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 1 – Where to start?

Image result for wbff

My intention with this post was to give anyone looking for some insight into doing your first competition a really clear picture of what it could look like for you from start to finish. I hope that I can do this for you. And lets face it, I’m adding some serious pressure on myself when I go public with my plans.

I start my journey in Calgary Alberta where there really isn’t a heckuva lot to do in the City but the Foothills of the Rockies boast some of the best skiing and hiking on the planet. Luckily for me, I live in an acreage in the foothills  with my devastatingly handsome partner Jeff, our 3 dogs and my step-daughter Anastacia. We spent all winter building ourselves an amazing gym at home that has everything a person could need including an infrared sauna and hot tub for recovery!

As a semi-pro dancer with decades of athleticism under my belt I thought I would try my hand at some kind of fitness competition. After about a year of dedicated training and eventually committed weight lifting regime I decided that I would put my best foot forward and go for it. But where to start?

As luck would have it, a health and safety consultant of ours had been to competition before so I picked her brain about the situation. I knew that I definitely had my work cut out for me in trying to find a local, qualified trainer who could also help me with Vegan/Vegetarian nutrition to achieve the goals that I wanted.

What I learned: 

I needed to buy some meal prep containers. I bought these ones however, the lids aren’t as fantastic as I would like but they are sturdy and can be re-used several times and are about as cost effective and environmentally friendly as you can get in the realm of plastic.

Find a food scale. This is the best one I could research and it works well.

I needed to keep track of what I was doing currently. I used this app in the past and it’s working well for me now. You can print out your daily logs and send them to your coach when asked.

Find a trainer – this is coming in Episode 2 “Tail Chasing and Boiling Blood”…or something like that.

Find some show dates. I picked all natural and drug free competitions. I don’t like the use of steroids or other things that some folks use. That being said, you could go to those shows and just NOT do the drugs, but your chances of placing/winning would be lower.

Find some literature that I could trust and learn from. I bought this online book which is perfect for Vegans and Vegetarians alike.

Here are some links:

NPAA

INBF

IDFA

WBFF

Work my ass off (below). While I exercise daily, I by no means limit my food or alcohol so I’m basically maintaining what you see below. Not the prettiest sight however, at nearly 37 I’m alright with it. This is my “starting” image….hideous bikini, day 2 of my period, earlier in the morning than I’d like to be up.

   

Look out for my next post coming soon….this will get into HOW I found a trainer and all the BS that I had to go through to do it. Get googling, ask me questions and most of all – do your research! I’m blogging all of this so that you can skip the pain that I have gone through to get to the good stuff.

Vegan Metis Bannock – Frybread

Tradition 2.0

Tradition 2.0

Anastacia came home from school on Friday talking about what she learned that week. Part of her experiences were speaking and learning about First Nations people, apparently Bannock was either discussed or eaten.

Having Metis roots close at home meant that she had already experienced making and cooking Bannock over an open fire at home and she has also been exposed to a tidbit of the culture.

She asked if we could make Bannock. I accepted the challenge and added a twist – veganism.

If you like scones, you’ll love this recipe.

Ingredients: 

3 cups pre-mixed cake flour (includes baking soda/powder/salt)

3 tbsp granulated organic cane sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 block (lb) of vegan butter spread (or butter if you will)

1 cup almond milk

Jam/Honey/Agave nectar for topping

Method: 

Preheat oven to 425

Mix dry ingredients.

Add butter and mix by hand until crumbled.

Slowly add almond milk until dough forms but is not sticky/runny. (Add little bits of flour if your mixture is too wet).

Knead (folding) for 2 minutes.

Form into ball.

Spread in circular formation about 1/2 an inch thick on cookie sheet. I use a pizza sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.

Serve warm drizzled with jam, honey or agave nectar.

 

 

Vegan portobello tofu scramble

Quick, easy and virtually screw-up proof this egg-free breakfast is filling and chock full of protein. I served this with a side of “Facon” (fake bacon) for a protein overload before a big upper body workout and some cardio.

If you’re looking for a cheesy flavour, add some nutritional yeast.

