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.

Are you worth, your salt? – A recipe and a lesson…Lesscipe?

Spicy, sexy, salty.

Having a young child around is part of where I find my blog topics on food. This weekend Anastacia and I were preparing a meal together and I placed on our dinner table some sriracha salt. A wonderful mix of chilies, citrus zest and Himalayan sea salt – stick around for my recipe.

She began eating her meal and watched as I finished the preparation of my salad with this lovely salt. Timidly she asked if she could try some. “Of course you can!” I exclaimed, “salt is absolutely wonderful and this one is fabulous in the flavour department”. She looked up through sheepish eyes and admitted that at her moms house it is a banned substance because it’s “bad for you”.

Why salt has become the enemy for some folks floors me. With the information age we are far better off to do our own research than to buy into the latest fad food omission of the moment. Like fats, one day it’s great for you and the next it’s not.

Lets settle this with a bit of my opinion shall we?

In and around the time that low fat, low carb and low calorie diets were making their way on the scene (read: microwaveable lazy man food and the like) scientists and snake oil salesmen alike were ramping up to tear down salt.

Like any decade, there are food fashion “do’s” and “don’ts” and a host of crazed food police supporters touting the benefits of the diet of the day.

I don’t support the anti-salt campaign.

History

Salt used to be such a hot commodity that the Romans used it as a paycheque for some. The word salary is even derived from the word Sal, Salarium = Salt Money-fancy that!

Salt is mined in a lot of places. Here in Canada one of the largest mines in the world is located in Ontario. Globally, you can find salt mines in Poland, Germany, England, Morocco, Italy, Ireland, Pakistan and the USA.

This LINK shows traditional and newer mining sites. Check it out. Here’s a great shot of an amazing salt Mosque from the Wiki link:

Beautiful Salt Creations

Beautiful Salt Creations

Salt types

Before I get into the pros and cons of salt it’s a good idea for you to know about the types of salt that are available to you.

Himalayan Pink Salt – mined in the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, 300kms from the HImalayas.

Sea Salt – produced from the evaporation of sea water.

Watch a video on how to make your own sea salt here: MAKE YOUR OWN SEA SALT

Kosher Salt – mined underground or from the sea and compressed to make larger granules

Celtic Salt – harvested from the sea of NW France and also known as grey salt there are no additives and its colour comes from clays found in the salt fields

Table Salt – mined above or below ground, processed and stripped of it’s beneficial minerals, talc and silica additives to name a few. Find a listing of all the chemical agents here.

Weeding out the enemy

Have you heard of the term Full or High Spectrum Salt? This term refers to salts that have been refined but NOT stripped of their valuable mineral content which makes salt extremely important.

The beneficial magical ingredients in GOOD salt are:

  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Iron – oxygen moving helper
  • Zinc
  • Iodine – healthy thyroid & body temp regulator
  • Sodium – regulates blood PH & stomach
  • Potassium
  • Manganese – bone development, metabolizing

Salt is also a natural electrolyte that helps to retain water in our bodies. Water retention is hugely important as it stimulates the thirst function and keeps our blood pressure stable.

Salt prevents muscle cramps and stimulates the adrenal glands. The latter leading us to better sleep patterns.

Salt creates hydrochloric acid in the body which helps us to digest food in the stomach. If you are sodium deficient, you can suffer from muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness and could even place yourself in a coma.

Why can’t some people eat salt?

People with high blood pressure cannot or shouldn’t consume salt. Why you ask? Well, the kidneys regulate sodium in the body, if they are over burdened with this process the body will nearly self destruct which leads to hardened arteries, heart attack or stroke.

It is uber important to know if you have blood pressure issues and if so – ditch the table salt immediately. Ditch it anyway.

Foods to avoid – BAD SALT

Processed foods high in sodium from table salt. This is the worst type of food you can put into your body. Not only is it made in a factory with old ingredients that are irradiated and dead, these meals are bad for our environment due to the type of production used to create them – I know I couldn’t sleep at night knowing my poor taste in food was damaging our fragile eco-system.

