Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Goodbye Friends, For Now

After a weekend of reflecting on this, I have decided to put Feeding the Flamingo to rest for a while.

I will always have a passion for health and fitness, blogging my favorite recipes and special events in my life but for many reasons, I need to end this for a while. Maybe even forever.

In better news, I 've been called to start up a new blog, focusing on a different topic. Health, fitness and overall wellness will still be incorporated but I have a mission and I will be reaching out to a different type of community.

Now, it's only an idea and I will NOT be sharing the website unless you ask me via email. Otherwise, it will be private to those who know me personally.

Anyways, I will be investing a lot of time into this new blog in hopes to launch off a bit better than Feeding the Flamingo. And I'm hoping it will bring a more positive and supportive audience.

Thank you to all who left me beautiful messages and wonderful feedback. For those that mocked me or mentioned negative connotations on their twitter accounts, may the Holy Spirit bless you will a clean heart and guide you towards a peaceful path.

If needed, you can still contact me at feedingtheflamingo@gmail.com.

I am ready to say Goodbye to my readers. For now.

Take care, my friends!




Friday, January 31, 2014

Kelsie’s Anniversary & Gluten-Free Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats

When I laid my eyes on Brandy, I never thought I would love another dog. My Brandy girl has changed my life…forever. At the beginning of 2013, my husband was trying to convince me, that at some point, we should consider adopting another dog to keep B-money company, especially when we have children. Nope, still not quite convincing. Selfishly, the only dog I wanted in my life was the Brandster.

February 1, 2013, we took a stroll to the Hamilton Animal Shelter without intentions on bringing home a dog that day.

We were just about to leave until the Animal Shelter officer asked us to check out a Shih-Tzu mix that was dropped off only 15 minutes before our arrival. The poor little scrawny thing was in a cat cage. Aw, little Cosita was her name. She was skin and bones (her previous owners neglected her. They left her in the basement; starving for days!) With that said, the look of her didn’t melt my heart the way Brandy did the day we picked her up from “Shake-a-Paw” in Union. We took little Cosita out of the cage. She was loveable and so so so sweet. The officer told us since she was there for only 15 minutes, she would be all ours to bring home without any charges.

We took some time to reflect. “We could change this dog’s life!”-Shawn says. I wanted to be sure that Brandy would be okay with her.

Quickly, we ran home to pick up Brandy. “Brandy, you can possibly be a sister!” B loves other dogs, and surely, her tail was wagging and she was loving the sight of the little pup.

Shawn’s eyes were glowing and I knew we had to bring the dog home. “I want to name her Kelsie!”

It took about three months for me to adapt; for me to open up a special place in my heart for Kelsie Lin.

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Love has flourished. It has been a whole year since we rescued her. A year filled with love and joy for this crazy little sh*h…tzu!

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Even though we STILL can’t get her housebroken [we really think it’s separation anxiety], we still LOVE our little schmoosh schmoosh to death!.

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Although we are one day early, today, we are celebrating Miss Kelsie Lin’s 1 year Anniversary as part of our family. One year of being rescued. And we celebrate with the only way we know best…. with food!

Yesterday, with some spare time on my hands, I made homemade dog biscuits and the girls LOVE them!

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats

peanutbutterbacondogtreats

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (Organic/low sodium/low sugar is best)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 pieces cooked turkey bacon
  • 1 carrot, shredded

Directions

I used my gourmet dog treat maker by Sunbeam. If you don’t have one, use the following instructions.

  • Preheat your dog treat press or oven to 350°.
  • In a medium bowl combine all wet ingredients (PB, honey, egg, water, bacon and carrot) until well blended. Add both flours to wet mixture to form dough.
  • If you have a dog treat presser, place the dough inside the cut-out iron or roll out the dough on a board. 
  • Cut out with cookie cutter. (I used a heart shaped one).
  • Place treats on a parchment lined baking sheet  and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Cool biscuits before serving to your fur babies!

Happy One Year “Rescued” Anniversary, Kelsie!

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

The cold weather has gotten me craving a lot of things lately and one of them… muffins! It could be a breakfast muffin, dinner-in-a-muffin or a dessert muffin-I want them all! I found a bunch of muffin recipes that looked yummy to try, so I printed a few of them out and have loved all of them.

What I love about muffins is that they’re already prepared for a quick on- the- go light meal or snack. You can make mini ones for a lower calorie count, too!

Whenever I’m at a local bakery or bagel shop, I tend to go for the classic blueberry muffin. They’re definitely my all-time favorite. However, all of them are really sweet that I feel almost guilty eating them, especially for breakfast!

