New Series!

Hey guys!

Remember me? No? It’s okay neither do I. I took way too long of a time away from blogging trying to get settled into Texas. But the good news is, I am back and like ten times more knowledgeable than before.

Let me update you really quick on my life. I am now a NASM certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. I work as a personal trainer at a 24 hour fitness near my house and as a nutrition consultant for Complete Nutrition. I am still here with my roommate and a ton has changed!

Before I was following an insanely strict diet. It didn’t seem that way on the surface, but I was a calorie restricting and counting obsessed little dork. I would restrict myself so much and thought so many foods were off limits that I would often find myself binging on the weekends and not able to recover from them. I fell off the bandwagon hard.

After some time I finally figured out that something needed to change. I had no energy for the gym, I was miserable with all the weight I was gaining, and I was so unhappy with my relationship with food it was almost ridiculous. I then decided to stop dieting. Not in the classic sense where I just started to eat whatever I wanted. Instead, I turned to an If It Fits Your Macros lifestyle. Yes, I still track what goes into my body. Calories, protein, fat, carbs. But instead of seeing food as clean and unclean, I just saw it as fuel. I eat about 80% paleo and “healthy” unprocessed food. But the other 20% after I’ve hit my micronutrients and fiber, I let myself eat whatever it is I am craving that day as long as it fits into my macros. Most days I find myself not really craving anything so I’ll just have a healthy snack before bed. Other days I want chocolate or poptarts. But now that I follow a flexible diet, those things don’t make me feel bad anymore. I’m finally starting to have the best body of my entire life. I’m happy and healthy. My performance and strength in the gym is just soaring. I bust through every plateau without batting an eyelash. And for once I can see myself living this way, eating this way for the rest of my life.

My goal is to be healthy, number 1. Obviously, I want to look the part too. I finally do now thanks to flexible dieting. I am also becoming a more well-rounded athlete. I lift about 6 days a week, one of those days is Crossfit. I do yoga as many times as I can fit into my schedule. And I lift heavy. I am constantly pushing myself to move the heaviest weight my body can handle. I love the challenge. Guess what? I have become leaner doing that. Not even remotely bulky. I am currently just shredding down. 🙂

Now that I have updated you on basically everything that you guys probably care about for now, let me move on to the title of this post. I am obsessed with Cellucor products. My love and rantings of that love could go on for multiple posts. My absolute favorite product of theirs is their COR Performance Whey. Taste is amazeballs and it is one of the best proteins I have ever used.

So I am going to be doing a cooking series using their protein. 🙂 No, before you ask, they didn’t ask me to do this, or really know that I am doing it. But I’ve been coming up with so many recipes lately and being asked for the recipes on Instagram; I figured I would just start to post them here along with more daily rants and recipes. I’ve been a beast in the kitchen lately and can’t wait to share all those eats with you guys!

For any of you that actually still read this blog, thank you. For those coming back, THANKS! I am excited to get started again. This is something that meant a lot to me and it needs to find a way back into my life.

If you have any questions post in the comments and I will try to answer them all! I’ll do a more in depth post on IIFYM to explain it a bit better.

Keep an eye out for Sunday/Monday! I have a new amazing recipe coming your way for all of you who like cereal for breakfast. 🙂


Sunday Ramblings

I hope you guys liked this mornings post! I can’t wait to keep you guys updated throughout my competition prep. Speaking of competition prep, you are all probably wondering what I am talking about. So let me fill you in on what I have been working on over here.

I decided about a month and a half ago that I wanted to train for my first National Physique Competition in the Bikini Division. I have been lifting weights for about a year and a half and thought I should set this goal. Most runners set marathons and races, I weight lift and thought that it was an appropriate challenge. I debated between the WBFF New England Classic up in Rhode Island in November 2013, but ultimately decided I wanted to compete in the NPC Federation. I liked the date of October 26, 2013 better because that meant I could go out on Halloween and have some fun. 😉 Jokes, the real reason I picked NPC is because it’s my dream to one day end up on the Olympia stage. That means that I have about a year to get ready for this competition. I originally wanted to be ready for the Texas Shredder, which is in April. But due to money and wanting to make sure I was 100% ready, I didn’t want to choose such a close time frame.

