Chicken Beggar

Behold… the Chicken Beggar


She goes into the kitchen, barks at the slow cooker, clanks her bowl and then walks over with a defiant and angry look on her face.

Because the dogs are so stinkin’ cute, they each got a small piece of the engagement chicken, which I have to say turned out pretty dang good.

chicken (3)

The pilot got home from work –and told me he PASSED HIS RIDE!!!!!!!- and was very stoked with how beauty-ous the casa smelled.

He was also excited to see that I made one of his favorite desserts



The name isn’t very appealing, but I promise that it’s incredible.The dump cake is a dessert from the pilot’s childhood and I had to beg his stepmom for the recipe when we got engaged 😀 In a nutshell (cakeshell?) it’s crushed pineapple, cherry pie filling, (almost healthy- there’s fruit in it, haha) yellow cake mix and butter. Like a cake cobbler 🙂 I haven’t made it since last May!

With the saffron rice:


and roasted asparagus.


The pilot’s plate:


My plate:

my plate

(*I wasn’t very hungry. A lady hit me in the parking lot on my way home from work, so I was pretty upset about it. I’m not hurt- my back is a little sore- but my car is dinged up).

I’m off to celebrate with my pilot (who is now an Instructor!) and call it a night <3



Something to talk about: Online calorie counters.

I had a little fun with this one 😀

Randomly, I decided to dust off my old Daily Plate membership and see how Kristen’s Chocolate Cherry Bomb shake compares to something ridiculously unhealthy.

Chocolate Cherry Bomb Shake


7-Eleven Style Breakfast


So as you guys can see, just from looking at the totals and not what the actual food is, the 7-eleven breakfast looks like it would almost be a better choice (even though the shake has way more fiber and protein). The shake, however, consists of raw, antioxidant and vitamin-rich ingredients and is FILLING, whereas the 7-Eleven bfast would satisfy me for about 5 minutes.

This is why online calorie counters, or any type of “counting”, isn’t always the best way to roll. It pays no importance to WHAT you’re actually eating or how your body will be able to break it down and use the nutrients. Real food trumps processed food, fo sho.

Of course, many of you guys are already educated on this stuff and can take info like this with a grain of sea salt. I can also see how many of you would be able to use online tracking as a helpful tool- I used it for a couple of years. However, for the new-to-fitness-and-nutrition-Jane, I can see how all of this would be very confusing as how to actually pick “better food” by looking at the ingredients, rather than the macronutrient breakdown.

Have you used or do you currently use any type of calorie counting software??

Post Navigation:


  1. Heather (Heather's Dish) on March 31, 2010 at 12:04 am

    i try not to count calories since i’m currently getting over an obsession with that. but i’m definitely not over my ovsession with dump cake!!! i loved that stuff so much that i used to ask my mom to make it for me instead of a birthday cake 🙂

  2. Dee on March 31, 2010 at 12:47 am

    I use an iphone app called Nutrition Menu. I love how its designed, and although I do use it to loosely monitor my calorie totals,what I like more is that it shows me the breakdown of sugars, fiber, a whole bunch of elements, in each food, as well as the overall breakdown of various food elements for the day.

  3. Sarah Anne on March 31, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Oh Gina, Bella is just the cutest!

    I’m sorry to hear you got hit in the parking lot! Keep an eye on yourself, aches/pains etc tend to develop 24-48 hours so def. listen to your bod!

    I *still* cannot find frozen cherries to save my life, and everytime you post that shake I pretty much want to cry because I can’t make it! 🙁 Cherry season can’t come soon enough!

    • Christine on March 31, 2010 at 1:22 am

      I found frozen cherries at Target 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 9:22 am

      bella says thank you 🙂 (i think she knows though, haha)
      do you have a winn dixie where you are?? that’s where i’ll get mine sometimes- i was shocked that they had them!

      • Sarah Anne on March 31, 2010 at 11:22 am

        Nope. 🙁 I’m in Canadia. We have a whole foods, but they don’t carry them! I’ve even called all of our specialty shops, fancy markets, regular old safeway. I’ve been watching like a hawk for cherries to show up in my markets so I can pit and freeze!

        • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 12:18 pm

          awww i’m sorry!! at least cherry season is on its way!

  4. Christine on March 31, 2010 at 1:23 am

    I would never eat the 7-eleven breakfast but I also think the cals, sodium, sugar, fat, etc on the shake are a bit high… at least for me, since I’m trying to lose weight, not maintain. the fiber and protein would be great, but I’d be drinking so many of my calories for the day.