I took a blueberry muffin recipe and revamped it to make it semi-healthy. Now, if you want one that’s not really sweet at all, this is the one for you! You can make large or mini muffins. The mini-blueberry muffins estimates to be about 43 calories each. It’s just enough to satisfy a craving without blowing a chunk of your daily calories from only one large muffin.

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

blueberrymuffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup oat bran flakes
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 bananas (mashed)
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (can also be frozen and thawed)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Spray muffin tin with nonstick butter flavored cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the first five ingredients.
  • In your stand mixer bowl,  combine the applesauce and sugar. You will then add your eggs in, one at a time.
  • In a small bowl mashed your bananas and add the milk and vanilla.
  • While your mixer is on, add the dry ingredients and the banana mixture a little bit at a time (alternating). Combine together and fold in berries.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes or until fork comes out clean.

I spread a little Brummel & Brown yogurt spread on the warm muffin and it was delish!

Stay Warm, my friends!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fresh Start

This is really hard for me to talk about it, but I need to just come out and be honest with something. I believe that I mentioned that last year, was a really tough year for me. For personal reasons,  I don’t feel comfortable explaining, but I do want to cover one thing about that year. I gained a lot of weight.

In the beginning of the year, I stopped going to boot camp entirely since the drive was over an hour away and was a member at a Gold’s Gym that did absolutely nothing for me, so my workouts had cut out tremendously. My eating habits were still okay and I wasn’t too worried about that at the time.

My doctor had put me on a series of medication that caused a handful of side effects. Number one side effect? Bloating and Weight Gain. Awesome. And just like that, in a snap, I gained 10 lbs. Looking at the number on the scale didn’t help. When we joined a new gym and going to boot camp and boxing classes, I thought the weight would have shed off. Well, ‘duh Tressa, if you ate the way you’re suppose to eat, had sufficient amount of sleep, worked out more than twice a week and drank two or more liters of water then maybe you’ll lose some of that bloat!’ Well, I guess I was just soooo depressed from my situation and the way the meds were making me feel. I just didn’t care. I ate whatever I wanted on the weekends. I worked out whenever I felt like it. I had gone up one pants size. How embarrassing. HOW DISGUSTING!

I’m done. I’m done with making excuses. How could I have let the medication I was on and the situation I’ve been in not only take over my body but my mind.  I understand that it will make me gain weight when I start them again, but this time, I will be making changes.

Starting yesterday, and every week, I will be adding new habits to my daily regimen to not only manage my weight but to help me feel good about myself. That is the ultimate goal.

Normally, I would start with one new habit per week and include an additional one each week. However, I need to get healthy; fast this time. When I mean healthy, I certainly don’t mean to lose a ton of weight.  Right now, I need to eat a well-balanced diet with whole and clean foods (even more so on the weekends because that’s where I struggle!), get my blood circulating, my cells hydrated and adequate sleep. And I know I can make these changes steadily and smart.   

This week- Three things I’m focusing on. Eating 5-6 meals each day, Going to the gym even if I’m not feeling up to it, and Taking my vitamins. 

1. Eating 5-6 small meals a day. I’m been slacking in this department for over 7 months now. When I work 2 or more consecutive nights in a row, I’ll only eat once around 5pm and then again around 10pm and 2am. Then I won’t eat again until 5pm (the following day). If I’m off, I’ll eat 3 meals. And that’s it. I miss eating light meals and healthy throughout the day. It gives me so much energy and I know it will definitely assist with my goals. It has before!

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2. Going to the gym.  No more excuses. “I’m too tired!” So? walk on the treadmill, it’s better than nothing! “It’s too cold!” So? Bundle up! You’ll sweat once you get in there! “I don’t feel like driving!” But you’ll drive to the mall! I need to go at least 4 times a week even it’s just to ‘walk on the treadmill’ for 30 minutes. GET MOVING!

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3. Taking my vitamins. I take Gummy Vitamins. Prenatals (Folic Acid & DHA), Vitamin D and B complex. I’ve been so good taking them until I was in my slump. I stopped taking them every day and noticed a slight difference in my energy. Now, the bottles are dusted off, on my counter, and they’re ready for me!

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One thing I absolutely miss from boot camp is the support I used to have on daily basis from other campers and my trainer. So if anyone out there reading this can give me the little push that I need (not too harsh because I’m a little emotional these days Winking smile), that would be awesome! We’re all here for each other, right?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Food Shopping Addictions

Howdy! It’s Monday and I’m feelin’ alright! How about you?

I’m happy Shawn and I agreed to have a low key weekend. After a week of traveling for him and working three nights in a row, we were completely beat by the time Saturday arrived.

A good portion of the day was sleeping for a few hours after work and watching the doggies play out in the snow.DSC_0323

DSC_0322DSC_0324DSC_0325 Love them. 

