Healthy Apple and Cran Cole Slaw with PorkTenderloin 

So I was shopping at Trader Joe’s when I stumbled across some different types of shredded veggies in the produce aisle.  I thought that they would be awesome for volume foods when calories are low during diet/competition prep.  (Volume foods are those that are very low calorie and you can eat large servings at once to help fill you up— think of it. You can have 1 oreo cookie for 35 calories, or you can have 3.5 cups of romaine lettuce, yes– the oreo sounds 100x better, but– say this is the only meal you could eat for the next few hours, which would fill you up?!   The salad that is the size of a 3 month old would.

So looking at these shredded vegetables, I thought how they reminded me of a cole slaw.  I tried this apple, cranberry, and kale coleslaw at one of my favorite local restaurants, and I was then inspired to recreate this as healthy as possible—san mayo!

I remembered I had reduced sugar dried cranberries and a green apple at home, so I was set!  But what could I pair this lovely cole slaw with??   Cranberry, apples….. PORK.  I chose a pork tenderloin , the leanest cut of pork available at the store I was shopping at.  Per 112grams/4 ounces:  120 calories 2.5 fat  0 carb  23 protein.  Not too shabby! Continue reading

Product Review: Arctic Zero

If you are like 98% of the population. You are a sucker for dessert. You know the hardest part of dieting is the dessert cravings. Wouldn’t it be nice if delicious desserts were low calorie and fit diet friendly?  Well consider it a reality with Arctic Zero Fit Frozen Desserts!  I was lucky enough to receive a care package from the Company Arctic Zero allowing me to try five of their newest flavors of their low calorie ice cream dessert (and add a super cute ice cream scooper to my kitchen utensils!) These desserts can be found in some grocery stores in the frozen dessert aisle.  Usually found by the dairy free options.  The ice creams themselves come in two different varieties: creamy and chunky.  Creamy is just a flavored ice cream, while chunky will have bits and pieces of yummy goodness inside.  All Arctic Zero products are low fat to fat free, lactose free, and GMO free.   Continue reading

Night Shift and Meal Timing

Hi everyone!

I know I have been MIA for a while, but I have been doing a lot of “me time” after the Arnold Sports Expo bikini competition.  The prep for that competition was the longest and most intense I have done so far and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take a toll on me!  Over the last month I have been enjoying my time with my boyfriend and our furbabies– enjoying going out to dinner and cooking meals without weighing or measuring.  I can honestly say I haven’t truly tracked my macros since the competition.  I needed a break.  I am also now focusing on my career.  I have began studying (on a daily basis) to get my Certification in Critical Care Nursing, or my CCRN.   My exam is scheduled for mid-May, so wish me luck!!

Anyway, enough about me! I have had many questions and emails regarding when I would eat my meals on night shift.  I figured I would just address this question in a post. Continue reading

Dieting and Eating at Restaurants

It is going to happen.  You are going to be doing very well sticking to your diet– high fiving yourself in your mind– thinking, “damn, this dieting stuff is actually easy, why didn’t I start this sooner?”  when your dear friend, whom you haven’t seen in a while, asks you to grab dinner.  You immediately think that you absolutely can’t– It would ruin your work–  It would destroy the fat loss goals you are after.  False!

If you begin to choose your diet over your friends and your social life you will, sooner rather than later, begin to loathe it and you will be extremely likely to break off and rebound back to unhealthy habits.

You can go out and enjoy yourself with friends.  You just have to be smart.  I have a few recommendations for when this day happens.Kimpton Portfolio Shoot

Continue reading

Competing in the Arnold Amateur

Hi everyone!  I apologize I have been MIA from blogging for a while, I was preparing for the largest competition I have ever had the privilege in competing in.  The Arnold Classic, aka the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, is an annual international bodybuilding competition held in Columbus Ohio.  “The Arnold” includes the well known fitness expo that showcases all realms of exercise and fitness.   Every means of exercise you can think of can be found at this expo– even those that you would normally not think of!  Such as pole fitness, arm wrestling, jump rope, etc. My boyfriend competed at the Arnold last year for Olympic Weightlifting and really enjoyed the whole experience, so he decided he would compete again.  That was when I had this crazy idea to apply for a position in the Amateur Bikini competition.
In order to be chosen, you had to have won a top spot in a national qualifier event within the past year.  My first place at my last competition in St. Augustine Florida made me eligible. I received my confirmation letter for acceptance into the competition approximately four months until the competition date.  I knew I needed to come in at my very best, so unlike my previous competitions, I prepared and cut for a total of 12 weeks– about 1 month longer than my previous competitions!


