Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals #1

Last month I joined a monthly program called Foodie Penpals. Foodie Penpals was started by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean in September 2011. The group of participants has grown from 30 to over 600! There are participants in the United States, Canada, and now even over in the UK!

On the fifth of the month Lindsay sent me the names of the two pen pals I was assigned. I would sent a box to Josie over at Happy Corredora, and would receive from the awesome Elin in PA! After exchanging emails I set out to find interesting food to send to Josie on my $15 budget. You can include interesting foods, recipes, home cooked treats - as long as it is cool and interesting!

When I got home from Florida on Sunday, there was my box waiting for me! I dropped everything and opened it up!! Elin included a recipe, as well as all kinds of tasty chocolatey and peanut buttery treats!

First, Elin wrote me a wonderful card with an owl on it! And this makes me happy because I talked about how much I loved owls many moons ago!

The box also included these tasty treats! My Dad and the fiance laid claims on the Hot chocolate - I didn't get to taste but I am told it was quite delicious.

She also sent me her recipe for her Spinach Salad with Mustard Dressing! Since I'm still in a post vacation funk I haven't had time to make it, but it is on my to do list!! Pictures at a later date!

The dark chocolate - my weakness - was delicious and the peanut butter melt was an awesome addition to ice cream! 

It was so fun getting to chat with you Elin, you are very sweet! First month of Foodie Pen Pals was a definite score! Check out Josie's blog to see the goodies I sent her way!

Live, Love, and Lift!

-Kiwi and Me

For tips, suggestions, questions, or if you just want to share your weight loss pictures or story - email me at: kiwiandmefit(at)gmail(dot)com!

Pizza Dough

I’ve had a few people ask about our family pizza dough recipe, so I thought I would share! You may remember my pizza recipe post from a few weeks ago. In that post I used premade dough, and the calories came out to be roughly 160 if made in the stated proportions. With the dough recipe I don’t know the calories but I do know that it’s still better for you then store bought!

The original recipe is from Betty Crocker's International Cookbook (copyright 1980), one of the many cookbooks in my mother’s collections.

It states – for one pizza:
1 rapid rise yeast package
¾ cup warm water
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups of all purpose flour

But my family likes to be picky so this is how my mother and sister have changed it up to create the perfect balance of yumminess.

1 rapid rise yeast package
¾ cup warm water
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup of ground corn meal
Lots of Italian Seasoning

(If you don’t have corn meal you can just use a whole cup of whole wheat flour)

Candace says her trick for making the best dough – store the whole wheat flour in the fridge, and the corn meal in the freezer (From Roundup – has no preservatives). They will need to be heated before added into the mix (roughly 20 seconds, so they are not cold anymore, but not too hot). You don’t want to add them cold and stop the yeast from rising.

Add the yeast to the warm water, then add sugar, salt, oil and 3/4 a cup of the flour, 1/2 cup of wheat flour, and the 1/2 cup corn meal. Turn onto a flour covered surface, kneading until smooth. This takes about five minutes.

Then sit it near heat to rise for roughly an hour until it doubles in size. You can place a towel over it. Once risen, roll into a circle, place on a pan and decorate!

Live, Love, and Lift!

-Kiwi, Candace, and Me

For tips, suggestions, questions, or if you just want to share your weight loss pictures or story - email me at: kiwiandmefit(at)gmail(dot)com!

What I Ate Wednesday #4

Good morning! Its another WIAW post and I'm going to continue posting like last week. Instead of posting everything I had in one day, I'm posting all the things I ate this week that caught my eye! This girl likes variety!

----What WIAW isn't about----
Comparison - Judgement - Restriction - Guilt

----What WIAW is about----
Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!

WIAW is about food and fun! It's about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so much more <3
-Peas and Crayons

wednesday: my strawberry margarita at the back porch.

thursday: the fiance boiled shrimp for dinner

friday: cold oranges for a snack after time on the beach

granny's wonderful dinner she cooked - pot roast with red and sweet potatoes
fresh shrimp salad and lima beans

saturday: watermelon for lunch

sunday: fajita dinner

almonds for a snack

monday: chick-fil-a southwest salad and fruit for lunch

veggie and shrimp kabobs and a sweet potato for dinner

tuesday: tall unsweetened passion tea for a snack

catfish with onions and peppers cooked in the oven
and oven roasted asparagus


What was your favorite meal this week?

Live, Love, and Lift!

