Avocado, Garlic,and Zucchini Pasta!

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Yeah its been a long time, sorry lol… life happens.

Been craving pasta like a mofo so I made this and decided to share it with yall! YAY FOOD!

completely clean and simple long with all from natural sources. (Another thing I’m looking forward to doing and getting more into again … Holistic Nutrition! … Having our own house will help too!! – yes I have a lot of catching up to do lol… )

So if you only want the recipe, scroll below to see its amazingness! … but this Thanksgiving Evan and I got ENGAGED! .. Not that it was due time, I never have been the type of girl to ever pressure him either, not my style. Knowing that he’s my person and it will happen when its time to happen kind of thing =) Plus, I thought we were on mission get a house!! lol……

PS!! So excited for my own kitchen and to have a garden!

With the recent events that happened before, I completely have a rather simple perspective on life now. Not that life is simple for me, hell buying a house, planning a wedding, planning on going back to school and looking at a personal trainer certification…not to mention supporting Evan in his goals and life, and just juggling the day in general… things aren’t exactly what some would say would be “simple” … but the more I just let go of things I cannot change, the easier and “simpler” it gets!

So yes! I have A lot ahead of me, but I’m excited to take it on, to embrace it and truly go after what I want in life, everything from the career, love, education down to just having Netflix night with my soon to be HUSBAND.. ( wow that seems strange saying lol….) Bring it All on!

The reverse diet update is that I’m officially up to 1800 calories, losing weight with more food added into my life, I even got to introduce a small amount of dairy back in and I’m not dying!! That’s exciting right there! .. So looks like the metabolism is naturally and slowly fixing itself which gives me more excitement towards these next few years before I decide to have kiddos… ( yea.. I’m almost 27, in one week actually) and.. well I want babies! lol.

so anywho1 that’s what’s new and happening. Like I promised before, the recipe below!

ENGOY 😉

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What yore gonna need yo!

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/8 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
  • 5-6 zucchini or yellow squash ( I’m sure cucumber would be amazing too!!! – just saying )
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • splash of water
  • 5-8 baby heirloom tomatoes (cut in half)
  • fresh basil leafs
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 lime

How to:

  1. start your steamer and begin to spiralize your zucchinis, making “noodles”. put “noodles” into the steamer.
  2. in a food processor, ( I actually used my small 1 serving blender , took a little longer but it worked lol) place avocado, 1/4 of lime ( squeezed, obviously) a few basil leafs, garlic, onion, and water. the more water the more “liquid-y” it will be lol, I left mine pretty thick. =)
  3. Place some noodles on a plate, add a 1/4 of the avocado sauce into the noodles, mix in tomatoes, more basil leafs if you’d like and salt and pepper! Add in come lean chicken breast, shrimp, or any other protein .. or just eat it like it is!!
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Life Lemonade!

What is Life Lemonade you may ask?

Well, its something inside of you, its the decision to make life all its worth and learn to appreciate all of the ups and downs through this journey of life. Because that’s what life is … a journey, never ending, and always surprising.

So how this “life lemonade” came along was Evan and I being stupid together after a really rough week I was having. If your my friend on Facebook or Instagram you probably saw that I lost two very special family members within less than a week apart. On  Sunday I lost my Uncle Chris who has always been there for me, accepting me for whoever I choose to be and just a really humble and kindhearted big ol’ teddy bear. No warning signs, only 58 and they determined it was a heart attack. Then, if that wasn’t enough to throw me off balance a little…. My Aunt Karey went for her normal morning run and collapsed, by the time the paramedics got to her, she was gone. Again no warning signs, 51 and her heart was 2x its size ( what a thing to die from eh? too big of a heart) which is literally what this woman had, she was rather more like a second mother to me. Babysitting my cousins growing up, sending me home with food after every visit and just being such a wonderful.. well, big hearted and loving person in general…. and quite honestly, I don’t really know how else to look at this besides that they obviously needed each other ….(Same side of the family, brother and sister)

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So after losing it a few times with some really deep crying (  and boy, you realize how mature and older you’re getting when you can actually embrace those kinds of emotions) Evan and I got to talking about life … and I was off in my own little world just thinking, letting my wheels turn and I laughed and said “when life CHUCKS you some lemons”…. and Evans response couldn’t have been any more perfect at the time…..

This is what he said,  ” you take those little fuckers,  smash the shit out of them and you make yourself some god damn lemonade…. then what do you do? You drink that shit down.. and you call it LIFE! .. Life Lemonade” and by this time I was a crying laughing mess haha. Which was ok.

So with everything happening, letting it sink in, fighting and embracing the emotions taking over along with just accepting the reality of how precious life really is… I kind of just said “Fuck it” to myself. DONT worry, not in a bad way, but rather good way. …a “why not?” moment if you will. . . . .

What I’m trying to say here is.. why are we so scared to embrace new, embrace change, or the climb. We get caught up in our habits, get comfortable and never grow, we make excuses for certain challenges we face and try to either blame it on circumstances, lack of money, help, motivation…whatever it is we keep telling ourselves. Its all bullshit lol. Life is precious so why not do what you want, be with the people you need and learn to embrace the struggle. Why do we hold back? Why do we care what other people think, believe or determine what’s good or bad for us? and the truth is, even if it is a bad decision, you end up learning from it, so was it really all that bad? Or did it make you a stronger individual? Think about it, life is about choices and every choice you make leads you to your next one … and its ultimately up to YOU on how you want to LIVE your life. No one else’s. You are the only YOU and no one can be that nor take it away from you.