The avoid list:

  • Potato Chips
  • Pop
  • Pre-made microwave meals / kids pre-made luncheon meals
  • Fast Food – Fries/Burgers/Chicken mysteries
  • Packed Pizzas/Pastas/Pizza Pops etc…
  • Raisin Bran
  • Pre-made sauces Asian/Italian
  • Meat jerky, pre-cut/sliced meats of any kind
  • Conventional mix or pre-made pancakes / waffles / muffins
  • Traditional ketchup, pickles
  • Cheese slices, cottage cheese
  • Several types of pre-made veggie burgers (check the lable)
  • Several types of breads/buns/bagles that are pre-made
  • Clamato/tomato/vegetable juices – juice your own!!
  • Canned mushrooms, soups, veggies packed in salt
  • Pre-made salad dressings – make your own!!
  • “Just add water” dishes like rice/paella/pastas/noodles
  • Boxed desserts like cakes/pudding

I think the general lesson here is – learn to cook. I mean REALLY cook. For the love of all things healthy.

As with all things we consume, salt should be of the simplest and purest form as well as used in a somewhat civilized manner. When you’re looking to cook with salt ensure that you’re only using it as a “finisher” in dishes and not as part of an over-salted recipe.

If you will note in all of my recipes I rarely use salt for anything but “to taste”, or to use directly before consuming.

If you feel like a hero taking good salt off the table – you’re wrong. Check your kitchen, scrap the garbage and start eating good salt now. You owe your body and the bodies of the people who are in your care.

Sriracha Sea Salt Recipe

IMG_0534-1

Ingredients:

3 tbsp dried hot chilis

5 tbsp Himalayan Salt

1.5 tbsp Lemon zest

2 tbsp Dried diced garlic

Method:

Combine all ingredients and place into grinder.

If you do not have a grinder, place in a salt pig/vessel and sprinkle on salads, soups, pastas and meats.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 6 – Phase II Realities

Fasted cardio to the max begins…and it’s not easy.

Phase II of my program started in September and BOY was that a shock. Leaving behind cardio of 3 days per week with 1 fasted cardio day I embarked onto 5 days a week fasted cardio (5:40 am) AND a fasted cardio on the weekend. Still continuing with weights 5 days per week – but the workouts changed and the weight increased.

Adding weight week over week isn’t too shocking to the body. I’ve really been able to increase by anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds depending on the exercise.

One thing that both Jeff and I have been shocked over is how little we are sore to the point of wanting a quick death or a slow painful root canal….had to add that in there for the Bill Murray fans. We’ve attributed it to the glutamine, stretching and our hot tub as well as our muscles becoming conditioned to working out HARD 5.5 days per week.

Don’t fool yourself, doing plyos at 5:40 this morning burned like an SOB after my big leg day yesterday. I just repeat the mantra “pain is finite”…… until it’s over.

Body Changes

After 6 weeks of hard work I have graduated down from a 34 inch trainer to a 32. I have to say that the new 32 I bought from Figure Slim has WAY stronger boning and is way more uncomfortable so I am back to wearing it an hour at a time until I can work my way up.

1 month – down from 34 to 32 inch waist trainer

Sleeping in neoprene pants is NOT comfortable.

I think it’s really important to have progress shots weekly at your disposal. You’ll start to feel like you’re plateauing and when you do, line up those shots and give yourself a pat on the back. Changes are happening all the time but because you’re probably constantly scrutinizing yourself, you won’t be noticing as much. At least, that’s what I feel I’ve been doing.

Posing Camp

September also means attending posing camp in BC and getting some needed time in with my trainer as well. We message/email a lot and I’m starting to hone in on what poses and shapes will be the best for my body.

I’m not sure which way I prefer out of the two below however, I know I won’t be doing the cross-legged “I have to pee” pose in this competition.

Finding the footing that looks best on your body.

If it hurts, you got it right.

Diet Changes

There aren’t too many changes in phase 2. I lost out my 1/4 cup of blueberries per day, which I loved and I also lost out on my 1 reload per week which I craved so badly psychologically. I have been given protein pancakes as a reload every third day but I hate them. I just hate them. So, physically they may be doing their trick however, emotionally they’re not.

