Pumpkin Pie Filling Protein Dessert

Hurricane Sandy has come to town, ladies and gentleman! I hope everyone is okay where they are. We only lost power for about 2 seconds like six times. One was hilariously enough while I was on the treadmill downstairs in my basement, which caused it to pause for a split second then pick right back up. I almost ate it big time in the most comical way. See at the time I was rapping to Eminem’s Till I Collapse with some crazy gangsta dance moves. I am such a gem.

So anyways, I decided that I need to start putting an emphasis on getting some cardio work in now. I usually just do a 2 hour weight lifting session and call it a night, but I’ve realized I can’t run for beans now. I decided to start doing some interval work for 30 minutes about 4 times a week. The Couch to 10k app is awesome for setting interval times, which is what I am using currently. Let me tell ya, getting back into running is a humbling experience. But after reading a lot about it while studying for my NASM CPT certification I’ve realized how important it is! Speaking of that certification I am about half way through the book and I have only had it since Thursday. It’s a ton of information, but I am trying to whizz through the book so I can really bunker down and study the important facts in my notes. I am hoping to be certified before the year is up! I have a lot of exciting things that I want to set into motion in the next year or so. More on that later!

Anyways, since we didn’t lose power I had a delicious day full of eats. I mean check out how giant this lunch was after my 5 mile run/walk/deathbyrunning.

Yes, that sweet potato is massive. Bigger than my hand and oh so delicious. I for sure ate the entire thing and blamed my run for making me crave carbs so much. 😉 So for the rest I combined 1 egg, a bunch of liquid egg whites, and salsa. A giant sweet potato with PB2, cinnamon, and coconut oil. And two small roasted zucchinis with paprika and garlic. I was so full after this lunch it was absurd. Definitely held me over straight through to dinner.

However, the highlight of my day was my cure for my giant pumpkin craving. When it’s cold and yucky out all I want is a bunch of soup and pumpkin everything. Since I couldn’t make soup happen today since I am leaving in 48 hours for Austin and I don’t have a ton of food, I decided to make do with a can of pumpkin. I bring to you the best night time protein packed fall dessert I’ve had since being on this strictish bodybuilding diet.

Protein Pumpkin Pie Filling
Serves 1

1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
6 oz of plain greek yogurt
Liquid vanilla stevia (couple drops to taste)
Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
Sprinkle of coconut flour

Combine into one big bowl. 🙂 Devour and enjoy fall in a bowl.

It seriously tasted like pumpkin pie filling. And the coconut flour made it have this graham cracker crust like taste without being too strong or having a heavy grain before bed. Grains and I have an iffy relationship, unless that grain is oatmeal. Then I am 100% fine and obsessed. But other grains tend to give me tummy troubles so I usually avoid them. Pretty soon I want to try the dates and nut crust that everyone keeps posting and talking about. Making my way there soon when I arrive in my new kitchen… IN AUSTIN TEXAS! I leave Wednesday! 🙂


What I Ate… Randoms #2

Spaghetti squash with al fresco tomato and basil chicken meatballs and Rao’s Arrabiata sauce. I was craving some good ole fashioned spaghetti and meatballs comfort food and this satisfied my craving without blowing my diet out of the water.

Those are Annie’s Bunny Cookies on top of plain Chobani sweetened with a couple drops of vanilla stevia and PB2. One of the many versions I have been using as my night time treat to keep me sane!

These are the bunny cookies I was talking about. They are so good! They remind me of the oreo cookies. Minus the filling, which is actually my least favorite part. Shocking, I know.

My Fitmixer Aminos! They’ve been pushing me through my tough workouts. Sometimes I just need the extra energy boost. And every single day I need to replenish my amino acid stores that I annihilate through during my workouts. These taste like Hi C… Aka I love them.

Most mornings I start of my day with some version of oatmeal or protein pancakes. Sometimes I do eggs, but I like those for snacks more and I can’t have too many eggs or I get crazy sick of them. This batch was 1/4 cup each of oat bran and rolled oats cooked with 1.25 cups of water. Then I added 1 tbsp of chocolate flax oil, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 scoop of Sunwarrior, a splash of vanilla unsweetened almond milk, and then topped with sliced organic strawberries! So. Good.

