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.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 10 – Competition day

There are no cheat days.

I can’t stop feeling like something is missing. All those days, weeks and months coming together for one (albeit long) day and now…crickets. The gym is still here, the diet is still here the love of strength is still here but now there is a quiet over me that I’m not welcoming all that easily into the fold of regular life.

Taking off to Mexico and having a real rest and reflect will be the re-boot I need to gear up for 6 months of hard work, gains, travel and adventure. Recovery is a part of the cycle and a much needed one, it’s just hard to get off the hype train when you’ve been on it non-stop for this long.

I am so grateful for my coach, who brought me this victory. Who was patient and understanding of my needs. My best friend and partner in everything, Jeff. Not sure how we do it, but we stay in love every day, even when I’m so hungry I could punch. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My family and my parents who flew in just to see their “little girl” compete once again. Must’ve been surreal for you since I haven’t competed on a stage in so long. I’m grateful you were there to keep me motivated and watch me excel.

I’ve tried to capture my day here for everyone who has followed along on this journey. It’s been tough but fun and I’ve done SO much growing and learning. I can’t believe that I’m as strong as I’ve been in so many ways. My body, mind and spirit have blown the lid off of what I thought I was made up of. Yay me.

My original goal, that I sent to my coach Jennifer was to just come in top 5. Well, I beat my goal and now I’m on to my next one – first place, and a Pro Card in May. I have 2 kicks at the can…..stay tuned everyone.

xxoo

S

New and improved suit

Sparkle central – more bling on this ting!

I sent my suit away to have more rhinestones put on it – was a recommendation of my coach and I’m glad I did. She sparkled quite nicely if I do say so myself. The suit cost me just over $300 in total as an FYI.

Schedule for 2 days tanning

Tanning was actually a total pain in the ass. I went to Bronze Baxx in Calgary where they sprayed me (butt naked is the status quo here so you cannot be shy) then baked me in a stand up for 6 minutes. 2 days in a row.

The JanTana tattoo cover cream that I ordered was darker than the tan they had so I had to run to the mall last minute the morning of tan #2 to pick up some Kat Von D stuff they recommended which seemed to work.

Sleeping in this tan is disgusting. You will end up about the stinkiest you could possibly be by the end of show #2 on d-day. It’s just a fact.These tans cannot take moisture so being ultra vigilant once your final tan is on is key.

When I got to the athletes meeting later on Friday night, a bunch of folks advised me that my tan wasn’t dark enough. I’ll need to let Bronze Baxx (who guaranteed me a sufficient tan for my federation) because I paid nearly $200 for essentially nothing. SO I had to get my wonderful makeup artist Glam Girl out of YEG to spray me.

SO glad I did. They used the JanTana spray product and I had compliments coming out of the wazoo about my tan. I certainly stood out in comparison to my competitors who were all tanned by the same company at the event. Risky, but worth it.

Polygraph/Urine Test

Lie detection about to go down.

The polygraph went fine. Basic 10 questions about banned substances and if I’d taken any in the last 7 years. No worries there. At breakfast the next day we were talking about this though…why don’t they just pee test everyone instead of the lie detector?

The lie detector takes about 30 minutes and then you STILL get to compete if you pass it (and lie) so that if you make it as the top of your class and go for a pro card THEN you get tested.

A lot of people leave after placement/awards so if the top dog was found to have contraband in their system what next? They contact the second runner up? They should pee test the top 5 in my opinion to stop cheating and expedite the system more quickly.

Anyway, it seemed kind of silly because if you didn’t use contraband, you have no worries…was quite the ordeal getting in. The polygraph team were a great couple with amazing personalities however, so the time passed quickly.

Athletes meeting & Registration

Athletes meeting swag.

This took place at the host hotel. It started 45 minutes late, took nearly 3 hours and was exhausting. This is when you check in to register, pick up your number and drop off any music you have if you are in a class with a routine and weigh in for bodybuilders.

You find out some information here about the next day however, we were not given schedules or anything and this was a really tough part of the night. I was on 3.5 hours sleep and had no energy. If I would have known how delayed it would all be…well, I would have left the meeting a little early to sleep. Honestly, the waiting is the hardest part – thank you Tom Petty.

