Archive for June, 2011

>The Breakfast of the YEAR!

Posted: June 30, 2011 in recipes

>I got my quinoa on for breakfast!  That’s a first for me!  Don’t be afraid to try it…it’s actually good fantastic!

I have been trying to think of “quick”, nutritionally jam packed breakfasts to share with you guys.  I’ve also been searching out “gluten-free” options for me as I try to ween myself away from being the “cereal queen!”

Smoothies are a great, quick breakfast.  Especially if you are someone who hates the tastes of protein shakes theses are a good alternative.

See they’re portable… :/

Mix up:

  • protein powder
  • frozen fruit
  • a liquid (almond milk, milk, OJ)
  • Optional: oatmeal, flax seed, cinnamon, spinach
Blend and enjoy!  These are a good “meal replacment” any time of the day.

And now…for the BREAKFAST OF THE YEAR award!  Yes…it’s THAT good!

Quinoa is a great any time food.  It is a true nutritional superstar.  If you’re still unfamilair read my Keen on Quinoa post.

To make this bowl I used quinoa I cooked yesterday for my lunch.  Cook a lot of quinoa at once and portion it out into 1/2 cup portions.  It should stay in the fridge about 5 days.  I use a rice cooker for my quinoa and a 2:1 liquid to quinoa ratio.  1 cup quinoa = 2 cups of water.

To make my beautiful breakfast bowl I:
  • Added unsweetened almond milk (about 1/2 cup) to the quinoa and microwaved for 1 min
  • Then I added blueberries
  • strawberries
  • protein powder (Vanilla)
  • cinnamon
  • 1t Truvia
It was so good.  I think it was better than oatmeal(and Mr. Quaker frowns).  The quinoa “kernels” gave more crunch and texture than oatmeal.  Plus it was faster to fix. 

And three hours later I’m not yet ravenous!  That never happens with cereal…

I’m going to take a serving to school tomorrow for my second meal.  I’ll let you know how to travels.

Are you ready to take the keen on quinoa breakfast challenge????  Make a bowl, anyway you like, and post it as a comment!  One lucky reader may even WIN a prize!!?!  Ohhhhh!

Love and good stuff, 

Carissa & Kyle


>It’s a Fit2Flex first!  Happy dance!  Our first blogging product review!  We blog because we love to share our tips and fit ideas with you…product reviews…well this is an added perk!  

Try a healthy product and write about it?  I think I will!

My first review is for KW Collards – a ready to serve, no-meat, full-flavor collard green.

Those of us with Southern roots are familiar with collard greens. My experience prior to this review was slim.  I knew of collards from my Grindad.  He had them on the table each Christmas dinner.  Here’s how my Mom made them.  Open can.  Dump in dish.  Microwave.  All I remember is that I hated the smell and never ate them.  Now that my Grindad is passed away, we still honor him by having collards at Christmas.  We just keep them in the can and put a bow on it!  I think Grindad would be happy to hear that this year I think I’ll actually eat the collards…as long as they are KW Collards!

Here’s what we’re digging about KW Collards

  • They are slow cooked and come to you seasoned perfectly and ready to eat
  • VEGAN!  They are NOT cooked in meat or animal fat
  • Gluten-Free
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • They don’t “smell” up your house
What I liked best about KW Collards were the actual chunks of tomato I could see.  I love tomatoes and I was happy to see them in a “foreign food”.  Once I tasted them I fell in love with the spicy flavor and the delicious vinegar backbone.  
I am honest- I was a little skeptical of collards, but the tomatoes and vinegar made me a believer! I had it for dinner…and now lunch!

The creator of KW Collards, Kizito, is from Kenya where collards are a common food staple.  He wanted to recreate the flavor he loved from home without the added fat and yuckiness of animal fat!  Good call Kizito!  Since these collards contain no pork they are also popular among Kosher food markets.

To eat my KW Collards I just heated them on the stovetop.  Easy peezy!  Last night I served them alongside some cumin spiced chicken.  I spiced the chicken with cumin, cayenne, and garlic.  I browned the outside and then baked it with red beans and diced tomatoes.  
Just heat and eat
Chicken, Red Beans, and Collards
Today’s lunch featured the collards too (I told you I’m hooked)!  This is a FANTASTIC vegetarian lunch.  My lunch included 1/2 cup quinoa, leftover red beans and tomatoes, and KW Collards!  It was so filling and hit all flavor elements.  I recommend this next time you have some vegetarian friends over.
Quinoa, collards, tomatoes, and beans
Nutritionally collards are from the same family as cabbage and broccoli. Collards are high in Vitamin C, soluble fiber, and several cancer killing antioxidants!  Collards are also a weight loss friendly food. Why? A quarter pound of collards has 46 calories- that means you can eat a lot with little caloric damage.  As cooked, KW collards have 100 calories per 1/2 cup with healthy fats from EVOO.