-Kiwi and Me

For tips, suggestions, questions, or if you just want to share your weight loss pictures and story - email me at: kiwiandmefit(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chilling and Grilling

Good Evening!

Last night, after I left work I went to the store with every intention to a few ingredients to make Skinny Taste’s Shrimp Creole, per fiancé and mom’s request. But right as I walked into the produce section, there was dinner screaming in my face. Veggie kabobs. Mushrooms, peppers, squash, zucchini, and onion! Already packaged and ready to go (and yes I’m one of those weird people that looks at the time stamp to make sure they are fresh). So I called the fiancé and said change of plans, you’re grilling! And that made him happy. That boy loves to grill. So I grabbed a few sweet potatoes, some other odd and end stuff I needed for the week, and headed home.

At home I mixed two teaspoons of olive oil, garlic pepper, chipotle seasoning, and some garlic powder (I like lots of garlic). I mixed it together and brushed it over the veggies.

The fiancé got some shrimp out of the freezer, thawed them, and put them on the skewers. He seasoned them with jerk seasoning and then brushed with spicy bar-b-que sauce.

As for the sweet potatoes we just wrapped them in foil and put them on the grill for forty minutes.

When they were close to done we tossed on the veggies and the shrimp! And voila! Deliciousness! Just added a little spray butter and garlic pepper to my sweet potato! O-M-G! So good. I need to hardcore work on my pictures. I know, I'm sorry.

I ended the night with some Total Body Sculpt by Gilad, I know I said I would do Insanity but I missed Gilad so that’s what I did. Compound moves were killing me. And I had this little monkey making my workout difficult by climbing on me, biting me, and getting under foot. The fiancé had to come grab her like three times. I couldn’t help but laugh though the last time he came out and he called her name and she went all sweet and innocent on him. Brat. Today, I am sore sore sore. 

In other news, our garden is booming! We started doing a summer and winter garden a few years ago and while it started off small it has grown to include all kinds of things! 

We used to plant rows of squash and would have five gallon buckets slap full on the back of the porch and still had to give some away! But one year these creepy crawlies called vine boars moved in and killed all out plants. We tried growing them in different areas, all kinds of natural ways to kill the little suckers (Candace is a degree in green thumbery, on top of being a quilter and awesome cook - I have a great gene pool) with no luck so we finally gave up. Well see those two wooden boxes behind the garden, those are compost piles. We returned from vacation and Dad went to take out the compost and holy moly - squash plants that had been tossed in there upon their death had sprung forth!

I'm so excited, I hope the boars leave them alone!! Pray for my squash - serious! 

And now time for me to stop slacking and catch up on my Photo A Day!

13. Mum - ours have all passed, so you get a sunflower.

14. Grass

15. Love

16. What you're reading - On my Mom's iPad

17. Snack

18. Something you made - I made a trip

19. A favorite place

20. Something you can't live without - Seriously.

21. Where you stand - Love my shoes

22. Pink

23. Technology

Question: Do you have a garden? And what do you grow?

Live, Love, and Lift!

-Kiwi and Me

For tips, suggestions, questions, or if you just want to share your weight loss pictures and story - email me at: kiwiandmefit(at)gmail(dot)com

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Weekend and Back to Routine

Sorry for the weekend absence, but I was a busy little bee. Plus I wanted Logann’s post to enjoy some glory. It was pretty awesome wasn’t it? I don’t know if she has gotten on to see everyone’s kind comments yet since she is on her way back to Austin but I’ll shoot her a message and let her know!

Friday, after soaking up some last rays on the beach we headed to Granny’s (Hi Granny – Love you) for some family time and dinner. Now like most other granny’s in the world, my grandmother, my father’s mother, is a wonderful cook. Pretty much everything she makes is to die for. We watched Wall-E with my nephew and then sat down for some pot roast with sweet and regular potatoes, lima beans, broccoli and salad. Oh my lord was this girl stuffed!! You should see my family when lima beans are involved, it’s a mass grab it and growl fest! Don’t step between this girl and her lima beans, you may get hurt.

Goodbye white sandy heaven, until next time.