Take the time to ask any questions here that you need to if the platform is provided. I was happy that they went through T-walks and all of the posing requirements for each class here – I was seriously freaking for some time about missing the posing camp – but I rocked the stage with what I learned on my own….nice to know they back your knowledge up at the athletes meeting though.

Nails

My nail girl failed so I bought a pack of press-ons. They worked fine, looked good from the stage and were $10. I would never schedule nails again in my life for a show. I painted my toes super sparkly gold (unlike the french that they recommend).

Hair, Makeup and Tanning

Hypothermia setting in – spray booth torture.

Glam Girl was amazing. So professional and quick. A husband and wife team out of Edmonton who kick ass. The makeup is beyond professional, the tan is JanTana and they have done up gals from here to Nevada at every sort of show you could imagine. I wish that you could fit them in your pocket and take them with you to all shows.

I’ll be using them May 7th for my Calgary show – if you’re competing in YYC soon please have a look out for them, they help me win second place I swear.

Sleeping

Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Prepare to be totally exhausted friends. Totally exhausted. There is not really any sleep for you if the show is organized anything like this one was. Day before the show they kept us up late at the athletes meet, show day you get up when you need to get your hair and makeup done.

On show day we were told to be at the stadium for 10 am – didn’t end up going on till 3pm. We were told after our pre-judging that ALL athletes had to be back by 4pm. My division didn’t go on until nearly 9pm. Essentially I spent an entire day laying on pavement/walking around aimlessly…along with my poor family who flew and drove in to see me.

This was probably the WORST part of the whole experience. Know the timing as best you can and try to relax somewhere else (home/hotel) when you can. I brought a blanket with me but should’ve brought an ultra thick yoga mat as well. It was cold back there and there were no chairs for anyone. Be prepared.

Meals for Fri/Sat

I had packed rice, boiled mashed yams and portions of tempeh for the day of the show. I also packed maple syrup, peanut butter, coconut oil and salt.

Meal prepping for the show.

I would be texting pictures to my coach every few hours for tweaks and changes. Water started to be cut on Friday around 1pm. This whole part is a science and I would have failed miserably if I didn’t have a great coach who is also a holistic nutritionist.

Keeping the right balance of food to stay tight and not bloated all day is a serious commitment.

Typical check-in picture. This was between prejudging and finals.


Pre-judging

This is the longest part of the day and where all the placements are decided. This is where you need to kick ass and take names. I was not anticipating having to do quarter turns, walks etc… for so long, holding back pose over and over again for about 25-30 minutes has left me with a super tender lower back….be prepared for having to do a lot of work in pre-judging….stretch well and rest well after this….my leg day today will be affected by my back tenderness.

What I didn’t like about this portion was that I ALMOST had to do my walk to Shaggy’s song about getting caught cheating or whatever, I nearly puked. Finally “Rock my World” by Michael Jackson came on and I could groove and do an amazing T-walk.

I really wish they let us choose our music for this too….

5pm show

This part is supposed to be for the audience and for fun. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather do one show and have it over with. I was up from 4am for the day and didn’t get to off the stage till just after 9pm that evening. I was SO tired and SO sore…. being an ex-performer I really found this odd…PLUS the audience leaves after every category so by the time mine went on there were literally about 40 people left in the audience. Sad face.

Bum glued on and checking in with my coach before Pre-judging.

Pumping up

The rhythm for back stage is eat a meal, pump up and practice posing. I probably ate about 6-9 times (small meals & snacks)  for the first show and then about 6-7 times between the first and end of the second.

There were no mirrors provided in the area which sucked, but we shared some full lengths that locals had brought. I brought my own bands and small weights. I suggest you do the same if you’re ever competing so that you’re not SOL when pumping time comes before they call you up. So important to keep your muscles looking full and lovely before pre-judging especially.

First meals off-plan

2nd place in the bag. Time to hit up some delicious vegan/raw vegan fare!

Celebration DinnerNoorish, Edmonton

All organic. All vegan, all amazing.

These folks pulled a late-nighter to stay open and serve our group of 7 – I was so happy to have this kind of kindness shown to me on such a hard and late day.

