Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIAW and Waaaaaaa (That's Me, Crying)

It's Wednesday. Life has been cray-z for me lately, but I've been making the time to make some good eats. Here is some of what was on the menu for today:

M1: Porridge and egg whites topped with melted coconut oil... even though I've been eating this for weeks, I still look forward to it every morning. Every morning.

M2: Spinach, green bean, oat and egg bake. This was a little experiment based on a pancake recipe I made up during my last peak week. To make a lot all at once, I just threw all the ingredients in a pan and baked in the oven for 20 minutes. It turned out really good! Especially when warmed up in the toaster oven for a crispy top and then served with coconut oil on top. Seriously, good stuff.

M3: Warm spinach and tilapia salad with green beans and yams.

M4: Mixed bean and tuna salad with avocado, lemon juice and sriacha sauce. Similar to my what I was eating last week, but with the added beans for a bit more carbs :)

M5: Chicken and rice stir fry with mushrooms and green beans and some Braggs.

M6: Yogurt, vanilla casein and bananas. There is also a scoop of crunchy peanut butter underneath that all. I am seriously in love. Crunchy peanut butter!?! Have you tried it lately. I had forgotten how good it can be.

Also, for my pre-workout snacks, I am been making a little protein mug cake to eat on the way to the gym, but forget it at home today :( So, instead, I had to improvise and bought a Vega One Nutritional Shake which I mixed with coffee and water and had a couple of rice cakes to round it out. It was good, but I missed my chocolate cake.

So, that's the WIA, this is the waaaaaaa.... I hate change. I like structure, I like schedules and I like to know what's going on. And nothing, nothing, has been remotely like that this week. Over the weekend we moved out of our condo. The good news is that we sold it (yay!). The bad news is we haven't bought anything else (booooo). So, we moved in with my parents while we figure out what to buy. My only concern in all of this has been, but what about the gym?? I had a pretty good set up where I used to live. The gym was literally a block away and right next to the bus stop I got off at on my way home from work. It was easy and convenient. It was familiar. No excuses not to go. And, while I have complained time to time about the gym (like the TVs not working on all the cardio equipment, or the smell of old lady perfume, or the lack of some machines), I had it pretty good there. But, nothing lasts forever, and obviously, there are other options. One of those options was a temporary pass to another gym in my new neighborhood. Location wise it works out perfect (again, right near my (new) bus stop) and it is a big name, well known gym, so I was sure it would be filled with everything I could possibly want and need... and I am sure it is filled with everything I could possibly want and need- not that I would know. Walking into the new gym was actually quite intimidating. I was surprised at how nervous and awkward I felt in the new setting. I mean, I like the gym. I loooove the gym and I was excited to get at it in a new "play ground," but once in there, I was lost. Even with a little orientation, I still couldn't find what I was looking for (and a Smith machine can't hide) and I couldn't figure out the process for jumping on to machines. There were people (mostly men, which is unfamiliar for me) everywhere. Everywhere. Doing everything. Nothing was free. As much as I am ashamed to admit it, I scurried back over to the ladies only section and did what I could of my training program, improvising where I had to. I was shocked at my reaction and disappointed in myself for feeling this way. The gym had always been my sanctuary, my me time, and now I am not finding that at all.

Fortunately, my husband felt the same way, so on Tuesday we tried a different location. While it was a little better (and a little, a little, less crowded), it was still so overwhelming and slightly terrifying. I was able to find the pull up machine, and rep out 3 sets of 10 (whoo hoo!), but after that I couldn't find a bench for the life of me, let alone get on the cable machine, so, again, I scurried away- this time to the cardio area. After mulling it through over a 30 minutes serious sweat session, I pulled up my big girl panties and went back out there to get done what I came to do. I wasn't able to superset what I needed to, and I didn't follow the exact order of exercises I was supposed to, but I got it done. I got the space I needed, found the machines I was looking for, and was able to get through my routine.

Tonight, I was back at my old gym (yay!) surrounded by familiar faces and friends. It was awesome! It felt luxurious to have as much space as I did, and I didn't have to fight or stare down anyone to get it. I was back in my comfort zone. Unfortunately, this was only a one (but hopefully more) time fix. I'm going to have to get over myself and just make it happen in the other gyms. I'm out of my comfort zone, but I guess that's what this is all about, right?

In any case, up first is a trip to Napa!! Yay! Tomorrow I leave for a weekend filled with friends, fun, sun and wine :) It'll be a nice little reprieve and a chance to distress and relax- for once, a change that I like :)  


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Flipping Pancakes and Packing Up

Hey-oh! It’s the weekend! Time for some rest and relaxation, the gym, and pancakes of course! For me, however, this weekend, I only get two out of those three things.