These are my chocolate low carb protein pancakes topped with my new obsessed of coconut oil and truvia. It makes the pancakes so buttery and moist… It’s delicious. And it helps me get my healthy fats in! I also am in love with cinnamon apples again since it’s fall and the local apples are to die for!

Standard after workout fair of a protein shake and a banana to replenish my carbs and feed those muscles. This shake was Vega Vanilla Chai.

This one is a little interesting. It’s just a bunch of sauteed peppers and onions with chicken topped with salsa for a fajita plate. Underneath was pearled barley. I wanted to try a new grain. Unfortunately, much like wheat, I can’t have barley since it bloats me like crazy and gives me stomach pains. I should have known better since it’s not gluten free and it’s a wheat derivative. But alas, I tried. Crazy good health benefits if you can have that stuff, however! Loads of fiber and protein!

Wee! I am so excited about this! This is a Spiced Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake. I was feeling the fall mood the other day and combined 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, scoop of sunwarrior vanilla, 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, a crap ton of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, 2 tbsp of chia seeds, a little fresh ginger, a little vanilla extract, and some liquid stevia to taste! It was basically amazing. TRY IT!

Also, this next picture isn’t food. It’s just a horrible picture of the beating my hands have been taken lately. I need to start wearing my gloves again. Burst blood vessels and calluses are not an attractive look on me.

New Routines

Hey everyone!

So I am finally back home in NH getting ready to head out to Texas on Tuesday. I am super excited to make this trip, minus the long arse drive that lies ahead of us. The exciting part is that I have started studying for my NASM CPT and FNS certifications and they are coming along pretty quickly. I am studying like a beast while I am home. I can’t tell you how excited I am about these certifications. I finally feel like I figured out what I want to do with my life. Like finally everything that I want to be is everything I am becoming day by day. It’s an amazing feeling and I am so blessed to be able to have the opportunity to do this and potentially work in this industry. I am so in love with health and fitness and can’t wait to share that with everyone. Big things to come!

Anyways, I have a few new updates for y’all. I am going to post pictures of my workouts that I have just switched over to lately. I am using a low rep heavy weight training style right now to really pack on the muscle while I am trying to force myself to do some cardio to cut down on fat. I am so bad at sticking with cardio. 😉 Anyways! My diet has been going extremely well. The scale isn’t really budging, but that’s not a surprise since I am seeing more muscle mass and definition. My clothes are definitely getting looser, however, which is what really matters! So I am sticking with the diet through December. Then come January I will get really intense since I will be three months out from my competition and will need to be super tight with everything.

So there is definitely some definition happening. I can’t wait to see what happens over the next couple months since I am being way more strict with my eating. 🙂 April NPC here I come!

So with these workouts I don’t recommend that you just follow one the next time you are the gym. Everyone has different styles and mine is really intense. I spend about 2+ hours weight lifting. Some of the moves are a bit hard and require that you really pay attention to form. However! There are so awesome moves within each of these workouts that I highly recommend trying on your own. Just listen to your body and watch a bunch of videos to learn the proper form. Or ask a personal trainer! 🙂 Safety first everyone! These workouts have been really difficult. I basically wake up every single morning with a new part of my body being sore. I love it and hate it all at the same time. Leg day is making going to the bathroom brutal. TMI? Yes, yes it is.

Moving on, my workout split is as follows. It starts randomly on a Wednesday because that’s when we got back home from Austin and started. 😉 Also, I keep getting asked this at the gym, not sure if y’all will have the same questions, but I came up with these on my own. They aren’t an online program or anything. Just something I put together while eating this!

