2 minute dijon dressing

There is nothing simpler and more dynamic than a salad – especially at dinnertime. In my home the last meal of the day (other than a protein shake while on prep) is a salad. The ingredients can be used in a variety of ways to prep other types of meals & snacks during the week.

All of your hard earned cashola spent on organic & pesticide free fruits and vegetables will not go to waste if you can keep a wide range of meals in your grab bags. This is one of them.

I’m adding some produce notes before the quick dressing recipe because I want you to keep at least 5 or 6 types of fresh veggies in the fridge for all around use at all times:

1 – Cucumbers – use these little suckers to make juice, scoop hummus, eat plain, place on salad, make into their own salad with a modification to THIS little recipe here or place on tired eyes.

2 – Carrots, Celery & Peppers– see cucumbers…..these can also be sauteed for quesadillas, or added to quick soups. Not sure how hot they will be on eyes, test it and let me know.

3 – Kale & Spinach – great salad base, great smoothie & juice base, great sauteed with onions and garlic, fantastic kale chips &  oh yes- you can also add both to salad. Don’t waste this delicious cruciferous delight.

Ingredients: 

Dressing: 

4 tbsp dijon mustard

2.5 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/8 cup water

Salad ingredients: 

4 cups diced curly green kale

2 cups spinach

1 cup beet leaves

2 cups romaine hearts

1 cup sliced cukes

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced red pepper

Sprinkling of hemp hearts

Protein options: Tofurky “chicken” or Green Cuisine Smoked Tempeh

(6-7 oz for average sized men 3-4 oz for women)

Method: 

You know the method for the salad, right? I mean, just look at the picture.

Add all dressing ingredients to vessel large enough to hold them, whisk with fork. This should be runny so that it coats your entire salad without being “too much” sauce.

Serves 4.

 

 

Kale Caesar 

I recently had a full house when my parents came to stay with us and help get our home renovations under way. When you’re cooking for more than one type of person on the fly it can be a daunting task and you may just try to opt for the easy way out – packaged or fast food.

While we did step out to eat (slow food) a few times we did eat at home in our new kitchen as well. On a particularly busy afternoon I managed to find 3 types of protein that worked for the vegan, pescetarian and omnivorous family of the house.

Making a great base and then adding protein afterward is a great way to stick to YOUR dietary needs without singling out anyone in the family or neglecting yourself or them all together.

I hope you enjoy this one. The base Caesar recipe serves 4, protein serving suggestions (per person) below.

Ingredients

3 (women/kids)or 6 oz of protein per serving – salmon/chicken/tempeh

2 bunches freshly washed & chopped curly kale

1 cup washed bean sprouts patted dry

Himalayan sea salt to taste

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Dressing: 

1 large clove elephant garlic diced

3 tbsp Veganaise

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Method: 

Place washed and dried kale & sprouts in large bowl, set aside.

I use a hand blender and it’s receptacle (Braun) to place in all the dressing ingredients and blend until creamy.

Pour mixture over greens. Toss and coat thoroughly.

Top with protein of choice.

 

 

 

Happy New Year – Free Love


2016 Starts tomorrow! Can you believe it? Now is the time to for us all to forgive our overindulgences and get our health show back on the road. I thought a bundle of healthy tips for nutrition and detox would be useful for you all for a healthy journey in 2016 {tomorrow}.

Check out these food and living facts for a kickstart in 2016 ~ if you need more guidance, check out my discounted services for January sign up:

  • MACRO check/instruction
  • Supplement list
  • 2 week fat shed workout plan
  • $50 toward a 12 week tune up plan

❤ All the best.

S

Water in ~ first thing

Don’t mistake being dehydrated for being hungry. Reset that hunger feeling ASAP with water! You’ll also help your body flush out toxins, provide fuel for your brain and help boost your metabolism.
Magnesium is “the man”

Stressed out from the holidays? A simple snack may do you wonders. Pumpkin seeds or almonds are packed with magnesium, the anti-stress nuts/seeds. I take magnesium supplements nightly about 30 minutes before bed to improve sleep & relaxation – give it a try!
Eat greens

Nutrients that support your liver – and I’m sure you sort of killed your liver this holiday season, didn’t you? Do your best to include dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and arugula to your meals – try to hit the 50% mark.
Avoid diary

They taste delicious but based on the way that they are produced……you may want to think twice about that whack of cheese. Or, maybe you did your research and found something ethical – good for you!!! Even so, your body is not meant to digest dairy past your breastfeeding babe days.

