12.30.2011

Healthy Girl! Fridays: Three square meals? Yes or No?!

Heyyy Brickhouses!!

TGIF and Happy New Year's Eve-Eve!! New beginnings happen each morning but there is just something about the New Year!!

Sunday I start Supreme 90 Day and my training for my first half marathon in April! So psyched!!

My sister Kyla of Healthy Girl! has been on a hiatus due to finals (She got a 3.77!!!) and getting a chance to relax with her BF Bri-guy and his family for winter break! She is back now and is answering your questions!

HEALTHY GIRL! FRIDAY


Q: I have heard so many conflicting thing, is it better to have 3 square meals a day or more frequent small meals like five a day?

A: According to Bodybuilding.com under the Meal Frequency tab eating smaller, more frequent meals is best! One of the most important and simplest things you can do to lose fat easily is to eat smaller, more frequent meals.

 Here's why:
  • This means eating six or seven small meals a day instead of the usual three big ones.
  • Each time you eat, you stimulate your metabolism, which burns more calories.
  • Eating this way also allows your body to make more efficient use of the nutrients you are putting in rather than trying to deal with a whole bunch of nutrients all at once.
  •  The process of digestion actually burns calories with protein (the building block of muscles - found in foods such as meat, eggs, soy, beans, dairy, etc.) requiring the greatest amount of energy to digest.
  • By eating smaller, more frequent meals, your body will become a fat-burning machine!
I hope this helps!!

-Kyla

OMG How cute are they?! (Kyla and Bri-guy)
 Thanks Kyla!  Make sure you check out her blog for more fitness tips, she gives them daily! If you have a question for 'Healthy Girl! Friday's submit a question to her blog with LGI Fit written someplace, leave a comment on the LGI Fitness Facebook wall, or email me at lgifitnessbykef@gmail.com.
Have a fit-abulous New Year's weekend!!


This post is part of a Fitness Friday Blog Hop at http://www.jillconyers.com/ Click the picture above to read more posts from some amazing fitness bloggers!!

LGI Fit Reviews!: Oster MyBlend 20 Ounce Blender

Heyy Brickhouses!!

Blogging has been sporadic this week I am sorry! I am still working on cleaning and organizing my house for a smooth transition into this next semester and 2012. I am preparing my first video blog, working on my 2012 vision board, applying for freelance positions, working on articles for Examiner.com, and trying to finish undergrad! So much to do and SO little time!!

The good news is you can expect posts everyday from me everyday in January as I have joined a blogging challenge sponsored by BlogHer. It is designed to get you into a writing groove and challenge yourself to come up with topics that people will want to hear! I am excited and totally up for the challenge but 2012 is already panning out to be a busy year!!

So as you might have read Christmas weekend I received Oster's MyBlend 20oz Blender from Jamal and Imani. This week I have been taking a break from smoothies and protein shakes so as of yesterday, I didn't get a chance to use it. Mia begged me for a morning milkshake instead of her usual cereal for breakfast so I thought it would be the best time to use my blender!

Oster's MyBlend Blender



 The Oster MyBlend Blender comes in four colors: green, orange, fuchsia, and blue.So cute cause you can totally coordinate your bottle with your workout gear! Fuchsia is definitely my workout color and that's exactly what the guys got for me!






 The blender comes in four parts:  

  • Base
  • 20 oz cup
  • Blender Part
  • Top
 Because of the size and the fact that it only has one speed, I didn't actually believe that it would blend Mia's morning shake very well or be as fast as the box stated. I was fully prepared to be disappointed with its performance, store the base, and add the bottle to my stash of H20 containers. 

That face...Chick is silly!  She is definitely her father's child!!

Added ingredients in cup

Put the blender top on and secured

Flipped over into the base

Press down to blend

Enjoy!!

The MyBlend Blender delivered! I was SO surprised at how fast it blended through the ice AND frozen bananas. The whole process literally took one minute and was so simple! Mia loved helping, the color of the bottle, and of course her morning milkshake!

Mia's Morning Milkshake:
  • 1 cup of Almond Milk (90 cals)
  • 1 frozen banana (90 cals)
  • Ice
Gritty post-shake residue

The bottle was also very easy to clean. I just filled it half way with warm water, added some soap, sloshed it around, cleaned the rim and I was done!