Next weekend I’m moving out of my condo, so this weekend has been spent making arrangements and packing. Ugh. Feels like a never ending process. In the span of a week, we went from spending our Saturday night living (and eating) the high life in the city to shopping at Walmart in Surrey. Ha. How things got real- fast. Oh moving, I hate you so much.
Despite all the packing, the organizing, the cleaning and doing everything else that goes into moving, I’m still making it to the gym, and even started a brand new training program this today (which, as a side note, was insane! During my leg work out I was seriously sweating through my eyeballs and am pretty sure I will not be able to walk tomorrow… or even tonight.  I can already feel the soreness/ stiffness coming on- which I love. I know I did something right). Whoot whoot! #makingithappen Operation Bigger, Better, Stronger is now into full effect. The countdown is on. I have 65 days (9 weeks) until Vegas and I will be using each and every one of those days, hours, and minutes building my body so I can bring my best.

Every second, minute, hour, bigger, better, stronger, power! #thatpower

Repping it out at (well, resting between sets when I took the picture)
on the Smith machine

Yes, I am now following the creed of Will.I.Am and Justin Bieber... not sure if that’s better or worse that Enrique. You tell me.

As of last night (after a final trip to Menchies), I am back into competition prep mode. No, I’m not training for a show, but am preparing for a photo shoot and the look I want to create will take my complete focus and dedication over the next two months. But that’s okay, I do well in crunch times. I will confess, I will be taking two breaks or ‘off times’ during this prep. The first break will be when I go to Napa at the end of month for my dear friend Katherine’s stagette. While I can keep up with my training and eat (fairly) clean while away, I simply cannot go to Napa and not do a wine tour, right? I am pretty sure I’d be banned from ever returning if I didn’t drink at least some wine while there J And then the second break will be when the hubs and I hit Chicago in the middle of July (one month out from Vegas). Again, I can’t go to Chicago and not eat pizza. I’d be run out of the town for sure!! Plus, we have already bought tickets for a pizza and cocktails tour which will undoubtedly be amazing!! I heart Chicago. It’s really one of the best cities. Here’s a pic from our last trip there.
Our reflection in the Bean

Other than that though, no excuses. I’ve already scoped out post-move gym options in the new ‘hood, I’ll be prepping all of my meals for the weekend of the move, and I will do what it takes to keep up with my training schedule. I’m making it happen.
Somehow within all the chaos going on because of the move, I created and tried out a new pancake recipe yesterday morning. After being phased out of my competition prep food plan in March, bananas are (temporarily) back on the menu. And, in homage to the Chunky Monkey cupcake I inhaled/ ate last weekend, I wanted to try to make a banana pancake. It turned out yummy. Here’s the recipe:

Chunky Monkey Banana Pancakes

Ingredients (for 1 serving)
  • 1/3 cup/ 30g oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 17g vanilla protein powder (I used a whey based powder, but you can use whatever you like. Be aware, however, each powder and brand had different absorption so you may need to adjust the amount)
  • 50g/ half a banana
  • ¼ egg whites
Vanilla Icing:

  • 2 TBSP non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP/ 7g vanilla casein


  1. Mix the three dry pancake ingredients today until well blended.
  2. Mush the banana into the egg whites (you can keep the banana chunky or puree it right in- your preference).
  3. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour batter into a pre-heated sprayed pan.
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes on one side. Flip. Cook 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  6. While the pancake in cooking, make the icing by mixing the yogurt and casein together.
  7. Once the pancake is cooked through, top with the icing while still warm.

I also added some chunky peanut butter (which I just rediscovered- OMG, amazing!) on the top of mine with the icing. While it was a little dry (next time I might add a couple of tablespoons of milk to the batter), it was still really yummy with the peanut butter and bananas- one of my favorite combos.
I also want to try it with a little chocolate next time. I thought about it for this recipe (and seriously spent way too long debating whether or not to add it in), but in the end wanted the vanilla flavoring more. If I were to add in the chocolate, I would either add a tablespoon of cocoa to the batter or make chocolate icing instead of the vanilla. Or, if your diet permits it, you could also add in a couple chocolate chips, or make a chocolate sauce. The possibilities are endless. See, I told you I thought about it for a long time).
Okay, enough about pancakes and back to the packing. Ugh. Seriously, how do I have so much junk??


