Cooking Clean with the T-fal Optigrill

Disclaimer:  I was provided an OptiGrill for review.  All opinions are my own.

Cooking healthy meals for my family is of utmost importance to me. I've found that grilling lean proteins and veggies is the tastiest way to eat clean. I love how the fats just drain right out and the meat is tasty and flavorful.

But I'm not a good griller. I am scared of fire. Like super scared. I was playing with matches when I was 12 and I set my hair on fire. Ever since then I am terrified of being close to fire, and that includes the grill. The thought of turning on the propane tank and lighting the grill literally makes me nauseous.

Late last week our outdoor grill bit the dust, not that I ever used it, but my husband did. Often. 

The day after it died, this arrived for me Smile

I decided that I would try the grill out on Friday night for our Friday Fish. Normally I bake the fish, but the grill directions said it could be easily grilled.

Now, I am not a natural cook. I have a tendency to overcook my meats. The optigrill had me excited because the T-fal OptiGrill is the first and only indoor grill with Precision Grilling Technology, which will detect the quantity, temperature, and thickness of your items and alert you when it is at each cooking stage (rare,medium well done, etc.) So there is no more need to cut into your steak or meats to check if they are done – with OptiGrill you know it will be grilled exactly to your preference.

My first attempt at the grill did not go well. I followed the directions perfectly and when the timer beeped that it was finished, I opened the grill and this is what awaited me. Undecided

I was able to close the lid almost 1/2 way and then gently scrap the fish off the top part of the grill. Even though it didn't present well, it was quite tasty.

The grill cleaned up quickly and easily and I decided that next time I would spray the grill down with a little bit of cooking spray before I put my meat on the grill.

Tonight I decided that I would grill chicken. I pounded it out and seasoned it with lemon and pepper. Set the chicken timer and off it went! It cooked quickly!

Having a family of 5, and only being able to cook 2 chicken breasts at a time meant that I was cooking a lot of chicken. But it was easy and since I was relying on the timer, I was able to go off and help the kids with their homework, etc., and not worry about overcooking the chicken.

This time the meat came out great! No sticking, and the plates are tilted so that fat and grease can flow down and be caught in the basin. Great for healthy eating!

I'm a fan of the T-fal Optigrill and will certainly try out some of the recipes that came in the cookbook that they sent along!

You can connect with Optigrill here: 

Have you ever cooked on an indoor grill?

My Big Fat Revenge: Finale and Giveaway Winner!!

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of the Oxygen Network.


Tonight is the finale of My Big Fat Revenge on the Oxygen Network. Have you been watching this season? Do you think they saved the best for last?? Bullying and teasing. This is a huge issue in our country. It's never okay in my book to tease someone about their weight, or looks. Female bullying is very different than male bullying and exclusion from groups is a huge indicator that you or someone you know might be getting bullied. I always tell my kids that friends shouldn't make friends cry. Friends should be there to support you, to lift you up, to make you feel better about yourself. Sure, we all need that friend that is honest when you ask her if you look good in those pair of jeans, but that's very different than your friend just coming out and saying you look fat in those jeans. I've been on the receiving end of mean friends, and they just suck. Get out of those toxic relationships. Life is just too short to be vamped by other people.

Jamie Vanessa


Now...the winner of the $500 giveaway is





I have contacted Angie via the email address she provided.

Thanks to everyone who entered to win. I enjoyed reading all your comments, and you are all so inspiring, and you motivate me to keep on keepin' on!


Soft Kitty on a Sunday Funday

Our Sunday started with the best of intentions. The weather has been so lovely that we decided to pack up our bikes, and take the family to a new fitness trail. It parallels Tampa Bay and from the apex of the 45 foot span you can see Tampa, St. Pete, and Clearwater. Our little trio did great. We haven't been on a family cycle in quite some time. They loved it. Here they are at the top of the span. I give them the command 1, 2, 3, pose. And then they strike whatever pose they want. They are so cute and funny.  Ronin and Haley really need new bikes. I think that's what we are planning on for Christmas.

