Spring (10 minute) veggie soup 

 

Tired of salad, still on a training plan…enter Zuppa.

Yesterday felt cold, really cold and blustery. I think that during this point of my training, when I’m burning off all my body fat, I just tend to be more cold. Plus, we live in the woods in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies so….we still have knee-deep snow in places that I’m sure adds to this fact.

This soup wasn’t as satiating as I would normally make it because I had measured my protein and placed it in the bottom of the bowl instead of just going for it like i usually would. If you’re watching calories, this one is very very low on carbs, good amount of fiber and if you measure out your protein, it’ll balance out quite well for an evening meal.

In the bottom of this bowl is 4oz of firm organic Tofu. In Jeff’s bowl was 6oz of Tofurky Lightly Seasoned “Chicken”. So jealous of his “meat”…hee hee.

Ingredients: 

4 cups veggie stock – try my homemade recipe HERE

2 cups hot water

2 medium carrots chopped

2 cups cauliflower chopped

2 cups broccoli chopped

1 medium yellow onion diced

3 cloves garlic diced

3 cups white mushrooms sliced

1 cup shelled peas

1 heaping TBSP Mugi Miso

Coconut oil (spray) or 1/2 tsp

1 tsp salt

** I use sriracha on EVERYTHING including this soup. Add to your desired heat.

Method: 

In a large pot saute onions, garlic and carrots in coconut oil for 5 minutes on medium heat to soften and release flavour.

Next, add in cauliflower and broccoli and saute for another 3-4 minutes.

Add remainder of ingredients starting with your veggie broth then your water. Bring to a boil for 1 minute then reduce and simmer for 30 minutes or so.

You can either add protein directly to the soup OR place it in the bottom of a bowl before serving. If you do this when your protein is cold, it will cool off the soup while heating up.

Serves 4.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Season 2 – Episode 1

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Last year 2nd over all…this year….pro card? 

Pfew. I’m here again. Just 3 months after my last competition and I’m off bulking and back to competition prep training.

All in all I took about 4 weeks of half-assed training time to recoup and then a few solid weeks of a building program. I’m starting to notice that I”ll have to take a significant amount of time off to build on certain areas.

I am hoping to compete again this fall but so far I have 3 shows booked for May. INBF Vancouver, INBF Calgary and I’ve joined a new all natural federation – the NPAA – which I will be competing in as well this May.

This means that I’ll be able to blog and post about what it’s like to be on a pretty consistent cycle of maintaining contest weight/physique for nearly 1 month. After this I will have June off for building…then back on it for October shows.

My goal this year/season? Pro-card all the way baby. If I get my pro-card then I’d like to head down to the states to see how I fair. Even chase a bit of cash if that’s possible? There are some serious prizes at certain shows…though, I’ll always be all natural so I’m not sure how I’ll ever stack up against the pill-poppin’, needle jammin, creatine folks….we shall see, right?

I’ve also started some R&D on a new supplement/food product. I’ll be traveling to a two day seminar in Vancouver hosted by an ex top dog of Yves (veggie product company) and more….I might be able to get my recipe out for test-market at one of the May comps. This is very exciting.

Training this time around:

I have the same coach this time around Jennifer Weintz out of Vancouver. I started my competition prep program Feb 1. Everything is pretty much the same but I have added a couple of supplements. I have some new and challenging leg day routines which seem to be building a bigger booty….the off season in India also helped with that. Heeeellloooo Chapati, I cannot say no to you or curry 5 times per day. I gained at least 10 lbs in 2.5 weeks. Eek!

Those 10 lbs took about 10 days to burn off. At this point (Feb 16th as I’m writing this) I’m starting to look pretty tight. I actually feel more confident than I did last season…for obvious reasons.

Lets get into some things you may want to know….

Supplements: 

I’m currently using BCAA’s, Glutamine, L-carnitine, Iron Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Adrenal Sense (Womens), Blood Builder, Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, DIM, MSM, Green Tea Extract and Spirulina.

Diet: 

Strictly Vegan. I’m really finding beans to be UBER gassy this time around. I omited them from my pre-workout for about 6 days now and used yams instead. I’m still not on point with my pre-workout and am not feeling too much energy off of it. Even though I am using black coffee as well. I’m starting to experiment with what I’m taking before workouts as my leg days are HUGE right now and I’m having a terrible time finding the power to push heavy weights.

I eat 6-7 times per day and include a post-workout shake.

3-4 litres of water per day.

Other rituals:

Squeem on day and night with my neoprene wrap underneath.

