McMuffins for Mama

Since my mom is the mastermind behind my favorite healthified Egg McMuffin, I figured the yummy breakfast sandwich would be the perfect start to the first day of our girl’s weekend.

Healthified Egg McMuffin

I made my mom, sister and myself an eggy sandwich using a toasted Thomas’ light multi-grain English muffin, an egg white, a wedge of Laughing Cow light original Swiss cheese and a slice of Canadian bacon.

Bite of Yum

All of us agreed that this healthier version of the traditional Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s is just as good.

Now we’re off to get dressed before a busy day of girly fun including:

  • Wine tasting
  • Tea at the Ritz Carlton
  • Dog Park
  • Dinner

Aaaand we’re off!

I Got My Braces Off!

Today I feel like an eighth grader.

I got my braces off!!! 😀

No More Brace Face

(The cup I’m holding is the awesome eco-friendly reusable coffee cup from my orthodontist that I got back in December. LOVE it. Best promotional item everrr.)

Bright and early this morning I headed over to my orthodontist’s office to get my braces off!

For those of you who are new to the zee blog, I’ve been going through Invisalign (clear braces) treatment since April 2009 and now, 15 months later, I’m D-O-N-E!

I can’t help but  remember the days when one of my friends from junior high or high school got their braces off.

“My teeth feel so slick and slippery!”

They always seemed so happy and relieved to no longer be a metal mouth.

Though I never had a “metal mouth,” I am happy that I will no longer have “attachments” on my teeth that stick out awkwardly. I’m happy that I will no longer have to brush two sets of teeth (my real ones and my aligners) every day.

Just in case any of you out there are considering Invisalign, I do want to add that overall my experience was very positive. It probably helps that my orthodontist was basically the jam and promised me she would work with me until I was 100 percent satisfied.

As far as pain and discomfort are concerned, I honestly experienced very little. Overall, I’d highly recommend Invisalign to anyone who is a candidate (unfortunately Invisalign is not right for everyone, such as those patients with serious crowding, etc.).

Workout + Breakfast

Before high-tailing it to my orthodontist’s office, I hit the gym to take my usual 5:45 a.m. BodyPump class.

It was a doozy! I’m not sure why, but I’m really feelin’ the song played during the squat track. It’s so flippin’ catchy!

After pumpin’ it up, I headed home to shower and make myself a super-speedy breakfast.

Friday Breakfast

On the menu today was a banana and a veggie bacon and cheese English muffin sandwich made with MorningStar Farms veggie bacon strips and a wedge of Laughing Cow light original Swiss cheese.

Simple 'n' Speedy

“Git in mah belly!!!”

Question of the Day

If you had braces, do you remember the day you got your braces off? How did it feel?

Nectarine-Stuffed English Muffin French Toast

Wanna know what I was thinking about during BodyPump this morning?

Nectarine-Stuffed English Muffin French Toast


With every bicep curl, I imagined biting into a cool, perfectly ripe nectarine.

With every lunge, I pictured myself cutting into doughy French toast, while inhaling the fragrant scent of cinnamon.

Fortunately I didn’t have to wait too long for these little daydreams to become a reality!

After BodyPump and a quick 40 minute walk with Sadie, I came home to make myself the breakfast I was pining for all morning.

I started by stirring two egg whites, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl until the spices were fully incorporated into the whites.

I then dunked a Thomas’ whole wheat English muffin into the mix and cooked the English muffin French toast on the griddle until it was ready for eatin’.

While the French toast was cooking, I ate half of a nectarine…

Summer Fruit is the JAM

…and chopped up the other half to stuff in between the two English muffin halves.

Missing Something...

At this point this breakfast was missing a little somethin’ somethin’.



Once the nectarine-stuffed English muffin French toast was fully coated in syrup, I sprinkled it with nutmeg for a little extra flava.

Breakfast is Served

Craving successfully satisfied.


And just to satisfy those of you who check this blog only for pictures of Sadie…

Hi Friends!

All of you Sadie-lovers out there should know that the gas coming out of this dog this morning was lethal. Seriously. I think a squirrel innocently climbing a tree in our backyard may have passed out when the scent hit its nose.

Pulse of Central Florida Interview

In case you’re interested, Pulse of Central Florida, a neat blog that explores Central Florida hot spots and hidden gems,  posted an interview with me yesterday as part of the site’s “People Pulse” series.

Question of the Day

Which do you prefer, peaches or nectarines… or is it a toss up?

If both fruits are equally fresh and juicy, I prefer nectarines solely because the fuzziness of a peach is kinda creepy.

Asiago Cheese Please + Q & A Fun

Sometimes a totally random purchase at the grocery store makes an entire meal taste devine.

Yesterday’s impulse buy was a container of Connoisseur Asiago cheese spread, which I purchased for around $3.50.

Since most gourmet cheese costs upwards of $5, I nabbed this little baby on the cheap!

Asiago Cheese Spread

I incorporated the cheese spread in my lunch by making myself an Asiago and tabbouleh sandwich on a Thomas’ light wheat English muffin.

Cheesy Muffin

Topped with Tabbouleh

On the side I enjoyed fresh blueberries, Emerald smoked almonds and a sliced red pepper.