  5. Niki on March 31, 2010 at 1:43 am

    I totally agree with you that people can compare calories that way. That is why they need the education. I do currently count calories on SparkPeople, but I make sure to check the ratios of fat, carbs and protein. As well as making sure I am getting my daily servings of fiber, water and fruits and veggies in.

  6. Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle on March 31, 2010 at 2:05 am

    I used to count calories all the time but it seemed to take over my life and because I wasn’t looking at the nutrient part of it I wasn’t seeing results (i dropped weight, but I was just trying to get a flat tummy). Once I stopped counting so much and focusing on putting REAL food in my body (paying attention to the nutrients, and making it mostly raw and organic foods) I have been seeing great results! Holla for just being healthy and not worry about all the crazy stuff like counting!

  7. Emily on March 31, 2010 at 5:05 am

    That’s such a cute photo!
    Also, and this has nada to do with the above, I recently had iHerb ship me some mesquite, having seen it so often on your blog! I just loved the idea of it (being in love with Tucson as I am). I have put it in smoothies so far, but was wondering how else you might use it?
    Thank you for the inspiration 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 9:20 am

      oatmeal, anything with almond butter or banana, on top of fruit, in baked goodies… 🙂

  8. MizFit on March 31, 2010 at 6:03 am

    we are currently dogfree 🙁 as we had two dogs which passed around the same time and looking at that MUG makes me want another (waitforit) bullmastiff.
    the drool is bad but the lovin is so so good 🙂

    (whispers) would you ever wanna do a guest post for me?
    email or text me if you would!

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 9:20 am

      (whispers back) i would love to!
      off to email ya 🙂

  9. deisegirl on March 31, 2010 at 6:25 am

    I was RELIGIOUSLY counting the calories I was eating on Dailyplate and felt I was too obsessed with it and I wasn’t even losing the weight I wanted to anyway, so now I haven’t used the site in about 2 months! I still have my subscription until June (I think) and I had planned to use it occasionally just to keep tabs but at the moment I’m still doing a rough tot at random times during the day to see how my approx. calorie intake tallies with how I’m feeling in terms of energy/satiety. I’ll probably always be “aware” of what calories are in things but I’m happy to just be less “obsessive” about the numbers and try to go more with how my body is feeling.

  10. Heather on March 31, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Hey Gina!

    I don’t like to count calories. Personally, for me, it takes away from the whole point of eating: listening to your body and feeding what it NEEDS.

    However, calorie counts are helpful in cases of fast food, so that people can see hands-on the amount of unhealthy sodium/saturated fat/cholesterol they are putting in their bodies.

    I can’t wait until the day in which they post the ingredients alongside calorie counts. I’m sure sales would drop when people find out AMMONIUM is in their food!


  11. Pure2Raw twins on March 31, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Congrats to the Pilot!!! That is great news. And sorry about your accident. I hope you are ok!! And great tip about calorie counters, we totally agree it matters what you are eating and how you feel 🙂

  12. rachael on March 31, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Congrats Pilot! Sorry about your car:(

    I think counters like that are pretty useless, as you so eloquently demonstrated with your breakfast example. I do use on occasion because you can also view vitamins and minerals, so I can see more clearly what I might be missing, check my magnesium intake for a few days if I’ve been getting headaches etc.

  13. Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) on March 31, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I don’t calorie count because when I did, I was obsessing over food in a way that was not healthy. However, I DO like to use calorie counters, like, for recipes I have created, just to see how they measure up!


  14. Gretchen on March 31, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Oh my goodness, I can’t believe you made dump cake- I have made it over many campfires at Girl Scout camp since I was little. My favorite is apple pie filling with yellow cake mix…mmm!

  15. Jessica on March 31, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I think it’s great you did the calorie comparison of these two breakfasts. Calories can be decieving.
    I sometimes use, it seems to work well, but I don’t usually count calories, maybe a couple of days every 6 months, just to make sure I’m on track.

  16. Katie on March 31, 2010 at 8:59 am

    LOL @ your little beggar dog. Our pup licks her empty bowl while we eat dinner and then stares at us with big, sad eyes.

    I remember dump cake from back in my Girl Scout days. It’s soooo good and worth the splurge every now and then.

  17. Becca on March 31, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Jeez! That is a crazy comparison! I wonder what Weight Watchers would think of your shake?
    I think it looks delicious!
    Love the Chicken Beggar- it reminds me of our three dogs! They are ridiculous about any type of food being prepared/consumed, but especially if someone is dealing with meat. They start crying and jumping around; it’s pretty intense. Those cute dogs always get something, though…I guess it’s those sad eyes?
    Ha ha
    Have a great day, Gina!