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We are always so supportive others, wanting the best for them, offering help and wanting others to see the potential inside themselves, when we have a hard time doing that very thing for ourselves. Were so willing to give SO much love to others when we have the hardest time loving ourselves. We see the flaws in others and love them even though they may have some rough edges or a little extra baggage, we see their imperfections as just a part of who they are.Why cant we do that for ourselves? Learn to view yourself from the outside looking in, you’re special and beautiful all in your very own way.

So I guess not only has this trauma of the past week shut me down for a little bit, caused hurt and still does.. I don’t expect it to just fade away tomorrow, but instead I accept it for what it is and allow it to make me stronger. Which it has, and will continue to do so. You can look life dead in the eye, be terrified of the possibilities, let the doubts of others control your decisions, dreams and life….  or be excited and maybe a little scared too and realize you only get one chance to do WHATEVER you want to!

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Life isn’t meant to be easy,we all know that. So suck it up buttercup, its all about perspective. Challenges and situations will come at you and you may not like then or know even what to do about them ,but it all depends on if you face each one as they come. You can complain about the challenge, situation and let it tear you apart, cause stress or pain, or you can take action to find another way around it and find the beauty inside the struggle. The struggle is the climb and the climb is where your inner strength is at. You’re not going to wake up one day and have all your dreams come true, your going to have to work though the ups and downs,have the failures to appreciate the triumphs and work everyday to active whatever dreams are. You may not even know what your dreams are yet ( hell, I don’t know fully yet either) and thats ok, but you mustn’t let it stop you or keep you from moving forward.

Do what you want. Live the life you want. and Love yourself through it all.

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Reverse Diet (what is it? w/ personal update yo!)

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So I suck…. at updates lmao.

So were just do one big update while also explaining what metabolic damage is, how its common and what we do to fix this!

So basically end of August, Peek week this was what I was working with:

137.5 lbs, 35 in hips/ 25in waist                 1070cal, 23f, 37c, 159p    50Min Cardio.

Now, I know many girls are going to look at that calorie amount and be like “oh that’s close to mine”, or even worse, “that’s enough food”…NO IT IS NOT! (yes its enough to get by…. but its impossible to live off it for long ok) If Im going to be in this industry, make any impact, inspire or whatever you want to call it …. I want it to be clear that CALORIES are good, you want them damnit. Okay, now we got that cleared up!!! ONWARD!

Last years show (Oct 2014) my stage weight was 125lbs  34hips/24waist  with about the same amount of calories. So what does this show us?

With years and years of dieting, yoyo-ing and even being healthy in general has caused my metabolism to slow. This is hugely common among people who diet, (hence why older people always say its harder to lose once you hit (enter age here)) .. Its because their bodies have adapted to everything they have tried, or another word that we hear a lot is plateau.

Yes I had hit a plateau at 1000 calories again AND I weight more! This is when people usually say fuck it and like I did last show (binge) or worse give up. … Since I’m not a quitter lol, I’m actually pretty stubborn yet driven and hard headed ( yes I know 😛 )  I did pretty good after this last show with my post show meal. My weight jumped up to 144 and have kind of just stabilized there.. Jumping back and forth between 148 to 143 depending on the changes I make weekly..  But I have good news! I have stabilized there yes, I am content with it because I’ve come to realize that you may just have to gain a little weight to fix this .. so quit being a little cry baby, learn to embrace your curve and just roll with it because your kind of stuck otherwise lol.

Last year vs. this year

last year: … can I just say that even though that middle pic is a shitty quality, my ass looks nice in the mirror! BAHAHA. #hadto

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this year:

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Its ok, you can agree I looked a little better the 1st time around , or maybe just a little softer is a better way of putting that. …and just to be clear, I know I’m beautiful at any weight as well y’all (I’ve actually joked with my mother on about that) …. I’ve gotten a few messages from people thinking I don’t.. which isn’t my intention to ever sound like I don’t feel and/or know I am beautiful. We all are. =)

so any who! back to it shall we?! …… lol

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Through the past month of some splurging after my show, ( duh .. I went to Snooze for the first time!! OMG YUM) With sticking to the plan with a few cheats here and there ( hence my decision to document the progress to help hold myself accountable) im actually doing pretty good now! And this time around for that matter!

So far within the past month basically ive been at 146ish ..So not losing ( oh and its ok if this isn’t always the MAIN goal too ;P )  but not gaining too much either WHILE increasing calories and decreasing cardio. WHOOO! I think ill take less cardio at this point now because this is what I’ve GAINED..along with learning to love and trust the process.

1464cal, 31f, (44f on rest day) 136c, 166p          36hips/26 waist 25min cardio

( ahem, the math :    Calories:394   Fat: 8   Carbs: 100   Pro: 7   BOOM!

Now I know your looking at that and thinking that’s still not much … 1. its a SLOW process ( guess the longer you diet, longer the process it can be) and 2. umm 8g fat is a whole tbsp. of PB people! (hence why I’m ok with rest day! bahah) And the carbs! NOM NOM .. I’m such a foodie lol.

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So basically that’s what it is, dieting for a long amount of time, lowering calories too low and dying in the process hahaha,but like every side to a coin, you live and learn and realize there are things in life, that yes, will take time, but will be Oh SO worth it! #shesgettinghergrooveback

wpid-snapchat-8950764946369107873.jpg BTW, this is Ruby, I’m sure I’ve mentioned her before… were buddies 🙂

ps. I’m currently working on setting up a liability waiver and programs for those of you who have been enquiring. :*

Update- reverse diet- 100 days of consistency… here we go!

