October is here! It’s time for some new recipes! I really enjoy eating pumpkin, but it’s harder to find outside of the fall season. I purchased two cans of pumpkin last week and decided to do something with them. I made a healthier version of pumpkin bars that are easy to make and have a good amount of protein. I added chocolate chips because I just love chocolate. You could substitute the chocolate with nuts or blueberries. These are great pre or post-workout.
- 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
- 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- 2 whole eggs (can substitute egg whites)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil melted (or leave out for less fat)
- 1 can of organic pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 cups of ground instant oatmeal
- Enough almond milk to wet the mixture to the consistency you desire ( you can also use water)
1. Spray a square glass baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Take about 2 cups of dry instant oatmeal and grind in the blender until it is the consistency of flour. Measure out 1 and 1/2 cups of the ground oats and place in a bowl. Add the baking soda and protein powder in the bowl with the oatmeal. Add the flaxseed meal. Mix.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the canned pumpkin, vanilla extract, eggs, coconut oil, and chocolate chips. You can also add in stevia if you want more sweetness.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until blended well. Slowly add in the almond milk to make the mixture smoother, but it should still be a little thick.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Check often and make sure it doesn’t dry out too much.
6. Take out and cool.
7. Cut into 10-12 squares.
The great thing about creating your own training program is that you can try new techniques to see how your body responds. One thing about our bodies that is really great is its ability to adapt to the environment. In the training realm, this can be positive or negative. In an effort to gain more muscle, or shock the system, sometimes we have to try something new. Since December, I have been doing the typical 5-6 day training split and usually sticking to one or two body parts during each session. My rep ranges are anywhere from 6 up to 15. This is 5 months of the same type of training. Lately, I have started to feel like I needed a change. Not just for physical stimulation but for my mental sanity as well! Even though I am training for another show, weight lifting is something I plan to do for life. If I want to keep going, I have to try new approaches. Bodybuilders tend to get stuck in their ways and don’t try new ways of training. But, when you think about athletes of various sports and the way they train, you can clearly see that there are many ways to elicit muscle growth. Athletes may do some bodybuilding work or they may do full body splits. Crossfit Athletes do a lot of power work and Olympic lifts and they have amazing bodies. The same applies for track and field athletes.
So…change is good. This morning I tried my first training session of German Volume Training. After thorough research, I figured out how to implement this into my regimen for the next 5 weeks. I even read an article about a figure competitor who trained this way during the first part of her prep. Several bodybuilders have used this technique as well. The plan is to lift only 3-4 days per week but that is all you need because it is so intense. In my plan, I pick 2 body parts to train in one session only using 4 exercises. BUT, I perform 2 of the exercises using 10 reps for 10 sets. That is 100 reps! It seems easy at first but once you get to the 4th or 5th set it is extremely challenging. You cannot use heavy weight…maybe use about 65% of your max. I add in a couple of auxiliary exercises with fewer sets to finish.
I am writing this post at 10 am…I worked out five hours ago at 5am…and as the time goes on, I am getting sorer! I have not been this sore in a while. I see why you can only do 3 or 4 days a week. Your body couldn’t handle more. I have also changed up my cardio routine. I can’t do a lot of drawn out cardio with this type of training. I am sticking with short, high intensity circuits, sprints, and spin class a few times a week. After these five weeks, I will be off of the GV training and will add a bit more cardio to tighten up in the last month before the show.
I am looking forward to trying more training styles in the future and learning how my body responds to each one. 9 weeks to go until show time!
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” – Henri Bergson
Today after my leg workout, I went to Whole Foods grocery. Whole Foods is not a store where I do my weekly shopping but if there is a special item that I want, they will usually have it. For example, they have those lovely machines that will grind up nuts for you to make your own nut butter without the added sugar. They also have some meat and really fresh, local seafood that you will not find at other chains. Today I picked up some salsa and other seasonings and found a different type of almond milk that I wanted to try. The milk is made by the “So Delicious” company and has 5 grams of protein in one cup. One cup is only 40 calories, contains 2 grams of fat, and 0 grams of sugar, and only 1 carb. It also only has 95 mg of sodium….some meat products contain more sodium than that! I will be using this up until the last week of competition prep because it is DELICIOUS in my protein shake. It is better than ice cream!
Here is my recipe for a delicious vanilla protein shake that will have you licking the cup when you are finished. (That might just be me because just about everything tastes good at this point).
- 1 scoop of Gaspari Intrapro Vanilla flavored Whey Isolate
- 1 cup of So Delicious Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 and 1 1/2 cups of ice
Blend for about 60-90 seconds. If you have a blender that has different settings, use the “milkshake” setting or one that mixes at a medium speed.
Enjoy! You will definitely be sad when the shake is gone!
195 calories, 5 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fat (Depends on the protein powder that you use).