Sadly, dairy is also majorly acidic and really hurts our PH levels. Your body doesn’t do well with inflammation, so try to kick it to the curb and look for alternatives like nut milks and cheeses.

Fiber up!

Why? Regulate your blood sugar and banish toxins at the same time. Need a better reason? Ok, fiber also reduces that bloated feeling as well as hunger. The best kind of fiber comes from fresh fruit, vegetables, brown rice and oats. I start my day off 1/3 cup of quick oats and ½ a banana sliced ~ quick, easy and really gets the system going.
Alkaline all the way

Balance PH & reduce inflammation. If you haven’t included these already, please do: lemons, pears, kale & parsley.

Get the binge over with and get back to your 5-7 {balanced} meals per day. You might find very quickly that you shed 2-10 lbs of bloat in just 1-2 weeks.

Watermelon salad

image

I threw this recipe together in a matter of minutes armed with the challenge to continue eating six to seven 2-300 calorie meals per day in preparation for a fitness competition. Somehow, I forgot to take a snapshot…so I had some fun with this classic guy.

This recipe  is a compilation of all remnants from my fridge and I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients: 

J100 g fresh Watermelon

100 g chopped Avocado

85 grams extra  firm Tofu chopped – toast this in a pan or leave raw ( I left raw in this recipe)

Optional – 15g crumbled Boursin garlic cheese

30g toasted pumpkin seeds

.5 tbsp Mint leaves chopped

1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Method: 

On stove-top lightly toast pumpkin seeds until browned.

Chop all ingredients and layer watermelon, avocado and tofu. Top with remaining ingredients and serve.

Warning – works out FAR better if you layer rather than try to toss everything – I tried both ways and layering is definitely the way to go for flavour and presentation.

Nutritional Info: 

537 Calories

41.2 gms fat

23.9 carbs

23.9 Protein

BECOMING LITTLE MISS BIKINI – EPISODE 2– Chasing Trainers…or how to properly flatten your face on the pavement.

A lonely journey so far.

A lonely journey so far.

Let me tell you that so far, this has been the most upsetting part of getting the show on the road so to speak.

With just about 20 weeks before the first show I chose OCTOBER 24TH IN Edmonton I really needed to find a good coach.

What I didn’t know is that you can be coached from a distance or in person. What’s more is that the pricing can be cheap, fair or out of control…..being in Alberta means that most of it was the latter.

I started googling for coaching which landed me in a bunch of various areas. Right away I knew I could eliminate anyone who had no experience with Vegans or Vegetarians.

I even attempted to purchase a meal plan beforehand from Morelli Fit – oh this fellow has a real racket going. I’ve tried on several occasions to let them know that Chicken, Beef and Bacon are not vegetarian…..they basically told me to go pound sand up my @**.

I started doing some heavy research. I received replies from a couple of online coaches who got about half way through speaking with me, getting intake forms and then just fell off the face of the planet. This actually happened 3 times. A bit crushing really when you’re so jazzed about something.

I managed to find what I thought were some reputable coaches in town and went to meet with them – this is how it went:

Fail #1: I showed up at a commercial fitness facility downtown. I used to be a member and quit for a lot of reasons but mostly that I have my own gym at home and theirs kind of sucked. This one REALLY sucked.

He had me take off my socks and shoes and get onto a body fat calculating machine, then change into my bikini to take some shots of my current state.

I changed back into my clothes and we sat down to talk. I had to lose 10 pounds and at least 10 percent body fat. I tried asking a few questions related to goal setting but was kind of shrugged off like “don’t worry about this now, we’ll talk about it later” probably because it was a FREE consult.

I was then ushered into a sales room where I was basically told that I would be training three days per week at that gym minimum and needed to buy a membership for the next 6 months. Long story short this would be $800 per month…without meal planning because they didn’t know how to service a vegan/vegetarian.