Saturday we left the condo and headed to the country. My mother’s parents had lots of land north of Fort Walton, which her father divided between her siblings and a few others during his life and at his death. My aunt has a horse ranch there, and my parents have a little house near the canyon. On this property is a fishing pond, and a natural spring feed creek perfect for hot afternoons. So after lunch, and a nap, we headed down the hill to the creek – Logann, Candace and her family, and me and the fiancé. The first time you step in that water it never ceases to make you cringe with the cold, but we took a hike up the creek to explore. I wish I could have gotten some pictures but I was afraid of getting my phone wet. We found animal tracks, little beaches, and spring heads that we literally took a cup and drank from. The land there sits on a large slab of iron which gets in the water, and holy moly it is the best water I have ever had. I think it lost out on a national taste test to somewhere in Colorado. But oh so good.

We came back up to the house to find Granny had shown up, and my aunt and uncle cooked up some fish, cole slaw, and potato salad. At this point I was a stuffed pig. Then she tells us that she has angel food cake with strawberries in the fridge. If you learn anything from this point, remember this – Angel Food Cake with Strawberries is MY FAVORITE. Period. The end. So I couldn’t say no. Last day of vacation, what the heck. Spent some time chatting and playing with my sisters kiddos, and then it was time for goodbyes before heading to our hotel for the night.

Yesterday was spent in the Camaro, driving from Florida to home. I hate leaving Florida every time, but it is nice to be back home in the great state of Texas! I spent the morning driving and then the fiancé took over, while I napped. Those who claim you can’t sleep in a camaro are wrong, I got two hours of sleep only to wake up to my fiancé driving like a crazy person – almost gave me a heart attack. In his defense, he was trying to get over and some guy cut him off going like triple digits and he slammed on the breaks and woke me up. Brat. All in all it was a good drive. Got to do lots of chatting with the honey and I got to listen to the Indy 500 race on the XM.

Vacation is wonderful but I am glad to be home, back to my routine - healthy food, and exercise! Came home to find a box for me, I’ll post more about that on Thursday, and my Women’s Health Mag with none other than my favorite Jillian Michaels! I can’t wait to read it later today! Tonight I am cooking dinner for my mom and myself, and in a house with no groceries this girl is going to have to be creative. Then I think I will bust out some Beach Body Insanity, which I’m dreading after a week of not doing it. Pray for my muscles.

Please ignore my lack of make-up above. 

On a separate note, I had three very happy fur babies when I got home yesterday. Pookey seemed freaked at first, I’m sure she was enjoying the peace and quiet. Jasper let us cuddle with him for a good ten minutes, I’m pretty sure that is a record! Since we had to leave food down for them instead of portioning out their food, Mr. Chunky Monkey is… a little chunkier. Back to his diet too! And Ms. Kiwi. Well she hopped right on the bed and onto my back and rubbed her head against mine as if to say, “MOM! Thank goodness your home!” Those moments where she is being kind and not a princess are few so I soaked it up!


What do you miss most when you are on vacation?

Live, Love, and Lift!

-Kiwi and Me

For tips, suggestions, questions, or if you just want to share your weight loss pictures or story - email me at: kiwiandmefit(at)gmail(dot)com!

Memorial Day

Good Morning! Today we celebrate Memorial Day.

Despite that some may think that today is the national have a party and grill day, this holiday actually serves a purpose.

Today we take a moment to give thanks to all the men and women in our armed forces that have given their time, or their lives to protect our freedom! To thank those who have served, and those who continue to serve. They have given up their daily lives, their time with friends and family, and many other sacrifices to protect us.

If you see a solider, or a vet, while you are out and about today, buy their lunch or cup of coffee. Or you could simply shake their hand and say thanks.

This camaro belongs to my friend Kelly Fromm, and I didn't take this awesome picture.

Live, Love, and Life!

-Kiwi and Me

Friday, May 25, 2012

Guest Post: Food Labeling - Look Past it!

Hi Everyone,

I am Jaren’s guest blogger for the day! Hopefully you guys will like what I yap about as much as I love sharing interesting nutrition information and the AWESOME interworkings of the body.

A little about myself.  My name is Logann, and I’m Jaren’s little sister, but also big sister because I’m 4 inches taller than her, revenge at its finest. I started college as a petroleum engineering major, switched to audio engineering about two years later, and then ended up in nutrition. It was where I was always supposed to be.  It’s the perfect mix of science and practicality, which for my somewhat out-of-control nerdiness is good. I attend the University of Texas at Austin and just “walked” in the Spring graduation commencement but I have to finish up my degree this summer.

