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.

Vegan Irish Cream – Holiday Series

Rarely do I make desserts or work with alcohol (unless it’s for a tincture or homemade extracts) but this month we decided to have our family holiday dinner early so that we wouldn’t miss out while we are in Panama.

My family does not celebrate Christmas, though, not for religious reasons. We are atheists and really don’t celebrate any holidays. Our tradition is to go away each year at this time to spend a week or so together making memories on (usually) the beach. No store bought gifts, just the gift of our company and time.

This year, under the Christmas fern (there is a fern we threw some things under this year to appease Jeff’s family – we had a good laugh) this year were three lovely mason jars of delight as pictured above. Last minute I decided that I was in the spirit (he he) of giving my time and energy to something delicious and seasonally appreciated – Irish Cream!

This recipe takes no time at all, really no skill and is environmentally and animal friendly.

The only hitch is that you have to use quite a bit especially if you like to see your coffee turn white because this isn’t made with heavy cream. I’d say a 50/50 ratio is good!

I’ve included the nutritional information as well as traditional Irish Cream nutritional info so that you can see the difference for yourselves!

Ingredients:

3 cans light coconut milk

1.5 cups espresso/dark coffee

1.5 cups Jameson’s Irish Whisky

3/4 cup natural organic sugar. ( I used brown cane this time)

Method:

On stove top bring coconut milk to a light boil stirring often.

Reduce heat to simmer and add sugar. Continue to stir often for about 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has thickened some. You will be able to tell by feel when you are stirring.

Remove from heat and add whiskey and espresso or coffee and mix well.

This can be stored in a sealed jar for a week in the fridge. If you can this – it will last far longer. I made 2 litres of the stuff with this recipe.

Yummmmmy.

Nutritional Information: 

*Calories come from saturated fats, nearly 90%*

Vegan Irish Cream : Roughly 65 calories per oz

Traditional Irish Cream:  From 130-147 calories per oz

 

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Regardless of how much time I have on my hands there are certain things that I WILL NOT eat out of a package. One of them is oatmeal. Quick oats give every reason for the human race to slow down and make their own damn oatmeal…here’s an inspiring recipe to bring whole food cooking back into your kitchen.

Make the time to go wild with fruits that you love!

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup quick oats & 1.5 cups hot water

1 tbsp flax seed

1/2 tsp aromatic coconut oil

1 Fuji apple – 3/4 diced 1/4 sliced for garnish

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup nut milk of choice (this was low-cal almond & coconut 35 cals per cup)

Maple syrup or agave nectar to drizzle only

Method: 

On stove top bring all ingredients (other than milk & syrup) to a quick boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

In microwave heat all ingredients other than milk and syrup for 1 minute, stir and heat for 30 seconds more.

Add milk (add this in the heating process if you like hot milk) and garnish with apples and drizzle syrup.

Makes one serving under 300 calories.

Coconut Date Poppers

This is a quick 2 minute recipe to curb that sweet tooth attack and add a few vitamins, minerals and protein in one bite!

Medjool are the sweetest/softest dates you can use…the rest will pale in comparison and be far less buttery.

Make sure you’re working with room temperature dates or allow them to sit out for an hour or so before you put this recipe together to maximize buttery-ness.

Ingredients: 

1 small/medium sized medjool date, pitted

.5 tsp shredded coconut

1/4 tsp lemon juice (fresh)

.1 tsp coconut oil melted

Method: 

Split your date(s) in half but not all the way through. Remove pits.

Add coconut and top with a tiny bit of coconut oil and top with lemon juice.

Repeat for as many poppers as you can handle/fit your diet plan.

Note: I used small/medium dates to come up with the nutritional information below. The extra large californial medjools will blow this out of the water by double.

Great to take on the road as well.

Nutritional Info: 

Total Calories: 93

Fat: 1.5 g

Carbs: 22.4 g

Protein: .7 g

225 g of Potassium & 36 G of Vitamin C!

Breakfast wrap 

The “off” season is here. BUT instead of actually taking a tonne of time off, I decided to keep on aiming for muscle gains for a photo shoot I’ll be doing in mid-December. This means, you guessed it, more meal planning, measuring and looking forward to re-load meals.

At the same time I decided to give back to past clients, friends and acquaintances and decided to lead a {free} group winter reboot for what turned out to be nearly 30 people. I can feel the swarm of question marks swarming above everyone’s head about the number of calories in a day, meal timing and of course, macros.

My meals are not glamorous by any standard but when I do have the time I try to at least add a little variety and flavour…don’t kid yourself, it’s pretty difficult to do with a very limited amount of options.