Sooooo, its been a while! HA.. my bad!

So if you follow me on Facecbook or Instagram you know I did another competition and well lets just say yes, it was fun.. but in all honesty I felt like I brought a worse package to the stage the second time around ( even thought I know I didn’t necessarily “look” bad, I just knew what I was capable of and what I brought wasn’t that!) And the goal is to always bring a better package to the stage when moving forward in shows. wpid-20150822_165626.jpg

On the flip side of things I also made it a goal of mine to not gorge myself after this show like I did with my first one and I absolutely and am SOOOO proud to say I accomplished that goal! YAY! I ate what I wanted, when I was hungry and didn’t have one bit of guilt! #thatsthetruewinyo! I definitely was ready for my clean diet though after my day of freedom. haha. With that being said though, my original plan was to jump right into another prep for another show as a way to prove to myself that I can handle the post-show rebound gain. In all reality, I shouldn’t have to prove anything to anyone nor myself because I know I’m in charge of everything within my own life ( emotions, goals, beliefs, decisions etc.)

As my coach brought to my attention that my metabolism is pretty much at a halt with the difficulty of my last prep, he suggested we work on fixing me (my metabolism) rather than worrying about the stage. Don’t get me wrong .. I cried for about 10 min lol… and not really about the fact of not being able to do the show either. It was more of the need to prove to myself I could be the little bad ass, have some amazing pancakes and a nice dinner without eating my entire kitchen and continue being a little bad ass and do another show. hahhahaha.

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So back to him “suggesting” we not do the show- I already saw this coming I think it just was more of a realization that I’m going to continue having harder and harder preps if I don’t actually take the time to learn to work WITH my body rather than ON it. With the 4-5 years under me with the actual weight loss, the before factors of this journey with the yo-yo dieting and just learning to control my mindset to get me here has been a journey in itself! And what I’m about to do is probably going to be harder than losing the weight in the first place. Why do I say that? Because I’m a fricken Capricorn and I need goals lmao! I need deadlines and schedules and organization and so on. I’ve always been that way, the type A personality and when one thing is off its like 4 other things decide to be “off” and its harder than hell to get myself out of the “off rut”. Not only that, but last time we tried to do the “reverse diet” (explained later on) I kept caving on different foods, not being able to stop at times ( binging) and it was like a cycle of me wanting to fix myself and me being 100% on point.

So at this point you may be asking yourself .. ” what’s the big deal?, You’ve lost the weight, and look great!” or “one chocolate or slip wont hurt you” … well yes, yes I have lost yhe weight and no one slip doesnt hurt me… but many slips do and like i stated before irs a cycle… I’m not quite sure if the fact that I have lost the weight is the issue I’m having trouble realizing yet… I do know that since I have lost the weight, I don’t feel like its such a NEED to lose it…. But ya see, when I do decide to indulge, or eat out, or have something I normally don’t eat, I gain SO easily and i have a tendency to not know when to quit now…. ( here’s the part about me having a metabolism that’s shot! ie. metabolic damage) I should be able to enjoy a cheat meal here and there, and not have to do cardio 6 days a week and have so much energy to accomplish my entire day .. whotout coffee or pre workout OR just feeling drained in general… because the whole goal was to be healthy right? Well since my body has grown accustom to 30+ min of cardio and  so many ( or should I say little ) calories, whenever I lower my workouts or add extra foods ( especially ones my body doesn’t necessarily recognize anymore) it stores it… just fricken stores it all! ….. that bastard! So how does one “fix”  a worn out from dieting metabolism? .. its called reverse diet!

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So when my coach told me we should fix this, of course I agreed to the challenge. duh, it was either kill myself for another 5 weeks just to step on stage for 10 min or take care of the problem at hand and the real goal I set out to do in the first place. ….. Now…. here’s why this post is happening.. since I don’t have a show ( ie. I wont have however many people staring at me in a teeny tiny bikini) I tend to get in my own way, I slack and the other week I told myself I could handle eating a tiny piece of 80% dark chocolate … that turned into 3/4 of the bar. As I looked down and realized hat I was doing ( the cycle was happening again and I wasn’t about to let this control me for ANOTHER year) I pretty much smashed the rest of the bar in rage… and then hid the evidence. Yes, I told my coach because what help can he be if I just lie.

So I’ve been planning on doing a whole documentary type of thing of this reverse diet on my blog (like my first competition) .. for myself more or less and to share it with you all…but still haven’t gotten to actually writing the post. WHY? well after I ate a stupid granola bar, (YUP … that just happened #sorrycoach ) I realized I’ve been putting off this post in fear that I wont be able to commit, to get out of my comfort zone and actually kick ass and possibly surprise myself. Another reason I think is that I absolutely HATE admitting to failure, even thought I’m getting better at admitting when I mess up, its still not something I don’t think anyone looks forward to. I also have this stupid feeling of the fact that I have created this insane life of being that health nut, nutrition guru and someone a lot of people seem to look up to and ask advice from; its hard to admit your having issues with food, body insecurities and then having to admit my many years of kicking ass has brought me to this halt – that’s my slow metabolism. ( which I’m learning is a VERY common thing among people who have dieted for many years- and could be the same issue with others who may feel like no matter how hard they diet its still at a slowing process. ).

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But guess what I know about that little thing called fear….. it does absolutely nothing for you. What good does it do? Cause more stress, ok great that’s going to do wonders for my metabolism and body……. NOT! So without much adu, here we go! I counted the days on my calendar ( its technically 103 days till the end of the year but as I devoured the granola bar…. I decided I wasn’t going to wait till Wednesday, nor wait any longer for that matter). 100 days of consistency aka reverse diet! I will do my best not to whine too much hahahaa.