  18. Erin Alexandria on March 31, 2010 at 9:11 am

    CONGRATS TO THE PILOT! & sorry to hear about the incident with your car.

    Food looks amazing as usual 🙂

  19. erin @ on March 31, 2010 at 9:12 am

    i feel like if i ever got to the point of calorie counting (I did for like a 2 week period) it becomes so obsessive! that i can’t do it! i do think that most of my food is fresh, and not so processed. i think people need to look at what they’re really eating and determine whats best for them by what’s the least processed food!

  20. Shannon on March 31, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I go back & forth between counting calories on sparkpeople and then deciding that’s making me too obsessive. I like how it gives you a breakdown of different nutrients at the end of the day 🙂

  21. Christina on March 31, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Mmm that dump cake sounds great! And congrats to your hubby 🙂

  22. Ana on March 31, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Once upon a time, about two years I used to count calories using I obsessively kept track of every morsel, completely ignoring the way the food was making me feel. Sure enough, I lost about 15 pounds in three months and was over the moon happy. Unfortunately, the moment I stopped counting calories, the weight came back. Over the past two years, I have been educating myself about nutrition, proper exercise and attempting to achieve the ever elusive balance that everyone in the blogosphere seems to possess. Now, I am on my way there :).
    I am NOT an advocate for calorie counting. In my personal experience, calorie counting taught me to completely ignore the cues I would be getting from my body. Plus, it is simply not sustainable in the long term, at least for me. I think that it is a lot more important to learn to listen to what your body is telling you, without relying on numbers and to learn to distinguish hunger from boredom, stress and any other kind of emotion. Of course, this only works if a person is at least somewhat knowledgeable about nutrition and has a balanced diet.
    And this concludes the longest comment I have ever written :).

    • Diana on March 31, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      I completely agree with you Ana! I’ve used both Sparkpeople and and found that I was often eating because I had “scheduled” X amount of calories for breakfast, not because I was actually hungry. Over time I lost the ability to tune into my body’s natural cues! Listening to your body is the way to go 🙂 Wonderful longest comment ever 😉

  23. Whitney @ Whitinspired on March 31, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Adorable chicken beggar :). I sometimes use, but it’s only to “check-in” and see if I’m where I need to be. Honestly, calorie counting makes me crazy. I obsess. I’m much happier and healthier now that I don’t. Because like you said, it isn’t always accurate of a nutritious meal. I used to eat 100 calorie packs instead of something with sustenance!

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 9:34 am

      me too, girl. back in the day, i’d eat those quaker granola bars for my meals. once i had a whole box, but that was all i ate that day. disgusting!

  24. Paige (Running Around Normal) on March 31, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I think that might be the cutest picture of Bella that I’ve seen. Little dogs can be so cute and bossy, can’t they? 😉
    Sorry about the parking lot incident. What a bummer, girl!!
    I used to count calories until it spiraled into an eating disorder. Every now and then I’ll track the meals I’ve eaten in a day but I never count actual calories anymore. Much better (for me) that way.

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 10:29 am

      hahah she got a treat after i took it (vies too) because she looked so cute. she’s a defiant little thing 🙂

  25. Erin on March 31, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Your dogs a cutie. Mine does the same thing with clinking the bowl and gives me the “look”.

    I use the iPhone app called Lose it! It’s helped me so much in dieting and I love it.

  26. kathleen on March 31, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I have used fitday, it’s nice to know when you are wondering if you are going overboard.

  27. Carrie on March 31, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I recently tried to track my food and count calories again (and eat 5 meals a day). It totally backfired on me. I ended up going crazy, eating everything in sight and gaining 5 pounds! I will never do that again. I am going back to eating what I want when I want. When you eat whole, natural foods in sensible portions (when you are really hungry not just because the clock says it is time to eat) it all just works out.
    I love your little chicken beggar, too cute!

  28. Katie on March 31, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I’m so glad you weren’t seriously hurt, andseriously… learn how to DRIVE, people!

  29. April on March 31, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Great question!
    I do use myfooddiary even though i am not trying to lose or gain weight. The reason this site is amazing is because it tracks ALL the nutrients and percentages of protein, carbs, fat, etc. It literally shades the ‘boxes’ different colors and notes when you haven’t met your nutritional needs.
    If that 7-Eleven meal was inputed, it would give all red boxes:= So…i guess what i wanted to point out is that there are other reasons to track meals. It is especially helpful for me as i never seem to get enough iron in my diet and with MFD i can cleary see where i am lacking in nutrients.
    This is all good stuff, love your blog Gina!

    p.s. i don’t work for MFD:)

  30. Dynamics on March 31, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Two things…First, If I had to smell your house all day I would have been upset if I did not even get a bite. Go Bella!

