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.

Welcome to the flungle

flu

Over the last few days at my office most employees seem to have picked up a sniffle, cough, hack or sneezing disease which I have been completely immune to. At this time of year I often wonder what it is exactly that gets people so run down that they inadvertently let sickness in. In the hopes that they would help themselves with a little help, I passed on some wisdom to them via email.

I am in the in-house health and nutrition consultant after all. Maybe you’ll let some of this work for you too!

” From the looks and sounds of it, we are under attack by some kind of virus or several viruses. There are a number of things you can do to prevent illness and speed up recovery.

Prevention:

  • Sleep – the body needs recovery time. There’s an article in the kitchen for you to read up on.
  • Exercise – don’t stagnate & stress out. Keep strong and purge physical and emotional toxins with movement. Any kind, 25 minutes per day.
  • Water – at least 1 litre per day to keep fluids moving and toxins with them. If you have trouble remembering, try this app: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/watango-daily-water-intake/id875850852?mt=8
  • Nutrition – you are what you eat. Fast food, lots of meat & dairy slow down your system and tax it heavily JUST to digest what you’re eating. If your gut spends its life digesting it’s taking a lot of energy away from your immune system. You’re also taking away precious recharge time with MORE digestion. Eat HIGH alkaline foods that are easily digested.
  • Things to avoid – alcohol, mass amounts of caffeine, drugs, late nights, stress, mass amounts of meat.
  • Hygiene – throw away old Kleenexes immediately after use, wash hands frequently, wipe down your workstations daily, use hand sanitizer, wash hands after shaking hands, opening doors and before you eat, cough/sneeze into your arm, wear a mask while contagious or out in public.

Recovery:

  • Sleep : your body needs rest. Put down the remote and have a nap, turn on the humidifier while you do!
  • Fluids : Warm water with lemon and honey. Hydrating and encourages mucus to take virus away. Also see prevention.
  • Nutrition : Warm soups like garlic or bone broths – clears sinuses and packed with nutrients. Try a “hot toddy”. Alcohol takes the medicinal qualities of foods/herbs directly to our bloodstream.
  • RECIPE: 1 oz brandy, ¾ cup hot water, 1 tsp honey, juice of ½ lemon – add ginger or licorice root or any other immunity boosting herb. Steep for 5-10 minutes and drink.
  • Herbs: Echinacea, ginseng, elderberry tea, ginger, turmeric, licorice root, garlic.

Maintenance:

Hygiene is the most important part of keeping healthy. If you keep clean it’s half the battle. The other half of the battle is staying healthy. I have an annual talk I used to give on influenza, in part of it I asked the audience:

“If you were given ONE car to drive for the rest of your life, how would you treat it?”

Your body is that vehicle and a reflection of who you are and what matters to you most – start with YOU. If you are healthy and happy and taken care of you can help your family and friends do the same for themselves.

Stay healthy over the holidays people!!

S “

 

3 ingredient granola bars

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This recipe was whipped up when my step-daughter, Anastacia, was hungry just before we needed to leave the house for her ballet rehearsal. As most people who know me know, I do not enjoy putting my money into packaged and industrialized foods. SO, of course, we had no ready made granola bars in the house. With just a few ingredients and 10 minutes, healthy bars were in the oven and in 10 more, ready to eat.

You now have no excuses for feeding your kids crappy “over the counter” granola bars – feel the shame!! 🙂

Ingredients: 

3 cups of oats

1 cup peanut or almond butter

1/2 cup agave nectar or honey

Options: 

2 tbsp warm water for chewy-er bars

Vanilla extract

Peanut chips

Chocolate or carob chips

Coconut

Raisins

Craisins

 

Method: 

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat up nut butter and honey on stove top – low. Add all ingredients to bowl and mix well. Press in pan, cut into shapes…whatever you like.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Tip: add water or more honey/agave if the mixture is too dry!

Healthy Facts: 

Oats – lower cholesterol, enhances immunity, blood sugar stabilizer.

Peanut butter: protein rich, healthy unsaturated fats that lower risk of heart disease – WE NEED FATS IN OUR BODIES FOLKS, DON’T BE FOOLED BY RECKLESS DIETS!!!!!!