To add insult to injury I was told that ” the best way to get off your butt is to sign up today”. Wow. I had to lash out and state that I work out every day and getting off of my butt was not a concern. What a bunch of dicks.

Needless to say, I did not go with him!

The next fellow I met with seemed a bit more into it……

Fail #2: I went to this coaches private gym where he coached/coaches hockey players (NHL) and the like. He seemed excited and I thought that it was legit.

We had a great talk, then quickly went through some of his techniques with a few small weights. I felt relieved. Finally, someone on home soil with experience in getting girls to shows and placing AND he was comfortable with training vegans/vegetarians.

$80/hour and after a few sessions I could train wherever, whenever I wanted to and his style had girls placing top five in the last few weeks!

He was laid back as well, but I was assured all would come together and was shown who they use for photographers, bikinis, tans etc….I provided him with a sample of my regular diet for a week and he asked me to take my own pictures of myself….not even to send them to him.

Well, three weeks passed. In that time he forgot to contact me, did one workout with me, went out of town and told me to just “keep doing what I was doing”……what if I was just eating ice cream cakes and rolling on the floor??!!!

Crushed and 2 weeks out from any sort of reasonable 12 week training deadline, I started over.

As an added footnote, I received a text message from this guy who went AWOL that said:

“I’m back in town if U want to book any sessions”.

WTF?!?! Are YOU supposed to be bringing a coaching program to ME to achieve MY goal of getting to a show this fall??? I think that my jaw will forever remain on the floor.

The light at the end of the tunnel.

When I spoke to  my HSE contractor Tahnee who told me about all of this stuff to begin with she gave me a few more contacts, I also just started looking for vegan bodybuilding athletes and came across one. Andrea Guzman. 

Not only did she answer my email in a couple of hours, she referred me to her coach who trained her (vegan) to competition she was enthusiastic and welcomed questions. She’s a personal trainer herself and didn’t once try to up-sell me on her services.

Finally rolls in Jennifer Weintz.…a god send really. Did I mention, these two gals are in BC? Well, I probably don’t have to with the happy and quick responses I received, you could guess in an instant.

Jennifer offered for under $200 month to coach me. Plan my workouts, diet AND take regular updated/pictures for review and re-structure on my progress. She also has the ability to refer me to whomever I need: tanning, hair, bikini to get to competition prepared.

I am starting up at the end of this week and am excited to start learning and seeing results. I am also excited to tell you all more about how to navigate this maze! I asked my husband, Jeff, if he would mind helping me through the process and of course he said he would. Finally, support in all areas – I feel like a rocket ship ready to take off!

Looking at athletes on Instagram and Facebook and contacting them elicited the most progress. I recommend this approach to newbs. If you are already lifting, you will know most of the basics and they can help.

I am sitting in a bit of a no mans land right now in terms of waiting to start BUT I have a great feeling – this new coach even dropped me a line from her vacation!

My questions to date that still need answering: what will the 4 months look like, what is the process really all about, will I have a program that will be changed up, what do I need to report to you. How is my diet so far? Will I be eating more or less?

Zingy homemade salsa

IMG_2236

 

There is nothing I dislike more than having to eat pre-made sauces and dips that can easily be made at home. There are so many sauces that are easy to create, taste fresh, have more nutrient content and have no preservatives! For these reasons, I accept no excuses for why homemade salsa cannot be added to the repertoire of all would-be foodies, busy moms and lazy Larry’s out there.

Use this recipe on eggs, nachos, burritos, as a tapenade or for your bruschetta.

Ingredients:

1 juicy lime

2 medium tomatoes

1/2 red onion diced

1/3 cup diced cilantro

1/4 tsp garlic salt OR 1 clove freshly pressed garlic

1/2 tbsp coconut or avocado oil

Fresh ground pepper

Optional: 1 diced red hot pepper or jalapeno

Method:

Dice up all ingredients, sprinkle with salt, toss with liquid ingredients, top with freshly ground pepper.

Serves 2-4

 

Health Facts:

Cilantro is a natural preservative, antioxidant, detoxifier and anti-bacterial.

Inflammatory foods & speed healing for an active summer

Happy Monday everyone!!

