Weight Watchers Smart Points ❤️

Cuties 0 Smart Points

If you are needing to shed a few pounds and wish to do it without those awful  hunger pangs then Weight Watchers Smart Points is for you.  It’s a clear winner ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- simply delicious and it really works!

Why you ask?  Well, first of all 🍉🍒🍌🍇🍍🍐🍊🍓and 🍅🥒🥕🥗 have zero point value so they do not count against your daily point intake.   YES-you can eat fruits and veggies all day long for free.   Protein🍗🥚🍤🧀 at each meal helps you feel fully satisfied throughout the day!  And those amazing extra weekly points which everyone gets lets you splurge on all those extras 🍕🍪🍦🍰🍹🍸🍺🍷 you love ❤️ without guilt while losing weight.

Blue Moon 5 Smart Points

 

3 Veggie Spring Rolls 5 Smart Points

However, what really makes it a cut above the rest is the WW app activated when you join the program. It lets you log your food 🌮🥙🍜 intake on My Day while including activity points and graphs 📈 your weight loss on My Journey.

But my very favorite app feature is Connect which unites you with a worldwide community of Weight Watchers and 24/7 Chats for tips, plan support or back on track if you fall off the bandwagon.

So if you’re wanting to lose a few pounds in a healthy, simple way while testing out delicious new recipes check out a WW meeting near you.

Fitbela

Splurge Day! Chicken Chipotle Pizza 8 Smart Points

♥️ The Amazing Power Air Fryer XL

 

Do you ♥️ fried foods 🍟 but not the fat, calories and mess that go along with eating them!  Well, now you can have your cake 🍰 and eat it too.  It’s called the amazing  Power Air Fryer XL.  The reviews for this powerful baby which ranges between $100-$299 for the 3, 4 or 5 qt.  model are amazing ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.   I know , I know – I sound like an infomercial but this is such a great gadget to own if you ♥️ fried food.

The Amazing Power Air Fryer XL
French Fries without the fat
Skinny Breaded Chicken Parmesan
Ham and Spinach Frittata  with Fries

Our baby was under our Christmas 🌲 as a 🎁 from our daughter M and it was ♥️at first sight!  Its rapid air technology is designed for faster and healthier cooking with great results and no mess or grease burns.   A touch pad for time ⏰, temperature setting and food options make it easy to use.

It lets you fry, bake, steam, roast, grill, steam, or sauté foods guilt free.  Favorites we ❤️ include: toasty Cuban or pastrami sandwiches 🥖, fish 🐟, fries 🍟, coconut 🍤, pork chops, breaded 🍗, plantains and spring rolls-  all fried with just one teaspoon of butter or a EVOO and ZERO MESS!

My favorite veggie spring rolls  with zero oil added

Now it’s not all fun and games here.  There are a few drawbacks. The air fryer is fat and bulky so you need extra counter space for it.  Ours lives on the counter for daily use at lunch or dinner time and took over George Foreman’s spot.    Also, while learning how to use this nifty invention,  over cooking sometimes happens since foods cook quickly and portion sizes or quantity of food in the fryer affect the end result. And finally, it does require turning the food over at the half way point-  just a small inconvenience for fried yummies 😍.

So if you ever decide one of these beauties is for you,  monitor closely to avoid overcooking, use your timer ⏰, turn food over at the half mark for even results and enjoy moist and flavorful fried foods  guilt free everyday of the week!

Here’s to crossing 🤞🏼my fingers that one will magically appear in your kitchen on Mothers’ Day 👩🏻‍⚕️or your next birthday 🎉 🎂!

 

 

Love,

Fitbela

Spring in Europe

Paris , France lunch served at Cafe Roussillon
Eiffel Tower Paris, France at night to see the light display

If you’re  ever planning a trip to Europe,  spring season 🐥 is probably the best time of the year to go!   Last May,  M and I splurged on a ten day mother/daughter 👩🏻‍⚕️👩🏻‍⚕️ getaway to Paris🇫🇷, Rome 🇮🇹, Florence🇮🇹 and Barcelona🇪🇸 .  Little did we know it was off season so fares were reasonably priced, crowds were sparse and the weather was delightful! 🌈🌞!

