Kids {sugar free} trail mix 

This recipe comes from a recent unit I taught at Earl Grey School in Calgary, on Sugar. We put together a 7 minute NO COOKING REQUIRED recipe that’s loved by kids and is quite delicious.

The ingredients are simple to find, contain their own sugars and do not need any sweetness added whatsoever. The kids went nutso for this recipe as well as the teacher and the teachers assistant. I think it was a hit.

Try this for yourself and get out on the trails with your family!

Supplies

 Large bowl and mixing spoons

 Scoop or spoons for serving

 Small serving bowls, cups or plastic snack bags

Ingredients

 2 cups soy nuts or dried chickpeas

 2 cups plain air popped popcorn

 4 cups healthy boxed cereal – Kashi brand cereals are great in this recipe

 2 cups dried fruit like apricots, pineapple, or apples (look for brands with NO added sugar).

 1 cup of dried cranberries or blueberries (buy in bulk with no sugar added)

 1⁄2 cup of dried apples

 1 cup of granola – Bob’s Red Mill Crunchy Coconut is the healthiest other than homemade

 1⁄2 cup yogurt or carob chips

 Optional- 1 cup of nuts like almonds, walnuts or unsalted roasted shelled sunflower

seeds (Beware of nut allergies! If present, do not include.)

 Note: Many different ingredients may be added, as long as there is a good mix of whole

grains, dried fruit, and nuts if no allergies are present.

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Scoop about 1/2 cup into small bowls, cups, or plastic snack bags and serve.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Season 2 Episode 3

This episode will be the first that will contain a video…so it’s a “vlog” technically then, right?

Rolled out into week 9 feeling pretty crappy because I managed to catch a wicked flu on my trip home to Vancouver ~ which was a total and utter success by the way!

So what’s new at this point in my prep you’re wondering? Well, take a minute to enjoy this link to my latest video documenting my progress.

I’ve themed this blogpost “Change”.

xx- S

 

 

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Season 2, Episode 2 – Stay Inspired

 

10 weeks out & feeling firm, fit and rested.

 

As everyone is aware, this season I’ve decided to go all out. In more ways than one. I’m doing at least 5 shows this year which will be demanding and probably drive me right nuts…I’m also working on a new fitness product which will have me traveling and attending seminars for R&D, we have had to fire up a new Engineering Services company to survive the oil downturn, our traveling budget has been sliced next to nil so I will be looking to run teaching vacations to get us out of town whenever I can AND I’ve applied for a grant for a 12 month mentorship program to re-energize my training business by attempting to infuse this new fitness product into it.

Oh ya, did I mention I’m running my second 90 day transformation in 6 months and we have a couple of inventions on the back burner that we need to find time to look at feasibility studies for? Am I/are we nuts? Yes. Do we have heaps of time? No. Am I still going to give it 110% while I still have 110% to give? There’s only one answer.

This week will be 10 weeks out until my first show. I’ve managed to make a few surprising back gains and am feeling really great. 4 weeks off bulking mode and I’m still not tired or hungry or too irritable.

Fasted cardio in the morning starts this  week, also adding more exercise in to blow up my shoulder area…cardio PM and I’ve changed up my ab routine because I’d really like to bring in a bit more defined musculature for Spring/Fall ’16.

Practicing Flexing

I’ve decided on a suit colour for this year – and I’m keeping lucky green as a back up for sure! Can you guess which one I’ve chosen? I’ve also decided on a jewel pattern that I think will look stunning….going to try out some new connectors as well.

 

 

 

All this and I’m still trying to stay in the kitchen and develop new and interesting recipes for my lifestyle, clients and the kids I teach a nutrition series for at Earl Grey School in Calgary monthly.  This month we completed our sugar unit, last month was Salt, next month is Eating in Season ~ kids are pretty inspiring.

This go around is going to take a lot of inspiration. A lot of digging deep and more mental preparedness than the last. Holding fast while the storm beats you down….yep, I’m ready for it.

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Anastacia & I working out a new recipe for sugar free vegan cookies – it bombed, 3 times. Master baker I am not.

I am excited for Spring Break as well as we have managed to (on points and searching for deals for weeks) find a cheap as hell family vacation to Cancun for 10 days at a hotel with a full gym AND kids club. It seems like while the Oil Gods are raining down hellfire and damnation the Adventure Gods are showering us with the gift of travel once again. Something I couldn’t live without and will never give up. Be sure to stay close to see how I made out during the trip ~ my coach will be altering my plan for the equipment I have access to.

I suppose I feel like this time around I really have a burning sense to remember that you only live once and there are so many excuses you can make for not leaving the house or getting out of your pajamas, but there is a giant world to see and so many positive changes to make that I can’t see how folks waste theirs in front of a TV or not doing anything.

My point here being, if you’re considering doing something that you feel is drastic, that you have no time for and are just all out overwhelmed – do it any way. There are enough hours in the day.

Replace the mantra “I don’t have time” with “I haven’t made that a priority in my life” and see how motivated you feel.

Today is rest day and I am going to go for a beautiful hike in the mountains with my family, feed your soul and you’ll find all the time you need for everything you truly need in your life.

 

xxoo

S

 

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.

 

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.

Sunless tanners – good for you & our animal friends.