I consider myself to be more of an introverted type of person in certain situations. I only share certain parts of my life with a small group of people. Some of this comes from previous experiences with criticism and negative comments about what I am doing from other people. However; recently I have found that the more I share what I am doing with bodybuilding, nutrition, and general fitness, the more successful I am. Yes, there are some who could care less, criticize or look to see you fail, but that is a very small percentage of people. You will be surprised at who you can inspire if you just share what you are doing. This does not mean being egotistical or judgmental of others. It only means to be proud of who you are, what you do, and the accomplishments you have made.
I received a compliment in the gym today and it made me feel good. To know people recognize you are working hard and appreciate it, is a very good feeling.
7 weeks to go!
Just made this recipe today. I wanted my wonderful chocolate protein powder but did not want to just have it with water. I decided to combine my usual serving of sweet potatoes with the protein. Here is the recipe:
You will need:
-100 grams of cooked sweet potato
-2 tablespoons of coconut flour
-1-3 tablespoons of liquid egg whites
-1 scoop of protein powder
-1 tablespoon of sugar free jam
1. Take the sweet potato and mash it up in a bowl. I chose to leave the skin on.
2. Add the protein powder to the sweet potato.
3. Add the coconut flour to the bowl.
4. Add the liquid egg whites and a little bit of water.
5. Mix all ingredients together into a pudding like consistency and keep adding as much water as you need to for the mixture to be smooth.
6. Place the mixture in the microwave for 3-5 minutes.
7. Top with a tablespoon of sugar free jam.
It can be hard to get your meals in at work and it’s not always possible to sit down for 15-30 minutes to eat a full meal. Sometimes I eat my meals at my desk and fortunately I am able to step away to eat most of the time. However; today was really busy and I had to get my last snack in some way. I came up with an idea on the fly. I always strive to get a protein, carb, and fat source at each meal. I decided to combine my protein and sweet potato into a pudding. I took 50 grams of cooked sweet potato, added one scoop of protein, and a little less than 1\4 cup of coffee in a styrafoam cup. I mixed these ingredients together and it came out to be the consistency of pudding. I love pudding but the instant mixes tend to have a lot of sodium. So this was a nice way to get what I like in a healthy way….and it was fast! Here are some ideas you can try for quick meals.
-Pudding made with one scoop of protein and just enough almond milk stirred in. Great in the morning before your workout when you don’t have time to eat.
-1scoop of protein powder with 1\4 cup of dry oats. Add a little water and make a “goo.”
-Add fruit into a container of Greek yogurt. You can even add nuts for a complete meal.
-Mix cooked sweet potato in with protein powder and water and microwave for a few minutes….instant brownie!
These are just a few things I have done to make sure I sneak in a quick meal on the go. No excuses!
Preparing food for the week can be time consuming. I am down for anything that makes the process easier and this is where my handy dandy crock pot comes into play. I cook everything from turkey to chili to collard greens in the crockpot. I buy a lot of meat so I like to make cooking easy. Here is one of my favorite recipes.
Crock pot Chicken
2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of low sodium organic chicken broth
Pour the broth into the crock pot.
Rinse off the chicken and place in the crock pot.
Add seasonings and lemon juice.
Set the crockpot on high for 6 hours.
It is best to do this in the morning and by the afternoon your chicken is ready and you can eat it for lunch or dinner all week.
A very easy to make low-carb snack. Great for pre or post workout.
1 cup of canned pumpkin
5 egg whites
2 scoops of protein powder ( I used chocolate).
1\4 cup of coconut flour
A dash of stevia
1 cup of instant oatmeal
1 tablespoon of Hershey’s dark chocolate baking powder
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray
Mix all ingredients together. Add water or almond milk until desired consistency. The mix should be like pancake batter…just slightly thicker.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Makes 8 muffins. If you want 12 muffins add more water or milk for a thinner mix.
I am 5 weeks into my prep and I am making very good progress. There have been moments that I get weary or a little worn out. Training alone can be difficult but you have to push through and keep going. You might not have anyone who motivates you and tells you to keep going. If you talk to a lot of competitors you will always hear them say that they had moments where they felt alone. One night I watched an interview with Kai Greene, one of the top bodybuilders in the country. He stated that people think his life is glamorous but don’t understand how lonely the path is. Yes, he does have training partners, sponsors, friends etc… But there are many times, he finds himself alone.
I say all this to encourage you if you feel like you are alone. Don’t despair! You will be just fine if you don’t quit! Be a big girl or a big boy and just do it. Don’t wait for your friends or your spouse to push you because that may or may not happen.
Back to prep…I have lost 10 lbs, so I am at 138. The picture shows 139 because it was taken last week. My average is a 1.5 lb loss per week which is the healthy way to do it. I am meticulous about counting my macros and calories. I have something to prove here and though I may get tired, I am not quitting. I have about 10-12 more lbs to go depending on how I look.
11 weeks to go!