Later that night, I was feeling inspired and wanted to use the blender again. My sister had posted a "Green Smoothie" recipe that I was dying to try so I decided to give the blender another whirl.

Kyla-  www.healthy-girl.tumblr.com
Healthy Girl! Green Smoothie
  • 1 frozen banana (90 cals) +
  • 1 cup frozen spinach (30 cals) +
  • 1 cup coconut milk (80 cals) +

Spinach, Almond Milk and Banana

Ready to blend!
It only blended the portion closest to the blade and got a little jammed, so I had to take the bottle off the base and shake it a little. When I tried it again, it was doing the same thing so I added some more almond milk to even it out.Still pretty fast, this blend took two and a half minutes to complete. I blame the spinach!!

Chunky! Frozen spinach is like that though...

The after effect. SO Green! SO Yummy!!

Overall I would definitely recommend this blender to anyone who wants to blend ice blends, smoothies, or protein shakes! It is fast, effective, and so cute!! The price on the Oster website is $29.95, I have also seen them for $63 on Amazon which is a rip-off so take heed!!

I am going to buy another bottle soon so Mia and I can both walk out the door in style with our healthy drink concoctions!







PS. I am part of the Fitness Friday Blog Hop at www.jillconyers.com
Click on the image above and read more posts from some amazing fitness bloggers!

12.28.2011

LGI Food! : Baked Oatmeal

Heyy Brickhouses!!

OMG! Three days until the beginning of 2012!! I have been getting ready by purging things from my home! There is just something about a deep cleaning that says "new beginning". I got rid of my Christmas tree today much to the dismay of Mia who kept yelling "CHRISTMAS!!!" as if looking for a lost puppy!

I have already started planning for my solo Vision Board party on December 31st and have been playing around with my tripod so I can start video blogging!! The possibilities and opportunities of 2012 are endless and I can't wait to see what is in store!


BAKED OATMEAL

Source: FYI mine didn't look like this!

I am so excited about this recipe and all the possible variations that I will be able to do with it. If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook you know that I have struggled with making the perfect bowl of oatmeal. Jam makes some of  the BEST oatmeal I have ever tasted but he loads it with so much butter and sugar it tastes almost sinful--which is why I don't eat it often. I found this recipe on Friday after being a part of the Fitness Friday Blog Hop from Adrienne of Whole New Mom and knew that it would work! Thanks to her my oatmeal struggle is over!

You will need everything shown here:

  • 4 cups rolled oats (whole oats)
  • 4 cups milk (I use almond) 
  • 6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (or other healthy fat alternative)
  • 1/3 cup Stevia
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon 
  • 2 eggs (or egg substitute) (not shown)
  • 2 tsp baking powder (not shown)
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • Cinnamon Sugar (optional for topping) 
  • Dried fruit and/or nuts (optional)

1. Measure four cups of oats and milk in a large bowl

2. Add all of the sweeteners and oil and mix well. (cinnamon, stevia, salt, vanilla)

3. Soak overnight (I covered mine to seal in the moisture)

4. Mix in baking soda and eggs plus any optional items. I used dried cranberries

5. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top (optional) and put in oven for 35-45 min on 375.

6. Take out of oven, cool and enjoy!!!

I love love LOVED this recipe! As always, I tweaked it a little bit and doubled the sweeteners and used vanilla flavored almond milk. This batch made about 12 squares and is easily becoming my go to breakfast! I have had it cold, lukewarm, and hot and they all taste great! My favorite so far is hot baked oatmeal with milk and honey! OMG so tasty! I want to try different variations and experiment with different fruits and flavors next time. This weekend I plan to make a fresh batch and maybe freeze them for a grab and go experience. The best part of all is that as I stated before, my oatmeal struggle is over. *praise dance*

If you try this and like it, make sure to let Adrienne know!

What is your favorite go-to item for breakfast? Do you have another variation of baked oatmeal? Please share!

-KEF
xoxo

12.26.2011

My Christmas Weekend!!

Heyyyy Brickhouses!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!! Mine was great! I was surprised so many times this weekend!