Here’s to concurring myself, to learning to heal myself from the inside out mentally, physically and emotionally. To not being worried about what could happen or go wrong and to live in the moment and look forward to what can go right. To not being ashamed of my failures because they make me stronger, and to take the time to celebrate when I have triumphs and personal accomplishments. To not be fearful of what I cant do and be empowered by what I know I CAN do. Because my life is my choice… and I choose to be healthy in a well-rounded way. Nothing will stop me, and though all this, I’ve learned hesitation, fear, and doubt is only a dream killer and will always be only that. So do things that make you happy, that challenge you and may seem extremely difficult at times, that make you a stronger individual, that test your knowledge, strength, drive, courage and soul. Open your heart to whatever it is in life and it will be open to accepting you. It may be hard at times, but by god , it WILL BE WORTH IT.

wpid-photogrid_1442500416819.jpgthis is now ^ little fluffier but ok with it. . . . I got work ahead of me and weight isn’t all its about.! Healthy, happy and trusting this new process is the true goal!

Simple ways to Clean up your Diet

When people ask what I normally eat or what they should eat to lose weight it really isn’t as hard as some make it. We tend to over-analyze, complicate and forget the basics when it comes to food and nutrition in general. Ya’ll know what you ideally need to do, just getting up and doing it seems to be the harder part for some. I personally don’t like the 180, all or nothing approach myself since people seem to get frustrated and tend to give up before they’ve even given it a try. My advice, start with one simple thing like cutting back on soda if your a soda drinker. Pretty soon you wont even want it or you’ll only be consuming 1 or 2 a week.

With that being said, here are a few simple things that you can do to “clean up your diet” that wont leave you feeling deprived. =) enjoy

  • EAT YOUR FRICKEN VEGGIES PEOPLE! – you’ve heard it over and over again, and you’d be surprised how many times I hear “I don’t like veggies” …. WHAT?! How is that possible? Quit being a pansy and just man up. Use spices and sauces if you have to, but seriously there has to be some veggies you must like. They are low in calories and high in fiber which means you can virtually eat as much as you want (ohh look you wont go hungry) and they help keep you regular which is vital to losing weight… an before you say you like corn, NO, corn is a starch, not a veggie in my book, sorry

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  • Watch your Sodium intake– salty foods can raise blood pressure and lead to other diseases as you age. The recommended amount a personal should average a day is around 2300 mg – sadly we usually exceed that and then some. Try switching to spices that are salt free (Mrs. Dash is my personal favorite)  or watch how much salt you actually use in one day. Every time you salt your food, have a jar to put that same amount of salt into. You’ll see how fast it all can add up. Also keep in mind all the marinades and other things you may possibly be using too, you’d be surprised how much salt is actually in those!
  • Choose whole grains – First off whole grains are packed with fiber, and what do we know about fiber? it keeps ya regular and having a healthy digestive track. So stick to whole grain, whole wheat choices. Things like oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, couscous and whole wheat breads. Words to look for / avoid when you are trying to pick out good whole grain products are enriched white/wheat flour. Stay away from that, you want it to say 100% whole wheat if you do choose to eat wheat.
  • Limit processed foods– When picking out what goes into your body, ideally any processed food isn’t ideal lol… but were human and in small moderation its ok…. plus I like cookies too 😉 Also not all packaged foods are necessarily “bad” either. There are things like frozen meats and veggies, yogurts, ect… so when looking at food, pick things you recognize, if there is an ingredient in there that sounds like a chemical shit storm waiting to happen, put it back and walk away. This was a big one for me because I used to eat soooo much processed foods. My advice, get a cook book and learn to make things from scratch, plus its fun too. =) Note: Even if some products claim to be fat free, low or no calorie, fat free… doesn’t mean its healthy, look at the ingredients and decide from there. Don’t get sucked in by the fancy packaging, claims on the front label and silly propaganda, that’s what the companies want! Be a smart cookie ( pun intended 😉 )and read the actual back of the label! )

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  • Limit your fatty meats but make sure to get enough Healthy Protein – Protein helps keep your blood sugar levels at a steady state. It can also ward off hunger pains which usually is a culprit to dieting for most. But when picking out your protein you want to try to shoot for the leanest possible. This includes fish, chicken breast, turkey, lean beef, eggs and egg whites. Things like pork ( tenderloins are ok) , ham and bacon should be saved for a “once in a while protein”.
  • Carbs aren’t the Devil.. – You’d be surprised how many times I hear things like, “carbs are bad, they make you fat, yada yada” Yes, some carbs are VERY horrible for you lol, I’ll give it that. But the carbohydrates you consume make glucose, which in return are what gives you energy to last though your day! There are good and bad carbs to this as well. Things like sugary pastries, cereals, white bread ( as mentioned above) are the simple carbs you don’t want. What you do want when it comes to carbs are the complex carbs. This means they have a higher nutrition level and actually have a lot of fiber in them ( which like the veggies) keep you fuller longer too! Some Complex carbs are: Oats, potatoes ( sweet potatoes are better that regular but both are fine), rice, quinoa, couscous. ect. Watch your intake of these though if you are trying to lose weight, I don’t suggest cutting them totally though unless your under supervision of a dr.
  • Watch the sugar – Just like salt, you need to watch your sugar probably more. Sugar is in everything … seriously, now there are good sugars and bad sugars aka natural and artificial. Sugar from items like fruits and veggies are fine, whereas sugars that are added into mainly processed foods are the ones you need to watch out for. Fake sugar (aspartame, sucrose,) aren’t any better either. Things you wouldn’t even think of to look at the sugar content in are things to look for too. (sauces, spice mixes, dressings, granola ect.) Now I’m not saying “don’t eat sugar EVER” lol, its pretty much impossible. But if your having oats and you just pour on the syrup without looking at the serving size of 1 tbsp. …. you most likely tripling that amount of sugar. All I’m saying is be aware.
  • Get in your healthy fats–  I know you’re probably thinking …. “but I thought fat was bad, fat is what I’m trying to lose????” Not all fats are equal. Healthy fats that come from your oils (olive, coconut, grape seed, hemp) , avocados, nuts(cashews, pistachios, almonds) and seeds (hemp, chia, flax) and fish (salmon, tilapia, trout, tuna) are all good. These are the fats that your body wants and needs to function. Bad fats include things like fried foods, most sweets, butter,  lard, whole milk products, creams (ice cream and creamer, cream cheese… ) These foods increase your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. … best to try to avoid these when wanting to lose weight.