That my friends, is spaghetti squash, Rao’s Arrabiata Sauce, and Al Fresco Tomato and Basil Chicken Meatballs. By the way, those meatballs are to die for! They are so good. 🙂

Wednesday: Back/Abs/Cardio

Thursday: Chest/Abs/Cardio

Friday: Legs #1

Saturday: Arms/Cardio

Sunday: Shoulders/Abs/Plyometrics

Monday: Legs #2

Tuesday: Rest

So my posts for the next couple weeks will probably still be pretty random once I leave for Austin. I am not sure when we are getting internet. But I will update as much as I can while I am home. I am learning a whole bunch of fun stuff studying so I may share some fun facts on here!

Have a great day guys! I’ll post another food porn blog picture post in a bit!

Getting Back on Track

I am finally back from Austin. I am really sad about it! But that’s okay I am making the 2,000+ mile drive back there in two weeks. I have actually finally gotten some call backs on some of the thousands of jobs I applied to, which is very exciting. I can’t wait to share with you guys what I finally end up in. I think you will all be very proud of me! 😉

As for getting back on track now that I am back from vacation… I am not anticipating that it is going to be that hard. I have come up with a rough food plan for the next week and I have a whole new workout routine for my roommate and I based off the LiveFit trainer’s second phase. We are actually going to try to follow her meal plan and workouts as close as we can. There are a few substitutions I am making due to equipment available at the gym.

Now that I am home, however, there is no excuse to not eat 100% healthy now that I have access to a kitchen. We ate pretty well every day in Austin minus the couple of cheat meals we had at La Condesa and a pit stop for some frozen yogurt and sorbet. Overall though, it was a good week. I am excited to get back into training for the National Physique Competition in July!

Here’s a rough outline of what I am doing this week to keep me on track.

Thursday: Back/Cardio: 1800 cal

Friday: Chest/Abs/Cardio: 1800 cal

Saturday: Legs: 1800 cal

Sunday: Arms/Abs/Cardio: 1500 cal

Monday: Shoulders/Cardio: 1500 cal

Tuesday: Legs: 1800 cal

Wednesday: Rest: 1500 cal

Now that I have finished cycling my carbohydrate intake we are moving into trying out nutrient timing. By timing when we intake starchy carbohydrates we can maximize fat loss while minimizing muscle cannibalization. This means that we can bulk at the same time as cutting down on fat. So the starches will only be consumed at the first meal of the day and at lunchtime. Other than that we are loading up on fresh veggies and lots of protein and healthy fats. Also, during nutrient timing you switch up how many calories you will intake a day based on the workouts you will be performing in the gym. For the major muscles that burn more calories when trained (Legs, Chest, and Back) you will intake 500 more calories than your ideal body weight x 10. I guessed on the body weight since the number on the scale doesn’t mean anything to me and picked a random number of 130 to make the math easy. On minor muscle days (Arms, Abs, and Shoulders) you only take in an extra 200 calories. Also, unlike what I was doing before I am adding in some moderate intensity cardio to burn some of that stubborn body fat while building up my muscle. After this phase is done (4 weeks) we will move back to carb cycling for another 3 weeks.

I can’t wait to fill you guys in on what I am working on in Austin currently for when I move. As always, I will update my blog as much as I can till then! I should have more time since I have fewer shifts at work due to all the new employees they hired while we were gone.

I can tell you one exciting piece of news! I finally bought the study materials and test dates for my National Academy of Sports Medicine certifications. I am getting certified in personal training and fitness nutrition. I can’t wait to share with y’all what I learn and the steps I am taking after. Hopefully you guys will be happy!

NASM is doing a fall savings special if anyone is interested. $100 off of a CPT certification and 10% off of all other certifications! Just use the code FALLSALE. The offer expires on October 14. Join me J We can be study partners!

Here’s some more pictures of the clean eats I have been having since I have been home! 🙂

La Condesa

So remember when I said I ate at an amazing restaurant when I first got here, yet I didn’t take any pictures to show y’all what I ate? Well consider myself redeemed. I suffered through eating there once more for your viewing pleasure. 😉

So what’s awesome about this restaurant is that they have a high class feeling with amazing service, yet at a semi-affordable price. Our waiter was so attentive tonight it was almost unreal. He literally had our waters full throughout the entire meal and everything was really quick from the time we sat down to the time we left.