If you want to try KW Collards for yourself you can buy them online at the KW Collards website.  
If you live in North or South Carolina then you can you get some collards today!  They are available in Healthy Home Market in four branches, South boulevard, and Independence blvd in Charlotte NC, South Grifith street in Davidson NC and in Hickory NC; The Common Market on South Tryon and Commonwealth st in Charlotte NC, The Bradford Store in Huntersville NC, The Peach Stand in Fort Mill SC, and The Wild Radish in Greenville SC.

 I had told some of my classmates that I would give them some collards to try. But…now I kinda love them so much I don’t want to share!  I’m conceptualizing a recipe for an egg white, collard scramble.  Thoughts?

This was a fun first product to review.  I learned to love a new food.  What do you think?  Could you give vegan collards a chance?

Love and leafy greens, 
Carissa & Kyle

Note:  I was not paid by the above company for this review.  These are simply my opinons on a product I was asked to try.

>Yesterday evening was a gloomy one in Orlando.  Still hot, but gloomy-ish.  We need the rain so I was more than thankful.

Monday is usually salad & sprints night.  Kyle and I both strength train on Monday. We also aim to run sprints at night before a salad for dinner.  However with the rain…a “tiny” part of me was hoping it would keep going and foil my running intentions.  Yes, sometimes I’m weak.

Well the skies weren’t clear, but they were dry.  So I laced up my pink Nike’s and we hit the road.  Kyle does not have pink Nike’s. That would be weird  If you want to know, he has red and gray Under Armour’s.

Monday’s sprints were (a little too) short and sweet.

In and Out:

  • 3 minute warm up
  • 15 second sprint, 45 second recovery x 5
  • 2 minute cool down
I was feeling patriotic in the salad department.  I was also remembering the advice of most Food Network chefs which is to “cook what’s in season”.  Well berries are in season AND they’re on sale.  Double win for me!
Toasting my pecans for enhanced flavor
Goat cheese with berries on rice cakes/wasa

Red, White, and Blueberry Salad
  • Baby spinach
  • Publix rotisserie chicken salad
  • Blueberries
  • Red pear
  • Walnuts (which I pre-toasted)
  • Sweet yellow and orange pepper
  • English Cucumber
  • Goat cheese
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Homemade balsamic vinaigrette   
I even made my own homemade vinaigrette (btw- how hard is it to spell that word?).  Kyle got me this cute dressing maker from Target for Easter!  I combined 1T EVOO, 2T balsamic vinegar, 1t garlic, 1 squirt dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt.  It only made enough for the 2 salads.  I was impressed.  It gave the salad a nice kick!  Woooo POW!  You’ve been balsamic kicked…okay not really….
How cute!

The rest of our Monday night was devoted to the College World Series.  What a great game 1!  Kyle was really rooting for Florida.  Better luck tonight Gators.

Love and the berry patch, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Our 100th blog!

Posted: June 28, 2011 in milestones

>This is my our 100th blog post!  Huzzah!

I read somewhere on a blogger “expert” site that by 100 you should have a clear vision as well as 10 pillar posts.  Essentially 10 posts that outline how “to do” what your blog vision is.

Our vision is to share the joy and passion we have for healthy living through working out, clean eating, and fun as a married couple.  Have we showed that in our last 99 posts?

Here’s what I would call our pillar posts:

After 100 posts I wanted to think about why we blog.  Because so far – we really love it!  We like to share our lives with you and share our tips that as trainers, a dietetic student, a bodybuilder, and as humans we’ve learned.  In return we love it when we learn from you.  Also Kyle is going to “try” to blog more…maybe….the man works 14 hours days sharing his passion for training with his clients.  I guess I (Carissa) can shoulder more of the blogging load.

We want to sincerly thank you for reading so far!  It honestly means more than you know.  As Kyle works hard to open his own gym and as Carissa studies to officially become a Registered Dietitian, we will only have more knowledge to share with you.

Please keep reading.  Please ask questions about what you want to know.  Please share this blog with you friends.  Please subscribe via email using the link of the right side of the main page (so you won’t miss any blogs).—————–>

Please follow us on twitter @CarissaAnneB @Fit2Flex and tweet along.

Please help our blog grow.

And please keep being active, eating clean, and living a healthy life!

Here’s to a Healthy 100 (yes, I stole that from Florida Hospital- good slogan)!  I hope to celebrate many more centennials with you.  I also hope to be able to reward my readers with some great giveaways soon.  What do you think about that?

