What I Ate Wednesday

Her guys! My last first and last final is in a few hours. Did I stay up all night studying for it, you ask? No. But I did stay up to download my pictures for this post. And Facebook chat. And look at cute pictures of kittens.

"She was like, 'Let's just be friends.'"

And now I’m watching the Today Show. I’m still not sure when the official studying hour shall commence, but I’m guessing it’ll be somewhere around 12:30, when I’m walking to my exam. It’s a good 7 minute walk, so that’s plenty of time right? Agh, graduation couldn’t come at a better time. No more motivation.

On to WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY! (AKA stuff that’s much more important)

2013-04-29 19.11.16 Quinoa porridge! This is 3/4 cup of already cooked quinoa, with a splash of almond milk, strawberry whey and a few cherries.2013-04-29 22.23.35PWO was an extremely ripe banana and 1 scoop whey.2013-04-29 23.04.42One of my favourite meals was next!! Pizza stuffed sweet potatoes. I used my low carb marinara sauce, nitrate-free pepperoni, mushrooms and tomato basil mrs. dash seasoning.2013-04-30 02.45.33Taco salad. 3 oz longhorn, mini peppers, salsa, 1/2 avocado, tomatoes and lots of lettuce!2013-04-30 06.15.05Quinoa omelet. Eggs, onions, broccoli and quinoa with a dab of ketchup! Not too fancy but sure is delicious.168883_588232724529117_405757577_nThis was a cookies and cream sunbutter cup! Omg it was so delicious and so easy to make. Just scoop 1/2 cookies and cream casein into a ramekin dish, add a dollop of nut butter, and then top with the remaining casein. Stick in the freezer for an hour and then enjoy:)

I noticed that I have protein powder for 3 of my meals. That’s a little excessive. I love casein at night because it keeps cravings at bay, and of course whey is my go to after a workout. So what I think I’m going to do is focus on decreasing my use of powders from at least 3 to 2. And then I will work down to only post workout. Whole foods FOR THE WIN!

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Baked Pizza Meatballs

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It’s a Saturday afternoon “rest” day. So of course, I’ve done a lot of cooking, cleaning and watching Friends. I’m also going to indulge in a mini I’m-so-over-college rant. I really can’t neglect school this next week as much as I did last week.  I missed more than half of my classes simply because I don’t care. This upcoming week is my last week of school.  All in all, I’ve had a good semester but it flew by crazy fast. A lot has happened that I’m grateful for and I’ve overcome a few struggles of my own. Regardless, it would be a great semester to finish off my college career.

But nope…..of course the educational gods (AKA the school dean and administrators) wanted to grant me with one more lingering school session, out of the kindness of their rotten hearts. Thanks. On a positive note, that will just give me more time to search for my first job. I have a good idea of where I’m going to go, but I’m not releasing any deets quite yet.

Enough whining. Let’s talk about how delicious my kitchen smells right now. It’s a mixture of grassfed longhorn (yes, grassfed is a smell), pepperoni, parsley and onion. Maybe, a little bit of bacon fat hidden somewhere too.
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Ingredients:
1 pound lean beef (bison, longhorn, grass-fed)
1 oz nitrate-free pepperoni, chopped
1 egg
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T chopped Italian Parsley
1 T Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic
3 T marinara sauce (I use this one)
1 T coconut oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Set the oven to 400 degrees. Saute the onion and garlic in the coconut oil, on a skillet set to medium-high heat, until onions are translucent. Once done, put them in a bowl with the beef, pepperoni, egg, parsley, Mrs. Dash and 2 T of the marinara sauce. Mix well with your hands and then form into little balls. Place them on a baking dish with either parchment paper or greased with grassfed butter/coconut oil and then top each meatball with a little bit of what’s left of the marinara sauce. Put the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes. Pair with spaghetti squash, spiraled zucchini, or a big side of veggies!
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Mmmm don’t you wanna touch all of dat.

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Pepperoni is my weakness.2013-04-27 01.32.05

Not a big pizza person. But meatballs….2013-04-27 01.39.29I just can’t get enough.

I’m pretty pleased with how this recipe came out, so please give it a go and let me know how you like em! Have a great weekend!