Training with either neoprene or squeem – neoprene only on leg days.

Night rituals are the same, shower with scrubbing gloves, moisturize full body, dry brush and wearing neoprene to bed.

Cardio is 6 times per week. Post workout. Neoprene (long) pants and waist wrap during cardio…let the sweat fly!

Exercise: 

Monday-Friday: Legs, Chest/Tris, Back/Bi’s/Legs, Shoulders

Abs: every other day

Saturday – 1 hour steady state cardio

Sunday – rest day

I’ve been on this plan for nearly 3 weeks and haven’t had a “cheat” meal yet. I’ve managed to structure some 95% “ok” meals where I had to eat out while in Vancouver this past weekend. Not off to a bad start really and I’m starting to feel pretty trim already. At 12.5 weeks out I have started to see baby abs! Whoo hoo. And I can definitely feel more size to my legs and booty.

We don’t have much in the way of travel booked so I’m sure I’ll be far less stressed out about getting my workouts in this year.

Hang on to your hats because I’m picking a new suit colour AND need to get a whole different pair of shoes for the NPAA…that’s costly so I’ll be looking for used.

I will also be attending the NPAA training camp in March to go through their stage requirements and walk structure. It’s different from the INBF, luckily not by much.

Hang on to your hats folks, this one is going to be crazy – I can feel it already. The pictures below aren’t the best and don’t really do all the work I’ve put in any justice BUT if you look at my shape on the left (this week) you’ll notice how much thicker and stronger I look than my shape on the right from about the same point in training last year.

The image on the left is at 12.5 weeks out, on the right 11.

 

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 7 – The Final Frontier

Me VS Salad. I got this.

It’s Sunday morning. Feeling like I’ve been hit by a mack truck for a few days and what to my wondering eyes doth appear…..an email from my coach! I wasn’t expecting any good news anytime soon,  but  this removed all of my fasted cardio dread.

I get a REAL reload meal. From my photos I looked as though I was flattening out and my coach made the call. Thank sweet bejeesuz for the that.

I headed to my only option in YYC for a whole foods vegan meal – The Coup. 

Euphoria doesn’t even explain it. I am SO sensitive right now to feelings and food that I get goosebumps all the time. I had to post this picture of my goosebumps while eating a “real” meal.

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Now it’s less than 4 weeks out….and I’m starting to get a little nervous. But not too bad. Being on stage for over 20 years I’ve got a bit of confidence which I think is a huge edge over my competitors….I think.

Body Changes

So, some interesting stuff happened in the last couple of weeks. I started to have really sore boobs just 2 weeks after my last period. Jeff managed to con me into thinking that I was pregnant…and I even did a test. Negative – pfew. By the next day it was certain. I managed to get my period twice in two weeks – apparently this type of mixed up cycle is perfectly normal when you’re on this program, some gals lose theirs all together. Nothing like that surprise when you’re least expecting it.

I am still new to the process of how carb cycling actually works in athletic situations. I did see how muscles do start to look depleted without a good balance of food AND I noticed how they perked up after eating a big/good/carb-fueled meal just 24 hours later. That was truly an interesting process.

Travel and planning meals 

I am traveling 2 out of 4 weekends in October. I also was JUST in Vancouver for posing training camp. What I really didn’t have any time to do while flitting around was grocery shopping and cooking. I ate 50% of my meals in Vancouver on the road. Glamorous.

I found / was provided with 2 resources for meals.

Vancouver I used Fitness Foods out of Vancouver proper. One downside was that they do not provide any vegan protein so I had to order all a la carte and re-organize meals to make it work. Still better than a kick in the ass. If you do eat meat, you’ll be fine. They have a competitors line that is specially crafted for athletes in training. My coach also provides meal plans through their services.

You pick up from varying locations if they do not deliver in your area. I picked up in Langley at Total Fitness and got my fasted cardio in as well. Great drop in gym if you’re in the area. Hammer Strength equipment onsite.

I took my ISO bag with me this trip and they confiscated my damn ice packs. Be forewarned, you can’t take ice packs over 100ml on the plane unless you are refrigerating medication.

San Francisco – ICON Meals. Now these guys are actually out of Texas. I know, carbon footprint out the wazoo. However, no personal chefs were willing to help me for under $150/day (the cost of 5 days of meals) and the only other company I contacted there that was mealprep aligned never called me back.

The other pro with these guys is that they actually have a Vegan protein selection. Nearly 100% of all other places don’t and you need to order a la carte and then go shopping for your own protein – that really sucks when you’re already hitting the gym twice per day and trying to make a good trip out of it.