Almond butter: alternative to peanut butter for allergies, fiber, calcium, zinc, iron, folates – WOW almonds are amaze-balls.

Agave nectar: anti-microbial,  still high in concentrated fructose, but an option for Vegans.

Honey: 2% mineral rich, protein, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, antioxidant, B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin.

Homemade – Vanilla Extract

Many of you may know that I am a Master Herbalist as well as a Vegan Chef and overall foodie. One thing I adore is homesteading. Why? Well, it allows me to be super creative and in control of my food as well as reduce the amount of waste that comes from my kitchen.
Food waste has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. After mega shopping malls and GMO’s that is.
Today I made Vanilla Bean Sugar which is SO delicious. You should try the recipe HERE. After that process I had some extra vanilla beans left over. I simply cannot throw these things out!! They’re extremely costly and still completely useful in their ratty pieces.
So, I checked my pantry for any spare bottles and happened to find an nearly empty Vanilla Extract bottle…Bob’s your Uncle – I decided on Vanilla Extract.
Extracts are easy to make – you could call this recipe your first adventure in Herbalism if you like – because it is.
Once you’ve made this simple extraction, you will be itching to start on making your own oils, salves, lotions and medicine!
But, lets start with the cooking component first.
Ingredients: 
2 oz pure, Russian Vodka
1.5  tbsp chopped/leftover vanilla bean pods
Method: 
Add pods to glass container, pour vodka over top seal with lid and label with date.
Shake mixture at least 1once daily for 30 days. Once 30 days are up, you will have your vanilla extract.
This bottle was 2oz. I used just under that much Vodka.
Add the Vodka & the lid here.

BOOM! You’re done! Apart from shaking and waiting, this is your extract. Some side notes and benefits of this tincture are:  *Reduces Nausea *Weightloss Aid – metabolism regulator *Anxiety depressor *Wound healer – topically *Soothing during menstruation *Aids in enzyme synthesis *Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, B-complex

GOOD Vitamins – finally.

 
I have been on a search for honest, plant-based, GMO/Animal free vitamins of superior quality for a few weeks now.
 
I have finally found them – me thinks.
 
My process for purchasing beauty or health products starts with one question; were animals used in the manufacturing of or safety testing of this product. Once I resounding NO is realized, I’ll try it.
 
There are a lot of different vitamins on the market and what I found most confusing was the fact that one company could be rated as A+ for it’s Iron supplements but a D- on it’s B Complex. Why can’t one producer just make an all around amazing supplement line in every category?
 
Needless to say, many googles later I had fallen behind on my vitamin intake and was pretty frustrated. Some articles list FLINTSTONE vitamins as “good”. Yeesh.
 
Today, my search has ended. I found The Vitamin Farm. Located here in Calgary at TD Square it’s got a fantastic selection of some good (and not so good) supplements. They vary in pricing so even on a tight budget, you can keep up your vitamin levels without going broke or stocking your fridge full of spinach and beets.
 
I chose the Mega Food brand. Why? Well, the labels say it all for me:
 
GMO Free
Vegetarian
Gluten Free
Soy Free
Dairy Free
Farm Fresh
 
They actually use a term “from farm to tablet”. Apparently these tablets are 100% food based, the real deal. Yes, most other supplements are synthetic – yuck!
 
What I questioned about those synthetic sources was their BIOAVAILABILITY. Essentially, how well and where the body was absorbing additional nutrients. With some vitamins like B’s and C’s which are water soluble, we end up peeing out their goodness. I say, lets ensure we are making a superior product that is creating some serious positive impact on our bodies before it’s making its way into the septic system.
 
At $40-$50 per bottle and between 60 and 90 tablets,  these vitamins are not for the faint of heart. MegaFood however, has been around since 1973 and seem to be a company that is committed to producing real food using a slo-food process, which I can respect.
 
Best of all? Monsanto hasn’t had their filthy little hands all over my vitamins.
 
Visit their website to see if their products are sold in your area: http://www.megafood.com/
 
I’ll be sure to follow up this post in 60 days with and updates on their effectiveness.