Tag Archives: weight lifting

Clean Orange Chicken Quinoa Stir Fry

Day one of my What’s Beautiful challenge and I’ve already increased my weight in close-grip bench press from 75 lbs to 85 lbs and my dips from 8 reps to 11 reps per set…I don’t know if my triceps were feeling extra good or something but today they were doing WORK.

I also accomplished something that has to do with the “balance” challenge I have for myself. Usually after my workout, I rush home to prepare my post-post workout meal at least an hour after my protein shake. If I don’t get the carbs in that time frame, I get anxious and nervous that my muscles will have lost that optimum carb/protein intake time frame for muscle growth. Today, I took my time. Instead of going home immediately, I went next door to Whole Foods to buy some of those Japanese yams I love so much. And then, instead of going home after that, I knew I had a lot more grocery shopping to do so I went to my next grocery stop, and finished the rest of my  shopping. By the time I got home, instead of whipping up something fast, I decided to put on some music and make a new recipe I’ve had on my to-do list for awhile. Usually when I cook recipes for my website it takes about an hour, with plenty of dishes to do, veggies to cut and lots of loving care:) Regardless of the mess and time it would take, I decided to go for it. So an hour later after making this delicious meal, I finally got those post-post workout carbs in and it was at least 2 hours after my workout. I’m so proud of myself for listening to my body, relaxing and enjoying cooking stress-free.

Now, on to the recipe. Step by step directions are at the bottom but I’m thinking we should look at some pictures first. Chyes? I think so.

2013-05-13 00.58.47 The orange extract, looking as lovely as ever.

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The ground cloves, doing a little mixing and mingling.

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The chicken, hot and sizzlin.

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The quinoa, fluffy and luscious.

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Oh heyyy chicken, you lookin gooood.

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Just a little love makin.

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B-E-A-utiful colours.

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The final masterpiece.

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A little extra orange squeezed on top…just for additional perfection.

2013-05-13 01.34.08AND PLENTY OF LEFTOVERS!

Orange Chicken Quinoa Stir Fry
(**paleo, serves 3-4)
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Ingredients for the orange chicken:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small pieces
2 tbs orange extract
1/3 cup water
a dash of ground cloves
a dash of cinnamon (a big dash!)
1-2 packets of Stevia depending on how sweet you like it

Ingredients for the stir fry:
1 cup quinoa
Thinly sliced carrots
Mushrooms, chopped
Chopped onions
Sugar snap peas
Red pepper slices
1 orange (optional)

**I’m sorry I don’t have the measurements for the veggies. Just add accordingly to the number of mouths you need to feed! I would start with 1/3 cup for each veggie and add more of what you like the most!

On a nonstick skillet, place the chicken strips on medium to high heat. Mix all of the other “orange chicken” ingredients in a small bowl and pour the mixture on the chicken (you could also marinate the chicken beforehand if you want more intense flavor but I thought it was awesome as is). Prepare the quinoa by boiling 2 cups of water with the 1 cup of quinoa. After about 15 minutes (time varies) the quinoa should be fluffy and cooked through. When the chicken is cooked through, add the chicken to the pan with the quinoa but try to keep as much of the marinade inside of the pan. Add as many veggies as you would like into the pan with an additional spoonful of coconut oil if needed! Saute the veggies and then add them to the pan with the chicken and quinoa. Serve hot with a few additional orange slices or get more creative by adding avocado slices, bragg’s liquid aminos or some toasted almond slivers.


What’s Beautiful?


I’m so excited to a part of the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Challenge with the rest of my friends from Fitfluential. The reason why I promote this campaign and think it is such a beautiful movement is because it pushes women to perform better and challenges them to do whatever it is they have been wanting to do but haven’t been able to make the commitment. Last year when this challenge first started, my goal was to compete in my first NPC Competition. I didn’t sign up online for the Under Armor What’s Beautiful Challenge, but I did mentally. I was so busy with training, I didn’t think I could have had enough time to do video logs and blog about it on both the Under Armour website and my own blog….but I wish I did! Regardless, this movement helped me to pick a goal and DO IT. No thinking, no pondering about it endlessly, just doing it. And it was ultimately and amazing experience. (By the way, this post might look slightly familiar to one I wrote in October of 2012 about self-worth….check it out here!)

This year is different though. As much as I wish I had one goal to work towards, I’m focusing on two slightly broad things. Balance and muscle growth. I believe balance is a challenge in itself, but it’s one that I’m learning how to master. Muscle growth, as you probably know, is a HUGE challenge for me. I tend to psych myself out a lot because I think that the reason why I’m not growing is because I don’t eat enough, but honestly, I think I eat just fine. I have a very well rounded and balanced diet and I would much rather eat when I want instead of having to time everything and eat to the point that I’m stuffed. I hate feeling stuffed. Usually, that’s when my energy is the weakest and I would much rather pick awesome energy over a uncomfortably full belly.