    Second, I was told to count my Protein, Carbs and Fats and NOT worry about calories. What is your feeling on this? The reason I ask is some days my calorie count is down to 1000 and other days as high as 1500. Thanks

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      i definitely think 1000 is too low– i wouldn’t dip below 1200 or 1300.
      just make sure to have a balance of carbs, fat and protein 🙂

  31. emily on March 31, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Maybe I’m different than most, but I found calorie counting helpful! I use the daily plate, and have checked out most other similar websites. For me, it was relearning portion control. Apparently I was eating 3x the amount of rice, cheese, and other goodies. The Daily Plate helped open my eyes to that, along with my trusty food scale.
    I also don’t feel like I obsess over it. It might be helpful to know that I need to lose weight, not maintain. I think a lot of people that are in maintainence mode should free themselves of calorie counting and go into intuitive eating or something less restrictive. My two cents.

  32. Wes on March 31, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I am going to be a critic here for a second. Your comparison of something supposively “super” healthy and something “super” unhealthy I don’t think truly proved a point honestly, at least for those that know the reality in regards to vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.

    First, your drink has no cholesterol in it – which people tend to associate cholesterol with bad things. But, cholesterol is actually a good thing and necessary for cell membrane structure, hormone production, vitamin D as well as bile(which actually helps your body use the dietary fat you consume).

    Second – your drink has actually more carbohydrates than the unhealthy “meal”. Which, carbohydrates (especially that amount in one drink) can be a bad thing for people who do not exercise enough because all those carbohydrates will get converted basically into fat. Carbohydrates can be a good thing but it depends on your circumstances.

    Third – Did you know that the US has the most expensive urine in the world? You know why? Because we basically “over-vitaminize”. We think that if we need a certain amount of vitamins and minerals that 10x that amount would be even better. When actually, all those extra vitamins and minerals are wasted and end up in your urine.

    Fourth – The cost alone of what you ate compared to the “unhealthy” meal is quite hard for some people.

    Now, I am not trying to say the unhealthy meal is somehow better for you but I am merely pointing out while your “healthy” drink does have good stuff in it – it should be pointed out that certain things you eat may appear healthy on the outside but unless combined with other proper nutritional foods – your body can still be EASILY considered “unhealthy” because of the lack of certain nutrients and other factors that are easily obtained from certain others foods.

    I think “healthy” is a relative term, honestly.

  33. Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow on March 31, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Quite a few interesting replies on this one…

    Here’s my take on calorie counting software: it can be a terrific learning tool. When I entered a few of my meals I was able to see what my eye portions translated into in terms of calories. Personally, I cannot count calories daily or even consider thinking about them at every meal. But that is a very personal decision and comes from a very personal experience. To each his own.

    In terms of your shake comparison to 7-11 food. My greatest lesson the past few years: numbers aren’t the only thing to consider. Don’t look blindly at carb, protein, fat and sugar count. Look at the INGREDIENTS! I don’t care how many carbs are or aren’t in a meal, if they are lacking nutrients and full of processed food, your body will not be able to absorb the nutrients it needs.

    Can the average family afford what you made for breakfast for all 3 children + adults? Nope. And that is a problem! 🙂

    • Wes on April 1, 2010 at 8:13 am

      Your body does not choose to absorb nutrients or not to. Whether it is processed food or not does not make the nutrients that are in the food unable to be absorbed.

      The ingredients are important – yes. But, what makes up those ingredients that is going to make your body so much better? The fact is, those “amazing” ingredients in the drink for example provide a lot of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients which is good but what else does it have in it that is going to be a life saver for your body? Some exotic herb or chemical that heals things…I don’t know about that. The main difference between the 7-11 food and drink, besides the external and obvious calorie/fat/sodium/sugar/etc, is the added chemicals in the 7-11 food.

  34. Diana on March 31, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Your dogs are precious. If Bella was my dog I’d have trouble not giving her engagement chicken every day!

    I’ve been meaning to ask – do you use ground or whole thread saffron in your recipes? I went to buy whole-thread saffron the other day and it’s so expensive!

    Thanks 🙂

  35. Katie on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I’m sorry that you got hit! I hope you’re feeling better!

  36. Kristal (from Moody Zumba) on April 3, 2010 at 12:08 am

    android calorie counter app girl. loves it! obsessed!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.