I’ll be posting the recipe for them even though I detest them in case you all would like to try them out.

I’ve been eating a 6th meal (protein shake) regularly and have finally gotten my BCAA intake down. A lot of the supplementation timing is so confusing I nearly give up, then I figure it all out again.

This phase brings me up to 6 litres of water per day – it’s nutso. I fill a 3 liter jug and pour glasses at work and then worry about polishing off 3 1 litre jugs as well. 1 at the gym with my BCAA’s and then the rest at home and in the car.

Bikini fitting

I chose GREEN (thank you FB family for all your votes) and paid my $100 deposit. My first glimpse will be on September 24th when I have my first fitting. I’m pretty excited because I think that a regular bikini has been not as flattering as what the real deal suit will be. If you haven’t seen a link from me already, I’ve gone with Buttercream Bikini’s out of BC.

Information sent by INBF

There hasn’t been much sent out yet. Only two emails from the regular system of newsletters that are supposed to be motivational and give some insight about what’s going to happen. This is all on the website anyway. The INBF was a little hard to get hold of for questions but I’ve finally heard back, so there’s that. I sill feel a little out of the loop missing camp day because I won’t know show timing etc…hoping the posing training below will help.

What I do know is the pre-judging is at around 10 am and the final show is around 5pm. Following this – I eat!!!

Posing training via skype with promoter

In a burst of desperation I contacted the INBF Edmonton promoter directly to ask about doing a posing training with me because I’ll miss their training camp while I’m in Vancouver. She agreed to help me out and do a session via Skype which is fantastic.

I have no idea what that will set me back but I’ll be sure to keep clips and update you all.

Supplement changes – magnesium

I have added magnesium to my nightly ritual on top of all the other supplements. This is supposed to aid with fatigue and trouble sleeping – meh, not so sure. For a few nights I’ve had a really terrible time getting and staying asleep because I have to pee so much. I’ve started ending my liquid intake at 8pm now. Hoping this will help out soon because I don’t feel the magnesium is really doing much.

Additional costs:

Food luggage. Yes. I bought this. ISO brand and SO helpful. This little unit really keeps you on track when you’re on the road – which for me is nearly all the time so….click THIS LINK to see pricing and sizing.

 

Suit deposit: $100

Contest fees: $185.00 for registration, $65.00 mandatory 1 year membership, $100.00 personal stage photos.

Photography: So far I have paid $100 to the federation to take professional stage pictures of me. I haven’t paid the nearly $500 for “other” pro pics. I’m hoping that Jeff can do these for me as we have literally all the professional equipment you need. The recommendation has been to shower off the tan and take pictures the next day. These can be used for self promotion if you want to get into fitness modeling and repping brands etc…

Hotel fees: $380 for two nights at the host hotel plus fees and taxes.

Travel costs: Driving to Edmonton isn’t that bad (3 hours) so lets call that a $70 tank of gas. What is a little crummy is the $500 flight home and $60 training sessions x2 this month however I couldn’t find a decent coach in Alberta, so I had to go back home.

Supplement costs: We did this through Vitasave– they were cheapest by far AND were usually delivering within 4 days of ordering. 1 hiccup so far but it’s been worth it. We tried SVN and they dragged on forever – 2 weeks!!!! They’re both out of BC. Combined we are spending about $400 a month on supplements. I think we are about 50/50 on that front. As a reminder here’s MY list of supps:

  • DIM
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • C
  • D
  • B complex
  • Blood builder
  • Probiotics
  • Magnesium
  • Iron Vegan Protein
  • BCAA’s
  • Glutamine
  • L-Carnitine – liquid & vege caps
  • Greens
  • Spirulina

Average food bill: If this was all going down vegan for one person, it would be about $150 per week (max) for delivered organic produce, beans and rice/quinoa. With no restaurants or alcohol you’re actually going to save money here which is great because it’s all going to go to supplements.
The most important thing I can stress is that you have fun and try to keep a light mood as much as possible. Changes in sleep patterns, hormones, hunger, fatigue are really hard to deal with but NOT driving your friends and family away is essential. THAT my friends is the toughest nut in this game so far.