The ride was so relaxing. Our family really enjoys cycling together and being so close to nature really helps to re-connect us. On the way back we stopped for drinks and snacks at a shady mangrove spot.

I decided that it would be okay to let the kids explore the rocks. There were no fishing hooks, or lines, and the incline down to the water wasn't steep, there was no algae covering the rocks, and I went down first, and figured if I could make it down with no issue, then my gang certainly could. And they did. James and I sat on the seawall, and just watched them play and explore.

They were having so much fun, but it was getting late, near 3pm and we still had 3 or 4 miles to bike back, so I decided it was time for us to get going. I called for them.

I don't know what happened, but I saw it all unfold in front of my eyes. Ronin went from standing, to falling in a matter of seconds. Screaming started. Blood was pouring from his body. I jumped down the rocks, determined that he was bleeding profusely from his right hand, wrapped his hand in my shirt and got him up the rocks. James was waiting there with water and we immediately rinsed him off because again, we weren't sure exactly what had happened or where he was cut. Turns out he sliced his right pointer finger and his right leg on an exposed oyster bed like you see in the above photo.  I sat on the ground in the shade of the mangrove and he collapsed in to my lap. He was bleeding so badly on that finger. James took off his shirt and I just held it on Ronin's finger. We decided that our best course of action was for James to ride the 4 miles back to the car, and the girls, Ronin and I would somehow move 4 bikes, and ourselves to a central pick-up location. We really pulled together and worked as a team. The girls listened to my directions and did not let their emotions cloud a very stressful situation. Step 1: Haley and Ella, ride your bikes to the pick-up point. I'll wait here with Ronin until you get back. They rode their little hearts out, and Step 2: jogged back. Step 3: Ella rode Ronin's bike, and Haley and I took turns pushing my bike back. I had Ronin in a "monkey hold" on the front part of my body, a chest to chest hold with his legs wrapped around my waist.

We made it to our pick-up location and there was no shade.

Ella made shade for Ronin with a palm frond. You can see his poor leg all cut and bloody.

Thankfully we didn't have to wait too long. James really pushed it and from the time Ronin cut himself to the time we were in the truck heading to the ER, 48 minutes had passed. And getting to us was not easy. He had to drive over the bridge, and then U-Turn to get to us. But there really was no other option.

I sat in the back with Ronin and his finger would still not stop bleeding. We made it home, got Ronin cleaned up, and his finger was still bleeding. Not gushing like it had been, but enough that it had me concerned. So off we went to urgent care. Ella had to come. She really is such a thoughtful "big" sister (they are only 359 days apart.)

The doctor determined that Ronin needed stitches. He did not take this news well. Ronin is my most accident prone child. He's severely broken his arm (needed surgery to repair it) lacerated his eyelid off (needed surgery to repair it) and got attacked by a cat (needed stitches and staples and was awake for that repair.)

Once we had him convinced that there really was NO OTHER OPTION and one nurse held him down on one side, and I held him down on the other, the doctor began giving him the numbing shot. He screamed so loud. Ronin is autistic so everything is just such a big deal to my au-some little dude. Once he had the shot though, he started to get very nauseous and light headed. It was time for mama to step in and calm him down. How did I do that? With a little soft kitty of course.

Soft kitty,

Warm kitty,

Little ball of fur.

Happy kitty,

Sleepy kitty,

Purr Purr Purr

I rubbed his ears and sang Soft Kitty. For about 10 minutes. And during that time, not only did Ronin calm down, but I had at least 3 other people pop in to tell me that they loved the song, and they knew it from the Big Bang Theory and thought it was awesome that I was singing it. Tongue Out

Ella was able to join in on the Soft Kitty singing too. And before we knew it, he was all done!

And that, is how I spent my Sunday Funday.

How was your weekend??