You could easily add beans, or lettuce or tomatoes to this meal or swap the broccoli for shredded zukes and still keep within your calorie goals for the meal and day. Get creative and you’ll find that you can liberate yourself from processed crap food!

Ingredients:

1 ezekiel wrap

1.5 cups broccoli

3 oz tofu ( or 3 oz any light meat/fish protein)

1/2 tsp sriracha sauce

1/4 tsp Flavor God “Everything Spicy” seasoning

1 spritz of coconut oil cooking spray (this is = to 0 cals)

Method:

Spray pan with 1 spritz of pressurized coconut oil for cooking & heat to medium.

Add tofu and broccoli and 1 oz of water then stir in seasoning. Cover with lid and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Remove lid and stir – cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

If you like your veggies soggy – cook until your heart’s content. Otherwise, remove from heat, place in wrap and serve!

Nutritional Information:

172 Calories

22g  carbs

4g fat

12g protein

I took this photo of my hand beside my breakfast wrap to show the size and that for under 200 calories meals don’t have to be skimpy when you’re using whole food ingredients and not a lot of crummy, sugary sauces…..

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 11 – Dieting Back & Future goals

After play, there is rest….somewhere beautiful where your mind and body can recover and feel the power of its true potential. For me, that’s somewhere sunny, usually Mexico for my birthday but never in the frame of mind that I left with this year. An abundance of smiles, sun and incredible views have peeled away any layers of doubt that I have had about myself, my abilities and my hopes for the future.

When you accomplish big goals, you become stronger…..I feel like a hunter of the unknown and a conqueror – hold the beef.


Dieting back

I wanted to touch on this area of competition just a little because of how important it is for anyone making huge lifestyle and diet changes to understand how much they could hurt themselves if they just “let it all go” after reaching their goals.

I’m SO happy that I didn’t try to work the nutrition side of things myself while learning about the ins and outs of food timing, gains, muscle development etc…remember, this was a totally NEW endeavor for me, really best to seek out a pro for your first time around at least.

I wouldn’t have gotten to my show day physique without a bit of water depletion and strict carb loading schedule. when you’ve tuned your body to be a precision machine, you will be able to see the outcome from drinking a cup of water or eating a cup of yams versus white rice. I wasn’t sold on that idea at first, but now after seeing the results first-hand, it’s undeniable.

After the show I had a couple of days to get back up to my 3-4 litres of water intake which went smoothly – and I didn’t “blow up” as they say. I continued with basically the same bodybuilding diet as well.

Once I got down to Mexico I indulged in a number of things but also felt like I’d fallen out of love with liquor. In a matter of 6 days you could see the salt starting to pack on stomach jigglies.

I actually got sick a couple of times because my body just couldn’t accept all of the food I was eating, even though there were LARGE healthy salads, tonnes of water and a little fruit…the minute I ate bread or something sweet I was immediately sick.

Don’t even get me started on how it feels to drink. I ordered a 1/2 bottle of Veuve by the pool on my birthday and was a) buzzed and b) bloated. I’ve been sitting on another FREE bottle of champagne for 3 days as I write this…..I guess I’ll have to take one for the team ;).

Personal Goals

I know I touched on this in my last post, so I wont waste too much time going into it. My goals now are:

a) Gains

b) December photo shoot

c) May 7 & 14 INBF Comps in Calgary and Vancouver

d) Find a couple more natural comps around that time then take a break for the season or at least participate in 1 fall classic….thinking WBFF.

e) Better have me my Pro Card

Reflecting 

All in all I had a blast doing this and learned a lot from the experience. I learned that I’m STILL a super competitive person and that I need big goals to set my spirit free – once I achieve them. I learned that I can be a real cantankerous bitch and it’s not always because of the lack of carbs. I finally got that part of my life that I left back in Vancouver returned to me; living an inspired life and (without trying too hard) inspiring a lot of other people around me.

My next steps have been the same for a decade. Take my hard earned savings, head south and start a movement of health, happiness and friendships. I am still actively seeking out that final destination and have started, once again, to put the blueprint of that together – I’m excited for the next 5 years.

I’ve always wanted to help change the world for the better but had no idea what my place in it was for a very very long time. When I quit my 9-5 and focused on food medicine and healthy living, my whole life changed. Every way I have pushed myself to learn more about living a happy and full life in this part of my adventure has lead to inspiration for others in some way. That brings me so much joy. Knowing that I am making a difference is an incredible feeling, humbling and perfect in its truth.

How could I stop now?

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.