Barcelona, Spain dinner served at 9 pm

We flew Lufthansa ✈️- (the German 🇩🇪 national airline that took home the prize for Best Transatlantic Airline🥇 and Best Airline in Western Europe🏆)  and  absolutely loved the food, coffee ☕️, wine🍷, desserts 🍨and recently released movies 🎥  on the flight.  The flight attendants were the happiest and friendliest I had ever met!

In Europe, sharing delicious meals🍝, wines🍷, desserts 🍰, cheeses 🧀  and accommodations made the whole mother/daughter escapade a real blast! Travel from  one country to another by charter flights ✈️ as well as trains 🚞 and purchasing tickets 🎟🎟 for places of interest before leaving home helped us make good use of time ⏰ and  avoid long, long lines at our favorite destination spots.   So if you ever decide to see Europe during the spring season here are some favorite things to see and enjoy!

Rome Breakfast in Italy
Loved this organic farm cafe in Paris ❤️

 

La Sagrada Familia Spain
La Sagrada Familia

 

Trevi Fountain Rome, Italy
The Vatican Rome, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

Inspire Bible for Journaling

Inspire Bible forJournaling

Last year, the week before Mother’s Day 💐, Barnes & Nobles sent out a flash e-mail 💌  about bibles for 50% off in honor of Mother’s Day 🌻.    I guess they were thinking Mothers needed all the extra divine grace ❤️and intervention ❤️ they could get.   Since my 20 year old bible was coming apart at the seams and looking really used and torn,  I asked for an Inspire Bible for Journaling as a MD 🎁.  This bible would help me memorize bible passages or scripture while giving me a creative outlet by using all types of mediums and colors for self-expression and relaxation!

Inspire Psalms
Psalm 59;16

Little did I know the Inspire Bible for Creative Journaling was on the top 10 best selling book list standing strong 🏋🏼 at #8, so getting one in my little 🖐🏽 🖐🏽was going to be – Mission Impossible! After multiple calls ☎️, we found one in  Daytona and drove to Family Christian Store to pick it up.  We scored the last beautiful teal Bible for Journaling with my name engraved (of course for a price) at 50% off!   I was feeling like a kid in a candy store and of course,  I needed extra candy to get started.   Those included  multiple gel pens,  colored pencils and several scrapbooking supplies at Michael’s.

Gel pens in gold, silver and every color in the rainbow
Artist Inspiration

With exactly 10 months into BJ,  I can say my new bible has definitely helped  me add a few more memorized passages to my repertoire. I’m  able to share passages with others or quote scripture in time of need when I’m feeling a little stressed or overwhelmed or when others need a little encouragement.  After attending Amber Bolton’s seminar ( the creative genius behind Bible Journaling) I’ve been inspired to test out all sorts of colors and mediums to personalize my new bible.  I have even added new books 📚- Inspire Psalms and The Psalms in Color – especially since Psalms is my  favorite❤️book of the bible.   I am thankful that  BJ has inspired and encouraged me to open my colorful bible much more often.

New additions

So if you are ever in need of a little  soulful relaxation or perhaps some prayerful meditation – Bible Journaling may be a simple way to get into your bible daily to Reflect, Relax and Rejoice!

The Psalms in Color
Psalm 89:1

 

 

 

Loom Knitting ❤️

A new love for yarn
New collection of looms

I recently joined a great group of individuals dedicated to giving back to others or paying it forward with beautiful handmade creations.

The Deltona Happy Hookers ❤️ meet once a week for several hours to knit, crochet and loom – hats, blankets, afghans, baby hats and booties.  These beautiful masterpieces are created with donated yarn by very talented men 👴and women 👵🏻 (yes men 👴knit too) then given to the Salvation Army, the Coalition for the Homeless, veterans, cancer patients and hospitals for 👶 newborns or premies in the NICU.  Some afghans are even donated to the library for silent auctions for fund raising.