 

The weather is so much nicer out now and this means (hopefully) that you are all out getting some sunshine and exercise. With movement comes fitness and inevitably, injury. Here are some foods to consume/avoid should you become injured or suffer from chronic pain. Get lots of rest and see a doctor if any pain persists longer than a week or two.

 

Do your best to minimize inflammation in your body for a speedy recovery. As a general rule avoid the “Three P’s” Processed, packaged or prepared foods. If that’s all you remember, you’re ahead of the pack.

 

Inflammatory foods to avoid/speed up healing:

 

Hydrogenated / trans fats – margarine, shortening, lard (foods like cookies/pies/buns that are made with them)

 

Meat & poultry – avoid while injured, seek out lean & clean proteins like fish, beans and legumes.

 

Fried foods

 

White sugar, pop, juices

 

Synthetic sweeteners – Splenda/aspartame

 

Additives – sulfites/benzoates and colourings like F/D/C #100 etc…

 

Dairy

 

Wheat

 

Alcohol

 

Nightshades – tomato, potato, eggplant, peppers (their alkaloid levels increase inflammation)

 

 

Eat lots of:

 

Blueberries

Grapes

Apples

Cayenne Pepper

Turmeric

Celery

Cherries

Dark green veggies (kale/spinach/broccoli)

Drink lots of water

Raw Olive Oil

Almonds – raw

Organic soy beans

Fennel

Fish/Omega 3’s

Hemp hearts/seeds

 

 

The art of the juice cleanse

 

Melon Juice

Melon Juice

Many times have I committed to a juice cleanse and never have I managed to document any of the experience for clientele or the general public. Because I have embarked on yet another cleanse I feel that I had the time and space to do this – because I’m not leading a group cleanse or making juices myself.

This time, I decided to go with a commercially purchased cleanse. I looked at several options before taking the plunge and took several items into consideration:

– what was the company selling the cleanse all about

– where were they located

– price & value

– ease of starting/receiving juice

I had initially chosen a company out of Calgary as this would be a place to pick up from that was easily accessible and had nearly 0 carbon footprint. Unfortunately, they took more than forever to return emails (terrible, spoiled Albertan vendors with no idea of the rest of the worlds customer service initiatives *steam*, this province is so alienated by the oil and gas industry) and when then did, they were not helpful, or cheery, with getting a cleanse to me outside of their prescribed days and times – even though I said I would pick up.

So, as it has been going lately, I decided to look out of province. Why? Well, their markets aren’t as inflated and their vendors generally care about having paying customers.

Enter “Raw Raw” Cleanse: http://www.rawrawcleanse.com.

It took me just 2 days and $200 per person for a 6 day cleanse to arrive via courier to my office. Tina, the proprietor was very helpful. We had a bit of a hiccup with juice types and after sending an email, I was assured the additional juice would arrive next-day (today hopefully) to get the sequencing of juices done right. Wow.

If you are interested in the juices I have been drinking you can find them HERE. 

 

DAY 1

The juice arrived at 10 am to our offices. It came packaged in a styrofoam cooler with cooling gel packs above and below the juice. The package also contained a juicing reusable bag, a note on the expiry, a 25% off coupon and a quick reference card for consuming the juices in the right order.

 

3 day juice cleansing

3 day juice cleansing

IMG_7804

The "how to"

Because I was ravenous, I opened up the cooler and immediately (took pics for all of you) then shook and guzzled my first “Clean Greens”. I’ll just put it out there, green smoothies are NOT my favourite, never will be. I understand their vital importance in balancing our vitamins and minerals, but they are sour, and so was this one.

Next, on my way to a meeting I grabbed the ginger berry. WAY more my style and super easy to drink with a lovely ginger taste – can’t complain.

I did a couple random circles around the office looking at trail mix and bananas, but I did not partake. Win. Next, Cool melon. This is where I learned I didn’t have any cool melon but double the almond milk variety. So I drank an almond milk one…it was great – a little extra nut fiber in there, but it was good. Cool melon – for real – on the way home I snaked a cool melon out of my boyfriends order. Simple, sweet and minty – I actually use the same recipe for watermelon martinis in the summer.

