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??

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  1. lisa on March 30, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Can you please tell me how long you had the chicken in the slow cooker for and if it is low/high? It looks wonderful!
    Thanks, Lisa

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      3 hrs high, 3 hrs low

  2. BethT on March 30, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Dinner looks yummy! You still need to conquer your fear of pot pie, though! 🙂 How long did you roast the chicken in the crock pot? I always use Ina’s recipe, but in the oven.

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      i know, i do!!
      it was 3 hours on high, 3 on low.. next time i’m going to do it in the oven.. i could tell it could be more moist if i would have roasted it

  3. Heather on March 30, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    So first, I used to use SparkPeople, but didn’t like their meal plans and I was a little skeptical of what it said I needed.

    And second, after my morning classes today I decided that I was hungry and decided to try a Larabar since I had never had one before. I was completely pumped for the coconut creme pie one that you always have. The grocery store by campus didn’t have it so I rolled with the PB&J. Basically, it was UUUUMAZING! I was so pumped that all of the ingredients were real, and nothing was made in a chemistry lab. I could also pronounce everything. Even better, it tasted like a real PB&J sandwich (which I eat everyday after my work out sesh). So basically, thank you so much for indirectly introducing me to them. I can’t wait to try other flavors!

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      YUM- the pb and j is so good!!

  4. Sally on March 30, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Wow congrats to the pilot! Quick question…I am moving to Jacksonville in a few weeks and I was wondering which yoga studio you might reccomend? Much appreciated!

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      check out bikram yoga on atlantic blvd (the owner rob is AWESOME) and mbody yoga on first ave (at neptune beach)

  5. LC @ Let Them Eat Lentils on March 30, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    You have completely inspired me to make “engagement chicken”! Lord knows I need it 🙂 I haven’t been eating meat for awhile now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t cook it up for the bf!

  6. Kim on March 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Sorry about your car accident! I have been using for about a month and I find it has really helped me be more accountable with my portion sizes. I now measure or weigh almost everything. I also like checking the nutrition graph to see if I am getting enough vitamins.

  7. Jenny on March 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    im glad you werent hurt in your car accident!! I use an app sometimes, but mostly I forget!;)

  8. Jackie on March 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    OMG… dump cake. I haven’t had that since I was a kid. If I remember it was very yummy!

  9. Jessica @ WHY DONTCHA RUN on March 30, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Eeeeeee!!! That seems like the same “dump cake” that I make from childhood! It’s so, so, so yummy! 🙂

  10. Kilee on March 30, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Everything looks delish! That’s so exciting about the pilot. My bf just passed his heli instructor’s license test last month. I hope the wreck wasn’t too severe and that your poor car isn’t too banged up. Have a great night and fun celebrating!

  11. Faith @ LovelyasCharged on March 30, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I do use calorie counter, but I don’t use it as an excuse to eat anything I want so long as I stay under X amount of calories…I more or less use it as a way to keep tabs on my intake and know how much wiggle room I have for snacks, drinks, etc…

  12. Ashley on March 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I use a calorie counter on my Droid whenever I’m out. Yes I obsesses, but after dropping 40 lbs (20 more to go), I’m on a roll!

  13. Kathy on March 30, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Also, I have been reading that guy’s site for years and here’s the thing-unless it’s a peer reviewed scientific paper-you really have to take it with a grain of salt. There are a lot of quack studies out there.

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm

      me too, girl. like i said, i don’t see anything wrong with it in moderation

  14. LisaG on March 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Chicka Bella is too cute, can’t resist giving her a treat. No I think it’s too much trouble to calorie count. I do good to remember what I ate and write it down.

  15. brittney on March 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I use Sparkpeople to track my calories, fat, protein and fiber. It is free, and if you ignore the meal plans and just roll your own way, it is a great way to see if you are getting a balanced diet.

    If I don’t track calories, I overeat. It’s just that simple. Stop recording, and the pants inevitably fit tighter. But, I am well aware that I still struggle with emotional eating/reward eating, and so Sparkpeople helps me be aware of what I am taking in. Not every single morsel gets tracked–especially weekends–but I can’t tell you how many times tracking calories BEFORE considering a snack has made me realize I wasn’t really hungry to begin with.

