Back to Basics

I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of really broad topic style blogs recently. I really like doing those types of things. Or general updates about goals and plans etc. But it’s been ages and ages since I just posted about food and workouts. So that’s what I’m going to do today!

I’m just shy of 11 weeks out from my next competition and I am not losing weight… I blame my addiction to chocolate PB2 and the Lindt Dark Sea Salt chocolate. I only have max 100 calories worth of either a day… but I’m convinced that’s the reason, mostly because it’s always the things we love that we are forced to give up. Ugh… stupid body. Just be skinny naturally ok?! Deal. Moving on.  🙂

But all in all I have been keeping carbs higher which I actually find hard to do since I can’t eat gluten. So I’ve been eating oats relatively frequently. My normal go to oatmeal recipes is my pumpkin pie oats (yes I know it’s almost April, no I don’t care). But I figured I should try to branch out flavour wise a bit more. My issue is that I like the volume that pumpkin adds to the oats without too many calories.

Cue Zoats.

While perusing instagram I came across a recipe for Zoats or Zucchini Oats and decided to give it a try. My personal favourite flavour at the moment is ginger molasses. Here’s the recipe:

Ginger Molasses Zoats

Ingredients

  • ½ c. Large flake oats

    Some very yummy Zoats

  • ½ c. Egg whites
  • ¾ c. Water
  • ½ large zucchini (about ½ c.) shredded
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger powder)
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Directions

  1. Combine oats, water and egg whites in a saucepan a bring to a boil on med-high high, stirring frequently with a fork so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan
  2. Reduce heat a simmer until desired consistency is reached (about 8 minutes for me) then stir in remaining ingredients and return to a simmer.
  3. Serve and enjoy.

Nutritional Info

Calories – 295      Carbs – 48 g     Fat – 3 g    Protein – 20 g

It’s definitely been a go to breakfast in the past week or so. The ingredients will be scaled down to 1/3 c. Oats and egg whites and Stevia instead of molasses as I cut calories more. It’s a very versatile recipe.

As for workouts. I’ve been doing minimal cardio and lifting really heavy as I love to do. My favourite workouts right now are Back and Bi’s so I’ll give you the layout I’ve been doing for that here. I’ve really taken it back to basics for this. Really just focusing on form and moving as much weight as possible. As always, please keep in mind that I have been working out for many years now. Please do not assume the weights I post are what you should be lifting… it’s just for frame of reference as I am always curious how much other people lift, so I figure someone might find it interesting too.

Back to basics – Back and Bi’s

looking wide 🙂

Warmup – 5 mins either running or rowing (preferably rowing as it actually warms up the back muscles)

  Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Lat pull downs 100 x 12 105 x 10 110 x 8
One arm DB rows 60 x 10 65 x 8 70 x 6
Supp. bent over BB rows 90 x 10 90 x 10 90 x 10
Rear delt flyes (w. DBs) 15 x 12 15 x 12 15 x 12
Back extensions BW x 12 BW x 12 BW x 12
Dumbbell bicep curls 20 x 10 20 x 10 20 x 10
Concentration curls 12.5 x 10 12.5 x 10 12.5 x 10

 

Cool down – lots of stretching!

So there we go… a more normal, less rant-y post.

Love and health

1 day left!

I have less than 24 hours left before I get on stage in a very small bikini and a ridiculous tan and try to impress a bunch of people I don’t know. I am so very VERY nervous but so excited too. I am sitting on my couch, having just eaten my first meal – oatmeal and egg whites and trying to get my nerves under wrap. I still have to pack, but I have made my food for tomorrow which consists of the following:

–          4 oz of sweet potato mashed with 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp maple syrup

–          Baked oatmeal muffins which I made by combining 1/3 c. Oats, water and egg whites with 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp maple syrup and dividing into muffin tins and baking for 30 minutes at 350F (I made 2 servings of these)

–          Rice cakes with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter and 1 tbsp pure honey (lots of these for snacking on)

There will also be some wine and mini eggs while pumping up back stage to help relax me and bring up my muscles that little bit more.

My diet today is staying pretty much the same as it has been except that I will also have sweet potato at every meal, the same as yesterday and as little water today as possible to help dry me out and get rid of water weight. Then, depending on how I look I eat steak and potatoes tonight… which sounds great, only I can’t drink water with it.

I feel much more energized with carbs in me, though my throat is a little sore so I’m worried about being sick, but who cares?! I have worked so long and hard for this that 24 hours is nothing. I can put up with anything for that length of time.