Hey Kyle- when I reach 300 can I have a warrior themed party??? 🙂 Just asking.

Love and many thanks, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Simple Summer Tomato Basil Salad

Posted: June 27, 2011 in recipes

>Happy Monday!  In case you missed all the Fit2Flex fun over the weekend, here’s a quick recap:

And now on to today’s regularly scheduled post:

This is a super simple, fresh summer recipe!  I’m sure you’ve all had a great tomato basil salad or a caprese salad.  This version came from my friend Carissa who also told me how to grow basil!  A talent for which I am so thankful.

My baby garden. This is in May.  It’s bigger now.

I used an heirloom tomato which I think adds great sweetness.  They were on sale at Publix, so this one mater was $1.03.

Mr. Tom Mater

Most people recommend the more moist (what a gross word) Buffalo mozzarella which is usually in the deli section.  I, on the other hand, prefer a more firm cheese like the simple Kraft 2% mozzarella.  Whatever your queso du jour (how many languages did I mix there?) simply cube it to start your salad.

To the mozzarella add chopped tomato (minus the goo), basil, salt, 1T EVOO, 2T balsamic vinegar.

I also use scissors to snip my herbs.  Why because it reminds me of the joy I get from cutting my coupons (haha) and because it way easier and you don’t bruise the herbs.

Gently mix all your ingredients and let it marinate in the fridge for at least one hour.

So what are you waiting for??? Get some tomatoes and get your summer going!

Love and simple goodness,
Carissa & Kyle

>Prepare to succeed

Posted: June 27, 2011 in diet tips, fit tips

>I think one of the biggest factors in long term diet/workout/healthy living success is planning ahead.  

To me this means planning out my meals and workouts for the week as well as taking extra time each night to prepare and pack my meals for the week ahead.  It’s when I’m without a meal or without a plan that I’m tempted to reach for treats or I just get soooo hungry that I grab the closest carb!

Plan ahead and pack up those healthy meals.

I also sit down with Kyle each week to schedule when I can get my workouts in.  With school & work no 2 weeks are alike for me, so planning and communication is key.

We do our meal planning, shopping, and workout scheduling typically on Sundays.  

A stocked fridge is a happy fridge.

Here’s a peek at next week’s dinners (we’ll use the leftovers for lunch the next day):
Sunday- Grilled chicken with grilled onions and baked sweet potato fries
Monday- Rotisserie chicken, spinach, walnut, and berry salad
Tuesday- Sauteed chicken with red beans and KW Collards (NEW product!  They sent me a sample to try and I’m excited to do my first product review this week!)
Wednesday- Turkey kielbasa orzo casserole
Thursday- Crock pot shredded BBQ chicken
Friday- ???? And the weekend is where things get hairy, huh!

Yes, I am doing walking lunges in boxing gloves.

Workout schedule:
Monday- Full body workout + PM sprints
Tuesday- FB am workout
Wednesday- Cardio – 2-3 miles
Thursday- off
Friday- full body workout
Saturday- power yoga
Sunday- off – time to plan for next week!

What’s your plan for next week????

Love and lists, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Apples and Cinnamon

Posted: June 26, 2011 in diet tips

>Apples and cinnamon.  They’re a legendary combo.  As American as apple pie (which basically is apples and cinnamon).  I have been digging on some apples y cinnamon lately!

Picking apples with my grindad.

I try to eat an apple a day.  And not just because it “keeps the doctor away”.  A typical apple has 4 grams of fiber.  I try to eat my apple each day between meals on a basically empty stomach.  I think of it as my digestive “street sweeper”. 🙂  Kinda gross, yet makes sense right?

How can we make a nutritional powerhouse like the apple even better???  Cinnamon!  I’ve been cutting my apple then adding cinnamon.  Now I’ve got a delicious, portable snack that seriously kinda tastes like apple pie!  Plus, cinnamon boosts your metabolic rate.

Eat me.  I’m good for you.
psst- I’m a perfect snack to sneak into movies!

Health fact: if you’re watching your sugar pick green apples over red.  Green have less sugar.

Apples.  Not just for teachers anymore.

Love and ripe fruit,
Carissa & Kyle

>Running and online shopping

Posted: June 25, 2011 in cardio

>Somebody call Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew, Dr. Oz, Dr. Suess…cuz I have a problem!  I am a compulsive post-run online shopper!

Who does that???

I go run and sweat and dehydrate myself into oblivion.  I do this because I can’t workout on a treadmill.

I get home, grab some h2o, and then what do I do??? I go shop online!

I’m serious! I sit, sweating, and I shop online!