Mia on Christmas Eve <3

I went to church Saturday for my church's annual cantata! It was amazing and the message was much needed. Our young adult choir sang and even though only 65% came we still sounded pretty awesome! I could only find this little girl signing on youtube, but this is the song we sang from a Kirk Franklin Christmas :



After church Jam and Imani were MIA. When they got to Kat's house for dinner they came bearing gifts!!

MyBlend Blender!!

They got Kat and I matching MyBlend blenders!! I had been looking at this before but put off buying it since I had a regular blender. This is going to be so much easier for me to do ice blends in the morning. It will be faster too with minimal cleanup because the cup detaches!!

When I got this from them I started to cry because it was such a thoughtful gift! They believe in my fitness journey and provided one of the tools that will aid me in getting there! As much as they joke on me about this process I know now that they truly care!

Kat was also giving away some perfectly good Adidas trail runners so I took those home with me too!!



That night I was all prepared to wrap Mia's gifts when I realized I HAD NO WRAPPING PAPER!!! I found this out at about 11pm when Mia was already fast asleep plus no stores were open. I have moved twice in the last three years and I guess I either used what I thought I had or it was thrown out somewhere. Luckily I am a gift bag hoarder re-user, so I just put Mia's presents in those! (less cleanup for mommy!!)

She told ME it was time to go to bed that night!!

The next morning, I turned on my Pandora Christmas station and went to work on finishing some baked oatmeal for Christmas breakfast. I found a recipe on Friday after being a part of the Fitness Friday Blog Hop from Adrienne of Whole New Mom. When she gave the recipe and explained how healthy it was, how her kids loved it, and it was easy to make I knew I had to try it!


Yummm!!  
 I will give a more in depth review of the recipe later, but let's just say for now that it was a hit!!

Her Daddy and her Buzz--her most favorite things!!

This Christmas really made me realize how much support I have! Pretty much every present in some way or another signified the plans and goals I have expressed to my friends and family over the last year. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself and feel like I am the only one who understands the struggle. These wonderful people may not understand fully-- and its not their job to. As people that love me and want to see my success they are doing the BEST they can! I so appreciate it!

Tripod from Mike!


I told my friend Mike about the need for a personal camera man/woman since Mia always takes pictures of everything BUT me when I give her the job! LOL His response was this tripod that gets to full size and comes in a handy carrying bag! I am going to start video blogging "vlogging" in the New Year so this will do wonders! Thanks Mike!!


Books for my Social Media journey!!

Mike also got me the Blogging book on top which has a wealth of knowledge about Social Media! I thought I knew everything...until I started reading it!

The blue book is The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. My mother is a journalist (now teaching collegiate level Communications courses) and has freelanced and been an editor/contributor to several magazines, and periodicals since her college days. I definitely have gotten the "writing bug/gene" from her! Inside the jacket, she explained how this helped her when she first began freelancing and will be a wonderful guide for me as well! Love that woman!


Running calendar from Kat!

Kat got me this Running Calendar! All I have been talking about for the last four months is running and this gift was a "Shutup and Run!" present! This is going to come in handy for training for the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in April! I can't wait to begin my full on training!!

All I can say is thank you Lord for using others around me to encourage and give support!! 2012 LET'S GOOOOOOOO!!!!

video


-KEF
xoxo

12.23.2011

Healthy Girl! Fridays: Happy Holidays!!

Source


Heyyyy Brickhouses!!

TGIF!! And happy pre-Christmas Eve!!Two days till Christmas! Wooohoo!!
Wanna know what got me just a tad bit more into the Christmas spirit? Two things...

#1 Standing in the long procrastination last-minute shopper line at Best Buy with Jam and Mia..

Jam and Mia

The rushed and panicked look of shoppers makes me chuckle! Jam and I took Mia WITH us to pick up her presents (except for Buzz Lightyear, which she's been asking for since we got Toy Story 3 on DVD in July). She knows about the concept of Santa but also knows that "Ma-Daddy"( her name for us when we are all together LOL) are in charge of the WHOLE Christmas operation!

#2 Trader Joe's Eggnog Almonds!!

OH-EM-GEEE!! Yess Joe! Yesss!!