Just a short update today because my nerves are getting the better of me so I’m going to go pack!

Dragons and other fun

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to Buffalo to see the How to Train your Dragon live show which was a birthday present from my lovely friend Lisa of Lisa Cookies. It was one of the most visually interesting shows I have ever seen. They had partnered up with dinosaur animatronics to create the dragons and it looked amazing.

The largest dragon with animated wings

Yesterday I was on a low carb day of my carb cycling program so I knew I could not rely on eating out to fulfill my nutrition needs. So I packed up some Turkey Meatloaf muffins, a baby cucumber and some snap peas for lunch on the road along with some hard-boiled eggs and some left over salad and pork chops if I needed dinner as well. I didn’t end up needing the eggs or dinner, but I felt a lot better knowing they were there. I was able to do that without too much effort because I had cooked extra pork chops, hard-boiled eggs and about 8 turkey muffins in my fridge at the moment, so it was no different than packing the days meals for work.

The issue when traveling or going to an event is that other people are going to need to eat too, so you will be stopping at unhealthy places and seeing other people eat things that don’t fit in with your diet. On the ride down I ate my packed lunch as my boyfriend sat munching on a granola bar being very hungry because he didn’t have time to grab food before we left and didn’t want hard-boiled eggs. When we got to the show there were some (unhealthy) food options and he went with the pizza. He actually blotted the top with a napkin because it was so greasy! It did however, look and smell delicious and I’m not a big pizza fan (before you get all up in arms, this is because I’ve always felt sick afterwards because I didn’t realize I have a problem with gluten). My friends got some popcorn of which I had exactly one kernel because I love popcorn. I on the other hand, got a bag on in shell peanuts because I didn’t feel like cracking open some hard-boiled eggs in the middle of a show. Peanuts actually fit pretty well into a low carb diet, they have some carbs, but more fat and equal protein.

After the show we were all pretty hungry so we decided to stop in Niagara falls for dinner. believe it or not, it’s actually pretty easy to stick to your diet while eating out if you choose the right type of restaurant and are willing to be firm with your requests. We went to the Beef Baron and I ordered a 12 oz steak requesting that half of it be packed up for me before I started my meal (the waiter asked if I wanted it cooked first which made me laugh) and a side of steamed vegetables instead of a baked potato or something else. I don’t feel deprived eating like that at all, and it fits in with my diet pretty well. If you have the will power to make good choices and make some smart substitutions you can still enjoy a nice dinner out with friends while you are on a diet (just stay away from the bread basket no matter how tempting it is).

By the time we got home I had successfully completed my second round of low carb days without too much effort. This morning I started my high carb day with this beauty of an oatmeal combo that I like to call…

Reese`s Pieces Oats

Reese`s Pieces Oats

This is essentially chocolate oatmeal topped with peanut butter… as an aside, I love how the peanut butter melts and looks some of like a leaf sitting up top.

The ingredients are:

  • 1/3 c. large flake oats
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/2 c. egg whites
  • 1/4 c. skim milk
  • 1 tbsp dutch process cocoa (or cocoa of choice)
  • 2 pkg. splenda (or sweetener of choice to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Combine water, egg whites and oats in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat stirring frequently.
  2. When boiling, turn heat to low and simmer until very thick while stirring frequently.
  3. Add the splenda and cocoa and stir to combine.
  4. Add the milk which will thin in considerably and bring back to a boil until desired thickness is reached.
  5. Serve in a bowl and top with the peanut butter (I stir mine all together so every bite tastes like chocolate and peanut butter heaven)

Nutritional Information:     Cals – 340     Carbs – 36 g      Fats – 12 g     Protein – 27 g

* if you use caloric sweetener remember to add that into the calories and macro count.

This is a wonderful 100% healthy high carb meal. After 6 days of carb cycling, what I can definitely say is I like the variety. It hardly feels like a diet at all. On the low carb days I can indulge in some higher fat foods that I love like avocados, nuts, whole eggs, cheeses and fattier portions of meat. On the high carb days I can have my fruits, oatmeal (which is one of my favourite things to experiment with different flavour combos), yogurt & muesli and a latte if I want one. Of course there are some foods that are off-limits entirely, like ice cream and candy, but overall within a course of 3 days I get to indulge in all the types of foods I want. It just takes some will power in controlling the timing of the foods. If you have been struggling with a restrictive diet, or have hit a plateau, think about giving it a try. Connect with me on Facebook if you have any questions or leave a comment.