    I can see how calorie counting could consume a Type A personality, but I am a lazy bones who will slip at a moment’s notice, so the structure is good for me. 🙂

  16. Madison on March 30, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Am I reading that right? Frozen black cherries has no sugar?

  17. Jenna on March 30, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Congrats to the pilot, that is wonderful! That dump cake also looks pretty wonderful. 🙂

  18. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on March 30, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I have always used calorie king (the paying version) for my clients. It was only $49 for a one-time fee. I love it!

  19. Whitney @ Lettuce Love on March 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Bummer about the car accident — glad nobody was seriously hurt. Real food totally trumps processed foods, agreed 🙂

  20. christina cadden on March 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Sorry about your car and back. But your dog looks way cute!

  21. Krista on March 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Gina, I cracked right up when I saw that pic of Bella! hat an innocent looking nugget! HA!

    I think my hubby would love that dump cake. Think the Pilot’s step Mom would let you share the recipe???

    And bummer about that parking lot incident. 🙁

  22. shelly on March 30, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I use etools through the ww website. I think that it is a good way to get started on the weight loss journey but it will not be a life long tool by any means.

  23. Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin on March 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I’ve never counted calories before, but I am on Weight Watchers so I’ve counted points. I agree that you can get really skewed if you’re only looking at fat and calories and not the big picture. But I think WW is great because there are “Filling Foods” which are veggies, fruit, whole grains, lean protein, etc, that you’re supposed to eat a lot of to keep yourself full, so its sort of the same idea. I have largely moved away from counting points and towards focusing on hunger signals and eating wholesome + nutritious foods, but I can see how it would be very helpful for someone who is new to nutrition and fitness.

  24. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg on March 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Ummm, someone HIT YOU with their car?!? Ouch!!! That’s no good 🙁

    That dump cake sounds so GOOD (in a bad way 😉 )

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm

      yes, a punk lady hit me 🙁

      • brittney on March 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm

        I think Anna is asking if you were hit by this car as a *pedestrian*. Thank God that was not the case.

        • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 9:29 pm

          OH! hahah no. she hit my car with her car. her vehicle was a jeep and went unscathed while my poor little sporty car got beat up 🙁

  25. Jackie on March 30, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I use Lose It! On my Iphone. I love it because I always have it with me. I tend to over eat on even healthy foods & my weight stalls (I have a lot to lose). But thanks to your blog & others I am def choosing more whole foods. This ap makes it easy to count my fruit & veg servings. For instance I eat overnight oats nearly every day for 350 cals. Before I would have been appalled & tried to stay full on 1/2 cup of Fiber One or something. But now I know the value of whole foods.

  26. Samantha on March 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    So sorry to hear you got hit…hope the soreness improves and getting the car taken care of isn’t too much a hassle. UGH!

    Congrats to the Pilot!!!

    I have just today gone back to using daily plate. I’ve been eating very healthy, a lot raw and whole, and in moderation, and more active than I’ve been the past year or so and yet I’m gaining weight again, so I want to see just HOW MUCH I’m eating. I HATE calorie counting…its sparks my unhealthy behaviors. But at this point, after 18 months of trying and failing to shed the excess weight, it seems like the best option.

  27. christina on March 30, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    oh my gosh, your dog!!! i LOVE HER!!

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      hahah i love her too. she is so precious and spunky, it’s kinda ridiculous 🙂

  28. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self on March 30, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    You make a great point. While weight loss is technically calories in versus calories out, that doesn’t mean that the quality of those calories doesn’t mean anything. I think online counters can be helpful, but only if you don’t look SOLELY at the calories, but also the proportion of filling protein and fiber, healthy fat, quality carbs, etc.

  29. Kelly Michelle on March 30, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I know what you mean about being being upset killing your appetite. It happens to me when I get really sad 🙁 sorry to hear about the accident.

    I admit that I do track food BUT I always read the ingredient list and then the nutrition panel. If the first doesn’t pass I don’t care what the second says. I have made that shake before and my totals didn’t come out nearly as high. It looks like you are making a huge serving (yum!). Also I use just regular unsweetened cocoa powder (budget). Why is the raw cacao so much higher in calories, does it taste that different? The one I use only adds about 10 calories to my drink.