We started off with the jumbo lump crab, apple, coconut vinegar, and agave guacamole with their selection of house salsas. Starting from the middle left was the tomatillo salsa, then the ancho chili salsa, the habanero mango salsa, and another chili salsa that’s my favorite but I forgot the name. Their chips are homemade and to die for! They are light, crispy, and hold up really well to the flavors of the guacamole and salsas.

After the appetizers were sufficiently dominated we move onto their pollo rostizado taquitos. They were two small tacos filled to the brim with rotisserie chicken, citrus rub, salsa verde, and cilantro. I added a little of the leftover guacamole from the appetizer to top it off. These are so moist and delicious and the perfect serving if you are still saving yourself for dessert, which we all know I was. C’mon I have to go back to carb cycling in a few days. I have been taking advantage of every free moment. 😉

After dinner we ordered a serving of the homemade birthday cake helado (Mexican ice cream). It is hands down the most amazing ice cream I have ever had. It tastes like confetti cake batter only way more amazing. Plus, they put these crumbled sugar cone like things on the bottom and top it with sprinkles… I die of a giant foodgasm just talking about it. It is SO good. Also, it comes with this little Mexican cookie on the side. I’m not really sure what it is other than covered in powdered sugar and absolutely delicious.

You think we stopped there… Nope! We finished off the evening with their Spicy Boca Negra, which is a chile-spiked warm flourless chocolate cake with caramelized banana and brown sugar-banana ice cream. The cake can’t really be called a cake since it’s barely cooked. It’s basically a full blown chocolate molten lava cake minus the cake and extra lava. It’s served warm, which means the ice cream gets all melty on top and when you combine those two things with the caramelized bananas you get magic in your mouth. The chili is really interesting in the cake, because you aren’t fully sure what to expect. But it intensifies the chocolate flavor and adds a nice little spice all at the same time. Cuts through the sweetness just a little bit.

All in all these place deserves a big hi five. I kid you not, I am not normally a fan of Mexican food, but this was delicious! I went twice in one week… That should tell you something. I love the atmosphere, the presentation of the mouth watering food, the location, and the ice cream. Seriously I have dreams about that ice cream some nights…

Life update! I signed the application for my apartment in Canyon Creek today! Our move in date is November 2nd. That’s literally right around the corner. I am freaking out both in excitement and the stress of still not having any solid jobs. Cross your fingers for me!

Taking Chances

I decided to be a little self-reflective this cold Sunday in Austin. I wanted to do a post about a topic that means a lot to me and is really prevalent in my life right now.

Taking Chances. No fear, just living.

“The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve and to conquer.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

Being in Austin preparing this move has led me to think a lot about goals, dedication, perseverance, fear, and taking chances. I feel like sometimes we get stuck in life and just go through the motions and days without truly living and taking in every moment. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are doing that this routine becomes our life. We become comfortable in certain places, doing certain jobs, thinking and wishing sometimes to do something different. Everyone has locked up passions and dreams of the things they would do if they could ever muster up the courage, have enough money, or enough support to just try. After thinking about this I realized that fear can stop so many dreams in their tracks because sometimes the thought of failing is just too much. Even some of the most supportive people in my life think that I am crazy for moving across the country at the age of 22 with no plans, no concrete jobs, no real direction. But the problem is they are thinking 20 steps ahead. I refuse to live my life in the future. The present is all we have. We have right now, every breath that you take is a new chance to start something. It’s another second of life where anything is possible.

I am so in love with health and fitness. I am making this big move in hopes that I get that dream job working in a gym training people who want to feel better, who want to be healthier, who want to change. Who knows if I am going to hear back from the job that I want. Who knows if I sign that lease on Monday if I will have a job by the time I move. Who knows if anyone will actually want to be my client when I try online coaching. I can’t think about the what ifs in life. Fear will lead you to stress about your future, about all of things you cannot control. This is even the case when people are trying to lose weight. Their mind is often wandering down to the finish line and how far away that line actually is instead of enjoying the ride they are on right now. Live in the journey every day, because every day you are making yourself better than the last.