Instant merriness, jolliness and good cheer! NO. JOKE. I love chomping on legumes (peanuts, almonds, cashews, trail mix etc) for healthy snacking purposes but add my favorite seasonal beverage and it takes it to a whole nother' level!! Kudos to Trader Joe's for being visionaries and Kat for being an impulse shopper!!

Tonight after work and choir practice, I will be wrapping gifts! My mommy (never graduated to Mom or Ma) sent a package with me and Mia's presents as well so that filled me with an extra dosage of good cheer!

I know the title says "Healthy Girl Fridays" but I am giving Kyla, who got a 3.77 GPA this semester by the way, another break! In the New Year you can expect consistent Q&A from our resident pre-Med/Exercise Science major! Here is some tumblr gold I found on her blog which if you have never visited, can check out here.



Kyla, her BF Bri-Guy and their penguin child wish you a Merry Christmas!

Are you in the holiday spirit yet? If you aren't what activities/experiences help with that?

-KEF
xoxo

P.S. The almonds I mentioned above are 230 calories for 1/4 cup. Enjoy at your own risk!

My blog is a part of a Fitness Friday blog hop! Click above to check out other awesome fitness bloggers!!

12.22.2011

My Fit Memoir: Lance!

Heyy Brickhouses!!

 LGI Fit loves the fellas!! Our next Fit Memoir is my Mia's- best friend- Dee's- father Lance!! *takes deep breath*

This fit journey is personal for me because from 2008-2010 I was going through virtually the same EXACT experience. Both Lance and I, and our significant others had gained a substantial amount of weight after the birth of our daughters. Any couple that has experienced a pregnancy, usually can identify with the cravings and late night runs to fast food restaurants! Jamal and I both worked at Cracker Barrel during my pregnancy so you can imagine the overindulgence that happened for nine months. The problem usually lies AFTER the pregnancy, where the eating habits of the last nine months continues, lack of exercise continues, and  possible  mommy/daddy blues set in.

Lance set up in his mind that his mental and physical health would be of utmost importance! Here is his story, prepare to be INSPIRED!!!

Dude! Ah-mazing loss!

When did your fitness journey start?
My fitness journey started Jan. 1, 2011.
 
What is your biggest motivation?

I had several factors that motivated me....
  • I am a pre-med major and I'm planning to have a career in preventative medicine, I needed to be a model of what is was to be healthy.  How can someone listen to a fat doctor who is telling them to eat better?
  • I had tons of clothes from when I was thinner that could not fit me.  I refused to buy clothes to advocate my unhealthy lifestyle.  I needed to lose the weight to get back into my clothes.  Going shopping for clothes was a long and tedious process.  There were times when I needed to get an outfit for a special occasion and I ended up not going to events due to the depression and laborious process of shopping.
  • My confidence was shattered.  I needed to rebuild it.  Still in process of rebuilding it. Once I get to my goal weight...I'll be ecstatic and much more confident and that will have a positve overall effect on my life.

That's Dee when she was almost two!! Lance is in the back. Significant change!

What is your workout regimen?
My workout regimen consists of calisthenics and aerobics.  For calisthenics I am on a pushup, squat, and crunches program.  My goal is to be able to do 100 pushups in a row, 200 squats in a row, 200 crunches in a row, and 200 reverse crunches in a row.  I already hit my goal of 200 squats in a row.  I can do 45 pushups in a row,  75 crunches in a row, and 30 reverse crunches in a row...I still have a ways to go.  For aerobics I walk for an hour everyday while reading a book. Sometimes I do Tae-Bo. Best thing I ever did, because I'm gaining knowledge while losing fat.  Next year I'm planning on hitting up P-90X.

What do you love the most about your journey and what do you find the most challenging?
The fact that when I look back and realize I came along way.  50 lbs is a long way.  The journey seemed daunting at first and I thought I was going to stay extremely obese for the rest of my life.  The most challenging about my journey is eating right.  There's so many factors that affect my eating habits.  Between peer pressure, mood swings, commercials, cravings, and the expense of foods its hard to eat food that's beneficial for your body.
 