Next post will be getting right to the nitty gritty – covering the last couple of weeks before the big day which includes travelling and working out in San Francisco and 100 Mile house – the challenge continues. ❤

I hope you find amazing support from your partner in life – Jeff is exceptional.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 4 – Life Changes & Coping

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WOAH.

That’s how I feel I need to start this post off because a lot of what I’ve been going through I did NOT expect. Especially getting emotionally attached to even just the idea of food.

By this point in my journey I’ve gotten 3 solid weeks into training, eating and adapting to my new life as a bodybuilder/fitness competitor. Do not mistake this adventure for light and fluffy. Your world changes and if you’re lucky (as I am) you will have a partner to be there for you.

Jeff started in on his own program about a week after me. His is of course to gain a bunch of muscle mass and lose fat. Needless to say, there are nights when I go to bed hungry while he’s struggling to shove a bunch of oatmeal down his throat. I’m sure I’ll be able to laugh at that soon enough, right?

Remember. It’s no drinking, no sugar, all vegan and pushing yourself to your physical and psychological limits – every day.

Workouts

I am weight training 5 days per week. I have one rest day on Saturday where I still have to get in 1 hour of movement from hiking/yoga/biking or something as well as Fasted Cardio on Sunday mornings.

The longest workout time I have is about 1.5 hours – you have to move through them all quickly. Weight is heavy on top especially which I find challenging on the wrists. I ordered these WRIST WRAPS to keep me from hurting myself.

Weight training is broken up into body specific areas, I don’t skip any areas at all. With my weight training on Monday/Weds/Friday I also do 30 minutes of pretty intense cardio and Abs.

Legs twice per week PLUS some leg related cardio that makes me cry. No, really, I cry.

Sleep patterns

The new work out program is intense. I left myself only 12 weeks to get into competition shape and I’ve had to observe some pretty BIG workouts in my mind. I have heard of a lot tougher regimes and had I been in bad shape, I don’t think I would have attempted to get past week one let alone getting totally ripped in 12 weeks time.

With this being said, I’m tired. A lot. Not the kind of tired where I think I may have contracted mono, but the type of tired that you get when you go mountaineering for a week or when you work out 7 days a week as hard as you can.

I sleep at least 7 hours per night and aside from getting up to pee a couple of times, I’m out like  a light.

Water intake

This part is easy – for now. I’m taking in about 4 litres of water from my Nalgene and then having tea/coffee/shakes as well so I’m actually over what my requirement is. This has been a piece of cake BUT I’m a big water drinker and it was common for me to drink at least 2-3 litres per day prior to this.

Food

For a foodie. I am bored as all hell. I really need to start pepping up my meals because a third week of tempeh and spinach might put me over the edge.

Very few protein shakes which is surprising but decent because I’m not sure I like the flavour of my new Iron Vegan protein. I’ll have to get back to you all on that. So far it doesn’t mix very well and kind of gets to the consistency of chia pudding when used in smoothies. I was taken off of Vega and told that the pea protein has too many carbs but is ok in the off season.

For a vegan you’re eating a lot of tempeh, garbanzos, navy beans, quinoa, lentils etc…the spices I purchased from Flavor God help, but they’re no replacement for greater diversity in the kitchen.

I’m getting 1 reload meal per week which means I can having something delicious and filling to look forward to. That doesn’t mean fast food or crap food. Still whole foods with a tonne of nutrients, just no measuring cups and scales.

I can’t tell you how much it sucks to have your reload meal thwarted.  I nearly broke down this weekend when I was forgotten about at a wedding and there was nothing for me to eat but dry white pan bread and craisins. I can’t have sugar. The only thing I was looking forward to was taken away from me – I felt like my whole world crumbled. 2 days later and I’m still lamenting. Yeesh.

Personal Care Regime

Each morning before I eat I take in some warm water and lemon followed by an assortment of vitamin supplements. My favourite vitamins are Mega Food and I’ve always taken D, C, B Complex and Blood Builder religiously.

I’ve also added: BCAA’s, Glutamine, L-Carnitine and Greens/Spirulina and DIM daily.