Since I started my prep a year out, which is unheard of, I started with the cutting phase to lose body fat. I want to try to get down closer to what I would be competing at so I have less work to do once the competition gets closer. Once I hit my goal of weight loss I will then continue to cleanly put on muscle until I again have to cut down on body fat 3 months out from the competition. This probably sounds extreme to a lot of people and some days I can’t even believe I am doing it. But it’s actually a lifestyle that I am starting to fall in love with. The idea of competing and pushing my body farther than I ever thought possible actually sounds like fun. It really pushes me to get out those extra reps, not skimp on cardio when I am tired, and really keep those treat meals a meal and not a binge. I have a binging problem from time to time when it comes to sweets. 😉

So now that you know what competition I am doing I will fill you in a bit on my diet and training plan. I am going to try to start working with a personal trainer at the gym I work at to really help push me to the next level. There’s actually an NPC competitor that works there and I am hoping he has some killer tips for me. My training split schedule doesn’t fit neatly into a week, which is fine with me since our bodies do not care if our workout plans fit nicely into one week increments. The 10-Day split is as follows:

Day 1: Back/Chest/Cardio (Couch to 10K)
Day 2: Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps/Cardio
Day 3: Legs/Stairmaster
Day 4: Couch to 10K
Day 5: Rest
Repeat Day 1 etc.

I wrote all my training plans that I am currently doing, which is what I have always done. But I am starting to use more of my knowledge from my CPT studying, which is actually helping so much. I cannot wait to share with you guys more on that when I actually become certified. Speaking of which, there are some changes coming to this blog in the next couple of months. I will be changing the name and potentially buying my own domain name. 🙂 Another exciting thing that happened was that I was accepted to the most elite NPC competition team, Team Bombshell. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford the coaching right now so I am going to reapply next year and save up for it. Nonetheless, huge accomplishment after all the work I have put in over the past year and a half.

Onto diet! I am keeping it pretty clean and listening to what works for my body. This seems to be 3 substantial meals with little snacks in between. I know most people eat 6 smalls meals a day when on prep or trying to lose weight, but this works much better for me and as Powercakes always says, be true to YOU! My diet is 1600 kcal, 45% carbs, 30% protein, and 25% fat. I try to stick as closely to my macros as I can, but some days my carbs and protein are over. I am rarely ever over my fat macros, mainly because my tough workouts make me crave carbs and not fat. But it’s more important to pay attention to calories in and out versus being spot on with your macros. Within 10g, I think is totally fine. This is not a plan I would recommend for most people trying to lose weight or make this a lifestyle. It’s pain to always count and keep track, but I have to do it for a competition. If you are eating clean and working out without preparing for a competition there’s no reason to obsess over these numbers. If you fuel yourself properly you will notice changes. 🙂 I wrote this plan for myself based off of what I have researched and tried with my body.

^Any questions on recipes or what they are just ask in the comments section and I’ll tell ya!

Now for the scary part of this blog post, which I was tempted to leave out. I want to show you guys the progress that’s been going on over here. I really didn’t want to post these until I finally hit where I want to be so I could show you the big difference, but I want to be completely honest with y’all and show you over the months how I am changing. Versus just the wow. Sometimes seeing the small changes can be more motivating. So here goes nothing with putting myself out there. I will try to show these pictures once a month.

This is an 11 week back progress picture:

This is a 6 week biceps progress picture:

As you can see the tops were before and the bottoms are current. I think you can tell that I am getting more defined and losing some excess fat in the process. 🙂

This is the hard one to show you guys…

This is an 11 week stomach/abs in training progress picture:

So yes, I am not perfect or any where near where I need to be. 😉 I hope that y’all can respect and accept that. 🙂 I am still a normal girl that enjoys a treat of frozen yogurt bowls the size of small planets and a burger and fries. I never wanted this prep or my life to be so focused on food that I wouldn’t enjoy going out with friends or that I would miss things. Life is too short to miss anything. So even throughout this prep I am not depriving myself or being crazy until three months out where there has to be a strict schedule. For instance, my last treat meal was a week ago at the best burger place in Austin, Hopdoddy. This is what I ate and I split the fries with my roommate. 🙂

I am starting to realize in life you can have everything you want. You just have to be willing to get up every day and work your butt off to get there. Life is waiting for you to make yourself whoever you want to be. I am not going to be that out of shape girl any more with no self confidence. Over the past year and a half I have had my ups and down with weight and have finally started to figure out what works for me. I hope you guys come with me on my journey and I cannot wait to show you pictures from my competition in a year.