For this competition, again unlike my previous competitions, I had assistance with my macros and caloric intake while cutting.  My coach and sponsor, Lindsay Westfall of All or Nothing Fitness did a great job helping me get to my final goal during my cut.  I wanted to remove some of the stress of changing macros/calories during the prep as well as incorporate someones professional opinion.  If you are looking for macro guidance.  If you are looking for macro guidance for any means, not just competition prep, check out her website at www.allornothingfit.com Continue reading

Product Review: Six Pack Fitness Renee Tote


As a nurse, I am often away from home for long periods of time.  With 12 hour shifts and going to the gym either before or after, I could be away from my house for 15 hours at a time.  What do you do about planning meals around being away for 15 hours?  As you know, I am a huge advocate for meal planning and prepping for the upcoming week.  I prep all of my meals for the week either Sunday or Monday and have them ready to go in individual Tupperware containers.  Well, during a 15 hour span, that is easily 3 meals and some snacks.  I have been searching for a good solution to carrying all these meals and snacks for my shift.  I’ve been through a variety of lunch boxes, plastic bags, brown bags, you name it.   I was never able to find a carrier large enough to hold all my meals.  Until a few months ago when I found Six Pack Fitness bags. Continue reading

Product Review: Phormula-1 Pure Whey Protein

I have a confession, I do not use a protein supplement often.  I am a “I’d rather eat it” type of person and prefer to get my protein from food sources.  That being said, there are some times when life gets in the way and between going to the gym, going to work, having to go to the grocery store, doing laundry…  well, sometimes you just don’t have time for those whole meals.

photo by johnna brynn photography

As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, you must meet your macro nutrient and calorie requirements for the day in order to see optimum results.  I know there are people, females especially, that LOVE the days that they are “too busy to eat” because they only consume about 500 calories.  They think they are on the fast track to losing weight and one day closer to that hollywood ‘J-Lo’ body.  In fact, this is absolutely wrong. Too low on calories actually can cause your body to hold on and retain fat.  Too low intake of calories is detrimental for someone who is trying to add lean muscle.   Muscles need protein to build, repair, and grow.  Proteins have calories.  Your body NEEDS calories. Continue reading

Chicken Spinach & Artichoke “Pasta”

Don’t be fooled by the title, you will be able to make this delicious dinner fit into your diet!  The pasta is actually spaghetti squash, so it is a much lower carbohydrate and calorie-friendly option to satiate any pasta-cravers palate.


I am a sucker for spinach and artichoke anything!  Pizzas (obviously..), dips, pinwheels, you name it!  So I wanted to incorporate it into a high-protein chicken dish.  I originally was just going to make a spinach and artichoke covered chicken, but I thought a pasta element would be perfect!  Thus, the idea for spaghetti squash was born.  Continue reading

Mushroom Cap Personal Pizzas

If you know anything about me, it is that my obsession with pizza is REAL. It is my ultimate favorite meal– I wish I could eat it for every meal of every day, I promise I wouldn’t get sick of it, but I cannot. I am constantly coming up with healthy variations to satiate my pizza cravings. This variation uses a top of a portabella mushroom as the base for the pizza.  It is very simple to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Portbello Mushroom caps
  • 8 slices Turkey Pepporoni
  • 1/2 cup fat free mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce of choice
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Pinch of garlic powder

Continue reading

The Lions Choice; Review: Protein Pancake Mix

3c994-1443025411021Last year I was lucky enough to find the company “The Lions Choice” on instagram.  This company produces high protein, superfood infused products such as bars, peanut butters, and pancake mixes.  All products are gluten free, non-GMO, no sugar added, contain 20 superfoods, and include an active probiotic. If you remember, a few months ago, I presented you with my review of The Lions Choice Protein Bars. To view this page click here: The Lions Choice Protein Bar Review  As promised, I wanted to provide you with my review of their High Protein Pancake mixes.