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      hahah yes my shakes are beastly and large (about 1.5-2 glasses full). i don’t think raw cacao is that high in calories.. that and the banana seemed incorrect to me as well

      • Kelly Michelle on March 31, 2010 at 12:58 am

        that is right for a large banana but since they vary in size you would have to go by weight to be accurate. judging by your shake size it’s right.

        • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 9:23 am

          it was a smaller banana- about the size of my hand.
          i should have weighed it for that example though

          • Kelly Michelle on March 31, 2010 at 11:41 am

            yea that would be less than that then. oh well you still got the point across just fine 🙂

  30. Shayna @ Cuts and Curves on March 30, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I do use a calorie counting website –

    I love it. When I don’t use it, I feel completely out of control, and sometimes don’t end up eating enough calories.

  31. Kristin on March 30, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks for the calorie comparison. I recently started using SparkPeople and sometimes get a little stressed when I go over my calorie goals. But then I realized that what I ate in a day was mostly nutrious, wonderful food that fueled me (well, except for that beer I had!). Going 100 calories over will NOT kill me. But it might cause me to pause and think if I really am hungry for that after dinner “treat”

  32. Katherine on March 30, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I think it’s interesting to look up nutrition online but it’s not always accurate!
    I’d rather be in ignorant bliss most of the time!!! (never will be an iphone app calorie counter)

  33. Kelly on March 30, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Chicken looks delish 🙂 I use daily plate every once in awhile right now just because I’ve been incorporating a bunch of new foods to my diet and am curious to see how they add up.

  34. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' on March 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I used to use in college, but I wasn’t making the best food choices back then, either! I remember “filling out” my calories for the day by adding a hot chocolate! (not a healthy version) Now that I’ve quit counting calories, I actually focus on making healthier choices, and eat way better than I used to! Funny how that worked out. 😀

    Sorry about the car accident! Those kind of things make me sick to my stomach, too. Hope your car gets fixed soon!

  35. Midgetkeeper on March 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Sorry about your accident 🙁

  36. Carolyn @ on March 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    That sucks about your car! I hope things get taken care of pretty easily! Dinner looks delicious.

  37. bobbileigh on March 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    A co-worker of mine makes that cake but calls it panic cake because since it only has 4 ingredients you make it when in a panic. It is amazing but its hard to have self control so I usually avoid it.

    I use a food journal that tracks food groups, calories (rough estimate), water, and exercise. I love it because it helps me realize when I might be over doing it on carbs or fat or not eating enough veg at a quick glance. Since I also track exercise it allows me to look at a higher calorie day and understand that I needed to fuel my body but also did I fuel it right or not. I really like this approach for me personally.

  38. Allison @ Food For Healing on March 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    congrats to the pilot.
    the chicken looks super good, i dont eat chicken very often but i can imagine how good it tasted (to the pilot)
    That sucks that your car got hit. thats why we have a law here in canada (most provinces i think) that you can’t be on a cellphone while driving, there are big fines for it.

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      i think they’re starting one here too.

      • Kim on March 31, 2010 at 1:29 am

        We have that law in California and you would not believe how many people still talk on their cell phones.

  39. s on March 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    omg haha! love the title of this post. i have a chicken beggar too. in cat form, however. 🙂

  40. Kelly on March 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    chicken looks great!
    I make a “dump cake” that is weight watcher friendly. you do a layer of fruit (fresh, frozen or canned), a box of cake mix sprinkled on top, then 16 oz of diet sprite drizzled on top! no butter! It is so good and you won’t miss the butter!

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      whoa! good to know- i’ll have to try it 🙂

  41. Leah on March 30, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Aww!! How could you say no to that face?

    Sucks about the car accident, I was nearly hit today too. The nerves kill my appetite.

    I dont count calories at all anymore. That was such a big part of my ED that really just dont think I would be able to do it in a healthy way. So I just dont.

  42. Joelle (The Pancake Girl) on March 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    That chicken looks SO AMAZING! I do need to get a slow cooker in my life asap.