Ingredients:  

2 large portobello mushrooms sliced thinly

1 large package extra firm tofu crumbled

2 tablespoons hot chili infused oil

1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon garlic infused salt

2 medium shallots sliced paperthin

Pepper to taste

Try my Sriracha Aioli as a topper (pictured here)

Method:

Over medium heat in Frying pan add mushrooms to chili oil sprinkle with salt and cook until softened, approximately five minutes.

On stovetop over medium heat fry up sliced shallots until they begin to wilt. Add rosemary and tofu, Cook on stovetop for 5 to 7 more minutes.

Combine mushrooms with the rest of your mixture and cook for 30 more seconds.

Top this with a spicy aioli, cracked pepper or Sriracha sauce.

Serve hot, ask approximately four servings.

 

Not your Mee’s Bahn Mi

A beautiful thing

A beautiful thing

So excited I can’t even write an intro.

 Ingredients:

1 block firm ORGANIC tofu – pressed

(my press cheat is to place the block between two plates, wrapped in paper towel with a heavy bowl on top for about 20 minutes)

2 tbsp black sesame seeds

3/4 cup oats

1 cup diced fresh cilantro

1 diced/sliced tomato

3 large cloves garlic

1/4 cup sliced cucumber

4 Ciabatta buns – gluten free option is brown rice wraps which work really well, you’re welcome celiac friends.

2 tbsp tamari

1/2 tbsp Liquid smoke

1.5 tbsp vegan/vegetarian Worcestershire

1 large yellow onion

1/2 & a bit cups bread crumbs

2 seeded jalapenos

1/2 tbsp Ginger

1/2 tbsp Paprika

1 tbsp Cumin

1/2 tbsp Corriander

1/4 tbsp Cayenne

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 tbsp sesame oil

 

Method:

Get your tofu pressing if you haven’t already, this needs doing first. Next get on creating the Pickled Carrot/Daikon and Aioli before you start on the rest of the recipe.

Did you get pickling and aioli’d? If not, get back to those recipes, if yes, good. Let’s start.

Place all ingredients other than tomato, cilantro, cucumber and jalapeno’s in food processor. Blend until the mixture can be shaped into patties. Shape yourself some lovely little patties and hold on to your hats because your mouth is going to be revved up with food passion like you’ve never seen before.

 

A greater tofu patty was never created.

A greater tofu patty was never created.

 

Preheat a cast iron pan for 10 minutes to medium heat setting. Add 1 tbsp sesame oil and coat pan evenly. Fry up sliced onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Place patties in pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, careful not to allow for too much burning to occur on the outer edges. Add remainder of sesame oil if your pan dries up.

 

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NOW you’re going to spread your bread or wraps with that lovely aioli you made then stack on your patties, toppings and FINALLY your pickled carrot delight. You’re going to top this off with some salt and pepper and enjoy, thoroughly. I opted to cut mine in half because it was a little breakable.

This recipe serves 4 or 8 snack-sized 1/2 sammies. It’s a big one so don’t bother with any sides.

 

Fit on the road – European Vacation

 

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Running in Germany, spooky delight.

 

Aaaaah travel. Were it not for a very terrible series of events, this last trip I would have not taken for at least a few years. However, my friendship duties called, and on (very) short notice I made my way with my BFF of 20 years to Europe….an anniversary of sorts as we had made the trip back in ’98 as teenage gals and were heading back on *nearly* the same path.

Without a lot of time to pack the biggest thing to cover was getting all the true essentials into one easy carry-on bag. I made a small listing of necessary items on a Facebook post:

Key #fitontheroad ingredients for a successful trip abroad. First stop,#Vienna:

– portable water bottle
– hand sanitizer
– lip balm
– moisturizer
– baby wipes – for all surfaces of aircraft/trains
– kleenex
– earbuds
– a couple of pens
– a diary
– bergamot essential oils (in lieu of deodorant)
– peppermint oil (for headaches)
– wicked playlist
– good books
– podcasts that rock
– pre-packed workouts
– travel data plan
– last minute call to your banks
– phone charger
– power adapter
– foreign currency

 

I recently purchased a North Face small sized duffel bag which has become a miracle bag for me and travel. It converts to a backpack and fits enough in it for 2 weeks abroad in winter weather. A dream. Check it out HERE if you wish.