On the way home, I was feeling like I needed a nap. By the time I got home, I completely thought I would have one – except work got in the way a bit. I felt SUPER agro for about 1 hour, so I ate a handful of cashew nuts – raw ones. By the time I walked the dogs and puttered around with small chores, I realized I might as well just get on with it and do my day 8 of 21 Day HIIT challenge. During this 20 minute super workout I felt like I had OK energy and could cope with all the exercises without utter exhaustion.

I then used the next Clean Greens as a post-workout drink – it still tasted bad. I was in bed reading by 8:30pm and sipped away at the final Citrus beverage until I fell asleep. I LOVE this one. Spicy, citrus-y, deliciousness. At this point, I was feeling full and so far haven’t felt starving. I don’t think Jeff can say the same.

I fell asleep and was probably up around 3am. Not sure if the lack of sleep ability was the dogs or what, but it was a tough night.

DAY 2

Waking up was a bit hellish. I managed to get back to sleep by 6 am and slept until about 7:45.

Got out of bed, guzzled some water and had my first Clean Greens. I didn’t feel hungry at all, and I still don’t.

As I sit and write this I miss coffee. The smell, the taste and the buzz. Hoping that getting through my errands and a big dog walk will pull me into the land of the living by 11 am.

Stay tuned……………………….

I headed out of the house just after 10 am with my second (and favourite) juice in-hand to have a scoot through the country with my pups.  I took the dogs out for a walk in the woods and nearly left them there – woah nelly, settle down. A little bit more easily aggravated these days I have to admit. Hangry. By 1130 am I was still tired and now annoyed at my dogs.  Again, I drove home and thought I was going to crash heavily, and didn’t. Instead, I had a handful of cashews, brewed up an herbal peppermint tea and hunkered down to watch a very disturbing movie on Netflix. I hopped up for one of the many million pee’s during the movie and grabbed by third juice of the day for “lunch”. I have just taken the dogs out for another walk, wrote a letter and am now going to attempt my HIIT for the day: WORK OUT .

It is currently 7 pm. I made it through a HIIT and 12 minutes of a 20 minute spin – legs were far too tired – I also managed a bit of Yoga without issue.

I lapped up half a clean green for a recovery drink, with a small handful of cashews.

Literally a handful of cashews.

Literally a handful of cashews.

Let me tell you , my stomach was grumbling, so I had another cup of herbal mint tea and did some laundry. I think I may pay heed to the recommendation of “moderate” exercise. I don’t even listen to my own good advice.

I currently have two juices left and am feeling quite alert. Not aggravated, that was definitely a morning thing. Though, I have been fantasizing about food for the last couple of hours. Poor Jeff, went to his grandmas and she ordered a pizza. Ruthless day for him.

I would call day 2 a success……nighty night until tomorrow!

DAY 3 

Day three arrived. My sleep wasn’t nearly as interrupted as last night however, I still woke up a little tired. Getting the ball rolling on the day seemed a little less painless and I had no desire to eat or any hunger.

The work day was 10 hours long with no breaks, a few times I had to run to Jeff’s office to scarf down some almonds & cashews. Probably ate at least 3/4 of a cup of each throughout the day.

I thought about food all day. When I wasn’t stressing about something, I literally only thought about food. I had to plan a luncheon for tomorrow and ordered about twice as much pizza for 15 people as I should have. I could taste it.

I think today was the hardest day by far. Knowing it’s nearly over and hearing a little voice inside your head say “c’mon, just have a snack”……I’ve been beating that voice back all day.

There is one more drink to go before bed. I know I can make it, I think Jeff has at least 5 meals prepared for us to eat tomorrow – which is SUCH a bad idea when you’re coming off of a cleanse. Honestly – ease into it with soup and salads….or suffer the wrath.

The dirty bits: bowel movements still occurring however, not at the mass and frequency expected. I didn’t go at all yesterday, no urge either. Jeff wont let me talk about his poops in public. Sissy.

Overall, today I felt the most spacey I have and the most weak. I opted for a longer walk with the dogs instead of exercising at full out capacity.

Ok, I lied. I'm a workout addict.

Ok, I lied. I’m a workout addict.

I will say that removing meals does remove a sense of community and that is one part of the human culture that I quite enjoy. There is a certain void left in a day where there is no communion with others, a sharp empty space that only cooking and enjoying a meal can fill. That, is what I truly craved most in this cleanse.