On my first visit to the DHH as a peace ✌🏼offering,  I brought yarn to donate to the group to make-up for my lack of skills. ( I thought maybe they wouldn’t notice I didn’t have a clue.)   I was warmly greeted by Nancy 👩🏻‍⚕️ their fearless leader who was super nice.  So with zero experience but a genuine desire to learn,  I sat next to Alice 💁who was also fairly new to the group and a loom knitter.  Alice convinced me loom knitting was the way to go- faster, easier and effortless.  So with green donated yarn, a few looms I purchased and a loomahat.com tutorial on YouTube recommended by my new friend,  I began loom knitting 👶 baby hats and booties in about an hour ⏰ each.   Baby👶 hats were fairly quick and  easy- booties were a bear🐻 -those took several (3) attempts before they resembled real baby booties.  Almost immediately,  I found a love for loom knitting tiny baby items.   Even B 👦🏻& E👶 will be the proud owners of hats for our trip✈️ to Arches National Park, Utah next month in April!

My first attempt at loom knitting
Finally a set to donate

Also recently, a grant $$$  I wrote ✍🏼  (“Good Works” ) for supplies was awarded to the group by Thrivent Financial  to help us expand our reach even more.   It’s really exciting and rewarding to create something beautiful with your own hands and then just give it away as a 🎁.  It even sparks joy.   I still have much to learn about the world of  loom knitting,  but making new friends as I learn is the icing on the cake 🎂.  So if you ever have the time or desire to pay it forward come and join us!

Love,

Fitbela

Isla del Encanto- Puerto Rico

Toro Salao in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Today is our first day back home from a five day stay on the beautiful  “Isla del Encanto” 🌴 or Island of Enchantment better known as “PUERTO RICO” or RICH PORT.    All I can say is —it was way too SHORT!

My hubby and I left longing for more time to enjoy ☀️ 70 degree weather,  tropical breezes,  mosquito free quarters,  sangria roja 🍷,   specialty dishes of pork with plantain and the musical notes 🎶 of “El Coqui” – a tiny inch long frog unique to the island of Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 with a one of a kind mating call.

Yum!
90 years old!

The highlight of our trip was celebrating my dear mother-in-law’s 90th 🎈🎉🎂- yes-90th.   In spite of a few aches and pains, she was alert, witty,  happy🤗 and eager to open 🎁 and enjoy good food, 🎂with bubbly🥂🍾.  We were so blessed and honored to be a part of the festivities and spend some island time with her and the rest of the M clan!

During the short stay,  we landed in Old San Juan- capital of Puerto Rico to have lunch at our favorite spot- “Toro 🐂 Salao “ -or the Salty Bull🐂 Sangria and Tapa Bar/ Restaurant . There we feasted on shrimp 🍤 empanadas with chipotle 🌶 dipping sauce, beef and bacon sliders 🍔, sweet potato chipotle fries, organic green salads 🥗, and the mouth watering Signature Toro 🐂 Sangria Roja🍷 with a dash of pineapple🍍, mango, lemon-lime 🍋, and passion fruit juice.  It’s  a real tropical 🌴 explosion 💥!   We topped it off with an island treat of “coco con parcha” or coconut with passion fruit – a gelato type dessert and the best mocha-chino cafe ☕️ ☕️in the island-expresso with chocolate topped with steaming frothy milk.  All for about $50 bucks-priceless!

El Toro Rojo Sangria
Lunch at Toro Salao

 

 

Coco y Parcha

 

With a quick trip after all the festivities to Plaza Carolina – the local mall for a few souvenirs  of “casitas” magnets,  “pique” for the guys and matching sneakers for my good-looking  boys B👦🏻 & E👶🏼🍼we were ready for our Jet Blue ✈️ flight back home 🏡.