We boarded an 8pm flight from Calgary to London and from London on to Vienna and eventually Prague and East Germany.

Traveling over night is a great way to get your sleep on AND arrive a little refreshed. Unfortunately, I was enamored by in flight entertainment so I did not end up getting any rest. I did however, guzzle enough water to get a camel through the desert for a year…..random act of hydration, satisfied.

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Vienna, my newest love.

 

First stop: Vienna. What a town, what a place, what an amazing couple of nights. Not only had I never seen Vienna before, I had no idea what to expect and we had absolutely nothing planned. We found a great hotel near the middle of it all which had free internet and had been modernized. Hotel Mercur in Wein Zentrum. A little on the pricey side, no breakfast included however, free wifi and central. So, who’s complaining about working for their meals?

I have to admit, after booking the flights I soon quipped to my partner Jeff ” my god, Europe, what will I EAT?”. My last experience in 2011 with Spain and Morocco left me a little starved and disappointed. Lets just say, Vienna won it all back for me.

 

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Kat and I walked just 5 minutes and happened upon a little vegetarian hole-in-the-wall gem (pictured above)  that served some type of Turkish food. It wasn’t bad at all and whats more is it was better than most restaurants around Calgary. Full of flavour and colour. Beans, rice and a few dried fruits. This dinner was accompanied well by a glass of white wine and a walk in the chilly temperatures in and around the Danube and beautiful city of Vienna.

The hotel room we had was more than small, it was EENSY…but that was no match for work out number one as pictured below. With just 6′ x 3′ of space to work out I managed this couplet/butt series as well as a great walk around the city that night. I managed to have a great sleep for a full 7 hours after showering and a bit of reading and meditation.

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We woke up on Friday morning to the task of finding breakfast and getting some train tickets purchased. The train station was all the way across town and ended up very near a lot of amazing sights like a gigantic palace where a lot of Viennese locals were jogging around the footpaths. (Insert jealous huffy face here). The second day and only full day out I managed to look at the step counter on my iphone and we made it over 20,000 steps that day! We saw sights, stopped for a beer and even found a random pub with a veggie burger.

We headed back to our room for a little nap and some meditation then made our way back out to find dinner. Man alive did we find the spot that knocked our socks off. Yamm.  Vegan, Vegetarian, quality and amazing buffet style food. We loved it all so much we ended up going back to fill our plates twice AND sharing a small dessert. While Vienna pricing is not for the faint of heart, for the quality and atmosphere, this place was fabulous. Sadly, we planned to go back for breakfast the next day but were out of time.

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After dinner we continued to walk the city and take in the sights…even finding a fantastic local/organic/slow food market called MERKUR which just about killed me with all the intense variety of salts, truffles and vegan delights. We bough freshly squeezed juices and fruit for our breakfast in the morning along with a few treats and even a VEGAN chocolate bar. Yes, heaven on earth is Vienna, Austria.

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Merkur, your slow food won my heart.

Upon returning to the room later that night I whipped off this little Ab 300 routine that was a perfect way to end an entire day on my feet. You should try this puppy out, she burns. I like to throw it in on days where I have no set routine. Pairs up perfectly with Leg 300 routines as well. Google or hit up my Pinterest for ideas.

 

Now that our fun in Vienna had come to an end….off we rode to Prague. Excited much? Unfortunately, on a 4 hour train trip there isn’t much to do for exercise but stretches and walking the aisles while I was stir crazy I managed to find a great new Yoga app that I’ll tell you about later on in this trip, and I managed to make some use of a pretty neat little meditation app I have called Stop, Breathe & Think. Click HERE for details.