This is taking a little getting used to. I have to shower, scrub and moisturize twice per day. I HATE the feeling of being greasy but I still do it. I slipped a bit while travelling over the weekend but I definitely moisturize at least once.

I use this LOTION I picked up at Community Health.

Then there is dry brushing. I had one of these energy brushes in my possession already so I didn’t have to pick it up. I think you can still buy them at Shoppers or London Drugs / Walgreens etc… I never really liked the idea of dry brushing because it’s very scratchy. I do this 2-3 times per week as well after showering on dry skin.

All of this stuff in the hopes that my spray tan will apply better and more evenly etc…

My Federation this go round

The federation that I am competing in is the INBF Canada.  This is a natural bodybuilding federation – that means no artificial ANYTHING. We get tested and put through lie detector testing.

Each federation has their own unique posing requirements. You really need to get to know this – something I am finding a bit frustrating as my coach is a BCABBA/Arnold competitor so she isn’t 100% on it herself. I’ve sent an email to the federation asking for instructions as their website is still leaving me with question marks over my head. Do not be afraid to ask questions of your federation!!!

Here are the basics of what my posing/routine is to look like:

You will execute poses at four locations:

  • 1st Location: Rear Center stage-(front pose)
  • 2nd Location: Front Right side of stage – (side pose facing center stage)
  • 3rd Location: Front Center stage-(front & rear pose)
  • 4th Location: Front Left Side of stage-(side pose facing center stage)

Return to end of line….

I’ve been practicing posing and let me tell you…IT HURTS! Yes, it hurts. You’re holding your breath, half flexing, half sucking in…it’s a hot mess (if you’re doing in right). These are some of my first posing attempts while camping.

I practice every day – at least 5 to 10 minutes per day. Getting the feeling of what the right pose is will be the most important thing for my big  day.

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Tattoo cover ups

As you all know, I am full of tattoos. This means that my body can look uneven on stage. I have opted to purchase some tattoo cover up cream and have the lady I am using for a spray tan apply this before my tan. I was recommended a product by my coach. I will be posting this up if it arrives successfully to my door!

New shoes

The shoes for these shows are all standard Lucite 5″ heels unless otherwise directed. Luckily, I’ve been dancing and walking in mega heels for years so they do not scare me off.

My first pair were ordered online and delivered quickly however, their measurement system was completely off so I had to rush out and buy new ones. Luckily a local adult/sex shop had the same shoes but with straps. I opted for THESE. I ended up paying about 35% more than if I ordered online so be aware of that  and order online if you have time to wait for delivery.

Other garments

I’ve adopted wearing a waist trainer all day as well as during workouts. I’ve had to purchase a second waist trainer for daily wear. They are made of latex and neoprene and are pretty comfortable and don’t leave marks.

The first one I bought from Make Me Heal and it ended up being great and fast however about $30 more than the others I ordered from Squeem directly. I purchased a 34/small and within a week could close up to the second row. I’m on and off the row because it gives me a bit of a headache.

Training in them is not for the faint of heart at first but you will get used to it. I have to add that the actual Squeem brand isn’t lined as nicely as the other one I bought, so you may need to buy an additional wrap to stop the unit from marking up your skin. Pain in the butt.

The other not-so-sexy addition to my life has been these horrible neoprene shorts that are supposed to be good for reducing cellulite etc… I also got these from Make Me Heal. Ugh. I wear them nightly to bed as well as during at least 1 cardio session per week – usually my fasted cardio on the weekend. These are UGLY but also comical.

Neoprene sexiness

Neoprene sexiness

Progress pics update

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So HERE I am 2 full weeks going onto 3 weeks in.  Day 2 of my period and not at all feeling like taking semi-nude pictures. I am not sure if all the training has brought on my period early or what, but it showed up 1.5 weeks early as well. Something to note and keep track of.

These pics are my second set sent to my coach with comments. I’m not seeing any progress in these however, in another couple of weeks I’m sure I’ll have some ability to see change. Patience is NOT my thing, but I know that I’ve made a lot of changes and the benefits are going to start rolling in.