Mini PB Protein Biscuits & Egg Whites

I had difficulty naming this one. Technically these could be protein puffs, mini breakfast cakes,  biscuits or what have you! I decided to stick with biscuits because when I separated them into three different rounds, they looked really flaky and soft. I have a had a few people think that their protein mug cakes come out a little dry, which is why I typically top mine with something like almond butter, protein icing (a little whey and almond milk mixed together) or sweet eggs…I don’t really mind the “dry” mug cakes but I also have a really strange set of taste buds:) These I made on a complete whim but they were so delicious that I had to share.

Mini Protein Biscuits & Egg Whites
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Ingredients for Biscuits:
1 scoop Myofusion whey (I used peanut butter cookie dough)
1 T egg whites
1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 T flax seed

Toppings:
1/2 cup egg whites or 3  egg whites
Nut Butter (I chose Sunbutter)
Cinnamon
1 packet Stevia

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients for the biscuits in a mug and put in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Be careful to make sure it doesn’t spill over! Once done, turn over the mug on a plate and let the cake cool. Then scramble eggs in skillet. Cut the protein concoction into 3 pieces and top them with the eggs, Stevia, cinnamon and nut butter. This is almost identical to my strawberry mug cake, but just another way to spice up your whey:)

Yesterday I had a fun photo shoot at my gym sporting the RUNNUR since I wear this product around religiously. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many funny looks at the gym. Wait no, I take that back. Carrying my competition heels to the fitness room made for a pretty long walk. Oh, good times….good times.

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Oh YEAAHHHHH. Sexayyy RUNNUR.

And even though I did legs today, my past two posts have had leg workouts so here is my shoulder/tricep workout from yesterday.

Kettlebell swings with 25 lb- 3 sets, 25 reps
(All reps below 8-10)
Military press- 50, 60, 60, 40 to failure
Close grip bench- 70, 80, 80, 45 to failure
Clean and press- 45, 50, 50, 45
Dips (normal, not assisted, ladies!)- 4 sets
DB shoulder press- 35, 35, 25, 25
Shrugs holding 50 lbs in each hand- 3 sets of 30
Overhead tricep extension- 35, 35, 35

Okay so I know this looks like a lot but since my reps are in the 8-10 range, I do an extra set usually. I was DEAD by the time I was done though. Definitely felt it the entire day. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

Weekend Fun & Some Recent Thoughts

My weekend nights are usually pretty relaxed and non-eventful. I really enjoy my down time to recover from the past week and to prepare for the week ahead. Some may call this lame, but I call it “listening to my body.” It seems as the semester comes to a close, every week just keeps getting busier and busier and my workouts are getting better and better. Therefore, on a typical Friday and Saturday night you can definitely find me in my apartment cooking a new recipe and having my me time. Except for last night. I went out, for once, since my beautiful sister and her best friend came into town. You could say I don’t feel so hot today. Not so hot at all. And I think I’ve had 2 gallons of liquids, so I’m retaining water like a balloon.
image.pngWorth it? Definitely. I love going out with these beautiful ladies, PLUS we went to my favourite restaurant Moonshine and even though the wait was an hour and a half, we feasted on some delicious bison meatloaf and tasty margaritas. I don’t splurge often or stray from my paleo ways, but it’s been a good few months since I’ve had a cheat and I felt the occasion called for some relaxed eating. Afterwards we hit up down town and enjoyed ourselves with good conversation and lotsa laughs.

Like I said, I don’t drink often. So the majority of today I’ve felt kinda crummy. This morning I made them some tasty eggs and we spent 3 hours watch Game of Thrones Season 1 because these silly girls have never seen it…..I KNOW. NEVER. It initially upset me but now they’re hooked so there goes all their free time for the week.

Around 2 I had a couple cups of coffee with 1 T coconut oil and some vanilla whey. It’s kinda like a latte pre-workout and it’s freaking fantastic. I then hit the gym for glutes and hamstrings and this is what my workout ended up looking like:

5 minute run
Box squats with barbell- 5 sets, moving up in weight each time
Alternating lying leg curls- 3 sets (10 on each leg and then both legs together)
Abductor machine- 3 sets
Sumo squats with kettlebell -4 sets
Deep squats pyramid set- 5 sets (alternating between wide and narrow stance)
Stiff-legged deadlifts- 4 sets
Seated calf raises with two 45 plates- 4 sets

The box, sumo and deep squats will be the death of me. On leg day, I seriously go a little crazy with the squats but it’s because they really make me happy. I feel like a goof saying it, but it’s my favourite exercise and I would do them all day long if my body allowed. My booty has grown tremendously in the past 4 months just from switching up my squat techniques and DITCHING the smith machine. It works for some people but every time I used it, I completely abandoned my core, put too much weight on it and never went deep enough. I wasted a lot of time on the smith but hey, that’s how we learn, right?