So my training techniques are what I’m focusing on for this challenge. More power lifting and compound movements. Not only do they increase mass, but they also make you feel like one tough cookie. Who doesn’t love to see their PR increase in deadlifts and pull ups?

So my goals for the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Challenge are as follows:

1. Continue to seek out balance
2. Learn proper power lifting etiquette and form
3. Continue to do sprints once per week (all other cardio has been cut out)
4. Increase my strength
5. Increase my muscles, duhhh

Here are my PR stats for the compound movements I’m already comfortable with:

Straight-legged deadlifts- 170 lbs
Normal deadlifts- 155 lbs
(Decline and Flat) Bench Press- 100 lbs
Back squats- 115 lbs (I used to be much higher but then I realized I wasn’t even going parallel…now doing booty to the ankles!!)
Overhand barbell rows- 70 lbs
Military press- 60 lbs
Barbell curls- 65 lbs
Dips- 10 per set
Chin ups- 8 per set, no assistance
Assisted pull ups- 10 per set (with 60 pounds assisting)

All of these exercises in particular I would like to see at least a 10 lb increase within the next month or so.

And then of course, there are the movements I’m not too familiar with that I would really love to get better at…such as:

Overhead Squat, Cleans, Snatches (ahh), Pulls, Jerks, Presses, etc…..I’d mostly like to learn the basics and then all the different variations. The names are confusing in themselves to me…power clean vs. high-hang clean vs. clean and press vs. clean whatever. Yeah, maybe I should look into Powerlifting for Dummies. I’ll think about it.

I’m working on putting a group together on the Under Armour Website, where my females friends can join and push themselves with me! Because of some technical difficulties, I’m having to post-pone the creation of this group but I’m hoping I’ll have it running asap. So please stay tuned to my facebook page for details! I’ll most likely be posting it there.

The first step is to go to the Under Armour website, create an account and upload your goal. Easy peasy. And feel free to give yourself completely different goals than mine! If you’re a runner, pick a race and start training for it! If you are a competitor, pick a show and join in on the fun!! We all have different goals for our bodies but we can encourage each other every step of the way! And you can follow individual athletes’ pages so be sure to follow me by clicking here and then clicking “follow athlete” 🙂 I’ll do the same for you!

By the way. I really wish I could take pictures and videos of myself doing particular exercises in the gym and post it on my group’s page. I know a lot of people post pictures of themselves working out but how in the world do you muster up enough courage to ask somebody to take a snap shot of yourself?! I just don’t want to be that person!

WIAW and Getting LASIK!

Happy Wednesday everybody! Chances are right now as you’re reading this, I’m either in the midst of getting my LASIK surgery or I’m at home, face down on the bed sleeping away the post-op eye irritation. I’m writing this Tuesday night, filled with lots of excitement, anxiety and curiosity. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the procedure, but I’ve also had to sign a million consent forms and listen to a ton of “there are no guarantees” speeches. But hey- this is my LAST day of my entire life to have -8.5 vision…..that’s 11 years of contacts and 19 years of glasses DONE. I’m so excited and couldn’t be more grateful to my awesome parents for providing me with this glorious graduation present!

In other news- lots of great things have been going on in my life the past few days. I am now a member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, I may be getting sponsored, I have seen GREAT improvements in my muscle growth, I think I’ll be attending PaleoFX after all (as a volunteer!) and of course I’m getting perfect vision (I can’t stop saying it!!) It’s funny because literally just yesterday morning I kept dwelling on all the bad things going on in my life and now I’m realizing I have nothing to complain about. Though school is stressing me out to no end, it will pass and I will soon be done and DONE. While I was rolling around in my own self-pity I decided to venture over to Pinterest to look at the quote board….I always do this when I’m in the dumps and seriously it’s always helped me.
I’m pleased to say that the very first picture I saw is the one I needed to see the most.
ab9499bf1766f1adb8b4a366b4c6e2c9Sometimes, like everybody else, I have a hard time moving on from things. So often I try to avoid change because I fear what is coming next. I fear it won’t be as amazing as what I previously had….and that there’s no way it could possibly be better. I’m scared to let go of the experiences I had, the goals I once achieved, the memories I made because the future is so unclear. Memories are great because we can look back and smile on things, but we can’t do that with the future because it hasn’t happened yet. This is where I have to learn to trust and have faith. Wherever I am in life is exactly where God wants me to be. Whatever great things I have lived through, I WILL experience again…and EVEN BETTER! It’s hard to believe it, but life does go on and great things constantly happen without having to force them. And that’s a beautiful thing. So I’m learning to relax, let go and get ready for whatever lies in the future…trusting that it will be great:)

Anyways, back to the less inspirational segment but something slightly more fun FOOD! Here are my WIAW eats! **warning….pictures aren’t the best quality this time around!

Preworkout– pear slices, 3 hard-boiled eggs and 1 Applegate chicken sausage

image-31PWOSweet Potato Pancake with sugar free syrup and a dollop of almond butter! (pancake made with 6 oz sweet potato, 1/2 cup egg whites, 1 scoop vanilla whey, 1 tsp baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and stevia)

Meal 3– Crumbled turkey burger, orange bell peppers, mushrooms, 1/2 avocado, spinach and balsamic vinegar!