I don’t buy little things either…one time last year I bought us 2 lower bowl tickets to see the Dallas Cowboys!  For a game 2 days after we got back from Mexico!  Who does that?

Go Cowboys!

I am currently looking at pictures of gold Tom’s shoes and wondering if I can buy coconut water in bulk on Amazon and save money since I get prime shipping???  Just looked…I can..must resist the temptation to use one-click-shopping!

There must be some kind of sweat/spending disconnect in my brain!?!?!

Do you do anything weird after you run?

My run today was good and I was proud of myself for running with such a stuffy nose.  I did the 2.25 mile interval workout on my runkeeper app (which I love)!

Here’s what it looked like:

  • 5 minute warm up
  • .50 miles moderate
  • .25 miles slow
  • .75 miles fast
  • .25 miles slow
  • .25 miles fast
  • Cool down
I guess run keeper counts the warm up time in the 2.25 miles…because my math only gives me 2.0 “working”miles.

I maintained my usual (snail) pace of 9:51 average miles with only 2 short walk stops to stretch my hips.  Remember I use the Galloway method. Be sure to check out my Galloway blog if you are a beginning runner.

Good news: the sun didn’t even peek out once during my run!  Hallelujah!
Bad news: I almost gagged twice.  Once due to a rotting armadillo carcass and once due to some lady cooking Indian food in her garage.

I’m off to enjoy my breakfast over overnight chocolatey oats and rehydrate with Zico coconut water!

Love and shopping addiction, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Ohm – yoga time!

Posted: June 25, 2011 in workouts, yoga

>It has long been a goal of mine to incorporate more some yoga into my life.  My hips get very tight and so do I.  AKA stress city!

Yes, holding one hand like that totally gives a “yoga” vibe.  I have so much to learn.

The gym that Kyle and I are at now doesn’t offer yoga class, so I am off to my own devices to get my ooohhhhmmmmmm on.

I have perused several Groupons for yoga, however it always seemed they were too far away.  30 min there, do some yoga, 30 minutes home… just didn’t add up to a less-stressed version of me.

Today I really wanted to get that yoga, soul-full, deep-breathing, good-feeling going.  So I got the brilliant idea to use my Bright House Exercise on Demand TV.  I was excited to see they had a Yoga episode.  I was bummed to see it was a whopping 10 minutes long.  

Yes, I was tempted to do the Bootylicious Buns 2.  Because I loved 1 so much! *grin*

Well I did it.  It felt like some good stretching and I got a few calming breaths in.  I’m fighting a cold/sinus infection thing so deep breathing in downward dog was a weeee bit tough.  But overall it began to have the calming effect I was looking for. I think I could be a yoga fan.  I’m a “yogi” fan.  Like the bear, like the baseball player, like frozen yogi-urt.

Mom, can you get off the floor and let me out?

I hopped on the web and found a yoga place (minus the Groupon) about 15 minutes from me that I may give a try this week.  It’s called Winter Garden Yoga if any of you West Orlandoers would like to go with me!

Do you do yoga?  What do you do to relax?

ps- does anyone have a good yoga DVD to recommend and do I really need my own yoga mat?

Love and child’s pose (cuz that name makes me giggle),
Carissa & Kyle

>Baked Healthy Crab Cakes

Posted: June 24, 2011 in recipes


Who wants a crap cake?

Seriously.  Hello text error. Whoopsie.

B…P…same thing?

My recent goal has been to make one “new” thing in the kitchen each week.  Something that uses a new recipe or ingredient to evolve my culinary repertoire.  

This week I decided to harness my East Coast roots and make a healthy crab cake.  The recipe was lightly adapted from Cook This, Not That and a blog called Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.

I was pretty impressed with the way they turned out!  Also did you know that 3oz of lump crab has only 45 calories, 0 fat, and 12g of protein?  Holy healthfulness! Each cooked cake has around 240 calories and 3g of fat (less if you use egg white).

Baked “Crap” Crab Cakes with Mango Avocado Salsa

1 can (16 oz) jumbo lump crab meat
2 Tbsp minced jalapeno
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten (or egg white)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup bread crumbs

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Mix everything besides 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs then use your hand to form a “patty”
  • Spread the remaining breadcrumbs on a plate and lightly coat each side
  • Place the coated breadcrumbs on a greased baking sheet and bake for  12 – 15 minutes or until brown
  • Serve with mango salsa

Mango Avocado Salsa

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cubed
1 avocado pitted, peeled, and cubed
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and black pepper
  • Mix all ingredients and refrigerate
The hardest part of the meal for me was chopping the mango?  Who has some tips for me?  It was like the great mango massacre of 2011 up in my kitchen!

Love and crappy claws, 
Carissa & Kyle