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  • Down the Water- water is your main man when it comes to weight in general. You know they recommend at least 8 glasses a day which averages out to be about 64 oz a day. The average person doesn’t get that much, lets just admit it right now. So put down the soda and carry a water bottle with you everywhere. You’ll notice your skin clearing up, energy levels rising and much more. Also if you do drink a beverage that isn’t water, a good rule of thumb is to drink an extra glass of water to compensate for that “other drink” you consumed. If your sick of water, try some flavored water or make your own. Personal favorite: La crox sparkling water, otherwise cutting up some strawberries and limes and putting them in your water is good too. =) (PS  use any fruit btw)
  • Find a friend aka buddy system it up! – People seem to do better when they have a good support team behind them, so find a buddy who wants to make some health changes with you. Set goals to either accomplish together or if your both competitive, have some run and make it a competitive situation. Who ever loses 5lbs first has to treat the other to a pedicure or something. Come up with ways to make it fun, put it in your calendar and stick to it! OR find a person who you know is healthy and when you feel like caving on an entire cake message them for support, but make sure they know what your trying to accomplish first hahaha it would be kind of awkward if I got a message saying I just want to down an entire pie without knowing your goals. I would just say … damn me too hahhaha 😉

Cauliflower Crust Pizza ( Low-Carb, Clean Eating)

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So I failed at my first attempt in making a pizza crust out of cauliflower, it practically came out like mush lol. But this second attempt was perfect. ANNNNND I got to eat the entire thing because it was so low carb/calorie, so that was awesome, especially since I  was craving Italian =)

So… I know this sounds and well looks kind of weird haha especially since I used purple cauliflower ahhaha! But give it a shot it actually was really good, curbed the need for pizza and eliminated pretty much everything that isn’t to hot health wise when it comes to pizza! BOOM!

You’ll need:

( you can add any toppings you want! .. Im just specifying what I personally used since I’ll be adding up the macros at the end)

  1. 1/2 head of cauliflower ( or enough to make 2 cups of crumbles)
  2. 1 egg
  3. Any natural spaghetti sauce you’d’ like, I look for the ones with the least ingredients and lowest calorie and carb ( since my mission was to make it specifically low-carb )
  4. Shredded Cheese ( I had to used dayia brand because I have a milk allergy but any low-fat mozzarella will do )
  5. Meats! .. I seriously wanted pepperoni haha but since I’m in another competition prep …. I just crumbled 3.5 oz of turkey onto it instead.
  6. Any veggies your heart desires! I did peppers, red onion, cilantro, grape tomatoes…

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How to:

  • preheat your oven to 425
  • Grate the cauliflower head till you get about 2 cups worth of the shavings, place in a bowl and microwave for about 4 minutes so it becomes soft. And let cool ( goes faster if you put it in the fridge)
  • once its cooled, dab any of the moisture out of it with a paper towel and add the egg, mix together. it should be kind of doughy.
  • on a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread out the cauliflower mixture onto the baking sheet ( I found the thinner it was the better the crust was more hard and “crust like”. Bake just the crust for a few minutes ( mine took about 5) Until its not really doughy anymore.
  • take it out, add sauce, and all toppings , place back into oven for about 10-15 min ( until crust is hard and toppings are cooked or melted)
  • take out and enjoy!

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Nutrition info : Calories: 278   Fat:  9g Carb: 23g protein: 22g

Tip of the Week #19: Get your beauty rest!

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We all know were supposed to get at least 8 hours of sleep right? But why? How will that help your health and weight you might ask… Here is how:

  • Decision making becomes a blur– Since you aren’t getting enough sleep you ability to make clear decisions is effected. Your willpower is low. Then you may reach for a “pick me up” aka caffeine or something else that’s a “feel good” food or drink to make you feel better from being tired. When you seek out these foods that usually aren’t the best choices, you body tends to crave those junk foods in the long run. Hence how late night snaking becomes an issue, usually your either bored or tiered.
  • Hello hunger hormones – Leptin and ghrelin are the two hormones that either tell you your hungry or full. With lack of sleep the hormone ghrelin (the hormone that tells you you’re hungry) is produced more throughout the body, thus increasing your appetite. Ghrelin tells you when your full, and when you haven’t had enough sleep or a lack of sleep, it doesn’t function properly as well and doesn’t tell you full, leaving you to eat more. Talk about a recipe for disaster. And if you really want to get into how hormones play an effect, cortisol (your stress hormone) is effected and its a big triangle you don’t want to mess with.