 

 

Handmade casita magnets for the gals
Pique for the guys

However, in an effort to ease back into my reality as gently as possible,  I  found the musical notes 🎶 of “El Coqui” on youtube for you to enjoy.   So sit back, relax and listen to the sounds of nature as you attempt to sleep tonight to the evening song of “El Coqui.”  Sweet dreams 😴  and “buenas noches.”

Besitos,

Fitbela

Whole Foods Market

Flower display smells amazing
Halo Top all flavors except pistacho
Natural essential oils soaps
Organic foods
So gorgeous

Whole Foods Market recently made its debut in Central Florida  by opening a new state of the art store in Altamonte Springs.   It’s the 25th Whole Foods Market to open in the Sunshine State 🌞-so all kidding aside- I literally waited 25 years to check out the one closest to home.   Fitbela and her trusty sidekick M desperately yearned to visit all 40,000 sq. ft. – yes -40,000 sq. ft. of sheer wholesomeness!   Given a choice between Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market- WFM wins- hands down 🏅🏅🏅in my book!

So last Sunday afternoon,  Fitbela and her youngest skipped town and lunch to make the 30 minute drive 🚘 to explore all its glory and  splendor to see what all the fuss was about.   With  growling  stomachs, hearts 💕racing, and the boys 👦🏻 🍼👶🏼 (B & E) left behind- (cause no one was stealing our thunder) -we set out to taste and see all things good!

Hours were spent aisle by aisle taking in the incredible sights and smells of all things new and tasty- cruising Italian, Chinese, Greek, Soup and Salad bar stations.   We checked out the freshly made sushi, pizzas 🍕, breads 🥖and cafe ☕️ samples. Then we hit the cheese🧀, wine🍷, beer🍺 ,  Halo Top ice-cream🍨, fair trade organic chocolate🍫, flowers 🌺,  natural soaps and essential oils -all perfectly displayed to impress even the sharpest critic!

Wow, I must admit it was sensory overload but great fun for a  lazy Sunday afternoon -reminiscent of the beautiful Parisian markets we visited last summer.  So on a scale of 1-5, the WFM expedition earned a solid 4.9 for presentation, selection, variety, price and cleanliness.   It would have earned a perfect score had Halo Top Pistachio been in stock.   However, no love ❤️ lost, the 🚘trip was a winner and plans for another is well on its way as soon as pistachio is back in the freezer case.   Have you visited a Whole Foods Market near you?   It may be well worth your time!

Adios foodie friends,

Fitbela

Tower Gardens

Home grown cucumber
Homegrown tomatoes

Have you ever attempted to grow anything in Florida? If you have, you know it’s really mission impossible unless you are a Florida Master Gardener who knows exactly what to do, when to do it and why you’re doing it.   In sunny Florida the moon,  stars and planets must all be perfectly aligned in order to reap the perfect crop!

My personal experience with gardening has always been futile.  Just keeping St. Augustine grass green and bug free takes a miracle from St. Augustine himself as my HOA violation letters will attest to quarterly.   Spending money on organic seeds to plant was useless and often quite costly.

So with a strong desire to grow beyond organic food without the dirt digging, messy compose or the sweltering Florida heat while keeping my French manicure intact brought me to the realization that a Tower Garden for Aeroponic gardening was well worth a try!    Armed with an informative two hour seminar at Living Towers Farm in Eustis, Florida made the set-up of the tower a breeze.

It took less than a hour -thanks to a handyman for a  hubby and the 21 tiny seedlings eager and ready to sprout from each little rock wool socket.   With the addition of 20 gallons of water, nutrients for PH balance and plenty of free Florida Sunshine 🌞  the Tower Garden  was ready to grow a variety of veggies either indoor or out.

Tiny organic seedlings of pure, healthy goodness in the white vertical tower included multiples of:  Boston Bibb, cucumber, tomatoes, red peppers, sugar snap peas, parsley, cilantro, spearmint, mint, chives, kale and lavender.  All making our mouths water just thinking about all the new recipes we’d try.