ICON has been professional and as of today (1 day prior to travel) I have gotten my confirmation of my order. They even walked me through step-by-step getting food in the US from Canada. Jennifer there has been great – lets see if the meals arrive/stay put!

The TSA doesn’t seem to mind the powders packed up like this to save room:

As you can see I packed my glutamine, greens, BCAA’s, coconut butter, oatmeal, salt and Flavor God here.

They do however hate ice packs unless they are for medication. Don’t forget that. I recommend using these little ice balls to travel with. They pass the requirement.

For links to ISO or Flavor God check my post from Episode 6.

Travel and gym drop ins – Vancouver/SF

This round of travel to Vancouver I dropped in at a few places:

Golds Burnaby

Maple Ridge Leisure Centre

Total Fitness Langley

Pitt Meadows Rec Center

I also used the spin bike at my parents house for HIIT sprints one morning. If you think it’s all about the treadmill – this is pretty tough too. Proof:

I will be working out at Live Fit gym in San Francisco starting October 1st through 5th. Their manager Elyse has been nothing but absolutely amazing to me. She’s gotten me into the gym on a weeks pass, unrestricted times and has been nothing short of an angel. I’ll be reviewing their gym in a separate post. So far, I love them….and all the folks of SF that have made my life easier!

I Included a HIIT routine for treadmills here if you’re looking for something new. I added 5 minutes to the front and back of this one for warm up and cool down.   

Last minute purchases: 

I needed a competition robe ( in black to absorb any tan staining) as well a set of loose PJ’s to wear to bed so I don’t wreck my sheets or the tan. My usual birthday suit will not work out so I’ve been told. I opted for black satin for both- Victoria’s Secret Online

Nails – found a gal via Facebook who will come to my hotel room Friday night before the show to do French Manicure on my fingers and toes – will be getting a set of false nails as per status quo. I’ll have to post cost and pics later.

Pre & post show travel schedule – No excuses!

San Fran – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival – you should check it out!

Millennium – One of the BEST vegan restaurants in North America. I’m excited to have my reload meal on Sunday here. They blow my mind.

100 Mile House – The Hills Guest Ranch. Our annual family thanksgiving trip. This location is/was considered a “fat farm”….so, they have a lot of diet options and a pretty legit, albeit old, gym. No need to lose track on my last couple of weeks. I even ordered a Tofurky. 

Cabo – The Resort at Pedregal – post competition & birthday bash time. Each year we travel to this amazing resort for a week of rest and relaxation. They have a great space for fitness and amazing views. I am SO blessed to be able to be recovering and restoring here post-show.

Suit Fitting 

Below is a picture of the first time I tried on my new GREEN suit. The front of this thing is so small…ugh…I’ll fit it by d-day but JEEZUS is it small. I had to have the bottoms adjusted a bit…I tried on some other suits as well just for styles.

Michelle at Buttercream (see episode 6 for details) had the suit adjusted in 24 hours and I took it home with me! Stay tuned for more pictures as I practice posing in the final weeks here.

  

  
 

Progress

Holy abs. I’ve never had these things and I don’t want to let them go. Training is staying the same in terms of routine for now but I am pushing myself to go heavier and heavier every session.

Diet

Got a bit of a kick in the ass on Friday. All my tooty beans were cut from my diet. This is apparently the part where I need to prepare to cut and be hungry. I’m eating 6 times per day and having my 6 litres of water … but man oh man, the lack of carbs is apparent.

Supps

No big changes yet. BCAA’s added to all water is the biggest change. I suspect there will be a lot during the dieting back phase.

Training Changes

So far, only adding 15 minutes of medium cardio after weights and upping my Sunday session of fasted cardio to 50 minutes. My morning fasted cardio has changed slightly but is still completed on my treadmill which works amazingly for me at 5 am.

 Posing

In what can only be called the best case of happenstance EVER, I managed to get a posing session in with Chris Kwan of the West Coast Executive Director of the  INBF in Vancouver at her studio Core Ten PE. 

All I have to say is, if I would have gone in by the BCABBA standards that my coach is familiar with, I would have been a total flop.

This woman had amazing energy and really got me jazzed about the federation (all natural) that I chose. She was supportive and even had another WNBF Pro stick around to practice with. The best hour I spent in the 5 days in Vancouver by far. I am so grateful to her for making the time to see me. Even if her studio is right next to Thomas Haas and I nearly died 1000 deaths.

We covered what the judges prefer, put on some great tunes and worked on removing the hook from my back pose. I have to say, this federation seems far more friendly and less “hookery” than the others so far. It’s about the bodies and the good attitude for sure – not catty competitiveness and negativity.