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Tips to get more shut eye:

  1. Do your best to stick to a schedule, even if its the weekends or you have the day off from work, your body will get into a natural rhythm and start to automatically wake and fall asleep at the same times.
  2. Turn off lights, tv, computers, phone and anything else that produces a light.
  3. Watch what you eat for your last meal or at night time. Foods thatare spicy and/or can cause heartburn tend to keep you awake. Along with caffeinated teas, coffee, alcohol and sodas.

 

Post Competition Blues and Bouncing Back!

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This is going to be another one of those “not normal” blog posts from me. Im not going to be explaining about the benefits of a certain food or a new workout. . . but instead its going to be a realization to myself and just an girl putting it out there with no shame since most wont (or don’t like to talk about this subject).

So in my last post (I DID IT! My Journey through my First Fitness Bikini Competition )I mentioned that its been a tough time for me with the fact of my binging after the show and now, getting back on track. Even though its embarrassing to admit I couldn’t stop stuffing my face, even when I felt sick and miserable, I know I’m not alone. Many people (women and men) have this issue and in quite honestly are either in denial, or haven’t admitted it to themselves yet. I have learned that this is also VERY common among people who do competitions or compete too.

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So during my entire prep, I was constantly thinking about food, what I needed to eat, what I couldn’t eat and what I wanted to eat once my prep was over. I made a list of everything wanted to eat and it was always changing. The fact that I really hadn’t had anything relatively unhealthy in a super long time didn’t help my situation either. I had driven my mind into this “I’m going to get to live a little after my show” mindset when it all reality I wasn’t living after my show. Looking at it now, I was only harming myself not only physically as an easy 20 lbs came back on but mentally too.

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Most people don’t realize that competitors cannot keep that level of physique 24/7 all year round, not only is it super hard but its not necessarily healthy either. But on the flip side, people don’t realize how easy it is to gain it all back too. People seem to think, oh your thin, fit, (enter whatever word you want here) you can eat whatever you want. WRONG. When you’ve constantly been dieting, restricting certain foods and most likely entire food groups at times … and then you re-introduce them.. Hello! recipe for some weight gain!

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SO with this all happening, I was beginning to get down on myself… I wasn’t the inspiring, energetic, and love for health and fitness person that I have ideally thought I’d grown into. I was ashamed of what I had done (nutritionally wise) and I quite honestly was embarrassed and felt sort of like a hypocrite. Here all my friends, family and people were reaching out to me, telling me congratulations and telling me how inspiring my pictures from my show were …. meanwhile, I couldn’t stop eating and beating myself up for it. My discipline had almost gone completely out the window, yes I was trying to get back on track, but then I’d get distracted my doughnuts at the grocery … and it would all go downhill. Whether it was something bad happening, stress, boredom or just wanting sugar… the binges happened more than I’d like to admit. Constantly telling yourself “ok tomorrow is my day” and “I can do this” only to turn around and mess it all up with a PB&J is not only exhausting in a mental state but you get to a point to where you feel like your failing . . . over and over. There were literally times I would look down at all the food I’d ate, almost not remembering eating it all. . . and it scared me because I thought I had “fixed” myself with this dark side I never wanted to see again. (thankfully I never starved or purged during this time .. but I did cross my mind and that’s when I knew I  needed to fix this, and fix it fast)…  knowing that I was still struggling to find that peace within myself, along with a balance I started wondering where my “inner fit girl went” and wonder if she’s coming back any time soon. I was embarrassed that my clothes didn’t fit me well, I started wearing baggier clothes to work and the gym because I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin anymore.. even though people told me they couldn’t tell I gained weight, I could tell and that’s what ideally I was focusing on (the negatives).  This is what I’ve learned is called Post Competition Blues.

A friend who has pretty much been there since I started competing mentioned to me that I seem to have a hard time letting the “fat girl” of me go. I still hang on to her. Which in all honesty pissed me off at first, then made me cry because she was absolutely right. I’m slowly learning to live in the now, realize how far I’ve come and learning to not look back, because that’s not the direction I’m going.

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After a few heart to hearts with some amazing people on my team and my coach, I admitted I was waiting for that ah-ha moment to drive me back into doing and living the life I’ve grown to love. It had been about a month since my show and I already know what shows I’m shooting for next season. With my weight not stabilizing (partially because I continued to have smaller binges) and still being heavier than I was when I first started with my coach was a wee bit of an eye opener. I started realizing that I was only focusing on ALL the negatives that not only go with post competition but with prep as well. I felt fat, not in control, and I was looking at another prep as a daunting experience instead of embracing the challenge. Weight loss really isn’t about “weight” its about a mindset (which I ironically have preached before) and had obviously forgotten. Its a challenge of you vs. you and to see how you can push your limits. To show you have none and to prove to yourself that your capable of anything you put your mind to whether its weight, a job or anything else.