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Rolling out of Austrian borders and into the Czech Republic was obvious from the train window. Clean and tidy countryside became graffiti plastered, littered with garbage and generally more poor looking. While the Czech’s are part of the EU, don’t expect to see Euro’s here – they have kept their Crowns, so hit up a bank CZ-side…the upside? Way cheaper stuff. I don’t know how to communicate just how impressed I was by the food available in Prague. Last time I was there I was on an extremely small budget and ate buns and cheese from the market so I really have a narrow frame of reference however, I was floored by the amount of amazing vegan/vegetarian options and their proximity to the old and new parts of the city.

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Cue music: “Now I…..had…the time of my liiifffeee……”

 

Prague has done a lot of changing since I was there last. Nothing that you would notice outwardly in the first few minutes but the vibe is definitely different, and I guess I’m different too! What we did notice a massive influx of were these Thai Massage storefront operations. We had no choice to partake on our first night after a Long walk through the city and a hotel room workout. This workout was great because I had a lot more space to get a good HIIT in. Try it out.

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Thai Massage. Back cracking good times.

 

Day two was filled with seeing sites and walking over 30,000 steps that day. I was exhausted. Again, I can’t believe how handy this new iPhone iOS 8 update is…have a look at it a little further down the page. This day was so much fun, cold but a lot of great memories were brought up and we really had a fantastic time. We also managed to find FOUR Vegan/Vegetarian restaurants and got the chance to hit up two of them. I haven’t had such thoughtfully prepared Vegan fare since L.A. in August, I was a total peace and glowing after eating these meals. Impressed doesn’t even begin to describe how great the options were.

 

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Prague Castle – the 30,000 step day!

 

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Maitrea, Prague old Town. A great stumbled upon treat.

 

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Hummus & another appy dish at Maitrea.

 

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Loveg. Oh YES you did.

 

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Traditional Vegan AND Czech? You had me at Dumpling.

This night, Veganism took us to some amazing sites. We ended up at LoVeg where the food and atmosphere were second-to-none! To our surprise, there was a tiny rooftop terrace that we were shown to which just happened to look out onto the Castle lit up at night as well as a sprawling view of the rooftops of the old city. You know what? Eating differently, healthfully has really led me to be able to see a LOT  of sights I wouldn’t have if things were different. To add, when trying to find a great place to get some exercise without equipment AND outside, I’ve stumbled upon some pretty awesome places as well. Like Petrin Hill Park (below) and the cool little funicular that ran from top to bottom.

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A morning run through the park. There she is yonder!

The majority of the time spent in Prague we were major tourists and sightseers. We did find what I thought was a set of stairs heading up this hill the evening before this picture was taken. As is stands, in the daylight, it was an amazing park with a bunch of paved trails that lead uphill to a beautiful view of the orange and gold rooftops of new and old Prague. Breathtaking. There was even an old funicular railway system that I got to see running as I did some push-up sets on an old railing.

Czech out the Petrin Hill park HERE.

After a quick shower and a decent hotel breakfast at the Hotel Leonardo Prague, we were off to the races again. This time, a 6 hour train journey to North Eastern Germany. Hohen Demzin to be exact.

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Old friends headed to old haunts – off to Germany.

Now, the true reason for my travels was to say goodbye to my best friend Kat’s Oma (grandmother in German). She recently passed away peacefully yet completely unexpectedly. We had the great privilege of being able to stay at her home in a small village. The weather this time of year is not all that welcoming, though, with the natural and vast beauty of this part of Germany it didn’t really matter. Littered with amazing running/walking/biking paths, there is no way to stay sedentary even without a gym or equipment.

Here are just a few work outs I posted on my Facebook page:

 

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Hohen Demzin. Miles and miles of running trails and rolling hills.

 

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New HIIT cards came in handier than I thought.

 

I purchased a new 3-pack of these HIIT cards. Talk about making putting a workout together easy. You only need to pick the type of workout you want, match this by colour, add some cardio cards and you are off to the races! If you don’t have a list of possible workouts in your smart phone photos already – you really should pick these up. Cheap and easy workouts here folks. We also took an amazing 15 km bike ride up cobblestone paths and through a very large nature preserve-type area that housed dozens of amazing art installations. I even managed to see a bunch of castles and add some more handmade pottery to my collection! Using these smaller roadways I was able to fit in a 10km as well as a 7km run in this week. Even with the snow, the temperatures hovered above zero and made for some decent running weather. Minus a few mud puddles, all was well.