Carb up!

Today is carb up day! I’m so excited and I don’t know why… I don’t even normally eat a lot of carbs, but after 3 days (1 day fast and 2 days of low carb) of having very limited carbs and next to no fruit, I am thoroughly looking forward to the high carbs and slightly higher calories of today. But before I get into that, let me tell you about the low carb phase first.

 For the last 2 days I have consumed less than 80 grams of carbs per day (63 on the first and 71 on the second). I didn’t struggle too much, but I did notice I was a little tired. I’m not sure if that was lack of sleep or from the lack of carbs. Considering I usually eat around 130 grams per day this isn’t a big change, but to get down to that level requires cutting fruit and grains entirely. I was having lots of eggs, avocados, chicken, beef, salad vegetables, and other veggies along with increasing my fat intake in the form of olive oil, a few nuts, coconut oil and even some butter. So all in all I was not feeling deprived, I never felt overly hungry, just a little weird. My energy would come and go throughout the day without any reason that I could identify, but I never felt dizzy or overly tired. Tuesday morning I weighed 139.8 lbs (after the fast) and this morning I weighed 138 lbs on the nose. So almost 2 pounds in 2 days. I will expect to go back up tomorrow and slowly cycle down as carbs retain water. Based on the first 2 days, I definitely think this is something that will be effective and that I can continue to do without too much struggle.

 Now on to the carbs! I planned out my meals for today in the morning yesterday because I wanted to be around 225 grams of carbs and needed to know what I should be eating. My plan is:

 Breakfast – Pumpkin protein oatmeal (which I give the recipe for below)

 Snack – greek yogurt/apple/kashi cereal mix up

 Lunch – Beef stirfry with 1/4 c. (uncooked) quinoa

 Snack 2 – Apple and 1.5 tbsp natural peanut butter

 Dinner – Turkey meatloaf muffins (see recipe here) with sweet potato, carrots and snap peas

 Snack 3 (if needed) – Apple and protein shake

 If you notice there are a lot of apples in that plan that is because I have a huge amount of apples in my fridge right now from apple picking on my birthday.

 Without the 3rd snack, my daily breakdown is this: Cals – 1,812      Carbs – 222 g       Fats – 50 g       Protein – 128 g

 Pretty nice looking stats if I do say so myself 😉

 So the carb refeed plan is now a go, I made all my meals and put them in tupperware last night except for breakfast. I had breakfast about two hours ago and noticed a definite difference in how I felt after eating, much more full (not more satisfied, just physically full) and maybe a little clearer headed.This was how I started my carb up; this lovely fall inspired bowl of oatmeal that I like to call…

 Pumpkin Pie Protein Oats

 Here are the ingredients:

 

1/3 c. large flake oats

1/2 c. water

2/3 c. liquid egg whites (don’t use the real egg whites as it makes it REALLY thick, you also don’t have to add this att all and can just follow the amounts on the package with no protein)

1/3 c. Pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or whatever spice you want)

1 tbsp chopped pecans or walnuts

1 tsp organic maple sugar to top (maple syrup is also delicious, I just don’t have any at the moment)

Egg whites, water and oats get added to the pot

Step 1: Combine the liquid egg whites, water and oats in a small sauce pan and turn heat to high.

Starting to boil… turn down the heat!

Step 2: Bring the ingredients to a boil stirring frequently (I use a fork) so that it doesn’t get burnt on the bottom then turn the heat to low and let simmer.

This is the thickness I like (about 12 minutes after its starts to boil), just adjust the time for how thick you want it and keep an eye on it.

Step 3: Simmer uncovered for 10 -15 mins stirring frequently until desired thickness is reached (you can also adjust the amount of water at the beginning to change the thickness)

Add the pumpkin 🙂

Step 4: turn the heat to medium and add the pureed pumpkin, stir vigorously to combine and wait until it comes back to a boil (the pumpkin will have cooled it down, this isn’t necessary, but I like it hot)

Add your toppings and dig in!

Step 5: Stir in the pumpkin pie spice (and some splenda/sugar/agave/whatever sweetener you use if you want it sweeter) while it is still in the pot. Scrape it all out into a bowl and top with the nuts and maple sugar/syrup.

Step 6: Enjoy what essentially tastes like pumpkin pie for breakfast which is just perfect in the fall!

Nutritionals:           Cals – 330     Carbs – 38 g     Fats – 8 g      Protein – 28 g