So here’s the part where “some recent thoughts” are exchanged. In case you don’t follow my Facebook page, here are two of my most recent statuses:
1. “Time for some truth y’all. I’ve struggled with body images since I was 13. I was a stick but I thought I was fat. I have been vegetarian, vegan, a bikini competitor (yes, that’s a diet lol) and now paleo. I ran an hour on the treadmill every day my freshman and sophomore year. I spend two hours on the elliptical in high school. I under-ate. I struggled. I was obsessed.

Now? I still have my doubts at times but I am ten million times better. I want to be the BEST version of myself…not the smallest. I want to be the STRONGEST, not the most “fragile.” I want the inside of my body to fuel my so I can perform my absolute best. I’ve only been eating paleo for about 4 months but in these past 4 months I’ve loved myself more than I ever have. I don’t check the scale. I don’t weigh every ounce of food. And I appreciate my life for the ups and downs. Love what you have while you have it.

I want to help you find this happiness. If you struggle with any kind of body images, know that you are BEAUTIFUL however you look. You are exactly where you are supposed to be in life. Want to get in shape? Well, do it for the right reasons. Do it for your happiness and energy. Do it to live longer. Do it so that you can teach others how to do it too. And remember you’re not the first person to struggle ♥”

2. “As a health coach, my main goal is not to help you lose weight. I’m sorry, but that is not my number one concern, unless it’s crucial for your life. By making healthy choices and learning how to control your portions and hunger, you will in fact lose weight but that’s because it’s NATURAL. I am not going to be giving my clients macros anymore, unless they specifically ask for it. I provide a sample meal plan, a HUGE list of food options, guidance, support and I make some pretty nifty documents for you to keep about how to bulk prep, recipe ideas, etc. I realize that macros (numbers of grams to hit every day) and weighing your food religiously can really turn into an addiction. You rely on those numbers and that scale and soon enough, you’re in some deep mental trouble and the stress keeps adding up. My concern is to bring you HEALTH. To bring you HAPPINESS through your diet. Forget numbers. Forget HAVING to eat every 3 hours. Your body knows what it wants and I want to help you learn how to listen to yourself. Now that’s a talent we should all be trying to learn. If you want to lose weight, it will happen naturally and stress-free as long as you make the right choices”

So in case you where wondering what’s up, I’ve decided that my coaching techniques really and truly are going to be integrative & holistic. I originally thought I wanted my niche to be sports nutrition, and macro-focused diets with strict “bodybuilding” meal timing for optimum results but I realize that’s NOT what I want to teach. I want to teach my clients how to eat intuitively. I myself have gone through the ups and downs of diets countless times and I’ve struggled with macros. I am just now learning how to NOT count every gram of protein I eat, or not write down every single thing I bite into. It took me so long to learn how to count macros but once I finally got it down, I completely forgot how to simply eat.

You know why I’m ditching the macros? Because I’m healthy. I’ve learned what things I want to eat and what things are good for me, and that’s enough.

I’m putting pure, whole foods in my body. I am not starving myself. I am not weighing myself. I know when I’m hungry because my body will tell me. I know which foods affect me in negative or positive ways. I have watched girls go into competing excited to make changes and then lose sight of SO many other aspects in life. They take their critique cards from the show, cry for hours that their booty wasn’t up to par with what the judges wanted, and then spend the next several months dieting even more in hopes to improve their physique for another group of completely different judges, who may not even have the same judging criteria as the last set of judges! It’s confusing! And god forbid you aren’t lean enough. Then the judges will mark you down because you have a tiny bit of extra water retention.

like….WHAT?! How much more discouraging can it get?

Now, I am not hating on competing AT ALL. I loved it, I had so much fun. And I hope to do it again some day! Just in a healthier way. It’s hard to ignore people when they basically tell you that you are NOT perfect, even though you spent a ton of time trying to perfect yourself.

In my coaching practice, I know I will coach people who want to compete down the road. But I don’t want to kill them with cardio, starve them, and then abandon them after the show to fight off the evil post-competition mental demons that are surely going to sneak up. I’ll do it right. And for everybody else, I don’t plan on giving numbers and macros for you to follow because that is just PLAIN STRESSFUL.

Can I get an AMEN?!