We sampled their kale chips, root veggie poutine, I had an open-faced “burger” on a raw vegan onion bread with a kale caesar salad, vegan pumpkin cheesecake for dessert AND my first glass of wine in 4 months.

I have to say that I really wasn’t over the moon about the wine, didn’t really miss it at all. I nursed it and that was that. Still no hankering for a drink……food however, I’ll hanker that till the cows come home.

Celebration breakfast Clever Rabbit, Edmonton

Vegan eggs, vegan homemade bacon, vegan benny, vegan latte…..Vegan heaven. We even took some baking with us ( a giant vegan nanaimo bar which now lives in my deep freeze, an earl grey donut and a couple of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies)

Wrap up and emotions

Well, this one was a tough one for me. If you don’t know me, I’m SUPER competitive. Not because I need to beat people at things, but because I need to be the best I can be by MY definition…which, is usually number one.

I started to beat myself up a bit about coming in second. I really did….nearly pouted about it. Then I started collecting memories from along the way and realized that it’s subjective this category of bodybuilding, and that sometimes there isn’t a way to have won…your face may not be the face the judges like overall that day etc etc…I don’t know about industry politics, I’m sure I’ll run into this at some point down the road.

I had to shake myself and say HEY you were after this for a total of 90-120 days…and you came in top five, top 2  in the largest class of the competition – take a minute to bask in that accomplishment stupid.

I am the only athlete there that did it VEGAN…..and I really should have pushed to have that known more. I definitely will next time.

I’m committed to achieving first and a pro card. That’s my ultimate goal…so I’ll be back in May on the 7th and 14th in Calgary and Vancouver respectively – working for that. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (thank you Daft Punk).

Strong, determined and coming back with a vengeance.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 9 – Peak Week

I’ve finally made peace with this whole thing I’ve decided…sitting here covered in haemorrhoid ointment, festooned in my luxurious Jacques Cousteau leggings, clutching my morning coffee mug like a life raft.

Peak week is upon me and I’ve thrown out all my preconceived notions about anything I thought I knew.

Salt baths, more cardio, less cardio, more weights – but less, this supplement, that herb….I’m just following orders at this point.

It has been significantly harder to drag my ass out of bed the last two days. I’m pretty much a morning person so it isn’t that I am completely unable to open my eyes or function, it’s that my body has finally reached the point where it no longer takes its prime directives from my brain. This results in me finding it emphatically challenging to roll over in bed to actually get up, lift up my feet, peel off my Jacques Cousteaus for a pee (or seven) in the night etc etc…

My body has become especially au courant of any minor shifts in my diet plan. I’ve significantly increased my asparagus intake and I think this is making me more effervescent than usual….could be that I’ve dropped Tofu and increased Tempeh? I’ll have to pay particular attention to the feeling and timing today.

Soon, as in tomorrow (5 sleeps out), I’ll be obliged to drop all powders from my regime, eventually kissing even vitamins goodbye and slowly abdicating from my daily 6 litre water guzzling tournament.

As luck, or timing, would have it, my workouts will begin to taper off starting tomorrow. After this brief but vexatious weekend of increased fasted cardio for which I am not grateful – sorry coach.

I’d like to note here that I have been instructed to avoid casting my gaze on other competitors who will be guzzling red wine (presumably to appear more vascular) and eating copious amounts of decadent chocolate (in an effort to punch my feelings in the face) while I am back stage in all probability sucking on a shoestring and sniffing the food essence of a piece of tofu.

Ok, I’m being extreme here BUT my prescription for backstage nutrition management is far less alcohol and sugarific.

My nail girl went MIA and my new suit is currently in parts unknown….also known as the great void of the Canada Post system. I don’t have the stress muscle available to me to feel worried about it.

I’ve procured myself a set of the latest 2015 version of “Lee Press On Nails” and hope that this will suffice. If they knock off points for my fingernails…I’ll have to show them a title-holding finger or two in my possession.

I’ve managed to survive two nights of Epsom salt baths in our 3rd and very forlorn bathroom in the basement. I call it the cat pee bathroom because it’s a full (and updated/decent) three piece however, I’ve employed the bathtub as the bowels for the cat box for at least a year.

It was an absolute delight to expurgate all of the bits of excrement and kitty litter from. There is a covered cat box in the tub, I’m not a total dreggy bastard, but the damn cat misses from time-to-time ok? Sheesh, get off myback.

