Tag Archives: food

Jacked Jerky: Product Review

Paleo and meat go hand in hand, especially when it’s hand-crafted jerky that radiates with flavors and spices. I’m proud to introduce the new line of “natty jerky” called Jacked Jerky….it’s obviously the jerky for you if you want to get jacked.

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I know a very intelligent man who is constantly creating new products and establishing businesses because he’s a born entrepreneur. This genius friend of mine decided that there needs to be a bodybuilding jerky on the market, one that could easily help people reach their goals naturally….and so Jacked Jerky was born.

I was one of the lucky few that got to sample the jerky before it was released for purchase…all for the cause of the jerky’s well-being of course, of course. It’s not because I’m a meat addict or anything.

Of course.

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The jerky is made from all-natural, protein-packed, USDA Choice Top Sirloin and then hand-trimmed, seasoned with a 12 spice blend and then smoked. Because it is created fresh and lacks the typical additives and preservatives you would find in store-bought jerky, it does not last as long and should be consumed soon after purchase or refrigerated. I really don’t think eating it quickly would be too much of a problem though, considering the amount of deliciousness contained inside.

I really love jerky but the thing that usually holds me back is how chewy and tough it can be. I know that’s typically a turn on for people but I don’t necessarily enjoy chewing on the same piece of meat for five minutes. The thing I really like about this jerky is that it’s not as tough as most and the actual process of eating it is a lot more enjoyable.

For $39.99 you can purchase a pound of their regular or cajun spice jerky….I sampled the cajun one and even though I haven’t tried the regular, I am going to advise you get the cajun. Cause it’s pretty awesome.

The price may seem a little steep but you’re definitely paying for quality since most jerky brands are loaded with artificial crap and tons of preservatives.

Be sure to click on the links below to find out more information about how to get jacked!

Jacked Jerky:
Website
Twitter
Facebook Page
Instagram

Be on the look out for giveaways on their page!! I know they have a couple going every so often.

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Fitness: Putting to Rest the Controversies & Confusion

I’ve been talking and thinking about this topic a lot lately and getting different perspectives on fitness through other fan page accounts, twitter, instagram and it’s pretty easy to see how different people view fitness. There are many definitions of fitness. The one in the dictionary is the ability to reproduce…but I don’t really think that’s what most people have in mind when they’re throwing 65 lb dumbbells up and down the gym, gulping down protein powder and tweeting about their massive pump (#fitness #health #swole).

You know how health is one of the most controversial topics today? Well, that’s because people have different views on what works and what doesn’t. That could be for many reasons. It could because our bodies are made differently and a certain way of eating for me may not work for my neighbor and vice versa. Some people can look at a weight and grow biceps. Others can look at a cake and gain 5 pounds. We all have to adjust our routines to figure out how our own bodies respond the best.

I’ve believed in every single kind of diet at least once in my life. High carb/low fat, no this, no that, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, 6 meals a day, 2 meals a day, and yes, I’ve even tried NO meals a day. I’ve made all the mistakes in the book. I used to over-train and underfeed. I used to kill my body slowly with massive amounts of cardio. I’ve switched around my diet so many times trying to figure out “what works best” for me and my head spins just thinking about it. All the controversies out there have a huge part in my dietary habits, I was constantly listening to what one person says I should and should not eat but then I would hear another very convincing claim that states just the opposite.

You should see my massive pile of nutrition and diet books.

But today I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One many people may want to argue with…but truthfully…if you want to know my opinion….I’ve come to believe that..

EVERYTHING WORKS.

Circuit training works. Crossfit works. 5 by 5 workout routines work. Eating 6 meals a day works. Eating 2 meals a day works. IF works. No IF works. Skipping breakfast works. Working out on an empty stomach works. Working out on a full stomach works. Yolks work. Chicken works. BCAAs work and pre-workouts work. Paleo works. Vegetarian works….(eh…kinda). Everything works as long as it’s enriching and healthy for your body.

Not healthy as in “I’m going to eat zero calorie foods all day cause that’s me being healthy.” But healthy as in….”This banana came from Mother Nature. Therefore I will stuff it in my face, enjoy every bite and then use it to fuel my workout.” Now we’re talking.

So I want to put to rest some of these questions about health and fitness. There will always be controversies. But it’s your job to not let it get to you. Do not fall into the trap of thinking only ONE thing works and everything outside of it is a fail. That’s limiting yourself too much and eventually you will grow tired. And confused.

I’m not saying you should turn away from listening to what people have to say. Quite the opposite actually. Learn what you can from smart people. Read nutrition books. Study the art. Figure out what benefits are coming from the food you are consuming and read about different training strategies. Knowledge is power. The part where things get tricky (for me) is implementing that knowledge into my own life without letting it control me. I’ve been switching my attention over from listening to what others say will work, to how my body responds to the things I do each day. I still absolutely love to hear about what coconut oil will do on an empty stomach or why it’s best to eat simple sugars post workout and all that fun good stuff. It’s exciting and enriching to learn more. But once you have the gift of knowledge, don’t abuse it. Have fun with testing out new things but take it a day at a time. If you hear a theory that goes against the same one you heard yesterday, it’s probably true. Everything is true in some way. it just depends on how you look at it, your goals and your own beautiful body.

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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!

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!

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

Moroccan Burgers

moroccanburgers

Oh these were so yummy! This is one of Sarah Fragoso’s recipes and you can find it here or scroll down below:) I paired mine with fresh tomatoes, a sweet potato and sauteed onions and mushrooms.

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But really- paleo creations are the best.

Moroccan Burgers

Ingredients:
1 lbs longhorn or ground beef
1 T finely chopped cilantro
1 T finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:
Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Form into burgers and pan fry for 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat for a medium burger or longer if you want it cooked through more. This make 4 patties!

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Enjoy!