Till then have an amazing relaxing Sunday,
Meghan Nicole


American Muscle Supplements Review

Happy Sunday, everyone!

So I have literally been the worst person with accountability when it comes to updating my blog. Whenever I have free time I’m either stacking more plates onto a barbell or studying for my personal training exam. I literally need to work on getting a social life back. 😉

But today, I have an exciting little post. I was contacted on Instagram by American Muscle Supplements when I posted a picture of my Fitmixer Aminos. I was saying that I needed to find a new preworkout, since that one really didn’t do much for me anymore. They told me to check out their products and eventually sent me samples of their pre-workout mix Warpath and their clean as can be Isolyn Hydrolyzed Whey Protein.

They sent me two samples of each, so I was able to try multiple days/different workouts with them. Let me tell you, this stuff is the bomb dot com. The protein is something everyone can get on board with. It’s literally just 100% hydrolyzed whey protein isolate (cold filtered!) with stevia and natural flavors. It mixes insanely well and has an amazing taste, which surprised me at first. Since there aren’t a ton of sweeteners or flavors added I assumed it would taste bland. Not the case. They tasted like milkshakes. They sent me the banana and chocolate flavors. Chocolate is where it’s at in my book, but for someone who doesn’t usually ever look at a banana flavor, this flavor was crazy good. I could see it making a pretty epic protein banana bread.

As for the Warpath… I LOVED IT! I was smashing personal bests in the gym like it ain’t no thang, people! I literally did a 175 pound deadlift for 3 sets of 8 reps and a 155 back squat of 3 sets at 8 reps. I was a beast.

^That was the middle of my period. I stacked even more plates onto that bad boy. NPC Border States 2013 here I come!

Literally, I was about ready to tear the roof off of my gym. Sounds like I was cracked out on caffeine, right? WRONG. There’s the same amount of caffeine that’s in like one cup of coffee. So for this stimulant sensitive gal, it was perfect. The focus and intensity I felt in my workout came from the nootropic factors. Basically it’s a new trend of low stimulant pre-workouts to focus more on mental focus and clarity versus the physical energy you get from caffeine. It was epic and made this personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist in the making very happy.

I obviously highly recommend this company to anyone who is in the market for a new supplement company and/or product. After trying both of these products I basically sprinted up my stairs after the gym to order their protein (Isolyn Chocolate) and a non-stimulant fat burner (Banish) to help with my competition prep. I was going to buy Warpath, and probably will when I have more money, but instead I went with ProSupps Dr. Jekyll low stimulant pre-workout for now. It was like $40 cheaper, so I hope it’s just as good. I’ll report back on that one. If it isn’t, I obviously will be buying Warpath like the addict I am. 😉

Before anyone asks, no they didn’t expect me to do a review. They didn’t pay me. They just sent me free samples like the awesome company that they are and then I went hog wild on their website on my own. I just wanted to share my little find with y’all, since I know most lifters are always looking for new supps to try! Also, I sniped all those pictures from their facebook, since I obviously did not have the containers to show you guys. 🙂 Thanks again, American Muscle! I look forward to getting my competition prep on with your help!

Thankful Thursday: Part I

It’s Thursday! And almost the weekend. 🙂 Except I guess every day has been a weekend day lately since I haven’t started my new jobs yet since moving. Speaking of moving and change; I think I have finally figured out my funk.

If any of y’all follow me on instagram or twitter, then you know that lately I have been in quite the funk. I try not to let things in life bother me because I believe that life is too short to dwell on everything that you cannot control or the future. I fully believe with hard work and dedication, everything will work out in the end. But lately adapting to a new place and all this change has put me in quite the depressed funk. I never want this blog to be a place that is anything but positive, so stick with me! I am going to end this on a positive note.

As most of my readers know I moved 2,000 miles away from my home where I grew up and lived for 22 years. 2,000 miles away knowing absolutely no one and having no family to fall back on. For the past week I have been in this funk that I can’t shake. I’ve felt sad, negative about myself and my body, pessimistic about my future in both my personal and professional life, and basically just an overall grump. I am never like that! I am usually a bubbly, positive, happy kind of gal.

