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

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

Spaghetti Squash Scampi

Two shrimp recipes back to back.  Can you tell what I found in sale at the grocery store this week?! This time it is my spin on an Italian favorite, shrimp scampi. This recipe is made low carb using spaghetti squash instead of the normal angel hair pasta.

If you have never worked with sphagetti squash because you are intimidated by its size and have no clue what to do with it, now is the time to overcome that fear. Spaghetti squash is extremely versatile and can replace pasta in any of your favorite dishes. When cooked, it strands into fibers and looks like — you guessed it, spaghetti!

The easiest ways I’ve found to use sphagetti squash  Continue reading

Cauli-Fried Rice

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Cauliflower is such a versatile veggie! It really tastes like what ever you cook it with! This allows for a world of possibilities!  I’ve already made faux mashed potatoes with the cauliflower.  Now, I’d like to share a recipe starring cauliflower as a substitute for rice.  I found these need packages of already “riced” or crumbled cauliflower at Target, and it made life much easier!

You certainly do not need to buy the pre-crumbled cauliflower– it is cheaper to actually buy by the head.  If this is how you purchase you can simply finely chop the cauliflower, or grate the cauliflower raw into a large bowl.  Once you have your grated cauliflower– add veggies!! Any and all veggies you would like in your stir fried rice.  I chose peas, onions, carrots, broccoli, and green beans!  I supersized this recipe so I could meal prep with it for the next few days!  I made a total of 10 1-cup servings!! If you do not plan on meal prepping leftovers, I would recommend cutting the recipe in half!

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

Common Misconceptions When it Comes To Fat Loss

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Hi everyone! I wanted to address some misconceptions I hear often about fat loss.

First, muscle is NOT built from fat.  Your body does NOT turn fat into muscle.  I hear this all the time– (Woman looking at her belly) “I really need to go do crunches because I want to have abs like you..” NO! You can honestly do crunches until your blue in the face, are you building muscle? Yes! BUT that muscle is still going to be buried under the adipose tissue.  In order to burn adipose tissue, or better known as the dreaded F-word, FAT, you must be in a caloric deficit! In order to do so, you must be stern with a diet and, usually, incorporate cardio into your routine.   Continue reading

Low Carb Mashed “Potatoes”

Fall is upon us. Yes, believe it or not, we do have fall in Florida.  I miss the change in foliage, the fall colors, but we do have a noticeable change in temperature. The weather is turning cooler, the air is crisp, and my mind immediately goes to comfort food.  Because, my mind immediately goes to food all the time.  Unfortunately, the comfort food I know and love is not very healthy or prep-friendly.  As my days are counting down and I am less than three weeks away from my second bikini competition, I need to get fancy with my low calorie options before I go crazy.  I am not–and will never be– the type of person that can just eat chicken and broccoli for every single meal of every day.  That will never happen.  Which is why I have been having such a great success with IIFYM, or If It Fits Your Macros style of dieting.  It is flexible dieting and I can eat what I what in moderation, as long as it fits into my macros (daily grams of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins–as well as calories)  For more information on IIFYM, you can visit my page here

Comfort food, to me, is meat and potatoes.  Hearty and full.  Gravy comes to mind–and now I’m drooling.  Anyway, before I force you to read a paragraph of me describing potatoes and gravy, I wanted to share with you my recipe for mashed cauliflower. Continue reading

Product Review: The Lions Choice Protein and Superfood Bar 

 Now a days it seems like protein bars are being created just as poorly as candy bars.  High in sugars, fats, and carbs.  Don’t be fooled! Just because something is labeled as a “High Protein” Bar does not make it healthy.  Be mindful and read those ingredient lists and nutritional labels!  Hi everyone! I wanted to inform you of a new protein bar that I have stumbled across.  I feel compelled to share this company with you because I know those that are reading my blog are just as health-conscious as I am!