I then made an uneducated choice and got my hands on some scented epsom salts – never do this – which made the whole house, myself included, retain the malodorous stench of Mr. Clean married with old women. Needless to say I went to bed feeling a little sickened.

I’m craving fats violently. All of the deprivation and timing of foods has really illustrated cravings clearly for me. I was quite the dullard when it came to those things before.

All of this stuff is going on while we have 2 dogs, a cat, an 8 year old, work, a complete house renovation, a Mexican vacation and a visit from my folks on our docket. I’ve also been petitioned to instruct a  monthly health class at our daughter Anastacia’s school which I need to prepare for and oh yes, I’ve volunteered to rent out a friends home and need to deal with a move-in inspection for this next week as well.

Fornicate my life.

There is really no more to update on – not much in particular unless you have questions of me – if so please ask. I’m about as open a person as you will ever hope to meet!

Here’s a confession: I had to ask Jeff to hide the peanut butter while I locked myself away in the bathroom with the fan whirring so that I wouldn’t attempt to consume all of it in a fit of starved lunacy.

There are at least 2 more posts coming that will close off and tie this story all together by mid-November. I’m  looking forward intensely to cooking again and ushering some easy, fun and relatively adventurous recipes back into my home and yours.

Chickpea Curry – Vegan Bodybuilding Series

chickpea

Getting simple recipes down that make the cut when it comes to bodybuilding, well, isn’t an easy task. These quick recipes are meant to inspire anyone on a strict diet or preparing for a bodybuilding competition.

This meal in particular is great for pre-workout in the last 6 weeks or so of prep – for us gals in the bikini category anyway.

Ingredients: 

3 cups canned/soaked chickpeas KEEP THE LIQUID FROM THE BEANS – this is equal to 3 “meals”

1 tsp curry

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 cup diced onion

2 large cloves garlic

1 tsp coconut oil ( I like the full flavour one here to sub for cream flavouring)

Method:

Heat oil in pan on medium heat, add onions and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add powders and mix well.

Add beans WITH liquid. Stir well and cook covered for 7-10 minutes. There should be at least 1/2 cup of liquid in there. If not, add some water.

Remove from heat after most of the liquid is dissolved.

Top with my Sriracha Salt recipe on a bed (1/2 cup) of white basmati rice.

Enjoy!

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 4 – Life Changes & Coping

image1 (2)

WOAH.

That’s how I feel I need to start this post off because a lot of what I’ve been going through I did NOT expect. Especially getting emotionally attached to even just the idea of food.

By this point in my journey I’ve gotten 3 solid weeks into training, eating and adapting to my new life as a bodybuilder/fitness competitor. Do not mistake this adventure for light and fluffy. Your world changes and if you’re lucky (as I am) you will have a partner to be there for you.

Jeff started in on his own program about a week after me. His is of course to gain a bunch of muscle mass and lose fat. Needless to say, there are nights when I go to bed hungry while he’s struggling to shove a bunch of oatmeal down his throat. I’m sure I’ll be able to laugh at that soon enough, right?

Remember. It’s no drinking, no sugar, all vegan and pushing yourself to your physical and psychological limits – every day.

Workouts

I am weight training 5 days per week. I have one rest day on Saturday where I still have to get in 1 hour of movement from hiking/yoga/biking or something as well as Fasted Cardio on Sunday mornings.

The longest workout time I have is about 1.5 hours – you have to move through them all quickly. Weight is heavy on top especially which I find challenging on the wrists. I ordered these WRIST WRAPS to keep me from hurting myself.

Weight training is broken up into body specific areas, I don’t skip any areas at all. With my weight training on Monday/Weds/Friday I also do 30 minutes of pretty intense cardio and Abs.

Legs twice per week PLUS some leg related cardio that makes me cry. No, really, I cry.

Sleep patterns

The new work out program is intense. I left myself only 12 weeks to get into competition shape and I’ve had to observe some pretty BIG workouts in my mind. I have heard of a lot tougher regimes and had I been in bad shape, I don’t think I would have attempted to get past week one let alone getting totally ripped in 12 weeks time.

