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

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

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

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!

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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.

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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)

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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