    I love that you did that calorie comparison. It also helped show anyone who might be uncertain that those smoothies actually are calorically dense and filling- but in a GOOD way.

    Have a great night! Glad you knee is getting better. 🙂

  43. Lauren @ BIOCHEMISTA on March 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Congrats to the Pilot!! And I’m so sorry about your accident. I hope your back feels better soon <3

  44. Karyn on March 30, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    i don’t track calories so i don’t use an online tracker BUT i was wondering how accurate the online calorie burned calculators are…or the readouts that the machines at the gym give. i was on the arc trainer today and noticed that it told me i burned a ridiculous amount.

    and congrats to the pilot!!

  45. Katy on March 30, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Wow the dinner look scrumptious! I bet my boyfriend wishes I cooked like that 🙂
    By the way- I think the calorie count for the 7-11 stuff seems off. For the Cherry Icee, it has 200 calories but out of fats, protein, or carbs, it only has 20 grams of carbs. Since carbs provide 4cals per gram, thats only 80 calories… at least according to my low-level Nutrition 101 skills! I only looked at it carefully, because it did seem odd that the 7-11 meal wasn’t way higher in sugar. Anyhoo, please forgive me if I’m wrong!
    Thanks for having such an awesome blog, I look forward to reading it every day.

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 9:26 am

      i thought that was off too, but that’s the value daily plate gave me so i rolled with it

  46. Michelle on March 30, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    I have started using an app on my iPhone called Tap and Track. It allows me to see the percentage of fat, carbs and protein I am eating through out the day. I also have a fitbit that I am still trying to figure out what all it can do to help me with my weight loss struggle. Last year I was on Weight Watchers for a few months and did amazing and lost 30 lbs and I have now found it all back on me. So now trying to buckle down again to get those 30 lbs off me again along with more.

  47. Brittany on March 30, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    hey Gina- quick question. Do you find that, especially the last couple weeks, when you do less cardio you try to eat less carbs? I swear, I try to work out at LEAST 3-4 days a week, but I have 2 jobs and go to school, some weeks it’s only 1 or 2 days and if I don’t decrease my carb intake, I ALWAYS gain

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 9:25 am

      yes, i didn’t have any bread or flour products, and limited my starches. my first piece of millet bread was yesterday 🙂

      • Brittany on March 31, 2010 at 11:18 am

        Totally makes sense, I will just have to pay attention more. I usually have Ezekiel with AB for breakfast, i’m not ready to part with that. I often eat a whole wheat pita filled with veggies and hummus for lunch, might just turn it into a salad 🙂 Thank you!

        • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 12:19 pm

          i wouldn’t suggest getting rid of them completely, but trying have more of your starches towards the beginning of the day 🙂

  48. Amber on March 30, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I am just starting out on my healthy way of eating. I use a calorie/nutrition tracker called Lose It for the iPhone. I am still learning how to deal with it all. I know that even though something may have more calories it is healthier by the ingredients it has in it but that little nag in my head still goes “it’s all about the calories.”and “well you’ll be eating less…” Yeah I know HORRIBLE but I am learning.

  49. Babs on March 30, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Hey Gina,

    I think the calorie thing is crazy! No way 4 cherries is that many calories and carbs 😉 But what a fun idea to compare the good v. evil

  50. Jocelyn on March 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    I don’t agree with calorie counters. However, I currently have a broken foot and have only been able to weight train/do ab work, which is really upsetting because I’m such a cardio junkie like you! So, lately I’ve been using a calorie count just to make sure I don’t get off track, since I do not think it’d be right to eat the same amount as I did when I was doing an hour of cardio per day. I still do not eat processed foods and definitely eat when I’m hungry so that the calorie count doesn’t run my life. I just feel so flabby without the RAD 🙁 I’m also trying to cut down on the fats too a little bit (as you did when you were on hiatus) but for me that means limiting myself to 1 tbsp of AB instead of 2 😉 …we’re all human!

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2010 at 9:24 am

      hahah for me, it was 1 T instead of half the jar 😉
      hang in there with your foot- i know how hard it is but you’ll be back in action before we know it

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