With this being said, I’m tired. A lot. Not the kind of tired where I think I may have contracted mono, but the type of tired that you get when you go mountaineering for a week or when you work out 7 days a week as hard as you can.

I sleep at least 7 hours per night and aside from getting up to pee a couple of times, I’m out like  a light.

Water intake

This part is easy – for now. I’m taking in about 4 litres of water from my Nalgene and then having tea/coffee/shakes as well so I’m actually over what my requirement is. This has been a piece of cake BUT I’m a big water drinker and it was common for me to drink at least 2-3 litres per day prior to this.

Food

For a foodie. I am bored as all hell. I really need to start pepping up my meals because a third week of tempeh and spinach might put me over the edge.

Very few protein shakes which is surprising but decent because I’m not sure I like the flavour of my new Iron Vegan protein. I’ll have to get back to you all on that. So far it doesn’t mix very well and kind of gets to the consistency of chia pudding when used in smoothies. I was taken off of Vega and told that the pea protein has too many carbs but is ok in the off season.

For a vegan you’re eating a lot of tempeh, garbanzos, navy beans, quinoa, lentils etc…the spices I purchased from Flavor God help, but they’re no replacement for greater diversity in the kitchen.

I’m getting 1 reload meal per week which means I can having something delicious and filling to look forward to. That doesn’t mean fast food or crap food. Still whole foods with a tonne of nutrients, just no measuring cups and scales.

I can’t tell you how much it sucks to have your reload meal thwarted.  I nearly broke down this weekend when I was forgotten about at a wedding and there was nothing for me to eat but dry white pan bread and craisins. I can’t have sugar. The only thing I was looking forward to was taken away from me – I felt like my whole world crumbled. 2 days later and I’m still lamenting. Yeesh.

Personal Care Regime

Each morning before I eat I take in some warm water and lemon followed by an assortment of vitamin supplements. My favourite vitamins are Mega Food and I’ve always taken D, C, B Complex and Blood Builder religiously.

I’ve also added: BCAA’s, Glutamine, L-Carnitine and Greens/Spirulina and DIM daily.

This is taking a little getting used to. I have to shower, scrub and moisturize twice per day. I HATE the feeling of being greasy but I still do it. I slipped a bit while travelling over the weekend but I definitely moisturize at least once.

I use this LOTION I picked up at Community Health.

Then there is dry brushing. I had one of these energy brushes in my possession already so I didn’t have to pick it up. I think you can still buy them at Shoppers or London Drugs / Walgreens etc… I never really liked the idea of dry brushing because it’s very scratchy. I do this 2-3 times per week as well after showering on dry skin.

All of this stuff in the hopes that my spray tan will apply better and more evenly etc…

My Federation this go round

The federation that I am competing in is the INBF Canada.  This is a natural bodybuilding federation – that means no artificial ANYTHING. We get tested and put through lie detector testing.

Each federation has their own unique posing requirements. You really need to get to know this – something I am finding a bit frustrating as my coach is a BCABBA/Arnold competitor so she isn’t 100% on it herself. I’ve sent an email to the federation asking for instructions as their website is still leaving me with question marks over my head. Do not be afraid to ask questions of your federation!!!

Here are the basics of what my posing/routine is to look like:

You will execute poses at four locations:

  • 1st Location: Rear Center stage-(front pose)
  • 2nd Location: Front Right side of stage – (side pose facing center stage)
  • 3rd Location: Front Center stage-(front & rear pose)
  • 4th Location: Front Left Side of stage-(side pose facing center stage)

Return to end of line….

I’ve been practicing posing and let me tell you…IT HURTS! Yes, it hurts. You’re holding your breath, half flexing, half sucking in…it’s a hot mess (if you’re doing in right). These are some of my first posing attempts while camping.

I practice every day – at least 5 to 10 minutes per day. Getting the feeling of what the right pose is will be the most important thing for my big  day.

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Tattoo cover ups

As you all know, I am full of tattoos. This means that my body can look uneven on stage. I have opted to purchase some tattoo cover up cream and have the lady I am using for a spray tan apply this before my tan. I was recommended a product by my coach. I will be posting this up if it arrives successfully to my door!