We all need to learn how to live in our own bodies. Truly live in them. Love your body. Feed your body. Hug every curve. Caress every inch of skin. Work what your momma gave you cause I’m pretty sure some girl out there would die to have what you have, no matter what size you are.

Oh and by the way. Ever since I’ve stopped counting, I’ve been seeing results in my lagging body parts. My quads are finally growing and my arms are getting bigger. I cannot believe all I needed to do was listen to my body and that would be enough.

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WIAW & Leg Workout

Hey guys! This post has quite a bit in it. My WIAW, a new recipe and my leg workout for the day. Enjoy!

What I Ate Wednesday

Lately I’ve been skipping breakfast and participating in a ketogenic fast. Usually, I have coffee and coconut oil in the morning but I ran out of coffee and was too lazy to go get any so I settled for some coconut oil and a scoop of my prep-workout, Blitz.2013-04-15 21.22.13

After my workout, I had 1 scoop of whey and 3 mini white potatoes.

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My post-post workout was a Japanese yam and egg whites.

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Next I took a Tupperware to class with extra lean turkey, 1/2 cup quinoa, bell peppers, spinach, avocado and balsamic vinegar.

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For dinner I had Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers!! (Recipes below)

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And lastly, I had a casein pancakes with Cookies and Cream casein and 1 scoop almond butter. Not gunna lie, this brand’s cookies and cream tastes much more like cotton candy than cookies but it’s still delish.

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And in case you were wondering what my dish washer looks like……

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Yes, every morning I have to unload this. Shaker bottles, knives and Tupperware. Anybody else have a ridiculous dish washer??

Now for this super easy recipe!

Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers (serves two)

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Ingredients:
8 oz extra lean ground turkey
2 bell pepper
8 chopped cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup salsa
Small handful of chopped mushrooms, black olives and onions
1 avocado
Lettuce (optional)
Paprika
Red pepper
Chili powder
Coconut oil

Directions:
Set oven to 350 degrees. Cook your meat in a skillet and once it’s done, set aside in a bowl. Saute your mushrooms, black olives, onions, tomatoes and the seasonings with a dollop of coconut oil in the pan. Take your bell pepper and cut off the top and scoop out the seeds. Once your veggies are sauteed, put them in the bowl with the meat, add in the salsa and mix with your hands. Stuff the mixture in the bell peppers and stick in the oven for 30 minutes. I put the top back on my bell peppers as well, to lock in the flavors. Once done, take them out of the oven and add your avocado as well as shredded cheese if you so desire:)

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And for my KILLER quad workout:

Goblet squats, 50 lbs 3*12
Single leg press 3*12, 4th set drop the weight in half and pump out 50 reps
Superset, repeat circuit 5 times:
Leg Extensions, 15 reps
Walking lunges holding 25 lb weight straight overhead, 30 steps
Resume normal sets:
Hack squat pyramid set 4*20, 15, 9, 6
Front squats 3*8

Yeah, I’m tired to say the least. Hope you’re having a great hump day!

Q&A #1

1. How do you manage a social life when your diet and exercise regime starts to take over?
This one is tricky. I have two answers. First, I don’t let my diet and exercise regime take over. When I was training for my bikini competition, my training really did take the front seat and everything else got left behind. I went on only a few dates my whole prep and they were dramatically hard to get through because of my ridiculously embarrassing meal orders. I missed out on boat rides, parties, trips, and just small things like birthday gatherings, all because I didn’t want to miss a meal or skip a workout. It was mentally stressful more than anything. My true friends were gems through this time. I lost a few, but honestly, I’m glad for the friends that ditched me. They were never real friends. But if I did learn something, it’s that I would rather have a muscular, physically fit body and a life than to look 100 percent perfect and have no life. I remember crying in my room after my competition one night because I was so overwhelmed by all the mental stress and rigidness I let get in the way of my life. I never want to let fitness control me. I control it. That’s it. My other answer is, if you really do let fitness and your diet take over, schedule time with friends at least once a week where you can indulge stress free. Don’t miss out on their birthday party because you have an early morning workout. This gym will still be there the next day. At the end of your life you will not feel very satisfied if you spent all of your days obsessing over diet and exercise. Life is for living.

2. What sugar/flour/milk should I buy?
I buy Stevia because it’s a natural sweetener and I love the taste, it also bakes really well. Unsweetened almond milk is my favourite milk substitute and for flour I suggest coconut, almond or oat flour.