But lately I’ve realized that sometimes changing big things in your life can lead to sudden insecurities. This happens to everyone of us. Sometimes things just happen and we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. Most of the time we are equipped to keep standing, but every once in a while some of us fall down. True strength is acknowledging that you can’t always be strong. Sometimes you need some help and sometimes it’s okay to just let the world crush you for a second. I realized that I was being irrational about mostly everything I was sad about. I felt like I wasn’t going to make friends or connections here, that I was going to be awful at a job that basically has me interacting with people about fitness all day long (MY DREAM!). I was born to do this. I fully believe that even though I am currently swimming through the scariest moments of my life I am on the right track.

I was talking to my roommate yesterday and she helped me see that sometimes being overwhelmed by life can cause you to question everything. But you can’t lose sight of why you are making these choices for yourself. She doesn’t always realize that she is being helpful, but most of the time she’s the reason the world doesn’t completely bull doze me. I haven’t had many people in my life support the decisions I make. Most of the time everyone thinks I am crazy, or they have an opinion on why I shouldn’t do things. But she always pushes me to go after what I’m passionate about. And every time I stumble she reminds me it’s okay to stumble, but keep going because you won’t be satisfied if you give up now. Can’t stop, won’t stop baby.

So on this Thankful Thursday with Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted to have a shout out to my best friend. I feel like I am slowly pushing through the hard time I was experiencing. I’ve always been afraid that people are going to walk out of my life when things get hard. But she is always there even when I am being impossible. I know this sounds like some weird relationship, but if you knew us you’d understand.

So for now, I am going to ride out this test of faith. I usually shy away from talking about God and religion in this blog because I believe that everyone is entitled to believe whatever they wish. That’s the beauty of life. We are all so different, be true to everything you believe in. I am putting this in God’s hands and hoping that I find the path I am supposed to be on.

I hope y’all thank at least one person today that has made you a stronger and better person just by being in your life. Sometimes it’s nice to say thank you to those who help us get through the moments we can’t navigate on our own. Have a great Thursday everyone! 🙂

Food Bytes: Protein

Happy Monday, guys and gals!

I wanted to start something new over here on the ole blog every Monday. So this is the first edition of food bytes. Basically every Monday I am going to be sharing some of the research and information I find throughout my studying of my fitness nutrition specialist and certified personal trainer certification. I figured I would keep them focused on one small section of nutrition and share with you guys some fun findings to make everyone a little bit healthier. 🙂

Today’s topic is going to be PROTEIN! Everyone always talks about how much protein they need, how much I recommend, how much I personally eat and I want to dive into all of that lovely information today. So sit tight! It could be fun. 😉

Protein is basically defined as amino acids linked by peptide bonds (NASM)

Our bodies use about 20 amino acids to build the many different proteins that make up our bodies. Proteins help build and repair body tissues and structures along with synthesizing hormones, enzymes, and other regulatory peptides.

There are two types of amino acids: essential and nonessential. Essential amino acids need to be consumed through our diet because they cannot be made within the body. There are eight essential amino acids: Isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phentlalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Most people are familiar with these when they look at the amino acid profiles on their protein powders. Nonessential amino acids can be made in the necessary amounts within the body and contain 10 with 2 extra semiessential amino acids: Alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine. The two semiessential amino acids are arginine and histidine.

If a food supplies all the essential amino acids in the appropriate ratios for your body it is considered a complete protein. For example, quinoa, ezekiel bread, pairing yogurt and granola, a whole egg, meat, fish, rice and beans, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, sunflower seeds with peanuts, oatmeal with milk, lentils and bread, hummus with bread etc. Anything missing those essential amino acids, even just one, is considered an incomplete protein. Those missing amino acids become the limiting factor when your body is using them to repair structures and tissues. Incomplete proteins, as used in examples above, when paired with another incomplete protein can form a complete protein for your body. Have no fear vegetarians or people considering becoming a vegetarian. Even though meat and dairy are the most popular sources you can still achieve a complete protein by combining plant powered foods.

When people are on a restricted caloric intake to reduce body fat and weight their body will resort to using protein and amino acids for energy when total carbohydrate or energy intake is too low. However, there is also a misconception I have been reading out on instagram and twitter recently. Protein CAN be stored as fat. I’m not sure why people seem to think otherwise. Anything in excess of your daily energy needs will be stored as fat. It’s not really possible to eat 3,000 calories of vegetables in a day; but if you could without burning 3,000 calories in a day you would gain weight. No worries though, that seems like an impossible amount of vegetables for someone to consume so keep eating those plants! They’re amazing for you. 😉

Since I just told you protein can be stored as fat in excess in the body; how does one figure out how much is too much? Everyone is different. As Kasey over at Powercakes would say, Be True to You! P.S. Love her by the way. She’s amazing.