New shoes

The shoes for these shows are all standard Lucite 5″ heels unless otherwise directed. Luckily, I’ve been dancing and walking in mega heels for years so they do not scare me off.

My first pair were ordered online and delivered quickly however, their measurement system was completely off so I had to rush out and buy new ones. Luckily a local adult/sex shop had the same shoes but with straps. I opted for THESE. I ended up paying about 35% more than if I ordered online so be aware of that  and order online if you have time to wait for delivery.

Other garments

I’ve adopted wearing a waist trainer all day as well as during workouts. I’ve had to purchase a second waist trainer for daily wear. They are made of latex and neoprene and are pretty comfortable and don’t leave marks.

The first one I bought from Make Me Heal and it ended up being great and fast however about $30 more than the others I ordered from Squeem directly. I purchased a 34/small and within a week could close up to the second row. I’m on and off the row because it gives me a bit of a headache.

Training in them is not for the faint of heart at first but you will get used to it. I have to add that the actual Squeem brand isn’t lined as nicely as the other one I bought, so you may need to buy an additional wrap to stop the unit from marking up your skin. Pain in the butt.

The other not-so-sexy addition to my life has been these horrible neoprene shorts that are supposed to be good for reducing cellulite etc… I also got these from Make Me Heal. Ugh. I wear them nightly to bed as well as during at least 1 cardio session per week – usually my fasted cardio on the weekend. These are UGLY but also comical.

Neoprene sexiness

Neoprene sexiness

Progress pics update

image1 image2 image3 image4

So HERE I am 2 full weeks going onto 3 weeks in.  Day 2 of my period and not at all feeling like taking semi-nude pictures. I am not sure if all the training has brought on my period early or what, but it showed up 1.5 weeks early as well. Something to note and keep track of.

These pics are my second set sent to my coach with comments. I’m not seeing any progress in these however, in another couple of weeks I’m sure I’ll have some ability to see change. Patience is NOT my thing, but I know that I’ve made a lot of changes and the benefits are going to start rolling in.

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

100 cal bean burgers 

Still learning how to create delish 2-300 calorie meals over here. accompanying these burgers in the photo are 100 g Brussels Sprouts and 50g baked (no oil) yam fries. Filling indeed. I served these to myself with a dash of Dijon mustard on the burgers – not too bad!

My food processor broke down so I ended up forming these (and they did NOT stick well) in a 1/3 measure scoop, then baking in the oven for too long…should you use a food processor (please do) this recipe will turn out really well.

Ingredients: 

1 can  organic black beans

1 can organic kidney beans

2.5 cups Quinoa cooked

200g yellow onion chopped (approx 1 medium)

1/4 tsp herbamare

2 medium brown eggs

Method: 

Combine all ingredients in food processor until mixed well. Scoop into 1/3 cup serving sizes for cooking.

Pan fry over medium heat for about 2/5 minutes each side.

Nutritional info: 

196 Calories (per two)

3.2 g fat

32.1g carbs

10.5g 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?

Playlists – your best workout pre-planning friend

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I’m not sure how often you all work out, but I am almost certain I work out 7 days per week. Sometimes a good session in silence is called for, but for my tastes I like a lot of variety in my tunes. The common thread? There’s gotta be an amazing beat! Something to pace myself by and that is possibly a little on the nostalgic side ~ I’m only human.

Here are some of my all time favourite workout jams for you:

Ace of Spades – Motorhead

Aint fit to live here – Graveyard

Am I demon – Danzig

Animal Rights – Deadmou5

Artsy – remixed by Edit – The Grouch

Bit by a little – The Smalls

Hot in Herre – Nelly (shaddap, it’s a guilty pleasure & now it’s out)

Middle of the road (cover) – The smalls

Pala Tute – Gogol Bordello

Woman – Wolfmother

Shame on a Nigga – Wu-Tang

The ballad of John and Yoko – The Beatles

Start wearing purple – Gogol Bordello

Get it together – Beastie Boys

I come prepared – K’naan

Shake – Shook Twins

Angel or Devil – Nomeansno

Must be losing my mind – Brett Dennen

Get lucky (feat. Pharrell) – Daft Punk

Unstoppable (remix) – Diplo

Default – Django Django

Transmission – Joy Division

Nice Legs…. – The Monks

Booty Swing – Parov Stelar

C.R.,E.A.M. – Wu-Tang

Have a good time – Team Canada DJ’s

1980 – Dirt Nasty

Any which way – Scissor Sisters

Kangaroo Court – Capital Cities

 

 

Fit on the road – an introduction

Bagging Peaks in the Rockies

Bagging Peaks in the Rockies

My love of health and travel has led me to really push my abilities to stay fit and focused while traveling – a lot.

