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.