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Beauty begets peace.

 

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Airplane prep time – stretch it out.

Yoga apps & dancers legs

Yoga apps & dancers legs

 

The yoga app I used here is called Yogify. It is made by EA Sports. There are some free classes on here in a variety of capacities so if you need instruction while you travel, this one works very well. Try your luck at using it HERE.

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Fun on ice.

Karls. A wonderful delight about 1.5 hours down the Autobahn near Rostock. Strawberryland is really what it should be called. Anything and everything they can make out of strawberries exists here. And I mean anything. Jam, soap, liqueur. To die for. There were even ice sculptures, Gluhwein, ice skating, aquariums and DOGS allowed everywhere.

50's themed ice sculptures at Karl's near Rostock.

50’s themed ice sculptures at Karl’s near Rostock.

 

I did manage to go grocery shopping a couple of times to be able to eat cleanly. I was able to buy bananas, brussel sprouts, eggplants, lettuce, arugula, cucumber, tomato, onion, oranges, dried fruit, vegetarian mortadella as well as some decent quality unsalted mixed nuts and large bottles of water. What I didn’t prepare myself for were these chocolate covered rice cakes that Kat found. I didn’t buy any myself, but must admit that I had a couple and they were pretty darn great!

Healthy & bad for you. Treats are OK too!

Healthy & bad for you. Treats are OK too!

Bike riding to Schlitz Castle over 15 kms of muddy but stunning trails.

Bike riding to Schlitz Castle over 15 kms of muddy but stunning trails.

Traveling home again, I was prepared for the worst in food however, I was able to eat quite decent food all the way home. First stop: Berlin, Tegel airport. I managed to get a vegan bagel with avocado, sprouts and tomatoes at a coffee shop inside the terminal. Then, British Airways had a snack from Berlin to London that was a hummus wrap made with “all natural” ingredients and 100% vegetarian, THEN a stop in London where Apostrophe coffee shop had a curry hummus & roasted veggie sandwich on the menu. What I DIDN’T know was that Gordon Ramsay has a restaurant in Terminal 5 that will pack  “plane picnics” for you. WTH??? Why am I not living in one of these amazing places?

Finally, getting on the flight home to Calgary I decided that because I was arriving at 5:45pm local time, I would stay up the duration of the 8.5 hour flight and try to head off jet lag. Usually, I sleep where I can so I don’t eat much and I bring and fill my own water bottle. I travel with a Platypus collapsible water container. Check it out HERE if you like. I find it to be awesome for saving space and keeping hydrated.

We were served a curried rice as well as a half decent cheese/jam type sandwich. If you’re starving, it hits the spot. Also, the food quality seemed to be pretty decent as far as airline food goes and with most airlines you aren’t offered much past some type of unidentifiable meat with a Pepsi/Coke product.

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London, your airport food puts the City of Calgary to shame…..

Travelling is fun, exhilarating and mind-blowing. It can also be expensive, frustrating and exhaustive. If you fall out of your routines on trips or vacations you could  be placing more stress on yourself than you think. Guilt creeping in after too many fancy cocktails, brownie treats or lack of exercise can put a damper on your mental and physical “fun” vibes. Make a point to keep your endorphin’s running and your palate teased. Searching out amazing food can also lead to seeing amazing sights!

Sriracha aioli

 

Easy aioli

Easy aioli

 

Need a quick pick me up for a sandwich, cracker or some type of finger food? Look no further. This little ditty is a great go-to back pocket kitchen friend. You won’t forget the recipe because it’s just too darn easy. I use this in my Bahn Mi sandwich and it’s just the cats patoot. Icing on a beauty Thai cake. Try the recipe out if you want to have your socks knocked off.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup veganaise

1.5 tbsp sriracha sauce

2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice

2 cloves garlic diced or pressed

Method:

Mix it all together and let it sit for an hour or so. Reduce the sriracha if you’re not a fan of too much spice.