The pancake mix comes in 12 ounce packages and, so far, comes in two delicious flavors.  There is a Cookie Dough flavor and a Cinnamon Twist flavor. Continue reading

Mix Up Your Cardio

Cardio.  The dreaded C-word when it comes to fitness.  Doing cardio is like going to the dentist..  You know you need to, but you never want to.. and usually you feel better afterwards, but let’s face it, DURING–it sucks.  Doing cardio is like someone giving you ten dollars for allowing them to punch you square in the gut.  You can’t breathe, you roll around in pain and agony, but in the end, you’re rewarded.

Cardio comes in many forms and routines.  When most people think of cardio they immediately think of the strip of darkness and sadness that consume half of most gyms–The stationary bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and other boring devices of torture used to elevate your heart rate. Oh the monotony of running in place, biking to no where, walking up stairs while staying on the exact same level.

But in reality, this does not have to be where it begins.  You do not have to succumb to running like a gerbil on a hamster wheel to stay in shape.  I have found the best way to actually enjoy cardio is to continually mix it up!  Perform different exercises for different reps or rounds.  Pair different exercises together. The more the merrier!  It gets your mind off of how much you actually hate exercise when you are constantly changing exercises and counting reps!

Let’s design a new cardio program for you. Continue reading

Homemade Dog Biscuits 

If you have dogs and are anything like me, your dog(s) are pretty darn spoiled! I had the idea to make them puppy cookies for Christmas.  I make Christmas cookies for my boyfriend and I, why not for my furchildren?!   Before the recipe, I want you to meet my pups!

This is Lola.  She is a 1 year old rescued mix from Sarasota Humane Society.  She was labeled as a “lab mix” but we believe she is at least half Australian Kelpie.  She’s a spunky and playful pup that loves peanut butter and cuddling.

Continue reading

No Bake Peanut Butter Protein Bars

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Protein is an essential part to your diet.  It keeps you full longer and helps grow and repair muscles, especially when teamed with weight lifting. Protein bars are great–When you can find one without the extra sugar and carbs! Most protein bars that you find in the grocery store or health food store have very frightening nutrition labels.  Please be mindful next time you grab a bar for some quick protein power, because you might be consuming the equivalent to a candy bar in sugars and fats. When looking for a protein bar, choose one that has approximately 200 or less calories per bar.  Aim for 7 or less grams per fat, but keep the saturated fats as low as possible, healthy fats from almonds or omega-3s are common in protein bars and are good!  Your protein and carbohydrates should be at a similar number, ideally around 20.   Sugars are an important factor to look into when reading the nutrition label.  I usually recommend looking for a bar with as little sugar as possible.  Shoot for 7g or less of sugar.

Few of my personal store bought recommendations are:

Quest Bars- Quest Nutrition Protein Bar, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, 20g Protein, 2.1oz Bar, 12 Count

The Lions Choice Bars- The Lions Choice Superfood Protein Bars

Otherwise, you could simply make your own protein bars! Making your own is great because you can choose your own flavors, you know exactly what is going into the mix, and you can make large batches at a time. Continue reading

A ThirdShiftFit Thanksgiving

Hey everyone!  Happy Thanksgiving!  A time of family, friends, giving thanks, and FOOD.  A lot of food.  Thanksgiving has become a very gluttonous holiday.  I wanted to post my tips and tricks for slimming down the calories (but not the taste) at your Thanksgiving feast.

For the bird,

Avoid deep frying your turkey! You do not need the extra saturated fats, save those for dessert! To keep your turkey moist without deep frying, try a brine.  Brining your turkey for 12-24 hours before baking it keeps at the natural moisture from the bird inside during the baking process. My favorite brine: Continue reading