If no one or one hundred people read this post I hope that someone walks away with the desire to live in the moment. To stop and for once not worry what tomorrow brings. To truly achieve and conquer what you love and want most in life. I would rather wake up dirt poor every single morning for the rest of my life loving every second of what I do than have all this money and comfort and be stuck in a routine that I am too afraid to break away from. Find your passion and you will work every single second of every day to make it happen. Every breath you take will be you fighting to make the best out of every moment.

Buy that plane ticket. Drive those 2,000 miles to the place you’ve always wanted to live. Leave the job you hate. Start living. We have this one life to live. Don’t waste another second. That was the biggest lesson I learned being 21. It is a lesson I continue to remind myself of every day. You can’t be afraid of failing. When you live a life in the moment full of passion, you cannot fail.

In two weeks I will make the drive to move 2,020 miles from home to a new state where I know absolutely no one, to hopefully get these jobs that I want so badly, and continue to discover who I truly am. It’s the scariest, most exhilirating feeling in the world. I hope that every day you choose to do something that scares the living shit out of you to remind yourself that you are alive.

Happy Sunday, everyone! ❤

Show me the Green

Today’s title has a double meaning. I spent most of the day doing some more job hunting around Austin. We are hearing some potentially promising leads… Even though it looks like I will have no life as soon as I move here. I cannot wait to share big news with you soon, hopefully! It’s a super exciting opportunity.

Anyways, back to the other exciting part of that title. Today’s theme on the PlantPOWER challenge was green. I love dark green, leafy veggies. They give me energy, clear my skin up, leave my stomach feeling happy and flat, and are overall one of the best colors of veggies for my body personally. So I was super stoked to start my morning off with another Energize Me green juice from Whole Foods this morning. Along with a delicious bowl of 2 hard boiled eggs, 2 egg white cups, a little vegan steel cut oats with sliced almonds and pecans, grapes, and cinnamon; vegan migasa (I have no idea what it is other than it is amazingly delicious!), some butternut squash (because I’m obsessed and the Eat Clean Diet Team and Tosca Reno have paired up with the plantPOWER challenge and added clean carbs to the challenge!), and zucchini! I always have the most random bowls from the Whole Foods Hot Bar, but I love it. My taste levels are always all over the place and I love being able to have a million different things to try all at once.

After being sufficiently fueled up, we began our trip of stalking checking out some of the 24 Hour Fitnesses in the are since we basically did a Gold’s Gym tour yesterday. Along the way we made a stop at GNC for some more Quest Bars. I just tried these out the other day while I was traveling and I love them! They have 20g of protein, they’re gluten free, have a ton of fiber, and made with all natural minimal ingredients. I don’t normally like bars because they remind me of candy bars and are often filled with junk, but these ones are the best when you need something quick!

After driving around for an insane amount of hours, we headed back to Whole Foods (we are becoming rather predictable this trip) for another giant salad beast. This time I had some cranberry, pecan, summer kale salad, apple pecan couscous, turkey, a hard boiled egg white, a couple Caribbean sweet potato wedges, pineapple, grapes, artichoke hearts (obsessed), marinated feta cheese, cilantro tofu, Jamaican jerk tempeh (omg awesome, first time trying tempeh), and tomatoes.

I also have to share an amazing tea find with you guys! There’s a place at the Domain called the Steeping Room. It sells Iced Teas of the day, plus you get a free refill, and they have this amazing flavor of green tea that tastes like a coconut macaroon. It’s so good! If you have one in your area run there now and grab Beautiful Coconut. I’m currently obsessed big time!

We are heading out tonight for the first time since we arrived on Tuesday to check out the infamous 6th Street and its bar scene. I will try to snap some pictures for y’all to see! Have an awesome Friday night everyone. Posting a new workout tomorrow after my roommate and I run through it at Lifetime Fitness. I fell in love with that gym when I went to apply. Cross your fingers that I hear back from them! 🙂