pre-made pie crust I found at trader joes for 4 bucks. That way I only had to concentrate on creating the delectable filling. 

    I had the hardest time trying to figure out what kind of chicken dish to make for my beau. I needed something scrumptious, fun and challenging. Since I don’t eat meat and I’m craving fish less and less, all the traditional Valentines Dinner options didn’t tickle my fancy.  

    After a lot of searching on Pinterest I ran across a recipe for Sesame Chicken. It seemed easy enough, I already had a most of the ingredients, and the boyfriend loves Chinese food, problem solved.

    The tart was really something special. The crust was buttery and flaky, and the filling was creamy and succulent. I couldn’t believe I actually pulled off the tart. My cooking skills are elevating to the next level.

    That’s all today friends

    Since today is a holiday I moved Challenge Monday to Tuesday

    Enjoy your Presidents Day! 

    Blessing my friends

    leek and swiss chard tart www.yummly.com
    sesame seed chicken www.lovewithrecipe.com

    Happy Valentines Day!!

    Look what was hand delivered to me last night 

    This year we both decided to stay home. Valentines  Day is to hectic in the City for me. All of the over priced set menus, crowded, loud resturants, it’s something I jump at the chance to avoid. 
    We both decided we didn’t want to deal with all the hustle of V day, instead we will stay-in and cook dinner together. Well… Sort of together, he follows direction very well 🙂  
    The menu:
    Arugula Salad with toasted Almonds
    Broiled Corn
    Sesame Seed Chicken with white rice
    Vegetable Tart
    Heart Shaped Cheesecake red velvet brownies 
    Give me luck tonight friends!! I don’t want to screw anything up.
    Have a wonderful Valentines Day.
    I’ll try to post some pics of my night tomorrow. 

    Blessings Friends

    Self-Esteem Quiz

    Hi Friends

    Do negative comments completely shatter your view of yourself?

    Can you handle criticism and rejection? 

    Do you believe in yourself and your abilities?

    This test will evaluate your general level of self esteem while helping you learn a little more about yourself. 

    You might be surprised with what you learn. 

    Self-Esteem Quiz

    When someone asks for your help you most often 
     a) Stick to your priorities and schedule a time to talk later 
     b) Stop and talk on the phone with that person for an hour
     c) Drop everything and hurry to help him or her

    Your friends want to watch a new movie you don’t want to see. Do you…
     a) Tell them you’ll meet them after the movie
     b) Let yourself be dragged to the movie but stew about it
     c) Go with them anyway

    When you work through your daily to do list you typically
     a) Do at least one thing to nourish yourself during the day
     b) Do something to nurture yourself only if all the other tasks are done
     c) Don’t do anything for your own self care 

    When someone compliments your appearance but you believe you’re having a bad hair day. Do you…
     a) Say, “Thank you, I appreciate that!”
     b) Smile but doubt that the other person is being honest
     c) Immediately object and say you don’t think you look good. 

    If you’re faced with a challenging task with a tight timeline you tend to:
     a) Ask for help and guidance
     b) Do it yourself even if you have to stay up all night
     c) Feel helpless and give up

    How do you react when a friend or family member doesn’t show up when agreed or breaks a promise? Do you…
     a) Let the other person know immediately that this behavior doesn’t work for me
     b) Act hurt the next time you see the person
     c) Ignore it and assume you are the one who did something wrong

    When a repairman does a sloppy job, you generally
     a) Tell him you are not happy and you want it correct right away
     b) Hesitate to confront him
     c) Ask a strong male partner or friend to contact the person 

    In a meeting, if a co-worker disagrees with you in front of everyone, you tend to
     a) Speak up to correct misconceptions and give facts to support your case
     b) Roll your eyes while he or she is talking
     c) Slump down in your chair and wish you could disappear 

    When in a room with a mirror, you tend to
     a) Smile and give yourself a mental hug
     b) Frown at your image and quickly turn away
     c) Obsess about the details of how you look 

    When you and your partner disagree about what to do on vacation you
     a) Make sure both of your needs are met during the trip
     b) Toss a coin and grumble if you lose
     c) Go along with what your partner prefers to do

    A big project is finally over. The next day you
     a) Reward yourself by celebrating in a meaningful uplifting way 
     b) Indulge in overeating something that’s not good for you
     c) Think about all the things you could have done better

    When you make a mistake you usually 
     a) Take action to correct the situation and move on
     b) Pick up the phone and talk it over for a long time with friends
     c) Criticize yourself and worry about what will happen for days

    How do you make important decisions
     a) Spend time alone to tune in to what your heart says
     b) Call all your friends and get their opinions 
     c) You worry and often can’t make up your mind

    A job you’ve always wanted opens up. You…
     a) Grab the application and fill it out immediately
     b) Take a moth to evaluate the pros and cons
     c) Do nothing because you’re afraid you’re not good enough

    When the food you ordered at a restaurant is cold and over cooked you…
     a) Flag down the waiter and ask for a different dish – pronto
     b) Eat it and then complain to the waiter when the bill comes
     c) Eat it anyways so you don’t embarrass anymore 

    If you answered mostly A
    You are doing great! Keep up the good work 
    Congratulations!!! You’ve learned the importance of respecting yourself and drawing appropriate boundaries. You are the king or queen of your own castle and a good example to others of what it means to have a him sense of self-esteem.

    If you answered mostly B
    You are not getting all deserve out of life
    You could benefit by being honest about how you are feeling and then asserting yourself in healthy ways. Don’t be afraid to ask for support when you need it too. By taking those steps you’ll begin to feel more confident, energized and fulfilled. 

    If you answer mostly C
    You need to work on your self esteem 
    You lack the confidence in yourself and others. Your lack of self-esteem reflects your overall appraisal of a person in his or her own worth. You constantly feel inadequate and undeserving. You often rely on others to figure out how they feel about yourself. 
    You need positive external experiences (e.g. compliments from friends) to counteract the negative feelings and thoughts that constantly plague you. Even then the good feeling (such as from a good grade or compliment is usually temporary. 

    Work on making positive memories and positive experiences. Don’t be affairs to stand up for yourself. Participate in the weekly self help challenges posted every Monday on this blog. Make small changes in the correct direction.  

    That’s all today folks
    If you want to discus your results contact me at

    Blessings Friends