(2009) Precious Dee again and her daddy :)

What advice do you have for other men trying to get fit?
Take it one day at a time....don't feel anxious because you have a long way to go.  If you focus on that one day, and you keep that same focus everyday, you'll realize 30, 60, or 90 days passing and you'll look back and be shocked that you actually made it through.
Also, a motto that I live by "small things."  You have to be consistent with the small things in order for you to conquer the larger challenges in life.  


Lance October 2011

What are some of your favorite foods/snacks/ meals to eat?

My favorite snack to eat are rice cakes and peanut butter.  My favorite drink is carrot juice, which I juice myself.  My favorite meal to eat is a taco salad (I use vegan sour cream because it has less calories and fat) but I eat my taco salad with ground turkey, not beef.
 
Any last words of wisdom?
Don't start your fitness journey by trying to start something really big, like p 90x or insanity if you're extremely overweight.  Start with walking everyday for 15-30 min.  Once you do that consistently then you can increase the length of time.  Also, you don't have to join a gym if you're worried about expenses, there are thousands of workouts posted on the internet that you can perform at home, even without weights.  I'll say join a gym once you are consistent with the little workouts you can do at home.  And if you are also concerned about not having time to work out, then try to spare at least 10 minutes of your day to do something.  A little is better than nothing at all.

Last thing...What's your operation name? Mine is #OperationBrickhouse!
Haha, I don't really have an operation name.  #OperationUnderConstruction maybe....because I'm working on myself, not just physically, but spiritually, and mentally as well.


On Dee's fourth birthday December 2011

WOW!!! Boy you better do it!!! I am so happy for you Lance and glad that you acted courageously in sharing your story! By sharing and being transparent, I am confident that you will inspire and motivate men to start on their own fitness journey to HEALTHY!!!

Do you have a father, brother, cousin, significant other, or male friend that needs motivation to get healthy? What have you done to help motivate them?

-KEF
xoxo

It's Christmastime in Nashville!!

Hey Brickhouses!

On Sunday I was feeling pretty crummy. This always happens to me about a week before Christmas because I start stressing about everything that needs to be done, and I worry if I will make Christmas for Mia a memorable one. I went over to Kat's,  Mia's paternal grandmother, after work and she could tell something was on my mind.

Somewhere along the way, someone suggested that we go to Gaylord Opryland  to look at the lights and decorations. Even though I wasn't feeling hot and it was already 8pm, I went. I thought that if I could give Mia a Christmas memory it would all be worth it!


The crew! (l-r) Jamal, Mia, Imani, Sam, and Kat

I will probably be talking about these folks more in the new year as they are my Nashville family, so let me introduce them!

Jamal- Mia's father! We aren't together but remain super close friends and even better co-parents. I realize that is a rarity now days so I am truly blessed!

Mia- That's my baby girl! She will be four in February and is just as social, theatrical, bright and busy as she wants to be!

Imani- This is Jamal's brother, Mia's uncle! He is the closest thing I have to a brother in every way. Check out an example here.

Sam- Here is a young lady I hope sticks around! She is Imani's "boo thang" (their words...lol) and a joy to be around! Demure, witty, and most of all confident enough to deal with Imani's teenage angst/mood swings! LOL

Kat- Jamal and Imani's mom, Mia's grandma! My second mom! Culinary legend! People all over know about this woman's amazing cooking. She inspired this recipe and pretty much any other recipes I attempt to cook! She is also part inspiration behind the name #operationbrickhouse! She has kept her body in shape and maintained it her entire life and has taught me a thing or two!


My camera sucks!! All I want for Xmas is a better one!!

Sam, Mia, and Imani

This tree made of lights was HUGE! Even after moving back I couldn't capture the whole thing!

Mia, Me and Jamal (being a goof!) the best co-parent anyone could ask for!

Nativity Scene! It had a audio re-enactment playing

Horse and Carriage! They are all over Nashville. I WILL ride in one one of these days!

Mia pointing at someone or something lol

Beautiful decorations!


The lovebirds <3


Lovebirds again!

Overall I had a great time walking around looking at the decorations, spending time with the fam, and getting back into the Christmas spirit. I definitely am going to visit the Gaylord again in the future! I can't even explain through pictures or writing how fabulous that place looked but you can check more out here.

What Christmas season memories have you been able to make this year? What are some activities do you do every year?

-KEF
xoxo