3. How do you feel about IF?
I don’t have much to say on this topic, simply because I’m always hungry and fasting is not easy for me at all. After I went to the PaleoFX convention, I met a lot of people that believe in it and do it weekly. I have done some reading about not eating 12 hours before your previous meal the night before, and it does make sense. Breakfast is not the MOST important meal of the day. Food in general is important, but there isn’t a magic time to eat. IF is something you should try out for yourself and see how your body reacts to it.

4. What isolated exercises do you do?
A lot. Especially when I’m working on muscle definition. Lately, I’m focusing on building mass, so I do more compound exercises but the isolated movements I still incorporate are: dumbell  curls, EZ bar curls, tricep extensions, calf raises, shoulder presses, etc. Most of my workouts are composed of squats, bench press (all types), leg press, military press, rows, clean and presses, more squats and close grip benches.

5. Favourite type of cardio?
Stepmill and HIIT. I love the stepmill because it tightens my glutes big time but I love HIIT (sprints) because it burns fat quicker than any other type of cardio and it goes by pretty fast. I usually only do 30 minutes of stepmill and 20 minutes of HIIT.

6. How do you get rid of excess post-baby belly fat?
Honestly, I say your best bet here would be a combination of HIIT and diet. Increase the healthy fat intake, decrease the carb intake, eat your body weight in protein and do several HIIT sessions per week. It’ll take some time to burn off all the excess skin but consistently sticking with proper nutrition and sprints/cardio you will get here.

7. How do you feel about counting calories?
YUCK. I am guilty of being a chronic counter. But no longer. I have been listening to what my body wants and I have been doing this long enough to know what size portions I need to reach my goals. If I have more carbs one day, I know to go easy on the fat. If I have more fat one day, I know to go easy on the carbs. Counting calories is really beneficial when you have a photo shoot or competition coming up, but otherwise, just eat clean foods and watch your portions. Don’t eat till your stomach hurts and don’t eat one carrot and decide you’re full. Cause I know you’re not. I eat and I eat a lot. But everything I eat is clean, whole foods so it’s all great for my health and well being 🙂

8. Any tips for tightening up for summer?
HIIT and nutrition. I can’t say it enough. I know this stinks but it also helps to limit the fruit. Fruit is sugar, so even though it has plenty of healthy vitamins, it will be consumed as sugar and will not necessarily help you your weight loss goals. Getting rid of grains and dairy will also decrease your bloat tremendously. Drink plenty of water to help flush out any excess toxins and move nutrients through your system quickly:)

YAY! I think I may start doing more Q&A sessions. Email, tweet, or FB me if you have something you’d like me to discuss in another Q&A post.

On another note, my back/bicep workout yesterday was really intense so I decided to share it. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

EZ bar curls (pyramid set- 20, 15, 12, 9, 6, 1) started at 40 lbs, ended at 65
Overhand parallel row 3*8
Alternating hammer curls 3*12 (Last set drop set)
Pull ups 4*10
Smith machine shoulder press 4*8
Reverse curls 3*8
Lat pull down 3*8

Spicy Paleo Jambalaya

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No rice? No grains? No problem! I’ve got a solution for your spicy southern cravings. This dish was incredibly easy, low carb, gluten/sugar free and just plain delish!

Spicy Paleo Jambalaya (for one)
1/4 head of cauliflower
1 Applegate Cajun sausage link
2 oz shrimp
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Red Pepper
2 T chopped onion
1 T Coconut oil

Instructions
Chop off the stems of your cauliflower. If you’re making this recipe for the whole family, use the whole head of cauliflower, it can serve 4-6 people depending on how much you use. I used the whole head and am saving the rest for other meals this week. After chopping off the stems, place the cauliflower in a food processor or magic bullet and pulse until the cauliflower is the size of rice. Set aside your “rice” and throw your onions in a skillet, on medium-high, with the coconut oil and saute them until translucent. Toss in your sliced sausage link, shrimp (I’m assuming you know it needs to be thawed) and as much of the seasonings as you want. I never measure mine; I just put in a generous amount of each. Let the meat and onions sizzle for a few minutes; add more coconut oil if necessary. When the meat is done, add your cauliflower rice to the skillet and let it heat up and soften for just a few minutes. Feel free to add any and all vegetable to this dish! I bet some steamed carrots and broccoli would be outta this world.

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…LOUISIANA FAST…..

Sorry, couldn’t help myself. That commercial always gets stuck in my head.

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How do you like your cauliflower rice?