Home grown cilantro
Boston Bibb a favorite

The thirty day countdown to on-demand fresh produce at our fingertips without the Publix or Whole Foods Market prices made this a really exciting venture.   Homegrown food without pesticides and ripen to peak perfection never tasted better!  Tim Blanks the founder of Tower Gardens was on to something when he took his concept from Epcot  to mainstream homes.   He probably knew that aeroponic gardening is a cheaper form of therapy than retail therapy.   As for me, happiness is growing my own beyond organic food at a fraction of the price I’d pay at stores especially since it taste so much better.   Have you ever attempted to grow your own food?   A Tower Garden may be a perfect fit for you too!

Happy Growing,

Fitbela

“We may think we are nurturing our garden, but it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.”    Jenny Uglow

 

 

 

 

Let’s Yoga!

 

About Fitbela.org

Welcome!  My new blog Fitbela.org is finally up but not without a few kinks and glitches- remember it’s my first attempt at blogging!  My first check mark has been placed next to my new year goal-Start a New Blog.  Fitbela.org is dedicated to my quest to be fit, healthy and happy.  While this quest and blog will not be perfect, I’ll strive to keep it simple, light-hearted and fun while focusing on fitness and nutrition.  Subscribe to my blog and join in my journey.  Also, share your thoughts, comments and ideas or requests for new and interesting blog posts.

Let’s Yoga!

During my years as a Florida School Principal, I was consumed with a job I loved.   Eventually however, accumulated stress and tension took its toll on my body and my Chiropractor recommended DRUGS- just kidding- she recommended Yoga.   So………..Yoga I did!

With nothing but time on my hands, my stretchy shinny yoga pants got a chance to visit several yoga classes while constricting every muscle in my body.   After purchasing a beautiful pink yoga mat, matching purple yoga blocks, purple straps, BenGay, Icy Hot, Extra Strength Advil and Epsom Salt, I was decked out to Yin and Yang on my yoga mat.   It was not a pretty sight at all,  prompting me to give each of these yoga practices a one star rating out of five in my book.  And, I didn’t even attempt Wall or Acrobatic Yoga for fear of breaking my neck in public!

  • Bikram or Hot Yoga was a total bust.  Hot flashes and hot yoga simply do not mix.*
  • Vinyasa Yoga was way too vigorous, exhausting and designed for the Orlando Cirque du Soleil performers.*
  • Ashtanga Yoga was too fast paced creating more stress and tension  in my body in an effort to strike a pose.  It really wasn’t worth the time or effort.

In spite of a few obstacles and muscle fatigue,  I was determined to experience success in my quest for the perfect yoga class.  In other words, I wasn’t giving up that easily even if I had to return to the Chiropractor for a routine spine and neck alignment.   I was more determined than ever and my new Motto was: ” Im-a-stay.”  After trying,  Hatha Yoga, Gentle Yoga and Restorative Yoga, I think I found my niche in the world of yoga. These yoga practices earned a four or five star rating in my book.

  • Hatha Yoga was a beginners yoga practice that was gentle and calming.  The poses were slow and graceful.  It was definitely worth my time and energy.  I left the class feeling happy and refreshed.   Plus, it didn’t hurt that Home Goods awaited across the street from the yoga studio and so did “mi cafe.”*****
  • Gentle Yoga was a good fit for me also.  It was geared for those yogis who are already quite fit but lack overall flexibility and balance.  In other words, those who are wound as tight as a drum- just like me! *****
  • Restorative Yoga was my absolute favorite.  The poses were easy, gentle and props like pillows, blankets and blocks were used for maximum comfort and flexibility.  Each yoga pose was held for 3-5 minutes and the calmness and peace derived from the practice generated  deep sleep and a wonderful sense of well-being.  It felt just like a spa massage. ****

With goal two- Let’s Yoga– DONE- I’m feeling just a bit more happy and way more relaxed.  What have you accomplished this year you are most proud of?

Namaste for now!  “Im-a -stay in bed.”

Fitbela