  The company is called The Lions Choice and it has my support 100%.  The Lions Choice makes a variety of protein bars, nut butters, and even pancake mix, each infused with superfoods* and probiotics!  Today I will review the protein bars, saving the high-protein peanut butter and the pancake mix for later posts. 🙂  I found The Lions Choice on Instagram through social media members I follow– I was intrigued by the low calories, high protein, and low fat content of the bars.  I am constantly looking for macro-friendly options now that I am beginning to prep for my second NPC bikini competition. I decided to visit the website and research for myself.  Not only are the macros of these protein bars good, they are made with great ingredients!! Continue reading

Protein Pumpkin Cheesecake

Now you can have your cheesecake AND eat it too!  I am absolutely amazed how this turned out.  It may be my favorite recipe I’ve posted yet!  It is extremely macro friendly–only 125 calories!–AND IT TASTES LIKE THE REAL DEAL!  It’s low in fat & carbs with high protein.  This is honestly macro-friendly enough for me to incorporate into my bikini competition prep!  Take this cheesecake to any holiday party and I can guarantee no one will know it’s not store bought–let alone decently healthy.


Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces fat free cream cheese (room temperature works best)
  • 1 individual package Dannon Light n Fit Greek Yogurt (I chose to use Caramel Apple Pie flavor, but you can use whatever you fancy– Stick with vanilla if you want to remain neutral!)
  • 2 scoops (~65g) whey protein powder (I used Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl – 2 Lbs)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 120g pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup stevia in the raw (~6 stevia packets—or sweetener of your choice)

Continue reading

Healthy “Fried” Chicken Fingers

Happy Sunday Ya’ll! I wanted to share with you another healthy family dinner idea.  These chicken tenders are bound to be a new family favorite, loved by both adults and kids alike.  They are breaded in an oat mixture and baked for a faux “fried” chicken crisp without all the fats and calories.  They are extremely simple to prepare as well!  You can double or triple the recipe for a great appetizer to take to a party. Perfect for football season!

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Ingredients:  (for 6 chicken tenders)

  • two chicken breasts–each cut into 3 tenders
  • 1 cup oats (I used instant, but I’m sure old fashioned would work as well)
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites  (about 3 whites from large eggs)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tbs. parsley flakes
  • Dash of black pepper, to taste

Continue reading

Simple and Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Hey everyone!!

I am excited to share another healthy baking recipe!  I had two very ripe bananas hanging around and I wanted to put them to good use–and trust me, I sure did!  These cookies turned out even better than I expected!  They are a perfect grab and go breakfast or snack.  I’m going to be using them pre-workout as they have a higher carb ratio.  Each cookie only contains 68 calories–so feel free to have more than 1.  They are thick and chewy like an oatmeal cookie, but less guilt.  The banana and sugar free syrup bring enough sweetness, without being overbearing or artificial tasting.

Ingredients needed for cookies: Continue reading

Low Calorie Protein Banana Bread Muffins

I have been CRAVING banana bread!! I had a slice on vacation at the continental breakfast and it was absolutely delicious, but it just wasn’t enough!  It was just a mere tease to my craving.  So like I promised, now that my calories aren’t so restricted I am going to be posting up different diet friendly baked goods 🙂  I attempted to bake a zucchini based low calorie brownie last week—but the texture was not 100% so I did not post it.. I will only post my recipes if I KNOW you’ll like them!

Anyway, this recipe was originally made banana bread–but I have come to realize that I do not own a loaf pan, so It was either a Banana Cake  or Muffins!!!  And I went with the muffin idea!  I love muffins because they are already portioned out for you– easy grab and go breakfast.

Ingredients Continue reading

Fresh Summer Salad with Homemade Stevia and Cinnamon Candied Walnuts 

The other evening, I hosted a ladies wine and cheese night at my house. I wanted to add something to the menu that wasn’t so heavy since there was going to be cheeses and meats galore.  I decided a salad would be the perfect addition to our buffet.  I knew I wanted to do a light fresh salad with a balsamic dressing—we are red wine drinkers and balsamic would be a good pair with a red wine, at least in my opinion, I am certainly no wine snob. I went to the store and picked up a few ingredients for the salad I thought would pair well.   It turned out awesome and it was extremely easy to assemble.  This salad could be as a side dish or the main course.

Ingredients: Continue reading