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
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
So, a few months back I posted my low fat protein pumpkin cheesecake recipe. I posted some recommendations of other flavors at the bottom of that recipe, but I still had people complaining that they don’t like pumpkin and don’t know how to modify for the recommended substitutions. So I decided to help out!! This is the exact same recipe I used a few months back, just modified without pumpkin purée.
I made a delicious strawberry cheesecake and it turned out fantastic!! I feel like I’m cheating on my diet, but I’m not!
The best part of this cheesecake, aside from it being low calorie, low fat, and delicious — is that it is so versatile. You can make whatever flavor you fancy by trying out different yogurt and protein powder flavors. Seriously, get creative!!! Continue reading
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
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.
- 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
Last 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
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
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
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!
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.
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
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
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
If you know me, you know I am a lover of all things pizza! But, this love really nips me in the butt when it comes time for me to eliminate my weekly cheat meals for bikini competition prep. My next show is in November, only five short weeks away! I really wanted to compete in another to see how I would do now that I know what to expect. Also, I paid for the NPC entry card that is only good until the end of 2015, so I figured I should definitely get my moneys worth! I’m really looking forward to prep this time around. I feel comfortable with different recipes I’ve been working on, so I will be able to stay sane –not following the Tilapia and veggies diet for 5 straight weeks! I found some great condiments, such as this Sugar-Free BBQ sauce at Walmart that I am excited to use for chicken–only 20 calories per serving! I am happy to have found The Lions Choice protein bars, because they really appease my sweet tooth and have great macros (most under 170 calories with less than 5g of fat and 20g protein)
I’ve been experimenting with a lot of pure pumpkin and zucchini for recipes (I’ve been putting pumpkin in my oatmeal every morning, or mixing it with cinnamon flavored protein powder and fat free cream cheese for a decadent high protein spread/icing for toast) I think I am going to begin experimenting with cauliflower next! I used to make a cauliflower mash that tasted like mashed potatoes that would be perfect for a low calorie meal prep. I’ll be sure to post any and all recipes for you to follow 🙂
So, I saw a recipe for Zucchini pizza crust– it contained grated zucchini, eggs, and cheese baked as a crust for your pizza. I am on night shift so when I saw “grate zucchini and ring out excess water from zucchini shavings with paper towels…..” I knew I was feeling WAY TOO LAZY for that. Sounds great, but not for that much effort today.. Maybe another time! So I decided I would try just using the zucchini itself as the base for the pizza. Turned out well! My boyfriend was even pleasantly surprised at how good they were! He was skeptical at first, being a veggie avoider, but scarfed two down in a couple minutes! Continue reading
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