I have a kitty named Winston, Sir Winston when he is being cute and Prince Winston when he is acting like a 3 year old child.  He just turned 2 and is a black brown tabby and my best bud. We play fetch, go on walks, play chase…ya he is cool. Oh and if you were wondering I do watch what my kitty eats too, he just isn’t himself when he is thicker. I also have a boyfriend who I met in the music school while studing as an audio engineering major, who just received his masters in Jazz saxophone performance. He is pretty cool and watches what he eats on his own, HALLELUJAH!!! I just jump in when he is curious about how components work (is my nerd showing yet?).

Jaren has been dying to get me on here and get my opinions on things.  She always calls me and then I end of ranting for like thirty minutes. So today I thought I would start off easy and focus on how I dodge food labeling confusion and then branch off from there in the later posts.  Or if anyone has any pressing questions I would love to address them.  I have a love for how food functions at the molecular level and tend to nerd out pretty hard but I’m good at explaining it in a way that doesn’t make your brain want to pack up and leave. So questions like “how does obesity relate to inflammation and cancer” or “how does omega-3 act as an anti inflammatory agent” or “can what I eat before and during pregnancy affect my child's genetics for the rest of their life” (which is yes by the way). So any question, give me time I’ll give you an answer.

One thing I often rant about is food labeling and health claims.  It’s the main reason why my boyfriend avoids grocery shopping with me because it takes me about 5 minutes to pick out a yogurt or breadcrumbs.  The main rule I use… don’t believe any of it, just look past it and get down to the nitty gritty.  All they do is create confusion and are typically misleading. I find that the biggest places to sabotage your diet are cereal, granola, bars (energy, granola, any of those) and yogurt.  They are either loaded with sugar or loaded with fat.  This is why I don’t look at health claims. Yogurt almost always says “fat-free” great, but that is just to distract from the 21 grams of sugar in a 6 oz. serving. 

This is what I do. First I look at the calories, does it make sense with the portion size? Next, I go straight to the sugar. Anything pushing 10g per serving, I get suspicious. Then I look at fiber, if it is a cereal or bar, that baby better be loaded or I walk away.  Kashi tends to have the best proportions of low sugar, high fiber, and high protein.  And really that is what I look for in any packaged food I buy: LOW sugar, HIGH protein, and HIGH fiber.  Fiber is your friend and it’s rare that you will exceed the recommend amount. I don’t buy many packaged foods besides pita, cereal, bread (Ezekiel for life), yogurt, hummus, and oatmeal (steel cut…so yummy).  I use this rule if I want to buy pancake batter or anything off the beaten path.

One more note with yogurt, and I’ll let your eyes rest.  Greek yogurt is great, but there are many phonies out there.  In plain yogurt, there should only be milk and cultures. Some good options are Fage, Oikos, and Chobani. 

Hopefully you guys enjoyed that rant, and I always love questions and there are no BAD questions.


Logann & Winston

For tips, suggestions, questions, or if you just want to share your weight loss pictures and story - email me at:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lazy Day

Today I have been lazy. Like super lazy. But hey its vacation, its allowed. When I get home its back to my way of eating and five days a week workouts. Not that I'm complaining, I kind of miss my normal routine. It is comforting, habitual, and proven to keep me at a healthy weight. Call me weird, but oh well. I woke up, watched Harry Potter The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. I'm a nerd, truth. Ate lunch, sat on the porch and watched all the beach goers enjoy the sun. Why do I have to be so fair skinned? Why can't I enjoy hours in the sun like everyone else and rock that tan? Such is life. Tomorrow I am going to enjoy the beach, no if ands or buts about it.

I did work in a small workout today. I keep a list of quick moves on my phone that I can do pretty much any where if needed that I thought I would share. I do use weights for these but if you don't have any handy, that is okay too. You can do this alone for a short workout or after some cardio.
For dinner, the fiance boiled shrimp and made cole slaw. I can honestly say I am painfully full and I know that boil mix is going to make me swell up like a balloon tomorrow. Definitely drinking a gallon of water before bed. [Maybe not a gallon, but a lot.]

I found a recipe today when I was making the rounds on all my favorite blogs and thought I would pass it along. Check out The No Sugar Sweet Life for her new Greek Yogurt Blueberry Muffins. They look like they are to die for. I'm going to hit up our local blueberry farm, I'm so making these for the fiance. I am a blueberry muffin addict, I love them but never eat them since usually they aren't very good for you. But this recipe on the other hand, is a healthy foodie's dream.


What is your favorite breakfast food?

Live, Love, and Lift!

-Kiwi (six days without her - yes I miss my cat) and Me

For tips, suggestions, questions, or if you just want to share your weight loss pictures and story - email me at:
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