Later we enjoyed a meal out catching up on the week and Redboxed “The Butler.”

Sleeping in on Sunday was phenomenal. I ventured out to Home Goods to pick up some storage baskets and ‘accidently’ went to Wegmans.

If you don’t know by now,  I’m ADDICTED to food shopping. I accumulate lists and go about once a week. I promised myself that I only needed a few fresh items. Since I’ll be cooking mostly for myself this week, I didn’t really need a whole lot.

I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with Wegmans. Love their products, not their prices. I always come out with things that I don’t need like these treats…

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And tuna salad and a light macaroni salad both recommended to me by frequent shoppers. Spices and organic meat that looked so fresh, I couldn’t pass it up. The “few items” turned into $91. Hence, why I had to stop going there all the time and will only go for special occasions (or if I happen to be in the Wegmans shopping center which tends to be at least once a week but I’ve been really good at holding myself back). To be honest, I only went twice last year so I found going yesterday and buying unnecessary items perfectly acceptable!

I spent the rest of Sunday doing 7 hours of work in the office. When I woke up early for an appointment this morning I was completely exhausted, but even forced myself to the gym after my appointment!

There, I did 45 minutes of interval walking on the treadmill. Hey, it’s something and my hiney is feeling today from the high inclines!

Well, I’m off to nap before another long shift tonight!

Have a great afternoon!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fun Fact Friday 1/24/14

Happy Friday my friends! Here's another "Fun Fact Friday" for ya!  Unfortunately it will be picture-less since I just came home from my shift and I desperately need to hit the sack! No time for that. Let's get to it!

This week on the tube
1. "Shameless" is back and rocking my world. "The Following", too! I've been anticipating for these to return and they haven't steered me wrong, yet. Oh don't forget last Sunday's NFC Championship game and Sherman's ridiculous rampage (Go Bronco's?) . And "New Girl?" how freakin’ cute was that episode? Loved it all.

Missing sweat
2. I made it to boxing Monday night and that was it! Then the blizzard unwelcomingly arrived killing my mojo for the rest of the week. And forget about working out while working 3 nights in a row. No, thank you, I'll work out in my dreams ( but seriously, I feel like a slum).

Business Adventure
3. Shawn and I have exciting news to share...Business related! Unfortunately we cannot share anything until February 1st when it's absolutely official. Keep an eye out for the good word!

New book
4. Remember when I read "Redeeming Love" 2 weeks ago? Yea, I read that book in less than 2 days. I heard it was a page turner, and the fans were right, I couldn't put it down. I just want to keep embracing love after reading the book. Definitely on my top favorite list. Now I'm reading "Captivating" which hasn't gotten me engaged at all, but still too early to tell.

Snow storm cooking
5. One lovely thing about being trapped in your house is that you have every excuse and all the time to try cooking or baking new recipes. And that I did for every meal. By the end of the day, I was exhausted! Talk about overachiever. (Recipes coming your way soon!)

HIIT
6. My gym is now offering (along with everything else) 30 minute HIIT sessions. I'm definitely thinking about signing up for a free trial class. They're my favorite type of training but I have a feeling I would get addicted and then that's going to break the bank. Let's see how it goes!

Fur Babies
7. Oh I miss my girls. My husband has been away on a business trip this week, and as a courtesy, my parents asked to scoop them out of my hands so that I can get sufficient hours of sleep during the day (‘Little One’ is high maintenance and needs her walks and playtime every few hours). We're not the type to leave them home for long periods of time so leaving them 13 hours each night plus not giving them any attention during the day is something I just couldn't do and I'm so grateful to have parents that treat my pups as their grandchildren.

Weekend Plans 
8.  Besides picking up the dogs, I have zero plans. Zilch. Null. Nada. It will either be very spontaneous or very low key. Trust me, I’m okay with both!

(Hopefully next FFF will be a little more entertaining!)

Ciao!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Grilled Chipotle Chicken

I love chicken. It’s my favorite source of protein but to be honest, making chicken can get very boring in this household. I constantly need to come up with creative ways to use it in recipes or creating new marinades. Here’s one for ya! Something sweet and spicy with a nice kick PLUS it’s super easy peasy!

chipchickenrecipe

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Grilled Chipotle Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb uncooked chicken
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/4 c cilantro (parsley if that’s what you have)
  • 1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Directions:

  • Place last 3 ingredients in a plastic ziplock bag
  • Mix
  • Add chicken and coat marinade thoroughly over chicken
  • Allow it to marinade in refrigerator for 2 or more hours
  • Grill over medium heat

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Question of the Day: What’s your favorite marinade recipe? Would love to hear some of your creative ways to cook chicken!