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WIAW... With a Weekend Hangover :(

It’s WIAW! Here’s what I ate today:

M1: Zucchini cake porridge with coconut oil and cottage cheese
M2: Yam, oat and egg bake topped with coconut oil
M3: Chicken chili with melted cottage cheese
M4: Broccoli salad with tuna, avocado and cucumber and some (okay, a lot of) sriracha (I like it hot!) 
M5: Chicken with rice, veggies and Bragg's soy seasoning (it's like soy sauce without all the added junk)
M6: Apple with almond butter and yogurt mixed with casein
All good, and all easy to pull together. I had the porridge from last weekend's batch, meals 2 and 3 came from the freezer, and I had prepped and portioned out everything for meals 4 and 5 at the beginning of the week. Everyday it's just grab and go. #noexcuses
This Wednesday comes after what can only be described as a weekend "food bender." In the same way a drug addict relapses, for a 24 hour period over the weekend I went a little (okay, a lot) off the rails- all the while knowing what I was doing wasn’t right, but not being able to do anything about it.
It all started out innocently enough. The hubby and I had planned a little weekend “away” in the city to celebrate some recent (and not so recent) milestones. First, since my birthday falls on the shortest day of the year (December 21), he had planned a summer birthday weekend for me on the longest day of the year (June 21). But, after unexpectedly and suddenly selling our condo and having to be out within a couple weeks, we bumped up our weekend away, and combined it with his birthday dinner since we didn't celebrate it too much back in May while I was in between competitions (and dinners out were out of the question). Anyway, lots to celebrate!! Yay! Plans included a night in a downtown hotel and a dinner at Gotham, one of Vancouver's best (if not the best) steakhouses. After starting with a bottle of wine at the hotel, all (food) bets were off.

Enjoying a glass (cup?) of wine 36 floors above the city

Enjoying a rather cloudy view

By the time we got to the restaurant, we were in full on indulgence mode. No extravagance was spared... and it was all worth it. It was martini (after martini), savoury appetizers, saucy entrees and cheesy sides. All so delicious, but way too much.  


The whole dining experience was everything that I miss while in competition prep and a great way to take some time out and celebrate with the hubby. Life is good :)

On Sunday, with slight food hangovers, we woke up ready to explore the city. Coffees in hand, we ignored the rain and took a walk around Coal Harbour. Such a beautiful part of the city, even on a dull, dark morning. We ended up at a café for a yummy brunch, then headed down to English Bay once the sun came out. Before reaching the beach, however, we made one more stop- at the Cupcake store- and this is when things really started to go sideways. Even with the intention to go in a just buy one little treat to share, we (actually, I will take full responsibility), walked out with SIX (6!!) cupcakes. Once down at the beach, while sitting in the sun, we got our cupcake on... and when I say we, I mean, Bryan took a bite of one, and I ate two others. Ugh. So out of control. And so delicious.

After eating two cupcakes, I didn't think I would be able to eat another ever again, but obviously I ate a third later that afternoon :( But that was it. The rest went to the in-laws for dessert.

Monday morning, in a pool of self-loathing and suffering from severe sugar withdrawal, I did what I had to do and got my @$$ back into the gym at 6am to sweat out all the excess and indulgence.

The good news is I am back on track and focused. In between work, going to showings (that's right, we're moving out of our place in two weeks and still haven't bought anything), and packing, I've been making to the gym and keeping up with my training schedule. Sometimes that means getting up at 5:30 to get it in before work, sometimes that means hitting the gym before and after work to get it all in, and sometimes that means going to showings with my hair slicked back in a sweaty bun (great first impression, I know). My food for the week has been planned, prepped and portioned and I'm sticking with it. I feel like I hit my rock bottom and am now back on top. I have some really amazing opportunities coming up and nothing, nothing, not even a cupcake, will get in my way of me bringing my best. There'll be a couple planned treats (like a wine tour in Napa in June and a pizza tour in Chicago in July), but my eyes are on the prize. What's the prize?? Ha, that's a secret for now, but watch out, BIG dreams are coming true!!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Post-competition WIAW :)

It's What I Ate Wednesday again and now that competition prep and post-show treats are over (bye, bye Mr. Menchies), I'm back on my regular food plan. The menu planning has been a little all over the place this week as I had limited time to prep and am trying to use up things in the freezer in anticipation of the move at the end of the month. The good thing is is that over the past couple of months, I have prepped and then froze a lot of different meals, so now I can just grab and go :)

Here's what the menu is looking like:

M1: Zucchini cake porridge and eggs (the porridge turned out delicious! I just need to figure out a way to add the 'icing' to the cake... oh! I think I have an idea. I'll try it out tomorrow to see how it works)

M2: Greek yogurt with fruit (today it was a half a banana) and topped with a chia/ flax/ pumpkin seed and gogi berry mix.