Here’s how you can figure out how much protein would be good for you. Base it on your activity level. If you are sedentary (adult) who doesn’t work out all the much or only does about 30 minutes/3 days a week, 0.4g/lb would be sufficient for you. Strength athletes, such as myself, should be anywhere between 0.5g-0.8g/lb. I am using 0.8g/lb because my training is very intense and I am trying to put on lean muscle mass for my competition. I strength train 2 hours a day/6 days a week. Endurance athletes should only be consuking 0.5g-0.6g/lb. This seems low to some people, I am guessing. That’s because the most important part of our diet is carbohydrates. That will be next weeks topic! 🙂 I will demystify all those crazy carb claims. But for now, just realizing that protein is important but you do not need to be consuming crazy amounts of it to gain lean muscle. So put that third protein shake down and focus on whole foods. 🙂 Some research studies have even shown that carbs after a heavy resistance training workout, not protein, inhibited muscle breakdown, resulting in a positive protein balance. This is because carbs are protein sparing saving the protein for tissue growth and repair only.

Protein only needs to be 10-35% of your daily caloric intake. The higher percentages are for athletes, bodybuilders, etc. I keep mine around 25% and found that it is working beautifully for me. I weigh approximately 150 and eat about 120g. That’s with me being on a restricted intake to lose weight. 🙂

Always remember the more protein you have the more water you need to drink. This is because protein requires seven times the amount of water for metabolism than fat or carbs.

I hope this was helpful for everyone! And I hope that y’all like this new edition. 🙂 Let me know what you think in the comments section. 🙂

As always stay healthy, active, and sexy!

New Apartment

I’m finally in Austin! 🙂

After 3 days of straight driving, 2 days of straight moving, blood, sweat, tears, awesome neighbors, and semi awkward interviews I am here! I say semi awkward interviews not because the interviewer was awkward or the job was awkward, but because yours truly is a terrible interviewee. I always freeze and never know what to say. I come off as a total dork. But, I think I am finally making progress in that department and will have more information for y’all tomorrow!

Moving on, this entire week has been one exhausting whirlwind. Everyone in my family was super stressed that I moved across the country with no job and my roommate being the only person I knew. Life is all about taking chances and big risks. I firmly believe that, along with the ardent belief that I am going to be okay. Better than okay, I am going to work my booty off to be successful here.

Who wants to see the apartment? Keep in my I am a broke as hell post graduate. No, I do not have any pictures for the walls. Yes, they will stay that boring for a while. BUT! I have managed to fit all of my fitness clothes in one overstuffed drawer… I have a serious addiction. I’m not proud. 😉

As for my diet while traveling, it was ridiculous. I literally just pounded an entire 2 pounds of baby carrots, multiple cans of tuna, and some fruit on the way down here. Once I got here my diet was a little whacky until I went grocery shopping, but now I am back on track. I am still cutting for a while to lose some of this stubborn body fat before I really start hammering down on getting even more muscle definition. I am really excited to see how far I get this month. I will do a video update on different things that I am doing if any of you guys are curious.

Here are some random eats from today.

Vanilla cinnamon oatmeal/oat bran with chia seeds, hemp seeds, strawberries, and blueberries.

And the standard snack of baby carrots and hummus! I am having another one of my hummus obsessions. Plus, it helps me eat more vegetables, which I think is something my body is in desperate need of lately.

Dinner is usually always the same on my end. Some sort of green vegetable or squash (cause I am an addict!) with chicken. I flavor most of my chicken with Mrs. Dash and some grill masters seasoning. I am trying to keep the sodium intake low for now due to holding some excess water weight recently. I also finally found the extra hot Franks sauce! I’m in love. It tastes so darn good!! Makes eating clean super easy.

But for lunch I usually do the same thing as dinner only I add in a sweet potato for some complex carbs. I also have a mild sweet potato addiction. I literally eat one every single day. I don’t know what it is about them, but I can’t live without them! 😉

I have a couple follow up interviews tomorrow so wish me luck! I will try to get my review of the Neocell Collagen Sport Protein up though! I am also working on that diet video as we speak. So stay tuned. I am heading off to continue studying before bed. Hard work and dedication 24/7 on this end. 🙂

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! 🙂