SO, I was inspired so much that I decided to throw my hat in the ring for the INBF competition in BC May 14th, 2016. It’s not posted on their site yet……gulp. Did I actually do that? Ya, I did.

What’s left? Well, probably a WHOLE lot actually…this is the ramp up time now. Questions still left in my mind at this point:

  • what is peak week going to be like?
  • what is the day of going to be like?
  • will my hair/makeup/tan/nails etc…be a success?
  • will my crotch actually fit into that suit???
  • what is dieting “back” going to look like?
  • will I be able to maintain a 5-6 weeks out body until my next competition?
  • what will workout and diet maintenance be like?
  • what are all of my future goals?

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 5 – Posing & Pushing.

Posing practice, week 3.

Episode 5 equals ending my 5th  week of training for the INBF Pro/Am and with about 7 weeks of training left till “D Day”.

The featured photo above was taken at the middle of week three…..the pictures below are marked off in stages for a better sense of progress from then until now.

I received an updated workout regime for the month of September that is intense – I’m expecting a lot of physical changes, as well as some emotional breakdowns. Stay tuned for that episode for sure.

I am happy to report that I have not deviated or “cheated” from my plan or diet at all. I have done some reading on the net, other competitors admitting to eating pints of ice cream, chips etc…I just don’t know how you set a goal and then botch it, I’m determined and really do NOT cheat.

If my gains seem meager I may just need to up my weights and cardio till I puke but alcohol, sweets and junk food never touched my lips on this journey.

The last week I really started to feel like I plateaued and that’s exactly when I received my new program and meal plan.

Right to left – week 0, 3 and 4.

Right to left – week 0, 3 and 4.

Tanning Booking:

I booked with Bronze Baxx in Calgary. They do a two-stage process that is recommended. They also recommend tanning before hand however I’m not totally down with this so I think I might go just a couple of times to try to keep the tan even.

Hair / Make Up:

Booked with “Glam Girl”  out of Edmonton- Sarah – who sent me a big prep list for the day of. She will send a schedule out to me closer to the date of the show with my time for getting made up.

Polygraph:

This is mandatory and I am booked in at the host hotel the evening before the show with “The Lie Detective”.

Suit & Fittings:

I received samples in the mail and this by far has been the hardest choice to make…..here they are below. I’m deciding tonight after putting it out to Facebook and Instagram. Let’s hope I make the right choice!!

Suit sample colours.

Suit sample colours.

I am flying back home for a week in September and have my first fitting on the 24th. I’ve been told by my coach that my bottom connectors need to be a single strand for my body type as well.

Bottom connector styles.

Bottom connector styles.

Pricing? That’s yet to be discussed. I will of course keep you in the loop.

Accessories for suit:

Purchased via “The Suit Lady” in BC where I got my first pair of shoes from. I bought:

Bangles for each wrist

Earrings

A ring

Bikini Bite for keeping my bottoms on

Training Changes:

I was on 1 regime for 4 weeks and that all changed up week 5. Good by “reload” meals (read: cheat) and hello 6 days a week of cardio. Look out for my experience in episode 6.

One thing that did happen is that I was taking 1 scoop of protein pre and post workout. for the last 1.5 weeks of training in the first month I upped protein to 2 scoops of  Iron Vegan.

Food changes:

No changes during the first 4 weeks. What I will say is that if you are doing this Vegan….beans. The magical fruit. I had to kick Lentils out of the bed for eating crackers 3 weeks in as well. You will be a gassy mess so take your digestive enzymes and probiotics.

Typical breakfast month 1: 3 oz tempeh and kale with nutritional yeast and sriracha salt.

Typical dinner month 1: Greens with soy chicken and steamed beans.

Typical mid-day meal month 1: Lentils, quinoa and greens with a 1/4 slice of grapefruit.

Posing training camp:

I tried my very very best to get into a posing training camp vis a vis the INBF. As of right now, I don’t have anything on the horizon. It actually took me 2.5 weeks and 2 emails to illicit a response from the federation. Sigh, trying to do anything in Alberta is always a kick in the hoo ha.

I am going to be participating in a posing camp in BC with my coach on September 26th and hope that this will help me out immensely. The only thing I’m really that worried about is getting the walk down pat and not looking like a fool.

Above is me, in our back yard, trying to use what little flat space we have around to get my T-walk down.
Stay tuned for the next installment because by then, I may have lost a good bit of my sanity and wont that be entertaining for you all?