Whether it’s to a beach destination where the gyms and yoga classes are scarce…………..

Beach yoga Maui

Beach yoga Maui

……….to Sin City where in May, 45 degrees is too damn hot to work out in so you cruise through the Valley of Fire before hitting the Casino gym…………….

Working out late at night in the Nevada desert

Working out late at night in the Nevada desert

…………..to music festivals & hillside metropolitan cities where you walk all day from venue to venue………………..

Walking for hours at Coachella

Walking for hours at Coachella

Long walks and hilltops in the San Francisco Bay

Long walks and hilltops in the San Francisco Bay

……………….to the planets amazing mountain peaks that provide enough exercise for an army, or European escapes where you could nearly get arrested while in a Yoga posture in front of a Government building, or you may split your pants doing a maneuver after a scotch tasting..

Hikes & Yoga in Scotland

Hikes & Yoga in Scotland

Yoga in Moscow

Yoga in Moscow

I want to be able to keep a routine and feel great emotionally and physically without any excuses. Bad moods and lethargy don’t just come from celebratory holiday hangovers and that time of the month. We need to be sure to keep our “good vibe” chemicals in check – through movement.

Fit on the Road - Cancun

Fit on the Road – Cancun

What keeps you from being the best version of yourself while you’re on the road? For me, it’s already easy enough with diet; I don’t like sugar or treats, I don’t eat dairy at all unless there’s cheese on the odd item, pasta makes me feel like a lead balloon and meat, well, you know my stance on that. This may not be true for everyone out there. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Jalapeno chips and Gin Gin’s, luckily I have the will power to rarely buy these things. I guess I would have to say that my kryptonite in the food department is alcohol.

Raw & Vegan meals in LA

Raw & Vegan meals in LA

I love the taste of bourbon, Whiskey and Gin…on a Sunday brunch date, either white wine (sangria) or Caesars. I have made peace with the fact that my abdominals may never be washboard again as in my 23 years of Dance….Old Fashioneds taste too damn good. We all have our treats, vices and little cheats we wont give up. That’s ok, as long as we’re making sure liquor, cake and reality TV aren’t on the agenda every evening. Oh our poor livers, kidneys and grey matter!

I digress. We all know what good eating looks like: no preservatives, no packaging, home-made, nutrient dense, fresh, GMO free and mindful.

Real food & hydration rule.

Real food & hydration rule.

So, if Safeway isn’t coming to Namibia with you, how do you stay in shape cardiovascularly and muscularly with no gym?

For starters, you could prep for your trip and do a 1, 3 or 5 day juice cleanse to fire up your immune system and purge toxins….

3 day "Juice Juice" Cleanse

3 day “Juice Juice” Cleanse

But the answer is far more obvious and simple. Bodyweight workouts with little-to-no equipment. Write them down, download them onto your laptop and bring a GYM BOSS interval timer or download one for free for your smart phone HERE.

Camping - workout hacks

Camping – workout hacks

If you’re traveling soon (as I will be) take some time to look at these resources for workouts and making sane meal decisions while abroad. As usual I will be posting my #fitfam and #fitontheroad pics for inspiration on my INSTAGRAM , which reposts to my FACEBOOK PAGE, which will repost to TWITTER.

Workout Hacks

Workout Hacks

You should also check out my YOUTUBE channel for (literally) like 1 million amazing workouts.

You should also consider bringing a water canteen with you. Think before you buy. Nalgene tests on animals so maybe try something like this S’WELL bottle. S’well is great because it’s double lined and can hold hot and cold bevvies. This will increase your intake of water as well as save a bunch of plastic bottles from hitting the landfills and our beautiful oceans.

Follow my posts on FB often for more ideas. Here are a few you can start with…

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Bon Voyage and stay fit.

XX – Sasha