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I don’t know if this journey scares me or if I thought it was over since I accomplished this huge goal I had for about 2 years but my coach made it pretty clear that its just started and were only at the surface of my potential .. I just am having a hard time seeing it. He continues to be so supportive, understanding and inspiring in ways I have never really experienced before. I was joking with a friend that if I was him, I would have given up on me by now, but he’s relentless and that’s enough to keep going forward. Mentioning to me some things that resonated pretty well were, what does Amanda look like at 100% .. I gave 90% last show (which he was right in saying. . .I cheated on my diet here and there, I’m only human and ill admit it. I’m not perfect) Along with “why does this have to be the end of the story” .He sees that people look up to me and my story on facebook, here and instagram and there is that fact of sure I was that “fat girl” ( I hate that word btw … fat .. but were using it anyways) but I’m not anymore and whether or not I choose to take on this role of being the “fit girl who once was fat” or not…  is that its already chosen me in a way. Almost every day now, I either get a question about nutrition, or someone asking or help or people just telling me how inspiring I am. I don’t really know where my head was these past few weeks (blocked by all the sugar most likely)  but he’s right, my story isn’t over. Sure this last goal or competition took longer than I “planned” for it to but the key was, I didn’t give up (even when there were MANY times I wanted to haha) …

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So that being said, I refuse to give up on myself because that is not who I am, nor who I’ve become. I will continue to find myself though this journey, slowly building myself up, fixing myself on the way and learn to grow form the inside out. Yes, I will fall, but I’ll get back up. yes I will probably want to quit at times and yes, it will be a tough journey but this is my story and no one else holds the pen except for me.

Follow your dreams. be true to yourself. and remember you’re beautiful no matter what.

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I DID IT! My Journey through my First Fitness Bikini Competition

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Sorry this post has taken me so long to write, I’ve been going through a little soul searching after my show (which I plan on doing another post on that next … but its been an interesting ride , that’s for sure! )

BUT anyways…. Well…. I DID IT!!! And holy crap was it hard! Probably one of the hardest things I’ve done so far, and funny thing is I cant wait to do another!!!

How was it? Really fun yet stressful and exhausting too. But it was all worth it, wanna know why???? Because I placed Top 5 in both the classes I entered in!!! =)

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So going into this competition, quite honestly I wasn’t expecting to “win” anything because in my mind, I had already won with myself losing 85 pounds. And my thought process was if I won something , then hell, more power to me! Ideally my goal was to make it to a competition and I had done just that.

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Back stage during the show, fixing up spray tans and getting oily and ready to step on stage I was actually pretty calm. I have a  major in theatre so the stage isn’t really scary to me it was more of the omg I just don’t want to trip on my heals or forget my poses/transitions (which I did  hahaha).

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During first callouts, when they called my number I almost remember looking down at my number to make sure that was in fact the number they were calling. As I walked forward the look on my coaches face was priceless, as he nudged my posing coach and automatically grabbed his camera. That moment right there is one of the reasons I’m going to do another show in the future. You could see that he was very proud and excited that they called my number, especially since it was my first show. Then the second class I entered in they had called out 4 numbers and then who’s do they call next? MINE! so I made 1st callouts in both the classes I entered in! (first call outs a pretty much placing the top 5) – which was funny at the time because I didn’t realize that’s how it worked so I thought they were just calling my number to call my number hahaahah.

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As time goes on, and people start coming in the door for the show, we all start talking about the treats we brought for afterwards. Some made cupcakes and such…. I made a little something called slutty brownies. what are slutty brownies you may ask? Amazing!! …one layer of cookie dough, one layer of Oreo (I used cookie dough Oreos) and a layer of brownie. yummmmmmmmmmm and boy were they good.. but they made me sick =(

As the “show” started, (they do pre judging in the morning and then a “show with music and everything towards the night for an audience) My boyfriend and his family came, my aunt and my father came to support me… unfortunately bikini goes on stage last so I got to mingle with them a little before and during the show and you could tell they all were very proud of me.

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My aunt mentioned going to dinner afterwards so I’m back stage thinking about food haha, Evans dad was randomly taking pictures of the “hot” girls and my dad was joking with Evan the entire time about needing to workout , or maybe just needing a beer instead haha. After the show, besides eating 3 of my brownies, a red velvet brownie another competitor made and a macaroon…  we went to Hacienda ( I decided Mexican food was much needed) and I downed 2 chicken enchiladas and a chicken taco… topped with chili and cheese and everything haha. Then when we got home I had a few Oreos dipped in almond butter, a sandwich, and some fig nutons. By this time I was definitely in a food coma.

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The next morning, sine the family has made bbq ribs in front of me like 3 times during this prep I told Evan that’s what I wanted for dinner so he prepared that all day. In the mean time I ate a pumpkin pop tart, a small bowl of spaghetti, 3 waffles with a massive amount of fruit on top and by this time I was sick. .. And by the time the ribs and bbq was read it was all I could do to down one fricken rib.. I felt bad since he cooked all day and I couldn’t even bring myself to eat any of it….

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quite honestly I wasn’t planning on eating all the things I did, I wanted to still keep my hard work at bay but since I basically had some issues with binge eating before (which is what my next post is going to be about ) it was almost like I couldn’t stop. It almost got to the point of embarrassment with how much food I consumed and I wasn’t proud of it at all, yet I still kept eating. . . . as the water weight came back on and some extra weight as well from all the crappy food .. I started feeling lethargic, unmotivated and questioning if this competition was a good idea …

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As these last few weeks pressed on a kept in touch with my coach and telling him how much I’ve gained was a wake up call in itself. I told him I needed more goals to shoot for because a part of me had been prepping for sooooo long for this competition that I almost felt like a “what’s next” moment and didn’t know exactly where to go. But with that being said, I’ve learned my lesion and man , oh man, cardio is SO much harder when you have crap in your system .. it literally does NOTHING to fuel you for a intense workout.

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So all in all, I had a blast, was it worth it still after the aftermath of binging. yes, because I’m still learning to love myself obviously.. and I’m still working on processing how I see myself as well… I know I’m not perfect, no one is. Its your choice to either learn and grow from certain screw ups .. or you can let them overpower and consume you. But untimely its all up to you.