M3: Chicken and kale soup (pulled this one from the freezer)

M4: Tuna and broccoli salad with avocado and siracha sauce (yay, siracha is back!!)

Pre-work out (not shown): A slice of my zucchini cake loaf (same recipe as the pancake, baked into a load and also pulled from the freezer)

M5: Mexican omelette stuffed with sauteed peppers, onions and spinach and topped with a spicy yogurt sauce

M6: Frozen strawberries mixed with chocolate casein and a side of coconut butter (mmmm, no description necessary- it's like ice cream)

I also had half a Vega bar as an afternoon snack as I was hungry and craving something sweet. So far it's been an okay transition from comp prep to the everyday/ 365 lifestyle. Even though I definitely over indulged on treats on Monday, there are still a couple chocolates hanging around the house and I've caught myself trying to rationalize why it'd be okay to keep eating them. For me, I know it's a slippery slope. One chocolate is never just one chocolate, and one day is never just a day. Habits (both harmful and healthy) can form quickly and that's one I don't need to break again. I'm keeping my resolved. I've done it once, I can do it again. You will not be the end of me, Purdy's chocolate Easter eggs!!

In any case, now that I'm "off-season" I do have more latitude in my food plan, and pretty much anything real and unprocessed is game. I'm excited to start getting creative again and have a couple of recipe ideas I want to try out. I'll also have a few more treat meals on the menu, so am looking forward to those as well. We shall meet again Mr. Menchies :)


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

IDFA Show Recap

This past weekend was the IDFA BC Classic, my second show of the season. I was pumped, prepped and all in pink! Here are a couple post-hair and make-up back stage pics:

This time there were 5 Team Blessed Bodies girls competing. Yay Team Blessed Bodies! I heart these girls. Here are a few shots of us hanging out throughout the day.

In this show, I was entered into only one category- Novice Fitness Model. So, when it was my time, I went out, posed and did my T-walk and quarter turns like nobody’s business. Here are some professional stage shots:

Did I feel nervous? Yes! Between the nerves and adrenaline, I was shaking the pretty much the entire time but tried my best to stay focused and kept on smiling, and posing, and smiling and posing. During the judging round I got first call out (which usually means top 5) and felt good when I left the stage. It all happened so fast. Then it’s a waiting game. After a few more hours (spent backstage, chatting, sipping water and eating our clean meals- no treats yet!), it was the awards round. After one more time on stage to do a couple poses, the top five of my group was announced. I made the cut! From there, the placings are announced, and I received… fourth, and a medal J A pink medal that matched my bikini :) 
Did I expect to do better? Yes. Did I want to do better? Yes. Did I still ‘win’? Yes.  Of course placing first would be a ‘win,’ but there is sooooo much more to get out of all of this and whether or not I walk off stage with first place or last place, I am still leaving a winner (ugh, this is the cliché/ quote things I was talking about in my other post). Throughout this competition prep process I have learned more about training and nutrition and what works best for me, I have made new friends at the gym, I have been inspired and have inspired others, and I have learned to prioritize, set goals and work towards while balancing work and the rest of life. Most importantly I have awakened a passion for health and fitness and am excited to see where it takes me. Speaking of which…

Plans for the next few months do not include any more competitions. I flirted with the idea of doing the WBFF show in Vancouver on July 13, but just don’t have the time and focus to work toward that right now. When I step on to the WBFF stage for the first time, I want to bring my BEST and nothing less.  Between a bachelorette party in Napa, a weekend wedding away and a big move all before the end of this month, I just cannot commit to and enjoy prepping for this show. Instead, I will be focusing on maintaining where I am at, building some more muscle, and finding some balance. I will also be heading to Vegas in August for a photo shoot and to watch my teammates compete in the WBFF Worlds, which also give me a little incentive to keep at it every day. Beyond that, I’m considering my options.   

But, in the meantime, I am starting my post-competition journey with many treats. Post-show treats have included lots of chocolate (candy, cookies and cakes- no joke- all three!), pizza and a trip to Menchies (I may have started a post-show tradition). All of it shared with some of my biggest suporters- my husband and mom and dad J

Despite overdosing on treats for the first 24 hours post-competition, I did get right back into my training schedule Monday morning, hitting the gym first thing and going for a run down to the beach… and then to the sushi restaurant for a delicious lunch… and then to Cielo’s for dinner where I was reunited with my lover- the bruschetta.

Today, it was right back on the food plan. I have already planned and prepped my meals for the week and am excited by what I’ve made for my breakfasts! It’s a combo of two of my favorite recipes- the crockpot porridge and the zucchini pancakes cakes. Um, yep, it’s the best of both worlds J

So here’s to kicking off maintenance season and living the 365 lifestyle.