Meal 4– A random concoction of egg whites, 1/2 cup beef, mushrooms, bell peppers (sauteed in coconut oil) and seasoned with paprika, pepper and cumin!
Meal 5– This was out of character for me because I usually don’t eat carbs at night, especially bananas, but I was CRAVING one like crazy. So I made another protein pancake, but this one just with 1 bananas, egg whites and whey. Super simple but delicious! Also another side of chicken sausage:))
image-33It’s slightly burnt but I’m one of those weird people that like the taste of lightly burnt food.

Meal 6– I wasn’t feeling very creative so I just munched on a can of salmon in water with a little Dijon mustard:))

And just as an added bonus here is my back/bis workout for tuesday- it KILLED ME! Doesn’t look like much but honestly, when you decrease the rep range from 12 to 8 and increase the weights by at LEAST 10 pounds….it’s intense. I did a total of 25 reps of 55 lb barbell curls, 8 with a 60 and 4 with 65. I was so proud:)

1 Day Out- Things You Should Know About Peak Week

Tomorrow is the big day! I’ve had a crazy & hectic peak week, having to get all the final touches ready and make last minute purchases. My diet hasn’t really changed for this last week but yesterday I did have a high carb day to help fill out my muscles. Tomorrow I’m adding in some foods I haven’t had in ages, like rice cakes and sirloin. It’s supposed to help with tightening me up and filling out.

Plus, not to mention I’m hoping to splurge a little after my show…it’s been 120 days…I think I deserve it this once, right?! 🙂

I’d also like to share with you guys that I’m NOT going to be dehydrating for my show.

Say what, Madelyn?!

Yes that’s right. I love water too much to do that to my body. So instead I carry this thing around to class and enjoy the amply awkward looks I receive.

But the real reason I’m nixing the dehydration step is because my coach is really against it. Honestly, how he explained it to me made a lot of sense. In case you don’t already know about the whole dehydrating thing, it’s where you deprive your body from water before the show (starting the night before usually) and only take baby sips the day of the show. It’s supposed to give your body that “tight” look. This can be extremely dangerous. If you dehydrate too much, or if you’re body can’t handle it, you could run the risk of passing out on stage. Please be careful before you decide to dehydrate for your show and really learn all of your options. You can still achieve that tight look just by manipulating your carb/protein/fat ratio throughout the week. When picking your coach for your show, ask them their view on this and how they plan to go about peak week just so you know EXACTLY what you’re in for.

On another note. I’ve learned a couple things this past week.

1. Don’t buy the Equate teeth whitening “strips”. They’re not even strips, they’re like mouth guards and the unusual pressure (assuming your mouth is semi sensitive) will bruise your gums and it’ll hurt like CRAP. Just a simple touch to my gums making me wanna cringe and I only used them twice!

2. Waxing hurts. But get it done early so that there’s enough time for any skin irritation to go away.

3. Polygraph tests are not just for criminals! Even bodybuilders sometimes have to take them before a show just to make sure they’re drug free 😉 (quite an experience!)

4. Target does not have good fake eyelashes. Don’t rely on them.

5. If you’re small chested to begin with, you will probably lose 50% of what you already have- be sure to add padding in your bikini top before hand! This is a mistake I will NOT be making for my next show.

6. Go 80% in your weight lifting sessions. Don’t try to make personal records and end up breaking down your muscles. The goal this week is to look FULL by show day, not flat.

7. Pack your bag for the show ahead of time, don’t wait till the last minute. This also goes for prepping your food and locating the competitor’s hotel if you have to go there for a meeting. I had to go to the hotel for drug testing yesterday and of course my GPS took me everywhere in Austin except for the right place so I had to call for directions. Oops.

8. PRACTICE POSING! I can’t stress this enough. I thought I was pretty good at posing last week but this week I’ve made more improvements and I’m so glad I spent the extra 30 minutes walking on my shoes, trying to get that “sexy hip swing” thang down. It also helps if you can have a friend or another competitor pose with you one day to give you pointers. It’ll be worth the extra time and effort, I promise!

9. Build up a base tan before you get your spray because it will look less orange and more brown. About 5 sessions in a bed should do the trick

10. REMEMBER to have fun! This is serious to me but I still, I have to constantly remember that it’s not something to stress over. The hard part is done- the rest should be a reward.

Today I have to get my eyebrows waxed, pack the rest of my bag, get my nails painted, shower/exfoliate, attend the competitor’s meeting and get my first coat of spray tan. I’m planning on bringing my camera to the show tomorrow so I can get lots of real pictures, not just Instagram! AHH I’m so excited!! If you have a twitter, be sure to follow me @MoonFitness for updates (and I’m sure…Instagram pictures as well  #addicted)

Talk to you soon, loves!