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Tip of the Week # 18: Quality vs. Quanitity

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When it comes to the food you put into your body, its more than just “calories in and calories out”… The food you consume is either going to benefit you nutritionally or its not, its either going to give you energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber and everything else or it may make you feel lethargic, worn out or give you a sugar rush that will most likely die within a few hours. So when picking out your food according to price vs. nutrition is a huge thing that a lot of people have a hard time doing.

All the time I hear “eating healthy is expensive” Yeah sure, some of it can be, not gonna deny that. But… I dare you to go to your produce isle and look at how much a bag of 10 potatoes is, or how much a bunch of spinach or romaine is…. a bag of potatoes is about $4 (and there usually are like 10 potatoes in there!) Then go over to the lettuce options you have (not he pre-packaged pre-made salads the actual bunch of leafs… they usually are about $1 $1.50 each bunch ) If your buy 2 or 3 of those, make your own salad mix A. you usually get more than the pre-packaged salads and B. its usually half the price. Key to buying healthy foods is to know where you can save money.

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Now that I got that rant off my chest with a little example were gonna discuss how quality is so much more important to quality. Sure have a few cookies or a pop tart here and there but not every day. Your goal is to get healthy right? Well here are some things to consider when you reach for that junk food.

  • Fake sugar and sugar in general – Now I’m not saying a little sugar is bad. Sometimes you need a little to keep your sanity hahaha.. and sugar from things like fruit aren’t as bad as your actual table sugar…. When you eat sugar or too much sugar is spikes your insulin levels .. which can result in diseases like diabetes and whatnot. When  you insulin levels are spiked you body is constantly trying to “burn that sugar off” first. And with that insulin being spiked your body is going to have a  harder time getting to that fat burning zone. Needless to say sugar any kind, fake or not, your body isn’t used to the amount we normally put into it  now-a-days. Do you really think our systems as humans were meant to eat potato chips, Oreos and sugary cereal all day? or at all for that matter? Limit your sugar intake and you’ll see a change, guarantee it. (I’ll do a post on how to curn sugar cravings and other options you can use that are better than sugar soon if ya’ll would like.)

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  • Ok so as we talked about Oreos and Cereal …. lets take a look at that. So  yeah its yummy don’t get me wrong and like I said, enjoy a fricken oreo here and there (you need to find a balance) but do NOT eat the whole pack in 2 days haha. So when looking at cereal, have you actually looked at the ingredients in Captain Crunch? (I’m picking Captain because its one or was, one of my favs =)) Besides looking at how many calories are in the food and calling it done, I want you to grab a box of a sugary (usually Kellogg’s) cereal and go over to Kashi cereal. Look at the ingredients on the bottom of the nutrition panel. Do you recognize everything in the Captain Crunch? Do you in the Kashi? I bet there is less in Kashi as well. Now…… here is where people don’t realize. . . . yeah Kashi is $4 and Captain is probably $1 .. $2 I don’t know.. So with that and looking at the ingredents, I bet one of the first few ingredients in Captain is “Enriched Bleached Flour” .. Yup! Its exactly what it sounds like, I might as well go grab my flour, bring it down to the laundry room and make my own. sad to say but yes, its true… they bleach it. and I bet the ingredient sugar isn’t far behind it on the list. On the flipside, Kashi probably says something like “Whole Wheat rolled Oats” or something. Now that should like something healthy right ? … and it definitely doesn’t sound like a chemical shit storm… Pay attention to ingredients and look for as minimal as possible.

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  • Lets talk about nutrition (the main point). So which do you think will fill you up faster? A burger from a fast food place? Or a salad? Well the thing is, they both “fill you up” just depends on how long your going to stay full for, which is going to provide your body with the nutrients, vitamins and fiber your body needs to run at top notch and which one is healthier (because being healthy is the main goal here). If your keeping track of your calories (which you should be because you’d be surprised how much you actually eat sometimes). You will notice how easy it is to get up to 1800 calories by eating crap foods. I mean good grief, 2 chips ahoy cookies is 150 calories alone, and between you and me… I cant just eat two at a time, its usually like 4 or 5 ( which equals 300+ cal) haha. Whereas, if you were to cook up 4oz of chicken and some fresh broccoli or whatever veggie you’d like .. the calories is going to be around 180-200 in that. So now that you see you would get to consume more food by eating healthier foods, you have to stop and think about which one is going to “fuel” your body. 4 cookies or a piece of chicken and veggies. The choice is yours but I think I made my point… plus I don’t know about you… but id rather eat a lot, then only have a small amount of food and feel groggy all day.

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  • One more point, sure at first eating healthy sucks (been there, I used to live on ramen, Tostitos pizza and all kinds of horrible things that I usually don’t eat now .. only for a treat do I do that)  But once you start getting used to it, its really not that bad. You start to get creative in the kitchen, you get a fun cookbook, you start to have fun looking for different spices and herbs. Learn to make it fun, get the whole family in on it and don’t look at it as a chore, your taking care of yourself. I personally like to think that my body is the only one I get, I either spend the money on fresh food or I will spend that money at the dr. later on in life. You’ll also notice a significant change in things like energy, sleep patterns and much more.

Plus I saw brown rice, dry beans and frozen veggies at the dollar store … so don’t tell me its expensive, you’re making excuses.

And don’t feel like you have to do everything at once, I didn’t, take baby steps.. this way you don’t quit or get overwhelmed.

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