Adventures in Fitness, Fashion and Fabulousness

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I am not dead…

Good grief!  I just noticed that I have not updated this blog in about a year.

Bad, bad Belfebe.

This does not mean in any way that I have abandoned my fitness goals and that I have stopped going to the gym and eating healthy.

Not in the least.

The thing is that I spent 40% of last year in foot braces, first because of the bunion surgery and then because I managed to break my other foot.  And while I could have blogged about the wonders of hobbling around in orthopedic boots, I was so fed up that I simply couldn’t bring myself to write about it.

So there.

So what am I up to these days? Still working out and figuring out my nutrition.  Currently, I am trying to put on weight in preparation for the next season.  As per coach’s instructions, I am eating as much as I can and lifting heavy.  Hopefully, that will get me to grow as much as I need before preparing for this year’s show.

“Wait! ” I’ve been asked. “What do you mean gaining weight? Wasn’t losing weight the whole point? Why do you want to gain it back?”

Hah! Not only I need to gain it back, but I probably need to put some extra.  The thing is, I need to build muscle mass before cutting fat for a show.  And you can’t put on muscle mass if you are not eating.

“But wouldn’t you get huge like a guy?”

Not really. Muscle is more compact than fat.  You can weigh more, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you get huge.

Exhibit A:  At this point I am 134 lbs, and I am heavier than I have been in years.  Yet, I can merrily zip my size 2 pants, no problem.  If I can get to weigh 150 and still zip my size 2 pants, I’d be golden.  But it would take a lot of time and effort to put on that kind of weight all on lean muscle.  So I take what I can get.

In the meantime, I am enjoying the eating more.  Once I get to diet for the show, I will miss the food.

This doesn’t mean that I am eating pecan pies and donuts to gain the weight.  That would not be helpful at all.  The whole point is to eat lean protein, lots of greens, plenty of complex carbs, and a good allotment of good fats.

Easier said than done.  Those kinds of foods are very low in calories and rich in nutrients.  So in order to pack the kinds of serious calories that I need to get in, I need to eat a lot in terms of volume.

It’s not easy being me.

But I like to eat, and like to lift.  I will enjoy it while I can.

Hah! 134 and still a size 2. I call that a win.

Hah! 134 and still a size 2. I call that a win.


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Fish N’ Chips, Clean Eating Style

Quite often I am asked “So what do you eat?”

“I eat clean,” I answer. “Mostly unprocessed foods.”


“Er… stuff like oatmeal, egg whites, fish, grilled chicken breast, green vegetables.  That sort of thing.”

“Oh, you mean lots of salads and no carbs!  I get it!”

“Er… no.  Not really.  I do eat some salads, and I do eat carbs.  In fact, I need the carbs.”


“Really.  That and clean protein.”


“And fat.  I need fat.  Like avocado, almonds, natural peanut butter…”

“You eat fat???”

And so on, and so forth.

Clean eating means eating mostly fresh, unprocessed food.  It also means drinking plenty of water, no sodas or sweetened beverages, and at least in my case, no alcohol.  And contrary to popular belief, clean eating can be really tasty.

There ya go. Your typical, delicious, and artery clogging fish and chips.
Caloric content: One bazillion
Image credit: Wikipedia.

Take for instance, that shining example of culinary delight:  Fish and chips.

Regular fish and chips consist of battered white fish fried in loads of oil and accompanied with french fries, often served with tartare or some other sauce.

Delicious? Yes.

Healthy? Not so much.

Low calorie? (Is that a trick question?)

On the other hand, you can make a delicious clean version, quick and easy, using very simple ingredients.

First of all, you need to remember that in clean eating, condiments are key.  They will help you flavor your food, and once you get it to taste good (simple, really) you won’t go back.

At least, I haven’t.

So here it is a version of clean fish and chips, courtesy of my long-suffering husband, who came up with the recipe.

Clean fish and chips. Calories: According the Livestrong calculator, less than 200. Hooray!
Photo credit: Yours truly.

Red Snapper and Kale Chips

Serves two

2 steaks of red snapper, 4 oz each.  (You can make more steaks if you are having company)

Cajun spice to taste (we like Tony Cachere’s)

I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray (or some other nonstick spray)

Nonstick spray (for both the fish and the kale chips)

Fresh ground pepper

1 bunch of kale, rinsed, dried with a paper towel and torn into bite sizes.  (Remember to separate it from the center stem, which is kind of woody and tough.)

Kosher salt

Baking cookie sheet (I like to use 2 so I can make plenty all at once)

Preheat your oven at 375º F.  That will be for your chips.

In the meantime, heat a heavy pan.  Spray your snapper with the I can’t Believe it’s Not Butter or nonstick spray on the non-skin side of fish, and sprinkle with your cajun seasoning.

Spray your pan with nonstick spray and brown your snapper on the non-skin side of fish, for about 5 minutes depending on the thickness.  Turn and continue browning for another 5 minutes or until done.  Remove from pan and put on plate.

Spray your baking cookie sheet with the nonstick spray.  Spread your kale on top of the sheet, making sure that the pieces are not lumped one on top of each other.  This will help them to bake even.

Spray the kale with nonstick spray, sprinkle with kosher salt* and pepper, and stick it in the oven for 12 minutes or until the edges are brown and crispy.  Remove from oven and serve on plate.


*Note:  Remember that kale absorbs salt like nobody’s business.  Try not to go too heavy with it.

PS.  The snapper is incredibly tasty and the kale is better than potato chips.  Addictive!