 

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I think Jeff took this picture to make me look like a beer drinking cigarette smoking lunatic. Be warned: these are not mine AND I don’t recommend you smoke either. ❤

Winter travel season is here and it’s time to get ready to hit the road AND be #fitontheroad. This includes keeping your skin safe from the elements…..and your abs safe from over indulgence.

I am writing a quick post (after a request from my Winter Reboot group) to outline my favourite/highly recommended self-tanners.

I am a sun baby, worship that thing like it’s going out of style BUT I rarely (if ever) use a tanning bed. Spray tan for competition etc…

The tanners I’ve used for competition are NOT friendly for your body or environment and are of course, ridiculously expensive.

While I don’t usually use these things (because regardless of how they are applied I suck at it) there are a few brands that seem to actually deliver on the non-orange front. These ones also have the highest quality ingredients you can find in a sunless tanner.

Hard to find in Canada? Yes. Your best bet is to order online.

If you’re brave enough to try them out on your own here are tree recommendations from me:

True Natural – organic product

Vita Tanz – these guys boast free radical protection.

Chocolate Sun – if you hate the smell of spray tans, these guys found the magical chocolate code to expel that.

As always, make sure you’re applying sun screen regularly when you’re out in the tropics. While the sun up here in Canada is far more cancer-causing, getting burned is never fun.

Take care of the skin you’re in!

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.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 8 – D-day approaches

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015 – Awe inducing

It’s nearly 2 weeks out. This post deleted itself….I feel like just posting a big SIGH because it was about 1500 words…and now, i’ts 24.

Insert picture of me pulling out my hair here. Seriously. I need a picture of me pulling out my hair.

The long, long weekend in San Francisco was a joy. A joy in a very, very painful way. I had a laundry list of feelings typed out before but now I’m too tired to do it again. In a nutshell I feel hopeful and excited that the road is coming to an end and I’ve put all my effort into this…but another part of me is so exhausted that I don’t care anymore.

Let me put it this way; I nearly peed my pants and had a panic/crying attack in an Uber on the weekend…and I just got up to my office after sleeping 2 hours in the car post fasted cardio. I am NOT a quitter, a crier or a baby…freaking out FREAKS ME OUT and rarely happens.

I look in the mirror and see an old skinny person most of the time. I feel tiny and frail on bad days…..muscular and huge on good ones. As I write, today started as a day of frailty and ended as an empowered one.

This is definitely NOT a day in day out lifestyle.

I have thank yous to list off here after a successful trip away.

HSBG 2015 – What a time. What a location, what amazing weather. Grateful to have seen some one-of-a-kind acts this past weekend. There were too many going on at once to see everyone I wanted to see. Romantic and whimsical location with some incredible weather for the San Francisco area.

Live Fit Gym – Elyse. You allowed me to keep  my grueling schedule and on track. Thanks for getting me in after hours and having a great spot to get my shoulder day done. There was the perfect amount of equipment and a great space to practice posing…free wi-fi as well and some lockers. If you’re in The Mission and need to get your workout on, this is the only spot.

If you must work out 2x per day, this will do!

Icon Meals

Thank you for delivering me my meals on time and for a reasonable price. I feel guilty that I had to create a carbon footprint so large using transport from TX to CA but, alas, I was not willing to pay $150 PER DAY USD to have a service in San Francisco. The meals were well put together and kept me on track.

I felt like I looked like I was on dialyses the entire time carrying food around with me. Really, it looked weird.

Asparagus, rice, quinoa, vegan patties. Bland but on point. Win.

Gracias Madre – well, just that. Thanks for being an amazing Mexican spot for everyone but me to enjoy. I did have your steamed kale and a ginger tea which were delightful…a nibble of your beans and a droplet of your chocolate cake broke my heart. Vegan oasis in The Mission District.

Millennium Restaurant – sad that you moved to Oakland but happy that the spot is beautiful and your food is STILL amazing. I will return again and again. I broke my stomach muscle eating. Thank you once again for making vegan food rock.

Citizen Fox – were it not for this training program I would have eaten ALL OF YOUR FOOD. But, as luck would have it I had a playing dice sized piece of your chicken fried tempeh, shed a tear and vowed to return in the off season. Everyone else loved your vegan goodness.

Silver Stone Coffee – best little hidden coffee shop in The Mission. Perfect soy lattes that were silky and delicious. Banned substance on a regular weekend but since I walked about 15-20 kms per day, I think I earned them.

MD – Via Air BnB – MD. Your place was fantastic. Charming and nestled right in the best area of SF. My personal fave and I will stay with you again. Thank you for arranging my gym access and receiving my food order. You went above and beyond and showed true San Franciscan spirit. Couldn’t have asked for better accommodations so damn close to everything.

And, as per usual the depression hit me as soon as Calgary was in my sight out the plane window.

We hit the ground running yesterday picking up dogs and starting on renovations again. We leave in just a couple of sleeps to our annual Thanksgiving get away to 108 Mile Ranch in The Chilcotin of beautiful BC.

I’ll have you know that I have purchased a Tofurky Roast (NOT off Amazon. OMG I never knew) and I’m going to have some of it…and probably nothing else. I’m already starting to suffer.

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.

IMG_1739

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?