All Together


Q & A Fun

I finally got around to answering the anonymous questions you guys submitted to me through my Q & A Page over the past two months. Thanks for submitting questions! I had a fun time answering them and hope I addressed all of  your lingering curiosities below!

If I didn’t address a question you have on your mind, feel free to email me, post a question below in the comments section or ask an anonymous question by clicking here.

Alright, let’s get to it!!!

I noticed you add a lot of protein powders to your breakfast. Do you do that daily? Would you recommend anyone working out a certain amount to add whey protein powder to their diet? What kind do you think is best?

I do not consume protein powders daily, but I will add them to a smoothie or to a bowl of oatmeal on occasion to help me feel fuller longer. I like the convenience of protein powder and enjoy the creaminess and flavor the addition of protein powder adds to smoothies. I do not think anyone needs to include protein powder in their diet by any means. I will often go weeks without adding protein powder to any of my meals, but if you’re looking for an easy way to sneak protein into your diet and feel fuller longer, it’s a great option! My favorite protein powder is All the Whey and my favorite flavors are chocolate peanut butter cup, cupcake batter and strawberry.

How much gum do you chew per day?

Apparently someone caught on to my intense love for gum. 😉 I am a gum-a-holic and probably chew 6 to 8 pieces a day. I usually chew two pieces of gum at a time. My favorite flavors are Orbit White bubblemint and Orbit strawberry mint.

How many calories do you usually consume for each meal? Do you count calories? I think one day on your blog you should post everything you eat with calories and fat grams noted.

I do not count calories, but estimate that most of my meals have around 300 calories, though my dinner is generally larger and may have closer to 500 calories. Though 300 calories may not seem like a lot to some people, I eat constantly and typically do not go more than three hours without eating, so I never feel hungry. I’ve actually had a couple of requests for a “day in the life” post that includes all of the food I consume in a day with a nutritional breakdown, so I’ll definitely look into that.

Do you restrict carbs?


Do you snack during the day? It seems like you don’t eat that much in meals with as much as you work out!

Yes, yes, yes. I eat five to six times every day and only post the three meals I consume at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I always eat a morning snack and an afternoon snack and will often eat a little something after dinner as well.

Any advice on slimming legs?

Pssssh, I wish I knew! 😉 My hips and legs are my “thicker” areas, but I am slowly realizing that this is because of my body type and isn’t something I can change. What has worked the best for me is incorporating weights and strength training into my routine to help add tone and strength to my legs. Exercises like squats, lunges, step ups and deadlifts are great for toning the legs. If you’re more interested in fat loss, adding some cardio to the mix is a great way to burn extra calories as well. Also, keep in mind the importance of healthy eating. All the cardio and weight lifting in the world won’t change your body shape dramatically if it’s paired with a diet full of cupcakes and ice cream (though I wish it would 😉 ).

What size jeans do you wear?

I wear size 28 jeans.

Do you exercise every single day?

Nope. I typically workout six days a week. You may see my exercise log here.

Did you have any part-time jobs during college?

Yes. I held various part-time jobs throughout college, including working as a public relations intern, public relations coordinator, marketing intern, UCF tour guide and restaurant hostess.

When did you and Ryan move in together? And any advice on living with a guy?

Ryan and I started dating in February 2004 and moved in together a year after I graduated college in May 2008. My best advice on living with a guy is to constantly communicate. This is something Ryan definitely taught me because I tend to “shut down” when I am upset and try to deal with it myself. I’ve learned that this only allows angry feelings and resentment to fester and it’s so much better to throw any issues or problems out on the table and discuss them immediately.

You seem to have the early morning workout routine down pat. Any tips to streamline the morning and make it easier to do it consistently?

Yep! I actually did a post on this which you may see here.

Where are your workout pants with the pink band from?

I am assuming you’re talking about these pants, which I ordered online from Victoria’s Secret.

What do you think of the Insanity and P90x DVDs?

I’ve never tried them myself, so I do not have an educated opinion about the programs, but I think any workout routine that you enjoy that motivates you to exercise is a good one.

What was your major in college? Did you have a job right after graduating?

I majored in advertising and public relations in college (marking minor) and began working the week after I graduated at the Orlando Museum of Art as a public relations and marketing assistant.

How do you manage stress? You mentioned in an earlier Q&A that you are happy almost all of the time. I usually am… until I get stressed!

Stress is such a difficult thing to control and manage. I find that making a list of everything I have on my plate is helpful. I put everything on the list… even small things like going to the grocery store. Then I take the time to physically cross off each item as it’s done. The list not only helps me see everything I need to accomplish, which helps me prioritize what needs to be done first, but crossing off the items as I finish them really helps me feel like I’m getting somewhere.

When stress is caused by something I cannot simply cross off a list, I ask myself “Will this be an issue in a week? In a year?” More often than not, the answer is “no,” and realizing the issue is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things really helps to calm me down.

In your breakfast barley bowls, how much barley do you use? How much yogurt and how much fruit?

I usually use 1/2 c. cooked barley, 1 c. Greek yogurt and a large handful or two of berries.